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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 14, 2014 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT

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this city for years, and it is nothing that has ever been dealt with on this mass. i think that it is regretful his life,rown lost but it is putting an eye on same louis that there is a lot of racial tension, because been built up from small communities. >> we wait to hear from jay nixon who has been in ferguson throughout the day. today he spoke with residents earlier today and is expected to announce new measures going forward. we are looking live here to hear from governor nixon. saysdline, a congressman that governor is going to take st. louis police out of ferguson. this is from "the hill." louis county police
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department will no longer be involved in the tent situation in ferguson that has seen days of protests following the teen.g of unarmed an let's here from florida. go ahead. we will hear again from st. louis, and, diane, we will welcome your call and wait for the governor. caller: good afternoon, how are you? >> good afternoon. caller: i'm talking about the olice aren how peopl handling this. anger is running really high -- >> do us a favor and just mute your television or radio and go
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ahead with your commentary he said anger is running really high. please keep things under control. caller: anger is running really high. last night was unnecessary. if people want to come out and protest to early in the morning, that is emphasizing your first amendment. -- exercising their first amendment. with the police being there all you do that, i think that runs a lot more anger. i think that they should do a bit better, maybe back down and let these peaceful demonstrators them in straight what they are going to demonstrate. and wrap this case. this is a long time coming. it has taken too long. >> the comments of senator mccaskill about the concerns over the militarization of police. this is john bennett's story. did congress help create an environment for crisis in ferguson? he is writing about the defense authorization act, the act that
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provides access military matériel to police department across the country. here's a tweet from "national journal." the pentagon has given 400 armored vehicles, 9300 machine guns to local police. even secretary holder in his statement today on ferguson said he is deeply concerned about the military transfers to local police. next up we have a president in ferguson. we go to garden city, michigan first. george, hi, there. caller: yeah. inouple years ago pittsburgh, i believe it was, police were using a sound cannon against citizens. we got one of those wonderful presents from the pentagon, some armored vehicles. >> george, what does a sound can annon do? caller: it drives the people
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back with energy or sound energy, one of these newfangled weapons that they decided to use. this is absurd. this militarization of the police has got to stop. american people have to rise up and say enough of this. that wast in ferguson, absurd. there was no reason for the police to -- >> back your question, how should public officials handled the situation in ferguson, tonight, for example? caller: they should have come out right away and said we are proceeding with legal proceedings. that would have put a halt to tha a lot of the unrest right here, and let's stop giving police a green light to massively attacked the u.s. citizenry, whether they are white, black, green, yellow, or red. ofler: jay nixon o
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missouri. how do you think public officials should handle the situation? caller: they need to step back 1950'ss might be of the the civil during rights era. we are the united states of america. race should not be so heavy-handed. ggo ahead. caller: good afternoon. when we had spoken years ago about protecting the southern border of america, it was totally evident that the military should not -- the united states army is not to be deployed within the country. it just seems to me that what i
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andeeing on your program the broadband of tv is that the beingry mentality is now involved with governoring our citizens. i am -- our cities. i am a native san franciscan. and we have always dealt with things with the soft manner. when the free speech movement started in berkeley in the department sheriff and ed meese reacted with tear gas and a major segment of downtown berkeley. as a liberal conservative democrat, i had to spend a night with my conservative republican reagan-supporting in-laws to escape burglary. when this kind of military
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activity -- by the way, i was also concurrently a military, reservistparticipant, in the bay area. yeah, when i see all this kind of military profile, back here in missouri, -- after i got out of the army -- voicess get to some more where governor jay nixon has been scheduled for 4:00. this is charlie wrangle retweets it is the 50th anniversary of the civil rights act. must move forward and not backward. ensure justice for my brown. -- mike brown. nathan in san jose. caller: thank you very much for
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letting me speak. thatt want to call and say the militarization of the police department is necessary here. the weaponry that they have is unnecessary. we're not used to seeing these things or dealing with these things. the way information travels these days puts the spotlight. the whole world is watching. to becoming adult in this situation, i suppose. >> one of the members of congress calling for demil itarization of the police is potential 2016 presidential candidate rand paul. he posted an op-ed, and here's the headline -- we must demilitarize the police. we will get to some of that in
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a minute. hot springs, missouri, james, hello. go ahead. caller: i think they should call martial law. there needs to be a curfew. law and order needs to be put in there. i do not think the government should be attacking their people, but people are attacking the public. >> there was no curfew? [indiscernible] a curfew/ >> here is tracy in missouri. number one, we are not attacking anyone he here. myself and my son were arrested as were thewho wer two reporters in the mcdonald's.
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they put us outside and they started pushing back with us. they were wearing orange army fatigues. on combat they were pushing us back into a wooded area. was traumatizing for the younger children. they need to come up with policy and procedure about how to inress and unarmed dividual. they need to be demilitarized. three, they need to release the name of the officer. we do not even know the location of anything but his background. we are simply asking his name. --re should be pictures and
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but they will not release the name of this officer. >> one of that many views that we have heard from the st. louis area. the sf aside a line -- we have set aside a line for those calling from the missouri area. it looks like they are starting there in ferguson. avon, welcome. -- david, welcome. it seems that something that is perceived as an infraction of the law has been committed by law officer. -- we need to ring this man to bring this man in and have him processed and hear out -- >> here is the governor.
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we appreciate your comments. >> good afternoon. i want to thank all of the local elected officials with us today as well as the leaders in this region. we appreciate the stress you have been under. we also went to thank our great friends in st. louis. always deeply involved in the community and willing to assist us in any way, and i thank him for the excellent leadership he provided in this region. i want to thank everybody for joining us. that me go through with what we have done today and then we will hear from a couple folks and take questions. this morning i was briefed by city officials on the events of yesterday evening and morning. i also spoke this morning with edesident obama who convey
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his concern and her appreciation in our efforts to resolve it. i took a moment to visit the scene this morning where earlier this week a young man, a man not much younger than my own sons, bosses like. i appreciate the opportunity to speak with and hear from members of the neighborhood directly affected by the events of the last six days. they told me they want a community that is helping and happy and take. s to want their street be free from intimidation. they want to be treated with respect. today my message to the people of ferguson is that these voices have been heard. we have been troubled by this crisis. what has gone on is not what missouri is about, not what ferguson is about. this is a place where people work, go to school, go to church, a diverse community, a missouri committee.
