tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN December 2, 2014 5:30pm-7:01pm EST
something has to be in charge. you can't have a bunch of people pointing fingers. you can't have folks sitting around waiting to do something to actually do it. and so we resolved that as it related to at least those threat s that were relative to homeland security. when you look at the current threat of ebola and you ask what shook the trust of the american people it was a total lack of communication. i think when you look back at every event that we have had over the past 12 years, communication break down has been the number one contributor to the lack of confidence of the american people that we had a successful agenda to try to work through this. i think that the administration
to their credit sometimes into this realized they had to revamp totally and we have seen a totally different approach to the communication side. >> can congress fix communication? communication was one -- those of us who were in washington during 911 and the aftermath and later the an tlax, communication on that day was disastrous. you were here. and there was all these efforts to identify what you just said. communication, people have to -- various police forces have to be able to talk. public health has to talk to security. we have had legislation and conversations on communication and it was as senator burr jes said it didn't work very well in september. what can congress do to fix that or to address that at least? >> i'm not sure there is a legislative remedy there. richard was here in 2006 when
the first pandemic all hazards bill was passed and the two of us worked together to reauthorize it. so evolution or improvements of the policy, mostly what our job is, and i'm starting to be open to ideas about how we can legislate better communication but part of it is for any administration, there has to be not simply in the context of an ebola outbreak but any kind of crisis, even if we think that the crisis was axccelerated by the election or by the attention to the issue. i believe that, that rests with this administration or the next administration to figure out a better way to have one person speaking for the administration
this is a difficult combination to achieve. deep public health experience as well as someone who can actually communicate well. having said all of that, even if we achieved a measure of perfection on communication, a lot of this is going to have to be a communication strategy at the local level and that's a whole other -- that's a longer conversation. but i'm afraid that unless you have most of the response is at the local level. so unless you have respective figures in hundreds and hundreds of communities standing up saying these are the facts, ladies and gentlemen, this is what we're going to do about what's happening, it's very difficult. and lastly i say that about local communication because whether we like it or not, washington is not all that popular today. and that's -- i think it goes back -- i think it's several administrations where people don't have a lot of confidence in or several congresses.
so, the best that we can do, i think, is get the policy right and figure out a way to make sure that the local level you have what some people are calling validators to give people some assurance that their community knows what it's doing. their community is responding and they can articulate that. >> did the cdc have too much faith in local hospitals? >> i would say no. i'm sure richard saw this in north carolina. wow did the hospitals start drilling and practicing and focusing. they figured if we're next we have to be ready. in that sense they're probably at a heightened state of alert and probably in a better
preparedness pos chur we thought we handled the communications problem it's the assistant secretary of emergency preparedness at hhs. that person has not been the point person of the ebola. i think the administration has got to do after action review as to did they recreate the wheel or take the blueprint that was there. i think on any given news cycle you saw a different person than the administration as a spokesperson. that's not the way you get through a crisis like this. in some cases, two people said two different things. but concentrated in that secretary, assistant secretary are the responsibilities for the actual training that goes on continuely at hospitals. and i think that what we have got to do is we have got to look back and say what was the training we were taking them
through. we know that cdc had at least bad regulars as it related to personal protective equipment and that was transitioned very quickly. but did we communicate to the states and to the hospitals here is the degree of training we want you to go through. here is the threshold we want you to hit. their capabilities are going to be different. but we would have thought that major hospitals across the board would have gotten to a level and i think we did have a break down. >> and you have to -- you wonder what would have happened if mr. duncan had walked into a different hospital. you could have had one that was worse prepared or better prepared. there were false alarm cases. it was not the first -- about a dozen cases that turned out not to be ebola but the hospital recognized the warning signs and got the person in isolation. when they got on tv and said we weren't expecting ebola, we all
