tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN February 22, 2016 1:59pm-7:01pm EST
c-span3 to the museum in washington where homeland security secretary jeh johnson will be meeting with a group of current and former governors to discuss disaster preparedness and response. we'll hear from connecticut governor dannel malloy, missouri governor jay nixon, former massachusetts governor deval patrick and tom ridge, former head of homeland security. a number of governors in town because of this meeting. the weekend meeting with the national governor's association wrapping up today in the nation's capital. we covered several other events. president obama spoke at the white house to the governors. we heard from the chair and the co-chair of the governors association and the briefing at the white house. all of that is available at c-span.org.
one of the last events concurrent with the national governors association meeting, jeh johnson, homeland security secretary, set to moderate a discussion called leadership in times of crisis, and on the panel this afternoon, the governor of connecticut, dannel malloy, mour re governor jay nixon, former governor of massachusetts, deval patrick, and former governor of pennsylvania tom ridge. also the former homeland security secretary. it should get under way shortly here on c-span3. senate opening its session this afternoon after the presidents' day break at 3:00 p.m. eastern, live coverage over on c-span2, the house gaveling in tomorrow.
on c-span3, we're live at the museum in washington waiting to hear from homeland security secretary jeh johnson who will be moderating a discussion this afternoon with a group of current and former governors to talk about disaster preparedness and response. it may be a few more minutes. while we wait, part of this morning's "washington journal." >> this segment of "washington journal" we take a look at how your money is at work in a different government program. this week we are looking at the nearly $8 billion that president obama put in his fiscal 2017 budget for clean energy efforts. to do that we're joined by ben geeman of the national journal. before we get into specific dollar amounts, what does the administration classify under that term clean energy research, clean energy program. >> in broadest terms clean
energy are forms of energy that right now the most salient feature of that is that they either reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that you get from producing and using energy or remove them entirely. that would be things like wind energy, solar energy, use of fossil energy in a much cleaner way such that you can somehow capture that carbon dioxide coming out. it applies to a lot of other things. there is a lot of optimism but still a ways to go on energy storage. for instance there's research into the way that, because solar -- because the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't always shine. there is a view that you need more breakthroughs to get batteries lighter and more sophisticated. advanced nuclear technology. a whole range of things that fall under the heading of low carbon or climate friendly technologies.
of violence, acts of terrorism and all manner of crises that may hit the homeland at any given home. homeland security is also home state security, hometown security, dealing with the unexpected, the surprises, the sudden crises are much of what we do at the federal, state and local level. so often what makes the difference when faced with a crisis is strong, visible, decisive leadership. for me, one of the models for that has been rudy giuliani. rudy giuliani hired me to be an assistant united states attorney in 1988. and for a lot of new yorkers like myself, is an example of
leadership through crisis because of his visible, decisive leadership in the days immediately after 9/11. in addition to mayor giuliani, we have other leaders across this country who have been faced with all manner of crises, whether it's a natural disaster, the collapse of a bridge, 9/11, a terrorist attack, a mass shooting, or natural disasters. tornadoes, floods, blizzards, and the like. here with me today with five gentlemen who are, in my judgment, great americans who have had the experience of leadership through crisis, and in my view, have done it well. this is a bipartisan group and non-partisan event. good leadership in crisis is not a democratic or republican
phenomen phenomenon. it is more about the elected official, less so about their political stripes. so here today are people i respect a lot. i appreciate their time out of their busy schedules for being here today. let me introduce them to you. to my immediate left, governor dan malloy of connecticut. former assistant district attorney in brooklyn. how many adas in brooklyn get to be governor of connecticut? graduate of boston college law school. mayor of stamford, connecticut for 14 years. has been governor of connecticut since 2011. on december 14th, 2012, governor malloy was faced with one of the worst mass shootings in u.s. history in newtown, connecticut, at the sandy hook elementary school. 26 people, 20 school kids, six adults, shot and killed that
day. the second-deadliest mass shooting by a single person in u.s. history. governor malloy, while governor of connecticut has also had to face hurricane sandy in october 2012, as well as hurricane irene in august 2011, and something like 750,000 customers and connecticut residents without power. governor jay nixon of missouri. governor of a state of 6 million people has been governor since 2004. is that correct? 2004. prior to that, attorney general of the state of missouri, a member of the state senate, and a lawyer. as most people here know, if not everyo everyone, governor nixon in 2014 faced a civil unrest in ferguson, missouri, in the aftermath of the shooting death
of michael brown. in addition, governor nixon has had to contend with what craig fugate, the administrator of fema, has said is one of the worse o'tornadoes to ever hit the continental united states in joplin, missouri, in may 2011. a city of 50,000 people that involved 158 deaths and affected 7,000 homes. governor tom ridge, former governor tom ridge, or also known around dhs headquarters as homeland security one. as governor of the state of pennsylvania, a state of 12 million people, from 1995 to 2001 before becoming the first secretary of homeland security. governor ridge, like mayor giuliani and others, had to contend with a terrorist attack on 9/11 in shanksville,
pennsylvania, where united flight 93 crashed. 33 passengers and seven crew were killed on that day when the plane crashed in the area of pennsylvania known as shanksville. governor ridge and i both attended the anniversary of 9/11 in shanksville, pennsylvania last year. governor deval patrick, former governor of massachusetts, former practicing lawyer, former assistant attorney general for civil rights in the department of justice, former general counsel of coca-cola. former general counsel of texaco. governor of the state of massachusetts from 2007 to 2015, a state of 6 1/2 million people. governor patrick had to contend on august 15th, 2013, with the
boston marathon bombing at 2:49 in the afternoon on patriots day, one of the best and brightest days in boston and in massachusetts each year, when two pressure cooker bombs exploded killing three people and wounding 260 at the boston marathon. 16 people lost their legs and in the immediate aftermath of that bombing, over 1,000 federal, state and local law enforcement officers were brought to bear leading to the ultimate death, and then the ultimate arrest, prosecution and conviction of the tsarnaev brothers. governor patrick had to deal with water main breaks that
dealt with the water supply to millions of people. finally, mayor ryback served for three terms from 2002 to 2014. by trade he has been a journalist and a commercial real estate agent, investor in commercial real estate, a publisher. he spent time on the internet. he has written a book called "confidential." a guide book for mayors. and on august 1st, 2010, in his city, they had to contend with the collapse of the i-35 west bridge over the mississippi river, killing 13 people, injuring 145, and damaging 111 vehicles that day when a bridge over which an estimated 140,000 vehicles pass a day.
mayor ryback is today the director of a not-for-profit called generation next which strives toward educational excellence in the minneapolis area. he has also had to deal with tornadoes in may 2011 and august 2009, and other disasters. so we've assembled these public servants to talk to us not so much about the nuts and bolts of disaster response, who you call, who you call at fema, disaster declarations and so for the. but the broader issue of how to lead and how to react as a leader in times of all manner of cris crisis. so having said all that, let me turn the floor over to our distinguished guests, panelists, and let me start working from my
immediate left with governor dan malloy. >> thank you, mr. secretary. thank you for what you're doing in this phase of your career and what you've accomplished over the entirety of your career. so it is great to be with you. i'm actually looking at all of you and having heard the introductions and how unlucky we are, i wonder what you're doing in the audience. quite frankly. but secretary called a couple of months ago and said would i talk about my experience at sandy hook and super storm sandy and irene. in point of fashth on tct on th disaster side, we've had 6 natural disaster since i became governor of connecticut, all weather related, which speaks to climate change and what's occurring and what it is to be a governor in the time of climate change. i think what i'll start with, as sandy hook has been described one of the most heinous acts
ever committed and certainly in a school where we lost so many young children and adults who cared for them. and there's nothing in life that prepares you for something like that. but i think from that experience and other experiences earlier in my life when i was mayor, and now through the time that i've been governor, there are a couple of things that i would share with you. i think everyone of the folks up here would agree, when you're handling a crisis, the crisis isn't about you. if it is, you got a problem. and you should never make it about you. there are people who are hurting out there. in my case -- and you might know some of the story -- all of the children and teachers had been evacuated from the school which was on top of the hill to the firehouse that was down at the bottom of the hill. by the time i had gotten there from hartford, everyone who was going to be reunited that day had already been reunited. so the only people left in the firehouse were people who didn't
know for sure that their loved one had passed. protocols, i tell this story about it. the protocols for a lot of police departments and organizations is you never tell someone that they've lost their loved one until you've actually identified the body. and we weren't in a position to do that at any time in the short run. and i kept asking the police troopers, who's going to tell these folks? and they kept explaining that that's not the way they did it. and i let that go on a little longer than i should have. but eventually i intervened, and got everyone together in a group and said that i'm sorry that i have to tell you this, but you're here. if you're in this room, and you haven't been reunited with your loved one today, you're not going to be.
what we then did to react to that situation then and beyond i think changed and perhaps even saved some lives. for instance, we assigned every g family a police officer or trooper to protect them at least through the time of the funeral. by 10:00 that night, we had already assigned a mental health professional with respect to each of the families to be available, to call upon them, to offer services, and then to the broadest community the next day we set up centers. we had begun the work of breaking down silos and state government long before sandy hook had happened, and in part because of some of the natural disasters that we had had. it real ly shown that we had people from every single department that had anything possible to do with that shooting in any way in recovery, investigation, protection, everyone just knew what they had to do when they arrived.
we were well practiced. not for that incident. but for others. i think that's another lesson that everyone has to learn as that is to be well practiced in these circumstances. i think my experience as a mayor at the time of 9/11 where we lost a lot of the citizens who -- and some folks who i knew very well down in new york, or other disasters that we had had to face, including irene and sandy, really strengthened our response and made us better responders. i started by saying it is not about you. i think there is this communication side of managing one of these disasters. i wouldn't speak to the press until after everyone knew what the circumstances were for their loved one. and i only gave a very brief statement and basically said that newtown had been visited by evil that day and that we needed to do further investigation and
cut it pretty short and didn't do a whole lot of irnterviews o that one. that's a different type of it circumstance particularly when you know that people are grieving and you don't want to add to that grief by something you're going to say or have misconstrued. so we were very careful about that. that's a very different situation that when you're dealing with natural disaster. in my state we had portioned of the state without power. this was in new england for up to 12 days. those people do need to hear from you. you've got to be part of their daily life. they've got to know when you're going to update them on what their prospects are for recovery of the daniel to their house or home or city or town or when they're going to be able to take the next shower. so they are two very different types of circumstances. one requiring constant communication, in my opinion, and one where you have to it be a little bit afraid of communication for the damage
that you might otherwise do. those are a couple of quick thoughts that i thought i'd bring to the table. then perhaps if we're answering your questions or take other questions i can say a few other things. >> governor nixon. >> thank you. thank you for bringing everybody together. i'll try to keep my comments short, focus on the leadership side because the actual management is training helps as governor malloy said, and others. i went down to work out in the basement of the mansion on may 21st, 2011. about 5:15. i get ready to get on the elliptical because the game i wanted to watch was coming on so i could simulate a workout while watching the game. >> works for me. >> so my counsel called me and said you might switch to the weather channel. looks like some really bad storms coming to joplin. and so i turn on the weather channel. back and forth between that and the game.
and sure enough, i mean right there. you see the three cells heading right towards the very populated area of our state. everything went door. bottom line is an ef-5 tornado came in, killed 161 people, put 1,100 people in hospitals. 11,500 cars completely destroyed. a hospital hit and out of it. it was just amazing. so the three things i always say in these situations is first of all, separating response from recovery is really important. on front end there's still a lot of response to do. we had a situation where the unaccounted for list was taken over by folks outside of our control for a while and people were saying over 1,500 people missing when in reality there were that many. we had to get that back and get back in the situation. we had a second tornado come through. at one point we had 405 law enforcement agencies working cooperatively in joplin at the same time, state, federal and
from almost six different states. so the bottom line is that recovery piece later on. always got to be in the back of your head. if response is one thing, but it is not over when the response is over. it is not over when the sun comes out. so in the back of your head even when you're there you got to think recovery. my three pieces of advice, one, get there and get your own eyes on it. . if you're in charge of it, you better see it. it is not going to do very well on the phone or watching a game. as dannel also said, it sends a message of strength. people almost feel relaxed knowing that you care and are there with them. one, get there. two is try to coordinate response where you can but generally in response you've got a lot of trained law enforcement personnel. they're very good at it. you're trying to coordinate them, not get in their way. but begin talking about recovery, at least think about recovery in your own head because for me what i didn't
want to have happen in joplin is what happened in greenwood, cans. had a tornado hit it and a years later only 20% of the people were left. it is real easy in this country, they take your house, your school, your hospital, your car, it is pretty easy to move somewhere else. as we come on the fifth anniversary of joplin, i'm proud to say we have more people than before, the unemployment rate of the state is a full point below the national average. all of the first response requires your personal attention. that speaks volumes when you are speaking for all of the people in your state. >> governor ridge. >> well, homeland security one says thank you to hs four. i appreciate are the invitation and to be joined by these very distinguished colleagues. shortly after about 30 years of government service from the time i was a sergeant in vietnam to a cabinet secretary, i thought
about writing a book on leadership. and somebody said, what do you think you can do to contribute to the library of congress? they already have several thousand volumes on it. so forget about it. but you've given me the opportunity to talk a little bit more specifically about leadership and crisis and i'm grateful for that. my inoculation in this world happened as a young congressman. it was in the end of may in 1985 when three much smaller tornadoes bounced around three different communities in my congressional district. interesting, one clock in the northern community stopped at 5:10. clock in the southern community stopped at 7:11. so the 2:01 minute, you got tornadoes bouncing around. obviously as a governor you have to deal with more often than not natural weather problems. there are some environmental challenges we had and a few business-related crises. then finally as secretary johnson pointed out, 9/11 and
shanksville. so based on those experiences, i'd offer just a couple of preliminary thoughts. at the time of crisis, think those who have leadership responsibility need to do a couple things immediately. it's absolutely essential to get as much information as you can but understand completely that you will not have total situational awareness probably for several days. i just think of what happened on 9/11. my mother was in the hospital. i took down coffee and doughnuts. she didn't like that hospital food very much. i'm pulling into the driveway, state policeman at the time explains one plane has been hit, then i get inside, second one hit the twin towers. i'm talking on the phone because the second thing you need to do is hopefully pass a leader you've anticipated a crisis. i called my team in harrisburg and because of my experience back in 1985, you better believe
that pennsylvania had a very modern, very modern, up to date emergency operation center. because when you accept a leadership responsibility like we have, you just have to anticipate it is going to occur. it is just going to happen so to your point, response and recovery is important, but part of leadership in crisis, hopefully if you've been there long enough, you get as much information as you can and you already have some level of preparedness. the first thing i tried to do, what do we know about there? well guess what -- we knew nothing. so you just have everybody in place at the operation center. you try to get as much information as you can. obviously i had to deal with the press in erie, pennsylvania which is my hometown. i took a couple hours to get clearance to get to harrisburg. went to the eoc. made sure we had everything going there 37 we sta. we started evacuating some tall buildings in pittsburgh. then hopped on a chinook and made my way to shanksville.
so you anticipate you're going to be confronted with a crisis. you try to get as much information as you can. i think the first primary rule -- and i success spespect colleagues will agree with me -- your presence as soon as possible is absolutely critical. people don't expect you to know everything that's going on, but they expect you to care enough to be there, to re-assure them that you will get as much information as you possibly can and you will share that information with them publicly, you will work with them, their communities, whoever else is involved to try to resolve the issue, what's ever been confronted. 9/11 it took us quite some time to figure out what transpired. but whether you show up at a site of a tornado, awful massacre in a school, 9/11, presence hopefully inspires
confidence, generates some level of comfort and reassurance, and then obviously you work -- that's just the beginning of leadership crisis management. i can't think of anything more important than projecting with your presence a calm, reassuring message. and unfortunately, under those circumstances, everybody's discussed here, you better be available for the next several days because your communication responsibility doesn't end with that particular day when the crisis surfaces. the more you learn, the more you share. at the same time, you have to concentrate on the response and recovery capabilities. be there, reassure, generate confidence. they know you don't have all the information but they conclude you care and you're there because of the victim and that's the first step in response and
recovery, in my judgment. >> governor patrick. >> thank you, mr. secretary. thank you for having me today. two observations as you get down to this end of the panel. first of all, that everyone of the important points has been made. i'm going to make them again. the second is that you're down at the end here where we are out of office so you're at the more relaxed end of the panel. on patriots day is a big deal in boston. we have have the marathon happening for a long, long time and it's a kind of -- it has been described as a statewide block party. we had an uncommonly beautiful day on the day that the bombs went off at the marathon. the governor has a customary and traditional role at the boston marathon which is to crown the female elite winner.
normally the mayor crowns the male elite winner, but the mayor at the time was in the hospital and not able to be there. he and i visited in his hospital room that morning and asked me to do those honors. so by noon or 12:30 i had crowned the two winners and i had an uncommon day for my time as governor and the former governors and the former mayor will recognize it. i had no other appointments. i'm a gardener and i thought i'm going to go home and putter in my garden. so i had a workout. i got a haircut and i was heading home when my youngest daughter called and said, dad, i'm down in the back bay and there was just a big boom and everybody's running. what's going on? i said i don't know. but stay out of the way. and shortly after that, the trooper who was driving me got a call and then my phone rang. and from the head of our emergency management services who was down at the finish line
and with whom i had been through any number of significant crises and it was the first time i had ever heard him really shaken. he said governor, you need to get down here, something very wrong has happened. 102 hours later, i want to say, both perpetrators had been identified, one was dead and the other was under arrest. none of the people who were injured at the site who many many, many of whom had life threatening illnesses, who got to hospital died. in other words, everyone who got to hospital survived. and survived life threatening illnesses. two take-aways for me. one, preparation is everything. we had done tabletops. coordinating with the hospitals. who should triage what kinds of injuries in the event of a
catastrop catastrophe. and that plan went right into effect. i want to tell you that the first person was in surgery i think it was nine minutes after the first bomb went off. that's the first. the second -- and you've heard a variant of that observation from each of my colleagues here. the second has to do with the importance of making decisions knowing your information is incomplete. right? which is you do everything you can to gather information. i don't think any governor who has dealt with a crisis is so foolish as to think that all decisions rest -- or even most decisions rest with the governor. most of what you have to do is make sure that the space is made wide enough for the professionals to do their job and that you're gathering what you need to help them do their job. but you will never have perfect information and there's still
decisions that have to be made. and getting to that level of confidence is no small task. maybe we can talk about that a little bit more when we get into the questions and answers. thank you again. >> mayor ry beback. >> like most people up here, i didn't run to manage crises. i wanted to make minneapolis the great city of our time and create all sorts of other wonderful things. but the primary that i won was on 9/11. all of a sudden as somebody who had never been in office before, this huge new responsibility fell on me. fortunately for minneapolis and for the people i represent, fema was offered to bring 70 of us in my brand-new administration out to where we did three days of
preparedness training. mr. secretary, i should thank you for that because it was tremendous. i as somebody who had come up through consensus leadership, people around a table sharing ide ideas, had to be in command. it was the first time i had ever been in command and control structure. it was a whole different way of directing. i could see that police and fire reacted one way and the health department people very differently. getting those two cultures together mattered. that mattered a lot because one of the things we did is we -- part of the scenario was a bridge happened to collapse. we didn't have a piece of equipment that was tall enough to reach there so we bought that equipment again with homeland security dollars and when the 35w bridge did collapse in minneapolis, the first piece of equipment was that equipment that we bought because of the preparedness that we had. and that was critically important. but it also -- about an hour after that collapse where we were doing many tactical things i recognized that there are
really two parts of a leader that have to be used. one is that tactical command and control leadership so your whole team is moving forward. but the other is the human side of it. you are there, i believe, more than anything else as an elected official. i think governor nixon, you said it, to say that the entire community is there. you need to go to the scene right away. so about an hour after bridge collapsed i was in the family center putting families together, building the relationship that would continue as my wife and i went to everyone of the funerals, as we built partnerships over in the next couple years so that people who rightfully had huge concerns were kept together. it was also something that was really a call to arms for a lot of mayors when katrina happened because all of the training we had up to that point had been very tactical about things and moving equipment and plans. katrina was the real ah-ha that this is also about people.
