(Meeting with Bureau Chiefs. Also participating in the Bureau Chiefs meeting was Dick McGraw, PDASD, (PA) and John Jester, chief, Defense Protective Service and Bill Brazas, DoD Attorney.)
Clarke: I just have a couple of things to talk about and then I'm going to turn this over to Dick McGraw and Chief Jester, but one follow-up from the last time we met.
We did talk to CENTCOM about Kandahar because there seemed to be a little bit of a buzz and a rumble there that we're not getting as great service from Kandahar as we might like. So we did talk to CENTOM, Admiral Quigley, worked its way down through the food chain, had some conversations, and I think and hope that we'll get as good a performance out of Kandahar as we're getting from some of the other places. If you don't see that or hear that or your people aren't, please let me know.
Guantanamo, we also had a couple of little rumbles there and some confusion about media moving in, media moving out, but I think that also is in pretty good shape right now. If you hear otherwise, please let me know.
Q: Do you know in Kandahar are they going to have regular briefings?
Clarke: I doubt they will. And we tend to, what we try to do is have whatever seems to be the central point of activity if you will, and whoever the commander is in charge we try to make that the centerpiece, but then make sure the others can address what's going on in their location so I think we'll get some improvements there.
Anything else in the cats and dogs category?
Q: Yes. Clark Hoyt from Knight-Ridder.
When you say as good a performance out of Kandahar as we're getting out of other places, Bagram is not exactly working beautifully either. It's set up and organized and people are getting in but the degree of access is really not very satisfactory.
Clarke: Access to?
Hoyt: Access to people you want to talk to. Access to people who have been out in operations, access to people, if you're trying to develop a story and talk to somebody it's extremely difficult to do that. When our correspondent is getting access there is always a PAO always immediately there. There are interruptions. It becomes sort of a three-way where everything is "can I say that to him?". It's very inhibiting of news coverage.
Clarke: We were hearing just the opposite from people a couple of weeks ago about Bagram in particular, I think. People were saying things seemed to be going pretty well there. If there are specific incidents, or if you want to have your reporter, whoever it is, give me a call or send me an e-mail, we'll look into it.
But having a public affairs person there, that's pretty standard operating procedure, it really is. To have someone along.
And also, we are asking people who are involved in military operations to do this because we think it's important, we want them talking about what's going on. There are guidelines about things they should and shouldn't talk about. If it has something to do with an ongoing military operation, obviously they shouldn't be talking about that, or saying this is what we're going to be doing two weeks from now.
Hoyt: Yeah, we all understand that. That's not the nature of -- The communication I had from our reporter, --
Clarke: Who's the reporter?
Hoyt: The reporter who's currently there is Sadar [unintelligible].
Clarke: And this is the one who's been having the problems? Send me an e-mail.
The best way for me to address some of these things is if I have specifics and then we can go back to the people who were involved. It's usually, sometimes there's a misunderstanding, but we can address them.
Let me turn this over to Dick McGraw to head up this next part of it but let me just say a couple of things.
As many of you know about two weeks ago we had an incident out on the Pentagon reservation here in which people were all trying to do their job. Greg from FOX was trying to shoot what he thought was a newsworthy activity out on 110. The DPS folks who are charged with security of this building and the entire reservation were trying to do their job which is, as it is posted all over the Pentagon reservation, not allowing photography without prior approval. And I really, really believe and want to emphasize that I think everybody was doing what he thought he ought to be doing, doing what the training and the instincts told him to do.
We have had several calls and meetings, DPS and FOX and us, to work through that particular issue. But the incident did raise some important questions.
One, what is the current policy? I was the first one to admit even though I drive by the signs and I see them every day and I know photography is not permitted unless you have prior approval, which we give all the time, I was not fully aware of the current policies. And two, how do we handle the fact that news, as we've all learned the hard way, can break out around the pentagon and that journalist will want to do what they're supposed to do which is cover news that happens around us.
So we thought it would be useful, and Chief Jester and his folks have been just wonderful, sitting down with us, sitting down with FOX, working through some of these things. We thought it would be useful to have him come down and sit and talk with you so we can work through some of these issues.
So with that, Mr. McGraw?
McGraw: Thank you, ma'am.
What I thought I would do is ask the Chief first to, and the attorney that's there with him -- come on up to the table guys. Bill Brazas, the attorney; and John Jester, the Chief of the DPS police force, to first give us, give you, all of us as well, what the current policy is with regard to what we do when people take unauthorized photographs. And the rationale behind it, the legal basis behind it. Then allow you obviously to question those, comments and questions, and then get beyond that to some bigger issues as to how we deal with your right to cover news that's breaking and the need for security on the Pentagon reservation.
So Chief, why don't you tell us what the current policy is?
Jester: The current policy is that we have a restriction on photography on the Pentagon reservation. We basically say we would like for anyone who's going to do some photography to coordinate their actions with Public Affairs. And we do this routinely. We get e-mails from Glenn Flood from Public Affairs saying what organization is going to be taking pictures around where, particularly there's a lot of request for photography on the Project Phoenix. So that happens all the time. So we've had daily coordination about who's going to be taking pictures where. Sometimes Glenn's with them, sometimes we're with them. But we had that restriction.
Our job in DPS is to make sure we have a safe and secure environment. Obviously we have become more sensitive after 9/11 since we were the site of a terrorist attack, and we are a very big symbol of the Department of Defense. This building symbolizes everything the Department of Defense does worldwide. So we've obviously become more sensitive to things around the building. A concern we have is, in this new electronic age we're in, anything that is in the media [gasses] instantly around the world and we have operational security concerns about, basically what we have around the building to secure this facility being just simply distributed around the world.
So our concern is about people taking pictures of our security measures. As you know, you see Humvees around the building because we have augmentation from the military police so we're concerned when anybody takes pictures of any of our security procedures and that's where the situation occurred the other day.
