tv Today in Washington CSPAN May 21, 2013 6:00am-9:01am EDT
>> i think the role of the judiciary more generally but more specifically in terms of the question, first of all, i think they have a honeymoon period. i have no doubt in my mind. because the size of the victory. i think you'll be very difficult for the higher judiciary to start, you know, a manner that is too inconsistent. so there will be a honeymoon period, for how long ago. the second thing is we saw -- [inaudible] a principal reason was because governments are no governance -- [inaudible]. if you have an effective government which is regarded as legitimate for the actions that are taken and they are transparent and legitimate, it's
very hard than for the judiciary. i think the judiciary will have no incentive. the strong incentive that was created in the last five years, maybe more, was because of the judiciary, no governors and found -- [inaudible] and, therefore, the judiciary decided -- on one last point that i just wanted to make, i can hear all of him, the question about -- [inaudible] my own sense is that he moved quickly on msn. there's no reason for him to belabor. that gives a fresh impetus and the new momentum to the relationship. but i also agree with riaz that the approaching election in india with its own limits on what would be possible in terms of spectacular breakthrough.
but here is were i think the two countries can and should do, because here i am separating the urgent from the important to the important is andy. the urgent is afghanistan. the urgent means they need to have a conversation with india. on what each country -- we can't leave this to chance anymore. we cannot leave it to a point where the approaching 2014 transition, and each country is misconstruing the other smooth, and then hearing in a manner which frankly is of no use or no good for anybody, including the region. and also palestine. and i hope that one of the initiatives, he doesn't have to do it at this level and i think he shouldn't do it at his level, but to be able have a conversation with india on here is what we think our role is going to be going forward,
here's how we see ourselves beyond 2014 and for the sake of the indians would like to hear from you. and are their mutual assurances -- assurances we can give each other so we do not end up in reverting to the current situation that is everyone's nightmare which is the 1990 situation, where i think there is an understanding although the understanding is not between the two countries them between india and pakistan but each country separately does not wish to go back to the bad old days of the 1990s, nor does iran. so i think that creates a foundation of at least being clear about what they don't want. [inaudible] >> thank you, maleeha. just a quick word. >> brief comment. i think it would be ill-advised
to go for privatization or things like airlines. because it is going to imminently sparked agitation and i don't think he should have that kind of a problem to handle right at the start of his prime ministership. the important thing is that he's going to into some confidence in the private sector. and that will start to i think doing better things to the economy. >> i know there are lots of hands on trying to keep track of all of you. >> i'm a fellow at national endowment for democracy. my comment and a question is about the lose extend. because i think it's very important that the most troubled province -- baluchistan. look at the past relation result, you are right, and thereby join bpp last time with
one person left in the opposition. but this time it's very interesting that a party has won most of the seats. i think this is the first time that they've really taken the northern part of baluchistan. and people have shifted their votes towards them. and the second party, if third party i think is extremely important, and we can focus on that is the national party with six, and maybe one more, seats. because this is the only party that does not represent the tribal leadership, the tribal lords. and comes from a middle class and has risen from the south very quietly and has a lot of missionaries among them like senator, the doctor. they have gradually gained ground without being noticed because south has always been rejected, but has really grown in terms of education and
understanding. and is actually being considered for the chief minister which is a very important i think new development. and incidents remains -- and is considering three names. and it sounded like that from a middle-class gets selected or appointed like a chief minister i think i can really be a game changer for baluchistan because they're more in touch with the democratic front. and just a new kind of politics. so i just wanted to point out, in any field you have spilled we take that as a comment if you don't like, just move on to the other questioners. we have a question in there and then come to the front. >> is the microphone on?
>> thank you. i just came back yesterday after spending three months in pakistan doing a book on democracy and politics there. so i would like to revert to the doctor, the observation about -- one thing interesting that pakistan, national assembly -- [inaudible] were in 1998 census -- so it is still pakistan's national assembly as a provincial dominated by the world. and unless the changes i don't think what was mentioned that pakistan's future is not going to happen. that has been shown by pti that
they have one, not only one urban seat but also major, the second part in karachi. i think a change is going to take place although i was denied vote, never happen. but i saw, especially the youth population in karachi, that how dedicated they are to pdf. it's coming from the youth, educated youth, and i think that's the future pakistan. now, a collection those coming from somebody else, and observation to the question, renowned economist, but i was suspecting he was not give the option to borrowing. that's one option he mentioned. and the second option -- it
still is borrowing. that's not coming for free. he didn't talk about any cuts. where do we need to cut and where to raise money locally? one thing that everybody has kept silent, including sharif, and all the political parties, perhaps pti was talking about it, raising the income tax from agriculture. i don't know why. the second issue here is cutting the military budget. now, what i heard from the ambassador, that we're going to -- be supported threats by taliban and that means military, no more to be having a domestic warfare. so that, the need to cut down the military budget and hopefully will have relationship with india.
so we can increase the taxes are agriculture income, cut down the military budget, i think a simple solution is there. thank you very much. >> i think the question is are there other ways in which you can cut -- >> first of all, i don't think that situation is a bad that it cannot borrow. i think that, you may be opposed to the borrowing, but a don't think it is regarded as being in a particularly that situation to him that i think it has room to borrow. the question that you're raising is true. i mean, i mentioned that, the teacher to increase revenues from somewhere. through taxes. but agriculture income tax is, by the constitution, a provincial issue. it's not a federal government issue and, therefore, the federal, cannot impose an agricultural income tax. it has to be done by the provinces and that is in the
constitution. so it's an issue. i think it should be in agriculture income tax, but it's a tax that will benefit the provinces. it's a provincial issue and the provinces will have to vote on it. on cutting back expenditures, yes. i mean, there is room for cutting back waste, normally people talk about cutting back waste. but please understand them pakistan does not have a high expenditure level relative to most developing countries. it is constrained in its expenditures by the fact that its revenues are so low. and i think that, when you look him if he just looked at expenditure and said it spending 22, 22% of its gdp on, government spending on both current spending and develop and spend, i don't think, people would say that's very low. for a country in that state of development. so i mean, you may have other reasons for wanting to cut
expenditures, but, you know, whether it's military or whatever it is, but i don't think there's a strong economic case for cutting expenditures in pakistan. >> what about reallocation between sectors? the guns versus butter? >> this is something that, again, i'm saying this is not an economic issue. >> long-term. >> no, it's a political issue. it's a political issue, whether you want to have a large standing army or small start -- standing army and then want to we allocate the money. from an economic standpoint i just look at the overall numbers and i don't see that pakistan is spending too much. or as you said living beyond its means, yes, it is living beyond itits means that it's means evey small at the moment. that's a big issue that they will have to resolve. >> jim moody --
>> can i take the lead? >> thank you very much. and the audience, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> she has to go. spent we are sorry to lose you so soon. >> i can see. i knew you would ask a question. [laughter] >> go ahead. >> when i was, two things, short-term and long-term. when i was in pakistan and then peace pakistan as well with the peace corps years ago, the literacy rate was about 40% in both places. and this is crucial to economic development. of course, it is directly relevant to the things we are talking the. more of it middle-class. today, the letter said rate in pakistan is due in the '40s, and meanwhile, bangladesh is now in the '80s. so there's a terrible gap that need not to have occurred but it's a lack of apparent
priorities. can't just be delete operation. has to have delete operation. has had delete operation. has to have a watch but not a people can read and write and be effective workers. so i would like you to comment on that, and is the new government likely to be more attention to education? i've been to many villages, and there's no schools, but someone is getting a check, sitting, not going to the village, a teacher, he's being paid for. that's an atrocity situation. got to be change. is there any political effort or was the election even relevant to get the reading level of to some kind of minimal standard? my second point i'm at it is to china. we talked a lot about having india and pakistan getting along together. that would improve both sides economically but there's also another neighbor nearby in china, which i tend, lobby
person, increased electricity. and the aad backed away but china was quick to step in and say let us do it. and so let's think out loud a bit what could happen with china as a serious neighbor and economic ali, and also back to my friends about letters and why is that not given any emphasis in the last 30 years. >> you're absolutely right, that literacy rate has remained abysmally low in pakistan. big government has not, no government, you know, the pressure for education and literacy, et cetera is interesting enough, comes from international agencies, aig, world bank, et cetera. the government has really pushed. there is of course a cultural problem which education of women issue, so when we look at the
literacy rates across countries you find the literacy rest for pakistani girls is so much lower than anywhere else in the south asia, et cetera, that drops the overall thing down. but if you look at man, their literacy rate -- that's an issue. i think that, i don't, this election was not fought on the basis. people always say, you know, the call for electricity and education and so on and so forth, but i don't think it was thought on that basis so i'm not sure what the education plan is. the only one who i can education plan within their manifesto, or articulated, was tpi. they pushed what you're saying, abysmally low letter c. rates and how we have to improve them
and how we intend to improve them. >> i know we've gone way beyond time, but riaz, a quick comment from you and then we'll take just two last questions together spent education -- that is the main reason. there's a lot of noise about it. secondly, there are systemic problems with in our system. for example, it has not been decided whether provincial, who should be responsible for much of the secondary level education or have a role in debt. these are issues which i think basically relate to garment, and perhaps things will improve. >> last two questions. i'm sorry that i couldn't take all the others.