it was also about disparity. when a tornado hit north minneapolis, the part of our city that is most impacted in any economic calamity every day and it hit exactly where the disparities were worst in my city. we knew it wasn't just moving things around, it was recognizing that these weren't all people who owned that home. these weren't all even people who knew who owned that home. these were people who couldn't wait for reimbursement for two weeks because that would actually have them lose that home or that job. so there were huge other set of issues. and katrina i think helped us undo all of those plans in a right way. but i think more than anything else that i learned, besides preparedness which was hugely important, was to be present. whenever anything happened in my city, i showed up. i didn't know a lot and it showed, i think. but the one thing that nobody could ever say is that i wasn't there. and i do think that presence is really important. i think it is also really important to recognize that
people in a crises need people to understand different cultures, different philosophies. when the bridge collapses, a person from pretty much every constituency in our community was on that bridge. i think the issue of common ground with dramatically different people sharing that ground is something that i think is your primary responsibility. >> okay. thank you. couple of questions. let me start with governor malloy. you drew an interesting contrast between an ongoing crisis like power outage and a single event like a mass shooting that's over in minutes and then having to deal with the aftermath of that. and you said that in the ongoing situation, it is important that people hear from you sooner rather than later because these
are people who are desperate, they need help, they need guidance, they need to know that their leaders are there to help them get through this. and you made a point of saying that in a shooting situation, you would not appear publicly on the press until every victim's family had been informed. at least i think that's what you said. curious as to why -- you seem to be pretty firm in that conviction. i guess i wanted to know why you felt that way. obviously that could not have been the case on 9/11, for example. so tell us why you feel so strongly about it. >> every day we're more connected. and so if i had said anything outside the firehouse, people in the firehouse would have known it. so i knew that the questions people would want to know is how many dead there are and where are they and i just knew that
there would be so many questions. i'm in a room full of survivors, families, and everyone has a phone and everyone has a device and everyone's communicating outside and inside. i had this conflict, at least this initial period of time. in fact with being the president called and said before we had resolved everything, he said, dan, i know what's going on, he said are you ready to make a statement? i said no, mr. president, i'm not. we don't have enough information and we haven't put all of what we need to do together. he said, okay, i'll hold off. i'll wait or whatever i do say will be just about how sorry we are. so i just think that i was presented the situation where all of the survivors were in one place and they didn't know what their status was. so it is a very different set of circumstances. and i also -- i thought with that amount of grief, not simply
by the families who had lost their loved one, but by the broader community, that there was precious little that i could add in the immediacy after the event that was going to really resolve any of that. so i'm not a big waste-word type of guy. when i say it is not about me, i think the worse wo thing ythingo as a leader, and a political leader, is to make it about you. i have seen people -- i won't say -- in different circumstances. certainly not anyone here -- who have crossed over that line and made it about them. and in doing so made it worse, not better. so i'm a big believer in avoiding that. every once in a while we'll get a small tornado. so every other natural disaster for the most part we have prewarning. well, listen, you've got to be communicating before the event happens.
in fact, i'll tell you this. i did a briefing to the press two weeks ago. some of the press said why are you even talking about this malady, when i did the zika outbreak. i said well, i want you to be ready. so i think there are different ways to communicate that which might happen, or that which has happened, but which can be defined differently as a natural disaster or something that was wasn't caused by one very sick individual taking out that many children, first graders in a school. so i just thought i had to at least -- if i was a survivor, i'd have the right balance. if the other survivors were going to survive it, they needed the right balance and i wanted to represent that. >> four of you have stressed the importance of being there at the
scene, as soon as possible, which i happen to agree with. i'm sure each of you know that the natural inclination of your staffs is to keep you sort of in the chair away from the press immediately, at your office, at the command center, and not go out to the scene, to the street, to the bridge, to the locality when you're away from them and you're not in a position to govern them effectively. so i guess the question is, is there a drawback to being too close, in effect, where you're not necessarily getting the big picture at a critical moment when leadership is needed? so i wanted to ask the four of you to comment on that. >> i think secretary ridge got it right, you're very naturally curious as to what happened. because the information is never
really very good. so the closer you get to it, the more you feel like if something that actually saw something is there, you might get some not just intelligence. the great thing about these jobs, even when you're close, you still have access to far-away information. you have people around you to do that. but i think each condition is a little different. i remember one of the challenges we had in joplin was unaccounted for folks. so you had literally body bags out there that didn't match the number of folks that were missing because, quite frankly, they had pieced of bodies in them and all this sort of stuff. how do you deal with potential victims and folks that are missing when you have a town like joplin when the folks that were injured were taken as far as way to tulsa, kansas city. i don't think if i was still in jefferson city i wouldn't have felt that angst if i had looked right in the eyes of some people that didn't know where their relatives were and were extremely appropriately emotional about it.
one other thing. it may be odd. maybe it is just the way i operate. a day or two afterwards i always try to get the clergy together. people tell their preachers stuff politicians and talk about needs and cares there, and some of the best intel against i've ever gotten what the human needs are, the tragedies aring directly from members of clergy who have been literally sitting across the table from folks crying and in the middle of tragedies. >> i think there's a lew get mate expectation from the men and women that put you in office that you will be front and center at the time of crisis. i don't have to worry about my staff. they push me out of the door in i wasn't inclined to do so, and that's the right thing to do. it doesn't take a leader to cut a ribbon. it does tack a leader to show up when something's gone bad,
something's gone wrong. and i think -- there's a lew get may expectation. those of us privileged to serve at the very high levels with that responsibility, i sense from everybody's conversation, that we know when we appear, those whether it's a school shooting, bridge collapse, 9/11, those present and those affected and given the media coverage which is 24/7, national, if not international people whether there or not there, going through a whole range of emotions. i mean think yourself, 9/11, you were shocked, you were angry, you were uncertain, you were anxious, and your own heart of hear hearts calling for retribution even though against whom you were unsure where the
retribution should be directed. i think all of us if we look back, those were our emotions as well, and so the opportunity to convey to those present, those not present but effect everybiv larger audience, that you are part of that group. you understand it. you have an additional responsibility. this is what i think all of us probably embraced. you're there to oversee whenever remedial or reconstructive measures need to be put in place. to a certain extent, i think it's important you're there because you're saying to that audience, large or small, i'm accountable. i am accountable. good or bad, i am accountable. i'm always reminded of the letter that president who then general eisenhower had in his back pocket, basic will said if they air land and troops don't do their job and there's some land to go around because we
failed, i am accountable for the decision. so to a certain extent, not as dramatic as d-day, you show upping share those emotions. i'm sure you're projecting because it's natural but also saying to this group, i'm going stay on top of this crisis, whatever it is, and i will be held and leaders should be held accountable. i think that's a very important message. i very reassuring message, in my judgment. >> esecretary, i couldn't agree more about the importance that we've expressed about being present, and my team, much as secretary then-governor ridge described, understood from water main breaks and blizzards and the rest that i wanted to be present. for all of the reasons that have been described. but we had a very interesting first reaction, my team did, after the bombing, because when i got the news and was on the expressway heading home i said
to the trooper, turn around, let get back there, they said we don't know if this is over, so we don't want to take you down to the scene. so we had this negotiation about are we going to the bunker, which by the way out in the suburbs, and not in the center of it all -- >> i've been to the bunker. >> i know you have. yes, you have. i think you helped pay for it, actually. >> i'm sure we did. >> you did. or whether we should go to state house, viewed as a target, if there was still something under way. so, we all understood the importance of being present as quickly as possible, but in an active situation like a terrorist attack it wasn't obvious to my security team what being present meant in the first hour or so after the event. >> i think it's very, very possible for a leader to get in the way, in the community, but i
think it's more possible to get in the way in the bunker with the tactical people doing the work. you have to figure out where can you deliver value. and to me, having a human being representing the community there mattered a lot. for instance, a company hours after the bridge collapsed i was in the family center. a woman was there, her cousin, she was expecting, may have been there, in the water and she said, christine never left her house without full makeup on. she said i can't imagine how horrible it would be for the last image of christine to be decomposed coming out of the water. she said don't let that happen. i never would have thought of that. the beautiful thing because she said that to me we took great care. there was never a picture of any of those requests coming out of the water because she said that to me. jennifer holmes, whose husband died in it, said to me, my husband lived for baseball, his
mit is in the back of the car, can you make sure we got the mit? we got the mit. and i'm really glad we got the mit. but that was aenl becauonly bec was said to me when the tornado hit i found this woman, older woman, in kind of like a housecoat, walking through this devastation and gas leaks and everything. i said what are you doing out here? she said there's my -- there's gas if my house, i have to get out. i said we've got to get you inside, it was raining. i walked her up on to this porch and said to this one woman, can she sit on your porch? and the woman looked at me indag nanly and said she will not sit on my porch. i have to say, the woman at the house was african-american, the older woman was white, and i thought the worst. but the woman said she will not sit on my porch, she will sit in my living room. i'm really glad i was there to see that i can tell that about my city. it's also important, this does tack a toll, to a certain
degree, when you throw yourself out like that. i talked to ministers a lot about that, they're constantly on the scene. the mass shooting happened near the end of my time and i had just done a tour of thissed by. i knew the owner, everybody i knew was slaughtered. and the owner had made a big me taken with his son. i said, where is the son? on a bus to go to madison so look at the college and sent somebody to find him before the news got him these things don't leave you. what's important is people up and down the pipeline get moments and you're there to absorb that instead of someone else. >> one observation. i want to go back to governor patrick's observation. i think those of us privileged to serve in leadership roles, leadership in crisis does mean,
however, from day one you have to be prepared for the ultimate crisis and one of the reasons that, i think, state of massachusetts and boston strong was that, i knew ed davis, commissioner of police, mayor mineno, the governor, long before that placed resources and took the time to prepare for a mass casualty, a major event. you don't know whether it will be a terrorist attack, mother nature, you don't know whether it be a horrible accident or some kind. those communities and states that take time to prepare, as you did -- i mean i read a lot of great stories, governor, about how bueautifully and magnificently your community responded but the operating room in nine minutes that does not happen unless roles and responsibilities are identified
and practiced long before the incident occurs. so, i think those who have the opportunity to serve ultimately, leadership roles, should be prepared and anticipate, you don't know when, you don't know the nature, there are a couple of things you do know you better not be unprepared. i would rather, in any situation, face the backlash of having spent money being overprepared and the disaster didn't occur, they didn't need to use resources, than underprepared. i think leaders, as all of us had the privilege to seb, need to have that mind-set because of it's just nature of the world we live in. too much uncertainty. only thing to be certain about, doing your tenure, a crisis or two, and you're going to have to handle it. >> governor nixon, you obviously had to tend with the situation in ferguson, civil unrest, and
the unique aspect there is it's an unfolding situation and you're never exactly sure where it's going to go, how bad it's going to get, how long it's going to last. and you have to make decisions in that context. so what advice would you have in that kind of situation? >> it's very defined. i remember like yesterday, a sun, i get the "post dispatch" and it had this picture of a young man that had been shot and killed the day before. unfortunately, in these jobs, that picture's in the paper a lot of days. and murders happen if a lot of ways, not often were the shooter had a uniform on and that made it, but you see that, you see the pronouncement on the front page, and as afternoon went on you saw the intensity level build up so the next morning, first call i made to the local prosecutor, the sheriff, county executive to say we're going to have to get the justice department in to have two investigations going at the same time here. you can feel it without even being there.
then i went on in, i went by what it was, that night went to church, and you could k. feel the energy coming at ya. there was a whole lot of pent-up years, quite frankly, not just there, but around america, of relationship and cops and young african-americans that just didn't feel right. mr. second, yretary, you can ju sense. we established what we talked about two pillars, safety and speech. folks were going to speak, i don't think anybody that watched anything in ferguson noticed lack of first amendment being used in all sorts of ways. but the safety part is important. we began studying what happened in riots around the country. look after rodney king, over 50 people were killed after. detroit, dozens killed. other places. the one thing i can say, we didn't get a kent state situation, and between that time and the time of the final time of resolution, some 2 1/2 months
later there wasn't a single shot fired by a cop that hit the citizen there, nor was a cop shot by a citizen. i know that's a low standard for government service, you make it through a day without shooting someone or being shot, in that situation, that's how basic some of the days were. we knew we were going to to have take a headquarter ofck of a lo. decades of intensity, you knew there was going to be continued, continued, bad feelings until this was resolved and even after resolved there were going to be bad feels. i'm very proud of the work the local law enforcement did, we had to speed up shifts because officers on the front line get yelled at, things thrown at them. they need to get off the front line after you can't do an eight-hour shift of that. we had to -- but the other part about that is that the layers of government, to be very challenging, plus the dynamics of the press. i'm not one that complains about the press especially with cameras rolling.
this is -- >> this is your chance, go ahead. >> i was going to put that -- >> no, that's fine. they've got a job to do, too. their budgets are getting cut worse than ours. but sometimes a story will start getting written before it happens. you see, in a tornado, once we had to seal off the area, because we wanted to make sure we were getting a search done and found all of the bodies and everyone says you're violating rights you can't look at the area. we had to deal with that. ferguson, all sorts of local issues that would spur up though were operating under rules of engagement what you were going to do local jurisdiction, you have a hundred different towns, all sorts of people popping up and saying all sorts of stuff. you just don't have time to be an editor, a producer, and a principal. you've got to do what you're going to do and figure out the press will take care of itself
later in some situations. >> several of you -- >> i wasn't overly critical. >> pick up the ball from there. >> pretty graceful. >> i'm getting to that question. several of you have mentioned the value of tabletop exercises, training, in your experience, is the principal value more of a mechanical one so that your people know what levers to pull, what frequency to dial, or is it more principally an issue of exercising your decision making ability? what would you say? >> i want to be very quick. i'll let the secretary -- i ref after all of the stuff, 9/11, anthrax, we did a tabletop, health and human services where actually tabletop quickly gets to if you don't close the door and keep people in the building you're going to let people out to kill others and it gets way beyond the mechanicals and to
the moral very quickly. >> you want to add something? >> no, i think there were so many different agencies with capabilities and so many different leaders of those agencies that had to coordinate, in the case of almost every crisis we had to deal with when i was in office, building relationships with those folks, having them understand how you make decisions and my understanding how they make decisions, and where -- who was going to make which kinds of decisions, that's -- there's a muscle memory you get from going through a few of those kinds of situations and certainly practicing it. and it was enormously important. by the way, in the case of the medical response, the hospital response during the bombing, we -- marathon bombing -- we had developed that plan with the hospitals. but i wasn't at all of the tabletops the hospitals did that and they went into, you know,
into -- it's not quite autopilot but they executed. so i think it was -- i think the tabletops were important. they don't answer everything but you build relationships and understandings of information flow and that sort of thing which is helpful in real time. >> the thing i would say is, i've been involved in tabletop exercises for a long time, certainly going back to post 9/11 as mayor and then as governor. it's not a single one where i didn't learn something and there's not a single one where everybody else didn't learn something, because we ask everybody about those. that's number one. so this is an ongoing educative experience in which you're augustmenting your ability to respond. pretty good for very little money. they're not terribly expensive. that's number one. one other thing i want to say. and you have to be engaged in doing them on an ongoing basis because personnel changes, all
right? so you have a chief who has 27 years on, maybe three more years out of him or one more year out of him, he's gone. whoever replaces him has a lot of experience but may not have done that job. it's true in every one of the departments or groups that you would bring. so if you're not doing tabletop exercises regularly, then you're throwing away the contributions that those things have made to your experiences on prior occasions. >> you know, it's a really interesting moment right now with what these tabletops are. i can't tell you how much we benefited from what happened because of 9/11 giving us the ability to do it. but we've learned a lot and the climate is changing a lot in the country. katrina was a seminal moment for these efforts and i'm so glad that our community basically rethought our entire
preparedness strategy after katrine know because the tornado was about disparity as much as destruction. what we did also have happen, happened at same time massive cut backs from both state and federal governments in things like the cops program and other things like that. we wouldn't up having a lot of equipment and not a lot of community youth reaoutreach and to put these two things together. it's easier to deconstruct that in retrospect. i think it would be impossible for people to have known back then what would happen now. if you think about what happened with police departments in america, you can get all of the equipment you wanted, it seemed. but you couldn't get a cop going out and building relationship in the community because this was getting cut back. and that has had consequences. and i don't think it's anyone's fault. i think it really important for
us to put that issue that not all issues are the same when we cross race an economic and cultural alliance. >> in almost every one of these situations, one has to deal with a blizzard of misinformation in the immediate aftermath that you hear through rumor, through your staffs, and even through the press. any of you have any advice about how one sorts out, sorts through, misinformation versus information on which you have to make decisions? >> yeah. try to response to that. i think, thinking back to days, secretary, when i was privileged to serve where you are now, we pulled together a group of journalists, broadcast journalists and media folks in one room and some of us from homeland security and the other,
and we had, i think, frank sesno moderated a almost like a tabletop between the department and the media, because they're critical in terms of ho you get the information out, the information you get out, whether they never want to be called ay partner, media done want to be called partners to anybody in government, regardless of where you're on the political spectrum, they have a role to play, a very important and critical role. and it was interesting, one of the conclusions i drew from that is, one, the enormous impact they have, if they choose to get an expert, and i saw a couple of times in my tenure who put on the wrong information and so i think even if you don't have a lot to say or you can't give them the kind of specific information they're looking for, you simply better be out in front talking to them about your work that you're doing as well
as your commitment to getting more and more information to continue to inform the public. but leadership in crisis requires an availability to journalists because they have a significant role to play, and if you don't fill that void as leader, and that's one of the advantages of the tabletop, who is going to speak for this group? i see my friend, admiral allen, who did such a marvelous job in response to katrina. once he got down there he had a significant presence on television, telling everybody what they were doing and it was a very reassuring presencen the more information he had, the more information he shared. if you are, as a leader in crisis, if you're not out there on a regular basis -- that's why it's not the first day, it's the second, third, and forward -- >> except, tom. >> -- we had well intentioned people. >> we live in fear of 0 getting out there and saying something that's wrong, right?
