tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 3, 2012 8:00pm-1:00am EDT
you, thank you so much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> coming up next, a commission focusing on human rights in china. then presidential candidate mitt romney campaigns with michele bachmann and bob mcdonnell. the discussion about the growing number of independents in the united states. crux of this weekend on "after words," seth jones is
interviewed by kimberly kosher saturday night at 10:00 eastern. also your questions and comments for tom brokaw in depth. >> the executive commission on china looks at his story and hears testimony from human rights groups on his legal advocacy work in china and the human abuse in the country. this is about two hours. >> the commission will come to order. good afternoon.
the escape of chinese advocate was nothing short of a miraculously -- it has taken the world, not to mention chinese officials by complete surprise. it was a great relief that i and millions around the world learned his escape, reaching safety at the american embassy at the -- in beijing it. having been handed over to chinese officials by american diplomat said today, chen, his wife, and the rest of his family and friends appear to be in significant danger. notwithstanding potentially empty safety assurances from the hasese side, checn expressed desire to gain asylum
for himself and his family. questions arise whether or not he was pressured to leave the u.s. compound. a. see n n interview says "his comments portrayed the united states as manipulating him, cutting him off from outside manipulation, and encouraging him to leave rather than seeking asylum." he said he fell to the embassy officials had lied to him. they kept lobbying me to lead and it promised to have people stay with me in the hospital. dissected in essence i checked into the hospital room, -- this afternoon as soon as i checked into the hospital room, they were all gone. i do nothing the u.s. protected human rights in this case. when asked why he left the embassy, he seems to blame the
embassy officials. at the time i did not have a lot of reformation. i was not allowed to call my friends from inside the embassy. i could not keep up with the news. i did not know a lot of things that were happening. checn agreed that if you stay in china, is there no feature? he also said he tried calling two u.s. embassy officials numerous times but that nobody had answered. "i told the embassy i would like to talk to chris smith, but they somehow never arranged it. i feel a little puzzled. for the record, i placed a call after being informed that he wanted to speak with me. i waited all night until 4:00 for a callback from the high u.s. official i was told could a range that in the call never
came. there are many questions and even more concerns. how will the agreement to be enforced? what happens if chen or any member of his family suffers retaliation? where is his nephew? what happens now if the courageous young woman who drove chen to safety? there are many questions. and next week i hope to convene another meeting to take testimony from the obama administration witnesses and to get some answers. our purpose today is to examine his case and it discern the likelihood his family and chen and supporters of any opportunity at safety going forward or whether asylum and -- whether asylum becomes an option. the story of chen guangcheng is
extraordinary from the beginning. he pushed past profound barriers to school himself in chinese law and became an advocate for rights of the vulnerable. years later when local villagers told him of their stories of the forced abortions and forced sterilizations, he and his wife documented these stories. they later built a brief for a class-action lawsuit for individuals involved. they gained international news media attention in 2005 and their challenge to the draconian control policies spurred harsh and extended retaliation including torture and beatings. the commission and other committees of congress have examined china's population control policies many times. i have heard victims give
testimony about that brutal policy. she said, by day i was a monster. by night a wife and mother. she told hope the full weight of the dictatorship was behind her efforts to ensure children were not born. sometimes china paints a false picture for gullible foreigners. that it is somehow being eased or mitigated. they faced huge retaliation for speaking out against it. the english phrase they use is planet -- family planning but it is not the family planning but the states.
when an out of planned birth takes place they impose fines on the couple. all unwed couples are forced to abort. this is the one that touches virtually every chinese, especially women and children. we now know there are missing girls by the tens of millions. the lost daughters of the china. he has refused to back down. he and his family have paid a dear price. they have been repeatedly harassed and denied their basic freedoms for seven years. after serving more than four years in prison on trumped up charges, he was released in 2010. only to be locked up with their family in their home under 24 hours surveillance with all forms of communication with the outside world severed.
on more than one occasion he and his wife were beaten and denied medical treatment for injuries. their 6-year-old daughter was prevented from attending school. this was in violation of the child's right for an education and more payback for her parents' actions. in the past few months, this little girl has been permitted to attend a school but only with three guards with her everywhere she goes. all of this and it more,chen and his family have endured this as so-called free citizens under chinese law. it is no wonder when he was risking his life to escape this commission last week, he saw our help, the united states government. he urged the chinese government to address them fully and immediately. in a background briefing, a u.s.
official in beijing explained chan expressed his wish to stay in china. they ensured the lives of normal citizens. it is unclear whether the path to asylum was discussed seriously or done so in a hurry or whether he was pressured in any way and at any time in the process to remain in china. he is now away from the embassy and a local hospital asking for the right to leave. he said, i think we like the rest of the place outside of china. help my family and i leave safely, he told the associated press. the eyes of the world are watching to see his wishes are honored by the chinese government. i and everyone on our commission and in congress are concerned for the safety, where about some of his supporters.
we are concerned about the other members of his family. that is why we are convening this important hearing today. it is fitting that he reportedly requested to speak with congressman smith when he was at the u.s. embassy. one of the many questions surrounding his case, what the phone call was ever facilitated, as a new cycle unfolded yesterday, what began as a diplomatic triumph involved in to -- evolves into a fiasco.
now the state of this man and his family hangs in the balance. it appears the most generous read of the administration's handle in this case was it was not even an accepting assurances, they have a history of brutally oppressing their own people. consider some of the following. in the last year alone more than 30 tibetans monks and nuns, they set themselves of flame in desperation at the abuses of their people. every one of the underground catholic bishops is either in jail or under house arrest or under the strict surveillance are in house -- hiding. they are routinely imprisoned and harassed. lawyers that defend them are often given the same fate. when i travel to china with congress and smith in 2008 before the beijing olympics, every single one of the lawyers
we would have if -- dinner with and what i were detained or warned not to attend. the one person who made it was placed under house arrest. china spends more on public security than in -- and an attempt to control its population than on defense. china is an authoritarian state with a government continues to muzzle freedom of speech and rein in civil society. the chinese government went so far this february to deny a visa to the u.s. ambassador for international freedom. the very time the bias president of china was meeting with the president of the united states. the ambassador for human rights and religious freedom could not even get a visa to go to china. of course, in china the barbaric
practice of forced abortions that chen is shining a bright line on. it is simple -- systematic of abuses committed by the chinese government against their own people. the washington post reported that china continues its crackdown on people who are believed to have helped chen. his hero was them have been matched only that vibrated the visit was to reject several have subsequently been placed under house arrest. in light of the realities in the newly emerging accounts of how the wife was treated in the days following the escape, chinese officials detained her, threatened to be her to death.
is hard to comprehend why the administration would accept at face value assurances he would be safe upon accepting u.s. protection. you wonder if there were other forces at work. prior to the arrivals of the secretary's clinton and a diner who were heading to beijing this week for high-level economic and foreign policies talk. was there a hint of coalition? forced coercion? what were the state department and white house deliberations? when the dust settles i intend to request to review all traffic that surrounded these negotiations. the administration has an obligation to release the details of the deal struck with the chinese government, especially given out quickly it appears to have been unraveled. it has been reported that the
u.s. government officials would stay with him at the hospital. according to one news account, he said, many americans will admit i checked into the hospital and doctors examined me. when i brought to the hospital room, they all left. was he deceived? was that part of the arrangement? why did he find himself alone the isolated and fearful hours after he left u.s. protection. there are more questions than answers at this juncture. i hope today's witnesses will shed some light on the matter, especially his friend and a person connected with some of the most courageous advocates. even though there is not much we do not know, this much is certain. the obama administration has a moral -- a high moral obligation to protect chen and his family.
to do anything less would be scandalous. ronald reagan famously said the u.s. constitution is a continent that we have made not only with ourselves but all of mankind. some in washington may forget it transcends history. freedom people -- freedom loving people the world over know it is true. american missed an opportunity. in america missed an opportunity and tenon them. will this administration fail to see the historic moment? the world is watching, both of dictators and dissonance. the administration must be bold. the minister is and must make
sure his safety and that of his family. if news reports are to be believed, the administration must grant him and his family asylum and refuse to apologize despite a chinese government's demands. throughout history of america's embassies have been silence of freedom. recall the siberian seven seeking religious freedom and the right to immigrate lived in the u.s. embassy for five years in 1978. nobody in the carter administration or reagan administration said they had to leave. nobody said go out and be on your on. they allow them to stay five years. he took refuge at a u.s. embassy for 15 years. chen found safety in the embassy
and now that guarantee is jeopardized. i am confident there will come a day when the communist party's brutal reign will end and the chinese people will experience a new birth of people. their oppressors and the one party structure will be on the trash heap of history, the same way president reagan said to tear down the wall and the evil empire would fall, the same thing will happen to the chinese government. until that day america should always stand with the chens oif the world. >> thank you very much. i would like to introduce our distinguished -- we have six outstanding human rights advocates who are testifying today. i will begin with the pastor, who is a leader in the 1989
student democracy movement and later became a pastor with his wife. authorities arrested them for their work. after their release they escaped to the united states in 2002. china it monitors reports of religious freedom in china. the pastor is for coli interviewed by media outlets around the world and has testified that u.s. congressional hearings. i know that when chairman wolf and i was in china on one of our major trips, we contacted fu who helped us a range to meet with house -- church leaders. we are heading there to have a bad guy that said "human- rights." within an hour, our embassy was contacted to set, he will be
deported immediately if that happens. here is a man who is being watched and yet speaks out and has incredible context and said of china. richardson is a chinese human rights director. a graduate of the university of virginia. dr. richardson is the author of numerous articles on political reform. she has testified for the european parliament and the u.s. senate and the house. she has provided commentary to the bbc, foreign policy national public radio, the new york times, wall street journal, the washington post. dr. richardson is the author of china, cambodia, and five principals of coexistence. an in-depth examination of the foreign-policy since 1954's
geneva conference. we will then it here from the director for international advocacy. he has testified before our subcommittee on human rights. he has served as a human rights monitor and any countries as well as bosnia, afghanistan, sudan, and south africa. he has served as ships and the camps. he holds an advanced degree in law. he was himself a cut lip -- political prisoner for five years and the tree lot of for his peaceful activities. he started his legal studies in prison and became an attorney and devoted his entire practice to defending political prisoners which is what he does now with
amnesty. we will then hear from a human rights advocate to for a furniture business who recently fled to the u.s. to escape constant monitoring and harassment from chinese authorities following her ongoing advocacy on behalf of chen. wang attempted to visit him on several occasions and participated and advocacy activities to free chen. authorities detained her and her husband for two weeks in december 2011 as they were preparing to travel to participate in an activity to free chen. we will then hear from a blogger
about china. her writings explore aspects of china's past and present with heavy emphasis on human rights and the rule of law including multiple pieces on chen. her posts have been quoted in length. she had from contact with at least one member of his extended family after chen's the state and has been reporting on the family's situation. we will then hear from michael horowitz. he served as general counsel for the zero and be under the reagan administration. he has practiced private law as a partner at the national law firms. he has written on international issues and human rights topics.
he holds a b.a. from city college in new york. i will also note parenthetically that michael has been the genius behind many human rights initiatives that have found their way into law in the united states. the north corinne human rights act, and other initiatives. we will then hear from reggie littlejohn. she is an expert on china's one child policy. she has testified before the european and british parliaments in the u.s. congress. she has been interviewed on dozens of tv and radio programs and has spoken at harvard,
stanford, george washington university, and the heritage foundation. she is a graduate of yale law school, she has represented chinese refugees and their asylum cases in the united states. i would like to ask pastor fu if he would proceed. >> thank you. i want to maybe ask you to submit my written version. >> without objection your full statement and any items you would like to affixed to it will be part of the record. >> thank you.
i am familiar with the details of chen's escapes and was in contact with a team of people who helped him flee to beijing. i learned chen left his house on may 23. after he left the u.s. embassy i stayed in close contact with both the relevant u.s. government officials and people who are -- who have been in telephone conversation with him. i have amassed a great deal of first hand information. and the developments that led to the current situation, which is rather shocking, regreting, heartbreaking, and disappointing. there are some important things
that are confusing than it needs immediate clarification. first, according to the u.s. state department, he left the embassy of his own volition. however, according to my conversation last night with mr. chen and several media reports including firsthand information from his friend and fellow lawyer and from the wife, the u.s. officials related and the threats made by the chinese side to threaten his wife. it was after learning of this threat to that chen was left with no choice but to reluctantly leave the u.s.
embassy. much of the dispute between the state department and the u.s. negotiators and chen's recount how toe media, characterize that conversation on may 2 before chen walked out of the embassy relayed by the u.s. official. the message suggests -- let me ptu it this way. he was parked bya u.s. official before he stepped out of the embassy. he was told it was a chinest message that they want to go through the u.s. official. if he chose not to walk out on
may 2, he will not be able ot see his wife and children again. they will be returned to the village, thecity that has been the hell for this family. as i tried to verify what really happened, chen said, after hearing that message, conveyed by u.s. official, his t was heavy and he felt he had no other choice. it was like a one-way street. either he stays in the u.s.
