tv CSIS Discussion on Free Speech National Security CSPAN December 28, 2018 5:28pm-6:38pm EST
misspent murder is the former postal inspector and cia officer. she later worked for a company now call the 80 enrollment services which helps colleges and universities develop more diverse student body. and democrat jennifer laxton was elected to virginia's 10th congressionaldistrict . this. >> and is served as a public prosecutorand attorney in private practice . she was elected to the virginia senate in2013. new congress , new leaders. watch it all on c-span. >> ,a discussion on free speech and national security posted by the center for strategic and international studies . it's a little more than an hour.
>> all right everyone, thank you for coming out. i appreciate the great turnout this evening . i'm senior fellow here at the international program . the idea for tonight's event was originally for us, one month ago today, but for various reasons we got pushed into october. but thankfully, this is a topic of perennial interest so there's never any shortage of things to say about this. we've heard a lot in the news lately about speech and security and the press of course, not really this past few months but the past many years, thinking in terms of prosecution of the press, leaks across several administrations, all those issues and the associated cultural dynamics associated with them. so that kind of what today is about. there's perspectives that were going to hear from
tonight that will help us think about those. it isn't necessarily the typical panel on these that you might hear about on civil liberties or other think tanks but we brought together a couple voices tonight and think about the relation of free speech and a free society and how those cultural and other dynamics shape how we think about the intersection of press and free speech with national security. i know as our partners for this evening's event, first of all our friends at the university, i've got a number of students from myclass . it got to be here sothank you all for that . a bit of logistics, in case you have to exit the building for some sort of emergency, national security emergency, it's in the back as well as the stairway you came up but love to me and i'll take care of you. when we go ahead and get
started? first up is gabriel schoenfeld, senior fellow at the institute and he wrote a book about eight years ago i think it was entitled necessary secrets, national security, the media and the rule of law in2010 . i've taught that book and enjoyed it and i've been looking to have him out ever since. gabe is going to get us off with thought aboutleaking and how it relates to the per current policy environment . i'll have you speak and introduce the other speakers. >> it's a pleasure to be here at csis, i was a fellow here in 1994 and i was working on russian affairs and i started a publication called soviet prospects and such was my profound knowledge of the field that four months later i had torename post soviet prospects .
i want to say a bit about how i came to the subject of secrecy which was not as a policy analyst but as a new yorker who had moved to new york post 9/11. i was riding the subway, along came the attack on the transit system killing 53 people. the following year in 2005 we had an attack in london killing on the 90 people. people in new york riding the subway about such things and at the end of 2006, the new york times, james rising and reporters published a story revealing the existence of highly secret counterterrorism programs, terrorist surveillance programs designed to intercept indications of al qaeda terrorists and i have that time was with revealing forthcoming books which also had covered the same material and as i was reading it and
reviewing it, the question came to me was is it legal to publish such highly classified secrets? reveal the revelation of which makes us as new yorkers and all americans in danger. and i wrote a short piece arguing that it's illegal and that bill keller of the new york times should be prosecuted. my position has evolvedquite a bit since then, particularly in writing the book . but i certainly from back in case, it's very clear that believers involve they had been apprehended would be subject to criminal liability and in fact one of the horizons sources, jeffrey stirling was in fact prosecuted and sent to prison for five years, is now in a halfwayhome . >> the result of the question of whether the government
could compel james rising to reveal his sources and they did with judith miller in the bowery claim reveal and i think the law there is fairly clear. it didn't cometo that in that case . but it is possible to subpoena and compel a journalist to reveal his sources, there is no national federal level shield laws to protect your list in this case. and finally, the question is whether journalists themselves can be prosecuted. and there are statutes on the books which make it a crime to publish certain kinds of classified material. not all sorts of classified material but narrow sectors like including my comics and communications intelligence. the times story, the psp was an indications intelligence
