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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  June 7, 2011 10:00am-1:00pm EDT

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fortunate that in the department of defense, department of veterans affairs, we have gone into these things saying we will paid for these things, do not go with the usual business model. we have service members and veterans that need them now. host: we will have to leave it right there. thank you for your time. we now are going to the u.s. house of representatives.
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>> so, the house has gaveled out of their session. members are not conducting legislative business to allow town -- time to work in their districts. there will be back on thursday at 2:00 p.m. eastern for work on a bill funding military construction. live coverage when members on, an elsewhere in washington, the president and first lady are hosting german chancellor angela merkel for an official visit. they welcomed the chancellor in an arrival ceremony in a short
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time ago. here is a look at that. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states, and mrs. michele obama. ♪
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>> ladies and gentlemen, the national anthem of the federal republic of germany, followed by the national anthem of the united states. ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪
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[applause] ♪ ♪
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[applause] ♪
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♪ ♪
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♪ ♪
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>> good morning, everybody.
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chancellor angela merkel, members of the german delegation, on behalf of michele and myself, it is our great pleasure to welcome you back to the white house. on behalf of the american people, it is our great honor to welcome you back to the united states. [applause] [speaking german] >> today marks the first official visit and state dinner for a european leader during my presidency. it is only fitting, the transatlantic alliance, it is
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the cornerstone, at the heart of our efforts to promote peace and prosperity around the world. in germany, at the heart of europe, they are one of our strongest allies, and chancellor angela merkel is one of my closest global partners. [speaking german] >> our alliance, at its core, is a partnership between our people -- the generations of german americans who helped build a strong america, the
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americans, who during a long, cold war, helped to defend a free germany, and citizens of both of our countries, students, scientists, and soldiers, who work together, and forged the future every day. -- forge the future every day. [speaking german] >> at a time when some have asked whether the rise of new global powers means the decline of others, this visit reaffirms an enduring truth -- our alliances with nations like
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germany are more important than ever, indeed indispensable to global security and prosperity. [speaking german] >> has two of the largest and most dynamic economies, the united states and germany can show that the prosperity we seek can be best achieved one nations invest in our greatest resource -- our people, and their ability to compete and innovate in the 21st century. [speaking german]
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>> as members of the most successful alliance in human history, our commitment to our common defense is also a pillar of global security. from completing our mission in afghanistan, to preventing terrorist attacks, to which even our vision of a world without nuclear weapons -- to achieving our vision of a world without nuclear weapons. [speaking german] >> finally, as people around the world and mentioned a different future, the story of germany and our alliance in the 20th --
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20th-century shows what is possible in the 21st -- whirs can end, adversaries can become allies, walls can come down, at long last, nations can be whole, and can be free. [speaking german] >> madam chancellor, the part of our lives speaks to this spirit. it is obvious that neither of us look exactly like the leaders that precipitous. -- preceded us. [laughter] [applause]
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>> but, the fact that we can stand here today as president of the united states and chancellor of a united germany is a testament to the progress and freedom that is possible in our world. [speaking german] >> chancellor merkel, members of the german delegation, which are honored to have all of you here as allies, partners, the most of all as dear friends. [speaking german]
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[applause] [speaking german] [speaking german] >> mr. president, deere barack obama, michelle, a vice president, members of the cabinet, a guest of honor, my fellow countrymen, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for this very warm and very
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moving reception. it is overwhelming. i am indeed delighted, and i say this on behalf of all members of my delegation to be back in washington, d.c., again. [speaking german] >> about 20 months ago, and this was almost 20 years after the fall of the berlin wall, i had the great honor and privilege to address both houses of congress, a wonderful moment, and i am certain this they should be such another unforgettable moment. [speaking german]
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>> mr. president, receiving the presidential medal of freedom from you tonight is something i consider to be not only an exceptionally gracious gesture of appreciation, and i see this as a gesture of appreciation for all whole of united germany, but it is also a testimony of the very close ties that tie our countries together. [speaking german] [speaking german]
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>> we germans know that america has always been a true friend to us. our friendship has grown and matured throughout the decades, and every day is filled with new life. more than 600,000 americans are working for german companies here, in the united states, and the reverse is also true, more than 600,000 germans work for american companies in germany. there are many and diverse exchange programs in schools and universities, and they help us win over numerous young people to serve as bridge-builder between our two countries. 17 million members of the armed forces of the united states and
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their families has -- have lived in germany since the second world war, and served their country with honor, distention, and surrendered and -- and an inestimable service to their country. [speaking german] >> i could mention many more examples of the close ties that bind our two countries together, but let me underline one thing in particular -- when germany and europe were divided by the
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wall and barbed wire, america consistently stood on the side of freedom, and by us germans as we made our way toward unity and freedom. this, we shall never forget. [applause] [speaking german] [speaking german]
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>> today, we are just as closely-linked to each other by the bonds of friendship as we were 20 years ago. we are standing on a firm foundation, and standing and supported by this firm foundation, we tackle the current challenges we both face. germany and the united states our partners, sharing responsibility for a peaceful and stable afghanistan. we are pulling in the same direction, trying to keep iran from following its course of developing a nuclear forces capability. we support the struggle for freedom in north africa, in the middle east we support efforts to fill the peace process with new life. together, we master the
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aftershocks of the global economic and financial crisis. yes germany and the united states share the same values -- democracy and freedom, human law, and rights. german]g >> and it is for this very reason that a close partnership with the united states is just as much a part of the german reason d;etre to read both the long together. >> mr. president, in berlin, you
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addressed that america has -- you -- in your address, you said america has no better partner than europe. now, it is my turn to say europe and germany have no better partner than america. thank you. [applause] >> from the south lawn of the white house this morning, the a rival of german chancellor of angela merkel. here is how the data scheduled for the chancellor and president
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obama -- at about 10:15 this morning, the president began a meeting, discussing foreign policy, security and economic issues. if shirley afterwards, there are expected to answer reporters' questions. we plan to cover that live on c- span. about 6:00 p.m. this evening, the president and first lady will welcome the chancellor for the start of evening events, including official photographs and toasts, culminating in a state dinner. our coverage will start at 5:45 p.m.. later, we will hold a discussion on the official visit by the german chancellor. you can find a more about the official visit by the chancellor on our website, where you can see the schedule for her visit, at we get more on the chancellor, as we spoke with a reporter earlier today, and her visit.
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host: today the pet -- today the president has a series of events with angela merl. here to talk not only about those specific events, but what is behind them, is a reporter from "the washington post." can you talk to us about the occasion of the german chancellor visiting? caller: it is a big deal whenever there is a state dinner in washington, d.c.. plenty of pomp and circutance. these are two leaders who have not necessarily had a really close relationship, at least in public. remember, there have been german leaders before that were very cozy with u.s. presidents. the most notable was helmut kohl and clinton, who were known to go out on theown in
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washington, d.c., eating at italian restaurants. these are two different kinds of leaders and two different kinds of personalities. people that watch this relationship will b interested to see how they interact with each other. host: as far as the pomp and circumstance goingn, talk about the big events being discussed this morning. host: there -- caller: there is an expectation that one of the issues that will be talked about will be nuclear power. in germany, angela merkel has been embroiled in a controversy about the use of nuclear power. it was a decision that was made prior to her time in office to phase out nuclear power in germany.
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initially, she supported phasing out in a way that would have taken more years. since the japanese catastrophe has peddled backwards on that and come up with an earlier phase out, this could create some conflict with people in the u.s. government who have been supportive of the notion of nuclear power anday that it is a positive form of energy that could be an alternative to fossil fuels. another issue that is sure to come up, libya. the germans are generally known in the international community to be concerned aut the use of military force. they have not been supportive of all of the u.s. initiatives in the libya conflict. that most definitely will be a part of this.
