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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  June 23, 2010 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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and then on the unusual and unexpected and a unique tactic circumvented the vote in the senate and shoved the vote here on the floor of the house even on a promise that there would be another package passed through the senate. so we had this nairio that happened when obamacare passed, and i'm talking about the bill, not the recessions package that came along afterwards, it the moment -- at the moment that obamacare passed, it did not pass the senate. when it passed the house and went to the president's desk, it could not pass the senate and it did not enjoy a majority of support here in the house unless there was a promise that they would pass a recisions bill afterwards that would give some of the holdouts, the things that they thought they needed to amend the bill. they toyed with the idea of amending a bill that hadn't
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actually become law there couldn't be an honest effort to put together a bill that was debated on committee and on the floor so it could become the will of the house or the will of the senate, neither the will of the house nor the senate was passed that day when obamacare was passed. maybe that's inside baseball, madam speaker, but here's where the american people are today. wherever i go in this country, i hear people say, i want my country back. they have seen this administration, and yes, some of it started in the previous administration, but it had everything that i'm about to list had the 100% suuport of barack obama, whether he was a united states senator, whether he was a senator-elect -- excuse me, whether he was president-elect, or whether he was president of the united states and most of it, under his guidance as president of the united states. here's what happened this federal government took over, nationalized, and when i say
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nationalized, i mean ownership, management, or control of three large investment banks, a.i.g., fannie mae, freddie mac, general motors, chrysler, where am i going? there's more to this. the entire student loan, all the student loan program in america, all of that, swallowed up by the obama administration and that's 1/3 of the private sector activity according to prfsor boyles at arizona state university, 1/3, then along came obamacare which passed. the gentleman earlier talked about that being 17% of the economy. the number i see 17.5%. we're with within half a percentage point. when i added up, i added 18% to 33%, takes us to 51%. the question is whether it's
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50.5% or 51% of the private sector activity taken over by this government, three large investment banks, a.i.g., fannie mae, freddie mac, all the student loans in america, chrysler, now the nationalization of our bodies, of our health care, taking away our a person's individual choices on how they'll manage their health care, what insurance policies they'll buy, because after all, the drug choices administration -- excuse me me, the health choices administration czar they call him a commissioner, i call him a commiczarissioner will write the rules later. the president of the united states can say, i guarantee that this policy will be able to you when obamacare is implemented. not one. he promised america that if you like your health insurance policy you get to keep it. he promised that over and over
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again. there was no guiding light. there was no promise. except a broken one. and i began to wonder, there's a website out there, a whole list of all the broken obama promises. it goes on and on and on. i wonder if he doesn't have a czar that's charged with keeping track of all the obama promises and making sure he can break every single one of them in his first term. he's got a great start. but i know the american people don't see a guarantee in a promise from the president anymore. if you like your health insurance policy you get to keep it, i promise. so what? your promise means nothing. what we know today is there isn't a single policy in america that anybody believes they get to keep and the other side of the implementation of obama care. -- obamacare. the list i've gone through, the banks, fannie, freddie, student loans, chrysler all of that a third of our private sector
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activity, obamacare, 17.5% of the private sector activity of the health care, swallowed up, taken over by the time this is implemented in 2014. so, now we're at 51% of the former private sector activity, now nationalized. taken over under the ownership, management, or control they have federal government. the gentleman earlier talked about hugo chavez. i saw the picture of the president glad handed a handshake with hugo chavez almost a year ago. i said when it comes to nationalizing companies, hugo chavez had taken over a cargill rice plant in venezuela. but when it comes to nationalizing companies, hugo chavez is a piker, he can't hold a candle to the president
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of the united states of america. today we've lost 51% of our private sector activity to the nationalization of this federal government and they have nationalized under obamacare, our skin and everything inside it, the most sovereign thing we have, now we can't manage it the way we managed it before. we can only manage our health care in the future under the permission of the federal government. by the way, nationalized our skin and everything inside it and let's just say if your daughter is getting ready far prom or wedding and she wants to go to a tanning salon, obamacare taxes the outside of your skin too, to the tune of 10%. what is that about? why do something that's so blatant as that that embellishes the argument that the nanny state is going to prevail? are they really worried about somebody's health? they wanted to tax the nondiet pop they want to manage
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behavior, control diets. they're involved in an effort to take 1357b9 trillion calories out of the diet of kids because a third of our youth are obese. and secretary gates, i believe, has spoken about this, our secretary of defense, that there's a higher percentage of young people that don't qualify to go into the military because they've got too much blubber around their belt. they can't qualify. p say this, then. if they're healthy otherwise, bring them in. if they meet all other standards but they're too fat, bring them in. bring them to basic training. keep them there longer. by the time you run them around the field in combat boots and put them on a diet and exercise plans, they'll be where they want to be. doesn't mean we have a national security problem because too many kids are fat. i think we do have a nanny security plan if the federal
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government will try to control the diets of our -- of the kids in this country. taking away our liberty, taking away our freedom, knowing that the vitality of the nation comes from our individual choices, being able to make choices. obamacare has to go, madam speaker. excuse me. obamacare has got to go, there are those who think we can't get it done. the bill is passed, let's move on. we need to look ahead, not backwards. if we're going to look ahead, we have to look backwards and determine, obamacare is a terrible idea. it's an unconstitutional thing, an unconscionable thing to do to a free people. america with its vitality loses a chunk of its vitality when you take away our individualism and liberty.
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if people think we can't repeal obamacare let me lay out this scenario. it works like this every single republican voted no on obamacare. 34 democrats vote nod on obamacare. there was only one thing bipartisan about obamacare, that was opposition to obamacare. in the house and in the senate. so obamacare is the law of the land but the implementation of it doesn't get completed until 2014. that's when we're saddled with the jug you are naught of this taking our decisions away from us and creating the dependency on people so they no longer think about the freedom and liberty making their own choices. and so here's how we repeal obamacare. first of all, myself, michelle bachmann, parker griffith, bob inglis, i believe jerry moran, maybe todd akin, those people i
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can think of have all introduced legislation to repeal obamacare. a stand-alone repeal of obamacare that is 100% repeal of obamacare, pull it out by the roots, pull it out root and branch, there's not one particle of obamacare d.n.a. left behind. this has become a toxic stew that we've ingested now and it's turning into a ma ig -- a malignant tumor that will start to metastasize in 2014 when obamacare is fully implemented. here's whht we do. my bill and others' bills, we have 90-something co-sponsors on this legislation. i've introduced a discharge petition. i think it's discharge petition number 11. i'm not certain of the number, i think that's the number. i signed it a lot of others have signed it, a lot more need to sign it because of this if a discharge petition gets 218
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signatures on it here in the well of the house, it has to come to the floor for a vote unamended that means we can force a vote even over the rule of the speaker of the house who surely would do everything she could do to resist the repeal of obamacare. but the process of getting to 218 signatures on a discharge petition identifies, separates, let's say, the men from the boys and the women from the girls. if you really were sincerely against obamacare, it's one thing to vote against it. 34 democrats did. nancy pelosi let them off the hook, they were afraid they'd lose their seats in their districts who knows how many of them were serious. when we had the motion to recommit on no man cates to buy insurance, there were only 21 democrats that voted for that, as opposed to 34 votes against
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obamacare. you see the conviction drop by 13 in that little exchange. how many of those 1 really feel that way? i challenge those 21, in fact, i challenge the 34, and everybody else opposed to obamacare, sign the discharge petition. let's bring the discharge petition to the floor and repeal obamacare, pull it out by the roots, let's see what they can get done over there. that's what we need to do here in the house of representatives. now maybe that doesn't get itself accomplished and get obamacare repealed because people in america, madam speaker, can think in sequences, logical, multiple sequences, all the solutions are out there in america. i trust the judgment of our voters, they know this. if we're successful in getting 218 signatures on a discharge pesigs and pass the repeal of obamacare and it go downs the hallway and across the rotunda, over to harry reid, of course
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he'll do everything he can to kill it. maybe they find a way to get that done in the senate. then it goes to the president. then we know what happens. he would see vito the bill system of it would come back to the house or the senate for an opportunity to override the presidential veto. not something you'd consider to be political possible today. maybe, there's an outside chance it could be possible by the time we get to november. i'm skeptical too. but we will have put theemarker down, we'll have separated the women from the girls and the men from the boys with the discharge petition. we will have set the stage for the other side of november thorke side into the next congress, when i believe the gavels will come into different hands from our side of the aisle in which case, we can move a repeal of obamacare as a stand-alone a 100% repeal of obamacare as a stand-alone.
