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tv   Former Intelligence National Security Officials Discuss Intelligence...  CSPAN  December 11, 2018 4:34pm-6:03pm EST

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movement in the '20s and '30s. it was associated with the phrase, "america first." university of london professor looks at the history of the terms "america first" and "the american dream." in her book "behold, america."
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>> thank you for coming to the national press club. i'm mark roselle, i serve as dean of the school of policy and government at george mason university. we host the michael hayden center for intelligence, policy and international security. so welcome to spy watchers, this promises to be a wonderful program. if you don't know, the school of policy in government are one of ten schools or colleges at george mason university. we're about 2,000 students strong and 11 different degree programs in arlington, virginia and in fairfax, virginia. and among our very highly ranked academic programs actually is our masses degree program in international securities studies that u.s. news and worpd roworl report ranked as number three in the country. among our faculty for the past ten years has been michael
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hayden himself. he's been an absolute gem in the classroom, as he is been a public servant throughout all of his life. we're honored to have him on the george mason university faculty and to be hosting the michael hayden center there. we all wish michael of course, a speedy recovery. so he can get back to the public square. he is such an important and powerful voice. in the sphere of public debate and discourse during some very difficult times. so i would like to introduce the executive director of the michael hayden center. who i believe has a message for michael as well. larry pfeiffer. larry? >> thank you, and welcome, everybody, i appreciate the turn-out. i know december, it's cold outside and people have a lot of competing priorities between holiday parties, shopping and
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what-not. so thank you very much for coming out tonight. general hayden is obviously very sorry that he cannot be here tonight. i know many of you know, for those who don't know, general hayden did suffer a fairly serious stroke in late november. he is very, very hard, working hard at recovery as we speak. at rehabilitation hospital where he'll be spending unfortunately part of the holidays there working hard to get back to us all here. he has asked me to extend his and his family's thanks to all of you. and to anybody watching. on television. his thanks for all the prayers, concerns, well wishes, notes, cards, folks from all walks of life, complete strangers from across the united states and around the globe, it's been very, very heart-warming and inspiring. i know he, he's watching us on tv right now. and i know he appreciates all
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that. so given the fact that he is watching us on television right now, i thought it would be a great opportunity for all of us to extend our well wishes through a round of applause for general hayden. [ applause ] >> thank you, i know that will mean a lot to him and his family. thank you very much. the hayden center, for those who don't know, we're at the shar school of policy and government we're here to noble cause is to educate the broad public about intelligence and how it informs and sometimes doesn't inform policy. as our nation's leaders make those hard decisions about events around the world. we've had a series of events that we do throughout the year. this year our theme has focused
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on the accountability of the intelligence. i'll talk about in a moment. but first just a quick handful of administrative notes. first, i would ask you when we have our question-and-answer session a little bit later. a couple of asks for you. number one, wait to be called on. that would be great. number two, wait for a microphone to be handed to you. so the rest of us can hear you as well as the folks on television can hear you. and i would also appreciate it if you could identify yourself when you ask the question. if you have an affilation that you would like to let us know about, please mention your affilation. and last and most importantly, we would love it to be a question and not a speech. so appreciate that as much as possible. in addition, we have a reception at the end of the event this reception is for everybody in this room. so please do come to the recession and enjoy a drink, enjoy some food and an opportunity to converse one-on-one with our panel. we would appreciate that.
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as i mentioned, this is one in a series of events we're doing this year on the accountability of intelligence. we did an event on the 11th of september. it focused on the relationship of a president of the united states with his intelligence community leaders. and if you are interested in that event, if you weren't able to attend, it is available on youtube on your michael b. hayden channel. so please avail yourself of that opportunity. we'll be doing two more events on the series later in the year. in february we hope to be able to do an event that will focus on congressional oversight. and the importance of sst role of congress in overseeing our intelligence activities. in april we will do an event that will talk about the role of the press and the media in helping to govern and oversee our intelligence activities. tonight we're going to focus on spy watchers. these are the people who are
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inside the intelligence communities or inside the executive branch whose job it is to make sure that those intelligence activities are conducted in a legal, moral and ethical manner. what i'd like, i'm one of those obnoxious hosts, i'll going to ask you all to do something. i would love everyone to stand up for a moment. please stand up. stand up. thank you. i would like you all to raise your right hand, fantastic. i want you to just look around the room at your colleagues and friends and such here. you can all sit down. so when you looked across the room you saw people standing with their right hand up. what i would like you to note is that is what every single member of the united states intelligence community does, is on their first day of work. they stand up, raise their right hand and swear an oath. the oath is to protect and defend the constitution of the united states of america.
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it's to bear true faith and allegiance to that constitution and to the laws derived from that constitution. and it's to well and faithfully discharge the duties of their office. it's a powerful moment for anyone who has ever experienced it. and it sets the tone for everybody's career as they move forward in their intelligence careers. so that's the number one important thing to remember. number two, the other thing to remember is that they're all human beings. so they will make mistakes. and there are some who will be seduced by the power invested in them. there are some who will unfortunately skew over into criminal behavior. what we're going to talk about tonight, are the ways in which the intelligence community protects itself and governs itself against those instances where we're not as expected entirely true and faithful to the constitution. so with that, i want to introduce our panel members.
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i'll introduce them one at a time. i'm going flip my paper over to make sure i get everybody's name right here. so the first person i would like to introduce is mark zayed. a founding partner of a law firm that focuses on national security law free speech claims and government accountabilities. he's represented many whistle blowers, a very important function in our u.s. intelligence community. these are people who feel that they've availed themselves of the opportunities inside and still don't feel that their grievances have been addressed so it's another avenue of approach. so please welcome mark. >> secondly, i would like to invite george little to the stage. he and i go back a long ways, was the director of public affairs at the c.i.a. and is spokesperson for c.i.a. prominently during the leon panetta years as director and then he went with director panetta over to the department
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of defense. many of you probably appearing on television as the pentagon press secretary. so please welcome george. our next panel member is the former acting general counsel of c.i.a. chief legal officer through probably one of the most turbulent periods in our recent national history. he served as the chief legal officer for much of the time from 2001 through about 2009. you can all go through your historical rolodex in your mind and think about all the cool things that happened during that time. john is the one making the legal recommendations to the director of the c.i.a. and leading a staff of lawyers that made representations to the officers of the agency as they took on edgy operations in support of the defense of our country. so please, john is now at steptoe and johnson.
