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tv   [untitled]    May 24, 2012 3:00pm-3:30pm EDT

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issues. and bahrain, finally, as we said several weeks ago, we have an important security relationship with bahrain. it's in our national security interest to continue and maintain that relationship. but we have been very clear, very explicit the secretary was in her meeting with the crown prince, that there are a range of very serious human rights problems. there's an increased polarization in the society. we' we're eager for there to be a process that is a serious negotiation or dialogue that brings people together, but there are a range of issues on criticism, detention, accountability, police practices. >> did the libyans ever really investigate gadhafi's killing to your knowledge? >> i'll answer that better i think when i go there and have some of those conversations. >> just more broadly, embassy
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international, coincidentally, came out with a human rights report and said while you have been a leader in human rights, you're not always that principlprinciple s when it comed to economic priorities, sometimes that's taking a front seat in bahrain and syria where you haven't exercised the efficient pressure on russia and china because of other issues in the relationship to go along with more robust action at the counsel. do you have a response to that, and talk in general about the balance that you're trying to strike between economic and national security priorities and american values of human rights? >> sure, so in a broader sense, president obama has talked about it and secretary clinton, princip principles, we engage in the world and recognize there are a range of interests. we have security interests, as you say economic interests, political, diplomatic, but human
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rights is an essential part of what we do across the board. it is always going to be part of the discussion. the secretary has been great and i have been part of many discussions with her with strategic economic allies where these issues are raised with a clear voice. we raised them in bahrain to cite the two examples you raised, we raised the issues in bahrain, recognizing that society is at a turning point, a critical juncture where there has been a greater polarization and more street violence. we're concerned about that. we know it's in bahrain's long-term interest and the interest of the bahraina people that there be a coming together and a serious addressing of the human rights issues there as a part of a broader path to reconcilization. we're not shy about that and we raise it frequently. in syria, we have been as focused and as active as any
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government in trying to get a more unified international response with the russians, with the chinese, with others in the security counsel, and we have a multifaceted response. you push for the monitors to be in place at the plant, that's not enough and it's frustrating. we have pushed at the g-8 for there to be a plan for transition. we're part of the friends of syria trying to build up and strengthen the opposition. swee have been absolutely clear for months that assad must go, and we have pushed for sanctions and enacted sanctions and gotten others to do it. it's a tough challenge, but it's not for lack of commitment or lack of clarity for what we're trying to accomplish or how we're going about it. >> i would ask about china in the case of chen gong chong. how concerned are you about his network of friends who helped him escape? and secondly, more broadly, i
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wonder the way you resolve this case with the chinese, whether you see that as a defining moment, a new approach to dealing with the issues with china or are they so angry with you that they're never going to do this again and deal with you in that sort of way? >> let me say first of all about chen gaungcheng's family and friends, we're closely monitoring what is happening with his immediate family, his brother, nephew, the lawyers who have undertaken to represent his nephew, others who assisted him, we have and will as i'm doing today, raise these case s and or concerns with the chinese government, both publicly and privately. we'll continue to do that. we'll continue to have contact with mr. chen and get his input. these are things that as there are many human rights issues in china that we're paying
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attention to. as we have said previously in the last several years there's been a closing of space for human rights lawyers and activists in china. those are things of concern. we're concerned about other case s. those are cases we'll continue to raise. in terms of the relationship, we had obviously a dramatic few days we were there in the strategic and economic dialogue. what was striking to me is we have a very successful meeting while a human rights issue was being played out. the relationship is now so important to both countries that we have found a way, and we will find a way, to talk about our economic, political, strategic interests, and human rights is going to be very much a part of those discussions. >> i have a question about egypt. you talk about the elections as being open. i wondfer you're concerned about the fact there are going to be
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fewer monitors or be harder to monitor the elections. >> let me say first of all that the election process is ongoing. and so at this stage, we would wait, watch what the egyptians are doing, the final outcome, how the votes are counted, what happens and what is likely to be a second round and what happens in what we hope will be a successful transition to a new civilian government in july. we also recognize that this is an evolutionary process. there are some witnesses or observers there, not everywhere. but it is from the initial accounts, loss of people are voting. the process seems to be moving forward. but there's a big agenda beyond the election, and as secretary clinton has said often, a sustainable democracy requires a vibance civil society, free press, strong legal institutions, et cetera.
