tv Today in Washington CSPAN November 26, 2009 6:00am-8:00am EST
>> i believe as president obama believes that the rule of law should be a cornerstone for our national security policy. given the nature of the conflict when we promote the rule of law, when we promote the american people as a nation of laws, we promote national security. and i think military commission's reform is one example of that. but the rule of law, the work that we do, the work that we do with your support out there is very much consistent with national security, and promote national security given the nation of the conflict we have today. so that is sort of my daily reason for getting up in the
morning and doing what we do. and i look forward to your questions. thank you. >> at this point would have exactly 60 minutes left for discussion. i appreciate you sticking to the guidelines. the first question i would ask, there seems to be a theme across the presentation that deal with the constant sharing of information which usually reflects, thanks david for coming, the theme is that the problems that we confront have a horizontal like nature whether it is terrorism or cyber issues or potential biochemical threats. that these issues cut across our jurisdictions between the different cylinders of the way we have divided up our government, which has a 1947, sense of 1947 act. so the question is, do you think we need more legal authorities? are the reforms you would like
to see in order to make you more effective at this point in time? bob? >> well, the famous story that zhou enlai was asked when he thought the way the french revolution turns out, and he said it's too soon to tell. odni has been in existence now for about five years, maybe less i guess. it was created from my personal, and i will let the others speak for their own agencies, it was created from a series of compromises. we're still working out how it's going to work in practice. it may be that over time, it turns out that it needs additional authorities are somewhat different authorities that it has now, but i think, we are focusing on that but i think it is premature to make any final judgments on that. >> i think from my perspective, it's not so much a need for additional authorities as what's
been alluded to previously in terms of level of communication and collaboration among the agencies. we see it at a secretarial level on down, and particularly interagency lawyers group is a well functioning frequently leading and effective group for resolving issues across boundaries. and the better that interagency process works, the less need there is for example, legislation, in which there may be unintended consequences. >> i will echo that, and say that while we at homeland security are completing our quadrennial homeland security review, which is a legislatively
mandated review of everything from our core mission to how we organize and what our strategy is, which part of which does involve analysis of additional legislative authority that we may decide to pursue, but really, the hard i think, harvey, your point is that the relationships and the ability to collaborate and work together among the various components of the national security and intelligence entities is the key. i would highlight a couple of areas where there have been some active proposals out there. as i mentioned earlier in the cybersecurity area, there have been several bills that have not come out of committee yet. the senate, it is something we're looking at closely.
in addition, i mentioned immigration reforms. that is obviously an area where we believe additional legislative work is part of the president's agenda. information sharing, harvey, which is the issue you mentioned, is something we also are looking at to see whether or not additional clarity could be helpful. and into other areas that i haven't mentioned before. there is a statute that provides for chemical facility, anti-terrorism standards. the so-called cfs program. that is up for authorization and is in the works and is something that the department of homeland security believes is an important program to ensure that our chemical facilities, particularly the highest risk ones, have appropriate site security plans, and that those
plans are implemented in an appropriate way. and then lastly, an area that we haven't mentioned yet is the biosecurity. that area, bioterrorism and defense, preparedness, is an area that is relatively i would say not quite highest profile, but we have just gotten confirmation of our undersecretary for science and technology, the doctor is an expert in this area, and i think we will see some additional attention on that part of the threat screen. >> i guess i will get a slightly different answer. in terms of -- in answer to the question do we need additional legal authorities, i don't have any specific proposals and my. i don't have a legislative
agenda in mind. i do think, however, that in a lot of instances, the law needs to catch up with the reality, in terms of the threat we face and the technology we have. so often i look at existing legal authorities, the president out there, and it just doesn't fit. and we struggle as lawyers to try to make the president fit to try to make the existing language and the existing authorities they. and so often we have to pre-9/11 precedent for things. in the area of armed conflict. and it is very often difficult to try to fit it in to the current world situation and the current technology that we have, and that we are developing. and so i don't have any specific legislation to propose, nor are
we really developing any. but i do think we as lawyers need to try to come to a common understanding of how the existing authorities fit in the current environment. we could spend a lot of time doing that but i think it is something that we as national security lawyers need to do. >> harvey, i just want to go that and related what steve preston was saying earlier, which is in a lot of respects and were talking about issues having to do with the law and war and so on and the current environment we are trying to 21st century peg in a 19th century hole. i think one of the things the academic national security law committee can do to be helpful in that regard is trying to figure out ways in which we can actually make the whole appropriate for the 21st century and environment that we are facing now.
