tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN September 17, 2014 9:00am-10:01am EDT
efforts against isis detract attention from what is happening in the middle east? definitely not. we are able to handle the broad range of security challenges and that's one of the very important conclusions from the wales summit that nato will not become a one-dimensional alliance. we will keep our ability to address the broad range of security challenges. so we will not lose sight of what is going on in the east. >> let me follow up because this issue of whether isis presents a threat to nato. you said rather definitively that it did, and one of the things you cited was the foreign fighter issue where europeans and americans are going to the region fighting and potentially coming back. is that the greatest threat this
crisis poses to our stability both in europe and the u.s.? >> of course the issue of foreign fighters returning to our countries is a very direct threat, and we have to address that. we decided at the wales summit that we will strengthen our cooperation on intelligence and information sharing to the counter that threat, but obviously increasing instability in the region will also have an impact on the overall euro-atlantic security and this is a reason why it is relevant that nato allies take action and try to create an international coalition to counter isis. >> both nato and carnegie solicited some questions via twitter, and i will pick a couple of them that are relevant to our conversation here. the first one i wanted to touch
on is from a gentleman named tommy steiner, senior research fell fellow, what is nato's role in an anti-isis coalition? thus far nato as an institution has, he argues, stayed on the sidelines. why is that and is that accurate? has this been a coalition of the willing rather than a nato-led operation and why so? >> yeah. first of all, this -- actually this goes beyond nato. i think it's of utmost importance to establish a coalition that also includes countries from the region. so this goes actually beyond nato. secondly, we haven't received any requests for a nato involvement. however, at the wales summit we decided three strands of activities that could be relevant for nato, and strands
that are relevant for nato. firstly, we declared that if we receive a request from the new iraqi government, we stand ready to consider defense capacity building which, for instance, could be to resume or training activities in iraq. we had a training mission in iraq until 2011. we could resume those activities if the iraqi government requests so. secondly, nato can contribute to coordinating individual allies' efforts in iraq. and, thirdly, as i mentioned, we will strengthen intelligence cooperation to counter the threat of foreign fighters returning to our countries. >> just to push you on point two which is this coordinated effect. the one thing nato brings to the table that many other organizations can't is this command and control capability with multiple allies. is that something that potential
down the road as this coalition comes together could be the backbone for that kind of command and control operation? >> at this stage i won't exclude anything because i think the international community has a responsibility to degrade and defeat isis that poses a threat not only to iraq and to the region but poses a global threat. but as i mentioned, so far we haven't received any request for a nato involvement. in 2011 you saw that the military operation against libya started as a coalition of the willing but eventually became a nato operation, including partners from the region. >> i will abuse my chairmanship for one more question and then i will turn to the audience for q
& a and i will throw in some twitter questions as we continue. you mentioned in regard to isis that appeasement does not lead to peace. i'm going to turn that slightly on its head and use that speech -- that line and ask you about russia because what we've seen over the last week is on friday a suspension or delay on elements of the eu/russia/ukraine trade deal to the end of 2015. we saw the eu foreign ministers already talking about suspending or permanently lifting sanctions. are we suddenly now willing to accept something of a frozen conflict because there is an unwillingness to either arm or do more aggressive military operations against the russian threat inside ukraine? >> we should never accept a new frozen conflict in eastern europe. of course, we should do all we
can to encourage a peaceful solution to this conflict, but actually to be very honest with you, my concern is that it is russia's interest to establish a new protracted frozen conflict in the region. actually, i think the long-term ambition of russia is to re-establish a cone of russian influence in its near neighborhood and prevent countries -- neighboring countries, prevent them from seeking euro-atlantic integration with nato and the eu and to that end it is in russia's interest to keep these frozen, protracted conflicts ií and eastern ukraine and ukraine. so we should never accept that.
