Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 28, 2015 6:00am-7:01am EDT

6:00 am
and for your candid and forthright answers. as you may know, i am working with a number of colleagues who both supported and opposed the joint comprehensive plan of action. by providing more military assistance to our allies in the area and anticipating some of the financial windfall will go toward increased extremism. so to bolster the defenses and military capacity of our allies in that region, this legislation will reassert -- it will reform our dedication to imposing sanctions and assure that our
6:01 am
allies, especially israel, will be provided with the asset that they need so that their defense will be bolstered. you have just visited the area and you tell us what additional assets you can provide. you have just visited the area and you tell us what additional assets you can provide. carter, i ask you to join in this question. the u.s. well bolster assets assetso israel and other in the middle east. comment on the legislation. thank you. >> i can tell you the minister of defense is here. we will have dinner with him. they are developing their
6:02 am
perspective on what cooperation we might have with them. to include the details of capability development. i had initial discussions with their prime minister during my visit. >> in the conversations that the agreement, i was assured and other colleagues were assured in effect israel would receive all the necessary assistance to make sure it's qualitative edge is maintained and enhanced. policy?the >> this is an important part of the overall policy toward the middle east. that is what i will be talking to. along with the chairman, the defense minister, about today. that is one ingredient of the overall support for israel. add, other golf
6:03 am
partners and allies. ask, since you are mentioning the iran nuclear agreement, the maintenance. i continue to pay personal attention to that. i believe the chairman does as well. our efforts to counter iranian influence. a lot of dimensions to what we do. all of those activities remain unchanged. the military option. support for israel, other gulf countries. that is long-standing pursuit of american interests and we are going to keep doing that. >> i recognize the policy remains unchanged with the military aspects will have to be increased. >> we will have to do more with
6:04 am
israel. that is one of the subjects of my discussion. as it was when i visited a couple of months ago and he hosted me the way i will be hosting him. >> can you tell us whether you are satisfied with the progress? >> we have been -- have a very good relationship. these are discussions among friends. israel ands with have a closeness there. that we have with very few other countries around the world. i cannot go into all the details. defense ery close relationship. >> i would appreciate you sharing those details in a different form. i'm interested in the discussions underway. i want to be satisfied we are fulfilling the commitments made
6:05 am
to myself and my colleagues in the course of the discussion before the iran agreement. thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you gentlemen. general betray petreaus was here recently. whether u.s. credibility is on the line. especially when an action contradicts policy statements. most of the members like many see this as a significant problem that only in the middle east but beyond. believedunford, do you in action has its own cause? military wayu.s.
6:06 am
the cost of doing nothing when you are presenting options to for options on what we should be doing in the middle east? >> first of all, i absolutely agree. in action is a next double when we talk about protecting our national interests. with regard to whether we options,ilitary absolutely. it is my responsibility to articulate both the opportunity cost and risk associate with not taking action. >> secretary carter, many members of the committee have been concerned about u.s. in of thein another part world. the south china sea. a lot of us on this committee andin action raising costs undermining credibility. there are those who are called --m entry of your speech
6:07 am
complementary of your speech. ofust read about the freedom didgation operation that we yesterday. is that true? did we do that? secretary carter: we have made a commitment and i appreciate your support. as part of the rebalance to the asia-pacific. are doing more at sea. we are doing more in terms of presidents. answer, we areal acting on the basis of saying we will fly, sale, and operate lawever international operates. >> did we send a destroyer within the 12 miles own? secretary carter: they have -- there have been operations in
6:08 am
that region. i don't want to, rate -- comment on a particular operation. >> if we do that in a built-up island undersea, submerged rock. is that consistent with international law? should we be doing that on a regular basis. in terms of freedom of navigation. fly,tary carter: we will operate, and sale wherever international law allows. region knowbe whether the press reports are accurate. another area where it seems like in action seems to be inviting more russian aggression. operations are changing facts on the ground. you talked about the arctic.
