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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 19, 2016 10:04am-12:05pm EST

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we will sit here live momentarily and watch. [background sounds]
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the casket of the supreme court justice antonin scully a lying in repose in the great hall of the supreme court surrounded thereby four of his former clerks. they are changing every half-hour throughout the day. the building is open to the public until 8 p.m. and our live coverage will continue on c-span until 8 p.m. this evening. the funeral tomorrow in washington at the national shrine on the campus of catholic university. live coverage saturday morning beginning at 11 a.m. eastern. rode it to the white house coverage continues on c-span2 this afternoon with south carolina events starting with ted cruz at 5:30 eastern and
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donald trump also has rally is happening in north charleston underway at 7:00 eastern. the weekend activities in nevada with a rally tonight democratic candidate bernie sanders in henderson nevada. road to the white house coverage at 11 p.m. eastern. >> coverage of the presidential candidates continues with campaign events in south carolina and nevada leading up to the south carolina gop primary and the democratic caucuses on saturday, february 20. live coverage starts on saturday at 7:30 p.m. eastern with speeches and reaction to the results on c-span, c-span radio and national security counterterrorism director daniel rosenthal was in charge of closing guantánamo bay prison soon after leaving his white house press in january he joined rolling stone contributing
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editor, the last reporter allowed inside the gitmo detention center, plus two attorneys that represent wonton of a detainees and miami herald. here's report rosenberg. this is hosted by the national security center. >> we are going to get started if you can take your seats. before we begin, just as a cautionary note, c-span is taking this tonight so if you don't want to be on camera you may want to move over to the site so keep that in mind although i will try to remind you when it happens. as you know, guantánamo is central to the work on national security and we are delighted to have yet another panel on guantánamo ~ more thoughtful people about the issue and many
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of whom have been thinking about it since it opened in 2002. it's hard to imagine that when it did open if you would say we are just didn't have a panel on this to talk about maybe thinking about ending it that wouldn't have been a reality. when guantánamo was open, there was no idea of having six months or 18 months the pentagon would have been appalled by the idea and a number of things happened along the way which made the emptying of guantánamo nearly impossible. today what we want to find out is how impossible is it too "-close-quotes on a and will close by the end of the obama presidency and if it does close by then what will it take? we are joined by a superb panel which i'm delighted to have here and i will introduce them. you have their biographies. to my right is mr. dixon from the center for constitutional
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rights. the thing for the center of constitutional rights is you can't think about wonton ammonia and the detainee issues without thinking about this they were the first of the civil liberties organizations to understand the indefinite detention issue was a crucial importance. they followed this with many of the abs cases but it's central to the conversation when the historians on the panel right about guantánamo, the ccr will be at the center of it. to his right is daniel rosenthal. we are very lucky to have dan here. his e-mail when i asked him to come here said four hours ago i left my job at the white house, good timing. [laughter] so among the things he did at the national security council was to head up thinking about guantánamo and how to get people out of guantánamo. we are eager to hear everything
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you were not allowed to say before you left so that's what we want to hear. prior to that he was at the department of justice and the national security division and a number of federal jobs related to national security so he brings good perspective and interagency perspective and a white house perspective and we know that he has the answers answer so we are going to hold him to it. to his right, tom was one of the very first people i ever talked about guantánamo ideally that was 20033 i called him up and i said you were working on guantánamo and i don't understand anything, will you meet with me ask these soil into his office and he opened up the world of what it means to function in the middle east and it is different than the civil liberties lawyer coming to guantánamo but it had to do with what it meant to represent individuals from the middle middle east who cared about what was happening at guantánamo so
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his perspective he's been there from beginning to and is invaluable and i am completely thrilled to have him here. to my left is janet who has written a number of award-winning stories for the rolling stone magazine. she's written to our important to the study of terrorism and prosecution domestically. one of them was from the boston marathon bombing, one of them was on the ice is coming and i think we did a panel before her recent piece, which came out this month, on guantánamo and i just can't wait to hear her. she's the newcomer to the conversation and has done a wonderful job of covering her basis and trying to understand what is going on and to her left is a carol roesenburg. it's hard to think anyone would do a panel without her here.
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i would advise against it. i had a phone call with her years ago when we could still remember the beginning of guantánamo and that might disappear. she said you know, when i event for those first it suddenly dawned on me that this was the first time that i was in a place where there was going to be nobody to tell the story. my words were going to be the camera and got stuck with me as a metaphor her eyes had been the only set of eyes and that includes the detainees and the entire apparatus, the only set of eyes that we have ask wonton about . at guantánamo but at this point thinking in an unrealistically am delighted to
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have this panel. we are going to start with will is going to talk a little bit about how we are going to close it. >> i'm going to give you the answer right now. first of all, thank you for inviting me to join the panel. you know, is guantánamo going to close by the end of the administration is the question everyone wants the answer to, and the answer is i hope so, and it depends. it depends very much on the president. president obama has the power to close it and at the moment every day since he got into office, but it depends on what he does the next year. he's always had legal authority to close the prison. that's what we've had throughout his administration, and yet what we have seen is the lack of willingness to use that
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authority as a bold and aggressive way to close the prison. i can give you many examples going back to 2009. one of the earliest examples is when the president brought them to the united states but the opportunities continue up until now and i think ultimately there are two things that have to happen. one, he needs to get his own house in order as it were. he needs to get all of the agencies in the administration moving in the same direction to implement his mandate and close the prison. there is a dynamic that exists now everyone is aware of it and followed this issue and the state department is trying to transfer people and you have the state department that is obstructing and the laying of this at times and that needs to end and that needs to come from
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the president. the second thing that needs to happen, there needs to be fundamental policy changes. as an outsider the administration continues to adhere to policies and in some instances never made sense, or the hearing policies that may be made sense in 2003 or 2006 or 2009 that really don't make sense anymore. an example of that is the continuing effort by the justice department to fight the legal challenges to their detention to make sense in a lot of cases. but there is a dynamic that occurs now still. i give you one example in terms of litigation. a colleague of mine at the center has been on hunger strike for eight years and there is no disagreement about his health
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status. he could die in guantánamo at any moment. so we found a legal challenge if the transport of the convention. that sets in motion the machinery and what happens is by default or by policy, the administration gears up the fight to go into litigation mode to fight the case and there needs to be someone to step in and say why are we doing this maybe doesn't make sense anymore why we want to fight to keep a person in guantánamo that we ourselves said it needs to be transferred. from the outside what it looks like is happening is you have a fight in the inner agency system and ultimately gets kicked back down to the agencies.
