tv Panelists Discuss Intelligence Gathering and Terror Threats CSPAN June 25, 2017 4:10pm-4:56pm EDT
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extraordinary accomplishment. leader in 2011 a successful down the firstok american targeted by death by the cia. of the digital jihad that we are living in today. i am reminded that it is one thing to kill a man and another to kill his ideas. environmentin a which is extremely dynamic and extremely diverse. is topic of our panel today whether the intelligence community has the tools it needs to want this threat. i would like to introduce members of the panel. jane,d like to begin with she is a very familiar face here on capitol hill. from congress first female
director and ceo representing the aerospace center of california. she served on all major committees and served on numerous fact-finding missions. northing missions over korea, cuba and guantanamo bay. she has become a expert on national security issues. she received the defense medal for distinguished service. as well as the cia directors awarded as well as the distinguished public service medal. thank you for joining us. the to her is pete, he is former chairman of the house intelligence committee. ande he partnered with jane practicing landmark legislation buried the first modernization of the intelligence community and 50 years. he is working on the
investigative process with terrorism. heard is theill u.s. representative for the 23rd congressional district of texas. which stretches from san antonio to el paso and includes 800 miles of the u.s.-mexico border. he is also the vice chair of the maritime subcommittee. he is on the committee for homeland security and the chair for oversight. then immediately on my left is nicolas rasputin and he is the director of the national terrorism center. prior to becoming a director he served with the national security council staff as a special assistant to the president read he was then providing staff
support to the president and homeland security advisers on counterterrorism strategies did he also served on the staff for regional affairs in the office of combating terrorism. what, i want to start with you. was busychigan individual who was on any watch list? >> i think it is too early to say. deference to my fbi and local colleagues in michigan step back for a second before we share publicly what was known and what we will learn and the days ahead. that any lawsay enforcement investigation it you will know more in day to than you do do on day one. and you will do more on day nine. i do not want to get the part of my colleagues by whip very far on the specifics of the individual. that being said, the indications are that this individual may have been motivated by the
ideology reference in your opening remarks. i think it is too soon to draw affirmative conclusions, certainly the kind of attack that was conducted there some kind of the hallmarks we have seen in other capitals around the world. that are not particularly complex, they are not large-scale. they are definitely sophisticated, they can do enormous harm. they can cause loss of life emma they can spread terror and fear and insecurity in the hearts of populations. our makes them worthy of heightened concern. at the same time it is a different threat environment and it is a environment we have been living with for most of the post-9/11. it is more dynamic and more challenging and many ways but it is also worth remembering some of the progress we have made an mitigating some of those threads
that we were the most worried about one decade ago for five or six years ago when al qaeda was concern. the threat of a mass casualty attack any u.s. city we have done a tremendous amount to reduce the likelihood of such an attack. hereikelihood of a attack and the homeland using weapons of mass destruction is also something we have made tremendous progress building of our defenses to defend against that attack. even as a point to a threat environment that is challenging, concerning, all of those words that you want to use. i think it is worth differentiating what we talk about with that threat environment. rine:j when you sat onane the house ranking committee, is this what it like with a threat environment. say: first of all, let a since you are exerted barely
capable as a reporter. i think everyone should respect the quality of journalism you bring to fox. i want to express my distress that fair and balanced has been removed from fox. comment that this the terrorists are not going to check our party registration before they blow us up. something we have to do on a bipartisan basis. , i didte and i served that. i is also true that when chair the intelligence subcommittee of homeland security and mike mikell was my ranking member we did that did bipartisanship is not thadead. it needs to be more robust. no, i did not imagine this would happen. we were there on 9/11. there was no contingency
survival plan for congress, many of us were in front of the capital. to an apartment of the chair on a new subcommittee. i was in his tiny basement apartment that had no place to go. theinally commandeered capitol police headquarters and went there and try to offer help. we never imagined that what came at us with 9/11 was going to be the size of this. the members ofnd the ic for trying to get ahead of the problem. speaking for me we did not anticipate it and you are right it is a idea that a person buried at defeating a army as lumping, defeating a idea is another. congressman?
