tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 9, 2014 9:00pm-11:01pm EDT
nothing to do with sergeant bergdahl. this has to do with an accident -- an action that the president took. sergeant bergdahl, we are all happy that he is home and we are glad he is here. his case will be taken care of separately. something call to do for the president, the president has not asked us to do anything. we will see what he has to say and then we will see about how we move forward. i'm not an attorney. my good friend from washington is a great attorney. i recall when we had secretary commentd he made the that he thought what they did was within the law, and my good friend responded, here is the way it works. bill,esident signed the said he disagreed with it, but that does not change it, it still the law until it's
challenged in courts. yields time i'm happy to to my good friend from the other side of the aisle, from georgia, two minutes. the gentleman from georgia. >> the gentleman from georgia is recognized for two minutes. under current law, the president is required to notify congress prior to releasing any prisoners from guantánamo bay. unfortunately, he failed to do that. although i'm grateful to sergeant -- that sergeant bergdahl has been reunited with his family, i strongly disagree with the president's decision to negotiate with terrorists.
has happened in american history over and over again. we should move on. we should let the military do whatever disciplinary proceedings are going to do with sergeant bergdahl. >> we should let the military act as they deem appropriate in terms of sergeant bergdahl's actions in the middle east. an impeccable military history, in my opinion one of the most outstanding individuals i've had the privilege to meet in washington dc. he testified honestly and sincerely. let's move on. let's accept his explanation. disagreeing with it if we honestly feel that he acted improperly, but the fact of the matter is he acted pursuant to the constitution. it's time for this congress to focus on real issues that have real effect on the american
people. i yield back the balance of my time. the gentleman from california is recognized. colorado.tleman from >> the gentleman from colorado is recognized for two minutes. >> i rise in strong support of hr 644. the president's actions in unilaterally swapping five taliban members for american prisoner swept away a decades-old policy of not negotiating with terrorists. -- thelicy prevents president's actions lead to an open season on americans all over the world. are we now in the business of negotiating with terrorists? is ice is up next at the bargaining table with this administration? these are senior taliban detainees, not know level -- not low-level foot soldiers. this is unacceptable.
the president's actions were troublesome because he did not inform congress prior to making the swap. even the independent government accountability office explicitly said this exchange broke the law. some will try to say this is just part -- partisan rhetoric. the way this was done further erodes the working relationship between the president and congress. the president asked congress to enact and pass bills, but how can we trust him in the legislation when time and time again he has abused that trust? and we know he's not just going to ignore the next law we sent him. we are a nation that believes in the rule of law. we have a conversation a flaw and a congress that is in this case the law was broken and congress cannot remain
silent. i urge every one of my colleagues to support this mportant resolution. >> the gentleman from washington >> thank you mr. speaker. how much time is remaining? >> gentleman from washington has seven minutes remaining. the gentleman from california has ten minutes. >> gentleman is recognized for two minutes >> the issue negotiating with terrorists misses the fact this happened on the battle field. five taliban commanders were captured on the battle field. this was a prisoner exchange as has happened in every war we have fought. now a slightly different situation because the taliban are now out of power and not actually fighting a government at this point. we are fighting a group of insurgents. but, nonetheless, he was captured on the field of battle as were the five taliban commanders. this was a prisoner exchange. to equate this with negotiating with terrorists misses the point. we were exchanging prisoners
not dealing with a straight terrorist situation. i don't think it sets that precedent at all. i think we need to be aware that that was what the president was facing. it was the ex- -- was the exchange a good deal? highly debatable. i'm glad i wasn't the commander in chief having to make that call facing the deteriorating help from -- and wondering if the five taliban soldiers were worth saving his life. these decisions are made all the time. i would remind you benjamin netanyahu no shrinking violet when it comes to terrorism once exchanged over a thousand palestinian prisoners for two israeli soldiers. because that was the prisoner exchange. that was bringing home the people that israel wanted brought home. it wasn't easy. so this is not simply a matter of, you know, negotiating with terrorists or giving away prisoners. it was a difficult choice of what you do to bring your own soldier home. a difficult choice that every president or prime minister
whose country is engaged in warfare has to face. i don't think we should diminish the difficulty or the importance of that decision. i reserve the balance of my time >> the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized >> mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to my friend and colleague the gentle lady from indiana. >> gentle lady from indiana is recognized for two minutes >> thank you. i rise in support of resolution 644 for which i'm a proud cosponsor. this bipartisan bill condemns and disapproves the obama administration's failure to comply with the lawful requirement to notify congress before releasing individuals detained at guantanamo bay and expresses national security concerns over the effects of releasing five taliban leaders in negotiating with terrorists. our constitutional system of checks and balances maintains a separation of powers that ensures congress is involved in major decisions that affect our country's national security. i have serious concerns when the president deliberately ignores congress, negotiates with terrorists, and violates
the law which requires that he consult with congress before releasing detainees. those five taliban leaders that were released are already responsible for the deaths of many americans. in 2010 they were determined too dangerous to transfer by president obama's own task force. one of the five had ties to bin laden himself and another is wanted for war crimes by the united nations. unfortunately there is a good chance these five terrorists will return to the radical jihaddist fight against american and our western allies. nearly 30% of detainees reengage in terrorist activity after being released. any major decision of war and peace, congress must have a say because the american people must have a voice. as we continue to face many tough decisions over how to best protect americans at home and abroad congress should be an active participant in decision making. i'll continue to work hard to make sure our homeland remains safe interest terrorist attacks. i'll urge my colleagues to support this resolution and i yield back the balance of my time >> the gentleman from washington is recognized >> i reserve
>> gentleman from washington reserves. gentleman from california. >> mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to my friend and colleague, member of the foreign affairs committee, gentleman from florida. >> gentleman from florida is recognized for two minutes >> mr. speaker, seems to me you have two issues here. one congress which we have an enumerated power to make rules for detainees captured on land and water. then you also have the as the gao report pointed out a funding prohibition that withheld funds contingent on the president providing that notification. and as madison said in federal papers the power of the purse is the most effectual weapon we have in terms of vindicating the interests of our constituents. so whatever the president's article two power is, clearly, if we remove the funding, then he is not able to do that through the executive branch. so the question is, knowing that, why go ahead and do it? why not comply with both the
statute and the funding restriction? i think the reason is because they knew this would not be popular with the american people. one of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle said well this statute really shouldn't apply in this situation because hard liners in the enemy camp can knicks the deal. i got news for you, mr. speaker. the hard liners were the subject of the deal. i served in guantanamo for a time. the bush administration released detainees who they thought may not have been a danger anymore. nobody would have even suggested that this taliban five did not represent a danger to our national security. here we have an instance where congress clearly exercised its authority in order to check the president on an issue with, in terms of the terrorist detainees, that his views are quite frankly not representative of the american people as a whole. e did that legitimately.
