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tv   Capital News Today  CSPAN  May 13, 2010 11:00pm-2:00am EDT

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that's what i think we're seeing here. certainly some of those murders may be criminally related, but there is a clear insurgent thrust to the primary part of this. so i think it's key that we see just how dangerous a threat that is to the government of afghanistan and to kandahar and it also highlights the importance of us establishing security inside the city and around it. .
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inappropriately includes how they will end this conflict, the resolution, peace. so i think reintegration will be discuss. reconciliation will be discussed. i think they will try to come out with a -- as a result with extensive discussions with a consensus -- of afghans and i believe that puts president karzai in a position where he understands and can have an opportunity to lay out his case in front of the people of afghanistan in the direction where he thinks things need to go. i think more widely it is an afghan-led process that they are doing an awful lot of thinking about. i think it is an appropriate effort on their part to help figure out the way ahead for the nation because the way ahead for the nation has to be a resolution to it. thinking about it during the conflict i think is very, very
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responsible. >> could you just talk about what you call progress -- where the trouble spots -- and how you think it is going right now with the government, i know there has been a lot of -- you referred in your opening remarks to operators in other parts of the country. can you give us a little more detail on that? >> i focused most on the hellman river valley. it is an area that has had extensive taliban pressure for a number of years now. dating back to 2005-2006. some of the areas like marja were under complete taliban control. what we did starting last july is putting additional forces into selecting areas along the hellman river valley further
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south. we expanded those areas with the move into the marja areas. the intent to create security bubbles or security zones that increasingly expand until they are con tigwouse. a farmer, could raise crops and drive his produce across the kandahar and he could sell those in pakistan. we are growing those areas and that is continuing a pace. i'm happy with the progress of that. i've walked through marja a number of times. i've been back in several times since. and the change is stark. i mean, it is dramatic. if you go every day, each day, it is not a dramatic change. if you go months difference then it is. but a counterinsurgency effort
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is long-term. i described it is a process, not an event. when we come into an area and start the make a change in the security area, it is halting and challenging in an area where there has been very little capacity before to introduce that is hard. and to convince the people it is even harder because they watch the change and security. they watch the beginningings of governance and development and they have to -- as i put in my statement, they have to see it to believe it but they can't just see it once. they have to see it until they believe it is durable until they believe it is real. as i walked down and talked to countless groups and individuals, i'm convinced that's absolutely what they want but they remain to be convinced and so i think that that is the challenge over time. it is really a government in afghanistan challenge with our help, they must convince the people they have the cape to
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believe the deliver and then the political will to follow through. >> you talked in the beginning about kandahar and said it is not controlled by the taliban but i'm confused about that because we keep hearing that the taliban certainly do move at will through the city and through the egress and in and out of the town. what is your assessment of how much they control and the enemy force that you believe you will be facing in that region? how strong have they been stockpiling weapons? you have given them plenty of advance notice. >> they certainly do not control kandahar city. they can contest parts of kandahar city. there is not sufficient security in kandahar city but the taliban do not control the city. you can walk around the streets in kandahar and there is business going on. it is a functioning city but it is not at the level of securities that makes the people feel comfortable and ultimately that is going to be critical.
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i can't give you numbers of insurgency in and around the city but they are contesting at various levels in the north and west and south and that is more classic counterinsurgency where in some cases they have reinforced and some cases they have brought in additional weapons and in some cases we have seen additional fighters move in. but we are working through those methodically with our afghan partners. there is some upclose difficult fighting that curse . that's going to be a difficult fight as we go forward. i'm absolutely confident that we are moving forward. i already see progress in it. i've been up and spent the night about a week ago. so i see and feel that but it is a process that will take -- >> could you walk down the street in kandahar? >> i just walked down the street about a week ago.
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dave petraeus and i next to each other. he is more popular than i am right now in kandahar but we did. >> i know you had a lot of talks with -- did kandahar come up in those discussions? did you ask for extra pakistan help so -- and on that note, there are reports that after your operations in hellman, that actually there are reports of intimidation. is that your intelligence? >> yeah. it absolutely is things that we see. it is absolutely predictable. as a counterinsurgency force pushes out insurgency, their smart move is to con vest that, to try to -- contest that. they try undermine what we did. they can't raise the flag and hold terrain but they can try to
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convince the people that they are not secure. murders, night letters, taxation. they can try to send a message that says this won't last. the coalition will leave. the government of afghanistan will leave. this gets to the heart of us making a credible performance over time to convince the people. so i expect that they will contest this as long as they can. i expect them to contest it for months credibly and then i expect them to contest it after that in any way that they can. there will always be some indications of insecurities that increasingly security in life will just get better and better. the school is open there. the high school. that has been closed for years. so things that you don't take -- you don't focus on, but change the minds of the people over time are key. in regard to the county, i coordinate with him often. we have a solid relationship.
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we do coordinate our campaigns together. we will talk about what one can do to help the other. our subordinate commanders do that very well. our regional commanders. it is it perfect, no? it is a huge board we are two difficult campaigns. i'm really with where that is going. >> when you say that -- it is not controlling -- taliban is not controlling kandahar city and we're not going to see a d-day operation in kandahar, how do you explain what we heard in the past two days that we are facing a tough period ahead? do you see a contradiction between those two pictures? >> not at all. i actually think the u.s. military would love to find an enemy that was dug in on a piece of terrain that we could establish as a d-day with no civilians around. that would play to every strength that the coalition has. what is difficult for the
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coalition and for the government of afghanistan is to deal with a more insidious threat and that is an insurgency, to have to go into areas where civilians are living their lives and try to protect them there without destroying their property, without unintentionally causing harm to them but time trying to root out those insurgents who threat b them. it is a unique challenge. >> is it going to be easier than what we face in marja? >> i didn't say easier. i actually said this is a very difficult challenge. the government's part, the political part is difference. it is very difficult to convince people of something that things have changed. you have to produce things that they see and feel over time. so i think that is part of the challenge that the government of afghanistan faces. we as security forces face being
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very precise and very careful to try to do what we call a rising tide of security without lapsing into major -- of course the insurgents would love to see a major block-to-block fight. >> you're not using the word operation. i know the afghans are very sensitive about that word. your activity seems to have started in the kandahar area. when you went there with president karzai he said nothing is going to start until you give your assent. >> i think it is continuous. what we -- and i talked to president karzai at length about this and he has given me his guidance. we're really talking about engagement over time so we don't go to tribes and say do you approve all of the following. what it is now a more inclusive
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process they participate over time and continue to shape it. i think that is what we're really looking for. >> sir? >> two questions. is it true that you have contemplating a fund for the special honor of soldiers who make a special effort to avoid civilian casualties and two, what, how important is the strategy of redoiment of british troops to kandahar. >> there is no planned deployment of british forces to kandahar. the issue of courage. we have a number of ways to recognize courage in uniform. i think courage in uniform can come under enemy fire in the most traditional ways or come under actions that may not be as expected or as traditional, involve killing the enemy, it may involve protecting civilians. there is a great photograph from
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the marja operation. i think it is a u.s. marine shielding an afghan man and child with his own body. he wasn't shooting anyone. he didn't kill any taliban. but i would argue that he showed as much courage as any that i have seen on the battlefield. when we talk about courage, i don't think we need a different medal to differentiate different kinds of courage. >> i have much flexibility. there is a chain of command. i don't approve of all of the awards. >> the treasury-thread threat of terrorists supposed to be going after taliban finances and the role of your special mission units, taliban, hard core insurgents, are they being used to go after some of these assassination teams? >> the effect of the terrorist
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threat finance organization is another more hole holistic way to understand the challenges. that is one of the things that i think mike laid out in his intelligence report and i completely agree with it. we have not understood all of the pieces of this to the depth that i wish we had in the past and we still don't. we still need to do more. terrorist finance allows us to understand and where appropriate to bring legal option along with our afghan partners and its works very well. a lot more has to be done. all of our special operating forces are just doing a lot of things right now so what we're trying to do is maintain pressure on the insurgency on their networks and leaderships while we do what is typically thought of as more counterinsurgency. it is interesting. some people think that it is either/or. that a counterinsurgency you're either handing out volleyball or
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doing conventional war with tanks. it is as much civilian as it is military. in some cases it is targets operations against enemy leaderships and other n other cases it is protecting afghan civilians in the street. so we do have an ongoing effective effort. >> how successful has it been? >> i'm satisfied with it so far. >> the lessons learned, you hope to translate for kandahar. two different areas. two different -- objectives in terms of what you're trying to do in marja and kandahar. what are some of those lessons learned an what to you think the taliban -- what do you think that you are -- they hope to incorporate for kandahar. i know there are different groups and elements but if you could talk about that. >> i think it is not a done
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deal. i think there are still lessons twob learned from that. i mean that operation. wider than just the one smaller. there are a lot of lessons learned. for me personally this was the first time that we had engaged senior afghan leadership in the planning and the execution of the operation to the-degree that we did. it was an absolutely thing that i think must be the future. we briefed president karzai as many of you have heard. the night before the operation. he gave final approval. that is something that i think has to be the model for the future. his engagement and role. the planning that happened together has to be part of that as well. it can be better as we always learned from that. our engagement with the local civilians, some people questioned why we telegraphed our punch. why we announced what we were going to do. it was because, one, i was happy for the taliban to leave. we wanted to control the area.
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they went elsewhere at this particular point and didn't allow the area to become a free fire zone. i was satisfied with that. we also wanted to engage the leadership inside and those who had left but stayed in the area so that we could help craft the political future of the area. that's another thing that we took away that we need to do. in the future. that's part of what you're seeing in kandahar. as we did that we learned some lessons that we can do that better. the first that was pulled together that we met and coordinated with turned out not to be fully representative and so over time, within weeks, that was modified so that it was more inclusive because the most dangerous thing you can do in an area in afghanistan is to engage parts of the population through travel structure or other interest groups and leave parts of it out. because if you leave parts of it out, then they obviously have a reason to be frustrated with the government and they become much more likely to join the
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insurgency. and you're unlikely to get a durable outcome. tactically we learned pretty much what we expected. we learned there is a huge number of i.e.d.s. afghan forces performed well. there is a long way to go. we learned partnering with afghan forces is the way to go. we're better. coalition forces are better when we're shoulder-to-shoulder with afghan forces and they are better when they are shoulder-to-shoulder with us. >> what is the actual ratio and how long before we know whether it is working or not? yeah, i don't have the true ratio in front of me but there will be a significant portion whether it is 1-1, i'm not sure because at this point, their growth to have afghan army and police -- of the afterbegan army and afghan police just doesn't
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allows to be where we want to be. there are 25,000 total afghan national security forces but they have to have a portion of that spread around the country so areas where there is not fighting. we're particularly thick with coalition forces in the south. so that affects the -- the percentage there. what was the second half of your question? >> how long before you know? >> i think it is going to be the end of this calendar year before you will know. i may know before that. now, i -- i may know and feel before that. i think it will matter when the afghan people know and when the afghan people have made that judgment, that will be the key point. that will be the decisive point in all of these areas when the afghan people have come to the belief that this is the direction things are going and they accept that. i think they will be key. and we'll go from there.
