(Bureau Chief's Meeting)
Clarke: We're a minute early, but we're going to go.
Thanks everybody for being here. We really did think we'd gotten down to about a dozen or so and it was so grim downstairs that we would move to more pleasant surroundings. So I apologize for the coziness, but I just want to do a couple of things and then I'll turn it over to Dick to talk about where we are on language for, as I call it, the news breaking out of the Pentagon guidelines for photography and other things that Dick and a whole bunch of people have been working on. Real hats off and appreciation to the people in this room who have worked with us over the last several days going back and forth on the language.
But one thing, and Debra Howe is not here, if you could let her know and I thought I had made this clear before, there is an appeals process which many people avail themselves of based on the number of phone calls I get day and night here, at home, my cell phone, my home phone, my pager, which everyone can use at any time. But there is an appeals process. My phone number here is 703-697-9312. I encourage Debra and everyone who feels the need to use them all. And most people do.
Q: Linda Fibich, Deputy Bureau Chief, Newhouse
Does your person on the ground know they can appeal up? Or did you know about the problem that he was having censorship issues there?
Clarke: I was not aware that he was having any issues until he got back.
Chuck Lewis: Could you give us some background?
Clarke: Sure. Debra had expressed some concerns a couple of weeks ago at a Bureau Chiefs meeting that one of her reporters who was embedded with the 10th Mountain was having some issues, so I said okay, send me some specific information which she did. And Admiral Quigley, who is around here somewhere, took it up with the folks on the ground and they had conversations with Dave Wood and I thought it had been resolved because I never heard anything about it until yesterday.
Q: Further complaints from David.
Clarke: She very clearly yesterday expressed her dissatisfaction. So let me say again for the record. People regularly, reporters on the ground work with the people who are on the ground over there at CentCom, other places, encourage them to do it, and if the differences can't be resolved then work your way up the food chain. She should not hesitate, nobody else does. That's part of the business. I am happy to do it. There are a lot of people in this room who know I will take any phone call and try to dig into anything.
Q: You should give us a laminated card with your phone numbers on it.
Clarke: Let me have you give her this.
Q: If our people encounter problems on the ground is there an appeals process right there? If they say to the PAO I have a problem with this, I need to speak to --
Clarke: People do that all the time.
Q: All right.
Clarke: People do it all the time, and they should. Most of the time things get resolved and since Debra raised this a couple of weeks ago we had several exchanges back and forth in e-mails. We had not heard anything again, you had not heard anything again. I thought it was resolved, but yesterday she made quite a case that it had not been resolved. So the appeals process is now well known. Thank you.
Do we have any other small issues, or we should get right to the news breaking out of the Pentagon issues? Okay.
Q: Sandy Johnson with AP.
The group of reporters, photographers that went out with the Army and I think they called it search and reconnaissance mission was great, and we've got people over there waiting, hoping that some of these other small groups will be taken out.
Are more of those imminent? We sure appreciate it. As close as we can get to any sort of --
Clarke: I appreciate your saying that. It depends on your definition of imminent, I guess. We are actively looking at everything that's going to be happening over the days and weeks unfolding. It's not a whole lot of activity. We have small teams going around doing some site exploitation, those sorts of things, but actively pushing all the time on those fronts, and Admiral Quigley, he may have headed out with General Franks already who is here today, could give you a better update on that.
But we continue to push. We've not as much interest because the level of activity isn't the same but we continue to push to try to get more out there.
Johnson: One additional question. Where these pools or embeds form from seem to go back and forth between Bagram and Kandahar. We have people in both places, but if we could -- If one is better than the other we'd like to know that, or if you're intending to consolidate operations at one place or the other.
Clarke: I don't know but I can get you some information back.
Clarke: You never know.
I'm going to turn this over to Dick McGraw.
Dick McGraw [principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs]: Thank you.
When we met two weeks ago on the issue of taking photography on the Pentagon reservation we promised you three things. I wish we had been able to get them out sooner than today, but we do have them today. One was a map showing the Pentagon reservation. Two was some drafted language that reporters and photographers would acknowledge as part of their security briefing when they get their building pass which discusses photography on the reservation. And third was the instructions that Chief Jester gives his security officers to enforce regarding photography on the reservation. So I want to pass them out, all three. They're for comment. They are still in draft form so let's talk about them. We will send them out by e-mail to those that aren't here today and allow two or three days for people to get back to us and see what comes out of that but I think we've got something that is acceptable.
George, why don't you pass those over there, thank you.
Q: The map I think clearly explains itself. The property of the Pentagon.
McGraw: There are two sides of the map. I'll start with the large one since I'm sure that's preferable to most people.
