Skip to main content

tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  October 19, 2011 7:30am-9:00am EDT

7:30 am
>> thank you, mr. speaker. my right hon. friend -- just isn't good enough. the fact is fewer people carrying knives are going to prison under this government than the last. and other bereaved families of victims but breaking the promises he made that he would take a tougher approach. >> admiration for the campaign, it is incredibly brave when you suffered a loss in your own family to get out and campaign for change. not just change in the law but the way the police behavior and the way young people behave. she is a thoroughly good individual with a very great campaign. what we are doing under this government which the last government didn't do is have a mandatory sentence for knife crime. that will be our forthcoming
7:31 am
bill. >> my right hon. friend joins me in supporting the royal college of language therapy, which is rightly emphasizing central importance of speech, language and communication tackling a wide range of social issues. >> i will join my hon. friend in doing that. is an issue to take a close personal interest as well but anyone who worked with disabled children know the importance of speech and language therapies knows there are often not enough to provide all the health and services we need. getting those services through the statement can be tough but i agree with what he says. >> russell brown. >> thank you, mr. speaker. we know that officials from other governments were given the impression that the former defense secretary's unofficial adviser represented the u.k. government.
7:32 am
how many people in total were misled? can you provide a list? >> what the hon. gentleman should do is read the report by the cabinet secretary and he will find all the details he needs about what he was doing but it comes slightly ill from a party with that lectors are lobbying when we know those formative secretary working for a helicopter company and the former home secretary working for a security firm and old mendelssohn -- even the former leader of the prime minister has 120,000 pounds with speeches to credit suisse, visa and citibank. he said he put money into the back. we didn't know he would get it out so quickly. >> we must hear mr. crenshaw.
7:33 am
>> returning to europe, does the prime minister accept that moves towards fiscal union within the euro zone will undermine the single market's and the united kingdom? >> my friend makes an extremely important point which is why we believe a single currency drives the euro zone towards greater fiscal integration, this does pose particular threats and risks to those who want the single market to work properly and that the european council is important to argue safeguards to make sure the single market remains robust and properly protected. of course in the long term it may be that there will be further moves towards further treaties and the rest of it and at that stage there may be opportunities to bring further powers back to britain and maybe
7:34 am
the opportunities for a referendum but not -- the right answer is not to hold the referendum in this part of it where we have so much to do to get europe to sort it problems out. >> a statutory register as lobbyists. will the prime minister also assure that so-called think tanks whose proper gander is aimed to manipulate ministers and the public for their own end should also be required to reveal who ultimately funds them so we all know whose interests they really represent. >> we are committed to having a statutory register of lobbyists and it does need to be put in place and needs to include as the right hon. gentleman said a think tank and other organization and one of the biggest lobbies of all, the lobby that owns the party bloc stock and barrel, the trade union. >> order! statement of the lord counselor
7:35 am
and secretary of state for justice, members leaving the chamber. >> from london you have been watching prime minister's question time aired live every wednesday while parliament is in session. at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span2. you can see it again sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span. for more information go to on the homepage click on international for british parliament and other legislators are around the world. also links to international media and c-span programs on world issues. >> c-span2 this morning the defense department general counsel talking about the treatment of military detainees. a leader of the entire mubarak demonstration talks about the country's political future and live coverage of the u.s. senate. they are scheduled to work on
7:36 am
annual federal spending. >> this weekend six republican presidential candidates travel to the iowa state and freedom coalition candidate forum. watch live coverage of herman cain, newt gingrich and rick santorum and governor rick perry and representative ron paul and michele bachman starting at 7:00 p.m. eastern saturday on c-span's road to the white house. >> at the heritage foundation the defense department general counsel j. johnson -- jeh johnson talk about legal treatment of detainees and the pentagon's operation to parts of the programs bill regarding the detention of suspected terrorists. the house passed that bill earlier this year. this is just over an hour. and >> thank you for joining us. it is my privilege to welcome
7:37 am
everyone to our auditorium. and welcome those who join us on our web site on the occasions. i would ask everyone if you would be so kind as to check your cellphone one last time to see that they're turned off as we proceed with the program. mustaf and a camera crew will be especially happy to do that. we will post the program within 24 hours on our web site for everyone's future reference and e-mail comments and questions can be sent any time by e-mail introducing our special guest this afternoon is mr. stenson news service in our center for legal and judicial studies, leading expert in criminal law, military law, military commissions and detention policy. before joining us he served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs where he advised the secretary of defense on detainee issues
7:38 am
worldwide including guantanamo bay, iraq and afghanistan. he also served four years as assistant u.s. attorney for the district of columbia and before that with a homicide prosecutor in maryland in domestic violence prosecutor in san diego. please join me in welcoming kelly simpson. >> thank you, john. we are delighted and i am personally delighted to welcome jeh johnson to the heritage foundation day. after president obama was elected but before he swore an oath to the constitution, a senior high ranking military official called and are amish military officer in the reserves and our know this person and he said you really ought to have a
7:39 am
chat and get to know jeh johnson because i know him. he served with distinction as the air force general counsel during the clinton administration and you two to get to know each other. so i called him. he was running transition and point at the pentagon and he took my call and that began a professional and collegial conversation and i would say friendship that started december/january before the president took office. i told him during our first call that are supported military commissions in general but opposed the 2006 act and the secretary expressing why i opposed the act and also that those fixes would do a bland hoped the administration would upgrade and keep the military commission act and they did
7:40 am