>> just to put you slightly on this, you have argued in very stark language in your address the threat posed by russia, the violation they have done to any number of agreements. in almost equally stark language as is used for isis and yet for isis you advocate military involvement, and for russia i have asked you this in interviews and in person but also in press conferences whether you advocate military assistance -- not just nonlethal, but actual military in the ukraine and you have deferred on that. why are you advocating military intervention for isis but not for ukraine when you seem to be worried that both of those present an equal way of threat to our way of life in nato? >> firstly, while it's clear that russia has violated all its international commitments and have -- has conducted illegal
military actionsx4ó[ in ukraine don't think russia poses an imminent threat to nato allies for the very reason that russia knows that we have something in our nato treaty that protects any ally against an attack. an attack on one would be an attack on the whole alliance. russia knows that, and that's why i don't think russia poses an imminent threat to a nato ally. however, to keep our deterrence credible, we have taken steps, as you know, to reinforce o. and for ukraine, we do believe that the right way forward is a political solution, and while it's clear that russia has
violated international norms and rules, i still think russia would be capable to negotiate if they decide to do so. when we're speaking about isis, this is a group of terrorists with whom there's no chance whatsoever to find any political solution, and furthermore as i have argued, i think this terrorist group poses a threat not only to iraq but also to the world as such, and that's why i'm in favor of taking military action against isis. >> okay. thank you very much. we have about 15, 20 minutes for q & a. i have been told to warn the people in balcony. you are also allowed to participate. there's a woman in green that you're supposed to throw something at her so she can get my attention. let's start here down on the floor. the gentleman here in gray and please wait for the microphones coming from behind you.ñr
>> thank you. my origins are from palestine, jordan, and the area. mr. secretary-general, two years ago we were invited by carnegie europe to speak about nato and the arab spring, and you said that you have -- and it was during the strikes against libya and the objective was to install democracy in libya. two years later it's no man's land and libya has destroyed as afghanistan, iraq, don't speak about yemen, sudan, and all these countries. don't you think that if you are going to intervene militarily or
as to the other partners to make war against this so-called islamic state, don't you think that is going to make also jordan, libya and other countries? second question, mr. secretary-general. >> quickly, please. >> public opinions knows that the rain machine of instability in the area is because the international community didn't find a solution to the israeli/palestinian conflict, and it's not israeli/palestinian conflict. it's israeli/arab conflict, israeli/islam conflict. don't you think that nato, european union, united states of america, and eu member states exert pressures against israel so as to accept king abdullah plans for peace which was accepted by all arab countries
without negotiations because arabs have nothing to negotiate and to give to israel, don't you think that is going to stop these terrorists and we say we have to invest in military, don't you think that it's better to invest in development of these countries? thank you very much. >> two questions there. i guess one, does military action in the middle east threaten to destabilize more than stabilize as it did in libya and the second one is solution of the arab/israeli conflict necessary before stabilizing the region? >> of course, the first question is a very good question because you can point to some historical examples that in the wake of a military operation, we have seen instability, violence, maybe even failed states.
but first let me stress that we have or individual allies have received a request from the iraqi government to assist the government in the fight against this terrorist organization. and i think we have a responsibility to help the iraqi government fight isis exactly to avoid that iraq would become a new failed state. having said that, i think we have -- there are lessons to be learned from previous military operations. i would not argue against the military operations because in each and every case i think they were necessary and legitimate.
however, i think the international community as such should learn from these operations that it is of utmost importance to strengthen efforts after a military operation to help these societies improve their capability, to establish security and good governance. libya as an example, i mean, after 40 years of dictatorship, the new authorities had to start from scratch, and seeing retrospectively, i think the international community as such did too little too late to help the new authorities in libya build a new nation. the nato operation was a great success. we implemented the u.n. security
mandate 100%. we prevented attacks against the libyan people, so we did what we were mandated to do, but when we had finished the military operation, i think seen retrospectively that the international community led by the u.n. should have done much more much faster to help the new authorities in libya, and that's one of the important lessons to be learned, that military operations should go hand in hand with civilian efforts to follow-up to establish or to build a new nation after such a military operation, but i have to say this goes beyond nato's capability. nato is a military alliance so it's for the broad international community to follow up in such cases. of course, i can only agree that
a settlement of the israeli/palestinian conflict would solve many problems, absolutely. i fully agree, and without going into too many details, i still think that the long-term sustainable solution is to see two states living side by side in peace and harmony and within secure borders. i still see this as the right formula for a long-term, sustainable solution to the israeli/palestinian conflict. >> go to the other side right here from reuters. >> adrian craft from reuters. can i ask you how long it would take an independent scotland to join nato and whether you believe that nato -- that scottish independence would undermine british's contribution to nato's defenses.
