tv James Clapper on Career in Intelligence Community CSPAN December 31, 2017 6:31pm-8:01pm EST
would be a much more intense case to try to see what happened. he wouldn't necessarily take over the chairmanship for 10 or 11 months for now, it will be a very different place. susan: thank you niall stanage and darren samuelsohn for being here on "newsmakers." [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] unfoldsn, where history daily. in 1970 nine, c-span was created by america's cable television companies, and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> now, former director of national intelligence james clapper talks about his career in the intelligence community from george washington university . this is 90 minutes.
dr. holgate: good evening. welcome to this beautiful venue.nce my name is laura holgate, i am a distinguished visitor at the institute for international science and had elegy policy at the pellet -- and technology policy. i am going to introduce a true hero from our national security community. you have all seen his bag --affiti -- by all graffiti biograp it ishy hard to imagine anyone more suited. to the topic of intelligence than james clapper. it is a treat to have him here
this evening. from hisn see background, he has had over five years of experience in the community, in the military side, civilian side, inside and outside government and overseas as well,. and is not listed in his bio, but maybe you can ask about his 2014 visit to north korea to rescue a couple of americans who got caught up there. i first met mr. klapper in the 1990's when i was a baby bureaucrat in the pentagon. scared of him bit myn i encountered him, but boss, ashton carter, and the rest of the leadership held him in such high regard and respect that we were all grateful to have him as part of the team. manyrecently, i logged hours with mr. clapper in the white house situation room discussing north korea, ebola
outbreaks, chemical weapons, and a gamut of national security issues. in the format of the principal committee meeting chaired by ambassador susan rice, and i was on the back bench. he was at the table. everye of you know, principals committee meeting begins with an intelligence of the. -- update. a ritualmost like prayer. mr. clapper went in town the latest update on whatever hard problem on the table that day. it has been my pleasure over my entire career to work with talented members of the intelligence community, and in particular to work with people who directly worked with mr. clapper in my last tour. i speak for not only myself, but in the of professionals intelligence, in protecting the integrity of humanity, which he led his -- the intelligence
community from his role. he personifies the term leader. it is a special honor to be able to introduce you tonight. the other thing that shows the humility of that is i did a little bit of surveying some of his former teammates, and they said a favorite saying of his is that their job was to be in the engine room shoveling intel coal. i'm sure we will have more than from the conversation that he offers us today, so it is my distinct honor to invite mr. james clapper to the podium. thank you very much. [applause] mr. clapper: thanks very much. it's great to be here and i think i should first pay tribute and as wellholgate,
as the gentleman sitting to her right, chris kojm. chris and i worked together when he served with great distinction as the chairman of the national intelligence council. if any of you are looking for a role model for public service, you only need look right here at laura and chris. what i thought i would do -- i'm going to try not to talk too long, because what i'm really interested in is dialogue and questions and discussion. i will talk about 20 minutes about some ruminations on professional intelligence. i do that by way of a commercial. i'm writing a book. [laughter] i'm reflecting on 50 plus years
or so i spent in professional intelligence. the first time in a long time, i had some time for complementation -- contemplation. i thought i would share some of those ruminations with you, and you at least consider public service, security, and more specifically, i'm here to recruit for intelligence. in doing so, just a couple lessons i learned along the way. i will just touch on a few of these things, and then we can talk about them in the q&a period. my father was an army intelligence officer and he served in world war ii, specifically signal intelligence and collecting enemy communications and breaking codes and that sort of thing. he served during world war ii and during the korean war, and
coincidentally, by accident, he and i served together in vietnam in 1965 and 1966. so in some ways, i probably inherited the intelligence gene from him. in fact, the first time in my life i knew i was going to be an intelligence officer, i was about 12 years old. it was 1953, and typically in military families, moving from duty station to duty station, you move a lot in the military, parents would drop kids at the grandparents' house, go on to the next place, find a place to live, then go and set up the house and go back to get the kids. in the summer of 1963, we had just returned from japan. we were in the northernmost island of japan, and we were on our way to massachusetts. my parents dropped my sister and me off of my grandparents in philadelphia.
of course, grandkids love -- and i'm going to miss them because i have four grandkids and i back in the day in 1953, television was still a novelty, not like it is now. anyway, one of my favorite shows "schmitz night was beer mystery hour," and they used to show these old charlie chan movies back in the 1930's. one night, the first friday that i was there, i decided at 12:30 in the morning, i decided i was going to surf. those were in the days when you actually had to to go to the tv and turn the dial. i know that's a complete foreign concept that's the way it works. you only had like 13 channels. that's all. black and white.
a huge television with vacuum tubes nothing like you have the , flat-screen. anyway, i'm turning the dial between channel 4 and five and happened between those two channels, i heard talking. that's odd. i held it to the tv selector right there between channel four and five, and i held it for about 15 minutes and i figured out it was the philadelphia police department dispatcher. [laughter] it was really interesting to me , because there was all kinds of mayhem going on in the city of philadelphia, you know. it was really interesting. tiring while, it got holding the tv now -- knob. sure ied it to make could get it back, then i ran to the kitchen and got toothpicks. i stuck them in the selector dial so would stay in that one position. so i guess i hacked my grandparents black-and-white tv set. so anyway i started listening .