this president decided to flagrantly violate the lawful action we took. i urge support for this resolution and yield back the balance of my time >> the gentleman from washington? >> i continue to reserve >> gentleman from washington continues to reserve. the gentleman from california is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to my friend and colleague, gentleman from illinois. >> the gentleman from illinois is recognized for two minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of this resolution. the release of the taliban five in violation of a law that president obama himself signed is among the greatest examples of this administration's disregard to the constitution. it reflects contempt for this congress. and for the people who are represented here. worst of all, his actions have emboldened islamic militants and endangered american service personnel and civilians around the world. five years ago when i first came to congress, the president announced his intentions to
close the terrorist detention facility at guantanamo bay. the justice department went shopping for a prison back in my state of illinois to relocate those most dangerous and hardened enemy combatant from the wars in afghanistan and iraq. back then, democrats had a majority in this house and a super majority in the united states senate. but even then, the president could not get authority from this congress, controlled by his party, in both chambers, to empty guantanamo and move terrorists even detained back here to the united states soil. now, it's one thing for the president to defy any old law. it's another thing for the president to defy the very laws that he, himself, signed into law. so president obama has gone even further. by refusing to notify congress of his intention to open the gates at gitmo and thus avoiding the anticipated political pressure that his
carelessness would invite, the president had done the unthinkable. he negotiated with terrorists. plain and simple. i would say that he abused the office and the power which comes with it except in this case he has done something that he doesn't even have the power to do. now, tonight the president will address the nation about his latest strategy to deal with islamic jihaddists but i would suggest the world has seen enough of how this administration deals with terrorists and nothing he says tonight can hide the growing sense among jihaddists around the world that they finally have an american president who will negotiate with them. it's important for congress to tell the world where we stand. i urge my colleagues to vote yes on today's resolution. i yield back. >> the gentleman's time is expired. members are reminded to refrain from engaging in perments against the president. gentleman from washington. >> i have to ask. what is a personality against the president? just for point of
clarification. ersonal attacks perhaps? dd >> they're not allowed to engage in personal remarks related to the president >> okay. thank you. dd >> i yield three minutes to the gentle lady from texas >> the gentle lady from texas is recognized for three minutes. >> i think it is important to take note of the importance of the debate and as well respect that we as members of congress owe each other and owe this institution. i've long said longevity comes not only because of the democratic principles of our constitution but because there is the ground work of the founding fathers and those who took to the floor this -- of this place to debate such
raging issues as the question of slavery in the 1800 east. each time we are given the microphone i think we should adhere to the respect and each time we put our pen to paper to create legislation it should equally be based on the grounds of respect and understanding of the constitutional divisions of the three branches of government. today i think we have failed. today i believe that this is -- >> sorry. some sort of argument going on in the back of the chamber if e can bring that down. >> please take the conversation off the house floor. >> sorry . we bothering you?
>> continue. >> we thank the ranking member for his courtesy. this is as i said a personal attack against the president. if we would read the resolution, we would see five items that completely dictate the failure of the obama administration. now, let me say that all of us concede the point that section 1035 that was added under the obama administration in 2012 or more recently does require or ask the president to give a 30-day notice to congress. the president has been very clear on his intent to close guantanamo. many of us have been to guantanamo. but the issue before us was not an effort to close guantanamo. and so to suggest that there was malicious intent of the president is from my perspective showing disrespect and dishonor to us, the
institution, and the three branches of government. let me be very clear. there is a debate on the powers that the president has. the war powers. some say there is a statute that he had to notify us. but there was an explanation and this very strong committee, the armed services committee with the chairman who i respect, the ranking member, had a very thorough hearing. that many of us were able to read some of the transcripts where the secretary of defense came and explained and i think one of the key elements for me as a member of homeland security is that the secretary made it very clear that this was a military operation with very high risk spoken by secretary hagel on june 11, 2014, and a very short window of opportunity that we didn't want to jeopardize. both for the sake of sergeant bergdahl of which there is a sentence that congratulates us for not leaving our precious treasure behind, and our operators in the field who put
themselves at great risk to secure this concern. there are those of us who remember that brief glimpse we had of the rescue. our men and women swooped down and picked up sergeant berg dahl dahl. it was a military action. this was an unnecessary resolution, mr. speaker. it is condemning wrongly the president had authority and he explained what the action was. >> time has expired. genett l lady's time is expired. gentleman from california is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i rechoir, how much time is left? >> gentleman from california has four and a half minutes remaining. the gentleman from washington has two and a half minutes remaining >> we have just one more speaker. you know, the inference has been that this happened on a
spur of the moment and they didn't have time to tell congress. these negotiations on this transfer went on for months. 80 to 90 people have admitted they told in four of the departments, the executive branch but not one member of congress in compliance with the law. at this time we reserve, mr. speaker. >> gentleman from california reserves. gentleman from washington is recognized >> you're prepared to close? i yield myself the balance of our time >> gentleman is recognized. >> on the last point about the people who were noticed and how long this was going on for, yes the negotiations were going on for around three years. the timeliness came in when they actually had a deal. and the president's concern was once they got to the point where they had the deal, that if that, the details of it had been leaked, it would have nixed the deal and they were deeply concerned about sergeant bergdahl's health. this was an extraordinarily
difficult call. i don't know if i would have done this deal or not. it is hard. the commander-in-chief has that responsibility. as i mentioned other leaders throughout the world including prime mints netanyahu gave up a thousand prisoners in exchange for two israeli soldiers. those choices are very difficult and i'm certain those thousand palestinians who were released posed some risk to israel. that is the decision they made and the decision the president made. this is not primarily about whether the deal should have been done but whether we should condemn the president for a clear violation of the law. i have simply come back to the fact that this president has only done what every other president before him did in exercising his article two authority under his interpretation and every previous executive's that this was legal. it has been implied throughout this resolution that the president looked at the law and said i'm just not going to follow it. that's not what he did. he did what every president before him has done. he said, i -- he believed it was within his legal authority to make this decision.