go ahead. >> thank you, is this on? i wanted to ask -- thank you. i'm from the "national journal" but i want to follow up on ambassador pickering's question about india but in particular looking at nuclear weapons and possible stability measures, confidence-building measures that are no pakistan has been interested in pursuing for quite some time. my curiosity here is where you think know was a sharif is right now on these questions. and what role you anticipate the military, the pakistan military might take in that kind of effort, thanks. >> this i think is an issue which nawaz sharif himself is not going to address. it is basically something of the foreign offices and the military, and there have been,
as you know, the whole summer, there have been a set of confidence-building measures nuclear related. there have been a couple of those before that, like, for example, exchange of list of nuclear coalitions between the two countries, like, for example, expeditious exchange of information in case of an accident or avoidance of risk. so these are things which basically the two sides keep on talking. they are groping for some additional confidence-building measures which they can agree among themselves. like, for example, the pakistan would be very interested if it could be cooperation within the
two countries in the civilian nuclear safety areas. so these are things which partly our mutual related to detail. and they are -- rather than at the political level, if the technocrats level there's something possible, i don't think that there would be any issue of the political leadership holding it. >> any pushback? >> army, i put them, they are the technocratic levels. >> last question. >> during these elections if you look at -- it seems that people for the first time have attached a certain importance to what ever level of performance.
pdi has emerged as the second largest party in terms of number of -- [inaudible]. so you think this could force the two largest parties, people's party still has sent rules of the next five years to start performing and particularly go for the structural changes that you refer to? or it'll be more of the same and we're going to see an essence of bullet trains and buses and things like that? >> well, i really don't know, but let me say one thing that's often said about pdi, people's parties are wiped out into one job, because of that performance. people's party was not in charge. all the time pom has been. so what have you seen, bad shape in the country, it is at the
feet of plm in. it's not the people's parties problem. the of the issue is will they perform well? there have been periods in times in the past when the government has done very well. in terms of performance. but there's this issue that has to be resolved in karachi. the question is is who is actually ruling the province. i think they've taken aback upon for separate karachi, of the thinking on this. so we just have to see, where is the chief minister going to come from, is going to be the big issue. i mean, who's going to be the chief minister? what kind of government is he going to put together, and so
on? will lead a coalition to? will it be straight ppv only? we'll have to just wait and see. spent i think on that note, if you would join me in thanking ambassador riaz and -- in absentia, we're grateful that she joined us to come grateful that all of you stayed with us beyond the appointed hour of 11:30, but it's been a very profitable exchange. and you may get that, thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> coming out on c-span2, reporters discuss the decision-making behind raking national security stories. the floor examines the challenge of been in the money the affordable care act. and five at 10 a.m. eastern, the u.s. senate returned to work on the 2014 farm bill. >> on the next "washington journal," john delaney of maryland on the first bill is introduced. it would create public-private financing for infrastructure projects. we will talk with republican congressman frank wolf of virginia. he has introduced the legislation creating a select committee to investigate the attack on u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. and more about benghazi. a former foreign service officer posted in libya. he is the author of the book exit the colonel. "washington journal" is live on
c-span every day at 7 a.m. eastern. >> you are watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs. weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights watch key public policy events. and every weekend the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at our website, and you can join in the conversation on social media sites. >> today, the senate finance committee looks into the irs targeting of conservative groups. witnesses include outgoing irs commissioner steven miller, treasury department inspector general j. russell george, and former irs commissioner douglas shulman. live coverage at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span3. and on wednesday, the house oversight and government reform committee looks into the issue. lois lerner who managed the irs exempt organizations department will be one of the witnesses. you can watch that here and live
at 9:30 a.m. eastern also on c-span3. >> in 1848 we have an unusual mmr kabul situation here. suddenly, gold is discovered and the reason why cantonese was amongst the first to hear about is that there already were some chinese here. news is productive southern china an and in a flash thousans of men began to board ships ahead for the cold mountain, which california was known as then, and is still known as the golden. the arduous anniversary of man walking through a field looking for gold nuggets and filling their pockets with gold nuggets. they found extreme and factors that rally was since nobody was looking for, nobody saw. when it began to look for it they found in abundance. but very quickly that plastic gold was all taken a. but what was to happen was we
believe 120,000 people showed up in one year right here. in 1849, this was the situation. if you take a look at this grainy photograph, you will see from the shoreline looking out at the bait is completely filled with ships. there is a forest of ships masts. these ships with her because first the passengers got off to look for gold, and then the sailors got off to look for gold, abandoning the ship's. then the arguments begin. who has a right to mine the gold? because california was an american territory, the americans argue only americans have a right to month ago. so begin to push out everyone else. that is the chileans, mexicans, the russians, anybody quote it wasn't an american. of course, the chinese are amongst those being pushed out. >> from san francisco's chinatown, looking at the chinese immigration experience sunday at 7 p.m. eastern, part of three days of american history tv this memorial day
weekend on c-span3. >> three journalists who broke high profile national security stories discuss have a balance the public's right to know with national safety concerns. fran townsend, george w. bush so much he could advisor spoke with david sanger of "the new york times." dana priest of the "washington post" and "wall street journal" reported devlin barrett. from the bipartisan policy center homeland security project event, this is just over one hour. >> good morning, everybody the i'm jason but it's o
welcome her to the bipartisan policy center. also a pleasure to be here on behalf of governor tom kean and lee hamilton who are the chairs of our homeland security program for sponsoring this morning's event. the core aspiration of our work on homeland security is to be an accident bipartisan voice looking at these key homeland and national security questions. there are a lot of themes as you can imagine that animate the conversation but there's none that's more pervasive in my mind or dynamic than the sun and the question of the relationship in our society of security and liberty. it is a theme that has been at the core of our governments imagination about the role of government really since the very beginning of the republic and its one we believe we will be wrestling with for hopefully the millennium to come. today's program will focus on the sharing of classified material with the american public that this is an issue very much in the news, highlighted recently by the aggressive efforts of the justice department recently confessed addition t but i think we found whether we are
discussing striking the right balance has been very elusive. asthmatics, former knicks times washington bureau chief said the government hides what it can, please necessity as long as it can. and depressed price that one can completing a need and a right to know. this morning will hear from both sides. we have with us to incredibly well known story to an effective journalists who have made careers finding all the facts. and former former government official who has spent years knowing a lot of facts and making tough questions about what she can and can't discuss publicly. we look forward to dynamic and complex conversation, and thrilled to be joined by my colleague carie lemack was directed only security project. carie will moderate today's discussion. i will now turn overdue to introduce the panelists. >> thank you all for coming here today. i think we've all seen over the last year a big change in how we've talked about leaks and
classified material. during the election some argue that the president was leaking far too many things in order, for political reasons whether it was on the raid that led -- left osama bin laden dead, a raid, the justice department subpoenas for ap phone records. it's interesting coming from this bipartisan policy center is that this issue is actually traded bipartisan and bicameral support. with senators feinstein and chambliss and chairman rogers come together to call for a stop for the leaks investigation excellent substance has brought the nation together in a way few other issues ever have. at the same time we have an administration that has also overseen an unprecedented number of prosecutions. six officials have been prosecuted which is more than all other administrations combined. so it's a very interesting time to be talking about this issue today, and i'm very glad to be
here to answer the questions as what does the public need to know. and more important, who decides. so almost i think we have devlin barrett who is investigative reporter at "the wall street journal." dana priest, pulitzer prize-winning journalist for the "washington post." fran townsend the most recently left the government but serves as the homeland security adviser to president bush and sharing homeland security council. and david sanger is also a pulitzer prize winner from "the new york times." now, i'm feeling very lucky and honored to be on, being able to moderate this esteemed panel and i would like to start a question with dana. i'm hopeful that we'll have a few questions but hope it will be a conversation and then we will open up to questions from the public. dana come in the front lines interview that you did, you quoted, you said we tried to figure out a way to get as much information to the public as we could without damaging national security. and my question for you is how
did you decide what was and was not damaging to national security? >> well, first of all, thank you for being there. obviously, it's an issue close to my heart, and i'm sure the other journalists up here, but i do think it's important to probe this issue of this line that in my mind to try to have, which is the public's right and my responsibility to bring information to the public in the national security realm. because it is highest stakes, the most important thing the government does, and we should know what they are doing. in our name. but there's a line where you can cross it and you would actually endanger lives. or endanger operations, which is actually a very important but controversial question, too, because that's a little more difficult to assess. so what we try to do,
framework, since no person is ever quoted in the stories that i've written about the cia, because they would be fired and jailed or invested at the very least, how does the public commune, have the credibility, how do i have credibility in the public eye about the stores i am writing to ask one of the things that we try to do is to give some details about whatever it is in one case cia -- secret prisons. how can i give readers as much detail as i can to let them know that the story is real and it comes from people with experience without giving so much detail that it actually would give enemies and advanta advantage, or would threaten personnel overseas, and t sort of thing?alk up to the
line, and it is a judgment call on the part of, actually ultimately the executive editor of the "washington post," with my input, and usually input from the government who is trying to say please do not publish x, y or z, or do not publish the article because by that time having invested a lot of time with our have made the decision that, secret prison is an aberration of what we believe we stand for in a lot of instances of the united states and they country that is governed by the rule of law so we've already made a decision that the fact there is secret prisons is something we do want to write about. and it comes down to sharing with your, with the government the details in the story, which is what my end all and all reporters that i know that work at the "washington post," that's
