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tv   [untitled]    February 29, 2012 1:30pm-2:00pm EST

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other cruises? >> this was our second cruise, but our first transatlantic cruise. >> so with were there any differences between the one you took before and this one in terms of safety procedures? >> absolutely. the one that we took before, we were explained -- we went through the security drill, they told us that in case of emergency, do not go back to your room. they showed us where the life jackets were on the muster station. they also made us go through the entire drill, how we are supposed to get on to the lifeboat, what is the protocol. so we felt very safe in our first cruise. >> and did that happen for this cruise? >> no. at no given point were we told where the muster stations were, what we were supposed to do, who we were supposed to contact. luckily, we don't have any kids. i'm grateful we don't, because a lot of times the kids are separate from the parents, so we had no information what to do. >> is it fair to say that you feel that you weren't properly
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communicated to regarding safety requirements and standards on the ship while you were on the ship? >> correct. >> and then, can you just talk a little bit about, once -- i'm trying to understand, what was communicated to you, while you were on the ship, versus what was communicated to you after you vacated and once you were on safe ground. were there two different -- in terms of what was occurring? >> you can see this the hearing in its entirety at our website, going live now to capitol hill for testimony from secretary of state clinton. she is answering questions this afternoon before the house foreign relations committee on her department's budget request for 2013. the president is requesting $51.6 billion, and that's a 1.6% increase over 2012.
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>> the committee will come to order. because the secretary must leave at 4:00, after opening remarks, i will ask the secretary to summarize her testimony and then we will move directly to the questions from our members. given the vote situation, the ranking member will be recognized to deliver his opening remarks, if we are going to be interrupted by votes. but here you are, and there's no problem.
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so i'm going to give my remarks and then yours, because you were going to be -- >> you're going to give my remarks? >> no, i will give mine. i don't trust you with my remarks. but without objection, members may have five days to submit statements and questions for the record. madame secretary, welcome back to the committee to does the administration's foreign relations budget request. all of us have great respect for you, madame secretary, as well as for the dedicated men and women who promote the interest and values of our nation throughout the world. our nation faces unsustainable deficits, so we must justify every dollar that we spend, especially because 35 cents of every dollar is borrowed. i appreciate your restraint with the top line number in your budget proposal, coming in at $5.1 billion below last year's request. but i disagree with the priorities and programs funded with those limited resources.
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in iraq and afghanistan, both these governments must be pushed to take the necessary steps to be our long-term reliable partners. we are not seeing such a commitment from karzai or mallkey. too much american blood and treasure have been invested in both countries for us to have governments in place that threaten american interests. iran's belligerent and unhelpful role in afghanistan and iraq is worrisome, particularly with reports indicating their co-option of those governments at senior levels. so madam secretary, what additional pressure can we bring to bear to offset the iranian influence in afghanistan and iraq? in pakistan, the level of cooperation, as we know, that we get from the government, continues to fall short. serious questions persist about whether elements of the pakistani government support prominent insurgent groups, fighting against our troops in
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afghanistan. in other middle eastern countries, i've had concerns from day one about the administration's approach to the arab spring, and to the forces that work there, including radical islamist groups. the administration appears focused on spending a lot of money in search of a policy. your budget request doubles down on that approach by requesting a $770 million middle east and north africa incentive fund. a fund with almost no restriction on how it can be used. even though press reports indicate that egypt may have decided to lift the travel ban on our ngo workers, we should not reward egypt with aid when it is demonstrating hostility to western democratic entities and is engaging in an ongoing dance between authoritarians and the muslim brotherhood. in contrast, the administration did the right thing by enforcing u.s. law and cutting off funding
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to unesco. your request to now change the law and send $80 million to unesco would be a grave mistake. any weakening of u.s. law would undermine our credibility and give a green light for other u.n. agencies to grant recognition of a palestinian state. u.s. funding for unesco must only be restored if unesco votes to readmit palestine. the budget for the western hemisphere is another example of misplaced priorities. the administration has requested an increase in funding for the general budget of the organization of american states, yet you cut u.s. contributions to the oas' fund for strengthening democracy by almost $2 million. the administration is proposing increased financial assistance to nicaragua, bolivia, and ecuador, three governments that continue to undermine u.s.
