tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 22, 2014 10:00pm-12:01am EDT
from an apple is maryland at 10:00 eastern on c-span. later today, the council on foreign relations looks at technology, innovation, and policy making. or of the topics will be the potential implications of driver list cars. live coverage starts at 10:30 a.m. eastern also on c-span. >> i focus on trying to stop waste and trying to catch people to date in the past, but to actually go out and figure it out and had it up, 50%, 30%, 20% , 60%. i think we are spending a lot of money. my staff's time can be better spent by trying to find, identify, and correct problems. >> it by sq, have the american people, and their money's worth? >> their full money's worth? no, definitely not.
there have been some good things done, a lot of good things done. we have a lot of hard working people at the state and the department of defense, department of agriculture, department of interior. the department of commerce. a lot of people have devoted their lives and energies over there. but have we gotten the biggest bang for the buck? no. and that is what we find all the time. poor planning, for execution. >> his role as inspector general and how american taxpayer dollars are spent on reconstruction in afghanistan sunday night at a:00 on c-span q&a. >> next, assistant attorney general talks about national security threats. the discussion includes this week's indictment of five chinese nationals on cyber acting charges. the brookings institution hosts this one hour 15 minute event.
>> we are going to get started. please welcome john carlin. unfortunately there is nothing going on in the area of cyber has been nuys or emerging national security threats these days to talk about. we will be a short and relatively an interesting session. i'm joking. it is an amazing time to have him here. as you all know were probably have been not living in a cave for the last 48 to 72 hours, there is actually a big week in
this area. it is involving some very significant and unprecedented actions by the federal government. specifically and the bringing of indictments against foreign military officials for cyber attacks on u.s. companies and has been not against american business interest. separately, the house just passed the u.s. a freedom act. so there is lot going on in the areas, both of our own activities with respect to spying and collection of stories and with respect to our response to other countries activities against us. how similar are the sets of authorities and actions that we are doing to those that are done to us?
to which we are responding, how different are they? is there principal difference between what we acknowledge that we do and we of the rise under our law and what we object to wind down to us? these are some of the issues that i think we are talking about this week, and i hope we will be talking about today. and -- i can't think of a better person have addressed this for us. john carlin has been acting assistant attorney general for some time, was recently confirmed in the permanent role. he served previously as the chief of staff to his predecessor and principal deputy , lisa monaco, when she was in the role. previously he was chief of staff and senior counsel to robert muller when he was director of the fbi. a career federal prosecutor. mr. john carlin served as national coordinator of the department of justice computer
hacking and intellectual property program which consisted of 240 prosecutors specially trained to prosecute cyber crime and intellectual property cases. so a lot of background in the area that gave rise to this week's indictments. he has a degree from harvard law school and from williams college. he will speak for about 45 minutes, and then we will have a q&a with him over there and take some questions from the audience. i ask that you all silence your phones because there are a lot of cameras in the room. please join me in welcoming john carlin. [applause] >> thank you, ben, for that kind introduction. how grateful to be here at brookings today discussing emerging national security threats.
also a keen fan of allow fair blog, as are many in this national security field. the department of justice announced charges against five members of the chinese military for computer hacking, economic as been eyes and other offenses directed that six american victims in the u.s. nuclear power, metal, and solar industry . today i will focus on this growing threat. state-sponsored cyber intrusion targeting for profit sensitive and proprietary information of u.s. companies. these charges against uniform members of the chinese military were the first of their time. some said it could not be brought. at the apartment we follow the facts and evidence wherever they lead, and sometimes the facts and evidence lead us to a loan hacker in a basement in the u.s., sometimes to an
organized-crime syndicate in russia, and sometimes to a uniformed member of the chinese military. no matter where they leak, there should be and are no free passes we should not stand idly by getting permission to anyone to steal from us. we will hold accountable those who steal no matter where they are, no matter who they are, and whether or not they still in person or through the internet. cyber crime has real victims. while cases like the ones brought in pittsburgh are extremely challenging, this week will prove their possible. the criminal justice system sought to be a critical component of our nation cyber security strategy. as long as criminals continue stealing from american businesses we will continue pursuing those criminals. the charges announced on monday of represent a significant step forward in our cyber approach.
they worried many years in the making. within the justice department the national security division focus is on cyber threats to the national security. those posed by terrorists or nation states. our approach to these threats is deeply resent our division's history, our success in that cyber arena built upon a solid foundation. created in response to a grave threat of terrorism. after the devastating attack on 9/11 it became clear the justice department it to reorganize to tackle terrorism and other national security threats more effectively. we needed a single division for prosecutors and law-enforcement officials with intelligence, attorneys, and the intelligence kennedy. so in 2006 congress created the department first new litigating section in half a century, and
st. in as he works closely with partners throughout the government to ensure that we leverage all available tools to combat the terrorism threat, and we have proven in that context that the criminal justice system is a vital part of our nation's counter-terrorism strategy. just this week there was a conviction by a jury in new york he was involved in an attack in yemen in december 1998 which resulted in the deaths of four hostages and providing material support to terrorists, including al qaeda and the taliban. in march of this year there was a conviction of conspiracy to kill americans another terrorism charges. abu break -- the son-in-law of assault and lot. the face and voice of al qaeda as high -- as a result of our
integrated approach to combating terrorism, these went -- these men were brought to justice. these cases are just the two most recent in a long line of successful criminal prosecution of terrorist offenses. recently we took the lessons, learned from counter-terrorism and applied them to our work on national security cyber threats. in the face of escalating threats we recognize the need to reorganize and to integrate. when i was chief of staff to director muller at the fbi we undertook a transfer of -- transformation there and meet the same growing cyber threat, and in 2011 the broadband approach. in the late fall of 2011, ten years after 9/11, we established a review group to evaluate existing work and national security threats and to chart out a plan for future threats. six months later that team issued recommendations that
shaped what nsd national security cyber program looks like today. most significantly, in 2012 we created and trained the national security cyber specialist network to focus on combating cyber threats to the national security. this network known as. [inaudible] includes prosecutors never united states attorney's office around the country along with experts from the department computer crime and intellectual property section and attorneys from across all the different parts of nsd. adopting the successful counter-terrorism model, we now have prosecutors nationwide routinely meeting with the fbi to review intelligence and investigative files. the creation of the network was motivated by a desire to make a tangible impact on u.s. cyber security efforts and criminal investigation through prosecution.
