tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 9, 2013 8:00am-2:01pm EDT
>> host: commissioner rosenworcel, welcome to "the communicators." if you would, start by talking about some of the issues that you fore be see the fcc dealing with this coming fall. >> guest: okay. well, first of all, thank you for having me here on this show, and thank you also to c-span for the great public service work that you do and have done for decades. issues before the fcc, we have a lot of them. issues are diverse because in many ways the fcc oversees the digital economy, the information economy which by some measures accounts for as much as one-sixth of the economy itself. i think there are a few things we have going on of particular interest though. one of those is wireless communications. and you can look around at the proliferation of phones, and that's probably no surprise be that it's an area of real interest. but with you also have to consider some of the numbers. we now have more wireless phones
in this country than we have people. one in three american adults now has a tablet computer. all of those devices are using more of our airwaves than ever before, and we're just getting started because worldwide mobile data demand is going to grow 13 times in the next five years. so the fcc has a lot on its plate when it comes to our airwaves and how we use them. we have some traditional auctions on deck to put more of our airwaves in the hands of carriers who can make it available for mobile broadband, and we also have some new and innovative auctions called sniff auctions, putting -- incentive auctions to do even more things with mobile broadband. on top of that, we have traditional networks in the ground and the broadband beneath us is just important as the airwaves all around us. we have the ip transition which is really a conversation about what is the next generation of
infrastructure look like, and i think we're going to have to make some decisions and perhaps run some trials so that we can identify the best policies to both incentivize private investment and make sure that consumers get all the benefit from those new networks as they're deployed. on top of that, we are doing some really innovative things with broadband in schools. i'm really excited about that. finish the e-rate program is from the telecommunications act of 996 -- 1996 which was quite a while ago. we put the rules in place for that in 1998. i think in 1998 i was calling the internet the information superhighway, so the purpose of the e-rate program which is the nation's largest technology education program is to make sure we wire all the schools in this country to the internet. and by some measures we've done a great job are. when the program was put in place, we had just 14% of public schools connected to the
internet. now that number is probably above 95. so it looks like we're doing a good job, but i would say the issue thousand is not -- now is not connection, it's capacity. we need to make sure those connections are really high capacity for the broadband age. and in my office we spent some time looking at in this program and trying to understand it better, and we with realized that of the connections we have today, about half of our e-rate schools are connected at three megabits or less. three megabits or less is not a speed your going to use for the most innovative teaching tools, it's not a speed you can use to watch hi-definition streaming video, and i don't think it's a speed we can use to educate the next generation of s.t.e.m. entrepreneurs. and more than that, i think we should do something with this program because around the world a lot is happening when it comes to technology, broadband and education.
in south korea 100% of their schools are wired for broadband, and they're moving to all digital textbooks by 2016. in places like ecuador, every primary student has a laptop. in thailand they're moving towards a one tablet per student policy. so i think we can let other nations lead the way or make the choice to do more ourselves, and i think if we take the e-rate program which we already have authorization for from congress and we revamp it, reboot it, refocus it on capacity, we can do a lot to bring broadband to schools across the country. >> host: you've put a lot on the table, and joining our conversation is communications daily's executive senior editor, howard buskirk. >> commissioner, you mentioned two big issues that i think there's a lot of fcc watchers believe will dominate the commission over the next year, so the first was the incentive auction, and i'm just wondering from your perspective how far
along do you think planning is, what are the pressure points, what are the concerns about the auction going forward? because the goal has been to do one in 2014, but that is starting to look like it could be difficult. >> guest: well, i'll say for starters that i'm confident that i can be ready to do these auctions in 2014. i actually have some confidence in the agency's ability to do so too. that's because when you look at the record that we have when it comes to incentive auctions and auction policy generally, i think it's pretty tremendous. be about two decades the fcc has had authority to hold spectrum auctions, and we've held 80 auctions. we've issued more than 36,000 licenses, and we've raised more than $50 billion for the united states treasury. i think as my kids would say that's not too shabby, so i think we have tremendous experts who know how to work with auctions and come up with good policies, and i think that we can move ahead and get these auctions done by the end of
2014. >> we're waiting for the senate to confirm tom wealer and michael reilly -- wheeler and michael reilly as chairman and commissioner respectively. if that a process takes a while, could that complicate having a 2014 incentive auction? >> well, i hope it doesn't take a while, but i would say that time marchs on and technology is advancing. >> then on e-rate, that's another issue that i understand could get a lot of congressional attention, and there's a lot of concern among congressional republicans about expanding the e-rate program. do you see that as sort of blowing up into a big fight as the fcc takes a closer look at expanding the e-rate program over the next year? >> no, i don't think so. i don't think education or infrastructure issues are partisan. and if you look back at the e-rate program, it was, of course, as i mentioned earlier part of the telecommunications
act of 1996, but it was something that was developed in a bipartisan way by senator rockefeller and senator snowe and then-congressman, now-senator markey. so i think it has a strong record of support, and i think that'll continue in the future. >> just one final question on that. but i think the concern for some republicans, this sort of touches on the issue of expanding government and broader political issues this washington, and so i think there's some concern that some of them will really zero in on it because of the fact that, you know, they feel like it touches on a lot of issues that are of concern to them on a broader level. >> i think the e-rate program has always been about national support but local control. just like our schools. so i think that there is a lot of opportunity there to do good things, and i think that the more people learn about it, i think the more interested they'll be. and i'll add that it will have a really good effect on our markets, because we could leave to every school and local
jurisdiction the task of how to get really high-speed be broadband, or we could do it at scale and take advantage of consortium and bulk buying and bring everyone up to the same baseline. if we bring everyone up to the same baseline, what i'd like to see is 100 megabits to every school by the 2015 school year and a gigabit by the end of the decade. what i'd like to call is dream likely and dream big. but if we do that and we make that capacity available nationwide, we're going to send a signal to markets, to device manufacturers, to content creators who are going to participate in creating more content and more technology for our schools. and i think over time those devices and that new content will fall within traditional textbook-buying budgets. >> host: commissioner rosenworcel, if i could follow up on one of howard's questions, should there be set asides, in your view, for smaller
companies, or should it be a wide open auction? >> guest: i think we have had for the last ten years a policy about spectrum holdings that has not been a cap, but a screen. and we started a proceeding late last year to go and revisit that and take another look at that. i think that's a good thing to do, and i think that after more than a decade it's time. it's my hope in the upcoming auctions that we will, first and foremost be, follow the law. the communications act requires us to make sure that we think about economic opportunity and competition when we develop our auction. the middle class tax relief and job creation act tells us that when we p develop those auctions, we need to make sure everyone can participate, that we should have rules of general amix about. it's my hope we'll have new opportunities for incumbents and new entrants alike. in the end, no, i don't think a single carrier can walk away with all the spectrum we auction. >> host: also wanted to follow
up on the question about the two nominees, potential nominee michael o'reilly. he also comes from the senate, senate staffer, as you did. do you know mr. o'reilly, and knowing what you know about the senate, do you think the -- it will proceed quickly to get mr. wheeler and mr. o'reilly onboard? >> guest: i know mr. o'reilly a little bit. i look forward to working with him. knowing what i know about the senate, i did spend five years working on capitol hill with great privilege, but what i learned is the senate moves when the senate moves, and i think it'll be up to the good men and women of that body to decide when they confirm the two nominees. >> host: howard buskirk. >> let me ask a follow-up question. you mentioned spectrum aggregation and that you, that no carrier should be able to buy all the spectrum. so do you foresee the fcc imposing some kind of
restrictions that would keep the two dominant carriers, at&t and verizon wireless -- two largest, i guess i should say -- from buying most of spectrum. >> guest: like i said, i think everyone should have an opportunity to participate, and there should be opportunities for the incumbentses and the small carriers alike. there are several proposals we have before us about that right now, and my office is looking at hem. >> and another complaint that small carriers have had is that they would like to have the spectrum sold in smaller slices rather than the economic areas. is that something you're looking at right now as an issue? some of them are saying they won't participate in the auction if the license sizes aren't small enough. >> guest: i think we're going to have to take a look, but i understand the simplicity of using economic areas. >> host: commissioner rosenworcel, two big announcements this week in the wireless world with verizon buying out vodafone and
microsoft buying the cell phone business of nokia. does the fcc have any role in those transactions? >> guest: well, i can't talk in specifics about any transactions before us or, frankly, that might be before us soon, but i can tell you that we are likely to have to take a look at the verizon and vodafone transfer, and it's my hope that we will do that swiftly. i think the issues associated with microsoft and nokia are different because it's the combination of a company that provides operating systems with a company that develops handsets which is an interesting issue that very much is affected by our wireless spectrum policies, but i don't believe squarely falls within our jurisdiction. >> host: what generally then is your philosophy in approaching a merger or a buyout like the verizon/vodafone? do you have a philosophy about how the market should operate? >> guest: well, i think what we
have is an obligation to act under the law, and the communications act tells the fcc to take a look at transfers of licenses for owe airwaves -- radio airwaves, what this involves. and we need to make sure this transfer represents the public convenience and necessity. so we look at the merger harms and the merger benefits. and then we try to assess them and make a decision swiftly and do it to the extent necessary in coordination with our colleagues at the department of justice. >> host: do you think that you would move forward with a three-member commission if mr. wheeler and mr. o'reilly are not onboard at that time? >> guest: that is a decision that is up to the acting chairwoman, but like i said before, i think time moves on. technology is moving at a polic. i don't think the regulatory process can slow. >> i wanted to ask you, you were on the senate staff that created this network for, a national
ferc for first responders -- network for first responders. how do things seem to be going so far towards or construction of that network, and do you have concerns? we're hearing a lot of concerns about whether there's going to be enough money to pay for it coming back from the auctions and just the difficulty of building a national network. just wanted to, you know, what do you see as being the hard parts? >> guest: well, let's start from the beginning. congress recognized that it had been more than a decade since the horror of 9/11 and many years since the watery devastation of hurricane katrina. it was just tragic that we didn't have a nationwide network for our first responders, so they took action. the middle class tax relief and job creation act of 2012. i think that's a terrific thing. i think it managed to take off the table one of the last remaining recommendations from the 9/11 commission. and what they did was they reserved in the 700 megahertz
band some really choice spectrum for first responders across the country. and then they assigned the first responder network authority with control for pulling this network together. this is not some new, uniquely-public network, it's an effort that is going to be built on public and private partnerships. nor is it strictly federal. it's going to be all about local control. i think it's taken a little time to get things together, but from what i see, i'm actually fairly positive. we're seeing a lot of really good developments. i think sam gin and phil tag steven know who are now running it, a lot of respect in the industry. we now have a $194 million budget for the next year and are planning some new hires. on top of that, they've already put out 30 different grants for state and local planning, and they've already made arrangements in california and new mexico to use the 700 megahertz spectrum for some of the recipients of recovery act money for public safety.
i think we're making a lot of progress, and i think there's more to come. >> so to you, it's no longer an open question if this network will be built, it's a matter of when then, would you say that? >> guest: yes, absolutely. >> okay. and you've also been very outspoken on the need to do -- what's the status of supposed to be a final report out on recommendations following last year's deretch cho storm which saw a lot of shutdown of 911. do you have the status of that report, and what would you like to see -- is there something more that the fcc should require of carriers to prevent those kinds of outages in the future? >> guest: well, let's start with the fact that it was a really big wind storm that happened in the mid atlantic a little over a year ago. it brought life in this area of the country to a halt. power outages everywhere and
communications failures as well. the most stunning communications tail yours came with our nation's -- failures came with our nation's 911 system. you want to know that you can call 911 what we found in the storm that there were 71 911 centers that went at least partially interoperable during the storm, and 17 of them in three states lost connectivity completely. so i called for an investigation and not only that, i went and did some myself. i visited one of the centers that went fully out in fairfax county, virginia, just down the road. and i'll never forget that visit. it's a great new center, one of the best public safety answering centers in the country. but the director of it described how during the middle of the storm the entire room went silent, and he said he knew instantly there was something wrong. and he was right. so in january the fcc staff did
a terrific job and did a thorough investigation, and what they found was a few things. they found that backup generators failed to work leading to system failures. they also found that a monitoring failed to work because of power problems. and they also found carriers did not notify 911 centers as swiftly or regularly as they should have. we did a rulemaking on issues like that back in march, and i really hope that we can bring that to some conclusion with an order soon, because i think there's some common sense things we can do to prevent this from happening again. >> so just to be clear, do you foresee that there will have to be some additional regulations imposed to try to keep the outages from happening in the future? >> guest: i absolutely think not just in this region of the country, but everywhere. this is an opportunity to put better practices in place to prevent this from happening again. >> host: you're watching "the communicators" on c-span, a
weekly show looking at telecommunications and some of the people behind it. this week fcc commissioner jessica rosenworcel is our guest, a democrat, and howard buskirk of "communications daily" is our guest reporter. commissioner rosenworcel, an issue that we've talked about for years here on "the communicators" is usf free formed. do you see any potential for actual reform in the usf? >> guest: universal service system is a cherished part of communications. it means that no be matter where you live in this country, you have an opportunity to have first rate communications, and it's been an important part of making that happen in rural america. now be, before i got to the agency, my colleagues actually embarked on a very significant reform project. they took the universal service system, and they migrated it from a testimony focuses on telephony to broadband and wireless services which are the
real infrastructure challenges of this generation. i think that's a terrific thing. they also increased accountability in the program, and they put it on a budget. that's all good. but i will also say that the program's gotten very complicated, and i think that makes it hard for shawl and rural carriers -- small and rural carriers to make decisions about investments in their networks. so going forward, i hope we can identify ways to make it more simple so that the carriers get the support they need to provide the communications that the they want to provide in our most rural and remote communities. >> host: so still a vital program? >> guest: absolutely. >> one thing the fcc habit looked at -- hasn't looked at is reforming the way the contribution, the way money is paid into the usf, and that could be controversial because of the fact that you'd have to expand the types of communications that were covered, and it would, could possibly be controversy with the high-tech community, and, you
know, it was talked about as an additional tax. do you see that as something that the fcc is anxious to wade many into -- into at this point? >> guest: well, i think it's an important issue and one we'll have to consider in time. universal service policy has two sides. the funds come in, and the funds are paid out to support communications services. the ways we collect funds today involve an assessment on interstate telecommunications services. which in plain english means your long distance service. i think there's an argument that the ways we're using our networks are changing over time, and the networks we're supporting are changing over time. so going into that conversation, i think it would be good for us to look at a connection space system that a doesn't distinguish between specific types of communications. but i'm open to other ideas and suggestions too. >> but won't that be very controversial especially with some of the high-tech community? >> guest: i'm not so sure. i don't know that it is a
prudent thing to do to continue to focus on discreet services. communications technologies are evolving so rapidly, the idea we focus only on a limited set of circumstances or uses or services over time might wind up limiting our ability to do good things with universal service. >> host: commissioner rosenworcel, you spent several years up in the senate as a staffer, legal adviser. what's it like to go from being on the staff to a front line position now? >> guest: well, i have spent some time working on these issues. i've been in the trenches this the agency, i've been up on capitol hill, and so coming to this job, some of these things were familiar be, but it's a tremendous privilege too. i think the communications economy is one of the most dynamic sectors in our economy, and i think it is a consummate privilege to have a front row seat at the agency. >> host: how'd you get involved in this area of work? >> guest: i worked for a private
law firm for some time, and i worked on the privatization of a state-run telephone company. which i just thought was incredibly interesting to try to identify how to make it more efficient, how to make markets more competitive. and from there i went on to work on some early broadband proceedings at the fcc, had an opportunity to work in a commissioner's office and then an opportunity to work for senator inouye, so i consider myself to be very fortunate. >> host: howard buskirk. >> wanted to ask you about the h block auction. it's an issue that you've been fairly outspoken on and that you would like to see a delay in that until that can be, the h block can be combined for others, with other spectrum for a larger auction. could you talk about that and why that, why you see that as an important issue? >> guest: sure. this one's sort of wonkish, so i'm going to start with the law. the middle class tax relief and job creation act directed the fcc to auction in a traditional
way 65 megahertz of spectrum. the law actually enumerated some of that spectrum, so that includes the 2155-2180 megahertz band known as aws spectrum. it also includes spectrum that's been identified by the department of commerce in the 1695-1710 megahertz ban. on top of that includes the h block at 1915-1920 megahertz and 1995-2000 megahertz. in addition, directs the fcc to auction another 15 megahertz of spectrum for which we are looking at 1755-1780 megahertz. now, beyond that the important thing to know is that this 65 megahertz under the law needs to be licensed by february 2015. so if you back away from that, you realize we need to auction it in 2014 to meet that
deadline. now, i think we should auction it all together, all 65 megahertz at once, and here's why. all of that spectrum i just described to you, if you look at it closely, it's within 500 megahertz of one another which means that it's good substitutes. so if a bidder finds they're not succeed anything one portion of the auction, they might look at another swath of airwaves. in addition, when you put 65 megahertz of spectrum to market, you attract a lot more bidders, a lot more interest than if you just attract what you would attract with just 10 megahertz of spectrum with the h block. and furthermore, i think more bidders means more interest, means more revenue, means that we can take the revenue and make a down payment towards first net and help our first responders early with more funds for their system, and the more funds we develop for their system, the more flexibility we'll have down the road when it comes to incentive auctions.
so i think that we should auction all 65 megahertz together. but it's not just me. i've found that some wall street analysts actual agree and an increasing part of our record in this proceeding also thinks it's >> it's prudent. >> so are you making progress contemplating delaying that auctionsome. >> guest: i hope so, because i think it's the best policy for first responders under the law. >> do you think it's possible that that auction could go a big part of the way toward paying for the firstnet so you don't have to, so that it won't require as much money from the incentive auction finish. >> guest: absolutely. absolutely. because what you want to make sure and do is attract a lot of bidders when you hold an auction. that's part of the, that's one of the fundamental things when it comes to the success of an auction. the more bidders we attract, the more revenue we can raise, and
the more revenue we raise with this auction, the more we'll be able to fund fistnet early. and if we do that, we'll have a lot more flexibility when it comes to offering the incentive auction down the road. >> host: commissioner rosenworcel, we've talked with members of congress recently about a couple of other issues, and i want to get your thoughts on them and whether or not the fcc has a role. cell phone unlacking and a la carte for cable. >> guest: okay. cell phone unlocking, it turns out that the librarian of congress is very powerful, because late last year the librarian decided that unlocking your cell phones was no longer legal under the digital millennium copyright act. now, frankly, that just doesn't make any be sense to me. i don't think you should go to jail if you want to unlock your cell phone. i think if you want to unlock your cell phone and you're not bound by some contract or obligation, you should be able to do so and go take it and use it on another network provider. so it's my hope that either
through updating the digital millennium copyright act or using the fcc to develop some kind of industry commitment we can make real changeses in that, because i think consumers should have the freedom to do that. a la carte is a perennial issue, and i think it look at this as both a regulator and a consumer. as a consumer, it's hard not to notice that your bills or your channel lineup go up at more than twice the rate of inflation nearly every year. it's also hard not to notice that i get lots and lots of channels that my family watches only a handful. at the same time, i know this is a system that has come to support some really great programming. but still i see that a la carte has some allure. i think over time the market is actually going to have to deliver more a la carte options to consumers. i think thai going to -- they're going to demand it because i think people are seeing screens all around them, and they want
to watch what they want to watch when they want to watch on any screen handy. >> host: howard buskirk, time for one more question. >> yeah, i wanted to ask about retransmission consent. there was an agreement between time warner cable and cws before the start of -- cbs before the start of the nfl season. do you foresee a lot more of these types of disputes, and in the end will this end up costing consumers? >> guest: that's a good question. the vast majority of retransmission consent negotiations, which are negotiations for carriage of broadcast stations on cable and satellite systems, they go on uneventfully. we never hear about them. but every now and again we do have these disputes, and when the disputes get heated, sometimes consumers will turn on the television set because they want to watch the news, game or their favorite show, and they'll find that they get a dark screen just like the consumers recently did in new york, los angeles and dallas.
that's not a good thing by any measure. we shouldn't want that to happen for extended periods of time. i think the consumers, honestly, deserved a refund if that happens for a long period of time, and i think if it happens for an extended period of time, the fcc should look at its good faith authority under the communications act and try to help to do something about it. you also asked do i think these are more frequently? i think the honest answer is that a their getting -- they're getting more attention right now because of the number of platforms we can use to watch video is expanding. and the issue of digital rights for programmers to access those different platforms is much more complicated than it used to be, but it's also really good for consumers, because you're no longer limited to just watching television sitting on your sofa in your living room. you have all these screens and all these new digital platforms around you where you can watch programming content. so i think that's one of the sources of making these disputes
so heated. >> >> host: and jessica rosenworcel is a new member of the fcc, howard buskirk is executive senior editor with "communications dalety." this has been "the communicators" on c-span. >> c-span, created by america's cable companies in 1979, brought to you as a public service by your television provider. >> next, the farewell ceremony for outgoing homeland security secretary janet napolitano. after that, a discussion on u.s. policy towards syria and iran. then a preview of the oral argument in verizon v. the fcc which will be heard today by the d.c. circuit court of appeals. >> trying to maintain family time and protect their privacy, divot roosevelt -- edith roosevelt purchased pine knot. >> edith sought a place for the
president close enough to d.c. that he could get out here but far enough away there was wilderness. in that sense, it was unique for the roosevelts because sagamore hill had been a hubbub of activity. this was the one place where it was private family time, and the roosevelts made it very clear they did not want anyone but family here. >> meet edith roosevelt as we begin season two of our original series, "first ladies: influence and image," looking at the public and private lives of the women who have served as first lady tonight live at 9 eastern on c-span and c-span3, also on c-span radio and c-span.org. >> on friday vice president joe biden was among those who paid tribute to outgoing homeland security secretary janet napolitano, endorsing her for the supreme court and praising
her leadership of the agency. other speakers including attorney general eric holder. janet napolitano is a former new mexico governor. she's been secretary for four and a half years, and she's leafing to become president of the university of california system. this is about 50 minutes. >> please welcome to the stage acting deputy secretary of homeland security, the attorney general of united states, eric holder, secretary of homeland security, janet napolitano, and vice president joseph r. biden. [applause] >> please welcome to the podium acting deputy secretary of homeland security, rand beers. more than -- >> good morning, everyone, and
welcome to all of you as we honor the service of secretary of homeland security janet napolitano. today secretary napolitano leaves the department can after four and a half years of unwavering commitment to not only this department, but the larger homeland security enterprise. as someone who's had the privilege to work with her over this time, i'm proud of the many accomplishments that she has brought to us. though she will be joining the university of california and raising the threat level in california as a refreshing driver moving to the bay area -- [laughter] i believe that her impact in the department -- that's the only joke i'm going to tell, secretary, i promise you. [laughter] i wouldn't -- [laughter] i believe that her impact on this department and on our nation's security will be lasting, will be significant and will live on for many years to come. quite simply, she has been an
extraordinary secretary. secretary napolitano answered the president's call to office in 2009 leaving her home state of arizona and a job that she dearly loved. she came to dhs with a keen understanding of the challenges facing the department and our nation from her years of service as governor, attorney general and u.s. attorney. beginning on her first formal day on the job, january 21, 2009, she made it a priority to build and strengthen the partnerships at all levels. the dhs -- understanding the dhs could not achieve its mission without bridges to people and communities including our many law enforcement partners. she reinforced our work to counter terrorist threats, supporting information sharing through state and local fusion centers and in the private sector, getting resources out to the front lines and forging strong partnerships abroad. she created and expanded the department's if you see something, say something campaign to enlist the public's
participation in fighting terrorism and reporting suspicious activities. secretary napolitano also understood the crucial importance of strong border security. she surged he is to havic levels -- historic levels of personnel, technology and infrastructure to the southwest border, and today illegal crossings are at a 40-year low. at the same time, she reprioritized our immigration enforcement, leading to the removal of a record number of serious criminals from the united states, and she stepped up efforts to combat transnational criminal organization toes and activity -- organizations and activity including the launching of the dhs-wide blue campaign to fight the scourge of human trafficking. she leveraged prosecutorial discretion and implemented the deferred action initiative to allow law-abiding young people brought illegally into the united states through no fault of their own to remain without fear of removal.
secretary napolitano also trent ped dramatically the d.'s commitment to cybersecurity and the ability to protect federal americas and work with the private sector. she launched new capabilities like the national cybersecurity and communications integration center to provide better awareness across the government and in the private sector. she helped fema restore itself to its rightful place a as the best disaster management agency in the world. and she embraced the whole community approach that we've seen at work in a record number of disasters including hurricane sandy last year. he pushed for enhancing aviation security at home and abroad by pushing for greater international cooperation and focusing on high-risk cargo and high-risk people. as secretary napolitano leaves the department behind, there will be a much better inte be grated and much more efficient one dhs leveraging the broad capabilities within the department toward a common goal of protecting our communities both before events and insuring
after they happen that the nation is prepared to respond as we need to. these are just a few of the many achievements during her period here, but what many of us will miss is the person, is being around a person with such great character, integrity, humility, optimism and humor. those morning intel meetings and the never ending quest for more information to help us do our jobs better, the concern for the safety of dh personnel in harm's way, the international travel to expand homeland security beyond the homeland, and the reminder, the constant reminder that citizens are as critical in the department can's mission -- department's mission as governments. these are just some of the themes that she reminded us of every day, and i will miss the opportunity to work together with you, secretary, to confront these challenges of the day and to generate solutions that once seemed unsolvable. you pushed the envelope, and you made the country safer. with you at the helm of this very large and complex
department, no problem seemed too great to hand and no decision too hard to make. you confronted those challenges head on with tremendous grace and skill and intelligence, and every day you inspired us to do our best because of the tremendous responsibility that we carry on behalf of the american people to create a safe, secure and resilient place where the american way of life can thrive. it's been a great honor for all of us here to call you our colleague these past four and a half years, and for me to also call you a great friend. we owe you a debt of gratitude for your service to this country, so thank you. so on behalf of the men and women of dhs, i would like to welcome you to this important event as we thank secretary napolitano for her service. before we hear our two honored guests and take a few moments -- let us take a few moments to honor our nation. please stand as the joint department of homeland security honor guard presents the colors, and remain standing for the national anthem sung by u.s.
good morning, distinguished guests, friends and colleagues. we have gathered here this morning to celebrate the work of and to send out from among us a most excellent american, an extraordinary public servant, secretary janet napolitano. before we do so, it is right and it is proper to set apart even for just a brief season a time to reflect on and be grateful for the simple and profound gift of this day. each of us has seen the light of many, many days. not one of them has been the same. ..