Clarke: We can get a little laminated one for Jamie McIntyre's head. (laughter)
Jamie McIntyre [CNN]: Help me find my way around.
McGraw: The animated news vehicle.
McGraw: There are two documents and a map.
I think probably the best thing to read first would be this document that had the highlighted paragraph about two-thirds of the way down. That's the security instruction for you and reporters and photographers as they get their building pass.
Q: Are these completely new?
McGraw: Yes, that paragraph is totally new. There was no previous language that addressed it.
Q: On the video part, DPS police. So if there's nobody immediately there --
McGraw: You mean at the --
Q: Wherever you're standing. And whoever shows up on-scene, they can start shooting?
Lewis: So the middle sentence there has got the formulation that says "I understand that photographing breaking news events can be authorized provided" blah, blah, blah "Can be authorized." What does that mean? It sounds like the rest of the meaning of the paragraph is that it is authorized, not an be authorized, but that it is authorized provided that, da, da, da, da.
McGraw: It is authorized, but to the extent it does compromise security, you need to review it and can authorize it so long as it doesn't, we're not going to authorize you taking pictures of something that is clearly a violation so that's why it's in that formulation.
Lewis: But the provided language makes that very clear, that it is authorized provided. It says, I can just see one of the Chief's hard charging good, best intentioned, good faith officers saying well it can be authorized and I'm going to have to call Torie Clarke to see if this can be authorized or whatever.
McGraw: We're talking about authorization after the fact.
McGraw: A blanket authorization hasn't occurred until a public affairs person or somebody says you know, this is authorized, it's breaking news. Stay away. In the mean time we're in a standstill situation.
Lewis: Provided, with that caveat?
McGraw: The thing is it's not the photographer necessarily who's deciding the proviso, it is a government official. That's why it's kind of in the future --
Lewis: Post factor.
Lewis: After the fact.
Q: Wait a second, hey, we've got a real problem over here, here's why.
McGraw: But other parts of the paragraph provide for the provision, if you will, I'm sorry to use the word twice, but --
Q: Would the word "will" work?
Q: Is or will?
McGraw: Is or will is the meaning.
Q: I think "will" would be a formulation that we could live with. It does still suggest the future authorization --
Q: What about can, can be authorized provided the photography, and simply say should not compromise or disclose security measures.
McGraw: I think the whole point is they want to make sure that again, during the context of the policy, it's got to be authorized, so it would be an act, an affirmative act to authorize it.
Q: After the event.
Q: Even after the fact.
Q: It was authorized photography although the authorization was after the fact.
Q: Rob Dougherty from Reuters.
Can't we, the problem I have with the wording here is I think we're setting ourselves up for a conflict down the road. When there's breaking news people are just going to get to doing their jobs. An example that was used at the last meeting was somebody's walking from their car to work, the car explodes, there's nobody around, they're going to roll. Even if they're in the building and they hear something they're not going to look for an escort. What I would propose is that we change the words to something like the first sentence reading, "I understand that prior permission and escort are required for use of cameras on the Pentagon reservation" except in the case of breaking news. And then we agree that if there is a security concern that we won't leave the reservation until the images are reviewed.
That was the impression I got from last meeting. We were looking for a way to basically say you can do breaking news here with a minimum of interruption or disruption as long as you agree that if we have concerns you're not going to walk off the reservation without us looking at it. And you all agree that you will do that as quickly as possible and on site if at all possible.
McGraw: That is the concept we tried to accommodate and capture here yes, that's correct.
Dougherty: So would that work, to rework the first sentence to say prior reservation and escort is required except in breaking news if we agree that in the case of breaking news, and you have concerns, that we agree that you could take a look at the images before we --
McGraw: I'd have to look at it in writing to see, but what you're suggesting sounds like what we had agreed to.
Q: The draft.
Q: Put in, except in the case or breaking news on the end of that sentence, and it leaves the rest of --
Q: In the event of breaking news. Jamie McIntyre, CNN.
In the event of breaking news every second counts. Your first reaction is not going to be to call to get permission because you may miss the Pulitzer Prize winning picture if you do that.
The other problem is we can lawyerly parse all of these words and it's not going to make much difference because it all relies on a judgment call at the scene by the police Defense Protective Service.
So I'd be interested to hear from Chief Jester about how the police would be instructed to make those kinds of judgments. There are some things that would be clear. Like you said if a car explodes, that's clearly news. What happens when the car is just -- What happens if police surround the car because it's suspicious or something? Is it really breaking news or is it something else?