by december of 2012 we made public prediction that with the establishment by empowering more than 100 prosecutors in the field working with the fbi and these cases that one would we -- one would be brought. and this week we made yet on that promise. it is this new and integrated approach that made the pittsburgh case possible. as part of the creation we brought prosecutors from all around the country, wisconsin, new york, georgia, to help nsd build the case. we partnered with the western district of pennsylvania where the victims were repeatedly hit, and we work with offices across the fbi from california to oregon, oklahoma, and back here in d.c. our team thought creatively, worked collaborative lee, and explored all of the action for stopping this activity. and that is how we were able to end at five members of the third
department of the people's liberation army and its unit 61398. these men stand accused of cyber intrusion starting the range of u.s. industries. using their computers to steal information from across our economy. it alleges that while the men and women of our american businesses spend their business days innovating, creating demand developing strategies for peace in the global marketplace that these members of unit 61398 were spending their business days in shanghai stealing the fruits of american labor. it alleges that they still information, particularly beneficial to chinese companies into a communications that would provide competitors with the insight into the strategy and vulnerability of the victims. there are some of question as
law enforcement action. these questions fall into three categories. first, whether they're is a clear line between what these individuals have been accused of and what the u.s. or other nations do. second, whether charges like these can truly impact cyber security, particularly when there may be significant challenges to arresting and ultimately trying these individuals in criminal court. third, whether government should, instead, focus on hardening defenses rather than pursuing charges. as to the first question, while some commentators may ask whether this is a new line to draw, in fact, we are aware of no nation in the world that publicly states that theft of information for commercial gain is acceptable. even in this case kali china had not attempted to justify the
allegations. instead they deny them, and this has been a consistent response. a little over a year ago the chinese government flatly denied reports that unit 61398 was hacking u.s. companies. a spokesman for china's ministry of national defence said, a chinese military forces have never supported any hacking activities. china also challenged the united states to present hard evidence that could stand up in court that cyber attacks against american targets are connected to the chinese military. well, we did, and the response, hours after monday's announcement that chinese foreign ministry called the accusations prove the -- purely fictitious and extremely absurd. we are confident we have the evidence to back up the specific allegations in a court of law. read the indictment. it is. for the first time we have exposed their real faces and names behind the keyboard in shanghai used to steal from
american businesses. this is not conduct of responsible nations within the global economic community should tolerate. in the united states we believe that individuals and companies are entitled to the results of our creativity, including property and intellectual property, and we believe that one's work should not simply be taken from you and given to others. but this is not a uniquely american value. individuals are around the world believe that people should not take with others make. responsible nations to conduct in -- conduct intelligence activities emendations openly acknowledge they have intelligence services. like others, our intelligence activities are focused on the national security needs of our country. that is why the president earlier this year reaffirmed in a presidential directive that it is not an authorized foreign intelligence purpose to collect such information to afford a competitive advantage to u.s. companies and u.s. business
sectors commercially. u.s. foreign intelligence collection occurs under the framework of the rule of law involving oversight by all three branches of government. as the church committee report recognized back in 1976, the constitution provides for a system of checks and balances and interdependent power as between the congress and executive branch with respect of foreign intelligence activities. the very protections that are built into that legal framework subject that information to rigorous oversight and prevent sharing it with private companies for their private gain let's be clear. those restrictions do not exist in other countries that are charting every day american trade secrets, intellectual property in order this deal specific information and pass it along to their domestic companies in order to give them a competitive edge. to pretend otherwise is to promote a narrative of false
equivalency. even though we know of no nation that stands up publicly to defend corporate theft for the profit of state-owned enterprises, in the shadows there may be some who encourage and support it. in short, we allege that members of unit 61398 that we have charged committed theft, pure and simple. all of this case is the first of its kind, it is also, in some respects, business as usual. as they have for decades, prosecutors in the field use criminal investigation and prosecution to disrupt cyber crime. it one of our most important partners in the fight against cyber crime. law-enforcement has long been used to combat cyber threat. as recently as this week they have made a tremendous impact on server security. as you have likely seen on monday the department of justice also announced charges in
connection with malicious off for. these charges were part of the largest effort involving more than 90 arrests and taking place in more than 19 countries. likewise in the national security arena when criminal law enforcement is the most effective tool we have to disrupt the terrorist threat we have to deploy it no matter how far away were shielded from prosecution the defendants may seem today. when criminal enterprises steal intellectual property and personal information or threaten our security we investigate and prosecute. these are not the first charges that we have lodged against individuals who have stolen from americans to benefit state-owned enterprises. as just one example, we successfully obtained a significant conviction for economic espionage, the first jury conviction earlier this year. walter lou, intellectual engineer obtained one of
dupont's secrets honed over decades for making out multipurpose white pigment and passed it to a large chinese state-owned company. what he stole was something that americans see and use daily, something that does not have any national security implications, something that simply brings a profit. he stole the formula for the color white. he was brought to justice in the u.s. criminal justice system. like lou, we allege the members of unit 61398 that are charged stole the benefit -- stole to benefit chinese state-owned enterprises. of deaths are similar. the bill took place here in the united states. but the difference is that unit 61398 operator remotely from the previously safe spaces of shanghai. we will no longer permit safe havens. individuals, whoever they are, cannot avoid the consequences of their action simply by capitalizing and 21st century tools and operating from the
comfort of desks have a world away. these crimes are the same as many that we have investigated and prosecuted before. only the method or means is different, but the threat that we face is increasingly moving out of the physical world and into cyberspace. thus, the prosecution's of those who steal from us remotely must and will become the normal. we will continue to pursue this option along with others available to us. the threat of economic espionage is serious, and the threat of cyber economic espionage is mounting. some estimate that every year the united states loses more than three average billion dollars from the theft of our intellectual property. and they say that that figure is about equivalent to the current annual export level of u.s. exports to asia. losses of that magnitude cost the american economy untold numbers of jobs, real jobs, and
they reduced the profit than american firms make from research and development which, in turn, produces a -- reduces incentives and resources renovation. as the u.s. attorney in pittsburgh said, when these cyber intrusions' occur, production is low, plants close, workers get laid off and lose their homes. such activity also undermines the trust between countries and companies that is necessary to do business in our global economy. our companies cannot face this threat alone. companies cannot depend solely on anti virus offered to defend against attackers lead to deep state military budgets. is not a fair fight. to defend against those in power by a government we need our government on our side. rainier -- likewise, we need you . just as the local police cannot
control crime without victims calling in those crimes, our law enforcement officials need cooperation from victims. it is our hope that the more cases we bring in a more perpetrators we bring to justice the higher the level of cooperation we are likely to receive. we cannot let this conduct go undeterred. doing so would threaten our nation's security. cases like the pittsburgh case will have a deterrent effect. to those critics to raise questions about whether these charges will have any impact in light of the challenges associated with arresting in trying the individuals, the deterrent effect of charges can still be significant. general keith alexander explained the only way to deter cyber attack is to catch perpetrators and take strong and public action when we do. fbi director mahler called for figuring out who is starting a some going after them saying, we must remember that behind every
intrusion is a person responsible for that intrusion, a warm body behind the keyboard. whether he or she sits in tehran, tucson, shanghai, or seattle, or the bronx, our ultimate goal must be to identify and deter the person is behind the keyboards. the government and private sector alike are increasing their call for prosecuting cyber it theft of trade secrets. we need to prevent attacks and -- prosecution can simultaneously punish those who have already committed bad acts and deter those who might otherwise commit bad acts in the future. in other words, by going after these crimes we can help stop the next couple of criminals. it is, of course, possible that we will never attain. but even if these five defendants to delay a arrest, it takes criminal activity out of the shadows.
