tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN November 30, 2009 5:00pm-8:00pm EST
use your own sense whether something is legitimate or not. the footage is so saw that it is hard to fake. you see people yelling death to the dictator and see them dying on the street and you know this is real. so it is for all the efforts that the iranian government has made, they have not been able to shut off this kind of communication. it continues. it was mentioned that monday is national students day. it goes back to 1953 when the iranian armed forces stormed tehran university where there was a protest and they killed three students. the islamic government has national student day every december 7. it's monday.
and there will be demonstrations despite the fact that the government has rounded up scores of student activists. everybody knows this is the day you go out on campus and for sure they will protest. and we have two days after christmas is the most important shia muslim holy day and people are allowed to go out on the streets. the iranian calendar will set up opportunities for protests. and there's nothing the government can do about that. >> question back in the back. microphone will come around. >> i have a question i guess for you both. i was struck by the comment that you felt that you were in a new iran when you arrived there in 2009, a very different iran than two years earlier in 2007 and you gave some hints.
could you contrast the two a little more. and explain what you think the changes were. and i suppose from that point of view, particularly as an outsider like i am, i read things and go to lectures like this, were their signs along the way that these pressures were building? >> i think one of the biggest signs that there was going to be a sea change was in 2002, but several years after the election and basically set off that firestorm of reformism, which in some points actually resembled some kind of rock concert, the fervor which people embraced them, there was a meeting of the conservatives and it was said, we are on the ropes and we have to find a way of getting back and we are going to start slowly. and they started with the
parliamentary elections or city councils and they built up to 2005 and to the presidency itself, which was contested and won by somebody who was relatively unknown ahmadinejad but was very much a known quantity within these circles. how did this affect ordinary life in iran? i arrived a few months before ahmadinejad was elected president and there was panic and breast beating at the time, but very few things changed on the surface of things at least if you lived in certain parts of tehran. traveling around the country, people are fed up. the reformist experiments had largely had been judged to have been a failure and they wanted something different. obama gets elected on the slogan of change and ahmadinejad got
elected on the slogan of change, too. and he invested a lot of money. and in those years, there was bounty and there was a lot of infrastructure, which created a bubble and created inflation which made people dissatisfied with ahmadinejad again. but certainly when i was doing it this time on a friday and thursday before the elections, people would say to me, we're going to vote for ahmadinejad again because we want to give him the opportunity to finish what he started. and i would get this in parts of tehran and also in other parts because it seems from several people i have spoken to who are no fans of the islamic republic that will ahmadinejad was going to win it and they believed he was going to win it in the first round, which was shocking to me having come from a steady diet of goings on in the streets of tehran. but i went there to cover and i
can't speak for tehran because that's where i lived. but by the time i went back there in january of 2008, things had changed and you could see how people dressed, for example or the way in which they had conversations or what was important. i don't know if that was just the effect of three years of ahmadinejad or sanctions beginning to bite or inflation or the steep rise in the price of goods was due to ahmadinejad's mishandling of the economy or both. >> my sense is that the protest of the elections was driven by a sense of rage in an election stolen. it's interesting to look back and ask the question, who won the election. you suggested that there was the
view of some that ahmadinejad support and this gets to how the question was presented in the west, presented in the media and do you have a sense what were -- >> it is impossible to say after visiting south tehran for a day because after that, everything changed and we were kind of running up to keep up to speed with what was happening in the streets. going back to the cultural thing. there are so many problems with a foreigner in iran trying to say who won. the fact that are you going to gravitate towards people that think like you, because quite frankly, most of my friends and
they remind me of the generation i grew up with in greece. there are a great many similarities. why would i gravitate towards someone who comes from a different background and look at me suspiciously for being who i am and being union married, i'm 28, which i was at the time, all of these things don't fit in. so i'm very wary of saying i say this happened because i saw this. because what i'm seeing is tempered by who i am. >> i don't think we know. i think the only thing we do know that the government behaved in such a suspicious manner that it is natural to suspect they did steal the election. they announced a landslide win for ahmadinejad about an hour after the polls closed which is
ridiculous in a country that had paper ballots. there were a number of reports that ballot boxes were taken away from the polling stations instead of people having counted the ballots which had been the normal procedure. and when he talks about the changes in the society and the kind of creeping oppression, it caught us by surprise, because iran did have relatively free elections for a country of that kind. people would always say that the fraud took place before the vote because they would limit the number of candidates, but then the votes would be accurately counted. and you know, what we saw beginning in 2005 was, you know, some election fraud, some manipulation, even at that time, there were reports that ahmadinejad should not have made it into a second round. it's natural to be suspicious
and given the numbers also, 63%, especially when you had two other very viable candidates. they were quite popular in some circles and they had results showing that these gentlemen did not do well in their native provinces, which is somewhat hard to believe. so i think some people suggest that it was really reversed, that musavi had 63%. when you look at the last time iran had a relatively free election, you had hatami win by 60% or 70% of the vote and maybe some of those people had moved over towards a more conservative position, but it's hard to believe that so many of them did to give ahmadinejad that total. perhaps the first time he had novel ti value but the second
time, everyone knew he brought sanctions. i was last in iran in march of 2008 and people were -- and i went to south tehran and outside and even in poor neighborhoods, there didn't seem to be this kind of love for ahmadinejad. so i do find it hard to believe that he won. >> and there is a theory, which is a compelling theory but there is no evidence about it but i'm throwing it out there, if you follow the pronouncements of the officials before the elections, they were concerned about the possibility of a revolution that they kept talking about it. and also the driving energy behind the crackdown and the justification for the crackdown in tehran that this theory goes, it's not extraordinary to believe that there was no ballot stuffing or there was a lot of ballot stuffing, but that is not important because ultimately the votes were never counted. and a result was manufactured,
which had a comfortably large margin between the first candidate and the second candidate and which would put the possibility of a revolution beyond any shadow of a doubt because it would give the victory directly to the incumbent so there would be no necessity of another seven days of potential violent campaigning and a second round but also it would put it in his favor that they wouldn't be able to take it to the streets and challenge the election as it was. this would dovetail that many officials have spent a lot of time studying revolutions and how to deflect them. perhaps there was an impression or idea that something was being cooked up and they totally came up with false figures. >> couple more questions. back in the back.
>> i'm from the state department. can you comment on something that we are here this is more of a post-election protest that has generated into a civil rights movement and a larger movement. i would love to hear your comments, thank you. >> yeah. i think it's become very broad and very deep with a lot of different participants. you can tell that from the slogans that are chanted. nobody really chants for musavi. it's moved to death to the dictator. and that can be ahmadinejad. that can be the supreme leader. but it is a broad challenge to the system that that certainly is reminiscent what happened back in 1978 and 1979, with all the study of the velvet revolutions, the security forces should have remembered something about their own society is that
iranian people don't like to have their intelligence insulted and they have a very strong sense of justice and injustice. and reveer their martyers and you have a movement that has created martyrs and narrative of injustice. you saw that ahmadinejad called people dust and dirt. iranians don't take well to being insulted. so how many people will have the courage to continue, one doesn't know the time frame. but there has been the fundamental breach here of the relationship between government and people, which was not terribly strong frankly before the election, but still existed to some extent or you wouldn't have seen that level of participation. 85% participation in an election is a dream in terms of legitimizing a system.
and yet now it is boomerranning against them. >> i would tend to agree with you. the three years i lived there. these people could have been part of my own generation in aggetens, coming to age and having different expectations. this is an idea that has been put forth. and the interesting thing that is said of all the people that have come on to this new reality is the old timers thatville jumped into the band wagon and the younger ones from the second generation that are letting this go because they are fighting this cultural shift, but it does seem that perhaps time would be on the side of the civil rights movement people only that it has
to be handled in a very delicate and sensitive way and absolutely clear there shouldn't be foreign intervention. this is the bread and butter of the islamic regime and this is just the natural organic process that should take its time. >> iran started this process back in 1905 with a constitutional revolution. so they have been struggling for more representative and fair system of government longer than any others in that part of the world. and you the question was about imperial history, but go back and talk about the sort of thwarted effort to achieve a representative government. >> other questions here? >> i'm a freelance journalist.
my question is how do you see the recent developments in turkish-iranian relations? and i'm curious what do you think that means for the political dynamic for the greater -- for the broader middle eastern region, what this new trend means to you? >> basically, it's interesting living in istanbul, we had ahmadinejad visiting a couple of weeks ago and ahmadinejad visited before. he was in tehran last month. he got a special meeting with the supreme leader who doesn't give these meetings very easily. last time was with putin. ahmadinejad keeps on coming to istanbul because part of the standard diplomatic protocol is to visit and ahmadinejad might
have an issue with a staunchly secular founder of a republic in which religion has no place. now the fact that they are doing this repeatedly is interesting in itself. and aside from that you have all the economic cooperation that has been vastly flowering in the past few years. we have seen recently that perhaps the sale of the 10 unmanned vehicles are going from israel to turkey and that relationship might be edging back on track again. certainly what there appears to be doing is lines in an intelligent. we have thrust and influence with these actors that you don't necessarily agree with that you don't have so they will listen to us. on the other hand, this plays very well with the muslim world.