The real key is going to be the interaction between the news media representative and the police officer on the scene. I talked to the police officer who arrested Greg and his perception of what happened was that Greg copped an attitude. Now I'm sure that's not Greg's perception. The police officer who arrested me on September 11th I'm sure feels that I copped an attitude and that's certainly not my impression.
So the real nub there is right at that point and what kind of -- It's one thing to inform the news media of what their responsibilities are, but I'd be interested to hear how the police are going to deal with that. They're the ones that are ultimately going to have to make this judgment, and their judgment in those critical minutes or so when something is happening can vastly affect how our coverage is.
McGraw: The second document that you have is the instruction that the DPS security officers will receive. But Chief Jester I'm sure would like to respond.
Chief John Jester [Defense Protective Service]: We're trying to make clear to the officers what -- our concerns. That there's not someone pointing a camera at the building, or someone taking a video of an incident, a car burning, a car exploding, a building burning or whatever. We're not concerned with that. We're concerned with pictures that would disclose security measures that affect the Pentagon. It's an OpSec issue just like the issue that you're having in the discussion overseas in Afghanistan. It would not allow what we're doing here to be disclosed. It's very difficult to do this, and I know in our fish bowl environment we live in it here, but we're trying where possible because we know we're always going to be a big, high profile target as we saw in September. So that's the challenge that we have and we have to do this with all the police officers as well as the MPs that augment, which is a difficult challenge but we're trying as hard as we possibly can to explain to them where our main concerns are and then how to respond to that and to coordinate things with public affairs.
McGraw: Take that with you. And as you have thoughts over the next couple of days, let's say by Tuesday of next week at the least send those to me or Bryan.
Clarke: Part of Jamie's question, even if it didn't come through loud and clear, but to me there will be judgments for everybody. Judgments for the DPS, judgments for the journalists, judgments for everybody. What's important to try to communicate in these documents is intent. And our intent clearly is to allow people to cover breaking events. Should be able to cover them. The backdrop is we care deeply about security considerations around here and not revealing information that will give the bad guys meaningful information they could use against us. And you could go to any U.S. around the world, you can't take pictures of certain things, everybody understands that. So I think what's really important to try to communicate in here somehow is intent and changing some of these words might help a little bit. Don't you think, Jamie?
McIntyre: Yeah. The other thing that would be helpful, the clearer this whole paragraph is it can help -- There's always some, despite having a written policy and having everybody informed there's always one officer who didn't get the memo, in my experience, no matter how simple the procedure is. Just the escort procedures, I remember we had trouble with them because people were unclear of what they were.
So if you can have a version of this you can carry in your wallet and say look, let's look at this. Here's the policy and here's the intent, and help me out here.
My worry is that the first concern of the police officers is protecting security and if they're not sure they're going to say no., And our first inclination is to get the story and we're perfectly willing to protect security but we're not probably as concerned that every possible picture is going to be a security violation.
So to the extent that the police officers are informed, the news media are informed what the policy is, and then there's some way to quickly reinforce it at the time if something happens, you know, a month, a year and a half from now when everybody's forgotten this meeting and nobody here is still around, so much the better.
Jester: We're going into this with the idea there would be no problems. We're not going in thinking -- I think most people understand what we're trying to do here, so we really don't expect problems. And you're right. Every officer, it's always the case there's someone who's been on leave or whatever and so that's why we were making sure that our supervisors who would come on the scene are very clear on what the process is.
Clarke: There are also, not to micromanage your business, but I've got to believe there is periodic training and orientation that's done.
Jester: There's a roll call every morning. We do what we call roll calls. We brief people what's going on and then any immediate thing that's of concern we do that in our roll calls.
Clarke: Could we periodically, and maybe we'd have some volunteers -- not overdose it but, I don't know, a few times a year or whatever, come down and just say hey, remember, this is what we're about. If there are incidents we want to discuss, sort of a lessons learned, to keep people sensitized on both sides.
Jester: Sure. That happens three times a day. Different shifts. It happens at different times, three different shifts.
Q: Chuck Lewis
I'd just like to make the observation that I believe that our response later next week will hopefully address what I see as the discongruity between the draft of the security briefing for a member of the media, the highlighted paragraph that we're looking at, and the law enforcement draft, the bottom paragraph, breaking news procedures.
The breaking news procedures and the directive to the Chief's staff is so loaded with presumptions against us that it's a sequential series of hurdles that we have to go through and it is lacking the good faith spirit of the security memo that members of the media have to adhere to.
I urge people who are working in the visuals to look at that directive, bottom of page one, and see if we can't take some of the kinks out of it. Because you'd almost have to have a general counsel with you to work through the different hurdles with an officer on the scene before you would be able to click a shutter or turn on your camera. So I think that's something that we need to look at.