6:09 am
a major area of importance to the u.s.. strategically and economically, in the future, but you said it is fair to say we are late to the recognition of that. it is also fair to say the russians are not linked to the recognition of that. since your confirmation, the russians have done the following in the arctic. a new arctic military command. 14 new operational airfields in the russian arctic. announcements of up to 50 new airfields by 2020. a 30% increase of russian special forces in the arctic. 40 icebreakers. we have two and one is broken. huge and claims. increased patrols. a major military exercise in march that cut the military off guard. 3000 militaryover
6:10 am
vehicles. 41 ships. 15 submarines. hundred 10 military aircraft. airborne troops in that exercise. a lot of this concerns the committee. which the president vetoed, we had a unanimous agreement to create an operations plan for the arctic. tot is an important step picture we have good operations. i give me your commitment to work with this committee on a robust plan that will enable us aggression ina's the arctic and maintain adequate ability in that area of the world, given that that is in the ndaa? secretary carter: you have mine, and i appreciate your leadership.
6:11 am
the arctic is an important region for the u.s. and the entire world. we need to do more there. that youate the fact are a champion of that and consider me a supporter. we will have a chance to discuss that in alaska later this week. >> general why would you not confirm and deny that happened? this is frustrating on this committee when it is out there
6:12 am
throughout the media and you will not even tell us. maybe understand our frustration here. secretary carter: i do understand your frustration. owntch it with my frustration which is that these are operations we should be conducting normally. americanccain: the people should know about it and we are their representatives. you refuse to confirm or deny something that is all over the media and confirmed by everyone. you come before this committee and say you will not comment on it? why? secretary carter: well, i'm going to not be coy. i do not like in general the idea of talking about a military operations. what you read in the newspaper is accurate.
6:13 am
senator mccain. he asked if you can confirm it or not. secretary carter: i can. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to get back to syria and to some of the chairman was asking about safe stones. we seem lost. at confusionand about what to do next, unable to put any real marker down or have any plan for success. the people are voting with their feet. they are leaving. there are refugees all over the world now. and we have the opportunity to set up safe zones. we aret i hear is worried about the russians, we are worried about the syrians, we are worried about all these things. at what point do we put a plan
6:14 am
together? and tell them, stay out of the way? >> i distinguish a safe zone from a no-fly zone. a safe zone is on the ground. we have analyzed them and discuss them with partners in the region. they are principally not in regions where we would expect them to be contested. they have to be defended against that threat. that is the military undertaking. people in the region, we have not made that recommendation. >> how many people have to leave before we make that decision? secretary carter: senator, if you create a zone like that, you do have to ask who was going to come into the zone. are there people who have left syria who are going to return to syria? from turkey or europe?
6:15 am
to occupy a zone from which they did not come? are there other people coming to that zone? you have to ask yourself, for whom would it be attractive? secondly -- >> probably some of the folks in germany who would have rather stayed in their own country. secretary carter: if they wish to return the part of the country for which the zone is created. it would depend on where it was. >> we have talked about this time after time again. why are we unwilling to send a message to assad that if he continues with barrel bombing, we will stop him? secretary carter: we have not undertaken to engage as the u.s. military, the syrian military.
6:16 am
we have not taken that step. >> how can you ever stop the barrel bombing? secretary carter: the way the civil war in syria to end, and to go back to what we have been saying repeatedly, is for assad to depart. >> as far as i can see, he has had three or four additional allies on board. the calculation is his cards are getting better. secretary carter: our combat has been to combat this priority has been to combat isil. >> in the process, does the u.s. standard by as another nation barrel bombs the people we are trying to protect? secretary carter: we have sought
6:17 am
for some time and continue to do a political transition in syria that it would end the civil war. we have not pursued a military solution. >> i'm not an expert, we seem lost. i have extraordinary confidence in the leadership and i would love to see alternate plans. general dunford, i was in iraq a few months ago. i was with sunni tribal leaders. i want to ask your best military judgment. spending time with them, they said, look. if you showed an interest in us? had a helicopter come by now and then. showed you really wanted to provide us with guidance, logistics, advice. the partnership, the friendship we have always felt, we will be
6:18 am
there and get the job done. do you think they have that capability? general dunford: there are sunnis who can take the fight to the enemy and we have seen that the past area while he continued to hope and pray the iraqi force gets better, are we sitting here with leaders who have individuals that can actually move isis out? general dunford: we could absolutely recruit more. >> the team is ready to go. you just need to get the signal to go. >> there are people out there, that we can put together to fight isil. >> thank you, and thank you secretary carter and general dunford for appearing in front of the committee.