i stayed up until 2:30 or 3:00 in the morning. the next night, i got a map of the city philadelphia. i started plotting police calls, where they would dispatch cruisers. and it didn't take too long. i'm doing this night after night, bear in mind. i can figure out where the high crime areas were in philadelphia . then, police used 10 codes like and 10-6. they have certain meanings. i got a bunch of 3x5 cards and i started writing these down. when i started figuring them out , because you figure out the context they compromise them and say what they really were. then i figured out they had call sign allocation system where police cruisers in each district would have a unique set of call signs. they would call that cruiser or whoever was riding in it.
then i also found out the police officers and lieutenants also had their own personal calls. i had these card files and pretty soon by the way they dispatched police cruisers, i figured out what the police district boundaries were in the city of philadelphia. after about three weeks of this, i had a pretty good idea of how the philadelphia police department worked. i didn't really know what i was doing. it seemed like a cool thing to do. my dad, who spent his life in the signal intelligence business, he and my mom came back to pick up my sister and me. "hey, what have you been doing?" [laughter] i whipped out my math with the police district in the high crime areas and i picked out i -- picked it out. i had 3x5 cards and 65 years ago i still remember the expression
on my dad's face. "my god, i have raised my own replacement." [laughter] i told that story unfortunately for humor, but also to make a serious point because it does illustrate even though i didn't , know what i was doing, it does illustrate the work and intelligence where you are figuring out the problem, where you don't know all the facts. you have to draw an emphasis and you have to corroborate your hypothesis, test your theory and at some point, you will come up with that's a fact i can go with. that's what i did. anyway, that's when i knew i was going to be in intelligence. anyway, fast forward. i listed in the marine corps in 1961 and then moved to the air force. i went to the university of maryland and finished in 1963. i was commissioned second lieutenant in the air force. i did 32 years in the air force, we moved 23 times in that 33 years.
i was director of dia for four years and retired in 1995. i was out of the government for six years, but still working in the government. i did khobar towers investigation in 1996, which was when i got religion about terrorism. we can talk about that if you want. the gilmore commission headed by former governor jim gilmore of virginia on weapons of mass destruction, served on the nsa national security administration advisory board for four years, and i taught intelligence at the gradual level -- graduate level. i came back in 2001, 2 days but it/11 as director, was then called the national mapping agency, which is now director of the national geospatial intelligence agency. i did that are almost five years . i was out for a couple of months and bob gaetz who was then secretary of defense, and the director of central intelligence
when i was director, ask me to come back and be the under secretary of the face -- defense for intelligence, which oversees all of the intelligence and dod. the deal is only 19 months, but he got held over and asked me to stay. it turned into three and a half years. i thought i was done. i was drag and one more time , and irving as the dni did that for six and a half years. i stopped on january 20 and i can tell you it's a great time to be a former. [laughter] i went to vietnam and -- that was my war. it did two tours there. 1965 and 1966. i don't know how many of you have seen some of the series, i think it is on pbs, i can burns on vietnam. it is very well done. era,g lived through that both the war itself and the aftermath of it, which was a
traumatic time for this country, i really resonate with that series. not only theptured facts, but the atmosphere of it as well. for me personally, it was the worst year of my life, both personally and professionally. i hated the war. i became disillusioned. westmoreland,ral the commander. then i got really disillusioned. i was ready to get out of the air force as soon as i could. plotome reason, somebody -- plucked me out of anonymity and tutored me. there were some general officers. impacts on my life and career. i had just mentioned that,
because emphasizing the importance of mentoring, while i don't have anybody to mentor. what i would always tell people, young people in the agencies, if you see somebody, that you think role be in an appealing that could be a role model, ask them to mentor you. don't wait. they will be flattered that you asked. that is a way to help yourself advance your career wherever you go. that verytioned briefly because of the impact it had on me. then i was back in texas for a while, volunteered to the back which inond tour,
contrast to the first one, was very rewarding. i was flying missions on the back end of an old, rickety c 47 from world war ii. supportbout 73 combat missions. after my second tour of southeast asia, which ended in mentor,1971, another who planted me in the environment of the front office of the national security agency at fort meade, maryland. i was working directly for what turned out to be two three-star directors. they are both dead now, so i talk about them. because of the
contrasting styles in their leadership. i served the last year working -- he went onal to be the pacific commander, who the air forcey three-star general as director of the nsa, which was the only year that he got his four star and went on to another assignment in the air force. i bring this up just to mention the contrasting leadership styles, which i recount in my book. bossd was a very demanding . he was extremely hard on people. what i watched happen from my vantage as a military assistant , which meant i kept his calendar and tracked his papers, so i had a lot of opportunity to
observe -- what i noted is that this style of leadership is effective if you are a very dictatorial, demanding, and harsh with people, it is effective. people will do exactly the minimum and nothing's -- nothing else. i watched this that people were afraid to convey bad news to the they wereecause afraid of incurring his wrath. he would fire people on the spot. so then, the next director came in. general phillips came in. he was the exact opposite, the antithesis. 180 degrees out. very quiet, very introverted and very courteous with everyone, very gracious. the impact was amazing, to see the difference in the way people reacted to that.
