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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  November 1, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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they're ready to reform because we've been forced to have the conversation from our leaders on the panel. but actually my comment and question is to you, mr. gregory. you talk about reform and how tough it is politically, but it's your job in the press to force the conversations on, you know, "meet the press," to force the conversations on real conversations, and i'll give you examples of what i -- we rarely hear conversations on taxes and what, you know, the need for taxes instead of we're just going to cut taxes, a bloated military budget that rarely gets talked about. and to a broken-down two-party political system. and i listen to "meet the press," and can i think a lot of people in the room end up turning it off because during elections season, you're letting politicians get away with softball answers and --
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>> sir, sir, you know what? with all due respect, i don't know which program you're watching because every week -- i'm not going to get into a debate with you. i ask about taxes, i ask about how you pay for taxes. you go out and you find other people who have asked the most direct questions about how you're going to account for those taxes, about where spending is going to be cut, what painful choices are you going to make. and by the way, sir, i've always dedicated the program to speaking about education and reform as well, so there are -- .. [applause]
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>> may i? >> i like the fact that you asked them, when we hear the answers, they seem to be sound byte answers. >> yeah, you know where your resource is? election day. that's your recourse. that's the best we got. thank you very much. i think we are going to leave it there. [applause] [applause] [applause] [applause] >> join us later for a preview of tomorrow's campaign 2010 midterm elections. hosted by politico and george washington global media institute. speakers will include democratic and republican pollsters.
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that will get under way at 6 p.m. we will have dozens of campaign sites and information up. the associated press that cable tv producer in delaware is disputing his station forget to run the candidate ad. ms. o'donnell said the station forget to mail her 30 hour ad twice. the station said it didn't get in the mail in time. you can see it online. also you can see ads, debates, and rally online at c-span.org. there are newspapers links and related web pages. again that's c-span.org/politics. >> on the eve what might a republican controlled house mean? we'll talk with two former
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advisers to the house commerce committee on "the communicators." here on c-span2. >> in addition to the campaign coverage, there's lots more. including nonfiction authors from booktv, the american story from american history tv and everything that we've aired since 1987, all free and indexed online at the c-span video library. >> more now from the recent conference on first amendment rights and national security. this panel will look at media coverage of cases and events that may contain classified information. this is about 90 minutes. [silence] [silence] >> i wanted to introduce my
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actually literal partner in crime, baruch weiss. i told you i will be afusive, but i will be short. when he came into the private sector as a trial lawyer after 20 years in the government, 18 in the southern district of new york, holding every position possible, the most prestige office in the united states. he was there 18 years. he outlived six or seven different u.s. attorneys during his tenure, and handled some of the highest profile cases. then he worked at the department of treasury here in washington. he happens to have a wife that's a terrific reporter for the "washington post," laura blumenfeld, he knows the first amendment side of life first
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hand. in addition to the department of treasury, after the government reorganization, he went to the department of homeland security and oversaw 500 lawyers in different divisions in homeland security. he has lots of knowledge from many different perspectives. i'm happy to introduce my fellow partner, baruch weiss. [applause] >> thank you all. i think we're going to have a panel as interesting this afternoon as we had this morning. if you recall, we are going to be discussing the issues that arise in prosecuting or defending the cases that contain a leak of classified information. i'm going to introduce, of course, is our panel. what i'm going to do first out of order is to give you a sense of what we're going to discuss. i think you'll appreciate who we have here to discuss it all the
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more. what we are doing to discuss really feeds off what you started to hear this morning. that is we're going to assume that there was a disclosure of classified information by a government official to a journalist or a lobbyist or an academic. it's not only journalist. these things happen, think tanks, they happen at academic panels and so on. we're obviously going to put aside cases where somebody says here's the recipe for the plutonium bomb, would it give to osama bin laden? we're going to talk about interesting cases, disclosure, policy information, and it then comes to the attention of law enforcement. we're going to positive the information is information that law enforcement has a good reason to think shouldn't be disclosed and the recipient, whether it's the journalist or
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lobbyist has a very good reason to think there's a public interest in disseminating the information. sort of the paradigm. the paradigm happens quite a bit. we're going to assume it's an oral disclosure. we're going to talk about the difference of disclosure of oral information versus a document. to discuss this, we're going to get -- we have folks who come out of the prosecution perspective, the defense perspective, then we have an export in the classification process, which is very important in understanding the challenges in prosecuting these cases. of course, then we have the press, represented as well. so let me start with -- i'll go down starting with bill leonard. bill leonard is on my left, on your right the first. he's now the chief operating officer of the national endowment for democracy. for 34 years, he was in the federal government and he served
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last position he served was director of isoo. information of security oversight office. he was responsible for the president for the policy oversight of the executive's branches classification system. essentially what it meant is to put it in the more washington vernacular, he was the classification czar and had more access than anyone other than the president or vice president. it's his job to make sure what's supposed to be classified is, and what's not supposed to be classify is not. before his appointment of the protector of isoo, he served at the defense department both during the clinton and bush administration. and i should say as a matter of
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personal disclosure, the day he resigned, i sent him a letter. at that point, the aipac espionage case that you've heard was ongoing. we were in the midst of the defense, we were desperate to final experts that would be able to testify on our behavior on the information that was disclosed and how dangerous or not dangerous it was to national security. bill leonard was on my list. fortunately, he was retired with nothing to do. he agreed to serve as a defense expert in the case. let's to bill we have mike isikoff. mike is a prominent journalist, investigative reporter with nbc news. he was named the national investigative respondent in june 2010, reports for "nightly news
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today" and msnbc. he's the author of two selling books, "hubris the inside story of the spin sandal" and his other book is "uncovering clinton: an investigators story." he joined after being with the "washington post" since september of '81. next to him, we have lucy dalglish. she serves as the executive committee for the freedom of the press. we're going to get the journalist perspective. the reporters committee of which she's the executive director is a voluntary association of news editors dedicated to protecting the first amendment and first amendment interest of the news media. before assuming that position ten years ago, he was a media
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lawyer for five years with the firm of dorsey and whitney. she was also a reporter herself, reporter and editor at the "st. paul pioneer press." in 1995 she was awarded the well s memorial key, the highest honor destowed on a professional journalist. then last on our row is ken wainstein. ken is currently a partner in the law firm of o'melveny and myers. he had a very long -- or had a very long successful career in public service. he's going to, i think, bring to our discussion the government perspective on this. he served as a federal prosecutor and assistant u.s. attorney both in the southern district of new york and washington, d.c., in the
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interest of full disclosure, we have been friends since we served together in federal prosecutors in manhattan at the same time. if you notice that we are particularly disrespect of one another, that's a disrespect born of keep respect and fondness and friendship. after he left the office, the office for those of you who served as the u.s. attorney office in the southern district of new york, he did do a few other things. not nearly as important as the years we served together as a prosecutor. for example, he was appointed director of the executive office. he then joined the fbi and served as it's general council. and then chief of staff. he was then appointed the u.s. attorney, the chief prosecutor in washington, d.c., where he oversaw the investigation and prosecution of a series of high profile, white collar cases, he then was con firmed by the senate in the new
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position of particular relevance today, the assistance for attorney general at the justice department. which essentially meant that while i was defending the aipac department, he was defending the aipac defendant. hence, all of the fond disrespect that i referred to earlier. after that, he left to serve as the first assistant, i'm sorry, the homeland security advisor to president bush. as i indicated before, left for private practice. for the purpose of our discussion today, we are the prosecution or government, press, important insight on the classification which is very important, and i will play the role of moderators, but also step many on the defense side to make sure that we get all of the perspectives covered. all right. so i think we're ready to roll.
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okay. the problems that we're going to discuss with the panel that typically are found in a prosecution -- investigation prosecution of a classified information case there are a number of issues that we're going to discuss. we're going to discuss the prevalence of the disclosures of the paradigm that we discussed that was assessed by the panel this morning. we're going to discuss the problems of over classification. what internal restraints the justice department has before it brings these sorts of cases. the byzantine nature of the classification system, the age of the statute, and the age shows of the relevant statute, the first amendment issues, and so on. we'll try to go through these one by one. let's start first picking up on what we discussed in the panel this morning. let's talk about first of all a
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prosecutor who's appointed to investigate and prosecute leaks first has to get a sense of what goes on out there in the world of disclosures. we heard a lot about that this morning. i want to pick up a little bit on that today. so let me turn first to mike. let's turn to mike and we'll get the press perspective. mike, when you covered your stories out there, how often do you get, without asking details on a particular case, some sense that the information you are getting is or might be classified? >> well, when your writing about stories dealing with the intelligence community, dealing with terrorism, dealing with national security issues, inevitable, you are going to be brushing against information that's classifyied. there's always going to be a
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classified dimension to almost any discussion that you have on the issue. because it's issues that the intelligence committee deals with and there's all sorts of various sources. i mean but -- i mean i can't emphasize enough what i think is the principal theme and ought to be the principal theme of any discussion of this kind. which is that everybody who's looked at this issue and, you know, they will be expert. but everybody else is independently with that. you know, weigh over classification. and if you took a very, if you just used the yardstick of it's classified, it could shut down almost any conversation that you have on issues of national importance that people -- that we are obligated to report about, that the public wants and has a right to know about, and that the government wants to
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speak about. so everybody works around the fact that there are going -- that there's -- they are dealing with matters that, you know, technically strictly speaking, might involve classified information. and then people dance around it. everybody knows, you know, of course, somebody taking a -- you know, the strictest eye could say it's classified. i can't talk about it. but shut down any responsible conversation in democracy if we just use it's classified as the yardstick for whether or not there should be public disclosure. >> and lucy, is that is that --t might has just articulated, that commonly known by the press that reports the story? is that secret?
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>> everybody knows this. i think most americans know this. you know, what's the saying is that the ship of state leaks from the top. every time somebody goes on "meet the press" they with divulging something that's classified. there's certainly -- i can't think of any reporter that i've ever dealt with that didn't know there was over classification. the reporters that i typically deal with and call us for advise, blessedly, most of them have access to their own in-house counsel. sometimes they don't. you know, the first thing you tell them is, okay, where are -- i don't know to know where you are getting the information. are you confident it's accurate? have you double checked it? and what's going to set the intelligence communities off is if you identify sources and methods. and so, by the way, it would be a really good thing if you are extremely protective of those
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two things. >> okay. since we are told about over classification, let's turn you to bill. putting back on your hat as -- i should have crown as classification czar. >> i've abdicated it. >> that you've been abdicated it. is there an over classification problem? you've seen the information. you've looked at it. does the problem exist? to what extent? >> clearly over classification is ramped. i use just one example in the news today. that is the two wikileak wikilea dumps that we've experienced over the past couple of months. in no make, shape, or form would i begin to defend the reckless conduct that resulted in that mass disclosure. that literally put lives at
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risk. the one thing that i don't see enough discussion, those disclosures reveal how reckless the government has been in terms of applying a critical national security tool, and that's the classification system. there's been close to half between the two, the afghan data diaries and the iraq diaries, close to a half a million records have been disclosed at least 97, 98% of them are classified. if you go through them, there's no discernment versus the classification assigned to information that would disclose someone. a local national who's cooperating with coalition forces. the evidence is we have a simple process. we have an idea behind the classification system is to clearly pu both
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the holder of information, and the recipient of information. hey, this is information that's sensitive, the unauthorized disclosure which would cause damage to national security. the dia just devoted 120 individuals for months to review the 90,000 afghan-related documents. and i can assure you that in terms of doing a review, to determine what was sensitive and what, in fact, could cause serious damage, classification markings were entirely irrelevant to that review. they would have to literally go through them line by line and what have you. you know, one the things that i find disappointing about this is that there has been rightful condemnation on the leak by some of our government leaders. but absolutely, i've yet to see any of our government leaders accept responsibility for what is directly under their control.
