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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 19, 2016 12:04pm-2:05pm EST

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threat. you're also not going to say that by the law of averages somebody is going to get one through because both of those statements are correct. >> host: peter bergen, you're right that americans often suffer from historical amnesia. you say that the golden age of terrorism was in the 70s. >> guest: yeah, it is hard to recall, but there were more than 100 hijacking 1970. some are simple crimes and some were terrorists and good oval slowed attacks by the nationalist, by black panthers. i mean, there is a lot of political violence, some of what the marxist leftists. that is pretty much disappeared. >> host: this is not to say the public should overlook the dangers of islamist extremism. there have been benefits to public awareness and jihadists terrorism is a threat to the
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state with everyone from strangers raising on progress to more often family and community members of radicalizing the list in alerting the authorities. >> host: not far from where we are sitting in the washington studio, you may recall the case for five yeah i'm from northern virginia have went to join pakistani taliban. as the islamic islamic organization that got in touch with the fbi and they were arrested and packed and. family members often know the most about people. sometimes they will inform our raise the alarm. >> host: how many investigations currently are underway? >> guest: the fbi says in all 50 states. >> host: did you say 900 separate people? >> guest: of 900 best editions. i'm not clear how many people that is. typically they are single
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people. we are not seeing the large groups of the 9/11 attackers. typically these are about most militant. the boston marathon bat mitzvahs two brothers. so you know, you get some of the more sanguine cases made. that is 2015 more jihadists terrorism cases than any year since 9/11. >> host: those 900 cases -- first of all, how do you define jihad? >> guest: it has to mean that the people i profile in the book defined it as a holy war the enemies of islam. it has another meaning that is a spiritual struggle you have it turn only two active islamic manner and a lot of people choose that meeting. it is a minority view to say jihads is the defense words again perceived enemies of islam. >> host: nidal hasan. who is he and where is he now?
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>> guest: actually, i just got a letter to a colleague of mine from nidal hasan who sent for at leavenworth. you know, he faces death penalty although very unlikely to be carried out from killing soldiers and one civilian afforded, texas. the last time the military killed carried out an execution was an army major, psychiatrist in northern virginia at roanoke. his family ran businesses. it's kind of fairly typical of a lot of people i read about in the book. although became more islamic overtime were more fundamentalist often middle-class. these are not -- these are usually people of fairly well-educated. and the problem for law enforcement is they are ordinary americans. they are not coming into the
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country. >> host: where did the conversion have been? >> guest: with hasan, his parents died when they were relatively young. his mother and his father both died in the early 40s to late 50s and that turned into a more fundamentalist interpretation of islam that over time into a more militant version of islam. i also interviewed his first cousin who is also from northern virginia, a successful lawyer here not far from this office where we are doing this interview. nidal hasan also point out that his cousin who conducted the attack at fort hood suffered -- was unmarried and worried about going to afghanistan in a war zone and also never had a serious relationship with anybody else. no friends. this is a socially isolated
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individual who could start of performed in his own mind and heroic deed. he was elevated by a version of islam, but there's also a number of other fact is that his life. each of these cases have some kind of personal mix of motivations. there is no one-size-fits-all explanation. it's about militant islam but also desire for belonging to something bigger than yourself. some people enjoy being part of the jihadist group. it is fun and exciting. >> host: first of all comedy about a letter. have you had a chance to read it? >> guest: i am trying to reach out -- a lot of these people as much as possible i try to contact the perpetrators themselves hoping their uncensored event illustrative measures by the government prevented to talk to journalists. one of the people i profile of the book, he is in florence, colorado that you wouldn't wish
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on your worst enemies. his also from northern virginia, white middle-class kid have a very high i.q. who converted to islam and became the jihadist on the internet. you know, it's interesting the internet was largely created by american. the terms of the english-speaking jihads which is motivated people the united states and also u.k. and australia has been fermented by american citizens. >> host: anwar al-awlaki was from northern virginia. >> guest: yes, for some reason many people in northern virginia, anwar al-awlaki also born in new mexico, grew up and spent time in san diego leading
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the moderate cleric of the cleric of looked like what the nine 9/11 attacks who was invited to the pentagon to speak after 9/11, but he was hanging out with two of the hijackers and use the most and port english-speaking cleric in the world of jihads. even though he was killed by a drunk strike in 2011. his ratings keep showing up in the cases in which he was often helping publish the jihadist magazine has shown up in all the cases that you look at and indeed in the boston marathon case, the bomb making recipe in part by the magazine. >> host: peter bergen come you say there is no connecting thread for these people who are radicalized. there is no one-size-fits-all. >> guest: it is rather militant islamic ideology. desire to belong to something weaker than yourself, some of these people are relatively young. for them it is tremendously exciting. one of the first people to
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create and question how the website from charlotte, north carolina working on a call center is a computer support specialist and then he moved to yemen with an english-language magazine of jihads. it was in raleigh. when you look at these cases covered the more you know about them, the more individual each person is that the motivation. you can't just say can't just radical islam or personal disappointment or objection into american foreign policy. it's often mimics of all those. a lot of people are personal disappointment. very few people can eat as the boston marathon bombers that killed 8-year-old boy at 20 through chinese exchange student at 29-year-old female restaurant manager. for what? it didn't have any affect on american foreign policy. it was pointless in the more you get into why come you hit a
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brick wall because at the end of the day, the facts are somewhat inexplicable. >> host: james clapper, director of national intelligence talking about a fifth and a threat to the homeland. want to get your reaction. >> errata for writers, to the conflict zones of the last beers is without precedent. at least 38,200 foreign fighters including at least 6900 from western countries have traveled to syria from 120 countries at the beginning of the conflict and 2012. as it is not the november perry's attacks, returning firsthand battlefield experience pose dangerous operational thread. isis has demonstrated including it is established and several more are emerging bridges had become the preeminent mobile terrorist threat. isis has attempted scores of
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attacks outside of syria and iraq in the last 15 and the estimated strength globally now exceeds that of al qaeda. the leaders are determined to strike the u.s. homeland beyond inspiring home grown violent extremist attacks. although the u.s. is a harder target than europe, isil and external operations remain a critical factor for 2016. >> host: peter bergen. >> guest: those are sobering figures. last intelligence community had 4500 foot gone to syria for training. now the director of national intelligence with the last time we had the overall blood were with 30,000. now you say it's close to 40,000. the fact is we are to give you an see a fairly significant number of people going for training. the good news is very few are american and it's often a one-way ticket. they get killed over there, but i can only find two examples of
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people who train with the jihadist billeted herb. there may be more, but we are talking about a handful. look at paris. everybody involved in the attack, a people that we know of the actual attack and a dozen other people who are supporting the attack in one way or another. you can't at least 1500 frenchmen go to syria to train several hundred and come back. that is a big problem. .. that grew up relative to its population. is it is -- it is a reasonably good problem for germany. , you cannottates drive from damascus to washington dc, we are protected by our geography. we are protected by the fact that the american muslim community is pretty well integrated.
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there are astonishingly high numbers. we are talking about a group that is disadvantaged. cases is little over 300 since 9/11 of american citizens or residents engaged in some kind of jihadi terrorism crime. -- volume of people being attracted to this ideology is mucer. >> host: peter bergen, if you're writing this book instead of calling it "united states of jihad" and you called it friends of jihad, would you come to the same conclusion? >> guest: france isn a whole different can you could have a paris style attack and we are going forward. the french by the own account say they need to follow one person, maybe 25 people. 24 hour surveillance. think about the several hundred have come back from syria.
