Transcript of European Union/United States Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Press Conference

11 Dec, 2007, 00:00 ET from U.S. Department of Justice

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a
 transcript of a European Union/United States Justice and Home Affairs
 Ministerial Press Conference:
 
 
 
     12:40 P.M.
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Good afternoon. I am pleased to have this
 opportunity to host the European Union/United States Justice and Home
 Affairs Ministerial this early in my tenure as Attorney General. Joining me
 on stage today is my co-host, Secretary Michael Chertoff of the Department
 of Homeland Security; Vice President of the European Commission for
 Justice, Freedom and Security, Franco Frattini; and representing the
 Portuguese presidency of the E.U. are the Minister of Justice of Portugal
 Alberto Costa, and the Minister of Interior of Portugal Rui Pereira.
 
 
 
     We are also fortunate to have with us today the Slovenian Interior
 Minister Dragutin Mate and Slovenian State Secretary Robert Marolt. I look
 forward to working with them when Slovenia takes on the E.U. presidency for
 the first half of 2008.
 
 
 
     I think this meeting shows how important the United States considers
 its relationship with the E.U. and with the member states. The range of
 topics we discussed over dinner last night and at our meeting today
 illustrates both the extent and the depth of that relationship.
 
 
 
     I want to focus in particular on three topics that we discussed:
 counterterrorism, narcotics and organized crime, and the legal framework of
 our relationship. After reviewing the record of our achievements together
 since September 11, 2001, I fully agree with the statement that was made by
 E.U. High Representative Javier Solana that our joint action to fight
 international terrorism is, as he put it, one of the unsung transatlantic
 success stories. At our meeting today, we discussed a number of joint
 responses to terrorism, including our continuing efforts to deal with the
 problem of radicalization.
 
 
 
     There is one area of counterterrorism cooperation to which I would like
 to call special attention. Prosecutors and police in a number of E.U.
 member states have devoted enormous efforts toward investigating and
 prosecuting networks that smuggle terrorists into Iraq to attack Coalition
 forces. Our troops and the Iraqi people are safer because of these efforts
 and I want to express our deep gratitude to our law enforcement colleagues.
 We in turn are redoubling our efforts to work collaboratively with European
 prosecutors and police on this problem. I expect this to be just the first
 of a series of meetings with our counterparts on how we can increase
 information sharing on this issue.
 
 
 
     The second matter I would like to discuss is that of narcotics and
 organized crime. Again, our focus was on increasing practical cooperation
 to respond to the flow of heroin out of Afghanistan and the increased
 smuggling of cocaine from the western hemisphere into Europe. With regard
 to Afghanistan, we discussed efforts that we've undertaken to strengthen
 the rule of law in that country, including multilateral assistance to
 Afghanistan's counter-narcotics task force, as well as the law enforcement
 response both in Europe and in the United States. With regard to smuggling
 of cocaine from Central and South America into Europe, we welcomed the
 opening of the European Union's new Maritime Operational and Analysis
 Center in Lisbon. Our law enforcement agencies have begun working at that
 center and that cooperation already has resulted in significant
 interdiction of smuggled narcotics.
 
 
 
     Finally, with regard to the increasing dangers posed by high-level
 organized crime, I am pleased that EuroJust has brought together E.U. and
 U.S. prosecutors to discuss joint strategies for responding to those crime
 groups.
 
 
 
     My third topic is the legal framework of our relationship. As a
 concrete and specific sign of the breadth of the E.U.-U.S. law enforcement
 relationship, I am pleased to report that the administration is preparing
 to transmit the landmark E.U.-U.S. Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance
 Treaties to the Senate for its advice and consent, and we look forward to
 working with the Senate on those treaties. We also look forward to
 deepening our engagement with EuroPol and EuroJust in the coming year, both
 who are designated representatives to those organizations, and through
 further meetings such as the one held this year at EuroJust on
 international organized crime.
 
 
 
     I would like to conclude by noting that, as always, our efforts against
 crime and terrorism must take place within the context of respect for civil
 liberties and the dignity of the individual. Working together, the European
 Union and the United States have determined to protect our citizens within
 the rule of law and we are stronger in doing so together.
 
 
 
     Now I would like to turn the podium over to Secretary Chertoff.
 
 
 
     SECRETARY CHERTOFF: I would like to thank the Attorney General for
 hosting us. I would like to thank the Portuguese presidency for its fine
 work during their term and also welcome the Slovenian presidency and, of
 course, my good friend, Vice President Frattini.
 
 
 
     I have to say -- pause for a moment on a personal note to say that
 standing up in this podium, it's like dej� vu all over again with some of
 you reporters out there, because as some of you know, I used to be working
 here as opposed to where I'm currently working.
 
 
 
     I do think that this meeting has been a great opportunity to emphasize
 the tremendous amount of cooperation that takes place on a regular basis
 between the European Union and its member states and the United States,
 including work on some cases of great significance. Obviously, the
 disruption of the August 2006 airline plot, work we did cooperatively with
 respect to the arrests earlier this summer in Germany as a result of the
 IJU plot, and all of this is against a series of measures that we take
 together to make our policies operate in a way that synchronizes and
 furthers a partnership in fighting against terrorism and organized crime.
 
 
 
     I think -- I want to mention briefly four things we discussed that I
 think are very important as we go forward. One is, as the Attorney General
 said, we are seeking to deepen the framework of data sharing and
 protection. The key to partnership against terrorism is better sharing of
 information within a framework that makes everybody feel confident that we
 are safeguarding their privacy and their civil liberties.
 
 
 
     As I've said, I believe that we have fundamental agreement on the basic
 principles. Sometimes there are some historical or cultural differences
 that we have to work out, but what we are really seeking to do here is
 identify those fundamentals so that we can continue to build on the kinds
 of agreements that we recently achieved, for example, with passenger name
 record information. And I think that's a good sign for the future.
 
 
 
     Second, we talked a lot about the need in general to build systems that
 work in a cooperative and, dare I say, interoperable fashion so that we can
 more freely and flexibly share information to make sure that those who are
 innocent can pass without hindrance and those who are dangerous can be
 detected before they can cause harm.
 
 
 
     Third issue which is a matter, I know, of great concern to many of our
 European friends is our discussion about the visa waiver program. As you
 know, Congress passed legislation earlier this year that did give us some
 extra flexibility with respect to admitting some of the states that had
 been unable to gain entry into the visa waiver program because of the visa
 refusal rate. This new flexibility will come on line once we get our
 electronic travel authorization up and under way.
 
 
 
     As I told my colleagues from Europe, we are obviously waiting for
 Congress to act on appropriations bills which are the precondition to
 getting electronic travel authorization moving. And obviously, we want to
 get that done as quickly as possible.
 