>> today will be about addiction, and ending with laurels. for others, it will be a salutation, a new beginning with opportunity. and some of us are just merely glad that it's friday. while others of us may face great challenges in which we know not the right way to turn. whatever your story, wherever
your station, there are shining possibilities that manifest themselves when you can find something, just something to be grateful for, and then say it out loud. there is another song written many years ago by a country preacher named amos. he wrote it on a stormy sunday morning near beaver valley pike and lancaster, pennsylvania. when he awoke to the howling winds, he scraped off ice off his kitchen window and saw the snow blowing sideways. is preaching duties would have to wait for another day. but even as he was prevented from doing what he loved to do, prevented from what is duties bound him to do, so moved was he by the very wonder of his breath on the frozen pain, that he penned these words, adapted here for today's celebration.
we offer with this morning a song of gratitude and praise, for the kind of mercy we have been shown in the lengthening of our days. love. it was love that kept us safe another night. we see another day, and now may love spirit as a light illuminate our way. >> please welcome the honorable eric h. holder, jr., attorney general for the united states. [applause] >> thank you. well good morning. it's a pleasure to join so many
friends, colleagues and testing push gas in thanking janet, secretary napolitano for many contributions over the last four and a half years but it's a pleasure to help celebrate the achievements, the stands and the commitment to excellence that defined her tenure at this wonderful institution. and it's an honor to congratulate such an exceptional leader, a dedicated public servant, and a good friend, for the beginning of an exciting new chapter in her career as she becomes the first woman ever to serve as the president of the university of california systems. i told her i have a daughter who is a rising senior in high school, you know, so -- [laughter] that's what i got from her. [laughter] looks like brooke is on her own. [laughter] now, for ascension to the position in california is remarkable a coachman in its own right but it represents only the latest barrier that secretary napolitano has over the course of a career in which my and
eagerness to take a new challenges and have a propensity to make history. as the first female attorney general in the history of the state of arizona, first being a governor to win reelection in that state, the first woman ever to lead this critical department, and high school graduate voted most likely to succeed in a class of 1975. [laughter] [applause] >> but who still has -- [inaudible] >> still not working. [laughter] you can see that janet napolitano has been marked for success and set apart our leadership abilities, for quite some time. from the day that president clinton asked her to serve as the united states attorney to the mogadishu sworn in as the secretary of homeland security, her passion for public service i
think is evident and her dedication to the safety of the american people, security of our nation, and the highest ideals of our justice system has been on constant display. for over four and a half years, secretary napolitano has been an essential member of the president's national security team. many of whom are here today. and a fierce advocate for the cause of justice. on many occasions i've had the privilege of working closely with her to foster cooperation and collaboration between the departments of justice and homeland security, and to strengthen america's counterterrorism structure from our fusion centers to the front lines. i have sat with her in the white house situation room and the oval office as our government has responded to horrific incidents like the boston marathon bombing. i have watched this agency and its many components provide assistance to those homes, businesses and lives that were impacted by the tornadoes and joplin, missouri, wreckage of hurricanes in the along the east
coast, and the deepwater horizon spill in the gulf of mexico. and i've been fortunate to stand with secretary napolitano in working to improve america's immigration system and ensure that our enforcement activities are consistent with who we are as a nation. with these and many other areas, it has been a sincere pleasure to tell her as a collie, but most of all as a friend. thanks to her steadfast partnership, particularly in recent years, doj and dhs officials have come together as never before to advance our fight against cyber crime, transnational organized crime, and child pornography. i am certain that the american people are safer and better off as a result of her emphasis on and her agility in the face of unpredictable threats. her commitment to innovation and developing effective response and strategies, and her vision in positioning the department of homeland security for the challenge of a new century.
now, since dhs was established just over a decade ago, as part of the largest government reorganization in half a century, it's a diverse and growing responsibilities have been defined and the future course determined by those who have led it. among this distinguished group, no one has had, i believe, greater impact as janet napolitano. so madam secretary, janet, i could not be more proud of what you've accomplished over the last four and half years, or more confident about the excellent work that you will do as the president of the university of the california system. your skill as a leader, your passion for mentoring and inspiring others, and your unique ability to build relationships and to foster engagement with those around you will serve you well as you help to train the new generation of leaders. i want to thank you once again for your service, for your hard work, and for your friendship over the many years i've known you. since we served together as u.s. attorneys in the 1990s.
i know i speak for the present and our colleagues throughout the administration when i say you will be doing this here in washington, d.c. and i wish you all the best as you embark on your new adventure. [applause] >> it is now my pleasure to introduce the vice president of the united states, the honorable joe biden. [applause] >> general, thank you. and members of the cabinet, the lights are brighter but i can pick out at least four of you out there. the entire national security team, the tsa is here. new york city, washington, d.c. are here, among others. and former heads of this outfit as well as all the staff and leadership of the department of
homeland security. governor, and i've always called her governor, because one of the reasons i think this job has been sewn to shrink this job has been done so incredibly well by jan is because she had been governor. and she understands, in my view, the needs and aspirations and frustrations of local enforcement. and having served as a chairman of the judiciary commission for years and years, it was one of the most difficult things to coordinate federal agencies and local law enforcement, whether drug enforcement or whether it's national security issues. and janet, i think the fact that the chief of police in the city of washington, d.c. here, and kelly of new york and many other local law enforcement officials are here, i think they would give testimony to the fact that you've done and extremely well job. and as stated by rand, you remind this department
consummately it's not the people of this department. it's the american people who have to be called in as part of providing financial security of the united states of america. so i start off with that point because i think it's one of the things that's made you so incredibly effective. and i can't tell you how much the president and i are going to miss you, and that is not hyperbole. you've done absolutely extraordinary job, and this is preaching to the choir. everyone in your nose the job you've done. my frustration, at the time i think about it, i wish, i wish the nation new had some insight into just the kind of job you do, and with our colleagues out there, all the times you have sat hundreds of hours, i would say to the directors brenda, we probably spent hundreds of hours in that situation room, and i wish the whole nation could understand just how incredible,
how incredibly brave people we have who have helped guide this nation safely for the last four and a half years. whether it's combating terrorism or combating cyber threats or keeping the homeland safe, you've been responsible for federal emergency responses to disasters, whether it's tornadoes ravaging the state of oklahoma or missouri, whether or not it's been a fertilizer plant blowing up and devastating an entire town, the boston marathon incidents, the hurricane sandy and the devastation that it visited upon the east coast. if that weren't enough, you took on the responsibility necessarily of strengthening the southwest border, but you can pretty well equipped as a former governor of arizona, and you did
everything from deploying advanced technology and new personnel, working closely with the mexican neighbors do you had a relationship with. and i might add, everyone of these national city folks can tell you, if you are trusted by your counterpart in another country, it means all love. everything goes more smoothly. -- it means a whole lot. you were combating international drug cartels, responsible for a whole range of things that it'll think people really understand fully fall within the preview of this department. and you've dealt with floods and hurricanes, oil spill, pandemics. i remember we were sitting in a meeting with secretary of agriculture, and you just had gotten through briefing us on a potential pandemic. and i said, well, i said, all we need now is locus.
and the secretary said, well, we have some coming in california. [laughter] so i remember that day. you remember that day come governor. don't you? so you've dealt with terrorist attacks, home-grown, home-grown extremists, and the thing about you, janet, is probably why everybody in high school recognize why you would succeed. my dad used to have an expression and said never let them see you sweat. never let them see you sweat, no matter how tough it is. your columnist, your equanimity, the way in which you move without flinching, you have a spine of steel, and it matters. it matters. it matters. because what it does, it builds confidence, it instills confidence in the people around you. and that is an incredible gift that you give to all the rest of
us. my guess is everyone who works with you which describe to the old saying is of the old saying, what i call america, my boss calls a job description. anyone who works for jenna, i suspect would subscribe to that assertion. [laughter] you know, that's your job. i've heard her say, that's your job. it's your job. it's a simple proposition. but it's a profound proposition. janet, you have elevated the status and competency, the capacity of this department. let's be frank. i with you, i've been here so darn long, i was here at the inception like a lot of you. this was a monumental undertaking to get up and running. each and every one of the directors has done a fine job because it's a brand-new. and gigantic, gigantic.
for the first time in our history, threats that did not emanate from nation states. you have had one of the hardest jobs of anyone in this country. i mean that. and you deliver day in and day out with skill and grace in this dimension and it matters, with humility. the nation is safer. it's not hyperbole. the nation is safer for your service. you know, the way you pull off your job, governor, you made it look easy. i kind of feel badly for your successors. [laughter] i kind of feel badly for your successor, but i feel that the state of california should be incredibly grateful. they have no idea what's coming. [laughter] they have no idea. [applause]
>> and woe the men who suggest some others not a single female student again to anything any male student cam do in that system. woe the man who suggest that. [laughter] eric, i'm with you. i've got two granddaughters coming along. [laughter] i'm kind of running out of all of my old college president friends have retired. [laughter] so, janet, i'm glad you slip into this slot. look, the truth of the matter is, there's not a whole lot of people we all work with that possess the range of leadership qualities and capabilities that janet possesses. and i've mentioned one other thing, and it was mentioned by rand. you have incredible character,
janet. that's why people trust you. you have character. you have character. eric has heard me say, my mom used to have the same, she would say, you are defined by your courage, and you're redeemed by your loyalty. everybody knows you possess both those qualities, courage, the courage to take a chance. the courage to risk being wrong because you are quite sure you have to do what you did in order to get it right. that's a quality that is on short supply. that's a quality that is badly needed. you really, the other advantage of have, they used to be, you remember, i won't mention his name but both you and every member a democratic candidate who got beat in the state of texas by a very tough republican opponent who became my friend, and he said there's two things,
he wasn't expecting to lose. he said, number one, he smarter than you. and number two, he's meaner than a junkyard dog. well, i would say there's two things he doesn't know about jenna. one, she's probably smarter than you, and she's probably tougher than you. and if you know that, you know that, you can take full advantage of everything she brings to the table. you're a really, really bright lady. your intellectual capacity equals anyone who i've ever worked with, and as you know, my staff, said don't make a news. [laughter] i'm going to. look, well, i told the president when he asked me to do this job, i said into condition. one, i'm not wearing any funny hats and number two, i'm not changing my brain. everyone knew what they were getting but i think janet should be in the supreme court of the united states a plo.
[applause] that not all states to the of the qualities i've mentioned about your character, but your intellectual capacity and your depth of knowledge has all, all of it added to the ability for you to do the job that you have done. so let me close by quoting one of my favorite irish poets. he said, think where man's glory most begins and ends. and say, my glory, if i had such friends. you're a good friend, janet, and i really, really, really admire the job you did and i am thankful for you helping us get through a pretty rough patch. leaf in place an outfit that's ticking like a watch and working well. we owe you. ladies and gentlemen, governor,
my colleague and good friend, rand, my thanks to all of you who are here today. i can see some of you. i can see all of you, but i know you're here, and that really matters. it's kind of you to come. this is actually my last day as secretary of homeland security. at 5 p.m., edt, rand -- [laughter] i will hand him my id card, and i can't think of a better way to spend it than with colleagues and friends and partners who have really made the last four and a half years so memorable and special to me. somewhat to thank you all, and all the folks from dhs, present and former, all of our federal,
state, local partners. our partners from the private sector with whom we are coordinating so closely. our partners with law enforcement, with which i firmly believe begins at the street level. and to the many ambassadors who are here from countries abroad with whom we have forged strong relationships, recognizing that the more we can do abroad, the better off we are here at home here you know, everyone i've mentioned has contributed to whatever success the department has had these past four and half years. and, indeed, 10 years. and i have to give credit to my two predecessors, standing up a department, particularly a large, complex department with the kind of missions that we have is tough work. and i think only the three of us
who have been secretaries fully appreciate what the job entails. so thank you, secretary chertoff, for being here. thanks to secretary ridge as well here a plo. [applause] i think what i should have a lot in the last four and a half years. that's why so many of the people here look a little tired. [laughter] and so last week i gave a speech when i laid out some of the achievements we've marked. some of the achievements, which quite frankly i'm very proud. i think our departments coordinated response with federal, state and local partners to the boston marathon attack, and the work we did before the attack to make sure the community was properly equipped and trained and exercised to handle such a despicable act.
the support we have provided state and local partners throughout the country, to build the capabilities to protect against and recover from all kinds of threats. and as been mentioned, as we know we live in a threat rich environment, and we have to be agile and flexible and prepared and always leaning forward and thinking about what if, what could happen if, and then preparing for that. i think our work to strengthen the international aviation system following a christmas day attempt in 2009 where we quickly went around the world, realizing that aviation is an international network, not just a domestic network. so that by october of that year, we had agreements forged with 190 countries around the world
in terms of strengthening international aviation standards. the work of strengthening the borders, particularly the southwest border, enforcing the immigration laws, always an easy and noncontroversial barrier. [laughter] combating transnational criminal activity, combating cyber threats and cybercrime, and enhancing our ability to protect cyberspace, which is, i believe, going to be one of the most active threat vectors our country faces in the future. and our ability to respond when mother nature acts up, when we have earthquakes and tornadoes and forest fires. and hurricanes like sandy. in four and a half years we've managed 325 federally declared
disasters. that's a lot of work, and many of you are responsible for our ability to do that. nothing i described would be possible without the dedication of the men and women at dhs. and i think it's not about me so much, it's about them. it's about you. and its credit that i believe is overdue. facing these kinds of challenges each and every day, working each and every day to keep the country safe. and thinking forward about challenges ahead, i mentioned cyber, evolving terrorist threats that come at us in different directions, the longer-term things like the effects of time change on our operations, the need to continue to invest in science and technology, research, which can enable us and empower us to do our jobs better.
these things are going to require sustained attention. and they're going to require that we keep our focus on the safety of the american people. and i leave with great confidence. i leave with great confidence that dhs can effectively meet these challenges and we have done so and will continue to do so. so i as i prepare to leave the department did, the president of the university of california system, and we'll talk about admissions later -- [laughter] i'm going to miss many, many things about being secretary. i'm going to miss this evening communities all over the country and meeting with state and local tribal territorial leaders, learning about what makes each of those states and cities and communities unique. and while it is always
heartbreaking to see the effect of a disaster on communities and families, i have never come away from one of these visits without remarking on the tremendous strength and resilience and generosity of the american people. and we see in so many ways. i'm going to miss traveling to countries all over the world and engaging my foreign counterparts in serious and very challenging issues, from how we share information, to how we address complex cyber threats. i actually visited 40 countries as the secretary of homeland security on six continents, so i think that statistic alone illustrates how the job of homeland security secretary is very international in scope. i'm going to miss presiding over naturalization ceremonies, and having the honor of being the
first person to welcome our newest citizens as my fellow americans. that is such a rush. and i've been in places where we've sworn in new citizens from fenway park, aboard the coast guard our key goal, national archives, all places, tremendous symbolic importance. but the most important thing is seeing people from all over the world to want to come to the united states, raise their right hand and take the oath of citizenship. the last four and a half years, we have naturalized over 3 million new american citizens. and above all, i'm going to miss the shared sense of accomplishment these activities have brought, and the satisfaction of knowing that we have made our department and our nation stronger, more prepared and more resilient. there's always more work to do,
and the people in this room who are from the department, work with the department, know that, that we have come a far away as well. seeing the dedication of the men and women who work at dhs, and their families who support them in this work, some of which is conducted in very tough and dangerous situations, that has been an inspiration to me serving as the secretary. and i know after i leave, you will still be committed to our mission. that give us to perform, and you will still continue to serve this country with the dedication. just as you had during my time at the department. i said last week that leading dhs has been the highlight of my professional career. and i wasn't kidding about that. it has been an immense honor and privilege, and i want to thank you for your friendship, your partnership, and your commitment. i want to thank the president
for his trust and confidence, and for the honor of serving in this administration with these people, my cabinet colleagues who have been such, not only partners, but friends during the past four and half years. and some have been friends for much longer. and i want to thank my own leadership team, and those who have supported my visits and traveled in washington, across the united states and around the world. by the way, i want everyone to note that i have now obtained my tsa precheck and my card. so i'm ready to travel. [laughter] as i prepare to go west, or return west, i wish everyone the very best. i want to thank you again. i wish you god's blessings on all of you.
like i said at the beginning, it, it means a lot to me that you would come and take time out of your day and schedule to share this time. and i have to say, i haven't owned or driven a car in more than 11 years. [laughter] so before we leave, if somebody could give me directions on how to get out of the building, i would greatly appreciate it. [laughter] you all have been just great. i couldn't have asked for more. and i think the country has been well served. so thank you. [applause]
representatives of the department's 240,000 employees stationed around the country, and the world, to make a special presentation to the secretary. these employees were present the flag, a u.s. flag flown above the headquarters facility at the nebraska avenue complex and at dhs like. please welcome the united states customs and border protection supervisory air interdiction officer, april peterson, united states coast guard chief petty officer sarah powell, united states immigration enforcement agent nicholas elk, united states citizen and immigration services acting deputy associate director, jennifer higgins, transportation security officer matthew dates, federal emergency management agency staff assistant dustin hendricks, and united states secret service form uniform sergeant thomas
homeland security over like to thank you all for coming. thank you secretary napolitano, for a wonderful, wonderful time and service. [applause] >> both chambers of congress return to work today at 2 p.m. eastern time. house lawmakers have a number of briefings by obama administration official to update them on the situation in syria. lawmakers are facing a potential vote to authorize the use of military force against a syrian regime including for using chemical weapons on its citizens. lawmakers are expected to pick up a short-term spending bill to give the federal government funded pass of them are 30. live coverage of the house on c-span. senators return to what's expected to be a weeklong debate on whether to authorize no to action against syria. they will begin today's session with general speeches and then vote on two judicial nominations at 5:30 p.m.
you can watch the senate lied here on c-span2. >> fifteen years ago booktv made its debut on c-span2. >> love, death and money, these are the three main human concerns. we are all keen students of love. we're fascinated by every aspect of the matter in theory and in practice. maybe not quite as much as ken starr is, but -- >> and since then we've brought you the top nonfiction books and authors every weekend, more than 9000 authors have appeared on booktv, including presidents. >> i wanted to give the reader a chance to understand the process by which i made decisions, and the environment in which i made decisions, the people i listen to as i made decisions, and this is not an attempt to rewrite history but it's not an attempt
to fashion a legacy. it is an attempt to be part of the historical narrative. >> also, supreme court justices. >> every single justice on the court has a passion and love for the constitution, and our country that is equal to mine. then you know that if you accept that as an operating truth, which is, you understand that you can disagree. >> and nobel prize winners. >> that to me what is interesting is negotiation of a moral decision, do no harm, love somebody, and respect yourself. all of that is reduced, simplified notions, the philosophers have spent their lifetimes trying to imagine what it is like to live a moral life. what morality is, what
responsibility is. is. >> we visited book fairs and festivals around the country. >> and booktv is live at the annual "l.a. times" festival of books on the campus of ucla in west los angeles. >> our signature programming, in depth each month. >> if you say to a child, almost anywhere in this country, i painted schools over the country, more than 600, once upon a time, the child will stop and pause. now you better cash the check. you better have much more to say after that but that phrase is still magical. >> and every week, "after words" spent my father come already in the diplomatic service, his job at was to the press attaché in belgrade. my mother wanted me to be born in prague where her mother was, and so i was born in prague and then we went back to belgrade it and then my father was recalled in 1938, and he was in czechoslovakia when the nazis marched in on march 15, 1939.
>> since 1998, booktv has shown over 40,000 hours of programming, and it's the only national television network devoted exclusively to nonfiction books every weekend. throughout the fall we are marking 15 years of booktv on c-span2. >> on wednesday, foreign policy experts discuss u.s. policy towards syria and iran. the panel discussion coincided with the release of a report from the jewish institute for national security affairs. it analyze a debate authorizing use of military force in syria with current u.s. objectives and preventing nuclear iran. this is about an hour and a half. >> so welcome to red lines and rouhani, a blueprint towards syria and iran. we're here to read the first paper, first policy paper of the
center for defense and strategy at jinsa. the paper, the first paper of our new iran task force, and we have almost half the task force here on the dais right now, on the panel, and as you can see, i think and i will mention some of the names, it's a very distinguished bipartisan group, leading experts in the field. this paper, which we have in the back, please take if you haven't already come is the first of a series of papers will be putting out on u.s. policy towards iran. i'll also note that the report has also posted on our newly revamped website at jinsa.org, and i definitely encourage you all to check out. buffer over the past week, washington, certainly the country, and really the whole
world has been focused on the question whether the united states showed and would strike syria militarily. and if so, what sort of strike that would be. following the story has been, and its many plot twists, has been a very dizzying experience for all of us, but also for our allies. and perhaps i insufficiently stress in this story, and perhaps insufficiently understood there's been in this debate, it's been that i think this syria issue needs to be largely understood in the context of iran. and the panel, will certainly be addressing the syria issue, but also how this affects the iranian issue. and as we say to make very clear, as wa we say in our repo,
in our paper, a strategy to prevent a nuclear iran, we stated up front on the first page of stopping a nuclear-capable iran is the greatest, most pressing national security threats facing the united states today. but how best to do this? in light of the surprise election earlier in the summer, of hassan rouhani as president of iran and then his tendency to offset last month, and in light of the fact that a number of people in washington and the number of people across the world believe, consider rouhani a moderate. and also how best to prevent nuclear iran in the context of what's been going on in syria, is that a complicating factor? is also perhaps offering an opportunity? i would encourage everyone to read the whole paper, the whole report, of course, i want to highlight a few key points before, and then introduce the panel before turned over to mort
zuckerman who will moderate. a few key points. we disagree, number one, with the obama administration that a mr. revette iran develop a nuclear weapon, partly because we believe it's based on history, it's myopic to believe that we will be able to detect iran from putting all the pieces of a nuclear weapon together, and then acting in a timely fashion. we believe that u.s. policy should be aimed instead at depriving iran of the ability to pursue nuclear weapons. the metrics are making that assessment should not just be limited on what is prime minister netanyahu stated last year at the u.n., almost a year ago, when he focused on iran's nuclear stockpile. we actually believe the metrics are such an assessment, is more complicated than that and there are a number of variables that go into how to assess nuclear
weapons capability. our belief is that relatedly is that the red line for preventing a nuclear-capable iran should be iran's ability to obtain enough fissile material fortifies nuclear device faster than the estates could successfully preempt it. in other words, prevention will only be possible if iran's nuclear progress is stopped before it attains an undetectable nuclear weapons capability. now, turning to the iranian election, we grappled with what the significance of the election and of rouhani. it certainly was a surprise for many, including ourselves that rouhani, i think many people thought that someone more seemingly closely online with the supreme leader might be the one elected. but yet it was rouhani. so what does this mean?
we can't know for sure but we offered in our report two possible interpretations of the meaning behind rouhani's election, and that we believe both of those interpretations argue for a very tough policy towards iran. and let me just mention them quickly. our interpretation number one is that the regime is weak and iran. it's not, and is possibly the security apparatus has collapsed. in other words, the security services didn't want a so-called moderate like rouhani but they were too weak to enforce their own preference getting elected. and they feared a repeat of 2009 of the presidential election, and that if they simply named their favorite like ahmadinejad was in the last election, 2009, and they just decided to accept the rouhani victory. that's one interpretation or another interpretation we thought, what we call an elite accommodation to this and that
the regime is nearly weekend, it's not collapsed in any way. and they are seeming to reduce pressure, internal and external pressure. and they felt that rouhani was acceptable because he's a loyal elite consensus builder, and they thought, and he was seen both internally and externally as a moderate so, therefore, having him become president will reduce their pressures. we believe the implications though of both of these interpretations are the same. or virtually the same. the security apparatus has collapsed in the first interpretation suggests, then the united states must go for broke, put maximum, apply maximum pressure to fracture the elite, and arms control agreement then would only alleviate the pressure. if the regime is nearly weekend, which is the second interpretation, we stably fetch up to increase the pressure because otherwise the status quo
will simply continue to or as we put it in our report, the regime is nearly hurting and negotiate a solution might be within reach, if it it's control of the means of coercion has evaporated, the united states should instead help the regime find its way, it's waste into history's dustbin. the u.s. needs to quickly test both of these interpretations. the best way to do that is simply through mathematic engagement that would test engagement that would test iran's sincerity and determine really, help explain really the political dynamics behind rouhani's election. the panel will discuss the possible diplomatic options, so i'm not going to get into that right here, but admittedly i will say we had a heated discussion about that. there were some disagreement about exactly what the best approach was, but we narrowed it down to two. we disagree -- let me continue though. we disagree with those that were
leaving pressure on the recommending lately in washington and in recent months have argued that, that many have argued that if you relieve pressure on the iranians, that the regime will feel more secure and more likely to come to a diplomatic arrangement. we believe on the contrary history with ever-increasing said suggest the regime only response to pressure. we also believe as we put in the report, in rhetoric and in action obama and congress must convey completely the will to strike every nuclear facilities as a last resort. we discussed the issue of pursuit of political warfare as an important pressure. these are some of the highlights august. this group august. this groupon on to discussing syria, but all these issues and how it affects iran and flushes some of the parts i raced out further. just to conclude i want to thank at least in my office, senior policy analyst jonathan for all his hard work on this paper.
also jennifer and andre smith and bill for their efforts, both for this paper in organizing this event. and, finally, i want to highlight jamie who is our communications director. let me turn to the panel. with a very distinguished panel, and mort zuckerman as an engine is going to be modern. i'm going to turn it over to mort but as many of you know, try to is editor in chief of "u.s. news & world report," publisher of the "new york daily news." ambassador eric edelman sitting to his left is co-chair of this task force, former undersecretary of defense for policy under president george w. bush, and he is not a distinguished practitioner in residence at the philip merrill center for strategic studies. ambassador dennis ross is the other co-chair of this task
force. he is a former special assistant to the president obama, and senior director of the national security counsel for the central region. he is currently counsel at the washington institute for near east policy. john hannah is a former assistant for national street fairs and vice president cheney, he is currently a senior fellow at the foundation for the defense of democracy. steve rademaker is a former assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation, and is currently a principal at the podesta group. and ray takeyh is a former advisor and is a senior fellow at the council on foreign relations but as you can see, this is a very distinguished group and i will just, please, take a look inside the report. i would just quickly mention the other members of the task force. former congressman chris carney, professor eliot cohen,
lieutenant general retired dave, larry goldstein, retired admiral gregory johnson, retired general chuck walls. so they are the other members. so without further ado i turn it over to mort. thank you. >> thank you very much. as i was driving here with a driver who wasn't sure where we're going, it reminded me -- thank you. can you hear me? >> there you go spend as i was driving here with a driver who wasn't sure what he was going, it brought to mind the old adage, that when you don't know where you're going, any road will do. still not working. >> get closer to it. >> anyways, there is an old phrase which is when you don't know where you're going, any road will do, and i had that
feeling with a driver who was bringing me here, but every now and then i've had that feeling with the way the administration has been conducting itself. let's start off because there is a reference point that seems to me we must now look at, and that was the presence response to the chemical weapons attacks by assad of syria, whether that affects the viability and credibility in the way of our thread as president obama pledged shortly after his first election to quote use all the elements of american power unquote to thwart iran's nuclear ambition and to quote prevent not contain closed quote a nuclear iran and that indeed on issues like this in these matters he quote does not bluff. i'm going to ask you as a start, he said this year by the way, that a nuclear iran would threaten the elimination of israel, the gulf nations and the stability the global economy as well as triggering a nuclear arms race in the region. and unraveling possibility the nonproliferation treaty.
