tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 31, 2012 1:00am-6:00am EDT
but girls get to choose their favorite cookie. and we have an iphone app that says based on your favorite cookie, we can tell you about your personality. >> how about a round of applause for are speaker? take you for coming. thank you to be national press club staffs for organizing today's event. you can find out more information about national press club at press.org. thank you. we are turned. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> up next, and deputy defense secretary ashton carter on the pentagon budget. then a congressional black caucus forum on voting rights. remarks from attorney general
eric holder, then i look at state laws requiring voter id to vote. later, raiderette role in rules governing the internet. -- a greater role in rules governing the internet. the deputy defense secretary said today that the automatic spending cut slated to head the pentagon next year are completely irrational. the spending cuts are the result of the so-called super committees in the last year to come up with that deficit cutting plan. the deputy defense secretary, ashton carter, spoke and took questions this morning at the american enterprise institute after breaking -- after a brief introduction. >> welcome, everybody. my name is tom donnelly. i am the co-director of the maryland wear certainty for fraternity studies here at the american enterprise institute. i'll get off the stage as fast as i can because you have come to here dr. ashton carter, deputy secretary of defense,
who we are very pleased to host today. it was secretary carter's idea that he come and talk to us. i just agreed immediately knowing the good thing when i saw it and i looked very much forward to his remarks. there was a little squip in "politico" this morning saying that dr. carter was going to vigorously defend the administration's defense plans. i don't know whether that was our leak or his leak, but i'm sure he's more than capable of doing that. when he's done, he's going to run his own meeting and we'll go directly to questions from the audience. maybe i'll stick my hand up, but i won't insist on the moderator's prerogative or anything. i'll just get in with everybody else in the scrum if there's something i simply have to ask. it's really true that dr. carter doesn't need very much of the introduction. he's not only the number two official in the defense
department but his career as a public servant and intellectual has really been quite distinguished and quite sustained. he served in the first -- yes, the first clinton administration as assistant secretary for international security policy. and really a lot of his most influential work has been done when he's been out of government at the kennedy school and do things like the ashton strategy group and things like that. he's the very epitome of a defense intellectual. and thus it's very pleasing to see somebody of the egg headed persuasion rise to the senior management position in the department. please let's welcome dr. carter to the a.e.i. [applause] >> thank you, tom, for that
introduction. and i didn't see the thing in politico. i don't know -- i do appreciate the introduction. i appreciate the opportunity to be here. at a.e.i. it was almost exactly a year ago today that my former boss, secretary gates, spoke to you on the eve of his departure as secretary of defense. in looking back on his tenure as secretary, he chose to highlight two major themes. the first was his effort to turn the tide in iraq and afghanistan. he spoke to you about his laser-like focus on delivering urgent battlefield needs to the war fighter in iraq and afghanistan. when secretary gates first hired me in 2009, he told me that the country's at war, ash, but the pentagon is not. my job, he explained, was to
help him get the pentagon on to war footing, especially in the part acquisition technology and logistics part i was about to take over. that has been my focus as well as his, under his leadership we set up a fast lane to get urgent requirements on to the battlefield unhindered by the bureaucracy. we needed better persistent i.s.r., he said, as did general petraeus, general mcchrystal, general austin, general allen. we worked hard to deliver capabilities like stats with wide area lenses, and more u.a.d.'s that could be operated by a patrol on their line of march. we needed to protect our troops against improvised explosive devices. i.e.d.'s. we rapidly procured and fielded mine resistant armor protected vehicles, the mraps and police
particular underwear to protect troops and better detectors of i.e.d.'s and the homemade explosives and so on. we needed to get fuel, food, and all these capabilities on to the battlefield quickly and this logistic surge was a huge part of secretary gates and my focus. since then thanks to the incredible efforts of the men and women of our armed forces, commanders, and leadership of the president and congress, we were able to end the iraq war responsibly. al qaeda's on the ropes and its leadership is decimated and we have made significant progress in afghanistan. i have been going to afghanistan for well over three years now since secretary gates and i first had that conversation. and i was there a couple weeks ago and i just have to tell you our troops, our allies, our afghan partners, they are performing exceptionally well and doing heroic things to bring
security to that country. i was in the helmund valley several weeks ago where last summer we took such terrible losses. this time i walked around the market. and i went all the way up to the dam, all the way up the helmund river, which was just a distant dream to me six, eight months ago. over the last 10 years congress and the department worked together to get our troops what they needed to operate you effectively and it's led to results. i know people here at a.e.i. provide cutting-edge analysis on the subject of afghanistan and other pressing national defense issues for which we thank you and we appreciate your work and continued support of national defense. the second theme he raised was the strong view we had to take a strategy driven approach to
reforming the defense budget. much has changed since that time. congress passed the budget control act which significantly affects our fiscal reality. but our commitment to a strategy driven approach to our budget has remained steadfast. that commitment began under second gates and continues today under secretary panetta under the leadership and guidance of president obama. we focused on the force we need to build for the future and that remains our singular priority. today i want to tell you a bit about our strategy and our budget for the future which we have tailored to meet our strategy objectives. -- strategic objectives. before going to some specifics, some general points. i know congress has gone through its mark. and on that i just want to say that every dollar the united states spends on old and unnecessary programs is a dollar we lose from new necessary strategic investments.
as secretary panetta said, if we had an open bank account we would keep all of it. but we don't have an open bank account. so when something is added to our budget that is not needed, we are forced to take out something that matters. from force structure, readiness, modernization, for from the health of the all volunteer force. when we are forced to hold on to older, less capable systems, so others can pick one item or another that they favor, but we have to balance them all. and we have a responsibility to sequester. i want to say one word about that awful prospect up front. people ask are we planning for sequestration? the secretary of defense has said no, we are not. maybe later in the summer o.m.b. will have to request we look at it and determine what
steps can be taken. i don't want to mislead you here. planning has a certain rational tone to it. but congress in writing the budget control act did not design sequester to be rational. sequester was supposed to be the trigger, a trigger so irrational that the prospect of it would drive and force the leadership to do what was needed. which is to put together an overall budget package for the nation's finance that is could win wide support. sequester was designed to be irrational. and indeed aspects of sequester defy reason in any reasonable management of a nation's affairs, including its defense. as secretary panetta has made clear on numerous occasions, a sequester would have devastating effects on our readiness and work force and disrupt thousands of contracts and programs.
moreover, under the law d.o.d. would have limited flexibility in how the cuts would be applied in fiscal year 2013. so both the size and nature of sequester would nullify the strategy for the post war force of the future that we so carefully put together under the president's guidance a few short months ago. managerially, our military and civilian program managers would face absurdities that result from the arbitrariness with which sequestration would take effect. and managers throughout the government not just defense but nasa and d.h.s. and h.h.s. everywhere would find it impossible to cope with this kind of irrationality. this applies to managers in the defense industry as well. our partners in providing
weapons systems to the force. we remind you that the quality of the weapons systems produced by our defense industry is second only to the quality of our people in uniform which makes our military the greatest in the world. irrationality and uncertainty are subjects of concern to the defense industry and i certainly share industry's concerns about the sequestration. this is not the way to do defense planning and budgeting. instead we need to take a rational, strategic approach to our budget. and that's what we are doing. so let me explain our defense strategy and budget and why we built the budget we did. i have to back up for a moment. this is a time of great consequence for american defense because two forces are coming together at the same time. the first is obviously the budget control act.
but the deeper, more fundamental force is the force of strategic history. for a decade our department has been riveted of necessity on two wars of a certain kind in iraq and afghanistan. one has ended, the other has not, but will. thanks to the hard work of our men and women in uniform and our international allies and partners. through these wars over the last 10 years, by developed cutting-edge capabilities and counter insurgency and counterterrorism. those were the skills we needed. we learned to do them exceptionally well. and we will retain those key skills going forward. but as the wars wind down, we must look up and look beyond to what the nation and this world need next. we have the opportunity and really the obligation to pivot our defense to the new
challenges and opportunities that will define our future. while we have been fighting, the world has not stood still. our friends and enemies have not stood still, the technology has not stood still. now we must meet these changes. and really in some places catch up with them. to do that we must let go of the old and familiar and grab hold of the new to build what chairman democracy called the joint force of 2020. and the point i'm making is we need to make this transition even if we had all the money we wanted. but, of course, we don't have all the money that we want and
there is a second great force impinging upon us which is the budget control act. i just want to remind you of the magnitude of the budget control act's effect and the need we have to make this adjustment and consonance with the force of strategic history. the -- just to remind you the facts, the base defense budget is not decreasing. overcoming years, but neither is it continuing to rise in real terms as it has over the past few years. and as we planned for it to do as recently as a year ago. the difference between our plans before the budget control act and the plans imposed on us under the budget control act is the famous $487 billion over 10 years.
an adjustment of about 9% of the total that we planned, which is a very substantial adjustment by any measure. and to that we must add the magnitude of the reductions in overseas contingency operations or supplemental spending that correspond to the winddown of the war in iraq and eventually in afghanistan. so those are the numbers with which we are dealing and this is the moment which we find ourselves to deal -- which we find ourselves. to deal with the two forces we knew we had to do several things. first is to put strategy first and then budget. president, secretary of defense, the chiefs, the service secretaries, and so
forth spent much of the fall meeting constantly building off the work that secretary gates had begun the summer before and culminating and decisions made by the president to try to scope out what the defense strategy of the united states should be in this new strategic era, and you saw the strategy we put out pictures in early january and then a little bit later the budget. and the reason was the strategy was our guide as we made this large budget adjustment and the sequence was critical. second thing that we -- second rule we observed was -- i put it in secretary panetta's terms which is everything on the table, everything on the table, no sacred cals, including many things we have not looked at managerially for many years in the department for the simple fact that we didn't have to. so everything on the table.
the third principle we applied -- and this is important -- we did not proceed by subtraction alone, by taking things away but by building towards that force. the image i always have in my mind is an ice sculpture. you can either watch the chips fly away or you can watch the shape emerge. we always made sure we watched the shape emerge which is the force of 020 which is what we are trying to -- 2020 which is what we are trying to build towards. so that's what we did and the result was a strategic package and was a balanced package in three parts. first part was a continued discipline in how taxpayer dollars are spent.