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we can do that. when that happen we recognize president obama would veto that. we would have to figure out how to come up with the 2/3 majority to overturn the presidential veto, again, a very, very high bar. but this constitution here in my jacket pocket tells me all spending has to start here in the house. mr. speaker. all spending has to start here in the house. so, a house controlled with gavels n the hands of republicans would simply refuse to fund any dollars, any american taxpayer dollars, would be -- would be prohibited to be useddto implement obamacare. that could work really well in a republican majority in 2011 and 2012. so obamacare wouldn't be implemented. it would be sitting there, without implementation and republicans would have passed a repeal of obamacare and -- at
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least once during that period of time, maybe more times, then, we elect a president in 2012 who takes as a matter of his campaign and his oath his number one priority, sign the repeal of obamacare purbling it out by the roots. i have this vision of a president of the united states taking an oath of office, mr. speaker, with pen in hand and i swear to do to the best of my ability to preserve, protect, defend the constitution of the united states, pen in hand. normally the president turns and shake hands with the chief justice and outgoing president and there'll be a great celebration up there on the west portico of the capitol. i'd like to see him interrupt that for one thing. i'd like to see the pen in his hand when he takes the oath. i'd like to see the repeal of obamacare there at the podium, right by the bible he chooses to take the oath on.. i'd like to hear him take that oath, so help me god and bring
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his head right -- his hand right down to the document that is the repeal of obamacare and sign the repeal of obamacare right there in the first instant of the new administration that begins january 20, 2013. don't tell me we can't repeal obamacare, yes we can. we have to move a discharge petition now. . the voters need to know what to do and when the time comes when the new majority comes in probably january 3, 2011, we'll refuse to fund obamacare because the funding has to start here. no president can get around that, no senator can get around that, the constitution says it starts here. we control all spending in this house. no funding to fund the
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implementation of obamacare and we hold the line in 2011 and 2012 and elect a president who will sign the repeal of obamacare on january 20, 2013, right there at the capitol, right through those doors, take a left, where great events take place. that's what needs to happen. the full repeal of obamacare. move the discharge petition now so we can separate those who are for repeal of obamacare and those who seem to lack the will to put their marker down and be clear with the voters in america. now, i didn't leave a lot of time for some of the other subject matter that i felt the urge to address, but i'll go through a list of them and a lot of them have to do with immigration, mr. speaker. one of them is the secretary of labor, using our tax dollars to run ads to tell people call
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this number if you are legal or illegal, it doesn't matter. you deserve a reasonable wage and we'll protect you with our labor laws if you are working in the united states illegally. we aren't going to ask you for your social security number, where you were born or whether you are legal to work in america and if you are illegal and your boss isn't treating you right under america's labor laws, call us and we will punish the employer. spending millions of dollars out of a department of labor budget to tell people that have broken into this country unlawfully in the united states and cannot lawfully work in america that they are going to use the law to punish the employer if they don't treat them right. now, i don't say an employer should be able to abuse their employees, but i do say, the
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secretary of labor gets this way wrong if she thinks that she's going to use my tax dollars, mr. speaker, to use your tax dollars to advertise people to working in america illegally, taking jobs away from americans and people who can work legally in this country and reward them for the objective of their crime, by bringing the department of labor against their employers. i tell you, i don't know where they find these people to appoint them to the cabinet. this is one. i want to look at the full text of her remarks and come out tomorrow, but this is a marker that needs to be put down. we don't use american tax dollars to reward illegals in this country. that is a form of amnesty, being advertised in the air waves with american tax dollars
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at the direction of the secretary of labor, her face saying, trust me, i'll protect you, i won't enforce the law against you. amnesty. to grant amnesty to reward them with the objective of their crime. she is saying, we won't enforce the law and keep your name confidential. trust us. we'll make sure we come down on your employer, not on you. anybody working in the united states illegally had to falsify their identification to get the job in the first place and they probably through identity theft or purchased a theft product from someone's identity in order to work in america. that is a serious crime. when someone's identity is stolen, they don't get it back again and it is being encouraged by the secretary of
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labor and that's got to stop, mr. speaker. now, arizona law, let's just say arizona, fox news today ran a story, they started last night about the spotters down in arizona that occupy the mountaintops along the transportation routes coming up through arizona. excuse me. now, what's going on is, drug smugglers, people smugglers, contraband smugglers occupy these locations on top of the mountains of arizona. some is volcanic. they are shaped like volcanos and come to a point and on top, whether it's a ridge, there is a pickup spot where they can see a intersection coming from two or three different directions and the employees, these are paramilitary armed personnel that are organized as a military force taking
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positions, strategic positions on top of mountaintops in arizona and take the stones and stack them around like a gunner placement and hunker down and will watch the tratching and they have communications equipment with scram blers so they can talk to their people. we know the free quensies. i have listened to the excited chatter as we fly towards those mountaintops to pick the people off. you can hear the chatter intensify and all of a sudden it goes silent. and that's because they have come off the mountain before they get there and go do you know and hide. i have hundreds of pictures from the top of these spotter locations. these are tactical positions in america used to facilitate the smuggling of drugs and people, all kinds of contraband and many of those people may be
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terrorist suspects and come from nations we should be concerned about. that traffic is going through arizona. and they aren't sitting along the border. these locations go all the way up to phoenix. they control the transportation routes there. they tell them when to go and when to stop and run drugs where the border patrol and other law enforcement officers con verge on a vehicle and sacrifice one of their people for the means of bringing a truckload through. that happens. it happens regularly. we have a massive number of illegal border crossings. backpackers marching through the desert. guys with 50-pounds or more and march 100 miles. you look at their shape and they walk back and forth in the desert and get paid to smuggle drugs in the united states.
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we sit here and allow drug smugglers to control the transportation the routes in america all the way up to phoenix and we aren't able to snap those people off those mountains and lock them up or put them through the shakedown and find out who they are affiliated with. and we can listen in on the radio but can't understand it because it is a scrambled chatter. and they supply them and bring them food and drink and other things that they need as well as weapons and i have been there to see these locations and optical equipment. mr. speaker, we've got to take the spotters off the top of these lookout mountains and cannot have the drug smugglers that control our transportation routes, however difficult it is and there are ways to do this. our special forces know how. a lot of our law enforcement officers know how. they need a mission.
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last year, i was able to get an appropriations amendment that directed $1 million to take the spotters off of the look outs in arizona and that was killed and died, mr. speaker. so, mr. speaker, we have to wake up and defend this country and shut off the country, build the wall and stop the bleeding, take the spotters off the look out mountains shut off the magnet on jobs, get back to the rule of law. let's reward people who respect the rule of law. fake it right out of title 7 and by the way without violating arizona law or arizona's constitution or the united states constitution or any other state constitution for that matter. those are a number of things on my mind, mr. speaker. and i'm well aware within the next 60 seconds i will have reached the balance of my time.
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i appreciate being recognized foe address you here on the floor of the house of representatives and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from iowa rise? mr. king: i move the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. it follows the recent support -- supreme court ruling covered under the first amendment. always live here on c-span.
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>> coming up tonight on c-span, president obama announces the removal of general mcchrystal as commander in afghanistan. then members of the senate armed services commitment react to the announcement, and we will hear from general david petreaus who was named as mcchrystal's replacement. >> today president obama announced he was removing general stanley mcchrystal from commander of allied forces in afghanistan. this move came after rolling stone magazine interview were general mcchrystal criticize the president and members of his administration. president obama has named david petreaus as mcchrystal's replacement. here is the president's announcement at the white house. >> good afternoon.
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today accepted general stanley mcchrystal resignation as commander of the international security assistance force in afghanistan. i did so with considerable regret, all -- but also with certainty that it is the right thing for our mission in afghanistan, for our military, and for our country. i am also pleased to nominate general david petreaus to take command in afghanistan, which will allow us to maintain the momentum and leadership that we need to succeed. i do not make this decision based on any difference in policy with general mcchrystal, as we are in full agreement about our strategy. nor do i make this decision at any sense of personal insult. stan mcchrystal has always shown great courtesy and carried out my orders faithfully. i have got great admiration for
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him and for as long record of service in uniform. over the last nine years, with americans fighting wars in iraq and afghanistan, he has earned a reputation as one of our nation's finest soldiers. the reputation is founded upon his extraordinary dedication, his deep intelligence, and his love of country. i have relied on his service, particularly in helping to design and lead our new strategy in afghanistan. so all americans should be grateful for general mcchrystal's remarkable career in uniform. but war is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general, or president. and as difficult as it is to lose general mcchrystal, i believe that it is the right decision for our national security. the conduct represented in the
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recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general. it undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system. and it erodes the trust that is necessary for our team to work together to retrieve -- to achieve our objectives in afghanistan. my multiple responsibilities as commander-in-chief led me to this decision. first, i have a responsibility to the extraordinary men and women who are fighting this war, and to the democratic institutions that i have been elected to lead. i f got no greater honor than serving as commander-in-chief of our men and women in uniform, and it is my duty to ensure that no diversion complicates the vital mission that they are carrying out. that includes adherence to a strict code of conduct. the strength and greatness of our military is rooted in the fact that this code applies
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equally to newly enlisted privates and to the general officer who commands them. that allows us to come together as one. that is part of the reason why america has the finest fighting force in the history of the world. it is also true that our democracy depends upon institutions that are stronger than individuals. that includes strict adherence to the military chain of command and respect for civilian control over that tremaine -- over that chain of command. and that is why as commander in chief, i believe this decision is necessary to hold ourselves accountable to standards that are at the core of our democracy. second, i never responsibility to do what ever is necessary to succeed in afghanistan and in our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al qaeda. i believe that this mission demands unity of effort across
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our alliance and across my national security team. and i do not think that we can sustain that unity of effort and achieve our objectives in afghanistan without making this change. that, too, has guided my decision. i have just told my national security team that now is the time for all of us to come together. doing so is not an option, but an obligation. i welcome debate among my team, but i will not tolerate division. all of us have personal interest. all of us have opinions. our politics often fuels conflict, but we have to renew our sense of common purpose and meet our responsibilities to one another and to our troops who are in harm's way and to our country. we need to remember what this is all about. our nation is at war. we face a very tough fight in
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afghanistan. but americans do not flinch in the face of difficult truths or difficult task. we persist and we persevere. we will not tolerate a safe haven for terrorists who want to destroy afghan security from within and launch attacks against innocent men, women, and children in our country and around the world. so make no mistake -- we have a clear goal. we're going to break the taliban past momentum. we're going to build afghan capacity. we're going to relentlessly apply pressure on al qaeda and its leadership, strengthening the ability of afghanistan and pakistan to do the samee that is the strategy that we agreed to last fall. that is the policy that we are carrying out in afghanistan and pakistan. in that effort, we are honored to be joined by allies and
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partners who have stood by us and paid the ultimate price through the loss of their young people at war. there with this because the interests and values that we share, and because this mission is fundamental to the ability of free people to live in peace and security in the 21st century. general petreaus and i were able discussing the way forward. i'm extraordinarily grateful that he has agreed to serve in this capacity. it should be clear to everybody he does so at great personal sacrifice to himself into his family. and he is setting an extraordinary example of service and patriotism by assuming this difficult post. let me say to the american people -- this is a change in personnel but not a change in policy. general petreaus fully but dissipated in our review last fall and the vote -- fully
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participated in our review last fall any both supported and helped design the strategy that we have in place. in his current post at central command, he has worked closely with our focus -- our forces in afghanistan. he has worked closely with congress. he has worked to stop the afghan and how he ever have to fall after him to rietveld's my full confidence, and i am urging the senate to confirm him for this new assignment as swiftly as possible. let me conclude by saying that it was a difficult decision to come to the conclusion that i have made today. indeed, it saddens me to lose the service of a soldier who i have come to respect and admire. but the reasons that led to this decision are the same principles that have supported the strength of our military and our nation since the founding. so once a can i have general his
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his home as half his he of the section of and to the success of our mission in afghanistan her time of war to working with general petreaus and my entire national security team to succeed in our missions. and i hadn't done his fans have one to defend if you and i reaffirm that america stands as one in our support for the men and women who defend it. if you very much. -- which is crisis -- thank you very much wh. >> of reaction to the president's announcement from members of the house senate armed services john mccain, for joe lieberman, lindsey graham, and carl levin who has sent a
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confirmation hearing no later than next tuesday. this is for the minister if -- this is for the men if -- this is 40 minutes ahead >> we are here as fears of the armed services committee how and if individuals who have travel often to the region and have involvement in the hands of iraq and afghanistan: and to him if our involvement goes all away hah to hough
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we think if there is no one more qualified than general petreaus to achieve a successful conclusion for the afghan conflict treehouse we think of general mcchrystal for his service to our nation and wish him well in the ffture. we're confident that general petreaus's leadership will have a positive effect on the situation in the region. he still have concerns about the civilian side it might suggest that consideration be given to reuniting the crocker-petreaus team, all of ambassador carper will probably never forgive me for saying that since he is retired rehouse we have concerns about the civilian side of.
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relations between the ambassador and president karzai, when there is sufficient civilian side to this house of question, family know him if there his tough sledding ahead. fearing for general petreaus will be the fastest -- a feeling for general petreaus will probably be the fastest. how concerned that we have whether that is etched in stone as the president's spokesperson stated, or whether it will be conditions faced, we feel very strongly that he's 50 conditions-faced, it has an
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adverse effect on your ability to succeed. that is a major concern and there's still of great deal of ambiguity of the fed issued a brief -- about that issue. we have to send the message that we will do what is f -- whatever is necessary in order to achieve success for him if that means a longer period of time going increase of troops as necessary, how those factions -- and i would remind you fifth learn the fallujah administration -- a feeling of bush -- which stirred up for the surge when it was opposed of and if it is not any thing other than an honest
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difference of opinion between us and the president of united states. the withdrawal of the troops must be based on conditions at the time, not an arbitrary date. >> because of general stan mcchrystal is afraid for fighter -- is a grave of war fighter -- brave for fighter, if present if president obama with a hard decision.