here. jane: bipartisanship. thanks, there is no way that anticipated this especially when we were leaving and 2011. i mentioned to jane as she was in the countries who visited, it one that wasention the most notable. meetingsay it would be qadhafi and libya. you are part of the small part of the process that became a ally and fighting radical jihadists threat out there. persons we met was a
intelligence chief who is a graduate of michigan state and a big fan of those kinds of things. we went to trip and egypt, we met with arafat and we met with assad later we met with gasol -- qadhafi. notle did we know it did think that a wreck would be a failed state with isis, syria , libyae a failed state would be a failed state. egypt would lose control of the sinai, we would have changed our and started working with the muslim brotherhood. changed, when you saw those failed states and use of the refugees, when you saw the mass migration into europe.
the fire is going from europe, some from united states into syria and into libya. now coming back into europe and those countries. those of all community threat environment that i do not think anybody really saw coming out on the horizon. now that the challenge is how do you go back and stabilized syria and how do you stabilize libya, how do you stabilize yemen? we have not gotten a strategy to deal with those issues. katherine: we have a handful of failed states which are effectively safe havens for ic have the the tools to work with entities and those nations to try and gather intelligence successfully? if not how do we do the work around. i will try to answer that
question and less than 50 minutes. the intelligence community has the capabilities and the result, they have the right people and leadership. is biggerissue that than just the intelligence community. , i think with ambassador crawford is here, one of the things he says is if you have wingtips and on some the ground it prevents boots. diplomats dok that you can prevent the need for having to come and militarily. we have to support of the state department, we have to make sure that the u.s. has a strong budget to do their work. we also have to make sure that intelligence communities have the operating authorities to bring the hammer down on the over there.
we also have to think about what data we celebrate? ,ne question i always asked what date you celebrate when it comes to the war on terrorism? the best answer i have gotten is from my friend a ambassador and former head of prosecuting the war in 9/11. he said he did not celebrate a day because terrorism will always be there. the strategies that you use to fight this are some of the same strategies you have to do with terrorism. we have to bring the hammer down . them from having said havens. we have to count of this ideology. when i was chasing al qaeda, they were doing night letters. now they are doing social media campaigns translated in different languages. we have to counter that and we have to ensure local law enforcement and commercial
onurity have the information attacks that these guys are using in order to defend the population from this. it is a hard problem, it is broader than just the intelligence community. erine: you suggested in your earlier statement that we had disrupted the homeland, is that correct? ck: i am talking about what -- long periods of time in 9/11. >> a detailed i would agree with that, we are constantly trying to identify individuals with a design on the homeland, i don't think i would put anything in the category you put it. i would say that we have stop ofple that were capable planning and plotting a major attack on the u.s.
you have to remember when you take people off of the battlefield that have the capabilities and the leadership ability to do some of these things that counts. there have been a number of those significant activities over the years. not disagree with that at all. i did not want to leave the impression that there was some kind of incipient imminent threat pointed at the homeland because they think that would be misleading. i want to pick up on something else of the congressman said the different things they can do to defend ourselves includes all of the things that the congressman engine. i think one of the things that is under way perfectly and the homeland context is a greater sense of societal resilience. cope -- not just cope but prosper and succeed in living our life regardless of
what happens in any given day. unfortunately some form of terrorism will be a semi permanent feature of the landscape. whether it is this ideology or some future ideology. we continue to look at our capabilities and bring down the hammer when it needs to be prayed a big part of the answer is giving communities around this country the tools they need to protect themselves, information they need to protect themselves and the understanding of the terrorist threat so that they can put that threat in perspective against all the other things they have to worry about. anel i just want to point out how hard this is, it will never be 100% effective. we have now learned that the new tools of terror are a big truck and a butcher knife. gun control or more gun control and the country there is something to be people with licensed guns who will go
crazy and do dumb stuff. that is not the catastrophic threat that you are asking about, catherine. i do not rule that out either. there are biological weapons that are pretty easily accessible in hospitals. the other point i wanted to make is that resilience matters. yes it does feed think britain, keep call and carry on. they have had more bombings than anybody else. there are also other things we can do to win the argument. you have said that this is a idea. on theing wingtips ground is a way to win the argument created using diplomacy. there are better arguments against the arguments that recruit child brides to get their swimming pool in afghanistan or wherever it is needed someplace that peter and i have been paid i'd went to yemen, i don't know if you did. everything he could do to keep up with me, he did.
