VIRGINIA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE AND CELEBRATION UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA SCHOOL OF LAW CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA KEYNOTE SPEAKER: ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO P R O C E E D I N G S APRIL 1, 2000 10:00 A.M.
MR. CLARK: Good Morning. On behalf of The Virginia Journal of International Law I welcome you to the fortieth anniversary conference of The Virginia Journal of International Law.
In 1960 the Journal was founded in this law school. It's the second oldest journal in the law school. And it remains the oldest Journal of International Law continuously published of its kind in the nation.
To celebrate the important milestone of its fortieth anniversary an outstanding cast of academics and practitioners around the globe have assembled.
After the keynote address this morning the conference will continue at the University of Virginia Miller Center. There will be two panels. The first at 1:30 discussing the recent Pinochet proceedings in Great Britain, and the second at 3:30 discussing the international criminal court treaty.
These should be fascinating for both the incredible legal talent which will be in attendance and also for the opinions which will be presented--diversity of opinions.
At 12:30 before these panels I want to let all of you know there will be an informal light lunch open to everyone just outside the Miller Center. Because it's such a beautiful day we've set up a lunch in the orchard--the apple orchard just immediately to the left of the Miller Center as you approach it. Directions to the Miller Center are provided in your programs.
Now to discuss some of these international subjects in more detail and to introduce our keynote speaker please join me in welcoming David Martin, Henry L. and Grace Doherty Federal Foundation, Professor of Law at the University of Virginia.
MR. MARTIN: Thank you very much. On behalf of Dean Robert Scott who unfortunately had to attend an event out of town this weekend I'd like to welcome also all of you to this conference in honor of the fortieth anniversary of the Virginia Journal of International Law or Vigil as we like to call it around here.
Vigil has been a major contributor to the intellectual life of this law school since its founding. It's a key part, I think, of what draws to our student body and to our faculty people with a strong interest and background in international affairs. And many of the leading international lawyers in the world learned their discipline in significant part through their work as staff members and editors on the Virginia Journal of International Law.
The Vigil is also widely recognized as one of the leading journals in the field. I remember very well some field work that I did in Geneva, Switzerland back in the mid 1980s. A U.N. library there, which I used, could stock only four U.S. international law journals. The Vigil was among them. International authors will value securing publications in its pages and they know their work will be widely read.
I would like also to just begin my paying tribute to Perrin Clark and to the other editors and workers on the Journal for their fine work this year in maintaining the very high standards set by the previous 39 boards, some of whom are also here today.
I would also like on behalf of the law school thank the Miller Center for co-hosting this conference. And I would join Perrin in urging all of you to attend the panels this afternoon and the light lunch beforehand.
Let me now turn to the real business with which I am charged this morning and that is introducing our keynote speaker. It is certainly obvious what a high honor it is for the law school to include the Attorney General of the United States in these proceedings. I want to add that it's an enormous personal pleasure for me to welcome Janet Reno to Charlottesville.
I had the privilege of working in her justice department from 1995 to 1998 as General Counsel of the Immigration Naturalization Service. I think I got to know her work and her work style pretty well.
I witnessed first-hand what an inordinately difficult job she has and what special gifts she brings to it.
Issues just don't make it to the A.G.'s desk unless they're very tough and very sensitive. And she has an amazing capacity to keep all around her on an even keel as those questions move toward a decision and to bring straightforward wisdom and common sense to bare in resolving them.
I should probably give you a few particulars about her background that you may not know. In 1960 Janet Reno finished her chemistry major at Cornell University and entered Harvard Law School. After graduation, as one of 16 women in a class of 500, she returned to her native Florida where she helped to reform the state court system and later the Florida criminal code as a top staff member of the Florida legislature.
After some other work as a public servant and a few years in private practice she was appointed state attorney for Dade County. And she ran successfully for re-election there three times. Her success in fighting crime and her reputation for rock solid integrity certainly contributed to that electoral success.
Since being appointed Attorney General of the United States in February, 1993 by President Clinton Janet Reno has continued her work against crime as the nation's chief law enforcement officer. During her term violent crime has dropped steadily, and as the longest-serving Attorney General since the days of John Quincy Adams she has navigated tricky politics and addressed a variety of legal concerns from topics that range from immigration to the Internet.