program. so i think they were probable but in the event to push the decision to not proceed with the prosecution, i think in retrospect that's a great thing and we've never had a prosecution of the press in this country and we should be proud of that. it came closest during world war ii when the chicago tribune published revealed after the battle of midway that the united states had broken japanese codes but the prosecution there and go forward because they didn't want to draw attentionto the league . if i was quite hawkish about leaks and prosecutions of leaders back in 2006, my position is has really evolved because i could not have imagined reliving under the trump administration. where i think the ethics of leaking are reversed. it's always problematic for an individual aircraft to take it upon himself to decide what is public and what's not in violation of the rules but we have an
executive branch that's in effect waging war on the constitution, grossly violating its reforms. i think we depend upon those leaks to learn about what is going on in the administration and we've seen some spectacularly, some of them have involved sources and methods that may have compromised sources and methods, several of them, the leak that revealed general flynn had been negotiating over sanctions for ambassador 's lack, that was based upon an intercept and our channels , our interception capabilities may have been compromised but nevertheless, the public learned a great deal . but i think in the end , we really, trump is violating norms left and right and approaching illegality with some of his conduct. we have to resist the urge of mirroring him less all the institutions collapse and we
relax into lawlessness. but i think that leaks are as a kind of formal civil disobedience are very valuable. >>. >> i'm going to come back with how your position has evolved but right now i'm going to turn to melanie marlowe, a fellow at the institute for politics and strategy, co-author of the constitutional order and as another book project. we had projects together including one on national security law. she's going to be talking on the history of these issues . to put the current situation we heard about in morecontext so over to you, melanie. >> i wanted to talk about the right and ability of students to speak about against their government we have mixed feelings about speech and war, war is the most . objective a nation can
undertake real people are going to die, maybe a lot of people. a lot of treasure will be expended. important international priorities will put on hold and might be rejected and because it is so encompassing, governments need the citizenry behind them but what if the war is not going as well as it should be? or what if it's wrong in its goals or perhaps it's methods? that as a serious undertaking, shouldn't we be sure it's the right thing to do ? the public can't shirk the debate, it might be legitimate and valuable for the decision-making others are going to see it as aiding the enemy, letting our adversary know we are we and ability to cause more time to dissentand conflicts . so these questions about speech and national security, what's appropriate have a history as long as the country itself so against the backdrop of turmoil between france and england that we're
having with friends, and discontent between republicans and federalist at home in 1798 president adams signed the sedition act that made it a crime to publish any false, scandalousor malicious writing . against the president, congress or government. with the intent to bring those into contempt for disrepute. this was used exclusively by the intel of federalist to prosecute their enemies , but out of power republicans and publishers, members of congress and even ordinary citizens making comments about the president. there was one who heard gunshots going off and said the hook one of the bullets would hit president adams in the past and for that the guy had $100 fine. there were 25 people arrested, five federalist courts, the time president jefferson took office in 1801, he pardoned the offenders, and the congress
of 1840 look back on that and said was a mistake in exercise of power and they retook the fine that had been due. to those convictions. so let's move up a few decades, the civil war. this was not far away. it had hundreds of thousands of americans dying on the doorstep here. they succeeded, the idea that maryland might be splitting washington dc in the confederacy. lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus eight times and in a written in 1862, the president said persons resisting dracula guilty of any disloyal practice shall be subject to martial law and triable by military commission this was more than just attention. it's moving ahead with trial and punishment andbetween 38,000 people were swept out as a result . in 1863 general burnside
issued order 38 which said declaring the enemy will no longer be tolerated. this leads us to the case of this man, not a nobody, he was the speaker of the house of idaho ohio representatives, a congressman and he and edmund stanton and then that friends. left him $500 for his law studies and he was a delegate to the democratic convention and he spoke out against the war frequently and in ohio he spoke out against the war for two hours. there's a lot of things you could say about the president and the war effort into ours. at the end he concluded by saying he wanted people to exercise their right to vote in order to hurl king lincoln from his throne. he was arrested at his home in dayton and tried even though he was a civilian by a military commission. it's punishment oddly enough it was to be put into exile. if you like the confederate