>> did you get both of those? >> yeah. probably you know very well that i'm not going to interfere with the referendum campaign in scotland. what i can tell you is the followi following, if a new independent state wants to become a member of nato, it will have to apply for membership of nato, and such an application will be addressed in exactly the same way as all applications are dealt with, and eventually it will require consensus, unanimity within the alliance to accept a new member of our alliance.
as this is -- we haven't discussed it at all within our alliance and i am not in a position to say anything about time lines. as you know from history, time lines differ significantly when it comes to applicant countries' road towards membership of nato, and basically it's very much a part of their ability to fulfill the necessary criteria. so actually the answer is that i can't say anything about time lines. >> and on the issue of whether scottish independence would somehow undermine uk's ability as being one of the leading members of nato to participate, concerns about that? >> no. again, without interfering with the debate, leading up to the
referendum, i don't see that any outcome of the scottish referendum will have an impact on uk's contribution to nato. >> okay. sir, right there. with the book up. >> hi. i'm correspondent for a newspaper. secretary-general, one question. when you had this operation in libya, you spoke about three conditions which under these conditions you are going to lead the operation. clear request from the libyan authorities and i think u.n. mandate. under which conditions you are going to lead this coalition, international coalition in iraq. do you exclude this or it's something for the future? >> just to throw in one from twitter here from alex lang
saying almost the same thing. given the kosovo precedent would nato lead a u.n. backing to legitimize a military action of the is in syria? >> first, once again let me stress we are not considering a nato role or even a leading nato role in this operation. a number of nato allies are forming a coalition that also includes countries from the region. so to avoid any misunderstanding, let me stress that we are not in the process of engaging nato as such in military strikes against isis. i pointed out that at the summit we mentioned three possibilities of a nato involvement. firstly, defense capacity building in iraq if requested.
secondly, a coordinating role. thirdly, strengthened cooperation on intelligence and information sharing among allies to counter foreign fighters. so the rest of it is quite hypothetical because we haven't received any request for a nato involvement, but nato allies are involved and i really welcome that. peter, you added the question about -- >> u.n. security council. >> u.n. mandate. individual allies engaged in this, will they need a u.n. mandate? well, i'm not a legal expert, attacks against religious and ethnic minorities, in my
opinion, it's pretty close to genocide. and in my opinion, that gives such a military operation legitimacy within the principles of the u.n. charter. i say this without being a legal expert. and finally, also consider this a kind of self-defense which is also committed within the u.n. charter. so, i would say that, which is also permitted within the u.n. charter. so i would say that as a layman, as a political, not as a legal fund expert, as far as i can see, there is a basis in the fundamental u.n. charter fiv principles to conduct military t operations against isis.ont >> we have only about five minutes left.st come let me take two or three for the secretary-general.
sir at the front here if we could start here.gee. just wait for the microphone, .lease >> my name is mark peer ni.d i work at carnegie europe.in lib my question isya on turkey. during yir five years turkey hak been involved in afghanistan any in libya although in a noncombas mode. turkey is still weighing a decision on missile defense which has been for two years now, and we don't know the impo answer yet which rtis, of cours very important to nato missile defense, and finally we've learned on friday that turkey will not play any role in the military operations against asw isis. after your five years, what at t would be your judgment without o perhaps going as far as what waa said on saturday, turkey has tk stopped long ago beinge a frien of the west.ue do you see a problem there in the future?