looked at each other and said well we were. the cdc had done a lot of drilling or talked people through it. >> you might remember early in the days of the ebola outbreak we had officials say it's not going to come here. we actually brought it here from a standpoint of the doctors that were infected that we chose. but officials said you don't have to worry. >> we said there's not going to be an outbreak. >> that says to our infrastructure that we don't have to prepare. but when you had a case that showed up, you had a totally different tempo as well as the public directions that were coming out of the cdc and hhs. >> so the mistakes get amplified. people pay attention when things go wrong and when things go
right, people don't -- it's human nature. that was good, let's move on. there have been two -- sars could have been way worse than it was. the public health protections did kick in. there is always some luck things could be worse or better because it's a disease but the sars epidemic was a test. it was an international test. it didn't get out of control and then the flu in 2009 the luck there it turned out not to be as -- it didn't kill as many people. still they were able to ramp up vaccinations. it was a mix of it was not as potent of a virus but they did a lot of good public health to control it. when you sort of make policy, can you say what are the lessoned lerp learned that work that we need to go back to? are there steps that say how do
we do it right again? >> first thing i would say is we have got we don't have time for an after action report. i would say short term long term, short term let's lose sub le supplemental as a way to make preparation. the hospital preparedness program, there's a gap of about $120 million up to the authorized level. >> is that something that could happen in the next week or two? >> that would be intermediate term. short term i think we should have a good debate about and then legislate or try to pass legislation as quickly as we can. richard's point is well taken. this isn't just going to be we need more dollars here or there. we have got to take a step back
and see what went right and what went wrong and then possibly do more legislating but there may not be a lot of legislating that's necessary. it may be what a lot of what richard pointed to, which is -- >> follow the blueprint. there was a tremendous amount of thought that went into it. and here we are, what? 12 years? eight years since the others. we go through the litany of the threats that we had. when we wrote the legislation we envisioned that that would be just a constant focus of research and development. and this isn't a break down of any structural thing. it's really a break down of whether there was a will to stay
focused on that or whether we got distracted by sars or h1n1 or h7n9. we didn't leverage the tools that you found as successful as we should have. it was a government tool to propel development. >> it was a public capital venture. it was there to be a financial partner to promising discoveries to get them through what i call the valley of death, the period where they needed external funding. you would have basic research that went to a certain level at nih. when it got to a certain level then it was the responsibility of barta to come in and say we're going to invest in it and we're going to get across the goal line and then fda gets
involved in its approval. we did not have an ebola vaccine or counter measure that was to the point of a hand off. the truth is for the current threat, we have got to stay focused on how we get a vaccine and a counter measure because i don't think we're going to successfully going to be able to do this through a traditional burnout zone in africa. and it's absolutely crucial that we learn from this that we have got stay on the research side because this could be next year. it could be something the year after and the private sector could never invest the amount of money that it takes to bring something to market. we have to be a partner in it. >> when we started out and i
asked senator byrd what the initial -- his initial reaction looking at what was unfolding and he said communication, do you share that? is that what the first thing that went into your mind? >> certainly one of them. i thought at that time where they didn't have the resources they need, the pp, the personal protective equipment. this is a communications challenge on a scale that you rarely encounter. part of that was because of when it happened. when you juxtapose what happened with ebola, with an election which was pretty heated and people are just reacting to everything as well as some other governmental failures throughout the year, the website and concerns about the va, you go down the list of issues, and by the time people arrived at the
point where into august and september, and they hear about ebola and the media attention was, i think unprecedented, that was all the predicate for that was already set by what had happened over the last year. and frankly you can go back further. you could say what has happened over the last 25 or 30 years. there has been -- government has taken some hits over the last generation starting with watergate and moving forward. so to be able to say for any government, democrat or republican to stand up and say we have this under control, don't worry, not that they said that, but i mean if that's where you start from, i think you're going to run into -- >> and anybody -- i'm sure bob has been through this. we have been through many table top exercises where you're presented with either radio active contamination or you're
