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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 17, 2015 8:30am-10:31am EDT

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and, we want to make sure that we provide education, because i think education is power. i think an educated consumer is indeed the best customer. and what we're going to do in this rule, is clarify the line between education and advice. because that is important. we heard from the industry, you know you can't ban commissions that would put us, that would, unduly upset our business model. we will not be banning commissions in the proposed rule. now they did that in the u.k. i will note something that is very interesting. i went to the u.k. because i told you you build a big table. you listen to folks. and you learn from them. i traveled over there because i wanted to learn with my own eyes and ears about the u.k. experience and what's really interesting is, what has happened in the aftermath of their rule, which is very different from we will be proposing. but what has happened is that it spawned innovation.
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there are a lot of web-based products providing advice to folks. many of whom are people who don't have the million dollar nest egg but have a nest egg that is far smaller. and so you know they're pretty smart people over there. they had a new regulatory environment, and they have been figuring it out. and innovation has emerged. i think folks around here are pretty smart too. we're no less smart than the brits. and i think we can figure it out too. and so you know, the miracle of compound interest is a wonderful miracle. however, the flip side of that, which is not a wonderful miracle, is, that you know, the tragedy of come found fees and costs, can linger, like a chronic illness for a retiree. and when you're talking about
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$26,000 a year, for this family, do the math. do the comparison between that and an index fund or some other instrument, that was pretty simple. i think we can do this. i think this is one of the most remarkably important things that we can undertake in the remaining 650 days. i have got 650 days until the weekened. that is what i'm going to be working on. things that make sure that we sustain the pillars of the middle class. make sure all the things that worked on save. many people lost so much of their savings in the great recession. they're getting it back now. this is one of the most important things we can do to help them. i know one thing we can't help them without a.
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mo. because it brings me back to selma. anything that is important around here, you need a posse to get it done. i have been so heartened by the folks in industry who have stepped up and said, you know what? we can do this. and it is rate for our customers. and it is right for our business model. i was in duke law school recently speaking about what i call the stakeholder model of how we build a virtuous cycle in america. and you know there are too many false choices. i only take care of my shareholder. i can't take care of my worker and i can't take care of my customer. it is either/or. that is wrong. i see businesses everywhere who understand that the high road is the smart road including people in this space who understand, you can take care of your shareholders. you can take care of your workers and you can take care of your customers around create that virtual cycle. so that is what we're going to
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do with this rule. but i know, there are some, who still want the status would i. we look forward to those conversations. we have done remarkable amounts of outreach to date and then when the rule comes out we're going to begin another formal process. i look forward to the comment. i look forward to continuing to have a big table with inclusive participation because that is how you provide and that is how you produce the best possible rule. but i need your help. because i need ordinary people to do extraordinary things. and this is this is a rule that is at the heart of protecting consumers. making sure that retirement with dignity can be achieved. and, doing so, while recognizing that you know what? folks who are in this space can
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make a very decent return. and make a very decent living. i am all for that. i think we all can have both. i think we can adopt the stakeholder model that i discuss and we could put it here. so we got a lot of work to do. we've done a lot of work. and, i hope that when you go back to your communities, you will talk to your stakeholders and among other things, ask them, have you ever looked and asked the question, of your financial planner like, what, what standard does he or she adhere to? a lot of folks this is like a first cousin what i saw in the mortgage space. folks did not know they were victims because they went to someone they thought they trusted. turned out the trust may have been misplaced. so i need your help in raising consciousness because we don't
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know what we don't know. i saw this in the mortgage space. we had to go out there hey show me your mortgage instrument. we would talk to people. we would say did you know in eight months your interest rate is going up 4%? they're like, hell no. and. that is what we've got to do here. there is a lot of consciousness raising that needs to go on. a lot of education that needs to go on. you are all are in the front lines. i was excited to be here because we know we can get this done. i know this is good for america. i know this is good for the financial industryies as well. we can thread this needle. we will thread this needle. the president himself talked about this. he understands. at the heart this rule is about middle class economics. retirement security is a pillar of middle class economics. so i want to thank you for
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listening. but much more importantly, i want to thank you all for being serial activists in your communities across this country. for giving voice to issues that are all too frequently not discussed. for empowering communities that all too frequently feel vulnerable and disempowered. for being those heroic figures who are thinking boldly about an america that works for everyone. an america which really shared prosperity is what we are about. and shared prosperity throughout the golden years, is an article of faith. and so thank you so much. [applause] >> so secretary perez said he would be willing to stay for all could of questions. so just one or two. we have microphones here. >> [inaudible]
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>> of course. >> thank you for hosting us. when we rolled it out the other day. >> of course. this year is the 25th anniversary for the americans with disabilities act. despite this ground-breaking law that is supposed to protect workers the unemployment rate for people with disabilities has remained flat for the full 25 years. i'm wondering if you could tell us what your department is doing to help encourage people to get -- >> sure. >> also because older workers, often have is diddabilities as the -- disabilities as part of their discrimination problem. would you please discuss that? >> the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is 19%. more importantly the labor force participation rate of people with disabilities is woefully low. it is in the low 20s if my memory serves me. i spent a lot of time in local and state government about this we did a lot of work at the department of labor.
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the unfinished part of the ada is employment. one of the things we did actually it's a good parallel to this discussion we'll that we've, i was just having about conflict of interest rule is a rule we put in place under section 503 of the rehab act, which is a rule designed to ensure that employers are taking best efforts to hire people with disabilities. we put this in place about a year-and-a-half ago. when we first proposed it, there was an outcry from some in the employer community who said, this is impossible to do. we were asked questions like, do i have to hire a blind person to drive the truck? and i'm not kidding when i say that. we were sued. we won. and the remarkable thing about it is the, this one person who shall go unnamed who led the assault against us, is now one
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of our biggest proponents because he looked at his business, which is a fortune 500, probably a fortune 100 company. he looked at his numbers. he said our numbers are lousy. once all the litigation was over and he focused on implementation we put him in touch with our biggest allies, who are other employers, who are doing it. and say it can be done. you know all of these issues if you have the will to do it, you find the way. and regrettably if you lack the will to do it, you find the roadblocks. and, there are some employers like walgreens and lowe's and others who have made significant commitments to hiring people with disabilities. we're doing our level best to lift those up. through our 503 enforcement we're going to continue those efforts. and we're making progress but it just isn't fast enough. as we highlight the 25th
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anniversary, i'm certainly going to be talking a lot about employment because i think that is the biggest piece of unfinished business. i can do these last three then i will have to call it, if that is okay barb? >> yes. >> i am brian and i applaud our work bringing the spotlight into the financial conflicts in the financial services industry. my my question concerns, what do you do about companies who claim presently that they serve the best interests that their advisers avoid conflict of interest and things like that? but yet they have never enforced that? are you aware that many sort of institutions have those rules that they do not enforce? and what do you think about the idea of sort of setting
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opinions on, financial advice? i see many people who think they have worked with somebody that they could trust. but that if they have gone and gotten a second opinion they would get very different advice? so as i applaud the fiduciary goal, i'm just not so sure that it gets us all the way there. so i welcome your thoughts. >> well, we've heard from a number of stakeholders who have said that, we already we put our customers first. and, and we will continue to do so. my response is, then compliance with this will be pretty easy. >> you but they never do. >> but they never had a legal obligation enforceable to do so. and so that will be a different paradigm. i have a lot of conversations with folks and the most
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productive conversations are often one-on-one, who say you know, we can do this, we can figure this out. and when you have such a substantial subset of the industry who already does this, what i hear from certified financial planners, other fiduciary, we need a level playing field because consumers don't know whether the person they're talking to is under a suitability standard or, they all think they're looking out for their best interests. what they don't know, some are and some aren't. i wouldn't want my doctor, you know, that i go to today to be looking out for my best interests and my doctor next week to tell me the treatment is suitable. so that is, that is level playing field issue is big part of what we're doing. in terms of second opinions, one thing i hope are already in place, i have done a lot of work in the mortgage space on this, having internal controls. we do a lot of work to help put in place like mystery shoppers.
