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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 14, 2016 6:07am-8:08am EDT

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>> whether that means we can get the, get a coalition together for more kinetic action now, i cannot, i cannot prophesy. but certainly what most people want to see is a new set of options. >> we're going to come back -- >> i ask quickly?
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>> [inaudible] briefly. >> foreign secretary k i ask you about vienna? >> yes, of course. >> you satisfied that the protection of civilians is something in our sights given the horrible stories that are coming out of there, given the role of saudi arabia, given the role -- our role in selling arms to saudi arabia? >> obviously, we have a very elaborate, probably the most elaborate of any arms-exporting country, an elaborate system of trying to check that our, the things we export are being used in conformity with international humanitarian law. and, look, i mean, we take all the allegations, all the news
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from yemen incredibly seriously. you saw what happened on saturday in sana'a. it was extremely worrying. we have to encourage and we do encourage very strongly our saudi friends to go for a ceasefire to sort this out and to investigate thoroughly what has taken place. and be they are investigating finish. finish -- let's come back to. a very substantial subject. let's see if we can create that time at the end. that may be in your hands, that one. mike gates. >> thank you very much. foreign secretary, can i go back to your initial remarks where you said you wanted to forge a new identity as a global britain. you controversially drew attention to the part kenyan heritaging of the united states -- heritage of the united
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states president, and you yourself, of course, have a half and half turkish -- half american and half turkish heritage. are you a citizen of the world? >> am i -- it used to say on the back of the honey in -- [inaudible] produced in more than one country. yes, i certainly am in that sense, and i think we all are, you know? the human race probably emerged from africa. we are all, we're -- i'm, i -- that's why, by the way, i was so, i was so fended by the french prime minister -- [inaudible] >> so are you offended by the prime minister's attack on the people who see themselves as is thes of the world in her -- citizens of the world in her speech at your conference? >> well, i'm a citizen of the u.k. and proud of the u.k. so are we all.
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and that's our primary identity. i also think that we're all, you know, part of the same great species, and we should, you know -- i, it's why i get back to my point, we should be open to people from other countries. we really should. >> okay. >> and it's something that has been of immense value. and it's a two-way thing. you know, britain is the biggest exporter of its own people of all the rich countries. you know, we send brits abroad, and it's a fantastic thing that we do. the world, in my view, is better for it. >> [inaudible] >> but we also, britain a also percent better for having some brilliant people working here. >> good. including, perhaps, on hour plans -- >> now, mr. gates, i'm so glad you mentioned that because i'm
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able to knock that one totally on the head. because that was absolute nonsense. someone rang up the foreign office, and there was a phone conversation in which it was made clear what is standard procedure, anybody working for the foreign office or as a minute of staff has got to get security clearance. that's always been the case. but there is absolutely no reason for anybody who's supplying research, data or whatever, analysis, to us to have security -- >> nothing's changed? >> so i'm afraid to say inaccurately reported this in an internal e-mail, or somebody did, a post-referendum's change in policy. and and it wasn't, it wasn't true. it wasn't true, and it's like
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everything is now attributed to brexit, it was total nonsense. >> nothing has changed. >> nothing has changed. >> right, fine, good. now, can i then ask you about this relationship between your department and the department for leaving the european union? the secretary of state, your colleague, david davis, came before us a few weeks ago, and i asked him question about that, and he said, i asked him where upbrecht would be reporting to him -- whether upbrecht would be reporting to him or to the fco, and he said there would probably be -- [inaudible] link, i don't know. could you clarify? does upbrecht report to the foreign commonwealth argument as well as to the department for leaving the e.u.? >> yes, of course he does. and i've had regular contact with ivan rogers.
