tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 18, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm EST
house coverage continues today in south carolina. and 45 minutes, jeb bush has a town hall meeting hosted by the columbia metro in the south lodging association. this afternoon, john kasich is holding a town hall meeting. at 2:15.lso live tonight, a debate from the chicago council on global affairs on drone strikes. pentagon officials on opposite sides of the issue will discuss whether the use of drones is good for u.s. national security. here is a preview. some of you might be asking, why are we still talking about drones? isn't i says the only issue on the security agenda? in my view and the comments i want to make, i will bring these two topics together because i think our policy of
counterterrorism can use the drones as being responsible for the rise of isis. nowhere but ofom course, they were around. the watch was focused on using drones. , they aret terrorized affected with not just the targets but those who live under the constant threat of attack. and they are open to the things likeby these isis when they say the people who sent you the drones are our enemies and we will train you to fight them. in fact, the drone has become the single biggest recruiting tool for islamic terrorist organizations since guantanamo was used for that purpose. can see the entire discussion on the military use
of drones tonight on c-span beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern. then, hillary clinton is in las vegas with a rally ahead of nevada's democratic caucus on saturday. the rally comes up tonight at 11:30 p.m. eastern. you can see that live here on c-span. c-span's coverage of the presidential candidates continues this week with events in south carolina and nevada leading up to the south carolina gop primary and the nevada democratic caucus. our live coverage of the results starts on saturday at 7:30 p.m. eastern with your results on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. up next, a discussion on the guantanamo bay prison and efforts to close the facility. we hear from a former official, a rolling stone contributor and two attorneys who represent
guantanamo detainees in court. this is from fordham university in new york. >> ok. we are going to get started. if you could take your seats if you are not seated. i want to say, before we begin, as a cautionary note, that c-span is taping this tonight. if you do not want to be on camera, you might want to move over to the sides and just keep that in mind in the q&a, although i will remind you when that happens. as you know, guantanamo is central to the work of the center of national security. we are delighted to have yet another panel on guantanamo with some of the more thoughtful people about the issue and many of whom have been thinking about guantanamo since the day it opened in 2002. it is hard to imagine that, when it did open, you would say, in 2016, we are going to have a panel on the place and thinking
about ending it. when guantanamo was opened, there was no idea of having it last more than six months or 18 months. the pentagon would have been appalled by the idea. a number of things happened along the way which made the emptying of guantanamo, the closing of guantanamo, nearly impossible. today, we want to find out how impossible is it to close guantanamo? will it close by the end of the obama presidency? if it does close by then, what will it take? we are joined by a super panel which i am delighted to have here. i will introduce them. to my right is wells dixon, who is from the center for constitutional rights. the thing about the center for constitutional rights is you cannot think about guantanamo without thinking about them. they were the first of the civil liberties organizations to
understand the detention issue was of crucial importance. they follow this through with many of the abs cases. many of the historians write up on guantanamo and the ccr will be at the center of it. to his right is dan rosenthal. we are lucky to have him here. his e-mail to me when i wrote to him and asked if he could be here, he said, "four hours ago, i left my job at the white house. good timing." among the things he did was to head up thinking about guantanamo and how to get people out of guantanamo. we are in your to hear everything that you were not allowed to say before you left. to that he worked at the department of justice in the
national security division at a number of federal jobs related to national security. good perspective and interagency perspective and a white house perspective. we know that he has the answer. so we are going to hold him to it. to his right is tom wilner. tom was one of the first people i ever talked to about guantanamo. i believe it was 2003. i called him and i said, i heard you were working on guantanamo and i do not understand anything. will you meet with me? so he did. i went to his office and he opened up a whole world for me of understanding what it meant to function in the middle east, how he had come to know about guantanamo, which is different than how the civil liberties lawyer comes to guantanamo, but had to deal with what it meant to represent individuals from the middle east who then cared about what was happening in guantanamo. he has been there from beginning to end. he is invaluable. i am completely thrilled to have him here.
to my left is janet. she has written a number of award-winning stories "rolling stone" magazine. she has written two that were important to the study of terrorism and terrorist prosecutions domestically. one of them was on tsarnaev and another one was on isis. i think we did a panel on the isis one. her recent piece, which came out this month, is on guantanamo and i just cannot wait to hear her. she is a newcomer to the conversation and has done a wonderful job of covering her bases and trying to understand what is going on. to her left is carol rosenberg. it is hard to think that anybody would want to do a panel on guantanamo without having carol. i would advise against it. i once had a phone call with carol years ago. we can still remember the
beginning of guantanamo. she said, you know, when i went to guantanamo for those first detainees coming off the plane, it suddenly dawned on me that this was the first time that i was in a place where there were not 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 metaphor for the larger, carol's eyes have been the only set of eyes. that includes the military and the detainees and the entire apparatus. the only set of eyes that we have had at guantanamo from the very beginning. i do not know if it will be until the end, but to this point, to our thinking about the end in a realistic way. i am delighted to have this panel. we are going to start with wells, who will talk a little bit about how we are going to close it. right? wells: i am going to give you the answer right now.
first of all, thank you for inviting me to join the panel. you know, is guantanamo owing to -- is guantanamo going to close by the end of the administration? that is the question everyone wants to know the answer to. my answer is, i hope so and it depends. it depends very much on the president. i think president obama has the power to close the prison. the moment is now. i think the moment has been every day since he got into office. but it depends on what he does in the next year. he has always had legal authority to close the prison. that is a view that we have had throughout his administration. yet what we have seen is a lack of willingness to use all of that authority and to use it in a bold and even aggressive way to close the prison. i can give you many examples going back to 2009. one of the earliest examples was
when the president balked at bringing the weigers to the united states. these missed opportunities continue until now. ultimately, two things have to happen. two things that the president has to do to close the prison. one is, he needs to get his own house in order. he needs to get all the agencies in his administration moving in the same direction to implement his mandate to close the prison. there is a dynamic that exists now. i think everyone is aware of it if you follow this issue. the state department is trying to transfer people. the defense department is obstructing and delaying this at times. that needs to end. that needs to come from the president. the second thing is there need to be fundamental policy changes. as an outsider, it seems like the administration continues to adhere to policies that, in some
instances, never made any sense. for example, the resumption of the military commission system. or adhering to policies that he be made sense in 2003 or 2006 2009, but they do not make sense anymore. for example, the continuing effort by the justice department to fight legal challenges to their detention. it does not make sense in a lot of cases. there is a dynamic that occurs now, still. i will give you one example in terms of litigation. a colleague of mine at the center represents a yemeni man who is 74 pounds. he has been on hunger strike for eight years. there is no disagreement about his health status. he could die in guantanamo at any moment. he has been cleared for release for many years. we filed a legal challenge to his detention, like he needs to
be transferred under the geneva convention. that sets in motion a machinery. what happens is, by default or by policy, the administration gears up to fight that case. the justice department goes into litigation mode. they go to fight that case. there needs to be someone to step in and say, wait a second. why are we doing this? maybe this does not make sense anymore. why do we want to fight to keep a person in guantanamo? who we ourselves have said he needs to be transferred and by the way, he is 74 pounds. from the outside, what it looks like is happening is you have this fight through the interagency system and maybe it gets kicked up to the white house, but ultimately, it gets kicked back down to the agencies. so he is still in guantanamo. that is not the way to close guantanamo. that is not an approach to guantanamo policy that is going to succeed in getting everyone
out of prison. in cases like his, they are the easy cases. the state department has been making great strides in transferring the men who are cleared. they made a number of transfers this month, including two today. they have been doing a great job. those are the easy cases. there are other categories of men who present difficult challenges in terms of closing the prison. the men in the indefinite detention category. which we think that should be a null set. nonetheless, there are, at this moment -- there is nothing really being done to get those men out of guantanamo. there is a periodic review board process that tries to determine whether these men can be cleared for transfer. the process is moving slowly and it will not be complete by the end of this year. it will not be complete by the