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there's a lot to be done, and this is going to be led by egyptians. this is what egyptian people want. they want a stake in their own future. they want economic opportunities. and they want a stake in the political future of their country. [ inaudible ] >> the government has undertaken a number of things that we regard as being in the right direction in terms of addressing some of the long-standing human rights cases. as you know, colombia has faced decades of political violence, trying to make the transition in a way that both addresses accountability issues in a reasonable way and also moves forward in reconciliation is a challenge. i think the attorney general's office there and others have been very mindful of the need to
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strengthen this judicial system, to move forward in a way affirmatively, to build institutions to protect all colombian people. we're with them in trying to address those issues in a strategic dialogue and other ways. >> i have wanted to ask you to highlights in iran what you feel is different in 2011 verses previous years and particularly compared to the green movement in 2009. i would also like to ask you about eritria. are they the bottom of the barrel, the 199th on this list? >> first of all, in iran, sadly, 2011 was a continuation of many negative trends, intolerance of
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descent, a crack down on demonstrators in february, free restrict restricted, internet restriction, unfair trials, amputations, lots of death penalties, including some this year. many held in secret. so it's a very grim picture, and i want in particular to single out the case of the seven baha'i leaders who were sentenced to 20 years in prison. the sentence was reinstated last year. they're now -- in may, they marked four years of a 20-year sentence for basically practicing their religion. it is a human rights situation that is very disturbing and we'll continue to call it out. eritria likewise is a situation where there are a range of very serious problems, governments
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that restrict any kind of dissent or openness. i wouldn't -- we don't rank countries. unfortunately, there are a number of countries that have consistent gross human rights violations. they would be on that list. >> wondering about afghanistan, the report calls it, quote, marginally improved and calls it tenuous. i'm wondering looking forward, are you concerned about 2014 and what happens in the transition? >> we are concerned, and afghan women and women's leaders are also greatly concerned. women are crit icical actors ine reconciliation and reintegration process. they need to be not marginal to the political process. they need to be fully engaged and their rights fully respected. we're very mindful of having
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spent a lot of time with women's leaders there, i can tell you there is a big, a tall agenda in terms of integrating women into the political process. and making sure that women and girls' rights are protected going forward. we're very mindful of the challenge. at the same time, there is a vital and vibrant civil society there. they're more engaged and so i think it's in our interests to figure out how we can help them advance the agenda and amplify their voices so they can be more effective in the coming years. >> going back to china, we stand here and sit here every year. there are millions of people in china who are taking freedom and democracy, especially, those who are being prosecuted in the name of religion or any kind of religion.
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and finally, as they're concerned, the secretary said you're not alone. we are with you. they're still asking the united states, when will you be with us. and pakistan, and what women and girls are understanding in pakist pakistan? >> on china, i would say this, you know, there are -- there's a long agenda, a big agenda on human rights. we deal with it in different ways. last month, the legal adviser here and i participated in a legal experts discussion where we discussed a range of issues including the independence of the courts, unless independents of lawyers, detention issues and the like. we were -- i was part of the strategic and economic dialogue, and this summer we will have a human rights dialogue where we raise the issues.
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the issues come up in many different contexts with me and other u.s. government officials who are very mindful of the situation of religious minorities, the tibetans. we're very concerned about the situations of uighurs elsewhere. we're going to raise the issues as well as the individual cases, some of which i mentioned. we're going to continue to mention our concerns about the labor issues and a range of other things that matter to chinese people. these are issues they're increasingly debating in their own society. we're going to amplify their voices and try to be a re-enforcement of that. on pakistan, you have mentioned the extrajudicial killings, which is one of the things the report points out. we're concerned about the violence, we're concerned about the effects of those who challenged some of the laws like
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the plblasphemy law, it continu to be a big concern. we have a big agenda. it's a tough discussion, but we're going to keep having it. >> i think we have additional questions. [ inaudible question ] >> in your report, you say security forces, especially the mexican navy, a performance of human rights. 50% is conditioned to performance of human rights. i wonder if what you said in your report is going to be applied on the policy of the
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maritime mission because the mexican society is complaining a lot under calderon's decision. so far, more than 80,000 people dead in 5 1/2 years. so what is your response to the situation? especially on the maritime issue? >> two points on that. one, as you say, mexico is a country where there's been endemic violence. much of it related to the drug trade and the government's efforts to curtail that. and obviously, that government has not only the right but the obligation to try to protect its own citizens. there are a number of reports and we document them in this report of abuses by or violations by the mexican military. we have had discussions, i have been down there several times meeting with mexican government,
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including mexican military leaders about how to improve accountability for those violations. the longer term effort has to be to build a police structure and a criminal justice structure that deals with these cases outside of the military. president calderon understands that and so does everyone else. we're very attentive to these issues. we're both working closely with the mexican government and consulting broadly with mexican human rights activists and others who share our concerns. >> also, just to remind you, it's going to be available at the post center. thank you very much. >> thank you.
