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tv   C-SPAN Weekend  CSPAN  January 22, 2011 10:00am-2:00pm EST

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by -- c-span is a private, non- profit company created in 1979. coming up, iran pose a nuclear weapon program. andy afl-cio president talks about his association's economic agenda. a town hall discussion on u.s.- canada relations. speakers include the canadian ambassador to the u.s. that is today at 4:00 p.m. eastern. tomorrow, on "newsmakers," david dreier from the rules committee.
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>> i have to practice staying alive and preparing to die at the same time. >> sunday, our guest is author christopher hitchens. >> it is a tantalizing time to have cancer. there are treatments i can see that are just out of my reach that are encouraging and unknowing. ." sunday on c-span's "q & a
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>> -- this is sponsoring this event. i'd like to welcome you all to the a specialist fifa especially distinguished speakers to the conference of executive action has organized in as many months. i'm also gratefu to all of the iranian americans in the audience and some of you have been friends of mine for many years. nice to see so many familiar faces whose tireless efforts in defense of the cause of democracy have been an inspiration to all of us. as you know the regime proposed as the greatest threat to peace and security in the region and the world by virtue of its relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons and export of terrorism of around the world. therefore, we need to explore u.s. policies toward iran and
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developed policies that are going to be more effective in the future because we have many challenges at the iranian regime presenting to th united states and the world community right now. the nuclear clock is ticking faster than the pace of sanctions. so the united states must do mo. it must do it faster and it must do it better. with that i want to turn the microphone over to senator robert to accepted our invitation to moderate this very important and nonpartisan event today. during his distinguished career in both house and the senate, the senator was on the foreign affairs committee of both chambers. closely following the issues related to iran. he first served 14 years in the house of representatives from the state of new jersey and then was elected to the united states senate in 1996.
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he joined the leadership in the senate from the outset and headed the democratic senatorial campaign committee. senator torricelli earned his degree from rutgers university and later attended harvard university where he completed a master's, public administration and 1980 and he will moderate this event this morning bob? [applause] >> thank you for that warm welcome and for this opportunity this morning. there is a great observation of wisdom not from an unusual source. winston churchill who once noted the united states can usually be counted upon to do the right thing after it has exhausted all other options.
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soon, the international community will meet again with a government of tehran to discuss the nuclear weapons program. all options have been tried. once again there will be an attempt to convince using all rces of reason that comply with international law, common sense, and its own interest and abandon this folly. i have my own hopes for today's discussion of each speaker will pursue their own interests and observations that they see fit. my first would be that it is time to start debating the reality of th situation. an outlaw regime hell bent on weapons of mass destruction that is a threat not only to the western world but a direct
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threat to all of its neighbors of all faiths and background. it was perhaps said it best by president bush when he made it clear that nuclear-armed iran is simply on acceptable under any terms. it's one thing for us to say t and it is another to devise a policy that will achieve at. economic sanctions in the world that firsts for oil and iran that produces billions of dollars is unlikely to be a coercive policy. reason and logic and the force of international law used against a regime that has murdered millions of its own, thousands of its own people, enslaved millions in a dictatorship nd violated all
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forms of international behavior is simply not a realistic policy so for my first hope today would be this. between democrats and republicans, we can debate whether the motion doctrine of the preemptive action was the right policy in a rock. but it is a policy and of itself that in a world of weapons of mass destruction be retaliation or action after the fact on any form is insufficient with a preemptive action as a necessity. indeed, if you knew that the iranian regime was capable of producing another holocaust having stated their belief that israel should not exist is the
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right and moral policy to act preemptively to deny those weapons. second, as a nation of many qualities that i love about america, sometimes they our naivete, the willingness to look for hope ver facts is a good american quality. but at some point it runs its course. my second hope for today's discussion is one of the policy with opponents of the regime who shares the irania identity. does it make sense, does it have benefits that we continue o ostracize, label opponents of the regime as terrorists when the fact say otherwise. do we gain anythingfrom
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political purposes of making these identities when we know it has no policy benefit d undermines the legitimacy of the opposition. let me pose this question. is it even possible to propose a terrorist state and be a terrorist yourself, is it possible to be a terrorist if you are on armed and promoted the last decade under the percption of the united states army. it's time to deal with a reality we are not going to convince the iranian team to policy and undermining the credibility of their opponents is only doing service to the very people that would choose to oppose and must for our own security undermine
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in their nuclear ambitions. let us begin the discussion for the first speaker today it is mit very privileged to introduce the 81st attorney general of the united states judge mukasey was a united states district court judge, presided over the trial of terrorists who have been in prison for their role in 1993 bombing of the world trade center. attorney general michael mukasey. [applause] >> thank you for that kind
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introduction and neal livingston for organizing the symposium to executive action for organizing at. and of course a great privilege for the microphone at this tim back in december i pointed out that we are at one of those moments in history when we know that future generations will ask it is needed to advance what is good and oppose what is evil. if anything in the brief span of a month, the conditions we are here to address have become even more urgent. as before, the regime in tehran is the center of the threat of the terrorism threat against us and to deploy the western civilization as we know it's coming and to do so is possible by obtaining nuclear weapons. if oprah's is its own people, threatens its neighbors. it has made clear that if it gets nuclear weapons it will not hesitate to use them.
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there are 3500 members of mek to live on the border of iran near iraq is known as camp and even though it is referred to a camp, city would probably be a better description. these people fled iran and set themselves up near the border so that the can live and support efforts to free their country. in 2003 when the united states invaded iraq, the residents of the camp surrendered their weapons. the weapons they had to defend themselves had accepted written confirmation from the commander of allied forces in iraq, general jeffrey on behalf of the united states that they were protected persons under the fourth geneva convention. from 2003 until 2000 line the united states protected the residence and fulfilled the solemn obligation we have undertaken in 2003. but in january, 2009, as some of you may know the united states turned over responsibility for safety and security to the iraqi
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security forces. before that transfer took place, general david petras said that the united tates had been assured by the government of iraq that the residents would be protected and that he was proceeding with a transfer on e assumption that the pledge would be adhered to. obviously the residents have been a great source of anxiety to iran which would like nothing better than to see them repatriate to iran or at least crippled so that they cannot pose a threat to the regime. iran has brought increasing pressure on the iraqi government within the past month. the situation of the residence of the camp have grown from perilous to guess where it. on january 7th, 2 ays after a visit to baghdad by the irony in foreign minister, the residents of the camp were attacked by deflecting a the direction of the iranian quds force stationed in baghd in cooperation with
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officials of the iraqi government and many were injured seriously. the iraqi security forces were supposed to be there to protect the residents of the camp had to turn a blind eye or actually assisted the attackers. even though the government of iraq promised the united states it would protect the residents. those iranian forces suported by iraqi forces were placed at the gates someone under 80 loudspeakers better used to threaten and harass the residents day and night, 24 hours a day and to prevent them from sleeping. the pshological pressure has been ongoing for almost a year. medical care continues to be denied the residence and at least one patient in the last month has died due to lack of medical care. this is history repeting itself. we've seen his before. in june of 2009, nouri al-maliki, the head of the government, headed to iran for personal reasons and the next month in july of 2009 the iraqi
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security forces attacked residents. to add insult to the united states to injury suffered by the citizens that attack took place during a visit to iraq by defense secretary obert gates to be inside of the spot the face to the u.s. government and in spite of the solemn assurances given by the american military when the residence surrendered heir weapons in 2003, and our seetary of state which was questioned about then said that the attack was an internal matter for the government of iraq and not a concern of the united states. while we are on the eve of negotiations on the iranian regime while our government and others, the history of the relationship between the united states and the iranian regime since the 1979 revolution can be summed up as a series of attempts bthe united states to a diplomats to engage the iranian regime each attempt slightlyess successful them the one that preceded it. i don't have to redo the entire
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year history but an important part of it begins in the 1990's during the clinton administration when the people's mujahideen organization of iran also known as the iranian was designated by secretary of state under u.s. law as a foreign terroristorganization. that designation continues to this day. it continues to be as it was then unjustified. just as i did not have to review in detail the whole history of the u.s. government attempt to engage the regime or of tirana i don't have to review the entire history of the mek but we are entitled to ask what has it been in recent years. quite simply mek as an organization of both inside iran and outside iran that opposes the current regime, favors government is organized along space, secular, non-nuclear, democratic secular nonnuclear republic and i should add this is not one of the few
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organizations that fit that description. it is in point of fact the only one. as many of you know mek position has positiod the state department to be removed from the list of the foreign rrorist organizations. it's clear that the regime believes time is short and would like nothing better than to have the residents of the camp driven out before they succeed being removed from a list it should never have been on in the first place. why is the timing crucial? of the residents were still there when the designation is removed the in the united states and the iraqi government will have no choice but to protect them. the designation gives those in the government to want to curry favor with the regime there only excuse for not protecting their residents. it's important not only that this designation be removed but it be removed quickly before iran and those acting on its behalf can wear down the residence and forced them to leave or in pose even worse on
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them. it is certainly helpful for the mek to remain a bone in the throat of iran and had a version to the regime because of its potential to undermine the regime, but the mek has been more than just a bone in the throat. it has provided valuable information and intelligence on the iranian program to the united states. it is fair to say that the united states wouldn't have known a great deal of what it does now about the iranian program without information obtained by the mek including but certainly not limited to the clear facilities in iraq. a disclosure of which led to the beginning of the presure on iran that arises from what is obviously a nuclear weapons program. here it bares mention that the mek has been removed from any list of terrorist organizations in the united kingdom and the european union. if the mek has posed no threat to any u.s. personnel or interest and in fact has been of
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affirmative assistance to the united states as ithas it is not regarded as a terrorist organization in the united kingdom or the e.u., then why does it say on the list, why does it continue to be on a list? of such organizations. it's pretty openly acknowledged that the reason the mek was placed on the list during the clinton administration was to curry favor with iran and to use the designation as a way of entering the dialogue with the regime. i'm sorry to say that even during the administration i served we kept it on the list of designated organizations of which by the way include the irg sea, the revolutionary guard corps out of the fear that if the mek were removed the iranians would provide them with weapons in iraq including ied, of course they are doing that anyway. these are misguided reasons for continuing to brand as terrorists a group of people who so far as anyone can tell how are interested only in bringing for their country the same
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benefits of freedom that we have. and also it doesn't work. the regime is now in the position of having the united states does it need is a terrorist organization. group of iranians or a threat to that regime and the armenians have the great work for them. what is the practical effect of the wall of an organization being on that list? and organization on the list is subject to having its assets in the united states seized. it's nearly impossible for the aretas asian to raise money in e united states because anyone who contributes to the organization could theoretically be prosecuted for providing material support to a terrorist organization. beyond that and particularly in the united states people are concerned about even appearing in a rally sponsored by something that they know is designated a foreign terrorist organization or given any help atll. people who are not aware of the details of the case including
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many iranians may feel reluctant to support the organization. and of course the continue designation of the mek has a foreign terrorist organization gives great comfort to the iranian regime by putting on the sideline and organization that is potentially a grave threat to the regime and it also provides an added justification for the regime to execute mek members in iran and in doing so is executing terrorists. a 63-year-old man whose only crime was to visit his son was executed at the end of 2010 as one guilty of mt against god or terrorists. what is to be done? well, there's an ongoing case in which the challengeto the designation. in july of 2010 the court repealed for the district of columbia circuit issued an opinion essentially sending the matter back to the state department. and the secretary of state aski her to reevaluate whether
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the mek should remain on the list. the court did something more than that. it expressed a good deal of skepticism about at least the unclassified portion that was relied on by the state department and maintaining a list. without getting into the detail, the cretary of state may choose to base their determinations entirely on classified information that he didn't do that in this case. she said she bed her decision goes on classified information and on and on classified information and revealed that a lot of the non-classified information consisted of unsubstantiated and anonymous rumors as the liability was unknown and couldn't be tested. information the court wasn't impressed with and said so. if that kind of information is the only kind of information a secretary of state has then the decision would have no basis whatsoever. cently the state department has admitted it has no further on classified information to rely on to make its case and it is promised a scheduled meeting to discuss further steps.
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the secretary has acknowledged this is the first occasion the new administration has had to evaluate the designation. this is an excellent opportunity for her to learn from the mistakes of the past and not repeat them. as you are aware there is a growing consensus in this country and outside of the need to the list and ever-increasing number of members of congress are supporting a resolution favoring that result, and there is great consensus outside of the congress as well. that is all well and good but time is not aware friend. as i pointed out, the regime has made clear that it wants residents of the camp driven out before the designation is removed. in a sense, this is about more than the case in the district of columbia and more than mek. this is the posture of the united states with the regime. when ronald reagan took office he was asked what the strategic approach would be to the cold war to dealing with what was then the soviet union. he said aces to st during the
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debate to a strategic approach would be we win, they lose. at that time there were people who dismissed that as empty rhetoric. even dangerous rhetoric. on the end, that vision wound up prevailing because it as supported by a sound understanding of the country's interest and how those interests are at their strongest when our policy is consistent with our ideals. i ta the case has been made that when they go to the street and put their lives on the line for freedom as they are doing now and as they did after the fraudulent election in 2009, called the response through those in the governmt to speak for us must be more than to remind the mullahs as we did the world is watching. the world was watching? the world has watched frequently while the war was committed and did nothing. the world was watching when they coitted genocide and murdered in world war ii. the world was watching when the revolution was preston's eastern europe. the world was watching genocide rwanda and darfur.