end of the obama administration. that has to change. have 10 people who have charges against the right now who have already been convicted. and you see a similar scenario. as an outsider, from a policy perspective, you have a preference for military commissions rather than article three federal court prosecutions. it seems to us to be a holdover from the failed effort to bring the 9/11 defendants to new york several years ago. right? from that point on, there does not seem to have been any appetite to try to transfer men out of commissions or to bring to federal court or even to bring new charges in federal court. i will say it 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 if that is something that needs to happen. again, just one specific example -- there are detainees in guantanamo who i suspect would plead guilty in federal court. people who are now uncharged. people like abu zabeda. right? i don't represent him or speak for him that -- speak for him but i suspect he would be willing to plead guilty. i do not know if anyone has ever asked him. if guantanamo is going to be closed, you have to deal with cases like that that are more difficult cases. more difficult than the men who were transferred today. i just do not see any progress in that regard. we do not see any movement in that direction. we see continuing preference for military commissions. 14.5 years after 9/11, we are
losing ground on military commissions. the charges brought on a number of these men are being struck down. you are losing ground. i do not shed a tear for those lost charges, leave me, but the point is the president is not taking the necessary steps to do something about the situation. right? we saw, at the very end of december, the president's last press conference when he said we are going to continue to work with congress to try to change the law. in our view, that is naive if not outright delusional. you have intentionally do worst congress -- the president faces the worst congress that he has ofr faced in terms guantanamo policy. that cannot be the strategy for closing guantanamo. it needs to be progressive. karen: what power does he have? if congress has passed a law which says you cannot transfer
detainees to the united states, right? what is the power that you think he has to be able to do this? in defiance of congress? what can he do? wells: i think there are all sorts of avenues that he can pursue and explore. there are questions of statutory interpretation. if someone pleads guilty, are they subject to these laws? there are scenarios that have been discussed which the president could potentially make decisions about himself or go to court, potentially, to get rulings on the constitutionality of some of these issues. there are many avenues that can be explored from a legal perspective. i do not think any of those have been tried. and that is the point. you can miss 100% of the shots you don't take. if the president does not try to take some bold action, then he is not going to succeed.
karen: that puts the spotlight on you, dan. a perfect move-in. that was not a positive review. you know, constantly, you cannot write about the idea of closing guantanamo without saying president obama promised on his second day in office that he was going to close guantanamo within a year. we do not have to give in to the reasons that he was not able to do that or decided not to prioritize that, but the real question is, is wells right? is it just too much of a -- has he dropped the ball? i know you are not going to say this, but has the white house dropped the ball? have they picked up the ball and are running with it and we just don't appreciate it? what is your enlightenment? daniel: first of all, thanks very much for having me and thanks to all of you for coming. the closure of guantanamo is a very important issue and it is
great that people are focusing on it. i want to say at the outset that i no longer work for the administration. the views i expressed today are my own. they are not necessarily the white house views, but they are informed by my time there. i do have a slightly more rosy picture than wells does from my time in the white house. what i saw is people at the white house, the dod, the state department, and the other national security agencies, homeland security, the justice department, the intelligence community working very hard to try to close gitmo. in my last year during my time there, we transferred new the 40 detainees, which is a huge uptick in the amount of transfers that have taken place. 10 were transferred last week. two, as noted, were transferred today. there is definitely an uptick in the amount of transfers. that is for the category of people who were already cleared
for release and have been cleared for release for a number of years. karen: and then there is the indefinite detention list. daniel: right. just backing up for a little bit of context. there is what we call the "currently ineligible for transfer." i don't know that i would call it the indefinite potential list because the idea is that they not be detained indefinitely. there are periodic review boards that review their case. that has an incredibly high success rate. when folks go through -- i do not know the exact percentage, but something like 80%. so that is a great rate. we are taking people who are currently ineligible for transfer. the prb process is determined that they can be transferred. they are then being moved over into the other bucket of people who are eligible for transfer and then they are being teed up for a transfer. that is going to whittle down a
number of people that wells was talking about. what do you do with these guys who remained too dangerous to transfer but you want to continue to close the base? let me say that in terms of the slowness or the delay, wells said there is an obstruction had dod. i don't know, i'm not inside the head of everyone who works at dod. the people with whom i have worked are working hard to implement the president's policy. in some ways, i see this as a difficult problem. there are checks and balances. the state department has its own perspective. the state department negotiates diplomatic agreements with foreign governments. because of that perspective, they are incentivized to work quickly and aggressively to try to finalize transfers. the department of defense does not have the same diplomatic pressure. they have a statutory pressure. there is a statute that places the requirement on the secretary of defense and says that he may
not use funds to fund the provision. he may not use funds appropriated by congress to transfer a detainee until he concludes that they can be safely transferred. rightly, in my view, they take their time and they are very careful to make sure that every detainee who is presented for transfer meets the statutory requirement. so that is the high level sense of where things are. wells started talking about the overall plan for closing gitmo. i think it is similar to the things we have been talking about. transfer people who you can transfer, whittle down the list. as the administration has said, the government is looking at facilities in the united states. the idea of transferring the remaining detainees who cannot be safely transferred, to
transfer them to the united states where we continue to explore for them whether any other options are available. maybe it is an article three prosecution. maybe there is another country they can go to under stricter conditions. karen: wells made reference to the military commissions going backwards instead of forwards. something that i think has a lot of validity in terms of the erosion of charges that can be brought and the inability to get through the pretrial hearings, let alone to actually mount a trial. we are looking at years, it seems like, even for the 9/11 defendants, who seem to be the most important defendants in the country to try. in the case of 9/11. do you think that is a widely held view in washington, that the military commissions are going backwards? or was wells right when he said there seems to still be a belief in the military commissions, just to say, we had terminal
margins here last year to talk about military commissions. when you read his -- what he says in his public statements, what you see is a feeling that they are going to work someday, somehow. i am curious what you think the general sense -- not just in washington, but in the administration -- is about the viability of the military commissions going forward. daniel: i want to differ to what -- i want todo for defer to what the general says because he is in charge of executing that portion of this process. i think the military commissions are tough. it is an untested legal regime. the court is constantly faced with novel questions. that, in an article three context, would not necessarily be novel. that slows things down. my own musing, i do not know a lot about the commissions, but i wonder if some of the delays are created by the detainees themselves and their lawyers, who are filing all sorts of
challenges. i love wells' view, but if the true idea was i want to get through my military commission, i wonder if that can happen more expeditiously without success of challenges. karen: i think everyone is going to want to address that. we are going to come back to that. before wells answers that, let's go to tom, who can give the first answer to that. i think that is going to be much of what we talk about afterwards. we have not heard the term "gitmo bar" in a while. but is that somewhat responsible? tom, you have been involved in the theoretical legal part of this throughout the entire legal regime. but you also have a sense of what is going on, particularly in your work now. which you might want to talk
about, with the detainees themselves. do you think it is going to close? tom: i am going to be like a politician and answer the question that i want to answer. first, let me answer something dan said. you have got to remember -- let me give some facts. we have 91 people left at guantanamo, which is down significantly. of those, only 10 are in the military commission system. only 10 of these people. so we are talking about a minority. three of those have been convicted. or have pled. the other seven are awaiting trial. there is no doubt in my mind that the lawyers are trying to gum up the works for them. all of the lawyers wanted military commissions rather than civilian trials because they knew they could gum it up. that is what you do as a civilian lawyer. let me talk about other things that are more important.
first of all, dan, congratulations on the work you did. one of the great problems with the obama administration is the white house cannot take charge of this problem until recently. you have been there for a year and in a year, you did a lot of good things. you got a lot of people out. i think the white house before that put it off to the state department or someone else who did not take charge centrally. as a lot of people were saying that they were doing. i am worried now that you have left because you were clearly pushing this through. let me talk more about -- the great problem of guantanamo, to me, is not the people we charge with crimes but the people we hold without charging a crime. you can do that during a hostility, to hold people. a lot of these people have just been there for years. as i said, of the people there, of the 91, 10 are in military commissions.