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the author of a great book, called "company man: 30 years of controversy and crisis in the c.i.a." if i want to know what a lawyer's life is like at the c.i.a., it's a great book to read so please welcome john rizzo. >> next i'd like to introduce a real national treasure. lisa monaco has a long and storied career in the department of justice. and its components. culminating with her being assistant attorney general for national security. she also had a little job at one point being the chief of staff to guy named robert mueller at the fbi so during the cocktail hour you can ask her all the questions you want about bob mueller. she finished her government career serving the president of the united states as the assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism. now spends a good amount of her time educating the next generation of lawyers up at nyu. please welcome lisa monaco.
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last but not least, a good friend of mine, is michael morrell. he's serving as our moderator tonight. in general hayden's stead. now he gets to ask questions, instead of answer them. he's the former acting director of c.i.a. and deputy director of the c.i.a. very famously known for being i think the only human being that was with president bush on 9/11 and was with president obama on the day of the osama bin laden takedown. so a lot of great stories he can tell you during the cocktail hour. please welcome mike morrell and we'll get started. >> thank youed a good evening to everybody and thank you all for coming. i just want to start by reiterating what mark and larry said about general hayden. i know that i speak for all of
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the panel members here, in wishing him a speedy and full recovery and wishing the best to him and his wonderful family. we're going to miss him here tonight just as we miss his reasonable voice at this different time in our nation's history. i'm general hayden, we're thinking about you. american intelligence agencies are secret organizations operating in a democracy. and the secret part of that makes it difficult to convince the public, which is the democracy part of it, that the intelligence community is number one operating within the bounds of the constitution. and statute and regulations. number two, it's actually doing the job that it's supposed to do. and actually protecting the country. and number three that it's doing all of that in a way using the money, the taxpayers' money in a
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way that makes sense. doing all of that efficiently. and at the end of the day. the way you square that, the way you square that, giving the public that sense of those three things, is oversight. >> and there were a lot of different mechanisms to oversight. >> number two that we think about the most are congressional oversight and oversight by the media. >> there are a lot of oversight mechanisms in the executive branch for what happens inside the intelligence community and that's what we're here to talk about tonight. we'll talk about congress and the media at future sessions. so to get started, let me just give you a list of many of the mechanisms in the executive branch. for overseeing the intelligence community. number one there are lawyers, lots of lawyers. there are general counsels at each intelligence community
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agency. there is a dni general counsel. there is an nsc lawyers group. a small group of lawyers from the national security agency who get together regularly to make sure that the policy steps of the united states to include those that the agencies, the intelligence community agencies are undertaking are legal. there's the office of legal counsel, at the department of justice. ultimately there's the attorney general himself or herself. lots of lawyers. secondly there are inspector generals. at the different intelligence agencies and there is an inspector general at the dni and some of those inspector generals are statutory with special responsibility to congress. third there are executive branch oversight bodies, there's the president's intelligence advisory board. the intelligence oversight board and there's the privacy and
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civil liberties oversight board and then there's ad hoc commissions as well. such as the one i served on for president obama after the snowden disclosures on and fifth -- fourth, i'm sorry, there are whistle-blower provisions. some of those defined in statute and some of those defined in regulation, and we'll talk about those. and i want to add one more to tonight's discussion because i wasn't sure where to put it in this series, and that's the fisa court. doesn't fit in media, doesn't fit in congress, didn't fit in the president's discussion so we're going to put it in tonight's discussion even though it's not part of an executive branch oversight body. so, lot of different oversight going on here. so, to kick this off, and with all of that as background, let me turn to our panelists, and i want to start by asking john and then mark a simple question.
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why so much oversight? what brought us here? what's the history? john? >> well, i assume, michael, you're not calling on me because i'm the oldest person on this panel, but i actually joined the cia in 1976 as a young totally naive two years out of law school graduate. i was among the first wave of lawyers who were hired by the cia after the church committee investigations. we all remember those. i was the 18th lawyer hired, and to your point, michael, by the time i retired in 2009, we had about 130 and i understand we have dozens more now. so that's the history. not that i personally had anything to do with this, but that marked the beginning of
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oversight, really. before that, in the '50s and '60s, there was none. it marked the beginning of the establishment of oversight committees in the house and senate. there was the establishment of the president's intelligence oversight board out of the white house to specifically oversee from the executive branch perspective, intelligence activities. so that's how it all started. >> so, what was it, though, that brought us to that need for oversight? >> well, i mean, there was just, you know, the thing perversely that drew me to apply to cia in the first place back in '75 were the church committee hearings where this was the first time, the year before cy hirsch and
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"new york times" broke the stories about drug experiments and assassination plots and there were the sensational televised hearings in 1975. actually, the first televised hearings at that point since watergate. and there was just this revulsion on a bipartisan basis in congress about not only these activities cia had done over the previous two decades but the fact that no one outside the cia and the few select people in the white house, including the president, knew about it. so, there was a consensus, really, that something had to change, there had to be some sort of oversight, so that's how it was born. >> mark, do you want to add to that? >> they exist because they're needed, and i think john accurately sets forth the history that led to it. the u.s. government typically,
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as i always explain to folks, is far more reactive than proactive. it doesn't do a very good job of anticipating something to happen, especially in the intelligence community, and usually then reacts to something bad that happens because of course, if it's good, nobody's going to do anything about it and we might not ever hear about it. but there have been and continue to unfortunately be bad things that happen to the intelligence community, sometimes by an individual who does things that they shouldn't have, and then there's a reaction, and oftentimes, other times, by, perhaps, an agency as more of a leadership issue in some of the examples that john mentioned that led to additional reform and oversight. and we can certainly talk about whether that oversight works, as i'm sure we will in dealing with some of the threats, insider threats and outsider threats, and they're both reacted to very
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differently, but they both interact very much because actually one of the things that i say in dealing with whistle-blowers all the time, if you want to talk about some of the people who have -- who some say are whistle-blowers from within the national security environment, i actually could give you concrete examples of their going public perhaps in a way that they thought was meaningful and beneficial and needed has made it harder for other whistle-blowers who actually want to follow the rules to abide by the law and go through the system, because of the way the agencies have reacted from an oversight standpoint to prevent another such person and are he who shall not be named type situation. i'll let one of you guys say the name so i won't be out there in doing it. but there's a lot of reactions by that where i would have hoped the system could have been improved, but instead, i think, actually, it's been made worse.
