tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 12, 2014 4:00am-6:01am EST
guests to honor the french president. so this is what the scene looks like inside the south lawn to and to to replicate a money money-inspired setting in much have that transportation of a spring-like the man and a test by the president of the united states in honor of the president of france. [applause] [applause] >> a good evening, everybody. please have a seat. [laughter] michele and i are so honored to welcome you to the white house as we host the president and his
delegation for this historic state visit between our nation, the first in nearly 20 years. and our press conference today i quoted the son of france in 1831 set out across our young country and a chronicle of our american democracy as those are always amazed this nation of ours and captured its. as well as anyone ever has. tonight i would like to share some of his lesser-known observations about american dining, the absence of wind in
our meals which first struck him as very disagreeable and still cannot understand a multitude of things that americans succeed in introducing into their stomachs. some things did not change. when francois came here years ago to study i suspect he said the same time. about the white house, but the traveling companion wrote the president of the united states occupies a palace that in paris would be called a fine private residence. and he wrote -- and i very much can relate to this, the power of the king of france would be know if there were modeled after the power of the president. [laughter] and he did not have to do with the filibuster.
one young american lawyer went to paris and was deeply moved to see white and black students studying together. and that was charles summer who became one of our greatest abolitionists and helped to end slavery in is one of the reasons that all of us can be here this evening as full citizens free in the cool. it is true that we americans have grown to love all things french, film, food, wine, especially the wind. but most of all we love our french friends because we stood together for freedom for more than 200 years. tonight i want to pay tribute for the principle of and principal careers that he has shown on the world stage. i thank you, francois. we started this busy yesterday at monticello, and i would like to and where we began. thomas jefferson wrote trope --
so as the troweled inhabitants of any nation on what country on earth would you rather live. certainly in my home when my friends to our relations in the earliest and sweetest affections and recollections of my life. but jefferson added, which would be your second choice. france, of course. and so i propose a toast. to our friend and partner who all of our friends from france or here today. god bless america and long live the alliance between our great nations. >> here here. >> cheers. [silence]
>> i think it is right here. [inaudible question] [applause] [applause] >> mr. president, members of the congress and french parliament, ladies and gentlemen, i hope a translation exists. [laughter] i would like to thank you, mr. president to muffle the warm welcome they you have extended to me and my delegation. france and the united states of america are tied by history, french citizens such as lafayette who fought alongside
the heroes of independence to when your freedom, freedom to preserve. the glorious history of the americans who came to fight during the first world war and then in june, 1944, to lead the european continent from oppression. this have to and it was a great moment in the great honor to applaud your unknown soldier with the french vision of honor and a word veterans of the civil war. i promise, we shall never forget that. [applause] more, after september 11th
[speaking in french] >> i raise my glass in honor of america, the president, barack obama, the united states. [speaking in french] [applause] [speaking in french] >> we have feelings for one another. we love the americans, and you love the french. [laughter] we share the same universal values, freedom, democracy. we have been defending these values together.
the french armed forces are able to rely on the support provided by the u.s. soldiers and equipment in the central african republic. your support as accompanied our operations aiming at restoring security in this country torn by a violence between religion. see whether we have removed the unacceptable threat of an iranian nuclear weapon. we have succeeded in reaching an internal agreement in syria. we together removed the threat of force, the threat of a worsening situation and managers to force the regime of assad with the stockpiles of chemical weapons and together we are looking resolutely for a
political outcome so desperately needed. to get a french and americans also want to work for growth and introduce a new rules that will prevented financial crisis and enable us to fight more efficiently against. [inaudible] the strength and robustness of the american economy is a source of hope for all countries provided that we'll -- open our markets. we will succeed. together we will also rise to the challenge of climate change. hosting their conference in 2015. it is up to us to convince our major partners to take the necessary steps before it is too late, and i know i can count on your commitment.
mr. president, the relations between our two countries have reached an exceptional level of closeness. there is one simple reason for that. we share the same vision of the world and share a mutual respect the united states of america and france are two great nations. what is expected of them is to keep the promise, the promise of freedom and the promise of progress and also to keep the dream alive, that same dream that made by jefferson, washington, lafayette commanded french revolutionaries, the dream to change the world by uniting our forces, united -- uniting our talents, we will be able to keep the flame of hope alive. i raise my glass to the president of the united states of america and to michele obama.
threats to u.s. national security. we welcome the director of the national intelligence association and attorney general michael flynn. tillman, thank you for coming today. your testimony is especially important at a time of diverse and complex national security threats in an era of fiscal pressure. the department of defense faces difficult choices about how to allocate scarce resources in this environment of reduced budgets. although the recently enacted agreement provides some relief, it is partial and temporary. today's testimony welcome my hope, eliminate the dangers our nation faces and underscored the continuing urgency of reaching an agreement to bully in permanently deal with the threat of sequestration to our nation's interest. perhaps foremost among the challenges we face is no effort
to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons by iran. we look forward to up to information on the status of the iranian nuclear program and the impact of the interim agreement leave last year. in afghanistan we face an insurgency whose terror tactics continue to be deadly. i believe the situation in afghanistan has been fundamentally improved by efforts to build of the afghan national army and police. those forces met or exceeded expectations as they took over lead on almost all military operations during the 2013 fighting season, and they retain control over areas with the vast majority of the afghan population lives. the afghan army and increasingly the afghan police have the support of the people who
overwhelmingly oppose the return to afghan greuel. without the conclusion of a bilateral security agreement our military will not be able to continue to support the afghan security forces after the end of this year. president karzai has refused to sign the bsa that he himself agreed to. he has made a series of statements so inflammatory that they are undermining public support in the united states for continuing efforts in afghanistan. whoever the next afghan president is, he is likely to be more reliable than president karzai. his signature is likely to instill more confidence than karzai is. with two months to go in the presidential campaign i hope our witnesses will tell us if they agreed that the united states and a coalition of which we are a part would be better off waiting for the successor of
karzai to sign the agreement that the afghan people favor as reflected by the consensus of the 3,000 member. in. ♪ the seizure of militants reflects in part the failure of an increasingly sectarian influenced government to reach out to disenfranchised groups. we would appreciate hearing your assessment of the current situation in iraq and how best we can support the iraqi people without in powering the government to further the narrow agenda that has too often pursued. in syria with the world witnessed the core of the assad regime using chemical weapons against its own people killing hundreds of civilians. in response to the u.s. threat of using limited force against
the kimmitt -- chemical capability of assad the international community reached an agreement to eliminate the chemical program. since then the syrian chemical mixing capability has been eliminated in the first shipments have been transported to a port for removal from syria syria has missed two important deadlines to remove the rest of the chemicals, and we want to know the prospects for completing the elimination of the syrian chemical weapons this year and the impact of this effort on the assad regime. in light of the continuing horrific assaults against their own people and help our witnesses will give us their assessment of additional steps we could take to be effectively train and equip members of the
