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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  August 8, 2011 8:00pm-1:00am EDT

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"thank god, washington is listening." i today cannot come up with a reason why a governor would not be interested. if somehow, they refused to turn around low performing schools and were not interested in effectiveness, then that is not a partner we would want to work with. we have seen tremendous work despite the bad law on the books right now. there is an outpouring of relief and, we're providing more flexibility. >> is there a way to ease regulations? >> for me the grand tradeoff is where people are raising standards and raising the bar, whether it's around legislative issues, whether it's around flexibility of resources, we want to be good partners there
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and we're seeing a massive amount of movement around the country from states. we want to continue to support and reward that, not stand in the way. >> i have a question on what the waivers, the impact they'd have on student nondiscrimination act and under this new system, would they comply with the bills signed into law? >> i don't know the details. i don't think that's something we would look for states to opt out of. what we're trying to do is provide more flexibility for states raising standards for young people. >> looks like the administration is taking a more hands off approach. is there any consideration of the administration to offer incentive, financial or otherwise? >> i think we've been very clear on anti-bullying, we've done a number of things within the department. the president hosted with the first lady the first ever anti-bullying summit here at the white house so i think we've been very, very clear on our policy there that this kind of behavior is absolutely
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unacceptable and we've seen a number of states change laws and strengthen laws to prevent the bullying and we'll be supportive of the efforts and are speaking more about it tomorrow. >> did is it preclude the congress from passing the secondary act? >> we hope to encourage them with a roadmap. >> would the administration endorse the act? >> i can tell you whatever we can do to increase a climate of safety in class, on the way to and from school or at recess or luncheon, we have to do that. if you're children aren't safe, they can't learn. >> thank you very much. 's thank you, ms. duncan. we appreciate it. >> late last month the retiring head of the u.s. special operations command, admiral eric olson talked about counterterrorism efforts and the mission that killed osama
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bin laden. that's next on c-span. then president obama on the downgrade of the u.s. credit rating by s&p. after that elected latino officials discuss politics and next year's elections. and later were jeffrey toobin on the supreme court. >> seen as a testing ground for presidential hopefuls, republican candidates are gathering in iowa for some grassroots politics and state fair festivities. starting thursday live from des moines we'll interview the candidates and take your phone calls about politics and saturday go to ames for the iowa straw poll where 3-5 winners have went on to win the iowa caucus and two have won the presidency. road to the white house in iowa this week on c-span. [applause] >> a team of navy seals and c.i.a. operatives located and killed osama bin laden last spring. next we'll hear from admiral
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eric olson who trained some of those seals and will step down as commander of u.s. special operations. last week he spoke with abc foreign correspondent martha raddatz at an aspen institute security forum. this conference was held before a group of u.s. navy seals was shot down and killed in eastern afghanistan over the weekend. >> i am so happy to hear the great biography of admiral olson which i have been pouring over facts, and i found a few that you didn't mention, and that is he was born to be a navy seal when he was a little boy, he'd go swimming with his knife and that's how he could kill fish. if you believe everything you read in the tacoma press. he also made his first wet suit when he was 9 years old out of scraps of rubber. why do i know this? because if you put in eric olson, bin laden, and his hometown of tacoma, this comes up in the headlines.
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tacoma plays its part in osama bin laden raid. or my favorite, tacoma mom gushes about son's role in finding osama bin laden. [applause] >> she is beautiful, by the way. his mother is beautiful. but i was eagerly reading this thing, he must have called her and told her everything about the raid. he told her nothing. in fact, he didn't call her for four days after the raid. she really didn't know anything about it and he called to tell her when his retirement ceremony would be taking place essentially. this is what she said, to eric she said, it occurred, it was successful and now we're on to today. now, we're hoping to get a bit more than that from him tonight. but i am going to tell you right off the bat that admiral olson has had a career, a successful career as a navy seal because he's kept his mouth shut. so i know this is not a forum
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he is used to. we have talked in advance. this is how far i got in an off-the-record session which he's now allowed me to talk about what he said in that off-the-record session. i started talking about drone strikes in pakistan and he said are you talking about unattributed explosions? [laughter] >> so the idea that he's my victim tonight or that i could take down a navy seal, i'm pretty good but not that good. but he has had an extraordinary career, and what i do hope we can hear a lot about, and i know he's going to start off a little bit telling us as much as he can about the osama bin laden raid but really the future of special operations when you think back on this country in the last 10 years and how special operations has changed and grown, 32,000 i think 10 years ago, more than 60,000 now and still growing. so admiral olson, i'll turn it over to you.
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i know you want to make a few comments to begin with, and if you want to just transition into that raid without asking me again or trying harder, please do. >> clark and chris, thank you so much. i do appreciate the opportunity to be with you. i know many of you former colleagues and friends who are here and that's very good to be with you. for all the right reasons, as you can imagine, one of which i'm not here from washington but tampa, florida. first of all, i'm glad to be here with you. we in uniform have a great deal of respect for you and when i found out you were the moderator this evening i was really quite pleased. >> that's why you came. ok. >> but i accepted this because of the nature of the forum and who is here. how important you all are but also because i'm going to be
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leaving service here before long and as i back out, i do want to take the opportunity to share with you some of what i think america should know about the special operations community that it has built over the last 25 years, where it fits in, what it does. and how we see the world in the future and how we fit into that. i want this to be a conversation about that. so please scratch into me as deep as you want on any of that. up front i want to say that this is a fantastic community. it's grown. it has expanded its capabilities. it is a microcosm of the department of defense. the united states special operations community is army, navy, marine corps, active reserve, guard, government, civilian, contractor, operation of the tropics from the arctic to below the surface to space
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and a mission set that is much broader than you might imagine. and i'd like to scratch into that tonight as well. most people when they hear about the special operations community, they either have been exposed to a book or movie or headline about something spectacular. but it's a far more nuanced community than that but what they do today in about 65 countries around the world in combat in only two of them, it's a pretty good story as well. so then when we do talk about this new normal, this future world that we anticipate living in the next few decades, then it -- the special operations community is quite well suited to that. i will talk about the bin laden raid but not much. the department of defense has not acknowledged the participation of any particular unit or any particular individual in that raid, and i
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respect that, i applaud it and thank secretary gates and chairman mullen for their public statements we have already spoken too much about that raid. so i'm not going to go into the tactical details and i'm certainly not going to break faith with my own community at this point now or ever. in terms of what it would mean to talk too much about it. for the special operations community, i would say the 15 minutes of fame lasted at least 14 minutes too long and they really want to get back into the shadows and do what they can came in to do. i also accepted this information before the bin laden raid occurred so that wasn't part of the original plan. >> can i just say and i know you don't want to acknowledge this either but it's been publicly talked about that you that evening were with leon panetta at c.i.a. headquarters. so if you'll talk a little bit
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about just your -- whether it's your pride, whether it's watching, whether it's the drama of watching that, if you'll talk about the raid in those terms. >> i'll make five points, i think. first is that this raid would not have been as successful if not for the interagency collaboration that's occurred over the last few years. this was the intelligence community and the military operational community coming together in a very powerful way, an unprecedented way, i would say, at least in modern history. so that when it came to the president for a decision, he had enough confidence that the intelligence piece of this was great and the military capabilities were great and that this was being presented to him as one team, not two parallel efforts but together at the end. and i don't think that would
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have been possible more than a few years ago. in fact, i think the operations of recent years have caused what i would call second and third generation contact between the intelligence agencies and the special operations community and people who work together in the field as youngsters are now 10 years later working together in headquarters with barriers between the organizations completely torn down. so this is a very positive thing and one we all can be very proud of. two, i don't think it would have been possible without the jointness, the military joint community together, services being interoperable, able to work together comfortable, i don't mean just inside the special operations community but all the organizations that were on the fringe of this and supporting this, who had to sort of flow into the river without trauma in order to bring all of this together at a very high level. third, and this is going to sound very, very parochial, but
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i don't think it would have been possible had the nation not created its special operations community 25 years ago. the decisions that in my view led to the real success in this raid were not made this year or last year, they were made 12-15 years ago. the investments in the equipment, night vision, compatibility in the cockpits, the experimental aircraft, the people who were in this mission were for the most part 12 to 15 to 17 years in service and came under recruiting programs and training programs that built this up over time into what it is and that's my message to other nations on this, is it they want to have this capability in 15 years, they better start now. and we started it 25 years ago in the after math of a failed attempt by this nation to put a ground force in helicopters and
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fly them into a hostile environment and it was an operation that ended in disaster at a place known then and now as desert one. attempting to rescue hostages in tehran and really was the catalyst for the development of the special operations community. fourth, i would say this is not a failure at desert one and then you fast forward a few years and you're at blackhawk down and you fast forward a few years and you're on the bin laden raid. there were somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000, depend on how you count them, operations of this nature conducted in 2010 alone. this is now routine every night. dozens of times. or at least i would say a dozen missions a night. ground forces getting on the helicopter and flying against a target. to do something on that target. and on many occasions knocking
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on the door asking them to give themselves up and in other cases conducting a more kinetic action but this has become habit for the forces and the forces that participated in this particular operation have celebrated their greatest suck eses together and mourned their -- greatest sucks together and mourned their greatest los alamos. greatest successes together and mourned their greatest losses. so there is a repeatedity of these operations over the years. and it was successful because nobody talked about it, nobody talked about it before and if we want to preserve this capability, we shouldn't talk about it after. i mean, in terms of the people, the tactics, the techniques, the advanced technologies, sort of how it all came together, we can give that up by talking about it too much and if i was an al qaeda targeteer i would
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be paying close attention to who is talking about it and what they're saying and i certainly don't want to be the example of the guy who talks too much about it. >> i don't think there's any danger of that so far. >> there are people at risk, families at risk, their unit at risk and capabilities at risk. so i ask as we go through the evening we respect that. >> clearly. but one thing i want -- can you talk about, from your point of view, that evening and however you say, let's go back to point number four. whatever you say about routine. and how often you do this, this was different. this was osama bin laden, and from your perspective what you can talk about and for those highly trained teams, how you overcome that, how you overcome the fact this is a big one. >> i think the excitement about all that was not at the team level, it was way above the team level. the tactics of this thing were
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routine and the people involved in it do it all the time. that night if you use a dozen missions, one went left and one went right. but for the people involved it was another mission on another target and yes they understood it was a more important target but they're always trying to do it the best they can and they want to do this one the best they could. most of the excitement was all around the edges. it was the strategic value of this and what might happen to national procedure to go wrong and how are you going to talk about it if it goes right and who are you going to -- it was all of that. >> can you talk about desert one, there were lessons learned obviously from that. >> absolutely. yeah. >> and those lessons, one of them being get backup helicopters, correct? so what other lessons did you gather from desert one that was used in this? >> desert one was 31 years ago. >> or from blackhawk down or from anything over the years.
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>> yeah. it's not -- this is not a force that sits on the second deck of the fire station waiting for the bell to ring every 10 or 15 years. this is a force that every day is better than it was the day before. so we don't trace our lessons back to that event or the other event, we trace our lessons back to what we did last night. and so i don't mean to give a lame answer on that but it's really not a lesson learned from blackhawk down or desert one. it's a lesson learned -- there are lessons learned continuously over 10 years in combat in afghanistan and iraq. >> one of the things we've been reading a lot about and we also had secretary panetta i think within the first couple days on the job, talk about the defeat of al qaeda and that the u.s. is near strategic defeat of al qaeda. i think there was an article in "the washington post" today also quoting counterterrorism officials saying al qaeda is almost done. and i think we're talking about
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al qaeda in pakistan, obviously. so your thoughts on that? >> almost isn't good enough. i think -- and i'll use a boxed in him chronology. we jabbed away at al qaeda for several years and got them winded and bloody but still fighting. and then i think the arab spring was a roundhouse that knocked the wind out of them. it took away the ideological message that you need violence to overthrow a government, and there were more governments overthrown in the first few months of this year relatively nonviolently than al qaeda had overthrown in its entire existence. i think that they lost steam as a result of the arab spring. and i think the death to bin laden was the uppercut to the jaw and it just knocked them on their heels and though they had a succession plan in place it wasn't rapidly executed and zawahri hasn't exercised his full authority of the position
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so we have to watch that very carefully to see what al qaeda becomes. i do believe that al qaeda version 1.0 is nearing its end but i'm very concerned about what al qaeda version 2.0 will be. it will morph, it will dis% and become in more ways -- disburse and become more ways westernized, dual passport holders, more emergent leaders in more places over time. i think they're refining their message in a way against real difficulties but trying hard to define their message in a way that will appeal to a broader audience. >> when i think about that and if you say al qaeda 1.0. do we really understand what the next generation of al qaeda will be? i can't help thinking no one knew 10 years ago that someone was going to fly airplanes into
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buildings. so when you think of that and all the possibilities of will happen to al qaeda, what's your greatest fear, challenge, how to get at that? >> my greatest -- i'm not going to say my greatest fear because al qaeda might be taking notes and i don't want them to act out my greatest fear. but i do think they will need places to operate from and will continue to need sanctuary and will go where the sanctuary is and where there are ungoverned places where airports are less secure and borders more porous and in order for al qaeda to survive in the way it wants to, to be a transnational kind of an organization, it will have to pursue that and in order to have freedom of movement in the way they intend to have it, they will have to find a way to get through to get past increasing security.
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that is being established to keep them from doing that. i'm concerned they're focused on that. but we'll see how quickly they learn those lessons. >> do you have a sense of any differences with zaw harry -- with zawahri, you said struggling or doesn't know what he's doing yet or how it will be different? >> he isn't as charismatic and he hasn't asserted the leadership role and hasn't become a one for one replacement for bill and we maac knowledge he won't -- for bin laden and we may acknowledge he won't be that. >> let's go back to special operations. talk about the differences from 10 years ago, the growth, the training, and really the stress on the force as well. >> the forces -- i'll just throw some numbers at you and
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you may or may not care. but the force has doubled in its size from about 32,000 to 60,000 people. that's a significant force. the special operations command is now larger than the u.s. coast guard. we're about the size of the defense forces. this is about one third of it, 40,000 people who are careerists in special operations and people who have volunteered several times, been selected and trained to a level that earned them the badge or the beret or whatever that identifies them as a special operations careerist. there are 40,000 people in for a tour or two over the course of their careers and we depend heavily on them and gain an expertise that becomes quite important to us. those 60,000 people are growing but am on record and going before the congress, we should probably grow 3% of the year. to me the nation has a growing
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need but ought not grow more than 5% a year because we'll lose our soul along the way and we're a community that depends on knowledge of each other and grow up together and almost everyone i know that i work with i have known for 15 or 20 years or more and is very important to have the maturity of action. but i think the nation expects from us. our budget has grown. our force has doubled in size. our budget has about tripled and we are now just about a $10 billion command, $10 billion is a lot of money. it's 1.6% of the department of defense's budget. the services invest about another 1.6% in us so the nation is buying its special operations force for around 3.5% of its budget and we frankly think we're a pretty good deal. [applause]
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our overseas deployments quadrupled over the years. we have 14,000 members deployed on any given day. if you take the sum total of the force, the army, navy, air force, marine corps, special operations, we're deployed every day at a much higher rate than anybody else. we're designed to be that. we don't operate bases or airfields or have bands or any of that stuff. we're designed to be deployed because we live in many ways off the services. but that creates pressure over time on our force. i was quoted a few months ago saying we're beginning to fray around the edges, the fabric is strong and weave is tight but we're asking a lot of the people and their families and there's no solution to this because even when and if we begin to wind down in our current campaigns -- 100,000 people came out of iraq before the first special operations
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person came out. and of the 33,000 people announced to come out of afghanistan over the next year, none of them will be special operations. so even as we do begin to come out, we are deploying 85% of our force from the united states, 85% of what goes overseas goes in the operation and we're covering the world with the other 50%. there's pentup command and as we come out of centcom, there are other deployments. and we won't be standing around with our hands in our pockets. and whether we're asking someone to leave their home base to train in alaska or fight in afghanistan or train the sri lankans, they're still a long ways from home and we're asking a lot of our families as well and trying to find the thousands of ways that it will take to deal with that. but we have a program to grow a
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little more and along the way we'll hopefully be able to reduce that pressure around the edges. >> and yet it's clear from the drawdown plans the president has in afghanistan, the fact that special operations forces will not be coming out during that drawdown that the demand on you in the future will be extraordinary. john brennan the other day was saying going forward we will be mindful that if our nation is threatened, our best offense would always be deploying large armies abroad but rather delivering targeted surgical pressure to the groups that threaten us. that's you. it's clear that the united states is headed for a position of counterterrorism rather than large conventional armies and rather, i might add, to me for my vantage point, counterinsurgency, which has many, many, many troops, very large budgets, and over the last few months in washington with that perspective of
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afghanistan in washington, it's clear they don't really talk about coin very much. they may be doing it in certain regions in afghanistan but not all over. that means back at you. the counterterrorism troops, the counterterrorism approach, do you believe will be the future? and if so, how do we balance the american military? counterterrorism approach without counterinsurgency is a flawed concept and this idea of being able to wait over the horizon and spring into chop off heads just doesn't really work. what it requires is -- and forgive me, i don't mean to sound weird on you here but i'm beginning to think of it as the yen and the yang of special operations if the yen is our counterterrorism capability and you all were tuned in somewhat
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to that, then the yang is our engagement force. much of our force is doing it on most days, 60 countries or so around the world, we are engaged. we are developing long-term relationships and gaining an understanding of a microregion. we're learning the languages and meeting the people and studying the histories. we're learning the black markets. we're learning how things really happen in those places. because if you don't know that, you can't be an effective counterterrorist force. you have to know where to go, who's who, not only the bad guys but who the good guys are and all this is part of the counterterrorism network. it's a network that's digital and a network that's human. and we do both sides, the yen and the yang in the special operations community and vice versa, you can't be a counterterrorism force if you're not partnered at some level and you can't be the engagement force if you're not
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able to get into a fight at some level because that happens. and these two are really coming together they are demonstrated in afghanistan where the line of operation, what is being called village stability operations and the development of afghan local police trying to return neighborhoods back to the neighbors are both led by special operations forces and they rely heavily on each other. the counterterrorism guys, before they run a raid will find out who the other special operations guy, or whoever, is in that area and who can help coach them through what it takes to run that mission because otherwise they're fumbling around in the dark and we really -- they really need that level of understanding. so that is the big change for us. and if i can just i'm now sometimes showing a slide of a photograph of the world at night, you've seen it where the lights are on somewhere in the world and our pre-911 thinking
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was the important places in earth was the relatively northern band of the northern hemisphere where the lights are on, goods are produced there and our friend and enemies are within that relative band but post-911 it's further south and where the lights aren't. and we found ourselves as a nation relatively unprepared to operate in those areas. but it's essential that we do, that we understand those places. by the way, we don't have a history of military to military relationships with many of those countries so we have to build those. and when you talk about what is next, i think that's it. and it does rely heavily on us. these are countries that don't want a brigade of infantry to come into their country. they want a handful of people who can come in and provide them some help. it's much better if another nation solves its own problems but there's some ways we can help them do that. >> one quick last question on
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afghanistan. and counterterrorism. what if we didn't have those big forward operating bases there? what if it was just strictly counterterrorism? what would happen? >> the strategy of clear, hold, build, transition is a valid strategy. but it takes forces to clear. and you can't clear with small teams. it takes forces to hold and you can't hold with small teams. and you can't build unilaterally so you've got to have partners in the other nation. and then the timing of that is very important. you shouldn't clear if you're not ready to hold and you shouldn't hold if you're not ready to build. so that does require some broader force than a counterterrorism force operating, you know, from a micropost. and i think that we can be very
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effective in identifying who the real bad guys are and conducting capture to kill operations against them. but that doesn't mean that you're keeping other bad guys from occupying space. so it does require -- i'm not an expert on how much force it takes to do that but it does take some. >> a whole lot. >> it does take some beyond a pure counterterrorist capability. >> i want to before we open up questions to all of you, do a quick around the world if we could in terms of other hot spots and if we could start with yemen. and what you're seeing there and i know you won't talk about special operation forces there and i hear they're around there, i have it on good authority, not from him obviously, and what you can say about the threat from al qaeda on the arabian peninsula and our search for others.