that. we had numerous conversations or several conversations, should the overplay it, since then and found those conversations to be productive. my point is for too long, there are marked examples in the last week in years there has been an over politicization in detention policy matters. we have come to a point six years since 9/11 where there has been a favorable convergence of opinion on the broad questions, and acceptance for military commissions and that we are at war and pursuant to work military detention is a necessary aspect of the war effort. the topic today is more detainee legislation necessary. we ask that because as you all
7:41 am
know there are two competing bills. one in the house and one in the senate that contain various provisions dealing with the tension but it is important to put this into context. the united states has detained many individuals, summer repeat customers. most were detained in iraq. roughly 20,000 were detained in afghanistan. at its peak guantanamo had 778 individuals and now we have 171. the principals involved are not the numbers but underlying respect for the will of law and national security for our country and our allies. so the legislation today doesn't address the big issues and the big boulders that have bounced around since 9/11 but refinement to existing policy or attempted refinement that existing policy
7:42 am
dealing with detainees in guantanamo. so we are absolutely thrilled in the spirit of putting politics to the side and getting to the serious business of common-sense legislation to have jeh johnson here to talk about this. jeh serves as general counsel to the department of defense. that means he is chief legal officer for whole army of lawyers. more than ten. he is chief legal adviser to the secretary of defense. he served with distinction as federal prosecutor in the district of new york where he took on public corruption cases. after his stint in the southern district he moved to the law firm of paul rybkin and lots of
7:43 am
other names were he tried high-stakes commercial corporate cases. in 1998 president bill clinton appointed him to be general counsel of the department of the air force reserve for two years later returning to the law firm. he was appointed by president-elect obama to be general counsel for the department of defense and has tackled a number of issues there and during the question and answer period some of you may want to ask him about those things. without further ado i turn the podium over to the hon. jeh johnson. [applause] >> thank you for that introduction. thank you for the invitation to
7:44 am
speak to this distinguished organization. cully referred to the fact of the federal prosecutor for three years. i am sorry the former attorney general could not be here today. i know his connection with this organization. just thinking about the attorney general and reference you made i am reminded of when rudy guiliani hired me in 1988 to be an assistant to united states attorney in the southern district of new york. i have been out of law school for six years and i was a litigator and anxious to try cases and never tried a case until i got into the united states attorney's office and figured i was finally unleashed
7:45 am
to try cases and almost immediately i had my first trial. it was three weeks into the job and i was taught that you always give the same opening statement before every jury. it varies depending on land that the nature of the trial but you essentially give the same opening statement to every jury. it was beaten to me which was first of all before you even introduce yourself to the jury, my name is jeh johnson and i represent the government, you are supposed to go over to the defendant at the defense table and walked away from the lectern and walk away from the jury and point at the defendant and say that men served drugs on the corner of 28 food and ate food and will show how he did it and return to the lectern and say my name is jeh johnson legal assistant united states attorney and by represent the government. for the next 20 minutes or so,
7:46 am
every statement, every assertion of fact should be preceded by the evidence will show. and the opening statement you say the same thing. i do three things. listen to the evidence, listen to the law as the judge instructs you and use your common sense and if you do those three things i am confident you will find the defendant guilty as charged. that was this an opening night gave for all 12 cases are tried as united states attorney. summer longer and some were shorter. now i am in the defense bar and i am thinking this is my real opportunity to be unleashed because i don't have to play by the same rules as government attorneys. it was a pro bono case. are misrepresenting somebody accused of selling crack in and hadn't.
7:47 am
matt hadn't. manhatt manhattan. you was not selling crack. he was using crack. i am not a huge seller. just a user. so i tried the moat defense. i told the client the assistant united states attorney will point at you during his opening statement. i suggested to him what happened to me in my first trial when i did that. i said a trial is an emotional thing and sometimes it is ok to let your emotions go when you are accused of something really bad. so the on -- just like i did several years before walked over and got in his face and pointed at him and he cried on cue. put his head down on the desk and started bawling his eyes out. it was great.
7:48 am
the jury looked at him in sympathy and when it came time for my opening on did not point at him. are stood behind him and put my hand on his shoulders. this man is up for any less crack addict. and i went into my opening statement. i did not get the evidence will show or the heavens will show. i gave what i thought was a pretty good opening statement. i left the lectern. i left my notes and pretty much on autopilot which you should not do. when i went on auto pilot i gave a great opening and i am not making this a. as the ladies and gentlemen, in conclusion i want you to do three things. i want you to listen to the evidence, listen to the law as the judge instructs and use your common sense and if you use your common sense you will find the defendant guilty. [laughter]
7:49 am
the court reporter was saying not guilty. that was my career in the criminal defense bar. someone once told me at some point in the history of the department of defense, perhaps it was my predecessor who is sitting here. the job of general tells a was a relatively sleepy one. in fact i came to the job with the belief based on prior experience that an agency general counsel should rarely if ever be publicly seen or heard but when i returned to the pentagon in february of 2009 after having been a way for eight years i found a very different place. the office of general counsel of the defense department particularly in the post 9/11 world is in the middle of many
7:50 am
difficult front-page issues. guantanamo bay, military commission, operations in libya, legal condor's of counterterrorism efforts, don't ask don't tell, bradley manning, state secrets, google search my name and you will find a number of hits about the controversy i stirred when i sent a letter to congress stating dod's opposition to a bill to rename the department of the navy the department of the navy and marine corps. on a regular basis now when i read the newspaper in the morning i discovery store and op-ed with a public account of private legal advice are supposedly offered in internal government deliberations. particularly as i look around this room and see all of the distinguished visitors and journalists i find that some people are actually interested in what the general counsel of the department of defense has to say.
