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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 14, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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bought it. palestiniansw, the , are they part of the human now and will be embargo be lifted at the gaza strip? guest: i cannot really comment on the israel-palestine stuff. it is not my area. as far as the -- the russians going broke in syria, they have been in syria for half a century. it has been a pretty lucrative thing. one of the motivations for them being in the room in the first place is that the russians, first with assad's father, and now with the charlotte thought, have had multi--- and now with besar al-assad, have basically had military contracts. it is another way of subsidizing your own industry. as long as the russians remain
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relatively arm's-length am a in other words, syria doesn't turn into afghanistan, a decade-long occupation where they are fighting directly on the ground against the enemy, and as long as that enemy is not been supported by another superpower like the united states, i don't think the russians will go broke in syria. i think the editorial piece that was referenced earlier is probably right, putin will get some version of what he wants in syria. cleverhink it's a pretty approach. when he's basically doing is throwing a gotland down and saying, look, we have something positive -- throwing the gotland ntlet down and saying, look, we have something you want. host: here is a tweet. from zechariah,
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allentown, pennsylvania, good morning to you. caller: i have a simple question. something am having difficulty understanding. --we have a way to control sad and his military have had difficulty controlling isis. how are they going to control a nation? the beauty of rhetorical questions is the answer is in the question. i think you're right. i have trouble personally and imagining how a free syrian army , a sort of fledgling democratic government, even imagining that ,hat was possible in damascus and would maintain territorial control over all of syria and be able to unite a fractious tribal society, and the lesson for that
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is iraq. and iraq had the advantage of ofs of hundreds of thousands coalition troops backing up the government, years of funding and andning a new iraqi army police force. syria will not have any of that stuff. the thing that scares, and kind of exhausts me more than anything when i look at what the u.s. policy in syria appears to be is that even if we win this , the nextagainst isis step looks like the last 10 years of iraq to which still hasn't ended up well in my view. that seems exhausting and pretty unfortunate. springfield,in virginia, independent line. caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. this is a multipart question, so please if you could answer the parts of it. it looks like russia is doing erdogan a favor in turkey by assisting assad.
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and i wanted to comment, but the other three parts of this are, what is the saudi interest question mark what is tehran's -- what is the saudi interests? what if tehran's interest? and what is iran's footprint in syria? guest: let me try to go back on that. nato is pretty straightforward. the u.s. is leading a multinational coalition with nato is backing up. turkey, of course, is part of nato, which confiscates their role. i described earlier some mixed interests they have there, including on the refugee issue, which is probably the single overwhelming security situation for them. has a positive relationship with russia at this point. i think the russians are looking to continue to maintain turkish support for their transit operations going into syria. obviously, if the turks said no and try to block that, it back could make life very difficult
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for the russians. the iranians, they have been providing support for what they view as part of this broad shiite alliance in the form of the assad regime. but on the other hand, they are not fighting directly on the ground to the degree that they were in iraq, as far as we know. if the iranians were to go in more significantly, it was likely provoke a lot of other arab states to go in on the other side. of course, what that other side would be, given the dichotomy of the free syrian operation -- free syrian army operation or the moderate operation is anyone's guess. as farce the saudi's go, they have money to contribute. they can -- as far as the saudi's go, they have money to contribute. they can contribute and they have been. as far as war on the ground,
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they do not want isis coming their way. host: next guest, eddie. caller: we need a good statement to get over there and negotiate. i'm worried about turkey getting involved. they are hitting crisis, but also hitting the kurds. saudi arabia, the shiites, they are hitting them in yemen. somebody ought to get over there , and notinate that just realizes. host: and left color from phone call from maryland. caller: one of your previous callers said real men would fight. as a woman, real nancy peace through diplomacy -- real men seek be through diplomacy, because it is actually harder to achieve these that way. that is what we need to apply
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here. trade.ed of the weapons there is no food, no humanitarian aid in many areas, but they've always got weapons. and the idea that some people think we need to have another military option in the middle east against iran is so counterproductive. how much more suffering do we want to unleash in the middle east? to kind of like, you know, apply diplomacy, strong diplomacy behind the scenes. one question i do have for your guest was, i heard on the build harsh -- on the bill maher show that the economy does not want to take any refugees, but will spend all this money on helping refugees making it to europe, or