vetted opposition in syria. we face a different but no less complex series of challenges in the asia-pacific region. north korea has continued its cycle of provocations heightening tensions on the korean peninsula. last year the north korean regime conducted a nuclear weapon test and engaged in cyber attacks against south korea. there is instability in the region and we look forward to hearing whether though recent willingness of north korea to facilitate family visits signals any significant change in their policy. attorneys activities in south and east tennessee's have also raised concerns, especially among our friends in southeast asia. the chinese recent declaration of an air defense zone overlaps
with the south korean zone and encroaches airspace. failing to follow international norms and increases probability of miscalculations which could destabilize the region. i look forward to the testimony of our witnesses as to how we can appropriately respond. the chinese sustained in a growing campaign for military purposes and to to steal intellectual property for commercial purposes also poses a threat to our security and our relationship. this i regret is not unique to china. russia also possesses a formidable cyber capabilities. and the iran and north korea have also demonstrated a willingness to initiate an aggressive actions in cyberspace against the united states and our allies. china poses a unique threat because of the combination of
sophisticated cyber capability and a lack of restraint in respect for the limits on the theft of american technology, including protection of counterfeit products. a large number of colleagues have said that china's massive cyber has been rushed campaign is an intolerable threat to our long-term national economic prosperity and security. we look forward to the views of our witnesses on these and many other issues and no call upon center in off. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i agree with the comments you made. i want to address that, but i am concerned as everyone is about our national security. two weeks your returned from a trip to africa, afghanistan sought south asia, europe. it is clear from talking to
troops, diplomats that the global security environment is complex and growing more dangerous every day. it stating last year before congress, in almost a 50 years and intelligence i do not remember when we have had a more diverse array of threats in crisis situations to deal with. based on the we have seen since a think you're exactly right. the reality is our national security is worse than ten years ago. around the world we're seeing trips to our security rice from the middle east to africa, east asia. allies to not trust us, and enemies of fierce. in iran the agreement has done nothing to stop the regime in richmond activities. in fact, i am willing to submit for the record the reuters --
date successfully test fired missiles. the defense minister stated. one of them was a long-range ballistic missile with a great error updating capabilities and goes on and on to talk but what they're doing, so they are not hiding and and all. we remind our colleagues and intelligence reports continue to say that iran will continue to have this capability as early as 2015, less than one year away. the present administration continues its head in the sand approach to terrorism by pushing the false narrative that al qaeda is on the ropes and the run. but facts on the ground to not tell the story. the reality is that al qaeda now
operates in more countries and territories than ever before and poses a greater threat to american interest in the asia-pacific, our strategic balance is being undermined by massive budget cuts at a time when our interest in the region has never been more pronounced. the chinese military buildup continues to dominate the region , has our chairman has stated. north korea has continued erratic behavior threatening instability on the arabian peninsula and the broader region this last week we learned that north korea has enrichment activity in its facilities and is pushing forward with the development of the missile system. of course they admit this. in the face of all of this we're forcing our military, the backbone of our nation's security to endure a drop in
readiness. drastic budget cuts, $847 billion over the last five years, have resulted in our naval fleet dropping to a low level of ships, the air force being the smallest in history, and potentially shrinking the army to force not seen since the beginning of the 20th-century. commanders now use the term hollow to define there forces. in recent guidance issued to the services the secretary of defense acknowledged this dark reality and set near term hollowness is acceptable but the force must be balanced in state, and this is deeply concerning to me as an admission given the threats that we face are not likely to wake and tell our forces rebuild at some time in
the future. so without meaningful sequestration, sequester relief to reverse these reckless national security our military will accept a greater risk. you're talking about loss of lives. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator inhofe, director clapper. >> distinguished members of the committee, we are here to present the intelligence community worldwide threat assessment as we do every year. i will cover about five top picks in approximately 11 half or 12 minutes. this is my fourth appearance before this committee to discuss threats that we face. and as the senator noted i made this next assertion previously but it is more relevant today. looking back over my now more than half a century in
intelligence i have not experience a time that we have been beset by more crises and threats. my list is long. it includes the storage and diversification of terrorism loosely connected and globally disbursed to include here at home exemplified by the boston marathon bombing and by the sectarian war in syria, attraction as a growing center of radical extremism and the potential threat that disposes of homeland. let me briefly explain on this point. the strength of the insurgency is estimated between 75 and 80,000 on the low end and 100,000 on high-end while organizing more than 1500 groups of widely varying political leanings. three of the most effective, the islamic state of iraq. the number stole more than 20,000. complicating further of the 7500
plus four and fighters from some 50 countries who have crafted to have gravitated to syria. a small group of al qaeda veterans who have aspirations for an external attack in europe if not, and. there are many other crises in threat several ago to include a spillover of the serious conflict into neighboring lebanon and iraq. the refugees, now almost two and a half million, a symptom of one of the largest humanitarian disasters in over a decade. the implications of the drawdown in afghanistan. this year a crossroads with the drawdown and the bilateral security agreement, a key to sustaining the fragile gains we have made and sustaining external financial support, the deteriorating internal security
posture in iraq and the violence at very high levels more than 5,000 civilians were killed in. ♪ in 2013 which has made that year the deadliest since 2007. the growth of foreign cyber capabilities, nation states as well as non nation states, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, aggressive nation state intelligence efforts against us, and assertive russia, competitive china, dangerous and unpredictable north korea, challenging iran in were economic sanctions have had a profound impact on the economy and have contributed to the joint plan of action. lingering ethnic divisions in the balkans and extremism in africa, nigeria, central africa, and south sudan for non-violent
political struggles in the ukraine, burma, thailand, and bangladesh. the specter of mass atrocities, increasing stress of burgeoning populations, but urgent demands for energy, water, and food, increasing sophistication of transnational crime, tragedy and magnitude of human trafficing, insidious what of synthetic dry docks, potential for a pandemic disease occasioned by the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. i could go on but this litany, but suffice to say we live in a complex and dangerous world. the classified version provides a comprehensive review of these and other daunting challenges. the intelligence community, congress, and the public square.
and speaking about potentially the most massive and damaging theft of intelligence information and are a series by edward snowden and the ensuing avalanched revelations. i will not dwell about his legal standing work of the supreme irony about the begin of free expression to which she fled and from which he fled. what i do want to speak to is the nation's senior intelligence officer is the profound damage that he continues to cause. as a consequence the nation is less safe and people less secure. it what he has exposed has gone way beyond his professed concerned for so-called domestic surveillance. as a result we lost critical intelligence collection sources
including some shared by value partners. terrorists and other emissaries are going to school on u.s. intelligence sources, mountains, and tradecraft. insights are making our job and the intelligence community much harder. this includes putting the lives of members or assets of the intelligence community at risk as well as those of our own forces, diplomats and citizens. we're beginning to see changes in the communication of adversaries, a disturbing trend which i anticipate will continue. for his part snowden claims that his mission is accomplished. if that is so i call on he and his accomplices to facilitate the return of they're remaining stolen documents that have not been exposed to prevent more damage to u.s. security. as the third point i want to comment on the ensuing fallout.
