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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 21, 2009 3:00pm-3:30pm EDT

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>> another detainee reportedly received instructions iraq we from collegiate muhammed -- instructions directly from khaled sheik muhammed, tying him to a plot to blow of apartment buildings in the united states. did you approve his release? >> all of these have been approved and i take responsibility for them. >> were you aware of the serious allegations he was involved in? >> we made the conclusion that in regards to allegations, they work insufficient to bring those cases. anybody who poses a danger to the united states or has
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committed an act against the u.s. interest will be tried. the president has been clear about that. this process is designed to protect the american people and that is what i have tried to do to the best of my ability. .
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>> you are taking on an awesome responsibility to define these people contend -- people who clearly had serious involvement in plans to attack the knighted states. my time is up -- to attack the united states. my time is up. >> at your confirmation erie, you said guantanamo bay would be closed. -- at confirmation hearing, use the guantanamo bay would be closed. those who are cleared for release -- this is a good project -- good progress. the president has indicated some detainees may have to be held for prolonged detention because some detainee's to post significant threats cannot be tried for their crimes. are we really meeting to go -- the goals behind closing
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guantanamo bay if we simply bring detainee's to the united states for what could be indefinite retention? >> we are trying to make individualized determination about what should happen to the people presently held at guantanamo. some we think will go into a category where they will be tried in article 3 quarts or military commissions. some could be transferred or released. some could be in a third category where they will be detained in a way we think is consistent with due process, both in the determination as to whether or not they should be detained and with regard to periodic reviews. they continue to pose a danger to the united states. it's not clear there will be people in the third category, but the president indicated people could be placed in that category, but it would only happen pursuant to robust due process procedures. >> so there are some who might be retained indefinitely without
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due process? >> no. with due process consistent to -- due process would be afforded with regard to making the decision that it would be placed in detention of and a periodic review that would be done. we would want to work with members of this committee and congress to come up with the exact parameters of due process, but we would only want to do that in conjunction with congress and with the assurance that what we're doing is consistent with our values and our commitment to due process. >> last week, the "washington post" has said the administration has all but abandon plans for guantanamo detainees to live in the united states. is this true? in the last week, multiple countries have agreed to accept 80 -- except detainees or others
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have already agreed. but what will happen to others that have no countries to go to? >> we will work with our allies and friends to try to place these people who have been approved for a transfer or released. we think we made significant progress last week where nine people were placed in different countries. the italians have indicated willingness to accept three additional ones. we are in a conversation with allies in attempting to place these people. we will continue our efforts. the state department is working with us. we are meeting with people in various countries to come up with ways in which we could place these people. and those efforts will continue. >> and those for whom we cannot find a place overseas, what will we do with them? >> i'm not sure that we are not going to be able to.
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by sharing information about who these people are, responding to the questions posed by our allies who may be the recipients of these people that we can come up with the way in which we can assure them they will not pose a danger to their countries or not pose a danger to us. i think we will be successful in placing these people. >> at your confirmation hearing, you committed to restoring the integrity of the justice department by insuring its independence from politics. what steps to be taken to accomplish this goal? >> with regard to the civil- rights provisions, i have met every employee of the civil- rights division in a series of meetings to make sure they understand, as the division i think that the greatest amount of political harm done to them, that is no longer what will be accepted. they are not to be timid in the enforcement of civil rights laws, that they are to report to me with any kind of
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interference they might attack. of that there to work in the tradition of the justice department lawyers in the civil rights division that have always been under, whether democratic or republican attorneys general. i continue to visit with other divisions and have tried to get that message there as well, telling people it is a new day in the justice department, especially in those places where the was the greatest amount of political interference in the past. >> the department transportation has granted immunity to international aviation alliances and that enables international airlines to form alliances that they can coordinate schedules and market the alliance together. critics of such alliances are you and can lead to higher prices for consumers and make it difficult for small airlines to compete. critics also argue it is not
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appropriate for the department transportation to grant ante- trust community as the agency has little experience and pays little attention to concerns. what is your view? is inappropriate for the department trance -- the palm of transportation to grant immunity to the national airline alliances without input recommendations and coordination with the department of justice? >> that is a very timely question. there is presently under consideration by the department transportation one of those alliances. we have reached out to the department transportation and the deputy attorney general has spoken to the deputy secretary. i have had conversations with the secretary and they have said they will work with us in making a determination about how this particular alliance should be viewed so the justice department will have been put into that determination. i think we will come to a joint resolution of how that should be resolved.