what we do in the end. when before we published the story, we call of the public affairs person because that's where this unofficial, eventually an important one, an unofficial procedure begins. and that person hopefully have some experience in this. and is taking it all the details, i'm not reading the story to them but i'm telling them to bits and pieces that are in the story and the overall context of the story. they then take it up the chain of command. that's how it is supposed to work. in the chain of command would send a message down, and then it would go from there. and in every case it's different, in the most elaborate instances, which secret prisons represent ideas is that it did, i had conversations with a person higher than the public affairs person, then we brought in our editors and had conversations with the cia director and some of his
advisers, and then, in that case, it eventually went to the president and his national security advisers, who had conversations with our editor and our general counsel. all the while we are in a handicapped position, because the government is saying, don't do this, it will damage national security. and we are saying, well, why? and they are saying we can't really tell you. can you give us a little more concrete information? usually the answer is no eric and usually what is damaging, if we're not putting names or locations, precise locations, is this idea that secrets will damage the reputation of the united states, vis-à-vis the other intelligence services, and those services believe they can't trust the united states and, therefore, they won't deal with them in -- anymore. we take that seriously but have learned over time and with help of what i would call, people
that have been in the intel business and can help think through these issues, subjects like terrorism are so important and their particularly important for allies, and those allies work together with the united states regardless of sort of what happens in the more superficial public realm, that while there might be bumps in the road in that relationship, and people might be angry that certain secrets are out. in the short-term, medium-term, long run for sure, it hasn't damaged those relationships because again, when you weigh, it can temporarily but in the long run, when you weigh what is at stake, which is combating terrorism, countries tend to eventually come back together. so i'll stop there and we can get more detailed if you want, but there is a give-and-take but sometimes it doesn't work at all because folks on the other end
have no experience doing this, and doesn't even know exactly where in the agency to go or doesn't know how to think about it in a sophisticated way. and that puts actually the burden on us, and i could talk about some funny stories, in retrospect, we had to sort of do our own judgment call because the government was unable and inexperienced and working through these issues. but i can talk about that later. >> before we get to the government's perspective, we'll hold off a second, friend, i want to turn to david. if you talk a little bit about some experiences you had with the wikileaks negotiation where you're working for how you're going to really classify materials. also if you touch on all of it of how you make the decision because with the pakistani dishes income you released it, other things you held for a bit of time and then released. how to decide when it's okay to put something out to the public? >> thanks very much, and thank you all for coming here.
the process is very much as dana described, and it is one of negotiation. and i usually find that that's a surprise to most people who, even to some journalists who don't ordinarily operate in this territory. because while we can look at some documents and imagine something that could be a national security threat, there are moments when there's something there that is hidden from you, and i give you an example from wikileaks. wikileaks was in some ways one of the easiest cases, i would say, that the pakistani nuclear case or olympic games, the program, the cyber program against iran were probably among the harder cases. so we'll start with the easiest. in the wikileaks case, you all know the basis of the story. the documents all moved. we now know from a private who had access to a computer system that hard all of the state department cables and everything
else, good, separate conversation. why a private sitting in afghanistan needed access to every document on every subject has come to the state department, ma when five years before that was really only available to, say, senior directors and above. and that would be interesting for separate conversation. he then gave those to julian assange. julian assange did not give those to "the new york times." julian assange had problems with "the new york times." mostly concerning a wrong profile the times had published about the way he operates and is personal life, which turned out to be vivid. and so as a result he gave them to e-guardian. e-guardian gave them to us, and e-guardian gave in e-guardian gave them to us for a very specific reason. they thought the times would have a much better chance to engage the u.s. government than a british paper could. good guess.
we worked for three months or so working through 250,000 documents. no, i did not read them all. we built a certainty that not only did what you do in a google search for, but look at the way the documents were classified, who they're going to, what length of time they were classified, and that enabled us to sort them by sort of level of importance. and a lot of things that were in the documents, we were just running for about 150 cables out of 250,000. to give you a sense because it's important in this conversation about poorly the classification system worked, these were mostly just at the secret levels, lowest level. i would say that somewhere in the order of 15-20% of these cables were, i'm not kidding here, newspaper articles that have been published in the local
press, say, in portugal or in hong kong or someplace. someone in embassy red, put into a cable in on its way out the door stamped secret on. even though it had appeared in the local newspaper. and as we got further into the discussions i made a point to our friends in the u.s. government that you cannot expect journalists to take seriously a classification system that takes her own newspaper articles and stamps them secret and puts them back in the system. as we went through the 150 or so documents, we were running from, and was later wrote from or as the arab spring unfolded since i've not been smart enough to look at, say, any cables from tunisia, thinking who would care about tunisia, right? so as we went through them we noticed that there were things
there that we took out by ourselves. for example, the names of any chinese dissidents that were going into the embassy in china. not only the names but the times those meetings took place, knowing that the chinese would match those up against cameras they trade on the entrances and so forth. but even then we, when we were all ready to write, we gave the government about six or seven days notice. it was thanksgiving week of i guess 2011, and, 2010, and we gave these to them on a monday morning. we were prepared with legal briefs if there going to try to stop us. we figured there would b-24 hours of sort of giving -- getting their heads around back when all 250,000 documents. took them a little longer than that, and we ended up meeting with him the wednesday night
before thanksgiving as everybody was trying to get out of town. we were told there would be a meeting with for people. we walked in a meeting with the state department about 40 of them, three of us. as we went around to introduce ourselves, most of the people in the back row would not those who they were or where they were from a. [laughter] so we had a pretty good guess of what was going on. they went through a period where they first said, you can publish anything, which that's not what happened to dennis if you can't publish anything with foreign names. we said, these are state department cables, and then they tried to make the our gut that something should be deleted just because they were embarrassing. we're using the standards that dana described. so if something was going to threaten somebody's life, and ongoing operations and if they could make a reasonable case for future intelligence or military operations, we were certainly willing to help out, work along
with that. but for example, the fact that the saudi king told an american diplomat that the way to do with iran wcutff the head of the snake, they did not want us to publish on the basis it would be embarrassing to the saudi king. we said, you know, we think the saudi king can hack it, he can handle it. near embarrassment is not a standard for leaving something out of print. now, there were some things that we did take out that we admit. i got a call long after that meeting was over when we are getting ready to write about, published a story about libya the following weekend and off he was telling. he did know he was running into a really rough year the next year. and -- and off he was telling that one of the cables made a reference to somebody, a passing reference to someone who i can now say this in public, couldn't at the time, was apparently, not
clear from the cable, an asset of the u.s. intelligence community for many, many years. and the u.s. government official called me and said, david, if gadhafi reads the name of this guy, even if he is not identified, he's just going to put him against the wall and shoot them. no problem. we managed to take that name that. was essential to anything we're doing. i mention this because it's a reason that channel of private negation that dana refer to past remain open. and that's my most, the most important thing. if i leave you convey no other thought is that the biggest damage being done by the prosecutions of leaks right now is that it threatens to shut down that channel of back and forth communicate. and if that happens, sooner or later something pretty bad is going to happen. as one government official said
to me in the concept of another store, it wasn't wikileaks, david, there's no way we can sit down and have this conversation with you about what we think our security threats without discussing classified material. and i said, you know, you're right. but the other choice is also not good, which is that we are using our best judgment without the knowledge that somebody named in their could be at risk. >> something i want to touch base with you, dublin, talk about the erosion of trust. can you -- >> to david's point, i think my only personal view is that been an erosion of trust. i think the outside world tends to be these outside -- conversations as the first amendment versus safety and there are these two camps and there's a big moat between it and every now and then someone gets thrown in the moat. i do very different and i'm guessing you guys do too, where there are two camps, yes, but there is a healthy, should be,
conversation is going on all the time pass out each side can best do their jobs without blowing up the home of the other side eventually. and my personal view is that there has been an erosion of the trust in that conversation that you're getting more things like what we are seeing now which is a lot of leak investigations and, frankly, again in my opinion, very broad focus leak investigation which to me are the oddest part of this whole current phase. the example i always use, if it help you to understand, i'm just a reporter in new york that got lost in d.c. that's a frame i put on a lot of this stuff. the comparison i use with people is if you look back to the d.c. sniper case which wasn't that long ago, about a decade ago, there was a moment where there was a false report circulating that the guy had been caught. nothing more than that, just they got him. and, in fact, the guy hadn't been caught but they were about a half hour away from the
nightly news or try and think back to a time when the nightly news was like the most important news event of the day. and there was this a very furious scramble to convict all the major news organizations and make sure they did not go on air with a report that the guy had been caught because is a very real fear and personal i believe is justified, that the actual gunman, turns out there were two of them, with any legal out and shoot someone to prove that he was still out there. so in the space of about 20 minutes, the law enforcement agencies of america were able to get that message out and get no one of any substance to report that there had been an arrest. i think you could make a reasonable argument that that probably saved someone's life that night. fast forward to boston and i think what was most alarming to me about boston is that i think i can probably remembers that was a day when there was, boston turned out to be a false report of an arrest, that report
lingered and sort of stayed in the public space for a number of hours, and i'm not casting on anyone because we're all working on things that are difficult, these things -- if they were easy to be happy human been inching that but there's a space of several hours with was the lot of confusion as to whether the person captured or not and to me what that says is the trust relationship has eroded to the point where there is no longer a person in each house that can call up the person in the house and say it's wrong, take it down, kill it and have the person on the other end of the line say, time, i believe you. you and i know each other, done. and that worries me to the future because one, you could get a situation like a sniper case if the sniper case happened in my worry is the sum of go out with and do some get killed. or think about in a broader sort of social media content, not just old me context.