>> you are never going to have total situational awareness until the very, very end when it all said and done. all i know is if you're not out there on a regular base si and identified with accountability for the situation, you may find there will be misleading or misinformation put out there and you have to do everything you can to push back against that. >> i think that in -- before you have all of the information, i think you have to tell people, based on what we now know, it is our belief, and i think a lot of folks think leadership is that you have to go out and tell people, you know, and only give them one direction to go in or one thought, and i think it's much more effective, particularly over something that you know is going to hang over your community for a period of time, to just be honest, you know? press asks the question, may be a fair question, may be unfair question, you still have to answer it and answer it and say, based on what we -- all of those
sorts of things, and don't cross over -- don't allow your own desire to look strong to overcome what you know you need to do, and that is to put modifying language out there, so that if you have to change, you change. the best example of that, i will tell you, and you know, sitting up here, it like flashbacks come back, this happened and that happened. one of the big storms that caused power to be out of state, big parts of state for an expended period of time during very hot weather, not great, one of the utility companies made a promise that they were going have all of the power on by ex-date, five days, four i das, at least five or six days. they are saying it, i'm the governor, okay, that's what they're saying. by day three i'm looking at numbers and look at what ability they have to marshall resource
because those storms hit a bunch of states i said you're not going to meet the date. he says, no, we are. i said, no, i don't think you are. and i didn't go public with that, but i stopped allowing him to appear at the podium when i was there and then finally, when -- one time he got up to say this thing, i didn't want to have a public fight, when he got up to speak, i left the room. people figured out we weren't standing together any longer on this. i think you have to manage those situations because there are other people who are going to have a voice, a police chief, right, in the community. so i think you have to be -- you have to lead in different ways. body language is extremely important. modifying language is extremely important. final thing i want to say, you renks referenced whether we have a good or bad relationship with
press, you're not communicating if you're not using the press. we are accepting awards that other people have. i want to tell you about the worst experience i ever had was to tell people what happened that day. second worst experience, relates to telling people things, we had -- not sure whether it was irene and sandy because they both walloped the heck out of our state, irene to a bigger extent, our state basically equal, terrible -- we had spent days telling people they had to evacuate from low lying areas along long island sound, we spent days telling them, begging them to do. the storm's going along. it doesn't appear to be taking off terribly badly. then i get a report more water has accumulated in the western long island sound, because it's a big funnel, the sound opens to atlantic, and then it gets very narrow down where i'm frond,
stanford, again greenwich into new york, more water flowed at a faster rate than ever recorded. and all of a sudden i had to make a choice, do i tell people to continue the process of evacuating which i had been telling them for days or change that message? and we decided to change the pes message because we believed evacuating that point would be more dangerous than staying in place and getting to the highest level ala katrina, and we had to change that message on a time and had to convey it we had to have it stick and we did it. and i am convinced to this day that changing that message in that period of time getting it out, having it backed up, by the media, by everyone who could get that message out, actually saved lives. so i was in the mid of it and we made a decision and it was a change and we saved lives. sometimes you've got to do that. >> one observation, i recall --
this is very relevant to our discussion at this particular point -- you all probably remember right after 9/11 a series of anthrax incidents, and i had been in the white house for maybe a week or two, i'm still trying to figure out which door to come in and out. i'm there and you've got responsibility for this. we got multiple people within the federal government, multiple organizations that had some sliver of jurisdiction or responsibility over the issue, response recovery, the fbi, cdc, and people are having press conferences all over the place. and, frankly, we finally one evening we got the primary players into the roosevelt room and said from this point forward, we're going to operate, i'll hold the press conference, not that i knew it all, and coordinate our public message together. leadership in crisis, somebody has to be the focal point, the
connectivity with the broader audience, and the last thing you need, whether governor, mayor, whoever you are, secretary, is having multiple agencies in your enterprise giving multiple press conferences and holding multiple hearings because the cacophony, remember, you're supposed to be reassuring people, you're supposed to be projecting confidence and capability, and i got this under control. when you have multiple people doing crisis under your jurisdiction, giving not necessarily different messages but cacophony of different messaging, it a real problem. leaders have to control that. that's what governor patrick did so well in massachusetts, by and large, he was the face of the response of recovery. >> i was going to thank you for that commercial. >> you did a good job. >> we had that experience of multiple agencies, state, local, federal, all convening at the
marathon bombing site, all wanting to help, all having something to contribute. and based on experience i've had actually in washington, when i was head of the sufl rigcivil r decision a rash of attacks on black churches and synagogues in south and trying to coordinate in that case the fbi and atf, it was incredibly important to say to everybody, you all have a role but we'll have one agency in charge of the investigation. and one person in charge of the public communication. we went around and caucused that, agreed who it was going to be i looked aeverybody in the eye and had them say, yes, i'm in. on the whole, it helped everyone give a slightly other experience around imperfect information and communicating, i got a call, i want to say, at 1:00 in the morning on friday morning, so the marathon's on monday, on friday morning the first call saying that there had been a
shoot-out in the watertown community outside of boston and it was supposed, at that point, that the tsarnaev brothers were involved and it was happening, it was under way. and i got calls every hour for the next few with additional information about the shooting of the m.i.t. security officer, about the fact that the older tsarnaev brother was dead, that we had a transit officer who was shot and that the younger brother was in flight. and so the question came at about 5:00, to me, do we suspend t. service, the t. is our transit service, into and out of the cute that had been cordoned off for search at daybreak. since it only involved a bus line, that was pretty easy to do. and i said, great, we'll come down to the scene, to the new
command post in the watertown at 6:00 and announce when the service is supposed to start. all good. i'm getting ready to go, heading out the door. next call comes, we have -- we have reports of a taxi that did a pickup in the watertown neighborhood around the time the suspect was lost, that then went to south station in time for the first train, amtrak out of boston new york. next call, we stopped a taxi in the fenway area of boston with an explosive device in the trunk, we've detained the driver, and we're trying to determine whether this was the taxi that did the earlier drop offand what the driver's connection is. next call comes, the federal authorities down by the federal courthouse at waterfront are in pursuit of somebody down by the courthouse who fits the discussion of the suspect. you have all of this information
and the question then was, how do we surgically close down the t. so there isn't an escape route? what is the way to reteprotect somebody if we have an unfolding situation, but not enough actual facts to report that publicly without setting off a panic. and that was the basis on which we decided to ask people to shelter in place, which was a pretty big call, and turns out to have been a helpful one on a lot of levels but not without critics. let me ask you a hard question. i know there's no good answer. given your experience, what is the best way or at least least worst way to tell a group of your citizens that their child, their parent, their brother, has
been kill ed? >> so we -- i had reached the conclusion that i had to tell them and that nobody else would. and everyone's there so i did a quick tour of the foir house and the rest of the building next door thinking we could pull people out one family at a time or small groups and there was no place to do it in the firehouse, days were -- trucks had been moved out, bays taken over for emergency response. and so i left the building to
walk to, i don't know, 200 yards, to an adjoining billing to say, maybe we can move people there and then we'll inform them and they can go home from there. and no sooner had i left the building than people started to surround me, most of them press, and in were doing their job, not being critical, i suddenly realized that there was -- that the only way that this could conclude and these folks could get on with back to their surviving children or to other loved ones or support network was that you were going to have to do it en masse and that's absolutely the worst way to do it. so -- >> let me ask the rest of you, open-ended question, that you can answer it any way you choose.
in a crisis like this, what role do you think religion should play? >> i'm a huge believer it play a vital role. i mean, as you just seen from all of us, there's no way to explain in directly stark human terms what these sort of things mean to people's lives and their futures. if you don't have somebody -- if people have a spirit they can call on, it's going to help you. i just -- there's no way to do it without having the clergy with you. at some level. >> one thing that i think is important is that it's important to speak values and it's important to find where there are on verseles. when dealing with death, any incidents or others, i find that
the one commonality is that the most difficult thing in death is finality, i will never see this person again. if you look across a lot of religious experiences there are many ways to deal with that issue. and often in a situation where i would be one-on-one with somebody facing death and i was in that a lot i would go there somehow, it can be as complex and theological and religious as they are with god, it can be you have memories, there are multiple things in between all of that. but if you're in a one-on-one conversation with somebody facing death, i do think there's a way to speak to faith in a way that can speak to somebody who is deeply, deeply faithful, in a classical sense or somebody spiritual or somewhere in all of that. but it is important to acknowledge that. i think the idea of death is an un-godly complicated thing. and my father died when i was a
kid, so i was confronted with death early and dealt with death a lot. for people of faith, it deeply helpful but that value can be helpful to people who aren't necessarily faithful. >> second secretary we had an interfaith service three days after the bombing, which i think was incredibly important to me, important to our community, it was a big part of our healing. i had an opportunity to speak at that service and i talked about both religious faith and civic faith. and i think the civic faith point for us in our community was also enormously important because there was an opportunity, in some respects, a natural way in which people
could easily turn on each other at a time like that, when what we needed was people to turn to each other. and we talked about that. we talked about how the community had helped solve the crime, had helped support the survivors, had reunited runners with their families when the race was stopped midstream and how enormously important all of that was to our recovery and how it had to last, you know, once the tv cameras had gone home. so i'm not sure i would have -- i would answer the question just about religion, although as a person of faith that is important to me and many in our communities and we had the interfaith service in a house of worship for that reason. but the civic faith binds us all, this may go to what the mayor was saying and equally
meaningful for us. >> i think the, first of all, hopefully when you're confronted as a leader you can draw on your own faith because that's a pretty difficult circumstance, if nothing else, you've got to ask for the strength to be strong in the face of the tragedy that everybody else is facing in a very real way. i like the illusion, i think, to both civic faith and your personal faith, however you project it, i think it's a time to talk about both faith in your creator, regardless where you are on the relujoigious spectru amid to the horror, you can be well assured 99 out of 100 people are looking inward or upward to find some strength in the mettassage of faith but neeo project faith in their creator
but faith in their civic institutions that we are altogether community will get through this. but i think the first place you need to start with is yourself, to be aibl to project that, to give you the strength to say the right thing, do the right thing, and then hopefully that combination of faith in both creator and your community as everybody here has done, if you listened to these stories, faith in their community together for healing, recovery, it's critically important. you need them both. >> okay. before we conclude, let me just point out that there are a lot of people in michigan today dealing with this exact thing right now in aftermath of what happened yesterday. let me lead this group and the group here in a big round of
request, secretary of state john kerry testifies before the senate foreign relations committee about his department's budget, that's live on c-span at 10:00 a.m. eastern. robert mcdonald testifies bch the senate veterans affairs committee live on c-span3, also at 10:00 a.m. eastern. >> every election cycle we are remained how important it is for citizens to be informed. >> c-spans a home for politic. junkies and track the government. >> a great way to stay informed. >> a lot of c-span fans on the hill. my colleagues will say i saw you ones. >> so much more that c-span does to make sure that people outside the beltway know what's going on inside it.
up next on c-span3, a discussion on the guantanamo bay prison and efforts to close the facility, we'll hear if a former national security council official. a rolling stone contributor who was the last journalist to visit gitmo and two attorneys who have represented guantanamo detainees in court from fordham university in new york city, this is an hour and 45 minutes. >> we're going to get started. so if you could take your seats if you're not seated. before we begin, that c-span is taping this tonight. so if you don't want to be on camera, you might want to move over to the sides and just keep that in mine in the q&a, although i'll try to remember to remind you as you know guantanamo is central to the work on national security. we are delighted to have another
panel on guantanamo with some of the more thoughtful people about the issue and many thinking about guantanamo since the day it opened in 2002. it's hard to imagine that when it did open, that if you would say, in 2016, we're going to have a panel on this place to talk about thinking about ending it. that would have been a reality. when guantanamo was opened there was no idea of having it last more than six months or 18 months. a number of things happened along the way which made the closing of guantanamo nearly impossible. today, what we want to find out is, how impossible is it to close guantanamo and will it close by the end of the obama president si, if it does close by then, what will it take? we're joined by a superb panel which i'm delighted to have here. i will introduce them briefly. you have their bios.
to my right, from the center for constitutional rights. the thing about the center for constitutional rights you can't think about guantanamo and detainee issues without thinking about ccr, the first of the civil liberties organizations to understand indefinite detention issue was crucial importance, they followed this with many of the habeas cases. but it is central to the conversation, the historians, some of whom on this panel, write about guantanamo, ccr will be at center of it much of wells' work at the center of it. to his right, dan rosenthal, we are very lucky to have dan here. his e-mail to me, when i wrote to him said will you come, four hours ago i left my job at the white house. good timing. so, among the things he did in is work with the national security council was to head up
thinking about guantanamo and how to get people out of guantanamo. and we're eager to hear everything you are not allowed to say that you had to say before you left. prior to that he worked at national justice and a number of federal jobs related to national security. he brings a good perspective, interagency perspective and a white house perspective. we know that he has the answer. so we're going to hold him to it. to his right, tom wilner. tom was one of the very first people i ever talked to about guantanamo, i believe 2003, i called him up and said, you know i heard that you were working on guantanamo and i really don't understand anything, will you meet with me. so he did. i went to his office. and he just opened up a whole world for me of understanding what it meant to function in the middle east how 4 had come to know about guantanamo which is different than how the civil liberty lawyer comes to
guantanamo but had to do with what it meant to represent individuals from middle east who then cared about what was happening at guantanamo. so, his per spec tv, he's been there from beginning to end, is invaluable. i'm completely thrilled to have him here. to my left is janet wrightman, ja janet's written a number of award-winning stories to "rolling stone" magazine, one of them on tsarnaev from the boston bombings, one of them on isis, and i think we did a panel on the isis one. before her recent piece this month is on guantanamo and i just can't wait to hear her sort of -- she's the newcomer to the conversation and has done a wonderful job of covering her bases and trying to understand what's going on. to her left is carol rosenberg.
carol is -- it's hard to think that anybody would want to do a panel on guantanamo without having carol there. i would advice against it. i once had a phone call with carol years ago, when we could still remember the beginning of guantanamo, that might disappear, and she said, she said i -- she said you know, when they -- when i went to guantanamo for those first detainees coming off the plane, it suddenly dawned me that this was the first time i was if a place where there weren't going to be cameras, there was going to be nobody to tell the story, i was actually the camera. my words were going to be the camera. that stuck with me as a sense of -- as a metaphor for the larger carol's eyes have been the only set of eyes and that includes military, and that includes the detainees and that includes the entire an pparat t that we have at guantanamo from the very beginning. i don't know if it will be to
the end but to this point, our thinking about the end in some kind of realistic way. i'm delighted to have this panel. we'll start with wells who will talk about how we're going to close it, right? >> i'm going to give you the answer right now. >> thank you. >> and so, first of all, thank you. thank you for inviting me to join the panel. you know, is guantanamo going to close by the end of the administration? the question that everyone wants to know the answer to. and my answer is, i hope so. and it depends. it depends on very much on the president, i think president obama has the power to close the prison. i think the moment is now. i think moment has been every day since he was -- since he got into office. but it depends on what he does in the next year. he's always had legal authority to close the prison, that's a view that we've had throughout
his administration. and yet what we've seen is a lack of willingness to use all of that authority and to use it in a bold, even aggressive way to close the prison. i can give you many, many examples going back to 2009, you know, one of the earliest examples was the -- when the president balked at bringing the uighurs to the united states. but you know these missed opportunities to continue up until now. and you know, i think ultimately there are two things that have to happen. two things that the resident has to do in osrder to close the president. he needs to get his own house in order, as it were. he needs to get all of the agencies are in his administration moving in the same direction to implement his mandate to close the prison. you know there's a dynamic that exists now, i think everyone is aware of it, if you follow the issue, state department is trying to transfer people, you have the defense department
which is obstructing and delaying this at times. and that needs to end. and that needs to come from the president. second thing that needs to happen is there needs to be some fundamental policy changes. as an outsider, it seems like the administration continues to adhere to policy sthaz in some instances never made any sense. for example, resumption of the military commission system or adhering to policies that maybe made sense in 2003, 2006, 2009 but don't make anymore. an example of that, continuing effort by the justice department to fight detainee legal challenges to their detention. just doesn't make sense in a lot of cases. but you know, there's a dynamic that occurs now still, give you within example, in terms of litigation. colleague of mine at the center represents yemeni man, who is 74
pounds, he's been on hunger strike eight years. there's no disagreement about his health status, right? he could die in guantanamo any moment. he's been cleared for release for many, many years. so we filed a legal challenge to his detention. that sets in motion a machinery, right, that -- and what happens is that sort of by default or policy, the administration gears up to fight that case, right? the justice department goes into litigation mode, go to fight that case, and there needs to be someone to step in and say, wait a second, why are we doing this? maybe this doesn't make sense anymore, why do we want to fight to cope a person in guantanamo that we have said needs to be transferred. by the way, 74 pounds. and you know, from the outside, certainly what it looks like is happening is that you have this fight within the interagency
system and maybe it gets kicked up to the white house but ultimately kicked back down to the agencies. so he's still in guantanamo. that's not the way to close guantanamo. that is not an approach to guantanamo policy that's going to succeed in getting everyone out of prison. and you know, cases like tarp are the easy cases, right? the state department's making great strides in transferring the men who are cleared. the number of transfers this month, including two today, they have been doing a great job. but those are the easy cases. there are -- there are sort of -- there are other categories of men who present more difficult challenges in terms of closing the prison, men in the indefinite category, but there are at this moment, roo it. >> there's nothing really that's
being done to get those men out of guantanamo, right? there's a periodic review board process that the attorney tries to determine whether these men can be cleared for transfer. moy slowly and it's not going to be complete by the end of this year, not going to be complete by the end of the obama administration. that has to change. then, you have prosecutions. there are 10 people who have charges against them right now or who have been already convicted. and, you know, you see sort of a very similar scenario, i think, as an outsider from a policy perspective you have this preference for military commissions rather than article 3prosecutions. that seems to be a holdover from the failure to bring 9/11 defendants to new york several years ago.