people would bring ideas to him and people were not afraid to tell him this is screwed up, and you need to do something about it. they were not reluctant to do that. now both styles of leadership are effective. they both work. so, fast-forward 20 years. now i am a three-star general and i am now a director with the defense intelligence agency. what i tried to do was remember that experience, both positive and negative, and yeah, there are times when you do have to be tough with people, but by and large what i found in my 50 plus years in the intel business is people want to do the right thing. they want to do the mission and they want to do it well, and they want to excel in it. you have to create an environment where that can happen. leadership and intelligence , ultimately, and ultimately --
isultimately, i guess, getting others to use their intellect. that's one of the great things from a diversity standpoint about the intelligence. it's all about your brain. it doesn't matter what your ethnic group is, your gender, or sexual preference, none of that matters. it's your mind is what counts in the intelligence community. and the interesting work that you have the opportunity to engage in. i consider that a leadership laboratory, it it will be in the book. [laughter] i thought i would mention it because it is in the context of leadership. the oneback, i think factor that has changed the intelligence community more than anything else, looking back historically, is technology. when we had traumas like 9/11, yes, that had impact.
reorganizations, which i think are highly overrated, but what is really historically changing the business of intelligence is technology. doing?e the adversaries fast-forward again on the most recent period, the six and a half years i spent as director of national intelligence. my focus was on integration of the community. dallas the central message from the 9/11 commission, which was convened, which chris served on, what convened to examine happened and what went wrong in the 9/11 attacks. -- majore rager recommendations that came out of the commission was their view that the nation needed a director of national intelligence.
first, they called it the nid, national intelligence director. the acronym is not very appealing. anyway, it came out dni. the notion was to have somebody as a full-time responsibility to champion integration across the community. the u.s. intelligence community is the premier capability on the planet. it is huge in total. year, 76n plus this billion, i think if you count all the agencies. it's a major enterprise to run. 16 components. now thecies, including fbi, which is very much a part of the u.s. intelligence community.
how tointegrate that, draw on the complementary strengths of each of the agencies, that's what i worked on in the six and a half years i was there. this is a never-ending journey. done with into grazing -- integrating by the close of business friday. i think the high, the low, and most interesting, and we can talk about it during the q&a, the high for me was being present in the white house situation was to take down osama bin laden. it was an amazing event. low, i think has to beat, although less of people don't agree, has to be edward snowden and the damage that he continues to have caused. we talk about that as well. i understand the issues with
domestic surveillance, and if that is all he had exposed, i could be more forgiving. but he exposed so much else and did so much damage that had absolutely nothing to do with domestic surveillance. the most interesting experience for me i think was my trip to north vietnam, excuse me , freudian slip, north korea, in november of 2014. i was on a mission to bring out two of our citizens who had been imprisoned in hard labor. it was fascinating for me particularly since i had served previously in korea and i became an amateur student after that. it was on my professional bucket list someday to go to north korea. finally, let me conclude these remarks with some philosophical observations. maybe it sounds a little pretentious.
first of all, why do we do intelligence? why does any nation-state to -- do intelligence? the simple answer is to reduce uncertainty, reduce uncertainty for a policy maker, whether the policy maker is sitting in the oval office or an oval foxhole. doesn't make any difference. what you are trying to do is to reduce uncertainty and reduce the risk. never eliminate it, based on intelligence, but you can certainly reduce it. that was laura's metaphor. i used to use this a lot on the hill. when members would like to beat me up about policy they didn't like in the administration. i used this metaphor on more than one occasion. i just said, senator, i'm just down in the engine room, shoving intelligence coal.
people at the bridge decide how fast it goes, drives the shift, decks. the i don't do any of that. i'm just down here shoveling coal. anyway, reduce uncertainty. why is it a great profession? i guess from the early story with myhen grandparents, i found it always interesting and an intellectual challenge. not only for the work, not only for what is the adversary doing and trying to figure out what the adversary's capabilities are, and their intent, which is very hard, but i never got bored with it. that's why i stuck with it. as i mentioned, briefly, i was out of the government for six years. the money was great but i never got the psychic income i got
from public service. backen i was asked to come in 2001, i jumped on it. although my wife was not too pleased at the time. another issue that comes up is intelligence ethical. -- another issue that often comes up is, is intelligence ethical? the whole notion of spying, i don't even like that word. the spies. i always cringe when i was referred to as the head spy. it's only three letters, so the media likes it. [laughter] i do think it is a noble calling it all stems, i think, from the values of this nation and what we have stood for. there are lots of bad people out
-- bad nationstates and non-nationstates that don't agree, so i think it is a noble thing to anticipate keeping this nation safe and secure. i may not be objective about it. it was something that was instilled in me by my father. the issuance and i have wrestled with the two jobs i have had. hand andcurity on one privacy on the other. you have to reconcile both, yesterday both at the same time. dni, i wouldrs of mixed messages about that from the american public. environment,nowden too much government surveillance, too much big brother. until you have an attack of some
sort -- and we should have been more invasive. i saw that happen time after time after time. the boston marathon is case in point. we had three ids through a postevent critique, home and security, department of justice and my auntie and the bottom one butthe fbi did everything it should have been more invasive. messages thatxed we get. as citizens, think there is a certain amount of sacrifice for the common good. stop at stopall signs, why would stop at red lights, it is really for the common good. i spoke about a three or four years ago at a trade thing and after a particularly frustrating week of this and i said we had a new paradigm in intelligence. what the american public expect
is to provide timely, accurate, relevant and participatory intelligence all the time. don't miss, no mistakes. but do that in such a way that there is no risk and do it in such a way that if a foreign government finds out about it, they will be met and do it anyway that there is even a suggestion of jeopardy that anyone civil liberties or privacy. our informed citizens, we call that new paradigm and accurate -- immaculate collection. butan a semi-chimeras light it makes a point about the difficulty of being so precise given the global interconnection resented by the internet to everyone communicate. and the difficulty of sorting out good people and bad people peopleugs of millions of conducting millions of billions of innocent transactions but among them are nefarious people
doing bad things. isolate -- it isn't just one needle and one haystack, it is thousands of haystacks. if extra of has got to convert into a needle, you better cash that. i may be reflecting a little bit of my bias as being from within. there, i have probably gone over time. do somewe're going to cues and aids. .therwise -- q&a otherwise i will go home. chris? [applause]
>> baby so much. i just want to reciprocate your very kind remarks by noting was a great honor to serve you and serve in the position i held for five years -- i have learned so much from working with you and for you. to questions here. i will simply ask you to stand and wait for the microphone. and keepntify yourself your questions bridge so that we can have as many questions as possible. so. our, all right, we see the first-hand here. please wait for the microphone. >> my name is joseph, i am a singer.