34 of them have been cleared, most of them for years, but they have not been let out. one of the reasons is a lot of them are yemenis and it is hard to find them a home. now we are finding them homes and that is great. i am more concerned about this other category that we call indefinite detention. when the obama administration did its review, they put them in a term called "too dangerous to release but not capable of prosecution." it is a false fact which has dominated political discussions. that categorization gives the impression that these guys -- that the government knows that they are terribly dangerous killers, but some technicality is preventing them from being released. it is not true. it was a terrible characterization of them. for the most part, these people are held because there are
allegations against them by other detainees while they were in detention. there are all sorts of reasons. in a lot of the cases, these are people who got rewards or who made allegations under pressure. at most, if you read the allegations -- and jennifer is here, who pointed this out to me years ago -- if you compare them against each other, you will see that a lot of the allegations are absolutely -- the legal term we would use is "bullshit." [laughter] they really are. the proof of the putting on that, and yet congress assumes , that these people are dangerous killers. if we look at the facts, they are not so. as dan was pointing out, they have what they call a prb process to review them. when it reviews them, it is, in the overwhelming majority of the cases, finding that these guys are not dangerous and can be released.
the tremendous problem is that the administration has not put the resources and -- in to do the process probably enough. -- promptly enough. how many are scheduled now? eight? they will not finish before the end of the year. it will not finish under the current schedule for four or five years or 10 years. that is not enough. we should put more resources in and clear them. in the larger picture, and until we do, we will be holding a lot of innocent men. a lot of the intelligence reports about them are just crazy. they are not credible. yet they are given a presumption of reliability and validity. they have got to be looked at. let me talk in an overall picture and then i will shut up. guantanamo is terribly important to this country. i am worried about the people there and i want to treat them
well and i want them home. more than that, i am worried about what it means to the country. guantanamo was established to avoid the law. the whole purpose of guantanamo -- the bush administration considered the law an impediment that it had to avoid. and said, we can keep foreigners in a place that is technically outside our territory so we can avoid review by the courts and deprive them of legal rights. unfortunately, although we won the right to habeas corpus, the constitutional right, the d.c. circuit has said that they still don't have the rights of due process. if the government can put them there, they are beyond the reach of the constitution. that is a horrible thing for this country. it is a horrible loophole. i find it reprehensible. i not only want the people home, i want the law corrected so the united states can advise
-- can stand by its principles and be proud of them and not try to avoid them. karen: can i ask you this one question? the category you were talking about, the indefinite detention, there used to be more categories. they used to be the category of not the people that have been charged, but the people they thought were going to be tried by military commissions. where did that category go? is that what happened, they got moved? into the indefinite category? daniel: i just think it is how you slice it up and how you want to look at it. if you want to look at the proximity of the detainee to release -- we are talking about closing guantanamo, so it seems like that is what we are trying to figure out. it seems that the best three buckets to talk about are the ones who are in queue to the release. the detainees who are not yet queued to be released but might get there.
you can think of it in other ways. when the eotf got together in 2009 and 2010 and looked at each detainee and said, what bucket are they in, they also considered other things, like people we may be able to prosecute. karen: so there are still people in guantanamo, maybe in that indefinite detention category or not yet released category, who might be tried in some kind of court? tom: as i understand, no. daniel: i think there are probably detainees at guantanamo who, back in 2009, had been identified for potential prosecution. and they are still there. i do not know if they are in the now eligible for release category. maybe they have shifted over because of the prb or they might be in the indefinite detention category.
part of the government's plan that they are releasing publicly is to transfer what you can. and for the remainder, to look at the individual detainee and try to identify individualized options for them. which may include prosecution if that is feasible. karen: interesting. ok. so janet -- do not get upset when i say this -- is a newcomer to the conversation. this is a very long-standing conversation where even if we do not know each other personally, we know of each other. we have followed each other's work for a long time. there is a general sharing of what tom said, which is that it is so insulting to the world law -- to the role of law to many people to have people in guantanamo and to have indefinite detention.
janet comes on the scene and decides it would be a good idea to write about guantanamo. which, i'm not sure how that happened. she has been writing about terrorism prosecutions in the united states. she called a number of people to talk about it. one of the people she called was me. it was so interesting, her piecing this together by herself and being surprised by things that the rest of us were sort of talking about for years. my question to you, if you can kind of go back there, you went to guantanamo, you figured out the situation, what were the things that really surprised you? even though we have a vibrant press about it, we are still just, you know? janet: first of all, i see john, who is one of our colleagues at "rolling stone" occasionally. he is the person who urged me to
go to guantanamo three or four years ago. so i have to say thank you. i was trying to get my editors to say yes to this idea for years. when they finally did say yes, the idea was, how is this place still open? this terrible remnant of 9/11, anyway. -- in a way. what surprised me about it was how 9/11 still exists. it is a place where the september 11 mindset pretty much never dies. i am trying to think. it is kind of a fake war zone. you arrive there and it is dusty. there are tents. you arrive on a ferry and drive down this dusty hill into this place that looks like a forward operating base, for anyone who has ever covered a war, which i have. i was appalled by this. i covered the iraq war.
i had been in other conflicts prior to that. guantanamo is suburbia. like any naval base, any military base out there, these are bases, no matter if they are here in the united states or if they are anywhere, that are kind of built as americans. that is normal. that is how it military installation works. they all have fast food restaurants. they all have movie theaters. so that, which is always portrayed in stories about gitmo, is so bizarre. it is actually not that bizarre. what is bizarre is that there are these two pockets of the base that are very separate from one another. one which is called camp justice, which is where the military commissions happened. the other which carol has designated as the detention center zone. that was her line.
by the way, everyone on this panel was in my article. these are all my sources. and a few of you in the audience, too. so thanks. so you have these two pockets war.hose places are the i was covering iraq in 2004 and 2005. it was like the war. you drive in and there is high-security. you can't take pictures and you live in these tents and it is dusty and everyone is in their camo. the entire mindset is -- i should go back and say that in iraq and afghanistan, the military and the united states officials that are part of the operation, they live in these secure, bunker-like settings. this is very high-security. you do not venture out into the root zone of the real country that you are in. in gitmo, you are in high security settings, too.