[inaudible] >> as a law professor who struggled to had even information for students to think and write, it's just not fair. i would encourage this administration to speak more openly. you gentlemen particularly when you make your speeches, i think should think about the publication and their release. this institution for years has done wonderful things about moving things into academia, but i submit that this administration almost needs a legal educational part. and you folks can do lots in that regard, but it is much more
dire, i think, mr. preston, then you even realize. and we cannot have sound policy unless there is another side that can be heard to be put into the equation. and it currently is not fair. thank you. >> do you want to respond? why do we wait for the microphone. >> i have a question. one second, sir. we will get the microphone. why did you identify who you will? >> i have a question for jay johnson. under the military commission act of 2006, it can be two provisions that limit to the jurisdiction of article iii courts. first, section 950 j. subsection b., provided that the article iii courts will not assert jurisdiction and military proceedings, except as otherwise authorized by statute. the second provision said the article iii courts can only
exercise jurisdiction following issuance of a final judgment reviewed by the authority. and final review by the courts of military commission view your several days ago i had the occasion to respond to a petition by a defendant here of course, i intend to grab -- >> i know which one you're talking about. >> and said no, there's no jurisdiction here but much to my surprise it was gone. can you explain that? [laughter] >> can i explain the disappearance of something and the law? well, maybe it is in steve's preston's inbox, i don't know. [laughter] >> well, we, the department of defense, the administration this round were focused on how to
reform the commissions process itself, less so on the jurisdiction provisions like the ones you mentioned. and so those types of provisions are something i think we need to take a look at, perhaps in the next legislative session. and it's something i know we need to come back to. what the hell, not only of the armed services committees, but the judiciary committees as well. but i would be interested to talk to you further about this particular delimit. >> one of the issues this raises, as you know, the idea that there may be a two track system. there would be one track for defendants that would go into article iii courts, and another track that would have defendants going into military commissions. and there's already been some criticism about the idea of the
dual track. and maybe you would like to address, the panel would like to address your understanding of why the dual track will make these an appropriate matter. >> i'm sorry, david had to leave because he had to comment on this as well. the protocol that we negotiated goes out of its way to say that commissions justice in article iii justice are intended for the, you know, battlefield context versus civilian setting. and the topline statement in the protocol is that there is a presumption that, where feasible, alleged terrorist will be brought to justice in article iii courts. there is a series of guidelines for a determined that case-by-case. of criticism which i believe our
reforms go along way to refuting is that somehow commissions are second class justice, and that people go to commissions because it is easier to obtain convictions they are. we have much more robust procedures in place in commissions to make them resemble ucmj, to make them resemble article iii. and our protocol talks about things like identity of the victims. so for example, if the identity of victims are largely military, that fact in and of itself would weigh in favor of a case being brought in a commissions, or the location of the offense and so forth. and so i think that as the decisions shakeout, both with respect to the existing cases and future cases, and there will be future cases that are brought, how we make those decisions will become very apparent. it will not be because somebody thought a conviction was easier to obtain in one form versus the
other. >> any other palis want to jump on that? >> let me engages in another historic issue that is always confronted us, title x, title 50 issues, covert action, what's the appropriate role of the military and what's the appropriate role of the agency. i was when it one of you gentlemen want to see that evolving over the next couple of years, the title x, title 50 issue. >> steve? [laughter] >> i couldn't agree more. [laughter] >> i think the president needs to have the flexibility to bring the entire car to the governme government. >> stephen, apparently your counsel answered the question. do you have anything to add? >> no, not really.
ivan has a lot to say. [laughter] >> ivan, we will get you involved in the mix. you asserted in your remarks how dhs has the lead in cyber. and as you know, the military is standing up a new cybercommand. how do you see the relationship of these two major entities now dealing with the cyber.gov, and .sys? >> very carefully. no, it's a great question because it is one that we are considering because of some earlier statements made, the current laws in this area don't really fit the current world in which we live. and so we have been engaged with the others here through the interagency process to clarify.