7:51 am
therefore, policy and politics aside, in every opportunity i have before civilian audiences such as this i devote part of my remarks to paying tribute to the sacrifices and dedication of men and women in the u.s. military. it is the case that less than 1% of the population does the fighting for all of the rest of us. these remarkable men and women in the post 9/11 military have volunteered out of a sense of public service, patriotism and selfless duty to a larger cause. each time i read a list of those who paid the ultimate price the most painful thing for me to read are the ages. 20, 21, 22 for example. not much older than my own teenage son. these young people gave their lives for their country before they ever had a chance to know what life was about. many will never know the joy of
7:52 am
marriage, parenting a son or daughter and so many other experiences that a full life has to offer. then there are those who survive their injuries and must struggle on without an arm or leg or something else the rest of us take for granted. navy lt. brad snyder is the nephew of one of my deputies. he was a member of an explosives ordnance disposal team in afghanistan. on september 7th, lieutenants not it went into a mine area to declare safe passage for a medic trying to get to others who had been wounded in action. an explosive exploded in his face severely injuring him and taking his eyesight probably for the rest of his life. despite his injuries and the loss of his sight lieutenants not refused a stretcher and managed to guide the back to those who were wounded. one of the most remarkable
7:53 am
things about those seriously wounded in action is the powerful sense of unit cohesion and dedication they retain even after they are injured and taken out of a fight. within hours they express an impatient desire to rejoin their bodies and their unit and continue service. i will never forget the amputee in bethesda who asked me do you think this will affect my ability to get a command? when lt. snider learned the secretary of defense was about to visit him, he said to his mother i need to get out of bed and stand at attention but i have no pants. for their sacrifice on behalf of the rest of us and their dedication to our country polls indicate the u.s. military is the most respected and revered institution in america today. i am convinced that one of the
7:54 am
other reasons our military is so revered and respected is for all its power, we place sharp limits on the military's ability to intrude into the civilian life and affairs of our democracy. this was a core american chao liu that is part of our heritage dating back to before the founding of our country. the declaration of independence listed among our grievances against the king the fact that he kept among us in times of peace standing armies without the consent of our legislators and headquartered large bodies of armed troops among us. this value is reflected in the federalist papers and the father of our constitution, james madison, wrote a standing military force with an overgrown executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. the means of defense against
7:55 am
foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. discord value and this heritage is today reflected in such places as the third amendment which prohibits peacetime quarter of soldiers in private homes without consent and in the 1878 federal criminal statute still on the books today which prohibit willfully using the military as -- unless expressly authorized by congress or the constitution. this brings me to the point of my remarks today. there is danger in overmilitarizing our approach to al qaeda and its affiliates. there is risk in permitting and expecting the u.s. military to extend its powerful reach into traditional areas could a clear reserve for civilian law enforcement in this country.
7:56 am
against an unconventional non state actor that does not play by the rules, operates in secret, observes no geographic boundaries, constantly morphs and metastasizes and continues to look for opportunities to export terrorism to our homeland we must use every tool at our disposal. the military should not and cannot be the only answer. recent events remind us broad assertions of military power can provoke controversy and invite challenge. overreaching with military power can result in litigation in which the courts intrude further and further into our affairs and can result in national security setbacks, not gains. a point best illustrated by the question donald rumsfeld once asked my predecessor. am i going to go down in history as the only secretary of defense to have lost the case to a
7:57 am
terrorist? particularly when we attempt to extend the reach of the military on to u.s. soil the courts resist, consistent core values and our heritage. we have worked to make military detention in particular less controversial, not more. the overall goal should be to build a counterterrorism framework that is legally sustainable and credible and that preserves every lawful full and authority at our disposal. this is meant as the president's counterterrorism adviser john brennan said recently, approach that is, quote, pragmatic leaders will neither wholesale overall nor retention of past practices. to build that less controversial, more credible and sustainable legal framework we have in the last several years accomplished the following -- we have applied the standards of the army field manual will
7:58 am
interrogations conducted by the federal government in the context of armed conflict. where appropriate in the context of terrorist activity we have invoked the public safety exception to the miranda rule created by the supreme court assuring the opportunity to gather valuable intelligence is fully utilized. at the same time preserving the prosecution option. we have worked with congress to bring about a number of reforms reflected in the military commission act of 2009 and following that we issued a new manual for military commission the use of statement obtained by cool, in human and degrading treatment which was once the most controversial aspect of military commissions is prohibited. we have accomplished these reforms working with a bipartisan coalition in congress and with the full support of the jag leadership in the military.
7:59 am
we have appointed a highly respected former judge advocate general of the navy, bruce mcdonald to be the convening authority for military commissions, appointed a recognized military justice expert, marine colonel jeff caldwell to be the chief defense counsel for commissions. and this month appointed brigadier general mark martin, west point valedictorian, harvard law school graduate and -- to the chief prosecutor. we are recruiting the a team and reform the rules for press access to military commission proceeding. established a new public web site for the commission system and in general built what i believe is a credible sustainable and more transparent system. in the habeas litigation brought by guantanamo detainees lawyers in the department of justice and department of defense worked hard to build credibility with the courts by conducting a
8:00 am
thorough scrub of the evidence and intelligence before we put forward our cases for attention in the courts. ..