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lately it looks like a war zone, and that is not acceptable. we will all need join hands to rebuild the trust that's been lost and help this community regain its stabilities. the eyes of our nation and world are honest. the process of healing and reckonin reconciliation should begin. i'm announcing that the missouri highway patrol under the supervision of a captain who grew up in this area will be direct and team that provide security in ferguson. what i'm announcing today does not affect the responsibilities of those involved in the investigation. i would like to thank general holder for agreeing to my request that the justice department conduct a parallel investigation in this matter. i want to thank local officials who have been working so hard on the investigation here at the local level. while that investigation continues, the immediate security response abilities will be directed to the missouri state highway patrol. i want to thank the hard-working
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members of the local and regional police departments who have and will continue to work -- highway we troll patrol. i want to thank those officers who have been working double shifts, out there on the cutting edge, working and putting themselves out there. i appreciate the work they have done. today is a dough that our words and deeds -- today is a day so that our words and deeds -- i know that ferguson will not be defined as a community that will be torn apart by violence. today is a day that we will bring peace to the families of ferguson, that we commit to our responsibilities of ensuring the safety of our communities and make they are served with justice and respect by their leaders. it is a day we embrace our obligation to address our grief in a peaceful manner and voice our expectations for fairness and justice. we must pledge again to build up this community and direct it in heart cells toward the better
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angels of our nature. we will hear from a couple of folks, and i will be glad to take questions. i want introduce you to make a captain ron, johnson of the missouri state highway patrol. captain johnson? i appreciate the significance of the responsibility, and the fact that this community and state and the nation are looking for law enforcement leadership that protects and serves our citizens. i grew up here and this is currently my community and my home. it means a lot to me personally that we break this cycle of violence and build trust, and most respect. i am confident the control of resources in ferguson will do just that. they understand as i do how important it is that ferguson has of that in law enforcement,
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works with us and understand that we are here to serve them. i understand that the anger and fear that the citizens of ferguson are feeling, and our police officers will respect both of those. thank you. now with us is the chief executive of the region, and i appreciate the cooperation and support and the professionalism they bring to a myriad of opportunities each and every day. let me ask the county executive of st. louis county, charlie, if you would? >> good afternoon to all of you. i come to you this afternoon with a very heavy heart. what we have seen these past few days in st. louis county has been a tragedy. for the michael brown family, it has been a tragedy. they have lost a son. the worldis county,
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is looking at us and how do we treat our own. is there freedom of assembly? of course there is. we support freedom of assembly. is what we do not support disobedience for the law-abiding people in st. louis county. i have been saddened from what i .ave seen these past few days individuals come to this community not for the right purpose. i am for justice. i am not for revenge. i am for what is doing is right and making it right. we have a large job ahead of us. bringing this community together. it is not going to be a simple thing. there are too many questions
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that have not been answered that need explanations. people need to know, to have closure of what is going on around them. are they going to be protected in their homes? are they going to feel safe in the communities? more importantly as we move forward, can the community and our law enforcement come together to work as a unit? either one can get there by themselves. we need each of them to participate in this process. i want to thank governor nixon and his team for stepping forward, recognizing we need all the resources that we can't possibly garner to make this happen, to improve the process. i want to thank my good friend the mayor for being with us and captain johnson. it is going to take all of our agencies to make this situation
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better. it is going to take all of us, but even more importantly, it is going to the people in their communities, to stand down and let's be reasonable. let's have a conversation about what is happening in our community. how do we perceive ourselves? how does the world look at us as a community? this ought not to be a black-and-white thing. this ought not to be a disrespectful thing to the citizens of our community. we can do better than this. i am confident that as we go forward we are going to make you difference, and one of the things that i pitched to you, i'm going to appoint a blue ribbon committee to report to me, to look at what are we doing, how are we doing it, but even more importantly, get people in the community involved
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in this process. they need to feel that they are part of it. they need to feel that they are part of the solution. thosely way is to involve individuals. i plan in the next coming weeks to get together a blue ribbon committee from both sides, and let's get together and talk about what are our expectations, what do we expect, and how are update onand give an what is going on in our community. we have nothing to hide. it is transparent and, oh, by the way, we want the media to be involved in this process as well. we want to make sure that they is kept up to date on what going on, why are we are doing certain things, and what is the outcome we can expect. i look forward to this medication. i look forward to this resource is coming together. more importantly, i believe that we can make a difference in
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people's lives. people expect us in st. louis county to make their lives safe, their businesses safe, their families safe. they have a right to that. that is our job. and we are going to do it. committedsing, i am to this process. our team is committed to this process. all of our agencies is committed thisis problem -- process. i need the people of st. louis county and this region to be committed to this process. this is our community. the world is looking at us across this world and how we represent ourselves speaks volumes to our young people. they are our next leaders. we are the mentors. we are setting the bar. what type of our are we setting for our young people? they're looking at us.
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it involves responsibility to make it better. thank you. let me also thank these members of the legislature who haveith us today, who their finger on the pulse of the community and represent that so well in jefferson city. i appreciate these fears being with us. we have been in contact with them and will continue to be with them in the coming weeks. i thank them for their involvement. >> thank you, governor. michael brown was fatally shot in ferguson this past saturday. friends,ts, family, and his community are all in mourning.these are facts that are now t indiscreet, nor is the need for a full and transparent investigation. nor is the need for justice to people to be
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heard. the governor asked me to stand with him and the county executive to demonstrate our common agreement on this situation. justice must happen. greeting must become pertinent. the angry must be heard. an innocent must be protected. i agree on the direction the governor has set. i offered him the experience of two senior lease commanders from the st. louis metropolitan whome department, both of are here this afternoon. they are available to provide advice and support. they will bring a wealth of useful and practical knowledge to the effort, and whatever support they can provide. people inelp protect their right to assemble peacefully, protect the right to talk about and report it, and to help keep people safe. i want to conclude by
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recognizing the officers of the st. louis county police department and the fergusons police department and other law enforcement officials that have been involved on the streets of ferguson over the past several days. i want to thank you for your service, thank you for respecting your badge, to honor your oath, and for again the service to our community generally. i hope that the decision made by the governor will make your mission clear, safer, and shorter. thank you. [indiscernible] >> we will take some other questions. >> [indiscernible] >> i think we all have been the vision that
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the world has seen about this region, and i think we are all about making sure that we allow peaceful and appropriate protests, that we use force only when necessary, that we step back a little bit and let some of the energy be felt in this region appropriately, but that is only possible to succeed if you have, as indicated by the executive as well as others, the support of the community, and that is why these leaders are so important. i think you are going to see -- i want to speak operationally other than to say that i think that while maintaining the peace, but allowing more in aent, trying to bring
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e of the amplitude of protective force. will have anhat effect, and know the teams are working on this changes the way, and i appreciate that. >> [indiscernible] wait, pundit questions. -- plenty of questions. >> [indiscernible] >> all of us have seen some level of escalation and some level of escalation of the arms of bemused to deter -- arms that have been used to deter. at that level we feel that we that acceleration, provide an avenue for folks to speak appropriately, but that will allow us to have a that are chance, a better focus on
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guaranteeing more public safety. clearly i think you will see, as the afternoon and evening starts, a little different picture, and our hope is that will begin. we should also note that there will be resources out there, to make sure that people are kept safe. i think clearly kind of the force on the frontline, our hopes would be they would have the ability to give more peaceful interaction on the front. >> [indiscernible] how would you explain the nature of the presents we saw on the streets yesterday? there were armored personnel carriers them about 100 police and military-style uniforms, high-powered rifles trained on the crowd? who is in charge of making those decisions, and are they going to be held for account for making
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-- >> yesterday is yesterday, tonight is tonight, and tomorrow is tomorrow. you seen the acceleration of the intensity, and we hope this operational shift will begin the process of lowering the intensity of those direct interactions and potential risks while at the same time expanding an opportunity for folks to speak out appropriately about both long- and short-term issues that have struck a nerve. >> it was one-sided yesterday. it was a response to a peaceful protest. the nature of that response, trying to understand how that could happen. who is in charge of making those decisions? and am looking forward, forward when we saw the acceleration in this situation ad the -- our sense that
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softer front might yield an absent direct confrontation. >> we have been watching governor jay nixon out of missouri. we'll try to bring that back to you here in a minute. but also happening today, claire mccaskill was in missouri. she met with protestors, also ish you'd a statement, saying we need to demilitary rise the situation. this kind of the response by the police has become the problem instead of the solution. police need to respect and protect that right. today is going to be a new
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start, we can and need to do better. looks like we fixed our technical problem. we can go back to missouri now. governor jay nixon. >> an important milestone here to get that out as expeditiously as possible. >> fair or unfair, can you talk at all about what your thought processes were and prompted you now to actually take control? >> we've been involved and captain johnson of the patrol has been involved in this multiple disciplinary team. it's not my first trip to st. louis. it's not the first time i've been to some of the churches here or had a chance to speak with these elected leaders. we are monitoring this very closely. we clearly want solutions if at all possible to be done as local as possible. you want folk folks to feel engaged so that you get not
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erely a short-term operational gain, but much more importantly than that a long term trust bill so you want to be in a situation in which you want to at the state level support folks that are out there facing the tough calls, making the tough calls and doing this. we watched it very carefully. i just felt at this particular point that the attitudes weren't improving and that the blocks towards expression appeared to be a flash point, and that if we people folks -- some first that we would be in a better situation. i've been monitoring closely and felt that this was the appropriate time to make this operational shift. >> governor -- real quick.