6:19 am
the white house has been sending mixed and contradictory messages about what our interest are and what threats to our security exist in the middle east. many americans are understandably finding our current strategy somewhat reminiscent of the old warren zevon song. this action seems to be to send in lawyers, guns, and money, when a crisis breaks out. the situation in the middle east is a complicated problem, but certainly not historically aberrational. for more than 100 years, this region has been dominated by either external powers or internal authoritarians who have destroyed alterable institutions and disrupted the natural development of societies. the decentralization of power in
6:20 am
the states combined with radical islam is him amounts to a time-tested recipe for the kind of conflict and instability we are seeing today. we continue to receive mixed reports about the effectiveness of ongoing efforts to retain, train, and equipped the iraqi security forces. when i ask why we believe it will work this time around, i'm usually told something like the following, well, we have a better political partner in baghdad now than we did before, and we have a partner who will not repeat the mistakes of his predecessor. this is not encouraging. we know how quickly political situations and calculations can change in the middle east. general dunford, i'm more concerned by what your predecessor, general dempsey,
6:21 am
described as the will to fight factor. i believe that extends beyond simply having a better leader in baghdad. do you believe the kind of united iraq that we've seen for the past century, with borders drawn by the british and french, and held together user by a western backed monarchy or a dictator, is something for which the people of iraq have the general will to fight, especially when they don't have emergency assistance from a coalition like they have right now? general dunford: senator, i think for most people in iraq, it is more local than it is national. i think if the central government would outreach and provide basic services, that we would get sunni fighters that would fight on behalf of the government.
6:22 am
we've seen that in the past. >> i'd like to expand the question more broadly to places like syria or yemen. do people of those countries have the will to fight for united governments in places where current territorial lines may have been imposed by a foreign force? general dunford: there's no evidence i know of that would indicate they wouldn't. >> i think we are looking too hard for a simple answer to some of these complicated questions. i encourage my colleagues and the american people to consider options in the middle east before continuing down paths that i believe may lead to mission creep and to indefinite u.s. military presence to prop up weekend artificially created states designated around unsustainable boundaries. the department of defense's syria train and equip program failed by a long shot. congress put these requirements in place because we were
6:23 am
concerned about who would be using u.s. assistance, and for what purposes. secretary carter, does the failure of this program indicate to you that the viable ground force we desire for syria simply does not exist within the parameters that the american taxpayer may be willing to support? secretary carter: i was disappointed in it as well, but i don't draw that conclusion. there are forces in syria willing to fight isil and capable of fighting isil. we talked about the syrian kurds as an example of that. in the new train and equip effort that we described today, we will look to identify and support capable and motivated forces on syrian territory that are willing to take on isil. we identified some already.
6:24 am
the new approach is to enable them, train them, and equipped them, rather than trying to create such forces anew, which was the previous approach. i understand why that approach was taken. it was authorized by this committee last december. i understand the considerations that went into that. i have concluded and the president concluded that that approach wasn't working the way that it was conceived a year ago. that is precisely why we've changed the approach.