8:01 am
>> second, just as we brought justice to the menu ordered the attacks on 9/11, we seek to bring to justice and the other alleged planners planners of 9/11. in reform of military commissions. new charges have been referred to the case of the alleged call bomber, al-nashiri. third, the government is seeing consistent success in the habeas cases brought by guantánamo detainees. the courts have largely recognized and accepted our legal interpretation of our detention authority, and the government is now prevailed a district court level in more than 10 consecutive hate these cases brought by guantánamo detainees. we are seeing a similar could result in the d.c. circuit. in the d.c. circuit also the department of justice successfully defended against an effort to extend the habeas remedy to detainees held in afghanistan. fourth, to the interrogation of
8:02 am
those captured by the united states and our partners overseas we continue to collect the bible intelligence about al qaeda, its plans and its intentions. fifth, this administration, like its predecessors, continues to successfully prosecute terrorists in our federal civilian courts. as a former federal prosecutor, i know firsthand the strength, security and effectiveness of our federal court system. and here i know he agrees with me on this point. given the reforms since 9/11 the federal court system is even more effective, and as a result of lengthy and mandatory minimum prison sentences authorized by congress and the federal sentencing guideline, those convicted of terrorism related offenses often takes decades, if not life, in prison. the results speak for themselves. since 9/11, numerous individuals
8:03 am
have been convicted of terrorism related offenses. in the last two years alone we have seen in our federal courts a guilty plea from the man who admitted plotting to bomb the new york subway system, a guilty plea from the man who tried to bomb the commercial aircraft over detroit, on christmas day 2009, a life sentence imposed on the individual who attempted to detonate a bomb in times square, and a life sentence imposed for participation in the 1998 bombing of our embassies in kenya and tanzania. going back decades, the department of justice has successfully prosecuted hundreds of terrorism related cases. despite our successes, we know that the fight is not over. we know there is still great danger, though degraded and on the run we know that in the post-bin laden period, al qaeda and its affiliates still remain determined to conduct terrorist attacks against the united
8:04 am
states. we know also that while al qaeda's core is degraded, it is a far more decentralized organization than it was 10 years ago and relies on affiliates to carry out its terrorist aims. we know al qaeda is likely to continue to metastasize, and to try to recruit affiliates to its cause. these terrorist threats are increasingly complex, multifaceted, and to fight pc labeling and categorization. just within the last several months, we have seen terrorists who in my judgment claim affiliation to more than one terrorist organization, belong to one terrorist organization and serve as a conduit to another, fit within our military detention authority, but not our military commissions jurisdiction. it within our military commissions jurisdiction but not within the military detention authority stemming from the 2001 authorization to use military force, and fit within neither
8:05 am
our military detention authority nor our commissions jurisdiction but can be prosecuted in our federal civilian courts. on top of all this, al qaeda's concerted efforts to recruit via the internet with a reach into the united states, over and over again we see individuals within the united states the self radicalize and to find vindication for their hatred toward america in al qaeda's ideology and propaganda. in dealing with this category of people who are here in the united states, who have never trained at an al qaeda camp in afghanistan or never sworn to an al qaeda leader, we must guard against any impulse to label that person part of the can congressionally declared enemy, to be dealt with by military force. there is no jurisdiction to try u.s. citizens in military commissions, and our prior
8:06 am
efforts in this conflict to put into military detention those arrested on u.s. soil led to protracted litigation which the government narrowly prevailed in the federal appellate courts. as i said before, the military cannot always be the first and only answer. this is contrary to our heritage, and in the long run will undermine our overall counterterrorism efforts. and respond to threats and acts of terrorism we must build a legally sustainable arsenal, and have all the legally available tools in the arsenal, whether it is lethal force against a valid military objective, military detention, interrogation, supporting the counterterrorism efforts of other nations, or prosecution in federal court, or by military commission. against this backdrop we confront the series of laws and pending legislation concerning detainees that limit the executive branches and the
8:07 am
military's counterterrorism options. comp to our efforts to achieve continued success, and will make military detention more controversial, not less. here are some specific examples. section 1032 of the 2011 defense authorization act prohibits the use of defense department funds to transfer any guantánamo detainee to the united states for any conceivable purpose. no waivers or exceptions. including federal prosecution, or to be a cooperating witness in a federal prosecution. given the lengthy prison sentences mandated by title 18, and the federal sentencing guidelines, and the range of offenses available for prosecution under title 18, there are some instances in which it is simply preferable and more effective to prosecute an individual in our federal civilian courts. section 1033 of the same law
8:08 am
requires that before the government can transfer a guantánamo detainee to a foreign country, my client, the secretary of defense, must personally certify to the congress certain things about the detainee and the transferee country. unless there is a court order directing the detainees released. after living with this requirement now for almost a year, i will tell you that it is onerous and near impossible to satisfy. not one guantánamo detainee has been certified for transfer since this legal restriction has been imposed. rigid certification requirements reduce our ability to pursue the best options for national security in an evolving world situation, and intrude upon the executive branch's traditional ability to conduct foreign policy. in this case, to determine when sending a detainee to another country for prosecution or
8:09 am
reintegration with better serve our national security and foreign policy interest. our nation is not the only one on earth i can deal effectively with this issue. the other potential consequence of such a rigid certification requirement is that it can sympathize the executive branch to lead to the courts the hard work of determining who can and should remain at one time a. we want the courts less involved in this business, not more. certain legislative proposals for the 2012 defense authorization act are equally problematic. section 1039 of the house version of the bill prohibits the use of defense department funds to transfer to the united states any non-us citizen, the military captured anywhere in the world, as part of the conflict against al qaeda and its affiliates. no waivers, no exceptions. within the national security community of the executive
8:10 am
branch, we have determined that such an unqualified across the board and is not in the best interest of national security. suppose the military captures a dangerous terrorist and doubts arise about our detention authority overseas, suppose the military captures an individual who, it turns out, would be vital as the quantity witness in a terrorism prosecution in the united states. must the option to bring these individuals to a civilian court room in the united states be prohibited by law? likewise, section 1046 of the house bill imposes an across the board requirement that if military commissions jurisdiction exists, the prosecutor -- to prosecute an individual we must use commissions for the prosecution of a broad range of terrorist acts. decisions about the most appropriate form in which to prosecute a terrorist should be
8:11 am
left case-by-case to prosecutors and national security professionals. the considerations that go into those decisions include the offenses available in both systems for prosecuting a particular course of conduct. the weight in nature of the evidence, and a likely prison sentence that would result in there, if there is a conviction, a flat legislative ban on the use of one system, whether it is a commissions system or the civilian courts in favor of the other is not the answer. section 1036 of the house bill rewrites the periodic review process. the president's national security team carefully crafted for guantanamo detainees designated for more detention. the proposed congressional rewrite mandates use of military review panels contrary to our best judgment. our experience shows that interagency review is valuable
8:12 am