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that is often a term, that is often a term of consent decrees we reach in the mortgage space. what that simply is, you say you're not discriminating in the mortgage space. well you know, test it. see what's happening. when you do that, you can prevent things that you see emerging from becoming big. and so, a big part of this conversation, you know needs to include those sorts of internal controls. ma'am? >> hi. i'm alexis goldstein with other i'm very excited you're here today, secretary perez. i like the energy you're bringing to conflict of interest rule and you mentioned president is behind it. that sets up expectation this is will be a really strong rule and you alluded to the idea you've seen less pushback from the financial industry but i've seen report in the press like moneyed institution, sieve ma, financial services roundtable they're
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offend by the tone the white house has taken with its memo. so my question is, you know, that memo, if i recall correctly said that retirement savers are losing i believe 17 billion a year due to hidden fees. so i'm curious, if you stand by the numbers in that report, if you stand by the tone in that report, and if we can expect a strong rule in spite of this industry pushback very well moneyed interests? >> i want to clarify something in your question about what i said. i have spoken to a number of industry stakeholders who have said this is something we could do and in some cases this is something we are doing. i don't think i said that there has been less pushback by some in the industry. i don't want to give you a misimpression that, you know suddenly light bulbs have gone off everywhere. i'm not confused by that. i appreciate those who have said, i haven't seen the rule yet. i want to withhold judgment
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until they were. you know, if i were in those shoes i would do the same thing. so, you know, i'm not confused about the road ahead. there are some, and again i had meetings with folks who said, i don't understand the problem. and so, you got to understand that there are some, who stated that. and, that, perhaps bespeaks an effort to, to move forward with pushback. but again, you know, i am, you know when you have the facts on your side. when you have movements on your side. and when you, you know, have folks in the industry the notion that i will go out of business if i have to do this, and i will stop serving people, you know, when i was in montgomery county, maryland, we put in place a rule in the mortgage space to help consumers and i heard from the bankers saying, i'm going to stop lending in montgomery county if
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you put the rule in place. i'm thinking to myself hmmm, 10th wealthiest county in america, potomac bethesda, and they're not going to be able to get a loan. i'm not sure i believe that. and guess what? they're still lending in montgomery county. we're still the 10th wealthiest county, something like that in america. we were able to thread the needle. i think we can do this here because i see, i'm, there are some good players in this industry and they're smart and they're innovative. i think this rule, that we're growing to put out for comment will enable us to thread a needle. yes, sir. last question. >> hi. my name is bob adler. i'm a commissioner at consumer product safety commission and actually during -- you were my boss. >> you do god's work there. >> this is a personal note. i first want to note there was a great article in the new york sometimes a couple weeks ago
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making the very points that you did about the differential you pay when you have an index fund versus a brokerage account which was a personal point for me because for years i was asking my brokerage account, how much am i paying in fees. it wasn't until i hired an independent consultant he actually read my incredibly obscure financial disclosure form that they sent and told me how much i was paying which is shocked me why i am no longer with them. one of the points the article made, was over the course of 30 years, two investors with roughly the same amount of money, the one with an actively managed account would pay would reap on average 100s and hundreds of thousands less than going into index fund. the other point i want to make as a former academic, most of the studies i'm aware over the long run actively managed accounts can not beat the market in times. they're lucky to stay with the market. i'm wondering if you can tell us
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what your assessment or any studies you're aware about the advantages of the actively managed account versus an index fund? >> you have taken the words out of my mouth. certainly in our research we have seen the same studies. and again you know for the concern i hear the most frequently is, this is going to hurt small savers. i would respectfully assert that small savers are the people who need to make sure that their adviser is working in their best interest. small savers don't have any margin for error. small savers, by and large are going to do the best in an index fund or some other no-load low-fee, kind of fund. and so you know, whenever i hear that argument by the way
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jack bogle's company is doing okay i think. you know and he is not the only one in this space. and then again you look a the aftermath of the u.k. and you see that, you know there are now new web-based products that are springing up. and, you know, i think i don't want to overstate those. i'm intrigued by the fact that innovation has really taken off there. and, i think we're a pretty darn innovative world here in the united states. and so you know, i think, again it gets back to what i said much. if you have the will to do something you can do it. i looked at the woman who asked the question about 503. no, we're not requiring employers to hire blind driver, okay? i can say that with certainty. and i, i repeat this because i'm not making this up. these were some of the comments.
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you know but now i go to walgreens and as a result of the leadership of their corporate heads, you go to their distribution center in connecticut. i've been there. 40% of their employees are people with disabilities, working side by side making 15 bucks an hour, or more. with people who don't have disabilities and that is one of their most effective and productive places, bless you bless all of you. and you know what? so they figured it out. other companies are starting to figure it out. and so you know, i feel like there is a little groundhog day feel to this. i heard this in the mortgage space when we tried to regulate. blacks and latinos with will no longer have access to the american dream. that was the argument in the mortgage space. and that was wrong.
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you know, we need to move forward. and you know what? we can move forward. and, the studies are legion. you cite ad couple. but the studies are legion about how you know, products that folks will get into, that are low-cost high reward products are exactly what they need. that is why my guy said, stay in the thrift savings plan. i could take your corporate make a little money rolling it over but that wouldn't be in your best interests. everybody deserves to get the advice my legal aide lawyer, wife who works with homeless people and tom perez who has been in public service his whole career, we don't have we're not the rockefellers, okay? so you know, our margin for error is pretty slight. that is why we shopped around. and i need you all to help in communities to do this. set up through your networks folk who is can provide second
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opinions for folks because what's going to happen, as people become more and more aware, they will start asking more and more questions. that's great. that is what should happen. and you know what? the companies that can answer the questions, in a way that shows, i'm looking out for you those are the companies that have nothing to worry about. and the companies that have been getting 24,000 or, $26,000 a year, from a variable annuitity for someone, we don't, you don't need that. you know, like olympic diving. you don't need 2 1/2 with a twist. the cannonball will do for just about everyone. okay? and so you know, this is, this is doable and your data is compelling. so thank you. [applause] >> thank you everyone. please join me in thanking
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secretary perez. [inaudible conversations]. >> the homeland security department is investigating another incident of misconduct by secret service agents who allegedly crash ad car into a white house security barrier. this morning the head of the secret service joseph clancy will take questions at a house appropriations subcommittee hearing. watch live coverage at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3. later in the day interior secretary sally jewel will talk about u.s. energy and environmental policy we'll have live coverage from the center for strategic and international studies at 1:00 eastern also on c-span3.
