Skip to main content

tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  June 30, 2012 10:00am-2:00pm EDT

10:00 am
antos from the american enterprise institute. they will be here to talk about the policy implications ofthat f ."ashington journal what to thank you pro watching this edition. -- we want to thank you for watching this edition. >> coming up we will show you a portion of the debate on the contempt of congress resolution against eric holder followed by his response. then a european council news
10:01 am
conference by hillary clinton on human rights. later, a panel on the third annual conference. >> the purchasing power of gold specified as a weight unit was constant for four centuries. this is a record by a large of growth in the macro sense. >> of this weekend we look at the origins and arguments for returning to the gold standard. also, more republican tenders. he political figures that ran for president and lost. charles evans hughes ran against woodrow wilson and was the last
10:02 am
of justice to be nominated by a major party. that is at 7:30 p.m. >> he goes to the white house. he says "can i pray for you?" she says "no, we need to pray for you." gethey're trying to everyone there. >> calvin coolidge may have been the blast jeffersonian. he believed in the limit of governmental power to resist the temptation to extend it. correct this sunday your questions and comments for david pietrusza.
10:03 am
this sunday night at 9:00. >> next house debate from the contempt resolution from eric holder. member cited him for contempt of congress for not providing documents to the committee investigating the fast and furious program. the final vote was to 55-67. this is about one hour and a half. thought we would be here today. i never thought this point would come. throughout 18 months of investigation, through countless areas of negotiations in order to get the minimum material necessary to find out the facts behind fast and
10:04 am
furious and the murderf brian -- border patrol agent brian terry, i always believed that in time we would reach an accommodation sufficient to get the information needed for the american people while at e same time preserving the ongoing criminal investigation. i'm proud to say that our committee has maintained the ability for the justice department to continue their ongoing prosecutions, neither the majority nor minority has allowed any material to become public that could compromise that. however, the facts remain fast and furious, the department of justice permitted sale of more than 2,000 weapons that fell into the hands of the mexican drug cartels was botreckless and inexcusable, and it clearly was known by people both career professionals and political appointees from the lowliest member on the ground in phoenix to high ranking officials in the department of justice.
10:05 am
but that's not what we are here for today. today we are here on a very narrow contempt, one that the speaker of the house in his wisdom and assistance has helped us to fashion. let it be clear we still have unanswered questions on a myriad of areas related to operation fast and furious, but today we are only here to determine over the 10 months from the time in which the american people and the congress of the united states was lied to, given false -- literally the reverse statement that no guns were allowed to walk. during that 10 months before the justice department finally owned up and recognized that they had to come can, that in fact fast and furious was all about gunwalking. the department of justice maintained a series of documents, many of these documents are believed to be communications between and with the very individuals at the heart of the decision to go
10:06 am
forward with fast and furious. therefore we have focused our limited contempt on those documents. if our committee is able to receive the documents in totality that show who brought about the dishonest at the same time to congress and who covered it up for 10 months, we believe that will allow us to backtrack to the individuals who ultimately believed in fast and furious, facilitated fast and furious, a ultimately may be responsible for brian terry's death. i yield myself an additional 15 seconds. the speaker prtempore: the gentleman is rognized. mr. issa: i won't read everything that's in my opening statement. i will read just one more thing. these words were said on the housefloor in 2008. when speaker pelosi supported contempt. she said, congress has a responsibility of oversight of the executive branch. i know that members on both
10:07 am
sides of the aisle take the responsibility very seriously. oversight is an institutional obligation to ensure against abuse of power, subpoena authority is a vital tool of that oversight. speaker pelosi, 2008. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. thgentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i y consume. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman from maryland is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. cummings: today, mr. speaker, is a historic day in many ways. on the one hand in a landmark decision by chf justice john roberts, the supreme court upheld the health care bill ensuring that millions of american families will finally have access to effective and affordable health care. on the other hand, the republican leaders of the house are about to plunge into the history books as some of the most extreme and partisan ever. rather than working together in a bipartisan way to create jobs and help our nation's economic
10:08 am
recovery, they are rushing to the floor under emergency procedures with a contempt resolution that is riddledle with errors and motivated by partisan politics. when i first heard about the allegations of gunwalking at a.t.f., i was outraged. i fully supported our committee's goals of finding out how it started, how it was used, and how it may have contributed to the death of border patrol agent brian terry. i made a personal commitment which i will keep to the terry family to conduct a responsible and thorough inquiry. but today's contempt vote is a culmination of one of the most highly politicized and reckless congressional investigations in decades. after receiving thousands of pages of documents from the justice department, conducting two dozen transcribed interviews, and hearing testimony from the attorney general nine times, here are the facts. first, the committee has
10:09 am
obtained no evidence that the attorney general authorized, condoned, or knew about gunwalking. chairman issa admitted this just yterday before the rules committee. we have seen no evidence that the attorney general lied to ngress or engaged in a cover-up. we have seen no evidence that the white house had anything to do with the gunwalking operations. chairman issa admitted this on "fox news sunday" this past weekend. democratic -- democrats wanted a real investigation. chairman issa refused 10 different requests to hold a hearing where the director of a.t.f., the agency that ran these misguided operations. let me say that again. during this entire investigation no member of the house has been able to pose a single question to the head of a.t.f. at a public hearing. how could you have a credible investigation of gunwalking at
10:10 am
a.t.f. and never hold a single hearing withthe leadership of the agency in charge? the answer is, you can't. based on the documents we know -- we now know, the gunwalking in fact started in 2006. yesterday chairman issa said this about the misguided operations during the bush administration and i quote, they were allle failures, end of quote. the committee has obtained documentary evidence that former attorney geral mccasey was personally briefed on these botched interdicti efforts during his tenure and that he was told they would be expanded. chairman issa refused to call mr. mccasey for a hearing or even for a private meeting. during our committee's year and a half investigation, the chairman refused every single democratic request for witness. instead of taking any of these reasonable steps as part of a
10:11 am
credible and evenhanded investigation to determine the facts, house republican leaders rushed this resolution to the floor only one week after it was voted out of committee. in contrast, during the last congress, house leaders continued to negotiate for six months to try to avoid contempt in the united states attorney's investigation. mr. speaker, some of my colleagues on the other side seem almost giddy about today's vote. after turning this investigation into an election year witch-hunt, they somehow convinced the speaker to take it to the floor. and they are final about to get the prize they have been seeking for more than a year, holding the attorney general of the united states of america in contempt. they may view today's vote as a success, but in reality its a sad failure, a failure of our leadership, a failure of our constitutional obligations, and a failure of our
10:12 am
responbilities to the american people. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland reserves. the gentlemafrom virginia. -- california. million issa: the gentleman from -- i'll leave his statement where it lay. i now yield three minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania, the distinguished congressman meehan, a former u.s. attorney in that district. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for three minutes. mr. meehan: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, this is not about politics though there are some if they want to suggest that it is because of you yell at it lg enough it will deflect the truth of the matter. it's not about gota. as a former prosecutor myself. the attorney general personifies the pursuit of justice and i want to see him do well, but it is about accountability. agent brian terry is dead,
10:13 am
protecting our border, and 5 3 days later the -- 563 days later the terry fily still does not know why it occurred. at they do know is that the very agency that initiated fast and furious, the department of justice, under attorney general eric holder, called the operation fatally flawed and then the wagons got circled. it's about the separation of powers. as uncomfortable as it may be at times, it's a fundamental tenet and strength of our democracy that congress is given not just the power but the responsibility to exercise its duty -- oversight over the executive, especially when by their own admission things have gone glaringly wrong. because the justice department has stubbornly resisted the tempt inquiries of congress,
10:14 am
over operation fast and furious, there's so much we do not know. but because whistle blowers within the department of justice were outraged mischaracterizations, tre is a great deal that we do know. what we do know is that we have been dealing with a systematic effort to deflect attention away from the decisions and determinations that were made at the highest levels of the department of justice where information was brought directly to individuals at the highest levels of the department of justice, information that was contained in wiretap affidavit that laid out in explicit detail the matters related to fast and furious. mr. speaker, there is a famous quotation in the department of justice about the responsibility of the attorney general not being to win cases but to assure that justice is pursued and retained. mr. speaker, it is incumbent
10:15 am
and a responsibility on this house to do what is required to do in this circumstance and to support the request that we be given the documents to obtain the facts that will allow us to draw the conclusions which i believe allow us to get to the bottom of this. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: mr. speaker, i yield to the distinguished gentleman from illinois, mr. quigley, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for two minutes. mr. quigley: thank you, mr. speaker. those bringing this contempt vote say thewant to talk about gunwalking and how to stop it. ok, let's have that conversation. they say they want to stop gun trafficking and keep our a.t.f. agents safe. well, then, let's properly fund the a.t.f. which is the same number of agents since 1970. they say they want to stop gun trafficking. then appoint a permanent a.t.f. director whichhe agency hasn't had in six years.
10:16 am
they say they want to stop gun trafficking, let's pass some laws which actlly deter straw purchasers. straw purchasers concurrently buy thousands of ak-47's, lie on their paperwork, and the penalty is equivalent to a moving violation. they say they want to stop gun trafficking, let's give the agents what they have been asking for, the ability to track multiple purchases of long guns. these long guns include ak-47's, assault weapons, and 50 caliber semiautomatic sniper rifles, the weapons of choice for international drug cartels. they say they want to stop gun trafficking, let's close the gun show loophole which currently allows anyone to purchase any gun they want without a background check. felons, domestic violence abusers, those with severe mental illness, even those on the terrorist watch list can currently walk into a gun show and purchase any gun they want. 2,000 guns were allowed to walk to mexic but the truth is
10:17 am
tens of thousands of guns a cross our border every year because of those lax gun laws. those bringing this contempt vote don't want to have this conversation and aren't serious about stopping gun trafficking. they simply want to embarrass the administration, even though the committee's 16-month investigation found no evidence the attorney general knew about gunwalking, even though there is no evidence the white house involvement in gunwalking, all of which chairman issa admitted on national tv last week. so if we are going to talk about gun trafficking, let's be clear, this is about politics not safety. i yield back. . thspeaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. e gentleman from california. immigration and customs enforcement mr. speaker, the -- the gentleman from texas. mr. issa: mr. speaker, this is the refusal of turning over documents, not whether or not it was his lieutenants or he who was involved in fast and rious. with that i'd like to recognize
10:18 am
the distinguished former chairman of the judiciary committee, the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. sensenbrenner, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized for two minutes. mr. sensenbrenner: mr. speaker, this isn't about politics. this is about the constitution. and it's about congress' map date to do oversight -- mandate to do oversight over both executive and judicial branches of government. the president is asserting executive privilege to attempt to shield these documents. and he is relying on a type of primpling called the deliberative process privilege. however, that privilege disappears when congress' investigating evidence of wrongdoing. and in 1997 e u.s. court of appeals for the district of columbia circuit wrote in part, moreover, the privilege disappears altogether when there is any reason to believe that government misconduct has occurred. in another case, it was decided
10:19 am
by the first circuit in 1995, it says that the grounds that shielding internal government deliberations in this context does not serve the public interest in honest, effective government. there has been misconduct that's already a matter of public record in two instances. the justice department wrote senator grassley in january of 2011 saying that the a.t.f. sanction gunwalking across the border was false and it took th nine months to retract that letter. so they also led congress, and then nine months later they said, oops. mayb he with did mislead congress and we'll withdraw the letter. and in may, 2011, the attorney general testified before the judiciary committee that he first heard of operation fast and furious a few weeks before the hring. over six months later, he conceded that he should have
10:20 am
said a few months. now, this very clearly shows that congress has got the proliferation to get the -- to the bottom of this, and that the assertion of the executive privilege by the president and the attorney general is not based in law. we ought to go ahead and do our job and do our oversight, and it's too bad that the justice department has decided to try to obstruct congress' ability to do it. pass the resolution. the speaker prtempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. e gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: i yield to the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. connolly: the 112th congress is the first in history to hold a cabinet member in contempt. when they say it's not about politics, you can be sure it's
10:21 am
about politics. the majority's irresponsible and unprecedented contempt vote brings dishonor to this house which haseen so clouded in judgment, that it's incapable of addressing a fundamental separation of powers conflict in a serious and fair fashion. in refusing to engage in good faith negotiations with the department of justice and the attorney general, the majority has exposed this contempt citation for what it really is, an extraordinarily shameful political witch-hunt aimed at trashing an honorable man. it's unacceptable. we're rushing to the floor, this unprecedented contempt resolution. yesterday, ranking member cummings sent a letter to the speaker highlighting 100 errors, omissions, mischaracterizations of fact contained in the contempt citation itself. rushed out of our committee last week on a party line vote. although some of the contempt citations flaws are simply misleading, others have
10:22 am
significant legal deficiencies and they contain factual errors that call into question the contempt citation itself. for example, on pages 4 and 5, the charges senior officials at the department of justice headquarters ultimately approved and authorized operation fast and furious. however, the consempt citation fails to mention the committee hasn't covered no evidence -- contempt citation failso mention the committee hasn't covered no evidence. on pages 16, 17, 19, 0, 21, 22, 25, 26 and 27, the contempt citation with not producing a series of document that the chairman oy recently acknowledged, the department is prohibited by law from providing due to the potential impact on ongoing prosecutions. in ft -- i would ask the gentleman for an extra 20 seconds. mr. cummings: i eld the
10:23 am
gentleman 20 seconds. mr. connolly: you had to his own subpoena to delete documents in this own category but his contempt citation has not caught up with his most recent version of his subpoena. clearly the majority has not taken the necessary time to properly weigh this very serious charge. regrettably, this deeply flawed and shoddy contempt citation is emblem attic of the majority's reckless rush to judgment throughout this process. i have been deeply troubled of some of the very hostile questioning and the utter and complete lack of respect given to the attorney general of the united states. when this chapter of congressional histy is written, it will be not a brave shining moment. it will be seen for what it is, a craven, crass, partisan move that brings dishonor to this body, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. issa: i now yield one minute to t very distinguished and very always participating member of the committee from new york, ms.