The photographer was taking pictures of a traffic stop on 110, but in direct line to that there was a Humvees. The MP first approached the photographer, thought he was taking pictures of the Humvees. That's what stated the incident.
We reviewed the video, the Humvees was not in there. That's why we had no problem with it. But that's basically our guidelines.
McGraw: Bill, anything to add to that?
Brazis: No, I think John -- There's obviously a statute that allows the Secretary to promulgate regulations. The regulations in place do prohibit photography at the Pentagon reservation, and that's not uncommon. It's a regulation that you'll find in most sensitive defense installations and other governmental installations around as I'm sure you know.
We're a unique reservation here, uniquely vulnerable, uniquely open. We don't have fences around the entire reservation and that presents opportunities and also some concerns. Hopefully we can work in the way that DPS selectively applies, properly applies this prohibition, to meet our interests of security while not impinging on the rights of citizens or the press to do what they would normally do.
Q: Chief, Chuck Lewis from Hearst.
Could you help us understand why a picture of a Humvess is touchy?
Jester: We're looking at the position of the Humvees, where the locations, the positions are would basically tell people what we're trying to do and where we have say vulnerabilities, where we're positioning our personnel.
It's much like those of you who were around years ago when George Allen was coaching the Redskins. He used to be very restrictive on people watching his practices. It's somewhat similar to that.
We do not like to basically put up a card and say this is our next play to the other side about what we're doing. So we try to have something, hopefully, that the people cannot see.
And we're in this big open environment. We know that. We're in a big public forum. We have a big metro station here so we are very, very public. So it's a difficult job to do that. And we're also trying to educate our officers too, to situations where we feel it's appropriate for them to go to so much taking pictures or where there's a situation where obviously it's not a problem.
Lewis: Does the reservation, is it defined to include Route 110?
Jester: No. What was happening in this case, the photographer was on the reservation looking across to 110, but in that line of view was a vehicle that was actually on the reservation. So you had reservation, gap, and then reservation. So it was sort of a unique situation.
Q: David Cook from Christian Science Monitor.
The restrictions apply only if you're on the reservation shooting the reservation. They would not apply if you were in near proximity to the reservation but off as you shoot.
Jester: That's correct.
Q: Is there a definition? Is there a map or anything that shows us what you consider reservation?
Brazis: Yes. The reservation is defined in statute. It's the 280 acres more or less here. It is interspersed with a number of state highways. The boundaries are not completely contiguous. It includes property up at Federal Office Building No. 2, the parking lots on the other side of 395. But we do have plats and maps which very clearly indicate the boundaries of the Pentagon reservation here in Arlington County.
Jester: It essentially goes right to the highway edge. For example, on this side of 110 it goes right to the edge of the highway and it picks up on the other side of 110, the north side, and it picks up again, the edge of the highway to the lagoon. The same thing on the west side. It goes right to the edge of Highway 27.
Brazis: It's one of the real challenges that the Chief and the Department face in the protection of the reservation. There's kind of a spaghetti patchwork of highways that run through the reservation.
McGraw: Would it be helpful to you to have a map of what the reservation is?
Q: Tammy Kupperman, NBC.
If in fact there is a breaking news situation that involves, for example, one of the Humvees that you can see from 110 as well as the press parking lot, and that's just a hypothetical, what are the restrictions? If it's breaking news can we in fact shoot this? Say we're in the media parking lot and there's an attack on a Humvees right nearby. Is there a problem with us taking the camera out and shooting
McGraw: Tammy's gone right to the next issue. If you have no other questions about the current policy, and I do have one, then Tammy if I can come back to that.
While you have the right and the regulation's telling you how to seize cameras and photographic stuff, does that right extend to non-photographic materials as well? Written materials or anything like that?
Brazis: No. There's no prohibition on taking notes. The very specific regulatory prohibition is on photography. Someone can come and take notes all they want. That is not in and of itself a violation of any regulation.
Jester: It's basically a picture's worth a thousand words. A picture shows exactly what may take you a long line of words to describe.
McGraw: Let's get to Tammy's question. With 50-roughly reporters into the building every day and 500 who have building passes, the likelihood of someone approaching the building with a camera in their hand, a newsperson, at the same time a breaking news incident occurs is not unlikely. So how do we deal with, how do we both deal with the issue of your need to cover the news and the Chief's need to provide security?
Given the existing policy of making a phone call and having an okay, that's not going to work, unless someone just happens to be there at that particular time. There are a couple of follow-up issues on that as well, and boy, are we open for suggestions.
Q: I think on 9/11 you all were concerned with the emergency and everyone was doing their job, as Torie said.
I don't think there was an issue. I think people were shooting things and they didn't ask permission first.
Jester: That day our concern was initially to rescue people in the building, to put the fire out, and we were just so busy, and we knew the world was watching but we had a greater focus on rescuing people that day. We know there are stories going to happen here all the time. Hopefully when that happens we're there, we are there when that story occurs.
What we will try to do is to look at what would be in that story, in that video. When we talked with FOX about if we had some concerns about what was there, is to come up to Public Affairs and quickly take a look at it so we can say there's no issue here, or we'd ask you that this part really creates a problem for us for security. Because we recognize your need to have the story.
McGraw: Is there a concern about who has the decision or who has the authority to make the decision, that this is a security concern or not?
Q: Yes. Tom Seem, CBS.
I think at least from the standpoint of TV and I'm sure for still photography as well, people are going to go out and shoot first and ask questions later. And very frankly, the person who is going to prohibit them from shooting is the lowest guy on the DPS totem pole who's responsibility, frankly, is to say no. And I think this goes to the heart of your question. Who has the authority and the ability and the speed of getting there in time to tell the guy who says no, back off. If that is appropriate.
Clarke: You can throw in a couple of hypotheticals. I was talking to the FOX people, what if some media were coming to work one day, they're on the reservation, they're walking up the sidewalk, they've got their stuff and a car explodes in the parking lot. They're going to want to cover it. That is news breaking out.
