tv Key Capitol Hfll Hearings CSPAN December 25, 2013 5:55pm-7:01pm EST
sort of pieces. ifone last thing here, and there is any other questions, go ahead to the mica, but you kind of addressed this a little bit. where is this all going? are we on the cusp of something new and the way it is going to be, or are we in a transition phase, and we are figuring out how to use this better? rapid response is very simple now. the reporter publicly, not just e-mail or the phone, does the narrative is being set on twitter. people can see this interaction. is that where this is heading? >> again, i do not know. i think that -- first of all, they are using instagram throughout the campaign. sort of popped later. we just do not know.
i talked to casey hunt, who works for the ap now. she said to me, can you imagine who walks to the back of the plane and sees reporter sitting there with google glasses, and everything is live stream. that is not improbable at all, and she and i were both wondering, i do not see it getting better. and there are still reporters that campaigns are still talk to. figure out what is in their head, what makes them tick, but,
man, it campaigns can deliver the messages on social media with web videos on their own terms, increasingly, they are going to do it. at the end of the day, the mission is to win. you do not want to get thrown off message, and i think if they can't control the message, they are going to drive. >> eater, thank you for coming, and this is great. if you have not read it, you should google it. twitter kill the boys on the bus." thank you for coming. [applause] in prime time,k we are bringing you encore presentations of c-span's "q&a," and tonight, a call to activism benjamin.ink's medea atch our entire conversation 7:00 p.m. here on c-span. after that, a look back at the
revelations about the nsa surveillance and data collection programs and the privacy and security issues implicated. we will bring you highlights of congress as we talk to "new york reporter, and then tonight on "first ladies," a truman, who had to tell take care of her family as a teenager after her father's suicide. hairy nicknamed her "the boss." join us tonight for a look at bess truman. that is tonight on c-span. >> the c-span student can competition once to know what is the most important issue congress should address next year? be sure to include c-span programming for your chance to win the grand prize of $5,000, with $100,000 in total prizes.
get more at studentcam.org. >> on the next "washington journal," we will talk politics ahead of the 2014 and 2016 elections. first, a look at the gop party with eric ham, the author of "the gop civil war," and then al morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. a congressional gold medal ceremony honored the military service of native american code talkers. these soldiers used their tribal transfer coded messages. a total of 33 tribes were recognized at the ceremony. the speakers included house and senate leaders, and the joint chiefs of staff. it is just under one hour.
[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the speaker of the house of representatives, john boehner. [applause] >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. welcome to the state capital. we are honored to be joined by those that made this day possible including dan boren from oklahoma. we are honored to be joined by [applause]
we are fortunate to have in congress two outstanding leaders, two native americans of tom cole and mark mullen. today, we need to immortalize men who were in a way meeting for the first time. during the second world war, he was a member of the 195th field artillery battalion. one day in 1944, he was walking through an orchard in southern france and heard one of his bretheren singing under a tree. he recognized the dialogue and put them to work on opposite ends of the radio.
that coincidence brought these men onto the stage of history and alongside the elite band that we call code talkers. i ask all of you to join me in welcoming him here and thanking him for his service. [applause] edmund and his brothers were at normandy. they were on hiroshima. they mobilized the simplest weapon, language, to thwart the
fiercest enemy that free people ever known, and they made a difference. after serving with honor, they did the honorable thing, they kept their service a secret, even to those that they loved. so these wives and daughters and sons aching to give back to those who gave up so much for them dedicated much of their own lives to unfurling the truth, not for gain or glory, but just so people would know it is the story that is important, one of them said. many of these families are here today, and join me in applauding their perseverance. [applause] because of them, the deeds that might have well been relegated to legend will now live on in memory.
heroes that for too long went unrecognized, they will not be given our highest recognition. it has been the custom of this congress to award gold medals in honor of great acts and great contributions. the first recipient was a general by the name of george washington in 1776. many names were put forward, but few receive the approval of both houses and the signature of the president of the united states. today, pursuant to hr 4544, we will recognize 33 tribes for dedication, valor, and for sharing what may be the toughest code, what it takes to be the bravest of the brave. they say every metal tells a story, but by adding these men to such lofty ranks, we also mean to add their story.