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>> that is good to hear. if i am interpreting what you're saying, the department transportation, as well as the department of justice, will be working together on these matters and hopefully we will arrive at some kind of joint agreement as to how to proceed? >> that is correct. the anti-trust department will work with the department of transportation to solve the issue. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. attorney general, one of the reasons we would contemplate closing guantanamo is our commanders in the field have suggested it will help the overall war effort. are you familiar with their statements? >> yes. i have looked at their statements. i have looked a statement you have made. >> the people on the ground in different regions of the world
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indicate to me that guantanamo has hurt our effort to bring people to our side and starting over with detainee policy would be a good idea. do you share that view? >> i do. i have within -- i've looked at in spoken with officials over the impact guantanamo has at as a recruiting tool. it has alienated us from nation to should be our allies. the decision to close guantanamo is the correct one. >> secretary clinton makes the view that it would be good if we had a start over regarding the detaining policy? >> yes. >> detainee policy becomes very important. it can hurt or help the war effort. the way you treat people in their capture does matter. the german and japanese captors housed in the u.s. were well taken care of and made it easier for us to win over the german and japanese people over time. i see a chance to start over here.
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but the problem the american people have and members of the committee on both sides of the aisle is that we need a plan. let's talk about how we view the guantanamo population. there are three buckets -- those that can be repatriated, that is one pathway, correct? >> that is correct. >> some countries we were talking about concern me -- bermuda is ok, but i'm not sure they will take many. the saudi arabia rehabilitation program -- what is your view of that program? >> i think it has been pretty successful. there have been people who have gone through the program that have returned to the battlefield. >> that is true of our own system. >> it has not been 100% correct or write. yet, i think it provides a useful tool. if you combine the program with what we will be doing on our side to make a determination as to who could be transferred, it
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can probably increase the success rate of the program and i hope we will be using that tool in the transport or release of some of the people presently held. >> i would urge you to do that. as you try to find countries to repatriate detainees, it's important to look the security of the country and make sure these people are followed and taking good care of. the second bucket is the people who will actually be tried in the united states. you know my position. i prefer a military commission. of the 250 people we have at guantanamo, what percentage at the end of the day will go through a military commission, article 3 court? >> it's hard to say at this point. we have gone through about half of the detainees at this point and i don't think we will have a huge number. >> would use a less than 25%? >> -- would you say < 25%?
