tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 17, 2013 11:00pm-1:01am EST
like to make your opening statement, and then i think senator bennett is here, and we will go to senator bennett. >> thank you, madam chair, and i didn't go to stanford, but i hope i can read all of my statement here. well, thanks, madam chair, and i join you in congratulating ms. krass and ambassador smith on being nominated by the president for these respected positions, and i also want to express our thanks to their predecessors, steven preston and philip goldburg, for their service. last week the committee approved this report on the september 12 benghazi terrorist attacks. this report includes findings and recommendations that are relevant to both the cia and the state department and including the bureau of intelligence and research. there are many lessons to be learned from benghazi, and i encourage both of you to read this report carefully once it is released, as i know you will. ambassador of the bureau of intelligence and research has made some important
contributions to the intelligence community analysis over the years, but i do have concns about whether >> i do have concerns if it is doing enough independent analysis, especially with terrorist attacks on u.s. facilities overseas. i hope that he will be at the forefront of intelligence issues that concern the policymakers on matters involved in the state department. we have many embassies and missions and consulates that frankly, as we have found, they are no doubt unsecured. and i know that that is not directly under you in this position, but it's an issue that we are looking at with your experience. and ca has worked with covert action that is vital to national
security and it carries risks, especially with the leaks of classified information. as you noted in your responses to the committee's questions, unauthorized disclosures and requests for information can compromise sources and damage our relationships with one partners and decrease the effectiveness of intelligence activities. and unfortunately we are seeing all this with the edwards noted weeks and we will see much more risk from the administration to protect the nation. and i expect that as the cia general counsel, we will support a criminal investigation into leaks of classified information regardless of who might be responsible for this or why they occurred.
and this includes part of the interrogation policy and i understand the president made a promise to close guantánamo bay. this includes the long-standing detainees in the last five years. i hope that you will be a strong advocate for lawful intelligence and interrogations without attorneys. there is no requirement to give a terrorist suspect miranda rights. but we don't stop treating terrorists like ordinary criminals, we could lose real-time intelligence needed to keep this country safe. we look forward to your testimony today and also to you confirmation in the future. and we thank you very much. >> thank you very much, mr. vice chairman. i would now like to recognize
senator michael bennet from colorado. he had to give an earlier introduction and another committee. so we're just so delighted to have you. >> it is a great privilege to be here and we thank you. both you and the ranking member for letting me come by and also to all of my colleagues there. i commend you and the attendance here is much more punctual and better than the committees in which i have served and i am sure that that is part of your leadership in this includes the president's nominee of the cia. caroline is a long friend of mine. an old friend of mine. and we have known each other since law school and i know that she has the character and the intelligence and the temperament to excel in this incredibly important position for all of the reason for the chairman and ranking member have said. since a young age, she has had a passion for serving our country
in her 22 year career, which reflects that. i and this is part of the and we have legal advisors and security council is in the career attorney in the office of legal counsel and this is part of the thoughtful and deliberative work for the sensitive national security concerns of our country. her work has earned her accolades and praise from officials across the political spectrum and she is the recipient of numerous awards for her high quality work, including the award for excellence in furthering the interests of the u.s. national security. she also received 2017 as well.
and she has the ability to work to protect our civil liberties in furthering our national security interests. her good judgment and integrity will be invaluable to the cia and it takes a special person. >> i will hope that the senate will swiftly confirm or and i am pleased to introduce your. >> thank you, senator. you are welcome to stay. thank you very much for being here.
>> i swear to give the full truth and nothing but the truth so help me god. >> thank you. >> view both agreed to appear before the committee and other committees one invited and eu both you both agree to provide documents or any other materials requested by the committee the in order to carry out its oversight and legislative responsibilities? >> yes, we do. will you both ensure that your respective offices provide such material to the committee when requested? >> yes, we do. >> you both agree to inform and
brief to the fullest extent possible all members of this committee. and that we will proceed if each of you has a statement. either of you are about, you have a statement that you have to make to the committee and this is the time the mole number we go into a round of questions. >> distinguished members of the committee, it is an honor to appear before you today. >> let me stop you. the vice chairman reminded me to please, both of you come introduce your families. >> okay. >> i can stop and do that. i have here my husband william and my daughter. >> what is in the family stand up in a then we can easily see who you are. >> okay, this is william and my daughter and my son.
>> excellent. thank you. >> it's an honor to appear before you today the president's nominee to be the general counsel of the central intelligence agency and i am grateful to both president obama and john brennan for their trust and confidence in me and also to the committee for considering my nomination. first, we must give advice to the deputy director and the deputy and other agency employees. as the chief officer of the cia from the general council must ensure that the cia is compliant with the constitution and other applicable u.s. laws and in
almost 20 years as an executive branch lawyer, i have had the privilege of providing legal vice on a wide range of difficult issues for men in government agencies, including the cia. and second, the general council must work closely with lawyers across the executive branch and the protection of our nation's security and the achievement of our foreign policy goals depends upon an integrated approach. >> this is especially important for the general counsel of the cia.