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they thank you attacks in paris in one year. the "charlie hebdo" attack, that killed 12 people and they also killed four people at a jewish supermarket in the space of two or three days. then we had the attack that killed 130 in november. i think, actually i think the problem will probably get worse because you've have this huge influx of refugees. it's not refugees themselves are members of isis. they are coming into society fundamental every hostile to immigration. look at the rise of all these nationalist parties, pro-fascist parties in europe was in france, england or hungary and they're all based on anti-immigration. i think this will create more alienation among the muslim community and more anger. >> host: we will go to your calls in two seconds.
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will put the numbers up on the screen so you can talk with teater bergen. the subtitle of this book, investigating america's homegrown terrorist. you didn't use the word domestic. you use tom crone. >> guest: it' it's a term of art the us government uses nowadays. it's the idea is about people traveling overseas training, not associate with some formal terrorist organization. they are radicalizing in their own bedrooms or basement, getting isis data poly-online. and also they are as american as anybody was looking at this, listening to this show. it's an american phenomenon which i think for most people who think of terrorism something that comes from outside. on 9/11 we were attacked by 19 arab of foreign-born hijackers. but, in fact, this is very much an american phenomenon. major hasan, born in virginia. the boston marathon bombers, one was an american citizen, one was
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an american resident or san bernardino the husband was born in chicago. this is an american phenomenon. >> host: peter bergen injured just. it wa was in 1997 when he was working for cnn that he produced osama bin laden's first television interview and he declared war on the u.s. to the western audience that year. frank is in fort lauderdale, florida, independent line. please go ahead with your question or comment for peter bergen. >> caller: hi, peter bergen. your book sounds viable. i'd like to tell you about an experience i had because i moved into miami-dade in 1976, and there was a bombing of a dominican consulate which was right in back of the building i lived in. i was getting ready to move in at the time and i saw police cars around the area and i drove iby to see what looked like at night. there are a lot of people besides, it's not just the
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jihadis versus america. there's a lot of difference of opinion between the different sectors of the jihad movement that don't like each other and they take out their grudge on the streets of america, just like the people in miami-dade did years ago. i think miami-dade went through something like this years before what happened set in fairfax, virginia, which incidentally i lived in for about seven years. >> host: got the point. >> guest: the caller makes a good point which is there have been all sorts of forms of political violence in the united states, that are not necessarily jihadi political violence. the first real mass casualty attack in manhattan was conducted on wall street i think in 1920 by an italian anarchist. and, of course, the united states is awash in weaponry and it's fairly easy committee of
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some kind of grudge or ideological gripe to act down under the plan of the points i make in the book is extreme right wing militants have killed about the same number of people as jihadi terrorism your we've seen attacks on the church in charleston where dylann roof, a neo-nazi, killed nine african-americans. he said he did it for political reason. he was trying to incite a race for which is a fundamentally political objective. there are other forms of political violence in this country other than jihadi terrorism post a 330 americans have been charged with terrorism since 9/11 according to your book. 29 is the average age. 30% unmarried and 30% have children. >> guest: became to that, myself and my research team helped create this database to make some underlying claims in the book.
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if you look at the san bernardino case they perfectly match the profile. they were both college educated, married come at a child. he was earning $70,000 a year in a pretty good job with san bernardino county. in many respects except the fact they adopted this ideology they were very, very typical ordinary americans who seem to be living the american dream. >> host: michael is in pennsylvania on our republican line. go ahead. >> caller: thank you very much. i think things in the world our way simpler than anybody wants to act. so syria, an ally of these turn powers, russia, the united states, saudi arabia and turkey, western powers want to remove the assad regime who is an ally of russia. so if we rewind to 2013, what did we do? we started forming moderate rebels who were trying to remove
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the assad regime. since 2013 is moderate rebels with funding and weapons from the united states government are no longer moderate. they are i suspect it's the same group of people. all we're trying to do is remove the assad regime the same way we removed gadhafi, the same way we removed saddam but it's the same playbook. can you correct me if i'm wrong? >> guest: syria is a very complicated issue. but i'm not quite sure i understand the point of the call. i think our de facto position for some period of time is not being necessarily the immediate removal of assad, because if you look at who are the two most powerful players in syria right now, other than assad, isis and the al-qaeda affiliate. our main goal right now is not i think, is mostly trying to attack isis.
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russia's main goal is the preservation of our of assad. there are a lot of different players. unfortunately, the syrian civil war is a lot of academic literature about how long academic -- civil wars go on. they go on for 10 to 12 years on average. we are in year five. i think the syrian civil war could go on more than a decade, the civil war in colombia with the farc went on for five decades. for people who could put the brakes on don't seem inclined to do so. the iranians, the gulf states, russia, they are all sort of fomenting this. unfortunately, went back to what clapper said about the foreign fighters, the western is going to syria, the engine that is on the line, the syrian civil war and i think we will continue seeing thousands of foreign fighters go into syria from around the airport, and also
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many, many hundreds from the west continued to go for training. >> host: peter bergen is an author, employed by cnn and the new america foundation where he is the international security program director and vice chairman. mark is in lake geneva florida. mark, turn down the volume. we are going to move on to another market and this is mark in south carolina, independent line. callback hello. thank you for c-span. i wanted to disagree with the premise of the book, especially the subtitle. homegrown terrorism really stems from radical right wing christianity. it's certainly far greater than any muslim jihad is terrorism in this country over existence of the country. i just wonder if he's talking
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about homegrown radical or homegrown terrorism, as he mentioned it in his book? does he talk about terrorism against blacks, people of caller, the kkk? does he talk about bombing and killing people going to abortion clinics? does he bring that up? is there a comparison? it's not quite fair to talk about homegrown terrorism when you don't bring up the right wing radicals. >> guest: it's a good point and are interested in the book, which is as i earlier said, 48 americans have been killed by antigovernment fanatics, antiabortion militants, neo-nazis since 9/11. my book begins in the post-9/11 era. i focus on jihadi terrorism because at the end of the day we were attacked on 9/11, the most devastating attack on the continental united states since the british burned down the
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white house in 1814. that's the subject of the book but i don't discount the fact whether it's a dylann roof in charleston who killed nine african-americans attending a prayer meeting, that there are other forms of political violence. >> host: do you use the term radical islam? >> guest: probably in the book about militant islam more. the president has been careful to try to not use the phrase militants islam or radical islam. i understand his reasoning. the more he says it the more it appears, the one that does play into the playbook that we are at war with islam. and, of course, we are not. but the fact is also it's just a fact that this ideology has something to do with a particular reading of islamic tax. the koran is not a book. it's the word of god and you can cherry pick phrases, verses in
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the koran which seem to advocate offensive wars against the perceived enemies of islam. bin laden cited a particular first but senator ron. so just -- in the wrong. just as the son of man and palestine had something do with jewish fundamentalists beliefs about the sanctity of lions in palestine, these are fundamentally religious beliefs. so this has something to do with islam. the good news is that that means the people most likely to be able to fight back our people who have islamic knowledge. one of the people profiled in the book, also from northern virginia who runs the third largest mosque in the united states any person editing in the cases of several young men who were sorted becoming enamored of isis. how did he do that? he's an islamist scholar. he can make arguments that isis
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does represent some kind of utopian version of islam and he's been successful in that. >> host: here he is meeting president obama. when you met osama bin laden in 1997, what was your impression then? >> guest: my impression was he was quite well-informed, and television. he was talking about at the time the leader of sinn fein was meeting with bill clinton at the white house. he makes an observation about, it was gerry adams there at at one point he was a terrorist. it's the kind of thing most said in a mud hut in afghanistan somebody who's grown up in saudi arabia he's pretty well informed about what's going on in the world. is intelligent. they key serious, was not, but again -- >> host: charismatic trend i
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didn't find in the charismatic but the people around them hung onto his every word. he certainly was charismatic to his followers. by the way, as i'm sure you isis and al-qaeda are sort of in a dispute were not about who's the head of the global jihad movement. isis can see themselves as the rightful heir of bin laden. and long as they much a revered figure. isis, i talk about the ideology of bin laden which a lot of the people in my book signed on for. bin laden -ism is like a lot of in the ideology that claim to explain both the present and the future. bin laden said officers of ideas and places is acting on a more aggressive way which is when each great a caliphate. we need to g to do is to violen. there's people stand in the way. bin laden unfortunately even