to put forward a resolution that says he didn't, that says he intentionally broke the law, i think, is wrong on its face. this president made a determination about his article two authorities and went forward with it. he did not knowingly violate the law. secretary hagel has explained that again. i said a little while ago that president bush did the exact same thing. violated any number of different laws and said article 2 was the reason. we've been told that was years ago. you know, i don't know what we would have done then. i offered up the opportunity for anybody on the other side to, as roundly criticize and condemn president bush for those actions. now that we're here, haven't heard. hasn't been said. all of which leads us to the inescapable conclusion that this is more partisan than principle. this president is the one who is being condemned by a republican congress. all the other presidents who have done it, we're just not going to do anything about that. and that leads to the belief this is a partisan action. now, i think congress should --
we had great hearings on this. we should have. we brought in secretary hagel. he explained himself. we criticized some of those decisions. that is appropriate. this resolution is unprecedented and once again shows this body has become more partisan than principled and i urge everyone to reject the resolution >> the gentleman from california is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i'm leaving congress at the end of this year. i'm sure at home i'll still be president r blame on bush for at least the next two years. you know, one thing we can't escape the fact that this went on for months. even though they had to make a critical, last-minute decision, they still had time to notify 80 to 90 people in the executive branch and not one member of the house of representatives or the u.s. senate in accordance with the law. mr. speaker, i am proud to yield at this time to give
concluding remarks on this debate to the vice chairman of the armed services committee, the gentleman from, well, something else here. he's also chairman of the subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities. the gentleman from texas. >> the gentleman from texas is recognized. >> how much time remains? >> thank you. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i commend the gentleman from virginia for introducing this measure and for shepherding through the committee and on to the house floor. mr. speaker, i think that it's important for us to vote on this measure really for two reasons. one is that it's important for congress to speak clearly and directly when a president violates the law. now, that's exactly what gao said the administration did. they violated section 811.
8111. it is true throughout the country's history there have been differences of opinion about the constitutionality of various provisions of law. i think it is fairly rare, however, that a president has chosen to violate a provision that is as clear as this one. there were no waiver authority, no ambiguity, no matter of interpretation. the law was clear. it says if you're going to transfer swb from guantanamo bay you got to give at least 30 days' notice. they did have meetings within the administration that discussed whether to follow that 30-day requirement and they decided not to do it. so it was a clear cut decision, not to follow the law. in addition to that the point was made by the gentleman from florida that they also violated the antideficiency act. now, there's never been a dispute about the ability of congress to put conditions on funding and yet by carrying out this action they spent funds
for which they were not, they were not authorized to spend. which also violated a separate law. and they didn't have to tell everybody. they could have just told the speaker and majority leader. i think they're pretty safe at keeping secrets and, yet, the president chose not to. the rule of law is important. it is fundamentalal to our system. and so it's important to speak clearly on that. here is the second reason. the constitution gives congress a variety of powers related to national security. but carrying out those powers, whether it's oversight of the money we spend, oversight of the operations, making decisions to authorize the use of military force all of that depends on congress having accurate, timely information. and this decision, not to follow the law, undercuts the trust that is required between the military and the
intelligence community and the congress in carrying out our responsibilities. tomorrow night we're all going to listen to the president as he, hopefully, gives us his goals and strategy for achieving the goals to diminish and destroy isol. but all of that is possible only if there is an exchange of information so that we can carry out the responsibilities that the constitution puts upon us. when we don't have trust, that the president and the military following his orders or the intelligence community following his orders are giving us that information, then we can't have trust that we have the ability to carry out our duties under the constitution. on a bipartisan basis, in the last several years, we have set up oversight structures on cyber, on terrorism, on sensitive military operations, that allow the military to operate in a complicated world but give us the ability to get the information to carry out the oversight that we have to
have. that's the other reason this is important. this undermines that trust that is necessary for an executive and legislative branch to defend the country in a complex world. and for that reason, i think it's important for us to speak clearly about it because there are going to be more instances in the days ahead and we need, we deserve to have full information. i yield back. >> tonight on c-span, vice president biden on the 20th anniversary of the violence against women act. british foreign secretary philip hammond on efforts to stop the militant group isis. then senators bill nelson and tim kaine on what the u.s. responds to -- the u.s. esponse to isis should be. the house homeland security subcommittee on border security examines the domestic threat posed by the militant group isis. live coverage tomorrow beginning at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 3.
>> with congress back in session here is a message from one of the student cam competition winners. >> water. it makes up 75% of our body. take water away, and humanity would perish within a week. water is the most vital substance to a human body yet it is because of us humans that nearly 50% of all streams, lakes, bays, and estuaries are unsuitable for use due to pollution. in the u.s. we have learned to take water for granted. faucets and bottled water and flush toilets lead to the same is an unlimited resource. but step outside and the diminishing condition tells a different story. water pollution kills marine
life, destroys ecosystems, and disrupts an already fragile food chain. animals are not the only ones that suffer the negative effect f water pollution. congress, in 2014 we must provide federal funding to waste water treatment agencies across the country. it's the negligence of generations and it must stop here. >> join us wednesday during "washington journal" for the theme of the 2015 c-span student cam documentary competition. >> when joe biden was in the u.s. senate, he was the chief sponsor of the violence against women act. today the vice president spoke at an event commemorating the 20th anniversary of its passage. he talked about the difficulties in getting the law passed and current efforts to stop domestic violence. from the national archives in washington, this is an hour. >> good afternoon. i'm pleased to be here today with all of you on the 20th
anniversary celebration of the violence against women act. for thousands of women, children, and families this law matters. i have survived domestic violence and understand all too well the emotional, physical, and financial toll it takes on individuals. i also saw the price it exacted on my son. in 1992, after 13 years of abuse when i realized it was happening to my son and i, i realized that the man i married was not the person i had such hope and love for and fear became an every day event. i could not endure it any longer. i decided to leave, knowing i was risking my life. but the option was not leaving, the threats, the violence, and control and the day-to- day distress were no longer acceptable to me. after i made the decision to leave it took two years of planning our escape before i actually left. for those in this room you understand that. because i was fully aware of the situation escalating and it
did. over the next few months my husband then harassed and stalked and even kidnapped me at one point. soon after he found me again, shot me, and left me for dead. he eventually took his own life. i look back on that time and wonder how it might have been different for me if the law had been in place. if it had, my own level of awareness of what was happening would have been different. i did not know there was a name for what was happening to me. domestic violence. at that time there was no national domestic violence hot line. law enforcement was under equipped to understand and assist appropriately. domestic violence shelters and programs were under resourced and there were not enough of them. in 1992, prosecutors and courts did not have the personnel or skills needed to assist survivors. to be clear, those that did provide services and assistance during that year of my life did the best they could. i feel fortunate to be here today still healing, still
growing. i am fully aware there are too many to name who helped me at that time. this has made a positive difference in the lives of many but we are also very aware there is still more to do. far too many are still suffering and trying to break free from the violence in their lives. 20 years ago while i and thousands of others were seeking safety there was a person already campaigning the idea women and children have a right to be safe and free from violence. at the helm of this idea and movement while still holding hands with many individuals and organizations, the person who had been most instrumental in moving this forward is our vice president joe biden. [applause] > thank you.