how do we win the argument? our values paid that is important. a lot of people want to appear because of our values. we also do a effective counter messaging that we need to work on more, when john kelly was talking earlier, i think most of you are here. he was talking about the he was talking about the private sector intercepting bad messages. the private sector is also capable in near simultaneous ofe putting on good messages those who escaped the horror of isis. those who are respected community figures come up in the same states that some kid is looking at and say wait a minute , here is a alternate idea. having a community giving these kids opportunities, these kids who are susceptible to these messages. i think there are some tools that we need to invest in more. >> if i can add on to what she
is talking about. -- in the cia you learn about covert action. we have to figure out as a counterhow do we do influence. that opens up a whole lot of questions, in order to do counter covert intelligence. you have to have these groups. >> thank you for that. all doing onre nafta is awesome, coming from texas that is a and or didn't issue. it is hard to coordinate the various elements within the intelligence community. thinking about how you coordinate the federal intelligence, the local law enforcement and the private aena in order to have
somewhat coordinated strategy on how we will deal with this ideology is hard. i will say this, jane, the showed isship you great. two key examples of how we can work together across ideological divide to make sure that we are focusing on protecting our homeland. nick, what tools you want that you do not have right now? nick: i would turn the question a little bit and instead of identifying single tools i said i look at a more transformational exercise. the intelligence and the discipline of the analysis for understanding the modern terrorism threat is changing
under our feet as we are doing the job. i often think about this, the analyst he probably hired 10 years ago came with a very strong social science spectrum three good writers and thinkers. with language skills and understand the dynamics of the areas. we need all of that rate we need to continue to hire those people and training those people. we also need people who also know how to look at stacks of data, sift through it, make sense of it and draw it nonobvious connections to help shrink the size of the stacks so we can shine our life, the limited light we have on those issues of the greatest concerns. did when i am talking to young people i say i hope you can write, i hope you are digitally integrated i hope i can put you in front of a spreadsheet that has dozens of potential data points and you can make sense of it. --can then use those kinds
obviously to hire people and that you have to empower them with the kinds of tools. most of them are things that are available. big data is that something the government is limited to have pai. it is the deal with drawing useful information of large firms of data. we can go to school on a lot of that with our private sector friends. i want to make sure we have the right workforce to do what we need to do five or 10 years from now. this is what i love about the intelligence community, it is a perfect example. we are going to do it. yes, the answer is a question, they need more from the technology vision, when you are looking at satellite imagery and you are looking at different parts of the day the human eye is not going to be able to detect a car that was moved a little bit. --y are not going to be deep
able to detect a great or silver car. being able to introduce the technology to the framework will help us deliver the kind of results that we need. not always as making sure we introduce the technology but folks in the intelligence community how to leverage it. that way they can achieve desired outcomes. went to dartmouth's issue of interrogations, one of the criticisms of the last administration is that we got out of the interrogation business. should we be getting back into it with a more robust way? let me answer your previous question. in terms of the intelligence community have what it needs, then i will answer that interrogation question as well. overallt the environment and these are some of the things that we worked on when we were on the committee.
i am absolutely essential, glad that the bipartisan nature or the nonpartisan nature of the intelligence community continues. i do not always see that. but i am not. i think you need that. the other think i think you need is i look forward to the day when the intelligence community is not on the and front page every day. that it has a effective oversight with congress. i had not saying to a without oversight on intelligence needs to be done in the background and not on the front page. i look for the day when we have restored the public trust between the intelligence committee and we have lost a lot of fat now with what is going on with perceive things that are going on with the nsa or those struggles and debates in congress. congress has of said that the public is suspicious of what the intelligence committee is doing and america to keep us safe.
i think they also need to see the creativity and the alternative scenarios that could not have groupthink. this is one of the conference we identified in 2001 and the problem, terrorists are getting more creative. the analysis to lay out the policy makers and say this is what we think will happen and this is a 180 degrees different look at that. interrogation, if we are capturing people on the battlefield and absolutely we need to interrogate. congress needs to set the limits and the boundaries for how that interrogation takes place. to say that we are not interrogating, no. capturing life people, it is a great source of information. they complement everything else you get. we had that struggle and debate about what is acceptable and
what is not. but of all spree to congress sets the parameters and the intelligence committee implements. ane: a couple of things. it was a very courageous thing of special operations command to physically go to capture osama bin laden. he was killed that they did try to capture him if they use a drone to bomb his facility. the stuff would not have been captured. it is not just about capturing which we should do as a alternative to killing people when possible. it is also capturing their data which is crucial. i want to make up. bush 43earlier in the administration i was briefed, i do not think you are chairman yet. on the enhanced interrogation techniques.