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yeah, david. >> governor, will the ferguson police department and the st. louis county police department still be providing the feet on the ground as far as the police officers go or will the highway patrol be stepping in with more of its own officers? >> the highway patrol will be the lead in the security portion in this. they will continue to be part of that multidisciplinary team with shifts from the local region. we expect we will continue to rely on a joint force in this area to make sure with the very shifts that are involved and all that stuff. operationally, the patrol will be the lead agency when it comes to security. >> desh dern [indiscernible] >> we'll have whatever is out there. i think the challenge we face today is not whether or not you have officers or not. the challenge we face is not
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whether you have resources or you've shown enough strength on the police side or not. i think we've shown that. that's why i think a little shift here and a little operational shift with a little more flexibility at this point could provide a breathing space are i should also warn we going to protect business owners and families and others from illegal acts. there will be adequate force there. i don't think the size of the force has been the key stress. yeah. >> there were several people insisting they were protesting peacefully yesterday and they spent the night in jail, some of them 16 years and then released out of wail. my question is, your thoughts on that. will you look in that? secondly, as you talked about last night what you hear repeatedly from the folks in
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ferguson is that they are completely dumbfounded by the over the top response that they saw last night. you tried to touch on it but i don't think you answered the question. >> this has been a difficult zone. i mean, there has been -- there have been -- there's been a great deal of activity in that region. i think you'll see without going through the operational stuff which is up to the team as they work this morning and tonight to move forward. i think what you are going to see is an attempt and a successful attempt in my view to move forward people and to move back a little bit equipment. that doesn't mean we are giving up on keeping control of any criminal behavior. >> governor, what do you say to the underlying concern in the community here that there has been a long habit of police
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harassment in north scluse county -- st. louis county, traffic stops, the municipal alities that have limited resources? >> as i said earlier the other night at the church, this feels a little like an old wound that has been hit again and so the pain you feel is not just from the individual action. it feels like a little bit of a long time simmering. and that i think is natural for all of us to see and watch. i think the challenges we face here go much more deep. that doesn't show a lack of respect pour any of the victims so far or the deaths we've had in any way, shape or form. i think we need to protect property, make sure we hear
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voices, show less force on the front side but ultimately getting to some of these deeper problems. these are -- these have been existing problems not only in missouri but in america and this has clearly touched a nerve and that nerve is not merely from this horrific incident that happened just a few short days ago or any of the interim things. it touches a deeper nerve. that i think while we're focused on the short operational things, i think ultimately we would be graded or gauged as to whether or not this was an opportunity used to begin to make some long term understanding and healing. i do believe that this touched an old wound, a deeper nerve and incumbent upon all of us to respect those have been loss, to make sure that justice is served, but to make sure we keep order to allow voices to be
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heard. the long range when we say voices to be heard that mean people to listen to, it just doesn't mean people talking. voices being heard is opening your mouth and your ears. i think if we can all use that -- i mean this is in that sense a clear opportunity. >> governor, may i ask a question? >> sure. >> we had rioting on sunday night as the police stayed back. then they moved in more aggressive live. they've been criticized for that. some say we haven't had any looting or burning since then. are you prepared that this kinder gentler approach yields -- >> we will have adequate resources to deal with public issues that arise in this region. as i said before, the question over here, i don't think there's any doubt whether we have enough resources to deal with this.
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we will use those resources a little different differently but rest assured we are going to do ruleest to reestablish the of law and subsequently expand the trust. -- overnor, you >> once again, i'm not involved in the investigative side. all of that will operate on separate tracks. you will see activities over the next few weeks that will have potential flash points in the community. that's why i think it is important now to make a shift in this operationally. there's a lot to be done but there are some checkpoints that are going to be emotional. there are going to be moments when folks may disagree or agree on what the outcomes are.
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you have two significant investigations going on at the same time. our goal is to make sure operational and systematically that we are getting peace and we are using it on that front to garner opportunities in the future. >> you talked about trying to heal that wound that's been here afor a long time. do you have any specifics on things you would like to see done? >> we are little focused right now on operational things. we would like to see folks feel like they are comfortable in hearing their voices but also comfortable in making sure other people's lives and property are protected. we would like to see it done in a transparent and timely fashion. forink that it is important people to know what happened and how it happened and we'll be able to process to that. i think that's extremely important here.
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constitutions like this -- institutions like this and the schools, i do appreciate listening sessions with them. i think it is an important step o engage with the young folks. that's an important part of this process, too. i hope to be involved once we get through with the operational things we have to accomplish in the next day or would. yes, sir. >> [indiscernible] >> absolutely not. --ean what we are doing here -- we're doing is putting we are making an organization that i think will reflect some other things all those folks were doing. i respect the folks that wear those uniforms and badge.
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most of you know i'm a lifetime of being involved in law enforcement. they're stressed right now. it's been a difficult couple weeks here. getting this operational shift i think is something that will give everybody a breath of fresh air. we're not -- this isn't about looking in the rearview mirror. we are trying to keep our eyes focused on what's in front of us. >> what are your thoughts about that? >> we've got two already. we've got the justice department and we've got a fined season team at st. louis county. let's let them do their work is my view. you got parallel tracks, you you've got the f.b.i., you've got the justice department. you've got the fine folks here in st. louis with a lot of experience. i think we should let them do
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their jobs. i know their hustling their tails off. nobody is understanding the timelines. they want to get it right, and they will. i don't think adding a third at this particular juncture until we get the transparent he yiss -- transparency here is appropriate. i -- there's already two folks looking over shoulders. that's pretty unique anyway. i think that is going to work because general holder and his eam and the prosecutor are seasoned professionals. i don't think bringing a third lane in at this point is going to be helpful. >> governor, can you characterize your relationship with the black community how it's involved over the past week, how it's shaped your response to all of this. >> i appreciate the relationship i have with so many of my friends from so many years in
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this community and the pressures that they've helped me with over the years. i tremendously appreciate that. i don't think this is a time to -- i'm going to continue to not use this as a time to divide or to draw differences or see how loud i can talk or see how sharp i can say. other people have first amendment rights. i've got zeck tiff challenges here and so i think that their relationship is good and professional and in my ways very personal with the number of folks and i look forward to a natural process of the first amendment, democracy, allowing people to agree and disagree in pub lib. that's part of living. if you're not up for dealing with the critiques of actions and inactions in this job, you shouldn't seek it. >> governor, over here if you
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could, speaking of first amendment rights, could you respond to criticism of your handling of the situation that came in the form of a tweet from chappell or maria adall that included a four letter word, good. > am i warm? i don't -- that's not how i .ommunicate try to put gasoline into the engine of fire engines when i see them, not on the fires that are existing. i find doing that is more productive.