embassy but facing a reality that his wife and hcildren will be gone for maybe the whole life because he will not be able to see his wife and two children. he did not konw his wife -- when chinese guards found he was missing. his wife was immediately taken to a criminal interrogation ander where she was tied beaten and threatened with life. if her husband did not walk out of the embassy, they will kill
threat to this family in front -- their 6-year-old daughter -- his 80-year-old mother was beaten up, wounded and the government would not allow her to receive medical treatment. in front of a six-year old girl. i do not know that is a threat or not, but to me, after hearing what chen has told me yesterday, i verified over the fund. -- phone, i have a few questions i want to ask the u.s. chief negotiator or anyone -- who is the one really that relate information to chen.
what is the wording from the chinese government? was the united states response initially to that message by the chinese government. why has he to walk on april 2? why is there no other option on the table offered to chen? why does the u.s. embassy it not tell him that you have a choice you can stay. we can continue to negotiate with the chinese government to allow your wife and two dead children to come to the u.s. embassy so that you can have a safe environment to discuss your future. why does that have to be a one- way street? this question needs to be answered.
i appreciate the ambassador and the administration officials who made the right decision on april 26 to allow chen to have six days' time of that freedom. some conversations were had yesterday about how chen failed. how much pressure he has received. i think i would reserve a later time to share. the bottom line, yesterday he told me -- he said my wife and i
feel in danger. we are left alone. we do not have anybody at present with us. even as late as 9:00, our six- year old baby girl was crying for food. we were suffering starvation the first nine after our guaranteed freedom. somebody call the u.s. embassy apparently and somebody intervened they went to the hospital and they were given some food. you can read that account in the very detailed description written by one of his first -- close friends -- his conversation over the phone about what had really happened during that night about their
starvation. i want to emphasize that he told me last night very clearly that he does not feel safe over there. he wants the united states to help him and his family to come out of china. of course, he did not use these exact words. in chinese, is called seeking asylum or something in that nature. remember, he is still in china and his wife is not even allowed to walk out of the hospital. some of them showed up in the hospital and they were not even allowed to come close. so the hospital room that he and
his family members are staying became a -- in another village in different form this time in the capital city of china. i it will call upon the u.s. government, especially, he specifically requested me again to talk about his requests to have a phone conversation with you. it specifically ask that again. he said i want to talk with congressman smith. unfortunately, this morning a moment ago when we tried, the phone was powered off. we do not know what happened. he at least promised me he will keep it on if possible for a conversation today.
i think president clinton -- this is the moment to be labor. what you have promised, when you have repeatedly said in the past two years. she wants to see him and his family with freedom. as you are visiting a dialogue with their counterparts in china, this is the moment to deliver. i think he specifically made that appeal to hillary clinton to help negotiate -- to read engage with the chinese government and to allow them to have a safe exit. i want to leave the rest of the time for questions. thank you very much. >> thank you very much for that
incredibly and lightning and passionate testimony. i would like to ask dr. richardson for her comments. >> mr. smith, mr. wolf, thank you for having this hearing this afternoon and for your extraordinary tenacious leadership on these issues. i think it is not an accident that chen wanted t to speak with you in particular. if the chinese government was serious about their commitments to human rights and the rule of law, we would not be having these conversations again and again and again, which is not to suggest we are not happy to have this conversation with you. but the fact that we are still discussing these issues is a powerful statement about the choices the chinese leadership has made with respect to political reform and the rule of law. to contain a broad picture, year
in and year out we continue to document the gross abuses, restrictions on the freedoms of religion and assembly. i think his case in particular highlights some of the worst abuses we have seen in recent years. those include a naked disregard for the law both -- both with respect to challenge illegal practices and to hold people to account but also with respect to the treatment of him. gross problems with respect to arbitrary detention, which we discussed extends to family members including very young children. i find this aspect of the story in particular outrageous. children should be subject to this kind of treatment. torture and mistreatment in detention. we have heard credible evidence
of the physical violence against chen and his wife. his ability to communicate with other people, people plausibility to see him and report on what is happening to him. -- people's ability to see him and what is happening to him. i think it is a very important point to remember that chen has done nothing illegal. i think the bottom line is that all activists in china regardless of the issue they are working on remain extraordinary risks at all time. with respect to chen in particular, much depends on clarity about what he and his family want. if they do want to leave, which seems to be the view now, i
think it is incumbent on the u.s. government to insist on access to him. we are disturbed by the reports in the washington post today that u.s. officials said not been able to have access to him for about 24 hours now. and i do not see any particular reason why secretary clinton or secretary died mayor and other u.s. officials who are in beijing at the moment -- secretary geitner and other officials who are in china at the moment cannot have access to him. there is pressure to mount a monitory never with respect to his treatment, his family members treatment of a kind have never imagined before. there will have to be a new detail at the u.s. embassy. in the broader picture with
respect to other activists and active as some in general, i think there is an enormous responsibility on the u.s. government on activists and other like-minded governments to watch incredibly closely, not just over the next few days but over weeks and months and years to monitor what happens to other activists who will suffer from further retribution by virtue of this incident. we know the machine has already swung into action to place restrictions on people, some who are involved in this case and some who have nothing to do with this case. i think it would be a tremendous tragedy of the heightened awareness of human rights abuses in china were to fade when the spotlight shifts elsewhere after secretary clinton leaves town. i think that is all of our collective responsibility and
the near and longer term future. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> thank you chairman smith. i am pleased to testify at this important and timely hearing. thank you for your leadership in promoting and protecting human rights not only in china and around the world. thank you both of you. today, what is happening in china is not about this individual. this is about a system in china, which is geared towards abusing its own citizens with total impunity. yearsrt with chen's case, ago he was documenting abuses.
the reason was, he was just documenting abuses and trying to publicize the abuses. he was imprisoned for more than four years. during this time he was tortured and abused. when he was released, everybody thought it is going to come to an end. that is not the case. like many other cases in china, he was illegally detained in his house. also, he and his family were abused as well. what happened about less than two weeks ago was that he escaped from the illegal detention. he ended up coming to the united states embassy.
now, the situation is getting not clear. one thing we know from the u.s. administration officials who made public statements that china gave certain commitments -- an agreement between china and the united states about the treatment of chen, i did not know the full context of that agreement. it is time the u.s. administration makes it public. a real official document ought to be brought in. i urge the commission to release the official agreement between the u.s. and china on chen's treatment. on the context of that agreement, chen agreed even though there were reports that there were some issues involved,
we have difficulty confirming it. he went to the hospital for treatment. suddenly we are hearing is that the same agreement that the united states and china agreed upon has been violated. now, he is asking that he wanted asylum for he and his family to the u.s. the opportunity that is there for his case -- secretary clinton is there. u.s. officials are there. you have seen u.s. officials cannot solve this issue. the agreement that was signed, we have to ask a question. what can they do to get
improvements and human rights issues in china? that draws to a bigger question about human rights in china and u.s. engagement in places. even though there are some meaningful improvements that were taken by different administrations, current dialogue that is taking place is not taking human rights as a serious and equal partner to the dialogue. even the basic things like human rights dialogue, there is resistance. we do not know where the resistance comes from. if they cannot even read them
-- rename the dialogue, there is serious questions about the administration does the intention to put additional pressure. that is coming into play today. secretary clinton should before she leaves make a public statement about what she intends to deal with his case. she should specifically mention the agreement -- if there is an agreement to bring asylum, what steps to read our opinion is when secretary clinton leaves, the interest will fall down. to make it clear, but secretary clinton make a firm stand and make a statement about this case.
not only is this a human rights case, but this also directly involves u.s. and a case where they have an agreement. let the u.s. stand up. let secretary clinton while she is in china stand up and make a clear statement. this will set the tone for future u.s.-china agreements or even china policing on promoting and protecting human rights in china. thank you a ganed. >> if i can go from left to right, you're right to left. >> thank you so much, congressman smith. thank you for inviting me to this. i have been asked to testify as to two things. one is, what is the underlying issue that got chen detained.
the other one is, what about those who helped him, in particular -- it something that has been left out of discussion in a lot of mainstream media is, why is it that chen has been the subject of such intense persecution. what is it that set off the communist party against him? it is a fact that he was -- he was the one person in china who dared to stand up against the one child policy. he and his wife expose the fact there were an estimated 130,000 forced abortions and forced sterilizations and their city in one year. it was that act that got him detained. he spent four years in jail during which he was tortured, denied medical treatment, and
now has been under house arrest. -- we havehts obtained the field notes of chen guangcheng. we released those at a congressional hearing right here on december 6 of 2011. it is called the chen guangcheng report. it is 35 pages of the most horrific human rights abuses that you can imagine. for example, a woman who was forcefully aborted and sterilized and seven months, the visitors that sleep in the fields to of they'd family planning officials who broke abram over the head of a man whose children is expected to violate planning -- family
planning law. they were forced to beat each other because somebody in their family had violated the family planning birth limit. and then finally, the use of a quota system in the detention of family members and which if one person and a family is suspected of having violated the one child policy either by being pregnant or missing their cervical checkup, women are required to have cervical check ups between two and six months depending on where they live in china, the entire family can get dragged in. there is one report of a person's extended family, their parents, grandparents, cousins, all being dragged in and tortured and find 100 yen on a day for what they call family planning learning class tuition. it is clear from the report that
the spirits of the red guard is living on the in the family planning police today. this is the issue for which he gave his life to china. he gave his life to protect the women of china from forced abortions, forced sterilizations. the other implications that come out of the policy are genocide, the select abortion of baby girls. it is driving him and trafficking and sexual slavery not only within china but surrounding countries as well. in addition, china has the highest female suicide rate of any country in the world. there is untold suffering in china because of the one child policy and this is the issue that chen had the courage to confront. this is also the central policy
of the chinese communist party which is what they have targeted him so fiercely. some people might ask whether chen's report in 2005, whether these things are still happening. they are still happening. about three weeks ago there was a report, there was a photograph that came apart -- that came from the chinese equivalent of a twitter where a woman had been forcibly aborted at the ninth month. the baby was born alive and was crying. the family planning officials to the baby and dumped it in a bucket and ground it. there is a picture of a drowned the baby in a bucket. that created outrage. i would also like to say, something people do not realize is the co were -- coercive birth
lament is violence not only against women but men as well. there are many instances where men were also detained and tortured. in one instance there was a farmer who had committed suicide because of the oppression. another report i have submitted, there is a woman -- there is a man who in 2008, his wife did have a second child. the family planning police came to get the fine from them. he said, please take the fine. do not be violent about it. the refuse to do that. they started a fight and a broken bottle over his head. here is a picture of him with his temple that was crushed when the bottle was broken over his head. he is now permanently disabled.
the second issue i was asked to address was the persecution of pearl. she reached that to me about six months ago. she was running a free chen guangcheng campaign. she was doing get inside of china. we started e-mail in each other. we felt we were a sisters in this cause. she was the one that when he made his great escapes, she drove 20 hours and she disguised herself as a career, got into the village, and then drove him eight hours between beijing that. their plan worked so well he was
not discover to be missing for four days. on the day he was discovered missing, she and i skyped on and off all night long. she was alone and afraid for him and his family. she was also afraid of herself. at around 5:00 in the morning, there was silence. i found out later she had been detained. i am very concerned about pearl. i am concerned she may be tortured because she was the head of this whole network that was to free cheng. we know many instances in which key activists have been tortured for the chinese communist party to distract from them who were the other people in the network. i was -- in these discussions that they include pearl at all times.
i appreciate how congressman smith and congressman will have been including her. he would not feel free until his main supporter from the outside is also freed it. thank you. >> thank you for that testimony. thank you for bringing attention to the underlying cause of why the full weight of the chinese government came down and for reminding the world that the concern we have to have for her well-being. >> thank you. last month, i was arrested in a respect full, non disruptive demonstration. when the news came out, i sent
an e-mail and said we are down to the china 5. he said soon it'll be the china 0. we're back at the china 6. we are worse than we were. part of it is the failure of the administration when the incoming president of china was here to send a clear signal that the rights of these his heroic -- of the heroic dissidents represent human rights. where would the same the first. the real question is how could this have happened? i have often said that one of the great things we could do for the pursuit of american interests would be to replace the state department with the aflcio this is the issue of bargaining.
anybody at the teamster union would understand that they are bargaining for the life and free them of such a growth hero. let me give three things. the first one things do is welcome this man to the embassy. much more importantly, send a signal to china that time is on our side. if the other guy needed to sign the deal, he was in my pocket. the chinese understood that as clearly as possible. he bargained on that score. we don't fix the verbal promises. you get some good faith action before you close the deal and turn over the house or what ever
it is. the first principle that anybody would say is ok, you want to do deals, bring his wife and child here. we do not even talk until she is there with him. that could have been done. and the most critical thing was not only to understand the risks that you and your client run, but to put yourself on the other side and the risks that they run. anybody from any labor union would have said to the chinese we have all the time in the world sp. you spend time building goodwill
in the u.s. and united states. every minute that this man and his family are at risk, it is destroying what ever it is you are building. as long as it takes, it takes. he is comfortable. they were so focused on our needs, our risks, and not the risk and problems of the chinese that they just rushed negotiation. even if i did not care one iota for human rights in china and all i cared about was the agenda of the secretary geithner is pursuing in his visit, i would be emphasizing chen guangcheng case because that is what puts china on the
defensive. ronald reagan understood that when he dealt with the pentecostal. every time the russians wanted to negotiate nuclear weapons policy, he would say what are you doing about this? a winner they getting out? when will they begin to understand that these dissidents were not in the way of american policy but that they were for a policy. ronald reagan was able to negotiate a better deals on weapons and on dollar relations. if you focus on your weakness and do not understand the vulnerability of the other side, i get fired in your first week of the teamster union. these people who have been negotiation have held the life and safety. how sad it makes me.