I was looking hard for a way to sum up my great admiration for Janet Reno and I happened to stumble across an article in the latest American Lawyer magazine. If you haven't seen it, I invite you to take a look at it. The whole issue is devoted to assessing the Clinton legacy. If you judge from that coverage in that magazine, the accomplishments of Ms. Reno's Justice Department may be the crown jewel of that legacy.
I bring that up not so much for that. I was especially struck by some words in that article from Walter Dillinger, who spoke here at the law school a few months ago. He went from teaching law at Duke to become an Assistant Attorney General and then Acting Solicitor General under Ms. Reno.
He captured a key part of her contribution perfectly so I'd like to quote you in this respect. He said, "Often the Washington establishment failed to understand Janet's greatest strength, which is that she doesn't give a damn what they think. She only had one goal. That when she was through and fishing by herself she would be comfortable that she had made what she believed would be the right decision every time. Now, she may not have gotten them all right," Dillinger said.
And you have to forgive me, A.G. He's a law professor and law professors are picky about these sorts of things.
But he went on. "I have never been more comfortable with any other public official I have known than she trying to get them right every time."
Janet Reno's private office of the Justice Department is dominated by an intriguing painting of one of her predecessors, Robert F. Kennedy. So, Ms. Reno, it is a great privilege to welcome you at long last to where Kennedy got his legal training. Please welcome our keynote speaker.
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: Thank you, David.
And thank you all for giving me this opportunity to help you celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Vigil.
I have a special debt to Vigil. Your editor-in-chief in 1994 has been the person probably most responsible for advising me on the issues with respect to Elian. He wishes that he had selected more articles on international child custody issues.
And another in that class, John Morton, served with distinction advising, as Brad Glassman on issues with respect to immigration. And Alan Moore serves in the office of Intelligence Policy Review. And I'm sure there are many others. But you have sent some wonderful lawyers to Washington and I commend you.
It is a wonderful opportunity to be here at a great law school, at a law school whose graduates have done so much in public service, such as David, who served with such distinction as General Counsel of INS.
That leads me to the students to suggest to you, I hope you will pursue public service at some point in your legal career. There is nothing so rewarding as to try to use the law the right way to help people be safer or more healthy or more prosperous or more at peace with their families. There is nothing quite like it. You'll find it's much preferable to billable hours and trying to keep track of them.
But as you pursue public service I just offer this thought: You are going to be great lawyers. You wouldn't be at this law school, you wouldn't be involved with Vigil if you weren't.
Don't forget your families. Somehow or another we can structure the practice of law and the profession so that both parents can have quality time with their children and help them grow up in strong and positive ways.
I suggest to the students that one of your challenges be make sure the firms you go to, the offices you go to, are family friendly. And as we deal with the great international issues of the world, as we deal with the problems that plague this country, remember that if we invest in children in terms of love and time, we can make a difference.
That leads to the next: There is a tendency sometimes as we take our family for granted to take our democracy for granted.
One of the most wonderful experiences of my time in office has been to welcome ministers of justice or ministers of the interior or attorneys general, others who have some of my portfolio to the Justice Department, to the wonderful conference room where Bobby Kennedy maintained his office.
On the ceilings are two beautiful murals. One is justice denied with brown-shirted troops taking people off into bondage, carrying up art and music and foreseeing the tyranny that would come four years later after that mural was placed on the wall of the Attorney General's office in 1937.
On the other wall is justice granted with Harlen (phonetic) Stone as the model of justice leading the people up from below into a greater, happier life and a more prosperous life and a fairer life.
I look at those murals as these ministers of justice come in from the emerging democracies in eastern Europe, from old democracies recovering from dictatorship, and I see the stars in their eyes. They are engaged in one of the great challenges and undertakings that men or women can pursue.
But sometimes they come back and there are grim faces that meet me. They talk of corruption. They talk of the problems that are plaguing their new democracy.
A democracy is one of the most fragile institutions that we have created. It takes constant nurturing, constant vigilance.
And I just urge you as you pursue your careers pursue them with the thought that we owe ourselves as individuals, not as lawyers, the duty to participate and to be part of a democracy and to speak out for the rule of law.
We see in this country times when the rule of law sometimes gets run over a bit. We cannot stand silently by. We must speak out.
Finally, I would urge all of us as lawyers to hone our problem-solving skills. We're good at making deals. We're good at being transactional lawyers. We're good at being advocates.