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the world is watching isn't enough. we owe the people and the freedom that we stand for much more. what is necessary is to make clear in word and deed that we can offer more than condolens when things go wrong to people willing to put their lives on the line for freedom. we must offer support and treatment and we must make it clear in the word and deed to the iranian regime that we stand with those who stand for freedom and demand regime change. effective way to do that would be to enter the upcoming negotiations with iran having taken mek of the list of the foreign terrorist organizations which would show that we recognize mek as a group devoted to restoring freedom to iran and that we will not use mek and we will not let anybody else use mek as a bargaining chip. it has been said that it's not a favor to the organizations like mek to advocate for them because they can then be accused by the regime of acting as tools of the
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united states. there are two answers to that. the first is that whoever opposes the regime is going to be attacked as a tool of the united states regardless whether or not they receive assistance so they might as well get the help. second, we ought to let organizations decide for themselves what is best for them rather than let them decide for them. in the middle of the 19th century, abraham lincoln refers to he united states as a last best hope of earth. i think that those words were not even true in the 21st century than they were when lincoln first spoken in the middle of the 19th. i think also that it is time we started talking and eating as if we believe them so that when succeeding generations consider the question that i presented at the beginning of these remarks of what we did to advance what is good and to fight what is evil they will find an answer thawe and they can live with. thank you very much for the privilege of speaking. [applause]
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[applause] >> general, thank you for those comments and principled stand. 28 years ago tom ridge came to washington as a member of the house of representatives. he went on in his career to serve as the governor of pennsylvania which we refer to as the suburbs of new jersey for two terms. and then as the first secretary of homeland security my friend, tom ridge. [applause] >> thank you for the kind
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introduction and for your very warm reception. i very much appreciate it. i hope it is not lost in all in attendance thesignificant bipartisan nature of the participants in today's forum. we are looking for things in this town for policy objectives and out comes that we would like to be shared by both sides of the aisle, and i guess it's a very important and a visible statement that these republicans and these democrats work for republican and democrat administrations feel unanimously that the designation of mek should be lifted and should be lifted now. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, i said this before in some of my friends have heard it but i will keep saying it until the designation is lifted, is not
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our ally and our collective efforts to prevent but tyrannical regime in tehran from becoming a nuclear power as a matter of fact, time is running out. we need to unerstand that. i would like to read you something that was written and spoken in september of 1995. listen carefully. i wish to address a pivotal issue, how to confront this regime and the fundamentalism and terrorism that it fosters. the issue is key because of the international level, all approaches adpolicies, the move is religious terrorist dictatorship have proven futile. indeed, in many cases they have taken advantage of by the regime which has been the only party to benefit from them, september, 1995.
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president-elect, national council of resistance of iran. .. >>. agreed that when the iranian representatives appeared, they were not inclined to discuss their nuclear intentions. one does wonder why everybody
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showed up. they agreed to convene again. in anticipation of the next meeting, in the next couple weeks, the u.n. ambassador has basically said in regard to the u.n., it had been directed against iran over its nuclear program. he said, the issue has proved to be unsuccessful. iran would not respond to political pressures or sanctions. they will not respond to political pressures. they will not respond to sanctions. they will certainly be willing to meet over the next 16 or 17 years. every legitimate effort, as well and tinted -- as well intentioned as they might be,
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did not come up with sanctions. i have a need perspective, as some of my colleagues do. that is my opinion. it is fascinating to me that when we talk about iran in this discussion, we do not understand that when we talk about iran we are talking about hamas, hezbollah, al qaeda, the palestinian islamic jihad. you have iran and all of these circuits. the only thing that mek has asked of us is to delist us. give us the same opportunity in a controlled an oppressive society, which is using the mek
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designation 20 press, -- to oppress and murder, just left the designation. i asked someone, given all the challenges associated with the middle east, how would you identify the top three problems? do you know with the individual said? iran, iran and iran. as we take a look at the rest of the world trying to deal with iran through discussions and negotiations, does anyone think they have stopped for a minute totheir accelerated attempt achieve nuclear weapon capability? does anyone doubt, given the that they have ignored with great impunity, u.n. resolution after u.n. resolution?
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does anyone decide that we are not being effective and we have not been able to influence policy. they look at the multilateral organization with great impunity. one of the great ironies is that every year mahmoud ahmadinejad appears before the u.n. he comes to the united states. he is able to express whatever he feels like in a the animus or rhetorical way. that same opportunity -- in a venemous or rhetorical way. there is someone who would love to come to the united states. [applause]
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the inconsistency in policy is pretty difficult to understand. that is why the designation needs to be lifted. in the 20th century, our enemies were evil. we all agreed they were fairly rational. they cared little for him alive. they cared a great deal for self preservation. those realities allow for a window of compromise and negotiation to exist. today, i do not think any exists which iran. we are fighting an ideology. not one single ideologue. our relationship with allies has evolved over the past 30 years. with the passage of time comes the need to consider, in one form or another, different strategies. it is all right to deny each and optimistic. you take an approach -- to be naive and optimistic.
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at the end of the day, should you say to yourself, we need to change our approach? it has not worked. one of the best ways to do its -- i think it would have a profound impact on negotiations if the designation was lifted before the other countries met with the iranian designation -- iranian delegation. look at what happened in tunisia. people took to the streets. quite quickly, the administration responded in a positive and supportive way of those voices of democracy, voices of change. unlike iran, the military did not come to the assistance of the president. for whatever reason, they stayed on the sidelines.
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the administration applauded the move, the effort to bring democracy and freedom to tunisia. it was fairly muted after the fraudulent elections in iran -- fairly new to -- fairly mute after the fraudulent elections in iran. the mek is not looking for money. they are not looking for arms. they just want the freedom to speak and take action into their own hands. we need to do that for them because time is running out. in the late 1990, the u.s. declared the people's mujahedin to be a terrorist organization. a good gesture at the time. many people have said they were about in that decision based on a strategic goal of entering
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productive talks. goodwill gestures have no impact on people or countries who have no idea what good will is all about and are unprepared to extend it in the other direction. you may extend an open hand. but if there is a clenched fist, it is unlikely you are going to be able to reach a peaceful impasse on those issues. time is running out. our policy must be changed. the strategy of peaceful engagement has been totally ineffective and counterproductive. i would say this and i hope everyone is listening in this administration. a nuclear iran would signal a failure of western diplomacy or, perhaps more tragically, a failure of western well. everyone understands the tragic,
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unthinkable consequences of appeasement. there are some lessons of appeasing oppressive regimes where the western world has paid the consequences in treasure and lives. we must reject as inconceivable and on except -- and unacceptable the notion that a nuclear armed iran could be restrained through a cold war strategy of deterrence. i believe a nuclear iran would become an even greater global scourged, more destabilizing and more threatening. having the opportunity to share these thoughts with such a distinguished panel and such a distinguished group, i had occasion to look at the 10. plan for a future iran that was announced -- i had the occasion
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to look at the 10 point plan for a future iran that was announced a few years ago. i will give you a shortened abbreviated version. what a pluralistic system. and iran of tomorrow will respect all individual freedoms. we support and are committed to the abolition of the death penalty. the iranian resistance will establish the separation of church and state. any form a discrimination will be prohibited. we believe in complete gender equality in the political and social rights. we want to set up a modern legal system. it goes on and on recognizing the importance of the rule of law and due process. we are committed to the human rights. if he took a look at the u.n.
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charter, it says that the existing iranian regime violates them every day. the new iran accepts, embraces and supports. we recognize private investment in the market economy. born policy will be based on peaceful coexistence -- foreign policy will be based on peaceful cooperation and coexistence. we want a three iran of tomorrow to be -- we want the three iran of tomorrow to be deployed of nuclear -- the free iran of tomorrow to be devoid of nuclear weapons. [applause] the resistance, the people's mujahedin, the mek, that is what
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they have voted -- that is what they have fought for. the united states handed responsibility for protecting these individuals to you. how can you tolerate those loudspeakers? what about these incursions that precipitated some problems? you must heed the admonition. you promised to protect them under the geneva conventions. we wonder about the sincerity of that initial promise. i will conclude with a couple of additional thoughts if i might. i spent some time with some older iranian women when i was in paris in december.
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we sat down and through the interpreter, we had conversations with them. i wish i could take those who are going to make the decision in the state department over to be with them or have them come over here and just listen to them carefully. these older women carried pictures with them. they were pictures of spouses and husbands, children and grandchildren. some of them were apprehended. some of them were imprisoned, tortured, and killed. and some were simply apprehended and tortured and who knows? perhaps awaiting execution. life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness is something we
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embrace in our declaration of independence. it seems to me that all mek is asking us to do is delist us. the u.k. has look at this designation and said it is inappropriate. our courts has look at the designation and said it is inappropriate. look at these women representing all of the people in camp ashcroft. listen and learn from the lessons of time. the strategy has not worked. the goodwill gesture has not affected a single action in their approach. it has not interrupted their intention to become a nuclear power. it has had no impact if you take a look around the world on getting them to withdraw their
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support from hamas and hezbollah. so we say to all of those in the state department involved in making the decision in this administration, it is about time. the lessons of history and the pleas of these mothers and wives should be listened to. delist the mek and let them take the voices of freedom to the streets and let them do what they need to do to create the kind of iran that can live in harmony and peaceful coexistence with the rest of the world. thank you. [applause] [applause] >> thank you, governor, very, very much.
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from 1997 to 2000, general anthony served as commander-in-chief of the united state central command. he was elected in 2002 as a special envoy of the united states to israel and the palestinian authority. if there is anyone who can speak with a nonpartisan authority over the reality of the situation in camp ashcroft, and it would be general. general, welcome. [appuse] >> thank you. first, limiting the people of this very timely and important conference.
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you know, i know you'll realize you are seen not only bipartisanship was mentioned. uic and leadership from our congress, administration past and present, from our military and from our intelligence agencies and law enforcement. you have an spectrum here that feels the same way. i think what you're going to hear appear is a continuous set of comments, much like you've heard already. i need to remove the mek from this list of terry's and indeed to support the opposition groups and understand who they are. i want to begin a little bit they may be giving military perspective. because obviously that is my role in my experience in all this. i was the commander of the u.s. central command before that the deputy commander back in the mid-to-late 90s in the year 2000 as was mentioned. when i first got the u.s. central command, my biggest concern was we were going to have an incident with the
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iranians islamic revolutionary guard maybe that would trigger, miscalculates and escalate into something very serious. they continuously challenged our ships. they jumped into it. the preacher breached medication was very hostile and i always imagined them were in the middle night i would get a call saying one of the captains of our ship retaliated in what he believed was an attack on his ship, does deliver branding and bumping of things we couldn't tolerate now and barely could tolerate now. but in light of what e overseeing the us cole and other things that have occurred since then, that would be not even acceptable. there is a limit at which you would not even be able to accept those ships coming close to you. we went through this for a number of years. we were following what was then called the dual containment policy. the dual containment of aq and iran. what was confusing a thing for me i clearly understood iraq and the measures we had to take him i didn't quite understand iran. because although we had a stated
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policy, there weren't any clear containment measures we were involved in. 14 years ago, 1997, i think we began to believe something that has never come to pass, but we've come to it since then. we begin to believe with the election of president have to be that maybe things would change. he resists grant ovulate looking individual, seemed like there may be an opening or opportunity, even though the ship of payment are hired although not from a became more personal. i remember president clinton trying to get a grasp and understanding if there was real changes in a real opportunity. another of us meant in this town from state department, department of defense and other agencies, lookinto see whether judgments were on this and looking to see if there'd be a reciprocation.
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if you remember back in those days, we took small steps with restrictions on carpets and pistachio nuts. we sent chris ayres and other kinds of social interaction. and unfortunately, there was no reciprocation. i remember sitting in conference this in attending a regional forum, where we had the minister of defense and the foreign minister from iran president. anacid rhetoric, anti-american, anti-anti-west, the threats that were made, not only to us, but those in the region, that welcomed our friendship, our cooperation in our lives. it was clear there was a surface façade of maybe a warming, a more rational government. the you scratch the surface. it wasn't really true. because you support, believe it or nothe islamic revolutionary
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guard gave to saddam as saddam tried to violate the sanctions on the gas and oil sanctions that we have put on to prevent two ships from getting out and selling it outside the u.n. rerictions. the islamic revolutionary guard were actually hoping, providing protection, escorting an irann territorial waters. and the threats across the gold continued. even to this day, his many friends in the region who maintain friendships with the senior leadership out there. i can telyou those occasional trips by president ahmadinejad and those on the surface may appear to be family. as one senior told us on the other side of the god there's always a point of making a final not so veiled rant about support for the u.s. are aligned with the relationships. and what that means in the regi. it's clear that this regime in
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iran has always sought to be hegemon and the region, to be dominant in that region. the m. oif, the threat they've made, the support has this mentioned the other groups in the region that clearly are terrorist groups continues on, unabated, even today. i'm shocked and surprised that we still chase the solution that there can be a meaningful dialogue with the regime that has been described, even by her current secretary of state as not only reigious fanati, the criminally duties of the revolutionary guard. it has become a corrupt military regime. and the greatest influence has now become the islamic revolutionary guard. it has become an oppressive military regime combing old with religious fanaticism. i can't imagine anything worse. imagine what you made its niche. i want to draw another parallel.