i will add i'm going to add how does the presence or sponsor the chemical weapons attacks in your judgment affect the credibility and viability of what we have heard just in terms of words and intentions? >> well, mort, i think you put your finger on what is an extreme the important question, and one that we tried to address in the report that is being released today. one of the reasons i think the report is timely is that with all the attention that has been focus on egypt and syria over the last few weeks, we have a great example of what many of us have worked in washington have seen before, which is the urgent facing out the merit important from people's time and attention. in the midst of all this, about
a week or so ago the iaea delivered yet another report on iran's nuclear progress, which shows mostly bad news, some good news. the good news is the arak reactor is not preceding, heavy-water reactor is not proceeding as quickly as the early reports suggested it might. but on the other hand, iran is proceeding apace with the installation of or effective, more efficient centrifuges for uranium enium enrichment. one of the things that paper addresses is precisely the issue you've raised, which is the credibility of the diplomatic effort and what underpins it. and i think one of the things we talked about is that you do need and all of government approach. you need to bear all of the elements, and in particular, diplomacy needs to be underwritten by clear military intent and capability.
and so obviously what's happened over syria is extremely important. it's one reason why i think it's absolutely crucial that congress actually authorize the president to take action. i would hope that they would urge along the way that the president take more robust action. i think it's also worth perhaps reflecting a bit on how we got to this path, because i think there are steps that could been taken earlier that might have made it less necessary to deal with this issue. but i do think it's important both for the institutional presidency and the credibility of the presence of statements with regard to iran that the congress authorize the use of force. unless iran believes there's credible military options, underpinning the willingness to negotiate, there will not be a successful negotiation. and i think we all agree that a negotiated outcome would be the
best from everybody's point of view, if we could get there. >> dennis? >> i generally agree with what eric had to say. i would make a couple of points. first, and this gets to the heart of what you're asking, mort. i do think that the framing of the issue by the administration on syria makes it unmistakably clear that if there isn't a response to the crossing of the red line, the iranians will draw the lesson that when we create red lights, we don't mean to. what the president is seeking nearly is to gain a kind of congressional authorization that i think adds, creates a greater sense of political legitimacy for the actions that are taken. i do think that if congress were not to authorize, the message that would be sent would be not only do we not have a red line, but the congress would be sending a green light to anyone to use chemical weapons
anywhere, and know that they can do it without a response from the united states. obviously, the iranians also draw a conclusion from that, which is to say well, the americans have established a red line, they are not prepared to act on the red line when the administration makes it clear that prevention is an objective that will look more rhetorical than real. so i think there's a direct relationship between what is going on in syria and how the iranians will perceive it. i also want to address something else. there are those who say somehow that if we use military strikes against the syrians, because of the use of chemical weapons, that this will strengthen the hard-liners within iran. i would beg to differ. i think it has exactly the opposite impact. i think it makes it very clear that when the united states says
something about its objectives, it actually means what it says. and almost, i would say the most certain way to assure diplomacy has a chance to succeed with iran, what eric had to say, is for uranium leadership to understand that the consequences of diplomacy failing is that force will be used it i think that's the last thing that iran wants. and i think if we want diplomacy to succeed, and that's really the crux of what this report says, i do think that the more credible it is that we will be prepared to use force, that is much more likely to make a diplomatic outcome uncertainty. ..
>> i think the measure that we've identified in this report which is you have to have sufficient time to be able to detect and then act creates a kind of standard by can which to judge when you're past the point where, in fact, you'd lose the ability to insure that when you say prevention is your objective, you can actually fulfill that objective. >> thanks, mort, and thanks to mike and to jinsa for putting together the group and what i think is an important, important report. the one thing i'd say on the issue of credibility and redlines is that, of course, the
audience isn't only in iran, it's, in particular, throughout the world, but in particular with respect to iran in the middle east amongst our allies. and be i think anybody who has traveled anytime over the -- i would say the last two or three years in the region knows that already even before the syria crisis the store of confidence in the president's redline with respect to the iranian nuclear program and his willingness to really take all necessary be measures to stop the iranians from achieving a nuclear military capability, that that confidence was already, i would say, very low. in the wake of the syria crisis and what's happened and to the extent that people do see a degree of indecision, lack of
resolve, an unwillingness very rapidly once a redline is crossed to take measures to address it, i think, has at least momentarily put us into a much more dangerous position. it may be self-selective, but the number of calls i've gotten from israelis and the number of discussions i've had in recent days that, in fact, today really are alone in this, and it really is going to be up to them. again, then your space and time for action for israel becomes much quicker than it is for the united states. so i think to the extent that people measure sort of the israeli red light/green light response on iran, i think we're, you know, we've gone back over into a much more, a much more dangerous posture. i think the president can
recover still, but i think now the bar, if he gets the approval from congress which i think he should and i think it is necessary, that the expectation for what he's going to do to enforce that redline and the kind of damage he's going to do to syria and the kinds of consequences there will be for crossing the president's redline, people will be looking at it. we are sort of way beyond now, i think, the realm of shot across the bow and doing just enough not to be mocked. i think this is going to have to be a very serious operation whatever the president thought before saturday when he threw in this -- into congress' hand. and i think an indication of how worried israelis are, how important this issue of american credibility and the credited about of the president and the congress is this decision by apac to go public yesterday with their endorsement for congressional authorization for the president. they know how absolutely
essential fulfilling that threat against syria is to this larger issue of iran. and i think that's one of the best indicators of it. the one other final question i would raise and i don't know how israelis are thinking about this, i don't know whether the administration has thought about it, but just as a procedural matter now and a precedential matter having thrown this relatively small issue on enforcing an obvious breach of a redline into the hands of congress, what is the president going to do with respect to the iranian nuclear program where confidence levels and arguments within the intelligence community might be much more severe, and it's not going to be a question of the iranians hopefully not having used a nuclear weapon, but just the prospect that they may have a breakout capability. what is the president going to do in that situation. and i think that is a big question that people really have to think about seriously now, how do we put in place a
structure now so that we're not in the same situation we've been in the last two weeks when we do determine that iran is probably very close to a breakout capability. >> please go ahead. >> thank you. i agree with everything my colleagues have said about the importance of congress voting to give the president the authority he's asked to do, that he's asked for here. i think our national interest requires it at the current stage. but i do think it's deeply unfortunate that we have come to this issue the way we have. you know, if president obama thought congressional authorization was necessary, he should have said that at the outset rather than waiting until so late in the game to decide that that was an essential step. the way this has played out really reminds me of the movie "high noon." you know, the 1952 classic with gary cooper. in the movie gary cooper's the
marshal, and word gets to him that the outlaws are coming on the 12:00 train, so he breaks away from his wedding to grace kelly to round up the posse to confront the outlaws. and as the movie plays out, the members of the posse melt away so that by theically mack tick scene, he's all by himself facing the outlaws. that's sort of what's happened here. president obama breaks away from his golfing vacation to come back to deal with this threat, to round up the posse and, you know, david cameron bails out, so suddenly the president decides, he looks around, he's otherwise alone. and he says, oh, actually what i need is congressional authorization. and it doesn't suggest a high level of confidence in his conviction that he's doing the right thing, and i think that's actually fed some of the skepticism in the congress, it's made it much more difficult for members of congress to feel comfortable that they're doing
the right thing by voting to endorse the president. but for the reasons that have been articulated having to do with iran and the perceptions of the reliability and seriousness of the united states, i think congress needs to step forward and give the president the authority he's requested. >> to be kind of the last speaker, i just want to highlight two arguments made, i think, by dennis and john. in terms of effect on diplomacy, it seems to me that the experience of the past decade suggests that the iranian regime -- whatever its political complexion, you know -- is more interested in diplomacy when it feels anxious and disstressed. so the question then becomes how much disstreets and anxious are
they as a result of this prospective use of military force? so dennis' argument, i think, is right. and in terms of demonstration effects, i want to kind of highlight the point that john made. demonstration effects in terms of demonstration of use military force in one place and its effect on others, demonstration effects tend to affect your allies even more so than your adversaries. so what happens in syria is often considered in context of iranian calculations, but i think the calculations of the gulf states, israelis and others looking at this issue is going to be even more material as you kind of think about this issue. so those are just the two points i wanted to make. i apologize that steve gave away the end of the movie for those of you who haven't seen it, you know? [laughter] >> well, gary cooper -- [laughter] stands alone and faces the outlaws. president obama decides to convene a meeting of the city council to advise him, and there
is quite a contrast. [laughter] >> but one of the ironies at point is that it is the president and the united states that have to build and rebuild their credibility after this what some would have called a fiasco over syria. and that, it seems to me, is a very difficult process, because without it we can't develop the kind of credible political warfare campaign against iran that we need. the next thing it seems to me we have to address and i'd like you all to think about that and talk about that is we are in a situation now where there is a precedent of going to congress. now, i don't know whether you can alert congress to the kinds of risks that we might be able to assess vis-a-vis iran and have enough time to have a long national dialogue about that while iran goes about its merry way. so respect we, in a sense -- aren't we, in a sense, putting ourselves into a very, very different posture as a result of syria, and how do we get out of it? >> well, i, i would just --
>> get the green light to go on. >> i would just say just, one very brief thing and dennis might want to add or subtract from it. the president, when he made his announcement on saturday, did say correctly in my view that he has the authority on his own to to this. to do this. and that he did not need to go to the congress. but he chose to do it for the reasons that that he articulated and perhaps some others. i think with something of the magnitude of iran i would hope that he would continue to believe he has the authority to do it, and i don't, you know, i would argue that we shouldn't look at this as a precedent, although i take john's point that there will be many people now who will argue that it is. >> i do agree with what eric said. i think the key here is to begin to show that, a, assuming
there's authorization, the character of the strike itself represents one kind of, i think, impact. john's point earlier, john really made two different points. one was that the strike itself needs to be seen as effective. not just symbolic, but effective. because if it becomes a manifestation of the use of american power, that has an effect on the iranians, i suspect also here. point one. point two, i think in the president's mind he's always drawn a distinction between iran and syria. and to some extent, i suspect that he has, one of his hesitancies vis-a-vis syria is that he's seen syria as a potential quagmire, and he didn't want that to somehow him what he could do vis-a-vis iran where he's viewed that as being
more of a strategic threat. now, one can debate whether that was the way to see it or not, but i think that has probably been the perception that he's had. one response in the aftermath of this aside from, i think, the importance of being effective in terms of what you do, one of the responses is what john was suggesting which is to prepare the ground now which, by the way, would be another way to affect the point you were making about political warfare. you want to convince the iranians that diplomacy's the best way out. one of the best ways to do it is to demonstrate that you're lining your ducks up well in advance, that we're serious about diplomacy succeeding, but we're also serious that if diplomacy doesn't succeed, we're prepared to the act. and as you prepare the ground for that politically, domestically and also internationally, you're also sending messages to the iranians. so i do think some of the preparation would be appropriate, but there's also something else the president could do is to simply reinforce
the point that eric was making and that the president himself made in his statement on saturday, that he did not need to go to the congress for this, he has chosen to do it because he felt given the current context, given the perceptions of syria and the character of the conflict there, it being a civil war, it being characterized by not just a civil conflict, but also an opposition that is itself highly fractured with elements that we absolutely oppose, that he puts that in a very different category than iran x. he's been very consistent on the issue that iran cannot have a nuclear weapon. and here i would say he has something else that he could also use publicly. he is the third president in succession to make the same point. you had president clinton make the point that iran couldn't have nuclear weapons, you had president bush make the point that they couldn't have nuclear weapons, and thousand you have president obama do it -- now you
have president obama do it as well. this is not a civil conflict like syria, this is a case of insuring that a regime that has violated all the international resolutions, that has been in violation of its obligations under the npt, that that as a result three different administrations have said this country cannot be permitted to have nuclear weapons. so i think he can do more to, in a sense, draw the distinction between syria and iran, and that would make him less susceptible to the charges he's established at present that also has to apply to rapp. to iran. >> please, go ahead. >> yeah, i, i don't disagree with my colleagues that ideally my own hope would be that the president does reserve the right ask the authority -- ask the authority to strike iran on his own. i do think, i mean, he's -- the syria crisis has given him some
opportunity and platform to talk about iran. he's probably got to do that in a fairly careful way in the current environment where people are worried about expanding and broadening authorities. i'd just say the president, you know, was basically awful about preparing the american public for what he's about to get in in syria. that's, i think, in part, i mean, the american public is war weary and tired, but it's a fact that they have not heard from their commander in chief on this issue of syria and what syria means, what his redline meant up until the last week. and the american people are rightly incredibly confused, and they still haven't heard anything from him that's authoritative and really out of the oval office talking about this and really raising the stakes for the american people. i -- he's done some of that on iran. i think he's going to have to do a lot more of that on iran. i think he's really got to get serious about congressional con
sultations. he has made his domestic situation much more difficult because in some ways syria is an easy case. when somebody actually uses weapons of mass destruction openly and publicly in a quite decisive way, that's in some ways the easy case to get people to act. iran i just have a sense no matter how good our intelligence community is that if he's going to do what we advocate and hit them before they actually are about to test a bomb and turn the final screw but at a much earlier point, all of the stars have got to align, i think, for him to then be able to take a really credible case to the american people. and if he does it without congress and with very low support amongst the american public for going into a big, wider war with iran as compared to syria, at least so we're told, i think he's buying himself a hell of a problem. some people have talked about
the issue of getting some kind of earlier preauthorization from congress on the question of the use of force in iran, against iran under certain conditions, and people have shied away from that precisely because i think they think it would lose in the congress. so, but that's an idea that's out there, and at a minimum i think this conversation that the president is having with the american people and congress about iran pivoting off of syria, i think, is -- he's got to engage that in a hutch more serious -- in a much more serious way. >> yeah, please. >> yeah, mort, i think you ask a good question about the precedential value of this when it comes to iran. fortunately, the syria matter doesn't exist in a vacuum. i mean, there's lots of problems in the history including in the obama administration, and i have in mind in particular libya which president obama conducted
military operations without congressional authorization relying on his assertion that he had constitutional authority. and i guess part of the consternation i expressed earlier about how he came to where we are on syria is accounted for by the contrast with libya which, unlike what i understand to be contemplated for syria, was a much more serious military operation, much longer duration. forgive the digression, but i know a lot about the war powers resolution, and so let me make the following comment: i think there's a pretty good case to make that what president obama has in mind with regard to syria wouldn't even trigger the war powers resolution. because the what the war powers resolution says is that anytime the president of the united states introduces united states armed forces equipped for combat into the territory, air space or waters of a foreign country, he has to notify congress, and after 60 days he has to withdraw them if congress hasn't authorized the operation.
tom a hawk cruise missiles -- tomahawk cruise missiles didn't exist in 1963 when the war powers resolution was written, but i hi there's a pretty -- i think there's a pretty good case to be made that missiles are not united states armed forces equipped for combat. unlike libya where we had u.s. armed forces equipped for combat in libya and the war powers resolution clearly applied, a cruise missile strike -- which is over in a matter of minutes -- not involving manned aircraft over the air space of the country, i think there's a decent case that the war powers resolution doesn't even coffer that. and -- cover that. and yet in syria the president's decided he needs authorization to go forward. when it comes to iran, i think he has the precedent to not seek authorization, but certainly, there will be members of congress who will say absolutely for a larger, more momentous operation against iran he needs now to seek authorization.
i'm not a military expert, but i would, i suspect that the success of any operation against iran, any military operation will be much greater if we have the element of surprise on our side, and, you know, a prolonged congressional debate about whether or not to authorize it, of course, will probably cost us the element of surprise. >> thanks. again, i echo some of the things that were said. i never worked in congress, which explains, perhaps, why i have reverence for it, and -- >> i worked there, and i have reverence. [laughter] >> i would say that on the issue of iran the president should do much more consulting with congress than they have, and i think i agree with john on that. there should be much more of a dialogue between the executive branch and the legislative branch because i think that perspectives differ at this
point. what is an acceptable diplomatic agreement? i think the legislative branch's perspective probably differs from the executive, and here i think is an interesting -- and i'll be brief. both capsules, washington and tehran, are falling into the same kind of a mistake. president rouhani has talked about moving the nuclear file away from the spriewm national security council to the foreign might ministry which i think is a mistake, because one of the advantages is they have the buy-in of all the constituency. each of you who spoke you knew on whose behalf you were speaking. so everybody had a buy-in. and on the other side, i think the executive branch here has done not a particularly good job of bringing in congress into their way of thinking about iran. iran has always been a close-hole policy, you know they never work.
and i think they should shed some light on bringing in members of congress which they have not done to at this point. let me focus not so much on the military strike, but on diplomatic agreement. it cannot be an agreement negotiated between john kerry and -- [inaudible] general sharif. both parties have to understand that they have to sell that agreement back home to critical constituencies, and preparing those constituencies for whatever concessions they want to make, i think, is an important step forward. and that's dialogue that needs to be had along with the dialogue that has been spoken about. what sort of program is the administration willing to live with, what sort of a nuclear program are the revolutionary guards willing to live with, what kind of nuclear program are our congressional persons -- all these things have to come to line. and i think there has to be much more transparency on this issue. this isn't 1970. you can't go to pakistan, pretend to be sick and fly to beijing.
it just doesn't work that way anymore. there's way too much media. and the iranian media is full of speculation about the dialogue and messaging that has been sent between united states and iran. iraq does not have a free press, but it has a competitive press. so the right-wing press in iran will break the story the way they broke the iran contra story. this is not going to remain behind curtains. that's not the era that we live in. and so it's time for us to start having those dialogues here, and i think president rouhani should have that dialogue with his critical constituencies as well. and that's when you begin to see the requirements of a durable arms control agreement as opposed to one that is signed and rather expeditiously violated. >> yeah, go ahead. >> mort, can i -- i wanted to just get back to a different aspect of the question you asked which was what is the impact of has been going on this past week in the syrian question on the
iran question down the road. and we focused on the precedential issue of going to congress. there's another issue, though, that i don't think has received sufficient attention and needs attention which is that if the congress authorizes military action by the president in the case of syria and if it's, as john suggests and as i hope a bit more robust than what has been suggested and as dennis said it is effective, it is going to be an expensive proposition. it is going to cost, you know, not sure how much, but it could be as much as a couple of billion dollars and u.s. military assets. and this comes against a backdrop of being on the cusp of a second year of sequestration of the defense budget with a $52 billion additional sequester of the defense budget when the new fiscal year hits unless there's a deal by january 1st. which will make it extremely
difficult for the d. of defense -- department of defense to plan rationally for the next period which could include the iranian case. and in which certain military tools that might be useful in a military strike, for instance, on iran might be expended. this is already against a background of a circumstance in which sequestration has forced on the administration a choice that secretary hagel and vice chairman winnefeld described as between current capacity and future capability with the pentagon saying it's going to prioritize future capability rather than current capacity as it tries to deal with the consequences of sequestration. i don't want to get into the debate about which is, you know, which is right or not, but you're already talking about a military whose readiness is being degraded having to carry out a, what will be a complex military operation, and the issue of how it is made whole or
replenished and enabled goes to one of the, you know, the core of one of the recommendations we make which is we need to see certain military activities going on in parallel with diplomatic efforts in order to make them successful. >> i want to go to the issue of, obviously, the best solution for the united states is somehow or other we have enough credibility in what we say we will do if iran goes beyond certain lines, redlines so to speak, and how do we doha in a sense at this stage of -- do that in a sense given to me what clearly has been an impact in the arab world. not a positive impact of what has happened. i came back just two weeks ago, and i was astonished at how completely upset they were about the attitude of the united states and the behavior of the united states. so what can the united states do at this stage of the game both in terms of public opinion here and in terms of what we can do militarily that would in some way or another give enough credibility to the fact that we will act or react to what we
come to the conclusion is going on in iran that persuades them to come to a different conclusion than it seems to me they are going to now? >> first, i sense that we are where we are in terms of perceptions right now j. yeah. >> but i would, as someone who's doing a new book that actually involves a fair amount of looking at america's historical posture in the middle east, i'm struck by the fact that this moment is not unique. i'm, it's interesting at one point after the coup in libya in 1969, kissinger in his memoirs remarks at one point that every single one of our friends, arab friends in the middle east at the highest level is sending messages to the white house
about perceptions of our unreliability and about the perception that somehow radicalism is on the march, and we're not doing anything about it. so it's not the first time there's a perception this has been the case, and what tends to turn things around is when we actually act and are seen as being effective. we do have it within our means to do that now. and there's an irony here. for all of the unease that we collectively may feel, if the congress authorizes -- as it should and, i think, must -- and if, in fact, we carry out not cosmetic, but what are an intensive set of strikes even over a short period of time, that would as if you listen to what secretary hagel was saying yesterday and what the chairman of the joint chiefs was saying as well, that actually degrades the capability of the syrian forces and this is seen throughout the region as the
u.s. now suddenly in the context where the congress has actually authorized and in some ways it seems to me that even if the use of force isfy be night -- of force is finite, you actually have an interesting situation, i suspect, where the president may feel the need having gotten the authorization to insure that the strikes are somewhat more intensive, are more effect e as a way of making not just a symbolic statement, but having a practical effect upon syria's ability to use their forces. that will send a message to the whole region, and it will also send a message to the iranians. and as i said, if you look historically, not the first time we've been in this position. and when the u.s. acts in a way that is then seen as effective, it changes those perceptions. >> it is the first time in which we're dealing with a country that is developing nuclear weapons and the capability of delivering them. that is not, in a sense, going to be an actual act of warfare,
it's going to be something that's going to be handled fairly secretly within, however iran's going to do it. so we don't have quite the same kind of clear guidelines in a sense that we can rely upon here. so how do we, in a sense, persuade them not to go too far when we don't know exactly where they are and exactly where they're going? what is going to be credible at this stage of the game? >> i -- >> no, no, please, i i was going to ask everybody the same question anyhow. >> well, then i'll start. look, seems to me there's, this is where there are a number of things that we can do. some, and by the way, all these fall in what i would describe as a diplomatic realm. quite apart from how you posture your forces and also, by the way, what eric was getting at if we were to do something to address this issue, that would be another way to send the signal that we mean what we say, and we're preparing the ground. but one way to prepare the
ground, something i've favored for some time, is for us to go to the other members of the 5+1 and make it clear we're very serious about diplomacy, but we're also, we need to plan for the day after. and the more you begin to do that, the more you're sending a message you're not just focused on diplomacy. you want it to work, but, you know, the fact is even if you have to use force against the iranian nuclear program because diplomacy failed, that won't end the use of diplomacy because you're going to want, in effect, to have to engage in diplomacy after that, you're going to want to make it very difficult for the iranians to rebuild, and that's why maintaining sanctions could be important. but that gets to the other issue, and here there is, you know, there's no disagreement among us that we want to pursue a diplomatic path. there's some disagreement among us among what the character of that proposal would be, and i come back, and this gets to the heart of what you're asking. one of the reasons it seems to
me you want to be able to put a proposal on the table that shows the iranians could gain what they want -- which is to say, all they say today want is civil nuclear power -- if you put a proposal on the table that would enable them to have civil nuclear power that is seen as being credible by much of the international community and the iranians turn it down, then you've exposed them. you've exposed them internationally, you've exposed them domestically as well. and that puts the president in a very different position to go to the american public and say it's the last two presidents, my two predecessors said they can't have this capability, i've said it consistently. we offered them a credible way out. we offered them a proposal that would have allowed them to have exactly what they say they want, and they turned it down because it turns out that's not what they want. they want weapons. and that's not something that can be permitted. so that would be part of how you yet, address the question you've raised. >> if i could just chime in for a second before john and other
colleagues pile on. when we announced this panel in june, we had an event, and i can't remember which one of my colleagues made the point, but i'll now appropriate it on the principle that plagiarism is the highest form of flattery -- [laughter] and the point was that people who think the iranians don't pay attention to redlines have not been paying anticipation to the -- attention to the iaea quarterly reports. because the redline that prime minister netanyahu set for the amount of 20% low-enriched uranium that the iranians produced has been consistently avoided by the iranians because they have been transforming some of it into oxide in order for the tehran research reactor, in order to provide fuel for it. i think they can fuel if it now for probably the next century. but it shows that when they are
in some uncertainty about whether a redline will be upheld or not, it modifies their behavior. and i think that's another argument why to fail to go forward now with the redline that's been drawn on syrian chemical weapons use would have disastrous consequences for those of us who think diplomacy still has a chance of being successful if it's underpinned by credible threats. >> john? >> there are far more accomplished historians on panel than me, including dennis, but if i recall 1969 and what followed in the '70s was a pretty bad time for the united states in the middle east and more broadly the world. so if we're in that kind of posture of 1969 where the american order looks to everybody else like it's unraveling, i think we're in a very serious situation that needs to be addressed. and i think that's what your
question goes to, mort, because be otherwise disaster strikes. the arab oil boycott, 1973 war, all kinds of awful things can happen, the start of the retreat from vietnam. there are, i agree with dennis, certain perhaps parallels in what's happening in the world today in the just the basic sense that people out there who have relied on us certainly since world war ii, that the system, the liberal global order that the united states established and enforced is beginning to unravel at some level. and people are really beginning to start to make calculations based off of that. and for me example number one the saudis. i can see real advantages to what he's doing in terms of saudi foreign policy and how aggressive they've gotten in certain areas, the trip to moscow worries me because i think there are serious things happening in that relationship
that wouldn't have happened were it not for the absolute collapse of faith in the united states. and while there may be good things that can come out of it for the saudis to kind of be off on their own, lots of bad things, i think, can come out of that as well potentially. so, but that's the kind of uncertainty that we're dealing with in the system that i thinks has often in the past led to quite a bit of trouble. so i agree in the first place that syria now takes on this huge importance in terms of trying to convince the iranians that we are serious. so i think that operation is now going to need to be something that perhaps the president and his team didn't think a couple of weeks ago it might have needed to be. i think it's going to now need to have real, demonstrate bl effects on syria and on other adversaries in the region that they do not want to test the
united states in this regard. and then on the, with respect to iran directly, i don't disagree with dennis. i think the time frames for the iranians approaching some kind of nuclear weapon breakout capability are fair bely short -- fairly short, even relatively conservative people like david albright put it at the middle of 2014 given the current trajectory. that's a short amount of time. so i agree with dennis' sense that we've got to this fairly quickly. we've got to try as part of our strategy to get to a bottom line here very quickly. i don't know if the iranians will allow us to do that, i don't know if the p5+1 will allow us to do that, but i think that's what we've got to try to do. and be for my part at the same time as we're pursuing -- and i agree with dennis, this has got to be a, to get international support and domestic buy-in here and to have any chance of succeeding with the iranians, i think it's going to have to be a
serious proposal that's different from what we've put on the table before. i'm willing to accede to that, and i'm probably willing to sign up for the kind of very restricted enrichment capability that dennis has talked about provided that if, in fact -- and i know dennis has used the example, but this is -- our strategy's got to be like in 1991 with saddam. we go to the last minute, baker goes to qatar and says here's the final offer on the table. and if he rejects it and you have a clear system for determining he's rejected it, then this ten days bombs start falling, things start happening. i'm not sure we can put together that kind of proposal and get buy-in from it not only from the american people, but obviously, from the international community. but at think rate, at the same time that we're going forward with some kind of serious diplomacy to get to a bottom line fairly quickly and test this new iranian regime, for my part i think we've got to be pedal to the metal on separate
pressure track. i wouldn't just maintain sanctions, i would, i agree with a lot of people in congress who believe at least the congress needs to be going forward with new sanks that really threaten -- sanctions to really threaten to bring this economy to the verge of collapse. and at the same time, we need to be doing all of the military things that we need to do both alone and with our allies that we would do if we were really serious about undertaking a fairly significant military strike against iran within the next six month toss a year. sixth months to a year. >> on the issue, on the issue of redlines, i think clearly and credibly drawing redlines is one of most important things that governments do in the conduct of international relations. and when they do a bad job of it, the consequences can be really dire. i think a lot of historians believe that we had to fight the
korean war because dean acheson gave a speech in which he suggested that we weren't prepared to fight to defend korea. a lot of other people believe that we had to fight the first persian gulf war because our ambassador, april glassby, had a peating with saddam hussein this which saddam came away thinking that the u.s. wasn't prepared to fight to defend the independence of kuwait. in both of those cases, when the independence of those countries was threatened, the united states thought about it and decided it was prepared to fight in korea, and it was prepared to fight in kuwait. i think historians debate whether had the u.s. done a better job drawing its redlines more clearly we could have avoided those wars and, you know, i don't know whether we'll ever know the real answer. but i guess i'm prepared to say, you know, i wish acheson had been clearer, and i wish april glassby would have been clearer
because it would have been nice to have avoided those kinds of wars. i am troubled with where we are on iran because i don't think the united states has been clear on what its redlines are. we talked about ambiguity and the important difference between producing a nuclear weapon and achieving a nuclear weapon withs capability, and, you know, the administration has been on both sides of that issue in terms of their delare story policy. declaratory policy. the, you know, asserting something like all options are on the table is not a clear redline. that's pretty ambiguous about what you're prepared to fight for, and i have to give credit to prime minister net an netany. i mean, he did draw -- he literally drew a redline at the u.n. security council. and as eric points out, lo and behold, iran has sort of done back flips to avoid crossing that redline. so netanyahu, i guess, has credibility with the iranians is what you'd have to take away.
i worry about u.s. credibility, you know? president obama drew a redline with regard to chemical weapons use in syria, and the assad regime stepped over that line. and, you know, i sense some reluctance on president obama's part to enforce the redline. you know, he hasn't -- congress is going to vote on this now. what is he going to do if congress votes no? you know, i served in the first bush administration, and matter of fact, i was the lawyer handling this issue, the war pars issue for the first president bush. he was pretty clear that, yeah, he was giving congress a chance to authorize it, our nation would be strengthened, he thought saddam hussein was more likely to back down and we could avoid having to fight a war be congress authorized us to potentially fight a war. and congress accepted that argument a. argument. but bush was pretty clear that
he had deployed hundreds of thousands of u.s. armed forces to saudi arabia. he was pretty clear he was going forward irrespective of the outcome in congress, and so congress -- he welcomed the authorization, he preferred the authorization, but it wasn't critical to what ultimately was going to happen. the obama administration has been conspicuously silent on what it will do if congress fails to grant the authority the president's requested. we do have a precedent here. in the united kingdom, the parliament voted no, and the prime minister said, i'm sorry, mr. president, i'm not longer -- i'm no longer part of your posse, good luck. and is that what obama will do if congress votes no? i don't know what obama will do, but he hasn't been as clear as president bush was about his commitment to proceeding irrespective of what congress does. and so coming back to the redline, if you're the iranians trying to assess how determined the u.s. government is to prevent you from achieving a
nuclear weapon, things could may out very badly, i think, on syria in a way that would reinforce doubts in tehran about how serious the united states is and how much they have to worry about the military option on the u.s. side. >> there's been a great deal of apprehension, i might add, in the arab world as was described before about the seriousness of the united states in terms of its willingness to play the leadership role in that part of the world that has long been the role of the united states. so this is going to come pound that concern -- compound that concern until we find ways to clarify that in ways that make it really clear. do you want to -- >> sure, i'll get into the historical debate. on the redlines a lot of suggestion about the syria redline. dennis mentioned that three american presidents have suggested that iran in possession of nuclear weapons is
unacceptable. three american presidents have also drawn various redlines that have been transgressed with large degree of impunity, large degree, certainly, has invited a robust sanctions regime. in the summer of 2012, the united states policy was that they had a slogan for it too, stop 20%, shut down and ship out at least 20% fuel. that's probably not our policy today. that's a redline. this probably in any forthcoming negotiation, that is unlikely to be our policy. now, you can suggest and many people did at that time that that particular redline was unreasonable. well, then don't draw it. if you think your redline is unreasonable and unsustainable and subject to further modification, then don't draw it. and don't attach a catchy slogan to it. so the syria redlines are instructive and important, but there's been lots of redlines on
iran that have come and gone. both the united states and israel, by the way. on the historical issue, reasoning through historical analogy is always imperfect and too often imprecise, so here i go. if you kind of look, i agree with dennis, it looks like the malaise of the 1960s and that's kind of a great thing. it's a region that has the habit of constantly dividing against itself, and in the 1950s and '60s you had a division between radical republics and conservative monarchies. you see a similar division today, but the basis is a far more entrenched ideological divisions, even sectarian identities. there's iran and the resistance bloc, and this is what iranian post commander said yesterday, syria is part of a larger front of resistance. and, therefore, it has to be thought of along those terms. so there's hezbollah, iran, syria and whatever enclaves can
be mobilized against the sunni bloc, the region is divided. the region has been divided before in the 1960s the way the united states managed to prevail in that particular polarized region was to buttress allies, rehabilitate the conservative order and also very close with u.s./israeli relationship that was beneficial in terms of allies and also many terms of detestifying add adversaries -- deterring adversaries. today the relationship has worked its way through its own growing pains. the united states for reasons that are not always illegitimate is less inclined to be involved in the middle eastern conflicts and rivalries. war fatigue, i think there's a propensity in american history to overlearn the lessons of previous war, and i think we're probably overlearning the lessons of the iraq war now. so there's a less inclination on the part of the american public and, therefore, the united states government to be involved
in the middle east. i think president obama's position on the middle east is contested in the capsule among people who do. i think it's largely unassailable in the country. i mean, if president obama goes to st. louis and chicago and san francisco and los angeles and seattle, there's not much of a criticism for his past reticence. so, and the president has actually invited that popular reticence by suggesting that east asia a is where future lies and middle east is where old conflicts simmer. so that has to be, all these things have to be taken into consideration as one thinks about iran policy. i also would think one last -- say one last thing, we really need an iran policy, not just a proliferation policy. we need to figure out how to negate iran's influence in the region, how to weaken the
iranian regime at home. and if you have kind of a broad-based policy, the proliferation piece will fit in there. otherwise it's kind of, you know, you kind of are negotiating an arms control agreement with a country that at the same time you're accusing of sponsoring terrorism in your capital. i mean, you're negotiating confidence-building measures on the nuclear issue with a country that your attorney general indicts for terrorism in your capital. i mean, you need an iran policy, and you need all these pieces to kind of fit together. >> let's just spend a couple of minutes before opening the panel to questions from the audience, two things that might in a sense give us more credibility. one is to go after iran's financial energy and other economic matters that we could get, take a much tougher line on. that might have, shall we say, a message to be conveyed. and the other is hang we do -- what can we do, in effect, with
respect to israel to give them certain kinds of weapons like the tankers, air base tankers to give them greater range, give them greater military credibility since this was suggested netanyahu, for the moment at least, seems to have credibility. how would you all feel on these kinds of issues? >> well, i think one of the relationings in the report -- relations in the report -- recommendationings in the report, of course, is that with regard to the sanctions that are already on the book that we stop giving out as many passes to people as president can because there is waiver authority in the legislation, but we to do to stop giving people waivers and force them to actually go forward with the sanctions that are already on the books. and i agree with john, i think there is more that we can do on sanctions. i certainly think thati were in the obama administration -- that i were in the obama administration, i don't think
they would necessarily welcome me, but i think i'd actually be not unhappy if voices were being raised in the congress trying to push for harder sanctions, because that's certainly something i think that they could use. with regard to assurance and reassurance to israel and underpinning the already-existing credibility, mort, that a you point out that i think prime minister netanyahu has in tehran, in an earlier iteration of this panel we recommended certain military capabilities be made available to israel. gbu-31s. congress actually took that up this some measure. as far as i know, they still haven't been transferred, so there certainly are things that could be done. i think there are things we could be doing to do more visible testing of certain military capabilities that we have. i'm thinking of the massive ordnance penetrator which would almost certainly be involved in any kind of attack on the iranian nuclear program.
which i think could be, have a very powerful, demonstrative impact on calculations in tehran. so i think, you know, there are certainly things that can be dope, and we've already, i think -- done, and and we've already, i think, recommended some of them. >> yeah, i pretty much agree with what eric said. you know, you can see in the context if negotiations take place with the iranians, i can see the administration not necessarily adding to the sanctions, butting able to point to the -- butting able to point to the congress and saying, look, unless there's going to be an agreement, this is what's going to happen. and the fact is, you know, the sanctions have obviously had an effect on the iranians. this is the reason rouhani was elected. he ran against a policy that produced the sanctions and that produced international isolation. so i think there's a logic for that.
i do think there's also a logic for transferring additional capability to the israelis. there's a lot that's been done with the israelis already, and i think that's, that is something that is positive from our standpoint and sends a pension from our standpoint to. -- sends a message from our standpoint. i've actually suggested that we should have a gone straight, put it on youtube, let it go viral, let the iranians see it. this is a capability that was developed basically to deal with them. you know, there's a 30,000-pound bomb. you know, i think these are the kind of things that would be helpful. i still think at this point given where we are in syria, the most important thing right now is to act on the redline and to do it in a way that is seen as
being effective and meaningful and serious. the other things that we have just discussed at point would be less important tan that. in fact -- than that. in fact, if that weren't done and you tried to look at those things, it's going to be a limited conversation that isn't very credible. in the context of doing that, i think a lot of other things you do, even things that would be in other circumstances less important will be taken as much more serious. >> john? >> i agree that sanctions have been surprisingly effective and helped bring us to where we are, and i think the only debate -- and, yes, we can easily identify additional measures both with regard to sanctions and with regard to transfers to israel of useful military items. the only question is whether we should persist with, continue moving in that direction or whether we should dechair a pause because we're so pleased that rouhani has been elected
that we want to give him a chance to consolidate power and become a negotiating partner. on that issue i think the report says pretty clearly that we need to continue and not take a pause, that the pressure that's brought us to where we are should continue to be applied, and the pressure should be increased to the extent we can increase it. and we shouldn't hesitate to do that for fear that that'll complicate the negotiations because on balance we think over time it will strengthen our hand in the negotiations. >> okay, thank you all very much. let me open the floor to questions. shall we start over there first? >> [inaudible] the elephant in the room, i think, is on the relationship with russia to some extempt. and the russian quasi-alliance with both iran on one hand and syria on the other. and our policies with regard to russia have also been really quite flaccid in the last, in this administration. and it's not clear to me, and i wonder what you all think about
whether if we are, in fact, more successful in following through on syria, whether we will, in fact, draw russia and iran closer together making it harder for us to have a more effective policy. and related to that is the question about whether this whole p5+1 structure, in fact, serves our interests or is serves to undermine us. i think it's curious that congress has been much more active on the sanctions issue against iran than the administration has been. the administration, essentially, would follow through with halfway measures much less than what congress would, in fact, authorize. but on the p5+1, i think we've, to some extempt, hamstrung -- extent, hamstrung ourselves. >> actually, i think effective action to enforce the redline against syria would, i think,
actually undermine russian/iranian relations rather than strengthen them in the sense that notwithstanding all his full my nations, i don't think there's very much that president putin can or would do to actually get in way of u.s. military action. and i think that would send a very powerful message to tehran that, you know, russia's backing, when push came to shove, might not in the end really prove effective in keeping the united states from acting. we now know from captured documents that saddam hussein believed that support from both prance and russia -- france and russia in particular were going to keep him from having to face u.s. military force in 2003. that turned out to be a terrible miscalculation. from his point of view.
i think, again, if we do something as -- and i really want to associate myself completely with what dennis said -- if we do something that's not, you know, cosmetic, not pinprick, but is serious, seriously degrades syria's ability to operate its military forces, hit some of the pillars of the regime, i mean, we shouldn't forget that this is a regime that is rooted in the air force. it's where the service from whence the current president of syria's father comes. and if we are able to essentially ground that air force, keep it from from flying, that will have a very powerful impact. you know, in the first session we had again in june i think i made the point then that we really are engaged now -- and this goes to a number of the points mort has made -- in a struggle for mastery of the
region with iran being one of the protagonists. and i think the syria issue has to be seen in that light as well. and so i, i think, actually, effective action would do more to drive moscow and tehran apart than bring them together. >> i just add one quick point to that? >> go ahead. i'm sorry, dennis. >> you know, they might -- you could see some sort of tactical moves, and i wouldn't dismiss that. i don't think the iranians have a whole lot of belief and trust in the russians to begin with. so they could make certain tactical moves. there's a real question i think here from the russian standpoint, putin has positioned himself on syria, so he looks like he's the key actor. everybody has gone to him. that's one of the reasons why we went to moscow. i think for us to act and, you know, the president has also said he would do more to up the
capabilities of the opposition, at least those that we'd be prepared to support. i do think the more we do in terms of degrading the syrian capabilities and the more we do in terms of at least getting serious about providing support to those within the opposition that we think are deserving of it, that has the chance to affect the balance of power not only between the opposition of the regime, but within the opposition itself. that creates a very different set of incentives for the russians. right now, you know, they have very little incentive to change their behavior. so to the extent to which we are acting in a way that makes it clear that the balance of power could change, then the russians have to decide what they're going to do. they can decide in a variety of ways, but at least it creates a different kind of incentive for them even to think about a political solution without assad which has not been what they've been prepared to do up until this point. as for the larger question on
the 5+1, i mean, i think on the one happened it's a very useful -- on the one hand, it's a very useful economic mechanism for us because it as to the sense -- adds to the sense that there's broader support for what we're doing. the question has always been what's the point at which preserving the unity of the 5+1 comes at the cost of what you're trying to do vis-a-vis the iranians? and that's something, i think, you constantly have to be reassessing. >> one of the panelists mentioned before that the situation in the mideast reminds them of the 1960s, and for me, watching in this of decades it reminds me of a business an teen chinese -- business an teen chinese opera. gentlemen, can any of you address the situation vis-a-vis turkey in all of this whether it be iran, syria or egypt and how this vibrates?
[laughter] >> and not upon the order of your departure. [laughter] >> difficult even addressing the issue. you are the can key's immy kitted -- turkey's implicated in so many of these issues as your question obviously suggests. i don't want to take the rest of the time to actually go through it all. on syria, just suffice it to say that for better or for worse, for the moment the government of turkey and the united states government are on the same wave length about the importance of, as the president said two years ago, assad departing the scene. i think there's actually been some impatience of -- on the part of the turks about how willing the united states actually was to make that happen, and i think also,
unfortunately, because in addition to other things that have happened, turkish foreign policy has taken a much more sectarian turn over the last year or as the no enemies with neighbors policy has sort of fallen apart. that they have been perhaps more adventurous than they should have been in support for some elements of the sunni opposition including al-nusra. and that's something that in the longer run is going to put us at odds with turkey over the future of syria as opposed to the present. [inaudible conversations] >> i have two questions. one, i'm a little confused about finish oh, sorry. does can it work? i'm a little confused about what exactly is the consensus of the group with respect to whether or not the offer that was included
in the report should be made? is there a consensus about it? because it sounds like there's still disagreement about it. and if so, i wondered what the prepopped answer view, the preponderate view might be. and also with respect to that offer, what would be the pro to the quid that's being offered, or would there be no quo in and just as a second brief question, is there any view with respect to whether over the syria crisis iran should be included in any future key proposal si -- diplomacy with respect to how to end the war many syria? -- in syria? >> well, i think there's a consensus on prevention being the right objective.
i think there is not a consensus on what's the right kind of proposal, you know? and i sort of outlined one view which is that you put a credible offer on the table that, in a sense, either the iranians can respond to is and accept because they say they only wallet civil nuclear power, or you expose them if, in fact, they turn it down. and i think there's -- that would involve a limited enrichment capability on their part. and there's a disagreement on the part of some on the panel whether that's the right way to go or not. as for the quo, i mean, they would, they would get sanctions lifted, at least sanctions that are related specifically to the nuclear program lifted. as for whether they should be part of the political process on
syria, my answer would be, no. >> let me, let me just -- i think within the group there's agreement on the characterization that we should put forward a serious, credible proposal that advances u.s. national interests if accepted. i think there's some disagreement particularly on the question of enrichment whether zero enrichment can has been the position up until now should remain the u.s. position or whether we should show some modest flexibility on that. i think dennis has been on the side of showing some flexibility. i think there are others like myself who would prefer to keep the current position of making a proposal that would allow no enrichment in iran. and, again, that had to do with our perceptions of what the u.s. national interests requires. >> [inaudible] >> we haven't taken a vote, so i don't know what the answer to that question is. >> simple question. i hear you, but nothing that
you've said convinces me that we're going to do anything until the first missile is in the air or lands on israel. would you comment on that? i hear what dennis says, give israel stuff. sanctions, i think, are great, but i think that's where we're going. >> i don't know that that's something we can actually debate here. >> i guess i could say that this panel probably wouldn't exist if we weren't concerned that -- if there's inaction, that we could end up precisely where you're describing. and, you know, we're is suggesting policies that we think will help us avoid that outcome which we agree is totally unacceptable. >> good answer. >> in yugoslavia, in libya, many in afghanistan we demonstrated that air power can affect regime change.
the syrian regime apparently, at least according to reports, was in the process of getting the upper hand in the civil war against the opposition. what do you think is the calculus of the regime to employ, i mean, to employ chemical weapons when it would fly in the face of a very strong statement by our president, by our allies and potentially invites the type of strike that's being contemplated now? what do you think went into their calculations? >> you know, i think goes back to a point that steve made earlier about redlines, how they're drawn, how they're enforced. my observation of syrian behavior -- and others on the panel may have a different view -- has been that there has been over a two-year period as the conflict has intensified and grown more violet, that the
regime -- violent, that the regime itself has been very carefully in a very calibrated way pushing the envelope. so first you saw air strikes, and you saw use of scuds against, you know, civilian populations and small scale use of chemical weapons that could be, in some sense, denied or fudged. and then, you know, slightly larger scale until you got what we saw, you know, a week or so ago. and i think this goes to the whole issue, you know, of how you draw a redline and how you enforce it. the perception on the part of the regime in damascus that no matter what it did, it kept going and kept being able to get away with it because there would be with pious denunciations from the international commitment and the united states but nothing would happen, i think has, over time, emboldened more and more action. it's one of the reasons why i think it is so essential that the authorization for military
force be approved by the congress and that the president execute it. >> i, mort, can i just quickly add i'm not sure the perception -- there is real debate amongst syrian experts that even after they took cue share, they have quite the momentum that you described, that they were on the verge of winning this war. in fact, there's a lot of reporting that they were having a terribly difficult time in these suburbs of eastern damascus, that they had basically thrown everything at it conventionally, had not been able to dislodge this force that was being fed through a rebel pipeline coming up through jordan that was heavily funded by the saudis with serious heavy weaponry beginning to come through. and it was in that context of actually not being worried about the capital and what the rebels might be able to do in the capital if they couldn't get them out of these neighborhoods that, in fact, the military decision was taken to throw cw at them and, obviously, in quite
a large way. i think it did ultimately come in the context that eric describes and that, in fact, i think i'd have to go back and read the transcript. there was a remarkable admission by secretary kerry yesterday in which he basically said, well, why wouldn't they have used it? international community has set t this as a redline, we, the united states, have set this as a redline, and yet they've used it multiple times now. i'm not sure of the number, he put a very high number, shockingly high number on it to me. not once or twice or three times last spring, but repeated use on smaller scales of cw. and then just at the end of the day this is what tyrants do. when larger powers, they question their credibility, if they're not willing to enforce it, they tell their people that nobody is going to come to help you. we are going to crush your will. and at the end of the day, these are wars of will and morale on both sides, and this was clearly on the anniversary of the president's declaration of the
redline assad telling these people and telling the entire syrian population, no one is going to help you. you're finished. there's not a damned thing the united states can or will do about it. >> well, i think we are at the end of our time, and i will just end it by quoting an old aphorism from my home country, canada, where we used to say if you're going to try cross-country skiing for the first time, pick a small country. don't pick the united states. [laughter] well, if you need the talent to deal with this issue, and it's a huge issue coming forward, i think we could not have found a better group than the people of this panel, so i want to thank them all for what was a very, very illuminating dialogue. thank you all very much. [applause] >> i want to thank mort. i think as you see, we've really put together a really excellent group here, and obviously, this is a pivotal time for both u.s. national security interests and
track of the whip count, they're calling it, of military strikes on syria. we have numbers to show the viewers, but take us through the latest the hill has come up with. >> caller: well, the latest we have in the house, and that's really the key chamber to be watching right now, is there is 141 votes leaning no, and only 31 votes in the house where people are saying they would vote yes or leaning yes. that's really stiff on president obama, and you want to see this get through the lower chamber. in the senate, we only have 26 senators right now saying that they would vote for this or leaning towards voting for this. that's a better scenario there. obama's getting closer, but he's not there yet. >> host: right now, it's looking like the senate is the easier sell for the president, is that what you find from your numbers? >> caller: absolutely, but they don't have the votes even in the senate, and i think when this started a week ago, when president obama made announcements a week ago, you got the first case from the senators and house members,
there was optimism they would get it through the senate relatively easy. right now, that's not the case. you're getting 5 -- a lot of deflection even from democrats in the senate, and so they can't say with certainty right now that they would be able to get a yes vote in the senate, but it's looking better than the house. >> host: what if the president gets a yes vote in the senate and no vote in the house, is there any word on what the white house will do in that scenario? >> caller: they say that's close to the vest. the president was asked that repeatedly at the news conference at the g20 summit, and he would not give a direct answer. it's seen the white house believes saying one thing or the other, where whatever action they take, if there is a no vote, that that could hurt them in gets votes in favor of their provision. they are trying not to give up position on that right now. >> host: members have been out in their districts on this recess for the past five weeks, getting an ear full on the issue for the past week. is the white house's job easier
now that members of congress are back in washington, d.c., away from these town halls that we've seen siewfn on -- so often on the news where folks express concern about the strike? does the white house believe the job is easier this week? >> caller: i think they hope it's easier coming here this week, and there's a lot of people that see it would be a little easier and they have the house members and the white house right away, and the house members, when they come back, democrats in the house will be in a room with nancy pelosi, and she could, potentially, you know, play pressure on them to support the president. instead of the house members hearing from constituent after constituent back in their district, they are in washington and the pressure is intense from leadership, but no mistake, they are up against a real tough task here in trying to get this. it's seen here, all hearing,
most constituents say don't go into syria or do a military strike. it's tough, i think, for the white house to turn it around. >> host: ian swanson, editor of "the hill" newspaper, before we move on, talk about how much one-on-one time the president spends with individual members of congress? we heard he dropped in on a meeting with republican senators and the vice president yesterday, and is the president trying to get around to all members of congress on this? >> caller: i think they are doing what they can. there's been some mixed signals. it was interesting to see the president drop in op the vice president to meet with a half dozen republican senators yesterday. we have seen some lawmakers criticize obama for not reaching out to them. senator kissinger, a republican from illinois, supports military action of syria, said he had not heard from the president or from the white house yet on sunday. i think we'll see more and more lawmakers getting face time or getting phone calls from the
president, but there's 535 members in the house and senate so a lot of people to get to. >> host: thank you so muchs for getting up with us this morning. >> caller: thanks a lot. >> weigh in on c-span's poll on whether or not you think the u.s. should have military intervention in syria. the results, as they stand now on facebook, 113 people say they are in support, and 913 say they are against, and 34 are undecided. join the conversation at facebook.com/cspan. >> issues before the ftc, there's a lot of them. issues are diverse because, in many ways, they oversee the digital economy, which, by some measures,inging thes for as one-sixth of the economy itself. there's a few things going on in particular.