folks, there are heroes and here are heroes. my son after a year in iraq came home and with so many of his comrades that came back, we understand how the violence they witnessed and some endured ow that had great, significant, and negative impact on their lives. ruth is one of those tens of thousands of women who every her life before she left and even after she left was as much as being a prisoner of war, was as much as worrying about whether or not her captor was going to walk into your cell and physically abuse you. i tell you what.
there are so many, so many we owe an ruth that incredible debt of gratitude to. and you're a remarkable person, ruth. you really are. my guess is having gone through some interesting things myself that every time you stand up and talk about it, it all comes back. it's not a distant memory. it can be brought up in an instant. so thank you for having the courage to continue to do it. this beautiful, bright woman to my left is my daughter. well my daughter-in-law, technically. but she is my daughter, kathleen. the reason i asked her, she is embarrassed by doing this, whether she'd come up is to let you know like all of you this is sort of stamped into our dna.
kathleen volunteers with delaware volunteer lawyers program. they have a thousand volunteers . and has raised money and given her time and effort to help change the lives of a lot of women. my son has started one of those advanced victim units as attorney general, as we used to say in the senate, excuse the point of personal privilege, but i'm proud. my daughter who has her aster's in social work, runs a foundation for at risk youth and focuses on teaching young men about what they should be, what they should understand about violence against women. and so kathleen's husband hunter is chairman of the world food program usa but also volunteers his time, everything
from shelters to gathering up lawyers to represent women. i just wanted you to see that the reason why we're eventually -- the reason why we're going to eventually win this whole battle that you helped start, is because of young women and men like the ones i mentioned and all of you in the audience. so i just wanted to really just brag a little bit about you. [applause] i'm sorry i'm late. as a way -- the white house senior staff can tell you it is all the president's fault. really not. -- i was actually
rewriting a little piece of this speech. on your chairs, i think you may have been given a copy of one is too many, 20 years of fighting against violence against women and girls. victoria nurse, professor nurse, who was on my staff led on, my council now, that effort. and then there is a larger ersion of that same study that has more detail. the reason i mention it is one of the things i think we're all committed to making sure never happens is that somehow we get to a point where we think we've passed this law and now we're finished. not even close to being finished. i should have thanked david and everyone here at the national archives for your hospitality. most of all, thank all of you assembled here.
there are too many people to acknowledge. courageous survivors, dedicated advocates. many old friends and some new friends. i want to thank you all for being able to celebrate this 20th anniversary of the violence against women act. i want to say you saw the video. where is sharon? thank you for being here, haron. sharon love started the one love foundation after her beautiful, bright daughter was killed by her ex-boyfriend at the university of virginia. and, sharon, you've changed the lives of thousands of young girls and women and you've given families hope. folks, even just 20 years ago, few people wanted to talk about violence against women as a national epidemic. let alone something, to do something about. no one even back then denied
that kicking your wife in the stomach or smashing her in the face or pushing her down the tairs in public was repugnant. but our society basically turned a blind eye. hardly anybody ever intervened other than my father and a few other people i knew. and no one, virtually no one called it a crime. it was a family affair. it was a family affair. laws, state laws when we attempted at a state or federal level to design laws to prevent actions that were said that we now are celebrating, we were told -- i was told, many of us were told that it would cause the disintegration of the family. that was the phrase used. it would cause a disintegration
of the family. we talked about giving those women a way out, a shelter. i and others were told the shelters were nothing more than indoctrination centers. this is 20 years ago. indoctrination centers. as they say, it's in the record. indoctrination centers. and too many women, too many women were afraid to call the police. why wouldn't you call the police? well because then you'd have to stand in front of your husband and say, he did this. knowing, knowing that within an and o a day he'd be back you'd have a problem. why don't they call? why don't they just fight back? i'd say all you men in here who are on the right side of this
issue, i say speaking to chambers of commerce and all men's groups, as some folks in here from delaware know, i did all up and down our state at the time, i'd say how many of you guys when the bully knocked you down in the school yard to take your lunch money knew what your father and mother told you? just punch him in the nose. make his nose bleed and he'll stop. please stand up any of you who had the courage to do that. tell me. ho among you did that? when in the hell do you expect pounds ho is 52i, 105 6 foot 9 man who is and 190 pounds? there was nowhere to go for advice and help. no national hotline like today. few police departments had trained personnel. special victims' units like we see in tv today like law and
order and sbu and the star in that has been a great, great advocate for us. she deserves a round of applause. [applause] but the god's truth was the police officers, male and female police officers, as well as prosecutors and even judges were not trained to understand this wasn't a family matter. this was the ugliest form of iolence that exists. as a consequence everyone seemed content to keep this dirty little national secret hidden away in the closet. even our legal system. as a matter of fact, as we learned there were scores of states that had written into their laws the basic presumptions that if a woman was raped or beaten or abused
by her husband or someone she knew, she must have done something wrong. we had a law in delaware i didn't even know about until i you this law that said if were brutally raped by a stranger and he was convicted it can be first degree rape with a severe penalty. but if you knew him, if you knew him, and he was as brutal as a stranger rape, he could not under the law be convicted of first degree rape. the implicit assumption that you should have known better. there must have been something. somehow a lesser crime to rape a woman if she was a voluntary -- this is a term of art in the laws -- voluntary social companion.
