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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  July 12, 2016 8:00am-10:01am EDT

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activity following transfer, we believe that the low rate of confirmed reengagement from detainees transferred from january 2009 under 5% is testament to the rigorous interagency has taken to approve detainees to transfer and vetting transfer frameworks. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, mr. lewis. >> chairman royce, distinguished members of the committee, representative donovan, thank you for the opportunity to testify regarding the administration's guantanamo detainee transfer process. secretary carter approved 45 detain years and secretary hagel approved 44 detainees committee and
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appreciate the attention you have given. as i stated i would like to reiterate one continuing point regarding the detention facility. the president and the national security committee have determined closing the detention facility is a security imperative. that is a strong term. the president in his leadership of the national security team believe continued operation of the tension to -- detention facility weakens international security. closing guantánamo's about protecting, not weakening. the importance of closing the detention facility is echoed by former president george w. bush and a long list of former secretaries of state, secretary
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of defense, staff chairman and other former military leaders. as representative engel noted there was a letter by former flag officers including former commandant of the marine corps. transfers from gitmo are in the national security interest of the united states and are conducted in a safe and responsible manner. on march 23, 2016, i testified before this committee. during that hearing is the chairman noted i was asked whether the permit of defensive really -- knowingly transferred a detainee to a country that did not exhibit the ability to mitigate the risks or control the individual. response to that question stated the department of defense had not conducted such a transfer. i stand by my response. we have addressed your concerns, mister chairman in a letter we sent to you. i apologize for the late response but i want to highlight several points.
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here is our statutory framework. 2016 nba requires prior to any transfer, in addition to other requirements, the secretary of defense certified to congress the receiving country has taken or agreed to take steps to substantially mitigate any risks the individual could attempt to reengage or otherwise threaten the united states. we met that statutory requirement with each of our transfers. prior to the transfer of any detainee to a foreign country the united states government receive security assurances from the receiving country regarding the actions the receiving country has taken or agrees to take to substantially mitigate the risks. after this is negotiated the secretary of defense and senior staff engage in a robust review process that considers many factors including all of the intelligence the government has regarding the threat posed by the end a taste of visual detainee and security
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assurances. importantly updated intelligence, medical and compliance information that provide each country regarding detainees under consideration. many countries also take the opportunity to travel to gitmo to interview transfer candidates. after consideration of all this information including full and updated assessment from the intelligence community the secretary makes the determination i told you about earlier. as secretary carter testified, secretary hagel testified, they take this responsibility very seriously. secretary carter has said he will not transfer a detainee he does not believe is in the security interests of the united states to do so. these transfers have not been conducted in a vacuum. each transfer is notified to congress and we regularly brief members of staff on transfers.
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with notice of each transfer we brief congressional leadership and members of staff and all the national security committees. i appreciate the opportunity we have had to regularly brief you and your staff regarding these transfers. i think it is important to put these recent transfer decisions of foreign policy context through the committee. many countries in the international community want to close gitmo and have stepped up to help us. specifically, 30 countries since 2009 have accepted resettlement guantánamo detainees that are not nationals of their country. additionally there is sustained support for closure efforts from civil society organizations domestic and abroad including the organization for american states. even the vatican has expressed support for our closure efforts. in summary, each transfer is only approved after careful scrutiny by intensive interagency review process and negotiations of security assurances sufficient to substantially mitigate any
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threat. finally i would like to take a moment to recognize military service members who conduct detention operations at guantánamo. they have the deepest appreciation for their service and professionalism they display each and every day on behalf of our nation. thank you, mister chairman, i look forward to your questions. >> last time you appeared before this committee we asked specific questions about the transfer of detainees to countries ill-equipped to handle them. specifically we asked whether the department of defense ever transferred a detainee to a country that it knew was incapable of maintaining control of that individual and keeping him from returning to the battlefield. mister lewis responded no. he was not aware of such a thing. upon further review of your own intelligence assessments, those
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answers appear to be false. it appears the administration added dangerous terrorists to ill-equipped countries. on may 16th i wrote to your department asking you to correct the record. you did not. the committee asked the administration to halt this until you explained your testimony and you did not. in fact you completely ignored the letter until we called this hearing. that is why we are here today. i will ask you several simple questions and i would appreciate a simple yes or no answer. mister lewis, do you have access to intelligence assessments of detainees and transfer countries? >> yes. >> do you review those intelligence assessments prior to the transfer of detainees to the custody of foreign governments. >> yes, sir.
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>> we reviewed the intelligence assessments that were material to the issue before us which transferred a detainee to a specific country under certain circumstances to meet the statutory standards. >> in my may 16th letter i referenced three intelligence reports submitted to congress pursuant to section 1023 of the national defense authorization act. those reports, july 15th of 2014, august 6, 2015. are you familiar with the concept of those reports? >> yes. >> are you aware that those reports contained assessments of each country to which the defense department transferred detainees? >> yes. >> are you aware that those
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assessments indicate some countries lack the ability to control those terrorists? >> we cannot by law discuss classified defense intelligence agency assessments in this session, mister chairman. we are happy to do that in closed session. what i would point out to the committee is that in connection with each transfer, we do rely on intelligence reporting that is broader than just this reporting that is tailored specifically to the issue of a transfer to a certain country at a particular point in time and is geared toward determination on analysis of whether the relevant statutory transferred statutes can be met. >> the reports you referred to are one of many reports, we look at all sorts of information from
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the intelligence community and as the envoy has stated the secretary makes a determination looking at all the evidence that is available, the updated evidence and in particular he makes his assessment after we overlaid the a security assurances in the country so if intelligence tells us there may be a gap in capabilities that is what we negotiate assurances for. we look at those records and a much broader away of records. >> i will explain to you, that is not what you said in march. in light of your familiarity with the intelligence reports and what is in those reports i will ask you again has the administration ever transferred a detainee to a country it knew was incapable of monitoring that individual preventing him from traveling outside the country or keeping him from returning to the battlefield? >> since i worked for secretary carter every transfer has met the statutory requirement.