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of his strong support for the strategy that he adopted after a thorough review last year and announced at west point last december 1, which is what happened in afghanistan is a vital interest of the united states. it goes badly there, it will be bad for us here at home, because that is the place from which we were attacked on 9/11. it was important to hear the president restated his commitment to that strategy of
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counterinsurgency in afghanistan and to success in that strategy. i think we have a higher possibility -- i think probably now with general petreaus in charge of achieving that. i want to stress one more thing. he talked about how important was that we be unified in pursuit of the strategy he, president obama, had chosen for afghanistan. he said that he will always welcome internal debate but will not countenance the vision publicly. i think the unfortunate comment that. in the magazine article by general mcchrystal revealed what we have known, there is not the kind of unity in afghanistan between our civilian and military leadership. in fact, there has been some
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unnecessary and i think harmful public discussions here in the u.s. about special ppints of our strategy, including what the meaning is of the troops in afghanistan beginning to do or not beginning to do in july 2011. i hope that we have turned a corner here and every member of the team, civilian and military, will now work behind the commander in chief in achieving the success that we need to achieve in afghanistan. and after the announcements of today, i feel we will achieve that in afghanistan. >> this is a sad day in many ways because a good man, general mcchrystal's career is probably
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over. but our commander in chief had no other choice. i've been a military over mr. for most of my life and there are lines that you cannot cross. it was poor judgment but it was beyond poor judgment. it made it virtually impossible for the general to stay in his job, and as commander in chief, president obama did the right thing to date by accepting his resignation. and that is sad. we lost a good general. but the president had no other choice because to keep him there was a blur the line that serve this country for a long period of time. those wearing the uniform have the obligation to keep our opinion to ourselves when it comes to civil-military relationship. david petreaus is our best hope. if things do not change, nobody can pull it out.
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we're not doing as well as i would like. there is uneven progress. the relationship between the civilian leadership and president karzai has to be changed and repaired. this is the chance to start over. i would urge the president to look at this as a chance to put new people on the ground without old baggage. if we do not change quickly, we're going to lose a war we cannot afford to lose. do i think that we can win? yes, america can win. if america loses, it is a nightmare that none of us will be a will to bear for long. the july 2011 policy is confusing. it undercuts the war effort. it empowers our enemy. it confuses our friends and i think it needs to be re- evaluated. general petreaus said in our hearing that he believed he had the ability to go to the
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president in july 2011 or earlier and say, mr. president, think that -- things are such its troops. he told us he felt like he had the ability to make that recommendation. my question for the country is, will the president listened to the recommendation? i would urge the president to keep on the table the ability to hear the general out and that the general recommended we cannot withdraw, keep that as an option. but the president says, no matter what general petreaus may recommend, we're going to leave in july 2011, we will lose this war. >> you did not use the same words. there's frustration with the civilian leadership. >> i think some of the comments that were made -- and attributed
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to general mcchrystal and to members of his staff were inappropriate. there is a role for the military in our society. that role is that you not only obeys soap -- civilian leadership but you respect civilian leadership. and if you do not, then you resign. that is the way our society and that is the relationship particularly between the commander in chief and the military leadership. this is authenticated by harry truman's firing of general macarthur long time ago. yes, there is discontent -- but let me say, there is a lack of coordination and teamwork between military and civilian sites, but that the embassy and other areas, and that needs to be repaired. i think that is three clear. it is not the role of the military to make those comments.
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they are to except the chain of command. >> that article -- is important and the president got this point in what he said today -- let me put it this way. the president went through a thorough review of afghanistan last fall. on december 1, he announced our policy. there were clearly differing camps within the administration about what the president should do in afghanistan. but the president is the elected leader. he is the commander in chief. he decided in december and announced in west point that is of vital national security interest of the united states to win in afghanistan. and to do so by employing the same counter insurgency strategy that general petreaus road and implemented for iraq. i'm afraid that there may be some in the administration who
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never fully accepted that decision by the president. they have continued by other means to suggest different policy. i think the president said very clearly, everybody in my administration has to get with the program. it is the program and the strategy and the commitment to victory in afghanistan that the president announced on december 1. >> it was not just the military. according to our recent book, the fis president said a whole lot of people are coming out in 2011, you can bet on it. that is not based on conditions. that is an assertion by the vice-president of the united states. that is what concerns us. >> and you have the secretary of defense saying, no way. that is not good when you have the leaders in the administration seeming to say different things. i don't know whether the vice
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president affirmed that ". >> when you say it's time to start over, it is time for eikenberry to go? >> i will leave that up to the president. i want him to believe that he made the right decision by sending more troops and we are at a pivotal government -- pivotal point right now. the karzai government is the government of afghanistan. from my observation, not just from the rolling stone article, but there's a lot of attention that makes it very hard to move forward in a coherent fashion. and it comes to what the president had to back, -- had to act, the statements of the general were not only outside the norm, but they've put into question military insubordination of civilian
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control. letting a reporter from the rolling stone all your round is the first question. [laughter] and these officers that are named, i understand you were warriors and you have been shot at in your brain. but the language used, the cavalier attitude, the disrespect -- even though you may have disagreements -- they were unacceptable. this is a low point for the armed forces in a very long time and i'm glad the president made this decision. and some other officers need to be looked out and they need to be replaced. >> some people are saying that petreaus is being set up for failure.
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>> i think our position is and we have repeated it on many occasions that we have the right strategy. we cannot allow that strategy to be undercut by a firm date for withdrawal which sends the message to our friends and allies and enemies alike that we're not there to we have a successful implementation of the strategy. >> you have to remember, the strategy that we're following in afghanistan is general petreaus is and general mcchrystal's strategy. you have to give them some latitude to look at that, add this are that. >> are you convinced that the president is committed to doing what is necessary to make that strategy work?
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given the pressure of a timetable for withdrawal, and given the fact that we talk so much about afghanistan. >> i believe that the president is committed to success. whether they have the proper policy, which means the commitment to begin a withdrawal in the middle of next year regardless of the conditions on the ground, i think that is a flawed policy. but the strategy is not undercut by that, i think there's a strategy that we can have a great deal of confidence in. >> i am not questioning the president's motives. he understands the consequences of failure in afghanistan. is of vital national security interest in the net -- of the united states to win. he has said that. the problem is the policy enabling us to win. when the taliban sense around leaflets quoting members of the administration and suggesting to people in afghanistan after
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july, the americans are going to leave here, this enemy is seizing on this instance -- this inconsistency and uncertainty, and no matter how well motivated he may be, the policy is going to fail because the enemy is emboldened and our friends are uncertain, and as john mccain says a million times over, you, not sound an uncertain trumpet that is my concern. the policy is going to lease -- lead to a freezing of momentum, people coming our way who are on the fence, and it will give this enemy a sense of purpose that they would not have. >> can we win win -- in afghanistan with karzai as president or to market an absolutely. his behavior has to do with his uncertainty with the length of
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commitment on the part of the united states of america. [unintelligible] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> good afternoon, everybody. i support president obama's decision to accept general mcchrystal's resignation. general mcchrystal has made significant contributions to our nation's security during his long and very distinguished career in uniform, but we just simply cannot afford distractions of this kind in the middle of war. it has been clear in the last few days that there is no
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disagreement over policy between general mcchrystal and the civilian leadership in the administration. and that is important. no disagreement over personnel and personality -- not a disagreement over policy. for many reasons, general petreaus is a solid choice to take over in afghanistan. he provides strength and he provides continuity. indeed, he was the architect of the counterinsurgency strategy. he literally wrote the book to set that strategy out. general petreaus also agrees both key parts of the administration's policy. he supported additional troops be surged into afghanistan by the end of the summer, and he supports the policy in the
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decision of the commander in chief that there will be reductions in our troop levels in afghanistan beginning july 2011, and he supports this because it is an essential way of getting the afghans to focus on the need to transition to them the responsibility for their own security. general petreaus made clear last week before the senate armed services committee his agreement with that policy and he also made clear then and reiterated to me this afternoon in my office, that what would be conditions-based is not whether reductions begin in july 2011, but the pace of those reductions. the timing of the confirmation
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hearing on general petreaus nomination will be no later than next tuesday. we're going to try to make it as quickly as we possibly can. i talked to general petreaus about that this afternoon and he said that would be fine if they could be held later -- no later than next tuesday. >> senator john mccain said that the senate -- the civilian leadership and call was dysfunctional -- in kabul was a dysfunctional. should the president consider replacing ambassador eikenberry greshem marty >> i don't think we should be a killing on a kind of change. one chain -- speculating on that kind of a change. one change a day is enough.
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the afghan civilian leadership for our civilian leadership? i don't think it is dysfunctional. i think there has been disagreement which was well known before that article. it was between general mcchrystal and ambassador, ambassador eikenberry. i think that was well known before that. .
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i have not heard any of those kind of comments from my colleagues. these events happened. >> [inaudible] given the differences between iraq and afghanistan. >> i would give you two or three reasons.
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we would like to see if he can carry the strategy of this is a counter insurgency strategy. this kind of experience and strength is critically important. the thing we would want the least is for their two p 41
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general to leave without the next one being ready to take over. >> there were complimentary comments made about the president's decision to place david petraeus. will the taliban simply wait this out? how old do you respond? >> that is not new. the republicans have opposed the setting of that date. general mccrystal and david petraeus and secretary gates have supported that. the only way that you can get the afghan people to focus on the needs to take responsibility for the security of their own country if they understand that this is not an open ended commitment. there is a long-term commitment to afghanistan.
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this is not an open ended commitment. this is not if you will continue year after year to rely on american troops to provide you with the principal source of your security. the army in afghanistan is the most respected institution in afghanistan. this is not true with the police or the government. this is true with the army. there is no reason given the size and percentage of that army that is able to take the lead according to anyone's analysis that they should not be in the lead. i have made that point repeatedly and from the beginning because i was not even favoring a surge in troops, i felt that we should be sending in equipment and trainers and to get the army to be the one to do the training. we will support troops and tried
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to do everything we can to have this policy succeed. the only way we can succeed is 50 afghans understand the principal responsibility is there is and not ours. is there's -- is their responsibility and not ours. according to the head of the training effort in afghanistan, there was an awareness when the president set that date to begin reduction of our troops. there was an awareness in the afghan leadership that they had better get going and there is an increase and a surge in recruitment in the afghan army according to the general. he said the reason is the leaders understood that this is
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not open-ended. they got on the phone and they started to work all those different ways in which they could stimulate recruitment and recruitment jumps dramatically in the army. we pressed the general on this, are you saying that these young men were listening to this speech in west point? my point is that the leaders of afghanistan got the point that they had better get moving and they did and does have an impact in terms of recruitment. it is very important that we have a long-term commitment. the principal source of the community is the presence of american troops.
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this is critical that you have a commander who supports that policy and you do with general petraeus and general mccrystal to i asked whether it was his own personal opinion that that was the correct policy, not that he supported it but that he agreed with it. what happens if you changed your mind? it would be the obligation to tell the president's that they changed their mind. that is not where secretary gates is and has been. nothing is etched in stone. the president could change his mind.