twitter put a lot of awful things out during hurricane sandy. things that could have gotten people killed if it overreacted. what does 9/11 happened today? i always try and think of would more people's lives be saved because of twitter or would more people's lives he killed because of twitter? i think thes these are the thins that i sort try and grapple with in terms of what is responsible and what do we sort of the voices in the world and hopefully, on some of these, how do we try and do the most constructive thing to both inform the public and not jeopardize anyone? and i think what worries me again, just get back to the couch under 20 months ago when i started talking, i do feel like the trust relationship is eroding and that's a very dangerous thing. >> fran, can you talk a bit about your perspective, being in government, on the other side of
this but now as a journalist, you have gotten to see both sides. berry trees about, and then i would like to segue into to understand all this but at the end of day we're talking about leaks, shouldn't they be prosecuted? >> yeah, i mean, let me start from a government perspective. this is a subject that is of the most enormous frustration when you're on the government side, right? because you're being held accountable for disruptions, preventions and thrown into the very difficult mission, you got the media nipping at your heels looking to pull threads and the polling constantly pulling on a thread that will require you to react and respond. i will take it during my time in government i was privileged to work with dana, with david, and i talk about a trust relationship it dana and i met in agreement. we hugged hello. i was there when she's working the black side, the secret prison but i was in the white house when i got raised to the
executive editor level and there was a very mature adult conversation. look, there's also a recognition when the conversation starts. it may begin with a public affairs officer at the particular three-level agency. it should never stay there. dana knows that, which means if she doesn't see us are moving up the chain, she knows there's a bomb on the government side. and there's a recognition that we're going to make a balanced tickets. there's a dance that we do, right? you heard david say the first step in the government stance is to tell you have published that. nobody in the government believes that we will kill the story. the question is, how long can you put it off for, and how can you narrow the scope? that's really what the discussion becomes about. because you want to persuade the journalists if there is harm to life. that's the first argued you're going to make him if there is the potential harm to life. the second is the introduction
of an operation. but you are going to have to have a reasonable -- a real grown-up conversation that likely involves some amount of classified detail to establish my credibility on the government side with the journalist who has spent weeks, months, potentially years developing sources and developing the information. how much i'm willing to share to persuade them as a function of how damaging the release of the story is going to be. and just to make sure that, as we've said showing a little aid, gets me somewhere, i want to be sure that it's not just the reporter who is very personally invested in the publication of this story, i want to make sure the editors and executive editor are involved. i want somebody who's more dispassionate even try to make that balance, listen to what i have to say. i will tell you more often than not while is enormously frustrating, it generally come because of the relationship of credibility and trust gets to a reasonable place, it may not be
a place the government likes where that balance ultimately is, but these reasonable. you know, the most recent story that we have seen just last week with a subpoena, there's no question in my mind based on what i know about the operation, that there were lives at risk if so you ask yourself, you heard us all talk about this process, this is clearly a piece of information to your point about an erosion of trust. this is a story that didn't go through a process. it came out in drips and drives. there were pieces of information. they were background briefings that gave enough to experienced journalists to make the second and third step. that's a problem, but that requires people on the government side to calibrate who they are talking to. you may be able to say to a local beat reporter that showed
absolute, i'll use an example from the chip absolute control, there was never a risk to the united states. but for national security border in the class of information and national security, it is patently obvious when some very seen in the government says to you on background onto things that could mean, you either had a source you controlled or the explosives were unearthed. those are the only two, maybe both of those are the only two possibilities. and so why the official not intended to say that because it would have put lives at risk, to brag that they had complete control of the operations so that there was never any risk to the united states, told a much more finely detailed story that could have possibly wanted out. that's a mistake. we were talking in the green room, it's a lack of experience. it's a lack of maturity in terms of understanding who your talking to come and understanding what the
implications of that are. we do, i am very concerned about erosion of trust. you know, oftentimes if there's a store after because i was a former senior government official, i'll be the person who gets a call from the government when it's gone haywire. where they're trying to rein back in. it's a horrible place for the government to because it's really, you can try to massage this. uber lost your opportunity. and typically than the government goes dark and then you can get anything out of them, and it had story gets perpetuated. and that's a problem it look, i do think that the government is within its rights, especially when there's been a leak of classified information that threatens life or an operation to go after it. my concern is that there's also a process, you heard the journalists of your very clearly explained to you the process
when there's a leak investigation there's a similar sort of channel by which perfectly legally respecting the first amendment consistent with the department of justice guidelines that a leak investigation can be pursued. but in terms of that relationship of trust, it's important that that be nearly defined, that the government use every available means short of subpoenas and wiretaps, and that when they're going to do that common onto their father into a process, but that's the time when it's incumbent upon the government to open up that channel. and you've got to trust your counterpart not to destroy information, but there's got to be a relationship of trust where the conversation begins and that is as narrowly as possible goi going. >> did the ap investigation look like that to you? look like it was narrowed or speeded know, and that's the problem. as you seek sources now and
look, if it was narrow, you miss the opportunity to tell the story, you need to tell that story because you need to give people confidence that you understood why the complete -- you know, have sources tell me it was narrow and it was measured in what is stepped up, yes. that's not the story that is out there but you don't know that. ..
>> a zoo animal getting out of the cage. and suddenly, replicating around the world was the most sophisticated computer virus anybody in the computer world had ever seen. this did not look like the work of teenage hackers, okay? among other things, when you tore apart the program, it had a sell by day that. the entire program died on a certain date in 2012. teenagers don't make programs self-destruct. lawyers make programs self-destruct. so, you know, that told you something. and we spent a lot of time with, basically, forensic computer
analysts picking apart the program, because every program, every style of program has got signatures into it just like a fingerprint or dna would or the methodology by which a terrorist would build a bomb. right? why were they looking for the bombs and, you know, wanted to get an unexploded bomb in the case of the boston massacre? because there would be a signature in that in how it was constructed. boy, is that true when it comes to cyber cases as well. and that's where we started. and what do you know, who had a copy of that entire program once it leaked out? the iranians. and they declared who they thought attacked them, and they didn't accuse switzerland, okay? [laughter] so in many of these cases you have to remember that while the government likes to think it is in complete control of the set
of information, accidents happen, they work with other governments. you know, most operations these days in terrorism, in cyber, in drones all involve other governments, other governments talk, other government officials talk. they all have different agenda. so there is this model in washington that all information that reporters get on these things comes within a 12-block radius of the west wing. that is no longer true. and yet we haven't adjusted our concept about what's going get out to the fact that we have allies, we have partners and that people make mistakes. >> now, all that being said, what we're talking about here are leaks. and i'm really curious to get your perspectives on should they be prosecuted, and if so, how? it sounds like all of you would agree what's gone on with the ap, this broad subpoena, probably not your ideal method
for going after who leaked this material. what do you think the government should be doing? dana, do you want to start? >> i think it should be guarding the secrets that really need to be kept in a much better way. but that means, also, that other things should not necessarily be secret. i mean, i have to remind myself that when george bush chose the cia for lots of reasons to go into afghanistan first and then prosecuted the war on terror in a classified realm, you know, that's not my choice. so if i even wanted the basic information about what the government was doing, we had to go behind the wall of classification. and to david's point about, you know, overseas leakages, leakage of information, to me that if i were within the inside of the government, i would, again, think a lot about how you're
ting operations together, what really needs to be secret, what is going to remain secret. because as we saw when we did this top secret america which was putting together 99% of that was publicly available. not easily to find, but publicly-available information, and it allowed us to create a universe of material that was really surprising to us. and that, certainly, surprised the government when we showed it to them. it had to do with, you know, how many agencies were working on counterterrorism, this sort of thing. so i think the government doesn't have a clue what's available in an unclassified realm out there in the world. and then you add these factors together that we are really talking about a global liaison relationship, they can't reasonably think that, you know, drone strikes are going to remain secret. and especially this far along
after 9/11 when you have a senior corps of reporters who have been doing this for a long time. you would think that they would factor that in into their own thinking about what can remain secret, what will remain secret, what is really going to hurt us if it comes out. >> even what should remain secret. we'll set aside the newspaper articles, you know, for a second. but the drone program is the least covert covert program in america, okay? [laughter] and you can tell that by virtue of the fact that the president of the united states got out on, what was it, a google hangout about a year ago, and he started discussing the drone program. he also did can it on one of the late night comedy shows. [laughter] and where all major issues of american policy are debated. and the next day when asked about his statements, you had white house officials who wouldn't use the word "drone," even though the president just had the previous night.