affected by one of the 14 natural or intentional infect shs diseases, as soon as you lose the trust of the population you're in a spiral. we got to a point where it was not a massive spiral but we got to where we lost the trust and we will have to go back and pinpoint exactly when that was and what was said. but then it becomes a trugle. thank goodness we have been able to contain outbreaks in the united states. >> and there could be another case that comes but i think the public we would hope now knows that it's not -- part of it is there were those movies about ebola. >> you have no administration official out saying we're not going to have any more. you actually have them out saying you can expect that there will be some. that is a totally different point that they have now set for the person people. >> let me add something that goes back to an earlier
question. i think if you look at the supplemental request whether it's for the hospital program or whether it's for cdc at large or nih, there's a lot in that proposal that reflects learning and lessons and ebola treatment center in every state. if that's achievable with new funding. what richard talked about, trying to move this process forward so when barta is in the midst of trying to get a counter measure to commercialization, that that is stimulated or kicked forward, so i think there's a list of things in the supplemental which indicates the administration has learned a lo. and i also think that something that i wasn't aware of without having seen it play out pubically. local and public health
infrastructures, i think a lot of that was test ed they can provide resources. >> do you agree that more money needs to go? has it been appropriated? do you support -- was it 120? is that something that there is going be bipartisan? >> i think there will be bipartisan support but if you look at the $6 billion of emergency request, if you just take the cdc portion, 6$600 and some billion to go towards their global health initiative which
is a build out of public health in countries, i would suggest strongly, that's a good thing. to stick it in an emergency appropriation has members of the house and senate going wait a minute, what else now there's a requirement for the level of specificity. >> they should have defined the emergency more narrowly? >> well, emergency is something that actually has to be used now that's in the threat. and, you know, in the backside of it, you know, at 1.9 wi$1.9 n contingency fund. all of the sudden, we needle this thing down, it's probably a 20% difference in funds. these are things that we're going to be able to work out with the administration. they shouldn't have gone there. >> and are you talking to them? >> i think that we're in confers
and i think this thing can be worked out. it's a crucial warsaw council. now, let me just go back. i think the two things in addition to what bob said, one the fact that it's 48 hours. this is ridiculous. the fact that we're having to build labs in -- and by canoe -- they're taking blood work to get to the lab. technology is such that we can, if we want to, we can develop a test facility -- the test capableties. they can be done onsite. i'm convinced of that. we have $2 million for diagnostic. this is just crazy. and i think that's where we've got to leverage the private sector.
the other thing that getting back to what bob said about a hospital, every state has the capableties. what we did was we looked at the number of beds we had in the country. the number of beds was sufficient. but when you apply what the capableties are to discard the waste, we have the capability. we've got to design a whole course of treatment for these patients. it's not the number of beds. it's what we can handle physically. >> and we didn't know what was involved in a low-tech country. >> let's say we weren't creative enough in our thinking to say what would be encompassed if this happened. >> and, as you mentioned there, there are 13 other identified. are those all diseases?
or is that including the nuclear and bioterror? is that smallpox? >> that's the whole basket. >> okay. of intentional -- whether it's a natural -- >> and i don't want to minimize ebola. i mean, that's thousands and thousands of people in africa. and it's not as contagious in a developed country as the public initially feared. and we treat it better when we have a handful of cases in a modern u.s. hospital or spanish or german hospital. so, in terms of how many people died outside of africa, it was not the worst case scenario that people feared. again, i'm not making light of it. it could have been way more. >> the infections disease is the best. it's difficult to transmit. >> right. but there were some other ones out there that could have been way worse that are airborne. it's not just capable of me telling us it's going to mutate
into something else tomorrow. we don't have a good test, we don't have a good treatment. we don't have a good vaccine. we didn't know how to treat it. do you make it up very worried about the other 13? >> i'm just as worried as the day after the an tlax attack. how many parter in ships did we have with the private sector? how have we leveraged several assets to provide a solution to those threats. i don't think the report is going to be too good. but i think it's important that we realize that at least a part of these -- we don't pardon it with somebody until it reaches the threshold of what we need.