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it is my understanding the administration prior to my coming transferred pursuant to the process that was indicated, there are no transfers that did not meet the statutory requirement. >> i don't think you can just wish away intelligence reports that raise grave concerns, reports you showed when asked about them in our last hearing but if you are now saying the intelligence reports are, i assume, the implication here, incomplete, then i have to say from what we can tell the president has made a political decision to close guantánamo no matter what the cost to national
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security. based on our experience, based on our discussions which go on for some considerable time now in terms of the warnings on this committee about 5 individuals who were transferred to uruguay and subsequent conduct and now the fact that one of them has been released, that is the only reason these intelligence assessments are being pushed aside in my judgment and it appears the assurances you got from uruguay didn't account for anything. this fellow jihad walks out of uruguay, we have no idea where he is, and if that country is
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telling you they are preventing their travel which is what i pointed out to you, we had better listen. if they are not going to prevent their travel then it is not a surprise what subsequently has occurred. you briefed this committee several times about uruguay and told us the government of uruguay was capable of handling these terrorists and you testified on march 23rd the we are confident, to your question the government of uruguay is taking appropriate steps to mitigate the risks associated with each of the 6 detainees that have been transferred to us custody, turned out to be wrong. jihad the as escaped. the other point i would make to you that also goes to the conversations we had, i am aware this was the third time he left uruguay, nobody knows where he is, the media is reporting he
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could be on his way to syria and i would like to ask why did you provide false assurances to congress, why did you mislead us about uruguay's capabilities because i made it very clear to you our concerns about uruguay's capabilities. they were pretty upfront. >> mister chairman, i strongly disagree with any suggestion that i misled this committee. i stand by my testimony from march in which i affirmed that uruguay had committed to and is in fact taking steps to substantially mitigate the risks of the 60 detainees transferred to its custody in december 2014. we would have preferred mister diaz remaining uruguay, if he is not in uruguay currently. so the explanation of the 2-year resettlement program that was
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the subject of the agreement reached with uruguay and with him, the fact is the standard is not a limitation of risk but mitigation of risk, and never represented to this committee that there was a travel prohibition. with the president's plan describes generally, could not get into this for them into the specific assurances provided by the government of uruguay but the president's plan describes travel restrictions, the president's plan describes specifically the withholding of international travel documents. there are a number of additional steps to retake to restrict travel and monitor travel. i cannot go into those in open session. i am happy to describe things to
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you in this context of uruguay in closed session >> let me explain the simple fact to you. when a country tells us they won't prevent a terrorist from traveling, you had better listen if your intention is to release that terrorist into that country but my time has expired. i will go to mister elliott angle of new york. >> thank you, mister chairman. mister lewis, let me start with you. in a hearing before this committee in march you discussed the issue of former wonton detainees killing americans. according to white house press secretary josh earnest none of the former detainees who have gone to this process implement it by this administration in
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2009 have harmed americans. to quote mister honest from march of this year, no one imprisoned at guantánamo bay on president obama's watch has been implicated in violence against americans so i would like to ask both of you how has the obama administration g changed the detainee process, the process used before president obama took office or has he not changed? how have these changes helped prevent former detainees from harming americans? let's start with you. >> thank you. 532 detainees from guantánamo were released under the administration of george w. bush. the fact is we can't tell you much about the circumstances under which they were released
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and what our administration has done and what we understand to have been the process in the previous administration, so first, we engaged in a rigorous interagency evidence-based process reliant predominantly on career government officials, determining first if detainees may in principle be designated as proof of transfer and transfer that to the united states. that is the first step. this is an interagency process that includes many career professionals throughout the government and as i described in my testimony this administration had two agencies at various points in the administration to first determine whether in principle detainees may be safely transferred subject to those assurances. the second thing we do very carefully is negotiate four detainees approved for transfer,
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specific security assurance packages consistent with local law in the places we transfer detainees to and after obtaining a political commitment from the country in question, under those circumstances measures to be put in place by the country, monitoring, travel restrictions, information sharing, integration planning will mitigate substantially the risks that particular detainee may make. that is what we do. what we have done as i said in my opening statement has reduced the engagement rate, the confirmed rate to under 5%. much higher than the previous administration. that reflects the fact that the things i just described were not done by this administration. that is what we have done. >> thank you. >> it is a more rigorous process than the previous
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administration, primarily only dod, this is interagency. when the obama administration took office for 240 detainees at gitmo, we took a fresh look for over a year at all the detainees and decided three categories, those eligible with appropriate security assurance as to the proper country so they wanted to refer prosecution to look at prosecution and those with narratives continued toward detention. i stayed is more rigorous because there was a broader group of privy or -- career professionals, intelligence folks, career prosecutors who looked at these cases and a broader array of evidence, all the evidence the usg possessed where the previous process was dod evidence. congress weighed in with
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statutory overlay for all transfers. it is more rigorous and intensive process. >> thank you. it is important to put it into context because even one prisoner escaping is one prisoner too many. we are not going to say anything is foolproof, nothing is foolproof, but i think if we look and see what the administration has done, safeguards they tried to put in. i feel we are absolutely doing our best and it is a big improvement than the previous administration. let me ask you this. you heard a lot about the challenges of closing guantánamo. it is true, it is true that some former detainees every engaged and the chairman is very upset about it and so am i but can you
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put those cases into context? what are the costs of keeping the facility open and how is the transfer of clear detainees affect terrorist recruitment and coalition efforts to defeat terrorist organizations. >> there are three costs, primarily it is wildly expensive, we can do it cheaper in the united states. more importantly for this committee our allies want us to close gitmo. in my previous testimony i outlined indications in which members of the previous administration at the department of state said gitmo hurt us and i believe it is a recruiting tool. president bush said that. many others have said that. the fundamental point is we want to protect the country and the national security leadership of this administration, president bush and many people in his
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administration, numerous secretaries of defense, secretaries of state, the military officials we talked about have set the cost of gitmo outweighs the benefits. it hurts us with the international community, it hurts us with taxpayer money and it is a recruiting tool. the president made the decision and the national security community leadership made the decision. >> thank you. first, i agree with the special envoy's comments and we should address this notion of terrorists escaping and prisoners escaping and things of that sort, as a reminder that it is the individual we are talking about held in detention by the united states, they were lawfully held, but not convicted of crimes. when we transferred them to
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foreign countries, we transferred them subject to security assurances like travel. there -- what this administration does, the previous administration did not do. there are a large number of detainees of the 532 transferred to the previous administration and not subject to travel restrictions he put in place but want to make sure we are getting the determine knowledge the right because escaping connotes incarceration. when we transfer individuals who the us government writ large concluded may be transferred subject to security assurances, transfer subject to security assurances and at that point they are not prisoners. they are former detainees under supervision.
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>> i will stop now because my time has run out but the thing that irks the chairman and all of us is the fact that this person was sent to uruguay apparently doesn't have the ability to monitor this person who has left the country. briefly could you talk a little bit about the case, or do you need to do it in a classified setting? >> on the issue of foreign countries surveillance capabilities i would need to discuss that with you in closed session and i welcome the opportunity to do so so that you may be informed about what those capabilities are and what they
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aren't and how they were used and applied in this instance. >> i echo the envoy's comments. we would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this in detail. we talked to the uruguayan authorities on a regular basis and review intelligence, regularly look at this and secretary hagel who is a very forceful careful deliberate person signed the notification saying he felt that uruguay could substantially mitigate any threat by the detainees. we are happy to discuss this in closed session. >> i would like to do that. i'm sure we will make arrangements to do that. >> we will make arrangements to do that. at the same time at the end of the day uruguayans gave them the travelcards. the travelcards to travel. at the end of the day, walked right out of their. three times. this time nobody can locate him to get him back into custody and
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he is an al qaeda linked terrorist. >> thank you for calling this hearing and continuing to demand transparency and accountability from the administration regarding its plans for naval station guantánamo bay and the detention center. as you decca out, mister chairman the administration has not been forthcoming with the american people about the release of dangerous terrorists, the reality is the situation is far different than we have been told so i continue to ask myself why does a nation like uruguay or ghana or senegal and so many others, why would they want to
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take in these dangerous terrorists unless they believe that the benefits outweigh the risks, unless the administration convinced them the benefits outweigh the risks, not only that but we are talking about a high risk high threat individual, that person has experience in bating authorities and conducting operations coming to nations that have limited intelligence, that do not possess the most sophisticated monitoring system, that was obvious with the uruguay transfer and we are to believe the terrorists will not use that to their advantage, that they will be properly overseen, probably take just one day to realize how lax the security is in uruguay for example so it is no surprise to any of us that one of these individuals managed
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to flee uruguay where we now know that his movement was not required to be restricted, to brazil, and who knows as the chairman said, maybe en route to syria or there already so i would ask you if it is possible to get a yes or no answer, has the administration promised any of these countries withered is uruguay, ghana, senegal, cash for taking in these individuals and if so how much, how often and to which countries? >> congresswoman, we have provided resettlement assistance to certain countries to support expenditures like language training, vocational training, things of that sort. that is fully disclosed to the congress in congressional notifications that you received.