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that's not the way to close guantánamo. that's not an approach to the guantánamo policy that's going to succeed in getting everyone out of prison. the state department has been making great strides in transferring the men who are clear. in other of them including two today have been doing a great job, but those are the easy cases. there are other categories present more difficult challenges in terms of closing the prison. you get the center of things in the indefinite detentions but nonetheless there are at this moment. there's nothing that's really being done to get those men out of guantánamo. there is a periodic review
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process to determine whether these men can be cleared for transfer. the process is moving very slowly and it's not going to be complete by the end of this year or by the end of the obama administration so that has to change. then you have prosecutions. there are ten people who have charges against them right now or who have already been convicted and you see a similar scenario and you still have a preference for the military commissions rather than article three federal court prosecutions and that certainly seems to us to be a holdover from the sale and from that point on there doesn't seem to be any appetite to try to transfer men out of commissions were going to federal court or new charters in
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federal court. i will say again the president has the power in our view to do some of these things in terms of federal court, there are avenues to bring people to federal court that's something that needs to happen and again, just one specific example some i suspect would plead guilty in a federal court. people who are in charge like the famous abu zubaydah. he may be willing to plead guilty. i don't know if anyone has asked him. guantánamo is going to be closed and we have to deal with cases like that that are more difficult cases. more difficult than the men who were transferred today. we just don't see any progress in that regard. we don't see any movement in
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that direction. we see continuing preferences in the military commission and 14 and a half years after 9/11 in fact we are losing ground on the military commission. the charges that were brought against these men are being struck down so you are losing ground. i don't shed a tear for these lost charges, believe me but the point is the president is and taking the necessary steps to deal with the situation. we saw at the very end of december, the president's last press conference where he said we are going to continue to work with congress to change the law into our view that is naïve and the basis right now that he's ever faced in terms of guantánamo policy that can be the strategy for closing wonton
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enough. it needs to be more aggressive. >> what power does he have if it says you that says you cannot transfer detainees to the united states. what is the power that you think he has to be able to do this? >> there are all sorts of avenues he can pursue and explore answers questions of the interpretation of someone pleads guilty are they subject to these laws? they could make decisions about him so for the court. there are many avenues that can be explored from the perspective and i don't think any of them have been tried and that is the point you will miss 100% of the
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shots that you take. if the president doesn't try to take some bold action he's not going to succeed in closing guantánamo. >> that puts a spotlight on you, dan. that wasn't a positive review. constantly if you can't write about the idea of closing guantánamo without saying president obama promised his second day in office he would close within a year. we don't have to go into the reasons he decided not to prioritize that the question is is it just too much -- has he dropped the ball, have they picked up the ball and they are running with it but we don't
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appreciate it, what is your -- >> first, thanks for having me on the panel. the closure of guantánamo is important and that people are focusing on it. i no longer work for the administration they don't reflect the white house views they are formed by my time there. i do have a slightly more rosy picture from my time at the white house what i saw is people at the white house and the department of defense and the department and other national security agencies that worked on the department of homeland security and justice and intelligence community working very hard to close gitmo. we transferred nearly 40 detainees which is an uptick.
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there were ten transferred last week and there were two that were transferred today so there is an uptick in the amount of transfers and that is the category of people that are already cleared for release and have been for a number of years. his panic he did some of them come up with off of the indefinite detention last? >> picking up little bit of context it is currently ineligible for transfer and the ideas that they not be indefinitely and there are periodic review boards that review their case and that has an incredibly high success rate to bring something like 80% so that is a great rate so we are taking people that are ineligible for transfer in the process to determine they can be safely transferred and there are
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people that are legible for transfer and then the 2004 transfers of its going to whittle down the number of people who present the hardest case talked about. but you obviously want to continue this. let me also say that in terms of the slowness and the delay i'm not inside the head of everyone that works out the dod and i see this is a difficult problem working. there are checks and balances that negotiates diplomatic agreements and then because of that the perspective they are incentivized to work quickly and aggressively to finalize transfers. the department doesn't have that
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same diplomatic pressure what they have is statutory pressure in the places for the requirement directly on the secretary of defense and he may not transfer or use the funding provision. he may not use the funds appropriated by congress to transfer until he concludes they can be safely transferred so rightly in my view takes the time to make sure every detainee that is presented for transfer meets the statutory requirements of is the high-level sense of where things are. we talked about the overall plan for closing two wheeled down the list of people and the government is now looking at facilities in the united states the idea being to transfer those
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who cannot be transferred and the governments view to transfer them to the united states file we continue to explore for them any other options available and maybe there's another country they can go to. >> wells made reference going backwards backwards and instead of forward, something that has a lot of the validity that can be bought and the inability to get to the pretrial hearing so in looking at the years it seems like even for the defendants which seemed to me the most important in the country to try to do you think that is a widely held view in washington that the military commissions are going backwards or was he right when he said there still seems to be
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a belief in the military to say we had the general here last year to talk about the military commission what you see is the feeling they are going to work someday somehow. so it is the reliability going forward in the military commission. a >> so because he is in charge of executing that portion of this writing to military commissions are tough and it is an untested legal regime so the court is constantly faced has constantly faced with not holding the questions and the context would necessarily be tested so that slows things down.
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i don't know a lot about the military commissions but i wonder if some of the delays are created by the detainees themselves firing all sorts of challenges. if the idea was i would like to get screwed by the military commission i wonder if that could have been more expeditiously without the challenges. a >> i think everyone is going to want to address that so people plan to come back to that. that will be much of what we talk about afterwards we haven't heard the term in a while but it raises the term is its somewhat responsible, so you've been involved in both the theoretical legal part of this throughout
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the entire legal regime but you also have a sense of what is going on in your work now with the detainees themselves. you think that it's going to close? >> i'm going to answer what i want to answer. let me answer something dan said. you've got to remember we've got 91 people left which is down significantly. of those only ten are in the military commission. we are talking about a minority. three of those have been convicted or they are awaiting the plan. the others have been waiting. there's no doubt in my mind of the lawyers are trying to cop to work for them and that's one of the reasons the military -- the lawyers wanted military commissions rather than civilian
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trials because they knew that they could forever so that's probably what you do but what we talk about the other things that are more important and let me say first of all congratulations on the work you did. one of the problems for the obama administration is they couldn't take charge in the problem until recently. you've been there for a year. i think before that they put it off the state department or somewhere else and they didn't take charge centrally as a lot of people were saying. let me talk about guantánamo to me it's not the people charged with crimes that but that people that we hold without charge. you can do that through the hostilities to hold people returning to the comfort that a
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lot of these people have just been there for years. as i said of the people there, ten are in the military commissions and 34 have been posted for years but they haven't been let out. one of the reasons is that it's hard to find them a home and that's great. i'm more concerned about the other category that we call indefinite detention when they did the review they put into term not capable of prosecution and it's a false fact which is dominated the discussions that categorization gives the impression that the government knows they are terribly dangerous but some legal technicality is preventing them from being released and it isn't
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true. it was a terrible characterization. jennifer pointed this out to me years ago. if you compare them you will see that a lot of these allegations are absolutely the legal term that we use would be bullshit. and the proof of the putting on that and pudding on that and yet congress debates the stings and assumes if we look at the fact they are not so and they have a
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process to review them and when it reviews them and the overwhelming majority of the cases they find that they are not dangerous and that they can be released. there is a tremendous problem that was said that the administration has not put the resources in to do the process properly enough. so how many are scheduled now? and they won't finish for four or five years or ten years and that's not enough. we should put more resources in and clear those up. the larger picture until we do we will be holding a love of innocent men and a lot of the intelligence advice of carol will report there is an imminent in the court and the government they have to look at. let me talk at an overall
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picture. they are incredibly important to this country and i'm worried about the people there and i want them treated well and i want them home but more than that i'm worried about what it means for the country. guantánamo was established to avoid the law. the whole purpose of guantánamo. the bush administration considers the impediment that it had to avoid and if we put foreigners any place that is outside of our sovereign territory, we can avoid and deprive them of legal rights and unfortunately although we have everything with the result of habeas corpus and they may have a constitutional right, the dc circuit has said that they still don't have the right to due process if the government can put them over there they are beyond the reach of the constitution. and that is a horrible thing for the country.