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> secretary of state hillary clinton and afghan president hamid karzai spoke thursday in an event hosted by the u.s. institute of peace. president karzai is wrapping up a four-day trip to the u.s. this is about an hour. >> mr. president, madam secretary, thank you very much for being here. it is clear that this has been a very successful visit. congratulations for this. the message of an enduring partnership has been throughout the discussion that the state department two days ago at the white house yesterday but president, you have met many of the press many times. we hope here at the institute of peace this afternoon to have a
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more relaxed discussion. over tea and our -- in our living room here. it is an informal opportunity to discuss serious issues and so this is our opportunity to have a conversation. mr. president, tomorrow you will head for the -- and then you will head home. the focus will shift from the headlines of today to implementation. >> right. >> you and president obama, our governments have made commitments and have made specific timelines. there will be a policy review in december. so there are many things to be done in a short period of time. what are your priorities? what specific steps will you take when you go back to kabul?
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>> the trip, indeed, was very good. rather, from my perspective and that of my delegation, remarkable. excellent hospitality. a lot of warmth. and substance of discussion. i thought i was loud enough. [laughter] no need for repetition, i hope on the part i spoke. ok. so it worked very, very good. i had the pleasure of an informal dinner with secretary clinton and secretary gates followed up the next morning by an extensive meeting between the
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afghan government and the u.s. government, the counterparts with one another. we came in groups of five clusters of afghan from economics to agriculture and army and reconciliation and governance. and then followed up with a visit, a very positive one where i had the honor of visiting some of your soldiers. who had returned from afghanistan with serious wounds. some had lost limbs. just like you, i have seen it and this was a very touching part of the trip. one that we need to do a lot more to have these sons and daughters of yours come back home without injuries and happier.
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we had also an extensive talk yesterday with the president and his team. today was busy with the congress. yesterday was busy with the congress. pay respects to the dead ones buried there. in short, the trip was meaningful, substantial and followed the right tones and objectives. >> going back home with this in the background, the conclusion to have trip would bring me to the implementation of all that we discussed during our trip. that means following on my speech during my inauguration address that -- to the afghan people, the -- that we have with
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our international and all that we have in mind and promised meeting. the peace forces. of which will be -- on the 29th of may which will have at least 1,000 afghans from all over the country from all the people from the provinces, including, i hope, at least 20% women. at least 20% women. who will advise us on how to move forward with the peace process and what pace should it have? how do you time it and how to -- as we move forward? with one thing taken from that. that is that the peace process will be with those other militant groups who are not part of al qaeda, or other terrorist
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networks or i'd logically in any way that will engage the constitution, the freedoms, democracy, the progress that we have achieved. beyond that we have the kabul conference, which will be afghanistan's future, preparations going on from our side, in charge of preparing for the conference. will be given -- giving the world our outlook to the future and asking for support for that and then we'll have the parliamentary elections for which we have made preparations. around these three agendas and continuing into the future there is the issue of governance in afghanistan and make sure that we complete our success in all
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aspects as soon as possible. afghanistan is a prosperous, good, peaceful country so you are much more secure here than in the rest of the world. in the question of strategic -- with america, -- >> madam secretary. the united states made commitments as well. are there specific steps that we have in mind taking between now and december when the policy is reviewed? >> first, let me echo what president karzai said. from our side, this was a highly successful visit and the substantive discussions that we had i think took our relationship to an even higher level, which will serve as a very good starting point for the efforts to rewrite and refurbish
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the strategic partnership declaration that we hope to conclude by the end of this year. and that will be a statement of our commitment, our commitment between our two countries, not just our governments but our people. and it will specifically set forth the areas of cooperation and focus. we had a great visit in large part because we had excellent cooperation and coordination in preparation for the visit. i want to compliment president karzai and his team, some of whom are sitting here in the audience, who have done an excellent job. those who have met any of the ministers and representatives of the government have uniformly come away impressed. i don't want to embarrass them but i heard from many of my colleagues in government and my former colleagues from the
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congress and there is a real sense of the commitment and the professionalism of the ministers who accompanied president karzai. on our side, we had a great effort quarterbacked by ambassador holbrooke and the state department in washington and his team, which is a very broad and deep cross section of experts and ambassadorizen berry and his team in kabul. i think that is the beginning of the answer to your question, bill. we have put together on both sides a whole of government response. this is no longer president-to-president. as important as that is or the occasional meeting between the secretary of defense and the minister of defense or the secretary of state and the minister of foreign affairs. we are building a very strong partnership that links together all levels of our government to
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work on these challenges that we are facing together. certainly the headlines are about our military and our defense, law enforcement challenges but we are working very closely with the minister of finance and there has been great improve identicals in the economy. the minister of agriculture and health and education. i can go on and on. the implementation has already started because following the opening meeting that we had in the state department on tuesday morning, groups broke off and went into great depth about the specifics as to what would be the followthrough. as president karzai said, we have some milestones along way. there is going to be an enormous amount of effort put in by the government of afghanistan with our support in preparation for the kabul conference. we heard a description at lunch with the president yesterday by
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dr. ghani about how we are going to be teeing up a lot of skgs decisions. it is going to be the afghan government that does it but we are going to be in support of that. then there will be an implementation schedule following kabul conference. the parliamentary elections will be very important in september and i met with the women ministers who are here just a little while ago and there is a great number of you know, women, who are putting themselves forward as candidates. the story about what's happening below the surface doesn't get told often enough and the ministers and the president and we on our side are determined to do so. and also, it is critical that we go into this with our eyes open. even though we have extremely professional counterparts that we are working with on both sides, there are very serious
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problems and challenges. and that's why as president karzai said, the first step in his process of moving toward some peace effort will be this peace jarga on may 28, 29. which will bring people from across the country for a consultation. the u.s. supports this and the efforts of the president and his leadership and the people of afghanistan are producing. this is not just a meeting that produced a lot of good feeling. fortunately for those who are required to respond, a meeting that has produced a lot of work that we are going to be following up on day by day and aiming toward the kabul conference for our first progress report. >> madam secretary, there has been a lot of discussion of the date of july, 2011 and a lot of
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discussion over the past week of this enduring partnership between the united states and afghanistan. is there a tension between those two concepts? that is the date by which time some troops may begin to come down? be removed? and yet enduring partnership that we have committed to, that strategic partnership. this is the discussion so either of your impressions on how this fits. >> well, i'll start from our side. >> please. >> i think the president said it very well in the press conference, yesterday. we are aiming toward july 2011 to begin the process of transitioning security in some parts of the country to afghan security forces. it is a condition-based decision. we are impressed by the increasing capacity of the afghan security forces and both
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the defense minister on the military and police side reported the progress but also, you know, talked about the challenges so we see the july 2011 date as another date to aim for and we believe that it can be the beginning of the security transition. the enduring partnership will last long beyond any security transition, any withdrawal of forces over time. we are committed to a strategic partnership with afghanistan. we believe strongly that the afghan people's love of freedom, their absolute commitment to their sovereignity, their belief in their own potential makes them a very good long-term partner and we intend to work
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with our partners in afghanistan, and as president obama said, after he is no long every president, after president karzai is no longer president, we're going to have this commitment between our governments and our people, and the final thing i would say, bill, this is not an unusual model. we have relationships with countries all over the world where in previous times there might have been reasons for american military forces to be stationed there and in some cases they still are. from, you know, korea to europe. and i want people to remember our history. we've had long-term enduring relationships long after the guns were put down. and what we are doing together is trying to create the conditions thanks to the great leadership of general mccrystal and his people on the ground to help the afghan people regain
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security over their own territory but we're not going anywhere. we're going to be there working with them supporting their efforts far into the future. >> on this question, secretary clinton really answered for both of us. the -- on the july 2011 pullout of troops question. we are planning in afghanistan to prepare ourselves in the form of the army and the police and other institutions of the afghan state, to be able to provide for the security of the afghan people in parts of the country where we can right now, in the next two to three years, and to
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expand that, extend that. to the entire country by 2014 by the time my term in offers is completed. -- in office is completed. we are preparing ourselves for the takeover of security. we are no longer a burden on the united states and our other allies. neither militarily or economically. afghanistan has the potential, the resources, the manpower, the location, the geography and the -- central and southwest asia to do that. on the question of enduring partnership or strategic partnership, secretary clinton put it very, very correctly within the right context of that relationship. it is going to be beyond the
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military activity right now in our campaign and into the future long after we have retired and perhaps into our grandson's and great grandson's and great granddaughters generations. so this is something afghan people have been seeking for a long, long time. the substance for rather the most important substance of our conversations the past few days have been the subject -- a subject that i can gladly take back to the afghan people, of course. this partnership between afghanistan and the united states is for the good of the region and for the stability to have region and will provide the much-needed confidence and peace in the region that we are now seeking but not yet having. >> thank you, mr. president. madam secretary, you both know
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that there are skeptics in both the united states and in afghanistan. and they can be forgiven for asking -- we have been at this for over eight years. and they are asking you, i'm sure, about what's new. why do we think this is going to be different? the skeptics in afghanistan, mr. president, are worried that the american troops will be pulled out too early and the skeptics in the united states, madam secretary are worried that they have been there too long. how do you address the skeptics? >> in afghanistan the skeptics are not so much on the deed for the strong relationship in america. they want a stronger more
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formidable relationship with america. for the sake of afghanistan and for the sake of the u.s. interest in afghanistan and the completion over the struggle that we have. the july 20 date does not pose a problem to us because we know that the united states will not abandon the cost unless we have succeeded fully. what we're seeking is beyond that, the that the united states has described today. is to show us that we have. >> well, bill, in addition to that very fundamental point, you know, skepticism is part of the american character. i mean, it just -- it goes with the territory. it is important because hard questions need to be asked all the time. and that's exactly what president obama did when he came into office.