o say can you see by the dawns early light what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming and the rockets' red glare the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night
we praise you, that you empowered these wind-talkers from many native american tribes to creatively use their native tongue to save the lives of countless thousands who would have perished on distant battlefields. lord, while sacrificing on foreign soil for freedoms they and their families were often denied at home, they were heroes, proved in liberating strife, who, more than self, their country loved and mercy more than life. as we celebrate their
patriotism, skill, creativity, speed, and accuracy that maiden victory in combat possible in spite of daunting odds, challenge us, oh god, to invest our lives in causes worthy of our last full measure of devotion. we pray in your great name, amen. >> please be seated. ladies, united states representative from the fourth district of oklahoma, the honorable tom cole. [applause] >> as a native american, and as
a grandson of a career naval officer, the son of a career united states air force noncommissioned officer, and the nephew and namesake of an uncle that fought and served honorably in japanese prison camps in the philippines on the main island of japan, it is an honor of me to share this moment with each and every one of you. in the long history of american arms, no one has fought against an alliance -- in alliance with and for the united states of america like native americans, and that is true to this day. native americans still enlisted a higher level than any other race or ethnicity in this blessed land and they do so proudly with a determination to defend it. [applause] among the most famous of those
warriors are the navajo code talkers of world war ii, but in all, 33 different tribes contributed, pen from my home state of oklahoma, and three from my district. they saved lives, they won battles, and they did so by giving the united states a unique battlefield advantage, secure communication. all of the first code talkers were americans, but many were not american citizens. that did not come until 1924. the code talkers of world war ii were often barred from full participation in american life, that they still served with pride, patriotism, honor, and sacrifice. i am proud that congress is recognizing that unique service. i appreciate my friend dan
boren's role in that, and by honoring these code talkers, we honor all native american warriors past, present, and future. good luck. god bless. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, united states representative from the third district of wisconsin, the honorable ron kind. [applause] >> good morning. senator, my colleagues, established guests, 33 tribes that are the recipients of the congressional gold medal today, and most important to our native american veterans and our code talkers, those that were able to make the trip, and those who are unfortunately still at home, we welcome you. we owe you a debt of gratitude that could never be repaid, and on behalf of a grateful nation we thank you for your service
and sacrifice. just a couple of weeks ago in this capital we dedicated the bust of prime minister winston churchill, and during the second world war, prime minister churchill was fond of saying that at time of war the truth is so precious that it must always be surrounded by a bodyguard of lies, but in the case of our code talkers, that was not necessary. you spoke the truth, but in the words of your native language, and it worked perfectly. it was not deciphered, decoded. you did it with an extreme degree of accuracy and speed. as edmund knows, in the first 48 hours of the battle of you iwo
jima, over 800 battlefield communications were given with 100% accuracy rate typically in less than 30 seconds, when it would take a typical machine of the time close to a half hours to decode messages. it was a remarkable accomplishment that lead to a quicker end to that conflict and saved many lives on both sides. they returned home heroes, but without a heroes welcome. the code was so effective that our military kept it classified and secret until 1968, and even then, it took many more years before the recognition started to take place of what our native american veterans and our code talkers in particular did during that time. it is a remarkable legacy that they share, and a remarkable
story that needs to be preserved. that is why i am here to make one last request from a grateful nation -- to our native american veterans in attendance, and throughout the country, and to our code talkers here and at home, we're asking you to share your stories and make it part of the veterans history project. it was legislation i help to advance with the help of many colleagues with the intent to preserve an important part of american history, our veterans stories, and what it was like for them to serve our nation, so that future generations will never forget the service and sacrifice that came before them. today, the veterans history project is housed at the library of congress. we have collected close to 90,000 veterans stories from across the nation during this time. they say it is the world's largest oral history collection, but many more stories are yet to be told. i hope we will be able to follow up with you, edmund, to see if you would be willing to share your story. colonel bob patrick, who heads up the history project, will follow-up with our native
american veterans and tribes here in attendance to see if we can get more to participate and share these vital stories. i hope many of you will consider doing so. again, on behalf of a grateful nation, we say thank you for your service, may god bless you and your families, all of our veterans and soldiers, wherever they might be serving us throughout the globe today, and may god continue to bless these united states of america. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, united states senator from the state of south dakota, the honorable tim johnson. [applause] >> good morning, and welcome.