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>> great. we'll come back to that. i want to come back to that. lisa, let me ask you a question about policy oversight of the intelligence community and i want to do it within the context of the generally held view that the obama white house held a pretty tight grip on both the u.s. military and the intelligence community in terms of the operations it conducted, and my question for you is, do you think that there's a reason that there's a need to more tightly oversee those two organizations than the rest of the government? what's your sense on that? >> well, first, let me say thank you to george mason, to the national press club for hosting us, to the school and of course the hayden center for having us. and if i can just add to your prior question, i mean, i think the reason we have oversight is in part because, and
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appropriately so, the -- over time, the legal and regulatory and policy requirements have increased, and i think it is healthy to have an apparatus within the executive branch to make sure that the intelligent community and the different agencies that are a part of it are adhering to those requirements. i think that's just good government, and we will discuss, i think, whether that's stuff. but i think it has been a natural, appropriate, and i think healthy response to the growth in legal and regulatory kind of mechanisms to make sure that we're adhering to the balance of both the security that the intelligence community and the military and others are sworn to provide as well as, of course, the protections in our constitution. to your question, i guess i would take issue with the notion that there is a particularly
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tight grip on either the military or the intelligence community. i think that there is and was in the obama administration a general view that the national security council, created by the national security act of 1947, to be that place where coordination happens within the federal government of all integration of domestic, foreign, and intelligence and military matters, that there was a view, i think, i know president obama held it, that the national security council ought to do its job as laid out in the national security act and it ought to do so pursuant to a very clear process that he articulated in the presidential directive that lays out -- that was issued, i think, on the first day of the obama administration, and i think rightly was following a template that president bush 41's white house adopted. so that there ought to be a process and a careful and clear
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integration of those interests and a kind of integration of the policy needs and a clear set of goals for that foreign policy and execution of intelligence operations and matters. and so, you know, i think that there -- it makes sense to have that happen with the -- to use your words, a pretty tight grip within the white house because ultimately the president is the single -- he's one of two folks who are elected at the federal level and who is accountable for all that, for all that policy and for all of those operations. so i think it's appropriate to centralize that in the white house. that ought to be, however, against a backdrop that it ought not to be an operational entity as we've learned through some cycles of kind of crisis and reform and response in prior years, iran-contra to name one.
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so there ought to be that process. there ought to be that structure. it's appropriate in the white house but it has to be done adhering to a certain balance. >> and i think i would add that the risks being taken by the u.s. military on a daily basis and the u.s. intelligence community on a daily basis, the risks to the nation, the risks to the organizations and the risks to the credibility of the nation, i mean, almost requires a level of oversight that we're talking about here. george, i'm wondering from your experience, in part, we're doing this to make sure that mistakes don't happen, and we're doing it to ensure the public that all is being done as it should be done. how do you educate the public about all of this stuff, most of which they don't know anything about? >> it's a tough job, believe me. i've spent many years attempting
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to do so. i'll let you assess my success or lack thereof. first, let me echo what lisa said, thank you to george mason, to the school, to the hayden center. i'd like to give a shoutout to director hayden who took a chance on me and made my a spokesman at the agency after having never spoken to a reporter in my life. and it was a real gamble. secondly, he's a son of pittsburgh, and i just want him to know that for the remainder of this football season, i'm switching my football allegiance from the washington redskins to the pittsburgh steelers. that's out of deep affection for him but also a little bit of the redskins performance. in any event, i certainly hope he's watching and i want one of those towels. what was the question again, michael? >> how do you do your job in making sure that the public understands? >> so one of the great lines
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that director hayden had in one of his speeches was that -- and you alluded to this, michael -- that there are the twin imperatives of openness and secrecy and the cia office of public affairs, there used to be a button that people worry long before i got there but there were still some stashed in the desk and it was "comment" with a led line through it. no comment. we made a decision at the agency that there was no longer tenable. there is no natural constituency for the cia. it does not exist. you have intelligence officers who support the agency, but it's very difficult to have political following and routine support from other branches of government, especially, and so you have to -- we made a decision to actually say more on the record, which surprised a lot of people. and there's actually a whole lot you can say about the agency's mission, about its people, and
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about world events. so, the press is obviously one key way of trying to educate. the press is ultimately not the enemy of the intelligence community or anybody else. the press helps inform the american people and yes, we're adversarial from time to time in the intelligence community with the press, but the intelligence community beat reporters who cover the agency and the intelligence community writ large are generally very responsible, and if you develop a relationship of trust, understand when there's a bright line, that veers on sources and methods and diming out people or operations that, you know, might harm life or national security. that might get harder in the digital age with bloggers and more of an international press that's looking at all of this, but the press is, in fact, a
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very important component of that education. it took us a while at the agency to get through all the security clearances to finally approve anything on twitter or facebook or the rest of it, and the cia does have a digital presence now and does a very nice job of it. don't look at my twitter feed but the cia does a lot better. and finally, i think that you have to harken back to there's some historians of the agency here, and you have to tell the stories of the accomplished men and women over time who have risked their lives for this nation, and some of those tales can't be told right away, but they could be told as time passes on and with the appropriate clearances from john and others in the general counsel's office. and telling the stories of -- i'm just going to call him joe. he was still working at the agency, you know, and he was dropped into manchuria during
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world war ii and became part of the oss, i think, against his will and stayed with the agency until i left in 2011 as a contractor. spent 70 years of his life in the agency doing incredible things. and you can tell those stories of the men and women of their mission, you can tell world events. you can comment on them. you can have a relationship with the press, and i think that is ultimately the bag of tricks that you have to inform the american people. >> let me just add that when general hayden came to cia, we were more closed. we were less transparent. and i remember him making an argument which was quite persuasive that, you know, i think we can push the fence line out in what we talk about. i think we can tell the american people more about what we're doing, give them more confidence in who we are and what we do and by pushing the fence line out,
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we can actually do a better job protecting what we have to protect. >> and most americans understand that we need to have at least some secrets. >> and i think we did that during general hayden's tenure and i think we tried very hard to continue it after he left. but i think that's really important. i want to ask all of you kind of the big question here, which is about effectiveness. the effectiveness of this oversight. i'm going to start with lisa. if you could talk about how effective you think all these mechanisms are, which are the most effective, in your mind, do we need any more? do we have too many? how do you think about all of that? >> so, the way i think about oversight in general and the part that is done by the executive branch is that it generally has two components to it. i think it has a component that checks, and this is a lot of