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>> [indiscernible] >> we try to. we'll get that opportunity soon. we have certainly been in contact with them. i wanted to -- i have been impressed by their comments in calling for peace and justice and i thank them for that. i think they have been resolute in their recommendations to the communities that violence is not the answer. i know they're going through difficult times, very difficult times. i think while we had a chance to get together, the schedules got bumped out a bit, i'm sure we'll get a chance to sit with them. with the things in front of me now, it was important for me to get this strategic alignment accomplished and then work it tonight. i've been more focused today on some of the operational aspects. anybody else? yeah, dave. >> captain johnson about what he said he's going to do different
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tonight? >> i'll let him make his comments. i ask members of law enforcement before and what they're going to -- johnson y try to is not far away. >> i was wondering what are you going to do differently tonight? are you still going to role in with armored vehicles or are you going to have a different appearance? >> we are going to go back and assess the day. we are going to start from today. we are not going to look back in the past. when we talk about boots on the ground, i'm talking about boots on the ground. i plan on walking to the quick trip that has been called ground zero and meeting with the folks tonight. we are going to have a different approach and have the approach that we are in this together. that's going to be the approach that we're going to have tonight
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and look at our resources and make sure we are not taking resources out there we don't need. but when we do need those resources, they will still be here. we will reassess and we plan on try to keep what's open today and let people speak and here what they're -- hear what they're talking about. we will have a different approach today and i believe you'll see that. i believe that was in the plan before this meeting. we talked last night with the police chief of st. louis county and those were the plans we had for today. we all went home last night and before we left, we talked about going home and thinking about what we are going to do for today. i can tell you that when i got home last night, my wife is out of town and my son wasn't home. before i got in the bed, like i do each and every night, i prayed and i prayed for a different morning today. and i believe today is going to
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be a different day for our community. this afternoon i had the chance to go to a high school and sit down and speak with 25 students. one young lady sat in the back with tears in her eyes and said i hate to cry. i almost had tears in my eye but i told her we are going to make a change and we are going to make a difference. i told each of those students if they have any issues, they should call us. i also gave those students my address to my office and i told them to write me a letter about how they felt and how this has impacted them. and when this is over, i am going to read that to the troopers assigned here. i fwoot an email and text on my phone from the head of security at that school and said those students went back to their class and told their friends they believe we are going to make a change today, and we are. >> thank you. i want to thank everybody for being here. we will be prepared to move
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forward and make a difference. thank y'all for being with us today. >> attorney general eric holder weighed in on what's been happening in ferguson, saying "this morning i met with president obama to discuss the events in ferguson, missouri. like the president, i extend heartfelt condolences to the family of michael brown. while his death has understandably caused heartache in the community, it is clearly the scenes playing out in the streets of ferguson over the last several nights cannot continue. by the same token, the law enforcement response to these demonstrations must seek to reduce tensions, not heighten them. ose who peacefully gather to express sympathy for the family of michael brown must have their rights respected at all times. and journalists must not be harassed or prevented from covering the story that needs to be told." we are going to hear from president obama on the situation
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in ferguson speaking to reporters from martha's vineyard in massachusetts where he is vacationing with his family. the president began with remarks about air strikes and humanitarian assistance in iraq. >> good afternoon, everybody. this sound system is really powerful. today i'd like to update the american people on two issues i have been monitoring closely over the last several days. we continue to make progress in carrying out our military operations in iraq. last week i authorized two limited missions, protecting our people and facilities inside iraq and a humanitarian mission to help save thousands of iraqis stranded on a mountain. a week ago we assessed that housands of men, women and children took ref youth on mount sinjar to avoid saluter.
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we also knew isis terrorists were laying seethe to the mountain. without food or water, they faced a terrible choice, starve on the mountain or be slaughtered on the ground. that's when america came to help. over the last week, the u.s. military conducted humanitarian air drops every night, delivering more than 11 -- 114 ,000 meals and 35,000 gallons of fresh water. we were joined by the united kingdom and other allies. our military was able to successfully targets around the mountain which improved conditions for the civilians to evacuate the mountain safely. yesterday a small team of americans completed their review of the conditions on the mountain. they found that food and water had been reaching those in need and that thousands of of people had been evacuating safely each
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and every night. the civilians who remain continue to live aided by kurdish forces and they were helping to facilitate the safe passage of their families. the situation on the mountain has greatly improved and americans should be very proud of our efforts because of the skill and professionalism of our military and the generosity of our people, we broke the siege of mount sinjar. we helped vulnerable people reach safety and we saved many innocent lives. we do not expect there would be any additional operations to evacuate people off the mountain and it is unlikely we are going to need to continue humanitarian air drops on the mountain. i just want to say that as commander in chief, i could not be prouder of the men and women of our military who carried out this humanitarian operation almost flawlessly.
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i'm very grateful to them and i know that those those who were trapped on that mountain are extraordinarily grateful as well. now, the situation remains dire for iraqs subject to isis terror throughout the country. it includes many christians, sunnis, shiites and kurds. we are going to be working with our international partners to provide humanitarian assistance to those who are suffering in northern iraq. we obviously feel a great urge to provide some humanitarian relief to the situation and i've been very encouraged by the interest of our international partners in helping on these kinds of efforts as well. we will continue air strikes to protect our people and facilities in iraq.
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we have increased the delivery of military assistance to iraqi and kurdish forces fighting on the frontlines. and perhaps most importantly, we are urging iraqis to come together to turn the tide against them by seesing the enormous opportunity of forming a new inclusive government under the leadership of the prime ster. i had a chance to speak to the prime minister a few days ago need for ke about the the kind of inclusive government that speaks to all the people of iraq that is needed right now. he still has a challenging task in putting a government together, but we are modestly hopeful that the iraqi government situation is moving in the right direction. now, second, i want to address something that's been in the news over the last couple of days and that's the situation in ferguson, missouri. i know many americans have been
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deeply disturbed by the images we've seen in the heardland of our country as police have clashed with people protesting. today i'd like us all to take a step back and think about how we are going to be moving forward. this morning i received a thorough update on the situation from attorney general eric holder who has been following and been in communication with his team. i've already tasked the department of justice and the f.b.i. to independently investigate the death of michael brown, along with local officials on the ground. the department of justice is also consulting with local authorities about ways they can maintain public safety without restricting the right of peaceful protest and while avoiding unnecessary escalation. i made clear to the attorney general that we should do what is necessary to help determine exactly what happened and to see that justice is done. i also just spoke with governor jay nixon of missouri. i expressed my concern over the
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violent turn that events have taken on the ground and underscored that we all need to come together going forward. he is going to be traveling to ferguson. he is a good man and a fine governor and i'm confident that working together, he's going to be able to communicate his desire to make sure that justice is done and his desire to make sure public safety is maintained in an appropriate way. of course, it's important to remember how this started. we lost a young man, michael brown, in a heartbreaking and tragic circumstances. he was 18 years old. his family will never hold michael in their arms again. and when something like this happens, the local authorities, including the police, have the responsibility to be hope and transparent about how they are investigating that death and how they are protecting the people in their communities.
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there is never an excuse for violence against police or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting. there's also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their first amendment rights. and here in the united states of erica police should not be arresting journalists who are just doing their jobs and reporting to american people on what they see. we need to hold ourselves to a high stand -- standard, particularly those of us in authority. i know emotions are raw in ferguson and there are certainly passionate differences about what had happened. there are going to be different accounts of how this tragedy occurred. there are going to be differences of opinion of what is going to happen going forward. we are all part of one american
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family. we are united in common values, and that includes belief in equality under the law, basic respect for public order and the right to peaceful public protest , a refer answer rans for the -- refer answer for doctor -- so now is the time for healing, now is the tame for peace and calm on the streets of ferguson. now is the time for an open and transparent process to see that justice is done. and i've asked that the attorney general and the u.s. attorney on the scene continue to work with local officials to move that process forward. they will be reporting to me in the coming days about what's being done to make sure that happens. thanks very much, everybody.