i won't say too much about that in this audience. many of you heard me speak about this in my previous job, but we need to continue the relentless pursuit of better buying power for the taxpayer and the war fighter. this is necessary for two reasons. first of all, to the extent we can, we would like to absorb any reductions in the budget, in the budget control act without diminishing military capability. so one would like to find efficiencies where one could. can't tell you that we can find all deficiencies but it's quite a bit. the second is if we are going to retain the confident of the taxpayer that their money is being put to good use in defense. that confidence is essential for us to continue to enjoy the
funding from the taxpayer that we really need to defend the nation. for both of those reasons we need to keep at it and that's why we proposed things like another round of base realignment and closing, brac. people say, how can you do that? and the answer is, how can i not do that? how can i not propose the cutting of tail and only the cutting of tooth? how could i justify not protecting bases? i couldn't conceivably do that. i realize it's not popular but it's one of the things that we felt when we said everything was on the table, brac was on the table. so the better use of the taxpayer dollars.
our second part again i won't go into here because i think it's of less interest to this audience but it's of essential importance which is to take some steps to slow the growth in personnel coasts in the department. so we made some proposals that are measured and we think it's necessary. the view of all us and the joint chiefs was that this approach was the right one. but the third part of the budget package was the one is of most interest to this audience and that is the part that was tuned to the new strategy. if you look at the new strategic guidance that we issued in early january, i always say this is what you would have written down, too, if you had the same question. not rocket science.
pretty straightforward answer to the question. well, after iraq and afghanistan, what should we focus on now? but it was important that we write that down and say it and that we guide our budget move accordingly. i pick a few of the pieces of strategic guidance, two out of the five or six that were in there. the first i'm sure will be very interesting to this audience is what we call the rebalancing toward the asia pacific region. and a logic behind that is very simple. it is this. the pacific region has enjoyed peace and stability for over 60 years and in that climate first japan, then korea and even, yes, now today china have had an environment in which they could develop economically and
politically without war or conflict. that's not a birthright. that is something that was guaranteed, reinforced by the pivotal military power of the united states in that region. we are going to continue to play a pivotal military role in the east asia pacific region so we can keep on keeping on with that good thing. it's good for us and it's good for everyone in the region. that's what we're going to do. and so if you look at what we did managerially in dealing with the consequences of the budget control act, the pacific posture increased relative to
that elsewhere. some specifics and the navy, our navy is going to remain about the same size and grow somewhat in the outyears but we're doing a big change about newer ships for older ships. so not only are we protecting our investments in the navy overall, but this is the important point, we are shifting the naval presence to the pacific. you'll see that go on over the next several years. that's carriers, it's destroyers of a couple kinds, it's attack submarines, the new combat ship all going into the pacific theater. go to the air force. the air force, we did decide to make some reductions in air force tactical error squadrons by removing some of the older or single purpose aircraft.
that to make room for newer aircraft but we made no changes in the tact error posture in the asia pacific. none at all. in addition to that, we are continuing on, despite the budget control act, with the stealth bomber, with the tanker and with a host of other platforms all going forward despite the budget environment. say something about the marines. the marines in the asia pacific region. there will be something more
about this later. reduction in marine corps in- strength reflecting the winddowns in iraq and afghanistan. no reduction in marine corps presence west of the international death line. none. and -- international date line. none. in fact, we will see more marines out in east asia. why is that? because the marines won't be in afghanistan. they are going to be at their stations. we have a new rotational presence in australia that we're building. marines presence in guam. definitely going to make that move now, and so marie -- marine corps presence in the asia pacific also. finally, we sustained or launched new capabilities specifically for the asia pacific region. i mentioned the new bomber. didn't mention yet the virginia payload module for the virginia class submarines, conventional prompt strike and a host of upgrades in radars, electronic,
protectional electronic warfare, new munitions of various kinds and on and on and on all not only protected but enhanced going forward. so i wanted to give you some of those particulars because i know that's one of the strategic principles that was most interest to an audience like that. take one more and then i'll -- that's it. the other one really derived from the president himself who had a very good instinct in this regard. he kept saying to us, make sure that you don't follow the last in first out rule, that you don't pull up the things that are most shallowly rooted, namely, your new things, because that's the easiest thing
to do. i want to see that we are enhancing the capabilities that are going to be part of our future. and what are they? well, cyber, for example, we will spend more on in the future. we need to. we have lots of opportunities there and we will. certainly aspects of our science and technology base so we continue to invest in the future and not consume feed corn of tomorrow. special operations forces including counterterrorism which we gotten very good at over the last 10 years. we need to keep being good at that. certain of our space initiatives. all our major space initiatives going forward. host of unmanned aerial systems, navy, air force and army. all of those things enhanced, and, of course, when you do that something else is not going to have that opportunity to be enhanced, something that's older and part of a legacy. but that's what we needed to do and that's what we did. so those -- in outline is how and what we did to try to adjust the budget to the strategy. now, in the time since when we released our budget plan and today, congress went through
its mark. and i want to emphasize the package that we submitted is one that was not only strategic but the thing i want to stress is carefully balanced. we're building the force we need for the future. we made decisions within the constraints of the budget control act. we had to. and when additions are made to that package in one area, we out of necessity have to take mg out elsewhere. -- something out elsewhere. it's the rule of the game. that's what it means to be once you have a budget a zero-some game. so all of the package could lead to an unbalanced portfolio. for example, a hollow-ween of the force.
and i want to specifically call out a cup of things in that regard. first, tricare. i mentioned that we did not believe that compensation could be exempt in this climate. health care costs consists about 10% of our budget, and we want to give our troops and retirees the very best health care at the lowest price in the country and we do. but in order to deliver high- quality health care we need to control spiraling costs, so we made some modest proposals, respecting tricare and we need these savings to balance and maintain investments in the military. we need them. we understand it's a difficult step to take. we think it's a fair one and the right one. let me talk about aircraft retirements. we're looking to retire some old single purpose aircraft in favor of newer multiaircraft like the new bomber and the new tanker.
and i mentioned that we had proposed making some of those changes in the tactical air forces. we need to be able to make those changes. to keep older aircraft online would impede the air force from becoming the air force of the future that we need, and that would be unfortunate. so as it affects the tact air force, the changes that we made we think were well-advised, and they allow us to make the transition to the future in the air force that we seek. that's with respect to tact air. with respect to lift, we -- all of our modeling shows that we have excess intertheater strategic lift.
we need to make sure that our lift capabilities are allocated correctly and access to intertheater lift is not -- we can't afford it. we don't need it. we also have excess in trust theater lift. this affect the c-130's in particular. and the c-130's have an important use, not only to our contingencies of importance overall national defense but also in defense support civil authorities. very important role in defense support civil authorities, so they need to be present in adequate numbers for our contingencies, and they need to be at useful locations within the country to provide proper -- appropriate support to civil authority. where they are is of less concern for national defense, and we're prepared to be flexible in that regard and the secretary has even indicated that he is prepared to be somewhat flexible with respect to the numbers of c-130's even though we have excess.
but overall we need to be able to retire older single-purpose aircraft and aircraft in excess of need, and that's what makes rom for the new. -- room for the new. likewise with the navy, if we hold on to older ships it will come at the expense of the new. we don't want to hold on to older ships because we have to pay to modernize them, pay to man them, pay to operate them and they are not as capable as a new ship would be. so our shipbuilding plans call for a somewhat larger, the end of our 10-year period but decided more capable navy and that's the plan we would like to follow. we say something for army and marine corps. army and marine corps are two services that are facing the most titanic transitions as the iraq and afghanistan wars wind
down because they have been so deeply and wholeheartedly committed to those two conflicts. ad they're trying to make transition from this necessary focus on counterinsurgency or coin over the last decade to a wider spectrum of capabilities that we need for the future so they are the dominant ground force, full spectrum combat capability best in the world future. that's what we want. so we are not going to size the army or the marine corps for long protracted stability operations any longer. we're not going to retain the large rotation forces that we have needed to constantly rotate brigades in and out of
iraq and afghanistan. we're not going to retain it not because we are abandoning coin. as i said we are going to retain that important and hard one excellence in coin, but we don't need the bulk of the force structure. you can't predict the future. obviously no one wants to get in another war like iraq or afghanistan anytime soon, but the point so we are predicting the future. the point is if we did we would mobilize the reserves and rebuild and we would have by definition time to do so. if there were another large long counterinsurgency war that needed to be fought. so that is not force structure that needs to be retained in being, and that isn't what we want or the army or the marine corps want. they want to be able to take down that in strength somewhat and make investments in creating the full spectrum force of the future. that's what we need to do, and if we're prohibiting from making those reductions in army and
marine corps in strength it frustrates our opportunity to help them make that transition from the decade they've been in for the decades we need them for in the future. i hope that doesn't happen. so in conclusion, we're in all of our services and in all of our activities in national security, embarked on a strategic transition following the wars in iraq and afghanistan. this is just the beginning. this ship is making a very big turn, and we need to follow through on our plan and keep moving toward the future. it's an important job to do. transition is going to take some time but you can see the outlines of where we're going. secretary panetta, chairman dempsey devised it and president obama scrubbed it very hard and all the members of congress i speak with every day and whom envision i speak of, the same opportunity and really the same obligation to the war
fighter and the taxpayer to pivot or strategic approach. we all see it. we just need to do it. as we work out the details we look forward to working with each and every one of them and with each and every one of you in this room on the process every step of the way. so i thank you for your attention and for the wonderful work that this institution does. [applause] >> this allows me to introduce one program note that i forgot to mention at the beginning and also to put myself at the front of the question. a you'll indulge me for second. first of all, just to remind everybody of secretary will run his own q&a session. there are ground rules that sue
plant even that. that -- supplant even that. put your compelling statement in the form of succinct question. i will now give an example of how to do that. mr. secretary, you described a process of transition, the ocean liner metaphor you used. obviously the term that you've embarked on is incomplete. so i'd ask you to both look ahead and cast your mind back to both past job and your past experience in the 1990's. do you foresee a transition that's necessary within the defense industry that would parallel what you've described and what do you think that would look like? >> i do, and it's a very important question. my colleagues in the defense industry are thinking along exactly the same lines and almost without exception are
steering their companies in that position so they will continue to serve our needs in the future in a different way they have in the last 10 years. i say a few things about -- i said already that the defense industry is second only to our people, our defense industry is what makes us a great military power. therefore, a technologically advanced, vibrant and financially successful defense industry is in the national interest. and we want to work towards a defense industry and the future that continues to be as great as the one in the present and the past. we in the main leave to market forces the adjustments in the defense industry that will necessarily come aztec nothing changes, as missions change, as the transition unfolds because