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come his ideas continue to influence what's going on today. >> host: mary is in maryland, republican line. you on what peter bergen, "united states of jihad" is the name of the new book, good morning to either question about general petraeus. what is his role in the middle east right now? >> host: why do you ask that question? >> caller: i've been reading he's the one in charge. he's the number one guy over there. >> host: he's been gone for quite a while. >> guest: occasionally i'm sure his advice is sought by people i've any military for the white house because of course he spent such a long time in iraq and he travels to the region fairly frequently. but right now he's working for a financial company in new york city, and that's his principal, that's what consumes his daily life. is not running the middle east. >> host: here in our political
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season, several solutions to terrorism, the isis have been proposed. can we carpet bomb isis out of existence? >> guest: no. because isis is embedded in mosul which is the second largest city in iraq, a million and that people. you carpet bomb mostly you would be killing hundreds of thousands of civilians. carpet bombing, they don't come isis is not running around in some big convoy amenable to being bombed from overhead. they are bringing pretty careful about their movements -- they are being. the bombing campaign has been going on against them for almost two years. carpet bombing will not work. banning muslim immigration is not going to work either. the people of profiled are
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american citizens, residents. they are already. he won't have the american muslim community on your side because they are the most likely -- you would want to alienate them by banning muslim immigration which would be illegal and what about people who have wo one muslim. and one christian era to? it doesn't make any sense. >> host: david in dayton, ohio, democrat. >> caller: good morning. i'd like to ask the question of why weren't any of the american jihadists ever prosecute in accordance with the constitution as traitors? >> guest: actually there have been, a propagandist for al-qaeda, he was the first american almost have a 60 be charged with treason. he was killed in a drone strike in pakistan. so there have been in rare
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instances cases where treason was the charge. i'm not a legal expert. i think treason has a particularly, it's fairly high bar. treason, you face the death penalty in treason cases. and so for prosecutors in a lot of these cases the perpetrator ca,it's very clear what they hae done. major nidal hasan killed, you know, was easy to charge him with murder. he didn't even contest the facts. he killed 12 people, many, many witnesses at fort hood. killed 12 soldiers and 17. treason for prosecutors is a pretty high bar, when you can do, prosecute or looking for what are the simplest charge that will stick. let's not get too complicated. so, often murder is the easiest charge to press. sometimes there isn't even a terrorism charge in these cases.
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it's easier to go with the murder charge. sometimes there is a terrorism charge that produces longer sentences if you can have a terrorism charge attached to what the underlying crime is. >> host: peter bergen, although it think this what about the apple phone encryption. here's ausa today. they got syed farook and tashfeen malik coming in from come into our hair back in 2014. is this a valuable tool courts would this be a viable tool for the fbi, for the government to be able to get into our phone? >> guest: we don't know what's on the phone. i will say this. my opinion only and that income is there's probably not much on the phone we don't already. we already have their verizon vote again. we have an extensive search of their house. we have their computers. we have fulsome confession of the husband's best friend who
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gave him the weapons and allegedly was going to be part of a plot. we also have what was on the cloud from apple from the firm that wasn't just material that's encrypted on the phone. so my guess isn't cashed my guess is there isn't a hell of a lot on the phone. you might find some extra details. i don't think there's any allegation that is coupled was in touch with any real deep, meaningful sense i suspect yes, they pledged allegiance on facebook but it don't think there's going to be some huge revelation on the phone. i will say that apple and other tech companies are very concerned about market share around the world on the issue of if it's known that the u.s. government has some kind of back door to their products, there are lots of people around the world are going to say i'm not going to get an apple phone or i'm not going to use google. by the way to some degree the the train is beginning to leave the station on this point. isis about using american social
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media platforms at all. they are using telegram which is based in berlin as a social media platform encrypted. it doesn't matter sitting on capital legislative the all-american that companies have to the back door, i don't think it's necessary going to happen but let's say that it happened it would be kind of moot because isis has been done because they're concerned about this issue to other social media platforms that are not american-made. >> host: one of the things i learned in "united states of jihad" is that nidal hasan had been tracked by the fbi, by the government prior to what happened at fort hood. >> guest: decent html to anwar al-awlaki the american-born clerk who was in yemen. we look at these e-mails at fort hood they look pretty disturbing. they are about suicide attack, about the permissible of conducting suicide operations, the purpose of the of attacking fellow soldiers.
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and san diego field office which was talking al-qaeda, awlaki, was flightiness to washington field office of the fbi. and was very concerned because, they were concerned because awlaki when you can syndicate was in touch with two of the nine 9/11 hijackers. the washington field office said no, this guy is an army psychiatrist. these e-mails are consistent with what his work load is. they kind of blue san diego off. the fbi commits and fortunate one part of the fbi was concerned about this guy as you was radicalizing and another part just didn't do the due diligence to find out more. >> host: kadi silver spring, maryland, here in the d.c. area on our independent line. >> caller: good morning. my question is regarding --
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[inaudible] i guess the question comes from watching tv at night. i think areas on "saturday night live," "the daily show," recruiting, mocking their operations. is that helpful or harmful to discussion? >> guest: the question is does not have any effect on isis recruitment efforts? >> host: is that where you're going? >> caller: that and also having mass media platform to kind of help protect isis, even if it is a satire. >> guest: twitter just closed down 125,000 pro-isis accounts, which i think is a buddhist hundred and -- is a pretty astonishing large number. isis his par not a group that does much irony a social meet in
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general is an american creation. these are american media platforms and isis has benefited from this. social media companies like twitter are becoming much more aggressive about enforcing their own terms of use. you can't put messages on twitter that incite violence. of course, much of what isis does the is incite violence. as to the question of satire i think it's a good way to attack basis because at the end of the day this is a group that it claims to be creating this the islamic utopia yet it is really sort of enslaving millions of people. that's a pretty rich topic for satire and i think it's a good way to undercut them. >> host: what is new america? >> guest: it's a nonpartisan think tank founded in 1999 here in d.c., offices in new york, washington. we have a big tech policy practice, big education practice, national security practice. we hope to advance big ideas about how to change the united
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states for the better and do it in ways that are interesting to read, engaging to the public. we are not a government in waiting as many think tanks in washington are. we are trying to put big ideas into the public square. >> host: is there a connection to erick smith transfer heat is the chairman of the board. >> host: james, rochester michigan. independent line. we are talking with peter bergen. "united states of jihad" is the name of the book. >> caller: you may have alluded to this or touch on this topic but my question is do you see any similarities and comparisons between the so-called patriot movement of which read a great example back in january out in oregon and jihad movement? my thinking is such that if you were to strip away any references to the constitution, et cetera in a literal interpretation and then insert anything that has to do with
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iran, they are one and the same. i'd like to get his insight on that guess but i don't disagree with that at all. in 2014 there was an attack by a neo-nazi on a jewish kennedy center in kansas where he killed three people. if you done the same attack and he shouted all at bar, what was already a pretty big this would've been a much bigger news story. i completely accept the college point which is political violence attacking civilians, at the end of the day the are quite a number of different motivations for that and we see neo-nazis and we see rabid antigovernment fanatics attacking police officers. sometimes they are violent a good killing people as well. >> host: who is doctor marc sageman? >> guest: is a former cia case officer who lives in the
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washington, d.c. area. he wrote an influential book about jihad. look at a number of different cases. his first book made the interesting observation, to observation a lot of this when you look at of these groups that formed to do terrorist attacks it's sort of a social movement, family ties, who your friends are pretty kind of join jihad as a group of friends. toaster of the 9/11 hijackers. he then wrote a second book in which he said the main problem in the united states and the west is going to be these are groups that did not come these people didn't have links to former terrorist positions are radicalizing often audited. that said, isis attack in paris was directed trained, financed by the isis the terrorist organization the it was not a bunch of lone wolves who can got together and did the attack.