Voice: That's why the draft stamp on top of it.
Clarke: Shouldn't they almost end up, not to over-simplify things because you never can, to be almost identical?
Q: Dennis Dunlavey from ABC.
I think it would go a long way towards solving all these problems if that sentence in the draft for the members of the media that says I understand photographing breaking news stories can be authorized, if we made the change to will be authorized, but instead of saying unless it does not compromise, day it should go forward unless there's a determination that it does compromise security. And if we had the same language in the draft for the law enforcement personnel that would make them consistent. The burden would be to determine that it does compromise security rather than assuming that it does not.
Q: Bob Pearson with AFP.
I think that's an excellent suggestion. It certainly gets at what you describe was your intent to allow people to cover breaking news.
Clarke: And again, not to micromanage this too much, but why can't we on paper put down what the intent is? Everybody would have to agree to it, the intent is to allow coverage of braking news while being sensitive to the needs, whatever. I can't finish the sentence myself, but you know --
Q: We'd object to that.
Clarke: I also have enormous faith in the people who get involved in these things, both the officers on the scene and the journalists who are trying to do their job. And if they have a clear understanding of what the intent is and what the general objectives are, then I think in general they will execute them pretty accurately.
Q: Tammy Kupperman with NBC.
I assume this will also come in responses by next Tuesday, but to avoid the issue which I don't think anybody likes on either side, the confiscation of tapes, if it's possible to say something like, in fact we have a draft, to make sure that a representative of the news organization is present during the security review process. So it's not a situation where the tape gets handed over or the film or whatever the case may be.
McGraw: Ideally the security review takes place on the spot while the film is in the camera. On the spot while something is happening, ideally.
Kupperman: It might be useful, from my perspective, to actually spell it out that this does not entail handing tape of film over.
Q: Of course you can't review film except digital still photography in camera.
McGraw: Still, yes.
Q: A lot of still photography is digital now so they can be reviewed in the camera.
From our point of view, again, to have the burden, something like tape should not be confiscated unless a determination is made that it violates security or something like that. The automatic presumption is that we aren't automatically ordered to hand over the tape. That's what resulted in these two arrests, was the immediate demand for tapes or cameras which we're of course trained not to give to the government unless there's a really good reason to.
So in both of these instances in which there were arrests, once the resistance to handing over the camera was expressed, then handcuffs came out.
Q: Bill Gatz, Washington Times.
I've been covering the building for 17 years or so and my first reaction to this is, and I think there's a senior defense official in this building that often says I'm not a lawyer. I don't think any of us in here are lawyers and we're being asked to make very legal decisions on legal language that really will have legal implications on issues that are fundamental to freedom of the press. So I think we're kind of a little bit out of our league here on a lot of these issues.
McGraw: We do have one lawyer with us. [Laughter.]
Mr. Brazas: The situation we're in, of course is, none of us came up with this in a vacuum. There are police officers on the reservation that are responsible for many many things, from enforcement to others. There are also regulations that apply here on this federal reservation. They have to be trained at all times about many many things, about fourth amendment as well as first amendment, search and seizure, all the things that we need to make sure -- These are inherently legal questions. We go to the Eastern District Court, the Federal Court, and have to present the cases presented and we need to comply with the overall federal constitutional statutes and the regulations that apply here. So there is, admittedly we need to be careful when we're giving guidance to police officers about (inaudible).
The other thing, of course photography here at the reservation, we're not just talking about the press. We're talking about Joe Citizen. We're talking about anybody that's on the reservation, and to be very cautious and careful that when we look at the first amendment we're looking at it in the total context of how we enforce and our ability to enforce against anybody from the reservation to the extent that we're working on exceptions or procedures dealing specifically with the press. But we need to be careful at the same time to understand the impact that it may have on our ability to enforce photography restrictions against someone that may not be with the press. So anyway, there's a balancing act that we have to be careful about in terms of how we formulate this.
Sandy Johnson, AP: Hopefully we have more standing than Joe Citizen to bring cameras into the Pentagon or onto any part of the reservation. You're holding hostage the precious building passes here. Someone has to sign off on this. This will be, for anyone that wants a pass, we know how hard they are to come by these days, they have basically given the Pentagon the right to stop us from doing certain things in the course of doing their daily jobs.
McGraw: That's the purpose of this, to have something we can put into place that we have a system with a certain level of rigor that you understand going in so we can carve out this procedure specifically for the press. It's not available to other citizens.
Johnson: That being said, a fair amount of press who do come into this building don't have passes. So everybody wouldn't -- My people would see it, I expect most of the people represented her would see it via the Bureau Chiefs, but there are people who aren't necessarily represented in this room that wouldn't see this because they don't have a pass, but do come here as a member of the press and make pictures.