and i think, you know, that very high level answer is that of course the military networks and our ability to respond if attacked is sort of the classic military function. where as the day today preparedness and defense of the federal government network is something that the civilian agencies should be given responsibility and authority for. where you draw that line, of course, is a hard question. and it is one that is not only important, but very difficult given the different scenarios that can arise. so i think this is an area where more to come is really the
division, but i welcome thoughts. i would also echo i think it was bob who said that, you know, scholarship and academic commentary in this area, we need some of our best minds thinking about the future of the cyberthreat and how we as a country respond. >> let me try to elaborate a little bit more on an important question. when we have discussions about title x versus title 50, i think there is a tendency, just because we are who we are as a bureaucracy, to have -- this is not true of this administration, this is probably true down through, you know the ages, that as soon as you get into a discussion of title x versus title 50, a discussion can tend to be clouded by, you know, turf
issues. and i think that one of the things that we as lawyers have to do is to make sure that our legal judgments are not affected by turf issues, both our respective agencies and the congressional committees that provide the oversight. and i think, you know, i think we're doing a pretty good job in terms of making informed legal judgments that are not affected by such issues, but there is always room for improvement. and i think steve, bob, and i are committed to making sound objective legal judgments in this area. >> let's have some more questions from the audience. i see someone way in the back. if you can just announce you are and wait for the microphone.
>> barbara from mitre. my question is what are you doing on the issue of state secret and the prevention of cases going forward for people who might have been, had their rights violated by some of your agency's? >> well, i guess i will speak to that since dave is not here. he is showing his usual good sense of timing. at the odni does have responsibly as i said for protection of sources and methods. the fact of the matter is there are matters that require the invocation of a state secrets provision. it is a reality pic is been the case. the one thing that i continue since i've been on the job, there have been a number of instances in which it has been invoked. and each and everyone, each and every case there has been a careful ennobled look at what is the information that needs to be
protected, how damaging would it be if it came out. and there has been a careful and conscious decision that this is a matter on which we need to invoke the state secrets privilege. we -- we need a new set of procedures that requires, and i don't know the details of it but there is a very careful process with the department of justice going up to the attorney general himself. and so the answer to your question is there still going to be cases that come along where an individual rights comes up against the need to protect state secrets. that's just a function of the system. all i can do is tell you that starting from the president on down we have been instructed to be as transparent as we possibly can within the necessity of protecting national security information. >> if i could add to that. transparency in government is -- is one of the core issues for
this president, and we see the ending number of context. the new guidelines that bob alluded to are, again, this is an example of the inclusive process i talked about where it was something that didn't just pop out of the department of justice one day. it was something that we all at this table spent considerable time discussing before we came to a conclusion. i think the guidelines to promote transparency. they codify the process that the department of justice in collaboration with our agency's should go through before there is a state secrets. i think the guidelines do a good job of preserving the prerogatives of the original classification authority, while keeping the attorney general the authority to review the application of state secrets at his level. so i think it's a good process. >> the twin sister for the state secrets is suspension i bought
earlier in his presentation, which is the problem of links which has been to us since the old testament. so the issue becomes since links are becoming a focus and it appears that all administrations are victims of this particular way of communicating policy issues, can you guys elaborate about how your office of the general counsel of approaching the leak issue? >> well, from reiterate what i said before, i'm not going to front run what's going to be decided over the next couple of months, but i do think there is a focus on what ways we have outside of criminal prosecution trying to deter and prevent leaks. >> i would say for our part, we take very seriously the crimes reporting process.
leaks of classified information are criminal. when we detect and report them to the justice department, and are prepared to support justice in making prosecutorial decisions. you know, that said it is enormously difficult to make a case, criminal case, for a leak. and there are trade-offs with respect to the protection of sources and methods. there's nothing easy about it, but as i said for our part, it begins with making sure that the enforcement authorities are aware of the problem. >> ivan? >> i will just mention a somewhat tangential point, but relevant to the leak issue that i had some exposure to, which is recent proposals on a media shield law. this is something that the administration has spent a lot of time working on and balancing
the need to ensure free press with the need to protect sensitive or classified information. i think where we landed does strike a good balance, a good compromise. it does require courts to engage in some degree of balancing which, you know, we traditionally do a signed accords. but on the other hand, doesn't allow the government protect its interests. again, without going into great detail, that's an example of the administration's commitment to both transparency as well as the vitally important need to protect sources, methods and others intelligence gathering and related information.