 
 
     But we do anticipate that next year we will begin to work with some of
 the individual member states on what they need to do to prepare for that
 moment when we will be able to welcome them into the visa waiver program,
 in a way that promotes travel but does it in a manner that actually
 enhances our security at the border.
 
 
 
     Finally, we talked a little bit about the fact that we are all
 concerned, both here and in Europe, about the use of -- ability to use our
 technology to further promote security, whether it's in transportation or
 whether it's crossing our borders or whether it's in dealing with disasters
 and catastrophes. And I talked particularly to Vice President Frattini
 about using some of our research in our Science and Technology Directorate
 in cooperation with a recent European Research Forum that the E.U. has set
 up to see whether we can't leverage some of our creativity in coming up
 with technological tools that will help all of us do our job better.
 
 
 
     So now I would like to ask Minister Pereira to address you.
 
 
 
     MINISTER PEREIRA: [As interpreted.] Thank you very much. I would like
 to thank first of all the Attorney General and the Secretary of State [sic]
 Chertoff for being excellent hosts and for the excellent meeting that took
 place between the European Union and United States. At this meeting, I had
 the opportunity to represent -- to present the results and priorities of
 the Portuguese presidency of the European Union in each internal issues. I
 would like to remind what these priorities were.
 
 
 
     One, the global approach to migration. This global situation would
 include regulation -- the balanced regulation of legal immigration in such
 a way that legal immigration becomes a way of developing the origin
 countries, the destination countries and protecting the immigrants, but
 would include also fighting illegal immigration. Illegal immigration in the
 perspective of the European Union is a phenomenon that creates serious
 problems of exploitation of immigrants, humanitarian problems and it's
 linked to organized crime, specifically human trafficking..
 
     In this context, we mentioned the importance of the Border Agency of
 Europe, FRONTEX, and the importance of rapid action teams from the European
 Union that were formed recently. And they protect our common borders. The
 first exercise of those teams of rapid response took place a few weeks ago
 in Oporto, a Portuguese city.
 
 
 
     And I also mentioned another Portuguese priority which was the
 enlargement of the -- freedom, security and justice space of the European
 Union, thanks to a project that was developed by Portugal -- the Schengen
 for all -- it was possible to bring the -- the issue to deal with the new
 borders of the new members who were joining the European Union. They will
 have the common borders of the European Union. This enlargement of the
 Schengen space is excellent news for the new state, for millions of
 citizens of European Union. But it is also a condition for the various
 security of the European Union as a whole, so that the Union will be able
 to have a more balanced dialogue as a whole with the United States of
 America.
 
 
 
     And thirdly, I mentioned the terrorism prevention. It was a priority of
 extreme importance for the Portuguese presidency. We are convinced that
 global terrorism, which we are facing nowadays, it's a very serious threat
 to the United States as well as against the European Union. It questions
 the rule of law, the democratic organization of our societies and it
 questions human rights. This is why it's necessary to fight firmly this
 kind of terrorism and it's necessary to fight on the area of prevention,
 most importantly, avoiding radicalization, avoiding recruitment of new
 agents for terrorism. Because our communities are vulnerable to these
 maneuvers of getting more people.
 
 
 
     And these aspects correspond to priorities and achievements of the
 Portuguese presidency and we found out there is a community of points of
 view, of similar points of view, between United States and the European
 Union. And so we can make new steps towards the future to deepen our
 cooperation.
 
 
 
     MINISTER COSTA: [As translated.] I would also like to thank the
 hospitality and the very constructive environment in which we had this
 meeting between the European Union and the United States of America in the
 area of justice and internal management. We dealt with different issues and
 I would like to concentrate on two of those aspects.
 
 
 
     The first one has to do with the level of the exchange of information
 between American agencies and two important European agencies, EuroJust and
 EuroPol. It is essential when we fight criminality nowadays to have good
 and recent information and this is why this exchange between European and
 U.S. agencies is an essential aspect to fight successfully terrorism and
 organized crime, including drugs, child pornography and other criminal
 scourges of present days. Our dialogue was geared to promote a new level of
 exchange on these issues.
 
 
 
     It's known that in Europe, we attribute great importance to protecting
 personal data, personal information. But it's important to mention that we
 also confer great importance to exchange of information in cooperation with
 the United States in information. Without that, there will be no success in
 the present day world. And we are aware of that, of that need, the European
 Union.
 
 
 
     Another point that I would like to point out deals with fighting drug
 trafficking, taking into account that the road or the way cocaine goes
 through Africa, West Africa, where the lack of responsive structures create
 a great vulnerability place that weakens all our countries. Our talks were
 geared to expand our cooperation and also taking into account the great
 experience and background that the U.S. has in terms of institutional
 preparedness, helping countries that would not otherwise be able to be
 responsive through their justice system.
 
 
 
     This is a big front of the struggle against crime and it is necessary
 to stop the creation of new trafficking, drug trafficking. And we see that
 Europe and the United States of America can do a lot together today and
 during the Portuguese presidency. We created in Lisbon a center for
 analysis of anti-trafficking operations which was mentioned before. And
 many European countries participate as well as the United States of America
 as an observer. It's a promising presence. It's linked already to different
 forms of cooperation with American agencies, and we are convinced that its
 presence and cooperation represent the way, the necessary way to face the
 great criminal threats of the present.
 
 
 
     VICE PRESIDENT FRATTINI: -- with the outcome of our meeting. We have
 been discussing about important topics. I would like to stress just three
 points. Our first point on terrorism.
 
 
 
     We focused on radicalization and recruitment of terrorists. I've
 informed all the American friends, in particular the Attorney General and
 Secretary Chertoff, about some ongoing initiatives already undertaken, like
 a collection of best practices in all 27 member states, about how to
 address radicalization, how to counter spreading messages of violence in
 prisons, in schools, among younger generations. And how to tackle violent
 radicalization by promoting positive messages in Europe and outside Europe.
 For example, by improving capacity of moderate Muslims to speak and to
 promote messages of tolerance and cooperation. The results of all these
 studies will be published in early 2008, in the first weeks of January. I
 said, I'm ready to share all the information with my American friends.
 Europe is ready to cooperate.
 
 
 
     Also to accept the very important proposal made by the American
 delegation, by the Attorney General, Secretary Chertoff to have I would say
 a transatlantic compendium of best practices on how to tackle violent
 radicalization. I'm ready to engage with U.S., United States, on this. I'm
 ready to cooperate on exchanging best practices. I'm ready to put forward
 early 2008 in the first quarter a comprehensive communication on
 radicalization and home grown terrorism which is a quite concerning
 phenomenon to us in E.U.
 