stuff is finally seeing the light of day. i was briefed on the men of the general counsel of the cia. personally briefed with one staffer in the room. we all thought we would be attacked again. we were all extremely worried about the safety of the country. response to that was to write a letter then classified and has now been declassified to the general counsel saying i wanted to know what policy guidance he was given about those techniques. the intelligence community does not make policy they present intelligence to policymakers to make policy. i wrote that letter because bynkly i was quite shocked what was on the list that i was briefed about. i never received a response. the bush administration and the first term chose basically to operate under that commander-in-chief authority
greater his article to authority. he does have those and they are important. they did not go through congress and we had to struggle. getwill remember this to the memos. we never got them from the office of legal counsel and the justice department. not on my watch, we never got them. the information we needed for proper oversight. there should be robust interrogation within legal limits subject to congressional oversight. >> let me just reinforce what you just said. we have agreed on the a lot of things but this is one where we walked in tandem for almost the entire 10 years that we were together on the intelligence committee regardless of what that is the executive branch has to be accountable to congress and follow the parameters that congress establishes and way too often and the time that we serve we could not give the information that we felt was absolutely
essential for us to do effective oversight. i think that diminishes the putsligence committee and in place in framework where you can have a executive branch whether it is republican or democrat it does not matter. the executive branch has to be accountable to congress for what happens in the intelligence committee because at that time we set the parameters and they implement. you cannot have a president -- it isd doing things only a gang of eight that they would not share information with. that is totally unacceptable. question whataeda is their potential to carry out a mass casualty attack directed at the united states? think i was talking about
that a little earlier. i was not being specific. we have done a great deal to torade their ability and carry out the united states. doing a great deal to degrade grade that attack in pakistan. there is the question of the they remain a robust and resilient organization with a there presence and that are a affiliate organizations around the world that are profoundly threatening to u.s. interests i think about the time we spent worrying about al qaeda which attempted to carry out multiple aviation attacks directed at the art states in the last decade. this goes to some of your havens andout safe the difficulties we have industry and terrorist activity and places like yemen. the fact that you see isis in the headlines everyday and you read about isis is in the
forefront of this problem we are facing, it should not detract from we as a intelligence community are still focused, i would argue as a matter of first priority as uptight it as a threat to u.s. interests. we get the privilege of having multiple priorities, that is one of the nice things about working and this area. sometimes you have to make choices about where you spread your resources. al qaeda has never stopped being a number one principal terrorism concern for the art states just as isis has taken over the headlines. >> is their most active base of operations now in syria? >> i guess i would say syria or yemen. there are the al qaeda affiliates to present the most immediate concern to us. >> final question, the bomb he awareis street, is
of the restrictions going into flights in the united states. >> i think senator kelly talked a little bit about the thinking that went into the aviation measures of what was enacted couple of months ago. i think the best way i would describe that is that many have known about al qaeda figures operating out of yemen. a priority,de this that is one factor of intelligence that we continue to worry about an focus on. we have also seeing other terrorist organizations try and someand some have even had success with targeting aviation. look at what has happened in recent months as a accumulation over time rather than tied to one individual. i would not like you said the impression that we just got the right individual off the battlefield and we have secured our aviation industry. i would not believe that. one of the things that is the most concerning is just how
persistent and how committed our adversaries are to getting after aviation. will emerge to pick up that mantle. >> syria remains active in targeting and plotting? >> i don't know if i would go that far, i do not know if i should talk about specific matters. i would do better by new certainty that he wasn't. bring and youtube because you have touched on this earlier. what role dealing the current political environment is playing in terms of either helping or impeding this war? >> is this a trick question? impeding -- i think everyone in the room thinks that. am not just expressing a opinion about the political environment except that the intelligence community cannot
become the adversary or even the in the partisan mudslinging. it cannot. it has to be impartial. statement inblical the main hall of the cia it is coded all the time. the truth shall set you free. george h.w. bush when he was cia director was responsible for putting that statement there. all is a hallowed hall, you know that with the stars on the wall. some of those who cannot be identified still, they gave their life to keep this country robust need the most intelligence community we can field. we worked on helping to reshape it in 2004 after the failures of 9/11 and the iraq wmd analysis. we reshape it in a better way. the director of national intelligence authorities are not perfect. it was congress, we work closely together. we were the big for working on