how sad it makes me at the sheer incompetence of the people. what do you do to protect this now? you have that chart up there that is an extraordinary charge. as soon as this happens, the chinese created blocks on the internet. the great freedom i guess we did better. if you type in the the word a"blind man" in china, you get blocked. the problem with the stories about this that they convey a premise, a take away message to the american people that china has to control what they get to see on the internet.
as you know, this is true only because of our horrible, misguided policies. we honor the intent in appropriations. we say, give this money to groups with a field tested capacity to bypass the internet firewall system. there are $30 million that was appropriated years ago in state department accounts to tear down internet firewalls. there is a board of broadcasting governor sitting there with $800 million. they easily could have reprogrammed. justin% of their procreation --
just 10% of their procreation to scale up so they do not crash when 2 million users a day access the system. we have it in our capacity to allow 15 million chinese at any given second to search the word anytime they want no matter what the bureaucracy says and we have not done it. we have not done it in violation of clear congressional intent. we have not done that because we have not pushed the bureaucracy of the state department. there is one possible clue. when asked why one of the most successful programs has not received significant support by
the washington post, the response was because if we gave china would got chin ballistic. the way to deal with this is sunlight, and information. all the policies are meaningless. he will be isolated. nobody will know what happens to him. as nobody knows, as law and schelong as chen and blind man cannot be found out, he will be persecuted and isolated. is there will be taken.
we have funds sitting in state department accounts. we can make it happen in two- three months. i hope one of the things that will come out, chen will regard every pain he indoors. let's come out of this a determination to get this administration to pare down the internet are well. we have it within our means so
that these kinds of things cannot be done within our ability so that you can broadcast to 50 million people within 10 minutes. let's honor this man and protect this man by tearing down the internet firewalls with priority determination. if we do that, all the suffering will not have been in vain. thank you. >> thank you very much. thank you for your testimony and work. it is extraordinary. i like to introduce our next panelist. if you could proceed. thank you for being here. >> thank you.
thank you and for having this hearing. about chenat i know chen abo guangcheng's case. last friday, i was on twitter and i had been falling because i work from home. i saw a tweet from china someone they found on the chinese microblog. slashed officials and thugs with two knives. now he is on the run the tweet has a number.
i grabbed the phone. when i did that, i did not expect to reach him. i thought i have lived here long enough that the police would have taken him already by now or he won't answer without knowing the source. but i find him. i find an agitated, scared young man in his early 30's. i talked to him. he told me what happened. that is the night of the day when the guards and local authorities find chen guangcheng missing. he told me everything. i said "hold on, let me get my
recorder." i want ot geto get your words online. that is what i did. i did that. i recorded his message. he told me what he knew. within hours, i put it on htthe website. volunteers are doing this on their own. i pur the recording there. within 15 hours, i put a chinese and english transcription of the conversation. i forwarded it to of the media outlets. that is why the story is so
quickly on the pages on international news. otherwise it was still be here ssay. after the conversation, the next day i found out that the lawyer was able to find him. he was still on the run. he called immediately. no police was coming. no authority came to take him. then he was still at large. lawyers quickly formed its.
one of the lawyers contacted him. he was on the run. right now, we do not have any word from the chinese authorities. is he in police custody? to't the police responsible find him? for crying out loud, and he is innocent. what happened? he told his lawyer that the black car has been following him all round. he said he that he witnessed how
family was beaten before. there is a response. the second day, one of the nine countries of the city, the official web site hosted a statement to or three sentences saying that chen guangcheng slashd our officials with knives and is on the run. that is the entirety of the statement. we are trying to apprehend him.
that statement made no mention of chen guangcheng and why this man, innocent man, slashed a authorities.h of no. that is the chinese government. that is the statement. from a reliable source, that is based in the u.s. the young man told me that his father who is eldest brother of chen guangcheng, the thugs took him away that night. the night slashing happened after his father was taken away.
this is in the hands of the authorities. i want to talk about the state that i found this young man was in. 11 times i counted. he was appealing to the law to defend him. another moment hie was desperate. he was sobbing. he did not believe the law would defend him. if anybody is interested that can go to my website,
www.seeingredinchina.com. i want to emphasize. motherland buty look what she gave me." she said "at the bottom of the society, this is so tragic." i also want to quickly give you my impression. after i talked to him, i can't shake off his image. on one hand, he is just a villager. he is what the chineese official propaganda would like to call "low quality people, not suitable for democracy." i find him to be reasonable,
good hearted, and intelligent. give it. he represented the goodness of china like his uncle. you have the good people represented by chen guangcheng. on the other hand, you have this thuggish governments. where are we? i am american. where rae we? -- are we? who are we spending with? if you allow me, i am not listed to speak on this. i wanted to pick up on dr. richardson's speech.
china is a big country. the one island, safe haven, called us embassay were so overjoyed, so miraculous, and yet we dropped the ball so terribly. we allowed this to happen. i am not going to comment on how it happened because others spoke very eloquently. we also have to remember and understand that what chen guangcheng represents for so many chinese, he went to the village, got robbed. got lost their jobs.
chen guangcheng as a blind man is a source of light. i mean this literally. he represents the bravery that is on short supply in china. he lives in the poorest village. he did not go to school until he was 18. he is blind. where on earth do you find such a man? tell me. he is the symbol and the soul. for him, we must understand the larger picture. i am an ordinary citizen.
my picture may not be the larger picture of our state department officials. the one-piece i saw in this larger picture may well be the most significant piece, which is china's pro-democracy citizens, whether they are outspoken are not our look upon the u.s. for support, if we fail chen guangcheng this is a horrible blow to the population. that is our persecution for change in china for the better. we will suffer the pain for years and years to come. we will lose all credibility. may i read a few quotes i tok
ok from twitter? number one. "the us betrayed us/" "obama has no teeth." "now we cannot trust the us embassay, i can't tell you how angry i am." human raceththe entire is unable to rescuse a blind man." report byread the cnn, only the chinese themselves don't know what is going on." the chen guangcheng case is a
challenge for the us ideals and a test of american strength. if us gave up on protecting, it up its to to giving leadership role in the world." "the u.s. will never be able to stand straight up again." she is based in canada. she is an activist and a journalist. that is what i am hear to say. i am happy to have said it. thank you for this opportunity. >> thank you very much.
i am here as a supporter of chen guangcheng. i have helped him and his family. it i hope they're telling you all about what has happened to me, it you will be able to get the real feeling for what he has been there in the past as well as accurate a possible picture of what is in store for him in the future. >> [speaking chinese]
school that she should have been attending. i went with some other people. this trip was very much and good will. we wanted to show the local government that we were coming in peace and goodwill. we decided to stay at a local spall which was open and not secret. it was far from the county. they could see us. they were able to what us while we were sleeping. we wanted to be very clear the only reason we birther comet the sole goal was -- the only reason we were there, at the sole goal was to let his daughter attend the school. we did not get a good results. there were 7-8 strong guys that are watching us all the time. there were several cars watching us. we did not make any progress.
nine we went to complain about the brutal treatment we had received. the night before that, if there tore two women who also tried visit. their heads were beaten. they were thrown in the woods. other than the government giving a warning, there was no nation at all for what they did. >> [speaking chinese] >> on september 20, we went to the house of the fourth son in chen guangcheng's family.
>> on september 21, we decided that one person should remain in the motel is staying at. the rest of us would go to this goal to see if there is any progress. our car was stopped. their read three men on motorcycles to were waiting for us. we left. we did not go into the school. we had not left for very long. we were pulled out of our car. the reporter that was with us was escorted away. the rest of us were taken to an old into a house on the outskirts of the village. we were body searched in a very insulting way. we were beaten. we were taken to an old abandoned house. at night, we were taken to a police station and interrogated for stealing a cow. i refused to sign a statement that they prepared for me. i was sent back at 2:00 a.m..
i was in the police station being interrogated. at 5:00 a.m. i was home. on the 21st, let the person who had remained at the hotel, was also ordered the way. i was there by noon. i called some report areporters. there were a political police that appeared and said me home. -- and sent me home. >> [speaking chinese]
>> on the 20th of october, a journalist asked me to come for an interview. i want to complain about the treatment that i had received previously when i had been beaten and harass. the only thing was they handed me a form. the whole time there were seven or eight guys are watching me. -- who were watching me. when we got in the car, they had not even stopped. the journalist assistant was
>> on the 26 of october, myself and several volunteers along with a british telegraph reporter were heading to a county to bring the school supplies. we were going to bring them to chen guangcheng's brother's house. we're followed the entire way. then the county government answered our request. they said you can go see him. we were trying to get police protection and escorts. we cannot take our cameras.
they slapped me very hard in the face. there is no protection to speak of. we were kicked out of the police station. the next day we met a japanese reporter. the political police appeared once again. they took our clothes and shoes off. they gave us a full body searches after we were completely naked. >> [speaking chinese] >> i was working with a tv
station helping them trying to cover this. that was the smoothest time trying to go and see chen guangcheng. i did not encounter too many problems because they're staying in a big city that was very far. with also taken out our cell phone batteries. we taken precautions even though we did that, the police worked through the police to investigate and interrogate me. >> [speaking chinese]
means by the technology of the police. there was no due process reported with us. they searched the house. we were both detained illegally for 14 days. for about 10 of those days, we were in our home town office which is part of the cadres school of the potential commission which is often used to put away political prisoners. it is very dirty. there were four volunteers who kept their activities up they were also detained illegally. they insisted on the balloons and the givebacks. -- the giftbags.
their detention was completely legal. >> [speaking chinese] >> there are hundreds of people that have shown their concern. i should be considered one of the lucky ones. everything that i have encountered is not nearly as violent as a lot of people have encountered. they have been beaten terribly. their skulls have been broken. i heard the story of a high school kid he was beaten in his genitals. i have had a lot of contact with
they have no respect for the law. they're stopping on people's rights and the laws themselves. chen guangcheng and his wife have suffered more than i have. he himself is known all over the world for knowing what he did, standing up for other people's human rights. he is a father of two who is trying very hard to protect his family. what should be done that pows should we treat him? we need to show him -- what should be done at? how should we treat him that we need to show hi? we need to show him. >> i want to thank the panel. congressman smith just got a
call. he will be back in. i want to thank the panel. i wish every member could be here to hear it. i have a number of questions and observations i wanted to make. i want to thank the media. it is easy to criticize the media. if it were not for the media covering this story, every time she reference to it, it draws from somebody who was with care. i want to thank the media. i also want to make it clear we appreciate the bravery of the chinese people. i hope they would know that the representatives of the state department in beijing do not represent the the point of the american people. there is a distinct difference.
is a representative here today tha? will you be getting this information to secretary clinton? i understand she is there today and tomorrow. is that correct? i appreciate that very much. the other thing i would say, when i think of the words of ronald reagan when he said the constitution were a cabinet with the entire world, urging it was i think president reagan were the president, the difference this would be -- can you at imagine what would be said by president reagan versus this administration?
i have some questions if he does not come back in. i have been here since 1981. i see a direct parallel with what is taking place in china with the unraveling of the remaining government comment the activities of the chinese government are parallel. it is like they found the playbook and they did not realize what happens. they're following his playbook. it is similar to what took place with regard to russia before it fell. i wanted to ask the question, can anyone explain the difference between the comment that i heard on the news yesterday that chen wanted to kiss secretary clinton if he could versus the reality?
wants to kiss secretary clinton, he said that is not what i said. i said i wanted to meet him. in light of the past, at the time i thought how convenient. i thought it was not something significant. i also don't want to over interpret. over the last two days, this does run over my head. did they pretend not to hear its? ? i am just asking. congress can ask the same question. he did say he wanted to kiss clinton. he want to meet clinton. -- he did not say he wanted to
kiss clinton. he wanted to meet clinton. >> that comments with the put out by the state department? >> that was put out by the state department. the tweets i can send to you that clarifies this confusion. >> yesterday, they called me yesterday morning and gave me a briefing. he said that he was going to the hospital. he was going to be with chen on thursday and friday. does anybody know if he was with him today? have you spoken?