>> let me take another one. i saw a gentleman in the blue shirt right there. >> thank you.easter i have a question. given the security volatility ie eastern europe, can nato ? resources be employed to secure supplies to the european allies? for example, by deploying nato troops to protect strategic infrastructurene. in the region for example a pipeline or is trans-iraqi pipeline. >> there's a woman in orange. >> thank you. the my question is there's some critics doubts -- sorry. the ability of nato to use its forces in the east and in the south at the same time. so how do you think about this and also there's another ho
question, do you have any detailed plan to rescue the hostage in the region. thank you.multip >> three very different topics for you, turkey, energy security, and the ability to do multiple things at one time. >> first on turkey, i have to say i consider turkey a staunch ally, and on a personal basis i have had an excellent cooperation with the turkish leadership since i took office as secretary-general, and whenever we have needed contributions to our nato operations, turkey has actually no engaged and contributed to
nato-led operations. now, in the case of iraq, first of all, we're not speaking about a nato operation, but so far a coalition of the willing. furthermore, it may play a role that isis has also taken turkisy hostages. i don't know, it's for the fro turkish government to answer ury that question, but i have to san seen from my chair that turkey has played a crucial role within our alliance and continues to play a crucial role and overalle i also have to say turkey not least because of its r f geographicalro location is a ve important ally and partner from a strategic point of view.
and as regards missile defense, i'm sure that the turkish authorities have listened to concerns raised by fellow allies. next on energy, first of all, let me stress that nato's core task is territorial defense of our allies., and as regards pipelines on allied, on allied territory, of course, it's part of territoriar defense to protect such pipelines and other means of re energy supply. but first of all, i think energy
security is much more about reducing europe's dependence on imported gas and oil. sec it has become evident that there's also an overall securite aspect of being so dependent on one single supplier, in this ink case russia, and i think -- but that's more the european union. i think it's of utmost importance to increase energy security by establishing a well functioning european energy this market with more free flow of energy across borders so that this single most important supplier cannot blackmail one and single out individual allies because energy will flow more
freely across borders. alternative pipelines, development of alternative energy sources, all this is part of overall energy security, and i think it's for the european union first and foremost to deah with that. at finally, can we actually addresh security challenges from both the east and south at once and the same a time? i think i answered to that c question already at the beginning of this q & a, and, o yes, we can. we have the capacity to deal with these wide ranging threats. it was one of the very important outcomes of the nato summit in wales that we will not become a
one-dimensional allyians.with mr we do have the capability to as deal with more or less conventional threats both to the east and to the south as well as addressing newer security challenges like cyber attacks, missile attacks. that's why at the summit we rden decided to enhance our cyber as defense.su we continue building our missile defense system, so i can assure ca you that the alliance stands te ready and capable to address both the east and the south ando cyberspace if needed. >> let me wrap this up by having one last twitter question from a fellow dane. this is john derby paulson, thee foreign affairs spokesman for ur
the democrats. he says what is the most important advice you could offer your successor? >> i think actually the most r important advice would be to continue reforming, modernizing our alliance and continue strengthening our collective ra defense so that nato remains o capable to address this broad e range of security challenges, and then on top of that he will need some patience to make sure that he has spent the necessaryn time ands. effort to create me, consensus among 28 independent nations.experi but for me it's been a great pleasure. it's been asus very positive