from that point on there doesn't seem to be any appetite to transfer men out of commissions or to federal court or bring new charges in federal court. i'll say again, the president has the power in our view to do some of these things, right? in terms of federal court, there are possible avenues to bring people to federal court. that's something that needs to happen. again, one specific example, you know, there are detainees in guantanamo i suspect would plead guilty in federal court, people now uncharged people that are famous. i don't speak for him but i suspect me may be willing to plead guilty. i don't know phenomenany has ev him. if guantanamo is to be closed you have to deal with more difficult cases, more difficult
than the men transferred today. i don't see any progress in that regard. we don't see any movement in that direction. we see continuing preference, as i said, military commissions, 14 1/2 years after 9/11. in fact, we're losing ground on the military commissions. the charges brought against a number of these men including one of my clients are being struck down, so you're losing ground, right? i don't shed a tear for those lost charges, believe me. but the point is the president is really not, in our view, taking the necessary steps to do something about this situation. >> we saw at the end the president said, we will continue to work with congress to change the law. in our view, that's naive if not outright delusional. you have the president facing the worst congress he's ever
faced in terms of guantanamo policy. that can't be the strategy for closing guantanamo. it needs to be more aggressive. >> what power does he have. if congress passed a law saying you cannot transfer detainees to the united states, right, what's the power you think he has to be able to do this in defiance of congress? what can he do? i think there are all sorts of avenues he can explore. the question of statutory interpretation if someone pleads guilty subject to these laws and scenarios discussed in which the president could potentially make decisions about himself or go to court potentially to get rulings on the tugsality of some of these issues. there are many avenues that could be explored from a legal
perspective. i don't think any of those have been tried. that's the point, right? if you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. if the president doesn't try to take bold action he won't succeed closing guantanamo. >> got it. that puts the spotlight on you, dan. the perfect movement to -- that was not a positive review. constantly you can't write about the thought of closing guantanamo that president obama promised on his second day in office he could close guantanamo within a year. we don't have to get into the reasons he wasn't able to do that or decided not to prioritize that. the real question is, is wells right? is it too much of a -- has he
dropped the ball? i know you won't say this. has the white house dropped the ball, picked up the ball and running with it and we don't appreciate it. enlighten. >> there's a lot there. first, thanks very much for having me on this panel and thanks to all of you coming. the closure of guantanamo is a very important issue and great people are focusing on it. i want to say at the out-set i know longer work for the administration and my views i express are my own and don't reflect the white house views but were formed by my time there. i have a slightly morosi picture than wells does, from my time at the white house, what i saw was people at the white house, people at the department of defense and people at the state department and other national security agencies that work on this department, homeland security and justice department and intelligence community working very hard to try to close gitmo. in the last year during my time there we successfully transferred nearly 40 detainees
which is a huge uptic in the amount taking place. 10 were transferred last week and two noted transferred today. there's definitely an uptick in the amount of transferred. that's for the category of people already cleared for release and been cleared for release a number of years. >> some of them come off the indef nit detention list. >> separately, there's the indefinite detention list. i'm backing up for context. and currently ineligible for transfer. i don't know i would call it the indefinite detention list. the idea is they not be detained indefinitely. there are periodic review boards that review their case with an incredibly high success rate. >> 70th or 20. that's a great rate. we are taking people currently
ineligible for transfer the prb process is determining they can be transferred and moved to this other bucket of people eligible for transfer and then being teed up for a transfer. that will whittle down people who present the hardest case wells was talking about, what do you do with these guys who remain too dangerous in the government's view to transfer. let me also say in terms of s w slowness, wells says there's obstruction at d.o.d. i don't know. i'm not inside but i know the people at work are working hard to implement this. there are checks and balances. the state department has its own perspective and negotiations
with foreign governments and because of that, they're incentivised to work aggressive and quickly to make transfers. the state department doesn't have that. they place it directly on the secretary of defense and said he may not use funds, a funding provision, he may not use funds appropriate by congress to republicans to fer a detainee until he concludes they can be safely transferred. rig rightly, in my view, they take their time and make sure every detainee presented for transfer meets the statutory requirement. that's the high level sense where things are. wells started talking about the overall plan for closing gitmo. transfer people you can
transfer. whittle down the list of people who have a difficult case and as the administration said the idea to transfer those remaining detainees who can't be safely transferred in the government's view, transfer them to the united states while we continue to explore for them whether any other options are available, maybe article 3 prosecution or some other country they can go to under more restrictive conditions. >> speaking of article 3 prosecuti prosecutions, wells made reference to the military commissions going backwards instead of forwards something that has a lot of validity as to get to pretrial hearings to mount a trial. we're looking at years even for the 9/11 defendants, the most important to try, 9/11.
do you think that's a widely held view in washington that the military commissions are going backwards or was wells right that there seems to be a belief in military commissions. we had general martins here last year to talk about the military commissi commissions. when you read his public statements you see a feeling they will work some day somehow. i'm curious what you think the general sense not just in washington but as to what is going onto the military commissio commissions? >> to some extent i defer to the general because he's in charge of executing that portion of this process. i think the military commissions are tough. it's an untested military regime and the court is tested with
novelty tested and that for sure slows things down. my own musing, i don't know a lot about the military commissi commissions, but i wonder if some of the delays are presented by the detainees and lawyers themselves presenting all sorts of challenges gumming up the system. i love well's view. tv the true idea was, i'd like to get through my military commission, i wonder if that could happen more expeditiously without success of challenges. >> i think everyone will want to address that and we will come back to that. before wells answers that, let's go to tom who can give the first answer to that but that will be much what we talk about afterwards. we haven't heard the term gitmo bar in a while. it raises the term, is the gitmo bar somewhat responsible? so, tom, you've been -- you've been involved in both the
theoretical legal part of this with several throughout the entire legal regime of this. but you've also have a sense what's going on particularly in your work now you might want to talk about with the detainees themselves? do you think it's going to close? >> i will be like a politician and answer the question i want to answer. >> that's why we love you, tom. >> let me answer something dan said. you have to remember. let me give facts. we have 91 people left at guantanamo, down significantly. of those, only 10 are in the military commission system. only 10 of these people are in that. we're talking about a minority. three have been convicted or waiting or pled. there's no doubt in my mind the
lawyers are trying to gum up the works for them. all the lawyers want military commissions rather than civilian trials because they. >> you they could gum it up forever. that's civilian lawyers and what they do. let me say, first of all, dan, congratulations on the work you did. one of the great problems on the obama administration is the white house did not take charge of this problem until recently. you've been there for a year and in a year you've done a lot of good things, got a lot of people out. i think the white house before that put it off on the state department and didn't take charge centrally as they said they were doing. i'm worried now you have left because you were clearly pushing this drawing. let me talk more about -- the great problem of guantanamo, to me, has not been the people we charged with crimes but those we
hold without charge or trial. you can do that with hostilities to hold people out of military conflict from returning to the conflict. a lot of people have been there for years. of the people, 91, 10 in military commissions and 34 cleared, most for years, but they haven't been let out. one of the reasons is a lot of them are yemenis and hard to find them a home. now, they're finding them homes and that's great. i'm more concerned about this other category we call indif nit detention. when the obama administration did its review they called them too dangerous to release but not capable of prosecution. it's a false fact, a false fact which has really dominated discussions and political discussi discussions. that categorization of them, characterization gives the
impression the government knows they're terrible dangerous killers and some legal technicality is preventing them from being released. that isn't true. it was a terrible characterization of them. they are being held because there's allegations against them by other detainees while they were in detention. there are all sorts of reasons of people doing that. rewards and made allegations under pressure. at most, if you read the allegation and jennifer fenton is here who pointed this out to me years ago, they are on wikileaks. if you compare these against each other, you will see the allegations legal term we use would be "bull -- they really are and congress presumes they
are dangerous killers. you look at the facts, they're not so. as dan was pointing out they have a prb process to review them. that prb process to review them, in the overwhelming majority of cases finding these guys are not dangerous, they can be released. there is a tremendous problem well said the administration has not put the resources to do the process promptly enough. how many are scheduled now? eight are scheduled. they won't finish before the end of this year. they won't finish under the current schedule for four or five years or 10 years. that's not enough. we should put more resources in and clear those. in a larger picture, until we do, we will be holding a lot of innocent men. a lot of the intelligence report are just crazy, they're not
credible, yet they're given a presumption of reliability and validity by the courts and government. they have to be looked at. let me talk in an overall picture and then i'll shut up. guantanamo is terribly important to this country. i'm worried about the people there i want them treated well and returned home. the whole purpose of guantanamo, the bush administration considered the law an impediment it had to avoid and said if we put foreigners in a place technically outside our southern territory, we can avoid their legal rights and even though they have a constitutional right, the d.c. circuit has said that they stale don't have the rights of due process.
if the government can put them over there, they're beyond the reach of the constitution in other ways. that's a horrible thing for this country, a horrible loophole, reprehensible. i want them home so the united states can stand by its principles and be proud of them and not try to avoid them. >> can i ask you guys one question, the categories you were talking about indef nit detention, et cetera. there used to be more categories, not the people been charged but people they thought would be tried by military commissi commissions. where did that category go? >> is that what happened? they got moved to indefinite? >> it's how you slice it up and how you want to look at, looking
at proximity to release, seems to me the best three buckets to talk about are ones who are in cue to be released. detainees not yet in cue to be released but might some day get there. you can think of other ways when a group of folks got together in 2009 and 2010 and figured out for each detainee and say, which bucket -- they might consider other things, people we might be able to prosecute, et cetera. >> there are people in guantanamo indefinite detention category or not yet released category who might be tried? who might be tried in some kind of court. you said even today? >> as i understand, no. >> i think there are probably -- i don't know this for sure.
i think there are probably detainees in guantanamo back in 2009 had been identified for potential prosecution and they're still there. i don't know if they're in the now eligible for release category, maybe they shifted over because of the brb or may still be in the indefinite detention category. part of the government's plan as the government said publicly is to transfer out everyone you can. for the remainder, look at the individual detainee and try to identify vilcindividualized opt for them which may include prosecution, if that's feasible. >> good. janet, i will turn to the female. don't get upset when i say this, a newcomer to the conversation. this is a very long standing conversation even if we don't
know each other personally, we know of each other and followed each other's work a long time. a general sharing what tom said, it's so insulting to the rule of law to have people at guantanamo what it symbolizes, indefinite detention. janet decided it would be a good idea to write about guantanamo. not sure how that happened. she had been writing about terrorism prosecutions in the united states. she called a number of people to talk about it, including myself and she was piecing it together and surprised by those who have been talking about it for years. my question is, you went to guantanamo.
figure sed out the situation. what was there? >> first of all, i see john neffel, hi, one of our colleagues at "rolling stone" occasion occasionally. freelances for us and others. he's the person that urged me to go to guantanamo three or four years ago. i have to say thank you. i was trying to get my editors to say yes to this for years. when they did say yes, how is this place still open and this remnant of 9/11. what surprised me about it is how 9/11 still exists. a place the 9/11 mindset pretty much never dies. i'm trying to think. the first thing is it's kind of a fake war zone. you arrive there. it's dusty. there are tents, you sleep intents. you sort of drive down.
you arrive on a ferry and drive down this dusty hill into this place that looks like a forward operating base for any who's ever covered a war, which i have. i was appalled by this. i covered the iraq war and been in other conflicts prior to that. you know, guantanamo is suburbia, like any naval base, military base out there, right? these are bases no matter whether here in the united states or anywhere, they're built as america. that's how the military installation works. they all have fast food restaurants and movie theaters. that which is always portrayed in stories about gitmo as so bizarre is actually not that bizarre. what is bizarre is there are
these two pockets of the base very separate from one another. one called camp justice where the military commissions happen. the other, which care lol has designated as the detention center zone, that was her line. everybody on this panel except for dan were in my article. these are all my sources and a few of you in the audience so thanks to all of you. you have these two pockets and those places are the war. i was covering iraq in '04 and '05. it was like the war, high security, you can't take pict e pictures and you live in these tents, it's dusty and everybody is in their camo. the entire mindset, i should go back and sane iraq and
afghanistan the military and united states officials part of the operation live in secure bunker-like settings, very secure. you don't venture out into the red zone of the real country that you're in. in gitmo, you're in high security settings, too. you have badges that you can't -- you must wear when you're inside this -- whether you're in the justice or detention center area. you have special badges. you're not supposed to wear them when you go to lunch at the cafeteria or the gym where you can work out at a very nice treadmill and like take a sauna. literally, you can go and take a shower in this beautiful facility, that would be like anybody's gym anywhere, but nicer. but you as a reporter or human rights monitor or many case as lawyer, must stay in a tent where you have showers in the
tent and you have like the bathrooms are also in the tent. it's like this bizarre disconnect of modern american life set up for this infrastructure of several,000, 4,000 or so naval officers, naval personnel and contractors and 2,000 or so military guys just attached to these two gitmo -- the gitmo we think of, who live in this different world. and the reporters who go and cover this must live in that world. that's the one thing particul particularly surprising. the second thing surprising is that the people posted at get mow in terms of the detention and needle operation there, are
national guard troops. i don't want to offend them, these are well-meaning people but they're very naive and very ignorant. this is actually, i think, a purposeful thing. is there no institutional memory for guantanamo at all and the reason why these people posted there are nine month deployments and most not professional soldi soldiers, some deployed to iraq or afghanistan, some have but in very limited capacities. many have not. this is the only time they will ever serve in the military in any kind of active context from their real life jobs which ra e ranged from being a prison guard to being a taxi driver to being completely unemployed to being this one lovely public affairs officer we both worked with an 8th grade high school english
teacher. to them, this is their one shot of serving their country and don't know much about the history at all. most are very young, 22, 23. one i was spending time with was taking me on a tour of the detention area including camp x-ray where the prisoners were originally taken in 2002 and weren't there very long and where they had the dog cages and these famous pictures from there. it's now really overgrown. he was taking me on a tour, outside cages and vines, you know, it at like the jungle. he's taking me towards interrogation sheds made out of wood. i remember having covered other things, this is kind of like abu ghraib, because it is. there is the setup of it and history of guantanamo with the
general who had set the whole place up then went and took this setup and mindset and everything to abu ghraib and this was also exported to other countries and other u.s. operations. so, you know, i made a joke to him, this is kind of abu ghraib, ha-ha ha. he looked at me and had no idea what i was talking about. i said, do you know anything about this? >> he said, in our security training they told us to never take pictures, right? if anybody remembers? so -- >> he had never heard of -- >> he didn't really knew what it was. he knew abu ghraib kind of and that he could not take pictures of the prisoners and that could get him in trouble, don't torture them or take pictures. he didn't know the whole history, the reason abu ghraib was such and aberration, the reason this happened those practices started at guantanamo,
very well documented, right? torture, the torture report came out. you have all kinds of reports of abu abuses. years and years in 14 years of writing on this which everybody else on this panel is an expert on. that ignorance -- he had no idea about that. he didn't know any of that history. after a day or two, some of these kids that we were spending our time with basically were trying to learn from us, you know. we were like teaching them about their own american history which is something that one would say i'm really happy i'm on this tour with you taking you around, i get to learn the things you're learning. actually, i'm not learning anything. you need to read the story i write and maybe you will learn something. the point of it is this is an intentional thing. there is, in my view, you have
troops on very short deployments who don't have any idea of who they're guarding, they don't want to know, told not to know. they don't -- they're terrified of the people they're guarding, they think they're dangerous criminals. they think they're criminals and the point of guantanamo, the thing so un-american about it and tom will talk about it a lot, they've never been charged with anything for the most part. 10 of them are actually in the military commission's process. the rest of them have not been charged with a crime and they certainly haven't been convicted of a crime. it's horrific as a reporter is that this is a prison, you are reporting on a prison that the military is very proud of and will tell you endlessly how awesome their facilities are and this was modeled after such-and-such high security facility in the midwest
somewhere in indiana. the point is these people have never been charged with a crime. they're detained and in terred there and been in terred there for 14 years. the fact that, you know, everyone who is charged with watching them, handling them, promoting their work there doesn't have a clue about this, not religion connected to it. does not ask a question about it and seemingly don't think really deeply about it is super highly highly disturbing. i think the last thing i would say is that all of that setup -- i've written a very very long article and trying to sum up this article in a short amount of time i can't do and a much longer article originally. every aspect of one's visit to gitmo is designed, as carol will
talk about as well, for somebody like me, a newcomer and doesn't have history there. i had no history either but know the facts because i covered it a long time and i'm an adult. i remember 9/11 and remember what's happened since 9/11. not 22, i mean longer -- sadly. but, you know, the place is set up for people who know nothing. the government -- or the military can kind of promote the same kind of narrative, whatever they want, this is a safe humane operation, that they're treating everybody well, this is not what -- it's not some horrible place, it's not abu ghraib or the gitmo you remember from the mid-2,000s, nobody's being tortu tortured, you will hear that over and over again.
all clean and safe and we're doing a professional good job here and we want to show you what a good job we're doing. everything about it is set up for this message. when you do a tour of the detention facility in particular, you're rushed through it in way that leaves you barely any time to even ask serious questions, penetrating questions. if you do ask any serious questions, you get in trouble, which happened to me. the most crushal aspect of this, this is about mhowever many prisoners there are. there are 93. 91. when i was there there was 107. i don't care if there's 20, i still think personally, you know,journisticly, it's worth
reporting people who have never been charged with a crime, interred 14 years, you shouldn't do that without some sense of resolution. their entire purpose is to knot show you those prisoners. the most disturbing aspect of gitmo, tremendous suffering happened at this place. it's a very disturbing -- you get this vibe being there that makes you really uncomfortable and you don't quite know why. this way everybody is naive lly unable to answer your question, set up in this very clean anti-septic environment. yet there are people who have been there a long long time and have no idea if they will ever go home or put on trial. most of them will not be.
that's its own sort of purgatory and its own torture, i actually think. i think the torture of being cleared quote-unquote from get mow in 2005 or 2008 or '09 and then not being released the next however many years, six or eight, 10 years, that torturous. those rer very important points. when you bring these points up, there is no one in the military who will answer those questions for you, engage with you on those points. you cannot see any who was detained at guantanamo except maybe 5 or 10 minutes, between -- part of the tour and you see them ins the communal area. these are the only detainees who are compliant. so they're the ones who have not caused trouble, not the high value people, not ksm.