this includes the justice and the state of defense. and over the years i have worked with many lawyers. and i have been impressed by their dedication to applying the law as well as to the mission of the agency. and this is particularly important especially in this time of budgetary uncertainty and this is uniformly of excellent quality and i would bring to the john part of this is was my time managing the interagency legal review of difficult issues. also, equally important, the general counsel is this the director in making sure that the committee is fully and currently informed providing sufficient
information to allow effective oversight. this is a function in the committee must be informed of all intelligence activities, including covert actions. the most significant for the general counsel, such information must include the legal basis and i strongly believe will really was the general counsel's duty to ensure over the committee and her staff have a clear understanding of the basis for any intelligence activities, including covert action in which the agency is engaged. and because of the classified nature to be fully informed and engaged. and as senator bennet said, i have dedicated to government service is i believe it is essential that the u.s. government complies with the rule of law and i am committed
to protecting the nation's security and if i'm fortunate enough to be confirmed as the general counsel, i would dedicate myself to both of the tasks and i look forward to answering your questions and i thank you for having me. >> thank you so much. i appreciate it. >> thank you, madam chairman. we are stationed in the army, my younger son has offered escapist but this is not part of the idea. mr. chairman, vice president, members of the committee, its great honor to be here to be assistant secretary of state and the bureau of research. i am grateful to secretary of state john kerry for the confidence of nominating me to this position as well as the director or board james clapper and his nomination. if confirmed, i promised work with the committee and pledge to keep it informed as it carries
out its vital role in overseeing the u.s. intelligence community. you and the vice chairman have noted that it is a unique and valuable asset to this date and intelligence community and the bureau has a long and celebrated history in providing information and in-depth sources analysis to help guide foreign policy. not from the size of the staff for the budget, but from the expertise and skills of the person on the bureau has some of the greatest regional and subject matter expertise anywhere in the united states government. this is with the outstanding civil servants with a considerable amount of professional careers. it's also part of an influx of officers with relevant experience. i will work hard to ensure that we recruit and retain the
highest quality staff in training and opportunities and experience that they need to ensure the best possible in office. i will vigorously defend the analytical process to ensure the independence and unbiased analysis for which we are justly famous. we are ensuring that intelligence reports and activities are consistent with support of foreign policy and national security objectives in this includes a dedicated staff with significant expertise in this area, which is this as well as practical once in finding this with the diplomatic communications and the policymakers understand and can evaluate the proposed activities with potential foreign-policy consequences and this is part of
the chief of mission overseas. madam chairman, if confirmed i believe i will bring extensive experience to the position of assistant secretary and i have served and a variety of demanding positions, both in washington and overseas, including most recent as secretary of the state department and the ambassador to greece. another firsthand the challenges facing the policymakers as well as the incredible demands on their time and attention and i appreciate the critical contribution that we have made and we continue to make in providing the president and the secretary of state and other policymakers who timely and independent wealth of his analysis on a broad range of regional and global challenges. and so throughout the course of my 30 years as a foreign service officer, i have worked with members of the intelligence community overseeing intelligence and law enforcement technologies and when the thing this and what it can and should play in the formulation of
foreign policy. like many professionals, i also have a strong academic background and i will appreciate very much importance of drawing on the insides with the outstanding academic institutions and the private sector and is the leader in chief of mission abroad, have worked hard to enhance interagency cooperation including information sharing and to ensure that we are working together to advance our national security. if confirmed, i will work tirelessly to ensure that we continue to make unique analytical contribution and ensure that our intelligence activities support our foreign policy and national security directives and i think security directives and i think you were having here today and i look forward to answer your questions. >> thank you, ambassador smith. i will ask you to each of you one question and then move on to the next. we spoke about these opinions to some extent and so you know that
this committee has long sought access to legal opinions issued by justice in this describes the governing and intelligence activities carried out by the intelligence agencies and as we have said, this is a just idle curiosity, it is really part of understanding the direction and the rules that operate we have found that these opinions are indispensable to effective oversight. for example, in 2004, the cia inspector general concluded that interrogators use the water board in a manner that did not match the description for the
water board in the ose opinions. and at that time and for years afterwards, the committee lacked access to both the doj opinion and operational details describing how the water board was implemented. so do you agree that the committee is both a legal analysis in the operational details in order to conduct effective oversight of whether the cia activities adhere to law >> thank you for that question and. i do believe that the committee needs to fully understand the basis for any activities in which the cia is engaged, including covert action and i would commit to you and i want to make sure that we can understand part of this and this
would be an understanding of how the legal framework intercepts with this with advice that is provided by the justice department. >> so you agree that we should have access to all of the opinions that analyze the legality of intelligence carried out by the cia? >> yes, the opinions represent the confidential legal advice that has been provided and protecting the confidentiality of that legal advice, it preserves a space for there to be a full and frank discussion amongst clients in the policymakers and their lawyers within the executive branch and i believe it furthers the rule of law because it allows for the effective functioning of the
executive branch. >> but would like to say is that, i would make sure that we understood the legal basis and to have a unique capability to do that. and i would surely be able to understand the reasoning and explain it to you. >> i think we understand. it's been explained to us. but everyone has been a fight to obtain and we have obtained very few of them. as well as those that only relate to u.s. citizens. so i know what you said, it's on the record, and i thank you for that. please let me ask the question of mr. smith, ambassador smith, which i have right here. and we have a well-deserved
reputation for quality the quality and independence of the analysis and often overlooked is the responsibility to ensure that the united states intelligence activities are consistent with the form policy in the state department officials have adequate opportunities to weigh in on the form policy implications of those activities. this includes the parts of the committee study including the interrogation program related to the state department. so what are your views on whether the state department and the ambassadors has the potential foreign-policy implications of the program? >> i did at the request of the committee examine parts of that report that pertain to the department of state and have an
opportunity to meet privately with your staff. the report remains classified and i don't want to get into too much detail. i would note that i drew conclusions based upon this about the role we are ambassadors in the field in ways we can provide additional support to them and additional training and ongoing support. what i would hope to take those lessons learned if i am confirmed in a fundament assistant secretary. >> thank you very much. mr. vice chairman? >> thank you, madam chair. as you and i discussed, my office last week. you know that i have continued to have significant concerns for the failure to develop a clear intention of interrogation policy and holding group of
terrorists is no way to treat them. first and foremost, we treat them like criminals. so what legal and policy advice would you offer direct about the best way to obtain information, including those that are detained overseas? >> thank you for that question. i would advise the director that the first goal of any interrogation is to collect intelligence and protect the country's security. and that should be collected in a way that does not interfere with a future possibility of prosecution is with an article three will matt cord to keep terrorists off the streets and from harming the united states.
>> every administration runs differently and it seems like this administration is exerting more control over the intelligence community in an effort to avoid any risks that are part of the consequences. i'm concerned that the operations are getting bogged down with a lengthy review process that don't serve any reasonable policy purpose in what are your legal policies for their operations in order to minimize the political risks? >> i do not believe that political this should be a part of this determining this way forward for this. i do think as i mentioned in my opening remarks that interagency coordination can be a positive influence. >> ambassador smith. the committee is meeting with analysts and we are the positive
comments on the value of state department or a political report. however, it if it comes to embassies it seems that much of the information is conveyed by e-mail rather than cable traffic and water your views on the role intelligence and research report and in this has a specific for this. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> this is part of our mission and this is part of this analysis as well and this includes a senior acquirements
tasking center including to have our reporting overseas. and of course this is taken as advisory tasks. up up up up up up up this includes the state department reporting overseas. this includes informal channels and others as well. and whether or not that would have an impact in contribution of reporters this includes ensuring an encouraging reporting officers to report things and that we are sharing it widely within the intelligence community. >> you have had extensive
overseas expenses and this is the diplomatic norms and power pulse. this includes anyone in washington who is willing to take ownership of this and what role can we play in organizing a whole of government approach to ensure equitable frequency for diplomats posted overseas. >> this is something that i take to heart, having served overseas and seen the challenges that we face overseas. is of great concern to secretary john kerry and the leadership of the department. we take very seriously not only the safety and security of our personnel, but their treatment
by these host governments in countries and there is, in fact, a very established procedure, not only raising concerns about mistreatment and allegations about mistreatment aimed at our persons overseas, but we will overtake and oversee actions as necessary to this. to signal to the government that there will be consequences in terms of their diplomatic representation in the united states if we don't receive equal and fair treatment abroad. so this is something that we take very seriously. and it is a concern to the department as a whole. >> thank you very much, mr. vice chairman. >> i will just read the list so people know that it is senators king, senator udall, and senator levin among others.