experience, and while it may take some time to create is consensus among 28 nations, once we reach a conscientious and the there is a strong spirit within theth alliance, all 28, then its a very strong alliance that o moves forward, and that's been l big pleasure for me to see. >> thank you, sir. please join me, one more round of applause for anders fogh rasmussen. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> i have been told to encourage everyone after the event to join us for drinks just outside and down, and that wraps up this e one, four and final for you here at carnegie. in a half hour the house select committee on benghazi holds its first public hearing on the attack on the u.s. consulate that killed four americans. ahead of that, yesterday's news
conference with democratic members of the committee. >> good morning, and thank you for coming. today the democratic members of the select committee on benghazi are announcing the release of benghazi on the record. this new resource collects in one place as much information as possible regarding questions that have already been asked and answered about the attacks in bengha benghazi. benghazi on the record includes two parts. first is the asked and answered database. this interactive website
includes hundreds of questions and statements by members of congress that have been addressed in previous reports, interviews, and hearings, all of which are now linked online. second, it includes a 133-page compendium of investigative resources. this document addresses each question in greater detail based on a wide range of investigative resources that have been made public. both the website and the compendium are intended to be used as a tool for the american people. many americans do not realize how much work has already been done investigating the benghazi attacks. some may know that the accountability review board and seven different committees have issues nine separate reports, but many are not familiar with the content of these reports or
their key findings. now, anyone can go online and have instant access to a huge amount of information. this includes reports, hearing testimony, and interview transcripts right at their fingertips. benghazi on the record is also intended to be a resource for congress. when speaker boehner established a select committee four months ago, he held a press conference where he explained that the select committee was needed because, and i quote, there are so many unanswered questions, end of quote. he said the select committee had to investigate three questions. one, why requests for more security were not provided. two, and these are again boehner's question, why there was no response on the night of the attacks. and finally, why the
administration described the attacks in the way they did. the resources we have now compiled here provide the answers to all three of those questions and many more. for example, in response to why there was inadequate security in enghazi, the accountability review board chaired by ambassador thomas vicoring anded a miring michael mullen issued a blistering report. it concluded that inadequate security resulted from, and i quote, systemic failures in leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the state department, end of quote. our goal was to include the facts, good and bad, even if they are critical. the point is that these questions have been investigated and answered, and now you can see exactly what the answers are. benghazi on the record also
includes information that rebuts unsubstantiated claims. for example, chairman issa of the oversight committees# xlame secretary clinton sinld a form reducing staff. it was repeated on national television just six weeks ago. benghazi on the record does not answer every conceivable question, but it answers many of the primary questions people have about the attacks. finally, we hope this resource will be utilized by our own select committee. i spoke to the chairman yesterday. i gave him a copy of this report and told him what i have told him many times before. we need to set forth concrete objectives, adopt a time line for our work, and allocate our
resources responsibly to achieve these goals. he was gracious as he always has been, but today, more than four months after the house established the select committee, we still do not have a time line for our work. we have not adopted committee rules, and we have no investigative plan. my hope is that our efforts here with benghazi on the record will help the select committee define its scope. we need to make full use of the extensive investigations that have come before us already. we need to avoid duplication, conserve taxpayer dollars, and help improve the security of u.s. facilities and personnel around the world. with that i will turn it over now to represent at this adam smith, the ranking member of the house armed services committee which has conducted its own extensive investigation.