it is an honor to be here today as we celebrate the military service of the native american code talkers. i worked for over a decade to honor the code talkers with the congressional gold medal. it is gratifying that this day is finally here. the real work, though, began 95 years ago, when native americans from south dakota and across the country (homes and joined the military effort -- left their homes and join the military effort in world war i at a time when many native americans were not yet american citizens, but fought valiantly for assured homeland. native code talkers were used extensively in the european and
pacific theaters during world war ii. the use of native languages was a fundamental tactic that saved untold numbers of lives and help to win both wars. over the years, i have had the opportunity to visit with several of the code talkers and learn their personal stories. i always walk into those meetings inspired by the dedication to our nation. these men did not seek the limelight, and in fact, there is a tremendous impact to our military that was kept from the public for half of a century. there is no question their contributions were unparalleled, and have had a lasting impact on history. most of the native code talkers
have passed away, but we will never forget their heroic actions and are forever grateful for their military service. today, we celebrate the lives and contributions to our country, with their families and friends who are with us today. congratulations to all of you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, united states senator from the state of oklahoma, the honorable james inhofe. [applause] >> we heard first from congressman tom cole who is our
native american art of congressional delegation. i recall hearing from him before he was in congress and at that time i was in the house, and introduced us to this best-kept secret of world war ii and world war i, the code talkers. i look around and i see a lot of people who were very active other than those on the program today, but on the program today we have made mention of dan boren. he is here. i believe wes watkins is one of the initial individuals who reminded us of this best-kept secret. so, for decades after world war ii, people did not know anything about the contributions we started introducing resolutions and it was not until 2008 that we were successful. i want to mention that the
speaker talked about edmund of the seminole nation, one of our fellow oklahomans. those of us have been fortunate, those in oklahoma, involved in this meeting today, and one of the reasons is oklahoma has the largest population of native americans and second only to california, and they cheat because they have more people. nonetheless, it became evident to us as to the contributions made. in his opening prayer, the reverend talked about the lives that were saved. we cannot quantify that but we know they were out there. because of the secretive nature of the code talkers contribution, you cannot say how many, but we know many, many lives were saved by these american heroes. we pay tribute to today, we love you, it will always respect you and remember you. [applause]
[applause] [speaking native american language] >> good morning. it is an honor to be here with our speaker, to be here with our native american brother, with ron kind, with the distinguished senator johnson, and senator inhofe, and we in california take great pride in having the largest number of native americans. in 1941, and of course, with the admiral that we will hear from later. in 1941, a young member of a tribe, charles, joined the u.s. army, one of 17 members of his tribe, he was recruited to speak
their language in service to our country in world war ii. even in a nation that has long denied him his basic rights that long refused his people citizenship, that long neglected the challenges facing native americans, charles volunteered. like many of his generation, his fellow code talkers and service members, he signed up to protect and defend our communities and shared homeland. that is the oath of office that we all take to protect and defend, and the code talkers honored that pledge and helped us to honor hours, all americans to do so. years later, we save lives using the native american language. as soldiers and marines with codes, no enemy could decipher the code talkers saved lives on the beaches of normandy and at iwo jima.