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as most people are expecting. then there is the issue of trade in the economy. germany has a leadership role in europe in that respect. the united states is obviously interested in germany being an advocate and a partner. host: can you tell us about that? talking about the pomp and circumstance, i think that she is getting a 19 gun salute. what is the difference and why was this applied today? caller: right? cut short by two? if you have ever heard these gun salutes, even five would be a lot. they are loud and impressive. everything here is dictated by protocol and tradition. a head of state gets 21. a leader of the country, as e
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is, gets 19. it is as simple as that. either way it will be quite a show. host: as far as dinner is concerned, is this an official dinner or a state dinner? caller: there seems to be some dispute about this. it's -- has been referred to both ways. i have seen news releases that refer to it as a state dinner. but purists will determine that it cannot be a state dinner if the president is not the head of state. either way, whether it is called an official dinner or a sta dinner, it will be one of the grander evenings in the obama administration as far as entertaining in the white house. there is no doubt that this
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will --ertainly, the expectation is that it will be on level of what was afforded t the mexican leader, the chinese leader, and the indian leader. host: do not forget that you can watch coverage of this dinner starting tonight at 8:00 on c- span. you can find more infor >> again, that joint news conference with president obama and the german chancellor is set for 11:35 a.m.. we will have that live here, on c-span. coming up later, we will go live to the university of maryland for a discussion on the federal deficit and debt reduction. her from former budget office
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directors. that live coverage in gets underway at 3:00 p.m. eastern. up next, a discussion on drug policy, and against the says u.s. drug policy has failed, and from today's "washington journal." the executive director of the drug policy alliance. we brought to want to talk about the report that came out recently, giving the global sense of the drug war. can you give us the general genesis of the findings? guest: it is a remarkable development in terms of global drug policy. a number of very distinguished former presidents from brazil, mexico, the european union, switzerland -- even paul volcker, richard branson, many others, they came out with a report that was devastating in
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u.s. and global drug control policies. they say that the reliance on criminal justice institutions devon's -- developed into an enormous disaster, empowering criminals, spreading disease and addiction rather than impeding it. they called for a paradigm shift. saying that people that used drugs without hurting anyone else should be left alone and that we need new law enforcement strategies that focuses on reducing the power and intimidation rather than drug markets. quite importantly they said that there must be support for experiments in legally regulating drugs, especially marijuana. but even with others, they said. let's try to find intelligent ways to regulate these drugs so that we can reduce the harm of drug coalition and drug abuse.
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host: what evidence is there from the results that these people wanted to see? guest: the first is the obvious failure of the current approach. when you see the amount of drug abuse around the world, sustained and growing, you see the failure. when you see the violence in mexico, central america, africa, that is what motivated kofi nanon to join the coalition. remember the prohibition of alcohol? we did so hoping we could eliminate alcohol problems. all that emerged was organized crime, violence, corruption, what have you. the second piece of evidence is that when you look at the countries that have decriminalized the possession of
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drugs -- places like portugal, switzerland, parts of europe, you see that there is no increase in drug use as a result of those policies, but you do have decreases in overdose fatalities, arrests, people going to prison, what have you. moderate measures of decriminalized drug use appears to have fewer risks. as for broader legalization, look at the experience of post- alcohol prohibition. we took a major source of revenue organized crime away. in the netherlands they have more or less regulated the cannabis situation for 30 years and the levels of marijuana use of less than here. -- are less than here. people are afraid of what the alternative should be. this distinguished group comes
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along and says that we need to lose some of our fears. that we need to open up a dialogue and experiment with alternative approaches. host: if you want to ask questions of our guest in this report and the findings that were done in the drug war, as it is known in a global sense, here is how you can do so this morning. three lines set up. for republicans, 202-624-1115. for democrats, 202-624-1111. for independents, 202-624-0760. you can send us an e-mail, if you wish, at you can send us a tweaked from -- tweet from spanwj. fort wayne, indiana. go ahead. caller: i agree with your guest. i think that'd is an absolute
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neanderthal thinking to say that some sort of bilal will present people from doing what they need to do. i do not think that you should put a person in jail for doing here when, cocaine, alcohol, as long as they do not endanger the life of someone else. prostitution, drugs, you are legalizing the attacks. the guest was absolutely right. the entire idea of ron paul -- they asked him about legalizing drugs -- with that not make a person to hear when? i do not need a government to tell me not to make that choice. host: is it as simple as that? legalize everything and the problems go away? guest: it is not quite as simple as that, but i basically agree
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with the sentiment of the caller. alcohol and cigarettes are treated differently from other drugs. i think that the policy of treating them all the same and throwing people in jail for making, selling, buying these things, your respective of the harm they do, is ludicrous and in many respects violates principles that americans hold dear. when it comes to marijuana -- most americans do not like the idea of legally regulating heroin or cocaine, at least not yet. but when it comes to marijuana the gallup poll has been asking the same question for 40 years. should we legalize marijuana use? in 200536% of americans said yes -- in 2005, 36% of americans said yes.
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in 2010 that had become 46%. what had been a 24 point gap in opinion became a four. that in the opinion. majority favor a month democrats, americans under the age of 30 -- it is not inevitable that we will move in that direction, but it certainly seems to be the case that a few states in the united states will try to regulate marijuana rather than persisting with ineffective prohibition over the next six years. host: this message from twitter -- does the report have any chance of changing things policy-wise? what about the federal level? guest: a member of congress came up to me and said -- i saw the information on the global commission and i want to do something on this.
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often they will focus on what can be done locally in their own jurisdiction. new york city is the marijuana capital of the world in terms of arrests. we are resting 50,000 people per year for simple -- we are a resting 50,000 people per year for -- we are are resting 50,000 people per year for simple possession. mexico, france, colombia, australia. we will see this debate popping up around the country. in congress on the democratic side and on the right, like ron paul, new voices popping up to say that we need a new way. host: kevin, independent line.
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how are we doing? guest: good. -- caller: good. i have a question. if we lost -- if we legalize drugs, lawyers would lose their jobs, prisons would close them. how is it that so much drugs fits into this country? in california i was informed that the cia was bringing a lot of drugs into this country. if we get rid of drugs, people will lose their jobs. how do you feel about this? guest: with respect to keeping drugs out of the country, that is impossible. marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, these are basically global commodities that can be produced in many parts of the world and it is impossible to keep them out of the united states. all of the drug that are
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imported into the united states to take up 0.00008% each year. if there was as much demand for heroin, those drugs would come in. if there is the man, there would be supplied. by the way, you are right about the cia. but even if the cia had been squeaky clean, not been involved in southeast asia, afghanistan, because they're working with your starting point was really profound. we now have a prison industrial complex in america. it is growing at a dramatic pace. 500,000 in 1980 until 2.3 million today.
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we ranked first in the world for accident incarceration. millions of people are employed in this business. we have increased tenfold in number of people walked up on drug charges since 1980. we have locked up more people in america on drug charges than western europe. they have 100 million more people than we do. there are private prison builders and prosecutors and police departments. my view is even if we legalize marijuana and other drugs, there is still other crime they can deal with. the prisons will not be so filled. some people will have the same jobs they used to. there is other crime that the government needs to pay attention to besides this.
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host: here is a portion of what was said on the hill. how would you respond to that? guest: there are two things wrong with what he is saying. he is ignoring the fact that we have half a million people behind bars. the drug war could be better spent in other areas. he is ignoring the corruption spreading around the world in mexico, the caribbean, afghanistan. there are negative consequences of the drug war. he ignores the fact that we cut
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cigarette consumption or dramatically in this country than illicit drug use. we did that without relying on criminal law. part of it is driving down the number is not the war on drug, decriminalization of drug, but defensible health policies, tax and regulatory policies. the last and stable policy is the bottom-line. what is important is not come many americans said yes i used cocaine last year. by that measure, 1980 was the worst of all years. 30 million americans said they had used cocaine or marijuana in the last year. most of them were yuppies. a small percent got involved in a fiction. many say 1980 was the worst of all years, because so many americans were using illicit drugs.
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10 years later, the numbers of americans using the struts has dropped significantly. what is interesting when you compare 1980 end-1990, -- and 1990, fewer people using cocaine, but we have a national crack -- epidemic. in 1980, 50,000 people locked up on drug charges. 1980, federal and state governments spending millions of dollars on the drug war. in 1990, there were draining resources from the education. there were more positive ways taxpayers could spend their money. we need to focus on the real bottom line, which is how many people are dying of drugs.
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how many people are getting deadly diseases? how many people are having their families destroyed? how much money is going down the drain in the sinkhole of the drug war. host: here is where you can find the report of the findings of the commission. we have highlighted some of the biggest -- bigger findings on the bill. this call comes from atlanta, georgia, the democrats' line. caller: he has a lot of great points on this matter. this war on drugs is worse than some have made it. [inaudible] it is a big business in america.