caused so much, join the confederacy and they sent him to the south. he didn't like it very much there. he broke the union blockade and escape to bermuda, from nova scotia he went to ontario and from ontario he went to the ohio nomination for the governorship which he lost but he came back in 1864 and took up his practice of talking against the government in ohio the press was very upset about what had happened and they excoriated the government for doing this . there were lots of prosecutions and we know different things happen in different places and this is one of the promises of war was that things were happening in different places and it depends on the military situation so there wasn't legislation passed, they were very ad hoc policies in enforcement. so will skip up to world war i and i'm going to say a couple of things for the speech panel. >> but world war i is a
different war, not happening on our doorstep, it's far away . there are hundreds of thousands of people who have died and you don't want to go. they think that people here are debating this. >> and their concern that this is a war to benefit arms manufacturers at the expense of poor working-class people who are going to die. so wilson asked for a declaration and he gets it. months later , he gets a draft law and he gets it. and these are very unpopular laws. the war ended the draft law. so any act of 1917, the sedition act of 1918, the states make it up to a crime to criticize the administration war effort. punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. 2000 people are prosecuted and from nobodies to prominent individuals. and then the court bends over
backwards to read the malicious intent required by law to secure prosecution. interestingly, now these cases are going to the supreme court and the courts are getting involved where presidents or congresses earlier set course , the supreme court is siding with the government not with individuals in these cases. so moving up to 9/11 today, it's interesting to go back and look what was said often in online commentary also in lawreview articles . a lot of speculation that was going to be a deflation that would restrict speech and other liberties and there were policy and debatable constitutionality. you watched for things they said, i'm not going to say everything was fine. there were inappropriate and in cases unconstitutional profiling. you either with us or against us kind of thought and will talk more about those. but as far as prosecuting people, for verbal or written criticism of the law, for how
the war was beingwaged or for calling politicians names , you had plays in new york about bloodthirsty dick cheney and george bush. we just did not see the kinds of government prosecutions that we did before. barbara lee, a congressman from california was the only member of congress to vote against the 2001 authorization for use of military force . she spoke out many times about the conflict and spoke out about all sorts of military conflicts. i'm sure she never thought she was in any danger ofbeing swept up . everyone here has been at a meeting, if you are watching the senate hearing a couple of months ago but these members were standing in line because everybody knows what to change is going to do, they're going to sit down at the hearing, wait till an opportune moment, stand up
and start saying stop and the police will come over and politely say if you can't behave, please leave . there are a few incidents where there have been arrests because they're violating security measures or some standard regulations that apply to everybody. we just don't have that kind of oppression. we can get into other things going on and there are things that might kill us and so on but in the end, we do have a tumultuous history of receipt and national security, we have ideals and we don't live up to them but whether policy or political interest, out of fear or even legitimate concern for the fate of the republic, we don't always make the best decisions in the moment and it's hard because every war is different. i tell my students war makes bad laws because the circumstances are just entirely different but the government can do things and serving you in ways we can do commented hundred 50 years ago but you all have more access to speak your mind and you did 15 or hundred 50
years ago. so it's really easy in moments of tension for all of us, the president, congress and press, the public to overreact. but i would say on speech in general, when it comes to national security while we have a history of making poor and wrong decisions, we have a history of looking back and seeing where we went wrong. we look back after the alien sedition, no lawswere passed in 2001. i have no doubt in the future are going to have problems again and we will have to learn from those problems . but our public society, our legal system and government are more careful and aware aboutconstitutional and even appropriateness of our actions . >> i'm going to stick out of order and go to jamil, >> late arrival, traffic. jamil is the founder of the national security institute, the elia law school, george mason university he also teaches.