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all european embassies, obviously, you know, we concern but i want to stress this is, i think, has been of all the sort of fictions in the media, this is the most -- the idea that, you know, these three competing poles is complete nonsense. we're working together, the fco holds the network where we're immensely supported of the work been done by both it and -- [inaudible] and we've got to get on with it. >> okay. and in that context there's been, since the referendum vote, calls by ministers this france and italy -- in france and italy and germany for a revitalization of the acceleration towards an e.u. defense policy. now, your colleague, the secretary of state for defense, has said that we would block such a development. given that we are intending to
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be out of the e.u. within around two years or so, is it wise for us to obstruct what other e.u. countries wish to do to increase their defense cooperation? won't it actually damage the possibility of us getting a good deal in the negotiations if we take that attitude? >> well, i mean, a couple of points. first of all, i think it's perfectly right to point out, as michael fallon has done, that an e. e. defense -- e.u. defense pac that undermines nato is a bad idea. and we've got to make sure that the architecture of europe and this part of the world continues to have the americans in it. i think that is something that is widely understood across other european capitals. if our friends want to go ahead with new security architecture -- as they have pledged to do, by the way, many
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times over the last four decades. i remember them quite well. i don't think, as you indicate, i don't think post-brexit we can reasonably stand in their way. i think what we might suggest is given that we are the biggest military player in the lawyer, second biggest -- player, second biggest, only other nuclear power, it would be a bad idea if they do propose, if they to genuinely go ahead with such things, a i way in which britain could be supported, involved in the enterprise, and i think that might be something that would -- [inaudible] high representative motion runny and others currently involved in this venture. >> finally, i'm not sure how much time aye got left, chairman. right -- [inaudible] [laughter] your predecessor, william hague, in november 2012 said that the
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u.k. recognizes the national coalition of syrian opposition forces as the, quote, sole, legitimate representative of the syrian people. now, there were some questions about that. i myself queried it in terms of did it really represent all the opposition forces. is out still the position of the government that the national coalition are are the sole legitimate representative of the syrian people? >> no, i think what we're saying is that the -- the high negotiations committee which is -- [inaudible] >> which is wider or than the -- >> which is wider, i think has a great deal of credibility. they should be at the center of the geneva negotiations. but i don't exclude, there might
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be others who could also have a claim, and we should not be so -- [inaudible] if if there are others who want to be useful to the future of syria, then of course their claims should be -- >> so -- [inaudible] >> if they're democratic, if they're pluralistic -- >> to be clear, you're confirming that the government no longer regards the national coalition as the sole legitimate representative. >> well, what i'm saying is that we think that the hnc is a path and a credible voice for those opposition groups. >> okay. well, we hay want to explore -- we may want to explore that. finally, during the urgent, this statement that we had on the debate which andrea mitchell or introduced a couple of days ago, parallels were drawn between what russia is doing in aleppo
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with what the nazis did in gun ca. given the history of what russia has done in ukraine, what it did in georgia, what it did in its own country, isn't it time for us to fundamentally reassess our attitude to russia and link to that given the threats to the baltic states, the positioning of nuclear-tipped missiles in iraq which can potentially hit berlin as well as poland and the revelations about the hacking of the democratic national committee and the attempts to interfere in the american election process? do we not need to have a fundamental reassessment of our attitude to russia? >> well, i heard your powerful speech the other day, too, in the commons about the russian
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bombing, and i think your feelingsing are shared by -- feelings are shared by millions of people in this country. i think two points. it is very important to stress that we have no quarrel with the russian people, we are not hostile to russia as a country. far from it. and i could go further, i would say that i don't believe russia is as, for all its very, very negative -- [inaudible] it's done many, many terrible things, as you rightly say. but i don't think that russia today can be compared with the soviet union that i remember as a child. i don't think that it is as much of a threat to the stability of the world as the former soviet yoon on. i don't think it's -- union. i don't think it's entirely right to -- i think it's right to talk about a new cold war. but it's of obvious, and you
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correctly list the ways many which russia is being reckless and adepress withive. it is obvious -- aggressive, it is obvious that we have a serious problem. and our sanctions are biting. the russian economy shrank by, i think, almost 3.5% more last year. it is tough for people in russia, but the regime seems determined to remain on its present course. i think we have to remain very, very tough. and it's the u.k. that is this the lead both in the u.n. security council, in drafting and passing resolutions on russia's behavior. it's the u.k. that has escalated the question of whether the bombing of aleppo may amount to a war crime.
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and it's the u.k. that's in the lead this making sure that we keep the sanctions tight on russia because of what's happening in ukraine. and there is another terrible conflict. 9,200 lives claimed in eastern ukraine. mr. gates, i cannot disagree with your analysis. we have a very serious problem. but we have to engage with russia. we have to persuade the russian government. we have toker suede vladimir -- we have to persuade vladimir putin that there is another path for him and his government, and if he will lead the way and bring peace to syria, then he will deserve credit and the thanks of the people of this world. but if he continues on the present path of barbarism, then i'm afraid as i said in the house, russia is in danger of being reduced to the is status of a rogue nation.
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and i think that would be a tragedy. if you consider where we were 25 years ago when we had such hopes at the end of the cold war. we really thought that it could all be so different. i don't want us to get back into a logic of endless confrontation with russia at every part of the world. that would be crazy. we have so much. there are things we have to do together. we have to fight terror together. russian people, russian holiday makers and british holiday makers both face the threats of being blown out of the sky by terrorists. we have things we must do together. we have common interests. but at the moment, the behavior of the russian government is making it very, very difficult for us to pursue those interests together. >> last word on this subject before i get on to syria. what effect do you think the sanctions are having on russia with regard to ukraine? >> well -- >> specifically, are they
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changing russian policy. >> no. i mean, the sanctions are biting, as i said. the russian economy has shrunk, i mean, the effects of the sanctions is hard to distinguish from the result of the collapse in the price of hydrocarbons, but there's no doubt that the sanctions have hurt russians and their ability to raise finance. we must continue that pressure. and it's not uncontroversial with our european friends. there are plenty of my fellowing foreign ministers in the e.u. who have told me privately they that they feel their economies are feeling the pressure of these sanctions because, after all, they may have considerable trade with russia. our own trade with russia, as you know, has fallen dramatically following these sanctions. they are having an effect on both sides.