10:24 am
buerkle. the spker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york is recognized for one minute. ms. buerkle: i thank the gentleman for his steadfast work on behalf of truth and trying to get to the bottom of fast and furious. mr. speaker, syracuse, new york, in the heart of my district, is roughly 2,500 miles from rico rico, arizona, where border patrol agent brian terry was tragically shot and killed by an ak-47 assault rifle that the united states knowingly allowed into the hands of a suspected gun trafficker. yet, every time i'm home, it is the issue first and foremost on the mind of my constituents. i listen to their calls, to their emails and our town halls. they want to know what happened, who knew what and when did they know it. they ask me, they ask washington, they ask the department of justice, how could the united states government, the pillar of hope
10:25 am
and freedom, allow for one of their own representatives, one of their own good guys to be so helplessly gunned down by a suspected criminal? mr. speaker, i'm embarrassed to say after 56 days i still don't have -- 562 days i still don't have an answer for them. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlelady has expired. ms. buerkle: may i have one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for 10 seconds. ms. buerkle: is this the hope that the americans were supposed to believe in? out of the supposedly most transparent government in the history of our nation? it is my hope, mr. speaker, that the district court judge will see through the attorney general's contempt of congress after it is passed in the house today. however, we must not be mistaken, even if the attorney general is prosecuted, the case is not closed. we must not forget that guns leaked through this program --
10:26 am
the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlelady has expired. mr. issa: i yield the gentlelady 10 seconds. ms. buerkle: mr. speaker, after today's vote we must continue our effort to find more answers than there are questions relating to this administration's catastrophic fast and furious. the american people deserve the answer and the family of border patrol agent brian terry as well. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlelady has expired. the gentleman om maryland. mr. cummings: thank you very much. i yield the gentleman from missouri, mr. clay, two minutes, a member of the committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from missouri is recognized for two minutes. mrclay: mr. speer, as a member of the oversight committee, i know that the gunwalking operations conducted by the a.t.f. under both the previous and current administrations were absolutely wrong. but the leadership of this house is focused on shameful
10:27 am
election-year political posturing instead of the real issue. the justice deptment long o ended the practice of allowing these guns to walk across the border, putting communities in mexico at great risk, but the same people who he relentlessly pursued a baseless partisan attack on attorney general holder and the president have ignored the desperate pleas of the mexican government. to strengthen american gun laws and curb trafficking that gave rise to the strategy in the first place. but focusing in on the real issue would take time away from them playing politics with the oversight authority. those on the other side of the aisle claim to be concerned about powerful assault weapons
10:28 am
crossing the border into mexico illegally. but how can they be completely fine with those same powerful assault weapons being sold right here in this country legally putting our communities at even greer risk? this is more -- nothing more than a political witch-hunt. the disgraceful posturing that i have witnessed at last week's markup is continuing on the floor today. i agree it never should have come to this, but we are here debating this resolution solely because of the majority. they created the scandal and produced a showdown during an election season just to spear an honorable public servant and to embarrass his boss. i urge my colleagues to reject this partisan, unprecedented
10:29 am
resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. issa: thank you, mr. speaker. it's now my honor to yield one minute to the distinguished speaker of the house, john boehner. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio, the speaker of the house, is recognized. the speaker: i want to thank my colleague for yielding. it's importantor the american people to know how we got here and to know the facts of this case. the congress asked the justice department for the facts related from the fast and furious and the events that led to the death of u.s. border patrol agentrian terry. the justice department did not provide the facts and the information that we requested. instead, the information came from people outside the department, people who wanted to do the right thing. in addition to not providing the information, the administration admitted misleading congress, actually detracting a letter it had sent 10 months earlier.
10:30 am
i think all the members understand this is a very serious matter. the terry family wants to know how this happened and they have every right to have their answers and the house needs to know how this happened and it's our constitutional duty to find out. so the house oversight and government reform committee issued a lawful and narrowly tailored subpoena. we've been patient, giving the justice department every opportunity to comply so that we can get to the bottom of this for the terry family. we have shown more than enough good faith, but the white house has chosen to invoke executive privilege. that leaves us no other options. the only recourse left of the house is to continue seeking the truth and to hold attorney general in contempt of congress . now, i don't take this matter
10:31 am
lightly, and i would frankly hope it would never come to this. the house's focus is on jobs and the economy, but no justice department is above the law and no justice department is above the constitution which each of us have sworn an oa to uphold. so i ask the members of this body to come together and to support thisesolution so that we can seek the answers that the terry family and the american people deserve. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: let me just say -- i yield myself one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cummings: let me say in response to the speaker, we too are saddened by the death of border patrol agent brian terry who gave his life, service to his country on december 15,
10:32 am
2010. but, mr. speaker, despite -- but despite what my colleagues have claimed, this contempt vote is not about getting documents that show how gunwalking was initiated and utilized in operation fast and furious. the only documents in dispute are documents created fast and furious ended and after brian terry's death, but we pledge to continue to nd all the answers with regard to the death of brian terry. with that i yield the distinguished gentleman from massachusetts, mr. lynch, two nutes, a member of the committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for two minutes. mr. lynch: thankou, mr. speaker. i would add that we have 31 democrats that signed a letter to the department of justice and to the white house in the aftermath of agent terry's death to fully cooperate in this investigation. however, i rise in strong opposition to this contempt
10:33 am
resolution. while criticism of the department of justice for oversight of the so-called gun walking operation during both the bush administration and the current administration, criticism may be warranted, a finding of contempt against a sitting attorney general of the united states is most certainly not. and dermining whether this house should hold our highest ranking national law enforcement officer in contempt of congress, let us remember that up until last week, the majority of our committee had been demanding the production of documents that our attorney general is legally prohibited from disclosing. and that has caused much of the delay here. in other words, mr. holder would have broken the law and likely compromised existing criminal prosecutions if he adhered to the majority's unreasonable request for materials relating to ongoing criminal invesgations,
10:34 am
federal wiretap communications and under judicial seal and dumonts also subject to grand jury secrecy rules. let us also be mindful we are considering the extent of cooperation or noncooperation of an attorney general who has appeared before congress on nine separate occasions, whose justice department has produced over 7,600 pages of documents to oversight investigators and who continues to offer siificant accommodations to extraordinary and ever-changing requests for information. the majority continues to deny any and all democratic requests to publicly question, under oath, w enforcement officials including former director of the a.t.f. ken melson, the head of the very agency that held the gun walking operations such as fast and furious. it's clear that what began as a legitimate and compelling committee oversight
10:35 am
investigation has deteriorated -- mr. cummings: i yield the gentleman 15 seconds. mr. lynch: in closing i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to oppose this contempt resolution and i yield the -- yield back the balance of my time. the spear pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. issa: i yielone minute the gentleman from michigan, mr. walberg. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. walberg: there is no joy in today's action but the fact remains, 18 months after u.s. border patrol agent brian terry was murdered, e justice department has failed to hold anybody accountable for the mistakes of operation fast and furious. as a member of the ovsight and government reform committee, i have witnessed firsthand the stone wall big the department of justice and attorney general holder. at every question, the justice department has refused to acknowledge what they know about the gun walking tactics that led to agent terry's
10:36 am
death. most recently, they have hid behind the president's erroneous claims of executive privilege, an action the president denounced as lacking transparency when he was campaigning. the department has stood in open defiance of congress' moral and constitutional obligation to conduct oversight of this affair. the family of agent terry deserves to know who approved fast and furious. they have the right to know who had the power to stop this program before he was murdered and they need an explanation as to whyhe department of justice took nine months to withdraw their false denial that they had ever let guns walk to mexico. to some on the other side of the aisle -- the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. mr. issa: i yield the gentleman 15 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. walberg: to some it seems fine that the people who authorized this operation still work in the department of
10:37 am
justice. they would rather play politics rather than uphold congress' right to investigate. this is about making sure another 2,000 firearms don't end up in the hands of mexican drug cartels and it's about bringing closure to the terry family. i urge my colleagues to support this resolution and honor the memory of brian terry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from m.d. mr. cummings: i yield to the distinguished gentlemafrom m.d., mr. hoyer, four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland, the minority whip, is recognized for four minutes. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, this is a sad day for the house of representatives. it is an irresponsible day for the house of representatives. it is a day in which the
10:38 am
majority party asked us to take an action that has never been taken in the history of america. never once holding a cabinet officer in contempt. of the -- in contempt of the congress. now there have been previous contempt citations. some promoted by democratic committees and some promoted by republican committees. the average time between committee action and consideration on the floor of the house is 87 days. time to reflect on an extraordinarily important action. with consequences beyond the knowledge of anybody sitting here today. now i want to tell the chairman with all due respect, i think this investigation has been
10:39 am
extraordinarily superficial. i think the chairman has faid to call witnesses that could in fact give relevant, cogent testimony. -- testimony on the issues to bear. that ought to be done. that is why i will strongly support the motion of the gentleman from michigan, mr. dingell, who has served here longer than any of the rest of us, and who is one of the strongest gun control rights supporters in this congress, and what his motion says is, let us reflect, let us bring thoughtful judgment, let us not every time that there is the opportunity to choose confrontation over cooperation and consensus. that has been the history of this congress. competition over consensus every time. and america is suffering
10:40 am
because of it. i ask my friends on the republican side of the aisle, who know me, to be a bipartisan member of ts body. that believes in this institution. and who cares about its actions and the precedent they ll set. don't do this. vote for this motion to refer. give the chairman they have opportunity he should have taken before to have a full hearing, calling former attorney general mccasey, calling the former head of the a.t.f. calling agents who were personally involved in this proceeding. i venture to say that there are very few members who will vote on this issue who have read the committee proceedings. very few members who have read the minority report or the majority report. yet they are about to take a
10:41 am
historic vote to do what has never been done by any congress, 111 congresses did not take this action. this is not about republicans or democrats. this is about our constitution. our country. our respect. for a nation of laws not of men. that's what this bill is about. we ought not to be voting as republicans and democrats. we ought to be voting as americans. americans committed to justice and fair process. i gret that i do not believe th committee has followed that. i believe that the political motivations mind this resolution are clear and pose a clear and present danger to this nation.
10:42 am
may i have 30 additional seconds? mr. mcgovern: i yield the gentleman 30 seconds. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman from massachusetts. when we vote on this referral, vote as americans, not as a partisan issue. you may he the attorney general in the future. it's not the question of the party of the attorney general. it is the question of whether or not this congress is going to provide for equal treatment of all attorneys general. and all cabinet officers. let us vote for this motion to refer and give the committee the opportunity it should take. let us vote down this motion. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired.