>> thank you very much. and i really want to thank our staff for putting together this data. there's a ton of information out there and it's incredibly useful to have it all put together on one website to show people just how much this has already been investigated and already been talked about and these questions have already been answered. from the dod side, there's a couple main points. first of all, the armed services committee did its own investigation and concluded basically that the military did everything it could under the circumstances. now there, was analysis of how in the future we could better, you know, move our assets around to be prepared to respond, but at the time a whole series of very tough questions were around and chairman mckeown himself said dod did everything it could and yet questions continue to persist, myths continue to be brought up and one of the big ones is the whole issue of a stand down order which was never given, and it was, you know, one piece of this was the folks in tripoli. there was a soft team there that
was securing the embassy in tripoli because, as we've seen with attacks like this, you never know where they're going to go. and when benghazi happened the concern first and foremost was to make sure the people in tripoli, the american people there, were protected and taken care of. once they did that they had asked for permission to go on to benghazi. they were told to say where they're at and secure the situation in tripoli and colonel gibson, one of the ones who was initial asking to go, said later staying where they did probably saved individuals' lives. they didn't insert themselves into a situation they didn't understand and more importantly they protected the people in tripoli who potentially could have been vulnerable under those circumstances. but more than anything this is yet another question that has been asked and answered. i guess you continue to argue about it, but one thing you cannot argue is that it has not been thoroughly investigated. the questions haven't been asked and the questions haven't been answered. they have. i just want to close by sharing
raking member cummings' concern that we are so far into this and we still don't have an outline of what it is that we're doing as a select committee. if this was headed towards a particular point, they could easily look at everything that's been done over the last couple years and say, okay, you know, here are the three things we want to know. here are the three things we're investigating. this is where we're headed and what we're doing. they haven't done that. so it looks at this point like just a fishing expedition. i will, you know, share elijah's hope that the majority will take this website as an asset, as something to look at and analyze and from that decide how they want to go forward with this investigation. so again i think this website is going to be incredibly helpful to let mem know just how much has already been done on this subject and why as democrats we always believed there was no point in putting together this committee because the questions have been asked, the questions have been answered, people had been held to account, and there
had been a thorough analysis of what was undeniably a tragedy for america, the loss of life. we have looked at it and we don't know where this committee is going. so i hope this website will help clear up some of those questions. i thank again the staff for the incredibly hard work that was involved in making that happen and i will turn it back over to mr. cummings. >> thank you. thank you very much. now congresswoman tammy duckworth, who sits on the oversight committee with me, will address the pentagon alleged failing to deploy f-16s. >> thank you, mr. cummings. and thank you, congressman smith. i also get to sit on the armed services committee as well so i have gone through many of these questions multiple times in both committees. we should not be spending the time that we have on this committee reviewing questions that have already been answered in numerous investigations and the same
questions asked and answered in both committees over the past year and a half that i have been here in congress. if we want to make sure that no american diplomat, no american is ever put in the same kind of jeopardy again we need to move beyond the questions that have already been answered. an important example of the ongoing criticism that has already been addressed is that the pentagon failed to deployf-16s to support our diplomats and service members in benghazi. it's clear from the reports that have been compiled by the house armed services economy, the independent accountability review board and the select committee on intelligence that no f-16s could have responded in time to save lives. a report adopted by eight republican members of the house armed services committee in february of this year concluded that given their location and the readiness status, it was not possible to dispatch armed
aircraft before the survivors had already left benghazi. a bipartisan report on the select committee on intelligence concluded the same thing. there were no u.s. military resources in position to intervene in short order to help in benghazi, to help defend a temporary mission facility and its annex on september 11 and 12 in 2012. two former secretaries of defense, the current chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, the wing commander, and the of a ri con commander concluded the same thing. it was not a matter of whether they were willing to do it but a problem of distance and time. last year i personally questioned admiral mullen in an ogr committee hearing on this issue and he explained to me the impossible logistics of getting f-16s there in time and said, believe me, you know the military is willing to go into high-risk places, it just wasn't going to happen in time. we all know admiral mullen's