The prosecutor who prosecutes and wins a case thinks he's won the day ignoring the fact that he's done nothing to help the person with a drug treatment--a drug problem to resolve the problem that caused the crime in the first place.
And the public defender thinks he's won when he gets his client off on a Motion to Dismiss ignoring the fact that he's walking out in a greater prison of addiction than we can create for him.
Why don't we come together and sit down and solve the drug abuse problem that caused the crime in the first place and go back further and solve the problem that caused the drug abuse problem? Let us start using our skills to solve issues that generate the work we do as lawyers. Let us bring peacemaking to America and to all that we do in the international realm.
With those general thoughts in mind, I suggest to you that we will not be able to focus solely on domestic issues for this century and for this millennium. We are in a new world where migration and trade and cyber technology has in many instances made borders meaningless.
I tried to figure out what prompts people to sail half way around the world in battered old boats that couldn't possibly make it but somehow do or put themselves in containers that threaten their lives to reach America. I suspected maybe CNN.
People who never had an opportunity to see what else there was in the world now have an opportunity that is unparalleled.
But one thing is clear, crime has become international in its consequences and its origins. Terrorism, here or abroad, to our citizens or others is something that is a constant threat. We must be vigilant and we must be prepared to deal with it.
Cyber technology has created a new issue for us to cope with, to deal with and to prove to John Marshall's memory that the Constitution is a living document and that it can adapt to emerging technology.
But what do we do when a banker in New York has to feel threatened by a hacker in Saint Petersburg, Russia who sits in his kitchen at his computer and steals from the bank in New York?
What do we do about a stalker that stalks someone half way around the world and terrorizes them?
What do we do with the person who engages in fraudulent practices half way around the world or collects Master Card numbers and then extorts the person half way around the world?
What are we to do with borders that become meaningless? We're going to have to think of new ways to structure our judicial system, to structure our relationships with other nations so that people know there is no safe place to hide.
We have seen the impact of drug smuggling across the world in terms of lives lost, communities destroyed, institutions corrupted. What can we do? Because we're not going to be able to solve the problem by ourselves.
If we're to address the issue of drug smuggling, we're going to have to do it as partners with other nations around the world. And that applies to alien smuggling which is now coming on the heals of drug smuggling, an awful travesty of human exploitation. And gun smugglers and organized crime in all its form is going to be immune from effect unless we join as partners around the world.
Where would all these organized criminals be and even the independent contractors be without money laundering? The crafty manipulation of the world financial institutions and markets has become an art form in the criminal underworld, an indispensable tool in perpetuating crime.
Money laundering may seem a distant aspect of crime but does not touch us directly. But it has brought down entire banks and with them the law-abiding depositors and investors. It has and will continue to taint and undermine financial, real estate and business markets. It gives criminals the opportunity to continue their efforts while viewing the distant and often devastating consequences of their offenses from their Porches or their jets.
Fraud is no longer local. We see people who have been the victim of scams over the Internet where the perpetrator is halfway around the world. Boiler rooms are done in chat rooms now.
For instance, telemarketing fraud--much of it's targeting the elderly--is much more likely to escape law enforcement notice if the calls are made from across borders. The ability to reach out and new victims is now worldwide in scope. How do we address these issues? What do we do?
Another aspect: Child custody issues are one of the most difficult issues that we deal with in domestic law. They're fought with emotion and other human feelings. Now we see a new world. 100 years ago if you were going to escape with a child you would have to get on a train or sailing ship. Now you can go to JFK, get on an SST and be gone in three hours flat before anybody knows the child is gone. We have the issue of parental kidnaping which makes the world, again, seem a world without borders in small.
Anti-trust: Our efforts to enforce against anti-competition practices and policies will mean nothing unless we in the long run form partnerships with countries around the world to affect anti-trust enforcement on a worldwide basis.
The environment: How can we control the environment when the patterns of air and the light drift across continents and around the world?
And trade: What are we going to be able to do in effective trade competition in terms of investments abroad? One who wants to invest doesn't understand property rights, doesn't understand how to enforce a judgment, doesn't understand how our court can provide remedies. What are the answers?
The answers, I think, first lie in understanding some of the problems that we face. A newly independent nation and emerging democracy, criminal justice systems are often ineffective and they are sometimes nonexistent.
The ministers of justice that come to my office with stars in their eyes are asking me how do I develop a criminal code, what do I do about the courts, do I use an inquisitorial system or adversarial system, how do I set it up, what do I do.