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so the good news is that the threat and the united states is mostly almost entirely lone wolves. that's good news because there's a natural ceiling to what one person a pair people can do? 9/11 was 19 hijackers, dozens of other co-conspirators, and the thousands of other dollars were spent yet it was an organized group that did the attack. homegrown militant like nation of dollars on killed 13 people. orders of magnitude difference between what a very large organization can do when it trains people and what one person can do when he or she is radicalizing really in their own house. because of what they are reading online. >> host: bullring file clerk tweets how would you go about defeating isis? >> guest: i would enter this, this is a great twitter handle
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by the way. there is no demand signal from the american public for what if you wanted to really defeat isis you would send a 200,000 men and women army into syria and iraq. when we had 150,000 american servicemen and women in iraq in 2006 we were barely contain the iraqi civil war. if you were really serious that's what you would do. the only republican candidate who said what he would do was lindsey graham who is out of the race. he said he would send 20,000. 20,000, you know, all i'm saying is the american public is not demanding a major ground war again in the middle east. in the absence of that we are left with whether it's president hillary clinton for president donald trump whoever comes in office, my guess is they would do something similar to what president obama is doing. small number of special forces,
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attacking the money supply, trying to cut down on the foreign fighter recruitment by enlisting turkey to stop people from transiting turkey through syria. basically an operation to squeeze th isis over time that would take several years. because there is no political appetite in this country for something much bigger. when the republicans have critiqued president of all they have not said this was what you other than sex carpet bombing or other plants that don't make a lot of sense. >> host: to go back to where we started, you talked about managing. our weekend a new normal? >> guest: i think we are in a new normal, it's a low-level process of threat that will persister menus.
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we have done many things to increase our defense capability and we've also come al-qaeda central comp the group that attacked us on 9/11 is more or less out of business. there's a new integration with isis but a new normal is we will see i think more large-scale attacks in europe. that kind of thing we saw in paris, we'll see isis despite attacks in the united states. many of them will be disrupted by the fbi but some of them by the law of averages will get through. san bernardino attack our we saw in carbon taxes where to isis perpetrators were killed before they could carry out their attack. that kind of thing unfortunately will continue. >> host: john is calling from northport florida on our republican line. you are on with peter bergen. >> caller: hello, peter. thank you for listening. i really appreciate the way you are speaking and everything.
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the only thing i have to ask the question is, why are you talking about the country of turkey? the reason why i said it's i grew up in pennsylvania. i live in florida but i grew up in pennsylvania, three minutes from town called sailors were. his name is -- a clergyman out of the country of turkey. he was put into the united states back in 1999. and robert amsterdam, you might've heard of this person out of london, he has an office in washington, i spoke to in regarding this man because there is now an investigation throughout the united states because of charter schools throughout the united states. that he is under investigation, he is considered a terrorist which the country of turkey put on the terrorist list it plus the country turkey is the one that hired robert amsterdam -- >> host: this is getting really complicated realty. where do you want to go with it? >> caller: is even a with the
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man? i feel the country of turkey is funneling terrorists out of the country of turkey into syria. >> guest: i'm not familiar with the case but i was according to isis own propagan propaganda, beginning about early 2015 isis began to complain about the fact that the turks have been much less sympathetic for people going through turkey to syria who are being recruited by isis. so turkey has begun to kind of cracked up at that. the foreign fighters going to syria are overwhelmingly going through turkey. turkey having gone from an oz a fair position to being pretty aggressive about arresting people -- fair which is a very good thing because if you can close down that route and then you are left, it's a lot harder to get into syria from the other countries that surround it.
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>> host: salafism? >> guest: the prophet mohammed's followers but most of the people i profile the dark incidents of people around the people who are salafist. saudi arabia, other gulf states. so very few salafist are terrorists but jihadi terrace, but most jihadi terrorist or also salafist come in the same way very few christian fundamentals attack abortion clinics but almost anybody attacks an abortion clinic in this country is a christian fundamentalist. that's the way to think about it. >> host: connecticut, democrat line. >> caller: i have a cousin who's now dead but he was a raging alcoholic and he worked for the shah of iran prior to the takeover by the islamic
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forces in iran. it just seems that it set the stage for all of this. elite, we went to iran, had to go 12 miles out and open the safe to drink is sixpack of beer, but when he left iran he could drink the beer anywhere he wanted but he was dodging bullets. >> guest: i think the caller is correct in the following way. the overthrow of the shock of a grant in 1979 by the ayatollah khamenei and his followers was hardly the most important moment for many jihadi people. people like bin laden even though this was a shia revolution. it was a fundamentalist movement that overthrew a secular dictator backed by the united states. for a lot of people like bin laden that was a significant event because it indicated hey,
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we could have a religious revolution to overthrow our own american backed dictators and monarchies whether saudi arabia, egypt. so for people like bin laden and also barred, the iranian revolution was a model for that about what they hoped to achieve. >> host: how have we changed our tactics over the last 15 years? >> guest: a really big one at a seeing eye of in the book is george w. bush had never met a new head of the fbi before 9/11 because robert mueller started the job a week before 9/11. he had his first meeting with george w. bush in the oval office anti-started saying we believe it's al-qaeda. here's the evidence. is what we are doing to solve the crime. george w. bush interrupted and says, bob, that's what the fbi has been doing for tank and mortar. your job is to prevent of this from ever happening again.
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-- time immemorial. does a huge shift in the fbi. and we should have a domestic intelligence agency like the british have mi5. the fbi has become a de facto in a kind of domestic intelligence agency. there's a huge analytical core that didn't exist on 9/11. there's an army of informants trying to go around and find people who might be inclined toward terrorism. the fbi is in the business of trying to prevent attacks before they happen which he did some of that before 9/11 but not in this much more intentional way. >> host: "see something, say something" to -- hasn't been an effective campaign treasury occasionally. the fbi has done a study of terrorism cases since 2009. that people often with the most useful information our peers and least likely to come forward, family members may have more information but they are somewhat likely to come forward.