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>> if you could refresh my memory for uruguay for example, how much would that country have gotten for language? >> i can't tell you off the top of my head but we will provide that. >> we will get the notification. has the administration offered any other favorable agreements to support these countries on other related matters in exchange and what kind of exchanges? >> nothing financial beyond what is in the congressional notifications. anything related is a broad category. i can say generally in open session that many of our partners do view detainee transfer as an opportunity to deepen security and counterterrorism and intelligence cooperation with the united states. we generally welcome that and
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look to facilitate that interest where it exists. >> has the administration provided military equipment or military training in exchange for taking in a detainee and if so to what extent and which government? >> not to my knowledge. >> that is something we would have to talk about in closed session. >> like night vision goggles or something like that? >> negotiation of security assurances is detailed and complex and to discuss any specifics i would have to talk to you about that in closed session and we are happy to do so. >> has the administration provided intelligence equipment, training or promised or offered intelligence sharing to any government in exchange for accepting a detainee and if so to what extent and which government? >> we would have to talk about intelligence matters in closed
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session. >> it seems to me the absence of any of these agreements wouldn't need to be discussed in a classified setting. and less you say no to these questions i think it would be fair to assume at least some of this has been happening, is happening, is it the intent of the obama administration to continue to release all but a handful of the most dangerous detainees in order to then say to congress why keep gitmo open when we have so few detainees there, as if president obama had not had anything to do with clearing out the number of detainees in the first place? >> we intend to continue the policy of the previous administration to transfer detainees that we conclude may
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be safely and responsibly transferred outside the country in accordance with the law. >> would it be fair to say that from now until the end of the presidency this presidency, we will be seeing more and more detainees being released until there is just a handful and say look at all this wasted money for a handful of folks? when you are the ones pushing them out? >> we have 29 detainees and our intention is to work to transfer those individuals to security assurances. >> there is a great deal of resistance about having them come to the united states, thank you, mister chairman. >> let's go to mister brad sherman of california. >> i would like to comment on this over the next 5 minutes and probably offend both political parties.
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the prior administration did release more terrorists than the current administration. more of those released by the prior administration have been caught fighting us on the battlefield. the fact is much as we like to fight is democrats and republicans the policy has been the same in both administrations. how -- house the only in guantánamo because we don't have the guts to house them in the united states and release as many as possible, far too many far too quickly. and massively understate the costs of the release. we are told that it is wrong to keep them there during the duration of the war because the war has lasted too long. that is their fault. they waged war against america. we never guaranteed them that the war would be short. the purpose of incarcerating pows is not only to keep them
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off the battlefield but to deter their comrades. when we tell terrorists around the world if you get caught you will get released while the war is still going on, we encourage their recruitment. we are told there are 12 identified circumstances when americans have died because of this release. that is such a massive undercount is first of all when we release somebody and they rejoin the battlefield do they send us a report? are they listed on linkedin? news status, rejoin the terrorist movement? and when an american dies on the battlefield do we get a report from the terrorists, here's a list of the people who killed him, a list of the people who provided logistics, here are the people that provided the recruiting, here are the people that provided the financing?
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unless we are certain that one of these released people is being monitored every day and not doing anything to help the terrorists, we have to assume they are waging war against us as they did before and the cost of release is -- all the winks and nods, every country in the world especially small countries know, take one detainee, the president of the united states is personally indebted to you. when you have a fishing concern or you are seeking something from the united states now or later the answer is yes. we will never get an accounting of that because you can't account for the winks and the nods. we are told gitmo is a -- we get a tremendous propaganda advantage if gitmo is close, we
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only partially close it, we have no propaganda advantage, it is still a simile other side can use as long as it is open with one detainee but we can bring these prisoners to the united states, that does not enhance their legal status. the supreme court has ruled that they have just as many legal rights there is they would hear but here is an america where we accepted nuclear bases in our states knowing they were targets for the soviet union and now we can't even accept the prisoner and we whip up all this fury. we have 443 convicted terrorists in american prisons right now. i ask our witnesses to raise their hand if they are aware of any of those that escaped? i see no hands going up. i'm not aware and i have researched it. we got the shoe bomber, underwear bomber, world trade center 1993 bomber, the you know bomber, we are trying to bring
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to the united states number 0 who escaped mexican prisons twice. we can't incarcerate people here and obtain the political advantage we are told can be achieved by shutting down gitmo, but instead we constantly vote on ways to not doing it. of the legal rights of these pows is too great, if they are on us soil that is the fault of congress. we can pass laws identifying these are pows, nonuniformed enemy combatants and entitled to less protection than those who would wear uniforms fighting against us. we have a lot of dead americans as a result of this catch and release program, one party who says we can't house them here although we are able to house terrorists here in our prisons and we have another political party so it just to shut things
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down the we massively understate the cost of releasing them. i yield back. >> thank you. mister issa of california. >> i would like to bring us up to speed in one area. is it true that under current law closing guantánamo is prohibited? this isn't a trick question. >> i don't think current law prohibits closing guantánamo. i think what current law prohibits is the expenditure of money to move detainees at guantánamo into the united states. >> under current law you can close guantánamo bought releasing the prisoners, you just can't bring them here. that is your assessment. >> i believe current law prohibits detainees from being brought into the united states. >> the reason you both have titles with a special envoy for
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guantánamo exposure is your job is to close guantánamo. is that right? >> that is correct. >> so -- i got a yes. that is far enough. >> my title is guantánamo detention closure which we are not closing the naval facility. >> i understand the president who loves chavez and castro enough to open up relations has not decided to give back what we have in perpetuity. we will leave that aside. your job is to close detention. you are working toward that. i want to ask one or two simple questions. it has been said many times on both sides of the day is that president george w. bush's administration released more prisoners than you inherited.