I suddenly think, how did we set it up. Thank goodness for the common law that we had and the advantages as we came to this country to set up something that has worked for so long and in such a remarkable way. They are the very elementary issues that have got to be faced as we create the network of trust in the world that will permit us to let criminals know there is no safe place to hide.
Criminal codes and criminal procedures are still in the drafting stages. The judges, the defense counsels, the prosecutors have had little or no training or experience in dealing with crime even at the local level. Sometimes they do a wonderful job with law enforcement, but then they don't have the prosecutor and the judge to match. Or they do a wonderful job with the judge and the prosecutor, but they don't have the prisons to match.
Corruption, too, too often plagues the criminal justice sector. It has always posed a threat to government and justice. But the enormity of the law now being generated by international crime, by narcotics' traffickers, arms' smugglers, fraud perpetrators, money launderers and organized crime figures makes the threat of corruption loom even larger, and its perversion of justice grow even more widespread.
Many governmental and institutional entities around the world are simply not equipped to deal with the problem of corruption. And the result is not simply a corrosion in the effectiveness of government, but in a loss of faith and cost among citizens in their systems of justice and in their public servants.
Too often I've heard the ministers of justice saying my constituents look back to the authoritarian government which served before and say but we didn't have those problems then. We have a particular challenge in this day and time to make democracy work throughout the world.
What are we doing about it? First thing is when I came to Washington people in the Justice Department would say, "This is a law enforcement matter. It's not something the State Department should be fussing with." The State Department and the Ambassador would say, "I am the Chief of Mission. This is my responsibility. You have to work on my terms."
I sat down with the Deputy Secretary of State and Secretary of State and said, "Let's form a partnership and let's get in the elbows and let's stop worrying about turf and let's understand once and for all that there's got to be a new partnership between the Department of State and Department of Justice if we're ever going to effectively deal with the issues that confront us that I've described."
So we're engaged in what I call a project, map of the world, where we list country by country and continent by continent and region by region our law enforcement priority, our other priorities with respect to anti-trust issues or the like and then share those with the Department of State so that we can come together with common understanding and a consensus as to where money should be spent in institution building, in administration of justice issues, in trading and assistance.
This project, contributing as it is throughout the world to the rule of law, is exciting. But it is so imperative that we continue this effort and that we institutionalize it to make sure that diplomacy and international issues are joined hand in hand with criminal justice issues if we're to make this work.
Other agencies have got to be involved. The immigration and naturalization services more often than not involved almost daily in issues affecting international crime, affecting so many of the international issues that we've focused on.
One thing we must not forget is that if we're going to make a network and create a network of trust and effective cooperation, we cannot forget our state and local partners. That prosecutor in a local jurisdiction who's seeking the murderer, seeking to have him extradited too often looks at Washington as a confused, mixed-up place.
I did it for 15 years as the State Attorney in Dade County. I would try to get answers from Washington and it was sometimes difficult. So I know how people around the world may feel.
One of the things we're trying to do is to set up procedures that are clear, that are automated, that are shared with our colleagues around the world so that procedural glitches and procedural snags are not the things that slow us down in trying to bring people to justice the right way.
The second, an issue that we have undertaken building on the map of the world project is to focus on how we build institutions in other countries, how we assist them, how we contribute to the administration of justice, how we train professional, fair law enforcement capacity.
I can't tell you how wonderful it is to go to South Africa for the bi-national commission effort and listen to the public prosecutor say, "Now, don't come here and tell me what to do. I will tell you exactly what I need. I don't want you to promise me anything you can't deliver." Yes, sir. He was very forceful.
He needed assistance in asset forfeiture training. He needed other specifics. He needed assistance in developing a database. Instead of talking in formalistic terms, instead of talking in some of the terms that I was confronted with when I came into the Department, we talked in terms of what he needed.
This past Thursday police and prosecutors from South Africa came to my office to talk about all that they had learned and the message from South Africa was, "You delivered."
We've got to deliver. Not based on what we think they need but how we can work together as a partner respecting them, respecting their sovereignty and helping them overcome the myriad of problems that exist as you try to build a fair, firm democracy.
We've seen other examples. The International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest is a wonderful opportunity for law enforcement throughout eastern Europe for training in organized crime enforcement and in other international criminal aspects.