>> thank you, madam chair. >> you are very welcome. >> does your analysis have to be cleared through the dni or the community in general? or is it directed in other stops along the way? >> analysis is directly without further cleansers and we also participate on communitywide products with the president and others and can we go to the president without it being cleared through the community? >> sometimes the products or send it along will be shared
with other principles outside the state department. >> when i'm trying to get i is that we want your work to be coordinated but not homogenized. >> i appreciate that. i share that desire. >> i think your agency has a very important role to play in a distinguished record of being right and so i hope that you will maintain that independence, if you will. >> absolutely. >> server, we just had a district court opinion of the patriot act, although that is not strictly going to the general counsel and the office of the cia. but i would like your views, but the collection of metadata is a violation of this.
and what are your thoughts on that issue briefly? >> senator, yes, that is a very topical opinion and yes, i believe that i have not had a chance to study it carefully. but i have read through it and i think that it illustrates some of the very difficult issues that we face as we try to balance between the appropriate balance between national security and the protection of national security and civil liberties and privacy on the other. and it seems likely that congress will, through after you and others, decide on the appropriate course of action in terms of a response to this and of course, i will make sure that the agency follows whatever laws have been enacted. >> thank you. >> a separate question, which is the fundamental law that allows
us to use force internationally. it is limited to those who aided in the attacks of september 11 were harbored persons with future attacks and that language is very limited and it has been interpreted by successions of various organizations and the government to being brahmin by associative forces. you have a view on whether that -- should we rewrite those are you satisfied on what has been placed by this term, which is nowhere found in the document is legally sufficient to justify military force through the cia and around the world and when we are talking about people,
certainly those that were not involved in trend involving op-ed in 2001. >> i believe that the aim of this sufficient. and that what has been adopted is part of this interpretation. and it is an entity that has this that has joined the fight alongside al qaeda. against the united states. as well as its coalition partners. and so there is a strong maximus required between al qaeda and the potential. >> i appreciate your response. rather than stretch the law into unrecognizable places, i would much rather rewrite it to cover the current situation and i'm
troubled by the expansive nature of the way the administration is reading this. that can allow us to fight anybody anytime anywhere for the next 20 or 30 years. and i think that that is quite troubling. but i appreciate your response. >> thank you, senator king. >> thank you. i would like to follow up with the question of senator king about the judicial decision that was issued yesterday in the constitutionality of section 215. have a great deal of experience in the national security field and i would like to ask your personal opinion of whether or not you agree with the judges decision. >> senator, the time that i have had to think about this, i do
not -- i have a different view about the fourth amendment and i think that under smith versus maryland, which i still consider to be a good law, there is not a reasonable expectation of privacy and the judge has suggested that because it has been her since smith versus maryland was decided, and because this is part of the program that was so broad, the law has changed. and i definitely think that's worth considering and i will be interested to see what they say about this. >> thank you. >> the chairman asked you about the legal counsel decision. many have felt that access to the decisions is critical to our ability to exercise effective oversight as far as the intelligence community is
concerned. and i am a little troubled by your response because he seemed to say that while you think our committee should receive a full explanation of the legal basis for any actions that are taken, that you did not believe that we should have had that with part of the memos themselves because the words were confidential legal advice. yet this is part of this and it's frequently hosted and presumably they can include this including the legal and not legal advice. why do you distinguish between the classified decisions which
would not be made public but come to this committee on the basis of the fact that they have conflict in trend pre-decision invites? >> well, senator, it is -- you're absolutely right. for a portion of opinions that the office formally issues. they go through an extensive review process and they are consulting with those as well as well as other agencies and this is evaluated and after all that review as well that have to take place. we have tried to publish opinions and we can promote transparency. in many opinions are when we do not publish them even as unclassified in the arena because of the means to confidentiality or not
classification. and this could be a part of the classified opinion. but the key thing is that we ought to be confirmed this includes any activities are being conducted by the cia. >> yes, that brings me to another issue. if you are presented with a situation where course of action has been improved, one that you have advised the director for. it is not consistent with the law and i am not talking about a policy dispute. but i'm talking about your legal opinion. would you come to this committee and inform us that you believe that unlawful activities are
taking place? >> senator, i would hope that i would make every effort to persuade otherwise and if he continued to disagree with me, he would have the option and just like every other senior official, he upheld the constitution and he has that obligation himself. >> what i don't like to see if the administration shopping around until they get legal opinion with which they agree. and that seems to have happened.
>> hostilities have actions that met that definition under the act and what the administration did was disregard and this is part of the department of defense and the advice of the state department counsel. i would hope you would share this that i unlawful activity as well. >> senator udall? >> with all respect i would note
for the record that thank you for your service. >> it is nice to see you again. and among many things we have discussed the senate intelligence committee study. this is the section that we have the department of justice that plays. including the cia's program. and this is part of the timeframe that is not consistent with our values.
this includes the program. and i do believe you are highly qualified for the cia general counsel position. but as you know in this includes the committee that is researching and drafting the study. this includes the review in the response and the committee members that request that they meet with the staff to study and the methodology. this includes all the requests to meet. >> we have detailed significant
errors in the study. i don't believe that's part of it. >> we have had women 60 meetings with the cia and after reviewing medicine being provided on this, i am more confident than ever and want to say that again. but i am more confident than ever of this study. this includes declassification. and last week we have been a part of the staff which i
appreciate. and i need additional assurances and first i noted that the cia has not yet responded on this with other information that is necessary for completion of this study and we pledge to look into that request, which i appreciate. and i has to tincher with a copy of this is part of this committee. it is consistent with this report and it conflicts with the cia response to the committee supported. and this is something that was done years ago and never provided and is different from the study.
this is something that we have requested a copy of company into internal review. in this includes the case study as well and i understand that you are providing this document statement. in this includes a way to make sure that we are overseeing this. and i want the cia to know that i take them seriously. and with that, i have a question for you. in our meeting last week, we talked about the department of justice and intelligence oversight by the congress. can you elaborate on her views on these two matters?
the role of the doj and the importance of intelligence oversight. >> senator, i completely agree. >> so much of this has to remain secret by its nature and the committee needs to provide the important checks and balances that would be provided in addition by the american public and the circumstances. i think the department of justice plays a role in providing legal advice and that is authoritative for the agency. and i would consider it my duty to make sure that the committee
was informed of all intelligence activities conducted by the cia and and understands the basis of activities. and this is part of the department of justice and the office of legal counsel in this includes many agencies in my experience has been positive in terms of always feeling like we are getting what we need to give advice and update if that happens to be the case again. this is as advice really is. and that is addressing a different situation than the one that is presented. and i would be one to make sure
that that practice continues and this is part of what a good sense types of information we need to make for informed judgments. >> thank you for the answer. and i look forward to the further conversations and all of these important topics and i think senator collins raised important questions about how this committee continues to work together and we all have the same goal in mind which is to protect the country and to protect the most valuable set of principles and that is the constitution. >> thank you, senator udall great. >> senator, were you here before me? >> no, not according to this.