not any who has been charged or who has been charged considered a high value prisoner. the experience of it is you sort of look at them through this glass, one way glass and like you're looking at animals in a zoo. you can't interview them. people would ask me, even our own fact checkers, did you get to interview them? i laufd because it's such a ridiculous question, because, no, journalists cannot interview any interred at guantanamo, even though wells said he would love me to interview his clients. the clients themselves would be thrilled to talk to reporters, a lot of them, but you can't. the entire experience of the place is forgetting, you know,
forget that we found a place that is an extra legal no man's land, a -- the illegal equivalent of outer space of the bush administration, for instance, forget this isn't increasingly legal, forget these people may not have committed a crime, forget that most of them were round eed up by not on the battlefie battlefield, handed over in many cases by fellow tribesmen, people who had a beef with their families, by lots of other force and foreign governments. forget that and forget they have not been charged with anything and exist in this endless limbo and rest on the idea president obama wants to close guantanamo and we will carry out his policy
when ever that happens. until then we will treat the detainees as fairly and humanely as possible. that's outrageous. >> we had standing between us and forgetting is carol ros rosenburg, refuses to let us forget. i don't know if that's a curse or blessing to have that job, because somebody has to be there to do it. one of the things i'm glad you brought up and that wells and tom have dealt with and many attorneys is the detainees themselves. we're astonished by the policy conversations and mention the detainees and not really talk about who these people rer that have been in detention so long. every now and then they will be intervi interviewed. the footage on omar kotter being
questioned and returning to canada and what he said is overwhelming emotionally. i'm always disturbed by the fact there's no human element. what, carol, i know you have n tons to say and say whatever you want, just like tom. i just want to talk about how you -- i would like you to talk a little bit about how you -- there was always something new. it changed so much. that guidebook that tells you what to tell visitors when they come here, how many times guantanamo has changed and meant for you. in addition to what you're going to answer. >> first of all, i wanted to say to what janet said, no self-respecting reporter really wants to be a problem in a pentagon talking point about
transparency. >> really is the contract you make when you go to get mow and they let you there and say it's transparent. janet is the last one allowed there. it's really a problem. not janet's problem. a problem that they know longer let reporters there to look at the detainees. it's not a comfortable thing to feel like you're at the zoo looking at the one way glass. but in addition to talking to guards and engaging with people about what goes on at the detention center, we don't know what has gone on there. and when you talk to some lawyers since the blackout, there's big questions why lawyers have to lie detainees
footwear at this moment if you do the most dramatic crunch what it cost, it works out to 4$4.4 million a detainee. i don't increasingly agree with that crunch and understand how they got there. we can talk about how they do that through math and i did my own study and would not increasingly agree with everything they threw in the pot. the budget that causes the guantanamo detention center to exist and supports nearly 2,000 staff of soldiers and contrac r contractors and civilians, if you take all of the costs associated with that and the commissions and you divide it as of yesterday, 91 detainee, you reach at this moment, somebody should double-check my math, i think it's 4$4.4 million. that is a contract you make when you go to gan tan 340e and it's not comfortable -- to guantanamo, and it's not
comfortable and you have to push to get meaningful answers to hard questions and see meani meaningful things when they go down there. sometime i would like to talk about karen going down there. i love that story. at some point they stopped sh showing her anything she was interested in seeing. i had not met karen before. i was shocked. she was basically being led around for a tour about the subject matter she was intere interested in and said, call me when it's time for me to go to the plane. >> i can't do that. i have to go and push as hard as i can to get answers to questions. that was one point i wanted to make. people. what i like about karen's question, it appeals to the geek in me. the question is who are the people that should be tried pand what happened to them? in 2009 and 2010, this task force, using intelligence that
we now know to be terribly fl flawed, categorized people into different buckets. one of the buckets were people referred for prosecution. tariq hasal, who left yesterday as a deep detainee, having gone through the parole board starting his life in bosnia was on that list to be president. it became clear as they worked their way from that task force until his parole board hearing around a year ago, there was nothing they could sustain too prosecute him for and we could have an entire panel on war crimes that aren't war crimes and war crimes once thought to be war yims and no longer acc t acceptable war crimes. to which i've been hearing since the first commission s are that
defense attorneys are the reason there is delay and they derail the process. what i know is that the defense attorneys motions seem to derail the process went to the supreme court and concluded that the process at that moment, at the beginni beginning, was illegitimate. defense attorneys who filed motions that challenged the integrity of military commiss n commissions have been reshaping military commissions throughout this. crimes once considered crimes are no longer considered crimes. the reason 36 people chosen as candidates for prosecution cannot be prosecuted is those crimes they considered possibly legitimate in 2009 or courts where they thought they might take them are no longer available. what you have are a parole board
working their way through people once thought possibly candidates for war crimes trials no longer eligible because it doesn't fit in the paradigm of military commissions are what they like to call indefinite detention bucket. but i think they're stings from forever prisoners, people told, we think you committed a crime and we will let you have your day in court and you can defend yourself. >> we don't think you committed a crime but we're afraid of you and will keep you here. there's two different categories. if you studied, there's probably 15 to 26 who might be tried and the rest systematically either moved out of that bucket. a couple, maybe two went back to kuwait. a lot released in different
fashi fashions, who were once considered candidates for trial. no, lots of them haven't gone before the parole board and the idea that they won't be finished by the time obama leaves office is true and the parole board obama set up said everybody gets one every year and then a review every six months. they have not in any way accomplished the meaning of the parole board. the subject, is guantanamo going to close? when president obama ran for -- when he campaigned and said he wanted to close guantanamo, i think it was fairly clear what he was saying was, we're going to try people or let them go. he believed, reading between the
li lines, that you should not -- that what bush had set up was somehow illegitimate, people were entitled to trials or entitled to release. what happened in the first year of that process, they realized there was another category of prisoner that did not meet any of those definitions. those are the forever prisoners, people they don't want to try, can't try, know they can't try and are afraid to let go. once you have that category, and we call them the forever prisoners because they're prisoners of a war that does not have mechanism to end. if you do not have someone to surrender on the other side and to end this war on terror, how do you send home prisoners of that war you think are legislate mats prisoners of that war? when does that war end? this administration says they
want to close guantanamo. what they're really telling you is they want to move guantanamo. they are not saying there will be no guantanamo, they're sayinñ we are going to do guantanamo style detention in the united states. we call it guantanamo north. at the "miami herald" we come up with expressions for forever prisoners, we come up with expressions to explain complicated processes. guantanamo north means you can shut down that detention center zone, you can send home all the national guard, you can end the prison arrangement that's there but there will be people that they want to bring to the united states and have guantanamo style detention. they want to continue to have commission. people want to know about the
plan, they haven't seen the bits of the plan, want to continue to have commissions and prisoners of war not entitled to pow, call it what you want, and that number is sh wringing but wanted guantanamo style detention in the united states. the only way this can happen in barack obama's administration is if he persuades congress to do it or defies congress and picks them up and moves them. those are the two choices. we heard on the panel, some people believe he has that authority. we haven't heard from the president whether he believes he has that specific authority. he does believe congress's prohibitions on him moving people to the united states is at odds with his commander in chief authority and he as the
executive has the prerogative to do that. we've seen that in his signing statements but that's how guantanamo, the detention center in closes, it is by moving it. the only way et gets moved is there is some grand political deal that comes out of this plan we're all waiting for, that suddenly all of those members in the congress in the senate who love to demagogue the issue of guantanamo change their mind and say, fine, let them come here or comes up with a way to move them without provision of congress and possibly without theable of congress, baz -- without the knowledge of congress, because as we were talking about earlier, when he goes to move them invoking his commander in chief authority, it ends up in the courts, request for
restraining order, the courts get to decide whether the commander in chief authority trumps the commander authority. and i don't know whether there's enough time for that. >> it depends how you define close. dprs one thing i want to talk about, if the detainees did come here, forget the logistics but how. there are a number that would make that bargain because they think there is a way into the legal system at that point. can you talk about that? >> sure. i think with respect whether
detainees would be better off in the united states versus guantanamo. all i can say as a man who represents those detained is a detainee by detainee issue. there are certainly some of the view that being brought into the united states would give them a better shot getting out through habeas because they would have at that point full constitutional rights including due process rights in particular. there are others who are not sure that that would have any practical benefit, result in any practical benefit for them. for some there is a practical concern, conditions of confinement, right? there's a lot of talk -- when we hear about the plan and bringing detainees to the united states for continued detention without charge or trial, there's often with that a lot of talk about putting these men in super max
prison. right? these are people who are not convicted of crimes. members of the administration and congress talking about putting them in super max prison. one of the concerns about a grand bargain, one of the things that came up in legislation, not enacted a couple years ago, was plan, i believe, put forth by senator graham which included as part of authority to bring detainees here a limitation on their rights particularly attempt to roll back habeas corpus rights and prevent challenges to provisions of confinement. this idea to sell detainee transfers to the united states the administration has to agree to put them in solitary
confinement and 80 x florence or something equipment valent to td would be completely unlawful and we would challenge that on behalf of our clients but there would be an added piece to that, part of the legislation to strip those rights. i'm confident we would prevail on that. you're talking a two or three legal process your client is sitting in solitary confinement in florence, totally unacceptable. some detainees absolutely willing to take that shot. tom has views on this. >> let's turn to tom. tom described guantanamo as, you know, created to be outside the law and which very few would dispute. i might say outer space does have laws. so it was worse than outer space. do you think coming into the united states would in essence,
enable lawyers to find a way to bring this whole thing inside the law? >> well, i do. i won't answer that directly. let me go back a minute to what carol said and then i'll come to this. carol, i don't think -- there's an assumption people make that this category forever detainees are people who we know should be held or fought in some war but you can't prosecute them. it's not them. the evidence on these people -- the reason they can't be prosecuted is because there is no evidence that would stand up in a court of law. most are allegations against people which raise suspicions they may have been associated with act or taliban but mostly in a very low level. precisely the sort of nonevidence -- everybody could
have a suspicion on them, but under our system, you can't hold people based on suspicion. okay. it's not that they know they are, this is really -- i use the b srks category, the allegatione so flimsy they just wouldn't stand up. >> the support for that argument you make is in the numbers. there were 48 of them when the task force created them and they systematically peeled that label. there's currently 25 of them but two of them died. do the math. others went through processes that concluded that that label, that category was no longer or was inappropriate, just like enemy combatants one day became no longer enemy combatants. they re-evaluate them. i'm not -- >> no. >> defending it. i'm explaining the existence of the category but your argument is bolstered by the fact there
are people put in that category who are no longer. >> the real contra skrengs of u.s. law is holding people based on suspicion, really and engnat ma of the entire system. i have felt early on in the obama administration, there was a push to move all of guantanamo to thompson, in illinois, to a prison in illinois and it was opposed by a lot of people. i supported it, as one of the guys involved in guantanamo at the beginning, the whole reason for guantanamo's existence was to avoid the law. it was to create a zone outside the law, a zone where you could hold people based only on suspicion. i felt -- >> the intention of thompson was to continue that status. >> carol, as a lawyer, the reason they don't have constitutional rights because
they're outside the sovereign territory. the second they're in the u.s. they have those rights. there's no way -- if they were here, they would have been out. >> that's when wells talks about the grand bargain, when senator mccain says he wants plan, he wants a plan continues to assert -- >> i don't understand why people -- congress doesn't have the right to violate the constitution. they revoked habeas corpus and said it was occasiconstitutiona. the constitution, no way these people could be held without charge based on su sphinx consistent with the due claus. the reason we have that is it makes us dependent on the largest of the bush administration and obama administration and haven't had a legal remedy. it's awfully late and would take a few years to do it. i think the important thing is
the legal remedy. the fact that the d.c. circuit said the people of guantanamo don't have due process i think the legreal issue of guantanamo, as security panel. we might be talking to the choir here. everybody might agree with us but a lot of people in the country feel, and they might not like it, but they feel we need a place outside the law to deal with terrorism. they feel we need torture. i ask ewing i mean, my feeling has always been that we don't. we are stronger sticking to our principles. from a security standpoint, most people out in the country think, we need a little torture, i might not like it but i like this place where we can put muslims where there's no law. is that -- we've got to address
that issue. i think it's the wrong issue. excuse me for throwing it back. >> don't you think torture is underlying everything about guantanamo? >> yes. that was my conclusion after interviewing all of you and many others, torture is why the prosecutions are not able to really go forward, it's why no one can answer your questions, it's why just as a person who, you know, observer, it's why the place is so deeply uncomfortable. it's, it's the original shame, crime, that happened there. it's this terrible thing. and it -- >> it's not so much that it happened there. i mean -- there it happened period. >> it is that it happened in a way that affected those cases.
and you know, i don't know if it's in every case, but it is the -- it's sort of the symbol how far this can go when you get outside the law. i do think they're connected. i think the thing about guantanamo that tom raises is very interesting about evidence. i hear this all of the time. why aren't you trying these guys? we don't have enough evidence. the evidence was gained by torture or the individuals were tortured. >> it's not just torture, they are -- >> i know that. some of it, is the case they just don't have evidence. >> evidence. we might suspect them a little bit. >> it's that they don't want -- they don't think that they're criminals in some instances. they don't think they're guilty of -- they are war prisoners. >> i want to -- >> they're prisoners. >> i want to bring dan in here to enlighten us. dan's been happy.
now we're going to go to questions. so, so -- to talk about a little bit about just -- you don't have to expand but a lot of things have been talked about here that are uncomfortable territory that -- i want to know, in those national security council white house discussions and these issues as gus debated? were the detainees thought about in terms who they are? was it just considered imtrackab imtrackable? you don't have to answer. >> it's a good question. these are disgusted at the individual detainee level. detainee treatment is disgusting and considered wells and folks who work for the detainees, who represent the detainees and
other human right groups come in, meet with the white house, white house officials and department officials and talk about detainee treatment and keep us focused on. it something we are focused on, each as we focused on the greater policy of trying to transfer people out of guantanamo. it's true that -- i mean one of the reasons that the president, i think, wants to close guantanamo is because it's a recruitment tool for terrorism. orange justimpsuits, individual who were executed by isis were put in orange jumpsuits, that reflects back on the orange jumpsuits of the early days of guantanamo bay. there's no question that's one of the motivating factors for closing it, it has the stain on it from practices no longer in place. one thing that i think is a little -- a little unhelpful to
a serious discussion where we are today, ur efforts today to close guantanamo is to talk about practices that president obama and his first days in office prohibited, enhanced interrogation practices. people on the panel are calling it torture. those practices were prohibited by president obama immediately coming to office, they're no longer in place. we don't treat detainees that way. if there's a lot of sand around, driven around, more focused how deain'ttainees are treated. that's the focus. it is a focus for the administration. >> the detainee treatment is a talking point. it's not something they'll speak to in meaningful substance because it's entered the courts.
i want to ask a question which is, wells says maybe obama -- i think wells says maybe obama went off the rails in his desire to close it when he didn't bring the uighurs here, i think. >> i don't know if that was the earliest point but a defining moment. >> exactly. i'm wondering what the administration thinks was the moment in which they sort of lost the moment which they clearly have zoided that they're going to try to regain. we're in a period of absolute, you know, drive towards there, that is a plan coming, 16 people left. the administration view, where did it go off the rails? >> i don't speak for the administration, i can't answer that question. >> so in your view, as not an -- you're right, i shouldn't have asked about the administration. it just that where did it go -- where did it go wrong?
>> it went wrong early. it went wrong really early. the archive seecpeech, that's ar four months in office. something happened. i know that some people have said it was -- after obama took office they were the first -- not guantanamo related -- the first serious attacks, plots against u.s. soil in the first 11 months after obama came into office that we had seen since 9/11. in that period of time a lot of things -- i'm not sure these are separate but that hadn't happened, not all happened in a profound way by the archive speech. i don't know what happened. you and i have both interviewed a lot of people on this. i think one of the things that happened was as you have reported, people have said, collecting information on these individuals which hadn't been done prior to that period of time maybe to make this
statement we're going to close guantanamo without knowing we didn't have the information collected might have been one of the first. >> when they opened the files they were a little bit shocked how unreliable the information was. >> in terms where it went off the rails it was an evolution. certainly a decision made to embrace, if you will, concept of indefinite dehe tension, archive speech, and the military economic, in our view, center of constitutional rights, major strategic error in trying to cles t close the prison but the underwear bomber and the inability of the president at that point in time to with stand or push back against the political rhetoric, the firestorm that came out as a result of that. and you have, you know, you have sort of this give and take, i
guess, maybe -- or ebb and flower really, twropt guantanamo policy in the early days. when we were litigating cases, right, after the many, and winning 75%, 80% of the cases in district court, there were transfers happening. they were transferring people to moot their cases, that was a major, major, major component of early guantanamo policy. that continued until right around the time of the underwear bomber, and then you had a decision from the c. circuit, case, the court, the circuit from that point on essentially reached conclusion, i think it's correct to say, authorize the administration to continue to hold detinnees at guantanamo based on more than government say so. a series of decisions from that point on. the administration realized, wait a second, we don't -- we can fight these cases even if we
lose to district court. we can -- we'll prevail at the circuit which is what's happened. you know, you have a gradual turning away from, you know, the process of transers. you have resumption of military commissions and then you -- and then you know, by 2011, by january 20 1 the president's turned his back on the pridsen and you have congress step in to fill the void. >> the government was arguing these cases in the circuit court. >> right. >> so it's sort of a hard place -- >> absolutely. when i started out the discussion by saying the president long had authority to close the prison, right? one of the things the president could have decided to do from the very beginning not contest -- >> that's right. >> -- litigation. >> people are going to yell at me afterwards because i didn't give them a chance. c-span i have to take questions.
let's get some questions so everybody doesn't yelp remember, this is on c-span, so speak quickly. use the mike. make it a question not a speech. can i see where the mikes are? okay. >> i have the mike. >> who has questions? raise your hands. identify yourself. >> joshua dretell, criminal defense lawyer in new york, litigated if guantanamo. tom. it's not a criticism of mr. rosenthal, but -- >> thank you. thank you for that. >> well, no -- because you -- you sort of repeated something that as taken as fact when i'm going to provide a different scenario, merge two conceptsing
one is sort of legal resistance to the commissions and the concept of torture which is that rather than criminal defense -- defense lawyers gumming up commissions, commissions gummed themselves up in their resistance to litigating torture. that if they let the lawyers litigator tor toere er tor toee would have moved faster. carol has the best memory in the court of it, tom and wells, they're not directly involved in the commissions but how many times through pressing of the button, the classification procedures, competency procedures, all has been delayed by the government not by the defense. >> you want to comment? you don't have to. >> no, thanks a lot for the comment. i'm saying that at least from my vantage point when i have the
opportunity and privilege of serving in the white house, our focus was on the policy of transferring detainees and not military commissions which run themselves in some way and judge martin runs them. i don't have specific comment. but i appreciate your thoughts. >> it wasn't meant for you to answer. >> more questions. over here. >> hi. thank you. bruce rosen, just a citizen, not an attorney. >> great. >> i'm not an attorney. >> attorneys are citizens also, by the way. >> this idea of gitmos being established because it was out there, the question of it is our sovereignty, it was with unfair treaty with cuba and it's come uppen 0 the question, who can or can't run for president.
so that out there, what is or isn't our territory, and the other part of it of since you're dealing with -- i much appreciate it, it seems to only be schools like this one, cardozza, the kuney law school, i much appreciate that. the idea of cruel and unusual punishment, which torture comes under, we have this whole other thing is this debate in the country over capital punishment, we know that people have been proven innocent and yet have been executed because governors have said the process must go on. so, you're discussing a process goes on, ridiculously. i'm not sure how to frame the close to this. i'm wondering, is this really out there? and is this really discussing what is an integral thing to the
way we conduct the law in the united states and it just happens to be on the island of cuba? >> anybody want to tackle that? >> i think that's what it is. i mean, any -- this artificial idea we can do this because c a cuba's not us is crazy not cuba is not us. guantanamo, a base we've controlled completely over 100 years which justice kennedy said is for all practical purposes america. we can't give an excuse for violating our fundamental laws by saying we're doing it elsewhere. it's so reprehensible. and i am worrying, even if we close guantanamo, those precedents in a way are still in the books. you know what? i have a question for dan. was that ever -- no, this isn't a question -- but you discussed wells has made the point, it's extraordinary to me that the administration that says it
wants to close guantanamo has made aggressive use of d.c. circuit opinions, which we consider crazy to say laws don't apply in guantanamo, you need to be a presumption of accuracy for raw intelligence reports that everybody knows are crazy. has the administration, this isn't a criticism, do they ever discuss, hey, why don't we tell the justice department to stop opposing these cases? i mean because that would clear a lot of these things, too. >> i'm not going to answer a different question. but i will give you an unsatisfactory answer, i don't feel comfortable talking about internal deliberations in the government to the extent whether we have the conversation, i can confirm one way or the other and to the ebs te, tent these matte involve ongoing litigation by the justice department. >> i just wanted to say, i'll try two substances. the fact that the obama administration wants to move these people to u.s. soil and
believes they can continue to hold them in this detention means they think it's legitimate whether it's gitmo or u.s. soil. tom and i will disagree. tom believes you get them here, in the courts, house of cards falls downen obama administration believes they can continue this paradigm of detention for al qaeda, you know, in brackets, on u.s. soil. they believe it's legal and legitimate whether here or there. they wouldn't be trying to do it here if they didn't believe that. >> why do you say that? >> you think it's a plan to bring them here to just sort of implode the whole doctrine? >> i think -- you know, i don't see how they can think they can hold people -- first of all, based bpurely on suspicious. you're saying they're al qaeda. if they assume it's suspicion, they need to prove it. that's something you can challenge in court.