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but at present, there is no -- >> it's a difficult conundrum you face. we're now examining, presumably, every course of activity that we can that's coming about u what to do about russian action in syria. so far, the levers available to us over the ukraine have no policy effect -- >> well, they -- i wouldn't go so far as to say that. >> european partners are now questioning presumably either their efficacy or their effect on their own economies. >> no, i wouldn't go so far as to say that. think they are, certainly, having effect. they are biting. i think that the strategy of the russians or the kremlin seems to be, basically, to keep the region in a state of turmoil to make ukraine very difficult to, politically to govern as a united whole, and i'm afraid
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that we are, we could be in for a long haul here -- [inaudible conversations] >> i'll be interested, chart a route as to how we get russia out of the cul-de-sac it's laced itself in. it's placed itself in. >> i'm afraid it needs both sides in ukraine to make roll, and i do think the -- and i would to see for myself what was going on, and you mustn't underestimate the psychological effect on people of ukraine of this war. i mean, they have lost lots of people, and they feel very, very -- >> well, again, we're going next week. >> i'm delighted to hear that. >> they feel very deeply and bitterly about what russia is doing. but it is also true, and can it's incredibly difficult as a result for ukrainian politicians, but it's also true that they have to try and take the thing forward. there needs to be at some sage a
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dem -- at some stage a democratic process. that means that there must be reform in ukraine, and progress is passed on as fast as ukrainian leadership would like. >> my question was picking up your wider strategic point about the need to have a constructive relationship with russia and all the interests we actually do have in common. how -- and yet at the same time you're using rhetoric about russia becoming a rye ya state -- pariah state, the terms under which our ambassador and the u.n. were extremely severe, presumably under your instruction. how are we going to get russia into a place where we can begin to have that kind of constructive relationship? i know you have the opportunity of mr. bare row next to you who is, obviously, pumping with authority in this area. >> he is. and i think both kiev and moscow, he's represented us.
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hook, it's very important, i would just get back to what i was saying to mr. gates. it's an extraordinary are culture and civilization from which we can learn endlessly, profit. we should be friends with the russians. we should be building relations. we should be keeping channels open. we should be constantly talking to them. we must not get into a logic of being, of a new cold war. i think that would be totally wrong. but i think the route forward is for us to recognize that about russia, acknowledge russia's importance on the world stage but to make it clear that that recognition is only possible if they will cease from what i'm aafraid are -- afraid are
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barbaric acts in aleppo and in syria and if they will help find way forward in ukraine. i mean, i think you've got to -- the committee can see what's happened to the former soviet union over the last 25 years. i mean, everybody can see the reasons why the russians might collectively feel that they were, they'd been squeezed. they've lost huge amounts of territory that they once conceived of as belonging to them. they see nato -- you have to see things from a, to a certain extent from the russian point of view. but the russians have got to understand that the way forward for them is to do the right thing. and doing the right thing means doing a deal in syria. let's hope that john kerry and
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his counterpart have success on saturday, and let's see where we get. and doing a deal in ukraine. but the points that mr. gates makes about russian cyber activity and all that, those are, i'm afraid, valid, and we need to think about them. the answer, the answer is not -- is to engage. sorry. >> okay. moving back to syria, we're thinking into russia and the opportunity to have evidence from you or responsible minister and hopefully mr. barrow before we conclude that inquiry. turning back to syria and our understanding of the syrian position which is behind my question about the challenge of casualties. how well do we understand the reasons for the resilience of the assad regime? and i wonder if there is
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anything further you can say on the casualties, because i understood that the syrian arab army had taken 70,000 casualties which would be, obviously, more than -- >> i understand that. >> is the carnage on both sides sneer and are we -- is there a misappreciation of why people in syria, we might not like it as to why they're looking to the regime for security, because they're fearful of the islamist threat? >> look, i mean, you know, clearly one of the things that assad did almost immediately in 2011 was, as you know -- >> [inaudible] >> and to create this false equivalent between, to create this scenario in which we know he was inviting them to choose
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between himself and a bunch of jihadis. and that is not true. there are, wills a significant moderate -- there is a significant moderate opposition. i can't give you the figures, i'm afraid, for the casualties sustained by the -- >> [inaudible] >> if i can write to you about that, i'll be very happy to. >> i'd be grateful. talking about the opposition and the hard power that free syrian army have on the ground, give us your assessment as to exactly what hard power they have in this conflict. the evidence this committee's taken suggests that that's not particularly great. >> yeah. well, i -- this has been a subject of a great deal of controversy. i remember the former prime minister used a figure of 70,000, as i recall, in the house for the number of, as it were, moderates opposition fighters.
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i'm not going to give you a particular figure. i'm told that there are, their numbers are still very substantial though obviously one of the disasters of what's been happening is that the moderate people as a result of behavior of the assad regime and the feeling that no one is -- [inaudible] some of them have become more radicalized. i don't think there's any particular controversy about that, but there are still large numbers of -- large areas i think in homs, in aleppo, in many pa parts of syria which are basically run by a moderate opposition, and we should never forget that. >> our syria strategy is, obviously, under some reassessment as it is with all these meetings we're having over -- will be having on the weekend. do those, are they going to include, i've seen reports that might include foreign minister
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meeting between turkey, iran, saudi arabia, qatar alongside the united states and russia. could you give us a picture of what the diplomatic activity is this weekend and how it comes together on sunday? >> well, what we're doing on sunday is bringing together like-minded countries to see what -- everyone will know what the syrian diplomacy has been conducted, basically, through the issg, and so thats has brought together 25 countries, a very bug forum -- big forum with the russians and the americans, as it were, at the joint chairs and everybody else around the table. we've had the iranians and everybody there. in the end, it has not worked.
