tv Sen. Lindsey Graham on New York City Terror Attack CSPAN November 1, 2017 9:40pm-10:03pm EDT
anti-terrorism funding immediately. instead of dividing, instead of politicizing, do something real, mr. president. restore these funds now. i yield the floor. announcer: south carolina senator lindsey graham called on president trump to hold the man being held for the attacks in new york city as an enemy combatant. senator graham is a lawyer who says the united states could gather better intelligence against terrorists. he spoke on capitol hill. graham: all right. i think the recent event in new york is not only heartbreaking, and my thoughts and prayers, like everyone else, is with the victims of this terrible attack.
many of them were visiting our country from abroad, and it is really, truly heartbreaking, and i have heard a lot of platitudes about how strong we are and how as a nation, we are not going to give in. that is all great. the people of new york are strong. the new york city attitude towards this is probably the right attitude to take, which is to fly along, but the one thing isant to make sure is -- of that the american people know we are making the right policy choices. it is not enough to give platitudes. we actually need to look and see if our laws are sufficient to meet the threats, so i believe very deeply that this gentleman should be held as an enemy combatant. the reason i say that is because there is ample evidence to suggest that these attacks were motivated by radical islamic
thought, that he killed in the name of radical islam, and that he is expressing his allegiance that he is acting as a soldier of the caliphate, and we should treat him as a soldier of the caliphate. the one thing that is changing is that the enemy is no longer organized in groups. they are soliciting people in throughcountry abroad the internet, and it is important for the american people to understand that in moments like this, the goal is to gather intelligence, not to convict him in a court of law. it will be very difficult to convict him in a court of law, but he will have his day in court, and because he is a green card holder, he cannot be tried by military tribunals. the act so that they are eligible for trial in military tribunals, so he will have to go to court, but that is not the issue. the question for us now is what
is the best way to gather intelligence from this man? of war, an enemy combatant is not entitled to miranda rights or to be represented by counsel, when the interrogation counsel is designed to gather intelligence. the lawerence between and criminal law is pretty basic. under criminal law, the goal is , givingse of the crime the defendant due process and an adequate opportunity for the victim to be heard. au have a prosecutor and defense attorney and a jury, and their goal is to find out whether or not the prosecution can meet the elements of the crime. war, which iat believe we are, when you find somebody associated with radical islam who takes up their cause and killed in the name of radical islam, what we should try to find out about that person is how did you get here, are you working with other people, and under the law of war, i have been a military
lawyer for 33 years, we have the authority in the united states to retain this man as an unlawful enemy combatant. within 30 to 60 days, he will have a right to appear before a federal judge. the government would have to prove a preponderance of evidence that he is, in fact, associated with radical islam, and i think it should be conduct based, not status based. if you take up arms against the united states in the name of radical islam, you should be aeated as an terrorist -- as terrorist. the law of war as an unlawful enemy combatant. you will never convince me that the best way to gather intelligence in this war, which is now in our backyard, is to reach somebody their miranda rights, telling them they have the right to remain silent and read somebody their miranda rights come a telling them they have a right to remain silent and entitled to counsel. you have to treat them compliant with the geneva convention.
you cannot torture them, nor should you, but time can be used as an interrogation tool itself, so what i hope the trump administration will do is break from the obama administration's view that all terrorists are common criminals. the law does allow us to treat a terrorist differently than a common criminal. it will allow the government to hold him, for the purpose of gathering intelligence, compliant with the geneva convention, and the mere passage of time can be a good interrogation tool. general mattis said the best way to find out information from enemy prisoners is over time to get to know them, and sometimes it may be a cigarette or a cold beer, but over time, you form a relationship, and time itself works as a good interrogation technique, not torture but time. the minute you read somebody there are random rights, there is an impediment -- read miranda rights,
there is an impediment. theuld suggest that in initial phase, look at the evidence associating this man with radical islam and terrorism. look at him as an unlawful enemy combatant. take the time you need to develop who he is and what he present, ify to necessary, to a federal judge your case against him as being an unlawful enemy combatant, but if you determine in the next few days that this is not the right fit for this man, then you can go back to the criminal process, but in the initial interrogation phase of this case and every other case like this, we should go into this based on evidence we have before us, assuming this man did this as part of a radical islamic terrorist movement and hold him under the law of war until we get a good read up on who he is, and in this case, he cannot be tried at goiitmo.