>> jeh, i think your department had a few issues with this recently? >> well, leaks really do come down to me. i have now lived in this administration long enough to see it happen with respect to things that i was personally involved in that all of a sudden show up in the newspaper the next day, or you know, on tv the very day that, you do, i was involved in the discussion of it. and there are different motives obviously, the person talks to the media because he perceives it to be in his agencies or administrations strategic advantage. there is the sort of inadvertent leak where somebody was assured by the report or it was only going to go in my book two years from now, and you give the reporter something really interesting and you see that he just feels compelled to put in the newspaper the next day. i mean, i am amazed that
somebody could be lulled into the sense. i'm telling a journalist something that is going to report to your setup in his book so i don't have to worry about it laking tomorrow. and then there are what are timi inexcusable in all circumstances repeating outside of government classified evidence. when you leak classified evidence you are breaking the law. and to me i just don't understand why it seems to happen as much as it does. there is a sense that we over classify or something, but you leak classified information you are obviously breaking the law and something i know secretary gates and gets very upset about. as attorneys, we have an additional professional responsibility to not repeat internal deliberations and things that we see from our clients and things that we share
with our clients, which provides, you know, with the legal community eight additional layer of obligation in my judgment. and that's something that i constantly remind our people and the private sector, we live without all time. in the government sector every once in a while i feel like we need to reiterate that principle. those are my observations. >> let's take some more questions. i see in the back. >> i am tan with the associate press and happy recipient of any leaks you all would like to render my way. [laughter] >> in the fort hood shooting case we are now seem to be in the blame part of this. and as we're looking at all this coming out, i am wondering if there were any legal opportunities to do anything? it seems everything i have seen bumps up against first amendment right, speech, religion,
employment. and i'm wondering if looking at that philosophically, there are any opportunities or need for changes in domestic law that might have given the government some more flexibility to do something. one of the things that keeps getting brought up to me particularly given my focus, which is intelligence, is that there was no evidence that he was an agent of a foreign power. he was severely limited of what the u.s. or the army could do. >> i think the panelists are constrained in what they can say in response because of an ongoing case. if any of the pain of us want to generate respond? >> i would rather not respond on fort hood. >> okay. [laughter] >> do we have some more questions, perhaps not that particular issue at that point. why don't you wait for the microphone? >> i am from new york. if i may, recently we have
learned that the pakistanis move their warheads underground in tunnels in different pieces in order to keep them on the indians security agencies. and probably hours. what do we do about these control of these warheads, and who is in charge among you? and what are the implications in the international? >> thank you. it is probably a proliferation issue in how you guys are responding. >> i thank the gentleman raises an important question. my agency is not in the policy business. i am not going to be able to answer those questions for you, but perhaps the others will. >> stephen is not going to say that, i'm not going to say anything. [laughter]
>> ditto. >> ivan, i assume you will join the ranks? >> psychic. >> let's think about the question that you may want to address, or liberation is a major issue for the administration and a major issue that is a national security problem. how do you see at this point from your perspectives how we are going about with the international conventions, and for dealing with the problem of getting our hands around this? bob. >> i think i would echo what stephen just said, which is it's not really an intelligence issue. it is a policy issue and i think it is important to preserve the distinction between intelligence and policy here. there is within the odni at national center that is
responsible for trying to coordinate the collection analysis and dissemination of intelligence in this area. but the policy is made different spirit there is also the nie, that is a part of the process of the intelligence community. and previously administrations have made these public which is rather unusual phenomenon to make them public. so i guess the question is how do you see the role, stephen, on the nie process of how this administration will approach it? >> well, again, the nie is are the product of national intelligence council which again is housed within odni. and obviously, the goal here is to produce the most comprehensive and objective analytical product that you can come up with. i think in many instances, that product is going to be better on a classified basis than an on
unclassified basis. but i think it is an issue that has to be addressed more or less case-by-case. >> that raises about the value balance transparency with appropriate secret is that any state government needs, which i think all four of you are constantly involved in, creating that balance. more questions. vince, why do we have vince pauly? >> thanks. events from detroit. a question about civilian industries role-and frankly were talking about defending against cybersecurity threats to military to the government, what about the industry, and maybe this is for bob. industries role is protecting and industries role as a partner. >> let me start. before i do that, i want to go back to the prior question about international partnerships for a moment, and say that secretary
napolitano has made it clear that she believes that international partnerships are critical to our success in defending and protecting the american public. she actually just returned from a trip to madrid, i think brussels and uae and other parts of the world, where she talked about the shared responsibility that we have to protect our people, and the common threat that we face. so i think that is an area where there is much work to be done, but a clear commitment to work with our international counterparts to share information, to collaborate on scientific research in support of homeland security. we have in the last few months
