tv Washington This Week CSPAN February 4, 2012 10:00am-2:00pm EST
>> secretary of state hillary clinton and other diplomats tuesday urged the numplt security council to support a draft resolution by the arab league on syria. it calls for the president to step aside as part of an effort to resolve the political crisis in the country. two arab league representatives described the situation in syria where thousands have died during a year of political upheavel and violence. two permanent members of the council russia and china vowed to oppose the arab league proposal. this is about two hours and 20 minutes.
>> in the name of god the merciful allow me to congratulate your excellencey on assuming the presidency of the security council. i express to you and to members of the counsel our thanks and gratitude for convening this meeting to allow it to carry out the mission to which we were interested. mr. president, the council of minister of the league of arab states adopted its resolution in a meeting held on the 22nd of january requested i say that i in my capacity as chairman on syria and his excellencey, the secretary general of the league of arab states brief the security council of the plan adopted under that resolution and to request the security
council to endorse the said plan as adopted by the league of arab states council. mr. president, at the outset i would like to stress that our first and ultimate goal is to serve the interests of syria which requires the protection of syria's sovereignty, political independence, and territorial integrity and ensuring its stability. likewise, we stress the importance of ensuring the solidarity and unity of the syrian people. the harmony among its various components and the sexoneents of its groups with its unique social fabric and intellectual and civil authenticity syria is dear to the hearts of all aracks and i'm addressing you today to inform you of the resolution taken by the league of all arabs. we meach under the watchful eye of thousands of wounded, detainees, young children, elderly and women who continue
to hope that they would gain the support of the security council so that they would live a decent free life that would be based on rights, justice, and good governance. realizing the hopes of the southeastern people is in your hands. it is part of your responsibility under the charter. in fact we are entrusted with such a responsibility by virtue of our humanitarian responsibility. at the league of arab states we have worked diligently, patiently, and responsibly, to find solutions that would help us arrive at a peaceful settlement. >> on 27 august, 2011, the league of arab states adopted an initiative aiming at ending violence engaging in an inclusive national dialogue with the opposition to prevent the deterioration of the situation and introducing reforms in a secure and
controlled environment. the provisions of the initiative and mechanisms were balanced, transparent, and objective and it was the only way to achieve a peaceful settlement of the crisis through the said objectives. on october 26, 2011, the league of arab states reiterated in its extraordinary session held in kire i've, the arab position in resolution that called for an immediate and comprehensive end to acts of violence and killing elimination of armed elements rejection of security-based solution in a bid to avoid qurtsdzer casualties and exassbation among the various components of the syrian people and to preserve the national peace and protection of civilians as well as the unity of the fabric of the syrian people.
the resolution called to establish during the session an arab ministerial committee whose mandate was to lee yaze with the leadership to stop all acts of violence. it included sudan and egypt to get in contact with the syrian parties to put an end to all military presence and start a dialogue between the syrian people and the opposition to implement political reforms that respond to the aspirations of the syrian people. the resolution called also for necessary contacts with the syrian government and the opposition to start convening an inclusive national dialogue conference at the league of arab states under its auspices to legalize the legal aspirations of the syrian people. on october 26, 2011, the ministerial committee held discussions in damascus with
the president. in a meeleding held with the syrian side in do hah in 30 october 2011, the committee agreed on a plan of action that was welcomed in the extraordinary resumed meeting of the league of arab states held at the ministerial level at the headquarters on 2 november 2011. this agreement was welcomed. then it was annesmed to the resolution. they planned the following. one, to end all acts of violence commit bid all sources. to protect the lives of syrian citizens. two, to free detainees held as a result of the current events. three, to withdraw all military elements from cities and residential neighborhoods. fourth, provide relevant league of arab state agencies and arab and international media free access throughout syria in
order to report on the developments there and monitor the situation. the plan called on the ministerial committee to con duct concrete progress made by the syrian government in meeting its commiments, necessary contacts and consultations with the government and various parties of the syrian opposition to conduct resolution within two weeks of the date of the resolution. unfortunately, the syrian government did not fully and immediately meet its commitments. to the league of arab states initiative which was adopted on 2 november. consequently the ministerial council decided on 12 november 2011 to adopt a host of measures including imposing economic and political sanctions on the syrian government and calling all of
the opposition factions to meet in the -- in cairo in the league of arab states to agree on the upcoming stage. in that meeting, and after the idea of dispatching an observer mission to syria, not to give any side the opportunity to gain time but only to put an end to the blood-letting and to the violence, the league of arab states accepted the protocol on the legal status of the mission which was entrusted with investigating the implementation of the arab plan to resolve the crisis and to provide protection to civilians 's failier by the syrian government to sign the protocol or any violation of the provisions including ending acts of violence and the release of the detainees, the economic and social council of the league of arab states would then be looking into imposing
economic sanctions. this resolution was communicated to the secretary general of the league of arab -- of the united nations and requested him to take necessary actions in accordance with the charter in support of the league of arab states' efforts. on 27 november, 2011, the league of arab states ministerial council adopted a package of sanctions including halting all flights to syria in a way that would not affect the syrian people. the committee agreed in its meeting in do har in december 3, 2011 on the details of the sanctions and the relevant action. it is worth mentioning here that the arab ministerial committee continued its meetings aimed at following the developments of the syrian situation it met in do hah on 17 november and in cairo on january 2012. despite all of the these efforts including contacts with the syrian government, the
syrian side resorted to introducing one amendment after another to the draft protocol and asking all kinds of questions to which the league of arab states did provide answers and clarifications this lasted for over a month. it was clear that the syrian objective was to resort to stalling and provocation in order to evade responsibilities and implementing commitments which reflected a lack of political will by the syrian government to sign the protocol and implementing the provisions of the arab plan. once the barrier came down and the people started defending themselves in the face of acts of military and security oppression, the syrian government signed the protocol on 19 december, 2011. immediately thereafter, the arab observer mission the first kind -- the first experience of its kind in the history of the
league of arab states was dispatched. it is not to be exclude that had the purpose of the syrian government from signing the protocol is to enforce the military solution under the cover of commitment to the protocol. the fact of the matter is that the syrian government failed to gcombplement major provisions of the protocol notably those related to the immediate implementation of the arab plan of action that it agreed to. i wanted to present this brief about the arab efforts while i fully know that you have followed up the developments of the syrian crisis so that the council would understand the reasons that prompted arab states to adopt the decisions to which we brought your attention. in a recent meeting by the ministerial committee on the 22nd of january a comprehensive review was conducted to the
tasks accomplished by the observer mission based on its findings that meeting adopted unanimously a resolution that included an initiative in endorsed by all in a time for a peaceful settlement of the syrian crisis, a plan that could be accepted and implemented by all parties in good faith and without stalling. the said resolution has been circulated to all members of the council. such a plan constitutes a roadmap that is consistent with the charter of the unite nations to find a political and democratic solution to the crisis aimed at being a peaceful transition and turnover of power. it provides for the formation of a national unity government within two weeks chaired by mutually agreed figure that includes the opposition, one of its tasks would be to prepare for free and plurel stick
parliamentary elections under a law that stipulates conducting such elections under supervision. the resolution extend today rab observer mission mandate by one month despite the league of arab states announced on 28 january the suspension of the observers' mission pending review of the matter by the council due to the serious situation of the result of the escalation of the security option. mr. president, the league of arab states began discussing the syrian crisis six months after it started. we came to you here having tried for five additional months to hope that -- to push the syrian government to find a solution to the crisis with its own people based on the league of arab states' resolutions. in our efforts, preserving the unity and stability of syria as an important member of the arab family. our efforts and initiatives, however, have been all useless
because the syrian government failed to make any sincere effort to cooperate with us and unfortunately the only solution available to it was to kill its own people. the fact of the matter is that blood shode continued and the killing machine is still at work. violence spreads. this approach has become clear by declarations made by the syrian minister of foreign affairs in the press conference of the 24th of january. after rid cueling the league of arab states' plan. and qualified it as an invitation to internationalization, he confirmed his syrian government's rejection of the arab plan and declared that the security-based solution was a necessity imposed by the situation on the ground. the important question to be asked at this stage is, what would be the solution for a people being slaughtered?
the syrian government invokes the violence committed by armed groups. could it not be that they are defending themselves after months of killing, detention, and torture? could any leadership continue to rule against the rule of its own people that calls for reform? we must not forget that the crisis we talked about started in absolutely peaceful demonstrations by unarmed citizens calling for rights guaranteed by international covenants. these have been faced with live munition, heavy machine guns, and flagrant violations of human rights. the syrian regime is promoting the agenda of a hidden agenda. this is null and void because it portrays the events in syria that have been the result of government policy. more than thousands of people
have died and many detainees still are in prisons. government-killing machine continues effectively unabated. mourning funeral processions have sadly become scenes of massacres. children's' schools have been transformed into military headquarters. even houses of worship have not been spared. such oppression has reached unimaginable proportions when throats and voice boxes of chanters have been pulled out that is what the killers did in hama. fingers of pro-freedoms have been broken. you may well know that the human rights council adopted three resolutions in its 16, 17, and 18th session that is strongly condemned syria because of the flagrant and system stick violations committed by syrian forces that may rise to become crimes against humanity.
in its resolution, 6/176 of 19 december, the general assembly condemned with a vast majority the continuation by syrian authorities of their serious and systematic violations of human rights. the secretary general of the united nations called on the security council to assume its responsibilities and adopt a unified position vis-a-vis the crisis. the killing in syria reached a level at which the united nations declared it was not able to count the vict victims that have fallen, the numbers of whom have reached thousands. a few days ago, unicef confirmed that the death toll among children killed in syria exceeded 384. i do not believe that anyone would exempt such a number even if it were to be called collateral damage. i don't believe that any of
these children was a member of an armed terrorist group. the council may well know that human rights organizations such as amnesty international and human rights watch have condemned acts of oppression commitd by the syrian regime against civilians. they have called on the international criminal court to investigate the perpetrated crimes. the international commission of inquiry cited in the fourth issue in geneva that the security forces have committed crimes against humanity. they reported extra judicial killings, arbitrary detentions, forced disappearances, and torture, some of which were carried out in conjunction with sexual violence. mr. president, the security
council took landmark position in supporting us at the national level in an attempt to find solutions in darfur, or at the league of arab states level in the war of lebanon and the war of gaza. we look forward in the same spirit to your council to adopt a positive position by supporting the arab initiative on the syrian crisis. let me recall here that in the past i came to you with a solution to the lebanese crisis that did justice to the occupied lebanese lands. subsequently we embarked in the reconciliation process. today, we come to your council asking that you assume your responsibilities under the charter of the united nations to address the humanitarian tragedy that is unfolding in syria by adopting a clear resolution supporting the latest arab initiative adopted in the league of arab states.
in cairo on 22 jandry 2012 to which i have earlier referred. we also call on the council to undertake all measures based on the resolutions of the league of arab states. specifically economic resolutions and travel ban to syria. we are not calling for a military intervention. we are advocating the adoption of economic pressure to bring the syrian regime to understand that it cannot avoid the demand -- meeting the demands of its people. we are not after a regime change because this is a matter that we believe the syrian people should decide. the continuation of the current situation is a threat to the entire region and that might lead to serious rep cushions unless we remedy the situation in a serious and effective matter. we in the league of arab states made sincere efforts to find a solution to the crisis and hope that the syrian regime would be
wise enough to realize that its approach to governance has become obsleet. consequently, and since the syrian regime has continued adopting an approach that flies in the face of today's logic and that of the international community, we could not but resort to a rational solution to the crisis contained in the plan that we have presented to your council. we hope that we might gain your support. this is why we hope to do justice, desperation of the syrian people, their aspirations to freedom and establishing good governance. we call on the council to adopt the resolution adopted otherwise we would be sending a wrong message to the syrian regime that encourages it to continue oppressing its people, which might have serious consequences for peace and security in syria and the whole region. thank you.