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the last session was extremely acrimonious as speaker after speaker effectively denounced the russian position, and and it turned into a sort of slangy match in which the iranians came to the assistance of the russians, and the conversation really got nowhere. we need to think about what our options are. and is so on sunday we will be getting the john kerry and others, a like-minded group -- i can't give you the exact at the moment, it's in the process of being assembled. but it will be like-minded countries who wish to canvas all the options.
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and, you know, i just repeat my caution to the committee. those options, of course, include more kinetic action, but there are great be difficulties involved as the prime minister said in the house yesterday. >> take us through the, presumably one of the prime difficulties at the moment is the current american administration has set its face against no-fly zones presumably because of the difficulties you're alluding to. what change do you think might come with a new administration under the stated policies of hillary clinton? >> i think it's too, it's really too early to say. and i've had discussions with some people in washington who may or may not close to any future administration. i just think we're, you know, hillary clinton has taken a tougher line on syria than
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perhaps the current white house, but i really think it will be -- it's too early to decide. >> how close do you think the russians and assad regime are are to achieving their military objective? >> again, i would not like to speculate. i think that the tragedy is they height achieve what they think are their military objectives, but that would not be a victory. and they've got to understand that whatever happens, they will not have conquered -- they will not have recaptured the people of syria. he has done too much damage, he has murdered too much people, ever to have a claim to be the united leader of syria again. he cannot be part of the solution. i think we are right. that's got to be a transition away from assad. we do not say that has to happen immediately, but it must happen. and revelation 3254 -- 2254 sketches out the route map; a
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six month period of continuity, then 18 months of a condominium between the assad regime, elements of the assad regime and the opposition, but assad going. that's got to be -- don't forget, it was only a few years ago, 2012, that the russians were, you know, they were on the verge of dumping him themselves. so it is, this thing is possible. and people should not lose hope. >> we had a discussion at at the beginning about this on the efficacy of sanctions against russia vis-a-vis ukraine. what measures could we -- short of kinetic engagement which -- >> in ukraine? >> no, with regard to syria. >> yeah. >> what sanctions would be available given russian action in syria? >> well -- >> and how would you differentiate those sanctions with the sanctions a applied to
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russia on ukraine? >> clearly, the big anomaly and the whole issue of sanctions against russia is that much of western europe continues to take huge amounts of russian gas. and, you know, there are some european countries who say that, you know, that's where the sanctions should go next. now, that would be very difficult because i think 50 of german gas supplies come from russia. you know, that's a, that's big stuff. and, you know, that would be damaging to those economies as well as to russia. >> i'm going to allow my colleagues -- i hope we can continue this until 11:00. i just want to return briefly to europe. on brexit you said we're going to get the best possible deal
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for trade and services. it's perfectly possible there might be no deal because we can't command the 27 on the other side of the table, and the difficulty we face is i think you may have heard my question to brexit secretary that the better the deal looks for the united kingdom, the more difficult it is to deliver amongst the 27. and it may get vetoed by the -- [inaudible] anyway, and we can't control that parliament -- >> which is why i think it's so important to get back, to recast this whole conferring. ask and to -- conversation. and to look at brexit as an evolution in the development of the e.u. and as a solution to the british problem and to stop thinking of it as this acrimonious divorce. it's not going to be like that. it's going to be the development of a new european partnership between britain and the e.u., and it will be beneficial for both sides -- >> however --
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>> and that's the way -- >> however, the first phase of that might be a two-year negotiation which does not end in a deal. >> well, you know, let's see where we get to. i think it's profoundly -- >> well, i'm inviting you to assist this committee in identifying what the consequences of no deal would be, because business and commerce and industry could do with a deal of certainty about just what -- if the worst case scenario is no deal, well, how bad is that? what are the implications? what does it mean for our trade are policy and the wtosome and this committee was very critical of the last government. and i notice in your response to our report on the implications of brexit, we might be asking you to give us slightly more reply to that report, that you offered no defense to this committee's charge that the last administration had been grossly negligent in failing any
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contingency planning. and i think you should be doing some, we should be making it clear to business, industry and commerce what the implications of no deal would be. because no deal is %ly possible, and we -- perfectly possible, and we cannot control the outcome of these negotiations. >> well, a couple of points. i don't, obviously, you know, take any particular responsibility for the failure of the government to produce -- >> evidence in your letter. [laughter] >> since, after all, it was one of my central charges that i was making in the runup to june 23rd. but seriously, on the deal/no deal question, i think there will be a deal. i think it will be a great deal. if -- and i don't for one moment suppose this to be the case -- it can't be done in two years,
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then there are mechanisms for extending the period of discussion. i don't think that that will be necessary. i think we can do it, and we can produce -- >> i think your characterization of it is correct. it's the first stage of a new relationship between the you u.. and the e.u -- [inaudible] but we need to give some degree of certainty to industry can and commerce for the investment decisions they've got to makeover the next two and a half years, and i'm just wondering -- >> yes. i think they can remain absolutely certain that britain will remain the number one best place to invest in this region simply because of the language and the time other thans and the skills space, incredible diversity of our economy. we are the place to come, and that will be -- that is going to