the speaker theory says that's good and that's what we want. we do keep our eye out for things that could be deleterious to our string. one would be the short-term financial perspective impinging upon our industry that came into the housing market, certain aspects of the financial services market so we can't afford to let that thing happen to our defense industry so we are aligned with the long-term investors in our defense industry in terms of long-term health, productivity growth and so forth. second, we'll be looking as we make changes for any parts -- any skillsets that are now in the defense industry that if we allowed them to go away would be very difficult to or time
consuming. those i -- we have an obligation to sustain, and i've invited my partners in industry to identify those opportunities for us. that's an example of something we didn't do in 2013 but as we put together the 2014 budget we definitely want to look at those holes and within the reasons of our budget constraint make those kinds of investments. so we want to work together with the industry upon which we depend so much so that they make the transition with us and the they're here to make
greatest military in the world 10, 20 years from now. so i appreciate your question. if there's anybody from the industry here in the room, thank you. and please go back and tell your people thank you. we don't take you for granted. we appreciate what you do for national defense. >> amy butler with "aviation week." since 9/11, and you talk about this transition, there's been a lot of money point of order into i.s.r. resources for any number of reasons. can you walk us through what the pentagon is for reconciling the i.s.r. forces in the future given the fact that the quick reaction systems which are unique and what not, and also at what point, if you haven't already, will you start shifting funds from the current i.s.r. programs that we know of today toward new sensors and/or new platforms maybe that can penetrate such that we need for the future? >> both good questions. let me take the second one
first. that transition -- that -- you're calling a shift, has begun. actually began a couple years ago, and i'm limited in what we say about our future i.s.r. capabilities, but trust me that we're investing in the future. with respect to the ones, you're so right we put together quickly under the pressure of combat and which have been so amazingly successful. they do pose a managerial issue before the war because they weren't necessarily designed to last. they don't have the futures that we want that will be part of an enduring part of the force. the air forces had to work through a very complicated process. we do intend to make them an enduring part of the air force's force structure but we
had to figure out how to do that. it wasn't just the air frames. it's how to crew them over time, how to train the crews, where to put the crews and so forth. likewise, for the liberty fleet, liberty fleet also very much a quick reaction type of fleet. those are the turbo props with a lot of i.s.r., so forth on them. also essential, and we are going to keep a portion of that fleet. there will be things that we built up for the wars in iraq and afghanistan that are not worth keeping in the force structure because they'll be outdated or they're not suited to more contested air environments. afghanistan is obviously not a contested air environment. you just fly around and do what
you want. that won't be that case everywhere in the world. so that's an example of a big transition in the air force. by the way, it has the man to unman transition aspect to it. there is a lot of adjustments begun on at the same time. >> thank you. professor at the university of california and i'm here with our students. i'm sorry we didn't bring our weather with us. as a veteran of the undersecretary acquisition office in o.s.d. for many years, i hear themes of old problems that still exist. as you meet today's situation. we have a concern in my time in the pentagon with the notion of cost growth and reductions in programs and stretchouts. so in managing the challenge of the future, the mantra of the old days was guard the front gate, stabilize your programs as much as you can in order to meet the goals of reducing cost growth and delivering on time. we tried to manage the number of major systems through the
front gate. we tried to manage cost growth and systems by controlling class 1-e-c change orders, baselining. that's my editorial comment. my question is in building your budget, to what response are you -- >> wayne, we absolutely are. by the way to your students i hope you decide to make public policy what your life's about. nice to get up in the morning and be working on things that are bigger than yourself. we need good people. i hope you take an interest in it. it has a very direct effect. i mean, i -- particularly with my 18-l background protect well-managed programs.
if you have a program that's not doing well, that's overrunning, that's behind schedule, that's not going well, you are -- there's a presumption against you in this environment. and i say that to all our program managers in government and all my colleagues in industry as well. you need to make it possible for us to continue to have you do what you're doing for us. and if you -- if you're running up the bill by a few percent every year, we cannot sustain that. so you are presumptively on the block if you are a poor performer. and some of our really well- performing programs, we are protecting them, not just their existence, but making sure they stay at an economically efficient rate of production, whether they be munitions or aircraft and so forth, but i won't name the stars, but you know we obviously have programs that disappoint us and frustrate us, but we also have programs that perform very well. they deserve protection because they're going to deliver more combat capability per dollar than the ones that are poorly performing.
and the worst thing you can do is bring back rates of production to the point where they are economically inefficient. that's truly the future. managing is an important part of it. i'm sorry. can you wait one second? my distinguished predecessor, secretary wolfowitz. >> paul wolfowitz, once upon a time i had your job and i know how difficult it is, i should leave you alone, but this is a friendly question. to ask you to look in the future a little bit, it's famous that when dick cheney was being confirmed as secretary of defense the word iraq didn't appear once in his hearings. i believe -- not sure with rumsfeld's hearings, but he certainly had to search very hard to find the word afghanistan. so it's pretty hard to know what's coming up next. having said that, i know you thought a lot both in your job and the previous ones about terrorism.
my question is, one, would you rank that as high up in the probabilities? do you think we're doing enough about it? and to what is the defense department's mission or is it between agencies or falling between cracks? >> terrific question, and you're reminding me that i actually forgot to say something which is in my list of protections which is counter- w.m.d. with respect to bio, reading into what you said, paul, if you're concerned about the potential of the biosciences to create threats in the future, not only with existing pathogens but i think the real revolution lies farther in the future, but certainly so, it is a defense problem. it's going to be a defense
problem. they will be used in war. they will be used in terrorism, and any time anything at that scale emerges, people are going to expect us to play a role. we have a substantial investment in that area. at the moment it tries to balance the legacy stuff that is naturally occurring pathogens and looking it he frontier as well tries to the extent we're able to and you know you've been part of this to get our feelers out there in the world so that we're engaged with the community of researchers in this field and to the extent possible with those in the past created stocks of pathogens and some make sure they stay out of trouble and so forth. it's very important. and while we're mentioning the biosciences, another thought that comes to me, if you don't
mind, the biosciences are going to be the revolutionary sciences for the -- in the next generation even as information -- i know this is trying. everybody says this is true. information technology was for the generation just behind us. and in addition to posing new threats, one thing i wanted to say is it has given us tremendous opportunities as well. we in the department of defense and, paul, i'm sure you know this well, have sadly over the last 10 years become pioneers in several fields of health care. t.b.i., p.t.s.d., prosthesis and so forth. and as hard as that expertise has been it's there and it's available for everyone else to
use as well. if you go to hospitals and you go go to the centers of excellence as well, be proud to take care of our own wounded warriors but that's progress that everybody can benefit from. sorry. >> good morning, sir. the army, especially the institutional army, had a very rough time getting their acquisitions done well over the past 12 to 15 years. given the stakes over the next five years, the reset, replacing the mm 13's, etc., etc., how confident are you that the army has fixed itself and that it will do a good job and what are you doing to ensure that happens? >> well, you are right and i think everybody in the army and everybody associated with the
army acquisition would say they are disappointed in the performance over the last decade, determined to do better. i know this is true of john mccue and heidi shue and the whole team over there. that's -- at my previous job it was a big priority of mine and my successor, frank kendall, i know will be working especially with the army to improve their trade craft in acquisition and also to put forth -- put together their portfolio of investment for the future. and this is a big change for the army. i said before the -- the army has -- is making the most difficult and largest transition of all the services just because they have been really up to here in iraq and afghanistan now for 10 years. and so in acquisition and in everything else how they define their mission, how they
organize and so forth, ordierno and mchugh are taking a really fundamental look at that. and secretary panetta and i have wanted to make sure they had the time and the strategic patience from us to make the changes that they need to. it will take some-time just because of the magnitude of it but it will be reflected in acquisition as well and it really needs to be because they -- they missed -- there's a lost decade there for the army and i think it's widely recognized. it's sad. >> thank you. jeff of "air force times." there have been problems with the f-22's oxygen system where there are limitations where they can fly. i want to know is the d.o.d.
confident in the aircraft if another war broke out today that it could order into battle? >> i think the answer to that is clearly yes. that's the judgment of the air force. that was the judgment of the secretary in allowing the deployments to go forward. we did, however, and secretary panetta did this -- was very concerned about the ibog's issue. wanted to accelerate the fix for that. wanted to make sure while they were training for operations, if need be, that the safety of the pilots, the aircrews was taken into account mostly by taking sure -- several operational things, but importantly by making sure there was an air field near enough that they could get to if they began to experience any of the symptoms associated with this problem. so the answer is, yes, the aircraft will be used operationally if need be, but
also yes, we are concerned and have been concerned of the ibog's issue but i think the secretary is getting us on track to fix that. the tie. yeah, the tie. he's not used to having a tie on. >> thank you very much. i'm mike with professor glass. my question entails, we talked about single purpose aircraft. i know this is probably a sensitive topic. the a-10. upgraded with new aviationonics. is a-10 an aircraft that will serve in the near future in 2024 that you are talking about or can it be replaced by suitable replacement aircraft? >> well, i think the reason why
we were able to reduce the number of a-10's is that we can do unlike 20 years ago the a-10 job from other aircraft whereas the a-10 really does that, does it very well but that's all it does and so it's simply a matter of putting your money where you have the most capability. and that's what lies behind the decisions of the a-10. that is an example of what i was talking about. >> you just mentioned the u.s. planning sending more carrier to the asia pacific region. so will that include china -- >> repeat it. >> do you think that might irritate china and, also, the other question is on south china fleet under the mutual defense treaty that the u.s. -- with philippines, that the u.s.
should come to the aid -- if the philippines were under attack? so if there is any possibility that we will see the u.s. troops appear in the south china sea if that's the case? thank you. >> with respect to the first about china, just go back to the point i made earlier which is that the peace and prosperity that all have enjoyed in the east asia pacific region, including china, which is important economic partner of ours, so the question is, what is the environment within which that good thing, which we've had going for 60 years, will continue? one ingredient in that, really a pivotal agreement, has been the american military presence in the east asia pacific so we want to keep that going.
we think that's good for us but we also think it's good for everyone in the region as well. with respect to maritime disputes in the south china sea, i think we've been pretty clear about our outlook on that. these are things that need to be addressed peacefully, and that's the position we've taken right along. i think that's the position of principle and pass and, you know, the secretary of defense says i left the pentagon talking to shangri-la. i know he will be asked the same in the next few days. >> one more. >> one more, sure. >> thank you, mr. secretary. it's a great review of the u.s. defense strategy.