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remember the soviet union, which happened in hungary and czechoslovakia. why was it different in poland? i can tell you why it was different. because suddenly attention was drawn to the opposition movement and the oppression. everyone from the pope to the western world focused on it and they could not tolerate it any longer in the soviet union. they could not use the heavy hand of oppression and violence to put it down. and it grew and arguably may have been the greatest contributor to the fall of the soviet empire and not part of the world. and we have an opportunity, just had one with this opposition was in the street so we missed it. we put the mute button on. what is amazing about this opposition and if that was many from incentive and that man should get out and meet and talk about the situation. what has impressed m the most
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is how great this movie knows. it is not singular. it is not only political. it goes across the entire spectrum of iranian society. women's groups, journalists, ethnic groups, workers groups. it represents every aspect of society that feels the pressure of this regime. lack of freedom of speech, lack of the ality to fulfill their destiny. lack of a voice in their own political system. lack of fairness in the way they're treated because of their ethnicity. and so we have a broad-based opposition movement, which usually means they would be most successful because the entire society is displeased with the oppression they face. the opportunity was there and still is there to bring light, like happened in poland to this movement. who are they? what is there suffering? pressure from the world begins
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with putting a blight on th kind of oppression that occurs and the opposition movement, the courageous action to resist it. we've missed that before. and we've got to change our policy and our attitude. wh was strange about the dual containment policy is how much we emphasize supporting the opposition in iraq and the iraqi community outside iraq. and i would offer to you sometimes we did make the best choices they are and they did not have the kind of supprt in the kind of credibility inside iraq. it's exactly the opposite gear we need community, the diaspora community, those outside their brand, many of you in this audience. you are credible. you are committed to. you are respected. and i'm amazed we have not reached out and not even given a 10th of the support and credibility we gave for those in iraq. dual containment made one thing
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on one si and work could've counted more were absent. we were fooled. we have the illusion that could be meaningful dialogue. which is the solution and it didn't work. we now find ourselves in the zero to 60 policy mode. it's either dialogue or military action. and i believe there's something in between we need to think about more clearly. i don't believe this regime is not afraid of international pressures and sanctions, unlike what i think most of the world aves. i think it begins internally. they fear the opposition more than anything else, more than what we could bring from the international day of. secondly, they fear regional cooperation. and here we have done a lousy job of working with the region to ceate the security cooperation, the kind of surances on scurity that
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would isolate iran. those trips across the goal for kids those threats on the other side are done deliberately to try to prevent any kind of regional cooperation. i don't know if any leader in the region that doesn't he iran is the biggest threat in the region. they may not be so publicly, but certainly they will pipe publicly. they feel threatened. they see the wkness sometimes in the western approach. the vacillation between a hard-line and a soft line in chasing dissolution of some kind of beautiful dog dialogue. we have to be careful of several things. one is that the salogue. we have to be careful of several things. one is that the sanctis that ever get implemented and put in place to not hurt the people and do not in any way curtailed the ability of the opposition to communicate, to organize and structure themselves in the right way. i think we need a policy that reaches out to the iranian community outside iran and work
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with them is the greatest conduit in connection to those inside iran that are trained to fight for freedom and for the right. i think we needto work within the region to create the kind of security cooperation and give the guarantees that we will be by their side should iran threaten them in any way and allows them to isolate this regime is right in the region. there are many measures that could be taken before we start talking about military ction. i domeone who is seen re many, many times and as someone who has suffered in blood and more and from someone who wa seen the greatest sufferers than war, civilian populations, i'm telling you that as a last resort and that is something we want to avoid. the last thing we want to do is bring more pain with the iranian people. we can see what happens in iraq and afghanistan come in vietnam
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and elsewhere when we resort as a measure before we've exhausted all others. so i believe there needs to be a fresh look at our policy. we need to examine that area between the sort of solution of a meaningful dialogue in this continuous saber rattling which gets us nowhere. you have presented an opportunity. you have offered the opposition. no one is asking for money, military suppo and guns. they are aing for him to be reached out, you like to be shined on what they're doing, support come the use of the bully pulpit, working within the community, working within the region to make sure we bring about change. lest this regime would fear that they may need to rattling, international sanctions that we can develop. and i think if we take anything away from this conference, it
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should be the importance of stressing a new approach to policy. examine those middle areas. quit resisting reaching out and grabbing the hand of the opposition, giving them legitimacy credibility and giving them an international and world stage where they can demonstrate pressures that they e put under. i know the panelists will follow me and those gone before feel strongly about this. we've lived through. we've seen aspects of this. iny case, the military aspect. we have seen the actions that have been taken. we see every day the violence that is perpetrated by this regime, notably with in iran, but outside the region. not only against those in e region, but her own people, our troops, our diplomats. we've got to wake up and realize we can no longer continue to tolete this and there are measures that can be taken. thank you very much foryour
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support. [applause] >> thank you general, very, very much for your options. like tom ridge and me in 1983 bill richardson came to washington as a new member of the house of representatives where we had a distinguished career. he left us to join the clinton administration where he served as ambassador to united nations and secretary of energy. he later went on to another distinguished career as the governor of new mexico. this is perhaps the person on the panel for ich i need to have notes the least. a longtime friend and colleague, bill richardson.
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[applause] >> thank you, very much. thank you, senator. when i was in the ongress of the senator, we used to call him the torch because he was unflagging champion of human rights, whether it was cuba, sudan, iran, he was always fighting. and i see that site is still very much with him. i'm the only person here who is unemployed. last night i ft office two weeks ago, but am so going to have knowledge to three iranian american new mexicans. they're the best in the the lot, so thank you very much for being here. you know, when i accepted the speaking engagement, would've my assistant said you know, bill, they didn't the
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governor anymore. your views are not going to coincide with many of those here. and i said why is that? they said well, you're just in the korea talking to the north koreans. you talk to saddam hussein. this was when we're trying to get a couple of americans released. you've talked to the cubans and you've basically said, i noticed that senator porcelli didn't notice my campaign for the candidacy, a very forgettable event. what i was saying is that i just believe that sometimes you've got to talk to your adversaries. now, i'll explain what mean by tha but president clinton to say, when i was sent out on these missions and i did one with president is to north korea with
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a republican member of the cabinet, secretary of veterans affairs. we brought back some remains of american soldiers president clint used to say, send richardson to talk to these regimes. that people like ken. so that was supposed to be funny. i guess not. let me just talk about three areas that i think we all share, at least i share. and i'm not new to this issue. i've been a governor eight years. and then trying to run a state or not is up to speed as many of my colleagues here. this is a very distinguished panel and made to me now. i want to thank tom ridge for talking about bipartisanship and on the speakers have been great and tony zinni. here's a guy talking about soft power, perhaps one of the solutions. here are the three areas where you think a lease my views coincide with all of you.
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one, i think it's important that we find ways to better treat the iranian opposition, both in iran and ouide of iran. ending u.s.policy, i mean citizens. i ink it's important that we embrace this movement for freedom. secondly, with the mek, yeah, i think it makes sense to take them off the terrorism list. you know, north korea was taken up the list. i don't know if you know this some time ago. and this is something that i'm not going to say. this is bureaucracies. you know, bureaucracies move slow. to those families got to do some kind of gigantic leaps. i'm not making any excuses, but this is something we need to reassess right away. and it seems that this is a nation, an important movement and we should take steps to make it happen. the third is the camp ashraf
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situation. obviously we've got to find ways to protect those iranians that are there. i think it's inexcusable that we're not doing it. talk about how they leverage with the government of iraq. we do have it. and so we should find ways to make that happen. not the same time, i think it's important to recognize why iran is important to america's national security. obviously we want a different government there. you know, i was on one of the shows this moning and everybody is talking about china, the two new superpowers, america and china, says america's relationships with nobody else matters anymore. you know, my hope is that with the new government in iran, america and iran can be great players for national security, especially in the persian gulf, but also around the world.
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it's becauseof iran's strategic importance, its nuclear ambitions, it portends to stability in iraq, his support for extreme arab factions such as hezbollah nd hamas for themselves or obstacles for stability in lebanon, to the pastinian israeli peace process that the major oil and gas producer. its importance to theflow of oil. its role as a leader in the world of islamic shia population. the state does as reality. that is the case. now, our ultimate desired weight to be had in tehran a government that is stable, that is democratic, access a response will member of the international community, where regrettably, as we all know, the situation is currently different, radically different. so i want to stay to work i assumptions that maybe you still are agreeing with me.
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obviously, i think in iran there are thousands and thousands of peoplethat reject treme fundamentalism, violation of human rights. you saw in the presidential election that great movement of decracy after more than 100 years of struggling for democracy, iranians longed for a regime that respects citizens. here's a country, iran tht is three times larger than france. three times. 70 million populations. we know the rich history of the persian empire that stretches back 6000 years, the iranian people we know are proud of their heritage, their contributions to art, science, learning. and despite the preoccupation that many have with the views of some of it leaders, represent leaders, represent leaders, represent, iran has aliment in
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iran of modern and very strong democracy. and it's got an iranian community like a peer. and i bet you that better ideas from this panel can come from many of you as to how we can make a difference. so, what we need to do is how do we make progress? we know that the iranians chari deeply thought national pride, that the country be respect to its history, its accomplishments and its geostrategic importance. the second premise, where i still think we're together as ere is no excuse for the current government document support for international terrorism, violation of human rights, rejection of international overtures to come to a deal on the nuclear program. the denial of the holocaust much mo, the difficulty in obviously trying to negotiate with the current presiden
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so maybe a two year we are all in agreement. the challenges which we do about all this? you know, besides give some good speeches? how can we have things forward? i want to focus on to aliment of american plicy. one focuses on theiranian regime and the other focuses on the iranian people. i think general zinni has been very good ideas on that. at dealing with the current regime, as we know from the cold war, the turns are above all a matter of clarity and credibility. we have to make sure that the iranian government knows that a nuclear iran is unacceptable and we had to be credible when we say that we will do what it takes if iran continues to disregard the will of the international community. and i haven't heard much
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discussion about sanctions here. it sort of came up a little bit. i'm for sanctions. i think that for the firsttime my sense with russia and perhaps china, now that we've forged this new friendship, that may be sanctions might start working. i was energy secretary and i recall and i think it's still the case that iran imports house of the gasoline and half of its food. so i think some of the distinctions that are supported are the international community, our european allies to finally have gotten a bit serious unsanctioned, that we must continue not just pushing them, but finding ways to make them more for this. you know, maybe they're not going to do the trick, but i believe it makes sense to try to
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find ways to make them work better. the united nations, where he served as ambassador has obviously dominated by china and russia, which has veto power. so it's important that through international mechanisms and through other means, that we continue this effort. in dealing with hard-line governments around the world, i was just in the korea. i feel that it's very important that we find ways to know as much as we can about our adversaries. and name-calling and refusing to talk to people i think it's you knowhere. indeed, they usually backfire on you by strengthening your adversaries most obstructionist and hard-line element. i'm not saying you don't call somebody what they deserve, but i thinwe should from and what
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john f. kennedy said. we should never negotiate out of fear, but we should never fear to negotiate. i'm not saying we negotiate with ahmadinejad. i'm saying is they find way of the iranian people bsupporting opposition, by finding elements society that need community. i wonder every day as they operate out dated blackberry, that through technology and the internet and blogs, there's got to be a way to communicate, not just among young people in iran, but across the spectrum that we have not explored, but maybe our government needs to explore. and maybe technology and many of you that are here at communicating more effectively than we have. we have to recognize also that there is national pride involved. i'm under no illusion that a
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dialogue, government to government, may be going through istanbul today is going to work. but i think not having sanctions and a unified international approach is a bad idea. and the fact that the united nations and the european community demonstrates two other significant players of the entire international community that the united states has made an honest and genuine effort to engage and find ways to make the situation better. president bush pursued this policy. i think it's the right policy, the sanctions. president obama is doing the same. we rallied support for increased pressures, sanctions and isolation. so i know many of you are saying
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well, governor come within spitting putting sanctions on iran for a while nw. it isn't working. they just accentuate political dispositions for government critics. it's another example of the regimes disregard for their general well-being. the sanctions offer another reason to criticize so-called american arrogance. and i think somebody said here, don't put sanctions that hurt the iranian people. and i agree. but i ink sanctions as a tool that has to be refined and continue. but that has to be combined with new approaches to talk to the iranian people. one is through the mek group. at least give them some credibility, talk to them and find ways for together. hotbot the other obviously is
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protect the rights of those that obviously is something that i wasn't aware of until this morning. and a third is how do we communicate with the opposition in america and europe, in iran quakes and somehow, this country this great arsenal of soft power, people to people exchanges, academics, busines leaders, the we've got to do tter. and so, i guess where i fall is what find a way and a bipartisan way. because i never found that, you know, this president did this, the secretary did that. that doesn't work. look, you've got men and women -- i guess it's only men, but it served here in both administrations and had been patriots in many ways.
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i just think that this issue is so important that it has to involve the american people. it has to involve you. it has to involve members that are directly affected by this issue. it has to involve talking to your senators and congressmen and finding ways to get the american people in your state to be part of this dialogue. and so, i thank you for ur time. and i'm going to give it the best part of my speech. the end. thank you. [applause] [alause] >> thank you, bi very, very much. general james jones. i enjoy just reading his resume. from july 1999 january 2003,
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general jones is the 32nd commander of the united states marine corps. after a command as commandant comest imposition of supreme allied of erope. not bad when you succeed in a job held with held by dwight d. eisenhower. in january 2009, general jones was appointedational security adviser for president of the united states, a position he held until last november. general. [applause] [applause] >> thank you, ladies and gentlemen. i also would like to thank the organizers of this very important conference. and i am just honored as a member of this panel and the people i work with and it buyer for most of my adult life.
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i also very much appreciate the passion is in this room. i could feel it just walking in. this is a room full of people who care about freedom, who care about their country, their native country, people ho suffered and there's nothing like individual suffering and loss to focus the attention on a very, very important problem. the senators started out decoding winston hurchill's quote that some of us in the military are very familiar with. i'd like to start up wit another quote by famous american comedian and an 1860s, 1970s, a comedian but the name of mixing vessels was understanding of this audience and saying, he the other cheek
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gets hit with the other fist. i'm tired of turning the other cheek were iran is concerned. and it is time -- [applause] and i would also say with all this passion for the subject matter that we're talking about the suffering of people, both here and elsewhere around the world, there is no country in the face of this planet than the last two centuries has reached out and done more to alleviate the suffering of the oppressed and to be a champion for fedom and liberty on the global plane surface. i'm very proud of that. i think it's a unique gift of america to certainly the 20th century and i hope on into the 21st century. and i hope that iran is at the
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forefront of that affair. let me just say a few things about the past two years in particular. first, when administration change, it's clear that there are startup efforts that have to take place. there are new people that come into positions, people that don't know each other very well. you have to get organized and you have to get focus. the one thing that doesn't happen is that time doesn't stand still. events don't stop. crazies keep coming. and whether you're organized a ready or not, you have to do with the world as it is in the events as they come toward you. i would suggest that for those who wish to understand the president and the administration, the air three speeches that are particularly
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big defining in terms of the aspirations of long-term goals of this administration. the first one was the inaugural speech. the second was the cairo speech and the third was the nobel peace prize awards. one of the care with sticks of all three was a balanced approach that suggests that if their previous speakers have said that you know, we shouldn't hesitate to talk to those who don't agree with. and i think the contents of that speechully illustrate that. but i also think that it also says that at some point you have to take a stand and you have to make a decision that's to which way it's going to go. now, we're rapidly approaching approaching the 24th month of this administration's policies. and i'd like to share a few things but you about where the
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administration is with regard to iran. but it's bigger than just iran. it is a challenge that we face that is so enormous that i've often thought of the president could do one thing and one thing only, but could be guaranteed he would do it, what could be quite would say finding the solution to the problem of the middle east and iran inclusive is probably the one thing that would most emphatically change the world as we know it ina positive way. we do not have a policy that is designed to limit the use of nuclear power for peaceful uses. as a matter of fact, successful in washington last year showed that the world is moving in that
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direction in a very unified way. but how you get there is extremely important. in the use of nuclear ower cannot and should not be denied to anyone for one thig. it helps underdeveloped countries bypass, if you will come at th industrial age of energy production and get to clean energy that affects the climate that affects our environment and so on and so forth. so these things with regard to nuclear por are very interrelated. and i want to be very clear. the president was extremely clear and he chose his words very carefully when the president said that the policy of the united states to prevent iran from becoming a nuclear-capable state, nuclear weapons capable state. and that word prevent was the lirally chosen. it wasn't taken lightly. there were other words it could have been inserted, but he picked a word very carefully.