and preferred to take advantage of the expertise and perspectives across the national security community in our government. finally, section 1032 of the senate version of the 2012 defense authorization bill includes what has come to be known as a mandatory military custody provision. basically it requires that certain members of al qaeda or its affiliates quote, be held in military custody pending disposition under the law of war. unless the secretary of defense in writing agrees to give him up. for starters, the trigger for this requirement is unclear. some of my friends on the hill say that the provision is intended to apply only to those who have been captured in the course of hostilities, quote unquote. read literally, the provision extends individuals where ever they are taken into custody are brought under the control of the united states. will fit within our definition
8:13 am
of an enemy combatant and the conflict against al qaeda and its affiliates. including those arrested in the u.s. by first responders and law enforcement. this would include an individual who, in the midst of an interrogation, by an fbi or a tsa officer at an airport, admits he is part of al qaeda. must the agent stop a very revealing and productive interrogation and to call the army to take him away? on top of all that, the provision adds that the individual must be a member or part of al qaeda, or an affiliated entity. while we use the phrase al qaeda and its affiliates publicly, to describe the contours of the conflict in nonlegal terms, the term affiliated entity has no accepted legal meaning and destiny been tested in court. likewise, the phrase in the bill, a participant quote a participant in the course of
8:14 am
planning for carrying out an attack against the united states, integral, has never been tested in court. for this in future administrations, we will oppose efforts to make military detention more controversial and restrict the executive branches of flexibility pursue our counterterrorism mission. the executive branch, regardless of the administration of power, needs the flexibility case-by-case to make well-informed decisions about the best way to capture, detain, and bring to justice perspective tears. the conflict against al qaeda is complex and multifaceted. congress must be careful not to micromanage, complicate and impose across the board limits on our options. both the congress and the executive branch must be careful not to impose rules that make military detention more controversial, not less.
8:15 am
i have spoken today about ways to legally solidify and improved armed conflict, not into it. they should not be the natural order of things. but war is sometimes necessary to secure peace. you heard me describe the tragic but heroic story of a young naval officer lost his eyesight to an ied. martin luther king, the man for whom we dedicated a memorial on sunday, said that in the end and i for an eye leaves everybody blind. no matter how much longer this conflict will go on, we should all continue to believe that the arc of the human experts on earth is long but it bends towards peace. thank you all very much for being here. thank you for listening. [applause] >> thank you, jay, for that
8:16 am
thorough and understandable speech. i'm going to ask, take the prerogative as the host to ask the first question. i know many of you have questions, but my question stems from a paper that was just published at heritage that i authored called commonsense principles for detainee policy. which is available outside are available on the web at we also believe that the mandatory military custody provision as you and i have discussed is very problematic in practice, and that the executive, who are the executive is, should have all tools available to him or her in the fight against terrorist organizations and affiliated organizations like the ones at hand. wanting recover in our paper that you didn't touch on, and i'll put this question to you
8:17 am
is, there is a proposal, there are proposals on the hill regarding reaffirming, and perhaps some would say extending, the authorization for use of military force which was passed on september 18, 2001. and coaches been a little time with us, giving us your thoughts on that topic, whether it makes sense, how it works or doesn't work in practice? >> i have a couple thoughts about that. there is in the house authorization bill a provision to essentially renew the au mf from 2001 and make express reference, as i recall, the bill, the taliban, al qaeda and associated forces.
8:18 am
the senate version of the defense authorization bill renews the aumf in the respect of detention only, not to imply, in other words, where it's not viable in other respects. at the senate bill makes an express reference to the detention authority. i was asked about this in march by the house armed services committee, and i testified then and continue to believe that the authorities we have had in the department of defense are adequate, given our interpretation of those authorities to address the threats that i've had occasion to evaluate. i think that's almost exactly what i said, word for word.
8:19 am
now having said that, i do think that, i think the provision, particularly the house provision, have become very controversial. there's a lot of debate about the house provision on house floor, when it came to the house floor as part of the authorization bill. and a lot of people in debate interpreted that language as an effort somehow to prolong the operations in afghanistan. that frankly is not my, it's not, it's not an effort to make some sort of global war on terror in definite. and in that respect i think that the political debate has come somewhat overheated. my understanding of the intent of the draft of the provision
8:20 am
was to more or less codify what they believe to be our existing interpretation of our authorities. now, i think the reason that we in this administration have concerns about efforts to do that is because at the end of the political process, what i don't want to end up with is something less than what we thought we already had by way of legal authorities, through the authorities on the books and our interpretation of our authorities that are on the books. and in the detention context as i said earlier, the courts have largely accepted our interpretation. so at the end of this process, at the end of this legislative season, and i've been very plain about this with those involved in this, we don't want to end up with less than what we thought we already had. so, i'm sure that, you know, this will work its way through
8:21 am
once the authorization bill gets to the senate floor, once they get to conference, but those are my thoughts. >> all right. we have received a couple questions via twitter, but i want to honor the people who actually live here. and then go to the tweeters. the gentleman in the back -- i'm colorblind. is that a red tie? for all questions please identify yourself, your organization and then actually pose a question to the general council. >> my name is raman martinez, i'm an attorney, and thank you, mr. johnson, for coming here. my question is about a slightly different topic, which is the administration's views and your thoughts on the targeting of u.s. citizens who are participating in the conflict against us. using drones or other legal
8:22 am
means. wonder if you could share your thoughts on that and explain your views and the administration's views on that subject? >> nice to see you again. and let me know when you're ready to leave private practice. anyway,. >> is that a job offer? >> not quite. in general, and the courts have said this, supreme court has said this, those who are part of the congressionally declared enemy do not have immunity if they are u.s. citizens. as i'm sure you know, in the query? no, 90 for two i believe it was, and much more recently, 2004,
8:23 am
the courts essentially endorsed detention in the case, of someone who was a u.s. citizen. there are special consideratio considerations. i believe when it comes to u.s. citizens, and particular care, that should be taken, if we encounter somebody who has u.s. citizenship, i am satisfied that the military is conducting itself in full compliance with the domestic legal authorities, and international law. >> and i believe, by the way, i believe that at some point we will probably have more to say
8:24 am
on the topic. >> while you are standing, jeh, why don't you let us in, since no one is watching, on this little tip between you and, alleged to have become in a newspaper between you and the state department lawyer, harold koh, on this topic. >> well, i think, frankly, that the so-called tiff between harold and myself is largely exaggerated. journalists like to find controversy, difference of opinion within the executive branch. and, frankly, and i'm sure harold would agree it's really exaggerated. the particular context that you are referring to, i think harold and i both agree that when it
8:25 am
comes to al qaeda, and the concept of associated forces, a group can become an associate force provided that there are two things. one, sufficient contacts, connections, and affiliations with the core group. and number two, and element of co-belligerency with the core group in the fight against the united states and its coalition partners. and harold and i both agree on that proposition. so frankly, i do think that the supposed disagreement is exaggerated. on the other hand, you know, if lawyers agree on everything within the executive branch, within the federal government, then maybe we're not thinking hard about the subjects.
