tv Road to the White House CSPAN December 22, 2014 1:00am-2:01am EST
colleagues, as you will be aware, the parliament -- placed great importance in to the question of the cia policy and also the question of the transport by the cia of prisoners. we had six resolutions voted on this question. the american congress has also said that certain eu member states were involved as well. poland, for example. and the americans and their practices have been questioned. now, clearly, i think that we need to have a look at what the european union has been doing. the european union says it defends the owner, to -- honor, the values of human rights. they should also be defended in
third countries as well. we mentioned our history on several occasions. but i think that if these principles are important to us and our allies as well. yes, clearly we need to strike a balance between protecting society and limiting personal freedoms. we have to strike the correct balance as we combat terrorism. in pakistan and iraq, terrorists have become together and are becoming more powerful in committing increasingly bloody acts and the rest of europe -- risk of europe being affected is huge. we nevertheless must respect human rights because we need to retain the trust of our citizens in the eu democratic system.
the eu has lost much of that confidence, however, because of its uncritical involvement in cooperation with the cia programs. we clearly have to put an end to these practices, which violate the values on which europe is. thank you. -- europe is built. thank you. >> i would like this opportunity to thank senator feinstein for her perseverance to see the report through before the change in the senate. because i think this reminds us, and she said it very rightly, that what sets a democracy apart from a dictatorship is accountability and moral authority. none of us are immune to these tendencies. we all have this kind of violence in us. but what makes us different is
that we have accountability and there is no impunity in a democracy. and therefore i am very pleased to hear all colleagues and all political groups should insist on accountability and the need for europe to come forward with its role in the cia program. because we can point at the americans, but europe has helped the cia antiterrorist program. all aspects of it. it i am glad that poland has admitted it, but there are many other countries. there are a number of member states that are close allies with united states. and i think that this argument has expressed itself several times. therefore i am actually shocked to hear and places third by the italian -- the commonplaces by the italian presidency. italy is the one country that has actually prosecuted cia agents. they have convicted cia agents. will italy insist on extradition by the united states to bring those people to trial like
everybody else who was responsible for torture ought to be put to trial? no, mr. obama, we cannot draw a line under this until those responsible have been brought to justice. that is why we democracy and the others are not. -- we are a democracy and the others are not. another question that i have here is a statement in the press from the head of the intelligence center, which is a kind of vague, unclear, kind of embryonic european union secret service. he said there is no way of knowing whether intelligence was obtained through torture. excuse me? so this is an e.u. body, paid for by eu money, processing information that may have been obtained by torture? will, maybe he doesn't, but we should know. we should finally get answers as to the nature and activities. answers we have asked for many times. and we should have proper
oversight. thank you very much are. -- thank you very much, share. -- chair. >> thank you very much. [applause] do you accept a blue card? >> i am obliged to my colleague sophie for accepting my question. would you agree with me that the words that we have heard from counsel today, while they sound very sweet, are too little too late? back in 2005, i stood in the this very chamber and i raised with the council presidency this day the fact that illegal detention centers were operating
in europe. we did not receive any word that they were being investigated and were sidestepped by the minister of the british government who was present on the day. would do therefore agree with me that further inquiries to be conducted as to whether it is appropriate for any government minister who has knowledge simply to hide behind the facade of -- >> thank you, i asked you to come to an end. >> and not share information with this parliament. >> yes, i very much agree with you. it is not enough for the council -- and that is that the italian minister, that is all the member states -- make statements about the role of all -- rule of law. we had laws back then but they were not respected. it is not good enough. those who break the law, even if they are governments, should be brought to justice. so yes, i very much agree with you.
>> thank you very much. >> on behalf of the united group of the left, for one and a half minutes. >> thank you very much. 600 pages of terrible techniques described, fake executions, sleep deprivation, waterboarding, rectal feeding, amongst other horrifying techniques. surely this evokes the practices of terrible, terrifying dictatorial regimes. and now we are seeing this picture released in an official report and i welcome it. but let's remember that there is a united nations convention against torture that the u.s. has signed up to, and if there are these practices that violate
the convention, then what you are talking about is a terrible crisis situation with regard to public morals in the united states. and there must be consequences. torture is denying human dignity and must be condemned. criticism is not enough. there needs to be a legal ban on torture worldwide. and i welcome the fact that they have made it official. the accusations against the u.s. state and authorities. we want to be a full condemnation and conviction of these acts of torture. guantanamo to be closed once and for all. it is enough now. these brutal needed to come to an end. -- practices need to come to an end. >> 2.5 minutes on behalf of the greens. >> thank you, president had mr. secretary of state, commissioner. dear colleagues.