there's a challenge, you know, i don't believe they believe that. i really don't. >> so why do you think they intend to bring them here. >> trying to close guantanamo. >> actually, it's interesting about that, the question is, you know, how -- it's amazing, tom, i find it fascinatinfascinating you're so hopeful about the system of the rule of law and justice in the country. it's really -- i think a lot of lawyers are talked this way, and really interesting because i think the question, the larger question here is, what has happened to the rule of law in the criminal jut system over the course of time since 9/11? have we lost ground permanently or this just an aberration. we don't have an answer. debate is of what the answer will be. so, something i think we should think long and hard about. adam, do you have a question? >> tom mentioned earlier the number of cases that the
government is opposing regarding guantanamo. one of them is fighting the release of force feeding videos. if the goal is to close guantanamo, why fight against transparency that might park a public outcry against that? >> i think -- go ahead. >> you want to go? >> i was going to say, i think that speaks to the issue of detainee treatment and you know, when you talk about complaining about, you know, one's access or experience that you might have as a visitor or reporter there, the reason you're having that experience is because there's no discussion of detainee treatment. the release of videos for example, something that the government's been fighting. there's no transparenctransparen opaque system. that is one of the biggest problems. the opacity of everything in the
single, you know, you have a single line that comes from the government, comes from the military about who the detainees are, how they're being treated, what the goal is, and you can't question it because they will not give you any room to maneuver to ask the questions. and that, you know, i mean -- >> he's not responsible for that. i wanted to point out. >> i think that that's an important point that this issue of detainee treatment, poor treatment in general. >> one more question. i'm going to ask each one of you to think about it, is it going to close by the end of the obama presidency, yes or no. you don't even have to explain. wait for the microphone and identify yourself. please be brief because we're out of time. >> i'm a columbia ph.d. sociologist and expert on organizations. i commend you for focusing on guantanamo. but i feel insulted by the focus
only on guantanamo which is a politically correct focus. i have been followed around the world, the government has spent millions of dollars, i'm in constant surveillance, they will comment on what i'm doing in my house and every night i can't hear anything outside my house. my hearing is perfect. but every night i can't hear anything outside my house. they have -- there we're going to take two more there one second. >> we're going to take two more questions and they're going focus. >> drones and planes buzzing over my house. >> you know what? excuse me. >> thank you very much. >> talk to me afterwards. >> thank you. >> two more questions. we're going to answer at the in. first in the front row. >> we're talking about high stakes issues. you know, a lot of the treatment is in service of information to
protect us, you know. the way you're speaking about the way we go about, i've worked in the prisons in the city, new york city, rikers island under scrutiny the way they handle prisoners and i saw a lot there. it was like the middle ages. it sort of speaks to me when you say it's our process, people are in detention for months on end and years and just because another reason. it's small stakes issues and it's like somebody needs to direct attention to that as well. >> remember, this is what eric holder, on some level, says he's going to talk about, that he's going to focus on now that he's out of office. who knows, maybe someone else will. one more very quick question. >> i'm chris brandt. i teach here in the peace progr program. i blng to witness against torture, we have, for the past
11 years, gone to washington every an verniversary, ever jan 11th, and done civil disebeadance acts, we've gone outside the law to try to bring attention to the matter. what i'd like to know, has anybody noticed? >> very few people, unfortunately. it's a shame. what you do is great. >> yes, there are people who notice. the men who detained in guantanamo, which we tell them. you know, i mentioned tarp at the outset, right? a classic example of the president not doing everything he could, right? fighting a case that he shouldn't fight to release a person that the government says it wants to release. he knows about this, right? so we certainly appreciate on his behalf. on behalf of the other men that we represent. >> i would argue that far too few do. when i tell people i cover
guantanamo full time more often than not they say, didn't we close that? >> last question. did you have a question? >> question for carol. do you have any sense of what camp 7 in a possible gitmo north might look like? i mean, cia's role at guantanamo is sort of always in the shadows. what might that look like if it is moved to the mainland? >> explain what camp 7 is. >> so, camp 7 is the prison that reporters aren't taken to, aren't allowed -- sue std to fi out how much was spent to built it, i was told it a state secret. it's a place where they brought the men held, disappeared into the cia sites for three, four
years between 2002 and 2006 and a prison within the prison at guantanamo that is a maximum security prison where one of wel wells' clients is there. because of what happen to them they are considered, to some degree, to be classified human beings because they know state secrets like where they were held and what was done to them that we, the people, are not allowed to know. it is a very -- it is a top security maximum security secret prison by virtue of the people it holds. not by virtue of what they've done because some of them -- half of them have never been charged with crimes and not by virtue of their behavior because what little we know about it is, is they are highly compliant. but because they need to be segregated from the rest of the
prisoners because of rest of the prisoners like we the people can't know where they were held, what was done to them. the question, if they bring to guantanamo north, do they have any expectations they'll be able to mix and mingle with others and the answer is no. as lon as aspects of their experience are considered classified the people who control the classification, we presume to be the cia, will control their access. you know, thompson was a model of what guantanamo north could have been and it had something very much looked like camp 5. sorry, camp 4. communal p.o.w.-style, hogan hero's detention where people could live together, eat together, pray together, which exists together, and ten it had something more like maximum security where individual prisoners who they didn't -- they were afraid of or misbehaved put in single cell
solitary confinement. then we had this other place which holds the cia -- when they looked at thompson, you could look at the super structure and see how they would duplicate all three of those there. i mean i think wells could probably talk in general sense of his client were moved there, does he think he'd have any more contact than he has now. how's that? >> i took a page out of your play book, camp 7 and the -- those clients, i can't talk about. >> right. okay. >> nobody can talk. it's not just -- >> i'll talk. i want to know how much it costs. i sued and lost. >> we're going to have concluding comments. answer questions asked or comment made to reflect on. whether or not you think guantanamo will close by the ep of the presidency, a year from
now. tom, starting with you. >> i doubt it because of the pace which it's moving. but my concluding comment is more, the only way, you assume guantanamo can be duplicated in a law where law -- where the law applies. it can't. i'm worried the way the law exists now from the d.c. circuit, people held at guantanamo, people held technically outside the sovereign territory of the united states, have no rights new york due process, or not entitled to due process of the law i worry about that continuing because i worry that donald trump or ted cruz will be president. this is -- it's a system we need to shut down. it an abomination to our system. i do have faith where law applies, people will not be allowed to be held on basis of suspicion or false information.
>> dan? >> that's what america stands for. >> i'm hopeful it will close by then of the obama administration. i think people in the obama administration are likewise hopeful it will close and they're working hard to to do it. the only other thought i would make, similar to the point i made at the outset is, you have to maybe take my word for this, but when i went to work every day i didn't go to work because i was trying to violate the law or perpetuate this lawless zone or anything like that. i worked because i believed in the constitution. i believe in our government, and i believe in national security and people go to work and people i work with went to work every day and worked really hard to tri to fix this problem. it's a hard problem. there are legal complexities, classification complexities, legacy issues. it's a hard problem. you don't want to just release
people willy-nilly who might be dangerous and reengage in terrorism. on the other hand you don't want to keep them as is absolutely necessary. you try hard to transfer them when you can, as quickly as you can, with conditions in place to make sure they don't come back it reengage in terrorism. it's a hard problem. people in government are working in good faith as hard as they can to get it done. >> since the start of this campaign, only one network has taken you on the road to the white house from the early announcements and the policy speeches to the candidates vi t visiting diners in iowa and new hampshire and the campaign rallies after results this weekend in nevada and south carolina, the republican race has now narrowed. the democratic race has sharpened. we'll stay in south carolina with the big democratic prime mar this saturday and then we move on to the multistate primaries and caucuses in early and mid-march.
this race is just getting under way. you can follow al of it here on the c-span networks online at c-span.org, and of course on c-span radio. >> now on c-span3, chief justice john roberts at new england law school in boston. he spoke about inner workings of the supreme court and confirmation process. this conversation with chief justice roberts happened before justice antonin scalia died just over a week ago. >> thank you. thanks very much.
>> welcome, ladies and gentlemen, and our honor the guest, chief justice john g. roberts jr. it is a privilege and great honor to have chief justice roberts as our honored guest tonight. chief justice roberts' brilliant career as lawyer and judge is detailed in our program in a more formal introduction and appreciation will take place after this conversation. i know that our students and faculty here at new england law of boston have been thrilled to meet with chief justice roberts over the past two days, and all of us have been looking forward to this chance to hear his views on a variety of issues. but before we begin, the conversation and on behalf of
our entire community, i thank you, mr. chief justice, for being so generous with your time in visiting new england law of boston. >> thank you. >> all right. i've read some surveys that have caught my attention one, from the annanburg center at university of pennsylvania, shortly after you were confirm ed it pointed out 15% of those polled could identify you as chief justice. that's interesting. >> great number. >> 66% could identify at least one judge from "american idol." [ laughter ] more recently, a survey by the american council of trustees and
alumni of four-year educated college americans found a significant number, 10%, identified judge judy as a member of the u.s. supreme court. so, how's she doing? >> she's doing great. doing great. >> seriously, what do you make of this lack of knowledge of the court? and does it concern you? >> well, it frankly doesn't bother me very much that people can't identify who the particular members of the court are. you know, one reason we wear black robe because we should be anonymous and simply articulating what the law is and not occupy any role in which our personality is pertinent. that part doesn't bother me what happen does concern me -- and i know concerns a lot of the other members of the court -- is that people don't have a very good
understanding of what the court does. in particular, they don't have a good understanding of how we're different than the political branches of government. people when we issue a decision, it's usually discussed as you're in favor of this or you're in favor of that when in fact our ruling of is whoever united states does get to decide this or that is allowed to do it, it's not unconstitutional, it's consistent with law. but we often have no policy views on the matter at all. and that's a very important distinction between how we function and i think it's one that people often lose sight of. >> during your confirmation hearings, it seems you were more than candid in discussing your views as to the proper role of a judge. yet others have described the confirmation process as less
than etddie fiing, why is that, do you think? >> well, i do think -- i'm not sure the senate particularly cares what i think about it, i do think the process is not functioning very well. look at two of my colleagues, justice scalia and justice ginsburg, for example, i think they were confirmed -- maybe two or three dissenting votes between the two of them, and now you look at my more recent colleagues, all extremely well-qualified for the court and votes were, i think, strictly on party lines for the last three of them or close to it. and that done make any sense. that suggests to me that the process is being used for something other than ensuring the qualifications of the nominees.
you know, it's a process now where the members of the committee frequently ask questionsing they know it would be inappropriate for us to answer. thankfully we don't answer the question questions it's a forum they have different agenda when they participate in hearings. it not something that's easy for us to change. i don't see how we would do that. it's certainly up to them to conduct the hearings as they see fit. but it doesn't seem to be me to be very productive these days. and there's a problem with the way it comes out. it's sort of relates to my first answer, when you have a sharply political divisive hearing process, it increases the danger that whoever comes out of it will be viewed in those terms. you they, if the democrats and republicans have been fighting so fiercely about whether you're going to be confirmed, it's natural for some member of the
public to think, you must be identified in a particular way as a result of that process. and that's just not how -- we don't work as democrats or republicans, and i think it's a very unfortunate perception that the public might get from the confirmation process. >> whether it the confirmation process or occasionally campaigning, sometimes the process seems more like speech making and sometimes criticism of either the nominee or the court itself. as the leader of the court, does that trouble you? are you ever tempted to rely or respond to some of these criticisms? >> criticism of the court done bother me at all. and i think that's important because it's a big part of our job really not care what people think about what we do, at least in terms of 0 the merits of our
decisions. if people object how the court's being run or something like that, that's something else. and i certainly have no trouble with people doing that. but again, it's often based on misunderstanding or calculated perception about what we're up to. i mean if we uphold particular political decision, that remans the decision of the political branches, and the fact that it may lead to criticism of us is we do have to be above or apart from the criticism because we, of course, make unpopular decisions. very unpopular decisions. a case like you know the west
westboro baptist case, a group engaged in vile speech at funerals sort of thing that most people agree was just awful yet the court, i think by a comfortable margin, maybe 8-1, said that that type of activity was on a public sidewalk, was protected by the first amendment. now, that is certainly something the court can expect to get criticized about a lot and it's something we have -- it's the reason we have life tenure so we're not susceptible to being swayed by that sort of criticism. so, the criticism done bother me, partly because the framers established the court in the way that we could be, could not care about the criticism and because
sometimes it's based on misperception of what our jobser is as opposed to the political branch's is. >> following up on that kind of misperception, when one of your colleagues, justice scalia, was here, he told what i thought was an amusing story about the time when the court found that flag burning was protected speech and as much as it horrified him personally he agreed with, i think, vast majority of the court that this was in fact protected speech. but for the life of him, he couldn't stand the thought of flag burning and hoped no one else would think that he would be thinking along those lines. the reason it's an amusing story because he said, after they tortured himself with this, the
next morning his wife, mrs. scalia, came down for breakfast humming "it's a grand old flag." >> i can see that, yes. >> does it -- does it concern you sometimes that people mistake your applying the constitution to a set of facts and maybe not understanding that these aren't necessarily your own views? >> well, it does, of course. i mean, i issue a lot of opinions where if i were in the legislature i certainly wouldn't have voted for the program that was under review. i don't necessarily agree with the substance of every piece of legislation if i simply because i determine that it's within the constitution for congress to enact it. but i don't think everybody, you know, you say people don't recognize who the members of the court are. that's not a problem. but it is a problem that many
people don't appreciate how our job differs from the job of people in the executive or legislative branches. can we talk a little bit about leadership? following your confirmation, how difficult was it for you to pick up the reins of leadership in relation to this group of eight other very strong willed, independent people? >> well, i did learn early on that when you're holding the reins of leadership you should be careful in the to tug on them too much. you'll find out they're not connected to anything. well, you might imagine, it was a matter of some concern. i had, for 25 years, been arguing in front of the court and literally looked up to them.
they had been together as a group for 11 years without any change. i was coming in as the youngest member of the court with the least amount of judicial experience and coming in as the chief justice. so, naturally i was not quite sure how it was going to work out. but all eight of them, at the time, were extremely supportive. i don't think it had much to to d do with me personally rather than an understanding, someone has to fill the role, whether moderating the conference or something else, and they were very sposiupportive from the beginning. it is a tough position in terms of leadership. i'm pretty sure none of them regard me as their boss. >> like faculty. >> maybe it is the same. it's kind of hard, you foe, you can't fire them or dock their
pay. so any notion of leadership has to be a little more subtle and, you know, done through persuasion. and you know, the other members of the court are leaders as well. you know, justice scalia has been there for such a long time that he is a leader by virtue of his experience and others carry out a lot of that role as well. so, it is very much a collegiate group, we're all equals when it comes to discharging our responsibilities and any leadership that i'm able to exercise is really only with the support of the other members of the court. >> chief justice roberts, you've talked about the value of consensus in the court's decisions. again, with the strong-willed
independent people, many people thought aiming for consensus was like dreaming the impossible dream. can you talk about the value of consensus to you and whether that remains one of your goals? >> well, i think -- i think public but also the lawyers, i think, appreciate that if you have a decision that is, say, you know, 9-0 or 8-1, it carries more weight and force than a decision that's 5-4, or even worse, that's you know 4-to affirm plurality for something else in a sense here, it's natural for a member of the public to look like you can't get together and agree on what the answer is, why are we supposed to have great confidence that you've gotten it right? and for lawyers and practicing attorneys and judges, it's kind of hard for them sometimes, too, to figure out what the court's up to when it's splintered like
that. now, i do think it's worth trying to get broader agreement. you do it by sometimes talking about issues a little bit more than otherwise to try to get people to see everybody's point of view and maybe that causes people to come around. but it's not something you -- you can't compromise the way you can in the legislature. i mean if justice a. thinks something violates the 4th amendment and justice b. thinks it doesn't you can't meet halfway. it either does or it doesn't. so in some areas, you certainly -- i'm not suggesting -- i wasn't when i talked about that -- that judges should compromise their conclusion about what the law requires after careful consideration. i think careful consideration might lead to a broader agreement. and how you shape a decision can have that same effect. disagreement might emerge only when you get to a particular level of decision.
if you can decide just a simple case that's familiar to lawyers, if you can decide a case on a statutory ground or a constitutional ground, it always, always makes sense to decide on the basis of the statute and perhaps that's an area where you can get broader agreement. if you make a decision narrow, perhaps people can sign on it a narrower resolution. but if you decide to issue a decision more broadly, that's when you people start saying, well, i'm not quite prepared to go that far. i think it's a good idea to consider whether it maybe sense to decide on the narrower ground if you can get more agreement. >> i certainly -- it seems to me, there is a lot more consensus than sometimes some in the media might have you believe. the 5-4 decisions are certainly here and there. but in focusing just on those 5-4 decisions, do you think
there's a misperception as to just how much consensus there is on the court? >> i do. you know, more of our decisions are 9-0 than anything else. the number varies, some years it's 45%, other years something else. we agree entirely more often than anything else. if you throw in the 8-1s and 7-2s, it's a big chunk we generally agree across the bore. obviously look at the docket and cases on it and i think you're going to realize that we're not all going to agree on a lot of issues that are before us. but, yes, you know, ones we disagree tend to be -- where we disagree, tend to be hot button issues that people focus on, they must think that we're at each other's throats and narrowly divided throughout the year when that's not at all the case. >> i'm just wondering whether you see yourself as having a
leadership style. you clerked for chief justice rehnquist, and i think you've said it our students in the laugh few days that you learned a great deal from him. do you see yourself as having a certain style? if so, does it differ in your view, from some of your predecessors? >> well, i know it differs from many of them. i have done some reading recently about charles evan hues and what frankfort said he looked like god and spoke like god. i'm pretty shuure no one's ever said that about me and i'm quite sure no colleague has said that. chief justice rehnquist, first of all, beloved by members of the court. they alled amered him for his leader ship ability. justice ginsburg said that he
was the best boss she ever had. she says that more frequently for my -- i've heard her say it several times lately, but he, i think, generally led with a pretty soft touch. you know you have to appreciate what things are appropriate and it's in many ways unwritten what things is appropriate for a chief justice to decide on his own and what things need to be submitted to the conference as a whole for a vote. and you know, you try to be careful in that respect. you do have to risappreciate yo not a bot in tss in the usual s. chief justice rehnquist, i think, had a good sense when he should exert and assert his
authority as chief and when he shouldn't. that's something you try to be careful about. >> one of the things that i think the faculty is still talking about is something that we all learned at lunch when you were kind enough to have lunch with faculty today, and that is your role at the smithsonian, i think that's something very few of us know about. would you mind telling us about that? >> it might come as a surprise to many people, but the chief justice, by virtue of his office, is also something called the chancellor of the smithsonian, which is even better sounding title than chief justice is. there's some odd historical reasons why that is so, but part of the reason, i think, is that you have a board of regents thatted amunsters james smithson's trust as well as federal appropriations and they serve for a limited time and wanted somebody there who would
have, you know, continuity and could tell the new regents, well, when you make decisions you need to know 12 years ago this is what happened. it's certainly not because i have any expertise or experience in research or curatorial sciences. the smithsonian is the largest research museum complex in the world. the idea they would turn that over to me is kind of a surprise. it's not an exofficio job. i try to stay out of the purely policy areas and let the people who know what they're talking about discuss it. but it's -- it's a fun thing. it takes more work than i expected but it's a nice distraction from the legal work. >> if i may, let's talk a little bit about collegiatety among the members of the court. if particularly after 5-4
decision you listen to the media, maybe some dissents, you would think that the members of the court are constantly at one another's throat, yet we've been fortunate enough to have six justices from the court come in reason years here and every single one of them who has visited new england law of boston talk about the great respect and affection that they have for one another. is that your experience? is that something that you try and foster yourself? >> it's certainly my experience and something i was very happy to discover when i came on the court. you know, we are nine very -- we have strong views on very important issues and we have to sit down and discuss those and reach some type of resolution.