-- senior. my question is a policy question. successful do they michael flynn's efforts to reorganize and reposted the intelligence community efforts there -- help to the mission in afghanistan? today?think it affects do think it will be successful? >> the question was with respect to general plans report about how to improve intelligence in afghanistan and whether it has had lasting effects. had quite a bit about michael flynn there. i was a secretary in the all, theand first of basic thesis of that report was the pogo syndrome and we weighed the enemy against ourselves and what is laid out was the need
great, detailed fidelity inut individual villages afghanistan. understand the political dynamics, who the elders were, who the bad guys were and all of that and each individual village. the domain of the resident intelligence officer -- i think he was colonel flynn then. , what he was complaining about was under his own control. it is not feasible for the national intelligence community to define what is going on in village asked. only if you are there on the ground. he had a lot of intelligence resources. certainly, cultural intelligence and understanding the broad
dynamics of afghanistan, ,nderstanding the tribal nature those are very important things but when you get down to the level of detail that he was asking for, i think it was on him to attend to that. i don't know that it had some profound impact on what was going on back in the united states. if that is your question. >>, all right, we will try over on the side, although it's wardell in there. >> you talk a lot about how people have a different double standard for collecting intelligence and i wanted to ask more so about when people are
collecting intelligence and putting themselves at risk -- how do you evaluate the cost of intelligence collecting mission when you don't know exactly what you're going to find? >> that is a great question and that is the sort of thing that we get asked every year by the congress. they spend all this money on info and intelligent but this particular intelligence system was an overhead collected or all of that and has you evaluate if it is worth it. this is a time-honored challenge in intelligence, how much is it out of intelligence worth. is that it depends. one of the difficulties of answering a question is that there is a temporal aspect of intelligence. if there some intelligence collected today, it could have a different value next week, next month or next year or five years from now. this is particularly true in the
imagery business. this has great importance for history. we have all kinds of systems for the performance of intelligent systems but they are largely quantitative. this system produces this number of reports and in the case of the most objective form of intelligence, and is probably open-source. i was talking about human intelligence. it is hard to grated. sometimes you get a gem there and other times it turns out to be worthless. the dimension of risk game comes into your mind with human collectors, many of whom take a risk to recruit an asset and collect intelligence, this is extremely
risky in a place like russia or china. it is a great question, i'm not sure i have a good answer for you. as i said, it depends. >> ok, let's get a question on the right side. jake: you said earlier that technology is the predominant driver of change in the intelligence community to what extends in social media and thelligence and how intelligence community approaches gatherings and open-source intelligence. i think i understood the
essence of the question, how technology plays in open-source context. mediaparticular, social as a driver of intelligence. >> it is huge. that was when the russians moved into the ukraine, that was a crucial piece of source -- a source of intelligence for us. all soldiers are alike, they have to take pictures and send them home to their wives and girlfriends. and if they stand in front of things, you get intelligence for that. so it is hugely important. that is a recent phenomenon and in my day you did not have -- we do know what the term meant -- social media, it is usually important and this is one case where we must apply some automation in order to -- we
are. we have made steady investments in social media as a subset of what we call open-source which is available. -- it is ofing growing importance, export and social media. we got into it at that, not as in-depth as it is now but the use of our own social media as part of the russian campaign to interfere with our election. so it is very important that we on intand what is going social media's world. on three men in a row, it is time to change it >> i am sarah. sarah: i was wondering if you saw any correlation between the
intelligence work you did in the military and intelligence work you did in the government. james clapper: actually, not. there wasn't much difference between what i did in the military and intelligence versus the 16 years that i was a civilian. principles the basic are the same and understanding the intelligence process is the same, obviously when i was in the department of defense when i was director of the dia, i focused on the military. in general, no, there was much different. the customers are different but the intelligence process and all of that is not.