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those are what we have seen, the policies which are critically important. conditions on the ground could dictate a change in july. >> can the president change his mind. this is a decision, not a goal.
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the president can make a decision and changes mine -- change his mind. that is the decision, that is the order. i think it is critically important. the republicans had never agreed with that because they cannot accept what i believe which is the reality which is the only way we will succeed in afghanistan is if the afghans take responsibility for their responsibility because the
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people of afghanistan respect their army and most of us -- most of them do not want us there. a group of elders told us this when we were sitting in a dusty room, i asked them, what do you want us to do? they said, we want you to train our army and a leaf. that is what they want. >> there was a hearing in the armed services committee. how long do you think the confirmation hearing will last? >> hopefully, we will have this
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no later than tuesday. >> what are the things would you like to address. >> there's a greater chance of success if the people see this as their army that is controlled. this is the army that has taken the lead against the taliban. i have been pressing our
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generals and i have pressed general petraeus last week on this issue. this is something i have been focused on right from the beginning. that would be the main point that i will be talking about. we will again want to hear his statement relative to the strategy involved. the troops going in, when will they be completely in. anything they can share on the plans for the capital. -- for canada arthe more units n army in the lead, the better chance of success we have with the acceptance by the people and against the taliban. >> the debate has been from decenrecent date sent.
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-- today sthe caller: dates. the >> ou>> our troops are owed the best support, the best training, the best advice that we can possibly give. hopefully this will lead to success. they are entitled to that and i have no problem with that kind of debate next week as i did not have a problem last week. i think we owe that to our troops and they expect it. they know the american people support this. this is a huge difference from vietnam. the troops know that the
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american people support them and the differences on policy will be argued, they have no problem whatsoever. we all know general petraeus, he sits in front of us. we all know him. i don't think there would be anyone who would pull up a vote until i got a question.
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>> i know that mccain wanted to do this this week. is there any chance that that will happen? >> this is a matter of putting the logistics' in place and making sure that we have adequate attendance, anyone who would like to ask questions in advance is given at least 24 hours or 48 hours in advance. i will insist on that although traditionally we have advanced questions. this is a purely logistical issue. they said that to do this
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tuesday or before would be in question. this will be adequate as well. >> did you get any sense about the assignments and held unexpected it is? >> he feels a very important sense of duty. i did not want to probe. i don't think that he has a chance to do it.
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he knew what the answer would be as well. he was responding this as a sense of duty and then opportunity. as comfortable as he is with the policy, he responded very positively. >> what would be the -- we will do it until monday.
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>> learn more about general mccrystal, you can watch his 20 c-span appearances with the c- span video library which is free on your computer any time. >> now a hearing with general david petraeus, currently the head of central command and with whom -- and who president obama named as a replacement for general mccrystal. as the committee resumes its hearing on the progress in afghanistan.
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undersector flournoy and general petraeus, let me reiterate this committee's great appreciation for your service, the sacrifices that you both and your families make, along the way. the demands of your positions are great. we carry out your duties professionally, and with excellence, so thanks to you both. general petraeus, you were more than willing, and more than able, to proceed yesterday morning. it was my abundance of caution that led me to adjourn the proceedings until this morning. before i turn to senator mccain, who still has a bit of his time remaining, i understand tha general petraeus has a short statement. >> well, thanks, mr. chairman, senator mccain, members of the committee. again, thank you for the opportunity for a redo hearing after i demonstrated yesterday the importance of following my first platoon sergeant's orders 35 years ago, to always stay hydrated.
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i'll try to remember that in the future. fact my team provided me this nifty camel back to help me remember it. i pointed out that the committee provides water, and i do thank the committee, as well, for the chocolate chip cookies that were in the anteroom before the session. if i could,r. chairman, before the questioning resumes, i'd like to ensure that my answers to questions by you and senator mcin on the july 2011 date are very clear. as i noted yesterday, i did support and agree at the end of the president's decision-making process last fall with the july 2011 date described by the president as the point at which a process begins to transition security tasks to afghan forces at a rate to be determined by conditions at the time. i also agreed with july 2011 as the date at which a responsible draw down of the sge forces is scheduled to begin at a rate,
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again, to be determined by the conditions at the time. as i noted yesterday, i did believe there was value in sending a message of urgency, july 2011, as well as the message the president was sending of commitment. that the additional substantial numbers of forces. but it is important that july 2011 be seen for what it is. the date when a process begins, based on conditions. not the de when the u.s. heads for the exits. moreover, my agreement with the president's decisions was based on projections of conditions in july 2011, and needless to say, we're doing all that is humanly possible to achieve those conditions, and we appreciate the resources provided by coogress to enable us to do that. of course, we willlso conct rigorous assessments throught the year, and as we get closer to next summer, as we do periodically in any event, to determine where adjustments in our strategy are needed.
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and, as july 2011 approaches i will provide my best military advice to the secretary, and to the president, on how i believe we should proceed based on the conditions at that time, and i will then support the president's decision. providing one's forthright advice is a sacred obligation military leaders have to our men and women in uniform, and i know that that is what the president expects, and wants his military leaders to pvide, as well. beyond that, mr. chairman, in response to some of your questions yesterday, i want to be very clear, as well, that i fully recognize the importance of afghan security forces leading in operations. indeed, the formation of the nato training mission in afghanistan, the many initiatives it is pursuing, and the vastly increased partnering ordered by general mcchrystal are intended to help the afghan forces achieve the capability to takehe lead in operations. to that end, i think we should note that afghan forces are in
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the lead in kabul and in a number of other areas and missions. and they are very much in the fight throughout the country. so much so that their losses are typically several times u.s. losses. in short, our afghan comrades on the ground are indeed sacrificing enormously for their country, as are, of course, our troopers, and those of our isaf partner nations. thank you. >> well, thank you very much, general. and i am glad to hear of your support for that july 2011 beginning of u.s. troop reduction decision. since i continue to strongly believe that it is essential for success in afghanistan for everyone to understand the urgency for the afghans to take responsibility for their own security. now, this morning, after calling upon senator mccain to complete his questions, i'm going to be calling on senators for
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questions in the early bird order that was established yesterday morning, as i believe that we notified our -- all of our members' offices yesterday afternoon. senator mccain? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and we were interrupted probably at the most important point of my comments yesterday, general pet rayious, when i said i considered you one of america's greatest heroes. in case you missed that, i'll repeat it. >> it was overwhelming, sir. >> i still believe that with all my heart. and i appreciate the statement you just made, general petraeus, and i think it'sery helpful and i hope that it's heard in the oval office and in the vice president's office. because your statement seems to contradict what the president of the united states continues to say, what his spokesperson said
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that july of 2011 was, quote, etched in stone. that, continues administration officials to be saying that july 2011 will begin the withdrawal. according to what is probably trash journalism, vice press biden said in july of 2011, you're going to see a whole lot of people moving out, bet on it. so, it would be very helpful. your sentiments were shared by the president, the vice president, the president's national security adviser, and others. and right now, general, we are sounding an uncertain trumpet. to our friends, and our enemies. they believe that we are leaving as of july 2011. i could relate to you anecdotes all the way down to the tribal
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chiefton level in afghanistan. and they -- it seems to me that organizations and countries and leaders in the region are accommodating to vat eventuality and that does not bode well for success in afghanistan. i guess it's more than a comment that i made -- an elaboration of the comment i made yesterday. if we sound an uncertain trumpet, not many will follow. and that's what's being sounded now. and that's one of the reasons why we see some of the events taking place that are in the region. not just confined to afghanistan. so i know that i've used up most of my time as chairman,aybe general petraeus would like to respond. >> senator, first of all, i think july 2011 is etched in stone, but, as i tried to
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explain it there as a date at which a process begins, that is based on conditions, and that i think was explained clearly at the speech at west point by the president, which i was privileged to attend. beyond that, as i said yesterday, i don't think it's productive, obviously, to discuss journalistics accounts of oval office conversations based on second and thirhand sources. other than to say that i think it is important tt folks should know that those are not a complete account. but i will leave it right there. what i have tried to explained today is my understanding of what july 2011 means. and how it is important, again, that people do realize, especially our partners, especially our comrades in arms in afghanistan, and in the region, that that is not the date when we look for the door, and try to turn off the light, but rather a date at which a press begins. and if i could, i'd like to ask the undersecretary, perhaps, if
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she wanted to provide some insights, having participated in the process, as well. >> thank y very much. i think general petraeus has characterized the da accurately. it is an inflection point. it is a point at which the end of the surge will be marked, and a process of transition that is conditions-based will begin. the president was very careful not to set a detailed time line of how many troops will come out at what point in time because he believes in a conditions-based process. and he's said that over and over again. on the issue of whether or not afghans understand our commitment, i think one of the things that we did in the strategic dialogue we had recently with president karzai and 14 members of his cabinet was to focus on the long-term commitment of this country. to the afghan people and to
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afghanistan's development. we talked about long-term security assistance, long-term commitment to build capacity, governance, development, and i think that everyone that walked away from that with no questions in their mind about the death, and enduring nature of the u.s. commitment to afghanistan. so i think that -- that has to be important context in which this conversation ppens. >> thank you, madam secretary. we don't live in a vacuum here. i had conversatio with him, as well. i've had conversations with leaders throughout afghanistan and the region, and that's not what they're telling me. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator mccain. senator lieberman? thanks, mr. president, and welcome back, general. it's great to see you looking good again. your recovery time was very impressive yesterday. i thought it was at world cup levels. and the coach may want to add you to the team roster before slovenia later in the week. i thank you both for your service and your leadership.
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i want to say at the outset that as you both said yesterday in your opening statement, in previous appearaes before our committee, you've made clear that things would get worse before they got better in afghanistan. and unfortunately, that's exactly where we are now. but to me the important point here, and i want to go back to that december 1st speech by president obama at west point, we're talking about the deadline parts of it. i want to come back to that in a minute. but the president made a very strong case there, expressing his decision that the outcome of the war in afghanistan was a vital national security interest of the united states, and if it -- if it went badly, the consequences for our security, american security, were disastrous. and to me, that's the -- that's
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the most important point. we kno from previous experience that -- that counterinsurgencies take ti. i tnk the key now is to make sure that we've got the right strategy, that it's sufficiently resourced, executed with decisive force. and as important as anything else, that we give our war fighters, and the state department personnel on the ground, the time and patience to achieve the strategic national goal that we have in succeeding en in ghanistan. and that's -- i say that to us here in congress, as well as to the american people. general petraeus, i think an important part of that is the clarification you made just now about what the july 2011 date means. it's not a deadline for
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withdrawal. it's not a deadline by which we're going to pick up and go out. it's a goal. and i wanted to stress, as you did very clearly here today, g e may have read, a what my dear friend and colleague from arizona has described as trash journalism, or maybe trash journalism, the fact is that at happens on the ground -- what happens on the ground, at that time will determine whether we with it draw any troops from afghanistan in july of 2011. obviously we hope we'll be able to. i believe that it's important for the president to make that clear, at some point soon, because notwithstanding all the clarifications that followed from him, and secretary gates, secretary clinton, the two of you, and our conversations with people in the region, that date
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is being read as a date at which the united states is going to begin to pull out, regardless of what's happening on the ground. so, thank you for your clarification of that this morning. secondly, i want to ask this question. and some of us on the committee we talking about it afterwards. it's been a run of bad reporting fromfghanistan over the last couple of weeks. marines took marja but the taliban isighting back. there's been beheadings, and targeted assassinations of people who worked with us. general mcchrystal announced last friday that the offensive in kandahar is now being delayed. and yet the reports that you gave in your opening statements yesterday were quite upbeat about what's happening in afghanistan. and i fear there's a gap between the tone and the message that you gave us yesterday, and what
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we are reading in t media about what's happening. and i wanted to ask you, address yourse to that gap, because that gap can begin to erode the support that you need from members of congress and the american people in the months ahead. >> senator, i think you've raised a very important point. and that is the importance of having measured expectations. the conduct of a counterinsurgency operation is a roller coaster experience. there are setbacks,s well as areas of progress or successes. it is -- it is truly an up and down, when you're living it, when you're doing it. even from afar, frankly. but the trajectory, in my view, has generally been upward, despite the tough losses, despite the setbacks.