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investing money in mosques over there. why theyt wondering were not taking anything. is it because of the shia versus sunni? host: is it true that they have not taken any? guest: i cannot comment on that, i don't know the saudi policy. abruptly speaking, when you are -- but broadly speaking, when , the policymocratic toward refugees has been generally to do as little as possible and make them someone else's problem. i would not be surprised if that was the position of saudi arabia and other states in the region. i want to comment on her pointed out diplomacy, that we need some sort of diplomatic initiative. i completely agree. i hope i don't sound like a broken record in saying if you have the russians on the ground already, and the u.s., and the european and middle eastern actors, it is like you have all the pieces there. what you don't have is that we are not all saying the same
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thing. we are all saying subtly, but significantly different things, and that is about assad. we need to figure out what our position is on the future of syriac, and i would absolutely take seriously the -- the future of syria, and i would absolutely take seriously the earlier point about how will they succeed assad when has failed -- how will they succeed when assad asid has failed question mark ld knows, there are enough resources employed at this point that it should be solvable. host: >> let me take a moment or a few
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moments to tell you what motivates me and the work that i do as a public servant, as a senator from the state of vermont and let me tell you that it goes without saying i am far, far from being a perfect human being but i am motivated by a in all ofich exists the great religions and christianity and judaism, islam, other religions. and that vision is so beautifully and clearly stated in matthew 7:12 and it states, othersverything, do to what you would have them do to up the lawis sums
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and the prophets. that is the golden will. "do onto others what you would have them do to you." that is the golden role and it is not very complicated. let me be frank as i said a moment ago, i understand that the issues of abortion and gay marriage are issues that you feel very strongly about. we disagree on those issues. i get that. but let me respectfully suggest that there are other issues out anonymous are of consequence to our country -- anonymous consequence to our country and the world that -- enormous consequence in the
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country and world that we can try to work together to resolve. sanders had more to say to the student tonight coming up at 8:00 eastern. congress coming back to capitol hill tomorrow. the house will return wednesday and they work on airport security and bending federal funding for planned parenthood. they both again -- the vote for the iran nuclear deal set for 6:00 eastern and c-span2 has led coverage of the debate. next, dick cheney outlines what he thinks congress should this pprove the around deal --
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iran deal. it is about 25 minutes. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. welcome to the american enterprise institute. i'm scholar here. just over a week congress will vote on a resolution of disapproval for the nuclear deal that president obama negotiated with iran. president obama says that the vote is a choice between war and peace and that there is no alternative to this deal and those who oppose it are making common cause with the hardliners in iran. that group is in league with the ayatollah khomeini includes chuck schumer, former democratic chairman of the relations committee, bob menendez, ben cardin, and includes our speaker tonight, today, vice president dick cheney. he's the author with his daughter, liz, of a wonderful new book called "exceptional,
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why the world needs a powerful america." he says president obama has few accomplishments but there is one he has. this iran deal is so bad has into the only united arabs and israelis he's united chuck schumer and dick cheney. ladies and gentlemen, the vice president. [applause] former vice president cheney: well, thank you very much, mark. i hadn't thought of that. probably the first time chuck schumer and i agreed on anything. he's welcomed to the club. i'm delighted to be here today. ai's been a home of sorts going back to the ford administration. i'm proud to serve on the board of trustees now and on occasion they provide a forum where we can discuss important issues. i come before you today not as a candidate for any office. my years in elective office are over. i come before you as a citizen
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who has also spent the better part of 40 years in public service. white house chief of staff, congressman, secretary of defense, and vice president. focused much of that time on national security issues facing our nation. i'm here because i have deep concerns about the iranian nuclear agreement that congress begins considering today. it will be up to members of the house and senate to vote yes or no on the joint comprehensive plan of action that president obama has signed with the government of iran. for every member of congress, no matter how many years they serve or how many votes they cast, this will be a vote that will be remembered. so much is in the balance for our own security and that of our allies. it's not a moment for appeals to party loyalty, for whip calls, or returning favors, or lining up against the president for its own sake or lining up with the president for its own sake.