>> good evening, my name is henry and i am a sophomore. my question is on the uncertainty that you gave is imagined. one of the big uncertainties is north korea. the left of information that many miss calculations and miss estimation, especially on north korea's nuclear weapon plan. my question is, in your opinion, what else should united states intelligence system do in order to clear -- collect more precise information in north korea, thank you very much. >> one thing that would help is that we were there. that is actually a serious comment. in orting,ted there i had been an advocate of this before, i believe we should
establish an intersections income young. as much as we had in nevada for decades to engage in the government that we can recognize. thingk we do the same with the dprk and there were several reasons for that. this is not everywhere for bad behavior, this is very pragmatic, one is to have an in residence of the dramatic presence in pyongyang. not an embassy, we do not have thatbassy, i have to think they might have been a chance that things might have turned out differently for auto, uva student had there been u.s. presence there too but the north koreans and demand access to them. we were not there to do that.
i obviously can't make the case but i have thought about that -- it was a tragic and that happened. secondly, i can't go into detail here but how should i put it -- it should -- it would hi enhance our understanding of north korea if we were there. we need a conduit for getting information into north korea. find -- while i on the subject of north korea, the notion of demanding denuclearization as a condition for negotiation, that is crazy. ideal, i would love for the north koreans to say that we are all done with north -- nuclear weapons.
they go to school on what happens in the rest of the world. they watched gadhafi in libya and he negotiated away his assets and that a not turn out so well for him. the north koreans understand very well that if they don't the nuclear weapons or optic of having nuclear weapons, it doesn't matter if they were, they created what they want wishes deterrence, and attention. they crave the attention. as ambassador haley says, they are begging for work -- they are not, they are big for attention, they want the recognition, they want to be included as the 10th nuclear country. also, although demand. as far as denuclearizing the train, in that the station a long time ago. -- i believe the
demand to negotiate a peace treaty is not unreasonable. all we have right there is an armistice, they stop shooting on the 27th of july in 1953. if you are sitting in pyongyang, looking south, you see a very formidable, overwhelming conventional military force in the form of armed forces. modern, well-trained, well-equipped, much better fed. so they see no way to match the convention. them, their nuclear weapons, that is their life insurance, that is their ticket to survival. they are not going to give them up. we just have to recognize that and try to negotiate with them. the quid pro quo would be that they need to stop
testing underground and stop the missile shots. to china because yes, china has the most economic leverage over north korea, no question about it. i can attest, i was in china a year ago in june and had long sessions and long series of meetings with secretary mnuchin was part of the overseas, older intelligence and security. him the chinese do not like -- they like kym johnson, they're like the underground test, they like the missile tests, but what they don't like even more is the thought of north korea violently imploding and the loss of what is a strategic imperative to them which is a buffer state in the form of dprk. they all put the screws on north koreans, they will but only to a point.
>> let's mix it up. on the aisle. i am a student here at the elliott school. i just wanted to -- i was wondering to what extent does the private -- private tech sector have a responsibility for negative transactions that are occurring on their platforms that used to collaborate with u.s. intelligence and law enforcement? >> the question is with respect what is the response ability of the high-tech private sector to cooperate with the government -- law enforcement and intelligence. >> great question. that has been an issue, it was for us and in the aftermath of the edward snowden revelations, of thea chilling
historical partnership between industry and the intelligence community. some of that is understandable. it iss another case where like safety and security, privacy, there has to be a balance somewhere. understand tim cook is the head of apple and takes a very absolutist view. the happened after revelations of edward snowden, the rate of commercial encryption accelerated by about seven years and what we thought we were going to see in 2020, we saw immediately. the terrorists particularly, regrettably went to school on a lot of this and they bought into whatsapp and other secure applications which we can't
break. be ank there needs to serious discussion and serious thought given to how much of a past are you comfortable -- is the american public, both given to the likes of child for another person, human traffickers, murderers, etc. who communications, we lost a lot of capabilities to track terrorist plots overseas because of that. we are in a bad place, but we we wereded was that going to pick within the intelligence community and have directed jim call me who we thought would be staying on -- that we thought he would be the lead spokesman for the government's cause because he's a breakup -- published and we
thought the most productive compelling arguments were having some sort of modus operandi with industry -- it would be a law-enforcement argument. that is probably in the minds of many people more compelling than national security. director, is gone. unfortunately. i don't know where we are at that the i just wish energy, the innovativeness, the i wish they would be brought to bear on this problem, how can we do both? guarantee people's privacy. i like my privacy as well. byt because i was the heads -- that is important to me too.
i think we are out of balance. i will tell you that this is a huge issue overseas. particularly in the commonwealth countries. they come here regularly and go to silicon valley and appeal to them for help and of course, the united states is still dominant in this whole business. most of the internet infrastructure in the world is either owned or controlled or influenced by the united states. i get all the counter arguments to this, i really do. there has to be a better way. >> i would go all the way in the back, i can't see you. >> i apologize to you, one of legacies in the air force is i don't hear so well.