>> i've heard reports. and so today, let me start with you, only so with you on the cia interrogations and you know the report and this includes the representations due to the department of justice of coercive interrogations and indicating the you had read the report. so does it appear to you that the cia provided the justice department's office of legal counsel with acceptably accurate information about the course of interrogation programs?
and this is a senior government attorney, would you rely on this opinion? >> at your request i didn't review that in this address it at the time, an issue of first impressions as well as the evolving technology that we are discussing as well as the evolution of case law. and so i want to make sure that no one else ever allies on that particular opinion. and this includes we have tried
to get attorney general eric holder to withdraw. so let the justice department has the authority to withdraw the opinion? do you currently have the authority to withdraw the opinion? >> no, i do not. >> who does and the justice department? >> this includes the initiative of the attorney general. it has been given to a particular agency and if that agency would like us to reconsider the opinion were a component that has been affected would like to reconsider the opinion, they will come to us and say that this is why we think you are wrong.
and they will be doing now only have a practical need for the opinion. because of particular operational activities that they would like to conduct. i have been thinking about your question because i understand you have serious concerns about the pennant in one approach that seems plausible to possible to me is that you could ask for an assurance from the relevant elements of the intelligence community that they would not rely on the opinion and i can give you my assurance that if i were confirmed i'm not rely on this opinion. >> i appreciate that and in your very straightforward in saying that. and this could be part of the opposite conclusion. this includes getting the
prosecution with john and i thank you, madam chair. >> senator? >> thank you, madam chairman. welcoming you here today, have looked at your resumes and by the letters of recommendation provided on their behalf that i have come away very impressed. mr. smith, we have not had the opportunity to talk at length, but i look forward to that time. i did have the chance to sit down last week and i want to thank the gentleman for her help in answering the questions during the meeting. let me associate myself with the comments of my colleagues. mr. udall of colorado. our staff is still waiting for several documents and these requests are not unreasonable. but the amount of time it has taken to produce them as. as much as anyone, i would like to see the committee said he would be enhanced interrogation
program to be finished and released. but that cannot happen while the cia slow walks the documents we have requested and we do not have many options that are available to us to force the agency's cooperation, but i will not rule out any in order to give the agency the chance to cooperate with the request and i want to thank the chairman or her leadership in getting this study written. and i would like to mention something that happened today and this afternoon. i am outraged that the cia continues to make misleading statements about the study of the interrogation program and there is only one instance in which the cia pointed out a factual error in the study. a minor error that has been corrected. where the committee and the cia differ is with interpretation and conclusions from an agreed upon factual record and you cannot publicly call this is a significant error in press
releases because it is misleading. these are not actual heirs and the agency's failure to read this during the six months that it crafted its response contributed to these statements by the agency. stephenson continues today, even after the committee staff pointed out the errors in the agency's response. i am convinced now more than ever that we need to declassify the full report so that those of with a political agenda can no longer manipulate public opinion by making false representations about what may be or what is not in that study. my comments are not directed at our nominees, but especially given the highly misleading article i felt i had to speak out. it is good to see you again, ma'am, as i mentioned. i have follow-up questions related to what we discussed last week. i have follow-up questions related to what we discussed
last week. i ask you about the currently dalby of the enhanced interrogation techniques and you pointed to the detainee treatment act of 2005 and the military commissions act of 2006 and noted that those laws were not vulnerable during the interrogation program when it began in 2002. he suggested that these might prohibit the future use of harsh interrogation techniques and however, these have both been signed into law by july the 20th 2007 at the office of legal counsel when issued for a legal opinion using these techniques, including dietary manipulation, abdominal slaps, and facial slots. this opinion has since been withdrawn but there is clear that there is disagreement over whether the actions taken by congress have settled the legality of the use of harsh interrogation that may consider
torture. the current decision not to use these techniques is seen by some as only a decision with current policy. this is part of the executive order, which explicitly confined those techniques found in the army field field manual and could be rescinded by future presidents. and this has been included in this. .. mentioned previously could legally be used today despite the war crimes act as amended by military commissions act, the detainee treatment act and common article 3 of geneva
convention? >> senator, i have not had an opportunity to evaluate each of the techniques covered in the 2007 memo. as you indicated first of all in terms of the current state of the law, the president has outlawed the use of my of those techniques and has said that only techniques consistent with the army field manual are allowed were the cia to conduct any interrogations. of course the cia is not in the detention business anymore. so were i to be confirmed cia general counsel, it would be my first duty to make sure those restrictions and prohibitions were followed. i do think there's a great deal of protection for detainees in both article three, common article three of the geneva conventions as well as detainee treatment act which prohibits anyone from being subjected to cruel, inhuman, degrading or punishment and that is with cross reference to the type of punishment that would be unlawful under the 5th, 8th or
14th amendments. >> madam chair, i believe my time is expired. >> it is, but i'm very generous to you. >> senator burr. >> thank you, madam chairman. mr. smith, miss krass, welcome. let me say to your children if your mother does not get you everything for christmas you want, we're still in a position to hold her for this committee. i want you to know that. ambassador smith, the committee has direct over state department intelligence and research. would you agree for our committee to conduct effective oversight, we should have access to the intelligence production produced by inr and in some cases be provided with the raw reporting that contributed to any analysis? >> senator burr, my understanding is we do provide access to the committee for all of our intelligence reports, our
assessments and other products inr produces. if that's not the case, i will certainly undertake to review that and see whether we can share it more broadly. in fact, i believe a lot of this is done now electronically. >> you're right. it is. do i have your commitment you will continue to provide this committee with all the products the inr produces and reporting and staff, if necessary, to assist in oversight? >> it would be my commitment if i'm confirmed. >> would you agree in part inr's charter to provide ct intelligence support to the secretary of state, other state department and u.s. government customers includes the president? >> absolutely. one of our principle customers is the president of the united states. >> our committee found in the year since the attacks on benghazi inr did not disseminate any independent analysis relating to the attacks. considering they began at a state department facility, involved the deaths of two state
department personnel, and were an important indication of the escalating threats against u.s. facilities and personnel in the region, do you feel that was appropriate? >> senator, it's my understanding, i was not in the bureau at the time and, in fact, overseas throughout much of this time but inr did contribute and coordinate on a number of community products related to events in libya and ongoing developments there. it would not have been appropriate, necessarily, for inr bureau of intelligence and research to have played a role in looking back at what happened. there were a number of different vehicles doing that, including accountability review board undertaking that study. inr did provide access to all of the information at its disposal and continued an ongoing basis throughout the course of the year to coordinate on products. i've heard concerns expressed by
members of the committee about whether inr could have provided more information, more analysis on the overall context on what is happening in libya and i will certainly take that under advisement and see whether we can do that going forward. >> the fact was the committee told many times we didn't have jurisdiction over the state department. would you agree since you're here we have jurisdiction over the state department. >> full jurisdiction. >> if confirmed will you ensure inf products will be more responsive to world events. >> it's my desire to do as much as we can to make sure they are timely, appropriate and serve the needs of policymakers. >> would you agree with state department ig recommendation inr should be the office to produce comprehensive security assessment for each post based on all available diplomatic and intelligence sources? >> senator, i think this is something if i'm confirmed i
would like to look into. what i want to make sure we're providing as much accessed information as is needed by department policymakers including bureau of diplomatic security which has ongoing responsibility for safety and security of our missions overseas so they have the tools and information they need to make those determinations. whether this should rest more fully with inr is something i would certainly look into. on the surface at least, i would say inr's role is a supporting one in this regard. >> do you see any difference between diplomatic security or other relevant state components in relation to congress and your treatment of the analysis you put together? all of us to be customers? >> security is part of the department of state and we're also to congressional oversight. >> thank you, mr. ambassador. thank you, madam chair. >> thank you, madam chair.