6:25 am
we have a different approach that we think will allow us to gain more momentum and allow us to put pressure on the self-declared capital of the caliphate. on the syrian side, that is our intent. we are trying to gather momentum in that. >> thank you. my time has expired. >> i recognize centered mccaskill. >> senator reid, thank you all for being here, and let me give a mention to master sergeant joshua wheeler. there probably is no better example of someone who has run into danger for this country over and over again. i wanted to mention his name in the hearing today. we all mourn his loss and the loss of his family and we support them through this trying time. senator reid asked you about the
6:26 am
new syrian forces. have we provided supplies to those forces? general dunford: we have, senator. >> have they successfully called in air strikes? general dunford: they have. >> can you tell us for the record how many? general dunford: i cannot. i can get the information for you. >> on iraq, i have a tendency to believe those ig reports that came out september 30. they raised several concerns. one is asking us to refurbish the conditions under which the iraqis are training. d.i.g. recommends the coalition work with the iraqi administer of the fence on a plan that clarifies the contributions of the united states to improve their living conditions. the ig is saying we are having desertions because they live in such squalor. i just think of the billions and billions on infrastructure we
6:27 am
spend in iraq and i'm trying to get my arms around it. are we going to go in and fix up something that's going to rot when we leave, or is iraq going to step up to make these conditions palatable? general dunford: senator, this is my perspective. i think this is where we are at right now. our relationship with iraq has to be transactional. there has to be certain conditions we would meet before we would provide support. i will provide recommendations for any support to the iraqi forces that would be based on their behavior and their willingness to be true partners and meet certain conditions. >> capital expenditures grate on many of us who have watched the amount of money we wasted in iraq. coming from afghanistan, the same ig report points out a real question whether they have the
6:28 am
capability of maintaining this going forward. are there discussions about who is going to their the cost of making these operational? general dunford: senator -- >> i'm talking about the ones we are moving over. the u.s. is providing 250 two the iraqi army. general dunford: i can't comment on what the arrangements are but i will get that information for you, senator. typically, when we provide that of women, it is as is condition. >> i just want to make sure we not going to the expense of
6:29 am
sending something that isn't operational, that we don't want to spend a lot of money to fix up, and they don't have the canola the -- don't have the capability of maintaining. secretary carter knows this has been a refrain from the beginning. it makes no sense to give them things if they can't sustain it. that is one of the reasons we are having problems in iraq right now. they were incapable of sustainability. i won't go into details here, but i'm trying to get at helping the veterans that were subjected to mustard gas experiments. i'm having a really difficult time about this. they are saying that even if i have the name of a veteran and the privacy waiver, they will not give me information out of your mustard gas database without a letter from the chairman. i don't understand why this is
6:30 am
so hard. why is everyone not opening these records and doing everything we can to get word to these people? there are a lot of folks out there that were subjected to mustard gas experiments. i'm hitting a wall on this. i really need a commitment from you today that you will get me the information as to why me trying to help veterans who may have been exposed to mustard gas, why this should be so hard. would you be willing to make that commitment to work with my office? secretary carter: i'm familiar with this issue, but as always, i will make sure that we support your request. i will look into it with the chairman and get back to you as appropriate. >> i've been waiting since july for evidence to back up your claim that there was justification for the $36 million building in afghanistan.
6:31 am
there was a call for the discipline of the people who locate that building. i've been asking since july. you said you didn't think this disciplinary action was appropriate. i've asked what the evidence is to indicate that disciplinary action is not appropriate. i've been waiting since july. you've got a helper behind the. thank you very much. >> i recognize senator sessions. >> thank you. senator mccain laid out some serious criticisms of how we are conducting policy in the middle east. i share most of those. i think they are important matters. i think we've made some mistakes and struggled in ways that are not good.
6:32 am
i'll just leave it at that. what i'd like to address today is the need for a strategy, long-term, in the middle east. the brooking institution mentioned that it may take a long time. the whole problem of extremism in the middle east, this violence we are seeing throughout the entire region, how complex it is -- i followed up and said, so you're saying this could last 10, 20, 50 years? i remember very vividly. he gave an answer you don't often get. yes. that was his answer. do we need a strategy? a long-term strategy that could deal with that? i asked that question to walter russell mead and he said he'd never seen us as a nation be so
6:33 am
unfocused in strategy, the historian that he is. the entire panel, the week before last, president obama's national security advisor, and ambassador, another scholar, all agreed that we need a strategy. we really don't have one. i asked secretary gates last week. this is what he said, that i think is relevant. he said, my concern is that i don't see an overreaching or overriding strategy on the part of the united states with this complex challenge for the next 20 or 30 years. one of the benefits of containment, and there are lots of disagreements about how to apply it, but i will always believe that critical to our
6:34 am
success in the cold war was that we had a broad strategy of containment that was practiced by non-successive administrations of both political parties. it had bipartisan support. the general notion of how to deal with this. we don't have anything like that with respect to the middle east. so we are dealing with each of these crises individually rather than backing up and saying, what's our long-term game plan here? and who are going to the our allies? where do we contain? where do we let it burn itself out? we haven't addressed those long-term questions. it seems to me we are thinking strictly in the short term of month-to-month.