commissioner, when you attended your hearing before the parliament, i was very surprised to hear you say that you did not really know the subject. now, i see that the situation is quite different. so let's recognize it. there is nothing really new in this 600 pages of senate report, just confirmation. confirmations of collaboration on the part of european governments and the existence of cia prisoners on european soil. confirmation of the uselessness of torture besides its ignoble character. confirmation that the action has to be scrupulously controlled and prosecuted.
confirmation that fundamental rights of citizens must not be sacrificed in the fight against terrorism. the publication of this report calls for a new stage in mobilization to establish real international justice. the scope of these crimes makes it necessary for us to be judiciously courageous. now, in the european union, certain leaders have directly collaborated with these programs. let's promote transparency and action. so the european union has to assume their responsibilities and facilitate prosecution. the european parliament has to continue its work of investigation and transparency so that the whole truth will be
known. organizing hearings to be secret detention facilities. now that we have confirmed that fundamental rights have been infringed, do you not see that articles six and seven of the treaty of the european union ought to be applied? sanctions should be limited? terrorism is about one thing -- the destruction of systems of values represented in democracies. combating them by methods illegal. if we accept this, we will be complicit with terrorist logic. so shedding light on all of these programs, revealing truth, rendering justice, will not help the terrorists. on the contrary, this is a combat for values, a battle for strengthening democracy. >> on behalf of the european democracy group, 1.5 minutes, laura. >> thank you, president.
there are two aspects to the report from the senate on the cia torture which we have to think about. firstly, a major point is self-criticism and severe judgment by the u.s. democratic institutions, particularly on sensitive issues which could be seen as matters of national security. that is typical of the usa, of the spirit of its institutions and citizens. but it cannot allow us to ignore and stop us seeking out and condemning any form of violation of human rights. food they are totally so they are totally -- sold very are totally unacceptable and that is the second point i put to you. the words of those who try to justify torture say that it is a useful -- there is nothing in peacetime or wartime that can justify torture.
as we know, it does not only violate the integrity of a human being, but nor can it be deemed in any case in instrument in search of truth. the report from the u.s. senate raises a series of lies and abuses. and there is any sort is sort -- is any sort of ambiguity without being expressed by the u.s. because in the report, where we have detailed descriptions, there are no initiatives or recommendations for incriminating those people who are responsible, whose names we know. the eu has said little about the involvement of its member states in cia activities on eu soil. each member state should have a transparent investigation, there
should be no impunity. >> i am really sorry, but you had one and a half minutes speaking time and you have far overshot that. no, on behalf of the not -- now non-attached, christina, for one and a half minutes. >> thank you, chairman. colleagues, i am very happy that this european parliament is so taken aback by the breach of human rights by the united states. this time it is torture and the arbitrary detention without trial. a few months ago it was edward snowden and the secret surveillance scandal that was what caused problems for you. and then there were killings by drones, we were troubled by that.
