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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 4, 2014 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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world that if we don't watch, we will face a 9/11 style threat again. double down, absolutely. >> dan let's start with you. >> thanks to the mccain institute and giving me an opportunity to speak with our three old end -- old friends and very very distinguished colleagues. i want to pull a fast one on the organizers by saying, despite the title of this debate, i don't think there's any discussion about whether or not we should double down. the events of the last few months has been horrifying. the real question is how do we double down? and to answer that we have to determine what kind of threat we face that will determine what kind of response. we need some precision here. it is clear as fran demonstrated, that the islamic state is a group of unparalleled brutality as well as surprisingly capable insurgent
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group. it is clearly a major regional threat. it has also created an enormous safe haven in syria and iraq and attracted numerous foreign fighters which give it key assets for plotting terrorist acts abroad. while they hay want to carry out attacks in the west, to date, it has not carried out or even attempted a covert terrorist organization outside its theater. indeed, i think we have to ask a question, is it focused on us? i would submit that right now its focus is not principally on us. despite the appalling executions of the last two weeks they are consumed by their efforts to tear apart iraq in a sectarian conflict. and to quote the direct i don't have -- director of nctc from his speech yesterday, at this point in time we have no credible information that isil
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is planning to attack the united states he added in our view, any threat -- this is from the sympathizers and foreign fighters, any threat to the u.s. homeland is likely to be limited in scope and scale. we as a nation have made some costly mistakes in the past in places like vietnam and iraq by making hasty and falseage cease of the threat we face and we really should not do so again. so while i support limited air strikes along the current line, i think the doubles down we need is in the form of intensive engagement including thru financial and military incentives with regional partners who are the most immediately threatened by isis and above all we must stay the course and push the iraqis to get past the divisions in baghdad and take the fight to isis. i think we do face a long-term threat in isis, the desire to kill westerners.
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i believe we'll see a campaign in the region to destroy its leadership. but we should not own this struggle. it belongs to iraqis and their neighbors and a precipitous effort now with a broad air campaign or even ground forces would both fail and relieve these countries of their responsibility to get their act together and that's something we cannot allow to occur. >> i sat at the threat table at the f.b.i. and c.i.a. for almost 10 years. in the spring of 2002 into the wint over 2003 and beyond, the defining characteristic was the unknown. what will al qaeda do tomorrow? in particular thinking about everything from a major catastrophic attack and w.m.d., in particular, anthrax. we have learned a lot since then, since we were defined by not knowing what the al qaeda adversary was. we watched them move into places like pakistan and watched them recruit american citizens from places like somalia.
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in each of those cases, in each of those three major countries which are on the front page and cnn every day, each of those cases have fallen off the front pages. what are the responses? in no case did we have a significant -- did we have significant u.s. forces on the ground. in yemen, we had a group. we had a coalition in africa and we had will agented u.s. intelligence component with overhead assistance that helped go after a small sliver of the organization responsible for threats to the united states. we went from we don't know the adversary to we know the adversary. and in the circumstances where we knew the adversary we decided not doubling down was necessary and history has shown us that we were able to contain the adversary with that
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approach. so my question to you is, indonesia, philippines yemen somalia, every day every year, we have a new threat and now we have another one. why are we going to change? the past has shown success, why don't we aplay the same instruments of power in the future? thank you. >> mike, you and fran three minutes for rebuttal. >> thank you. dan, i think, made the really important point here which is, what's the threat? what's the threat? and we've got to be careful that we don't just talk about isis. this is a much bigger problem than isis. i would tell you that matt olson, who i admire greatly, his comment there's no credible information that isis is about to hit us, let me tell you something there was no credible information on september 10 2001, that alchi was going to hit us. the threat is can what fran said it was, them directing a
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canadian citizen or western citizen to come here and dect a small scale attack that could happen tomorrow, with or without credible information. a.q. in yemen could bring down an airliner in the united states tomorrow they have that capability with or without information. i agree with dan completely that we have to figure out this e-- the best way to put pressure on each of these groups. i afree with phil. it's going to be different in each case. we have to keep the pressure on. >> i would only add to what mike has said. we've heard the story about no credible threat from this administration regarding al qaeda in the arabian peninsula and then we had the underwear bomber because he acted outside of the region directly against the united states. we heard it again later, and we had the computer cartridge case which we wouldn't -- we the united states, the united states government, couldn't find when we got the lead information from the saudis service until they gave us the bill of lading.
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so don't tell me to find comfort in the fact that there's no direct and credible threat. i'd also say it's not right to say that the islamic state has not acted outside they've theater if you define the theater as where they have -- where they holder to of syria and iraq. they plotted in lebanon, that was disrupted. they've been plotting in saudi arabia where they arrested some five or six dozen individuals. i would simply say with al qaeda. years before they launched the 9/11 attack, had threatened us and we regarded them as not capable of acting against us in the united states and we were wrong. so i take little comfort in that. >> you know, i think we need a definition of terms that is insurgency vs. terrorism. i've watched this stuff for 25 years. we've had groups that control territory, that want to take over the local police station or off the government in mogadishu.
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think of al qaeda. these are groups that are not focused on the united states. there are slivers of groups that do. we've used instruments of power that do not include doubling down. i mentioned yemen and somalia. how often have you heard of yemen and somalia last year. my point is you can talk to me about i.e.d.'s, sniper, the control of geography, weapons. to my mind these are characteristics of insurgent groups. they're not the characteristics of the slivers of organizations that i witnessed to threaten america. we do not need instruments of power of people going against baghdadism worry about people going against new york and the instruments of power we used were not doubling down but let's take out a scalpel use partners like the pakistanis and yemenis use coalitions that support you and when you need to use u.s.
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intelligence and scalpel strikes to take out the leadership. and by the way, it worked. >> dan? >> just a few points. mike, you and i are going to disagree about credible warning between 9/11. at least in the administration i served in, we thought that nairobi and sar esa lamb were warning of a strategic -- car sallam were warning of a strategic plan. one thing about these groups there's an amazing welcome of confidence in the improvements we have made since 9/11. we are much better and intelligence, much better at training and assisting other countries, we are much bet for the tracking travelers. someone may get through. and someone may act up in the united states. there's going to be violence in our future but the fact is these are low level threats. it's the high end threat we have
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to worry about. i agree with mike. we have to keep the pressure on al qaeda groups everywhere. it's how we keep the pressure on. if we put u.s. forces on the field, we're giving them a target giving them a rayway to radicalize more, giving them a way to recruit more. we can work through partners around the world to achieve the kind of success that phil was describing. >> we'll start the q&a session. i'm going to poke and prod, make them a little uncomfortable, which is good. fran and mike, let me ask you this question. point has been raised, these are groups that in many cases, whether it's isis or al shabab that appear to be more like local insurgencies more focused on their local tactics and survival. more regional strategies. these aren't groups that in the first instance are necessarily focused on the u.s. system of why in some ways provoke them, provide them targets by again having an aggressive, all-out
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war on terror effort? >> ignoring them is not a strategy. a great military leader once said hope is not a strategy. being quiet and hope they go away is not going to work. they've beheaded two americans. mike rightly argued in my view that those are direct terror attacks against the united states. when i talk about national power, let me use the islamic state as an example. you can use he call -- local partners and i believe we've got to use our partnerships in foreign intelligence services and local militias. but you have to do more than that. the free syrian army, we have not done enough to train and equip them. we've talked about it but from everyone in the region, we haven't done it. if you want to use that, don't want to use actual military force and i think it's right, you want to be surgical about -- phil goes back to the use of american military power, but
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you've got to step up, man up, and do what you say you're going to do in terms of equipment. >> the only thing i would add is there are two al qaeda groups in syria, al nusra and isis. both of them have said, both of them have made very clear that the united states of america will be a target when they set intool a safe haven. both have been clear about that. one of the things you learn in foreign policy over time is that your adversary tells you what they're going to do. lane did it, al nusra and isis are doing it. >> what about the point that embedded in the d.n.a. of these groups is in some ways a global focus on the u.s. and that you can't necessarily predict at what point or what part of that group will actually set their sights on new york or detroit or san francisco? and so how do you address that, given the nature of these groups? >> thank you for supporting my position, we can conclude the conversation, phil agrees with
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me. let's be clear here. the original architects of 9/11 clued us in. and people do tell you what they're going to do. the original architects not only told us but murder thousands of people. there's broader application in afghanistan but not pakistan. where was the core that threatens, across the board. foreign partners, money, intelligence and the application of u.a.v. technology to take out the leadership. let's take out other places that not only talked about us but acted against us. i mentioned earlier in yemen. you're right. came after us with the underwear bomber came after us in cargo aircraft. somalia, didn't come after us directly, recruted kids from minneapolis, minnesota, i remember hearing the store roffs families and moms when i was at the f.b.i. talking about that. in each of those cases i agree
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the adversary not only clued us in but acted on their clues and we contained the adversary without doubling down. >> dan? >> well, i agree. in fact i said it's in their d.n.a., they're going to want to try to attack us. because it's critical for their credibility. it's critical for their reputation. and it helps with their recruiting. but i really do believe we have ample capabilities and with the right political will and the right diplomat exand military intelligence engagement that we can deal with that and prevent that from happening. s that group that really has not shown it has the necessary skills. i do worry down the line that they may urge with aqad and acquire skills that would make us concerned. but so far this group has shown little interest in that area of attack by area, i mean the mideast in which they operate. i think we do have the wherewithal to do this.