8:26 am
having a robust debate to get to the right answers. and i know from sitting around my conference table, i want disagreement and debate within the office of general counsel. there are one or two lawyers who typically come down on one side and a couple more that typically come down on the other side, and they state their views and stake out their positions. and i ask for their legal support for the positions. and we get to what i believe is a healthy, sustainable conclusion. it's when you don't have those discussions angel labs into groupthink that i think can lead to dangerous results. >> year and reminds me of a question from a reporter who shall be nameless who is here in the audience today, on september 6, 2006, when we rolled out the dod direct on detainees and it included --
8:27 am
this reporter, male or the know, said i understand it was actually a debate in the admin section of the whether to include this. and my response was yeah, there was. there was a robust debate. at the end of the day it was better for the system than that. all right, in the front. >> thanks. how are you? you take sharp issue, and i certainly agree with your criticisms of various legislative provisions. but you also describe the objectives of the administration as a stable, legally sustainable legal framework. and presumably the role of congress and the development of that framework is not zero. so my question is, if congress wanted to be constructive in helping to build that framework, what is the positive agenda that
8:28 am
it should be thinking about, rather than these lists of restrictions on things that you guys think you should have flexibility on? >> well, first of all, congress has an oversight role. and i believe in that oversight role, so i am on a regular basis meeting with the council for the house and senate armed services committee, talking to them about what we are doing, my latest interpretation of our legal authority and so forth. because i want him to know how we are applying the authorities that they have given us. and i believe strongly in congress' oversight role. i hope that the congress would consider working with us to help us build that sustainable framework, and the perfect example of that was the military
8:29 am
commission act of 2009. we had the oh sick act. where the supreme court decision followed. there's a fair amount of controversy and debate in the run up to the '06 law, and when i came into office we started thinking about ways to reform the system, and right at about the same time my colleagues on the hill and the house and senate armed services committee were thinking along the same lines, and we worked together on a bipartisan basis. there is still some bipartisanship that occurs on the hill i find. there's a fair amount of it around the armed services committee. and so i generally work with democrats and republicans, in both committees. and that was an effort to help sustain and solidify our legal authority for reform military commissions in a way that we all
8:30 am
believe was more sustainable, more credible, took out some of the more controversial aspects of the '06 law. so to me that is a good example. i think, as i said in my prepared remarks, that we have to be careful that congress not try to micromanage, not legislate certain options, be taken off the table completely, because the future can be uncertain. and, you know, things can go in unanticipated directions. so hopefully that answers your question, ben. >> you did a good job, sort of answering the question. perhaps others will press you. let me get, go first to kate and then to julian, if you still have your question. >> kate martin. thank you, mr. johnson that and actually as a follow-up, somewhat to the question, it
8:31 am
seems to me that the administration has been very clear that you are authority to use military force both in the targeting contact and the authority to detain people, militarily, is tied to the military force, a position which we appreciate. and i also understand that the administration's position that you have the authority you need to go after new associated groups, at least like al qaeda and the arabian peninsula. and i would assume that the legal analysis says that with the deployment of u.s. military force comes targeting authority and law of war, detention authority. so my question is, not as a matter of legal requirement but as a matter of constitutional good practice, doesn't make
8:32 am
sense 10 years later to go back to congress and say, yes, you had in mind invading afghanistan, since then the war has bled over to pakistan. now, we need to exercise, use our military assets against aqap which was not in existence at the time, and we want specific congressional authorization to use military force there, and with that will go a lot of wars, detention authority, targeting authority, et cetera. and should there be a another such that the administration again returns to congress and tells congress the contours of the authority that it needs, rather than bring it up and sing you can have a for the whole world whenever you want. >> okay. a couple of things. one, what i said was that i thought that our authorities were adequate to address the
8:33 am
threats i've had occasion to evaluate. that's one. and without getting into specific groups, the concern that we have is that the congressional legislative process is a sausage making process. we have two competing versions of that effort in the house and senate right now that looks very, very different from one another. and so, i become very nervous when congress decided to undertake, to rewrite the authorities that i believe i have now, and i do not know how it's going to look into the end of this process. if in the abstract i can be king of the legislative branch and i can write my own laws, but i can't, this is not a monarchy, then i would take more comfort
8:34 am
in the principle that you have articulated. but, you know, in the pending legislation now along these lines that are new concepts built in, captured in the course of hostilities, for example, in the senate bill, which is a phrase that is not tested in court. and so, that is our concern. >> julian barnes. spent julian barnes, "wall street journal" and i, i may have been the reporter he was talking about there. my question is this, and it sort of follows along some of the queries we've had today, which is you've talked about the categorization problems you've had in recent days, that certain individuals might be covered by military commissions that they might not have the other laws for authority.