jamil spent time in the bush department of justice if i'm not mistaken. he's a visiting fellow at the hoover institution and previouslyclerk to justice for such . so over to you for your thoughts as well on the current legal thing's our nation has always had a fraught history. free speech is at the core of ourconstitutional values . it is at the core of what our framers fought for against the king. and at the core of what we think of as the core political and civil liberties of america. at the same time, our framers well understood the need for secrecy and the need for expedition in negotiation. the need to preserve national conversation for foreign leaders as well as information about troop movements and the like. it was at the core of how theyfought a war of independence , at the core of how they fought a war after that i doubt any and at the core of how the extent of this nation and the country it was today.so this action
of how to protect secrets on the one hand, is inherently undemocratic and inherently counter to those of priests receipt while at the same time protecting the values of an important electorate. the system the framers envisioned doesn't work without a well informed electorate and that well informed electorate, keeping secrets away from them undermines that notion, particularly secrets the government is keeping in order to protect national security and this tension has been inour system from the beginning and it raises its head up in the modern era . where we saw the new york times on one side, washington post also in that well watch the movie recently. fighting over the question of whether these national secrets about the vietnam war, which were defined not simply to protect troop movements but to protect the
decisions made erroneous decisions made by the administration been in power and the prior administration before it and the doubling down on the war in vietnam and the secret wars we are fighting in cambodia andlaos, not so secret war we are fighting in those countries and the question whether newspapers can go out and talk about these things publicly, cases that went all the way to the supreme court . the court had a famous incision protecting the right of the papers that published information and tensions have not gone away. we've seen them in the modern era with the question of whether the new york times can and should have published information we can now talk about about the terrorist surveillance program, declassified after that new york times story or about the food disclosures where edward snowden , nobody would disagree in his requirements, to protect classified information but did so with
respect to the one program where he purported to be defending civil liberties, a program designed to collect all the phone calls, information on all the phone calls in the continental united states. your phone calls, your emails, my emails regarding. >> he also revealed, stole and revealed a tremendous amount of other information that had little to no impact on american civil liberties and debated about whether those right or wrong to do that and whether he was a traitor or not, i happen to lean on the side of freighter reasonable debate . nobody can argue that in fact edward snowden did trigger a debate that was valuable in the surveillance arena which is to say this question whether we should be collecting all this data and if so, under what circumstances and that debate the legislation to the usa freedom by congress and signed by the president, even though both the bush andobama administration repeated this policy to the day that law passed by continuously almost before 9/11 , interestingly,
that program didn't go away, it changed form. the data change, the government didn't hold anymore but it was still accessible under more limited circumstances but from the moment that program stayed in place , the government had brought edward snowden to do the things he did. and so this tension about whether snowden was right or wrong, whether they should have published that information or not, in england the british police went in and sees hard drives and computers. that didn't happen here but that tension is still there. but there's debate in the obama administration about whether or not the information about the alleged program to take down iranian nuclear activity, the so-called olympic games program as it is popularly known should have been revealed by the newspapers. and the question whether that actually harmed or health national security, whether the administration was not involved is a debated matter. we prosecuted a senior military official in matters related to that week.
in the bush administration, they prosecuted in part because of a leak about the identity of a cia officer. it turned out somebody else revealed the information but he along the way allegedly lied and it was an issue brought to the court so this tension about protecting national secrets which are framers understood was a core part of how you defend and think about and protect the nation while on the other hand feel defending and protecting the right to free speech and the right of the papers to publish that information and debate that information is one that remains really at the core of our national debate. in an era where there is a huge debate about what is true and what is not true and an era where the president regularly goes after the prepress, condemning them as parroting fake news, while at the same time criticizing by that fake news press allegedly for not telling the whole truth and the press
believing it is its core responsibility to call the president out whenthey don't do those things , that debate remains alive and in some ways this debate between free speech on one hand and the protection of national security on the other is the core of what we're hearing now is as called post-truth era and whether in fact the fourth estate survives the debate and whether free speech survives the debate is very much at play here because in part from the speech that we see out there we know it's influenced by foreign actors.one of the core means of free speech that we talk about, twitter turned out tobe a place full of russian box . facebook turns out to be a place full of russian box to maybe don't have a dog fight about who wins but care very much about creating dissension in our country and harming core values being utilized by foreign actors against us when they're being
utilized in a way to harm the rule of law and institutions that were designed to protect these freedoms. the justice department, the fbi and what you see is not just foreignactors but the president on one hand, congress on the other, democrats in congress . you have the chair ranking member of the house intelligence community constantly debating whether a foreign actor tried to influence our election. this is a scenario in which our own tools of democracy, the very values our framers and spouse and wrote down and enshrined in the bill of rights are being utilized to undermine our ability to govern our own nation and there are no innocent parties. the president is guilty. members of congress are guilty and we somehow knowing full well that foreign actors
have played this role can't seem to figure out how to get out of our own way and address the core problem which is not a question of free speech but the fact that we have not actually confronted the russians, the chinese, theiranians for going after us and create dissension in our culture and using our own democratic ideals against us . 's final speaker, greg lukianoff who is the founder for the individual education. given everything that was said, youspent a lot of time , oh man.you spent a lot of time on college campuses. what can you tell us about the cultural discussion of speech on the campuses and how that's going to shape futureconversations , the future national security conversation? >> i specialize in first amendment, that's what i went to law school to study. i did defending free speech on college campuses, wrote a book about it that recently came out . and there are a couple points i wanted to make.