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the most likely people to come forward are strangers. they have the least useful information. so "see something, say something" produces a lot of false positives. i saw a middle eastern guy take a photograph of the bridge. 999 times out of 1000 that is a middle eastern guy taking a photograph of a bridge. is a useful but sometimes we have strangers come forth with useful information but the people who have useful information our parents. in san bernardino, he knew they had something to do but jihadi terrace a tactic he didn't say anything. its peers who often have the most useful information. family members also often at useful information. we need to encourage those people to come forward, not complete strangers. >> host: peter bergen, "united states of jihad: investigating america's homegrown terrorists." brand-new book out. thanksgiving on the "washington
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journal." >> guest: thank you, peter. >> a4a friday afternoon friday afternoon. it on c-span2 we'll take you live shortly to the white house. josh earnest will be briefing reporters in just a few minutes, set to get underway a few minutes ago but they are running late and we'll have that live once it does get started. back up on capitol hill after supreme court inside the courtroom in the great hall of the supreme court, the body of justice antonin scalia lying in repose throughout the day until 8 p.m. following his death last saturday at the age of 79. mourners and well-wishers, visitors filed in by since about 9:30 a.m. iand align we understand stretches several blocks from the court and the court will be open until 8 p.m. we want to let you know our coverage continues all day on c-span. tomorrow the funeral for justice scully will take place at the
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basilica, the national, the basilica national shrine at the catholic university to get gets underway begin at 11 a.m. eastern life on c-span. [inaudible conversations]
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[background sounds] [background sounds] [background sounds] >> our coverage throughout the day is on c-span, great hall until 8:00 tonight, the funeral tomorrow and 11:00 eastern also
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on c-span. on c-span2 we take you live to the white house briefing just getting started. >> would you like to start? >> efforts to secure a supreme court nominee. there are signs that some republicans might be open to hearing this, and joined hotbed from senator grassley pushing back and that. my question is are you making head way here? >> the president in the last 24 hours or so has begun something i alluded to yesterday which he will consult a wide variety of individuals with a wide variety of perspectives as he contemplates his nominee to fill the vacancy in the supreme court. that consultation included in
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the last 24 hours telephone calls with leader mcconnell, leader reid, chairman grassley, senator leahy who is the ranking member on the judiciary committee. the significance of the call with senator grassley in the judiciary committee. this will be part of the president's process of making a decision who the best person is on the supreme court. interesting to cite the op-ed because the op-ed was written by two individuals who actually voted to confirm the last nominee to the supreme court who was put up for a confirmation vote during the presidential election year so they know firsthand based on their own voting record that there is a
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clear precedent here. in fact, what that senate did this it was run by democrats, senator grassley and senator mcconnell were in the minority but what you saw senate democrats do is act on the nominee put forward by the president in the other party and they held that vote in a presidential election year. that was their constitutional responsibility. president reagan's constitutional duty to put forward a nominee and a constitutional duty of the united states senate to give that nominee a fair hearing in a timely yes or no vote. that is precisely what the senate did in 1988. senators grassley and mcconnell had their role in that and we expect them to do the same thing. >> what can you tell us about what transpired? was the president able to get a
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congressional leader or nominee, certain candidates, certain ideological flavor? >> i do want to give the president the ability to have -- to consult privately even if we describe to you what that consultation process looks like. i can tell you those telephone calls, they were entirely professional end there was an opportunity for the president to make it clear that he is going to nominate someone, the president made clear that he is committed to consulting with congress as he decides who the nominee should be. and the president made clear that he is doing all of this because he believes he has a constitutional duty to do so and he reiterated his firm belief that the senate has a constitutional obligation here as well.
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>> the u.s. air strikes overnight in libya, was this a one of going after a high-level target, it should we be looking at this as the start of a stepped up military effort in libya. >> the details first. i can confirm to you that early this morning the united states military conduct an air strike in libya targeting both an isil training camp and a specific leading isil figure, this individual is a known isil leader, a facilitator and an individual who has facilitated the flow of foreign terrorist fighters across north africa. this individual is also wanted because right of the role that
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he played in carrying out a terrorist attack almost the year ago in march of 2015 in to this killing a number of tourists at the bardot museum. we at this point cannot confirm the results of these operation, it is legitimate for you to connect this operation with the operation u.s. military forces back in november. back in november u.s. military forces carried out a strike against the leading isil figure in libya, that strike was successful and both of these military strikes are an indication that the president will make good on his promise to continue to apply pressure to isil leaders who for in the united states and our interests.
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this demonstrates important capabilities the united states has in libya and it is an indication the president will not hesitate to take these kinds of forceful decisive actions to ensure the safety and security of the american people. today is one additional location for us to pay tribute to the courage, service, professionalism and expertise of the men and women who serve in the military, we have a tangible example of how their service to the country makes all of us safe. >> senator sanders predicted the reason hillary clinton is wrapping herself in the obama legacy so much going after african-american voters, the clinton campaign takes an issue with that. does president consider that an
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appropriate assessment of what clinton is doing? >> for a good assessment of the campaign strategy, the clinton campaign, sounds like you might have done that already there are a couple affects. the first is senator said it is stood not far from where i am standing, peek out the window and see the spot where he was standing where he spoke to all of you having spent an hour with the president of the united states in the oval office where he talked to all of you about how proud he was of the progress our country has made under president obama's leadership. i think that was a pretty strong statement about how supportive and proud senator sanders is of president obama's legacy. that is consistent with the
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comments we heard from secretary clinton. both candidates were making those statements in advance of the iowa caucuses based on my own personal experience, i know the proportion of african-american voters in the iowa caucus is not particularly high. i suspect those comments from both candidates is an indication that they share president obama's priorities and values when it comes to direction of a country, those of them played very unique role in supporting the president and advancing those values, priorities. obviously senator sanders on a range of legislative priorities has been supportive of the president's legislative agenda and secretary clinton had a role as secretary of state in the obama administration to advance the president's foreign policy.
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both of them have their own unique perspective here. both of them are making this case about the progress we made over the last seven years under president obama's leadership. to make a case to voters, especially democratic voters that they are prepared to build on the progress we have made. >> demonstrated by the leader mcconnell and senator grassley, i wonder if you can say whether after the issues they brought up -- >> i can tell you president obama had the opportunity to connect with leader mcconnell early in the day yesterday at 8:00 and he spoke to senator grassley just this morning. they tried to connect yesterday. i don't have a lot of details to
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share with you about the substance of the conversation but i would not be surprised if those issues, >> vice president biden, and senator biden, and president obama -- they are open to doing that. >> i would say generally what is notable about the difference, the vice president described, is
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that vice president biden, then chairman of the judiciary committee, joe biden, didn't automatically object to the president's commitment to appointing somebody. it would be a little on at this stage at least to have an in-depth conversation about which nominees confirmed in the senate with a senator who is suggesting a nominee. it is difficult to determine what that conversation would be like. and evidence by the president's telephone call. the president is committed to common ground to make the case. how about a constitutional obligation the president has had the duty he is prepared to fulfil. >> senator grassley should what is possibly having hearings. to talk more about the
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candidates. >> even though senator grassley has indicated he won't support anybody the president put forward the president takes seriously the obligation he has to consult with the united states senate. are also want to assure you the president's consultation as he considers this decision will not just be limited to sitting members of the united states senate and as the president has more of those meetings and conversations we will do our best to know about those as well. certainly starting with the two leaders of the senate and the judiciary, it is an appropriate way to begin the conversation, both the president and the united states senate fulfilling their constitutional duties. >> they didn't run through that. >> don't want to get into details of the conversations, i would not rule out particular nominees, i just would say the president is serious about
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robust consultation with democrats and republicans in the united states senate, those conversations will continue, there's no reason necessarily the last conversation the president had with chairman grassley before he chooses the nominee. suspect it won't be. i do suspect has long as the chairman of the judiciary committee, you won't consider any one the president put forward. that will at least limit the productive in this. >> you indicated normally -- i am wondering if you received the length of time he puts forth the nominee in this case. >> i have observed filling the vacancies left by the retirement of justice souter and stevens,
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and nominated replacement within four or five weeks. i don't have a different time line to layout but it gives you an indication of the amount of time that is required to conduct a detailed search, the vetting that is necessary, the best person for the job is. >> what is the timetable? >> not one that i am prepared to share publicly. we will keep you apprised of the process. another thing i could tell you is the president's team over the course of this week has spent a lot of time preparing materials for the president's review. i would expect over the weekend that the president will begin to dig into the materials prepared for him by his team. these are materials related to
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some potential nominee. this would include information about these individuals's record, professional career and professional experience, all of which they would bring to a lifetime appointment to the supreme court. there are, as you know, a large number of lawyers who work at the white house and they produce a significant quantity of information and i suspect the president will be dedicating a significant portion this week and digging into that information. >> to follow up on that at the end of this conversation with senator grassley, is it still your feeling that they are not going to look at anyone or consider a nominee, when he backed away from that decision? >> i will let senator grassley characterize his position and what he represented to the president of the united states.