they save lives on the invasion on d-day, the battles in the european theater, and fighting across the south pacific. they kept their code secret and safe, as the speaker mentioned. they served with undaunted bravery, part of a band of brothers that defeated tyranny, set a continent free, and restored the hope of democracy across the globe. the code talkers carried forward the hope of their people committed to the cause of freedom. their sense of duty was never shaken nor was their resolve. their patriotism never wavered, nor did their courage. the bonds of brotherhood were never broken nor was there code. for their heroism and sacrifice, the contributions that went unrecognized for too long it's a
privilege for congress to bestow the native american code talkers the highest honor we can bestow, the congressional gold medal, and by your acceptance -- [applause] and by your accepting it, you bring luster to this award. may these metals long and/or as a sign of respect, admiration and unending gratitude for our native american tribes and the sons and the sons they sent to battle. we all know that god truly blessed america with our code talkers. thank you and congratulations. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the republican leader of the united states senate, the honorable mitch mcconnell. >> it is an honor to join my
colleagues today in recognizing the service of the native american code talkers. a little more than a decade ago, congress and president bush honored the navajo code talkers for the tremendous contributions during world war ii. today, we honor the rest of the code talkers whose extraordinary skill and heroism will be remembered as long as the history of modern warfare is told. rarely has a group of men then so crucial to a nation's military success, yet so little known for so long as the native american code talkers. these heroes, some as young as 15, answered the call when the country needed them, and they perform their task with extraordinary courage and grace. often working behind enemy
lines, these men sent messages that once took hours to transmit in a matter of minutes or even seconds, all in the code they were not even allowed to put on paper for fear that it would be discovered by the enemy, and then when they came home, they could not even talk about their achievements. they had to keep them secret so that no one would know about this new weapon of war. so we are deeply grateful for their service. hopefully, in the years to come, the deeds of these good men will be more widely known and all americans will know the inspiring story of these native americans who saved so many lives devising and deploying a code so effective that our enemies never broken. it is a privilege to honor these
men today, and to thank them for their courage and sacrifice. the honor is long past due, but no less heartfelt. gentlemen, america is grateful for your service and we are determined to honor the memory of your heroic deeds. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the majority leader of the united states senate, the honorable harry reid. [applause] >> according to firsthand accounts from the pilgrims when they arrived on this continent, native americans did not farm the land, so it was not truly their land. according to the pioneers who pushed past the mississippi,
native americans were not civilized, so they did not truly own the land. according to prospectors who rushed for the hills of nevada, california, and even nevada, native americans did not speak english, so they did not truly own the land. strangers had forced the native people from the land, slaughtered their game, stifled the religions, outlaw their ceremonies, and ravaged their communities. next, the newcomers even try to steal their languages. in the late 1800's, the united states government forced native american children to attend english-only boarding schools. native children were torn from their families, taken far from home in boxed cars and buggies, given english names, and forced to cut their hair short.
teachers beat the children with leather straps when they spoke their native language. the government told them their language had no value, but the children held onto their language, culture, and history, despite great personal risk, and in this nations hour of greatest need, the same native american thing disproves you have great value indeed. in the early war -- days of world war ii, japanese code breakers cracked every american cipher, every one of them and military members needed a code so obscure, so unknown, that even their own decoders could not break it. the perfect secret weapon would be languages all but forgot outside of a few isolated communities. the united states government ingeniously turned to people whose language they try to
eradicate, but why would native americans who had been robbed of their land and their culture of use their precious language to protect a country that either neglected or abused them for centuries? here is why. one native american code talker, a young navajo man by the name of chester, put it this way, "somebody has to defend this country. somebody has to defend freedom." no matter how many times the united states government had tried to convince them otherwise, the corporal knew that the united states of america was his land. this young corporal was just a boy, a high school student, when he enlisted. native americans, like the corporal, were so eager to serve that many lied about their age to enlist. these brave soldiers, these code talkers had a special gift,
their sacred languages, and they selflessly shared that gift with our country, their country. their gifts saved countless lives and helped win the war, and their willingness to share it made them american heroes -- share it made them american heroes. we honor our american heroes today. [applause] >> ladies and the speaker of the united states house of representatives, the honorable john boehner. [applause] >> thank you. i want to say thank you to my colleagues for their testimonials, and of course all of those in mid-december the possible. we are now going to present the medals -- made this ceremony possible. we are going to present the medals, and i am asking you to hold your applause until the end so that we can give all of our honorees their proper due. >> ladies and gentlemen --