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every man and woman in congress will have to stand alone on this issue. and they should choose with nothing else in mind but the america and the interest of their country, big their own best judgment to a decision that -- that is of theirs alone to make. i have come in that spirit today setting aside for now any broader disagreements with the obama administration, any stake in past debates, any concern of electoral politics. this vote in congress will have profound consequences. approval of this agreement will not prevent a nuclear iran. along with a pathway to a nuclear arsenal, president obama's agreement will provide iran with funds and weapons the regime will use for the support of terror, the dominance of the middle east, and the furtherance of tehran's effort to destroy israel, threaten arab regimes,
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and prevent the united states from defending our allies and our interest in the persian gulf and beyond. with the removal of restrictions on iran's ballistic missile program, this agreement will give iran a means to launch a nuclear attack on the u.s. homeland. a week before the deal was announced, president obama's own secretary of defense, carter, declared this should not happen. quote, the i in icbm, ashton carter noted, stands for intercontinental, which means having the capability to fly from iran to the united states, and we don't want that. that was a week before he knew what was in the agreement. i know of no nation in history that has agreed to guarantee that the means of its own destruction will be in the hands of another nation, particularly one that is hostile. what president obama is asking
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the united states congress to do is unique. historically and dangerously unique. the results could well be catastrophic. the claims made by president obama, secretary kerry, and other members of the obama administration about this agreement have been robust. this deal will, they have said, and i quote, prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. cut off all iran's pathways to boom, including the covert pathway. provide us in a certainty we will know what they are doing in the nuclear arena. prevent nuclear proliferation. encourage stability across the middle east and prevent war.
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these assertions are simply false. take the president's assurance that the agreement will prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. in a more candid moment a few months ago, he admitted that under this deal the iranians in 13 years or so will have, and i quote, advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that point the breakout times would have shrunk to zero. the president's own words make clear this agreement does not keep iran from nuclear capability. quite the opposite, it guarantees that in less time than has past since 9/11, a regime with death to america as a pillar of its national policy will have the ability and the material to produce an arsenal of nuclear weapons. and at that point what is to prevent them from doing so? well, president obama tells us they promise they won't. we are asked to rely on the word of a country that has cheated on
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every nuclear agreement to which they have been a party. once they have the means in place to become a nuclear power, they will do it. president obama came into office determined to engage the iranians without preconditions. beginning with his inaugural address offering them an open hand if they unclenched their fist. through his letters to the iranian supreme leader, through the secret negotiation established by secretary clinton with the iranians in oman in 2011. president obama's guiding principle has been convincing the iranians they can trust us f -- can trust us. if we walk away from this deal, secretary kerry recently claimed, the regime in tehran will learn, quote, you can't trust the west. a negotiation based on the premise that the united states had to gain the trust of the world's worst state sponsor of terror was never going to end well. the secret talks before the actual negotiations even began, the u.s. side appears to have made three key concessions. they agree to drop the long-standing demand of the international community that iran halt uranium enrichment.
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they agree to provide immediate sanctions relief and they agree to pay the iranians to negotiate by releasing $12 billion in frozen assets. these were just the concessions made prior to the negotiations. so much for negotiations without preconditions. there were, in fact, preconditions. they just weren't ours. the iranians are reputed to be excellent negotiators. for the american side that is not an auspicious beginning. it set the pattern of one concession to iran after another. hard deadlines declared and then ignored. a general air of desperation to get a deal. not on our part but on ours. not on our terms but theirs. the cave on enrichment wasn't get a deal. just any concession. under the nuclear
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nonproliferation treaty signed by 120 nations, 190 nations, including iran, countries with peaceful nuclear programs do not have a right to enrich. agreeing to the demand that the united states recognize such a right for iran guts the fundamental principle at the heart of the m.p.t. and makes it much more difficult for the international community to deny such a right to any other state. it also in one swell swoop neutered six united nations security council resolutions passed to stop iran's nuclear program, including its uranium enrichment activities. president obama, who says he is submit committed to the international arms control regime to the united nations, and nuclear nonproliferation, it is now urging that the united states accept an agreement that will undercut the most effective multilateral arms control treaty in history and negate the previous demands of the international community expressed in those u.n. security council resolutions.