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next cia director john brennan talks about u.s. national security issues. he sat down last week with charlie rose of pbs and cbs this morning. this is hosted by the council on foreign relations. >> thank you very much, charlie. and food afternoon, everyone. i also want to thank the council on foreign relations and especially richard haass invitings me here today. over past few months cia is in the news for variety of reasons, most unrelated to many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for us on the global stage. would i like to begin with a snapshot of some international developments and trends of greatest concern to the cia and talk to you about how we are tackling these challenges. i thought i would take some time to focus in particular on the importance of our work with foreign partners in enhancing global security. these relationships are founded on discretion, so we don't talk
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about them much but they play an essential role in our efforts to collect relevant and impactful intelligence provide insightful analysis and to conduct effective covert action as directed by the president. last month an extremist gunned down a film director at a cafe in copenhagen. made his way across town and shot and killed a security guard at a synagogue. later the same day the terrorist group isil, released a video showing horrific executions of coptic christians on a beach in libya. in the span of 24 hours we saw savage attack on a staff on of satirical newspaper, "charlie hebdo" in france, we saw a dozens killed with a car bomb in yemen and extremist group boko haram carried out another massacre in nigeria, claiming an untold number of innocent lives. in december, gunmen in pakistan opened fire on schoolchildren, an attack even by appalling
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standards of the pakistani taliban was shocking in its more depravity. these attacks underscore a disturbing trend we've been monitoring for some time. emergence of a terrorist threat increasingly decentralized difficult to track an even more difficult to thwart. while true the united states and its allies have had considerable success degrading capabilities of core al qaeda, various al qaeda affiliates and other terrorist organizations have surged in other countries countries such as libya egypt somalia, nigeria especially yemen where al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, demonstrates ability to launch attacks well beyond yemen's borders to the homeland. no area gains more attention than syria and iraq. isil is waging campaign of unspeakable brutality against the local population and indeed against anyone who does not share its ideology. isil is well-armed and well-financed. it is fighters are disciplined
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committed and battle hardened. left unchecked the group would pose a serious danger not only to syria and iraq but to the wider region and beyond concluding threats on homeland of the united states and homelands of our partners. this will be a long-term struggle. isil will not be rolled back overnight. if there is one thing we learned over the years that success against terrorism requires patience and determination. clearly our country will be dealing with terrorism in one form or another for many years to come. what makes terrorism so difficult to fight is not just the ideology that fuels it, or the tactics that enable it, the power of modern communication also plays a role. new technologies can help groups like isil coordinate operations, attract new recruits, disseminate propaganda inspire sympathizers across the globe to act in their name. the overall threat of terrorism is greatly amplified by today's interconnected world where an
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incident in one corner of the globe can instantly spark a reaction thousands of miles away. where a lone extremist can go online to learn how to carry out an attack without ever leaving home. indeed, for all of its advantages the information age brings with it an array of new challenges that have profound implications for cia's mission, implications that go far beyond counterterrorism. the most obvious example of course is the tremendous growth of activities in the digital domain, which is full of tremendous opportunity for good but also serious challenges and haver ins that can be exploited to harm our national security. threats in the cyber realm are a urgent national security priority as america has no equivalent to the two wide oceans that helped safeguard our country's physical, maritime and aviation domains for centuries. every day, state actors, criminals, terrorist organizations and hackers of all stripes try to penetrate our
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nation's digital networks. government institutions are under constant assault and private companies are spending enormous sums of money to defend against hacking attempts denial of service attacks and other efforts to disrupt the networks. attack on sony late last year is reminder how serious the threat is and how quickly it can take place. cia is working with partners across the federal government to strengthen cyberdefenses to share expertise and to collaborate with the private sector to mitigate these threats. . .
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in addition to monitoring developments in these hotspots our analysts track overall trends in global stability. their findings for 2014 confirm the sense we all get from monitoring daily events that the current international environment is extraordinarily complex. developments last year continued a three-year trend of rising instability marked by severe conflict and the erosion of state capacity worldwide. we saw more outbreaks of instability than at any point since just after the collapse of the soviet union matching the rate we saw during the period of decolonization in the 1960s. the implications of this trend are well known to this audience. rising instability leads to a growth in ungoverned spaces, a spike in humanitarian crises, a surge of refugees, weapons, and fighters across borders, and an
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emphasis on security over democratic principles among conflict-weary publics. as cia tackles these challenges, we benefit greatly from the network of relationships we maintain with intelligence services throughout the world. this is a critically important and lesser-known aspect of our efforts. i cannot overstate the value of these relationships to the agency's mission and to national security, indeed, to the collective security of america and its allies. by sharing intelligence analysis, and know-how with these partner services, we open windows on regions and issues that might otherwise be closed to us. and, when necessary, we act in concert to mitigate a common threat. by collaborating with our partners we are much better able to close key intelligence gaps on our toughest targets, as well as fulfill cia's mission to provide global coverage and to prevent surprises for our nation's leaders. there is no way we could be successful in carrying out a
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mission of such scope and complexity on our own. naturally, these are sensitive relationships built on mutual trust and confidentiality. unauthorized disclosures in recent years by individuals who betrayed our country have created difficulties with these partner services that we have had to overcome. but it is testament to the strength and effectiveness of these relationships that our partners remain eager to work with us. with the stakes so high for our peoples' safety, these alliances are simply too crucial to be allowed to fail. from the largest services with global reach to those of smaller nations focused more on local and regional issues cia has developed a range of working relationships with our counterparts overseas. no issue highlights the importance of our international partnerships more right now than the challenge of foreign fighters entering and leaving the conflict in syria and iraq. we roughly estimate that at least 20,000 fighters from more than 90 countries have gone to
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fight, several thousand of them from western nations, including the united states. blunting the danger these fighters pose upon their return is a top priority for the u.s. intelligence community as well as our liaison partners. we exchange information with our counterparts around the world to identify and track down men and women believed to be violent extremists. and because we have the wherewithal to maintain ties with so many national services, we act as a central repository of data and trends to advance the overall effort. on this and innumerable other challenges, our cooperation with foreign liaison quietly achieves significant results. working together, we have disrupted terrorist attacks and rolled back groups that plot them, intercepted transfers of dangerous weapons and technology, brought international criminals to justice, and shared vital intelligence and expertise on everything from the use of chemical armaments in syria to
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the downing of a malaysian airliner over ukraine. these relationships are an essential adjunct to diplomacy. and by working with some of these services in building their capabilities, we have helped them become better prepared to tackle the challenges that threaten us all. cia's role in enhancing the capacity of our foreign partners is part of a team effort across our government. just as the defense department helps train foreign militaries and the justice department assists in developing criminal justice systems cia works with many of our partner services to build their skills, tradecraft, and technology. to be sure if we are to work with a broad range of services around the globe, we must also focus on enhancing professionalism and commitment to the ethics of intelligence. we advocate core principles and practices that are indispensable to any intelligence agency, like shunning involvement in the political process, maintaining strict independence and objectivity, and adhering to international norms.