Everybody doing their jobs, the DPS people, the guys at the front desk, everyone's going to be on them in a second. What do both sides do in that situation?
McGraw: That's exactly the issue.
Jester: I think on the story itself, like if it's for example a car exploding. I don't see a problem for us. It's not disclosing security measures. That's disclosing a story, an event. Our concern is when we have basically a story about what we are doing, what are our defensive measures that we are applying here so that they're just simply not known worldwide.
I was watching C-Span yesterday, and it's somewhat similar to that. It's just that we have a different environment, we're on a different environment here, but the OPSEC [operational security] concerns are very similar.
Q: Clark Hoyt again from Knight-Ridder.
Did you just state what could be a guideline in this circumstance? You don't want photography of security measures, but if an incident happens, news that's happened, and you're comfortable --
Jester: I'm comfortable with that.
Hoyt: It seems to me to be --
Jester: By and large we could say we'd be comfortable with that occurrence but it's the measures that we are having.
Hoyt: Can that be put down through the ranks so that your folks who are likeliest to be first on the scene will --
Jester: That's what we're trying to do right now. We're trying to make it so that every person has an idea of what we're talking about. It's not an easy black and white matrix sort of solution, but to talk about some situations about what would be, would not be a problem and what would be a problem.
McGraw: What about where the line intersects, as happened a couple of weeks ago with FOX? I mean they were covering breaking news but it so happened that in what appeared to be the line of sight of the camera there was a security issue involved. So someone has to then come and say this is or is not a security concern.
Jester: That's where we would like to -- if there is a security concern we would like the cooperation of the media then to say can we just see what you have to get an idea of this, and is there something on that video that would cause some concerns to us? That's where we would like the cooperation of the media in this particular case.
Q: It seems to me what you're saying here is a movement away from the total prohibition of photography without pre-clearance. Are you going to, is there a way to get there? Is that what we're talking about here?
You seem to be saying that you're willing to move that way.
Jester: It's difficult to do that.
McGraw: The language is unauthorized photography. If you'll see the signs as you enter the Pentagon reservation. The question is, what constitutes authorized photography? Obviously in the normal course of business when you clear it with Public Affairs, DPS defers greatly to the Public Affairs interest in making sure -- I think the Chief articulated what his interest is. It's a very narrow and limited interest in enforcing these regulations against photography.
In a breaking news situation there still could be authorized photography and I think it's a matter of how we make sure that that quickly is determined and doesn't interfere with the responsibilities of both photographers and the DPS. How do we do that? Do we contact Public Affairs instantly? Have someone assist the officers? They may take pictures, but they may raise problems.
I think it's very fact specific as well. I don't think you could totally say we would never interject a security concern and need to enforce the security concern in some fashion in the building or outside of the building.
Jester: A breaking news story would be much like you have seen in any community in the United States. If it's a crime scene the police department will put restrictions up and they will secure the area so we would want to have a secured area and we would contact public affairs to get someone there and to provide what information could be provided, but we would not let people just kind of go anywhere they want to. If it's a situation like a car explosion or whatever, that becomes an instant crime scene and we have to control that scene.
Q: All that is fine, but I need to go back to what I said before about the word "no".
The first or second or third officers on the scene are going to prohibit all photography, not just the photography of Humvees or other people with guns or whatever the case may be. And by the time in many cases a PAO arrives or some sort of clearance has gone up and down the line, the car fire is out, the body has been taken away, you know. And the cameras are standing there unable to shoot. Or in some cases the tape has been taken and the guys have been herded off to some holding room some place.
This is the kind of behavior that we need to address.
Q: Owen Ullman from USA Today.
- not talking about live-coverage of these events. If somebody just broke into --
Q: It depends on where we're shooting from and --
Q: I don't think you can assume that.
Ullman: There are two different categories. Live coverage, if you actually block the shooting, that you are disrupting a news event. On the other hand if it's where you're taking photos or video it seems to the worst that would happen is perhaps a delay in the dissemination until someone reviewed it.
It seems to me if it's not live coverage there's no harm in allowing the video to be taken or the photos to be taken so long as there's a process and whatever the guidelines are for making sure that there weren't security procedures that were filmed.
Jester: That happens with your reporters in combat zones all the time. There are security restrictions placed and what happens is you shoot videotape or whatever, and then the Public Affairs officer look at it and determines there is nothing here that's classified or unreleasable and is free to go from that point. That's fairly quick. I mean they can look at it on your viewfinder, on the video camera, but not so, it seems to me with still cameras that still shoot 35mm film.
Q: Tim Aubry from Reuter pictures.
There are still some people shooting film, there's a lot of digital stuff so you could technically review the stuff there.
I think what we really have to get down to is what the definition is and if we can put whatever that definition is down to the line.
A good example of things that have happened here in the not so recent past, but the Defense Minister eating barricades at the thing, when they pop up and grab limousines. Those are things, for us, we have to go out and make pictures of. We have to do that. If we're stopped from doing that or we're delayed, if I go out and shoot that and you hold my stuff for six hours, I'm hurt. I mean it's still of some value to me, but I have to be able to go and do those things -- Technically it's a security measure because it's a barricade that you have that goes up and down, but it's a malfunction that when a Defense Minister is injured in that I've got to have pictures of it because I've got to get them out for the world.
There has to be a common sense way of saying the DPS guys can't jump on us for going and doing that, and I don't think that's what you guys are aiming for.
Again I think a lot of it is common sense, but if we can get that reiterated down to the idea that the people in the field understand that we have to be able to do some of that -- Every case is going to present a different opportunity, and we'll have to tell you that we'll work with you as best possible, but if our people are there, we're definitely going to shoot first and ask questions later and -- We're willing to work with you, and if we got into a situation I would be on the phone with all of you pretty quickly saying this is what happened, this is what we did, this is why we did it, we'd like to be able to move with it and then we'll work with you on it. But confiscating our stuff gets to be a real problem.