McGraw: It's important for the police officers then to know, again, it's an ongoing educational process as Chief Jester indicated. We need to get out and talk to the officers, not just hand them a memo. We've learned from experiences that we just had, unfortunate experiences, we want to make sure they don't happen again. This is something that we hear loud and clear from the leadership in this building is to strike a good balance between accessibility and security and we have a particular situation here that's different than other places. Buildings like the CIA building or the NSA building, we wouldn't be having this discussion because there's no photography period. And that's not the case here and that's the way we want to continue it. It's more of an open campus. But nevertheless we need to strike this balance.
Q: A couple of points. One is -- Jamie McIntyre again from CNN.
One is I think the intent thing goes a long way. If the intent is breaking news, then there's a judgment that has to be made and we have to rely on well trained people on both sides to --
Clarke: We need to resensitize people to it.
McIntyre: The other problem is that any event of a major, unplanned news event, there are going to be many uncredentialed members of the news media here. So the judgment has to be applied whether or not you're a passholder. If you're a credentialed member of the news media or you can be clearly identified as a news media representative in the event of breaking news.
There's one other aspect of this photography ban that's not addressed here that goes far beyond -- You keep mentioning other examples of places where photography is restricted, but this ban on photography which covers all of the parking lots and everything and also significantly covers pictures taken away from the site, pictures taken of other -- this ban covers any photography taken while you're standing on the Pentagon reservation whether we're taking a picture of Rosslyn or Arlington Cemetery or the Washington Monument or anything else. If you're using a camera and you're standing on the Pentagon property -- And that's another place where judgment needs to come in. I'm not aware of any ban on taking a picture standing on the White House steps taking a picture of Lafayette Park, or standing on Capitol Hill or taking a picture down the Mall. This is the most onerous photography restrictions in the Washington area.
Clarke: I don't know for certain, but I'm guessing at the White House if you were walking down West Exec Drive you could not be taking pictures of the security buildings there, the guard huts and things like that.
McIntyre: Any tourist walking down the street can take a picture of the White House. If you're eon the White House grounds, if a press crew's on the White House grounds can they shoot out the fence to Lafayette Park or whatever? I'm not aware of any restrictions on that.
Clarke: We can check. I don't know for certain. But I think if they were for instance walking out the driveway, they could shoot out to Lafayette Park, sure -- But I think if they started to take pictures of security huts and gates and things like that, then there might be some problem.
Tim, you might know better.
Q: There's no specific stopping us when going to and from. Our entrance there is only from the Northwest gate to the press office. But there's no restriction right now as to stuff we can shoot while we're going in.
I mean we regularly do pictures -- they renovated the huts or they do different things there, or they arrest people from coming over the fence. If our people are there and they come over the fence there's no restriction. We have to stay within the bounds, but we can't --
Clarke: -- similarities and differences between the White House and here on restrictions.
Q: I can't speak to the White House. I certainly can speak to, for instance, the CIA Headquarters where visual recording accompanied equipment is strictly banned. It's not allowed unless there's advanced authorization. If you go up to NSA at Fort Meade, the same thing. The regulations are --
Johnson: But there's no press at those places.
Q: There's no regular --
Q: That's right.
Clarke: What's the White House experience like?
We had, the (inaudible) were asked in particular by [RA] to refrain from shooting security -- It was one of these we understand the security issue therefore we agree not to take pictures of it and not to talk about it because the reasons are obvious. It's sort of a trust issue. If we were to take photos of the security, it really is our integrity that is the barrier there, not any restriction. They would not look at our film or take it if they found us shooting the security on the roof or something.
Q: They have had requests for us that we asked for (inaudible) that you don't do, but they have never told us, and they have come back to us on several occasions and said we're not overly comfortable with that and we've expressed our reasons what we didn't like. But it was -- they see our stuff when it's out there --
Jeff Goldman, CBS: And I think case in point was that it was one of those air sensor trailers around the building that we got in trouble for shooting from the highway, the tented camouflage thing when it first went up. I remember that the White House did put that out and everybody said okay. Do not take a picture of that white trailer over there.
Q: Like a gentleman's agreement.
Q: Rob Dougherty from Reuters.
I think he meant in the context it was understood if there was breaking news, if there's something on the White House roof that is a news story, that we were going to shoot it and there wasn't going to be restrictions.
Q: That makes no sense that anybody was going to come and stop us from doing --
Q: It's just not the case there.