>> i have no idea. i would be with him on thursday and friday. nobody in the stackknows? do you think the environment changed? i have heard some positive things. i was the one here opposed his confirmation to the ambassadorship. i told him so. he said i think you'll be proud of my activity. i heard very positive things
about him. do you think this went south after people came from washington, that he was trying to do the right thing? others came out from washington and it went south? does anyone have any feeling? was he trying to do the right thing and then when washington intervened it went poorly? does anybody have a comment about that? >> i think it was just written in the cards. i want to come back to my judgment. this was predictable based on the sacrifice of bargaining leverage and the absolutely inexcusably poor bargaining that took place.
if it turned out that some of these people in the state department were pleased after the end of a verbal agreements where we indicated that we needed to get this thing wrapped up, so much more is a criticism. there may be cables that indicate whether it was good will or malice. i come back to the notion that anybody skilled and serious bargaining could have predicted the outcome of a negotiation that took place. >> can you go into more of detail? i do not think he is that one.
can you tell us why you think this would be important and how it should be helpful? >> i think it is supposed to be immediate circumstances. i think with every hour that goes by when american officials do not have access, and the stakes go up. the washington post has been reporting that american officials have not had access to him since they left the hospital. i think it is a moment that requires some fairly dramatic action. it demonstrates the gravity of the situation.
we have made the point for a long time that until a much broader spectrum of government officials fight, the u.s. looks stronger and more coordinated. the broader group of diplomats raise these issues. in this particular moment when a very visible gesture is necessary to get things back on the rails, to have and not just secretary clinton or ambassador lock, but you have a broader cross-section of the u.s. government officials to ofonstrate the bretbreadth
concern. all of the agencies that participate can be tasked with at least one human rights talking point. i think this kind of coordination across the u.s. registers with the chinese side. the u.s. was any more poised to demonstrate a broader commitment than it has been in the past. i think this is a great moment to set a new presidents. ce.a new precedent a lot depends somewhat happens
in the next 48 hours or so. >> i've written every official in the obama administration. i have asked them to go visit a house church an underground church, catholic church, a protestant church with the buddhist monks. to visit. not one person in the administration has responded and agreed. refused to go has to any house church or to visit. in all fairness, the bush administration did not visit either. i wrote all of the officials and the bush administration. they did not visit. this administration has failed. we will furnish the letter we have sent. when i get back to my office, we will call the state department and asked for secretary clinton to go and try to see chen
directly. has the president or vice president, president obama or vice president biden, who i believe it is trying to develop special relations with china, have they spoken out? would it be helpful to have the president go to the rose garden and the press office and speak out with regards to this issue within the next several hours? could anyone tell me? >> i think talk is not going to work anymore. if i think it would be marginally useful. the chinese would interpret that as for domestic political consumption only. i think action is very important. there are two things. one, the tweets coming up of china saying this is a sign of weakness, the u.s. embassy was a bastion of hope, now they have
sold us out, they have let us down. the ironic part is i think you have made the point, that will translate absolutely in the negotiations that geithner wants to do. it is seamless. that is the point that was just made. if we project weakness, they will accept that on every level in which they deal with us. i think that is the problem. i think the only response, i come back to what i said. i have said, when any member of congress -- action counts. i think there may be other actions. one that i think is very clear and directly related to the protection of all of the people caught in this tragedy is for the united states to openly and robustly mount a commitment to tear down the fire walls so that the kind of censorship that
takes place, not even a handful of chinese can type in the word of chen, let 20 million chinese type in the word chen and get it on their cell phones. we can do it in two months to three months. that will protect chen guangcheng and his family. it will also send a signal to china that we are not a weak country, we are not a surrender in country. a speech by the vice president, that is politics. the chinese will understand that. it will not affect them. >> in the interest of mr. smith, i think what i am going to do is recessed the hearing briefly so he can come back in. let's recess for five minutes if
we can. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> back from their short break, the executive congressional commission now kids from -- hears from wang xuezhen. he says he is concerned for the safety of his family. this is about 40 minutes. >> the commission will resume its sitting. i just want to apprise everyone bob fu has made contact with
>> i want to make the request to have my freedom of travel guaranteed because -- the translation, i am sort of lost. he wants to come to the u.s. for some time of arrest. -- of rest. he has not had any rest in the past 10 years. [speaking chinese] >> [speaking chinese] >> i want to meet with secretary clinton.
security officers in my house, he said, we want to see what else chen guangcheng will do. >> [speaking chinese] >> the thing i am most concerned with right now is the safety of my mother, my brothers, i really want to know what is going on with them. >> [speaking chinese] >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much. you have a panel of people who have just testified. they all deeply care about you,
your family, as well as those who helped you, including those we are desperately concerned about. your nephew and others. one person who just spoke, mrs. wang. she spoke of her efforts to see you and how she was mistreated, including steps searches. the word is getting out. there are a number of members of the press and international press. your case is the test of the chinese commitment to protect you, which they have given. we are very dubious about those assurances. it is also a test of the united states and whether or not human rights do manner. the secretary of state, who did not meet with you in the embassy, that she go to you and
>> [speaking chinese] >> i want to also emphasize that after i was found missing from my home, immediately, my daughter's education opportunity was terminated. she was not allowed to go to school anymore. >> [speaking chinese] >> i do think all the villagers who are helping me are receiving retribution. [speaking chinese] >> [speaking chinese]
>> i want to thank all of you for your care and for your love. >> we are all praying for you. we will be a unseating in our efforts to secure freedom. >> [speaking chinese] >> [speaking chinese] >> thank you. >> [speaking chinese] any questions? thank you. >> thank you. i want to thank bob fu for setting up that phone call. that absolutely _ is why we are here and why we are working.
let's go to some final questions. did you ask your questions? if i could begin with you. i think he made an excellent point about the willingness to negotiate and be the last person standing, so to speak. your analogy was a great one. i met with the pentecostal in 1982 when it will hold up in the russian-u.s. embassy in moscow. we did stand by them. time was not the issue. i thought your point was well taken. if you wanted to elaborate. my hope is, i know the press has all left. i think it is important that the president of the united states speak out from the perch of the
white house. obviously, as the leader of the free world, it is amazing that when asked about chen guangcheng he said he had no comment. at the time, during apartheid, when nelson mandela, if any president, reagan, bush, were to be asked about those individuals, they would launch into a defense of those brave men and women. and yet, no comments from the president. your thoughts on that? the concern we all have about the hurry up offense. time is on our side. we could have worked this painstakingly before allowing chen to leave the embassy. finally, let me just say, when wang xuezhen was in moscow, the
father of the democracy, i met with him in the early 1990's when the chinese wanted olympics 2000. he was such a high value political prisoner, they thought if they gave him up it would get the olympics. when that did not happen, they arrested him. while he was out, i happen to be in beijing. he made a statement. it was repeated here when he was finally given freedom. he said, you americans do not understand this. when you are weak, vacillating, they beat us more. when you a tough, fair, transparent, you say what you mean and mean what to say, they beat us less. they said it right here. he said it over dinner.
right here in this very room, he said, why did you not get that? why did you not understand you need to be tough? not unreasonable, but tough. that message gets down to the jailers' level. he was beaten for 15 years. they beat for 15 years this man to the point where he almost lost his life just like chen guangcheng. >> if i can take -- you give the example of president bush and president reagan. i think the point made at a prior hearing is well taken, i would add presidents carter and clinton. all four of those presidents met with the wives of political prisoners. this president, in the name of
realism, has not done so. i think he does not understand the point. i think the greatest witness who could be here is george shultz. he constantly tells the story of how the russian ambassador came to him and said, i cannot do business. every time i try and talk about serious matters, he is always talking about is pentecost bills. -- these pentecostals. he said, i have the same problem. he takes this seriously. he thinks this is what he is supposed to be doing. ronald reagan, to make the point i always thought, he was the president of the union. he really understood the extraordinary power of these human rights issues to deliver not only on human rights issues, but on every other issue on the agenda between the soviet
union and the united states. that is a critical point. the second thing is during the break, someone told me -- you talk about the hurry up offense, someone told me that the general counsel, i forget the formal title, was quoted by the washington post, when asked, why was this not put in writing before this man was released? he said, "we did not have time." mr. chairman, i hope he will be called as a witness. this is the dean of the yale law school, a smart lawyer. that is the shallowest justification, rationalization for throwing chen to the wolves that i have ever heard.
it is a sign of incompetence. if this is truth, in my judgment, a respectful request for his immediate resignation is in order. this man, if this statement is true, i do not know, has forfeited his right to be the chief lawyer for the united states state department. a lawyer, my goodness, you get disbarred for not putting agreements in writing for the sale of goods and services. hear, he had the well-being of the united states, the reputation of the united states, a life in his safety. this great hero. he said, what? if he did, we did not have time to reduce the agreement to writing. that is the most rank, if true,
malpractice in life. i have been general counsel of a government agency. i have every experience. i want to ask you, a bit on that. with all you have, find out whether this is true, whether the quote it is true. get the reporter to find out whether it is true. if it is, he has forfeited his right to serve as the chief lawyer for the united states state department. >> would anyone else like to comment on that? >> the other issue it raises is, what was the time deadline? what was driving this time guillotine? if it was not secretary clinton's talks. that raises the further issue of, -- >> i have to say again, it is
backwards. the fact that the chinese are on the defensive so acutely in advance of this meeting is the reason why time was on our side. so in a way that to leverage -- throwing away that leverage on the geithner agenda is inexcusable. to risk this man's life and future over the issue of a timetable that was working on our side and against the chinese is just so hard to live with and understand and accept when you hear this man speaking from a hospital room, not knowing the fate of his wife. with television cameras all over. >> one point that mr. chen made in the earlier conversation before rebroadcasted, one of the points he made was he was so
grateful that the u.s. diplomats were working around the clock and without sleep. i said, that can be seen another way. it can be seen as, they want to get this done. in her testimony, i would ask it to be part of the record, chai ling, the head of a group called all girls allowed, among one of the most wanted, makes the point that "last week, we watched with joy as chen guangcheng made his bid for freedom." she goes on and says "due of one to believe that it willfully misled him into thinking this was a possibility?" she goes on to say he was a flight to be swatted away. here is someone who has paid
with their freedom. she has into which a great risk. she is being very concerned about -- she has endured great risk. she is very concerned about this hurry up offense. >> one of the things you learn as a lawyer dealing with clients, we are talking about clients, i have dealt with clients who are facing a criminal charge. they are vulnerable people. they do not know what is going on. that is part of your responsibility. if you are representing somebody you have to account for the fact that judgment is impaired. there is terror about one's family, one self. this time factor, this hurry of business only contributes to the sense of isolation and vulnerability of somebody.
the first thing you do with a client who is out there, terrified about not knowing what is going on, you tell them, sit down, take it easy, have a cup of coffee, have a good night's sleep. that is representation 101 when you are dealing someone -- with someon direction. >> i want to let the committee know that i just spoke to the secretary's office. i told her that you had been in conversation with chen and he had made a request that the secretary visit him. i asked if he would get the word to the secretary, he said he would. >> i thank you. ms. wang, you have only been here for a month. we need to _ you personally,
several times, undertook trips to visit with chen guangcheng. you talked about the body searches and degrading treatment you into it. -- you endured. i think the american public and the western world and all people need to be fully aware of how vulnerable everybody else is who has aided and assisted chen. all the more reason why, as reggie littlejohn underscored, why her particular case is so important. if you could elaborate on what others might face. we are very worried about you. >> one thing. somebody just passed this to me. i feel like i ought to read it.
i am told there is a new story in the washington post quoting a u.s. official as explaining that u.s. officials "had to leave chen alone and believe the hospitals because hospital officials told them that visiting hours were over." once again, in your examination of state department officials, i hope that will be high up on the list and that that official who said it and any official who justified it would have to sit here on this witness table and justify conduct of that kind, talked about leaving a man alone and vulnerable. being certain that that would be the outcome. some guy tells them that visiting hours are over. the hands of the security police with all of the tv cameras.
i just got this message. if this is true, i hope it is something the committee will investigate. put any official responsible for it, if it is true. >> the visiting hours, at least now, seem to be permanently over. chen indicated the embassy has been unable to get back into his room to ascertain his well- being. that raises -- the talk of a durable solution that he would be safe in china, there is no safety for any dissident in china. it does not exist. >> the point is, if they were there. it is a lot harder to get into a room after you have been kicked out. it is hard for the chinese to forcibly eject an american official who says, this man is
my responsibility. we gave the honor and the full faith and credit of the united states to see that he would be and feel protected. i am not leaving this room. why did they not say that is the relevant question. >> i appreciate that. hospitals and police stations seem to be a difference. the hospital is crawling with police. did you want to answer the question? again, i think it is under appreciated by some the risk that you personally undertook coupled with the rescue carry today. >> -- risk you carry today. >> [speaking chinese]
>> as a supporter of chen guangcheng i can tell you there are people from all walks of life who support him. a lot of people have faced greater risk and they face greater danger in doing this than i have myself, for instance, government workers, people who work for government enterprises. some of them, their families have been talked to, harassed. the government comes and checks their books and gets them on financial crimes. >> [speaking chinese]
>> then you get some teenagers, 16, 17, who are curious and went to see chen guangcheng. the authorities went and tried to talk to the parent and harass their parents. the kids were beaten. their parents could not understand what was going on. there was a lot of emotional damage done to the kids. >> [speaking chinese]
>> i myself am married. my personal life has not been dealt with in such an exaggerated manner as others. you mentioned one woman, she is not married. if she had boyfriends, there would be a lot of personal attacks on her personal life. that has also been quite -- taken an emotional toll on her. >> [speaking chinese]
>> there are a lot of supporters who have had various types of equipment or things that they used in the process of trying to show their support, any equipment involved or any money they spent in their effort. the authorities, they confiscate them. they take them. they have taken their assets. i have not done to verify, i do know of cases where cameras and other equipment has been taken away. >> [speaking chinese]
>> a lot of us have tried so hard and put so much effort into all of this. what we are looking at today is what it has come to. i am not resigned to this. it is something i cannot accept. i hope the media will stand up and rise and be tough in the face of what they are facing. i think we need freedom and we owe him this. we have done so much. if we have done all of this for nothing it could be as if we have done it for a vein. we want to know it was not for nothing. we want him to be doing much better. >> thank you. are there any comments that our witnesses would like to make? yes. >> one of the good things these
supporters have done, the supporters inside china who visited or did something concrete is they quickly write an account of their experiences and post them on line. just as quickly, it will be deleted. still, there have been dedicated groups who pass on the messages as quickly as possible. within minutes, it will be riposted -- re-posted. i want to point out two occasions that left a deep impression on me. two reporters who are employed, who were employed by the chinese
state media until they tried to visit chen guangcheng or did something. one of the people, he was a news local reporter, a regional reporter, based in a province in the middle of china. he went to visit chen guangcheng as a private person, it upset his organization. he was robbed. his money was taken away. his cell phone was taken away. he was beaten badly. he had detailed accounts of how -- he was sacked with a black mask and pulled into a van. several people beat his head and body all over. they threw him out in the open.