In Chile we have done a wonderful thing because Chile did a wonderful thing. Can you imagine a country as it emerged from a dictatorship to focus on how to change the system of justice to provide more transparency, to go from an inquisitorial system to an accusatorial system. But then they don't know how.
So we have brought some to the United States. And with those who speak English and others with Spanish-speaking, United States prosecutors we're training them and training them to be prepared not just for the presentation in court but how they can work with police to develop the best case, how the case is handled, how they prepare for the record on appeal.
It is so exciting when you have taken for granted these processes in your own country to see how they are emerging in country after country.
But there are some cautions. Don't do to piece meal. We have got to do it in the continuum. If we develop the best police and have a corrupt court system, it won't work. We have got to encourage countries around the world to look at a whole, to look at the continuum and to look at the defense function.
Too often as we generate institution building initiatives around the world we find that people are forgetting defense function. You've got to create the whole criminal justice system as we are striving to around the world's.
The third issue is how we get away from the buttheaded notion of sovereignty and start building trust amongst nations.
Minister of justice comes in, tells me how much regard he has for us, how much he trusts us, but he can't alas extradite a national to the United States for trial on a charge of murder.
I say how much I respect the sovereignty of his nation, but if we're going to trust each other he should trust us enough to know that we can prosecute his national in a fair way according to principles of due process. And besides, wouldn't he agree that it's better prosecute the case where the crime was committed?
I have finally gotten the best way to present this issue of extradition. If an American citizen came to your country and kidnaped a little girl eight years old, took her home, raped her, left her on the street for dead and returned to the United States, would you expect that little girl to go to the United States to have that case tried? No. You would expect us to extradite our national to your country. The answer is always yes.
If we can give specific examples, if we continue to talk, we can build an understanding. And we have had some significant successes in countries becoming willing to change their law, even to change their constitution to permit the extradition of nationals based on a principle of trust and regard and mutual respect.
We have also got to do more in terms of preparing nations of the world to prosecute domestically when their constitution cannot be changed despite the best will of those in power and government.
This will require much work on the part of all nations to better understand the different legal systems involved and to take steps to enable them to correspond together so that justice can be done.
But there are challenges. You get so hopeful. You're so impressed with what a country is doing. They extradite three nationals. They arrest two drug dealers. And then there are problems, and you're reminded all over again of our responsibilities in a democracy.
It requires vigilance. It requires hope and it requires that you never, ever give up. It requires that we educate Congress and those persons who oppose our involvement around the world. And it is imperative that we let them know in small, old words just what it is about.
If somebody can sit halfway around the world and with modern technology steal from us, we're going to have to develop networks halfway around the world.
My goal, my dream is a network of cooperation, of sharing and trust. With continued training and assistance of developing countries and continued emphasis on the modernization of justice systems we can create a network of independently effective domestic entities willing and able to provide justice at home and cooperate on an international level.
It will be a network of treaties and agreements that facilitate communication and exchanges between trusted national partners. It will be a network through which information and ideas can be shared easily, perhaps electronically. Information and ideas on innovative legislation, training, initiatives, existing laws and procedures in various countries of the world.
It will be a network with established points of contact within each country where experts on particular areas of the law, such as cyber crime or extradition or money laundering who can be reached and consulted by others on an urgent basis at any time.
We must really structure a forum. A forum such as we have had with the G-8 ministers, the big industrial nations as we address the issue of cyber crime. But we come up against some very naughty issues that are going to require the intellect, the thoughtful objective, detached public policy perspective of the academic world.
Let me give you an example. If France is investigating a French businessman who never set foot out of France and all his records are stored on his computer and if France gets our equivalent of a search warrant for that computer, but the French businessman who is under investigation happens to be a customer of America Online and the records are stored here in Dulles in the United States, does the French order reach to Dulles? Or if a Florida police officer is investigating a scam arising out of South Carolina, does the Florida search warrant reach to South Carolina?
Ladies and gentlemen, there is a whole new world before us in terms of the international enforcement of the law that has now become domestic in its consequence. No longer can we turn away and say I'm not interested in international law. I'm not interested in that problem. I just want to focus on the issues here at hand.
The issues here at hand are around the world. And it will be incumbent upon all lawyers no matter what avenue they pursue in the practice of law to give attention to the work done by Vigil, to give attention to the whole world rather than just a narrow piece.
Based on the lawyers that I've seen come out of this law school you're going to make a major contribution and I salute you.