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lawyers, judges, are not the only ones that benefit from it. for the most part, the handwriting is on the wall. we see what is going on. guest: we represent everybody from the people that want to legalize all drugs to the people and not comfortable legalize anything but to see it much more as a health issue. one of the things we did a few years ago is work with the people in california to put a ballot initiative on for the california voters. it would reduce incarceration by 20,000 nonviolent offenders. it would have shifted from prison parole to rehabilitation. it would have held the prison system accountable to new standards. the prison guards union, the
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people interested in keeping the prison full, they campaigned against this. they called in the political hierarchy from jerry brown to people on the republican side. they raised money for the alcohol industry, the casinos. it was a sort of enterprise. there was this prison industrial complex rearing its ugly head. what kind of a society is it when the peoples whose jobs depend upon locking up their fellow citizens have more political power than any other lobby in state legislature? that is something that america should be ashamed of. we need to change it. host: texas, republican line. caller: the bank exchange of the
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old government. i do not think drugs should be legalized. you cannot go to work if you were stoned out of your mind. guest: i do not need the government telling my children anything. the government should not have to tell them which drugs they should or should not use. we do not need the government spending tens of billions of dollars of our money to do that. we do not want our kids lying in a cheating. we do not need the government making it a criminal for them to do so. we need responsible parenthood. we need honest drug education. i want the government spending
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our money on keeping us safe. i want them to go after violent criminals. i want them spending our money on quality health care and education. i want them to invest in tax pain resources in ways that bills of this country rather than the prison industrial complex. i do not think america is going to go to sodom and gomorrah. i think more people will use drugs, but the total result and total drug problems in america will decline. host: california, democrats line. caller: i cannot have said it better. i am a 52 year-old grandmother. i have had two first cousins die of alcohol-related accidents. fortunately, they did not kill anybody else. alcohol is the worst drug out of there.
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it is the most unpredictable drug. i grew up in laguna beach. i smoked a lot of pot. i did a little cocaine. i have a 24-year-old daughter retina. -- right now. i would rather have a five joint hanging out of her mouth than beer. i am all for legalizing marijuana. guest: she makes a very good point. the global commission on drug policy did something in their report. they showed the way drugs are handled -- canceled. then they showed how scientists except the relative risk of those drugs. there is no relationship between
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them. alcohol and cigarettes. those are the legal drugs. most scientists rank them high up in terms of their relative danger, more so than marijuana. heroin addicts say it is tougher to quit cigarettes than heroin. cigarettes is causing millions of cancer deaths around the world. heroin can be addictive, but you can remain and live a long live on herren. it does not destroy your bodily organs. it is not like alcohol, or cocaine for that matter. the argument for changing the way we deal with drugs and reducing our reliance on the criminal justice system -- this is not just an argument being made by people on the global commission who do not use drugs. many americans smoke marijuana
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and do not do harm to anyone else. many have seen the worst that drugs can do, and grown up in families where the addiction was rampant. they see how terrible drugs are, but they understand that the war on drugs, criminalization in prison is not the way to deal with drugs. there is a new initiative in california called mothers united against the war on drugs. these are parents whose kids are struggling with addictions. some have lost their children to addiction. they are saying as bad as drugs have been, dealing with this with the criminal justice system has made it worse. it has made it more likely that they will end up in jail or prison and be victimized by people behind bars.
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this debate is not about your experience with drugs. it is about of recognizing that the criminal-justice approach is the wrong way to deal with this stuff. we should deal with a thick and as a health issue. we should hold people responsible if they hurt other people. for those that use drugs and do no harm to others, leave them alone. host: to you reject the notion of a gateway drug? guest: the national academy of science also rejects it. with respect to marijuana, there is an ounce of truth in a pound of people. -- bull.
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the vast majority of people who have used marijuana, it includes the last three occupants of the white house, successful businessmen and intellectuals. the vast majority of those people never went on to use cocaine or heroin. the notion that somehow we can try to reduce heroin addiction in america by cracking down on a 20-year-old smoking marijuana is trying to say that we can reduce motorcycle fatalities by trying to deter bicycle riding. host: massachusetts. caller: the system we have now is not working. they have legalized medical
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marijuana. eventually, it will sweep the country. and responsibility is what we should be teaching our children. if we teach them that drugs are bad and they can have bad effects, they can choose wisely what they choose to smoke or drink. guest: marijuana is illegal for medical purposes in 16 states and shortly in washington, d.c. i have played a key role in half of the states deciding to legalize marijuana. in california, the lot is very open ended. it is easy to get a referral for medical marijuana.
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there are very different models around the country. one of the biggest problems has been in washington. write your member of congress. tell them the federal government needs to get out of the way and allow them to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. the attorney general was in a row island last week, another state that has legalized marijuana. he asked why did the justice crackdown.' contacted the justice department and play a responsible role in regulating this. many americans believe marijuana should be legal for medical
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purposes. a bill to legalize marijuana went through the state judiciary committee. such a huge majority of americans say this is the way to go, but we only have 16 states where it is legal. with enough pressure from citizens, we will see this country make marijuana legal for medical purposes and other uses as well. host: 4 lauderdale florida -- fort lauderdale, fla. independent line. caller: i got robbed. everybody down here is doing drugs. they come here to get the drug. if they cannot get the drug --
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tons of people go down the drain. many will rob you. [unintelligible] these people who do drugs have problems. isolated them. put them in one state. make sure they all go to one place so we all can live in peace. guest: it is a mistake to call 120 million americans scumbags because they may have used drugs once or twice. that is not the way to call people. people use of alcohol or pharmaceutical drugs -- you name it. does not condemn people for what they put in their body. let's make moral judgments about how they treat their fellow citizen.
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you are making a powerful argument in favor of legalization. the people who were stealing from you were not doing it to support their cigarette habits. if we keep heading down this road, there probably will be fewer cigarette smokers, but the price will go to $100 for a pack of cigarettes. then people will get mugged by cigarette addict. attics -- addicts. if you do it for coffee, the same thing would happen. if you legalize some of the drugs, and people could get the heroin from legal sources -- it is a painkilling drug. it is not that different than what americans are taking in
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hospitals and their homes. if this were legally available, heroin addicts could get it from a pharmacy or a clinic in europe. they would not be mugging anybody anymore. people may rob people to support their habit, but it is not the drug. it is their criminalization, which is increasing the price 30 fold, putting the money in the hands of criminals and obliging others to go out and the support their habit. host: he is the executive director of the drug policy alignments. west palm beach florida, democrats line. caller: it really good form.
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-- forum. we are fighting a war right now and afghanistan is the poppy plant of the world. thailand, cambodia, cia operations. this is big business. i do not think a man should be put in jail for smoking a joint. there is a difference between crack cocaine, cocaine, and heroin. there should be limitations. guest: there is evidence that the cia was involved with the hero in business in southeast asia during the 1960's and 1970's. in afghanistan during the 1980's.
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in every case, it was mostly because the people we were working with in the country's, whether it was the people fighting the taliban, were people who were very good at fighting our enemies, and also people who supported what they were doing to the sale of drugs. the cia turned a blind eye to this sort of thing. even if the cia had been squeaky clean, the drugs still would have ended up in the united states. if they had never been involved, crack cocaine would have showed up a few weeks or months later. beyond that, certain drugs need to be treated differently. marijuana is a drug.
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you should not use it as a youngster or get behind a car and drive. for most people, it is relatively less dangerous than the vast majority of the other drugs. most people do not get addicted to it and those that do get their addiction behind other drugs. most people do not overdose from marijuana. people who have been addicted to street here when and are not able to quit through a drug program or who got methadone, they set of different clinics where they can get a heroin legally. people ended up using less heroin. people were not arrested and
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reduced other illicit drug use. they got jobs and housing. they did not become zombies. once you use herren for years, you are not knocking off all the time. you are taking something in your body to keep from getting sick. there was a double blind experiment. they gave half the people heroin and another drug dilaudid. turned out, long-term heroin addicts cannot tell the two.rence between the if we snapped ever fingers and all the people in american hospitals were given here when
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instead of dilaudid, they would not know the difference. [unintelligible] host: you serve as the executive >> chancellor angela merkel began her day at the white house shortly before 9:00 a.m. this morning. there will be a briefing at the white house coming up in 20 minutes. there'll be a state dinner in her honor this evening. this is the first white house dinner for a german leader since chancellor helmut kohl.
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we will have live coverage at 5:45. we wait for that conference to begin at the east room. we have more from "washington journal." ere, from "the calling daily news." host: that is from "the daily news" this morning. from "the daily journal" --
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host: that is from "the wall street journal." this is from "the new york times" this morning -- host: that is "the new york times."
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we finish up with "the new yor post" this morning. host: again, new york papers waiting in this morning. we have asked to new york residence to call in this morning. matt, manhattan. what do you think about resignation? caller: i do not think that he should resign. only if they determine that some of the e-mails to these e-mail addresses were with -- if it was an underage thing, he should get out. it is a whole lot of nothing, i think. if this were a whole other country, it would be water under the bridge.