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the president says this deal will, quote, stop the spread of nuclear weapons in this region. in fact, by legitimatizing the iranian enrichment program, for the first time ever, the deal will likely accelerate nuclear proliferation as other nations demand the same right. america's friends and allies in the middle east including the gulf states know that their own security hangs in the balance. as the united states enables iran to acquire nuclear weapons. they have watched iranians get the better of us in these negotiations. [indiscernible]
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former vice president cheney: thank you very much. [applause] former vice president cheney: they know we are simultaneously withdraw from the region in making cuts to our own nuclear arsenal and defense budget. they are already assessing that the security guarantees long provided by the united states are increasingly meaningless. and that announced redlines are more likely to be abandoned than defended by the united states today. they are more likely in this environment and in the aftermath of this deal to determine that their own security requires that they possess their own nuclear
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weapons. the president says this deal will ensure the international community will be able to verify that iran will not develop a nuclear weapon. he has said the inspections regime is historic. that the agreement cuts off every one of iran's pathways to a bomb, including, magically, the covert pathway. let's look at the facts. after we were assured repeatedly by members of his administration, a disagreement would include any time, anywhere inspections, president obama has accepted a deal that gives the iranians anywhere from 24 days to many months to delay inspections at suspicious sites. inspections at military sites where the iranians have concealed suspect elements of their nuclear weapons program in the past are not covered by this agreement.
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the american people have been told not to concern themselves with this. there are secret side agreements between iran and the uaea which our elected representatives in congress cannot see it, either. that reportedly cover inspections at these sites. it's not clear any obama administration officials have seen the final of these side deals, either. the iranians continue to insist, and i quote, there will be no access to any military sites and in at least some crucial cases, relating to past activities, the regime will be inspecting itself. that is historically misguided. the value of this agreement and the veracity of the president's claims about it rest on the inspections regime contained within it. inspectors need to know what iran has done in the past so they have a base line against which to assess whether the country is cheating in the
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future. secretary kerry seemed to understand this in april of 2015 when he said, the iranians would have to disclose past activity. quote, they have to do it, he said. it will be done. if there's going to be a deal, it will be done. that was john kerry in april. two months later in july of this year, secretary -- secretary kerry's position changed dramatically, quote. we are not fixated on iran specifically accounting for what they did at one time or another, he said, because, and i quote, we have absolute knowledge with respect to iran's past activities. if you're looking for a quick summary of secretary kerry's position on the need for iran to completely disclose all its past nuclear activity, you could say he was for it before he was against it.
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[applause] the former director of the c.i.a. and the n.s.a. said he knows of no american intelligence official who would claim, as secretary kerry does, that we have complete knowledge of what iran has done in the past. detecting elements of a country's nuclear program and predicting lou howe close it is to breakout is a notoriously difficult intelligence task. it is one that we have failed at time and time again. the united states failed to predict the first soviet atomic test in 1949. the first chinese test in 1964. the first indian test in 1974. the first pakistani test in 1998. and the first north korean test in 2006. all of this should raise serious concerns about the claims president obama has made that the agreement guarantees a breakout time of at least one year. accurately assessing how far the iranians are from obtaining a nuclear weapon would require a
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full and complete disclosure of their past activity. inspectors need a baseline. if we don't know how much progress iran has made towards obtaining a nuclear weapon, we cannot accurately assess how much farther they need to go or how long it will take them. iranians were unwilling to make such a disclosure which tells us something in and of itself. and president obama and secretary kerry dropped this essential requirement. under president obama's agreement, there will be no anywhere, any time inspections, and no inspections of military sites. those are covered in the secret deals that we cannot see. there will be no access to the regime's nuclear scientists, no full disclosure of past activity, no full access to documents pertaining to iran's nuclear program. and iran will be doing some of the inspections themselves. we are essentially leaving it up to iran to let us know when and where they might have engaged in illicit nuclear weapons
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activity. the president also expressed firm resolve on a matter of sanctions. they would be lifted when and only when the iranians had first met their obligations. it worked out a little differently, of course. they got that $12 billion and other sanctions relief right away. soon, the regime will be a player again in the financial markets. finally something on the order of $150 billion will be coming their way in the assets released
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under this deal. we were told and are still being told that at the first sign of cheating sanctions will suddenly snap back on the regime. in reality, the deal makes it very difficult to reimpose sanctions or impose new ones. it enables iran to walk away from the agreement completely if any attempt is made to sanction them anew. discoveries of violations by the iranians would be followed by long international debates over every last technical point. and who doubts what the refrain would be from the obama administration when confronted with obvious violations.