as the secretary leaves for the region, in china and india today, what do you think his message will be for india? because china is growing militarily. the u.s. budget is going down, and china's military budget is going up. and this will be a special message for india. what do you think the u.s. and india will have? do you expect any special signings between india and the secretary during his visit? >> we have going on with
kindred soul to the united states for the future. so building that ground is essential. we have been ought -- we have been at that now for 10 years, and i know that secretary wolfowitz played an important role in that. that's just been growing and growing and growing. of course, those of us who are enthusiastic about it, as i
certainly am, and i know secretary panetta is and secretary clinton is. only want to see it go faster and faster. i think i'm ok. one more. the gentleman in the glasses. >> thank you, sir. mike with cnn. you briefly did discuss sequestration, but i wanted to ask whether it happens or not, it does seem to be kind of a possible reality -- what are the concerns you're hearing from the defense industry as a whole about sequestration and what are you -- >> the same things i mentioned that our managers in the government are. this is something that is both
by its size and its nature -- i use the word rational. completely irrational from a management point of view. for those of us that tried to keep this complicated program on track, you have people working. you have a flow in your factory or whatever. you got it all planned out. we've agreed between the two of us. we got in a place where we think we got a good thing going, a program that's delivering the capability we need. it's economically paced and so forth. boom. in you come and it makes a
managerial mess out of all of the things that we tried so carefully to put on a steady footing. our partners in industry and us. that's why it's so, you know -- i use the word irrational. it is. managerial irrational. next to you. we'll make this one the last. yes, ma'am. >> my question is about biofuels. in both the house and the senate marks of the national defense authorization act, they essentially would make it impossible for the department of defense to buy another gallon of biofuels in fiscal year 2013. i want to get your response to that and also any word on if this would affect plans for a great green fleet or any other department of defense -- >> well, obviously we asked for the freedom to do that and we would prefer to have the freedom to do that so that's a simple answer to your question. i'll say something more broadly
about energy. we are big consumers of energy in the department, and we do play a role in the nation's overall energy strategy. we do things -- anything we do has to be in the interest of defense. in the first instance. but the three ways that we participate. we do useful things for defense that might be useful for the country's energy situation at large are, first, we do do some r&d. we don't try to compete with the department of energy in scope or size or quality, really, for that matter. we can't but there are certain areas where we have needs that are distinctive to us and where we need innovation and the only way to get that innovation is for us to sponsor it ourself. secondly, we are frequently able to partner with the
department of energy and provide installations or ranges or something else for them to try out their own r&d, and that's fine with us. if we can do that that's fine. and then third, a few areas and carefully selected areas in which we by following our own need, defense needs act as a first adopter of a technology that might later prove of wider use. might. i give you an example. high energy density batteries. everybody's talked to the troops knows the depth of 1,000 ounces and how they complain about carrying around all this electronics they carry around. the hardest part is the batteries. if we can get a higher energy density battery we would play pay a lot for it. more -- we would pay a lot for it. more than you would pay to put
in your flashlight and that would be a perfectly legitimate investment for our troops, and it may be that if we made an investment of that kind over time that technology would mature, the price would come down and it would become competitive in the commercial marketplace. in which case we would have fostered an innovation of greater use. good thing. defense has done that in many, many fields for many, many decades and absolutely fine. but we part with the first principle is anything we do has to make sense from a defense point of view. we are the department of defense, and he has -- and that's how we justify our investments. >> i want to thank you, sir. >> thank you. >> i hope you feel like you got away without suffering too many casualties. >> wonderful group of people. thank you so much for the opportunity. \[applause]
\[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] \[captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> attorney general her calder said today that voting rights laws is one of the justice department's top priority the attorney general made his remarks at a conference held by the congressional what caucus.
bishop adams called us from the walls of our denominations into the big room where we could all sit and celebrate our unity in christ. it is my pleasure to present the chairman emeritus who will present our keynote speaker, bush about and spirit [applause] -- bishop adams. [applause] >> in deference to the schedule, i know how to be brief. [laughter] thank you, mr. president, for those kind words. thank you. i do want to tell you that i lived in texas for 40 years and everything you said about waxahachie is true.
[laughter] mr. attorney general, other distinguished people here, press people, congress people, and all other kinds of people, if you do not know who eric holder is, it is too late for you to find out. [laughter] distinguished servant of the people, relentless do work of justice -- doer of justice, have served at all levels in this country for the opportunity to provide an opportunity for justice for the people.
he serves now as the attorney general of the united states, as the chief legal officer of this country, the hon. eric holder. [applause] >> good morning. it is a pleasure to be here. thank you, bishop, for that warm introduction. as i was listening to the congressman, i was thinking to myself, why would he do this to me? i'm just a lawyer. he is a congressman, a pastor, and he brought it, didn't he? [applause] so, thank you, congressman. it is a privilege to join with
you and with dr. richardson, dr. burton, in opening this 2012 consultation. i will thank you all for your kind words, for your leadership, for your partnership, and for your prayers. i need your prayers. the president need your prayers. please keep them coming. we also thank the members and supporters of the conference of the national black churches and the congressional black caucus is here to support the work you are doing today, and to bring renewed attention to the need to protect voting rights of every eligible citizen. and to pledge to be part of this discussion and to be -- it is a easure to be part of this discussion and to be among friends and allies. i am grateful to be part of the work that the people in this room are doing each day to enrich our communities and our lives.
since its establishment in 2009, cnbc's efforts have reached many people. and over the past 40 years it has is that was itself as the conscience of congress. and that is true, the conscience of congress. you have a powerful force for change. together, you are not only providing a voice for the most vulnerable among us, you are shining a light on the problems we must solve and the promises we must fulfill. in so many different ways in classrooms, court rooms, houses of worship, halls of justice, in your own -- own homes and neighborhoods, you are working to protect this country from its past and to strengthen its future. in an effort to honor america's most noble and in during cause to secure justice, you got a great job. despite all you've done, you have advanced this -- despite
all that has been done, you have advanced this cause. but as you know, this is no time to become complacent. yes, we have walked far on the long road toward freedom, but we have not yet reached the promised land. and we have ways to go to eradicate violent and to uphold the civil rights of all citizens. that struggle has not yet ended. that means it is time once again to ask dr. king's most famous and enduring question. -- where do we go for here. like many of you, i would argue that of all of the freedoms that we enjoy today, none is more important than the right to vote. the right to vote is a basic right, without which all others
are meaningless. today as attorney general, i have the privilege and solemn duty of enforcing this law. this is the law that dr. king and so many others once championed. for this justice department and for our government and law enforcement across the country. this is among our highest priority. especially when it comes to combating hate crimes and working to strengthen our communities. our efforts on the generations who have taken extraordinary risks and willingly confronted hatred, by as an ignorant, as well as the clubs and fire
hoses, bullets and bombs, to ensure that the children -- their children have the right to participate in our government. without the there -- without those children, there would be no barack obama. we must never forget that. and we must remember that the right to vote is not only the cornerstone of our system of government, but is and always has been the lifeblood of our democracy. in fact, no force has proved more powerful than the efforts to expand the franchise. without the right to vote there would be no congressional black caucus. these people who lead our nation, who are the conscience of congress would not be here without the right to vote.
despite this history and despite our nation's long tradition of extending voting rights to non-property owners and to win in, to people of color, to native americans and to younger americans, and today, a growing number of citizens are worried that despite the decisions that five decades ago so many fought to address, my travels across this country -- thought to address. in my travels across this country, citizens now have reason to believe that we are failing to live up to one of our nation's most noble ideals. the achievements of the civil- rights movement now hang in the balance again. congressman john lewis may have described the reasons for these concerns best in a speech on the house floor last summer in pointed out that the voting rights that he worked for throughout his life and that he willingly gave his life to ensure our "under attack by a deliberate and systematic attempt to prevent millions of
elderly voters, young voters, students and minority and low- income voters from exercising their constitutional right to engage in the democratic process." not only was he referring to the deceptive practices that we have been fighting for four years. we know about all of that. -- that we have been fighting about four years, we know all about that. let me assure you, for today's department of justice, our commitment to strengthening and tefillin our nation's promise of -- to fulfilling our nation's promise of equality and justice is now more than ever. we are dedicated to aggressively enforcing the voting rights act and for fulfilling our obligations in
section 2 and section 5 of this law. under section two, where there is a denial or vote dilution, we have opened a record number of investigations, more than 100 and the last fiscal year. we have also had success without litigation in encouraging voluntary improvements and compliance. at the same time, section 5, which for private -- provides pre clarence of the voting change -- provides pre- clearance of the voting changes, it has become integral to the protection of voting rights. certain covered jurisdictions are prevented from altering their boarding practices until it can be determined that proposed changes would have neither a discriminatory purpose or effect. this is called a pre-clearance
and has been a powerful tool in combating discrimination for decades. and it hasn't -- has consistently enjoyed bipartisan support, including in its most recent reauthorization by president bush and an overwhelming congressional majority came together in 2006 to renew the key provisions and extend them until 2031. yet in the six years since its reauthorization, section 5 has frequently come under attack by those whose claims -- who claim it is no longer needed. only a challenges to section five were filed in court. by contrast, over the last two years alone, we have seen nine losses contesting that constitutionality. and eachf these challenges to section 5 claim that we have obtained a new era of electro equality. america in 2012 has moved beyond the challenges of section 5 and that it is no longer necessary. -- challenges of 1965 and that section 5 is no longer necessary. i wish this was true.
subtle forms of discrimination have also come and have not been relegated to the pages of history. as we have seen, the voting rights act, including section 5, has been consistently upheld in court. a couple of days ago, the d.c. court of appeals rejected one of the latest challenges to section 5, reaffirming its continued relevance as a cornerstone of civil-rights law, underscoring the fact that it remains critical in safeguarding the essential voting rights that for many americans are now at risk. as you know, we have worked to draw attention to in the past two years more than one dozen executive laws that could make it to the beginning ardor for voters to cast their votes in 2012 -- may get continuously harder for voters to cast their votes in 2012. we're looking for changes to our systems and processes, including changes to early voting procedures, and two photo identification requirements.
to ensure that there is no discriminatory purpose or effect. the state passes a new voting law and meet the burden that it is not discriminatory, we will follow law and the change. but when a jurisdiction fails to meet its burden that a proposed change would not have a racially discriminatory effect, we will object, as we have in 15 separate cases in/september. for example, in texas, the justice department has shown that an electoral maps were manipulated, suggesting party controlled while diluting minority strength.