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what i did in the national security division, the lawyers that you left off your copious -- your list of lawyers, the national security division lawyers has wonderful group of about 100-plus lawyers whose job it is to represent the intelligence community before the fisa court. and you know, part of that role as well as the other lawyers that you mentioned is to ensure that the legal requirements are being met. so, think of that in the box of what can be done. is what is being done by the intelligence community consistent with law and regulation. but then i also think about compliance in terms of government. right? this is, is it -- does it make sense? is it consistent with our principles? is it consistent with who we are? does it follow the policy
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preferences of those who were duly elected and who are accountable to the people and that i think of in the category of, should we do it. and i think the most effective oversight mechanisms that i have seen in operation, both involve all three branches of government and therefore have the legitimacy that is attached to that, and that touch on both, that are both compliant but also have an element of governance, that ask the question, and this is what i have seen in my work over many, many years with the intelligence community across the board, the cia, the national security agency, the different components at the fbi, of course, the different components of the defense department, that there is a real effort to get it right, to both satisfy the legal compliance, to ask the questions of, is this something we can do consistent with our legal obligations, but also to ask of
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themselves, is this something that we should do, but mostly that comes and there's, i think, an inherent responsibility of the policymakers to be asking that question. >> john? >> well, call me prejudiced but my pick for the first line of defense is the lawyers inside the intelligence community. and as lisa and michael have said, they have proliferated over the years. i mean, since i -- >> you say that with affection. >> yes. yes. and beamusement. really, that is where -- and george and certainly michael know this -- i mean, that is where, inside the agency, that is the first place where the real substance of people, the analysts, the operators, go these days because they have lawyers, literally, sitting amongst them in every component
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of the agency. and you know, i observed it over the years. i like to think i helped some in that regard over the years. so, that would, i would say, would be the first line of defense. the second line of defense, and this is a phenomenon that grew out of the iran-contra reforms, is a inspector -- a rigorous, tough inspector general system. inspector general is picked and confirmed, nominated by the president, confirmed by the senate. we have now in all the intel agencies, including the dni, and i will tell you, as a guy who served in the cia office inspector general for one year as sort of a -- 1984, that was sort of vacation assignment. in by 8:30, out by 5:00. this new -- the idea of the
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inspector general as being truly independent. i think it's actually been a boon, a huge boon, although, you know, those of us who are on the inside can tell you from experience, they can be a pain in the butt sometimes when you have to deal with them, but i think they've served a huge purpose. the final thing, and maybe this is probably i should jump this above the others, is the congressional oversight. the house and senate intel committees. one of the regrets i have about the agency post-9/11 and all the controversies over, you know, the interrogation program and the black sites, and i hold myself part of the -- partly responsible for this, is that we didn't tell enough people in the congress at the time, at that
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time of great national peril, what we were doing and more importantly why we felt we had to do it. we kept it to a small group, the so-called gang of eight, congressional leadership, the briefings were episodic, off the record, no staff, no transcript, and you know, i mean, this is a political reality, three or four years later, after the original briefings about the program, political tide had turned, and these few members, how do i put this, not all of them scrupulously stood up and said they were aware of the program from the beginning. that was to actually be expected. what we should have done is to tell as many people as possible, certainly the full intel committees, about what we were doing at the time it was being done. it wouldn't have insulated us, but it would have helped.
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so that's my -- >> john, does oversight get in the way of the ic doing its job? >> well, you know as well or better than i, michael, yeah, oversight can be a huge pain. you have to -- you know, you have to do briefings. you spend half your -- you get higher up in the hierarchy, you spend half your time briefing sometimes members but frankly most of the time staff. when you think you're doing the right thing and the legal standard for reporting to the intelligence committees is all of significant intel committee -- intel activities, the cia is required to do that. i can't tell you how many times we would dutifully go down to the oversight committee staff and say, well, this is what we're doing now, and this is, we think, is pretty significant, and they would look at us and say, why are you telling us this
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stuff? so it's a -- it can be hugely frustrating. and the second guessing, in my experience, can be very difficult because it gets personal. but i mean, it's, you know, without oversight, especially in congress, you want to be able to say, yes, we not only followed the law, but look, we're going to put you guys in the boat with us. we're going tell you what we're doing. if you got a problem with that, let us know. so i just think it's great for the country but for the protection of the intel community, it is indispensable. >> george, effectiveness. >> i agree there are many, many lawyers who i've spent time with
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in the united states government, and it's been a lot of bonding time. director hayden used to say, in speeches, that there are more lawyers in the intelligence community than there are in some intelligence services around the world. >> which is true. >> which is true. i think that there are two broader trends that i think are worth talking about with respect to congress. i don't think that we have the congressional oversight piece quite right. now, we could attribute that to interesting personalities in congress or the politics of the day or what have you, but i think there are two broad trends. one sounds a bit silly. one is that, you know, the informal relationships that used to exist, the social relationships that used to exist in washington don't anymore, generally. so, the intelligence community's interactions with congress have
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become more formal. you march into a hearing room, it's kind of adversarial by definition, and you answer formal questions, et cetera, et cetera. and there used to be a more informal exchange between the executive branch, intelligence community leaders, and congress, which i think helps. director panetta would have coffees on a weekly basis with members of congress and i think that helped but it's something to bear in mind. the other trend, i think, is a broader trend about our country's politics. it used to be that politics stopped at the water's edge and now i think that's not the case. and we've seen, regrettably, more of the politicization of the intelligence and congress which does not, in my opinion, lead to responsible and informed oversight. >> to the extent -- i'm asking this question to see if you agree. to the extent that those trends are happening it actually makes
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the oversight in the executive branch of the intelligence community even more important, to the extent that it's breaking down to some degree in congress. >> agreed. agreed. no doubt about that. there are extensive accountability mechanisms in the executive branch, which you all have referred to but i think we need to get back to a time where congress is a more constructive player in the process. >> mark, enough, too much? not the right kind? what's your sense? >> i'll give a little insight on sort of both sides. i'd also throw in the judiciary as an oversight mechanism. it's one of the areas that those of us in the private sector can use to ensure a degree of oversight at the executive branch, not as much on the legislative branch, little bit every once in a while. i totally agree with george on the partisanship. i mean, that's been part of the problem and i would say certainly goes back a long way
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but i've been in d.c. now for a quarter century. i'd say really like the last 10, 15 years, post-9/11, and we can blame it on all sorts of redistricting and gerrymandering but that's a different subject altogether. but one of the problems from a congressional oversight, as far as when i bring intel clients up to the oversight committees, one, the two intelligence communities, they only have so much staff, for one thing. and the staff are doing a lot of the work than the members. i mean, every once in a while i get to know a member but i'm usually dealing with staff. and they, as a general rule, in the hips, it functions differently than the senate, in the years i've gone to them, it's a difference between house and senate. they don't particularly want to hear about individual cases. they want to hear about more of a systemic problem. so i always have to try and say, hey, this client of mine at whatever intel agency is undergoing this issue and it's