finished negotiating a number of bilateral agreements on scientific and technology exchanges and collaboration. so i believe it is the strength that we should certainly take advantage of. vince, your question on what private industry can do is write in our sweet spot i think because we do have a significant effort outreach to the private sector within the department of homeland security, in particular with respect to critical infrastructure, our electronic grade, our water systems, our financial services, industry, and of course our cyber networks. is a challenge, our role as a coordinator is often one that means we arethe cheerleader in
chief but really don't have the kind of authority that i think some would say we need. i think we believe that a potential avenue is sort of a voluntary standard-setting role. we have recently, for example, rolled out private sector preparation, certification process where we have borrowed best practices from a number of certification agencies, international agencies. and if private industry adheres to those standards, then there will be a certification process which i think can be very helpful in establishing baseline norms for emergency preparedne preparedness. there was something called the safety act that was passed that
encourages the development of qualified anti-terrorism technology. and if it is so certified, entities receive liability protection. i mentioned earlier the chemical facility, anti-terrorism standards is another way for the department of homeland security to ensure that high-risk chemical facilities are well protected. and as i said, the work that we are doing in the bioterrorism effort is another example of our interaction and support for and coordination in this area. but it is a challenge, and i hope that as you advise your client in the private bar, that you keep in mind the importance of ensuring that this is a shared responsibility. and that all of us, you know,
not just state and local, not just we as individual citizens, but the private sector has a very important and necessary role to play to ensure that we are prepared. >> i guess what i would add to ivins a very thoughtful answer is within the department of defense, there is a clear recognition. you talk about cyber specifically that we need to work with the private industry, both as partner and as protectee. and this may be an example of what i was referring to earlier when i said that we have to consider whether the legal authorities need to catch up with the technology and reality of the threat we face.
>> suzanne. at the risk of putting you guys on a spot in an area where you're clearly a little uncountable i'm going to drag us back to the title x, title 50 debate. because i think it's really important to understand the sensitivity with regard to the facts in which this debate comes up. that we nevertheless have some sense of the way in which the law is being looked at by the lawyers who are interpreting it. and jeh, i appreciate your effort to come back to that, but as i understand it, one of the key issues that comes up in this debate between whether you're operating under title 50 which of course is fundamental is that gnashes a good act and intelligence authority for the intelligence community, and title x which is the legal authority for the military, comes up in this context of covert actions would have a very carefully laid out oversight regime in title v of the national safety act, to govern
covert action and ensure that in both the executive branch and in congress that is very careful oversight of that. the definition of covert action of course contains an exemption, an exception for traditional military activities. and so my question to you is if you can share a little more with us about how you lawyers and you are working with this law day in and day out interpret the exception, and if in fact that is a key aspect of the debate between which authorities you are operating under. and whether you are confident that there is sufficient oversight and if you're operating under that exception. >> suzanne, let me try to answer it this way. in looking at whether something constitutes traditional military activities, my first instinct is to use the commonsense test
which is i know it when i see it. but i realize it is more sophisticated than that, and i think what i have tried to encourage our lawyers to do, and what i think we are trying to do in the inner agency, and i think that there is some support for this, and various reports over the years is to focus on the nature of the objective of what you are trying to achieve, rather than a particular technology of which you are achieving it. but there again, i think there needs to be commonsense application of that principle. but i think that is generally how we have tried to look at what constitute traditional military activity in the modern-day context. i recognize that there are exceptions, but that's generally how i try to approach it but i think there is some legal support for that.
>> let me add this. it is not as if title x versus title 50 issue comes up often. i mean, i am four plus months in a job and i can tell you it is not -- it's not a continuous or everyday issue. what is continuous and everyday is in everything we do at d.o.d. or with the agencies is a first question is what's your legal authority. the second question is what color is the money that's going to pay for it. but each agency has its own responsibilities to ensure that its operating within its authorities. i think that going something bob said earlier, both title x and title 50 provide a great latitude of action for the president, and the debate most often in my experience in the inner agency is not so much
focused on mutually exclusive authorities or turf, but on optimizing the tools of american policy that the president chooses to employ. >> this issue also sort of a sister issue, and the senator issue is a great deal of our structure, distinctions between citizens and noncitizens before they unleash a certain level of power that we can use and investigative techniques. a recent case the road that issue of citizen and noncitizen for the purposes of habeas petition's. how do you gentlemen see this very court issue of how your authorities go from the citizens versus non-citizenship? are you happy that we should continue this, or do you see that there is room for thinking through new approach given the 21st century and the problems that we have?