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with cia's support i have seen counterparts develop into sophisticated and effective partners. over time our engagement with partner services fosters a deeper, more candid give-and-take, a more robust exchange of information and assessments and a better understanding of the world that often ultimately encourages better alignment on policy. another advantage of building and maintaining strong bilateral and multilateral intelligence relationships is that they can remain, albeit not entirely insulated from the ups and downs of diplomatic ties. these links can provide an important conduit for dispassionate dialogue during periods of tension and for conveying the u.s. perspective on contentious issues. in recognition of the importance of our liaison relationships, i recently reestablished a senior position at the cia dedicated to ensuring that we are managing relationships in an integrated fashion to developing a strategic vision and corporate
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goals for our key partnerships, and to helping me carry out my statutory responsibility to coordinate the intelligence community's foreign intelligence relationships. this position is one of a number of changes underway at cia designed to maximize our capabilities for the future. as you have read last september i asked a group of very experienced officers from across cia to take a fresh look at our organization and to make recommendations on how we can ensure that our agency remains highly capable of carrying out our global mission in the years ahead. the result is the major initiative we announced last week at cia. that initiative stems from the two shifts in the national security landscape that i opened my remarks with today, the marked increase in the range diversity, complexity, and immediacy of issues confronting policymakers, and the unprecedented pace and impact of technological developments. media attention has focused on our efforts to embrace and leverage the digital revolution by among others things
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creating a new directorate of digital innovation. this step does not, as some have suggested signify a marked change in cia's core mission. rather, it is an organizational response to the simple reality that, in today's interconnected world, we must place our activities and operations in the digital domain at the very center of all our longstanding mission endeavors. you also have read about the formation of mission centers. these are designed to better integrate our great strengths in collection, analysis technology, support, and apply them more efficiently and effectively to the nation's most pressing security issues and interests. and finally, we are pushing ahead on two other strategic goals, doing a better job of attracting and developing a diverse and highly talented workforce, and modernizing the way we do business. we seek to build a culture in which our people are intelligence officers first, regardless of whether they practice the discipline of
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analysis collection, science and technology, digital innovation or support. and we want a business model that improves our capacity to make the sound strategic decisions needed to build a better agency and run it efficiently, even as we respond to urgent external requirements. we are determined to push decisionmaking down deeper into the hierarchy, which is one reason we created the mission centers the heads of which will hold considerable responsibility for taking initiative and further enhancing the agility that has always been crucial to the agency's success. before we begin our conversation, i would like to once again thank the council for inviting me to speak at a time of period and i look forward to the questions today. thank you. [applause]
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>> well, thank you, john. we look forward to this. let me begin by 110 is in your remarks. emphasized more than once the relationship with other intelligence agencies around the world. is that that in any way a fallout from this no disclosures or a sense that you want to ashore us and the rest of the world that whatever damage has been repaired in our relationship with other intelligence agencies good and cooperative and functioning? >> two points. one is i think it reflects mostly just how complex this world is and how we see a cut rely not only on our u.s. intelligence community partners and other element of the us government but we do have to rely on these partners overseas. because the world is a big place and as capable as cia is we have to make sure we're able to work with those intelligence secure his services that have a lot of the eyes and ears on the ground and have the ability to give to stop terrorists, or liberators or others. so that's i think an important component of this new world
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which is its interconnected it's one went to be able to rely on as partners, and also it's just also reflects despite the damage caused by the disclosures, i have found over the past two years since i've been at the cia i have still a steady stream of my foreign partners who emphasize how much they want to give to contain and build upon the relationship of the cia. they see it as critical. they know that we bring to bear the insights, intelligence, technologies, capabilities as well as the approaches that they need to be able to address the many challenges they face in their area. so i do see the world bank more interconnected for a variety of reasons also in terms of intelligence, law enforcement. >> i want to turn to the assessment. we'll talk about ca reform that came out last week. when you look at the threat of terrorism today what is it that
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scares you the most about it question mentioned the fact that there is a real effort to try to monitor the people who are going to syria and who have passports back to europe, back to the united states. >> i have worked terrorism for good part of my career and i think we see an evolution of the terrorist phenomenon and that's what i call it. deal with palestinian terrorism and al-qaeda over the years, a lot of these organizations were discrete structures in element. they tried to migrate their philosophy to others but they were almost contained organizations. wasn't able to make a lot of progress. isil demonstrates a very worrisome development because it has basically been a phenomenon that has snowballed in terms of its appeal and so they're able to make great strides within iraq and syria. the roots are in al-qaeda and
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iraq, and then the established by the referred to as a caliphate. unfortunately, they have had a fair amount of success using this technology that is a double on the internet youtube and other things to present their narrative in ways that romanticize what's going on. it's consistent with the reality of iraq and syria. but this phenomenon now has generated a lot of appeal. so we see boko haram inside of nigeria pledging allegiance to isil. we see the different franchises whether it be in libya or south asia, other areas in egypt trying to get on the bandwagon of this phenomenon. and so this is a worrisome, global movement and phenomenon that really requires us to work with this broad array of partner services throughout the world. >> is what is happening in tikrit the beginning of rolling back isil in iraq?
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>> welcome i think of in a number of things that have helped to contain the rapid spread and growth of isil both in iraq and syria. they were on march towards baghdad and i think iraqi secret forces and others were able to bolster their defenses. >> how close were they in terms of on the march to baghdad? >> weber within, you know, a couple dozen miles. they had sent out some of the forces to see if they could soften up some of the iraqi forces. thankfully i think the iraqis were able to coalesce in the area and bring to bear the capabilities they need a. now the push is against from so many errors in iraq been able to take over. tikrit is a good example. we see a combination of forces right now shia militant groups as well as iraqi security forces including sunni tribal elements that are brought to their the resources that pushed isil out
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of the good part of tikrit. i think that is still going to be a rather intense battle. tikrit is an urban area. but also isil has taken it on the chin in other areas. you look up and kobani in the northern part of syria where for a couple of months isil was pummeling that area, trying to gain the victory along the border. they are not invincible or they can be stopped and i think that's what's being demonstrated. >> can this be accomplished -- >> it's a hypothetical. the iranians certainly brought to bear a number of capabilities in terms of advisors and they are working very closely with the shia militia there. they have been able to amass a large enough force to be able to push back against isil's inroads. but the coalition strikes have taken place a couple thousand strikes, has softened up a lot of the isil forces and have disrupted their logistic networks.
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saw the it's looked upon now that this is an iranian directed shia militia effort, there's been tremendous effort made by the coalition in terms of air strikes. >> and the iraqi army are they fighting better? >> the iraqi forces that melted away in a lot of areas of the north where isil came down, i think they've been able to regroup. and so the training going on right now in a number of iraqi forces have been able to augment the existing iraqi forces that are out there. the coalition is engaged in trying to strengthen those forces with training and advice. so this is going to take time. i wouldn't expect things to really turn around immediately. i think this is going to be a long, tough fight. we know isil has a lot of matériel. they ransacked a lot of the iraqi stockpiles. they also have shown they're willing to kill themselves in
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sensitive areas as well as going off and. this will be a long and bloody fight. >> the combination of the iraqi force and shia militia to whatever else they're getting is that enough on the ground to do the job and push into mosul with the help of american air support? >> i think there's going to be a deliberate effort on the part of the iraqis along with their partners whether it be with coalition partners or iranian shia partners, to move into those areas that isil has overrun. and so i think what needs to be done is a very careful strategic approach so that they don't go into battle unprepared in order to prevail. i think it's important oath from the military perspective as well from a psychological and symbolic perspective that you need to have those victories and successes against isil. as i said they're not invincible but you need to be able to bring
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to bear the capability that will effectively isil. >> it's been said you can never eliminate, eradicate them or even seriously diminish the power unless you're prepared to do something about isil and syria. >> and there is a combined effort. we are working with the government right now in baghdad and trying to have them make sure they do the right thing not just on the military battlefield but in terms of local reforms so they can get most of the sunni committee involved in the fight against isil. in syria the we have a government that is problematic and one of the reasons why there has been this great attraction for foreign fighters is the administration that trend would is not part of serious future as we see a. >> but do we need now for assad to be in power temporarily unless there's a negotiated settlement because we need him as an opposition to isil as will? >> the crisis in syria, which is both from the united states
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standpoint and from a countrywide standpoint, is not going to be resolved on the battlefield. i think we need to be able to continue to support those elements within syria that are dedicated to moving assad and his adult out. but has to be some type of political pathway speed do you think russia wants to be a part of that? >> russia is looking at the problems that have been created by the situation in syria. there are a lot of russian nationals that have traveled down to chechnya and other areas and the flow of foreign fighters. so i think they realize that assad is problematic. none of us russia united states, coalition, wants to see a collapse of the government and public institutions in damascus. what we do want is for there to be a future for damascus that is going to bring into power and representative government that will try to address the
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grievances that exists at the country. it really deserves a government that's going to try to represent the people that are there. >> you fear from a collapse from a assad government of who might replace and? >> that is a legitimate concern. what we don't want to do this allow those extremist elements that in some parts of syria -- we have isil al-nusra the al-qaeda elements from syria, in the last thing we want to do is allow them to march into damascus. that's what it's important to bolster those forces within the syrian opposition that are not extremists. extremists. >> the word about iran and iraq in terms of what happens if, in fact, the iranians would like to have a stronger presence in iraq? >> well, the iranians have clear interest. they share a border with iraq. they share a bloody history with iraq as well.