he managed to come back and wrote -- as soon as he returned his organization fired him. there is another reporter, it just occurred to me, it did not happen because of chen guangcheng, that happened because of someone else. he is a reporter with the global times, the english version. his name is tommy wen. he had the guts to run a report in the global times, a very tough paper, on the disappearance. he then disappeared, the reporter disappeared for 80 plus days. his family did not know where he
was. these sorts of things. >> would any of you like to conclude with any final comments? yes. >> i want to thank you for sharing your extensive expertise. your passion for human rights and your deep concern for chen guangcheng and his wife and family at today's hearing. we will continue this effort. i am going to reapply for and of the visa, which has been turned down. i would love to meet with him. most importantly, hold the administration to account for what they may or may not have done. some of the questions posed by all of you, they need to be answered. we need to take it with a grain of salt when he gushes with gratitude for efforts made on his behalf. i believe we have dropped the
ball significantly. i have been in this business for 32 years. i broke my teeth on the soviet jerry issue. my first trip was in 1982. as i mentioned earlier, in response to the matching of the siberian seven, the pentecostal christians met with them. we stood with those espousing freedom and democracy. we said we are in solidarity with you. superpowerd confrontation by linking with the release and freedom of soviet juicews. we need that same kind of fire in the belly. i find it appalling that president obama had no comment when speaking about chen guangcheng. he should have gushed about the
brave leader and his wife, their commitment to combating the most horrific crimes on the face of the earth. forced abortion and forced sterilization. we should stand with chen and not look to facilitate his loss of freedom. there are good people who have tried within the administration to find a way out. the time line issue remains a very troubling issue. this should have been the topic. not even a topic, but the topic. what is the use of having a dialogue if you are not going to link human rights with it and say, why should we trust you on intellectual property rights if you treat -- so now treat your own people? chen -- so maltreat your own people? chen is a hero. we will not rest until he and
with michele bachmann and bob mcdonnell. then a discussion about the growing number of political independents in the united states and the growing number of political parties. tomorrow morning, barney frank and bill kristol debate issues being talked about this year. congressman frank announced he will be retiring at the end of the term. he was first elected in 1980. join us live 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span2. coming up friday, david walker will discuss the latest unemployment figures and take your calls on the economy. then, jane harman addresses u.s. foreign policy and the intelligence community. she will also talk about chinese activist chen guangcheng and the afghan security deal signed this
week. finally, america by the numbers looks at the u.s. prison system with james lynch and michael jacobson. they will analyze the growth of the correction population, reason for imprisonment, and more. live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c- span. >> this weekend, said jones documents the war against al qaeda since 9/11. he is interviewed by toledo share. saturday night at 10:00 a.m. eastern. also, your questions and comments for tom brokaw. book tv, every weekend on cspan2. >> bin laden had a different outfits. i have to confess that i had
insider knowledge. i worked on the problem of iraq. we knew bin laden personally was involved in communications, to try to bring under control others. that he was making a bridge early on to somalia. we knew he was involved in all of these things. we knew he was doing that. as a consequence, and no surprise, he was relevant. >> counter-terrorism and national security, how it has changed. intelligence committee members continued to weigh in. see what they have to say on line at the c-span video library. >> earlier, mitt romney criticized the obama administration's handling of the chen guangcheng case. his remarks came while campaigning in virginia with michele bachmann and bob mcdonnell. he also commented on energy and
business policies. it is about half an hour. ♪ ["born free" playing] >> good morning. [applause] good morning. this is what victory looks like. take a look around. we're all here together to have a welcome party here for the next president of the united states, president mitt romney. [applause] i am honored to be able to be here to introduce not only
governor bob mcdonnell, the dow average was governor of virginia, but also -- the fabulous governor of virginia, but also to lend my endorsement to mitt romney and/or president to take the country back. >> thank you. >> i think, for all of america, this is a very simple proposition. president barack obama, president mitt romney. you decide. very easy. [applause] barack obama, in 2008, decided he was going to be the one to turn the economy around and create jobs and prosperity in
the u.s. he made a remarkable statement, if you remember. he said, if i do not deliver and turn the economy around in 3.5 years, i think we are looking at a one term proposition. i think we are looking at a one term proposition. [applause] because, this is not personal. this is about having a performance review after 3.5 years. when you look at 38 plus months of unemployment above 8%, and a doubling of american energy prices at the pump, when you look at debt accumulation in excess of five trillion dollars under his watch, there is no question and that americans would go to the polls and they will be saying, mr. president,
you are fired. instead -- [applause] and instead, we will sell only stand for someone who believes in america. who believes in our children. who believes in the hope of opportunities for this next generation. i want you to know that you are looking at three people who are parents of five children each. when you have parents of five children, we spend a lot of time thinking about the future. here in the state of virginia, this is a state that has a wealth of resources right offshore. it is called energy. energy resources that are our future. i return from afghanistan visiting our brave men and women, who are fighting on our behalf. [applause] when i returned, i went to the
city of dubai and doha. doha has the largest gasification city in the world -- facility in the world. you think that streets are lined with gold. there are more skyscrapers that are being built. i thought to myself, this could be the united states if we would only legalize american energy. we know -- [applause] we know what barack obama's formula is for american energy. it is to bottle it up. it is to get checks or billions of -- gift checks for billions of dollars to other countries. not so of president mitt romney. his future for america would be a legalization of american energy. the legalization of millions of high-paying jobs. that is our future.
that is why we must elect mitt romney as the next president of the united states. [applause] and, your wonderful governor, bob mcdonnell, is doing everything within his power in the state of virginia to make sure that virginia becomes an energy producing state, a state that stand strong on national defense, and governor bob mcdonnell deserves every amount of applause and appreciation that we can give him today. please welcome your governor, bob mcdonnell. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you, congresswoman bachmann. thank you. good afternoon. [applause]
for those of you not from here, welcome to the most friendly state in america, the commonwealth of virginia. [applause] welcome to the state with the lowest unemployment rate in the south. [applause] as good as it is, imagine how much better we will be off with president mitt romney. [applause] let me just say thank you for all the leadership and energy you brought on the campaign trail and for your endorsement of mitt romney today. it means amount -- it means a lot for his campaign. thank you. [applause] it, thank you to our great hosts today. [applause] they are creating lots of jobs.
we are so glad to be here. so good to see our center wagner -- senator wagner and others. thank you for coming. [applause] i want to say to those of you wearing the patriotic hats having served in the navy or the army or the air force the coast guard, virginia has more veterans than any state in america. 830,000. thank you for your service and for supporting mitt romney. [applause] i can tell you that the reason they are supporting you is because of the sign. you believe in america. they do. they understand freedom is not free. it has been purchased at a price for 200 years by the blood, sweat, and years. we understand that in hampton roads. we understand that this president has not always taken care of veterans. he has not made the best
decisions for the u.s. he has cut our investments in defense. you will see a change in our support for the military and veterans with president mitt romney. i can assure you of that. [applause] remember three and a half years ago, we heard about hope and change? what we have? [laughter] we have recession and division and malaise. it is time for a change. do you think so? [applause] this really is a historical election. everybody believes it. everybody is here today because you want to fight for it. we have a different invasion of mitt romney versus the record of barack obama. that is a record of broken promises and not doing what he promised three and a half years ago.
we were promised that we would see a reduction in job losses and new energy resources. all of the above. all these things. we have not got it. we have unemployment now at 8.2% for 38 consecutive months. governor romney has said that maybe the best barack obama can do, but that is not the best that america can do. do you think so? [applause] i hate to say, but the president does not understand free enterprise. i do not think there is anything more that this administration can do. they think to regulate your way to success and that is the key to american free enterprise. that is not. mitt romney understands the american dream because he has lived the american dream. he wants to restore this great opportunity for society that ronald reagan has talked about. if you work hard and dream big,
you play by the rules, you can be anything you want to be in the united states of america. [applause] that is the vision we will have with mitt romney. he understands the basic concept of math that this president does not. if you spend more than you take in, you go broke. that is where the u.s. -- we have an unsustainable and immoral debt. 15 trillion dollars. this president has raised it 5 trillion dollars. his budget takes it to 25 trillion dollars by 2020 when. yet to be honest and say when the bills are due, we cannot afford it. we have to do what businesses and families are doing, live within your means and set priorities. republicans have done it across the country. mitt romney did in massachusetts. he did not raise taxes. he turned around the olympics. he will do it in 2013 for the
u.s. [applause] the congresswoman talked about the critical issue for our area of the state and for america in general. that is the whole issue of energy. and being able to use all of our god-given natural resources to be able to reduce our reliance on foreign countries. we have them all. we are an energy rich nation but we act like we are energy poor. we need a change. we talk about -- we heard him say in his rhetoric and all of the above approach. what i'm seeing as governor of virginia is we are a leading coal-producing state and we cannot get the permits we have to open new coal mines. we are in natural gas state with natural gas being one of lowest prices in over 10 years.
we get constant obstruct and here we are trying to build and drill new wells because of the opposition to hydrocracking. and we are an energy capital when it comes to that -- energy capitol when it comes to the nuclear industry. we said that industry back because of the president. we estimate us the first state to drill for oil and natural gas and he said nel. not until after 2017. or until the next president. that is the kind of response we are getting from this administration. mitt romney understands and all of the above approach to industry. he will make sure that our resources above and below the ground are all used for the benefit of america. he will make sure we have the ability to have clean and safe environmentally acceptable drilling for oil and natural gas right here off the virginia coast. [applause]
and, that will mean an explosion in our ports and our shipping industry and a whole lot more jobs. i can assure you of that. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, i am thrilled to be standing next to the next president because he is somebody who gets it. when the top issues facing america are jobs and the economy, and getting debt and deficit under control, and leading, this is the man you want. we have a surplus in washington. that is true. a surplus of rhetoric and a deficit of results. that is what we have in washington, d.c. right now. mitt romney will take responsibility. he has a plant here he will be a tremendous leader. -- he has a plan. he will be a tremendous leader. please welcome a man of great faith and perseverance that will make america great again, the next president of the united states, mitt romney. [applause] >> thank you.
wow, thank you. what a welcome. what they said this is. this is america. this is how it works. this is democracy in action and free speech. a great flag of the commonwealth of virginia. a great flood behind us of the greatest nation on earth. what an honor to be here with you today. thank you for opening up. to have this facility opened up and i do not know how you got to fly up there but i appreciate it. these guys are taking care of you and letting us talk. i appreciate their support. i am delighted to be flanked by your governor, one of the greatest in the history of this commonwealth. what a phenomenal year he is. -- leader kias. what a powerful leader michele bachmann is.
what a pleasure to have their endorsement. [applause] politics is under way. it is under way again. he will hear it all right here in virginia. this may well be the state that step -- the state that decides who the next president is. the president will be here on saturday. >> boo. >> he is kicking off his campaign. you can expect a lot of blame. he will be pointing around because he does not want to talk about his own record and his own failures. he will try to find other people to blame. he will be talking about his presidents and congress.
he will not mention the democrats controlling both the house and the senate with a super majority for the first two years. he will not mention that. he will blame congress and atm machines and a tsunami. he will talk about things that resulted in the fact that a guy who promised he would keep unemployment below 8% has out -- has not been under that sense. he promised he would make things better and now we have 23 million americans out of work. or stopped looking. or people who have jobs beneath their skill level. it is unacceptable. it is unacceptable this president has failed us. this is a president who, at the democratic convention, stood in front of great columns. he will not be doing that. he will not want to remind us of greece. [laughter] he will not want to talk about the five trillion dollars in public debt he put in place, which is almost as much as all of the prior presidents of america combined. this is the record of his
presidency. when he spoke in colorado at his nominating convention, he said that they measure democrats different -- the measure success differently than republicans. he said he measures progress by whether we are creating jobs and allowing people to pay mortgages. he has seven creating jobs and by a record number, people have not been able to pay mortgages. he also said that he measures progress by whether incomes are going up or down. they have been going down. the last quarter years, the median income in america has dropped by 10%. three draws in dollars per family. -- $3,000 per family. he measures progress by whether people who have an idea are willing to take a risk and starting a business. guess what? that number of businesses being started up have dropped by tens of thousands. this is not a record of success. his failures are wrong. one of his serious a failure was -- one of his failures was to make energy more expensive. that is because of his policy.