Q: And that specific example, when they put the flag at half staff at the White House, they still have the security officers on the roof, we had made pictures of them either lowering the flags or people taking the flags down. It shows their security, and we're not doing it for the security, we're doing it for the other purpose of showing the flags being lowered for whatever reason, but it has been done. So there's no, they don't come back at us and say we have to see that before you do it.
Q: Kim Hume from Fox News.
I just want to say, before they change the subject, since we were at the center, possibly at the center of this particular case, the intent from you all was made very clear, not quite as quickly as I would have wished it to be since I was right in the middle of it, but I really commend you for communicating very clearly and as quickly as possible what your intent was here. It was obvious that there was, that the taking of the tape and the arrest and unarrest and the things, the details of this, that nobody wished that to happen. There was an understanding that breaking news is a different thing and it wasn't the rules are the rules and off you go to jail. There was a very strong messages sent, the intent that you're talking about.
What I would say, having sort of experienced this from my position is that the issue of the difference between a draft, what the officers are told and what the photographers are told, there is this problem which is the cease. That's where you get the mixed message, is where someone says cease and you're covering the news, and your instinct is to not cease and their instinct is to tell you to cease. That's what happened to us. Really, that's where we ran into our problem.
The only other thing that I would like to bring up, and I think that may be handled in the language, it may be handled in the order of the paragraph, I'm not sure, but we can make those suggestions in a different way.
The other thing that's disturbing me a little bit that I will share with you is when the tape was actually in the custody of the detective, there was a kind of a hoax that happened which was that I was told that it was necessary for evidence since illegal action had happened. I think that's kind of a -- We hope we never get there, but that's really a catch-22. Because anything could be on that tape. We could have confidential sources on that tape and somehow for you to be able to take it because it's evidence now is something that we need to address that in some way. That was a very minor moment and I never heard it again, but if indeed the tape is designated as evidence and therefore not available to us anymore, that means we need to look at that as well.
Jester: I believe the rule -- We use the word rules here because we have them on paper. You could also use the word guidelines too. I think what we're doing here is probably the same kind of measures that my counterparts are doing at other locations but they simply haven't put them on paper, and we happened to have an incident which is why we had to put them on paper. But we thought it was important, I think it's important for everybody to know what the regulations are, the rules or guidelines are up front so that we don't get in a situation where we have a situation.
The other locations in town could have very similar situations at any moment, possibly because it's not clear on what the concerns are of the security officials.
I will tell you it is a bigger issue or a newer problem since September as far as post-September issues that everybody is more concerned with now than maybe in the past. Obviously before September we didn't have MPs all around the building, we didn't have our security as far out in the parking lots as we did at times. So we're a new world I guess now, post September. That's why, again, we're trying to find out how we can do these or carry out these measures and at the same time provide you your opportunity too. It's very difficult and again, we're a big fishbowl here, a very public and very high profile building. For all the years we've been here, this is the first time we've ever had a situation like this. I think when you talk about breaking news. When breaking news occurs one of the first people contact is Glen, so Glen will be most likely be involved, if he's here, or if it's not Glen it's one of the people that is holding the desk down for Glen. Someone's available to us.
Hume: I'd like to raise another issue if I might. We've talked about reviewing photography on scene. That only works if it's videotape or digital. What if it's 35mm film?
Q: I think that has to be taken case by case. For the major wire services most of our stuff is digital. It's not the case for all the major organizations in town. The Washington Post in general doesn't do it. I think by that you'd have to do case by case. I don't know if you have on-site processing facilities and I don't know that I'd be real comfortable in giving it to you and then having a problem in processing. I'm sure it would be an honest mistake, but in that case I'd say there has to be a good faith effort saying we'd like to see this before you do anything with it. If you've got a Bureau Chief or whoever at hand, say get it processed, let's have a look, or you go with them or whatever you want to do, but again, turning it over is a problem for us at any time.
Q: For video only at the reservation.
Q: Case by case. I think you can go into spelling out too many details. If you say it needs to be reviewed, then you work it out on a case by case basis. Let's send somebody with you, you process it, let us look at it. I mean the Post certainly processes their stuff on-site at the Post. We no longer process at our facility, but we don't use film anymore. But it has to be some place where we can come to a reasonable agreement on the idea that you want to look at it and we're willing to show you there's not a security compromise.
McGraw: If we look at this as kind of a logical hierarchy of events that would occur you start out with the intent. If the intent is, if it's breaking news and it's not obvious that there's some sort of a security violation occurring, then its going to be authorized. You start there with the intent and with the first reaction on the scene, it would be, our officer should understand it, let's get public affairs involved.