we don't -- we don't do a parter in ship just to have one. so when you look at infectious disease, right now, what we'd like is a platform that we're able to handle more than one strand of ebola and possibly more versus a counter measure that only handles one strain of ebola. and the question is, where is the level of research for them? and have we put enough time and efts into them. >> and of these 14 dangers that have been identified, were some of them back burnered and they just said okay, we're most worried about these three 23r whatever scientific or national security reasons and we're not going to worry about six or seven of them? >> i'm not sure it's been that stark, unfortunately. but, look, when you look at where we are now after this
ebola challenge, when we get to these other challenges, we got a real scare and was shaken substantially. so in terms of the sequence thing, if we were faced with another challenge that was more -- that could be carried in an airborne sense and would be more contagious, absent this ebola chapter, we would have been in worse shape. so, in some ways, being tested on ebola is preparing us to be ahead of the game on the others. the question is, though, will the response by the administration and by congress -- or i should say the lessons learned, solely be what did we do wrong with ebola?
>> as opposed to what did we do with the adjunct. >> as opposed to the broad-based. >> right. >> the question from twitter is were you part of -- i'm not sure if you were here yet for csar-s washington. the concern was how much are about lawmakers and the role of the federal government do you recall? i can't remember what year it was. i'm not sure if you were in the senate yet. i don't remember many conversations that took place. >> i think when you look at it -- i think there, we were really lucky. >> what about the other question on twitter which is one of the tools that we're spending a huge
amount of money on is vaccines. and you also have this whole movement into this country that people are terrified of vaccines, the anti-vaccine movement. is that something that you're seeing as an impediment to a flu, which is something that a population is supposed to get vaccinated for, or these new diseases? >> i think science is going to some of the concerns. there's certainly always going to be a population that doesn't want to be vaccinated. and every vaccine is going to have a consequence as it relates to the genetic make-up of the individual. we've got a lot of hurdles to
overcome over the next few months that you can mass-produce and get to inoculate. >> how much on a policy level were lawmakers talking aban attempt to save someone's life with whatever tool you have. they've done blood transfusions, they eave done this drug that there was only a few doses of. and we don't know if the science is really working.
every decision like that carries a precedent. understand while it's difficult for the united states. every day in this country, somebody dies of cancer because the fda has no approved an oex permital treatment. so we come from a system that really has to put a lot of stock -- and we get to this part from a republican nature. a little different. i don't know what this threshold is going to be, but i'm sure that that our normal process will be cut short as long as the test results show something
positive at the end. >> we've had this lack of awareness going on and then we had the complete mania where the public perception and the cable coverage was way more scared than the actual cases in the u.s. so how do you maintain -- how do you get lawmakers to keep a sense of urgency when the public has moved on. particularly when money is not flowing freely. >> i leave that up to bob. [ laughter ] >> no, it's not easy.
that's a challenge. i'd also say as much as -- you raised a couple questions, kind of what are you worried about the next step upgrade or the next challenge. doing enough about counter measures beyond what we learned with some other approaches. washington, in this pucks, creates a measure of uncertai y
uncertainty. the best thing we can do, in some ways, is to make sure that we're working better together because that uncertainty, we talked to folks about this for years. we know the national institutes of health has a measure not just on certainty, but it's already had some damage inflikted by sequester and a few other problems. so our dysfunction -- it's one thing -- i'm certain that our uncertainty creates a terrible problems.
you know some intelligent, classified stuff that the rest of us don't know. you have other things to worry about than the rest of us should be worried about. if you had a legislative magic wand, what would you do? watching ebola and saying thank god it wasn't worse. we can learn some lessons and come out of this with knowledge, what would you like to see the senate do? >> i would make sure that our policies in this country were such that they encourage
innovation. et else's innovation that's going to encourage the next man-made threat. we have to continue to be the country that innovates. one, you have to make sure that the math works. two, you have to make sure that there's a markt. and, three, you have to make sure that there's a marketplace to sell to. in places like liberia or sierra leonne as well as a
county in pennsylvania. so that whole continue yum of preparing this and communication. this is going to drive the breakthrough support. >> thank you, senators, for coming today. what was the effect -- i'm sorry, fred griffey. what was the effect, if any, was dod and cdc having different quarantine policies. thank you, again. that sort of tops my communication right there. and the numbers that they had to fix this.