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we would hear that it's better to overlook the offense than to risk losing the agreement. that's how we came to this point in the first place. it's the same week acquiescing and ultimately dangerous mindset that led us so far down the wrong road to a deal so completely tailored to the demands of the iranians. president obama has agreed to iranian demands to remove restrictions on key elements of the infrastructure tehran uses to support global terrorism, including the irgc force. he agreed to lift restrictions on iran's icbm program and on its ability to impose and export to -- to import and export conventional weapons. in this agreement, if it's approved, these concessions will further iran's efforts to achieve one of its main objectives in the middle east to drive the united states out. former undersecretary of defense ambassador eric adelman recently testified that under the jcpoa, quote, the united states will not be able to rely as it has for the past 30 years. that under the jcpoa the united states will not be able to rely on the assumption that it will have unimpeded access and control other all domains of warfare in the persian gulf. a recent study co-chaired by marine commandant james conway
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and former general charles waled put it this way. the jcpoa will allow iran to improve its unconventional capability, challenge the strategic position of the united states and its allies in the middle east. iran will be able to revitalize its defense and industrial base in the short-term even if it devotes nl only a fraction of the $100 billion or more that will be unfrozen as part of the agreement. more than the iranian government's entire budget for the current fiscal year on military spending. other the medium term, the removal of economic sanctions and the united states arms embargo will allow the regime to acquire other advanced technologies and weapons from ibroad. and once sanctions against its ballistic missile program sunset, iran could more easily develop weapons capable of
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reaching targets in the middle east and beyond, including europe and the united states, end quote. this agreement will enable iran to mornedize and expand its military capabilities while the united states military suffers from the devastating obama-era defense cuts and the effects of sequestration. contrary to claims made by the president and secretary of state, the united states will be in a far worse position to defend our interests and prevent a nuclear armed iran when the obama agreement sunsets than we are today. in addition to facile taiing iranian access to advanced weapons, aiding the development of its icbm program, providing cash wind fall and tremendous economic benefits to the regime and tehran oba ha-iran agreement lifts sanctions on the iranian revolutionary guard corps, the irgc force and the force commander suleimani. under his command the force has been responsible for terror, fomenting violence, advancing iran's goals of regional dominance and killing of american service members in iraq and afghanistan. by lifting sanctions on these entities and on suleiman himself, the obama iran deal aids the efforts of america's
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enemies. imagine for a moment a world in which this deal has been implemented. iranian-backed forces will receive additional aid and support as they work to ensure that yemen remains a failed state, a theater in which al qaeda in the arabian pens laz has effectively operated. and they've operated in the sharia province. iraq will see an influx of weapons and resources for iran's proxies, leading to increased violence and bloodshed as isis is able to recruit more sunni to their cause. conflict will intensify in syria as iran floods its most important ashe foothold with weapons and fighters. the european refugee crisis will likely grow as thousands more flee the rising terror and
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chaos. hezbollah, iran's main proxy, will also benefit in its operationses across the middle east and particularly in its ongoing attacks on israel. in the meantime, the removal of restrictions on the irgc force will give that group the ability to move freely throughout the middle east as they oversee this brave new world. it isn't just hezbollah and the hue tees and assad who will benefit from the lifts of restrictions on iran. iran's ties to terrorist groups are extensive. that's why republican and democratic administrations alike have identified them as the world's leading state sponsor of terror. in 2011, president obama's own treasury department designated six al qaeda terrorists for their involvement in a network that moves money and terrorists across the middle east including
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into iraq and afghanistan. that network was headquartered in iran. in the words of david cohen then undersecretary of treasury and today deputy director of the c.i.a., quote there is an agreement between the iranian government and al qaeda to allow this network to operate. there is no dispute in the intelligence community on this point. former director of the defense intelligence agency general michael flynn has said that documents captured with osama bin laden incruded, quote, letters about iran's role, influence and acknowledgment of enabling al qaeda operatives to pass through iran as long as al qaeda did its dirty work against americans in iraq and afghanistan. since that initial designation, president obama's own treasury and state departments have repeatedly pointed to iran's agreement with al qaeda, noting that iran is, quote a critical transit point for funding to support al qaeda's activities in afghanistan and pakistan and home to a quote corps pineline through which al qaeda moves money and operatives from across
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the middle east to south asia this pipeline exists, corkt the obama treasury department, as part of a formerly secret deal between iran and al qaeda. as recently as last year, while the nuclear talks were under way, treasury staid that iran had let al suri, identified as the leaders of the network in july of 2011, let him out of his temporary detention so he could resume control of the network. the president said he understands that iran's support for terror continues. he has said that should not stop congress from approving his nuclear deal he seems willfully blind to the fact that the benefits conveyed to iran in this agreement, the money, the conventional weapons, the