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>> if you look at the times square would-be bomber and the detroit underwear would-be bomber and the teenager in portland and the toner cartridges and those things that have come up on our scope as intended attacks on the united states, those are not traceable back to where the lights are. they're traceable back to yemen and somalia and places that you're hearing about an increasing al qaeda presence and these are becoming the new safe havens. they are undergoverned spaces, wide open, training camps can develop and people can move there, things can be smuggled there. and -- in and out. so i think this is an increasing area of concern for us. but again back in my special operations role, i would say that as proud as we are of our ability to respond to the sound of guns, we're at least as proud of what it is we do to
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move ahead of the sound of guns and try to prevent that from occurring by getting the knowledge, establish relationships and coaching other people through their own problems so we don't have to have such a large presence later. i don't think anybody wants to open a third front in the war on terror, so if we can help other nations solve its problem with a much smaller force, then it's to all of our advantage to do that, and special operations plays that role. >> just a little bit more on yemen if we could. i saw with my own eyes special operations forces training yemeni. >> how do you know? >> unless they were yemenis dressed up as blond, blue haired guy with kind of scruffy beards. but i could be wrong, totally wrong. why don't we talk about any of that, particularly since yemen has been pretty cooperative? why do we have to be secretive about this constantly? >> i won't go country by country but i'll tell you that,
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you know, if you've seen how one country treats an american presence, you've seen how one country treats an american presence. they are all difference. the politics are nuanced in every place that we go and mostly we yield to another nation's sensivities. i had a great conversation with the head of a country's military a few years ago when i said look, we can scale it to any level of visibility we want. we can be from invisible to very high profile. and he said no, i think low profile is good. i said ok, no one will know we're here. he said, i didn't say invisible, i just said low profile. he wanted intelligence agents from other countries to know we were in his country and that he was working with american forces at that level. so it's all very delicately done. so when you -- the simple question, the answer is why don't we talk more about it, it's because in many cases our
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access depends on our ability to not talk about it. >> we also reported on -- a lot of people have recorded -- reported on the raid just days after -- the successful bin laden raid where al luki got away and there were three missile strikes that didn't hit him. talk about whatever you can about that, which i'm sure is -- and if you will talk about the threat al laki. i think a lot of reporters have been told again and again that he is considered one of the number one threats if not the number one threat to the united states. and our interests overseas. is that simply because he knows american soft spots, he understands our culture, he knows the laws in the u.s. might prohibit things that u.s. laws don't prohibit elsewhere.
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talk about that threat, and really what it is exactly why he is such a huge threat. and i would assume that you don't believe he's planning huge catastrophic attacks, it's more like you talked about, homegrown recruits, smaller attacks? >> al laki is a threat because he wants to be and has the capability to be. he's a savvy guy. he knows how to hide from us pretty well. despite the fact that he's communicating with his own people pretty well. you know, he's publishing a magazine in the english language that's quite frightening. he's a dual passport holder and -- who has lived in the units. -- in the united states. so he understands us much better than we understand him and that's sort of -- as i look ahead at al qaeda version 2.0, i see more al laki's and fewer cave dwellers, if you will. >> better than we understand
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him is not exactly making me feel good. but can you just elaborate a tiny bit on that threat, i mean, a lot of people want to kill us, a lot of people might be inspired by going after americans but his unique capability is what? >> i think success brings more success and he's a charismatic guy and has the street creds of having lived in the united states, of having at least attempted some missions that got relatively far along compared to others. and in the environment, success breeds more success. you start to attract like-minded thinkers, you start to attract money to your cause and the more successful he is, the more successful he will be. >> and somalia and the connection between somalia and yemen, it almost seems as if al qaeda on the arabian peninsula are planning operations and
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going to somalia for troops? >> i think more training is taking place in somalia than yemen and there are recruits being trained in somalia who we know are moving into yemen soon after. so there's an invisible bridge between the two. >> and the recent arrest, can you talk about that? at this point, i'm happy -- lesley stahl, could you try -- i'd like to open it up to questions. and can everybody except lesley stahl who needs no introduction introduce themselves before they ask a question, and i will call on you. >> you had talked about the dozen missions. i don't think many of us realize how many missions your forces, the special forces are
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performing so often. you go and talk about how the lessons learn 3d1 years ago, that had been incorporated a long time ago, do you, on these missions, are they planned the same way the osama bin laden one was with backup helicopters, with that much care in each case? can you give us a little more on all these dozens of missions every week? >> they're all planned differently and a force is selected according to the mission needs. but in almost every case, there is a quick reaction force on call to render assistance should things go bad. there is medical capability on call to render medical assistance should things go bad. and there are all the follow-on plans, what you do with the people you capture, etc., etc. so these are now, i would say, i don't mean to overstate this, but they're conducted from a template that is quite well
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rehearsed and deviate from the template for all these missions based on the priority of the target, where it is, what it takes to get there, what they expect to see there when they arrive. but it happens multiple times a night. >> frequent raids into pakistan? [laughter] >> i'm clear about that. there are not frequent raids into pakistan. >> thank you for your service. i had the great honor to serve my country as american ambassador to denmark and part of that preparation was spending a day in fort bragg with the special forces. amazing. and what occurred to me was that these were very highly educated, married, dedicated, couldn't wait to see action. can you give us a little more background of who these guys are and how they -- what do you
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do that gets them so committed and so wonderful and dedicated to what they do? >> i think they come to us that way. we just build on it. anybody who is worried about the future of america based on the youth they see, they're not seeing the same youth i'm seeing. our recruiting is as high as it's ever been and they're staying with us because they're generally doing what they came in to do. they're innovative and tenacious. i think we can describe them all as problem-solvers. and they find that they are in an environment that suits them well once they cross the bed of hot coals it takes to get into our specialized units. we are about 30% college graduates in our enlisted community. that's extraordinary in our force. we average about 30 years old
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in our special forces teams and seal platoons compared to an infantry platoon that averages about 20 years old. we're about 70% married as compared to the rest of the force that's about 30% married. and so these are people who are -- and the data will show you, they're more intelligent, they're more determined, they have volunteered more times, passed through more filters to do what it is they're doing and then they just find it suits them. our retention rates for -- if you take across our force all the people who could choose to get out or stay in, 82% are choosing to stay in. that's an extraordinarily high retention rate. [applause] >> so army, navy, air force, marine corps, we were born 3/4 joint but got our marine corps team about five years ago so
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now we're 4/4 joint and can be proud of what they're all doing. i'm not proud of everyone every day, but at the end of every month i look back and it's a force to be incredibly proud of. when people ask me what my job is like, i say, well, ok, i'm kind of saying this for the first time, but it's kind of like president car subsidize, -- president karzai, there's a lot of warlord management in my job, i have a army commander, a navy commander, an air force commander, a joint commander, they all have their own tribes and subtribes. and at the end of the day -- it's a pie and at the end of the day it tastes pretty good but it's tough to put it together sometimes. there are healthy rivalries and there's great cooperation -- it all kind of works because the like-minded people. and the other guy would compare
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my job to sort of george steinbrenner 10 years ago. if you are able to hire the right people and get them good equipment and good training, you're going to win a lot of games, and that's a special operations community. >> thank you. >> can you just say briefly, you did say there's some fraying. are you seeing in the community after 10 years, are you seeing that in divorce, in -- i mean, while retention has been fantastic, has that been reduced at all, suicides, how is that manifesting itself? >> it's up in all of those. it's less up in those than the rest of the force, but we're seeing increases in those within our force. and the response lags the data, the data lags the reality, and the data doesn't collect what it is that's really important to us in every case. so we sent out sensing teams to all of our units, and peers being asked about their peers, subordinates being asked about
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their bosses, wives being asked about their husbands, kids being asked about their dads to really figure out what this is because we see a lot of separations short of divorce and you don't collect that in the data. people are too busy to get divorced or as a matter of convenience, they're deciding not to live together but they're going to have the spouse still use the exchange and the medical. i mean, this is happening across our force. and not in huge numbers. i'm not panicked about it. but i do want to be ahead of this. i want to be proactive, not reactive to it. my sense is that we're 10 years into this, and about right now about 60% of our force has come in since 911. and they were inspired for whatever reason to come in and for whatever additional reason to come serve with us. they knew it was going to be hard. they knew it was going to be meaningful and now they've done it six or seven years and answered most of their own
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goals that they had when they came in. and keeping them now -- but they see 10 more years of it ahead of them. so this is a very, very important time i think we're in right now as we reach the 10-year anniversary of this in a career where we hope that everybody will stay 20 years or more. so where we are seeing people leave the community, where we're below 28% -- what brought us down to 82% is exactly there, that it's the nine or 10 years of service. we're seeing our enlisted e-6's starting to leave, we're seeing our officer 0-4's starting to leave and our majors and sergeants first class and it's because now they have the family, they have other goals, and so we've got to nurture this very, very carefully. so again, we've sensed it and now it's what do we do about it now that we've collected this sense? and we're just in that phase right now. >> i suspect it's hard being in special operations or
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particularly a seal, and coming out afterwards and that adrenaline. do you have sort of the adrenaline junkies you really have to watch? >> i think you do. and -- >> we'll keep our eye on you, by the way. >> no, i think our people are risk managers by nature. and we help them manage risk in the operational environment. but an awful lot of them are doing adventure sports, extreme kinds of behaviors on their own time. frankly we don't discourage that at all. we think that living by one's wits is a good conditioning experience. and so we do see that kind of behavior. it hasn't manifested itself in negative ways very often. but we did, for example, have one of our great marines killed doing base jumping in
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switzerland a couple weeks ago. and if you know what base jumping -- this is jumping off a cliff to pull a parachute. but we also had i think the guy that took third place in the ultimate fighting championships last week was an army green beret. so we do see that kind of behavior, but i don't think it's especially risky. >> ok. over here. just hang on for that microphone. >> my name is kent blackmer, representing the public transportation system in the area. and my question to you is, when you talk about being in the ground in these countries and finding out who the bad guys are and who is legitimate and not legitimate with this kind of instability in the middle east, how do you go in there and know what's legitimate, how you should help and what groups you should be supporting? >> no, it's a very delicate thing and that's why we really
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depend on mature people to do this. you sort of have to earn your way to a position where you're one of the first people in. because it's easy to do the wrong things. and so they're careful observers, good note takers, they're good analysts and feel their way into this. one of my messages is it you want us to do something next january, don't tell us in december, tell us now. because it takes time to -- you can do a counterterrorist raid overnight, but it takes years to do what it is you're talking about, to really gain the sense of a place. and that's why it's very important for us to be out in the world living by our wits and sensing these places. i will quote one of my foreign counterparts in a time of friction between our nation and his, and he said we should never let the politics of the day get in the way of a good military to military relationship, where we have
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done that, we've always paid a price, wished we'd never left, lost our contact with military leaders in that place, didn't know who to call, so then when you get something like an arab spring, some places you can call and talk to the leaders and some places you can't because we just backed away from that country for whatever reason. so it's a very delicate, sensitive thing and we just count on good people to do it. >> dina? >> thank you. i'm dina templerashton with national public radio. a question i had for you is the kind of operations you're doing, when you say you're doing dozens of operations every day i think that surprises about all of us. are the operations more like in an osama bin laden operation which is quite complex, is it something more like the navahan operation in somalia where basically you know where someone is and you send in a team with a helicopter, you send it and you get out, are those the kind of operations you're doing dozens of times a
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day? >> we're a broadly dispersed force and are a finishing force. i mean, so often it is relatively rapidly developing information because you're living in a place, somebody in that place tells you who is planning to set off an i.e.d. the next day, you run a raid that night and knock on his door and capture him. that's the kind of thing i'm talking about. it happens over and over. >> you're talking about afghanistan, the majority of -- >> i'm talking about afghanistan, yeah. >> the majority of -- >> when i say a dozen a night, when i say 1 -- that night 11 went left, i'm talking all in afghanistan and still will interact. but we're not running missions like that around the world. what we're doing around the rest of the world is training, advising, assisting, in many cases we're providing very meaningful assistance short of combat advising but we meet the
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people -- we train foreign counterparts, patting them on the back as they go off to conduct their missions and then welcome them back off their missions and help them get ready to go again. >> hi, my name is sarah sewell. i was wondering if you could speak a little bit about the role of women in special forces and where you see that role evolving in the future? >> we have female operators within the special operations community. we don't have nearly enough and we're too late bringing them into what it is we have them doing. there are not female seals, there are not female green berets and there are not female rangers are female marine special operators because the combat exclusion policy prevents that but we do have female information specialists, female civil affairs
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specialists we have created over the last year or so. it's a terrible name i know but we call check cultural support teams and these are teams of two to four women who are attached to a seal team or a green beret o.d.a., operational detachment, sort of in remote places in the middle of nowhere conducting female shores, leader meetings in those areas. they are able to connect with half of the population that we weren't able to connect to previously. in the more kinetic side of it where they're not going on the operational mission itself, but they're going on to the target after the target is secure, they're talking to the women, finding cell phones in places where no man would ever find them, that kind of thing that is very helpful to us. and they're volunteering, we're selecting them, training them. not all of them make it through the training. and then we're getting them out of the door. we graduated 56 last week, all
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of whom will be in afghanistan by the end of august. >> ok, now this isn't classified, do you see a day when women are in the combat role with the seals? possible? like to see that happen? >> no, i would. i certainly think that as soon as policy permits it, we will be ready to go down that road. >> and you would go right up there and say yes, sir, they could do this? >> i don't think the idea is to select g.i. jane and put her through seal training. but there are a number of things that a man and woman can do together that two guys can't, there are places they can go and just the way they present themselves. and i think female operators in those roles are very important that will require very special women who are carefully selected and highly trained to do that. i don't think it's as important that they can do a lot of pushups. it's much more important sort of what they're made of and
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whether or not they have the courage and the intellectual agility to do that. >> thank you, sir. >> yes, sir. >> admiral, i'm going to switch lanes a little bit. could you give us an update, if there's an update to be given, with regards to piracy on the high seas and do i read less about it because i have you and your teams to thank, or things have settled down a little bit there? >> the big difference -- the reason you're hearing less about it is because countries decided to group together to deal with policy. and there is a maritime task force that's international in nature that's patroling the area that's had some success including deterrent affect. so i think there is less of that happening.
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also, the shipping industry itself has learned lessons, they've learned where the safer routes are. they've learned techniques that will discourage pirates from boarding their ships. the pirates themselves now have to go further off the coast and it requires more sophisticated equipment and better training, etc., etc. to do that. so i think we're just seeing piracy made harder for the pirates. and in the rare occasion where a ship is really seized underway, held captive at seas and special operations may the be part of the solution but a couple of times it has been. >> yes, sir? >> my name is gary letter. question, the military is today mostly fighting people with bad ideas and so the question is, to what extent does our government misallocate resources in fighting idea with
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violence rather than fighting ideas with ideas? the military is uniquely positioned to help our government reprioritize if it thought that it should. so i'm curious to get your thoughts on that subject. >> i think mostly bad ideas are ones we don't agree with. [laughter] >> and they think the same thing about us. it is a reality that the department of defense has more mass and more money than any other organization in our government. we are more expeditionary than anybody can be. so sometimes i think the military takes on roles that in a perfect world would not be a military solution i think, in many cases it's a battle of ideas, sort of escalates beyond simply an information campaign because it is a military -- it becomes a military operation, so i'm all in favor of other
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elements of our government becoming more expeditionary and being able to deal with those before it requires a military solution. i think that, also, in general, and back to a previous point, people know more about us than we know about them. we're not very good in the initial bouts of a war of ideas. .
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> if >> the 9/11 commission that was not implemented was the special operations command. there was a need for
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paramilitary operations in the united states. we didn't support that, so the c.i.a. retained that role. there is a capability that wk contribute. and at times we do that. i think the relationship is really, you know, in a very good place now. i think the habits we've developed in working with each other are pretty good ones. i don't see why that wouldn't continue through the change of leadership. john petraeus is not the former military guy to run c.i.a., and director panetta is not the first -- secretary panetta is not the first former c.i.a. guy to run the department of defense. the fact they are doing it at the same time is understandable. but this is a great working relationship. >> thank you so much. i want to ask you -- [applause] hang on just one second.
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you can all stand up in a second. i just want to ask you one last time, just for your mom, what it was like sitting there watching when you figured you had him, when jeronimo was gone. what went through your mind as you are closing your career, this great success you had. just keep thinking of your mom. we'll send her the transcript right away. she's probably home streaming the video. >> for the record, my mother was told by a lot of other people, and i still haven't talked to my mother about that. i think i am not welcome in takoma -- actually, i am -- but i have to tell a story about someone who asked me why i really like mexican food. and i said, where did you hear that i like mexican food?
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they said, well, we saw you were a taco man. if you read tacomen, you get "tack oman." enough about that. ok. [laughter] . this is when you are thinking -- at the moment we knew that one was dead, my thought was, what's the next item on the check list. it is. i mean, obviously you're pleased , but i think anybody in this business this long is conditioned to understand the very next thing can go wrong.
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are we going to get anybody hurt? what equipment are we leaving behind? so on and so forth. >> and as your mother said also in this article, everyone should appreciate someone who spends their entire career stephanie rawlings-blaking the rest -- [cheers and applause] [cheers and applause] >> thank you very much. [cheers and applause] >> earlier president obama spoke briefly about the helicopter crash over the weekend in afghanistan that killed 38 people, including members of a navy seal team. but the president's main focus was the downgrade of the u.s. credit rating and the overall health of the economy.