in effect date rape was not rape. not rape at all. and the idea of equal protection under law was totally disregarded. in some states ingrained in their statute was the 800-year-old common law notion that women were property. for example, in texas and other states if a man's wife left him, or was seen with another man, the husband could shoot the other man or shoot the ife's lover. for infidelity. never go to jail on the theory that killing was the protection of his property. his wife. 20 years ago. not when the declaration was signed. 20 years ago.
nstead of murder, that was manslaughter for a so-called provocation defense. term of art. there is a tragic history about how women in our society are treated and how they're viewed. i will not go into it in the interests of time. you all know the origin of the phrase "rule of thumb." the size of a rod that you can beat your wife with. it was larger than that, it was a crime. 14th century england. that was the background. when i wrote the violence against women act in 1990. i say when i wrote i don't mean that in a possessive way. i wrote it because there wasn't a lot of support to write it at the time. for a whole lot of reasons. i'm often asked by people who
don't know me, they have actually heard whispered last year when i had, once a year i have all of you to my home, was his mother beaten? was his wife victimized? was his sister? the answer is no. i was fortunate enough to be raised by a gentle, decent man, who ingrained in all of my siblings and me that the greatest abuse that can be committed by a man or woman was the abuse of power. and the cardinal sin among those abuses was the man that physically abused a woman or a child. he lived it. he meant it. believed it. this was a gentle man who called it barbaric. but i believed and so did my
incredible staff over 20 years ago that the only way to change this culture was to expose it. just as holmes once said. the best disinfectant is sun light. the best disinfectant is sun light. just shine a light on what happened to ruth and so many other women. and, by the way, abuse is an equal opportunity employer. doctors abuse. lawyers abuse. plumbers abuse. street people abuse. i found in all the time i've spent on this, i find no , stinction based on education background, economic standing.
matter of fact, some of the worst, most imprisoned women in america are women of so-called privilege. because it's not to be spoken f in polite society. , required to ok look in my view, required everybody to look at these vicious crimes straight in the eye, that's when things began to change. i said to ruth, i wasn't being fresh, i was giving her a hug and telling her how much i love her and how brave she was. i told you. i said, you'll now save everybody. you helped pull the band-aid off. you helped pull away the scab. that's why we held public
hearings. i actually had some senators say some of this is so salacious. we should do it in camera. we should do it not publicly. in secret. bring in witnesses. but build a record. it's too salacious. we had to let the nation know. i was absolutely convinced and remain absolutely convinced of the basic decency of the american people and if they knew they would begin to demand change. but one thing did surprise me. i expected resistance from the same quarters that held all this was a family affair. but i didn't expect resistance from my natural allies. national women's groups and national civil rights groups. i heard that video, gave me more credit than i deserved but
it was good that a plan did this. it wasn't thought that way at the time. why is biden doing this? is this about taking the eye off abortion? or about gender equality? what is this about? what's going on here? a lot of people in their perspective legitimately worried if we turned the nation's attention to this ugly little secret it would take focus off other priorities that were very important and remain very important. the leader of one of those civil liberties organizations actually told my staff that my preoccupation was, quote, a fad. this was a fad. i'm serious. even the organized federal and state judiciary took aim. then chief justice of the national conference laughed at the bill in 1991 at the state's judicial address calling it an open ended and he called the civil rights remedy so sweeping that it would involve the
federal courts in a whole host of domestic relationship disputes. off the record some judges said women will use this to leverage divorce settlements. the courts. but despite these road blocks and because of you we were convinced we could succeed if we painted a true picture of the scale and depth, scale of the violence and depth of the ignorance and stereotypes that were used to justify it. so we began this tedious process exposing this stain on our national character. it was a long journey, over four years. but a few seminole moments, i believed, turned the tide to get us to where we are today. observing the 20th anniversary of its passage. it came in the form of testimony before the committee broadcast to the whole nation. we called health professionals
who testified to the potentially lethal nature of this violence in the long-term psychological damage. we called advocates who testified to the desperate need of funding for shelters and educational programs. were the ve it life survivors who had the courage to testify. nicole snow on the video. she said when she came before the committee, and i quote, it's not the gory details they need to understand. it is the suffering. the loss of feeling control. the incredible self-shame and the disruption of the survivor's life that can't often be heard. then she asked the committee a powerful question. she said, how did i get this essage that it was my fault? how did i get this message that it was my fault? you see, she was brutally raped
when she was 15 years old by her boyfriend. she didn't testify to a deck -- until a decade later. how did i get the message that this was my fault? christine whose last name i will not use, i remember her testimony vividly. she testified as a powerful example to what nicole said. how did i get this message that it was my fault? she went to a small college in southwestern pennsylvania. i remember the name but i will not raise it right now. she was a freshman in college. she went to a fraternity party in january. her girlfriend's boyfriend offered to walk her home on a cold evening, but he said he needed to stop by his dorm to pick up a coat because it was so cold. she walked in with him. he dragged her into the room, and he raped her. i'll never forget what she said. she said, the first thing i did was run back to my dormitory on the fourth floor and go into a shower and take a scalding
shower. she said i was coming out. i saw a friend, a girlfriend who was walking in to use the bathroom. she asked me what happened. she said, i told her. and then she explained, you've been raped. and here's what she said in her sworn testimony. i did not even know i had been raped until she told me. that even though i knew him and was a friend of his, his violent act against me was still rape. a bright, educated woman who went on to graduate from the university of pennsylvania and is doing great things now. you may remember marla hannson, the bright, beautiful model who made a living with her face and her wits. she was in an apartment complex
in new york city in manhattan. she moved out because her landlord kept hitting on her. but she couldn't get back her rent deposit. she kept calling. finally he called and he said, all right. after you finish work tonight, meet me in the restaurant that's in the first floor of a manhattan apartment building. also has a bar. he brought the cash. but he asked her to step outside. and then he turned and walked away and two men slashed her face. you may remember the case. ecause she continued to refuse his advances. then there is chilly testimony. she said at her trial, quote, the defense attorney spent 20 minutes at the trial asking me, hy was i wearing a mini skirt?