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and my knowledge, that still remains our policy. with regard to iran, therer three -- three very dangerous consequences with regard to the path of the design. the first one of course is that it becomes nuclear weapons capable. that has a geometry onto its own. we tried for years to prevent north korea from becoming nuclear weapons capable. we are as a matter of policy bent on making sure that ira does not achieve the same thing. the second reason and second danger that eventuality would pose if in fact it does happen is the fact that it would trigger a nuclear arms race in the persian gulf. and that is also firly certain, a fairly certain outcropping of the first eventuality.
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the third one, no one to national security adviser worries me more the first two is that iran is a state sponsor of terrorism could easily be seen to be the type of country that would export that kind of technology, weapons of mass destruction to terrorist organizations. and when and if that happens, ladies and gentlemen, world as we know it today will change because you can put restrictions and you can put sanctons and you can put deterrence o sovereign countries known to have nuclear-capable weapons because nobody wants to be totally annihilated as a result of the first use. when you're a terrorist organizations that have that kind of type elegy, then you have an asymmetric challenge that is very, very difficult to meet and to defeat. so those three dangers are omnipresent international game
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and should be omnipresent throughout the thinking of the rational part of the world. over the past two years, the united states has tried to anything successfully, try to become a leader in the problem of nuclear proliferation and on the problem then is presented by iran. and i think that leadership role has been recognized. i will tell you the rapprochement between russia and the united states started very early on in 2009 in iran was one of the central reasons for that rapprochement. it has not changed. and russia has demonstrated on
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several occasis that is creasingly concerned with developments in iran and actually canceled the sale to its financial judgment of the 300 missiles to iran as a consequence of their displeasure with regard to the direction of the iranian regime. so too is china although delighted they, but nonetheless persuasively join the sanctions. and as a result of our duties with the europeans, the european union smoothly patent and the u.n. sanctions that were adopted. and thirdly, individual countries who may not have been signers of the sanctions for punishing sanctions on iran as well. the full weight of all of the sanctions probably won't he felt for another six months to a year
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but this is a methodology that is unprecedented. it is by no means the only thing for the last thing that is going to happen if iran does not change its ways. but the president was clear anything most people agree with the fact that it leaves some measure of space must be left open for the iranians to come to their senses and to do the things the world expects them to do, which are clear. we have both overt and covert discussions with the iranians. we've offered to meet with several foreign. as secretary of state was rebut publicly by the foreign minister who turned away. added several opportunities to national security advisers do with high-level officials that water to meet and they did not. we've offered to a bilateral discussions within the framework
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of the p5 plus one, the iaea which have never been enacted on. we meet bilaterally in vienna. again, offers that were rebuffed. .. i know of no time in the past 15 or 20 years when the this country or the arab world and the europeans have been as united as they are on this
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particular issue. and every conference that i've been to the question about the middle east and the overarching château of iran and on top of the process argues very persuasively this is one of the defining issues of our time, and i can assure you on matters of collective security between us and our friends that there have been many discussions and i am sure those discussions are continuing. i've heard many people say of course time is not on our side and that may be true but i would also argue the time is not on the iranian side because the willingness to talk, the willingness to continue to go down this road without any tangible result eventually means that sooner or later the world
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will conclude and we will conclude as a nation that iran has defined itself and we will have to proceed with what we must do in order to achieve less successful goals that have been articulated. hope is not a strategy and we can't continue to hope that the iranians will see the wisdom of our position, not only our position but most of the world's position and come to the negotiating table and be wilng to negotiate openly and forthrightly for their own benefit, for their own benefit of their people which they are routinely ignoring for their own benefit of the growth of their society. the president's words about u.s. intentions are not widely shared and ough it could beaid by critics that maybe we should and could have one more the truth
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is a lot has been done, but we haven't reached the end of the road in terms of what we must do in order to make sure that we achieve our goal for the sake of freedom, for the sake of our children and our grandchildren and for the sake of humanity. this is a problem that has to be addressed. it has to be addressed successfully and i think this congress serves to underscore not only just the passion that the logic we have to take this on and be successful and i think you very much for inviting me to be here. thank you. [applause] thank you, general, very much. jim has been a fixture in american security policy. he's the former director of central intelligce and served
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as head of te central intelligence agency from 1993 to 1995. previously he served as undersecretary of the navy from 1977 to 1979. jim woolsey. [applause] thanks, bob. it was an honor to be asked to be on the panel today, but to tell you the truth since i spent 22 years as a washington lawyer and then some time at the cia in the clinton administration time-honored to be invited in to any company for any reason at all. [laughter] mark twain once said history doesn't repeat itself but sometimes it does rhyme, and there is an interesting partial crime that i want to share with
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you by describing another regime other than the current regime in iran. the one that took power in january of 1933 in january. the principal figure, adolf hitler had written in the 1920's of what his objectives were. to rule germany, to kill the jews and conquer europe. he was very explicit and very clear. when he came to powe, the majority of the german people didn't back him or vote for him, the plurality did, driven in part by history of germany and ancient and noble people, feeling as if they had been badly treated by particularly the french and british in the aftermath of world war i with the debt that were levied and
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the rest. hitler began a very substantial military buildup. some of it was hit in, some of it was known but he began immediately as an effort to enhance his ability to deal with his neighbors and the outside world. in the meantime, two paramilitary oganizations, the ss and sa can to be the instrument of the nazi state owning much of the property and dominating much of the government decision making under hitler's cui orders. it can easily be said and often said that hitler was a totalitarian maniac, but maniac
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misconstrued something because most americans view of a my local personality as someone reading and not rational. hitler was far more a sociopath, someone who is shrewd, calculating, successful, and with horribl objectives. because once objectives are to conquer europe and destroy the jews does not mean that one cannot be shrewd. i wrote a paper in college but hitler as it went from 1933 to 1939. , not to bismarck, no one. he had the chancellors of years of eating out his hand with a movement to establish talks with treaties, efforts to establish negotiations, and even as he moved into the beginning of the
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holocaust was wrong it's against the jews in 1938, and the jewish refugees from europe began to climb aboard ships headed for other countries and frequently including in the united states finding themselves turned away. sometimes out of anti-semitism and sometimes outof a spirit of not wanting to antagonize hitler. only the dominican republic, by the way, has a crystal pure record with respect to that issue. but many were turned away. and then in 1938, also came the opportunity, the allies had been strong of long year after year with a promise of serious negotiations, and so we had
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munich, as we had chamberlain returned smiling and raising the peace agreement had been reached at munich saying this meant peace for our time to applause, to general approbation that what at the time was called appeasement did not have a negative connotation right yet. it meant in 1938 pretty much the same thing that engagement means now. talking seriously to your major adversary and hopefully reaching agreement with him. and it was success taking the land by agreement in munich and followed by 1939 in the summer
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hitler and stalin pact and the joint decision of the nazis and stalinist to conquer europe from different parts of europe, not to run into one another poll in the divided carefully. i mentioned that possible rhyme to point to a few parallels. the iranian regime today have some of the characteristics that the nazis did in the 1930's. certainly the twin objectives of conquering or at least dominating the whole region of the world and killing the jews, constant among dictators it seems. i also take a vintage of the fact that the persians invented chess and are very good at it.
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and i see ahmadinejad stragy as essentially moving juan upon on one far side of the chess board slowly down towards the king's row in order to convert to the most lethal peace, the queen here a nuclear weapon. while neither side of the board and perhaps sidebar conversations or coffee lotof distractions are launched. but the resolute progress of the pond towards the king's row to become the most lethal piece on the board is what the heart of the matter is all about. the other phenomenon that s taking place is of course the iranian nuclear weapons program.
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if you do not believe that it is a nuclear weapons program, i have a bridge in brooklyn i would be delighted to market to you. e worst and the most irresponsible national intelligence estimate ever several years ago confused its head line with its footnote, its headline was that iran stopped its nuclear program, nuclear weapons program. the footnote said by the way it is still enriching uranium. the enrichment of uranium is the long pole in a tent and a signing the nuclear weapon or the reprocessing of plutonium. that is what is hard. that's what takes time, not the design of the weapon. keep in mind we drop the relative design on hiroshima the enriched uranium one ever having been tested in the history of
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the world. we tested in florida wasn't the bomb dropp on hiroshima, it was a different design dropped on nagasaki, but merely three-quarters of a century ago we talked this absolutely innovative within in the wartime without ever having tested if we were so sure that it would work and one can be reasonably confident that for a relatively primitive we designed highly enriched uranium weapon the iranians others states before them with the same degree of confidence. if you are enriching uranium and you have a right to do that by the way under the nonproliferation treaty as part of the underlying structure of the treaty which is derived from eisenhower's program, if you are enriching uranium as is your
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light, you are supposed to stop at 5% which is what you use as fuel for your nuclear poer plant. once you are at 5% you are not 5% of the way or so, you are about 70% of the way to having done the work you need to do in order to be able to enrich to 90% which is what you need for nuclear weapon. so the claims that iran make in the course of its undertaking are quite parallel to the peaceful assurances that hitler was getting in the 1930's as he took a dive bomber and these are for peaceful purposes, yes of course they were. of course iran's intention is
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merely to have enriched uranium for its nuclear power plant. it is amazing to me the degree to which sensible people in different parts of the world have fallen pry to that nonsense time and time and time again over the course of the last number of years. in addition to parallels and diplomacy and weapons buildup there are some crimes with respect of course to ahmadinejad and th regime's treatment. jews and treatment of dissidents, and treatment of democrats, those who wat decent iran comedies and irony in government of all stripes. and rtainly now it has come time for us to take a very fresh
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look at the way we are dealing with iran. it would be, i think excellent if there were factions within this irnian regime at one could work with. but i greatly fear that that horse long ago left the barn, that it was not the case in 1997 when a bond was made to a new iranian primm and mr. that people have some hope might be a moderate. i don't think it was the case now and it certainly is not the case now. those who depart from ahmadinejad and the revolutionary guard and the beseeches thinking are sought out and killd as quily as
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possible and the chance of there being on the inside that we can work within sight of the regime itself is slim to the point of vanishing. of course one should never be afraid of talking to an enemy. but the reason these are sometimes done secretly including sometimes by heads of intelligence seice is that ce a bureaucracy gets a hold of talks, they can do some fairly bizarre things with it recall a story about my wonderful co-chair of the committee on the present danger, former secretary of state and cretary george shultz known to many of you here in the room well. his old friend mike mansfield was nominated by president reagan, democratic leader of the
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senate to be the ambassador of jan. the two mares from world war ii, longtime friends got together one-on-one because the secretary shultz always had a one-on-one meetings with a new ambassador. so we had a one-on-one meeting with mike mansfield and we sat and talked for 20 or 30 minutes and finally mansfield said george, i really got to go. i know how busy youare in really appreciate it. he said okay, fine, on the way out, he said, see that big blow by the deal and mansfield said yes. i ask all new investors just the kind of pro forma thing point to your country for me and mansfield said sure. turned the globe and pointed to the united states prigsh shultz beamed and said you know, you are the first sob and a long time that's gotten that right. [laughter] once a negotiation that's going,
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just as to a hammer and a lot of things that aren't nails look like nails to a diplomat, and life in one, quite frequently killed of things which aren't really oortunities to settle something look like opportunities to have negotiations and wright reporting cables. and although one can talk with individuals such as foreign ministers say a mahmoud ahmadinejad regime one should under no circumstances be diluted into soft peddling things that need to be done in order to make that hypothetical negotiations succeed with the chance is sort of close to zero as things get in human endeavors. one thing we should no longer do and in this i join the others on
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the panel is keep the mek listed as a terrorist organization. [applause] in 22 years of practicing law, i read a lot of legal decisions, and i recently read the circuit court's decision in the case involving the mek versus the state department, and my experience, and i think that of most lawyers interested in international matters is that courts ordinarily get a great deal of deference to the executive branch with respect to the conduct of foreign policy. this eloquently and well written decisionf last july by the
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d.c. circuit effectively says quite blunt although it doesn't use this particular analogy that with the department of state has done is what the red queen does an alice-in-wonderland when she is asked if first we are going to have a trial and verdict and then the execution. she says no, no, execution first, then trial. [laughter] so, we need to incorporate that move together with a vigorous effort to work with those who want a decent iran outside the country and inside the country. we need to help tide them together as bill suggested with technology. in nearly 1980's my great friend
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wrote a marvelous all paid in a wall sreet journal. the cooperation was solidarity was just beginning in the afl-cio and to some extent the cia, and solidarity. and will setters of debt was about improving communications between the members of solidarity and the off had had a wonderful title. it was the facts will make you free, fax. the facsimile machine was the social network of the 1980's, and today we need to be careful how we do this, and we need to make sure that it is being done technically right, but there should be no reasn that we forebear helping the green movement, the labor unions, the mek, all of those who have a role in a new iran to be built
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to safely and securely communicate with one another. we can do this and we need to do it now. [applause] secondly, we should realize that although it means pain to the iranian people, the time is getting short. he may have bought us a year or so, but it isnot the ultimate victory over the iranian nuclear program, and we need to do what we can to essentially destabilize this horrible regime through sanctions together with enabling the green movement labor unions mek and the rest. i believe we need to take steps far beyond those that would be
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approved even by a slightly reformed view of the soviet -- sorry, i need that slip from time to time -- the russians and the chinese. we need to basically utilize these excellent utilization of financial sanctions even more comieven more draconian way. i think what we need to do is pull together the elements of the secondary boycott essentially of all companies in the outside world, especially those in europe and asia that deal with iran other than by exporting food, pharmaceuticals, matters, substances and product still would relate to the basic needs of the iranian people, otherwise if you area german bank or japanese construction
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company anyou are dealing with iran, you should not be able to deal with the united states. [applause] you should not be able to transfer funds from ameran banks. you should not be able to do anything. and the same -- [applause] the same would go for subsidiarieof american or others hiding under a foreign registration are in fact trading with the enemy that neds to get squashed and squashed now. i think finally we need to reale that it is not 1933, its
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1938 and time is short and the leadership of much of the western world would like to dither. there is a good reason why volume ii of manchester's classic free volume biography of winston churchill, the volume that deals with the years of the 1920's and 1930's has a one word title. that word is alone. churchill was indeed a loan in the 20's and 30's, almost completely. a few friends, but almost completely alone because he alone saw what was coming and what needed to be done. and when britain finally turned to him in may of 1940 nearly a year into the ongoing world war ii, it was very late.