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he spoke in the white house state dining room for about 10 minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. on friday, we learned that the united states received a downgrade by one of the credit rating agencies. not so much because they doubt our ability to pay our debt, if we make good decisions, but because after witnessing a month of rangling over raising debt ceiling, they doubted our political system's ability to act. the markets on the other hand continue to believe our credit status is aaa. in fact, warren buffet who knows a thing or two about good investments said, if there were a quadruple rating, i give the united states that. i and most of the world's investors agree. that doesn't mean we don't have a problem. the fact is we didn't need a rating agency to tell us we need
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a balanced long-term approach to deficit reduction. that was true last week, that was true last year, that was true the day i took office. we didn't need a rating agency to tell us that the gridlock in washington over the last several months has not been constructive, to say the least. we frue from the -- we knew from the threat of default was used as a bargaining chip could do enormous damage to our economy and the world. that threat coming after a string of economic disruptions in europe, japan, and the middle east has now dampened consumer confidence and slowered the pace for recovery. all of this is a legitimate source of concern. here is the good news -- our problems are imminently solveable. and we know what we have to do to solve them. with respect to debt, our problems is not confidence --
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the markets continue to reaffirm our credit as among the world's safest. our challenge is the need to tackle our deficits over the long term. last week we reached an agreement that will make historic cuts in defense spending. but there is not much further we can cut in either of those categories. what we need to do now is combine those spending cuts with two additional steps. tax reform that will add to those who can afford it to pay their fair share, and modest adjustments to health care programs like medicare. making these reforms doesn't require radical steps. it does require common sense and compromise. there are plenty of good ideas how to achieve long-term deficit reduction that doesn't ham ber
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economic growth right now. republicans and democrats in the bipartisan fiscal commission that i set up put forth good proposals. republicans and democrats in the democrat gang of six came up with some good proposals. john boehner and i came up with some good proposals when we came close to agreeing on a grand bargain. so it is not a lack of plans or policies that is the problem. it is a lack of political will in washington. it requires us to put what's good for the country ahead of self-interest, party, and ideology. that's what we need to change. i realize that after what we just went through there is some skepticism that republicans and democrats on the so-called super committee, this joint committee that's been set up, will be able to reach a compromise. my hope is that friday's news
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will give us a renewed sense of urnlencey. i intend to present my own recommendations over the coming weeks about how we should proceed. that committee will have this administration's full cooperation. and i assure you we will stay on it until we get the job done. of course, as worry some as the issue of debt may be, the need of most americans and concern for the marketplace as well is the issue of jobs. and the slow pace of recovery coming out of the worst recession in our lifetimes. the good news here is, by coming together to deal with the long-term debt challenge, we would have more room to implement key proposals that can get the economy to grow faster. specifically, we should extend the payroll tax cut as soon as
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possible so that workers have more money in their pay checks next year and businesses have more customers next year. we should continue to make sure that if you are one of the millions of americans who is out there looking for a job you can get the unemployment insurance that your tax dollars contributed to. that will also put money in people's pockets and more customers in stores. in fact, if congress fails to extend the payroll tax cut and the insurance benefits that i've called for, it could mean one million fewer jobs and half a percent less growth. this is something we can do immediately. it is something we can do as soon as congress gives back. we should also help companies that want to repair our roads and bridges and airports. the thousands of construction workers that have been without a job for the past few years can get a paycheck again.
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that can help spur growth. these aren't big government proposals. these are all ideas that traditionally republicans have agreed to. they have agreed to countless times in the past. there is no reason we shouldn't act on them now, none. now, i know we're going through a tough time right now. we've been going through a tough time for the past 2 1/2 years. i know a lot of people are worried about the future. here is what i also know. there will always be economic factors that we can't control. earthquakes, spikes in oil prices, slowdowns in other parts of the world. how we respond to those threats, that's entirely up to us. markets will rise and fall, but this is the united states of america.
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no matter what is said, this always has been and always will be a aaa country. with all the challenges we face, we have continue to have the best universities, the most innovative companies, the most inventive entrepreneurs on earth. what sets us apart is that we have always had not just the capacity but the also the will to act. the determination to shape our future. the willingness in our democracy to work out our differences in a sensible way and to move forward not just for this generation but for the next generation. we are going to need to summon that spirit today. the american people have been through so much over the last few years dealing with the worst recession, the biggest financial crisis since the 1930's. they have done it with grace. they are working so hard to raise their families.
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all they ask is that we work just as hard here in this town to make their lives a little bit easier. that's not too much to ask. ultimately, the reason i am so hopeful about our future, the reason i have faith in these united states of america is because of the merp -- american people. because of their perseverence and their willingness to shoulder the burdenens we face together as one nation. one last thing. there is no one who embodies the qualities that i mentioned more than the men and women of the united states services. this week we lost 30 of them when their helicopter crashed during a mission in afghanistan. their loss represent the threats our men and women face every day. day after day, night after night
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they carry out missions like this in the face of enemy fire and grave danger. in this mission, as in so many others, they were also joined by afghan troops, seven of whom lost their lives as well. i have spoken to our generals in the field, as well as president karzai and i know our trips will continue transitioning to a stronger afghan government and ensuring that afghanistan is not a safe haven for terrorists. we will press on and we will succeed. but now is a time to reflect on those we lost and the sacrifices of those who serve as well as their families. these men and women put their lives on the line for the country as a nation. they come from different places. their back grounds and beliefs represent the rich diversity of america. but no matter what differences they might have as individuals,
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they serve this nage as a team. they meet their responsibilities together. some of them, like the 30 americans who were lost this weekend, give their lives for their country. our responsibility is to ensure that their legacy is an america that reflects their courage, their commitment, and their sense of common purpose. thank you very much. >> president obama travels to springfield, virginia tomorrow, where he will talk about fuel efficiency standards for trucks, buses, and other heavy duty vehicles. live coverage gets underway at 10:00 a.m. eastern. and later education secretary arnie duncan talks about some of
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the challenges that schools face, including alcohol abuse and drugs. >> arne duncan, education secretary, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. eastern. coming up next, latino politicians discussion next year's elections. then jeffrey toobin on the u.s. supreme court. >> see how your elected officials voted with a comprehensive video on c-span.org/congress. it includes daily floor action and committee hearings.
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>> now, a panel of latino-elected officials talks about voting trends, the census, redistricting, and the 2012 election. the national association of latino elected and appointed officials hosted this discussion in san antonio, texas, at its annual meeting in june. it took about 20 minutes.
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he >> the national hispanic media and others met to begin planning the campaign resolved in the 2010 census count. as we came together, we clearly understood what the challenges were. and also, what the census means. we also understand what comes with a complete count. the federal resources needed to improve our schools, our transportation, our infrastructure, and more importantly, the designation of new political boundaries. what resulted out of those meetings was the most comprehensive and arguably the most effective campaign of its type. the results of these efforts were impressive. latino participation rates in the census overall were historically high, and the outcomes, both in terms of the growth rates and the character riftics of our population were harolded by virtually every media outlet in america. the "wall street journal's"
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front page calculated the headline with "latino's fuel growth." if any of you saw that front page, there was a map. over the map, the headlines, "los united states." as we all know, it wasn't just a traditional urban center like lox, houston, and new york. now we turn to the topic of this morning. how does this community now turn those numbers into clout. this morning we will hear from leaders in the field. a nationally recognized expert in redistricting and the census. arturo is going to discuss the
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impact of those numbers, the latino vote for 2008 and 2010, and the implications as we set forth on the election cycle for 2012. and i think we'll hear for the very first time projections for 2012 latino turnout. we also have the director for litigation for the mexican legal defense and education fund. her litigation has included successful state-wide redistricting cases in both texas and arizona. she will talk about best efforts in the southwest, opportunities to advance latino political process, the barriers, and the challenges. she will be followed by juan who was recently elected president and general council, and is a well known civil rights attorney and has extensive experience in employment discrimination and language rights.
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he is familiar with redistricting especially as it relates to the eastern coast states and florida. i will wrap up the panel by asking a few questions that extend beyond redistricting and politics into areas we all care about, immigration and political empowerment. so we hope to spark a lot of debate and discussion this morning. and we're going to start off by hearing from arturo who will talk about the results of the 2008, 2010 electrics and the implications for 2012. >> thank you, monica. once again, good morning, everybody. before we get into our projection for 2012, what i would like to do is remind us a little bit about the impact of latino voters and the impact we had in the 2008 and the 2010
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electioned. let's not forget, the decisive impact we had in these past two elections. i want to take you back, if we can get our power point up. take you back to 2008. remind us that not only did latinos have an impact in november of that year, but there was a decisive role that latinos played in both the republican and democratic primaries. with regard to the republican primary race between mit romney and john mccain who were the ones leading as they went into the florida primary, essentially had john mccain not carried the state of florida, he probably would have dropped out of the race. because john mccain carried florida with more than 50% of the hispanic vote, he won that state and they put him on the trajectory to win the nation. had no hispanic voted in 2008 in florida, mit romney would have edged out john mccain.
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in the democratic contest between senator obama and clinton, we realize that clinton had won. but on super tuesday, senator clinton was able to get the lion's share of the vote by carrying states like california making her competitive throughout those primary reasons. senator clinton was able to stay in the race until the very end on the strength of her hispanic support and democratic primaries. so we were decisive in both defining the outcome of the republican primary race and influencing the contest on the democratic race. and of course, on november 4, 2008, 2.7 million latinos were heard at the polls and were able to be decisive in a number of states turning the election for senator obama in that contest.
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then, just last year, we saw again an historic impact of latino voters and candidates both had on the racism we had projected last year that 6.5 million latinos would volt in that election. now the numbers have come out, and 6.6 million latinos participated in that race. not bad for being off by just by 100,000 and hitting it almost on the mark for our projecks last year. [applause] so latino voters had a decisive impact. many attribute many being able to hold onto the vote in states like where michael bennett was able to be appointed to the seat in colorado. harry reid being able to maintain his seat in nevada, and
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then california being able to carry all of the state-wide races for the democrats. however, on the republican side we truly saw an historic development with the election of marco rubio to the united states senate. we saw the first latino governor elected in brian sandoval and the first latino -- latina, first woman governor, of the state of misdemeanor. and then more than doubling numbers from three to seven with the election of the first latino to represent the states of washington washington, and idaho and the u.s. congress and conseco who will be with us saturday and bill flores in the state of texas.
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so decisive impact in 2008 and decisive impact in 2010 for voters. let's talk a little about last year's 2010 races. the latino population increased by 43%. in fact, latinos accounted for more than half of the total u.s. population growth. think about it this way. i know i have said this before, but i think it helps remind us of the growth of our community and how much of an impact we're having on the democrats of this country. the united states grows by a person every 15 seconds. every 30 seconds that person added to this country is a latino or latina. think about it, we have been sitting in this room now for about 20 minutes. do the math. that's how much our community continues to grow and how much we continue to contribute to
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this country. we were also able to prevent net decline. some states would have lost net population had it not been for the increase of latinos. the story of the 2010 census is two-fold. the first headline is the rise of the latino child where we saw increases in states like south carolina, north carolina, georgia, and certainly here in texas. texas saw the largest increase. latinos accounted for 55% of texas' total increase -- 65% of texas' total increase. the second notable statistic is
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that almost one in four youth in the united states was a latino. more than half of the youth in the states of california and new mexico are latino. about 40% of all the young people in arizona and nevada are latino. and here in the state of texas, 48% of every single texan under the age of 18 is a latino. we are not a minority population. we are a future population. please please so the immediate impact is a shift from the northeast to the midwest to the south and to the west. it is i think fairly obvious that the states of nevada, utah, arizona, fex text, the carolinas and -- texas and the carolinas
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have increased by virtue of the increase in their hispanic population. we will hear by the experts in voting rights law to find out how we are converting those numbers to political reputation. we know we can make a difference in a national election. we know we can make a difference in mid-term congressional electrics. we know our numbers have increased from 2000 to 2010. we know we are now 1-6 americans, 1-4 young people, and we are poised now to continue that trend in 2012. so based on what's happened in the past, this is a projection
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for voter turnout next year. nationally we project 12.2 million latinos will go to the polls next november. that's a 25% increase in voters from 2008. we will become 8.7% of the national share of all voters. we know there is a difference from state-to-state. in california almost 4 million latinos will vote. more than 1.6 million in florida. seeing an exponential increase in latino votes in those two states. in states like illinois, new jersey, new mexico, new york, and texas our number of voters will also continue to increase. we project nearly two million people will go to the polls.
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we anticipate that the road to the white house in 2012, once again, will go through the latino community. that both political parties and the candidates that present themselves to the canned dassy won't necessarily have to have a latino strategy to capture this share of the vote nationally. this line shows the steady increase from presidential election to presidential election. it shows how in 2008 9.7 million hispanics turned out to vote and our projection of 22 million in 2012.
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but pay attention to this next number. this is the number of eligible latinos who can vote. it is growing faster and greater than the number of latinos that do vote. every year we make incremental increases, but we need to do more to turn out the people who are lible to vote. by 20122.4 million more latinos will enter the potential electorate. largely based on the power of latino youths who are turning 18 years of age every single year between 2008 and 2012. we will see nearly 2.5 million more latinos become eligible to vote. the fact that we're not not closing that gap between the plue line is our chen challenge. there are a number of things we need to do to make sure we make
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a difference here in these projecks. i think, number one, we need to change the way we encourage people to go out and vote. we starve the infrastructure every off-year election. organizations are not able to invest the infrastructure at capacity to be able to prepare for the electrics in 1220. then come election time, the money goes out close to election time to try to mobilize latino voters. we need to change that. we need to convince the funding network, whether it is the individual donors or foundations that athe funding of civic engagement strategies needs to be consistent and persistent throughout every single year. we cannot starve the civic engagement system every other year and then throw money at the system every other year and expect it to be effective and be able to turn out the vote.
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number two, i think we need to be much more direct with latino voters. it is not just about this one campaign or this one election or this one initiative. that if you just vote this one time, your life will change. because that's not going to happen. nothing changes with just one election. we know that. it changes with the consistent and sustained participation of the people in the political process. that's the message we need to start contributing to our people. that we need to develop a culture of participation where voting every year is something we do. it is not something we wait for every three years or every two years. we need to continue to reach out. those millions of latinos entering the electorate, the
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millions of latinos that stay home and don't vote in the elections, yet 9.7 latinos voted in 2008 we project 20 million will vote in 2012, but another 12 million will stay home. that 12 million we need to find out who they are, and we need to get into their heads find out what messages they listen to, who they find, -- who they find credible, and what persuades them to vote in the election. that convinces an engaged population to vote. unless we are able to do that, unless we are able to make more than incremental increases from election cycle to election cycle, we truly will not be able to hold accountable our government to our community's interests.
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in terms of how we are turning these numbers into clout. thank you. [applause] why the theme l >> the theme thus far is that there is substantial growth in
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the latino community but the government body is not rushing to create latino districts. anyone who has done redistricting before is sitting here not particularly surprised. latinos are growing in states like california, illinois, florida, new york, but latinos are also growing in new areas. areas where one doesn't necessarily expect to see signs of a latino population. should i found the other day there are more latinos in north carolina than there are in nevada. i find that surprising. it is not what you would usually expect. as a result of demographic shifts, the seats are shifting
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toward the west and toward the south, out of the northeast, and what is traditionally referred to as roosevelt states. so of course the big winner for everybody here, who was a fellow texan was the state of texas with a seat of four congressional seats. california had no congressional seats. i believe that is largely due to congressional growth. arizona picks up a seat. florida picks up two seats. illinois loses a seat but i think could have possibly lost more without minority growth. our political ability to make it
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possible to vote for our elected candidates, we still face obstacles that we have faced in the past. including racially polarized voting, which is the tendency of the latino to vote for one candidate, and the tendency of nonlatinos to vote for a different candidate in the same election. still a continuing legacy of a history of discrimination. those of us who are texans know that even up into the 1907's there were systemic and official barriers to voting and turnout. these effects later in latino families. we have opposition to creating latino-majority districts. and one of the biggest hurdles we face is incumbency protection. it doesn't matter if the line drawers are democrat or republican, if drawing a latino majority district is going to
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impin g on an income went bent member of whatever body we're redistricting, we're going to get pushed back. not limited to that person, but also sometimes to the political party as well. two stathes states we're twoke focusing on now in redistricting are california and texas. i will give you a quick snapshot how it is going. i will tell you it is not going well. latinos are 38% of the population right now. latinos comprise 90% of the growth in california since 2000. nevertheless, the redistricting commission that is currently drawing the assembly, senate, and congressional lines for california has just rolled out its first draft maps. the commission has created 19
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opportunity districts. that's no net gain. despite maps we show them that she you can increase by five in the assembly. it gets worse for the senate and congress. right now we have seven latino opportunity districts. the commission has ruled out maps showing five, which is a net reduction of two, despite the fact we show them they can draw 10. in congress we have eight opportunity districts. the commission rolled out a plan with six or seven. one of them it is difficult to tell whose opportunity district it is. we're looking at losing one to two congressional seats despite a map you show them that you can draw 11. in texas we have legislative redistricting. that process is winding up now. the legislation passed plans for house, senate, and congress and the governor is in the process of finding them. also in terks latinos are 38% of
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the population, comprise 65% of the growth. in a texas house p. the amount passed by the legislature reduces by one the number of latino opportunity districts that we kruntly have. the map creates no gains in the senate and no gains in the congress. we are focused on these programs. our program is nationwide. we have teams out of the west, the southwest, the midwest, and southeast. if anybody here would like to meet to have a community meeting about redistricting, we are all about it. we will get out wherever you are and we will bring our materials and we will do a community-based education where ever we are called to do it.
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we assist local communities in mapping and in offering testimony we do this not just for the statehouse but for school boards, county commissions, county supervisors, whatever bodies are getting redistricted, because those redistricting plans have a huge effect on people at the local level. finally, if things are not going particularly well, we do have the ability to litigate. we're in the midst of redistricting right now. so i urge you all, if you are not already involved to become more involved, because this process will end within the next year, and we will be stuck with the results for the next 10 years. as we transition into the phase of drawing maps, we are looking at the litigation phase. they have already filed a challenge in text and in federal court we have our first hearing next friday. we will be filing challenges in
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other places if we need to. we urge you to be individual lent. to be a-- to be vigilant. call us if you want us to do a community meeting, and call us if you want to bring a lawsuit. thank you. [applause] >> good morning everybody. i just started a job two months ago, the president and general council, puerto rican legal defense and education fund. the good news is, i know the organization very well. i started there 30 years ago when i started my career as an attorney in 1981. the very good news regarding the state topic for you, as we discuss these issues, is that i'm very happen to say that my
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career actually started -- against the city council, the city of new york, redrawing council lines. so this is actually my fourth round of redistricting. i know you don't believe me, because i look so young, but this is my fourth round. it only happens once every 10 years. we quickly i want to a couple states we are working on. i will give you an example of some of the areas we are working in. the law constantly shifts on us. we have to remember that the laws that allow for equal opportunity in the area of voting are under constant attack by a conservative part of the country that believes that
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somehow we have reached some magic mountaintop, that we have somehow reached an era of post racial considerations in which everyone is treated equally everywhere they walk in america. we know this is not true. we should also know in this room we have quite a way to go to make sure we are fully integrated into the legislatures of the united states. in many ways, that is a battle, and i love to use the areas of integration. integrating our voices for every county legislative body, city council legislative body, school district, congress, senate, and up. but when these bodies who represent us start to speak to our concerns, in many cases start to look like us, and in many cases speak to our concerns, whether they are of our race or not, they are at a point when we can achieve some
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progress for the issues that are sent to us. i am going to go quickly. i'm not sure how that will work with my slides. >> the eastern seaboard of the united states. the dynamics there are different. not completely different. the latino population from the history of the caribbean is different and more pronounced, and we are dealing with poppings up and down the seaboard. secondly, when you compare the eastern seaboard to the entire united states, you are looking at population shifts. most of the population is can coming here to the southwest, with one big exception, and that's where we started. florida. florida plor is an incredible
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place of economic growth and population growth. it is very, very high. what we are seeing in that shift is an incredible opportunity. at this point in time, people are determining new districts. there are a few times i had an opportunity to talk to the state about creating a new opportunity and brand new district. most of the time i'm dealing with population decline or population stagnation. florida is actually the opposite.