If you're shooting the car in the parking lot, out in North Parking, you're looking off the Pentagon reservation, Glenn Flood or the DPS folks that are out there, there's no need to review any film. This is common sense. We're sitting here in a situation where you keep working yourself down, and we're talking about one of the situations where we do have a problem. Where the is a photographer who is taking pictures of something that we think is obviously a clear concern, we express that concern, say we need to review this. We can't authorize you to take pictures of this particular thing, it's a very sensitive thing. At that point you trigger the next step. Okay, what do we do? How do we resolve this? How do we review to make sure yes, this is a serious security problem or no it's not.
Hopefully we can put into place human systems where our folks are trying to work their way down, so we're not getting to the trigger. We're trying to release the pressure. As I said last time, I don't know whether we can get to a perfect system that's going to satisfy you at the end of the day if there really is a paramount struggle between the security concern and the concerns you might have. Hopefully we don't get there and we're trying to put into place the mechanisms that --
Clarke: I'm very sensitive to something Jamie said, and Kim and I have talked about this, which is the importance of time here. Seconds will make a difference if it's a breaking news story. Seconds, minutes will make a difference. I think we have to be extraordinarily sensitive to that. As I said, I was a bad photographer, but I was one once. Every instinct is just to get the stuff done and get it back to them. Some how, some way.
I think one thing, I'm adding to the list here of changes, we, public affairs, need to beef up our reinforcements for the Glenn Flood role. Glenn is great, he's fabulous, almost every one of your people I think knows him. But we need to beef that up because we can't count on just Glen Flood. So those instances where there does need to be some sort of resolution, we need to step up our system there, and Captain Taylor, I'll talk to you about that, about how we do that. We will need to familiarize and train people, whatever the guidelines, policies are that we come up with, we need to train our people and periodically review with them and work through case studies and things like that to make sure we can respond as quickly as possible.
McIntyre: I'd just like to reinforce, I think common sense is the key to this whole thing. While it's important that we rework and fashion this policy to make it as clear as possible, it's just not very hard to imagine a scenario in which the policy won't apply very well.
What happens if a pipe bomb goes off in the trash can near the security checkpoint? Well, the whole security checkpoint is a security area, but that's where the news is and -- [Laughter.] Once you start thinking about through the logistics of actually checking the tape of people and what happens when 98 percent of the tape is fine but there's one shot that has a HMVV in it and the guy thinks, the police officer thinks well, the HMVV is a security thing so now the whole tape has to --
You can just see how the whole process could break down without a large dose of common sense.
Jester: We ought to talk through some scenarios. If this occurs, then try to talk through that so you can explain.
If it's breaking news, if it's a situation where there's an explosion or a bomb going off, the rules that apply then are simply the rules that you all know from a crime scene. We have to secure a crime scene. We'll give you access to it but there are rules about getting into a crime scene.
Q: Carl Leubsdorf of the Dallas Morning News.
We may have covered this, but one way to show the intent that I think both sides have, there's some language in the law enforcement thing where it says continue to support (inaudible) from a safe distance as long as the DoD determines the [shots] do not compromise, etc. If that paragraph says unless the DoD determines that the photographs do compromise or disclose, that it would seem to me would show the intent that you said we want, and you could in fact put the same language in the same up here. I understand that photographing news events will be authorized unless the DoD determines that they do compromise. That would be a more direct --
Clarke: Is authorized unless.
Q: Right. I think that's what you all said you wanted, and (inaudible).
Q: Kim Hume from Fox again.
This is something that's very essential for all news people. When you get to decide what breaking news is. We really couldn't afford to have an argument with the policy officer who said I'm sorry, this is not breaking news. We talk about it like we know what it is, but Jamie makes a good point that it could be anything. And unfortunately the police officer, it won't work if the police officer is the one determining what he thinks is breaking news. It has to be the news person.
McGraw: That's internal to the Department of Defense. We don't want the police officers determining breaking news and I think we would totally defer to --
Voice: -- your determination. It's your determination.
Q: Dennis Dunlavey, ABC.
One of the things that's not addressed here, and maybe it's better that it's not addressed but maybe we ought to talk about it is what happens if in there course of the security review you determine that the material does compromise security here. What happens to the material? Are there circumstances under which you would foresee taking possession of it? Would it simply be a question where you tell us we can't use it? What are your thoughts on that?
Clarke: Or not use portions of it.
McGraw: Common sense again prevails. I think the emphasis was keeping force security from being released.
Q: I think our preference would be that you tell us what you think we should not use and we would agree to abide by that, but would you ever foresee taking possession of it?
Q: It seems to me this happens in Afghanistan every day. Photographers take pictures, they show them to the public affairs people on scene who say this is classified, you can't use this; or this is secure, don't use this; and the rest of the stuff is fine. But the determination is made locally, don't release this, this is unusable. But no one as far as I know attempts to take possession of the photographs or the piece of tape or anything like that.