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when i appeared before you some months ago for the posture hearing, a coalition soldier could not have set foot in marjah. i did that just, i guess it was a month and a half ago with the district governor. there wasn't a district governor at that time. there is gradually, again, the expansion of government activities, in the form of schools, in the form of the assistance to revive markets. and in the form, even of nascent judicial systems, if you will, certainly that are tied in to local organizing structures, as well, which is very important. we did the same in nadi ali. in kandahar, bought bread in the market down there. yes, i had security around me, but yes i had hundreds of afghans around me, as well, and bought the bread directly from them. sat there, chatted with them while we ate it. again, ts is an up and down
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process. and that defines the experience of counterinsurgency. where there's no hill that you can take and plant the flag, and then go home to a victory parade. rather, progress is almost the absence of something. i remember in iraq, when all of a sudden i realized we were making progress, it was, we were hearing less about a certain activity. say a car bomb or a suicide attack. and all of a sudden we had expanded our forces into an area. the iraqi forces were starting to stand up in certain areas, as is the case, again, in certain areas of afghanistan. so i think it is, again, essential that we realize the challenges in this kind of endeavor. it is also essentialhat it is both the undersecretary and i noted, that people do realize there has been progress. but tre clearly have also been setbacks. beyond that, if i could just underscore what you said about the designation as a vital
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national security interest. for one who taught international relations for a period, that is a code word. that is a sign of commitment. that's a rhetorical statement that means an enormous amount, and again, i appreciate your mentioning that. because it does highlight what i was discussing earlier. >> did you want to add something, secretary? >> i would agree with what general petraeus said about counterinsurgency campaigns being a roller coaster ride. but the overall troj ektry is moving in the right direction. the road is going to be hard, there are going to be times when we take one step back and we'll take two steps forward. the one thing i wanted to give as an example is i do think that the reporting on the so-called delay in the kandahar campaign has been overplayed. we talked a lot yesterday about the importance of afghans taking the lead. i think we owe general mcchrystal a degree of -- a
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great degree of operational flexibility. what's happening in kandahar is he's taking more time to shape the operation. the campaign's already begun. the shaping is happening now. and the shura that president karzai conducted on sunday was very important for him to step up and take the lead, the ownership, of what's going to happen in kandahar. and so, if that means delaying some aspects by a little bit of time to make sure that that afghan ownership and leadership is in place, then, you know, we should all be supporting that. and that is not any sign of failure at l. it's a sig of good counterinsurgey strategy. >> thank you both. >> if i could, senator, we probably should distribute what was pubshed as president karzai's talking points for the kandahar shura. because it really makes a numbee of these points, and this is a president who is acting as a commander in chief.
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>> that would be very important, thank you. >> thank you senator lieberman. senator imhoff? >> i thankou mr. chairman. madam secretary, just as a suggestion, i share the concern of both of the previous questioners about the exit strategy, about a date certain, and i was relieved when the president made his speech, i go es it was -- anyway, just as we have done in iraq, we will execute this transition, responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground. well, that's a position that i wanted him to take, and i was relieved to hear that. the problem is i've only heard it once. i asked staff the meeting yesterday to go back and check and see if they've seen any emphasis on that by the president. i would recommend that that be done. that he keep saying that,nd that administration does it, and
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certainly general petraeus and others. because that clarifies it, and makes it clear. but without that, only having said it once, i think there's a little bit of a problem there. let me ask you a question general petraeus. and you've heard me talk about this before. and you know that i have a very strong feeling about the program. you've tked about it in your opening comments. we had the circ program in the cinchate that came from the president was at $1.3 billion. and this comprised of $200 million in iq and $1.1 billion in circ. this committee and i respect them for doing what they thought was the right thing, i disagree with it, has lowered that so that it takes the amount that goes to afghanistan from $1.1 billion down to $800 million. now i'd like to ask you, your feeling about that, and how
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valuable is the prram? and how would you use it? then the second part of that question is, you had said this, madam secretary, that the mcchrystal needs more operational flexibility. i think we maybe need that in the circ program. in talking in my last trip over there, what needs are there that can come from the program, something that can be done fast would be power stations, grid, dam projects, however this has restrictions due to the statu so the money can't necessarily be spent on this type of projects. so the second part of the question would b do we need to change the language, either one of you, and i'd say basically you general petraeus, to be able accomplish these things that peeple in the field told me we should be spending it on. >> senator, thanks for that. first of all, the president actually has described what you've talked -- what you've quoted him on in a number of different occasions.
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and i'd come back to the west point speech in particular, where these very important words responsible draw down were used. that, just almost like vital national interests, that has been a code word for those of us who went through the iraq policy review at the end of which the present announced the responsibility drawdown, and as you'll recall lengthened the time over that which was expected earlier. and we are on the process of doing that and touch wood, we think this is -- it is on track. and it will be at the 50,000 number by the end of august, by the way. with respect to the circ for afghanistan we do need the full amount. it is very valuable. we now as i mentioned in my opening statement yesterday, have the inputs just about right. certainly another 9,000 troopers to get on the ground and some of our nato partners, as well. but as we get everybody in position, as we get them out performing their tasks and
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trying to wrest the initiative from the taliban, take away their sanctuaries and capitalize on the serve is critical to that process. now, someone my ask well how come the execution rate, the obligation rate this year so far is low. in part because we're jus building up, still, again. we actually are doing many more projects, actually lower cost is another issue. but beyond that, we do, indeed, have projects that are stacked up right now. we just have submitted them, in fact, and osd is working on this. and i'll let the secretary talk about these projects for electricification, in particularly, in the kandahar greater regional command south and regional command east eas. >> senator, let me just echo, we think that circ is a critical counterinsurgency tool. we would urge the economity to
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consider restorg the funding that was removed. in the specific case of the electrical projects in ndahar. it's a very critical element of the fight. we think it directly impacts the population that we're trying to protect and win over to support, the isaf and the afghan government. therojects have been developed in close coordination with a.i.d., with a bridging strategy that would eventually hand off to longer-term development efforts. centcom has submitted these proposals. they're being reviewed quickly in the office of the secretary of defense and we'll be making a recommendation to the secretary very shortly. we do not judge at this point that the language needs to be changed. our reading of the language and those of our lawyers, our trusty lawyers, suggest that the flexibility is there to do this ki of thing. >> okay. we're running out of time here. i would only sugge that this is information i got from the field that there are things that we could use that we are restricted from using, so perhaps for the record, you
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could elaborate a little bit, both of you, on that, and maybe send us something. i'm running out of time here. let me just mention one of the things that is -- i have a hard time answering when i talk to pele. they talk about, well the surge was successful in iraq. the surge, however, in iraq, we had ended up wit close to 165,000 troops. in a period of time of 18 months. now we're looking at a surge that might be about 100,000 troops, and talking about nine months. now, considering that afghanistan is about twice the si of iraq, this disparity is hard for me to describe to people why this number will work in afghanistan when it took so much more in iraq. general petraeus, any thoughts i can share with these people? >> i do, senator. thank you. first of all with respect on the timing of the actual surge in iraq, we had all of the surge forces on the ground by end of
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june, july i therend we actually began to draw down of the first brigade in december. we then did lengthen it out over the course of the next spring, but in this case we will actually have all of our u.s. surge forces, all of our tactical units, certainly again less the one headquarters that's not ruired until the month after august, but on the ground by the end of august. and again, the july 2011 date is the date at which the process, again, begins that would have a -- would embark on the quote responsible drawdown of the surge forces. so, that's a pretty considerable period. now, with respect to the density of forces, we've got a situation in afghanistan where there are a number of places that really don't require substantial numbers of coalition forces. and areas where, in fact, the afghans again are very much in the lead. so, this is about counterinsurgency math. we think we'll have the density.