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to its credit, there is a lot of work we are doing there regarding workshops, providing maps. helping with the creation of what's called the central redistricting corporation. they have run the gamut. the puerto rican chamber of commerce and others. we are providing information to community groups there to make sure they are able to gain one additional congressional seat anchored in tralstram florida. that will create additional voices in congress. the issue is very complex. we have population growth in various areas. we have a unique population growth in terms of the puerto rican population.
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leaving the northeastern corridor because of the economic pressures up in northeast and particularly in new york. the combination of both north and south migration is resulting in some unique dynamics in florida. as we talk about redistricting, we talk about who is eligible to vote. that gap between voting the population for people that vote but of course citizenship. citizenship levels are different depenged on what area of the country we're talking -- depending on what area of the country we are talking about and what national origin we are talking about. we are lucky enough to be in a position of growth in florida for that purpose.
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we hope to correct one of the most convoluted districts in the united states. all over the city of philadelphia, and done incredible things for people that like to see districts look like bangkoks and circles. in many ways, this is one of those areas that's lost. we can talk you about that for hours, where appearances matter. how does this actually make a difference? we will be lucky in philadelphia if we are able to create a latino district there for that population. in new jersey we've had an incredible wave of activity. new jersey one of the first two states in the country to force redistricting of the state
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legislature on a very fast track because by law they are required to do so the year the census data is issued. so since november new lines have been passed in both of those states. in new jersey we spent quite a bit of time assisting constituents there. i am of the mind that my goal in new jersey is long term. 12020 people get elected from only 40 districts. every district elects one state senator and two state assembly persons. we all know what that means in places like texas. those are at-large multilevel districts. we all know in general that the political will of the minority in each of those 40 districts will always be submerged. at-large districts always
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subvert the political will of the majority. peff to make sure the entire structure is revisited. there is a certain congressman whose name has been over-exposed. that gentleman, and the fact that he's no longer a representative for a particular district provides an opportunity for new york's latino communte community to ensure -- latino community to ensure latino majority.
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new york city wouldn't talk of those things directly. it gives us an opportunity to ensure all four of those districts in the city of new york, and we were looking forward to that as well. a law which many of our friends and partners in our community. it goes to defending a law which governor patterson signed before he left office. that law is interesting. that law basically says that the census count of prisoners should be adjusted to reflected home
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districts instead of the prisons in which the prisons are located. for the purposes of redistricting only, and for the purposes of local redistricting alone -- i real estate re peat. local redistricting in new york state, the state legislative county redistricting should be based on adjusted census data that reflects prisoners and not the districts in which the prisons are located. there's a short-term phrase for that, prison jerry meandering. now the constitution nalt is being questioned. the fact is, prison populations throughout the united states has increased. the fact of the united states sfl is that where you live
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should determine whether you are going to be counted. as a result of getting artificial counts in prison towns in upstate new york where one particular prison time could have half of its total population be prisoners, none of which live in that city, and to get counted as residents. in new york state, the criminal justice system presents racially skewed outcomes. latino and black kids are stopped, frisked, charged, denied bail, convicted, sentenced at a much higher rate than their white counterparts. even when you control for crime and for drug use. so if you are producing racially
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skewed outcomes to begin with, you are losing political downstage in new york city. that is one of the issues we focus on right there in new york state. massachusetts. continued opportunities there. we do mapping and have done quite a bit of work particularly in cooperation with the political national roundtable. in connecticut we are at a point where we are trying to hustle the community there and create its first-ever elected latino to the senate from connecticut. connecticut has had number f
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which in history that are latino. cop con, has, i believe, 150 some-odd statehouse representatives. they love democracy in connecticut. 136 in the house. that's a lot for a population of about five million people. we are trying to make sure the senate is interest grated fully. in ireland ire, i had done some work 10 years ago in rhode island particularly in the area of providence. we are going to repeat that work there very, very soon. so in virginia we analyzed some redistricting in prince william county and made a comment on section five expressing our concern about the fracturing of communities there.
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i want to talk about the combination of two things that were said before. it is very important for our populations to go forward. they have raised very important issues of questions as we deal with issues of redistricting. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> we need to mobilize to get people to run for office.
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to mobilize to make sure that the confluence of those factors occurs in some measure of success on election day. in many case when i look at voting stability and who votes and who is registered to vote and who turned out to vote, there are many things state legislators can do to help narrow that gap. we talk about voters that stay at home. in an eight to 12 cycle on a week day which is normally a workday for all of our population. the inpabblet of states to enact really progressive ways to deal with acks to democracy, same day on election-day registration, multiple or early voting. voting that occurs in different ways. we can maximize the number of
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people that can vote. it is critically important. documentation that people must fill out before they can vote is a bogeyman. there has been no impeerkal evidence that the united states has been harboring under. the constant election fraud. it had no support whatsoever in social science. the rollback of congressional reforms is in contrast of the need to close that gap. i say to all of us we have a wonderful opportunity to do this
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now. a wonderful opportunity to ensure districts are created but the recognition that that is lone is not going to result in the shift of power. the last time i checked these numbers was seven or eight years ago. we were reviewing the voter rights act. that was one of the best things done in recent years. the authorization was signed by president bush. it was a historical moment for the united states to be able to extend the strongest protections for voting rights. the bilingual assistance was exteppeded for another 25 years. i was focused on one particular
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number that struck me. in a neighborhood of 419,000. i'm sorry. 49 other some-odd-thousand. >> i'm sure you do a good job. i'm sure question can not count count more than 1.5% of more than 4 thousand,9300 elected officials. when we get closer to the parity of who we are in the population of the united states, even
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though we are shared citizens of the united states, then we will reach that mountaintop i talked to you about before. then we will be able to celebrate a lot better than we are celebrating now. thank you. had [applause] [applause] >> this is an extraordinary panel. we will be opening up questions in a few moments. you talked about a shift in power. i wanted to just mention a piece that was published by bloomberg, widely circulated, and it talked about chicago. you were actually quote in to -- quoted in this piece. it said black power wanes. the threat of the article is
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that hispanics now out-number blacks in terms of their reputation in major american cities, yet the african-american community has almost twice as many elected officials in the house of representatives. the gist of this is that there are winners and losers in redistricting. how do we make sure -- how do you make sure that those who have traditionally been our allies in issues around poverty and education and immigration rights are not the losers in this redistricting effort. it requires us the candidate of our choice.
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so we have to talk continuously to the african-american community to make sure we support each other when we can. also to make sure that there is not a zero sum game. also to make sure that they are communicating. that they reflect what's happening. we can take this further. in certain parts of the northeast you have dynamic changes in the latino population itself. we don't have a chance to talk about these things fully on the panel because of fime. you could say the same thing about the puerto rican population in parts of the northeast. that is the puerto rican population has a share of elected officials, but the population in the northeast means a shift into mexican and more dome can. -- dominican. the question is the same.
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as more mexicans come and more dominicans come, what does that mean for the lekted officials. >> we have to make sure we can speak on the same page. what we can demonstrate unity among issues both of substance and immigration reform, coalition districts. nina, you talked about racial little polarized voting as one of the obstacles in redistricting. is that what you are referring to? >> there is racially polarized voting that impedes african-american ability and then there is racially polarized voting for latinos. it depends on which area you are in whether or not latinos and african-americans can band together and elect preferred candidates as well.
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it has been critical for us to partner to we can safety in redistricting. i would have to say that so far we have not found this is a zero sum gain. that latino gains are not coming at the expense of african-american representation, in part because of patterns of residential concentration. we have had a successful time working in coalition, talking about maps together, and pursuing our agendas in ten tandem. >> you ask people to come forward. you have been very critical of the illinois map. do you think there will be lawsuits filed in illinois? >> i think there will be lawsuits filed in illinois. that's pretty much what i can say. >> you also talked about some of the lessons out of the census,
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and you talked about two things in particular. one, the youthfulness of the population. i think all of us would agree, in fact, that very much is the mantra of latinos, as goes our community so goes the future of this country. you also talk about the shift to the south. yet at the same time when you look at the south today, that's where some of the most restrictive immigration policies are coming out of states precisely where you have the largest growth of latino population. some concern about what that means in terms of voter turn-out. that without that. -- that without that the level of participation may be reduced. what do you think is the impact for 2012? >> i think it is no coincidence that you are seeing the kind of reaction to changing
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demographics in the south. it is a result of this historic american discomfort which changes demographics. the immediate reaction is that you are carrying this official language. do what we can to make life as uncomfortable as we can for these newcomers in our midst. who what we know about the latino in the south is it is a newer population. that is a generation that will mature has young people that are born here reach voting age and are able to naturalize those who are permanent residents. but the need for immigration reform is probably more pair mont in the -- pair mountain in
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the south. if you are a personnelible to vote, by definition you are a citizen. born here or naturalized. >> on your mind, if you like, the economy and the recession, unemployment, under-employment, access to health care, the wars in iraq and afghanistan. the fact you have family members there you want home. all these other issues that all americans are dealing with are issues that latino voters are dealing with. what we need to make sure is that national candidates speak to latinos about these issues as well. we are not a single-issue constituent. >> do you have any thoughts about the rise of restrictionist policies out of the south and what that means as a civil rights lawyer? >> it has been one of our biggest challenges. it is nothing new to the united
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states. >> as we speak about immigration and lack of constituent policy and times that occur, we have to remember these things have been with us a long time. in 1970 there were close to 30,000 people that erumented for people speaking a different language than the general population. we had the klu klux klan in the 1920's. the country was grown and was made better because of the influx of so many immigrants.
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latinos share the same values as anybody else does. work hard for a good job and continue to take care of our families. that's what ma has made this country great. the challenge we're facing is not only these policies at the lo local left, but this shift in how the courts look. we have a coal that's more conservative. that's our goal. to find the most innovative playing field. >> so you mentioned there are 490,000 elected positions and probably less than 1.5% of those are held by latinos. is there a target? is there a number? is there something that would be more reflective that we should be considering as an ultimate goal for latino political reputation? >> you are so close to the bottom, that anything you are looking up is fine.
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[laughter] look, i guess my point is this. lawyers don't have the opportunity to go to court and say nnlng has 19% latinos. -- new jersey has 90% of latinos. the law does not require proportion nalt -- proportionality. the laws were written very specifically to prohibit that notion to enter into the judges. our argument is not just what happens in the courtroom, it is to the american public. what exactly is wrong when you have a legislature that reflects the rarblinge class, working class demographics of any community? how is it possible to take on a legislature that is so over represented by the majority population?
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that's what we're talking about. america should refleck the beaut of our diversity in corporate board rooms, in school boards, in the white house and in congress and everywhere else. if i'm arguing that we should have a better proportion national and better understanding of what that means, go ahead. we now have almost a moral obligation to do this. >> i didn't realize we are almost out of time. aws prepare your questions, nina i wanted to ask you about california in particular. there is a republican commentateor, tony quinn, who said the work of the redistricting commission may not have intentionally set out to disenfranchise latinos but that was certainly the result. said it was a nepharious effort
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but came from people that dnd didn't understand the changes. how do we make sure that those are responsible? that with dovepbt don't need too litigate. that we have a process that recognizes the sorts of goals being articulated here. the statute that created the commission includes clines with voting rights right up there at the top with combines with the constitution. they have information. they have information, training, and lawyers and a mandate to comply with the voting mandate. and it is inexapplicable to me
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how they could have come up with first-draft plans that are so incredibly disenfranchising of the latino community. >> i'm going to turn to the audience. any questions of the audience? i don't know if we have mics. go ahead and stand up, and i'll repeat the question. introduce yourself if you don't mind.
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[question not audible] >> thank you. so her point, a comment s. that it is not just about numeric
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representation, but it is about having people who can actually put forward better government and better governance. and certainly that's the work of naleo and that's precisely the work to do that. and if you can make these questions, please. [question not audible]
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>> for those of you that couldn't hear, this was a question ensuring that we represent the diversity of the latino community. juan, did you want to address that? >> let me take that on because i think that is, in fact, one of the dwreat greatest tragedies -- one of the greatest tragedies that's happening right now in california. one -- there is say neighborhood in los angeles that's called pico union. is it is the neighborhood where i grew up and it is where the national office of naleo is located. that has been removed from the latino district and placed in a district with beverly hills,
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bell air, and pacific palisades. tell me, if a congress member receives a call from a salvadoran immigrant that lives near mcarrthur back or a donar in beverly hills, who gets the call returned? that's the economic gerrymandering we refer to. we hope the new congressional district that gets restored that was drawn in 1991 and taken away in 2001 will be able to provide a voice for the people in the san fernando valley. we know in maryland, virginia, washington, d.c. area which is the second largest concentration of central americans in the country, that the kind of work that's being done there, that we are able to configure those districts. we are not a monolithic country,
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and we will wau want to make sure we have a voice in this process. y want to go back to one point because we're almost ready to wrap up. you made the point that we're not a single-issue voting block. that it goes well beyond immigration to issues of opportunity and economic development and jobs, et cetera. when you look at the numbers, there is clearly this disconnect. you come out of this and say, this really is the future for anybody in business today. there is 1.2 trillion in buying power within in the hispanic community. it is the group that has the fastest growth in terms of small business start-ups. yet we also have the highest unemployment rates. we have the highest drop-out rates. our workforce training programs
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don't need the needs of the work force for tomorrow. you all do a lot of work in these areas. on the ground we are not necessarily sarle preparing -- we are not necessary sarbleecomparle our -- preparing people to move forward. what do you think can be done? >> we have to invest in education. [applause] >> i moderate aid session a few weeks ago. i was supposed to focus on latino education. people were bemoaning the fact that just at the moment that latino youth were becoming the majority of the youth in that state, they are the majority of
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the computhe youth in texas. at that moment, that is the moment we are naking dratic cuts in education. i ask the question, is it a consequence dense i think that's something for us to ponder. is it a coincidence that at this moment -- i think that's a challenge for all of us here to hold accountable our government to ensure we do on dis-invest in the future of america's young people, who matter who they are. [applause] >> we have come out -- we have run out of time. unfortunately we weren't able to hit every single topic we were able to. this is about turning numbers into cloud. i think the numbers isolated
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this morning is where we need to focus. it is around redistricted and the legislative battle that we have in front of us. it is also ensuring that we elevate the turn-out rate that people that are motor vated to vote, vote. he talked about a sustained civic investment campaign that goes beyond just the years when the replied-year electrics are out. this requires us to create a culture of participation. i would hope that all of you who clearly are elected that you understand the value of that will make to make sure we have those sorts of out-reach everts, especially to our populations to make sure we change the course of knows two lines and begin to end the accountability and
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yurnout. have three of the leading -- thank you very much, everybody. applause plazzshiffeds >> standard & poors on monday downgraded fannie mae and freddie mac. on tomorrow's wurnl -- "washington journal" christian weller and diana furchgott-roth talk about the future of u.s. debt. and then later robert templin on education. washington journal each morning here on s&p. -- as seep. >> republican candidates are
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gathering in iowa. starting thursday, live from if i moin will interview candidates, and saturday go to pasmse for the iowa stra poll where 3-5 have gone on to -- road to the white house in what in -- in iowa, this week on seep . >> american history on c-span 3. watch personal interviews about historic events on oral histories. our history self includes some key writers. visit classrooms across the country. go behind-the-scenes at museums and historic sites on american artifacts. and the dptsy looks at the policies and legacies of past
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american pts. sign up to have it e-mails to you by pressing the c-ban span alert button. >> the conference of post conference operation numbers posts its event. >> jeff is a writer for cnn. his most recent book "the nine, inside the secret world of the supreme court" spent more than
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four months on "the new york times" best seller's list. he is working on the sequel, the oath, for the struggle for the supreme court this year. previously jeff served as an assistant in brooklyn. he also served in the fiss -- office so -- he graduated from harvard law school where he was an editor of the harvard law review. please join me in welcoming jeff tubin. [applause]
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>> thank you, kathy, and thank you for being here. a lot of public relations people that we journalists deal with, they are always trying to get stuff in the magazine or cnn. your job is exactly the opposite. i have always reesh -- appreciated the good faith and intelligence and honesty and candor, and, you know, knowledge that i have encountered with you and your colleagues. nowhere is that more true than at our very own united states supreme court. agenty arberg and all of her
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colleagues. i have not intentionally but 0 cagely made their lives applies ribbling, and really just want to stress my appreciate for the wonderful work they do, for their great website, but we in journal i have a rule, which is show, don't tell. the pun time i had written about the public affairs office. a short talk of the town story which was published almost zpactly 10 1/2 years ago. i think you will recognize the circumstances. in ordinary circumstances the press room of the united states supreme court has the hushed feel of a law library. there are two long wooden tables, prerenovation, surrounding by what looked like
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carrows which are reserved for a handful of regulars. the year begins on the first monday in october, the arguments start at 10:00 a.m. sharp, and this is what made the events of last week so extraordinary. after the arguments of bush v. gore on monday, the usual press room crew had grown to more than 50. at 10:00 on tuesday morning, the opinions are usually handed out at 10, too, the tv reporters put on their coats and prepared to sprint to camera locations nearby, but there was no news. the supreme court is still one of the few relatively leak-proof facilities in washington, so the search for clues about when the ruling might come became depult. -- difficult.
