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Senate Proceeding on Jan 21st, 2010 :: 6:37:05 to 6:47:55
Total video length: 9 hours 41 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Susan Collins

6:37:02 to 6:37:22( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: eye and say, "we'll fix them." why? because our kids and our grandkids deserve that and this country deserves that leership. mr. president, i yield the floor. ms. collins: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maine. ms. collin ask unanimous permitted to proceed as if in morning business for up to 12 minutes.

Susan Collins

6:37:05 to 6:47:55( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Susan Collins

Susan Collins

6:37:23 to 6:37:43( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: the presiding officer: without objection. ms. collins: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, yesterday the senate homeland security committee heard testimony from the three top u.s. intelligence officials about the errors that the federal government made

Susan Collins

6:37:44 to 6:38:04( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: leading up to the thwarted christmas day plot. we dodged a bullet that day when omar faroke e abdul matoulla, a nigerian-born terrorist, failed to detonate a bomb on flight 253

Susan Collins

6:38:05 to 6:38:26( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: in the skies above detroit. but today, mr. president, i rise to discuss an error that was made after that foreign terrorist had already been detained by american authorities in detroit, an error that may

Susan Collins

6:38:27 to 6:38:47( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: well have prevented the collection of valuable intelligence about future terrorist threats to our country. that error became clear during my questioning of three of our nation's topntelligence officials at the hearing yesterday.

Susan Collins

6:38:48 to 6:39:09( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: frankly, mr. president i was stunned to learn that the decision to place the captured terrorist into the u.s. civilian criminal court system made without any input or the knowledge of the director of

Susan Collins

6:39:10 to 6:39:30( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: national intelligence, the director of national counterterrorism center, or the secretary of the department of homeland security. that's right, mr. president. these officials were never consulted by the department of justice before the decision was made.

Susan Collins

6:39:31 to 6:39:51( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: and that decision, mr. president, was critical. the abdul mutallah likely foreclosed the collection of additional information. we know that the interrogation

Susan Collins

6:39:52 to 6:40:12( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: of terrorists can provide critical intelligence but our civilian as opposed to the military justice and tribunal system established by congress and the president encourages terrorists

Susan Collins

6:40:13 to 6:40:35( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: to lawyer up and to stop answering questions. and, indeed, that was exactly what happened in the case of abdul mutallah. he had provided some valuable information to law enforcement officials in the hours immediately after his capture,

Susan Collins

6:40:36 to 6:40:56( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: and we surely would have obtained more information if we had treated this foreign terrorist as an enemy belligerent and had placed him in the military tribunal system. instead, once he was read his miranda rights, given a lawyer

Susan Collins

6:40:57 to 6:41:19( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: at our expense, he was advised to cease answering questions and that's exactly what he did. that poor decision making may well have prevented us from finding out more of yemen's role in traing terrorists and more

Susan Collins

6:41:20 to 6:41:41( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: about future plots that are underway in yemen targeting american citizens, in this country or abroad. good intelligence is clearly critical to our ability to stop terrorist plots before they are executed.

Susan Collins

6:41:42 to 6:42:04( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: we know that lawful interrogations of terrorist suspects can provide important intelligence. to charge abdulmutallab in the civilian criminal syste without even consulting three of our nation's top intelligence

Susan Collins

6:42:05 to 6:42:26( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: officials simply defies commonsense. to correct this failure and to ensure that our nation's senior intelligence officials are consulted before making the decision to try future foreign terrorists in civilian court, i am today introducing

Susan Collins

6:42:27 to 6:42:49( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: would require this crucial consultation. i'm very pleased to be joined by the chairman of the homeland curity committee, senator lieberman, who's been such a leader in this entire area, as well as by two other very valuable members of our committee who are also concerned

Susan Collins

6:42:50 to 6:43:12( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: about the testimony yesterday, senator bob bennett and senator john ensign. specifically, our bill would require the attorney general to consult with the director of national intelligence, the director of the national counterterrorism center, the

Susan Collins

6:43:13 to 6:43:34( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: secretary of homeland security and the secretary of defense before initiating a custodial interrogation of foreign terrorists or filing civilian criminal charges against them. these officials, mr. president, are in the bestosition to know what other threats the united

Susan Collins

6:43:35 to 6:43:56( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: states is facing from terrorists and to assess the need to gather more intelligence on those threats. if there is a disagreement between the attorney general and these intelligence officials regarding the appropriate approach to the detention and interrogation of foreign

Susan Collins

6:43:57 to 6:44:17( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: terrorists, then the bill would require the president to resolve the disagement. only the president would be permitted to direct the initiation of civilian law enforcement actions, balancing his constitutional responsibilities as commander in

Susan Collins

6:44:18 to 6:44:40( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: chief and as the nation's chief law enforcement officer. to be clear, this legislation would not deprive the president of any investigative or prosecutorial tool. it would not preclude a decision to charge a foreign terrorist in

Susan Collins

6:44:41 to 6:45:02( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: our military tribunal system or in our civilian criminal justice system. it would simply require that the attorney general coordinate and consult with our top intelligence officials before making a decision that could

Susan Collins

6:45:03 to 6:45:23( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: foreclose the collection of critical additional intelligence information. this consultation requirement is not unprecedented section counterintelligence and security enhancements act of 1994 requires the director of the

Susan Collins

6:45:24 to 6:45:44( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: f.b.i. and the head of a department or agency with a potential spy in its ranks to consult and periodically reassess any decision the suspected spy in place so that additional intelligence can

Susan Collins

6:45:45 to 6:46:06( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: be gathered on his activities. as the senate intelligence committee noted in its report on the legislation that added t espionage consultation requirement, while prosecutorial discretion ultimately rests with the department of justice officials, it stands to reason

Susan Collins

6:46:07 to 6:46:29( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: that in cases designed to protect our national security, such as espionage and terrorism cases, prosecutors should ensure that they do not make decisions that in fact end up harming the national security. the committee got it right.

Susan Collins

6:46:30 to 6:46:51( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: the committee went on to explain -- quote -- "the determination of whether to lea a subject in place should be retained by the host agency." mr. president, the history of the espionage consultation requirement is eerily reminiscent of the lack of

Susan Collins

6:46:52 to 6:47:13( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: consultation that occurred in the case of abdul abdulmutallab. congress already has recognized that when valuable intelligence is at stake in espionage cases, our national security should trump decisions based solely on

Susan Collins

6:47:14 to 6:47:35( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: prosecutorial equities. this requirement must be extended to the most signifint threat facing our nation, and that is the threat of terrorism. i encourage the senate to act quickly on this important legislation.

Susan Collins

6:47:36 to 6:47:55( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: the changes proposed are modest. they make common sense. but the consequences could be matter of life and death. thank you, mr. president. i would send the legislation to the desk and ask that it appropriately referred. the presiding officer: the

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