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so we recognize that iran has legitimate interests there. what we need to do is make sure it's not going to be the type of iranian administration, internal political situation inside iraq that is not going to allow the iraqi people to live in a country that has more of a sense of sensibly than they have now spent in a cornish on the ground using the iraqis? >> i think the are there's an alignment of some interest between ourselves and iran. clearly in terms of what -- we were close with iraqi government to the iranians worked closely as well. some of these efforts i think that the iraqi interlocutors are one that again are trying to advance our common objective against isil. >> speaking of iranians and negotiations, what is it for you in a central requirement in terms of an agreement? for example, and think of the
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inspection, the kind of notice you would need in making those kinds of issues. >> clearly, there are aspects of iran's nuclear program that need to be addressed and that will give we, the united states, as well as countries in the region and international partners comfort that they are not on on a march to a nuclear weapon capability. and that's in false capability over the limits will be in terms of what type in missions they can retain. also coming off of the path was to nuclear weapon, trying to make sure you're going to have he opportunity to inspect facilities with verification regimes is not going to be this breakout, and these are the arrangements. it's a multidimensional package of things that the negotiations are looking at. i must say in my experience in
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government, looking out over the last six years or so as this march towards these negotiations there has been a very intense, deliberate careful effort to try and understand all of the different dimensions of the iranian nuclear program as well as to address all of the areas of concerns. this is not something that is being done in a haphazard way and i must say that looking what the united states government is doing with our partners and how this is prissy i think this is been the most careful and delivered express iciness for negotiations to come out with a result that is going to help the prospects of peace in the region and also present -- >> you accountable with a group they are working on a? >> i am comfortable that the parties on the u.s. side are going to have minimum requirements here that we are not going to see, don't have to
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have that confidence and comfort with you arrangements. again not just with what iran has agreed to not allowing us over the course of the agreement to have confidence that the terms of the agreement are being upheld. >> turning to ukraine, what is your sense of what putin is up to? and did we get involved and over said as as some have suggested and all the sudden is, in fact looking for a way out? or deeply this is part of a larger idea of expanding russian influenced? >> i think russia and putin clearly have strategic ambitions as far as the area along the western border of russia as part of russian influence in countries there, and concerned about what they perceive as a western and nato influence in that area. so i think putin has gotten himself into a point where there
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is international consensus about not allowing russia to continue to march in this direction. thankfully over the last couple of weeks we have had a reduction in the amount of violence in their, but i would look to putin to say how it actually is going to get himself out of this commitment where the russian economy is tanking, facing sears challenges, the result of sanctions, now the community in western nations i think are united in pursuing -- [inaudible] >> i think it's always in our interest to find a diplomatic and peaceful way out of these problems. and do you think it's incumbent certainly on the united states as the leader of the western world to help shape this. but the countries in that area that have very sears concerns about other types of russian activity in that region need to
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have a very strong voice. and so we see our partners, the germans and others are taking a leading role as well. we need to continue this. >> someone in the administration said they worried most of all about the possibility of some russian making a mistake and they can loose nuke i did it is that something that causes you to lose sleep? >> i think in any situation where you have there's almost a game going on as far as that there is chess moves, is how the potential for some type of cycle that was not the intention of either side and when there's a lot of violence going on there can be some a devastating attack or development that would provoke a reaction. and then just a quick series of the opposite to the way we're talking to ukraine or talking about situation between north and south korea, that spark particularly -- it has the potential.
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that's what i think it's important for us to because it attention to these issues. this is the time to try to keep those tensions at bay. bay. >> how do you do that? >> very active diplomacy, and sometimes you need to bring to bear the various tools of power. the united states has a lot and sometimes there are pressures as for sanctions and other type of activity. on these issues the united states recognizes rightly that they are not unilateral solutions in the pathway here. it's very important for us to be able to work with our partners and to gain international and multilateral consensus. >> do we include in our partner china's? >> absolutely. china plays a very important role on the world stage. increase was so. their economic power is critically important to a lot of countries in the world.
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we have regular interaction with the chinese. we are trying to make sure that as we engage with the chinese on east asian issues we are also cognizant of the fact the chinese are playing more of a role in various parts of the world. they have strong commercial business interest but also the chinese recognize there are also some strategic and other ambitions. ambitions. >> what are their ambitions of? >> i think they see that china's size, capability and power gives it a place on the world stage that can be different than what was 10, 15 years ago. that's why they're looking at the various superpower relationships and trying to define than in a way that will advantage chinese interest in the coming decade or two. >> careful strategic approach is for us how to expand china's influence on a number. >> and consolidate power and increase its military. >> yes, and keep the chinese economic engine going.
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he needs to be able to feel his domestic engine of growth as well. >> you talked about security. in this talk to talk about salvage security and to think about china in terms of cyber espionage even some such as that government acting on behalf of corporations. what's the threat from china on cybersecurity a renewed? >> if you look at nation-states across the world come engagement in the digital domain, there's so much information that is going on out there. and so some countries we believe that any activity in digital domain is okay if you advance your business but i think this is where the norms and standards of behavior in the digital environment are clearly important. there's been a number of discussions that we've had with chinese and others about what we think is inappropriate activity in that realm. but it's not just a question of some of these large nation-states adversaries
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there's just a lot of capability that is developing tickled and private sector company's around the world so that any country can tap into the building that might exist in these companies and utilize it for the purposes whether the for national security political, commercial or whatever. >> how do you measure tension between china and japan? >> when you look at asia there is one issue out there which is north korea, that is a problem for the countries region. china, south korea, japan and other states, with the unknown action of kim jong-un as far as where he's going to go next. i think this is worrisome. there are issues that certainly divide south koreans, the chinese, the japanese. what we would like to be a busy is greater dialogue. >> and we are committed to defense of south korea, china and japan? >> i think there are a lot of
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relationships just how important our relationships are spent talk about reform and the levels of reform that you initiated. when you went to the cia i understood you were saying we would like to see the cia to less paramilitary kinds of things. was that true? used to believe that? >> as cia throughout the course of its you just played a very important on so many areas and one area has been -- [inaudible] almost every president since we stood up has utilize cia covert action authority. a lot of times congressional authority relies -- require some military capability. i believe the cia needs to retain a paramilitary capability so that should the chief executive and the president decide that we need to be able to apply it in order to protect and advance national interest of the cia will be prayer to to do that.