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and that's the reckless manner in which the critical, national security tool is, in fact, applied. >> so let's turn now to ken from the prosecutors perspective. if we accept the view of our former classification czar that there is significant over classification, what challenges does that present to the justice department when some agency runs through the justice department and says, hey, somebody disclosed some of our classified information. we want you to open an investigation. we want you to prosecute him. we are very angry and upset. where does that leave you? what are some of the challenges that you have to face in terms of balancing the request of the agency with the over classification issue we've discussed. >> yeah, i mean -- there's actually a protocol. if the agency is the victim of a leak, and it's their information that's gotten out of the public domain, they are required to provide a referral to the department of justice for us to look at.
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standard set of 7 questions that goes into whether the information is otherwise publicly available, which obviously would cut against the prosecution. how sensitive? this kind of thing. they make a referral over to the department. the department looks at the referral, brings in the fbi, and makes an assessment as to whether we should prosecute the case. i think we'll talk about this more later. given there hasn't been that many leak prosecutions, you can imagine the vast majority do not result in prosecution. one the reasons for that is the mere fact of a piece of classified information has gotten out, a, might not satisfy the espionage statutes. >> which we will talk about more. >> yeah, but b, it might be something which you hold your fire for serious leaks. you know, so we might say, there's that data point that got
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out there that's classified. that's not the crime of the century. we don't want to stoke up a prosecution that will indicate first amendment values or something like that. >> yes. go ahead. >> i think there's an important point to be made. often times what i encounter that the government simply asserts classification. and, in fact, the governing executive order actually establishes standards for classification. you know, the old adage, any prosecution could indictment a ham sandwich. you can say the same thing about any classifier. to do that, as a minimum, you need two pieces of bread and a piece of ham. that's the same thing for classification. even though the standards are relatively minimal, there are standards that has to be met. one the things i'm constantly amused with, the other branches
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of government just automatically defers to that assertion without saying executive branch, you have your own standards. how do you adhere to your standards? >> yeah, now speaking then of the ham sandwich, is it true as we heard earlier that even a newspaper article sometimes gets classified? is that possible under the classification standards? if so how? sorry? >> podium. do you hear me at the podium? any time someone can rescue me, i don't be able to stay feathered to the podium. is it possible the newspaper article would be classified? i hope the answer is no. but if the answer is yes, then how? >> that's one the standards for classification is that the information must be originated by or otherwise under the control of the united states government.
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another standard is that someone who's been specifically delegated the authority and there's only 4,000 in the entire executive branch to originally classify something had to be on record either orally or in writing saying specifically this specific piece of information is, in fact, classified. there are, in fact, standards such as that. >> can i give you an example, just because it's something that popped up in my mind from recent -- from some recent reporting that i had done. back in -- i think it was 2007 -- i had done a story about an extraordinary rendition case that got some attention during the debate over the iraq war. libby who had been rendered to egypt and subjected to interrogation was used by the
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u.s. in the bush administration to justify the invasion of iraq to wit there was chemical biological trainings by the iraqis of al qaeda, chic -- sheikh al-libi they had to withdraw the reporting on that. there was cia cable that is were released by the senate intelligence committee in late 2006 on this that prompted a letter from a bunch of remembers of congress to the cia, and to the bush white house, asking for more information about sheikh al-libi, what did it know about his interrogation? what happened to him? i reported on that at the time. in 2007, i had a copy of the letter. posted asking for this. cut to a few months ago. the aclu had filed a request for
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information about extraordinary rendition cases. got back a bunch of responses, one of which they asked about the sheikh al-libi cases. i noticed there was huge redactions, including a letter written by members of the congress to bush white house with big blacked out parts of the letter. the cia saying these portions of the letter were classified. well, i had written about the letter three years earlier, i had hosted it on our web site, it was still on the web site of one the members of congress that wrote the letter, this classified letter. and i wrote a story about it and a few days later the cia said oh well, okay. maybe we'll declassify this letter that had been in the public domain for three years. as an example, is there over classification. could something in the public domain be classified? yes.
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it happens all the time. unless somebody is around to call them on it, it would remain classified. >> to follow up, at one point, i had many discussions with the prosecutors. this point came up with the particular prosecutor who was responsible for guarding the classified information in the case. i said to him, how can it be, why is it that you have newspaper article that is are classified say by the fbi or cia? he said it can be done. the rational is it's not the article itself, it's the fact that the fbi was interested in it and was collecting it and saving it or the cia was collecting it and saving it would tell our adversary something. >> that we read newspapers. >> that we read newspapers. yeah. they may not know that. [laughter] >> so we've know established
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that one of the obstacles to pursuing, initiating, and pursuing a leak case or a case for violation of the espionage act is a simple fact that we have this ramped over classification. we can go on the over classification for the entire panel. we got a lot of other things we want to discuss. i need everybody to understand why that would present the difficulty that ken was talking about. now let's talk about another factor that presents -- probably the one that actually first came to mind. first comes to mind for most folks. that's the first amendment. we'll talk about some other obstacles that are just as serious but less obvious. let's talk about the first amendment. and let's first begin with a discussion, let me turn to you, lucy, is that in your view, as journalist and a lawyer, under
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the first amendment, can a journalist ever been criminally prosecuted for reporting classified information, disclosed to him or her by a government official? >> well, first of all, i can't think of any situation in my lifetime where i think that such a thing has occurred. but just as in my lifetime there was a situation that i never would have thought that the president of united states was ousted for criminal behavior, i suppose there is some situation where the reporter can be treated like any other citizen and charged with such a crime. i cannot for the life of me imagine what that would be. >> okay. so we have the idea then that the first amendment absent the unimaginable margin protects a reporter who publishes classified information. now that is certainly not the
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view that was articulated by the justice department prosecutors in our apec espionage act case. we, of course, raised the first amendment of defense. the clients were charged with having had discussions with government officials, having listened as the government officials shared with them information that was classified, and then repeating it. and we raised -- and they were charges knowing -- having done so according to the indictment. although we were going to dispute that, knowing that the information was classified. and one of the issues that we raised, of course, was the first amendment. and we suggested to the judge that the first amendment was an absolute protection. absolute protection. at least under these circumstances. the government took a very different view. and i'm going to start picking on ken on a moment. when it comes to the governments view. what they articulated, the
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prosecutors in our case articulated the disclosure of classified information is not properly thought of protective speech. it's a criminal act. although it's manifest itself in speak, it's like saying let's sell heroin. let's go commit a murder. which is also speech. but it can be criminalized. so in their view, the first amendment was irrelevant. played no role in the case because the information was classified, the first amendment goes out the window. so now i want to turn to ken and say, ken, thoughts? >> you know, i don't think you need to even get to that absolute disposition on whether the first amendment applies or not. look at the espionage statutes. they have their flaws, problems, we'll talk about that in more length later on. they've been suggest to first amendment challenges and prevailed. that the statutes as drafted are
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permitted. i don't know that you need to go to that point in order to argue against a reporters or person in the position of aipac who's charged with a nongovernment employee charged with disseminate of information, nor the attack on the case. >> okay. well, interesting the judge denied our motion to dismiss on first amendment ground. he -- on the other hand, he rejected the government's position that the first amendment was applicable. the judge cut the baby down the middle and he said the first amendment does apply, but the first amendments protections are not absolutely. and there are circumstances, if the government proves the relevant fact, that even though the first amendment protects if the conduct and if the speech was so egregious, to harmful, coupled with some other elements, a prosecution would
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still be viable. he said difficult, but viable. therefore, he disease -- he did not dismiss the case. we're going to talk about more of that in a moment as we talk about the factors that create obstacles in the leak case. we've now talked about the over classification problem. we've talked about the first amendment. we've touched upon it. my god, that to is a discuss that we could have for a month. the first amendment. the two views where the judge comes down somewhere in the middle. we'll define that more. the next thing is we need to talk about the statutes. the espionage act of 1917. it's a world war i era statute. long before the cases. it was not drafted with all of the first amendment jurisprudence in mind. although we may not -- all of you may not be lawyers, i think even the lawyers among you are going to find this statute a
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little bit of a challenge. so why don't i turn to ken where in his role as the assistant attorney general was responsible for the prosecutions statute. i'm actually going to just ask ken to read the statutes to you. i don't for a minute suggest that you should understand it. but i want you to listen for a moments and even as a nonlawyer, you'll be begin to see why the lawyers are going to have a field day before a judge whenever a case is brought under the statute. go ahead, ken. >> okay. what i'm going to do is i'm going to read one section of the main espionage statute, 793. this is one of, i think, eight or nine sections. it's subsection e. whoever have been unauthorized possession or control over document, writing, code book, signal book, blueprint plan, model, instrument, or note relating to the national defense
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or information relating to the national defense the possessor has reason to believe could be used in the injury of the united states or to the advantage of united states willfully committed, or attempted to communicate, delivered or transmitted the same 20 person not entitled to receive it to the officer of the employee has committed a crime. >> okay. now statute has to be simple enough for the ordinary person to conform his or her conduct with it. so constant that with say the simplicity of thou shalt not kill, for example. there's an complexity to this statute which has given rise to an enormous amount of litigation as to what it is the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt before it can convict
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somebody. few things to note. it doesn't distinguish between journalist and nonjournallist. it doesn't distinguishing between government and nongovernment officials. although it's distinguishing between those who are authorized to have the information and those who are not. in the way that they did with an eye on the first amendment, judge ellis in the aipac case, said let me tell you what it is that the government has to prove what it is. they have to prove the information with national kefs. that means it was potentially damaging to national security. and it was closely held by the government. potentially damaging and closely held. plus the government has to prove the defendant knew it was damaging and that it was closely held by the government. the government also has to prove the defendant knew his conduct was against the law. the government has to prove the information was classified.
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the government has to prove that the defendant knew it was classified. the government has to prove that the defendant knew he wasn't authorized to receive it. the government has to prove that the defendant knew the person giving it to him was not authorized to give it to him. the government has to prove the defendant was not acting out of quote, salutary motives. if you know you are violating the law, but if you are doing it as a whistleblower because you think it is for the greater good, that's a defense. if the government can prove all of that. the government will have to prove all of that at trial. if the government succeeds, then the defendants will be fairly convicted. so i think now you can understand yet another challenge that faces the government in prosecuting these sorts of cases given if judge ellis' opinion on the district court judge, if that becomes the law and if that becomes widely adapted.