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they monitored cathly as if she was some kind of elaborate. was she walking faster? closing her door, going to lunch. no clue with too small to dissect. the supreme court police drew similar scrutiny. were they gathering? rustle ling? no one could say. then came the point setia resumeer. a large poinntsetta was placed aat a table where opinions are often given. later a judge walkled by and moved the flowers. it turned out a court staff noticed that reporters without seats were perching on the table. the pointsetta many was moved to
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keep it from being knocked over. w4 it became clear that a bherg was -- was ordering room service, they did the same. the press room, usually so tidy, began to look like a frat house. the end came in ordering fashion. at about 9:40, the deputy entered the room and announced, we are going to make a line. at 9:52 the large cardboard
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boxes of opinions appeared, and the line moved at the half running pace of paratroopers jumping out of a plane. members of her staff were going by the gift shop. it was a courtesy, they said, but there was a sense, too, that the sooner everyone was gone, the better. i think kathy is pleased that that's the last time. a person in my position, such as it is is often asked a question, which is, who's your favorite justice? this is one of many areas in my remarks, and i want to say this at the outset, where kathy and patricia could not answer these questions appropriately. they would never say anything like that, and certainly they do not associate themselves with my remarks in anyway.
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but the answer so my question is i need a new answer because my answer for a long, long time was david suitor. he was a wonderful unique american character on the united states supreme court. this was a guy with no cell phone rvings no answering machine. who didn't use a computer. who doesn't like electric light. he used to move chair around his chambers over the course of the day to catch the sunlight going through the window. but he also sort of knew one sort of peculiar fact about the justice of the supreme court, which is that they are simultaneously very public figures, very important people,
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but also largely unknown to the public. people don't recognize them very often, other than justice o' connor and now maybe justice mayor. there is a peculiar fact. this has been true for a long time. stephen breyer and david suitor are frequently mistaken for one another. not too long ago, justice suitor, as he often did was driving from washington to his home in new hampshire and he stopped at a restaurant to get something to eafment they are standing there and a couple came up to them and said, i know you, you are on the supreme court?
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he said yes. then he said, you are stephen brire, right? >> he said, yes. >> he said, so justice, what's the best thing about being on the supreme court. he paused, and he thought, and he said i would have to say it is the privilege of serving with david suitor. he's gone. but he's not gone, gone, just back in new hampshire. there are six products of harvard law school. there are six catholics and three jews. those are interesting facts. i submit to you, the only
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important fact about the supreme court is this -- that there are five republicans and four democrats. that is almost all you need to know about the contemporary supreme court. as much as we might think the supreme court is a departure from the zip -- citizenship that we see at the capitol and the other end of pennsylvania avenue, the court is a very political institution. that is often the case throughout american history. that is not something novel. but it is really -- the politics of the current supreme court are really quite vivid and quite important.
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i'd like to back up to the last time the court was a real ideological force. in the mid and late 1960's the court was a really liberal institution. there were seven liberals on the united states compreem court. there really was a liberal agenda at the court. justice brenan and chief justice warren would talk and say, what are the issues we want to take, what are the issues we want to deal with, and they really worked their way through american law with their agenda. every year huge case yerks 1964. changing liable law forever and giving the press important new proteches. 1965, justice douglas' opinion in griswald vs. connecticut, the
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case that established the right to privacy. 1966 chief justice warren's opinion in the case that revolutionized criminal procedure and perhaps more importantly changed television praum dramas forever. it is the one right everyone knows they have now. 1967, perhaps the best-named case. loving vs. virginia. it was the case that said cathes could no longer -- it was the case that said that states could no longer ban interracial marriage. there are people in this room that were alive in 1967, and it was only then that the supreme court got around to banning racial interest marriage.
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in 1960 when barack obama's parents got married in kenya, i'm sorry, i mean in hawaii -- don't we miss donald trump running for president? it was stup -- it was so good wild it lasted. when his parents got married in hawaii their marriage was a crime in 25 states, and there were people in prison for it. in all seriousness, it is a recognition that this country has changed, and changed for the better in many ways. in the curious way of supreme court vacancies, four judges left. you never know how that's going to work. jimmy carter is the only president in american history to serve a single full term and not have any appointments to the supreme court because there were no vacancies while he was there. richard nixon was only president
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for 5 1/2 years. you remember he had to leave early? but he got four appointments because chief justice warren, justice foridice, justice hall, and justice black all left in quick succession and richard nixon got to name all their replacements. who did he name? berger, powell, rehnquist, and blackman. and as you think about that list, i think it illustrates something about the supreme court but about something much broader than that. which is to me the biggest political development of my lifetime which is the evolution of the republican party. the republican party of the 1970's is almost unrecognizable of the republican party from today. that is because, look at what -- you can see that transformation in the supreme court. a lot of people thought when
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nixon got owl those appointments that the court would change dramatically, but it didn't. in fact, in the 1907's, the court was almost as liberal as it was in the 1960's. the nixon court case. they ended the death penalty in the united states in 1972. declared every statute on the books unconstitutional. they allowed it back in in 1976, but of course, still the most controversial division decision of them all, roe vs. wade. it was a 7-2 opinion with the only two disenters being byron white and william rehnquist. 3-4 nixon justices were in the majority in roe v. wade and i think that tells you a lot about where the republican party was in the 1970's.
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the change began with the election of ronald reagan. ronald reagan brought with him to washington people that said, look, there has been a liberal agenda at the supreme court for a long time. we need a conservative agenda, too. and he brought with him someone whom i think is a very underrated figure in american history. someone who i think is the most important person regarding the supreme court who did not serve on the court. and that's edwin meese. he said we are going to change, but not limited torks as the lawyers say, the supreme court. 1981, the year reagan was inaugurated, was also the year that the federal society was founded. a lot of liberals today talk about the federal society as if
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it is something out of the davinci code. there is nothing secret about the federal society. it is a conservative lawyers group and it was founded as the conservative movement was building here in washington. you know, it was all part of this new conservative agenda. what was that agenda? expand executive power. end racial discrimination. welcome religion into the public sphere, and above all, reverse roe vs. wade and allow states to ban again abortion. another big part of what some call the reagan revolution was the arrival in washington of a group of young, vigorous, highly intelligent, highly motivated conservative lawyers who were two of the best and the brightest that group? john roberts and sam you'll --
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samuel ledoux. no surprise. the republican party of that day is not the republican party of today either. what happened? potter stewart -- he made a promise that jimmy carter didn't even make. he said if i have a chance, i will nominate the first woman to the supreme court. when stewart left, reagan said find me a qualified woman. i'm going to keep my promise. it was not a simple thing, because there were not a lot of republican women in the traditional pipelines for supreme court justices. reagan had to go all the way to the interimmediate appeals court in arizona. not even the arizona supreme court to find the extraordinary figure who was and turned out to be sandra day o'connor.
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but it is interesting reagan didn't say find me someone to overturn roe vs. wade. because that was not their focus at that time. and that was not who sandra day o'connor was. that was not the kind of justice she turned out to be. 1986 rehnquist was promoted to chief justice. anthony scalia to that seat. no question, conservative justice then and now. a key turning point in the history of the point, 1987, because that was the year lewis powell resigned. at that point, since the nixon years, there was, in a term that the justices really don't like very much, a swing justice. a justice in the middle between the liberals and the srvetiffs, and it was very much louis
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powell. so his departure was a key. it was something very important for the court. what did ronald reagan do? nominated ronald borge to that court. in the mid term electrics the senate changed hands and the democrats were in charge once again. and instead of strom thurman, it was a senator from delaware named joseph biden. and he basically turned that into a referendum on borge's views. and i think borge really engaged with the senators substantively about those views. he was brilliant, honorable, ethical, and he was very, very
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conservative. he was someone that said the right to privacy does not exist in the constitution. he had written the civil rights act was a monstrous thing. the senate said too conservative. they decided to appoint someone different than borge. robert bork -- kennedy set the stage. i was inspired to write "the nine" by a book familiar to a
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lot of you due to a book called "the brethren" published in 1979. a long time ago, now. if you recall the theme of that book, the theme of that book was how all the justices, without regard to politics, really couldn't stand warren berger. they thought he ways pompous jerk. as i started to work on "the nine" i thought, great, i get to report on how the justices really don't get along. well, to my great disappointment as a journalist but to my satisfaction as a citizen, i learned that was not at all the case under chief justice rehnquist. chief justice rehnquist was a very popular figure around the supreme court without regard to political affiliation. he really learned a lot from, i would submit, the negative
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example of warren berger. one of the things that he learned, and one of the things chief justice rehnquist did was he engineered a tremendous reduction in the court's workload. the justices liked this very much. in the 1980's, the court was deciding about 150 cases a year. by the time rehnquist died, the court was deciding about 80 cases a year. think about that. almost in half. during the 1980's there was a proposal, a serious proposal, warren berger supported it, to have almost a sioux super appeals court between the many circuit courts and the supreme court to help the supreme court with its workload. like a lot of these ideas, it went to the white house counsel's office for evaluation. the white house counsel at the time was a guy named fred
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fielding in the early 1980's, and he gave this proposal to a young member of his staff to analyze it. the young member was named john roberts. this is what roberts wrote in a memo about that proposal. "while some of the tales of woe emanating from the court are enough to bring tears to the eyes it is only supreme court justices and school children are expected to and do take the entire summer off. the chief justice doesn't talk this way anymore. the entire summer off looks pretty good from where he's sitting now, which i believe is venice? florence? it is one of those places where he is teaching. they are often teaching in italy. i don't bee grudge that. i think it is great. it is also true that the workload has gone down a great deal. it is also true as it was under
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roberts and rehnquist that the court remains basically a congenial place. and you can see that in oral arguments. now, i'm sure in a group like this many of you have had the opportunity to see the supreme court in action. if you haven't, i certainly recommend it. it is one of the great free shows in washington, d.c. i mean that sincerely. it is really a fantastic thing to see the supreme court oral argument. there is, of course, one very well known fact about supreme court oral arguments, and that is that there are eight justices who are very engaged and very, you know, prepared and ask a lot of hard questions, and clarence thomas doesn't ask any questions at all. it was an important anniversary of the court in february of this year. as some of you may know. that was the 50th anniversary of justice thomas not asking a question.
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i don't go to all that many arguments, but a lot of my colleagues, bill, cnn, bill goes to a lot of arguments, and you can't help but sit there when you watch these oral arguments and think, will this be the day? will this be the day that the streak ends? and it never ends. but the thing is, if you go to the arguments, you see that justice thomas is not -- and this is true from my report -- he is not an unpopular figure at the court. he's just someone who chooses never to ask any questions. and the court remains a congenial place. in looking at the rehnquist years, i think it is useful to divide it between 1986 and 200 and 200 to 2005. and the dividing point in the
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history of the rehnquist -- in many respects the dividing point in the history of our country is the court's decision in bush v. gore. justice scalia speaks, as you know, does a lot of public speaking, he's a great public speaker. i thanks -- he takes questions. or as i heard him say once, i agreed to take questions. i didn't necessarily agree to answer questions. anyway, he often gets a question -- kind of a hostile question about bush v. gore and he always says the same thing, oh, get over it. just speaking for myself, i'm not over it. i'm kind of a bush v. gore obsessive. my last book before "the nine" was a book called "too close to call" about the recount in florida, and it ended as did the election in the supreme court. and one of the things i tried really hard to do in writing was
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to interview al gore. you are writing a book on that subject, you want to interview al gore. i tried everything. i wrote, i called, i worked every connection i had, and he just wouldn't talk to me. well, by coincidence while i was working on "the nine" i metal gore at a social owe indication and he read "too close to call," and i said, "mr. vice president, you are never going to believe this, but i'm writing another book where bush v. gore may be at the center of it. i said i think i'm the biggest bush v. gore junky in the world." he said to me, "you may be second." i think you got to give him a point on that, right? one of the many curious things about bush v. gore was its aftermath at the supreme court because here was the famous 5-4 decision which gave the court, essentially awarded the presidency to george w. bush.
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but in those five years after wards, the court moved to the left. 2000 to 2005, no question about it. that was when they ended the death penalty for >> offenders -- juvenile offenders. ended the death penalty for mentally handicapped people. in case after case they rejected the bush decision on guantanamo bay and the detainees. why did the court move to the left after bush v. gore? well, i think it goes back to what i was saying about the evolution of the republican party. because sandra day o'connor who was at that point the swing justice saw that the current republican party was not her republican party. she didn't like john ashcroft. she didn't like the way the war
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on terror was being conducted. and above aurblings justice o'connor -- and above all justice o'connor was alienated by an event about the terri schiavo case. it was an issue of judicial independence. but it was also about a very sick person. who should make decisions for her? the family or the government? this was at that time when her husband was slipping into the grip of alzheimer's disease. so it was not an entirely abstract issue for her either. we have now seen the last three justices to leave the court, justice 0 -- o'connor, justice suitor, and justice stevens. three more different people you will never meet.
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. they reflect a more conservative party very and i thing you see
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that in the last five or six years of the supreme court, whether striking down the time -- the gun control law, and the signature decision of the roberts corp., citizens united, which is really the beginning of the end, or the beginning of the total deregulation all all campaign finance laws in this country. stephen breyer, hardly a hysteric, i think was right when he said that on the day that those decisions came down, it is not often in law that so few have quickly undone so much. president obama has had two appointments to the court. i think they very much reflect the obama presidency. just as a i think -- there used
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to be a myth at the supreme court that justices are their justicesw turned out. it goes back to the eisenhower administration with warren and brennan. but if you step up -- look at the last decade of supreme court appointees, uc precisely justices turning out as expected. go back in your head, taken, so to my art, roberts, breyer,, ginsberg, thomas. all of them -- and i think it is a good thing. president should know what we are getting and we are getting pretty much what we expect from these justices.
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but i think is -- it is worth thinking about that what we see is what we get. and presidents to a extent that journalists do not fully acknowledge -- president tell the truth about what they want in supreme court justices. president george w. bush said that he wanted to appoint justices in the mold of scalia and thomas appeared that is what he did. president obama spoke at his admiration of ginsberg and breyer. did appoint justices let that occurred come next november, i think we will -- no one is between now and then, i do not think, but we should listen to what the presidential candidates say. that is likely what we would get in our neck supreme court. and with that, i look forward to taking your questions and answering them.
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[laughter] [inaudible] that is a great question. please repeat it so it goes into the microphone. >> which one? >> both. >> with respect to justice souter, it marked the first time in american history where the court did not have a member within a state court experience. you think that that matters? >> i believe that it is terrible. i believe in diversity but it is not just about race and gender. there are eight former federal appeals court judges on the court and only a latent -- elena
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kagan is not. the court that decided brown v. board of education, eight of the nine justices have never sat on any court before, had never been a judge before. think about how different that is. i think it is terrible that there are no state court judges on the court. i think it is terrible there are no former elected officials on the court. there used to be a long tradition of appointing people with political experience. and you see that. justice breyer, he writes, a formative experience of his life was when he was chief counsel to the judiciary committee. he saw how laws were made. and he basically thought that process was a good process, and something the court needed to
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take seriously. the rest of the court, and particularly true of justice scalia, have a lot of contempt for how the sausages made on capitol hill. on one level it is hard to blame them, but i think the lack of diversity in terms of professional background is a real loss to the court. and state court experience, i think, political experience, and another i would add, and i think justice so my your trichet sotoma -- justice sotomayor is a good addition for this, knowing how try elsewhere, that is something that there should be more of on the court. -- how trials work, that is something that there should be more of on the court. >> six you mentioned it
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yourself, do you feel any similar views with regard to the religious issues, that there are protestants verses catholic and jewish vote? -- folk? >> as my dad used to say, to make a long story unbearable -- [laughter] i have a long answer so i hope you'll bear with me. one of the great things about studying the supreme court is that the membership of the court reflects what matters in the country at large. in the early part of our republic, the big differences -- everyone effectively was protestant, so that was not an issue. but the regional differences it really mattered at the supreme court. that is what mattered in the
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country. it was very important that there be a new york justice, that there be a massachusetts justice, a virginia justice. that reflected the political controversies of the day. now not very important. we had two justice for arizona for a long time, so what? it was a curiosity, but no one cared. in the late 19th century, immigration really was changing the country. so you started have that be important to the supreme court. you had the first cassolette justice. -- catholic justice, the guy who wrote dred scott, i am blanking. t -- chief justice taney was the first catholic justice on the court. justice brandeis, justice
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cardozo, the first jewish justice is. the country starts to be -- in the big issues, civil rights, thurgood marshall, very important milestone in the country. 1981, the first woman on the court. 2009, sonia sotomayor, the first hispanic justice. on the overlay that, you have six catholics and three jews. i think that that is not very important or significant. john roberts and samuel alito were not appointed by president bush because they are catholic. if they are appointed because they are conservative. a real divisions in our country now are ideological more than religious or racial. president obama did not appoint sotomayor because she is
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catholic. ideologically she was in line with him. i think it is actually one of the good things about american society their religious differences have faded to the point where there are no promises on the supreme court, that is so what. and that is my reaction, so what. >> a lot of state courts are grappling with cameras in the courtroom. we know from kathy that there is not likely to be cameras in the supreme court any time soon. >> justice souter said over his dead body in a famous phrase. >> what would help the public's perception, is it a good thing that they do not have them? >> i think it is absurd and ridiculous that there are no cameras in the supreme court. and you can tell how much my opinion matters in that debate. i think there are reasonable
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arguments to be made -- i am not persuaded by them -- but reasonable arguments that in trial courts for u.s. civilian witnesses and jurors, that cameras could have some effect. but in appellate courts, where you are dealing with professional lawyers and judges, i think it is absurd that there are no cameras in the court. and justice ginsburg davis' speech, i forgot where it was, where she plucked out some funny and vaguely sleep -- vaguely embarrassing comments that justices had made during oral arguments and then concluded by saying, as you can say, we're not going to be allowing cameras in the courtroom any time soon. because it would be embarrassing to have this stuff on camera. imagine if you came to the supreme court in a first amendment case and said, the
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reason we kept this from the public is because we thought it might be embarrassing? they would laugh you out of court. but it is their candy store and in fairness to the supreme court, it is an institution that works very well the way that it is and i understand that they are reluctant to tamper with it. but i think to say an event is public in 2011 because 75 people or whoever it is canned troop in there and watch, i think that is an unduly limited reading of the word public. i do think that the court has done well or better on the issue of audio. and i really do -- our role now as many of you know is that the audio recordings are released every friday. it is two steps forward and one step back. they used to release the
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important cases the day of. now the release them all at the end of the week. beggars cannot beat users. i think that that is an improvement. i would not be surprised if in 10 years, the arguments were streamed live over the web. that would really require no disruption at all of the supreme courts building, of the architecture, at the microphones are there now, no one would see anything different. and with the under justices, both in their confirmation hearings were what -- were much more receptive to the issues of cameras. audio is on a march in the right direction. video is a different story for you have to put cameras in the court, the justices are appropriately and understandably very jealous and protective of the supreme courts building. you might have to change the
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lighting -- all of that, i can see why they would pause on that. but still, it is the public's business. and it should be open to the public. but it is not going to happen anytime soon. another hand over there. are we done? ok. thank you for having me. >> the retiring head of the u.s. special operations command, admiral eric olson, talked last week about u.s. counter- terrorism efforts and the main mission that killed osama bin laden. that is next on c-span. then president obama on the united states credit rating downgrade by s&p. later, elected latino officials discuss politics and next year's elections. >> the motion to concur in the
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house amendment to senate bill 365 is agreed to. >> with the debt ceiling bill now signed into law, watch the debate from the house and senate floors and see what your elected officials said and how they finally voted with c-span congressional chronicle, comprehensive resource on congress. there is video of a recession and complete voting records. when members return in september, follow more of the appropriations process acts -- at c-span.org/congress. >> 18 of navy seals and cia operatives located in the hills -- located in killed osama bin laden last prepared we will hear from eric olson who sailed some of the seals and who will step down soon as the commander of the u.s. special operations. last week, he spoke with abc foreign correspondents had an aspen institute security forum. this conference was held before a group of u.s. navy seals were
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shot down and killed in afghanistan over the weekend. >> i am so happy to hear the great biography of admiral olson which i have been pouring over facts, and i found a few that you didn't mention, and that is he was born to be a navy seal when he was a little boy, he'd go swimming with his knife and that's how he could kill fish. if you believe everything you read in the tacoma press. he also made his first wet suit when he was 9 years old out of scraps of rubber. why do i know this? because if you put in eric olson, bin laden, and his hometown of tacoma, this comes up in the headlines. tacoma plays its part in osama bin laden raid. [laughter] or my favorite, tacoma mom gushes about son's role in finding osama bin laden. [applause]
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>> she is beautiful, by the way. his mother is beautiful. but i was eagerly reading this thing, he must have called her and told her everything about the raid. he told her nothing. in fact, he didn't call her for four days after the raid. she really didn't know anything about it and he called to tell her when his retirement ceremony would be taking place essentially. this is what she said, to eric she said, it occurred, it was successful and now we're on to today. now, we're hoping to get a bit more than that from him tonight. but i am going to tell you right off the bat that admiral olson has had a career, a successful career as a navy seal because he's kept his mouth shut. so i know this is not a forum he is used to. we have talked in advance. this is how far i got in an off-the-record session which he's now allowed me to talk about what he said in that off-the-record session. i started talking about drone strikes in pakistan and he said are you talking about unattributed explosions?