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it's a horrible loophole. i find it reprehensible. they wanted the law corrected so they can stand by the principles and be their principles and be proud of them and not try to avoid. >> the categories that you were talking about there used to be more categories there used to be a category of people that were not in charge but the people they thought were going to be tried by the military commissions. where did that category to? >> i think it is how you want to look at it if you want to look at the proximity of the release which we are talking about it seems to me that it's the three
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biggest star in q2 be released and who are not getting released that may someday get there. when a group of folks got together in 2009 and further figured out they also considered other things. >> so there are still people at guantánamo may be in that indefinite detention category who might be tried in some kind of court? they are probably detainees to remain back in 2009 and had been identified for prosecution.
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and for that they are eligible. they may still be in the indefinite detention. one part of the government's plan is to transfer them when you can and then the remainder to look at the individual detainees and try to identify the individual options for them which may include prosecution. >> so, don't get upset when i say this but janet is a newcomer into the conversation where even if we don't know each other personally, we know of each other responding to this for a long time there is a sort of general sharing of what tom said
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which is it's so insulting to many people to have guantánamo and half what it symbolizes pitches in definite detention. she's been writing about the prosecution and the united states and so she called a number of people to talk about it and one of the people she called to me was so interesting because her piecing this together by herself means pride in things that rest of us have just been talking about for years so if you can go back there, you figured out the situation or what was there. what are the things that surprised you?
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i see one of our colleagues at rollingstone occasionally and others can he is the person urged me to go three or four years ago so i have to say thank you because i was trying to get them to stay up to this. when they finally did say yes the idea was how is this place still open. what surprised me about it is how it still exists. it's a place where the mindset the much bigger guys and -- never dies. you arrive there dusty and there are tends, you drive down this dusty hill into this place that
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looks like a forward operating base for anyone that has ever covered a war which i have and i was appalled i covered another complex prior to that and guantánamo is suburbia like any military base out there these are pieces no matter whether they are here in the united states or anywhere that are built as america so that's normal but told a military installation works. they all have movie theaters. so, that which is always portrayed in the stories is so bizarre and isn't that bizarre but there are two pockets of the base that are separate from one another and the other carol
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designated. by the way, everybody on the panel committees are all my sources. and and if you a few in the audience, too. but you have these two pockets and those places are the more and i was covering in 04 and 05. you drive in anders takes security and you live in these tents and it's dusty and everybody is in their camera and the entire mindset i should say in iraq and afghanistan the military and the united states officials that are part of the operation live in these secure settings.
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this is very secure and you don't venture out into the red zone of the real country that you're in. you are in the high security settings and have badges that you can't come you must wear when you were inside this in camp justice or the detention center area gossip you are supposed to wear them and go to lunch at the cafeteria or the gym when you can work out with a nice treadmill and take a sauna. you can take a shower and a beautiful facility. but as a reporter or human rights monitor or in many cases lawyer tuesday where you have showers and attend and bathrooms also in a tent so it is a bizarre disconnect of modern
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american life set up for this infrastructure of several thousand, 4,000 or so naval officers and contractors and then 2,000 or so military just detached to the get-go that we think of who live in a different world world as other reporters reporters did go and cover that go and cover this must live in a world so that is one thing and the second thing was that the people that are posted at gitmo in terms of the detention and the legal operation our national guard troops. i don't want to offend them because they are well-meaning but they are very nice and they are. current and this is the perfect
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thing. they are on these nine-month deployments most of them are not professional soldiers. some of them have deployed to iraq and afghanistan. this is the only time they will ever serve in the military in any kind of active contact from their real-life job which ranged from being like a prison guard to being a taxi driver to being completely unemployed who is in eighth grade high school teacher is it to them this is their one shot at kind of serving their country and they know absolutely nothing about the history of guantánamo at all.
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most of them are 22, 23. they were taking me on a tour of the area including the camp that is the infamous place where the detainees were originally taken and they were not there for very long but that's where they had the dog cages and b's penis pictures from their. so it's like the jungle and he's taking me towards these little interrogation sheds that are there and i never having said this is kind of like abu grave, because it is, there was a sort of setup of it and the history of guantánamo is that with the general who had since the whole place up, then went and took this setup and mindset and everything to abu ghraib and
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this was explored in other countries and other u.s. operations. i made a joke to him and he looked at me like i had no idea what i was talking about and i said do you know anything about this? in our security training they told us you never take pictures. if anybody remembers. so he didn't really know what it was. he knew if kind of. don't torture them and don't take pictures that he didn't know the whole history it was in reason this happened is the practices started at guantánamo. well-documented. the report came out and you have all kinds of records of abuses.
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he had no idea about that history and after a day or two, some of these kids that we were spending our time with were trying to learn time from us. we were teaching this debate with them about our own history which is i get to learn the things you are learning. you need to rate the story so you learn something. but the point is this is an intentional thing in my view you have troops on very short deployments who don't have any
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idea who they are guarding and they don't want to know and they don't come of it are terrified of the people they are guarding and they think they are dangerous criminals into the thing that is so un-american about it if they've never been charged with anything for the most part. ten of them are actually in the military commissions process. the rest of them haven't been charged with a crime and they certainly haven't been convicted so it is horrific as a reporter that this is a prison you are reporting on a prison that is very proud of and they will tell you endlessly and after such and such facility in the midwest the point is b's people have never been charged with a crime.