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what my concern is that the cia has a lot of responsibility worldwide. i want to make sure we are able to address those different responsibilities capably across the board and not swing too widely one way or another. with a look back over the last 15 years since 9/11, we have had to utilize a number of those paramilitary skills and capability working with our partners in order to address the threats we face. and thankfully cia had the capability and experience. so it's not as though i'm trying to diminish it. i am trying to make sure and this is part of the motivation and some of the reforms is to fulfill our responsibility across all of those areas that we have globally spent before i turn over to this audience, talk a bit about cfa and its analytical functions and icy the challenge for the next 15 years and how you have to change and adjust to that. >> the world is becoming more and more challenging. nation-states are under
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increasing challenge and threats. more and more we see individuals in different corners of the world who are identifying with national groups and organizations. such as the authority of nation-states in government i think is been looking into the way that it did 20 years ago. and so this is one of things that will have to be able to understand and hence the and work with foreign governments or if you're going to basically destruction we've had for centuries, it's going to be even a more chaotic world. on the analysis, we have to not only help to inform policymakers about those kinds of developers worldwide but analysis for cia has taken on many more dimensions than it did when i first joined. at the time cia's analytical work was really exclusively limited to finish -- now analysis drive so much. when we talk about collection,
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talking about different type of operational activities or covert action, that analytic insight taking full advantage of the intelligence that we get as well as taking advantage of the increasingly rich open source environment in social media so that we're better able to inform our activities and better inform our policymakers. analysis to could become more and more of a driver of so many different elements of the united states. >> questions? yes. >> george shah. thank you very much for a very informative setting. given the fact that terrorists are often considered by many to be -- [inaudible] how would you distinguish a terrorist action from -- [inaudible] >> quite frankly i think most often they fall into both
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categories. because if somebody is carrying out an act of violence and usually terrorism is carried out by a subnational actor or even a nation-state for political purposes and drunken violence against a noncombatant, that constitute terrorism according to most classical definition. if you are carrying out that acts of violence at least in most countries i would be a criminal activity. sometimes people make i think false dichotomy between a criminal act and a terrorist act. they are both edited by we need to do is uncover whatever types of terrorist activity is going on because of the need to protect our people but also for the upholding of the rule of law. this is one of the things we worked very close with our partners that even if a terrorist is not carrying out an attack in their country their use of the country whether or not its financial institutions or borders or safe havens this is something that should be in fact illegal and uncovered uprooted and criminalized.
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>> back here. i will try to get to many equal as possible. >> thank you. [inaudible] >> quite frankly i'm amused at the what goes on to eligible if i wanted is you don't know what you are fighting. let's make it very clear that the people who carry out acts of terrorism, whether it be al-qaeda or the islamic state of iraq in the levant are doing it because they believe that it is consistent with what their view of islam is. it is totally inconsistent with what the overwhelming majority of muslims throughout the world and so by describing it as muslim terrorism or islamic terrorism i think it really does
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give them the type of islamic legitimacy that they are so desperately seeking that which they don't deserve at all. they are terrorists, criminals. many of them are psychopathic thugs, murderers who use a religious concept a masquerade and mask themselves in that religious construct the entity think it does injustice to the tenants of religion when we attach a religious moniker to them. the muslims i know the people have forthwith to the middle east throughout most of my career find just disgraceful that these individuals present themselves as muslims. i think we have to be very careful also in the characterization because the words that we use can have residents. and the things we talk about publicly, this is islamic extremist. a lot of these individuals are proud of being referred to as
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islamic extremist. we don't want to give them again any type of religious limits he because what they does no basis in any outstanding. [inaudible] >> i might say all of the above because it is neither black or white. i believe you still have a significant number of individuals who are traveling to iraq and syria tried to join up forces of isil as well as attaching themselves to different franchises around the world.
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at the same time though i think the great image of a isil in terms of its being able to prevail and be successful inside iraq and syria is being pierced. because we see that they are getting, having setbacks. we see there is some dissension in the ranks. we see requirements that are attendant to having control of territory and having the responsibility to run it is truly is under the strong suit of some of these thugs who are joining this bandwagon. so i do think we're seeing right now some very significance, significant indicators that isil engine is suffering. that doesn't mean that it's out of sync but it means it is going to i think a phase of its development hopefully of its ultimate demise, that is i think consistent with some of these other groups. >> what would you measure success? how would you measure success? >> personal i think success has to be preventing their further
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encroachment in syria and iraq as well as trying to work with our partner services to identify those elements that are propping up -- cropping up in other places. those are some milestones and i think success is going to take time. it's going to take years in order to further diminish and discredit not just their capabilities but also the attractiveness and appeal. we need to expose just how murderous and psychopathic these individuals are. >> yes. i promise to get back to the -- i promise to get to the back as well. [inaudible] >> okay. first of all, as you well know
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the world wide web, the internet is a very large, and trying to stop things from coming out, there are political issues, legal issues in the united states but even given that consideration, doing it technically and preventing some things from servicing is really quite challenging. received a number of these organizations have been able to post what they are doing on twitter and the ability to stop something some getting out is really quite challenging. as far as identification of affairs companies on some of these issues there has been unfortunately a very very long multiyear effort on the part of the congress to try to pass cybersecurity legislation to address some of these issues. there has been passage in recent in the senate. i think it's overdue. we need to update our legal structure as was our policy structure to do with the cyber threats we face.
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[inaudible] >> i'm not going to get into the details about the iranian nuclear program, but what's being taken these negotiations are what are the sites where enrichment could take place and what are the perceived that are going to give us some confidence that there's not going to be this type of either production or capability is going to be outside of the inspection regime. i think we need a verification. it's critically important. i think would always worried about something we don't know about now.
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[inaudible] >> there are a variety of reasons why there needs to be i think greater transparency. some of the international financial activities that go on. terrorism being one of them. terrorists have been particularly enterprising and creative in terms of how the events of the opportunities that are out there. i must say the u.s. department
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of treasury as well as other institutions of used government have been very very effective and successful working again with international partners to try to uncover and uproot this but it's not just -- organized crime cartels and others. absolutely we need to do more. >> okay, here. know, behind you and then you. [inaudible] >> we have integrated a lot of the operation element over the course of the past 20 years, more and more so.
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we have a counterterrorism center that is capable because we been able to bring to their operational capabilities, analytics and others. we do it overseas a lot. we have individuals, analysts and operators and others working on these issues. in the war zone is tremendous effective as far as being able to make sure we had experts who can work with the operators and others. i believe it's important for us to go to migrate a model into other areas so we don't just wait for a war to develop or or a crisis but do with terrorism challenges. we have the ability to bring that expertise, that capability in a way that preserves the integrity of analysis it has cia really is the central point within the u.s. intelligence community to provide that objective analysis. it's been my experience come and ahead of the analytic effort about 20 years ago, that you can maintain objectivity as well as you can empower the other elements of the cia by bringing to bear the analytic capability.
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>> i promise to get to the back, so someone on the aisle there. [inaudible] >> i am not engaging with them, who is the head of the kurdish force. so now i am not. i'm engage the with a lot of different partners. some close allied countries as well as some that would be considered adversaries engaged with russians on issues of terrorism but we did a great job working with russians. they were very supportive of the
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boston marathon. so i try to take advantage of all the different partners that are out there because there is a strong alignment on some issues and on proliferation as well as on terrorism and others as well. >> yes, here and then here. [inaudible] >> i think you're referring to the drawdown of u.s. military forces there in 2012. a lot of times people think when u.s. military leaves, others leaders will. that's when the mission would has to kick in to a higher gear because went to offset some of those losses. but we rely heavily in a lot of parts of the world, including afghanistan, for a military footprint that allows us to nest
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within a security structure. it's challenging but cia doesn't get to design all of our presence overseas. we have today could end of whatever opportunity we have and working in place of work it's not. >> right here. and go back to the back as well. >> could you speak about the importance of capturing terrorist? are we still doing that? we're doing keep them? how are we interrogating them now? >> well, i think it's critically important that terrorists are captured a lot of times they are captured here or arrested in the united states and the bureau and other to a great job of it. will need to be able to do is to work with our partners again to identify individuals and to have been captured. so the our places throughout the world where cia has worked with other intelligence services and has been able to bring people into custody and engage with
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these individuals either through our partners and sometimes other places as well. so although there are not a lot of public pieces on fox news that some of them might be picked up in different parts of the world, this is -- there are a lot of examples where we're getting some very good insight into what terrorist organizations are planning and plotting to a lot of times we rely on our partner services in order have the understanding about what's going on in the country. >> yes here and then i will go to the back there. you are all raising your hand so i can't -- [inaudible]
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>> it's tough of sorting out good guys and bad guys and a lot of these areas, it is. human rights abuses, whether they take place on the part of iso- or other malicious or individuals who are working as part of security services needs to be stopped. in areas like iraq and syria there has been some horrific horrific human rights abuses and this is something that a think we need to be able to address. and when we see it we do bring to the attention of authorities and we will not work with
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entities that are engaged in such activities. >> right there. and then back to the back next. [inaudible] >> they are doing very well. this is president daily brief that has been in place for many, many decades. i was the daily briefer back in the clinton administration. had the great ravaged bring intelligent tools and such. the director of national intelligence by statute now is the president's primary intelligence adviser so he is the one who will go to the oval office and present the president's daily brief as well as any thing else. cia is basically provides most of those, the input into that. we have responsibility for that the continues to endure.