8:35 am
so that makes me think maybe there is a role for congress in clarifying that, but then you've also been critical of the use, affiliated entity and the legislation that's come before the congress. so one, how should congress clarify, clarify who you have jurisdiction over? and two, do you think, just for clarity, going forward do you believe that guantanamo could take another captured detainee or is that off the table now? >> let me answer the last question first. it is the firm policy of this administration not to add to the guantanamo population. the president pledged to close the guantanamo, and we continue to be committed to that goal.
8:36 am
so we do not intend to add to the guantanamo population. military commissions jurisdiction is different from detention authority. our detention authority for guantanamo detainees is the march 13, 2009 definition that i and others in this room helped to write. and that is somewhat different from the jurisdiction, and very different from jurisdiction to prosecute someone under title 18, united states code in courts. and so my remarks should not be interpreted as an invitation to expand military commissions jurisdiction or to in some way expand our detention authority. as i said before, i think that we have to be careful about expanding the role of the u.s. military in our society. i do believe that if an
8:37 am
individual doesn't fit within our detention authority or commissions jurisdiction, then we have to look seriously at whether that person, and we should and we have, lucas souza at whether that person can be prosecuted in a federal criminal court, which has a number of different ways to prosecute that individual for material support of terrorism, other acts that result in very, very, very lengthy prison sentences. i used to think that when i was a prosecutor, narcotics prison sentences were long, that they pale in comparison to what the federal sentencing guidelines and the federal law calls for when it comes to acts of terrorism. so, that's it. >> this'll be a quick question. we have time for one more. this is a tweak from carol rosenberg at "the miami herald."
8:38 am
book, is the pentagon looking at charleston navy brig for can't justice proceedings? >> like i said, we remain committed to closing guantanamo. we have from time to time look at alternate locations, and so, that is involved, you know, over the last two and a half years looking here and there. and so, i think this probably about all i want to say. >> and it wouldn't surprise some in this room is the previous administration look at alternative. please identify yourself and ask your question. >> kate brennan. defense news. i wonder if you could comment on the lack of impact it would be if congress is unable to pass an
8:39 am
authorization bill for 2012? audit any areas that are particularly complicated by that? >> yes, that is a complication for us. they are our authorities, in fact, i'm looking at right now, that expired at the end of this fiscal year. authorization, not appropriations, that expired at the end of this fiscal year. they are extremely valuable to us, and what we are doing overseas, and unless the congress acts to pass a new authorization bill, or expressly deals with something in a new appropriations bill, or c.r., we have real problems here and so, you know, it is the case that every time congress, instead of passing a full year's appropriations bill, passes a
8:40 am
c.r., there are some authorities that get left behind and we have to scramble to figure out how to cope with. so, all of us hope that what we've seen over the last year or two does not become the norm. >> well, folks, i think we've had an excellent discussion. typically we give our speakers a heritage tied. i'm afraid if i gave jeh a heritage tied he might not be allowed in the white house and i want them to stay in his job. and so because general meese is not here but because he has written along with others the heritage guide to the constitution which is an excellent exposé on the constitution and the grace provisions, and i know jeh is a student, we provide you this and ask you to come back again. let's all give jeh a warm round of applause.
8:41 am
[applause] >> we are adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> it's just to me very obvious that with all the priorities we
8:42 am
have, we are all worthy, until further notice every decision the national government makes, every close call should be made in favor of economic growth, every tie should be broken in favor of growth of the private sector. >> he worked as an adviser in the reagan white house. omb director and george w. bush's administration and as governor of indiana, he admitted spending cuts to produce a billion dollar budget surplus. sunday night, mitch daniels on his new book, the economy and his decision to not run for president in 2012 at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. >> a leader of egypt's political demonstrations that led to the fall of hosni mubarak's government earlier this year spoke about his country's political transition at a forum in washington. ahmed maher is cofounder of the april 6 youth movement, an
8:43 am
organization of young egyptian activists that began as a group on facebook. the arab-american institute hosts this 50 minute event. >> welcome to the arab-american institute, established in 1985 we are a nonprofit organization committed to the civic and political, we represent the policy and community interest opportunity throughout the united states, through two primary areas of focus, campaigns and elections, and policy formulation and research on both the domestic and foreign policy fronts. in the aftermath of the arab spring americans began to look at the airport with newfound admiration. the use of tunisian and each that not only inspire change in their home countries, but here as well. as noted, the change we need is here i come. the revolution in our approach is how we do with the middle east. people throughout the world, the arab world are demanding increased freedom, including the
8:44 am
freedom to express their political will, they don't need us, they don't need our help in doing that. the egyptian and tunisian people demonstrate that clearly. what they do need from us is a better approach to our own policy. that is what our work has been about in the past few months, and that is what is informing our strategy going into 2012. and in aftermath of the arab spring have been a welcome addition to the debate of u.s. mideast policy. air people, their concerns, their aspirations are now part of the conversation. we are privileged to have with us today one of those arab voices. ahmed maher is cofounder of egypt's april 6 youth movement, a movement that began in the spring of 2008 as a facebook group supporting workers an international city in the delta. with more than 100,000 members on their facebook page, they called for a successful national strike on april 6. and together, they are credited for organizing the january 5
8:45 am
demonstrations that sparked the revolution in egypt. at the young age of 30, ahmed is also a civil engineer by training, is considered one of the elders of the popper youth movement in egypt and a member of the coalition revolutionary youth that is said to be responsible for the main protest in a tahrir square. and when the rest of the war was debating whether not this was a facebook revolution, a twitter revolution, it was ahmed and his colleagues went to explain to us that their use of social media, which was one part of the movement that they helped lead, weather was telling supporters to wear black on a certain day, whether it was calling for certain strikes on certain days, when handing out flyers for mass turnouts industry, they moved people from their computers to the streets. but more importantly they reached people who didn't have computers, facebook and twitter. ahmed was into them and taking this approach and he continues today as the protest key coordinator. our format will be very simple today. will hear directly from ahmed, then go to a question and
8:46 am
answer, and from what welcome your participation as part of our conversation. please join me in welcoming ahmed maher. [applause] >> i am very happy to be here, and i'm thanking the arab immigrant institute for the invitation. i think it's a good chance to talk with you and any formal meetings, in the formal meetings. so, i am going to share our idea with you and discussing about the future, and discussing also about what is american rules. they complain -- [inaudible] and the american youth, our brother.