the lack of ability to understand on their part. it's probably the worst thing that could have happened. it's still our policy today. we're still taking the military that comes out of the region, have no contact with patients, we've quarantined them for e 21 days. anyone else doesn't get quarantined. it continues to be a problem. it's maybe not as high on the public's list 06 concerns, but it's one of the things that breaks down the trust of the american people that we have a system that really understands and can apply common sense. >> questions? >> this is a free shot at bob and i. >> okay.
mike miller, a health policy consul tant. maybe you can clarify something for me. my understanding of the term quarantine is that somebody is in a medical isolation-type of situation. where as what the military was doing is taking people out of west africa, putting them in spain or germany and limiting their movements, their access. but they're not actually in quarantine. >> they're in isolation. >> so, again, your point may be that the cdc's policy on quarantine really isn't applicable to what dod is doing in their limited movement, isolation, restrictions, whatever.
>> this just gets back to the need of somebody in charge. i think we've all drilled it and drilled it and drilled it. this isn't about a czar. well, this isn't about a czar. this is about somebody in charge. this is aba person that made the pieces move and communicated everything -- what was going to happen. i can only tell you the faces of change on the weekly bereave. that's why you can have two policies that are so inconsistent on isolation and quarantine. one that the adoption of the cdc.
the one person whose responsibility it is to communicate and to administrate the whole organizational bas ket, you don't have those inc inconsistencies. >> is the person who's coordinating it within hhs have to be the person who's the public spokesman? >> i mean, we're all so used to tony faucci after years of having him explain things. >> we're used to tony and all of the sudden, we have tom friedman and i love them all to death. are those the ones you necessarily want to have out there? and i can't do this and i do it for a living. [ laughter ] >> what fred and what the doctor
vacuum, people were filling it based upon folks at if local level. the news is saying one thing and this person on television is saying another. >> but these never happened again. >> everything was fine on that point up until the point where the public was the messenger or the message or both changed. the governor said my public was out raged and i'm going to have a policy and we're going to do this or that. you wouldn't be there unless you
had a consistent approach from the beginning. the gap fween what a large segment of the public thought versus the science that is not in dispute, that you both understand, it was a very big gap. and does that -- how do you get over something like that? something that's more frightening or a bigger ecological threat with that inability to tamper down fears and not create chaos.
how do you look at that gap? >> i didn't articulate that very well. >> you remember congress isn't simply about legislation, it's about communicating. you've got to be anyone to communicate what you've worked on. there has to be a constant repetition. >> all right. it is time to wrap up our conversation. thank you for talking with us this afternoon and thank you to everyone who attended today and from watching us on the live stream and a big thank you to cvs health for parter inning with us on this important event. and the whole series we've done
>> third, including safety, medical, legal and financial support. fourth, prevention kbrups including a national domestic violence hotline at the national sexual violence resource center. fifth and final, child abuse and sexual assault in collaboration with the no more campaign and the joyful heart foundation, a public service announcement doing our game, finally, we're promoting programs for those who play, coach.
>> the more we listen, the more we've learned and become more aware of these complexities. both of the problem and the solution. with the goal of preventing and punishing these behaviors. mr. chairman, we believe that wearing the uniform of an nfl player is a privilege. it is not a right. we look forward to advancing these goals that i know we all share. mr. chairman, i thank you 23r
as we began to receive the vinyl to be digitized, to be saved, we began turning over the b sides of the 45s. first off, gospel music was not widely heard in the white community. what it was, it would only be the hits, if that. but the b, or flip side, would be heard even less. and what we discovered quickly was how many of the b-side songs were directly related to the civil rights group.
we didn't know the sheer number of songs. singing that sort of song out loud, well, that's a risk. >> the texas ranger hall of fame. it was set up under 1976. we have payments and portraits of all of those rangers. they really begin with steven f. austin. they not only manage to make the area reasonably safe for settlement but the rangers played a major role in texas
good afternoon. i welcome all of you here in the auditorium and those of you watching on c-span or subsequently, our web cast. the wilson center is the living memorial to the 28th president of the united states. my name is robert daly. blank blaeng blank blaeng blank wlank. >> this talk brings together two topics kwh are very often treated separately and belong in the same program, which are corruption and china's attempts to carry out a further round of nuclear reforms. no doubt all of you have been to following corruption stories from china over the past few years.