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i think that with all of the discussion so far, what people are not taking into account is not dissimilar to this congreman. my background, my location, all of the rest of that. he was a funny looking kid. i know this seems like it was more psychological than political. but he has a very funny last name. i grew up with a kid like that. we tormented that kid. this is the results of a history -- he was not a great looking kid. probably did not have a decent looking girlfriend until he graduated from college. i think that his wife is actually a stunning. this is the history of a funny looking diapeguy. host: richard, independent line.
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caller: i would say that most of the reaction on this is based on the puritanical [unintelligible] and nowadays this is the 21st century. unfortunately all of these media, twitter, facebook, so long and so forth, are complicity with this problem. host: what about the idea of resignation? caller: i do not think that it is relevant. it is just a minute -- symptomatic of the current world. host: we have three lines set aside for new yorkers. for democrats, 202-624-1111. for republicans, 202-624-1115. for independents, 202-624-0760. is the e- mail. janet, go ahead.
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caller: i have been a resident of new york for a few years. rep. wiener has always been awesome on our issues, immigrant rights, criminal justice reform. he has always represented new york well in his positions. across the board, democrat or republican, when people become embroiled in a sex scandal or any kind of scandal, we are very quick to point the finger at them and judge like crazy. i am no prude, but i am also not condoning his misogynist of behavior. but i think that we should take a step back and think about what he is giving to new york. i certainly do not think that he should resign.
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host: this does not affect his ability to do his job going forward? caller: i do not think that it does. the other thing that people do not want to think about -- people that use their job, use their computer at work, not just politicians but all of us to do things that are not on the up and up. we do them. and it is not right. and i think we should step back a bit. host: again, new york residents only for the first 20 minutes to talk about the announcement yesterday and give your thoughts on whether the rep should resign. this is from "a washington post." copp host: on the side bar of this story, others involved in political scandal in cases where
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there wife appeared with them. itter, eliot david victo spitzer, and it goes on to talk about deena mcgreevy. finishing up a shot of hillary clinton. good morning, juanita. independent line. should anthony wiener resign? caller: i do not think that he should resign. bill clinton lied under oath and no one is mentioning that in comparison to congressman winner. i do not think that he should resign because i think he is a
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good person basically a and they are spending way too much time on the private lives of these people. we need to move on. we have too many more important things to talk about. losing their jobs, losing their homes. that is what we should be talking about. host: he was interested in becoming mayor of new york. caller: i would vote for him. yes, he should run for mayor. host: manhattan. good morning, democratic line. caller: he definitely should not resign. it does not change the fact that represents his constituent well. and i think that there is a hypocrisy here. vitteris still in office. democrats should always resign, republicans not? he should represent the party
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that he represents. host: church will, new york. go ahead. caller: andmmoral man cannot effectively lead himself, let alone a very large, complicated, and confused state like new york. it makes me sick that no one else has said this. he has to be honest with himself first before he can effectively lead anyone. he should resign quickly and make that decision. he has lied repeatedly. how can i trust them? how can we trust anything? how does he have any credibility left? that is all i have to say. i am disgusted. host: here is the bit of the press conference in which the representative addresses him not breaking any oaths or laws.
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caller: i do not think that i did anything here that violates any laws or my oath to my constituents. what i did was something that represented a very deep, personal failing. host: the next call is from carol, queens, new york, democratic line. caller: i am one of his constituents. i would vote for him again. i would vote for him for mayor. he did not violate his oath. he has represented his district extremely well. he is a very effective congressman for the democrats. as far as his colleagues backing him up, this is not a popularity contest. this is about what is happening in this country right now in terms of jobs and the monumental challenges we are facing.
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i am completely and totally embarrassed by the media. this is despicable. we are not focused on any of the important issues of the day. the focus, so much time spent on this, it is taking away from what this country needs to be doing in terms of taking carof jobs, the debt ceiling -- host: if someone asks you if you think the rep can be effective going forward, what would you tell them? caller: he has been ineffective until this whole -- through this whole process -- he has been effective through this whole process. thank you for taking my call. host: queens, new york, jennifer, go ahead. are you there? you are run. go ahead.
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caller: i hope and pray that he does -- excuse me? host: go ahead, you are run. caller: say that again? i do not have much to say. i hope that he has the stomach to deal with the media and the hell that he will have to go through and that he will just hang in there for us. host: you think that he should not resign? caller: absolutely not. host: why is that? caller: iave watched c-span so many times. i know tt he always stands up and fights for his constituents. he is strong. all of these guys, if they ever went through a test on all of these guys, they had be -- better be careful how they criticize him do, because they
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would be gone. it is personal. host: if you go to the web site of "usa today" they have a list of political representatives of either side of the aisle that have been involved in scandals. we have compiled a list for you. as you look at them, we will take some calls. the next call is new york city. shane, independent line. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. i wanted to call in about the congressman. i really feel that he does a great job in the city of new york representing us. i would vote for him for mayor. he is very strong on educational issues.
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but one thing that no one is talking about how quickly in new york they are using sex scandals to blow up politicians. they did the same thing with david patterson when he tried to run for governor. they had a scandal about one of his aides. you know, he is destroying his own credibility by not owning up to it. but david patterson did. the big issue here is we are not talkingabout the other issues in the city. no one is talking about the [unintligible] leaking from the power plant. host: whether it be congress or the ability to run for mayor, you do not think that this should affect that? caller: he should stand on his record. i have never seen a congressman
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fight as hard as he did for the affordable health care act. issues in our own city about teacher layoffs, protecting teacher jobs. knowing a little bit about his own history, knowing that he is the son of a person that was a teacher. host: new york, democratic line. caller: i do not think that he should resign, eith either. host: why is that? caller: he is a good congressman and he fights hard for the issues that i believe in. it is a personal matter and i really believe that it is more common than i would like to believe and is not like -- and it is not like miners were
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.nvolved pau it might have been inappropriate, but it will not affect his ability to govern. host: i was going ask, what should he do going forward as wallet -- afar as his record, those issues. caller: i think that there are a lot of politicians that have problems with egomaniacs. they think that they can get away with what ever. i do not know how they think they can get away with this stuff when everyone is waiting to get something on them to knock them out of the game. but i think that he should put it behind them and just focus on the career in taking care of business in washington urea --
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focus on the career and the taking care of business in washington. host: new york, go ahead. caller: this is a ridiculous question. when vitter came out, he admitted to a crime. prostitution is a crime. why not bring on a program and ask if vitter should resign from the senate? host: we address these things all the time, just so that you know. if you had to advise the congressman going forward, what would you tell him? caller: continue to do the great job that he is doing. the only reason the media is doing this is because he embarrassed stephen king on the
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floor. he speaks out. host: new york city, james, democratic line. caller: good morning. hello? host: you are on. caer: personally i feel that he needs to resign. i am appled as to what i am listening to. the man is a liar and a cheat. if you lie and cheat on your wife, your one and only, how to be fthful to anyone? upper -- how can you be faithful to anyone? you do not do these things, you do not get exposed. i guess i am just old. i am in my 50's. i am very ashamed of him. host: i think that we have only taken three calls the suggest he
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should resign. caller: that is why i am so reporappalled. the cotry has fallen so far that lying and cheatings ok. it is not ok and i do not approve at all. i would rather that he left. host: we have been taking calls from new york resence about anthony wiener. chiming in as we talk about him in particular and the idea of ethical standards for elected representatives. we will open up the phone lines for the remainder of our time. for republicans, 202-624-1115. for demoats, 202-624-1111. for independents, 202-624-0760. if you would like to send us e- mail, you can do so at if you would like to send us a tweet,
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a couple of more calls -- a couple of more stories from the papers this morning. this is from "the new york times." host: there is a rated story in "the wall street journal" about what goes on after words.
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host: we took that hearing yesterday as part of our coverage here in -- hear at c- span we would like to -- if you would like you can go to our website,, looking up hearings on iraq regulations and you can see that for yourself. for the remainder of our time, talking about ethics standards for public officials.
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albany, new york. traci, an independent line. anyone else for? first of all, he is jt setting an example for future politicians of new york. we are try >> we will take you live to the white house for the joint news conference between president obama and chancellor angela merkel. t. please have the sea good morning began. -- good morning again. we had a wonderful dinner last night.