civilians killed by wars. tell me one thing. if you are so angry at the united states, why do you want to be friends with this country so badly? because the european union is working hand-in-hand with united states. both economically -- we are current to obtain the free trade agreement behind closed doors. also, politically, the european union is reacting to the invitation of the united states and this takes europe into a cold war and potentially it might culminate in a real war with russia. if you do not like the breaches of human rights -- and i am glad you do not like them -- shouldn't we pick a better friend instead of the united states? and protect hungry, my country,
and the rest of europe from the cold war and real war. >> thank you. we know company individual speakers and -- now come to the individual speakers and i will be stricter on time, we have a lengthy list. the first speaker, two minutes. >> torture carried out by the cia is a subject of public opinion in the united states for many years. the publication of the senate select committee report last week confirms this. confirmed the split that exists in the political class in the united states, the democrats and the republicans are deeply divided concerning various
questions. for example, does this report really reflect what happened? and secondly, the procedure, was it correct and even for the -- should the report have been published, even the implications to security? all of these problems have been raised and there is no clear answer in the united states. there is no single approach. and i would also like to emphasize that i feel very close to the position expressed by john mccain, who asked for the publication of the report. and he thinks that these practices -- the cia practices have damaged american interests. he says that we have committed errors and we need to repair those errors and undertake to
never repeat them. now, nobody can say any longer today that these practices continue. this is an episode that belongs to the past. president obama put an end to these programs. and there is a clear desire in the united states to shed light on the situation. and i think that is the main lesson that we have to draw from this. it is healthy when a political entity analyzes its own conduct. >> for three minutes, david. >> if you listen to the words of the council, you could easily get the impression that everything is fine here at home,
what i think -- but i think that is far off. the torture that was carried out was a shameful practice that the eu states were partly responsible for and participated in. and all kinds of international law against it, the cia used torture. and also within the eu. this was all within the name of obtaining vital information to continue the fight against terrorism, but again, this is far from the truth. torture is not a way to fight criminal acts, it is a critical -- criminal act. it undermines our values. it is human dignity which hangs in the balance. and we must, when it comes to the prevention and coming to terms with what took place, find a different discourse, a different language, otherwise we
will face nothing but hatred and violence in reaction. this is a matter of international humanitarian law. torture can never be allowed to happen and must be prosecuted. it is a shame on europe that we close our eyes to illegal rendition of prisoners or illegal prisons being operated even back in 2007. the parliament called for clarification and nothing has come of this request. who authorized people being taken away and transferred to facilities in secret to be tortured elsewhere? this is something that only became public knowledge last week, when we had revolutions -- revelations from poland and romania on the subject. clearly, there is no real ability to face up to what happened. because we were so deeply involved. and i think that when it comes
to these striking and violations of european values, something needs to be done. we can see what has happened when these values are not guaranteed and we are not protecting anyone's interests. it is democracy itself that is being threatened by this. it is our duty as legislative orders to stand up to this and i can only hope that the commissioner is on our side when it comes to this. thank you. >> thank you very much, and thank you for respecting your time so precisely. for one minute now, our colleague.
>> thank you very much, chair. the very fact that it was the territory of poland that torture could have been conducted is a condemnation of the polish public opinion. even though some are trying to justify those practices, and even though people held in detention centers were suspected of murdering thousands of people. and open --and then open -- and then open -- an open letter will be published signed by hundreds of speakers condemning those practices. i would like to draw your attention to double standards and the question of mutual trust amongst allies. cia did not conduct such interrogations on the territory of the united states. because it respected the law of the u.s. it did not have such respect for the polish law and those in
power in poland did not respect polish sovereignty. unfortunately, our trust has been abused and the image of the u.s. is no longer positive. >> thank you, colleague. for 1.5 minutes now. cecilia. >> thank you. well, the word is appalling to describe these brutal, inhuman torture methods that were used by the cia against the prisoners. disgusting is the word that best describes the cia leaders's way of sweeping away the accusations. what has been discovered is a reminder of the existing impunity for the many terrible crimes against human rights which the u.s. is justifying in the name of the international security. just like so many times four, -- times before, when the effects of the torture have been
investigated, it shows that the methods are useless. but whatever the security or results, we have to say it once again -- torture, under no circumstances, is acceptable and the international ban on torture is absolute. it covers everyone, everywhere. in the report, it says that eu countries like sweden, the u.k., italy, and romania have cooperated with the cia through rendition of prisoners to the usa without any guarantees. and in sweden, they have allowed the cia to float five people out under inhumane conditions. the truth can make us free. we have to find the truth.
there has to be an end to impunity. the perpetrators have to be judged. and accountability has to be demanded. thank you. >> thank you very much. do you accept a blue card from mr. arnold? >> yes. >> i know you agree with me that torture is immoral, illegal, and must always be condemned. do you also accept military expediency requires the possibility of proper interrogation? i refer in the u.k. to the words of tim collins, "since i was serving, interrogations have been tightened up because of lawyers. we are no longer able to carry out tactical questioning. the effect of ambulance chasers is that we have gotten the point where we have lost operational capacity." >> you have 30 seconds. it does not help if you speak so quickly because the translators cannot translate your text. please, colleagues, can i remind all of you to please speak at a speed -- because this is the third time already -- that makes what you are saying intelligible to everyone else. did you get the question?