>> i thank you for your briefing. i now give the floor to his excellencey, secretary general of the league of arab leagues. you have the floor. allow me, sir, to thank you and the members of the security council for your invitation for me to participate in this important meeting. mr. president, the security council conveens today at a time when events in syria are spiraling dangerously. this requires that international efforts be concerted with arab efforts for a rapid and decisive action. first, to ensure immediate cessation of violence in protection of the syrian
people. and secondly, to begin as soon as possible the implementation of the roadmap for a peaceful political solution that rids syria of its grinding crisis and realizes the aspirations of the syrian people for change and reform, a move to a peaceful democratic life where the syrian people in all its segments enjoys dignity as called upon by every arab country. the situation is ever more grave and urgent in light of the security escalation that syria has witnessed that the last few days the sheling, firing, and counter shelling and filing that has felled many innocent civilians following the syrian government's clear resort to an escalation of the
security option in full contradiction with the commitments that it took upon in the arab plan as well as the protocol signed by the syrian arab republic and the league of arab states on the mandate of the observer mission of the league in syria. we therefore believe that the first priority now is for the security council to adopt a resolution demanding that all parties -- i repeat, all parties -- immediately cease fire, protect syrians and support the arab plan towards a peaceful political settlement of the crisis. today's meeting has been convened in comcombplementation of article 52 of the charter of the united nations and i quote in english, encourage the development of a specific assessment of local disputes
through such regional arrangements or agencies either on the initiative of the states concerned or from the security council. it is in this very context that the league of arab states has come to the security council. i should like to thank you for having so quickly responded to the request from the league of arab states to inform your council on the outlines of the arab demarsh. the issue has been put forward in detail by his excellencey, the prime minister of cator and i shall attempt to be brief. the latest decision taken by the league was on january 22nd. on roadmap for peaceful settlement of the syrian crisis. i should like, before taking up the details of our initiative,
to stress some of the fundamental principles of the arab demarsh. one, the fundamental objective of our objective is an immediate cessation of all acts of violence and killing against syrian civilians as well as the realization of the aspirations and demands of the syrian people. demands for economic social and political change, a move towards a correct political life in true democratsy where all fundamental rights are maintained as well as the peaceful organization of power. second, arab states aim at taking up the syrian crisis in an arab context. we are attempting to avoid any foreign intervention. particularly military intervention. three, the arab endeavor preseeds from the need for a peaceful political settlement and as i have stated a
rejection of any military intervention. four, all the resolutions of the league of arab states, all the leagues' resolutions have always stressed full respect of the security sovereignty territorial integrity and the unity of the syrian people. we therefore the objective for the security council to support our initiative, not to take its place. the arab plan is the fundamental mechanism for a peaceful settlement of the syrian crisis with international support and agreement from the security council. mr. president, in its approach to taking up the syrian crisis, we have taken up two pillars. one, immediate action for an immediate cessation of all acts
of violence and killing against the syrian people while at the same time main taining the right of the syrian people to expression by peaceful demonstration and for the syrian security forces not to confront the demonstrations. second, a roadmap leading to a peaceful political settlement of the crisis through a national dialogue that includes all parties, all sects, all current and all segments of syrian society in order to achieve and realize the aspirations of the syrian people for a life of true democracy. in fulfilling that endeavor, the league, since july 2011, took several movers and put forward the number of initiatives to the syrian leadership, the most important being on the 27th of august of last year and mandated by the council of the league i handed
that proposal to the syrian leadership on 10 september of last year. thereafter, a ministerial arab committee mandated again by the council of the league visited damascus and met with the syrian leadership on the 26th of october last year. based on that initiative and those contacts the arab action plan took shape, the syrian government promised to implement it. it was thereafter adopted by the council of the league on november 2 of last year. the plan includes "first, the syrian government is to put an end to all acts of violence from whatever source to protect the syrian citizens. two, the release of detainees during and because of the current events. three, withdrawal of all armed elements from all cities and
urban centers. four, opening the door to all institutions of the league as well as arab international media to move freely in syria in order to ascertain facts on the ground and monitor such events. second, with impleltation by the syrian government of its commitments, the ministerial committee of the arab league would undertake contacts and necessary consultations with the government and all parties of the syrian opposition in order to hold a national dialogue conference two weeks following that date. ." in order to asquern implementation of the syrian government of its commitments according to the plan, the league drew up a protocol that represents the legal context for the observer mission, observers were dispatched from all arab states and
institutions. it began to deploy in syria starting on december 24 of last year. it continued to deploy to all areas where demonstrations took place in syria. the head of the mission presented his first technical field report covering the period from 24 december, the date that the team reached damascus to 18 january of this year. this was the report that was conveyed to the secretary general of the united nations on the 22nd of this month in order to inform him of the situation on the ground and cooperation between two organizations. the council of the league decided, in light of the conclusions of the report, that indeed partial progress had been made in implementing some implementations taken on by the syrian government. however, progress was incomplete and therefore
insufficient. it was not what was required or indeed what was wanted. the resolutions of the league, the protocol itself speak of immediate complete cessation of acts of violence, a release of all detainees, withdrawal of all armed elements from cities and opening the doors to arab and international media without hindrance. i should like in this context to take up some fundamental points in the report in order to put it in its correct temporal and political context. one, the syrian government ought to have satisfied all its commitments before the arrival of the monitors so that the mission would merely verify such implementation. however, since it did not fully
implement its commitments, the task of the team on the ground had to change. the team sought to demand full and immediate implementation from the syrian government. it also sought to confront some humanitarian situations. painful situations. situations that could not be ignored even though they fell outside the teams' mandate. they brought some food to some areas. they recorded the testimony of some citizens on some violations of human rights committed against them or indeed helped in the exchange of bodies of the fallen. two, the report covers a limited short period of time. the report does not take up the previous nine months before the arrival of the team to syria or
indeed the events that had been taking place ever since march 15 of last year until the 24th of december of last year when they arrived. during that period, many events took place, many violations took place. the team could not take up that was outside their mandate. this was not required from the mission. this must always be taken into conversation when assessing and evaluating the performance of the team. three, the task of the mission was very specific. indeed, very difficult and complicated. never in the past has the prime minister stated, never in the past was a team of civilian observers dispatched to a state facing escalating civilian demonstrations calling for the
change and fall of a regime. they were dispatched to ascertain that the government of that state was implementing its commitments to cease violence and killing withdraw armed elements from cities and urban centers. at the same time, it must be clearly stated that the mandate of the mission was to ascertain implementation by the syrian government of its commitments and not -- i repeat, not reach a disengagement or a truce between warring parties which is usually the case when monitors or missions are dispatched by the united nations to any conflict area in the world. four, the most important item in the mission's report is an excessive use of force by the security forces of syria since last march which led to a
reaction by demonstrating citizens or opposition elements. paragraph 71 and 74 from the report stated that there is a situation of explosive attention, oppression, and injustice meted syrian citizens. the opposition then resorted to bearing arms because of the excessive use of force by government forces since last march. this is a direct quote from the report. five, despite the presence of observers on the ground, this did not lead to an immediate and full respect by syrian forces of their promises. despite some positive lments. b, the syrian people was allowed further freedom in expressing its demands. this was clear in the increasing number of demonstrators in many cities
following the mission's arrival. many members of the populous found a direct mechanism to express their own experience and positions to the mission through direct testimony and the mission was able to record much about the human rights situation in syria. the mission was also able to obtain major lists of detainees and missing persons through many contacts between the people and the mission either in direct contacts or through the west side setup by the league for this purpose. in light of the conclusions of the mission's report and in studying the developments on the ground in syria since the league began to deal with the crisis and in complementing the efforts and endeavors to reach a settlement to the syrian crisis without foreign intervention, without falling
into a civil war while respecting the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of syria, the resolution of the league's ministerial council was adopted on the 22nd of this month. and stressed the following. a need for a full cessation of acts of violence and killing from whatever source in order to protect syrian citizens calling on the syrian government to release all detainees to withdraw all armed elements from cities and urban centers opening the way to arab and international media, the withdrawal of the syrian army and any other armed forces of whatever formation to their original barracks and positions, ensuring the right to peaceful demonstration and not confronting demonstrators. and allowing for facilitating the mission's task and its equipment. particularly communication
equipment. a call to the syrian government and all parties in the opposition to begin a serious political dialogue under the aegis of the league of arab states no later than two weeks from that call in order to achieve the following. one, the establish of a national unity government. two, where the authorities and the opposition and the leadership of an agrieved person would take up the items of the league's plan, the preparation of parliamentary elections as well as presidential multi-party free elections in accordance to a law governing its procedures. i should like to stress that the roadmap adopted on the 22nd of this month can in no way be interpreted as calling on the syrian president to renounce power.
there is a precedent when i visited damascus on the 16th of july of last year, and in a conversation with the president of the republic on the need for a true political dialogue, the president said i will go to my first deputy and entrust him with the fundamental reforms that are necessary. he will supervise these political reforms. this is very similar to the call of the league of arab states as of now. upon its formation it would declare that its objective is to set up political democratic multiparty system ensuring equality among all citizens regardless of sex or faith and
assuring the at nation of power, a national government would reestablish security and stability in the country and would reform the police forces to take up civilian duties with financing from arab states that are committed to coordinate with the league of arab states setting up an independent body to investigate in the violations meted to citizens. the national unity government would organize a constituent assembly to be transparent, fair, and arab and international oversight through three months from the creation of the national unity government. mr. president, in informing the security council of all these developments, i should like to inform you that immediately
before coming to new york i was compelled to take an urgent measure in suspending the work of the arab observers in syria because of the grave deterioration of the situation in the country lately after the syrian government openly declared that it is taking the security option, this led to the withdrawal of some observers until i take the matter to the league's council in a few days. as you see from the brief reports on the arab crisis, the league has always endevered to find a peaceful political settlement to the syrian crisis that spares the lives of the syrian people and realizes its demands and aspirations. further more, the league fully realize that is the support and suck quor of the international community of the arab plan as being the only mechanism to
resolve the syrian crisis is a fundamental aspect for its success and for achieving these obives. there, mr. president, allow me to repeat that the league of arab states looks forward to a supporting resolution from your security council, one that calls for all parties to immediately cease all acts of violence against the syrian people. one that calls on all the parties to a serious national dialogue under the aegis of the league of arab states and that takes up the arab endeavor as a basis for resolving the crisis and one that supports their mission of the league when it resumes. it is also my duty as secretary general of the league to stress the importance of speedy cooperation between the united nations and relevant international institutions with the league in order to
alleviate the deer tooryor rating humanitarian conditions of the syrian people. in concligse, mr. president, let me once again thank the council for having responded so quickly to our requests as well as your support of the arab endeavor. i am hopeful that this support will give strong momentous -- momentum to the league's efforts and will be a model of positive interaction between the united nations and regional organizations. mr. president, do not let the syrian people down in its plight. violence and killing must be put to an end. we need a clear resolution supporting the arab league's endeavor. and i would seek your support of the draft resolution tabled by the kingdom of morocco. thank you, sir.
>> i thank the speech. i now give to the syrian arab republic. they have the floor. >> thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i too will speak in arabic. and it is my honor to do so. mr. president, i said he imagined. i did not say he predicted an arab poet known to all arabs and read by all arabs by the name of nasar cab ani. he imagined this scenario and this session years before his death in a very famous poem that starts as follows.
damascus, the treasure of my dreams. shall i bemoan to your arabism or shall i bemoan my fellow arabs to you? mr. president, my generation and myself remember very well in the 50's and early 60's that we used to be in grade school at the time in syrian scools and we used to sing to the anthem of the aljeern revolution in the morning instead of reciting the syrian national anthem. we also used to give our few pennies, pocket money, that has
a word in syrian dial elect we use to donate this pocket money to arab liberation movements in the gulf that used to be struggling. to be liberated from british colonialism. we, the children, used to happily donate our pocket money, little as it were, to assist our brothers in the gulf so that they would be liberated from the grip of colonialism. this was way before the oil boom. at that time, arabism was different from the way to which some view arabism today.
mr. president, allow me to begin by expressing our appreciation to south africa and to you personally for wisely presiding over the work of the security council for the month. we would like to use this opportunity to stress once again the pride we feel for the victory of your people and the people of africa over the policies of discrimination and to question the positions of some states that pay lip service to democracy and human rights. we ask them with whom did they stand during your struggling that was crowned with success and victory? mr. president, syria is going through decisive challenges in
its history. we want this stage to be through the will of our people, not through the will of anyone else. to be that point of determination to respond to the legitimate aspirations of the syrian people. and while these events have broken the heart of every syrian, it imposes on syrians of different stripes and associations to choose the road of wisdom and to be guided by their conscience patriotic feeling so that the home land, all of the home land and not part thereof, for that to be victorious. the syrian people who presented the world with the first alpha bit knows the scent of jasmine in damascus rather than the
scent of the blood. the syrian people were always capable of solving its crises and internal prons alone. it has never accepted any form of foreign intervention in its internal affairs and affairs of its homeland, syria. it tood proud, refusing under mining its culture and national assets. the syrian people will do that once again by the participation of all syrians to lead them away from the crisis and to contribute to the national construction. putting as the primary objective the interests of the home land and nothing else. in an atmosphere of reconciliation among old, the
homeland is the propertier of all. and in syria, we don't have a majority and minority. there are syrians only in syria. i say the homeland is owned by all and it is the property of all and it is a trust, a trust even if some were misled and even if some defied what is right. syrian patriotism rejects external intervention and stresses that syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity is a red line. syrian patriotism stresses that syrians will stand one rank against dissent, rejecting violence, rejecting resorting to arms while calling for reform. homelands are built by their
citizens. we as syrians have an opportunity to undertake sincere national dialogue and peckspedite the pace of reform so we can establish a genuine national partnership that preserves the security of the homeland and that of the citizen as the only way out of the crisis. one that responds to the leaget aspirations of the syrian people without necessarily undermining the homeland. future generations will hold everyone who lost this opportunity accountability. mr. president, the arab people would have very much hoped that the presence of the secretary general of the league of arab states and the current chair man of the minister of councils in the security council we would have hoped that this presence would have been for requesting the council to shoulder its responsibilities
in ending israeli occupation of arab occupied territorieses in putting an end to the israeli settler activities and killing. how strange it is for us to see some members of the league of arab states having decided to resort to the security council seeking support against syria. syria, that's never thought twice in providing the ultimate sacrifice in defense of arab causes. those whoible that the states that i am referring to and who have always stood in the face of arab -- at just causes in the council and outside, those who look like being enthusiastic for the arab league out of respect for the
decisions, those who believe that these states are with us are really falling into illusions. the fact is that this enthusiasm comes exactly in the same context that is contrary to the arab causes. what is new today though is that the arab league decided to take its decisions to the security council that took hundreds of vetos against arab causes. the new, i would say, that the arab league transferred the decisions, the unjust decisions that it took against syria, transferred these to syria in syria's absence and without consulting with the leadership in a way counter to the charter and paved the way for a continued scenario of interfering aggressively in the internal affairs of seriousia. -- syria.