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the president has a constitutional duty to nominate a successor in the supreme court. the senate has a solemn constitutional duty to give that person of fair hearing in a timely yes or no vote. >> the constitutional argument the other day, something about the supreme court should rise above partisan -- is their political leverage here as well in terms of what you go so far as to say that if the republicans don't fulfill their responsibilities will there be political consequences out there? >> i think it is too hard, what the political consequences are. knowing the day and age in which we live and the fact that it is in fact a presidential election
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year i am confident that there will be a robust political debate around this and i am not suggesting that is illegitimate. what i am suggesting however is a that the constitutional duties of the president and the united states senate should come be for political consideration. hopefully that will be the approach the senate takes. >> the president said to the nation that he thinks the public supports him in this, therefore particularly in places where there are close races, could be consequences for senators who don't play ball? >> that is hard to assess because of polling units you dedicate significant resources to and you will be evaluating this question. i am not suggesting those polls are irrelevant, but i think it
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is too soon to tell how soon the argument is resonating. what is interesting to me is we have seen at number of unlikely figures indicate they share the president's view about constitutional responsibility before this president and the united states senate. we saba, ands about sandra day o'connor indicating she believed the senate should get on with it. that was her unvarnished assessment and it certainly is consistent with the sense that we have expressed about the constitutional responsibility. i would note that the individual who served as the attorney general under president george w. bush indicated his view that, quote, there is no question in my mind that as president of the united states you have an obligation, precisely the case but we have made as well.
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i guess what i would say is that it is too soon to tell what the argument we are making is resonating with the electorate but it does seem to me that the argument we are making is at least consistent with some republicans who know quite a bit about the law. >> doubts about -- is too singh -- and obvious argument that the public should rally around? why is there some doubt, why are you stopping short of being so certain? >> because i don't want to be in that position where i make a claim that i can't back up. i don't have doubts about the fact that i think most people here take a look at this
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situation. to drop on maybe not legal expertise but common sense that there's a vacancy on the supreme court the president has a responsibility to nominate someone to fill it and the senate has a responsibility to give that person a fair hearing, timely yes or no vote. the other thing that is relevant here is the precedent. justice kennedy's confirmation vote that occurred in 1988, presidential election year, that is relevant but what is also relevant is the way the supreme court vacancies have been handled in the past. in the last 40 years there has never been a vacancy that has an impact on two terms but that is what would happen if the senate follows through on the threats that senator mcconnell has made, denied even consider the president's nominee. it would be more than a year and
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have an impact not just on the current supreme court term but on the next term that begins in october. when you consider the importance takes of the kinds of questions the supreme court will be wrestling with, in the president's view the supreme court should function as the founding fathers intended. >> when the president attempted services, what could we expect to see, the details of what is going to happen? >> i have seen a little television coverage of the events that have already taken place. it is a solemn event. the country is marking the passing of an influential figure in american life and american
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jurisprudence. over the course of the day, thousands of americans will have the opportunity to pay their respects to antonin scalia as he lies in repose in the great halls of the supreme court and the president and first lady will be among the thousands of people doing the same thing. the president doesn't plan to make any remarks for anything, will just be there to offer up his own condolences to the family and all those who loved antonin scalia. he had nine children and a couple dozen grandchildren at least and they are mourning his death in a crucial way. this is an opportunity for the president to papers or respects to those who loved him and paid tribute to outsized impact he had on the country. that is worthy of respect and the president and first lady will be travelling to the supreme court.
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>> the president getting word of the passing, did he have any reaction? the literary giant, pulitzer prize, to kill a mockingbird. >> i did not ask the president about this today so i don't know if he was aware. the president talked publicly before about how much respect he had for harper lee. yew is a giant of american literature. she wrote to kill a mockingbird, a book i think all of us can remember having read in school. obviously she had her own significant impact on our country and our culture and our country's perspective on some sensitive topics, but she had a
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way of telling stories that do have an influence and resonate, the world view of some americans, even so many decades after the book was published. >> if i could ask you about the high court process, it is slow going. is there any doubt in your mind the president would consider the attorney general and if so what complications were eaten nominate her? >> at this point i don't want to comment on any speculation who the president made a.but let me provide some insight for you. last time there was a vacancy on the supreme court after justice stevens announced his intent to retire. the president selected elena kagan to be his nominee to fill that vacancy and was confirmed by the senate with bipartisan support. elena kagan at the time had an
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important role in the american legal system, was solicitor general representing the united states government before the supreme court, the point that i am making is her deputy stepped up to fill important functions and was going through the process. what is also true is there were a handful of cases she did have to recuse herself from because of previous involvement with and as solicitor general. i guess the point is it matters if a nominee is someone who is already playing a role, an influential role in the justice system but even some bunny central to the process as solicitor general, did not present obstacles that were insurmountable. >> don't want to put too much of
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the point on this but the attorney general has already been vetted, received bipartisan support and has been confirmed to make the process easier. >> it is hard to say, i wouldn't want to speculate on the potential ramifications of nominating one individual or another. certainly all the things you said are true. attorney general binge served with distinction, is somebody with strong bipartisan support when she was nominated for the attorney general post, democrats and republicans supported her nomination to that job, she has only been serving for nine months for so but has served with distinction. justin. >> determination on the terror attack -- the kurdish idea that
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you might have on that -- >> we will be working on a more formal read out of the call a little later today. i can confirm that president obama did telephoned the president earlier today. the chief goal of the call was so the president could offer his condolences for the terrorist attack in ankara and the attack occurred a later against a turkish military convoy. the country's ancient between the two news did talk about the situation in syria. the thing that is notable is, had you asked me this question in your ago, the question would have been focused, rightfully so, why the turks were not helping at all in ongoing efforts to fight isil in syria, but they hadn't put forward the resources we would have liked to
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see, they hadn't committed to taking steps on the turkey/syria border the week before important to shutting down the flow of foreign terrorist fighters into syria. over the course of the last year, substantial progress has been made. over the course of the last year turkey did joy in our counter isil coalition. they are making a substantial contribution to that effort at the request of the united states, the turkish government has taken important steps to close large sections of their border, there continue to be some sections we would like to see them do more but there is no doubt the steps they have taken to secure their border have reduced the flow of foreign fighters to syria. we know isil relies on that flow of ford fighters replenish their ranks, their fighters were taken off the battlefield. it is also relevant that the turks have relied on american expertise in putting in place
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security along the border. turkey has also demonstrated a commitment to working with the u.s. military and allowed u.s. military assets to use the air--- airbase to carry out attacks on isil targets in syria. this made it more efficient for pilots and unmanned aircraft to take strikes inside syria. that was a big benefit when and an important way turkey can help this fight and a step they are taking not just in the last few months. the other thing that has long been true is turkey is bearing a significant burden when it comes to providing syrian refugees fleeing violence in their own country. they have been extraordinarily generous and focused on mandatory needs of these migrants. the united states, more than any other country to all the
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countries in the region including turkey providing this important system. you recall turkey was pretty irritated, and there was a russian fighter jet that they said had flown into turkish air space, and tensions between turkey and russia, the united states certainly urged both sides to d escalate but we made it quite clear the united states should its -- stood shoulder to shoulder with nato ally in turkey against russian provocation. and other inappropriate actions taken by the russian military. the engagement between senior u.s. officials has been extensive. vice president joe biden was in turkey month or so ago and president obama on two different occasions in the span of a couple of weeks last fall met face-to-face in turkey and in