 
 
     The second point, how to strike the right balance between granting and
 promoting the right security, which is in itself a fundamental right,
 because it is first of all the right to life, and the other fundamental
 rights and civil liberties, including data protection. I completely agree
 with the importance of having a political discussion at ministerial level.
 We decided to organize during the next troika meeting under the Slovenian
 presidency a ministerial meeting building on the conclusions of the
 high-level group discussion on security and privacy protection, in order to
 make it possible to get consensus of new member states and to have a final
 political endorsement at the highest possible level, in order to make it
 possible to, on one hand, show the common political good will, on the other
 hand to show concrete results not only at technical level but at political
 level.
 
 
 
     And that's why it's very important to set up a very ambitious agenda,
 not only technical meetings that of course will take place early 2008, but
 a ministerial meeting, and looking at possibility of having a highest
 political endorsement of our comprehensive euroatlantic approach, security
 and privacy protection.
 
 
 
     The third point, how to move ahead with European border security
 strategy. I have informed the colleagues about some initiatives I have in
 mind. I've announced the intention to present a border package in February
 2008 next year, including an European electronic entry-exit register and an
 idea of somehow ETA at European level, electronic travel authorization,
 aiming at interconnection with ETA of United States. So to have one day
 interoperability between systems aiming at promoting facilitated, bona fide
 travelers' circulation while catching criminals in the E.U. and in
 cooperation with United States. That's our idea to have a secure space
 where honest people can move freely and criminals are caught.
 
 
 
     Finally, I've stressed once again the importance of working together
 towards the lifting of visa requirements for all the new member states'
 citizens. I am very pleased by the announcement made by my good friend
 Michael Chertoff about importance of cooperating with a number of member
 states that are eligible to be part very soon of the visa waiver program,
 provided that proper financial means are provided for to government of the
 United States in order to translate the recently approved American law into
 practice by the introduction of electronic travel authorization.
 
     I'm looking forward to working closely in cooperation with United
 States in order to have some concrete results in terms of concrete
 announcement of measures that can be taken before I publish in June 2008 my
 next report on the state of play or reciprocity. Thank you.
 
 
 
     MINISTER MATE: Hello. I presented in that meeting the next presidency
 and the main priorities between European Union and the United States and
 practically everything was on the plate now when the Vice President
 explained what he will be doing next year.
 
 
 
     But I think it's the most important part that we made decision today
 that we will continue with the work of high-level working group, we will
 continue that work in January, and we will have the political framework in
 March when we will have the next meeting, United States-European Union, and
 where we can put together the whole framework, the political framework of
 the goals that we want to reach. That's crucial. We must have ambitious
 plans and if we have those ambitious plans, we can come closer to that
 cooperation between Europe and United States. That cooperation is crucial
 for the security of both partners in that relation, for United States and
 for European Union.
 
 
 
     And another thing that is quite important what we discussed today is
 how to encourage the countries, the western Balkan and some other
 countries, to improving their travel documents. We encourage them by
 preparing the biometric passports. And our American friends agreed that
 they will encourage them, too. It's very important that if they have that
 kind of travel documents that we can have better security on our borders
 and that we can easily have bona fide travelers through our borders. And
 security of borders of European Union are now enlarged, you know, so that
 the whole space of European Union of Schengen area is enlarged and we need
 good security on our borders.
 
 
 
     Our conference, what we will have in European Union, about the security
 on our borders will be connected with a meeting with United States and
 Europe. And we believe that we can exchange good practices from both sides
 and that we can make more security for Europe and for United States. Thank
 you.
 
 
 
     MR. ROEHRKASSE: All right. At the outset, we are going to rotate
 questions. As I mentioned earlier, the first question from the U.S. press
 corps.
 
 
 
     Q General, Judge Mukasey --
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Either one will do. "Mister" is fine.
 
 
 
     Q Mr. Mukasey, could you talk a little bit about whether or not you
 have been able to review whether the OLC memos on waterboarding, whether
 you think that waterboarding is indeed torture, and whether or not the
 tapes that the CIA destroyed would have helped you make that decision?
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Could everybody hear the question? The
 question is whether I reviewed what were described as OLC opinions on
 waterboarding. Whether I think that the tapes that were destroyed would
 have contributed to --
 
 
 
     Q Any decision you've made on whether or not waterboarding is torture.
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Any decision on whether waterboarding is
 torture.
 
 
 
     What I committed to do -- the question has an assumption in it. The
 assumption is that waterboarding is in the memos. Without either confirming
 or denying that, what I committed to do at my hearing and what I am in the
 process of doing is first of all being read into the CIA program, and
 secondly reviewing OLC opinions to see two things. First of all, whether I
 think they are sustainable within their four corners and, secondly, whether
 the CIA program conforms with them. And that's a process that I am engaged
 in. More than that, I don't want to say.
 
 
 
     I can tell you that I've started. I can't tell you more than that.
 
 
 
     Q But do you think these tapes would have helped you?
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: That's not something that I can determine
 now, and I'll leave it at that.
 
 
 
     MR. ROEHRKASSE: We'll take the next question from someone from the E.U.
 press.
 
 
 
     Q A question for Commissioner Frattini. About CIA activities in Europe,
 did you raise that issue at all today with your colleagues? Until now, you
 have been saying the national investigations have to be completed. But the
 national investigation could go on forever. I mean, are you, yourself,
 doing anything to find out about what the CIA is doing in Europe?
 
 
 
     VICE PRESIDENT FRATTINI: Well, you know perfectly I was the first to
 help and to support the European parliament and Council of Europe
 inquiries. But the rule of law is very clear. I cannot and I don't want to
 interfere into national investigations. It is up to judges. It is up to
 independent prosecutors to decide whether and how to go ahead. That's why I
 said many times my wish is that national investigations will continue but
 is not within my responsibility to put pressure. And of course, it is not
 my wish nor my responsibility to replace judgments and draw final
 conclusions until investigations are concluded.
 
 
 
     Q Mr. Mukasey, can you say what the Justice Department is doing to
 investigate destruction of the CIA tapes? And does the investigation
 include the Department's role in advising the CIA, if at all, on what to
 do?
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: What I can say is that there is under way
 what is called a preliminary inquiry that is headed by the Assistant
 Attorney General in charge of the National Security Division, who knows
 something about investigating and who has a substantial background, Ken
 Wainstein, in cooperation with and in conjunction with the IG at the CIA
 who is cooperating willingly and fully. And we're going to go and he's
 going to go where the facts lead him. If the law leads him someplace, he's
 going to go there too, wherever that may lead.
 
 
 
     Q The question would be either for Secretary Chertoff or the Attorney
 General. On the issues you discussed on today's meeting, do you expect
 during the Slovenian presidency any significant step forward?
 
 
 
     SECRETARY CHERTOFF: I think we do. The Slovenian ministers have made it
 clear they want to be very energetic in proceeding on all of these issues.
 Of course, we accomplished a lot in the last year, and so that's a good
 precedent for continuing to move forward in the future.
 