10:43 am
mr. hoyer: let us vote down the motions for contempt. mr. speaker, i now yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. issa: mr. speaker, it is now my honor to yield one minute to the gentleman from arizona, an active participant and from the district from which this event sprung, mr. go czar. -- mr. gosar. mr. gosar: finding the attorney general in contempt of congress is long overdue, welcome news for the merp people and escially for arizonans. as i explained, mr. holder has shown his contempt and utter disdain for our constitutional rights, our border, arizonans and l americans. 115 members of congress agree that americans lack confidence in mr. holder and his department. every member of congress should do their constitutional duty and holdhe attorney general
10:44 am
in contempt today. the people of arizona, california, new mexico, and texas who deal with the unsecure borders and violent mexican cartels on a regular basis now must also live in fearf the firearms. some have said these charges against attorney general eric holderer racially motivated and i couldn't disagree more. the violent cartels armed by our government have no regard for party i.d. or race. throughout our nation and specifically in arizona, folks are all political parties and all races are now living in danger of this lethal violence due to the actions of this administration. make no mistakes about it, today's vote is to deliver juste and accountability for the brian terry family and the over 300 mexicans who have died as a result of fast and furious. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has ex-priored. mr. cummings: i yield the gentleman from m.d. 30 second. mr. hoyer: in 2009, our speaker
10:45 am
stood on this floor outraged about the process. we, too, areout raged about the process. we will not stand for this. i would ask my house republican colleagues and those who believe we should be here protecting the american people, protecting our constitution, not vote on this bill, let's just get up and leave. my colleagues may well follow that advice. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. issa: i yield myself 10 seconds. i have no doubt the gentleman will walk off the floor but his motion is asking us also to delay into an election getting an answer for the terry family. i know that is not the wise course and i stongly support that we do this today and with that, i yield one minute to the gentleman from idaho, mr. labrador. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. labrador. --
10:46 am
mr. labrador: i stand with a heavy heart in support of this resolution of contempt. it puts us one step closer to holding the attorney general accountable. he has not only failed to produce relevant dumont -- dock yulet, he has misled this congress and prevented us from uncovering the truth. how can the members of the minority say that an investigation is superficial when we don't even have all the documents? when the attorney general was before the committee on oversight last year, i brought to light his historical pattern of willful ignorance, high temperaturing his lack of knowledge under oath. he knows nothing, he says nothing, and he seeks for nothing. never in my life have i met a man more unconcerned with the search for the truth. i have sense become even more disturbed by the depths to which mr. holder and his alryes -- allies will sink to stone wall justice. yes, this is an uns prekented
10:47 am
day, i agree with you. but not until now have we had an attorney general have to retract so many statements made to the congress of the united states, the duly elected representatives of the people of the united states. let us vote to support this motion for contempt and i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: may i inquire how much time both sides have? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from m.d. has -- from maryland has 6 1/4 minutes remain, the gentleman from california has 11 1/4 minutes remaining. mr. cummings: i grant to mrs. maloney two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. s. maloney: mr. speaker, the family of brian terry deserves our respect, our condolence and our best efforts to finish the mission, to put an end to
10:48 am
gun violence on the southern border. but instead of going after gun violence, this investigation has gone after the man that tried to stop the gun violence, the attorney general. chairman issa has acknowledged that attorney general holder did not know about the gunwalking operation. he has acknowledged that the president and the white house did not know about the gunwalking operation. both the white house and the attorney general have acknowledge that the gunwalking operation was a tragic mistake, that it was badly executed and that it originated under the brucks -- under the bush administration. it was attorney general holder that terminated the program and requested an extensive investigation of the operation and how it was conducted. and the documents that they are now requesting in this vast and
10:49 am
-- in this fast and furious investigation have absolutely nothing to do with gunwalking. if they were really interested in discovering the uth, the committee would have called kenneth nelson, head of the a.t.f., as a witness. the chairman refused 10 requests for mr. melson. the republicans have not granted one single democratic witness request in 16 months, not one. this is not about discovering the truth. this is about politics. this has become an obsessive political vendetta for pursuing political agenda in a season of ugly politics. if they were serious about ending gun violence, they would do what many a.t.f. agents have suggested and put some teeth in the law and that is why i
10:50 am
authored with my colleagues a bill to make gun trafficking a federal offense and strengthen penalties for straw purchases. this unprecedented contempt citation is politics at its worse and why this body is held in such low esteem. mr. issa: i ask the statement by the terry family be placed in the record at this time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, it will be placed in the record. mr. issa: i'm sure the gentlelady from new york recognizes the right oa minority hearing has not been exercised and that would have been answered the questions as they are well aware of bringing kenneth melson before the committee. they did not exercise their right. with that i yield a minute to the gentleman from florida, the senior member of the committee, mr. mica. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for one minute. mr. mica: thank you for yielding. when the founding fathers
10:51 am
created our government and established the committees in congress, that authorizing committees -- they had authorizing committees, they had appropriating committees. the predecessor of this committee was established for a fundamental reason and that's to make certain that programs and funding were properly executed and used by agencies created by congress. congress created the law that created the department of justice. congss funded the programs that are under the department of justice. it's our responsibility to investigate when things go wrong, and things went wrong. an agent of the united states was murdered with weapons which were funded by the agency that we created. all we have asked for is the documents. all we want are the facts, and we have been thwarted. eric holder, attorney general
10:52 am
of the united states, the highest judicial enforcement officer of the united states, has been in contempt, is in contempt and is showing contempt for the congress and the responsibility under the constitution of this important committee of congress. i urge adoption of the contempt resolution against the attorney general. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: mrspeaker, i grant the gentleman from california, mr. schiff, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. mr. schiff: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i rise in strong opposition to these contempt resolutions. i spent six years as an assistant u.s. attorney and i have greated a mir mation and spect for the harorking men and women of the department. i have great respect for our attorney general who i think has been asuperb attorney general and is a man of integrity. i like most americans would like to know about the facts of fast and furious, about the problem of guns crossing our border, the horrendous violence
10:53 am
south of our borr, but what we do today will shed no light on that. what we do today will not improve the situation in terms of gun violence that's claimed e lives of 10's of thousands of -- tens of thousands of mexican citizens and claed the lives of americans. what we are doing today is simply a partisan abuse of the contempt power. 13% of the american people think highly of congress and to date those 13% are wondering why. what we do will cause no injury to the department, but it will cause great injury to this house. the justice department, after providing 8,000 documents and extensive testimonyis now being required to turn over privileged materials. and like all administrations beforeit, it has reluctantly used the executive privilege to respectfully refuse to provide
10:54 am
materials it cannot provide. and so now here we are bringing a contempt motion against the attorney general whi our committee chairman acknowledges was not aware of fast and furious. they don't expect any documents to show you about fast and furious and yet we are going to hold this cabinet officials in contempt? that is an outrageous abuse of the contempt power. what will happen when this congress actually needs to use the contemptpower for legitimate purpose? will anyone still recognize it? i urge the speaker to withtraw this motion as indeed speaker gingrich withdrew the motion in his stay and let the parties work this out. we both know, democrats and republicans, how this will end. it will end months from now. let's end this partisan exercise now. the speaker pro tempore: the
10:55 am
time of the gentleman has expired. mr. schiff: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. issa: i yield myself 15 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 15 seconds. mr. issa: i respect my colleague from california. we came into congress tother some 12 years ago, but the fact is he talked everything except the fact that congresswas lied to in a letter. 10 months went by. we're only asking for information about the false statements made to congress during there intervening period and nothing more. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. issa: i reserve. the speaker pro tempor the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: i yield to the leader, ms. pelosi, 30 seconds. one minute. sorry. the speaker pro tempore: the minority leader is recognized. ms. pelosi: i thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i commend him for his extraordinary patriotism, for his commitment to upholding our
10:56 am
oath of office to protect and defendhe constitution and for recognizing full well the congressional role of oversight of all branches of government. i think we all share that view that congress has a legitimate role to play in oversight and thus your committee has so much jurisdiction and i respect that. i think we all also agree -- i think we all very, very much agree that we are very sad and seek justice for the family of border patrol agent brian terry . his loss is a tragedy for all who knew him, for all of us who care about him and we offer our condolences to his family. so sad. but that's not what we're here
10:57 am
to debate. what we agree upon. what we're here to debate is something very, very large because it is a major disagreement between the two sides of the aisle here, and i'm sorry to say that, about what our responsibilities are to the constitution of the united states. the constitution says -- it requires congress and the gleck tif branch to avoid unnecessary -- gleckif branch to avoid unnecessary conflict and seek accommodations that serves both interests. that's how the constitution guides us. as attorney general william smith who served under president ronald reagan said, the accommodation required is not simply an exchange of concessions or a test of political strength. it is an obligation of each branch to take -- to make a
10:58 am
principled effort to acknowledge and if possible to meet the legitimate needs of the other branch. mr. speaker, on the floor today , the republicans in congress are not taking a principled -- making a principled effort to acknowledge or meet the legitimate needs of the other branch. what they are doing is exploiting a very unfortunate circumstance for reasons that i cannot even characterize so i won't, but i will say this. without any fear of contradiction, the premise -- the basic premise that this debate is predicated on today is a false premise.
10:59 am
it's factually not true. how many more ways can i say that? and so we have a debate predicated on a false premise and what can that lead to that has any good outcome? it is a situation where we have a contempt of congress resolution against a sitting cabinet member which is the first time in the over 200-year history of our country that this has ever happened. again, what is the motivaon? secondly -- d that's why i quoted the constitution -- this motion is not a principled effort to resolve the issue. if it were w would not be able to measure in hours and days,
11:00 am
not even weeks, rush the railroading of a resolution of a contempt of congress that the republicans passed last week and are bringing this week to the house floor. i say this because i took considerable heat myself when we brought contempt charges against two staff people at the white house. josh bolten and harriet miers 4 1/2 years ago. we were asking for some papers. we got nothing. as i say to my friends, not even a wrapper off of a piece of gum. nothing. stonewall. nothing. and yet our chairman at the time of the judiciary committee, mr. conyers, and our house leadership, mr. hoyer and others, kept saying, find a way . exhaust every remedy so that we do not have to take this action
11:01 am
of bringing a contempt charge to the floor of the house. for over 200 years -- 200 days -- for over 200 days we tried, we tried, we tried to resolve the situation. and when we could not we brought it to the floor, two staff people at the white house. in stark contrast to the rush of one week to the next, not even factual charge against the attorney general of the united states. it may just be a coincidence. i don't know. that the attorney general of the united states, the chief
11:02 am
legal officer of the country, have the responsibility to fight voter supession, which is going on in our country, that he has refusedo defend the constitutionality of doma because he doesn't believe it's constitutional or has major disagreements on immigration which falls under -- enforcement of immigration law. and may just be a coincidence that those are part of his responsibilities. or maybe it isn't. but the fact is that the chief legal officer of our country, and his staff, have to spend enormous energy, psychic, intellectual, and time, dealing , dealing with this unprincipled effort on the part of the republicans. just when you think you have
11:03 am
seen it all, just when you think they couldn't possibly go any further over the edge, they come up with something like this. it's stunning. it really is. and i don'tean that as in it's beautiful. it's stunning. it stops you in your tracks. you say how far will they go? have they no limits? apparently not. and so the temptation is to say , let's just ignore the whole thing. do not dignify what they are doing by even being present on the floor and they do -- when they do this heinous act. first time in the history of our country to bring a contempt against the cab -- against a cabinet officer. you would think they'd be more careful about what they say,
11:04 am
but being careful about what they say is aparently not part of their agenda. and so i know in our caucus, there's a mixed response to this. they're acting politically, we should act politically. we shouldn't vote on this, i want to vote no. i think members have to make their own decision about that. i'm very moved by the -- i'm very moved by the efforts of our congressional black caucus to say that they're going to walk out on this. walk out on this. and perhaps that's the best approach for us to take. how else can we impress upon the american people without scaring them about what is
11:05 am
happening here? what is hapning here? what is happening here? it's shameful. what is happening here is something we all have an obligation to speak out against. because i'm telling you, it's eric holder today, it's anybody else tomorrow, any charge they can drum up. and the fact is, and has been said, the fact ishat the papers that they have seen, they know are exculpatory. that means there's no blame on the attorney general. and they know that. and that's why they don't want to bring those responsible for this before their committee and that's why i commend chairman dingell for his leadership and
11:06 am
the motion he will bring to the floor momentarily, a motion of referral. so that we can get to the bottom of this. so that we can see how this happens. so that we can offer some solace to brian terry's family. and so that we can have some sense of decency about what should happen on the floor of the house and when it goes -- it seems to me the more baseless the charge, the higher up they want to go with the contempt. the less they have to say that is real, the higher up they want to bring the contempt charge. i have always tried to make it
11:07 am
a habit of not questioning the motivation of people. they believe what they believe. we believe what we believe. and we act upon our beliefs. it always interested me that in this congress somebody can bring something to the floor that is not true, but if i were to call someone a misrepresenter of that information, my words would be taken down. so i guess that gives them liberty to say anything. because it's in the form of a motion. but let's make sure that we all take responsibility for doing the right thing by not letting there be an abuse of power and a-- an use of this floor of the house and an abuse of the time of the exec tiff branch
11:08 am
and abuse of a -- of the time of a member of the cabinet who has serious responsibilities to our country. i urge my colleagues to do what they want as far as walking off. i, myself, had said i was coming to this floor to vote against this resolution. i thought it was so wrong that there was no question to take the opportunity to vote no. but listening to the debate, almost unbelievable, not that what they're saying is believable but unbelievable that they would say it. so now i say to those who have a doubt about how they want to proceed that itead of doing what i said before, which was just to come and to treat this as an act of -- a bill before the congress a resolution before the congress and express my no, listening to the unconscionable presentation, i
11:09 am
want to join my c.b.c. colleagues in boycotting the vote when we have the walkout after the debate over mr. dingell's -- we all take our responsibility seriously here. one of them, first and foremost, is support, uphold and defend the constitution of the united states. that constitution requires the congress and the executive branch, i'll end as i began, to avoid unnecessary conflict and seek accommodation to serve both interests, the executive branch and the legislative branch. we are not upholding that aspect of the constitution. i urge my colleagues to vote no, or no vote. but to seriously reject and let's hope that this will not be repeted. but i'm telling you, if eric hold -- it's eric holder one day, you don't know who it is
11:10 am
the next because of the frivolousness with which they treat a serious responsibility of the house of representatives. it's appalling. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time. the gentleman from california. mr. issa: as i know the former speaker of the house knows, the attorney general is being hold in contempt as the custodian of the records for refusing to deliver them, not because we got to choose how far up or not up we got to go. with that, i recognize the gentleman from utah, mr. chaffetz, for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. chaffetz: thank you, mr. speaker. leader pelosi seriously questioned our motivations here. let me be crystal clear what my motivation is. we have a dead united states agent. meff more than -- we have more than 200 dead people in mexico. weave more than 2,000 weapons knowingly, willfully given to the drug cartels. more than 1,000 of those
11:11 am
weapons are still missing. most of them are ak-47's. we have a duly issued subpoena that has not been responded to. on february 4, 2011, on department of justice letterhead they presented a letter that was a lie. it took them nine to 10 months to provide that information to say, whoops, sorry. that's not good enough. this is not about eric holder. this is about the department of justice and justice in the united states of america. and i would, hen back to the june 3, 2011 letter that 31 democrats, brave democrats, sent to the white house. i read part of this. quote, it is equally troubling, remember, this is er a year ago, it is equally troubling that the deparent of justice has delayed action and withheld information from congressional inquiry, end quote. you went on to say, quote, while the department of justice can and should continue its investigation, those activities should not curtail the ability of congress to fulfill its
11:12 am
oversight duty. we urge you to instruct the department of justice to promptly provide comple answers to all congressional -- mr. issa: i yield the gentleman 15 seconds. mr. chaffetz: nothing has changed in over a year but i can tell you this, brian terry doesn't have answers you don't have answers, don't have answers. i want all the factings. that's what we're askg for today, the facts, all of them. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from m.d. is recognized. mr. cummings: i reed mind the gentleman that all this started under president george bush. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. issa: i recognize myself for 10 seconds. the distinguished gentleman can have his opinion but not his facts. fast and furious began under president obama and attorney general holder.