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betters english is much than my german. michele and a much before to hosting the chancellor. will present her with the medal of freedom. germany is one of our strongest allies. we see our partnership in the drive of bitches -- this is the largest trade relationship in the world -- in the drive of relationships. researchers are unlocking new innovations, including clean renewable energy sources. we see our partnership encouraged in our service members who stand shoulder to shoulder in afghanistan, where germans serve under americans and americans served under germans. chancellor merkel, i want to
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thank you and your people to your strong support and our hearts go out to all members whose loved ones have given their lives to keep us safe. remember and honor them all. we stand for democracy in europe and beyond. work to avert suffered in countries like sudan. this is the essence of our alliance, committed to the security for prosperity and dignity of our citizens and those far beyond our borders. that is the essence of our partnership with chancellor merkel. this is our 10th meeting together. that does not include the phone calls and videoconferences.
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there's hardly any global issue we do not consult each other. i always value her pragmatic approach and her frankness. i trust her. it is fun to work together. it has been fun again today, even as we address an urgent challenges. germany is one of our largest trading partners. as angela mentioned, hundreds of thousands of american jobs are supported by our exports to germany. hundreds of thousands of americans work for a german companies that have chosen to invest in america. billions of dollars is making possible manufacturing in tennessee, which goes to create
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thousands of new american jobs. we discussed the need to unleash even more trade and investment. the possibilities of cooperation are enormous. i appreciate the chance of reviews of the financial situation in europe, which cannot be allowed to put the global economic recovery at risk. we discussed our progress in afghanistan. we have trained afghan forces and are now preparing to turn a corner in our efforts. were scheduled to begin that transition and it will begin reducing american forces this summer. with support afghans in their political and economic efforts to forge a lasting peace. i think the chancellor for support in the principles i laid
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out last month. gela foro commend anel personal efforts in bringing the parties back to the negotiating table. unilateral actions should be avoided. iran's continuing nuclear programs and its refusal to engage in any meaningful talks with the international community remains a very serious concern. if the end atomic energy duties to ignore the obligations, then we'll have no choice but to consider additional steps including potentially additional sanctions to intensify the pressure on the iranian regime. we discussed the historic changes in north africa and the middle east.
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germany has deployed additional sources to afghanistan. other middle allies have increased their support for the libyan people. muammar gaddafi must step down. the pressure will continue until he does. we discussed our support for political and economic reform across the middle east and north africa, especially in tunisia and egypt. the largest donors of assistance to the region. this historic moment must not be squandered. we have an enormous stake in seeing that these transitions to democracy proceed. given her experience in helping to heal the wounds of the past,
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i appreciate her leadership and partnership in this effort. i am grateful to the chancellor for being here. i am confident the alliance will remain between us. i very much appreciate the personal friendship that i enjoy it with her. angela. >> ladies and gentlemen, i like to use this opportunity to thank you most warmly for this wonderful reception. i see is a testimony of our -- we remind ourselves -- we can
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safely say that the names that -- [translabors' voice too low] we have corporatioin in the science. we share a lot of success. i mentioned 50,000 soldiers today in germany. they are very welcome indeed in my country.
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without the united states of america, would not be able to -- overcoming the cold war required courage. it required a western partner or many had long lost hope in integration of the two germanys in europe. many did not want this anymore. president george walsh said -- president george bush said -- there are a lot of challenges we need to meet together. we are doing this in the spirit of freedom. we wanted to bring these values to bear on the international agenda. we're dealing with these issues. in syria, tunisia, libya, these
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create a big challenge. after the second world war, germany was able to get back on its feet again. the top of the europeans and the americans and the germans to support this change. we talked about this. we talked about germany with training schemes offering an alliance for jobs, training, and education and we're working together with the foundations. i said that we opened up an office that will serve as a clearing house for the security forces and leave them there on the ground and will also have an
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additional commitment to afghanistan to lend contributions. we talked about economic issues. i believe we have been able to make a lot of progress. also, our finance minister talked about these issues. we also talked about this at some length. it is part and parcel of our identity. german unity, european unity. two parts of the same thing. that we'remuch aware in a tough competition. the needs to be competitive and we need to be competitive if we wish to remain an economic partner with the united states. this is what the germans have a
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policy of competitiveness in europe. we need to show solidarity. we talked about the middle east peace process. this was an important initiative. just as germany and the european union to promote the peace process -- we wanted it to-state solution -- a two-state solution. we agreed that we wished to cooperate closely on this because time is of the essence. looking of the changes, it would be good if talks came out if
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talks are on again. we're very close and grateful for the close cooperation. we share the opinion that in afghanistan we wish to approach an integrated security approach, a network security approach. we wish to go in together, out together. afghanistan will need our support in the long run. thank you very much again for this warm atmosphere. i think we look differently, we have a lot in common and we have a lot to discuss. thank you. >> first question from reuters.
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[unintelligible] >> these policies -- to expect germany to fund another bailout for greece? thank you. >> i'm not concerned about a double-dip recession. the recovery we are on is not producing jobs as quickly as i wanted to happen. prior to this month, we had seen three months of robust job growth in the private sector. we were encouraged by that. we still saw job growth in the private sector but it had slowed down. we don't know if this is a one- month episode or a longer trend. we're seeing some headwinds.
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so we're taking a range of steps to make sure that we have an energy policy that can bring some stability to world oil prices. the overall trend we have seen over the past 15 months, over 2 million jobs created over the past 15 months, the rebounding of the manufacturing sector in the united states that is exemplified by the recovery of the big three automakers here, all indicates that we have set a path that will lead us to long- term economic growth. we still have some work to do. folks are still looking for work. i will be walking up and thinking about how we can get them back to worked. some of the steps we took during the lame-duck session -- the
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payroll tax, the investment in -- or the tax breaks for insiness investments plants and equipment have helped. one thing i will be exploring in congress is how we continue some of these policies to make sure that we get this recovery up and running in a robust way. we have challenges that aren't so different from what germany or any advanced countries having to go through in the 21st century. we're going to have to step up our game. making sure we have the best trained workers in the world. attracting businesses to our shores.
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more transparent and encouraging of business investment, and getting a handle on our deficit in a way that is balanced and sensible. we are going to have some days when things are not going as well as we would like. we are on the path of a recovery but we have to accelerate. that will -- will need to have a continuation of the steps we've taken. i've had extensive discussions with angela. it is a tough situation. greec'e debt is significant. it is taking difficult steps to improve the situation. they are under the gun from the international capital markets.
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there will be looking to other members of the euro zone to help them figure out the path forward. germany will be a key leader in the process. the politics of it are tough. it was difficult for us to make investments in ron auto industry and to make sure we did not have the financial makes -- to make investments in our water industry and to make sure we didn't have the financial meltdown. that is in some sense of how tough the politics are. i am confident germany's leadership with other key factors in europe will help us arrive at a path for greece to return to growth, for this debt to become more manageable.
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we have pledged to cooperate fully in working through these issues on a bilateral basis and an international institutions like the imf. >> in europe, we are aware of the responsibility for the global economy. let's outline with the americans are doing to generate growth and combat unemployment. that is what we're doing in europe as well. we have seen how interdependent we are. this is an important factor of stability. we do see our european responsibility and we're shouldering that responsibility along with a imf.
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that is what this assistance is all about. there is a ban on bailouts. if a country is in danger, we will act in such a way so that sustainability is guaranteed. as far as the situation in the united states, each person should do with their own problems. we have our hands full with what we need to do. as we shoulder our responsibility, so the united states of america. [unintelligible] >> the recognition of her
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accomplishment in the past, or is it an expression of the expectation that you would have for the future? if so, where d.c. area's globally or the chancellor and germany can do more? [speaking german] >> germany is being praised in america. it until some responsibilities. do you think journeys to do more in the future? >> not only has she been an excellent steward of the german economy and the european project, but she represents the
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unification of europe through her own life's story. and the capacity to overcome the past and point toward a brighter future. so the extraordinary work that she has already done, i think, would by itself merit the middle freedom. fortunately, -- the medal of freedom. fortunate, she will be around for long time. i very much complement her on the courage with which she approaches some of these very difficult political issues at some significant political cost to herself. on the international stage, there are no issues that we do not cornet closely with germany. -- we do not coordinate closely
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with germany. our approach to the arabs spring is to come straight on how we hope the arab countries. these are areas where angeles leadership will be welcome and leadershipangeloa's will be welcome and will be crucial. she is not finished yet. she has a lot of work to do. i am sure that she may not mind a couple of days off. she will have to wait for that. >> i believe, when you see me standing before you here today,
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receiving this prestigious award of the medal of freedom, there is a moment when one needs to look back to the 1989 german unification. an issue -- germany entered into a new phase, a united country, a country with all rights, but also with all the obligations. if i had been back in the beginning of the 1990's, we were struggling for a decision that would enable us to send ships taking part in reconnaissance missions. if you compare to where we are today, you see where we have traveled, with more international responsibility. participating in military missions are part and parcel of that.