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they are just interred. as so anyone who starts with watching them and handling them, promoting the work doesn't have a clue about this and isn't connected to it and seemingly doesn't think very deeply about it like super highly. and the last thing i would say is that all of the setup command i've written a long articles on trying to sum up the article in a short amount of time. every aspect of gitmo is designed as carol will talk about as well who is a newcomer
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and doesn't have a history there. i have no history either. either member and i know what is happening. but the place is set up for people who know nothing so they can kind of promote the same sort of narrative whatever it is they want to promote this is a transparent, safe, humane operation that they are treating everybody well and that this is not some rubble place -- horrible place. it's a clean, safe, etc. and we are doing a professional good job and we want to show you what a good job we are doing and so
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everything about it is setup for this message so when you do a tour you are rushed through in a way that barely leaves any time to ask questions and if you do ask any serious questions we can talk about later than you that you could get in trouble. but the most crucial aspect is that this is about however many prisoners there are so there's now 93, 91. when i was there there were 107. i don't care if there's 20. i still think personally and journalistically it's worth reporting on people who've never been charged with a crime who are interned, i think that is an important story no matter if there's three people it is un-american to do that without a
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sense of recognition. so their entire purpose is to not show you those prisoners and the most disturbing aspect is that tremendous suffering happens at this place. you get this vibe being there and everybody is not able to answer the question the way that it's set up in this antiseptic kind of environment and there are people who have been there for a long time who have no idea if they will ever go home or if they will be put on trial.
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and it is clear for the released from gitmo in 2005 versus 2008 or 2009 and then not being released for the next however many years six or eight or ten. that's torture. and those are very important point so when you bring these points up there is no one in the military who will answer this question and you cannot see anyone who edits between its part of the tour and you see them in this communal area these are detainees who are the ones who haven't caused any trouble, they are not the high-value people, not anyone who has been charged in a crime or is considered a high-value prisoner
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it's like you're looking at animals in a zoo and people would ask me did you get the interviews on them and it's like it's such a ridiculous question because no. even though the lawyers have said the clients themselves to be thrilled to talk to reporters but you can't so the experience of the places for getting. forget we found a place that is an extralegal no man's land and
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the equivalent that would have been in the bush administration so forget that these people may not have committed a crime, forget that most of them were rounded up not on the battlefield and were handed over in many cases by fellow tribesmen and buy lots by lots of other forces and foreign government. forget that they've not been charged with anything and that they have existed in this kind of limbo and focus on the idea president obama wants to close guantánamo and we are going to carry out the policy when that happens and until then we will treat it as fairly and as humanely as possible.
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we have standing between us is caroline who keeps us everyday and refuses to let us forget which i don't know if it is a curse or a blessing because somebody has to be there to do it. one of the things i'm glad you brought up and you've dealt with and many of the attorneys is the detainees themselves most astonished by the policy conversations that will were mentioned the detainees but not really talk about who these people are has been in detention for so long because every now and then they will be interviewed and then returning what he said is overwhelming emotionally.
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i know you have tons to say, but i just want to talk about how there's always something new. the guidebook guide book that shows you what to tell them when they come here many times guantánamo has changed but in addition to what you're going to answer. >> i wanted to say no self-respecting reporter wants to be a in been a pentagon talking big about transparency. they can say that it's transparent and i'm going to say right from the start she was the last person allowed in the
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center and it's a tremendous problem. look at the detainees. to be like europe two collector at the zoo looking for a one-way glass but the absence of having reporters going in and talking to the guards and seeing conditions and engaging with people in the center i think if you look at the coverage of what he heard from some of the lawyers there are some big questions about why they have to buy the detainees for prayer in detention centers that this moment if you do the most dramatic project with costs that works out to $4.4 million for the detainees.
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i don't necessarily agree with that but i understand how they got there. ..
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because, i love that story. of the point when they just stopped showing her she was just interested in seeing. i tell that story. i had not met karen before. i was shocked. she basically was being led around on a tour that ceased to give with the subject matter information she needed and she said take me to my room and pickepickme up when it's time to the point. >> i love that. >> i have to go and try every time i go and push as hard as i can to get answers to questions. that was one point i wanted to make. people, what i like about karen's question, it appeals to sort of big dick in the. the question is what happens come who are the people that should be tried in what happened to them? in 2009 and 2010, this task force using intelligence that we now know to be terribly flawed, categorize people into different
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buckets and one of the pockets where people who were referred for prosecution. zarqawi who left just after dawn through the parole board and is now starting is a life in bosnia was on that list to be prosecuted. it became clear as they work their way from the task force in jail his parole board hearing a little, around a year ago, that there was nothing that they could sustain to prosecute him for. we could have an entire panel on war crimes that are not war crimes, or war crimes that were once thought to be war crimes and are no longer acceptable war crimes. to which i wanted to just say today and. i've been hearing since the very first commission of the defense attorneys are the reason why people come reason why there is delay and that defense attorneys filed motions that seem to do,
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derail the process. what i know is that the defense attorneys motions that seem to derail the process went to the supreme court and concluded that the process at that moment, the beginning, was illegitimate. that defense attorneys who have filed motions to challenge the integrity of military commissions have been reshaping military commissions throughout this. crimes that were once considered crimes are no longer considered crimes. the reason that those 36 people who were chosen as candidates for prosecution cannot be prosecuted is those crimes that they considered possibly legitimate in 2009, or the courts what they thought they might take them including federal court in 2009 are no longer available. what you have are his parole board working their way through people who were once not to be possibly candidates for war crimes trials, no longer eligible because it doesn't fit
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into the paradigm of what military commissions are. what they like to call the indefinite detention bucket. but i think they are very distinct from people who are forever producers. thesthese are people who were td in some fashion or another we think you commit a crime and we are going to let you have a day in court and you can defend yourself. is not the forum for prisoners who were told we don't think you commit a crime but we just don't feel good about letting you go. we are afraid of you and we will keep you. they are two very distinct categories. what we know if you studied the discovery in second nation's is there's probably six people left among those original 36 who potentially might be tried and the rest have been systematically either moved out of that bucket, a couple of them, one of them, maybe two of them went back to kuwait. a lot of them have been released in different fashions were once considered candidates for trial. lots of them haven't gone before the parole board and the idea
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that is not going to be finished by the time that obama leaves office is true but, frankly, the parole board that obama set up so everybody gets one in the first year and then they get every six-month reviews. they have no not in any way accomplished the meaning of the parole board. okay, and then the subject is guantánamo going to close. when president obama ran for, when he campaigned and said he wanted to close guantánamo i think it was clear what he was saying was we are going to try people or let them go. he believed reading between the lines that you should not, that what bush had set up was somehow