service to our nation and we need to take his analysis seriously. i believe this database will help us remain accountable for the questions we have already answered and the facts. i would like the committee to move forward to see what do we need to do in the future so we never have a situation where the military cannot respond in time. especially as to risk analysis shows in the case of the 9/11 date that there may be increased risk. why would we not put our military on some sort of an alert status so they could respond in time should ever a situation like this be happening again and that's my focus. let's stop talking about whether or not those f-16s could have returned in time, could have deployed in time to protect benghazi in 2012 and let's talk about what do we need to do so they can be there in time in case our diplomats and american lives are ever put at risk again. thank you. i'd like to turn it back over to mr. cummings. >> thank you very much. as you know, tomorrow we will be holding a hearing, first hearing, with regard to the
recommendations of the arb, the accountability review board, and it was adam schiff who made that recommendation because we are concerned about the very things that miss duckworth just talked about, making sure that our people are safe all around the world, and we want to know exactly what has been done with regard to those recommendations and exactly if things have not been done we want to know why not and if things are being done, we want a time table to hold them accountable. so it's my pleasure to introduce adam schiff who recommended to chairman gowdy that our first hearing be with regard to that issue, and mr. schiff. >> thank you, mr. cummings. this sum everybody the house intelligence committee voted in a unanimous and bipartisan fashion to send our report on the benghazi attacks that
tragically took the lives of four americans for declassification. it's my hope that our work will be declassified very soon so the public can see the exhaustive effort that the committee produced and the questions it answered. that report reached the same noncontroversial conclusions that other committees did, that the initial talking points provided by the intelligence community were flawed because of conflicting assessments, not an intention to deceive. there was no stand down order, that the diplomatic facilities lacked adequate security, and that our personnel at the scene acted bravely, appropriately, and with great courage. some of these questions that have been repeatedly asked and answered were asked again in the wake of promoting a new book on the attacks. contrary to claims made in connection with the book, however, we found our personnel acted properly in trying to secure local assistance and avoid ambush and we did not find evidence that a different course of action would have saved rather than jeopardized more
lives. both the house and senate intelligence committees interviewed these three contractors, their supervisor, and others on the ground and concluded there was no improper stand down order. to second guess these decisions made in the fog of battle is both unfair to the brave personnel involved and highly irresponsible. it's a question that has been asked and answered not only by the new jersintelligence commit by the armed forces committee and several others. beyond tomorrow's hearing on implementation of the arb report, which i appreciate the chairman scheduling, the committee will need to determine what it can productively do that hasn't been done already. if we do not define the scope of the committee's work in advance, this committee may end up being a committee in search of a mission taking on a life of its own and costing taxpayers untold millions. >> thank you. and now we'll have congresswoman
linda sanchez who will address the issue of the alleged politicalization of the talking points. >> thank you. good morning. i'm congresswoman linda sanchez and as my colleagues have stated we're proud to unveil this new website and compendium to provide answers to key questions surrounding the benghazi attacks. the amount of time and resources that have been dedicated to answering what happened on the night of the attacks in benghazi is unprecedented. the accountability review board and seven different congressional committees have issued nine separate reports, yet we keep hearing that questions remain. one question that continues to be raised is whether the talking points used by administration officials in the days following the attacks were politicized. based on the work that has already been done, the simple answer to that question is no. as representative schiff indicated in july, the house permanent select committee on
intelligence adopted a report on a bipartisan basis. this report was the result of two years of extensive work. the committee spent thousands of hours reviewing intelligence assessments, cables, notes, and e-mails. according to the committees ranking member, this bipartisan report concluded the following and i'm quoting directly. the process used to develop the talking points was flawed. but the talking points rethreated the conflicting intelligence assessments in the days immediately following the crisis. he goes on to say there was absolutely no evidence in documents or testimony that the intelligence community's assessments were politically motivated in any way. in other words, the talking points were developed based on the information available in the hours and days following the attack. they were not developed to serve
a political agenda. we want this database and this compendium to be a resource for congress, and for the american people. and for those of us on the select committee we need to define for americans what the scope of the select committee's investigation will be. given all of the questions that have already been answered, it's incumbent on the select committee to explain how they plan to use $3.3 million in taxpayer money, despite all of the reports that have already been generated. to date, the select committee has no investigative plans and we have no idea what we're going to be doing after tomorrow's hearing. this just shows some of the problems with the lack of information or deliberate misinformation that has swirled around the events that happened on that tragic day. hopefully, this compendium and website will show that many of these questions that continue to be raised have in fact been asked and answered.