one of those is wireless communications. you can look around, proliferation of phones, that's probably no surprise of real interest. plus, you have to consider the numbers. we now have more wireless phones in the country than we have people. one in three american adults now have a tablet computer. all of those devices are using more of our air waves than ever before. we're getting started because worldwide mobile data demand is going to grow about 13 times in the next five years. the ftc has a lot on its plate when it comes to our air waves and how we use them. >> the newest fcc commissioner, jessica rosenworcel is on tonight on a new "communicators" continue on c-span2. the court of appeals hears oral
arguments today. the case focuses on net neutrality, and whether the fcc has the authority to regulate internet service providers under the telecommunications agent of 1996. net neutrality is a principle that allows users access to any web content that internet service providers treats everyone equally without restrictions or charges for data. the new america foundation and free press jointly hosted this discussion. it's 90 minutes. [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> hello, welcome, everyone in the room, we have a live stream online. for all of you, i encourage you to continue the conversation online with the hash tag "pound open internet." i'm sarah morris, senior policy counsel at the policy institute at new america foundation, thrilled to introduce a great group of participants here today to talk about the future of the communications ecosystem. we're here today to talk about the open internet, hear about the status in the case in the dc circuit where the internet order is challenged, but we're here to look broadly at the problems that emerged as the fcc grapples with the scope of the authority over modern communications networks. the challenges that result affect us all and will continue to affect us all. arbitrary regulatory distinctions mean federal
policies leave important, fundamental principles behind in the internet era. principles that ensure communications network connects everyone, everywhere, that our networks serve as open platforms allowing each of us to access content of our choosing and communicate unencumbered, but any competitors compete on a level playing field with incumbent providers, and, ultimately, the digital divide charge by racial or socioeconomics lines is not per pitch waits. the benchmark dates back over a century. they are not new. the fcc needn't reinvent the wheel. we'll discuss here what a modernized application of the principles might look like in the context of 21st century communications. joining me in the discussion today is matt wood, policy director at free press.
steven, national organizer for media justice, and marti doneghy from aarp. and susan crawford, professor for the cardozo school of law, former innovation policy official, former assistant for innovation policy to president obama, and author of captive audience, the industry in the guilded age. pleased to have you here, and i know you have much to say on the topic k so the floor is open to you after opening remarks to which we'll proceed to a conversation with all the participants. >> thank you, sarah, particularly to the new america foundation for hosting us. there's a spray of issues in communications, policy, and law, and there's a lot of shiny objects, confusion, so it must be a relief, to, especially, the
journalists in the crowd here that the case being argued on monday at the dc circuit is called verizon versus fcc, presents a moment of gran deer. the question presented by the case is, does the u.s. government have any role to play when it comes to ensuring am biketous, world class, reasonably priced internet access? does the government have good reasons to ensure that facility in america? i believe it does. both for competitive reasons because countries are adopting industrial policies, pushing towards exactly that end, and, also, because we have an obligation to ensure a thriving middle class that can help this country remain strong for
generations. so this case being argued monday, and that we'll discuss today, is situated in history for two powerful reasons. it is an attack on the idea that the government has any role in ensuring open, world class, am bigtous, reasonablebly price high speed internet access, and it's an attack on the idea of both at the administrative level, so whether fcc has delegated authority from congress to do what it did in the open internet role that we'll discuss, and administratively, that attack is very strong, and it stems from elaborate legal gymnastics that many people in the room are very highly qualified to talk about, and they'll talk about it in detail if they want, but that's all about policy. those decisions made by the fcc were made against the background of assumed legal authority.
we'll get through those policy decisions one way or another. they will get decided. that's the administrative level. what i want to highlight this afternoon is the profound -- the profound attack this case represents on congressional authority to say anything about high speed internet access under the commerce clause. each talk has just one message, and so i get one thing that you will remember today, and that one thing that's so important is that the dc circuit must firmly squash verizon's first amendment claims that any oversight of its high speed internet access service would be unconstitutional. the dc circuit must stop the argument in its tracks. verizon says that in its
capacity, when it's wearing that hat as a high speed internet access provider, it is the same as the washington post. any effort by government to constrain its ability to slice and dice and prioritize and make deals with content providers about that high speed interpret access could be found, should be found unconstitutional under the first amendment, and verizon has plenty of good reasons to make this astonishing and laughable argument, it's an attempt to constitutionalize the regulation of general purpose and communication networks. they want to move questions about the oversight of those networks out of the political realm, congressional, and this brings it over to the courts. make sure there's a roadblock, a
very tall constitutional roadblocks to any oversight. they seek to remove any threat, any threat ever oversight over high speed internet access. we've seen this before. in the locker era, same claims were made by companies seeking to remove regulatory oversight, but even then, tfn -- telephone companies did not claim the first amendment would bar oversight or regulation of their transport activities. verizon's goal here is to make this sound like a serious, legitimate constitutional argument. if they get there, that's a win. if it sounds serious, it's a win for them. that will make some courts, and they hope it's the supreme court, someday, and they'll make the argument over and over and over again, agree this is a serious question, that oversight of high speed internet access or any general purpose transport
network raises constitutional questions about speech, and then they'll pivot and say, well, in light of the very serious questions, you can't possibly defer to what the administration agency, in this case, the fcc, has done to exert oversight over us. they will repeat this over and over again, this laughable argument. this happened with health care. just keep saying it and hope that someone believes you that there's a constitutional claim at issue here. well, i'm here to tell you that the government has very good reasons to oversee the operation of the general purpose transport networks, and the reasons are so good, and verizon's claim is so absurd that it's important that the dc circuit make a plain at the same time about this. remember why we have a first amendment. it's to keep government from directing the content of messaging, from favoring certain points of view, but what is the
likelihood that governments in the net neutrality order after issue in this particular case or any other arena of communications policy over general purpose transport networks is actually suppressing speech or attempting to favor certain messages over others? i'll tell you what the likelihood is. it's zero. that's not what's beginning on here. there is no attempt to censor. verizon will say they are forced to subsidize speech by being abliged to be neutral. that's nuance. segregationists made that argument saying lunch counter were subsidized to have sit-ins. that was just a paragraph years ago, disgraceful at the time, and here, sure, everything's subsidizes something else, but there has to be a line. scalia said this clearly about ten years ago, that it a philosopher claims everything is
related to everything else, but there's a line and a transport network is not sub sigh -- subsidizing speech that travels over it. it's certainly not subsidizing messages. understandable messages by an audience in which it does not agree. that's not going on in this case. the dc circuit needs to slam the door on this first amendment argument decisively because what verizon is really trying to do in this entire case is protect its profitable positions. it wants power to squeeze profit everywhere, both in its interconnection points with other networks and in the last mile by prioritizing and discriminating with respect to traffic, but economic loss is not a first amendment injury. verizon is free to speak any time it wants to about anything. merely allowing other people's speech to cross the lines does not amount to compelled speech. luckily, in a recent supreme court decision, justice roberts,
very methodically, made it clear in the context of the solomon amendment case. we're hoping the dc circuit pays attention to that. verizon is not being singled out. these companies who are an issue in the open net order are regulated entities who provide wires and transmission lines and use right of way to provide general purpose communications into u.s. households. yes, there's a line between regulated entities and applications that use the internet. that's a line. it doesn't mean that the regulated entities are singled out as speakers for the messages. the sidewalk is different from the conversation. right now, we're worried about the sidewalk's unconstrained power to rise up, make more money by picking and choosing the particular conversations of which is approved, importantly, government has plenty of good reasons to prefer open networks
to private, to ensure access like our phone system was the envy of the world when it was built, and to make sure our infrastructure is world class. indeed, the first amendment and its protection of dissent and freedom of the press is demeaned by veer rye sos -- verizon's argument in this case. surely, we have not forgotten where this came from, and we have common sense. verizon is not a newspaper being forced to support views it opposes. it's trying to use the "miami herald" case, nor is it wearing a hat, a television distributer exercising viewer discretion over which stations or programs to include in the repertory. that's another case they are trying to use, a turner case from 1994. now, left to its own devices, verizon providing high speed internet access would like to cablize internet access, would like to choose programs and channels. this claim has a crucial timing
element to it, and a chicken and egg aspect here. it has to be squelched before it's true on its own. studies show that the benefits of open transport communication networks to all of society far exceeds the short term benefits, the carriers of extracting deals that help their stock price. this is not about regulating the internet. this is about regulating internet access and the congressional authority to do so. some of the dc circuit has to make it clear or we risk giving up on oversight over a basic network input into absolutely everything we do. we need to reclaim the regulatory ideal that unleashes capital that's now stunted in this country. this will not be disrupted to those of us who are on the top who have fine educations. it will be true, though, that failing to do so risks reeking havoc. we have a shared purpose as a
nation. we empower the wrongly disenfranchised. it's in our collective self-interest to get this right. the appellate case is part of the fabric of the story. verizon versus fcc is the right case in which the dc circuit can make clear that verizon is not a first amendment actor when it is transporting internet access. because verizon is so clearly wrong in making that argument, and i look forward to the dc circuit explaning why verizon is wrong, slowly, clearly, and methodically. i hope the argument monday is eliminating in that regard. thank you for listening to me, and i look forward to hearing from everybody else on this pam. thanks. >> thank you, susan, for the compelling examination of the court issue in the open internet order challenge. i'd like to turn now to you, matt, and let you give us a bit more context and background on
the case, where we are, how we got there, and we'll turn to the other panelists to give them the opportunity to explain what all of this means for them. >> thank you, great to be here as always. susan did a brilliant job in framing the case telling you what net neutrality is not. it's not content or speech regulation. it's regulation of a communications network, and i love that line about the sidewalks for the conversation. i mean, there's a regulated stone network for a while, and in some ways, still do. that doesn't mean the government or anybody regulates what you and i say to each other on the phone. there's a basic guarantee of openness, access, universal service, and affordability for the line that connects us all. that's what neutrality isn't. it's not regulation or regulating the interpret even though they try that tired line on you today. what it is is a simple statement of the century's old principles that the person you pay to ship something to you can't mess with
the content of what they carry for you. contrary to verizon's claim, ifcs can't edit the interpret or edit your e-mail messages, which welcomeses to go to and where you cannot go to. they cannot say you use some services, but not others as long as they are not harmful to the network. they can't say some sites cost more and some services cost you more, especially for those, coincidentally, that compete with our services. a company like comcast say, we like us it when you pay us twice, for cable tv service and internet access. it would be nice to keep you from relying on interpret access for all your video and keep that second check coming to us every month for tv services. this is not hypothetical or abstract, but something they tried to do, and that's the benefit of the open internet case today. there's a predecessor case in the dc circus running from 2007-2010 and finished up as one
kicked off at the fcc. it's not hypothetical, but something i promise you i want to do today, hear them talk about it like this one, and in places like aspen, they say, we should be allowed to, quote, experiment, with new themes to pay for content meaning more money flying into the hoppers, not only those paying them paying them to deliver content. i pay comcast, ashamed to say, for that internet connection, and they want the ability to charge, also, google or facebook or netflix or whomever, the smaller companies not as well heeled as they are today, they want the ability to charge them as well for getting content and creating additional revenue streams, monetizing, all those sorts of ways. how does that get us to today? what internet rules are under challenge in the court this week actually do? how well do they live up to the principle of what i said they should do, keep the isc, the conduit itself, from interfering
with the messages carried to you? they do a decent job, i guess you have to say. people say, well, there's been no complaints, no high profile adjudications at the fcc. no need for the rules; right? it sthoas the rules work. they kept the lid on the worse isp keeping abuses and work to constrain behaviors, even though, again, you hear them sort of talking about it, boy, it would be nice if we could do this. they have not constrained every bit of bad behavior. at&t on wireless networks refused to make an application that apple made called facetime, available for everybody with service from at&t saying you could have it paying us for unlimitedded voice minutes and the data you use. a lot like that comcast model. you pay us twice, unlimited voice, you are free to substitute something else for it as long as the check is guaranteed and we get paid as the carrier. sure, go off and innovate and
have fun, but only once they have discriminated against the competitive content, the innovative implication that takes away the legacy business. i said the open internet rules work to some degree. of course, so the free press is not happy with the compromises struck when the order was adopted in 2010 by the fcc. a lot of open internet advocates were not satisfied with those compromises. three really quickly and finish as the third one on the authority piece that susan said is not compelling, but important in the case, and, in fact, comes first considering whether the fcc has the authority to adopt the rules at all. the first compromise we did not like is the wireless disparity we talked about in the past with the fcc having different rules that apply to wireless and wireless network. it plays out is that on a wireless network. the carrier has no obligation to upshould nondiscrimination prince. s saying we feel like charging
you more for the application because we can. try to stop it. it's allowed, if not encouraged. they also said the wireless carriers could not block applications that complete with their own services like skype, favorite. those are protected, but social media app, music app are free game, not just for differential treatment, but blocking by the isc. that's the problem, the wireless disparity. second problem, more recently, a lot of loopholes, and we have this, and there's incomplete definitions they leave in the order because they work hard to make this important statement and preserve prince. s for us, but things like -- this could set off a nightmare, but reasonable network management, whatever that may mean, or managed services, which nobody has defined even to this day. there's loopholes and land mines in order that may be legitimate
ways for isc's to manage the network and abuse the privilege and abuse their gatekeeper power. third way, in which the order was unsatisfactory to us and 5 lot of people, was the authority, and susan touched on this, i'll finish quickly and turn it over to the all-star panel to talk about the real, real implications of the authority question, not getting too lost in the dry legal part of it, but, basically, what the fcc has done for the last decade or more is continue down this mistaken path of saying, you know, the internet and interpret access services were not really transmission services, but kind of like a service, but also different enough that we don't have the same kind of authority over them as we do over like a telephone network; however, we have some authority. you know, it's very much unclear as to what the authority is. i wouldn't say that's necessarily a wrong argument or a bad legal period, but it's not the cleanest one fcc has available to it so the question in this case, really, on the
authority issue is not, will it be the end of the line for the fcc? there's other options available to them they should have taken a long time ago, but it might be the end of the regulatory twilight zone in which broadwand internet access service and other services lived for the better part of the last decade now and now through two presidential administrations. that's what we'll see as the argument plays itself out and as the judges finally render a decision later this year and does the fcc has the authority to claim network practices or try again? the problem is that this is not only something that affects net neutrality. if the fcc has a broad decision and broad line, the nare low loss is likely. they have no authority whatsoever over broadband communications, modern communications network, and that would be a disaster because we need the fcc to make sure we have a level playing field so
that competitive companies are available for broad service to people, and most importantly, so that constituency communities that marti and steven represent have access to the modern world class communication network that we need even as technology and the content running over it changes. .. i want to take us back and broaden a little bit about what
was going on at the time that we are considering the fcc order. first there was wide public support for the commission to act, to do something. why is this? well, i think it was because folks begin to realize how important it is to have access to the internet as we have all grown to love it. be able to access video, voice alternatives, to be able to surf the web, check the "washington post" website, "the new york times," and this idea that we would have to pay more, or the content provider would have to pay more to be just, sort of a scary idea, how is that going to change what is that consumers were doing every single day with the internet? in addition there was this economy growing around the internet, and we have seen lots of innovation, alternative options, new competition. that's very exciting, especially because it's really expensive to reach consumers.
and here's an alternative to reach consumers in a new and exciting way. many of the staff have grown up during the internet age. i began work in the mid '90s. i remember when you couldn't attach anything to an e-mail. i remember when we used to talk about whether not you would be able to provide voice over the internet. so the idea that we have gotten to this place, i think we are all a little humbled at the fcc. we wanted to be sure that we were taking steps to protect consumers but at the same time the rules wouldn't be so onerous that we really would alter are somehow stop new innovations that could happen that would benefit consumers. another thing i wanted to point out to you all is that congress had actually become quite aware of how important the internet was. in the american recovery and reinvestment act, congress had directed the commission to spend time and money putting together a national broadband plan. how can we do broadband?
how can we get high speed internet access to all americans? that's affordable. and they also provided in that act, $7.2 billion to build broadband in america, to make sure that all consumers would have access to this new, exciting service. they recognized that very much like electric service have been when it first begin, how telephone service began, and realized that this helped equal the playing field for consumers and provide them new opportunities. here are ways we can create economic opportunities in rural america. and the president had to include an open internet policy in his presidential platform. so these broad discussion for going on, the importance of an open internet going on, and i think the commission really wanted to ensure that, one, yes, consumers can have access to this open internet. they have the opportunity to speak. they have the opportunity to
reach competitive opportunities. and at the same time we were very humbled in the position we're in, and we wanted high level rules that would provide this. and we knew that yes, it wasn't going to please everyone, and perhaps that meant we actually got to the right compromise that on both sides everyone was happy. i know have a different hat on but i represent comptel which is the trade association representing competitive carriers, and the nondiscrimination principles that are in the open internet order and in the rules are really important. the commission laid out very clearly in this order how it is that large isps who also have alternative services, video services, voice services, have an incentive to discriminate against competitors. the small companies that are trying to compete over the
internet and offer alternative services to consumers would be put at a disadvantage without these rules. and so that's the perspective that i wanted to provide from my old position and in my new position, and i'm happy to be here and to continue this discussion with you all. >> great. thank you. we want to hear more from you about how your current members today are put at a disadvantage when we don't have certainty about how the transport network and the public networking together answered everybody, kind of benefits our members can provide. as i said earlier, that this is the impact by this rule are the more -- my lack of certainty about their communications future. that's what we're so excited to have marti and steven. marti is from aarp, a powerful voice on a lot of issues that are in play in washington, but especially on this issue as well. and on the impacts that lack of
affordable and universal communication services can have on all americans but especially on aging populations who have as much of a need for anybody but don't adapt to the newest service instantly in need of some kind of certainty in all of this changing technology landscape. so please, marti. whatever you would like to share. >> thank you very much. and thank you, new america foundation, and colleagues here for this great opportunity to talk about potential impacts to the 50 plus population regarding this decision or the hearing next week in and imminent decision. aarp is a nonprofit nonpartisan organization with a membership of more than 37 million, and we help people turn the goals, particularly the 50 plus population, turned their goals and dreams into possibilities, real possibilities. we fight for the issues that
matter most to them as we believe such as health care, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities, yes, and protection from financial abuse. broadband services, the technology itself, many of you in the realm are much more defined specialists and experts than myself, but i can tell you that at aarp we see broadband as a successful connector for the 50 plus population. we understand well all people have a fundamental need to stay connected to one another or be part of a wider community, being connected is equally important for the 50 plus population. older adults find out later in life many times that there are more potential opportunities after the age of 50 than before, such as becoming an entrepreneur, starting new businesses, coming up with those dreams and goals that they wished they had thought of and
proceed with when they were 20, but now after a life full of work have an opportunity to engage in that. the 50 plus population in this country is growing very rapidly, and projected to increase by 21% by 2020. those over 65 growing by 33% by the year 2020, which is just a minute away. all of this nation really need to go to work and find ways to keep this very large and vibrant growing 50 plus population not only engaged but also connected. we would like to talk about the technology infrastructure in broadband and the implications and impacts to this population. we know that lifelong learning opportunities are very high on the list of the 50 plus population, and they get an opportunity to study at local institutions of higher education and intergenerational access to
public schools and community facilities. access to public services offered by federal, state and local governments where information on critical, life-saving and life enhancing benefits are online now, and those populations or those who have no access, or who have limited access really value broadband and the internet to getting to those benefits. and again, i mentioned access to entrepreneurial and small business startup opportunities, very important. want to talk quickly so we can move to questions and answers about how we see this rapid technological change happening in telecommunications. aarp firmly believes that as the technology involves fewer protection cannot be obsolete. they must move and transition with the technology. there is no stopping point. there is no tipping point.
they must move as the technology evolves, for the protection of the consumers and in the nation's public interest as well. we know that the classification issue is at the core, or at the heart of a lot of the distressed right now regarding the hearing next week, and other telecommunication issues. we tried help our members understand the difference regarding the classification, telecommunication services, the fcc has so much more authority under that right, under the classification as opposed to the information service. so we tried help our members understand. but network neutrality, aarp supports an open internet. we support the consumers right to access information openly without discrimination of content or service. so we are firmly supporters in
that can. we believe that policymakers should ensure that consumers have the right to use their internet connection to access, use and receive or offer any lawful content or services that they choose over the internet. and consumers should have the right to attach any device to the operators broadband network as long as that device does not damage or degrade the subscribers use of the network, or other subscribers use of the network. aarp is very supportive of the fcc's role as a gatekeeper over this very critical, vibrant, rapidly changing technology and its infrastructure. we believe that the fcc has a role, and it must be maintained, must be protected. broadband is no longer the fledgling technology of the '80s and '90s, meeting the nurturing of a light touch or
restrained touch of regulation. instead, broadband technology and with the internet represents right now is a very full of drones, robust technology and industry that is very critical to our nation and the public interest of our nation, and very critical to our 50 plus population, and quality of life issues as all of us age. we feel that the public for its patients, its encouragement, and to a great extent it substation, subsidization of this great innovation technology broadband deserves a federal communications commission his role will be to protect, strengthen universal access of not only connectivity, but of the content and the services that the internet will offer. >> great. that is a much, marti.
we will come back to you as well and get sarah back and everyone else. last but not least, finish with steven. marti talked about broadband. i would say it is the basic tenet nation's platform today. no longer fledgling. what does it mean for communities that don't have access, that basic connectivity? what kind of impact do we see when we don't have open and equal and affordable access for every population, not just those few who can afford to buy it from verizon when they claim it is there's and they can edit it if they want to. >> thank you, matt. first of all, thank you so much for having me on the panel. it's an extreme honor to be on this panel with so many folks that have the deepest amount of respect for, and just humbled to be here. so i'm here with the center for media justice, but i should be truthful i'm actually representing are the 160 members of immediate action grassroots network which the national network that we coordinate with membership across the country. and for us the open internet
really has an impact in three areas. we know that it's vital to the health and well being of the communities that are represented to our networks, which are very much those commuters of color, rural communities, low income, poor and working-class communities. it's vital towards their health and well being. it's important protecting the public interest, and in particular those same vulnerable communities that without these protections can be priced out of this vital infrastructure, or sometimes relegated towards a second class internet that impacts their ability to think effectively and participate in this kind of global 21st century economy. and lastly, we see an impact in the open internet is vital in protecting a platform that it has democratized our communications, and really provide us a respected platform from a dissident platform where
we can voice our opposition. and i'll go into each of those a little bit more. for us this case is about controlling ownership of this vital infrastructure, and these are pre-existing tensions that communities of color, rural communities, poor and working-class communities are all familiar with. one of our network members, young people's project an organization in mississippi, they run this massive digital literacy program for children in elementary, middle school and high school because they know how critical these skills are to a quality education. and their engaged, trying to connect education to digital literacy just because it's so vital. around jobs, broadband has been this engine behind economic development. there was an interesting study done in the mississippi naacp that took a look at broadband in the mississippi delta and they analyzed zip codes and look at
how many broadband providers when each of the zip codes. and zip codes that had for the seven broadband providers, internet service providers, they were about 370 businesses. the posts that have zero, there were about seven. and it's no surprise that a lot of those zip codes very much dovetailed over with rural communities, poor communities, communities of color. so what we learned from these struggles is that we lacked agency over these critical infrastructures, our communities suffer. this case and the fight for an open internet, our fight, and because it's directly tied to all of our other fights for community health and well being, and you know, as other folks have kind of alluded to, corporations are oftentimes always trying to look for more ways to make more profit, which is natural, their corporations. so when profit-making inevitably conflicts with public interest,
you know, in a lot of cases profit-making usually wins out, but it doesn't have to be this way. network neutrality is a principle that protects the public. and when does the roads we face in internet nutrisystem that preys on the public. we look shortly after the fcc implemented its network neutrality rules, metro pcs, you know, came out with a tiered data plan. you to pay 40 bucks and you get unlimited what they called unlimited web browsing and you could get unlimited youtube. for a little bit more you could get additional websites. we start seeing this tiered structure that is very similar to us when we think about people. metro pcs is a company that, now it's t-mobile, but metro pcs was a company back then who is this a good marketing towards communities o of color. thing about internet experience that we're inviting people into when we don't have the vital protections. so when corporations are in a position to pick winners and
losers, the loosest entity those most vulnerable communities of color, poor, working-class. without an open internet we are denied yet again one more platform, arguably for us in our day and age the biggest platform to express our opinion that reflects the best interest of our communities. this is relevant now more than ever as the president and congress state what actions to take and city but it's vital important that we have access to media platforms that allow us to oppose military force that calls for a peaceful intervention that allows to hear the stories of groups like iraq veterans against the work o around challenge the obvious anti-muslim racism that is so much a part of the media. i think a lot about this particular issue, a lot of the companies that are against network neutrality are the same companies that are provided this massive amounts of data to the nsa. you know, users all across the
u.s. and an open internet was the platform that allowed for us to hear the secret service probe ranson come to light. it's been the online communities that have fought back against policies like sopa and pipa. it's a vital platform that allowed us to build towers and challenge when it's necessary. in conclusion, i think those are the three pieces ever really see as important when you can open it for health and well being. we need the open internet to protect the public interest and protect those most vulnerable, and we need to open internet as a platform for dissent. >> thank you, steven. that was very compelling. i want to take a moment and just broaden the scope a bit, and think a little bit about this worst-case scenario that susan described earlier where the court would just sort of issue a sweeping ruling that says the fcc has no authority to regulate broadband. and think about other policies beyond net neutrality and the
open internet order, that this last authority would affect. and i can start off by flagging the universal service fund come and i think that probably marti and in g. could add to this, but what we are seeing in work at the fcc and trying broad and the scope of the fund, broaden the scope of the things supported within the universal service fund to include broadband service in the context of lifeline, the lifeline program which provides a discount for low-cost telephone service. we've seen calls from groups across the country to expand this program to allow it, and we've also seen a sort of inability at the fcc to work and expand those regulations to include broadband within the
lifeline. i know we've gotten there partially, but to actually support broadband as a stand-alone service is a lifelong -- lifeline fund. so i know there's lots, sopa is the radio to authority over traditional telephone companies involved much more than nondiscrimination and i feel like we see again all of it of these other related issues that might be affected. >> my worst-case and it is worse than that which would be there would be no congressional authority to delegate to the fcc to act. what you get then is a continuation of the status quo which is divided markets. you pick wired, i'll take wireless, able to charge whatever you want for whatever service you want to provide but it becomes another, it becomes a private limousine service that something will get access to, some people don't, and so all the positive externalities, all the great things that happened for society because we are things like a postal system and we have the federal highway
system in america. we've got communication networks, the phone anyway, reached everybody at equal level. that huge competitive advantage for the country is whittled away. because we will have few people, the more affluent, will be able to get access to still second class networks but better than their less well-off brethren well. new businesses won't be able to rely on a common interface so they would risk having the rug pulled out from under them when they want to attract new investment and they want to get launched. won't have equivalent access health care for americans, education. every social policy goals we care about is undermined by not having universally available ubiquitous world-class interconnected internet access. we won't get that without having some oversight. because left to their own devices we will get what we got, which is the status quo and a
deeply profit driven enterprise as steven described. >> and also, i would like to emphasize once again, i think it's been mentioned by couple of people on this panel already, there are still pockets of populations in this country have no access, a very limited access, limited access to even phone service, to great phone service not to mention even broadband, internet and so forth. so the demise of the fcc as a gatekeeper, as a preserver of public interest in that respect would already turned to communities that are struggling to survive with no providers, who probably what i would like to say -- economic development doesn't happen, populations who want to continue to generation after generation, that's not going to happen.