these plans have crossed other plans and interests of nonarab states aiming at destroying syria and destabilizing it. this has happened for no other reason than the fact that syria does not want to depend on anyone nor would syria accept that its sovereignty will becomes compromised because it insists on the independence of its decisions and the preservation of its sovereignty and the interest and security of its people. mr. president, after some powerful imposed and made this part and parcel of its work, even if it were undedeclared we are witness to another stage that is based on creating terms of reference based on the policy of imposing false facts.
some try to convince the public opinion that those who try to defend the independence of their countries following on the road of bolvar, gandhi, and other, and degaulle, and sultan bash yir. and hotchimin and sung jongshan those are classified as terrorists and pariahs working outside national legitimacy. those who are trying to preserve their downtown rizz safe from creative crayos and terror have become violators of human rights and killers of their own people. those who when the support of the majority of their people have lost legitimacy and have to step down.
it is really strange these days, mr. president, that some olgard states cosponsor draft resolutions promoting the at nation of power, the freedom of assembly the promotion of democracy, and the protection and promotion of human rights and that those very states who don't even have a constitution let alone a genuine electoral system and who have only exercised democracy through satellites stations and fancy conference halls, those same countries i say unfortunately resort to the security council to ask for reform and for democracy, syria hrks mr. president's,, had a parliament in 1919 by that i mean one year after the fall of the ottoman
here i refer to paragraph 29.- terrorist groups used to be legitimate trust of the syrian people to undertake terrorist attacks against the institutions of the state and against military personnel. paragraph 44 clearly indicates that the french journalist was killed as a result of more attacks -- mortar attacks fired
by the opposition. the event did not move the french diplomacy to indignation. there was an investigation of this event through the participation of the french channel for which the journalist used to work. the secretary general read some paragraphs in his statement. i regret that he selected items from the report and left others. i would only like to read paragraph 26. it says, in certain instances, government forces used force as a reaction to attacks against
its personnel. the observers, arab observers, noted that there are armed groups using thermal bombs and bombs.mor in the of -- end of quotation. the secretary-general of the league of arab states is a dear colleague. he objected to requests by members of this council to him by the general to participate in today's meeting. the report of arab observers was not sent to you. as part of the documents that were dispatched from the
headquarters of the league of arab states. mr. president, the decision by the league of arab states to go to the council is an effort to bypass the success of the task of arab observers and an attempt to ignore its report. it came again, a plan by some arab parties, who claim attachment to the arabs in selling the arab crisis. they waged a political and media war against it. some arab officials and some europeans have doubted the the meaningfulness of the mission,
including the prime minister of qatar, who visited some arab capitals only two weeks after the mission making statements that the continuation of the mission is useless. he asked that the syrians be transferred to the security council. syria was committed to the revisions of the protocol despite the twofold increase in the number of those killed among forces of the government. despite acts of aggression on public and private property. that is all due to instruction to armed groups from the outside to use the presence of the mission as a time for escalation. syria rejects any decision outside of the arab plant that is agreed to and the protocol signed -- plan that is agreed
to and the protocol signed by the arab states. it is a flagrant interference in ts internal affairs and and a violation of our charter of the league of arab states. ladies and gentlemen, the league of arab states requested the syrian government to extend the mandate -- the mission of the observers for one month. damascus agreed. however, the league of arab states contradicted itself when it ignored the results of the reports of the mission and tried to halt the mission of the observers later on. mr. president, this unbridled
tendency by some foreign states to interfere in our internal and external affairs is neither sudden nor novel. it has systematically occurred. the hostile occupation of arab lands by israel -- mr. president, we all know that the international, a legal framework in whose parameters states there was debate and respect for sovereignty -- these two principals were consecrated in the charter of the united nations. also, in article 8 in the
charter of the league of arab states, we stressed the exclusive responsibility of the syrian government in the preservation of peace and security, in protecting its citizens from destruction and sabotage undertaken by armed elements and not peaceful demonstrations. in accordance with syrian law as well as international agreement in which syria is a party, instead of respecting these principles of international law, there is interference in the affairs of syria. officials have fallen in love with the syrian people after and emotional hibernation toward our
people for centuries. they foolishly dream of the return of colonialism and hegemony through concocting new terms to justify a interfering in syrian affairs. they are misleading the world's public opinion and mimicking what they did when they misled the public opinion when 130,000 libyan civilians were killed and 1 million iraqis were killed using the pretext of looking for weapons of our destruction, searching for weapons of mass destruction, which were not there, the destruction of afghanistan under the pretext of fighting terrorism and establishing prisons and detention centers in guantanamo
bay. cilia -- syria draws its strength from the strength of its people. we call all of those who are fomenting the crisis and bent on reconsiderng it two these policies. one cannot be an arsonist and a firefighter at the same time. we call on them to support the syrian political reform process. by way of example i say that in february, we will hold a referendum on a new constitution for the country that guarantees party and political pluralism. parliamentary elections will
also be held in the first half of the year, leaving the final say to the ballot box. in conclusion, we expect the security council to be a platform encouraging dialogue as a way to settle crises. we do not expect it to provoke or aggravate crises. we believe and as exacerbation of the crisis undermines international security instead of preserving it. we recognize the effort of the russian federation to sponsor and all circassian dialogue in moscow -- syrian dialogue in moscow to find a resolution to this crisis. thank you. >> i give the floor to the
honorable hillary rodham clinton, the secretary of state of the united states of america. >> thank you, mr. president. let me begin by thanking secretary-general el-araby. the arab league has demonstrated important leadership in this crisis. the people of the world have watched in horror as the assad regime undertook a campaign of violence against its own citizens. women and children tortured and killed. no one is safe, not even officials of the syrian red crescent. according to u.n. estimates, more than 5400 civilians have already died.
that number is rising fast. the regime also continues to arbitrarily detain citizens, such as the act in this -- activists who demand dignity and universal rights. today, the evidence is clear. they are initiating nearly all of the attacks that killed civilians. as more citizens take up arms, violence is increasingly spiraling out of control. the challenges for the syrian people are daunting. a crumbling economy, a cauldron of instability in the hearts of
the middle east. fears about what follows assad, especially among syria's minority communities, are understandable. it appears that he and his cronies are working hard to pit syria's ethnic and religious groups against each other, risking greater sectarian violence and descent into civil war. in response to this crackdown on peaceful protest, the arab league lost an unprecedented diplomatic intervention, sending monitors into serious's be later -- the leaders towns and offering -- beleaguered towns.
they were confronted -- they were met by protesters with stories about what has it fallen them and their families. as the arab league's report makes clear if you read the entire report, the league did not respect its presence and responded with excessive violence. the regime's security forces have intensified their assault, shelling homes and other cities. this weekend, the arab league suspended its monitoring mission. there were mounting civilian casualties. why is the arab league here before this security council?
because they are seeking the support of the international community for a negotiated, peaceful political solution to this crisis. and a responsible democratic transition in syria. we all have a choice. stand with the people of syria or become complacent -- complicit in the continuing violence there. the united states purchased the security council to back the demands and guaranteed the freedom of peaceful demonstrations. in accordance to the arab league's plan, syria must also release all arbitrarily detain citizens, return its military and security forces to their barracks, allow access for monitors, humanitarian workers,
and journalists. we urge the security council to back the arab league's call for an arab led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of syria's people conducted in an environment free from violence, fear, intimidation, and extremism. i know some members here may be concerned that it disappeared -- that the security council could be headed toward another libya. that is a false analogy. syria is a unique situation that requires its own approach tailored to the specific circumstances occurring there. that is exactly what the arab forgue has proposed, a papath a political transition that
would preserve syria's political institutions. this would not be the plan many of us would have designed. it represents the best effect and efforts of syria's neighbors to chart a way forward and it deserves a chance to work. it would be a mistake to minimize the magnitude of the challenge that serious face in trying to build the rule of law and civil society on the ruins of a brutal and failed dictatorship. this will be hard. success is far from guaranteed. the alternative, more of assad's bhutto will -- brutal rule, is no change at all.
the people of syria will have a chance to chart their own destiny. how many more innocent civilians will die before this country is able to move forward toward the kind of future it deserves? unfortunately, it appears as though the longer this continues, the harder it will be to rebuild once president assad and his regime is transitioned and something new and better takes place. syrians have begun planning for a democratic transition. courageous grass-roots local councils across the country are organizing under the most dangerous and difficult circumstances. every day that goes by, their
task grows more difficult. the future of syria depends on porting -- on thwarting the divide and conquer strategy. it will take all groups working together, arabs and kurds, to insure that the new syria is governed by the rule of law, respect and the attempt to treat all citizens with dignity. their rights in their voices will have to be heard, protected, and respected. let me see -- say directly to them today. we do hear your fears and we honor your aspirations.
do not let the current regime exploit them to extend this crisis. leaders of syria's business community, military, and other institutions will have to recognize their futures lie with the state and not the regime. syria belongs to its 23 million citizens, not to one man or his family. change can still be accomplished without dismantling the state. it is time for the international community to put aside its own differences and send a clear message of support to the people of syria. the alternative, spurning the arab league, emboldening the dictator, would compound this strategy and would mark a failure of our shared
responsibility and shake the credibility of the united nations security council. the united states stands ready to work to pass a resolution that supports the arab league's effort. those are the efforts that are well thought out and focus on ending this crisis. it restores peace to syria. that is the goal of the arab league. that should be the goal of this council, to help the syrian people realize the goal of the future that they seek. thank you. >> i thank secretary of state clinton for her statement. i will give the floor to alain juppe. >> mr. president, we are meeting
today so that the security council can take up its responsibility. people are suffering in a region where peace is threatened by the brutal repression of a regime in its last gasp. the silence of our council is no longer acceptable. it falls to the arab league to implore it to recover itself. it must live up to the mission and vested upon it, coming to be of a people who only wish peace and respect. the definition of a plan of political transition. i wish to command the
courageous commitment of the league and type welcome the secretary general and the prime minister and i thank them for their addresses. i also commend the decision of the kingdom of morocco to bring a resolution fully supported by france. there is a connected effort of all of the states of the arab league. the situation in syria is particularly difficult for some of them. we are coming today to put an end to this scandalous silence of the council. i choose the word carefully. what is the situation today in syria? people have risen up to defend their freedom. there are no words to describe
the horror of the brutal repression. if we say it is worsening, that does not fully express what is happening. thousands of deaths. 15,000 prisoners. 15,000 refugees. the cruelest torture every day. there have been crimes against humanity. the human rights council confirmed that description. statistics conceal the faces of tortured children and the bodies of women who have been raped, thousands of human beings who have been victims of the depression. the situation -- human beings who have been victims of the repression. every state bears a responsibility to protect its civilian responsibility -- to
protect its civilian population. the civilian regime has faltered people in a shameful manner. -- has slaughtered people in a shameful manner. there have been repercussions on the stability in an already volatile region. these consequences are enough in the region to establish the council's responsibility. how does this need discussion? france has called for the council to work to have a vote, unsuccessfully, if we leave out the presidential statement. is it acceptable, i do not think so. we have continued to act on 11
occasions. the european union has tightened sanctions. france has established links with the people in the opposition. i have met with the international council. the arab league cannot replace those of -- cannot replace the council. the security council is the keystone of international peace and security. how can it do this? rapidly and with a broad measure of support. this brings the support of our counsel to the arab league attendance by the crucial involvement of regional actors. they can provide a realistic
political resolution. there are two critical elements. without falling into a trap between this and the opposition on the ground. if a minority resorts to violence, the vast majority protest in the streets against the violence of the regime. we must pay tribute to the men and women every day who marched for their freedom with the knowledge they could be shot dead at any moment. there was a french journalist who died as he did his job. i will not allow this to be exploited. the syrian authorities should have given him all necessary protection.
this was not the case when it came to the origin of the exchange of fire that led to the death of my compatriots. he was killed by fire from the opposition. this was not endorsed by the arab league. we are still awaiting the syrian authorities to shed light on this events. . there are three main aspects. a demand for a stop of the violence. a definition of a credible transitional political process. our responsibility is to help it by addressing a clear message to the regime that the international community is
united behind the effort. we would like to see the council go farther. we need a rapid response that would provide a swift resolution to the crisis. we are willing to vote now. this is a pretext. it is alleged that there is a plan leading to military intervention in syria. there is nothing in the draft resolution distributed to counsel members that can be construed as an authorization-- council members that can be construed as an authorization of this. our goal is simple. to find a peaceful way out of the crisis and to allow the syrian people to freely express their aspirations. with the various components,
they must determine their future. we have no intention of imposing any political regime from the outside. the arab league offers the only viable option to achieve this. let us live up to our responsibilities. the peaceful uprising was inspired by the momentum of the arab spring. ladies and gentlemen, there is no time to be lost. in less than one year, 5000 lives have been lost. in the memory of all of the victims, i urge all of the members of this council to vote to put an end to the syrian nightmare. thank you. >> thank you minister -- thank
you, mr. juppe for your statement. >> mr. president, i thank the prime minister and the secretary general of the league of arab states for their reports and their powerful words. we are grateful to you for presiding over this debate. our task as a counsel is clear. -- council is clear. we must address the violence in syria. it is a threat to international peace and security. we must do so in a way that gives the greatest possible chance for a peaceful and lasting solution. the league of arab states has proposed a way to achieve this. they should be congratulated and
supported in doing so. there was a draft resolution put forth by the kingdom of morocco. they do so with the support of the united kingdom and the majority of the security council members. the arab league's plan would lead to an end to all violence against syrian civilians and attacks against syrian institutions. it would give confidence to the syrian people. it would start an inclusive syrian led political process that would allow the syrian people to determine their future. it would lead to a national election -- to a national election.