Jester: This is the first, we've been here for many years and the press has been here for many years and this is the first, this is a situation --
Reuter Pictures: -- being driven a little heavier since 9/11.
Jester: We're obviously much more sensitive in this facility now than we were before.
Reuter Pictures: We've never had a problem in the past doing those barricades. So as long as we're not being restricted more than we were before on that type of stuff, I mean the common sense things. And I think it has to go on a case by case, but --
McGraw: If something's breaking and a cameraman is alone and he's the only one and he's got his camera, he's not going to put his camera down and make a phone call to Glenn Flood or Public Affairs and say I need to shoot this can someone come out.
I think he should go ahead and shoot. But pretty soon someone from DPS is going to be on the scene. It seems to me that then he calls, or the officer calls Public Affairs and relays the situation in which case somebody comes out and looks at what you are shooting and says yes or no or whatever, or we ask to review it, on-site. We don't have to take anything anywhere else to view it, we ought to be able to do it right there, it seems to me.
Reuter Pictures: And if they can go and say look, we have a problem or we have a question of what you're doing and we're going to bring Public Affairs down and talk to you --
Reuter Pictures: And generally, as long as they don't stop them from working while whatever's going on is going on.
Jester: This particular situation, the officer was really wanting to have the cameraman to get in the car with him and go up to the Mall Entrance and come on in and resolve it real quick, but it was like absolutely no way, and at a certain point the officer couldn't drag the situation out longer and that's when he took his action.
McGraw: That would have necessitated, since he was shooting by himself, necessitated him leaving what he was shooting. He may not have been willing to do that.
Q: At that point in time you're putting our person in custody. If I get a call from my guy in the back of a police car saying I'm in custody at the Pentagon, yeah, bells and whistles are going to go off pretty fast. We don't want our guys in the back seat of a car.
Jester: And we don't want to put them in the back seat of a car.
Brazis: Just as a comment on the front line, DPS officer, to use some discretion, to use some intelligence, it's so incumbent on the photographer on the scene to use the same intelligence and discretion in dealing with diffusing the situation. Making sure they make it clear to the officer. There should be a reasonable dialogue that needs to come down from you all so your photographers understand as well as our officers understand how they should react in a situation.
Q: That's fair.
Q: Why then stop the photography? Why not let it continue and then do your review?
In this instance why not let him finish his job, then put him in the car and bring him in, review the photographs --
Jester: The situation, I think the cameraman drew a line and he was in stone, and we couldn't permit him to just ignore what we were trying to do.
Q: What were you trying to do?
Jester: We were trying to stop him, but he was ignoring our request to do that.
Clarke: But I think the question is could you allow them to do their work, covering some news, and say when you're doing, and --
Jester: I think he was pretty much done then and we asked for the film he said no way, no way will that occur and he just kept, to use the term of the officer, he just kept "blowing" the officer away. There's no way it's going to happen, simply ignored him and got on the phone and the officer was trying to find a way to resolve it. In effect we had phone calls being made to Glenn at the same time to confirm and he was wanting to, to Glenn Flood, and sit down and talk about this real quick and get it resolved, but they didn't want to do that.
McGraw: There needs to be obviously some patience on everybody's part. Again, in a situation like that, if he's alone as this photographer was, he didn't have a producer or anybody with him, he was shooting himself, and when your guys approached and called Glenn, maybe we should have come down there rather than just respond on the phone, we should have come down there where the shooting was taking place and look at it on the spot so you've got all three people.
Q: Depending on the case, that would have been a much better situation. You could have said we want you to hang just for a minute until we get Public Affairs down here and make sure things are okay here. But when you either take something away from the photographer or you put them in a car, the situation gets elevated to the point -- And I agree, the photographer has to be able to identify himself, explain to him what he's doing, and say please let me do my work. Those are all fair things and there should be a dialogue on both sides.
McGraw: So it depends on our ability to be able to respond to get there, it depends on your ability to accept that, and your ability to facilitate that happening as well.
Jester: And we just don't pick on the media.
Q: Oh, we know better.
Jester: We take film from people weekly I guess. Someone from Iowa on vacation here, there's all the Humvees and things, it's a big thing to them and so we take film from people who are taking pictures around the building. We review the film and in most cases we sent it right back to them.
Q: Pam Hess, UPI.
I think there's also an issue, especially with the press, that we're kind of inclined to resist the large foot of authority coming down moreso than average people. And if your officers can be asked to please explain the reason why, rather than just demanding the tape, because that creates a whole chain of events in our head saying we're not getting it back, we're being censored, and then alarms go off.
But if they can say I'd like to take the tape so I can review it, and look for these specific things and then I'll give it back to you, that would go a long way in smoothing things out.
Q: John Hall, AP.
I think it's all fine that we do this sort of discussion but I've found my experience to be that once we're under a hard news situation that all the rules are gone. The car that blows up in the parking lot, the Pentagon's worried about how they're going to look, we're worried about trying to get the film. The review situation, we're trying to get our pictures on the air as quick as we can. There's not a lot of time for review in situations. On the spot news.
Now the planned or those sort of situations I agree, I think that can be controlled, but the spot news situation, I've got a lot of doubt personally that we'll ever get to a point to where we can have any kind of an agreement on one set of rules.
Clarke: Let me follow up on that. I know this isn't what you meant to say, but we don't care how we look, we care about security. So it's not a matter of how we look or being embarrassed by anything. We care about security.
But I hear what you're saying. Years ago I was a photographer. A bad one, but I was a photographer, and if something is happening your number one concern is to shoot the stuff and get it back. Speed is everything.
What I'm trying to figure out here is, even if we get five Glenn Floods and you had the people trained to the 150th degree, there's going to be some gap or slowdown in the process here which I don't think is going to be acceptable. That's what I'm trying to wrestle with here.