11:13 am
i trust the gentleman would no longer make statements that are untrue. mr. cummings: i yield myself 15 seconds. again, the gentleman puts out statements in search of facts. i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. issa: i yield one minute to mr. burton of indiana. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. burton: there's been a lot of hyperbole and a lot of repetition but a lot of thin that have been said haven't been factual. brian terry was murdered. hundreds of people have been murdered in mexico with guns that went across the border. the justice department said in february of 2011, they had no knowledge about this. 10 months later, they admitted they lied. now, they said they didn't know and then they said they said they did. i don't know what you call that but to me it's a lie. then chairman issa tried again
11:14 am
and again to get information so we could get to the bottom of this like the 32 democrats wanted and they refused. he sent subpoenas. they refused. they hid behind this being an ongoing investigation and they couldn't give those dumonts. -- documents. we got a fraction of the documents that should have been given to us. but they wouldn't do that. issa met with the attorney general's people to try to come to some conclusion, some kind of resolution of this. so we uldn't have to move the contempt citation. nothing. absolutely nothing. and then finally, at the 11th hour, when we knew that we we going to have to move with the contempt citation, the president of the united states issues an executive order claiming executive privilege. something funny -- mr. issa: i yield the gentleman 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. burton: something is wrong. something is being hidden from the congress and the american people. and no matter how much is being said here tonight, the fact of
11:15 am
the matter is, we aren't getting the information. a border patrol agent has been killed, maybe two. hundreds of people have been killed in mexico with american guns that our government knew were going across that border and the attorney general has not been giving us the information, the justice department has been hiding it from the congress of the american people and the president has claimed executive privilege. if that doesn't tell you something, nothing will. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expire. the gentleman from m.d. -- mr. maryland. mr. cummings: i reserve. mr. issa: how much time is remaining. the chair: the geneman from -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california has 6 1/2 minutes remain, the gentleman from maryland has 1 1/4 minutes remaining. mr. issa: i ask unanimous consent to place inta the record letters dated may 24, 2012, may 30, 2012, and june 1,
11:16 am
2012, to -- all addressed to elijah cummings, ranking member of the committee. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, they will appear in the record. mr. issa: thank you, mr. speaker. i now yield to the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. lankford, one munn. -- one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. lankford: this is a duly sad day. this is not stunnin as i've heard. this is a deliberive process that we tried to work through. we have a border agent that's been killed. we have huneds of mexicans that have been killed. and the fingerprints on all that go straight back to an operation that was done by the federal government. this is a moment to get all the facts, to get it on the table, find out what happened and to get it done. we started with a subpoena process over 22 different categories. we narrowed that down to one. how do we get the documents from the time of february 4 of last year, when the department
11:17 am
of justice told us one thing, and december, when they said, oops, d change thared story. we found out they had not told us the truth and in that time period when they staaled, staaled, staaled tissue when they stalled, stalled, stalled, we just want the information on that. how did this occur? this is essential because phoenix a.t.f. had a plan, fast and furious. it was abriveed the u.s. attorn in that area and went up the food chain to department of justice where it was signed off. this is not irrelevant. this is essential that we know the process of how this was done. if we're going to fix this problem, we've got to know the facts. instead they're being withheld. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expire. the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: t gentleman from california. mr. issa: mr. speaker, point of inquiry, do i have the right to close? the speaker pro tempore: the ntleman from california has the right to close. mr. issa: i reserve my right to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland.
11:18 am
mr. cummings: do you have any more speakers? mr. issa: no, i do not. mr. cummings: mr. speaker, as the democratic leader said, there's no doubt that the constitution gives congress the right and responsibility to investigate, but the constitution also requires something else. it requires congress and the executive branch to avoid unnecessary colict and deceit, accommodations that serve both of their interests. in this case the attorney general has testified ne times. he's provided thousands of pages of documents. he's provided 13 pages of deliberative internal document and he's willing to provide even more to meet the recent demands of chairman issa. but house republican leaders are not honoring their constitutional obligations. in fact, they are running in the wrong direction as quickly as possible. it's fundamentally wrong to
11:19 am
vote in favor of this resolution at this time when the attorney general has been working with the house in good faith. i believe this action will undermine the standing of the house, will cement the speaker's legacy and will be recorded by history as a discredit to this institution. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from california. mr. issa: i recognize myself for such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. issa: mr. speaker, there's been a lot talked about here about documents that the attorney general couldn't give us. these documents, documents under seal would be an example of documents that we should not see except encamera and we have taken great care to ensure that
11:20 am
no one outside members of congress and key staff have ever looked at them. but i've looked at them, and what i know is that these documents read by any person of ordinary learning make it very clear that these wiretap applications read and signed by individuals in the department of justice in washington, you read them, you now they were gunwalking. people will tell you differently. i give you my word, you read this, you know they were letting guns go to mexico. they knew who the buyers were, who the intermediaries were, who the recipients were and most importantly where they ended up. and this was part of evidence given to judges in order to get wiretaps, they were evidence -- there were evidence that they knew that in fact weapons had already ended up in mexico. that's before brian terry was
11:21 am
killed. that's where fast d furious could have been stopped. that's where people could have been warned. in fact, that's -- at a time which a.t.f. agents in mexico city, if they punched in the serial number of a weapon found there, they got an erroneous, an error. they didn't get meaningful information cause that was being blocked, not by a.t.f., per se, but by the department of justice under the auspices of the u.s. attorney and his bosses. now, you're going to hear this ben under president bush. attorney general mukasey. i am going to tell you that's just false. what happened in previous administrations with some of the same local a.t.f. agents was they exercised extremely bad judgment. they did things and pushed on programs that i believe were poorly conceived and poorly manned and as a resu they lost track of weapons repeatedly. that happened. and it was wrong.
11:22 am
the u.s. attorney at the time even declined prosecutions because of failed techniques. all of these were shut down during the bush administration. president bush can take no credit for it. he didn't know it. as far as i know the attorney general didn't know. and anyone who saw the record of that should say, this was wrong-minded. but during this administration, during the time in which the attorney general and his key lieutenants, including lanny bruer, were in charge they reopened the prosecutions from a failed program called wide receiver and they opened fast and furious. now, i'm the second child in a family. i have an older brother, and i learned at a very young age you in fact cannot when you do something wrong say, my brother, billy, did it. it doesn't work that way. you're responsible what you do.
11:23 am
this happened under the attorney general's watch. but that's not why we're here today. we're here because when we asked legitimate questions about brian terry's murder, about fast and furious, we were lied to. we were lied to repeatedly and over a 10-month period. the fact is that is what we're here for. the american people wt to know if you give false testimony to congress and the minority leader talked about why is there such a hurry. why was there 10 months' delay? i was sworn in just a few days before this investigation began, and now we're nearing an election and we don't want to ve this durg an election. we want resolution for the terry family. the important thing is we know enough to know that we have people who have told us under ment of criminal prosution they have told congss and their employees -- penalty of criminal prosecution they have
11:24 am
told congress and their employees certain documents exist. we asked for those document and we were denied them. we can't bring kenneth melson here in good faith. if in fact there are documents he says exist, and they do and they will not be given to us, we want to have those so wean ask the best questions. you heard earlier that in fact we denied somehow due proces to the minority. my ranking member's very capable and has for minority days, meetings exclusively for him, and he didn't do it. when we had a.t.f. and other individuals early on all of whom worked for this government, he didn't ask any. it wasn't until he asked the attorney general to come in based on these false statements and final retraction that he suddenly wanted a previous attorney general who happened to say, no, i don't want to come. so on that particular day we
11:25 am
would have had to subpoena him to get him in. i have no objection to having the former attorney general in. i believe that on his watch and his predecessor's watch and his predecessor's watch and for a very long time we have not done a good job of overseeing the actions of field agents when it comes to guns. but, again, we're here today for the first time in over 200 years to deal with an attorney general who has flat refused to give the information related to lies and a cover-up exclusively within his jurisdiction. lies and a cover-up exclusively in his jurisdiction. >> the house went on to vote to 55-67 to hold attorney general eric holder in contempt of congress. more than 100 democrats left the
11:26 am
floor and did not vote. if the case was referred to federal court. now, the attorney general's remarks. >> good afternoon. today's vote is the regrettable combination of what's became a misguided and politically motivated investigation. by advancing it over the past year and a half, congressman issa and others have focused on politics or public safety. instead of trying to correct the problems, it led to a series of what law enforcement operations and instead of helping us find ways to better protect the brave law enforcement agents like agent
11:27 am
friend terry -- brian terry, the lead to this unnecessary and unwarranted outcome. the man and woman of the united states department of justice and i have remained focused on what should and must be our government's top priority, protecting the american people. what concerns about operation fast and furious came to light, i took action. and ordered an independent investigation into what happened. we learned the flawed tactics used in this operation began in the previous administration but i made sure they ended in this one. i also make sure that agents and prosecutors across the country knew that such tactics must never be used again. i put in place new policies, new safeguards, and new leadership to make certain of this and took extraordinary steps to facilitate robust congressional oversight. let me be very clear.
11:28 am
that was my response to operation fast and furious. any suggestion to the contrary is simply not consistent with the facts. i had hoped that congressional leaders would be good faith partners in this work and some more. others have devoted their time and their attention to making reckless charges, and supported by fact and advancing truly absurd conspiracy theories. unfortunately, the same members of congress were nowhere to be found when the justice department and others invited them to help look for real solutions to the terrible problem of violence on both sides of our southwest border. that is tragic and is also irresponsible. the problem of drugs and weapons trafficking across this border is a real and significant public safety threat. he deserves the attention of every leader in washington. in the face of these and other
11:29 am
challenges, the justice department has continued to move forward in filling its critical of law enforcement responsibilities, whether it is with regards to prosecuting financial and health-care fraud, achieving a record mortgage settlement, taking aggressive action in protecting the most vulnerable among us, or challenging proposed voting changes and redistricting maps that would potentially disenfranchise millions of voters. this department of justice has not been afraid to act. nor have i been. some of these enforcement decisions were not popular. and help to explain the actions that were taken today by the house. as attorney general, i do not look to that which is politically expedient. on behalf of the american people where privilege to serve, i seek justice. in recent weeks, the justice department secured its seventh conviction in the most serious plot our nation faced since 9/11 and two days ago, the
11:30 am
department awarded more than $100 million in grants to save or create law enforcement jobs including more than 600 jobs for recent veterans. this is the kind of work that leaders in washington should be striving together to of advance. the time when so many americans are in need of our help, i refuse to be deterred from it. will not let election-year politics and gamesmanship stand in the way of continued progress. today's vote may make for good political theater in the minds of some but it is that base both a crass effort and a grave disservice to the american people. they expect and they deserve for more. as a result of the action taken today, and unnecessary conflict will ensue. my efforts to resolve this matter short of such a battle were rebuffed by congressmen issa and his supporters.
11:31 am
there were not interested in bringing an end to this the last disputes or obtaining the information they said they wanted. their goal was a vote with the help of special interests they have now engineered. what ever the path, it will not distract me or the men and women of the united states to protest the justice from the important tasks that are our responsibility. a great deal of work for the american people remains to be done. i will be getting back to it. i suggest that those who orchestrated today's vote do the same. >> today, on c-span, the president of the european council and european commission, followed by secretary of state hillary clinton at the state department, and later the middle east institute's third annual
11:32 am
conference. >> this is the conversation we need to have in this country that no one is willing to have -- what role should the government play in housing finance? >> in "reckless endangerment" gretchen morgenson details the sub-prime lending collapse, the 2008 financial meltdown and government-subsidized home ownership. >> if you want to subsidize housing, and the populace agrees, put it on the balance sheet and make it clear and evident, making everyone aware of how much it is costing. when you deliver it through third-party enterprise is -- fannie and freddie matt -- threw a public company with private shareholders and executives who can extract a lot of that subsidy for themselves, that is not a very good way of subsidizing home ownership. we have seen the end of that
11:33 am
moving in 2008. >> more with gretchen morgenson send a o'clock p.m. on c-span's "q&a." >> leaders from the 27 member states of the european union agreed on bailout funds for spain and creating a single supervisory thinking in it for eurozone countries by the end of the year. the president of the european council and european commission spoke to reporters saw solutions to resolve the european debt crisis. so far, ireland, portugal, greece, spain, and now cypress had asked the eu for financial assistance. this is about 25 minutes. >> the president of the european council, mr. herman van rompuy. >> thank you. good morning. good afternoon. i lost all time sensitivities.
11:34 am
the european council is about combining short term action to stimulate growth, and to stabilize the markets. together, with a long-term vision on the way forward to strengthen our economic and monetary union. the key short-term challenge across europe is to revive growth, building on yesterday's discussion, we decided on a compact for growth and jobs, which mobilizes 120 billion euros for immediate investments, and will boost the investment of the economy and help create jobs. the current situation, establishing a longer-term perspective for the euro area is a pressing priority. indeed, as has been pointed out, if we want investors to , they would like to know
11:35 am
where the eurozone stands in 10 years' time. yesterday, we discussed the report of the future of the economic and monetary union that represented earlier this week at the request of the heads of state of government in close cooperation with the president of the european commission, the euro group, and the european central bank. as you know, this report of lines in architecture based on the integrated frameworks for the financial sector, fiscal benefits, and economic policy. steps forward in these three areas must be accomplished by democratic legitimacy and accountability. these were and these are the four building blocks. let me start with the financial sector here, beyond general agreement on the longer-termed
11:36 am
the we already achieved. last night we agreed that under certain circumstances and conditions the esm recapitalized banks directly. the biggest and most important condition is setting up a single supervisory mechanism for banks, and the eurozone leaders have best the council to work in a speedy way so that we can have results by the end of the year. this is a major break for a -- breakthrough this night. it is also a first step to break a vicious circle between banks and severns, and it is already a first read the -- results of our common report. we said last week that the building block of banking integration is the most important one in the sense that we can achieve results in a short time frame, and in the
11:37 am
banking framework, the european organized surveillance. we are delivering already, a few hours after we presented our report. on the second and third building blocks of the report, fiscal methods and economic policies, we all share the same analysis. economic and monetary union can only function if each and every country's budgetary and economic policies are sustainable. this is the conflict between countries sharing a common currency. we also took another important position yesterday, agreeing to open the possibilities for countries that are complying with common rules, recommendations and timetables to make use of the efsf/esm instruments for the markets.
11:38 am
it will be provided for spain. the european council agreed on a method to take four or work on those four building blocks. as president of the council i've been invited to develop a road map again in close cooperation with the euro group and a member states who will be closely involved. if there will also be consultations with the european parliament, and we will present the final report before the end of the year with the first reported in october. i am happy to announce an historic breakthrough after 30 years of discussion on the europeans, we reached an agreement on the last outstanding issue, the seat of the unified court, as the
11:39 am
danish prime minister and i agreed. we also discussed foreign affairs, foreign policy, the european council bill condemning the brutal violence in syria, calling for strong action to press the regime to end the bloodshed and to support a political solution for the crisis. on iran's nuclear crisis, we urged them to engage constructively, and we have good news from montenegro. the european council has endorsed decisions to open discussions this afternoon. to conclude, even if fighting the crisis has been the european council's top concern for over two years and will remain so in the near future, we must not
11:40 am
lose sight of the path ahead and keep setting orientations for the future. since this happens to be the first summit of my second mandate, i shared with colleagues a work plan until the end of 2014. this tentative program foresees a time to focus on specific things like innovation, investor competitiveness, trade and also defense. so, it was a difficult european council summit of the eurozone, but it was a fruitful one, agreed on the fiscal compact treaty and we are achieving the first results of our emu report, and we have this historical breakthrough. so, the start of my second mandate was a difficult one,
11:41 am
but i am for the upcoming hours, the more than that, a happy man. >> thank you. prime minister, you have the floor. >> thank you very much. i would like to highlight a few points on our agenda that president herman van rompuy did not go into deeply. i am pleased we have now decided on contact for growth and jobs and what we are not leaving the crisis behind us with this context, but nevertheless this decision provides as with hope, direction, and tangible results in order to move your forward in creating new jobs and new growth. i think that on top of that, we have the euro statement that came this morning, and as was said, this concludes a meeting that has been difficult, but
11:42 am
also quite decisive in terms of where we go next. secondly, i would like to point out that after 30 years of negotiations, we now have an agreement on the european patent, as european businesses will not experienced that instead of applying for a patent in 27 member states, they can apply only one place and that will be good for growth in business in europe. the agreement is as follows. they -- the essential decision will be in paris and it should come from the member state posting the central division. there is also a highly- specialized nature of the patent litigation, and that means we have decided to create two sections, one in london, and another in munich, but the main seat will be in paris.