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we were very fortunate that they finally did and that we, ourselves, were able finally to come into the war and leanup and absolutely terrible world situation that had killd millions and millions of people in no small measure because of the dithering of the 1930's by leaders who bear unfortunately some rather strong resemblances to ones we have had in the west in the last few years. [applause] it would be my hope that we would all be able to work on these probems together with a new spirit of urgency and a new spirit of commitment, thank you very much. [applause] thank you very much, bob.
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it's a pleasure to be here this morning and also with such a distinguished panel, many good friends and colleagues with a might serve over the years, and also before you a group that as one of our colleagues has a passion and a focus and dedication which is remarkable. many of you and your friends and families have personally suffered at the hands of this regime, and you know firsthand both the horror of what happened and maybe more importantly the specter of poor that could happen if these issues are not dealt wit. the things i want to speak about are of great importance to the united states, great importance to the people of iran, and on a personal asis, occupied a lot of my time when i was fortunate to serve as the predicted of the fbi. one of our speakers said and
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others repeated what you're hearing today is a very non-partisan discussion, and i think that fema resonates very well from what you've heard. i was appointed by two presidents, one a democrat and one republican, and many of my colleagues served in both administrations of republicans and democrats. so we are talking about issues that i think tanscend politics and transcend partisanship. we wanted to do is give you a case study which is a case which is now almost 10-years-old, the towers bombing that has great relevance to many of the subjects that we've discussed here today, and it's not the focus on any particular period of time or particular administration, but to highlight some of the issues and the confusion which is a word you heard several times about the
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united states foreign policy and decision making with respect to this regime which goes back many, many years and the context of i going to talk about this terrorism which we talked about a little bit but not perhaps on a case study basis. the last time i spoke about the case in washington, d.c. in a trial that was a civil claim brought by the families of the survivors of the 19 u.s. airmen who were killed on june 26th of 1996 in the towers where as ou know united states was enforcing the no-fly zone over iraq, and it was an interesting event for me to his fight and i testified years ago as an fbi agent, bt this was a particularly interesting trial because we were asked by the ate department and the justice department to please not testify and was a little bit of an
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unusual request all of the material we talked about were public record. it wasn't any confidential inrmation or classified information, but the united states had been and is now a policy of not supporting litigation against foreign sovereign states, even if in at particular case it was a claim for redressing the justice by the families of the survivors, the survivors of the 19 airmen killed on the towers. it highlights of one of my colleagues talked abo as the confusing bureaucracies and sometimes faultless ways that we approach this problem. for many years up to sawtimber of 2001, one of the ways we dealt with terrorism abroad against the united states and its allies was using a war enforcement model, so if there was an attack against the marine
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barracks in 1983 which by the way resulted in a republican president u.s. forces in the mideast, again, going back to this theme of nonpartisanship, for years and years after that event going to september 11th 2001, the united states had a policy through many different administrations of responding to attacks against the united states by using a law enforcement model. by sending out investigators doing crime scenes looking for witnesses, etc.. a model whichmany of us said and continued to say was an effective when the subjects of the investigation were sovereign states or terrorist organizations conducting acts of war against the united states. if you kill an american serviceman or woman overseas, yes, it is a violation of our
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title xviii u.s. criminal code. but it's more than that. it is an attack against the united sates and a knack of war in some respects against the united states. but for many years ago was a model the was used and i suggest one of the reasons why many administrations used that model is a much easier way to deal with an intractable complex dangerous problems. it was a military solution, it wasn't a diplomatic approach, it was let the police and the courts sort it out, and that is the model followed for many years. so in 1996, when the town were was attacked it was attacked by a group of saudi hezbollah members, and the was discovered fairly shortly after the event because host country, the kingdom of saudi arabia had detained and arrested several of the actors who said yes, we were
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recruited by the irg sea, we were trained and got our passports at the iranian embassy in damascus and $100,000 cash from the general in the irg sea. this took a long time to get sorted out but although it was evidence of a crime, it was also during substantial proof that the attack in june of 1996 was an attack by the government of iran against the united states of america. and not very different, the attacks against the u.s. embassy in east africa. the attack against the u.s. s. coal. we sifted through evience, actually giving people their miranda rights. i got a call during the the koler towers investigation the
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agents were interviewing one of the subjects and the question came up about how we could give them the miranda rights because the local government did not provide an attorney free of charge if you couldn't afford one. as these are the types of applications that were going on in a very purposeful but a very effective way. when kolevar towers occurred among the president of the united states appropriately so from the oval office said that this attack against the united states would not unpunished and no stone would be left unturned to bring the perpetrators to justice. so our charge was to conduct investigations. our first note was do you want us to conduct a criminal investigation because that may interfere with whatever other policy decisions you may or may not make. the answer was no, conduct the investigation.
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so we deployed several hundred fbi agents and personnel to saudi arabia who concted a crime ene investigations, interviews in conjunction with the saudis which is their police force. it became very clear after a short period of time the the perpetrators of the tax were irgc treen, planned and funded. the attack only resued tragically and t death of 19 americans, 372 or wouded. the reason for that frattali was the trck was pleased perpendicular to building 131 which was the barracks. had they been placed in a parallel fashion the whole building would have come down and several hundred people would have been killed. it became very apparent during the investigatio that we needed to get direct access to the
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defendant's subjects who had been the defended by the saudis, five of whom were arrested i the immediate environment of the crime a short time afterwards. so we were told by the saudis that such request was unprecedented. american agents had never been allowed to conduct investigations obviously or speak to subjects in tat country and the crime was one for them under sharia being handled in a religious process. so our necessity was to get a senior, the president of the mid united states to make the request that if the fbi agents be allowed to conduct the interviews to this overlong period of time we wrote talking points for the president, the vice president. they would meet with the crown prince or somebody else from saudi arabia and we always got back a response the never made the request. and then became very apparent after a short period of time
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that the request wasn't being made. other requests are being made, but not the one that was critical for our investigation. this was the period as some of my colleagues have noted where the representative crush wall and the new moderate government appeared to be taking place. the government under which by the wheel of the nuclear reactors were built. so i recall getting a phone call one morning from the secretary of state that said that the iranians are company because of the agents are fingerprinting them when they come into the united states. i id of course we've been doing that along period of time because as you know, madam secretary, the agents sometimes come with a bustling team, usually the one who is on fixed, but he is the mois agent and that is why we think are protected. he said you have to stop because they are very upset.
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this is the mood, this was the policy notincorrect perhaps because i agree with my colleagues that the opportity for the discussion and compromise and diplomacy is very, very important. but we never got thee during this period of time. it was in an effective policy. we learned during the course of the criminal investigation for instance that the white house had sent a diplomatic note unbeknownst to us that was supposed to be delivered to the prime minister which would request his assistance and the fbi conducting its investigation of the towers bombing. nobody told us they were sending the note. we read about it in the nepapers because the middle east ally delivering the note mistakenly gave it to the religious leader, not to the prime minister's office and that caused a big press conference and criticism.
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so, on and on the investigation we and we reached the point after a very difficult period of time within the administration and the united states, not on the crime seen side or we got the evidence that this attack was committed by the irgc for the local hezbollah office which is exactly what happened in the marine barracks in 1983. and the permission that we finally received by the saudi government to interview the detainees was the result of loss using channels outside of the government and outside of the administration because we could not get any assistance wthin the administration with respect to making the request. the reason was simple. they did not want to confront the fact and the reality that
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the iranian government had murdered 19 americans and blown up the towers. and as investigators we accepted that the foreign policy matter which goes beyond our jurisdiction and. so we would go back repeatedly and say do you want us to stop conducting the investigation the answer would always be no, we want you to conduct a vigorous investigation, all the evidence and charge a river can be charged and this was the confusion and in anecdotal but historical the example of the confusion of the policy which in many respects continues today through a new administration with regard to the mek listing, with regard to the camp and regard to his lack of clarity and lack of purpose in terms of achieving what are very basic objectives year. after we finally got access to the detainees we interviewed them and they leave out and very
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good detail in an evidentiary fashion exactly what had happened, and we felt we had at that point prove to indict and number of people under cover extraterritorial terrorism laforme the merger of 19 americans. so we got all this information together the agni went to see the national security adviser of the united states and when i told them what we had, itwas a very interesting and unforgettable reaction. he looked at me and said who knows about this? and all of us here in washington did ask a lot of questions. for me the was the strangest question i got i the nine years i was here. who knows about this? and i said well, you know about it now, i know about it, the attorney-geral of the united states and probably a couple of hundred fbi agents. th reaction was one of regret
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and one of disappointment not because by the way people had been murdered ancouldn't be brought to trial because they were members of the irgc but because now the administration had to confront a very difficult issue, one which has been confronted actually much more forthrightly by the current administration who was as general jones said that the united states will prevent the acquisition of a nuclear weapon by this administration. that is about as firm a commitment as i think i can hear. so anyway, they called the meeting in the white house as a result of this information and the usual people were invited to the meeting. it was in the room in the white house where i think everybody on my left has been on a number of
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occasions. the attorney general i thought the purpose of the meeting was to discuss what the result would be of disinformation and what would happen. so at the meeting, the national security adviser hand out to documents, and when we got them we were a little bit surprised to read them. they were to press statents. one is the republican on the hill and the other was for the reporters and i askedthe question i come over here to talk about this evidence and we are going to do and they said yes we are going to get to that first we have to talk about how we respond to the isse of whether or not the iranian government was involved in this attack. you can delete the weather from the stress because we have substantial evidence that they were involved in the attack and somebody said to me whowas a lawyer that's all here say, which was a very surprising
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question to hear from the national security adviser and i said actually, the statement and furtherance of a conspiracy by a co-conspirator and that is an exception to the hearsay rule. regardless of that, the reaction wasn't very different from the reaction we've seen politically over a long period of time. not because the people making those decisions or were not making those decisions are bad people or misguided people. i think all of them have the same goal and intention that all of us do here. how do we reach the of objective of justice and fairness and freedom not just for the iranian people repressed by these regimes but by all o the collateral consequences whether it's u.s. military personnel or other people victimized to dump the world from south america to the far east as a result of
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irgc's terrorist activities. thirgc was noted here and you probably know better than us it's not just a government agency and it is an economic powerhouse, it's a conglomerate, it's a foreign policy shop, it's a military shot. it meets all the definitions of the racketeer influence organization and it kills people, mostly its own people. - from my perspective we reach the result that we intended to reach with respect to the towers. we invited 14 pople on 46 counts with the murder of those americans and interestingly, we couldn't get an indictment in the administration under which the crime occurred. it was looked at and people said
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i don't think we have enugh evidence etc., etc.. the same evidence was looked at by new prosecutors and they returned an indictment and 90 days. those subjects are fugitives. one of the many and tie-ins with respect to the horror and the killings and the tragedies that the regime perpetrated over many years, but i think where we are as we sit here today is much closer to i would call it a fail-safe point or critical mass point, and i don't know exactly what to call it beyond that. but i think over the course of many years going back maybe to the early 1980's we have found that a combination of different alternative strategies working together will have the desired
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rest. what is the desired result? the desired result is that those students who were murdered and the families who were imprisoned, friends and relatives of many of you i suspect are allowed to do what free people are allowed to do everywhere through all time. we have sanctions the i think are working better. i spent a lot of time in europe working for corporations to be a within some of those corporations very resolute attempt to make sure that the sanctions are not violated because of the economic and political consequences that they would have for that company and that country. the amazing her like the reddi-wip nist after the 2009 election on the streets of tehran was almost a critical mass to be there was almost exactly where it should have ended. it didn't dissipate those young
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men and women, those heroes, the martyrs' among them, their families and friends, that hasn't been a race, it hasn't been compromised, it's there and powerful. it will probably be in my opinion, and again i'm nota historian or diplomat, but my opinion is that is where the solution of this will be and the question is whether the regime will react as the tunisian tire rent reacted or will it react as many other governments have reacted when their regimes were threatened. i don't think we know the answer to that. but the critical mass is going to happen by a combination of the military hard power line in the sand which has been drawn. we think it has been drawn at least it has been said of the sanctions, all of the work is done covertly and overtly through diplomatic channels,
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military hannels, through intelligence, law enforcement, and the object of here is to support the strongest condemnation and the strong guest stress point for what we want to achieve, and that is going to be on the streets and homes and colleges and that huge and a great country and it is going to probably have been i would predict what in the near term. i don't think that you can keep that kind of force under wraps and restrained with the longevity and sustainability that the regime would crtainly like. the sanctions are not going to be perfect. i don't know whether the subsidies away from the gas and food prices or because of the sanctions, and they will certainly impact adversely on the iranian people. there is no perfect solution. there is no one solution to be it's going to be a combination
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of all of these, but i think we are moving very rapidly to the demarcation and to the critical point. and our goal and our hope is that it ends in a peaceful but successful and sustainable way that this regime is undermined and is defeated but by the means i think everyone here is talked about. i think if you had to write a scenao or write an ending for this story you would want to write one with a least amount of people killed, harm, injured, because that's he solution as americans and as freedom lovers that we want and we strive for. so your work here in the seminar is very timely. if you have a very powerful elements to this comprehensive and irreversible movement and force which the policy makers will have to respond to.
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they've already responded to it, but you sustaining this issue and your dedication to this issue will take it to the next few steps, next few critical steps, and how those are executed and balance are obviously critical with respect to the preservation of life, but as importantly, the preservation of freedom and the stubble until the freedom in an institutional way. i want to thank you and commend you and i think you have heard a great cross section of furious but lso of solutions and alternatives and my hope is that all of those together will win the day and get the result that we want. thank you. [applause] [applause]
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>> thank you very much. finally for the final presentation today, ambassador michel reiss. mitchell was a former director of policy anning in the united states department of state where he worked for secretary powell. he helped develop the united states foreign policy with an emphasis iniraq, north korea, china, iran and the arab-israeli conflict. ambassador reiss was recently named the 27th president of washington colge. congratulations. welcome. [applause] thank you for inviting me to speak today. i am honored to be on the same panel with such outstanding public servants. i just returned this past weekend from a tour across the middle east. starting in the uae, spending
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three days in afghanistan, on to jordan and finishing with two and a half days in israel. during the trip i met with a number of senior political leaders and military officials. at every meeting that the top of the agenda was iran, the threat it poses to stability in the region, its support for terrorism and what might be done to halt its nuclear weapons program. these days most ofthe attention of iran and the region and in the media focuses on its nuclear weapons ambition and rightly so. the iranian regime continues to regard even security council restrictions, and there is the risk that its nuclear program will provoke other countries in the middle east to pursue their own independent nucar options. in the past few days, senior israeli officials including the head of mossad suggested that iran's progress has bn slowed and that it is now two to three years away from building a
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nuclr weapon. some u.s. officials have a slightly less optimistic assessment about that time line. but there is absolutely no disagreement and no dispute over the fact that iran is keeping open its nuclear weapons option by continuing to develop various technical capabilities that each day bring it closer to being able to produce nuclear weapons should it decide to do so. my discussions in jordan and israel also focus on kuran's effort to destabilize government friendly to the west through its proxies' particularly hezbollah and hamas. this came as no surprise. we know that hezbollah is the largest recipient of the iranian financial aid, training and within prieta that iran's senior leadership cited hezbollah as a model for other militan groups. the israeli and other sources estimate that hezbollah has now stockpiled over 50,000 rockets in southern lebanon as it has
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rearmed from the war with israel in the summer of 2006. iran also provides training weapons and money to hamas to support its resistance to israel and its implacable opposition to any israeli-palestinian peace negotiations to reach we all know of the successful efforts last week by hezbollah to collapse the government in lebanon. over the u.n. investigation into his father's assassination. we have also seen a ratcheting up in the past month of mortar and rocket attacks from the gaza strips on neighboring towns and villages. let me share with you a brief anecdote. last week i was in a town located right next to the gaza strip. the israeli police commissioner showed me his collection of all of the spent rockets that have been red into the town in the past few years. now typically when this happens the israeli officials condemn hamas for these attacks.