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illegitimate. the people were entitled to trials where people were entitled to release. what happened in the first year of that process is they realize that there was another category of prisoner, that did not meet those special conditions and those are the forever producers. they can't try, they know they can't try but they are afraid to let go. once you have that category and would call them the forever prisoners because they are prisoners of war that does not have a mechanism to end. if you do not have someone to surrender on the other side and in this war on terror, how do central prisoners of that work that you think are legitimate prisoners of that war? windows that war in? so when the submissions and says they to close wonton all, what they are really telling you is that they want to move guantánamo. they are not saying there will
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be no guantánamo. they are saying we're going to do guantánamo style detention in the united states. we call it guantánamo north. at "the miami herald" we come up with these little expressions, forever prisoners come at detention centers. we come up with these little expressions to try to explain complicated processes. guantánamo north means you can shut down at detention centers zone, you can send him all of the national guard, you can end the prison arrangement that's better but there will be people that they want to bring to the united states and have guantánamo south. they want to continue to have the commissions. people are talking about the plan. we know what the plan is. we have seen all the bits of the plan but they want to commissions, continue to have forever prisoners, prisoners of
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war who are not entitled to pow, call it what you want. and that number shrinking but they want to continue a guantánamo style detention in the united states. the only way that this can happen in barack obama's administration is a fee persuades congress to let him do it, or he decides he has the authority to defy congress and will pick them up and move them. there's really, those other two choices, and we've heard on the panel some people believe he has that authority. we haven't heard from the president what he believes he has that specific authority. it is believed congresses prohibition on moving people to the united states is at odds with his commander in chief authority. he believed the executive has the prerogative to do that. we have seen that in his signing
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statements. but that's no guantánamo, the detention center in cuba closes. it is by moving it and the only way t it gets moved is there soe grand political deal that comes out of this plan that we're all waiting for the suddenly all of those members of congress and the senate below to demagogue the issue of guantánamo change the might and said fine, let them come here. or, he comes up with a way to move them without permission of congress, and possibly without the knowledge of congress. as we were talking about earlier, when he goes to move them, invoking his commander-in-chief authority, it likely ends up in the courts where we have i guess maybe a request for a restraining order. the lawyers who can explain it better than i can. then the court to get to decide whether or not the commander-in-chief authority comes to congressional
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authority. and i don't know if there's enough time for that thing to work its way through the courts. how's that? >> i think that, it depends on how you define close, right? so one thing that carroll touched upon that want to turn to you attorneys about which is, if the detainees did come here, right? if obama found way, let's forget the logistics of how. there are people who would say, would make that argument? they think there's a way into the legal system at that point. can you talk about that a little bit? >> sure. i think with respect to whether detainees would be better off here in the united states versus remain in guantánamo, all i can say about that is someone who represents men who are detained, that it depends. it's really a detainee by
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detainee issue. there are certainly some who are of the view that being brought into the united states gives them a better shot at getting out through haiti is because it would have at that point for constitutional rights including due process rights in particular -- hideous. there are others who are not sure that that would have any practical benefit resulting in practical benefit for them. and for some there's a more practical concern which is conditions of confinement. there's a lot of talk and when we hear about the planet and bring detainees to the estates for continued detention without charge or trial and there's often without a lot of talk of putting these men and super max prisons. again these are people who are not convicted of crimes.
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we are members of the administration, congress talking about putting them in super max prison. carol also mentioned the grand bargaining. one of the concerns about a grand bargain, one of the things that came up in legislation but also by not enacted was a plant that would put forth by senator graham, which included as part of a 40-degree detained years a limitation on the right, particularly an attempt to roll back some of their habeas corpus rights. ultimately, to prevent challenges to conditions of confinement. so there's this idea in order to sell detainee transfers to the united states the administration will have to agree to put them into solitary confinement. that would be completely unlawful. we would challenge that on
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behalf of our clients. there would be an added piece to that which would be part of the legislation, in an attempt to strip those rights. i'm confident we will prevail on that but you were talking about a two or three-year legal process with your clients literally sitting in solitary confinement. but again there some detainees were absolutely to take a shot. i know tom has views on this, but -- >> let's turn to tom because tom described guantánamo as greer to be outside the law, which very few would dispute. i might say outerspace does have laws so it was worse than outerspace. do you think bringing them to the united states would in essence enabled lawyers to find a way to bring this whole thing inside the long? >> i do, but, and i will answer
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that directly, but let me go back a moment to what carol said. and then i'll come to this. carol, i don't think, there's an assumption people make that this category of forever detainees by people who we know should be held who fought in some where -- somewhere but you can't prosecute. it's not that. the evidence on these people, the reason they can be prosecuted is because there is no evidence that would stand up in a court of law. most are allegations against people which raise suspicions that the main event associate with al-qaeda, al-qaeda or taliban and most at a very low level. but it's decision, precisely the sort of non-evidence that people in, everybody to be, has a suspicion on the but under our system you can't hold people based on suspicion.
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so it's not that i know that they are. this is really, i used the bs category but the allegations are so flimsy, they just wouldn't stand a. >> and the support for the arts but that you make is in the numbers, that there were 48 when the task force created them and then systematically peeled that label, there's currently 25 of them but two of them died. so do the math. others went through processes that concluded that label, that category was no longer or was inappropriate. is like enemy combatants who when they became no longer any combatants they be evaluated them. >> i'm just -- >> i'm explaining the existence of the category but your argument is bolstered by the fact that there are people are put in that category who are no longer. >> but the real contravention of
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u.s. law is holding people based on suspicion which is really a not just our entire system. now, i have long felt, you know, early on in the obama administration there was a question to move them, all of guantánamo to thomson in illinois come to a prison in illinois and it was opposed by a lot of people. i supported it because as one of the guys was involved in guantánamo, the whole reason for guantánamo's existence is to avoid the law. it was to create a zone outside the law, a zone where you can hold people based only on suspicion. and i felt -- >> the intention of thomson was to continue that -- >> the reason they don't have constitutional rights is because they're outside u.s. sovereign territory. a second there in the u.s. they have those rights. they have those rights. there's no way, if they were
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here, they would have been out. >> when senator mccain says he wants a plan to he wants a plan that continues to assert that lack of -- >> i don't understand why people, congress is now the right to violate the constitution. they revoke habeas corpus and so the constitution, there's no way that these people could be held without charge based on suspicion consistent with the due process of the constitution. wells is right. so the reason we haven't had that make this totally dependent on the largess of first the bush administration had been the obama administration. we haven't had a legal remedy. it's awfully and would take a figures i hope we get them out before the. the important thing, and i would like to reestablish, i think the fact that the d.c. circuit has said that the people at guantánamo bay due process is
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appalling. unlike reverse that. can i raise one other question back at you ask i think the real issue of guantánamo is a security panel, is we may be talking to the choir here. everybody might agree with this but a lot of people in this country feel, they might not like it but they feel that we need a place outside the law to deal with terrorism. they feel we need torture. i ask you, i mean, my feeling has always been that we don't, that ultimately it hurts us. we are much better off and we are stronger by sticking to principles. i don't know why we always abandoned the. from a security standpoint those people out in the country think we need a little torture. i might not like it but i like this place when we can put muslims where there is no law. is that, we've got to address that issue. i think it's the wrong issue. excuse me for going on.