there has been three months of engagement with all sides in syria and multiple visits to damascus from arab nations. there have been monitors inside syria. they have a deep understanding of their own region. the arab world is asking the security council to put its weight and a party behind this plan. this is not the west -- its weight behind this plan. the arab nations are calling on the security council to address the crisis in syria and the threat it poses to the stability in the region. that asked not to let the syrian people down in their plight. members of the council have
called on actions by the council -- called on the arab league in the past. the resolution does not propose imposing changes on cereal from outside. it calls for the syrian people -- does not propose imposing changes on syria from outside. it calls for the syrian people to make decisions on their own. it does not include any outside intervention. this is not a chapter 7 resolution. for the leaders of syria, they are on notice that measures will be considered by this council is there is not an immediate end to the violence and the arab league plan continues to be ignored.
for too long, the syrian government has promised reform and continued the violence. is that anytime they could have stopped the bloodshed and seized the initiative, they could have introduced bold and lasting reform for greater political freedom. the facts speak for themselves. when this council adopted a presidential statement on syria in august last year, the death toll was approximately 1000. when a draft security council resolution was put forward in october, 3000 people had died. today, we believe nearly 6000 people have died in appalling circumstances. this includes 384 children. 30 to 100 people die every day.
they will be dying as we speak. this includes the rate of children. representatives of the arab republic spoke of the idealism of children in this country in the 1950's and 1960's without noting the irony that the descendants of those children are being tortured and murdered in the name of their own government. it is not acceptable to try to blame the situation in syria on everyone else, from outside intervention, from french diplomats, from lawrence of arabia. this does not excuse such oppression and violence. we know about these crimes because they have been documented by an impartial body is from this council. how long before the security
council will pass a meaningful resolution? how many people need to die between big consciences of all world capitals are stirred? there will be no reform of political progress in syria while such violence continues. there can be no doubt that the violence is worsening and the risk of civil war is intensifying and the threat to the stability of the region is growing. finding a way back from the brink will be harder and innocent lives will be wrongfully lost. that is what this council could help to avert by acting in a united manner. we all agreed that the security council has a role to play. -- agree that the security
council has a role to play. we agree that this process should be led by the syrian people themselves with the support of the international community. we agree that the rights of minorities must be safeguarded and respected. we agree that military action would not be inappropriate response to a complex situation in syria. we welcome the work of the arab league. based on agreeing on all of those things, we must have the will to match such agreements by being able to agree on a resolution. while we meet with the president, the gravest of plans -- crimes are being committed in syria. as this council cannot agree to adopt -- if this castle cannot agree to enable a peaceful -- council cannot agree on a
i urgeul resolution -- all members of the council to agree on a plan. we should be part -- we should return to the matter if the violence continues. failure to do so would undermine the legitimacy of this institution. thank you, mr. president. >> we are to gather today at a crucial moment when there is -- we are together today at a crucial moment when there is a chance to break the spiral of violence in syria. full-scale conflict would not
only be a tragedy for the syrian people, but would have considerable consequences for the stability of neighboring states for a strategically important region of the middle east. what can the international community do to prevent a lethal turn of events? the answer is as complicated as it is simple. it has roots in what the security council members did. a prst was agreed upon. this document contains two critical provisions. a sensation of violence. -- a stop to the violence. if all key players of the international committee were to concentrate their efforts are implemented these --
implementing these provisions, the violence will long be a thing of the past. russia enjoys close, friendly contact with the syrian people and the arab world. from the beginning, it sought to ensure that the syrian people would be able to decide for itself without bloodshed and violence the necessary political reform. we are convinced that at a time of political crisis, the role of the international community should not be one of exacerbating conflict or meddling by the use of sanctions or military force. it should be seeking a smooth resolution. with a view toward the ending of violence and establishing a political process. russia stepped up its
diplomatic efforts with the masses -- with damascus. the arab league plays an important role in the resolution of the syrian crisis. reszkes -- russia has done much regarding the monitoring mission in syria. the mission played a useful role in easing by lance -- easing violence and providing information on unfolding events in syria. confirmson's report that in a number of syrian neighbor let's come armed elements are attacking serious
security forces -- syrian neighborhoods, armed elements are attacking syrian security forces. in one city, after the city was captured by armed elements, murders, luting, and beatings began. the ambassador was looted. civilians led to the city. in the reports of the mission, there is a conclusion in parallel with the -- we support our arab friends and we are allowed to criticize them for
inconsistencies. we believe the decision to suspend the membership and impose sanctions on syria was counterproductive. we think the monitoring mission could have been more firm. some countries have begun withdrawing their observers. we are concerned about the recent decision on suspicion that suspension of the work of the mission. this was linked to a recent outbreak in violence as well as some think you'd -- something viewed on tv, a religious leader giving his blessing on the spilling of blood. of particular importance in
efforts to settle the crisis, the provision of the l.e.s. could prove useful. it calls the syrian government and members of the opposition to work to engage in dialogue. it is not only the duty of -- we appeal to the syrian government to agree on a time line without preconditions. this would allow syrian parties to discuss issues without limitations. today, it is more important than ever to engage in dialogue which would lead to agreement on the
political future of the country. can the security council play a constructive role here? we think so. this is the reason the russian delegation presented a draft resolution to the council. the draft from august. the draft receipt support among the council. we distributed and update its support yesterday -- updated report yesterday. we will not stand for any sanctions, resolutions, or using the council's tool box to fuel conflict or to justify foreign intervention in the future. this is not the matter at hand. the council does not have the mandate to do so under the
charter. sites must be incited to engage in dialogue, rather than -- sides must be in sight it -- in cited to engage in dialogue. we hope the council will come to consensus on the issue. it is not always possible, but necessary. >> thank you for your statement. i give the floor to the representative from china. >> mr. president, i welcome to our meeting his excellency, the foreign minister of qatar and
welcome their briefings to the council. syria is an important country in the middle east. stability concerns the stability and security of the entire -- its stability concerns disability and security of the entire middle east -- the stability and security on the entire middle east region. the safeguard of their interest s should be respected. it is imperative to put an immediate end to all violence in syria and stop the killing of innocent civilians. at the same time, an inclusive political process must be started without delay to speed up reform and resolve differences and did use -- in
disputes peacefully without a violent confrontation. -- and disputs peacefully and without a violent confrontation. -- and disputes peacefully and without violent confrontation. the people will find a way to solve the issue and find a way of economic growth to suit its international conditions. -- soothe its international conditions. the international community can solve the issue through dialogue. syria is a member of the arab world. china hopes to see proper settlement of the syrian crisis
within the framework of the arab league. we support the efforts made by the arab league to seek political solution to the syrian issue and maintain stability of the region. we hope to see success by the mediation efforts by the arab league. the arab league observer mission plays a significant role in helping the international community learned about the real situation in syria. we attach importance to the reports submitted by the mission. we hope the mission will continue to fulfil its mandate and carry out objective and impartial investigations. we call on other parties concerned to provide full cooperation with the mission. china has stressed that the
actions of the security council should comply with the u.n. charter, help ease the tension in syria, help promote political dialogue and disputes the best diffuse disputes -- diffuse disputes and maintain peace and security in the region. there can be further complications to the situation. we oppose the use of force to resolve the syrian issue. we firmly oppose pushing for regime change. it is against the basic norms governing international relations.
china supports the draft resolution proposed by russia. we take note of the proposition by morocco. china is ready to act in accordance with the principle position. we ask all parties concerned to approach the issue with peaceful dialogue. thank you, mr. president. >> i thank the representative of china for your statement. >> the prime minister and foreign minister of the state of qatar and take him for his
presence today. we are deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in syria. we condemn the loss of life in syria. we emphasize that there is a need for the violence to cease immediately. we hope this will be resolved in a peaceful manner. any solution to the syrian crisis should be syria and led without foreign intimidation and free from interference from outside. there should be an open and transparent political process to address the people's legitimate demands. they have a right to freedom of assembly and speech.
we encourage participation in the political process in syria. a political solution must be found based on respect for democratic principles, rule of law, justice, and human-rights. the needs of the people of syria should also be addressed. excellencies, we appreciate your statements on a peaceful resolution to the situation in syria. there should be enhanced cooperation between the u.n. and the arab league. they have knowledge of their region. we hope this engagement will
lead to a peaceful solution to the conflict in syria. any solution should respect to the sovereignty and independence of syria. we thank the members of the arab league for providing us with their support. their report is a firsthand account of the mulligan on the ground. -- account of the situation on the ground. the crisis should be resolved peacefully without intervention -- without international intervention. doing so would allow them to live in peace. it is imperative that there be an end to violence on all sides.
we asked civilians to end the violence. the critical question at this juncture is, what positive contribution can we make? to assist the syrians to resolve their conflict? we should bring the parties to a peaceful resolution of their conflict. we welcome the arab league. we encourage parties to explore all opportunities to find a political solution. military intervention, as we have seen in other parts of the world, has the unintended consequences for the wider
region. we welcome the consideration of the situation in syria and the two draft resolutions. we call on the principles expressed to be better and fully expressed in the future. i thank you. i now resume my function as president of the council. >> first of all, mr. president, i apologize for asking for the floor once again. first of all, i would like to state that our mission here is
it had in fact never been colonized. there was no resistance to colonialism. because quat tar and the gulf states have experienced suffering and poverty until god blessed us with the oil wells. and today we are proud to be side by side with our arab brothers who need our assistance. i would also like to refer to democracy. we do not at all wish to interfere. we wish to work along with our people's in order to carry out the reforms and relaunch democracy. we hope with most earnsly that democracy will emerge once again in syria so that the
entire syrian people might be able to benefit. as regards israel, we have no open relations with israel but we have a clear position on this. but our position is undeniable as for the support we give to our palestinian brothers. now, as for iraq, and the millions of those who were killed, i would like to recall that we all contributed to the liberation of kuwait and the -- against the iraqi invasion and we have also contributed along with syria whom we would like to thank. as for libya, in libya there were almost 50,000 victims and qaddhafi was still in power. had he still be in power there would be even a greater number. there was a resolution from the
league of arab states, one which was also agreed to by syria. now, regarding what was said by his excellencey, the distinguished representative of the russian federation, on saudi arabia, i would like to say that the king of the kingdom of saudi arabia is an autsdz stick arab, always has concern for arabs by giving priority to arab interests. and because of his sincerity, he wished to withdraw observers -- arab observers. i shall confine myself to these comments. thank you, sir. >> i thank the minister for his statement. the representative of syrian republic has asked for the floor to make a statement. i give him the floor.
>> i'm waiting for the translation, mr. president. >> thank you, president. president, it's true that syria participated in the liberation of kuwait when the iraqi regime of that time had made the wrong decision but we never participated in the invasion of iraq. at no point. we never participated in the
invasion of libya. never. we never were involved in any conspiracy against any arab country at any point. i am pleased to have heard what we have heard from the prime minister from cat tar. he is right in some of his comments but not in others. i would ask him before you, is qatar a member of nato or of the arab league? how is it that qatar has come to aid nato in destroying libya? that's another question. some have taken the floor and mentioned that they would not
hesitate to -- that they would not be doubtful in moving toward intervention, military intervention in syria. very well. however, is there anyone that can ensure us that what they have done against libya, somalia, iraq, ugeslovia, kosovo, that this would not repeat itself? at any rate, we feel very sorry for the innocent victims. these are sons and daughters of our homeland. i am an ambazzdor. i am an ambassador of the syrian president. and i'm proud to be here as such. this also means that i'm the ambassador of my people. i'm proud of this.
and i cannot speak before you, president, on any matter that would be an attack on my people. the sadness of others can never equal that of ours in syria as regards to death. of innocent victims. they're all innocent victims. we know that the blood that has been spilt cannot be recovered. we know that the sadness of these fams families can demever be lifted. -- never be lifted. the people that i represent and i have the right to ensure that we put an end to this and that we protect syria for all, and that we put an end to the
spilling of blood. and, that we must also not move to do that which inflames the situation and leads to contra band arms trade. my country sent a number of letters with important details that can give you information on this. britnish newspaper that i will not name because we all know which it is two days ago published with the bye line from their correspondent in syria that there has been a
financing of arms sent to syria . you all know that there are other countries, unfortunately, that we were very close to before this crisis. and they are harboring armed resistance in their territories. this is the opposition that is working through military maneuvers across the borders. they are bombarding our refineries, they are bombarding our oil pipelines. they have erik as well that is refueling far from syria during this very cold winter. alja sierra should cease to fan
the flames and us they could contribute to putting a blood letting. the prime minister of qatar in his statements mentioned that he will be announcing the decision of the organization representing all arabs. however, that organization is not speaking on behalf of all arabs right now. without syria, there is no arab league. we will never be able to adopt a decision against us without us and without our participation. not when it affects our future. mr. president, the targeting of
humanitarian workers is clearly a criminal act as the representative of portugal has mentioned. but perhaps he could tell us how it is that the authorities have killed these doctors working with the red cross? perhaps that information could be provided. do you know why it has received the name that it has? surely not. it was thus named because the french forces in the 19 40's bombarded it with aviation and artillery. they killed thousands of innocent civilians that were
living there. it is thus that the neighborhood has received its name which means the fire. there is another name of the people, the martors. we would like to add to all of this that there are 5,000 aljeerns killed in one single hour. that was in 1959. because they believed, unfortunately, that the end of the -- that the end of the second world war and the values of liberty could bring them to independence. mr. president, it was said to
one's son, a father said to his son where will you end up? and we can read this in the -- we can read this abroad. it is a parable. and this is -- this can be applicable to the arab league, which is trying to harm syria and all arab nations. one of these days or, rather, one day at the end of the 19th century a known writer that i like very much defended a cause .