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it is a very very impactful -- >> so what's the difference in the briefing obama and -- who asked better questions? [laughter] >> they are two of the most impressive individuals that i've had the opportunity to engage with. >> having said that -- >> they have tremendous ability to absorb information but then also correlated our members sometime briefing president clinton something i briefed him two or three months previously and he would be able to bring it back up. i have since forgotten it. the same thing with president obama. they both have appetite for information spent president obama specific, d.c. evolution in how he has used national security? you were in the white house when he came to the white house has there been an evolution and how he assesses the threat to the
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united states, the tools he wants to use his willingness to use the employment of forced? >> well, sort i think there has been a natural evolution the any president who comes into office doesn't really have a good expectation of what they will encounter over the past six years the president has i think taste more of the strategic and significant necessary challenges than a lot of his predecessors. so i think he has gone to school, he understands the complexity. he also understands the interdependence on a number of these issues as well as the importance of working with a lot of our partners. the united states does not you know battle ability to shape the course of world events. it does not. it has to be worked with a lot of our partners. and selecting the president looking at whether it be terrorism or ukraine or north korea or cyber issues, i think he recognizes just how complex the world is. what he has told me and cia is that we need to continue to
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evolve ourselves so we are better prepared to deal with the challenges that are ahead of us cannot just be didn't with the challenges of the 20th century. >> one more. in the middle. [inaudible] >> i was waiting for that. [inaudible]
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>> i think within the muslim community over the course of decades centuries, there are elements that have a very extremist, radical and i think warped perspective about what the role of the religion is an outhouse to dominate, whether it be society, culture, politics, whatever. i think the same is true in a lot of other religions and cultures and societies. and i think those radical extremists find expression in different times in history and sometimes in a very bloody fashion. but i would be very reluctant and cautious to try to interpret that been a something that is inherent to cultural society but
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i think sometimes in the -- and warped views based on a variety of missions but what the people are joining iso- right now. to come from all different backgrounds. summer educated, successful. sandwiches are attracted to a war where they can carry out violence for whatever reason. something we have to be thinking more about what other dynamics to contribute. but we've been taking this for millennia in the globe at about how people use us to pursue the check is an unfortunately i think religion has been one of the most common bandwagons that some of these inefficient have jumped onto. but it's not specific to one religion or once aside when people speak one last question i'm going to ask. beyond weapons of mass destruction, some have argued that the cia did not see the arab spring coming. it did not see ukraine.
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they did not see the rise of isil. if those were mistakes, why? >> you said if those were mistakes. >> did you believe cia saw the rise of those three things as cynically as it should have? >> i think we have identified a number of developments and trends that were leading in that direction. whether it be in the arab spring, i think for years and cia and the the intelligence committee report at how some of the authoritarian regimes within the middle east and the arab world were vulnerable to this type of popular reaction. were we able to determine, forecast there would be a tunisian boot salesman who is going to -- and set the arab world on fire? no. but those conditions i think was
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something that were identified. i think it's to avoid there have been so many developments recently and a lot of the more popular when you look at the middle east that the traditional ways of intelligence collection not limiting themselves to inside, so having somebody any senior government position will be whispering in our ears whispering in our ears might be giving us not the right perspective. we need to have a better sense of what's happening in the streets and that's why looking at sort social media and other things we commit have a better sense of the barometric condition in the country that is going to be more conducive to the forming of a storm. in ukraine people say you didn't predict that putin was going to do this or that. well, i think we identified what were the pros and cons and what is -- i think putting as well as other leaders have not determined what the next chess moves going to be until they see what their opponents chest of his. they will then pivot accordingly.
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so intelligence is not a panacea as far as having a crystal ball. we need to be able to do is help policymakers understand some of the forces that are at play and how certain developments and actions may affect that calculus. and that's what i think is important the cia, particularly in this world where we have so many challenges across the board. we have been talked about africa and latin america things going on in venezuela, cuba, nigeria. this is something i think we need to stay akin to because we do have this coalition, requires us to all different types of access to information, different types of tactical capabilities, having insight, expertise, being able to work with individuals in the council and other parts of the private sector that we will be able to flesh out our appreciation and understanding. >> john, thank you for coming. john brennan, cia. [applause] >> the senate is about to gavel
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in. followed remarks senators will continue work on human trafficking bill. legislation would impose fines and other penalties on people's -- people convicted of human trafficking and provide more restitution and assistance for victims. the bill prohibits the money in the victims fund from being spent on abortions. the senate is effective date up to 2% of votes on the bill at 11 a.m. eastern before recessing for weekly party lunches. live now to the floor of the u.s. senate. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. we praise you, our god and king. you rule generation after generation.
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you are so high that the heaven of heavens cannot contain you, yet you dwell with those who possess a contrite spirit. thank you for your kindness and mercy, for showering compassion on all creation. bless our senators. give them words that will illuminate and refresh. help them to accept timely advice and valid criticism as a measure of progress. lord infuse them with patience and truth as they practice self-control. we pray in your holy name.