not madam chairman as our colleagues have said but madam chair. mr. bennett, i'm not going to ask you a question and i apologize for that. i'm simply going to say i spent two very productive years in the early 1960s working for state department most specifically for roger hillsman. he lost the battle for what the war in vietnam was about. he lost his job and i lost my job, but for two years i was very happy. miss krass, i want to just take this up a bit. the committee report that we adopted a year or so ago was not only historic but it was the single largest and most significant oversight effort in the history of our committee. it took nine years to do that,
11,000 pages, close to 50,000 footnotes. can't argue with footnotes. cannot argue with footnotes. >> 6,000. >> 6,000 plus 5,000, 11,000 total. i personally began working on this project nine years ago. i got on this committee just before 9/11. when i began to doubt the information cia provided me and former chairman pat roberts about this program. we want this report, i say and relationship with this committee which we have to correct. i expect and hope that the agency is trying to steer a perhaps very recently slightly different course from the approach suggested in that news article today. i see that possibility. clearly. that is not the best path to
take. >> but it was put out in the paper today and i think the c.i.a. leadership knows that. i look for better things. since we adopted our -- or we have invested, as we said, for tremendous time and effort to refine it, this is a committee that has lived with frustration in which only the four, the gamg gang of four, the chair and the vice chair here were allowed to go and visit with vice president cheney. for years and years we had to fight just so that we all could be briefed. it was a massive, lengthy fight. you have to understand that in terms of where we're coming from. we have been working diligently
with the staff. i, myself, have had multiple rounds of spore spon dense and meetings with director brennan and also dmi clamper about the big picture political issues. now, why is this so important to me? because the c.i.a. interrogation program, particularly the enhanced interrogation techni e techniqu techniques, was not just an appropriate way to collect sbel jenls. it was a tragic mistake in the li history of this country. more simply, it was wrong. the question now is what are we going to do about it. as a country, are we going to learn from this tragic mistake? is the c.i.a. going to take a
hard look at it? as one of the top leaders in the agency, and the senior council, the next c.i.a. general council will have a centrally important role in this effort. not only for this committee, but the kinds of leaks that the good senator was talking about. he's mad. i'm mad. we're all mad. so let me be clear. the general council is the c.i.a.'s legal advisor, not its defense attorney. my question for you is simple.
will you council the c.i.a. to face forward and learn from the 34is takes of this program. and implement lessons learned in the future. >> senator, i absolutely would look forward and take advantage of the lessons learned in moving forward and make sure that the agency is operating legally. and i believe that the client is the agency, ultimately, and the american people. not just the director. i would not be the defense attorney. >> and finally, i know you're familiar with steve preston's thoughts and legal authorities about this program. again, most people don't know that. we can't talk about it. the press can say anything they want.
and they'll always go for the gotchya area. and people lose confidence in government. if you are confirmed, what will you do to ensure that mistakes and misinformation like this don't happen again from the position of power that you will have? >> senator, i will do everything i can, if i am confirmed, to make sure that the agency follows the law and to make sure that the agency is kept fumly apprised. >> so it's not just the law, but it's the practices within the agency, which have developed over the years. practices of suspicion of us, unwillingness to deem with us and somehow feel that they have to say that we don't know what we're talking about. >> well, were i to be confirmed, i will pledge to you that i will work closely with this committee to make sure that we receive the
information you need to conduct effective oversight. >> there were about 50,000 studies that we have spent nine years writing. i thank you, and i thank the chair. >> mrs. crass, the documents that have been looked at by this committee in great detail showed that the c.i.a. provided inaccurate information on its detention and interrogation program to others in the executive wranch abranch,
including the department justice's office and legal council, the olc, in which you served at the time. now, in response to pre-hearing policy questions on his nomination to be d.o.d. general counsel, then c.i.a. general counsel, steven preston said the following. "my understanding is that the department of justice did not always have accurate information about the detention and interrogation program. and that the actual conduct of that program was not always consistent with the way the program had been described by the department of justice. a particular note, he said, i understand that in a number of instances, enhanced interrogation techniques, specifically water boarding, were applied subl sty eied subs
frequently than applied than d.o.j. i cannot say what d.o.j. would or would not have considered material at the timement i can tell you, if i were in a comparable situation, i would consider information of this nature to be material. >> do you agree with mr. preston that inaccurate information was material to issues on the program? >> senatosenator, based on my r of the section of the report, i completely agree with steven preston's assessment that they fell a little short of the current practices that are followed in interaktss tweenlctn olc and the other side, of course. i don't know whether the nfgts thafls pinformation that was provided would have changed the
office of legal council. i just don't know. >> well, because you don't have an opinion. >> i have not gone to take the types of information that were different and measure them against the opinion. i think steven preston's other assessment, it certainly would have changed his judgment. i think it would have likely changed my judgment, as well. but i'm not sure what my judge lt would have been in the first place. >> i asked you about whether or n not inaccurate information was supplied. so my question is was inaccurate information supply snd. >> yes, based on my reading of the report, it seems that inaccurate information was supplied. >> okay. i think you made a reference, i believe it was to senator finestein's question about legal
opinions that go from the olc to the, i presume to the president or the white house. and i think your answer was that these are pre-decision opinions. i don't know whether you've gone into that anymore further. let me pursue that issue a little bit more. at some point, there's a decision which is made by a president or by someone in the executive wranch, prezumblely the president. at that point, would you agree that we, in congress, have a right to know what that decision was based on legally? >> yes, senate tosh. i believe that once the c.i.a. has decided on a course of action, you, of course, have the right to know what course of action that i would're pursuing
as well as to be provided with the full understanding of the legal basis. >> so that we are entitled to know what the legal basis is, even for a president's decision? >> for any sbel jenls intellige activities, certainly. as members of the congress, you would be entitled to other capacities to be able to oversee the activities. >> no, that's not the ke. assuming there were legal opinions that informed the decision maker. once the decision is made, are we then entitled to have access -- >> you're entitled -- >> no, my question is are we entitled to access to the pnls which informed the decision? after he makes the decision? >> even after he makes the decision, the reason why the executive branch refers to the pre-decision and legal advice is it was given in a decision where there might not be a decision to go forward. that confidential, legal advice,