law-enforcement investigations can also support other valuable tools. criminal charges can justify economic sanctions from our colleagues in the treasury department, sanctions that prevent criminals from engaging in financial transactions with u.s. entities and denied access to the u.s. financial system. they can facilitate diplomacy by the state department as our nation's diplomats lay out evidence of state-sponsored cyber theft of foreign government officials and force them to answer for those actions or, as the accord may with other victimized countries. furthermore, the investigations themselves can lead other governments to take action, even when the united states does not end up doing so. so, we will continue to bring these kinds of cases. however, it is not easy, and prosecutions like this present unique challenges. cases can take years to investigate and sometimes be tough to attribute the unlawful activity to particular individuals. they involve difficult decisions
regarding how to protect sensitive sources and methods and even after charging it can be difficult to obtain custody of defendants and bring to justice but difficult does not mean impossible, and the status quo simply will not do. as the attorney general said earlier this week in announcing these charges, enough is enough. we would not stand idly by as people all the way, and likewise we cannot allow it to be sucked up by the internet. the indictment had discussed is an important first at, but it must be just that, the first. prosecutions will not solve the problem alone. we need to build on the success and keep responding with prosecutions where possible but also with all the other tools and are told it. we need to keep at it and we appreciate the bipartisan support we have received from congress including particularly supportive words from senators king and white house along with
house and senate intelligence some insecurity in judiciary committee both before and after this section. many of the individuals above provided resources and encouragement as we undertook the transformation to combat this threat and will need their help as we continue the transformation to reader must continue until our adversaries realize the cost of stealing from our company's outweighs the benefits. so far we have talk primarily about criminal prosecution and other tools. we recognize that stopping attacks before they ever take place is the ultimate goal. we have succeeded when there are no more criminal charges to bring, and to that end we have worked hard to improve our cyber defenses, but the government and the private sector. the fbi works closely with companies that have been the victim of hackers through, among other things, it's in charge card program. that program, which has more than 25,000 active members brings together individuals that
law enforcement, government, the private sector, academia, to talk about how to protect our critical infrastructure. likewise, the department of homeland security, the department of energy and other departments and agencies routinely work together closely with companies to protect critical infrastructure. the department has heard from them and is taking steps to respond to the concerns of the private sector. just last month we teamed up with the federal trade commission to issue a policy statement making clear that antitrust law is not and should not be a bar to legitimate cyber security information sharing. earlier this month justice department issued a white paper, which clarified that the communications act does not ordinarily restrict network operators from sharing certain data with the government to protect information. ..h the government to protect information. this guidance will help the private sector collaborate more freely to protect itself. all of this is just a start.
going forward we need legislation to facilitate information sharing between the private sector and the government. the charges announced this week benefit not only victims but also the broader american people and others worldwide. chief justice burger noted that criminal prosecutions as a general matter have an educating effect on the public. we may appreciate on a theoretical level that hacking to steal corporate secrets poses a national security threat. there is no substitute for the effect that an dimt has. putting a face at the keyboard and quantifying the damage done may galvanize all of us to improve cyber security. it can make us more vigilant to the kmirks military and geopolitical dangers associated with cyberspace. for example, it might lead companies and other entities to examine logs closely to see what the to wrap up i want to applaud the
dedicated investigators and prosecutors whose hard work produced this week's important indictment. it's only a first step but it's a big step in as part of our growing effort to hold accountable those who steal american innovation. at the same time we must acknowledge that prosecution alone is ultimately just one tool in the broader toolset for addressing the cyberthreat and prosecution alone will not solve the problem. trusting government depends on part in our ability to protect justice for citizens. indictments and prosecutions are one clear and powerful way in which we the people governed by the rule of law legitimize and prove our allegations. these actions have real consequences for the criminals they target in deter those who might otherwise become criminals in the future. we continue to protect americans from being victimized through cyberspace and we will need your support to do so. thank you for your attention and
and this sort of activities that form the basis of this indictment. as i understand the u.s. posture we do not first of all we obviously engage and espionage and we don't deny that some of that espionage involves spying on companies. the distinction that we draw is that when we spy on companies it is in the pursuit of national security objectives either in pursuit of economic objectives or the particular object does of helping u.s. companies at the expense of the companies that we are spying on. i am interested in to what extent that is a distinction that sort of only the u.s. could love and the we are in intellectual property generating company. china is a giant economy.
they -- why can't they just define their national security objectives as including the economic health of their companies? is a distinction that we are drawing a stable one and we will be able to sustain in an international argument over what's legitimate and what's illegitimate in the realm of economic espionage. >> it's a good question and let's think about it the other way around for a second because whether or not we bring prosecutions and follow the evidence where it leads is a choice no matter why it. what we are seeing is we are seeing private entities inside the united states as an indictment details and assign a pipe and put research into designing the pipe. and then there's a question over whether you buy what they have
built with their hard work and innovation or steal it and when we come across a case of somebody stealing it hacking into somebody system without permission and taking the designs they would otherwise buy and sometimes it's right before they are about to get bozza we know they're interested in it. if we follow the facts and evidence with a lead that might lead us to a criminal group and if we -- if it led us to a criminal group with no affiliation with any state i think everyone would agree that the proper course of action would be to try to build an indictment and prosecute them and find them and bring them to the u.s.. to draw a distinction that says when we follow the facts and the evidence and it leads to someone behind a keyboard and they happen to be wearing a uniform and now there is some type of free pass for what is clearly criminal activity. it's the same fact we are seeing from other criminal groups it's
not a distinction the american public would want us to make a more importantly i do not believe that there is a country in the world that what i believe sit by and accept that type of thing. and yet we do have an understanding in the government to government espionage department that you know we do certain things, you do certain things to us and if we follow that keyboard hack and if you follow that keyboard rack and you find on the other and its it's nsa spying on your government you're kind of supports to leave that alone and similarly if you follow that keyboard and back and find out it's the people's liberation army we are not going to have this quite the same attitude towards an intrusion in the u.s. government computer system then we would if it were an organized criminal gang or an individual hacker.
or would we? >> well what we are talking about here is the theft from private companies for the benefit of other private companies with whom they are in competition. that is where particular and specific facts and specific actions and specific actors matter. we are not charging some abstract entity. we are charging particular people for particular acts and if you look at this indictment they are stealing pipe designs from one company and the evidence it just for the benefit of another company. also interestingly you will see they were building a corporate intelligence database for a company and that's what they were paid to do as part of their job. that is theft.