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paris for climate talks. there is important progress we made over the last year in strengthening and solidifying the relationship between the united states and turkey, and important benefit for both our countries particularly enhancing our effort to be grateful to destroy isil. supporting a variety of forces on the ground. they're taking the fight to isil in their own country. they had to do that. >> brio able to come to the determination? >> we have seen the claims of responsibility. i can't verify those claims at this point. the terrorist attack that occurred was outrageous and won
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the we strongly condemn the a lot of innocent lives were affected. >> republicans want to consider a bill that would penalize something with law-enforcement. i wonder if you could support this legislation, this cloud in your position a little bit on encryption and whether the administration believes companies should be able to sell devices that remain encrypted. >> let me do my best to clarify that position. the steps that were taken by the independent investigators of the fbi are consistent swift the view that we express from here on many occasions which is the president does believe that
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strong encryption is good for the u.s. economy and good for protecting the civil liberties of private american citizens. we don't want to allow terrorists to establish a safe haven cyberspace and the good news is technology companies don't want to see them do the same thing. there are innocent people who lost their lives in san bernardino. and the president has made that investigation a top priority because you wants to make sure we can learn everything we possibly can about that situation so we can take the steps needed to protect the country. that is what fbi investigators are doing and all of that is consistent not just with our view of these complicated issues but also consistent with standard operating practice the fbi has engaged in for quite
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some time when investigating these. >> did quite answer the question of what he would support legislation -- what would be in this case where everyone says this -- >> i haven't seen the legislation so it is hard to comment on it. >> china you bringii know you b cruz -- >> it is funny you should ask, i was up late last night preparing my brief. i don't think that makes me eligible for a supreme court appointment. but look, obviously this is something that will work its way
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through the court system. the concern we have with ted cruz is his record. questions have been raised about his birthplace for his eligibility to serve as president, the kinds of values and priorities he would bring to the job in start contrast to the priorities this president has achieved. >> on the calls that were made, you don't want to give specific detail about what was said but how long they talked. >> i don't have granular material about how long they spoke or particularly lengthy conversations but they did provide ample time to have a discussion with leaders in the united states senate in both
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parties about constitutional obligation they have to give the president's nominee a fair hearing in a timely yes or no vote. yesterday was the 28th anniversary of justice kennedy being sworn in as a supreme court justice, 28 years ago, we can all do the math, was a presidential election year. senator grassley and president mcconnell voted in that election year to confirm the republican president's nominee to the supreme court. we are asking to do the same thing. >> very generally, how would you characterize the conversation and do you feel there was any glimmer of progress in the nomination? >> i think the conversations whereas you would expect were respectful and professional. the president had the opportunity to lay out his case why this constitutional duty is so important.
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that information is not new to four different individuals who spend a lot of time playing fulfilling the senate constitutional duty to offer advice and consent on supreme court nominees. that information is not necessarily new to them but it is an opportunity for the president to begin a dialogue how the process should work and how the president intends to approach it and the president's approach will be characterized by frequent consultation not just with democrats and republicans in the senate, but a variety of voices and individuals that have a perspective on a nomination that is this important. >> dimension the materials this weekend, does that mean the short list is complete? is it everybody? >> it is not. the president does not have a short list and the list is not been completed. this is the very beginning of
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the process. but this is an opportunity for the president to dig into the material the team has prepared for him, this includes biographical information, information about public record of individuals andwho may be woy of consideration. >> how many people are rich talking about? five, ten, two? >> i don't have a number to share with you. it is more than two. it is not a short list. is the beginning of a process to evaluate a number of individuals for consideration for nomination. >> the material he has concerns several individuals.
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>> the numbers greater than two. that means several. >> the climate now is obvious and the conversations the president started having and all the debate going on, is it safe to say at this point we can rule out that he presents a nominee that could be seen as a liberal? >> at this point i won't speculate how the president's nominee will be judged. our expectation is the president's nominee when the president puts that individual forward, that nominee should be evaluated on the merits, that individual's qualifications and experiences should be evaluated. both by the american people but also by the 100 members of the united states senate who had taken an oath to fulfil their constitutional duty to do their job. that is what we expect that they will do and we expect that would
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entail both a fair hearing and timely up or down vote. >> this nominee needs to be a moderate? >> i would rely on the president's discretion where he said that this individual, this nominee did he chooses would be somebody who is qualified, disqualifications are indisputabl >> to follow upon that -- is testing from justice brennan in order to win republican votes. may not be specific liberal moderate but the idea that it is someone of a political bent that would get republican support. would you describe that as an accurate description and could you elaborate on that? >> a number of things come to
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mind. the first is the president has put forward two supreme court nominees who were confirmed in a bipartisan fashion, both justice sonia sotomayor and elena kagan got important support from republicans. at the time that support was less critical because democrats were in the majority of the senate. the situation is different now and i guess my point is this. even when the president didn't happen to necessarily put forward someone who deserved bipartisan support, that is exactly what he did. in this case, republicans in the majority, we know the president's nominee would need bipartisan support and that is what we expect they will deserve and here it is why. this is the second thing that is important. the criteria that senators use when evaluating new presidential
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nominees to the supreme court is not evaluating whether or not they would have picked this person, not their responsibility is to evaluate whether or not this is an individual who can serve with honor and distinction in a lifetime appointment to the supreme court. that is the substantial response to tresponsibility the presiden suggesting -- based on their professionalism, whether they can handle it. that is the question being asked of them. there are 100 members of the united states senate and some of them know a lot about the supreme court and spent decades working on these issues and some of them are new. even those in the same party i am confident if you did a poll and open the questionnaire, members of the senate, who they believe should be nominated to fill the vacancy i would not be
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surprised if you get 100 different people in response. that is why the question facing the senate is different. it is the president's constitutional responsibility to name a nominee and it is the senate's responsibility to evaluate that nominee not based on the criteria of whether that is the person they would have shows but based on the criteria of whether that individual can serve the country with honor and distinction. on the supreme court for the rest of their life. that is the way the process has been laid out, that is the way the process has moved forward in the past, it is consistent with what our founding fathers intended and most importantly, the process both the president
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and the united states senate have a constitutional duty. >> question about the chairman of the committee, the white house saying request for funding saying congress should use money for ebola to find zight zika bu given opposition from republicans would you consider that? >> the important work the united states has done to fight ebola and protect the american people from ebola is not done. i recognize that that disease has receded from the headlines and we are all pleased about that. but the important work that needs to be done to build up the
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public health infrastructure of countries overseas to make sure those outbreaks don't quickly spiral out of control, we have seen as recently as a blow over a year ago how that can have direct consequences on the safety and well-being of the american people even if that outbreak becker's notionally. it is critically important to follow through on those efforts and it would be profoundly unwise to take money away from the ongoing effort that is needed to fight ebola. is there some funding that could be taken away, that could be reproduced without undermining our efforts to fight ebola? there probably is, that is part of the request, but those
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resources would not be sufficient to take on what we believe is a pretty serious threat from the zika virus. we hope when we put forward a proposal that is coming soon that the senate and the house will be prepared to act on it quickly. there is no reason for it something like keeping the american people say from the zika virus should be some sort of partisan fight. democrats and republicans in congress are interested in making sure pregnant women and unborn children in this country can be properly protected and those are the stakes here. this is a threat the administration takes quite seriously, and we hope democrats and republicans in congress will do the same thing. >> you have a time line? >> the texas pacific timeline to share with you but it is coming.