he has cut back on the number of licenses by 50% given to drillers. his policies have made it harder for us to take advantage of our energy resources. right here in virginia, the idea that you have a powerful energy right off the coast that you could be creating good jobs right here in virginia and providing resources and reasonable costs to people of america, that has been lost by a president who said no. the department of interior says they are studying it. it does not take -- it did not take them very long to get the money to solyndra. they have not been doing what they need to do to create jobs. the president was speaking about another matter that affects the people. he spoke against right to work legislation. right to work was. the right of people to choose whether they want to be in the union or not. i believe that unions provide a source of value to our nation and have a real role in our nation. i also believe that people should have the right to decide if they want to join a union or not and should not be forced by government to do so. [applause]
>> we have heard disturbing things from across the world. they suggest a potentially some very troubling developments. where an individual has saw freedom in a bastion of freedom, an embassy of the u.s. are we brought the people seeking freedom come to our embassy? [applause] -- are we proud that people seeking freedom come to our embassy? our administration communicated a threat to his family. they published or sped up the process of his decision to leave the embassy. because it wanted to move on to a series of discussions that mr. geithner and our secretary of state are planning on having
with china. it is apparent that our embassy failed to put in place the verifiable measures that would assure the safety of mr. chan and his family. this is a dark day for freedom. it is a day of shame for the obama administration. we are a place of freedom. here and around the world. we should stand up and defend freedom were ever is under attack. [applause] -- wherever it is under attack. [applause] congresswoman bachmann said that you have a choice. america does. between reelecting barack obama or me. there is a dramatic difference between how we would leave the country. this president wants to lead it forward, so he says. if the last three and a half years are his definition of forward, i would hate to see what backboards looks like. [laughter] [applause]
that contrast is clear. when it comes to energy, he says he is for all of the above. i tried to square that with the record that the governor described. the governor indicated he has made it harder to get natural gas, for coal, drill for oil. how could he be for all of the above? he is for all the sources of energy that come from above the ground. the energy sources that come from below, he does not like. if i am president, i will put virginia to work and getting energy above and below the ground. [applause] there is another difference. he seems comfortable with trillion dollar deficit. i believe those deficits we've been nation to greece. -- lead the nation to graze. if he is reelected, we will be on the road for which we may not be able to recover and we will pass on burton's to our children that are not just unfair, but immoral.
i will get america finally on the road to have a balanced budget. [applause] i will eliminate programs, cut programs, send programs back to states where they can be run more effectively, efficiently, and at a lower cost. [applause] it, the first and easiest program i will eliminate is obamacare. [applause] [chanting]
>> there is another place where we have a big difference. that is in our commitment to the military. this president has supported from a military strategy that has -- has departed from our military strategy that has been a part of our nation for decades. this was the capacity to be able to fight two wars at once. not because we want to but because we want to have the capacity to do so so we can dissuade people from doing things that are in america. we have had the strongest military in the world, thank heavens. this president, however, has cut our military spending. do you know how old or new ideas? the navy is now -- our needy is? the navy is now smaller it then since 1917. our air force is older and smaller than any time since its founding in 1947.
our troops are stretched to the limit. in the last two conflicts, the number of rotations were just breaking them. this president wants to reduce our number of active-duty personnel. reduce our shipbuilding. reduce our purchase of aircraft. my view is that reagan was right. a strong america is the best ally peace has ever known. [applause] my priority is very different than his. i will add ships to our navy. i will build 15 ships a year. instead of cutting the air force, i add new aircraft is. instead of cutting the personnel, i will add 100,000 to our active duty personnel and make sure that our veterans get the care they deserve. [applause]
virginians will not be fooled. the president becomes a friend of the veterans and military every four years you have seen the results of the last three and a half years and you do not want more of that. this is time for people in the military and people care about strength to stand up and vote for a change that put someone in office that will keep america strong to. i will. [applause] the president says he wants to transform america. i do not want to do that. i want to restore the principles that made america the nation that is. [applause] the founders, when they wrote those words, were brilliant. they were inspired, in my view. they said that the creator had given us our rights, not the state or the king. [applause]
among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. in america, we are free to pursue happiness as we choose. this love of freedom, political freedom, personal freedom, economic freedom, has led to the entrepreneurs of all time to build enterprises and improved products for our benefit. it has made america the most wealthy nation in the world. this president is crushing that with higher taxes and regulation. in obamacare. in paying for some of the things he wants to do with obamacare -- and paying for some of the things he wants to do with obamacare by cutting military spending and medicare. the cuts we will take to bring back the size of government are right. we will get america back on track. [applause] there is one thing that is very inexcusable.
as the president casts about trying to find someone else to blame for his record, he is trying to divide america. he is putting one americans against another america. and he is blaming success. it is not a nation where we apologize for excess are american greatness abroad. this is a nation when called upon in time of crisis the american people will rise together. we come together in ways that are remarkable. this was an interesting experience from my experience in the olympic in 2002. i had the opportunity to go to utah to organize the olympic winter games after there were
charges of bribery and so forth. i that the chance to go out there. one of the big worries was whether we would be able to get the volunteers we need it. you have no pay. you have seven straight days of work. you need 25,000 people to do that. we wondered what all the scandal in history whether we would be able to get near that number. we put on our website a place for people could register as a volunteer. no pay, and no tickets, no glory. hurry up and sign. these positions are going fast. after a few days, we checked the web site, 47,000 people had signed up to be volunteers.
what a country this is. nothing in my mind stand out like the willingness of americans to sacrifice for americans like the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. i see this young man with a hat on. he does that look like his old wwii vet.b.abe a please, stands. we want to recognize you. thank you. this is virginia. look at this group. thank you. [applause] i love this country. i let the. america.spirit of i havethe thing si havs promised, i will make sure i respect the principle that made
>> michele bachmann talk to reporters about why she endorsement running for president. then virginia governor bob macdonald talked about a possible running mate. >> what are your thoughts? >> i do not have any comments. i do not think about it. i am not asking for it. i do not think that even do that kind of thing. you do not aggo looking for any other jobs. i'm excited about what we can do here. >> of what you think about winning the race? >> that is what you see here
>> to see more on the campaign trail, this is our website and cspan.org/campaign2012. you will see tweets from yours, candidates, and journalists. our coverage continues tomorrow as they began picking their presidential nominee at their convention and lost baggage. our coverage continues with the selection beginning and noon eastern. >> sunday, i do not regard this as a you biography.
i want each but to examine the political power in america. this the kind of political power, seeing what the president can do any time of great crisis. this is why i said let's examine this. chrysler robert caro on "the passage of power." this sunday at 8:00 on c-span. look for our second hour of conversation. >> osama bin laden was a strategic communicator. i had insider knowledge.
i worked in afghanistan. we knew that osama bin laden was involved in communications to try to corral and out of reach to al-shabab. we knew he was working through mediums. we knew he was there. no surprise when you're talking about global ideologies. members continue to weigh in. see what they have to say at the c-span video library. >> the two-party system is the focus of an event put together by the independence party of new york. he spoke with jackie.
they talk about to remedy the political process. this is about one but five hours. >> hello. i am the chairman of the independent party. i am the founder of politics in people. it is great to have people here at us tonight. i want to give a special welcome. we are going to be looking at the people versus the party. we have with us the two of america's leading advocates for a restructuring of our political process. jackie is the president of
independentvoting.org. in a network of more than 40 states. she is a frequent commentator on independent voters in politics. jackie has a book coming out entitled "independent rising, outsider movements, third parties, and the shuttle for a post partisan america." mickey edwards is the former chair of the republican house policy committee. he is a distinguished educator, regular political commentator and, columnist. is that this book is due out this summer. it is the parties versus the people, how to turn republicans
and democrats into americans. you can see what i wanted to have them both here with us tonight. before i bring into the stage, i like to hear a clip of each of them in action. we're going to see to various short speeches ---- two very short speeches. to see jackieng salit appearing on "box and friends."and give us a moment and then we are going to have a look. >> democracy is about process. it is not about policy outcomes.
it is about process. wilmot tap about the institutions, our political system is not working. our election system is not working. our governing system is not working. i want to say the root cause of these problems is the amount of control over all of the systems. our governments have ceded to the private clubs, at the political parties that control access to the ballot antagonistic lines are drawn in his sits on what committees. >> i am a member of the anti- party. that is about what 40's arm of the country is today.
people do not lilike partisansh. they did not like the tongue of the debate. this is what they want to see changed. >> we do not believe in labels. we believe and ideology. what we're looking for is solutions. both are right. we do want to get the dialog moving. >> there is no middle ground. >> there is no middle ground. that is an important point. >> i am going to veto it. >> there is the middle ground. there is a way to bring americans together a round structural reform. the parties have be system there. the president is trying to play
at the center when there is no center. what he needs to do is make a strong stance. >> let me ask you to join me. >> we have to be careful now. we are fully micd. >> i am glad to have our audience get to know your thoughts more. i'm going to start this off with a couple of questions. then we're going to open up to
all of you. the two of you are the country's leading advocates for the kind of structural reform that move power away from the political parties and to the american people. you approach this from different places in history. you are a highly respected member during her 16 years in congress. he had been a leader of the independent movement for over 30 years. you are both advocating for some of the same kinds of political changes. the same kinds of reforms. i wanted to ask you to speak to what is going on in the country that brings the two of you together, asking for what would
be some radical restructuring. >> thank you. hello. great to see all of you. it is great to spend this time together. i thing that may be as a place to begin i would say there are two things that your going on that bring us together. i just want to comment that it says something about our political culture. be would be sitting here having this conversation with all of you. for starters, i think maybe it is important to reflect on that. in some ways, that is the very issue. two basic things.
one of the things that is going on is that there is a political does alignment's from the major political parties. 40% of the country considers himself an independent today. that is a remarkable number, particularly in a system that this so substantial. they talked about how controlling the political party is. they have made a statement in which they have said i do not consider myself to be a part of that. i might vote for that process.
i might participate in various kinds of elections. i am making a statement. when you have that kind of social political shift going on, which i think is substantially misinterpreted by the political class and by the media, that tells you that something is happening. what is the thing that is happening tax different ways to describe it. the political institutions that are designed to be the representatives of the american people are not playing that role. they are not representing any kind of ongoing and meaningful and substantial way the
concerns, the interest, the worries, dreams, aspirations, and desires of the american people. that disconnects where institutions can activelactuallo longer function and they're expected roles. things start to change or perhaps more accurately the opportunity for change opens the door. we see this in independen tvoting.org all over the country. we're building a local ones. this only happens when there's a
historical opening. this is where the political process is. this is where i think we are. these are one of the questions that comes to the floor. what can we do to remedy the state of our political process so the american people can begin to express our desires, and needs, in dreams. how does that political structure need to be changed in order to make that possible? much to say about all of us. that is how i would characterize the basics of where we are at.