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>> house speaker john boehner issued a statement today on the police shooting of 18-year-old michael brown and the protests in verg ferguson, missouri. he said, in the wake of this terrible tragedy, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of michael brown. i strock strongly support a full and thorough the events -- from roy blunt -- ferguson tragedy began when a young man lost his life. what issappointed in happening in ferguson. american citizens have the right to peacefully assemble and
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protest. gel, mustcharlie ran move forward, not backward. and sure justice for mike brown. weekend,ghts from this, a history to or saturday, "the communicators." clinton, barack obama, and edward snowden. ,"after words , with daniel halper. the depiction00, of slavery in movies. 4:00 p.m., an interview with president herbert
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hoover. call us or e-mail us. c-span conversation. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter. admiral john kirby spoke about the humanitarian situation in iraq. he talked about the policy of providing military equipment to local law enforcement agencies in light of the police shooting in ferguson, missouri. >> sorry i am a little late. a few points before we get to your questions. is today we announced a team of u.s. military personnel accompanied by usaid conducted an assessment on the situation on mount sinjar. the team assist there are far zidis draft.
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that is largely the cause of our i airstrikes onsil targets. this is the kind of missions that the military trains for all the time. these efforts enabled the assistance of thousands of yazi evacuate. those who remain there are in better condition than we previously thought they might be and may continue to have access to the food and water we have airdropped. we did get another airdropped last night. while this has system and has led us to conclude that in an of declaration mission is far less likely, or not taking our eye off the ball. we continue to assess the needs of the yazidi people. conduct additional
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airdrops if needed, and we appreciate the assistance of other countries, working with us. as secretary hagel reiterated, the situation in iraq remains dangerous. the president has been clear about our military objectives in iraq. they are to protect american facilities and citizens. to protect forces as they battle isil, and address the humanitarian crisis. the military remains ready to continue airstrikes to protect personnel and facilities around erbil and protect the yazidi people. while our air sex have had an impact, there is still no -- while our airstrikes have had an impact, there still no solution. the only solution is for the iraqis to come together and form a government represents the
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interests of all citizens and unifies its country against isil. >> the president described the situation as dire for those who are facing isil. you referred to the possibility of additional humanitarian assistance. aboutu be more specific when and what type of aid might be delivered, and when you referred to air strikes continuing kim are you talking about an intensive period of time, given the fact that nobody has been able to turn back the i sil momentum? >> i cannot be more specific now. that is one of the reasons we have assessment teams on the ground, to help us figure out what might be required to future. we believe we have been successful with the humanitarian crisis on mount sinjar.
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as the president said, as the secretary said, we will continue to evaluate and assess the situation throughout iraq, and they're very well could be from those assessments and that look at additional humanitarian missions. i would not rule out there could be more airdrops either. right now it does not look likely we will need any more on the mountain or anywhere else, for that matter. he will certainly hold that option open. that is what we do. we provide options to the country's leadership with that respect. on your other question on airstrikes, the airstrikes that we have been conducting an authorized to do so are predominantly to protect u.s. personnel and facilities in and thend erbil, although president was very clear that we have the authority to conduct airstrikes to protect u.s. personnel and facilities anywhere in iraq, including down in baghdad. right now the focus of those
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strikes has been up in the north near erbil. out of the 25 airstrikes we have conducted to date, about half of them have been designed to hit isil targets in and around erbil respective to the protection of u.s. facilities and personnel. the other half we conducted in and around mount sinjar to blunt isil activities there with respect to the refugees. i would not speculate about future operations, and i cannot do that now. we still have assessment teams on the ground. we are still gaining the benefit of their knowledge and their observations, and we will just keep at it. >> can you give us an idea of an estimate of how many yazidis are left on the mountain? the governor said that he has
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been promised discussions with u.s. officials that there were ar airstrikes in anb province. ,> on the estimate of refugees it is difficult to provide an exact figure, but we think it is somewhere between 4000 and 5000. i would also add that a number of them, perhaps up to 2000 or so, and this is an estimate, reside there and may not want to leave. it is home to many of them. not all of them will necessarily be looking to leave the mountain. that is our best estimate right now based on the assessment team's visit there. i ame governor of anbar, not seeing those remarks. i pretty much answer the question with respect to airstrikes and the authorities we have been given and what we have been conducting, and i would not go beyond that now. >> why didn't u.s. surveillance and drones become the fact that there were not and that thousands of yazdis on the top
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of the mountain? as recently as yesterday, a spokesman word talking about tens of thousands of yzaazidis. peshmerga,rms to the they have not heard back from the pentagon and they are desperate for weapons. >> we believe there were tens of thousands of people on the amount of them and thanks to our airstrikes, and thanks to the airdrops of food and water which helps sustain those folks, we believe thousands of then were leaving every night. i cannot give you an exact figure every night, but more than a thousand words so every leaving every night with the assistance we provide it. it is difficult, and you know persistent
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gives youce flights great situational awareness, but not perfect situational awareness. it would need difficult and imprudent to think we can know everything simply by flying over 24/seven we made the best estimates we could based on the limited picture we had from the air. but even we were not completely confident in that, which is why secretary hagel said that small at assessment team to the mountain because there is no substitute. there was risk involved with that. he thought it was important and we did that. that is where we got a much better picture of what the situation was. the estimate of tens of thousands was accurate at the time, and it is just that, because of the screen we were able to surprise and that peshmerga's courageous efforts, thousands were able to leave everyday.
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on your question to kurdish requests, they've requested some material assistance and we are looking at that. i would also say that beyond just taking a look at this, and the secretary talked about this, we have been helping iraqi security forces resupply kurdish forces to the degree, helping them palletize, helping them transport iraqi equipment and forces. to kurdish that has happened, it is ongoing. we're also working with international partners in the region who may also have an interest in helping resupply the kurds, and we are open to considering additional options in that regard. d to theot blin demand for equipment, and what i can till you is the inter-agencies focus on this. >> [indiscernible] that i am aware of, >> verify a couple things.
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one reason for this interest was to avert a potential genocide of the yazidi people there. did the military prevent the genocide in the case? >> we believe the risk of genocide was real. we were at the outset talking about tens of thousands of refugees who were being chased and slaughtered and part upon by isil. isil. nearly half of the strikes we mountted were around sinjar. it was the strikes that encourage them to lee. i do not want to discount the work of the peshmerga forces. we all believed it was a legitimate fear of genocide. they are up against some pretty brutal people here, beheading young kids, chasing down innocent women and children and slaughtering them.
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and i would also say the threat that isil poses is not over. it is not like we are breathing a sigh of relief because everything is better, or things look to be better. that therel mindful may yet be humanitarian needs elsewhere in iraq and we will continue to look at that. are they still in large enough conference rations having -- concentrations, that the military can check them with air power? or are they so diffuse that it does not make sense to try to supply them with airdrops or protect them in the same way? >> we are going to look at that night, and we do not have answers. they are fairly displaced. some have decided to move into syria. some will disperse to other areas in iraq. we do not have a perfect picture of where they all are, and it would be difficult for us to say
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we can't protect every single one of them based on their dispersal. >> [indiscernible] >> we believe the threat to the mass of violence on mount sinjar has largely passed. that said, we are not going to take our eye off in that. we still have several thousand left on the mountain and many of whom may want to leave. we are still mindful of that, which is why we did and other wedrop last night and why are still watching the situation. i would say we are constantly assessing. >> can you talk about the threat noware seeing to erbil, that it is six or seven days after the airstrikes? is it as pressing as when the airstrikes began? >> we think we have had a disruptive effect on isil ability to threaten erbil.
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we do not think it has been eliminated. it is difficult to know what their intent is exactly with respect to erbil. we have as you know a joint re.d tion center the it is unclear what their intent is. we have put a hurt on with respect to their activities in and around erbil. we will continue to that. >> as you know, forces in iraq are saying that isis militants are moving toward baghdad. do you see any role for the u.s. military to help defend or protect baghdad, at least?