you have badges that you must wear when you are inside of -- whether you are in camp justice or the detention center area, you have special badges. you are not supposed to wear them when you go to lunch, the cafeteria, or go to the gym, where you can workout on a very nice treadmill and then take a sauna. you can literally go and take a shower in this beautiful facility. that would be like anybody's gym anywhere, but nicer. you, as a reporter for human rights monitor or in many cases, a lawyer, you must stay in a tent where you have showers in a tent. the bathrooms are also in a tent. it is like this bizarre disconnect of modern american life set up for this infrastructure of several thousand -- 4000 or so naval
personnel and contractors and 2000 or so military guys who are just attached to these two gitmo -- the gitmo that we think of, who live in a different world. and the reporters that we go -- they go and cover this must live in that world. that is one thing that is surprising. the second thing that is surprising is that -- the people who cover -- excuse me, the people who are posted at gitmo in terms of the detention and the legal operation there, they are our national guard troops. i do not want to offend them because these are well-meaning people. they are very naive and very ignorant. this is, i think, a purposeful thing. there is no institutional memory of guantanamo at all. the reason for that is because the people who have been posted
there are on nine-month employments. -- nine-month deployments. most are not professional soldiers. so they don't even have -- some of them have deployed to iraq and afghanistan. a number of them, i think, have, but in very limited capacities. many of them have not. this is the only time they would ever serve in the military in any kind of active context from their real-life job, which ranges from being a prison guard to being a taxi driver to being completely unemployed to being this one lovely public affairs officer who is an eighth grade high school teacher, english teacher. to them, this is there one shot at serving their country. and they know absolutely nothing about the history of guantanamo at all. most of them are very young. 22, 23. there was one kid that i was spending time with and he was taking me on a tour of the
detention area, including camp x-ray, the infamous place where the prisoners were originally taken in 2002. they were not there for very long, but that is where they had the dog cages. it is now really overgrown. he was taking me on a tour. like these are outside cages and there are like vines. it is like a jungle. he is taking me to these interrogation sheds that are made out of wood. having covered other things, i said this is kind of like abu ghraib, because it is. the setup of it and the history of it, guantanamo, the general who set the whole place up and then went and took this set up and mindset and everything to abu ghraib. this was also exported to other countries and u.s. operations. i made the joke to him that this is kind of abu ghraib-y,
and he looked at me like i did not know 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? he did not really know what it was. knewew it kind of but he not to take pictures because that could get him in trouble. but he didn't know the whole history, the reason that abu ghraib was such -- those practices started at guantanamo. very well-documented, right? torture. the torture report came out. you have all kinds of reports of abuses. years and years, 14 years of writing on this, which everybody else on this panel is an expert on, but that ignorance -- he had
no idea about that. he did not know any of that history. after a day or two, some of these kids that we were spending our time with were basically trying to learn from us. we were teaching them about their own american history, which is something that no one can say, well, i am really happy that i am on this tour with you. i get to learn the things that you are learning. i said, i am not learning anything. you need to read the story that i write and maybe you will learn something. the point of it is this is an intentional thing. in my view, you have troops on very short deployments who do not have any idea of who they are guarding. they do not want to know. they are told not to know. they are terrified of the people they are guarding. they think they are dangerous criminals.
they think they are criminals. the point of guantanamo and the thing that is so un-american about it, as tom talked about a lot, they have not been charged for the most part. 10 of them are in the military commissions process. the rest of them has not -- have not been charged with a crime. they certainly have not been convicted of a crime. so it is horrific, as a reporter, that this is a prison -- you know, you are reporting on a prison that the military is very proud of. they will tell you endlessly how awesome their facilities are and how this is 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 are just detained. they are interred there and have been for 14 years. the fact that everyone who was charged with watching them, handling them, promoting their
work there does not have a clue about this, is not really connected to it, does not ask a question about it. and seemingly does not really think very deeply about it. it is super highly disturbing. the last thing i would say is that all of that set up -- and i have written a very long article, so i am trying to sum up this article in as short a time as i can. and it was much longer originally. every aspect of one's visit to gitmo is designed, as carol will talk about, for somebody like me, who is a newcomer and does not have a history there. i have no history either. i just know the facts because i have covered this stuff for a long time and i am an adult, so i remember 9/11. i know what has happened since 9/11.
i am not 22 any longer. sadly. but the place is set up for people who know nothing. so the government or the military can kind of promote the same narrative, whatever the narrative is that they want to promote, which is that this is a transparent, safe, humane operation. that they are treating everybody well. that this is not some horrible place. it is not abu ghraib. it is not the gitmo that we remember from the mid to thousands. nobody is being tortured. you will hear that over and over again. it is all clean, safe, etc., and we are doing a really professional, good job here. we want to show you what a good job we are doing. everything about it is set up for this message. when you do a tour of the detention facility in particular, you are rushed
through it in a way that leaves barely any time to ask serious questions, penetrating questions. if you do ask any serious questions, you get in trouble. what happened to me? the most crucial aspect of this is this is about however many prisoners there are. there are now 93, 91. ok. when i was there, there were 107. i do not care if there is 20. i personally think, and journalistically, that it is worth reporting on people who have never been charged with a crime and are interred by the united states government for 14 years. that is an important story. no matter if it is three people. it is un-american to continue to do that without having some sense of resolution. so their entire purpose is to not show you those prisoners. the most disturbing aspect of
gitmo is that tremendous suffering happened at this place. it is a very disturbing -- you get this vibe that makes you really uncomfortable and you do not quite know why. there is this banality about the way everyone is naively unable to answer your questions. it is set up in this very banal, clean, and deceptive kind of environment. yet there are people there who have been there for a long time who have not -- who have no idea when and if they will ever go home. who have no idea when or if they will ever be put on trial. most of them will not be. and that is its own sort of purgatory. and that is its own sort of torture, i think. i think the torture of being cleared for release from gitmo in 2005 or something and then not being released for the next
however many years, that is torturous. and those are very important points. when you bring the points up. there is no one in the military who will answer those questions with you on those points. and you cannot see anyone who has been detained except for maybe five minutes or part of the tour. and you see them in this communal area. these are only detainees who are compliant. they are the ones who have not caused any trouble. they are not the high-value people. they are not ksm, not anyone who has been charged with a crime or considered a high-value prisoner. the experience of it is you look at them through this glass and it is a one-way glass. it is like you are looking at
animals in the zoo. you cannot interview them. people would ask me and even our fact checkers would be like, did you get to interview them? i laughed because it is such a ridiculous question. no, journalists cannot interview anyone interred in guantanamo, even though lawyers, like wells has said many times, he would love me to interview his clients. the clients would be thrilled to talk to reporters, but you cannot. the entire kind of experience of the place is forgetting. forget that we found a place that is an extra legal no man's land. it is the legal equivalent of outer space is how someone in
the bush administration phrase it. forget that. or get that the place is not necessarily legal. forget that these people may not have committed a crime. forget that most of them were rounded up not on the battlefield, but were handed over in many cases by fellow tribesmen someone who had beef with the family, lots of other forces, foreign governments. forget that they have not been charged with anything and that they have existed in this kind of endless limbo. and just focus instead on the idea that president obama wants to close guantanamo and we are going to carry out his policy whenever that happens. until then, we are going to treat the detainees as fairly and humanely as possible. that is outrageous. karen: what we have standing between us and forgetting is carol rosenberg, who refuses to let us forget. i do not know if that is a curse
or a blessing. that job. because somebody has to be there to do it. one of the things i am glad you brought up and one of the things that wells and tom have dealt with and many of the attorneys is the detainees themselves. i am astonished by these policy conversations that will mention the detainees, but not talk about who these people are, that have been in detention for so long. every now and then, someone will have a filming about them. they will be interviewed. the footage of omar being questioned and returning to canada, and what he said, it is overwhelming, emotionally. i am disturbed by the fact that there is no human element. carol, i know you have tons to say and i want you to say whatever you want.