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not just highlighted to them. they're not just being retaliated because them. there's something bigger for the committee to take a look at. and that's difficult to do very often. then, the other committees, which get lost in the shuffle of any type of intel oversight, is there are a number of committees that at least by the way they're created have dual jurisdiction over the intelligence committee -- community, the judiciary committee, armed services, government reform, certainly appropriations, obviously. now, the intel committees obviously have an agreement when they were created in '77, '78 to be the priority, but they're not exclusive. there was a fascinating hearing almost two decades ago, the house government reform committee had a hearing about why the cia refused to cooperate with them. and jim woolsey, you probably were there, jim woolsey was the surrogate witness because the committee was furious that they were not getting any type of
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cooperation. in fact, originally, the agency had agreed to show up on some sort of non-controversial issue and then the cia, from what i was told to me by someone who was a staffer the other day, talked to other agencies out of actually cooperating as a group. but part of the problem that also happens that i'll tell you, there's a lot of great oversight in a lot of the agencies in each of the branches. one place where i've been really disappointed, though, is in the inspector generals. particularly in the sense that given the work that i do in representing aggrieved individual employees, whatever it might be, security clearances -- let's put aside that they're being investigated by the ig. they want to complain about something else within another part of their agency or the ic in general. whether it's a whistle-blower or whatever it might be. and i got to tell you, other than having personal relationships, which after 25 years, fortunately, i will, with folks in different agencies,
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it's been very hostile from the outside to try and work with the igs. you would think the ally i would have inside any of the agencies, intelligence or otherwise, would be the ig, right? they're supposed to care about whistle-blowers. >> think about how it feels on the inside, mark. >> i know. no, exactly. but we don't see it from the outside unless we have a very special personal relationship with someone in the inside that that level of oversight or receptiveness exists, which is a really sad thing, and i would love -- and i continue to try to change it. what do i see as somewhat of a success from an oversight? i think one example i can give would be the i.c.e.c.a.p. within the national information panel so this is a classification-declassification entity that's not dealing with
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whistle-blowers and things like that. but from an oversight perspective, why do i say it's a good thing? so, this is ail executive branch members from a variety of different agencies who, if you make a mandatory declassification request to an agency to declassify a document, and an agency says no, you can take it to this body, this appeal body of other agencies, including the agency you requested it from, and they will sit in judgment over the decision. and something like the last stats that i saw, 71% of the appeals are successful. meaning that that appeals group overrides the agency that said no, it's classified. so, a d.o.d., state department, nse person is saying no to an nga individual who said we can't release this information. that, to me, is fantastic oversight and that's all within the executive branch. what i would love to see,
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especially for whistle-blowers, and clearances, quite frankly, is to have another agency within the executive branch oversee a decision process, and there's all sorts of debates we can have on it, but when i really see sound, informed, impartial decisions made is if i can get it outside of the agency where they have a personal stake involved, either because of friendships or cya or embarrassment or whatever it might be. that's when i start to see the difference. now, that could be congress. that could be the judiciary. but quite frankly, it could be the executive branch. >> have you found that the dni can play that role or not? >> so -- >> you can be honest here. >> yeah. >> you're only on tv. >> totally off the record, mark. >> there have been times where the dni has been fantastic in helping out some cases that i had without a doubt.
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i was on a panel with bob, the former general counsel for the american bar association last month, and bob was a great general counsel from the outside when i was dealing with him on issues. i will say, and we can have a separate panel on this too, the dni is still trying to figure out what role it plays within the community, and how much oversight and authority it will exert upon the agencies. we are routinely bringing cases to the dni ig because we're having issues with the cia ig. and we're trying to get them to function in the way we think or believe congress had created it to be sort of this oversight body overall, but i think there's still -- haven't reached a level of maturity to play that role. >> can i add on to this by saying i think people are not aware of the level of kind of cross agenciover sigy oversight. so for instance, the lawyers who
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worked for me in the national security division would conduct on site reviews of what was going on in the national security agency, in the fbi, for the conduct of national security investigations and the appropriate use of the fisa authority. so that was kind of cross agency oversight. when i was chief of staff to bob mueller, he and i spent many, many, many hours in front of the president's, at the time, it was called the president's foreign intelligence advisory board because they were really pushing the transformation of the fbi into a national security focused organization, focused on preventing the next attack and the build-up of a more robust intelligence capability. when i was in the white house, after the snowden disclosures, there, i said it, we sought outside expertise and created a commission that you served on where the former acting director of the cia served hand in glove with a card carrying member of the aclu, a constitutional law
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professor, jeff stone, at the university of chicago, precisely so we could get a variety of perspectives. >> we had desks that faced each other so we faced each other every day and we argued and argued and argued and argued and we came to a meeting of the minds. >> and it made for a better product, and it made for a set of recommendations, not all of which that we took to the letter but it forced us internally in the executive branch to really think through. so, those are just three examples of executive branch oversight in different flavors that i was a part of that i found to be quite effective, not perfect, but certainly effective. >> so, let me bring together three things here, because you said something that i earlier agreed with 100%, which is, when you have all three branches of government doing oversight, it's very effective. right? number one. number two, we talked about snowden, right? and number three, we had a
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discussion about the public. and i'm trying to figure out here how the public fits into this oversight, because the snowden disclosures, in particular two of the programs that he disclosed, were two of the programs that had the most oversight in my memory, in the history of the intelligence community. they had executive branch oversight, congressional oversight, they had judicial oversight, they had oversight by two different white houses, multiple national security teams, multiple hipcs, multiple sipcs, and yet the issue exploded because the public reacted in a certain way. how did you think about that? >> so, i think it comes back to this framework that, and, you know, don and me and colleagues of mine at nyu, i should give a shoutout to who have written on
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this, zach goldman and sam raskoff, about this notion of compliance and governance. so i think what happened with the snowden disclosures revealed was, take, for instance, the 215 program, the collection of the telephone metadata subject to robust oversight in the executive branch, fisa court oversight, multiple different judges approving of this, lots of oversight by the congress, and inspector general oversight, i should note. but when it became public, all of that, the way our constitutional structure was set up, to have all of those branches engaged in overseeing, to lend that ovactivity legitimacy, it was not seen that way by the public. i mean, that's an overgeneralization, but so much so that it -- the -- a different law was passed to put it under different authority, so in
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essence, i think what the snowden disclosures revealed was that this activity was lawful. now, there was a court in the district court that had a different view, but multiple courts and all the oversight that i indicated and it was done pursuant to a statute in congress. i think you could say it was lawful but deemed illegitimate in the eyes of many in the public. so what do you do and what is the intelligence community do in that instance? and i think what the answer is, is a public debate, which is what we ended up having, and ultimately, a retention of the authority in the executive branch but changing it to house that information in the phone companies instead of at the national security agency, but that was done pursuant to a congressional statute. >> and george, i'm wondering, from you sat, to what extent that you thought that the public
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reaction was because we didn't handle the issue from a public relations perspective as well as we could have. >> i don't mean to sound critical here of anybody because i certainly didn't bat 1.000 when i was in government but i remember going back to 2007 when i first became a spokesman at the agency and i was talking to one of my nsa public affairs colleagues, and i said, you guys better start talking more and developing more relationships, getting your message out to the public, sharing your mission, because your day is going to come. now, i didn't think that day would ever come with snowden and so forth, but we were having some tough times at the agency. we were getting some really bad coverage, and despite all my efforts to tell people that we were operating within the confines of american law and policy, it was a tough sell. and i didn't really see that pivot on the part of nsa, and they have maintained, with some