the site to direct witness testimony and transcripts, to the seven other reports that a have already been generated. hopefully it will help narrow the scope of what the select committee's work is from this point forward.vú& thank you, i would like to return the microphone back to our ranking member, mr. cummings. >> thank you very much.ñi i will take a few questions. yes, sir. [ inaudible ] -- should us out from covering the select committee. are you aware? >> we're aware of that. this is a provision that was put in to amend the resolution that in that original resolution, the committee was exempted from having written rules with regards to various things. our staff brought it to the attention that the press, with
regard to the press, and the next thing we knew, they had this in the cr as part of the cr. we want the press to be present. let me say that again. we want the press to be present. we want to be transparent. because we think that's the only way to do this. chairman gowdy has said that he wanted a fair hearing. a fair -- of this matter. he wanted to make sure that we were transparent. i think this goes against that. again, by the way, we had no notice of them putting it in the cr. we found out about the same time you found out. >> how does it restrict us? what is the worry? >> you will have to ask mr. gowdy about that. on this side, on this side -- in other words basically what it says is we don't have to have a rule, a written rule with regards to press availability. we want the press in everything.
we think the press ought to be there. i think those are questions you might want to direct towards the republicans. >> do you have any response to raymond maxwell's comments from yesterday that he, while deputy at the state department saw the clinton aides separating out documents? he was interviewed several times by oversight, by foreign relations. apparently he said this before, but it's the first time it has come out. were you aware of maxwell making this claim -- >> maxwell was interviewed by our committee. he was called by mr. -- chairman issa as a witness. he never talked about this. he had plenty of opportunities to do it. he didn't. but keep in mind, we have allegations seem to come out every week. mr. schiff just talked about the three contractors who also had been interviewed. they then come out with these standdown allegations.
but again, mr. maxwell did not bring that to our attention when we interviewed him. we interviewed him extensively. extensively. and so, that is my answer to that. anybody else? yes. >> for a few months i know you've had conversations, obviously, with the chairman. is there any indication in those conversations between staff that this is going to be more substantive than i think a lot of you and your colleagues expect? is there any indication, i know, obviously, you want an outline, a plan. is there anything else that gives you some promise that this will uncover something? >> well, you know, when we -- and staff put together this website that we have been talking on this morning, as we went through it, we discovered that the questions had been
answered. and my colleagues did an outstanding job of talking about that. we're not sure exactly where we're going.c again, the -- you must keep in mind, the republicans are in charge.yzñ and so we'll -- but one thing that we don't want, is we don't want to be going over things that have been asked and answered in this time of austerity. we don't want to be wasting taxpayer dollars after we have had seven reports, and then -- and the arb has gone through it extensivel extensively. thousands upon thousands of man and woman hours worked going through documents. appearing at hearings, and so what we wanted to do, and i told chairman gowdy, at the beginning, i said let's figure out what we can agree on.
that's part of what we have here. things that have already been answered. and then if there are things that you still have that you think we need to look into, you know, let me know so that we can then have some type of scope. i just don't think that you can just go out there and just, without any kind of plan, any kind of expectations, and just do a thorough investigation. but again, we're at a position where we are trying to figure out what we are looking for. hopefully those answers will come soon. i want to thank you all. yes? [ inaudible ] >> say that again.
[ inaudible ] >> that's up to -- all we know is that we've had, again, all of these investigations. we'll let you draw your own conclusions with regard to political motivation. mr. gowdy has told me that public will not be involved in this. of course we have our concerns, going back to your question, when we have issues of possibly not having organizational meetings. the press rule with regard to the press left up in the air. those questions do concern us. and so we want to -- we want to make sure that we zero in on several things. one, the things that we'll be talking about tomorrow that is making sure that our men and
women in our diplomatic posts across the world are safe. and that the arb recommendations have been adhered to and are being put into place. and have been put in place. and, two, if there is anything that this committee will do it will hopefully be to open up the world to all of the information that we already have. if we accomplish that, that will be a lot. thank you very much. house democrats in the capitol yesterday on the benghazi attacks. you will see some of them live this morning on capitol hill. here, where the house benghazi committee is hosting their first hearing. they'll question the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, gregory starr, whose post was created after the 2012 consulate attack. the committee today also will hear from two security experts who served on an independent panel. set up by the state department.
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