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but there are other groups that launch these rockets against the israeli civilians like palestinian islamic jihad whih is also supported by iran as the governor noted earlier. it turns out the palestinian islamic jihad was upset hamas was getting all the credit for this tax. as we started writing messages to the israelis on each rocket to make sure that it was attributed to their group and not hamas. surely an interesting way to assert yorubaland the command and claimed market share. in addition to kuran's programming and support for terrorism, a third topic heteros on the trip was the nature of the islamic republic itself. frankly, less attention is paid to this topic these days. it seems international attention crested a few years ago with a grain movement when it seemed possible the democrat forces inside iran might actually topple the regime or at least fundamentally change the
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relationship between god, e state and the people. we all know what happened. the response to the government of this political challenge was to conduct a massive voter fraud in the june 2009 election. in response to people poured out into the streets in large-scale demonstrations. conservative hard-liners rejected by cracking down on protesters d regime opponents. supreme leader and psident mahmoud ahmadinejad and hard-line conservative allies then moved to consolidate their power even more. by early 2010, the green movement had lost momentum and appeared the opposition had missed its moment. let me quote from a cia report from last year the describes the regime and the following terms of this moment. strengthen conservative control limit opportunities for reformers to for dissipate in politics or organize opposition.
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the regime will work to marginalize opposition eletes, disrupt or intimidate efforts to organize dissent and use force to put down unrest. that was last year. what about thisyear? has anything changed? will the international economic sanctions galvanize the people into opposing the regime? is the opposition regroup and reorganize? is the green movement an effective force forchallenging hmoud ahmadinejad? the answer i received from u.s. officials across the region last week was no. ..
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tehran has also resorted to doing business with small nonwestern bangs and dealing in non-us current needs for many financial transactions. further, ahmadinejad is trying to conflate the poorest and lowest classes from the budget cuts and the removal of state subsidies. so even if there is rising political disaffection among the people come in the assessment is that this will not condone this government. the students and opposition political class are seen as disorganized and not strong enough to mobilize, take their protest to the streets and challenge the government that has that's a pretty discouraging
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assessment. but is it accurate? let me offer up an alternative assessment. i must start with uncomfortable fact, the fact that no one, no one in the u.s. government or across the arab world are addicted what we've just seen occur in tunisia. no one. so useful starting point when we look at a rant is that we need a huge dose of humility and how poor we are predicting popular uprisings. is that famous parlors see analyst yogi berra once said prediction is hard especially about the future. so i think it is entirely possible the official u.s. views on them we may see the resurgence of the opposition movement in the coming years, maybe even sooner. what we witnessed in 2008, 2009 maybe only the first phase of this opposition, not the final phase. none of the key issues from the
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june 2000 election had been resolved, not the best economic model, not the islamic nature of the regime in the proper role for religious authority and not even the outcome of the election it ill. all of these issues continue to fester. it's also worth noting that iran still is an educated and rests with middle-class. iran has millions of young people. approximately 70% of the population, as you well know, are under the age of 30 are sold. these young people have access to the internet daily. this is not a society that wants to be associated with the regime that stones women to death. so if there is going to be another wave of protests, what might you to trigger? my view is they won't any single event that pumps the oosition into action,ut rather the slow accumulation of hardships, indignities, insults and
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humiliations. this means the listing of subsidies alone will not unleash the ocean. but economic hard times combined with a scarcity, rising inflation and rising unemployment and underemployme may lead initially to sporadic growth. we may start to see these as soon as this summer when university students are out of school and temperatures start to rise. or it may be the tippng point will be asked for when the regime announces there will be no more parliantary elections. the point here is that we can't know for sure, but it would be mistaken that the status quo will hold forever. finally, is there anything the united states can do to assist the opposition? let me offer a few ideas. the obama administration should continue to tighten the economic noose around this regime and not the other governments to do the
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same. yesterday, secretary of state hillary clinton announced the sanctions were having an impact on iran's economic bab or. general jones is just reiterated to that. the administration needs to continue and intensify these efforts. second, the united states need to targeted iranian leaders and policies and not at the iranian nation. what i have in mind is calibrating official statement that they do not have nationalism or allow ozment in the shot to exploit our statements to exploit its own power. covers to expose at the highest levels of being an example of what i have in mind. more broadly, the obama administration needs to talk up and take a the banner of human rights and democracy and that the very least give greater rhetorical support to the opposition movement. [applause]
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subsidence support for the opposition would also be welcome. in the past, the obama administration appeared reluctant to support iranian opposition efforts for fear it would complicate their nuclear talks. personally, i diagree wih that decision. having spent a large part of my career negotiations is in pretty ba at various, supporting the opposition would give any american negotiator more leverage, not less leverage at the negotiating table. [applause] whether or not you believe that we have one year, two years, three years or more before iran will be in a position to acquire nuear weapons, there's still no reason to be shy about doing more to support the iranian
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position. a good first step would be delisting mak. [applause] [applause] and a third, we need to promote free access to internet and free flow of information and outside iran and especially within iran. an attack in the twitter, face up, myspace and all the other technologies jim woolsey mentioned earlier. we've all seen the impact these technologies can have when they're lined with the forces of freedom. my sense is that many iranians want to be parof the international community. they want to be integrated more closely in the economic dynamism of the region and they want to become full members of the 21st century. we need to do more to help them.
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thankyou. [applause] thank you. ambassor, i want to thank you again on behalf of the entire panel for bringing us together today and all of you for your patience and members of the panel. i know we have taken more of your time this morning and then was planned for promise, but we are grateful. many of you may be new to washington. you may not have attended similar event in the past. i spent most of my adult life in such forums in this town. i can remember no occasion under which such distinguished people
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from various pursuits of professional service have come together in one room with such remarkably similar views. i hesitate to add the numbers, but i wouldsuspect that there is assembled on this stage, more than 200 years of experience in law enforcement, antiterrorist activities, military service and american foreign policy. a distinguished set of couriers. no one on this podium needs me to represent or cared to aise their views. i speak only for myself. but i think several things are unmistakable. we can differn how we believe american policy. but it appears to me as i listened to every speaker, one thought was common.
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the discussions in turkey must be more than another meaningless milestone en route to nuclear weapons held by the government in tehran. second, the listing of the mak is a terrorist organization by the united states government is wrong. [applause] it is wrong as a matter of law. it is contrary to the facts to be heard and it is conary to american foreign policy. and having a expatriate groups of iranians around the world ganized as it is their right and a responsibility to bring to
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the country of their ancestors buried, a responsible government. i call upon secretary clinton, who i consider adear friend to do what she knows is right, and the policy and end it now. [applause] i leave you finally with this prediction of the resistance as the iranian government, made
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dangerous by the action of tehran and complicated a picy of the united gates government, one day, you'll look upon your children and grandchildren with pride and say, when it all the world have looked the other way, when even the united gates government made difficult to stand up against tierney in tehran, your family was there and stood firm. you'll be proud you're here today. [applause] we promised all of you this would end some time ago. we promised members of our panel could be on with their days by now. so i'll take the liberty of just limiting if i could because i know people in the audience would like to speak with members of the panel. i'm sure they'll each take a few
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minutes to answer questions privaty. the 30 members of the media who nt to take advantage just for a couple minutes and you questions, woulbe glad to hold everybody for that. is ther anyone in the media who can identify many sources they would finance questions? anybody clicks if there is not, will break. okay, thank you all okay, thank you all very, very much. [applause] >> the european foreign-policy chief announced that the talks with iran have ended without agreement or without an agreement for future talks. >> this afternoon on c-span, a
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town hall discussion on u.s.- canada relations. the forum is hosted by cpac. that is today at 4:00 p.m. eastern. >> this weekend on "road to the white house," republican representative michele bachmann. she was in i want to speak to a political action committee in des moines the but-she was in iowa speak to a political action committee. >> i know it is shocking when a girl goes to ayatollah -- goes to iowa that that discussion does not come along. i am part of the candice -- part of the conversation. there has been no decision about
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candidacy. >> watch her speech in its entirety tomorrow on "road to the white house" at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. president obama called for opening up foreign markets to grow the economy. he is followed by the republican weekly address. he calls for senate action to repeal the health-care law. >> the truth about today's economy. if we are serious about fighting for american jobs, one of the most important things we can do is open up more markets to american goods around the world. that is why i met with china's president hu jintao. we are exporting more than $100 billion a year to china in goods
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and services. the deals we completed this week will be increasing exports to china by more than $45 billion. most important, these deals will support 235,000 american jobs. that includes a lot of manufacturing jobs. that goal is why i fought so hard to negotiate a new and better trade deal with south korea that will support more than 70,000 american jobs. that is why i travel to india last fall, to help pave the way for $10 billion in new money for american businesses and 50,000 american jobs. yesterday, i saw what that means firsthand when i travel to a ge plant in schenectady, new york. this plant many factors steam turbines and generators.
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it is a project that supports more than 1200 manufacturing jobs in more than 400 engineering jobs in schenectady, good jobs with good wages. they produce american products for the world. ge is also investing in an ovation -- in innovation, resulting in hundreds of american jobs and contributing to america's global leadership. they are opening new markets for american products. that is how we will create jobs today and make america more competitive tomorrow. that is how we will win the feature. i announced that the ge ceo, jeff immelt has agreed to head up the council on american
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competitiveness. under his leadership, i am, but that he will generate good ideas about how we can -- i am confident that he can generate big ideas and attract the best jobs and businesses to america rather than seeing them sprang up overseas. we are living in a new and challenging time. technology has made competition easier and more fierce than ever before. countries around the world are upping their game and getting other countries every advantage possible. that should not discourage us. i know we can win that competition. i know we can out compete in the nation on earth. we have to make sure we are doing everything we can to unlock the productivity of american workers and harness the dynamism of the american economy. thanks, everybody. have a great weekend. >> i am a doctor and united
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states senator from wyoming. i am pleased to talk to you today from my home town of caspar. we remain shocked and saddened by the violence in arizona. our hearts go out too cumbersome and it hurts, hurts -- our hearts go out to congresswoman giffords and her family. the house of voted to repeal the health care spending law. now it is the senate's turn. the president has wasted millions of your tax payer dollars persuading you to support this law. despite the millions of dollars in television advertisements, they have failed. polls show the majority of americans want this law repealed. are you better off or worse off now that the health care law has been on the books for almost one year. have because some of your health
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care -- has the cost of your health care going down? we have already heard how the new law forces employers to choose between keeping workers and paying for insurance coverage. how about the availability of your there? as most americans know, coverage does not equal good care. it could get a lot harder to get americans to find a doctor or a hospital to go to. our seniors, the reason is the law cut by $4 billion from medicare to start a new washington program. seniors are not the only americans targeted by the president's new law. small-business owners have to file tax forms or basic business -- for office supplies and other
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business needs. i continue to hear from americans who want washington to take its hands off of american health care. the only way to get out of this law is to have friends in high places, like in the president's own administration. the administration is forcing americans to accept the new law. over 100 million americans get a new pass. they have been given special waivers. many of these waivers go to unions who supported the law, but now do not want to live under it. this is not an act and it is not the american way. as a doctor, i have taken care of families for over 25 years. i know this law is that for patients, nurses and doctors who care for patients, -- this law
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is bad for nurses, patients, and doctors. it fails to deal in any meaningful way with the shortage of nurses and doctors to take care of you. your health care decisions should be decided in your doctor's office, not in a washington office. nothing should come between you and your doctor. not a government bureaucrat or an insurance company bureaucrat. republicans will fight to repeal this job-destroying block and replace it with senate reforms, reforms that will place -- that will make it legal to buy health insurance from other states. thanks to the vote in the house of representatives, we are one step closer to victory in the fight for a health-care policy
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that puts americans first, not washington. our job will not be done until we repeal and replace this bad law. thanks for listening. >> c-span is a private, nonprofit company created in 1979 by the cable industry as a public service. coming up, a house rules meeting on federal spending. the afl-cio president talks about his organization's economic agenda. david dreier talks about the gop plan to cut federal spending to 2008 levels. that is at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> tuesday, president obama delivers the state of the union address to a joint session of congress. c-span's live coverage begins
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at 8:00 p.m. eastern. the republican response will be from paul ryan. you can also watch the present postal address on c-span 2 and followed by a reaction from members of congress from statuary hall. >> the house rules committee passed a measure to allow the committee chairman to set spending limits to 2008 levels. the proposal would cut $100 billion in spending and would have cut in nasa and the fbi. the house will vote on the rule next tuesday, the same day as the state of the union address. this is one hour and 45 minutes.
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>> this is not the way we hoped to start the year. we are entitled to say, here we go again. at the last meeting, you voted to take away tangible things and
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replace them with rhetoric and easy promises for future action. you are trying the same thing again instead of standing up and telling the american people how much you plan to spend this year. we have rhetoric that allows us to pretend we are cutting back to 2008 levels. the resolution we are considering today does not do that. it allows one person to decide the spending cap or a loss, an amount that assumes 2008 levels for "non-security" programs. what programs are considered non-security. the resolution does not tell us. i do not know why he will not give us a spending cap so the house can take a vote.