Q: Absolutely, I agree with you.
Clarke: I think that's a real challenge.
Q: If it's a big enough news event someone from Public Affairs is going to respond anyway, I'm assuming.
Q: Applying reason at the scene, if it's out in the north parking lot, taking pictures of a car burning, one can see from the shots being taken that -- you don't need to take the film away to evaluate whether this is something which is authorized.
Jester: Some things are pretty obvious on what occurs. There's nothing there to be concerned about. And like you said, we have no concern of how we look is where the look is. We have no concern. My only concern is, is it going to cause us some concern from a security perspective?
Q: I think the common sense rule applies for these events. If you're dealing with stills or you're dealing with a video. Then the only issue becomes how quickly does it disseminate. And I think if there's good will on both sides it can be done pretty quickly.
I still think the issue that we haven't dealt with is live coverage of a breaking event where censorship could come into play because it's going out instantaneously. I could see some security person shutting down the camera. I think that's an issue we have to figure out -- That's why I ask you how likely it is that they might see the capability for a live broadcast, but that seems to me to be the issue that could really create a confrontation.
Q: -- September 11th.
Jester: Hopefully we'd have someone there who has some good common sense to see what is being, what's in that scene that can make a judgment. That's the challenge I have is to make sure particularly my supervisors who will come on the scene can make those quick decisions on those kinds of things without having to get necessarily with Glenn because it could be at midnight or some after hour point.
The challenge I have is to explain these rules to the officers. But we need the cooperation of the news media, too, to understand why we are doing this and I compare it very much like the OPSEC issues of a commander on the battlefield. I don't have a battlefield, per se, but I'm trying to maintain a defensive position here in a fishbowl. That's the challenge we have.
McGraw: There are other factors. I mean if you just step out of the situation here and talk about, the cases are plentiful dealing with things like airplane accidents and the press at the scene, when law enforcement agencies have the right to create restricted areas and to move everybody back. In those cases, quite frankly, the press has no greater right than any citizen who's unauthorized to be in a particular protected location. That would be the standard application of law. If, for instance, for security reasons, for the protection of person and property a DPS officers says we're going to, or an FBI agent in the case of the 9/11, we're going to create security barriers, that applies to everyone. Then we're going to have to work out with Public Affairs if there's any after-the-fact --
Q: That's not the issue. The issue that really applies here is not so much the establishment of a perimeter where shooting can indeed continue, but the shutting down of shooting and the confiscation of tape or film.
Q: I appreciate the idea that when a supervisor arrives on scene things may be sorted out but what happens prior to that point? When does a supervisor get on scene? Because we easily could be shut down by somebody who didn't get the word that it was okay for us to do this.
Q: Mike Knott with CNN.
Maybe this is a naive suggestion, but maybe the officers can be directed to babysit the shooter, not interfere, just make sure he's credentialed, let him just continue on with his job, instantly make a phone call to Public Affairs, and whether Glenn is available or somebody else is available, just have a process in order when the shooter's done with his job then have something set up maybe in the Correspondents Corridor area, in the Public Affairs office where a tape is viewed there as opposed to trying to set something u on the scene and look at it there. But have it done where feed areas are usually done in the offices. But just have kind of a non-interference --
Jester: I would have a hard time giving a blanket non-interference. We probably would be babysitting with the camera person. But if there was something we felt was so obvious in what was happening there that we would say stop or we would simply block the view of the camera.
Q: Does that include --
Jester: This is a small percent of the cases. But I would not say blanket, we would not say stop taking the film.
McGraw: If there's an incident in the National Military Command Center that raises other issues we would have reason to stop you from --
Q: --on the ground.
Jester: On the ground there's less likely of a situation occurring.
Q: Four or five people who come climbing over the fence and are charging one of the entrances. That's a security issue right there. You've got officers responding, Humvees responding, photographers standing around being prohibited from taking pictures. That's a breaking news event.
Jester: Good example.
Q: Protestors or something.
Q: I can understand if you have something going on in the building where the typical tourist or someone could see it or a non-authorized, non-credentialed person, but is it your sense that there are things in place around the outside of this building that somebody intending to do trouble couldn't see on their own? And how realistic is it to think that something on the outside of the building wouldn't be known by somebody wanting to do harm?
Jester: We're in a fishbowl.
McGraw: That doesn't mean that we're totally powerless to stop any kind of surveillance which goes on, surveillance even off the reservation. The Chief reports to other law enforcement agencies, federal and state, if we have reason to believe there's issues dealing with that.
But it doesn't mean that they need to open up the campus that anyone can come on for any reason.
Part of the situation that DPS is in very much gets to the First Amendment and very much gets to how we deal with the entire public and everyone that comes here, not just the press. The idea that we have to take a neutral, content-neutral, completely unbiased approach to anyone when we're enforcing these regulations in a manner which is consistent, so we can defend our ability to enforce them at all. When we start going down the slope and we start creating exceptions we have to be very careful that we do them in such a manner that we can justify them to our essential purpose.
So all I'm saying to you is yes, you could say the efficacy of this policy of not allowing photographs from the bridge over 110, but we couldn't stop you from taking the same pictures while you were on Route 110. I don't think we're here to argue with that. But what is the next step for the Department of Defense in terms of creating a policy about how it goes about trying to protect its interests? Trying not to make it easier on those that would do us harm from engaging in activities that would hurt us. You have to do something.
Our opening discussion talked about how vulnerable we are indeed in this location. We can't pick it up and move it to Kansas. We're stuck with this very open, very vulnerable situation. And the DPS and the department are doing the best they can given those vulnerabilities and disabilities to try to reasonably apply regulations which would protect us.
Jester: You could from close cinematography disclose what kinds of weapons people carry and that would tell someone, an adversary, what we have and so on, so that's a concern.
We start off with a fishbowl to begin with so we know there's only so much privacy. It's like taking a shower in a glass cage. It's difficult.