i will say good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and while you might be taking your seats again, allow me to say -- [speaking native american language] -- and i beg your forgiveness if i did not decode my readings -- greetings and i cannot produce greetings for all of the tribes that we have here today. mr. speaker, leader harry reid, leader nancy pelosi, distinguished guests, honorees, guests and families, we are very proud of you, and i'm very proud to be included today. here during native american heritage month, i have the great privilege of representing the finest military in the world in recognizing the hundreds of native americans who have worn the cloth of our nation in the distinctive way that we celebrate today, and in such a courageous way defending a country that did not always keep its word to their ancestors. [applause] the 33 tribes and 216 individuals we recognize today represent native warriors that leverage their native tongue to defend our nation through an unbreakable code, patriots that possessed a unique capability and willingness to give of their special talent and their lives. as richard west, founding director of the national museum
of the american indian so elegantly captured it, language is central to cultural identity. it is the code containing the subtleties and secrets of cultural life. as it turns out, the clever usage of our nations original, unique, and special languages -- these cultural codes was also an essential part of defending our great nation. we have all heard the story throughout history -- military leaders have sought the perfect code, signals the enemy cannot break, no matter how able the intelligence team, and it was our code talkers the creative voice codes that defied the coding in an era of slow, bi- hand, battlefield encryption, such an eloquent way to quickly divide communications. it was doubly clever in that not
only the language was decipherable -- indecipherable, the special words used within the language were difficult as well, such as crazy white man for adolf hitler, or tortoise for tank, or pregnant fish for bomber. the code talker's role in combat required intelligence, adaptability, grace under pressure, bravery, dignity, and, quite honestly, the qualities that fit my useful stereotype of the brave, american indian warrior. these men endured some of our nation's most dangerous tackles served -- battles and served proudly. the actions of those that we celebrate today were critical significant operations such as comanches on utah beach on d- day, cherokees at the second battle, to name but a few.
these men were integral members of their teams, the 36th infantry division, the fourth signals company, the 81st infantry division, the 30th infantry division, and so many more, learning morse code and operating equipment to translate messages quickly and accurately. in the words of navy admiral aubrey fitch, employment of these men has resulted in accurate transmission of messages that previously required hours. from the start, the service rendered by these men has received favorable comment, i praise him navy language. these men contribute it not only in battle, they fundamentally to military intelligence committees work in cryptology, and our museum highlights the code talkers as pioneers of their
specialty. here, once again, we learn that one of the greatest strengths of our nation is diversity, and your u.s. military, in particular, has always found great strength in this diversity. you may wonder why this is so. when the chips are down and the bullets are flying and the only way out is to win, it does not take long to recognize on the one hand that one's heritage is does not matter much anymore, and at the same time if you can bring something special to the fight through your own diversity, well, so much the better. your military has always lied our way out of the cultural challenges that sometimes accompany -- led our way out of the cultural challenges that sometimes accompany diversity, and we are happy to leverage unique skill sets regardless of individual differences, and through our code talkers, once again, diversity matched innovation with victory. the hero sitting among us are a
testament to this -- 33 diverse cultures, 33 diverse dialects all fighting together for one nation. native americans have long sacrificed for our nation, well presented by 20th army, marine corps, and navy medal of honor recipients. the first american woman killed in operation iraqi freedom was a member of the hopi tribe, and many others have served nobly, proudly, and well in combat. while we have benefited as a nation from our native american warriors service and sacrifice, we can also learn from how they managed their journey from war to peace. thanks to remarkable advances in battlefield and post-battlefield medical care, we have many wounded warriors we will need to support for decades to come. the smithsonian makes it a point to note that native american
cultures has special traditions to help warriors return home with injuries and remember and veteran sacrifices forever. after the two world wars, most native american code talkers returned to communities facing difficult economic times. jobs were scarce. so where opportunities for education, training. some of the code talkers stayed in their communities doing whatever kind of work they could find. others worked where jobs were more plentiful. many took advantage of the g.i. bill to go to college or get vocational training. the code talkers a compass many things during their post-war lives. some became leaders in their community's, participated in tribal governments. others became educators, artists, and professionals in a variety of fields. many are and remain active in the cultural lives of their tribes, and some work to preserve their languages.