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you have a sense of yet another set of challenges that confront the prosecutors as they think about bringing these cases. i want to focus on another factor now. i'm going to go back and pick on poor bill leonard again with the question. and that is you've heard that in government officials when they talk to folks, the state department folks have to interact with -- the white house folks interact with folks out there. they do so after having read hosts of classified documents. do they get, in your experience, do they get -- the assistant secretary of state, does he get generated for him or her a nonclassified set of talking points each time he gets a reporters call? or does he have to somehow or she have to somehow distill the information from the classified evidence they've read in order
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to talk to the reporter? >> it's clearly the latter. and in fact, i'd refer to no less an expert than former vice president cheney on this issue. if you take for a look, for example, at the statement he gave to the fbi in conjunction with the skippy -- >> scooter libby. >> all right. my apologies. scooter libby prosecution, he was quite open about it. he acknowledged that the information that he would routinely disclose to reporters would be very similar to information that would appear in intelligence reports. in fact, in that case, it was an international intelligence estimate. but he would indicate that he would purely allowed those classified source documents to
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inform his decisions and inform his conversation. as we heard from general hayden at lunch time, often the issue is not the content. it's the source. so as long as the individual is careful not to disclose what is known as source-revealing information, the content often is just run-of-the-mill, state-of-play type of ins. >> bill, let me interrupt what as a lawyer we'll call exhibit a. do you recognize that? >> yes, this is mr. cheney statement that i was just referring to. >> right. that was passed to joe the specialized prosecutor. you may want to read just a few sentences in that paragraph where the vice president talks about how he relates to the public and discloses information publicly based on the classified
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documents that he reads. read a little bit of that. these are -- what bill is reading from is a document of an fbi agent who's transcribed or taken careful notes of the interview that prosecutor pat fitzgerald conducted. >> with respect to the information contained to the press, the vice president advised it is possible to talk about something contained in the document without violating the law. for example, the vice president has made numerous statements about the weapons of mass destruction which are and in some cases tracks. however, he did not violate any relevant laws or rules, because he did not reveal the confidential sources or methods involved in the gathering the classified information. >> so what that illustrates then is yet another challenge as we are cataloging the challenging
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in bringing these cases. especially when you have an oral disclosure, the mere fact that a sentence uttered by government official is traceable back to a classified document doesn't end the inquiry. you don't yet necessarily know whether or not the person has disclosed classified information. let me put this another way. one more question to bill. then the other panelist. even in a properly classified document, bill, is all of the information in the document going to be classified? necessarily? >> absolutely not. one the other requirements is that classification marking go down to a portion of the paragraph or a subparagraph or whatever that the fact is unclassified. in fact, i was -- in the aipac, one the main thinged i was
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amused at was with one the things the classifications markings to it, indicated was according to open sources. so right in the document itself, it was saying that it was. >> so a classified paragraph like the 10 sentences were secret. but the first sentence read according to open sources. they were charged with information that was in the first sentence. >> right. so that's a classic example of that. >> okay. so then let's now talk a little bit about -- we've got the complicated statute, we have all of the obstacles to using the statute. lucy, do we need any legislative
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fixes at all here in your view. whether it's through the statute, reporters, some sort of reporters shield law. what do we need to do with the situation that we're in? let's start legislatively. >> based on the experience that i've had over the last year with the shield law, the further you can stay away from chron, the better off that you are under most circumstances. i would hate to have to go up to congress and mess around with the espionage statute, because i fear what we would end up. that said, we have been having a very long what had appeared to be productive experience trying to get a shield law out of the congress. and we really thought we were going to get something this year. it's not completely dead. but the clock is ticking. and i really believe that is federal shield law is absolutely essential to providing information to the public and
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the one that -- the versions that had survived the house of representatives and the senate judiciary committee have broad, broad, broad protection for national security information. and for the life of me i can't figure out why the thing has stalled. >> let me ask you about the shield law. reporters are vulnerable in two days. one where the information is class if -- classified. they run the risk that hasn't happened yet. we have lobbyist and reporters. the other issue is not reporterring who are reporting classified, but reporters who are subpoenaed for sources. they are not the suggest or the target, they are information that's relevant with the fact that somebody else. talk about about the field law
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and how it relates to those two categories. >> well, when the reporter gets subpoenaed, it's almost always because the report is holding information that's believed to be relevant to an ongoing investigation, either by a federal prosecutor, or by someone who's trying to pursue civil litigation. most of the time in recent years, it has been a former disgruntled federal employee who's trying to sue their former employer because they were the suggest of unfavorable news conference. the reporter gets brought into it. they want to know who the subject and who the source of that information was. and sometimes a reporter has been given the ability by the source to reveal that information. sometimes the sources come forward themselves. and sometimes the sources are say, no, you may not reveal my identity.
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reporters always thought for many, many years, they had a first amendment protection for those. those of you who are lawyers, there was a case brandberg versus hayes, the supreme court said this is interesting. we're not going to give you constitutional protection. if you want to go to congress and the state and get statutory protection, be our fest. -- guest. over the years we've had over 100 shield laws introduced in congress. we've had shield laws or other types of protection either by court rule or common law in all by one state. that one state, by the way, wyoming, where apparently nobody bothers to go after reporters. it's never been an issue. whatever. >> the fact that it's cheney's home state. >> yeah, i don't know. i don't know. but we've been, you know, after the bush administration came in one thing that i think happened
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with obsessive secrecy is that eventually obsessive secrecy leads to more government officials and employees leaking information because they see themselves as sort of quasi whistleblowers because the only way they can get the information out, because they've been told they can't release it, is to give it to the media. they immediate confidentiality. i think a very logical result of the incredible secrecy that we awe after 9/11 was the increase of subpoenas of reporters on the federal level. we've been able to demonstrate it. we went to congress. we're caught in the very mind boggling, for me mind boggling, but not surprised. it just caught in committee. you really can't get anything through the united states senate these days unless you've got far more than 60 votes.
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because you need to vote on whether or not to have a vote. and that's the situation we're in right now. we know we have more than 70 votes for the bill if it actually goes through. if it actually comes to a vote. we're hung up there. we got delayed for two reasons. number one, there was some concerns that the national security acception didn't go far enough. i think everybody is agreeing that. national security information is off of the table. if you are a reporter, you are protecting someone who's leaked national security information. you are just going to have to go to jail. that's the way it is. if you are going to insist on protecting that particular source. then we were making, i think, fairly recent progress over the summer having lots of good meetings. then we hit wikileaks number one. that caused a lot of people in congress to, i think, you know, just sucked all of the air out of the room. so then they had -- they were working on amendments that said in case the national security
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acception is not clear enough, we're going to add this additional prong that says, and by the way, anybody else out there who dumps data over the internet, they are not covered either. >> uh-huh. >> so i think we're just basically running out of time. >> mike? i wanted to ask you whether in your work your reporting the fear of a prosecution for disclosing the fear of a subpoena, has that -- do you think that's affected you in terms of the reporting that you've done or the things that you haven't reported because you are afraid it might lead to your -- your prosecution might lead to the prosecution of your source? have you been deterred or acted differently in any way because the threat of prosecution out there? >> no. i mean, you know, i do what i think my job, and what i perceive my job to be.
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i don't wow -- worry about it. clearly on some stories, you are aware you could be skirting in an area that would have legal implications, and try to avoid a situation where it's going to. would i withhold information that i thought was in the public interest and the public needed to know about because some prosecutor at the justice department might hold -- take a different view? no. it might affect the way that i report it in. i certainly -- and by the way, jus as a backdrop, in every time you are reporting on -- in this area, if a government official tells you if you report that, it could harm the national security. you have a serious conversation about it. i mean that's never something
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that you blightly just brush aside. >> is that out of concern for the national security or concern for your own neck? >> yeah, if somebody tells you that's something that you are going to write. that's not just the national security. law enforcement, any public safety issue. you know, if somebody tells you something you are going to write is going to endanger somebody or put something at risk or harm something, you take that seriously. you are a human being and you obviously aren't -- that's not what we're in the business to do is harm people. i mean so. and many, many times i'll withhold information on that score. not just it necessarily has a national security implications, but if somebody says you put that persons name in, they are going to face repercussions. their life could be in danger. their family would face, you know, would have problems. i mean that happens all the time. but it's not because of the law.
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it's because your a human being. and you know, we're not in the business to harm people. we're in the business to educate the public. but if i can just go back to the shield law, you know, i should point out. you know, as lucy did, the -- when i last looked at it, the national security acceptions were so broad as to make it absolutely meaningless in that area. there's no protection -- that law is not going to do anything to protect reporters reporting on national security cases. and anybody who thinks that it does is kidding themselves. it's not going to nudge the law one bit in an area. the one area where it could have, you know, -- where i think it could really help and which i think is the biggest threat to reporters and i've been in the situation is in the civil arena. >> civil arena. >> civil lawsuits. there's been some really bad court rulings in this district
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that, you know, just gives license to litigants to subpoena reporters to identify their sources to help them advance a lawsuit, the privacy act lawsuit. they are not suing the reporter. they want what's in the reporters notebook to help them make the case. unfortunately, the court of appeals has held that. when the leak case was used in the hatfield case, i've had some unpleasant experiences as a result of that. i think that's really where the threat to reporters ability to do their jobs is. because judges have ruled that litigants can get access to our sources. i think that's a bad thing. it has nothing to do with
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national security. okay. let's now step back and go back to the growing catalog of the difficulties faced in prosecuting a classified information disclosure case. let's turn to a new topic now cipa, the classified information procedure act. ken, you have been able to sit there quietly for a while. time for me to pick on you. this statute ties into the concept of graymail. why don't you tell folks what graymail is, what cipa did to stop it? >> the classified information protections act is called cipa. it grew the term graymail. graymail was a term that was come up with my prosecutors who didn't like the defense tactic. it was defense attorneys who were representing people in the
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national security, let's say the cia person who had disclosed some information, classified information from the cia. that's person is being prosecuted. the defense attorney would ask in the discovery process demand all sorts of information from the government saying that all of the information is relevant for purposes of discovery. they should be entitled to it. much of it would be classified. so you've have the confident on the horns of dilemma. do we go forward and prosecute the guy, but if we do that, we're going to end up disclosing more classified information because the defense attorney has convinced the judge that this is information that we need to defend the case. what congress did is they came up with cipa? cipa is an over lay on the criminal justice process. it says that if there's classified information that gets implicated in the criminal case, there's a process by which the judge, the prosecutor, the defense attorney can litigate
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the admissibility of the classified information, do so in the way that the litigation doesn't disclose the information, and the judge can decide, yes, these three, you know, facts which are classified government, you are going to have to lump it because they are relevant or they helped expo indicate the independent. if you want to go forward in the case, you are going to have to accept that. the judge can turn and say do you accept that? because if not, you are the right to dismiss the case. okay. it's not worth the candle to release the classified information. so it's sort of -- cipa was -- it's worked fairly well in practice. it was just an attempt to allow this to be litigated in a way that you didn't hemorrhage classified information. it's still though, is not foolproof. people say, gosh, you have cipa. why are you worried about bringing national security cases?
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there is still the defendant often gets exposure to the classified information in the litigation process and also it is used where there is a constitutional right to open the program very judges are reluctant to close a courtroom to shield discussions about classified information them u. >>." we employed a process you called gray and i really landfills for sort of teaching the enough about classified information, how itks works that enables us to do it. andan in our cases in many case, the disclosures were all foiled. to prove that the oral were
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classified automation, the pross gave us the pretrial discovery with traffic -- classified and permission from the government which had the same information that our clients had discussed contained in the classified documents. they wanted to reject everything out except for the warner to matching lines and say they -- they wanted to be able to say to the jury that the reason that you know that this conversation was classified is because we will now show you a classified document. the same information appears that they would reject everything else out. it appears in a paragraph that has a s for sequence. we argued based on the lessons i got from bill, we pleaded to the judge that not every sentence in a bill marked secret is not necessarily classified. the fact that matches a sentence in a paragraph mark secret is a
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stark but maybe that is one of the on classified sentence says. if you look four lines down, one of the sentences that the asvernment wants to rejedact the source for the submission. this information came from a bug that was planted in the ayatollah's beard without his knowledge or something equally amazing. i made that up. i would then say to the judge, how can they prove that the information is classified because it matches sentence number one. that paragraph may have been classified because of the bug in the beard paragraph -- sentence. we could show the jury sentenced number 5 because the jurors may conclude and believe was that the matching sentence was not classified, it was the other sentence. the prosecutor said it was called gray mail.