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you released more. during that time it has been discovered and during this administration discovered that in fact some released by the bush administration went back and killed americans on the battlefield in afghanistan and other places. is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> george w. bush released more prisoners, tentative that them, was wrong, they went back and killed americans on the battlefield and we know it and the public knows it. >> yes, sir. >> george w. bush's failures are very public. they released people who killed americans on the battlefield. mister chairman, not popular in the party, this president has released many additional people who returned to afghanistan. are you prepared to say that none of them killed americans? >> you are talking guantánamo
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detainees. >> went back and killed americans. >> the assessment of the intelligence community is no detainees released since 2009 during this administration, to the death of many americans. >> your public statement is no detainees released by this administration killed americans on the battlefield today. >> i don't believe it but you can say it and you are under oath and i believe it that you believe it. so we are sitting here, early on about releasing less dangerous, the easier to that, less likely to be a hardened criminal terrorist, not criminal, they
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killed americans, you are releasing people, they are not killing americans, is that rehabilitation that you have done? >> there are a lot of bodies in your question that would require correction. >> president bush released people, they killed americans, you release people, they didn't kill americans, how do you account for that difference you said under oath? >> as i indicated in my testimony committed to the record. we put in place procedures that are comprehensive, rigorous, interagency in nature and we believe the result of those procedures, the substantial reduction of re-engagement rates with both administrations. >> you used procedures for
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re-engagement but hasn't eliminated re-engagement, you released people after 2009, reengaged on the battlefield attempting to kill americans, right? >> it is not correct to say anyone who reengaged under the definition used in the intelligence community for confirmed or suspected re-engagement on the battlefield. better yet, the intelligence community can speak to the committee about standards that are used but it is an overstatement to say and individual who has been suspected of re-engagement is on the battlefield seeking to do harm with coalition forces. >> it is one of these things, it is not something that needs to be privately discussed. 30 more seconds, people released under bush reengaged and killed americans, you have us believe in a public environment that
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although people released under this administration were more hardened criminals, the people that they were too dangerous, that they reengage but nobody died. >> individuals released under bush are less dangerous or more dangerous than released during this administration. this would require a long discussion about the overwhelming preponderance of detainees who approve transfer from yemen. it is not correct, blanket assessments more or less dangerous. talk about vetting by the bush administration. we are not aware of the type of
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vetting done in this administration. there are a lot of premises embedded in your question. >> thank you. mister duncan of south carolina, i am sure you will follow through. >> gentleman from california? >> 30 seconds. i want to understand. we have heard endlessly that the bush it ministration released people and they went back on the battlefield and president george w. bush and his administration have to live with the fact that they thought these people could be safely released to other countries and in some cases they were wrong but you continue to work towards closure by release back to these countries, yemen being a particular area of concern and i want to make sure the american public hears in an open session that you believe you have been flawless in that no americans have died because of people released under this watch. you said that. i think the gentlemen, very kind
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to let me recap. >> thanks for your approach to everything. i want to apologize to the lady with department of self for coming across abrasive about another issue and i thank you for your help on that other matter. we established the fact that one of the gitmo 6, has disappeared. we also established the fact that there are certain requirements and parameters that must be met before detainees are transferred to a third country. uruguay told us, uruguayan law prevented intelligence -- and the former president said publicly his government would place no restrictions on movements of the 6 detainees released to uruguay. later we had their chief intelligence officer informed
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the us embassy these uruguayan 6 word not restricted in any way and he was not authorized to conduct monitoring or surveillance but if we go to the requirements we talked about numerous times this morning, and assurances were part of the deal. so america needs to understand that one of the six detainees captured on the battlefield, al qaeda operatives, captured in tora bora, afghanistan, have disappeared. uruguay, brazil, the united states. at this point have no idea where this individual is. this individual we are talking about is a forger. he was responsible for forging documents, passports, travel
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documents for al qaeda terrorists. he has now disappeared into brazil. let's take it to the 30,000 foot level and look at brazil in general. you have an area in brazil and paraguay known as tri-border area. a lot of folks are transiting through latin america through an area known as the tri-border region. coming to south america to that area, often times not necessarily forged passports but things that don't belong to them in changing those documents in that region for other false documents and trying to transit through latin america to get to the united states. case in point, 5 syrians traveled to brazil on fake israeli passports. the hypocrisy of that is alarming that syrians traveled to the tri-border region, israeli passports, exchange
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those documents for $25,000 for fake greek passports they use to travel to honduras, apprehended an air force in honduras trying to come to the united states on fake greek passports a we have a gitmo detainee forger for al qaeda that escaped, disappeared, whatever you want to call it into brazil, the tri-border region to assist others from the battlefield, and forged documents or fake documents could possibly travel to the united states of america but let's take it another step. a huge event getting ready to happen in brazil. we have an al qaeda operative who was a forger, escaped in brazil, has the ability to forge
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documents and is in a country getting ready to host the olympics. and they are fullbore. this gentleman escaped, gone missing. >> all 6 of the detainees. >> is the obama administration concerned over the hard's disappearance? >> i would have preferred the 5 of the detainees through the end of the program which was for another 3 months. if you ask what concerns me, frankly it is the 532 that were transferred -- >> we established we all wished
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he would have stayed in uruguay and was there, with the other detainees but is the obama administration concerned that he disappeared? >> i believe i answered your question. >> mister lewis? knowing what you know now, will you repudiate the uruguayan concerns so that the government the administration tricked about these people can begin monitoring the 5 detainees, will you repudiate this? >> we stand by representations we made to the governor of uruguay. i believe they knew, congressman, when you visited that they believe in accurate information for detainees transferred to their country? >> they did. that contradicted previous
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statements they made publicly so -- >> why do you think that is? >> we can go back through all of this. >> why would they think that? if mister duncan, could you yield for a minute? >> i want to put that in perspective. >> has to do with why the chairman would be upset here? the fact is the chief of intelligence in uruguay explained to our committee, gave us the dimensions that they will not allow to monitor or surveillance these, the decision you made was to transfer them anyway. you made that observation.
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this committee, you made the decision to transfer the 6 despite our warnings. the second thing that was upsetting to him is the intelligence chief was dismissed from his position after warning us, a substantive warning they were outside our embassy and released and again that they were not allowed to monitor. now we find ourselves in a situation, despite jeff duncan's admonitions of concern, what we brought up prior to that, find ourselves that one of these 6 terrorists did indeed enable out of uruguay, no one knows where he is, this is the reason for
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our concern but i thank mister duncan for his good work. >> thank the chairman for helping clarify that. we have been asking about the gitmo 6 and their ability to monitor them for upgrade for a long time. we have raised concerns about events of the last 60 days where one of the 6 disappeared, who was an al qaeda terrorist. we are supposed to tell them they were not engaged in attacking or hurting our allies in any way. it is clear that he was, thank
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you. >> those deaths occurred in afghanistan by a committee, 14 former detainees who were released by the bush administration and i would like to ask a question about that. how many americans were killed, were they us service men and women, civilians, where are their names and what are they from? >> there are 14 and get you specifics, the intelligence community can get you those details but the number is 14. many of the incidents were in large-scale firefight so we can't always distinguish whether they were killed by detainees or participants but the intelligence community can get you specific details you asked for. >> to recap specifics i would like to know if they were service men or servicewomen or
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civilians or both and i would like to know what their names are and what you would like him. you can get me all of that. that will be helpful. to piggyback on the other questions, there were casualties associated with detainees. and you decided it was okay to release detainees to afghanistan. is that correct? >> it may have been correct. i can assure you that each detainee transferred to afghanistan, subject to the review, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the state department would not concur, any transfer of detainee to afghanistan over objection of the chairman of the joint chiefs
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of staff. >> prior to releasing staff to afghanistan, did the community assess what the government of afghanistan was incapable of maintaining custody and control of the individual? >> the standard isn't maintaining custody of control because they are not transferred into custody. the standard is mitigated, the threat they may pose but these are determinations that would have been made in subjects with consultation with the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff if they occurred in this administration and there have been. >> there have been transfers to afghanistan but we do consult with field commanders in afghanistan prior to the transfer and those transfers have been made under the statutory standards that any threat will be substantially mitigated by the host nation.