you did not get it. so we move on. cecilia, you have the opportunity to answer. the bit that you understood. >> i would be happy to answer. the brutality of the methods used and how they have been justified is simply unacceptable and the european member states must all come together to disclose the truth, what happened in your country as well as in my country. this is the truth and we need to see it now. and it is time for impunity to come to an end, even in europe. [applause] >> thank you very much. the next speaker for 1.5 minutes, martina. >> thank you. the recent senate report into cia interrogation techniques exposes the american administrations' torture. techniques were used by the british government to torture 14
irish men over 40 years ago. as a result, the irish government brought the british government to the european board of human rights, which was the first time a member state took another to that board. that happened in 1978 in a landmark ireland versus u.k. case. however, the court ruled that the five techniques amounted to inhumane and degrading treatment, not torture. the bush administration justify -- justified the use of these torture techniques in iraq, afghanistan, and guantanamo bay by quoting the eu court ruling
on the court of man. the british government lied to the european court of human rights on the effect of these techniques and that the 14 hood of man were indeed tortured. these torture techniques work -- were sanctioned at the highest level of government by the then british minister of defense, lord carrington. only last week, the irish government confirmed it referred the case of the hood of man back to the court of european rights to revise its judgment, britain is guilty of torture. the british government must apologize for the use of the techniques in ireland just like it recently apologized for their use in kenya and the american government must do likewise. thank you. >> can i remind colleagues that we have a topic on the agenda and that colleagues who are speaking should speak to the topic on the agenda please. our next speaker. >> thank you. i shall speak to the topic. cia, torture. the feinstein report. well, this is a wake-up call for the european union.
and i am very happy about that because the green group has tried, repeatedly, over the last few months, tried to bring this to some kind of public discussion. and there were member states who were involved when it comes to the transfer of detainees. and this was, of course, not on u.s. sovereign territory. for some reason, it was just sort of glossed over and swept under the carpet. when it comes to this debate, i really see this as a new beginning, as a new opportunity for us to have an investigative committee to see to what extent the eu was involved. >> the next speaker for one minute. >> the cia torture is unacceptable. the secret services in the
united states have a long history of those, -- of juntas, of violent torture and cold-blooded murder. the eu stands up as the defender of human rights. all of these law enforcement methods of the eu and nato are allies of the united states. the member states of the eu are cooperating in many sectors, coming down on the working classes with the united states in many borders, tapping telephones, networks, surveilling and conducting these inhuman tortures. this is not in line with the claims of capitalism, but respects it's true face, the exploitation of week people. -- weal people -- weak people
the dictatorship of the monopoly, where people cannot take things in their own hands. but we can overthrow this situation. we have the strength enough to do. >> thank you very much indeed. >> president, commissioners, i i think that the u.s. has done a very remarkable thing by publishing the feinstein report. the publication is really remarkable and it shows that, unlike china and iraq, when there are mistakes made, there is a process that they put to action when it comes to fixing
things. i think that is what defines -- differentiates a dictatorship from a democracy. now, let us not forget that this procedure is not legally acceptable and the practices are inhumane and must be criticized. that is absolutely clear. i myself visited guantanamo and i said very clearly that the practices used there were not acceptable and not in line with international humanitarian law. but let's not get -- let's not let this blow out of proportion. as though the u.s. was the largest country breaching human rights. now, these were a response to terrible acts of terrorism carried out in the united states. let's not forget that. it has to be said as well. we must not allow this balance between freedom and security to be skewed to such an extent that human rights can be damaged and i think this balance is now being reestablished in the
united states. but let us keep things in proportion. and i would like to, once again, congratulate dianne feinstein for having the courage to make this report public. i think this really distinguishes the united states of america from many other dictatorships around the world. i think they should take a leaf out of the book of the united states and follow their example. thank you. >> will you accept the blue card? >> you have the floor. >> thank you. i share the views of mr. brock here. i have a question. what does mr. brock see as the
risks in the fight against terror? can you see any negative consequences to the fight against terrorism from this report? for example, yesterday, we saw horrific events in pakistan. what do you think? >> what i was saying, we must also see the fight against terrorism and that human rights cannot be violated by invoking the fight on terrorism. we condemn the practices, but we have to see everything in context. >> mr. brock, your speech has triggered something. i have two more blue cards. can you accept them as well and let's take them one after the other? you can answer both questions within one minute. >> i am glad that colleague brock condemns the use of terror under any circumstance.