it was viewed as an appropriate line of questioning. why? not why had those men slashed my face? and who paid for it? why was i wearing a mini skirt? the survivors and so many others whose stories are emblazoned on my mind help change the national conversation, not joe biden of the united states senate -- these survivors. staff -- my incredible staff, a lot of whom i brought back in, kathy russell secretary over at women's affairs at the state department,
professor victoria nurse who helped write legislation and i convinced her to come back as my chief counsel. because ashat i knew things begin to seem like they hadsputtering, we knew we to take this beyond what a lot of people are beginning to think was just celebrated instances of violence likely see in television today. .ot a pattern victoria had a brilliant idea. in order to demonstrate these were not isolated cases, she had the idea of putting together a report like the one i showed you and held up a moment ago. the report was called violence against women, and week in the life of america.
detailed 21 thousand -- 21,000 specific crimes against women that were reported every week in america at the time. a small slice of the 1.1 million murders and rape against women committed in their home reported to police that year. it does not tell the whole story. raped, there are seven that do not report it. that is a statistic from back then. these are stories of survivors. from all walks of life, all part of the country -- north, south, east, west, north west.
one young woman had her head put a workbench by her father crushing her skull as punishment. it was abuse. another who had both her arms broken with a hammer by her husband because she did not .espond quickly enough several others have their heads beaten by pipes by the men who professed the great love for them. in girl stabbed by her ex-boyfriend just released from prison for beating her before. , famousother cases journalists daughter who was a stayoverr having and her husband following her to massachusetts because there is
no computer system to be able to know it was done. they let him loose. he killed her. than anything, as we paint this honest picture of what's going on in america, public opinion began to change as more men -- i might add -- and women, but men spoke out as well. shifted. of the debate we were able to finally forge a national consensus, something of the this time had not been done. we proved it was not a fad. the domesticy violence coalition because we did not have the type of support needed from my allies. with the national group who did not want to focus on it. they were focusing on it. they saw people coming in every single day.
iny saw their faces, looked their eyes. would not get much progress here nationally so i started going around the country meeting with these groups. island toted to rhode meet with the rhode island coalition for domestic violence. [applause] [laughter] deb? it's been a long time, debbie. she met me in this thing cap will do some of her compatriot. they told me the story and i told them i needed help. remember? i said down there the national groups, they just think this is a diversion. i remember the look on your face. god, it's good to see you. it's been a long time. [laughter] i went to washington state and
then something began to happen. looke, the people who these women and children in the eye every day, they said, "w hoa." it all culminated in a meeting i called in my senate office on a famous table left to me by a senior senator, a conference table. national women's organization, civil rights group, civil liberties groups, all of them are my natural allies my whole career. i can tell where you were sitting. really do.-- i i remember every person in that room and where they were sitting at that table. plea. one last on the surface there were some legitimate concerns to increase the penalties for rape.
you don't want to did this, don't want to do that. no movement. finally -- it's why i love you is a quote.his what are we doing? remember that? you said what are we doing? everything changed. ellie.at moment, now at the time. everybody finally said, oh, god. you're right, ellie. not joe. ellie, you're right. [laughter] i'm serious. bruce is here. i don't know if pat is -- [applause] pat -- she's wonderful. she really is. [applause]
pat can tell you for sure the ending is it's great having a man doing this wasn't the case. i asked pat why. you said you don't understand. you explained it to me. it was a real insight for me. i do remember it. at any rate, it changed. the national association of women put together, i believe, 20,000ber was about volunteers. i don't remember exactly the number. i should know. everything began to change.
national association of women judges said they had enough area [applause] -- they had enough, remember? [applause] bill.ook issue with the prominent women lawyers stood up and -- guess what? they won. only ended up getting 61 votes. 39 people voted no. everyone looking for a great excuse from conservatives. "the federal court says this is a bad idea." this help, the bill could not stand on it's own because it included a provision that i'm sad is not in it. i had written in a civil rights provision. i wanted people to be able to take an troll of their lives. i wanted people to be able to, know what the product -- no
matter what the prosecutor said or did, i want them to be able to go to court and have them take away the car, the job, the because their civil rights have been violated. i could not get it passed on its own. what spent years writing became the biden crime bill that put 1000 cops on the street, prevention, all sorts of other things. we built such a constituency for sot so i knew it would pass i introduced it as an amendment to the crime bill. able to save were the civil rights provision. the bill passed and president clinton, i thank him for it. ,nd the attorney general usually weak senators pass bills.
we never implement them. actually let me implement and pick the first director and i went to bonnie campbell who you saw on the video. [applause] former tough lawyer, attorney general. she took the first office and became the director there at the justice department in six years later, justice rehnquist got his way, and part, with a 5-4 decision ruling the civil rights provision of the law was .nconstitutional i believe that was a tragedy and wrong, wrongly decided. i have not given up on that. we will get back to that later. [applause] but from the beginning we knew this was only beginning. we knew there would be continued
resistance. chief justice rehnquist, other conservative justices, struck it down on civil rights provisions. the rest of the law remained in place and the societal norms had begun to change. more has to change. reauthorization, we improve the law including protections for women. we added the definition of dating violence to protect women from violent boyfriends as we did more than dirty states followed. new training program for health care providers to screen for domestic abuse because we no long term and physical abuse over time is serious and continues to be so. according to the cdc just this past year, and other researchers, chronic stress from domestic violence is toxicity within the body. it is associated with long-term
health problems like asthma, diabetes, increase bursts of depression, alcohol, drug use. why are we surprised? we talked about posttraumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. why are we surprised? ago people said i was going overboard. i was not a doctor and did not have truth. all you had to do was understand other circumstances. in 2013, despite the new republican party obstruction, we made services available regardless of gender identity or sexual identification. [applause]
because of very strong women in the senate like patty murray and others, we also restored authority to indian tribes and indian nations. [applause] to prosecute non-indian abusers for domestic violence against native american women. what is happening as federal prosecutors were not going on the reservation. the cases were being dropped. they could not the tried and the courts but not anymore. i'm so grateful to all of you are making this and so much more happen. you saved lives. yearly domestic violence rates have dropped between 1993 and 2010 and you saved the nation billions of dollars, almost $13 billion in the inverted costs -- social, medical, lost
productivity, just in the last six years alone. equally as important, you .mproved our justice system high rates of conviction for special victims unit's, fundamental reforms in state laws. the national domestic hotline, ,hich i visit not infrequently had 3.4 million women and some men receive help. imagine the courage it takes. imagine the courage it takes when your abuser leaves the home and you scour up the courage to pick up the phone and say, "i -- i -- i need help. i need help. oh, my god. i hope he does not come back. i need help."