and it's because they've wrapped themselves in this concept that everything about the program had to remain classified even though it was blindingly obvious to anybody on the ground in pakistan. and, you know, it does raise the question would we have cause as a government, would there have been some benefit to american diplomacy, american ability to explain its own policy had the ambassador in islamabad after a drone strike be able to get out on pakistani tv and say, no, this was not a random strike. we were going after these five extraordinarily bad people who were living in your territory. and instead the american embassy had to say, no comment. >> well, but in fairness now, okay -- putting my government hat back on. [laughter] there were legal constraints on the government, right?
i can assure you, there was plenty of debate about when and how best to acknowledge the drone program across two administrations. but whether or not you could have a drone program lodged in the cia is under one set of legal authorities that requires it to be deniable and requires you not to acknowledge it, or whether it's operated as a military program in which case you don't have to deny it. now -- >> fran, that's the core of the argument about whether more of it should be moved -- >> right. >> -- to the military. >> that's exactly right. but that's what caused this sort offed twisting themselves into -- in this odd sort of twessing themselves into knots, trying to maintain the option to have a clandestine, covert program. look, i think in the end across two administrations it became a bumbling, fumbling, and it ultimately comes out. one could argue you might have
been more deliberate and planned how you were going to transition it and do that over time, because it was obvious you were going to have to from the beginning. >> so do you think the senate report on interrogations should be declassified given how much we, you know, know that the program exists? and the other thing that tends to happen when these programs aren't explained that, you know, a huge conspiracy around the world now both on drones where people think there are drones in their country run by the cia and also on interrogations, that there have been hundreds and hundreds of people interrogated. >> it's hard for we to say because i've never, i haven't read it. because it's classified, i haven't read it. so i don't want to tell you i think it should be out there not knowing how much detail is in it. in the end, why you couldn't sanitize certainly the findings and the recommendations, that's the first thing you look at, right? there may be a way to get those pieces out there in an unclassified way that will allow there to be this kind of a
debate. there ought to be a discussion and a debate whether it's drones, interrogation techniques. look, i think the government, i can say this now with the benefit of hindsight, the government actually benefits when the public voice is heard on policy issues. because absent the public debate, they're doing their level best, members of both parties when they're in the executive branch, to try and make these judgments on your behalf as best they can. i will tell you, you know, when you're in there and when you're inside that bubble of the west wing, you're trying real harold to make those judgments -- real hard to make those judgments, there may be a dialogue with members of congress to try and advise you and get their input, but you're always better off understanding how does the public really want those capabilities deployed on their behalf. and that, frankly, becomes the role. when the government is trying to keep the secret, the role that the national security press
plays in that in fostering that public debate. >> devlin, i want today ask you, you're up here as the only reporter here who's worked for three different organizations; new york post, associated press, now "the wall street journal". >> i can't hold a job. yes, thank you. [laughter] >> do you see any difference in how different media outlets approach these issues, or is there a consistency? >> i think there's slight variation, but i do think when you get into the real m of the types of stuff that dana writes about, i sometimes write about, i don't think there's much variation in terms of how people approach the work, you know, sort of the world view that today bring to it and the standards that they apply to the publication. you're really talking about unlike what's happening in the rest of the media, i feel like in the national security press -- correct me if you guys feel differently -- but i do feel like you're talking about a fairly confined and limited group of people on both sides who, for better or worse, try to
hash it out amongst themselves. i don't think there's a uniquely, you know, liberal press, you know, voice on national security and a uniquely conservative press voice on national security. essentially, you're all working the same space. that may simply be a function of you have to be a little crazy to do some of this stuff for a living. it's a little like covering icebergs. you see some of it, you know you're never going to see all of it. and to the point you all were just making, look, a lot of these conversations boil down to, well, i can tell you why you're wrong, but i can't tell you that. and you have sort of choices to make based on how far you get before the i can't tell you that. and what do you do when you've reached the limit of i can't tell you that, and you have to decide whether you print a story or not. so to your earlier question, well, should no leak ever be prosecuted, in my mind as a reporter, no, no leak should ever be prosecuted. anytime we get down one of these
roads, the obvious question we have was, okay, what was the harm? i need to know the actual, specific harm. and they say, no, we can't tell you that. and ten my personal opinion is -- then my personal opinion is what are we talking about? if you can't tell me what the stakes were, i personally don't feel much of a vested interest in just taking your word for it. maybe that gets back to the trust issue. >> do you remember what was said the week we began publishing wikileaks, that the united states would never be able to conduct diplomacy again, no one would talk to american diplomats, and for a few weeks and months a lot of conversations did shift to the intelligence channel, and i'm sure to this day there are people who are reluctant to go talk to some american diplomats for fear that they'll write a cable. a lot of diplomats have told me they now no longer send cables, they send e-mail. i said, well, how did you send the cable? by e-mail. [laughter]
it's got a different legal structure to it, so they think it may not be able to get out and wouldn't be in a big database that somebody sitting in afghanistan could download. but if you go back and you compare what was said in the week that the wikileaks stuff was fist published and then you -- first published and then you go and ask senior government officials today, okay, let's match that up with the actual, lasting damage done, they'll tell you about a couple of diplomats who were evicted from their position. i think the ambassador to mexico certainly lost his, the ambassador to libya had, believed it turned out he probably would have been leaving fairly quickly a few weeks later, but nobody had a way of knowing that the arab spring was about to go happen. but by and large, when you compare the set of warnings we got from the damage done, it was pretty over the top. now, i'm not arguing for a minute that that means that there's never damage done by
these things. and, you know, fran made a compelling case that maybe in the case of the yemen bomber there may have been something operational that was -- i don't know, i didn't work on that story, and i'm not as familiar with the details of it. so certainly damage can be done. but it is incouple on the u.s -- incumbent on the u.s. government to try to be as clear as they can be to reporters and editors and, if you need to, seek out the most senior editor you can. and secondly, to be pretty credible on that. >> i have a lot more questions i could ask you, but i promised that i'd open it up to the audience for q&a. congressman carney who also is a member of the homeland security project, i want to thank you for being here. >> thank you. and, folks, i think you would probably agree this is one of the edifying discussions the bpc's held in a long time, and thank you all for doing this.