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he was confronted very early in his term with a request that had been held over from the prior administration for additional troops. he agreed with that request but he ordered a thorough review of our policy and it was extraordinaryly in depth. i have lost track of all of the meetings that we had with both the national security team and in addition with the president. and at the end of that review, the president reached a conclusion that i think should be respected by americans because it was not a full ordained conclusion. it was not something that he had to do. he did it after very cafe examination of the facts of what is at stake for the united states and the importance of going forward of our commitment to afghanistan. and i understand why there are part-time who are skeptical,
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becauses -- why there are people who are skeptical because, as i say, that goes along with the territory. because this is a commitment that we believe very strongly is in america's interests. we want to see afghanistan skied. we want to see the -- succeed. we want to see the people of afghanistan have a future of peace and progress after so many many years of suffering. but we are in afghanistan because it is in america's interests. and these interests converge and that is really what this meeting this week has been about. demonstrating clearly and un equivokably we are well aware what the tax is ahead. we are well aware that afghanistan lives in a dangerous and difficult neighborhood.
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i don't think there is any issue or any question thatny any skeptic could raise that we have not thoukt about and carefully worked our way through and so we're very committed and as the president said we're very confident of the success of this going forward. president, how comfortable are you with the plans of your force rs and coalition forces for the spring and summer in kandahar? >> it has a -- since last week, the afghan elite international forces. we are talking of a process stage and the process means bringing conditions to kandahar
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and the region around where there is better governance, better resources, more active, vigorous, vibrant intelligence activity and then if and when and where needed, an operation militarily in consultation with the community and backed by the community. this is approach if adopted will definitely succeed. when i return i will be revisiting kandahar and reengaging with the community and my -- and the leaders there of all kinds of colors to reengage and have their advice and move along with them towards
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stabilization. that area does not have frontlines. it is terrorist activity. assassinations. more psychological than physical presence of the terrorists and the taliban and we need to have the appropriate tools in the form i described to go ahead and win. >> if i could add to what president karzai rightly described as the approach that is being taken by the afghan and international forces concerning kandahar. i think it is important for people to realize that number one, this is not marja. it is a different campaign. marja was much more dominated by the taliban. it became a real stronghold for them. kandahar is a large, bustling city. it has a large amount of economic activity. people are getting on with their
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lives but there are, as the president said, pockets of taliban insurgency who are engaging in a variety of violent acts including assassinating the deputy mayor just a few weeks ago. so as general mccrystal has explained to the president and the national security team, this is going to be an action that is going to use different tools because the goal is to root out from what is is a very active and ongoing urban area. those who intimidate. they do not pose a threat to kandahar. they are not going to take over kandahar. but their presence has a chilling effect. it keeps people inside. it keeps girls from going to school. it keeps people from feeling
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comfortable going into public places or going out to work with the farmers as we have heard. so this is a different kind of campaign. not a huge massive assault. it is a much more targeted effect or effort to try to, you know, weed out the taliban and we have no doubt they are dug in. we have no doubt that they have support there but as the path said, the combination of the military and intelligence assets of both afghanistan and the international forces, the president's own personal involvement in going kandahar, meeting with leaders, because in any counterinsurgency, the goal is to win the confidence of the people so that they will become your allies, will not be intimidated into giving safe haven to the taliban, in fact, will pick up the phone, you
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know, walk outside and tell somebody that there is some suspicious activity going on. so that is the goal and i think it is being extremely well planned and obviously we all hope for an early success. >> mr. president, in that same line, you are a president, the commander in chief and the secretary just mentioned there are taliban who are killing your officials in cities in afghanistan. in the afghan culture, how does this notion of being commander in chief, a war president fit? how does this fit into the afghan culture? >> well, this fits all right. [laughter] the afghans are not unknown to the situation like that. so it is understood and
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comprehended well. with what difference in my mind that we are speaking from a higher moral ground, that i'm the president of a country at a time where there is terrorism, suicide bombers, i.e.d.s. and those behind such attacks have an immense disrespect and abuse of the general morality of human beings. for example, earlier our minister of interior was describing to senator kerry and fellow senators over lunch that we have a 14-year-old boy who came and said that he was trained as a suicide bomber, that he doesn't want to be a suicide bomber. we're looking for the parents of this boy, so to bring them over
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and return the boy back to the family. we don't find them an equal opponent in those terms. they have stooped very low in the lack of morality or if you can describe immorality. i don't know if that term is right. yes, but we are also morally higher, better and that is the winning -- >> mr. president, you have mentioned a couple of times the peace jurga and preparations for that. i remember actually i was talking to a minister yesterday and he reminded me that in work here at usip he put together two
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years ago the plan for reconciliation and the surge, he tells me as well. now and it is coming about in your plans later this month for the peace jurga. the ambassador who was going to join us this afternoon asked in a piece in the paper what is the outcome? what is the end state for that reintegration and reconciliation? >> reintegration means the return back home and the disconnection with fighting and arms. of those thousands of taliban soldiers who have been driven out of their homes and their country by circumstances beyond our reach or control and beyond theirs, and those who have been
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driven out of their homes and into the arms of those who will give them guns to fight against their own country because of the mistakes that we have made, more than the afghan government and our coalition partners. now these thousands of taliban that you're trying to address and reintegrates are not against us. they are countryside boys who don't hate the united states, perhaps a lot of them would like to visit the united states given the opportunity, who don't hate their own government or their own country, who would not have a problem with our constitution. who, out of fear or other circumstances are now having again, against their own country, that we must try legitly to return them. -- ledgets -- legitimately to return them.
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our neighbors in pakistan where pakistan is also involved and a lot of reasonable questions involved there. reintegration is about those who i described there, reintegration is more difficult, more to the future. >> madam secretary, we have been -- we've been cautious about reconciliation component of this. yet, the president and you have indicated support, certain conditions are there. are we prepared to -- to support these compromises that will presumably come out of these negotiations with senior taliban? >> well, i think we have the same position that president karzai does. that there are certain conditions that have to be met. that people cannot just show up and say that they are prepared to re-enter afghan society after having directed suicide attacks
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and other kinds of violence against afghanistan and i think that as the president said, this process really starts with the reintegration off the battlefield that the president was describing of people who -- far variety of reasons found themselves in the banks of the taliban. i don't think any of us can predict what the outcome of the next phase will be. first, the president has to have his own consultative peace jurga. there are people who may be willing to discuss potential reconciliation and then there may be people who may not. there are also from our best information leaders of the afghan taliban who do not want to reconcile. they are very much against it.
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we don't expect to see, you know, them, walking through door. so i think, starting with reintegration but thinking hard about what reconciliation actually would mean and of course from our perspective, everyone, whether it is a person who pursues reintegration or reconciliation, you know, they must abide by the laws and constitutions of the government and nation of afghanistan. they must renounce violence. they must cut ties with al qaeda and these extremist allies that are in these netted works that al qaeda is either directing or inspiring. and on a personal note, they must respect women's rights. that the women of afghanistan, who still suffer too much with one of the very highest maternal mortality rates in the world, they deserve our support and they are receiving support from their president and their government and nothing can be permitted to interfere with
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that. there are many steps along this way but the general principle is, as the president stated, it is to see how possible it will be to try to move on a political track, because there is no military solution to this conflict, as with most conflicts. there has to be a political track that is pursued and we're going to support the president's efforts in doing that. >> as was mentioned, there are other people in addition to people in this room who are watching this right down the hall and they have been able to ask some questions so i'm going to turn to some of their questions and i'm also going to turn to questions of people in this room. one of the questions that has come from the other room is, mr. president, can a free, fair and effective election be held this year? >> absolutely. absolutely. afghanistan began the current
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democratic process in 2002 of this liberation with your help. we did well. millions of people participated in the elections. the first election of the president and the provincial councils and the election for the parliament, the first election and then the second election for the president and now, the second parliamentary elections. we have in place all the necessary tools to make sure that the election is credible and in keeping with the standards that we can apply in afghanistan. there will be international observers there. we have a new commission set up.
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we have two international election experts who'll be there, the policy complaints commission. the people want to participate. 2700 candidates of whom 430 nearly are women. much more than we had in the previous elections. so the enthusiasm, the zeal, is that the right word? >> yes, sir. >> all right. the zeal in the afghan people to practice democracy and to participate and to challenge is great and that is the motto running of democracy. >> it will be a challenge. you are absolutely right. time is short. if you have it in september, but there are preparations, as you say that need to take place.
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let me ask if there are agrees the room that people would like to like to raise. mark, i see his hand is up. >> my name is mark. -- united states institute of peace. here to finish a five-year study on the effect of the vietnam war. my question, mr. president, has to do with -- could you tell us how many afghan troops and police do you have now? how many do you think you will need to conduct a successful count insurgency and how long do you think that is going to take? -- counterinsurgency and how long do you think that is going to take? >> yes, the question has to do with the size of the afghan
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forces, the police and the army. >> we are now at nearly the mid stage of our preparations for army and police. in other words, the minister of defense and the minister of interior. .
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>> the army began its training early on from 2002 with a little intervention. the police began much later. we only began to pay full attention to this important element of afghan security in 2007. now there is massive investment by the united states and our other allies in europe to the training of the police. the sector is already emerging. the professionalism is emerging in the discipline is being seen on the street of the capitol and the rest of the country. while this is going on, the police especially as it is training is also daily facing
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the threat of terrorism and sacrificing a daily at least four policemen a day who are dying in afghanistan defending their country, at least four. that is the average we have taken. some days there will be much bigger numbers. the aspiration that we have in the ministry of defense and the ministry of interior is to have our army and police reach together at least 300,000 that we have in mind. the minister of defense of course is asking for much more. he is asking for 400,000, of which i am quite cautious for the cost it will incur in the future, but we are trying to have the right numbers between
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300,300 50,000 for now as we move forward and bring more and stability to afghanistan. of course we will be concentrating more on policy and equipment rather than numbers. >> that brings up a question of the sustainability of four hundred thousand afghan national security forces. the doctor has been describing the mineral wealth of the country. you mentioned sometimes -- sometime in the near future when afghanistan would be able to stand on its own 2 feet. 400,000 troops of various kinds will be expensive. >> if we keep going at the current speed of revenue collection, this year we had a 22% increase in our revenue
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collection. 58%? yesterday said 22% [laughter] it was a good day. sari, that was the gdp growth. 22% gdp growth. if we move at this become a within three years, afghanistan will be able to pay for the existing numbers of our security forces. within three years, afghanistan will be paying its military and police forces from its own pocket. that will be a tremendous achievement. it is a benchmark the whole hour ministers will keep very strongly in mind so we can come back three years later to the united states and tell the u.s. congress and senate we have done it. now we will not be asking -- will be asking you for investment.