McGraw: I'd like to go back to the question that was asked at the other end of the table, what if you have a demonstration or someone trying to crash some access point? That's obviously news and it's obviously a security checkpoint of some sort. How are we going to deal with that? That is a likely occurrence, it seems to me.
Jester: That's where we, again, we'll try to keep our supervisors involved because more than likely there's going to be a demonstration tomorrow. Tomorrow's Good Friday. We always have a demonstration on Good Friday. If our friends, lest they forget us, which I don't think they will, there will be a demonstration some place and they'll throw blood and pray and they'll be here. We have no problem with pictures of that event. It's an annual event.
McGraw: Even though it will be of a security checkpoint. It's a virtue of where they do it.
Q: What happens if half a dozen of them run through the checkpoint halfway to the building --
McGraw: You'll --
Q: -- eight Humvees -- I'm sorry?
Jester: You'll catch us arresting them. And that's not a real --
Q: Humvees and armed guys with plastic versus metal handcuffs.
Mr. Brazis: That question again please?
Q: It seems to me that you're giving us an authorization for one-time photography here of an event. You're shaking your head. Can you tell us what -- You can prohibit that, can't you?
We have a problem with that because it's a news event. How do we get around it.
Jester: An event like that, it's pretty much a common sense thing. There is no security issue there. Arresting demonstrators is a very common thing, I guess.
McGraw: I think there's going to be the smallest area of ambiguity and tension that's going to exist. I don't know whether we can make it go away completely. I really don't. Hopefully we depend on the common sense and that doesn't always prevail. I do understand that. Hopefully we can do everything we can to do flexible enforcement and common sense, making sure you understand the interests of the department -- If push came to shove if there's an emergency situation and an officer takes action, the action of the officer is lawful and need to be heeded. You know. I don't know whether we can completely narrow every circumstance down to tell you that we're just going to allow photographers to continue to do what they need to do.
Jester: The main thing, we would like to describe to you what the intent is, why we are doing this. We're not trying to regulate, we just simply, we have some concerns and those concerns involve the security of the building.
McGraw: Obviously if this is abused or something which we're going to be called to account for, we have no doubt about it. We know we're in a fishbowl. We know these instances, it's not something that the DPS is looking for to have happen. The last thing we want to do is be in here --
Jester: Nor do we want to inhibit you doing your job and pursuing the First Amendment.
Q: Ralph Dougherty from Reuters.
Since this is going to come down to common sense on the ground, both on our side and your side, beyond the statute what is the guidance you're currently giving the people who are going to be the first to arrive on the scene? Is it to be as flexible as they can unless they absolutely feel there's a huge security concern? In other words, to call first, let people start doing their work. Or is it to be more conservative?
Jester: We're trying to describe to the officers the situations where they need to step in. One, they're going to be asking do you have permission. That's the first thing they'll say, find out who you are and do you have permission to do this. Have you coordinated with Public Affairs.
What we're trying to describe, and again, it's difficult. Like Bill said. It's hard to describe every little situation that will occur and we can't say that in 100 percent of the cases we will do X, Y, or Z.
McGraw: But educating the officers is clearly an ongoing process and we learn from experiences like this. As the Chief said, this is a case of first impressions to us. We have not had anyone actually cited at that point and confiscated from the national news media where we've had an issue like this.
Q: Can you give an example or two of where they would have, given the guidance that you've already provided, where they would stop somebody from doing their job?
Jester: If the video was more on security measures versus a story, whether they're showing this is how the building's being protected.
Q: When you do talk to them or the officer talks to me and says he has permission to be here, on a breaking news story the answer is 99 percent of the time going to be no, but from there on you have instructed or will instruct your people that please allow them to continue to work and deal with Public Affairs and -- I mean we'll go back and brief our people. We want to make sure that it filters down on both sides.
Brazis: In most cases they'll see the blue badge, the press badge --
Q: That's not true from what I know --
Brazis: In a number of cases they would see the blue badge.
Q: But for most photographers they don't have blue badges because they're not here on a regular basis. And none of my still photographers are issued still passes -- They will not issue us passes because we don't come to the building every single day. We're here a lot, we're here for briefings and everything else that happens.
Brazis: One thing that Dick is saying too, people that do get badges, they have the prohibition, the information on photography on that list of -- At the orientation.
Q: Right. For those who are issued badges, yes.
McGraw: Let us try to write the guidelines for DPS officers and for photographers and for all the reporters as well, spell out in as much specificity as possible, recognizing that every possible situation cannot be recognized or anticipated but encouraging understanding, tolerance and discussion before anything untoward or precipitous happens, and try to get all three parties, your folks, DPS and Public Affairs involved before things get very far. I'm confident that once we get people involved it's going to be quickly solved. That still doesn't recognize the fast-breaking live broadcast. But that's a 9/11, or something -- may be not as disastrous, but it would be very quick and everybody's going to be focused there instantly. The same with your question about the car blowing up in the parking lot. There's going to be somebody out there and if there's no security issue involved, then it's not an issue.
But let us try to do that and let you take a look at that and see if it satisfies most of your concerns. I doubt that anything is going to satisfy everything 100 percent. I just don't think we can anticipate every situation.
Brazis: Hopefully there are no breaking news stories, because I've had my one to last me for a lifetime. We have a nice quiet environment here, so we just have situations that are scheduled.
McGraw: One of the things we will do is when you get your building passes, your reporters and photographers who are here all the time, we will include a paragraph in there that's not there now about what the rules are on photography and how -- And what the police instructions will be as well so that everybody will have it at least in writing.
Q: Do you have that available now?
McGraw: No, it's not written yet.
Q: I'm not saying that it's worthless to write guidelines, far from that. It is of course worthwhile to have them. But -- Tammy Kupperman with NBC. However in the past, here's just one very small example.