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but what is also important in this context is an approach that we both share, barack and died. we need to combine military -- rock and i. -- barrack and i. we need to come by in military ideas. we need to coordinate with you. that is why this coalition is so extremely important for our common future. as someone who comes from europe, the changes in north africa are changes that happen on our doorstep. we have a choice. either this works out well or we have an enormous problem. it is not just out of territory that we help people or the moral obligation. we hope in our vested interest.
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>> mr. president, you called chancellor merkel one of your closest global allies. in libya, and you believe that more german military involvement in that operation would bring it to a faster and more decisive conclusion? and the u.s. chancellor merkel -- and did you as chancellor merkel for such help? chancellor merkel, do you believe it was mistaken in getting involved militarily in libya? if not, why are you not more directly involved militarily there? what can you do to promote an accelerated european economic
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recovery? >> first of all, with respect to libya, i think it is important to note that this is a nato operation that is fully integrated. that means you have german personnel who are involved actively in these activities in their nato role. as i indicated before, germany has stepped up and take an additional responsibility in afghanistan that have free up resources for us to be able to conduct our operations in libya. chancellor merkel and i believe that colonel gaddafi needs to step down for the good of his own people. with respect to the pace of operations and participation, i think, if you look at where we were three months ago and where we are now -- or two months ago at where we are now -- the progress that has been made in libya hais significant.
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our goal there was to protect the libyan people from a potential slaughter. we have done so. bengazi is free from threat from the libyan regime right now. they are hunkered down. misrata, which was under severe attack, is now in a situation where, although still threatened, gaddafi forces have been pushed back. what you see across the country is an inexorable trend of the regime forces being pushed back, of being incapacitated. you see defections, oftentimes of some very high-profile members of the gaddafi government as well as the military. i think it is just a matter of
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time before gaddafi goes. each country that is part of the coalition is playing a role. we did a whole bunch of stuff in the front and to disable the gaddafi air defenses, to take out some of their more significant firepower. now we are in a more supportive role as other countries have stepped up. germany -- we did discuss last night to germany's role. there will be a lot of work to do when gaddafi does step down, in terms of getting the libyan people back on their feet -- economic, political work that will have to be done. my expectation will be that there will be full and robust german support as there has been in the past from germany in a wide range of issues. with respect to the economy, as i said before, this is a tough and complicated piece of business. ultimately, europeans will have
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to make decisions about how they perceive forward. what you have to do is balance the recognition that greece has to grow. that means that there has to be private investment there. they have to make structural reforms and make them more competitive. morehave to makhave transparency in their economic system. but it also means that other countries in the eurozone will have to provide them a backstop and support. frankly, people who are holding greek debt will have to make some decisions working with the european countries in the eurozone about how the debt is managed. what we have done is to say to germany and other countries that are involved that we will be there for you. we are interested in being supportive.
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we think that america's economic growth depends on a sensible resolution of this issue. we think it would be disastrous for us to see an uncontrolled spiral and default in europe because that could trigger a whole range of other events. i think angela has shared that same view. we will have to work through this issue methodically and we will be supportive in any way that we can to make sure that all the best ideas are brought to bear on the problem. mitt -- but let me make a larger point relates to the question that steve asked earlier. people on both sides of the atlantic's are understandably frustrated with the ups and downs of the economy -- the world economy.
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it is just a very important for folks to remember how close we came to complete disaster. the world economy took a severe blow to a half years ago. -- 2.5 years ago. ofbecause of a whole set policy changes made in challenges that were unaddressed over the previous decade. recovering from that kind of body blow takes time. and recovery will be uneven. and there will be times when we are making progress but people are still skittish and nervous and the markets get skittish and nervous. so they pull back because they're still thinking about the traumas of just 2 1/2 years ago. economic data that, in better
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times, would pass without comment, now people wonder whether we will go back to this terrible crisis. all of that affects consumer confidence, affects business confidence. it affects the capital markets. so our task is to not panic, not overreact, to insure we have a plan, a path forward in terms of how we make our economy is competitive, and have the basic fundamentals to grow a good business environment. in america, for example, our need to get a handle on our debt and deficit will be important, making sure that our investments in education and clean energy and infrastructure, that we find a way to do that. in germany and europe, they will have differences of challenges. but the important point is that,
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i think angela will agree, is not look dated day at whatever is happening in the marketplace or whatever headlines are taking place and be reactive. our job is to set a course for a meeting in the long term to make sure that our economies and the world economy is stable and prosperous. i think we can do that together. >> maybe i should comment on this as well. to a half years ago, we experienced something that did to put five yearsnd hav ago, we experienced something that did not exist before. we were able to ward off the worst that could happen. now we have a situation that we believe is something that is a challenge of the future. before the crisis, we talked
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about what the format would be for the g-8. now we have the g-20. that is good. we have been able to come up with credible solutions. that has strengthen their cooperation. but do we need more stimulus? how much do we need to? how many savings programs do need? what structural program still in need? we are breaking new ground. these are uncharted waters. we cannot, with all due respect, rely completely on the financial/business community to give us good advice every day. they have their own vested interest and we have to rely on our own, good, sound judgment. in the case of libya, the united nations resolution still applies. gaddafi needs to step down. he will step down. i am convinced of that because
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we have made great progress. in the future, when we have talks on that, we agreed that germany will be showing that it is responsible and committed to the libyan cause. we will be in the closest possible contact with support. germany was supportive of the nato actions by being present in the starts there. it is our joint will that this nato mission is successful. it is important for the people in libya and also for nato, the alliance at large, and we have one heart that beats with the other allies. >> the german decision on libya has burdened the german-american relationships somewhat. were you surprised by these irritations and this warm reception?
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is this like a reset button, a breaking out into a new future? you, president obama, were not in berlin? why not? >> i believe that this president here today, after all, has been agreed on for long time. our partnership and friendship relies on a broad basis. sometimes, there may be differences of opinion in such friendships. not each and everyone can be in on missions. there will be areas in the world where we shoulder different responsibilities. doing together with others
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things that we believe can be useful, this is what we want to do. we want to see that our contribution is bringing about a success, encouraging other people. those who want to live in a democracy, the sensible. we want them to receive their wonderful reception, but it is not so unusual. i see it as a continuation of our relationship. on the question -- germany, you said that the american president has not been in germany. that is not true at all. berlin opens its arms to him every day. but berliners can also wait. >> i look very much forward to being in berlin. the last time i was there, we
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had a lot of fun. [laughter] and i am sure that i will have a wonderful time the next time i am there as well. and i appreciate you assuming that i will have another term. [laughter] so i will have plenty of time to put berlin on my schedule. thank you very much, everybody. >> and i can promise that the berlin date will stand open for some more time. >> thank you. >> a full day of meetings for
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president obama and angela merkel. more coverage from the white house this evening, beginning at about 5:45 p.m. with the guest arrivals, the state dinner at 8:00 p.m. this afternoon on c-span, several speakers -- federal deficit and debt reduction -- that will be live here at 3:00 p.m. and the new book "reckless endangerment," we will have live coverage on this chat about their politics and prose. that gets underway at 7:00 p.m. >> connect with c-span online with the latest schedule updates on facebook and tour.
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c-span and social media, connect today. >> undersecretary state for management, patrick kennedy said monday that the department will be ready for the planned october 1 handover responsibilities in iraq from the defense department. he made the remarks as today at a hearing on the commission for wartime contacting in iraq and afghanistan which was reviewing listed department contracts in those countries, a commission created by congress in 2008 picked it is mandated to find ways, fraud, abuse, and miss use of contracts.