combatting corruption has been one of the major factors to the great popularity in china. you need to look no further than the second line of the new viral song in china called shidada loves hung momma. it's covered in today's new york times. if you haven't seen it, i urge you to give it a close listen. the first two lines, china has produced an uncle she. he dares to fight the tigers. [ speaking foreign language ]
>> notice, in this song, it's actually very catch chill. it's hard to get out of your head. there's a link in this popular song about how she and his wife love each other. so she has been very closely associated with anticorruption, the china dream, continued economic and social reform. this all seems to be of a peace for governance.
if you've tried to wrestle neither chinese nor english with some of the recent documents, and they're full of social etch with chie characteristics and continued reform. the different uses of phrases of something to do with law. one of the questions we've asked about today was whether the anticorruption efforts are primarily principle or primarily political. what does corruption mean. the documents that were released after the big meeting with the communist par ity in october, they offer some clues as to where she intends to take these themes to take these efforts to include governance. this was the first plan to focus on law or on governing.
want to start with scholar questions. andrew wieedirman is a professor in the department of political science he's been working on this long before he began his anticorruption. it's been 15 years? 18 years. before he came to georgia state, he was at the university of nebraska of lincoln. i had the pleasure of working with andy for chinese in american studies.
i would also like to welcome in his daughter, maggie. andy is now working on a new project. the double paradox of rapid growth and rising corruption in chi china i should also mention that where we were at happens in the jinx center. so a man of discretion. and i thank you very much for that. >> donald clark, where he's been since 2005 and a leading specialist in chinese law.
we get a whole nest in the oil structure. people who worked with him particular particularly linked in to whole networks of corrupt businessmen. we get inklings that the public security had been involved among other things, money laundering and, also, arranging dates for senior members of the leadership with the staff of chinese central tv. finally, we get his son imply
kated in a set of schemes. and then we sell them. and, among those that he was connected to, was a man named hung, w40 is a major figure according to the government in chinese organized crime. we get a whole host of people, most of them in some way involved in the cold sector, are implicated in a series of nefarious deals, which, in a part are related to whose wroer had been right there and whose nephew filed a $300,000 porche into a beijing bridge at 3:00 in the morning with two scantily clad coeds.
and most recently, we have the military scandal. a series of generals are caught, trading, basically, promotions for jobs. most recently, the general -- his house was searched. they found, literally, a ton, a metric ton of cash. it took between 10 and 15 military trucks to take all the "evidence" slash loot out of his apartment, out of his 20, 000 square foot apartment. you look at these scandals. the easy conclusion is that this is about politics.
it's an opening to go after a wide swath of people at a fairly senior level, to clear them out. at the same time, you can look at it as a very clear effort to consolidate his own power. by going after the big titles, and showing that he was able to take on anybody. i think it's easiest to say it's political.
this number began four years ago. i know that part of your statistics are often largely medians. so the best numbers we have iii from 20123. the best is to bring that individual to court and to indict them to trial. they file, basically, 37,51 people. so if the number was 60 or 130, it's a tiny number of people.
that number was up 9% over the previous year. that 9% is like a tidal wave of anticorruption. but if you go back and look at the noumber of people indicted, the number has gone double e down to a trough of 32,000 the number is hard to tell. you don't really have any statistics. that is up 12 pnt from 2012. more significantly, at the preif he canture and euro level, the number jumped from 188 to 261.
a 39% increase. so when you look at the top and you follow the campaign in the media, this leadership, upper leadership level where you get this huge, almost 40 pnt increase. to me, what that suggests, is that the answer to rob ert's question is it political or is it not, if answer is yes. he's trying to consolidate his
power. he is really serious about wanting to fight corruption. i think there is a realization. when i wrote the book, a double paradox book, i looked at all of the data and i couldn't see any real evidence of a worsening corruption. when i look at this data and i look at what's come out, corruption is worse than i actually had thought. you know, you can look at people like general chang, the bhan who was in charge of logistics.