one of the -- a frenchman in this event was brought before justice and suffered an injustice, and the author defended this individual. it was entideled -- it was an article or a story that i haven't read in some time. it is called i accuse. this is an officer who had been wrongly accused. today before you i am an example of this and i say that -- i say the same. i accuse several that i will not name. i accuse them of working to undermine our independents, our sovereignty, and the integrity of syria. they do this by fanning the flames of the -- those involved
in this. my people in 2003 received 2 million iraqen refugees that were fleeing the english and u.s. invasion of iraq. no one helped us at that time to carry this burden on our economy when we helped these refugees. a third of the lebanese people came to syria after the invasion or after the israeli aggression against them. no one helped us at that time. it was later that economic cooperation with turkey was an issue. we hold them in high regard. and the economic cooperation
with turkey brought economic suffering for the artisans in the villages in our country. there was an economic partnership with turkey. and this cost us billions of dollars. the work of a great many syrians was affected. they were furious. the representative of india was right when he spoke of the economic networks and how these affect things in syria for example. but this is not our fault. mistakes have been made, it is true. it is true that mistakes have been made. and the president has confessed as much. and he submitted a roadmap that would help us to move past the crisis. however, he cannot do
everything alone. he needs help from the arab league, from turkey, from brotherly nations, and he needs help from this council. mr. president, when the secretary to the arab league sent this document to you, they said on the last page that there are other anexes. that is to say the report which will be sent by express mail. why is it that the report will be sent by express mail later and not with this document? why is it that this report has not been submitted with the extra anexes?
for our part, we have done all that we've had to do. we have sent you a letter. this let rear flects the guiding principles of the report. but the secretary of the arab league, as you know, has refused to answer the requests of certain numbers of the council to invite david to be here before the council. i think that i have spoken quite enough. and i thank you very much. >> i give the floor to the league of arab states. >> thank you, sir. i do not have the intention to enter an argument. however, there is a point raised by the ambassador of
caulks being held in nevada and maine is starting its week long caucus. a primary in missouri. and later in the month, contests in arizona and michigan, followed by washington state caucuses at the beginning of march. you can follow all of our road to white house coverage at c-span.org/campaign 2012 and click on the links there to join the conversation on facebook and twitter. our super tuesday coverage on march 6 will include g.o.p. elections in 11 states. we'll have live coverage from alaska, idaho, and north dakota and then we'll head to wyoming with more primaries throughout march. think about that. if the imf is right, the guy you
elect next november will be the last president of the united states to preside over the world's leading economy. >> mark steyn has published nine books. his latest is a "new york times" best seller. he also writes the happy warrior column and is a frequent guest host on rush limbaugh's radio show. and sunday your chance to call with your questions at noon eastern on book tv on c-span 2. >> the senate select intelligence committee met tuesday for their annual meeting on threats to u.s. national security. jame clapper told the committee that al qaeda is in decline but remains a threat. he warned that the u.s. still faces significant threats to terrorist organizations, foreign entities and cyber threats. and other witnesses at the hearing included c.i.a. director general david petraeus and f.b.i. director robert muller. this is about 2-1/2 hours.
sm for the committee to ask questions of our intelligence leaders in public. today is also an opportunity to take stock of what has happened in the last year and what we can expect for 2012. before looking ahead, i want to congratulate the leaders of the intelligence community before us today. and the tens of thousands of civilian and military intelligence professionals they represent. through their efforts, 2011 was a year of numerous major
intelligence successes. including first and foremost the operation that located and killed osama bin laden. this past year also saw the removal of top terrorist leaders, plotters, and recruiters including anwar alawalkie in yemen. al qaeda's lynch pin in pakistan, ralkman and numerous others resulting in the disruption of specific terrorist plots and casting into disarray al qaeda's senior leadership. closer to home since our hearing last year, there were at least 20 individuals arrested in the united states on terrorism related charges in 17 different investigations which stopped them from carrying out or assisting in attacks on the homeland. in the interest of time, i will
put a list that describes each of these arrests in the record. arrests like these are the product of coordination between the f.b.i., other intelligence agencies, the department of homeland security, and state and local law enforcement units throughout the country. also, in 2011, the drug enforcement administration, the d.e.a., the federal bureau of investigation, the f.b.i., and the central intelligence agency, the c.i.a., and others combined to identify and thwart an iranian plot to kill the saudi ambassador to the united states. a plot so unusual and amateurish that many initially doubted that iran was responsible. well, let me state for the record, i have no such doubts. finally, the intelligence community supported countless
united states national security and foreign policy actions. including the war in afghanistan, the drawdown in iraq, the nato-led mission in libya that removed dictator qaddhafi, the implementation of sanctions on iran over its nuclear program, the interdiagnoses of weapons of mass destruction shipment, and many, many others. despite the successes, the threats to our nation remains serious. and in many ways more difficult to understand and even address than in years past. the intelligence community statement for the record, which is posted on the committee's website, and will be sum prized by director clapor, describes these threats at length. let me address just a few points. terrorism. we are all familiar with the continuing threats posed by al qaeda affiliates in yemen and
somalia. aqap and al-shabab as well as that from al qaeda in iraq, aqi, and all three of which conspire to conduct attacks outside of their borders. i want to mention with special emphasis the threat posed by the al qaeda affiliate in north africa which calls itself al qaeda in the lands of the islamic ma grab. or aqim. for the past few years, aqim has been almost an afterthought when discussing the terrorist threat. this may be about to change. recent public records point out that aqim, which has traditionally operated in parts of algeria and mallie, is well positioned to exploit instability and pockets of extremism in libya and nigeria. and to create new safe havens. the reports also raise concerns about the tens of millions of
dollars aqim has received from ransom payments for hostages and other ill listity activities. i believe the intelligence community needs to move now to be prepared to address this possible growing threat. then there is iran and north korea. while the overall terrorist threat may be down, the threat from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction from iran and north korea is growing. on january 9, iran announced that it started enriching uranium at its plant near the city of gohm. according to iaea reports, iran is enriching uranium to 20% both there and at natans. iaea inspectors arrived in iran over the weekend and i believe they must and should have complete access to all iranian
nuclear facilities. and i ask that they make their findings public on a regular basis so the world will clearly understand what is happening there. according to most time lines i've heard, 123e f 2012 will be a critical year for convincing or preventing iran's development of a nuclear weapon. in north korea, there is now a 28-year-old dictator ruling over the country's cash of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles which should concern us deeply. recently, this committee received an update from the intelligence community on the threat north korea poses and it was quite sobering. i won't go into any details because they are classified but i strongly believe this will need to be an area where the intelligence community continues to focus its resources and attention. i think we all know the threat
from cyber. we all know the need to pass some legislation in this regard. and we know that the intrusions could be enormous, take down a dam, take down our electric grid. and united states companies have been -- have cost untold billions of dollars annually, china and russia have both been named as aggressive and persistent cyber thesis. in afghanistan, the surge of u.s. forces have that began 09 have produced meaningful gains. that said, i think we are all very concerned about what will happen in 2014 when we reduce our troop commitment and president karzi's term is up. frampingely, i don't see a viable strategy for continuing the level of security and stability that we are building after 2014. and i am also concerned by what
appears to be a disparity between the discussion of afghanistan in director clapper's statement for the record and the bleaker description in the december 2011 nie. the director's statement notes modest improvements in the challenges that remain. while i'm unable to describe the nre as it remains a classified document, news reports of the nie describe it as sobering and dire. those words in quotes. and include phrases like mired in stalemate. so i would like to ask the witnesses how they assess how stable afghanistan will be in 2012 as well as 2014 and beyond. i also want to note that last week i met with the afghan
minister of counter narcotics and i was very impressed. i believe he is making good progress in afghanistan and we should be supportive of his efforts to replicate the hemnd food zone and five other provinces to help farmers grow alternative crops instead of the heroin poppy. of course, pakistan remains a huge problem. and i would very much appreciate your views on pakistan's willingness to be a partner in our efforts against terrorists and in afghanistan as well as whether the civilian government can survive in light of other political controversies. there are a couple of things i
want to add and i am not sure this is a good place, but i'm going to do it anyway. in this morning's edition of the los angeles times, there was an article asserting that c.i.a. director david petraeus has been inaccessible and guarded in his interactions with congress and with the intelligence's committees in particular since being sworn in since last september. as far as i'm concerned, nothing could be farther from the truth and i believe the ranking member, the vice chairman, would agree with that. i spoke to the reporter last friday and made very clear to him that this is not been my experience or to the best of my knowledge the members of this committee. if it had been, i would have heard. director prer trace has appeared before us every month since becoming director and the vice chairman and i have had several phone calls and other meetings with him. he has jup held his obligation to keep the committee fully and
cufrpbl informed and i regret some people felt the need to engage in anonymous complaints. i would also like to say that once again this committee has been put in a difficult position of trying to avoid any mention of classified matters when various parts of the executive branch may be doing somewhat the opposite. i ask members to be careful in their questions and statements and to remember that public discussion of some intelligence programs and assets can lead to them being compromised. on the particular issue of drone strikes, i will only say that i was cleared to say in our joint hearing with the house intelligence committee last september and there is no issue that seeves more attention and oversight from this committee than the united states counter terrorism efforts going on along the afghanistan-pakistan border.
these efforts are extremely precise and carefully executed and are the most effective tools we have. noncombatant casualties are kept to an absolute minimum. so now if i may, mr. vice chairman, i want you to know it has been a great pleasure for me to work with you. i also want the public to know that together your side and our side have been able to pass three intelligence authorization bills by unanimous consent in both houses. it has just been a great pleasure for me to work with you. if you have some comments, if you would make them now and then i will just introduce the speakers. >> thanks, plap and let me just echo the same sentiment to you with respect to our working relationship. it has been pretty seamless both at the personal level at the top as well as with our staff and i
thank you for the way that you have integrated me into the vice chairmanship over this past year. i look forward to continuing to work in a very close way with you and also i like your california wine, by the way. and i join the chairwoman in welcoming our guests today. this is certainly the brain trust of the intelligence community. and there is an awful lot of experience here. there is also an awful lot of talent at the table. but i will comment more on the brave men and women that work for you. and the great job that they are doing. the committee holds most all of our meetings in closed sessions so this annual threat hearing is one of the only opportunities we have to address in public the threats that face our nation. it is also one of the few opportunities that we get to extend our public thanks to the men and women of the intelligence community. because of the hard work of the folks who work for each of you,
2011 was a great year for the intelligence community, a year when we finally saw the realsization of a decade of work to ensure that osama bin laden and anwar alacki will never again threaten this nation. i am glad to say that we will no longer have an annual threat hearing where someone asks the question, where is osama bin laden? last year's successes were no small achievement. they resulted from transformation and improvement in every ic agency. in particular, i am impressed by the work being done by c.i.a.'s counter terrorism operators and analysts working together to take down terrorists and their network. we have heard from these officers and countless briefings that core al qaeda is essentially on the ropes as long as we continue sustained ct pressure on the group. director clapor, this exact same sentiment is expressed in your written statement for the record for today's hearing.
i know i am not alone on this panel in believing that we must continue whatever level of pressure it takes to degrade core al qaeda once and for all. as we are seeing in iraq, gains that took a decade to achieve can erode quickly if we do not do what it takes to protect them. i also hope we are lerge from other lessons from iraq. i was dismayed by the administration's dideesigs to hand over custody of hezbollah operatives to iraq last year. it is too late now to prevent what i believe will result in the ultimate release of a terrorist who killed 5 american soldiers in iraq. but it is not too late to make sure that the same thing does not happen with the hundreds of terrorists still in detention in afghanistan. i hope our witness ks discuss the range of likely threats posed by these detainees and the role of the community in providing intelligence and support of planning for any
handover of detention facilities to afghans. i understand that this is going to be a challenge because the administration still lacks a long-term detention policy but we just cannot keep letting dangerous detainees go free. this brings me to my last point. press reports have outlined the administration's plans to trade prisoners detained at gaun guantanamo bay to the taliban as a confidence building measure. it appears from these reports that in exchange for transfering detainees who had been determined to be too dangerous to transfer by the administration's own guantanamo review task force we get little to nothing in return. apparently the taliban will not have to stop fighting our troops and won't even have to stop bombing them with ieds. i have also heard nothing from the ic that suggests that the assessments on the threat posed by these detainees have changed.