11:43 am
i want to use this opportunity to say nobody can do anything alone, and i want to appreciate the work we've been doing with the commission, the polish presidency, and, of course, president herman van rompuy, because this is a good example of how working together and in this corporation we can manage to have this type of agreement. this also marks that our presidency has first and foremost been about creating growth in jobs in europe. this is one of the biggest problems we have, the giggly youth unemployment, and we pushed reforms and the symbol -- particularly in the youth unemployment, and we pushed reforms that could create thousands of new jobs in europe and have established a basis on the future negotiations of the eu budget, as we were asked to do in december by the european
11:44 am
council. we have retired in a time of crisis to show the eu is still capable of producing tangible results and taking decisions in a time of crisis, and i look very much for to working with the new presidency, and i want to use this opportunity to thank you very much for the corporation we have had over the last six months. it is been exemplary, and we have lived up to the lisbon treaty, and how to work together. >> thank you. president jose barroso, you have the four. >> thank you. let me give a word of thanks to her and her excellent team. they have put an enormous amount of work into her presidency, which has been shown by the results they have achieved. i want to think herman for the corporation. i know many people were
11:45 am
skeptical, and i hope they were pleasantly surprised when they heard the news this morning because this european council in euro area summit have delivered what our citizens, and international partners and investors have been asking for. it has delivered a robust set of answers that should significantly strengthen confidence in europe's financial stability. let's see how -- we have agreed on short-term measures to support the countries under market pressure. following the presentation of the emu report, we have a clear commitment to a single banking supervisory mechanism for the euro area, a clear commitment that when this supervisory mechanism is established, it will be possibly be possible to direct the recapitalization of banks by the esm under strict conditions, and we have the ability to waive the
11:46 am
recapitalization under the esm. once again, we have taken decisions that were not unthinkable just some months ago. the commission has worked intensely on this solution, and we will work on implementing them over the coming weeks and months. we also have the endorsement from the european council on specific recommendations, an agreement on a contact for growth in jobs that sets out levers for mobilizing funds. i was making the case for many of these ideas when it was still not fashionable to do so. boosting the lending capacity of the investment bank, launching the first phase of bonds, directing federal funds, we now live full agreement on this. we also have recognition that we cannot separate the debate on
11:47 am
the growth from the debate on the euro budget. the progress achieved under the danish presidency was recognized as the basis in the orientation for further work. of course, a lot of negotiations are still ahead of us, we are making progress. this is the point that i would like to highlight particularly. we have a greater, convincing vision for a greater monetary union following the report presented to this european council. in fact, after the report was presented, we have already a clear commitment to simplify what i can call a banking union, and that is what commission has been calling for. the banking unit, in fact, will be made in a way that fully respects the integrity of the single market, and at the same
11:48 am
time recognizes that there are a member states that will not want to participate in some areas that are predominantly linked to membership of the euro, now, and in the future, and everyone here has agreed that the stable euro is in the interest of the whole european union. over the summer, the commission put together proposals to make this a reality and we need to go further, building a fiscal union and taking steps towards a political union. this is a logical consequence of the need for critical integration and the need for financial stability. i would like to highlight the agreement of the european council as a whole, supporting the statement of the euro area summit. if i may, i can read the conclusions on emu because they are extremely important following the report presented by the president of the european
11:49 am
council, a specific and bound- to-time road map is now being considered, which will include and i am now quoting "concrete proposals on preserving the unity and integrity of the financial services and will take into account the euro area statement and the intention of the commission to bring it forward proposals under article 127 of the treaty. they will examine what can be done within the current treaties and which measures will require a change, and in order to make sure their ownership member states will be closely associated to the concessions and regularly consulted, there will also be consultations with european parliament to call this is extremely important to understand to what -- parliament
11:50 am
to cl this is extremely important to understand what we just agreed on. it was important to agree on a single mechanism for the euro area, the proposal of the commission. we are proposing the ecb tax said responsibility. at the same time, there will be a -- takes that responsibility. at the same time, there will be a consideration for the whole european union, the full respect for the integrity of the single market, and in the conclusions of the european council, "the european council welcomes the statement of the european summit of the june 29, 2012." if so, very good progress. it is not the end of the road, but important steps were taken today and yesterday. thank you for your attention paid >> thank you. time for questions. please identify yourself. >> yes. i am from the german press agency. two questions for the two
11:51 am
presidents, please. all over night, jean-claude junker said there would be a decision announced on the uruguay presidency. if you have any news about this? secondly, what happened over the last few hours has been described by a lot of media, commentators, as some kind of defeat for angela merkel. do you share this assessment? thank you. >> just under -- on the nominations, the appointments, we were not completed by the end of our meeting at noon. the german chancellor had to leave because she had a debate, so we could not take the decision because we have to be with the 17 to take decisions on appointments, but it is highly likely that we can take
11:52 am
decisions in the beginning of the months of july. -- month of july. for the defeat -- who is the winner, and who was the loser, we are not entering into that game, because this is always based on perceptions. we had a broad understanding on what was achieved. it was a tough negotiation. it took hours, certainly, yesterday, and you cannot summarize this in winners and losers. we have and i say this not for the sake of the argument, we have a common task and a common mission to stabilize the eurozone, and in order to stabilize the eurozone, we have to in some ways support countries under market pressure.
11:53 am
those countries also need to deliver. so, when they in some way are receiving some support, it is always under conditionality, even under strict conditionality. when we speak about recapitalizing the banks, then we say we can only do this really, the direct recapitalization, if there is a new supervisory agency, when we have a centralized european surveillance of the banks, and this is absolutely key. so, there is nothing for free, and conditionality is set to move the key when we speak about support -- is absolutely key when we speak about support. it is always responsibility and saw a lot -- solidarity -- the two branches of our approach for
11:54 am
the last two 0.5 years. it is a balanced agreement on italy and spain, and with all of the rest because it is toughly negotiated not only with two or three, but with 17 and with 27. >> thank you. next question. >> john l. donald. in that case of banks that receive direct route bridging assistance, perhaps from the esm, can you clarify if it is the bang for the state liable for the assistance, and you mentioned supervision as a prerequisite. supervisors deny issue bailouts to make sure they are paid back to the -- do not issue bailouts to make sure they are paid back to the taxpayers. how will you ensure this works. >> i cannot go into details, but i can tell you the commission will come to a conclusion soon based on article 127, paragraph
11:55 am
six, for a single supervisory mechanism, and of course we know it is not the supervisory mechanism that is going to do the rest of the work, but that was in -- considered as a condition. when we have integrated financial conditions in the euro area, this is a condition for going on with the idea of the recapitalization of banks, so it is important that we have full confidence in the bank's. with the strong banks, this will be done in full conditionality, and that is also very clear in the conclusions. so, this has an ambitious timetable. the member states have agreed to the member states of the euro area -- to -- the member states of the euro area -- to agree on this by the end of the year.
11:56 am
yes, we need to be -- before we agree, a single supervisory mechanism, because it gives further confidence regarding direct recapitalization. i think it is an important an ambitious conclusion. afterwards, we can brief you with my people and the people from the council can give you a technical briefing of what the implications are of this, but of course some of these matters you will have a more clear idea when the commission, which i expect very soon, will present its proposal according to article 127, paragraph six. >> thank you. last question, please. >> immediate help was asked for. the direct recapitalization,
11:57 am
from when will we have it? the ninth of july, the first of july, or the beginning of next year? >> to my knowledge, there is a mission now in madrid to examine the situation, but it will be as quick as possible. we have to wait for the results of the mission. >> for spain, once again, this was not automatically guaranteed, and it was an agreement yesterday in the euro area summit. the financial assistance to the banking sector of spain will be provided by the essf until the esm becomes available, and it will be transferred without gaining seniority status. in terms of markets and investors, this was extremely important. we do not have yet the esm in place, but we have the efsf, and
11:58 am
it is true that we are now urging the rapid conclusion of the standards attached to this financial support to spain, and as soon as it is done, we can, in fact, provide that support to spain withheld the bond's gain seniority status. i think this was also in practical terms decision for the direct recapitalization of banks. as i said before, we have to wait for the integrated, supervisory mechanism at the european level. >> thank you for the final answer. thank you for your attention. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> british prime minister david cameron talks about the results of the european summit in the house of commons monday. live coverage of his remarks at 10:30 a.m. eastern on c-span.
11:59 am
>> this author writes about the president. >> harry truman goes to the white house and sells excess to eleanor roosevelt, can i pray for you? and she says, no. we need to pray for you. >> their campaigns. >> there are a lot of promises made. they said they would have to rent a large hall, larger than this one, to get all the people jack kennedy promised the vice presidency to that year. >> and their ideals. >> calvin coolidge may have been the last jeffersonian, a man who believed in the limits of federal power to recent -- and resist the temptation to extended care >> this sunday on booktv, your questions and comments live at noon eastern. also this said, a middle east expert on the obama administration's response to the air of the spring, afghanistan,
12:00 pm
iraq, and the israeli- palestinian peace process. >> secretary of state hillary clinton deliver mark fetting this is a little over an hour. >> thank you. the welcome. we are delighted to have you here. i want to thank you for putting this together. they did a fabulous job getting us to organize this. welcome. i want to say one word of introduction. and the last three years i have
12:01 pm
had conversations with people. i've the flight back and reminiscing to our first visit. i talk about the things tax harris did and argentina. i would get the slightly dazed looks. everyone was not actively involved in human rights advocacy in 1982. we did a lot of reporting and research. i did the forensic investigation. 65% of our bureau was not born in 1977. this is dedicated to the generation that is the drl generation. from 1977 until today. the generation in government and outside who are the next
12:02 pm
leaders, advocates, for human rights. i know we have a terrific group of people here. we are delighted you are all here. sit back and have fun. one final thank you. she called me yesterday morning from a sample. she is traveling with the secretary. she said is this tamara? -- tomorrow? you are a trooper. welcome. [applause]
12:03 pm
from 1907-1988. i am very proud to be a foreign service officer in one of the first generations of human rights interpol to human rights policy. -- chervil to human rights policy. let me introduce them to you. mark schneider was here in 1977. he is now vice president of the international crisis group. all these gentlemen have been a card-carrying members of the human rights club and is a bipartisan panel here. next is elliott abrams who was ronald reagan's assistant secretary 1981-1985. he is now at the council for
12:04 pm
foreign relations. next to can we are proud to have jim mcgovern who in 1989 was the lead investigator on the commission investigating the murders in al-sabah door -- el salvador. he is also of the house minority whip/wiules . harris was the first human rights dissenter. he will talk to you about his adventures in chile -- >> argentina. >> argentina. sorry. as you know drl was a bureau in
12:05 pm
the state department that was born of controversy. it was forced upon us by a bipartisan congressional group right and left to felt that this building was not understanding writes that human rights need to play. i would like to cal on mark and tex to talk about what it was like in the department site and on the field side when the bureau was created. getting it up and running. intregal.making it in durabl
12:06 pm
>> thank you. thank you for putting this together. this makes you feel old. we are celebrating the 35th anniversary of the establishment of the first formal human rights policy. it was a major shift in the way that people thought about foreign policy. you are right. it is the first time that people were arguing that there needed to be a greater public focus on human rights in terms of u.s. natural interest in value. -- and value. it is important to understand more a came from. what president carter made it
12:07 pm
the legacy, the human rights policy was waiting there. it was already there waiting for somebody to champion it. in terms of countries going through vietnam, there is a sense that they're needed to be fundamental changes in recognizing changes in this country. the values need to be reflected in our foreign policy. you have a bipartisan group in the senate and house. the first legislation that demanded that there be a focus on taking action with respect to our assistance was the harkin amendment. they are amendments to the foreign assistance act.
12:08 pm
the cut off assistance to chile. the efforts to recognize them. all these were legislation stirring the 70's. whoever was -starting- the 70's. they would have to start taking account of this movement. it was a far greater factor. elliott was able to force the soviet union to allow more soviet jews to the beast. these were all actions taken on the hill -- to be released. these are all actions taken on the hill. i have worked with committee chairs on issues of jurisdiction. i knew what turf fighting meant. i was a babe in the bureaucratic world.
12:09 pm
dealing with a variety of very competent and able assistant secretaries. there was a degree of tugging and pulling that took place. at that time, the assistant secretary -- i was looking at earlier. they were not always of the same view as to the balance between national security concerns and human rights objectives. i learned a huge amount from phil. we did not see eye to eye on many things. he taught me a great deal about how you think of these issues. what we did in order to encourage a greater degree of collaborative action in the state department, warren christopher was given the
12:10 pm
charge to do something about constant disagreement between that little bureau over there which was with the predecessor. this was a mechanism to force consideration of these differences of view and bring about some policy coherence. the effort was that we were criticized for steve activity and inconsistency. -- for selectivity and inconsistency. there were other interests that are also important.
12:11 pm
to some degree that was the object. we believed the gentlemen here was a year at that time. we did this in a variety of ways. it affected our efforts in the multilateral institutions. we did what we could. all i can say to the people that i worked with, it is important to recognize the role that the plate. -- that it played. it had a tremendous impact. to some degree we have others here from that era who have attempted to ensure that the human rights report were more honest, that we did reflect the consumer rights concerns. to some degree we were
12:12 pm
successful. the evidence was the 35th anniversary. >> thank you. you were one at the first fso's in be filled to confront the policy tension between our relations with the government and what was happening inside the country and to stand up. i would like you to quickly tell those who were not born at that time a little bit about the argentina story and what it meant at the time. >> we have come a long way. and this is a step forward.