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>> don't you think torture is kind of underlying everything about guantánamo? that was my conclusion after interviewing all of you. is that torture is why prosecutions are not able to really go forward. it's why no one can answer your questions. it's why, just as a person who is observing, it's why the place is a deeply uncomfortable. it's the original shame, prime that happened there. is this terrible thing. >> it's not so much that it happened there. >> it happen, period spewing but it happened in a way that affected those cases. i don't know if it's in every case but it is sort of the symbol of how far this can go
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when you get outside the law. i do think they are connected. i think the thing about guantánamo though that tom raises his revenge is interesting is about evidence. why aren't you trying these guys? we don't have enough evidence. some of that reason is because the evidence was gained by torture or the individual was tortured. >> not just a tortured but -- >> i know that. >> some of it is the case they just don't have evidence. >> we might suspect in a little bit. >> it's that they don't think that they are criminals. they don't think that they're guilty. they are war prisoners. they are not prisoners of war. >> i want to bring dan end to enlighten us. talk a little bit about, you
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don't have to expand but a lot of things have been talked about here that are in uncountable territory, and i want to know in those national security council white house discussions, with these kinds of issues raised, discussed and debated, with the detainees thought about in terms of who they were our? was it considered so intractable, or was it the discussion narrowed for the purpose of practicality to get through it? you don't have to answer. you can answer the way tom answers. [laughter] >> that's a good question. these issues absolutely our disgusted at the individual detainee level. the treatment is disgusting. wells and folks who work for the detainees who are representing the detainees and other human rights groups come in and meet with the white house and white house officials and defense department officials have talked about detainee treatment and
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keep us focused on it. software focus on even as we focus on the greater policy of trying to transfer people out of guantánamo. it's true that, one of the reasons the president i think wants to close guantánamo is because it's a recruitment tool for terrorism. the orange jumpsuits, you know, individuals were executed by isis are put into orange jumpsuits. that reflects back on the orange jumpsuits of the early days of guantánamo bay. there's no question that's one of the motivating factors for trying to close at the it has a state audit from practices that are no longer in place. one thing i think is a little unhelpful to a serious discussion about where we are today and our efforts today to close guantánamo is to talk
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about practices that president obama in his first days in office prohibited, client tortured. those practices were prohibited by president obama immediately upon coming to office. they are no longer in place. we don't treat detainees that way. and the focus should be less on how media is to get there in some kind of, if there's a lot of centered on whether driven around, more focused than have the detainees are treated. let the defense department talk about the treatment. that's the focus and it is a focus for the administration. >> at detainee treatment at this point is a talking point. it's not something, in part because it's entered the courts and they won't speak to it. i want to ask a question which is, wells said maybe obama went
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off the rails in his desire to close when they didn't bring the readers here. -- uighurs spent that was a defining moment. >> exactly. i'm wondering what the administration thinks was the moment in which they sort of lost the momentum, which they could have decided that they're going to try to regain. we are in a period of absolute drive towards that. there's a plan coming, 16 people left. but like come in the administration gave where did it go off the rail? >> i don't think for the administration so i can't answer that question. >> so in your view? you're right, i should have asked for the administration. it's just where did it go wrong? >> it went wrong early. it went wrong really early. even by the archives o of speech
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you already knew you were the wrong place to do with like four months. something happen. i know some people have said it was, after obama took office they were the first not guantánamo related, the first truly series interrupted attacks against, plots against u.s. soil in the first 11 months after obama came into office that we've seen since 9/11. and in that period of time, a lot of things, i'm not sure these are separate but that happened, not all of it happened in such a profound way by the archives speech. ..
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center for constitutional rights was a major strategic error in terms of trying to close the prison. then you have the underwear bomber and the inability of the president at that point in time to withstand or push back against the political, you know, the political rhetoric, the fires learned that came out as a result of that. and you have, you know, you have stored you have sorted this give-and-take i guess or add them slow with her sack to guantánamo policy in the early days because when we were
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litigating cases, perhaps we were winning 75% to 80% of the cases in the district court. so there were transfers that were happening. they were transferring people to move their cases. i was a major component of the early guantánamo policy and that continued until right around the time of the underwear bomber and then you had a decision in the d.c. circuit, called, honey and the court, the circuit from that point in on essentially reached conclusion of authorizing administrations to continue to hold detainees in guantánamo bay for little more than government say-so. the administration realized, wait a sec and, we can fight these cases even if we lose district court. we will prevail at the circuit, which is what happened.
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you know, you have sort of a gradual turning away from the process of transfers. you have resumption of military commissions. you know, by 2011 you have basically the president turning his back on the prison in congress have been. >> it was the government arguing these cases in the circuit court. >> absolutely. when i started up the discussion by saying the president has long had authority to close the prison, one of the things the president could decide to do from the very beginning was not to contest litigation. >> people are going to yell at me afterwards because i didn't give them a chance. let's get some question so everybody doesn't yell. please remember this is on
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c-span, so speak quickly. use the microphone. make it a question, not a speech. can i see where the microphone fire? okay. who has questions? can you raise your hand? identify yourself. >> josh at the criminal defense lawyer in new york, also litigating guantánamo. this is not a criticism of mr. rosenthal. >> here it comes. >> is sort of repeated something that is taken as fact when i provide a different scenario, which is emerged to cost that appeared when its legal resistance to the commissions on the concept of torture, which is
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rather than criminal defense lawyers coming up the commissions, the commissions come themselves up in their resistance to litigating torture. that if they let the lawyers litigate torture committed cases would've moved a lot faster. carol probably has the best institutional memory in terms of the course of it. but even though they are not directly involved in the commission, just how many times either through the pressing of the button, the classification procedures, competency procedures, all of that has been delayed by the government, not by defense. >> you want to comment? you don't have to. >> no, thanks a lot for the comment. at least from my vantage point when i had the opportunity and privilege of serving in the white house, you know, our focus was on the policy on the
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military commissions, which are to run themselves in some way. i don't have any specific comments. i appreciate your thoughts. [inaudible] >> more questions over here. >> hi, thank you. i'm not an attorney. >> attorneys their citizens also, by the way. [laughter] this idea of get most been established because there was out there. it is our sovereignty with cuba and the come out on the question who can or can't run for president. so bad out there, what is the reason our territory.