MR. MARTIN: Attorney General has graciously decided to stay with us for a few minutes of questions and answers.
I would like to ask-- I hope our friends, people in the press to understand that this is really a Q and A session designed for the University community and the participants in the conference here.
If you have a question, please come forward to one of the mikes here. You can line up there if you would like. I will recognize you and can pose your question to Ms. Reno.
SPEAKER: I'm wondering if Ms. Reno can address the American view of international criminal court and its reluctance to participate in that.
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: We're supportive of the creation of an international tribunal to deal with matters such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
I just had a remarkable evening the other night. I helped honor Judge Patricia Wall who is on the war crimes tribunal. Her experience in the first six months has been so illuminating. And I think her work and the example of her colleagues speaks volume for the need for us to continue to address.
We've supported and we will continue to support the actions of tribunals established to bring to justice those accused of crimes against humanity.
We also fully endorse the notion of the international criminal court as provided for in Rome Treaty and would love to be in a position to sign it in the near future.
However, the Treaty does not, as it's currently drafted, have adequate protections against politically motivated misuse in situations in which the United States or other military powers are called on to intervene in foreign land in order to save human lives or to restore international or regional peace and security.
My understanding is that the state and the Defense Department are continuing to be actively engaged in trying to find solutions to these problems and we continue to be in active discussion with them.
It is that, though, that is the stumbling block at the moment.
MR. MARTIN: We will hear more about that this afternoon at one of the panels which is on the international criminal court.
SPEAKER: I was wondering if you could address the Elian Gonzalez case. And if the problem would have occurred if an American woman had taken her son to Cuba and they would not return him, would the same problems have occurred?
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: It is so hard to say. I was in Miami the day that Elian was discovered on the inner tube. It is obviously a story that from the very beginning has touched the lives of so many people.
I think it best for me to say that at this point we are committed to doing what we believe to be the law and to carrying out what we believe to be the law.
I think it is so important for all of America to make sure that we don't politicize the issue. That we do it based on the law. That we do it in a way that will not further cause harm to the little boy who has been through so much and who apparently is such a dear little boy, and that we get it done in an orderly, prompt and fair way.
SPEAKER: Good morning. I have a question about-- I realize the Pinochet case is being discussed this afternoon. There was an article recently in the New York Times about some of the potential ramifications of international extradition for human rights cases. The example given was that Oliver North was extradited by Libya for his being a party responsible to the 1986 bombing of Tripoli.
Does the-- Do you have an opinion on this? Obviously, this has ramifications of being something like a Pandora's box. Are there preparations being made in the Justice Department for the potential of such cases to come in the future?
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: The United States government strongly supports the principles of justice and also the principles of accountability for human rights violations. We champion the creation of international tribunals to bring to justice those accused of crimes as I pointed out. We're going to follow this whole issue very carefully.
I'm trying to draw a narrow line between what I can talk about and what I can't talk about.
I think it's best to conclude that these are issues that we're looking at very carefully. They come again to the whole notion of trust and how you build trust. And that's what government is all about.
For those nations that don't have the common law heritage I think we can still draw a great insight from a statement that is etched in the building of the Justice Department along the Ninth Street side. It says the common law issues from the will of man is derived from the will of mankind, issuing from the people, framed by mutual confidence and sanctioned by the light of reason.
And it's framed by mutual confidence that becomes the key that we talk about. International tribunals cannot work unless there is mutual confidence in the nations that created them to make them work. I think that's the issue that we must confront.
SPEAKER: With all the talk of Elian Gonzalez where does he want to be?
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: Well, as I said the other day, when I was six years old I used to go visit my grandmother on weekends. She was wonderful. She had fried chicken just the way we liked it. She took wonderful care of us. She took us to the movies, maybe took us to two movies in one weekend. On Sunday afternoon I sometimes ran behind her house and hid so I didn't have to go home.
I think the recognition in this case is that a father and a parent must speak for his six year old and that particularly in the difficult circumstances that Elian has been in the parent is the one that should be speaking for him.
SPEAKER: A few days ago they talked about Pinochet and then Elian Gonzalez. I would like to ask a question about Pinochet as a follow up to the second to last question.
There have been recent news reports that the U.S. government, presumably your office, has reopened the investigation into the car bombing that killed Orlando Ditalia (phonetic) in the 1970s, a car bombing that some people think was linked to Augusto Pinochet. Could you confirm those reports and if possible comment on them?