first was i wanted to recommend the book liberty versus crisis which is a recent book about the alien sedition act . it's delightful if you like sad stories. a lot of you probably won't know that the first amendment was essentially toothless, even though it was passed in 1791 until 1925. that comes as a shock to most people. a lot of what we think about as american free speech tradition was a cultural tradition. there's a book i recommend everybody that talks about how free speech was maintained as a cultural norm but after 1925 and they get down into the red scare, it started to become robust. and i go to campuses and i want to plug this one. i think it was george marshall but there was a report issued after world war ii about why america won the war and it was first internal but thatit was public .
one of the most interesting findings in the postmortem report was the argument that why, how were we able to defeat these totalitarian governments? these were governments that could wield the power of germany at their whim. where did this inefficient weird system that can barely get its act together, how did we beat them? one of the explanations that was given was that a free press and a free society is able to identify problems more quickly. so all of those, i tell this as university president. the student press is going to tell you things that you don't like about your university but that you desperately need to know. to stifle it at your own peril and those uncomfortable things you find out are the most important ones. what are campuses role? when it comes to its relationship to freedom of speech, they're absolutely essential .
no sooner did you have a strong interpretation of the first amendment then you started having cases like plessy versus new hampshire in which an about communist professor was trying to fire him essentially but you are city affirmed through all these cases against the professor getting fired and this is where our hazy concept of the law comes from and where our law aboutfree speech on campus regarding public policies . i would say mostly campuses had played a positive role in the history of freedom of speech. a free speech movement in 1964 berkeley, the important cases defending free speech rights of students which were from the 1970s. but then in the 1980s he started seeing a shift towards university becoming a place where you would preview new censorship regimes and kind of a laboratory for coming up with new ones. so i was talking to one of
your students and i was explaining that i free speech on campus and the very first question i got waswhat about hate speech? i get this all the time. it's just kind of hate speech is a really old idea. and it sounds good . it holds well in terms of something that you should ban but it works in a very predictable way that you don't have to be a first amendment defender to see. it ends up being applied against surprising people so for example romania, the council targeted a satirical magazine for violating hate speech against the party leader and indonesia, parliament's ethics counsel that was largely against anyone who disrespected his members, very much grounded in a speech language. pretty much coming from that really perfected moralist and us campuses in the 80s. artesia, curtis dan. the supreme court upheld that the nation charges against free critics who assaulted
the honor of the president, the one uses this all the time. russia has adopted some of these arguments are coming off of campuses and i will say flat out, the european union has turned into a complete holiness on this stuff . and it's funny. i guess i get calledby a lot of european newspapers to give my opinion because they think of me as their crazy american cousin .>> .. >> .. we call, have some kind of feeling people shouldn't say hateful stuff but there's between knowing what people think. for my perspective, we have this
great system to allow terrorists to say, i hate people. i'm going to blow stuff up. by all means, let them tell us that. but in the process of stifling and erasing, we are in some ways, breaking the flow of ideas that tells us the bad things about our society. i think some of these efforts that are going on, including probably the worst idea i've heard, the right to be forgotten is going to result in the european known about the less knowing about the world. bad ideas, i am concerned that this whole book is essentially about for all of my career, despite stereotypes, and i start 2001, the best constituency for free speech on campus. the then administrators.
that started to change. i started seeing more demanding of professors not being able to speak, speakers, demanding more speech coaches. at least into the eight late '80s an early 90s. negative and not worry you think we would be, the circles 1991, this was the big victory of free-speech liberalism. instead we have a democratic recession. i think it's at least in part sort of a backlash to this idea of speech. >> let me start with you, gabe. you talked a little bit about how your views changed a little bit and i think i heard you make the case that because of what you think about the trump administration, that hard-line view that you might have taken eight years ago in terms of the
importance of the rule of law here, you are inclined to been that a little bit. let me push back and say, is that really the right position to take especially public scorn to survive and are you articulating a legitimate but illegal standard? >> i think it's a legitimate legal is exactly right. i think that means secretions should proceed. people who take it upon themselves like anonymous who wrote this book, it's classified information. if it were classified, they should be subject to prosecution. i would call upon people who know things about our government that are damaging to the country in the white house or in office to come forward. to put the secret information to the public but that would be a form of civil disobedience.