bob? >> i will let david kris answer that question. i mean, there is always room for thinking, thinking through new approaches. i think for example in the area of intelligence sharing there is always been a sense that the constitution provides greater protection to u.s. persons, and that there are legitimate legal consequences that flow from that. so i think that as we work through these issues, there are these fundamental legal precepts that constrain our ability to treat noncitizens and citizens in exactly the same way. >> i don't think i have anything to add to that. >> ivan, as you know there are a number of jurisdictions been writing about, thinking about the movement of people, mobility. people mobility and how people are citizens or non-citizens and what it means for the border and that is sort of a 2.0 sense of
thinking, we should be much more forward-looking. what is your sense of how your agency is thinking about it? >> i would say we have a slightly different respective. i think it is true that in many areas of the law there are distinctions made between the protections that are afforded citizens and others here lawfully. you know, in many other areas we take the position that we will err on the side of treating all persons in a similar way, and so while sometimes it's not always a bright line, there are instances in which you can tell are no quickly and to err on the side of provide protections to
all persons coming across our border, for example, is i think the prudent response. i also want to highlight sort of a particular challenge, which the secretary has been on record as observing the existence of violent extremism within the united states. and i think that does pose particular issues with respect to the issue of citizens and noncitizens. so i like that issue as another area which we work with the other law enforcement intelligence agencies is a very difficult set of issues also raising questions of authority. >> if i could add to this, on
this question. in general, if you had asked me that a year ago i would have said that i think that we need bright line rules, explainable to our clients, to our intelligence clyde scott our military community clients, and i think i do believe that. in general, i am a believer in, you know, bright line rules versus three or four part test that one has to try to apply in each instance, which inevitably requires lots of lawyers time. but i recognize that very often the issues are more complex than that but that is where the reception i start from. spiritless takes a more questions. i see we have a bunch of hands over there. >> good morning. my question is primarily for
mr. johnson. >> can you again about your? >> patrick o'malley, university of baltimore school of law. mr. johnson, start out with two premises one is the point of the law is to make more and more humane. the second premise the point of detention is to remove enemies from the battlefield. my question is do you believe that a commissions process that rewards noncitizen combatants operating outside the law but with constitutional rights is making the war in afghanistan more humane? in other words, does this process encourage our soldiers and marines to take more prisoners or does it encourage them to adopt, say, a less litigious alternative when given the course? and i have a follow-up, if permitted. >> i am emphatic in my beliefs and in my constant statements to people within the pentagon, my clients, that the essential
function of the military is to capture, kill, engage the enemy. and that nothing david kris or i do know legislative reform of commissions should affect how we behave at the point of capture. the role of the military is to capture and engage the enemy. it is not evidence collection. it is not law enforcement. and there was over the summer this rumor that somehow got started that gain a lot of traction in congress actually, that members of the military overseas and deployed areas were reading miranda rights to detainees. and i had to write letter after letter to committee chairman after committee chairman say no, members of the military are not reading miranda rights to detainees. that is not the role of the
military. and so i think it is important to bring alleged terrorist to justice. i think it is important that certain detainees be brought to justice, but that should not change the role of the military at the outset of the process. >> first of all, back in world war ii, there was a situation of pearl harbor that chief naval operation officer and a jag officer said should the admiral requesting, the navy was honorbound to convene a court-martial. and then under harry truman he said if even one american has done nothing wrong is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all americans are in peril.
on may 14 this year, there was a government oversight and formed a committee and deputy attorney general bayh spoke basically rephrasing of harry truman's words with regard to whistleblower protections, including whistleblowers in the intelligence community. the first objective of whistleblowers is to have trial by jury, so could you make some comment in regard to whistleblower protections for cases where whistleblowers, like a national decision directive 221 of 16 april, 1986, which has been declassified, where the navy was not obeying the presidential directive and you have a whistleblower who reports that. >> thank you. do you guys want to approach the whistleblower issue? >> i can offer a general comment. i can't speak to the navy and
admiral more broadly. we have in place -- speed used to be general counsel of the navy. yet you can. >> i lost that commission. i was not counsel in 1945. [laughter] >> i think whistleblower protections are important. they are in place in the intelligence community as perhaps bob could address current abutments there. i think one difference is whistleblowing is not licensed to ignore methods. it's not licensed to fail to safeguard classified information. so we have particular procedures in place to ensure that alleged wrongdoing is brought, can be brought to the attention of the authorities through multiple channels. what we need to do in a fashion that does not do violence to state secrets.