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exception, and i will give credit to director hayden, who was much more open as nsa director than some others during his time there, but they never really developed that. it's been a bit of a no comment environment at nsa for a very long time. now, that goes back to the culture of this incredible agency with incredible people in it. of course, until 1996, it was no such agency, right? didn't actually even acknowledge its own existence. i might be getting the date wrong, but it's close. and so when the snowden disclosures hit in 2013, and i was at the pentagon at the time, watching this unfold on a sunday afternoon, i immediately thought to myself, nsa has no reputational capital in the bank, and this is going to be a very bad -- i mean, it's bad, period. it's a crisis. and a crisis is when they're coming through the windows and they were coming through the windows but they had no ability to effectively tell their story and they had missed several opportunities, in my humble
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opinion, to defend, broadly, without going into a classified detail publicly to defend their work, the men and women of the nsa and its vitally important programs. >> so, what's more important at the end of the day, the mechanisms of oversight or the people, the integrity of the people who are operating inside of those mechanisms? in other words, could another iran-contra affair happen today, even with all this oversight? john? john, what do you think? >> here i go again, the geriatric in the group. yeah, i was the -- i had the swell job of being the liaison between cia and the iran-contra committees. short answer, michael, is there were a lot of unique personalities in the executive branch at that time, both at the
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agency, at the nsc, and in congress. >> i think i was, like, not even born. >> oh, thank you. thank you. >> for the record, lisa was not involved in iran-contra. >> yeah. i know. yeah. >> i was born, just not -- >> about the spanish-american war, john. >> yeah. bay of pigs. you want to hear about the bay of pigs? >> i've lost control here. >> no, i will just say, michael, the iran-contra affair was so -- since then, the oversight mechanisms have been built up since that time, the inspector general has become a presidential senate confirmed position, as is the cia general counsel. i don't think it could happen again. i think that the country learned lessons and congress learned
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lessons. one last thing about the iran-contra scandal i've talked about publicly before, it's hard to say i'm nostalgic about it but one thing about the iran-contra committee was it was this, you know, joint committee. you remember that, michael. 26 members. >> i was not involved either. >> 26 members, you know? republicans, democrats, house and senate. there was a unanimity, a consensus. one, the cia screwed up, but two, that, you know, don't -- try to keep in perspective the misguided but well intentioned policy role here underlying all of it. in other words, in those days, when congress got mad at us, it was on a bipartisan basis. now, everyone just retreats to their corners, depending on
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who's sitting in the white house. you've had that experience. >> mark, you agree that something significant can't happen again? >> i think something significant can happen again. i don't know if it could happen at the grander scale of iran-contra. i mean, i absolutely have seen many iran-contras happen where usually my client's suspected of doing something they shouldn't be doing as a case officer, wherever it might be, but again, those were caught by the agencies, whether they were right or wrong as to whether my client was engaged in something. there was -- i was involved with the able danger issues back already, what, a dozen, 15 years ago, which was not a major controversy in that type of situation, but when it became known and able danger was this data mining operation that d.o.d. and some of the intel agencies were doing and i guess controversial depending on what
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view you have of it, but there were aspects where, when we had congressional hearings on it, that agencies weren't sure of how they were reacting to one another, and there started to be allegations that individual intelligence officers were off on their own, doing certain operations that they weren't, and then they would, of course, say, well, they had been authorized by so and so, but whether it was put down in writing or not and it was one of these things where now we look back a dozen years later and we talk to some of the people who were the superiors we said had authorized it and had denied it then but now they're out of government service and they'll have a beer with us and say, yeah, actually i remember telling you it was okay to do, so that's obviously a degree of frustration to say the least. but you know, it can happen without a doubt. and going back to -- a little
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bit on the snowden, i really do think the snowden situation, the public reaction was a pr failure by the government. again, not in anticipating what could likely happen and then how to react to it. now it's the fifth anniversary in past june, and there are very little -- very few articles. go google what was in the last few months. very few articles talking about snowden in the last five years and what the impact has been since, and i would dare say, and those in the government will know better than i, that the programs are probably stronger and more active now, legally, completely legal, because there's, like lisa said, complete oversight and a new statute. now congress can't complain that they didn't know about it as they did in some of the litigation that came out of snowden's disclosures. but the key thing from the pr standpoint, if we only look at the domestic surveillance program, we now get fisa court
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decisions declassified. sure they have some redactions but we can see what the analysis is, and the program still goes strong. we can have congressional hearings on it and information's released and the program's still going strong. that could easily have happened beforehand. i mean, we were talking about the program on television in -- i remember going on msnbc in 2007, talking about aspects as it had started to leak out, and instead of embracing it and saying, well, let's reveal some information, the agencies decided, no, we're not going to do anything, and that, frankly, contributed to snowden, right or wrong, quite frankly, wrong, as far as i'm concerned, to doing what he did for ideological purposes. >> did you want to add? >> i would just add a point on, first, i had complete sympathy for george little and his colleagues and having to deal -- i mean, george didn't have to
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deal with snowden but his press colleagues in the agencies in not being armed, not being able, really had their hands tied because of the appropriate classification at the time of a lot of these programs. so, it is true that the government was not able to kind of turn on a dime to explain these things. but it did force a lot more declassification. >> okay. let's open it up to questions. i can't see very well because of the lights so please -- right here. mike's coming. i think. here it comes. thank you. >> thank you. so, thank you to the panel for being here tonight, because this is crucial to how we talk about democracy and secrecy and finding that balance for intel
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oversight. so my name is jennifer smith-hayes, i'm a ph.d. in public policy and my focus is on intelligence oversight so thank you for being here. so, my research question looks at what the mechanisms are that congress, the executive branch, and agencies choose to employ for different problem sets, and specifically, i look at what commissions, why we choose commissions and why congress, agencies, and the executive branch chooses commissions over the executive branch using the piab and pclob agencies using ogc, ig, or the ombudsmans which we did not talk about tonight, as well as congress committee hearings or with staff studies so things i've looked at are expertise, accountability for intelligence scandal and failures, and agenda setting as crucial. so, kind of looking at that, what are your perspectives on your time in government because this changed over time, about why these different political principles choose to use
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commissions as independent, outside lookers to hold government accountable. just kind of interested in your perspective. >> why did president obama choose to do a commission? >> because in the wake of the snowden disclosures, we fired up all of the mechanisms we've talked about in terms of getting insight from the president's intelligence advisory board, from the club, from the civil liberties oversight board, et cetera, but we needed to have some outside perspective, and from a different group of disciplines, necessarily, than were represented on those bodies, and so we specifically decided to get -- put together this panel with folks who had served in the government, those who had never served in the government, those who came from a -- from different perspectives, who had different bases of expertise to really give us a wide range of views. >> was there a -- i want to say this the right way. was there a political aspect?