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>> any connecticut focus would be under the authority to protect u.s. personnel and facilities. we still have teams on the ground in and around baghdad. he still have a joint operation that continues to share information to help iraqis themselves coordinate their activities. and i said this before, the threat that isil poses inside iraq is essentially an iraq he threat -- iraqi threat. we can coordinate with them, but we are not going to become the iraqi air force. this is their fight to fight. we are willing to help to the degree we can. , ultimately the real answer for peace and security inside iraq is an inclusive government, a unity government can and secretary hagel urges them now that they have named a premise and her to get a cabinet
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going to get this government stood up. >> do you rule out that the u.s. air force might launch airstrikes against isil near baghdad in the upcoming days? >> i will not rule anything in or out, but to the degree we conduct airstrikes around baghdad it would be under the authority we have been even to protect u.s. personnel and facilities. the president has been clear. we will not become iraq's air force. >> i just returned from india and asia. you speak about the implications of these trips on the efforts of the u.s. to rebalance the asia-pacific, also on the efforts to try to draw attention to the asia-pacific from iraq and out. -- from iraq and elsewhere? >> the rebalance is work the secretaries committed were to best is committed the secretary
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is committed to. the secretary is committed to. we are still making these visits and still having these discussions speaks volumes about how important we believe the theater is. more than 350,000 troops are based in the asia-pacific. two hundred ships, the majority of the navy, is in the pacific, and we have five of our seven treaty alliances, are in the pacific region. we are committed is that region. do your second question, it does not mean we take our eye off the ball on the rest of the world. we know we have commitments around the world in the middle east and africa and europe, and we continue to work mightily on those commitments, and there has no slackening in that regard. i will sayl you, and this unashamedly, that if
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sequestration remains the law, it will be harder for us to meet this commitments. best reggie at allows us to conduct this -- the strategy that allows us to conduct this rebalance will be put in jeopardy. on thehave any comments air operations that been taking over erect in the past week him and can give you an insight into what the teams are telling you about the capabilities of the iraqi security forces at the current time? >> i do not have an estimate. it is coming out of normal operational funding. i do not have that for you, john. the assessments, you know that the assessment teams have done, they still remain classified. i will not get into detail on that. again, i think part of the missions we've been conducting recently have been informed in part by the assessments that the assessment teams provided. again, i will say they continue to provider operations.
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they're continuing to help inform the kinds of decision-making that policymakers are making. it was repeated that the long-term solution in fighting isil is an inclusive government. help me understand that the iraqi security forces could lead to some kind of long-term stability? >> is unfair to say they are not capable of taking background. they have taken back some ground. some ground might be contested. no question about that. we continue to see the confidence in protecting and defending baghdad. i would not just dismiss their ability to defend their people quite so haphazardly as that. but a government that is responsive to all its citizens can alleviate some of the conditions that terrorists like
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isil prey upon. joblessness, hopelessness that these extremists are able to capitalize on and to spread their warped ideology, and a government that is strong and and weive and inclusive, set back is in 2011, when we left the country, we said the exact same thing, that that is the best chance for peace and security inside iraq. that has a change. >> can alleviating those conditions stop the force that has the equipment has that operates as a quasi military? >> there are two levels here. a tactical level which is what you're talking about, and we remain committed to doing what we can inside the authorities we've been given to assist the fight, sos, their there is a tactical level. over the long-term, the best chance for peace is an inclusive
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government. you cannot focus on one or the other. it has to be done in tandem. there has to be enough work by iraqi leaders, military and civilian, on both. if there is not come again, as secretary hagel said, there's not going to be appearing military solution, certainly not a purely american military solution here. >> does the pentagon need state department or white house approval for military sales to israel? the will just say that process that there is an existing process for handling sales to israel, i process we are constantly looking at and assessing. certainly, in light of the much-increased operational tempo that the israeli defense force is under now, as they defend
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themselves from hamas, it warrants that process, continues to warrant assessment and review, and i will leave it at that. >> back to the isil question. this 40,000 member number seems to be out there. it really seemed to kind of motivate the administration to make this, whatever the campaign called last week. it is hard to square how it went from potentially 40,000 all the way down to 5000. not get auld the isf better picture of what was going on on the ground, even within the last day or so? >> it is very difficult to do knows caps on the air. it is just an imperfect science. surveillance,, light in the air are useful, but not perfect and in a case like
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this, or you know people are being slaughtered and chased and would frankly rather our estimates be a little high than a little low in a situation like that. i do not know if they were wrong or not. i never used the 40,000 number. i saw the number out there. we know it was in the tens of thousands. are -- in a situation like this, if you're going to have an estimate, where it comes down to saving peoples lives or helping save their lives, i would rather be high, and i would rather be wrong in the end, and i do not know if we were wrong. once we had eyes on the mountain we were able to see that they were far fewer than we have talked in large part because we help them get off that mountain and they were in better condition. if you're going to be wrong about something, that is a pretty good thing to be wrong about them that these people were in better condition. these people still up there, while they have been provided a
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lot of food and water and our mind you there was another drop last night, we believe some of the need medical care, that is not available to them. nobody is writing off the situation on mount sinjar. >> [indiscernible] or are they returning? >> you heard the president's comments. some of them will be redeploying outside of iraq, and some of them may be staying to help augment efforts in the joint operation center. very fluid, it will fluctuate from day to day. as thenamic situation, president said, many of them will be leaving the country. know whenll you exactly this unnamed operation is complete? what has to happen in order for it to be over? >> the president said that this could take some time. he was also clear that he has
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not put a timetable on this. neither has secretary hagel. so i think far less important than the duration is a discussion, and it is worth reminding everybody, a discussion of the very limited military objectives that we have been assigned. we look at it last night. we have an assessment team go out there -- >> it is over, the humanitarian peace -- piece -- >> it is not over. the great crisis we have seen the mountain, we have alleviated that. but turning a blind eye to the humanitarian suffering inside iraq elsewhere. i have no decisions to no announced. -- to announce. not so much in and around
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baghdad, and we have the authority to conduct strikes to protect them. it is not over. >> is it your objective to defeat isil? >> the objectives are clear. i read them in my opening statement. i will be happy to read them again, to work with partners on the humanitarian crisis, to protect u.s. personnel and facilities, and to advise the isf as they come and i want to decide the word "they," take their fight inside their country. we have been working on these their objectives every day. >> why have you not name the operation? >> i do not have a good reason, and i'm not so sure that that is relevant. we have very clear objectives. we are achieving them. we are not worried about al qaeda patch they're going to be wearing on the uniforms. >> some say that you are reducing the significance and it is harder to make a histocal references this operation. >> i do not agree with that in