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once we get the additiooal forces on the ground, u.s. forces, nato forces, and then as we're able to ramp up the afghan forces by about 100,000 between the period of earlier this year, and the fall of 2011. >> all righ thank you general. >> senator imhoff's comment about the importanc of the strip program i think reflects the views of every member of this committee and the reason why both the hask and the sask reduced the $1.8 billion to $800 million in afghanistan is because you're on track in afghanistan to spend only $200 million for this entire year of the billion that we appropriated last year. so for the record would you also then explain to us why the request is for $1.1 billion and why the reduction to $800 million would have a negative impact, giv the spending rate is only $200 million for the entire year? but we do, i think i can say
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that what senator imhoef says is reflective of this committee's very, very strong support for the circ program and your answer to that country would be helpful to us as we proceed during this budget. i want to thank you for imhofe for your leadership on that program. senator, udall? >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you for that clarification about circ. i think everybody on the commmttee does fully support it. good morning to both of you. general, we all on the committee understand this is an important time in afghanistan. and i think it would be useful to be able to consider president karzai a reliable partner. it's sometimes hard to understand what he says versus what he does and vice verz sa. i had a couple of questions in that regard. how do you best explain what seemingly is his material personality, one day he talks about common causes with the
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taliban and then another day goes down to kandahar and pleads residents to cooperate in the upcoming fight. and then secondly, i had a chance to get to know minister atmar and had great respect for his talent and his vision. what do you think his departure might mean for the important, maybe even crucial, police training effort? >> thanks senar. on the first question i think there are a number of explanations, if you will. first of all, perhaps political leaders occasionay differentiate their message a tiny bit, depending on who the audience might be. i think that would never happen in our own country, b i think over there that occasionally happens. second thing is, this is a tough fight. and leaders are under enormous pressure. i can tl you that having dealt
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with leaders throughout our region, and having dealt with leaders in iraq at various times who were similarly under enormous, perhaps even greater pressure, is just staggering levels of violence in iraq over the years that we were there prior to thedownturn. again, this can lead individuals at times to have outbursts or to express frustrations. and i think there's a bit of that that is understandable. now, with respect to the president accepting the resignation of the minister of -- former minister of interior, someone, indeed, that we all really knew quite well, have worked with, not just as a minister of inrior, but in two previous ministry positions, as well. and one who, again, has impressed all of us, i think the impact of the departure cannot
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be determined, needless to say, until we know who the replacement is. there are discussions going on, you should know, that coalition leaders are certainly included in those discussions. which i think is a positive feature of the process but at the end of the day, certainly this will be the decision of the president of a sovereign country. but if the candidates that we think areeunder consideration provide the ultimate next minister, then i think that the ministry will continue forward on a positive projectry. >> so you're guardedly optimistic that there will be a replacement with whom we could work and who will bring the same sort of focus and expertise? >> that's correct, senator. i would not rule out again seeing minister ottmar back in another capacity, either. >> that's heartening to hear. if i might let me move to the very fascinating report over the
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weekend that deputy undersecretary of defense paul brinkley issued on the mineral and natural resource wealth of afghanistan. it's tied to military task force, the task force f business and stability operations and you may know the chairman and i teamed up to offer an amendment in the defense authorization act that authorizes that task force to work in afghanistan. the amendment also, general, will ask for report from the dod and the state department to look at the promising sectors in afghanistan's economy, assess their capabilities of the government to generate additional revenue, to work on infrastructure needs and so on. we're hopeful this report will provide important information that will enable afghanistan to attract investment and pursue new economic opportunities. i'd trbed to hear your thoughts on the task force work, and more gerally about these economic development opportunities. and the undersecretary may want to respond, as well. >> well, first of all, if i
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could just say that deputy undersecretary paul brinkley, in the task force stability operations did phenomenal work in iraq. it was really created initially, in fact, to our request at that time, that someone try to get some business leaders back in to iraq. it was a land of extraordinary opportunity, but also at that time, a land of extraordinary violence. but you had to look out over the horizon. you had to envoice a world where the violence was reduced, and business could begin to flourish again, given the extraordinary potential that iraq has in terms of its energy resources, natural water, agriculture, and a variety of other blessings, including human capital. and he was able to bring in business leaders at a time when no business leader in his right mind would come in on his own. we flew them around, secured them, housed them, fled them and everything else. and over time, this led to some very big deals, actually. for american business, but also
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in some cases for some other businesses, as well. because we did indeed open more widely than that. but some very, very big transactions that iraq needed. in fact, this is a a time when prime minister maliki specifically was asking me as a military commander if i could get a certain corporation to re-engage after their earlier disappointing experience there. and get another one, in the electrical sector, the oil sector, gas and so forth. again deputy undersecretary brinkley did great work there. so, in fact, i encouraged, and we had help to get him in to afghanistan, we might even look a bit more broadly than that, but, in fact, it was during his process of getting acquainted with the situation on the ground in afghanistan that these geological surveys and other documents were all pulled together, and i think people realize the magnitude of the mental resources that exist in
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afghanistan. recognizing the enormous challenges to actually turning those in to wealth and income and so forth for the people, revenue. but nonetheless, recognizing extraordinary potential that is there. it has some of the world's last remaining superdeposits or some other terms, certainly, for environment, lithium, tin, timber, gemstones. it has some coal, it has some natural gas and oil. so, again,hey're not super desits. but it has extraordinary potential. and again, helping business find its way to that in partnership with the military that is trying to create the security foundation on which they can build and operate i think is a very important initiative and i appreciate the committee's support for that particular initiative. that's one of the areas in which we've learned huge lessons in the context of counterinsurgency erations in the last five years or so. >> let me just add that i think
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that what the picture that's pointed from the u.s. geological survey that was done, which is only a parpgs survey, that under mr. brinkley's sponsorship, really paints a brighter economic picture for afghanistan midterm and long-term. and it creates at least the prospect of a much more sustainable economy that can actually support some of the capabilities that we are putting in place today, like the armed forces, another government and economic capacity. it also shines a spotlight on the importance ofome of our capacity building efforts, particularly with the ministry of mines. which is under new leadership that seems very capable and competent. and we are working very closely with them to try to build their capacity so that this information informs their planning and think sort of get off to the right -- on the right
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foot in terms of pursuing some of these opportunities, working with businesses, private sector companies from various -- from around the world. so we think this is a bright spot on the horizon, as general petraeus said, it's going to take a lot of time and effort to build the capacity, and the sort of legal structures and so forth to really take full advantage of this. but we're working along those lines. >> thank you for that aboration. >> thank you very much senator. thank you for your leadership on this very, very important part of the afghan picture, essential that leadership be there, we're all grateful to you for it. senator brown? >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, it's good to see you. in such chipper shape today. and, a lot of cookies back there, which i hope you partaken a couple. when we met in afghanistan, actually, i was aware, we were
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briefed, in fact, of the mineral and oil and other deposits and it became apparent to me that for one, they have a problem how to get everything out of the earth, one. number two, how to security it and get it from point "a" to point "b." and number three how to ensure that the corruption that we've seen in afghanist actually keeps the money in country and has it flow down to the individual citizens. so the challenges, madam secretary, and general, obviously seem great. yes, there is a bright spot, but it also appears to be, how do we get from point "a" to point "b"? do you see a role with the military in anything aside from securing, or what do you think general, in that regard? >> again, the security foundation is the essential component to all of this. without that you can't build the legal regime that's required. you can't combat the corruption that creeps in to these kinds of activities. so it is essential in that regard. we do, indeed, provide an
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important supporting role to those like the task force for stability operations, a.i.d., some international and nongovernmental organizations, that are also trying to help afghanistan with these. and so in that sense, we are an enabler for them in certain respects, as well. >> mr. chairman, i have a couple other hearings but i'm going to just ask two more questions and then turn it back, the remainder of any time i have. sir, one of the things we also noted and i'm a subcommittee chr on afghan contracting issues with the afghan police and the like, what's your involvement, or military's involvement in curtailing the %%vel of corruption with the security forces in afghanistan? any news to report on that? >> there is, senator, actually. in fact, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff a i have pushed at general mcchrystal's request the establishment of a task force, led by two-star navy
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admiral who, in fact, she was the joint contracting command, iraq commander when i was the commander in iraq, now she has oneore star. she is going to head a task force that will go in and augment the contracting command that helps in iraq. that oversees this effort in iraq -- or in afghanistan. and then gets at who are not only the suontractors, but the subcontractors to the subcontractors. literally, where is the money going? and is it all above board? and that's a hugely important component of dealing, again, . . . nd a variety of other challenges that cause issues for afghanistan. >> because as you know, it's $6 billion and counting with many more billions forthcoming. and then on the final note, mr. chairman, what type of cooperation are we getting from pakistan with regarding, you know, regarding the -- some of
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the terroris activities that the taliban and t like that we're experiencing on the cross-border situations? >> pakistan has over the course of the last year, senator, conducted impressive counterinsurgency operations against thetalibani, pakistani taliban and some of its affiates in the former northwest province in eastern south waziristan and currently in orexi. there is no question that this is an organization primarily threatens them, although it is linked to the would-be times square bomber. so there is an external component to this that has emerged. there clearly are other extremist elements that ttp has symbiotic relationships with. among them, certainly al qaeda, the hakani network, the afghan taliban and a number of others that do have sanctuaries in
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various parts of the border region of afghanistan. in some cases, the pakistani military has dealt with them as part of securing lines of communication for us and for themselves in their fight against the extremists that are threatening their rit of governance. in some cases there is clearly more work that needs to be done. general mcchrystal, admiral mullen and i have met with general kiani in a recent meeting. we have shared information with him about links of the leadership of the hakani network located in north waziristan that had a -- that clearly commanded controlled the operation against bagram air base and the attack in kabul among others. anagain, the challenge for the pakistani military, because i think it is important again to note what they have done over the course of the last year because it is significant, the challenge is a situation which they have a lot of short sticks
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an a lot of hornets nests and they have to figure out how to consolidate those to get through -- they've done good clrance operations. they've got to get further along in the hold, build and transition phases as well so that they can deal with more and more. they do realize, i believe, senator, that you cannot allow poisonous snakes to build a nest in your backyard with the understanding that those snakes will only bite the neighbor's kids. because sooner or later, they turn around and bite your kids. and i think that realization has grown during this whole period of their experience with the ttp and its affiliates. and as they recognize again what secretary gates terms a symbiotic relationship with the other extremist elements. they are all related. >> thank you for that very thorough answer, general. i appreciate it. thank you, mr.chairman. >> thank you, senator brown. and thank you for raising the issue of the security contractors. you know that -- as you know,
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the committees, the middle of a year-long investigation into these activities or the private contractors, not only because of some of the problems that have been created by them, but also because of the corruption issue which you raise and we're grateful for your bringing this to this committee's attention again. but also because they are a drain on the armed forces and waxma>> a senate hearing on chas at the agency that oversees offshore drilling regulations. that is followed by president obama announcement of the removal of general mcchrystal as commander in afghanistan. >> next week, watch the confirmation hearings for supreme court nominee elena kagan. like, starting monday at 12:30 p.m.. watch replace of each day's
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hearing every night on c-span2. >> our public affairs content is available on television, radio, an online, and you can also connect with us on twitter, facebook, and youtube, and sign up for scheduled alert e-mail's at >> bp has removed a containment cab over its leaking well in the gulf after remote-control vehicle collided with it. coast guard admiral thad allen spoke with reporters about the operation earlier today. the cap had been collecting thousands of barrels from the well each day. this is 20 minutes.