this is the type of discrimination that section 5 was intended to block. the case has been tried and we are now awaiting the court's decision. unfortunately, like world redistricting is far from the only concern in these jurisdictions. the reason changes tuesday of all voter identification laws has also presented problems requiring the department's attention. in december, we objected to south carolina this voter i.d. lot after finding this is based on the state's own data, the data they sent to us, that the proposed change would place an undue burden on non-white voters. this past march we objected to a photo i.d. requirement in texas because it would have a disproportionate impact on hispanic voters. the justice department is also working to protect the rights of our men and women voting overseas as well as americans living abroad, those with
disabilities, college students and minorities. we filed a lawsuit against the state of california to remedy the absentee ballots being given one time to overseas voters. this is the eighth such lawsuit that the department has filed in the last two years to protect the voting rights of overseas citizens. will also be working to protect the motor vehicle law. that will provide access to registration. in one cases in work -- one case in ryland, it resulted in more voters been registered than in the prior previous two-year time frame. we are also working to uphold the integrity of our election system. i want to be clear that no form of the electoral fraud ever has
been or ever will be tolerated by this administration, this justice department, or myself. [applause] from my early days as a trial attorney, have been proud to stand on the front lines of that fight. i fully understand the importance of investigating and prosecuting fraud cases whenever and wherever they arise. i also know firsthand what so many studies and assessments have shown, that making voter registration easier is not likely by itself to make our elections more susceptible to fraud. and while responsible parties on all sides of this debate have acknowledged that in person voting is common, absentee voting is meeting -- needs to be taken seriously. we had a meeting with the congressional black caucus a few months ago introducing legislation that would oppose any state election law that would negatively impact minorities. you have a critical
responsibility to help identify and implement the most effective ways to safeguard that most basic of all american rights. you have a thoughtful voice to add to discussions about voting access, what the struggle for freedom has long been about ensuring, the opportunity for citizens, to signal their party and to shape your own futures. the american people have fought for such a system and now with each of us, the fight must on. the progress we hold dear is in our hands. and democracy that we hold sacred is our responsibility to carry forward. in driving these efforts, i am privileged to khandelwal as partners. and a commitment and leadership
-- to count you all as partners. your commitment and leadership are a testament to what we can all achieve together. thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> the congressional black caucus also held a panel on voting laws. we will hear from the civil- rights and civil liberties groups as well as congressman cedric richmond of new orleans. this is around 20 minutes. >> i and the congressman from the second district of the great city of new orleans. i know you all thought you would see charlie rangel, but as you can see, i am a little bit
younger and just a little bit thinner than the great charlie rangel. i will do my best to represent him well. for me, this is such an appropriate conversation to an appropriate group of people at the right time. i say that as a beneficiary to the work you all did years and years ago. but for you, we would not have the right to vote. but for our churches, i would not have had the opportunity to go to integrated schools and some of the best schools in the country. but for you who marched and sacrificed so much, i certainly would not have had the chance to be elected to the louisiana house of representatives and to the united states congress. for that, i say thank you.
i recognize that i stand on your shoulders, and with that comes the obligation that we honor that. it is humbling to work side by side with many of you, and many of my colleagues in the congressional black caucus that i grew up idolizing and reading so much about. but we in this room know how important is to have the right to vote. it is what validates you as being an american citizen in that you have equal rights to everyone else. when no right to vote is
threatened, it should alarm all of us. and our distinguished panel guests today will talk about the implications of it, the new laws when we talk about the voter write the laws and the hurdles and attributes to cast the right to vote, those things are very alarming. and the truth of the matter is that as we see them pop up, it is a solution in search of a problem. even as louisiana and in those southern states, you will not see rapid voter fraud or any of those things. to come back with such an overkill, something that could jeopardize so many people's right to vote, it is something we have to pay attention to. we have come very, very far, and primarily because of relationships with our clergy and elected officials.
and right now, we are in a unique moment in time because we have the ability through one person or two people to galvanize and to get messages out and to protect the community and inform the community. and we recognize that this order should and his relationship has endured because in years to come we will have to make sure that we can fight and take up for everyone. i will leave you with this because as the elected officials, we get the phone calls every day from people on social security, medicare, people who cannot make ends meet.
we want you to know that we certainly appreciate what you do for our constituents. your role in the community is the exact same as ours. we help people and we fight for those who normally do not have equal say so. i will introduce representative g. k. better filled -- representative g. k. butterfield. and with that, i will ask for your prayers also. [applause] >> thank you, congressman for the work they do not only with the congressional black caucus, but what you do for the entire congress. i cannot stand without
recognizing the illustrious congresswoman from florida, corrine brown. and the distinguished member from the state of california, barbara lee. thank you for coming. [applause] some of you may know me, many of you may not know me. i represent the eastern part of north carolina. the 24 counties east and north in north carolina. i serve as the vice chair of the congressional black caucus. i want to thank you very much for coming today to have this important conversation with us. i also bring greetings from my home church, the missionary baptist church. unlike to do that briefly what i am speaking to organizations.
how do stand in the shoes of john lewis? it kind of reminds me of when king was assassinated and david abernathy ascended to the chair of the eoc. -- the o.c.. that is -- the eoc. that is where i find myself today. we are here to talk about protecting voting rights. it is critically important. and for us to talk about the full dimension of voting rights, you cannot address the subject in a contemporary context. you've got to go all the way back to the ending of slavery in 1865. when slavery came in, there were 4 million african-americans in
the south. they had no right to vote, no education, no asset, absolutely nothing but faith in god and faith in each other and faith in committee. and starting in 1865, the former slaves began to build their community. the first thing they did with held of whites from the north was to build churches in the south. and many of our churches -- and i represent a rural district in north carolina. many of our churches were found in 1865 and 1866. my church was founded in 1872. the first thing they did was to build churches. the next thing was to build schools. many of the schools were attached to the church. the third thing they did was to get involved in the electoral process involved in the community. 1870, 34 words were added to the united states constitution. those were plain and simple. the right of citizens of the united states to vote will not be on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
and based on that, african- americans began to get involved. i want you to know that 20 african-americans were elected to congress during reconstruction. eight were forced us from south carolina, four from north carolina, and others all across the south. all of that came to an end in 1900 when these franchises amendments were added to state constitutions. in my state, for example, an amendment was added that required would-be voters to read and write. to the satisfaction of the registrar. it was called the literacy test. it came in during 1900. not only that, but a poll tax was implemented requiring would- be voters to pay poll tax. the last black congressman from the south in the district that i now represent -- all of the black poverty and were unable to
get reelected because all of the african american voters were taken off of the voter rolls. there was no participation whatsoever in the electoral process. dr. king was given the nobel peace prize in oslo, norway, and he was summoned to the white house by then lyndon baines -- president lyndon baines johnson. while at the white house, dr. king looked lyndon johnson and the guy and said, president johnson, now is -- looked him square in the eye and said, president johnson, now is the time for the rights act. and he said, don't take me there today. you know i just use all of my capital and resources and good will in trying to get the congress to pass a civil rights act.
we've got to wait on a voting rights act. dr. king said, mr. president, i'm very disappointed with you. because you know the 15th amendment that was added to the constitution in 1870 has no meaning for african-americans today. we need a voting rights act. that is when selma, montgomery took place and all of the violence that you know so much about. it is what john lewis would have talked about today. that is when they sell month, montgomery -- selma, montgomery voting rights movement began. and pres. johnson called a nationwide press conference to announce that he was changing his position and that he would support a strong voting rights act. and he did that at the peril of a second presidency. he did it at the peril of losing democratic influence in the south among white voters. but he did it because it was the right thing.
and now we have a voting rights act. what i was in law school 35 years ago, 40 years ago, i suppose, there were no african- american elected officials in my great state. today, we have some 800 or 900 black elected officials, 300 in my congressional district alone. the voting rights act has made a difference. [applause] but now, all of this progress that we have made it is under assault. there is a right-wing conspiracy that is a lot -- that is alive and well in this country that is trying to take us back to 1900, and even before. they are coming in very discreet ways. the citizens united case is an example that now allows corporations to give unlimited amounts of money, anonymous unlimited amounts of money in support or in opposition to political candidates. and is working.
and there are other devices at play today. others will talk about that to alert you and inform you and empower you to go back to your communities and the vocal on this subject and make a difference. trust us, when the congressional black caucus tells you that a voter i.d. law will be detrimental to black political empowerment, we know what we are talking about and it is for real. what they want to do is not to take away the right to vote, but if black voter participation can be diminished, even by 10%, it will make the critical difference all across the country. the president won in my state all across the country by a narrow margin. had it not been for north carolina, he probably would not have won the presidency. we thank our panelists today and we thank them for their willingness to come.
instead of reading the bios, i can give you some summary about where they sit and what they do. but deborah, singular legislative counsel for the aclu. and the director for the brennan center for the washington d.c. office. and marcia, co-director of the lawyers committee. i am from the south. give me a break. [laughter] how many are from the south in here? there we go. i am in good company. garcia -- marcia is from the committee. and then we have the co-director from the advancement project. and finally, in addition to our
program, a lady that has -- that i have no fred least 35 years and has really made a difference in our work -- that i have known for at least 35 years and has really made a difference in our work, barbara. [applause] this is where i will need some help. before i do that, let me recognize my good friend, congressman sanford bishop. please wait out the crowd. he is from the state of georgia. -- please wave at the crowd. he is from the state of georgia. >> since we all work in washington, we know how to shuffle and change things around a little bit. once i got married, my name became austin-hillary. no one knew what my name was. we understand. thank you for inviting us to come and talk to you about the work that we all do end our
efforts to protect democracy. all of us at the table before you today work with major organizations that really work to protect the core principle of our democracy, which is the voting rights here in this country. we want to talk to you about, number one, making sure you have a good understanding of exactly what has been happening in the past year in terms of state laws that have been passed, litigation that is occurring, and really, the assault that is under way and threatening every american's right to vote, not just black americans. white americans, latino americans, every american's right to vote is being threatened, because when you challenge that right, you are challenging the right for everyone. that is something we all need to be concerned about. the brennan center for justice is the organization i represent. i served as the director and counsel for the women's center.