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the least bit. in the comments by the security last night and the president today make it clear that that work that the u.s. troops and our civilian partners have been doing are well appreciated, well argument, well known, and it does not matter if it has a name or not. on who exactly is the u.s. is making a commitment to protect in iraq? the president spoke of it this is reasons to being dire. an urge for aof humanitarian mission. >> these are pretty bad guys. >> we know isis has threatened them in various parts of the country. is the u.s. making a commitment to extend a protective umbrella over all of these groups if they come under threat as the
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yazidis did, with a similar operation, to protect them? >> would continue to assess, and i will not speculate about potential future operations. the military objectives are clear. we continue to pursue those holes and those objectives eared i would articulate about decisions that have not been made yet about perhaps future humanitarian missions. commentsesident's here, and the mission was defined initially and did not address other groups that may come up -- imminente there was an threat at the time of tens of thousands of people on the amount. a threat, by the way, that we helped vacate. if you see asking, similar circumstances with other groups, and many of them are frankie facing a threat from isis, does the u.s. acting the same way? are you being test to be prepared to do that if
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christians, sunnis, shias, kurds, under that threat? >> we continue to monitor the situation closely. planning organization. our job is to provide options, but ultimately there are policy decisions that are not made in the have a gun, i am not aware of any decisions that a been made right up. about ahave spoken yazidis a dayeyazi are getting off the mound. we have spoken to our reporters on the ground. as beingribed this deadly for many, young and the alternate people come out it is leaving it is a 16-our walk. way to an acceptable evacuate as opposed to providing more aid? >> we provided in many ways the
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vehicles, the possibility for them to get off that mountain. we sustain them with food and water. nobody is discounting their are discountinging -- they are still suffering on iraq and on the mountain. our thoughts and prayers go out to their who have lost loved ones, then hurt, then injured, either by isil or in the passage of the mountain. the fact is most of them have left and most of them have found shelter or sustenance elsewhere. that is a credit to the peshmerga and their encourage and the dedication of our troops . alternately, the situation is for iraqi security forces to deal with, that this is their country, their responsibility. we are doing what we can to help, the we are going to do it with an eye to assisting and
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aiding iraqis and kurdish forces to come to the aid of their own people. to questions. india,out the visit to u.s.-indiahe relations achieve this time? >> it was a good visit. the importance of the relationship to india was spoken about an hour efforts to work on better defense corporations, specifically with defense technology and trade, the dtti initiative. there are opportunities here for codevelopment and coproduction that we hope will come to fruition in the future. received byly indian officials and came away
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from it feeling very positive. the secretary was talking about that this morning to the staff and feeling very encouraged by it. >> according to the statement by the indian government, india is -- purchaser of the u.s. arms. do you think this visit will have promised to continue to be the largest -- >> we did not make as a goal a specific goal, saying the largest or any rank here in terms of arms provision. what we wanted to do was begin to have a dialogue and form the basis of a strong relationship with the modi government. we believe we were successful in doing that. >> since india has a new government, and the secretary ,as his counterpart in india
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the ice has been broken from the past -- >> we are looking forward. there's no sense talking about the past. his is a new government. we have had a great set of discussions. we believe the relationship is only good half hour, and that is the secretary's focus, on the future. >> in light of the counterpart from india -- >> he did. >> thank you, sir. >> 129 guys over there. what do the 109 due to support the mission, and if they did not, what was their expected goal if there needs to be more mount sinjar? only a need to put 20 people on the mountain. you had an air crew for the ospreys. give you a detailed list
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of what every person did. i do not think that is relevant. int was important was we put an extra team in erbil to do what we wanted them to do, give us a sense of what the situation was. it got done and was able to get done in less than 24 hours with less than 20 people. we are grateful for that. we are grateful it was executed safety. it is immaterial about whatever any individual was doing. >> ok. you send a group of 22 a really big mountain range, and it is a daytime xers. that is enough. that is enough to assess the entire situation? >> yes.\ yes, we are confident in the assessment they have come back with. confident with the work for it. >> the governor of anbar province has told news organizations that the u.s. has promised to set up a -- in an
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bar. >> it seems like the government has been talking a lot today. i have not seen those comments. there are no plans to set up a joint operation center in an bar province -- anbar province. been anyere communication with u.k. or french military leaders or their participation in what is going on in the country, to maintain the possibility of other options that you mentioned? to work withe international partners on the military situation in iraq. as i also said, we are mindful that although conditions are better on the mountain, that does not mean there is not -- that there are not humanitarian issues in the country elsewhere. we will monitor and assess that interview that, and maybe there will be options coming on from that. we will continue to need the help from international partners
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from and the secretary made this clear on the trip, that he was extraordinarily grateful for the offers made from great britain, by the french, and frankly i'm a while we're in sydney, by the australians. others as well. tos is going to have continue to be a focus of the international community, not just the united states. >> just how big, because we were isis tracked through direct since december of this year, and a long way we have heard about nothing except atrocities the entire time. how big of a scope does this humanitarian crisis have to be for the u.s. or the partners to have to get involved? yazidis, tens of thousands, but how big of a scope are we talking about with your check to the entire country? >> not bounded by geography, not bounded necessarily by a number. there's not a whole number that is a tripwire that we will say
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if that is that number, we will get involved. we have to look at human of what isn context going on inside the country and a factor in to effect. these are based on policy decisions of looking at the context of the entire situation inside iraq. i cannot give you a menu that says here's exactly what will require action. what i will tell you is that we are not taking our eye off the ball in terms of humanitarian suffering in iraq, and nobody is doing high fives here at the pentagon because there are fewer people on the mountain than we thought. and there is no heavy dances here because we think the situation is better there on the mountain. we understand that there continues to be human suffering in iraq, and we continue to assess and monitor that, and the
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president and the secretary were clear that we remain committed to working with partners to try to alleviate it the best we can. >> [indiscernible] [laughter] >> no. i do not think i will. >> i wanted to ask you about a military surplus sales to domestic police departments, particularly was going on in ferguson, missouri now. there has been criticism from in numbers of congress about the increase of militarization of domestic police forces, with some saying that the oversight of this program is not up to where it should be. i wonder if that is concerns that the secretary shares? >> there is a law enforcement support program that the defense department administers which provides to law enforcement agencies around the country surplus military equipment, gear, arms, ammunition, vehicles.
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this is a useful program that of militaryhe reuse command that otherwise would be disposed of that can be used by law enforcement agencies to serve their citizens. so the program serves a purpose. that said, it is up to law enforcement agencies to speak to they gain through this system, and i am not going to inject the pentagon into this discussion. to this equipment is used serve local citizens again is up for local law enforcement agencies to speak to. >> [indiscernible] of korea. what is your assessment of the kinds of the rockets or the locations or their intention?