just like tom. but i want to talk about how you kept having -- there was always something new. it's changed so much. the guidebook that shows you what to tell visitors when they come here. how many additions of that? how many times guantanamo has changed while you have been there and what it has meant for you. but in addition to what you are going to answer. carol: first of all, i wanted to say -- no self-respecting reporter wants to be a crop -- a prop in a pentagon talking point about transparency. that really is the contract you make when you go to gitmo. they let you there so they can say it is transparent. i'm going to say straight from the start, janet was the last person allowed in the detention center. this is a tremendous problem. not janet is a problem, it is a problem that they no longer allow reporters inside the detention center to look at the
detainees. it is not a comfortable thing. to feel like you are at the zoo looking through one-way glass. in the absence of being able to have reporters going in, talking to guards, seeing conditions, engaging with people in the detention center, we really do not know what is going on there. i think some strange things have gone on. if you look at the coverage of what we have heard from some of the lawyers, there is some very big questions about why lawyers have to buy detainees footwear in a detention center that, at this moment, if you do the most dramatic crunch of what it costs, it works out to $4.4 million a detainee per year. we can talk about how they can do that math.
i did my own study and do not necessarily agree with everything they threw in the pot. but the budget that causes the guantanamo detention center to exist and supports nearly 2000 soldiers and staff and contractors and civilians -- if you take all of the costs associated with that and the commissions and you divide it by, as of yesterday, 91 detainees, you would reach, at this moment, $4.4 million. that is the contract you make when you go to guantanamo. it is not comfortable. people have to constantly push to get meaningful answers to hard questions and to see meaningful things when they go down there. sometimes i like to talk about the story of karen going down there because i love that story. there was a point when they stopped showing her anything she was interested in seeing. i tell that story. i had not met karen before. i was shocked.
she was basically being led around on a tour that ceased to give her the subject matter she needed and she said, take me to my room and pick me up when it is time for me to go to the plane. that is 1.i wanted to make. every time, i have to try to push as hard as i can to get answers for questions. what i like about karen's questions, it appeals to the geek in me. the question is, who are the people that should be tried? in 2009 and 2010, this task force, using intelligence that we now know to be terribly flawed, categorized people into different buckets. one of the buckets were people referred for prosecution. asawa, who left yesterday after
going through the parole board and is now starting his life in bosnia, was on that list to be prosecuted. it became clear, as they worked their way through that task force, from the parole board hearing around one year ago, that there was nothing that they could sustain to prosecute them for. we could have an entire panel on war crimes that are not war crimes. war crimes that were once thought to be war crimes and are no longer were crimes. to which i wanted to just say to dan, i have been hearing since the first commissions that the defense attorneys are the reasons why people -- the reasons why there are delays. and that the defense attorneys file motions that seem to derail the process. what i know is that the defense attorneys motions that seem to derail the process went to the supreme court and concluded that the process, at that moment, the
beginning, was illegitimate. that the defense attorneys who filed motions that challenged the integrity of military commissions have been reshaping military commissions throughout this. crimes that were once considered crimes are no longer considered crimes. the reason that those 36 people who were chosen as candidates for prosecution cannot be prosecuted is the crimes that they considered possibly legitimate in 2009, the court thought they might take them are no longer available. what you have is this parole board working their way through people who were once thought to be possibly candidates for were -- candidates for war crimes trials who are no longer eligible because it does not fit into the paradigm of what a military commission is. and what they like to call the indefinite detention bucket. but i think they are very
distinct foreign prisoners. these are people who were told we think you committed a crime and we are going to let you have your day in court and you can defend yourself. it is not the forever prisoners who were told, we do not think you committed a crime, but we do not feel good about letting you go. we are afraid of you and we are going to keep you here. they are two very distinct categories. what we know if you have studied the commissions, there are what we know it you have studied -- as we have studied the commissions, there are probably six people who might be tried. the rest of them have been systematically either moved out of that bucket -- one of them, maybe two of them went back to kuwait. a lot have been released in different fashions who were once considered candidates for a trial. lots of them have not gone before the parole board. the idea that it is not going to be finished by the time that obama leaves office is true, but
frankly, the parole board that obama set up said that everyone gets one in the first year and then they get every six months reviewed. they have not, in any way, accomplished the meaning of the parole board. ok. and then the subject of, is guantanamo going to close? when president obama ran, when he said he wanted to close guantanamo, it was fairly clear he said we were going to try people or lets them go. he believed that what bush had set up was a legitimate. -- illegitimate. that people were entitled to trials or release. what happened in the first year of the process, they realized there was another category of prisoner.
people that they do not want to try, they know that they cannot try, but are afraid to let go. once you have that category. we call them the forever prisoners. they are prisoners of a war that does not have a 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? when does that war end? we call it guantanamo north
. at the "miami herald" we come up with these expressions -- the detention centers, we come up with these expressions to explain complicated processes. guantanamo north means you can shut down that zone, you can send home all the national guard. we know what the plan is. we have not seen all of the bits of the plan. they want to continue to have commissions and forever prisoners, prisoners of war that are not entitled to p.o.w. that number is shrinking.
the only way that this can happen in barack obama's administration is if he persuades congress to let him do it or he decides he has the authority to defy congress, and will pick them up and move them. those are the two choices. we have heard on the panel, some people believe he has the authority. we have not heard from the president whether he believes he has that specific authority. he believes congress' prohibitions on him moving people to the u.s. are at odds with his commander-in-chief authority. he believes the executive has the prerogative to do that. we have seen that in his writings. that is how guantanamo closes. it is by moving it. the only way it gets moved is there is some grant political
deal -- grand political deal that suddenly all of the members of congress and the senate who love to demagogue the issue of guantanamo change their mind and say fine, let them come here. or he comes up with a way to move them without permission of congress, and possibly without the knowledge of congress. as we talked about earlier, when he goes to move them, invoking his commander-in-chief authority, it's likely ends up in the courts. then the courts gets to decide whether or not the commander-in-chief authority trumps the congressional authority. i don't know if there is enough time for that to work its way through the courts. how's that? karen: it depends on how you
define "close," right? one thing that carol touched upon that i want to turn to you attorneys about -- if the detainees did come here. if obama found a way, there are a number of people that would say who would make that bargain? a number of defense attorneys making that bargain because they think there is a way into the legal system at that point. can you talk about that? >> sure. with respect to whether detainees would be better off in the u.s. versus remaining in guantanamo -- all i can say about that, as someone who represents men that are detained, is that it depends.
it is a detainee by detainee issue. they thought they would get a better shot through habeas, because they would have full constitutional rights. there are others who are not sure that would have any practical benefit for them. for some, there is a more practical concern, which is conditions of confinement. there is a lot of talk when we hear about the plan and bringing detainees to the u.s. for continued detention without charge or trial, with that, there is talk about putting these men in super max prisons. these are men not convicted of crimes. you hear members of congress talking about putting them in super max prisons. carol also mentioned the grand bargain.
one of the concerns about a grand bargain that ultimately was not enacted was a plan put forth by senator graham, which included a limitation on detainee rights, and attempt to roll back some of their habeas corpus rights. ultimately to prevent challenges to conditions of confinement. this idea that when order to sell detainee transfers to the u.s., the investigation will have to put them into solitary confinement or something equivalent. that would be completely unlawful. we would challenge that on behalf of our clients. there would be an added piece to that, intending to strip those rights. again, there are some detainees absolutely willing to take that
shot. i know tom has views on this. karen: let's turn to tom. he described guantanamo has created to be outside the law, which very few would dispute. outerspace does have laws, so it's even worse. bringing them to the u.s., would in essence, enable lawyers to bring this with inside the law? tom: i do. i will answer that directly. [laughter] let me go back a moment to what carol said. then i'll come to this.
carol, there is an assumption people make that this category of forever detainees are people that we know should be held, or fought in some war, but you cannot prosecute them. the reason they cannot prosecute them is because there is evidence that would stand up in a court of law. most are allegations against people, which raises suspicions they would've been associated with al qaeda or taliban. mostly at a low level. it is precisely the sort of non-evidence that people -- everybody could be suspicious. under our system, you can't hold people based on suspicion. it's not that they know that they are terrorists. i use the b.s. category, but the allegations are so flimsy, they wouldn't not stand up.