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>> there is an afghan journalist i would like to call on. >> it is tremendous progress for you reworking in washington. >> as to conclude your trip here, what is the outcome of the trick and what does it mean for the people of afghanistan? do you give the cbs news on sunday [unintelligible] a question on pakistan, what happened in the case of the attack in the u.s. having a footprint and pakistan? would you like to clarify that?
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the context in which you gave that statement was misinterpreted by the media when you did that interview. also would you like to share your thoughts on a resumption of talks with india and pakistan in july, and how it is it going to help you achieve the goal of defeating the taliban in pakistan? >> i will be taking back home quite a few achievements. one thing i will take back home is to tell the afghan people of the tremendously warm hospitality of the american people. we have to do a lot more in order to show that we are also hospitable in afghanistan. second, on issues of concern to both countries, we have reached
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agreements on a range of issues. the most important as far as afghans are concerned were issues of the tension and continuing to operate detention centers run by the coalition forces in afghanistan. we agree there will be a transition of detention centers to the afghan authorities in january of next year. we will be assigning senior teams on both sides to work the exact time lines of complete transfer of the detention centers. there was a fundamentally strong sentiment expressed by the president's and the secretary of state and defense secretary and the vice-president yester day and civilian casualties and the desire for the protection of civilians was strong, and very visible.
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the question of nighttime raids that concerns afghan people was raised an instruction issued to reduce it to the minimum possible. on strategic partnership and enduring partnership, you heard of the bus speak on economic matters -- you heard both of us speak. on the importance of agriculture and the viability of afghan culture to export mineral resources, the richness of the country that can easily run to over a billion dollars. it could be up to $3 billion.
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sarsorry, it could run to three trillion dollars. this is a massive opportunity, and with help given by the united states to do it better, technologically sound, and in time afghan a stanafghanistan c. >> with respect to the question that the gentleman asked me, i responded at great length to the interviewer on "60 minutes." i started by talking about the importance of the strategic relationship we are developing with pakistan, the fact we have expanded our interactions far
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beyond the counter-terrorism agenda which was basically what we inherited that we are focused on trying to create a broader and deeper understanding between our two countries, and that we have gone quite a distance in creating a better atmosphere. however, we are concerned about the recent attack and other efforts that thankfully have not been successful, just as you heard president karzai said that he was concerned. we have been encouraged by the way that the pakistani government and military has in the past year been much more willing to go after the terrorists who are not only threatening outsiders but threatening them, the military actions and swat. we think there is more that has to be done, and we do fear the
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consequences of a successful attack that can be traced back to pakistan, because we value a more comprehensive relationship. so we do expect more, and the investigation is going well between our two investigative bodies. there is a lot of effort that is being undertaken on the pakistani side to revive information to our teams over here, to provide information to our teams over here. we just believe strongly that there is more pakistan must do to face what is now a common enemy. the attacks by the extremists inside pakistan are no longer aimed across their borders. they are aimed at destroying and killing people in mosques, and markets, in every walk of society. this is a matter of great concern to the american people
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and to our government, but we think that the concern is being reciprocated on the part of pakistan. >> we have time for one last question from someone here, all the way in the back. >> mr. president, if i could ask you to clarify something you said a few minutes ago. what did you mean by that since last week the approach to the can of our operations has taken note of the right town? did president obama or anyone else to talk to you this week and ask you to sidelined or fire your brother from his role in kandahar? do you believe it is appropriate for the united states to have an opinion on that? you think he is an obstacle to the long-term success of the u.s. operation in afghanistan?
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>> since last week, the consequent we have had that the efforts in kandarhar have to be explain better, the modality of it has to be explain better so we are not calling it an operation. that would indicate a military operation of tanks and troops moving. that is not the situation in kandahar as the secretary of state describe very aptly. we are talking about a process. it is only a change in terminology and for the right objective. the president did not raise the issue of my brother in kandahar. i raised it, to the satisfaction of both sides.
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even if i were to resort to an activity of firing are hiring -- firing or hiring, one elected by the people cannot be fired by the president. they can fire me. i cannot fire them, so no, that was not discussed. i think the issues that were raised in the american press or the european press have now been understood better by our u.s. counterparts, so i will not go into further detail on that. the issue is resolved as it stands now. >> i have nothing to add to that. i just want to add one thing to what the president said initially about kandahar operation. i have heard some of the commentary in anticipation of this operation, making it sound
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like it was going to be a massive military action, of tanks rolling into the city. that is not the kind of operation that our military leaders believe is warranted. they want to have a successful counter insurgency operation that does not destroy kandarhar in the effort to save it. as someone rightly said to me, one of my military colleagues, this is not fallujah. a lot of lessons have been learned. the people like general petraeus and general mcchrystal learned those lessons in iraq. i want the american press particularly to be disabused that somehow you are going to wake up one morning and d-day has started. that is not what this is about.
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that is not what counterinsurgency is about. we are not fighting the afghan people. we are fighting a small minority of very dedicated, ruthless extremists who unfortunately are able to enlist the gunmen, like the president -- to enlist young men, like the president was referring to earlier, and to send them out onto the battlefield. the goal is to help the people of kandahar recover the entire city to be able to put it to the use and benefit of the people of kandahar. that is what we are aiming to accomplish and we have a lot of confidence in our partners and our international coalition. >> on behalf of the u.s. institute of peace, i would like to thank president karzai and secretary of state clinton for being with us today, and would ask if everyone would remain in
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their seats on the president and secretary depart. members of the afghan delegation who are traveling in the motorcade was also pleased depart so that we can have an orderly transition. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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[crowd chatter]
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>> in a few moments, attorney general eric holder testifies about justice department operations, including the continuing investigation of the attempted bombing in times square. in about 2.5 hours, supreme court nominee elena kagan continues to meet with senators on capitol hill. after that, general stanley mcchrystal is briefing on afghanistan. later, president obama talks about the economy at a town hall meeting in buffalo, new york. the defense department is conducting aircraft training over washington, d.c tonight. the exercise will include air force jets, coast guard helicopters, a small civilian aircraft. that was scheduled to begin about a half-hour ago. attorney general eric holder testified on capitol hill today as federal officers raided several locations in the northeast as part of the investigation into the failed times square car bombing.
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mr. holder said federal authorities continue to believe that the pakistani taliban was behind the may 1 attempted attack. our 2.5 our coverage begins with opening statements from house judiciary leaders. then the attorney general's opening comments, and questions from members. >> we are always honored to have the chief law enforcement of the united states visit with the committee. i wanted to note from the outset that attorney general holder has reinvigorated the civil rights division which suffered for a while from low morale, and under assistant attorney general tom press, the division is i think doing a good job in
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protecting the rights, including voting, of all americans. the attorney-general has raised the issue of statutory modifications to the miranda public safety exception into the national debate. i would hope that he can go into this in some detail. the most important thing to me that we are dealing with in this country right now is the failure of the so-called war against drugs.
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we spent more money incarcerating more non-violent people under an antiquated, mandatory minimum sentence to less and less effect. 1.5 million people are arrested every year for drug violations. we spent $2 billion a year to imprison people who violate federal drug laws. we incarcerate more people than any other nation on the planet earth, but the drug use in the u.s. and around the world is more prevalent than ever. if there was one thing that we could accomplish successfully between now and the next time the committee meets with the chief law-enforcement officer of
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the country, is that we get on top of the drug problem. 1.5 years after the executive order of president obama, we have still not closed the prison at guantanamo. the plan to track khalid sheikh mohammed and other 9/11 conspirators in the federal court in new york has been derailed. no institution that i know of is better equipped to show the world how america deals with miscreancts then where the trial
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was originally intended to occur. i hope these plans can be put back on track. the administration has taken some steps to curb the misuse of the state secrets privilege. while the justice department has issued new guidelines, the privilege continues to be over used, and i think that the need for uniform and consistent handling by the court still remains. it is true, and i commended the administration for ending the practice of secret prisons and
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calling a halt to waterboarding and enhanced interrogation techniques. these actions tarnished the nation's reputation as a beacon of liberty and served as a recruiting tool for our enemies. the attorney general hasn't released rejected tortured memos and brought a much needed -- hasn't released and brought an attitude of transparency to the department which has helped us understand the workings of the office of legal counsel, which had issued sigrid opinions that may have helped to insulate those responsible for torture and inhumane treatment from
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legal accountability. clearly there was pressure on all sides to ignore the past and move on, but to his credit, he came down in favor of the rule of law and accountability. seoul after almost a year-and-a- half, we are moving beyond -- so after almost a year-and-a-half, we are moving beyond the past and trying to deal with the present and also work on the
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future as well. so i joined every man and woman on this committee and welcome you and look forward to the discussion that we will have. i turn now to lamar smith, the ranking member of this committee. >> mr. attorney general, in the last two, three serious terrorist attempts, one of which was successful, have occurred in the united states. army maj nidal hasan went on a shooting rampage at fort hood, texas, killing 14 americans and wounding 30 others. another attack was thwarted by poorly made, and alert passengers. faisal shahzad, a naturalized citizen, park the car in york city's times square.