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amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president this morning the senate's doorkeeper will mark her 40th year of service to the senate. ruby has seen the senate from a lot of different angles. she's had a lot of unique titles everything from card desk assistant to reception room attendant as she climbed the ladder to her clients post. -- to her current post. i'll sure ruby would tell you that a lot has changed since her first day back in 1975. i'm sure she had tell you a lot has stayed the same as well. one thipg that won't change is the senate's senate's gratitude to its many dedicated employees. that's why we thank her for her many years of service. now, mr. president on an entirely different matter, in about an hour the democrat
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party will confront a momentous choice: will democrats launch an historic filibuster against helping oppressed victims of modern slavery because left-wing lobbyists appear to demand it? will they do that at the behest of these left-wing lobbyists? democrats filibustering help for terrified children and abused women would represent a new low here in the senate. filibustering help for terrified children and abused women mr. president, certainly represents a new low for the senate and the american people would not soon forget it, nor should they. it's hard to even keep straight anymore why democrats would filibuster this human rights bill. the bill democrats apparently now oppose was introduced months
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ago by a democrat and a republican -- a democrat and a republican. the bill democrats now oppose was originally cosponsored by 13 of our democratic friends -- 13 of them cosponsored. the bill democrats now oppose was approved by every democrat on the judiciary committee. ever single democrat on the judiciary committee supported the bill. and the bill democrats now oppose was brought to the floor last monday after democrats agreed to unanimously do that. but that was monday. that was monday. by tuesday democrats were threatening to lawsmg launch an historic filibuster against helping the abused and enslaved. launching a filibuster against helping the abused and enslaved. democrats opposeed rationale was that they hadn't bothered to
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read the very bill they had introduced cosponsored and voted for. that in itself was a stunning admission. but as embarrassing as this admission might be for democrats, it doesn't tell the full story. it's obviously absurd to bleive that not a single -- to believe that not a single one -- in the a single one -- of the 13 democrats who originally cosponsored this bill and not a single member of any of these democrats' well-educated staffs would have read this bill before agreeing to support it. really hard to believe isn't it? the bipartisan hyde language democrats now cite as the basis for their human rights filibuster would have been -- wouldn't have been hard to find. it was sitting right there on page 4 sitting right there on page 4. democrats would have recognized the obama hyde provision easily
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-- the bipartisan hyde provision easily mr. president because so many voted to support the same bipartisan provision just three months ago in december. mr. president, it was in the cromnibus that most of our democratic friends voted for in december the very same language. so they surely would have recognized it sitting right there on page 4. the top democrat on the judiciary committee certainly would have noticed the hyde provision he supported in december. he actually offered an unrelated amendment to the very same page as the provision he now objects to. now, the bipartisan hyde language is supported by about 7 in 10 americans. how do the american people feel about the hyde language? 7 out of 10 americans as a policy principle, has been a part and parcel of the legislating process for decades -- for decades. it appears in just about every
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funding bill we consider, and it appears in numerous authorizing bills that have received bipartisan support. not surprisingly the leadership of the house of representatives said last night that any house-senate agreement on a trafficking bill that includes a victims' fund will have to contain the hyde amendment as we have done for nearly 40 years. so the house of representatives says that any bill that passes the house will also include in language. what about that great bastion of conservatism, "the washington post"? recently noted in an editorial -- quote -- "the hyde act has been enforceed for four decades" said "the washington post" and pointedly asked whether the inclusion of that provision -- quote -- "justifies the defeat of this important legislation" -- end quote ... "the washington
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post." given the long legislative history of this bipartisan provision and the overwhelmingly popular support for what it does the answer obviously is "no" -- "no." most of our colleagues on the other side voted for this very same provision three months ago. so let's remember what this debate should really be about. it shouldn't be about what left-wing lobbyists want. it should be about helping the victims of modern slavery. victims like medical list melissa who my colleague senator cornyn has spoken about before. she was sold into sex trade when she was just 12 years old beaten regularly -- beaten regularly, chained to a bed in a
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warehouse even set on fire by those who enslaved here. that's melissa's story. she said she just wanted to die mr. president. she just wanted to die. and when melissa finally escaped the grasp of her tormenters, she wasn't treated like a victim. melissa was treated like a criminal by our justice system. it's stories like melissa's that should be motivating every member of this chamber to act. the victims who suffer in dark warehouses may not have the same clout as the lobbyists who appear to oppose this bill, but mr. president, these victims need our help, and they need it now. so if there truly are senators that are concerned with removing a bipartisan provision they have
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supported so many times in the past they should offer an amendment to strike it and then stop blocking this human rights bill. i offered them a chance to do because that last week. let's have a vote, a simple majority vote on the measure they now belatedly finally object to, having supported it in the past, and then as an official with a coalition against trafficking in women put it win or lose, move on. but as is it stands now in her words, senate democrats are choosing a phantom problem -- a phantom problem -- over real victims. that's a spokesman for the coalition against trafficking in women. the white house needs to get involved here, too. so far the white house has barely lift add finger to help us -- lifted a finger to help us pass this legislation. that needs to chaifnlg i think
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the white house -- that needs to change. i think the white house needs to do this because it's the right thing to do. but if that's not enough, they should also consider the consequences of democrats making an historic mistake. if democrats actually vote to filibuster help for oppressed victims of modern slavery mr. president, i can't imagine the american people will forget it. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. reid: the longest sesqui member of this body -- the longest serving member of this body patrick leahy of vermont he came to this body in january of 1975, 40 years and two months ago. but nipping at his heels an individual well-known in this
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chamber, ruby paone has been working in the senate for decades, four decades, in fact. today marks ruby's 40th anniversary of working in the senate. she isshe has worked through seven presidential administrations 16 different sergeant at arms. after working were that many senators one would think that maybe she couldn't remember these names an faces. but nays not ruby. -- but that's not ruby. she remembers everyone and everything. during these 40 years in the senate a lot has happened. not the least of which is meeting her husband whom we all know marty. marty also worked in the senate for many, many years. and we all depended on him so
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much. in fact, ruby and marty were both here in the capitol working on their wedding day. the senate was in session until 12:00 p.m. that day. marty and ruby decided they'd get married three hours later and they did. ruby and marty have three wonderful children. i can remember their careers in soccer and working their way through school. alexander, stephanie and tommy. ruby and marty are rightly very proud of these three fine -- one girl stef neerntion stephanie and these two boys. no words can adequately sum up the 40 years of service to our country. adlai stevenson claim close when he said, "patriot i amism is the tranquil and steady dedication of a life 250eu78 lifetime u.
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thank you ruby, for your 40 years of service. we look forward to many more. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent an article appear that was posted last night at 7:14 p.m. in "the washington post" be made part of the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president yesterday looking at this article, the united states department of l health and human services released some very good news. further proof that obamacare is working and insuring millions of americans. 16.4 million to be exact have adequate health care. reading from "the washington post" report that is now part of this record, i state "about 16.4 million adults have been added to health insurance rolls under the affordable care act which provided minorities, row
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row -- and everyone in fact, and states that expanded their medicaid programs an administration official announced monday that total 14.1 million adults joined the insurance rolls since october 2013 and 2.3 million younger adults ages 19 through 25 were able to remain on their parents' health insurance plans since october 2010 when that provision in obamacare went into effect. as if that weren't enough good news the department of health and human services also reported that uninsured rates for minorities are plunging. the latin uninsured rate dropped by 12 percentage points and during the same period -- i'm sorry. the latino uninsured rate dropped by 12.3 percentage points between the first quarter
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of 2014 and same period of 2015 as 4.2 million adults gained coverage. the about 2.3 million african-americans enrolled dropping that unshiewrns -- uninsurance rate. so mr. president it's clear that the affordable care act is working just as congress intended it. not only in record numbers are americans getting health coverage but they are getting access to quality health care. at some point my republican colleagues need to face reality. obamacare is helping their constituents. i'd like to talk a little bit about trafficking and loretta lynch. the republican leader is right in an hour or so the senate will vote to end debate on human trafficking and child pornography. that vote's going to fail. the republican leader knows that it's going to fail, just as i
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do. and it's going to fail because republicans have chosen to manufacture a political fight that has nothing to do with human trafficking. abortion legislation has no place in human trafficking legislation. the republican congressman who drafted a version of this human trafficking bill in the house has said as much. eric paulson said -- quote -- "there is no reason it should be included in these bills. this issue is far too important to tie up with an unrelated fight of politics as usual." close quote. now we have a long piece out of the "new york times." my friend quoted partially from "the washington post," but let's be realistic there's been a sleight of hand here to get the abortion language in this bill. as this article indicates this legislation which sailed through the committee on february stalled last week when democrats noticed a provision to prohibit
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money in the fund from being used to pay for abortions. original senate bill introduced in the last congress made no reference to abortion nor did the house version of the bill introduced by representative eric paulson. and as i already said, paulson said there's no reason it should be. he said last week this issue is far too important to tie up with unrelated fights with politics as usual. republicans say they routinely add the abortion language to bills, but democrats say republicans operated in bad faith not to mention in violation of senate norms by misrepresenting the bill's contents. this has nothing to do with the needs of the justice department. it's beyond irresponsible to strand the department without a leader throwing it into instability and uncertainty. the chief law enforcement officer of our country is being detained because of this fight
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between us, democrats and republicans, over whether abortion should be in this bill. we believe it shouldn't be. republicans believe it should be. mr. president, this is a good person who deserves our immediate attention, loretta lynch nomination should be done immediately. there's no reason we can't do this now. today. would the chair now tell us what the business of the day. the presiding officer: under the previous order the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order the senate will resume consideration of s. 178, which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 26, s. 178 a bill to provide justice for the victims of trafficking. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the time until 11:00 a.m. will be equally divided between the two leaders or their designees. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be initiated and the time be charged equally. the presiding officer: without
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objection. the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:


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