you know, obviously a lot of the cases important ones we're not all in agreement. but as we all like to say, in the conference room where we meet, long table with nine chairs around it, we have had very serious discussion. we have sometimes pointed disagreements but there has never been a voice raised in anger in that room. partly because of the nature of being a group that is thrown together to decide these very important questions for an indeterminant period. if you think about it, pick nine random people out of the room, throw them in a room say, okay, you will be working together for the next 25 years on some of the most important and divisive issues the country faces. i mean, naturally almost you immediately come to the realation that you can't end up shouting at each other every time you decide one of those
issues. it's more of a long-term relationship. and you do come to appreciate the good faith of the people with whom you work. that's certainly been my experience. you know, if you're going to have a knock-down drag-out fight ov a big case this year, you need to understand there are going to be several more of those the next year and several more the next year. the process of having to decide those cases and reason through them is really has a bonding effect even when you find out you're on opposite sides of the issue. it's a very unusual thing in the court, unlike most jobs or other situations, very rarely do people do the exact same thing. even if you're in the same department of the corporation or whatever, you know, you are responsible for different areas or whatever, you know, your faculty member's working together or teaching different things the nine of us have the
same job, take the same oath, read the same cases, read the same briefs, go to the same arguments and are tasked with coming out with decisions. so, there is a strong bond that develops among the colleagues, we're very supportive of each other. now, i understand that that done always shine through in some of our opinions, and that's more writing, you know, a matter of style for some justices. the one thing i will say is that it's an awfully good thing that we get away interest each other in july and august. justice brandeis said he can do the 12 months worth of work in ten months. but he couldn't do it in 12 months. i think there was a lot of wisdom behind that. but also, all of that aside, it's just a wonderful collection of individuals and it's often -- nobody on that court is like
anybody else on that court. it's a fascinating group. they come at very diverse interests. and it's a real honor and pleasure to be able to work with them. most of the time. >> you mentioned opinions a moment ago. in crafting an opinion, i'm very curious as to what's your intention? who are you writing for? obviously the parties, lawyers, law students of the future, some of these college educated judge judy fans who are you writing for when crafting your opinion? >> well, i like to think of it as i'm writing for my sisters. i have three sisters, none of them are lawyers, is a lawyer, and yet they're intelligent lay people that, you know, have active and busy lives that don't
necessarily involve the government but keep. with what's going on. i like to think that they could pick up one of my opinions and be able to read it and understand what the issue is, understand how it's been resolved and understand a general view of how. i mean the reason we write our opinions is because we have to justify the anti-democratic position in which we're in. you know, if you don't like what the president is doing, you can throw hem out of office. if you don't like what you're congressman is doing, you can throw him or her out of office. if you don't like what we're doing, it's too bad. because of that, because of that, this process is developed that we have to justify ourselves. we have to explain to you why we've issued this decision. you know the congress doesn't have to explain to anybody why they're pursuing a certain course. the president doesn't have to
explain the actions he's taking, i mean they obviously do but they're entitled to do what they do because the people have elected them. we're entitled to do what we do because we're interpreting the law and not not impose our own views. to make sure that's the case, we explain it to you. we would like to understand that explanation and if team don't like the explanation, then they are justified in viewing us as having transgressed the limits on our role. so i quite for people who are not necessarily lawyers, but do follow public affairs and can are the the opinions intelligently. there is no reason to think that's the right answer. you could be writing for the lawyers so if it's in a particular area of law, you feel comfortable using the legal
terms. you could be writing for the academy and they spend a lot of time reviewing our work and you want them to understand in we have done what we have done. i like to think and i'm sure it's not true in every case, but somebody who is not a lawyer and a thoughtful person can pick up an opinion and read it and not follow all the nuances, but have a good idea about what was at issue and what was decided. >> in reading your withins, you seem submitted to clarity and keeping it interesting for the reader. for instance, in a case described as an achingly boring dispute between telephone companies, you livened up by suggesting a lack of standing, quoting bob dylan.
by pointing out, when you got nothing, you got nothing to lose. what was your objective in quoting bob dylan? >> it's consistent with what i said early. an intelligent person appreciates bob dylan's poetry if not his music. and second of all, it was in a decent. that's a little bit more leeway there. and it may have been achingly dull to the reporter, but it was important to me. it was a very important standing decision. i wouldn't have descended if i didn't think it was important. bob dylan captured the notion behind standing and what was at issue there when he said if you don't have anything, you have nothing to lose.
in that case, the matter didn't have a stake in the case and had nothing to lose and they should have been thrown out on that basis. i know bob dylan would have agreed. >> but you did clean up his language. the original was the double negative. when you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose. >> i did get into a discussion about that. that is as performed. the notes show it doesn't have the ink in it. i'm a bit of a textualist. >> if not an originalist. there justices who you particular admire for their writing? anyone in the past that comes to mind for you?
>> i think many of the judges here would have the same answer. robert jack is in the mot earn era, the most eloquent craftsman. you say i wish i could do that. most of us can't and he has a good eye and understands and sees things in how they relate to other things in the world. it's a first amendment case. he is making the point and he said what would architecture be like or the painting or the cathedral without religious concepts and he makes a particular point about the case that was before him. he was able to draw on the
experiences that are familiar to people and it would peek to somebody who doesn't know about the law, but would appreciate it. he is an eloquent writer and it's nice to come upon one of his opinions and read it. someone like john marshall, his opinions are accessible. it's the old style print and it's something anybody can understand. it's very, very clear. it wasn't until this period where judges think it wasn't legitimate unless it had where as or heretofore. there a lot of good righters and i think it improves the understanding of their legal
judgment and the accessibility when they have that skill. >> we can talk just a little bit about you, chief justice roberts. in high school, you were captain of the football team. >> i do have to -- >> there were 24 boys in my graduating class. half of them were on the soccer team. >> so why the law over the nfl? >> i did expect to be -- my ambition was to be the half back for the bears. somebody had the job already. we were the smallest high school that played football in the state of indiana.
it wasn't that hard to be the captain. >> you are regarded as one of the finest advocates of our time, arguing 39 times in front of the supreme court in the decade before being confirmed. for a seat on the d.c. circuit. any advice for the new england students and alumni about preparing and conducting an oral argument? yes and the one thing i would say, i would be a much better brief writer today than before i became a judge. you get a different perspective on the other side of the bench. brief writing is easy. i was talking about this with the opportunities. the payment limit is about 50
pages. we got tired of lawyers skrurching everything in. you are getting ready and you pick up the first brief and it's 50 pages. you go to the next page and it's 50 pages and the next is 50 pages. all of a sudden one is 35 pages. can you imagine the impact of that? you are trying to reach the judges. it's 35 pages. the 50 thing you do is turn it over and find out who your new best friend in the bar is. you also realize that she probably has a good case. it only takes her 35 pages and it's done. and the second thing we realize, you could read those 35 pages very, very carefully. you know that she went to the
trouble of distilling it where there can't be a lot of fluff to it. judges say it's because they don't want to work hard, but it's a good idea to put and i look at it as if you can't explain why you should win in 35 pages, do you think you need the additional 15 pages? if you don't, it hurts you to have them. i think that's very important. it's hard for lawyers. i had clients for many years and don't check the briefs and see how many pages they were. this was something i learn and not something i did. it's hart to complain when they say this is what i will file in
court. i pate for 50 pages and you have to have the professionalism and the confidence to say you hired me to handle this for me. on the oral advocacy part, it's the same thing. everybody tells you don't avoid the questions that the judges want to ask. if a judge is asking a lawyer a question, it's probably not comfortable. it's that they may want to get you to explain it. welcome the question. you know the judge is concerned about that and you are given the
didn't the person in the same position raise the argument and that was rejected. if it was, say yes. as soon as you say yes, the judge is going to listen to what you have to say about it. when you say no, that doesn't have anything to do with the line of argument you are trying to make. the judge said already, now i have to pry out of this lawyer what their position is on this case. he or she is not going to give me a straight answer and you develop a rape instead of being in a position where they are both engaged in the process. he is going to help me out with this answer. he is obviously going to respond in a particular way that helps his client, but at least he is not fighting the question. it's not good when you leave as a lawyer and say this was great. i had this big problem in my case and i didn't get a question
about it. that means you haven't been given an opportunity to tell the court what your answer to the problem is. >> what are the qualities and i know this is a difficult question, but that president bush saw that led to his nominating you to be the chief justice? >> i don't know. to be honest with you. i don't know. i do know that he gave it a lot of thought. i went to the process with him and he was uplifting for me. not because of how it worked out at the end. i didn't expect it to work out the way it did, but i was impressed with the understanding and his general view of the
responsibility on him. there is always or seems to be a strange and unusual story behind every appointment of chief justice. john marshall was not john adams's first choice. it was the time when they had taken over and jefferson was about to be inaugurated. he needed a new chief justice. john was the perfect person. he had experience with it and i will just write him a letter and he will take it. he wrote a fascinating letter the gist of which was the treatment court is never going to amount to anything. i was out of it before and i'm not coming back.
he was secretary of state and brought him that letter and adams read it and looked up thea the secretary of state and said who should i nominate now? i guess i have to nominate you. the rest is history. everybody he nominated supered out to be involved in financial impropriety. he said who was that guy in ohio who introduced me? i liked him. he didn't recall, but he said
let's give him a try. he was confirmed and turned out to be a great chief justice. his portrait, his picture of him obviously and that was enclosed in the portrait of grant. at least he was appreciative. think about that when you are asked to introduce somebody. edward white because although taft assures charles etches hughes that he would elevate him when it became available, he realized hughes was 47 years old and president taft would never be able to being chief justice which was what he wanted. his wife wanted him to be president. he decided to appoint the
65-year-old edward white ned who was probably as surprised as everyone else. it all worked out. taft became chief justice after white died on schedule. when taft left, he became chief justice again. you never know how this comes about. >> the biggest challenges for the court going forward. i think at least for me, i can't speak for the others, but i think the rapid development of technology that is going on will be a challenge. it cuts across many different areas. we had a big tas a couple of years ago about smart phones and whether police needed a separate
warrant if they arrest you. you have a smart phone. do they need a separate warrant to access your phone? not all of us were as familiar or the different things are on them or the capabilities. it's a challenge. how does that fit with the fourth amendment? there were not smart phones back then. it was one of the things where you have a lot of guidance and the fourth amendment is there because of founders around this area didn't like the british troops executing andkicking the door down and rummaging through the desks. right now today, which would you rather protect if you had a choice? would you want to keep the police out of your desk without a warrant or keep them out of
your smart phone? how many would say the desk? how many would say your smart phone? of course. because it is your desk. it has the documents and everyone you talk to. everything. it's a new technology, but you have to apply the old standards. how does the first amendment work with respect to speech on the internet. if everyone is a reporter when they blog, how does it work respect to that? the business areas, the intellectual property is a real challenge now as the technology is developed. what is the role of the tiny chip that somebody has that in fact controls how the entire system functions. what does that have to do with monopoly analysis and things of that sort? i think that will be the challenge across the board in all different cases. >> i often wonder whether
someone who has obtained a position of chief justice of the united states would ever entertain doing anything else. for instance, william howard taft served as chief justice and was also president of the united states. i wonder if the primearies are just starting now. >> what a horrifying thought. >> no, it's a life term and i intend to fill out the term. >> thank you, chief justice roberts. thank you for sharing. >> thank you very much. i appreciate it. >> thank you very much.
>> thank you. >> tonight on c-span, we go to las vegas for a campaign rally with donald trump ahead of the talk uses on tuesday. that's live at 10:00 eastern. tomorrow a pair of hearings on the president's 2017 budget request. secretary of state john kerry testifies before the senate foreign relations committee about his department's budget. that is live on c-span at 10:00 a.m. eastern. on c-span 3, robert donald testifies before the veterans affairs committee. you can see it live here also at 10:00 a.m. eastern. >> the federal communications commission adopted proposed rules that would allow cable subscribers to buy their own set top boxes. currently people have to rent
their cable boxes at an average price of $19 a month. the decision came at an fcc meeting chaired by tom wheeler who heads the fcc. >> the most personality person of the moment has arrived. >> good morning, madam secretary. and when we say good morning, we really mean good morning this morning. >> thank you so much.
>> welcome to the member meeting. would you please introduce the agenda. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good morning to you and commissioners. for today's meeting you will hear three items for consideration. first you will consider a notice of inquiry that seeks comment on the current state of programming diversity and the principal obstacles that independent programmers face in obtaining va distribution platforms. you will consider a notice of proposed rule making that seeks comment on a framework for providing innovators, device manufacturers and app developers, the information they need to develop new technologies to access video content. 30, you will consider a second report and order that allocates
responsibilities for the delivery of closed captions on video programming and the handling of captioning complaints. you will also consider a consent agenda as listed in the commission's february 2016 sunshine notice. this is your agenda for today. the first item sbrilthsed penti programming will be presented by the media bureau. the chief will give the introduction. >> thank you. you can now catch your breath. mr. lake? >> good morning, mr. chairman and commissioners. today the media bureau presents a no of inquiry that seeks comment on the challenge of independent video programmers face in gaining content via traditional and emerging
platforms. this notice is furthering the diversity of programming available to consumers. independent programmers have expressed concern that certain practices of table operators and other mvp ds may limit ability to reach viewers and stifle competition and innovation in the distribution of video programming. a central objective of regulation is to foster a diverse, robust and competitive programming market place. as the agency charged by scat ut with implementing, we seek a fact finding enterprise on the current state of diversity and to consider possible actions they can take kbeans concerns raised and foster sources of programming. joining me are martha helder,
rayland remy and ka englisha aa -- kalisha meyers. >> we are pleased to present this notice of inquiry that provides an opportunity for stakeholders and consumers and others to voice concerns about the state of diversity, competition and innovation within the market place. over the last quarter century, we have seen significant changes in the media land scape that have fundamentally altered the ways in which they consume video programming. consumers can advice video programming over multiple platforms and the cable operators and tv eroded. obtaining from traditional mvp ds is vital for the growth of
many emerging programmers. through this notice of inquiry, we invite on the state of jpt market place and the challenge they face in attempting to launch or grow. we seek comment on those who are identified in other proceedings. we seek comment on contractural provisions and there typical agreements including most favorite nation and alternative description. independent programmers asserted the types of provisions that hinder the ability to obtain their consent and we have issues related to ott providers including the cost and ben nits for foregoing cable to pursue
ott carriage. next we see k34e7b9 that bundling may have. they have vertical programmers are able to force them to carry the content. some parties with such bundling arrangements limit choices and raise cost for consumers by forcing them to accept discuss desirable comments. we seek comment on the sdram nation and why it is occurring. finally comment on the commission's legal authority in this area and what role if any we should play in addressing the obstacles that hinder the diverse programming and
breeching consumers. they request editorial privileges. >> thank you and welcome for the first presentation before the commission. well done. much has changed when it comes to the viewing habits of the americans. most of the programming distributors maintain significant influence. since my arrival here at the fcc in the summer of 2009, i met with and smoken to dozens of independent programmers from extreme ends of the ideological spectrum. politics and pros aside, they fountain agreement on three core issues. each said that they are facing insurmountable challenges when it comes to acquiring program
challenges and it is difficult for them to receive fair or reasonable contract terms and that the growth in their online distribution model is inhibited because program distribution access is often restricted via contract. during the recent at&t directv merger, a number of these issues were raised yet again by many parties including independent and network affiliated programmers as well as small cable operators who repeatedly requested relief. while we found that the issues raised were perhaps not best handled in the context of that merger, the level of concern i felt merited a separate proceeding where we could explore and gain a better understanding of the video programming market place and certain practices by operators as claimed are limiting the ability for them to reach their viewers. while i remain unsure that the commission is the best place to answer our resolve the issues
industry-driven solution? the goal of this notice of inquiry is to launch a fact finding exercise that will start a conversation on how best to promote the availability of diverse and independent sources of programming including public, educational and governmental programming. any issue that brings together a content provider who campaigned very hard for my ouster and another who sings my praises, surely merits a robust discussion. again, i would like to thank the media bureau for the item, especially martha helder, remy, kalisha meyers and holly. thank you. >> once again, you are the point where everything comes together. >> yes. they call it conversions, but it feels like a storm sometimes. >> this will be more calm.