i want to state publicly a strongly as i can that we should not transfer these detainees from guantanamo. moreover, i believe the community should declassify the intelligence assessments on these detainees so that we can have a full and open debate without the wisdom of this transfer before it takes place. let me conclude with two other comments. first of all with respect to the "l.a. times" article, madam chair, i did not see that this morning but i want to again state in an unequivocal fashion that director petraeus has done an outstanding job in service to our country in many capacities as his service in the military would ipped kate. and during the time that he has been the director of the c.i.a., you're exactly right. he has stayed in constant communication with the two of us and i know with our colleagues
on the house side and has been readily available to come to the committee on both a formal and an informal basis as well as being available at any time for us to have a conversation with. and i'm surprised that there would be any question about that. and as we ah all know, we have the utmost confidence in his leadership along with the leadership of the entire community. and there has been again a seamless transition from director panetta to director petraeus and we are very confident of his leadership. one other issue that i want to mention following the event of september 11th, as a member of the house select committee on intelligence chairwoman -- congressman jane harman and i chaired a committee, a sque on the intel committee that did a
review of the facts leading up to the events of september 11 and we issued the first detailed report on the deficiencies within the intelligence community that led up to september 11 and we were very critical of the community in one respect particularly. and that was the lack of the sharing of information between our various agencies within the community. director muller, you and i have had extensive conversation since you have been here longer than any of the rest of the members here about that issue. and i just want to say that over the past decade the stove pipes that we alluded to in that report have continued to fall and i would have to say that today, without question, while we still have improvements to be made, that the sharing of information between all of our agencies is at a superior level
and mr. olson i had the privilege, as you know, of visitting with your folks at nctc recently. it was very impressive to not only see the improvement from a technology standpoint but just to see every member of the intelligence community sitting around a table virtually and discussing in real time the issues that face the community from a ct standpoint is very impressive. and i commend all of you for the great work you have done. it's not been easy. and sometimes it's i know very difficult to put aside some of the previous relationships that might have existed. but boy, have you all ever done a good job breaking down those fire walls and really engaging with every member of the intelligence community to ensure
that we disrupt and interrupt terrorist activity around the world that is directed at america, americans, as well as other countries and allies around the world. so i commend you from that respect. i thank you for being here today. and i look forward to your testimony. thank you,. >> thank you. now i would like to introduce the distinguished panel before us. they have the director of national intelligence, james clapper, who will deliver an opening statement on behalf of the entire intelligence community. director of the central intelligence agency, david petraeus. director of the defense intelligence agency general ronald burgess. director of the federal bureau of investigation, bob muller. director of the national counter terrorism center matthew olson. assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research, phillip goldberg and undersecretary for intelligence and analysis, at the department of homeland security, karen wag
anywhere. thank you all very much for being here. we will now take your statement director cham bliss and then go into a period of questions. excuse me. director clapper. and we will then go into ten-minute rounds based on the early bird rule. director clapper, welcome. >> well, i take that as a compliment. so thank you. >> good. >> thank you, chairman feinstein, vice chairman chamblist and members of the committee for inviting us to present the assessment. these remarks and our statement for the record reflect the collective insights of the contrary men and women of the united states intelligence community whom it is our privilege and honor to lead. on their behalf, i would thank you both for your acknowledgment, and recognition
of the great work that these men and women do all over the world day in and day out in many cases at some hazard. i want to attempt to cover the full scope of worldwide threats in these brief oral remarks. so i would like to highlight just some of the issues we identified for the coming year. >> never has there been in my almost 49-year career in intelligence, a more complex and interdependent array of challenges than that we face today. capabilities, technologies, know how, communications, and environmental forces aren't confined by borders and can trigger transnational disruptions with astonishing speed as we have seen. never before has the intelligence community been called upon to master such complexity on so many issues in such a resource constraint environment. rising to the challenge by continuing to integrate the intelligence community as you both alluded taking advantage of new technologies, implementing new efficiencies, and as always
simply working hard. but candidly, maintaining the world's premier intelligence enterprise in the face of shrinking budgets will be difficult. we will be accepting and managing risk more so than we have had to do in the last decade. we begin as we did last year with the global issues of terrorism and proliferation. the intelligence community sees the next two or three years as a critical transition phase for the terrorist threat, particularly for al qaeda and like--minded groups. with osama bin laden's death the global jihaddist movement lost its most inspirational leader. the new commander is less charismatic in the death or capture of prominent figures has shrunk the top leadership's layer. however, even with its degraded capabilities and its focus on smaller, simpler plots, al qaeda remains a threat. as long as we sustain the pressure on it, we judge that
core al qaeda will be a largely symbolic importance to the global jihaddist movement. but regional affiliates, as the ones you mentioned, and to a lesser extense small cells and individuals, will drive the global jihad agenda. proliferation, that is efforts to develop, acquire, or spread weapons of mass destruction, is also a major global strategic threat. among nation states, iran's technical advances particularly in uranium enrichment strengthen our assessment that iran is well capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a weapon. if its political leaders, particularly the supreme leader himself, choose to do so, north korea's export of ballistic missiles and associated materials to several countries including iran and syria, illustrate the reach of the north proliferation activities. we don't expect jim jong un, north korea's new leader to
change its position of exporting most of its weapons systems. i would note that in this year's statement for the record we elevated our discussion of cyber threats to follow the proliferation. the cyber threat is one of the most challenging ones we face. we foresee a cyber inevirmente in which emerging technologies are developed and implemented before security response ks be put in place. among state actors we're particularly concerned about entities within china and russia conducting intrusions into u.s. computer networks and stealing u.s. data. and the growing role that nonstate actors are playing in cyber space is a great example of the easy access to potentially disruptive and even leetsdzing technology and know how by such groups. two of our greatest strategic cyber challenges are first devenstive real time attribution of cyber attacks. that is knowing who carried out such attacks and where are these perpetrators located.
and second, managing the enormous vulnerabilities between the supply chain for u.s. networks. briefly looking geographicically around the world in afghanistan during the past year the tall ban lost some ground but that was mainly in places where the international security systems forces are concentrated. and in tall ban senior leaders seem to enjoy safe haven in pakistan. efforts to partner with security forces are encouraging but corruption in government challenges continue to threaten the afghan forces operational effectiveness. most provinces have established basic structures but struggle to provide essential services. the i second half and the support of afghan -- eye second half and in pakistan sustain the gains that have been achieved. and although there is broad political support there are doubts in many capitals particularly in europe about how
to fund afghanistan initiatives after 2014. in iraq, violence and sportic high profile attacks continues. prime minister maliki's aggressive moves have heightened political tensions. but for now, the sunnis continue to view the political process as the best venue to pursue change. elsewhere across the middle east in north africa those pushing for change are confronting ruling elites. sectarian ethnic and tribal divisions. lack of experience with democracy. stalled economic development. military and security force resistance, and regional power initiatives. these are fluid political environments that offer openings for extremists to participate much more assertively in political life. states where authoritarian leaders have been toppled like tunisia, egypt, and libya, have to reconstruct their systems
through complex negotiations among competing factions. in syria, regime and transigence and social division are prolonging struggles and could turn domestic upheavels into regional crisises. in yemen, the security situation continues to be marred by violence and fragmentation of the country is a real possibility. as the ange isn't roman historian once observed, the best day after a bad emprocedure is the first. after that, i would add, things get very problematic. the intelligence community is also paying close attention to developments across the african continent, throughout the western hemisphere, europe, and across asia. here too few issues are self-contained. virtually every region has a bearing on our key concerns of terrorism, proliferation, cyber security, and instability. and throughout the globe, wherever there are environmental stresses on water, food, and
natural resources as well as health threats, economic crisises and organized crime we see ripple effects around the world and impacts on u.s. interests. amidst these challenges it is important to remind this distinguished body and the american people that in overall work the u.s. community strives to exemplify american values. we carry out our missions with respect for the rule of law and the protection of civil liberties and privacy. and that pledge leads me to a crucial recommendation on our highest legislative priority this year and it requires the support of this committee in both houses of congress. the foreign intelligence surveillance act amendments act or faa is set to expire at the end of this year. title 7 of fisa allows the intelligence community to collect vital information about international terrorists and other important targets overseas. the law authorizes surveillance of nonu.s. persons located overseas who are foreign
intelligence importance, meaning they have a connection to or information about threats such as terrorism or proliferation. it also provides for comprehensive oversight by all three branches of government to protect the privacy and civil liberties of u.s. persons. department of justice and my office conduct extensive oversight reviews and we report to chg on implementation and compliance twice a year. intelligence communication produces crucial intelligence that is vital to protect the nation. always considering whether there are changes to be made to improve the law but our first priority is reauthorization of these priorities in their current form. we look forward to working with you to ensure the speedy enactment of legislation reauthorizing the fisa amendments act so that there is no interruption in our ability to use these authorities to protect the american people. so i will end this brief statement where i began. the fiscal environment we face as a nation and in our
intelligence community will require careful identification and management of the challenges the ic focuses on and the risks that we must mutually assume. with that, i thank you and the members of this committee for your dedication to the security of our nation, your support for our men and women of the intelligence community and for your attention today. my colleagues and i look forward to your questions and our discussion. thank you. >> thank you very much, director clapper. we will begin with 10 minutes and early bird rule. as i mentioned in my opening statement, i think 2012 is going to be a critical year for convincing or preventing iran from developing a nuclear weapon. in sunday's "new york times" magazine, israeli journalist wrote, after speaking with many senior israeli leaders and chiefs of the military and the
intelligence, i have come to believe that israel will indeed strike iran in 2012. how do you assess that likelihood? and the response from iran, if that happens that might be forth coming. >> well, our hope is that the sanctions, particularly those which have been recently implemented, would have the effect of inducing a change in the iranian policy towards their apparent pursuit of a nuclear capability. obviously, this is a very sensitive issue right now. we're doing a lot with the israelis working together with them. and of course for them, this is, as they have characterized it an
existential threat. but this is an area that we are very, very concerned about. and we would be pleased to, because of the sensitivities, would be pleased to discuss in greater detail in closed session. >> well, the vice chairman and i have just met this paves week with the director of mo sad, so that is a classified meeting but we do know that. i think -- and let me ask this of you. director petraeus, i think the world has to know what's happening. it is one of the reasons i believe that the iaea when they go in -- well, they're in pakistan now. but when they go in really must make transparent and public what they find there, what they see there. so that we know for sure what is happening. i think the world is entitled to that particularly when you have
a situation where one country views this as an existential threat. they believe it's their survival. they are determined not to let it happen. to really get the correct picture on what is happening i think is important. do you have a view on this? >> i do, madam chairman. if i could up front let me also a echo director clapper's remarks about thanking you and the vice chairman for your kind words on the members of the intelligence committee on the accomplishments of this past year some of which obviously were of enormous significance and thanks to both of you as well for your comments on the agency efforts to keep the committee fully and currently informed. we have worked very hard to be accessible to you. i have personally. my deputy of the staff we think that the facts reflect that.
we have worked hard also to shorten the time frame from event to notification when it comes to congressional notifications and we have also increased those over the last five months as well. like you obviously i met with the head of moss sad when he was here, that is part of an ongoing dialogue that has also included conversation that i have had with the prime minister and the minister almost on a monthly basis in the nearly five months that i have been in the job. i think it is very important to note, as the article did in the "new york times," the growing concerns that israel has and that the countries in the region have and indeed all of us have about the continued activities by iran along a path that could, if the decision is made as director clapper noticed in his open statement, if a decision is made to pursue the construction of a nuclear device. . .