every country in the world, almost every country in the world has some type of intelligence service and the idea of having an intelligence service to protect your national security is an old concept. what you don't see his country saying we have the service out there whose goal it is to seal -- steal what you are making and give a tour company company so they don't have to buy it. >> you mentioned in the speech that china does not defend this practice. they denied the practice. i'm curious are you aware of any country that defends this practice doctrinal yours is simply universally denied rather than defended? >> personally i'm not aware of any country in the world that defends this practice and says that we ought to allow whether it's the military or spy service or criminal -- criminals to hack into somebody
else's private company and steel >> so i want to talk about the value of indictments. you talked about this a little bit in the speech but some people will look at this and say you have no prospect of getting custody of the suspects. china is a big country. it's very apt fully capable of protecting its people. our jurisdiction is limited and therefore the role that an indictment like this place is really one more of the kind of combination of an overt diplomatic pressure a willingness to put facts on the record in a form that is provable in law that is backed up by evidence and has a certain heft and therefore a form of very sophisticated legal pr rather than an indictment in the sense that you actually expect to get custody of the suspect and bring them to court and
prove the case. as distinctly as you can articulate it what is the value of an indictment in a situation which you have no expectation of obtaining custody? obtaining custody? >> i want to challenge the premise. these are real charges based on evidence that was painstakingly compiled over a period of years that we can and hope to present in front of a jury. all rights of due process unless we believed we had the evidence to secure a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. i look forward to having the opportunity to do that. we indict individuals all the time who are not currently in the custody of the united states and we may not know their
whereabouts. i referenced today two terrorism cases that took more than a decade to bring. we brought the charge. they said you have no expectation of getting this individual. they are overseas or in a cave, government territory, unfriendly space. they have committed crimes. we charged it. we waited until we could bring them before a court. over the years whether it is in relation to the mafia or drug conspirators. but sometimes it's true. people evade capture. when they do evade capture and never face charges inside a court, i go back to what i was saying before, to not bring the charge is to somehow say this is not criminal activity and that you're not stealing, but you
are. that's the effect it's having on american companies. that's the cost that we are with seeing in terms of american jobs and we are prosecuting the same cases when they are committed physically fds the united states and we are prosecuting the same cases when they are a group that's not affiliated with the government. to decide somehow here that we are giving it a free pass not only deters, it encourages individuals to pursue this type of theft. >> there has been a fair bit of talk since monday that this is the first of a wave. and that we should expect to see a lot more of these. we wouldn't ask you about individual cases. but is this -- you said that there was a transformation going on. as a general proposition, is this something we should expect to see a lot more of and to the
extent it is, how much of it should we expect to be about china versus other countries that we frequently hear are major thievers -- thieves of intellectual property in the united states. >> part of what i was discussing is we have had a transformation in terms of how we discuss these cases. the national security division, we trained hundreds of prosecutors in conjunction with our criminal colleagues throughout the country to work on these cases and look at the intelligence day in and day out. the fbi is going to put task forces throughout the country. now that people are trying to build this criminal option as one of the options when look at
the information that they are gathering, i believe they can and will bring additional cases. these are hard cases to bring that are technically complex. they cross national boundaries. it's always going to be difficult. now that people are working it, i believe they can and will bring additional prosecutions. they are going to follow the facts and the evidence where they lead and respond to the crimes that they see. it's by no means a strategy aimed at if i particular country. it's aimed at the crime and then following back the crime to see who committed it and the focus is on economic theft of the unit. those are the type of charges you may see in the future. >> i want to talk about one difficulty, complexity of this type of case that doesn't arise
in a lot of other cases where you are primarily looking at witness interviews. you refer to the warm body in back of the keyboard. i know in a lot of the computer forensics cases you can prove that a certain thing happened from a certain account or that a certain thing happened from a particular i.p. address. it can be very difficult to prove that the individual whose associated with that account was, in fact, the warm body sitting behind the keyboard when the offense took place. i'm interested for your thoughts on how do you -- what are the strategies that one has to go -- not the extra mile but the extra quarter of an inch. right? and that the hands on the keyboard are the person who -- you've got to know beyond a reasonable doubt.
you have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, not merely the account on the computer are the instrumentality but the individual associated with those is the one you think he or she is. talk a little bit about the challenge and how you meet it. >> that is a challenge. i'm not going to give all of the means and methods by which the fbi will try to find those individuals today. forgive me that. one key step to meeting it is trying to meet it. so one change that takes place when you want to preserve a criminal option and have the opportunity to bring a criminal case is to focus on that type of specificity and attribution. that's a key principle of the criminal justice system. as for intelligence purposes, it
might be sufficient to do the attribution and say, oh, this is so and so nation state trying to take in this type of information for intelligence purposes. that might be enough to do an assessment of what's happening. when you're doing a criminal case, as you say, you need to go the extra step. because we are not interested in the overall intelligence service. we are interested in a specific crime conducted in a specific manner by a specific actor. one thing that's important to that which is why we need the cooperation and talk to companies and victims is knowing why when we are trying to prosecute the theft of the corporate secrets, why are they taking it? not why would a government generally take it, but what business are you competing with that would the specifically want that information and why would they want it at the time they
took it? that can help narrow down the actor. >> so the basis of this indictment is u.s. domestic criminal law which forbids the theft of intellectual property from u.s. companies. i have not, nor could i look up chinese law on the theft of material from chinese companies for u.s. national security purposes or from chinese government servers for u.s. national security purposes, but i'm relatively confident that criminal law has something to say that would forbid a lot of what we routinely defend you and i both in different ways that goes on at fot. meade. we have an open policy that we engage in espionage. i steal secrets for national security purposes.
but probably run roughshod over a lot of countries' criminal laws in the course of doing so. i'm curious why -- whether we should expect foreign indictment of u.s. intelligence officials and why we would -- other than to say our law dwishs between the purposes, why would this be different? how would we react if the chinese government started indicting nsa officials, current, former, future for acts that we would consider perfectly legitimate espionage. >> they said, again, this is not about intelligence collection by a nation state to figure out
what another nation state is trying to dman strait. nor is this case an indictment of an intelligence service. it's an indictment of particular people for stealing particular plans that were to benefit companies in china, state-owned enterprises, that are competing with companies here. that's what we charged. it's specific in doing so. we did charge economic espionage and trade secrets. we also charged violations of the computer fraud and abuse act. the problem we were charging is when you commit those acts for economic advantage in personal, financial gain. so that is a true distinction.
it's one that's recognized throughout the world. everyone wants when they worked on something and they put hard work and creativity in it to have the rewards of the fruits of their labor. certainly china along with many other countries in the world has brilliant and creative entrepreneurs. they want to have the benefit of what they produce. when you knocked down the door, walk into the office and steal it out of the safe and go and use it instead of buying it or if you take it by the internet, that's crime. >> i will ask one more question and we'll go to the audience. if you have a question, wait for the microphone. please sbro are deuce yourself, identify yourself before you ask a question. you ask a question. one additional question, what has the reaction from other governments -- there are a lot of governments that have anxiety about chinese activity in this
area that have also cried foul in public but not so far brought criminal cases. what has the reaction from other intellectual -- other ip producing countries been to reaction this week? >> you can only answer what you know. it's been a slightly busy week. to give the reaction of countries around the world may be either some of my colleagues or you all reading the papers. fair enough. gary in the front. always patient about waiting for the mike. >> i'm trying to remember your question. i write the mitchell report and when i've first heard about the indictment and then particularly
listening to you today, being grilled by one of the best, i had two reactions one is about cost benefit and the other is about mr. rumsfeld's favorite, the known unknowns. with respect to cost benefit, the question that comes up for me is, though it is clear that you've been kax in the indictment to name specific warm bodies behind specific keyboards and how difficult it is to prove they were there when it was happening. we're thinking larger term. might look at it as a specific indictment of a specific person. it's my assumption that
president xi and premier lee do not. as a consequence, if that's true, as a consequence it seems to me it raises the kind of questions must deal with the cost of pursuing this indictment worth the benefit of whatever the outcome might be? and of course these terms i'm talking both diplomatically but the difficulty of demonstrating just how much actual economic harm has been done and will be done by these acts so that there's the cost benefit question. and then the second is the known unknowns and what i mean by that is the minute i heard about
this, i thought i wonder what edward snowden is doing right now. what i mean by that, snowden has revealed a lot about us and what we're doing that almost no one seemed to know about. so i wonder if mr. snowden is saying okay, if mr. green walt are saying, now it's time. we'll let loose a few other goodies that people don't know about. they are going to make this difficult. >> put a lot on the table. a thoughtful question. the the president had said in
the 2013, i believe it was, state of the union, publicly announced that the theft of our intellectual property is not acceptable and trade secrets is not acceptable and i think that tried to deliver to different folks in the government in every way possible the message that that's not intelligence business as usual. that's theft and reason why they are making that distinction is because it is immediately causing real harm to private citizens who are losing real jobs and the ability to produce and participate in our economy. we have a responsible that when there's real harm occurring in actuality each day to take action and not just to watch it occur. and if we were to watch it, track it, investigate it, follow
it, at the end of the day we're not going to bring criminal charges for these acts depending on who the actor is. is not an acceptable place for be for american companies and citizens. in terms of cost benefit, that's the status quo. if i may flip it, we need to raise the cost and make it clear that the benefits you're getting from stealing this information do not outweigh costs and we need to up the cost until the behavior stops and in that sense, i hope never to bring another criminal case. the activity will stop -- also raises the issue of future disclosures, i hope everyone -- no matter what persuasion is,
would like to see this activity stop, this stealing of corporate secrets wherever they are occurring and president has made it clear this is something that the united states will not do, which is won't go stealing other people's trade secrets to get an unfair advantage. >> carrie johnson. >> carrie johnson from npr, the other day i read the fbi was purchasing some malware and i'm wondering what the nsd role in part created to oversee the intelligence gathering inside the u.s. in general terms, mr. carlin, how does the nsd oversee the fbi's investigative/offensive cape ablts in the cyber area?