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today here in washington, the ethics and public policy center is hosting a daylong event. programming includes the unveiling of a program to launch religious freedom caucuses in 50 state legislatures. you can see it live on our companion network, cspan. more live programming coming up later today. their latest book is called "selecting a president" and they'll talk about this year's elections and the electoral process. that's on booktv.org. >> there's an extra day of book tv this holiday weekend on cs n cspan-2. h.w. brands, on a different side of the new york politician and vice president, saturday night at 8:30 eastern and on afterwards, the former director for asian affairs at the
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national security counsel, victor cha on the impossible state, north korea. >> the dialogue on human rights is a ridiculous dialogue because you can tell them we need to improve the human rights situation and the response will be and we had this conversation. the response will be, you in the united states have human rights problems, too. that's not a comparable discussion. >> that's saturday night at 10:00. also this weekend, marcus latrell details operation red wing from service, a navy s.e.a.l. at war. three days of book tv this weekend on cspan-2. >> life is incredibly precious, and it passes by far too quickly. so during your time here, use all of your unique, god-given talents to serve one another as that will be the true measure by
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which your life will be judged. follow the golden rule. >> memorial day weekend, watch commencement speeches on cspan. politicians, without leaders and officials share their thoughts. >> more from secretary of state clinton now. yesterday, she joined defense secretary leon pu nanetta in calling for the u.s. to join the u.n.'s law of the sea treaty which governs the use of international waters. in testimony, they cite national security, job creation, and oil exploration as reasons to join the treaty. 26 republican senators say they oppose signing the treaty because it would undermine u.s. sovereignty. martin dempsey also appears at the hearing. this is just under three hours. >> thank you for being here with us. secretary clinton, secretary panetta, and general dempsey,
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welcome. we're particularly privileges to have you here today. and we thank you for joining us. it's really a rare occasion, i think, in any committee, but it's a rare occasion in this committee when we have simultaneously a panel of witnesses that brings together america's top diplomat, our country's top defense official, and our nation's top military officer. your presence here all together powerfully underscores the importance that you put on this issue. our committee shares this sense of importance, which is why i hope without respect to party or ideology, we will begin an open, honest, and comprehensive discussion about whether the united states of america should join the law of the sea convention. i want to underscore the word comprehensive. i have heard from countless military and business leaders
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for some period of time who believe it is urgent that we radify this treaty, and i have also spoken with senators and some groups who oppose the treaty. i intend to make certain that the committee does its job properly and thoroughly. we will hear from all sides and we will ask all the questions as we begin the process of the educational hearings on this issue, the first since 2007. the senate has seen a fair number of new members elected since then from both sides of the aisle, and our committee also has new members. so i think a thorough examination of the treaty is especially timely and relevant. some of us have had the opportunity in the past to evaluate this treaty and even to vote on it in this committee. i am personally deeply supportive of it and i believe it is now more urgent than ever that we ratify it because to remain outside of it is to
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fundamentally, directly counter to the best interests of our country. i am convinced beyond any doubt that joining the other 160 nations that are party to the treaty will protect america's economic interests and our strategic security interests. and i believe the evaluation we make over these next weeks will document that beyond any doubt. i promise the committee and the senate that not withstanding my support, we will conduct exhaustive and fair hearings to examine all of the arguments, pro and con. some may ask, why now? why consider a treaty that's been untouched by the senate for the last five years and been hanging around for more than 25? well, i think the real question is why we wouldn't have this discussion now? when today we have the worst of all worlds. we have effectively lived by the terms of the treaty for 30
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years. but as a nonparty, we're on the outside looking in. we live by the rules but we don't shape the rules. it couldn't be more clear. without joining the law of the sea, we're deprived of critical benefits of protections under the treaty. a few quick examples. ratifying the treaty will lock in the favorable navigational rights that our military and shipping interests depend on every single day. it will strengthen our hand against china and others who stake out claims in the pacific, the arctic, or elsewhere. it will give our oil and gas companies the certainty that they need to secure our energy future, it will put our telecommunications companies on equal footing with our foreign investors and help secure access to rare earth minerals we need for weapons systems, computers, cell phones, and the like.