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this is vital to the united states. there is no reason to put on blinders first and figure out later with the house has done. i said at our last meeting that you cannot replace real patient protection with a piece of paper. today, i say that we cannot pretend to cut spending with a fresh release. thank you, mr. chairman. >> before i make fuller remarks, i want to make sure i am here on the one paragraph resolution. it is to reduce spending through a transition period. >> this does not look like the resolution that i have here. -38 is --
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>> that is the one we have. it was given to us as well. >> so this is the exact same thing. i just have a different copy. >> all right, thank you mr. chairman, ranking members of the committee. you knew what you were getting yourself into. let me just say to the members of the committee, the first rule we passed on opening day in the house of representatives had a number of serious flaws as it relates to the budget process. one major flaw was that you delaminated be pay-as-you-go provision that is designed to
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make sure -- you eliminated the pay-as-you-go provision. the chairman of the budget committee was provided with the authority to substitute his judgment when it came to deciding what the deficit impact of legislation would be. it said, if you do not like the call up our nonpartisan, independent referee, the chairman of the budget committee gets to say, i am going to play by my own rules regardless of the deficit impact of that decision. that was one major component. yet the component that was troubling was that you allowed one individual to unilaterally set the spending limits for the
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u.s. government without action by anybody else in this house or anybody else having to be responsible or accountable for those actions. just one person files a piece of pacer with -- piece of paper with the house and that sets the budget for all our constituents. i think all of us here were elected to take responsibility for our actions. when people voted for us, they did not vote for us to give that authority to one other individual. that is what the rule on the first day did. i was at first pleased that we were now going to have a resolution, a budget resolution, to set the spending level that everybody in the house would vote on. whether you like it or did not like it, you would make a statement as to whether that was the appropriate level of spending. as you read the resolution, you
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find that it does nothing of the sword. it is smoke and mirrors. let's take a look at what this does. it it says will have a transition to non-security spending to 2008 levels. what does that mean? this is a budget resolution. budget resolutions have numbers in them. they tell you what the budget ceiling will be. you may think it is too high. you may think it is too low. we vote on the budget allocation for discretionary budget and other parts of our budget. after a transition of spending. we have heard $100 bill in cuts for fiscal year 2011. that number has been shrinking
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and moving around every day and week. why is there not a number in here? non-security, it will be a transition to non-security spending. are the counter-terrorism operations of the fbi security or non-security? are the actions in afghanistan and pakistan, as they relate to development assistance and aid, is that security or non- security? the bottom line is that just like on the first day, they're asking this body to buy a pig in a poke. when you vote on this resolution, you are giving one individual the sole authority to set the budget ceilings for this
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congress and the u.s. government. it is a simple question. where is the number? what is the rush? if you do not have the number, wait a few days and come up with a number so that we can decide whether we think that is the no. 4 responsible level of funding. is the number for responsible levels of funding. do that rather than delegating the authority exclusively to one individual. it is beyond me why after all that we cannot have a number. that is what the budget committee is supposed to do, come up with a number, set the ceiling. that is what this house is supposed to do. we have been told the reason we are rushing before you have a number is that this is going to be voted on next tuesday.
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next tuesday happens to be the state of the union address. the president will come before the house and deliver the state of the union address. this provides an opportunity for a press release to create the false illusion that we are taking action on the budget. i say it is a false illusion only because it is hard to say that was seriousness when there is not a number in here. what i would recommend to the committee is that you not vote and give the house an opportunity to vote on the number whenever the majority can figure out what the number is. by reading the press, we know it has been bouncing around a lot. take a couple of days. find out what the number is. do it then. let's not rush to meet an artificial deadline with the state of the union so we can
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have something to talk about when there is not a number in it. thank you very much. >> let me thank you for being here. let me extend congratulations to you for attaining your new position as the ranking member of committee. i suspect you are aware of the main reason we are here and the main reason the authority does exist. in 1974, both houses of congress put into place the 1974 budget and empowerment act. the act called for every conference -- congress to pass an annual budget. 1974 is a long time ago, more than a quarter of a century ago. that was 36 years ago. for the first time in 36 years, we failed to see a budget
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resolution passed. that is what has gotten us to the position we are today. we would not be doing this, we would not have opening day rules granted the authority the went to the chairman of the budget committee had we passed a budget in the last congress. at this moment, we are still waiting for cbo estimates. it is a challenge often to get the numbers as quickly as we possibly can. there was a commitment made last year on a couple of things. you were very involved in the position you formally held, in understanding where we were in the campaign process. there were promises made. number one was that we would have a clean up or down vote on whether or not we would repeal
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the health care bill that passed last spring. a decision was made that we would have a clean up or down vote. in about two hours and 45 minutes, we will be having that vote. tomorrow on the floor of the house, we will have resolution 9 directing the committees of jurisdiction to look at ways in which we can drive the cost of health care down to ensure that every american has access to health care. you know that one of the commitments was that we would do everything we could to make sure we reduced spending. we are waiting for the congressional budget office estimates to come forward.
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but congress convened on january 5. this is a simple house resolution. it calls for the committee on which you serve to proceed with the work. the appropriations committee as well. they will be doing that. that is our goal here. i want you to understand exactly where we're coming from on this. i appreciate your being here. i appreciate your thoughtful testimony. i look forward to working with you in a bipartisan way. we have discussed the notion of dealing with reform of the 1974 budget act. we have gone for the first time ever with no budget put in place in the 36 years -- 37 years now -- we need in 2011, - to overhaul it. i believe it needs to be done in
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a bipartisan and bicameral way. i hope we will have democrats and republicans work together so that we will not be in the position we are today waiting for cbo estimates and without a budget being passed. that is the reason we are dealing with the issues we are. we want to move as quickly as possible. you are saying this is a press release to deal with next tuesday and the state of the union message. you bet. as quickly as possible, we want to begin the process of reducing the size, scope, and reach of government. waiting around for one speech for another is not our goal. this rules committee organized literally hours after we took the oath of office. we proceeded with our work immediately. that is what we're trying to do with this as well. mr. sessions?
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>> welcome. i also want to welcome your staff director. you will be ably served. >> one of my first and best decisions. >> i am sure it is a decision you will enjoy and that will work well. good luck there. you have come up here with a great message about the number. republicans are really about beef?"s the we believe as republicans that we should have transparency, time for members to read the bill.
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we put it in plain english, non-security spending at fiscal levels 2008. i could not tell you what that is, but somebody knows. it is recent history. hav. republicans talked about our desire to take us to a level we thought could be sustained and a level that we needed to get back to. we are living up to the things we sold across the country. new members are here to a firm with us and go back home and sell the progress is when you come to washington, put a bill together, address it forthrightly, give the budget committee -- the chairman --
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every decision he makes will have to be included in the bill. it will have to be voted on. we will have to agree to it. i will tell you that this is the way the new world is. we cannot sustain the way business has been done. we cannot sustain this country. we cannot sustain jobs, the creation of jobs. people are losing their jobs. the republican party by virtue of the bill today, we are telling the american people "here is the beef." we are delivering. we intend to do what we say we do. there is the hope and expectation that the president and senate will want to be part of this great opportunity to ensure america's greatest day is like in our future. liemerica's greatest days in our future. >> with the beef be the number?
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>> we are asking this committee to go through a bipartisan methodology we're it is on c- span and there is a debate. i think it is a very republican idea to say that we have given them the parameters within which to go look. they will determine what is non-security spending at the school levels of 2008. i will yield to the gentleman. >> we are waiting for cbo estimates to come in. we will not let that deter us in our absolute commitment to focusing on reducing. >> i think some of the questions that mr. van hollen thoughtfully asked will have to be hashed out in the committee
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-- what is and what is not. they will sustain it in the committee. it will be an open process. it will be on c-span. the american people can see it. then we will get closer to arriving at that number. >> thank you for yielding. i want to ask a couple of questions. do you agree this gives the chairman of the budget committee unilateral power? >> i believe this says the chairman of the committee on budget shall include in congressional record and allocation -- and allocation contemplated by what appropriations should be doing. you asked me a very logical question. i would anticipate that mr. ryan will hold an open hearing, we will have thoughtful discussions
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about this, and move forward. >> could the gentleman yield to me to clarify? we cannot in any way underestimate the impact of having not been a budget last year and what it led to. that is what led us to this point. we would not be taking this action and provide me the chairman with this authority if we had a budget in place. the fact we did not is what you led -- is what led to this. >> i am fascinated, mr. chairman, that last week my colleagues and i am -- all of us asked why when we were having a debate regarding the rule on health care that we would not
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wait for the cbo budget. we rushed right along. i kept raising the issue. it went from $149 billion to $240 billion something. nevertheless, granting this unilateral power limits the appropriation. many members of this body will not have ever seen, much less debated or had an opportunity to amend this particular measure. do you agree? >> i do not know the entire process. that we're going to approach the and spent calendar for 2011 with a new allocation.
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this happened every day when i was in business. it happens in small businesses and homes. people come together and say that we have a problem and have to address an issue. their forthright. they write it on a piece of paper. they may not know the number when they start. they talk. they receive feedback. they look at the bank statement. then they come up with a number. that is what i think we will do. >> we will not have had a vote on the floor. you are ok with that? with reference to this particular measure, we are proceeding with the rules committee having original jurisdiction. i am saying there ought to be debate. there ought to be the opportunity for members to amend this provision if they choose. at the very least, we should have a vote.
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you cannot have a vote because you do not know the numbers. >> to suggest we will not know the number and will not vote -- we do intend to negotiate with the senate. i would yield to the gentleman. >> my understanding is that the chairman of the budget committee can unilaterally come up with a number and put it in the record and that is that. we will not have a separate vote on the figure he puts in. am i correct? >> i do not know exactly what will happen. if it is going to happen, it will have to go through the senate. it will have to be agreed to by the president. your party will have to vote on it. >> the package we all approved last week, my understanding is the chairman of the budget committee has put a number into the record and that is what we will all have to go by. there is no separate vote on the number he puts in the record.
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i think what mr. hastings is saying is that if we're truly talking about transparency and openness, we ought to be able to come together and say whether we agree or disagree with the number. >> the chairman of the committee has already indicated that we do not even have the number get from cbo. we will move forward. we will get to it. i am very excited. i hope every member will see this as an issue they can focus on. they will know exactly what we are aiming for. i think we're going to get there quickly. >> let me congratulate you on the way you have handled the growing of questions. i know it has been overwhelming and daunting. it is as if we are in the midst
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of the market right now on the resolution itself. >> i am going to ask another grueling question. do you know how to assume transition? have you been schooled in that at all and know how to handle that? >> there is no definition of transition in this document we are being asked to vote on. nobody knows what it means. that is the point we have been making. >> let me tell you that mr. scott is going to move to remove the word "transition." i want you to know. congratulations. you have both been able to put your mark on this resolution. mr. scott will be your representative in doing that. i wanted to congratulate you on that. >> thank you for yielding. >> you are very welcome. >> another assumption we need to
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make is what is non-security spending. do you know if the defense weapons nuclear activity is security spending or not? >> there is no definition of security and non-security spending in the bill. that is why i asked at the outset whether folks at the department of energy that deal with the nuclear programs or the fbi counter-terrorism efforts, whether that is considered security or non- security. there is no guidance at all. >> funding for the selective service system? would that be in here? >> no clue. >> all right. i think that sums it up. we do not have a clue. thank you. >> the point i would like to
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make with respect to the questions the gentlewoman asked is that generally speaking, these programs have been funded. we're talking about the increment of the difference between nine, 10, and 11. it is not like we are destroying the programs. it is not like we are wiping things out and not sure what is going to happen. it is bringing them back to a level for the half of the year back toould be remaining 2008 levels. it is not like these budgets will be decimated. they will still have the funding levels they did in 2008. >> important question is what we assume that non-security
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spending is. i think it would make a great deal of difference. we will not know until we get the number we are longing for weather that assumes that this is non-security spending or not. thank you, mr. van hollen. >> i do not have a question for mr. van hollen, but it appears to me that there has been an awful lot of emphasis placed on the fact that the cbo is an independent, non-partisan referee as you referred to about 10 times in your comments. if my understanding is correct, and i am happy for you to correct me if it needs to be, is
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that the number that will be filled in as the number that is coming from the cbo that has been faulted -- vaunted as the independent referee. their number will form the basis of the number used year. >> as you know, we are awaiting that number. a commitment was made that we proceed with the resolution. that is what we are so doing. the definition for actual spending is spending that relates to defense, military construction, the v.a., and homeland's security. it is spending beyond those areas that we are discussing. we are not betting programs --
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getting -- gutting programs. >> mr. mcgovern? >> thank you for the clarification of the definition of. by the definition you just gave, social security is on the chopping block. medicare is on the chopping block. >> we're talking about non- discretionary spending. social security and medicare are not discretionary programs. those are entitlements. i believe it is essential for us to proceed with entitlement reform. this measure does not touch the issues. it happens to be non-security spending. >> is mr. ryan going to testify? >> he is not able to be here.
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>> i think a lot of the questions we have, he really is the one who needs to answer them. let me make sure i understand this correctly. under the rules that the majority passed, the chairman of the budget committee can come up with a number and put it in the record. that is the number we have to abide by in terms of what appropriations committees have to deal with. >> that is correct. >> and also correct that there does not have to be a vote on that? >> that is correct. >> we vote on post offices. i would like to think we would have a vote on the budget no. we will operate under. >> that is exactly the point. we have heard about the importance of transparency, yet we do not know what it is that we will be voting on, other than to give the authority to the chairman of the budget committee
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to come up with a number. in terms of accountability, we are serving our accountability as individual members of congress as it relates to setting a ceiling. that is going to one individual. this is not about mr. ryan at all. i have great respect for paul ryan. the issue is any time any of us decide to essentially hand our vote on an important question like spending levels, we would want to take personal responsibility for that. >> do you know why 2008 levels? what is the magic number about 2008? >> that is a decision being made by the majority. they chose that level for various reasons. >> it seems there is more
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methodical way to come up with a number less arbitrary that seems to be more in the public interest than just 2008 levels. there are some programs where you could find waste and cut beyond 2008 levels. there are other programs that we need to increase. to tie yourself into this arbitrary -- we do not know how much it is. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are invoking cbo as the arbitrator. last week, they had no use for cbo. this week, they do. why do we need to do this resolution. mark whiten and not just wait for the cbo numbers -- why do we not just wait for the cbo numbers? what is the purpose? >> thank you for yielding. mr. scott is going to be representing your interests in light of what you just said.