>> not familiar with this specific report you're referring to but a couple of different roles, one would be if the fbi were applying before the foreign intelligence surveillance court under the fisa or foreign intelligence surveillance act, before they can prevent such application to the court it would go through lawyers at the national security division who would see whether made out the proper predicate, probable cause under title 1 of the fisa act and those applications to the court for proper approval if they were going to use it for intelligence meetings. similarly, if they were applying to use it through the criminal system, and maybe lawyers from the national security division either counter terrorism
inception and espionage, whether maintain the approvals through the criminal court, criminal court process. we also do have an oversight section that does national security reviews and reviews the use of certain national security authorities and so if they were attempting to use such a method under one of those authorities, reviewing it to ensure it abided by all applicable legal rules and predicates. >> yes, in the back. >> hi, i'm mike with abc. mr. carlin, media reports out today are saying that the justice department has tapped nsd prosecutor steve pont cell lo to probe the foreign fighters into syria. i'm wondering if you can talk
about what exactly is is he going to be looking at and doing? why is this necessary and who exactly tapped him? >> the problem of foreign fighters going to syria is a significant national security threat that we're facing right now. it's at the top of the agenda for the department of justice and u.s. government at large but also for our european partners and others throughout the world. there's a substantial number of individuals from outside of syria who are traveling into syria to commit acts of violent extremism and just as we were concerned with the conflicts in the afghanistan/pakistan region and with those traveling to somalia to participate in al shabab. we're concerned both about those
traveling to fight as foreign fighters and we need to be concerned and alert and vigilant to those who may return after committing acts there with training and ideology and desire to commit acts of violent extremism here. so we want to make sure that individuals in the counter terrorism section and u.s. attorneys throughout the country are focused on this threat and we want to make sure we work regularly with our partners in europe and elsewhere to see we do what we can do to stop the threat. >> what does it meeb he'll be doing? in terms of al shabab, i don't remember a prosecutor being tapped to lead the effort with that. in similar cases that didn't happen. why this and why now? >> i think he is focused on the
foreign fighter threat and it's important to coordinate the different cases across the country to pvide the expertise to confront this threat and also to be available to meet with foreign partners. >> hi. my name is peter and i'm representing myself today. about a year a little over a year ago the mandy and report came out. what are your thoughts on that? was that a precursor to what you are doing? were you already working on this? what are your thoughts on the reaction to that report? >> i thought that it was an excellent product that was good work that was done and it was important as i mentioned earlier notches of the government was working out but the private secretary is working on them as well. and without discussing exactly
when our investigation started it did not start because of the report. >> you shane harris in the back. >> thanks mr. carlin for being here. you talked about the difficulty of putting these cases together and it can take years and there had to be particular allegations and evidence and indictments. i wonder can you talk a bit about to what extent the victim companies themselves and presumably there are many others that can be useful and are you reaching out to them to encourage them to come forward with information that might be helpful or do you contact them and ask them to participate in investigations? >> because this is an open case without discussing this case in particular yes in general at national security vision that national security cyberspecialists in the field and our partners at the fbi and
other agencies are definitely reaching out to companies both to warn individuals about the threat and encourage them to take steps to prevent it them from happening but also to work with them when it does occur. that's critical that type of partnership. it's critical so we can learn the intrusions and take the steps we need to protect companies and it's critical if you are going to bring a criminal case to have that cooperation and to talk to the company so that you understand what was taken and why it was of importance. >> in the front here. >> i'm curious how much consideration. >> please identify yourself read. >> arturo hernandez. i'm curious how much
consideration he gave to the potential consequences of the resident you are setting and you talked about positive consequences in some of the negative ones and specific we thinking that there's most likely going to be some retaliation in kind i imagine either from the chinese or other countries and while the u.s. might make this clear distinction between economic and national security espionage others might not. so i'm curious if you thought about these potential negative consequences and worst-case scenario maybe we might -- it might lead to a level of legal brinksmanship or amongst the powerful or something like that so i'm curious as to those types of considerations. >> something i might add to that question for a moment. i imagine the point of view of nst on this question would he subtly different from the point of view of the intelligence community which might have some
anxieties about the amount of declassification you have to do to bring a case like this and i'd similarly be different from the point of view of the state department which has to interface with ease so everything that the question raises i imagine plays out in the interagency as you contemplate something like this. >> i will say this. an olive our work criminal prosecution is a tool in a larger set to try to stop threats to the national security so that's true in in terms of stopping the terrorist threat. it's true in stopping the threat from spies or counterespionage and it's true in stopping the threat of those who steal our trade secrets. so in each of those instances it won't be the only solution. you won't be able to bring it in every case but in every other
context is one of the tools we have on the table and there is then no unilateral decision to say we will bring a criminal case. that should be all the more true when the conduct is such traditional criminal conduct. the other thing as i said earlier is the chinese said bring us hard evidence that can stand up in a court of this criminal activity. so one hopes and continues to hope that now that we have they will take action to stop this criminal activity. as i said earlier i'm not aware of any country that condones this behavior so now that is laid out maybe it will stop. >> in the back. the very back. >> steve watkins and i work and study here in the city.
building on mr. hammond hasn't point this is the largest poppell dated nation in the world and the second largest economy and 20 years likely measures the largest economy. there could be any of a number of routes of retaliation against the united states. symbolism is everything some people say so how broad can the consequences be for bringing these charges against a former goal economic our? thanks. >> we are going to follow specific criminal acts that we find where they lead and i'd been clear that stealing trade secrets from american companies and using it to provide to their companies who are in competition with them is an act that is criminal and when it occurs
inside the united states we will follow it where it leads and in this cage it led to five particular individuals who happen to be where they were in happen to have the jobs that they had and the rat the charges and laid out the evidence that we had. and that's the proper way to proceed and we will continue to follow these cases where they lead. >> we have time for one more, i was going to say one more question but let's get a few people and start over there. and what we will do is we will go around ,-com,-com ma collect a few and give mr. carlin a chance to wrap up and address which ever so many of them as he feels inclined. see hi. i am jen from american university. how does this affect the indictment in this case especially since these are individuals in the chinese
military? how does that affect higher-ups and how will that affect our chinese and u.s. relations? >> okay. the woman right there and then the gentleman in front of her after that. see hi i am courtney with real clear politics and this is more of a -- question but after her comey's hearing he mentioned that there are two types of large american companies those that have been hacked by the chinese and those who did not know they have been hacked by the chinese. do you expect an overflowing amount of cases to come out now that there are faces and if so how will this case be divided among all the people working against cybercrime? >> john mueller from ohio state and cato.