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>> that might be right. >> i just want the public to understand that repatriation has its limits. trial as a way forward, the preferred way forward, but i only think about 25% will go to trial. that leaves us with the third bucket -- people in our custody that we will not repatriate and like to make criminal process. it goes back to my colleagues view -- that third but it is the most problematic. -- at third but it is the most problematic. as i understand the administration's position -- we have an administration that would allow them to have their day in federal court, that no one would be held indefinitely in this country without a federal judiciary review, correct? >> we want to work with members of the committee and congress to determine exactly the parameters. the thought we have is there
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would be some kind of review with regard to the initial determination and then a periodic review with regard to whether or not that person should -- >> i think we are on the right track, but we want to of would say to the world that anyone in a military prison or civilian prison held as an enemy combat and without their day in court -- i want an independent judiciary validating with the intelligence community in military says about this person. if the label is correct in the eyes of an independent judiciary, we want an annual review process or some clapper to the effort that would meet on a regular basis to ensure the detainee has a path afford. is that we are looking at? >> something along those lines. the exact parameters that we want to work with with congress -- what we want to stress is due process has to be a part of this component should people and that -- >> i could not agree more. it has to be robust and
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transparent. no one would be held based on an arbitrary decision based on one group. i think you are on the right track. i know you have been -- have you been to afghanistan? >> i have not. >> i would encourage you to go. beyond guantanamo bay, there is a group that are non afghan fighters that will probably never going to the afghan legal system for many reasons. some of them have been there three or four years. we need to evaluate that population and see if we can bring them back to this new system, reintegrate them into this system. i would urge you to do that, to get some of your folks to look at the detainees because i think some of them will have to be brought back into our system and we are likely to capture more during the upcoming surge of troops. finally, the photo issue -- i
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now have 30 seconds -- i appreciate your willingness to appeal the second circuit's decision. the president has said publicly he will do what is necessary to prevent these photos from seeing the light of day. i'm working with my colleagues in the senate pacific have a legislative fix to see if we can protect the photos. can you tell me the game plan of the administration, if necessary, the timeliness of an executive order if the court rules against the administration. i think the order stands, one with the executive order issued? >> we hope we will be successful in the courts. if not, we will consider the options we have. the president made determination that the release of those voters would have a negative impact on our soldiers in the battlefield. it was for that reason he made the decision to withhold the release of them. that concern continues and was based on his interaction with
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commanders in the field. if we were not successful in court, we would have to consider our options. and i believe would remain. >> can i ask one follow up question? my concern is the timeliness of the order. we are a nation of laws and an executive order cannot just wipe out a court decision. the courts will not stand for that. if the supreme court denies the petition, then the second circuit order to release stands. what would you do in that case if you lose in court or the supreme court refuses to hear the case? what the order to release those be imminent, bill for, and how the executive order stop it? >> i would have to look at the second circuit order and see
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what flexibility there is. what options we would have. the concern the president expressed and i agree with remains. we do not think the release of these photos would be a good thing for our troops. we would want to, consistent with the law, work with congress and consider our own options to insure these photos are not released. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i would just like to clear up a bit of repartee between you and senator coburn on the e-mail surveillance concerns. i would like to speak as chairman of the intelligence committee. we saw the article from april -- intelligence committee heard a hearing, we asked the questions. we were assured and it was not correct. i have since spent time with general alexander and gone over
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this chapter and verse. i do not believe any content is reviewed in this program. we will hold another hearing and go into this again. i am surprised by this article because there are two very good journalist to have written it. yet, everything i know so far indicates the thrust of this story, there are flagrant actions essentially to collect content of this collection, simply is not true to the best of my knowledge. we will look more deeply into it, mr. chairman and i will be pleased to let you know what we find. >> if you could brief senator session that myself and --
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senator sessions and myself on that. >> thank you. we will continue with this. if i may welcome mr. attorney general. i am one that inshore a refresh and breath of fresh air. almost one year, i asked the attorney general to release a 2001 opinion as has the chairman and others on the committee, that opinion concluded the fourth amendment did not apply to military operations on united states soil. the opinion was finally made public in march and was released together with a memo written in 2008 which instructed attorneys that caution should be exercised before relying on the 2001 opinion. they called the conclusions incorrect or highly questionable
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and rendered much of the opinion boy. -- rendered much of the opinion poll lead. has this ever been drawn in its entirety? >> let me check and get back to you. i'm not sure -- i don't have in my memory what the impact of the withdrawal of a variety of opinions early on, whether -- >> this is a big opinion on the fourth amendment with regard to american citizens and military. i think is important we clarify it. could you bring us up-to-date on what you're doing to review to -- to review the oc opinions and what you're doing. -- some of the olc opinions. >> the review that led to that release continues and as we finish the review and make the determination that opinions can
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be released in a way consistent with national security and for tax internal deliberations of the executive branch, we will make further releases. one thing that will be helpful in that regard and this is an advertisement, is to have don johnson confirmed as the head of the olc. that is a critical part getting at underway, having the person that will head that critical part of the department. but the people there now are doing the best they can and we will continue to process that led to the release of those other opinions. >> thank you very much. i recently had a meeting in the san diego area on the southwest border. it was a meeting of top officials of all the departments, fbi, dea, the d.a., etc.. i learned something surprising and that like to say what is and ask you to take a good look.