>> steve said more or less what i would've said on that. >> we are sort of winding down. i would like to give the panelists an opportunity if there are any issues or statements or views they would like to at this point come forward with. >> i will just say, i think the last time i was at this event, it was much smaller. it was much more inside baseball, and i am just delighted to see that it has grown to be the size and type of conference that it is. it's been my pleasure to be here, and i hope to be in and out. and i look forward to talking to folks in formally. >> thanks. >> i wanted to remind the audience of what i think is a bit of a hidden challenge that we all faced, which is the risk
of complacency as we get farther from the 9/11 events and its memories, i think it becomes increasingly difficult to ensure that we and the american public remain vigilant and focused on being prepared. i know that the men and women of each of the agencies represented here spend their days and nights doing their jobs and going above and beyond, but it is a vitally important that we not spread fear, but that we ensure that the lessons learned and the preparedness that is the shared responsibilities that i mentioned remain a focus for private industry a core
competency that people do engage in planning for disasters and other crises. that exercises are held so that your companies and others know what to do in the event of a crisis. veteran leadership is aware of contingency plans and business continuity plans, that you have ways to ensure that your people, your assets are protected and you have thought about whether, for example, whether you will shelter place or evacuate. these are all things that i think we have learned, and yet as time goes on, can become less on the front burner. and so i would just want to remind all of you that part of i think what we would like to
communicate is that we must remain vigilant and not to let our guard down. because as we well know, the threats remain and they are very serious. so i appreciate this opportunity, and also i want to thank the panel for really a great conversation. i think it's on some very important issues. >> in closing, i think what comes to mind for me is our men and women in uniform. yesterday was veterans day. i am sure there are a number of veterans here in the audience. as i do my job, this is my second go round in the department of defense. i am constantly impressed by the sacrifice that our men and women in uniform are willing to make under circumstances that those of us in the bar here in the
united states would find extraordinary. when i was in afghanistan just to try to bring it closer to home, i visited a number of our jag offices there, and i will never forget visiting one jag office in one of our bases. and the staff judge advocate had no windows, and the reason had no windows was because they were boarded up, the reason they were boarded up was because a suicide bomb had just gone off within feet of our law office there a couple of days before. and when i was there, i asked all of our lawyers there, is there anything that you need, is there anything that i as the general counsel of the defense department can do to try to help support your mission here? and i try to make a more concrete. i said are you having trouble meeting the requirements here? [laughter] >> anything. is your local bar giving you a hard time, no, we're fine, sir.
we are fine. and these young men and women are working 18 hours a day. and they are not making what first year associate at paul weitz makes. i'm not making what first year associate makes. [laughter] >> and i constantly come back to that. when i visit walter reed and i see a triple amputee, these people very often ask me how soon can i get back to iraq. or do you think the fact that i lost both legs will affect my ability to get a head command. so that constantly highlights the sacrifice these people make for us. >> i just want, jeh commented about the fact that you may have all noticed that everybody on this panel here gave up a job in the private sector to come to government. we're all making a lot less than work, but it is interesting i think that each of us has had prior government service, went out to the private sector and came back to the government.
i think that indicates the tremendous rewards and satisfaction that what gets from public service. it outweighs the financial rewards that you're getting a. so for all of you who are out there, the young lawyers who are considering careers, i would just be that in many respects the most aggravating and typical day in government service is better than the best in private practice. i urge you all to consider government service as a career. >> okay. thank you. let me say quite honestly, thank all of you for your service. i think the administration is extraordinarily well served having to be able to attract the four, really five of the. and i say from personal expense, it is surely something that you are sacrificing for your families in order to do public service like this. i don't think you are thinking of and we can't show you enough appreciation. i also want to thank c-span,
because you now will be superstars at the 2 a.m. group, and you can, jeh, look forward to becoming even more well known inside the community. i want you all to notice, there is a coparent if you're associated with the committee, you somehow become a general counsel at a major institution inside the bureaucracy. i urge people to join the community and thank you all for participating. i can't thank you enough. we are exactly on schedule. the youth panel will be followed by suzanne's panels and updates on the security law. we will take 15 minutes. i want to thank you all for your questions and your patience. let's give a round of applause appeared. up here. [applause] . .