8:47 am
so, we started as a youth activist in 2005 after establishing movement towards the movement in egypt, and towards the beginning struggle and against mubarak regime at the time. there were a few number of people, 100. the majority of, about three or 4000 a day of the elections. mubarak elections. after the parliament elections, we decreed our activities in egypt. and security was banned any activity in the street at that time. so we start to use social media. we start to use internet and blogs at that time, 2006.
8:48 am
there is no facebook. but we use the internet to reach more people, to organize our groups, to spreading our ideas. but the main aim of our speech or our message, to how to connect with the people industry, not the internet have internet. majority not have internet. the majority egyptians did not have national tv so we must find ways to reach people. internet. so we got the idea of strike in 2008, and idea from strike. we started experience of many countries, poland, romania,
8:49 am
georgia, ukraine, and, of course, serbia. you heard about -- [inaudible] we have a training and serbia to destroy egypt or something like that. but we started to study the expense of many countries for our behavior, to build structure inside our movement, using twitter, social media. and also find new ways to reach people, find new ways to escape from security, find new ways to send our message to the people in the streets. and we keep on demonstrating, keep flash mobs, keep thinking about new ways, new tools all three years. and we have new political movements, new youth movement.
8:50 am
in 2010 there was a campaign, they use groups at the time. and in 2010 also there is all facebook page. we have cooperated with them to organize many at that time. after elections in 2010 and after, and after many events, anger in the streets is increasing. so we work for that are happening. [inaudible] then we started to organize to the demonstration. in 30, december, 2010. and after revolution, the people know what is solution.
8:51 am
the people industry asking is, what is solution, how can we do? and we said, the moments we can start to make a demonstration in the street, and remove mubarak. tunisia handed us very much, that is the solution, like tunisia. [inaudible] the message, solution is tunisia, answer is tunisia. we depend on our expense to organize demonstrations. and we succeeded at that time, and also after muslim brotherhood joined us at that time. but we stay in tahrir square 18 days. we left the tahrir square and
8:52 am
started to share -- [inaudible] of course, the many problems after end of revolution, we also started to experience after revolution. experience in polling, the experience in ukraine and georgia, and, of course, serbia, our brothers in serbia. so we saw that anytime after revolution this many problems. many problems. and in egypt we have another group that we are not governing egypt. revolution not governing egypt. they have another project. i think they want to keep the power and they want to make a new regime, not like the old, but depending on security, depending on the same behavior of the mubarak regime.
8:53 am
they want to make needed change. so now we are organizing. but at all within a problem, we will spend maybe five, maybe seven years, and after that parliament, after the next parliament, after the next president i think we will gain the revolution. i think we will get a better life. so, i am optimistic, because there is a people, a youth in egypt. they can make anything to be sure from the future, to be sure the next country, freedom of speech, have social justice, equality, leadership.
8:54 am
those aren't the many demons and we are searching for that and we'll spend anything to reach that. so, now we are running for elections, and many activists acting about what is the role in that experience. are you want to transfer to party? are you ready for elections? and we said yes. it's very important, it's very porton if we have youth and parliament member. but the main job is not to be partitioned. because revolution isn't finished yet. we have another mission to be sure from our new country, our nude egypt. so we must keep pressure on staff of the next government, the next parliament.
8:55 am
maybe we will transform after many years, but now it's not our mission. so we have a project to create our first watchdog group in egypt, to be sure from next period, and we tried to do, we tried to send a message and spreading in the streets, and to change the mentality of the people. it's more important to make change, change mentality in the streets is our main job. so, i am very happy to be here, and i can accept any questions from you. >> if you could please identify yourself and ask a question. start here.
8:56 am
>> can you elaborate more on the watchdog, the new organization you're involved with? it's important to change the mentality, change the mindset of people in the streets, especially, i know it's very short before elections. i mean in the long run, maybe you have more chance to do something. >> as i said, it's very important if we haven't egypt come youth political party and young politicians. and also we must, there must be groups, just to make pressure to support any role will help the people in the streets, will help health insurance or social justice.
8:57 am
and we will stand against any low or anything. again, it's the people. any authority coming any government or any president. so we have now planning for supervising the next parliament, and make pressure on the next government. that's our rule and that is our next job. and the battle over the revolution isn't finished yet so we will continue are pressured to be sure from that. >> with democracy from egypt. i thank you for all that you have done with your colleagues and friends. what have you done regarding then accusing you? what have you done with all of these palooka problems so far, if you can help us understand?
8:58 am
thank you. >> in 15 -- [inaudible] we said they are very happy of our rules, and they consider us like children and they will help us to build a new country. and we have many meetings after that in march and april and may in june, the last meeting was in june. and least sent to the many projects, the map, degrees. and they take are planning, our project and said okay, we will see an discussing. but in last july we organized
8:59 am
sick and in tahrir square. organized in tahrir square. we refused to finish the city and and kill we had change in the government in the machine. they may changes in the ministry. they made change in the meeting. so we refuse to live in tahrir square. and we found suddenly that we are asia for united states and take money from united states, and demonstrate on serbia. and we found, in newspaper,. [inaudible] used pictures. ..


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on