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: I can't confirm specifics other than to say the investigation of that matter was not closed.
SPEAKER: You mentioned, Attorney General, about networking internationally and the tricky area of sovereignty. I would like to know, have we started developing somewhat of a game plan to deal with where the sovereignty is actually religion based but it's not so much a corruption factor or a dictatorship in as such it's a belief that we have to (inaudible) with?
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: These are issues we're grappling with and it varies from country to country. But clearly that's one of the issues. And I don't have answers except to try to continue to work through them. This is something that I would like to continue to pursue after I leave office because I think it's so vitally important.
I believe that each country can maintain its characteristics, its form of government assuming that it's consistent with ours in terms of regard for human right. Yet create that trust, that network of independent entities that are unique to themselves while at the same time having the trust sufficient to enable us to deal with world.
If we don't, let me just consider the consequences for you. Some people will say, "Well, I'm not interested in organized crime. You all handle it." But when organized crime threatens our shores from abroad, we've got to think about it. When the morals of E-commerce and the Internet are not--do not materialize because people have abused it and have used it to invade privacy, to stalk people, to extort, to steal and people begin to lose confidence in the cyber technology, we've got to avoid that. We have got to make sure that we do everything we can in terms of cyber issues to enforce the law with respect to the Internet, enforce the law with respect to E-commerce and do it while at the same time maintaining the privacy of those individuals not involved in criminal activities.
It is such a critical time for us in so many ways with respect to international issues. And it's also an exciting time and challenging time and great time to be involved in international legal issues.
MR. MARTIN: We have time for one more if there is one.
SPEAKER: In light of some of these lawsuits against the Iranian government where plaintiffs have incredibly received damages in the hundreds of millions of dollars, I was wondering what your thoughts were on that situation where we don't have good relations with another country yet we are suing the government of that country and this government is not even showing up, you know, they're not sending anybody to the lawsuits. I was just wondering what your thoughts were on that and how that might affect future positive relations with that country.
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: I think these are issues that we're dealing with again, trying to figure out what the correct line is between the President's authority to carry out foreign policy and victims' right is a very delicate line to walk.
But in all of these issues I think it's important to spell out some inherent principles and then to do as we do in all our give and takes domestically. Let's be problem solvers. Let's see what we can do to help a country advance towards democracy while at the same time honoring its commitment to those that have been hurt. Let us not dictate. But let us try to be problem solvers and figure out, okay, if we can't do it this way, let's do it that way.
In other words, what I'm urging is there is a tendency to formalistic and doctrinaire when it comes to international issues. The more we can use common sense and problem solving, respect for other humans and trust, I think the more we will be able to solve the problems that you define. But I don't think they're easy solutions.
Thank you very much.
MR. MARTIN: We have a little presentation we want to make to the Attorney General. Before I do that I do want to remind you about the events this afternoon.
In case it didn't come clearly earlier to those of you who are students here, Vigil has decided to provide free lunch at the Miller Center. We would like you to stay around for some of the intellectual events that occur after that, as well. That will be at noon.
I have to give just a little bit of an introduction. We want to provide a gift to the Attorney General so she can remember her visit here to the University of Virginia.
What I want to do first is to set the stage by quoting from the Washington Post on July 29, 1993: "The very adventurous Attorney General accompanied a group of suburban lawyers on a canoeing trip on the Rapids of the Potomac Saturday. And to the horror of her security detail her boat capsized. The nation's top law enforcement official then went under. At least one agent dove into the deep swell, but Reno was long gone downstream."
I'm happy to report that she did survive.
Attorney General, we have figured out what we think the problem was. You were in Maryland waters. And we think we have a solution for this for some of your future canoeing adventures.
So, if you would bring that forward.
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: Oh, my goodness.
MR. MARTIN: A book about Virginia white waters for future planning of trips that might be in a more hospitable environment and an oar for you to use.
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: I was in Maryland water, and I have looked at this book every time I go to the kayak shop since then. Come Memorial Day you will find me in Virginia waters.
I won't ask you to open this here. But Thomas Jefferson among his many other great qualities as a writer and thinker, president, politician, lawyer, architect, he also designed useful items for around the home. And as everybody from Charlottesville here knows this is a Jefferson cup that memorializes. That might fit on your mantle a little better than the oars.