pays me that the national security agency and its magnificent work force. i started in the intelligence profession over 50 years ago in signals intelligence. members of my family, father, father-in-law, brother-in-law, and wife and i have all worked at the nsa. this is deeply personal. the facts are as the president noted that the men and women, both military and civilian have done their utmost to protect this country and do so in a lawful manner. as we have said several times, the job of the nsa is not to target u.s. citizens. the agency so as -- collects foreign intelligence. moreover the effects of the unauthorized disclosures hurt the entire intelligence
community. critical abilities on which billions of dollars have been invested will likely be curtailed or eliminated because of compromise or conscious decision. moreover the impact of the losses caused by the disclosures will be amplified by the substantial budget reductions we are encouraged. the stark consequences of this perfect storm are pretty evident . the intelligence community will have less capacity to protect our nation and its allies. this connection will also compel the negative moral impact this has had on the work force which is compounded by sequestration furloughs the shutdown and salary freezes. this is my fourth board. this committee, the congress at large, executive branch and all of us in the intelligence community with the inescapable imperative to accept more risk.
it is a plain hard fact and circumstance that the community must manage to deal with those who we support in the executive branch. dealing with reduced capabilities is need to ensure the faith and confidence of the american people, we in the intelligence community will work as hard as we can't to meet the expectations before us which brings me to my fifth and final point. the major take away for us and certainly for me personally for the past several months as we must clean in the direction of transparency. with greater transparency about these programs the american people may be more likely to exception. his landmark presidential policy directive, a major hallmark of which is transparency. i have specific testing in conjunction with the attorney general to conduct further
declassification is developing additional protections under section 702 of the act governing non u.s. presence overseas to modify how we conduct will collection of telephone matted data and to ensure more oversight. clearly we will need your support. we must and will sustain our professional trade craft and integrity. we must continue to protect our crown jewels so that we can accomplish will we have been chartered to do to protect the lives of american citizens here and abroad, threats i described the beginning of a statement. with that i will conclude my statement. >> general. >> good morning, chairman, ranking member, distinguished members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to testify and for your continued to support for the dedicated
intelligence professionals and the entire defense enterprise, many have come remain for were deployed directly supporting u.s. and allied military forces in afghanistan and around the world. today's global security environment presents a growing list of increasingly complex challenges, conventional adversaries and numerous asymmetric threats. i completely agree with the threat assessment and most notably the challenge of unprecedented upheaval and the evolving complexity of the cyber demean. above like to highlight three areas of particular concern. number one, the threat of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of non state actors and the proliferation of these weapons to other state actors. number two, the mars is a foreign militaries the capabilities approaching those of the united states and our allies. number three, increasing tensions in the pacific.
first, as they have publicly and repeatedly insisted, al qaeda and other terrorist organizations aspire to acquire weapons of mass destruction to further their agenda. the current instability in syria presents a perfect opportunity for al qaeda and associated groups to acquire weapons for their components. of the syrian stockpiles are currently under the control of the regime, the movement of these weapons from current locations for disposal or other reasons drastically increases the risk of weapons or components falling into the wrong hands. there is also the very real possibility that extremists in the syrian opposition could overrun and exploit chemical and biological weapons storage facilities before these materials on note. outside of syria the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and associated technologies remains an ongoing challenge. state and not state actors
engaging in these activities often sidestep or outpace international detection procedures. these actors supplying weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile related materials to countries of concern are regularly changing the names of front companies operating in countries with permissive environment or lack of enforcement and avoiding international financial institutions. techniques grow more sophisticated with the. shifting to more traditional military force concerns the armed forces of china and russia are modernizing and fielding new weapons systems that can challenge the conventional superiority of the united states the same time both countries are restructuring military and improving command-and-control to allow themselves to better operate in an inspiration- dominated in berman. these efforts hartmarx departure for china and russia and a will take time to integrate new
capabilities into their military we cannot afford to ignore developments. along those lines of want to raise the issue of increasing tensions in the pacific. the regime in north korea remains highly unpredictable and is the most destabilizing force in the entire region. that being said, the disputed areas in the east and south china sea's remain important flashpoints. the announcement in a member of the chinese are establishing an error identification zone over portions of the east china sea rays regional tensions particularly with japan and increase their risk of incidents that could undermine peace and security in this vital region. although all sides wished to avoid serious complex these tensions raised the prospect for further incidents that could lead to escalations involving military force. as you know we have the broadest customer base in the
intelligence community. customers run the gamut from the president of the yen's states and congress to war fighting combatant commanders. the most important customers reserve where soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines who stand in harm's way around the world how. with that in mind let me turn to the budget environment. ..
i have no doubt that he's placed men and women of our armedded services at risk and will cost harm to lives on future bat 8 fields. i hope he recalls all material not already disclosed for the safety and security of all americans. i close by saying what an honor and privilege it is to appear here on behalf of the men and women of the intelligence agency and intelligence enterprise. i thank you for your cometting confidence in their work, your support is vital to us as well as our national security, and i look forward to answering requester questions. thank you. >> thank you very much, general, we'll have a seven-minute first round. starting with you, questions about afghanistan.
our isaf joint commander said that in 95%-plus of tactical fire fights in which the afghan security forces engage they held their ground and defeated the enemy and noted that at no time did the afghan security forces in the past summer lose urban area or urban population cementer. not a single center overrun by the taliban. do you agree with the military commanders in their assessment of the capabilities of the afghan national security forces? >> let me start, and the general can chime in. there's no question that the ana, the afghan national army, enjoyed tactical success, particularly when they have had good leadership and had the enablers available to facilitate
a joint campaign. there's extensive desertion problem, some 30,000 troops desserted last year in an army of 185,000. the other difficulty, of course, is the afghan national army had great success. tactically in their contacts with the taliban, the difficulty has been once something is cleared as holding it, particularly when it requires follow-up by the afghan police. do you want to add to that? >> chairman, i would just add that the anf, particularly the army, but the afghan national police have made, i would say, modest progress over the years. i think ill they still, well, a couple things. one, there's great incertainty
because in their minds because of the lack of assigning of the bsa, be very candid, i think that the enabling capabilities they still lack, things like intelligence, counter ied expertise and technology, the air lift, logistics so the sustainment capabilities that they still require enable, you know, in order for them to have progress on the battlefield. >> thank you. >> director, if we announce that we were going to await the next president to seek the signature on the bilateral security agreement, what would be the effect inside of afghanistan? >> well, the effect already of the delay has been negative in terms of the impact on the economy and the psychological
impact. particularly, last november, approved going forth with a bilateral security agreement. what we're already seeing is negative trends in terms of the economy, the gdp is dropping, and, importantly, i think, important statistic or factoid is the number of foreign businesses or foreign investors investing in business. >> clear the air for us to say we're going to await the next president? >> well, obviously, it takes two to sign this, and it's my own view, not necessarily company policy, i don't believe president karzai will sign it. >> clearing the air to eliminate the uncertainty? >> well, that's a policy call, sir, not intelligence. i don't know what the decision will be as to whether -- >> or what the effect would be? do you have an assessment what