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they are trying to bring in classified information that is not an issue. you want to use the document to prove this day and was classified. we are entitled to the bug in the beard statement as well. the cipa statute helps of this issue but it does not eliminate it. it moves into a priest of stayed 2 before the judge. -- a move into a pre-trial stage to before the judge. the cipa process is another challenge, shall we say, to the prosecution as a contumely -- contemplates bringing one of these and the great male issue is one. the prosecution has to realize that there is at least a possibility that the defense attorneys will be able to
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persuade the judge that they need more classified information that has never been an issue until then to prove their defense case. ok, i think this is a good time to take questions from the audience with the caveat that we have not listed all the challenges to prosecuting classified information. it would have taken -- it would not have taken us three or four years to prosecute apac case. we have two microphones and if anybody has a question -- mr. rosen, please,. ,. come up. >> i was one of the defendants in a apac case. i made morning was pointed out that the costs of the defense attorneys
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in the apac case was $12 million. the prosecutors were able to force our employer to dismiss us and to seize the payment of our attorneys fees. we later on thankfully were able to force them nonetheless to pay a bargained down number on the attorneys' fees. >> significantly barreded down. >> our attorneys were willing to continue defending us for roughly two years by -- while not being paid a ball and running the meter. i wonder whether such powerful institutions such as the newspapers could face a prosecution that cost $12 million or $20 million tax i wonder if the board of directors in today's economics of the media would tolerate such a thing.
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i wonder whether they could not find some other victim who would be forced to plead out because they did not have the advantages that we had. i know you questions but my final comment is that a high percentage of these costs were imposed by cipa. it cost so much primarily because four years of hearings for the cipa process. we never got to a trial. the case was dismissed before trial in our case. as i understand it, the majority of the fees that were run up or run up because of the meeting the requirements of the classified information protection act to. . >> since you said nice things about the attorneys, you'll get a pass. the reason the cipa proceedings to so long as those -- is because we had a conscientious judge. it was a lot of allegedly
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classified information at issue. he went through it line by line. why do we need this sentence? why do need that word? what damage will there be to the government if it is disclosed? what role will display and the defense? he was very conscientious about it. he did not get paid any more or less for doing this but in terms of the fees, it drove up the fees quite astronomically. i would put that as an impediment on the defense side. the resources required to defend these cases are quite enormous. >> it seems to me that cipa is not only problem for the government. as i recall from the morison case, the defense necessarily get access to all the classified information the government is trying to keep out. i would like to hear some discussion of that. >> i am happy to respond to that or deferred ken.
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>> that is the purpose cipa, to draw the line between those materials that might be classified that the defense and the defendant should have access to and they might be then be able to put on in open trial and those materials which the defense should not have access to. go back to the origin of cipa. it was the practice gray mail but the point was that the defense will ask for a large volume of materials much of which is classified. the more material it is, the government is more likely to say no. where along that spectrum is the line between what is relevant to the defense, possibly exculpatory, that the defense has to have and what is that the defense is not constitutionally required to have to put on a
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defense? >> once you get to a trial under cipa, the government gets to use all this secret stuff that the defense cannot say. is that correct? >> what happened to cipa, when there is information that is arguably relevant, the government has a few choices. sometimes there is one section that allows the government if it thinks it might be relevant but probably isn't to go to the judge and show it to him but not to us. bacon's a to the judge that we want to be good citizens and weak -- they can beat a good citizens and they are telling the judge this. the judge might turn to the defense and say is -- he is entertaining the information. he may not show it yet but tell me your defense of what you want to do. i will look at the documents and see if you should get them.
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that is the first that. then there are documents that the defense gets which are clearly irrelevant by cannot show their clients. we, the lawyers, got a lot of stuff that we could not share with our clients. it is odd representing your client or the most important information you can't talk to him about we would say, by the way, i spent the last three months to keep this information out of the case. what information? i can't tell you. thank you very much. it was that sort of discussion. >> the $12 million figure kind of struck me. i imagine that some additional multiple millions were spent by the government to bring that case. when that amount of resources and energy goes into bringing a case that collapses, is there a
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price to be paid in the justice department for the people who brought the case to begin with or at least a reevaluation goes on? i wonder if there is, do you think that the current just a part is keeping that in mind in this current extraordinary state of a week prosecutions they have brought in the last few months? >> very good question. >> let me parse that out. you see a number of lead prosecutions. i just know about what i read in the newspapers. they are not recorders. they're not the recipients of the information. the government has made the assessment that this was important information. it was irresponsibly disclosed. we need to make an example of people who are doing this because we are hemorrhaging classified information i can go through chapter and verse of examples of things i know that were released while i was in
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government because people just want to talk about things. it drove me crazy. it was compromising sources and methods. i am sympathetic to the new administration and what they're doing in this area. >> to your question about what happens in a case like this when it collapses, i don't know. i was there for one sort of spend of the case. i was not there from beginning to end. you can tell by our discussions c aboutipa that these are complex cases. the decision to bring a case like this is based upon prediction. you are predicting what a judge will do down the road. i am sure when they start -- decided to charge the case come the cipa portion would be hotly contested. you know you'll be up against very able counsel and you are
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predicting that you think you can prosecute the case. when an agency, to us and says there is information that was disclosed, one thing they want to know is do you think it will compromise further information? if so, we don't want you to go forward. we have to predict to them whether we will getcipa rulings in our favor. i am sure that process was done the ruling that came out in this case did not play out with that prediction. >> which does not mean that anybody was irresponsible or irrational in the decision making. it might mean that the ultimate decision by the judge did not track with what people expected them. q uuoted judgeellis and one of the standards was that the government had to prove that the disclosure was not done for a salutary effect.
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it would not cover a whistleblower who thought he was doing the public some good. >> the most prominent case that this justice department brought is it seems he was exactly that. he was trying to get information out about an nsa program that was costing too much money and that was his primary motive. if the standards that judgeellis set is the standard that the government go by -- >> he was not being charged with espionage. he was charged with mishandling. >> for not returning it. >> that is not the only charge. >> there are a few things. decision is not binding but he was the first one to articulate this. apa all thec espionage case,
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most of the instances were a government official. when you get a classified document, you'll have already signed up for the classification process for you have undertaken nondisclosure. you have waived your first amendment rights. for the privilege of serving the public and for getting classified information, you have a heightened responsibility. when you prosecute somebody who is a government official who has not -- who has promised not to disclose government information, the standards are not the same that would apply to the non- government official who received it. this case called uponjudge ellis, it was the first time what standard should apply when it is a non-government official and whether that would apply to these folks are governed officials and whether his opinion will go beyond the eastern district of virginia where he decided. these are open issues.
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the justice department is entitled to fight to that. >> but if that were the role that so long as you are doing this not to help the enemy or not to enter the united states but because you think it is in the interest of the united states, that means that every governmental employee has the discretion to decide what is best for the united states. i cannot say classification system working based on how many millions of federal employes think of what's good for the country. >> the starting premise is that the classification system is not working and that is where we started from there is much over- classification.
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that is your reason for bringing these cases. >> jeff and i testified on the hill about this very issue about government and police, particularly -- government employees particularly the ones with good intentions and how do you prosecute cases and make it clear that people can't willy- nilly disclose information that is classified by deal with the real whistleblower. the upshot is that you need to have effected whistleblower protection. you need to have whistleblower procedures. if i am an employee and the intelligence community and i see something that is problematic. i don't call my friend in the press and drove out there. i go up the chain or i will be protected by doing a great it gets to somebody to look into it and take action whether that's a i theyg or the intelligence
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community. there are several different whistleblower divisions. that is probably your answer if you want a system where people can blow the whistle on misconduct but not have full unfettered discretion to disclose secrets to the press that the answer is even simpler than that. >> as we saw in the panel this morning ch on theeney quote, information is the coin of the realm in this town. when i was back in the pentagon, one of the things i had responsibility for was the counterintelligence programs. in terms of addressing a the le imagingaks, one thing i wanted to do is to set up a training program for senior level people, people who are not used to dealing with intelligence products or maybe they come from think tanks. i wanted to give the d mkesk- side training.
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when you need to deal with the media and think tanks and other governments, here is how you do it. this is how you'd do what cheney says you do. when i did that, i was ridiculed within the pentagon. the analogy i can up with is when people want to give condoms to teenagers to prevent unwanted pregnancies -- people said that that i wanted to encourage a leaks by giving this training. one thing i was left with in theapac case, if the government had devoted a fraction of the resources in terms of educating the senior policy makers of how to conduct everyday business without damaging national security or disclosing sources, that would have addressed a big part of the problem. to this day, i don't think that ahas happened to. .> =
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>> can you imagine any circumstances under which journalists could be prosecuted for violating the as the not statutes n usedo said and you could not recall before your lifetime, in 1942, the chicago tribune revealed the fact that the united states was breaking the japanese code. the japanese have taken notice of that and changed their code, could there have been a viable prosecution? >> no, >> why not? it was a disclosing the cost the lives of thousands of american soldiers and prolonged the war, it makes as forfeit our valuable window into japanese military movement -- >> i can't think of one.
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that particular thing did not happen. it was largely because of the context back then. information like that was probably not going to make it to the japanese. is that potentially may be something -- i don't know? . i would be comfortable defending of the chicago tribune for doing that. as an editor, what i've done that? that would have been a bone headed thing to do. none of the journalists i have been dealing with in my professional 35-year career would do something that moronic. i am not an ethicist. i am a lawyer. [laughter] but there is a code of ethics that the society of professional journalists has out there and it is the most common code of ethics out there.
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number one, speak the truth. hold important people, those in power accountable and also in general minimize harm. in my experience, everybody who is a trained professional journalist out there working particularly in this town is going to adhere to those principles% that is really why can't imagine that situation happening right now. >> under el judgelis' interpreted -- under judge ellis' interpretation, he made clear and the prosecutors agreed that there was no difference between our clients lobbyists and the press. both enjoyed first amendment protection of equal strength. therefore, i am comfortable saying that the standards he applied in our case he would
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applied in a case against the press. that case would have satisfied that this was potentially damaging and they knew it. there is not a saltatory motive. it would have gone to trial. the government would have had the opportunity to prove that to a jury. >> everybody thumps the table as to the danger is that results from the release of classified information. in my experience, inevitably, they are exaggerated. look at wikileaks in the last few weeks. all the harm that the pentagon originally said would come from the afghan war league sent secretary gates last week wrote a letter saying that actually, they have not been able to identify any harm coming from that league. k.
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what government tends not to talk about is the real danger that results from over- classification. i could go on and on starting with the 9/11 attacks and how excessive secrecy within the government led to the restriction of information that had been passed along might well have been able to stop the information that the cia had. because they held it so tightly, they would not share with the fbi and that could lead to the identity of two of the hijackers who were in the united states. there are multiple examples of where over-classification, over- secrecy results in real harm to the national security that tends to get left out of -- it is not just an impediment to the prosecution's case. it has ramifications far beyond that. >> the other question?
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r.s, sir pare >> this is one that meets the criteria of today's discussion which is the nexus of national security and criminal law and first amendment which is not in the same mode we have been talking about but i think is still relevant. recently there was a threat and burning ko of theran which could be -- burning of the koran. i question the media and the lawyers preses. from the preachers point of view, if they was going to go ahead with this act and he was positive there is a definite cause and effect and it would have resulted in harm to soldiers, would this be deemed free speech and protected like
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flag-burning or might it be more akin to non-protected free speech as in yelling fire at a crowded theater? for the media, the question arose as to the responsibility aspect of covering this. store you certainly have a right to cover it and you had mentioned the ethics of it and minimizing harm and so forth. covering the story versus what i will call the professional or social or moral responsibility akin to covering it. thank you. >> why don't we start with ourpress folks in terms of covering that kind of story. >> i thought the coverage of that guy was way excessive.