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the other part of it, dealing with a great moral issue and i much appreciate that and seems to want to be like this one and not too big is on this island that deal with those issues. i much appreciate that. the idea of cruel and unusual punishment, which torture comes under, we have this whole other thing debating this country over capital punishment and we know that people have been proven innocent and executed because governor said the process must sell on them. you are discussing a process that goes on ridiculously. so i'm not sure how to frame the close to this. i am wondering if this is really out there and if it's really discussing what is an integral thing to the way we conduct the law in the united states and it just happens to be on the island
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of cuba. >> does anyone want to tackle that? >> that's what it is. and if it dishes artificial idea that we can do that to you for is not as his crazy. guantánamo, obviously controlled completely for 100 years, which is just as kennedy did for all practical purposes america. we can't give the next years for violating our fundamental laws by saying we are doing it elsewhere. it is so reprehensible. i worry even if we close guantánamo that those precedents in those precedents and away are are still on the books. and i have a question -- this is of course to discuss -- they've made the point is extraordinary to me that the administration that says they want to close guantánamo has made aggressive he is the circuit opinion, which
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we consider crazy to say that the laws don't apply to guantánamo. and it's to presumption of actors refer brought intelligence and everybody knows why don't we tell the justice department to stop opposing these cases. >> i'll give you an unsatisfactory answer, which is ideal talk about internal deliberations of the government to the extent we have a conversation i can't confirm one way or the other families involved ongoing litigation by the justice department. i would defer the question to them. sorry. >> i just want to -- i will do two sentences. they want to move these people do u.s. soil and believe they can continue to hold them in detention in a think it is legitimate, whether gitmo or
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u.s. soil. tom and i will disagree on this. tamil is to get them here in the courts and the whole house of cards falls down. the obama administration believes they continue this paradigm of war detention for al qaeda in brackets on u.s. soil. they believe it legal and legitimate whether it is fair or here. they wouldn't be trying to do that if they didn't believe that. be not quite you say that? >> at the plant to bring them here to implausible doctrine? >> i don't see how they think they can hold people, first of all based purely on suspicion and evidence to don't assume that. if these are just suspicions and that is something you can challenge in court. i don't leave -- they are trying
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to get them to close guantánamo. >> what is interesting about that is the question is coming in no comment it is amazing, tom and i find it fascinating that you are so hopeful about the system of the whole law and justice in the cartridge. a lot of lawyers have talked this way and i find it really interest team because i think the question -- the larger question is what i've have been to the criminal justice system over the course of time since 9/11? have we lost ground permanently or is this just another ration? we don't know the air. the debate you are having a suburban the there will be. and something i think we should think long and hard about. >> tom mentioned earlier the number of cases that the government is opposing regarding guantánamo. one of them is fighting the release of force-feeding videos.
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now if the goal is to close guantánamo, why fight against transparency that mike stark public outcry against that? >> go ahead. do you want to go? >> i was going to say that the issue of detainee treatment, when you talk about complaining about, you know, one's actions or the experience you might have as a reporter there, the reason you have that experience because there is no discussion about detainee treatment. the release of the videos, for example, is something the government has been citing. there's no transparency, and no system and so that is one of the biggest problems is the opacity of virtually every name in the single line that comes from the government or the military about
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who the detainees are, how they're being treated, what the goal is and you can't question it because they will not give you any room to maneuver or even ask the question. >> is not responsible for that. >> that's an important point -- >> wormer question and i will ask each one of you so you can think about it to say, is it going to close at the end of the obama presidency, yes or no? you don't have to explain. wait for the microphone and identify yourself. be brief because because we are out of time. >> imo: columbia phd and i'm an expert on organizations. i commend you for focusing on guantánamo, but i feel insulted by this focus only on guantánamo , which is a politically correct function. i have been followed around the
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world. government has spent millions of dollars. i am in constant surveillance. they will comment on what i am doing in my house. and every night i can't hear anything outside my house. every night i can't hear anything outside my house. >> tumor questions. >> all over my house -- >> you can talk to me about that afterwards. thank you. tumor questions in a row. >> we are talking about high-stakes issues. you know, a lot of the treatment is in service of information to health care is good when you speak about way to go about work in prisons in the city in new
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york city and records island is under scrutiny for the way they handle prisoners than they really see a lot right there with the middle ages. a sort of speaks to me when you say it is our process. people are in detention for months on end in years and another reason is small stakes issues like somebody needs to direct attention to that as well. remember, this is what eric holder on some level says he is going to talk about and focus on now that is out of office. who knows, maybe someone else will. one more very quick question. >> my name is chris brandt. a teacher of ford and chief justice program. you have all been talking about what can be done with the law. i belong to a group called witness against torture and we have, for the past 11 years gone to washington every anniversary, every january 11th and dad
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civil disobedience actions. we've gone outside the law to try to bring attention to this matter. but i would like to know is has anybody noticed? >> very few people unfortunately and it's a shame. what you are doing is great. the blackout so you'd notice is. people who noticed that the men detained in guantánamo. i mentioned at the outset a classic example of the president not doing everything he could. citing a case that it shouldn't fight to release a person that the government says it wants to release. he knows about this and so we appreciate on his behalf on behalf of the other men would represent. >> i would argue that far too few do. when i cover guantánamo full-time, more often than not they say didn't we close that? >> last question.
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did you have a question? >> question for carol. do you have any sense of what camp seven and a possible gitmo north might look like? the cia's role as guantánamo is sort of always sort of what might it look like if it is moved to the mainland? >> so, camp seven as the prison that they are taken to, the reporters aren't allowed to know to figure out how much we the people is than to build it and were told that as a state secret. it is the place where they brought the men who were held -- disappeared into the cia black sites for three in four years between 2002 and 2006 in a prison within a prison at guantánamo that is a maximum
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purity prison where because of what happened to them, they are considered to some degree to be classified human being because they know state secrets like where they were held and what was done to them that we the people are not allowed to know. there's a top security maximum security prison by the virtue of the people and not by what they've done because some of them -- half of them have never been charged with crimes. not by virtue of their behavior because what little we know about it is they are highly compliant. but because they need to be segregated from the rest of the prisoners because the rest of the prisoners just like we did people can't know where they were held and what was done to
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them. the question they bring into guantánamo to have any expectations to make them mingle with the others in the answer is no. one is aspects of their experience are considered classified and the people who control the classification which we presume to be the cia will control the access. you know, kind of on what guantánamo north could have been had something that was very much camp ford, communal pow style hero's detention where people could live together, eat together, pray together, which exists today. and that it has something like maximum security where prisoners were afraid of by miss behave with solitary confinement. and then we had this other place which hold the cia.
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when they looked confident, you could look at the superstructure and see how they were duplicate all three of those there. love could probably talk in general sense about his client. does he think you have any more contact than he has now? >> i'll take a page out of their playbook and say that those clients i can't talk about. >> so nobody can talk. >> i want to know how much to talk. >> so we are going to have concluding comments. you can answer questions that were asked or made, but mostly what i want you to say is whether you think guantánamo will close at the end of the presidency, which would be a year from now. tom, we are starting with you. >> i doubt it because those the peace which it is moving.