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>> today's hearing -- the commission is interested in three major topics. first, the department the state's response to the commission's second report to congress. second, the treatment of contingency contract being in the most recent quadrennial diplomacy deployment review. and third, final and transitional issues in afghanistan. the conditioners may raise additional questions. our guest today is a very distinguished official, patrick f. kennedy. his current position puts him squarely at the center of the action and many issues that concern this mission. we appreciate the inform been
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helpful testimony he has provided in other appearances before this panel. we welcome back. we also appreciate his informal responses to our work as well. before we hear his testimony, i will comment briefly on our main areas of interest. first, it is the state departments response to recommendations in our february 2011 report to congress, that report calls at what risk correcting overlying contract is a contingent operations made 32 recommendations for statutory policy or administrative changes. we think the department's
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resistance your recommendation for a permanent government-wide inspector general for contingency operations did not pay due regard to the interagency dimensions of these operations or to the drawbacks of setting up specialized shops after boots have already hit the ground. as experience has shown, a great deal of waste, fraud, and abuse can happen if oversight is not deployed along with the troops, diplomats, and reconstruction officials. the state also disagreed with our recommendation that suspension and debarment officials document the rationale for not taking action against a contractor, officials, recommended for suspension or debarment. state's response said it would be a burden. a burden? that response approaches the borderline of government negligence to us. if cognizant oversight officials
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have recommended that a contractor be suspended or rate -- or debarred from receiving taxpayers' money, it is perfectly reasonable and potentially important to insist that other officials write a few sentences of explanation if they decide to do nothing and ignored that recommendation. our second main topic is the treatment of contingency contract in and the state department quadrennial diplomacy and development review, which includes operations of the u.s. agencies for international the moment. the department knows subcontracting has a real benefit for the government, but it has a default process. the qedr creates more competition in contracting and strengthens contract oversight and accountability.
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these are all truly excellent points. we might also note that the department of state has given contacting more thought in public to grant, at least, then the defense displayed in their most recent quadrennial defense review, the qdr. we would like to continue way discussion on the qedr on whether it gives an important way to mission success and for the needed good stewardship of taxpayer dollars. the thought leads to our third main topic -- the defense to stay/transition in iraq and afghanistan. concern about the planning, timeliness, resources, and risk of those transitions have triggered recent hearings and reports to congress. unfortunately, our concerns remain very much alive and they are reinforced by the department of state inspector general's
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report released just last week. on october 1st of this year, state will take over responsibility for the u.s. presence in iraq as u.s. troops draw troops down to basically zero by december 30 forced -- december 31, 2011. much of this work involves contracts thing, including contacting for thousands of new private security employees. the department's new i.t. report tells us that, "several key decisions have not been made. some plans cannot be finalized, and progress is slipping in a number of areas" and "lack of
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senior level participation dedicated to the transition process." it may be helped by a new office of iraq transition coordinator. the state department also says that 5405 projects valued at $15 billion have been transferred to iraq. but with security concerns and for contract performance, the major hindrance is to contract completions. the i.t. report underscores a concern featured in this that weon's report release friday morning, quoting the i.t. "investor officials noted the challenge of getting local and provincial governments to readily assume responsibility for some transfer projects." as we have said repeatedly, even
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the best u.s. funded projects can turn into waste if the host government does not have the money, supplies, a trained staff, or will to sustain it. so we will certainly talk about these issues. we will also talk about contract awards at the core of the commission's responsibilities. let me note that the department is operating in an unprecedented set of circumstances. we know of no other time in our history when we have vast -- when we have asked to have extended missions in countries where host countries cannot provide customary security. there are no from lines and
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large terrorist organizations are trying to kill our people and anyone who works for them or cooperate with them. we truly appreciate the dedication and courage of the state deprive people who served in iraq and afghanistan and have nothing -- the state department people who've served in iraq and afghanistan and have nothing but the best intentions. we have asked ambassador kennedy to provide a 10 minute summary of his testimony. the fall written statement will be entered into the record and posted on the commission's website. we also ask that the investor provide within 15 business days response as to any questions for the record and any additional information he may offer to share.
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ambassador, if you will rise, we will swear you in as we do all of our witnesses appeared use water that the testimony you give to this -- you swear that the testimony you get to this commission will be the truth and the whole truth. thank you. all the commission members welcome you today. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman and fellow members of the commission. your timing is propitious as the department has been inclining a robust civilian transfer. i will focus on the current status of our contacting efforts in iraq as your invitation requested, but are lessons learned also apply to afghanistan. as you noted, we have submitted a written response. regarding use of contractors, as the military drawdown in iraq and state increases our civilian presence, we are relying on
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contractors for certain functions which are not inherently governmental. we use contractors to roll through routine and contingency operations when it is cost- effective, as opposed to having permanent u.s.-government hired staff. we address life support, security, transportation facilities. as security improves, we will transition to a more traditional mode of operation. we have already begun this effort where 62% of our static guard are local nationals. the department's expenses continues contingencies in our daily operations under challenging conditions worldwide. as needed, we create task forces and working groups. we continue to centralize procurement operations in the bureau of administration. this model is most effective in supporting contingency situations during natural disasters, like he and japan, as well as ongoing civilization reconstruction as in afghanistan and iraq. based on our expense, state does
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not see any for a separate contingency contacting office. we deploy our experience contract in resources as necessary and are working -- and are working capital fund allows us to serve and dedicate resources to specific contingency operations as required. we agree with the commission's observation that state's program offices need to plan effectively for contracting officer representatives. state also agrees the contracting officers should consistently enter into contractor-past performance information into the federal database which will prevent awards to firms that have not performed well. however, we do not believe that certified database used is necessary. candid performance assessments for all can tractors will suffice -- for all contractors will surprise.
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we are offering dau courses. fsi routinely offers other courses on campus and off site learning courses. we have taken additional measures to ensure proper u.s. government management of the increased number of contractors. for iraq, our team is located in washington, drawing on headquarters expertise. in iraq, there several motels of contracting. -- several modals. we have the resources to surge. the security contractors to protect our diplomats perform an essential, legitimate function
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that allows american diplomacy to be conducted where it is most necessary. i have worked to enhance states oversight of pse's. for the worldwide protective services contract, ds has hired more personnel to insure contract compliance to 5000 contractors. i will only note briefly that, from lessons learned, we believe it enhances professionalism and operational control, provides for greater cultural sensitivity, and a cheese grater contract efficiencies. state have also been working on improving legal accountability. we strongly support enacting civilian jurisdiction act to expand jurisdictional employees
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overseas as well as the montrond document and the international code for contracts. secretary clinton issued the inaugural qddr, providing the blueprint for civilian power to enhance our national security and to better partner with the u.s. military. it sets out four key outcomes for state and usaid. one of them is working smarter to develop results for the american people. using the blueprint, we have begun hands-on implementation. in early thune 11, we -- in early 2011, we said the notices to provide guidance on critical works elements for supervisors to include in employees and performance plans. we lost a skills-based performance class in 2011. the department has also adopted
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a certification requirement for initialing continues training in contract administration. as part of this process, we instituted a requirement that the contract exceeding $25 million per year certifies that adequate administration resources have been identified to manage the contract. funding for afghanistan has also been reduced because a civilian platform there is relatively stable. the current funding levels will be sufficient to cover operations two years in care of our military drawdown in iraq is critical in our transition to supporting an iraq that is solid, stable, and self-reliant. we're working to achieve sustained diplomacy in a strategic, long-term partnership
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between the united states and iraq. state and defense 7 core operating -- have been -- state and defense have been cooperating on an unprecedented loss. dod is providing contracts for parts for our lexapro platform. i am pleased to give you a status report on our progress. this is difficult, as you have noted. in spite of the difficulty, we believe that we are on track security, all u.s. personnel and contractors in iraq will be under chief commission authority and security ranges have been worked out by state and dod. state announced the award of a base contract for worldwide predictive services to eight countries. task orders having competed among base contract awardees and awarded on a value basis things to the assistance of this commission.
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awarding to multiple companies allows for increase competitiveness and a controlling costs of providing for increased capacity to perform crucial security services and contingency environments. it also gives the u.s. government timely options in the event of a company failing to perform. several test orders for static and movement security has already been rewarded, including several static guard and movement city task orders embassy baghdad. to the maximum extent possible, we are repurchasing existing dot infrastructure and property for each of our sites. we have led numerous facilities contracts and iraq. a medical contract was awarded for iraq on may 15. we are leveraging dod resources in theater where dod has superior capabilities. one is a tested and proven support mechanism.