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if we do things like have a broad air campaign now. first of all, they're very good at learning about how to deal with air, we saw that in iraq when we were there. we couldn't destroy isis back then. we will first of all lose our sunni friends in the region if we do it in syria because they won't understand why we're taking away an enemy of that side. so i think we have to be careful when we think about the application of force. and finally, what we want to do is have the iraqis come together and deal with this threat and if they don't, we have another set of problems. we have to deal with two different or three different entities as partners in the region. but to have us being the leading point of the spear on this one would be a big mistake. >> dan, to your point about the future threat, what the islam exstate become os motivates srningt that an argument for doing something about the group now before the an opportunity to
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motivate a broader movement or coalesce its infrastructure and foreign fighters with other al qaeda elements? isn't that an argument for acting now versus waiting for that moment? >> i don't think it's clear that any of the tools we have at our disposal would actually really diminish the threat right now. we don't have the intelligence right now to detap ate -- decapitate its leadership which is an essential step. if we had it, i would endorse it. what's more is i think that it's simply not a foregone conclusion that they're coming after us very soon. and so if anything, i think we want to play out the dynamic by which they alienate everyone in their neighborhood. they have no state support. they have no unlimited resources. change the currency in iraq and you've got nothing in the bank. there are things that we can do and it's not clear to me that we have to once again be in the position where the united states is bombing muslims and giving
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the global muslim community reason to question about what it is we're really interested in. >> so one more question off what dan said isn't the intent here intelligence? we may have strategic intelligence and warning but we don't have enough tactical granularity to understand what may be happening. so in some ways, this is theoretical wetch don't know what's happening in sir yasm we don't know if they're sending foreign fight wers british or belgian passports on planes in the u.s. so is it worth the risk to wait? >> i hate to kiss you but you really hit something. the media has gone beyond the question of what to we know about the adversary to the question of, shouldn't the president act now? let me cut to the case. you mention questioneds about the intelligence picture. to my mind when you see two americans murdered that's one of the significant questions. we had an american suicide bomber from florida. but the broader question looking at 500 plus brits there
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maybe 100-plus americans, i think that's an underestimate. with the people who might have good documents to come back and hurt us. we're striking in iraq, the channel is not iraq, it's syria. so we cut to the chase. do we have, forget about whether the president's delay, whether he's on a gol cough -- golf course, do we have the intelligence pick tchoifer command and control of the adversary that's responsible for foreign fighters so that we can conduct a fairly surgical operation without putting men and women from the united states at great risk? i don't know the answer to that but i agree with dan. if we have that picture, my question today would be why aren't we going, because they've already killed americans. but that's a surgical operation like the operations i mentioned before, like the operations that have eviscerated the al qaeda leadership when we face the bigger threat in places like the tribal areas of pakistan. >> fran, you can address this of course, but let me ask this question. why get ahead of the curve and
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have the groups focus on the must ways they may not. secondly and maybe this is worth a follow-on, do we return the risk of changing our other policies by rushing to focus so heavily on the counterterrorism mission, a common critique of the counterterrorism community, that it dominates the foreign policy. so the first question is, do we run the risk of getting ahofede the curve or focus on the u.s. secondly are we beginning to distort policy that matters for u.s. interests long-term? i'm going to let zsh >> i'm going to let fran answer those questions but i'm going to come back to something my colleagues said. they both just said that if we have the intelligence, let's double down. they both said, they both just said if we have the intelligence we should go after and decapitate the group. that's what i mean by putting pressure on the group. that's how i define cubble down.
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they both just joined in fran's and my position. >> i guess i don't have to talk then. >> by the way, did you guys coordinate the purple? i just noticed that. >> let me say this. i do -- you guys have no risk of getting ahead of the curve. you're so far behind the cush you can't see the front of that line. let's not even worry about getting ahead of the curve. these people have taken such a swath of territory while we sat back and watched them, and then beheaded two americans, you're playing catch-up at this point. what you need to do is shift the momentum. you're looking to disrupt them. and the president rightly said, you have to disrupt them, degrate them on the path to destroying and defeating them. that's right. but at the moment you've got to disrupt them first. you're not getting ahead of the curve. i will say this, what we know now is when we provide the help
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to our local partners we can be successful. i take issue with what dan said about al qaeda in iraq. we did degrade them. we really did degrate them. they went to ground they resurged and now they've become the islamic state. y effective against them. and recently, the president, working, providing arms and equipment and intelligence retook the mosul dam. we can work with local partners without having to be a solely american responsibility and be successful. >> can we hold on a minute here? >> i would like my questions answered. >> not anymore. >> i just want to make a point, right that in putting pressure on these groups, you have to put all the tools on the table. you can't take one of the tool office the table and say you're not going to use it. you've got to put all the tools on the table an each situation
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you've got to decide which of those tools are most effective. in some cases it's going to be just our partners behind the scene. in other cases it's going to be u.s. military forces acting in some way. >> hold on a minute here. we're 35 minutes in and you're wiggling off the hook on this. >> no kidding. >> when we talk about doubling down, i suspect if we said doubling down the majority of this audience would say, we double down in iraq and afghanistan because we committed u.s. forces. we have a group here advocating doubling down without clarifying what that -- whether that means what we think it means. drones fine. international partnerships, fine. i would say do not put men and women from this country in those country we was already doubles down on. ky not get an answer. is that what the answer is? >> does doubling down also mean considering some of the things that were done post-9/11 to understand better the nature of the threat? to include longer term detention of detainees?
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after the head of the islamic state was in u.s. custody and was released, to we need to think about long-term detention and other plcies that have proven so controversial post-9/11? is that what doubling down means? >> i don't think so. i don't think. so but let me answer phil's question. >> i'm coming back to you, dan. >> i would answer phil's question by asking having you think about this. one of the places in the world where we are at risk of seeing another 9/11 style capability is unfortunately, in afghanistan. when u.s. forces leave afghanistan if that were to happen, it's probably going to happen, then what -- the best case outcome best case outcome is that the taliban is going to have safe haven in the south and east. and when that happens the remaining al qaeda in pakistan is going to come back across that border and find safe haven with the taliban in afghanistan.
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if the united states is unwilling or unable to do anything about it, they're going to resurge or rere-group or come at us again. so the question to phil is, wouldn't you leave u.s. forces on the ground in afghanistan special forces to go after al qaeda to avoid that rebuilding of that threat? >> by the way doubling down is taking out 90% of the u.s. forces so we can have a group that's surgical. >> i'm in with that. that's not doubling down. >> i'm with him. >> the white house has said, the withdrawal from afghanistan, on the timeline we are, is not going to be conditions based. the president has decided it's fame-based. there are very specific timelines. those people are coming out regardless of the nightmare scenario that mike posits. if that's happening, those people are still coming out. are we still ok with that? i don't think so. we shouldn't be.