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security interests in the hemisphere, disregard human rights, and ignore the rule of law. there can be no justification for such an increase in funds to these countries. in nicaragua, the state has spent millions to promote free, fair, and transparent elections. that money was not used wisely, as the elections in nicaragua were fraudulent and ran afoul of the nicaraguan constitution. we must not repeat last year's performance in ecuador or bolivia, where state departments spent more money on environmental programs, then counter narcotics operations or good governance. this budget fails to hold abusers of democracy in the region accountable and cuts support for democracy. instead of standing in solidarity with the cuban and venezuelan people in their time of need, this budget turns its back on them. repression continues unabated in cuba. the castro regime orders its state security forces to beat members of the ladies in white
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as they leave church services on sundays. prisoners of conscience die while many worldwide turn a blind eye to their plight. in venezuela, the chavez regime has demolished the authority of the national assembly, and intimidated the opposition by leveraging control over the judicial system. turning to the disastrous situation in syria, this administration does not appear to have a coherent strategy. the russians and the iranians clearly have a strategy, and it could be summarized as actively support the repression by the syrian army. the iranian regime defies responsible nations and pursues nuclear weapons capabilities. a nuclear armed iran is unacceptable and we must oppose any policy that relies on mere containment as a response to this mortal threat. president obama has said that the united states has an ironclad commitment to the security of israel. so will the u.s. militarily back
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israel, if it decides to protect itself from an iranian nuclear threat? finally, madame secretary, i have grave concerns about today's north korea announcement, which sounds a lot like the failed agreements of the past. while it is good that it mentions the uranium enrichment program, whose existence the north koreans had so long denied, we must recall that regime's constant duplicity. we have walked this bridge several times before. one troubling new aspect is the discussion of nuclear issues and food aid in the same announcement, which blurs the separation of humanitarian aid from the nuclear negotiations, which has been maintained since 1995. the north koreans will view this food as payment due for their return to the bargaining table, regardless of the transparency and monitoring we hoped to secure in the future. again, madame secretary, thank you so much for making yourself available today.
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i look forward, and the members do as well, to receiving your testimony. and now i'm pleased to recognize my friend, the gentleman from california, the ranking member, mr. berman, for his opening statement. >> well, thank you very much, madame chairman, and madame secretary, welcome. thanks for being here. at the outset, there were some differences in our view. i would like to commend you for your hard work on north korea. today's announcement that pyongyang has agreed to freeze long-range missile launches, nuclear tests, and uranium enrichment activities and allow the iaea back into the country appears to be an important step on a long and difficult path. you know, the chair knows, i know, we all know that we've been down this road before, and it does remain to be seen whether the north will keep its promises this time. but in a more general sense, i'd like to recognize the tremendous commitment and dedication you have shown to reestablishing the
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united states, not just as an indispensable power, but as an indispensable partner. you have made it your mission to show the world the best of who we are as americans. eloquently and consistently, you have spoken up for women, for the poor, and for those who human rights and dignity had been trampled. you have elevated development alongside diplomacy and defense, as a pillar of our national security. within the administration and in the halls of congress, you have fought to ensure that our diplomats and aid workers receive the resources they need and the respect they deserve. they risk their lives every day to support american interests abroad, and the face of mounting deficits here at home, it is important to remember that these civilian efforts are much more cost effective than deploying our military. today we're here to assess how the president's fiscal year 2013 international affairs budget priorities we face as a nation. many people believe erroneously that foreign aid accounts for 20% or more of our budget.
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the truth is, we spend just over 1% of our national budget on diplomacy and development. yet these programs have an outsized impact on our health, prosperity, and security here at home. with one in five american jobs dependent on trade, half our experts going to. developing countries, our overseas programs are a critical part of strengthening the american economy and getting america back to work. our security is threatened if nuclear weapons fall into the wrong hands or fragile and failing states become training grounds for terrorists. our foreign assistance dollars help counter the flow of elicit narcotics and control the spread of organized crime. nearly a quarter of 2013 fiscal year international affairs budget request is dedicated to supporting critical u.s. efforts in the frontline states of iraq, afghanistan, and pakistan. and finally, the principles we cherished are undermined if we allow families to go hungry,
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children to die of easily preventable diseases and girls to be kept out of school. in short, helping countries become more democratic, more stable, more capable of defending themselves, and better at pulling themselves out of poverty is just as important for us in our national security as it is for them. to succeed, we must ensure that our budget resources are allocated wisely, our international programs are carried out in the most efficient and effective manner. but before closing, i'd like to highlight two of the my top and somewhat inter-related priorities. middle east peace and the effort to prevent iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability. madame secretary, for the past three years, the palestinians have simply refused to engage seriously in peace talks. my sad conclusion is that palestinian leaders don't have the will or the desire to make the compromises necessary to achieve peace. they don't want to engage seriously, because they know