you do not have to hold him there, but, if that, you could if he is an enemy combatant. we have been taking cases like this and within days, reading them their miranda rights and turning this activity into a criminal case rather than a terrorism case, so i am hoping the trump administration will take this opportunity to break from the last eight years and apply the law of war so they can gather intelligence from this gentleman about who he is and what he did and how he is connected, if at all, and make a rational decision about how to go forward. criminalback to the model, then we are losing valuable intelligence, and the one thing i can say about making america safe, if somebody is willing to die and take you with them, it is really difficult, but the best way to stop attacks like this is to use good intelligence, get involved in -- beforeps, have people like this get here, and
sometimes you're going to make mistakes, but once you capture somebody like this man or the son-in-law of bin laden, the last thing i think you want to in the federal court, where you really cannot have the time to interrogate them under the law of war. that would have taken bin off of the battlefield, a huge mistake in the past administration. lee bargaining is not the best way to gather intelligence. i have done military work for 33 years. there is nothing in military law that says that terminal lysing a military prisoner, giving them criminal rights, rather than -- aat says that criminalizing military prisoner, giving them criminal rights, rather than treating them as an enemy combatant is good. rather than recruiting people from the mideast, they are using the internet and other opportunities to convert people
to their cause in our own backyard, and when we catch somebody like this, we need to slow down and make sure we are making good decisions in terms of gathering intelligence to prevent the next attack and to make sure that we can find everything within reason about what this guy is up to and what guided him to the event of yesterday so that we can make america safer. i talked to the president last night about this. inclined to be aggressive, at least i hope he is. i talked to the attorney general yesterday about the man in libya, so the trump administration has an here to change policy, and i hope they do so. reporter:nator, -- senator, there has been a lot of talk about it act of war. if there is consternation about the war, how can you hold purse -- this person as an act of terror on american soil as an
enemy combatant? it is unclear what is the u.s. military authority. senator graham: i would argue that this is the ultimate prize for the enemy. if they can make it to the homeland, they no longer are considered an enemy combatant, you are rewarding that behavior. the idea that america is not part of the battlefield is insane. tell that to people who were at the twin towers. tell that to people in the pentagon. tell that to people in boston. tell that to people in new york. this is where they want to, but any other place in the world. prize is to attack us in our own backyard, so the constitution is not a suicide pact. we have a rule of law in place that covers situations like this. it is called the law of non-conflict. the war is global. the prime target for the jihadists is to hit us in our
own backyard. that is the gold medal in the olympics, which is doing this in our own backyard. when you find somebody converted to their cause, whether by the internet or overseas, whatever themn, then we should hold under the law of war, interrogate them to gather intelligence, to make sure we hear about another attack if one is planned. i am one hundred percent convinced if you criminalize this war in the future, you will make america less safe. : why is it important for you and the president to come out a day after the attack and say it is important to change tactics? is the others say this inappropriate and too soon? senator graham: i have been talking about this for 50 years. every time we have had a terrorist attack, i have been
saying the same thing. hold them as an unlawful enemy combatant. do not read them their miranda rights. we should have done this years ago. slowly but surely, over time, we have taken the war and turned it into a crime, so this is not about gun control. this is about finding out how the enemy operates. say this-- let me just get if you act like a terrorist, and you say you are a terrorist, that is enough for me. you as ato treat terrorist, and the difference between a terrorist under the law of war and somebody who commits a common crime is night and day. under the law of war, we have the opportunity to gather intelligence. under the criminal law, you cannot. you cannot hold 70 under the criminal law and ask somebody about who you are and what you did -- you cannot hold somebody under the criminal law and ask somebody about who you are and what you did.
there is a double standard here on my part. not a gunhis is control issue, this is not an immigration issue -- now, what i said about immigration, yes, we should be looking long and hard of who comes into our country. somebody because of their religious affiliation, but you cannot hide behind your religion either. if somebody has through social media outlets or through shown a we can collect radicalization tendency, then we and the law needs to be able to adapt to the enemy as the enemy changes, so this is not an immigration issue for me. that is one part of it, but my point here today is to tell the american people, if we do not gather good intelligence, it is hard to stop this. reporter: do you agree with the president that there needs to be a look at this diversity?