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second one is, is do you think it will be a -- to the bigger one as we have a military exercise between the u.s. and korea next week? >> do i think there's going to be a bigger launch -- i'm not going to speak to north korean intentions. i think it is an exercise in futility to try to figure out does ands kim kjojong un why. my guess is the pope worries about higher authority than kim jong un./ i'm not going to speculate about what they did or why. what i'm going to say is what is continued say, north korea needs to meet its obligations. the other thing i would say is regardless, our treaty commitments, one of five of seven treaty alliances we have
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is to the south korean government, and we take very seriously our commitment to security on the pencil. nothing will change all that, and it will not affect our desire and intent to continue to exercise and work on interoperability with our south korean counterparts. >> you said earlier the process for access to this. pile of weapons for israel is under review or will be under review. what is the -- can you speak to what the process is now? for instance, the israelis want access to it. can that axis be granted by this department alone, or do you have to refer to the white house, the state? is that the thing you are looking at with this review? >> if i did not say he was under review, and if that is the way came across, let me correct it. that is not how i put it. what i said was there is a normal process for the provision for a military sales program to
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wasel and the resupply that done a couple of weeks ago was under that process. givenaid, it makes sense the situation that exists now. i know there has been a cease-fire, another one, but it certainly makes sense, given the current conditions and operational tempo, it make sense for us to assess and review the process through which those foreign military sales are provided. that is all i got. thanks, everybody. appreciate it. >> tonight on c-span, the national association of black journalists on the relationship between government and the news media. how "the newut york times" response when the government asks it to hold off
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on publishing a story. here's a look. >> it used to be the government would say if you publish the story, it violates national security and somebody would get killed. that is not good enough for me. , i want toear who hear the specifics. obviously, i do not mean tell me how they're going to get killed. i mean, tell me what you mean. i really want to know. you mean a case officer in tehran, and tell me how. second thing is that i always to mount -- i always demand a request to hold back comes from someone very high in the government. person asks for it, i will not even take the call. it has got a call from somebody in the white house. it has got to come from the head of the cia. it has got to come from the head of the nsa. it cannot come from a press person. when you say that, by the way, half of all requests go away,
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because they are not quite willing to ratchet it up that high. i always insist they ratchet it up that high off of very specific proof. still, mostsay, of the time ago with the store. but if somebody -- or there are stories we have helped over the years, stories that have met that standards, yes. >> more from the conference of the national association of black journalists tonight at 8:00 eastern here on c-span. book fairs and festivals. on c-span3, american history tv on world war ii. >> here is a great read to add. eight," a collection of stories of some of the nation's most influential people
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over the last 20 years. it, because to take whether it is an illusion or not, i think it is. it helped my concentration. it stopped me being bored. stopped other people from being boring commit to some extent. it would keep me awake. it would enhance the moment. if i was asked what i do it again, the answer is probably yes. i would have quit earlier possibly, hoping to get away with the whole thing. it sounds irresponsible if i say i would do that all again, but the truth is it would behave are critical for me to say i would never touch the stuff if i had known, because i knew. >> the soviet system in he soon europe contains the seeds of its own destruction. many of the problems reside the and begin at the very beginning. i spoke already about the
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attempt to control all institutions and control all parts of the economy and political life and social life. one of the problems is when you do that, when you try to control everything, then you create opposition and potential dissidents everywhere. if you tell all artists to paint the same way, and if artists say they want to paint another way, you have made it into a political dissident. >> if you want to subsidize housing, put it on the balance sheet and make it clear and ident and make everywhere of how much it is costing. it available through public company with private shareholders and executives that extract that
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subsidy for themselves, that is not a very good way of subsidizing homeownership. a few of the 41 engaging eight,"in "sundays at now available at your favorite bookseller. times" wask subpoenaed to testify at a trial of a former cia officer. he has refused to name the source. he was there for part of the discussion today at the institute for public accuracy. this is an hour, 10 minutes. >> good afternoon. i am president of the national press club, and i'm pleased to welcome everyone on a day that is important to press freedom of this country, both regarding the in case and what is
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happening in ferguson, missouri, where journalists are on the frontline trying to cover news developed in the most moment -- oft o difficult circumstances. the national press club expressed its turnabout to theorters covering unrest were detained by police officers before being released. other reports backed up by video taken during the disturbances show some television crews were hampered by authorities from doing their professional duties rate this is all unacceptable, and we urge the police and other authorities in ferguson to let the journalists carry out their professional mission to report the news in an unfettered manner, to do otherwise is a violation of the freedom of press enshrined in the first amendment of our bill of rights. also, unacceptable, very much,
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also unacceptable is the threat the prison being faced by james risin because of his work as professional journalists. this morning a petition signed by more than 100,000 persons was delivered to the department of justice to clearing we support james because we support a free press. those petitioners significantly include 20 pulitzer prize winners who declared their support for him who is referred using to name a source for information about a bundled cia operation in iran that appears in his 2006 book "state of war. co.-- war." we are pleased to could be with us today. the national press club presented an award in 2012 for career supporting material the government would prefer to keep
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from public view. botchedveillance to the attempt to give iran weapons, and for resisting government attempts for revealing his confidential sources. i am proud that the national press club, through its act of freedom of the press committee, has continued to support him as well as today's petition. i would like to introduce norman andon, cofounder of -- executive director of the institute for public accuracy. he is the author of a dozen books on media and public policy and is a recipient of the annual award as well as the george orwell award. has coordinating the campaign in support of james risen. -- mr. sullivan?
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[laughter] -- [applause] >> thank you. in the room, because it was 60 years ago that impresses most well-known and well remembered tv broadcasts, murrow said we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. he said that at a time when it was essential for journalists to step forward to lance a boil of fear and intimidation that had gripped official washington for years and the entire country as well. here we are in 2014 and the events today are part of i think a very strongly accelerating effort across this country to
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lance a boil of fear and intimidation. anymore so much of a chilling effect. we talk about a freezing effect. we talk about ice cubes that congeal. we talk quite properly and accurately about an obama administration that seems determined to gut the meaning of the first amendment. as the petition that we presented this morning to the department of justice spells out, is really the functionality of the first amendment that matters. it is a brief petition that i would like to read the entire brief text to you. obama and attorney general holder, your effort to hisel james risen to reveal
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sources is an assault on freedom of the press. without confidentiality, journalism would be reduced to official stories in situation antithetical to the first amendment. we urge you in the strongest terms to halt all legal action against mr. risen and safeguard the freedom of journalists to maintain the confidentiality of their sources. and its myron mentioned, was 14 on monday, the statements released on that day, and since then there have been six more who have approached us to add their individual statements, all of them are posted at roo let me just briefly emphasize that the names on the petition we dropped off, and they are on screen, they are not just names.
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they are an activist network. we know how to reach them. we have everybody's e-mail addresses. we are just getting started here. it is all about organizing at thisbilizing the pressure that will be necessary to turn around what is truly a deteriorating, dreadful situation. the many organizations involved are only in part represented here, and folks we are going to hear from today are speaking for just one -- or a few of the many groups that are involved. and i want to emphasize really that we are embarked now on something that might be a collisiond, between an administration that and agood and does bad thatized citizenry
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increasingly understands what is at stake. today really marks the culmination of one phase of that growing effort and the initiation of the next. so we are going to move ahead now with this news conference. another part of this effort to boil ofat boiled of -- fear and intimidation that is in doing so much damage to democracy in our country. i would like to now introduce greg leslie. director legal defense for freedom of the press. he has been an attorney since 1994 there and served as the legal director since 2000. he supervises the journalism hotline services and is regularly interviewed by journalists on law topics.
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he has served a lot of positions, a member of the aba fair trial and free press task force, and many other positions. before entering law school he worked as a research director for washington business and political magazine, and here he is, mr. leslie. [applause] thank you, and i happy to be here to support james risen and to encourage the department of justice to stop its efforts to compel and to testify. at the reporters committee, we have been actively involved in this case from the start, and we have been working with the department perform of its own guidelines regarding media subpoenas. while that can feel like a sisyphean task, it is critical to engage with the government on these issues. even incremental progress is something.
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but ultimately, threats like these from the federal government must be addressed right enactment of a meaningful shield law that recognizes that reporters need to be independent of the judicial system, not because they are above the law, or because they want to avoid the burden of participating in the legal system, because journalism needs that independence to truly help hold the government accountable to the people. the reporters committee was founded in 1970 over this very issue, the threats to reporters from subpoenas that led to the branzburg hays case. in a decade that followed, there were almost 100 journalist shield bills introduced. gifford was taken up again in earnest after the salary plane incident in which -- plame in dith miller spent days in jail. those efforts started then are
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ongoing. it takes a while to get these things through cards. in 2007 the house approved a shield bill. when that did not pass to the senate in 2009, a similar bill passed on a voice vote under a suspension of rules, meaning it was so noncontroversial that a roll call vote was not needed. the senate has not pass such a bill, but in 2009 the judiciary committee sent a bill to the floor that failed to win a place debate onendar, as obamacare took over the agenda. that kind of sidetracked things for a while. the latest attempt passage of a journalist shield bill came after last summer's disclosure of a subpoena of phone records to track down an operation in yemen and the relation that the department of justice had successfully obtained a search warrant of a fox news reporter's account, by telling a
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court that he was involved in a crime at the very least either as an aider, abettor, or co-conspirator. that was really something for the government come out and say reporter by asking a source, asking a government employee for information was guilty of aiding, abetting, or cooks inspiring in an espionage when the actions against apn fox news in july, president obama ordered attorney general holder to review policies into the reportwork and was released to the president in july last year. while it offered provisions to make it more difficult for prosecutors and at least lead to greater notifications to journalist before their third-party records were subpoenaed, we knew at the same time that of ce


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