 
 
     In particular, I think we are very eager to reach some understanding
 relating to these principles about data sharing and data protection and I
 think we would very much like to move that along during the next
 presidency.
 
     Q General Mukasey, later today the U.S. Sentencing Commission is
 expected to vote on whether reducing the disparity between crack cocaine
 sentences and powdered cocaine sentences should be retroactive. What is the
 Department's position?
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Well, the department has opposed that.
 Whether the commission is actually going to vote that way or not, I'm told
 they're voting this afternoon. Live in hope, die in despair. Our position
 is clear, we oppose it. How we are going to respond to it I think is
 something that is going to await the vote.
 
 
 
     Q What are your basic opposition points?
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: The opposition points are numerous. Principal
 among them, I think, is the fact that each of the cases that was handled
 under those guidelines was handled on the assumption that there was a
 certain regime in place for sentencing. Whether you agree with it or not,
 it was there. And the cases were planned around that assumption. To change
 that after the fact would, in a sense, be unfair because it would undo a
 lot of decisions that might have been made otherwise had those guidelines
 not been in place.
 
 
 
     Obviously, it's also problematic that if those guidelines are made
 retroactive, you're then dealt with the question of how you deal
 successfully with the people who would, in the ordinary course, be
 released. How they can be worked into the probationary and supervisory
 mechanism that has to be in place before they can be let go. So for both of
 those reasons, we think it creates problems.
 
 
 
     Q For Secretary Chertoff, I believe, the E.U. is setting up its own
 passenger name record system now. Do you expect that the U.S. will have
 access to that system?
 
 
 
     SECRETARY CHERTOFF: Well, I think that -- first of all, I am very
 sympathetic and understanding of why the E.U. wants to set up its system.
 Ours works very well. And as I think we discussed during our meeting, Vice
 President Frattini indicated that we ought to try to have systems where we
 can exchange information and data and agree to operate in a way that
 mutually respects the privacy of everybody concerned. The more we can share
 under a set of agreed principles, the better off people all over the world
 are going to be.
 
 
 
     Q General Mukasey, James Meeks from the New York Daily News, sir. Did
 the CIA ever notify any component of the Justice Department that they were
 going to destroy video or audio tapes?
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: That's a matter that is going to be found
 out, if it is going to be found out, through the preliminary inquiry that I
 mentioned. And Ken Wainstein, I'm sure, is going to inquire into any
 notification of anybody in addition to any other matter or issue that's
 encompassed by that, and then we'll find out what the facts are. And then
 if there is law to be applied, it will be applied.
 
 
 
     Q Minister Frattini, the United States recently adopted a requirement
 that visitors present all 10 fingerprints when entering the U.S. What do
 you think of that? And do you think will European countries have a similar
 requirement?
 
 
 
     VICE PRESIDENT FRATTINI: Well, I saw this new system and I understand
 that concerning the procedure it will make even quicker the procedure to
 put fingerprints.
 
 
 
     The problem in Europe is not yet on the table because, as you know, we
 decided to put fingerprints of two fingers in passports as from April or
 March 2009, in all passports to be issued in member states. We are not yet
 discussing about 10 fingers, 10 fingerprints.
 
 
 
     What is very important to me is how to continue to guarantee
 appropriate level of protection of personal data regardless of the fact
 that you put one finger or you put 10 fingers. Of course, if you consider
 security of identification, it's much better to have 10 fingers than just
 two, but it depends on different system. We do not have, again, I repeat,
 on the table a discussion in Europe on this. Not yet.
 
 
 
     SECRETARY CHERTOFF: Just so people who may not have seen the system
 understand how it works, it doesn't operate like that old thing with the
 ink where you have to roll the hands. It's electronic. I saw it yesterday.
 It's about five to six seconds to do the whole process, very quick.
 
 
 
     Q This one is for General Mukasey. Sir, in recent days, there have been
 some calls for a special prosecutor in this tapes issue, in part because
 the Justice Department either was requesting the tapes for prosecutions or
 weighed in on some of the interrogation legality questions. Do you think
 that that's -- do you have any thoughts on that, whether you oppose it or
 agree that in principle that it would be a good idea to get to the bottom
 of this? Or do you think that the Justice Department is capable of doing it
 itself.
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Let me answer the last question first, and
 that is I think the Justice Department is capable of doing whatever it
 appears needs to be done. That is -- the question of a special prosecutor
 is the most hypothetical of hypotheticals that isn't going to be faced
 until it has to be. And if it has to be, it will be.
 
 
 
     Q Secretary Chertoff, when you were -- during your tenure at the
 criminal division, were you aware in any way at the existence of the tapes
 or in any discussion of what to do about them? There are reports that this
 was debated within the administration over a long period of time.
 
 
 
     SECRETARY CHERTOFF: Of course, as you know, Stephanie, I left in 2003.
 in terms of shedding light on these matters, if somebody has any questions
 to ask me, they will ask me questions. But I don't think I'm going to
 participate in an inquiry about it in front of the press.
 
 
 
     Q If I can follow up, the CIA itself has said in its statement last
 week that the Justice Department was consulted. And I think people want to
 know whether that -- whether that's the truth.
 
 
 
     SECRETARY CHERTOFF: I think you are going to have to ask the Attorney
 General after he conducts whatever review is done about what everybody did
 and knew about in this building and elsewhere. I presume he will enlighten
 everybody about it.
 
 
 
     MR. ROEHRKASSE: Two more questions. Phil?
 
 
 
     Q General Mukasey, you said you were in the process of reviewing the
 legality of the interrogation techniques. How close are you to the end of
 that process and thus far have you found any evidence that anything was
 done wrong?
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: The how-close-are-you question used to be
 asked of me when I was a judge, how soon are you going to decide the case,
 and invariably the response was, if I knew that, I would have already
 decided it. It's a process and one question or issue or letter may lead to
 another. I don't want to say that I'm this close and then find that I'm
 that close.
 
     I'm going to complete the process and, when I complete it, as I said I
 would, I'm going to report to Congress.
 
 
 
     Q And the second part, have you seen any evidence thus far that
 anything was done wrong?
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: I am not going to report it in segments; I am
 going to report it at the end.
 
 
 
     MR. ROEHRKASSE: Last question. Terry.
 
 
 
     Q General Mukasey, how do you plan to communicate to the public when
 you have reached any conclusions about the -- what constitutes torture,
 about the OLC memos, even about this investigation? What are your plans for
 keeping the public informed.
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: I haven't got any specific plans at the
 moment. What I will say is, I undertook to report to Congress. There is
 obviously intense interest in this. How and when and if it would be
 reported to the public is something I have to decide after I reach the
 conclusions and after I decide precisely what to report to Congress. But I
 recognize the importance of it.
 