senator graham: they eliminated the diversity system. we eliminated that a long time ago, so if we do something for the dream act kids, which i would like to do, one of the things we should do is get rid of the lottery and go to a merit-based system. dicey areas, io think it is perfectly ok to look long and hard to people come themthose areas, not ban because of their faith, but realize we are at war, and there are parts of the world that are -- it is notless about uzbekistan or libya. it is about a profile. we need to make sure we are looking at the right people. reporter: those of the uss
fitzgerald, the crash, that the sailors did not know what they -- doing senator graham: i think it is a logical consequence of cutting the budget for a very long time. resourcesave limited -- we cut $1 trillion out of the budget, and you have people who have been grounded, the planes have been grounded because the pilots cannot fly enough -- i am sure the resources the navy has have been diverted to operational needs. that is just one plausible explanation. in trading died accidents versus the dozen or so killed in combat. i think senator mccain and i would say that sequestration has ability tomilitary's be ready and that all of us in congress bear some blame for putting the military in this bad situation. what is the current status, as you understand it, of
this decision -- senator graham: this is why i am here. i don't know. i am here to give my two cents' worth. if you believe the media reports, and it seems clear that this man was expressing allegiance to radical islamic thought, then there is evidence, ample evidence, to suggest that anmay, in fact, have been unlawful enemy combatant. the fbi or other intelligence organizations have 18. here is what i hope they are doing. i hope they're looking at the evidence to suggest that this is an act -- that they would an unlawfuls man enemy combatants said that initially they can go in and talk to him. gleeful today, but a year from now, he may be less gleeful, so i would suggest that
we have a system where they can go in and have access to this man on their terms as long as it takes to find out what he did and why he did from an intelligence point of view, and miranda rightsis first, it gets to be very difficult what i am talking about. reporter: the president tweeted diversityng about the program. it looks like he got a lot of his facts wrong. senator graham: yes. reporter: ditties squadron opportunity here? he squander an opportunity here? schumergraham: senator worked on the lottery system. i was there. apparently, this man came in through the lottery system, so all i would say to the president is out me in for wanting to illuminate the lottery system for merit-based immigration.
realmr. president, the decision you have to make in real time is not about changing the lottery system, which is a legislative endeavor that will take time -- to invoke your , your administration's power to declare this man as an unlawful enemy combatant initially and gather intelligence versus reading him his miranda rights. i just think the president wants immigration reform, count me in. senator schumer was willing to do with the lottery. he was willing to change it. i am not here to talk about how to reform immigration in the next 12 hours probably. decisionl have to be a that makes america less safe, or will they change their policy? i'm here to urge the president
to reject the obama approach in fighting the war on terror. treat it as war. fighting for isis, being held in custody in a rat being heldeeks, -- in custody in iraq, for seven weeks, should he -- senator graham: here is how it works. if they declare 70 in our custody as an enemy -- if they declare somebody in our customary -- custody as an enemy combatant, they have to appear before a judge. iraq, i do notn know whose custody he is in. dod's custody. they have to decide if they want to declare this person an unlawful enemy combatant. he is caught overseas, they can bring him back. you cannot hold somebody it
without judicial review. judicial review has to happen within about 60 days. reporter: you heard from experts of onlinerole radicalization. senator graham: right. caseter: what about this and then intelligence gathering? senator graham: ok, what did we learned yesterday? be terrorists are encouraging their followers to use facebook and other social media outlets to get their message out. they use these platforms to recruit people and to spread their ideology. the social media companies fairlyd yesterday have a sophisticated artificial intelligence effort to shut down jihadist websites, but nothing is perfect. there is no law in this area. you are in the media business if you are in radio -- social media
outlets are not regulated at all. why are the terrorists going to this form of communication? there is the dark internet, where it is encrypted, the websites where they can talk to each other without as finding out about what they are talking about, so i think it is very ironic that as we were having a hearing about how radical islam is using the internet to recruit in our own backyard, within the timeframe of the hearing, he had an attack with 70 his seems to fit that profile -- we had an attack with somebody who seems to fit this profile. i believe in constitutional principles. i have been a military lawyer for 33 years. torture does not work. i believe in the rule of law, but i also believe in making america safe within reason, and andt now, the internet social media outlets are ungoverned space. terrorists go to ungoverned
spaces on the ground. spaces to ungoverned inside her, and the cyber cyber,ned spaces -- in and the cyber ungoverned spaces is where they are going. the enemy has a technique to radicalize people within our country. there will be more, not less, and more information we can find out about how these eyes get to where they are, the better off we are, and this paper we will be -- about how these guys get to where they are, the better off we will be, and the safer we will be. thank you. announcer: new york city officials held a press conference to announce the charges against the man accused of carrying out a deadly terror , whichon halloween day killed eight people. we also hear from the attorney from the southdi