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was there a public relations aspect to it as well? >> certainly. i think the notion that -- there was a reason whooy we thought w needed to get a broader set of views. also because i think, you know, president obama tended to take the long view on issues. he saw a lot of what was emerging in the snowden disclosures, aside from the individual programs, but -- and it reflected the public response, so kind of stepping back, a number of us inside government in the wake of the snowden disclosures, talked about how, had this been public at the time some of these programs were being adopted in the wake of 9/11, for instance, might the public have digested them differently. but in a world where we were 10, 12 years hence, and technology taking on different roles in our lives, you know, it was a -- it was being disclosed in a different environment, and we needed to grapple with that in a broader context. >> and i would just sad, in the
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terms of the national defense strategy commission that i was just on, that's a once every four years, congress wanting an independent view. wanting a different view about the country's defense needs than it gets from the administration itself. so it's just independent view. >> over here? >> thank you. my name is steve, i'm a freelance journalist. my question is to mr. rizzo. when you talk about the roots of oversight going back to the church committee, which i would just add that it may also go back to sam irvin's constitutional rights subcommittee oversight hearings on intelligence committee -- on intelligence community surveillance of civilians that led to watergate, but it was all of a piece.
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the intelligence oversight mechanism that evolved from that controversy up to and including the church committee hearings, do you feel that it has -- the structure has weathered itself well over the time since then? because that was in a different time and in response to a different set of problems than we face now. >> yeah, i mean, the short answer is yes. as you recall, the church committee was a special committee set up. there was no intelligence committees at that point. and in many ways, it was kind of sensational, a lot of postures from both sides of the witness table on the dais, but the creation of the intelligence committees, i mean, i think we've actually been fortunate,
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with some exceptions, over the last, what, 40 years, the heads of the 2 intelligence committees, regardless of party, regardless of whether house or senate, they have been good. they have been responsible. they have been conscientious. there have been, as i say, a few notable exceptions to that rule, but no, i think, as i said earlier, i think the intelligence committee structure is not only part of our democracy. i think it's, you know, i think it's a huge insurance policy for the intelligence agencies. so, yeah, i would say it's evolved very effectively.
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>> has that weathered the years well? >> i would defer to lisa and michael but i left government in 2009. honestly, in my time, i mentioned the intelligence oversight board. honestly, i didn't view them at the time as terribly rigorous. they were appointed by the president, had a lot of distinguished people on them, but it just -- they weren't -- i mean, i just have to tell you from being inside at that point, that was not -- i never viewed them as terribly rigorous. >> down at the end, ma'am. >> courtney fleming, i worked as a contractor supporting cia, dni, various intelligence communities, private and then i did public service. so my question really is about
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the mechanism of the ig's office and how they can truly be effective when they report to the head of the cia themselves. they're not really independent at all, in my opinion. they're not statutorily independent. i know, mr. rizzo, you mentioned at the cia, you know, they do have to go through an appointment but they still report to the head of cia. they don't report to an outside organization. i know at nga, they report to, at one point, they were reporting to the head of nga and i think that's the case at the -- all the other intelligence organizations. can you speak to that? >> michael, you want to? >> i can. every ig that i worked closely with during my seven years on the cia seventh floor, i certainly felt that they felt they were independent. i certainly felt that they felt
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that they could report to the director and to the deputy director and to me when i was -- my cadence, number three, what they were thinking. they were statutory in the sense that they could go directly to the hill. they did not need our permission to go to the hill. and they frequently did. so, i think they had the independence they needed. my issue with the ig has always been effectiveness. i mean, i always thought that the audit piece of the ig did a magnificent job in auditing the various activities of the agency and pointing out where there were problems. i think the inspection part of the ig didn't really ever tell me anything i didn't already know. there was no -- these were people who were on rotation for short periods of time. you were probably in the inspection staff. >> i was, yes. >> these were people who are on
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short rotations from other parts of the agency from a short period of time. they didn't bring any expertise. they didn't give me a lot of insight into a particular unit they were inspecting and the investigative side of the ig, i felt they didn't have the investigative resources that they really needed to dig into an issue and get all the facts in one place so you could make a decision. so, my issue with the ig was its effectiveness, not its independence. >> and if i bring -- the audits, that was easy, they checked the badge reading machines and was the person there at work or not at work, which was complicated when you represented case officers who wouldn't show up at headquarters and proving that they were actually working but that's another story. but from the inspection standpoint, if i wanted to bring a whistle-blower to an ig, i mean, look, your agencies are very small. we live in a small town, d.c., coming from new york. this is a town as far as i'm concerned. and the agencies are pretty small, especially on the operational side. so, when you have folks who are going on rotation for x period
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of years, everybody knows one another or is connected to one another, so if you try and bring a whistle-blower over to inside the agency, even though a lot of times the ig, in my to bring someone where the individual doing the investigating has a relationship with the people you are reporting on or they may go back to that director or office, was problematic which is why i would like to see some sort of external oversight at least for whistleblowers so you can bring someone to get a completely unbiased independent view of the particular agency. there is going to be pushback obviously because of equities. the thing about whistleblowers that has always bothered me, if you look on paper the work i do
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, i have a nonprofit called whistleblower agent, we are all on the same page. all the laws are in favor of whistleblowers. all the presidential proclamations are in favor of whistleblowers. you are encouraging whistleblowers until one blows the whistle internally [laughter] and then they don't feel like they are being looked at in friendly way. it's frustrating when we are trying to bring people who do want to do it the right way and there are people who want to do it the right way, and there are people who don't do it at all because they are concerned if they do it the right way they will be penalized. but they are not received well enough. that is where the oversight dimension falls short as far as i'm concerned. it is sad because the mechanism on paper is there, that is where the people come in. >> it's dangerous if you don't feel like you're being taken seriously within the mechanism you've been -- the has been created.