like we still places in this country, and without an fcc, a gatekeeper, a public-interest welcome those places may never get service. and those places with limited service at would have a very difficult time in attracting the profit driven provider to come into those communities. so just want to speak to those rural populations and other places that really don't have what we see in washington, d.c., and other urban areas of this country. >> what we do know is that congress had that concern already, and specifically devoted money towards building projects so that more consumers could have access to high speed internet service. and we also know that a commission, you have a statute that hasn't been updated since 1996, look at the section and its lifeline reform which occurred about a year and a half ago, put together a pilot program for broadband internet access service for low income
consumers, relied upon the statute to do that. has a pilot project that is ongoing right now so that they can turn the lifeline program grant just that integrate voice subsidy program but also a broadband subsidy program. and as you indicated, sarah, yes the commission already permits the subsidy for purposes of packages so that as consumers buying voice and broadband package, it can be subsidized but is still the same amount of money that the subsidy is. and it's not a parent that there's a lot of companies that are currently offering that service to low income subscribers in the lifeline program. so if the court, even if it shuts down first and in the case, okay, so congress still has authority that it can delegate to the fcc. if they somehow limit the authority that the fcc has been delegated and we have to go back
to congress, the commission has to go back to congress in order to be able to ensure that low income consumers can be served, that they can get access to broadband internet access through subsidies, it's going to take a while for that to happen. and that's a concern. if the court doesn't shut down the whole thing at this point and upholds the commission statutory authority, the 706 a authority, the 706 b. authority, the language that's in very portions that have been tied backward into the service of these can the service of voice, and the 230 provision that was relied upon by the fcc. so i would even go really stressed even beyond what susan ness stress, like they really need to uphold the fcc at this time, and the fcc has to go back and redo the amount of time that that would take the fcc -- the
political pressure which deals from the public and from the companies, and i really think this is not a great use of government resources. this question has been asked and answered and the court should uphold and we should be going. because there are many other things that the fcc needs to work on, including finishing up that pilot project in a t-shirt low income consumers have access to affordable rock band internet access. >> for me, i'm in an interesting generation were i'm old enough to have gone to school and at times when it didn't necessarily need access to the internet, i was also the first person on my block was growing up in los angeles to get a computer and have dial-up connection. i was like the go to person for every query. but nowadays when i go back, my cousin lives with my mom now,
and she has broadband connection, cable connection at home because she needs it because she goes to college. my cousin next door who's in high school regularly on a daily basis utilizes her computer to finish her homework. you know, for me, for me the doomsday scenario is more about what the impact is going to be the people in their homes, out in communities. and this is an infrastructure that is now being utilized for so many critical things. i've helped my mom configure taxes online. i've helped found the numbers look for jobs online, look for directions. this is like everyday survival stuff, and i think angie is right, we've got to keep moving forward. this authority question, what's interesting is it's a very critical question, but it's also interesting to me because reminds me of a song, same old song. it's the same old song ♪ >> in, every time the scc decide
to do something, it seems like and it carries don't like it, they respond by saying welcome the fcc doesn't have the authority to do that. and we have seen it recently just completed our network as part of a campaign to lower the cost of phone calls from prisons and the fcc did such an amazing job in addressing an issue that had been long-standing at the commission for over a decade, and angie was very much involved in that. so first of all, thank you. and what are the carriers think what they didn't want to deregulate so they're saying the fcc has no authority. so in some ways, these are things come up time and time again, anytime the fcc tries to be something. yes, it's a very important question, but come on. >> without really questioning and she's obviously true statement that this will tie the commission up in knots politically, i wonder if we could go back to that point to get past the same old song,
people say the fcc does that if they do the right thing, they will be sued. they just had no matter what they do. a lot of our advice to them at the time of the open internet order tracking was at least get sued for the right thing. to the strong thing, do the right thing and georgia said no matter what ago in with your strongest theory. setting that aside for a moment, if the fcc chose to review the order based on some kind of narrow revamp would be big little fight, but i can put that aside for a minute, the open internet will, is net neutrality but if you talk about the knots that your comptel members have to times as into to navigate the current system we have where they can't even message of interconnect. they can do this or even connect to a verizon or comcast or someone else and be guaranteed that they can send traffic to one another based on nothing more than the technology they are using or the type of facility, whether it's a copper wire or cable wire.
but they're providing the same service, a vital service that we still need very much for our economy and our society. and yet i think your companies have to do with the regulatory arbitrage and the games that incumbents play to make it as difficult as possible for their competitors. >> it doesn't seem like it's the same old song. what matt is referring to is that congress did provide for provisions entitled to in the 1996 act to open u of the local markets, and specifically the local phone markets for competition. and as we see more companies transitioning to new technologies such as internet protocol transmission, they are now arguing this is internet, therefore, you know, the commission should regulate it the same way that it regulates the sort of old service. and they do not want to interconnect with competitive carriers, and they want the commission to treat it as though
it's going to be all over the top and an internet who will take of the situation. our position is that this is not internet tiering arrangement the user voice products that are managed services of like gdm is managed today. over the carries networks in fact they all advertise their voice over internet protocol services as not being carried over the internet. and we continue to have that fight with them, and so there is a lot of spillover. the arguments that you've seen before you see again, we're seeing at the proceedings. and the commission -- commissions lack of determination about how to classify service, how to treat services, and it doesn't to tie itself up in knots in order to enact consumer protections. and occasionally we find out here's a consumer protection on interconnected voice that hasn't been covered, such as the recent
case. who knew that as it turns out if you're a consumer and your voice product gets switched over to interconnected voip service without your commission, you file a complaint at the fcc, they're going to dismiss it because they haven't said that those rules apply to interconnected voip service although even in many other context they apply the same telephone consumer protection for interconnected voice service. so yes, this is, it makes it difficult for our members. you know, we are concerned about exactly what steps the commission will take, what authority would be viewed as having by the courts to ensure there's a level competitive playing field. why is this so important to consumers? because the consumers have choice. they will have innovative services offered to them. usually at cheaper prices. they will have alternatives.
if they don't like their service they can go to somebody else but this is a good thing. this is what you 96 act and then come ever to see those provisions continue. >> you mentioned in your earlier statement, you highlighted the widespread political and central support back in the days of the original drafting of the open internet order. and given this sort of regular arbitrage and that highlighted and that your story exemplified, and the fact that as we are seeing more and more companies are moving away from digital telephone technologies and into phone systems delivered over the internet. we are seeing a shrinking, a base of companies and entities that visuals are actually protecting. as we transitioned over, this is sort of, we are reaching a critical moment. so i'm curious, where are we now when it comes to this political and social support?
and have we missed the moment? have we -- >> i think there's a lot of confusion. i don't want to put you on the spot. there's some confusion and what you just said, sarah, because the numbers actually show not much of the voice services action over the internet right now. the use of ip, internet protocol, is a transmission technology. it doesn't mean that goes over the internet. and so through this confusion what has the and and and and, therefore, is going over the internet as something to do all. that's not true. and that's a misconception that mmight association it spending a lot of time trying to correct. and so as it turns out, there are some folks that are choosing to have their voice product over the internet, and that's great and we want to encourage the. we think that's really important. but it's also true that there continue to be managed voice products for consumers.
in fact, it's well over the majority of residential consumers are choosing it and almost all business consumers do, and that's because for business consumers may need to absolute the make sure they have good, quality service. and the internet is a best effort network. it doesn't offer the same kind of guarantees that the telephone network has traditionally offered and that is so important for so many consumers. i have to tell you it's even important to me as a residential consumer. with two young kids in my house. i don't rely solely on my mobile service. i still continue to purchase a triple play that includes a voice product because the absolute want to be sure that i can stay in contact with my friends and family and loved ones and god forbid if there's an emergency, in my house. and that product that i get is a managed voip product that does not travel over the internet.
and effect you can go on the website and they will tell you that. so that is, i just want to be really clear so folks understand. and it does, the commission, the lack of certainty and definition from the commission perspective, and it hasn't defined what it is, continues to be a problem. and sometimes it isn't even a problem that vacancy, such as the hip enforcement or who's working of the slimy rules and going all, we can't handle this complaint. blending else i should mention, most likely the state couldn't be the. because so many states have deregulated voice services. so where's the consumer supposed to go? how is the consumer going to be protected from that? and so it is important that the commission, you know, that they address issues head on. and the politics, yes, the politics are hard. i've been there before, and i've also been in a situation where
i'm begging the chairman's office to make the hard decisions. and this is when it's very helpful to have the grassroots and the consumers say, we want these protections, and is so important for the commission to do its job and protect consumers. especially in light of the fact that the our about 50% of the states that have deregulated. so the fcc is the last agency that can protect consumers. >> i just want to thank angie for the clarification. but also it highlights the necessity and the dire situation we have at aarp and other consumer advocacy groups, particularly with the state legislatures and state utility commissions who don't have the best information. they may have the best lobbyists that the carrier can provide, but they don't have the best information. and they get a lot of conflicting information as to
where their authorities begins and where inscom and with the fcc is able to step in and where its role the entrance of a stopgap. so i just want to speak up for the consumer groups were fighting at the state level who are dealing with legislation and utility commissions are getting these mixed messages about the fcc's role, and that the state level they're saying don't worry, deregulate. the fcc will be there while here in washington they're doing everything to make sure that the fcc will not be there. spent soviet state regulars are confused by what lobbyists taliban. you have real people who are confused. and i think it goes back to something marti talked about, steven touched on, susan touched on. maybe we can finish with final thoughts before we start taking cautious be one of the benefits if investment experts in the audience if not more than you appear in front of yo these i'm interested in what questions we might get. there's this confusion and i think it stems from not lack of
concern or care about this issue, just simple display that suddenly consumer protections don't apply. i can call them in but i want to on my phone but what do you mean i can't do that with an e-mail? what do you mean i can do that with a website? why would that be different just because the knowledge he has improved or change? change? why would i so not have the same types of rights but economically speaking and from in freedom standpoint of democratic standpoint, why can't i go and find that dissent that steve is talking about because the isp has the right to see like and talk to you. that's really where the isps have been so successful at muddying the water for people spent it almost make you smile because from the consumer protection, consumer perspective, these are just general purpose transport network. you're supposed able to pick up the modern day of a phone and do what you need to do. it should be interconnected and work for rural america. were always supposed be number one and yet steadily at the
state level, at the local level, at the federal level, all of that structure is being removed. and this case is absolutely essential to that very well thought-out campaign. and the problem is, there's enough of a shell game. maybe it's not going over the internet but it's going over the state pride provided by the same guy, so you know, everything is moving around and defined broadly and yet it shouldn't be that difficult. this is a basic general purpose transport indications network. it's a substitute for the telephone. it should be treated that way but without clear congressional authority, clear fcc authority and by the way, every strong roles at the state who can pick up the phone. the fcc can't pick up 300 million phones and respond to consumer protection complaints because they very important role for the states to place we've got to get them back into that position. we've got this opportunity now, the next couple of years, to move this ship around the i am hopeful that whatever happens with the fcc's legal gymnastics on the open enable itself, we'll
see a wholesale move towards this at this very important social policy issue for the entire country. >> you have state commissioners who are engaged on these issues and we need more of them. the organization that represents the state utility commissioners, the president put together a task force and they just released their white paper on the cooperative federal and state work that needs to happen with new networks. if i encourage all to go to the website and look at this paper that we need to have more of that discussion of how we have this engagement at the state commissioners, state legislatures, and the fcc all working together to ensure there's a level competitive playing field so that we all have options as consumers whether we're residential consumers or business consumers, and that we all know that competition is one of the best ways to protect consumers offer
innovation and lower prices but then also there needs to be those basic consume consumer prs in place that susan talked about, that steven talked about, that marti talked about the absolute insurance that folks it's the kind of guaranteed service that they've always had and rely on. and that they don't have to understand the legal distinctions when you're using the internet versus when they're using their wireless phone versus when you're using a wired phone. >> what i would have just real quickly is that part of what we tried to do with immediate action grassroots network is bring the grassroots voice to a lot of these places. last last country in . ..
sort of presenting some things here but i have to say there is sort of an elephant in the room that's being overlooked and i think you would clarify for your audience a tremendous amount if you would address this the reality is, angie, you mentioned been since the '96 act this was done the i will remind everybody that the '96 act was written 60 years after the 34 act. congress didn't know a lot about the internet. there was a lot done about the '80s and '90s about the internet. i submit the statute does
address the internet t would be helpful to listeners in the event you get past this first amendment argument and fcc should two down on 7 -- 706 and in reality they should. the fcc was given tool by congress to address all the advanced networks. i would like you to educate the listeners on the fact that in the event the court strikes down the rationale put forward bit fcc all is not lost. you don't need a new statute. could you go address these things as they have been done before. i feel like everybody is tiptoeing around the fact that the fcc got itself into this box by basically defining what angie rightly points out is, something over ip as somehow outside their grasp. they sort of scrambled around the edges looking for provisions of law they could point to, oh, but we didn't give it all away. we just gave away all the important stuff. so maybe you could talk a little bit more how title 2, title 3,
title 6 might actually continue to apply in the event the fcc went back and revisited their definitions. >> absolutely. i did not intend to tiptoe around this but the commission reclassified broadband service as an information service. they first did that for cable modem service and then did that for dsl service. so that is one option. the commission can go back and look at those decisions and say, no, we're going to classify this service as a title 2 service and it career clearly has all the authority it needs and it could even price regulate if it wanted to. it also could do other things and instead of classified broadband internet access service as title 2 it could classify the sub submission under title 2 and make it available on a wholesale basis to competitors and create a more vibrant, competitive market for broadband services so that other
providers could offer an open internet service to consumers. so, i think all of that though will be very politically difficult inside the beltway, if that's what the commission would be left to do and it's very hard to speculate, you know, exactly what a court would say if they were striking down what it is that the commission had relied upon but, yes, there's a series of decisions that occurred and, in the prior commission under prior administrations they left it in the position that it was in and the fcc that i was a part of, made the decision not to go forward with a reclassification. it has an open proceeding as part of that discussion and i think one of the reasons why it didn't because it was just too hard to do it. there was such an outcry that it shouldn't do that. that it should go this particular route and see what a court says. >> i'm glad you think i'm so
graceful early, that i tip-toed around it. around fcc has twisted itself into knots. thanks for bringing it up again. it is very important for people to think that this case is the end of the road for fcc it is the end of this road of the regulatory twilight i talked about earlier they tried to say we have jurisdiction over broadband internet access service but only in kind of convoluted ways. maybe that holds up. maybe the court will find that to be the case for these rules. but it isn't just good enough in our view for all of the things and all the responsibilities the fcc has under that act and all the roles they have to play to be sure we maintain this communications network and somehow don't let it disappear because the technology has changed. >> i think our members would have real concerns as i mentioned earlier about the amount of time it would take for the commission to make this decision, what the end result could be. you know one of the things that would hear constantly from those
lobbying me when i was on the 8th floor, we need certainty. we need certainty. we need certainty. just make a decision. and so this puts us all back into more uncertainty. there are other proceedings that are going at the fcc that my members care about, special access reform, and reforming, modernizing the last mile of policies at the commission and instead we're going to rehash this and the, other responsibilities that the commission has been given that, they have deadlines, the incentive auction. you know, this is not our preference. our preference is for the court to make a decision, to come out very clearly. that this is not a first amendment right that verizon, you know, has. and it should shut down the claims that the commission's overstepped the authority that it has. it is time to move on. we need to be addressing larger issues. and it gets back to, you know, what else does the commission
already have? what have they already done and how that might impact such as lifeline and high cost reform and luckily the e-rate reform that is before us there are more specific provisions about advanced services. i don't think that will be affected, thank goodness but we need to be having a different discussion. it is time for this to be shut down and let's do it here and should this get to the supreme court, let's hope the supreme court does it again. i would like to point out, you know, none of us talked about the city of arlington case. the commission won the city of arlington case. it split the conservatives. i personally am really proud of that case. i was one of the primary authors of the underlying order at if the cc as a staffer in the wireless bureau. i was thrilled the commission chevron deference was upheld for the specifics of its jurisdiction and not just its general statutory authority. so i really hope that the d.c. circuit is going to look at that. they're going to look at all of
the other provisions that the commission cites. redefinition of what 706 is. its reinterpretation of what 706 is and upholds the fcc so we can get beyond this conversation frankly and talk about other things and insuring that consumers have access to broadband. >> go ahead. >> i meant to be -- appreciate here the panel's discussion but i always want to go back to our real basic principle, how are we going to improve everything? and from the basic principles and concept. for instance, we want to promote equal opportunity and equity, and helping the poor, everything. all our commodities or goods, we
have to base on the principles. so the internet, broadband is the same concept. why do we have to limit it to just a small area while ignoring all other areas and problems? for instance, way back to internet, we have computer, we had a phone. the land line phone everything. they have a big problem already. they have obstructed this, diverted this, so you are are line is not your line at all because they divert to other customers. so, we have just opportunity, if we don't resolve it, we have a big problem and the reason that we have phone rates the high rate, is issues, the problem you have a bigger issue than that. because they don't even allow to you use the phone. and they have a phone there for you to call the police just in
case the patient or inmate got sick, you can call up police but the line is not working. so there are other issues. if we don't resolve it, we have got a big problem. but it is, organizations profit or non-profit, they don't, base on justice. so people complain they don't resolve it. does the fcc or the go to anywhere, they will obstruct people's complaints. they don't allow them to speak. if we don't move on this we have big issues. >> as a point of principle, our organization and our network believes that the right to communicate belongs to everyone. you know, out there in this world, i think you mentioned the availability of broadband, what we're seeing is that broadband is becoming more and more available. but when we take a look at adoption rates, and there was an interesting survey recently published on the daily yonder, that took a look at adoption
rates urban communities versus rural, they looked at adoption rates from 2003 and compared to 2010, found that virtually the gap hadn't really changed. in some cases when you took a look at demographics is actually got wider. so the digital divide in someplaces is growing even though the availability of broadband is there, but either it is unaffordable or whatever mechanisms need to be in place for the people to utilize the technology and communicate effectively in the 21st century digital ecology, that infrastructure is not there. obviously the fcc, state and regulatory agencies play a critical role to insure that people develop the ability to communicate. that's what i would say to that. >> i want to check with our online monitors. do which have any questions from -- >> i have some online access over here, thanks to the interweb. >> oh. >> and i would say, i want to make sure we get this additional question, but something popped up time and again, i don't know if you want to jump in hire or
somebody else, why can't the fcc do this? why is net neutrality anything more than a substitute for antitrust? and i would start to answer that by saying, ftc we don't know how effective they're doing what they're supposed to do today for one thing. number two we're talking about pro-competitive policies at fcc. it is more than that universal service and adoption issues and marti and stephen talked about. the internet functioning for everybody not just options. competition is a great way if you can get it to improve services for people but it isn't the only thing we should have in our tool box and it has didn't enough in current incumbent dominant space to lower prices for people. you talk about second rate networks we're often relegated here. >> that's true. not only antitrust just deal with a subset of the many social policy issues that attach to a communications network like internet access but also it
inherently looks backwards and it only protects competitors. it protects competitors. here we've got a marketplace where these guys don't really want to compete with each other. and they have divided up marketplaces all over the place. so it would be looking backward and would deal, and, you can't, the ftc can not say, you have to enter a market in order to serve people who are radically unserved. only ex-, antiregulatory policy does that and create an system of cross subsidies and everything else that needs to happen in order for everybody in america to have world-class, high-speed internet access where we should be. the ftc has a interesting consumer protection rule. when it comes to making prophylactic regulatory rules that will protect nascent industries, own the expert administrative agency can do that. >> also wouldn't prevent the kind of tiering that we see,
stephen talked about with m throw pcs. call it any as far as, call it basic communication service and something limited subset of that. >> with facebook on the front page. >> sir? >> mark with the european institute. i want to get back to that elephant in the room. >> yeah. >> i'm a little bit out of touch but, couple of years ago the, the fcc lost this comcast case and i'm wondering, some of the same issues were at stake i gather. and, is the fcc arguing that that case should be repealed or, are they going to, is it, can that be distinguished? or you know, how serious is this congressional authorization issue? >> well it is very serious. i would say some people say this second case, the one that is going to be heard on monday, like once more with steal feeling, let's do it again. other people say, no, we rewrote
our understanding of what section 706 part of the communications act means. early can talk -- earl can talk about why that doesn't do it. we established statutory authority based on stitching several piece of act that is the approach taken by the fcc. the elephant in the room is, why not rip off the bandaid, call this telecommunications service under title 2. then you could forebear applying all kinds ever things if you don't want to weight down the high-speed internet access service but you have a 6 your basic statutory structure clear. the point it would be a very political argument is absolutely right. a problem is not having enough representatives in congress who either understand the issue or are willing to stand up against the lobbyists who will assault and say we won't give you anymore campaign contributions. really deeply that is where the problem is. this is all about campaign finance. if the fcc tried to act aggressively, there is real risk
that their budget would be cut in half at the appropriations committee because lobbyists would march on congress. you know, if you want to talk about elephants in the room, that is really are the he will fan in the room is the problem of congressional ability to stand up to whatever happens in their offices. >> elephants and donkeys to be fair. >> yes. >> the commission is relying on several additional statutory provisions that were not in the original comcast case too i should note. >> additional questions? oh. >> hi. with the appalachia regional commission. let's keep talking about that elephant. >> yeah. >> doesn't the fcc have the authority to reach, make the reclassification if it so chose and go from title 1 to title 2? yes, there would be follow-up from that, at least be able to make that reclassification? isn't that in their ability to do that right now? >> they do but they have to have
a reasonable basis for doing so. it will go to court again but it's clear from the brand x decision that the commission has that authority to do that but it must be able to explain why it is doing that. >> brand x back in 2005, not the fcc is correct in its determination on the merits here. it just said the fcc has the discretion to do this. they can decide that broadband internet access service is not really a telecom service and is in fact a information service, whatever those things mean in the statute. justice scalia in 2005 didn't agree with that. he said no. fcc got it wrong. they don't have the authority to read the law this watch. they have to read it that telecommunications service, something that lets you and me send information to each other, that is exactly what this internet, internet-abled, whatever term you put on that that is what the platform is. it is telecommunications service even though there are lots of
information riding on top of it. people who want to say brand x confirmed the fcc on the merits of this classification decision, they're just not reading it the right way. >> okay. we have, we have time for another question or two. i see earl has a follow-up. >> i was just going to add that, you know, in fairness, i wouldn't put all the burden on congress. really the fcc could do this. that is what they're created to do and they have plenty of justification, as the discussion of voip, over the internet versus ip-enabled services talks about. the real problem is they're just not willing to do it. the fact that the fcc is left unclassified now for, what, the last 15 years what is the status of a voice over internet protocol service, i think gives you a pretty good clue where the problem lies. the agency is very reluctant to
tackle that issue for precisely the rhine they can't explain what is the difference between the transmission service and ip--based service. there is no fundamental technical difference much and so with all deference to people who say, hoe, the problem is congress would cut funding a as somebody who spent 10 years up there that is not as likely to happen if the fcc made a principled stand as some might think. >> well, so let's be optimistic. say, d.c. circuit says something very clear, whatever that is. and that will give everybody a roadmap about what to do next and what principles really need to be invoked. >> i think we have time for one more and there was a hand there in the corner, patrick. >> so for those of us who are not super familiar with this incredibly nuanced issue, i was wondering but who care about the open internet, i'm wondering
what kind of communications products or killer info graphics or comic book version you have to educate so that it isn't about that and give them a pathway for action? >> public knowledge put out something good just yesterday, right? about what is net neutrality. look at public knowledge.org. i wrote a book about this called, captive audience which puts this in context and explain how this all fits and tries to do it in approachable way. that is one of the problems. there are a very steep learning curve a lot of acronyms and shiny objects and people get confused. >> we'll have more content. stephen mentioned, magnet and save the internet.com as this revives itself. people said, that is that old issue, right? really not yesterday's news. it is vital today as it was three years ago, 15 years ago, 40 or 50 years ago when the fcc started struggling with the issues. the appeal to common sense is about best we can do though.
should your communications capabilities be changing just because today you can send an e-mail? is that really different from a phone call? do you still want to have the ability and frankly the right to send your information to whomever you want? it is a little bit hard to draw the internet even though we tried. i think it is easy for people to understand these are tools they need today and need today as much as ever. as stephen said, people rely on these as basic necessities. that is horizon that moves over time and we need more and more accessed information to keep up in this economy and just to keep up with our families. >> and i just want to say hopefully very quickly, again i want to emphasize what i've said to the commissioners themselves and what i said to other audiences. the fcc, the commissioners have to begin to say very loudly so that state utility commissioners, legislators and everyday citizens can hear them say that there are mixed
messages out there and that they exist for a purpose, the fcc does, and that they are not the stopgap that many in the industry are telling these policy-makers and that people will be harmed because of this misinformation and i think the commissioners need to be more vocal to more diverse audiences in letting them know what their role is and why they were created in the first place and the statutes that they operate under. >> i will offer up in terms of our national network, we host a monthly conversations called, digital dialogues where we try to take a look at these issues, really deconstruct them, also connect them to some broader social justice issues and issues people really care about on day-to-day. some of the members in our network have developed some interesting tool to help break down the issue. one thing that comes into mind particular, peoples production house which is an organization in new york, produce ad video
called, internet is serious business. it's a great video produced by youth. really explains how the internet functions. it looks at this issue around network neutrality. they partnership with the media project with dial in tool kit with mobile functions and mobile obviously being a issue in relation to net neutrality that is very relevant, a lost folks, these same protections don't exist necessarily for folks exclusively wireless users. then lastly, when net neutrality was a birks hot button issue couple years ago, our network produced what we call the rap. it was remix after warren g song, called regulate which was specifically looking at trying to explain, you know what this whole proceeding was b so you should look that up. >> [inaudible] >> i was going to say i think we're hitting the firm stop now. i notice the room getting a little restless. so i think that we'll end it there.
but we'll be around if anyone has any additional questions for us. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> officials with the obama administration are heading to capitol hill this afternoon. they will be briefing lawmakers on classified information that's coming out of syria and c-span's cameras standing by outside those meeting rooms. we'll bring you any reaction from lawmakers or officials. both the house and senate are in today after their five-week recess. they will be gaveling in at
2:00 eastern time. the house you can watch live on c-span and the senate right here on c-span2. north dakota democrat, heidi heitkamp says she can not support the senate measure authorizing military force against syria. she issued a statement today urging diplomatic or another alternative approach to the crisis there. now here's how any vote may break down in the senate. this is according to numbers being kept by "the hill" newspaper. more senators leaning yes than no. 26 say they're in favor or leaning that way. 20 are saying they're at a no or leaning towards no. and 54, majority still undecided. and some news out of syria. russia's foreign minister says they're pushing syria to surrender its chemical weapons and the syrian counterpart says russia's request is welcome. that is russia's sergei lavrov. he announced if syria would surrender chemical weapons arsenal it could help avert a possible u.s. strike and russia
will work immediately to place the chemical weapons under international control. syria says, that is a welcome move. >> trying to maintain family time and protect their privacy, edith roosevelt purchase ad family retreat called pine knot. >> edith sought a place for rest and repairs for the contract close enough to d.c. he could get out here as often as needed but far enough way there was wilderness. this was a family place. in that sense it was unique for roots sveltes because sagamore hill was a place where tr had politicians and press and constantly a hubbub of activity. this was the one place where it was private family time. roots sveltes made it very clear they did not want anyone but family here. >> meet edith roosevelt, as we begin season two of our original series, "first ladies, influence and image, looking at public and private lives of the women who served as first lady" tonight
live 9:00 iron on c-span and c-span3 and also on c-span radio and c-span.org. >> a discussion now on immigration policy from embry-riddle in florida. the university hosted congressman lou barletta. member of the house homeland security committee and former special agent with the immigration and naturalization service. they talked about the impact of undocumented immigrants on the economy and on national security. their discussion lasted about an hour and 20 minutes. >> good evening, from the gail auditorium and willie miller building on the campus of embry-riddle aeronautical university. good evening and welcome to the president's see speakers series. on behalf of john johnson, president of embry-riddle, i'm marc bernie. the moderator of this fall event. we look at impact of illegal immigration on the nation.
we have two expert to talk about that first we'll look at the situation in syria. this will be a live broadcast on 1150 wndb with a subsequent broadcast on c-span and on ktv.com and youtube. we'll begin by introducing our two guests. it will be a 40-minute tinner view up front and then we'll go to questions with you at the studio audience, students and public in embry-riddle. two powerful guests join us, our first in the middle here, the former mayor of hazelton, pennsylvania. a he is congressman from the 11th congressional district. ladies and gentlemen, my great privilege and pleasure to introduce congressman lou barletta. [applause] to the congressman's right as you look is a former ins agent. he is a columnist. he is a much sought-after speaker and has testified before congress on the subject of illegal immigration, michael cutler is with us tonight.