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because we will face that threat. when you ask about, what does doubling down mean? >> to me it means you need special operations forces, trainers and advisors, in-country working with partners. whether it's the free syrian army or the iraqi army you need some presence. you need intelligence capabilities to help direct and target them. is that a huge military forces? no. should it be u.s. forces aloan? no. i think you need a large international coalition that includes ashe allies that are closest arab allies that are closest to this threat. >> i said that before. ruining the whole thing. >> now we've hogged this a little bit. let's open this up to the audience. as you think about your questions, please raise your hand a microphone will come to you. i plead with you skrk a question, this isn't a commentary period, but ask a
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question and we'll have one or the other side answer. while you do that and collect your thoughts, i'll ask a question posed by swune via twitter. this is in the legal domain so i'll use it as a way of asking another question. is the al qaeda state -- and my piggyback question is, given about the way we have begun to talk about constrain or constrained our use of lethal force are we ham strung in our ability to use those stoll tooles, tools on the table against the islamic state? dan? >> well, i'm not a lawyer. but it would seem to me that you could say there was an ideological lineage that got us from a.q. 1.0 to the islamic state and i'm frankly quite sure that there are plenty of lawyers in the white house and state department who can come up with an argument that we don't need a
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new aumf for this i'm sure there are plenty of lawyers outside who will feel differently. i don't think we should -- that this is the issue to get hung up on because the real question is the policy and the lawyers will find a way to accommodate the policy. i hate to say. >> let's have some questions this gentleman. please identify yourself and ask. >> my name is ahmed sullivan, i'm a consultant and a u.s. citizen. what i have heard from the panel is that they want to rely on local forces like the iraqi army but what we have seen is that the -- that they relinquish their arms that were given by the u.s. and ran and were caught and destroyed. in order to again train those -- this army and equip it and --
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that will take time. and during that time, what is going to happen to the isis? they are going to grow stronger. they have more money. they will have more men. and so on and so forth. >> your question please. >> my question is are we really think that not doubling down will solve the problem? that's one thing, the second thing is that i have noticed because i lived in this area for a long time that we open a can of worms and then we don't have the plan b to create the powerview vacuum and then you leave. that's what's happening in libya and egypt is at the same time fighting the islamists in this area. what should we do also in libya to count they are kind of new wave of islamist jew jihaddist. >> let me take your two questions and pose them to each
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side. phil take the question of, relying on nornse ground but they've melted away in iraq, how can we fight a group if you don't have reliable forces on the ground? >> couple answers. they haven't melted away. this -- when i do cnn commentary, i'm going to throw fran under the bus because we both do it together. the fact is when you look at the history of these kinds of organizations, it takes a while for local populations to get a back bone. that isn't a couple of months. i think the question over time is modest afterly case of u.s. force and as we've seen in places like somalia and yemen, when the villagers start to say i have enough of this security is nice, but i'm going to take up arm taos. i think it's time and understand, they made some early successes but i don't think that will define the future. i think we ought to be patient and say, we can help them. we can help them by bombing
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around the mosul dam. but we ought not to be saying that our definition of this problem is defined by a few isis successes over the past few months in iraq. i don't think that's the future. >> fran, what about the second question which is a little bit of a pottery barn rule. by going in so aggressive, do we have a plan b? what happens in sir ark for example, if we double down there? >> so you are quite right. we are, across two administrations, an absolute fail on what we call phase 4 operations coming in behind with a civil military partnership where there's a handover and this is now a euphemism that everybody hates, nation build, but by the way that's what you've got to do. we didn't adequately plan for that in iraq. this a administration didn't plan for it in libya. we've seen the results of that. there are institutions inside the government that are in a nascent state, we began to build the civilian operations in the
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state department. the understand we've got to do that better. if you're going to go in, the pottery barn rule, shorthand for if you break it, you own it. you own it until you have something to come in behind it, indigenous. we have to do better at that but we've got -- we would have to invest in that. we have to be willing to spend money on that before we need it. >> i disagree with what dan said the u.s. government has done a good job building capacity in these countries. i think the united states has done a lousy job at building capacity in these countries. and it is the number one need in all these countries facing al qaeda, from mauritania, eyipt they need intelligence capacity, police capacity they need rule of law capacity and nobody is helping them do it right now. >> wait a second. so we have a lot of successes and phil enumerated them before,
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where we had a very good capacity building process in iraq. what we had was a terrible political process where we let someone continue to run a government on a very sectarian principle that completely gutted the army gutted the intelligence service and led to disaster. the capacity building was fine. >> the iraqi military wasn't ready to stand on its own when we left at 2011. it needed our help in terms of building what we needed. >> just as the afghan army needs our help right now. and you'll see the same failure there if you withdraw on a time base as opposed to a conditions base. >> another question this gentleman here in the yellow shirt. >> if i remember correctly all four of you guys advocated for a u.a.v. campaign in iraq and syria against the islamic state. it's easy to see how they could provide a -- an vng.
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have we seen in yemen, pakistan and other places where we've embarked on these campaigns long-term degradation of these groups? does it differ from geography to geography? say we were to embark on a u.a.v. campaign against the islamic state, would we produce, say, a backlash from sunnis in iraq? and that would work to our detriment strategically? >> mike, what about that? >> taking the leadership off the battlefield is the single most important thing you can do to degrade a group. it's also the single most important thing you can do to disrupt plotting. why? because if you're a leader of those groups and you're worried about your personal security, then you don't have time to plan. that's what we saw in out asia. that's what we saw in yemen. that's why i think we need to do it. >> dan do you have an opinion on this? >> i agree with mike.
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i think that if you see this safe haven and this influx of foreign fighters as, you know, a gathering threat of these kinds of dimensions and i think that in this case, it would be the appropriate course. because it's an ungoverned area. we should not be taking predator shots in the middle of populated areas with functioning government. that would be the wrong thing to do. it would undermine an awful lot of what we stand for and would be counterproductive. in an ungoverned space like this i think it would make a lot of sense. >> another question. >> yes this lady in the middle, please. if we can pass the mike down that would be great. >> good evening. my name is lashana and i'm a
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grad student at johns hopkins. my question is about the military strategy in the counterterrorism arena. we seem to be using an aggressive military campaign against terrorist groups but it seems we fail to understand the existential struggle that encompasses global terror. terrorist groups are, it seems more so about national identity and identity and using aggressive military campaigns in the form of drone attacks that do little to diminish the leadership struck all -- structure of terrorist groups as they show interesting resilience to the leaders. do you think we need to reassess our strategy and approach to the global fight on terror because the military campaign seems to do little to eradicate the ideology -- ideology and the issue of identity. >> fran, isn't that a problem here? you've got this ideology that's fueling these groups, that
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animates these groups and if the u.s. doubles down, perhaps the problem gets -- gets worse. >> i think there are two separate things going on that i'd like to address. the drone campaign, as mike suggested, are incredibly effective when they target the leadership. it is easiest to do that in ungoverned spaces, as dan alluded to, but i will tell you there was the running joke, many of us served, that if you were the number three in al qaeda, you had the single shortest life span, i can't tell you how many number threes i saw. you didn't care about number three, he was director of external operations. we kill lots of them and eventually the people who rose up to replace him were less experienced, less good and obsessed with their own personal security so they couldn't plot. it's an important tool in terms of disrupting a plot. i will say now, when -- the last part of your question, right about what about the idea
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snoling you have to have a broader strategy. that's why -- when i ended my sort of beginning spiel about having a comprehensive strategy, you need to be able to talk to people about human rights. the bad guys are horrible abusers of human rights. look right now in both pakistan and in the islamic state if you will. the refusal to allow polio vaccines -- vaccines and they're prohibiting the anti-malaria campaign. you've got to talk to the broader ideology and take them on about their own oppression and their own denial of rights to people they claim to speak and govern in the name of. we have not been very good about that. that must be part of the plan because you've got to take on their narrative and we've not been very effective at it. >> dan? >> this is a really important question that you've asked on the ideology. and the sad fact is that we are much, much better developed,
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much better equipped for dealing with an imminent threat, an imminent plot and with dealing with already convinced and hardened jihaddists. we are not very good at countering the narrative, as fran said. we're getting better. we've made interesting advances, there's something called the counterterrorism communications which brings together all the government in one organization in the state department. but the problem is, it's impossible to expand this effort or to expand development-based efforts to counter extremism because quite frankly congress isn't interest in funding things that are somewhat experimental in their nature but which are absolutely vital. i wish i had a nickel for every general i see on cnn saying we've got to counterer the ideology but we can't get funding to do the kind of work that's essential. and that has to change. >> another question. >> hold on just a second here.
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this is one of the most frustrating issues i have witnessed leaving government, this debate about u.a.v.'s. let me cut to the chase and make the unfortunate mistake of adding a few facts to the conversation. first, operationally, i disagree that the leadership of these organizations is resilient. i'm not focused on insurgents. i'm focusing on people who have the capabilities to orchestrate an operation against times square. they have to have time in the organization experience conducting complex organizations and they have to have respect in the organization to get the resources to do this. they cannot, yemen, so maul ark pakistan, keep going back to key place, they cannot replace this leadership faster than we can kill them. that's in the a supposition, that's a fact. why is it a fact? first, you look at the pace with which we're eliminating that leader -- that leadership.
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they cannot come up with another khalid sheikh mohammed. one who lived in the united states. second, i listened to them when they spoke to us. we had detainees. they hate drones. i like to listen to what the adversary doesn't like because that's generally what i like. number two and finally on this issue of create manager terrorists there are very few facts out there but there are some people who look at attitude in places in the northeast, islamic countries -- in the middle east, islamic countries, jordan turkey, etc. pew research, one of the few places that does this, will tell you, the gap between what people in islamic countries thought on 9/11 about al qaeda and what they think today is remarkable. we talk about drones. it does not seem to me to have a significant impact on the attitudes of muslims who have
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experienced al qaeda itacks. you know what they say? 9/11? they say al qaeda stood up to the united states. you know what they say today after hundreds of drone attacks? al qaeda offers no future and they put our heads on pikes, we don't like them. >> so let me add something about what dan said about the capability in the state department. you can fund that until the cows come home and that's not going to be enough. i mentioned, and when i spoke about isis having the most sophisticated media campaign, let me give you some facts. the day of the beheading of james foley, tweet that you're going on air. isis' media operation immediately targeted me and other journalists and flooded our twitter account with pictures of the beheaded body of james foley. as quick as you can block it they got other accounts in and around you to continue to do it. that was the same for -- that was sustained for 48 hours. the u.s. government does not
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have the capability, in a strategic operational way to do that, not in state department, not in a.i.d., it doesn't exist. that's the kind of thing you need. you need that sort of flexible, targeted tactical capability to counter this narrative and they're better at this than we are right now. >> let me add another point about countering the narrative. it's hard for a whole bunch of reasons. number one it's not sexy doesn't bring the money in, absolutely right. but it's also hard because the united states cannot do this on its own. in fact, we are only a small piece of the answer to this narrative problem. we need the local countries to take this on. we need local communities in these countries to take this on. we need the local clerks to -- clerics to take this on. it is a much much bigger problem than the united states. >> mike is absolutely right. we've got a lot of countries in the fight now. but this whole thing has to be ramped up tremendously and
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there's just not been a willingness to do that. >> up front here. >> thank you. thanks, juan. dan, this is for you. given your previous post at state bringing together a range of our partners in the counterterrorism efforts, we saw the u.a.e. bomb sites in the libya. leaving the iraqi military aside, how do we bring to bear the saudis, jordanians and others in a realistic way? what are the prospects for that? >> well it won't be immediately. it will differ according to which one we're talking about. the saudis have been reluctant to develop serious military capabilities because they're acrude of -- afraud of a crombings up. the jordanians have excellent special operations capabilities and there will have to be discussion with them about putting those to use. you mention the hammarabis, i'm
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not always a fan, but the fact you have those nations getting into the act that far from their region is remarkable and suggests there's real capacity out there to be used. >> another question, this young lady here. my apologies to this side, you're on my blind side. i'll come back to you. >> hi. my question is about counterering the ideology. as you all mentioned, last huge need for it but i attended congressional hearings and there's not a single person at the state department who knows the koran who knows the verses of the koran. all these different countries. i just wrote down a few, glanced at a koran and wrote down a few words that might be help nfl our messaging campaign, like 17:33 don't take life. allah is full of loving kindness. i don't see the kindness coming
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out of isis. pray for forgiveness for everybody on earth which includes non-muslims. 42:5. if allah wanted all the world tore muslims he would have made it such. you cannot compel mankind against their will to convert. why can't we have these verses plastered on the twitter feeds or whenever they come up with -- like you can address the ideology, 9% of muslims are people and these guys have been misusing our religion and i don't understand why we can't get the funding. the verses. if you're harsh hearted, people will leave you, don't be severe. >> we need you and people like you. we need you and people like you in the united states government, right, to be able to lead that kind of a campaign. you're exactly right. i don't disagree with what you're saying.
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it's not just an issue of funding. it's an issue of people and expertise and attracting those people. >> isn't part of of the problem that the u.s. government isn't equipped or constitutionally able to advocate anything in terms of religion. >> i think there are plenty of people who know the koran. but a number of years of hard experience have shown that the united states is a secular nation and should not be telling muslim what is is true islam and what is not. that's a losing marketing campaign. we can say a lot of things about what is basic human dignity and what is deeply immoral like killing large numbers of people or killing in particular large numbers of muslims but it's really, to follow up on what mike said, it's really for muslim countries to discuss what true islam is. we're not in position to take that mission on. >> just keep in mind that the u.s. government actually created the first special represent toiv muslim communities, to address
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muslim communities. not from a religious standpoint but community basis. last question and i apologize that this has to be the last one. let's go with this lady in the middle, please. >> kind of going off the first question, which he was talking about nation and government building, you say a result of the aggressive tactics is destroying the infrastructure then water, the electricity, the economy of these nations which in the past as in iraq has shown that this creates resurgence of these terrorist organizations. is aggressive pressure on these nations the best thing or should they tackle that infrastructure and rebuild it instead? >> mike, fran, is it one of the
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challenges here the fact that if you double down, you use more military assets, you're destroying insfra structure that is going to be important. >> there's no question, i will tell you, having been intimately involved in it in iraq about the time effort, and attention we spent rebuilding infrastructure, electricity in particular, you mentioned water, i'm glad you did. i will tell you, i think 10 years from now, our successors will be talking about water as a national security issue. whether it's scarcity, whether it's the lack of water, people will fight over water. we've seen it, islamic state is using water as leverage against populations, not just the mosul dam in iraq but also in syria. i think this is going to be growing problem. we did try to address, i can speak specifically to iraq. but that must be part of a phase four operation and we were struggling with it when i was in the white house. >> ok. unfortunately we don't have time for more questions. we're going to move to the final
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section of the debate which is the policy recommendations and conclusions from each side that ask each side, you have three minutes to lay out your policy recommendations. mike and fran, we'll turn to you first. >> i think you have to build capacity in all the frontline states against al qaeda. and you have to extend the resources to do that. you then have to encourage those states to use that capacity to deal with extremists inside their border. one of the things that happened with the arab spring is it reduced the willingness of some states to deal with extremists in their border. egypt is a great example of that you should mor see. then you have to encourage our partners, and i'm a big supporter of what the emirate did in lib ark we need to worry about libya more than we have
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been. but we need to encourage our partners to do more. what the ethiopians and others did in somalia was an important thing. we need to support that action. then we need to do whatever action we need to do on top of all that to keep the pressure on the terrorists. >> look, what mike is saying is critically important. i do think you need an international coalition. i think more than encourage partners we've got to be clear about what our expectations are and what our needs are. what they -- they are in a ewe -- what they are uniquely in position to do that we are not. we have to be crystal clear. that's why it's so important goals and objectives clearly stated by the president about what it is we seek to achieve and private, bilateral conversations with our partners in the region about what we need them to do to achieve that. there's tremendous capability in the region, both with intelligence, military assets, as you've heard, and so we need
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to be clear with our partners about what our expectations are and then we need to be sure that when we talk about this, the things that we are going to do, that we're going to take on that we fund them and that execution is impeccable. >> dan, your recommendation as to what to do or not to do? >> you know, 5% of our nation's life has been spent in this campaign. and we're 13 years into it. and the conversation about doubling down now has transitioned to encourage partners and build capacity which sounds like a pair of 10's. that's not doubling down. we have matured to understand that there are other instruments to use. everybody here pays taxes, everybody has kids or in my days no kids but 10 nieces and nephews. we want to be exceptional in other areas and there's only a certain number of things the president and this country can do. we are not exceptional. middle of the pack in science and math among kids.
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not terrific with infant mortality. not terrific with life expectancy. what do we expect in this american experiment, that is, give our kids an education and be healthy. we can't perform exceptionally in the fundamentals of this country and we want to double down on a campaign when we've already realized in multiple circumstances that a targeted approach succeeds in blunting threat. i've got a three-letter word for you and that is, why? thanks. >> dan. >> i agree with everything that's been said. >> the diplomat in the room. >> but i would add to that and i think you probably have gotten the message that we're not all that far apart on a lot of these points. i think the most important thing right now is to calm down and take a deep breath. isis is not burning down an american city in the next 48 hours as some of the discourse in washington and on the airwaves has suggested.
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i strongly believe that we can handle this. i do believe that if not handled, it would be a dangerous threat over the long term. and i think that it's time for us to continue the work that i think has been going on for four years, which is trying to get the counterterrorism element in our foreign policy right. because we're going through a pretty healthish summer. ukraine, that's a -- a pretty hellish summer. ukraine, that's a big issue. and there's another issue that isn't on the front pages quite as much, and that is china. that's a growing big issue. they're saying very aggressive things about taiwan right now. before we think about sending the first division back into iraq, i think we really need to take a very deep breath and think about how we match our means and our resources to our goals and what our priorities are. one -- you know, one foreign
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fighter coming to the u.s. and going crazy with a gun is not going to bring the country down. we have to defend against it. we have to do the best we can. but we need to start thinking again about what our grand strategy looks like and how we deal with the various challenges we face. >> wonderful. as i said i'm going to turn to you and ask two questions. the first is did you learn something today that -- that has affected your opinion in some way. raise your hand. wonderful. did your opinion change as a result of this debate? raise your hand. interesting. interesting. regardless of that -- [laughter] >> at a minimum, you've been informed. and at a minimum, perhaps entertained. and i want to thank again ambassador volcker, the mccain
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institute, arizona state university for hosting this. i thank you for attending. follow the mccain institute in its many debates and work. and join me in thanking the panelists, please. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> and one more round of applause for our fantastic moderator. [applause] see you on october 23 about china. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014]
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>> tonight during primetime on the c-span network a look at efforts to improve the nutrition of meals served in schools that's at 8:00 p.m. on c-span. on c-span2, book tv with authors at recent book fairs and festivals around the -- around the country. and on c-span3, american history tv with programs on the war of 1812 and the burning of washington, d.c. and the -- and later coverage of california's governor's debate. sponsored by kqed and "the los angeles times." the first and only debate, live at 10:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> here's some highlights for this coming weekend. friday, live at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span, the nebraska supreme court will hear oral
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argument on the keystone x.l. pipeline. saturday at 6:30 p.m. on "the communicators," former f.c.c. commissioners. sunday at noon, debates between incumbent democratic senator kay hagan and her republican opponent. and from the california race, democratic incumbent jerry brown and republican nominee neel kashkari. on c-span2 "after words," mike gonzalez. and sunday, our three-hour conversation and your phone calls with the former chair of the commission on civil rights, mary frances berry. and on c-span three this weekend, on friday, historians talk about the burning of washington in 1812.
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saturday, the building of the hoover dam. sunday night at 8:00, the anniversary of gerald ford's pardon of richard nixon. find our information schedule at c-span.org and let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us at 202-626-3400, send us a tweet, or email us at comments@c-span.org. like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. >> earlier today former presidential candidate ralph nader and grover norquist talked about how political parties can work together in government transparency, the minimum wage. from the national press club, this is about an hour. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> good afternoon, and welcome.
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>> thank you, everyone. the one that he to block the will of the people is to divide and rule. as a result, we hear article after article about how polarized our society is, red state, blue state, democrat republican left, right, and there are many divisions and disagreements, to be sure. there are disagreements on reproductive rights, then control, school prayer, on constitutionally required talents budgets, taxes, on kinds of regulations, and those will probably remain. however, there are huge areas and very fundamental ones in terms of constitutional procedures as well as substantive policies where there is a large left-right convergence majority in this
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country. it starts with the public sentiment, as a bleak and said with public sentiment you can do anything, and without it, you cannot do anything at all. his already out there in the minds of tens of millions of americans want to call themselves progressives or libertarians. they agree on a whole host of issues. i first came across this agreement going functional going operational, from their converging opinion into political action when we develop a coalition in 1983 to fight the clinch river breeder reactor which already had piled up $1.3 billion and they have not dubbed a shovel on the shores of the
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clinch river in tennessee. our site was not getting very far, and the senator called up from arkansas, and said why don't you call these right wing groups. they're worried about this because there is a huge budget buster for my prediction it will go to $8 billion. so we formed a taxpayers group against the clinch river breeder reactor. we had some formidable foes, ronald reagan was for it senator howard baker was for it, the general electric and
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westinghouse were for it, and it was quite an uphill fight. but in a stunning defeat of the clinch river, we won in the senate 56-40. i was in 1983. in 1986, against lobbyists there was a convergence between senator grassley, republican of iowa, and another senator to pass the false claims act which would give the government officials and opportunity if they blow the whistle, government employees, to share in the recovery that would be pursued by the justice department. and that has saved tens of billions of dollars. and we see other examples. this is not pie in the sky. we are not sugarcoating this convergence.
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we have examples. as of last year, for example there was a left-right up for on e-mail to stop another war in syria. the left-right in defiance of john boehner and nancy pelosi and house almost got a bill through blocking the nsa from dragnet snooping. they lost by 12 votes on that. and at the state level, a lot of interesting things are going on. 15 legislatures have passed juvenile justice reform, only possibly because of left-right legislators. when a decision came down saying it was ok for new london to expropriate a whole neighborhood and destroy it and give it to pfizer, 25 state legislatures passed a variety of law saying quickly not in the state you're going to take private property condemn it, and give it to corporations, other kind of private property. so in doing this book, i go through the history of conservative philosophers and lo and behold, and a lot of them from adam smith to russell kirk were not exactly the corporatists who distorted their philosophy would have us believe.
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many elite they were against government planning, to be sure, but they were for a safety net leading to milton friedman's minimum income plan. that heritage goes all the way back to the founder of the chicago school of economics, and it goes back to frederick hayek, who thought there needed to be a safety net. public works was fostered by these conservative philosophers or is he did not like monopolies, very eloquent in busting up monopolies. so we have a doctrinal basis here as well as current operational figures, some politicians, some writers, but most important, back there in the country where people live, work, and raise their children the ideological schisms are not quite as a parent because these people back home are facing reality.
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so we have a great deal of disagreement between left, right on reproductive rights and school prayer and gun control and balanced budgets, as i said, but we also have eerie fundamental agreement. and it was illustrated in an interview in the book with the libertarian founder of the cato institute when he said, ralph, i am against all corporate subsidies, unconstitutional laws, liberty-restricted aspects of the patriot act, and the federal reserve run amok. there is a lot of collaboration between the american civil liberties union and right leaning groups. there are quite remarkable convergences. sometimes i think half of what the government does is shovel out subsidies, handouts giveaways, economic privileges and the marketplace and bailout. this is called crony capitalism by the right and it is called corporate welfare by us. that is a huge slice of the federal budget. the patriot act comes up for confirmation repeat next year.
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maybe there will be a struggle instead of just rubberstamping it as it has been renewed twice by a rubber stamp. we have on some oteric issues, perhaps, a collaboration left-right wants to audit the pentagon. $800 billion unaudited every year. not the way a business would run it. that is why you lose $9 billion a year, $6 billion there. there's no accounting. there's also a left-right on procurement. the government is the biggest higher. why not establish standards for efficiency and national goals .efficiency and national goals like controlling pollution advancing auto safety? and here in the audience, the former head of the general services administration, and when we hit a stone wall on the airbag, you know george will and others came out for mandatory airbag installation in the mid-1980's, i went out to see gerald who is a very conservative republican from new hampshire, and he was in the auto parts business, and i said if you have airbags in
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government cars, and they buy 40,000, 50,000 a year for government employees, it will reduce accidents, injuries, in claims and costs and lost work. and that appealed to him, in addition to the life-saving aspect of it. and to make a long story short against the opposition of all the auto companies except ford he put out a request to bid for 5000 airbags for tempos the government wanted to buy, and that helped the momentum to get the airbag in all cars, and now it is on side airbags and front seat airbags. that is the use of the government buying cars. and that is what is so important that is not just a more dramatic issues. it is also the issues of proper functioning of government. there is going to be
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disagreement on taxes and the other converging area. i do not know whether grover agrees with this, but there is a left-right coalition and 70% 80% to restore the minimum wage, to take it up close to where it was in 1968 adjusted for inflation. 30 million workers who make less today than they made in 1968 adjusted for inflation. 30 million workers. and so whether you are conservative or liberal or worker in walmart, i do not think you will fall on your
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sword ideologically and say, no, we want to continue at eight bucks an hour, while the boss is making $11,000 an hour every hour, eight hours a day, throughout the year. so in two hours on january 2, he makes more than a worker makes in the entire year, even before the martini lunch. and so i want to conclude by noting that this book does not sugarcoat the obstacles, and what we really need here to kickstart this big time, although there is not left-right alliance on prison reform, which grover was involved in with you to gingrich, called right on crime. there's a lot going on that is not getting a lot of attention 0compared to the division, the divisive areas. but in this book, i argue that there are a lot of obstacles that have to be face, but they are overcomeable if we have a
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number of civic groups established whose only concern is convergence and left-right alliance advocacy. because there is a lot of convergence, cato and heritage progressive policies, they have all come out with reports against corporate welfare. that is not their top priority not where the grants and contributions expect to be done. they go to work every day, and that is not their top priority. it is where the grants in the targeted issues often are in conflict with left-right. that is their priority. we need to similar focus, and i have a chapter called dear billionaire, and i am looking for some rich person to fund these nonprofit civic groups. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you for holding to our 12-minute request. and now i have the pleasure to turn it over to grover norquist. [applause] >> thank you, myron. the last time ralph and i were on a stage together, we were competing at funniest celebrities in d.c.
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i will be the straight man today. i want to make it clear that we talked, when rough and i both talk about left-right coalition, that is different than traditional bipartisanship here in washington, d.c., and state capitals. traditional bipartisanship is republican politicians and democrat it all editions and resizing their class interests as politicians deciding to raise their pay -- [laughter] give themselves pensions or invent new ways to kneecap additional challengers running for reelection, and there are class interests is that
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officials have, and they can tearfully be part partisan in defense of those. earmarks for decades. you get some, i get them. we all still some and we shared with our friends. but i'm talking about what ralph and i have worked together on, issues where right and left, people of principle that are not willing to sacrifice -- this is not like moving to the center and giving the other guy something that nobody should have in return for something good. this is about issues where right and left both agree on what they want done. for instance, on the issue of transparency. but right and left, to the states, and this is moved across dozens and dozens of states, making state budgets completely transparent. i do not mean a printed budget after it is done. i mean every check as it goes out, every contract at it is written, every grant given online so everyone can see it now, not the people who can hire lobbyists who happen to live in the state capital where the federal capital, but to make it available. it is all legally public. it sits in shoe boxes in filing cabinets and it is not accessible to the average person.
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we are looking to do those issues where right and left both of principle can move forward. now, if total spending at all contracts were made transparent so every american, every person in the world can go look at them, i am under the impression that people would look at it and say let's spend less money. ralph thinks that some would look at and say, martha, look at how wisely they are spending their money. let's send them more. we could have that argument, but each of us believes that a transparent government would be a better government. i believe it will be a more limited government. ralph believes it would be more expansive. the transparency we can agree on an often people in power are not cheerful about that. right left coalitions are areas of principled agreement on perhaps procedure or even goals, not a compromise where somebody walks in and gives a big part of their soul in order to get something and moves they think slightly in the wrong direction
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in the hope of doing something else. i want to point out that as ralph alluded to this is not something that might happen. this is not an interesting theory. ralph nader has not written a book about what might happen if people could do this, if you imagine them. i want to go to a list of thing where this has already happened, and where it has happened in seven states it can happen in more. we are looking now at the term-limit movement. actually, in my least successful press conference was where ralph nader and i in 1992 had one on term limits where in two weeks 14 states would pass with 75% of the vote and not a single reporter showed up because of official washington had zero interest in term limits, and it has revolutionized state government, the committee system, by having this sort of rotating french revolution every six years where the leadership moves on. so term limits has gone across the country, both at the state level and the government and it shows appear, not only at the presidential level, but in terms of the committee chairs.
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right on crime, where i was working with a group of folks who said we need -- we thought it was 2000, it turns out it was 4000 federal laws -- who we need to keep 75-year-old former bank robbers in prison for the rest of their lives? it cost $50,000 to put someone in prison for one year in california, $25,000 in florida. those are expensive. you are disrupting communities families, taking the breadwinner
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out, you're making it difficult for people to move forward. and i am tough on crime. i am all in favor of executing murderers. i think some people should be in prison on their lives, but not the 2 million we have now. we need to look at what the mandatory minimums are doing. this is where there has been a very good right-left coalition on working, and we have moved this to quite a number of states, often starting in texas. one of the reasons why there is a problem with r coalitions on crime is people on the left are afraid they will be called weak on crime, people on the right will be called weak on crime by those further on the
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right. texas is continuing to reduce the crime rate more rapidly than other states by having two people in prison and perhaps more people under parole or probation, but also asking yourself how many people are you actually want to have in prison. the issue of corporate welfare is one that we can agree on and we have worked together on this many ago when john kasich is taking lead in coming up with a series of suggestions when both groups on the right and left could agree on. government ought not be stealing people's money and handing it to somebody else, period. we made some progress on that. there's work to be done. earmarks was real progress. right on defense, similar efforts were people were saying, and the sequester is going to be a help -- the sequester is going to help as people who can say it
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is important to have a strong national defense, a dangerous world out there, keep those canadians on their side of the border, you want to have a strong national defense. but you do not have to waste money. there's a new piece of legislation that i think is very intriguing, but a republican from congress from california that will reduce the number of civilian employees at the pentagon by 100,000. experts say you to do 200,000 still have a strong and robust national defense. there are going to be a series of efforts along these lines because the sequester puts a cap for 10 years on the pentagon's budget. the people who want more tanks had better figure out how to reform the procurement system.
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those people who want more planes had better participate and help when we suggest when we suggest perhaps we need a compensation system that pays soldiers more and frontload a lot of the resources that we make available to soldiers and sailors. so we can reduce the cost of national defense while making it more effective. the sequester is certainly an important project in making that continued. civil liberties. right-left, sure, a lot of interest. the government, the party of government, friends of government, what they used called loyalists during the revolutionary war, the friends of government always like government have more power because they're convinced government would never abuse it. and i think it is important for republicans to say to their conservative allies, do you really want hillary clinton to have this power you're not planning to give to george w. bush, because at some point he moves on. we trusted him, but do you trust the next guy? and the people when clinton was accumulating power, it is like this -- do you want to hand this to the other team? we can make some progress in limiting the government snooping, the government's mega data collection, and making sure that our civil liberties are taken seriously, and that almost only happens in a left-right coalition because all the people who trust the government always do the right thing do not see anything wrong with the government continually
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accumulating more and more power. one of the reasons why i think not only did we have this about six or seven fields, and it is moving through various states, some of it is happening at the federal government, i would testify at a difficult issue reducing the disparity between how long you are sent to prison for crack cocaine versus white powder cocaine, 100-1 ratio, and it was reduced to 18-1. i testify, and there was this dance between republican and democrat who said we would be delighted to get rid of this bill, but democrats had passed it and introduced it, and if the democrats said if you stop mentioning it was our idea, we would like to get out of it, too. everybody was afraid we would attack them for being afraid of crack cocaine if they reduced the disparity. 18-1, where that came from, i do not know. some senator said that, and we said we will take it. and there you have it, a broad-left right coalition, and looking at mandatory minimums. all the minimums for federal crimes, treason is five years mandatory minimum, ok? things dealing with naked pictures of pictures are 35 years. this was driven by how many people you could get to your press conference when you announced that you -- a message i care, i really do not like carjacking. unlike in the 57 states, we did not have laws against carjacking
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at the time, but some congressmen decided we are going to have to have a press conference so we have a federal law just have the press conference, but a federal law to make carjacking a federal crime with a miniature and minimum even though states are capable of handling that. so the mandatory minimums were press conferences, when you look what is important that have a mandatory minimum for. i want to suggest the movement
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that ralph nader has written about and that many on the right and the left have begun to participate in is going to grow in strength. one reason is we have had success. when you see people walk out on the ice and they do not falter more people are willing to go out there. that ralph nader has written about and that many on the right and the left have begun to participate in is going to grow in strength. one reason is we have had success. when you see people walk out on the ice and they do not falter more people are willing to go out there. when politicians hear that right on crime has gotten a series of reductions in how long you have to keep how many people in prison and how much you have to spend doing it and crime did not increase, it fell, and things got better and most importantly, nobody lost an election, that they are more willing to move this forward in their own state. the other reason it is going to move is there is nothing else to do in this town. on the negative issues, we are going to raise taxes or cut taxes, spend more or less money, that is settled, and as long as you are obama's president and a republican house, we are not raising taxes, but we are not eliminating any government programs, not creating any more, but not cutting taxes either. but on mega issues, nothing moves. it is like two sumo wrestlers for the next two years. they are absolutely equally matched, nobody's getting knocked out of the ring. all of the energy component smart guys in d.c. and state legislatures can look over at the successes that left-right coalitions have had on right on crime and right on defense and transparency and civil liberties, and i think you will see a lot of the energy and
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opportunity and talent move into those zones cause for the next two years, the next 20 years that is an area where we can make real progress for all americans, and i look forward to working with ralph and a lot of other people in this field. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, mr. norquist. thank you for adhering to the 12-minute limit we imposed so we could have more time for questions. let's start with some questions for both of you, and some people say that the partisan divide is deeper today than it has ever been. do the two of you agree, and how do you think the gap can be narrowed? i know you might have touched on this in some of your works, but if we could have a succinct answer to that question. to that two of you agree, and
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how do you think the gap can be narrowed? >> yeah, the partisan difference is much greater. year after year the government got bigger, vigor, but always just somewhat bigger. it is easy to agree if you are all heading in the same direction. just a question of speed. we now have two parties, one wants bigger government, one wants smaller government. there is no way to do that. they are fundamentally at odds. while we work to do that, ralph and i were work on the other issues. [laughter] >> you set a precedent, which i know mr. nader will follow
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please be the point. >> the partisan divide is in the congress. back at home, 90% of people want to prosecute wall street crooks. there is a real wall street antipathy here. it has not hit congress yet in terms of any operational momentum. that is what we have to talk about, feeling that cap, pushing this public sentiment of convergence into operational mode. >> is the supreme court's decision -- citizens united decision a good thing or a bad thing for the country? do both of you regard money as free, just like the supreme court did? >> i think everybody should be free to do anything they want, and that includes spending money as they wanted buying ice cream cones or engaging in politics or making movies or films.
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yeah, i think the supreme court decision went in the right direction,. just noticed own money in politics, no forced union dues no taxpayer money. voluntary, fine. >> disagree. i think public elections should be publicly funded patent can be done on a voluntary manner. i think mccain-feingold is an example of the convergence, it has been eroded by 5-4 decisions of the supreme court. money is very corrupting. the idea that money is speech would horrify our founders. and i draw the decision between corporations and individuals. i think corporations are artificial entities. they should be subordinated constitutionally to the people. the supreme court's revolutionary decisions time and time again are correcting a
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system in our political economy where operations are supreme over individuals. and that is obviously in my mind a subversion of our democratic process. >> for the next few questions, we will have mr. nader answer first to keep a balance. is it possible to have the government of, by, and for the people of this country without meaningful campaign reform? >> difficult, because it intimidates people who otherwise might you forward them either to run for office or just to be active. when they see mountains of money on the other side and in tv ads, radio ads, and all kinds of apparatus. i think the important thing to remember is if there is no money in politics, there would still be a problem of mobilizing citizens.
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they have been so stomped on over the years, we do not teach civic education or civic experience in our schools. youngsters are taught to believe not to think, to obey, not to challenge, that that is always going to remain a problem. and it has in many other countries as well. it is not an elixir for money on politics, but certainly we have to start there. it is just getting worse and worse, and it is impeding a variety of candidates from even trying to run. >> i think it is important that campaign finance reform in order to have her elections. in wisconsin they have taken a step towards that. prior to 2014, a public schoolteacher was paid $50,000 a year, had a thousand dollars taken by force without his or her permission by the union. they never voted to join the
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united they could not do anything about it. they took a thousand dollars and spent it not as a teacher might want, but as the government wanted to. that law was changed at all dues were voluntary. the unions could not take her money and spend it on whenever they wanted to pick the most important thing in politics is no stolen money in politics, no taxpayer dollars taken from you, and then spent on politics, and no union dues taken through coerced union dues. voluntary union dues, all they want to spend, that is fine. >> last question addressed to both of you, and then i will go into a session of asking you questions. could you concede a left-right candidacy which could focus on attacking the nsa, not the type of trade deals and the federal reserve? mr. nader? >> yeah, it is this what they stand for. i do not care what their labels
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are. barney frank and ron paul had a caucus in the house in 2010 to reduce the military budget. you could not have people further apart on that, but they were very sincere in that area. grover, i never discussed this with you and investor rights versus management. corporations spend money in political campaigns, and do the shareholders have a right to approve or disapprove? would you agree they should? >> yeah, it is easy for an investor to do decide not to other general motors stock or another. it is not easy for a teacher in wisconsin to change jobs. that is a government monopoly that they are working for. i see a distinction there. what was the question? i'm sorry.
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ron paul has not been to burning man yet. i think it is unlikely to have the left-right effort show up inside a presidential race, but certainly there are individual pairings on individual issues that are interesting. it is sort of man bites dog and the president more interested when you can have a very conservative free-market republican, liberal democrat together. that raises these issues and makes the job easier when there are difficult topics. >> now some question for mr. nader. let me say on behalf of everybody, i appreciate the succinct, substantive answers to questions. now some question for mr. nader. as having run for the member of a third party, how would you rate our two-party system of
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government can and doesn't need to be overhauled so other parties and some sort of a fair chance, and if so, how? >> i think there is a convergence on ballot access and instant runoff voting. you have libertarian party and green party and green party often collaborating on lawsuits at the state level. they want to open up the system. i and most people in this country regardless of how they vote, hereditary voters, republican, democrat, they want to see more choice, more voice on the ballot. it will bring up more people to vote, and it will be more exciting and more meaningful campaign. that is one. the second is i think in many ways the two parties are one corporate party with two heads wearing different makeup. we have a convergence on the other side.
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it is the convergence of corporate democrats and corporate republicans building the corporate state, or as grover said, corporate stateism. franklin roosevelt called that fascism, by the way, in 1938 when he sent a message of congress to start an investigation commission on concentrated corporate power. he said when private economic power controls government, that is fascism. they harass people, getting petitions on the street, they try to wear them down. we were sued 24 times in 2004 in 12 weeks by the democratic party or their allies to get off one state ballot after another. it was pretty depleting for anybody who wants to have a campaign for more that eight weeks after every day. this combination of corporatism that gets the parties dialing
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for the same commercial dollars is getting tighter and tighter. you have the clintons are now on the record, they are wall street, corporatists, and they are militarists. hillary clinton has not seen a war she doesn't not like. this is what we have to really face up to. the law -- we all have different rhetoric on services. there are differences on real things like reproductive rights and school prayer. but on the frontal issues of empire, constitutional observance among civil liberties, main street versus wall street, on terms of where the budget will go, necessities of the people, these two parties are converging very great tightly, and we have to break them up and get more competition with other parties and other independent candidates and break
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them up in ways that is quick and functional at the local level, where you can have more choice at the local government level and starts bubbling up to the state and federal. >> mr. nader, your 2000 race for president is widely acknowledged to lead to the election to george w. bush. do you regret running that year, and why or why not? [laughter] >> last i heard bush got more votes from gore than i did. that is a minor thing. i do not think third parties are second-class citizens.
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if we all have equal rights to run for election, then we are all trying to get votes from one another, so we either are all spoilers or none of us are. when you say spoilers are just third parties, anti-slavery, women's right to vote, worker rights, farmers' rights -- when you just say that third party candidates are spoilers, that is political bigotry. blame the electoral college because gore out 500,000 more votes nationwide. the only country in the world where you can come in first and lose the election because of the electoral college. and blame florida, blame the thieves in florida, blame the supreme court. you cannot blame someone exercising constitutional rights to challenge the two parties on at least 15 issues that they are totally ignoring, will not discuss, but have majoritarian support. i have left my website open to document that. you can go to votenader.org. this is where there is a nice convergence because it is a
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civil liberties issue. a very nice convergence. right now there is a left-right convergence to get rid of the electoral college by interstate compacts, and they have now reached 168 electoral votes. states have passed laws saying we will throw our electoral votes behind whoever wins the popular vote in the united states running for president. so it is only a matter of a couple of years before the electoral college is history. [applause] >> and one last direct question before we go and ask mr. norquist some. considering mr. norquist, why are you partnering with him on anything? [laughter] >> because we can win on things
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we agree on. it is very simple. we disagree on a, b, c, d issues. we disagree on x, y, z issues. why should we indulge on this kind of political vanity and be overwhelmed by what i call the yuck factor? this is what liberals have to get over, the yuck factor, the liberal intelligentsia, because they do not feel the need out there, they do not have the empathy. they're too busy writing articles and being in the top 1% or 2% in this country to get over it. they are not affected by this. but millions as millions of people can be a media in one area after another. the liberals are more rigid on all these issues, i have found
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than people who are really conservatives, corporatists in conservative garb. you can see that in the question of the question of the 2000 campaign. get over it. the democratic party could have blocked bush on iraq. they succumbed to bush. they could have blocked him. look at what the republicans are doing to obama. get over it. stop finding an alibi before you're not standing up to the american people and their rights instead of dialing for the same commercial dollars that the republicans do. [applause] >> and now some questions for
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mr. norquist. before ralph nader came along, the free market was acknowledged doing a lousy job of protecting consumers from flawed automobiles and corporations ripping them off. why do you think things will be different now if you realize your dream, as the questioner asked, of drowning government in a bathtub? >> the actual quote is you want the government to be small enough where you can drag it in the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub. it is a question of size, not of one's intent, for dramatic effect. i think if you look at the history of big government of statism, monopolies like at&t did not exist until the government gave them a government monopoly. monopolies are created and enforced by the state. we work on this together. regulation on trucking
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regulation on buses to keep prices high, and airlines as well, rail, buses, all of these issues, the government came in and set prices on floors, not ceilings. i am not in favor of ceilings either, but they like to pretend they're coming into help consumers reap the cost of state interference in the economy. it is not to make things better, and if you look at the larger governments, they do not do a better job at these things. i think consumers working voluntarily without violence without the threat of forcing 200 hundred million americans decide how they want to approach things from a consumer's demand increased safety or in products and government can get it. the government can't tell you how to be safe moving away from something that is does not work anymore, just as quickly as congress. i want the economy to be able to predict when safety and health are at risk, to be able to move not as quickly as the fda, but as quickly as microsoft or the guys who make your iphones. you want the taxi guys fixing
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things or uber? choose. >> for someone who hates government, why do you support only those candidates who want to use government to control women's health by outlawing abortion in all circumstances as the republican platform demands? >> yeah, why do you hate government? this is the oddest thing. when people who want a limited government are called antigovernment, ok? cancer doctors are not anti-cell. they like cells. some cells do good things. some cells reproduce so quickly they hurt you and can kill you ok? government, where you have some modest and minimal rules, keep your hands on your own stuff and do not touch other people and otherwise you're free to live your life and believe what you want and do what you want, that is a -- there is a big difference between disagreeing
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with big government and not liking any government. we had wars against people who were masters at big government. we do not want government like that. we want more limited government like we have, and i think our government has gotten too big. i cannot list many of those 4000 laws, nor can i tell you what they are, and you can be put in prison. we have too many laws, regulations. government should be small. that has nothing to do with hating government. the government created by the constitution is actually a thing of beauty and makes things people more free. so i am not there with that. i work on tax issues, and i work with candidates who want to keep taxes and spending more limited, and that is what we work on. >> ask the abortion question again. >> right.
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just a brief follow-up, why do you support only those candidates who want to use government to control women's health by outlawing abortion in all circumstances? >> i don't. i support a lot of candidates who work there. i focus on tax and spending side of government. candidates come with a big package of issue. the central issue of our day is the total size and scope of government. and reducing that as an overall cost in how people operate, that is what we work on. >> [indiscernible] >> ok, well, we asked the question and he answered it as he wishes. i'm still being asked about for
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a more specific response -- >> there is a false premise in the question. i will not do that. >> tax reform went nowhere in this congress. don't you think that you're no new taxes pledge inhibits lawmakers from devising a better, fairer tax system? >> the question was, does the taxpayer protection pledge get in the way of tax reform? no. as a matter fact, if we remember back in 1986, the only reason we could do the tax reform act of 1986 was that the pledge existed. it is why i created it about because there was a very few told a bunch of congressmen to go into a smoke-filled room and think something up, what they brought back, because they would move all the little pieces back and forth come at the end of the day, it would be a trojan horse
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for higher tax. no matter how much did it, what they would bring back would be a net tax increase. reagan said i will veto the next tax increase, and i got members to say they will not vote for it, but that was enough to force tax reform to be tax reform, revenue neutral, lower rates. this was without the pledge, you do not get tax reform. you just get tax increases. the pledge is why we got the sequester, because the president could not talk people into a $1.4 trillion tax increase which is what we he was asking from a supercommittee. $1.4 trillion in higher taxes. obama wanted another $400 billion in spending, and we agreed it could be cut. i was taken aback by the $1.4 trillion tax increase. i would love to focus on that. $200 billion spending cuts we all agree on?
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because we had percentages of the republican party getting elected by promising to their constituents that they would not raise no net tax increase, and promise me, and harry reid sometimes the states that, i am sure, the pledge, if you read it online, is to the voters of your states and to the american people, that i will oppose efforts to raise taxes. only if you convince the people that the tax reform you're talking about is not a trojan horse for a tax increase can you ever get a consensus to do tax or form. i would argue that is the opposite of what the premise that somebody tried to put into the question. tax reform happens only when taxpayers are convinced that it is not a hidden tax increase. >> two more questions for each of you, if we could keep the
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answers brief, and i thank you both for doing that. i have one last question for both of you. mr. norquist, do you think the republicans will shut down the government again if president obama does not accede to their policy demands? >> no, i do not think they should take the approach that was taken last year. i think what it would have been better to have passed shorter bills. the idea shutting down the government and thinking that the press will focus on the issue you want them to focus on instead of the shutdown is historically inaccurate and not a good idea.
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and besides, we are taking the senate in a couple months, so hold your horses. >> mr. nader, if you could briefly say, what is your most serious disagreement with mr. norquist. >> excuse me. regulation. health and safety standards are absolutely essential because people cannot discern the degree of pollution in the air, water food, emissions from nuclear plants, all the things that are invisible forms of violence. i even got milton friedman, when debating him once in pittsburgh, to agree them he was against all regulation, including licensing of doctors. i said, you mean a barber can put a sign up and say cardiovascular surgery, low price? he said, sooner or later people will find out. sooner or later. [laughter] he did agree pollution had to be
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regulated because there's no sensory -- there's nothing that people can detect. carbon monoxide, you cannot smell or taste it. that is an area i think i can persuade a lot of people including grover, because last i heard he breathes. he smells. he eats. he drinks. and the more we can get together on the things we already agree upon in principle, the easier it will be to enlighten each other. i think they will enlighten us on some of the real wasteful programs that we have been very fearful of challenging for fear that they will all go down the drain 100%. it undermines the support the for these programs. more of this will come if you subscribe to my column freenader.org, and i want to say, grover, i will pay for one full-time person if you pay for one full-time person and we will start right on the spot in a few weeks, the first totally committed convergent advocacy group in america. >> we're almost out of time, but before asking our last question, we have a couple of housekeeping matters to take care of. i would remind you of our upcoming events. ken burns, september 16. september 17, ceo of wells fargo.
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mr. norquist and mr. nader you're welcome to come back and join the audience in asking questions. i would like to present our guests with the traditional national press club mug. on my right, mr. nader, you got one 10 years ago. you can add this to the collection. mr. norquist, here's your first one, i believe, and i am sure you will be back for another one. can you each take 30 seconds to answer the following. i know we are a democratic republic, but if you were emperor of america for one day what would you do? mr. norquist, you first -- >> shoot the emperor. no emperors, never. [laughter] >> and mr. nader? >> abdicate. [laughter] >> i like his answer better.
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>> thank you again for coming today. thank you especially to our very special guests of honor. we are adjourned. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> tonight during primetime, a look at efforts to improve the nutrition of meals served in schools at 8:00 p.m. on c-span. on c-span 2, the tv with authors of recent festivals around the country. and on c-span 3, american history tv on the war of 1812 and 1814 burning of washington,
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d.c. the california governor's debate between incumbent jerry brown and republican neel kashkari sponsored by wqed tv. their first and only televised debate on c-span. >> here are some highlights for this coming weekend. saturday, let nebraska's spring court will hear arguments on the keystone xl pipeline. -- nebraska's supreme court. campaign 2014 gearing up, watch the latest debates on c-span. they've between incumbent democratic senator kay hagan and republican thom tillis. and from california, jerry brown and republican neel kashkari.
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opinion on international law and what little effect it has on the behavior of powerful nation saturday on book tv's " afterwords," gains for the hispanic vote. and on in-depth, our conversation and your phone calls with the former chair of the u.s. commission on civil rights. friday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span 3 the burning of washington during the war of 1812. saturday on reel america, the building of the hoover dam. the anniversary of the pardon of richard nixon. find our television schedule online and let us know which think about the programs you are watching. call us. send us a tweet at #c123. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter. >> on thursday, former virginia
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governor bob mcdonnell and his wife are convicted of corruption charges. the u.s. attorney for the east areern district of virginia spoke to reporters after. they will appeal. sentencing is set for january 6. >> midafternoon. my name is dana and i am the u.s. district attorney for the eastern district of virginia. with me is adam lee from the f ei richmond field office. this is a difficult and disappointing day for the commonwealth and its citizens. public service frequently requires sacrifice and almost always requires financial sacrifice. when public officials turned to financial gain in exchange for official acts, we have little
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choice but to prosecute the case. i want to thank the trial team in this case that you all saw. they were tremendous. mike jessica, david, ryan, our paralegal, laura. also, assistant attorney general leslie caldwell from the criminal division and the public integrity section who were our partners on this case. finally, i would like to thank the men and women of the f ei, virginia state police, and the irs. they were our partners in every respect in this case. although you all saw the trial the painstaking investigation was really remarkable. thank you. adam will say a few things. >> i want to echo what dana said. this was a challenging case for our team, a challenging case for the commonwealth and i want to
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thank the u.s. attorneys office for their expertise and their professionalism. i want to thank in the irs and the virginia state police for their partnership. i think this case send an important message that the fbi will engage vigorously any credible allegation of corruption. public corruption is the top federal investigative priority. cases like this are extremely important. with that i want to thank my team who has worked tirelessly on this case. again, dana and his team. thank you. >> the way you are ready to connect the dots -- >> we are not going to take any
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questions. going forward we will speak as we filed. it's been a long five weeks. i'm sure you're interested in getting home. >> coming up tonight, a senate hearing on childhood obesity and school lunch nutrition. then live coverage of the california governors debate between the incumbent jerry brown and former treasury secretary assistant neel kashk ari. investigating the ferguson, missouri, police department later. >> according to the centers for disease control, obesity rates have doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents over the last 30 years. next, and agriculture hearing

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