the effect would be inside afghanistan if we made the declaration? >> the declaration of what? >> we'll await for the next president to sign the bsa? >> it would -- could be having an effect, and i suppose it would if we said that. >> in terms of iran, if the joint plan, it's been agreed to as successfully implemented, would its terms and conditions diminish iran's nuclear capacity? compared to where iran would otherwise be in six months without that joint plan of action. >> it would to the degree it boils back the enrichment of the 20% uranium, putting curbs on heavy water facility in iraq, and most importantly, it imposes very intrusive and observation
carried out by the iaea, and, yes, it would help to set back the programs some. he said the intelligence community reached the judgment, quote, that new sanctions undermind the prospects of a successful nuclear agreement with iran. could you explain? >> well, we think at this point given the impacts of the sanctions imposed already, quite substantial, in terms of the contraction of the iranian economy, unemployment, inflation, ect., and the viability of them for getting access to the foreign rereceivers are substantial. our belief is, our assessment is, we don't know, but i think our assessment would be that
further sanctions at this point would probably be counterproductive, but it's important to remember that the iranians understand our government and how we operate, and so in my view, the complete of additional sanctions is more than sufficient. >> all right. and then, finally, relative to syria, what impacts would a more robust training of equipping vetted members of the moderate syria opposition have on the ongoing conflict? could it put additional pressure on assad? >> well, it could help to the extent that we can put through and train for more people who are vetted. that would be helpful. >> thank you. senator inhofe.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. we had six things i was going to ask, but i think director clapper answered two of them. a lot of detail, but i want to mention snowden that tied a war, and then one other question about the iran. first of all, you -- i thought you covered it very well, director clapper, in terms of what snowden has done. the disturbing thing, and we hear from an awful lot of people, treating him as if he's a hero, and i look at it more as a trader, and i would like to get from each one of you that he is ploabl, the degree he's perpetrated the single greatest compromise of information in american history, and secondly, respond that i believe that the vast majority of the 1.7 million
documents that was stolen have nothing to do with nsa or surveillance programs and if disclosed or replaced in the hands of the add veer sorries to defend our homeland. the vast majority has nothing to do with the rights people are concerned about under the nsa. >> as i indicated, the revelations have gone way, way beyond the concerns about the so-called domestic programs. to quantify this, that's a very small portion of the fatality of what he's looked at, and an assessment they looked at, we don't know what he took and what he's provided to the
accomplices, but that's why i said in the statement, this potentially is by far the most damaging set of revelations in the nation's history. >> do you agree with that? >> yes, it's, senator, i agree, the ma majority of what he took, without the details of the types of exaibilities or components have nothing to do with nsa. >> yeah. back when africon was started, most interested in that, and i was interest we did it, but setting it up they don't have control of the their own as sets comes back to haunt us, i feel, quite an. put that chart up, if you would, over there. if you look and see how much is going on now in northern africa and the fact they are comment for resources, and i just got back from after ryka, the headquarters and from that
general area, and i just would kind of like to have you comment as to your concern. 12% of all the requests of isr, that's the intelligence recon sons are met due to lack of resources. my concern has been that -- i want your assessment as to the resources that are there, the assessments that have been made at 12%, and the concerns are met or addressed, and then because my concern is that it's budget driven opposed to risk driven. what are your thoughtings right now and the resources they have? of course, you mentioned, general, in this time of the bucket restraint, that's my concern, that this is all budget driven. comments on that? >> well, sir, i can comment
certainly on the threat that we see evolving in africa and the map is suggestive of that. in both the saw hill and the the proliferation of al-qaeda want-to-bees, or terrorists that profess violence, and so, of course, there is kind of the perfect storms conditions there with large ungoverned areas, porous borders, places awash in weapons, primarily from libya, and you have unwilling or incapable security services able to go after these people. for the most part, they don't pose a direct threat to the homeland now, but they certainly could in the future. as far as -- referring to regime
flynn, but an economy of force operation i think general rodriguez did a superb job in marshalling the resources he does have, particularly in monitoring the situation of soit sudan. one other point i mentioned because the president of france is here is that the french have capability in that part of the world from their history, and they have great access and have laid out a strategy in which they want to purr see terrorism, and, of course, i think they would look to us, and i'm certainly going to try to do all we can to assist them, particularly with respect to intelligence. mike? >> yeah, and, first, i appreciate you asking the question. i mean, i think that that map is very telling in terns of the threats that we face, and i think for viewers, one of the
things to point out, that number eight, at the top there, on the coast of algeria down to the coast of nigeria where the number 10 is, that distance is the distance from new york to los angeles so the scale of what we are talking about in africa as a continent is huge. in terms of what they are trying to do is working very hard to build african capacity where they can, basically partnering with the nations to be able to build capacity, bilaterally, and then vehicle coalitions. one of the capabilities that is a shortcoming, right now, we appreciate the commerce on this, the need for recon sons capability, not just the capability that fly, but the human intelligence and other aspects of isr, and then i think as the director just highlighted, the reliance on other partners, particularly european partners that do
support the operations going on in africa, that alliance is critical for us. >> okay, my time is about expired, but if i could get an answer from each one of you, i keep hearing things people in the administration talk about, al-qaeda is on the run, on the path to defeat. look at the chart up here they have a presence operating, and to me, it's the opposite of that. yes or no, each one of you. is al-qaeda on the run and path to defeat? >> no. it is morphing and franchising itself not only here but other areas of the world. >> uh-huh. >> they are not. >> okay. >> thank you, senator. senator reid. >> thank you, mr. foreman. thank you, gentleman. general, could you briefly update us on the assigned service, purpose, and how it
relates to agencies and organizations? >> in three areas, we have seen significant improvement, and that is our field presence in which we expanded our footprint overseas, the second area is building stronger partnerships, not only with allies and other nations, but also with our services and with especially special operations command, and, of course, our great partner in the cia in this endeavor. the last area, really part of instilling discipline into this whole system, we have seen a modest increase in our productivity in terms of reporting and production from the capability put out there in the last year.
>> thank you. general clapper, can you comment on the defense, and sitting at the apex of the collection activities. >> speaking specifically as a collection service? >> how you view it. >> i'm a big supporter of it, two former directer of dia and stood up the initial defense human service in the early 1990s. what this initiative to me is taking this to the next level, represents professionalization, greater partnering with the national clandestine service which is cia. i'm a big proponent of it. i think it is unique capability, the officers providing a unique service to the national
intelligence community that no one else can do. >> thank you. general, turning to syria, you stated there are approximately fighters -- multiple issues, but stemming the flow into the country, and perhaps maybe more importantly, tracking them as they come from the country, and so can you comment on both points, and also how with respect to as they leave the country, you are sharing this information with all of the relevant agency, fbi, tsa, i.c.e., ect. so we don't find ourselves, you know -- >> yes, sir. in that estimate, by the way, is probably conservative. nose are the ones we account forment they are probably more. this is a huge issue in europe with our european allies, and
they share with us and them on this, that's the critical omelet for in terms of sharing, and they are very, very concerned about it. part of the problem, i can be more specific in a closed environment, is the -- in some cases, lax rules about terrorists as they transit through enemy countries. that's about like you say in open session. that's -- we're drying to work that agenda as well. absolutely, sir, particularly, those who may have -- even if they aspiration name designs on not only potential attacks in europe, but attacks here. we are sharing this, and i think the secretary of homeland security, jay johnson, spoke to the issue recently. >> just to be sure i'm clear, that there is a conscious,
deliberate effort to identify all of these foreign fighters in syria now and to be prepared through cooperation with our agencies and other countries to follow them as they come out, is that fair? >> yes, sir, as best we can. >> another question. you commented about this, your sense that some of the vast amounts of information that he is collected could reveal agents, sources that we have? >> yes, sir. both as sets and those undercover. >> general, you spoke about weapons of mass destruction, are they chemical weapons, nuclear? >> chemical and bilogical exhales. >> thank you. thanks very much.
thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator reid, senator mccain. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i thank the witnesses. director clapper, you see in your statement, the president remains unwilling to negotiate himself out of power. does that mean that you believe the suspects coming out from yes geneva, and now geneva three, whatever it is, are minimal? >> sir, i have to say my expectations, and i think the nic's expectations about the outcome of geneva two have been pretty modest. , hopeful what they talked about
-- >> the premise of the one was the transition of assad from power, and that is unlikely certainly given circumstances on the ground. >> well, it takes two parties to have a negotiation, and i think the syria regime position is that is not negotiateble. >> right. you know, this map that the senator, i think that map would have looked different in 2009 than it does today, but going back to syria, have you seen the horrific pictures, and i'm sure you have, and revealed recently, the documented examples of torture and murder? have you seen those documents? >> yes, sir, they are terrible.
and when you consider the humanitarian disaster, the two and a half million refugees, six and a half or seven million displaced, 135,000-plus people killed, it is apock lippic disaster. >> do you believe the documents are authentic? >> as best we know, yes, sir. >> so it's your professional opinion they are awe ten tick? >> i believe they -- i have no reason to doubt, and would be difficult to suggest, you know, that something of that magnitude could have been fab fabricated. >> thank you. so the situation, as i quote from your statement is that regime and insurgents believe victory given their respective capabilities, in other words, next six months will be basically status quo? in your written statement?
>> yes, sir. i think what we're facing right now is kind of a prolonged stalement where the regime does not have the sustaining power to hold on to areas they clear, and with the external support with the oppositions, thaim -- they will continue to be a thorn in the side. >> so that statement of the president of the united states if it's nots a matter of weather, but when assad leaves power is no longer operative nor the testimony before this committee by the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and then secretary of defense panetta, quote, the departure of assad is inevitable, and would you agree that the situation was dramatically changed on the battlefield when 5,000 hezbollah came in, raining government, and increased weapons supplies from russia, would you agree that that basically gives an effect
on the battlefield? >> i may have said it here last year that at the time, at some point, you know, assad's days are numbered, but we don't know the number, and what made a difference is the support from, well, from russia, iran, and its surrogate, hezbollah. >> and sierra-iraq is an al-qaeda training ground and transit point back and forth from al-qaeda and al-qaeda affiliated groups? >> correct. it's a pore yows border this. >> now, when you look at lebanon, jordan, turkey, and kurdistan, this is toot -- to the large degree of regional conflict, would you agree? >> certainly has regional implications, absolutely. >> 7,000 foreign nationals would want to return someday to their own country?
that's the presumption. >> and the 26,000 there are extremists that, as you point out, who would like to attack the yeast of america? in your words, intentions, i believe. >> well, not all 26,000, necessary, and, by the way, that's the high end for the extremist, but there are long professed a desire of ultimately to attack the homeland. >> so the longer this goes on, really, the more foreign fighters who go in, ect., ect., the more likely there is a greater and greater threat actually to the united states of america, would you agree? >> i would. >> so could you tell in me, in your mind, what are some of the options that we could example in order to change this stalemate on the battle feed as basically as you described it, and i agree
with? >> well, sir, there's some things we could do that, at least in my domain, that are best left to closed session, but there are things. >> there are -- >> dramatically increase our assistance, but at least on my front, the intelligence areas, there are some things we could do. i thank you, and there are acigsal measures that we could take that we have not taken? is that true? >> i'm sure there are, but it's not my place to speak to those. >> i understand that. finally, i guess, as my time runs out, it's a little difficult for a syria mother to differentiate whether here child
is killed by a chemical weapon, starved to death r or by a conventional weapon, would you agree? >> well, absolutely. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator mccain, senator donnelly. >> thank you, mr. chairman, director clapper, general flynn, thank you for your service and thank the people of their organizations for their service as well, and we worry about physical dangers and what i think about what can happen next, and i wonder what your greatest fear is as to a physical attack here in our country? >> a connecticut attack against
the country or -- >> yes, sir. >> well, the potential the damage could cause on a large scale basis. fortunately, the nation state entities that have that capability probably have lesser intention to do so whereas the nonstate entities that have less benign intentions do not have the capability. that's the mode we're in right now. that's why i'm very concern about kind of the up aerocomers, if you l not the first line, china and russia, and others that have more malign intent for
us as they acquire capability. >> i answer it by two things. on the cyber side, there's the critical infrastructure, potential damaging effects, you know, our transportation, health care, clearly financial is an area that we have to pay very, very close attention to, our energy sector, and on the kinetic side, there's a range of things that keep me up at night. you know, when you see the mumbai style attacks, what happened in the mall in nairobi, i mean, you know, what happened during the boston marathon, i mean, those are the kinds of things that we have to continue to work together in the intelligence community to make sure that we work as seam lizly as possible to work not only within the national side, but also on the federal, state, local, and try ball level. that's really an important aspects of what we're trying to do in the intelligence
community, which is to work on integration on intelligence systems. >> that's where i wanted to go next, the integration. i think back do 2001, and i think of things put together, there's a pilot school, trained there, you know, how good is the coordination today in terms of all the different organizations talking to one another to say, look, we have something that looks off here, but we want to put it out to everybody else to see what they want to think. >> sir, i was around then, and in the intelligence community, and i think it's vastly improved, and i think emblematic particularly is the integration of the fbi, end of the -- into the intelligence community, and that's made a huge difference in terms of penetrating what has been this fire wall for many, many years between foreign and
domestic. the standup of the department of homeland security facilitated that as well as they engage with the state, local, and triball entities. i think there's been 5 lot of improvement, but this is a journey, not a fixed end point. >> in regards to the snowden damage, and he used simple software so to pull this off, so i guess the fear is how are we making sure that when we put all this effort in with the different software packages, or, you know, they cannot do this again? >> sir, and, of course, in
mr. snowden's case, a perfect storm for him because he was a systems administrator, and highly skilled technically skilled i.t. professional. they knew what he was doing. it was his job as assistant administrator to range across data bases, skilled below the radar, so what he was doing was invisible. had he been at fort meade proper at enrings sa headquarters, likelihood is he would have been detected a great deal sooner, so we are deploying, i mean, nsa and rest of the intelligence community did things in terms of two-man control and tightening up discipline, who has access. we are going to proliferate deployment of auditing and monitoring capabilities to enhance our inside threat detection. we have to go need to change our security clearance process to a
system of continuous evaluation. that said, though, there are no mouse traps saying we can guarantee there's never another edward snowden. our system is based on personal trust. we had historically, unfortunately, egregious violations of the personal trust. we have a couple right now, and we'll have them in the future. what our job is to ensure that we can detect sooner and cons -- consequently detour to this magnitude. >> finally, i want to ask about -- you talk about organizations in materials they have that could cause incredible damage whether it's a portion of the wmd or they have these or those chemicals, and it is not always government. it is shadow organizations and others. in terms of tracking them, do we
have an idea where the groups are located? secondly, you mentioned that these attacks are just as likely in europe as they would be here possibly you look at the situation in chechnya, that russia is also a potential. are we working with other governments even when they are not the most friendly to us, number one, and number two, are we tracking the groups on a constant basis? gel >> well, we track them as best wz can. it's tough intelligence problems. it's particularly daunting with respect to bw since there are so many dual applications where you cannot -- it's not readily evident something is done for nefarious purposes. the other thing that helps us a bit, as we've seen in syria, is that without the required expertise and industrial infrastructure capabilities, it's hard for the groups to do much with them, but this is something we watch for