12:13 pm
thank you for putting this together. they decided that in order to save argentina and western civilization in confronting communist terrorism that they had not only to kill the terrorists that they had to cut out the surrounding tissue of subversion, a leftist thinking. people with that thought. they set off killing at least 13,000 or 20,000 of their own countrymen. they captured and killed them. this happened at the same time they came into power with the commitment.
12:14 pm
they convinced karcher to adopc. i checked the source. they adopted a change in foreign policy from the nixon/ford /kissinger anti-communism into which a new policy where the united states would stand up on behalf of abused citizens. if you as a foreign government abuse your own citizens your relationship with the united states would be severely affected. that is what human right is. what a change from the enormous debate that they were fighting.
12:15 pm
>> you are a young man. you are working in the political section. you have this backdrop that we're supposed to care. black happens? what happened that's correct mine was -- what happened? >> nuclear proliferation. i was working on this issue. they asked me to take off on this new thing. i said that the embassy that is hermetically sealed that they would allow people to come in. i saw my role as being a soccer midfielder. the defenseman were the brothers
12:16 pm
and sisters that disappeared. they came in. they gave to me into my assistant the information. we have computers we would be dangerous. we would write down all the information. we said what happened today? we saw patterns in which liberation, a theology, a christian groups, and 19 kids and their spanish priests were killed because they were identified as being subversive is. subversives. we passed it on to mark schneider and to warren
12:17 pm
christopher. they made the decisions. >> you made it sound easy. we know your ambassador was not welcoming. >> i did everything. i sent them many cassettes to get the information out. they discover that warren christopher could no longer send those in. the ambassador wanted to control american foreign policy in the region. when i came into the bureau the executive director had been a person who had negotiated with me on the other side of the table. he told a group "i want harris
12:18 pm
aires because thatires son of a bitch keep them honest." i did was send the horrors of argentina forward. that was the job, to tell them what was going on. when the ambassador said they were making this he decided one way to solve that problem was to stop the flow of information. i ran around. this is going to take a minute. it is a critical story.
12:19 pm
i sent a letter. i gave a copy to the ambassador. they ticket out of the pouch. this was information that the embassy had not provided to the united states government that a company seeking a long guarantee was the subsidiary of the navy which was killing people every day. this was stopped by mark schneider. it caused an uproar. american business salt that they were losing jobs. a year later they saw themselves having this turbine factory under their control. they saw that as their nest egg.
12:20 pm
they were refusing to stop the killing. but they came to argentina -- if they came to argentina, we thought if we get them to come they would stop the killing. they made a deal to invite the human rights commission to argentina and the killing stopped. it was serendipity. it happened. >> individuals matter. witness matters. washington support matters. everybody who thought this was a nutty for them to deal
12:21 pm
differently with government it turned out not to be the case. it turned out that ronald reagan and george shultz care just as much about human rights. can you talk about that? >> you are right. there were a lot of people that thought that. i started at the bureau and moved over to the human rights bureau. it was physically a dump. as you all know if you think there is a long term permanent rivalry between india and pakistan try a this. this is a permanent conflict. i invited secretary schulz to come to my office.
12:22 pm
he was astonished. the regional bureaus are pretty unionize. he ordered that they be gussied up. i got a call from the office of tibet. i said sure. they were not permitted in the building. i had to meet the people from the office of tibet in a hotel lobby for a couple of years. we would meet with the people with the regional bureaus who would nowould not meet with.
12:23 pm
the president did appreciate this. so did secretary schulz. it was painful. he had trained at the university of chicago. he would shake his head. he would announce its. the last previous republican was secretary kissinger.
12:24 pm
secretary kissinger, who i admire, has never really understood human rights policy to this day. that was the last example. we had to create a new policy. the argument he made was that anti communism was not enough. he had to be there. one thing he added was in the central american cases was being able to argue to these dictators that you're not the bastion against communism. you will be to a communist revolution if he cannot stop abuses and move toward democracy. they did not want to let go.
12:25 pm
they forced him into holding a referendum. these were interesting times. the oas was a dictatorship. kanaka anything through. -- you cannot get there anything. it is hard sometimes for people coming in and think back to a time when it was actually argued under the model that they had no business criticizing the business of another country.
12:26 pm
>> it is fair to say that there are policies on which we still struggle with that. >> you started your career staffing in the congress. the creation of the first human rights bureau was very much pressure on us by the congress. in fact there was people power at work on the streets of chile and argentina and also in the united states. can you talk about these early
12:27 pm
years? >> thank you very much. i am honored to be here with this panel. i am thrilled you are here to support this incredible work. my father and aunt of liquor store in western massachusetts. -- owns a liquor store in western massachusetts. if you met him, please keep supporting him. congress does some things right. a bureau is something to be
12:28 pm
commended. there a lot of people involved -- there were a lot of people involved. frazier held a critical role. i think members of congress realize this was important. they visited some of this country's that had great human rights abuses. they became part of church groups and sister city groups. did they saw firsthand some terrible things going on. they wanted to know why our government was not saying more on it. i think congress pushed constructively. i would say that over the years
12:29 pm
congress continues to push. anybody that had it up this bureau knows -- headed up this year knows you never get credited for doing a perfect job. why aren't you suspending this here decks this office benefits the pressure. i think it has been incredibly important. i think our policy has transformed over the years. i wanted to reflect even more human rights. i think we ought to stand out
12:30 pm
loud. i am thrilled to be here. thank you. [applause] >> we have 10 or 12 minutes before the secretary comes. i want to throw out a general question to the panel. we started this with the comment elliott made about how rare it was in this building to have this conversation about whether the internal affairs of the country matter to us and whether our relationship was purely geostrategic. third of the general question of how much does the nature of a
12:31 pm
government matter? and the compact it has up its own. how does it matter to the relationship that we should have with the country that do the american people really care about this? >> i think the american people do really care. i think that the reality is the whole of traditional argument of natural sovereignty change after world war ii with the adoption of the civil political rights. there is an agreement that countries did not have. they did not have the right to do what ever they wanted. there were other international norms of had to be respected. the other part of it was u.s.
12:32 pm
interests are not in advance by closing your eyes to those violations. when i saw him under house arrest and made it clear that the government was concerned, even though we have a strategic relationship with korea, the way in which korea treated its citizens was important to us. when he became president later he made a difference. when political prisoners came to washington and met with us and later became ministers of government, it makes a difference. our ability to see now that the victims of human rights abuse are people that we should identify with advances not only our own values but our national
12:33 pm
interests as well. >> there is a question of things coming up from the american people. sudan is a good example of that. if you look at the website you will often see what is going on. here is when the services are going on. the notion that people are in different i think is not borne out. the opposite side of the good example, if you look at public opinion polls in europe, a place where attitudes are the worst is greece. one of the reasons for that is that we supported the military dictatorship that took over. we worked pretty well with them.
12:34 pm
to this day that has affected the great perception of the united states, a decade later. >> one and the tensions that continues to exist is this whole issue of we have a country that commit terrible human rights abuses but it is an important strategic ally. what do you do? sometimes it leads to an inconsistency. i think human rights is a moral and national security issue. it catches up with us. there is a struggle that goes on.
12:35 pm
how do you apply this? we had a recent debate on columbia free trade. it was really tough to get to the human rights part of it. it was whether we should sell arms to bahrain. i think we should not. i understood as some people think there is a military advantage to doing that. -- i understand that some people think there is a military advantage to that. it is not enough to say there are human rights abuses. when people abuse the human
12:36 pm
rights of their citizens, there ought to be a consequence. they ought to be held accountable. i think we lose some of our credibility. >> i want to talk about triggers for u.s. response to human rights beyond bahrain. the first is the relationship between communities. argentina was triggered because in the russian jews from europe of the jews a went to canada, at the united states, and argentina. all those destinations look like big futures. when your nephew is kidnapped, murdered in argentina that becomes an issue in the jewish community in. of -- ngo'sapture
12:37 pm
the information and transmit that. the media came to argentina and they saw a story. they were not only george jewish relatives there, there were british relatives. this was indispensable. next is the congress. uni leadership in the congress among the staff and members. and those days that was really instrumental. it was the amalgam of having the abuse and having these
12:38 pm
institutions in the community relationships and the press and the congress, all these things come together make human rights policy. >> i think one of the things listening to you talk about the tools and the appropriate roles of u.s. government there is this tension, how much of a role should be played? how much aid should be with hold a? the conversation has changed and it adapted. would any of you like to speak about what you think the most effective mix of encouragement mights be and what you are most proud of and what the biggest
12:39 pm
failures you have seen? >> i will start. i do not think that there is a single appropriate thing. this is one thing that should be done. this is the current situation in the giving country. these are the tools we have a vegetable. we can not contain the military relationship of the government that is using these. we have to look at the range of issues publicly and privately.
12:40 pm
it is very important when the ambassador those out and goes to the event that serve the human rights. i've easily come at the assistance relationship. i've always believed that it is not a question of the dollar amount. it is a question of the relationship. you used different methods to demonstrate that the relationship with the united states is going to change for the worse if they do not change their attitude with respect to how they treat their citizens. you do it bilaterally and multilaterally. you use the tools available. >> can you talk a little bit about -- sometimes the and shawmut has been to blunt -- the
12:41 pm
instrument has become too blunt. mix ofyou find that make encouragement and pressure? >> there is no formula that applies in each case. we have a different relationship. some countries are dependent on us for foreign aid. others are completely independent. you will have less clout. it seems to me the most important single thing is that the dollar amount. it is the message. first is the message coming from the top. it is very nice for the assistant secretary of human right to say you have a human rights problem. it is different when the president says it. it is a much bigger deal.
12:42 pm
>> how are you? [applause] >> i am proud to introduce my boston needs no introduction but who has the strength and support to do my job. this was a standing-room-only crowd. i love that. welcome. it is a real pleasure to have you here for this occasion.
12:43 pm
i want to thank all of our special guests including jim mcgovern who has been such a champion on behalf of human rights in the world that congress should play. the support goes back to its very creation. i also want to thank the former assistant at a series ecb for you. it is a real star-studded cast. there is one other who i want to mention. that is packed who did so much to shape this bureau from its infancy. she cannot be with us today.
12:44 pm
she wrote "pronounced dead at birth."per bailed. best to all of you. i wish i could be there. it is amazing to think how far drl has come in 35 years. it did have a rocky childhood. plenty of critics said they had no business pester anybody about human rights. even getting an office on seventh floor caused protests. there can still be held the attention which i think is good. it helps create the a fireman for better decision making. the story of this bureau is a
12:45 pm
story of leaders and people who really believed in the mission. it is also the story of a way of thinking that has become absolutely fundamental to furthering americans interest in security and the way that we conduct our foreign policy today. this works hand in glove with colleagues around the world. it helps us think more thoughtfully about how we're going to respond to the extraordinary range of changes and challenges that we face in the world today. i want to thank mike pose nepose publicr a for being such a great leader. -- pos publicner lead for being
12:46 pm
such a great leader -- mike posner publicly for being such a great leader. he has expanded internet freedom everywhere. his creativity and a savvy have been absolutely essential. we put more effort, more people, more money into the work of defending of promoting human rights than any country ever has. that investment is not only the right thing to do. as we like to say, it is the smart thing as well. it makes us stronger leaders. when we stand up for universal principles it establishes our moral leadership. it is true that our wealth and military might remain defining
12:47 pm
features of our power. those things carry more weight because of who we are and what we stand for. when we celebrate an emerging democracy or criticize a repressive government words do matter. when activists are harassed by their own governments, they turn to us for help. i do not have to tell any of you what types of complications that can cause. that is who we are. that is to we want to be. we should never forget how much it means to the world when we stand up not only for our rights before universal rights. this not only makes a stronger, it makes us more secure. as president obama's strategy recognizes the world that is more democratic is the world with if you work at this series. creating this world is not
12:48 pm
always easy. there are the inevitable trade- offs. there always will be. the mission remains the same. it is what brings our drl team to work every morning. i heard some people say that makes them "idealists" is rarely meant as a compliment. some say it is a complex world. we have to deal with all kinds of people. we do. we will. we must. there is no doubt about that. we will come from a stronger position knowing that governments that do not respect their own people's aspirations not only may not indoor but cannot be the kind of reliable,
12:49 pm
long-term partners that we and the rest of the world so need. they make the world less stable, and not more. our interests are best served when people live in societies that treat women equally and stop gender based violence. i think that deserves a round of applause. [applause] protect the bright of religious and racial and tribal and ethnic and every other kind of minority and respect the dignity of every individual. to me that is hardly an idealistic world view. i think it is tough, realistic, and essential in advance in america's interests. america'sing wil interests.
12:50 pm
i am deeply proud of it appeared to be 35 again. -- i am deeply proud of it. to be 35 again. i hope you stay as a vigorous and robust and committed as you have been for the first 35 years. this is a well-deserved celebration. it is one that this administration and this department is a very proud to join in. we wish everyone here the very best as you continue this essential work. and to the activists and the reformers and protesters, we want you to realize the aspirations the universal human rights of every man and woman and the united states will continue to be your partner.
12:51 pm
thank you very much. [applause] >> you know why it is not a human rights abuse to work for hillary clinton. she is off to deal with one of the biggest humanitarian crises we have in the planet. let's pick up where we are. >> almost everything we do is symbolic in the sense that there are cases like south africa or
12:52 pm
iran where sanctions are meant to really damage the economy as much as we can. very rarely the case. it is more usual that you're doing something symbolic. when the bush administration refused to enter negotiations over free trade agreement with egypt because they put him in jail, i do not think mubarak wanted a free-trade agreement. it was a symbolism of the united states saying no. it has to come from the president and the secretary or there are mixed messages. one thing we have a great problem with, and i am confident about asking you have it today, is the injured agency problem.