worry when the phone bill comes in if it will be recorded as a long-distance number. is an 800 number recorded? courage itible takes. learned that the road to completed wheny there's an actual conviction, actual proof. up to that point in our society it was he said-she said. the one thing i think all the women who have been abused in validudience would say is and of the fact that i was abused.
or if it was stranger raped, validation of the fact that i was abused in the man is no longer in society. most palliative thing that can happen for a woman's recovery. way, you've helped change the culture from refusal to intervene to responsibility to act. we have a long, long way to go but it has begun. on the president and i assumed ,ffice, as jen can tell you what do you want? i said i just want one thing. i want to be able to bring in the women's office inside my of theand the elements crimes inside my office. i was lucky. many of youal,
know, came in to run the operation. it makes a difference from the a cabinet member gets a phone call. i promise you. they are all good people. it changes the priority. it goes from maybe to a red light goes off. been 1000%nt has behind this. the president wrote the recovery act. in the midst of the worst we put 200n history, million dollars in to help state agencies who were being clobbered because of state budget being emasculated to keep them alive. it's fair to say i probably call
the first cabinet meeting in history to insist that every cabinet member focus on addressing violence against women, have a policy in their ,ffice that had no tolerance begin to figure out ways to help in college date rape campuses. i did not have to say much to arne duncan, did i? he's taken this to the place where it is probably not very popular, nor am i, with college presidents because they have an obligation to speak out. they have an obligation to become -- i remember she used to say -- to become sensitized. i'm serious. [applause] on so long because i feel so strongly but we modernized the definition of
great under the president's leadership and national crime statistics. we zeroed in on sexual assault and put in title mind to follow through. we have so much more to do because there is still sex bias that remains in the american criminal justice system dealing with stereotypes. she deserved it. she wore short skirts. we are not going to succeed until america embraces the notion, my father's notion, that under no circumstance does a man ever have a right to raise a hand to a woman other than in self-defense -- under no circumstances -- and no means know whether it's in the bedroom or on the streets, or in the back of a car. no means no. rape is rape. no exceptions.
we reach that point, we are not going to succeed. believe -- that we can get to that point. it is still imperfect but the change is real that's happened. i mentioned earlier about the civil rights call to action and i'm announcing the summit on an equal rights of protection for women to bring together the leading legal scholars to revisit the civil rights remedy and violence against women. [applause] i have hoped over the years -- [applause] we continue to make progress and still, in some places, it's a
dirty little secret. that it has made clear that you cannot talk about human rights, human dignity without talking about the right of every woman on the planet to be free from violence and free from fear. [applause] flows from theat docket behind me, the inalienable right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. it is in enshrined in every document we pay tribute to. it is the right that measures the character of the nation. it is the single most significant indirect way to measure the character of the nation. women isence against
no longer societally accepted and when we understand one case is too many, that's what i want to change. i cannot close without paying special thanks again to carol who has been with me on this journey for too many years. [applause] people like mary claire who flooded and burned-out in new orleans. she helped more than 1000 men, women, in children from counseling, legal aid, employment services all under a single roof. where are you? stand up. [applause] the good news is there are a lot mary's i did not
recognize. there are a lot and communities all across america. goings a fine that's not to stop, guys. it's not going to stop. it will not end the violence, but until we get to a point where women are treated equally, where we expelled from our that itsness the notion is ever the woman's fault -- ever the woman's fault -- until that happens we are not going to win. i believe it will happen because of young kids like kathleen, my daughter, so many of you young women and men in here. thank you. i love you. this is the most meaningful thing i've ever done. [applause]
i really do have to go meet with the president. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] next "washington journal," congresswoman gwen moore on domestic violence in the 20th anniversary of the violence against women act. infrastructure from terrorist attacks with trent franks. and the issues facing higher education with the university of nebraska interim president part of the c-span bus college tour of big ten schools. live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> this weekend on the c-span
networks, american history tv is live from baltimore's fort mchenry for the 200th anniversary of the star-spangled banner on c-span 3. later at 6:00 p.m., we will tour fort mchenry and here how the war came to baltimore in 1814, about the british garage and white francisco key was there to witness it. saturday night, former presidents your gw bush and bill clinton launches the presidential leadership scholars program. sunday afternoon, live coverage with comments from iowa democratic senator bob harkin and bill and hillary clinton. on c-span 2, on book tv, author ken silverstein on "the secret world of oil." from new yorkator kristin gillibrand on her life and politics and her call for women to rise up and make a difference in the world. find our television schedule on
c-span.org and let us know about the programs you're watching. call us. the e-mail us. or send us a tweet at #csp ancomments. join the conversation. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter. amann said airstrikes alone cannot defeat the islamist militant group isis. his comments were part of a broader hearing on bush foreign policy which also discussed israel, syria, iran, and the russian-ukrainian conflict. this is just under two hours. >> i welcome members of the public to the sitting of the foreign affairs select committee. this is one of our biannual meetings with the foreign secretary, the last of which took lace on the 20th of march. can i give a warm welcome to our
new foreign secretary? we tried a few times to get you while you are secretary of state . you are always taking off overseas but we are glad you are here. on behalf of the committee, i give you a warm welcome and congratulate you on your appointment. i hope you have been briefed on the groups we will ask you questions on. we will start with iraq and syria. perhaps you would like to talk error war insible syria and whether or not you think it is in our national interest to join in it. is aware,committee the united states is already carrying out air strikes in support of the iraqi security forces and the kurdish against isil. the prime minister has made clear that we were all nothing out. at this stage, there is not a specific task and therefore
nothing for us to consider. we are clear other has to be a comprehensive response for the tollenge posed by isil absolutely be clear that airstrikes alone, whoever they are delivered by, will not be the solution but it is possible that air activity could be part of a wider package which involves political initiative and crucially, must involve an iraqis led regionally supported operation on the ground to push back the games isil are playing. i infer for that you have had an informal task when you went to get all of your ducks in a row that you will get specific tasks? >> we have not had anything specific but it is well
understood by a group of like-minded nations that the u.s. is looking at developing a involve building a very wide coalition. secretary kerry and secretary hagel are in the gulf this week drumming up regional support. clear that the nato summit meeting last week that they hope for extensive nato support as well. they understand different nations will have different appetites and will want to contribute in different ways that will be a comprehensive response to the challenge of i ssil. >> there are some conversations
going on that would say that if asked, this is what we would like you to do. we have not? >> i think the united states is well aware that this is a very sensitive subject in this country. and that we will want to look at what kind of package of action is proposed in order to do with the challenge of isil. we want to think about how to effectively contribute to that. proposing allies are to do and thinking carefully about what decision -- position we should take. in this kind of situation where it would be premeditated involvement if we do decide involvement was appropriate. we would come back for debate on
that proposition. >> if it was deployed would it be because there would be a strategic difference to something the united states was doing or would be more a political gesture of support ?ch >> they have different niche capabilities. it is an extremely capable aircraft for the type of operation that the u.s. is currently carrying out. say, probably realistic to given the scale of the united rather than a shortage of military hardware.