we are a nonprofit legal advocacy thinktank organization and we take a three-pronged approach to the issues we work on. we litigated. we produced scholarly work. and we do advocacy work here in washington d.c. those are the ways we think we can be most effective in trying to defend and protect our democracy. we work on issues such as voting rights, criminal justice, racial justice. we look at the courts and protecting the courts. i'm here to talk to you today about the work we do with respect to voting rights. if you have not seen this, and i did not have 250 copies, of which i hear you are all strong, but this report is called "voting changes in 2012." the center for justice drafted and produced this in the fall of 2011. we put this together for one reason, because we wanted folks like you to have a one-stop
resource where you could go to find out what in the world has been going on across the country in terms of these voting law changes. we know we have been hearing in the news that one state is passing a law of dealing with voter i.d., requiring people to come to the polls with variety. that we hear of another state passing a law that the sunday voting that you do before the election, we will do away with that. it was all coming at us so quickly, and what we said was, we need a tool that will enable individuals to have a good understanding of what in the heck is going on in the country. because we all know that knowledge is power. and in order for you to even understand how to help your parishioners, your community
members, you have to have a good understanding of what is going on in the country. that is what this report does. but here is the frightening thing. we produce this report in october of 2011. it is already outdated. because the efforts that are under way to change these laws are fast and furious. they continue all throughout the state legislative periods across the country. i will give you the numbers. i know the numbers are boring. what i was in college i would tell my professors, i don't need these numbers. and lo and behold, he laughs at me now because clearly, what i do now is deal with the numbers. that information is power. i will give you an overview of what the country looks like now when terms of the laws that have been passed, how many people were affected, who are the groups of people that are mostly affected? -- mostly affected. and we will talk to about what is going on at the ground level in terms of litigation and community organizing, and we
need to do to arm yourself and your parishioners to be prepared for the impact of these changes. we estimate in our brand and centre reports that up to 5 million voters will be impacted -- brennan center report that up to 5 million voters will be impacted by these changes. i know mostly what you have been hearing about in the news is this concept of voter i.d.. you need to understand this is not just about voter i.d. there are changes that have taken place that you need to understand. but let's start out with the voter i.d. because that is what we are most familiar with. at least 34 states introduced legislation that would require us to show photo identification in order to vote. and an additional four states request that voters show identification to actually register to vote.
what this means is that when you show up to register to vote, previously, you did not have to have a photo id. now these states are saying you have to have one. and some of these states are saying that on the day you show up at the polls, you have to of the photo id. a lot of people say, what is the big deal? we all have id. my 80-year-old grandmother does not have a photo i.d. anymore. but she still wants to vote. proof of citizenship laws is another way that these laws have taken effect. at least 15 states have introduced legislation that would require proof of citizenship, meaning he would have to show your birth certificate or some other id that shows you are a u.s. citizen in order to register to vote.
the citizenship laws have passed in many states, including alabama, kansas, and tennessee. here is something we need to understand we talk about something that has changed. prior to 2011, only two states have passed proof of citizenship laws, only two. proof of citizenship laws is another way that these laws have taken effect. 15 states have introduced legislation that would require proof of citizenship, meaning you have to show your birth certificate or some other form of id that shows your the united states citizen in order to register to vote. and these laws have passed in many states, including alabama, kansas, and tennessee. and here's something you need to understand when we talk about what changed. previously, prior to 2011, only two states had passed proof of citizenship laws. and now, we have numerous states that have passed these
laws. there's also bills to make registering more difficult, by eliminating same-day voter registration. they have organizations that normally have been on the ground to register voters are now limited in some states. some to the point where they have said we will close down shop. we are so fearful of these new laws, in understanding them and ensuring that we're not running day -- we will just leave. imagine the impact of that. statistics show that many people, particularly minorities, use those third- party voter registration options. they register to vote when the naacp sets up the registration tables. they registered to vote and the league of women voters said up registration tables. so when the pullout, that means those communities that have depended on them are being greatly impacted. several of these states have reduced early and absentee days. that means at least nine states have reduced their early warning -- early voting periods.
we know that many voters to the advantage of early voting so they did not have to stand in line on tuesday and some people cannot afford to stand in line for five hours. some people cannot be off of work. so these the early voting days help those individuals. florida, georgia, ohio, tennessee, and west virginia were states that succeeded in reducing early voting could and then there are those states that made it even harder to restore your voting rights. what this means is this. individuals who were formally incarcerated, who you would think, once they paid their debt to society, would get their voting rights restored because of their rights to do all of these other things to obey the law have been restored. but unbeknownst to many, their right to vote in many instances has not been restored.
and even in states where they had previously been ahead of the game, states where they have said we recognize that, one individual has paid their debt to society, their right to vote to be restored -- two states, florida and iowa, rolled back their law and they have now said, i know we gave you that opportunity before, but under the new governorship, the change to that. again, my colleague will tell you a little bit about that. what do these numbers mean? here is what they mean. this means that, in 60% to 75% of all of the electoral votes that it will take to elect the next president, those are the majority of states where these new laws have passed, the states that make a 60% to 75% of the electoral vote that will be required to elect our next president. 11% of all americans lack photo id. a lot of people, again, say who doesn't have id? but 11% of us do not have it. 18% of americans over the just 65 lack photo id. at least 7% of americans lack proof of citizenship. i don't carry my birth certificate around. i don't know if any of you have yours here with stupid but i don't have a document in my
purse that says i am united states senate. with respect to women, 34% of women lack proof of citizenship with their current legal name. my colleague has heard me say this before. she is judith brown diana appeared my -- judith brown diana. i am -- all the men are laughing. that is another discussion for another day. [laughter] the the bottom line is that it has become more difficult for us because they're people call me hillary and i say that my first name is nicole. they get all confused. judith and i are lawyers. we're lawyers who are knowledgeable about voting rights and voting issues. imagine the 34% of those women
who don't have this knowledge and disinformation. -- and this information. when you talk about voters will no longer be able to vote on sunday, i am looking at you all because we all know that many of the people you're presenter the individuals who will be impacted by the exchanges. let me quickly get on to tell you about what can be done, what kinds of things you can do. there are legal challenges going on across the country. the brennan center is involved in some of them. there is a case in south carolina coming in texas -- we are representing, along with some of my colleagues, the league of women voters and florida because florida is one of those states that has really had some laws that made it very, very difficult for organizations like the league of women voters to handle their voter registration. that is one of the groups that
said, with respect to the set of florida, you have made it so hard for us and we're concerned about the new law that we are pulling out. the league of women voters is not registering people to vote in the state of florida right now pending litigation. those are things you need to be worried about. students are people that are being heavily and backed by the new law. there are some states that have said -- heavily impacted by the new law appeared there are some states that have said that, it you come to my state from another state, your ideas not been enough to allow you to vote in this state. we need to be concerned about this. we're talking at the elderly. we're talking not students. we're talking about minorities, black and brown people. and we're talking about women of all colors, again, who have these funny names or who have changed their names and they do not have id. and these battles are continuing. the information in the burn center -- the brennan center report is outdated because
things are happening consistently. there are legislators around this country who, like all of us in this room, are not necessarily as concerned about protecting democracy. i will tell you -- all of us who were here on the day of today, our organization, we don't care if you're blue, black, yellow, purple or read. what we are concerned about is that all americans have their right to vote protected. that is the message. don't allow folks to try to pigeonhole this and turn it into a black issue. this is an american issue. this is a democracy issue. [applause] i will sit down now because i have given you the numbers. my colleagues will give you more information on what you can do.
this is what i will leave you with. we have left a one-page information sheet on the table. if you don't see it out there, as we are mingling afterwards, grabbed me and i will give misinformation. i will give you my card. we put together an information sheet for you of all the different places on the brennan center website where you can go and connect to links that will give you our report -- this nice big red compendium. it will give you a report we did on voter fraud. as the congressman said earlier, some think that this is about voter fraud. it is not a real issue. this argument that this is about voter fraud is a solution in search of a problem. and we also give you links to tell you how you can get the most updated information about these changes across the states. we want you to be armed with knowledge. maybe we should turn this into a little card you can stick into your wallet. that is what this is. i will leave you with that. keep up on misinformation. this is information you can share with your parishioners and your community members.
again, we wanted to know what is going on and we will do our best to keep you updated. again, this is about protecting our democracy and our right to vote. that is part of our history in this country. what we have been about, as the congressman said, opening the doors to voting, not closing them. we want to ensure that no more doors are closed. thank you. [applause] >> the web site is www.brennancenter.org. really, sometimes you forget. we have these materials. i will be around. i have cards. my associate molly, everything that i said was wonderful, she is responsible for.
anything that i said wasn't, don't blame her for it. we have all of disinformation. thank you. >> thank you, nicole. thank you mr. richmond. i am with the aclu in washington, d.c. and i worked in congress, for congress, and the white house agencies try to promote voting rights. i also represent the larger organization that also works on voting rights from three angles. we pursue litigation in state and federal courts.
that is password protected. that is the situation. now, that access to the proposals, as i have done, is if you ask me i will give you those proposals. i do not want you to have a flood of requests from the room or in the television audience to an -- >> i thought you were going to give us the password. [laughter] >> cannot do that. let me tell you exactly what followed. it was an important discussion that took place. civil society has, through the
auspices of the group's affiliated in that particular context, i do not know who all of them are, they have written the secretary general a letter, going to the issue of transparency. what i told them was representative some -- i would, through the auspices of the united states, i would make a proposal to try to make available those proposals in a public way. i expressed that to officials as well, giving them an indication that we will be making that proposal. we have not worked out the modalities for doing that but we are very aware of this issue. i think the process benefits by making available those proposals so people can see them.
>> my other question is, is this, you can tell by virtue of the interest we have here today that in the u.s., there is beginning to be knowledge about and concern about potentially the proposals that could be raised. we mentioned some of the countries from which there might be a concern or proponents we have, but, around the world, are there countries in which they are as united and are working the same way the u.s. government is working to prepared to address these? maybe you could name the countries, if there are some.