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[laughter] >> so the idea that he's my victim tonight or that i could take down a navy seal, i'm pretty good but not that good. but he has had an extraordinary career, and what i do hope we can hear a lot about, and i know he's going to start off a little bit telling us as much as he can about the osama bin laden raid but really the future of special operations when you think back on this country in the last 10 years and how special operations has changed and grown, 32,000 i think 10 years ago, more than 60,000 now and still growing. so admiral olson, i'll turn it over to you. i know you want to make a few comments to begin with, and if you want to just transition into that raid without asking me again or trying harder, please do. >> clark and chris, thank you so much.
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i do appreciate the opportunity to be with you. i know many of you former colleagues and friends who are here and that's very good to be with you. for all the right reasons, as you can imagine, one of which i'm not here from washington but tampa, florida. first of all, i'm glad to be here with you. we in uniform have a great deal of respect for you and when i found out you were the moderator this evening i was really quite pleased. >> that's why you came. ok. >> but i accepted this because of the nature of the forum and who is here. how important you all are but also because i'm going to be leaving service here before long and as i back out, i do want to take the opportunity to share with you some of what i think america should know about the special operations community
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that it has built over the last 25 years, where it fits in, what it does. and how we see the world in the future and how we fit into that. i want this to be a conversation about that. so please scratch into me as deep as you want on any of that. up front i want to say that this is a fantastic community. it's grown. it has expanded its capabilities. it is a microcosm of the department of defense. the united states special operations community is army, navy, marine corps, active reserve, guard, government, civilian, contractor, operation of the tropics from the arctic to below the surface to space and a mission set that is much broader than you might imagine. and i'd like to scratch into that tonight as well. most people when they hear about the special operations community, they either have been exposed to a book or movie
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or headline about something spectacular. but it's a far more nuanced community than that but what they do today in about 65 countries around the world in combat in only two of them, it's a pretty good story as well. so then when we do talk about this new normal, this future world that we anticipate living in the next few decades, then it -- the special operations community is quite well suited to that. i will talk about the bin laden raid but not much. the department of defense has not acknowledged the participation of any particular unit or any particular individual in that raid, and i respect that, i applaud it and
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thank secretary gates and chairman mullen for their public statements we have already spoken too much about that raid. so i'm not going to go into the tactical details and i'm certainly not going to break faith with my own community at this point now or ever. in terms of what it would mean to talk too much about it. for the special operations community, i would say the 15 minutes of fame lasted at least 14 minutes too long and they really want to get back into the shadows and do what they can came in to do. i also accepted this information before the bin laden raid occurred so that wasn't part of the original plan. >> can i just say and i know you don't want to acknowledge this either but it's been publicly talked about that you that evening were with leon panetta at c.i.a. headquarters. so if you'll talk a little bit about just your -- whether it's your pride, whether it's watching, whether it's the drama of watching that, if you'll talk about the raid in those terms. >> i'll make five points, i think.
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first is that this raid would not have been as successful if not for the interagency collaboration that's occurred over the last few years. this was the intelligence community and the military operational community coming together in a very powerful way, an unprecedented way, i would say, at least in modern history. so that when it came to the president for a decision, he had enough confidence that the intelligence piece of this was great and the military capabilities were great and that this was being presented to him as one team, not two parallel efforts but together at the end.
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and i don't think that would have been possible more than a few years ago. in fact, i think the operations of recent years have caused what i would call second and third generation contact between the intelligence agencies and the special operations community and people who work together in the field as youngsters are now 10 years later working together in headquarters with barriers between the organizations completely torn down. so this is a very positive thing and one we all can be very proud of. two, i don't think it would have been possible without the jointness, the military joint community together, services being interoperable, able to work together comfortable, i don't mean just inside the special operations community but all the
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organizations that were on the fringe of this and supporting this, who had to sort of flow into the river without trauma in order to bring all of this together at a very high level. third, and this is going to sound very, very parochial, but i don't think it would have been possible had the nation not created its special operations community 25 years ago. the decisions that in my view led to the real success in this raid were not made this year or last year, they were made 12-15 years ago. the investments in the equipment, night vision, compatibility in the cockpits, the experimental aircraft, the people who were in this mission were for the most part 12 to 15 to 17 years in service and came under recruiting programs and training programs that built this up over time into what it is and that's my message to other nations on this, is it they want to have this capability in 15 years, they better start now. and we started it 25 years ago in the after math of a failed attempt by this nation to put a ground force in helicopters and fly them into a hostile environment and it was an operation that ended in disaster at a place known then and now as desert one. attempting to rescue hostages in tehran and really was the catalyst for the development of the special operations community. fourth, i would say this is not a failure at desert one and then you fast forward a few
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years and you're at blackhawk down and you fast forward a few years and you're on the bin laden raid. there were somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000, depend on how you count them, operations of this nature conducted in 2010 alone. this is now routine every night. dozens of times. or at least i would say a dozen missions a night. ground forces getting on the helicopter and flying against a target. to do something on that target. and on many occasions knocking on the door asking them to give themselves up and in other cases conducting a more kinetic action but this has become habit for the forces and the forces that participated in this particular operation have celebrated their greatest successes together and mourned their greatest losses.
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so there is a repedity of these operations over the years. and it was successful because nobody talked about it, nobody talked about it before and if we want to preserve this capability, we shouldn't talk about it after. i mean, in terms of the people, the tactics, the techniques, the advanced technologies, sort of how it all came together, we can give that up by talking about it too much and if i was an al qaeda targeteer i would be paying close attention to who is talking about it and what they're saying and i certainly don't want to be the example of the guy who talks too much about it. >> i don't think there's any danger of that so far. >> there are people at risk, families at risk, their unit at risk and capabilities at risk.
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so i ask as we go through the evening we respect that. >> clearly. but one thing i want -- can you talk about, from your point of view, that evening and however you say, let's go back to point number four. whatever you say about routine. and how often you do this, this was different. this was osama bin laden, and from your perspective what you can talk about and for those highly trained teams, how you overcome that, how you overcome the fact this is a big one. >> i think the excitement about all that was not at the team level, it was way above the team level. the tactics of this thing were routine and the people involved in it do it all the time. that night if you use a dozen missions, one went left and one went right. but for the people involved it was another mission on another target and yes they understood it was a more important target but they're always trying to do it the best they can and they want to do this one the best they could.
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most of the excitement was all around the edges. it was the strategic value of this and what might happen to national procedure to go wrong and how are you going to talk about it if it goes right and who are you going to -- it was all of that. >> can you talk about desert one, there were lessons learned obviously from that. >> absolutely. yeah. >> and those lessons, one of them being get backup helicopters, correct? so what other lessons did you gather from desert one that was used in this? >> desert one was 31 years ago. >> or from blackhawk down or from anything over the years. >> yeah. it's not -- this is not a force that sits on the second deck of the fire station waiting for the bell to ring every 10 or 15 years. [laughter] this is a force that every day is better than it was the day before. so we don't trace our lessons
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back to that event or the other event, we trace our lessons back to what we did last night. and so i don't mean to give a lame answer on that but it's really not a lesson learned from blackhawk down or desert one. it's a lesson learned -- there are lessons learned continuously over 10 years in combat in afghanistan and iraq. >> one of the things we've been reading a lot about and we also had secretary panetta i think within the first couple days on the job, talk about the defeat of al qaeda and that the u.s. is near strategic defeat of al qaeda. i think there was an article in "the washington post" today also quoting counterterrorism officials saying al qaeda is almost done. and i think we're talking about al qaeda in pakistan, obviously. so your thoughts on that? >> almost isn't good enough. i think -- and i'll use a boxed in him chronology. -- boxing analogy. we jabbed away at al qaeda for
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several years and got them winded and bloody but still fighting. and then i think the arab spring was a roundhouse that knocked the wind out of them. it took away the ideological message that you need violence to overthrow a government, and there were more governments overthrown in the first few months of this year relatively nonviolently than al qaeda had overthrown in its entire existence. i think that they lost steam as a result of the arab spring. and i think the death to bin laden was the uppercut to the jaw and it just knocked them on their heels and though they had a succession plan in place it wasn't rapidly executed and zawahri hasn't exercised his full authority of the position so we have to watch that very carefully to see what al qaeda becomes. i do believe that al qaeda version 1.0 is nearing its end but i'm very concerned about what al qaeda version 2.0 will be.
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it will morph, it will disburse and become more ways westernized, dual passport holders, more emergent leaders in more places over time. i think they're refining their message in a way against real difficulties but trying hard to define their message in a way that will appeal to a broader audience. >> when i think about that and if you say al qaeda 1.0. do we really understand what the next generation of al qaeda will be? i can't help thinking no one knew 10 years ago that someone was going to fly airplanes into buildings. so when you think of that and all the possibilities of will happen to al qaeda, what's your greatest fear, challenge, how to get at that? >> my greatest -- i'm not going
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to say my greatest fear because al qaeda might be taking notes and i don't want them to act out my greatest fear. but i do think they will need places to operate from and will continue to need sanctuary and will go where the sanctuary is and where there are ungoverned places where airports are less secure and borders more porous and in order for al qaeda to survive in the way it wants to, to be a transnational kind of an organization, it will have to pursue that and in order to have freedom of movement in the way they intend to have it, they will have to find a way to get through to get past increasing security. that is being established to keep them from doing that. i'm concerned they're focused on that. but we'll see how quickly they learn those lessons >> do you have a sense oany differences withaw harry --
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with zawahri, you said struggling or doesn't know what he's doing yet or how it will be different? >> he isn't as charismatic and he hasn't asserted the leadership role and hasn't become a one for one replacement for bill and we maac knowledge he won't -- for bin laden and we may acknowledge he won't be that. >> let's go back to special operations. talk abo the differences from 10 years ago, e growth, the training, and rlly the stress on the force as well. >> the forces -- i'll just throw some numbers at you and you y or may not care. but the force has doubled in its size from about 32,000 to 60,000 people. that's a significant force. the special operations command is now larger than the u.s. coast guard. we're about the size ofhe defense forces.
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this is about one third of it, 40,000 people who are caerists in special operations and people who have volunteered severalimes, been selected and trained to a level that earned them the badge or the beret or whatever that identifies them as a special operations careerist. there are 40,000 people in for a tour or two over the course of their careers and we depend heavily on them and gain an expertise that becomes quite important to us. those 60,000 people are growing but am on rerd and going before the congress, we should probably grow 3% of the year. to me the nation has a gwing need but ought not grow more than 5% a year because we'll lose our soul along the way and we're a community that depends on knowledge of each other and grow up together and almost everyone i know that i work with i have known for 15 or 20 years or more and is very important to have the maturity
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of action. but i think the nation expects from us. our budget has grown. our force has doubled in size. our budget has about tripled and we are now just about a $10 billion command, $10 billion is a lot of money. it's 1.6% of the department of defense's budget. the services invest about another 1.6%n us so the nation is buying its special operations force for around 3.5% of its budget and we frankly think we're a pretty good deal. [applause] our overseas deployments quadrupled over the years. we have 14,000 members deployed on any given day. if you take the sum total of the force, the army, navy, air force, marine corps, special operations, we're deployed every day at a much higher rate than anybody else.
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we're designed to be that. we don't operate bases or airfields or have bands or any of that stuff. we're designed to be deployed because we live inany ways off the services. but that creates pressure over time on our force. i was quoted a fewonths ago saying we're beginning to fray around the edges, the fabric is strong and weave is tight but we're asking a lot of the people and their families and there's no solution to this because even when and if we begin to wind down in our current campaigns -- 100,000 people came out of iraq before the first special operations person came out. and of the 33,000 people announced to come out of afghanistan over the next year, none of them will be special operations. so even as we do begin to come out, we are deploying 85% of our force from the united
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states, 85% of what goes ovseas goes in the operation and we're covering the world with the other 50%. there's pentup command and as we come out of centcom, there are other deployments. and we won't be standing around with our hands in our pockets. and whether we're asking someone to leave their home base to train in alaska or fight in afghanistan or train the sri lankans, they're still a long ways from home and we're asking a lot of our families as well and trying to find the thousands of ways that it will take to deal with that. but we have a program to grow a little more and along the way we'll hopefully be able to reduce that pressure around the edges. >> and yet it's clear from the drawdown plans the president has in afghanistan, the fact that special operations forces will not be coming out during that drawdown that the demand
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on you in the future will be extraordinary. john brennan the other day was saying going forward we will be mindful that if our nation is threatened, our best offense would always be deploying large armies abroad but rather delivering targeted surgical pressure to the groups that reaten us. that's you. it's clear that the united states is headed for a position of counterterrorism rather than large conventional armies and rather, i might add, to me for my vantage point, counterinsurgency, which has many, many, many troops, very large budgets, and over the last few months in washington with that perspective of afghanistan in washington, it's clear they don't really talk about coin very much. they may be doing it in certain regions in afghanistan but not all over. that means back at you. the counterterrorism troops, the counterterrorism approach, do you believe will be the
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future? and if so, how do we balance the american military? counterterrorism aroach without counterinsurgency is a flawed concept and this idea of being able to wait over the horizon and spring into chop off heads just doesn't really work. what it requires is -- and forgive me, i don't mean to sound weird on you here but i'm beginning to think of it as the yen and the yang of special operations if the yen is our counterterrorism capability and you all were tuned in somewhat to that, then the yang is our engagement force. much of our force is doing it on most days, 60 countries or so around the world, we are engaged. we are developing long-term relationships and gaining an understanding of a microregion.
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we're learning the lanages and meeting the people and studying the histories. we're learning the black markets. we're learning how things really happen in those places. because if you don't know that, you can't be an effective counterterrorist force. you have to know where to go, who's who, notnly the bad guys but who the good guys are and althis is part of the counterterrorism network. it's a network that's digital and a network that's human. and we do both sides, the yen and the yang in the special operations community and vice versa, you can't be a counterterrorism force if you're not partnered at some level and you n't be the engagement force if you're not able to get into a fight at some level because that happens. and these two are really coming together they are demonstrated in afghanistan where the line of operation, what is being called village stability operations and the development
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of afghan local polic trying to return neighborhoods back to the neighbors are both led by special operations forces and they rely heavily on each other. the counterterrorism guys, before they run a rd will find out who the other special operations guy, or whoever, is in that area and who can help coach them through what it takes to run that mission because otherwise they're fumbling around in the dark and we really -- they really need that level of understanding. so that is the big change for us. and if i can just i'm now sometimes showing a slide of a photograph of the world at night, you've seen it where the lights are on somewre in the world and our pre-911 thinking wathe important places in earth was the relatively northern band of the northern hemisphere where the lights are on, goods are produced there and our friend and enemies are within that relative band but post-911 it's further south and
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where the lights aren't. and we found ourselves as a nation relatively unprepared to operate in those areas. but it's essential that we do, that we undetand those places. by the way, we don't have a history of military to military relationships with many of those countries so we have to build those. and when you talk about what is nexti think that's it. and it does rely heavily on us. these are countries that don't want a brigade of infantry to come into their country. they want a handful of people who can come in and provide them some help. it's much better if another nation solves its own problems but there's some ways we can help them do that. >> one quick last question on afghanistan. and counterterrorism. what if we didn't have those big forward operating bases there? what if it was just strictly counterterrorism? what would happen?