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be a giant factor of life. even if we and our partners were so foolish as not to do a great deal -- i think we will, i'm absolutely confident we will because it's profoundly in the interests of elected politicians like ourselves over the channel to do it for the good of their constituents. that's what this is all about. in the end, this isn't about theology, this isn't about the ideology of the european union. that is entirely secondary to the imperative of taking forward the european economy, a strong european economy and a strong u.k. economy. >> i look forward to the active assistance of the office and what will be our inquiry into the consequences of no deal. [inaudible] >> sanctions. >> very briefly. >> we implement european union sanctions and we, as you said,
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we are at the forefront of pressing for those. when we leave the e.u., will we still be implementing the e.u. sanctions, or will we -- because we have a more robust attitude -- move towards a position like the united states and perhaps move towards something similar? >> well, i think extremely good question and the one i've been thinking a great deal about, how exactly it's going to work between -- and we've been thinking about it with our european friends because, clearly, they want us to, you know, to stick with them in a broad way when it comes to these foreign policy questions. do you do it, do you have to do it within, do we all have to be around table in the e.u. council, or are there other intergovernmental mechanisms that we are going to produce to reflect the new european partnership between britain and the e.u. that will mean we can
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do it in a different way? either way i think we're coming out of the treaties. whatever we do will be done purely governmentally. and i think there's going to be a strong interest on both sides to have a concerted approach but what's interesting is, you know, it might be that there'll be scope for the u.k. sometimes to do things, to go further. it might also be that we would want to keep ranks and march forward together. that's a discussion that we're, we're also going to have as the course of -- >> i'll ask my colleagues in their final question to be very brief is and then we'll, i'm in your hands as to how long the answer takes. >> john barron. >> as far as i -- can i just press you a little bit on syria in the sense that i would urge,
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and many of us here would urge you to be careful what you wish for and urge caution when it comes to contemplating additional military force. you'll be the first to recognize that syria represents a multilayered conflict involving shia, sunni, you know, the old persian gulf rivalry, iran, saudi arabia, russia in the west, then you've got in the mix jihadists, extremists, etc. if history is anything to go by, our involvement in iraq, helmand, libya and fact that we've almost changed sides in syria between 2013 and '15, intention or not, we have got to prosecution progress with -- progress with caution because force, in the end, has not always been wholly positive, and there are many in this place who have remained silent but perhaps go down when it comes to repeating errors -- >> i absolutely accept that and understand that.
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and and, by the way, i understand completely what you mean about voices of caution that weren't raised the the other day in parliament. i think we did have lots of passionate voices raised in favor of no-fly zones and so on. as i say, it's vital that we consider them, and we will do that now. but the points that you make are certainly valid. >> thank you. >> [inaudible] >> thank you, mr. chairman. just for the record be, foreign secretary, ask thank you for staying so to long. earlier on i asked you about which -- just after i accused you of not having a clue, you said you were unhappy that david cameron had signed up to the elizabeth treaty, but, of course, gordon brown -- just for the record, would you like to -- >> the if you remember -- >> [inaudible] >> let me just clarify. if you remember, there was a pledge that we were going to have a referendum on the elizabethan treaty which we,
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regrettably from my view, did not carry through -- go. [inaudible] >> and i shall say one thing, i referred to mod right fighters in homs, i should have said north of homs. >> [inaudible] >> foreign secretary, do you think we should suspend arms to saudi arabia until we are satisfied that they're not being used against civilians in yemen? >> well, i repeat what i said about our deep concern about what is happening many -- in yemen. on the export licensing, we have one of the most robust systems in the world, and we do consider each one against, each license against consolidated criteria. and export licenses that do not
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meet those criteria are not licensed. but we are keeping this under, i can tell you, a very careful review. you will have noted the report we made on this and dissented from that report. >> i did notice that. >> but there is, there is a view of this committee about getting proper is and independent investigations -- [inaudible] andrew -- [inaudible] >> thank you. one with issue that's un resolved in europe, nothing to do with the european union, is the issue of cyprus. will the undersecretary take to work with the republic of cyprus and the turkish republic to work for a fair and amicable solution whilst at the same time not conceding sovereignty over the british sovereign bases? >> i, look, i think we're on
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the, potentially on the verge of some great progress in cyprus. i pay tribute to both leaders on both sides. i met them both, the foreign minister in new york. and the turks are playing their role, the greeks are playing their role. we obviously have a role, too, and our bases are -- the territory of our bases, as you know, is huge in cyprus. we're willing to cede some of that territory that we don't need to help move the process forward, and i think it's a good thing. i think it's too early to count our chickens in cyprus, you know, it really is. but, you know, cyprus is one of the examples, few examples in the world of two leaders who are willing to -- [inaudible] these two guys are trying to make a difference for peace and being willing to take a risk