-- they wouldn't stand up. karen: and the support in that argument you make are in the numbers. 48 when the task force created them, then they have systematically peeled that label. currently 25 them, but 2 of them died. do the math. the category was labeled inappropriate, just like enemy combatants that were reevaluated. they were no longer enemy combatants. i'm not defending it-- i'm explaining the existence of the category. your argument is bolstered by the fact that people are put in a category that are no longer. tom: the view is holding people based on suspicion, which is inaccurate to our entire system. i have long felt -- early on in
the obama administration, there was a question to move them to thompson in illinois. it was opposed by a lot of people. i supported it because as one of the guys involved in guantanamo, the whole reason for its existence was to avoid the law. it was to create a zone outside the law. a zone where you can hold people based only on suspicion. carol: the intention of thompson was to continue that on u.s. soil. tom: the reason they don't have constitutional rights are because they are outside u.s. territory. he second they are in the u.s., they have those rights. if they were here, they would have been out. carol: when senator mccain says he wants a plan, he wants a plan that continues to assert-- tom: i don't understand why
people-- congress doesn't have the right to violate the constitution. they revoke habeas corpus. the constitution -- there is no way that these people can be held without charge based on suspicion consistent with due process. wells is right. the reason we have not had that, it makes us totally dependent on the bush and obama administration. we have not had a legal remedy. it is awfully late. it would take a few years to do it. i hope we get them out before them. the important thing is a legal remedy. i would like to reestablish, i think the vast that the d.c. circuit has said that those at orthogonal don't have due process -- those at guantanamo don't have due process, it is appalling. can i raise another question to you? the issue at guantanamo, is a security panel, we may be talking to the choir here.
everybody might agree with us, but a lot of people in this country feel that we need a place outside the law to deal with terrorism. they feel that we need torture. i ask you, my feeling has always been that we don't. that ultimately it hurts us. we are much better off, and are stronger by sticking to our principles. i don't know why we always abandon them. from a security standpoint, most people in the country think we need a little torture. i might not like it, but i like this place were we can put muslims where there is no law. we have to address that issue. i think it is the wrong issue. >> don't you think torture is underlying everything about guantanamo? that was my conclusion after interviewing all of you.
that tortue is why the prosecutions are not able to go forward. it's why no one can answer your questions. it's why, just as a person who is observing, it's why the place is so deeply uncomfortable. it's the original shame, crime that happened there. it is this terrible thing. karen: it is not so much that it happened there. but it is that it happened in a way that affected those cases. i don't know if it is in every case, but it is the symbol of how far this can go when you get outside the law. i think they are connected. the thing about guantanamo that tom raises interestingly about evidence.
we hear this all the time, why are you trying these guys? we don't have enough evidence to try them. sometimes, it's because the evidence was gained through torture. tom: not just torture-- karen: i know that. in some cases, it's just that they don't have evidence. tom: we might suspect them a little bit. carol: it's that they don't think they are criminals in some sense. they are war prisoners. karen: i want to bring dan in here to enlighten us. [laughter] >> i think dan has been happy. karen: but a lot of things have been talked about here that are in uncomfortable territory.
in those national security council white house discussions, were these kinds of issues raised or debated? were the detainees thought about? was it considered so intractable, or was it narrowed for the purpose of practicality? you don't have to answer. you could answer in the way tom answers. [laughter] dan: it's a good question. people are disgusted at the individual detainee level. the treatment is disgusting. folks who represent the detainees and other human rights groups have met with the white house and white house officials. it is something that we are focused on, even as we focus on the greater policy. one of the reasons the president wants to close guantanamo, it is a proving ground for terrorism.
the orange jumpsuits, the individuals executed by isis were put in orange jumpsuits. that reflects back on the orange jumpsuits of the early day of guantanamo bay. there is no question that's one of the motivating factors. it has this stain on it. people on this panel are calling it tortue. those were prohibited by president obama upon coming into office.
we don't treat detainees that way. the focus should be less on how the media treats it. more focused on how the detainees are treated. i would let the defense department talk about detainee treatment. that is the focus. it is a focus for the administration. >> but detainee treatment at this point is a talking point. they won't talk about it in meaningful substance because it has entered the courts. i want to ask a question. wells says that maybe obama went off the rails. >> that was the earliest point,
certainly a defining moment. carol: i'm wondering what the administration thinks was the moment they lost the momentum. which they clearly have decided they are going to try and regain. we are in a period of an absolute drive towards that. 16 people are left. in the administration view, where did it go off the rails? >> i don't speak for the administration, so i can't answer that question. carol: so in your view-- [laughter] as not an administration advocate. i should not have ask you about the administration. when did it go wrong? >> it went wrong early. in the archives speech, we already knew we were in the wrong place. that is four months after taking office. after obama took office, they were the first truly serious
attacks against u.s. soil in the first 11 months after he came into office that we had seen since 9/11. in that time, a lot of things happened. that had not happened in such a profound way by the archives speech. you and i have both interviewed a lot of people on this. as you've reported, collecting the information on these individuals, which hadn't been done prior, to make the statement we are going to close one timeout, without knowing we did not have the information, may have been one of the first. carol: i think they were shocked when they opened the files, how unreliable some of the information was. dan: in terms of where it went off the rails, it was an evolution.
there was a decision made to embrace, if you will, the concept of indefinite detention. that with the archives speech. that was a major strategic error in our view at the center for constitutional rights. you have the underwear bomber. the inability of the president at that point in time to withstand or push back against the political rhetoric that came out as a result of that. you have this given take, ebb and flow with respect to early guantanamo policy. when we were litigating cases, we were winning 75-80% of them. there were transfers that were happening. that was a major major component
of early guantanamo policy. that continued until the time of the underwear bomber. you have the decision from the d.c. circuit. the circuit, from that point on, essentially reached conclusion authorizing the administration to continue to hold detainees at guantanamo based on little more than government say-so. the administration realized, wait a second, we can fight these cases even if we lose at the district court. we can prevail at the circuit, which is what has happened. you have a gradual turning away from the process of transfers.
by 2011, president has basically turned his back on the person. you have congress step in to fill the void. >> it was the government arguing these cases in the circuit court. dan: when i started out the discussion tonight by saying the president has long had authority to close the prison. one thing he could decide to do, and could have from the very beginning, was not to contest litigation. karen: that is right. people are going to yell at me afterwards. i have to take some questions. please remember that this is on c-span, so speak actually. -- speak quickly. use the mic, make it a question, not a speech. can i see where the mics are?
>> i just have a mic. karen: who has questions? can you raise your hands? identify yourself. >> ima criminal defense lawyer in new york, also litigated in guantanamo. this is not a criticism of mr. rosenthal. >> thank you. [laughter] >> well no, just because you repeated something that is taken as fact, when i have been provided a different scenario. two concepts, one is a legal resistance to the commissions, and the concept of torture. rather than defense lawyers gumming up the commissions, the commissions gum themselves up in the resistance to litigating torture.
if they let the lawyers litigate torture, these cases would have moved a lot faster. carol probably has the best to show --best institutional memory. but if tom and wells want to talk about it, just how many times, either through the pressing of the button, the classification of procedures, all of that has been delayed by the government, not by the defense. karen: do you want to comment? >> thanks a lot for the comment. at least from my vantage point, from serving in the white house, our focus was on the policy of transferring detainees and not on the military commissions, which have run themselves in some way. i don't have any specific comment. but i appreciate your thoughts.