if not done anonymously. the real problem with the anonymous leaking until the we have this recent case, the strange name of reality winner, who gave the intercepts and documents about russian hacking of our -- classified documents and she, the documents were helpful to public discourse and knowledge about the situation we are facing but they were classified and she was arrested, convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. my sense is that if reality winner had surreptitiously provided the documents, come forward and said, held a press conference and taken responsibility for the public domain, she might not be in prison today. >> he didn't do that. >> he was anonymous.
he's considered a hero by many people. i have mixed feelings about what he did. the information that he put on the record was not known for the information. information was old information. there's not a single document that was three years old, it's not about the mix administration, it was johnson and kennedy material. he was very careful. he struck out anything about military and was conscientious about that in his career. i think there's a difference. snowden and kelsey. >> let me skip to you, greg. how do you square your description with some of the other things here? the popularity of snowden --
what is your impression that? how does that shape our understanding of with this larger dynamic is going? >> that was, i don't know, i get the impression he is. he does appearances, i think he was liberty for example. i think he did a talk via satellite there. from moscow. >> is government paid for moscow. >> right. it's not all that surprising given that they got, a rebel against the system. it's a very sort of way that you make yourself popular among young people. look like the rebel with a cause. i did want to get back to the, a little bit about how we exactl exactly -- most people make it illegal to report on something
things. national security things. they are very tight. once again, i think they are nuts. restraining, the press can cover the national security. america is unique in the fact that this comes out in the 1970s. essentially, the rule is more or less, if it gets the government's job to make sure it doesn't get to the press, if he gets to the press, you are done. there's only a handful of cases in which there's ever been a prior restraint issue for something that was against their national security secret that was so serious. one example that i teaching class is the famous progressive case which involved whether or not a magazine could publish how to make hundred on bomb. overall, this was a predictable
result. a different nixon, which makes the case all the more interesting. the government can have policies that limit the disclosure of employees and of course, surprisingly this means people, ferociously in terms of things talking to the press, were you thinking? what would be a situation where you could arrest a journalist? >> one case would be the battle of -- in chicago tribune. violations of the statute. indications and intelligence punishes the publication. statute of secrets pertaining to communication intelligence, uniquely sensitive area. communication intelligence is a
broad range of things today. all of our intelligence committee, the more is a kind of loaded gun pointed at journalism right now. it's one of, the administration doesn't seem to know this and there is current war if they take the enemies seriously, they could review the law within the first amendment, prosecute because the pentagon papers ca case, while it ruled out the possibility of a prior restraint, perfectly allowed for prosecution of the actor the fact. six justices said at the same time, prosecution, they might be able to convict, uphold a conviction. i think the legal structure is very ambiguous right now. also quite dangerous weapon.