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that in the end, they won't be able to do the deal. that's what happened at camp david in 2000, at taba in 2001, and at the olmert talks in 2008. and now, nearly two decades after oslo, i see no evidence that the palestinians have begun in the slight toaest to prepare their public for the prospect that they may have to relinquish the so-called right of return and recognize israel as a jewish state. two critical elements of any peace deal. i find that disturbing. meanwhile, the israelis continue to say they'll negotiate any time, any place. in palestinian leaders really want statehood, they'll have to show it both through their public commitments and by engaging in serious negotiations with israel. if they try to circumvent negotiations by once again taking their case to the united nations, they'll get no recognition from the united states, and they won't get the time of day from the u.s. congress. the only solution to the israeli/palestinian conflict that can bring peace and
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security to both parties is a two-state solution. and that only can become a reality through direct negotiations. let me turn to another issue. what i consider the greatest security challenge facing both israel and the united states, namely the threat of a nuclear-armed iran. i believe it was during your first testimony before this committee in 2009 that you first said that our goal was to impose crippling sanctions on iran, if the regime doesn't suspend its uranium enrichment program, and otherwise comply with the demands of the u.n. security council. now the sanctions are finally starting to have some bite, and within a few weeks or so, the congress is likely to pass new legislation for the president to sign. legislation that tightens sanctions and that gives the administration new authorities to tightening sanctions still further. the house passed its version of that legislation, the iran threat reduction act, by an
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overwhelming vote late last year. can you give us a status report on the impact of sanctions in iran and on whether there is any sign that they are starting to have the desired effect on the thinking of iranian decision makers? thank you, madame secretary. i look forward to hearing your testimony. >> i thank the ranking member. it is the chair's intention to continue the hearing during votes. and now it is an honor to welcome the secretary to our committee today, the honorable hillary rodham clinton has served as the 67th secretary of state for the united states since january 21, 2009, the latest chapter in her four-decade career of public service. she has served previously as a united states senator from the state of new york, as first lady of the united states, and of the state of arkansas, as an attorney, and a law professor. madame secretary, without objection, your full written statement will be made part of the record if you would be so kind as to summarize your written remarks, we can then move quickly to the question and
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answer discussion under the five-minute rule and the hope to getting to all of our members before you have to depart. madame secretary, welcome again, and the floor is yours. >> thank you very much, madame chairman, and ranking member. it is very good to be back here. i am grateful to your committee and the members for the support and consultation that we've enjoyed over these past three years. i look forward to your questions. i will submit my entire state to the record and look forward to having a chance to exchange views with you today. thank you. >> thank you. so we can get right to the question-and-answer, madame secretary? delish. thank you so much. so the chair recognizes herself for her questions. madame secretary, i've heard from a number of my constituents. as you know, i represent south florida, the gateway to the americas, who are worried that alba countries led by chavez continue to pressure, to invite
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cuba to the summit of the americas in april, even though the castro dictatorship does not meet the criteria to join the meeting, as you know. will you pledge here today that if cuba is invited, that president obama and you, madame secretary, will refuse to attend the summit meeting? and secondly, and i'll ask it all at once, so you can answer, madame secretary, on iran in the western hemisphere, just last month, ahmadinejad's tour of tyrants, as i called it, his trip to venezuela, nicaragua, cuba, and ecuador, reaffirmed iran's commitment to undermine u.s. national security interests. i'm concerned about iran's willingness to attack the united states homeland or our critical allies, such as israel. with the rising threat posed by the qods force and its iranian proxies, such as hezbollah in our region, will we dedicate more attention to these illicit
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can i have t activities in the annual terrorism report? and lastly, what is the administration doing to ensure cooperation from our allies in the hemisphere, with respect to iran and to hold accountable those countries that are supporting and enabling iran's threatening activities? thank you, madame secretary. >> thank you very much. with respect to the question about the summit of americas, we do not believe there is any intention to invite cuba. we've made our views on that well known. day don't fit the definition of democratic countries and the development of democracy in the hemisphere. so at this point, we see absolutely no basis and no intention to invite them to the summit. regarding iran and the western hemisphere, you know, obviously, iran facing these very effective sanctions and their aggressive enforcement is becoming increasingly desperate, looking
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for friends wherever they think they can find them. and they're not getting the kind of response. on you referenced, our analysis of what happened is that it fell very far short of what the eiranians hoped for. that said, we are concerned about the activities of hezbollah. we continue to monitor the situation closely. we will take appropriate action to counter any threat that may arise. we are aware of and concerned about allegations that some latin american drug trafficking organizations are linked with hezbollah and iran. we've not found information to verify a lot of the allegations. but, of course, the recent incident concerning the attempted assassination of the saudi ambassador is a very large question mark and wakeup call. we're continuing to look for direct links and we're engaged
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very extensively with our partners in the hem is sphere. both to educate them about the dangers posed by iran and hezbollah and also to work with them to heighten our intelligence sharing we did impose sanctions in 2008 and extended them last year on the venezuelan military industries company for violating a ban on technology that could assist iran in developing weapons. so if we find information that we can verify, we are committed to taking action. but what we instead are seeing, much to our encouragement, is that our partners in latin america are really understanding the threats. recently at the iaea, argentina, brazil, mexico and chile joined us in voting for a resolution calling on iran to address concerns about the nuclear program. last year chile, mexico and brazil voted to create the u.n. human rights counsel i will on