[applause] once again on behalf of dr. johnson, welcome to embry-riddle. thank you for being here tonight. let us begin before we get to the subject at hand and talk about the situation as it exists in syria. congressman, i know you've been getting calls from the district today, wondering how you are going to vote of the president says he will put it to congress to decide if we send missiles into syria. how do you feel at this hour? >> well, first of all i'm very happy that the president decided to consult with congress before taking any action and back home, in my district, i don't know if i have gotten any phone calls of anyone that wants to go to war, i can tell you that up front. but i'm going to wait to get a classified briefing when i get back on monday. it's a very complicated situation as we all know. there are a number of factors that need to be discussed and i'm very anxious to hear what the strategy is, what the goal is. if we do strike syria, what is the end goal and again what is
that purpose? you know, the factors that make this such a difficult decision is that the rebels we know are mixed in with some al qaeda members, are mixed in with the rebels who we are supporting against assad. we have israel who is, there's a threat of retaliation against israel. our traditional allies are not with us. so it makes the decision for me very difficult. as to, you know what the purpose is and what the goal is. with that being said, i'm going to keep an open mind and listen to the information that's brought to me before i decide how i will vote. >> knowing that some of the leadership in the house and senate have already joined the president, does that make your decision even more difficult? >> no, not at all. not at all. leadership in washington didn't send me there it was people back home in my district. that is how i got there and that's whose voice i am bringing back to washington with me, but again, some of the classified
information that i won't be able to share with my constituents back home will make the decision more difficult because you have to take that, that into, into account. some of the unknown that the public may not see. >> michael, you and i have talked over a period of 10 years. >> yep. >> you have a national radio program of your own. you and congressman barr let at that have traveled around the country and have discuss the issue of immigration and illegal immigration but first your thoughts on syria? >> we're in a tough situation as we've seen in afghanistan and as we've seen in iraq. we know iran is playing a very heavy role in the situation. congressman barr let at that --. i work very closely with israeli police in my capacity as an immigration agent when i uncover ad terrorist plot way back in the '70s.
my concern is that america may also face reprisals at home. there is a growing presence of iranian shock troops known as the quds in latin america. we know that they're here. less than a year ago there was an attempt to kill the saudi ambassador by the quds in washington. possibly to take out the saudi many embassy and israeli emba system what people need to understand those oceans don't give us much buffer. that is why i always make the point, people talk about the four border states, california, new mexico, arizona, texas, in reality which have 50 border states, any state with a seaport or international airport. we have a problem millions of foreign nationals are living inside the united states today whose identities are ultimate goals are unknowable. we i fear they're waiting for a phone call from tehran or else. >> a follow up from there and we'll move on. >> sure. >> if we do nothing with syria
does it send a signal to the iranian government who is watching all of that we may be weak? barletta. >> president crossed that red klein. how we're viewed globally whether or not the united states is credible any longer. whether you're our ally or not. without a doubt we need to speak with one vice and that will weigh in the decision. >> michael? >> the problem we have, what if america acts and it still doesn't stop the problem? there are, lou has a tough decision to make. but i have to say something about lou, and this is one of the reasons why, i'm proud to consider him a friend. when you asked about his leadership, his answer was he speaks for his constituents.
that says awful lot about the kind of person he is an the kind of representative he is. he truly does represent his constituents. >> we'll do something we don't normally do. we're going to show some quotes based on some of the write is and things that have been said by congressman barletta, to tell the story how this particular speakers event at embry-riddle really happened. several years ago we learned about a then mayor barletta in hazel son, pennsylvania. will ask the congressman and former mayor to tell the story. the quote says. sometimes less is more. illegal is illegal. the mayor made that statement on may third, 2007. what were you addressing at that point and why did you say isn't. >> because i was immediately, i created the first law in the country dealing will legal immigration and the world media was at my doorstep asking why i'm doing this? and, to me there was no gray area. i didn't see a gray area here.
i said simply because illegal is illegal. this wasn't anti-i am my grant. we're not talking about immigrants who are coming here. we're talking about people who enter the country illegally. >> okay. how many people were in hazelton when the problem started? was it 50,000? >> no, hazelton was about 30,000 people. >> what happened? why did all of a sudden your city become a haven for illegal -- >> it was a question that needed answered. why hazelton? we are 2,000 miles away from the nearest southern border. we are in the mountains of pennsylvania, the last place you would think you would have an illegal immigration problem. and it took me a while to actually come to the final determination that, we have a problem will legal immigration. you know, i was elected mayor back in 2000. it was a city that was bankrupt. very safe, very quiet city. we might have one murder every seven years and the six years in between, mark, they would talk
about that one murder. senior citizens would like to sit on their porches and talk to their neighbors. the city began changing back in 2001. i hadfy first encounter will legal immigration. i was called to an apartment with nine men sleeping on the floor on mattresses. there were cockroaches in the refrigerator. this apartment wasn't fit for human beings let alone for animals. yet alone to watch human beings being exploited by this all nine men were in the country illegally. we called ins at the time. they were still ins. they told us to simply tell them to move on. i didn't agree with it but, that's what we did. very shortly after that, on a friday night in october, which our big nights in hazelton. that is high school football nights. after the high school football games the students would go downtown and hang out at a local pizzeria. this friday night was a little
different. hector loon narcs an illegal alien on a drug deal gone back, shot two people, 100 feet from where high school students were standing outside, killing one and wounding the other. that terrified our town. that murder terrified our city. again, another illegal alien in the city. i thought that was unusual. and this was happening over in and over again. until i realized that we have a problem will legal immigration. our population grew by 50%, which is a huge growth for a city but our tax revenue remained the same. and that comes to the point -- >> one. major points we wanted to discuss tonight and take follow-up questions from you in the audience. how do you provide services when your revenue is frozen? yet you have more people to deliver to. what did you do? >> actually, it was on the first page of the lawsuit when i describe how illegal immigration diminishes the quality of life in a community, for that very
reason. when you can no longer provide the level of services to the public, whether to keep them safe, take care of the people, take care of issues, code violations, whatever it is, you begin to lose that quality of life of small town america. and i can no longer do it. we saw our crime rate increase. we didn't have money to hire more police. so what i did, once i realized that this problem was much bigger than what we could handle i went to washington back in december of 2005. i met with the department of justice. it was a great day. they brought in all these experts to talk to me and the chief of police. i explained the problem. explained how the gangs had move into the city. talked about illegal immigration problem i had. talked about our lack of revenue to deal with the problem and they listened very intently and at the end of the day what i got was this nice coffee mug. i got a lapel pin. a pat on the back and they sent
me back to hazelton. i realized the federal government who caused this problem by not enforcing our laws was going to do nothing to resolve it. >> is the makeup of illegal aliens, does it vary, or was it largely hispanic or what was it? well, you know, we had a very diverse community. we had many people from romania there. you but the main problem those that were in the country illegally were from the dominican. >> really. >> which was very interesting and especially when i'm now sitting on homeland security committee, when i talk about illegal immigration, many times the focus is always on the southern border. and i know better. nearly, over 40% of the people that are in the country illegally didn't cross that border. in fact didn't cross any border. they come here on a visa. visa expires and they simply melt into the system, disappear. we have no way of tracking them. so, many of the people who are in the country illegally didn't
cross the southern border. they were from the dominican and enter through our airports. >> before you ran for congress, when you were the mayor, i was on a flight back to daytona beach and i was seated next to a roman catholic nun from hazelton and she had the paper. for lack of something i just said, sister, how is the mayor doing? she said, he is by himself and we don't go out at night. how previous lent was that feeling among residents when you were mayor toward the end, knowing that it was an almost insurmountable problem at that point? >> well, you know, really came to light for me one morning when i drove to city hall and went to get in my parking spot that was reserved for the mayor and i couldn't get there because there was an elderly woman standing there waiting for me, very early in the morning. when i got out of the car, she started hitting me in the chest with her finger and she said, listen, buster, you better do something.
i can no longer even sit on my porch any longer. i'm afraid to go out. i walked up to my office and, being born and raised in hazelton, being the mayor i was very proud to be mayor of the city i grew up in, to realize that, senior citizens can no longer enjoy it, this is how they were living, that they can no longer enjoy being outside, i realized i needed to do something. i was standing alone, marc, for many times we could not get a politician to come near me. it was actually refreshing, because nobody came to hazelton to campaign. >> that's right. they skipped hazelton ton, didn't they? >> they did. not only, not only the presidential candidates. that was very interesting, because all three happened, it was, senator clinton, senator obama and senator mccain, pennsylvania was six weeks alone in the primary and every day i would pick up the paper and i would see one of them, very close to hazelton but never
stopping at hazelton. after a while i got to thinking maybe it was me causing them not to stop at hazelton, bus i don't think anybody wanted to ask that question is, how do you feel about what i did? and, so i stood alone until we were sued by, by illegal aliens who sued the city of hazelton and the aclu. and i thought i was standing by myself, marc but there were millions of americans who were standing with me. >> explain to the audience, what methods you employed there. >> sure. i talked about going to washington in december of 2005 and coming home with a coffee mug. well, a few months later, may 10th, 2006, we had arrest ad 14-year-old for selling drugs in a playground. it was a playground i grew up on. a play ground filled with hispanic children. he was selling cocaine. when we arrested him, he had called his lawyer, who he had on speed dial on his cell phone
which i thought was a little unusual for a 14-year-old. and he was in the country illegally. i remember going home and telling my wife that i felt like i had lost control of the city. i could no longer control what was happening in the city. that night, i got a call from the chief of police. actually 1:00 in the morning that, 29-year-old city man had been shot in the head, derek kishlin, father of threechildrep truck that night, told head of latin kings, had a word with the head of latin kings, pedro cabrera who was arrested seven-times before he got to hazelton. he went in his car, stuck a gun into his face an shot and killed him. took our police, 36 hours, entire police department, 36 hours to apprehend those involved. we spent half of our yearly budget on that one homicide. i sat with mr. and
mrs. fishkind, why this man was in the country. i had enough. i realized washington wasn't going to do anything. i took an oath to protect the people of my community. i created first law in the country dealing will legal immigration, punishing businesses that knowingly hired, knowingly hired illegal aliens and landlords who knowingly harbored illegal aliens us because both are illegal. i was immediately sued. the next day, the plaintiffs, who sued the city admitted illegal aliens. they were represented probono by the aclu. who, told me that they would bankrupt our city and get me out at election time if i didn't back down. i have said i will get another job if that happens but i'm not going to back down. we went to, we went to court. we had no money. and i said that there were millions of americans who stood with me and i knew that, because i began getting checks from people all around the country to help defend ourselves.
in fact i got a check from every state in the country, including hawaii and la alaska. i remember a veteran sent me $7. mayor, this is all i have in my wallet. continue to fight. we went to court. the plaintiffs had asked the judge, if they could have their names kept anonymous because they, din want the public to know who they were. the judge granded that request. we weren't allowed to ask their name. they asked the judge if they could not have to come to the courtroom, to the federal courthouse out of fear of being deported. they did not have to show up at the trial. the judge granted that request. i believe illegal aliens were given more rights than you or i could be given. we can not sewage our city and remain anonymous. the judge ruled in favor of the illegal aliens against the city of hazelton, i vowed to fight the case all the way to the supreme court which we do. >> tell us about the schools.
are they public schools? are they county schools? are they city schools? the point i'm driving at what is the financial impact of delivery of education in hazelton during this time? >> well, they are public schools and we saw the effect of illegal immigration has on our public schools as many of our classrooms, for example, in the year 2,000, english has is the second language, the budget in hazelton area school district was $500. in the year 2000. in 2005 the budget for english as a second language was $1.5 million. . .
>> sure. chris cobeck was the lead lawyer defending you, and he called me up because, well, this goes back to my own background. quick story. on 9/11 my neighbors were killed. i still can't get it out of my head. and i had already done my first congressional hearing on visa fraud back in '97 because of the first two terrorist attacks committed on american soil. so on 9/11, to see the ashes land on us, my neighbors dead, my neighbors who were alive literally sitting on the sidewalk in this front of my house crying at night because they department know where their wives -- they didn't know where their wives, their parents were. i was out with a bad leg.
i testified at a couple of congressional hearings, including two of the dead terrorists were granted authorization to attend flight school six months after 9/11, if you could imagine something crazier than that. i got a call from sheila jackson lee's counsel asking if i would testify, and i had already been put on notice that they were trying to fire me for testifying for tom tancredo. that's how i knew chris, we went to kansas university, kansas state. and so chris contacted me and said i need you to be an expert witness at that trial. i love doing college campuses and having these discussions and debates, and i raced from hofstra out on long island to papa, and i was the final -- to pennsylvania, and i was the final witness, and that's how lou and i got to meet each other. because what you really need to understand is that immigration isn't the single issue, but a
singular issue. because it impacts just about every challenge and threat we're facing b starting at the top with national security, going to criminal justice and public safety, the economy, unemployment, the environment, health care, education, public health, even look at the resources and quality of life in terms of whether or not communities can deal with the sudden influx of loads of people whether it's economically or because of infrastructure, whether it's water supply, whether it's highways, buses, subways. everything. and it's not about being anti-immigrant. you know, my own background, my mother came here ahead of the holocaust. i was named for my grandma who die m.d. the holocaust. but -- died in the holocaust. so i was very happy to help lou. and as a final note, i had spent half my career with the drug task force. i was the first ins agent to sign to the unified intelligence division of dea.
so if you look at it from that angle, what you were telling me was disturbing, but something that i was all too familiar with. >> want to fast forward to another comment that was made by congressman barletta. it was the orange county register in which the congressman said some say the republicans are well advised to speak about this sensitive issue with greater delicacy, but my belief is in the rule of law, and i believe that most law-abiding immigrants would agree. if they obey the rules, others should as well. what kind of response have you gotten from colleagues on hill with statements like this? >> well, obviously, there are many in washington that would like to step around or walk around the case of illegal immigration, the topic of illegal immigration and the issue because there's a belief -- and there's no question that this is support whether you're democrat or republican for the growing hispanic population that is here. and when you take a stance
against illegal immigration as i do, many feel that this is not good for our party. and the point that i want to make, that i do make to my colleagues is that the city that i was mayor of is 49% hispanic. i won with 90% of the vote. for mayor of hazelton. which is an example that immigrants, immigrants realize that illegal immigration isn't good for them. those that came to this country for better opportunity, for a better education for their children, for a better life understand that allowing millions of people into the country illegally doesn't give those opportunities to them. and in my own town where people know me the best, i've been able to get support from that population.
one other point that i think is very important and i talk about it in washington a lot is from the very first year that i created the ordnance, our hispanic population grew every single year. so this theory that if you stand up against illegal immigration you will be driving immigrants out of town just isn't true. in fact, why would you move to a city if you felt you weren't welcome? so these theories that i believe are created by the media many times just, they're not reality. >> i think everyone who's listening and watching wants to know what do we do with those who are here illegally? the most common question is those who have raised their children, what do can you do with children who through no fault of their own find themselves in this country? what's a workable solution? congress is going to be asked to weigh in on this. the senate already has. what do we do with those who are already here illegally?
do we keep them? do we send them home? your thoughts. >> that's the most-asked question right now in washington, and my answer is very, very easy to respond to. what do we do about the 22 million americans that couldn't find work this morning when they woke up? what do we do about the single mom that's working three jobs to put food on her table that will lose her job because of someone who will take her job away from her or the high school dropout? why in this debate is it always about what should we do about those who knowingly came here illegally, and the debate is never about what about the innocent victims of illegal immigration? what are we going to do about that? and the truth of the matter, measuring, -- marc, we're encouraging people to come to this country illegally through our open borders. we know our borders are open, and we're going to wave
citizenship like a cheap suit around the world to come to america, and then we're going to grant you citizenship because we don't know what to do. and i would rather be the voice for if person who's a victim. because i've had to deal with that whether it's in a crime that's been committed, and now in washington as i see the results of what illegal immigration means to others. >> michael cutler. >> well, i don't want to turn it into a law lecture, but -- and by the way, if you want, go to my web site and read the commentary and get the sections about law. title 8 of the united states code, section 1182, is a list of all the categories of aliens to be excluded. so the inspects profession, and d inspections process, and i began as an inspector at the kennedy airport way back in 1971, and if you look at the list, it makes it clear just how
important the aliens are. aliens who are seriously mentally ill and prone to violence or sex offenders, aliens who are convicted felons, human rights violaters, war criminals, terrorists, rapists, members of violent gangs, money launderers, gun runners, and then we get to aliens who had either become a public charge or who by working illegally compete unfairly with american workers or diminish wages and working conditions. in fact, what most people don't know is prior to the second world war, the enforcement of the immigration laws was primarily the responsibility of the labor d.. that's -- labor department. that's how we built a middle class. and then there's a quote that i just want to quickly read because i think this is really important. having lived through 9/11 and this whole country did, you know? it's not only america that was attacked, but to me it was my hometown. it's perhaps obvious the statement to plan and carry out
attacks in the united states if they're unable to enter the country. while there were effort toss enhance border security, border security's a tool of the counterterrorism arsenal. indeed, hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of gaining admission into the united states. border security is still not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. we believe for reasons we will discuss that it must be made one. this quote is from the 9/11 commission staff report on terrorist travel. so it's remarkable to me that there are politicians in washington and the administration debating whether or not we need to enforce the immigration laws and secure the borders while we face the continuing threat of terrorism, the continuing growth of transnational drug trafficking organizations in the united states, and we're being told the border is secure. you know, the one metric -- and i want everyone out there to think about this, because we're being told, and when i was on with neil ca cavuto not long ag,
he said border patrol arrests are down so that would probably mean there's not as much of a problem. and i said that's a bit like taking attendance and asking people not present to raise their hands. i said it doesn't work. you want the real metric? what's the price of drugs? because heroin and cocaine come across the same border whether it's in an international airport, the seaport or the rio grande as do the illegal aliens if the border was secure, drugs would not be available, the price goes up. the price isn't going up. the borders are wide op. it's en-- wide open. it's endangering safety. >> that comes to a cornerstone issue. we're going to come to the audience for questions in just a few moments. some say, gentlemen, it's an impossible task to secure our borders. everyone talks about the southern border, but the far greater northern border is even more porous. and i think it might have been
you, congressman, or someone who said the next attack on this country they fear will not be planes crashing into buildings, but by people blowing up supermarkets near the boarder. there's violence in texas, people crossing the border killing american ranchers. why is none of this part of discussion that's about to come before the house? how to help our own people to be safe? >> well, it is, and, you know, for me and especially, you know, i bring this point up on the homeland security committee. i'm on border security subcommittee, and the focus, i believe, needs to be border security first and foremost. and when we talk about border security, we cannot just focus on the southern border. we need to focus on all borders, north, south, east, west, airports, seaports. the statistic i talked about a little earlier that over 40% of the people that are in the country illegally, they don't cross a border. we use biometric entry, but we
have no biometric exit. we don't know when somebody's left or not. in fact, i've introduced a bill that would do that so that we can track when somebody comes and whether or not they've left or not. and i don't want the american people to be fooled by any bill that we pass in washington that claims our borders are secure, because we have done something about the southern border. that is not securing our borders. >> i want to give a quote to michael cutler. you wrote on july 15th of this year in the d.c. march for jobs -- >> sure. >> -- the gang of eight and their cronies say that our immigration system is broken, the failures of the immigration system are attributable to failures to enforce immigration laws. >> that's right. >> why is it that they will not answer this? when you speak to this issue, when you've testified, why is it they don't answer to that? >> was -- because the goal is to satisfy the campaign contributors. there's a remarkable quote, and
i have to do this because alan greenspan testified for chuck schumer back on april 30th, 2009, and it was about the need for comprehensive reform. i think it's such a dangerous idea of giving unknown millions of illegal aliens identity documents that i gave it a new name. i call it the terrorist assistance and facilitation act. senator sessions back in '07, in fact, quoted me by name on three separate days from the floor of the senate. and by the way, he's a conservative republican, i'm a lifelong democrat. this is an american issue, marc. but you have got to understand the insanity of what alan greenspan said. he said about bringing in lots more foreign workers at the higher level, the high-tech workers, and he also was in favor of more illegal aliens to be a flexible labor force, believe it or not. the architect of the meltdown who provided subprime mortgages for illegal aliens. they will of necessity move into
vacant housing units, the current glut of which is depressing prices of american homes. so what we have here is let's bring them in so we can raise the value of houses to help the banking industry. these were homes lost to foreclosure because americans are unemployed. but then he comes up with a statement, and i want everybody -- this is a university -- to understand that people mostly go to college to get a better future. to get a career. that's why my kids are in college, or my oldest boy's an engineer. but he said something that blew my mind. he said that greatly expanded our quotas for the highly skilled would lower wage premiums of skilled over the lesser skilled. skill shortages in america exist because we are shielding outskilled labor force from world competition. quotas have been substituted for the wage pricing mechanism, and in the process we have created a privileged elite, a privileged
elite whose incomes are being supported at noncompetitively high levels by immigration quo toes eliminating such -- quotas. eliminating such restrictions would reduce at least some of our income ip equality. now think about it, marc. he's saying that if you could flood the market with engineers and technicians, you could slash the wages so that people with no skills wouldn't mange that much less -- make that much less than people with skills or education. this is about the destruction of the middle class. this is about the destruction of incentives for kids to go to universities. it makes absolutely no sense, but if you're motivated purely by the bottom line, the guy that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing, then i guess your name is alan greenspan. >> do you concur with that statement? do you agree with that, congressman? >> well, absolutely. i have four daughters who went to school, and my second daughter, actually, is an engineer as well. and, you know, i asked her if
she felt there was a shortage of engineers, and i think we're selling out our children. you know, rather than look around the world and say, you know, we need more engineers or we need more high-skilled workers, why don't we invest in our own kids? why are we closing the door, slamming the door on our own children just to hunt around the country for cheaper labor to do those higher skills? >> do we have a criteria with legal immigration that says if you want to into this country you're either coming in because you bring a skill, or you're fleeing for religious or political persecution. do we have a skill set that we say, you know what? we need this, we need that. if they come from a country that possesses that whether it's medical, engineering, whatever, they have -- they can advance or fast rack their way to legal immigration because they provide a skill? do we do that here? >> yeah, we do. but here's the point, there's a lot of fraud. we're not investigating it.
we keep -- >> there's fraud? >> yes. we know how many border patrol agents there are, it's about 20,000 i guess now, am i right, lou? >> 20,000 for the swire country, 35,000 police officers for new york. >> yes. and we've only got about 7,000 i.c.e. agents doing interior enforcement, and more than half of them are doing customs work. so to police the immigration system from the interior, we've got about 3,000 agents. you probably have a better chance of buying the winning lottery ticket than getting arrested for violating immigration status if you're an illegal alien. but we're being told there's no legal way for people to immigrate. do you know that every year more than a million aliens are given a green card, immediately placed on the pathway to united states citizenship? we have in the tens of millions of nonimmigrants. we are now admitting, believe it or not, marc, more authorized foreign workers each month than the number of new jobs that that we're creating. >> okay. >> think about that. >> can i come at this from a
different angle? if we could grow the economy by having the government get out of the way and allowing the private sector to develop new businesses, couldn't we create mechanisms to absorb these people that are now in our country? i'm going the other way, just rather than punishing these people, could we mange a way to make -- make a way to make them contributors? >> but here's the problem, and i didn't mean to step on you. >> no, go ahead. >> there's another quote, and i won't read you the quote, but if you look at the 9/11 commission report and, you know, i gave testimony to the 9/11 commission. immigration fraud was the number one tactic of choice, the ability to hide in plain sight, for the aliens. so by saying that if you're here illegally now we're going to make you a productive member of society, we don't know who you are. if you go back to the grounds for excluding an alien, why would somebody evade the inspections process? well, it's really only known to them, but you have to presume they belong to one or more categories of excludable aliens.
my concern is that -- in fact, look what happened in boston. and i don't want someone saying, oh, this is terrible because political asylum and people suffering, i'm well aware. my family was decimate inside the holocaust. as a high school and college kid i went to washington to ask then-president johnson to let jews come to america's refugees. i'm a big fan of it. but there's nothing to the process. if you look at the boston terror attack on april 15th, the tsarnaev family got political asylum. to get political asylum, you have to make the claim of credible fear. if you send me home because of my race, religion or political view, i'm going to face persecution or worse. what did they do as soon as we legalized them? they went back to russia. so you've got a president giving hundreds of thousands of dreamers identity documents, and do you know what the interview process is? there is no interview. it's done purely on paper. you mail in your paperwork.