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better to talk about this enclosed session. >> one of your criteria for releasing them to afghanistan was not monitoring. you didn't care whether they were able to monitor or not. >> we can't speak to security assurances in open session but what i can say is any transfer to afghanistan would have involved consultation of the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. in a place like afghanistan, we at the state department, consent to any transfer to a place like afghanistan unless the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff concurs in the transfer. >> afghanistan is an active war zone and one of the most corrupt countries in the world, a lot of us would better understand if monitoring isn't part of the decision and making sure their
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whereabouts are readily ascertained, a lot of us wonder why that is. i want to yield back. >> the chair recognizes mister weber. >> wolosky, you said the standard was not the elimination of risk but mitigation of risk in earlier comments. was that true under the prior administration as well. the current administration came out with that in 2009.
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>> congress came out with that. it is written into the nda, resolution passed by congress by president obama. >> that is the standard you use? >> that is pretty shocking. allison duncan revealed we were told uruguay was not going to monitor these guys travel. there were 6 terrorists. i'm not knowledgeable or privy to who they were. this is not always released in exchange for bo bergdahl. the bush administration, did they attempt to release the lower level risk of combatants at first? >> i can't speak to it. i don't know what their process was. >> the current administration you chose to release the lower risk first and held the worst for last?
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>> the worst we are not releasing. we are only releasing or transferring subject to security assurances, those individuals designated as approved for transfer by 6 agencies and departments of the government that are responsible for the decision. >> common sense would dictate the bush administration follow the same guidelines. >> don't think that is a fair assumption. one reason it is not a fair assumption is for years we haven't released yemeni detainees who in many cases are low-level fighters because of the circumstances in yemen so currently many of the detainees who remain in guantánamo and approve the transfer are from yemen and that could reflect their nationality. >> it goes their risk profile. >> the 5 exchanged for bo bergdahl, any of those back on
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the battlefield? >> no. i will defer to my colleagues to speak to that transfer because it was an anomalous transfer negotiated by the permit of defensive a prisoner exchange. >> confident he will say no when he turns around. >> that time was fast and i will move to the next question. there are countries who the administration negotiates with and whether they monitor them or not. and is it 6, 8, 26? how many countries are involved? >> we can get you the numbers but we have transfer detainees in this administration 30 or 40 -- >> we have resettled to 30, 9 repatriation factors. >> 30 countries.
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are you monitoring, you talk about earlier in your comments you spoke with career government officials in making those assessments and determinations and government officials on the united states side or prospect of countryside or both? >> i was referring to the us. >> 30 countries where we are sending people whether they can monitor them effectively, you are getting feedback, we call this information sharing. is that in real time? it can be, but is it? >> in some circumstances -- basically real-time. >> they got to lose. >> we can discuss that enclosed session. i welcome the opportunity to do that today. >> of those 30 countries are you able to strike in real time? are you able to track, this country did a good job dealing with third -- this country was
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okay or lousy? it was a scale of rating those countries and their abilities. >> not aware of the scale. >> how do you know if the country doesn't do a good job, how do you say we get to another one or two or three? how do you determine that? >> by their records. it would be specific to the performance of a particular country they are monitoring, information sharing with the united states. if we are not satisfied with results on the transfer we couldn't transfer new money if it takes place. >> that makes sense. the discussion with mister duncan and mister issa, you talk about the previous administration, there were 530 released and how many in the current administration?
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>> 159. >> i don't think you and issa agreed on the fact that somehow it was released, the good ones and obama released the bad ones, is that a fair statement? >> correct. >> are at a roughly equal? >> impossible to categorize. >> trying to push back against the suggestion bush released the easy ones and we only have the hard ones. is that an accurate characterization? >> without specifics you can't know that but in general a reasonable person might make that assumption. >> we are all about specifics. that is why we are here, why we requested the opportunity, a lot of what was said. it is inaccurate. i am happy to tell you if you are interested in learning
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facts. >> you are out of time. i am out of time. this is -- let me just say thank you for being forthright but we are on a time limit. >> may i make one comment, thank you. there are 29 detainees eligible for transfer who we believe we can transfer if we get security assurances. >> can i make a suggestion? don't send them to uruguay. >> many are too many. >> at the end of the uruguay program you mentioned earlier the guy got free two months early. tell the committee what would an additional two months have done in your opinion? would rehabilitate that? what would it have done?
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>> this was a problem the moment he landed in uruguay. his resettlement was difficult. he did not want to participate in the opportunities being afforded him by the government. >> should we have had sanctions in place? >> we are not repopulating guantánamo. >> i yield back. >> we go to mister joe wilson of south carolina. >> thank you for your leadership on this issue. i had the opportunity to visit guantánamo twice to see the personnel there, the professionalism of our military, the place where terrorists should be, we learned a lesson. there is one terrorist at the navy brig in charleston. he has attracted more terrorists to come to the community and threaten attacks on the facility and putting schools at risks,
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neighborhood in the immediate neighborhood at risk, it is utterly absurd the thought of bringing them to the united states or releasing them in yemen. he release people to yemen which was supposed to be an example of great success by this administration, establishing a stable country and within days of releasing and pardoning terrorists, and what did happen previously? >> we do not release them. >> you previously released the collapse of the country. there is a consistency which is not good. the consistency is we have an administration that dismissed isis, junior varsity, the same people after the announcement of junior varsity that committed
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mass murder in jakarta, brussels, paris, orlando, san bernardino. the mass murder in baghdad and kabul, there has been a dismissal of threats to american families, additionally it is incredible too this administration is very consistent by reaching a dangerously rainy nuclear deal, providing tens of billions of dollars to a state sponsor of terrorism. last week the funding provided by iran to hamas in rocket attacks in israel again it is extraordinary to do this and we come to pardoning and returning terrorists back on the battlefield. this is inconceivable and also quite illogical. you talk about a recruiting tool. a recruiting tool is releasing people, not being serious, detaining people who have every intent to kill american
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families. it is interesting to me they don't use the argument that a determined or a recruiting tool to have prisons within the united states. of course it is a deterrent. people know they will be incarcerated to kill american families. i'm really grateful even cnn reported us officials said the 44-year-old syrian national went off the radar several weeks ago in uruguay where he was resold in 2014 prior to 2009, uruguay's interior minister told cnn that he was considered a refugee by the government and as such would not need permission from uruguay and authorities to leave the country. they said he would only need permission from the foreign country wishing to enter an agreement to release gitmo
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detainees to uruguay and the truth from cnn i hope you look at and will reconsider what you are doing and that is this could provide fuel for opponents of efforts to close the detention facility at guantánamo especially if he is attempting to join a terrorist group. 670 detainees released from the detention facility as of january, 118 have returned to the fight, effective returning, recidivism rate, one out of 3. and the administration office of director of national intelligence. by releasing these people, american families are at risk around the world and i hope you will reconsider what you are doing and in the washington post, the former secretary of the navy, and extraordinary public servants, person of the
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highest integrity, has warned the process of releasing the early process did work, what is being done is there were 200 detainees when he departed, none have been approved for release. under the president, more than half of been released. has conducted during the bush administration statements by the white house are misleading at best. i hope you will reconsider and understand we are in a global war on terrorism. this is not an academic exercise of deterrence and incarceration and i yield my time. >> dana rohrbacher of california. >> do any of you or either of you believe americans at gitmo
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were involved in criminal mistreatment of the detainees? >> not aware of that. >> but the president made it a national security imperative that we close gitmo and we are told that he has to close gitmo because it has such a bad reputation but yet from what you just said those charges are not true. is that right? >> a proper -- a propaganda campaign, detractors in the united states against is claiming there was some kind of major criminal mistreatment of prisoners in guantánamo, neither one of you knows there is an
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example of that or the fact there were one or two instces certainly didn't reflect what was going on in guantánamo. >> the issue was wrongfully so there are many people, there were things that went wrong at gitmo but they perceive that it happened. >> let me correct a lot of people think that but people hate our country, promoting that knowing it is not true. get this in your mind. nice american politics, this is in a criminal matter the president would like to think of. and people hate way of life, engaged in organized efforts of western civilization, and civilizations of noncombatants. we are trying to handle this and
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the president makes a national security imperative to give in to those people who propagandize and by doing that adds credibility to the charge that our people who are working in guantánamo are a bunch of ghouls who are torturing these people, there may be one or two instances where lost their temper or did something wrong but by and large you know and we know the prisoners in guantánamo are treated extraordinarily well. ..