key customers. so i look forward, as do others obviously, to seeing what that public report will provide this time, believing again that it will be again the authority of open source document on the program that iran is pursuing in the nuclear field. >> thank you very much, general petraeus. to me, pakistan is a very puzzling country. we know thousands of pakistanis have been killed by terrorists, and we suspect that what pakistan is doing is trying essentially, to use the vernacular, what both sides of the street. i think in most of us believe that having a positive relationship with pakistan as a
nuclear power -- a significant nuclear power -- is very important. the question i have is -- how do you assess this relationship, which certainly had its low in december, may or may not be improving? how do you assess it at this time? >> let me start, and i will ask director petraeus to add in. well, clearly, as you allude, this is a challenging relationship, but it is an important one for exactly the reasons that you mentioned, which is pakistan is a nuclear power. pakistan and our interests are not always congruent. their existential threat continues to be india. they have also paid a huge price because of the militants
they have had in their country and have suffered literally thousands of casualties in that context. sometimes our interests converge, and sometimes they differ. as i would characterize the relationship, it is crucial that we have one and have a positive relationship, even though we are gone through some trying times. >> again, the relationship is very important, but the relationship right now is also quite strained. the most recent cause of that, of course, is the november 26 border incident. the pakistani parliament -- there is a committee that is determining recommendations to make for the government for the way forward in the relationship between the united states and pakistan. i think there is an awareness there as well that this is a critically important relationship, that there are areas of considerable mutual
concern, mutual objectives, while there are also those, as director clapper noted, in which there are diverging interests. the activities right now are also complicated, though, because of the difficulties and the domestic context with there is a bit of tension between the supreme court, between the army jeep and the isi half director. that may be call me a bit. there have been signs of that in recent days. it is with noting -- worth noting that the former ambassador to the united states was allowed to leave, and he did arrive in the eu this morning. nonetheless, the situation, as our british colleagues might say, is brought, and it is going to take some time. it will take a lot of diplomacy, engagement, and so forth to move forward in a relationship that
is important to both of our countries. i should know that as a general comment, we believe the relationship between the intelligence services is generally still productive. there are certainly good communication going back and forth, and there have been some important -- again, the pursuit of important mutual objectives between the two services. >> thank you both very much. mr. vice chairman? >> thank you. press reports indicate that the united states is prepared to trade by taliban members currently detained at guantanamo as a confidence- building measure in negotiations with the taliban. all five detainees named by the press were determined by the current administration to be "to dangerous to transfer" and are being held as enemy combatants. did the intelligence community
concur in the determination that these five detainees were too dangerous to transfer and should be held as enemy combatants? >> i believe in the original assessments, in which the nctec director was involved, that was the case, but i should say that this proposed so-called trade has actually not been decided yet. there is continued consultation with the congress. in fact, there will be a session this afternoon with the senate leadership on this issue, and, of course, we are certainly mindful of provisions in the national defense authorization act and the requirement for certification. i believe inherent in that is continued consultation with congress on whether or not they should go forward. that said, i think the history
has been in almost every case where we have had hostilities that at some point in time there are negotiations. i do not think anyone in the administration harbors any illusions about the potential year, and, of course, part and parcel of such a decision, if it were finally made, would be the actual determination of where these detainees might go and the conditions in which they would be controlled or surveiled. >> director olson, as stated, you did head the guantanamo review task force that made the determination that these five reportedly named individuals were too dangerous to transfer. have you changed your view with respect to these detainees? >> vice chair, i have not been recalled in any reviews more recently of those detainees. as you point out, they were
subject to the review we conducted in 2009 that determined that, i believe, those were among the 48 who were deemed too dangerous to leave and who could not be prosecuted, but i have done no further review in my current capacity. >> you are saying that the administration has not asked you for any updated your opinion relative to these individuals? >> that is correct. >> i need to inject here that in the interagency deliberations, certainly, the ic has been asked, and we have provided assessments of the five that are in question, so that has been part of the discussion. >> has there been a change by the community from the categorizing of these individuals as too dangerous to transfer? >> we have not -- no, sir, i did not believe that -- under normal circumstance -- in other words,
the repatriation to their point of origin or their country of origin. this is a different condition, though, in terms of the potential for negotiating some form of confidence-building measure with the taliban, and this is very, very preliminary. again, no final decision has been made. >> let me ask you and director petraeus, who are very familiar with this -- are you comfortable with transferring these individuals out of guantanamo? >> for me, the key would be where they would go, the intermediate country where they might be detained, and the degree to which they would be surveiled. that would be the key determinant for me. >> director petraeus? >> very similar. in fact, our analyst did provide assessments of the five and the risks presented by various
scenarios by which they could be sent somewhere. not back to afghanistan or pakistan. and then based on the various mitigating measures that could be implemented to insure that they cannot return to militant activity. >> the intelligence community assesses -- and director clapper, your statement for the record underscores -- is the taliban remains resilient and capable of challenging u.s. and international goals in afghanistan. it also assesses the taliban senior leaders continue to enjoy safe havens in pakistan, which enabled them to provide strategic direction to the insurgency in afghanistan without fear for their safety. does the community assess that taliban reconciliation is likely to have a great deal of success, considering that the group is resilient, maintains the ability to challenge the united states, and continues to enjoy a sanctuary in pakistan, and knows
the timelines under which we plan to withdraw u.s. forces from afghanistan? >> [inaudible] >> your microphone, please. >> our assessment is pretty much as you stated it. the taliban remains a resilient, a determined adversary. that said, i do not think anyone harbors any illusions about it, but i think the position is at least explore the potential for negotiating with them as a part of this overall resolution of the situation in afghanistan. >> want to be careful how i ask this, and hopefully, you can respond in some way. with respect to our relationship with pakistan, the safe havens
that do exist have been pretty obvious and well-documented publicly. how is our relationship with pakistan at this point in time allowing us to address those safe havens and the cross-border activity that is taking place there, from a taliban standpoint? >> this is obviously part of the dialogue and the engagement that director petraeus and i have spoken of. clearly, this is a point of discussion with the pakistanis. they are certainly aware of our concerns, but this is a case where historically, sometimes -- a good example of where our mutual interests do not always converge. >> director petraeus, anything you want to add? >> again, the record is obviously mixed. there has been progress against
some of the extremist elements in the border regions in particular. that would include, obviously, al qaeda. when numbers one, two, and 3 are removed from the picture in a single year, needless to say, that is a pretty significant accomplishment. it is important to note that in october of this past year, and for your of the top 20 in a single week were either captured or killed. again, some of this has obviously been undertaken together. there has been progress also by pakistan's partners against the elements that have threatened their very existence. we should remember that a little over two and a half years ago, it looked as though the would continue march right out of swat valley and perhaps into the suburbs of islamabad. they reversed that. they fought very hard and have taken very significant casualties and in so doing, they have also gone after some of the elements in the federally
administered tribal areas. on the other hand, obviously, there has been insufficient pressure on some of the other elements. again, the allies of al qaeda. and the needless to say, the afghan taliban has not been pressured sufficiently in the .anctuary's that it enjoys >> you have also been integrally involved in this issue relative to the cross border activity. anything you want to add to this? >> no, sir. in fact, director betray as kind of laid the line out very well in terms of where things are progressing. >> director, a month ago, the president signed the national defense authorization act and issued a signing statement in which he outlined reservations about certain provisions.
regarding section 1022, which mandates military attention for a limited type of non-u.s. citizen terrorist, the president's stated he would use his waiver authority for entire categories of cases and would design implementation procedures to provide maximum flexibility and clarity to our counter- terrorism professionals. are you aware of any categories of terrorists for whom the president has used or intends to use his waiver authority? if so, which ones? and how are the intelligence and law enforcement community is implementing section 1022 of the ndaa? >> let me start by saying at the outset, i have reservations in two areas. one, in terms of our continued authority to invest terrorism cases in the united states. that was resolved by the legislation. the other part was what happens at the time for the rest of the united states? the statute provides for the
administration to provide a set of procedures that will be applicable to that particular situation. without getting into details, i can say that the justice apartment and the warehouse are in the process of drafting those procedures, but they would be premature to talk about any of the specifics because it is still in the drafting stages. my hope is that as we go through and develop these procedures, that the remaining concerns we have as to what happens at the time of arrest will be resolved. >> i thank you for that comment and would just say that, as you know, we had extensive conversations between doj, the white house, and congress on this issue as it went through that drafting, and i hope you would continue to dialogue with us with regard to the regulations that are ultimately implemented. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, madam chair. let me commend you and the vice
chair for the way in which to put the focus of this committee in a bipartisan way, and i commend you for it. all at the witness table, i thank you for your outstanding service. it has been an outstanding year. let me start with you, if i might, director clapper, with respect to iran. i've come to believe that iran's leaders are not going to give up their push for a nuclear weapons capability unless they believe it is going to cost them their hold on power. do you share that assessment? >> senator, actually, that comports with the intelligence community assessment that if the decision is made to press on with a nuclear weapon, and there are certain things they have not done yet, that it would be based on a cost-benefit analysis, starting with the supreme
leader cozy world view and the extent to which he thinks that would benefit the state of iran or, conversely, not benefit. so that is, i think, precisely where he is, and it will be done on a cost/benefit basis, and we do not believe he has made that decision yet. >> what could convince them, in your view, that their hold on power is being undermined by their nuclear efforts? >> i think the rest of the population, because of the economic extremists that the country of iran is incurring, if you look at the plunging value of the real, looking at the two indicators that i think are important -- and extremely high unemployment rate in iran --
this, i think, could give rise to resentment and discontent among the populace. not to say there have not been other examples elsewhere in the region. >> on another subject, you referenced a recent report that describes how foreign spies, particularly those in china and russia, are stealing our economic secrets. can you give us some sense of what type of secrets these entities in china and russia are most interested in stealing? >> the report you refer to a national counterintelligence executive report and was issued this fall, which called out russia and china for -- particularly china -- on their wholesale plunder in, i guess,
if you will, of intellectual property. of course, they seem most interested in our technology. obviously, if they can save themselves the time and expense of doing r&d on their own and just steal it from us, that works to their benefit. to the extent that they can penetrate and protected industry networks, which they have done --
>> successful in censoring twitter, facebook, internet search engines and electronic communication. >> in some cases, they tried to do that. i am not sure the success of these upheavals, if you will, were completely dependent on social media. i think the basic problems in this region -- particularly economic, repression of political freedoms and the kind of thing -- what have bubbled up anyway. i think the social media simply helped foment and amplify that resentment when people understood it was a large collected. -- collective. i think the social media certainly facilitated it, but i do not think without it it would not have happened.
of course, some of the governments reacted to that by their attempts to suppress such communications. >> i do not know how the word would have gotten out. if you look, for example, at the way bones are tapped in the region and a variety of other approaches, i do not think the word would have gone out, and that is why i'm going to ask you a question if i might. there is a discussion now in the congress about whether or not internet search engines should be involved in a censorship approach in terms of dealing with intellectual property specifically. are you concerned that if that is done here, this could be a precedent, which could make it harder for the state department to go forward, for example, with secretary clinton's internet
freedom initiative? i have come to feel that at a minimum, it would be cited as a precedent, that if it is done here, you that have for present -- oppressive governments around the world say, "look at what is going on in the united states. they are supposed to be a leader in terms of freedom." >> i think we are always concerned with many conflicting strain is one policy and legislation is being discussed about the internet and about how to solve various problems with the distribution of information as well as how to protect our congress at the moment. secretary of state clinton has made clear that internet freedom is a very important principle and the overriding principle as we approached all of these issues, and i think when we consider whatever precedent is
being said, whatever legislation is being considered, that that is the primary interest that we need to consider. we also need to consider, though, and the administration has spoken about online privacy and how to deal with that very serious issue and that this can be done within the -- in a way that protects those freedoms but also that is going to not change the architecture of the internet. >> let me wrap up with you, director clapper, on an issue i have asked about before at this open hearing. general petraeus knows about the use of force in a speech that was given by the state department lawyer. i will let you know at the beginning that it is a matter of public record that the intelligence community sometimes takes direct action, and it
sometimes involves the use of lethal force. the director gave a speech outlining our policy with respect to various terrorist groups. he talked about detention, talked about the use of unmanned drones and noted that under u.s. law, the use of force against terrorists is permitted by congressional authorization while under international law, it is permitted by america's right to self-defense. in spite of having asked about this on a number of occasions -- and, general petraeus, you know that i, too, share the view of the chair with respect to your working here on this committee and being forthright. i have not been able to get an answer to this specific question, and i would like to know whether that speech contained unstated exceptions for intelligence agencies. >> with respect to counter terrorism, it does not.
it applies to all components of the government involved in counterterrorism, be it military or non-military. >> are there other exceptions other than counter terrorist activities? >> i believe his speech dealt with counter-terrorism. >> you believe his speech, the text of the speech -- this will be important -- applies to all agencies? to the intelligence community? his entire speech, the overall substance of the speech applied to all the intelligence community? >> with respect to counter- terrorism, yes. >> thank you, madam chair. >> thank you very much. senator udall. >> thank you. good morning. thanks to all of you for the important work you do. let me start by commenting in a follow-on way on the topic onchambliss -- the topic center
cha -- senator chambliss mentioned. we had a spirited debate on the floor of the senate for a number of days. senator mccain was very involved, as were a number of other senators. i think it was a valuable debate, a worthwhile debate. i think it was the senate at its best. i'm hopeful that the compromise is put into the final product will work. i will continue to monitor what is happening. i think the debate as to whether we are to be prosecuting, delivering justice through the military system versus the article 3 system, is an important one. senator feinstein and i and others have joined to introduce the due process guarantee act. i think at the heart of our concerns and the center of our mission is to ensure that americans will not be indefinitely detained. again, i want to thank everybody for the engagement and passion
they brought to that important debate. general clapper, if i could focus on a particular topic of commercial imagery, i was glad to see your topics that you are a big believer in commercial imagery. you know it has the benefit of being unclassified, which is great for sharing among our war fighters at all levels, and with our coalition partners overseas as well as with non-military users. in light of those comments, i have become concerned about what i have been hearing about the steep reductions in fiscal year 2013 for the enhanced view commercial imagery program. i understand the white house has requested a requirements review for commercial imagery consistent with a new defense strategy, and that this review may well indicate the need for a shift away from the national technical means given that commercial providers can collect imagery at a resolution that meet virtually all of the
military's needs. do you believe the fiscal year 2013 enhanced view budget will meet the needs of the war fighters for unclassified imagery? how will it affect the safety of our war fighters and our capacity to work with our allies? >> senator, as you alluded, i am a huge believer in commercial imagery, going back to when i served as director of nema and later nga and in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. it continues to be of great value for exactly the reasons you cited. it is unclassified and can be shared in coalition context as well as domestic disaster relief and the like. that said, though, we are looking at some pretty steep budget cuts across the board in the intelligence community.
as a consequence, commercial imagery will be considered in the broader look of where we may have to take reductions. it is my view that not only can we satisfy military requirements but all other non-military requirements as well. i think it is incumbent on the industry to perhaps come up with some innovations and business practices and this sort of thing that will help us as we look at a more constrained fiscal environment. >> i appreciate your attention to this matter. i know many of the other participants today on the panel depend on this kind of imagery. my concern, i think, and you share it, i hear you implying, is that if you cut too far, you reduce the reach of the
commercial sector. you may lose skills sets and experts that have played an important role. you created downward spiral that may be hard to reverse. >> this is a concern we have across the board. as we make reductions, particularly in intelligence, obviously, that will have some impact on the industrial base across the board. >> let me turn to the middle east. others on the panel, please feel free to weigh in -- syria. do you assess that the fall of the al assad regime is inevitable, or is it still in question? if the resistance of all, how do you assess what syria would look like book near-term and long- term, and what are your thoughts on how hezbollah and iran would be affected, should the regime fall?