turkey is about to take over and they will need the goodwill that they can have. at the same time, turkey is increasing its place as a regional actor. it's got a nonprominent place in the u.n. security council and finally, domestically in turkey, this is playing out in a very interesting way. i saw a video before i came here of turkish protestors burning pofters of king ap duala reportedly over the recent saudi bottom barredment in yemen. now i have no idea why this is happening in majority sunni turkey, majority sunni secular turkey, but shows there are many changes happening throughout the region that perhaps are more
under the radar than they should be. >> one last question. >> do you see hard line islamization in turkey in the face of u.s.? >> when you force people to be one thing, they'll react against it. iranians over the past 30 years are getting more secular whereas the trend was more religion. >> i mean in turkey. >> i understand. i'm giving an example of its neighbor. if you take that template and apply it to turkey, it does seem as if things are moving in a more religious direction. at the same time, turkey is a
country that is feeling at ease with it self. it spent the last 80 years engaged in a project that could be described as cultural schizophrenia. we are more western than eastern. we had this in greece where part of the preparations for entering the e.u., everyone studied in england. or italy. west is good and east is bad, backwards. in our case, islamic, therefore, bad. this is an argument that can be used in turkey. but it seems that turkey is becoming increasingly comfortable with who it is. you have new debates about the minorities and you have armenia and turkey. you have the turks to criticize and the head of the o.i.c. and
nato -- it's a very interesting and subtle game that is being played and the ultimate question is, is this looking after our own interests as well as cultural or is it fully a cultural agenda of, we're finally coming home and i don't think anyone can give an answer to right now. >> thank you all for coming and thanks for the questions and thank you for these excellent presentations. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
>> today, president obama informed world leaders of his afghan strategy and tomorrow we'll have coverage of the president addressing the nation. you can see it on the c-span networks along with c-span dorgan c-span radio at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> regulating the internet, one of the topics tonight with meredith baker, the newest republican commissioner at the federal communications commission on "the
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host host thanks for joining us. thanks for joining us. the legislation looks like it is not going anywhere before the senate before copenhagen. how they do think that will be? guest: i think will give back to the legislative process in the spring. but the key of what happens in copenhagen was this that -- the president's decision last week to set a 17% below 2005 levels as the target. host:: ñ were other countries waiting to hear from the united states? guest: absolutely, turn it came out the day after. they had been clearly waiting. -- china came out the day after. they had been clearly waiting. host: what are the5 sticking points in the negotiation?
guest: there are two things. what is the target that was set last week. the other is the financing. there was an agreement with developing companies that would take actions in return for financing from the wealthier nations. we have taken care of the target. we have stepped up with the target and now we need to step up on the financing side. host: it was stated last week, president obama has set goals to reduce emissions and you were quoted as saying that the president is walking a nice edge. can you expand on that? guest: he is in a very narrow space. on the one hand, he had to take a stand that would encourage india and china that we would, in fact, take a stand. and he also led to do it in a way that would not hurt his chances with congress. for 12 years, congress has been
asking for action from india and china and brazil and korea and so on. we now have that. major developing country has stepped up in the past two weeks and said, here is our target. i think he is in a good position to say, i have met the goal. i've got an the other countries to step up and now we have to step up and do our part. it was a balancing act. host: ned helme here to take your calls. let's go to north carolina, charlotte, where martha is on the democrats' line. go ahead, martha, you are on the air. i think we might have lost martha. let's move on to minneapolis, where patty is on the republicans line. caller: i am wondering if your guest or you yourself are aware of the global warming cycle
where the so-called scientists deleting their records, if it should give out, how they haveie manipulaì+ temperatures for certain years, how is the scientists wrote in a journal disputing and being accurate about it to a and some of their claims, that they would be ostracized. and if they published it, they would discredit the journal that published it. are you being -- are you aware that the whole farce is being exposed to? and you guys had a little bit about it on sunday, but none of the newspapers and the drive by media are talking about it, it is a huge story. it is a farce. there are thousands of scientists who disagree with
this. -- this al gore bologna. his baloney about global warming. guest: and i sought andrew rivkin's story in the times about this. i think this is unfortunate that it goes on. but the key thing is that the scientific issue is behind us. it is clear and decided. i have worked in this field for 40 years and we are at a point where there is more agreement among scientists on this than many and most of the other pollution issues we have talked about over the years. there is always difference of opinion. it is unfortunate, this particular issue. major corporations around the country now support action on climateç)é change. you know, everybody from shel to bridge petroleum and -- from shel to british petroleum.
it is a key issue and we need to address it. i think that issue is behind us and it is now about changing are a strategy on energy and moving forward. i think there is broad@@@@@@@@℠' they feel the leadership should engage. that's where our focus should be. caller: i think the hoax is up. the emails were leaked out by the hackers out of universities in europe about how basically about communications between scientists have shown they were trying to manipulate the data. there is a huge story and no one is talking about it. and if you don't know about the emails, you can google after the
show. i wanted the viewers to know about it how this is all a hoax. not -- than any major environmental issue in the last 30 years. i simply do not accept that. i think is hackers. they need to stay focused on the issue and the fact that most of our corporate leadership and political leadership and world leadership sees this as a major issue that needs to be addressed. host: what do you see as the important factors going into copenhagen and what you see happening there? guest: i think we will settle on the two big issues, what is the target -- a mission started. we have seen each of these countries stepping up together.
-- emissions targets. we have seen each of these countries setting of together. everybody sees the impact on industry. what we are seeing here is all the countries is stepping up together, which makes it safe for everyone to go where we need to go. the other thing is the financing, will we see significant commitment? i'm not talking about bushels of money, but targeted assistance to help countries with energy efficiency and financing and key energy saving opportunities. those two issues are key at copenhagen. host: charles hammaren reports that many could help close the talks in denmark next year.
guest: i agree. i think that is exactly right. the europeans have said that we need to have a fast start on this new operation and mitigation structure. what that means is probably between $6,000,000,000.- 589932685 dollars a year until 2012 -- $6 billion and $8 billion a year until 2012. i think you are right, one of the tests -- it will not be so much the commitments on howxw mh in 2030, but the commitment right now to get started because we need to get this game under way in a big way immediately. host: roseville, mich., republicans line. caller: you are saying, push this through as fast as you6#ì(+ and you are also saying that this is all behind us, the scientists, which are all government, state paid the
scientists, who all happen to agree because the scientists that they use are the ones who are being paid to go ahead with this. al gore and all of these people, united nations, moon, all of these people -- is a big agenda that has been going on for years and years. it is a big joke. this e-mail, these have e-mails tregoning scientists if they -- threatening scientists if they disagree, all of this stuff needs to come out. nobody is covering it like they should be. it is a huge and you want to ram it through as fast as you can because you know it is a farce. guest: i think the scientific work has been funded by a wide variety of governments and foundations and other entities. it is not funded by a single government or a single entity.
it is a very coordinated international process with a careful. view of the results and so on. well supported, nobel prizes awarded for the work that has been done. i think the key here, again, is that we know we face significant impact. we have seen the severity of hurricanes. we have seen the impact already in terms of vast resources its and so on. it is time to get started. we're basically turning around a huge supertanker. we cannot get there very quickly. once you get the ship turned around, then you have to -- then you can move forward. once we got everyone on board and moving, we can pick up speed. host: a peace in washington today, --
marketplace? if you do, it cuts the price to zero and decreases the upper one to have in terms of making progress. -- the effort we want to have in terms of making progress. basically, they did reduce their emissions, although, it was because of an economic collapse. we need to compensate them in another way. in europe, i think that is what they're going to do. is the same issue in other countries. the answer is to provide other kinds of compensation that do not undermine the goal we have of cutting emissions to radically in the future. host: freeport, texas. caller: you think that'll -- do you think that nasa is mostly to blame for this by punching a hole in the atmosphere? i noticed that every time they launch, bad weather follows the
launch. could younç speak on that, plea? guest: i am not aware of a problem in terms of -- i've seen some of this stuff about chemicals being shot into the atmosphere to produce rain and stuff like that, but i do not see that as a major problem with climate change. the only thing i see as atmospheric is this question of airplanes and the exhaust of jet planes, it certainly causes more global warming issues than others. the december we will need to look at in the future. -- that is something we will need to look at in the future. host: let's go to eddie, also in texas, good morning. caller: abide to say that while there is a dispute -- i would like to say that while there is a dispute on human impact on
global warming, it is very real. the science was developed back in at 1904. but scientists came up with the idea of the greenhouse effect -- about scientist came up with the idea of green -- the green house affect as well as many other good ideas. his initial, -- a calculation was at 1000 years and has now been lowered to just 300 years and we can expect it to lower even more as an) our energy production continues to to release the co2. and if there is a dispute about these e-mails, therem$ñ are man, many e-mails and many are taken out of context. you can check them out at angelinae-immails.com.
guest: i agree with the caller. host: how involved are non- governmental groups in the process? qu. we are very active in china, brazil, mexico, indonesia on the ground. we were the delegates in those countries to design the programs that they will be proposing -- we work with the delegates in those countries to design the programs that they will be proposing. we also work in the shadow discussions outside the formal discussions to find work agreement can be reached. we are active in brussels and in the united states. we are one of the groups that is trying to help foster the agreement and move the ball forward. we tried to advise delegates from different countries about ways to come together. host: a caller from cleveland -- cleveland, ohio.
caller: there is a book called "environment overkill. don't i do not know if you have read it already. it is written by scientists at a university. rio climate change is happening, but i think people disagree -- real climate change is happening, but i think people disagree on why. i think we are arrogant to think that we can change or significantly alter any weather patterns. i do not know what you believe. i believe in conserving, but not to the point of advocating population control, which was the number one topic of the firstb-!arth summit in 1992 in brazil. i do not know if you were there or had anything to do with it, but environmentalists were telling us in the '70s that humans were the cause of the common ice age and acid rain
would burn our skin in 10 years. and just never came true. guest: i think she raises some interesting points. with acid rain, we worked a lot on that. it is a case where significant progress was made. we putting a cap and trade program for the first time. we cut emissions and are seeing recovery in our lakes and in other areas and are seeing significant benefits in terms of health effects. you have to think about this in terms of what are the risks and what are the risks of inaction? there was a study done in england and others have done studies showing the kinds of impacts we are talking about from climate change are so substantial that it makes sense not to wait. today's the missions will be in the atmosphere keating the plan at 100 years -- today's e
missions will be in the atmosphere he can the planet 100 years from now. you look at what is being done, china, for example, announced their target on friday and their aggressive energy efficiency program dwarfs the kinds of things we have done in the u.s. line that makes sense from two perspectives. it makes sense from the perspective of dealing with the climate change problem, but also with energy efficiency. it saves them big spending on oil and leads to a much more efficient economy. these are win-win opportunities. these are great opportunities, like for ohio, instead of looking backward at the old steel industry, looking forward at windmill technology and other kinds. we have seen this in the stimulus packages.