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number 532 released by bush. among those i know where some, for example, a lot of people were picked up. the uighurs of afghanistan had been picked up. they were in afghanistan at the time of operations. the a lot of situations like that. obama has released 159. i think it is a bit disconcerting, again with this administration, insists on treating these terrorists and those involved in terrorist activities as nothing more than criminals. they are nothing more than like the criminals will be in the united states. that's why perhaps the president finds it impossible to say the words radical islamic terrorists because that is different than just some criminal who is committed an act of violence or murder in the united states. and by doing so, again seen as
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the weakest, the president is encouraging terrorists around the world to take advantage of this weakness, take advantage of the fact we willing to retreat if we just have a propaganda campaign your i'm glad to hear that we actually are suggesting that our guys didn't commit all sorts of horrible acts against these people. but of the 159 that were released, that have been released, what is disconcerting is when i hear but we don't approve and it's been determined that this number of people have not, these people actually have not committed any of these other acts after they've been released. i, like mr. i said, by that -- isil -- it is absurd, so that. the fact is that, if we are waiting for evidence to prove before we can say, well, we think it's probable that have
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been at fault because we know and people that are, that's one thing. but we were being told unless we have overwhelming evidence that it killed americans were killed of innocent people, we are going to assume that they have not. this is not watching out for the sake of the interest of the people of the united states. this is projecting weakness. this is going to make sure that more americans die is by nothing else, giving in and having the president of the united states insisting on treating terrorists as if they are un-american criminals, which will do nothing but encourage terrorism overseas. thank you very much. >> we go to mike mccaul, chairman of the homeland security committee. mike mccaul of texas. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the president campaigned on a promise to close guantánamo. is it fair to say that that campaign promise will not be fulfilled? >> it's difficult to say.
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as you know we are asking the congress to reconsider its position on bringing a small number of detainees into the united states where, as you know, as you know better than most, congressman, our federal prison system has a 100% success rate in safely incarcerating over 400 convicted terrorists. >> the current plan is to process 29 transfers out of gitmo, which would leave, i think there are 79 detainees. that would leave 50, i guess, at guantánamo, right? >> that's correct. you know, there are 10 that are in some phase of the military commission process that are being prosecuted or serving sentences. the periodic review board process is ongoing so it's possible that the number of
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detainees who are approved for transfer will increase, but your round numbers are generally correct. >> i saw khalid sheikh mohammed, evil. so the 50 remaining, is it your intention to -- we passed under the national defense authorization bill and expressed prohibition against bringing these detainees into the united states. this administration will honor that legal restraint, correct? they will follow the law? >> the president has said his intention right now, his goal, is to work with congress to change the law. >> okay. what is the status of the trial of khalid sheikh mohammed? >> it's in the motion phase. >> why is this taking so long? i was a federal prosecutor.
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this has been, you know, since 9/11. >> i'm a former federal prosecutor as well. other people are better placed to answer your question, but probably what i will tell you is it's a new process so everything is new. there's no precedent. the art bunch of very good defense counsels, and the judge is being careful and delivered to the. we have a very good chief prosecutor, general martins, who is trying very hard but it's just, the law, to do the law carefully as you know is a careful -- >> i know defense counsel followed -- files a lot of motions. pretty nice corporate. that are 50 detainees that will be left. how many of those will be facing military trials? >> there are seven or in the motion face, the 9/11, five, the alleged uss cole bomber and one more al-qaeda leader. there are three in the sentencing phase and we are continually look at the others
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to see if it can be a case, but i'm not best placed to tell you where we would be. >> getting back to those t two u plan to release. we know 13 released have been implicated in attacks against the united states or coalition forces in afghanistan. not a good number. let me ask you this question. has the administration ever refused to send detainees to the country because it could not provide adequate security? >> absolutely. there are many countries that we look at that we ultimately determined are not suitable for this. >> you mention a lot of these detainees you want to transfer out are yemenis. yemen is a failed state come in my judgment, and it's in a really bad state of affairs, yet the houthis down there,
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al-qaeda and the arabian peninsula still putting extra operations against the united states. can you tell me definitively you will not be sending these detainees to human? >> yes. >> okay. that's a very good answer. what country would most likely receive them? >> i would prefer to talk to you in closed session about that. i mean, what i will say, as you know generally weaker for repatriation to be settlements because of cultural affinities, language, skills our family connections. in this case that's not going to be possible for yemen. so we are looking at other alternatives. >> the saudis have a pretty good deradicalization program. have you csidered that? >> yes. in fact, we transferred a number of yemenis, i believe nine, to saudi arabia i believe in april.