12:53 pm
-- is the interagency problem. if there has been a regression of human rights in vietnam. the department states has said so. they were clear on this. secretary panetta, it is talking to them about human rights? i think in a the answer. that is always a problem. even if you get the secretary of state to say what you want him or heard to say or if you gave your ambassador to say this is very important. or a visiting general is not touching the subject, it is a mixed message. how do these abuses affect their relationship with the united
12:54 pm
states? you will get that mostly in what the president and secretary and other critically important officials say so that the whole relationship is affected in this way. it may sound like this is not important. not true. look at the russian reaction to the bill on the hill. it is not going to bring down the russian government. they are really concerned about it. if they are concerned about it because it is a statement by the united states that what is happening is unacceptable and despicable. and that really matters to them. it matters to people all over the world when the congress of the united states makes that kind of statement. >> that is a good segue to asking congressmen mcgovern about the tension within the
12:55 pm
congress. just as you have to have unity there are sometimes divisions about how high these issues should be. also to speak a little bit about when the congress feels the need to actually apply the tools over the objections of the administration and weather that makes a stronger or whether we but divide it. >> i am really proud that hillary clinton is the secretary of state. in some of the statement she has made a comment specifically with regard to lgbt rights record raided across the world. it is important to relate to the people at the top and let them talk about human rights.
12:56 pm
one of the challenges, what are the most effective tools to deal with? that is not always the question that the administration deals with. it depends on which country we are talking about. that is why some get very frustrated. sometimes the issue is how do we ?et a trade agreement tha times there are mixed messages. the secretary of defense goes to vietnam and there's nothing in the papers about human rights. if it was that important, don't you think there'd be a state and ment? that members of congress very much interested in getting a
12:57 pm
trade agreement or a military contract for something in their district. there are all kinds of reasons that may not have a good record in human rights. the same kind attention to existing congress. there are divisions. it undermines our credibility on human rights. i am thrilled republicans and democrats are saying the situation in russia is so horrible the idea of going ahead in not having some sort of human rights conditionality is unacceptable. i would argue that what we're trying to do is actually strengthen the forces of good in russia. what it simply says is that people are guilty of human
12:58 pm
rights violations cannot come to the united states. there is a consequence. if we did find a way to be better united on this issue of making sure that people know they will be held accountable i think we would all be better off. >> could you speak a little bit on what happens to the permanent bureaucracy when the parents are arguing, whether it is within the interagency about the appropriate role for human rights in the policy overall are when there is a congressional fight? how do you find your personal conscience if you are the officer that may have to advocate tough things? >> balance is very tough. we are normally we dig our image
12:59 pm
is two pants on the scale. the secretary laid out the issue differently. there are three things being balanced. values, interests, and security. you have a situation in which i do not have an image 483 scale balance. that is what you're dealing with. -- for a t hree scale balance. that is what you are dealing with. policy is based on the professionalism they have. those standards. the basic standard is telling it how it is. we have a human rights report. " the mother of the report is
1:00 pm
the human rights report. in every consulates in the world there is an officer who have a file. he is cutting cutting conversats and he is cutting clips from the newspaper and he is putting them in the file because he or she will spend two weeks putting together an input that they will send off to be turned into a human rights report. the chinese have done a human to the -- human rights report on the u.s.. what has happened is the professionalism of diplomatic reporting has become part of the fabric of what we do and what other countries do, as well. that is good news. >> i want to close our excellent session with the mother of all questions. the question that the secretary
1:01 pm
brought up. whenever you talk about human rights as an american, is this realism? is this idealism? in that context, if you want to take this opportunity to share with a group the incidence of advocacy where you felt you were most successful and the place where you have regrets as you look back over your lifetime. >> tough question. i would start with the question of balance and say that it is not always an easy decision to make. when one looks at the range of human rights -- right now, we have to deal with that balance
1:02 pm
because there are repressive governments there. the most likely area to explode over the next number of years is central asia. making sure that people understand the u.s. is concerned about human rights violations is important. it is important -- in the philippines, we did not do it enough in my view with respect to marcos. it is not always the end of evaluation and balance that you lose a security advantage. that is not always the case. in the long term, that is definitely not the case. i brought an agenda from the christopher committee one time with about 15 different countries to the methodist building.
1:03 pm
i give the human rights groups the same decisions that are being posed at the christopher committee. you would have thought that they would all come down on the side of doing this. it was not about way at all. they had the same kind of effort to balance what needed to be done. in terms of my own view, i think we needed to do more earlier against she lay -- chile. we needed to put more pressure on the piano shaver's team. i think we could have done more on guatemala than we did. we did a lot. we did not do enough. >> i am going to do the sandwich in a minute. >> there is a story being told
1:04 pm
of looking on the wall and it says, yankee go home. someone had crossed the go out and had written in spanish, take me. that is symbolic. if you go to argentina today which is a country that does not like the u.s., there is a brief bright shining memory. that is really a nice image to have ended in memory to have been a marker for the u.s. human rights policy. today. >> last words? >> realism is an unrealistic policy.
1:05 pm
what we have learned over the life of this bureau is the notion that you can have a foreign policy that is attached from the decency of the american people. in their desire to have relationships with decent governments. it was once their policy. we have come far beyond that. i cannot in addition congress or the executive branch returning to the view that that kind of issue is sensible, or possible for a country in which you have churches and synagogues that are actively involved in the human rights cause around the world. what did we miss? it is striking me that if you go back to the 1980's we were talking about human rights in
1:06 pm
the soviet union, not the middle east. there really was a sense that -- it was not even the subject. this happened after 911. in those years, we seemed to believe in arabic exceptionalism. they were off the human rights map. >> congressman mcgovern? >> i think it is the right thing to do. maybe it is realism or idealism. i think it is important for the u.s. to acknowledge when we have supported governments that have been sent -- oppressive, it is important to say that we made a mistake. we are now engaged in a war on terror. there have been excesses' which
1:07 pm
would constitute human rights abuses. i think it enhances our credibility on the issue. i spent a lot of time in el salvador in the 80's. i had strong disagreement with their policy. i thought all too often, we'll let ideology get in the way of doing the right thing on human rights. too many people died. the war went on too long. currently, what i regret is that we do not have a policy to deal with the issue of human rights abuses in sudan. i think the whole world to be appalled by what is going on. it ought to be more of a priority worldwide. a few years ago, i tried to get into sedan. they would not will give me a reason to go in. i remember visiting a refugee camp in chad and a young mother
1:08 pm
was getting testimony to the international criminal court to be used in the indictment against president share -- bashir. she talked about her entire family being killed before eyes. i thought how creatures it was for her to be able to tell that story. she said the only reason why we could tell that story -- the only reason i want to stay alive is because i think somebody will care and do something. that episode haunts me every day. we have a lot to be proud of. people love work in this bureau should be proud. those people who have been diligent should be proud. our job is not finished. we have a lot more to do. thank you for having me. [applause]
1:09 pm
>> with apologies, we are out of time. i want to ask all of you to thank our panel for their thoughts and generosity and for their service to our nation. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >[applause]
1:10 pm
>> this week, we are joined by a energy in congress ranking member henry waxman. he talks about the supreme court's's decision upholding the affordable care act and what is next as leaders pledged to repeal the law. we will talk about energy issues including the keystone pipeline and republican plans for the environment protection agency budget. join us sunday morning and 10 eastern and again in the evening at 6:00 p.m. here on c-span. >> coming up, we will continue the discussion on the supreme court ruling on the health care law and the event hosted by the cato institute where analyst will analyze the scope of the government. they will look at what steps congress can take going forward. join us live monday at 1:30 p.m. here on c-span.
1:11 pm
>> this is the conversation we need to have in this country that nobody is willing to have. what role should the government play in how things are financed. >> gretchen morgans and details the subprime lending collapse. if you want to subsidize housing in this country and we want to talk about it and the populist agrees it is something we should subsidize, put it on the balance sheet and make it clear and make evident. make everybody aware of how much it costs. when you deliberate through these three party -- their party enterprises -- that is not a very good way of subsidizing home ownership. i think we have seen that -- the
1:12 pm
end of that in 2008. >> more with gretchen more than seven on c-span's "q&a." >> next week and, go to the capital to honor thomas jefferson in jefferson city, missouri saturday at noon eastern. former senator in missouri first lady on family life inside the governor's mansion. also, a bill, a country, a provision's list from each in mesopotamia to the university of michigan's museum. sunday at 5:00 p.m. eastern. >> at one time in 1967, this was called the bloodiest 47 acres in america. >> we take you through the missouri state penitentiary. walk back through history in the halls of the missouri state
1:13 pm
capitol and governor's mansion. once a month, c-span's contact vehicle explores the history and literary life of cities across america. next week and, from jefferson city, saturday and noon p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on c-span2 and c- span3. >> this week, the middle east institute held its conference on turkey. topics also include turkey's bid to become part of the u.n. and the country's overall relationship with europe. this is a little under an hour and a half. >> welcome back. can we get ourselves he did for our second panel. -- seated for our second panel. this is our second panel.
1:14 pm
turkey, the eu, and u.s. -- involving partnerships. like last time, i will introduce our moderator, who will introduce the topics of the panelists. the u.s. representative and senior advisor to the president in istanbul. prior to assuming her position, she was a u.s. diplomat for more than 30 years. her most recent assignment was from 2007 until 2010. in washington, she serves as director of affairs in the state department as the director of the state department operation center and as chairman of the foreign service commission board. from 1975 until 1978, she was an instructor with the university of maryland's overseas division.
1:15 pm
>> thank you very much. i by to start a out by congratulating the middle east institute and the institute for turkish studies for hosting this conference. antti thank in advance our esteemed panelists who are here today. let me start out by aligning the procedure we will be falling because we are strict in terms of the rules we moderator's me to follow. i will try to stick to rules. i will make them very brief. then i will ask each of our four panelists in the order in which they appear in the program to speak for 12 minutes each. yourhave information in program. i have been asked not to go through the information in detail. but, not that we --
1:16 pm
we have four panelists today. whoassador robert pearson, wit served as he was ambassador to turkey. another ambassador of the atlantic council. also, a former ambassador -- finally a former foreign minister of turkey and currency with the center for strategic communication. we are here to discuss the subject of turkey, the eu, and the u.s.. they have all been partnered. a nice concise topic for a little over an hour. we also have the disadvantage of being the panel that comes after lunch and after a wonderful --
1:17 pm
it is difficult to come up with anything new and different to say by way of introduction on this subject. it is true that turkey has very much are arrived on the world stage. the recent council on foreign relations reported that one of the most important development in international affairs of the past decade is the emergence of turkey as a rising regional and global power. we are looking at a new turkey and this new turkey reflects both changes in turkey and changes in the international arena in which turkey is operating. obviously, this development had significant implications for both the u.s. and for europe.
1:18 pm
even more so, given both the historic the significant developments of the arab spring and the economic challenges that the eu is facing right now. in terms of relations with the u.s., commentators refer to a golden era in u.s.-turkish relations. this is true in contrast with the situation two years ago, which i remember vividly because i was still in turkey at the time. there has definitely been a very definite improvement in relations between turkey and the u.s. i would note that the situation on the economic commercial and public opinion fronts and still leaves much to be desired. it leaves the government to government relationships much more vulnerable to volatility
1:19 pm
than would be the case if the relationship reflected the same gold and relationship that exists currently on the government to government level. earlier this week there is a meeting of the framework for strategic economic and commercial corporation group in turkey. this effort is one of the many steps that is being taken to address the imbalance between the strategic political relationship between the two countries and other aspects of the relationship. on the eve of front, everybody knows the challenges -- eu front, everybody knows the challenges. eu membership is only one
1:20 pm
dimension of turkey's relations with europe. 10 it can be helpful to look at turkey's european as ization. there is no talk of turkey turning its back on the west. indeed, turkey has responded to the challenges of the developments in its neighborhood and elsewhere largely by corporate more closely with the u.s. and europe. we saw that just that week -- this week. one of the first ups turkey took in response to the crisis was to shoot down -- approached it. -- approach nato. let me turn to our panelists.
1:21 pm
as i said, we have asked them to speak from the podium to make sure everyone can hear them. they will have 12 minutes apiece and that should give us time at the end for some questions. first, i would like to ask our first guest to address us. >> thank you very much. thank you to the organizers. good afternoon. it is great to be speaking here. we have had a lot of changes recently.
1:22 pm
turkey has a dynamic economy. it continues to be a key country for the european union and the one with which we have an important strategic -- strategic british. -- partnership. we are negotiating turkey's integration into the eu. this process has gone through a slow time recently. the second point i want to highlight is that a new impetus was given with political dialogue. after the 17th of may, a commissioner was in istanbul to launch this. more in line with the topic the other panelists will raise, i
1:23 pm
want to say that a foreign policy dialogue has never been so intense between the eu and turkey as recently. that is due to events in the area and progress on the security policy part of the eu, with the important institution that happened recently. the intensity of our dialogue has a lot to do with common neighborhoods between the u.s. and turkey. perhaps -- three criteria were defined in copenhagen.
1:24 pm
political, economic, negotiations -- they correspond to each stage of the process when chapters are open, and closed. at the present time, out of 35 chapters of negotiations with turkey, they have done 13. they have closed one. the last chapter was actually opened in june 2010. nothing has happened since. but there are elements that are raised by -- that are related to the challenges that is presented. there are three chapters that can be open for negotiations. we are waiting to see if we can
1:25 pm
feel ready for the opening of the attackers. there are eight that cannot be opened and tell -- [unintelligible] i have to say that we believe that progress toward full implementation would give a new boost to negotiations and a we could open or close to others. -- chapters. the question is that we have been through a -- [unintelligible] the question that was raised to wesus was to have to keep this process alive and put it back on track.