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sanctions relief, facilitate and enable the iranian regime's support for terror and terrorist groups. including those who have attacked the united states and are today threatening our security, our allies and our interests. the united states congress stood ready to approve a strong, serious agreement to prevent the threat of nuclear armed iran. instead, it has been handed as i wantry -- handed an intricately crafted ka pitlation. though president oba -- capitulation. though president obama has spoken of, the said the consequences are on me, that is beside the point. what happens after the deal is not on him. it's on all of us. this deal gives us a chance to launch an attack on the homeland
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that threatens the security of our allies across the northeast, threatens the security of europe and should not be forgotten this deal has vast implications for the future security of the jewish people. charles krauthammer has written that it took nazi germany six years to kill a million jews, it would take a nuclear weapon one day. every president has been committed to no nuclear arms in the middle east until now. the president is saying you can enrich uranium, you can have icbm's, and here's $150 billion which we implore you, please do not share wit your terrorist friends. the bill -- to build a deliverable nuclear weapon is a mercifully difficult enterprise but when the world wakes up one day to find the news that iranian radicals have done it, new lines of force come into view with all further terms to worked out under the threat of the first use of a nuclear weapon since nagasaki. when a former ranking democrat on senate foreign relations says
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he fears that iran will gain such a weapon and he doesn't want his name on it, his colleagues should pay very close attention. that man is dealing with reality. the best assurance against these things coming to pass is a decisive, bipartisan majority in congress that will vote against this deal and gather still more strength to override a veto. some have suggested the white house recognizes the difficulty members of the president's own
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party are facing as they are pressured to cast a vote in opposition to the interest and views of their own constituents, not to mention the nation. to avoid this a filibuster has been discussed. that way no member need be on the record supporting this shameful deal. anyone unwilling to stand up and be counted on this deal should not be serving in elected office. the truth of the matter is that such momentous issues as national security should not be decided by a filibuster, a veto or by one third of the members of the united states senate. least of all by a president who justifies his actions with a false choice, deal or war. now as at other fateful turns in our history, the alternative to the nightmarish scenarios we all wish to avoid is not to make concession after concession after concession. the moment president obama conceded that the iranian regime had any right to ebb rich uranium he lost the possibility of securing a good deal.
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the moment he let up on sanctions, which were constricting the regime's power and influence, would only have gotten worse for them. pressure was lifted from the mullahs in tehran and they no longer needed a deal more than we did. and as soon as president obama went on israeli tv and effectively ruled out the option of force, the iranian knew they had won. a far better deal is still possible and it begins with reasserting our original objective on each of these matters. iran must halt its enrichment and reprocessing activities. it must halt its ballistic missile activities. it must provide a full and complete accounting of its past nuclear activities. it must allow complete, go anywhere, any time access including at military sites. there should be no sanctions relief until iran has fulfilled these obligations. if iran chooses not to do so, they must understand that the united states stands ready to take military action to ensure they do not acquire a nuclear weapon. \[applause]
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vice president cheney: preventing nuclear weapons is one of the most strategic lessons from the past on which we can draw. for decades, rogue regimes have been attempting to acquire nuclear technology and weapons. in 1981, the israelis launched an air attack against the iraqi nuclear facility out of syria, setting back saddam hussein's nuclear program. by 1991, he had reconstituted large portions of it which the united states destroyed with our military action in desert storm. in fwee, when we liberated iraq, libya -- libyan leader muammar gaddafi contacted us days after u.s. forces captured saddam hussein he told us he wanted to turn over his nuclear program he had watched the fate we delivered to saddam and he didn't want to be next.
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gaddafi's nuclear materials are now in the united states. gaddafi's decision has two -- had two listening-lasting and important respects. first because he turned over his material they did not fall into the hands of militant islamic terrorists who today control territory inside libya. second, his cooperation enabled us to unravel the black market nuclear pr live ration network of pakistani scientist a.q. khan who sold to rogue regimes around the globe. we put him and his network out of business. there's also evidence that iranians halted a force of their program in 2003 in the aftermath of the u.s. invasion of iraq hoping to protect themselves from suffering saddam's fate. in 2007, we learned that the north koreans were build agnew clear reactor in syria's eastern desert. -- a nuclear reactor in syria's eastern desert. territory now governed by isis.