the man was apparently flipping real estate and collecting 2%. when they raided his house, he literally had a ton full of expensive liquor and a three-foot tall, golden statue. they found a metric ton of cash. these are unprecedented figures. and, in some ways, they're quite interesting. why would you sit on a metric ton of cash. and the answer is probably interesting. he didn't have anything to do with it. apparently. and he really couldn't spend it. so he sits there and they had
given away his cash. so you look at the scale of the corruption that we're being revealed in this campaign. it's tens of millions and even hundreds of millions. these are some that have not been built on in the past. there was a man arrested recently. he was not exactly a high-powered position. when they raided his home, they found 80 million in cash. 425
$425,000 plus 37 pounds of gold and certificates for 68 properties. we had some extraordinarily fat flies. if a man whose basic job is to provide you with water and sewage can collect a hundred million from tap water, that's quite a slide early on, we had all of these cases. these are low-level fishes.
when you look at the problem, the flies are also sucking a great deal of blood out of the economy. what are the pros pekts of looking at all of this? he's got some pretty impressive belts. do i expect the see change in corruption? do i expect to hear a new topic? absolutely not. you know, he's going to get people to be careful.
they're going to take that $50 million and hide it really good. everything i've heard out of china, they're petrified. there's a lot of fear and anxiety. how long that lasts is hard to tell. you know, this campaign is two years old. for two years i keep expecting it to begin to wind down. and for two years i've been wrong one time after another. some have suggested that this campaign is now the new normal. and that in fact this campaign will just keep going on and on and on. if it does, that may be -- have positive effects. s because the pressure will be kept up. officials will have to be careful. and therefore, they'll avoid -- well, they'll avoid accepting bribes or do it with a great deal of cunning. the other danger is after a while, when the inspectors don't arrive and when you get away
with it, you become emboldened. i don't expect to see dramatic in-roads into corruption. i don't expect it to go away anytime soon. but having said that, i think it's important to keep in mind, in the united states if you go back and read american political history in the 19th century, in the era around the civil war, it may shock some of my american comrades, but we had a problem with corruption. if you look at municipal history in the u.s., the political machine was the norm, whether it was in new york, or it was in omaha, nebraska, or chicago, et cetera. the u.s. seriously began fighting corruption in about 1870. guess what, we're still fighting it. just a few months ago the governor of virginia, robert mcdonald, and his wife were
convicted, and will face prison time for corruption. so if we turn around and we say, gee, is xi jinping really serious in fighting it? and we then say, well, are we going to see victory in the war on corruption? i think not. the current war on corruption in china began in 1982. it has continued for over three decades at this point. i would expect it will continue for quite some time. it will ebb, it will flow. sometimes it will be more overtly political, and sometimes it will be more principled. but i will give mr. xi credit, that he has responded, and i believe he's actually made some progress, although i don't think you can make as much as most people would like. and i will end there and turn it over to donny. >> okay. thanks very much.