mr. wittes the first question. although it does spy on foreign business is none of the information gathered ends up in the hands of american businesses. >> let's add one more if there is one more the gentleman the corner there and then we will give mr. carlin a chance to wrap things up. >> thanks mr. carlin. >> thank you. curious a little bit about the legal line drawing that you've been making in decision throughout between espionage, economic espionage and state driven espionage. as a general matter how important is it that you're able to make a showing of economic benefit to companies, over seas or wherever the case may be. in particular, how would this look different? would it look different under the statutes at play here if there was clearly some sort of
commercial information taken with no apparent connection to national security but no real showing that this was going to benefit any particular companies unfairly. how would that change things, just curious as a general matter? >> the floor is yours, there's a lot of stuff on the table. have at it. >> i suppose i can't just answer yes. in terms of the director's testimony yesterday i tend to think -- even worse in a way there are companies that have been hacked and those will be hacked again. we're seeing it across the country. i hope one consequence of this is that it encourages companies and victims to come forward and realize there are steps we can take and won't see the activity continue and we'll take however
many steps we need to to ensure that the activity stops and won't just leave them out there responsible for their own defenses. and then as a general rule, as the president has stated in his presidential policy directive, we do not take information from other people's companies to provide it too our own companies. on the statutory question, it will depend on which particular prong you are charging. so for the particular violation of the computer fraud and abuse act, that was a prong that was for the more commercial advantage or private advantage
gain and we charge theft of straight ee kret which does not require that you show it's for a particular foreign company. we charged prong of the economic espionage and does have as one of elements that it's for the benefit of another nation. we are out of time, please join me in thanking mr. carlin for joining us. [ applause ] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
>> the for those of you that follow pop-culture you may have taken note of the recent flap between the robertson family of doug dynasty fame and the a&e network that produces and broadcasts the duct dynasty show you may have noticed that one of the first and the loudest and most aggressive defenders are the robertson family was the governor of louisiana. [applause]
now you may think i was defending the robertson simply because i'm the governor of their home state the great state of louisiana. you may thought that i defended them simply because my boys are huge fans of the show. he would have been wrong about that. i defended them because they have every right to speak their minds. however indelibly they may choose to do so. stay when i visited montgomery, when i would visit birmingham ,-com,-com ma i saw signs that said white men, colored men, white women colored women white waiting colored waiting. i would ask my mother and asked my father and my great-grandparents why and they would say that's the way it is. don't get in the way and don't get in trouble. but one day in 195515 years old
in the tenth grade i heard about rosa parks. i heard the words martin luther king, jr. on the radio, the words of dr. king and the action of rosa parks inspired me to find a way to get in the way. with some of my brothers and sisters and cousin we went to the town of troy in 1956 to the public library trying to check out some books trying to get a library card and we were told by the library and that the libraries were white only and not for. i never went back to the pike county public library until july 5, 1998 for a book signing up my book. hundreds of blacks and whites citizen showed up. signed a lot of books have a wonderful reception the ending of the reception they gave me a library card.
that may not sound important but when people tell me nothing had changed in mississippi change in the american south i said, and walk in my shoes. see our coverage of commencement addresses starts friday at 8:00 eastern with louisiana governor bobby jindal had university and massachusetts governor deval patrick representatives luke messer and john lewis at 920 eastern and later georgia senator johnny isakson. that's all on our companion network c-span. the house this week approved a bill that would make it easier for the veterans affairs secretary to fire top workers at the agency. thursday senator marco rubio tried to get the senate to vote on that measure but was blocked by senator bernie sanders who chairs the veterans affairs committee. we will have that debate in a moment.
than 50 senators asked the nfl tours the washington redskins to change the team's name. later president obama this is the baseball hall of fame in cooperstown new york. >> madam president i am here in the floor to talk about an issue that has received a tremendous amount of attention and rightfully so over the last few weeks and it's the outrage of what's happening at the veterans administration. let me start by saying while certainly people he be held accountable to this they should not be and really is not a partisan issue. i think we all have a deep commitment to service and helping our veterans the men and women who have spent time away from their families and put their lives on the line to defend this country to whom we made and mental promises that when they came home they be taken care of especially those who have been harmed while in the service of our country great i think we are all heartbroken and outraged that the agency that is supposed to take care of them is not doing so. i think what's even more
troubling is this appears to be a systemic album. this is not simply an isolated instance in phoenix or some other institution somewhere in the country. this is now rearing its ugly head in every part of the country we look into. you can imagine not just as an american and my concern but as a floridian. florida's estate with an enormous number of veterans including my brother. men and women who have served their country and done so with great courage and dignity -- dignity who now have health care needs that require urgent attention. just a moment ago in a television interview is brought to my attention the story of the gulf war veteran who has a brain cyst who has been waiting for weeks to even to be able to see anyone. in fact waiting for months with no end in sight as to when that's going to end. this needs to be addressed. yesterday we all watched with great attention as a present address this issue and expressed outrage prayerfully so it was occurring in with the president said is over the next week is
going to be an initial report and ultimately reported the end of the month about what needs to be done to improve the system and more importantly who needs to be held accountable. i think that's critical here because one of the things we are learning is not simply that there's a systemic problem in the veterans administration but there has been a deliberate effort by some within the administration and some within the veterans administration to cover it up or to make things look that are than they actually are and that should trouble us even more because the immediate reaction when agencies are confronted with the problem should be we need to fix this and instead the reaction by some seems to be we need to cover this. we need to make this look better than it really is. we need to diminish this. that is completely unacceptable and people need to be held accountable to this. in the united states senate among the men and women who absurd for someone was derelict in their duties they would lose their jobs. in the private sector someone did not do their job they would lose that job paid in the
military of command if the commanding officer of the unit did not do his or her job they would lose their job and their superiors would have the ability to immediately discipline them. so i think many americans would be shocked to learn that even if the secretary of wanted today to fire executive managers within the agency he cannot. instead he has to institute a long and drawnout process. leading to this absurd conclusion that you are likelier to receive a bonus or promotion then you are to have been fired because of mismanagement and dereliction of duty. that's completely unacceptable. i think one thing we have to remember here is the enormous investment george of the das more more than 3000 employees are dedicated hard-working people and their departments will document a reluctance to ensure leaders are held accountable for mistakes is not
only tarnishing his reputation it unfortunately is impacting many of these hard-working men and women who are doing their jobs within the agency. so what i did a few weeks ago in conjunction with my colleague from florida is file a bill and it's a simple and straightforward bill. here's what the bill says. the bill -- the va management accountability act of 2014 would simply give the va secretary the power to fire or demote senior executive service employees based on their performance. it's a power similar to the power the secretary of defense already has for example to remove military general officers from command and of course the power that any one of our 100 senators have to remove the member of their staff. this bill passed yesterday in the house of representatives and is sitting here on the desk in the senate. it passed yesterday with an overwhelming bipartisan majority of members of both parties who are outraged by what's occurring