>> the answer is yes. united states is not a launch. -- is not along. e. it is the problem of naming names. i will say this, by region, that we have support out of asia pacific, countries that have internet deployment and broadband deployment to receive the benefits. we have a considerable number of allies in europe and in our own hemisphere. there are beacons that reflect the positions we take. let me focus a bit on africa. for those who have spent their lives in public policy over many
years, one of the things that has been most notable is the response of africa to the internet. as the commissioner has indicated, as a global matter, through mobile access to the internet. with that, there is a practicality coming from the continent as to how to deal with these issues. we may not always agree on how to deal with them but that is a function of differences of where we sit. there is a practicality coming from africa and we have found and as i am certain we will continue to fight, we have many in africa on the positions that we take and with whom we will be
conversing between now and the conference to solidify that alliance. >> a want to thank you again for the service you do. just by listening to you, people can understand better how much work is involved and what you do. there was a time, maybe you remember this, when i was in private practice, i used to attend some of the oecd meetings in paris. on behalf of some interest, the thing i remember most is going to those four parties. while i was there sipping drinks, it was the people like dick and the ambassador that were doing the work. i recognize that, even then at the time. now we're going to open it up for the questions, if we have
some. if not, i probably have some more up here. >> can i read something -- a sentence of something? >> >> i still his castle. -- >> i stole his password. "member states to challenge for unrestricted access and the unrestricted use of international telecom." that sounds great but there's not an period there. "except for they are used for the purpose of interfering in the internal affairs or undermining the national security and integrity and public safety of other states or to divulge information of a sensitive nature." >> i am glad you brought that up. one of the questions i had, you
probably answered it but i want to be clear whether you have to be same interpretation, initially spoke about how it might change certain things in ways that would affect the flow of information and free speech as well as affect commercial enterprises. i know jackie spoke about that as well. when i listen to the language you read, it seems to me that as the type of language i have in mind as governments using that in order to have a justification for -- -- restricting speeches. am i on the right track? >> that is our interpretation as well. >> we're going to ask questions, i want you to raise your hand. i'm going to ask that a microphone be presented.
kathy baker, r coordinator, and who played such a role in arranging this event, making sure we had almost enough food for all of you, and a lot of other things, would you join me in giving her a round of applause? [applause] ok. if you have a question, raise your hand and wait to be recognized. the microphone will come to you. on dan first.all state your name and affiliation. >> i am dan brenner. i was wondering if you could give me an understanding of what happened when the 1998 itr's came out.
they were not very controversial. there were guidelines. they did not engendered controversy. were they approved as a treaty? what happened to them in terms of adoption? what would happen if something comes out of dubai, something we like, what is the next step in the review of the outcome of this revision? >> they were brought before the senate for advice and consent and ratification of the documents. they are treaty. the process follows this route and to the head of delegation will, at the end of the conference, all things being except ago, will sign what is
referred to as the final acts. it will be the document that comes out in a signing ceremony. that document which has been translated into six languages, and has gone through a number of iterations at the conference, it becomes the final act ahead of -- the head signs them. they then are given -- you will see it at the end of 1984 -- 1998 version. from the united states. of view, that document does not come into force until it has been fully processed through the ratification. but there is a coming into force state. we will bring the document back,
we will then go through the process by which the department reviews it and the white house reviews it and then it will go forward for advice and follow the usual pattern of a treaty. that has been done not for the 88 version. >> another question. i am going to comment on this gentleman here. wheat for the microphone. while you're getting the microphone, we have some other questions. question, notsk a one with four sub parts. >> following up on your point about making the proposals available, i would like to have access to it. is there thought being given to posting proposals after august 3?
>> i am not in a position to give you the impression with a statement on my part something will happen immediately in terms of giving you access. we intend to raise this in july. as to public access to the proposals, i am taking on board your comment and civil society colleagues and united states will prepare a position to try to find some way to make those documents public. let me leave it at that. i think it is best to leave you with impression we will be
raising that. credit is not something we can do individually or as a unique country. we have to do it within the context of decisions of 47 other countries. we will raise that point. >> i think the issue of transparency in international policy making is becoming an issue. it is an issue for my organization in trade negotiations where we're trying to get access to proposals around the partnership agreement and are being told it is not the way we do things. we are negotiating so we cannot do x, y, and z. the mindset has to change in that regard. these issues have become so important to the way we live our lives that in doing it under the cover of night is no longer except in bull. i appreciate the efforts of dick and others to try to make this
more open. i hope you put to the same effort into getting our representative to be as transparent as you guys. >> anyone else on that question? to this, i will go person here. wait for the microphone. >> i am a senate staffer. i was hoping they could tag team for these questions. i read his piece in the wall street journal. you alluded to the fact there was a lack of leadership from the u.s. and it sounded as if when he was speaking to a queue obama administration or looking forward to these talks in gaining traction. i was wondering if you could clarify that. second, you had said that with
the countries in the member states that everyone was fearful of losing their sovereignty. it was something they wanted to protect. when i read what street journal, you had said -- i am losing my train of thought. it seemed like there was a majority of member countries that were looking into these regulations and the u.s. does not have a veto and we are seven or eight country short. it sounded like they were looking to make these changes. i wondering if you could expand on those. >> thank you for the question period which a senate office? great. -- question. which senate office? great. de the head of delegation had not been appointed. there is as much concern that also non-governmental entities
had not organized themselves. i was in europe, in london in november. there was a great deal of panic among the private sector. but not a lot of organization. i immediately started to encourage them to organize themselves. it is what it is regarding -- we do have, and for the folks watching on c-span, when you hear about career employees, i want you to think of dick. he is a big deal on the international stage. you walk into meetings with the thousands of diplomats and he is known by all of them. i think his body is coded in graphite because he is able to walk through these crowds as this -- as if he is made of valid.
he is incredibly talented. on thisworking regardless. i do not want to their to be a distraction. there is no sunlight between republicans and democrats, ngo's on this issue. we of six months before divide. dubai.before it to b to make sure that the internet is governed by a multi stakeholder model and not a top down regime. i will let doctor beaird speak about the majority aspic. historically it has been governed by consensus but there is a concern when you see the thrust of some ideas, a general sense been adopted by a large voting blocs, some are in this
room, they were telling me last year that there were maybe a 290 countries out of 193 who were supportive of granting it more authority in this area. remember if we do not ratify the treaty, if we do not abide by it, i want to get a sense of how much support to there was so maybe that has receded and maybe it has grown. hopefully there is an account somewhere in the state department or elsewhere. >> do you want to add to anything? >> the commissioner has indicated where we are on the leadership issue. we're looking forward to the head of delegation arriving shortly. the ambassador has been offering considerable leadership in this area. we're always looking for the
head of delegation and we will welcome that person when the white house makes the announcement. on the sovereignty issue, itu has been remarkable in the fact there are a very few votes at events like this. i have witnessed a number of them but it is not a vote, it is not an institution that relies upon the votes for decisions. it relies upon consensus. i think success has been owed to the fact we're talking about communications. communications rely upon the consent upon those who are communicating. there is a considerable interest globally in sustaining and maintaining and growing in
robust communications network that consensus seems to flow. sometimes it is not easy. it takes long hours. it will no doubt be around the clock but consensus will emerge. let's hope that is going to be the case in dubai. in order for that to happen, the results are going to have to be at a high level of principle and as a matter of scale, they probably will not exceed much more than what is currently the nine pages in order for it to succeed. i will leave it at that. >> next, i know hat -- scott had a question. in the meantime, i know jackie, when she spoke initially talked about the fact that regulations
could possibly affect certain things, the commercial success of the internet and all of the enterprise that takes place. that is an important part of the internet as well. i have talked about the social and free speech aspects. but jackie, i thought if you could elaborate, if you have in mind, a particular concerns in how they might dampen or impacts the internet to promote economic prosperity, is the best way to put a. -- put it. >> a number of points were mentioned by speakers. it is everything from the beginning, i sometimes talk about bookends. at one and you have what is the definition of what these
regulations covered? if they cover processing of data, that automatically means that cover the internet. at the other end, you have the enforcement mechanism. there are proposals for their to be intergovernmental dispute resolutions. then you have the meat of the proposals in the middle, all of which become treaty and binding as treaty. in the middle you have things from the cyber security proposal. you may think of it as a freedom of expression but it is also a barrier to the internet functioning for all of the social benefits. cyber security, ways of looking at spam, fraud, etc.. the topics are understandable. i want to make that clear. there is a reason to be concerned about them. the mechanisms to address them seem to be interested by
government. we should figure out other ways to get at them. the final one i will say, the internet is a network of networks. it is handing off traffic between those networks, primarily through informal agreements. to turn that into a regulated kind of exchange will create all sorts of distortions of the system. i hope that is a good summary. >> dick, we mentioned your boss, ambassador philip, several times. i had the privilege of serving within three decades ago at the fcc. most of you would not know this. you are too young to possibly
know it. within the short time span i was there, he served as chief of the table -- cable bureau. i was just trying to find out for the eighth floor was. he had filled all of these positions. he is a terrific example as well of a public servant. >> a quick question for doctor beaird. it is such an amorphous process. are there a couple of process. , two or three we should be turning into to get a sense of whether this is going in a good direction? >> the council meeting in july, and july 3 to the 14th, where
the chairman of the council reported to the conference can be reviewed. it will be reviewed so you can see the entirety of what that effort would be going to the conference, which will contain the compilation from the options in dealing with each part of the current itr's. i would look after august 3 to see what proposals have come in pursuant to that deadline, which was for the first tranche of proposals by august 3. we will be watching them very carefully as well. i think then, and we can of course help you understand when that is, but when to see the regional proposal start coming in. regions will continue to meet up through september and perhaps into early october.
our region has its last meeting in september, prior to the conference where we will finalize proposals. all the way up to the two weeks prior to the conference, which is the absolute drop dead date for contributions coming in prior to the conference. all along there, we will see contributions coming in. to underscore, one should never forget about the regional groups. there are six regional groups. all of them will make proposals to the conference as well. >> we have time only for one more question, if we have one. while i am looking around, if there is another one, i want to acknowledge we are very privileged to have two ambassadors with us. ambassador gardner, who is here, and the other ambassador is
david gross. he served in the previous to administration. i think he perhaps hold the record. i may stand corrected, as the longest serving ambassador in that position. i keep emphasizing ambassador because david and i were former colleagues in a law firm. i was excited when he became ambassador gross. shortly after he left, i thought he would be plain old david again. but he quickly informed me that once you have been an ambassador, and if this is not right tell me, he said once you hold that title, you are ambassador for life. every year when i do my holiday cards, after remembered it is
ambassador gross because he told me about that. [laughter] david says it was his wife. we are privileged to have both of these ambassadors with us here today. ok, is there one last question? it is over here. this will be the last one. if you identify yourself, please. >> ironic want to thank everyone for such a wonderful panel. -- i want to thank everyone for such a wonderful panel. and learned a lot of new facts and hopefully everyone here as well. my question is -- >> did you identify yourself? >> i am with emerging markets communications. i question is different.
the head of the itu went to st. petersburg there. during last year's meeting with putin he told him that he represents the russian rhetoric -- federation at the itu. is that a point of concern that the head seems to be fluent in russian, speaks to putin, and tells him he is his comrade. is it a concern? >> ok. i guess maybe that is for dick or for the commissioner. anyone want to respond? >> the secretary general from mali was the first elected head
in 1998, and was reelected in 2010. he is of a generation of african leaders many of whom did a study in the soviet union. he doesn't speak russian. he claims he is not as fluent as one would assume but sufficient for him to earn a ph.d.. he met his wife in russia. she is also from mali. but as he points out, which is important in this case, he spent 12 years of his life in the united states and two of his children are americans. beyond that, i will let him speak to his own biography.
>> that sounds like good advice from a diplomat. [laughter] ok, well, look, i have to say it is pretty amazing that not one single peasant -- person has left. i know some of you must have work to do. we are going to wrap it up but not before thanking the -- and join me -- for this extraordinary panel we have today. [applause] we look forward to seeing you at the next free state foundation event. thanks again. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
>> coming up on c-span, leon panetta then the ceo of the girl scouts on the group's 100th anniversary and efforts to boost leadership roles for women in politics and business. and at 7:00 a.m. eastern, "washington journal." >> leon panetta deliver the commencement address at the naval academy on tuesday. his speech is 25 minutes.