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>> snowden said, i don't agree with it, but he said he went outside the system as he saw how others were treated. i could debate whether that was a legitimate as to how he saw it, but it doesn't matter. that is what he thought. that is why he did what he did. >> back here? >> i work the united states army which parenthetically just beat navy again on saturday. so my question is a follow-up to the comment that you wish you had been more forthcoming on the hill and garnered more support. let me play devils advocate. if you had done that, what you think the odds are that someone who disagreed with you, we are at the press club, would have liked it and would have been adjudicated not through oversight but through the
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media? in the kind of hearing you think more things need to be weighed by the public. maybe that is the way we should go. >> i think if we have been, if from the beginning of the interrogation of the secret prison system, early 2002, with the climate in the country and congress and the media, the american people, it would've been supported. and in fact at the time we briefed the a congressional leaders at that point, they were all tremendously supportive. for instance on the interrogation techniques as we walk through them with other excruciating detail, the reaction we would get from both republicans and democrats, is this enough? do you need to do anything more? i don't know whether they would've liked it then, i can tell you i didn't discern any
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opposition or repulsion. four years later of course we are further away from 9/11, politically, i think. i think if we had just gone down there and put it on the record with transcripts, this is what waterboarding is. it would be like that so-called torture. i would have read it verbatim and at least they couldn't have said, years later, 98% of congress who didn't know, they could accurately say, i never knew this was going on then. i am repulsed. but for the eight, at least they couldn't have said like they did, maybe i got briefed that they didn't tell me enough. or i always opposed it. that's what i was talking about. and in fact the program started to get leaked.
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>> the white house has a lot of say in what you briefed to congress. >> yes. i took a role in this but the decision actually came out of the vice presidents office at the time to limit the briefing. until general hayden arrived. and he went back and said we can't sustain this. one of the many great acts of service the general did for our agency. >> i briefed congress on many extra nearly sensitive issues with both member and staff in the room. and nothing i've ever reaped to congress was ever leaked. it's not well known, but most of the leaks of classified information do not come out of
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congress. the come out of the executive branch. and never had anything leaked i propose to congress. >> i agree with that. >> question? over here. >> i guess i will throw this question up to the panel. i found it very interesting that you mentioned about the review process for appeals for revealing whether we should classify or declassify information. what struck me immensely was the idea that other agencies would strike down the decision. for the representatives thereof. i guess i just wanted to delve further, how would you explain that? to me i would think there would be more empathy there. i wouldn't want to overturn a fellow agency's decision. additionally if were talking about oversight, if this model is effective, could we apply it
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to other parts of the intelligence community that could use more oversight? >> market think you are talking about -- >> i did but i don't have any insight. -- from an attitude standpoint i have represented some of the folks who've been on that panel over the years and i worked with directors for many years, steve garfunkel who many of you knew and was there for a long period of time. bill leonard who i represented in some matters and some of the espionage act cases he has been the expert witness and i always saw that they took their jobs seriously and applied what rules -- the declassification guide stated. and frankly they weren't -- to
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me what was making the difference and hopefully someone else can say from the inside, the difference was they didn't have any equity in it that didn't feel personal to them. that is usually when i saw the me the difference. there was something about whatever the issue was that that agency that was classifying it didn't want that information out or thought that pandora's box would open. and the other members of the community who would oversee it would be like, no, what are you talking about? we don't think anything bad is going to happen. >> i was going to add in my experience it's arbitrary rules that get it, declassify. for the longest time it hinges on the peasant -- the presidents decision-making. it will discourage analysts from calling it like they see it. that is the position the cia took for years until president bush decided declassify pdb and
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that fell apart. in my experience people debate these rules which tend to be arbitrary. they don't debate individual declassification decisions very often. there is agreement. >> and i can say, and you are part of some of these discussions as well, i am not ever part of the process that mark described but i was part of a number of discussions around the situation room table about whether or not to declassify certain things. and folks brought their equity to the table. in other words, if this were to be declassified what would the impact be? and we would hear from the cia, we would hear from the nsa, foreign policy, the diplomatic corps about what the impact would be. we would discuss them and
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ultimately made decisions or i think frankly some of those should be at that level and have those equities. >> that's what happened with the so-called torture memos in early 2009. the decision to declassify them. >> but there was less classification frankly, we have over classified. i'm not the first person to say that. if we understood and agreed to what information was actually secret so we could have more informed debate. >> i'm going to turn this to larry. >> everyone wants more. there's plenty of questions. we would love for you to do that at the reception. when it comes time, when we conclude here i will ask you to exit through the rear doors, give our panel members a chance to head out through the side door and get a drink in her hand before you ambush them.
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i would like to give a head nod to the folks of the hayden center, anything that went well is to their credit. anything that went wrong tonight is my oversight. please, a quick round of applause for our staff. we also have some blank notecards available as you exit the rear of the auditorium and we have some pens available if you feel inclined to write a note of encouragement for general hayden we would love for you to take time to do that. we will make sure he and his family get them as soon as possible. last but not least i want to thank the wonderful panel for offering you a great amount of food for thought about the mechanisms we have in place to try to ensure we are doing the right thing for the american people. final round of applause. [applause]
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>> c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming app wednesday morning we discussed the problem solvers caucus with the cochairs, new york republican congress meant tom reed and democratic congressman josh. then we talk about u.s. saudi relations with former u.s. ambassador to saudi arabia robert jordan. he sure to watch c-span's washington journal wednesday morning. join the discussion.

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