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that is that virtually all the narcotics traffic in this country, but routes that drugs travel and the people to control those drugs, the hits that are ordered are essentially controlled by certain gangs in federal prisons and some state prisons today. they even gave me the names of the prisons. i spoke to bob miller and i spoke to him about this. it is not acceptable that narcotics trafficking directions be given out of federal or state prisons. i would like to ask you to make a thorough investigation and i would be happy to give you the information i have i will not discuss here. what i am asking you for is a commitment to take a strong, in- depth look at this. >> i will certainly do that. there are measures in place, the monitoring of telephone calls,
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the monitoring of people who visit with people detained, certainly in federal system. but i will look at the of permission you have expressed concern about and see if there are things we need to do better on the federal side and interact with our state partners to see if there are ways we can help them in that regard. >> thank you very much. i am happy to fill you in. i want to pick up on what my colleagues said about one group of detainee's. the loss of war -- the laws of war provide for a detention of a combatant for the length of the combat. once a military commission declares someone an enemy combat and the decision is made they remain in national security risk, there is a necessity, as we have discussed, to provide a to process review of that individual periodically.
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has that due process review been decided upon? if so, who would conduct it and how often with those reviews take place? >> we have not decided that, both with regard to where the review would occur and how frequently it should occur. we are discussing it internally. it is something we want to work with members of this committee in congress in coming up with how should occur and who should be responsible for both the initial determination and review and how frequently it should occur. we will have ideas, but we want to interact with members of the committee to get your ideas as well so the process of the molly put in place is one that will have the support -- a >> please do. we are very interested and have a point of view that we would like the opportunity to express to you. thank you. let's go back to the southwest border for a minute.
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more than 10,000 people, as we know, have been killed in mexico by drug violence since december of 2006. mexico's attorney general estimates $10 billion worth of drug proceeds crosses the united states into mexico each year in the form of block cash. we held a hearing, we talk to the attorney general of the state of arizona who more or less confirmed much of this. my question is how much of that cash has been intercepted at the border in 2009? what role today does the the plate as far as stemming the flow? >> i would have to get your numbers on how much we have intercepted in 2009. we have certainly stepped up our efforts in conjunction with our partners. i went to mexico to speak with mexican counterparts to talk
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about the inflow at bulk cash and coming up with a way we interdict and stop the amount. we have -- the a has moved 20 agents to the southwest border and the atf has moved about 100. the fbi has put together a new intelligence coordinator, all designed to stop the flow of the material into mexico. also to stop the flow of drugs from mexico into our country. this is a priority for us. >> mr. attorney general, welcome and thank you for your service. at your confirmation hearing, we talked about civil rights crimes and you made a commitment to me at that time you do whatever you could in your power if congress failed to act to make sure that was funded. my first question is have you been successful question -- have
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been successful? second, the group that has been responsible for that, there was an amendment rejected by our colleagues on the omnibus bill, but we would like to have a meeting with the justice department and have been turned away. in the nature of your commitment to me, can you answer what you have done to get the funding for the bill? would you agree to meet with the principles of the organization so we think these crimes result? >> i would have to look and see where we stand with regard to the budget for next year. i don't remember offhand how much, if any money was dedicated to the project you are talking about. i will get back to you. i would be glad to meet with people you are talking about, the organization your speaking with. >> [unintelligible]
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it is interesting. we passed a bill and pound our chests and and don't get the money to do it on a very real issue that time is of a major factor. if we do not find this in an appropriate time, we will not solve this and bring justice to people who should be brought to justice. >> i will reiterate today, i share the concern you expressed and i will do what i can to give light to the mechanism -- in line >> i will be happy to help you move that money around. i would be happy to offer a critique of where you might find that money. i am a little concerned about what happened in arkansas and what happened in kansas. the differential response. do you view the murder of one our soldiers in arkansas as a crime? >> i do not know all facts, bu


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