20% of the money in the u.s. has been spent on green technology. china spent 50% of their stimulus money on it. in korea, 80%. these countries to seek these technologies and these jobs as the future. they are rushing to compete there. it is not like acid rain where i am putting in a smokestack. in this case, it is making things more competitive and building new jobs and opportunities. it is a win-win opportunity. host: democrats line in reno, california. caller: first of all, i want to thank c-span. i'm really glad that the previous callers who have called in were very informed regarding this issue.
i would like to talk about the fact that as a postgraduate student, i know that most professors would actually do anything to get a grant from the government or from other companies@@@@ i believe this issue or i know this issue is about cap and trade and and personally i think cap and trade has not really reduced emissions and proven it won't help emissions and the farkt fact that major corporations are backing this and that governments are backing this. that should raise an eye brow. that's all i have to say. >> i think you are a little cynical on this. my sense is that corporations
see this as a real threat to their future in terms of what this means to our planet and see this opportunity in terms of new technologies and new opportunities. there is a win-win for them as well but there is a larger social altruism. on the question of cap and trade, it's about the cap, how hard and how tough is the cap. if it requires significant reductions as we did in acid rain, and we got the reductions and dramatically reduced that. we can do the same thing here. it's where you set the cap. how tough is the regulation. the mechanism works. if you set a weak target, obviously, nothing happens. it's like any kind of environmental regulation, but with the trade element here, we make it possible to do it cheaply. we maximize the environmental bang for our buck.
the test is always look at the number. is it a real cap, going to reduce emissions significantly or not and that's the test. cap and trade is a good way to save money while cutting emissions. noo ? pwill add significantly reduced emissions? caller: i thank you for taking this call. i am in full agreement with what you are saying. i lived six years -- 12 years in europe. and global warming is real. the people that call you that do not believe it, the joke is on them. we're the only country in the world that has not signed the kyoto treaty. we're the biggest polluter in the world. i am sorry to hear that these people are not believing. we drive the biggest cars, waste
so much castlgas. we are inefficient. we of coal plants that have not been updated for years. it is getting worse. i believe in clean energy. i have solar power in my home. i tried to recycle. in japan, you go out on a typical day in tokyo and you can has done to the country. you have the power sakkawasaki e industrial power of japan. host: let's get a response from our guest. guest: i agree with you. japan has been a power and we have seen other major countries
-- countries stepping upon. óñ÷we heard from russia, korea, brazil, a major stepping up in their targets. there is a sense that around the world, everybody gets it. they see the need to reduce emissions. i'm very encouraged by the president's announcement and his actions last week. i think we will have success in copenhagen and it will lead to further action next years to -- next year to finalize the treaty. obviously, he is coming because he's going to the nobel prize event, but the first week will be a week when negotiators are really finalizing the details. it is still at a point when the game is still to be settled. i&÷háhink is very useful. there are a number of cabinet secretaries making presentations throughout the week after the president's opening
presentation. this is a sea change from where rework a year-and-a-half ago. the president deserves a lot of credit. he put this back on the map during his campaign. that put [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- >> today, president obama informed world leaders of his afghan strategy and we'll have his strategy. you can see it on the c-span networks at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> the senate has started debate on the health care bill and majority leader harry reid has warned senators to expect weekend and evening sessions. follow the entire debate on c-span 2, the only network of
gavel-to-gavel debate. >> regulating the internet, one of the topics tonight with meredith baker, the newest republican commissioner at the federal communications commission on "the communicators" on c-span 2. >> "american icons, now available on dvd. the three branches of the american government. see the supreme court through the eyes of the justices. go beyond the velvet ropes of public tours into the white house, america's most famous home and explore the history, art of the capitol, one of america's most symbolic structures. "american icons. it's $24.95 plus shipping and
handling. order online. >> prince albert of monday -- monaco issues a 50th anniversary of the signing of the treaty which established the continent as an area of peaceful purposes. he spoke at the national press club today. this portion of the event is half an hour. >> i'm a reporter for "usa today" and i'm president of the national press club. we are the world's leading professional organization for journalists and we are committed to the future of journalism by providing journalism and education and fostering a free press. for more information about the national press club visit our website at www press.org.
i would like to welcome our speaker. i would like to welcome those of you who are watching us on c-span. we are looking forward to today's speech and i will ask as many questions from the audience as time permits. hold your applause during the speech so we have time for questions. for our broadcast audience, i would like to explain that if you do hear applause, it may be from the members of the public and not necessarily if the working press. i would like to introduce our head table guests and ask them to stand. from your right, richard simon, congressional correspondent for "the los angeles times." andrea stone, senior washington correspondent for aol news. bradley hague, associate producer, national geographic television. news director and a new national
press club member. john b. kelly iii, prince albert ii and guess of the speaker. linda kramer, washington editor of "glamour magazine. >> pew charitable trust. skipping over the podium. angela, reporter for bloomberg news. melissa chash know, vice chair of the n.p.c. speaker's committee and the person who organized today's event. bernard, prince albert of monaco foundation. mickey, columnist for the yains column of "washington examiner." kelly wright for the fox news
channel. press secretary for the national resources defense council. and finally, todd perdhom national editor of "vanity fair" magazine. [applause] >> our guest today is the ruler of the world's second smallest country yet this royal is the most recognized head of state. prince albert ii heads the house of grimaldi only son of prince rainier iii and princess grace. you may recognize his voice, which has blanketted us air waves on the classic movie channel. his highness the prince moon lights in a a book about his
mother, grace kelly. but, it his work as the champion of the environment that brings him to the national press club today. prince albert arrives from a summit where he delivered the key note speech for the 50th anniversary of the ant artic treaty signing. his timing is impeccable, especially for the journalists today. it comes in advance of the summit next month. both prince albert and president obama are scheduled to attend. but as the president and the prince prepare to lobby for lower greenhouse gas emissions, questions about global warming science continue to glab headlines. in the wake of leaked emails, you senator has called for an inquiry into u.n. climate change research. prince albert has investigated the impact of global warming
with personal ex pe dish ons. earlier this year, he took a tour of ant artica and made a trek to the north pole. in 2006, he founded the prince albert ii of monaco foundation to support projects on renewable energies. combating the loss of universal access to clean water. among his many honors, prince albert the ii has won the teddy roosevelt medal on his work. a passion for nature apparently runs in his family. according to the national press club archives, prince albert's great-great grandfather spoke here nearly a century ago in 1913 about his studies. the "washington post" reported prince albert i was, quote, the first ruler of europe to deliver a message to the press of the
united states through this famous organization of news writers. the "post" wrote prince albert i wrote the means that scientists can reach the ears and brains of the public. today, we continue that royal tradition. will you please help me welcome to the national press club prince albert the ii of monaco. [applause] >> thank you very much. madam president, senator warner, angela and melissa, first, i would like to tell you how pleased and moved i am to be
with you here today. pleased because i know our exchanges will be friendly and fruitful. i appreciate the possibility that we have to meet around this very important and genuine issue. moved, because this is a very special trip to this country for me this time since it brings me closer to the mother of memory of my mother princess grace and where i have strong family, friendly ties. i'm moved to be here today in front of the national press club 96 years after migrate-great grandfather and we just alluded to that, prince albert i who spoke not in this very place, i understand, but at the willard, in october of 1913. known as the scholar prince,
albert i was curious about his times and a world traveler who spread monaco's name well beyond the shores of the mediterranean all the way to this continent. and he was a model of openness and a man with a thirst for knowledge and science, ready to listen to everyone's minds. he was one of the first heads of state to understand the importance of conservation of large areas and species. . no one imagined that the time it would be one day in danger. he was able to perceive the vulnerability along with its importance from each and every one of us.
engaged with scientists in his company he conducted many maritime expeditions including to the arctic region. albert i was a man of progress whose methods continues to inspire my actions. he was also someone with a deep concern for his people and to really contributed to reinforce monaco's prosperity and independence and making a constitutional state with modern institutions. it may be useful to recall the poorly known reality of my country. monaco is a stable, independent, sovereign state with a long history proud in its traditions, culture, and shared values. although the population does not exceed 35,000 the number of people employed exceeds 45,000 which makes monaco in this area a major labor market including neighboring france and italy.
this economy is sound as are its ts public finances. state revenue of made up mainly of the va tax resources, over 50% reflects monaco economic activity. this economy is highly diversified with tourism and real estate as well as trading activities, services, and the banking sector. monaco will be primarily dedicated to management. at the same time the sector by remaining important for tourism represents no longer a substantial part of the revenue, only 3 percent of the state's r. all of this contributes to a balanced economy routed in the modernity. audited by experts from major
and national financial institutions the principality has always been able to improve its finance with international standings. when all european countries agreed to implement in the fiscal area cooperation and compliance with oecd standards i asked my government by virtue of the principles of equity his importance i have emphasized to implement negotiations for the signature of bilateral agreements over a dozen which have been signed, in particular with this country, the united states which enabled monaco to be removed from the oecd list. this recognition occurred last september. in compliance with orientations i have set for my government monaco is tending evermore for compliance with international standards, not only regarding money laundering, but also the
potential area and toward the governance. monaco is also pursuing its efforts to reinforce our traditional assets, safety for people and goods, quality of life, top-level medical establishments, and a user-friendly and efficient administration. a network of innovative, pro-active professions. the ethical concerns that inspire my actions with respect to my country's financial and economic life also affects my commitment toward the protection of this planet. monaco has adopted a resolute policy in favor of sustainable development. in particular this entails a defining urban transport plans by promoting clean, gentle mobility based on public transport and respecting
high-quality environmental construction standards. it also embodies in the implementation of projects linked to improving the environment both around monaco and in other countries around the mediterranean. all these actions contribute to respecting my country's commitment to become carbon neutral in the long-term. with the action of states, in particular the small states like monaco must be reinforced to confront this great challenge of our time. protection of our planet. this is why of little over three years ago i created a foundation with a three fold mission, fighting the effects of climate change, striving to promote diversity, and preserving water resources.