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>> i see my time has expired. thank you. >> i want to get back to the issue of what you told this committee in march just in closing. we asked specific questions about the transfer of detainees to countries ill-equipped to handle them. and specifically asked whether the department of defense ever transferred a detainee to country that it knew was incapable of maintaining control of the individual and keeping him from returning to the battlefield. and victor lewis responded no and mr. wolosky stated he was not aware such an instance. your written response to the committee's letter sent just this week states that the law doesn't prohibit us from sending detainees to countries that are partially derogatory intelligence assessments. partially derogatory in common terms means can't contain, or at
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least are seriously challenged in containing those terrorists. so why didn't you cite the law instead of suggesting to the committee that detainees were not being transferred to countries that were incapable of maintaining control of them when it is so clear that they are? that's the point i wanted to make. that's why this seemed to me like misleading the committee. and while i appreciate the witnesses willingness to speak to us in a classified setting, which we will take advantage of, that can't hide the fact that these issues can and have been discussed very productively here today. as you can see we have a serious concerns about this policy and will continue the conversation. but i do want to thank the witnesses and thank the members of the committee. and the committee is adjourned.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> c-span's voices from the road. recently our cities into her unit stopped in cleveland, ohio, to ask voters what issues the next president needs to address. >> the next president, i know a lot of favors are established by the obama era. a lot of good things. some things were not good but a lease with a health plan that's in place that we do not need to destroy what we do need to tweak it. we need to make it better but we have something in place. we haven't had that for the last four presidencies. so what obama has established,
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let's build on that and make it stronger. >> i'm interested in a presidential candidate fishes concerns for higher education. the cost of tuition has rise at a rate of five times that of inflation and forces students like me to take out expensive student loans. michael stewart has an interest rate of 6.84%. i can get a car loan for 1% am interested in a president that is going to medicaid and expressed concern for millennials like me in similar situations. >> regardless of what is the biggest issue in this country is the polarization. of the supposed be the united states of america. it's not serving anybody's interest to this type of polarization as said by the opinionated, the blogosphere, the rants on the internet where being divided. it doesn't matter who's who is president. we'll just get more and more of the same.
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nothing is black and white. no issues of extreme as we are being told that it can't be solved. whatever you think of the other side, if you're going so far to the extreme, it's not going to help. the next president needs to unite a lot more than is being portrayed in this campaign right now because the division of our country is the single biggest enemy that we face right now. >> voices from the road on c-span. >> i had a rough upbringing and i got involved in streets. they were selling drugs. i started yelling. i started telling drug. we started selling marijuana. we sold cocaine, crack cocaine, came out and we started selling that. so i was in the street an age of 13-18, five years. >> sunday night on q&a, corey
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pegues discusses his book once a cop. he talks with former life as a drug dealer and as a police officer. >> i criticized police a lot but i thought about the bad police. overwhelming majority of the copts doing their job but you don't about them. you hear about the tamir rice, eric garner cases, you hear about the bad copts are bad policing. once law enforcement starts, every time you see one of these cases a black man gets killed, seven complaints come use of force, five substantiated, so the guy was a mass. we don't find out about until they kill somebody. >> sunday night on c-span's q&a. >> members of cars have been commenting on the deadly
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shooting at dallas that left five police officers dead and several others wounded. texas center john cornyn is among those lawmakers. we will hear from them next as well as south carolina senator tim scott patoka at improving relations between law for spent and the african-american community. >> last thursday night hundreds gathered in downtown dallas to engage in a peaceful protest. dozens of police officers were on hand to make sure that these protesters could exercise their rights under the first amendment to the united states constitution. protesters even snapped pictures of themselves with the officers in a show of harmony, underscored the peaceful nature of the event. but as we know now near the end of the route, all this was shattered as a gunman opened fire along, i'm all for the opposite on a targeted, senseless and vicious attack.
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it was made clear early on that the attackers goal was to kill as many police officers as possible, and he made a calculated effort to do just out that. but to attack those who work das in and day out to keep our communities safe is absolutely revolting. it's an act of pure evil, and the shameful work of a coward. today, our country agrees with the dallas from the dallas police department who lost four of their own in the dallas area rapid mr. president? lost officer while protecting wa the community that night. these officers do what all of our law enforcement officers potentially would be called to do and that is they put their lives on the line, and some gave their very lives and several others were injured in action that could only be described asr heroic.
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these officers were so many p worthy of the batch they were and approach makes me proud to be a texan. they could turn around and run away from the sound of gunshots or commotion. they could have given up andmp decided that their lives were more important than the lives of those they had vowed to protect. but they didn't. that's not who they are your day are made of better, braver stuff than that. in fact, these officers ran to the sound of gunshots without hesitation to protect the community they serve.n dallas police chief david brown recounted that many ran out in the middle of the gunfire a knowing that they were making themselves targets to the attacc in order to get injures that tho injured officers to safety and medical help. many use their own bodies to help shield protesters who were fleeing in terror.
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that's what the men and women of the dallas police force are made of, undeniable valor, and unfailing courage. to say we are indebted to them for their service to the communities is anf understatement. but i want to thank each and everyone of them who didn't hesitate to put it all on the line to defend and protect the people of dallas. so today and tomorrow when the president comes to dallas, our country will continue to mourn with the whole dallas community. we agreed for the first namedff officer was killed, officer thompson. officer thompson was a newlywed who married a fellow officer just a couple weeks ago. we agree for the loss of how to come who bravely serve three to words in iraq and least behind a wife, a son, and a two year oldi
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daughter. o we likewise agree for the family and friends of laura ahrens, michael crow and michael smith, the three of officers who were killed, and we offer our prayers for those who were wounded, including a woman who happened to be an african-american who was shot in the leg while trying othe bullets. we pray for her and the several other police officers who were shot but survived as they begin the long road to recovery. i mentioned the race of the woman who was shot to underscore that while the shooter said he intended to kill white police officers, his actions did not discriminate based on race. everyone who is in the line of his site that night was a target. this is a national tragedy. the deadliest day for america
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law-enforcement since the events of 9/11. tomorrow i will join leaders and dallas with president obama, we former president bush at the memorial service to honor the lives of those we lost and to pray for healing and peace for the city and for our country. and what they should not take an event like this to jolt our consciences, we got to consider more ways to support our public servanservant who are test witha daunting responsibility ofer, keeping order, enforcing thend rule of law protecting our communities? t when we can do that is to support additional training fors our law enforcement like some legislation i figured is called the police act which is passed the senate unanimously that it would make millions of dollars available for law enforcement to pursue active shooter training. in other words, we've learned the hard way that my police
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officers, trained police and we can actually save lives while endangering obviously the lives of the police officers expo practice. but with training these officers can minimize their own exposure and hopefully save more lives. so i hope the house will pass this legislation soon so we can send it to the president's desk that i also would like to know the contribution of a friend and colleague, congressman john carter from central texas who sponsored the legislation in the house. it's pretty clear, madam president, we don't have all the answers. that goes without saying but we know we could make a difference if we try.ucing in addition i plan introducingld other legislation soon i went law enforcement go after the violent criminals intentionally targeted police officers and
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give additional reports are law enforcement officers to help them better defend both the public and themselves. as we continue to grieve and we continue to say our prayers complex not neglect our work tot support law enforcement so that they can better protect and defend our communities. are law enforcement officers deserve our utmost respect for the essential, a replaceable world that they play in our communities. tragically lost of officers we lost last week were killed and injured were simply doing their job. that is, for keeping the committee safe, and were shot what actually protecting protesters so that they could right of free speech and assembly. these officers didn't do anything wrong. they were not responsible for any of the real or perceived injustices that have occurred in other parts of the country.