if all the boxes are checked and a couple of pieces of paper are there, bango, here's your identity documents. >> is that true, congressman? >> it's absolutely true. in fact, i asked the secretary of homeland security in a face to face can conversation, will there be background interviews with the illegal immigrants, and i knew what the answer is because i know what's involved in a criminal background check. it's not just looking at a piece of paper or a document, and the answer is, no. and my question to her then was, we know illegal aliens use fraudulent documents to get around this country. if we're not going back to the country of origin and finding out the history, how do you know what terrorists we are now granting citizenship to? and, you know, i just remember one case in hazelton. we arrested a guy for selling crack cocaine, another one on the program. it took our detectives five
hours to determine who he was. he had five social security cards. we don't know, law enforcement doesn't know who we're dealing with, and with what's happening right now in syria -- and, mike, you made a good point earlier -- we need to make sure we're protecting the national best interests of the american people first. and i don't know if we're doing that. and i really believe it's more for political reasons than what's in the best interests of the american people. >> okay. i should have asked you this before, and we're going to come to the audience next. if you have a question for our two guests, raise your hand. sean and clinton are going to come through the audience with microphones. you can ask your questions directly of them, we're going to do that next. when you were in hazelton and this was all going on, who was your governor, tom ridge or ed rendell? >> ed rendell. >> okay. so a democrat. you're a republican. did he blow you off, to be very direct, when you told him i've got this going on, governor, i need helpsome. >> i couldn't get help from the
governor, i couldn't get help from national -- >> why? >> i couldn't get help from anyone. nobody wanted to hear this. in fact, the governor's race was going on during during this timi couldn't even get any potential governor candidates to come and look at what was happening, why i was doing what i was doing. nobody wanted to touch this issue. they didn't want to go near us because it is such a political hot potato. >> where i remember when you decided to run for congress. there was a huge fundraising thing to get you elected because there were, you know, people still mad about the lawsuit. what was that like when you were running? because you ran a spirited campaign. we had you on our show. i know sean hannity had you on a lot on television. how many people came out when you ran for congress? >> well, you know, i did have a lot of support, but a lot of the support came from around the country. >> yeah. >> and that's when i realized that this wasn't something that
was just, it wasn't a parochial issue in hazelton. i realized that small towns all around this country were crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration. i remember testifying before senator kennedy and senator specter, and it was in the philadelphia on the panel testifying was myself, mayor bloomberg and police commissioner from philadelphia johnson at the time. and i was naive. you know, i didn't know how anyone else felt about it. all i knew is i was going to take care of the people in my town. and when i went there, they were picketing me outside in philadelphia. so luckily, they didn't put the face to the name, and i was able to get inside. [laughter] when i went in, there was an audience like this, and they had t-shirts made up that did not support me. and i remember backstage before the hearing started asking one of the directors how senator kennedy was on this issue, and they said he's not with you.
senator specter, mayor bloomberg, no. police commissioner johnson? no. and i realized that i was the meal for this hearing. and i sat there, and mayor bloomberg opened, and he went oo to -- on to say how he felt new york city's economy would crash if they didn't have illegal immigrants because he asked who would wash our dishes, bus our tables, clean our hotel rooms. and you know what? that was all i needed. that was the match to our fuse. i said, i'll tell you, mayor, that single mom will do it, and that high school dropout will do it, you know? maybe new york city's economy would crash if you didn't have illegal immigrants, but small towns around this country are crashing because of it. and i realize that i did strike a nerve around the country with people who understood what illegal immigration does to small town america. >> before we go to -- i just
have to say this because you're raising one of the guys that drives me nuts, and that's bloomberg. because mayor bloomberg, no, this is serious. he went nuts about six months ago and it was all over the headlines that he wanted the bronx district attorney to go out and lock up anybody who would dare trespass in public housing. he said trespassers are dangerous. and then just a couple of weeks ago the headline was that he wants anybody who lives in public housing to be fingerprinted. and he says i am certain that people who live in public housing want someone to ask people that are wandering around who are you and why are you here? you know what struck a note in my head? that was the kind of question that i used to ask as an immigration inspector when foreigners were visiting the united states. who are you and why are you here? so a mayor that goes nuts about people that trespass in public housing but doesn't see anything wrong with trespassing on america and, in fact, wants to provide them with a key to the
city? >> right. >> what an incredible disconnect, or as i like to say, he lacks mouth/ear coordination. i don't think his ears are hearing what his mouth is saying. [laughter] >> okay. just so everybody knows, we actually set this up six months ago. >> yes. >> michael and i were talking, congressman barletta signed off on it. his top aide is here, and i remember, andrea, we were talking about this six months ago. there's going to be a vote in the house coming up right away on the immigration issue. i take it you're going to vote no? [laughter] >> the house is not expected to go for it, the senate did. >> actually, i'm trying to do all i can to stop the vote -- >> stop the votesome. >> what i want to see is border security first. we shouldn't even talk about anything else until we secure our borderers. and i -- borders. and i like to the say you wouldn't replace your carpet at home if you still had a hole in the roof. >> yeah. >> let's fix the roof first, and then we'll have a discussion what do we do with everyone else. >> let's go to the audience now.
i think we had a question up front. i think right here. this is former representative fred costello. good evening and thank you for being with us. >> thank you for being here very much. today's "wall street journal" there's an article, can illegal immigrants practice law. and it basically pits states' rights against the federal government. i'm a states' rights guy, but in this case -- and i just want to read part of the paragraph -- in the california case the state is arguing that the federal government has no authority to decide who receives a license to practice law. such decisions rest with the california supreme court. the federal law cited by the justice department prohibits states from providing illegal immigrants with public benefits unless states pass laws to the the contrary. this implies that the federal government is saying states can't give any public benefits unless the states have passed laws to allow that such as california evidently allowing illegals to practice law which
is going to their supreme court. so my question is, are you aware of any states that have passed laws that give public benefits to illegal aliens, and if they have, why have they done that and how can the federal government overrule that? illegal is illegal. >> illegal is illegal. and you certainly get that. and that is the magnet that draws so many illegal immigrants to america is the fact that they could take jobs away from american workers, and they can get benefits. if we take away the magnet, if we take away the jobs and we stop giving benefits to people that are in the country illegally, many -- the reason that they are here -- wouldn't be here. they'd simply go home on their own. and, yes, they do receive federal benefits. medicare, social security, there's no question about it. we have an administration right now that's using prosecution tore y'all -- prosecutorial
discretion which i believe is unconstitutional basically denying any kind of enforcing immigration laws to people that are in the country illegally. i'll give a case back home. a little borough right next to the city the city of hazelton, the chief of police stopped a young man for speeding through the borough. when he got there, the man couldn't speak english, so they had to get a translator. took about four hours where they held up the police officer during that time. the man admits that he's in the country illegally for sick years, living in hazelton -- six years. he didn't know his address, he didn't have a job, he had $3,000 cash in his pocket, and he had two public benefit access cards with his name spelled differently on each card. obviously, he was committing fraud. they called i.c.e.. i.c.e. said let him go. let him go. this is what infuriates the american public.
people who go to the store respect asking anything from the government. -- aren't asking anything from the government. they're struggling to take care of their family, and they see somebody with their cart overfilled using multiple access cards. it is the administration, it is washington that has created this problem. >> michael, quick follow up and then back to the audience. >> sure. and this goes back to sanctuary cities. again, if you have people live anything your town and you don't kno who they are -- know who they are, they are a threat. and by the way, if you aid, abet, encourage, induce, harbor or shield an alien from detention by the federal government, you're committing a felony. sanctuary cities are guilty of that, but guess what? under this administration because of what i call prosecutorial deception, this is going on. and it went on with the prior administration. not to this extent, but it was a problem.
why should anyone come legally? let me ask you a question. if you were going to the movies -- or put it this way, you're going down the highway, easy, pass cash or free, which lane are you going to be on? why in the world would you go through anything other than the free lane, and nobody knows who you are? it's crazy. >> sean polk with a question now. >> congressman barletta, what are your thoughts on the american citizens who knowingly hire illegal immigrants and would rather hire an illegal immigrant rather than the dashing widow -- starving widow in your example? >> we know illegal immigration diminishes the wages of the american work. 22 million americans could not find work this morning, and that's why when we crafted the law in hazelton, it went after the employers that were knowingly hiring illegal aliens, illegal workers.
because it is already illegal to hire illegal workers. we weren't creating a new law, we were going to restrict the business license of any business that did that. that is the magnet that brings so many people into the country illegally is offering jobs. and we know for a fact, you know, at one time people would ask me when i was mayor why are democrats and republicans in washington not doing anything about illegal immigration? and i used to say, well, the democrats are looking for the vote, and the republicans wanted cheap labor for business. then i got to washington, and i realized i was wrong. they're both looking for the vote. [laughter] you know, we need to make sure that we're protecting the american worker first. that's what, as michael taught me, our immigration laws are there in the first place is to protect our national security and to protect american jobs. >> and isn't this a great time of year to make that point? we're bracketed between labor
day and, unfortunately, the 9/11 memorial. it's 12 years now. you know, it took 44 months to win the second world war. over 20 years ago, we were attacked by middle eastern terrorists who gamed the visa process and the immigration benefits program. and, in fact, on 9/11 there were 26 visa waiver countries, we now have 37 visa waiver countries as we approach the 12th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack committed on our soil. i'd hate to imagine if the current bunch of supposed leaders that are behind this failure were in charge of our country during the second world war what would have happened. >> jim is a former prosecutor with the state attorney's office, he is now public defender. he joins us now for the town hall speakers' event. >> thank you, marc, and thank you all for being here, this has been very enlightening. congressman barletta, you touched on something that i was going to ask about. we have heard that cheap labor and votes of citizens are two
prime reasons. but that seems sip call to some extent -- cynical to some extent. can you explain the various agendas that support illegal immigration and in addition to the question about labor and votes. >> well, i think, you know, most elected officials that take a position of supporting illegal immigration, their defense usually comes to these are people who just want a better life. they just want to take care of their families. and they paint the picture of just a family that is here for all the right reasons of why you would want to come to america. now, that's true. there are many who come here just like that. there's no question about it. but i see a different side as a mayor, unfortunately. i saw the victim side of illegal immigration. and many times politicians, they
don't like to talk about that. i remember, i remember talking at a town hall in sunberry, pennsylvania, which is in the middle of the state of pennsylvania. and i talked about having compassion for victims because many times people accuse me of not having compassion for the illegal immigrant, and i say i have a lot of come compassion, but i have a lot of compassion for innocent victims. when i got done speaking, this young couple came up to me, and the far told me he -- the father told me he drove an hour to hear me speak. and be he wanted to tell me about his daughter, carly schneider, studying to be a veterinarian. her next door neighbor was an illegal alien who was arrested in houston, he was from honduras. let go in houston, comes to pennsylvania. the father's telling me the story, and tears start rolling down his cheek. he said the man broke into my daughter's house and stabbed carly 37 times. carly had multiple knife wounds in the palms of her hand as she
tried to defend herself as well as knife wounds in her back. she bled to death on the kitchen floor. he said i came here to shake your hand because you're speaking for carly now. so anytime someone has a conversation with me and paints this picture of the nice family that's here for a better life, i think of mr. and mrs. schneider and carly. they were victims to illegal immigration, and we shouldn't ignore that. >> go back in the audience now and your question for our guests. >> my question is how many illegal aliens are getting access to voting? >> well -- >> we don't really know, do we? >> you know what? i know of investigations that were being conducted by agents that one way or another was shut down. shut down. and, you know, there are two quick points that i want to make. you know, i physically deported a guy by the name of renaldo, a panamanian drug dealer. and by the way, we're speaking about a lot of people from different countries. this isn't about mexico or about
latinos. this is another one of the lies that's being perpetrated. it's about people, it's about making a distinction between citizen versus alien. and when you say the word alien, everybody gasps, and people want to faint. the word alien isn't a pejorative, it simply means anyone who is not a citizen or national of the united states. that's not mike cutler's definition, that's the definition that's in the immigration act. the problem with that word, with that definition is it provides clarity to the debate. and the other side doesn't want clarity. it's a magic act. going back to renaldo, we physically deported him. i was the guy who put him on an airplane, signed his warrant of deportation. he got back to the united states unbeknownst to us because twice, not once, but twice he was arrested by the new york city police department. because of mayor giuliani's sang sanctuary policies, we were never notified. the third time he reached for a officer's gun, budgets flew, the
cop was -- bullets flew, the cop was killed. i inadvertently met his daughter that he never met because his wife was pregnant at the time he was killed. no one talks about we are allowing america to be the escape valve for places like mexico. there are many decent, hard working folks from mexico who would do anything if they could stay home with their families and be successful, but they can't. there is an oligarchy in power, and we empower them. and today it would seem to me that america is looking to mexico as its role model rather than the other way around. the idea of either being fabulously wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of avarice or being very poor. and be when we're told we don't import foreign entrepreneurs we're screwed, people like gates and zuckerberg who themselves were entrepreneurs born in america. i just find this disconnect mind boggling. >> if i can follow up on the
gentleman's question, do either of you have any knowledge at a time in which an election, be it local, state or national was impacted by an illegal alien vote? i know of nothing. do either of you know of any even suspected? is. >> no, because it's nearly impossible to determine whether or not -- >> right. >> i know there were newspaper articles, anecdotal, where there were belief and you wound up with sour grapes on the part of the loser or whatever. >> right. >> but we know this happens. it's against the law for a lawful immigrant to vote for anything other than the a school board election. and that was why i felt so strongly about the voter id requirement. how is this voter suppression? if you're poor, you don't have to pay for the id. if you're poor, you probably are receiving public assistance which requires an id. so to hear this nonsense about, well, this is about voter suppression, no, it's about integrity to the process that's at the fundamental basis of the american republic.
>> dean graham, your question now for our guest. >> for the congressman, there seems to be an upsurge of political asylum requests, the city wanna. i guess there's a major problem -- i'm being facetious, but this whole system seems to be stacked against enforcement and just giving benefits away. are there some active groups that we can contribute to if we're so inclined to fight this? i know it was a lonely battle for you, congressman, as mayor. but is there something that can be done at the local level rather than waiting for federal action which seems to never come? >> well, i think, you know, anytime anyone's going to go to a ballot box and vote for someone to be an elected official whether it's on the local level, state level, county level or the federal level, i believe you need to know where
they stand on the issue and whether or not they're willing to do something about it. there are many members that i have, that i work with -- steve king, louie go her, michele bachmann, many members who understand what illegal immigration is doing and the fact that it touches on so many other issues. it's not one issue. i remember when i was running for congress, they would say he's a one-issue guy. and all that tells me is that you don't even understand that one issue, because that touches so many other issues. so, you know, i believe you need to look at your elected officials. fair is a group that also, you know, i've worked with a lot on illegal immigration. i speak at many of their events. but you really need to look at the candidate and determine whether or not they have the courage to stand up. because it's not a popular position in an election time because you're going to be
called a lot of names. >> this is not a new issue, by the way. how many in the audience remember duncan hunter? his son now is in that seat. >> that's right. >> and he had this as an issue. you mentioned tom tancredo earlier. >> and i also work with an organization known as caps, californians for stabilization. the problem is that the lion's share of the money is going to the other side. i did a piece for social contract which is a quarterly magazine, and i compiled a list of all the people that literally and figuratively are making out like bandits. and by the way, just a quick question for you, isn't it an insidious form of profiling to talk about this mythical latino vote or the jewish vote? if your last name is goldstein, that's all i need to know about you? i mean, when police profile, there's usually situational stuff involved. you can look at someone's last name, rodriguez, and that's all i need to know, i think it's a disgusting form of profiling and
insulting to folks because we're not monolithic, and it's like saying "those people." and yet it happens every day of the week. >> besides fair, another group i work with is numbers usa. two groups that i've worked with since i was mayor of hazelton. >> let's go back in the audience. i think we had a question back there, then we're going to come over here. good evening and welcome. thank you. your question for our guests. >> i have a question for the congressman. what are your plans with those who are born here but have yet to reached a adequate age to take care of themselves? >> that's a real, that's going to be another very difficult debate we're going to have. we're talking about the dreamers as they are so-called, is that where you're talking about, those that have been brought here? >> he said born here or brought here. >> born here. >> oh, they're citizens. if you were born here, you're a citizen. you're not talking about those
that were brought here -- >> a parent who are here -- >> just for clarification. >> whether yes. >> yeah, they're citizens. if you're born in this country -- >> i would make a suggestion, though, and there's a term used that i don't like, but it's referred to as the anchor baby. and i don't like that term, to be very honest with you. but what i would like to see is the 14th amendment at least as presently interpreted says that you're born here, you're a citizen, but perhaps what should happen is that if you are born to an illegal alien, then you would not have the authority to give lawful status to the parent who gives birth to you simply by having a child here here. and i think that might be a good of halfway ground to turn off a big part of the magnet, because we do have birth tourism and and not just from mexico. you have people coming from asia doing the exact same thing. so perhaps the solution is to say, okay, fine, the law says you're born here, you're a citizen, but you cannot petition for the parents to become a resident in their own right when you become 21.
does that answer your question, i hope? >> back -- does that answer your question? okay, thank you. let's go back there, here's sean polk with another question. >> what steps should be taken to prevent racial profiling in these immigration laws? >> well, we were very specific in the hazelton law to make sure racial profiling could not be part of any of the enforcement. in fact, it is written in the law that it cannot be based -- and this is a business that knowingly hires or a landlord, and this is the part that really we were concerned -- landlord simply not hiring or not renting to someone because of the color of their skin. and we took it out of the hands of both the business and the landlords in our ordnance. in the business portion, to make sure that racial profiling was not used, we would if you used
e-verify which is a free program, federal program over the internet that will determine whether the person is a lawful worker or not, if you used e-verify, you could not be in violation of the ordnance. the landlords -- again, we did not want somebody not renting to someone based on the language that they spoke or the color of their skin. so the landlord would simply send someone to city hall for a permit. the city hall worker, again, would not make the determination. we would use a data base, the same database that they use for social security or federal programs to determine whether or not that person is in the country legally. so we took it out of hands of the business and the landlords so that they would not profile and say i'm not going to rent or hire someone based -- because they may be here illegally because of the color of their
skin or language that they speak. we took it out of their hands and put it in the hands of the federal government and only the federal government would make that determination. no city employee nor landlord would make that. and that was very clear in our ordnance so that racial profiling would not be part of it. >> moving right through into the audience now. your question for our guests. >> do you find, congressman, that ignoring these laws where illegal is illegal that it tends to be a crumbling of the entire american system because -- because you said to pick your elected officials correctly, and yet sometimes the elected officials think that the law doesn't matter, that they can just do whatever they like. do you find that? >> i do, and that's why, you know, one of the first bills that i introduced in congress was to punish sanctuary cities by taking away any federal money to any mayor that declares itself a sanctuary city. a mayor does not have the
authority to pick and choose what laws they like and what laws they don't. this country was built on the rule of law. and the fact we now have elected firms whether -- elected officials from a president to a mayor deciding whether or not they're going to enforce laws will be the beginning of the crumbling, you know, of this country. >> mike? >> i know the question was asked of you, but just two things. you know, to me, this is really -- i call open borders folks the immigration anarchists. it's not anti-immigrant to be pro-american, you know? you take care of your own first. when a parent runs into a burning building and there's lots of kids in the building, you expect they're going to grab their own child first. it's not unreasonable. but think about this. the first set of laws that foreign nationals generally encounter are the immigration laws. we've got the whole world convinced that today violations of our laws will not only go unnoticed, but will be rewarded.
if that's the kind of face you want to provide to the world, then god help us all. >> in the front here, your question. good evening. >> good evening. excuse me. first when i found out you guys were going to be here, i had to come down. so i appreciate you. my question's about amnesty. and you mentioned congressman steve king and some others that you've worked with, and i know the mainstream media has given him some grief about some things he said, i think particularly about the dream act and it, basically, giving amnesty to drug dealers. i'm sorry, drug traffickers. do you agree with that, and do you think the media should be attacking him? is it fair? >> in other words, did steve king become radioactive after he said that? i ask you, lou barletta. >> not to me be, he didn't, because i know what's in steve king's heart. you know, i don't i don't thinky could deny that some of the people that will be getting amnesty are drug dealers.
some are criminals. >> some are terrorists. >> and some have very nice people. but why should we be afraid, why should we be afraid to single out those that will be mixed in with this amnesty that will, that are here to do harm whether it be selling drugs or trying to encourage our children to join gangs, gang bangers? >> look what's happened? look at the agricultural worker as part of the '86 amnesty that chuck schumer authored. he was involved with the '93 bombing at the world trade center. if we don't know who you are and we give you an identity document, that's the problem. and be that's why -- and that's why -- even with the dreamers. the age cutoff is 31. now, i'm on the wrong side of 60, but, hey, i think of 31 as being young, but a child?
in what society? so the problem we have is we don't even know if somebody came here three weeks ago and claimed to have got here 16 years ago. there is a lack of integrity to assist them that not only provides lawful status, but identity documents. and if you go back to the 9/11 commission report, and everybody should look it up, the terrorists in the aggregate, 19 terrorists used over 300 false identities. when some governments on the local or state level provided identity documents to people without being able to verify their identity, they're creating a national security nightmare for all of us. >> and when we talk about amnesty, you know, we look back at 1986 when ronald reagan gave amnesty to what was to be 1.5 million and ended up being 3 million -- >> almost 4. >> almost 4, because as soon as you waved the carrot of citizenship, people will storm into the country illegally. he promised the american people that this would be a one-time deal.
that we would never do this again. of we would secure or borders and never do this again. and here we are 2013, tear talking about amnesty -- they're talking about amnesty again. it's now over 11 million, there could be 20 million, who knows -- >> 30, 0, who knows? >> and our borders are still not secure. fool me once. >> let me ask you, with our borders having all the security of a screen door, are you going to seek re-election? >> am i going to seek -- >> to congress? do you intend to? >> absolutely. >> okay. in that chair sat ron desantos a few months ago. he's a freshman congressman, i think he may even serve with you on committee, if i'm not mistaken. what do you think of him? >> he's a good baseball player, i know that. [laughter] >> i think he shares some of your values, does he not? >> he does. you know, i haven't had an opportunity to know ron very well. he's a freshman, but, you know,
i'm pretty vocal about where i stand, and i'm sure ron will get a chance to stand up for what he believes. >> precious minutes left, let's go back to the audience. >> want to thank you yes member for coming -- gentlemen for coming this evening. this is very interesting and informative. i'm in the contract labor business, and i provide temporary labor to high-tech companies. and about a third of the people that we employ are people that are brought here on h-1b visas. and i think that that is something that we don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water because there's not enough of those people graduating to fill all of the jobs that are available in this country. and what's happened is that a lot of it's gone offshore to india and other places where
they have labor. so -- >> is there a question? >> i think we have to think about not so much the low-end labor, but high-end labor, how we treat that. because in my business we would be out of business almost -- >> if i can help with this, we're running out of time. on the h-1b visa program, gentleman raises a valid point, do you see that being sunset or otherwise altered? >> well, i think we need to talk about whether or not we're educating our own children. rather than look around the world -- >> [inaudible] >> but here's -- >> let us work it out. >> right. here's the other part of the problem, though, as i mentioned. if we're not doing investigations to the make certain there's not fraud involved and there have been cases out there, and if you reach me through michaelcutler
.net i'll send it to you, they bring in foreign workers. willie sutton went to the banks because that's where the money was. lots of companies go to india because that's where cheap labor is. we've got to be careful we don't undermine america's middle class. >> i think your point of bringing in a higher skilled person versus a lower skilled person, obviously -- >> [inaudible] >> do we have the microphone so the gentleman can be heard? >> if you, if you don't have the labor available in this country -- >> we're agreeing with you. >> it's going to go offshore. >> i'm agreeing with you on that, but we have to make certain the system has integrity. that's the bottom line for the entire immigration system is the lack of integrity. you know when some guy cuts you off on the highway and you say where'd you get your license? the idea is to make certain the system has beingty. >> okay. to bring this to a close, and i realize there are many others out there, summarize, if you will briefly for our audience what do you see happening,
what's the end game on this? what do you see in reality happening beginning with mike l cutler. >> well, i'm hoping that people like lou, and lou's one of my heroes in washington. it's a short list. will prevail. i hope that the american people in listening to this program and watching it will reach out to their elected representatives and demand true representation. to make certain that the government serves we, the people. because that is, really, who this government is for. so i am hopeful that as more people understand the dire straits that we're in, that they understand that importing more foreign workers and the number of jobs we create each month adds to unemployment, underemployment in record levels. all of this can be dealt wefectively if only we had the moral fiber to effectively and properly secure borders and enforce the immigration laws. and i appreciate what you're doing, lou. >> congressman? >> you know, at the end of the day, i hope that what we do in
washington will be to help the american worker. i hope that we enforce our immigration laws so that we can help the immigrants that come to america for an opportunity, because i believe we're stealing the opportunity that america offers by bringing in millions of illegal workers. and at the end of the day, i believe that, i hope that what we do in washington will be in the national best interests of the american people and not what's in the best interests of our national party. >> we do not operate in a vacuum when we do these speakers' events. very quickly, i want to thank some people because without them, these efforts do not happen. dean, richard, michael, julian gomez, aaron, clinton and sean polk who worked our audience, bob score can, jerry kenny at kenny tv, john at wnbd, and our
c-span partners tonight, phil dean, gary sullivan, andre fontana and bob south. i believe i have all of that. and tony marks, who makes sure that everything gets marked, and our host, president johnson of embry-riddle. our next event happens on september 23rd. we will take a look at leadership. it will be september 23rd, a former air force instructor pilot will talk about her book "remarkable courage: a systemized strategy for success." we invite you listening to have all students come to anyone who wants to succeed in business to hear thisdib story. that'll be on september 23rd. once again, on behalf of our guests tonight, we want to thank congressman lou barletta, michael cutler. thank you for being with us tonight. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, thank you for listening, thank you for watching. have a pleasant evening.
>> the senate is gaveling in after a five-week recess. senators will spend the afternoon on general speeches. we expect to hear about the resolution for a military strike in syria with senate majority leader harry reid starting off the remarks. then at 5 eastern, senators begin debate on two judicial nominations for new york state. live senate coverage here on c-span2. the chaplain: let us pray. shepherd of our souls, the center of our joy, we look to you today for strength and wisdom. we acknowledge that unless you guard our nation,