that bill. adequate,ities are tools that it needs to do its best job. there is not job, such thing, with 100% security. you just heard that terrorists are very agile and will try to work beyond us. we have to scramble to keep up. is exactly right by the way. my bottom line is we need to praise the icy and give them the tools and get the robust oversight on a bipartisan basis. -- theyf her comments recount is used to be is truth to power. they have to go do the analysis and tell the political leaders here is what we see. regardless of where the chips may fall politically. so there is a responsibility than for political leaders to and holdheir views them accountable for their performance. it is also a responsibility to
hold the intelligence committee to act in a way that has integrity or something to a. it appears that some of the voice coming out of the intelligence community are unacceptable. there is a fault on both sides of the issue right now. the political discourse in --ard to the old intelligence community and some of the behavior that is coming out of the community, there is a responsibility for both of those actors to change their behavior and move back into a constructive framework. >> i will add onto this. i spent nine and a half years of being in the back alley at 4:00 a.m. collecting intelligence. i was one of the early employees in the unit that prosecuted the war in afghanistan after 9/11. on september 12 if you would have told me it would have been 16 years before there was
another major attack on the homeland i would have said you were crazy. the reason that there has not been another major attack is because the men and women in the intelligence committee and the military are still operating as if it is september 12. these are men and women of integrity they are working hard every single day putting themselves in harms way in order to protect us. they are not going to worry about whatever drama comes up in this place or in this building because they are going to do their job despite who is in power because they are professionals. >> i have one quick thought on that. person iing career should not get into politics that i can say from a workforce perspective. nothing makes the day of a officer working for me more than hear it from congress whether it is democrat or republican thank
you for your service and i admire you for what you do. those five or six words can carry you along with a sense of duty forward with the office. we had that opportunity earlier in the spring to post a number .f his colleagues out having that interaction is the members of congress and professionals i think it underscores what all three members of congress heard and said here. it is our judges the out of the politics, we need to be validated by the politicians that we are doing good work and work that is valued. does not matter to me personally, i served in a position where i do not induce -- to hear that. i hope the people under me can have that level of appreciation offer to them not just by the public. >> i have just a couple of final questions. we are heading into the final
days of ramadan, a lot of americans are waking up and wondering when is is vehicle attack went to come to the country? what would you say to that? came up in the conversation that secretary kelly had to serve the morning. there is no question that a vehicle attack is one of those things now that potential extremists or terrorists realize they have at their disposal. it is something that does not wire a terrific amount of planning or a in ordinance about the resources. i am at a zero business, i am never going to say something is inevitable. i think what we have seen in europe and other places around the world is that terrorists will use what they have at their
disposal to carry out operations to try to create fear and insecurity and populations. these goals are a tool that they are going to use. it gets us to something that he said, to share that information with local authorities who can help build the kind of effective defenses in the city so that a operator of a vehicle may be stopped at the earliest possible moment. so that first responders know what to do and how to disable that individual. so if we do so for the kind of that it will be an attack that is stopped before it is causing loss of life. >> i would like to thank our sponsors of today's event, senator rubio. thank you all for joining us this morning, thank you to the panelists as well.
thank you. [applause] >> tonight on afterwords, they economics professor detail how low to moderate income families manage money on their book. how american families cope in a world of uncertainty. they are interviewed by the author of two dollars a day being on almost nothing in america. >> the risk of small decisions going badly is so much higher for people at the bottom. make riskierple decisions all the time. with some from me
in the last year. it doesequence of that, not have one. the guy puts -- consequence for others is unsettling. income is the survey of from the government. 2011said between 2009 and there was a bit of a unusual. he. americans reported in every month of that time. 90 million americans during that time, one third of americans exchanged poverty and that time. it means we have to really rethink what is going on. tonight.afterwords
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website. follow live coverage on the internet and on the free radio app. when theyfs of staff talk about the global challenges facing the military including threats of isis and north korea. several were fair and modernization, he made remarks at the national press club. this is just over one hour. [crowd chatter] >> good afternoon. ladies and gentlemen. colleagues, all. members. welcome to the national press club.