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but they were targeted by a twisted and demented mind who lost his own life in pursuit of this terrible crime. so there is no, zero, justification for the taking of these lives. now as our country continues to grieve i hope will also enough to support those who put their lives on the line to keep us safe. >> madam president, i believe our nation is in desperate need of a family conversation. the american family as a whole needs to sit down, come to the same table and talk with all of us. each of us talking together about the challenges we've seen in our nation over all of last k week. a challenging week in america's history without any question. a challenging time period in
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americans all over this country, without any question. lon protests, riots, challenges that we haven't seen in a very long time.. we stand here today, madam president, at the crossroads. our nation is experiencing turmoil we haven't seen in generations. decades since we've seen this type of turmoil, all around thes country. my heart breaks for all of us. gi this week on this floor i will o give a series of speeches in hopes of eliminating -- illuminating some of the issues before us as well as what i believe are essential steps towards clothing both the wound newly opened, and others that have actually never healed. in other words, madam president,
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there are wounds that have existed for more than a generation, it's time for the american family to work together to heal some of these wounds. last friday deep in the heart of texas we saw both the best and the worst of humanity. only in america would you see police officers alongside protesters who were protesting police brutality. and in this scene, if you just take a step back and picture if you would for just a moment, there is a scene of police officers protecting protesters who are protesting police brutality. and in this picture we don't see tension or animosity.
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we see smiles. we see police officers working, taking pictures and making sure that everyone was having the appropriate time. and for some, even an enjoyable experience with law enforcementr but then the shots rang out. police turned very quickly to protect those protesters, and we protesters health police identify where the shots were coming from. somehow at the exact same time, dallas came together. in torn apart. and what appears to be one man's warped mind, retribution became
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his answer to frustration, and his hate left five police officers dead, and seven other officers wounded. we continue to mourn for them and their families today, mr. president. we must not, we must not become a society where revenge is the rule of the day. our nation is dependent on the rule of law. and to enforce the law, we need honest, hard-working men and women to take up the shield for the overwhelming majority of copts. it's a calling. it's not a job. it's in the fashion of romans 13. a chapter that speaks very clearly about the fact that government officials wearing a sword could be ministers.e
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in other words, sharing love and affection and appreciation for those with regard and having thn ability to provide punishment when necessary. we are talking about men and women who work for a very low wage all over the country who see their jobs as a calling. and so many of them, the vast, vast majority do so well. law enforcement officers simply want to do two things, mr. president. protect and serve. we cannot allow the actions of a few to overwhelm the good of the majority. to illustrate this i want to share just a few stories so that we can put in frame, putting focus the sacrifice and the commitment that so many officers
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exhibit every single day throughout our nation. my first story, the story of a young lady named gillian smith,n a young african-american female police officer from just west of dallas in arlington, texas. in december 2010, officer smith responded to a domestic violence situation. she arrived and met an 11 year old girl, beautiful girl, and her mother. here both fearful, i just want to stop for a moment, make sure we get the frame. it comes an officer, officer smith, who shows up to make sure that the folks who called them were safe. the people that called her an 11 year old girl and her mother why were fearful that the mother's boyfriend would show up and do
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something dangerous. and dangerous he did do something incredibly, officer smith, hearing gunfire, in an instant jumped on top of the body of the 11 year-old. and as the bullets rang out, she kept herself on top of that 11 year old girl. the girlfriend's boyfriend would end up killing the mother, ands, then killing himself. but before he did so, he killed officer smith. but without a second thought,
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without a second thought, officer smith did what so many law enforcement officers do instinctively. protect those who are exposed. officer gillian smith, a true american hero gave her life, gave her life to protect the life of an 11 year old girl she had never met, before knocking on that door. you see, madam president, thisis story and other stories are not and pages one to serve and protect. and we saw the same heroism last friday evening, as told by ms. taylor.
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miss taylor was at the protest. she was there exercising her first constitutional right. the and then the sniper started shooting. ms. taylor came with her four sons. she, for the lack of a better word, freaked out. bullets flying. she ran to cover her one son. and before she knew it, according to a recount, her o account of the situation, before she knew it, there was a cop who was covering her and her son. and the next thing you knew, another top, another cop. she in the midst of a sniper shooting cops, found herself surrounded, covered by police officers. just doing their job.
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risking their life for this mother and her son. what a picture. the best of america, very clear. the sniper, the worst of america, just as clear.t ms. taylor made a very good point when discussing whathe happened. here's her quote. she said, these are the people you call when you're in a situation. what are we going to do if they stop policing?lor asked let me ask the question that
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ms. taylor asked one more time. what are we going to do if they stop policing? who are you going to call? these are the stories that should give us faith in law enforcement. so while we certainly have, issues that demand solutions, and i, too, have had some issues with law enforcement that i'm going to share in my next speech on wednesday. i will be giving three speeches. this is the first one. an excellent i will talk about some of the issues that so many folks have experienced. i want to spend time on that, but this is a moment in time when we should stop the camera, create a frame, let's focus onem the facts that our law enforcement officers are true lg american heroes, pure you do. ah
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when you are looking for euro, sometimes you look for athletest maybe not the best place to look for entertainers. maybe not that is the place. maybe look for progress. probably not the right place. but our men and women who put on a law enforcement uniform, these folks are real american heroes. and i'll tell you in my state, south carolina, officers like greg, gave his life last year ii columbia, south carolina. officers like alan jacobs, gave his life in greenville, south carolina. and in charleston, joe, who was killed by a man shooting through
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a door, body slumped over. my mentor who i've spoken about for so long, i call them a brother from another mother, was the first deputy on the scene coll his friend, his colleague, from that door, trying to get that s, body completely out of harm's way. you see, to me as i said a few seconds ago, brian and shares deputy, police officers, those are our heroes. and we should focus on that. for a moment. we must come together.
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we must find solutions. we must get to a point where the american family, our family, has a real conversation about the things that divide us, the differences of our experiences. but yet remain a single familye with a single mission and make sure that every part of the american family feels valued. i'm starting tonight with our law enforcement. that the part of the family that we depend on, as ms. taylor so perfectly stated.e and if we do have is necessary,
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painful conversation as an american family, we can say with a new freshness, god bless america. we can say with new focus to our american heroes, god bless our law enforcement community. i will tell you, i don't expect to get such a speech without having some folks respondnegatie positively, and some even negatively your but this night, this day, knowing that tomorrow in texas, our current president, our former president, and a number of folks throughout the state of texas will be together and a part of our family, territory
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celebrating the sacrifices, mourning the loss, but doing something that needs to be done. and it is simply this. not coming as a democrat, not coming as a republican, not coming as a black american, not come as a white american, not coming as and hispanic american, but coming to a family gathering for a family funeral, plural. which hopefully will start a family conversation that i look forward to continuing on wednesday. >> madam president, i thank you. >> the u.s. senate is about to convene on this tuesday morning, continuing debate on a house-senate conference agreement on opioid legislation. lawmakers will recess between
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12:30-2:15 eastern for their weekly party meeting. later they could be a vote on the conference report. also vote on short-term faa funded. senators hope to do with defense spending and the zika virus funding before they adjourned before the sun number -- the summer. now to live coverage here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. our father in heaven, hallowed may your name be honored.


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