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>> the strategy of clear, hold, build, transition is a valid strategy. but it takes forces to clear. and you can't clear with small teams. it takes forces to hold and you can't hold with small teams. and you can't build unilaterally so you've got to have partners in the other nation. and then the timing of that is very important. you shouldn't clear if you're not ready to hold and you shouldn't hold if you're not ready to build. so that does require some broader force than a counterterrorism force operating, you know, from a micropost. and i think that we can be very effective in identifying who the real bad guys are and conducting capture to kill operations against them. but that doesn't mean that you're keeping other bad guys from occupying space. so it does require -- i'm not an expert on how much force it
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takes to do that but it does take some. >> a whole lot. >> it does take some beyond pure counterterrorist capability. >> i want to before we open up questions to all of you, do a quick around the world if we could in terms of other hot spots and if we could start with yemen. and what you're seeing there and i know you won't talk about special operation forces there and i hear they're around there, i have it on good authority, not from him obviously, and what you can say about the threat from al qaeda on the arabian peninsula and our search for others. >> if you look at the times square would-be bomber and the detroit underwear would-be bomber and the teenager in portland and the toner cartridges and those things that have come up on our scope as intended attacks on the
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united states, those are not traceable back to where the lights are. they're traceable back to yemen and somalia and places that you're hearing about an increasing al qaeda presence and these are becoming the new safe havens. they are undergoverned spaces, wide open, training camps can develop and people can move there, things can be smuggled there. and -- in and out. so i think thiis an increasing area of concern for us. but again back in my special operations role, i would say that as proud as we are of our ability to respond to the sou of guns, we're at least as proud of what it is we do to move ahead of the sound of guns and try to prevent that from occurring by getting the knowledge, establish relationships and coaching other people through their own problems so we don't have to have sh a large presence later. i don't think anybody wants to open a third front in the war on terror,o if we can help
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other nations solve its problem with a much smaller force, then it's to all of our advantage to do that, and special operations plays that role. >> just a little bit moren yemen if we could. i saw with my own eyes special operations forces training yemeni. >> how do you know? >> unless they were yemenis dressed up as blond, blue haired guy with kind of scruffy beards. but i could be wrong, totally wrong. why don't we talk about any of that, particularly since yemen has be pretty cooperative? why do we have to be secretive about this constantly? >> i won't go country by country but i'll tell you that, you know if you've seen how one country treats an american presence, you've seen how one country treats an american presence. they are all difference. the politics are nuanced in every place that we go and mostly we yield to another nation's sensivities. i had a great conversation with
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the head of a country's military a few years ago when i said look, we can scale it to any level of visibility we want. we can be from invisible to very high profile. and he said no, i think low prile is good. i said ok, no one will know we're here. he said, i didn't say invisible, i just said low profile. he wanted intelligence agents fromther countries to know we were in his country and that he was working with american forces at that level. so it's all very delicately done. so when you -- the simple question, the answer is why don't we talk more about it, it's because in many cases our access depends on our ability to not talk about it. >> we also repted on -- a lot of people have recorded -- reported on the raid just days after -- the successful bin laden raid where al luki got away and there were three
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missile strikes that didn't hit him. talk about whatever you can about that, which i'm sure is -- and if you will talk about the threat al laki. i think a lot of reporters have been told again and again that he is considered one of the number one threats if not the number one threat to the united states. and our interests overseas. is that simply because he knows american soft spots, he understands our culture, he knows the laws in the u.s. might prohibit things that u.s. laws don't prohibit elsewhere. talk about that threat, and ally what it is exactly why he is such a huge threat. and i would assume that you don't believe he's planning huge catastrophic attacks, it's more like you talked about, homegrown recruits, smaller attacks?
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>> al laki is a threat because he wants to be and has the capability to be. he's a savvy guy. he knows how to hide from us pretty well. despite the fact that he' communicating with his own people pretty well. u know, he's publishing a magazine in the english language that's quite frightening. he's a dual passport holder and -- who has lived in the units. -- in the united states. so he understands us much better than we understand him and that's sort of -- as i look ahead at al qaeda version 2.0, i see more al laki's and fewer cave dwellers, if you will. >> better than we understand him is not exactly making me feel good. but can you just elaborate a tiny bit on that threat, i mean, a lot of people want to kill us, a lot of people might be inspired by going after americans but his unique capability is what?
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>> i think success brings more success and he's a charismatic guy and has the street creds of having lived in the united states, of having at least attempted some missions that got relatively far along compared to others. and in the environment, success breeds more success. you start to attract like-minded thinkers, you start to attract money to your cause and the more successful he is, the more successful he will be. >> and somalia and the connection between somalia and yemen, it almost seems as if al qaeda on the arabian peninsula arplanning operations and going to somalia for troops? >> i think more training is taking place in somalia than yemen and there are recruits being trained in somalia who we know are moving into yemen soon after. so there's an invisible bridge
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between the two. >> and theecent arrest, can you talk about that? at this point, i'm happy -- lesley stahl, could you try -- i'd like to open it up to questions. and can everybody except lesley stahl who needs no introduction introduce themselves before they ask a question, and i will call on you. >> you had talked about the dozen missions. i don't think many of us realize how many missions your forces, the special forces are performing so often. you go and talk about how the lessons learn 3d1 years ago, that had been incorporated a long time ago, do you, on these missions, are they planned the same way the osama bin laden one was with backup
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helicopters, with that much care in each case? can you give us a little more on all these dozens of missions every week? >> they're all planned differently and a force is selected according to the mission needs. but in almost every case, there is a quick reaction force on call to render assistance should things go bad. there is medical capability on call t render medical sistance should things go bad. and there are all the follow-on plans, what you do with the people you capture, etc., etc. so these are now, i would say, i don't mean to overstate this, but they're conducted from a template that is quite well rehearsed and deviate from the template for all these missions based on the priority of the target, where it is, what it takes to get there, what they expect to see there when they arrive. but it happens multiple times a night. >> frequent raids into pakistan?
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[laughter] >> i'm clear about that. there areot frequent raids into pakistan. >> thank you for your service. i had the great honor to serve my country as american ambassador to denmark and part of that preparation was spending a d in fort bragg with the scial forces. amazing. and what occurred to me was that these were very highly educated, married, dedicated, codn't wait to see action. can you give us a little more background of who these guys are and how they -- what do you do that gets them so committed and so wonderful and dedicated to what they do? >> i think they come to us that way. we just build on it. anybody who is worried about the future of america based on the youth they see, they're not
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seeing the same youth i'm seeing. our recruiting is as high as it's ever been and they're staying with us because they're generally doing what they came in to do. they're innovative and tenacious. i think we can describe them all as problem-solvers. and they find that they are in an environment that suits them well once they cross the bed of hot coals it tak to get into our specialized units. we are about 30% college graduates in our enlisted community. that's extraordinary in our force. we average about 30 years old in our special forces teams and seal platoons compared to an infantry platoon that averages about 20 years old. we're about 70% married as compared to the rest of the force that's about 30% married. and so these are people who are
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-- and the data will show you, they're more intelligent, they're more determined, they have volunteered more times, passed through more filters to do what it is they're doing and then they just find it suits them. our retention rates for -- if you take across our force all the people who could choose to get out or stay in, 82% are choosing to stay in. that's an extraordinarily high retention rate. [applause] >> so army, navy, air force, marine corps, we were born 3/4 joint but got our marine corps team about five years ago so now we're 4/4 joint and can be proud of what they're all doing. i'm not proud ofveryone every day, but at the end of every month i look back and it's a force to be incredibly proud of. when people ask me what my job
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is like, i say, well, ok, i'm kind of saying this for the first time, but it's kind of like president car subsidize, -- president karzai, there's a lot of warlord management in my job, i have a army commander, a navy commander, an air force commander, a joint commander, they all have their own tribes and subtribes. and at the end of the day -- it's a pie and at the end of the day it tastes pretty good but 's tgh to put it together sometimes. ere are healthy rivalries and there's great cooperation -- it all kind of works because the like-minded pele. and the other guy would compare my job to sort of george steinbrenner 10 years ago. if you are able to hire the right people and get them good equipment and good tining, you're going to win a lot of games, and that's a special operations community. >> thank you. >> can you just say briefly, you did say there's some
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fraying. are you seeing in the community after 10 years, are you seeing that in divorce, in -- i mean, while retention has been fantastic, has that been reduced at all, suicides, how is that manifesting itself? >> it's up in all of those. it's less up in those than the rest of the force, but we're seeing increases in those within our force. and the response lags the data, the data lags the reality, and the data doesn't collect what it is that's really important to us in every case. so we sent out sensing teams to all of our units, and peers being asked about their peers, subordinates being asked about their bosses, wives being asked about their husbands, kids being asked about their dads to really figure out what this is because we see a lot of separations short of divorce and you don't collect that in the data. people are too busy to get divoed or as a matter of convenience, they're deciding
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not to live together but they're going to have the spouse still use the exchange and the medical. i mean, this is happening across our force. and not in huge numbers. i'm not panicked about it. bui do want to be ahead of this. i want to be proactive, not reactive to it. my sense is that we're 10 years into this, and about right now about 60% of our force has come in since 911. and they were inspired for whatever reason to come in and for whatever additional reason to come serve with us. they knew it was going to be hard. they knew it was going to be meaningful and now they've done it six or seven years and answered most of their own goals that they had when they came in. and keeping them now -- but they see 10 more years of it ahead of them. so this is a very, very importantime i think we're in right now as we reach the 10-year anniversary of this in a career where we hope that everybody will stay 20 years or more. so where we are seeing people
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leave the community, whe we're below 28% -- what brought us down to 82% is exactly there, that it's the nine or 10 years of service. we're seeing our enlisted e-6's starting to leave, we're seeing our officer 0-4's starting to leave and our majors and sergeants first class and it's because now they have the family, they have other goals, and so we've got to nurture this very, very carefully. so again, we've sensed it and now it's what do we do about it now that we've collected this sense? and we're just in that phase right now. >> i suspect it's hard being in special operations or particularly a seal, and coming out afterwards and that adrenaline. do you have sort of the adrenaline junkies you really have to watch? >> i think you do. and -- >> we'll keep our eye on you, by the way. >> no, i think our people are
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risk managers by nature. and we help them manage risk in the operational environment. but an awful lot of them are doing adventure sports, extreme kinds of behaviors on their own time. frankly we don't discourage that at all. we think that living by one's wits is a good conditioning experience. and so we do see that kind of behavior. it hasn't manifested itself in negative ways very often. but we did, for example, have one of our great marines killed doing base jumping in switzerland a couple weeks ago. and if you know what base jumping -- ts is jumping off a cliff to pull a parachute. but we also d i think the guy that took third place in the ultimate fighting championships last week was an army green
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beret. soe do see that kind of behavior, but i don't think it's especially risky. >> ok. over here. just hang on for that microphone. >> my name is kent blackme representing the public transportation system in the area. and my question to you is, when you talk about being in the ground in these countries and finding out who the bad guys are and who is legitimate and not legitimate with this kind of instability in the middle east, how do you go in there and know what's legitimate, how you should help and what groups you should be supporting? >> no, it's a very delicate thing and that's why we really depend on mature people to do this. yosort of have to earn your way to a position where you're one of the first people in. because it's easy to do the wrong things. and so they're careful observers, good note takers, they're good analysts and feel
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their way into this. one of my messages is it you want us to do something next january, don't tell us in december, tell us now. because it takes time to -- you can do a counterterrorist raid overnight, but it takes years to do what it is you're talking about, to really gain the sense of a place. and that's why it's very important for us to be out in the world living by o wits and sensing these places. i will quote one of my foreign counterparts in a time of friction between our nation and his, and he said we should never let the politics of the day get in the way of a good military to military relationship, where we have done that, we've always paid a price, wished we'd ner left, lost our contact with military leaders in that place, didn't know who to call, so then when you t something like an arab spring, some places you can call and talk to the leaders and me places you can't because we just backed away from that country for whatever reason.
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so it's a very delicate, sensitive thing and we just count on good people to do it. >> thank you. i'm dina temple-raston with national public radio. a question i had for you is the kind of operations you're doing, when you say you're doing dozens of operations every day i think that surprises about all of us. are the operations more like in stead of an osama bin laden operation which is quite complex, is it something more like the navahan operation in somalia where basically you know where someone is and you send in a team with a helicopter, you send it and you get out, are those the kind of operations you're doing dozens of times a day? >> we're a broadly dispersed force and are a finishing force. i mean, so often it is relatively rapidly developing information because you're living in a place, somebody in that place tells you who is
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planning to set off an i.e.d. the next day, you run a raid that night and knock on his door and capture him. that's the kind of thing i'm talking about. it happens over and over. >> you're talking about afghanistan, the majority of -- >> i'm talking about afghanistan, yeah. >> the majority of -- >> when i say a dozen a night, when i say 1 -- that night 11 went left, i'm talking all in afghanistan and still will interact. but we're not running missions like that around the world. what we're doing around the rest of the world is training, advising, assisting, in many cases we're providing very meaningful assistance short of combat advising but we meet the people -- we train foreign counterparts, patting them on the back as they go off to conduct their missions and then welcome them back off their missions and help them get ready to go again.
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>> hi, my name is sarah sewell. i was wondering if you could speak a little bit about the role of women in special forces and where you see that role evolving in the future? >> we have female operators within the special operations community. we don't have nearly enough and we're too late bringing them into what it is we have them doing. there are not female seals, there are not female green berets and there are not female rangers are female marine special operators because the combat exclusion policy prevents that but we do have female information specialists, female civil affairs specialists we have created over the last year or so. it's a terrible name i know but we call check cultural support teams and these are teams of two to four women who are attached to a seal team or a green beret o.d.a., operational detachment, sort of in remote places in the
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middle of nowhere conducting female shores, leader meetings in those areas. they are able to connect with half of the population that we weren't able to connect to previously. in the more kinetic side of it where they're not going on the operational mission itself, but they're going on to the target after the target is secure, they're talking to the women, finding cell phones in places where no man would ever find them, that kind of thing that is very helpful to us. and they're volunteering, we're selecting them, training them. not all of them make it through the training. and then we're getting them out of the door. we graduated 56 last week, all of whom will be in afghanistan by the end of august. >> ok, now this isn't classified, do you see a day when women are in the combat role with the seals? possible? like to see that happen? >> no, i would. i certainly think that as soon as policy permits it, we will be ready to go down that road.
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>> and you would go right up there and say yes, sir, they could do this? >> i don't think the idea is to select g.i. jane and put her through seal training. but there are a number of things that a man and woman can do together that two guys can't, there are places they can go and just the way they present themselves. and i think female operators in those roles are very important that will require very special women who are carefully selected and highly trained to do that. i don't think it's as important that they can do a lot of pushups. it's much more important sort of what they're made of and whether or not they have the courage and the intellectual agility to do that. >> thank you, sir. >> yes, sir. switchral, i'm going to lanes a little bit. could you give us an update, if
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there's an update to be given, with regards to piracy on the high seas and do i read less about it because i have you and your teams to thank, or things have settled down a little bit there? >> the big difference -- the reason you're hearing less about it is because countries decided to group together to deal with policy. and there is a maritime task force that's international in nature that's patrolling the area that's had some success including deterrent affect. so i think there is less of that happening. also, the shipping industry itself has learned lessons, they've learned where the safer routes are. they've learned techniques that will discourage pirates from boarding their ships. the pirates themselves now have to go further off the coast and it requires more sophisticated equipment and better training,
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etc., etc. to do that. so i think we're just seeing piracy made harder for the pirates. and in the rare occasion where a ship is really seized underway, held captive at seas and special operations may the be part of the solution but a couple of times it has been. >> yes, sir? >> my name is gary letter. question, the military is today mostly fighting people with bad ideas and so the question is, to what extent does our government misallocate resources in fighting idea with violence rather than fighting ideas with ideas? the military is uniquely positioned to help our government reprioritize if it thought that it should. so i'm curious to get your thoughts on that subject. >> i think mostly bad ideas are ones we don't agree with.
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[laughter] >> and they think the same thing about us. it is a reality that the department of defense has more mass and more money than any other organization in our government. we are more expeditionary than anybody can be. so sometimes i think the military takes on roles that in a perfect world would not be a military solution i think, in many cases it's a battle of ideas, sort of escalates beyond simply an information campaign because it is a military -- it becomes a military operation, so i'm all in favor of other elements of our government becoming more expeditionary and being able to deal with those before it requires a military solution. i think that, also, in general, and back to a previous point, people know more about us than we know about them. we're not very good in the initial bouts of a war of ideas.
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. the >> you talk about how you and the cia what they work together -- worked together. with general petraeus coming into the cia and the cia taking on more operational roles, do you think that the special operations in the defense department and the cia will have to evolve their relationship so what is more of a unified command? [laughter] >> i do not think so. [laughter] things are very different.
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if you look at the authorities on the map -- military, there is a fuzzy area between them. if you are about to get on a subway in london. there is a sign that says "mind the gap." what we have between authorities is a gap. it is special operations that has evolved into filling that role. it is interesting the only recommendation that was not implemented was the special operations command be the lead for paramilitary operations in the united states. we supported that and others did not. the cia retains that role. there is capability we can contribute. at times, we do that. i think the relationship is in a good place now.
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i think the habits we developed and -- i think they are good ones. i do not see why that would not continue through the change of leadership. general petraeus is not the first former military guy to run the cia. panetta is not the first to run the department of defense. the fact they are doing it at the same time is interesting but this is a great working relationship. >> thank you so much. [applause] hang on just one second. i want to ask you one last time, just for your mom, when it was like sitting there watching when you figured you had him. when geronimo was gone. what went through your mind as
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you're closing your career? this great success you had. we will send her the transcript right away. she is probably streaming the video. >> for the record, my mother was told, and i still not have -- have not talked about that. but i have to tell a story about who asked me why i really liked mexican food. i said, where did you hear i like mexican food? they said, we saw you were a talk on man. -- taco man. if you read tacoman, you get taco man.