>> one of the interesting things is that after my article, of the the book grew out of a magazine article from years ago. it is out deterrent republicans and democrats into americans. people say but what can you do about it is figure out of the progressive movement. this is not ordained. it is a system that group up pushed by the political parties.
one of the things i said is that the revolution has already begun. 40% or more are already dependent. look at when scott won the election. it does not matter about how a republican win in democratic massachusetts. i taught at harvard. it is by democratic state. we have two things happen simultaneously. inside the beltway, you have more and more partisanship. you have more and more decisions based on what is going to help our party when in november. the country is going in the opposite direction. the country is fleeing from this
situation. there are more. i will mention the additional examples. the real bottom line is that it is systemic. it is not about who we collect. we do this every year. we elect people and it does not work so we throw them out. it is always like charlie brown hoping lucy will not follow the football. if you think in terms of economics, what do we know about economics or cultural issues taissues? incenses' works. we've created a system which
every incentive is to not compromise. every incentive, whether it is how you have to win a closed party primary, one of the examples i used in delaware. there isn't nearly 1 million people in delaware. -- is nearly 1 million people in delaware. it is not a small place. nearly a million people there. people were shocked when mike lost the republican primary for the senate. the woman you bit him, christine o'donnell -- who beat him, christine o'donnell only got 30,000 votes. we have a sore loser laws that if you ran in a party primary and lost, if you cannot have your name on the ballot in november.
we have a system where 30,000 people could deny the rest of the million people in delaware the chance to choose among all the possible candidates. one of the things i'm trying to do is to break democracy. looking at all of you, i have never met most of you. i know one thing. when you go to buy a phone, when you go to buy soap, you want choice. the only place we do not allow choice is one comes to letting the people who will make our laws. when you get to the ballot in november, you have a or b. maybe there are five republicans need to be considered. we do not allow that to happen. parties to not allow it to happen.
we talked a lot about redistricting. those of you who are up close i am wearing loafers. ina said the guy. -- i am a city guy. after i won, i was the first republican elected in my district since 1928. my district was 74% democrats. i was not supposed to win but i did. the oklahoma state legislature and was a nine-one control by the other party. they were bothered by the fact that i won. the majority of the state legislature in 37 of the states
can make that decision. it is a big upside down "l" and dianne saw preferential. i keep thinking look what they did to me. but what they did to me. they did not do it to me. the most important part of the constitution says that every single representative must be an inhabitant of the state for which they are elected. it was that york legislators are supposed to know you and your concerns. we are supposed to know them and
their integrity. it got destroyed because when they withdrew my district, i was representing eight farmers, cattle ranchers and small town merchants. i did not know there have issues or concerns. they cannot articulate as needed to be done. why was this done to the people tax that was done because my party does the same thing. the party thought it would be to their advantage to redraw the district to take other republicans out.
jackie says it so well. she is really good. we have to change the system. >> let me pick up right there. where a lot of americans, the last election people voted for so he couldbama an help lead the issues. i want to ask you both, here we sit in the middle of the elections. how you understand what has happened tax what wa? >> i have a number of thought
about that to share. i want to preface by saying i think it is very important because what we're talking about here is that the majority of people voted for barack obama based on many of different things. one of the motivating factors was the idea that obama was going to be able to lead a post partisan political culture. i think it is important to maybe pause for a set against and to reflect on the fact that historical change of that magnitude, and that is a very significant transformation, it
does not happen in an even line. the it moves in stars and things moved forward and then they fall back. things get in the way. just speaking for myself now, it is important to remind ourselves that this is a monumental change that this is being set after. i think what is happening is part of the broader international process. it is a difficult process. it that said, i think i would
point and maybe for things that are worth noting. people know as president obama came to washington, he came there on the heels of first having won the democratic primary with the support of voters. that is to gave obama the nomination. of the 34 states that did have open caucuses, they were very substantially for barack obama. they were the architect of the entire set up.
in the general election, they brought by eight are nine points. obama comes to washington. he has the post partisan mandate. that is how we can make them again. there are many people who are registered republicans that are very fearful and upset about the partisan character of the country. in any event, a new president comes to washington. here's some things that happened. first, and the congressional democrats are there. you know them better than i do.
duke can make hay with that. why they were enormously prideful comment that is a historical a vulnerable thing to have happened. while there was great pride, there were other things in the mix. he was a progressive. he bailed out the banks. let's face it. i think the republicans figured out very early, and this is
very machiavellian. they came to understand that if you said the to everything but that did was it pours obama to become partisan. whether not they could have played that, i'm not going to speculate it. that provoked a strong reaction and response. including from independence. this is that we sent. we saw the play out in 2010. they wanted to send a message
about partisanship. i think that continues. i think the challenge for the president to take a breath and a pause and to reflect again on his independence are. why is it the case that a 40% of the country now identifies themselves as independents and not a part of the party system. the american people are making a statement about the system. there is a need to restructure and reform it to bring democracy. i think the president has to find a way to come to terms with that and make a statement. i understand he is the president and a democrat. this is a complicated country.
he has to find a way to reach out in a way that shows but today are. they eliminate these structural partisanship that reinforces the negative political structure. >> he was going overseas on a trip somewhere. i do remember what about. there was a columnist in the washington post. he wrote a column about the present going overseas. what he said was that for the next period, the president was going to step out of his role as the head of government to be
functioning in his other role as head of state. i was teaching at the time. i asked my students what jumps out at you about them? i got the answers you might expect. if he is not want to make his one hat, he will be talking to people about fly over rights, a trade agreements. i said that is the the answer. the president is not they had the government. we have three separate independent equal branches of government. most of the major powers of government, whether it is going to war or raising taxes are creating programs are all congressional talents. it's i think like every other
president forgot that. whatever president obama did, he has enormous talent. he was elected as part of a system that as it was constitutionally designed should have required him to reach out. nancy pelosi famously said that this is where obama was saying let's bring the republicans in. then mitch mcconnell trump that by saying the party was to .efeat obamacare i
a bomb had to work in the system that existed. -- barack obama had to work in the system that existed. how do you not a cheap that? congress operates in precisely this way. how many have actually seen the house a representative stacks? it is adjusting thing to observe. one of the things that happened, i happen to be on the committee because i was in the top range of the leadership. it shows who got to sit on what
committees. the ways and means or appropriations. one of the things that the parties do is to say you are very smart. you know economics. you know tax policy. he would be really great. we will put you on the ways and means. these are our positions. if you promise you'll be loyal to the committee, we will put you on the in the committee. committees used to be a place where you would sit together and reason together and take witnesses and hearings and think about what needed to be done. now, it is constant war.
the republicans have to go to that cloak room, the democrats have to go sit in this one. that is held the entire congress is structured. it is like if you went to a therapist and they said, what you need to do is you need to have two sofas facing the opposite direction. the system inside the congress is just as bad as the election system, just as bad as the redistricting system. we have a system inside of the congress where it is designed to make everyone identify with teams and identified the other team as the ones to be vanquished. you don't have to be a member of congress to be speaker?
you don't. in britain and in canada, you need to have supported people from another party beside your own. >> when you were talking about the branches of government. obviously, that is a very important thing to observe. one thing i was thinking about, we were talking about the president and what happened off of the 2008 election and all of these in a way that the issues were in the air. i was thinking that what the
three branches of government are the three branches of government. the president is as a branch that is selected by the whole of the american people. the electoral college notwithstanding. when i think about the issue of trying to move the political culture forward in a post partisan direction, that is true. the president has this very unique and special relationship with the american people as a whole. he was important. in some ways, one of the ways i
think about the opportunities that exist now, i think that relationship has to be manifest, shall we say, in ways that go beyond just the ordinary activity of governance. >> absolutely. the founders talked about energy in the executive. the president is not in terms of authority and hierarchy. he is a national leader and he has a poll but that no other person has. the constitution requires him to report to congress, but in the modern age, that gives him the ability to reach out over the heads of the congress to talk to the american people directly and to lay out an agenda.
the president has a responsibility to talk about what needs to be done and do it in a way that no one can match. the question is to pascal obama and did that. at present cannot simply say, i don't have the authority to do this. i am constrained by the constitutional system. what other means to have to try to persuade the congress, the constituents to talk to members of congress. that is what the power of the presidency is. some do it better than others. >> i think that that is so important. as i see it, i think the american people -- it is interesting, the system is so
partisan, so structurally partisan, and yet on the day that american elects a president, it is the american people who are thinking. maybe one thing that is happening in the country is the value and importance of that is becoming greater. the potential of what can get created out of that is becoming more visible. i was thinking about the party's versus the people. it is section of the title of a chapter in my book.
i was thinking and it embodies a deeper truth within that which is that the parties are not the people, the people are the people. the constitution, of course, it recognizes the people, and not the parties, as we well know. i don't even think that that is the technical issue. it is a time to remind ourselves that the parties are not the people. we have to find ways to take action politically that reflect that and express that. "you have been playing james madison on the stage.
the first four presidents disagreed about a lot. the founders were not unanimous on almost everything. what was the one thing that they agreed on? parties.ate political they said it over and over for. they said it in writing, speeches. i fell know if there are any political scientists in the room. of political scientists like to say, but yes, there was political parties in their time. they're not anything like the parties we had today. the might have had a few issues, maybe it was western expansion. they had a few things in common, but it was not like you had with the parties marching in lock
step on almost everything. it does not matter whether it is system in this package or a supreme court nomination. all of the democrats on one side, all of the republicans are on the other. if you could bottle this, it is an amazing thing that has been work here because by some magic, you can have this group of people to be either party. you have white, black, hispanic, old, gone. it is amazing how they are able to make that happen. you have the democrats over here, you have the republicans over here, at war with each other all the time. it has become, how can my party when the next election. one example is that if you decide because this university is so good, you want to do
something, you might say, let's get together is a big group and we will build a new building. you would get together and you would say, what do we need? what kind of equipment we need? there is only one thing you would not do, he would not say, ok, all the republicans sit over there, all of the democrats sit over there. >> i will open it up for questions. i am going to call on people but wait and to you get a microphone so that we can hear you. the floor is open.
>> thank you. thank you for your comments. as you were talking about republicans are over here and the democrats are over here. some people would say that we independence, we are in the center. i think that they put this forward as a way that we are going to bring america together. we have to be in the center to really and truly be together. i feel that this is an anti- extremist attitude. extremism is bad, it is bad for the country, so we have to come together in the center. i know, in your book, you talked about this issue out independents are defined in the census and i wonder how you would address this.
>> at the women's movement did not come from the center, the labor movement and not come from the center. none of the great advances have come from the center. what i believe comment democracy is about a vigorous debate between alternative viewpoints. if you want everyone to be in the same spot, you could have the kremlin. they're pretty good as that. democracy for acquires a vigorous exchange of ideas but it should not feed related to the glove that you belong to. sometimes, for jackie has already confessed that she is a progressive, what can i do food -- what can i do? in some ways, we might be together from others, we live feet apart. we both thought about what is the right thing for america from our perspective.
i think that at some point, because there are 320 million. this is a whole different thing. if the first three people decided to go to dinner together tonight, they could have a consensus. if they went two rows back, you cannot have a consensus. you have to compromise. that is what the people require. i am not advocating that we come together in some blushes little for never pushes for any advances. i'm saying, let's look at the issues on their merits and come together on principle. if >> i would like to tell you that we are very close to fascism. you might not believe it but the democracy that we have now, if obama does not win, we are
bordering on fascism. the other side did not play by the rules, they do not play fair. they are liars and they will do anything to get into the white house. this situation that went on in florida, where a young boy was just walking along tell khrushchev death, the manager sheriff -- the man who shot him. i am a retired new york city police officer. you have half financial of the relation to this guy could be in the 10th grade mentally. he could be a psycho.
you want to tell me that if you threaten me come off file of shi'a fifth of -- you want to tell me that if you threaten me, i will shoot you. [applause] >> she carries her own. >> a lot of times, first of all, thank you. it is great to be here. when we talk about the impact of partisan, it seems kind of distant from the lives of the american people, like regulation. one of the things that i think partisanship has done in this country is to keep black and white people separate. we have done a lot of work as
independents to create ways for what we call the overtaxed, which is the white middle-class, and the underserved, which are people of color and poor people in general, to come together and have dialogue. this is so in human. the democrats think that they are representing the african american community and other people of color, but they don't. in fact, they help to create the antagonism. there is something so profoundly disturbing about this system from that vantage point -- is not that they cannot sit together but they keep us from sitting together and i just won it the two of you to comment on it. >> interest in enough, that the vision that you talked about, you may remember a number of years ago when it was a much
hotter issue that it has been since, about creating a majority-minority district. i was teaching at harvard at the time and there was a meeting at a faculty members and it was very interesting because people are looking for what they think would serve their advantage. so, this was not something that involved a republicans. the white liberals on the faculty were very much in favor of keeping districts the way they had been. they said, because if we create a majority district, that will take them out of other districts and increase the number of republicans. do not worry about it, we will take care of you. we will watch out for your interest. the african-american members said, well, thank you for taking care of our interest, but we
would like a seat at the table, too. there has been historically, there is a great new book out. you will be shocked to find out, i wrote a very good review of its -- of it. it is by a well-known liberal writer. he makes the case for the baltics. one of the things that he brought up is the tension that existed for so long. -- she makes the case for liberal politics. how do you resolve one of the political advantages? the other says, want to be full players. this is really tough. >> a couple of thoughts about this. in my mind, what you are raising is connected to the question about senators them.
i think about some of the history of what has gone on in the independent political movement. of course, you have been an outspoken and leading figure in that movement in our audience should know that you ran for president in 1988 as an independent. you became the first woman and african american to access the ballot in all 50 states. [applause] more than that, your message in that campaign and since then, and certainly and all of our world, the independent political movement is try to find ways to build new bridges between communities and constituencies and americans that are divided and separate it from one another. we have been very excited and i am very gratified over the years when we have seen at the ticket a coalition which we sometimes
call the black and independent alliance come together which happened in 2008 with the election of barack obama. we have also seen this happen in new york city year in some of the mayoral races and the election of michael bloomberg. this is very important stuff. one point about senators and issues -- about senators of -- one thing about centrism. centrism is presented as the thing that brings people together, but it is the baltics that drives people apart. we saw this manifest in the earliest days of the early political mood. -- but it is the politics that drives people together.
we were trying to create a new national party. there was terrible fights, a tremendous fights that went on about whether this party was going to be a centrist party or what we called a populist party. at a party that brought ordinary americans together across racial lines, across ideological lines, to create a new type of politics. so, i think that for people who have been involved in the independent movement, that fight between andcentrism and populism, -- that fight between centrism and populism has been a very moving fight. this is important for people to
be educated about that. this is something that i write about in my book. i deal with the history of this flight. historically, this is a very very important fight. those that advocate for a centrist party was that we would bring a more conservative democrats, who are white, and the more liberal republicans, who are right, in a centrist party. the black people would be happy. i am not making this up. people articulating this as a pieces or as a blueprint for how to build the independent movement. many of us have been in the independent movement for a long time and we fought against that. that is so important as a part
of that history. >> i have a commercial interruption. i have two invitations for everyone here. on may 5th, the new york city independence party is hosting a theater night at the castillo theater. the play explores the love affair between thomas jefferson and sally, and his slave and examines the in human compromise our founding fathers made at america's birth. >> they asked me if i was going to sing tonight. >> to understand that there will be more to come.