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i would object to any restriction put on the coverage of it. on the other hand, that does not mean that we have to cover the way we did. it was offensive speech. while i was probably the responsibility of the media to take note of what is going on and became a political issue of controversy, that did not obligate us to have the guy on the air every 20 minutes on cable. tv had he gone through with it, i would certainly have minimized coverage as much as possible. ." >> i think he had a right of free speech to do it but i think he was an idiot body had a right to do a bette it. >> and a protest about the
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military funeral at the church in kansas raises similar issues as well. it is whether they can be prevented from demonstrating a protesting. yes? >> my question is for a w mr.aynestein. i was wondering if someone should never be prosecuted because they did blow the whistle through proper channels and hypothetically would you ever be able to use those protected disclosures as evidence in a criminal trial against them? >> you are talking about proper channels? i was referring about the whistle blower act. there are several different statutes that say if you are a government employee and you have information in a classified area of that you think needs to get out, you can go through this channel to get it up through the inspector general. >> and those are the channels i am referring to. >> you will not suffer any criminal consequences for taken
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that up through the channels. if you disclose to the inspector general of the cia that things were happening in a classified program which are wrong, you will not suffer any consequences from that because you're following hit the statutory mechanism. if it goes to the intelligence committee, it would be the same thing. they are clear. they are entitled to get that information. i am not seeing how you would face the prosecution for disclosing this information under the whistle-blower statute that it would surprise you to find out that among the recent spate of prosecutions that were so quiet late whispering about around here that some of those prosecutions, it would be completely illegitimate if there were based on protected disclosures? i am familiar with the whistle- blower protection act.
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that is what i do for a living. i wanted to make sure i understood that it would be absolutely improper to basic prosecution unprotected disclosures. >> i am not sure where the criminal violation would be if you follow the prescribed path in the statute. if you did that but also talked to your friend the reporter over a beer and disclose the same thing, then you have a problem. >> >> how is that the problem under the espionage act. i'm trying to understand. >> sure. it's disclosing classified information and you get into the statutory elements. i'm saying the reporter not part of the whistle-blower mechanism. >> i'll leave it at that, thanks. >> thank you. >> okay. well, thank you all for attending today. thank you all on the panel. i hope you enjoyed our panel today, and i'll turn the stage back to john. >> one thing i wanted to thank this morning and i'll do now is
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jean paul from the vanderbilt first amendment center and also this whole forum started off with a short phone call with joe, the director of the museum who put me and others in touch with the 1st amendment cementer. those three organizations, hats off to them for bringing us here and thank them for this location, and thank you everyone for participating today. appreciate it. [applause] tomorrow is election day with races in the u.s. house, senate, and governor seats. join us live for election coverage tomorrow starting at 7 p.m. eastern on our companion network, c-span. we'll have results from around the country, speeches, your calls, e-mail, and tweets.
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>> now a look at the future of online news. kara swisher, author of all things digital talks to tim armstrong and vivian schiller. it's part of the online news association annual conference here in washington, d.c.. this segment is an hour. [inaudible conversations] >> hello, good afternoon. hi, everyone. i'm amy with josh hats, one of the co-chairs of the conference.
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[cheers and applause] we are thrilled to have you here, but before we get to the meat of the lunch program, we do have some housekeeping items. people who voted on conference sessions, two have been chosen. look on the board outside the registration desk. one starts at 2:15 and the other at 6:30 and this will be tweeted out to you. reminder as jane told us this morning, please watch the speakers live. please do not watch the speakers on your live stream. [laughter] number three, we have an awesome networks event tonight, we have a speaker john harris who is fabulous who is talking between 6 and 7 p.m., and after that you'll have food and drink. we have a raffle if you don't have a nano or an ipad, you can win one of two nanos or one
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of one ipad or a t-shirt across from the registration desk. another piece of news, twitter -- how many of you are interested in the twitter sessions i hope? we have one-on-ones upstairs. sign up for those sessions that are every 15 minute, and those sign-ups are outside the registration desk. this room needs to be turned over fairly quickly to move on with the rest of our exciting afternoon program, so please after lunch, scoot. [laughter] finally, we want to thank market wire, the sponsor of today speakers, and joining us for brief results is emily, market relations coordinator. emily?
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[applause] >> thank you, amy. market wire is really honored to be the sponsor of this conference in the 4th year in a row. we are provided with a opportunity to keep our fingers on the pulse of the latest developments, applications and events of the industry and affords us a wonderful chance to meet you all and introduce ourselves. markets wire is the largest news business in canada. we distribute announcementings from 12,000 clients including businesses, governments, nonprofits #-rbg and other organizations. without your support and cooperation as journalists, what we do at markwire would not be possible. we can help drive more traffic to your site with new feeds of interest to your audience. these feeds provide breaking content 24/7 and running on your distinct url's help. the feeds provide content on selling christian adamss, --
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ads and bring in new visits. everything we have is free, which in today's economy, is the loveliest word you hear at this conference. as part of the media relations team, i'm working to ensure our clients news lands in the most capable hands and useful forment. oia represents that chance in best reaching and serving you in the every-changing media landscape. the way audiences discover news is evolving rapidly. understanding newsprint gave way to the ipad, and eventually they can read from e-paper that's flexible to put in their pocket. it's true, i read that somewhere. they will be the editor of their own publications. as members of the media, you're
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in a unique position and adapting to shaping the transforming media industry. this conference represents an unparalleled forum to exchange ideas and unite to determine how and what are the next steps to take. we at marketwire are happy to work with you all and advance how the world communicates. today it's our pleasure to sponsor this keynote lunch and be sure to stop by our booth to meet the team and stock up on our exclusive marketwire ear buds. without question, they are the best on the block. [laughter] thanks a lot. [applause] >> okay. now while you are all here because these folks haven't been in the news at all. what does a successful media reincarnation look like?
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let's hear it from the top. vivian schiller joined npr's president and ceo in 2009 after serving as general manager at "new york times". she is part of the otion's partnership with 800 member stations and service to 26 million listeners. before the "new york times" she was senior vice president and general manager of the discovery times channel and senior vice president of cnn productions where her team won numerous honors including five emmys. joining vive -- vivian in conversation is tim armstrong, the chairman of aol. he set strategy and oversees the business and day-to-day operations of the company. he joined aol from google where as president of the america's operation he oversaw the north
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north american and latin american sales operation team. he was the vice president of sales partnerships at snowball.com and served in sales and market at disney's espn ventures. moderating the pair is kara swisher, coexecutive editor of all things digital. they produce and host all things digital, a high-tech conference interviewing leading players in the tech industries and kara swisher is a writer for the "washington post" and a writer for aol. [applause] >> great, thanks. just really briefly, i'm going to interview them for 45 minutes. a lot of them will be questions from you though. i'm going to start first of all, i don't work for the wall street
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journal anymore. i quit that four years ago to go to online writing because that's where the future is. we operate separately from them, and it's our belief you can do exciting and quality journalism online and that's where the future was. i think it's nice to see all these people here because it really proves this is the way things are going to happen. we are only online, and we love it, and we're going to talk about where online journalism is going with these people doing interesting things in online journalism and vivian being a traditional organization that is starting online things, and tim is trying to carve out a new way to do journalism online and make money from it hopefully. he's trying. so we're going to start talking about that, and then come up with questions for them on whatever you want to talk
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about. let's start with tim. you guys have been doing all kinds of things and doing all sorts of things, making acquisitions, hiring journalists, buying things, still struggling to make money do it, but shift aol in that direction. can you talk about what your point is? >> yeah, sure. there's probably three main points of why we're investing in the content. the first one is, you know, users need cure rated experiences. in every state there's competitors popping up, but what users want and consumers want is trusted experience. content is one of the only things and brands within content of things that actually bring trust to people. it's a little bit of wealth of nations, adam smith did the shaking of hands and we get
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solid updates. distribution is changing and is going to change. aol is probably one the largest sources of distribution in the 90s, less so today, but that migration of distribution is not going to stop. if you look through all the distribution happening through the internet today, the number two most done thing generally done is content. users are e-mail, home pages, facebook, but in general content is the second most thing people are doing. as a growth industry, i believe regardless of how distribution changes, the fish -- first point about brands and distribution changes is very significant opportunity from a business stand point and consumer usage standpoint. the third piece which is a big opportunity is, you know, the web to some degree and a lot of this came from silicone valley
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tasered what people think of journalism. i think one the opportunities we see at aol and continue to see while everybody else runs away from it, if you believe in the long term viability of people wanting free press and trusting brands, those things, we're net believers that at some point all these changes will be a recurring part of the process, and the brands will stand up and stand out again. things like we did requiring tech launch, a huge reason why we acquired that because it's an excellent brand bringing a specific type of skill set in the technology areas we're covering and brings high editorial and also brings an ability to surf across distributions. it's used on many the platforms. we're investing a lot in pash, a local -- >> vivian, jump intos the idea
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of you guys spent a lot of money on your ipad stuff k your online distribution and npr becoming more than a radio brand, i guess. we talked about the idea of what you are doing because you see npr as a radio brand anymore? >> we're a news organization, first and foremost. that's what we are. radio is the dominant delivery vehicle, and it's where the audience is and where they continue to grow in intellectual radio, but there's tremendous opportunity both for i.t. radio and other formats. our mission is -- couldn't be simpler. it is to reach and supervise more news and information to more people in more ways. if you take those three things apart, digital media is at the
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front of that. we are not moving away from radio. it's like both ends and not an either/or. >> how much does that cost? eventually it will be all accuradio, or do you not believe that? >> it's not going to go away any time soon. our role or jobs is not to sort of pick the future and look into the future or a crystal ball and say this is how people will siewm media, our role is to make sure we are there where our audience is and provide an npr quality experience that demonstrates the same sort of values and quality in different ways that we do in radio, but adapted to that platform. in terms of the cost, you know, actually getting to the foresight of some folks at npr there before i got there, we
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started within six weeks of each other in our new positions. >> yeah. >> all of the content is in an open api. that doesn't mean all the developing applications is free, but boy, if it allowed us to be much faster, much more nimbly, and move with quality. >> your iphone app? >> we got that developed in a few weeks. if it wasn't open content, it would have been impossible or had, you know, stopped everything else we were doing. >> right. what is the percentage of people listening to npr in that manner? >> i think everyone in the room knows the variety of measurement systems for every platform continuing to be frustrating and mind boggling. i can't give you a perfect number. i know we have 15 million people down loading the podcasts every
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month and 650,000 who down loaded our ipad app and we have users on npr.org, but trying to figure out the overlap on that is impossible at this point. >> what's different in what you're doing if at all in an online experience and the quality of what you do? you're a public organization which is different from tim who has to watch investors. when you're moving to the new systems, do you look at it as a better business? you were at the "new york times" where they are still struggling to find which way is the best way to do it, but how do you -- you were there for a long time. how do you -- if you were in that organization now, how do you look at the difference from what you're doing? >> i'll tell you what we are doing at npr. >> okay. >> one of the key differences
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for us is that we're a membership organization. for us it's not just not, you know, "new york times" is a national news provider. how can we get them as a national news provider into the most hands in most devices? we're in a different proposition which is we have member stations in just about every town, city, campus in america. there are bricks and motor there, people, brands, a relationship, and we want to build on that strength. this is a lot of the same strategy you have at aol. the big disruption is in local media. we have been successful with that, and we want to make sure the local stations through, you know, through the local consent they provide and what we provide in national and international coverage that folks in local communities whether it's on a website, on a, you know, an app, on mobile, whatever it is, are