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iran and our close ordination with mexican authorities actually was instrumental in breaking up the assassination plot against the saudi ambassador. so i think, madam chairman, we are alert to this. we are watching it closely. we are building a very strong international and hemispheric coalition against any efforts by iran and hezbollah in our area. >> thank you, madam secretary. i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you very much. the obama administration is the first administration to use congressionally mandated sanctions on iran in a robust way. and you deserve considerable praise for that. i know that the president and you and numerous officials at state, treasury, defense have put in literally thousands of hours trying to persuade foreign officials and foreign businessmen to respect our sanctions and to help isolate
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iran. all for the purpose of implementing a policy intended to lead iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program. in that regard, i think it will be helpful to put to rest concerns of some observers that the administration is resigned to iran's becoming a nuclear threshold state. i think it's important to -- very important to reassure us on that point. based on my understanding of the administration's policy, i think you should be able to do that. three months ago on december 1st, secretary of state burns and israeli deputy foreign minister issued a statement that spoke of, and i quote, "preventing iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability." and a pentagon publication last month also said that u.s. seeks to "prevent iran's development of a nuclear weapon's capability." so when senator graham yesterday
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asked whether the administration seeks to deny iran the ability to become a nuclear threshold state, you responded by saying that it is the position of the administration to prevent them, meaning the iranians, from obtaining nuclear weapons. so i think it's important to clarify. is the administration policy to prevent development of nuclear weapons capability or is the policy merely to prevent iran from attaining nuclear weapons? and what's the real difference between these two? does the administration have a red line beyond which it will not allow iran's nuclear program to progress? can we feel assured that it's the administration's policy to make sure iran remains well short of the ability to produce nuclear arms? >> well, congressman, i think it's absolutely clear that the president's policy is to prevent iran from having nuclear weapons capability. and that has been the stated
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position of this administration. it has been backed up and reiterated. so let there be no confusion in any shorthanded answer to any question, policy remains the same. and certainly in pursuance of that policy, we worked closely with the congress to implement the most far reaching sanctions that have ever been imposed. and after three years of intensive diplomatic effort, we have developed an international coalition that recognizes the importance of preventing iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability that is working with us. you know, three years ago we didn't have that con as soon assous in the international community. there was a lot of unwillingness and resistance even to going along with tougher sanctions. but from the beginning, we've had a two-track policy. pressure and engagement. and as we talk today, the
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pressure is ratcheting up. we are aggressively working to implement the sanctions. we have very strong support for this position from the recent report by the international atomic energy agency pointing out all of the suspiciouses and questions about iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. and we have seen finally a response from iran that they're willing to discuss their nuclear weapons program with the p-5 plus one. so we think that the sanctions are affecting the thinking of the iranians in the leadership. but we have to remain vigilant. we have to keep the pressure on. >> well, thank you very much. i think i can get a question in in 44 seconds. >> or yield back and give other members more time as i did. >> all right. well, with that appeal. >> thank you, sir. thank you. and being the wise legislator
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that he is, dr. paul elected to stay here and so he gets to ask his questions. congressman paul of texas is recognized. i learned not to say anything negative about ron paul. >> welcome madam secretary. i do want to get your comments on about the stir that was caused by the apology over the koran. and the administration has received a lot of criticism about this. and i think you've expressed some point that maybe this doesn't help your job any by stirring up the resentment. but, excuse me, but the whole issue of an apology, i think, is an interesting one from a national level. and i recall what happened after mcnamara wrote his memoirs and apologetic about what happened and why he orchestrated the vietnam war. and a reporter asked him if he should apologize. he said, what good is an
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apology? he said if the policies are wrong, he says, you have to learn something from it and change the policy. so a lot of emotions come out on this oish u issue of apology. i keep thinking that, you know, those who did the criticizing, i don't think they criticized the last administration when the president apologized for using the koran as a target. so sometimes they're not -- apologies are not always equal. even that said, there's -- there were torture photographs before. they were very aggravating. recently there was urinating on bodies, on corpses. we didn't particularly apologize for those, did we? i mean, there weren't apologies there. but some of these things are emotional. but what about the whole idea of invading a country and occupying a country and disturbing their
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country? creating hundreds of thousands of refugees and suffering? does it ever get to a point where apologizing about the koran is rather minor to some of the other problems that we have created in this country? could you comment on that? >> congressman, first, i appreciate the very measured comments you made about our presidents, not only this one but prior presidents offering apologies when we are deeply sorry for unfortunate incidents that occurred that were not intentional and which we know have emotional rez nens with people. and the larger question you ask, i think it's also important to put into context president obama promised to wind down the iraq war. he has done so. he's in


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