i believe, enabled the executive wrampk. keeping that confidentiality allows for lawyers and policymakers to ask questions and i'm being fully candid. >> so i take it your annals is we are not entitled to any legal opinion rendering to the executive branch decision makers? >> senator, as you know, there have been -- >> is that correct? is that correct? >> well, it's a caveat of an answer i wanted to say. that in certain sucircumstances the president has directed -- >> i'm saying do we have a right to that? >> i do not think so. >> we have no right to access -- the president can decide to give us access, but we have no right, in your judge. ment to access? >> i think you have a right to understand the legal basis.
>> okay, thank you. my time is up. thank you, ma'am. >> first of all the, thank you both for your service to our country and congratulations to your family, as well, for the sacrifices they make. i wachbnted to share with ya concern of what i believe is a lack of coherent policy. along those lines, i wanted to ask you your opinion on whether there's intelligence valued including those who were apprehended outside the united states. >> yes, i think there can be intelligence-value. and the critical -- oh, i'm sorry. senator, i believe it is critical when apprehending a terrorist, the first priority
should be in gathering sbel jen intelligence from that ter rigs. >> let me just make this comment. one is just looking back at the tragedy that occurred in benghazi, it's apparent that there was the increasing danger and the volatility of the area regarding the dki diplomatic min before it was in tact. so i wanted to ask you what do you believe the inr role should be -- let me go further on that.
in the aftermath, they knew on the day of the attack that, in fact, it was not a spontaneous demonstration that had turned violent. so, specifically, how do you believe the inr provides input, relevant sbel jenls to the inner agency process, the decision-makers, et cetera, what is the role we see in that moving forward? >> senator, the primary role of the bureau of intelligence and research is to provide an understanding for the overall context in k4 we are operating the broader, political and economic environment and to make sure that poll siicymakers inclg diplomatic security have access to the realtime basis sbel jenls information and personnel overseas. this is one of the things, that if i'm confirmed, i want to make sure that we have done right in terms of making sure that they have access to everything they need and that we are providing
that broader, con textual understanding going only. >> we had a statement a few days ago from the israeli defense minister about his belief and his concerns that the iranians are using their embassies to build a infrastructure in the western hemisphere. there's a mandate strategy to counter that influence. but let me ask you, what are your views on their influence in the western hemisphere? and in particular, will you comment on that? >> i'd like to take a question for the record, if you'd like. >> let me verify one thing on the nsa situation.
it's my understanding that this judge, judge leon, made his restraining order, which has been -- or his injunctioinjuncth has been stayed, and that was announced last month. a district court judge who was convicted on three counts for support for terrorism, specifically financial and monetary, specifically involving al-shabaab. and then a case was brought exactly on this point. and the judge's opinion last month said that the program was
constitution. no one had a fourth-amendment right on meta data. we didn't have cell phones, as well. so perhaps it is a good opportunity now that we have conflicting opinions and we have 15 fisa judges that have never found the case unconstitutional as it reviews the program every 90 days. i think now most people believe a federal court judge has declared the case or declared
the program unconstitution nal. well, there are differing opinions now. that's the state of play. and the assumption is that it's going to be appeal ed and the supreme court will eventually make a decision. i just wanted to say that i don't think there's any member of this program that wants to support unconstitutional. we do want to support those things that can enable us to protect this country. and we believe that that program is one of -- not the only one, but one of them and it is our intention to review other programs based on the law. so i think your position is really most important in all of this.
and that's where i've been pressing on the olc opinions. unless we know the administration basis for igts sarngsing a program, it's very hard to oversee it. and we have been all during -- and i was going to ask this question -- i mean, olc attorney jay biby wrote congress may no more regular late to maintain and interrogate than it may regulate its ability to troop movements. well, where am i going with this? where i'm going is we have to know what regulations enable a president to move and say yes, do this. and if we don't see it, it's very hard to exercise oversight.
now, an administration might want that. they may not want us to exercise it. i know that up close and personal because you are going to encounter some heat from us in that regard. i think most of us have been here a very long time. and we know that we need this information. and not just well, we can give them that but we can't give them that. that's why holding um things that this committee has asked for, specifically with respect to the detention and interrogation report, is so very sensitive with us. i have been after the staff, complete the c.i.a. reviews.
it's appropriate if we change the report. it isn't appropriate, annotate the fact that the cia disagrees and why they disagree. let's get on with it. lit's vote to declassify the summary and recommendations. and findings which is about 300 pages. i mentioned it again today and the staff said well, we've asked for information from the cia and we haven't received it. so we can't really complete what we need to complete. i would like our staff sit down with you and explain exactly what it is and take some action because we have been able to -- not to obviously have a positive response. that's cumbersome rhetoric, but
it's off the top. lp you do that? >> yes, and i fully would like to work closely with this committee to make sure that you get action as appropriate. i've already taken back your concerns about the pieces of information that you all said were outstanding. >> good. well, if you would please let me know what the response is, i would appreciate that very much. >> thank you. >> and i will also note if there's no response. so thank you. >> the only thing i would is is add is the chairman and i have made a request of the entire community about all programs
that are operational as other entities and we intend to do a full overview. some of which we may find you didn't even know about. so once your confirmation is complete and we'll look forward to working with you in that aren't. to make sure that we have access to the agencies and other entipties within the jurisdiction of the community are provided to us so that we can make sure that we have the tools with which to do our job. so thank you very much. >> the staff just passed me a note and said you don't have to mention this, but i'm going to
mention it anyway. that is that the declassification for the benghazi report is going very slowly. anything you can do to be helpful in speeding that up, we'd very much appreciate. >> senator king? >> a bit of a concluding statement. you all have some of the most important jobs in the united states government. some of the most important jobs of the united states government because i'm convinced we're engamged in a war. september 11th was pearl harbor, in effect. they're going to come in the hull of a ship with a drublgtive device that looks like a suitcase.