>> i personally believe it is a question of time before al assad falls, but that is the issue. it could be a long time, given the protracted -- i think two factors are just the attraction of these demonstrations. the opposition continues to be fragmented, but i do not see how he can sustain his role of syria. and, of course, post-assad would be exactly the issue. there is a question about who would emerge in a post-assad situation. as far as iran and hezbollah, what is transpiring in syria is, of course, of great concern to them. that is why they are expending a great effort in terms of
resources and advice and this sort of thing to try to prop up the regime. >> i generally subscribe to that as well. the opposition is, obviously, showing a considerable amount of resilience and indeed is carrying out an increasing level of violence. the fact is that damascus and aanother, two previously relatively six cities, the two biggest, are seeing violence to try to push them out of the suburbs has met very stiff resistance, and i think it has shown indeed how substantial the opposition to the regime is and how it is in fact growing and how increasing areas are becoming beyond the reach of the regime poses security forces. post-assad, one would assume
there would be leadership from the sunni arab community of the country, which is certainly the majority, as opposed to the minority that is the core of the regime of the -- of the al assad regime, but it then that's the question of what happens to these other elements, the minorities. >> the christian community and other christian sects as well. >> clearly, the loss of syria as a logistics platform, a line of communication into lebanon, to support hezbollah would be a substantial step back in iran in its efforts to use hezbollah as a proxy, and that is indeed why the revolutionary guard is still engaged right now.
>> let me turn to another country in that region. general petraeus, you know better than anyone how much we have invested in iraq -- treasure, our reputation, and, of course, the lives of americans from all over our country. if you were to advise the policymakers sitting here and in the senate and congress at large, what would you suggest we should be doing as iraq struggles to find a democratic path forward? >> i think, essentially continuing what we are in fact doing, which is to engage iraqi counterparts at various levels all the way from the top through the diplomatic communities of intelligence and security services, to work hard to help
them resolve the ongoing political crisis, and there is no other word for that, although it has perhaps diminished somewhat and now appears as of the last 48 hours that the sunni block of the political leadership will return to the government, albeit still with some hedging of bets. supporting them as they grapple with the security challenges that have emerged over the course of the past two months or so, where al qaeda in iraq has been a bit more active than it was for quite some time, helping them to develop further their security forces and their intelligence services to come back a mutual enemy. we do not want to see the resurgence for the regeneration of al qaeda in iraq, and very much in the interests of both
countries and indeed the region and the world to work together to combat it. >> thank you. thank you, madam chair. >> thank you very much, senator. >> thank you, madam chair and thank all of you for your contributions to our country. want to follow-up on a couple of issues with respect to iran. obviously, it is deeply troubling in terms of the direction that they are taking. we predicate a lot, obviously, on the report of the issues by the iaea. the report lists the number of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device, including procuring nuclear-related and dole-used materials, the acquisition of nuclear development information, the development of indigenous design and nuclear weapons, including
testing of components. i gather we agree to the fact that iran has not made a decision to let the nice at this point. director clapper, do you agree on that? >> yes, but they are certainly moving on that path. we do not believe they have actually made the decision to go ahead with a nuclear weapon. >> how would we decide that they have integrated all of these components in a decision to what a nice, at which point? what would be our redline? that's a key indicator will be, without going into some areas here, but a clear indicator would be enrichment of uranium to a 90% level. that would be a pretty good indicator of their seriousness. there are some other things they
would need to do, which i would rather not go into in an open session, that we would also look for, and apart from whatever we could glean from across the community on an actual decision to go forward. >> general petraeus, do you care to answer as well? >> i fully subscribe to that. the various components -- enrichment, what is asian, delivery -- what inization, delivery, what we think what happened if there is a decision to enrich be on the 20% that they are currently in reaching to -- in richmond, what then -- in richmond -- enrichment, weaponization, delivery. the amount of enriched uranium they have exceeds any requirement, for example, for
the tehran research reactor for the foreseeable future. so there are already concerned just with that. >> the iaea reports that much of the work is dispersed among a number of locations, so with the inspectors being there for however many days -- several days, would they be able to discern or detect their ability to let denies or what state they are in? what we hope to clean? >> as director petraeus alluded, the role of iata is extremely important here. of course, we do have to bear in mind that iran is a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty, but the facilities they are operating are safeguarded, meaning they are required to be inspected. so they are a presence there and in fact, they are an extended stay. it is the intent of the iaea, as they said before, to hopefully
resolve these ambiguities about iran's program and its intent. so what they have to say is crucial and, of course, there continued access is crucial. >> and there is continuous monitoring also by other means that the iaea has as well. >> general, iran has issued various threats with respect to the strait of hormuz. can you give us some analysis of the activities there and what we are doing in addition to what capabilities iran has or does not have with respect to having the potential to close the strait or affect it in any way in terms of international transit? >> what i have said in open discussions on this -- a lot would have to be taken to closed
session, but clearly, the iranians have the capability to temporarily close the strait of hormuz. the concern becomes how long it would go, but they clearly have the capability, but if we go any further, i would prefer to go to closed session, ma'am. >> do we have a defined time in that respect? on temporary? >> i would prefer to go to closed session. >> ok, thank you. director clapper, getting back to the issue of pakistan, there is a senior administrative official talking about developing a normal in terms of the relationship with pakistan. so much of what we're doing in afghanistan is predicated on rooting out the safe havens, obviously, and that is the
predicate for the president's policy that he indicated in june, and obviously, we need to have that strong relationship with pakistan. how does that strategy going forward -- how is that affected by what is developing in pakistan? there is a review of our relationship under way with the pakistani government and parliament, and secondly, the thread about imposing taxes on the transit of our materials from their ports and roads to afghanistan. so this is deeply troubling. i do not know if this is a normal, but how does that affect our situation in afghanistan, and how is it that it changes the dynamic in afghanistan? >> it obviously has a profound
impact on afghanistan and the prospects for successful resolution there. that is why -- and that is a way of emphasizing the importance of a positive relationship with the pakistanis and getting into the policy realm outside of intelligence, but it is crucial the our dialogue proceed and that we find some way of converging on that issue as well, but in particular, with respect to save havens. pakistan is -- pakistanis are very proud people, and they felt their sovereignty was a salted. of course, the regrettable incident in november with the killing of the pakistani troops
on the border-is that theory that has caused them to collectively reassess their relationship, but in the end, i believe they realize they need a positive partnership with us and, hopefully, we will look through these in such a way that we minimize the impact of these safe havens. >> general petraeus, you are obviously in an interesting position both as a commander of the forces and the architect of the counterinsurgency strategy in afghanistan and now being director of the central intelligence agency. since you have assumed this position, do you view things differently in afghanistan with respect to our strategy? >> no, i cannot say that i do. >> even with some of the reports that have been issued regarding the assessment of afghanistan
and that it is very difficult to make the gains that are essential precisely because of what is happening with the safe havens in pakistan? i mean, these issues -- nothing has changed in the dynamic, unfortunately. it is in the corruption, the government, and now, of course, the safe haven. these have been the dynamics that have been there since the beginning. >> there is nothing easy about afghanistan. as we used to say, it is all heart all the time, but it is also all important all the time. there is a reason we went there in the wake of 9/11. we have hugely important national security interests there, and it is very important to that country, to the region, and the world that we do everything possible to try to get that right and to insure that afghanistan is never again a launch pad for extremist attacks as it was for the 9/11 attacks. if i could, by the way -- you touched a little bit alluding to
the fact that i had a different viewpoint at various times than that of the intelligence community, and i was pretty clear, i think, in my confirmation hearing that that typically resulted from the back that the intelligence community tends to stop, if you will, the clock and then, for six to eight weeks, do the analysis, our view within the community itself on the ultimate position, and then provide the or district assessment or whatever document is provided to policy makers. in the four times i have differed with the intelligence community on a rack or afghanistan, the reason for it has been that lag in a dynamic situation. we continue to make progress or in a couple instances did not because in those cases, twice, i thought the assessment was to - by the intelligence community, and then once in iraq, once in afghanistan, two other times, i felt that the community was to
positive and that we should be more guarded in our assessments. >> i appreciate that. i well recall that. i know there is that difference in terms of the lag time. >> what i should note is the director clapper and all of us had discussed this, and what we want to do is dramatically reduce that amount of time from when you stop the clock for the analysts to start the rioting, or to finalize it so that there is not such a large gap between the end of the data and the delivery of the product to the policymakers to congress to the rest of the community. >> that probably did not happen this last. >> i'm glad you asked that because i think that is worth clarifying. the open session addressed the post 2014.
it was assessments by the intelligence community analyst about various scenarios. in other words, if you make a certain set of assumptions about a number of factors in afghanistan, what will the outcome likely be? there were a series of groups of assumptions about that. there was relatively little on the state of the insurgency. in fact, in open session, it basically said there has been continued progress, but also that the taliban does remain resilient. the military's concern in this case was that -- a view that there perhaps should have been an additional set or perhaps even sets of assumptions that could be analyzed. in particular, some assumptions that may have implied a greater level of assistance than was in those other sets, and that was really the issue. i think that the accounts of this have not in all cases been
completely well-informed, shall we say. >> appreciate that. thank you. >> thank you very much. senator rockefeller. >> thank you, madam chairman. i want to make a couple comments. i was pleased to hear that you want to proceed with the renewal of. -- the renewal of fisa. i think it served two rolls. it was not without controversy, it was the right thing to do. i think it helped what some of us who have been here for some years should point out that i think it helped open the dialogue between the intelligence community and this committee. this committee went through a long time when the i.c. community treated us very
cavalierly. was not interested in sharing with us. i guess it was pat roberts at the time and myself. they would talk with the gang of four, the gang of eight, but never both committees. they would never share what they told us, and there were certain circumstances where they could not -- we could not share what they told us because that was a specific request and with good reason, but it was not a good relationship. it was not a good relationship. right after 9/11, the first thing that congress did was to pass a law saying it was ok for the central intelligence agency and fbi to communicate with each other and perhaps even shake hands and perhaps even start to work up a little intelligence on the fbi side. that was a long process. all of this is long and painful. i lead up to this by saying i cannot describe to you my own
frustration and sense of wonderment how all of our dni directors have come before these meetings and have, at least in the past -- and you referenced today -- that far away, the most important matter of national security is something called cyber security. the president in his state of the union actually used the word cyber threat, which i think is a better way of talking about it. it is more stunning, alarming. less passive. we have made virtually no process on the subject. -- no progress. on the one hand, the intelligence community is telling us it is the number one national security threat. not taking three of the top five out or what is going on here or
there, but on a sustained basis, national security depends upon our ability to allow -- to form a system where and private companies working with dhs and the government can on their own decide how they want to protect themselves and get some help. we do not over regulate. some have said that. we make changes. olympia snowe and i came up with a bill three years ago -- three years ago. nobody seems to get very excited about either it or the subject, and i am very troubled by this. i want to discuss this with you specifically. cyber security is not in your general line of work.
but it is very much in director clapper's line of work. and therefore, all your lines of work. i do not see particularly movement. there were some criticisms made of the bill, that it was too regulatory. we have interfaced with hundreds of private stakeholders and companies over the years, and they are quite satisfied with an almost completed bill or a virtually completed bill that we have. so our democratic leader and the president talked about how we had to do this. the president, as i said, did mention this in the state of the union. that is important, but nothing has happened. if it is a national security threat, if it is the national security threat, i do not understand why we cannot get working together on this and get a bill done.
fisa was hard, but this makes it look like a piece of cake. and it is far more in the long term -- not in the long term. it is probably equal in the long term in terms of its importance, but it has been a very bad demonstration on the part of the congress, the administration, and the public, which really has no particular interest in cyber security because nobody is explaining it to them because it is abstract. it is not pushed by any one group with particular emphasis. therefore, nobody is very excited about it. we have worked out a way back private-sector companies basically take responsibility for their own cyber safety, cyber security. dhs helps them. and they are held accountable for it. i grew so frustrated by the lack of action on the part of all of
us -- conclusive action -- that i went to mary schapiro at the securities and exchange commission and said, "i cannot do legislation evidently right now. will you please at least post on the sec website where investors go all the time, obviously, to figure out if they are going to invest in private companies or not, and that private company would have to simply say if they had been hacked into?" that is all i had to say. sort of a desperate measure, but it was a start. it has had some effect. people are talking about that affect in washington. that does not interest me unless it is headed towards a bill. i would like to get your take, general clapper, and perhaps director miller, also, and anybody else who chooses to
speak on this subject, how you can tell it -- tell us it is the principal national security threat, and we have absolutely no bill. we do have a bill, but we have no pervasive push to get this accomplished. not just a legislative matter. >> well, first of all, i do not think there is any question of the potential year. there are sort of two dimensions to this. what goes on diet -- day in and day out in terms of our intellectual property being stolen from us, and then there is the -- which is a real -- is a real threat. then, there is the potential, although i think it is less likely, of a massive attack, as some have described, that would
paralyze the country or key segments thereof. most likely, proponents of that would be a nation-state. specifically china or russia. that is why i was pushed hard -- we pushed hard to have that report published by the national counterintelligence executive and classified that called out that threat. i think that is an important responsibility of the intelligence community, to advise all and sundry whether it is administration officials, whether it is the congress or the public, of the nature of that threat. i do think the government has a responsibility to provide support and advice, as exemplified in my mind by the defense industrial base pilot program that was championed b