 
 
 
 

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
    WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a
 transcript of a European Union/United States Justice and Home Affairs
 Ministerial Press Conference:
 
 
 
     12:40 P.M.
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Good afternoon. I am pleased to have this
 opportunity to host the European Union/United States Justice and Home
 Affairs Ministerial this early in my tenure as Attorney General. Joining me
 on stage today is my co-host, Secretary Michael Chertoff of the Department
 of Homeland Security; Vice President of the European Commission for
 Justice, Freedom and Security, Franco Frattini; and representing the
 Portuguese presidency of the E.U. are the Minister of Justice of Portugal
 Alberto Costa, and the Minister of Interior of Portugal Rui Pereira.
 
 
 
     We are also fortunate to have with us today the Slovenian Interior
 Minister Dragutin Mate and Slovenian State Secretary Robert Marolt. I look
 forward to working with them when Slovenia takes on the E.U. presidency for
 the first half of 2008.
 
 
 
     I think this meeting shows how important the United States considers
 its relationship with the E.U. and with the member states. The range of
 topics we discussed over dinner last night and at our meeting today
 illustrates both the extent and the depth of that relationship.
 
 
 
     I want to focus in particular on three topics that we discussed:
 counterterrorism, narcotics and organized crime, and the legal framework of
 our relationship. After reviewing the record of our achievements together
 since September 11, 2001, I fully agree with the statement that was made by
 E.U. High Representative Javier Solana that our joint action to fight
 international terrorism is, as he put it, one of the unsung transatlantic
 success stories. At our meeting today, we discussed a number of joint
 responses to terrorism, including our continuing efforts to deal with the
 problem of radicalization.
 
 
 
     There is one area of counterterrorism cooperation to which I would like
 to call special attention. Prosecutors and police in a number of E.U.
 member states have devoted enormous efforts toward investigating and
 prosecuting networks that smuggle terrorists into Iraq to attack Coalition
 forces. Our troops and the Iraqi people are safer because of these efforts
 and I want to express our deep gratitude to our law enforcement colleagues.
 We in turn are redoubling our efforts to work collaboratively with European
 prosecutors and police on this problem. I expect this to be just the first
 of a series of meetings with our counterparts on how we can increase
 information sharing on this issue.
 
 
 
     The second matter I would like to discuss is that of narcotics and
 organized crime. Again, our focus was on increasing practical cooperation
 to respond to the flow of heroin out of Afghanistan and the increased
 smuggling of cocaine from the western hemisphere into Europe. With regard
 to Afghanistan, we discussed efforts that we've undertaken to strengthen
 the rule of law in that country, including multilateral assistance to
 Afghanistan's counter-narcotics task force, as well as the law enforcement
 response both in Europe and in the United States. With regard to smuggling
 of cocaine from Central and South America into Europe, we welcomed the
 opening of the European Union's new Maritime Operational and Analysis
 Center in Lisbon. Our law enforcement agencies have begun working at that
 center and that cooperation already has resulted in significant
 interdiction of smuggled narcotics.
 
 
 
     Finally, with regard to the increasing dangers posed by high-level
 organized crime, I am pleased that EuroJust has brought together E.U. and
 U.S. prosecutors to discuss joint strategies for responding to those crime
 groups.
 
 
 
     My third topic is the legal framework of our relationship. As a
 concrete and specific sign of the breadth of the E.U.-U.S. law enforcement
 relationship, I am pleased to report that the administration is preparing
 to transmit the landmark E.U.-U.S. Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance
 Treaties to the Senate for its advice and consent, and we look forward to
 working with the Senate on those treaties. We also look forward to
 deepening our engagement with EuroPol and EuroJust in the coming year, both
 who are designated representatives to those organizations, and through
 further meetings such as the one held this year at EuroJust on
 international organized crime.
 
 
 
     I would like to conclude by noting that, as always, our efforts against
 crime and terrorism must take place within the context of respect for civil
 liberties and the dignity of the individual. Working together, the European
 Union and the United States have determined to protect our citizens within
 the rule of law and we are stronger in doing so together.
 
 
 
     Now I would like to turn the podium over to Secretary Chertoff.
 
 
 
     SECRETARY CHERTOFF: I would like to thank the Attorney General for
 hosting us. I would like to thank the Portuguese presidency for its fine
 work during their term and also welcome the Slovenian presidency and, of
 course, my good friend, Vice President Frattini.
 
 
 
     I have to say -- pause for a moment on a personal note to say that
 standing up in this podium, it's like dej� vu all over again with some of
 you reporters out there, because as some of you know, I used to be working
 here as opposed to where I'm currently working.
 
 
 
     I do think that this meeting has been a great opportunity to emphasize
 the tremendous amount of cooperation that takes place on a regular basis
 between the European Union and its member states and the United States,
 including work on some cases of great significance. Obviously, the
 disruption of the August 2006 airline plot, work we did cooperatively with
 respect to the arrests earlier this summer in Germany as a result of the
 IJU plot, and all of this is against a series of measures that we take
 together to make our policies operate in a way that synchronizes and
 furthers a partnership in fighting against terrorism and organized crime.
 
 
 
     I think -- I want to mention briefly four things we discussed that I
 think are very important as we go forward. One is, as the Attorney General
 said, we are seeking to deepen the framework of data sharing and
 protection. The key to partnership against terrorism is better sharing of
 information within a framework that makes everybody feel confident that we
 are safeguarding their privacy and their civil liberties.
 
 
 
     As I've said, I believe that we have fundamental agreement on the basic
 principles. Sometimes there are some historical or cultural differences
 that we have to work out, but what we are really seeking to do here is
 identify those fundamentals so that we can continue to build on the kinds
 of agreements that we recently achieved, for example, with passenger name
 record information. And I think that's a good sign for the future.
 
 
 
     Second, we talked a lot about the need in general to build systems that
 work in a cooperative and, dare I say, interoperable fashion so that we can
 more freely and flexibly share information to make sure that those who are
 innocent can pass without hindrance and those who are dangerous can be
 detected before they can cause harm.
 
 
 
     Third issue which is a matter, I know, of great concern to many of our
 European friends is our discussion about the visa waiver program. As you
 know, Congress passed legislation earlier this year that did give us some
 extra flexibility with respect to admitting some of the states that had
 been unable to gain entry into the visa waiver program because of the visa
 refusal rate. This new flexibility will come on line once we get our
 electronic travel authorization up and under way.
 
 
 
     As I told my colleagues from Europe, we are obviously waiting for
 Congress to act on appropriations bills which are the precondition to
 getting electronic travel authorization moving. And obviously, we want to
 get that done as quickly as possible.
 