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[inaudible question] >> keeping someone in confinement for that long. >> i can tell you the president did offer an odd bit earlier this year that ran the washington post where he laid out his views about the reforms that he believes should be implemented in the criminal justice system, and solitary confinement are used appropriately and sparingly,
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scientists tell us prolong inca
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who how we have begun consultations with them. i would knows a number of reforms the president put forward did relate to the way solitary confinement is used by the adults inmate population.
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it related to the amount of sustained time you walk outside your soil, it is limited and careful and monitored. we can't fill you in on more details. it has been a little while since i reviewed but there certainly is a lot to consider. >> who is on the -- the nomination search? >> obviously the president's legal team has the most prominent role in helping him prepare to make this decision. obviously the president's council is playing a prominent role here. neel has a whole team of white house lawyers who can provide the president the information and resources he needs to consider this decision.
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there will be other aspects of this that will feature prominently as well if we are committed to robust congressional consultation and we are and they require some additional resources to get that done. we will keep you posted if remake changes to our staff in this regard. end to the very well served. >> the materials left over from the elena kagan search. >> i pointed out to someone yesterday or the day before the somebody has been previously considered for supreme court vacancy does not disqualify them from being considered this time around. doesn't mean everybody considered last time will be considered this time but i think more importantly the
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institutional experience we have in conducting two successful supreme court nominations of sonia sotomayor and elena kagan will be valuable to us as we move forward with this process to fill up the vacancy. >> the interim since the elena kagan nomination, those records have been updated, this is something to add to the list in case we get another nomination. >> i don't have a good sense how that works, the rest of us are not paying attention to the supreme court, what work goes on behind the scenes to keep those records updated. i suspect somebody is thinking about that all the time. what is also true is we have significant resources, a lot of people with legal and supreme court expertise that can get up to speed quickly and to ensure that the president has the
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information he needs to make this important decision. >> does white house counsel know you are doing this? >> good question. writing press releases, i might be able irritated. >> yesterday senator mcconnell's office -- >> probably the first time ever. >> saying, repeating again that the senate has a duty to vote on the president's nominee and they are pointing to a quote that harry reid said in 2005, nowhere does the constitution say the senate has a duty to vote on the president's nomination. do you still believe that or do you find a distinction? >> the problem with this is this
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process is so subjected to politics that we can probably spend 24 hours reading quotes back and forth from people on different sides of this issue. as appealing as it might be to gardner why don't i just limit myself to one and it would be from senator grassley. wasn't long ago, july of 2008, senator grassley said the reality is the senate has never stopped confirming judicial nominees during the last few months of the president's term. the point is if we dig into the rhetoric that has been passed by both sides it will be more than of little confusing. that is why the president believes what we should simply do is consider the requirements of the constitution and the long precedent that is established by the united states senate. the constitution says when there's a vacancy on the supreme court, the sitting president of the united states who is filling
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a four year term, not a three year term has a constitutional duty to nominate a successor. the senate than has the duty and responsibility of offering advice and consent. at least for everybody sitting on the supreme court right now, a timely up or down vote and a fair hearing. other relevant pieces of precedent here that i think is notable is since 1875, every single supreme court nominee that was put forward by the president of the united states has gotten a hearing. there is exception to that where presidents put forward a nominee and withdraw before the hearing began, every time the president
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was calling on the senate to hold a hearing on the supreme court nominee, everytime since 1875 the senate has fulfilled their constitutional duty and we expect the senate in 2016 to the same. >> the syrian cease-fire, the failure of diplomacy will undermine any military gains against isis and libya? >> you are alluding to a principle we have applied to the situation from the beginning which is simply that the situation inside of syria doesn't have a military solution. there is no military solution that can be applied in syria to solve all the problems plaguing the country. what we can do using the expertise, courage and might of the united states military and
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our 65 counter isil coalition partners is use our military to put enormous pressure on isil's leadership. use our military to begin to rollback territorial gains that isil has made. we can use our military to conduct raids and exploit treasure troves of intelligence that would allow us to take steps to further degrade and destroyed isil. we can use military might as publicized in the last few weeks to reduce isil at stock pile of cash. a particularly good illustration of our isil counterfinance efforts being seamlessly integrated into the efforts of our military coalition partners. >> someone who nominated -- >> i certainly could.
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it does underscore how the expertise can advance, >> waited till after the briefing before you take your drink. you are highlighting something that is entirely consistent with our approach which is we need to find the political situation inside syria to address the problems that are having such significant consequences around the world. that is why secretary john kerry has been so focused on this effort and it is why despite the significant number of obstacles that he has faced he continues to pursue it. not just because he is
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particularly tenacious which he is a, not just because he enjoys talking to his russian counterparts, although presumably sometimes and they have a pleasant conversation i think most of the time they don't. he is doing this because he understands this is fundamental to ending the violence in syria and addressing the wide array of problems that have been caused by the political disfunction in syria. .. by the political dysfunction inside a syria that actually do have great consequences for american national security. [inaudible] >> -- and military operation in libya that seems to be successful. can you talk about the balance between diplomacy and military operations?
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adenosine your diplomatic option in libya are even more limited than here. >> this is a good example. let me take this back one step farther because it's pretty clear what isil strategy is. and look for countries where they can exploit political chaos to establish a foothold. that's what they did inside of syria where they started. president assad begin losing his grip on power. he began using the military might of the city nation to attack the citizens of syria it caused great turmoil and he lost control of the country. and isil capitalized that concept of a toehold inside of syria. they then spread into iraq come and we have seen a civil government in iraq that have governed the country along sectarian lines were too longcome and exposed an alarming weakness in the iraqi security forces.
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and isil moved into set up shop there. there's been a change in the central government inside of iraq. there is a new prime minister who has been working to unite the country and to govern in a way that reflects iraq's diversity. and that's why, that has contribute to the success that iraq has had been taken back significant territory that isil had previously taken. so the reason i'm walking through all of this is that isil is trying to do the same thing in libya. libya is another nation that is plagued by political turmoil. they're trying to capitalize on the turmoil and chaos to establish a foothold inside of libya. they can't approach the united states has taken -- the kind of approach -- advancing the diplomatic and political track, alongside our military efforts,
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we are doing the same thing inside of libya. the good news is that in libya they actually are making some long sought progress, that there is, that many political it inside of libya are finalizing the government of national accord, which is an essential step to providing the libyan people he opportunity to rebuild their country. and the u.n. has facilitate that process. the united states has been supportive of it. there's a u.s. envoy that has been dedicated to trying to advance the process and we have been pleased with the steps they've taken thus far. what will be important is for the central government to be formed, to take up residence in tripoli at the beacon providing for the secure the situation inside of libya. but until the time they can do that, the united states may have
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to take out, to carry out actions like we did overnight to protect the american people and to protect our interests in the region. and so we're going to prepared to do that, even as we continue to be strongly supportive of the political process inside of libya. >> i want to ask you about a couple of storylines, at the democratic side of the campaign. first one, i think the post sort of gave -- [inaudible] were downplaying the economic recovery and said it's a big mistake, and not more forcefully play up that recovery. does the president think that is a big mistake that they are not playing it up enough? >> i think what is good both secretary clinton and senator


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