>> i do. this is wonderful. the music is totally engrossing. it is very popular. jackie is dynamite. we have tickets on sale. you can check in at the registration table and we hope you will join us. my next invitation is to join me in taking politics to the people national. i began this over a decade ago to bring these types of dialogues to independence-minded new yorkers. in january of this year, i took the international -- i took this national. i launched a blog and a book group so that independents across the country could take part in this dialogue. i want to encourage you to joined our book club.
also, our audience to sign up yourself and invite friends and colleagues from around the country. you can find it is at www.polit ics4thepeople.wordpress.com. >> when we were talking about obama in the 2008 election, i was thinking, he got some of the cultural aspects right, but he did not address the structural issues. we have talked a lot about to open primaries and the need for reform, which addresses are the structural impediments for democracy. party primaries were referenced and they were a structural reform which was a cure for
smoke-filled rooms. the parties figured out how to turn that to their own advantage. find it odderson, i to be advocating for structural reform. how do we get it right? the mobilization aspect of it, so that it comes together and works, so the people that run the show cannot come together and take it back. >> the power in this country rests with the people if they exercise. democracy is not a spectator sport. one of the things that the people in the state of california found that when they go to open primaries. there are 24 states that have provisions for initiative petitions where the voters can take control. they come up with the changes
and the law. in this case, what they did was redistricting. they get the signatures, they run a campaign, and they change the laws. i am not want to ask how many of you have been to a meeting where your member of congress, you're house or senate member, was present. it is important at the state legislative level, many do not have initiative. initiatives to have a referendum where the legislature can be pressured to submit the issue to the voters. in addition, when you're a member of congress comes to meet with the constituent, you should be there and say, that senators so and so, if you vote 95% of the time with your party, as a great many do, then you don't belong in congress.
you are obviously not representing us. we're not all in agreement 95% of the time. you say to the house members, we want you to support a provision that requires a speaker of the house to act in a non-partisan way, change the rules so that you cannot be elected speaker unless she gets 60% of the vote. come up with the changes that are required and this requires confrontation. this requires confrontation either when you're a member of congress is back and you can talk to them or you go to washington state, or you go to albany, or you get an initiative going. we're in the mess we're in because the american people have not said to stop. it is time to say stop it. >> to add a couple of things to that, i was thinking about fred
newman, a founder of this movement who passed away a year ago. he wrote a book a number of years back called "the end of knowing," which is a wonderful book. one of the things he wrote about and that he practiced is the idea that cultural transformation does not happen in an orderly fashion. that is what they're talking about. it actually occurs out of chaos and out of new things happening in the context of chaos. i felt very close to this. i've been thinking about these. so much of the discussion about this particular structural reform that we are in favor of,
people will often say if you had independent voting, of this is what the outcome is going to be. it will help the democrats. what is going to happen? what is the impact? i have become very fond of saying i have no idea. i really don't know. 40% of the country are independencts today. they need the opportunity to vote in the first round. we will take it from there. not know what is going to produce. >> hello.
thank you. i was glad to hear that the women's movement, the civil rights movement, all these movements were not centered. there were not party movements. they were movement of independent people. i'm glad that you just said what he said about cultural transformation. that truly is how things change. i'm a little perturbed that people all over the country, some black people, all kinds of people, white people, are saying that president obama did not do this or did not do that.
they said that this ship up the establishment. 20 million americans voted. jesse ventura got elected governor. he was supposed to be governor. i think about obama end that way. the cultural thing that happened was an african-american was elected president. that is the change. i would like to know your comments on this. you both have eloquently addressed the whole by partisan gridlock, it the whole chokehold on the system of the american party. kenya address, the cultural
impact would be based on what we have seen from perot and jesse ventura? >> i appreciate your question. i think a couple of things. one is that i think that one of the halifax half of that -- one of the effects of that a is that turning planpoint what you saw subsequently was the extraordinary resistance of the existing institution. it is the ability to manifest or respond to that or create a new political process off of that. president obama should have set
off a huge chain of events in which there was a broader reconsideration of the way institutions function. that is not what happened. in fact, arguably what happened is that those institutions began to perform more and more as character shares -- caricatures of themselves. this is what i said before about the unevenness of the process. the country takes a huge step forward. then you start to see these institutions which are dead. they are continuing to control this even though the american people have spoken out and seven want to go do something different. that is the fight. that is what we are doing.
some people say open primaries, what happened to storm and the barricades? i think it is important for people to appreciate how extraordinarily revolutionary it is to restructure the ruling institutions in the way that we're talking about. >> i cannot add to that. how does underline what you said. you're doing away with party control of the election process, a governing process. that is storming the barricades.
>> and the majority take all system, it seems like this as part of the problem. it reminded me when she wrote the book called "the tyranny of the majority" about different ways to do democracy, different ways of weighted voting. it is the plurality, not the majority. >> there are lots of reforms out there. a lot of reforms and not make any sense.
i talked to the people of americans elect. ask me to support them. they came up with this brilliant idea that will solve the problem. they'll have a presidential candidates and one party and a vice presidential candidates of the other party. vice-president have no more input. it does not make any difference at all. there is another one. a friend of mine is pushing this. it sounds good at first. familiar withare the statement, it has a runoff primary. you would find that a great many of the cases that whoever finished second in the first round wins the runoff. when you have an actual runoff, not just dropping down the list , between two people, the boaters can look at them, size
them up head-to-head. often it is the one who won the first round. i think it has to be much more fundamental. it has to be opening it up to democracy. let the voters choose among all of them. [applause] >> sorry. i wanted to ask you if you could comment on the relationship between the extent of social prices and our -- crises in the country. i work as a medical doctor in health care and education come in housing.
the country is really in a crisis. all these people live this every day. it seems to me there's a strong relationship between that and what you're talking about. partisanship people can talk about. i wanted to ask you if you can comment on this and how we can express the relationship to the american people. we can talk about it in a way that has to do with the fundamental need. >> i cannot give an answer that is as good as your question. i will say that one of the things that happens is that when you have the kinds of crises that we have, whether it is the banking system or the health
care system, you have so many programs. in the way it works against. people start becoming so focus on policy outcome that they want. trying to get them to focus on system and changes is much more difficult. they do not realize. if we elect the person who thinks the way i think, we will be better off. for their part did the same system. nothing gets changed. when you have problems as deep as the one step you talk about, the only way to deal with them is to get people whose focus is not on the next election but on solving a problem to sit down together. crisis makes it harder to do
that. if you are starting out -- look. one of the things talking about obama. there were conservatives after obama's election who thought obama was a canyon socialist. there were liberals who were mad that he was not. people laid out these extreme positions. how do you get together and deal with the problem? there is no good answer to it. it is there a problem. you put your finger on a very important problem have. >> i think what you're describing here is how do you treat environments is the
priority. this comes up a lot. i'm sure you dealt with this when you were in congress. there are a lot of creative, innovative new ways of looking at issue is whether its a science or medicine or youth development and education. the vested interest past two protect the constituencies, the special interests that they represent. the incentives for innovation and bringing new ideas and approaches to bear on social problems is very minimal. in some ways i think that is the point of pressure. that is where we have to tackle the problem. we have to trade in new set of incentives so that the new
approaches and new issues can be brought in and experimented with. we just don't have that kind of system right now. >> that is what is so great about the bringing together law enforcement and intercity it. you had your constituencies. you have your office. fuel to hold onto that. -- you have to hold on said that. let's i wanted to thank you for a biting me to this event. you mentioned how the president is there for congress prepare.
the media makes a much of the election that it takes the focus away from the fact that congress is running the country. is there any way we can bring that back for people to be made more aware tax ? >> i have had the opportunity to do several things with sandra day o'connor oil. . she would say this is a failure and not only teaching critical thinking, which is not done very well anymore, but a failure in teaching civics, teaching about our system of government. people do not understand that.
a lot more people would worry about who they vote for for congress and for president if they understood the system and how it is supposed to work. i have been on many radio and tv shows. make sure you're doing a pre- interview that obey conjure for that will be there. we're talking about basic reforms. it is not just i want to change the electorate system. these problems are a lot deeper.
biggest take away. i cannot thank you enough for spending time with us bear the most important thing about tonight's event is all of you. i hear you saying that it is up to us to continue to build the movement for a very important americans that can restructure the process, create a new culture, increase in the space for innovation. i felt very energized by our dialogue. we'll see everyone else at the next politics for the people. thank you so much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] abe>> coming up next, a commissn
focusing on human rights in china. hear about chen guanchong and other human rights activist. later, a discussion of the growing number of political independents in the united states and the role of political party. tomorrow morning, at issue is being talked about this election year. he announced to be retiring at the end of the term. his first elected in 1980. joins us live at 9:30 a.m.
eastern on c-span2. but the congressional executive commission on china of books and to chen guancheng is saw help from the u.s. embassy. this is about two hours. >> the commission will come to order. good afternoon. the escape of chinese advocate chen was nothing short of a miraculous -- it has taken the world, not to mention chinese officials by complete surprise.
it was a great relief that i and millions around the world learned his escape, reaching safety at the american embassy in beijing. having been handed over to chinese officials by american diplomat said today, chen, his wife, and the rest of his family and friends appear to be in significant danger. notwithstanding potentially empty safety assurances from the chinese side, chen has expressed desire to gain asylum for himself and his family. questions arise whether or not he was pressured to leave the u.s. compound. a. see n n interview says "his comments portrayed the united states as manipulating him, cutting him off from outside manipulation, and encouraging him to leave rather than seeking
asylum." he said he fell to the embassy officials had lied to him. they kept lobbying me to lead and it promised to have people stay with me in the hospital. dissected in essence i checked into the hospital room, -- this afternoon as soon as i checked into the hospital room, they were all gone. i do nothing the u.s. protected human rights in this case. when asked why he left the embassy, he seems to blame the embassy officials. at the time i did not have a lot of reformation. i was not allowed to call my friends from inside the embassy. i could not keep up with the news. i did not know a lot of things
that were happening. checn agreed that if you stay in china, is there no feature? he also said he tried calling two u.s. embassy officials numerous times but that nobody had answered. "i told the embassy i would like to talk to chris smith, but they somehow never arranged it. i feel a little puzzled. for the record, i placed a call after being informed that he wanted to speak with me. i waited all night until 4:00 for a callback from the high u.s. official i was told could a range that in the call never came. there are many questions and even more concerns. how will the agreement to be enforced? what happens if chen or any member of his family suffers retaliation? where is his nephew? what happens now if the courageous young woman who drove chen to safety? there are many questions. and next week i hope to convene another meeting to take testimony from the obama administration witnesses and to get some answers. our purpose today is to examine
his case and it discern the likelihood his family and chen and supporters of any opportunity at safety going forward or whether asylum and -- whether asylum becomes an option. the story of chen guangcheng is extraordinary from the beginning. he pushed past profound barriers to school himself in chinese law and became an advocate for rights of the vulnerable. years later when local villagers told him of their stories of the forced abortions and forced sterilizations, he and his wife documented these stories.
they later built a brief for a class-action lawsuit for individuals involved. they gained international news media attention in 2005 and their challenge to the draconian control policies spurred harsh and extended retaliation including torture and beatings. the commission and other committees of congress have examined china's population control policies many times. i have heard victims give testimony about that brutal policy. she said, by day i was a monster. by night a wife and mother. she told hope the full weight of
the dictatorship was behind her efforts to ensure children were not born. sometimes china paints a false picture for gullible foreigners. that it is somehow being eased or mitigated. they faced huge retaliation for speaking out against it. the english phrase they use is planet -- family planning but it is not the family planning but the states. when an out of planned birth takes place they impose fines on the couple. all unwed couples are forced to
abort. this is the one that touches virtually every chinese, especially women and children. we now know there are missing girls by the tens of millions. the lost daughters of the china. he has refused to back down. he and his family have paid a dear price. they have been repeatedly harassed and denied their basic freedoms for seven years. after serving more than four years in prison on trumped up charges, he was released in 2010. only to be locked up with their family in their home under 24 hours surveillance with all forms of communication with the outside world severed. on more than one occasion he and his wife were beaten and denied medical treatment for
injuries. their 6-year-old daughter was prevented from attending school. this was in violation of the child's right for an education and more payback for her parents' actions. in the past few months, this little girl has been permitted to attend a school but only with three guards with her everywhere she goes. all of this and it more,chen and his family have endured this as so-called free citizens under chinese law. it is no wonder when he was risking his life to escape this commission last week, he saw our help, the united states government. he urged the chinese government to address them fully and immediately. immediately.