>> the kurdistan regional government and the request for help and the iraqi government. >> it is clear that any activity whether it is supply of weapons and equipment or if it is a activity,f military and has to be something done at the request of the government and iraq. >> if it has to be endorsed by bag data, it is a legally responsible entity. this campaign needs to be a rocky -- iraqi led.
made by the relevant people. it has said that names in the and names around the iraqi political scene have been around a long time. see thehave to wait and level of demonstrated commitment to the program that has been set out. a significantent progress. roleuld also say that the of the president has been significant. important that they support the formation of this government. they have focused attention on the need to build an inclusive iraqi government to push back isil. agendas about kurdish separatism, looking for a few
months. tribes, there is at thisn we would like stage. it will take more than simply standing up the government in baghdad. it would allow them to switch back and we need to see a sustained outreach. there, long-standing and justified grievances that have been ignored by the previous regime. only by doing that in the long term will he succeed in gradually weaning them away from isil. bringing people in the right
direction. >> i don't see this as conditionality in terms of the lever that we are using to try to dictate the behavior of a suffering government. i see it much more in terms of an analysis by us and the united works that this can only if there is a credible iraqi government on the ground. as we might like to intervene, there is a sensible intervention that is likely to be affected that we could pursue. clearly, iran is a major player. major influence over what happens. it with the u.k. government under any circumstances -- will
the u.k. government, under any circumstances, talk to assad and try to influence what happens in the operation against isil in syria? >> we are in the process of reestablishing an embassy in tehran and we hope over the coming months that we will find that we are increasingly able to engage in a wide range of iranians andith countries that have diplomatic relations. the situation is very different. legitimacyost all and the barbaric treatment of their own population which would be excused and it be, in my judgment, inappropriate and counterproductive to talk about
assad regime.the it has driven recruits into the arms of isil. >> we will you that message loud and clear from you. it u.k. policy that the islamic state, whether in iraq or syria, must be destroyed totally? or would containment be on the table? i heard the u.s. secretary of state saying very clearly on friday and it is my view as well that there is no compromise, there is no containment strategy. be a strategy to crush from forces of support and that resource.
>> i apologize for not welcoming you when you came to the committee. >> and the consequence of that, he has to take on isis in syria if he is going to destroy it. the you accept there is a much higher risk intervening in the west point of view in syria? driving isis set of northern iraq? given the shadows of extremists as well, what is your assessment?
s talk aboutegist the need for theater. they are very significant and we are dealing with different situations. would like to move on to the coalition of the willing which, quite rightly, we need a sort of regional coalition to take on isis. the idea that you can just defeat them, it needs troops on the ground. it should be western troops defeating this counsel.
but what exactly should be the military role of this coalition? the regional coalition is one thing but to actually define it is quite another. >> we can sit in this room and postulate all sorts of shapes of coalition and it depends on what the willing are willing to do. regione exploring in the and exploring what people might be willing to do. where iraqi forces, there might be regional states with some level of ground forces , perhaps specialist troops on
the ground. looking at what they are being able to do. the front office going to do to address the concerns of many additional rise ofacilitating the islamic militias? and harboring extremists within their own country, what are they going to do about this? >> we are very clear with our allies and the attitude people have taken to different groups of different stages of their evolution in the past.
there is no tolerance for any support. the un security council resolution directed at trying to support. the comfortable that companies we are in dialogue with our clear about their official position. they implemented the unsc arr to ensure they're cut off. isil is an organization with significant wealth, sources of taxation, oil revenues.
tendency. an islamist there are a range of differences. >> the responsibility would be put on it. the size is relevant. of the armaments they have, we are continually talking about it. have you made the assessment of their capability? we thought they could solve the whole problem. what they were doing and arguing was holding the line.
in doing it with great passions and convictions. they have many other targets clearly as they were advancing south of baghdad. they are in conflict with other groups. it happened to be in the front line at the point were this conflict came to the attention. >> the arms have gone to baghdad first. have they been distributed? is there an equal distribution
between the various political parties? shipments have gone friends section, recognizing the control of the government and it moves on where they have been unloaded. we are attempting to ensure that the distribution of supplies we avoiding as suggestion of favoritism between groups. [indiscernible] there was quite a worrying report a few weeks ago. that the crisis
wasn't over. they said certainly we withdrew because there will be a small ?umber is that accurate are people not able to get off to -- [indiscernible] >> i think that was accurate. it is difficult to assess that moment. were veryzations large numbers of people trapped on the mountain. the combination of the number of
they are confident people want to move on the mountain. we should also remember that there are significant numbers of people in that region who were thelaced from the period of displaced remain for the major humanitarian problem. >> the groups of peshmerga also assisted in the release of people trapped. pkk is still a proscribed terrorist organization in this country. it is key to continue the fight
>> [indiscernible] >> if she asks, i will give her one. iraqit about protecting minorities? what do you think the international community should do? the gender discrimination as well. the first thing we should do is collaborate together to develop a coherent and credible strategy. , live kurds, jews
then we have the -- [indiscernible] i don't know what the numbers are now, but i think they were around 3000. they were sold into slavery. and into brussels and in the middle east. they were trying to help the nigerian schoolgirls. >> it is truly shocking. it is not just casual abuse. which is what sometimes happens,
a law enforcement task which requires specialist skills . it is not particularly held in special forces. >> the measures for combating isil on the ground. has the foreign office given any consideration? i don't think we are doing anything directly with the kurds. you will be talking with political representatives.
they are able to take the extremists on. are wellshmerga motivated, reasonably lead and severely lacking in weapons and equipment. the iraqi security forces are demoralized. it very badly led. badly structured. but our well-equipped with american weaponry. it is why there is a discussion about equipping the iraqi security forces. the think the like-minded group of countries share this view. they