It took, there were guidelines for what badges could be used to escort people, this was a couple of years ago. And I think 50 percent of the time you show up with a badge to escort someone and the board on duty at the entrance says despite the fact that it's in a written guideline some place the board on duty didn't know about and it always went back to Public Affairs. Sometimes people waited for an hour out there until it was sorted.
I'm just worried that even if there are in fact guidelines, people won't really know them or understand them. And when the situation does arise, as it will, in a breaking new situation, we're still going to be at, well ground zero is not the right word. Square one, thank you. So that's my concern that I just wanted to raise.
Q: That is a concern.
McGraw: I think a written policy would at least give a basic playing field so everyone has an idea of where you are and where we are. It's not going to be the end of it but I think it would be something -- I would make sure my people saw it and were at least aware of it. There are those on Capitol Hill, I guess they're not written for the White House, there are for Capitol Hill. We have specific written regulations as to what we can on Capitol Hill with cameras. It's at least out there. Most of the Capitol Hill police officers don't know them, some of the photographers don't know them. But it gives us at least something to start with.
Jester: That's why we're trying to educate our officers on these guidelines. Obviously now everyone, the employees in the building are reporting more things to us. Anything suspicious they see. So our officers the same thing. Those that were here on 9/11, they're just sensitized to a degree that they never were before.
We had trouble before 9/11, we had fire drills. We had to take a stick and tell people to get out of the building. They wouldn't leave. Now the slightest sound of a siren, zoom, they're out. So people are much more sensitive to things. So a lot of things are being reported to us as being suspicious that are not necessarily suspicious but to that individual they are. So we're all very sensitive to suspicious activities, to loud noises and things like that now.
In some cases the officer I think is not trying to create a situation he's hopefully trying to do the right thing and sometimes they may go beyond where they should go, but we'll try to resolve that.
Clarke: And we can charge all of you to encourage your people to be ware of what the responsibilities are that go along with it. We are now seeing, since the time I've been here, we're seeing new people being swapped out, and new people who do have Pentagon building passes. You need to have a sit-down with them and say you need to be aware of these. If you sign up for it you need to read what you're signing up for here.
McGraw: The same applies to the police officers that change out fairly often as well.
Jester: We have new officers who are not fully cognizant of all the rules, and we're hiring new officers. We have a big challenge to make sure everybody's up to speed on their role.
Q: Pam Hess, UPI.
What is your definition of common sense here? I think we have different definitions. I think if something is viewable, a security measure is viewable to a casual passerby, we're inclined to say that's photographable, but if something is not, say the specific equipment on one of the soldiers out there, then -- What's your definition of what common sense --
Brazis: Perhaps the common sense definition is the harder one to do.
McGraw: Just because it's viewable to the general public doesn't necessarily mean that photographing it isn't a concern to us. I don't know how to engage you on that.
UPI: I think that will end up being the battlefield between people which is a photographer saying --
Jester: Right now we have our police officers, but also I have augmentation military police. And you [inaudible] take care of our police officers while I'm taking care of all the military police officers who are also here. So it is a rather difficult challenge to make sure everyone knows every rule as they should be every day. Sometimes it's a big challenge.
Q: Overall, is the guideline going to be when it comes to breaking news pretty much you shoot it unless there's an obvious security concern.
Right now the guidelines are if you don't have permission to shoot on the reservation don't shoot. But when it comes to breaking news shoot it, and unless there's a security concern then that stops it. You see what I mean?
Brazis: The basic words on the signs still apply. We'll try to exercise some common sense about the application of it.
McGraw: We might be able to define authorized photography to include breaking news. I think that's the nature of your question.
Q: Dennis Dunlavey from ABC.
I think that's exactly right. If the guidelines could be written to reflect a change in the bias when it comes to breaking news, the burden would be on the security people to tell us not to do it, and so the guidance could be let them keep taking the pictures under your observation while you check with your supervisors and find out a reason not to do it. So the bias would be and the burden would be on the security people, not on us.
Mr. Whitman: Would the guideline be too heavy if it said in there that I agree where there's a question of security to allow my product to be reviewed by public affairs and security?
Q: -- probably going to be the real deciding factor. An event that can be planned, I don't think anyone has a problem, at least I know we don't have a problem with having someone with us or whatever. But the breaking news situation is going to be one to where we'll be shooting and running.
McGraw: -- specific guideline. If it gets to a situation, case by case, and you feel it's necessary, you can come to us --
Mr. Whitman: I guess I'm looking for some middle ground to allow the Chief to allow your photographers to continue to film. Even though there might be a security concern in the photograph itself. If the photographer is willing to agree to have that film reviewed before he departed, then the law enforcement officers probably wouldn't have as difficult a time allowing them to continue their filming.
If you're not agreeing -- if it's too heavy-handed for you to allow for your film to be reviewed on the scene, then if law enforcement, if the DPS comes across a situation where there's a question of security then they're probably going to have to stop that.
So I'm trying to see is if you are comfortable with something in the middle. If you're willing to allow your product to be reviewed on-site then perhaps there could be more leeway in allowing the photographer to complete the job, finish shooting at the scene, and then have it reviewed on the spot and be able to leave with his product.
Q: John Hall with AP.
We're basically back to the same scenario that we started with, with the crew that was filming. Who's going to be the person to determine whether or not a security breach has been had by the photographer?
The officer on the beat will not know, probably will not know what the lens is, what we're focusing on, because even with reviewing of the film that's not going to be evident, not even looking at the film. Because you don't know how that film will be edited. In other words, if I were taking a photograph of the three of you I could also be just as easily taking a photograph that's going to be used to identify your badge. And if you look at the film or if you looked at the tape that would not be evident.
So the judgment factor here is one that I don't think we're going to be able to -- I can't see someone looking at film or looking at the video and being able to determine whether security has been breached or not. [inaudible] We don't know how the film will be edited.
Whitman: But we do --
McGraw: We do that every day.