but he says, in a way, it was understandable, the circumstances, etc. isn't it true that even if that were understandable, that so many years have passed where people should have been brought to justice, where there should have been accountability. and every single opportunity was missed. until the day of today. and incidentally, when it comes to justice, the americans did manage to lock up the people who actually disclosed that scandals. like the former cia staff spent time in prison rather than the people responsible for terror. don't you agree that there was plenty of time to repair the mistakes that were made? >> mr. brock, thank you for your contribution. as a close friend of the u.s., should we now not be asking them to close guantanamo bay?
>> thank you very much indeed. >> let's take an extra question. the colleague was directly mentioned. >> i fully agree with you on certain points, mr. brock. but i want to raise the following question. don't you think we also need legal measures? we have to draw legal conclusions so those people who are responsible for these infringements of human rights can be brought to justice. >> thank you very much. one minute, mr. brock. to answer all three questions. >> yes, these were mistakes that were made in the past and yes, something needs to be done about
it. and yes, legal measures need to be taken if there can be verifiable cases. but this does not change anything i said earlier the fact that legal measures must be taken and guantanamo should be closed down i said no more than eight years ago. i have always been of this view. but let's not ignore the conflict. -- conflict exists. which countries were willing to welcome detainees from guantanamo? just a handful of countries were willing to allow these people to come to their country.
so yes, absolutely, there needs to be a legal action. but we cannot simply allow this to linger on. or to be forgotten about. there needs to be political and legal consequences. >> for two minutes, claude. >> thank you. i would say one thing mr. brock says accurately is that we both met dianne feinstein in the united states on the inquiry. we should be very aware that we are now vindicated on our 2006 cia inquiry and our report happening in a very different context, in a very different time. and i would remind colleagues that in 2006, when we investigated with secondary sources, not the primary sources that the u.s. senate had, but we investigated with secondary sources, all of the horrific, brutal torture methods in this parliament, it was under severe pressure. investigating our own governments in that context in a very fragile way. but we were vindicated because many of the same conclusions happened in this parliament. and that was a very difficult thing for us to do.
and what conclusions did we come up with? we came up with what john mccain said, a republican, a man who had been tortured. and i noted the blue card question. someone who understood the difference between interrogation and brutal torture. what he said is it is legal and morally wrong. but he also said that it brought no new information in the fight against terrorism. these are people who are not soft on terrorism. these are people who understand the qualitative difference between interrogation, and the qualitative difference between having no information, and having bad information. so let's understand that we were vindicated in our inquiry. this is not the end of the road. we have people languishing in guantanamo bay today who should be free, people who our governments are requesting they be freed, who have been tortured, who have families, who
are actually languishing in prison. this story has not finished. it has only begun. these hour or citizens, eu citizens. -- these are our citizens, eu citizens. they are languishing in prison. they have been tortured repeatedly. we want them back and we should be representing them. [applause] >> thank you. >> thank you. will you accept a blue card? you have the floor. >> michael. i am better now. thank you. if i could ask all the members who were not here in 2006, you mentioned two things. you said that we were vindicated and that it was difficult. why do you say that? >> thank you for the brevity of the question and thank you for that. let me just say to the house and
also to the chair of the committee of the inquiry, the italian member of the italian parliament, these were members who took on a very difficult task. my assessment is that the three inquiries of this parliament, the inquiries into mass surveillance and now the inquiry into cia renditions all said the same thing, which is that we have very inadequate parliamentary strategy of these kind of actions. and these inadequate parliamentary scrutinies allow -- if you will let me finish this point -- allow inadequate scrutiny of the kind of actions we now see which allow these extreme kinds of torture and ends up with the kind of senate report we saw today. and we must correct this and that would be my point as to why the new members of this parliament should take an
interest in what is happening today. [applause] >> thank you very much. we have another blue card. do you accept the card? >> mr. president, thank you. may i think him for the work he has done on this issue for a number of years. i ask you -- one of the biggest challenges that we have had is actually getting information from our own governments. are you satisfied that we have full disclosure from our member state governments and if not, how can any of us be satisfied that any of our citizens cannot face such a thing ever again? >> well, of course we do not have full disclosure. that is why i described dianne feinstein is a brave person. -- as a brave person. when omar brock and i met and we were aware that we were in front of a brave senator. we are parliamentarians. we were doing the cia inquiry.