Q: The release of it. Not the possession of it, we just don't want the release of that particular --
McGraw: Unless there comes a circumstances at the end of the day where there's something we haven't discussed, is so serious that charges need to be filed, that would be the only time that we'd have to cross that line, and hopefully we won't get there. We're not looking to -- [Laughter.]
Q: There were several I thought good suggestions about language proposals from our side. I'm wondering if there might be a smaller group of people here who had some of these ideas who might get together and fashion sort of a, in a smaller committee, fashion it so you don't get 27 new suggested paragraphs --
Q: I think we've already started forward on that. (inaudible) we worked it a little bit. It came out two days ago. We've had a few other ones. I've got some copies I'll give to anybody who wants to look at it for ideas. But I think a smaller group of (inaudible) people who are going to be most affected by it.
Clarke: If you all want to appoint yourselves a little group that's fine with me, but I, especially on this, I don't want anybody feel as though they can't have their own opinion, they can't have individual views. There are differences depending on the organization. So if you all want to organize yourselves in a small group that's fine. Editing's always easier with smaller numbers, but we won't do that for you.
Let me try to summarize her I think we are. I think everybody agrees that communicating intent, including putting intent down on paper is a good thing because it does come down to judgments but as long as people understand the intent on both sides I think they'll execute pretty well.
Synchronizing the language, there seems to be common agreement that the language in both should be pretty darn close. It's just a matter of perspective.
Try, in the language, try to shift the presumption, Carl's point about shifting the presumption that it's authorized unless, is my inarticulate way of saying that.
Logistical things. We really do need to talk through us beefing up our Glen Flood role. Make it easier for you all, give the media greater confidence that if an appeals process does need to start quickly we can do it fast and we can do it well.
Us visiting periodically for your role calls just to have conversations with your folks and say this is what we're trying to do.
To generally reflect Kim's point about the concerns very -- I think very very legitimate concerns about trying to make sure that the intent is not to take the product. I think that's a very big issue.
Q: Torie, why don't we set a deadline for our comments and then have another meeting.
Q: Like by next Friday we have comments?
Clarke: You guys can organize --
Q: -- with language we're comfortable with and then present it to them, rather than everybody present their own language to them and then let them determine -- I think if we can come up with something that works for the media, give it to them so they can get it through security, security briefs it, it will work forward. Rather than them coming up with 27 versions of what everybody wants, trying to meld this together.
Q: Friday might be better.
Clarke: Do you want to meet a week from tomorrow or --
Q: Bill Gertz, Washington Times
Is photography restricted in the blue areas? Is it just the blue areas or yellow and green has some meaning other than blue?
Jester: Just the blue areas.
Q: One other thing, Jamie McIntyre with CNN again, that the news media needs to keep in mind is that when we talk about training our people, it's very important when interacting with the police force here that objections and the case for our case be stated in a fairly non-confrontational manner, because my experience has shown that the police officers don't react well when they believe you're being confrontational or refusing their direct orders. In both of these cases in which things happened, the perception of the police officer was that the news media representative was refusing a lawful order of a police officer. So it's important that we, a we work through these things, that people be sensitized to the fact that if they come across as belligerent or insistent or arrogant, that the whole process sort of goes down from there. So we need to think through how we're going to react in the situation so that we assert very forcefully what our rights are, what the policy's supposed to be in a way that doesn't put us in a position where we look like we're refusing a direction or resisting arrest. Because that's where a lot of -- And once that misunderstanding occurs right at the beginning of the process then the whole thing is sort of out of control at that point.
Mr. Brazas: There also shouldn't be confusion between the authority to cover breaking news and the authority that police officers give, if there are crime scenes that say step back, we need you behind the yellow line, you've got everybody back here. Those are lawful orders at that point, not to stop you from covering --
Clarke: And I think people understand that. Especially this campus.
Jester: To go back to your question, the area that belongs to the Pentagon is the blue, but we would ask your cooperation because with all the technology and cameras you can come up from across the river almost and -- So we would ask the same thing our concern is the same thing, disclosing things that would aid someone who is surveiling us.
Q: That's a good point to make. Because we could do security stuff off site. We haven't had a need to do it, unless security becomes a story.
Clarke: I do appreciate everybody putting time into this -- Chief Jester and his team, the people in this room, Tim has been fabulous working through these things with us, and you all want to organize your comments as a group that is great, but nobody should ever hesitate to pick up the phone, e-mail us, call us any time, day or night. It's important and we're going to work through it.
Any other issues? Thanks everybody.