Mr. Hall: My only concern with putting the written guideline in is that it will tend to be a deferral. Every time it's going to be you're going to have to get this reviewed regardless, and on breaking news we specifically don't want to do that but if it's not written that way -- You guys have the upper hand because if you're going to stop our guy, he can't get away from you, unless he runs and you shoot him, then he's not getting away anyway.
But in that case, I mean you guys always have the right to review our stuff because you can stop us from going. What we're saying on breaking news, it would be something clearly not there, and we want to move away and go and file our stuff, we should be allowed to go and file our stuff.
McGraw: In the situation, even in the situation that we just had, if we had been able to review that on the spot we probably wouldn't have to, the Chief probably would have seen at that point with Public Affairs and security on the scene, oh, yeah, you were shooting that car, there's no concern there. The photographer probably could have been on his way, the tape wouldn't have had to have gone anywhere, wouldn't have to have been reviewed, there would have been no delay, that type of thing.
Whitman: So I was just looking to see how you feel in terms of some sort of middle ground. Some people get very guarded when we say well, can we review your product. But if we only consider reviewing the product is one, to be able to expedite the process so you can be on your way; and two, to make sure that we are protecting and safeguarding any security measures, if we can't come to some agreement there, then I think we are back to the beginning which means with the legal statutes and with the mission -- the primary mission of keeping this building safe -- then we have a hard time working with each other again.
Q: I think it can go as an understanding that that will be the final straw, you guys can do that. But I think if you put it in writing the officers always go right back to the idea that everything is going to have to be reviewed.
Whitman: Again that decision, it could be written in the guidelines such that that decision is made in conjunction with the photographer on the scene, the Public Affairs Officer and DPS. If you have those three people involved I think that, let's hope that common sense can prevail.
Clarke: Do we think we can get the right people on the scene fast enough.
Whitman: Well, I can only speak for Public Affairs, and I know that I can and I'm sure that the Chief will be
Whitman: -- pretty much all on the scene and in a very expeditious fashion.
Q: Roughly how long? Ten, 15 minutes? Half an hour?
Whitman: We can get to anywhere on this reservation from this building within about five minutes. It's not difficult to get there. It's even easier for the Chief because he's got multiple supervisors and he's got people all over the grounds. I have to come from wherever -- from the 7th Corridor to wherever the scene is, but that doesn't take long.
Q: That would be preferable to us than hauling them inside and take a look at it that way.
Q: Why don't we ask Mr. McGraw to put something on paper in a very rough draft form and then show it to us and then we can comment on it and improve it even.
McGraw: We can do that. Is that acceptable?
Q: Certainly. And a map of the reservation.
McGraw: Right. Anything we missed?
Q: There is one other issue, Tom Seem, CBS.
I don't want to belabor this now because we've spent a good deal of time here, but this has been thrown on the table and I would raise it in the presence of the Chief.
Is there a way for those of us who have numerous photographers, cameramen, what have you, is there a way for us to kind of review the building pass issue regarding these folks? In our business, which is television, we tend to rotate our fellows in and out on a more or less regular basis while at the same time working hard to try and maintain the frequency requirements set by the DoD. Sometimes that's not possible. We give them assignments that keep them out of this building for some time sometimes they go overseas or on other missions.
We have had in our cases valid, unexpired building passes pulled because of the frequency issue as determined by the officer at the checkpoint or at the gate. Then we have to go through a rather difficult process to get our folks reinstated. This really cuts down on our flexibility. These folks have been, have all been screened, most of them if not all of them have White House passes which require a fair amount of investigation and so forth.
Is this something that you can look at --
McGraw: We can look at it. It's an issue not just with the press, it's also an issue with DoD employees who are not assigned to the Pentagon. We want the person who we give a badge to to be a frequent, a person who comes here frequently. I guess that's the big definition of frequent. We have people who are assigned to Fort Riley who want a Pentagon pass and they're only here maybe once or twice a year. We say you don't, there are ways for you to get in other than having a badge. It's like passing out keys to the building. A badge is a key to a building. If someone is going to be coming to the building a couple of times a year, they don't need a key. There's a way for them to get in. That's a problem we have. We keep issuing badges, and the number of badges we issue is a huge amount, so we're trying to be restrictive to a degree about who we give badges to and it's based off of frequency of coming to the building.
Q: Why wouldn't a White House badge work in this building? Are there security reasons?
McGraw: I have no way of knowing that that's a valid White House badge. With computers now you can print any kind of badge you want and we would have a difficult time verifying it's the right badge. I can verify the badge that I issue. I can verify it when you use our electronic system. I can't verify a White House badge.
Q: I bet the Secret Service could help you on that.
McGraw: I can --
Q: -- other executive offices.
McGraw: I know. There was a guy on, he was in Canada and he would make you any kind of badge you wanted to a driver's license in any state to any kind of a license, any kind of government ID, he would print it out. He had a little sticker on there saying if you use it, it's up to you, but with computers now you can make any kind of badge and unless you can electronically verify it, you just don't know it's a valid badge.
At one point we were recognizing somebody's badges and we had a book this high of badges. What does this look like? It looks like it, but we don't know if it's a real card or not. We do know our real card now because it's electronically encoded. That's one of the many challenges of the new world.
Q: Can we look at you frequency requirement?
Q: On that point, to follow-on something, the same thing with my staff people. They are not here every single day, but they're here an awful lot for briefings and everything else. One of the things that concerns me is that if the DPS officers are looking for a blue badge especially for people doing something out and around the building, my staff guys don't have it, but there are a fair amount of other people that do. I'm somewhat handicapped by not -- My staff people who do all have White House passes, and we'll help you with validation. It would help me to have some of those guys holding Pentagon passes. I understand the frequency thing, but it would be something that would be better for at least our staff people to be able to do.
McGraw: We'll take a look at it.
Ms. Clarke, anything else?
Clarke: No, sir.
McGraw: Thank you very much, folks.