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but my concluding comment is more. the only way and coming you assume guantánamo can be duplicated with a lot of flies. it can't. i am worried the way the light exists now for the d.c. circuit, people held in guantánamo or technically outside the sovereign territory of the united states have no rights come in due process but they're not entitled to due process of the law. i worry about the continuing because they worried donald trump or ted cruz will be president. this is a system would need to shut down. it is an abomination to her system. i do have faith where law applies to people when not be allowed to be held on basis of suspicion or false information. that's what america stands for.
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>> i'm hopeful ) the end of the obama administration. people in the obama administration are hopeful that will close and are working hard to do it. the only other thought it would make at the outside and you just have to maybe take my word for it. when i went to work everyday, i didn't go to work because i was trying to violate the law or anything like that because i believe in the cons do to shine. believe in our government and national security and people go to work and people i work with which to work everyday at work hard to push this problem. there are legal complexities, classification, legacy issues. it is a hard problem. don't just release people willy-nilly who may be dangerous and we engage in terrorism. and the other hand you don't
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want to keep them any longer than is absolutely necessary so you try hard to transfer that when you can as quickly as you can with conditions in place to prevent to make sure they don't come back to engage in terrorism. it's a hard problem people in government are working in good faith. >> i too am hopeful that guantánamo will close and i do take the president at his word when he says that the priority for the country, for his administration. but you know, whether he succeeds in closing prisons entirely is up to him. i will confess that i don't understand a lot of decisions made or in some cases not made with respect to closing guantánamo. i for the life of me will not understand why the government continues to litigate some of these cases continues to fight to keep t.a.r.p. out of prison so that it can continue to force feed even though he's been
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transferred. i don't understand the decision and i think it's a major substantial policy changes at the white house level that guantánamo is not going to close. i remain hopeful -- i have to remain hopeful that those changes will come and they will come quickly. >> i had no idea what time i was going to close. i is a journalist. but what i do think -- i hope it does. i do wonder whether at this point in time guantánamo is more than just a prison. it is a state of mind. it is a situation -- a state of mind with the latter cells to have, which is tolerated things that should he and tolerable including the sort of went away and away of human rights and law and just the kind of been the
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boldness that our approach to terrorism has been. i think that the most important thing is we need to face our fears about terrorism. there's not been relic on ability. that is one of the central problems that guantánamo is the accountability. that is why the past is important because the past have been and we can't deny it and forget it and pretend it didn't exist, but it will just continue to perpetuate. there should be real accountability. that would be huge. and i think the whole narrative about terrorism needs to be in some ways change more realistically. >> i don't know how we get there between now and then. i don't know how 91 men who where they are today are gone by
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the time the president goes home home -- leaves office. i've heard lots of ideas but i can't see mechanically how that would happen. you'll do it would have but i guess is if you move to the united states. so then you can close the detention center. you can close that met the base in cuba and you can call those whatever subset of those last 91 men, prisoners of another place, but i don't see how you get them out of there and i don't see how the next thing isn't guantánamo. [inaudible] >> -- average citizen. they are not telling that sure is. >> we are going -- >> i just want to add one other thing. to understand the complexity -- i wrote a story last night about a man named mohammed who was
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offered resettlement. he is a clear detainee and he was given a country that was willing to take a minute recital and when it came time to get on that plane went they he did not go. his lawyer is afraid of the new country that might take it. maybe he's become such an institutionalized human need that he was unable to take on stability. the bush administration policy in the policy the obama administration inherited is as long as you're not willing to send yemenis back to yemen, they need to agree to go to resettlement in other countries. while it was unheard of to me before yesterday that somebody would not be in guantánamo. there's a lot going on case-by-case, individual by
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individual that makes it very hard to imagine. >> i want to end this on a positive note. so i am going to say this. i think it's going to close. i think it's going to close by the end of the presidency. i don't think it will be closer in the way i would've liked for closure. ironically, i think the hardest nut to crack is not going to be the gemini's or even the detention. it's going to be military commissions. so i would suggest just as much as the prb, the inability of the military commission to function the address now is something resolvable. i'm not now, thank you so much for joining us. we will see you next year. [applause]
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>> this is the great hall of the supreme court in washington where the body of justice antonin scalia lies in repose throughout the day surrounded here by four of his former clerks who are rotating a position of honor throughout the day. our all-day coverage is over a c-span2. we will watch for a moment or two. that's fine.
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[background noise] >> since about 9:30 eastern this morning, the great hall of the supreme court has been open to visitors and well-wishers that will be in the 8:00 tonight. congressional reporter for the "washington post"'s paul kane tweets that the line to get into the supreme court now several blocks long. president obama will be paid his respects later this afternoon at our coverage with two new on c-span until 8:00 tonight. the vice president is expected to be at the funeral tomorrow, which will take place just north of the supreme court of the campus at catholic university at the basilica of the national shrine of the match at conception set to get underway at 11:00 eastern tomorrow.
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we live that life live as well over on c-span. [background noise] be my --
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>> my personal experience growing up an african-american family, within an all-white town , crisscrossing lines love working in inner cities, going to stanford, yale. agent showed me as i crossed the line how united we as a country are.
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>> white house press secretary josh earnest set to hold a briefing coming up in an hour at 12:30 eastern. live coverage here on c-span2. until then, some of today's "washing journal." >> host: peter bergen, in your new book on the united states of jihads: investigating homegrown terrorists, you write americans have long tended to overestimate the threat posed by jihadists. >> guest: yeah, with the polling data, you can see that americans -- 80% of american are somewhat or very worried. 24 republican.-- 90% of democrats and you know, some of that is understandable. we had in october 224 people killed in cyanide by an isis affiliates were 130 people were killed and then in san
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bernardino, california, 14 purple killed the word inspired by isis. the threat from jihadists terrorists in the united states has been managing to gain because of the actions of the u.s. government and also the vigilance of the american public. >> host: when you say men are thing, what do you mean? >> guest: if we had this conversation in 2002 and shortly after 9/11 in the context of the anthrax attacks in 9/11 itself, we predicted that there would be 45 american being killed by jihadists terrorists in the next decade, that would be an absurdly optimistic projection. of course each of these fortified deaths is a tragedy. they aren't even catastrophes on the scale of the paris attacks were 130 people were killed. you won't hear politicians say was managed and contained the threat.
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you're also not going to say that by the law of averages somebody is going to get one through because both of those statements are correct. >> host: peter bergen, you're right that americans often suffer from historical amnesia. you say that the golden age of terrorism was in the 70s. >> guest: yeah, it is hard to recall, but there were more than 100 hijacking 1970. some are simple crimes and some were terrorists and good oval slowed attacks by the nationalist, by black panthers. i mean, there is a lot of political violence, some of what the marxist leftists. that is pretty much disappeared. >> host: this is not to say the public should overlook the dangers of islamist extremism. there have been benefits to public awareness and jihas


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