the creation of this foundation resulted in large part from an expedition i lead with several other people to the arctic in april 2006 which have would like to share with you a few ideas. those 150 kilometers by dogsled from the russian basin in borneo to the north pole were, i think, a decisive moment revelation. not so much, for the threats jeopardizing the future of our planet, an issue that has been a concern for me for quite a long time. what was revealed to me in this long journey were the vast expanses of frozen ocean, the urgency to take action, the need to explore all possible courses of action with this prospect. such an adventure would require exceeding oneself, not only in
the face of momentary difficulties, but in the face of the very meaning of existence. the feeling i experienced once again three years later and a few months ago now when i went for a tree week expedition to antarctica tica this past janua. the second expedition was dedicated mainly to meeting scientists who are working there. i was able to visit 26 different research stations all around antarctica. i have the ability of crossing paths with truly exceptional people, men and women entirely dedicated to trying to understand complex mechanisms, not only of this very important continent, but how it affects our entire planet. and also space because there are a lot of scientists there that
are all studying space. an environment well beyond the polls. indeed what is happening in these very fragile our regions concerns the future of all of us. global warming and rising sea levels, pollution threats, and threats to biodiversity, the planets woes are visible to the naked eye, perceptible on a human scale. my foundation and its location reaches far beyond the polar regions. the foundation is present today on all continents where it acts in partnership with other institutions and players in the field. thereby enhancing our capacity to take action. i am very proud of the many projects conducted by my
foundation, the partners present in the united states. the clinton global initiative, the foundation, the aston institute, conservation international, the earth institute, the chicago field museum, the scripps institute and institute san diego, the smithsonian institute, the nrdc with which we will be signing in a few moments a memorandum of understanding. faced with the challenge of this nature all good will, of determination, all energy must be mobilized. states and engineers, businesses and international institutions. this is how we can take effective action. on its level and thanks to these partners a foundation already supports over 120 projects all over the world.
some of them aren't directly operational while others aim to raise awareness among populations to aid scientific research. all of them respect the will not to give up in the face of daunting challenges from which we cannot escape. they're the ones inflicted on our planet the polls made more vulnerable by warming, the russians made more acid by climate change, there all the species threatened or extinct it is our survival and ultimately that is t is at stake. our efforts expected of us will be tremendous. in particular we will have to proceed with an in-depth vision of the principles on which we are built, our unparalleled prosperity for over two centuries. we will have to travel in san
work and live in a slightly lightly different ways. we will have to help the most fragile and poorest countries so that they too can advance by our side. while they have less responsibility than others for the perils threatening us they are today their first victims. we will need them to restore balance on norplant. the ecological balance, the economical balance, the sanitation, migration, so on. all of this requires greater solidarity toward those who are suffering today and toward those who will suffer tomorrow if we do little or nothing in all. indeed, there is no more room for doubt. scientific data, i think, although it is now under review,
for me, is unquestionable. challenging this data means agreeing to the sacrifice of future generations and to our selfish discomfort. the only alternative available to us is to accept the deck that the change a few of of our habr suffer within the next 50 years consequences we cannot yet even fathom. it's still not too late to take action. we can still avert the most worst-case scenarios. this in particular is one of the goals of a meeting to be held in the next two weeks in copenhagen. copenhagen summit offers us the historical opportunity to bring together around a single
objective all the countries in the world under the aegis of the united nations. alas it is unlikely this meeting will achieve the goals that it hopes for. yet it will not be the last. the road that is opening up to us is still long. after copenhagen we should be able to lay the foundations for sincere international cooperation on an issue that concerns all the world's peoples regardless of their wealth, and geographic vacation, less downs, or cultures. we will need everyone's efforts. and this brings me to the role. there is a great role to play. madam president, you alluded to
this in the first part of your remarks. my great great grandfather did say 96 years ago, and i quote, "i appreciate the press for its great usefulness to scientists. it can help us by extending our results. it is the intermediary for reaching the ears and minds of the public." i am going to ask you if you agree to assume the role of intermediaries starting right now. as i have just announced, and before answering your questions you are going to proceed with the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the trust and my foundation. thank you very much. [applauding]
. [applause] >> who is going to tell me what got signed here? did somebody buy a house? >> okay. who is going to tell me what got sign here? [laughter] >> did somebody buy a house? >> well, maybe we can up here and explain exactly the document that was signed. as all memorandums of understanding. it is the beginning of a
relationship. it will take too much time to explain to you today, but if you want to say a few words, the ceo of my foundation. >> we can only add that we have already some potential track of cooperation in the field of conservation of the forests in canada with the working governorship with some canadian institutions. i hope it is a first concrete field of partnership. >> okay. we are going to start off with some of our questions. we have lots of them. you want to pass your questions up to the front, please do so. we will start off with the controversy over climate change that. what do you think of the recent report on scientists who change their data to fit the climate
change scenario of global warming? >> someone said that these were going to be easy questions. [laughter] is this the right luncheon? well, listen, i think quite goinis followed these issues pretty closely over the last few years and months and on every subject of scientific nature there is some controversy or there can be some opposing arguments or opposing theories. this will be reviewed. i can tell you from what i in my
personal experience, not a scientist, but i think i have been in touch and engaged and talked to a lot of different scientists. i was out in the field myself. i can assure you that there are signs already out there of the effects of climate change. i don't think you can argue committee on the intensity of it, on it, on the fluctuations of temperature of averages around the world, precipitation averages, but one thing is for sure, it is happening. it is happening on a global scale. you have to remember that it is not evenly this jury did, and
the effects are seen more in some areas than others. it is definitely happening. we have to address this issue before it's too late. >> what is the most compelling evidence that you have seen about global climate change and global warming global warming t? back t? back global warming t? back >> well, if you look at the polar regions i think the subjects today because it is, as you said, i was over at the smithsonian for the summit, 50 years of the antarctic treaty. so i was able. i was very privileged. feeling very privileged to have been to both polar regions. you see it very simply -- let's start with the arctic. wide areas of open water in the
early spring which never used to be. and pretty close to the north pole. separately so pretty high up around the 89th parallel. so that was not the case just a few years ago. the loss of ice mass is also very very noticeable. you have had, obviously there has always been fluctuations in the thickness of the ice, but there tends to be more fluctuation now and more than ice. of course i noticed first-hand and was able to compare wonderful photographs that were taken by my great great grandfather. he did four arctic expeditions.
in the 1906 expedition they did take a picture of a very famous glacier on the island of spitzbergen in the archipelago. this is half way between norway and the north pole. the glacier there, we are able to compare just photographically and visually. and since 1906 it has receded some four-and a-half miles. ..
the other effect of climate change is on the coastal areas there could be more precipitation, and in other parts it is desert-like conditions, although a very cold desert, but they have very little precipitation and high winds. that has always been the case, but there are big fluctuations, and what is also happening is dull in the ozone layer above antarctica -- the hole in the
ozone layer above antarctica has not receded at all. it is very much there and influences, sometimes in a negative way, the climate not only in an dr. koop but also of australia and south america -- not only endured because but also of australia end south america. -- not only antarctica but also australia and south america. as we study more the effects of antarctica and how it influences different climate systems around the world. >> regulating the internet. one of the topics tonight with the newest republican mission are at the communications commission. >> today president obama informed world leaders of his afghan strategy, and tomorrow we will have coverage of the
president addressing the nation on the war in afghanistan. you can see it at 8:00 p.m. eastern. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] the senate has started debate on the health care bill, and harry reid has warned senators to expect evening and weekend sessions. follow the entire debate on our companion network, c-span 2, the only network with gavel-to-gavel coverage of the senate, and to see video on demand go to c- span's health care of. hillary clinton will be going to capitol hill later this week after the president's announcement yesterday on afghanistan. ian kelly talked about the secretary's consultation with foreign leaders leading up to the announcement. this is 20 minutes.
>> we are discussing a wide range of issues. at 2:30 today she will be a white house delivering remarks on the efforts of the obama administration on hiv aids issues on the eve of world aids day. it will also include the secretary of health and human services, kathleen sibelius, the aids coordinator, and the senior advisory assistant to the president. we also look to have the ambassador here at the podium tomorrow on world aids day. tonight she goes to new york where she will be honored at
the educational fund 100 anniversary gala, and she will also receive the eisenhower award for the executive of national security. we hope to have at least excerpts from that speech to use very soon if you do not have them already. i also have a quick statement. there was another election in the western hemisphere. we congratulate uruguay. uruguay is a leader in the promotion of democracy and stability in the region. we look forward to working with the president-elect to deepen our partnership and advance
common goals for the people of uruguay and the americas, and i will take your questions. >> will there be any briefings tomorrow or wednesday on the new afghan/pakistan strategy? do you have the schedule? >> i do not have the schedule. she will be participating in the administration's afford to explain the president's strategy -- effort to explain the president's strategy. i expect the hearings will be on wednesday and thursday. i think there'll be a very intense effort to explain our role in those efforts.
secretary clinton will spearhead those efforts, but i think we will also have other state department principals speaking not necessarily here in this briefing room but speaking to the media. >> how do you mean? >> various interviews. i do not know if she has officially announced, but the deputy secretary of state feinberg will be going tonight. secretary clinton had planned to go to the foreign ministerial meeting in athens, but because of commitments here, seems unable to represent the u.s. of that meeting. we do not have any announcements yet about representation of the nato meeting.