carefully, and, yes, we cooperation as broadly as we can with all foreign partners to include the russians, who have, i think ire their level of cooperation has improved as time has gone on here, and now that we're into the sochi olympics, particularly with respect to external threats. >> thank you, thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator donnelly. senator chambliss. >> thank you, mr. foreman. gentlemen, we often forget men and women serving under you put their lives in harm's way every single day, and in spite of the difficulties that we face that you've alluded to, we can never forget the fact that those men and women have done an outstanding job over the last several decades, but particularly, as you look back from 9/11 forward, they've done an amazing job of collecting
intelligence, providing it to your customers to ensure that america did not -- has not sustained another major attack, so please express to them our proarks for their great work. director clapper, one country that has been a valued partner for so many years, got lost in the shuffle of what's been going on in the middle east particularly, and in africa over the last several weeks and months is egypt. egypt has been a strong ally for so many years, a great partner in the intelligence community as well as otherwise. we've had military operations as well as intelligence operations with egypt for decades. now there's a lot of turmoil over there. when president mubarak was ousted, the add administration quickly threw him under the bus and embraced the muslim
brotherhood who came into power. there's been no change in the position of the administration that i'm aware of on that, and even if there has been, i tell you having just returned from another trip to the middle east as well as having conversation with other allies from the middle east over the last few days and weeks, there is a strong perception in that part of the world that the united states has embraced the muslim brotherhood, particularly in e gyp from a political standpoint. with all of the opportunities for training and the africa region, particularly libya and syria and other countries that are not far away from egypt, give us an assessment to the security condition of egypt today, particularly as they move into elections and where are we headed there?
>> first, thank you very much for this commentary about the work of the men and women of the intelligence community, and we'll certainly convey that, and i think you are quite right to highlight the importance of egypt from the standpoint of the prominence, a population standpoint if nothing educational, a centerpiece in the middle east, an ally because of the access to the suez canal, peace treaty with israel, you could go ton as to why egypt is so critically important. the security situation, something we are concernedded about, particularly in the sinai and emergence of a group called ansar, which is a terrorist group that is an al-qaeda wannabe, attacked the egyptian military in the sinai, of course, poses a threat to
israel. there are other groups, jamal, some of whom were involved in the benghazi attack and other groups in egypt that we're very concerned about. that said, what we have attempted to to doings and john brennan because with his familiarity with that area of the world, led that effort with the ic, attempted to reach out to the egyptian security services and sustain our important relationship with them despite all the, ewe -- you know, the vague policies, sustain strong intelligence partnership. >> general flynn, i was also in afghanistan on that same trip, and the feeling of our military, diplomatic core, and our intelligence community is exactly the same when it comes to the future of afghanistan, and that is there is just an uncertainty out there that has
been created by the fact that no decision's been made by the administration by what sort of forestructure remains in place by afghanistan to ensure the games made over the years will remain in place and that there's security provided for both the diplomatic as well as the intelligence community going forward which is critical to ensure those gains are maintained. in looking at the elections that are forthcoming and taking into consideration car disci who i think is off the charts now, and the statement that when you look at candidates who are up for election, and i know there's a significant number of them, but they can be narrowed down to serious candidates, it's my understanding that all of those have either publicly or privately said they intend to
sign the bsa, so what's keeping us now from going ahead to make the decision that ultimately the bsa will be signed, why not clear up that uncertainty that exist with american assets on the ground in afghanistan? >> that's clearly a poly issue, senator, what the final decision will be by the president. i echo what i discussed, you know, the level of uncertainty, the potential loss of confidence by the people of afghanistan, by the afghan national security forces, it was a real problem, and, you know, in the already held last year, late last year, you know, confirmed that they, that the people of afghanistan want this bsa signed, and president car disci, you know, stated what he stated, and i
would just stay that for the long term, we have to make sure we keep in mind the international mind going forward. >> they have not coalesced around a lesser number, all 11 hanging in there, and publicly, at least to this point, president karzai has not indicated a favorite, so what that sets up, of course, is the election, and then probably after that, a runoff of some sort or more -- one or more runoffs to come up with an elected president. then you have to wound every -- wonder, well, the first act to be to sign a bsa? this could be a very prolonged process. >> thank you.
>> we went to the middle east in the summer, and my wife asked me my impression when i got back, and the sing the biggest impression is the quality of people we have working for us in the intelligence comiewrpt, the military, the state department, and, frankly, we have not been treating them well recently with shutdowns, furloughs, pay freezes, and i know it's sort of hallow to say we appreciate it, but, you know, we're not keeping up with the -- what we ought to be doing, but i just want you to convey there are people that realize sometimes i think we're getting better service than we deserve, frankly, and i wanted 20 make that statement. the second is i've been coming to these hearings now for over a year, and every single one that i've been in, the alarm bells about a cyber attack have been sounded. i remember one of the witnesses said the number one threat was the cyber attack, and the next pearl harbor would be cyber, ect., ect., and yet we in the
congress have not done anything. in 2012, there was a major cyber bill that did not pass, and this is not a criticism of anybody individually, but i'm getting frustrated that this institution is not moving on what we're told is the most serious threat we're facing. there are some motion and discussion going on, but i, for one, want to see that accelerated because you both pointed out this is a major threat and something to deal with. okay. first question. >> according to a story in the 12th of january there, there's significant difference in the intelligence assessment of the sighfullian agencies in the military about the future of afghanistan after 2014. since you represent those two elements, are there differences? if so, to the extent you can tell us in the open hearing, what are they, and i understand one side is not a little more,
but a lot more pessimistic than the other. >> well, sir, first, thank you for your commentary about our people, and just bereave word on cyber legislation. i think it's clear we recently recognize we need a partnership with the civilian sector, and if nothing else, first line of warning. since we've done stiments in afghanistan in 2007, i think we, the intelligence community has been probably in the occupying half the class that's empty, and other others occupy the glass that's full. there is, i think, some difference, i think we in the intelligence community, though, are pretty firm about, you know, what the future of afghanistan holds. i will tell you thee most
important factor in influencing the future is the sustained external support for afghanistan, the afghan government in order sustain the army, which is improving. in our last nie, there's, i think, an instructive annex, annex b, that speaks to the russian history, and it does illustrate, and you can argue about the comparison between the russians and us and what afghan people think of them, but in the end, it is that external support that is going have the most influence on the future of afghanistan. >> that was going to be my second question. just to be clear, you're talking about long term fiscal support, how about any military -- any troops presence? >> well, i mean, there is a debate about them, you know, there is the importance, i suppose, of to the extent that
we can sustain a -- advise and train an assist mission, that will certainly facilitate the afghan government and ensure its future. >> the president of iran for a minute presents a different face. your professional opinion is this, is there a difference in kind or just cosmetics? >> i think it's probably substantive, but i don't think, again, the supreme leader is still the supreme leader, and i think he whom they have nope each other for over 30 years, work ged together before, and i think the supreme leader has faith and confidence, but if he does not produce, if there is not some indication of
improvement in the iranian economy because the extent that it degrades, that, of course, threatens the long term viability of the regime, so i do believe it's genuine, but it's pragmatic. >> does our intelligence community have a role to play in verifying whether the iranians live up to the commitments made in the original -- >> yes, we do. >> and do you think it's possible for us to have realistic verification? >> i do because of the extensive additional surveillance authorities that will be given to the iaea. >> final question, and, general, i don't mean to be ignoring you, but directer clapper, you talked about snowden and the difference between a whistle blower and a person doing harm to the country. would you expand on why he's not a whistle blower or a hero?