today we have a dizzying array of channels available to consumers. we expect programming to be available any time, anywhere, and on any screen. on top of that, novel platforms are cropping up here, there, and everywhere. the future of watching will not look like the past and that's exciting. but despite the change, old problems linger. time and time again, independent programmers face a daunting challenge securing real estate on cable and satellite systems. the systems still dominate our video experiences and securing can be a prerequisite to building the viewership. this notice of inquiry tackles the issues and asks hard questions about new voices, new
viewpoints, and the state of the market for independent programming. this is important. what we see on the screen says so much about who we are as individuals, as communities, and as a nation. this this season of oscar so white and female directors so few, starting a conversation about programming diversity and independent voices might be hart, but it's the right thing to do. kudos to my colleague for encouraging us to get this conversation started. >> thank you, commissioner. >> thank you, mr. chairman. when i was growing up, i didn't see many people on the screen who looked like me. one of the few i remember was on the cartoon johnny quest rerun in the late 1970s. the cartoon featured johnny's side quick who picked up his
smarts and had mystic powers. the only real life returing character i can recall from the 1980s was one of a classroom of gifted students on head of the class. in the early 90s, there was a quickie mart owner from the simpsons noted by the noted indian american. things are different. netflix carries master of none, a season with the cocreator and cowriter much the show focuses on the american-born son of indian immigrants living in cities and told stories i have never seen before on american television. as an american born son of indian immigrants myself, i liked episode two. it examines the relationships between asians who came to the countries in the 1960s and 70s and their american children. it is notable that two of his
closest friends on the show are a chinese-american and african american lesbian. needless to say it's a far cry from leave it to beaver. the stark contrast between the way things are and the way things were informs my approach to the notice of inquiry. there now more outlets through which they can distribute programming than ever before. over the top video in particular has been a game changer. it is given a diverse voice a new way to be heard and given americans novel content they previously may never have seen. consider the you tube sensation and her hit series the misadventures of awkward black girl. when asked why she created the series, she said i felt like my voice was missing and the voices of other people i respect and admire and want to see are missing. the first part of the serious which she filmed with friends got attention on you tube.
thanks to a successful kick starter campaign. they could complete the rest of the first season. ray has the shows. she published a collection of short stories and last year, hbo picked up the new series. diversity is not limited to the production side of the video ledger. consumers too are responding to the wide variety of content available through over the top services. one researcher put it, multicultural viewers are more likely to have meat ott an integral part of the lifestyle. 45% of african-american viewers, 46% of asian american viewers and% of hispanic viewers reports spending more than 20% of the total viewing time w5u6ing ott
compared to 39% of white viewers. to be sure, there still may be challenges in the brave new world of video. for instance, they state that some programmers expressed concern that certain carriage practices and other programming distributors may limit the ability to reach viewers. i heard these concerns firsthand in my own meetings with interpret programmers like rfdtv. plaintiff they are giving all stakeholders the chance to provide feedback on the issues we tee up. as i said many times, we are living in the golden age of television. one of the reasons for that is the amazing range of content available to americans today with the push of a button. the click of a cursor or the connection of a dongle. it is important to remember programs like master of none or the misvnchls are awkward black
girl are not the products of regulation. they are thriving because of a free market in which creativity are recognized and rewarded. as the commission moves forward this this and other proceedings, we should be careful not to hold back the video revolution. for indian americans, kids today can see themselves on the screen and roles far more varied than snake charmers and quickie mart squishies. that's a good thing. >> commissioner o'reilly? >> thank you. in reading the item as circulated, there were a number of edits that were needed. one of the first was slightly more concrete language in the statement of the primary goal of the proceeding. the goal is to begin a conversation on the state of empty and diverse programming and i asked this to be changed from beginning a conversation to seek information which is a more appropriate goal for an inquiry
of a federal regulatory agency. all my proposed edits, this was the easiest, but surprising to me, this minor word smithing request was denied western once. that was why it was so deeply wedded to begin the conversation. the more i thought about it, the more i thought beginning a conversation is not exactly accurate description of what's occurring. that implies that there is a novel topic that entered parties had not had the opportunity to weigh in on yet. as anyone who was followed media issues is aware, the debate around the program carriage or lack there of is as close as it gets to a fixture. for almost as long as there were cable and satellite systems, programmers have been arguing that they need more carriage. we should be able to agree that the conversation began long ago at least in 1989 when the
commission included several timeless assertions and some suppliers also explained that rising concentration and cable system ownership led to the inability to gain access to large cable systems. programmers have found many sympathetic ears and at the commission both over the decades. from the least access system established by the 1984 cable act and the program carriage acts to the commission's 2011 modifications to the carriage rules and the common assistance of further requirements as conditioned with the mvp d mergers. there have been attempts in addressing the challenges faced by empty programmers from many angles. the technology changed a lot since the debate began. they have not changed substantially. we are now living in an age of lineups and many consumers seeking a different structure are rapidly adopting robust over
the top offerings of linear and on demand programming alike. additionally compelling content is being monitized to unimagined degrees in a world that brought explosive growth in terms of the sheer number of platforms. it is interesting that access to the old network is considered a major issue. with this debate, it seems the more things change, the more they stay the same. if this item is not the beginning of a conversation, what is it? many of thaw have interests have not been able to read the document yet. it should not come as a spoiler to say what we are beginning is a more accurate description of the latest push. though build as the simple no ito give platform more dialogue, almost every paragraph was slanted in the direction of that push. i appreciate the many edits that
the commissioner and i submitted and were able to be adopted. i appreciate the work of the majority. it allows me to concur with this item. ultimately i hope these edits will be able to steer the proceeding into a conversation territory. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, commissioner. i have a statement for the record, but let me just begin by thanking commissioner clyburn for keeping this front and center with us and being the advocate that is the reason why it is on the agenda today and your leadership. this is an issue of how do we expand diversity of choice and opportunity? it goes hand in hand with the next item we will be discussing. all those in favor say aye. opposed? the ayes have it.
the item is adopted for the request for editorial privileges with the objection noted. thank you very much to the bureau for all of your efforts on this. madam secretary? >> mr. chairman commissioners, the next item will be presented by the media bureau and is entitled expanding video navigation choices and navigation devices. >> bill and martha, some things are just for change. >> bill, you want to start? >> yes. good morning mr. chairman and
commissioners. the media bureau proposes rule making and memorandum opinion and order that proposes to ensure a market for devices and apps that consumers can use in lieu of leased equipment to access cable and satellite video programming. these rules are intended to meet the commission's obligations under section 629 of the communications act. joining me at the table are martha helder, steve brock hart, brendan murray and lyle elder of the media bureau's division and chief technology of the commission. brendan will present the item. >> mr. chairman and commissioners, we are pleased to propose this rule making with competitive sources of development used to access paid tv programming as the commission is supposed to do with the communications act.
programming. under this proposal, they could use other user interfaces so as not to impete the devices and apps. the proposal gives them flexibility to choose the security systems they use so they can ensure that all programming is protect and only those who subscribe to a service are able to access it provided that they each support at least one content protection system that is licensed on reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms by an organization that is not affiliated with them. this approach is intended to balance the rights to choose the protection systems they use to protect the programming with the need of manufacturers to be able to build devices that can access content from a variety that may use the consent protection systems. next the parody rules that require each mvp d that requires the only application without the
need for mvp d's specific equipment to offer the free flows to unaffiliated applications without the need for the specific equipment. with the particular eye towards consumer protections, they seek comment on proposals to make sure the advertising limits, emergency alerts and privacy protections will apply regardless of whether the consumer leases the box from the paid tv company or uses a solution to access programming. they also propose to adopt a billing transparency rule to ensure the consumers to how much they will pay for programming service and equipment lease fees and what the economic trade off is between the leased device and alternative. they seek a series of questions about alternate ways to implement 629. they seek comment on the best way to protect the copyright and license terms in the paid tv
providers. finally the item includes a memorandum opinion that removes the language as required under section 106. the media bureau recommends that the commission adopt this and rem rand um and requests editorial privileges. thank you. >> thanks to everybody for all your hard work on this. commissioner? >> thank you, sir. in 1996 as was mentioned, congress added section 629 to the communications act which mandated this agency to take steps towards ensuring that a competitive navigation market exists for multichannel video programming while prior commission attempts in the area have been less than successful. standardization and tech lodge advancement made it easier to
introduce into this market. while these resulted in some competition, consumers deserve mere. the notice of proposed rule making seeks to give consumers more control in how they access the services they subscribe to. it attempts to promote the display selection and use of this programming. in short, choice. it would allow for the development of more user-friendly interfaces, opening the market to additional platforms that are not districtly under the perview and management of a sdingle distributor. 99% of the customers rent from an mvp d at a kauft that exceeds $200 a year. while they have fallen, the cost has prison by more than three times the rate of inflation for
american tv subscribers over that same president. this proposes, not adopts, but proposes to have a particularinology neutral means to choose how they want to interact with the services they pay for. if a consumer wishes to purchase a device or application to access this programming, this proposal will empower their choice. if a consumer chooses to rent a box or app from their mvp d, they have the option to do that also. this does not propose a standard like the proposal that they considered in 2010. instead a standard setting body and consultation with those affected would lay out technical specifications enabling manufacturer's retailers and
ku67 navigation devices. there has been discussion about how in this proposal will affect content with some expressing concern it could lead to decreases in the level of diverse programming choices. sat sadly, we are speaking of those that can currently be found and the handful of those who had success in being carried by an mvp d i see no legitimate reason why this item should make their programming or the relationship with the distributor any more vulnerable than counterparts. what i hope will occur is that creators are content who have been unable to get the carriage may soon have a means to reach consumers directly. similar to the way that internet
searches provide consumers with information from sources, a competitive solution with improved search functionality could allow consumers to find programming that is available over the top, something you cannot do with today's set top boxes. these developments should result in consumers having a wider range of options. i thank the media bureau for the hard work on the item, especially the efforts of brandon murray and lyle elder. thank you very much. >> commissioner? >> here's an experiment. you can do it at home. just sit in your favorite comfortable chair. the one in front of the-. in one hand, hold the remote control for your set top box. on the other hand, hold your mobile phone. ask yourself which of these two devices has changed
substantially over the past two decades? which has seen extraordinary innovation and which has benefitted from competition? the answers are obvious. the bulky graceless noble phones have been replaced by sleek models, but it's more than esthetics. what we can do with them is incredible. smart phones changed our lives and are changing our world. the clunky set top box have not evolved at the 15i78 pace or faced the same level of competition. the numbers make this very clear. 99% of consumers still rent their set top boxes from their pay telephone provider. the typical household spends $231 a year on the set top box
rental fees. costs are high, innovation is slow, and competition is too limited. congress did not want it to be this way. two decades ago in the telecommunications act of 1996, they were charged with ensuring the availability of navigation devices. creating a competitive market for set top boxes. there were times when directives are not clear. this is not one of them. i think we can do better so i support the rule making. i think we have a lot of work to do. important questions have been raised about copyright, privacy, diversity and a host of other issues in a market place that has been tough for competitors to crack. we will need to explore them in the record that develops. let me raise one other. this rule making is complicated.
it describes three information streams for navigation devices, work that needs to be done by standards and a medley of security systems and a trio of parroty requirements. the most successful regulatory efforts are simple ones. more work needs to be done to stream line this proposal. in the end for consumers to benefit and enjoy the boundy of what we proposed, execution is all. what we have here may or may not be the precise way for the, but something has got to give. i support the chairman's effort to get the proceeding started because it's pastime to live up to the statutory obligations and give consumers the competition they deserve. >> thank you, commissioner. your observations are well taken and as you point out, the reason
why we have it like this is to get that record built. commissioner? >> thank you, mr. chairman. someone with three set top boxes, i share the frustrations belt by millions of americans. these boxes are clunky, they are expensive, and i feel the pain each and every month when i have to pay my video bill. as a commissioner, i know that the current set top box market place is the product of an intrusive regulatory regime. something has to change. what should the change be like? what should be the aim when it comes to the market place. what would be the best for consumers? my goal is simple. the goal should not be to unlock the box. it should be to eliminate the box. if you were a cable customer and you don't want a set top box, you shouldn't be required to have one. this goal is technically
feasible and reflects most consumers's preferences including my. in this notice they take a different tack. it doubles down on the necessity of having a box. substituting one regime for another. essentially it introduces a new set of boxes into the homes. that's the objective of dropping the box and it takes a 20th century approach to a 21st century problem, i cannot support this notice. let's start with one fact. when it comes to navigation devices, they have not embraced free market policies. it embraced a form of planning. by implementing the cable card regime and integration plan, they set to mold the box market place to the desired shape. there is widespread agreement to the intervention that has been a
massive failure. indeed this notice admits the rules failed to achieve their objective. the fcc's regulations raised the price of set top boxes costing americans billions in additional fees. they have increased cable customers's energy consumption by 500 million kilowatt hours per year. enough to power each home in the washington, d.c. area for three months and failed to produce robust competition. less than 2% of customers performed their set top box at retail. the failure of the policies is what brings us here today. as we speak to trade one complex regulatory scheme for another,
we should pauthey require confo specification set by the bodies. the open standards in turn would consist of members representing all stakeholders and develop by consensus. would this ever really happen? the defining characteristic has been vigorous disagreement with content creators and the consumer electronics industry on the other. we saw this in the downloadable security technology committee and seen this in the run up to today's vote. i am sure we will see it in the comments submitted in response to this notice.
should we have confidence in the open standards body that will become harmonious after they issue the final rules? if anything when it's time to get down to the technical nitty-gritty nitty-gritty i believe it will be harder not easier to reach consensus. indeed the odds are probably better that mark zuckerberg will agree to kan way west's request for $1 billion. second, there's a problem of timing. the commission's rules will not have any impact for years. for example, the notice proposes that mvpds not implement the regulations until two years of their adoption so even if all goes according to plan, and i think reasonable minds could doubt that it will, consumers probably wouldn't feel the affects for another three years. now, think about what three years means in the dynamic video marketplace. there was no tv stick.
there's no telling what for the further innovation will occur in three years but we know it will happen and fast. so while mvpds, content creators spend years trying to implement the commission's rules, technology could render all of that work obsolete by the time it's ready to roll out. that would be a waste of time, energy and money for all involved. third, if the standards envisioned by the commission's proposal are actually implemented the likely as a result consumers will have to deal with two boxes instead of one. much of the controversy surrounding this proposal has centered on whether it would require an additional box to be deployed in americans' homes. to be sure, the notice doesn't say they would be required to provide customers with another box. but that, unfortunately, is likely to be the outcome if these rules are adopted and implemented. here's why. in order to carry out the standards called for in this
notice mvpds would likely have one of two options. first, they could make changes to their network architecture or, second, they could provide each customer with additional box. now, during my discussions with mvpds in the weeks leading up to this week, each and every company told me it would be less expensive to deploy more boxes in the customer's homes so if the proposal is implemented, the american people will probably pay for more boxes, not fewer. fourth, the proposal could hurt content creators. this proposal would allow set-top box to profit by the content of others without paying the programmers. for example, nothing in this proposal would prevent a set-top box manufacturer from replacing the commercials in a television show with commercials sold by that manufacturer. and nothing in this proposal would prevent a set-top box manufacturer from adding commercials to a program.
to be clear, we could have foreclosed,000 possibilities. they could have addressed the legitimate concerns without compromising the core of the proposal but they did not. minority programmers are perhaps most at risk. that might explain why a wide variety of civil rights organizations including rainbow push coalition, the league of latin -- united latin american citizens, the multicultural media tell come and internet have expressed their opposition to this proposal. and that's why minority programmers are opposed to it, as well. this morn, i believe that victor serta is with us. victor, are you here? victor is the head of -- the first national spanish language television network in the united states to partner with public television. and it brings high quality programming to latino family.
with representatives of other organizations, mr. serta signed a letter this month opposed the commission's proposals. he said that the commission's proposal could, in his words, lead to a new round of tv red lining in which set-top box developers pick and choose which networks to show and develop latino programming or bury it deep in the channel lineup or search results. nothing in this proposal addresses that concern. now, taking a step back, this notice promises a lot. but it probably will not deliver much. and most of what it will deliver is likely to be bad for american consumers and content creators. none of this had to be. we are on the route for eliminating the set-top box altogether and an app can turn an ipad or android phone into a navigation device. mvpds deployed the apps and in the process of more advanced ones. the commission should be encouraging those efforts.
but this proposal would do precisely the opposite. it would divert the industry's energies away from app development and toward the long-term slog of complying with the commission's new scheme for unwanted hardware. and the notice actually goes further and proposes a number of regulations to discourage the development and deployment of apps. that's not what the american people want. i'm confident most consumers rather eliminate the set-top box altogether than embrace a complex regulatory scheme to require them to have yet another box in the home and that won't take effect for at least three years. in fact, i dare say most consumers could urge the fcc to adopt a version of neo-'s conversation in the matrix. if i might paraphrase. did not try and bend the set-top box marketplace. that's impossible. instead, only try to realize the truth. what truth? there is no set-top box.
there is no set-top box? then you'll see that it is not the set-top box that bends. it is only yourself. now, all of this might explain the deep bipartisan concern on capitol hill about the fcc's approach to set-top box regulation. senator bill nelson, has told us to avoid taking any action that could ultimately threaten the vibrant market for quality video programming. diverse group of 25 democratic representatives led by congressman tony cardenas counseled restraint saying it's important for the government not to be overly prescriptive in regulation. others warned that this proceeding could upset the delegate system that underlies the creation, licensing and distribution of copyrighted television programming and potentially jeopardize efforts to jeopardize infringement. anticipate rifs collins, shu,
smith, schiff and walters have expressed their concerns over the proposal's potentially adverse impacts on independent, minority and religious content creators. i wish the commission had listened to these voices rather than plowing ahead with a flawed proposal because it does not ri n n'tively dissent. thank you, mr. chairman. >> commissioner o'reilly. >> thank you, commissioner. over the years i have spent time on the proposal of set-top box. past experience along with surveying the current video landscape led me to conclude that the set-top box are relic of the past. they are already well on their way to the fate of the video rental store. so why in 2016 would the commission be doing a set-top box item? if the idea of an agency maintaining its regulatory control placing outdated regulations on old technology sounds familiar, you may be on the right track. in recent weeks we have been
subjected to a steady stream about hype on this item unlocking the box. never let it be said that this commission's prop gandists have a mard time staying on message but this papers over the destructive results to common in the marketplace from the commission adopts the rules presented today. this proposal would be hamplful to extent for consumers and almost every type of business involved in producing and distributing video content in many predictable ways, not to say, not the least is the unpredicted affects. it could also open mvpd networks to serious security vulnerabilities, exposing them to potential network damage and content theft. it could strip content producers of the rights to control the distribution and presentation of their content. it could ultimately subject otts to the same reseem as i will discuss later. worst of all, it would certainly devalue the content produced by
programmers, large and small, by enabling anyone capable of writing a compliment app to turn on a free video stream, a video content cobbled together by an mvpd at great expense. the ultimate free rider problem. mvpds and others lose incentives to do what they do and some would opt for the sidelines leaving consumers with fewer video options. the commission's response, excuse me, to most of these searches boils down to trust us. it will be okay. or rather, trust currently nonexistent entities like an organization not affiliates to come up with the security system to protect content and trust open standard bodies to set up an acceptable specifications for an app developer to interact with an mvpd network. trust marketplace forces to keep presentation standards and advertising intact.
the item is forced on to a few from this predictable path resigned to seek comment on such basic questions of whether licensing can ensure adherence to copy control and other rights information and adequate content protection. can it even be done? we don't know. yet somehow despite all of the open questions about who, how, where, when the majority has so much faith in the ability of outside unformed entities to save the day that the item concludes that there should be a two-year deadline for compliance with the new rules. this is regulation by pure speculation. the statutory authority on which this fantasy rests is equally farfetch farfetched. the section that discusses authority will long live a testament the level of absurdity achieved in four short paragraphs when two defenseless statutes fall down a rabbit hole into a world where