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this attack was stymied by his ineptness and hr pedestrians. our national security policy should consist of more than just dumb bombers and smart citizens, because sooner or later a terrorist is going to build a bomb that works. as commander in chief, the president is responsible for protecting the american people. unfortunately, several of this administration's policies have put americans at greater risk. first, the president's campaign promise to close the detention center at guantanamo bay has the reduced the threat of terrorism. those transferred to other countries can be and are released. former detainees often return to terrorism. trying guantanamo terrorist is a dangerous proposal that has no legal precedent. once in the u.s., terrorist can argue for additional constitutional rights, making it harder for prosecutors to
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contain -- to obtain convictions. third, treating terrorist like common criminals makes americans laissez. giving them the right to maine -- giving them the right to remain silent -- you recently said he now want to work with congress to limit terrorist miranda rights. that is surprising, since it is this administration that has insisted on extending constitutional rights to terrorists in the birthplace. the administration treated terrorists like -- the obama administration's opposition to real id weakens national security. the and in -- the initial issue was to repeal a law to prevent terrorists from obtaining a legitimate forms of identification. this would give them cover to
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plot and carry out attacks inside the united states. fifth, the administration's push for amnesty for illegal immigrants make america less a. the rest of the times where bomber a recently naturalized citizen, is another reason why we must reject proposals to give amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. the cannot detect a potential terrorist to submit himself to our security process, how can we add in five other potential terrorists who will apply for amnesty? amnesty could legalize many would-be terrorists who are already in the u.s. and give them cover to plot attacks against innocent americans. it makes no sense to deny a link between immigration enforcement and national security. but want to prevent attacks, we need to prevent terrorists from getting visas and stop them from coming to the u.s. and obtaining citizenship. that means enforcing our immigration laws. if we do not, terrorists are not slipping through the cracks,
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that are coming through the front door. success in the war ont( terror means preventing attacks, not just responding to intense. the goal is to detect and deter, not just make arrests after the bomb is set. but to achieve this goal, we need to improve our intelligence gathering by in terror raid4hñ - by interrogating terrorists, not reading them their miranda warnings. we need to in the failed policy of releasing terrorists overseas and prevent them from using the immigration system to enter or stay in the u.s.. >> good morning distinguished members of the committee. i am pleased to appear before you to discuss the accomplishments of the department of justice in the past year. first let me thank you for your ongoing support of the department's work and your recognition of the essential role the department place in defending our nation and its ties principles. throughout my confirmation process and since becoming
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attorney general last february, have worked to establish an articulate a clear set of goals for the department, protecting the american people against foreign and domestic threats, ensuring a fair and impartial administration of justice, assisting state and local law enforcement, and defending the interests of the united states. i have repeatedly pledged to pursue these goals in service of the cause of justice and in a way that honors the department's commitment to integrity, transparency, and the rule of law. the thousands of men and women who serve the justice department have made meaningful progress in meeting these goals, whether in their pursuit and prosecution of terrorists, in the fight against crime, or in protecting our civil rights, preserving our environment, ensuring fairness in our markets, seeking justice in our troubled communities, promoting transparency in government and enforcing our tax
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laws. despite the unprecedented challenges the new demands that have emerged, we are on the right pass to fulfilling our obligations and achieving our goals. protecting americans against terrorism remains the highest priority of the department justice. the administration will continue to use all lawful means to protect our national security, including where appropriate military intelligence and law enforcement, diplomatic, and economic tools and authorities. we will aggressively defend our nation from attack by terrorist groups consistent with our constitution, our loss, and our values, as well as our international obligations. as one of the counterterrorism tools available to us, the criminal-justice system has proven its strength in both incapacitating terrorist and gathering valuable intelligence. most recently in the case of faisal shahzad. 12 days ago, we believe that he attempted to detonate a car bomb
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in times square. less than 53 hours later, thanks to the outstanding work of the fbi, u.s. attorneys offices, and our partners at the newark police department and the department of homeland security, shahzad had been identified, located, and arrested. when questioned by federal agents, he provided useful information. we now believe that the pakistan taliban was responsible for this attempted attack. we are currently working with the authorities in pakistan on this investigation and will use every available resource to make sure it went down responsible, whether in the u.s. or overseas, is held -- make sure that anyone found responsible is held accountable. several individuals encountered during the searches have been taken into federal custody for
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alleged immigration violations. the surges or the product evidence that has been gathered in the investigation since the attempted times where bombing and do not relate to any known immediate threat to the public or active plot against the united states. i share that information just indicate that this is an ongoing investigation and that we will actively pursue all those who rent of in it. this attempted attack is a sober reminder that we face aggressive and determined enemies. for example, since january 2009, 14 individuals have been indicted in minnesota in connection with travel to somalia to train and to fight in a terrorist group. one man was indicted in chicago for his involvement in the 2008 terror attacks in mumbai.
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in february to 2010, another pleaded guilty in the eastern district of new york to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against persons or property in the united states, conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country, and providing material support to al qaeda. zazi admitted that he brought explosives to york as part of a plan to attack the subway system. this was one of the most serious terror attacks plan since 9/11, and it could have been devastating. several associates have also been charged with participating in the plot and related crimes. one has pleaded guilty to terrorism charges and faces a sentence of up to life in prison. the department's work to combat terrorism include civil as well as criminal proceedings.
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the department successfully defended the asset freeze of but saudi arabia based group. in addition these efforts to protect our nation from terrorism and other threats over the last year, we have reinvigorated what i have come to call the traditional missions of the department. we have strengthened our efforts to protect our environment, to combat health care fraud, and to enforce our antitrust laws. we have work to safeguard civil rights in our workplaces and neighborhoods. we have made strides in ensuring that prisons and jails are secure and rehabilitated, and work to make sure federal criminal laws are more fair and more effective. as part of our focus on securing our economy and combating war dead financial fraud, the department is leading the financial fraud task force that president obama established last
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year using new tools provided by congress. i thank you for your support of the department's most urgent and most essential work. i look forward to working with this committee and with congress. i am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. >> think very much, attorney- general. we will recess for some boats and returned immediately. the committee stands in recess. >> the last time you were here, i ask about whether or not if someone had been tortured to death, whether or not a crime almost certainly would have been committed. you entered in the positive. my question is, what is the
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statute of limitations for torture if someone dies and if someone does not die? i have a lot of questions. if you would prefer to respond in writing, that would be fine. >> there is no statute of limitations where death occurs. >> the last case in the supreme court on miranda rights was ruled unconstitutional -- on a constitutional basis. if we try to change the statute, might we not cause more problems, because no one would know until that hits the supreme court whether what we did was constitutional or not. how would that affect the practice on the ground if a police officer has to sit up there and wonder, are they a
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citizen, maybe they or a terrorist, maybe there are a citizen or not a citizen. might you not end of messing up a lot of cases where miranda turned out to be required? would we make matters worse by trying to change anything? changing anything? >> it is our view that the use of the public safety exception, i want to make clear that what we are focusing on is the potential of modernizing and clarifying the public safety exception. not the miranda rule itself but to come up with a way that we give to agents and police officers could clarity to how the public safety exception can be used but it was crafted back in the 1980's with connection to a case that involved a police officer asking a person where is the gun. we now find ourselves in 2010 dealing with very complicated matters. with regard to that small
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sliver, only terrorism-related manners, not in any other way, that modernizing, crifying, make more flexible the use of the public safety exception would be something beneficial. >> from the point of time the interrogation starts, they might not know it is a terrorist or not. you could mess up an otherwise fairly good case. the reau of prisons is under your jurisdiction. is that correct? >> it is correct and the cards -- that is correct. >> do you have a statement on how we can makehat program ronger and any support you want to give to that program as to why it is so important? >> the critical part of our efforts to make our prisons more than just a place to warehouse people, to ge people an opportunity to gain skills to make them successful upon
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leaving prison. what people have to focus on is the vast majority of people who go into prison are going to come out at some point. to the extent that we can provide rehabilitative services and vocational opportunities, i think those should be supported. i am a big supporter of that program. >> i mentioned the office of legal counsel memorandum from june, 2007, that essentially suggests that the religious freedom restoration act provides a blaet overriding statutory nondiscrimination provisions. has your office reviewed that memorandum and if so, can you tell us the status of what you are going to do with it? or to you want to get back to us in writing? what i would like to get back to you in writing about that. i have not had a chance to have
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the in that kind of conversation i need to have about that in order to respond. >> you are aware that the president, during his campaign, indicated that if you get a federal grant, you can use a and you cannot discriminate against them for against the people you are hiring on the basis of religion. that is what he wanted to do. since then, there is a suggestion that discrimination would be allowed on a case by case basis. it seems fairly unusual that you would allow discrimination on a case by case basis. do you have any comment on where we are in restoring the civil rights for employees that existed from 1965 uil 2001 or 2002? >> i think the administration is committed with partnering with database organizations in a way
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that is consistent with the law. the department will continue to evaluate any legal questions that arise with regard to how we do that on a case by cas basis. overall, >> the law apparently allows discrimination as a policy. you have to set the policy to executive order and statute. is it the policy of this administration to allow discrimination on a case by case basis? one group can say we cannot hire based on race and religion and another group says that we will not allow you to discriminate. is it the policy of this administration to allow discrimination? it is not the policy. the policy is to interact with faith based organizations or any organization. operate with them, interact with them any way that is consistent with the law and consistent with
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the way in which this administration has postured itself on a range of issues but the clear. there is a policy is the policy of the administration going to be that discrimination will not be allowed? yes. that is not the view that we share. we do not have the view that discrimination is appropriate. we want to interact with these organizations were these issues are presented in such a way that we are acting consistently with the law and consistent with what our values are both as a nation and administration. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> the gentleman from texas. >> thank you. the times square bomber, faisal
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shahzad, was a nationalized -- naturalized citizen. current law allows -- current law allows us to -- >> i cannot hear. >> to the technician checked the microphones? >> i only regret my earlier comments might not be heard. [laughter] >> is somebody working on this? >> they are. there it is. >> the times square bomber,, became a naturalized citizen less than one year ago. under current law, we can denaturalize a citizen who has become a naturalized citizen in
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the last five years if they are a member of an organization whose intent is to overthrow the government of the u.s.. the you consider terrorist organizations to be among the prohibited organizations that would allow us to denaturalize somebody? i am using the definition of a terrorist action. >> i am not familiar with the immigration law for that particular and i do not have an ability without having a chance to study answer that question in an intelligent way. >> you are unsure if somebody that is a member of a terrorist organization would be able to a naturalized? my answer is that if in fact there is a statute that allows that to occur it is not a statute ibm converse of with. i look forward to your kidding back to me. would you consider the pakistani taliban to be a terrorist organization?