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with the electorates behind them rather than just solely, you know, obeying the narrow party politics of the group that's got them into power. they are really reaching out for peace, and i think they are, they're doing a great thing. >> well, it's safe to say your predecessor said, i think, pretty much the same thing a year ago, so let's hope -- >> let's, you know, i think i said it was too early to count our chickens -- >> [inaudible] we're going to bring it home or continue to bring it home on cyprus. thank you very much for your -- >> thank you. >> i may refer to you citizen mr. be barrett -- as mr. barrett and, of course, my apologies. but thank you to you and to simon for accompanying the secretary of state. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> order, order, the meeting's now adjourned. >> more 2016 election coverage tonight as donald trump holds a campaign rally in charlotte,
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north carolina. live road to the white house coverage at 7 p.m. eastern time here on c-span2. this weekend c-span cities tour, along with our comcast cable partners, will explore the literary life and history of pee eeyore ya -- by yore ya, illinois -- peoria, illinois. lincoln incorporated, selling the 16th president in contemporary america, talks about modern marketing and selling of abraham lincoln. >> so he's really portrayed in peoria, i think, as a hero, as someone who stood his ground against the spread of slavery. >> then author taylor -- [inaudible] on his book brothers notorious: the sheltons, southern illinois' legendary gangsters, explores organized crime in illinois during the 1920s-1940s
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through the legendary gangster family. >> it led to an all-out war in southern illinois between the clan and between the bootleggers led by carl shelton. it was like a good legging army. >> on american history tv on c-span3 be, peoria historian h. wayne wilson talks about peoria's history as the whiskey capital of the world. >> it was primarily because of the quality of the water. the bluffs that are along the illinois river here have water that is filtered, in essence, through limestone, and that was perfect for brewing and distilling. >> and we'll visit the usda center where in 1941 scientists discovered how to mass produce penicillin, credited for saving thousands of allied lives during world war ii. the c-span cities tour of peoria, illinois, saturday at 6 p.m. eastern on c-span2's booktv. and sunday afternoon at two on american history tv on c-span3. working with our cable
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affiliates and visiting cities across the country. >> c-span be, created -- c-span, created by america's cable television companies and brought to you as a public service by your cable or satellite proprovider. >> next, a discussion about community policing from the cato institute in washington d.c. this is an hour. >> well, good afternoon, everybody. i want to welcome the audience, and i want to welcome our c-span viewers. i'm peter russo, and i want to thank you all for coming today. this is a capitol hill briefing entitled the truth about prison policing in america. before we begin, i'll remind you if you'd like to join the conversation, we'd love to hear from you, tweet us at hashtag catoevents. today we'll examine a number of
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policy areas in particular interest to lawmakers as well as the electorate at large. over the next couple of months, we'll try and set the record straight on a number of issues and attempt to dispel the misunderstandings that are, in our view, adversely influencing policy discussions. last month we looked at economic and income inequality, and in the next self-weeks we'll address -- several weeks we'll address free trade, but today we will explore policing in america. these law enforcement issues that so dominate headlines and broadcast leads need to be carefully and soberly examined and addressed. to do that, i brought together the principal members of cato's project on criminal justice. this effort has become a leading effort in support of civil liberties. it is led by tim lynch whose research interests include overcriminallization, the drug war, the militarization of police tactics and gun control. since joining cato in 1991, lynch has published articles in a variety of periodicals, and he
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has a period on innumerable public affairs programs. he's also filed several amicus briefs in the u.s. supreme court. he blogs extensively at the national police misconduct reporting project found at policemiss, a sight i wholly recommend. he is also editor of in the name of justice, re-examining the classic article the aims of criminal law and after prohibition: an adult approach to drug policies in the 21st century. lynch is a member of the wisconsin, district of columbia and supreme court bars from marquette university. jonathan blanks is a research associate and the managing editor of the aforementioned overcriminalization and civil liberties. blanks too has also appeared on various television, radio and internet media including voice of america. his work has been published widely and most recently in the
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case western law review with an excellent piece entitled thin blue lies. we did have are copies available on the outside table, but i'm told we are now out of them. if you do want a copy, send me an e-mail or contact me after, and i'm happy to get one for you. blanks is a graduate of indiana university. then we'll have adam bates who is a policy analyst at the project. his research interests include constitutional law, the war on drugs, the war on terror and police militarization. he received a w.a. in political science from the university of miami and a j.d. from the university of michigan. he is a member of the oklahoma bar. and finally, matthew feeney, policy analyst at the cato institute. before coming to cato, he worked as assistant editor of, he has worked at the liberal democrats and the institute of economic affairs. matthew received his degrees from the university of reading in edge land. we will do our -- england. we will do our usual format,
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each speaker will have about ten minutes or so. to help set the stage, let's please welcome tim lynch. [applause] >> thank you, peter. good afternoon, everybody. right now i think it's safe to athat american policing is -- safe to say that american policing is being discussed and debated like never before. to take just one example, "the washington post" some months ago earned a pulitzer prize for tracking fatal police shootings across the country. it's really astonishing when you think about it. of all the things the government keeps track of. it never kept an accurate tally of fatal officer-involved shootings. so that's why the post earned its award for throwing resources and trying to come up with an accurate number for everybody so we can put police shootings in some kind of context; is it going up, is it going down, is it staying the same.