in to bring accountability. in a press conference yesterday the white house indicated they are very open to this concept and that in fact they were acting with leaders on it. we call the white house and ask them about it. they ultimately indicate an openness but indicated they had concerns. they simply said they had some concerns but in general they were supportive of this concept. earlier today in the appropriations committee my colleague from kansas senator moran offered this very bill as an amendment and it was adopted by voice vote without a single objection. so here's where we stand. i have come to this floor today to get my colleagues the opportunity to send this to the president before we leave for the memorial day recess. we have an opportunity right now to take up to build a house just pass by an overwhelming bipartisan majority and an enacted into law and send it to the president said he can sign it so a week from now in a month from now when the results of
that investigation come to his desk they can discipline and/or fire the people who have not done their jobs and that put our veterans in harm harm's way with regard to the services the va is supposed to be offering. that is all this bill does. nothing more nothing less. we are giving a secretary appointed by this president confirmed by the senate the opportunity to be able to fire employees of his agency that are not doing their jobs. that's all we are asking for. it's not for complicated than that. and i do not understand why anyone would not support that concept. it's right here for us for everyone around who is talking about how we need to put the act on this here's your chance in a very straight toward bill. my hope is it will pass unanimously so we can truly say it was bipartisan message. we are not telling them who they need to fire. we are simply giving the secretary the power to hold
accountable the people that work underneath him and future secretaries as well. that's all this bill does. and i hope we will be able to do that here today. i think if we put it to a roll call vote on the floor it would pass by overwhelming majority as well. so that's why madam president i ask for unanimous consent that the senate proceeded immediate immediate consideration that house resolution 4031 which was received by the house, received from the house and i further ask consent the that will be read a third time and passed the motion to reconsidereconside r be considered native laid upon the table without any intervening action or debate. >> is there objection? >> reserving the right to object. madam president i think senator rubio for his remarks and i think many of the share the exact same concerns that he has raised. when men and women put their lives on the line to defend our country they are entitled to the
best quality health care that we can provide to them. and in my view and the view of virtually every veterans organization the va does provide good quality health care to those people who access the va system but there are serious problems in terms of access and serious problems regarding waiting list. there are serious problems regarding the possibility of hospitals keeping two sets of books and we are going to get to the root of those issues. but one thing we do not want to do madam president is politicized the well-being of america's -- and let me quote if i might from an editorial in the "washington post" today. this is what the editorial says. the men and women who have served their country in uniform deserve better than delay or
denial of the medical care they need so it's crucial to get to the bottom of allegations of misconduct at the nation's veterans hospitals. americans veterans also deserve not to be treated as someone he ponds and election-year names mentioned. that sadly is proving to be the case in congress is increasingly hyperbolic response and it goes on. .. house and senate, for the ouster of veterans affairs secretary eric k. shinseki or the ill-advised legislation aimed at v.a. workers." let me make this point. i happen to think that the bill that was passed in the house yesterday has many american
provisions, which i happen to agree with. but as the senator from florida knows, we have not held a hearing on this legislation. and some of us are old-fashioned enough to know that maybe folks in the senate might want to know what is in the bill before we voted on it. the senator from florida is right. it passed with very strong support in the house, and in my view, a similar bill containing some of the salient provisions in the house will pass the senate. but it is important that that bill be discussed. and i will tell you, madam president, that one of the concerns that i have is i do not want to see the v.a. politicized. it is one thing to say -- which i agree with -- that if a hospital administrator is incompetent, the secretary should be able to get rid of that administrator without a
whole lot of paperwork. i agree with that. i agree with that. i agree with that. it is another thing to say that if a new administration comes in, whether democratic or republican, somebody sitting in that secretary's office because i want to get rid of 20 or 50 hospital administrators because we have other people we want and their and could just get rid of them and they do not have a right to defend themselves. i worry about that. clearly we have to discuss the issue. i would suggest the senator from florida understand it is probably a good idea to discuss an issue before we vote on it. so bottom line for me on this, yes, every top administrator at the veterans affairs has to be held accountable. i do not want to see an enormous amount of paperwork and obstruction before we can get rid of incompetent people. but before we vote on legislation, it might be a good
idea to understand the full implications of that legislation , and there are some aspects of it that, i think, some of us have concerns with. and let me just make a few more points on that issue. i would hope that the senator from florida would agree with me that we want to make certain that va is able to recruit and retain high-quality leaders and managers, especially when the va is in competition with other federal agencies were those leaders. to that end, it is vital to ensure that we enforce an environment at va where individuals feel as if they are projected for the political winds -- from the political winds of their leaders. that is the point i made earlier there are other areas that concern me in terms of setting precedents that may not be a good idea. bottom line is, i think there are important provisions in the bell that passed the house. i think the administration wants to work with the.
let me just state another point, if i might. that is, i am really very happy to ed see as much concern being paid to veterans needs in the last few weeks -- i am very happy to see that as chairman of the committee, and i would say to a center rubio and others that he is well aware that the veterans community faces many, many serious problems above and beyond what we all are hearing over the last few weeks with regards to va. we have to wonder thousand women who have come back from iraq in afghanistan either with ptsd or tbi. and sure my friend from florida agrees with me that they need to get the quality of care. i have just had the privilege of
being honored with the goldstar, the widows of men who died in action. but we have, and legislation that are brought to the floor which received 56 votes -- and one senator was absent -- 57 votes, but only two republicans supported that bill. and that bill would make it possible for goldstar wives, wives who have lost their husbands, to be able to get an education under the post 9/11 gi bill. and i suspect that senator rubio and many others support that. that is in the bill i brought to the floor. we have right now, as i'm sure senator rubio knows because the problem exists and vermont and i'm sure in florida, 70-year-old women in most cases who are taking care of disabled vets and do not get the support that they need. on-duty 24-7. those wounded veterans are said -- staying at home and need hel.
i want to see them get help, and i would hope senator arubia would work with me to make sure they get that help. senator rodeo is aware, as you are, madam president, that there is great concern not only in the military medicine but in the civilian sector about too much use of opiates to treat problems. we have a really serious problem we have language in our overall provision that extends help to the v.a. to move forward to give our veterans alternative treatment other than opiates, and we think that is an important use of legislation. we have legislation that has passed which provides five years of free health care in the v.a. for those who have served in a iraq in afghanistan. they do not have access said decent quality dental care.
it is a problem in vermont. i suspect it is in florida. we want veterans to get that as well. there is bipartisan support for defense appropriations for v.a. we have that in our legislation. while the v.a. is making good progress in cutting back the backlog for moving from paper to a digital system, i want to see them do better. we have language that will push them to do better. just this morning senator byrd and i were at a hearing which dealt with the educational problems facing veterans to come back from the battlefield, go to college, and there are problems there. what most of us think is that we should -- veterans should be able to take advantage of in in-state tuition in this state in which they are living. sexual assault has been of very serious problem in the military. we want the v.a. to do better than that.