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this amendment is going to be deleting the word "transition." we should call this the -van hollenen holle amendment. he is going to add a provision that says "2008 levels or less." >> then i would put to mr. van hollen for mr. mcgovern is that the language of "transition to" would be stricken from one paragraph. it assumes non-security spending at fiscal year 2008. does that make it any less vague?
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>> it does not for this reason. if it made it less vague, you would have a number. there is a number for that. i share mr. mcgovern's interest for the new found support for the congressional budget office. we have been having a debate on the health care repeal legislation. cbo has indicated that repealing it will add significantly to the deficit. the original rule passed by the committee on the first day says that we get to disregard the cbo deficit numbers. i am pleased to hear that we are waiting for cbo numbers. i do agree that whether we agree or disagree with them, it is a recipe for budget chaos if we as individual members but to make up our own numbers based on the politics of the moment. cbo will be coming up with a number. the number they come up with is not the number that is going in here. they will provide the base line
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upon which you provided. is going to come on wednesday, the day after the state of the union address. a lot of people believe you can be fairly confident about the number that cbo will come up with. you could put the number in here and modify it slightly based on the baseline. that is wednesday. we're going to be voting on tuesday. if we want accountability, wait a day. cbo will be here. you will have the number that you think should go in here. why would you not wait one day and get the number of that we're all waiting on? that would allow all of us to make our decisions as individual members of congress about whether or not that is a suitable number. we're talking about 24 hours. in that 24 hours, each of us
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will have a number. we're not having a debate today about whether or not we should make cuts. there are obviously areas we could agree on cuts. there's are some areas that would face bipartisan resistance. some areas may need to be beefed up or cut based on need. the point here is, let's have the number for us to take personal responsibility instead of giving that authority to one individual when it is only 24 hours. >> the chair brought up mr. scott is amendment. i fail to see how that clarifies the situation. my specific question about "or less" is that it is unclear from the context about whether that
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refers to line items or the aggregate. there is a lot in this that is not clear. i was wondering if mr. scott or the chair could clarify whether the reduction is an aggregate goal or a line item goal. >> our goal is to get to 2008 levels or less than that. that is what our goal is here. >> you are saying there could be programs that everybody agrees should be increased and other programs that add up to an overall decrease where certain programs to be cut. >> that is right. i hope the gentleman will join us as we pursue that. we know that democrats and republicans are concerned about the lack of job creation and the grave concern of our national debt and the annual deficit.
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thank you for yielding. >> much has been said about what happened last year. i was on the budget committee last year. we passed the enforcement resolution. i think there was a number in there, if i am not mistaken. do you have any comment on that? >> i do. with respect to jobs, i think all of us want to work on legislation that creates jobs. this legislation before us will not create one job. i hope we can get around to that business. to your question, there were several references to the fact there was not budget guidance to the congress last time. we did not pass a five-year budget, but we did pass a budget enforcement resolution to guide the spending decisions of the congress last year. i have a copy of this right
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here. like all other budget resolutions and enforcement actions, it has numbers and in it. that is what the budget committee does. it is important to hold people accountable to a particular goal and no. in terms of reductions. it has the overall number in it. we used this to guide the budget decisions last year. the continuing resolution that passed the house came in about $40 billion low. it came in below the president's request and the targets that were set. that was the guideline. the numbers we passed in the
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continuing resolution were consistent with the recommendations of the bipartisan deficit and debt reduction mission with respect to 2011. the full year continuing resolution was blocked in the senate. now we have a continuing resolution that goes through march. the levels that assumes work below the president's request and low the budget enforcement resolution no.. they were slightly below the bipartisan commission assumption with respect to 2011. >> i want to go back to the issue of non-security spending. mr. dreyer told us -- mr. dreier told us that entitlements would be excluded. obviously, the defense and wars will be exempted. help us understand.
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i assume we're talking about tens of billions if not more in cuts. are we talking about programs like community policing? what constitutes where the cuts would go? >> it is a good question. the new speaker of the house was announced that question two weeks ago about what he would cut. he did not have an answer to that question. i agree with my colleagues that i hope we could find some savings. the number thrown out in the fall during the campaign season was $100 billion for fyi 2011.
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i do not know what the number is. that is part of the issue. the kinds of things that would be subject to cuts would include education programs, programs -- pell grants, nih research for diseases. that is clearly on the chopping block. the food and drug administration in terms of making sure that the medicines we take are safe, those would be on the chopping block. there are a vast array of things. there may be some savings to be found. i am sure there are. we have found savings and
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enacted them as part of the last budget. i want to make this clear. the continuing resolution that passed the house came in under the assumptions for 2011 spending of the bipartisan deficit and debt reduction commission. we made some significant reductions as part of the process. >> i would be happy to yield. >> it is difficult to sit here and accept the notion that we want to jeopardize food safety, research for nih into tremendous diseases. we're not talking about cutting. we're talking about getting to 2008 levels. that provides a high level of funding for nih, pell grants,
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and food and drug safety. to sit here and characterize those of us to want to get to the 2008 level as gutting this is a gross mischaracterization. the american people know that we have a horrendous deficit and debt that has accumulated. we all recognize that. democrats and republicans alike decry that fact. if we start saying that the republicans want to starve children and throw seniors in the street and make sure people are not educated -- this is just ridiculous. >> i do not think it is too much to ask for specificity. i do not think it is unreasonable for us to not want to proceed not knowing what the numbers are.
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it will have an impact on something. you have to have some idea of where they're going to get the cuts and savings. i do not think that is an unreasonable thing to be talking about. i am trying to understand the meaning of this. that is other than having something to talk about on the day of the state of the union. what does this mean in real terms? does it have any real meaning? to me, this is not even a pledge. it is a vague statement appropriate for a press release. i want the red sox to win the world series, but i will not introduce a piece of legislation to say that. is this theater or does it have
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any value? >> let me put it this way. the very first rule passed by the house gave the chairman of the budget committee the ability to pick a number of the hat anyway. there is no additional authority in that regard. they have given the chairman of the budget committee that the authority. we have surrendered our ability to vote on that number. because of the absence of any number of this amounts to the same thing. there is some language that gives you the idea of the territory they're looking in. we have heard there is no number because we're waiting on cdo. why not wait until 24 hours after the state of the union
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address to get the number and then we can pass this 24 hours later? instead of every member surrendering his or her vote on a very important question to the decision of one person, we can do what people want to do. that is take responsibility and accountability for what is a big decision. i do not know where the appropriators are going to take their cuts. that is one thing we have to decide on when we vote for a resolution like this. what is that number going to be? then we can try to figure out what impact it will have. when you are just talking about the remainder of the budget without the defense part, depending on if it was $100 billion for 2011, there are estimates of 20% cuts across the
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board on discretionary spending. you could say you do not want to have any of the cuts out of the nih or the fda. you take those agencies out, and you are taking a higher cut out of everything left. our point is to wait 24 hours and let us be accountable for a major decision of the congress, setting the spending targets and limits for the united states congress. we've always voted in the past. we voted on the budget enforcement resolution last year. there is a number. that is what the budget committee does. this document does not have a real number. there is no beef. there is no no. and this. >> this is becoming a pattern.
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-- there is no number in this. >> this is becoming a pattern where we tell committees to do something. maybe you will do it and maybe you will not. it is not a replacement. this is not the appropriate thing to be bringing up at this particular point with no numbers and specificity. i thought the election was about jobs. i thought he would spend the first couple of weeks figuring out how to get the economy going and how to get people back to work. instead, we are doing the smoke and mirrors and theater. that is what makes people cynical. thank you for your testimony. i yield back my time. >> again, congratulations. it is nice to see you. apparently, both of us have new assignments. i am starting to wonder which of us made the better deal. [laughter] i also want to let you know that
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not everyone appear has a new- found infatuation with cdo. some of us are still skeptical as we ever have been. i have a conflict with this particular resolution. as the oldest new member, my memory is fading fast. i do recall that in 2008, i probably voted against every non-security budget that came forward thinking it was too high and probably voted against some of the security budgets thinking they were too low. i suppose we have to have a starting point in some case here. i do have a question of the sponsor to make sure i clearly understand this. i am still a schoolteacher that did not have the largess of the government to bail me out. when you talk about the cbo numbers on which you are cboting, that is not the studi
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scores of 2008 spending. that is the number for 2011 spending. when we talk about 2008 levels, that is a finite number. if you had put 2009, that would be a different absolute, finite number. this is the starting point. the cbo numbers is what you need first. i will yield back. >> mr. chairman, later we will vote on the symbolic appeal -- repeal of what has been described as obamacare. that is one thing i want to take the liberty to correct. that is now seared into the body politic of america, that the
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measure for affordable health care that we passed is dubbed "obamacare." i advocated universal health care when i came to congress in 1992. i advocated that we should have a public option before i knew barack obama's name. i think we would be better served to call this american health care whether we want it or not and just not the president's because it happens to be on his time and time -- on his dime and time. i am for those who are uninsured and under-insured of having the privilege of having the kind of insurance most of us have. then we proceed from this symbolic vote to a symbolic vote
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next week on the budget. i recall vividly as a child at the age of 12 that there were radio programs that came on saturdays called "let's pretend. " i really enjoyed that program. i knew that everything i was listening to was fantasy and in another land. there is an associated press article that appeared today written by andrew taylor. i ask unanimous consent to put the entire article into the record. mr. chairman, i would lift from it two. gr-- two paragraphs. just about every politician is going to get an earful from the local pta is schools get whacked.
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"republicans are finding it is a different matter when you take the scissors to $1 of every $6 spent by agencies like the irs, the fbi, nasa, and the national park service. federal layoffs would be unavoidable, the white house warns. to give the white house a chance to have their voice heard in light of this bumper sticker thing we're doing here -- i am not grudge fful of my colleagues pledge to america. it was successful to a relative degree. you promised you would cut $100 billion from the budget recommendations of president obama in 2011. by returning the actual savings levels,dent bush's era
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i think he will run into trouble. if we get to 2008 levels, you were looking in an 8% cut to nasa. we may as well have gone and said that all the money we spent on the international space station is about to run into significant problems. you would have a 16% cut for the fbi. i can assure you that will have a devastating impact on the extraordinary work that the fbi does on behalf of american citizens in this country. it would amount to a 13% cut in the operating budget of national parks. there are other political land mines that andrew taylor points out.
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as i understand this thing, the levels will be set by the chairman. you are a ranking member on the budget committee. mr. ryan is going to have this unilateral authority to set a number that will be binding on the house. will that have any authority in the senate? >> it will not have any authority in the senate. if the house budgets -- passes a budget resolution, it would normally go to the senate. this takes the place of the budget resolution and enforcement act. >> then what i see coming is a showdown. that is just me talking. what if we wanted to try and
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make the cuts less severe? would we be able to do that or would that be out of order under this resolution? >> under the budget process resolution and the rules of the house, if you change your mind, you need a majority to override that decision. going back to the point that you and others have made, everyone is being asked to buy a pig in a poke. nobody knows what the number is until it is actually put into this document. a lot of numbers have been thrown out. they keep changing. $100 billion was out there. there have been other numbers floating around out there. we are told that as of wednesday, we will have all the information from cbo to put a number in here.
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we're talking about taking literally 24 hours to give members an opportunity to make an informed decision and be accountable. >> we're already in the rules package and have done what i perceive as give to the chair person of the budget committee -- i haveupower described as the biggest power grab in this institution. i have been here 18 years. others of us have served with the chair of the appropriations committee at this time. i know that appropriators are not going to go quietly into the night. we are setting up a war right here inside the institution that is unnecessary at a time of
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peril. i can tell you this much, like it or love it, the rubber will hit the road in march. somehow or another, all of this security talk, a grand vision, anything you want to call it, will have to be faced up to. it will be interesting. how do you perceive what happens in march after it expires? >> you are right. that is when the process of translating whatever numberit happens to be -- that is why the number is important because it has direct consequences on what will be cut. i know the chairman -- i do not know what the appropriators will do. i do not know whether they will cut nih, the fda, fbi. i do not know. that is when the rubber hits the road.
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whatever number the chairman of the budget committee files with a house without our boat, that has very dramatic consequences. we had the discussion on jobs and the economy. one thing the bipartisan deficit and debt reduction committee has said that we have to work together on a bipartisan basis to put our country on a sustainable footing. it would be bad for jobs. it would be bad for the economy if you took huge, draconian cuts immediately. that is coming from a bipartisan with of people ctasked reducing our deficit and debt look at taking a sustainable path but said not to threaten
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our recovery and slow down the opportunity for people to get back to work. that is a potential consequence. >> thank you for being here. i am new at this. as i go through the learning process and see the new things going on, i ask folks to bring material to me so i can understand why the resolution was introduced today and how it was dealt with in the past. i was told we never had to deal with this in years past. we never had a budget committee that failed to come through on behalf of the congress. we never had a situation where the rules committee had to step in and make that correction at the beginning of the year. i want to associate myself with mr. mcgovern's remarks.
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it seems like we're doing the same thing over and over again. we were here last week working on the health care bill because my constituents said to go to washington and fix the health care bill and get it repealed as my first job. today, we are repeating that pattern. my constituents ask how we could be operating the country without a budget. we know mr. ryan will get a budget out in march. we cannot wait until march or fiscal year 2012. we have to get started right away. i share the concern of others that this might not be the best way to run the u.s. house of representatives, but it is the best way given the hand you have been dealt. i appreciate you introducing this resolution. i want to say to my friend mr. mcgovern who said that 2008 levels may not be low enough on
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wasteful programs, i hope that collaborate and find those things. i want to be a partner with you in identifying the programs and pursuing further reductions. >> i said there may be some programs where you may be able to find more savings than what you are proposing for 2008. there may be other programs where you realize you need to invest more to create jobs and put people back to work. i am not for an arbitrary approach to dealing with the budget. we need to do this methodically. we need to be mindful of the impact of what we're doing. coming before the house with a resolution that does not have a number when we're going to get a number on wednesday, and giving the budget chairman is unprecedented authority without allowing us to vote on the number, i find it unbelievable.
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>> i find it unbelievable, too. i cannot believe my first two weeks in congress is in cleaning up the work that did not get done last year. i know you were not the chairman last time around. i do not want to get on my soapbox about how disappointed i am that i am here working on the past instead of the future. i promise you the folks who voted for me do not care about the past. they care what the% about the future. my offer to work with you on things that to be cut further still stands. congratulations on your new spot. >> a thank-you. i recall both on this committee as well as on the floor of the house some complained about the length of some of the democratic bills, i


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