>> i'm only speaking to it from my standpoint, and i tried to stay out of the debate about his legal status and all that sort of thing. all i can speak to is the tremendous damage he's done which goes way beyond his concerns about the so-called domestic surveillance. >> in terms of damage, you mean in terms of damage to our ability to know what's important? >> to compromise sources' methods and the trade craft and jeopardy place the on our value overseas partners. >> a final question on afghanistan, do you feel it's going to be necessary not only to have monetary support, but some kind of troop presence in afghanistan in order to maintain the gains that the country has made in this effort? >> senator, my judgment, i do. i believe we need that.
>> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator king. senator graham. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i just got off the phone about a major issue affecting our forces in afghanistan. if i could, i'd like to read his statement and explain the issue a bit and not have it taken off my time if that's possible? >> take this a step at a time. >> okay. >> if there's objection -- i don't, but -- >> well, basically, the statement, just begin to me about five minutes ago. the united states forces in afghanistan learned 65 dangerous individuals from a group of 88 detainees under dispute have been ordered release from the afghan national detention facility. the u.s. on several occasions provided extensive information that evidence on each of the 88 detainees to the afghan review board, the afghan national director of security, and attorney general's office.
this release violates agreements between the u.s. and the afghanistan. we have made clear our judgment that these individual should be prosecuted under afghan law. we requested cases be reviewed, but the evidence against them was never considered including the attorney general begin the short time since the decision was made to transfer these cases to the afghan legal system. the release of 65 detainees is a legitimate force protection concern for the lives of the coalition troops and afghan national security forces. the weapon of choice of individuals is the ied, widely recognized as the cause for civilian casualties in afghanistan. the release is a major step backwards for the rule of law in afghanistan. some previously released individuals have already returned to the fight, and in this substance release allows dangerous insurgents back to afghan cities and villages, i just want to lend my support to
this statement, mr. chairman, and i've been working on this issue for quite a while. eighty-eight detainees the subject of the dispute. our forces have evaluated the people as very dangerous. the afghan people and the coalition forces. we oom requested they go through the afghan legal system. president karzai basically sidestepped his own rue of law, ordering the files over and immediate release of 65 detainees without ever going through the afghan legal system that had a 70% conviction rate. we just lost two members of the reserve i work with as reservists providing mentoring at the main prison in afghanistan. i will be introducing the resolution condemning the action by president karzai, and i'll courage the colleagues to cut developmental aid off afghanistan as a response until after the next election. i just want my colleagues to
know that the general has done a wonderful job trying to protect our forces, and he finds this release an offense to those who detained the people and those who died at their hands of the 88 individuals in question over 60 coalition forces have died as a result of the action of these 88, and i consider this a major step backwards in the relationship. i don't know what i'd tell a member of the coalition force killed by the 65 if that did happen, and i hope and pray it does not, but the likelihood is great, and i end with this thought. president karzai, in my view, single handedly is destroying this relationship, that his erratic behavior, that his outrageous statements ewe mentioned, mr. chairman, are doing great damage, and i want the people of afghanistan to know that i yearn for a supportive relationship,
politically, and economically, but actions like this make it very hard for an american politician to do business as usual in afghanistan, and general, you are over there dealing with this issue when i saw you in the last tour, and i just want to let those in charge of maintaining security over the detainees and all the people in charge of catching these guys, that this is a front to them, their work effort, and it's not unnoticed by the congress. i look forward to developing a bipartisan plan to push back as hard as possible. the release is supposed to happen thursday. >> thank you for bird dogging this issue. >> thank you, mr. chairman. now back to the topic at hand. do we have the legal authority urn the amf to initiate strikes against syria in libya?
>> >> sir, it's a legal area now that i would want to ask about. i don't want to give an unequivocal answer to that. >> i want to tell you what you told the committee this week and last week that the growing presence of a safe haven in syria now attached to iraq is presenting a direct threat to the homeland. is that still your estimate if >> well, it's a little more than that, but i think if i had to have a yes or no answer to that, i would say yes. >> okay. well, if the testimony, general flip, do you agree with that? >> i think without some type of what i would just describe as ct pressure, we are looking at a growing sanction ware for terrorist groups to thrive from. >> they had the desire to drive us out of the middle east; is
that correct? these groups? >> oh, absolutely. they would like to have their own islamic emirate. >> whether it's core al-qaeda or affiliate, the goal is the same no matter what the name may be is to drive the united states out of the middle east and create an islamic cal state throughout the region. is that the goal of all the organizations? >> yes. >> yes, okay. we have attempts against the homeland have been generated by organizations, and that's the case. >> okay. you talk about the perfect storm, sequestering, diminished nsa capability, embolden enemy, and a region on fire.
is that a perfect storm? >> questions. >> of the things we control, budgeting is one of the things we control here in congress. do you agree with that, both of you? >> yes, sir. >> can you give me a good reason why the united states' congress would be diminishing your ability to defend this nation given the threats you described? >> i hate to go where angels tread here, and, certainly, it's critical to congress, but we do the best we can with the resources we're given. >> let's put it this way, if sequestering is implemented, how much more richtion will it assume in terms of the nation? >> well, substantial. i can't qiewnt -- qiewnt my that, but we are assuming more risk. >> do you agree with that, regime flynn? >> absolutely. >> the word "substantial" a good
word, or should it be stronger? >> i think substantial is a good adjective. >> do you agree with that, general flynn? >> i do. >> okay. now, when it comes to the russians, this recent release of a conversation seen one of our dip mats -- two of our diplomats, do you think the russians intercepted that phone call? >> well, we don't know. ..