we should be making that announcement soon, but that will be another chance to talk to other countries involved in the efforts, particularly contributing nations who will have representatives on friday. >> [inaudible] >> he will be involved in this outreach. >> regarding what you just said, [unintelligible] as for france to send 500 additional troops to afghanistan. you have any comment on that? >> she did speak to the french foreign minister. this was on thinks giving. she spoke to 10 foreign
ministers on thanksgiving. >> [inaudible] >> the number of these calls were specifically to talk to our partners involved in the efforts in afghanistan and to give them not just the six of the president's strategy, because that is -- not just specifics of the president's strategy, but talking general outlines of the president's strategy going forward in afghanistan. i am not going to give the specifics of the conversation. she spoke with a number of foreign ministers who have troops in afghanistan and france, poland, canada,
netherlands, norway, spain, turkey, germany, uk, denmark -- a lot of countries. i am not going to get into the specifics of any requests she made. >> without getting into specifics, did she talk about more troops? >> i think she talked about the need for mostly coordinating our efforts. that was one aspect of this whole effort that really became apparent when she was in school -- in kabul of the need to talk about not duplicating efforts, about giving the
right coordinated effort to get the right results. i am not going to get into numbers or increases or anything like that. >> apparently the president spoke with the secretary sunday night. can you give me some idea of the guidance he might have given her? >> i cannot give you the details of that conversation. i do not have a readout of it. yes? >> could you give us an update of geneva. do you think it is still possible to have a successful treaty by december 5? >> i think clearly it is going to be impossible to have ratified the treaty. i think everybody knows that,
and i do not think that is and the cards. what is happening now is our negotiators in geneva, led by the assistant secretary, are working very hard to try to get a draft agreement. i fink that -- i fink/-- think we're hoping to get an agreement by the end of december. i did not want to raise expectations that we're going to be able to work out everything by the saturday. i am not going to rule that out because i know they are all working overtime literally to try and iron out the differences that remain, and the two main priorities here are significant
reductions in nuclear arsenals and also preserving verifications and mountain range -- monitoring mechanisms of the heart of the treaty. i think i said before we are reviewing a number of options that we would be able to extend these provisions until the new agreement is signed, and as i said, there is hard work going on, are real robust dialogue, but the important thing is that we get a good treaty. devlin are important, but the most important thing is a good treaty -- deadlines are important, but the most important thing is a good treaty
on both sides. >> is it certain that both sides will extend the monetary procedures, and if they do not, what happens then? is it suspended? >> i am not sure i know the answer to that question. i think according to the treaty on december 5, the rights and privileges of the treaty expired, so that is why we need to have this bridging mechanism for the monitors. >> it is almost december 5, so it's it -- so is it unlikely it will happen by the end of a >> we are looking for a good treaty. >> [unintelligible] >> but as part of the treaty, extending the verification treaty that will expire on saturday. >> extending part of the new
treaty? is there going to be abridging? is there going to be of bridging mechanism in time? >> it is my understanding we're going to try to get that next week. >> how good a possibility is that? >> i do not know if i can qualify for you right now. let me see if i can get you something from people who know a little more than i do about these legal mechanisms. >> doesn't require additional action by u.s. congress? >> i believe it does. i have to make sure i get to the right answer. >> bottom line, where are we? our sanctions inevitable at this point?
>> you saw the statement on the white house yesterday. the response to reports about new plans by iran regarding the nuclear program, and i think that the international community is sending a very strong message, a very unified message that iran has to live up to its international obligations, that it has a choice before it, and the choice is very clear. we have offered a path of cooperation that could lead to further integration with the international community. iaea offered that on the table,
and it is unfortunate they have not been able to respond positively. the other choice they have is further isolation, and you know we have a dual track policy. the president has said our patience is not unlimited. he indicated we are willing to give attention to the engagement tract until the end of the year, and if we do not get a positive response, we are going to start shifting our focus to the other track, the track of pressure. >> the deadline is still there at the end of the year? >> we do not like to say deadline, but the offer is fair
-- is there. we have not taken it off the table. >> you're talking about the offer on the reactor? >> the offer to enrich the uranium oxide of iran. >> that is not dead, despite there seeming lack of interest. >> it is fair -- there. if they want to make that choice, the door is still open. >> how unified does the u.s. believe the iranian government is on the statement that has come out of some iranian politicians about withdrawing? >> i am not going to try ion's do -- to try and do a political analysis on the run right now. i think we have seen quite a few voices out there. we understand this is presenting
certain challenges getting around to -- piranha to respond positively to this, -- getting iran to respond positively to this, but it is not my place to say. >> how much work has the u.s. done in terms of potential sanctions, types of sanctions, with allies and countries that have been historically reluctant? how much is already under way? >> what we're doing now is we have been pursuing the engagement track, and we have made some really good proposals, and we have offered to sit down with them again. we have offered to pursue some of these discussions, and they have not responded to the offer. we said all along that we are
pursuing a dual track strategy, and if they cannot respond positively to this offer, we're going to have to start shifting to the other side of to the pressure try. i do not think it is for the fifth for me to get into -- it is productive for me to get into additional measures we can take, but our policy is pursuing simultaneously both options. >> did you not start on -- start at 0? >> we did not. i did not think is helpful for me -- i do not think it is helpful to talk about specific sanctions. >> the russian minister of
energy is in tehrairan today, ae has talked about negotiations and the speaker toned down his comments compared to sunday. he also talked about the possibility of continuing negotiations. is the russian minister carrying any messages? >> i have not seen what he said in tehran. i do know that we have support of the russian proposal to provide fuel -- supported the russian proposal to provide fuel. once again, the international community stands ready to provide the kind of enrichment needs that iran would have to
pursue a civilian nuclear energy program. but as part of the proposal, the russian fuel bank proposal than the iaea just endorsed last it is the heart of vanilla iaea -- endorsed last week. it is the heart of the iaea program. there are resolutions that call for around -- iran to cease the enrichment activities. >> is it carrying a message? >> they are united in the approach on a ruiran supportinge iaea proposal. the russian government has put out statements in support of the
board of governance resolutions, so i think we do have a consistent message. >> there is a report that north korea said they will return the talks. you have for any comment on that? that is certainly -- >> that is certainly our goal. i am not aware of any diplomatic exchange like that, but that is the main golal, to get them to return to fifth party talks. >> [inaudible] >> i am not aware they have not indicated there. one more in the back. >> this is a change of subject. listening to the reports of one
of the israeli ministers saying the prime minister has a horrible administration and some other officials said it was just for washington and not the palestinians, so she sees such remarks as contributing to the positive -- do you see such remarks and to begin to the positive climate of negotiations? >> i never like to respond to remarks i have not actually seen, so i cannot respond to that. we are concentrating our efforts on creating the atmosphere to refer to the atmosphere in those talks, and we saw israel's recent announcement of the 10- month moratorium is a step in that direction, and that is where we see it.
>> [inaudible] >> i am not aware of any specific plans. >> is there any confirmation in the state department about chelsea clinton's engagement. >> i have a daughter of around 23 years old, and the last thing i would want is for the state department spokesperson to talk about the personal plans of my daughter, so i'm going to decline any comment on that. >> the senate has certain debate on the health care bill, and majority leader harry reid has warned senators to expect evening and weekend sessions. follow the integrity based on our companion network, sees fan 2, the only network with gavel- to-gavel coverage of the senate, and to read the house version, go to see stand's healthcare
hub. >> regulating the internet, a topic tonight with meredith baker on "the communicator's." >> american icons, three original documentaries from c- span now available on dvd. a unique journey through the iconic homes of the three branches of government. see the supreme court through the eyes of the justice. go beyond the velvet ropes of torras into those rarely seen spaces of the white house, and that -- of tours to those rarely seen spaces of the white house, and visit the capital. american icons, a free disc dvd said. it is $24.95/shipping and handling. order it online at c-span.org. honduras held a presidential election on sunday.
this was five months after the former president manuel zelaya was ousted from office. several latin american countries said they will not recognize any government that comes to power following the election. the state department brief the situation in honduras earlier today. this is 20 minutes. >> he will give you some remarks. >> thank you. it is a pleasure to be before you. as you know, honduras held an election yesterday. we see this election as an important step forward for honduras, and we would like to commend the honduran people for an election that met the international standards of fairness and transparency,
despite some incidents that were reported here and there. i want to commend lobo for his victory in the election and some of the remarks we have heard from some of the other candidates in this electoral process. having said that, let me stress the most important point, and that is that while the election is a significant step in the return to democratic and constitutional order after the june 28 coup, is just a step. it is not the last step. given the gravity of the coup d'etat and the transformation honduras has undergone before and after the coup d'etat, it is
extremely important the honduran leadership moving forward in the next few months attempt to follow the overall broad framework of -- [unintelligible] what are the additional steps that need to be taken? the government of national unity needs to be formed. congress has to take a vote on the return of president zelaya to office, and another element othe testing will be very important as honduras moves forward to try to reestablish -- another element that i think will be very important as on earth moves forward is the establishment of a commission that was regulated in the original framework, and done commission would be a body that would look into the situation
that led to the coup, but at the same time, i am speaking about the spanish version -- it will also provide the elements to help the hondurans make the necessary reforms to the constitutional process and to bring about a full reconciliation of the honduran people. that is really all i want to say for the opening remarks. let me repeat the constructs. we see the election as a necessary step forward but not a sufficient one. why do we see the election as a necessary step forward? because the elections provide the hunter and people away about -- provide the honduran
people away out, and this was not the way for the government to whitewash their actions. these elections began several months ago. the primaries were held in november of last year, and in each party, the vice president resigned as vice president to run for office. he competed in primaries in november last year, and this was an ongoing process during this time, and we think it is very important that this particular electoral process was in place at this particular moment because it provides the hundred people with a legitimate way out. it is not the only thing the honduran leadership needs to do
to restore the order. they need to take the steps i initially of line. >> i have two questions. one is about government negotiations. how do see it? between the new president? the second question is many of the countries are not going to recognize the government, so even if they go through all the steps -- >> let me say the new government will take office on january 27 next year, and this is why it is absolutely critical at this time that the honduran leadership on all sides of the divide -- because what is ironic about honduras is this is very
election. we commend him for that. what i want to do is to reiterate because of the gravity that the process needs to be put into place to restore honduras to constitutional order. >> will this complicates the situation? mr. zelaya does not want to be back in power because that means to recognize the election, so your asking for agreement, and one. is to go to congress and allow to come back, but he does not want to come back.
the second question is it seems to be the united states is alone because most of the country'ies of the region are saying no to the election. >> let me take the first one. i am aware of the fact that president zelaya made the statement over the weekend. i spoke to him last friday, and we had a cordial conversation. it is the first time i spoke to him, s. i think we're going to try to continue to urge zelaya to see whether we can come back to some sort of process of dialogue with others in honduras to achieve this government of national unity, but i am not going to judge what he is going to be doing. we're certainly going to be
pressing, hopefully with other countries as well, and i am confident of that. this gets to a second point. there are quite a few other countries that have taken a position similar to the one we have outlined, and that is while the election is a necessary step, it is not a sufficient one. for what reason? there has to be an end game? there has -- have to be an end game. the house to be an exit. and a legitimate expression of the will of the honduran people is a perfect step out of this crisis but not a sufficient staff. the country's closest to us are at this point -- my understanding is the central american countries. we have been talking to several others as well. i did speak to the president of guatemala over the weekend. we have reached out to others,
and secretary has also made quite a few calls to the region -- not only on the issue of honduras but other issues that are of concern to us for regan -- concern to us. he also spoke to the president of el salvador. i am aware of the fact that the summit is meeting today in portugal, and these are all the countries of the spanish sauce portuguese part of the americas, together with spain and portugal, and there is concern among the country's. the president of a military coup is one that cannot stand, and we agree with that, and i want to make it very clear.
how was the u.s. going to step in or propose to help solve the political crisis? >> i would prefer not to deal with hypotheticals. the election took place yesterday. mr. lobo has had a series of meetings. others have been meeting in honduras. as i said earlier, the central american countries are very disposed to engage. this is what we're working on now, and i do not want to speculate about what might happen if certain things don't happen. >> to get speculation, then. is u.s. setting as a condition that the congress should vote on december 2nd to reinstate saliva? -- zelaya? >> we are urging for the congress to vote. that was part of the accord. we support the accord. we would like to see the congress vote.