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recent surveys also show that citizen confidence in the police has dropped to its lowest point in more than 20 years. so this afternoon what we want to do is offer our ideas on how policing can be improved. but before we get into a discussion of specific reform ideas, we thought it would be useful to start off with an overview of policing in the united states. so once we have some perspective on the big picture, then we can get to some concrete reform proposals. law enforcement in america is heavily decentralized. we have federal police agencies, and we have state and local police departments. everybody here knows about the major federal law enforcement agencies like the fbi, the secret service, the dea and the border patrol. but there are dozens and dozens of smaller federal agencies that
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have police powers. i'm talking about the bureau of land management. there's a federal reserve police. and we discovered another one recently, the u.s. government publishing office police. if you go to their web site or, you'll see that their agents are armed with automatic weapons. so there's dozens and dozens of central agencies out there with the number of federal police agents has been growing by leaps and bounds over the past 30 years, most of the policing in the united states is done at the state and local level. we have about 18,000 police departments spread across 50 state jurisdictions, and we have about 800,000 sworn officers. a sworn officer someone who is authorized to make arrests and carry firearms. on the federal level, there are about 150,000 sworn officers. now, sometimes people ask me why cato would bring its police
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reform ideas to capitol hill when most of the action is taking place at the local level, at the county level, at the city level. it's a fair question. there are several responses to that. the first one is that policing issues, some policing issues a apply to both federal agents and local police agents. back to police shootings, most of the controversial shootings that we've seen on news over the past two or three years -- walter scott, tamir rice, louisiana gone mcdonald -- these are are shootings involving local police officers. but just yesterday the supreme court announced it is going to be reviewing a case involving a border patrol agent who shot an unarmed 15-year-old mexican boy. so federal agents do get into controversial shootings, and the supreme court is going to be taking up that case this term. second, the relationship between the federal government and local policing has become rather complicated over the years.
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adam bates is going to explain how the department of defense has been sending military weaponry and equipment to our local civilian police departments. congress also sends millions and millions in assistance to local police departments with various rules and regulations that come attached to those funds. matthew feeney is going to be discussing body cameras in that context. body cameras is a subject that hillary clinton has been talking about on the campaign trail when criminal justice issues come up. and john blanks is going to be touching on how federal and state police work together in the context of civil asset forfeiture in a program called equitable sharing. the department of justice has also been called in to investigate many local police departments to see whether or not there is a so-called pattern and practice of constitutional violations. over the past few years, the county of justice has been
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called into cities such as new orleans, cleveland, newark, miami, albuquerque, oakland, ferguson and recently they issued their report on the baltimore city police department. and a federal investigation is now underway in the city of chicago where federal investigators are looking into that department for a pattern and practice of constitutional violations. we expect a report on that to come out anywhere in the next four to six months. we're also seeing the federal government get more directly involved in prosecuting local law enforcement agencies. or agents, i should say. just yesterday the famous sheriff in arizona, joe arpaio, has been cited for criminal contempt by federal officials. he's going to be going on trial, it looks like, in just a few months, and there's a possibility that he'll actually face jail time. it's a remote possibility, but he's going to be prosecuted in federal court, and that is a
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possibility. and the former sheriff of los angeles county, lee baca, is also under federal indictment. so les a lot going on -- there's a lot going on. i should also note here at the beginning that we are aware that when a police department is performing well, when it is maintaining high standards of professionalism and gets good reviews from the community, that's not considered to be news. it doesn't get as much in the way of a lot of media attention. so we do recognize that. but at the same time, we also have to face the reality that many departments are beset with serious problems. and what we want to do is identify constructive policy proposals that can help to minimize those problems. so that's just a quick overview of policing in the united states. my colleagues will now dive into some of the more specific proposals we're offering in the way of reform.
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thank you very much for your attention and interest in this subject. >> good afternoon. i want to talk today about something most of us have gone through at one point or another, and that is the mundane traffic stop. when that comes to mind, most people think, oh, you know, oh, crap, i got busted. i was going 65 in a 55. you sit there, you wait for the cop to come up, and you're just thinking i don't really want a ticket, can i get out of it? that's how you go about it, that's the peak of your concern. but that's not how all traffic stops go in this country, particularly for minorities. there's a different kind of traffic stop known as an investigatory stop. and this can happen any number of ways.