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getting that same rich experience. that's a very different proposition working in partnership with our member stations. >> a lot of people, the stories that you are trying to save journalism, but it's not the same thing as you're doing at the big media organizations that are trying to do the same thing. >> right. >> how do you look at that? do you imagine we can get the investigative reporting and everything else, but how do you consider it? >> let's talk about patch. patch basically started a couple years ago because i had a problem in my own community. it wasn't a grand corporate thought. saturday morning i get up with my three kids, go to the big -- bagel shop and look at what's happening. two years ago i drove up and there was a thing saying there's
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a medieval festival. my kidsmented to go. -- my kids wanted to go. there's guys on horses own guys beating each other, and it's a great thing. later that day my wife and i had try to volunteer my family in town, and we couldn't find any volunteer information. there's a connecticut volunteer connection, but that's the most localized thing we had for local information. later my father-in-law moved to our town, and he was at a busy street and he thought somebody would get killed at that one intersection. it would take a kid getting killed without having a stop sign. no one knew about the meetings we had. after three months, i called the
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local newspaper where i lived and i got the head editor on the phone saying i'm a concerned citizen in town. i said here's an idea, i think you should do this. the person had just gotten back from covering the obama -- something in the obama campaign kickoff, and i said, you know, to be honest with you just to give feedback, covering the obama thing versus all the things i described to you it's more useful because there's the "new york times" or somebody to cover that well. you were new york new york at the time, but i mean npr. [laughter] the person said we don't need your help, thanks for calling, and hung up on me. >> you said i'm tim armstrong -- >> no, no, i didn't. i was at google at the time, and john and i had a set of priecht investments at the time, and we talked about the at the train
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station and i said i'm sick of -- it's crazy, we live in america and something in a conference said we should make the -- the government should support news, why the government should pay for news. i thought, this is the united states of america. why can't we do it ourselves? someone has to figure this out. we hired five or six engineers, some who are sitting over here, and decided to test in three towns and see if we can do something with local news. >> this came out of your desire to see fights? >> yeah, # 100%. [laughter] >> that medieval festival on in town every kid should have known about. >> yeah. >> my personal perspective, you know, look at the room of people. why can't they make the future of online journalism profitable. someone has to be able to do it. whether or not we do it at not, i believe the world needs to
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head in this direction. >> profitability is now what you're struggling at, and so are many trying to get to that point, not just in local, but in all areas. what are your particular struggles? >> i'll be blunt about this. one is aol struggles in profitability here not because it's not a good space and it's not possible. it's because it has to be set up correctly. okay. if you want to take, you know, one of the things we have is a huge freelance budget at aol. if you pay somebody $1,000 a month and write two articles a year, i don't care who you are on the planet, you will not be profitable in today's economics. there's a economic part of this why journalist and business people have to get together and talk about how do we cover everything we want to cover and
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run our business so we have a growing hiring machine that allows us to produce great content for people to do that. i think shame on aol because over time what happened was those things were not measured closely; right? what happens is we start measuring being honest about it and some people stand up in the organization saying you don't believe in journalism anymore. i said no, no one believes it in more. i left is great job to do this. the reality is physically and mechanically it's not going to work, we have to figure out how to make it work. we can hire the best journalists, but we have to do it in a way -- you wouldn't do this in a newspaper and brought it not "new york times" and say what are you doing; right? the same thing is true for what we do at aol. it has to be done in a way where you have great information, great consumer usage, and you
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have to have a business model that works behind it. i believe we have that at aol. we went through a huge cost structure change. we're going to continue to go through this, but i have little doubt in my mind whether it's us or somebody else that this is going to be a big space in the future. >> again, how do you look at the evolving of this? do you imagine these major struggles as revenues goes down and as the cycle starts? here in washington they're starting a tbg and all companies are showing great growth. what happens in the interim between the two in >> well, we're in a very interesting point of time in terms of the business model of online journal. ism. on the one hand, it's skewed,
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yet, what a big portal can't do is create and fill the gaps and need for journalism or community information at the local level, so i think the entities that can succeed both in terms of fulfilling a mission and from a business model point of view are those organizations and ironically i include aol and public radio and a handful of others who can be both nish and math at the same time. here's why we can do it at public radio. first of all it's multiple sources of revenue. if you look at a station it is, you know, local underwriting and national underwriting, institutional foundations, individual philanthropists, some earned income, i'm counting all the revenue streams. it is some government funding, much less than most people think
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across public mood ya, it's 9% of the revenue. it's vital funding, but not the line shared, and probably most importantly through public media is listeners like you. [laughter] >> we're not going to have -- [laughter] >> so, yeah -- >> i wonder if somebody would make a big donation if they would stop. like $4 million and they would stop. [laughter] >> i think your local member station would be pleased for you to try that. [laughter] >> okay. >> the point i'm trying to be is we can be in each and the power of all of those online users whether they are on mobile or
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whatever it may be throughout the country. again, finding that -- aol is the same way. we can be niche and fill that need and be scale and more modified. >> that's where things in niche is where things are happening not just local, but celebrities and the idea of very specific and passionate user base. >> that's right. >> let's talk about that idea. that's where things get success. you're doing it in tech. you have various niches, but where do you imagine that coming in the part? >> well, i think -- look, i think consumers generally are more concerned about brands. the question i get all the time and the space is full of it is it left or right, white or black? everybody wants a definitive answer. for us at aol the question i get all the time is aol is going to
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brand everything aol? is everything going to be aol? i said, no, aol is like disney. they have espn and the other things. we have patch and tech launch and damage jet. i think the niche brands are powerful because people have a set of interest living in a certain local and they have something they do all day. those niches matter a lot to people and the more you serve them in those areas is very powerful. >> you want a disney set up then? >> yeah, more like a disney set up. >> does that mean you abandon things, like disney when it doesn't work, they dump it. it's different in journalism to think about it like that. oh, this rock stuff doesn't make money. let's move on. >> yeah, in business you run for
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the shareholders, and it's efficient to meet capital to be profitable. if you're going to be number 17 in something, okay, the reason you're generally 17 in something is because you don't have the right people working on it. i would say in many cases, everybody likes to be upset about being 17. when you look at the difference of being 1 and 17, it's that number 1 has a plan, the right people working on it, a business model that makes sense, they understand it and get better every day. in the cases where we're number 17 in an area and not making progress and things get worse and there's no plan, it's tough as a public company to dump money into that. a lot of the stuff we've already changed, we went through a lot of that already. the spaces we're in today we'll continue to invest in, but you
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have to be careful about that. >> two things. where do you think the money making opportunities are? you have a variety of ways to make money including annoying me every couple months, which works, but what do you think the money making opportunities are? is it all the same advertising thing or do you feel something shifting in subscriptions or -- >> macromoney comes from corporations or individuals. i think as a business you need to have a business strategy that, you know is good at removing money from corporations or consumers, which you guys do it, we do it, and you have to do it in a way which makes sense for where things are going, and so if you look at -- you know, how you do that effectively is one you have a differentiated product people see as valuable, and in the advertising world today extermly, if you don't have the
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data and capability to tell people who your audience is and compete with google and facebook in terms of the data there, you'll be in trouble. you have to have a data plan to feed data to advertisers. it can be small, but that's how my audience does it and that's important. from direct consumers, i think individual consumers, my guess is the "wall street journal" or new york new york subscriptions have not dropped in half. i bet if you look at subscriptions probably haven't dropped in half. it's because people will pay individually for information that's very valuable to them. one of the things lost in the online journalism pace is what is the product you're bringing? you can't stand on a pulpit and say this should be paid for. take it down and ask what are you charging for it and the
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value you're getting for it? advertising will be a big future space for this. one of the things at aol this year is look at our web page design. if you have a web page with 17ads on it, it's a chance those advertisers are not getting great results. one might be, but 16 will not be. there's one brand to one consumer and the results have been net positive by double digits. that's the thinking we need to do. in terms of google and facebook, they think about this stuff all the time. online content companies need to think in this direction. >> would you sell your npr apps and having other revenue streams for free in >> yeah. part of the audience has been whether you give or whether you don't give, we're going to be there for you. if you don't choose to or can't, we're there for you. we are a public service
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journalism. i don't imagine a time where we would charge a consumer for our app. >> last question about devices. what is critically important today going forward? obviously, i had an interesting interview with mark this week, and he's all over the smart phone cloud and everything is going that direction and pretty much everything. the only thing not up in the cloud is -- i didn't understand, but what are the devices you see as important going forward, each of you? >> well, there are people smarter than i am who guess about these things and get them wrong or right as luck would have it. i don't really know. i know that we -- i know it's important for us to be where, you know, the audience seems to be going. i think smart phones and se vices have a future, and i think the key things there is going to be making sure that the experience that we create is
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compatible with the form factor. i think that some organizations and news organizations and media organizations made a mistake or have made a mistake with the ipad and saying, oh, it's a big iphone. yeah, it looks like one and they took their iphone app and blew it up or converted it. it's the same experience. the fact is that the way people use it, i don't need to tell folks this in the room is the way people use the ipad is different than the iphone app. our apps look nothing alike. they still just represent the brand of npr. >> would you consider the tablets in general as smart phones? >> yeah, they are the most obvious, but we're also thinking about social media as a platform, not a devis, but the
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cart experience that will emerge in automobiles and then we get into funny terminology. we're thinking about all of these things. >> one, there's a woman in the lobby who had bought something from starbucks, took a picture of it with our iphone. iithat piece of mobile is important. you saw consumer do something with a qr code, we don't know what, but something's happening. [laughter] one of the future perceptions from my opinion is mobile is massive. i think there's a sneaky thing that we will pick our heads up saying this is bigger than mobile which is the plasma screen. in my house we put an apple tv in my house over the summer and i told this story before, but
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defense a saturday morning and they are fighting. i heard my wife say, if you don't behave, you have to watch cable tv. [laughter] i was upstairs. i was traveling that week, and as a traveling parent you don't get involved in the dynamics and you don't know how things work, so i went downstairs, and my 5-year-old was there. i was like did u mishear? do you have to watch cable tv? she has tears running down. [laughter] why is that a punishment? she said dad, i want to watch apple tv. i sat down with my kids and let them put on apple tv, how many people have that or have seen it? it's organized by age demographic and it's usable and with a remote you basically go through the entire spectrum of content. it's basically blank for content
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brand. my kids navigate to the brands they know. >> you can do it with a wii. >> yeah. it's a very, very interesting thing. most of the plasmas being sold this year are paired with wireless. >> did you really overrule your wife? >> i meant to say that. it was 8 in the morning and they are allowed to watch it. it was not right away, no, no. >> the idea of having on demand television constantly on demand? >> it's on-demand, but it's such a difference experience. >> how does that play into jr. ability to get medieval information? [laughter] >> if there was a local video from the year before from the medieval festival that you could pull up and every third saturday of september they have the medieval festival and you can watch it.