>> it was not meant for you to answer. that is not your mandate. karen: more questions. >> hi, thank you. just a citizen, not an attorney. [laughter] karen: great. >> attorneys are citizens also, by the way. [laughter] >> but i am not. two entwined things, i think. gitmo being established because it was out there. the question of it being our sovereignty and the unfair treatment with cuba. who can or can't run for president? what is or isn't our territory. you are dealing with a great moral issue, and i much appreciate that. it seems to only be schools like this one and cardoza and the cuny law school that deal with those issues. i much appreciate that.
the ideal of cruel and unusual punishment, which torture comes under. we have a debate in this country of capital punishment. we know that people have been innocent, and yet have been executed because governors say the process must go in. you are saying a process goes on ridiculously. i am wondering, is this really out there? is this discussing what is an integral thing to the way we conduct the law in the u.s. and its just happens to be on the island of? -- and it just happens to be on the island of cuba? >> that is what it is.
anything fictitious, artificial idea that cuba, autonomous is not --guantanamo is not us. we can't give an excuse for violating our fundamental laws by saying we are doing it elsewhere. it is so reprehensible. i worry even if we close guantanamo, those presidents are still in the books. -- those precedents are still in the books. i have a question for dan. wells had made the point, it's it six ordinary to me that the administration --it's extraordinary that the administration that wants to close on how have used -- close guantanamo have use d.c. circuit opinions. has the administration ever
discussed, why don't we tell the justice permit --justice department to stop closing these cases? >> i will give you an unsatisfactory answer, which is i don't feel comfortable talking about internal deliberations in the government. i can confirm one way or the other. these are ongoing matters of litigation by the justice department. i would revert those questions to them. sorry. carol: the fact that the obama administration wants to move these people to u.s. soil and believes they can hold them in this long war detention means they think is legitimate. tom and i will disagree. tom believes that you get them here in the courts and the whole house of cards. -- cards falls down.
the obama administration believes they can continue this paradigm of long war detention for al qaeda on u.s. soil. they believe it is legal and legitimate, whether it is there or here. they would not be trying to do it here if they did not believe that. tom: why do you say that? carol: do you think it's a plan to bring them here to implode the whole doctrine? tom: i don't see how they can think that they can hold people-- first of all, based purely on suspicion and not evidence. you are saying it's for the long war. do not assume that. they need to prove it. that's something you can challenge in court. i don't believe they believe that. i really don't. they are trying to close guantanamo. karen: what's interesting about that, it's amazing tom that you're so hopeful about the system of the rule of law in the country.
i think a lot of lawyers have talked this way. i find it really interesting. i think the larger question here is, what has happened to the law in the criminal justice system since 9/11? have we lost ground permanently, or is this just an aberration? we don't know the answer. the debate you are having is over what the answer will be. it is something we should think long and hard about. >> tom mentioned earlier the number of cases that the government is opposing regarding guantanamo. one of them is footing the release of force-feeding videos. if the goal is to close guantanamo, why fight against transparency that might spark a public outcry against that? >> you want to go?
>> i think it is an issue of detainee treatment. when you talk about complaining about one's access, or the experience you might have as a visitor, the reason you are having that experience is because there is no discussion about detainee treatment. the release of these videos is something the government has been fighting. it is an opaque system. you have a single line that comes from the government about who the detainees are, how they are being treated, what the goal is. you cannot question it because they will not give you any room to maneuver to ask the questions.
karen: dan, poor guy is not responsible for this. >> it's important point. karen: one more question, and i will ask each of you to think is is going to close by the end of the obama presidency, yes or no? and you don't even have to explain. wait for the microphone and please be brief, as we are out of time. >> my name is alexander, i am a columbia phd, a sociologist and an expert on organizations. i commend you for focusing on guantanamo. 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 am in constant surveillance. they will comment on what i am doing in my house.
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 drones. one second. karen: we are going to take two more questions. >> i have drones and planes buzzing over my house. karen: you can talk to me afterwards about that. thank you. two more questions in a row. >> we are talking about high-stakes issues. a lot of the treatment is in service of information to protect us. the way you are speaking about how we go about work in the prisons in new york city. rikers island is under scrutiny for the way they handled prisoners. i saw a lot there. it was like the middle ages. it speaks to me when you say it is our process.
people are in detention for months on end. it is because it's small stakes issues. some of he needs to direct attention to that as well. karen: this is what eric holder, on some levels, is going to talk about now that he is out of office. who knows? maybe someone else will. one more very quick question. >> i teach here. in the peace and justice program. you have been talking about what can be done within the law. i belong to a group called witness against torture. for the last 11 years, we have gone to washington every january 11 and done civil disobedience actions. we have gone outside of the law to try and bring attention to this matter. i would like to know, has anybody noticed?
>> very few people, unfortunately. it is a shame. what you do is great. >> there are people that notice. the people that notice are the men detained in guantanamo, because we tell them. i mentioned a classic example of the president not doing everything he could. fighting a case that should not be fought. she knows about this. -- he knows about this. we certainly appreciate on his behalf and the other men that we represent. karen: i would argue that far too few do. more often than not, people say, did not we close that? [laughter] karen: you have a question? >> hi, question for carol. do you have any sense of what
camp 7 in a possible gitmo north might look like? the cia's role is always in the shadows. what might that look like if it is moved to the mainland? karen: explain what camp 7 is. carol: camp 7 is the prison reporters aren't taken to, that a they are not allowed to know. we were told how much money was spent to build it was a state secret. it's the place where the men who were disappeared into the cia black sites between 2000-2006. it is a prison within the prison at guantanamo that is a maximum-security prison. one of wells' clients is there. because of what happened to them, they are to some degree
considered to be classified human beings, because they no state secrets, like they were held -- they know state secrets, like where they were held that we are not allowed to know. it is a top security for patient by --security prison by reach you of the people that it holds. not by virtue of what they've done. half of them have never been charged with crimes. not by virtue of their behavior. what little we know about it is that they are highly compliant. but they need to be segregated from the rest of the prisoners, because they cannot know where they were held and what was done to them. the question is, if they bring them to guantanamo north, i have an expectation they can mix and mingle with the others? no. as long as aspects of their
experience are classified, the people that control that classification, presumably the cia, who control their access. thompson was a model of what guantanamo north could have been. it would have very much looking like camp 5. sorry, camp 4. communal p.o.w. style hogans heroes detention, where people can live together, eat together, pray together, which does not exist today. >> good afternoon.
i'm here on behalf of governor jeb bush. i retired from the navy as a four-star admiral in my last job was commander of the u.s. atlantic fleet, where we had about 160,000 sailors and in and who were today day out to help defend this country. audienceeryone in this shares the same values in the same goals of how important it is for this country to be protected into the future. that's why i represent over 40 admirals and generals a lot of other men and women in uniform today and retired saying that we need a leader in the white house to be our next commander-in-chief. we represent and support 100% governor jeb bush. everyone to rise and
join me in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. thank you. at this what i would like to turn this microphone over to bobby williams. i'm from birmingham. i went to john carroll high school. >> we went to the same high .chool in birmingham, alabama >> i bobby williams, a local restaurant here -- restauranteur . excited to be able to
introduce lindsey graham. lindsay has earned the reputation as a common sense .onservative problem solver he wants our defense to be extremely strong, and i think we all agree with that. as a business owner, i'm proud to think that senator graham is a leader who carries it vocus on cutting wasteful spending, reforming entitlements, and getting the government out of the way so businesses like mine may continue to create jobs. on a personal level, i got to see senator graham up front. my son christopher worked in his washington office for three years. what i found out about senator graham is he is honest, hard-working, fair. he loves our country, he loves made southand he has carolina a better place to live because of his hard work.