devlin, you brought up a phrase that really intrigued me, and that is the public space. the public space in 2001 is a lot, was a lot smaller than it is today. how much does the public space impact what you all do? i mean, how much of what you do is sort of -- and i expect what the answer will be -- but is it actually thoughtful versus reactive given how much media time you have to fill and how many gigs of internet space you have to fill. >> um, i mean, i'll just take my stab at it. and, again, my experience comes mostly from federal law enforcement reporting. it's a big issue. i mean, i think you saw a lot of it with boston. i think boston presented is some of the problems that are going to stay with us. at least in the terms of domestic issues, in terms of stuff getting out on twitter, stuff getting out in the public space that then affects what we do. one of the things i think a lot about is how, you know, we
all -- dinosaur companies have all moved into cyberspace, and that's great. and we've all sort of brought our credibility to things like twitter. but part of me spends a lot of time thinking about, well, what does twitter bring to us? what happens on twitter how does that affect how we do our jobs in realtime? that's something i do a lot, just as the simplest answer again, but police scan kerr -- scanners, you can listen through almost any major city police station through the internet. no one i know ever reported anything off a police scanner. it's crazy. it's ridiculous things on there all day long. and almost money none of it -- almost none of it turns out to be true. but it's a good feeder. it can point you in the right direction, and you can figure it out through old-fashioned reporting. now there's a lot of people listening to police scammers and putting stuff out in realtime. so quick example, sandy,
superstorm sandy, people put on twitter over and over and over that coney island hospital was on fire, and no one could get to them, and there were all these people trapped. look, if i had someone in coney island hospital i cared about, i would have just gone out. i wouldn't have cared. and as far as that goes, i think we need to, all of us, take deep breaths when it comes to the minute-to-minute stuff. you know, because there are very human reactions that go into these things when there is something happening. and that's where i come out of it from both sandy and boston, that i worry that the freneticness of the web sometimes spills over a little into what we do. >> but what's the danger of being scooped then? >> guest: in the interest, you know, at the risk of finding a fourth place to work -- [laughter] i think you live with that risk. you can't possibly say it's
better to be fast than to be wrong. it's better to be fast than to be right. i don't know anyone that preaches that as a value in the business. i think you just have, you just hope that, you know, there's enough people of good judgment who, you know, work hard enough and get it right. but, again, i think that goes back to the trust relationship and what i personally view as the erosion of that. you know, back in the d.c. sniper case, you know, they taught that within law enforcement agencies for years, that this is how you do it. you get the word out there, and you kill that thing before it hurts anyone. they didn't do that this time. that worries me a lot, and i don't pretend to know all the reasons why they didn't do it this time. but i find it very stressful. >> anyone else on the panel have ab answer? >> there's -- very good point you made about, you know, being first versus being right. there is still some merit in being right. and the bin laden, um, raid evening was an interesting example. i wasn't around for this. i had brilliantly put myself on an airplane to brussels to go to
nato on some -- while this entire thing was unfolding. so how's that for a fine journalistic judgment, right? [laughter] but as i heard the accounts later on, when the word first got out that it might be bin laden, the twitter universe was filled with this. and, in fact, a new york times reporter, a media reporter -- not one sw who does national security -- had tweeted or retweeted an account that he had seen that it might be bin laden. and it came out over a new york times twitter account. but on the times' web site even though cable tv was running it and so forth, it was about an hour before we put up the first story, because helene cooper was going about the old, diligent thing of trying to actually find people who would know and get enough sources on it that they were confident of the story. were we behind as a result? absolutely.
did we, you know -- would this have looked a little bit different if it turned out that it had not been bin laden and, you know, it was, in fact, what the president had feared which was some wealthy dubai prince, you know, living in, you know, which was an option that had been laid out to him as we learned later on and not the world's most wanted terrorist. so there are times where you just have to say you're going to take the hit. now, most of what we do up here is more project-oriented work, you know? the series that donna did, you know, those were projects of a year or more. the work that bill broad and i did on a.q. khan, the man who sold the nuclear technology to iran, north korea and libya, that was another year's project before we even went into print with our first story. actually, what i worry about in
the journalistic world as they compete more with all of the social media is making sure that there is a space for people to work on something for a year before they publish something. that's the bigger risk, i think, to investigative journalism that we get so caught up in the being fist -- first that you don't spend the time it takes to do really deep work. >> dana, i was just going to say that, you know, not only are we not out on twitter, but when you're doing these projects, you're trying to make sure that david never hears exactly what i'm working on and vice versa, because it takes a long time for these things -- >> by the way, we can't subpoena her phone records, we -- [laughter] not a bad idea, but we just don't seem to have the power. [laughter] >> well, i think we have time for one more question. right there in the back.
there's a microphone right over here. >> hi. my name's -- [inaudible] i'm the correspondent from an austrian newspaper called -- [inaudible] i have a question about in this bizarre moscow/u.s. cia operative case. [laughter] now, i mean, you've got a guy who looks like he's on his way to a fancy dress party. and he's like, i think, the third, whatever, secretary of the u.s. embassy in moscow at a time when the relationship between russia and the u.s. is particularly important and particularly strained. and he's been paraded on russian television and for about a week i read not a single interesting insight for reporting who the guy is, what he actually was doing on any of the big american media. and i'm a very happy subscribe tore all your three newspapers here, but i haven't read anything interesting there. i read a lot in the russian newspaper, at least the one i can read. is that because you don't have
any leads? right after the boston thing all of you really, really dug into what the tsarnaev brothers were about, and there was lots of interesting stuff to read. nothing about mr. fogle. so why is that? is there a tacit agreement with the state department not to -- >> it's a great question. i want to give them time to answer. >> thank you. >> it's a great question. anyone want to respond first? >> i don't know. >> you know, i don't know the answer to that question. >> i would say, i would say just speaking only for myself and our organization, we are doing reporting on it, we have been doing reporting on it and, you know, these aren't easy teeth to pull all the time. and we're working on a number of different things. i don't want to say i any much more than that because we haven't printed them yet. >> and i think -- [inaudible] it would have been unlikely to the extent these three journalists were working their sources, it is unlikely that they could have gotten very much until fogle was out of russia, which only happened in the last 24 hours.
and if they did, they would have gotten it embargoed until he was out, because you wouldn't have wanted to put him in harm's way. back to the threat of life. so i am only speaking from my own experience, but i will only say to you it doesn't surprise me you haven't read anything yet. i would be very surprised once it is confirmed he is safely back inside the united states if all three of them didn't have sources that they were talking to them about what the real story was. >> that's absolutely right. the government has been remarkably -- or rather unremarkably, i guess i should say -- quiet on this point, and my sense has always been that it's about removing him and getting him home. and at that point, hopefully, fingers crossed, we'll find out more very soon. >> dana, david, any response? >> well, just, you know, ray davis, the same thing. first of all, none of these stories are easy. it's not like -- that's why i hate the word "leak," because it
implies that someone is always out there handing over things, and it just doesn't work that way. so, you know, to assume -- i'm always saying i don't know if i'm to be able to pull this off -- i'm going to be able to pull this off. and i really feel that way. despite the fact that it seems sometimes there's a lot of information out there that was supposed to be classified, it's just not easy to get. >> that's absolutely right. and there was this concept that i think is helped generated by the movies that, you know, reporters are sitting at their desks, or better yet sitting on the back porch with a mar tibny -- [laughter] -- martini, and somebody calls them up and asks them for a document dump. i've worked for "the new york times" for 31 years, haven't gotten that phone call yet. i'm still waiting. [laughter] so it usually is an accumulation of all kinds of information that
you're doing around the world, putting it together. and only when you come back here and you begin to present to government officials your findings either whether you gathered them in washington or you gathered them in europe or you gathered them in asia or wherever and put it together, that you manage to then be able to leverage out other information here. and sometimes things that the u.s. government try to keep secret they later on are quite happy that got out. i'll give you one very short example on this. i mentioned the a.q. khan case. the bush administration, with no offense to fran's friends, were completely unhelpful in describing the activities of the man who sold nuclear technology around the world. because they did not want to upset the pakistanis. at the time they needed pakistani cooperation in a range of other counterterrorism
things. it wasn't because anybody in the u.s. government thought a.q. khan was an upstanding citizen, okay? it was that they had some other reason they didn't want to give. so we went out, we did our reporting for a year, we published this very long story. the pack standny foreign -- pakistani foreign minister declares i have not read the story, but it's a pack of lies. two days later they arrested a.q. khan because of the public revelation of it, and a high-ranking friend of fran's calls me up and said i was just calling to thank you for publishing that story, because without it we don't think the pakistanis would have actually gone and locked him up. and i said, well, thanks a lot for all the help. [laughter] >> and by the way, you know, you've heard both dana and david talk about leak makes it sound easy. so washington, while you think of it as being a big city, operates like any other small
town. in that this is all about relationships. it's about respecting the reporters who have devoted their time and attention and expertise in this particular area, and it's recognizing the policy officials who likewise have probably spent their careers developing an expertise. and so the most important conversations are happening on the margins of a cocktail party or at starbucks on the sidelines of a little league game, right? they're happening there. and it may be an innocent conversation that generates an idea for a lead that then one of these reporters goes and checks with a source and begins weave the fabric of the finished piece you read in one of their newspapers. but it's time consuming, tedious, and it's all about, as in most businesses, relationships. >> and with that, unfortunately, i think we could continue talking about this issue for some time, and i know there's a lot more questions, but i especially want to thank the mbers of the panel.