 
 
     But we do anticipate that next year we will begin to work with some of
 the individual member states on what they need to do to prepare for that
 moment when we will be able to welcome them into the visa waiver program,
 in a way that promotes travel but does it in a manner that actually
 enhances our security at the border.
 
 
 
     Finally, we talked a little bit about the fact that we are all
 concerned, both here and in Europe, about the use of -- ability to use our
 technology to further promote security, whether it's in transportation or
 whether it's crossing our borders or whether it's in dealing with disasters
 and catastrophes. And I talked particularly to Vice President Frattini
 about using some of our research in our Science and Technology Directorate
 in cooperation with a recent European Research Forum that the E.U. has set
 up to see whether we can't leverage some of our creativity in coming up
 with technological tools that will help all of us do our job better.
 
 
 
     So now I would like to ask Minister Pereira to address you.
 
 
 
     MINISTER PEREIRA: [As interpreted.] Thank you very much. I would like
 to thank first of all the Attorney General and the Secretary of State [sic]
 Chertoff for being excellent hosts and for the excellent meeting that took
 place between the European Union and United States. At this meeting, I had
 the opportunity to represent -- to present the results and priorities of
 the Portuguese presidency of the European Union in each internal issues. I
 would like to remind what these priorities were.
 
 
 
     One, the global approach to migration. This global situation would
 include regulation -- the balanced regulation of legal immigration in such
 a way that legal immigration becomes a way of developing the origin
 countries, the destination countries and protecting the immigrants, but
 would include also fighting illegal immigration. Illegal immigration in the
 perspective of the European Union is a phenomenon that creates serious
 problems of exploitation of immigrants, humanitarian problems and it's
 linked to organized crime, specifically human trafficking..
 
     In this context, we mentioned the importance of the Border Agency of
 Europe, FRONTEX, and the importance of rapid action teams from the European
 Union that were formed recently. And they protect our common borders. The
 first exercise of those teams of rapid response took place a few weeks ago
 in Oporto, a Portuguese city.
 
 
 
     And I also mentioned another Portuguese priority which was the
 enlargement of the -- freedom, security and justice space of the European
 Union, thanks to a project that was developed by Portugal -- the Schengen
 for all -- it was possible to bring the -- the issue to deal with the new
 borders of the new members who were joining the European Union. They will
 have the common borders of the European Union. This enlargement of the
 Schengen space is excellent news for the new state, for millions of
 citizens of European Union. But it is also a condition for the various
 security of the European Union as a whole, so that the Union will be able
 to have a more balanced dialogue as a whole with the United States of
 America.
 
 
 
     And thirdly, I mentioned the terrorism prevention. It was a priority of
 extreme importance for the Portuguese presidency. We are convinced that
 global terrorism, which we are facing nowadays, it's a very serious threat
 to the United States as well as against the European Union. It questions
 the rule of law, the democratic organization of our societies and it
 questions human rights. This is why it's necessary to fight firmly this
 kind of terrorism and it's necessary to fight on the area of prevention,
 most importantly, avoiding radicalization, avoiding recruitment of new
 agents for terrorism. Because our communities are vulnerable to these
 maneuvers of getting more people.
 
 
 
     And these aspects correspond to priorities and achievements of the
 Portuguese presidency and we found out there is a community of points of
 view, of similar points of view, between United States and the European
 Union. And so we can make new steps towards the future to deepen our
 cooperation.
 
 
 
     MINISTER COSTA: [As translated.] I would also like to thank the
 hospitality and the very constructive environment in which we had this
 meeting between the European Union and the United States of America in the
 area of justice and internal management. We dealt with different issues and
 I would like to concentrate on two of those aspects.
 
 
 
     The first one has to do with the level of the exchange of information
 between American agencies and two important European agencies, EuroJust and
 EuroPol. It is essential when we fight criminality nowadays to have good
 and recent information and this is why this exchange between European and
 U.S. agencies is an essential aspect to fight successfully terrorism and
 organized crime, including drugs, child pornography and other criminal
 scourges of present days. Our dialogue was geared to promote a new level of
 exchange on these issues.
 
 
 
     It's known that in Europe, we attribute great importance to protecting
 personal data, personal information. But it's important to mention that we
 also confer great importance to exchange of information in cooperation with
 the United States in information. Without that, there will be no success in
 the present day world. And we are aware of that, of that need, the European
 Union.
 
 
 
     Another point that I would like to point out deals with fighting drug
 trafficking, taking into account that the road or the way cocaine goes
 through Africa, West Africa, where the lack of responsive structures create
 a great vulnerability place that weakens all our countries. Our talks were
 geared to expand our cooperation and also taking into account the great
 experience and background that the U.S. has in terms of institutional
 preparedness, helping countries that would not otherwise be able to be
 responsive through their justice system.
 
 
 
     This is a big front of the struggle against crime and it is necessary
 to stop the creation of new trafficking, drug trafficking. And we see that
 Europe and the United States of America can do a lot together today and
 during the Portuguese presidency. We created in Lisbon a center for
 analysis of anti-trafficking operations which was mentioned before. And
 many European countries participate as well as the United States of America
 as an observer. It's a promising presence. It's linked already to different
 forms of cooperation with American agencies, and we are convinced that its
 presence and cooperation represent the way, the necessary way to face the
 great criminal threats of the present.
 
 
 
     VICE PRESIDENT FRATTINI: -- with the outcome of our meeting. We have
 been discussing about important topics. I would like to stress just three
 points. Our first point on terrorism.
 
 
 
     We focused on radicalization and recruitment of terrorists. I've
 informed all the American friends, in particular the Attorney General and
 Secretary Chertoff, about some ongoing initiatives already undertaken, like
 a collection of best practices in all 27 member states, about how to
 address radicalization, how to counter spreading messages of violence in
 prisons, in schools, among younger generations. And how to tackle violent
 radicalization by promoting positive messages in Europe and outside Europe.
 For example, by improving capacity of moderate Muslims to speak and to
 promote messages of tolerance and cooperation. The results of all these
 studies will be published in early 2008, in the first weeks of January. I
 said, I'm ready to share all the information with my American friends.
 Europe is ready to cooperate.
 
 
 
     Also to accept the very important proposal made by the American
 delegation, by the Attorney General, Secretary Chertoff to have I would say
 a transatlantic compendium of best practices on how to tackle violent
 radicalization. I'm ready to engage with U.S., United States, on this. I'm
 ready to cooperate on exchanging best practices. I'm ready to put forward
 early 2008 in the first quarter a comprehensive communication on
 radicalization and home grown terrorism which is a quite concerning
 phenomenon to us in E.U.
 