>> thank you very much. thank you for the great job you do a secretary of the navy, governor, congressman, and distinguished guests, parents, friends, families, deans and faculty, and above all the class of 2012, it is, for me, a very distinct honor and privilege to take part in this very special occasion as secretary of defense. let me first and foremost express my best congratulations to all of you in the class of 2012, you made it. [cheers and applause]
and i'm sure that right about now your families are all saying, "thank god you made it." it's a real privilege for me to be welcomed here on navy turf as a former army officer, although, i have to tell you that one of our three sons is the former navy officer who served in afghanistan. i try as secretary to be a loyal supporter of each of our great outstanding services, even when i had the opportunity to attend the army navy game, my allegiance was to both teams. i sat on each side of the stadium. i have to tell you that i'm getting a little tired, you're probably not, but i am, of the west point cheer, "maybe next year, maybe next year, maybe next year." [applause]
today's ceremony is your last military duty of the academic year after which most of you will go home, start summer training, and, of course, as you all know, a few of you can't leave the yard because you the conduct system and are being held incommunicado, however, i'm told by tradition, i can set you free, well, as an italian-american, i do things in the italian style which means obviously i treat the navy as family, and i don't like anybody to mess with family. it also means that i can make
you an offer you can't refuse. [laughter] so in exchange for freeing your classmates on restriction, i got an offer. i want the entire brigade to lead the class of 2012 and their one big cheer, and i need to hear from everyone or it doesn't count, so let's hear a big "go navy" on my count, and remember, this is the difference between salvation or purgatory. on three, one, two, three! go navy! well done. [applause]
admiral miller, i exercise my authority as secretary of defense to grant amnesty to all men on restriction or minor conduct offenses. [laughter] as a catholic, i'm tempted to order you to do three hail marys. [laughter] with that out of the way, let me deepest thanks. first and foremost offer my deepest thanks. thank you to the class of 2012 and to all mid shipment for your decision to serve this nation at a time of war. you have set yourselves apart in a profound, and in an honorable way. thank you also for all of those
in uniform, including the officers, senior enlisted leaders, and instructors for your dedication and loyalty to our country. finally, thank you to the families, sponsor families, the the administrators, professors, and the friends here today. this is every bit your day to celebrate along with this extraordinary class of 2012. class of '12, over the past four years, you have passed the test of character, you chose to give up the life of a normal college student and endured the demands of navy life rising before dawn, putting on the
uniform of our country, standing watch, marching in formation. the highs and lows of your life here have changed you in ways that you may not fully understand for years or even decades to come. you experienced defining moments together as a class celebrates, and a few of you pulled off a daring mission, building an unmanned vehicle flying over the superintendent's house at night and using it to place a hat on top of the chapel dome. [cheers and applause] could have used you at the cia. [laughter]
two years later, along with the rest of the country, you paid tribute to your navy brethren who pulled off that great daring mission ridding the world of osama bin laden. [applause] having had the honor to work on that mission as directer of the cia, i'll never forget that moment coming out of the white house after the president's announcement and hearing the cheers coming from the crowds that had spontaneously gathered outside the white house. "usa, usa." and i know i heard "cia, cia" as well. you are men and women from every state in the union, from 12 foreign nations, rich and poor, secular and religious,
black, white, latino, native american, asian, straight and gay. diversity of this class is a tribute to the life and service commander wesley brown, class of '49, first african-american graduate of the naval academy. [applause] wesley passed away last week at the age of 85, and today we honor his ground breaking legacy. while your class progressed from the first honor of induction day up to this moment, the world has undergone its own
transformation naval academy graduates have had a lot to do with that transformation. retired admiral mike mullen, class of '68 fought a strategy in two wars to be ready for future challenges. erik bolton, class of '73 led special efforts to go after al- qaeda. general john allen, class of 1976 led in afghanistan with outstanding leadership. admiral sam lockhear, class of 1977 commands u.s.-pacific command and spearheaded nato's effort, a campaign that led to the fall of the nazis.
-- fall of gaddafi. the list goes on. the chief of naval operations, john and a number of other naval academy alumni who are influencing events around the entire globe. throughout my time in government, i've relied on a vision and the advice of the officers. president clinton's chief of staff, director of cia, and now director of defense, because of their efforts and sacrifices as brave men and women across our services, today the united states stands at a strategic turning point after a decade of war. our combat forces have come home from iraq. nato just approved a plan last week in chicago, a plan by
general allen to fully transition the lead for security to afghan forces by the end of 2014. we have successfully gone after the leadership of al-qaeda to send a very clear message that no one, one attacks the united states and gets away with it. [applause] and we successfully fought with our nato allies to give libya back to the libyan people, and yet, we still face significant challenges and risks. we continue to face the threat of violence extremism, those who continue to threaten attacks on our homeland.
we're still at war. we confront the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, destabilizing behavior of iran and north korea, military modernization across the asia pacific, turmoil in the middle east, pie piracy on the high seas, increasing and creative attacks, cyber attacks here in our country and elsewhere. all of this, all of this coming at a time of increasing budget challenges here at home. our nation now looks to you. the next generation of military leaders to confront the challenges i just outlined, to protect our nation, and to ensure that america always has the strongest military force in
the world. always the way it's been, that's the way it will always be. across the generation, navy and marine corp. have led our nation and military into the future. to your generation to ensure that our fleet remains earth. unrivaled by any other nation on earth. that's why you came here. for the challenge of leading others at sea, deploying to every part of a world, risks in the skies, fighting fe ferociouy and giving our enemies hell wherever you find them. after you leave here, the
challenge that i just outlined is exactly what you get, and it won't be easy. you'll need every quality that got you through the last four years. love of country, desire to learn, the will to work hard, the will to sacrifice, the judgment to make good decisions, and the drive to overcome any odds. no one can tell you what challenges you will face in the future, but one thing is for sure. you must be prepared to respond to whatever task we confront in the future with courage, with creativity, and with leadership. adapting to new challenges is what the naval service does
best. this is not a time for playing it safe. it's a time for imagination, a time for initiatives, time for putting new ideas into action. that has always been at the heart of the naval service. the dawn of the republic, commodore edward urged the young officers to take the navy in a new direction during the war of 1812. his voice improvised the construction of a flotilla that defeated the british on lake eerie and helped save the nation from domination. during the civil war, the young officers embraced the revolutionary technology of all iron ships, blockaded the rebel rebellion.
there were famous words from one of history's finest expressions of initiative, and they are built into your very bones. admiral miller tells me you can finish this one. let me hear it from all of you loud and clear. damn the torpedos. that initiative is what carried us through the generation. teddy roosevelt sent a great fleet around the world. the admirals at that time didn't want to bring along the brand new destroyers. that didn't sit well with a group of very young lieutenants, and so the enterprising junior offers found roosevelt aboard the presidential yacht and asked him to overrule the admirals. roosevelt did. proving junior officers can have the best ideas.
you just have to have the guts to prove it. down through time, our nation has needed military leaders with that kind of vision. they screened formations to push the japanese across back the pacific. nuclear power from ships and submarines and computer genius and anticipated a network fleet. the future is no different, and that's why we developed a new defense strategy adapting to the budget requirements that we face, but more importantly to ensure that our military can meet the challenges of the 21st century. our military force for the future must be agile, it must be flexible, deployable, and
technologically advanced. we will strengthen key alliances and partnerships around the world. canl ensure our military confront aggression and defeat any opponent any time anywhere, and we will protect investments in new capability from cyber to unmanned systems to space to special operation forces. the navy and marine corp. are fundamental to every element of that strategy. america is the maritime nation, and we are returning to our maritime roots. one of the key projects that your generation will have to face is sustaining and enhancing american strength across the great maritime region
of the pacific. america's future prosperity and security are tied to the ability to advance peace and security along the arc extending from the western pacific and east asia asia. into the indian ocean and south asia. that reality is inescapable for our country and military which is already begun broadening and deepening asia pacific. our engagement throughout the one of your great challenges as an officer in the navy will be to ensure the peace and prosperity of the asia pacific region for the 21st century. we need you to project america's power and to reflect america's character to serve on ships and submarines, to fly planes, and train and operate
throughout that region. we need you to do the important work of strengthening and modernizing our historic alliances with japan, with korea, with australia, with thailand. countries like malaysia and indonesia, vietnam and others. we need your to strengthen ties with china, the military is growing and modernizing. we must be vigilant and strong. we must be prepared to confront any challenge. the key to that region is going to be developing a new era of defense cooperation between our countries. one in which our military shares burdens in order to the advance peace in the asia- pacific and around the world.
tomorrow i depart on a trip to southeast asia. later this year, i will visit china, for the first time a secretary of defense. our will tell all of these nations that united states will remain a pacific power and i will tell them why. because of you. because during your careers, many of you will be headed to the pacific. there and across the globe, the navy and marine corps must lead a resurgence of america's enduring maritime presence and power. as graduates of the navy academy, you have earned much and you have been given much. now as officers, your nation will ask that you give much of yourselves to service to this
country. it is about giving back something to this country. that's what service is all about. as second quarter tear of -- secretery of defense i could not be more proud of all of you for choosing to serve this great country. as mentioned i'm the son of italian immigrants and as a young boy i once asked my dad why did you travel all distance coming to a strange country, no language ability, no money, no skills, why would you do that? my father said that he did it because he and my mother believed they could give their children a better life in america. that is the american dream. it's the dream that we all want for our children, to have a better life, and it's that dream that depends on people like you who are willing to serve and to fight for america.
a u.s. navy ship captain once wrote that he could think of no greater prize for anyone than an appointment to the naval academy for as you put it, there may be more money elsewhere but there is no more honor anywhere. indeed, thereis no more honor anywhere than right here and as you leave here, carry that honor with you, defend it, fight for it and it. yes, if necessary, die for it. the honor is yours, now earn it. congratulations to all of you. god bless you, god bless the navy, the marine corps and 2012. -- and fair winds to the class of 2012.
magazine. "washington journal" is live every day on c-span starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern. the girl scouts and ceo spoke at the national press club in washington yesterday to mark the 100th anniversary. she talked about efforts to increase the number of women in boardrooms, in congress, and other leadership positions. this is an hour. >> good afternoon and welcome to the national press club. i am the 105th president of the national press club. we are the world's leading professional organization for journalists, committed to our professions future through our programming with the events such
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