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use of a lockout is capable of watching its own contract. we also have a basic food and fills contract. we are supplementing the oversight wawith subject matter dod. with regard to state and defense cooperation on equipment, the joint and dod-state in equipping board has identified more than 3769 individual pieces of equipment worth approximately $209 million to be given as access, sold, or loaned to state, including medical, sensing, i.t., aerial port, and fuel support, by metric import,
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as well as 60 enwraps -- biometric input, as well as 60 enwraps. sustainment for much of this dod command will be provided by a contract managed by the army sustainment command at rock island. state is using the many valuable insights gained during the iraq transition planning in our afghanistan planning. experienced foreign service personnel have worked in iraq and afghanistan and will be in afghanistan on their next assignment. there will be able to implement many of the lessons learned. -- they will be able to implement many of the lessons learned. in conclusion, the department will continue to do so as we execute the qddr initiatives. we have awarded the world what
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protective services contract. the department is -- has taken very seriously the recommendations of this commission and other oversight relations to increase our contract ever said staff and elevate this function to the status it deserves and we will continue those efforts. the department is further strengthen our department of contractors. we fully understand that we will have challenges ahead as we carryout are diplomatic missions in iraq, afghanistan, and other locations, where we rely on contingency contract came. but we have instituted a sound foundation to carry us forward. thank you for providing me this opportunity to testify for your ongoing support of the department of state. i would be pleased to take any questions you might have. thank you. >> thank you, ambassador. we will have you out of here at 11:00 a.m. we appreciate you talking with us. we will start with eight-minute questions.
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>> thank you for coming up here. i want to make the statement pyrimidine not think it will complete with some of the questions i will act -- i want to make the statement. i do not think it will compete with some of the question though alaska. we follow a on different things. for the record, every time that we really needed some information, you have been responsive, at least from my perspective. i think you for that. i am the contracting guy. i will bounce around a bit. i am interested mostly in contracting. in part of your statement, i found it very interesting. you state that you will have an assistant secretary certify that adequate resources are available and provided for
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contract oversight and to get the job done. when will you implement that. >> that has been implemented. >> so it starts in fiscal year 200011? >> -- year 2011? >> end of 2011. >> the critical part here to me is staff, plan, and execute. staff needs to be in place. you need to plan how you will utilize the spent the day you thought -- utilize the staff. you can have an assistant secretary say that you have found the resources. for might take, maybe that assistant secretary also ought to put his reputation on the line saying, "i have an adequate plan for and i certify that. it has been executed effectively or has not been executed effectively. is that something you intend to do or you only certify
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resources? >> it is our intention to add this to the annual st. vacation that every assistant secretary of state submits to the secretary as part of our process of certifying through the inspector general on oversight administration. >> so you intend to include the plan and execute effectively also. hi found the 4.2 -- not just by found the $4.2 billion budget. >> yes. >> ok. i want to talk about the early alert system. what was the contractor you awarded for the sense and one? >> i will have to get that for you produce scents and warner -- sense and warn?
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>> i will have to get that information for you. dot has the expertise and their loaning the equipment to us for our use after they leave. they have a contract that they executed and we thought it made perfect sense for us to ride it. >> so you will work with the contractor on the contract and you will transition with them in traditional contacting methods. >> yes, sir. >> when we were recently in afghanistan, some of the sense and warn -- this is not a sensible base, but it might fit console.counsel care we had a couple of episodes that that they swear they have a protocol for when something is coming in. one round came in.
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you ask them if they ever get more than one round and they say no. when we wrote here before with various state people, there's a question about counter-battery. at that time, you did not see it in your mission. i am looking for clarification. is there a counter-battery process? >> no, sir. the state department does not envision itself as firing 155 millimeter rounds back at targets. we have established tight relationships, which we continue to expand with the iraqi police service and the iraqi army. >> you have said that before. but your statement says that, in october 1, you assumed full
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responsibility and the united states military is getting to be out of their teleplay -- be out of theire totally. i find that troublesome because every instance, when i have talked to the military that run this very effectively, principally the army, they have stated that the reason that they only get one round is because the bad guys know that there will be a magnitude of force on their head immediately. they have visual after visual of how they do that. i am just making a statement. i have to move on. i want to get into the arcane world of auditing. have you staff, in your mind, adequately the support that you need from contract audit?
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are you comfortable with the level that is currently scheduled and planned for? >> we are in discussions with defense contracts and audit agency for deploying of their personnel going forward. we use defense contract agency audit agency personnel. the answer to that is i believe it is true. but everything comes -- >> ok. i want to lay that contract work out. >> if i may -- we have $15 million committed this year -- >> i am pretty good shape. my point that i am trying to make is -- are you aware that dcaa, all of the costs that will flow through you now said to flow through you are audited by
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dcaa. it is critical on two things. do they get adequate submission and is a timely? are you aware, in the case of the nine core, the last year that dcaa conducted an audit was in 2004. are you aware that triple canopy has yet to use their words to complete a year of incurred costs? yes or no? >> i am certainly aware that dcaa has not executed a request on a timely basis. >> of tape. i know you're working with them. you said that. are you aware that picking those same three contractors -- i picked dinecorp first.
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we are talking about a lot of open years of billions and billions of dollars. are you aware that kbr recently had their certifications on hand and had adequate submissions on paper. but they withdrawn 2006, 2007, 2008, and to the other night because they want to look at cost accounting practices -- and 2009 because they want to look at cost accounting practices. previous expense assumptions. to an auditor, that means that they are concerned that they have a novel cost within their claims. they pull them back because they certification is by senior
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executive in the company and they do not want to be responsible for it. we can explore that some more. but my concern is -- in the case of trouble can be, a similar case exists. -- triple canopy, a similar case exists. the point is that it is at the highest risk possible. in my second round, i will be exploring some more of that. >> i start by noting how much respect chairman t. vogel's leadership -- chairman tebow's leadership. excuse my nostalgia, but i would not have believed one we had our first hearing what has come true, which is that we have had 20 successful, major public and tell lies hearings.
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that is his. he built the machinery. mr. nasser, -- mr. ambassador, i have heard that resourced management is demanding repayment of a large sum from .inosaudinecorp it has been conducting police training from 2004. they went back and conducted an audit last year which showed the lack of proper support documentation. the sum i have heard is $518 million. but i would defer. i would just say that many years have been waiting period has state finally demanded repayment of a some certain from
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dinecorp? >> let me give you a two-part answer. we also picked up from bloomberg news service on friday this $518 million figure from supposedly cited to the bureau resource management for the state department. we queried every single senior official. we have no idea of where that figure has come from. none whatsoever. so we are continuing to pursue that. that is the first point. i have no idea what that figure is. the second thing is that inl has been conducting 500% recommendation of inl-related cases going back to 2006. it has conducted -- it has collected $40.8 million related to iraq and afghanistan invoices
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and has an outstanding request to dinecorp. for another $37.9 million. also, the rigorous review of the afghan and iraq contract support services has resulted in over $109 million in reduced billings. this goes, i believe, to the point you're making and also to well.bow's figure as >> you have already gotten $40.8 billion? and there is a separate $109 million? >> yes. we are actively engaged. the state department ig does not have a large audit staff. we use entities such as dcia extensively. >> i do not blame bloomberg for
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printing that report. close to $200 million, which is dine is being told not to billboards in the process -- two hundred million dollars is not as much as one would hope. but it is what it is. let me ask you about another somum. will you commit to publicly announcing this month a demand for recovery from first kuwaiti of 130 two million dollars. -- $132 million. the inspector general issued an audit report in baghdad. state ig said to recover 132
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million from first kuwaiti. what i have seen is that state continues to hand out contracts to first kuwaiti. just a couple of weeks ago, just barely detected in a blogosphere about the 120 two million dollars consulate in saudi arabia. their american partner blew the whistle on them. they tell a lot about their lack of competence. "there are also u.s. taxpayers who feel they were bilked out of $132 million." will you commit to publicly announcing concrete steps to recover the $132 million? >> you have asked me to questions.
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but me take the second one first. we have no contracts with first kuwaiti in saudi arabia or in indonesia. we have contracts with a licensed and certified american firm, or aurora, which acquired those contracts when it acquired the business of the runway walsh international, which sold los contracts. first kuwaiti is a subcontractor of korah. but we have no contracts with first kuwaiti. that is factually incorrect. our contract is with an american company. the contract in indonesia -- >> i did not mention anything about indonesia. what about the $132 million?
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>> may i finish my answer, sir? we have asked the inspector general to provide a saline-by- line breakdown at how they arrived at that 102 -- 130 two million dollars figure. we cannot go to a contractor without this of the details. the case would be thrown out in any court that i would imagine. we cannot send them a letter and ask them to send me 130 two million dollars. i can promise you that we will continue to ask for them. >> this question may well have to go to my second round. i want to ask about a challenge to jurisdiction. "the washington times" last
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week headline on page one. your notion is that the figure lacks jurisdiction to oversee congress funds, like police training, like what we were just discussing, which i'm glad to hear you will or have already gone after two hundred million dollars worth. but there is a whole lot of money that is not written mortar. do you have or will you seek a written legal opinion -- britain from the office of legal adviser to back up what -- written from the office of legal adviser to back up your testimony? >> let me tell you my answer to that question. that question.


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