 
 
     The second point, how to strike the right balance between granting and
 promoting the right security, which is in itself a fundamental right,
 because it is first of all the right to life, and the other fundamental
 rights and civil liberties, including data protection. I completely agree
 with the importance of having a political discussion at ministerial level.
 We decided to organize during the next troika meeting under the Slovenian
 presidency a ministerial meeting building on the conclusions of the
 high-level group discussion on security and privacy protection, in order to
 make it possible to get consensus of new member states and to have a final
 political endorsement at the highest possible level, in order to make it
 possible to, on one hand, show the common political good will, on the other
 hand to show concrete results not only at technical level but at political
 level.
 
 
 
     And that's why it's very important to set up a very ambitious agenda,
 not only technical meetings that of course will take place early 2008, but
 a ministerial meeting, and looking at possibility of having a highest
 political endorsement of our comprehensive euroatlantic approach, security
 and privacy protection.
 
 
 
     The third point, how to move ahead with European border security
 strategy. I have informed the colleagues about some initiatives I have in
 mind. I've announced the intention to present a border package in February
 2008 next year, including an European electronic entry-exit register and an
 idea of somehow ETA at European level, electronic travel authorization,
 aiming at interconnection with ETA of United States. So to have one day
 interoperability between systems aiming at promoting facilitated, bona fide
 travelers' circulation while catching criminals in the E.U. and in
 cooperation with United States. That's our idea to have a secure space
 where honest people can move freely and criminals are caught.
 
 
 
     Finally, I've stressed once again the importance of working together
 towards the lifting of visa requirements for all the new member states'
 citizens. I am very pleased by the announcement made by my good friend
 Michael Chertoff about importance of cooperating with a number of member
 states that are eligible to be part very soon of the visa waiver program,
 provided that proper financial means are provided for to government of the
 United States in order to translate the recently approved American law into
 practice by the introduction of electronic travel authorization.
 
     I'm looking forward to working closely in cooperation with United
 States in order to have some concrete results in terms of concrete
 announcement of measures that can be taken before I publish in June 2008 my
 next report on the state of play or reciprocity. Thank you.
 
 
 
     MINISTER MATE: Hello. I presented in that meeting the next presidency
 and the main priorities between European Union and the United States and
 practically everything was on the plate now when the Vice President
 explained what he will be doing next year.
 
 
 
     But I think it's the most important part that we made decision today
 that we will continue with the work of high-level working group, we will
 continue that work in January, and we will have the political framework in
 March when we will have the next meeting, United States-European Union, and
 where we can put together the whole framework, the political framework of
 the goals that we want to reach. That's crucial. We must have ambitious
 plans and if we have those ambitious plans, we can come closer to that
 cooperation between Europe and United States. That cooperation is crucial
 for the security of both partners in that relation, for United States and
 for European Union.
 
 
 
     And another thing that is quite important what we discussed today is
 how to encourage the countries, the western Balkan and some other
 countries, to improving their travel documents. We encourage them by
 preparing the biometric passports. And our American friends agreed that
 they will encourage them, too. It's very important that if they have that
 kind of travel documents that we can have better security on our borders
 and that we can easily have bona fide travelers through our borders. And
 security of borders of European Union are now enlarged, you know, so that
 the whole space of European Union of Schengen area is enlarged and we need
 good security on our borders.
 
 
 
     Our conference, what we will have in European Union, about the security
 on our borders will be connected with a meeting with United States and
 Europe. And we believe that we can exchange good practices from both sides
 and that we can make more security for Europe and for United States. Thank
 you.
 
 
 
     MR. ROEHRKASSE: All right. At the outset, we are going to rotate
 questions. As I mentioned earlier, the first question from the U.S. press
 corps.
 
 
 
     Q General, Judge Mukasey --
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Either one will do. "Mister" is fine.
 
 
 
     Q Mr. Mukasey, could you talk a little bit about whether or not you
 have been able to review whether the OLC memos on waterboarding, whether
 you think that waterboarding is indeed torture, and whether or not the
 tapes that the CIA destroyed would have helped you make that decision?
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Could everybody hear the question? The
 question is whether I reviewed what were described as OLC opinions on
 waterboarding. Whether I think that the tapes that were destroyed would
 have contributed to --
 
 
 
     Q Any decision you've made on whether or not waterboarding is torture.
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Any decision on whether waterboarding is
 torture.
 
 
 
     What I committed to do -- the question has an assumption in it. The
 assumption is that waterboarding is in the memos. Without either confirming
 or denying that, what I committed to do at my hearing and what I am in the
 process of doing is first of all being read into the CIA program, and
 secondly reviewing OLC opinions to see two things. First of all, whether I
 think they are sustainable within their four corners and, secondly, whether
 the CIA program conforms with them. And that's a process that I am engaged
 in. More than that, I don't want to say.
 
 
 
     I can tell you that I've started. I can't tell you more than that.
 
 
 
     Q But do you think these tapes would have helped you?
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: That's not something that I can determine
 now, and I'll leave it at that.
 
 
 
     MR. ROEHRKASSE: We'll take the next question from someone from the E.U.
 press.
 
 
 
     Q A question for Commissioner Frattini. About CIA activities in Europe,
 did you raise that issue at all today with your colleagues? Until now, you
 have been saying the national investigations have to be completed. But the
 national investigation could go on forever. I mean, are you, yourself,
 doing anything to find out about what the CIA is doing in Europe?
 
 
 
     VICE PRESIDENT FRATTINI: Well, you know perfectly I was the first to
 help and to support the European parliament and Council of Europe
 inquiries. But the rule of law is very clear. I cannot and I don't want to
 interfere into national investigations. It is up to judges. It is up to
 independent prosecutors to decide whether and how to go ahead. That's why I
 said many times my wish is that national investigations will continue but
 is not within my responsibility to put pressure. And of course, it is not
 my wish nor my responsibility to replace judgments and draw final
 conclusions until investigations are concluded.
 
 
 
     Q Mr. Mukasey, can you say what the Justice Department is doing to
 investigate destruction of the CIA tapes? And does the investigation
 include the Department's role in advising the CIA, if at all, on what to
 do?
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: What I can say is that there is under way
 what is called a preliminary inquiry that is headed by the Assistant
 Attorney General in charge of the National Security Division, who knows
 something about investigating and who has a substantial background, Ken
 Wainstein, in cooperation with and in conjunction with the IG at the CIA
 who is cooperating willingly and fully. And we're going to go and he's
 going to go where the facts lead him. If the law leads him someplace, he's
 going to go there too, wherever that may lead.
 
 
 
     Q The question would be either for Secretary Chertoff or the Attorney
 General. On the issues you discussed on today's meeting, do you expect
 during the Slovenian presidency any significant step forward?
 
 
 
     SECRETARY CHERTOFF: I think we do. The Slovenian ministers have made it
 clear they want to be very energetic in proceeding on all of these issues.
 Of course, we accomplished a lot in the last year, and so that's a good
 precedent for continuing to move forward in the future.
 