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instead of driving to the bagel store and -- >> got it, don't go there. [laughter] what do you think is overhyped or underhyped very quickly? [laughter] nothing? go ahead. >> again, i think overhyped is everything having to do with platforms, and we have flat forms too, and we love that space and are investing it in. the brand space is so underhyped at this point. consumers use 20 brands a month and largest amount of their time is spent on 20 brands. i think when you think about facebook and twitter and everybody sending everything everywhere, there's a different trend happening which is more cureuated. >> wrongly hyped will be social media. they have plenty of hype, but the focus of what people see is
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the power of social media underestimates the true power of social media with journalism. >> explain that. >> well, social media for many media organizations just based on what i see think of social media as a mechanism, push, push, push, yes, it's good for that, and we do it too, but care fully. especially for a news organization, the power of social media as a platform for engagement with the audience and we use it for news gathering. we did it after the haiti earthquakes and we'll use it tuesday on polling places. it's a two week communication with our audience and we just begun to scratch the surface as social media as a powerful tool in journalism. >> you don't imagine facebook
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getting into journalism, do you? >> they are, maybe they didn't choose to, but they are. we have more facebook sends than any other news organization in america. people choose it because the platform is open in the sense of using it however we insist, but it's a very robust journalism platform for npr and public radio. >> twitter too? >> absolutely. >> john who was just hired and he said something interesting that was the other thing that's underhyped is the realtime nature of it. you break a lot of stories and it's fast, but there's many times the realtimeness is very important of these platforms, and the ability to collect or distribute news. i think that's a pretty significant shift, and it's not unusual to, you know, break something and have it come out
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in the newspaper three days later. >> six days later. >> yeah. >> they have to get it just right. >> that's not an overnight printing problem but something in the -- >> yeah, i agree with that. anyway, questions from the audience? questions? come on, you're journalists. stand up. go ahead, right there. >> hi, i'm from mashville.com. my question is for tim. you compared the company to disney a little bit. what do you see as the unifying factor of those properties within aol if there is one, and secondly, how are you organizing those individual brands? do they have ad sales teams and what's the strategy? >> sure. >> is it a magical kingdom? >> you know, magic is one of the words i use to describe it. i think our jobs are at aol whether it's in gadget or aol or something else. when we go to bed at night we
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need to think about the magical experience i'll have when i wake up and engage consumers. there is -- i would say that kind of the magic of what the experience is and then the curuation, the notion of did we take enough time thinking through what is useful and cureuate the heck of it to have a good experience. on the initial brand side on organizing the company this we continue to work through, although, we're getting to the p -- point where we look at the world in two ways. there's exits off the distributions, and the exits are community and technology, local, it's patch and mapquest and citiesbest. there's exits we're building. you're in a distribution lane or in one the exits. if you're in an exit area, you better have the world's best
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consumer experience ect.. one of the things that the company outside the organization of the company get in the press and patch or at aol is they make people work so hard. you know, it's if you don't want to work hard, this is not the industry for you. there's a point where working too hard is too much. you have to be careful. our organizational structure is masked with a large culture drive to make complentd products. that's why i go to disney. they have excellent products. those people care about what they do. >> okay. more questions? go ahead. >> [inaudible] [inaudible]
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>> paying for aol or patch in >> i would say overall patch, if i'm wrong, come up here and correct me. right now i believe what we are focused on is the consumer experience. my guess is down the road that will be a question we'll run smack into whether you have to pay for patch. ton honest with you, i have not been in a meeting where paying for patch has been discussed. i would say this about going back to what you can sell to consumers. you know, the question is i don't know what the answer is, but if patch has unique content or gadget has content, there's a opportunity to sell -- people don't mind paying for content. you have to figure out what the usp of that is in general. i don't know. >> if you could you would? >> here's the business plan. everybody wants black or white answers.
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the answer is we go with whatever works. you have to test with whatever works. [laughter] >> it's the great minds that brought you google. [laughter] >> right. >> go ahead. >> i have a question sort of about the, i guess the triage between where what will work for profit and what won't and has to be nonprofit. i have a personal interest in this because my wife covers homicide in dc. when she started it up, eric smith gave a speech and saying you with monetize everything. you can't with homicide. there's no business model covering crime. [laughter] i'm curious about, what do you think about -- are there things that simply, there is no for-profit business model for -- are there things that need to be nonprofit, or is it a matter of
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packages and put together in >> with other things? >> yeah, and subsidized -- >> eric smith says a lot of goofy things recently. just move, everybody. people were nervous about street view, and as a joke on cnn, he told people to move if they didn't like their street view. [laughter] >> i hope there's a bunch of things that aol covers that are nonforprofit, and there's a lot of things in the world, and you just brought up one that is not a great business model. you have to do enough things here to fund things over here. a consumer doesn't say i only want for-profit news. a consumerments to know everything in the morning. you have to do both. >> you know, from the beginning of commercial media, you know, homicide has never been
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something that has been advertiser friendly that's advertiseble or coverage of iraq, and since the beginning of time or newspapers, those have been subsidized by parts of the, you know, the package that are monetizeble. that doesn't change for like an organization like npr and public radio and the way we handle it is the multiple revenue streets and that's why i like the business model other than some other commercial media organizations because of that diversity, because we have, you know, philanthropy support and it allows us and because of what our brand represents and the quality and independence and because we do give you stories from iraq and investigative stories, things that are not generally advertiser friendly, that diversity of revenue streams allows us that coverage. >> one question over here if we have time, and then here.
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okay, just two questions. go ahead. >> i'm robert hernandez, i work for usc. i'll be rude and ask a question on people's mind so much so it is a topic of the one the young sessions and a topic in many newsroom, and the general question is is patch evil? [laughter] >> i was -- [laughter] [applause] >> i had to ask. >> he was braving for the one william's question. [laughter] >> i don't know what you're talking about. [laughter] >> i knew you were going to say that by the way. >> i was waiting to the end. >> i have some questions back actually. what are the theories on why it's evil? give me the three-legged stool of evilness. >> you asked, and it's been a
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buzz conversation. everyone loves that patch is hiring journalists that have been displaced and paying decently. >> nonevil. >> right. it's on the quality of people being hired, the quality of pay, the quality of work, the expectation, every shop is different. patch is quite huge, so there a different variations being from southern california, that area has been under heat from "l.a. weekly" and the other layer of evil is just corporate going into the hyperlocal scene with a lot of fantastic local bloggers covering the communities that mainstream in corporate america have ignored over the years. that's the framework. >> he's not paying attention to the excellence going on and
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underpaying -- >> that's the framework. what -- it can also be what is the motive. >> yep. let me first of all, patch didn't start or never would have started it to have that outcome to it. i'll give you guys some data and stats you may not know. the average journalist in a town has 6.6 years of journal experience. the press writes about this a lot. it's press on the press. you guys write about each other more than i've ever seen. [laughter] >> it's true. >> we're working the patch people to death. okay. 75% of the people who work for patch are paid as much or more as they were in they're last job. they are freelance people. you have a different definition of freelance than i do. freelance is free agent to me. what can you get paid for the craft you do. some get paid a lot and others not as much. that 25%, i don't know whether
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they make more or less in general. i think from a opportunity standpoint, from a payment standpoint, and for us solving, you know, to a degree, you know, there's look -- i live in one of the most resourced communities in moshing. my town doesn't cover my need as a consumer. if you think it's evil, put on your consumer hat for a minute. you are press on press, press on aol, press on everybody. what's the consumer need in the town and are you meeting it? instead of writing articles about each other and same thing i say to the patch people. i say three things, cover straight up the middle. don't take a left or right. the country has everybody they need in both camps right now. be honest to the community and do good things for the
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community. two is you have to work hard, guys. it's a start up. if it was so easy to do, everybody would do it. there's going to be long hours, but i hope the upside in the future will be huge. third is what the patch brings to the community. overtime a lot of the information on patch or in partnership with patch, we have a lot of partnerships which the press doesn't write about where we do content with blogs and newspapers joining forces together. nobody covers that. the last thing of patch is get people in the community as much information as possible and do it in a way good for the community. i'll say something here which strategy wise i don't know where we'll end up on it, but it's highly likely we will do more partnerships around patch also. i think there's cases where there's local blogs we'd love to partner with, but in essence,
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we're trying to run something that seems like a consumer need. if you're feeling it's evil, just be careful it's not media on media, and if you start with a consumer need, i don't run into consumers in the patch that think what we do is evil. they are kind of, you know -- >> he probably should get rid of the evil layers. >> competition is not evil. there's nothing wrong with competition. >> one question, is it the same debate going on about demand media? the same -- could you evil man, could you stand up? [laughter] is the same debate going on as demand? >> as i represent everyone -- [laughter] >> they are about to go public in a few weeks. >> there is that debate, but it's different because that's
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ailing rhythmic, but you can't deny how great it is to hear organizations hire journalists and make the commitment to quality journalism or quality content, so there is that debate too. >> the man gets a lot of fire on that. i don't know why anyone cares, but they represent themselves to be journalists. over here, last question. >> [inaudible] >> microphone's coming. >> first off i want to say that you can monetize homicide. open it up to the community and have them write about the loved ones and put digital flours and goods. add stuff like that. we know digital goods are on the rise of people buying stuff like
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that and that leads to experience, right? i was one the people running around capturing the game code, yeah, okay, it's a marsh mellow you win, but it's fun to look at the codes. the question i have for you is what do you think the future of experiences is in news and the actual giving the consumer experience within the content? >> wow. you mean like badges for listening? >> i don't mean badges at all. >> you know, from the beginning of public radio, people take, npr and public radio for many people in our awe yens is not -- they don't consider themselves just consumers. being an npr listener it's part of their identity. they self-io didn't my.
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they say they are npr listeners. we have ads that says npr listeners seeking same. there's true. [laughter] >> i don't know if i want to get on that. [laughter] >> but, you know, on digital platforms, it is a way for people -- people want to touch and feel us, and digital platforms and social media gives people an opportunity for the favor time be really truly integrated in the experience, not just by identifying themselves as a listener or calming -- calling into a show, but be engagedded with the brand. that's how you integrate the experience. >> tim in >> i? >> i think the experience change. journalists provide the heart and soul of a page. there's a whole ton of other
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things that are interesting and one of the things tech crunch has is crunch base that is structured data. you can write a great piece and pop up all the structured data related to the article, and i think there's going to be more and more services like that. i expect the web pages -- >> comments running on the side or -- >> yeah, i mean, one of the things is patch is a good example is the activity stream on the side. it's just another feature, but it's tough for a journalist to make a activity feed. that's what you add to the page for value. what does the consumer want to see on a page and structure a page in that direction. >> well, thank you so much. you're not evil, and i think online dating is a great new business. [laughter] >> thank you. >> thank you very much. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] glncht tomorrow is election day with races in the u.s. house, senate, and governor seats. join us live tomorrow for coverage starting at 7 p.m. eastern on our sister network, c-span. we'll have speeches and your calls, e-mails, and tweets. the cargo bomb plot was the main speech at today's brief. spokesman talks with reporters about the investigation efforts in the bomb plot as well as u.s. assistance for counterterrorism programs in yemen. this is about 30 minutes.
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on haiti in the coming days. we've been working with vendors and other international partners. we have stopped piled commodities in concert with the international organization for migration and we have activated a team of nine disaster response experts who will be prepared to deploy to haiti tomorrow. we expect right now. turning to iraq, we strongly commend the events of sunday which take two hostages at a christian church in baghdad and the loss of many innocent and vulnerable iraqi lives. we've mourned the loss of life and extend our condolences to the victims families, friends and communities. the events unfolded on sunday were particularly reprehensible as a place of worship was involved after a nearby robbery attempt was unsuccessful.
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united they stand for the government of iraq and the people of iraq as they continue to demonstrate courage and determination but only what to move iraq. in the wrong direction. finally before taking your questions. met with several sudanese officials including vice president taha and presidential adviser dr. cosby ought to bonnie. he plans to travel to cuba tomorrow to work with the southern sunni leaders. among the topics discussed today, special envoy gratian and formed, you know, cartoon about the decision made by the president which was announced a few minutes ago, extending sanctions against sudan for another year. >> on yemen and the bomb plot, what is the state department's rule from this point forward in
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dealing with -- working with the gamin on counterterrorism and other -- whether it be eight programs or other programs in light of what's happening? >> ambassador firesign and the embassy in.net is fully engaged with the yemeni authorities as it takes action in light of friday's incident. as you know, john brennan at the white house is going to touch with president follow as well. you know, we will continue to evaluate our ongoing assistance programs to yemen, you know, for the fiscal year, just ended. total assistance to young men approached $300 million which involve security, humanitarian and bilateral systems. we do expect, you know, the
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level of assistance to the gamin for this coming year to be roughly in the same ballpark, although obviously we will continue to evaluate how we can best support gannon in its fight against al qaeda in the arabian plan for, which has impact on the united states. >> when you say evaluating coming to, to meet expanding them or contracting based on the trend of events? >> well, we're not going to contract them. we think the increasing investment in yemen has paid dividends. if you look in the trend over the past three or four years, we've steadily increased our assistant to yemen to the level that i just mentioned to you. we believe that yemen has made significant improvement in security and counterterrorism
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capability. but obviously that stems from a still limited capacity that yemen has. it's the poorest country in the region and our efforts are geared towards steadily increasing yemen's ability to deal with violent extremists who are threat to yemen as well as a threat to the united states. >> to view your talking about, was that underway prior to the bomb incidents or that ben -- are you doing the review because of that? i wouldn't call it a formal review. we will obviously -- we are working with yemen as a government in the aftermath of friday's episode. and i would say that we are pleased with the cooperation that yemen has shown in the last 72 hours. but as we go forward, we obviously, you know, learn from this incident, just as we learned from the christmas day
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bomber 10 months ago and adapt their programs appropriately. >> p.j., on that score, how can you really guarantee that the money the united states sends will be used by president saleh to do with the united states hopes he will do, which is to fight al qaeda as opposed to fighting his enemies, political or even physical enemies, which are the people who were engaged in rebellion? >> welcome the fact is the yemeni government has done what we asked it to do. yemen is a very complex society. it's got a history involving, you know, a former division of the country, you know, into north and south yemen. it does have a variety of conflicts that are going on inside u.s. borders. yemen is sovereign and has to deal whether he believed to be brought to resolve security.