>> my name is elizabeth. i am a graduate student here at the elliott school, think he so much for your student -- service in the intelligence community, my question is in light of the past, went for the next generation of intelligence officers -- would you provided by zahn going to the field today? james: forgive the commercial, and you are interested in working in the intelligence is, if you have any opportunity for an internship, most of the agencies usually offer internship to college students, i would look into that and i would apply to everyone of them, too many people. they say i was go to the cia
because it looks cool. well yes, it is cool but there is lots of great work and many challenges in all the other agencies. the main thing you want to think about is getting along with one of them. there is mobility once you can move around. the big thing is to get your clearance. these days it is getting harder and harder. the reason i tell you that is because you don't have to go to the government, you can also serve as a contractor, working with the government. get, ifre is that you you intern some place, if you go to the nsa or one of the agencies as an intern, that will carry over with you. ift means more money for you you go to work as a contractor. everything, get on one place and the second piece of advice is be patient. one of the difficulties we are running into because of our problems with clearances is people have to wait a long time.
if you graduated from college and you have student loan payoffs and if you are married and have obligations like that, you can't wait around. that is on us, not me anymore but a problem for the intelligence community. i'm going through an interesting experience right now because my , this rhyme it's me feel old, he is an i.t. contractor at the cia. there is a 53 year age we had a lot of interesting conversations about he approaches, he is 23 or 24. interestingt of sessions about life in the intelligence community and have the approaches things when he 50 plus years ago. there are a lot of differences, he is patriotic, committed,
mission focused and all of that but he is a millennial, he needs lots of feedback. the one thing that we need to be able to do in the intelligence community is promote mobility. and serveords, common somewhere in the intelligence community and then go to the industry for a while. then come back, we need to build to facilitate that so it is not a huge, you have to run from a third standpoint. both you and the government will be better for it. mobility.promote more >> the gentleman with the glasses. >> i am a student at the school. given -- dok you, thethink the nature of
mystic intelligence -- how can you speculate that that will change? organized -- are this is a direct outgrowth of the changes in the intelligence community. was thehe big changes fbi becoming part of the intelligence community. are thousands of votes in the fbi, they are funded by intelligence. this is the law enforcement arena as well as intelligence. so, my general counsel used to wash my mouth out with soap even when i used the term domestic intelligence. that is a very charged term in this country.
fbi -- in the run up to the election, when we saw what was going on as more time went by, we understood that it what they were doing. the prime month with the domestic side mean the voting apparatus which is managed at the state and local level. the network interface was accommodation of the fbi, director, and his people and jeh johnson who was in the secretary of homeland security who interacted with the election commission's secretaries of state, wherever any state was in charge. this is a profound threat to
this country. it is the russians interfering in our political process. successful with relatively modest investment of resources, they had huge success to their first objective was sow discord and discontent in this country and they succeeded to a fairly well. secondarily, great personal animus by president clinton toward hillary clinton. trumpngs unfolded, mr. would be better for them so they tried to help him win. regardless of what he says, the evidence for this which we cannot expose for understandable reasons was overwhelming. such a highwe had confidence level when we put our intelligence community assessment on the sixth of january.
i say we and i am thinking of the nsa, cia and at the i in my office. had very high comments about it and this is what the american public needs to be concerned about because this will continue. in the russians don't care by the way, the next time they will stick it to the republicans, they don't care. we as a people really ought to be alarmed about this. i worry that all the investigations and if there was collusion or not, that will pan out. what worries me the most as a citizen is the russians, the success they have enjoyed and they will continue it. we as a people need to be alert to that. >> over here. please. >> hello, i am at one and a
junior at the elliott school. see risinguences do from the kurdish independence youror even more broadly, support of various kurdish groups in the region -- specifically on our relationships with turkey and iraq russian mark >> the question is about your support for turkish groups and what are the ramifications that with u.s. relations with iraq and turkey. >> the kurds? >>that has been a very tricky course -- at least it was when i was in the government. they were our -- great fighters, they are also interested in pursuing their own independence difficult had a very toe to walk, we wanted
maintain good relations with president erdogan and of course, every card wase, somehow connected with the pkk which for them is a terrorist group. the turkish government worries a lot more about the pkk than they do isis. a consistency of you there. it is a very delicate balance to engage with the kurds who are great fighters, resistant to isis but in doing so, not incur the wrath of the turkish government. i don't have a good answer for you. i just know it is a very difficult line to navigate. >> over to the side. >> thank you for coming over
here to the gw. my question is about north korea. benically, this happened to a highlight of my career. you were going on your way to north korea, you stop through the travis air force base, i know that because at the time i was staff sergeant coble. office ofing in the the travis air force base. on the way back. you refueled at travis on the way that and your staff came in to talk to them and they said james clapper is on board and of course i am a huge nerd so i was excited. you didn't get off the plane but it was fine.