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>> if not formally designated, we have seen to thr actions and their attempt that they are. if not technically this committee, there certainly its territory as asian. >> would you take action to initiate this to denaturalize the times square bomber? on the basis that he was a member of the terrorist organization? >> we have a wide range of things that we can do with regard to the defendant in this manner. we have an ability to put him in jailor an extended period of time to the course you do not intend to denaturalizing? >> i am saying we have the ability to do a variety of things and whether or not there
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is an ability to denaturalizing, and whether or not there are constitutional issues that are involved in that process. i think those would have to be considered. >> i read your answer to meet you are not prepared to say that you would denaturalizing. let me go to my next question. in the case of all three attempts, one of which was successful, thos individls have had ties to radical islam. do you feel that these individuals might have been incited to take the actions they did because of radical islam? >> there are a variety of reasons why people have taken these actions. you have to look each individual case. we are in the process of talking to faisal shahz to havestand what' he could
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led to these actions. >> there are a variety. >> is a radical islam one of them? >> there are a variety. >> all i am asking if among those variety, radical islam might have been one of them. >> radical islam, people who espouse a version of islam -- >> are you uncomfortable contributing their actions to radical islam. >> i did not want to say anything negative about the religion. >> i am talking about radical islam. i am not talking about the general religion. >> i am saying that a person who has a version of islam that is not consistent with the teachings of that and who espouses a radical version -- >> i think that it is possible that people who espouse a radical version of islam have had an ability to have impact on
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people like faisal shahzad. -- >> could that have been one of the cases in one of these cases? apparently you feel that the could of been. >> potentially infected by people who have a few of islam that is inconsistent -- >> it is hard to get an answer. but make a one to the next question. this has to do with the transferring both -- transferring from guantanamo. i hope our federal government and you have assurances from the country's that receive these people if they are detained or not? >> when we make these transfer decisions, we worked out in a dance security arrangements with the receiving nations so we have a sense of where they are, what steps will be put into place. >> or any of these transfers
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made under this administration return to terrorism? >> i have read reports but i cannot confirm that. >> let's say that one person did. does that give you pause about transferring every any bridging anybody from gitmo -- transferring anybody from gitmo? >> we put into place a ver comprehensive program that looked at the 240 people to go but it is not working if anybody that has been transferred does return to terrorism as you it knowledge might have been the case. it seems to me you would want to stop the program. >> i am confident that what we did by putting together law enforcement, our military people, our intelligence people and looking at those 240 people in making determinations -- >> it is clearly not working if
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you have people return to terrorism that you transferred tother countries that you did not need to transfer. >> let me the clear. i have not said that on the basis of anything i know that is credible or authoritative that anybody we have released. >> you set one may have. >> i said i have readeports in newspapers. i am not in a position to say that in fact that is accurate. i would not comment on the intelligence to cut the gentleman's time has expired >> i yield myself five minutes for questioning. you have had innumerable challenges. i would almost call it a mine field. let me thank you for the delivery of manner in which the department of justice has handled these matters for the american people. you are to be credited for working too difficult issues and
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being thoughtful along with your staff. we have difficult issues before us. i would like to start off with my questioning on the whole concept of too big to fail. the department of justice is now involved in the financial markets, the to vindications market, the aviation market. there have been efforts to merge. there is certainly a communications merger that is before the department of justice. i will focus my time o the continental airlines and united and raised several questions quickly so that you can, and on what kind of structure the investigation will take. unlike comcast and nbc, which has a number of other agencies, it appears that the department of justice in this instance may be the overriding agency.
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thquestion becomes to we have a concept the merger that represents too big to fail, are there major impact competitiveness routes involved and do we hold to the comments made by one of the ceo's that this is in essence an easy do, a piece of cake, and will be done in a certain period of time. closing routes, closi hubs, losing jobs. my direct question to you is the justice department is going to be guided by public statements as a piece of cake, guided by comment that it is an illinois deal and they will look the other way and will they be guided by the fact that the star alliance, which you also reviewed, was supposed to
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represent making these entities strong enough to stand on their own. maybe it was a step toward monopoly. what will be the structure be of that investigation and was you finish it in two months? >> we have a revitalized antitrust division headed by a very capable woman. whenever a proposed transaction raises significant competition issues, the department's antitrust division will conduct a very vigorous investigation and that is what we will plan to do here. to the extent that the merger of united and continental would substantially lessen competition, we would take the appropriate enforcement actions. the department willxamine this merger as it does all those that are within our responsibility very seriously and take to
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account all of the information that we can and take very seriously the responsibility but and i am proud of the work the antitrust division has taken. >> will you put in a self- imposed deadline on yourself? >> we will take the time necessary for us to look at it and to make sure we are comfortable in the decisions that we are making. we will not unnecessarily delay things but we will take the time that we need to come up with a decision. >> and thank you. let me very quickly, major questions have come up. the arina law that seems to racially profile in number of classes of individuals. the basic question i have beyond racial profiling is the question as it relates to immigration law. does the justice department intends to pursue how this law relates to federal pre-emptive mess? dealing with the times square
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bomber, based in your experience, can you compare the effectiveness of the interrogation methods used for the attempted flight 253 in times square bombers? and the enhanced interrogation they have addressed in the past? such as methods like waterboard ding? do you think the family of the flight 253 would have coerated if he had been not given miranda warnings which were given two alleged terrorists by the bush administration. as we present ourselves to the world on fighting the war on terror. >> if one looks at the facts and looks at the questioning that was done by experienced fbi agents with regard to faisal
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shahzad and others cannot we have seen that the customary fbi techniques that to n involve the use of the enhanced interrogation procedures have proven to be effected. we have gotten useful information and useful intelligence from all of the individuals as a result of the use of techniques that are recognized as traditional and are recognized as consistent with our values. there is not attention between conducting ourselves and law enforcement in a way that is consistent with our values and being effective in having an ability to protect the american people. if one looks at what has happened over the past year, that is proof of that. >> the arizona law we are in the process of looking at that law. we are concerned about the potential impact it has, whether it contravenes federal civil rights laws, potentially leading to racial profiling.
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also concerned about whether there is the possibility that it crosses the line with regard to preemption. there is certainly an immigration issue, and immigration problem that this country needs to face. the concern we have is that this is something done on a national basis as opposed to trying to do it on a state-by-state basis. >> op now recognize the gentleman from california for five minutes. . . minutes. >> thank you. i appreciate your appearance before us. i have to comment, we seem so careful not to use terms like radical islam for fear of offense but we readily referred to racial profiling being either the consequence or the motivation of the voters and elected officials in arizona. i find that remarkable. >> please do not misinterpret
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what i said. i did not say that was the motivating factor for the people in arizona. i understand their frustration. i am saying that one thing we need to look ahead at the department of justice is whether or not we should have a national . it must be frustrating for people of arizona who say in the law that there shall not be racial profiling by specifying you cannot use that as the reason for stopping an individual and yet immediately there is a comment on this panel and other places that that must be racial profiling. when it is something not when it is not a baby every question. -- may be a question. faisal shahzad was not motivated by passage of the health care
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bill. >> excuse me? with that was suggested by the mayor of new york is the possible reason for the activities. we seem to be reluctant to talk about radical islam possibly being the case. let me ask you this on the miranda warnings. what is the position of your administration? what is the position of the justice department on this question? do we believe that no miranda warnings should be given until we have gotten from suspected terrists, for whom we have reasonable suspicion that there are involved with their response that we have got from them every bit of information that they have with respect to public safety demands? >> we do this on a case by case basis and make use of the law as it exists. we certainly know that in this initial interactions with
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people read suspected terrorists, there are questions that can be asked of them. we try to glean as much information as we can appropriately inconsistently with what the supreme court has said what we can do. >> i appreciate that. at what point in time do you believe that you have to seize that and it mr. miranda rights? was it is a time when you feel you have exhausted the questioning you have done under the public safety exception. whether you have made the determination that there is rhaps no immediate threat to the public or the officers who are involved. that is the question i have. there is a distinction between the public safety exception as previously understood by court decision
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the city. you have the case of the ticking time bomb. you have to get that information e immediately. in this case, in cases involving suspected terrorists, presumably, we are trying to get more information than just the immediate danger. we are trying to solicit information with respect with the terrorist network. is it not a somewhat different application of law or the foundations of the exception of the lot? to use it in these circumstances as opposed to the conventional notion. >> the definition of immediate danger can be different if one looks at the traditional context as opposed to the terrorist context. that is one of the reasons that we think that we should think about modernizing, clarifying, the public safety exception so that we would have a public safety exception that is
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prepared that we can use and deal with. >> i uerstand that. what is the basis of that? as i am offended, one terror suspect give you information some weeks after you arrested him based a statement that have been made from the justice department's. if that be the case, that information with voluble and allowing us to further understand terrorist plots, one would question whether or not we should have tried to get that information earlier, prior to the time that we gave him the miranda warnings. if in fact the justification is that it is danger not just to the immediate short time period, that is, do we know if he has another bomb, but we are trying to gain information with respect to terrorist activity, that notion is different and t underlying legal argument would
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be for the court i different. what is your basis for the use the amended danger exception in terrorist cases as opposed to criminal cases? with the question is where is the gun, a simple question that was allowed. in a tariff situation, there are a variety of other questions that one would want to put to a person are there other people who are similarly engaged? we know how out kite that likes to do things in hand and foot are there other bombs? with the gentleman's time has expired. or >> are there other bombs we need to be concerned with? are there other people who are going to be coming this way? these are all questions that we think can be appropriately asked
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under the public safety exception. we want to have a greater degree of clarity with regard to what the public safety would entail. that would be useful for agents and police officers who have to do with terror suspect. >> i recognize the gentleman from north carolina for five minutes. >> thank you. it has been a bit disjointed process. i hope it is not broken up your whole day. i am happy to have you here. let me ask three quick questions to the extent that you can comment plicly, that would be great. to the extent you want to follow in writing, that would be great. we got some information several weeks ago that one professor was
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coming ove to assist you all with the access to justice program. it has gone quiet since then. one of the things i would like to try to find out is what he is doing and whether we are making any progress on the program. maybe you are not ready to rule that out and i respect that -- rule that out. i will ask all three and then let you attack all three.