>> and if they do not? >> we would urge the congress to take that step. >> the oas will have a meeting next week. well -- what to expect from this extraordinary meeting, considering that the u.s. is also a member of the alliance -- the oas? and the second one, what are the lessons to be learned regarding honduras for the region? >> it is extremely important for the region, and the united states shares this, that a coup d'etat that took place since december 1991 when president our stock was taken out of -- president are steeped -- was taken at gunpoint from haiti. latin american politics are often described as pretoria
politics, work crews were the norm rather than in some ways the exception. not that ended with the fall of the berlin wall. the decade of the 1980's, the number of coups that led to changes of government went down from about 40%, which was the pattern that i said earlier, fell about 20%. and since the late 1980's, since pinochet was finally voted in an election in july and out of office -- in chile out of office when he lost in 1988, there's really been only one other situation where a head of state has been taken out at gunpoint into exile into another country, and that was haiti in 1991 to reset this pattern cannot be repeated again. and that is why the gravity of the honduran situation is uppermost.
so where are we going with this? i think that for honduras to be restored to the organization of american states -- in other words, to be voted back in because it was suspended -- it is going to have to show bad the situation was grave and that it has taken steps to restore the constitutional and democratic order. and those are some of the things that i about one-third the most important thing of all is to create some kind of government of national unity and we are sort of confident that we see some steps in the direction right now. >> is there any chance that the u.s. will not recognize the results of this election? because you did not say that the u.s. will recognize -- >> i do not want to get into hypotheticals. what is clear is that the
honduran people did vote yesterday, and they voted by an ample margin for a gentleman by the name of pepe lobo. he will be the next president of honduras. for the countries of the hemisphere and for the united states to work toward the restoration of honduras to the organization of american states later on, honduras must do more than just simply this election. it must follow a process of national reconciliation through a government of national unity. and that is what we are urging the honduran leadership to engage in. the people of honduras want nothing less. i think the fact that the turnout in honduras met the same range of the elections in honduras that have happened in the past, the fact that so many people voted for an opposition
candidate is an expression of their wish to be able to afford as well. but i am not going to get into hypotheticals about what might happen with this. we are urging for a government of national unity to be constituted in order to be able to bring honduras back into the organization of american states. >> but as of now, the u.s. is not recognizing the official results? >> could i? >> i like to hear it. are you recognizing the results? >> we take note of the results, yes. we recognize that all our results in honduras for the selection. -- that there are results in honduras for this election. we recognize those results, and we commend mr. lobo for having won the elections. and as i say, this is an important step to restore the democratic and constitutional order in honduras. >> so it is not a legitimate
concern that by recognizing the election, you could be encouraging further coups? >> no, because i think we have to make absolutely clear that any country that encourages a military coup, or if a military coup takes place, they run the risk of actually being suspended from the organization of american states, of not being recognized by the organization of american states. that is something that cannot happen in the future. and i would very much hope that the leadership in honduras would be able to bring together this kind of government of national unity and take the steps that are necessary, including the vote in congress, for the restoration of president zelaya. we're not walking away from that construct. we urge the congress to move swiftly for the restitution.
>> we time -- we have time for one more question. >> why have congress vote if you already know who is going to be president? why have that congressional vote? >> the issue is not who is going to be the next president. the honduran president decided that. the issue is whether the legitimate president of honduras, overthrown in a coup, will be returned to office by the congress on december 2nd, as per the san jose-tennessee out egucigalpa accord. that was the accord that both signs -- both sides signed at that time did they say that this was the construct in order to be able to restore constitutional authority and a democratic process in honduras. and we are urging the formation of a government of national
unity, that the congress vote on the restoration of zelaya, and three, that a truth commission be constructed in order to be able to afford. that is our position. thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> today president obama informed world leaders of his afghan strategy, and tomorrow we will have coverage of the president addressing the nation on his plans for the war in afghanistan to review and see it on c-span networks along with c- span.org and c-span radio at 8:00 p.m. eastern. dollars regulating the internet, one of the topics tonight with meredith at well baker, the newest republican commissioner at the federal communications communications -- communications commission. >> tuesday on "washington journal," a look at the ongoing health care debate in the senate, with charles grassley of iowa.
then gerry connolly reduce the half and war strategy. thomas ricks of the center for a new american security is also our guests. washington journal take your calls and e-mails live every morning, starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern, hear on c-span. >> topics at today's white house briefing include the president's upcoming announcement on u.s. troop levels in afghanistan. and the people who manage to sneak into last week's state dinner. press secretary robert gibbs spoke with reporters for about 50 minutes. >> good afternoon. let's quickly go into a couple of the week ahead and then a couple of quick announcements before questions. as you know, on tuesday the
president will address the nation and 8:00 p.m. eastern, from the military academy at west point, on afghanistan and pakistan port on wednesday the president will attend meetings here at the white house. on thursday, the president will hold a forum on jobs and economic growth here at the white house. it will be an opportunity for the president and his economic team to hear from ceo's, small- business owners, and financial experts about continuing to grow the economy and putting americans back to work. i do not know when that starts yet but i will get with you on that. on thursday evening, mrs. obama would join the president at the national park service and the national parks foundation' annual christmas tree lighting foundation -- ceremony. and friday we will have more details. the president will visit allentown, pa. where he will
speak with workers and share ideas for continued economic recovery. before we get going, a couple of quick things. in the battle, i mentioned that the congressional readout and consultations would be at 4:45 p.m., that is now changed to 4:00 p.m. tomorrow. let me add that before the president spoke this morning with president sarkozy of france, he spoke with danish prime minister and the president and prime minister consulted on the upcoming copenhagen climate change conference, and the president's participation on december 9. the president expressed his appreciation for denmark's leadership. he updated the prime minister on our revised strategy in afghanistan, and thanked the prime minister for his country significant contribution. we're close allies and partner
together around the world to promote freedom, security, and prosperity. we talked a little bit this morning about additional calls that the president will make. between this afternoon in the time of the speech, i anticipate that those will include president karzai, president said all right, chancellor merkel, prime minister tusk of poland, president hu of china, and the president of india. and many administration officials including the secretary of state and the chairman of the joint chiefs and others will also make consultation calls to our allies over the course of the next many hours before the speech. >> in addition to the others? >> yes, they are at least in addition. there could be others. most of them are likely
scheduled for tomorrow. dollars we've heard a lot about what the president is looking for and afghanistan. not talked in detail about pakistan. what is the president hoping to address with pakistan tomorrow night? what does he want to get in exchange? >> i think you can anticipate that a good portion of the president's speech tomorrow will discuss our relationship with pakistan and touch on going back to the very beginning of this administration and and renewed -- in a renewed engagement diplomatically with pakistan is. as i said this morning, to jointly address the violent extremism. i think our relationship is stronger and our efforts are stronger in dealing with that as a result of that engagement and diplomacy. the president will build on that and talk about the importance of
them in the region tomorrow night. >> when you talk about benchmarks with pakistan tomorrow night? >> i anticipate that the president will be pretty clear about how we are moving forward with afghanistan and pakistan. >> how much has he talked with the officials in pakistan ahead of tomorrow's speech? dollars presence adoring -- >> president zadari is on the list. whether tonight or first thing tomorrow, we will be clear about that. >> how much of the conversation has taken place? >> i do not remember the last time the president spoke directly with president zadari, but i know that many of the national security team -- secretary of state clinton visited not too long ago, and
others have made trips to pakistan and throughout the region to strengthen our diplomatic ties. let me get a couple of here first. >> how specific tomorrow what the president be about an exit strategy? i specifically be about costs? >> i think the president will reiterate tomorrow what i've said a number of times, which is that this is not an open ended -- this is not an open-ended commitment, that we're there to partner with the afghans, the train the afghan national security forces and the police, so that they can provide security for their country and wage the battle against an unpopular insurgency in that country. that is first and foremost our
primary mission. the oilers last week, there was the idea that we would not be there in 89 years. will the president's spell that out and a timetable to more? >> i do not want to get too far ahead of where the president is. you can be assured that the president will talk about the fact that this is not an open- ended commitment. >> you've given us figures before about what it costs per soldier. will he talk about how it will be paid for? does he have a position on a war tax? >> i am not heard extensive discussion of that here. i know that the president will touch on costs. i don't expect to get overly detailed in a speech to more. >> when more troops are sent into a country, inevitably it results in more casualties. when the military presence and fighting is increase. it is the president going to --
is that going to be part of the missions to mars, to prepare the american people for that while an exit strategy exists, the next year or t >totwo could be bloodier? >> i think that the sacrifice that we've seen there already is something -- i know that the president is assured by each and every -- aware of each and every day. i think he signed letters of condolence and meets with the families of those who have been killed. obviously the chip to dover -- a trip to dover is something that he will ever truly forget. the president will reiterate all
-- the importance of why we are there, and by very early on acknowledge the tremendous cost and sacrifice to our men and women in uniform. i do not think that there is any doubt that we are all in awe of our commitment from the military and civilian side in order to get this right. >> just in terms of defining terms, when does making sure that we have a stable afghan partner and an nation-building began? what is the line? is it just a question of, our responsibility being training afghan troops -- that is the second secure -- safe and stable partner part? we've heard a lot about what the u.s. intends to do, and i know you do not want to get ahead of the president's speech, but if you could define the terms a little for us?