1:26 pm
positive agenda is important. that positive agenda actually is aiming to build and close relationships between turkey and the european union. the idea is to achieve concrete steps forward in and above areas of interest that can help turkey be better prepare for annexation. there are 8 areas that have barred been identified. these are political reforms in turkey. there is a demo -- [unintelligible]
1:27 pm
energy. trade. for policy dialogue. and the further participation of turkey in the youth programs. it is important to say that this is not a substitution, but he is a complement to the process. it is based on a joint understanding of mutual constraints between turkey and the eu. we hope it will allow us to go ahead. we believe it can on both sides and the results will follow. that would be to the benefit of all. comes freely speaking, how does it work? \ we're looking at how to achieve progress on a line in the areas identified. the first one starts with --
1:28 pm
chapter 23. three main areas under the chapter. fundamental rights, a judiciary. the first meeting have been on the 17th of may. i want to say that within the will, we could achieve progress. on june 21, the council decided to develop cooperation with turkey and open the way for the commission to negotiate agreements. that is a major step forward. on that basis, another fundamental element of a renewed relationship with turkey in the past month is the development of
1:29 pm
a foreign policy dialogue. when at a meeting, it was said there is no question that we have an excellent relationship in foreign policy. i believe it is vital that we do given our shared interests in our common neighborhood. we have a lot of issues for discussion on syria, iran, anything happening in the middle east. it is also on other areas we should not forget. another important issue on human issues -- i can refer to the situation of refugees in syria. the eu is wishing to support turkey.
1:30 pm
we have opened 160 million euros. [unintelligible] on the same day, it was said, even if we do not always agree on everything, we are absolutely going to work together. the dial is taking shape. there have been various meetings at different levels. we have meetings of political directors. this used to exist before but not with the same intensity. there is reflection that is going on and a lot of dialogue to see how we can intensify relationships and have new areas of cooperation. we are both active in north africa. we need to see more progress for society. we share concerns for economic
1:31 pm
developments and on the importance of creating jobs for people. we are working together on syria. besides what came from recent events, institutional changes have been a key element. there is a specific turkey team responsible for managing the relationship with turkey. this team is working in close coordination with the other departments and with european commission. the european commission remaining in charge of the actual negotiations. at the conclusion, i am hoping
1:32 pm
i'm keeping within a ticking clock. i think we can say that european union and turkey have much to gain. their common challenges. in the context of the changes we of witnessed, we can say that we are getting closer. i am not sure how each of the willis says -- there is a goal the relation between the u.s. and turkey. i am not sure on the mental range where we will stand. thank you very much. >[applause] >> thank you very much. i would now like to ask the ambassador robert pearson to speak. >> thank you for moderating our
1:33 pm
panel. i am grateful to the middle east institute and my fellow panelists. i am happy to appear here today. i have the impression that that there are only two perilous moments in turkish-american relations. when people think there is nothing going right and when everything thinks that everything is going great and there is no need to do anything about it -- may be today, we can talk about some of the nuances of those kinds of issues. if i look at the macro trends over the last decade among the three actors, there are interesting observations. despite a sharp downturn in relations during the iraq war,
1:34 pm
and lingering concerns after the war, the u.s. has reached out to turkey more affirmatively and enjoyed greater success. i appreciate very much my of theues' explanation process in which there is engagement between the eu and turkey. perhaps france and germany have given the impression that the european union does that really want turkey and that this may confirm a turkish illusion that is better off with out the you. i hope it is not true. the u.s., once again, seems to feel more comfortable dealing with turkey on questions of regional security. then on economic, political, or human rights issues. you may recall that at the end of the cold war, many turks wondered why the u.s. had not been more forceful on the
1:35 pm
issues including human rights issues during the time of the cold war with respect to turkey. this issue may come back to be on the table in the future. turkey's foreign-policy has grown more sophisticated, demonstrate more flexibility, and has come about in a more balanced relationship. what has been of interest to me is the we turkish-u.s. relations have reshaped themselves since december of 2010. at the beginning, as you may recall, turkey and the u.s. seem to be far apart. as the revolution progressed, turkey and the u.s. found themselves drawn closer together. decisive in libya. the u.s. and turkey when it together on egyptian democracy. turkey saw a new reality in syria and reacted courageously. turkey and the u.s. seem to share more similar al books regarding the run -- similar
1:36 pm
outlooks regarding iran. i think all of these examples demonstrate to both countries that they can focus on a cooperative relationship and both countries have shown to some extent the ability to pursue both separate and shared interest in a well managed framework. both have shown flexibility in light of changing circumstances and have pursued respective national interest. the question is, where is this taking us? of the u.s. and turkey advancing in the area? that seemed to be the case originally. is there consensus forming between turkey and washington? for purposes of illustrating this point, i will focus on syria. so far, turkey has boldly offered political sanctuary to the syrian opposition
1:37 pm
leadership, 64 refugees, a clear intent of purpose to see bashar al-assad replaced. from the latest reports, turkey and the u.s. may be cooperating on providing aid including arms to the opposition groups. both appear to accept the kofi annan process has failed. and are moving to build another international coalition. despite the collapse of the kofi annan approach, and tell the most recent defense, both countries seem to be working to bring the russians and the chinese up-to-date. it is clear there are missing gaps. "the washington post" reported an unidentified senior diplomat that the article for discussion in brussels was called for by turkey in order to pressure the u.s. to do more. since turkey says its aim only
1:38 pm
is to tighten sanctions in syria or on syria and nato's secretary-general has repeatedly stated that nato has no plans to intervene in syria, it is not clear what it was turkey wanted the u.s. to do. it is also not entirely clear how turkey has analyzed the u.s. options. the u.s. now has fought three wars in the middle east in the last 10 years. conservatives in this country are pressing the u.s. to prepare for war with syria and iran for a possible total of five wars. the u.s. is in the midst of a very tight presidential election and any armed conflict initiated now will be used by governor romney and his advisers to criticize and critiqued every move of the president for signs of bad choices and for trying to divert public opinion away from the economy.
1:39 pm
with the american people tired of war and the president tried to focus on domestic issues, one wonders if this is a good time for turkey to be urging the u.s. to move closer to armed conflict with syria. i was interested in the remarks that turkey does not seek armed conflict and does not want a war in the area. that is extremely helpful. if conflict is not the goal, the measures that are public largely agreed upon and moving in the right direction -- this turkey have a plan in which u.s. lack of action is frustrating? do the countries have a common plan? is the u.s. not moving fast enough? thus calling on the u.s. to do more play well with turkish domestic audience is and will relieve pressure on the turkish government?
1:40 pm
mr. keep planning to escalate toward a possible conflict involving -- is tricky planning to escalate toward a possible conflict involving nato? it is not clear which of these questions is accurate or if there is some other explanation that is accurate. i do think this scenario clearly illustrates the difficulty of trying to answer the question of whether the u.s. needs turkey more or whether turkey needs the u.s. more. effective security and diplomatic efforts by the u.s. in the area required turkish support. affective turkish approaches to gradually stabilizing the area while allowing democracy to advance required active u.s. cooperation. whatever the plan is, it ought not to be based on any one's analysis about who needs whom or who has more leverage over whom
1:41 pm
in managing a crisis. and interestingly, the current u.s. enter key talks open the door for the closest military to military cooperation between the teeth of countries in the last decade. all operations at -- while cooperations have increased, there are present from the iraq war on the military side and on turkey's barry need to be addressed. the reconciliation of the leadership of these two military's would be a very positive step in stabilizing be area for long term democratic progress. as you know, reconciliation is not often and announced goal between sites with strongly held views. i will know if there are developments now that might be worth considering. first, it seems clear without a regime change, iran will be in
1:42 pm
strategic competition. terey's efforts to bring han along is ok but turkey can handle it alone. the military counterrevolution in egypt last week executed through dictate constitutional changes might remind many turks of their own experience with military and political competition. it can last for decades. thirdly, it is impossible to predict short-term or long- term, how the revolution will evolve now indonesia -- in tunisa and libya. somewhere along the line, the pressure for greater democracy and the future of the monarchies in the area also will meet. iturkey's role in managing this process already apparent will
1:43 pm
likely grow over the coming years and decades. in the long run, having a lasting difference with israel will we can both country's plan for the -- -- for the area. israel should find the foresight and high mindedness to apologize to turkey before the incident and pay due compensation. for the two countries to remain at loggerheads is an encouragement for syria and for iran. for turkey to achieve the regional leadership role it seeks, i very much hope that it can find a way to take the high road to move ahead towards improved relations with israel. in conclusion, there are two great combination of forces in
1:44 pm
the middle east that directly involve turkey and its experience in the political realm. first, secular versus religious. secondly, the elected government versus the military. and there are other components but these are the ones where turkey is directly relevant. with the prime minister's speech in cairo last year, turkey's advice to political parties, turkey is are the on record with its view of a religious constituency and a secular constitutional state. on the second issue, the elected government forces the military, turkey has the opportunity to reexamine this issue in light of its external national interest and instability -- its ability to influence future development of the area. turkey could see decades of
1:45 pm
bitterness and struggle between military's of countries and new democratic forces. we just saw it in syria, a tension between civilian -- and military fighters into the country. turkey has good reasons to have and be seen to have a first-rate military force to fully capable of defending turkey's national interest in the area. in the present circumstance, if there is no present danger of an internal military threat to the state or to the government of turkey, resolving the issue of the military officers being held for trial in turkey could
1:46 pm
provide an excellent example to the area without the privacy of democracy and the healing power of reconciliation within the society. if egypt or libya or some other middle east neighbor needs an example of how it can be done the right way, turkey is the only state present with a relevant experience on these two transformative issues, secular government and a religious constituency on the one hand, and an elected government and the role of the military on the other hand. turkey has an enormous interest in long-term stability. if the area explodes, turkey will be forced to make very difficult choices. for turkey to take the high road on regional strategic differences in approaches, and for washington to practice collaborative and realistic diplomacy, will be two
1:47 pm
components of an effective plan for the area. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. ambassador ross wilson. >> thank you very much. it is a pleasure to be here. thank you and congratulations to the middle east institute and the institute of turkish thaddeus -- studies for collaborating in this conference. my remarks will cover the same ground as the previous. i will come at it in a slightly different way. i will illustrate different points. i was struck during ambassador's
1:48 pm
remarks by a phrase he used. he reflected on how pivotal u.s.-turkish relationships have become. i am sure the ambassador would agree it did not look that way if in 2003 or 2005 or 2005 to 2007 or 2009 and 2010. each of these times of disagreements or worse. disagreements over iraq in 2003 was an important watershed in the area that dominated u.s.- relations un until the end of
1:49 pm
the bush and ministration. sharp disagreement. the disagreements over the invasion of iraq has not gone away but there are rockets that remain in u.s.-turkish relationshi-- relations. sharp disagreements over iran. i was struck by a limited extent of our discussions about the iran nuclear problem. for a while, we got ourselves together, but things fell apart in 2010. huge disconnect. you'd and profound dissonance
1:50 pm
between our two countries. this agreement on a range of other issues. in 2005, a big stink between the u.s. and turkey over the president's planned to visit damascus as part of the l reach to president assad. this agreement about the caucuses. the difficulties about armenia. differences on this palestinian issue on the black sea. and accentuation throughout this time.
1:51 pm
and the situation of grievances. a whole popular mythology that became associated with this. it abrogated -- aggregated into- americanism. that the bush administration initiative was aimed to be part of a bigger pot to remake turkey in an american image of moderate islam. that was not long ago. it was the world i had to deal with. vestiges of these things continue even today. in the early part of 200011, a
1:52 pm
pretty sharp disagreements between turkey and washington about how to deal with it. in march 2011 i was down there and i heard a speech at the world political forum. he came up against the idea of any nato involvement in libya. what changed? what could go wrong today? one important and obvious thing that this whole conference is reflecting off of is the year of a weakening. -- awakening. and the complications and opportunities that present for turkey and american policy makers. after this correction in turkish
1:53 pm
foreign policy with respect to the terrible weakening -- arab awakening, a sense of similar interests and efforts to try to collaborate more decisively. the policy change was to shift turkey in favor of support for democracy and democracy movements as opposed to continuing a relationship with autocrats. both of us made that shift and both of us have found ways to work together. a corollary of that is the u.s. withdraw from iraq.
1:54 pm
that simplifies certain things and added to the state the turkish leaders felt in involving turkey directly in the iraq project. the stakes went up for turkey in finding ways to work with the u.s. on matters related to iraq. a corollary to that is that pkk in the initiation in 2007 of u.s. intelligence and other assistance to turkey in going after pkk in northern iraq. that allowed a different kind of behavior by turkey towards the west on matters related to iraq
1:55 pm
and it also facilitated a sea change in turkish relationships with our rockies -- iraqis. there are other pieces. i am not sure i would buy the argument but i can actually entertain the arguments that the difficulties between turkey and the eu have helped to foster a better u.s. turkish relationship. certainly a dramatic slowdown of turkey's eu -- the stalling did. the brittle dialogue on a whole other things culminates -- the
1:56 pm
meeting in france forgot to invite turkey. the feeling in turkey they needed to shore up their relations with the one western allies with whom they thought they could count a little bit more -- i want to entertain the idea that the you -- the slowdown has helped. development on economic dialogue is quite new. the whole range of economic issues are now on the table that are not because our relations used to be dominated by military security matters or by iraq. there are a couple of other pieces i want to refer to. one is a big change in the way washington and turkey deal with one another.
1:57 pm
in my time, turkey and the u.s. -- the u.s.-turkish relations will run for the embassies. i would say someone more largely the american and ert -- embassy. today, there is a proliferation of ties going on through all kinds of different channels. on the phone. e-mail. meetings in third countries. from talking to my counterparts, they spend a significant amount of time figuring out what is going on that they do not know about because it is in exchange they are not part of. part of what they're supposed to do is peace together what is happening so it fits. secretary gates came to turkey in 2007. he was shocked when i told him he was the first secretary of state to visit turkey in six years.
1:58 pm
secretary clinton came twice. a few more people are there now. a range of other things -- the assistant secretary for the middle east and counter- terrorism matters, economic and business, so on and so on. there have been a whole lot of things going on that i think give a different kind of fabric to our relationship. turkish leaders came to value somewhat more than they did earlier in this decade or in previous decades the value of a course relationship with the u.s. i apply this to the present government. their success depended in some measure on having a good relationship with the u.s. what can go wrong? a lot.
1:59 pm
to identify of few things -- one is, what ever happens in our presidential election, there almost certainly be very significant personnel changes throughout the hierarchy of people who deal with turkey. i say that even if president obama is reelected. a whole series of appointments under secretary of state -- that all introduce personal discontinuities that will have to be stitched back together. much more the case of kellen or romney winds the election. second, there are a whole series


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on