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we have worked with yemen and we are satisfied that yemen is pain close attention to the threat posed by al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. it's a threat to gamin in addition to being a threat to the united states and others. >> -underscore their cooperation, they have a history of apprehending people and then letting them go. is that resulted in your mind? or is that still an issue that needs work? and i'm thinking of people related to the bombing. >> again, let me go back to the issue of capacity. yemen has a limited governmental capacity and we have worked hard to improve its capabilities so that it can secure yemen for its own people as well as for others. there's no question as john brennan mentioned in his comments yesterday that while we have seen improvement, you know,
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more has to be done because i think we recognize that going back to the whole 10 years ago, you know, yemen is still a country with limited capabilities and that is why we are investing and increasing aid to help yemen, not only on the security front, but part of the solution to gamin is to help make improvements on the civil society and help in front as well. >> does anyone know what the status of the investigation is within yemen for finding the bomb maker? like how were they proceeding? >> for that probably, better question directed to the department of justice or to the white house. obviously, you know, they are leading this investigation and we will support this investigation both in our own counterterrorism activities as well as through the embassy and fun.
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>> what is secretary clinton doing on this score? >> i'm not sure she's had any particular conversation. she stain upon the intelligence that has come from this particular incident. but i'm not aware she's made any specific calls. >> the middle east -- >> okay. >> there are some reports that there will be a change of the boy to the middle east. american former ambassador to israel is going to -- is one of those nominated. >> this is the monthly rammer about george mitchell's departure. i'm not aware of any room for him to depart. >> is not going to -- >> not to my knowledge. >> his team is getting smaller.
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there's several people who have left or the bean. it's been moving back to washington. is there any sign that you're rethinking strategy? >> i know one person is left. >> there's another one rumored to be going to usaid shortly. that's pretty far along. >> without confirming that necessarily, to actually continue to work on developing the capabilities of the palestinian authority, which is fully consistent with what senator mitchell is doing. >> are there -- are you rethinking strategy now? i mean, given that it's been two years basically? >> were intensively trying to get the parties back into negotiations, so we believe we have the right strategy, which is only through direct negotiation can the parties actually resolve the conflict once and for all? what we need to see a factual, you know, movement by the parties back in direct negotiations and that is something we are still intensively trying to achieve.
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>> p.j., same subject. palmer moussa, arab league secretary-general gave an interview over the weekend -- a radio interview with fox. he said although they still have confidence in the u.s.-led process, it's time to think about alternatives. and he asked rhetorically what's wrong with going to the united nations to get some sort of a general assembly or security council declaration for a palestinian state. what is wrong with that in your opinion? >> doesn't solve the conflict. you know, the only way to end the conflict is to resolve the final status issues. the only way to resolve the final status issues is through direct negotiation. unilateral declarations or unilateral actions on one side or the other does not end the conflict. that is our goal. >> a security council for general assembly vote of some sort would be a unilateral act.
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>> well again, you know, we have a process that involves multiple tracks. our objective here is comprehensive peace in the middle east. comprehensive peace in the middle east can only be resolved or direct negotiations with the parties agreed to end the conflict. >> are you encouraging them not to? >> we encourage them to return negotiations. >> the president said she declared to the general assembly that this will help the palestinians to unify. and it would be a building step for the negotiations. do you disagree with this? >> is that carter is entitled to his views. prime minister netanyahu will be in new orleans next weekend. to expect the prime minister will meet any other u.s. officials, either here or there next week? specifically the secretary or don wheatley? >> we have had a meeting with
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the prime minister's office to the secretary will be overseas for another week, but we are looking to see if their schedules will overlap and we just don't know. >> once you get to washington -- or will she go to new york? >> there's an interesting and getting together, but right now we're just checking to see how elastic, you know, prime minister schedule is. how long he'll be in the united states. >> i'm telling tauris dey from norway. >> hi, welcome to the states. >> i had some questions about the security around your embassies and you have something that is called the surveillance detection program. what's the background for that? >> welcome the surveillance protection program is something we put in place over the last decade. we recognize that her posts around the world are prospective
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targets and tragically there is a lot of intelligence and actual attacks to back it up. you know, not the least of which were the bombings in east africa, you know, a decade ago. so you know, we work with the host government to do everything we can to protect our diplomatic posts around the world including norway. >> you have a database called fema connected to this program. who can end up there? >> well, we have cooperation across her posts. we share information both with host governments and across our posts. it is possible when you look out a network entity like al qaeda, that they might be casing a post in europe in the middle east, in africa. and so, we have a database that shares intelligence and
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assessment -- ongoing assessment of threats. >> in norway, august activities cleared within the week's authorities -- >> i'm sorry? >> all of these clear within the activities? >> yeah, all of our activities in norway are consistent with the opportunity of the host nation. >> those americans originated in mexico, what is the understanding of how exactly the americans were killed? and also come in arizona there was the recent case of the beheading of a person. is there -- some people are quite concerned sandbagged this drug violence has really hit home when you have people been decapitated in the united states. anything that the united states is doing? >> let's be careful, jill, that we don't robot that things single basket. we have tragically three
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killings, you know, south of the border. they are being investigated at this point i don't know if we can really assess what happened. you go back to some incidents that happened earlier this year tragically in some of those cases the might of been deliberate actions. in other cases they might've been wrong people in the wrong place at the wrong time. yes, you do have a case of a death in arizona that is being investigated by local authorities. and again, i'm not aware that there's a specific theory of the case yet as to what happened with that tragic death. >> there is a case of a shooting last tday were an american citizen was shot by an american mexican army. the details i guess at the time were unclear why he was shot. it was the vehicle he was traveling and he was shot in patrol and they returned fire.
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junie details of the case? >> i don't. i'll see what we can do about that. >> late friday and saturday, headlines that the israeli media was a major trade for turkic nations security. on the other hand, countries like syria and iran are off the leftover turkey. my question is -- >> i'm not sure. but listed that? >> the security nation and the best and these have not been denied or rejected. >> i'm not familiar with whatever list are talking about. obviously, we are very aware that there are tensions between, you know, two very close friends of the united states, turkey and israel. their cooperation in the past has been very valuable to both countries, to the united states into the region. and we certainly hope that, you know, the two countries can find a way to reason that
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cooperation. >> do you have any information about the two hikers that are still an assumption in iran, their trial be moved? >> i don't know that we been formally notified about that. obviously we believe that the hikers should be released and not put on trial. >> i think there is something -- forgive me if i don't have all the details, but the mothers will not be committed to talk to their sons. it just came out this morning. >> we welcome that opportunity. >> you're not aware that? >> we consult with the families on a regular basis. i just can't say whether -- when the last time we chatted. >> same subject, p.j., one of the reports suggested that they are short is considering returning to iran for trial. i'm just wondering what advice the department of state is
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giving. >> will leave the device private. [inaudible] >> can you tell me what interaction or communication there was -- [inaudible] >> well, the plea bargain was worked out between the prosecutors within the military commission and, condors defense lawyers. but the state department was in touch with the canadian government and there was an exchange of diplomatic notes that helped pave the way for the plea bargain. >> did canada sign off on the deal? would you characterize it as that? canada sign off on the deal? >> well, canada is aware of the details of the plea bargain. it is i think canadian officials have made clear, this up until now has been a matter between
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the united states government and mr. potter or the military missions process. and no, in the plea arrangement, mr. potter will serve a year -- at least a year at guantánamo. he has the option during that time to petition to canada. as canada has indicated there is no application that will consider that operation should it be made. >> as we mentioned, she did have a conversation, you know, with the foreign minister cannon. there needed to be an exchange of diplomatic note to help with the plea arrangement and following her conversation with foreign minister cannon, there
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was that exchange of diplomatic entities. [inaudible] >> -- such a highlight is the first time through the soviet union era. and can i have the united states response? and you recognize japanese already all over the islands? >> we are quite aware of the dispute. we do that japan regarding the northern territories. but this is why the united states for a number of years has encouraged, you know, japan and russia to negotiate an actual peace treaty regarding these and other issues. >> in terms of bangkok island, secretary clinton just made it clear that it was in u.s. defense security treaty. and that is because the islands are controlled by japan. and in terms of northern territory, what is the united
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states done? has applied to do united states and japan security treaty? >> that's a good question. i'll take a question. >> for the church bombing that happened yesterday, there were reports that it was handled -- the rescue was handled poorly for the hostages. do you have a comment for how it went down? >> well, this was an action led by the iraqi security forces and i'll defer to them. >> u.s. ambassador gave an interview to bosnian media over the breakup of the country. do you have any comments on that? >> actually come the secretary was in bosnia recently. we've been significantly engaged with our european partners. we've had many, many conversations, many trips by the secretary, by the deputy secretary and others.
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we are trying to move bosnia to a point where it is fully integrated as a country and within europe. you know, we have supported a process by which bosnia has the option of joining nato down the road. but rather than predict team its demise, we hope that bosnia will advance and become a full participant in the european union. >> on general grayson's trip to sudan, i'm wondering if you can give us an announcement on the talks they been having over the last couple of days? is there any topics on the out bj issue? >> that's why he's going to juking tomorrow. he's along with former south african president topple mbeki, they've been talking to officials in khartoum. we'll have similar conversations with the southern sudan
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officials. we continue to believe that a successful referendum on iba can be accomplished on schedule, but clearly the parties need to come together, make some decisions and take the actions to prepare only for that referendum, but also the one regarding south sudan. >> the southern sudanese officials are saying that u.s. officials have suggested a way forward i wish they would next abeyi and to the north restitution. can you confirm that? >> no. >> do you think it would be a good idea? >> at the goalkeeper discussions with officials at this point confidential. i'm confirming what you just suggested. >> there was a report that secretary clinton asked china to prevent the provocative action by north korea to create a
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time -- >> i'm sorry, start again. >> it is a report to secretary clinton that asked china to prevent any provocative action by north korea to a new summit. what is the u.s. situation i'm not? >> let's not limit it to the g20. we are interested in north korea, you know coomassie supper but action of all kinds, you know, any point going forward. you know, we do have ongoing concerns about north korea and provocations and we have discussed this with china and encouraged china, you know, to have appropriate conversations with north korea. >> you ask a very direct question about the g20. >> i haven't gotten a lengthy
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readout that to the secretary's conversations with the their foreign minister or chairman died. but it would not surprise me that when we talk to china about north korea, we tend to mention our concerns about what korea and provocations. >> did you get a reply to the iranian president on his birthday? >> i got a lot of replies to my tweet. not from iran. >> thank you. >> do you have any updates from last week's -- about the reconstruction funds not being ready? >> yeah, this just in. not quite done. [laughter]

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