so madame president, i am very glad that my republican friends, virtually all of them, and i want to take -- think the senators for voting with this bill along with every democrat from but i am glad that my republican colleagues are now beginning to focus on veterans' issues. and we need to step up to the plate to help, not only our veterans, with their families, and that is no legislation and i have. when i say to kucinich arubia, your legislation, many important provisions. there are some that i think we need to work on, and we are going told a hearing on that legislation and other legislation in early june. i respectfully object to that legislation right now, but i would ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to a calendar
number 297f1950 with the standard amendment which is at the desk and is that desk -- text 1982 comprehensive benefit and military retirement pay restoration act. that is
the comprehensive legislation supported by virtually every veterans' organization in the country, millions of veterans and the american people and says, thank you, to the veterans who put their lives on the line to defend this country. we will be there for you. i would ask that this legislation be passed. i ask unanimous consent that that happens. madam president. >> objection is heard to the senator from the state of florida. affair objection. >> madam president. >> senator from florida. >> i want to address a couple of points. the first is on the issue of politicizing. for example, i have not come forward. sometimes in this process there are times when that is
important. there are people who are clearly not doing their job. our job to step forward and say that. let's give the secretary of a chance to see what happened. more
information comes out, but at a minimum i think he deserves the opportunity and his successors, whoever that may become a deserve the opportunity to all the people underneath them accountable. they don't have the power to do that now. also, i said absolutely nothing in a partisan nature. i am not claiming this is a crisis created by democrats or from another party. strong bipartisan support in the house and strong bipartisan some -- support in the party today. it seems all of their reluctance to move forward on a is coming from one side of the equation. that is not where we have to be. that would tell you right now, i believe if this came to a vote the overwhelming majority would
support this legislation and before today. this was offered, the specific language was offered in committee. with little debate and no the send it passed. they do not even call roll. no one said that they were. this language is adopted in a committee. here is my second problem. that is important. i am not claiming the bill i am asking us to take up today will solve all the problems. i am asking for a simple thing.
give the secretary that power to fire employees underneath them that are not doing their jobs. they know they're being held accountable. it's that straight forward. i don't think that any of us want to go home for the memorial day recess. when asked what we are doing on this issue our answer is, in about 15 days we will have a hearing on this crisis. meanwhile -- meanwhile the list goes on and on of the averages coming out of this agency. every single day more cases are coming out of veterans not being treated fairly or appropriately. this is a matter of urgency. while we are gone on our recess, the president next week is going to get a report from a preliminary report on what is going on, and it may very well be wants to see some people
fired and very well may be his secretary will want to fire some people, and he will not be able to do that. all i am asking is not to give us the power to fire them, but to give the administration the power to fire them and hold them accountable. as far as the bill that the chairman has offered here, this bill has already been debated, and there are problems with this bill, and extensive piece of legislation with many elements and the cost issue at a time when our nation as close to $18 trillion. that is why i would object to the motion made here today by the senator from vermont. >> objection is heard. >> madam president. >> senator from vermont. >> let me reiterate, when i quoted the "washington post" and talked about political causation now was not suggesting that the senator from florida was being political on the floor today. what i was suggesting about
politicizing the v.a. is, if you have a situation, for example, where a new secretary comes in or new administration comes in and can fire wholesale hospital administrators that, i think, without their ability to defend themselves, i think that is the kind of system that the senator from florida would want and certainly i would want. how we address this issue is important. i would suspect that while this issue may have been taken up at the committee today, i doubt very much that there were any witnesses who testified about this bill. second of all, i found it to interesting tsk. a senator from florida said it and other republicans have raised the point that the legislation i introduced which, again, has the support of the
american legion, vietnam veterans, veterans of foreign more, iraq-afghanistan veterans of america, paralyzed veterans of america, he is right. it costs money. he is right. this country has a deficit. he would be right if he said that's going to war in iraq and afghanistan have cost us trillions of dollars, which is one of the reasons we have the deficit we have today. but i believe from the bottom of my heart, madam president, that if we go to war, if we spent trillions of dollars on a war, when our men and women come home for more, some wounded in body and some in spirit, i don't want to have people telling me it is to be invested to take care of those wounded veterans. i do not accept that. if you think it is too expensive to take care of veterans, don't
send them to war. madam president, let me reiterate my view. the senator from florida has raised an important issue. we will address it as quickly as we can, and we are going to address other issues facing our veterans who, on this memorial day, need to know that we are there for them and their families. >> madame president, how much time remains? [inaudible] >> and tell 140 reserved for the senator from kentucky. >> not seeing the senator from kentucky here, i would ask for a minute of that time to make the following points. who has that -- [inaudible] >> the time is of the control of the senator from kentucky or his
designee. [inaudible conversations] >> let me suggest that the senator of florida -- >> weather than arguing over -- [inaudible conversations] >> that is fine with me. i just want said -- >> the senator from florida. >> thank you, madam president. a bunch of other issues were raised about the cost of war in iraq, how much money was spent, how good we aren't spending that money for the veterans. i think that is a valid debate and is a debate we should continue to have. we need to spend more money. their plenty of areas to find it. we should work to make sure that cost is not an issue. right now the central debate here on the issue of what is happening at the v.a. has not centered around the fact that cost is getting in the way. the central debate, as you get
the president yesterday in the press conference he held, is on the management, operations of this agency. critical to the effectiveness of any agency is accountability, the ability-hold people accountable, including by taking away their jobs. the argument that has been made here that a new director kent come in and inspire the people who work underneath them can be made for virtually any organization on the planet. you could make that argument for staffers in the senate, that we want to protect them so that revenues than it -- senators elected from a state they cannot hire on staff. this is simple. there was one issue here i wanted to focus on today. we have a chance the day before we leave the memorial day recess to pass a bill that gives the president -- the secretary president obama appointed the power to fire executives underneath them if they have not done their job and a power he does not have right now. we have a chance to pass it. it is the house bill. all we have to do is agree to
it, and it goes to the president to sign. then we can go home and say we have taken an important step in implementing legislation on an important issue that this country is talking about. and we are walking away from that opportunity. >> we're not walking away from -- >> senator from vermont. >> we are not walking away from anything, but we're going to do it right. again, the argument that when you run the health care system which has 151 medical centers, some 900 community-based outreach blacks, 300,000 employees that a new president can wipe out without necessarily giving people the right to defend themselves does not make any sense to me. so we're going to look at the positive provisions in senator arubia as bill. then there are. senator rubio, you know what, i think we're going to reach an agreement. you will be happy. it will be a group bill.
there will be consensus about it you will be happy about it. on the other hand, i do want to reiterate, senator rubio was right that one of the reasons that we only had two republican votes for a comprehensive piece of legislation that addresses the issues that the veterans community brought us, it is not a burning fan, this bill. lessons to the needs of veterans and says, we hear you. once again, i would say to the senator from florida, i was just literally an hour ago at a function of the the old wives' organization. these are women who lost their husbands in battle. under the post 9/11 gi bill, i get an important piece of legislation, lives should have the right to use that legislation to go to college, get education and get better jobs. i do not think, senator rubio,
if i brought that bill to the floor today would have unanimous support. out of our committee, the bill that i brought forth, many provisions had unanimous support, many provisions or republican provisions, good provisions. when i say to my friend from florida, thank you, your bill is an important bill and will be dealt with and will be dealt with in the very, very near future. >> veterans affairs committee bernie sanders will discuss patient care delays at v.a. hospitals and allegations that hospitals kept two sets of records. he joins us on sundays newsmakers at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> fifty senators have signed letter to nfl commissioner asking that the washington redskins change the team name because of its racial implications. democratic senator -- senator
cantwell came to the floor to talk about why she supports the name change. >> madame president, i come to the floor this afternoon to thank my colleagues to have signed on to a letter to the nfl asking that they change the name of the washington football teamr reid for his leadership on this issue and trying to accentuate issue and trying to accentuate i would also like to think leader reid for the care and concern he has worked 42 tribes in the state of nevada and the fact that their interesthe digny and respect of those tribes with the name change as well. i also come to the floor and ask my colleagues whoe n
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