i'm very proud to get to meet you now but the question was -- what was that process like, working with the dprk and what was something you learned and to the way from that? everything you read about now, what a bizarre plays north korea is, it is all true. it is a really bizarre place. in terms of what i had learned there, it was -- what blew me away was the seas mentality and the paranoia that prevails in north korea among the leadership there. i wasn't prepared for that. and everywhere they look, they see enemies. this bellicose rhetoric right now is not good. i've been extrapolating my experience three years ago with
what is going on now. the president of the united states has advisors around him. who can tell him what the implications are. kim jong-un doesn't have any advisors, he has a bunch of sycophants that are all yes-men. he was the dispatches of kim jong-un, these generals are the act out with all these metals, they all have their little notebooks out, dutifully writing in aeverything he says price for pushing back in north korea is pretty high. he pushed back with him and you get executed. it is a very executive management technique. thatat i worry about is there is one guy there, kim jong-un and i have no idea and orders anybody else what is it that is going to light his
views. prefer what secretary mattis did about six missile tests ago where he simple he said that we know the north koreans have tested a missile, we have no further drives the north koreans crazy because what they crave is that attention. kim jong-un is just eating this up. he is having his direct dialogue with the president of the united states. there, i had a very pro forma letter. president obama to get to kim jong-un, he didn't say anything he just said that i was -- it would bes a very positive gesture if the dprk government would release our two systems. said, they really want that letter, just the fact that the president of united states address a letter to the head of the dprk. that was a huge deal to them.
that was the only leverage i had or that i felt i had and when i give that letter away, i was really nervous. my main mission was to get those two people out. incidentally, i never heard from you the one of the two until i was in seoul on the 26th of june and i was interviewed by a korean newspaper. this interviewer from the paper said that she had a message from kenneth bay. he was one of the two citizens who was a missionary in north korea tried to do good. and got arrested for it. we got him out, get bent in hard labor for two years, he was actually in very good shape. he sent me a wonderful message expressing his appreciation for getting them out and all that sort of thing.
i will tell you, when i watched the family reunions, it was very impactful, i would to the cockpit and watched dead it was quite heart-wrenching to see them united with their families. it was great. >> hello, i am a freshman at the elliott school. my question is regarding cyber security and the internet of things. you present talked about how cyber ties are the number one threat based -- facing our country and with a number of the internet things that collect personal information, increasing exponentially, what do you think firms can and should do to better on themselves against the cyber threat? this is a never-ending thing, we will never achieve cyber
nirvana, cyber security nirvana. the reason is because the created,-- when it was the founding fathers did not think about security. flawed, ifmentally you're connected to the internet, there is an inherent vulnerability and we have to understand that. i think from both an institutional and a personal level, doing the simple things with hygiene -- one of the things that we did after you left was draining our employees on spearfishing. to be able to recognize that emails and don't open itachments and the only way
could get that to improve was to do tests once a month and we give scores of each office and then i would throw the scores out at the loop -- weekly staff meeting. nobody wants to be embarrassed and that got all the leaders attention and they started paying attention to this. andimple things like that being religious about patches, change passwords, password 1234 does not work. it is the simple things that get us in trouble. breaches, the opm breach and all those other things were caused by failure to abide by simple hygiene. it is something you have to do both personally and individually, what was really frustrating with equifax breach was -- an organization you are
counting on to protect all your personal data and they don't. that is really egregious. servedtionally, when i in the pentagon and we were engaging with industries -- this we get ceos2000, and from these companies and when you could show them a affectand say this could your bottom-line, that it was got their attention. and the reasony is of course that it costs money. because mice and keep your network secure. it costs money. so, there is no silver bullet here. i will tell you that it is almost a waste of time to talk
about computer network attack if we can't guarantee that we can withstand a counter retaliation. fundamentally, we must attend a and argue about what our cyber policy is on attacking, it doesn't matter. unless we have confidence in our ability to withstand a counter attack, we should not bother. the problem is we think that very legalistic lee and you can't caps on adversaries to do that. so if we counter attack, you have to anticipate a greater disproportionately greater retaliation. unless you are sure you can withstand that, don't bother. ok, back in the aisle, the
gentleman. height -- hello, thank you both for your campus years of service, my question is really complex,t also sort of how do we go about restoring faith and trust in public institutions -- particularly when the intelligence community is such it is abetted in that its failures are not but its successes are unknown? >> that is an excellent question me atat came across to this note because one of the lessons to take away from that intelligence community is inherently a secret institution, it works with secrets. it has to figure out ways to be more transparent. so one of the things we did was
we start declassifying buys a court judgments and decisions. foreign intelligence, unique institutions, unlike any other, no other country in the world has that institution, this is a rotation of federal judges who sit as a body for two weeks and then they rotate in and out. this is to address files applications. there needs to be a better ,nderstanding of how that works there needs to be a better understanding of all the safeguards that are built into overseeing what the intelligence community does, all three branches of government oversee the intelligence community. so a combination of declassifying as much as we possibly can. when you do that, transparency is a double-edged sword. the adversaries go to bed on that very transparency.
there is the risk and gain judgment that you make, what are we go to damage here if we expose this to the public and i felt -- for the exact reason that you inferred that in order regain the copies of the american people, we will have to be more transparent about what we did. the most controversial thing that edward snowden exposed was the limited business records that nsa stored from three providers. judged to be the deep dark secret but i didn't tell anybody about it. now i am convinced, this is in the aftermath of 9/11 -- we do not have a mechanism -- issue had a foreign caller calling someone in the united states, it would be interesting to know if this foreign caller is involved in a terrorist plot and talking
to somebody in the united states or somebody's in the united states, it would be good to know about it before the plot which we did not do. that was the whole reason for having it, i am convinced that ironic has been anymore anxiety about it than there is about the fact that the fbi maintains hundreds of millions of fingerprint files on innocent americans but everybody knows they do it, they know the , this open, itso is known. so that is what we should have done with 215 program. i figure had more to do with the shock of the matter in which it was revealed and then of course, the media narrative that developed which was tries as we might, we cannot counter it. ok, i think this will be our last question, ma'am on the aisle.