i want to thank congressman carney and all the members of the homeland security project here at the bipartisan policy center. particularly melissa, abby of the events team and, of course, thank all of you for attending. appreciate you being here. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> coming up this morning on c-span2, a forum examines the challenges beyond implementing the affordable care act. and then live at 10 a.m. eastern, the u.s. senate returns for work on on the 2014 farm bill. >> today the senate finance committee looks into the irs targeting of conservative groups. witnesses include outgoing irs commissioner steven miller, treasury department inspector general jay russell george and former irs commissioner douglas shulman. live coverage at 10 a.m. eastern
on c-span3. and on wednesday the house oversight and government reform committee look into the issue. lois lerner will be one of the witnesses. you can watch that hearing life at 9:30 a.m. eastern also on c-span3. >> monday the brookings institution looked at the implementation of the affordable care act phone as president obama's health care law or obamacare. topics included organizational challenges of health care law implementation, building state exchanges, expanding medicaid and the role of the irs in enforcing the individual mandate. this is about 90 minutes. >> good afternoon, everyone. welcome to brookings, and welcome to our forum on implementing the affordable care act. it's, my name's elaine kamarck, i'm a senior fellow here and director of the brand new center
on effective public management. so i'd like to welcome everyone here today for a very important discussion of a very timely topic. it's been a long time since the federal government had to implement a great big, new program. ten years ago we saw implementation of medicare part d and implementation of the brand new department of homeland security. in each instance, there were substantial growing pains and predictions of disaster. as there have been with the affordable care act. in the case of medicare part d, implementation exceeded expectations and costs have not been nearly as high as was originally feared. in the case of the department of homeland security, the implementation was bumpier, nonetheless ten years later both systems operate more or less smoothly, and in retrospect the
cry sitz looks over-- crisis looks overblown. this year the obama administration needs to finalize implementation of the affordable care act, a historic piece of legislation and the most significant domestic policy achievement of the administration to date. and the question of how it goes is front and center. even the president has admitted that there will be hiccups along the way. compared to earlier pieces of health care legislation, this one is incredibly complex involving activity in 50 states, 50 state insurance commissioners and large changes in the private health care industry. and just to add to that complexity is a republican party that still doesn't like it and, in fact, on thursday voted for the 37th time to repeal the act. so the question that i'm going to pose in the course of this conversation to my distinguished
panelists is, how is it going to go? and to do that, i want you to be thinking -- but don't answer it yet -- i want you to be thinking of a continuum, all right? at one end of the continuum is the hiccup scenario. that means, eh, more or less normal, okay? it means that if the implementation is successful, the exchanges will be up and running, there'll be some glitches, some people who qualify for subsidies won't get their, and they'll have to appeal, some people who don't qualify for subsidies will get theirs, and somebody's going to have to run after them and try to get the money. you know, there'll be those kinds of problems, but kind of within the normal start up. the second, the middle on in this continuum i call -- and i'm stealing this from david brooks which explains why he writes for "the new york times" and i don't, he calls it shambolic
messiness where there will be literally years of confusion; delays in opening many of the exchanges, serious problems with the federal hub being able to interface with the exchanges, there may be waivers to these rules while they're worked out, etc., there may be premium increases, there may be a whole lot of stuff. but in the end, the act will prevail. and finally, at the complete other end of the continuum is what i call the repeal scenario and, obviously, large numbers of people in this town and around the country called republicans are rooting for this one. in fact, they seem to like this idea so much that they voted 37 times for it. so the question is, will this go at the err end of the continuum -- other end of the continuum, the route of the 1989 medicare catastrophic care act
which was passed, signed into law by president reagan and then repealed 16 months after its enactment making it the shortest-lived piece of social policy in the history of the united states, okay? so there's our continuum. but before we get to, and i'm going to ask you all to place yourselves on that, but don't do it yet. because before we get there, i want each of our panelists to discuss some of the implementation issues that they see. and i'm going to start with, i'll introduce everyone, and then we'll, i'll call on them. i want to start with the distinguished henry aaron right here, currently the senior fellow in economic studies here at brookings. he has also been the director of the economics program. he came to brookings in 1968. he also has taught at university of maryland in the '70s he was the assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the
department of health education and welfare. he chaired the 1979 advisory council on social security. he is a member of the institute of medicine, the visiting committee of the harvard medical school and founding member, vice president and chairman of the board of the national academy of social insurance. he is the author of many publications dealing with medicare, medicaid and social security. and i can't imagine a better person to have on this panel and to start us off. sheila burke down there going alphabetically, and the only other woman on the panel -- [laughter] is an adjunct lecturer at the harvard kennedy cool of government. i met -- school of government. i met her when she was executive dean of the school from 1996-2000. before that she had served as chief of staff to former senate majority leader bob dole and as a professional staff member of the senate committee on finance. like henry, she is a member of
the institute of medicine and also the national academy of sciences and the american academy of nursing. she is, also, a nurse just. >> case anybody -- just in case anybody feels a little ill as we start to discuss this problem. >> scared. >> or scared, yeah. [laughter] she's also been a distinguished visitor at to kneel institute for national and global health law and serves on the board of the kaiser commission and the future of medicaid and the up insured. right over here sort of in the middle is bruce caswell, president and general manager of maximus health services which brings more than 20 years of public sector health and human services program, policy and operations experience to maximus. he leads the company's global health operations which provide administrative program managers and operational support for programs including -- and you'll see why he's here -- the health
insurance exchanges and medicare, medicaid and the children's health insurance program otherwise known as chip. this is the company's largest book of business yen -- generating huge annual revenue, and they have a portfolio of contracts with vermont, connecticut, california, minnesota and medicaid administrative services in 18 states and the district of columbia. so they really are at the heart of the implementation game. and finally, he is at another very important meeting, so he's going to join us. so when he comes, you'll know who he is. we have dr. josh sharve steven, he is the secretary of maryland department of health and mental hygiene. he priestly served as -- previously served as principal deputy commissioner of the u.s. food and drug administration. he has a long interest in drug information technology, serves on the health information technology policy committee for the u.s. department of health
and human services. and as you'll see, maryland is one of the states that's actually made some real progress in this, so it'll be good to hard from the state perspective. so with that what i'd like to do is ask our panelists a series of questions and then, of course, we will open it up to all of you as we always do. and i want to start with henry, okay? this, i'd like you to start off this panel with a little bit of a historic perspective on the health care system. nearly half a century ago, 48 years ago this summer to be precise, congress passed legislation creating medicare. and ten years ago they passed the medicare part d program, the prescription drug benefit. recently you said that nothing approaching the complexity of this rollout has ever happened in u.s. peacetime history. can you spend some time telling
us about this and about the problems, similarities and differences you see in implementing aca as opposed to these earlier bills? >> i would be glad to do so. i want to add one item to what seemed like a complete roster of my life history that you gave at the outset. [laughter] and that is that i currently sit on the d.c. health exchange and am vice chair, so i'm getting to see the implementation from the inside as well as from the outside. it does seem to me that there are, is one similarity between our previous experience with major health reform legislation and can the current one, and i have to say that they both, they all concern health care. beyond that -- [laughter] i think the differences are more salient and important than the similarities. the first major difference, and it's critical, is that both the
the extension of medicare to part d and the original enactment of medicare legislation were bipartisan efforts. the original was a blend of republican and democratic proposals. indeed, wilbur mills made it clear that he wasn't going ahead unless it was, and it ended up being that way. similarly with the extension of drug benefits, the addition of drug benefits to medicare, there was substantial support on both sides of the aisle, although not all democrats lined up with the president's proposal at the time. there's another difference which i think is of critical importance in understanding this bill, the affordable care act. in contrast to medicare, the original enactment, medicare was designed with the administrators in the room as the legislation
was being written. and that meant that the problems of implementation were considered as the legislation was being drafted. that was not at all the case this time. the administration backed off to a considerable degree. the legislation was largely drafted within congress without very much republican involvement, so it ended up being an struggle among democratic legislative policy groups. but the degree to which administrative concerns were brought to bear in the design was to put the matter gently minimal. a third difference that i think is in a way paradoxical is that in a way both medicare, the enactment of medicare and part d, were more radical programs than the affordable care act.
and i mean radical in the following sense: today created new -- they created new programs that supplanted or replaced what had gone before. the affordable care act bent itself in pretzels like shape in order to accommodate to existing institutions and disturb current arrangements as little as possible. given the fact that the u.s. health care system is exquisitely complicated, that meant that the legislation itself had to be exquisitely complicated. and it fully delivered on that characteristic. the final difference, and i think this goes directly to the question, elaine, that you posed to all of us concerning prospects down the road, we have, in my opinion entirely for the worse, developed a very
intense, fast-reacting, adversarial political environment in which analysis is done quickly, frequently sloppily, used in a, the manner of, well, what alice rivlin sitting in the front row once called forensic social science. [laughter] that is, social science mobilized to make a legal or political case. and, therefore, the elbow room that administrators have for working through problems before they are brought sometimes almost hysterically to the attention of the public, that elbow room has been decidedly narrowed. so let me stop with that difference, and we can come back to the continuum you asked about later. ..