>> we told the united arab emirates that we would support a peaceful power plant, power program, but we deny them the ability to enrich uranium. we just called one of our best allies that they cannot in rates if you had to risk in order of the country the you fear having a nuclear weapon where would you put kitchen. >> pretty high. >> to you agree whenever nuclear capability they possess would lead to a nuclear arms race in the middle east?
>> well, sir, i think it would be very dependent upon the safeguards and the limitations of the program. >> this suny arab nations about whether or not they would claim the right to enrich if we gave it to iran? have you talked to any -- any leaders about whether or not there nationwide claim a right to enrich uranium. >> i have not had that conversation. >> would you please have that conversation and report back as an inappropriate for. >> senator gramm the answer i think is yes. >> he said no. >> i have not had that conversation. >> this will have to be the last question. >> thank you. >> the question was, would you talk with them and report back to us. >> well, yes, i will when i can. >> thank you. >> senator sheen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would just like to add a
modification to my colleague's comments about the 1-to-3 agree with that we negotiated. in fact they voluntarily not -- they voluntarily agreed not to enrich. it is a minor difference, but nothing important one. director twitter.com/booktv, want to follow up on the question about the impact from the leaks by edward snowdon and but the agency is doing to address that. you commented they you are in the process of changing the clearance process for individuals. can you describe a little more about what that means and when that will be completed? it has been over a year since edwards snowden has defected. i would hope that we can have a process in place. >> the system that we use today
is, of course, people -- and i am speaking now of top-secret clearances, although it applies as well. an initial clearance and sometime firm after that is supposed to be five years, of periodic investigation is done to upgrade the currency of that person's parents. what we need is away -- and this is, i think, pretty much recognized -- a system of continuous evaluation when a person is in the system, cleared initially and we have a way of monitoring their behavior, but of their electronic behavior on the job as well as off the job to see if they're is a potential or a clearance issue. and so our plan within the intelligence committee is to
slow walking rid of its weapons. can you talk about the role the russia is buying in what is happening right now. >> has a good question. it's something that we are monitoring as carefully as we can. given the fluid situation and syria it's hard to discern whether it is a genuine security concern which, of course, also could be used to slow roll.
certainly it is in the regime's interest to stretch out this process as long as possible. in a way it serves to implicitly legitimize assad. i think is in russia's best interest because they view this as a dramatic diplomatic achievement on their part to broker this agreement, so i think that they will continue to press the regime to move, the chemical either destroy them in place or move in and out of country. >> and do we have an acknowledged that resected of russia is continuing to put pressure on syria to do that. >> yes, they are. >> but they're not responding. >> well, the syrians will claim as they do, they have a genuine security concerns. they want specifically to have
some jackets, i will call them, armored jackets around containers that contain not just the components but a mixture. and so they're concerned about that. it is hard to argue that given the security situation in terms of syria. >> are there other actions of the international community or the united states could be taking it would encourage more rapid compliance? >> well, that is -- well, the big thing would be to continue the attention and diplomacy to insist that they keep added. >> there have also been reports on the news about the evacuation of refugees, some of the folks that are still there and have
been suffering under the siege. the firing of those refugees despite an agreement to allow them to be evacuated. do we know who is doing the attacks on those reviews these? >> i do not. i will have to check on that. i don't know we have that level of fidelity. >> i would hope that we are taking whatever action we can recognizing that this is a policy position and not something that you are going to comment on, but i hope we are taking whatever action rican to aggressively go after those people who are firing on the unarmed refugees in the un, people who are trying to evacuate. it is a just more than tragic situation.
the international community is standing by about people being slaughtered. >> thank you, senator shaheen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i wanted thank the witnesses for being here, for your service to our country. one task about recent reports that a somali pirates, there has been a failed prosecution of that case in the united states court where he has been potentially released. it really raises the question and i think and ask you about a particular in terms of our detention program. one of the question and raises, the president said last may that he would like to get to the point where we've repeal the a you in half. here is the question. what happens in terms of detaining dangerous individuals, let's say members of al qaeda if
we repeal the a you in half and close guantanamo, where do we eat detain these individuals and if we are in a situation where one of those individuals is acquitted in a united states court, a member of al qaeda and our options if we repeal the a you in half and no longer have guantanamo. i see this as a safety question for the united states. >> i have not. it is a hypothetical circumstance. i would have to think that through and do research. >> do you think it is advisable that at this point given the footprint bse that at this point we are in a position where we can repeal the a you in half. >> well, again, i have to think that through.
if, again, a hypothetical situation, just what would be done as a substitute, of the top of my head i just don't know. >> that's a pretty big question. here is another question. it is a question i have raised before. tomorrow we're able to capture the terrorists were would be with them? so if we capture the current head of al qaeda tonight where would he be detained? faugh would it not be important to interrogate him and could you identify a length on how long you would need to interrogate the head of al qaeda? >> a hypothetical question, -- >> at think it is a fair question to the american people.
if you capture the head of al qaeda tomorrow where would we put in, what would we did to interrogate him, where would we interrogate him? do we have a place to the interrogation, do we have a plan ? >> it would be situational dependent, and so i am reluctant to posit a hypothetical response to that is as i sit here i don't know. clearly there would be some arrangement made command we have done this in the past where we have an opportunity to interrogate him for intelligence purposes. >> gen. michael flynn, how important would it be to interrogate that terrorist if we captured in tomorrow? >> it would be extremely important. >> and we know how long it would take us? would we want to put a time limit on the interrogation? >> we would not. obviously we would not. every interrogation is different .
some take longer and obviously in that case it would be an important one. >> no longer the better. >> the longer the better. so we don't know yet what the plan is if we capture in tomorrow where we would put him and -- i see that as a huge problem and an important one unless either of you're able to tell me what the planned be. i guess the answer is no. [inaudible question] >> the answer is no. >> again, i cannot speculate on a hypothetical issue like that. as important as it is common and is also would be. >> i would also like to ask both of you -- i saw a new york times report january 29, 2014, then said the u.s. said brush it
tested a missile. it goes on to say that the american officials believe that russia began tests and they have concerns that russia has tested cruise missiles that meet violated the accord between our two countries. the intermediate range nuclear forces treaty. director clapper, says the u.s. have intelligence about this potential russian violation? have we had answers to those made? >> and happy to discuss that in a closed session. >> thank you. i would like an answering closed session, if we knew as the united states senate was debating the new start treaty weather they had engaged in a violation and whether anyone was informed about the violation while the treaty was being negotiated.
>> i very serious obligation to brief the congress. again, i think this would be best left to make closed discussion. >> i appreciate that. with regard to iran when we went to the munich security conference the foreign minister not only talked about did we talk, the ride of enrichment but essentially what he said is the the hotel rooms are filled with business when waiting to do business with iran. what do you know what efforts being made right now to try to do business with iran and, in other words, how would you assess the strength of the sanctions and is there a concern that many are lining up to do business with iran? >> it is true that there are business interests that seek potential
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