we were aware we were dealing with our own governments. we were members of parliament with our own government in office, investigating them. of course there is not full disclosure. and we have to be brave in those situations and try to get as much information as possible. sometimes that will be at second hand, in a secondary way, as i said at the beginning, but we have to do it. without that accountability -- finally, we still have european prisoners in prison today who are innocent and should be free. that is why this is such a vital and important issue and our parliamentarians should be representing them if nothing else. >> thank you. >> one minute. >> as a long-standing member, of amnesty international, like all of us here, i am appalled and disgusted about what has happened, or what has been
admitted by the united states. i would like to remind you that it was the americans themselves who actually brought this to light. the senate. and there, as here, there are critical discussions of what was done by previous u.s. governments. now, we are taking this up with the americans once again and i would have been delighted to be able to discuss what the russian secret services are up to. that has been lacking. and as co-author of the report on the human rights situation over the last year, it struck me that we do not look at these kinds of things, most of which tend to be done by the
americans. and i think it would be very good if we look at the infringements of human rights just as intensively in other countries as well. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. president. mr. commissioner. we are not talking about something new. but we still all look surprised. the cia started torturing people in 2001 and in 2006, we discovered that the agency was also responsible for the illegal detention and transfer of prisoners in europe. besides being a terrible human rights violations, this created a vicious circle, giving the terrorists one more reason to continue to fight and their propaganda. now that the u.s. senate has come out with a report, it is
time that we put the spotlight on things that happened in the european union. european union member states are not innocent. as was lined out for my colleagues from before. many eu member states were aware of the cia practices. some actually tolerated, if not supported, them. as was already mentioned, poland has finally admitted it and others are denying the claims. i think the eu should follow the u.s. example and investigate the level of our precipitation -- participation. practices like the ones we just heard of, i call on the member states to set up parliamentary inquiries to learn of their involvement or knowledge of cia torture. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. very much. next speaker. you have one minute.
>> the inhumane practices used by the cia under the bush administration to interrogate the detainees is proof of lack of respect for human rights, which we see being employed by most of the political powers in the united states. every year, they ask for reports on questions of human rights situations in third countries, while they, at the same time, are infringing the 1984 convention against torture. apparently, we are not particularly interested in this in the european union. we stand up to protect fundamental rights. but in practice, over the last few years, we have been systematically trusting them underfoot, specifically to austerity problems. long-term unemployment, the
long-term pharmaceutical support , the lack of heating in housing in the winter, this is economic torture. eu governments have promised paradise and they have served up hell, destroying europe. >> one minute. >> thank you, president. like others, i welcome the senate report but regret that both of the main political parties did not participate in the full process. torture is forbidden. we know that mental and physical scars that are left. we know that from members of parliament who suffered torture in their lives and can testify to the effects. i would also raise again in this house, as others have, the case of those still in guantanamo. such as shacka, held prisoner, tortured in bagra cleared for transferm, in 2007. the british government have said they will have him back to
rejoin his british wife and children. and i think we fail to understand how he could still be in guantanamo when two democratic governments have agreed he should be returned. and i think that the use of torture the means -- the means -- the means -- demeans our demands regarding human rights from others elsewhere in the world. it can only be rescued when those perpetrators are brought to justice. >> now, gianluca for one minute. >> thank you, president. well, unlike my colleagues, i would say that the cia was right in doing what it did because we have to remember the night of september 11th, 2001.
there is too much hypocrisy here. terrorists recently decapitating people, just the other day in pakistan as they did in australia. what world are we living in? torture needs to be there so we need to ensure that people can be calm in europe as well. these terrorists who commit such acts are beasts. terrorists who have to be far. guantanamo has to -- has to be fought. guantanamo has tuesday open. -- has to stay open. we have to combat them. if they were to decapitate one of your children, your relations, would you still say the same thing? islamic law it is an eye for an eye, a two for a tooth. -- tooth for a tooth. do you realize what this is about? islamic policy is a terrorist policy.
the islamic religion is violent. europe is hypocritical on certain things. such as the vote on palestine red 6 million dead in europe and we are talking about palestine -- palestine. 6 million dead in europe and we are talking about palestine. >> this month is the 10th anniversary of our q&a. we are showing one q&a from each year. and can't find burke interview on the 9/11 compensation fund. robert novak on his 50 years of reporting in washington. and renewed to tour in the value of high education and america.