all remaining recognized heroes within the tribe. the lesson for us today, these men and women that have served know about commitment and are ready to lead in communities across the nation. they are a national resource, a wellspring of intelligence, innovation, hard work, and resilience. they deserve our best. as we gather here together in emancipation hall, in the long and benevolent shadow of freedom, i am reminded of the bronze statue to my right that warriors become great not only because of the competence in battle, because of their efforts for peace and unity, and a commitment to people when they return. we can best honor these great warriors among us not just with well deserved and long overdue recognition, but also within our own efforts to continue to
leverage our nation's diversity, and to forever honor our veterans, including our native american veterans, for their narrative is an essential piece of our narrative. their journey is our journey, and as demonstrated by our code talkers, our nation's future is built on their contributions to our history. so now back to where i started, trying to speak it familiar language to our wonderful code talkers and their descendents -- [speaking native american language] -- all special code for a special message, thank you. and thank you, ladies and gentlemen. may god continue to shower his great blessings on our great nation. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please stand as the chaplain of the united states of representatives, the reverend patrick conroy, gives the
benediction. >> thank you, creator, the maker of ways, for giving us this beautiful day to celebrate life. may the hands and hearts of this nation be raised in prayer and praise for the heroic servicemen and women native to this continent, who as proud members of the united states served our nation. these code talkers from many nations are honored this day by a nation which rises to celebrate their important work in military intelligence.
may the breath of god uphold their noble and heroic story. they have honorably carried on the great legacy of their ancestors, who understood that service to one's people is the highest calling. may their great example of service communicate to all generations, and to all nations, a message to inspire citizens everywhere to serve their communities. bless all women and men in military service, no matter their racial, cultural, or religious heritage, and their families. god bless america, and grant us peace both in the present, and with you forever. amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain at your seats for the departure of the official party.
despite her reputation as a harry named her the boss. on the next washington journal we will talk politics ahead of the 2014 and 2016 elections. first, a look at the republican party. then the future of the democratic party with former founder and ceo of the democratic leadership, al from. >> we have secular norm instead of the theological norms that govern our exceptions of rejection of the ways in which a god or goddess can speak to people. the branch davidians.
david qureshi saying that he has a special insight into the bible. these insights help other members understand the bible better, and allows and understand they are living in the in times. that by itself doesn't seem to be a problem. when the leads to other elements , that triggers law enforcement concerns. this idea of somebody listening to god and having his followers do things that seem to be avarice, that is dangerous. that needs to be policed and controlled. arguing that religious persecution in america is an since the mid-1800s. 9:00. night at
>> this week, medea benjamin of code being -- code pink discusses politics and her book. >> medea benjamin, what is codepink? >> it started with the idea that if we did our job as citizens, we could stop something like the invasion of iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11. we were led by women but open to men. we created a strong movement of people around the country who did their civic duty of organizing.
the government at that time didn't listen. we are still to this day trying to shift u.s. policy to focus on diplomacy and less on war. namey did you change your to medea? >> that was a long time ago. i was 18 years old. i went to college. i started reading the greek myths. every month i would ask my friends to call me something different. my name was susan and i like the name medea. she was a powerful woman. i thought, aha. i will recover that name. i think it is convenient. >> we have watched you for years on this network at hearings. what you do at hearings? >> well, first the issue is getting into the hearings. i lived in san francisco. i lived in washington, d.c. for years ago. i nekn