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i note there was a settlement in with a i g four $6.10 million for african american customers. i never thought i would live to see a day when i thought $6.10 million was a paltry sum given the magnitude of the stress that aig others caused african- american customers, that seems like a fairly modest settlement. to the extent that you are able to provide any details on that case without violating whatever ethical standards you have, it would be helpful to get some information on that. finally, i want to explore the
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objections to the proposal of kinston, n.c., to change the voting system under the voting rights act provisions. i would like to get in writing, i am not sure five minutes will do justice to it and come up some assessment of the kind of preparation you are making for the onslaught of cases that are likely to comes soon as this census is over. i suspect there will be a whole new round of voting rights cases filed and i think we need to be as prepared and doj needs to be as prepared as possible to meet that onslaught. those are the three areas of
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inquiry. i will shut up and you can use the rest of my five minutes to respond. whatever you do not respond to, perhaps you could send me something in writing to the >> i will take you up under offer to respond in writing to the second and third questions that you raised about the settlement and the question of the interaction with kingston. with the access to justice initiative, that is something that is critical to me as attorney general and to the president, as well. to come up with ways in which we make sure that people, irrespective of their economic conditions, irrespective of their socio-economic status, have an ability to all the fruits of our system. there is this question of indigent defense and whether or not people get adequate representation not based on
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their economic condition. we have seen studies and reports about people in critical parts of criminal proceedings acting without a lawyer. we are trying to understand what the variou systems look like around the country. in particular, and board generally, we will make sure that all american citizens have equal access to justice. he is an eminent scholar. expect he will make a major contribution to the justice department. >> thank you. yield back my time. >> i recognize the gentleman from virginia for five minutes. >> thank you.
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we are pleased to have you here today. as you kno i have had some conversations with your staff regarding a case that is of great importance in virginia, in the last days of his gubernatorial term, timothy kaine and explicitly requested that a man convicted in the virginia state court of the brutal and violent murders of two presidents of central virginia, he transferred from virginia's prison system to germany. he is serving two life sentences but in germany, he could beeleased within two years. the decision to approve or deny a proposed transfer is committed to the discretion of the department of justice. i understand that the seriousness of the offense and the potential public outrage of transfer are factors that the department considers in its value in such transfers. i can attest to you that these crimes were heinous and the
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public outrage about about the potential transfer is extremely high. i have been contacted by many constituents citing opposition including some involved in the original case. i forward it to you a letter signed by 75 of the 100 members of the house of delegates opposing this transfer. the letter was signed by republicans, democrats, and independence, i like. -- an i wonder if you can tell us the status of this process. >> those were heinous and very serious crimes. the question that they had to deal with, and whether the revocation decision of what the governor had done, this is going to be upheld by the courts in virginia.
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this determination will be made, and the justice department's cannot act. we are waiting to see this. we are going to look at the most serious crimes that one can imagine. lives were lost with the actions taken by this defendant. making any kind of adjustment -- this would be the foremost in our mind. we have to see the resolution for this decision with the two governors. >> it seems like in your capacity, you could make the decision not to honor the recommendation of the governor, whether or not the letter overturning his request is recognized. it does -- it does seem that you need to get to this letter to make a determination. i find it hard to believe that
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they could transfer this man to germany when that bridge is so overwhelming, and this is being served by the criminal justice system of virginia and in germany, he could be released in a couple of years. this is certainly what -- not what has happened in virginia. these are the two life sentences that have been -- imposed upon him. sense to get with the state's position is going to be. in that case, it makes sense for us to await the at--- the official determination of what the position of the state of virginia is with regard to the request that has been made. factoring that in, i want to emphasize that i have been a prosecutor for a good portion of my life. i've prosecuted violent crime cases and dealt with them as a judge. this is as serious a case as i have seen. that would obviously be
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something that weighed into any decision i have to make. >> let me ask another question about another issue that is pending in congress and of importance. party frank has introduced legislation to repeal the recently enacted on lawful internet gambling enforcement act, a bill that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. his repeal bill legalizes and regulates internet gambling at the federal level under the financial services regulator agencies. among the press provisions, the bill got to e wire act, by stating that the wire act will not apply to any activities regulated by the licensing scheme division of the bill. i would like to know that if you believe the legal, offshore gambling operations should be legalized by the federal government and do you support or oppose this legislation? >> we do not support the legalization of offshore
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gambling. when one looks at the negative impact that has had on the lives of individuals, the potential that it has four problems that could be created, it seems to us that that is not something we necessarily want to support. >> i appreciate your understanding of the risks that internet gambling andoses. i see my time has expired. >> time has expired. thank you. the chair will recognize the gentle lady from california for five minutes. >> thank you. i would like to
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i want to hear from you, just briefly, what you know and what you have done. >> a couple of weeks ago, i issued a directive, and a plan for the department of justice that includes all of these departments components, including the fbi and the other components that make up these departments. there are people who will be monitoring this situation with the diversity efforts, and they all have to come back by the end of june to diversify their ranks. this department of justice is committed to diversity, and we have had the strongest -- the department of justice is committed to this. >> do you have a backlog of discrimination complaints and the fbi? >> i will get back to you on this.
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>> quickly moving into the anti- trust, the media merger -- merger and purchase of nbc by comcast. how the view these things? we are concerned. there are broad bands, you name it. some of these mergers and not have the hearing some. we worked with the sec. they agreed to extend the comment area. >> we did get these four. they do not necessarily consolidate these things i should be separate. the justice department does that
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typically hold hearings. it is certainly in there f them to decide. the work the justice department does is going to be non-public. >> we to be advantaged if you had information from a public hearing about the lack of aess of ownership? with that help you in any way? >> sure. we make our best decisions only have access to the greatest amount of information. >> it could be helpful? >> it could. we will be taking our own steps to reach out to the affected parties and individuals. anything tt develops the
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record that we can have access to will be good. >> can i have my staff talked about what said she will be taking? -- about what steps you will be taking? in los angeles, we have a lot of people in production that they are talked about. >> i'll be glad to talk to you about that there is only so much that we can discuss. >> whatever you can. that me ask you about the malicious and the right-wing terrorist organization. i am concerned about one that plan to kill the police of this. once the police arrived, they had a lot in place to kill. i have not heard of terms like domestic terrorism. i am concerned about the
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possible timothy mcveigh type incident. i know homeland securityas some responsibility. what is your responsibility? >> here is a good point. we have focused a great deal on international terrorism as we should. we have within our country domestic terrorism thawe also must confront. this case is an example of that. they have a plot to kill a police officer -- that is an indication of the kind of activity and heinous acts that we have to be concerned about. yeah see there has been a critic dramatic rise in a number of these domestic hate groups. the fbi monitors the groups. they are always mindful of the fact of keeping the first amendment right.
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we monor them to make sure they do not cross the line. it crosses into that which is criminal. >> is there a formal kind of definition of raising the level of attention on domestic terrorism the way we have done? i do not hear anything coming over to us to talk about. i did hear that a kid was accused of being a terrorist in school because this autistic kid gruesome ptures of what looked like violent pictures. i've never heard of this kind of terrorism being described domestically. what can you do to help focus this country on domestic terrorism? >> i have a briefing with the fbi director. >> if you can wrap itp.
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your time has expired. finish the answer, please. it component of the conversation focuses on what is going on domestically. the american people should be reassured that the law enforcement agencies and the justicdepartment is focused not only on international terrorism but on domestic terrorism as well. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. as i said in m opening statement, i am deeply concerned that a seated member of congress has alleged to what amounts to three felonies. the former u.s. attorney, now senator, was confirmed in his
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opinions -- if they are to come a day are felonies. what are you presently doing? what will you commit to do including a special prosecutor? >> that is done on a case by se basis. >> what can be more a case by case that an allegation that this white house has committed three felonies and offering a member of congress a high- ranking position and his administration in return for his gettingut of the primary? what could be more appropriate than that? what do you doing about it? there are regulatns that are in place. there are requirements that have to be done.
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i have great faith in the people in the public integrity session .andle these matters for i sent you a lter. you have not responded. what is your response? these are allegations the three crimes. allocations -- elections will be held in three days. there are on answered allegations. >> at the we had responded to your leisure. if we have not, we apologize for that. any matter deals a lot with the intent of the person. i am not speaking specifically about your matter. we do not talk about any matter that might come into the purview of the department of justice. >> let's talk hypothetical.
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section 211, which prescribes a bribery is, the author of a government job to section 600 by an official, are the serious matters? >> offering someone a job? >> if i offer you a job in the white house, but say secretary of the navy,n return for you are doing something such as shopping out of an elected office, is that a serious crime? >> ihink we are talking about more than hypothetical. >> i am asking if that hypothetical is a crime . do you answer hypothetically? >> i do night answer hypothetical. >> there has been in allegation by a member of the body. the allegation that he was offered a high ranking position in return for getting out of the primary. he declined to say in the
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primary produce. you are saying to let them handle it? he did not comment on the. i asked if the allegations similar were true if they would be a crime. you are saying you did not answer hypotheticals. you are here before us today. if you will not answer literally or hypothetically or apparently investigate, we have an allegation of a three felony. the congressman says they are felony a u.s. senator has said is true is a crime -- you are not investigating whether it is a false statement by a member of congress or crime about the white house. what are we to do? >> the danger with hypothetical is it does not tell in the totality what a real case looks like. >> it is not a hypothetical when he says he was offered a job by
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this white housen contradiction to at least three sections of the u.s. code. i as to what you are doing about it. you are not willing to say that it is being handled by the public integrity sector. had he put any attention to following up on the allegation? >> at the we had responded to your letter. >> it could be in the mail. it is very close some time. we have not received it. >> i apologize. the premise that you make that there are violations of the statutes, would have to be looked at. >> i am only asking if you load up on the allegations by a member of congress. that is all i am asking. i'm not asking for all the details of how you would follow up. had he followed up on these
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allegations that we brought to your attention? >> it is the department's policy not to comment on anything of pending matters. that is not the way in which department of justice it conducts business. that is not what we do. that is the way i handled your question. >> i yield back. >> the chair is being sent it to members who are in the middle of questions. we want to allow members to be able to finish their questions and answers. with that, i will recognize you for five minutes. >> thank you again. i'd like to address a bit further and arizona matter.