your important role that you're going to be the counsel of, presuming you're confirmed, advising the cia as to what the law is. please don't misunderstand that responsibility. i believe you and we, this committee, has a special responseblety because unlike virtually any other part of our government this is a secret part of our government. all of the checks and balances of the public and the press and the interest groups rnt present. therefore, those of us who have the responsibility of overseeing the conduct of this agency i believe is a special and weighty
one. i understand human nature. i feel you have to resist temptation and be very strong in your advice. otherwise, there's nobody else manning the barricades of the fourth amendment and the fifth amendment and the 14th amendment. you have to help protect this. a secret agency in democracy is almost a contradiction in terms. i understand why we need it. we definitely need it. in this new kind of conflict that we're engaged in. we have to realize it throughout history.
we have to have all of the strength that we can muster to protect against that. you're a key person in that process. so i hope you will really think hard about who it is you represent. and it's the people of the united states. it's not the national director of intelligence. you have a gravely pompbt role. i'm impressed wi your experience and background. i don't mean to lecture you, but i think it's so important, i had to say it. so thank you very much. >> well said. >> in the interest of time, i'll
submit some additional questions for the record. >> thank you. i'd ask that you have all requests in by 5:00 on friday. thank you. >> thank you. your response about providing documents, you said you would do so if appropriate. that's a pretty big loophole. what's not appropriate? give us your menu? what documents do you believe are in the possession of the cia that we should not see. >> yes, but the c.i.a. general counsel is in a different position.
i know that steven preston provided an opinion and a written statement for providing classified matters. whatever are in the best interests of the understanding of the legal basis in terms of what is appropriate, i think that -- >> what else would be appropriate? what would not be appropriate for this committee to see? >> i'm not sure. i'm not having insight into what types of documents that the c.i.a. has. and generally provides or wouldn't provide. it would seem that it would be appropriate to share. maybe situations where there's privileged material. >> what kind of privilege? executive? >> where there could be attorney-client privileged material, for kmampl, where there could be another way,
though, of making sure that the committee was informed. so, for example, a white-paper type of approach instead of providing the actual deliberations with a summary of that. it's still true to the underlying reasoning. >> any other documents that aren't appropriate? >> i just really don't know the universe of documents that we could be talking about. >> as i said, wrapped up in the attorney client is wrapped up. >> and you don't think even if there's no attorney client relationship, that you're not entitled to deliberative
documents? >> i think there can be situations in which deliberative documents, where there would be an attorney as part of the scenario, but deliberations without attorneys could be something that would be protected by the dlibl rative process privilege. but i think it's important to understand not only the legal basis, which is what i feel like i would be responsible for if i were confirmed. but also what types of activities the cia is engaged in. >> it's been a frustrating speernls.
you either can't find documents or there's some kind of privilege that might exist. it's pretty vague stuff. it's just not ak sechtble. >> going back to the question that ifgs eluding to before, i want to talk to you about water boarding for just one minute. in your judgment, is water boarding torture? >> yes, both the president and the attorney general has said that water boarding is torture and the president has out lawed that. >> i would like to say for the people who were involved in the eit program who relied on the advice from the department of justice who did so reasonably and in good faith, i don't believe they should be punished.
glp senator, my opinion is yes. >> and is it torture in the geneva conventions? >> it would be a vie lagolation article iii, yes. >> thank you very much, senator. do you have other questions senator king? let me thank our two witnesses. i know this is always hard and an intense time. you are on the record. want we do is sensitive. and the need really is for cooperation. and we believe that the american people deserve that to the extent we can achieve it. we look forward to having a very mh and
[inaudible conversations] republican senator of oklahoma criticized members of congress for not living within their mean. he told reporters there were at least $30 billion in what he called stupid federal spending. here is a little of what he said. >> and so inside the this year is $30 billion of stupid -- what i would consider stupid or at least poor judgment when it comes to spending money in a time when we have very limb money to spare. we had had the defense department and people in the other nondefense discretionary departments screaming about the coverage is bare. that's nothing else. and the fact is that just --
the congress probably will pass it. but it shows you that the congress doesn't have the eye on the ball. and we're not spending money in an appropriate way. we still provided money to study romance novels. we provided money to state department so they did buy people's vote to like their facebook page, and we even helped fund studies of us. congress. any contention is had had congress been focused on doing the job of setting priorities, and oversetting cutting wasteful spending we could have avoided a government shut.name and the budget deal we are now considering. which actually grows the burden
and raise the -- my favorite point if program in this the fact about $600 billion were airports. this is the same agency that leave $7 billion worth of equipment in afghanistan -- this report speaks volumes about why the american people have lost confidence in government-wide congress ratings at 6% the truth is we would rather borrow money than cut spending. stha the truth. and the american people have a right to expect more than us from that. we see no waste. cut no away. and embrace increasing the
good afternoon, everybody. welcome. i'm lucky to be able to say i'm the president of the urban institute, and we are delighted to co-host today's event which bills on a long history ofinstit collaboration between the urbant and our friend at the national academy for state health policy so very glad you're able to have participate. the timing for the event today couldn't be better. the if you open the page of thele newspaper, what you see are's heated debate about enrollment in health coverage of the
newspaper, what you see are heated debate about enrollment in health coverage. and the new affordable care act and what it's going to mean for who gets health care in this country. each day we seem to have a new plot twist in public's following of what barriers and opportunities there are. let's be positive. what opportunities there are for expanding coverage. so today we're going to take a step back and focus the conversation on lessons from the past and what those lessons tell us from some very, very good and hard work that's been going on at the state level in trying to expand enrollment. the robert wood johnson foundation maximizing enrollment project under nashpy's direction helped eight states pursue strategies to enroll eligible children into chip.