 
 
     In particular, I think we are very eager to reach some understanding
 relating to these principles about data sharing and data protection and I
 think we would very much like to move that along during the next
 presidency.
 
     Q General Mukasey, later today the U.S. Sentencing Commission is
 expected to vote on whether reducing the disparity between crack cocaine
 sentences and powdered cocaine sentences should be retroactive. What is the
 Department's position?
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Well, the department has opposed that.
 Whether the commission is actually going to vote that way or not, I'm told
 they're voting this afternoon. Live in hope, die in despair. Our position
 is clear, we oppose it. How we are going to respond to it I think is
 something that is going to await the vote.
 
 
 
     Q What are your basic opposition points?
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: The opposition points are numerous. Principal
 among them, I think, is the fact that each of the cases that was handled
 under those guidelines was handled on the assumption that there was a
 certain regime in place for sentencing. Whether you agree with it or not,
 it was there. And the cases were planned around that assumption. To change
 that after the fact would, in a sense, be unfair because it would undo a
 lot of decisions that might have been made otherwise had those guidelines
 not been in place.
 
 
 
     Obviously, it's also problematic that if those guidelines are made
 retroactive, you're then dealt with the question of how you deal
 successfully with the people who would, in the ordinary course, be
 released. How they can be worked into the probationary and supervisory
 mechanism that has to be in place before they can be let go. So for both of
 those reasons, we think it creates problems.
 
 
 
     Q For Secretary Chertoff, I believe, the E.U. is setting up its own
 passenger name record system now. Do you expect that the U.S. will have
 access to that system?
 
 
 
     SECRETARY CHERTOFF: Well, I think that -- first of all, I am very
 sympathetic and understanding of why the E.U. wants to set up its system.
 Ours works very well. And as I think we discussed during our meeting, Vice
 President Frattini indicated that we ought to try to have systems where we
 can exchange information and data and agree to operate in a way that
 mutually respects the privacy of everybody concerned. The more we can share
 under a set of agreed principles, the better off people all over the world
 are going to be.
 
 
 
     Q General Mukasey, James Meeks from the New York Daily News, sir. Did
 the CIA ever notify any component of the Justice Department that they were
 going to destroy video or audio tapes?
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: That's a matter that is going to be found
 out, if it is going to be found out, through the preliminary inquiry that I
 mentioned. And Ken Wainstein, I'm sure, is going to inquire into any
 notification of anybody in addition to any other matter or issue that's
 encompassed by that, and then we'll find out what the facts are. And then
 if there is law to be applied, it will be applied.
 
 
 
     Q Minister Frattini, the United States recently adopted a requirement
 that visitors present all 10 fingerprints when entering the U.S. What do
 you think of that? And do you think will European countries have a similar
 requirement?
 
 
 
     VICE PRESIDENT FRATTINI: Well, I saw this new system and I understand
 that concerning the procedure it will make even quicker the procedure to
 put fingerprints.
 
 
 
     The problem in Europe is not yet on the table because, as you know, we
 decided to put fingerprints of two fingers in passports as from April or
 March 2009, in all passports to be issued in member states. We are not yet
 discussing about 10 fingers, 10 fingerprints.
 
 
 
     What is very important to me is how to continue to guarantee
 appropriate level of protection of personal data regardless of the fact
 that you put one finger or you put 10 fingers. Of course, if you consider
 security of identification, it's much better to have 10 fingers than just
 two, but it depends on different system. We do not have, again, I repeat,
 on the table a discussion in Europe on this. Not yet.
 
 
 
     SECRETARY CHERTOFF: Just so people who may not have seen the system
 understand how it works, it doesn't operate like that old thing with the
 ink where you have to roll the hands. It's electronic. I saw it yesterday.
 It's about five to six seconds to do the whole process, very quick.
 
 
 
     Q This one is for General Mukasey. Sir, in recent days, there have been
 some calls for a special prosecutor in this tapes issue, in part because
 the Justice Department either was requesting the tapes for prosecutions or
 weighed in on some of the interrogation legality questions. Do you think
 that that's -- do you have any thoughts on that, whether you oppose it or
 agree that in principle that it would be a good idea to get to the bottom
 of this? Or do you think that the Justice Department is capable of doing it
 itself.
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Let me answer the last question first, and
 that is I think the Justice Department is capable of doing whatever it
 appears needs to be done. That is -- the question of a special prosecutor
 is the most hypothetical of hypotheticals that isn't going to be faced
 until it has to be. And if it has to be, it will be.
 
 
 
     Q Secretary Chertoff, when you were -- during your tenure at the
 criminal division, were you aware in any way at the existence of the tapes
 or in any discussion of what to do about them? There are reports that this
 was debated within the administration over a long period of time.
 
 
 
     SECRETARY CHERTOFF: Of course, as you know, Stephanie, I left in 2003.
 in terms of shedding light on these matters, if somebody has any questions
 to ask me, they will ask me questions. But I don't think I'm going to
 participate in an inquiry about it in front of the press.
 
 
 
     Q If I can follow up, the CIA itself has said in its statement last
 week that the Justice Department was consulted. And I think people want to
 know whether that -- whether that's the truth.
 
 
 
     SECRETARY CHERTOFF: I think you are going to have to ask the Attorney
 General after he conducts whatever review is done about what everybody did
 and knew about in this building and elsewhere. I presume he will enlighten
 everybody about it.
 
 
 
     MR. ROEHRKASSE: Two more questions. Phil?
 
 
 
     Q General Mukasey, you said you were in the process of reviewing the
 legality of the interrogation techniques. How close are you to the end of
 that process and thus far have you found any evidence that anything was
 done wrong?
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: The how-close-are-you question used to be
 asked of me when I was a judge, how soon are you going to decide the case,
 and invariably the response was, if I knew that, I would have already
 decided it. It's a process and one question or issue or letter may lead to
 another. I don't want to say that I'm this close and then find that I'm
 that close.
 
     I'm going to complete the process and, when I complete it, as I said I
 would, I'm going to report to Congress.
 
 
 
     Q And the second part, have you seen any evidence thus far that
 anything was done wrong?
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: I am not going to report it in segments; I am
 going to report it at the end.
 
 
 
     MR. ROEHRKASSE: Last question. Terry.
 
 
 
     Q General Mukasey, how do you plan to communicate to the public when
 you have reached any conclusions about the -- what constitutes torture,
 about the OLC memos, even about this investigation? What are your plans for
 keeping the public informed.
 
 
 
     ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: I haven't got any specific plans at the
 moment. What I will say is, I undertook to report to Congress. There is
 obviously intense interest in this. How and when and if it would be
 reported to the public is something I have to decide after I reach the
 conclusions and after I decide precisely what to report to Congress. But I
 recognize the importance of it.
 
 
 
 
 SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice