tv Washington This Week CSPAN November 18, 2013 5:00am-6:01am EST
are the short options we should consider in addressing those liability concerns? >> i don't think i am expert enough yet in the pending legislation to offer a specific use i will refer to secretary beers who i think knows it better. >> is that true? >> i have been at it longer, senator. [laughter] >> do you want to take a shot at it? >> as explored with senator coburn, i think what we need is for the liability protection to create the willingness for the private sector to share information about a data breach
as soon as they experience it. them as quickly as possible and we can protect others as quickly as possible. protection liability is constructed -- i am not a lawyer, i cannot do find that in the legal terms that you all need to put into the law, but i -- we arewould be ready and willing to help with ethical assistance on trying to define precisely what it ought earlierlike as we tried with the last attempt to write the legislation in this body. mr. olson? >> i don't have anything to add on that cyber legislation. >> thank you. let's talk a bit about the lone
wolves, american citizens, in many cases, that become radicalized, in some cases by traveling abroad and being exposed to jihadist activities and other cases being radicalized here, yogurt -- over the internet and in no communities. i worry about that, and i know you do, too. share with us what you are doing in trying to address that threat and how you are working together and how we can help you. >> let me go ahead and start. in addition to the great investigative work the bureau us, alongthree of with the department of justice leadership have a regular dialogue among ourselves about how to craft a common approach to assist in the identification
of individuals, the prevention of them carrying out their acts. we do this under three large categories of activity. the first is to look at all of the events that have occurred and see what transpired in those events so that we can create a body of knowledge about behaviors and indicators that can inform us and state and local law enforcement, and citizens, of what kinds of indicators might provide us with a warning of an event. we then take that information and provide it to all of our law enforcement partners. we conduct training in
association with that. we conduct exercises in association with that. and we, as matt olson indicated, it is not just before the event of but also what do you do after an event has begun to occur. shooterhe active training that we do is designed to assist in that, although it ina much broader resonance terms of those kinds of events. -- communitylast engagement, to talk to people in those communities, to hear what those concerns and issues are and provide that information to them as well. us participatef in that effort, either as individual agencies or in concert with one another. that is the broad scheme of how we work together.
>> director, or, would you add to that? >> what i would as -- ad is with respect to travelers, in some ways the travelers are easier for us that's still a huge challenge -- then the homegrown extremist tuesdays in his basement -- basement radicalizing himself in the internet. a huge challenge trying to develop a set of indicators good what are we looking for? what should we equip the police officers patrolling in the neighborhood to look for? the travelers, we can see them coming in and out of the country, so figuring out smart ways to assess to what they are doing and having smart conversations with them that are useful to us is something we are working together on. echo thean just really comments of my colleagues. the challenge of the homegrown experience -- extremist is exactly as director comey described, an individual that does not travel, does not communicate, maybe a passive consumer of radical information on the internet. so really does not hit any of
the trip wires. so we are working closely together as a team to implement the strategy. the strategy has the three broad categories that rand beers laid out. engagement, training and expertise with local law enforcement, as well as countering the al qaeda narrative. a minute ago about fusion centers. use incentives to provide a very good way for us -- fusion centers they provide is a good way. first responders between police officers and firefighters, those are the individuals who are going to be most likely to see path from the radicalization and mobilization and to equip them to find those signed as a key part of the strategy. >> ranks, my time is expired. if you could take 10 seconds.
you know they say, see something, say something. if someone sees something they believe is being radicalized in their own community or family, who should they say something too? isusually the first instance the local law enforcement agencies. >> idea great. and i urge people, listen to the feeling on the back of your neck and did not write an innocent narrative over something that strikes you initially strange. tell somebody. element of this is to build trust in the communities, particularly the american muslim community, so they have a confidence and trust in our law enforcement agencies to, if they see something that gives them concern, to come forward. thank you so much. senator levin, good to see you. you recognize. mr.hank you very much, chairman. director comey, let me start with you. the law right now does not allow detainees to be brought from fortanamo to the u.s.
detention and trial. should this law be changed? be brought from toronto -- guantanamo to the u.s. were attentive and trial. had they been properly tried and safely detain? >> it is one better answered by the department of justice. i know from my personal experience, though, terrorists can be safely detained and tried. in involved in many cases, myself, in civilian courts in the u.s.. answercould definitely yes. >> what is that personal experience? specifically, have we tried individuals for terrorism and the federal courts question mark >> any, many, many. i was the united states attorney in manhattan after 9/11 and we have cases pending event. we are very good in the united states and -- at safely detaining bad people with all kinds of threat. used toau of prisons, i
supervise when i was deputy attorney general and there is nobody better in the world. and our courts have a proven track record going back to probably the largest case, the initial east africa bombing case brought to new york and was trial and the kay's al libi was arrested on. a long record. >> our trials held in federal court more likely to be conducted in a speedy manner compared to trials before military commissions? >> i don't have enough experience -- i guess we don't as a country -- with the military commissions for me to say about that. i do know the federal courts have long been able to move these cases and protect classified information and get them done in a reasonable time. madee argument has been the bringing the terrorists trial either directly for trial in the united states or from guantanamo somehow or another creates a security threat for
those communities in which they are held. he would have any evidence to support that kind of conclusion? any with respect riseneaten an area of a facility. our super max prison in the high desert in colorado is fairly remote. i don't know of any threats around that facility. we have housed in that facility some really bad people for a long time. >> mr. beers, is there any position dhs has taken about the from trying and detaining terrorists and defendants? >> sir, i don't have any information indicating any significant threat to a particular trial that has taken clays. -- taken place. i may justlevin, if jump in for a moment.
i would want to fully endorse director comey's comments about the federal courts. i share at least in part the experience having been a federal prosecutor and the ability of our federal courts to handle the cases. the one element i would add is what we have seen in certain important cases is the ability to obtain intelligence information from individuals who are brought into the system. at the perspective national counterterrorism center it is very important we do what we can to gain the intelligence and we have been able in important cases where individuals have been cooperative and provided important information. there any evidence -- maybe director comey and others, you can compare the kind of intelligence vote in quantity hasquality that the fbi been able to obtain from terrorist suspects compared to their being held by other element of our federal
government. >> senator, i am not in the position to go there because i don't know enough about the track record of getting information from other agencies, so i can only speak to fbi. which is long. that is what we do best, and any information from people, especially bad guys. >> is doing so consistent with the guarantees in the law for interrogation of suspects? >> absolutely. >> at me ask you a question, director, about a bill that senator grassley and i have introduced relative to the u.s. states in the united states incorporating entities that have hidden ownership. from a lawproblem enforcement port review it not knowing their real owners of
corporations, and in this regard, i think you may be familiar with what happened at where 20summit leaders, including president obama, reached a consensus that it was time to stop creating .orporations with hidden owners and president obama has issued a national action plan which calls for federal legislation such as we introduced to require states to include in the incorporation forms a question asking for the names of the real owners of corporations being formed. do you support that bill? the the fbi want to know real owners of corporations? is there a law enforcement purpose? all kinds of letters, law enforcement groups, federal law enforcement officers associations, federal that's fraternal order of police, and on and on, saying it is
critically important you know the beneficial owners of corporations because otherwise suspected terrorists, drug trafficking organizations, and other criminal enterprises continued to exploit the through the filing process. that is quoting a letter from the federal law enforcement officers association. you support as director of the fbi our passing a bill that would require states to ask one incorporatione forms -- who are the real owners, who are the beneficial owners of the corporation you seek to incorporate and if you do support it, tell us why? >> i don't know enough about the bill in particular to have a position. i am sure the department of justice is working on it. but i agree with your premise, it is very important in our investigations across a whole range of cases to learn the information. >> why? give us an example. why does it make a difference?
>> if you are conducting an investigation of a transnational organized crime group in joke smuggling and they are laundering money through a particular corporate entity, connecting that entity to the bad guys is going to be a critical step in your investigation. you can take it and make an analog in any -- financing, bank scheme,onting -- ponzi you have to find people hiding behind the particular names or shells. >> just to follow up on the question in the exchange you just had with senator levin, an issue he has pursued for some time. interestingly enough, the state are uncomfortable in the manner perceived. especially states have expressed concern through their secretaries of state. we have encouraged our own secretary of state in delaware
to work with other secretaries of state across the fbi, engage in conversation with the fbi to find a way that addresses the concerns that senator levin has expressed and that you, and i think many americans, which area do so in a way that states are not finding overwhelmingly difficult to administer. i think there is a sweet spot there. the negotiations have begun and we appreciate the participation of the fbi and other law enforcement agency. acta senator coburn. >> thank you. -- director beers, you mentioned the national suspicious activities group. the full name? [inaudible] >> sorry. >> and this morning, a news people,broke that 4,904
their personal social security numbers, addresses, professions, and lots of other detail came s -- customs and border protection was leading an to get around how a lie detector tests, both of us will be i am not sure if you are familiar with this or not. concerning toally me. first of all, it looks sloppy on this face in terms of the number of people. what i would direct you is the mcclatchy released today, today's news story. ,his is the kind of thing where because it is not done right, and it looks to be very inappropriate in the expanse. is quoting thet agencies will keep the information for a long period of time on these individuals. and the american people are
going to want to know why and what did we do wrong. because we wanted to read a book, and now the federal government is sharing information with 20-some other agencies, including our personal data. i think there is a balance to where we are going. i would love for you to both brief my staff and also respond to this news story, if you would, later today. i know i am catching you off guard. but we need to protect ourselves, but we also need to protect fourth and first amendment. to me, on the face -- and i will reserve final judgment until i hear from you -- is this is way overboard and way beyond. i would hope you would address this. , as you know, senator graham is holding up all nominations of the president senatebefore the
because, in his opinion, the congress ought to have the right to interview and discuss what happened in benghazi with the survivors. that has been resistant. i have two questions for you. two questions -- number one, why does congress not have the right to do this? and, number two, is senator graham appropriate and try to have the american people know what happened in benghazi by interviewing the survivors? i don't know, to the first question. and, no, to the second question, it does not strike me as inappropriate. my interest are in making sure we balance the fbi's need to be able to protect our witnesses and five those people and bring them to justice, but i don't see anything inappropriate with the inquiry. hebut it is my understanding has been told he cannot interview those survivors.
is that correct? >> certainly not by me. i don't know. problem withs no congress interviewing the survivors of benghazi? >> no. >> thank you. one of the concerns i hear from the private sector, mr. beers -- secretary beers, on the executive order -- and, by the way, i compliment the president on his executive order on fiber. i think they listened well. i think they built a good plan. and so far it has been executed very, very well. so, i congratulate him and you on what has been on on that. concerns is what is coming with the executive order in terms of regulation. is of the things i believe stifling the economy now is tremendously excessive. if we want private data shared with the government so we can actually protect us -- do you
have any concerns or any feel for what we are going to see in terms of regulations? the -- at this particular point in time as we negotiate the original cyber bill considered in this body and this committee, it was not our intention to seek regulation in association with that. it was a very light touch. remains our posture with respect to going forward. the part of the executive order that seeks to catalog regulatory authorities is an effort to pull that together to see what authorities do currently exist that allow regulation that is already underway. we will see where we go from there. we have not completed that particular -- >> you would agree that voluntary compliance, if people
were made aware of it and made aware of the benefits of it, is a better scenario than forced forcednce or at least compliance would come after we see a failure of voluntary compliance? would you agree? >> yes, sir. questions.o further >> senator johnson? >> i would like to follow up on a question from both editor ayotte and senator coburn on benghazi. , for 14 months it has been a consistent excuse of the administration is the reason why members of congress to that of access to the survivors of benghazi is because the fbi investigation that you are aware that? >> i am not. >> eating back to what senator coburn said, that there should fbio reason that the investigation should be used as an excuse for us not to have access to lessen those witnesses, whether an open hearing or secure briefing setting? as fbin't know --
director, i don't have an objection to it. i don't know whether the prosecutors would feel differently or some other reason i am not thinking of, but speaking from my perspective, i don't have an objection to that. >> director olson, i would just like to -- and maybe for both the directors -- to talk about the difference between our gatheringprosecute in intelligence. from my standpoint with the threats that you are far more aware of the and im, to me, it sounds like intelligence gathering is a far higher than britain people to eventual justice particularly as we can hold them as unlawful enemy combatants. and you discussed between -- the difference between the desire to prosecute -- we want people brought to justice -- of the need to not dilute requirement for intelligence gathering? conflictk there is no in that. everything i have seen in my work at the national counterterrorism center and before, the number one goal in
any of these instances involving terror suspects is to gather is thegence, that overriding objective. at the same time, we need to have an option for disposition. with respect to abu are not only bi, a-abu anas al li disposition option was readily available. every case is treated on the basis of the facts presented in an every case, intelligence gathering is the priority. that is what i experience. >> guantanamo with senator ayotte -- we spoke to people who were continue to be interrogated for a long. of time, detainees. thosetrong opinion of individuals doing those interrogations, saying the most effective interrogation occurs over years. where you gain their confidence. it is slowly and surely you of
tame the little threads of information, the types of threads of that i think the killing ofto osama bin laden. do you disagree? to me, it is absurd that we think we can gather the types of intelligence that is possibly there in a week on a ship or a couple of days before we mirandized them. do you disagree? what i mean, the general proposition -- >> the general proposition that the longer we have to gather intelligence to interrogate someone -- >> don't you believe we really all to be using that first class facility in guantanamo to detain these individuals so we can gather the types of intelligence we need? >> and every kick there are going to be other considerations that come into play. >> any higher consideration then gathering intelligence we need to keep the homeland they? >> that was indeed in place with -- and play withabu anas al li
bi that's the main goal is gathering intelligence and that's was in those cases. >> does not seem to be so. secretary beers. may 23, 2012, we held a hearing in this committee on the very unfortunate event in cartagena. we were pretty well led to believe by then direct your of secret service that that was a one-time occurrence. i really wanted to believe that. i think it is incredibly important that the secret service has total credibility and that their important mission of security high government officials and national security information is paramount. memberapacity as ranking on a committee that had oversight of that, we continue to dig into exactly what happened in cartagena, hoping it was not a one-time occurrence. it does not appear it was. have, through accounts, found that similar instances occurred
in 17 countries around the world. limitedhat is a slapshot. we have limited access to individuals who might know better. day, to secret service individuals were disciplined for sexual misconduct in a hotel here in washington. one of those men, ygnacio samora , we have come to find out was involved in the cartagena interviewed secret service personnel cleared of the question i have for you -- we have been waiting for a cultural report from the inspector general's office for 18 months. do you know when the cultural report will be released? specific don't have a eight. i know it is near completion, and we are expecting shortly. months wasu think 18 an inordinate amount of time to take to determine something i think is so critically important to find out whether there is a real cultural problem that the secret service?
>> obviously we would prefer to have the report sooner rather than later. >> can i get your commitment to check into that and get the report and pleaded and released it as soon as possible? >> yes, you have it. >> thank you. no further questions, mr. chairman. thoughtt had one other as we went through the boston marathon bombing and we look at ev's.sarna one thing that was never covered, their parents came here under an asylum visa. except, the parents are back home and have been for a number of years. ouranybody looked at techniques, processes, requirements for granting asylum to individuals? because obviously with the ability to return home to their home city from which they were granted asylum in the first place, something has changed. either we got it wrong or something markedly changed in
chechnya. i don't think that is the case. has anybody looked at that? i know that is a state department issue, probably more than homeland security. or maybe it isn't. any comments on that? >> sure, let me start. naev family sought ystn where theyg sought to move to escape violence from the home area of dagestan.. stan -- their request was -- they were being discriminated against in dagestan for being from n, and that was the basis of the initial granting. so, that was the way it happened. he quitethey, as correctly say, chose later on
for presumably personal reasons to go back to the place that they were actually from that they were actually born in. those are the facts of the case. with respect to the asylum, yes, we are looking at this as a regular issue since dhs is a participant in the granting of asylum. because, in part, it leads often to legal permanent resident status and naturalization. so we are very much a part of that. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. director comey, i want to follow-up on the discussion we had on the jtts task force and the memorandums of understanding. because when commissioner davis testified before committee about the boston bombing -- and i think all of us agree that there was great cooperation there in
the boston police department did a phenomenal job, along with federal partners. howad some concerns about the -- was operating. i wanted to follow-up on where we are with communication on the -- the set or the memory memorandum of understanding, concerned that the local officers information was not flowing downward. you, senator. yes, that was a concern we had been discussing with a major city chiefs and sheriffs. i have a luncheon last week with them to follow-up on that. so, it is a work in progress, but our goal is to make sure there are not impediments either real or perceived. so, his concern is being acted on. i don't have a date for when it will be done but it will be very soon. >> good. i would very much love for you to report back to the committee to give us the answer because i know it is an issue that is of importance to you, just so we know the information is flowing
directly downward and upward. thank you. also, mr. olson, i wanted to ask you about your testimony -- and you mentioned the withdrawal of coalition forces from and could enable core al qaeda veterans to reconstitute. right now the administration, we are in a key moment with regard to what happens in afghanistan. decisions that are going to have to be made what the follow-on , so iwill be in 2014 guess i want to hear from you, does it matter? i've heard people say, what can we accomplish there? i was intrigued i what you have said, because i share that belief that we could have a qaedatitutioning of al or other terrorist groups there. can you enlighten us? >> i think from intelligence perspective we are concerned about afghanistan and pakistan border region, no doubt, because of the presence of extremist
groups, including the remnants of core al qaeda in that region. we've seen that there has been an interest in al qaeda in parts of afghanistan, particularly northeastern afghanistan. and it is going to be in issue were going to have to monitor very closely after 2014 to see what types of activities all qaeda or other allies of al inda, for example, undertake that region. >> in fact, haven't we seen activity by al qaeda in iraq with what is happening there right now? we were not able to come to an agreement on a follow-on force in iraq and we are seeing some follow-on there. can you describe that? >> senator, we have seen in up to the last several months in violence in iraq. much of it, we believe, perpetrated by sunni extremists. almost all of it focused on iraqi targets, not u.s. targets necessarily.
but certainly there has been an uptick in the violence in that country. >> we certainly want to avoid the scenario where afghanistan becomes a launching pad for terrorist again, do we not? >> absolutely. >> thank you, all. >> i just have a few more questions. director, you indicated you don't have a personal problem with congress interviewing witnesses from benghazi but you have not talked to your .rosecutors >> i don't know -- i have not discussed it with the department of justice to see if there were separate concerns on the assistant u.s. attorneys handling the matter about it. when i say witnesses, about the question was about the survivors, the u.s. personnel. >> correct. you would have a different opinion if you talked to those prosecutors? >> it is always possible, sure. i don't know.
beene other question has go back to the beneficial ownership issue of corporations. the national security problems created when we don't know who owns of the corporations. -- owns the corporations. we have apparently testimony or some indication from some of the secretaries of state that the f b i could obtain and other law enforcement organizations can obtain corporate ownership information from the irs on a form that i guess is called ss4, but corporations have to fill out the forms to get a u.s. taxpayer id number. does that work from the fbi's perspective to try to get the important information that you described on the irs instead of from the applications for corporate incorporation? say,don't know enough to senator. >> so, you are not familiar with
the argument that the fbi to get that information from the iris. >> i am not. >> thank you. the only questions that i have. just want to thank you all. levin, if i could go back to your question with respect to benghazi. a 1.i would like to offer to the immittee -- the one point want to offer for the committee, sent to the benghazi attacks were presented a number of briefings to members of this committee as well as other members. probably over a dozen briefings that presented a multimedia presentation, including surveillance video, overhead imagery, witness statements, describing every facet we have from an intelligence perspective about the attacks. so, we have had a number of activities to present everything we know from the intelligence community party perspective about the attacks in benghazi and we would offer that again if
the committee were interested in seeing that. >> i am curious about the direct deposit comment about not having talked to the prosecutors, whether or not that might impact his opinion whether or not for some reason congress should not have access to those of survivors. i don't know of any reason, either, by the way. i have to tell you. notink this whole thing has been handled appropriately. but that is not the point. the point is, i don't see any reason myself why congress cannot have access to anybody harbors want access to. whether it has overdone it or not, i leave that to my own personal opinion and to others to resolve. what i don't see a personal problem. i sure as heck, if i knew prosecutors have a problem with it, i would want to hear their view before i reach my conclusion. i was kind of surprised that the director said, well, it is his opinion that there is no problem. but the prosecutors may have a different approach. so, that was the reason i was pressing the director on this
issue. and i can leave it at that. going back just to clarify one question about some of the positions the secretaries of state have taken about the fbi going to the irs to get beneficial ownership information. would you find out and give us an answer for the record whether or not the fbi believes that that is a satisfactory alternative to knowing the fromicial owners incorporation documents? can you let us know for the record? ask yes, senator. >> thank you. a couple of closing questions, and then an opportunity to make a short closing statement of your own. so, think about that while i ask these questions. a lot of americans -- probably most americans, are concerned about their personal safety in
this country. or the threat of a terrorist attack -- i think people are more mindful of threats of cyber attacks when they have been ever. threats everyse day. people in this country are also concerned about their own privacy and the ability to have their privacy protected. sometimes there is a tension -- if there's a tension between those two desires. we all want to be safe but we also want to be sure our right to privacy is protected. talk about the tension that exists between those two rights and concerns and how we are trying to strike the right balance, please. want to goif you first? >> sure, this is an issue that is obviously front and center today, and i can assure you, mr. chairman, and the committee, that this is an issue of -- part
of what we think of every day at the national counterterrorism center. and it is true from the other places i have work, including the national security agency and department of justice. particularly where i am now, the national counterterrorism center, we are charged with the responsibility of preventing terrorist attacks. we do that by integrating and analyzing information. we understand that we need to have access to a lot of information, government collected information, in order to do that, in order to analyze the information, look for particular threats and share the information with agencies like the fbi and others that can act upon it. but we also understand that in so doing, in handling the information, we are responsible for being stewards of the information. and we are entrusted by the american people with protecting it. it is part of our training. everything we do in terms of having access to information, that we understand the laws and the policies and regulations that apply to protecting the information to an sure that we
do so in a way that is consistent with the civil liberties and privacy of all americans. >> what further could you say to the american people who have these concerns about the right to privacy in their concern it is being violated or could be violated? what more could you say to this is athem that concern that the administration and those with whom you work are mindful of? >> i think what i would say is, then, the training and oversight that we are subject to is unlike anything i have seen anywhere in the world. and it surpasses that which we experienced 10 years ago or even five years ago. so, the degree of oversight that we are subject to by congress, by the judicial branch, i other elements of the executive branch, i believe should give the american people confidence
that we are handling this information in a way that is appropriate and secures privacy and civil liberties. on theid, we depend confidence in the american people to be able to do our jobs. so we are committed to being as transparent as possible in order to continue to gain and maintain their confidence. >> director comey? concerned that folks at nsa are reading the e-mails are looking at text messages or listening to the telephone conversations, what do you say almost all americans that that is not a concern they need to have? or can you? >> first, i agree very much with the director olson that this is something every american should care about. every american should care how the government is using its authorities to protect them and how the government is mindful of the liberties that makes the country so special. what i tell folks, our founders were geniuses. they divided power and created
three parts of government to check power. and if you care about these issues -- and everybody should -- you should first ask is the government working? how is the oversight being done? is it balanced. in the second thing, you should participate. everyone should ask questions about how the government is using its authority and ask how the system is working. isappen to think the angel in the details. what has gotten lost in a lot of the discussions is just how the design of the founders is operating and oversee the use of the authorities. the challenge for all of us charged with protecting the american people is finding a space in american life to have that conversation because it can't be on a bumper sticker. to say -- locale congress oversees me, look of the inspector general oversees me, look at what the courts do. look at what the report on. it seems kind of boarding -- boring but that is one of the most important parts of what we do, to see how the government is working.
associate certainly myself with a, to both of my colleagues. the only thing i would add is as -- as ar: matter practical and operational matter at dhs we have a privacy office with a chief privacy officer and we involve them in all of the collect, store, and share that information. almost none of it is what you would call intelligence, but it is information, and it is private information about applications for citizenship or visas.information or there's a lot of it. and it is certainly one of the major activities that we engage in in order to ensure that we are good stewards of that information. share.btain, store, and
>> should there be a similar kind of entity in nsa or the focuses onurt that privacy as well? >> what works for us is what works for us. that we do have individuals who work on these issues with their staff just as director olson mentioned, like they do at -- it just happens that uniquely we have an office of the formally part organization with a chief privacy officer. >> could you say to the american people with assurance that the gathering of all of the -- and i realize it is impossible for nsa to actually listen to every telephone conversation, to read every e-mail, to be mindful of all of the text messages that might be sent -- but is there some way you can reassure the american people that all of the
underway is is actually for some good purpose? orford demonstrated purpose -- that it has made us safer again and again? along thosence lines? what is what i can tell you, senator, and the american people, isn't this is an agency that is not some rogue actor, the nsa. we work very closely with them. they have a very strong compliance culture and they are overseen in many ways and activities. what i say to folks -- and look, if you think the law ought to change, that is a discussion to have with congress. but i see no indication nsa is acting outside the law or the scope of their oversight responsibilities. i just know with working with those folks is a are obsessed with compliance and staying within the law. olson? >> i would agree with director comey. as i mentioned, served as
general counsel of the national security agency. it is an extraordinary agency and it is an agency that is committed. and using director comey's words, obsessed with compliance but they have a chief compliance officer. i haven't inspector general, general counsel's office. -- leadership on down stresses the importance of complying with the law and the privacy of americans. they follow the law when it comes to the collection of information about u.s. persons. they do not indiscriminately collect information around the world. they serve to protect american lives. and that is what i saw when i serve there. >> thank you. let's turn to the issue of dirty that could use a radiological material. could sicken a lot of people, could cause a significant
psychological and really economic damage on a community. the nuclear regulatory commission, department of energy's national nuclear security administration, responsible for the security a radiological sources. auditeve there was a gao that revealed the u.s. medical facilities that house those materials are still facing those challenges of securing their supplies from potential theft. director olson, i do not know if you have any thoughts you could give us, but what is the intelligence community's assessment of the likelihood that al qaeda would seek to acquire radiological materials in order to make a dirty bomb? i think what i can say in this setting is we have seen over time some degree of interest along those lines but nothing at this point that i would consider to be more than the most basic aspirational
interest by a terrorist organization. i am not familiar with the report you referenced. >> practical me and secretary -- a director comey and secretary beers, what roles do your agencies play in preventing terrorists from building and potentially detonating a dirty bomb in the u.s.? what i should -- i could probably answer for both of us. we share responsibility. at the fbi, we execute through them weapons of mass destruction toectorate, to work with dhs understand the potential sources of materials terrorists could use i wonder that trip wires we can put in place so we know something suspicious is happening around the material. >> secretary beers? >> the only thing i would add is we do have the ability to at screen with radiation detectors at our ports of entry.
obviously it is possible you could shield that information, but at least it gives us a first order tensor system to try to determine whether or not that information comes into the united states. we also, through our grants program, help state and local authorities obtain first order radiation detectors so that they can also look for that material within the country. but the key here is that we in the bureau work together very much on this kind of effort. >> we talked a little bit earlier -- this is my last question -- terrorist travel, going for a place for a while overseas, a place from which they can freely travel back to the u.s. bettere we doing to track and monitor people traveling to war zones and terrorist safe havens and then
deciding to return to the u.s.? it is an important question matter ofand a significant concern for us, mr. chairman. particularly i referenced syria as a place because of the ongoing conflict there and the presence of extremist elements, including a group connected to al qaeda. it has become a place where literally thousands of individuals from other countries have gone to syria to join in the fight, to join with the group connected to al qaeda. we worked with the fbi and dhs to track and travel of anyone identified as an extremist and two, if appropriate, place those individuals on a watchlist should we maintain a central database of known and suspected terrorists. that central database provides a resource for all of our agencies as well as partners around the
world to identify the individuals and do what we can to look for the ways in which a marriage traveling, how they are funding, where they are going and to disrupt their travel as possible or at least identify them so if they do return to their home country -- we have a handle on what activities are. me add to that. this is truly an integrated effort. -- together trying to pull together the list of individuals we identified as potential threats to the united states. withso have a program particularly our european allies, because of the visa to shareogram, information that they and we might have with one another in order to add to the database we have of the individuals who are of concern.
we act dhs also support this effort through our travel analysis. looking for people who we don't syria ort have gone to might have gone to syria for nefarious purposes. we have a number of indicators to help us identify individuals who we might want to speak to at ports of entry as they returned to the united states. i don't want to go into the details of that, because i don't want to give away the way we actually do that, but we have a number of techniques which will allow us to identify somebody who is not clear in terms of their travel record leaving the united states in coming back that they were anywhere near syria, but there were other
indicators that could give us indications that we might want to talk to those individuals. and that is part of finding the unknowns as opposed to tracking the knowns, which i think we're pretty good at. >>.gov -- thank you for responding to the question. that is the last question i have. this is an opportunity if you would each like to give a short closing statement, please. and it could be something that comes to mind, something you want to reiterate, something you heard another colleague say that you think is worth emphasizing. >> well, mr. chairman, first, let me just thank you and this committee for holding a hearing and really for your consistent and steadfast support for the intelligence committee and all of our efforts with respect to protecting the homeland. the one issue i think that comes to mind goes back to director comey's opening comments and that is on the budget. we are struggling, like all the government agencies, to deal with the sequester cuts. it isn't the real issue.
it strikes at the core of our workforce and something i think there's raising. did, thank you. >> i would just offer again to continue to work closely with you and the committee going forward for whatever you need for us. >>.gov. director comey? >> i would just thank you for having the hearings. these conversations are critically important to the american people. they should demand to know how we are doing the jobs and how we are doing. and we ought to answer and have those conversations. i shouldn't be doing anything, we should not be doing anything, we can't explain. sometimes it needs to be in a close the settings of the bad guys don't know what we're doing but these conversations are what the founders intended. so, thank you. >> you are welcome. secretary beers? remiss not piling on the budget question. it obviously affects us -normously at dhs with 240,000
plus individuals and a vast array of programs. the second point i would make is what we talked repeatedly about -- we really do need of the cyber legislation. i know you and this committee are trying to do something on that, but as we have sat here and told you and you have told us that this is a critical vulnerability that the united states faces. not having that legislation leaves a bad vulnerability open, and we owe it to the american people to be able to protect them and protect them better. >> those are all really good notes for us to close. i want to, again, thank you for your prep is it -- preparation, and clear your schedules to spend as much time with us. badcoburn said to me too more members of our committee could not be here to hear december to submit. all most all of them have several committee hearings going
on simultaneously and it is just too difficult for them to go to every one of them. half of her colleagues were able to deliver part of this. their staffs are watching on closed circuit television back at their offices, as you know. timetor comey, the first you have been before us to testify, and i am very impressed by the way you handled yourself. seasoned pros. they lived up to theirra habitation. , thank you for taking on the responsible it is to gethile we work hard a secretary confirmed and a deputy secretary confirmed that you can be a little less frenetic. thank you very much. i think the hearing record will remain open for 12 days, that is until november 26, 5:00 p.m. with that, this hearing is adjourned. thank you again very much.
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> some live coverage across the c-span networks today. beginning with an event hosted by the alliance for health reform. we will hear from health insurance professionals about health care costs and plans being offered by employers. that will be live at 12:15 p.m. eastern on c-span2 and on c- span3 live on capitol hill where the senate homeland security committee will look at the impact of digital currencies which allows people to exchange goods and services online without real money. that will be live at 3:00 p.m. eastern.
>> the information facebook has on over a billion people. they know your political preference, sexual preference, we are friends on, who you are like, your dogs name. all these sorts of things. one security analyst said if the government had asked you directly for that sort of information, it would have taken money, it would have taken lawyers and maybe even taken guns to get you to cough up that information, what we routinely do so on social networks. thelso don't think about fact that our google searches are tracked. i also write mr. e-book -- mystery books, so my google searches would be very incriminating. looking for different data rates drugs, things like that, for my mysteries. -- looking for different date rape drugs. people on their computer thinking they are on -- doing secret activity not knowing
there is a big eyeball at the other end keeping track. on theor lori andrews communicators monday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. up next on c-span, q&a, with historian and author doris kearns goodwin talking about her latest book "the bully pulpit." then "washington journal." 1:00 p.m. eastern, live coverage of the house as members return for general speeches. ♪ >> this week on "q&a," a letter prize-winning author and historian doris kearns goodwin discusses her latest historical narrative titled "the bully pulpit." >> doris kearns goodwin, your new book, "the bully pulpit: theodore roosevelt, william howard taft and the golden age