it is my honor and pleasure to introduce senator lindsey graham. graham: thank you very much. anybody been to lizards they get -- lizard's thicket? we are going to get you off that low-carb diet. my family owned a restaurant too. my dad owned a bar, restaurant, liquor store, and pool room. work hard,early, you you have to go to work every day whether you feel like it or not. literally my mom and dad never sundayay off except because they close the liquor store on sunday. i know what it's like to be in small business, and so does jeb bush.
been more worried about the small business world that i am today. never let somebody president who had not bought a car. that's barack obama. much less run anything. isommunity organizer probably not the best training ground to be a commander in chief. was inut -- jeb bush tears the commander-in-chief of the florida national guard. i know people who served under him in lord, the two adjutant journals -- generals serving with jeb talk about his handling and six hurricanes tropical storms in 8 months, making 150 phone calls to loved ones -- to families who had lost ones in iraq and
afghanistan -- don't you think that is a hell of a lot better than a community organizer? jeb said, don't cuss anymore, and i didn't. is number one candidate crazy. other than that, we're ok. i say that understanding i don't want to give crazy a bad name. i think he's crazy. you've got to be crazy to believe that george w. russia lied to the american people bush lied-- george w. to the american people about the iraq war. that comes from kookland. are onple who go there an island, and you don't want to take them off the island. this is not crazy. that presidents
was responsible for 9/11. that offends me. does that offend you? [applause] i've had the honor to be in the oval office with president bush and president obama. it is a very special place to find yourself. i had the honor to be in the oval office with president bush when he had to addressed -- adjust his strategy on the war in iraq. it is during these times that you learn about leaders. our calculations about iraq prove not to work out great war is an uncertain thing. polls,than following the republicans and democrats were ready to cut and run, myself, john sat down with president
bush and his military and national security advisers. president bush listened intently. he said, i'm all in. idon't want to see a poll, want to know what's best for our country to secure the future of america. has thee that jeb bush temperament, the judgment, and the experience to win a war that we can't afford to lose. the next president of the united states is going to be a wartime president. donald trump doesn't understand this war. what makesunderstand america great. if he did, he would not say the hateful things he has been saying. [applause] ted cruz is a first-term senator who could not make sunday a day off. nobody works with him.
in ted's world, everybody is wrong except ted. there's not much common ground. marco rubio is a talented man who i like. i was not ready to be president at 44. jeb bush is ready to be president better than marco rubio. [applause] jeb bush decided not to expand obamacare. john kasich felt like that was the right thing to do. that then line is carson is the nicest man in the arson is the c nicest man in the world, and if ben carson is mad at ted cruz, that says a lot about ted cruz. so we are down to jeb. out,t with jeb when i got
because i believed having been around all of them that this was the man that could pull our country back together, solve hard problems, because he did it in florida. do you want to win this election as republicans? [applause] here's the question. you should embrace a man who won getting 60% of the hispanic vote. if we can come anywhere near that, we win going away. how do you get 60% of the hispanic vote? by being a governor for everybody and proving to hispanics that conservative suppose work for them -- principles work for them. we have the best candidate in our midst. we have the guy who's ready to be president on day one, who understands the job because his dad and his mother had it -- brother had it. i like the bush family. they represent south carolina trump much better than
values. i don't know what trump values are. they are foreign to me. they're not what i can relate to. -- saturday irs ask you one thing. if jeb bush the momentum he needs to become the alternative to donald trump, a man jeb bush has stood up to while everyone stood in the corner because they were worried about the concert winces of taking on the -- consequences of taking on the bully. jeb called me to ask about my advice on the war while we were competitors. that shows a man with confidence. win this about how to war and i am confident he understands how to win it. when he stood up to trump and nobody else would, that close
the deal with me. if you can't stand up to trump, you are not going to stand up to hillary or bernie or putin. we have a chance in south carolina to reset this race. people ask me, why would i get involved? how could i not? the next president of the united states, jeb bush. lindsey. thank you, [applause] thank you all. thank you. thanks, guys. thank you so much for your leadership, your patriotism, being the phenomenal senator for the phenomenal state. lindsey graham is a bubbly the single biggest, most important expert on national security in the united states senate.
and he is supporting me, which i'm honored about, because he could have been supporting one of his colleagues, or he could have stayed out. but he believes i've got the right stuff, and i'm honored to call you a friend, and you have been a phenomenal advisor and supporter during this journey. i want to recognize a few people. this anyone know who roland martin is? he's right here. [applause] roland lives in naples, florida. he has never been involved in politics before, but he saw me in action as governor of the state of florida trying to protract wild florida -- protect wild florida. he is a great guy, and it's great to have you on the trail. he is a small business person as well and knows what it's like to deal with all the massive amount of regulation that exists right
now in our country. i went to recognize my brother marvin, who is the smart bush. marv is smart because he stays below the radar and doesn't get to deal with all the cameras. he's had a great life and he's a great brother, great supporter. recognize the love of my life. next week will -- next week we will have been married 42 years. my wife is here. i met her when i was 17 years old. the girls sometimes think this is cool. it was literally love it for site. a lightning bolt hit me, and it changed my life. my life can be divided ac and bc.
thankfully the statute of limitations has run out for the before part, but she gave me order and purpose in my life that has kept me moving. i could not do this without her and i'm proud of her for all the things she has done as first lady of florida and being a loving wife. i want to tell a story about america, and that relates to my near-perfect first grandchild. walname is georgia helena ker bush. we call her 41 in the family because she is named after the greatest man alive, my dad. georgia is a texas mexican canadian iraqi american. columbo is mexican. i'm from texas. my daughter in law was born in
canada and her parents are iraqi. she is a quieter hyphenated american. when she fills out the form when notturns 18, she will say -- it will say not applicable. we should stop dividing ourselves up in our disparate parts and allowing politicians to do the same. [applause] my aspiration to run for theident is to resolve differences, focus on the things we have in common, create a sense of common purpose again, restore the confidence and optimism that should exist in this extraordinary country on the face of the earth, and we will never do it by having politicians prey on our fears and angst and have us -- and divide us up in all different ways. president obama is a gifted man.
stradivariusike a violin. in hisre was nothing background that would suggest that he can make a tough decision, forge consensus, that he was a leader. we are electing a president of the united states. it is the ultimate leadership job in this country. you can't blame everybody else for the problems that exist and be a successful president . it's important for people in south carolina and this country when they think about who they are going to support, past is prologue. we can't take a risky bet. for 7 years we have languished as a nation because this gifted man had nothing in his background that would suggest he could lead, and he hasn't. dodd-frank, obamacare, and the stimulus.
not a single republican vote. there on out, it has been done by executive order. in many cases he does not have the constitutional authority. i believe we need to get back to the business of protecting our democracy by respecting the constitution. i'm going to make a few promises today. minute,ne, first whatever happens, it happened on my watch. i will accept personal responsibility. i won't blame my predecessor. i will except responsibility and run to the challenge to fix the problem rather than try to figure out a way to avoid the controversy and cut and run. i hope you want a president who does just that. the second commitment i will make to you is, i love the constitution and i will not trample over it.
we will get back to the business of having respect for the constitution. no executive orders you don't have the power to do. no allowing for the divide to get a good by simply doing it your way without people who have a different view from me are not bad people, they might just a lot. there's a difference between pushingng people and away when you never have a chance to fort consensus and saying you might be wrong to have a dialogue to create consensus. great presidents do not push people down to make themselves look better. donald trump -- could you imagine him in the oval office shouting profanity, insulting , calling johncs mccain a loser because he was caught? john mccain was a