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i heard you say that you are looking into the matter. the way i see it, i find the whole matter of offensive on behalf of all hispanics in america. i cannot speak for others this is a nation of immigrants. most of them are u.s. citizens or are legally residing in this country. i am very perturbed by this law. regardless of the motives. and talking about a lot of land itself to racial profiling. with the way i see what the department could be doing, they to be doing any of three things. first, challenged the law in court. second, challenged there- emption issue. third, assuming the law and of
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being safe, deali with its implementation. i just want you to be a bit more specific. what are you looking at? what can be reasonably expect from the department inhis matter in the near future? >>e are examining the law and trying to determine if it contravenes the federal responsibility. whether or not what they have tried to do is pre-empted by federal law. with the m from the civil- rights perspective to see whether or not the law contravenes federal law statutes. that increase -- inquiry is on the way. we are trying to determine what
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action we will take. >> thank you. i will add one thing that troubles me. i think it is so effective in america. this matter also raises the possibility of affecting the ability of local law enforcement to deal with our community and gain trust of residents in our community when they are under siege by all kinds of crime. t only immigration populations. that troubles me. i like to hear from me about that. >> the frustration of people along the border, with the concerns i had is one that you have in whether not the passage will serve a wedge between law enforcement that they are
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supposed to serve. if they feel it is being unfairly, that is being profile, people share information with law enforcement are having less ability to solve crimes. those in the issues that they wish to take into consideration. >> the gentleman yield back. we recognize him for five minutes. the din demand from north carolina. >> that they extend my opening remarks this morning. what criteria could mohammad and his co-conspirators separate them from other detainees rather than military commission chiles? >> determinations that i have tried to make and where they can
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be tried a case specific. on the same day i made the announcement that the case would be tried in a civilian court, i sent five other or six cases to military commissions. it deals with the acquisition of evidence on the battlefield. we make these cases on a case by case basis, following protocol that i have that is used by me and by the department of defense. each case is a set in determinatn made about where we can try the case. >> he said the department is reviewing whether to try him and his co-conspirators. what issues is the department
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still addressing? >> there is a review under way about the determination's i made in november. we talk about a variety of things, the reaction of political leaders in particular areas, the reaction of the public in that area we are taking into account a whole variety of things and making that determination. we are not ruling anything in or out. >> how many guinea's are you considering? venues are you considering? >> a variety of forums. specifically what i am driving edit it in your opinion, does the capital vilnius statute, the punishable by death avocation be in the
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county. with that limit it to new york, pa., and virginia? >> that is a stat sheet we have to do with for these determinations. if you are going to seek the death penalty, it has to take place where the offense took place. we are limited. ere are some questionsn about how strong the particular statute is to do it is a factor that has to be taken into consideration. >> i yield the gentleman from virginia. >> following up to the comments of the gentleman from california, i am not taking a position against the comcast and universa merger.
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i think the department job is to conduct a fair review and apply the facts of the law. i have every confidence that you will do just that. >> thank you. >> i will yield back. we now recognize the gentleman from tennessee for five minutes. >> we have talked about racial disparity last year i have a bill that i have introduced it was to look at a steady. we have held back on the bill and the requt. have you concluded the study? >> the studies we are doing are fairly close to coming into a
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landing. on the basis of some of the reports i am receiving, i will be announcing a variety of things pitta the ones you are talking about i have not. >> when you think you might see a report on that one? >> we have certainly been looking at the question of rachel this -- racial diarities with regard to the criminal law. i had seen a report on that. we will be issuing some guidance in that regard. >> very soon. that is go. this'll be released to the public i presume? >> it to be certain the release in the field. i am sure the public will have an ability to book.
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>> i have introduced legislation to states and localities that receive [unintelligible] to you agree they have a responsibility to make sure federal funds are not used to perpetuate racial and ethnic disparities? >> the grants of one of the ways we support our state and loc counterparts. we would expt it would be done in a non-discriminatory matter. it did not promote disparity that would be responsive to the needs of particular communities. are trying to make sure that those grants for the cause of equal justice as opposed to
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retarding it. >> has the justice department intended to do any comprehensive looks at our laws and tried to reform them so they are in the 21st century? >> one of the task force's i could and place has a dth federal sentencing law it will be issued very shortly to the field. it ase looked baat modified. >> are you familiar with the dead? he issued a 41 page written order by a man named charles
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lynch that was convicted of merrill -- medical marijuana and suspension. he said it could be alleviated from schedule one. what are your thoughts about how the departmt will approach the rescheduling hearing of the marijuana, which is in the highest class at the federal government? it is on the level of opium and heroin as being habit forming, and troublesome, expensive, and bad. >> one has to look at the issue a mere one in the totality. the mexican cartels get residue from the trafficking in marijuana. it is something that feels violence in mexico. it is something that can have an
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effect on violence in the united states. what the administration has done is to say that in the states for determination has to be made that we would not huge -- use our limited resources to go after marijuana being used in that way. we are focusing our attention on those people who are major traffickers of marijuana and other drugs that have such a negative impact on some many communities. >> if i could have the chair for 30 more seconds? i concur with you and commend you on that. i would like to suggest that the reason there is such a demand for that product that causes all the violence is because it is illegal. maybe if it was not class one and there were other determinations -- it must be popular someplace. maybe we should take into consideration the popularity in
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the demand and maybe change cultural norms about using it in the supply and demand and we could reduce violence the another way. we could work our way through this. >> it will help our mexican counterparts. is the responsibility of the u.s. to try to do that. the uss tried to do that for treatment facilities. i think that is a way we can decrease the amount of islands that we see. -- violence that we see. >> thank you. thank you for coming forward to
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testify it. it has been a long day. she spoke earlier in your opening remarks about how arizonas immigration law institutionalizes racial profiling to said that people are being detained because they forgot their driver's license at home. could you add some clarity to that statement for this panel? >> i am not familiar with the incident that perhaps she was talking about. the concerns i he expressed our with regard to the whole question of preemption and whether the statute get into areas more properly handled by theederal government as to what the impact of the law will be.
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>> it does not go into effect until 90 days. we could agree that any action that will btaking ple on immigration laws would not take place until 90 days after signed by the governor. the balance might have been inspired by the press or the dialogue, but nothing on the authority of the legislation. with this familiar situation she mentioned. >> would that be the standard if there were federal law? and until it is enacted, it cannot have an effect legally. >> i do not know whether some police officer is going to be taking affect. i do not know anything about the situation. but then let's try this down the path of the constitution preemption.
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as i understand arizona law, it mirrors federal immigration law. presumably, it would evaluate the constitutionality and whether it was violating any federal statute under that pre- emption clause. can you point to anything in the nstitution that would prevent arizona fro passing and enforcing immigration law provided it did not go beyond the bounds of immigration law? is there anything in the constitution you point to that would define it as unconstitutional or potentially unconstitutional? >> the regulation of our borders in the immigration that occurs is something that is
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inherently is something i believe for the national government to take responsibility for. i understand the pressures and that people feel in arizona. we have not done enough as a nation to do with the very real problem that people in the south border had to deal with. it is more than them. it is a national problem. that is why the president has said a comprehensiveook at this issue dealing with the causes of illegal migration as well as what we deal with the people who are here without documentation is a way in which we can hopefully solve the problem. >> now we have digressed into policy. as far as specificity with regard to the constitution, our current federal statutes -- and yet already investigated this so you should know whether there is a constitutional point that can
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be made or the federal statutory point that can be made. i will suggest that i have looked at this. our attorneys have looked at this. we have not found a constitutional argument that would indicate that arizona has violated the federal constitution nor have we have found a way that they have gone beyond the immigration statute. in the constitution, there is nothing that define immigration laws as 6 frissell province of the federal government. >> cannot make a determination if it is something that we are examining the bill we must take
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some legal action. we have made the determination that it contravenes federal law. i would point out that there had been a significant amount of resources that have been invested in looking a arizona immigration law. it appears to follow a pattern of political actions of your office. the investigation cannot get done with one single auction. it threatens the underpinnings of our constitution. that is one thing that would break this country down is if we lostur confidence in the electoral pcess yet we cannot investigate a.c.o.r.n. and we cannot find out what might have brought your attention to that. >> the time has expired.
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>> the determinations that we may between what such as the liggett in what cases we investigate are done in a political way. i am proud of the time i have spent in t department of justice. i consider myself a career guy. am very proud. i understand the traditions of the department. i will not allow the department of justice to be politicized. people may not agree with the decisions, but i want the american people to know that the decisions are based onhe backs and the law and not in politics. that is not what is attorney general is about. >> there have been a number of
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myths that have been perpetrated by politicians seeking to inject politics into the political process. one of these myths that has reared its ugly head has been the notion that the obama administration in view as the attorney general placed the u.s. address a prosecuting terrorists in federal court including the christmas day bombers and the 9/11 terrace and now the christmas day underwear bomber and the gentlemen who was recently arrested for leaving a car packed with explosives in
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times square. prior to this issue becomina political football,he bush administration had tried numerous terrorist suspects in federal court. including the issue bomber -- the shoe bomber whose case is strikingly similar to the underwear bomber's case. also they 20th 911 hijacker. is it true there have been 300 anti-terrorism cases?
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>> i think that number is accurate. they can handle these matters. history shows that. they want to bring the cases to the federal court. you take away from us an extremely valued tool. we should not have this
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we should not have this tool taken away from us. >> during the bush administration and these 300 cases, anti-terrorism cases, were making their way through federal court, with the final disposition, the success rate in those prosecutions was phenomenal, was it not? >> i do not have the exact number. but this was in the high 90% rate. >> if you >> if you could, i have been having trouble with this. can you tell me what has actually changed, from the time that these 300 bush administration cases were prosecuted, with the civilian courts, to the correct time, when we say that the civilian courts are inadequate were badly
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equipped, or incompetent and unable to do what it has already established a track record of doing? what has changed now other than the ascent of the counter party in power to that position? >> i've often asked myself that same question. they were silent when actions were taken by the bush administration previously. i will be to them to decide exactly what it is that has caused them to change their views when we have the consistent policy when it comes to the use of the federal criminal justice system to handle these cases. i do think that the party that
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is now making these determinations has changed is certainly a factor. >> if i might add a little commentary on to the back of that. i think it is another illustration and political as of the justice of fair play that i've come to expect during my 30 years as a lawyer. >> that is something that is extremely worrisome. i should think that the one place in which politics might not enter islamic talk about issues involving the national security -- not injured is when wealk about isss involving the national security.
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it should beomething that should unite is. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. >> they carried out attacks in the united states. arizona and the federal government tully fails to secure the border and as for the past laws to protect its own people. the law supported by 7% of the people in is te


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