>> i would ask you to -- again i am unclear as to what continue on your pudding -- are you asking me to put them on a certain -- >> the president has said about the new strategy that it is important that we have a secure, stable ally in the afghan region. >> and partly that is a partner that understands, as the president directly told president karzai and a telephone call in the oval office, that it is time to turn -- it is time for a new chapter in our relationship as it relates to corruption and improve governance in order to address the security situation, not just through training and security force needs -- it is hard for
civilians to go in and secure area -- to work in areas that are not secure. i think that anyone would tell you, jake, and i have said this, and you have seen this from democrats and republicans in congress -- without partners that are willing to do stop in both afghanistan and pakistan, no number of american troops can solve all of those problems, unless or until the steps are taken inside both of those and the security situation. dollars stable partner means a partner willing to have its own troops stepped up. it doesn't mean a thriving democracy or a great economy. it doesn't mean schools for girls or human rights.
>> first and foremost, we have to have a partner that can identify, recruit, retain, a security force and a -- -- and a police force that can take and improve security environment and eventually hold that area. once that area is cleared, that area has to be held. ultimately this strategy will be to transfer the security responsibilities of an area to the afghans. that is a big part of what you will hear the president talk about the bar. >> that is what we want from the afghan government. >> i would say that that is a big part of it, i guess. >> back to the war tax, you said that the president will got -- will not give much detail on how to pay for it. why not? we are trillions of dollars in debt. >> i don't think you heard me say that they did not deserve an
explanation. he will certainly touched on cost. this is not the the beginning of this debate, nor will this be the end of it. i think you will hear the president acknowledged the resource requirements and the responsibilities and the trade offs that will " -- that will have to be discussed both here and more importantly on capitol hill as they control the purse strings. >> al you have those offsets? will it be a new tax? >> those discussions -- once the president has a policy, you will see those more in earnest. >> at the state dinner with india, the white house has asked the sec -- secret service to review an incident wrong. with a review what the secret service did or will they let the white house staff and see whether they made mistakes? >> i will check with the folks here. my understanding is that the
secret service will look at what the secret service did. >> there were guess they came to this event to say that at previous dinners, there were someone from the social secretaries office their checking and spirit that is not the responsibility of the secret service. >> the individuals that were listed were not on any list. i think the secret service, through the director, has admitted that somebody who was not on a list and was not wait din was allowed into -- waved in was allowed into event that clearly should not have been. no call or reach out ever came to anybody in terms of staff of the secret service about whether there was confusion about a name on a list. >> the white house staff is usually checking names. someone checking names might have caught that.
>> i assume in the absence of somebody being there, because they working telephones and the white house, someone would have checked. again, the focus of the investigation is on the fact that that name was not on list. but that couple got into the white house. i think that is what the secret service is rightly focused on in their security investigation. >> in the past, before this administration, there was always a checks and balances system with the social office. that is what i am saying. >> is this a follow-up? i did not mean to interrupt. >> there is always a series of checks and balances. if there was concern from the secret service to relay at bat to the social office -- >> what i am trying to say. i think the question was asked,
so let me reiterate my answer. again, april, none of that really happened. -- none of that relay happened. whether the secret service was standing at the gator somebody was sitting in the office. >> allow me to finish a you can understand what i'm saying. there really did not happen because that person was omitted from the social office. that person was fired. >> again, you can ask it seven ways. the answer continues to be, there really did not happen because someone was our was not there. no one picked up the phone to relay the information. i appreciate the observation that someone could or could not have been at a certain date, but you can pick up the phone just like back and picked up my own and relay you important information. you do not have to be standing
in my office for me to convey a information to you. >> are you saying that the social office does not have any responsibilities at all? >> there is an ongoing investigation and will wait for that to be completed. >> in the past, both have worked in conjunction and successfully were able to protect the president of united states without anyone coming in. and now because the social office did not have that another layer of checks and balances, this happened. and people are questioning why the white house is not putting the onus on the socials office. >> i am putting the onus of the investigation on where the onus should be. i am saying this series of facts that includes the idea that if someone is confused about whether somebody was on a list at a guard tower on the exterior perimeter of the lighthouse, and there was a question, generally someone could pick up the phone and ask.
i am saying that the secret service, in a statement that they released a few days ago, acknowledged that that did not happen and that that was a mistake. >> will the social office be working in conjunction with the secret service at that date now? >> we're going to go to this investigation and have an review of things that might change it that kate. -- that might change at that gate. >> many have said that this present was never in danger. but these people met with the president. they shook the president's hand. who is to say that they did not have some kind of -- granted, they did not, but hypothetically one person could have walked in and done something to the president. [unintelligible] >> in park -- i appreciate the opportunity to indulge in a grand hypothetical. i think the president shares the
concern that the director has for how this happened and how he can remedy it from happening again. the boys are you concerned about his safety with this? >> no. >> is the angry are incredulous that someone could just walk into the white house? the reason that there is an investigation is because the white house is asked if that happened. suffice to say, the president is rightly concerned about what happened last week. >> and you -- had u.s. leader in say anything? >> i have not. that is not a power bestowed on me. as the press secretary. i know that according to media reports they had been interviewed by the secret service. that is a decision that would be made by the secret service and the united states attorney in that area. >> a triple a lot.
-- a triple follow up. if someone from the social office had been at the gate, but what of the overheard the problem. >> let me refer you to the fallout answer. >> that would lead over the couple announce themselves and it would not have required a phone call. that would have liked it right away. >> if the president -- the couple would not have come, it would not have required it. generally when people have questions, when you have a question, i do not have to be in person to answer your question despite the fact that you may announce your question. you can pick up the telephone and reach me in my office. a procedure that someone could do sitting at an extra murder gate -- at the exterior perimeter gate just as well as in their office. >> but they did not relate the call, but a second layer -- dollars leaving aside the fact that did not happen.
>> is the white house going to do what is necessary to make sure that the secret service is not scapegoating here and that there could be responsibility for this at the white house? >> of course, that is why there is an investigation. understand, i am simply reiterating for the three questions on the same as question -- on the subject, but the secret service put out on this last week. chip, i have walked with an been next to the secret service for the 2 1/2 years, virtually every single day, that the president has had the valuable and rate protection of united states secret service. nobody is more thankful for that than the president as well as the country permit the president has faith in the secret service, always has, and that is not about to change.
we'll go to chuck and maybe someone will -- >> let me start with afghanistan. some of the things he said in a march 27 speech sounds like what he is previewing them. bids march for afghanistan. we cannot turn a blind eye. we will seek a new contract with the afghan government. setting clear benchmarks, clear metrics for international assistance. we will not blindly state stores and send -- and hold us accountable. how much of the march 27 speech is going to end up to be very applicable to what we hear tomorrow? >> we were asked in the lead up to a security forces decision in march about whether there would be benchmarks. that answer than was yes and the answer now is yes. as their relates -- in-line dollars had you finished
setting benchmarks? >> we have finished setting the bench marks, but there will be some new wrinkles to what we are doing. dollars you have been setting benchmarks this whole time? >> as reported to congress, absolutely. in terms of the corruption, obviously the governance -- you mentioned. dollars the same government. >> somewhat up in the air as of the middle of august, right. >> the thing is, what is going to be different about what he says in may 27? just the new wrinkles? >> i am going to let the president outlined the mission going forward, and discussed in depth the benchmarks that will go along with it. >> and can you get -- is the president would simultaneously
as your folks that we will withdraw troops in a timely fashion, and let allies know we're there for the long haul? is that a balance he is going to try to stride? >> if no one should underestimate the commitment of a president that has thus far doubled the number of american men and women on the ground in afghanistan. i do not think anybody could look themselves in the mirror with a straight face and say that this president has been anything but resolved to doing what has to happen in afghanistan to make this country safe. >> does the president think that there should be charges filed against these folks? >> i have not talked to the president on that. the white house will leave that up to relevant law enforcement to determine whether -- i
mentioned -- >> they are going to use this for a reality tv show. >> the concern goes greatly beyond the "real housewives of d.c.," but yes. we've gone from afghanistan to the "real housewives of d.c." a commentary on my lai. >> training our security forces, the corruption of the government, but are there also benchmarks for failure and the consequences for not reaching those benchmarks? >> had in the note. >> it will u.s. forces be withdrawn -- will u.s. forces be withdrawn if they cannot meet the benchmarks?
the dollars we will be setting for a commission that he believes -- >> we will be sitting forward a commission that he believes is achievable, and make sure that what we're doing is setting out a mission and a series of resources that are attainable. as i mentioned to chuck, there are now twice as many forces there and then were there just a year ago. i think what the president has to do clearly to the american people is what the note that we now have what is needed there to accomplish what that mission is, rather than somehow assuming that we could do that with half of what is there now. >> one quick housekeeping question for reporters going up to west point to more of what
the president's, they will not have a whole lot of time up there. are there going to be briefings up there? >> i well -- i think we will do a briefing by phone that will allow you to take part in. tommy mentioned that to me earlier. no, we will make sure that -- i think it is all been scheduled around. >> wondering why it military leaders are being briefed on that before relevant members of congress, and the foreign leaders? the oilers won the president's is down with congress tomorrow afternoon -- >> when the president sits down with congress tomorrow afternoon, he will go over the decisions he has made related to the chain of command. in terms of reaching our international partners, understanding that idsaf is an
international entity made up of big guy of all contributions from the united states. when the present talks with the french, the germans, the danes, and others, it is because they are a valuable partner in this mission. i did not believe that -- i know that no one is going to get a briefing that is ahead of what the president tells members of congress or the american people. >> how director of the message will we have tomorrow night for it -- how direct a message willie have for osama bin laden or other al qaeda leaders? >> peter, we are there and the president moved andditiol 30,000 forces there in march
with the stated mission to dismantle, disrupt, and destroy al qaeda. that mission remains the same, and the president will reiterate that tomorrow night. he will discuss actions that we can take in the region to address violent extremism. obviously that will be a healthy portion of the speech. dollars was mr. orszag their time -- yesterday's? >> the numbers that i read out in the situation -- i'm sorry, in the oval office, there were no editions. >> with the plan be to submit an amended budget for fiscal 2010? our would it be put off the fiscal year 2011? >> let me get better guidance on that decision and will have a better sense of that once he makes his decision known. there have been discussions.