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enough about that. when you -- at the moment we knew bin laden was dead, my thought was, what's the next item on the checklist? it is. obviously you are pleased but i think that anybody in this business is conditioned -- the very next thing can go wrong. are we going to get anybody hurt? what equipment are we leaving behind? that was done and we are on to the next thing. [applause]
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>> as her mother said, everybody should appreciate somebody who spends their entire career making the rest of us safe. >> thank you very much. enjoy. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> earlier, president obama spoke about the helicopter crashed over the weekend in afghanistan that killed 38 people including members of the navy seals team. the main focus was the downgrade of the credit rating and the health of the economy. he spoke in the white house state dining room for about 10
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minutes. >>good afternoon, everybody. on friday, we learned that the united states received a downgrade by one of the credit rating agencies -- not so much because they doubt our ability to pay our debt if we make good decisions, but because after witnessing a month of wrangling over raising the debt ceiling, they doubted our political system's ability to act. the markets, on the other hand, continue to believe our credit status is aaa. in fact, warren buffett, who knows a thing or two about good investments, said, "if there were a quadruple-a rating, i'd give the united states that." i, and most of the world's investors, agree. that doesn't mean we don't have a problem. the fact is, we didn't need a rating agency to tell us that we need a balanced, long-term approach to deficit reduction. that was true last week. that was true last year. that was true the day i took
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office. and we didn't need a rating agency to tell us that the gridlock in washington over the last several months has not been constructive, to say the least. we knew from the outset that a prolonged debate over the debt ceiling -- a debate where the threat of default was used as a bargaining chip -- could do enormous damage to our economy and the world's. that threat, coming after a string of economic disruptions in europe, japan and the middle east, has now roiled the markets and dampened consumer confidence and slowed the pace of recovery. so all of this is a legitimate source of concern. but here's the good news -- our problems are eminently solvable. and we know what we have to do to solve them. with respect to debt, our problem is not confidence in our credit -- the markets continue to reaffirm our credit
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as among the world's safest. our challenge is the need to tackle our deficits over the long term. last week, we reached an agreement that will make historic cuts to defense and domestic spending. but there's not much further we can cut in either of those categories. what we need to do now is combine those spending cuts with two additional steps -- tax reform that will ask those who can afford it to pay their fair share and modest adjustments to health care programs like medicare. making these reforms doesn't require any radical steps. what it does require is common sense and compromise. there are plenty of good ideas about how to achieve long-term deficit reduction that doesn't hamper economic growth right now. republicans and democrats on the bipartisan fiscal
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commission that i set up put forth good proposals. republicans and democrats in the senate's gang of six came up with some good proposals. john boehner and i came up with some good proposals when we came close to agreeing on a grand bargain. so it's not a lack of plans or policies that's the problem here. it's a lack of political will in washington. it's the insistence on drawing lines in the sand, a refusal to put what's best for the country ahead of self-interest or party or ideology. and that's what we need to change. i realize that after what we just went through, there's some skepticism that republicans and democrats on the so-called super committee, this joint committee that's been set up, will be able to reach a compromise, but my hope is that friday's news will give us a renewed sense of urgency. i intend to present my own
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recommendations over the coming weeks on how we should proceed. and that committee will have this administration's full cooperation. and i assure you, we will stay on it until we get the job done. of course, as worrisome as the issues of debt and deficits may be, the most immediate concern of most americans, and of concern to the marketplace as well, is the issue of jobs and the slow pace of recovery coming out of the worst recession in our lifetimes. and the good news here is that by coming together to deal with the long-term debt challenge, we would have more room to implement key proposals that can get the economy to grow faster. specifically, we should extend the payroll tax cut as soon as possible, so that workers have more money in their paychecks next year and businesses have
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more customers next year. we should continue to make sure that if you're one of the millions of americans who's out there looking for a job, you can get the unemployment insurance that your tax dollars contributed to. that will also put money in people's pockets and more customers in stores. in fact, if congress fails to extend the payroll tax cut and the unemployment insurance benefits that i've called for, it could mean 1 million fewer jobs and half a percent less growth. this is something we can do immediately, something we can do as soon as congress gets back. we should also help companies that want to repair our roads and bridges and airports, so that thousands of construction workers who've been without a job for the last few years can get a paycheck again. that will also help to spur economic growth. these aren't democratic proposals. these aren't big government
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proposals. these are all ideas that traditionally republicans have agreed to, have agreed to countless times in the past. there's no reason we shouldn't act on them now. none. i know we're going through a tough time right now. we've been going through a tough time for the last two and a half years. and i know a lot of people are worried about the future. but here's what i also know -- there will always be economic factors that we can't control -- earthquakes, spikes in oil prices, slowdowns in other parts of the world. but how we respond to those tests -- that's entirely up to us. markets will rise and fall, but this is the united states of america. no matter what some agency may say, we've always been and always will be a aaa country. for all of the challenges we
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face, we continue to have the best universities, some of the most productive workers, the most innovative companies, the most adventurous entrepreneurs on earth. what sets us apart is that we've always not just had the capacity, but also the will to act -- the determination to shape our future, the willingness in our democracy to work out our differences in a sensible way and to move forward, not just for this generation but for the next generation. and we're going to need to summon that spirit today. the american people have been through so much over the last few years, dealing with the worst recession, the biggest financial crisis since the 1930s, and they've done it with grace. and they're working so hard to raise their families, and all they ask is that we work just as hard, here in this town, to make their lives a little easier.
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that's not too much to ask. and ultimately, the reason i am so hopeful about our future -- the reason i have faith in these united states of america -- is because of the american people. it's because of their perseverance, and their courage, and their willingness to shoulder the burdens we face - together, as one nation. one last thing. there is no one who embodies the qualities i mentioned more than the men and women of the united states armed forces. and this weekend, we lost 30 of them when their helicopter crashed during a mission in afghanistan. and their loss is a stark reminder of the risks that our men and women in uniform take every single day on behalf of their county. day after day, night after night, they carry out missions like this in the face of enemy fire and grave danger.
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and in this mission -- as in so many others -- they were also joined by afghan troops, seven of whom lost their lives as well. so i've spoken to our generals in the field, as well as president karzai. and i know that our troops will continue the hard work of transitioning to a stronger afghan government and ensuring that afghanistan is not a safe haven for terrorists. we will press on. and we will succeed. but now is also a time to reflect on those we lost, and the sacrifices of all who serve, as well as their families. these men and women put their lives on the line for the values that bind us together as a nation. they come from different places, and their backgrounds and beliefs reflect the rich diversity of america. but no matter what differences they might have as individuals, they serve this nation as a team.
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they meet their responsibilities together. and some of them -- like the 30 americans who were lost this weekend -- give their lives for their country. our responsibility is to ensure that their legacy is an america that reflects their courage, their commitment, and their sense of common purpose. thank you very much. >> the president obama travels to springfield, va. tomorrow. he will is it a company where he will talk about fuel efficiency standards for trucks
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and heavy-duty vehicles. coverage gets underway at 10:00 a.m. eastern. later, education secretary discusses some of the challenges public schools face including alcohol and drug use and bling. his remarks at the office of safe and drug-free schools conference are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. eastern. coming up next, a -- latino officials talk about elections. then a discussion on a media coverage in the courts. later, the second amendment foundation holds a conference about allowing guns on college campuses. >> seen as a testing ground for presidential hopefuls, in inates are tgathering iowa. we will interview the candidates and take your phone calls.
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saturday we will go to the iowa straw poll where three of the past five winters have won the iowa caucus. two have won the presidency. this week on the c-span. >> every weekend, it is american history tv on c-span 3. telling the american story. watch interviews about the events on oral histories. revisit key figures, battles, and the events during the anniversary of the civil war. digits -- visit college classrooms across the country. co behind the scenes on a "american artifacts." look at the policy in legacies of past american presidents. get our complete schedule at c- span.org.
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>> now a panel of latino elected officials voting trends, the census, redistricting, and the 2012 election. the national association of latino elected and appointed officials hosted this discussion in san antonio, texas, at its annual meeting in june. it is about an hour and 20 minutes. as we came together, we clearly uppeds what the challenges were. he >> the national hispanic media and others met to begin planning the campaign resolved in the 2010 census count. as we came together, we clearly understood what the challenges were.
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everybody in this room knows them personally. the issues of this year and status. and a misunderstandingand also, what the census means. we also understand what comes with a complete count. the federal resources needed to improve our schools, our transportation, our infrastructure, and more importantly, the designation of new political boundaries. what resulted out of those meetings was the most comprehensive and arguably the most effective campaign of its type. the results of these efforts were impressive. latino participation rates in the census overall were historically high, and the outcomes, both in terms of the growth rates and the character riftics of our population were harolded by virtually every media outlet in america. the "wall street journal's" front page calculated the --
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captured the sentiment with the headline with "latino's fuel growth." if any of you saw that front page, there was a map. over the map, the headlines, "los united states." as we all know, it wasn't just a traditional urban center like lox, houston, and new york. it was all across america and into communities like nashville and indianapolis. latinos are changing the face of america. now we turn to the topic of this morning. what do the ships mean? -- shifts mean? how does this community now turn those numbers into clout. this morning we will hear from leaders in the field. a nationally recognized expert in redistricting and the census. arturo is going to discuss the impact of those numbers, the latino vote for 2008 and 2010,
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and the implications as we set forth on the election cycle for 2012. and i think we'll hear for the very first time projections for 2012 latino turnout. we also have the director for litigation for the mexican legal defense and education fund. her litigation has included successful state-wide redistricting cases in both texas and arizona. she will talk about best efforts in the southwest, opportunities to advance latino political process, the barriers, and the challenges. she will be followed by juan who was recently elected president and general council, and is a well known civil rights attorney and has extensive experience in employment discrimination and language
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rights. he is familiar with redistricting especially as it relates to the eastern coast states and florida. i will wrap up the panel by asking a few questions that extend beyond redistricting and politics into areas we all care about, immigration and political empowerment. so we hope to spark a lot of debate and discussion this morning. and we're going to start off by hearing from arturo who will talk about the results of the 2008, 2010 electrics and the implications for 2012. >> thank you, monica. once again, good morning, everybody. before we get into our projection for 2012, what i would like to do is remind us a little bit about the impact of latino voters and the impact we had in the 2008 and the 2010 electioned.
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-- elections. let's not forget, the decisive impact we had in these past two elections. i want to take you back, if we can get our power point up. take you back to 2008. remind us that not only did latinos have an impact in november of that year, but there was a decisive role that latinos played in both the republican and democratic primaries. with regard to the republican primary race between mit romney -- mitt romney and john mccain who were the ones leading as they went into the florida primary, essentially had john mccain not carried the state of florida, he probably would have dropped out of the race. because john mccain carried florida with more than 50% of the hispanic vote, he won that state and they put him on the trajectory to win the nation. had no hispanic voted in 2008 in florida, mit romney would have edged out john mccain. in the democratic contest
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between senator obama and clinton, we realize that clinton had won. but on super tuesday, senator clinton was able to get the lion's share of the vote by carrying states like california making her competitive throughout those primary reasons. -- seaoson. senator clinton was able to stay in the race until the very end on the strength of her hispanic support and democratic primaries. so we were decisive in both defining the outcome of the republican primary race and influencing the contest on the democratic race. and of course, on november 4, 2008, 2.7 million latinos were heard at the polls and were able to be decisive in a number of states turning the election for senator obama in that contest.
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then, just last year, we saw again an historic impact of latino voters and candidates both had on the racism we had -- race. we had projected last year that 6.5 million latinos would volt in that election. now the numbers have come out, and 6.6 million latinos participated in that race. not bad for being off by just by 100,000 and hitting it almost on the mark for our projects last year. [applause] so latino voters had a decisive impact. many attribute many being able to hold onto the vote in states like where michael bennett was able to be appointed to the seat in colorado. harry reid being able to maintain his seat in nevada, and then california being able to carry all of the state-wide
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races for the democrats. however, on the republican side we truly saw an historic development with the election of marco rubio to the united states senate. we saw the first latino governor elected in brian sandoval and the first latino -- latina, first woman governor, of the state of misdemeanor. -- state of new mexico. and then more than doubling numbers from three to seven with the election of the first latino to represent the states of washington, and idaho and the u.s. congress and conseco who will be with us saturday and bill flores in the state of texas. so decisive impact in 2008 and
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decisive impact in 2010 for voters. let's talk a little about last year's 2010 races. -- consensus. the latino population increased by 43%. in fact, latinos accounted for more than half of the total u.s. population growth. think about it this way. i know i have said this before, but i think it helps remind us of the growth of our community and how much of an impact we're having on the democrats of this country. the united states grows by a person every 15 seconds. every 30 seconds that person added to this country is a latino or latina. think about it, we have been sitting in this room now for about 20 minutes. do the math. that's how much our community continues to grow and how much
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we continue to contribute to this country. we were also able to prevent net decline. some states would have lost net population had it not been for the increase of latinos. the story of the 2010 census is two-fold. the first headline is the rise of the latino child where we saw increases in states like south carolina, north carolina, georgia, and certainly here in texas. texas saw the largest increase. 4.3 million added to the state. latinos accounted for 55% of texas' total increase -- 65% of texas' total increase. the second notable statistic is that almost one in four youth in the united states was a latino.
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almost one in four young people in the country was a latino. more than half of the youth in the states of california and new mexico are latino. about 40% of all the young people in arizona and nevada are latino. and here in the state of texas, 48% of every single texan under the age of 18 is a latino. we are not a minority population. we are a future population. [applause] the immediate impact is a shift from the northeast to the midwest to the south and to the west. it is i think fairly obvious that the states of nevada, utah, arizona, fex text, the carolinas and -- texas and the carolinas have increased by virtue of the increase in their
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hispanic population. we will hear by the experts in voting rights law to find out how we are converting those numbers to political reputation. we know we can make a difference in a national election. we know we can make a difference in mid-term congressional electrics. -- elections. we know our numbers have increased from 2000 to 2010. we know we are now 1-6 americans, 1-4 young people, and we are poised now to continue that trend in 2012. so based on what's happened in the past, this is a projection for voter turnout next year. nationally we project 12.2
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million latinos will go to the polls next november. that's a 25% increase in voters from 2008. we will become 8.7% of the national share of all voters. we know there is a difference from state-to-state. in california almost 4 million latinos will vote. more than 1.6 million in florida. seeing an exponential increase in latino votes in those two states. in states like illinois, new jersey, new mexico, new york, and texas our number of voters will also continue to increase. we project nearly two million people will go to the polls. that's the good news.
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we anticipate that the road to the white house in 2012, once again, will go through the latino community. that both political parties and the candidates that present themselves to the canned dassy -- for the presidency won't necessarily have to have a latino strategy to capture this share of the vote nationally. i also want to present some scope -- sobering statistics. this line shows the steady increase from presidential election to presidential election. it shows how in 2008 9.7 million hispanics turned out to vote and our projection of 22 million in 2012. this is how many we track to be registered to vote in next year's elections. but pay attention to this next number.
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this is the number of eligible latinos who can vote. it is growing faster and greater than the number of latinos that do vote. every year we make incremental increases, but we need to do more to turn out the people who are lible to vote. by 20122.4 million more latinos will enter the potential electorate. largely based on the power of latino youths who are turning 18 years of age every single year between 2008 and 2012. we will see nearly 2.5 million more latinos become eligible to vote. these are people we need to engage. the fact that we're not not closing that gap between the plue line is our chen challenge. there are a number of things we need to do to make sure we make a difference here in these
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projecks. -- projections. i think, number one, we need to change the way we encourage people to go out and vote. we starve the infrastructure every off-year election. organizations are not able to invest the infrastructure at capacity to be able to prepare for the electrics in 1220. then come election time, the money goes out close to election time to try to mobilize latino voters. we need to change that. we need to convince the funding network, whether it is the individual donors or foundations that athe funding of civic engagement strategies needs to be consistent and persistent throughout every single year. we cannot starve the civic engagement system every other year and then throw money at the system every other year and expect it to be effective and be able to turn out the vote. number two, i think we need to
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be much more direct with latino voters. we need to be straight with them and tell them thatit is not just about this one campaign or this one election or this one initiative. that if you just vote this one time, your life will change. because that's not going to happen. nothing changes with just one election. we know that. it changes with the consistent and sustained participation of the people in the political process. that's the message we need to start contributing to our -- start communicating to our people. that we need to develop a culture of participation where voting every year is something we do. it is not something we wait for every three years or every two years. we need to continue to reach out. those millions of latinos entering the electorate, the millions of latinos that stay
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home and don't vote in the elections, yet 9.7 latinos voted in 2008 we project 20 million will vote in 2012, but another 12 million will stay home. that 12 million we need to find out who they are, and we need to get into their heads find out what messages they listen to, who they find, -- who they find credible, and what persuades them to vote in the election. that requires investment and to c engagement strategy iies that convinces an engaged population to vote. unless we are able to do that, unless we are able to make more than incremental increases from election cycle to election cycle, we truly will not be able to hold accountable our government to our community's interests.
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with that, i would like to invite nina to share how we, in terms of how we are turning these numbers into clout. thank you. [applause] i think is latino justice who is next. i see his power. is up. -- power point is up. >> i do not have a power point. thank you for having me today. the theme thus far is that there is
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substantial growth in the latino community but the government body is not rushing to create latino districts. anyone who has done redistricting before is sitting here not particularly surprised. latinos are growing in states that have had a substantial latino populations like california, illinois, florida, new york, but latinos are also growing in new areas. areas where one doesn't necessarily expect to see signs of a latino population. for example, kansas, north carolina. should i found the other day there are more latinos in north carolina than there are in nevada. i find that surprising. it is not what you would usually expect. as a result of demographic shifts, the seats are shifting toward the west and toward the
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south, out of the northeast, and what is traditionally referred to as roosevelt states. so of course the big winner for everybody here, who was a fellow texan was the state of texas with a seat of four congressional seats. california had no congressional seats. i believe that is largely due to congressional growth. arizona picks up a seat. florida picks up two seats. illinois loses a seat but i think could have possibly lost more without minority growth. our political ability to make it possible to vote for our elected candidates, we still face obstacles that we have faced in the past. boundaries are drawn to facture
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-- fracture our boundaries. including racially polarized voting, which is the tendency of the latino to vote for one candidate, and the tendency of nonlatinos to vote for a different candidate in the same election. still a continuing legacy of a history of discrimination. those of us who are texans know that even up into the 1907's there were systemic and official barriers to voting and turnout. these effects later in latino -- the lingering in latino families. we have opposition to creating latino-majority districts. and one of the biggest hurdles we face is incumbency protection. it doesn't matter if the line drawers are democrat or republican, if drawing a latino
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majority district is going to impin g on an income went bent -- incumbent member of whatever body we're redistricting, we're going to get pushed back. not limited to that person, but also sometimes to the political party as well. two stathes states we're twoke focusing on now in redistricting are california and texas. i will give you a quick snapshot how it is going. i will tell you it is not going well. latinos are 38% of the population right now. latinos comprise 90% of the growth in california since 2000. nevertheless, the redistricting commission that is currently drawing the assembly, senate, and congressional lines for california has just rolled out its first draft maps. in the assembly, there are currently 13 opportunity districts. the commission has created 13 opportunity districts. that's no net gain.
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despite maps we show them that she you can increase by five in the assembly. it gets worse for the senate and congress. right now we have seven latino opportunity districts. the commission has ruled out maps showing five, which is a net reduction of two, despite the fact we show them they can draw 10. in congress we have eight opportunity districts. the commission rolled out a plan with six or seven. one of them it is difficult to tell whose opportunity district it is. we're looking at losing one to two congressional seats despite a map you show them that you can draw 11. in texas we have legislative redistricting. that process is winding up now. the legislation passed plans for house, senate, and congress and the governor is in the process of finding them. -- signing them. also in terks latinos are 38%
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of the population, comprise 65% of the growth. in a texas house p. the amount passed by the legislature reduces by one the number of latino opportunity districts that we kruntly have. -- currently have. the map creates no gains in the senate and no gains in the congress. your't hear you clinking silverware anymore. we are focused on these programs. our program is nationwide. we have teams out of the west, the southwest, the midwest, and southeast. we do outreach and education. if anybody here would like to meet to have a community meeting about redistricting, we are all about it. we will get out wherever you are and we will bring our materials and we will do a community-based education where ever we are called to do it. we assist local communities in mapping and in offering
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testimony we do this not just for the statehouse but for school boards, county commissions, county supervisors, whatever bodies are getting redistricted, because those redistricting plans have a huge effect on people at the local level. finally, if things are not going particularly well, we do have the ability to litigate. we're in the midst of redistricting right now. so i urge you all, if you are not already involved to become more involved, because this process will end within the next year, and we will be stuck with the results for the next 10 years. as we transition into the phase of drawing maps, we are looking at the litigation phase. they have already filed a challenge in text and in federal court we have our first hearing next friday. we will be filing challenges in other places if we need to. we urge you to be individual lent.
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to be a-- to be vigilant. be aware of what is going on in redistricting. call us if you want us to do a community meeting, and call us if you want to bring a lawsuit. thank you. [applause] >> buenas dias. >> good morning everybody. i just started a job two months ago, the president and general council, puerto rican legal defense and education fund. the good news is, i know the organization very well. i started there 30 years ago when i started my career as an attorney in 1981. the very good news regarding the state topic for you, as we discuss these issues, is that i'm very happen to say that my
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the outset that the debate where

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