and good afternoon, everyone. thanks for coming out this afternoon. those of you who were going away for thanksgiving, tomorrow will regret not having gone away today. but i hope not. okay. robert's asked me to talk about the fourth plenum legal reforms. so i'm going to start off with the very broad-brush picture of the fourth plenum reforms and talk at the end about their possible implications for u.s./china relations. but don't hold your breath, because i actually don't think there are a lot of implications. the summary is that i think it contemplates no fundamental reform in the basic relationship between the legal system on the one hand and sort of the party/government on the other hand. so it seems pretty clear to me that institutionally speaking,
the party is going to remain above the law. at the same time, though, i think the decision does contemplate some genuinely meaningful, and in my opinion, positive reforms, and so, you know, i don't think that it would be correct to look at the decision and say, oh, it is not advancing towards some ideal we have of the rule of law and therefore, it's meaningless. there's meaningful stuff going on there and much of it positive. first of all, i want to emphasize that the decision still puts party first, law second. and it does this really literally every time the party and the law appear in the same sentence, the party always comes first. so for example, section 1 of the decision really starts off by saying, several important principles that must be upheld in order to achieve the goal of ruling the state according to law. and the first one is, leadership of the party. so that is -- you'll notice, it
doesn't have any kind of substantive content to it. it's purely an institutional goal, which is the party must be in charge. later on, the decision talks about what judges should be loyal to. and it lists four things, the party, the state, the people and the law. and you'll notice which comes first, and which comes last. now, obviously grammatically speaking, there's no particular reason why the things at the front of a list get privileged over things at the end of the list in chinese or in english. but nevertheless, we all know in a document like this, nothing, not even a comma, is accidental. so when we see the same pattern repeated over and over, i think we have to conclude that it's there for a reason. some of you may have heard about the three supremes. and i'm not referring to the music group, i'm referring to the three supreme things a document -- sorry, a slogan long
associated with the former president of the supreme people's court, mr. jun. now they've been resurrected in the fourth are plane of decision. and the three supremes are the three things that, again, courts should put at the forefront of their work. again, the first priority is loyalty to the cause of the party, second, interests of the people, and the third, the constitution of the laws. and again, party comes first, laws come last. so in general, what we are presented with is, you know, an admonition to officials to obey the law. so certainly officials are told they should obey the law. they're not told they're above the law, nothing like that, but nevertheless, one gets the feeling that this is really kind of an internal goal of the party talking to itself. it's saying officials, you shouldn't have a mentality of special privileges. you should not hold yourself
above the law, you should obey the law. but nevertheless, it's not proposing the institutional changes that would take that choice away from officials. officials in a sense still have that choice about whether they want to obey the law, or not. and again, one of the, i guess key symptoms of that might be this system of double designation, which is the informal, i guess extra legal system of detention for officials such as kong, who are being put under investigation, even though everybody in china basically -- well, the entire legal community, i won't say everybody, but most people who look at this institution in china would agree it has no basis of law. and legally speaking, has to be considered unlawful detention, or perhaps kidnapping. so, now, what about meaningful reforms? there are some meaningful major
reforms. i think the main one, which i think is really quite welcome, is the system calls for some significant reforms in the system for managing judges. so there were some vague words about protecting judicial tenure. but it's not clear what they will amount to until we see what goes on in practice. but much more concrete, and more meaningful, i think, is a proposal to establish what is essentially a kind of career civil service model for the judiciary. so junior judges would be selected by provincial level courts, and then would start their careers in basic level courts. and so you'll have at the provincial level essentially a kind of judicial bureaucracy that will be, you know, looking at junior judges, assessing them, monitoring them, trying to pick out promising ones, skillful ones, and gradually promoting them up higher and higher. and the decision doesn't exactly say who will do the promoting,
but i think it's pretty clear it's supposed to be in the hands of provincial courts. this is a significant reform, because the model does not exist at the moment. the way things work now is courts are still basically slowly working their way out of the kind of dunaway model, the work unit model. to become a senior judge in a high level court is to start out as a junior judge at a high level court. the same way the classic story of business success, you start off at amalgamated in the mail room, and hard work and gumption and appropriate scheming, you work your way up to the ceo's office. so chinese courts kind of work on that model. you start off low, and you work your way up. and then the way to become, again, a senior judge at a high level court is to start off as a
junior judge at a high level court. you go to a fancy law school and do well, but if you start off in a low level court, you'll probably stay there. there's not now a good system for identifying promising judges at lower levels. and promoting them to different courts at higher levels. which, you know, isn't necessarily a disaster. in the united states, there is no systematic way of identifying promising judges at lower levels and promoting them to higher levels. countries like japan and germany do have civil service judiciaries like that. so at the same time, there's a bit of a problem, because the decision endorses another good thing which is to say, we should have more -- a system whereby more experienced and senior people outside of the judiciary can move laterally into it. they're sort of looking at the american model where you have kind of the senior experienced lawyers, for example,