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>> operator, we are ready to begin. >> thathe morning, everyone. for today's operational update, admiral allen will be joined by jordan barrett. just a couple of ground rules. following the admirals' comments, we will have 10 minutes of questions from the phone, as usual and then possibly 10 minutes of questions from the room. at this time i would like to turn over to admiral allen. >> thank you. good afternoon. a couple of developments to update you on, but first of all,
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as of midnight last night, we were able to produce 27,097 girls, which is a new high for us. accommodation -- 27,097 barrels. natural gas and oil of 10,000 four hundred 29 barrels. we did have an incident earlier today where they noticed there was some kind of gas rising through the vent that carries warm water down that prohibits hydrates from forming. over and -- from an overabundance of caution, the discovered enterprise remove the containment cap and moving away until they can assess the condition. they indicated that the problem was remotely operated vehicle that had been around the lower marine riser package that bob into one of those jets, allowing the excess oil to come out. the close it, creating pressure and the pressure up the water
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been. there are noohydrates in the containment cap, they will attempt to reinstall it later today. if there are high bridge, they will have to rerun the pipeline and it would -- it will take considerabll longer. as i told you in the last couple of days, we arein the process of installing freestanding riser pipes allowing us to increase production as we move into the month of july. the first freestanding riser pipe has been installed. they are testing a pressure release today and looking at putting an enduring system down. we are looking at potentially next tuesday bringing an additional production vessel on line. that is not withstanding removal of the containment cap today for the issue i just talked about. on a more somber note, we had two deaths reported on people who are involved in this response earlier today. one was an accident regarding a swimming event and the other was a special operator in
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mississippi. we know this is a devastating thing to happen and we know the gulf shores police department is following up. i am pleased to present a coke presenter, and -- co-presenter. we have had a number of questions over worker safety and exposure of workers to various types of hazards out there. i thought it would be informative for everyone to hear from the source about what we are doing together. a few weeks ago we signed an mou to lay out how we would work together moving forward. i would like to introduce him right now. >> thank you, admiral. i am going to talk about what osha has been doing and how we have been working with the national incident command and other agencies to protect workers who are cleaning up the oil spill, bowl all land and at
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sea. osha has been involved in protecting workers on this oil spill since the last week of april, since we immediately anticipated that workers were going to be mobilized to work on the cleanup and would possibly be exposed to a number of health and safety hazards. osha personnel were deployed to the gulf last week of april. we have had a presence that every staging area, louisiana, mississippi, alabama, and florida. we are doing air monitoring, air sampling, and have also been on the vessels of opportunity, observing health and safety conditions there, doing air sampling as well. we have almost 150 people in the gulf area, 25 of whom are assigned 100% of their time to the gulf clean-up operation, and we are bringing in a couple dozen more as well. we have also been involved from the beginning with bp and the incident command on the kind of training the workers will need. we have been preparing and
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working with other groups to prepare educational materials in a variety of languages, english, spanish, vietnamese. we have been aggressively ensuring that bp, the contractors, and everyone working down there are complying with health and safety standards and working conditions. including being supplied with the appropriate personal protective equipment including gloves, coveralls, and respirators in certain cases. we have been taking samples of worker chemical exposures on the beaches and in the swamps, on the boats, and everywhere the workers are. we can discuss this more, but we have found no exposure levels to any chemicals that are of any concern. the main problem we have been seeing and the main concern for worker health and safety has to do with heat. people working in very high keep conditions. very often they are working
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with chemical protective suits, gloves, which exacerbates the heat problem. we have had a number of incidents including some hospitalizations, so we are very concerned about that, in conjunction with fatigue problems and the long hours people working. when we find problems, we are bringing them up immediately with bp and the contractors and the joint incident command. we have had really no problems with employers down their complying with health and safety standards and addressing any of the issues we have raised. earlier in the process we had a few road bonds when we were trying to work out a relationship with bp and the contractors to ensure that when we identify a problem that it was handled not only immediately but in a systematic process across the whole gulf area. we manage to reach agreement and as that admirable mentioned, we
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have an mou with the joint incident command and basically do not have those problems. although continue to verify every day that workers are working safely, any problems we identify are being handled. i would be glad to answer any questions. >> i would like to make one other comment. there have been questions about the dredging operations in louisiana. i would like to be very clear on this point. the federal government has not stopped the state of louisiana from dredging. we have asked them to work within the plan that was agreed to back in may when we declared that this was an appropriate oil spill response activity. we understood also that had begun within internal constraints that would not damage the barrier islands. the state and the dredging contractor have certain obligations to meet, and we hope they do that. we are surprised and disappointed because this was identified as a priority.
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with that, i will be glad to take questions. >> we will begin with questions from the room. >> this rov that struck the valving system, has that caused a completely unrestrained flow at this point? >> i was notified immediately. we have people on-site down in houston and i was told and have already had two conversations with bob dudley, who is telling the response for bp. >> i am trying to understand -- >> is not unrestricted because there are two different vessels that are producing out there. the discovery enterprise has terminated its operations while they checked to see if there are
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any hydrates and then they can reattach. there is more coming out than there would of been, but it is not totally unrestrained. >> a hurricane forecast timeline is shorter than the amount of time it takes to get materials and assets in the target area. how are you going to resolve that? >> we are discussing at right now with british petroleum. we have been working with the national hurricane center and local coast guard commanders. depending on the type of vessel out there, it will take either a shorter or longer time to get on the scene and disconnect. q 4000 has a shorter release time and the discovery enterprise. if you look at the area between the yucatan channel and the straits of florida, that is the radius or perimeter. anything approaching that area should proudly take action at that point.
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we are concerned that those vessels are stabled in advance of a hurricane, their ability to be out there is marginalized as well. >> we noticed on the cameras that something had changed, the containment had been removed. is this the first time something like this happen? >> i talked about what they called simultaneous operations. there is an unbelievable amount of rov's operating down there. early on, we were putting the riser insertion, it became dislodged and had to be put back in. it was dislodged by an rov.
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one of the risks inherent in everything we are doing now there -- the fact we have had to bumps that have had some kind of consequences associated with them is a pretty good record. it will never be risk free out theree and we need to watch it very closely. >> you said you were notified immediately when it happened. the operator of this particular rov, did they have immediate notification? >> i don't know exactly what the time line was before i receive notification. we have a person on staff in houston. the minute they found about a i got an e-mail. i called bob dudley and we had a conversation about it and i notified the white house. mr. dudley is a native of mississippi. he has a lot of experience in the oil production part of the bp.
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i have had very frank and open conversation with him and i expect that to continue. we need to bring him into our unified command and make sure they understand what we are doing. they need to understand what we need from them. i continue to be very closely -- talk to him a couple of times a day. i think this is a positive step. >> were the fatalities work related are not customer >> it does not appear at this time that they are work-related. does not mean that we don't feel very badly about it. >> will take questions from the foul line. >> -- from the phone line. >> i hope you can what we forget what happened, when was the cap removed, why would close in the
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event cause hydrates? can be reinstalled, and when will it be reinstalled? >> we are looking at all those things right now. my understanding was that they noticed there was some kind of burp in the line. they thought they had hydrocarbons' coming up through the water line that is usually meant to carry hot water down to deal with the hybrid problem. when they bought that line might have been compromised, they had the chance they might have hydrocarbon's coming up to that event into the discovery enterprise, with an abundance of caution they elected to remove the cap. when they moved away, to see if there is any product there, you have the chance for high rates to form. before they decide to move it back in, they have to check and see if there are any hydrates. if there are, they will have to reasserted after the hydrates used -- reinsert it after the
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hydrates are cleared. they know that one of the events was shot when they sent the second rov down to take a look. we are continuing to look into it. >> just to follow up on that, why would be rov have bumped the cap? i just don't quite understand what happened. if you could give the precise time on when this happened, that would be great. i am looking at the scene right now from bp, and it is showing it looks like a dead dispersants braying on an open geyser. it is coming out -- looks like a dispersant spraying on an open geyser. could you just elaborate a little bit?
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>> regarding the two deaths, i don't have anymore information. we are terribly sorry, but these things occur, and our thoughts go out to their families, but i have no other in permission to buy at this time. regarding the removal of the containment cap, as i was preparing to come to this press conference, i was advised of it. i have not gone back and got a minute by minute account. the reporting i had was that somehow, they found this after the fact, it appeared that one of the events had been closed. the assummtion is it was the result of an rov muffing into it and actual closing the bid. we do not know that for sure. -- closing the vent. i was just kidding debriefed as i was moving over here today. we will have an update later this afternoon -- i was just getting briefed.
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a gesture that you mention the possibility of running a pipeline to another platform, another installation somewhere in that area. i was wondering if you had any more specifics about what would need to be done to make that plan work, and have you found any possible targets are platforms that might be able to take the production? >> i believe bp is in discussion with other industry producers that have rigs in the area that might be useful for that. i don't believe they have concluded that yet. i was asked whether or not there are any redundancies are any recourse if we had a hurricane are heavy weather that required us to move all the vessels from the scene. this is one wave you were connected to another drill site, you would not have to rely on the service vessels. when we get more on that, we will reported. -- we will report it.
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>> there is only about one-tenth of the authorize national guard troops. i was just wondering what is the limiting factor there. what is the delay there? >> there is no delay in acting on requests for national guard. the total authorized is 17.5000. we have a little over 1100 or 1200 that have been called up to date. the governor makes a request of the federal on senior coordinator for a particular activity be carried out by the national guard. that is approved, and then the national guard is it employed in dispatch. we have had a number of requests. we have not turned down any request thus far. it is up to the governor when and how they want to employ the national guard. so far, the level of use of the national guard dictates the
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desires of the governor at this point. >> admiral, i notice going over the mileage figures the past few days, and june 20 it it was 59 miles, then it jumped up to 173 the next day and 171 yesterday. is that a matter of reporting, or was there a lot of oil that hit in mississippi, alabama, and florida on the 21st? >> it tends to fluctuate. will we put that out, it is what we are dealing with in terms of impact control and what we are cleaning up. that could drop once the shoreline is cleaned up and could go back up if the beach is real oil. it is a snapshot of what we are dealing with any particular time. it can change dramatically with
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the concentration of oil. it will vary from day to day. >> thank you, everyone. that concludes today's breed. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> our cameras recently followed members of the new orleans city council as they toured coastal areas affected by the gulf oil spill. they are joined by actress patricia clarkson, a daughter of the city council vice-president. this is a half-hour. >> all the way out into barataria bay.
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then we will run all the way over here to cat island. it will be quite a run. one of my biggest concerns, when you get out there you will see, off the barrier islands -- they are gone. when you get out there, you will not see no land at all. >> where the president and vice president of the city council. everything that happened in april affects not only the coastal parishes, jefferson, st. bernard, and plaquemine, but they also affect new orleans. we have made several trips out here and pass legislative
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reginald -- resolutions. we have offered all the help we can to our friends, because there is great regional unity. as we learn from the trading, the waters do not discriminate from one parish to another. -- as we learn from katrina. the devastation of the oil spill, we will offer our support to all the other elected officials. >> we are here mostly to see it for ourselves and let the parishes who are more adversely affected right now let -- let them know that we care and are supporting them. one resolution we did in the council meeting was to re-enter -- reiterate what the regional planning commission said, that everybody from bp, the coast guard, and the president should listen to the individual parish presidents and mayors of the different cities. they know their territory, they
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know their people, they know their waters, and they know what to do. they should be listened to, do what they tell them, do what they need done and pay for it, and do it fast. they should have circle the wagons around that oil spill from the beginning with every vessel. i hope we learn from that. it is very important to us that we also let our own business people in new orleans that depend on tourism, the seafood industry, know that we are trying to do our share to be on here and represent them, too, to avoid having any more of a negative impact.
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this is patricia clarkson, my daughter. she is here from new york. she came in for father's day. >> i wanted to personally thank him for his tireless dedication to this tragedy. he has been masterful. they are very lucky to have him, and i think obama owes him lunch and the coastal region owes him lunch. this is my home town, i grew revenue here. it is very difficult when you are sitting way of north and not be right here in it. i want to see it.
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being able to really relate. [wind noise] >> it is just black. this is worse than grand isle.
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>> there was a little bit, but not like this. >> this is blacker than grandchild. >> yes, i know. -- this is blacker than grand isle. >> the beaches are clean double, but the marshes are not. >> once it reaches the market like that, what is the most effective way to clean it, if at all? is it going to get deeper? >> there are constantly working the boom and changing it out. >> so they keep moving the booms further back into the marsh? >> it will soak up on a like a
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paper towel, then after its black -- when the tides come in, they are pushing all the barrier booms out. you are constantly fighting the boom. >> is depressing. >> it is not only killing the barrier islands, it is eliminating the nesting places for wildlife. >> it is destroying a way of life. >> your not only killing the fishing industry, the oyster industry, and wildlife habitat and killing the barrier islands, you are making it more vulnerable to hurricanes. the 100 your protection plan that we have spent five years
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and billions of dollars building is now not going to work as well. this is just unbelievable. >> as far as the eye can see, it is black. it is nothing but oil out here. >> when you say a 100-year plan, it is predicated on all this. >> we just removed one of the3 plan. >> is not really doing anything the water is the same on one side of the boom as the other side. >> this was all land.