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an officer can follow you for a while as you're going through a neighborhood, and you're just wondering, it's been a mile, two miles, following closely, and you're like what's going on? finally, his lights pop on, and he pulls you over. and he comes up to the car, and you're like, officer, what did i do wrong? well, that little light above your license plate, it's out. or you swerved a little close to the yellow line. but you're thinking, i've been aware of you for the past three miles, i know i didn't go near the line, but there you are. and so as you are waiting more your license and registration, him to run it, you're nervous. and when he returns, instead of just handing you the ticket or giving you the pass, he immediately starts asking questions about why you're there and what you're doing. and you realize that he doesn't really care about the light above your license plate. he's running an investigation. and he's going to try very hard for you to give up your right to not be searched. he can use all kinds of
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trickery, he can pressure you, he can say, you know, you've just got to make it easier on yourself and just give me consent. it's not about, you know, we can bring the k-9 out here. we're going search you anyway, so you might as well just make it easy on yourself. now here you are, you've done nothing wrong, and you have a police officer sort of implicitly threatening you for doing nothing wrong at all. and you know the names philando castile and sandra bland, and you know this can get really ugly, maybe even fatal. so you consent. and you sit on the side of the road -- sometimes in handcuffs -- and cars drive by as police officers rummage through all your things. and to all the world, you look like a criminal. and you're being humiliated. the officer may find nothing, he'll send you on your way, maybe with a warning, no apologies. and in your mind, this isn't like a speeding ticket where you know you got busted, you know you did wrong. this was illegitimate.
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and you're just wondering, that's not what to serve and protect is supposed to mean. and the stop was done under pretext. the spire reason for the stop -- entire reason for the stop was he thought you looked suspicious, and chances are because you had black or brown skin. we all realize, we all realize that curbing dangerous driving is an important police function, but, you know, when you get a ticket for speeding, you don't like it, but it's not really a problem. when you have these pretextual stops that cause antagonistic interactions with the police, that has shock waves that go through the community. ..
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s police agency can seize property tangentially tied to a crime. you don't have to be charged with a crime. you don't have to be convicted of a crime to take it. unlike criminal forfeiture there needs to be conviction, in civil asset forfeiture you have to go to court to prove the money is legitimate. that is often expensive and time-consuming and a lot of people don't have it. the way this works, if this officer was not a traffic cop at
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all, and part of a federal task force he was there in order to look for drug trafficking and one of the perverse incentives of this because the police department gets to keep 80% of whatever cash they seize, instead of stopping drugs and guns, we have police officers on tape saying, oh, no we get them out of major metro areas because they are cash laden and they can seize that overtime to buy new toys we'll talk about. it becomes this very nasty policing for profit motive. so what we, what we have is a perverse incentive on couple different levels. again we're not, if the police are incentivized to stop the cash but not the drugs and guns what exactly is the war on drugs for anyways. this is supposed to be a public safety issue, right? just to make police officers more money that is not helpful. i'm not saying that every police
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officer who goes through this is a bad person or that they don't care about what happens in the communities. their incentives are all wrong. congress can make these little changes to diminish this and perhaps improve the relationship between these communities and the police. thank you. >> how is it going in thanks for spending your lunch listening to me drone on the police. as tim and john both mentioned i will discuss the militarization of the police and how that dovetails with the federal involvement that john mentioned. to carry on the theme of the federal government providing perverse incentives to state and local law enforcement, i want to talk about the militarization of our police over the past few decades.
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we all saw images of ferguson of police with gas mask and body armor and assault rifles and sniper rifles and especially a lot of people in communities like ferguson they're familiar with image of law enforcement but for a lot of people like me is a bit aftershock. you start to think is this what law enforcement looks like in america right now. so there is a long-standing myth in america that s.w.a.t. teams and these paramilitary tactics are isolated incidents or they're reserved for the worst of the worst. and in fairness that is how s.w.a.t. teams started. s.w.a.t. teams were initially designed to be used for hostage situation, active shooters, barricaded suspects, things of that nature. emergencies where routine law enforcement equipment and tactics were not good enough. but with the advent of the drug war that changed rapidly. a if you hundred swat raids a
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year turned into the thousands. the best estimate we have right now police across america conduct how many raids do you think police conduct? just in your ahead how many swat raids go on in the country every year? the best information we have right now, roughly 80,000 swat raids occur in america per year. and contrary to conventional wisdom, these are not hostage situations. these are not active shooters. the vast majority of these swat raids serving search warrants. only 7%, according to the aclu, only 7% of those raids are initial purposes the hostage situation, the active shooter situation. the vast majority of these are search warrants and vast majority of these search warrant are looking for drugs. just recently you may have seen in the news a s.w.a.t. team in massachusetts reportedly accompanied by a national guard helicopter descended on the home of an 81-year-old woman in order to seize a single pot plant was
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spotted from the air. so, that woman is fighting with all of her heart, bless her. [laughter] and so, people need to understand, these are not peaceful law enforcement operations. they become a bit normalized but we're talking about, aggressive paramilitary style raids. they're dangerous for the officers involved and dangerous for the people who live in these homes. so we're talking about showing up at your house at 3:00, 4:00 in the morning, many cases not enoching on the door to announce themselves, battering ram in the door, throw everybody on the floor. shoot the dog perhaps, just a side note, how many dogs do you think the police kill in this country every year? the department of justice, the department of justice estimates police in america kill 10,000 sled a year during these police procedures. so again these are high-intensity, with high potential for violent escalation


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