as it stands. fortunately, it's never been used. >> let me jump in here. you just use the phrase, if we were in a war. we are actually. let me should this over to melody. [laughter] conclude with a positive note. all things being equal, are better off today, then in the past. is that because of the sense that the conflicts we are in although authorized, in some ways, are not as felt a war as world war ii? >> that's true. i'm grateful we are not sending hundreds of thousands of people to be killed -- i'm grateful we are not hesitant about people in europe right now. there are people in guilt right
now in afghanistan and nigeria and other places of the world. those things are serious. government doesn't teach us about the kind of stuff, we're not here in the same way we we were, the way we were fighting the civil war. we were invaded 9/11. there were detentions, other things. there were deportations and violations of liberties in that respect. the nation is not at war in the same sense that we have been in the past. there's not a draft. i think the separation of wars can change things greatly but it won't necessarily change each law in the same way it would change the economy or change people physically and put them in a place where they might be killed. >> you talked about the institutional pensions, the
tensions, on one hand this, or values and the other hand, you have to protect secrets. is that one of the things that can never be fully resolved? what kind of lessons can we take away from that? was it something that has to be hashed out in every conflict and the kinds of crashing and fighting, the same battles all over again. >> i think that in a lot of ways, values are changed over time. our values about what we care about and protect and what we, as soon as we find ourselves in a conflict, range the ways we look at these issues. we are in a different world today in 2018 then we were on the day after 9/11. we feel differently about that conflict. for those of you who are alive, the felt sense of being violated in the loss of life people felt in a day, with the judge who was in the government at the time,
they talk about 9/11 and what he felt. he was drawn to tears. it was a real moment. i thought those feelings when we watched the videos of all was taken that day. the people were younger on a that's the american body politics today. i think that in part is why we are not at war. even though if you ask any servicemember family, in iraq or afghanistan or nigeria and fighting against, it's not fought on this soil, they feel very much at work. i think it's a sense of what is happening in a country at a given time but the type of conflict we are in, what it means for america and individuals. the way we analyze these questions. by the time it was revealed, the war had been going on for a long time. we were in a different place. there's debate about how it
started and resolution. whether the war was right at the beginning or not. when they meant to authorize it or not. but the end of the day, it was always -- i don't think will ever resolve it fully. this will be the moment a change that. that moment even now, this tension that great talks about on college campuses, it's true it has become dramatically improved since then. i was condemned as traitor to my religion and my skin color, because i dared to join a fraternity and dared to not be on the minority ballot for student government. trigger warnings. the same people who celebrate, but against demand and revealed information.
they want the man to protect them against the things that them uncomfortable. worried and concerned because god provided we talk about controversial things. or so many feelings. it's a real problem. that has johnny to why i am doing this. against campus speech because speech first. these are tensions in my own life literally, on the board of this campus speech. the students against that and saying, the defending of this. i would to add on a daily basis. >> let's open up questions, i see lots of hands. introduce yourself a quick and keep it precise and in the form of a question. let's start with a woman in the back.
>> i am rachel. you talked a lot about the rule of the public sector in terms of maintaining free speech and how we deal with that. i like to look a little bit at the role of private sector organization, recently it came out that the government used facebook to genocide and encourage genocide against the population in the country. keeping in mind, what you think the role is organizations like facebook, twitter, instagram, google and happy to either promote or defend -- i guess the question is, how do you view free speech and maintaining safety of people and not allowing things like that kind of speech? >> it's interesting because when i speak about this, i'm in
evangelist for the american first amendment. they all think it's insane. we are crazy hippies with our weird ideas about freedom of speech. when you teach it, it is really thought out. when it comes to what was going on, i don't know much about specifically what biggest facebook was doing with our product but for example, genocide comes up a lot. the answer to that is that under in the definition, when you're telling people to got kill your neighbors, it's not even active under our crazy system. i generally defend the american system of first amendment is not just a system of laws that is designed by the u.s. but probably the longest most expended best thought out way you have freedom of speech in the real world so for example, when they kicked off alex jones from facebook for hate speech, i was very much, i've not
forgotten hate speech and hate speech has no legal meaning in american law. it's even fuzzy and what it means in other countries laws. take them out for defamation, kick them out for something that is unprotected so you keep it up as ice and clear. a lot of these that people talk about, it's weird when you talk about their impression of like what american law means. i feel like i get question after question that was conspiracy or terrorism. that's not even considered to be speech they are due scrubbing. that's actually a death threat. which is not protected. i think a lot of the, i thought it was a pretty good thing that facebook and twitter were heavily influenced by american legal standards. what i'm worried about is happening now is that decisions coming out of the eu having
effects on what you can see in the u.s. quitting the right to be forgotten. also they speech rules by some definitions are supposed to apply not just to google.e, it applies to google.com everywhere. it seems like we're actually having some amount of what we are allowed to warm, learn by some of these exterminations going on in the european union which would violate our law. we are in a bit of a bind at the moment. >> got a bunch of questions. >> my name is richard. i wanted to think a couple of observations. for example, there was precious little discussion of prosecuting under the logan act 1799. in terms of representation, is that true? >> no. he wasn't prosecuted.
under the logan act, not being a truly authorized person of the united states. then of course, the james comey case in terms of that, had some traction in academic circles but didn't gain any traction in terms of government. is there a way of thinking about isolating and identifying patterns of when prosecution occurs and when there is a constraining of press material efforts and what identification of these trends into a more streamlined approach toward a prosecution which might in fact, increase a deterrent value for outside influence in elections and other activities in the united states? >> more recent prosecutions --
>> i guess, the flynn case for example. i'm not sure, it's not completed. one point, there's debate about whether if it's again flynn, or the designated representative already elected president. some question on whether you prosecute in that scenario. some people are saying, prosecute for them in for that. go around the world and talk to iran about it there issues. it's either debatable, provide the logan act, he was writing a letter. it is not a thing, the law but nobody cares. tom cotton, the u.s. senate, the public letter with a number, 50,
40 some odd numbers. be around deal. the obama deal, the deal with the iranians. the europeans, the iran deal, the same people inside of that, both by the way, said the other prosecuted the open act. nobody did because it doesn't matter. it's not a thing. that's not just discussion, that's a lot of things that nobody thinks -- >> justice department really was considering the logan act. as they were investing it again. i agree that it's unlikely they will ring a prosecution under it. that was the basis of their investigation. >> let's get going. let's take two.
>> the panel on this question in terms of government secrets or privation about government activities which are unfavorably reflective of the government. i'm so old, i can remember back to the church commission and the bike commission. the cia thought this was going to be the end of the world, the worst possible thing and the stuff they came out, it's extraordinary. people forgot about it but if you go back and realize what actually came out, even the stuff that was kept quiet, it never came out. some people suggest that let's say, hypothetically, with the various revelation about the fbi currently, and all this stuff, let's say there is more to that story and seems to come out every day.
a similar commission to church with constitution. the subpoena powers and so on and so forth. to dig in to what really happened with the russia dossi dossier, fbi, whatever page. it might be extremely terribly hurtful to the government and confidence of the government. would you support this commission if a suggestion was there? >> sounds like hypothetical. but let's take this of the question. this gentleman right here. >> my name is joe egg. i came from boston, massachusetts. very good to hear about this amendment. to the united states supreme court, freedom of speech for the private sector is basically fire. in a private room. i'm wondering whether uncle sam
requires health. on the security issue. i mentioned it because in the old days, decolonization, especially singapore, malaysia, india, they are common grounds who say, you british, american, what are you trying to do? you trying to take over? >> let's let the panel response. my answer was, how much was in the british public library? >> alright, okay. i'm going to give the panel a chance. >> topical sam radiates.
the propaganda. against the terrorist and against people for this country. >> alright. let me connect that. the business of, there are actually several of you. the real issue of russian. greg, you made the case, let the transparency, let them see what they think. it's not people, it's the operation. how you come with that? you touched on these issues as well. any thoughts? >> i think that it's, what you're going to find is if we leave these organizations, twitter and facebook in the world alone, reveal what happening, the pressure will be on, they will make their money right off of idols. they want to know what's real.
there is a built in incentive for them to have accurate information. i think that what you will see over time, that does it mean that we don't need to call out what we see happening or that we don't need to call out the actors, the propaganda. further activity. i don't think that regulating the speech that takes place on facebook or twitter or incident or whatever. is the right approach to solve this problem. get the right approach. you look at this issue is darkly, what is the right approach -- how do you deal with the free-speech question when you are in times of war or -- in my be time of war in russia but there's an information with this. what you do when the free-speech
and that scenario? >> one thing i am worried about is congress. i'm not saying they couldn't get something out but it is concerning. i am not a specialist on that. technology does change every so often and we are in the midst of a technological change. i say one thing that i wanted to touch on earlier. how do we talk about these things with the public? we talk about really war, i don't know, that our government talk to us like we're in war? people are fighting and dying right now. i'm glad we don't have a draft. i'm grateful for them to go. it's not the first thing with a about because everything is rationed and our people, every
family is affected by a death. our government treated like it is serious and important, i don't know. how are they going to do this? can they do anything? can explain in a way that whatever happened that we will be able to participate in the discussion? how it shapes out. >> in terms of this new problem, it was one of those that recovering to, very excited about the potential of social media. but the were a sticky problem. ...