this afternoon we'll hear about how these strategies and where they've been successful can help shape current efforts to help uninsured in health coverage under the affordable care act. we'll learn about what enrollment expectations are realistic and not, given the state's past experience with these earlier expansion. you're in for a treat today with the panel. you'll hear from two other countries, most inspiring state level leaders, felton. and rebecca mendoza of the department virginia department of services and alice weiss who is our own urban institute, one of the country's leading experts on innovative enrollment and retention strategies in health care. to moderate the discussion and ensure it is a real conversation and not just dualing talking heads, we're excited to have
susan denseler, who is previously served as both the editor in chief for health affairs very important influential magazine and health correspondent for our favorite news program, whatever our duty -- it's a wonderful institution and we're proud to have you here, susan. >> it is my honor to introduce before we get to the panel one last person which is lori epstein, a program officer at the foundation since 2001. and she leads their max enroll work and responsible for the foundation's largest programs covering kids and families. here at the urban institute we have a wonderful partnership and we're enormously grateful for their john going support of the health policy research and it's a delight to have you with us today. thank you. >> thank you, sara. on behalf of the robert wood
johnson foundation, i would like to welcome everyone to today's briefing. for more than 40 years the foundation has worked to expand access to coverage to all americans and to support programs that aim to reduce the number of people without health insurance. under the direction of the national academy of state health policy, the maximizing enrollment program worked hand in hand with eight states over the past four years to transform the elimination built systems poll cities and procedures for medicaid and children's health insurance program. these eight states, alabama, illinois, louisiana, massachusetts, new york, utah and virginia and wisconsin have identified, tested and implemented pioneering innovations to streamline and simplify eligibility, enrollment and retention in their states. they've revamped coupumbersome enrollment processes and changed
business processes and procured new tools. in addition to tailorred technical assistance provided to grantees, the program offered a forum for peer to peer learning opportunities across states, enabling participants to share information about challenges as well effective strategy with their peers. thanks to the hard work of the participants there are a number of user friendly tools available for other states. a web based interactive self-assessment tool kit to enable other states to diagnose their own strengths and weaknesses as they embark on efforts to improve their systems is one example. although the maximizing enrollment initiative officially comes to a close in january. this isn't to say the work will end here. while the program was well underway before the affordable care act came about, it's lessons are very timely as state officials and other stake holders nationwide work to stream line enrollment for
medicaid expansion and insurance marketplace enrollment. be sure to keep your eye out for future resources and insights from the program, including additional program reports and findings from external evaluation. in the meantime, you can find zisting resources at max enroll.org. it's my pleasure to turn it over to susan, the senior health policy adviser to the robert wood johnson foundation where she provides policy and communication strategy assistance. susan? >> thanks so much, lori. good afternoob yafafternoon to . about six weeks ago i was listening to a well known news anchor on a well known public radio television show who introduced a segment with the words, and this was mind you, about a month ago, now, six weeks into full implementation of the affordable care act or
implementation of the affordable care act -- and i thought to myself, really? really? six weeks, how about three and a half years down and maybe five, six, seven eight years to go in terms of really full implementation of the law. and i think it just underscores how many of us close to this issue feel about the intense focus right now on functionality of web science versus the entire array of initiatives contained in the law, all aimed at improving health and improving health care and ideally lowering the costs, the three famous goals of the so-called aaa. this topic today maximizing enrollment is a very important part of that bigger picture story. and it's also worth noting that the activities we're going to be talking about today predate the
passage enactment. it got started in 2009, the year before the law was enacted. and what it -- what that underscores is that these issues about enrolling people in a program that exist on the books for which people are already qualified but not enrolled has been a challenge in the nation for some time. that did not start with the affordable care act. it's only moving into a new phase. and the kinds of tools and technologies and human factors that need to be addressed to make these programs more responsive and outreach better to the populations who are eligible, have moved now -- the need for those types of programs and efficiencies have moved into a higher gear than ever before. so, we're very delighted to have the folks here talk about this and talk about the very critical role for states in solving this
problem. i just want to take a couple of seconds for housekeeping notes. we'll be inviting questions from the audience in the room as well as online. so if you are watching this online, please feel free to submit your questions at any time during our conversation over the next few minutes. you can also tweet your questions to hash tag aca. hash tag aca. we would appreciate it if those of you here with us today complete the green evaluation form before leaving to hold us accountable for putting on a truly first rate briefing, not just this time but hopefully in the future. and finally, if you would, those in the room please take a moment to turn off ringers on cell phones or other noise makers you may have brought with you so we can have a smooth conversation. you also have on your chairs those in the room, bios of speakers today. i'll only be making brief twitter length introductions of
them now. our first speaker, we're delighted to have with us, you heard her introduced earlier, alice weiss of the national academy for state health policy. she's one of two co-directors of the ma'am mizing enrollment program along with her colleague, katherine hess. putting out the variety reports on it, what can you share about the lessons learned now by the eight states and how those are influencing the signups going on now under the affordable care act and influence other states as well? >> thanks for the question. i think as you are seeing, susan. the process of stream lining enrollment is not new to states. right? the aca will harken amazing transformation of systems but the process of trying to make enrollment simpler has been going on with states for a number of years. nashpy is excited to be part of
this work. and i can't go further without acknowledging the work of my colleagues, katherine hess and deputy director of the program, maureen hensly quinn. and the support from the robert wood foundation for tremendous support for all of this work. really, what we learned in maximizing enrollment and reporting out is that states have been able to make some tremendous strides forward. we focused in on three key areas we saw progress in. the first was harnessing technology to stream line the enrollment processes and focusing in on strategies that worked to streamline and make the enrollment process more efficient. and the third was learning from these states about how to manage program change. and i want to talk about each of them just quickly and offer lessons from that. first, our states did tremendous work. they've used technology to make the enrollment process simpler.
they adopted and perfected online and telephonic applications and renewals long before the aca required them. they used notices, e notices, e chat, and electronic consumer facing accounts to improve their connections and communication with consumers. they used electronic document management and other strategies like electronic case records to take the paper out of the process and make the process work more simply. both for the states and for the consumers involved. and they also updated their business processes and i hope we talk more about that, to make the process simpler. this included not just making sure that their processes worked but also figuring out how to motivate staff in light of changes to a paperless process. in streamlining and simplifying, we saw an amazing work that our states were doing in adopting
new strategies like express lane eligibility and strategy that we call continuous removal which allow for the state to use data they already have to make enrollment process a lot simpler to avoid all of the needless documentation when the state already has the information and make the process a lot smoother from a consumer perspective. and along the lines of program management, we saw that our states had a clearly articulated vision that they developed and designed from looking at their own strengths and looking at their own challenges and opportunities. lori grubstein mentioned the diagnostic assessment and they were able to say this is where i need help and these are my goals. and from that they were able to define a clear vision. we saw amazing leadership, including from the two women you'll hear from today from alabama and virginia. we got to see our states using