10:00. a decade of compelling conversations. he is the vice chair of the select intelligence committee and is completing his second term. he gave his farewell speech. that was followed by tributes from his colleagues. this is 40 minutes. to an end,e comes thank you to the wonderful people who have been part of a great ride. we are fortunate to live in the greatest country in the world. the country where the american dream is still alive and well.
the country where in spite of all problem's we are the envy of the free world. a country where a preachers did from rural southern georgia could rise to be elected to the u.s. house of representative's ablehen to the u.s. senate to work in a historic venue as we are in this afternoon. as become into our offices and this building every day, there are some things we take for granted. to the entire capitol hill workforce, from those who clean our offices to those who change involves, bring out our food, and maintain our subways, keep us safe and secure in all those in between, thank you. you are very professional in what you do. you always do it with a smile.
thanks for putting in the long hours. listening to boring speeches. remanding us when we haven't voted. reminding us of the rules of making sure our mistakes are at a minimum. i have been fortunate to be .urrounded by great staff mostly young people from varied backgrounds who are the brightest minds. they're committed agents and loyal to the core. menk you for your service to and the state of georgia. it starts with providing better
constituent service than any other member of the house or the senate. i'm extremely proud that our record shows we have achieved the goal of doing that. i've had government agency personnel call my office asking for guidance on cases from other offices. i have often said that my greatest satisfaction from this job comes not from negotiating major pieces of legislation, but from being able to help georgians with difficulties they are experiencing and have a positive impact on their lives. blessed to have three members of my staff who have been with me for all 20 years. chief have walked every mile with me and have been so valuable. thanks, guys. my greatest support comes from my family. , herfe, my daughter
husband, my son, his wife, along , theyur grand children have all been involved in the campaign trail. come the 28th day of this month, we will have been married for 48 years. we met at the university of georgia couple of years before that. for a husband who is had a 24/7 , being a sing-along at the time and understanding what i couldn't get home until christmas eve some years. thank you, sweetheart. and privilege today to represent almost 10 million georgians who are the most wonderful people god ever put on this earth. i lost my first primary election and went on to win each of my next seven races. i won because i share the values
of my constituent. i outworked each of my opponents. i have better ideas and the best advisors and staff. paige. tom and thanks to the senate is the regular advice and counsel you thanks to senators each of who provided me with strong leadership and always listened to me, even when i had ideas that might have been different from their ideas. a often asked what i will miss most about the senate. i will miss my friends. and the relationship we have developed over the years. 52 years ago in september, we became friends immediately.
we have been the dearest friends ever since. he is a that question the most trusted friend and advisor i have. i will miss our daily conversations. my three best buddies from a days days -- from my house have been legislative collaborators, dinner partners, confidants, numerous other things that should not be mentioned on the floor of the united states senate. [laughter] senator lindsey graham was like a member of my family. we have traveled the world together many times, learning a lot you know plans to write a book, but if i did, lindsey graham anecdotes would feel a chapter. senator feinstein -- would fill a chapter. senator feinstein -- i will miss her leadership, wisdom,
friendship, and late afternoon glasses of california wine. rebels productive time in the senate has been spent with my dear friend senator mark warner. several represent the best of everything of the united states senate. ofspent literally hundreds hours together debating ideas and trying to solve major problems. we came very close. and we came very close. lessons that i will carry with me forever. as the senate goes forward under new leadership, i have two comments. first, the senate should return to regular order.
senator mcconnell has indicated that will be the case and it should be. that will change by the current majority changed the institution of the senate a negative way. the rule is changed back to require 60 votes on all issues, including judges and nominees. some of those most vocal losting the rule change their elections. while the rule change did not cost them their election, the american people wanted a change in the leadership, a change in the rule. regular order will help in restoring trust and confidence. imperative that the issue of the debtor -- of the debt of this country be addressed. just last week, it surpassed $18 trillion. we cannot leave the astronomical debt our policies have generated up to our children and grandchildren to fix. it is not rocket science