>> my question is north korea focused as well and that is my background. i am a is freedom, first-year master's student in international policy and the and a navy veteran. with the toolset that we currently have -- with the mindset we currently have in this administration, and the way he wants to renegotiate or be looked at the nuclear arms -- what toolset you think would be helpful for this administration when negotiating with north korea for something similar? i am on the same page with you. the second part, if you put a travel ban on north koreans and the concern i have with this is most north koreans that do leave
north korea are refugees. refugees. so the travel ban for them is something a little bit more -- it is definitely more impacting a direct sector of the north korean population. so those are my two questions. >> think you for your service, secondly, i do think it is instructive to look at iran and north korea right now and i think one think it illustrates is that it is much easier to negotiate with a country that doesn't have a nuclear weapon to prevent it from getting one than it is to negotiate with a company that only has one or is going to get one. that is why i would be an advocate for just acknowledging the fact that the north koreans are not going to negotiate away butt least not immediately,
they're not going to negotiate away their nuclear weapons. they know that they want whatever they had. so, if the administration 08,des to decertify the jcp the joint confidence of plan of action with iran, i hope to have a plan b. the iranians are complying with it. they get critiqued because they are not complying with the spirit, whatever that means. yes, there are ambiguities, there is no question about it will probablyns take advantage of it but just remember, they have shipped out of the country 25,000 pounds of uranium. they have cemented their heavywater production facility in iraq which you need for plutonium. many hundreds of their centrifuges.
and an unprecedented intrusive surveillance regime that is maintained by the iaea, the international atomic energy -- i hope they get some serious thought to giving that up because we will never put humpty dumpty together again and reform the international coalition that imposed sanctions on iran which is what brought them to the table in the first place, that will never happen. by the way, there are five other countries involved in this agreement besides us, is a p5 plus one. the current members of the u.s. security council, russia, china, the u.k., france and oz, west germany. >> they are not interested in agreement, ithat fail to see -- i felt to understand how pitching out of this agreement is going to make israel safer for example. was a very simple proposition.
which would you rather have -- a state sponsor of terrorism with a nuclear weapon capability or a state sponsor of terrorism without a nuclear weapon capability. for me, i think the latter. that is what we have right now. the agreement was not designed to cure world hunger and make iran the shining city on the hill. that was never the point. had we try to negotiate some thing,ensive feel-good and all of iran's the ferry behavior, it never got anywhere so we took away -- the last ministration did, i was not involved in the policy on this. so i'm just speaking out as a private citizen and i also if the focus on whether or not iran is agreeing with the spirit of the jcp 08, while russia is abjectly violating the inf treaty, a treaty approved by
the united states senate and you never hear about that. what was the other question? >> with respect to refugees and the travel ban. i will put it this way, one, cynical interpretation is that non-muslim states i said officials in and is well and north korea, i think last year there were less than 10 north koreans back into the united states. most defectors -- it was a big deal, we had two or three defectors out of north korea. this was back in 85 or 86 were 87.
tot all of them want gravitate to the south, there are lots of reasons for that. but they are a strong family bonds, still between the north and the south. if there is any room for korea, ihere, in north had to interrupt it is or 24-star -- one was a political four-star mistress of security that has been educated. of theer was the chief reconnaissance general bureau which was their amalgam of special operations and intelligence and he was my main host, a real knuckle dragger, a really nasty guy. very unpleasant. outhen we got our two guys after we went through this bizarre amnesty granting when we at the hotel, got our two guys a change of clothes and we were booking, we
wanted to get to the airport and get out of there. ministera mid-level state security, he would be like a kernel or a gs 15. this was the vehicle at the airport and we had the most temperate conversation and the reason i could make that contrast was because it had exactly the same translator. this is weird, the translator was north korean with a british accent. that was strange. it was the same guy, very good english. even his tone was more moderate. this guy asked me on the way up said, would you come back to north korea? i said yes, if i was abided. i would come back. and he went on to talk about what a shame it was that the country of korea has been split for this long and what a tragedy it was for all koreans.
even their language is getting separate. the south koreans have all of these western terms that have invaded their language -- the korean language in the republic. even the language is getting desperate. -- you currently have been to south korea, he had at times when the north and south had met together. made what i thought was a very telling statement. he said i had been to seoul. i have seen what is there. was -- heught that had his button on and all that sort of thing. therethought that was important. speaking of the button, that was very important to speak about with kim jong-un. he is not only the head of state as his father, kim jong eel and
him a son, the founder of the dprk, they are also regarded as deities in the north. trump insultsent kim jong-un, it sounds cool, is also insulting their god. and of course, they play all of this in north korea. they played to inside the people, because as i was reminded when i was there, kim jong-un is a deity. >> director clapper, we want to thank you for your 50 years of visit to theour elliott school at the george washington university today. and a small token of appreciation for you, a gw sweatshirt. >> thank you very much.