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when the israelis brought this information to us, president bush told them he would not take military action. the israelis decided to take action on their own. and destroyed the reactor. in each of these cases, it was either military action or the credible threat of military action that persuaded these rogue regimes to abandon their weapons programs. iran will not be convinced to abandon its program peacefully unless it knows it will face military action if it refuses to do so. that's how a serious negotiation plays out. that's how a self-respecting power with with everything in the balance must serve its vital interests. insisting on key, nonnegotiable points and maintaining a credible threat of military force are the indir spenceable elements of serious diplomacy over the iranian nuclear program. that's what the administration
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should have done all along. instead, they have presented us with a deal that strengthens our adversaries, threaten ours allies, and puts our own security at risk. they have placed on the table for congressional review a deal that provides weapons and funds to a regime that has pledged to destroy israel and maintains death to america as a central pillar of its policies. arming and funding iran while simultaneously providing them a pathway to a nuclear arsenal is not an act of peace. it's not, as president obama claims, the only alternative to war. it is madness. the vote on the iran deal, on the nuclear agreement, is ahead. and the stakes are very high. every member of congress swears to defend the constitution from enemies outside our shores. i took that oath 10 times and every time i put my hand on the
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bible, i understood that we were also pledging to defend this great and good nation. a vote to reject this agreement will do that. [applause] a vote to reject this agreement will do that, approving it will not. thank you very much. [applause] i think we're going to take a couple of questions. >> absolutely. can everyone hear me? the vice president has to leave but he's agreed to take a few questions. some of you have sent them up. the first question is from general david detwa. do you believe the timid approach to the assad regime is a reflection of the degree they
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were willing to assuage iran to change their nuclear agreement and has that spilled over to the current anemic effort against the islamic state which is averaging 18 air strikes addai compared to desert storm's average of 1,200 a day. vice president cheney: i think -- this is speculation on my part -- but i do think the administration's concern with respect to getting the nuclear deal led directly to the president's decision to stand down after he established the red line, said that if syria used chemical weapons he would take military action, and of course they used chemical weapons and he didn't. my own personal view is he was in that phase of the process where he did not want to offend iranians who are closely tied to syrians so i think it had -- the deal had a direct result of limiting the administration's actions with respect to syria. marc: this is from the iraqi ambassador to the united states.
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we sometimes hear some people say the containment of saddam hussein would have been better than the policy of toppling him. what do you think about the people who talk about the containment of isil. vice president chaney: first of all i disagree with the first proposition. to argue we should of never gone after saddam hussein is to argue he would still be in power today and we never would have issued or delivered the warning in terms of our military action against saddam, against libya, gaddafi. you can imagine what would have happened if, when isis took over or the radicals took over in libya, if they'd enhittered -- inherited a nuclear program. i don't buy into the initial proposition and i can't remember what your question was.
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marc: the people who say we can contain isil. vice president cheney: i don't see any way to contain isis. it seems they are work very aggressively to recruit and grow in size, include regular cruting people out of the united states here. i think they've already made remarkable progress for a terrorist organization, more success occupying, creating the caliphate, and occupying thousands of square miles of syria and iraq. they have continued to spread their influence and activities, we have seen them in libya, north africa, boko haram and nigeria -- in nigeria has agreed to align itself with isis. i think their prospect for growth and development is remarkable. and i don't think -- i'm not sure how you would contain them. i think ultimately they have to be defeated, they have to be destroyed. supposedly that's the objective the president's laid out but his military activity so far, i think, falls short of what's necessary.
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marc thmplet question from linda sachs. they surrendered treaty power to the president what do you think will get us back to the american exceptionalism of the constitution? vice president cheney: as i mentioned in my remarks, i think this should have been treated as a treaty. rather than the way it is being treated. of course if we'd handled it as a treaty, it would take a 2/3 vote of the senate to ratify it the traditional way of doing business. we've done a lot of executive agreements over the years this one is so important work such important ramifications, that failure to follow that regular procedure strikes me as -- it was a mistake. a negotiated arrangement, i guess, but as we look at it now you don't need a 2/3 vote of the senate to ratify it.