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it is no longer there. >> that took years with salt water intrusion. measure that, and within two years, will have no hurricane protection, regardless of our 100-year plan. >> look at it, as far as the eye can see, it is endless. >> the sad part about this is, we cannot stop it. you clean it up, and the next week is the same thing. >> if the relief valves are not going to be built until august and we still have six more weeks, imagine what this is going to be like.
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>> by the time they do something, it will be [unintelligible] >> it used to be oyster bed rounds up through here. >> not anymore. >> what the nation does not really understand, this is not a louisiana crisis. we are much more important city and state to the nation. this is a national crisis. we are the major part of the fishing industry of the united states. we are the strategic oil reserves of the northeastern part of the united states. when some of the national broadcasters weeks ago were saying if it goes up the east coast it will be a national crisis -- excuse me, the national crisis is right here. >> i have to tell you, i do think the nation is in mourning.
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>> i hope so. >> there are protests in new york. there are protests against bp everywhere across the nation. it is a staggering. it is disgusting. for every day this oil center, someone should be sitting in -- for every day this oil sits here, someone should be sitting in jail. some stupid, horrible, small executive should be sitting in jail. >> we will cut corners to save money, and now you see the impact of that. what the rest of the country is hopefully starting to understand, we have been the victims of the two worst man- made disasters in the history of our country. the impact of this is not something that will be here
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today and moral and next month. it is going to be here forever. your truly destroying a culture and the region. i hope people will get that. >> the louisiana purchase changed america from a very small, colonist to a multicultural nation. it has been one of the greatest parts of america, and we are losing it. >> these need to be changed out. >> no, they get blacker than this. they were picked up this morning. >> you can see right on the tops of this. >> they will put fresh ones out in the morning.
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>> the men and women who have lost their jobs, are they the ones doing this? >> some of the unemployed fishermen have been employed to put the booms out, but it is not enough of them. [unintelligible] >> those guys are skimming right now. they have booms on the back and they are skimming. >> it is not going to do anything. >> not when you have 80,000 barrels a day. x and six more weeks of that amount of oil? >> we still do not know if that is going to work. >> that is a good point, because there is no guarantee that the relief wells are going to work. point.
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>> the claims are going to exceed that at least tenfold. >> we have a nephew that live in alaska. my brother and sister lived in alaska with some of her children at the time of the exxon valdez. they had damaged to their property. my sister-in-law has been dead 25 years. her son ggt the check a couple of months ago. it was interesting, and i did not get to stay in the council meeting. i was too worried about watching -- we had so many different issues going. i was watching to others at the same time.
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you said put it in escrow before was fashionable. >> we had a meeting last week with a member of the council and we stood up and ask questions. i said, how are we guaranteeing with all the liability of claims and the shareholder value of bp going down, how are going to protect that we need to put money into an escrow account. all told, they are doing that, but we all agree, $20 billion in escrow and $100 million for the moratorium is also nothing. that is how the cover any of the vessels and the offshore supplies, in the of that. >> greater thannungesser --
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president nungesser can tell you how many ancillary businesses there are in this region that service the oil field. the kinks multiple small businesses alike. b.g.e. it keeps multiple small businesses alive. >> oh, my god, it is so sad. there is going to be a contractual agreements between the president and bp that no dividends are paid. they agreed verbally. i want to see it in writing. >> we have to learn from alaska. when you talk to the claimants, the first year after the spill, exxon was all over the place trying to honor claims. they will tell you after the first year, and after the news went away, the claim started to
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stop. >> you have to keep in mind, the exxon valdez was a ship that went down. this is still a producing well. it has already exceeded by far that disaster. >> look, that is just amazing. >> this is the gulf of mexico
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here. that is barataria bay. >> i wonder why they call it cat island? >> i think it is short for a longer name. as i remember way back, that had a longer name that was in transit to the area. >> are they sending any kind of animal efforts in here to try to help some of these pelicans? thank god. thank you very much for your work. >> thank you so much. >> in the past, some of the eggs got messed up and some of the nests got messed up. they are very selective about what they are going after. >> do these people work for bp?
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>> no, they work for wildlife rescue. >> there could be several movies out of this. >> it is so beautiful and content here. for centuries. they are so gorgeous. and they are uniquely ours. >> i cannot even imagine, even if they are drenched in oil, that their reproductive systems, their digestive systems will not be forever damage.
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>> why don't we have 30 voteboa? >> why are there not at least 10 boatwright here. just for this pelican island, right here. >> there is nobody here on the water in terms of the recovery available. >> one of wildlife and fisheries. >> there are no votes. there is -- note boats. there is one vote here to help with the peeicans. it is ridiculous. -- 1 boat here on this entire ireland for the pelicans. >> at different times of the day -- >> there are so many birds, and
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they all have oil on their bellies. >> we are right on the gulf of mexico. this is the gulf of mexico right here. >> it is about 70 miles from here, and it is coming directly into the gulf of mexico and into the basin, which is where we are right now. >> they need a place closer. >> how far do they have to travel, when they were already in distress? that is ridiculous. >> we came from our growtmyrtle. >> shame on bp.
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>> these are all doable things. it is just a question of resources and putting people to work. >> the experts, people who know how to clean the birds -- what are they putting restrictions? nobody can answer this? look at this bird flying around, he is just going to gather up more oil. >> i think we need to start heading back. >> listen to what the sheriff says. >> they are just staging. whenever the weather gets bad like that, they get inside and everybody comes into their boats to wait it out. as soon as the weather breaks,
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they will be back out there again. >> they are out there picking up booms. >> with the backing clear, that will suck it up of the barges. >> there was a great story on one of the cable stations this week. in ohio where they had high unemployment, they took a warehouse and indeed the warehouse. they are putting several hundred people around -- putting several hundred people to work or around a plot, providing what is needed -- working on around-the-clock. >> this boat has two tanks full of oil. they have a vacuum truck with a hose to suck it out and stored in these trucks.
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>> i am very happy that we win on this trip. i appreciate the help to set this up. for the rest of the country that may be watching this, it is really important that you understand the impact of this to not only all of us in louisiana but the impact to the united states. this is an environmental disaster, an economic disaster that will directly hit in the pockets of america. we have to be able to stop the oil and it capped as soon as possible, and then we need help. we need bp to live up to their legal obligations. it is a good start with the $20 billion in escrow, but that is going to be a drop in the bucket by the time we are done with this. this is a multi generational
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topic we are facing. new orleans since out of louisiana are vitally important. we have gone through to the worst man-made disasters in history of the united states. we do not want a handout. we just want to be able to get back on our feet. i am from the midwest, not a native of this area. my friends in chicago and milwaukee and everywhere else around the united states, i hope you will continue to come down to this part of the country. new orleans is open for business. i am very busy -- i am very happy that i came down and saw this and having to be to one of my colleagues on this visit. >> is even more disturbing than you think. living here generational leap, and knowing this area, it is still more -- worse than i expected to see. the sad part that i am reminded of when i come back out here is how few barrier islands we are
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left with. i can remember in my lifetime the loss of barrier islands. i do not need a scientist or anyone else to tell me. i see it with my own eyes. that is sad when is disappearing that fast. that is the first thing we have to take note of, because we are in for a 100-year flood plan to be finished by 2011. we have just wiped out one key part of it with the oil spill if we lose more barrier islands in this area and the grand isle area. we have to take note of where we are. i don't want promises, especially with the $20 billion. i want contractual agreements signed on the line, and i want much more than $20 billion put into escrow, with a commitment that no dividends will be paid,
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no high salaries will be paid until every person economically affected in this area is made whole. i think the president should do that. >> starting monday, watch the confirmation hearings for supreme court nominee elena kagan, live on the c-span networks and at to learn more about the nation's highest court cu, read c-span's latest book. available in hardcover and as an e-book.
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c-span is now available in more than 100 million homes, bring you directly next to politics, history, and non-fiction books, all as a public service, created by america's cable companies. >> now, a senate hearing on the reorganization of the agency formerly known as the minerals management service. mms responsible for regulating offshore oil and gas drilling. it will now call the bureau ocean energy management regulation and enforcement. interior secretary ken salazar has joined this hearing with michael bromwich who will head the new agency. >> i would like to say good morning and welcome, everyone, to the interior subcommittee is oversight hearing on the proposed reorganization of the minerals management service.
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the responsibility had been conducted by the minerals management service into a new management structures that will improve the management, oversight, and accountability of activities on the outer continental shelf, ensure a fair return to the taxpayer from royalty and revenue collection and provide independent safety and internal oversight and enforcement of offshore activities. our principal witness this morning, the person who will walk us through the proposed reorganization, is the secretary of the department of interior, ken salazar. thank you, mr. secretary, for finding time in what i know is incredibly busy schedule. we are also joined by michael
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bromwich, a former inspector general at the department of justice who has been appointed by the president to implement the reorganization and reform effort. i have come to respect mr. bromwich and i welcome him to this effort. we look forward to hearing his thought as well. in addition to reviewing the reprogramming, our purpose here is to focus on the performance of the minerals management service. to try to understand what went wrong, to hear from the secretary the details of the proposed reorganization, and why he believes this proposal is the right way to go. the key question for me underlying everything that is discussed your today is this. how does the proposed reorganization, the changing of the organizational chart, change
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the culture of the minerals management service to protect the gulf of mexico and the people who live and work there? i want to be clear that by law, the department of interior is responsible for ensuring the safe and clean production of oil and death on the outer continental shelf no one else, and this responsibility cannot be delegated. bp, trans ocean, halliburton, and the rest of the companies operating on the gulf and elsewhere are required to obey the law, abide by the decisions of the interior department, and clean up any mess they create. but they are not responsible for setting the safety standards, promulgating the rules, and ensuring full compliance with those rules. ultimately, at virtually every juncture in leading up to the deepwater horizon explosion and
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fire, the minerals management service failed in its duty. mms gave bp a categorical exclusion from an environmental impact analysis that in my opinion never should have been allowed. mms allow bp to run a drilling operation without the demonstrated ability to shut off the flow of gas and oil in an emergency. mms allow bp to operate without remote shuttle capability in case a drilling rig became disabled. mms did not have an inspector on the rig to settle the arguments between bp, trans ocean, and halliburton officials on how they would stop drilling and plugged the well. mms did not have and did not require the industry to have emergency equipment stationed in the gulf of mexico that could respond immediately to an
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emergency. mms did not have a plan for responding to disasters, and mms did not have a real inspection and compliance program. it relied on the expertise and advice of the industry on how and how much they should be inspected. mr. secretary, i understand that you intend to reimpose the moratorium on new drilling in deaths of more than 500 feet that was set aside depths of more than 500 peakfeet. some may not have adequate safety equipment, backup technology, or sufficiently trained personnel this is deeply troubling. i want you to know that i fully support the moratorium and hope you do reimpose it as quickly as possible.
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the last 64 days have clearly demonstrated that the technology in use for deep water drilling is not sufficient to prevent or stop environmental disasters. prior to the beat pete spill, containment and termination of oil leaks -- prior oil thebp spill, containment and termination of oil leaks had never been tried before. i will put in the specific failures of technology, the blowout fail-safe that remotely operated, vehicle failures, the soda straw that had to be removed, the top kill that failed, and the only method that appears to have had some limited measure of success is the top hat which is in place on top of the well head, but it still allows oil to escape into the ocean because the method


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