i do not have any conclusive. >> deal had arranged? >> the route map that we had used before is applicable. for 10,000 troops, it is $10 billion. that is the rough estimate of what people had been using, both here and at the pentagon. dollars as did ministration figured out what -- how it will pay for this? >> i am not going to get detailed into some of the discussions that we have had here. the costs of our involvement in afghanistan, both in terms of our men and women in uniform, the help of the force, and what this will mean budget tearaway,
i can assure you, they had been part of this discussion from the very beginning. >> is the white house open or close to a war tax? >> i am not talk to anybody. i have not even heard discussions about that. >> no discussions at the warehouse -- at the white house that you are aware of. no position one way or the other. >> it would be hard for me to get a position if i've not heard them talk about it. dollars the presence conversations with various international leaders is not to inform them specifically of what he intends to do. will he cut -- will he hear commitments from them that he will use in the speech? dollar there is no doubt in reiterating what i said earlier that this is an international effort. this is not one country's problem. terrorism does not affect just one country or even one region
of the world. it affects london, is that? madrid, it affects all whole host of areas. i refer you to nato in terms of whether or not there are specific contributions are individual countries about specific troop contributions that they may make as part of this, and as you know, there is a ministerial conference that secretary of state clinton will attend, i believe, on the fourth of december, and a force generation conference in nato on the seventh of december. suffice to say, the president believes that this has to be an increase in international effort to deal with this problem. >> and related to that, it may be that these conversations yield details that the american people can tell the american
public tomorrow night. >> as seen reports a day already of british announcements. as i said earlier, the australians committed a greater number of forces back in the spring, when the president dedicated more american forces. so some of this has come as a part of the security buildup toward the elections, some of this may come as new force contributions. >> the primary mission that the president will talk about is training afghan forces and obviously a combat mission. the board there is no doubt that there will be some amount of counter-terrorism, and there will be fighting aunts -- fighting against the insurgency. those efforts will continue. there has to be in new renewed emphasis on the training of afghan security forces. we're not going to be there forever.
we do not have the resources, manpower, or by terror lake, -- or budget, to be primarily responsible for the security of afghanistan. the afghans have to be primarily responsible for that security for increased training so that once an area is held, he can be transferred to afghans. >> on climate change, why is it a good idea for the president to our right near the beginning of that negotiations as opposed to the end. and does the white house had in the evaluation or comment on the controversial and of the hack e-mails that suggest that some of the underlying science, for some of the propositions put forth by a climatologist, may be in error or may have been altered in some way? >> on the second part, carol browner address that last week.
on the order of several thousand scientists have come to the conclusion that climate change is happening. i do not think that is anything that is quite frankly, most people in dispute anymore. in terms of the first, we believe that progress has been made with developing nations. we have made some progress with the chinese and indians of the past couple of weeks. the president will travel to oslo on the 10th and believe that it was important to use this visit to help get us to the point of a deal. this is something that can take the type of action that scientists say need to be taken to stop and reverse climate change. i think the president believes that a visit happening at the
beginning is just as important as it would be at any point to getting that deal going quicker. >> cannot follow that one up? >> could the white house have done something more to prevent that situation? >> there is an ongoing situation. -- investigation. >> just a two-part. >> just one two-part. the lo>> are you aware of the lf the scientist " oppose this? -- who oppose this? 6000 ph.d..
>> i do not doubt that there is such a list, luster. -- lester. i believe there is no real scientific basis for the disputed this. >> "the hon. robert gibbs, white house press secretary" and can you name in a previous press secretaries who were given the name -- that title usually given for judges and elected political officials? >> speaking on background? [laughter] as someone intimately familiar with thes thinking of the hon. robert gibbs, exactly, i write all of those. it was up flattering promotion that i am sure the press secretary was quite honored to have. >> he wanted this?
>> i dare say that the president is quite busy doing a number of things. i seriously doubt he was proofreading the press release. i will check on that. >> inbreeding senior advisers on the decision last night, he was closing the book on the internal deliberations of the last few months. there have been some sharp disagreements on approach. i am wondering, is the president at all concerned about the morale of this group of advisers that talked about this for months? there could be winners and losers. >> scott, i know you all have an opportunity to hear from and talk to people that participate. what i think what they would -- what they would say to a person were discussions that have made this policy better.
i know that there is a washington game of picking winners and losers. when people step back and look at what the president's ultimate decision will be, i think that everyone sitting in that room had a valuable contribution in making this a better policy for the men and women in our armed services, and quite frankly, for each and every american. i do not think anybody participated in this process thinking, yet by argue something in the situation room and it is not adopted, somehow i have lost. i think each and every person -- i daresay -- well, i will not say that. each and every person help to contribute to make this a better policy of the united states. >> you have the commanding general in afghanistan and a top diplomat in afghanistan who publicly disagreed over the approach. is there concerns specific to
them? can they carry this out together? >> without getting into what was talked about last night in the situation room, both of those individuals in afghanistan and the president felt very good about our way forward. dollars does the president still believe that he will be signing a health legislation by the end of the year? >> he hopes so. >> in the past, he said that he expected to sign it. does he still expect that he will be signing? >> i do not know if the deadline. >> i wont be clear about what the president is going to say tomorrow. he is not going to say it is going to costs x on that in here is exactly how i am going to pay for it. >> i would have to go to the latest draft about that degree
of specific -- specificity. i don't know what the gets down to the grain hilarity of the exact dollar amount for each and every thing. i think that some of that will depend on decisions that ultimately are made -- logistical decisions. >> he is clearly not going to give us a plan for how he will pay for it to mar 93 >> i don't think the intention of the speech is to lay at all lengthy discourse on that. >> was and he rather scathing about the previous administration's failure to do that on iraq? >> what he was mentioning is that this is something that was not contemplated as being part of the regular process. we've talked about this before. one of the reasons that we're involved in a lengthy debate on
health care is that we have had a lengthy debate about how we're going to pay for an initiative of the president's. i anticipate that these are discussions that will be joined as it relates to other priorities as well, including the war in afghanistan. >> two afghanistan question. what is your answer to people who stress that this will not be -- you're telling our enemies, just wait us out. >> that does not make any logical sense to me. if you are to believe that a certain insurgency has the momentum and they are increasingly occupied it and gathering more space, are you saying all we have to do is say we're going believe at a certain date, and they will stop the pursuit of their momentum? maybe the president should just say that. it does not make any -- is a great talking point but doesn't
make any logical sense. dollars what about to our allies, they will hedge their bets as they are not sure if we're going to stay or not? >> the president put his bible -- put his hand on a bible on a cold day in january when there were half as many troops in afghanistan then there are now. he put his priority on what he believed was an urgent threat to our national security. i don't know anybody who can make that logical argument. >> will follow up on the process. this was an extraordinary process. a lot of meetings, a lot of questioning the assumptions, boring down in a way that is probably unprecedented. >> i think the president and every participant would tell you that they are glad of that. what happened was, we bore down
on this in a way that i dare say had not yet been done. without revealing -- revealing confidences, there were discussions about how we were talking about a resource and an effort that had been under resource for quite some time. >> could you elaborates on a turning point in this process for a moment when the president chose pad a warpath b -- joe path a over path b. >> i did not think there was a turning point or an epiphany. over the course of the discussions, the president and a group of advisers settled on a decision that you will hear tomorrow that people are very
comfortable with. >> the president has not held a press conference for four months now. and his appearances have been cut down to one question. does he say that these types of exchanges with the press are no longer useful to them? >> we have some interviews with abc that would provide the president with a unique opportunity -- no, i just pick that out of thin air. i think the president -- i think the last time we got a question about the president answering questions, if i am not mistaken, it was couched in the notion that he was overexpose? hard for me to imagine that the present was submit himself to so many questions that the pandit talkers it would said it was
over exposed -- that the punditocracy would say that he was over exposed. >> the question is the format. >> taking questions from reporters, he has been doing that throughout this progress. i assume that he will continue to do so. >> he said this morning that the president had given orders in the oval office over the weekend. are they being carried out now? >> i anticipate that they are being acted upon by those whose job it is to implement them. dollars would general mcchrystal be in town? >> i believe that general mcchrystal will be in afghanistan tomorrow. i believe that in the coming days, i do not know exactly when, he and ambassador i can very will travel to the hill -- ambassador i eikenberry will travel to the hill.
i do not know when. >> one of the missions is to train the afghan security forces and police to fight. you did not mention al qaeda in that statement. i assume that there is a connection. can i ask what the connection is, and does the president still believe -- let me ask you this way, how does the president these days to assess the threat posed to the united states by whatever remains of al qaeda? >> i don't think you have to dig deep into news clips to see, and you certainly don't have to into the president's daily intelligence briefing, that the threat of from al qaeda exists in very real ways, not just emanating the border region of pakistan and afghanistan, but throughout the world.
the reason that al qaeda was in afghanistan was because al qaeda had the safe-haven protection of a government run by the taliban. i think what the president will discuss tomorrow is insuring that we prevent the taliban from being capable of controlling the government of the gas -- of afghanistan, as well as incapable of providing safe haven from which al qaeda can plot and undertake terrorist activities like we've seen happen previously in the united states. >> to do that, do you have to have complete success with a counterinsurgency so that there are no remnants left of the taliban? >> i will let the president go through some of that tomorrow. >> congressman obey and murtha
put into the bill -- i understand you have not heard any discussion, but when the president meets with senators tomorrow, will he give them any guidance? >> let me get back to you on that. dollars should we be at a turning point after the announcement of iran yesterday? >> that is a question for the iranians. the iranians should quite clearly understand their responsibilities and obligations under international treaty that they signed. iranians had been rebuked for their actions, by a single international voice through a strong vote in the i.e. ae board of governors. if they make a