business processes you would be executing, what would be the technology need to support the implication of the act. so i have given some thought to the fact that there is a little confusion perhaps as to what they might look like. >> what does they will look like. >> certainly it's important to understand that they won, and on day one will be synced exchange version 1.0. not to be confused with version two-point oh. improvements. there's no doubt this is an integral the complex undertaking. it represents really the orchestration of many stakeholders. bringing together technology,
important, consumer engagement and all that that entails. revisions to the regulatory processes and policies in the insurance market all under very much a new program and policy apartment that i think has to be interwoven with the structures. our perspective from the states that we are working with and others whom are working in a similar market is that the states and the federal government will make the october 1 deadline. will have operational health insurance exchange but i think the road will be bumpy for the initial period until things smooth out. i thought i would take a moment to talk a little about where we might see some bumps and what is being done to address those. above all, state and federal government are very much focused on the consume consumer experien and showing that consumer experience is a high quality experience, the individuals can seamlessly ideally covers the boundaries between the various
insurance affordability programs and medicaid for example. and as a consequence, when giving consideration to prioritizing functionality to be available on day one versus on day and, the privatization is on back office worker and. things that won't disrupt the consumer experience. many states are also in the process but it should be noted implementing new eligible he systems for medicaid or whether sometimes called multiprogram eligibility systems. end states are unveiling themselves to do that. they themselves are written in various stages of progress in that implementation. so just as we look at kind of exchange readiness in the number of dimensions, similarly depending on where a state is in the implementation of technology, that can signal the maturity of such things as system to system interfaces. from our experience it's clear that states are thin think aboue workarounds that might need to
implement until those interfaces behind the scenes can be perfected. reserving the consumer expense. another element is that while we talk about the individual exchange is largely, we are talking about families more than individual who will be applying for this interest. the family situations can be complex. you might have depend on income thresholds and family composition, if abu qualifies for subsidized policy. mothers newly pregnant, child is on the chip program, so understanding those complexities has implications on the protocols and handoffs that have occurred between entities. so as we thought about it we thought that kind of for things that states ought to be thinking about and focused on for day one. how to minimize the bumps in the road. the first i would offer is the importance of the navigator program. they are indeed the front lines. they need to be well-trained, certified and importantly
coordinated in the messages that they provide, the policy if you will the procedures that they articulate, and well recorded with the health insurance exchange is so the center step and medicaid step. it's worth noting there are four different categories. there's the navigator at we know about from the act. they are in person the sisters, agents and brokers who, as many may know can continue to be complicated by cancer best navigators or certified application council. so the point being the individuals and families will be coming through multiple channels to receive assistance from existing call centers. some states has as many some states has as many as half a dozen existing 800 numbers that consumers call for information. these exchange customer services, the navigators and assistors i've mentioned as well as local count and public health offices because of the act. so according and communicating is very, very critical. not every application on day one
is going to follow what we call i guess technical term initiatives a happy path. and a happy path really what we envision with this goal of early click the card. worthy thing is done seamlessly to a website clearly. that's a great goal and that some think we can continue to strive for of the move towards come as those things as mobile applications and so forth, mobile platforms. but in addition to those types of transaction certainly there will be consumers that will be applying for exception and exclusion, individual may be. they want to ensure that the income that is being used for the eligibility is more current income that might be of able through the data services have. and so having individuals that are well-trained in these customer contact centers to handle those types of transactions is critical. and ensuring, this is something we can learn from the medicaid
and chip world, creating special escalation units. more knowledgeable and fully trained individuals to handle the more complex cases can be an effective day one strategy. then lastly, two other quick point, what is that regardless of whether a state is date-based exchange, federal facilitate exchange or state partnership exchange, we can talk about those shortly -- >> and i gave you, there's a handout that shows the map of which states have which. >> perfect but it's important to note that there are certain provisions of the act that great requirements, ongoing requirements for the states. so when showing that there's a choreography if you will between the local public health department offices and county this office is, existing call center operations, federal call center operations and so forth is vertical. states have to make decisions still, for example, as to whether they're going to be a screen and refer state.
will be selected information from the federal exchange in a pass down and make final determination at the state level or will have the federal exchange make that determination? regardless of what they choose, however, they still own the responsibility going forward and maintaining it. finally, the forcing the state to fingerprint much focused on is insurance market readiness ensure that qualified health plans are available for selection by consumers that procurement process is effectively run, and that information can be uploaded to the website, presented in a good format. >> okay. i think you're beginning to get a sense of how difficult this is. i just want to put a little personal anecdote in here. when i was a teenager my father worked for the social security administration, and his job was to write the training materials for medicare. and he wanted to be very clear about how he was writing those materials, and so every night he brought them home and he had me
read the materials and answer the questions. so i do believe i was the only 15-year-olds in america who knew how to determine medicare eligibility. [laughter] and i don't know that i could have figured this one out. dr. sharfstein, maryland is one of the all-star states that every press account says that maryland is way ahead of everyone else in planning for this, and lamenting it, et cetera. could you tell us when you started and what was accomplished and there's many of them, idaho, that just last month decided to start working on this, where would you have them begin or how would you, how would you have them, what triage advice would you give a state that issues getting into this?
>> sure. welcome thank you and apologize to everyone for coming in a few minutes late. >> that's all right. >> it was not a health reform related problem. so i think that we are very excited or october 1 him and next year in maryland. i think, you know, we are doing everything we can. i'm not sure i can say whether we count as an all-star or not. i think our goal is to deliver, but from my perspective maryland has been, have some unique advantages and i'm particularly lucky because of the level of engagement that existed in the state. before i started the state with mitchell, and exchange board, there's some pretty important decisions made. the governor and lieutenant governor had a series of i think 20 or so public meetings around the state. they had hundreds of comments from the public, and they really had established a broad
consensus that it made sense for maryland to a state-based exchange. the logic behind it was that maryland could control its own destiny and that there's some unique aspects to maryland's system that the exchange could be sensitive to, more likely to be sensitive to it for a state-based exchange. it was interesting to me when i started and those like you national panels i was sitting next to people who were not huge fans of the affordable care act from other states, and they with them much they hated it and i would say that we are supportive of the affordable care act but there's an irony here is that i maybe don't want them who supported the affordable care act but where the oil is going our own way. -- but we are the only one going our own way. so, you know, we were off on our own way. when we see the affordable care
act in maryland and i think the analysis i use most, is a set of tools that states can use, and testifies in different ways to accomplish both improve access and cost in different ways. it doesn't guarantee an outcome but it provides some tools for states to use. the that so we really can't about it. we've actually three separate pieces of legislation passed and signed by the governor so far. the first one was just to set up governance, and that proved to be a really largely come to set governance and identify the topic that should be studied. there were six studies we did in the first year. the governor was critical. nine -- >> what he was this? >> 2011. and it was take it one step at a time, you know, that's been our motto. and so we didn't rush out and say we're going to do all this way and we got all figured out. we said what's the governance? the companies with nine people on the board, three of them
state officials, the health secretary and chair of the board, six public members really terrific people, the head of one of the regional associations in maryland is on there, the former secretary, executive director of the health association, a ring whose job it is to follow exchange develop and for the academy of health. easy turn of the person. some health economist, consumer advocate comes a great group of people. and then we set about studying the issues and we set for advisory committees, of about 20 marylanders on each one. there was a stack this site of reports and comments and people thought they would they were engaged in a condensed it down to i think 28 or so recommendations for the legislature. then in the 201 20 oh session te legislature passed the policy framework. i thought it would be like 12 issues that would cause all sorts of ugliness in terms of debate but we actually resolve them all, sailed through.
i give credit to the governor brought everyone together in a legislative process, and we have a terrific head of the governor's office to help reform. we give everyone a chance to submit amendments. we had a 300 amendments, t. each one individually. so if you're in maryland, you have an answer whether yours is getting an included if not, why not. we did each for the three years. we making critical decisions that were unique to maryland. we decided we would try to integrate our small group exchange at the existing third party administrators we wanted to allow brokers to sell on exchange about how to become navigators. there were a whole bunch of different things that really related to what we want to do in maryland. the figure was sort of fixing little things and getting the funding structure in place. so i think that it would be unfair to say that we haven't had our share of disagreements but without such an aggressively look and engaged process that we
been able, i think everyone has been willing to say let's try to get this as was possible. i've had to say to people on all sides of the issue that, one of the challenges that hits me a lot is people project onto these things. these are the fears or hopes commend both of them can be valued. if you say the exchange is going to fix this long-standing problem, we've always had in text service, not being adequately reimburse, it's like i agree with you that's a long-standing problem but maybe not by october 1. if we don't have an exchange of something is going to be hard to fix that problem. to the crowd of people in maryland on all type of different issues like people have been willing to understand our mission is to try to be successful, and stand something up, then decide how we're going to use in different ways. so there's a number of different issues, just to name a few, provided, that contracting company, the brokerage
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