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they only need one third. one third plus one system of i think it was serious procedural mistake. marc: one last question. i ask everybody to please remain seated as the vice president exits as he has to catch a plane. the president has said he will confront iran's regional aggression after this deal is implemented. what steps should be take ton reassure israel and our sunni partners. vice president cheney: i'll believe it when i see it. i have serious reservations after you pour over $100 billion back into iran, you lift sanctions and embargos on things like conventional weapons and icbm's, you take off the embargos on doing business, for example, with the irdc, i think you've given them an enormous shot in the arm in terms of their ability to pursue their terrorist activities and support
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for ill list regimes and then you're going to turn around and mount military operations somehow to take them down. it doesn't fit. it doesn't calculate in my mind. i think if the -- if the problems we have with the nuclear agreement in and of itself weren't enough, when you add to that the last-minute addition of lifting the sanctions and the embar goes -- embargo on ballistic missiles, on conventional weapons, then that in and of itself does enormous damage. i'm afraid that the idea that somehow we can contain iran afterwards is going to take an
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awful lot of effort, major effort. we may have no choice but to do that but as i mentioned in here, the state of the defense department's budget these days is significantly depressed, ray odierno who just stepped down as army chief of staff said the readiness level in the army of the united states is the lowest it's been in the history of the army, that's over 200 years. we've got a situation where we badly need to rebuild our military capability, especially if we're going to be in the business of trying to contain the damage that iran is going to do with all of the relief that we've given them in terms of funds, in materials of lifting sanctions, in terms of reversing course on limiting their icbm force and so on. so i -- if you look down the road and think about where we're going to be once this is implemented, once we see the iranians exercise their part of it, given especially the continued iranian assertion that
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we're never going to see their military sites, the secretary of defense, the equivalent in iran, just in the last day or two held a press conference, i guess this week new york which he said the united states will always be the great satan for us. we'll continue to do everything we can to support their opponents. and to support those people who were hostile to israel. this doesn't mean any withdrawal or change in behavior on the part of iran. it's a statement of their defense minister. marc: this president is unlikely to do any of these things, what would your advice be if there's a republican president to succeed him in 500 or so days. vice president cheney: first of all i hope it happens. [applause] i also -- i think that most significant thing we have to do, before we do anything else,
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excuse me, is rebuild our military. you've had every single member of the joint chiefs of staff in testimony before the congress over the last year or so testify that we no longer have the capacity or we're nearly to the point where we no longer have the capacity to execute the nation's national security strategy. the air force chief of staff recently said that the air force today has fewer aircraft and older aircraft than any time in the history of the air force, which was created right after world war ii in 1947-1948. you can go down chapter and verse. we've got to rebuild that capacity. we've had a technological edge in every area, whether it's stealth or precision guided ammunition,ome --
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that gap is rapidly close, we've got the chinese and russians actively and aggressively working hard to close the gap, you see what happens to the whole area of cyberwarfare here at home. at the same time congress was debated and adopting the measure to, in effect, take all of the data that we collected in the n.s.a. program and turn it back to the companies without any limits or restrictions on what they're to do with it that same week that that debate was going forward in congress and being passed, it was disclosed the chinese had hacked into our personnel database here and all of us who ever worked for the federal government, and i don't mean to take this personally, all of us, including a lot of members of congress, their security background checks and so forth, their personnel records are in the hands of the chinese. the chinese were ripping us off as we were wringing our hands saying, oh, my gosh, we can't have the n.s.a. collecting call data on american citizens. nobody to my knowledge has yet
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produced one single instance where the civil liberties of an american citizen have been violated by that program. not one. but we spent enormous amount of time in the end shifted all the data back to the phone companies and significantly weakened our capacity to use that capability to intercept and block actions by al qaeda, isis, our enemies. marc: mr. vice president, thank you for joining us here today. vice president cheney: thank you. marc: if everyone can remain seated please. [applause] [captions copyright national
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cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> coming up tonight on c-span, bernie sanders speaking at liberty university in virginia. there was a carly fiorina campaign event in new hampshire, and after that president obama talking about education in des moines, iowa. here is an article about what senator sanders said today. a skepticalrs woos audience at liberty university. he ventured far out of his comfort zone monday when he took his surging campaign to students at the evangelical christian liberty university. the article go


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