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it will also address issues of military effectiveness. as our focus shifts to the asia pacific region, it's more important than ever that we're part of the country. china and other countries are staking out illegal claims. it would give a boost to credibility as we push back against excessive maritime claims and illegal restrictions on our war ships or commercial vessels. there's no doubt in my mind that would help resolve mare time issues to the benefit of the united states and our regional allies and partners and we will hear from every single former chief of naval operations to that effect. the treaty is also about energy security. while we sit on the sidelines, russia and other countries are carving up the arctic and laying claims to the oil and gas riches in that region. we, on the other hand, can't even access the treaty body that
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provides international legitimacy for these types of claims. instead of taking every step to insure our stake in this resource rich area, we're watching others assert their claims and doing nothing about it because we have no legal resource. and it's also this treaty is also about rare earth minerals. china currently controlled the production of rare earth minerals. 90% of the world's spry we're dependent on frame china. there's no way that enhances american security. we need this for cell phones, computers, weapon systems, u.s. industry is poised to secure these minerals from the deep sea bed, but they cannot do so through the united states as it is because we're not a party to the treaty. don't take my word for it. listen to our top companies. just last week, bob stevens, the ceo of lockheed martin wrote to
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me, asking that we pass the treaty. he said, the multibillion dollar investments needed to establish an ocean based resource development business must be predicated on clear legal rights established and protected under the treaty based framework of the law of the sea convention, including the international seabed authority. other international players recognize this same reality and are acting upon it. countries, including china and russia, are moving forward aggressively within the treaty framework, and several of these countries currently hold exploration licenses from the international seabed authority. unfortunately, without ratifying the convention, the united states cannot sponsor claims with or shape the deep seabed rules of the isa. yet, that is the critical path forward that the united states intends to expand and insure access for both u.s. commercial and government interests to new
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sources of strategic mineral resources, and without objection, i will place the full letter into the record. i would point out today there's a full page ad in the wall street journal placed by the joous chamber of commerce, the u.s. chamber of commerce states three reasons, the first of which is jobs, the united states economy depends on the passage of this. whether it's rare earth minerals, the arctic or illegal maritime claims, china is moving the ball over the goal line while we're sitting on the sidelines. to oppose this treaty is actually to enable china and russia to continue to utilize the treaty to their benefit and to our disadvantage. how does that make sense for american economic or strategic security? and the treaty is also about telecommunications.
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the treaty provides a legal framework to lay and protect submureeb cables. i don't need to tell most people about how critical the internet is to our economy and national security. we need to put ourselves on the best footing possible to protect those cables through which the internet flows and the treaty does that. and that's why at&t, verizon, level 3, and others support this treaty. again, don't take my word for it. in a recent letter, at&t explained, sumarine cables provide the backbone of international transmission facilities on the global internet. electronic and voice communications that are the drivers of the communication based economy. it's never been more important to our u.s. economic structure and our participation in the global economy to strengthen the protection and reliability of international submarine cables.
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the law of the sea convention, particularly as assisted by the enforcement mechanisms available to party said under party 297 is a critical element of this protection. i would like to enter this letter into the record as well. now, let me say a last thing about the process and timing for consideration of this treaty. and i think that it is important, what i'm going to say. obviously, this is a presidential election year. and it is one that has already proven difficult, if not at times toxic. i do not want this treaty to become a victim to that race or to the politics of the moment. a number of colleagues on and off the committee have been very candid and suggested that they would be more comfortable if we can avoid pushing this dl deliberative process into the middle of an election. i would like to see the treaty stay out of the huy-

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