6:35 am
i know we've got nine points, secretary carter, but i don't sense anyone in the region or in the congress believes that we have a deeply studied and long-term policy for the middle east that can extend for decades. first of all, do you think we need one, and do we have one? secretary carter: we have a strategy toward the middle east. many elements of it are decades long standing. again, our strategy begins with the pursuit of american interests. that involves protecting our own country and our people, defending long-standing friends and allies who include the gulf states and israel, opposing the introduction of nuclear weapons to the region, which gets us to
6:36 am
the iran circumstance, and in the current matter of isil, protecting our people and our friends and allies by defeating it where it began, which is in iraq and syria. we described today that the implementation of the strategy in both of those places, to defeat, the grade, and effete isil, we are doing that. it is a complicated region. i called it kaleidoscopic in my statement. american interests are not unclear. they are clear. our strategy is intended to pursue those interests, and that is what we are doing, strengthening the pursuit of that strategy. the chairman and i have been
6:37 am
describing to you today the steps we are taking in iraq and syria, and with respect to unilateral actions. >> i know that the position of the administration, but frankly our middle eastern allies that we talk to don't feel confident that they know what the long-term goals of the united states are. were they to defend iraq against isil? are we going to pull out all troops in afghanistan regardless of the situation on the ground? what about red lines in syria? are we going to honor those? you can say that, but i think it's clear that confidence and understanding of where we stand and what we're going to do over the next 10, 20, 30 years, as
6:38 am
any leader of a nation has got to think, and we should think, i don't think we're there. i really believe more work needs to be done. i'm talking to my colleagues in the senate. i believe we can reach a bipartisan policy. i don't think it's impossible. one more thing. i believe the defense department may underestimate the critical nature of the refugee crisis. this is not like iran, iraq, a war that went on for many years. this is impacting europe right now. it is a humanitarian crisis. it is being exploited by everyone else in the middle east that would like to come to europe. europe is facing what one top diplomat told me was the greatest crisis since world war ii. i think we've got to think about
6:39 am
this, these safe sounds, and get busy -- these safe zones, and get busy on it. it may have to have some of our people at risk to try to protect those areas, but it wouldn't take a lot. you and i talked about it. can we get moving on this? how many more millions have to flee and line-up in areas before we act? just morally, my judgment is that europe needs to know there is a place for these refugees to go other than to flee the entire region. that will strengthen them. can we not do that? quickly. secretary carter: well, in so far as the refugees are coming from syria, they are actually coming to europe from several areas, but to the extent they
6:40 am
are coming from syria, this is why it is so important that the syrian civil war be put to an end. our approach to that is political, not military. we have not undertaken to achieve that goal militarily. our approach is political. we hope that transition occurs and the civil war in syria ends. >> what if it takes three years? can't we provide some sort of area the actual people who are in danger -- secretary carter: i'll just repeat what i said. i'm prepared to have shared with you the analysis we've done of safe zones, buffer zones, and no-fly zones. we have looked at the advantages and costs of those, and the president has not taken them off
6:41 am
the table, but we have not undertaken to create any of those zones at this time. i don't rule that out in the future. i'm happy to discuss it with you in a different setting. >> i recognize senator ayotte. >> i want to thank the chair, also thank senator donnelly. appreciate it. i want to ask secretary carter, recently, the iranians have actually tested a long-range missile, in violation of existing u.n. security council resolutions. this is something that ambassador powers has confirmed, and in fact if you look at what
6:42 am
the iranians have done post-agreement, not only have they tested this missile, but they've wrongfully convicted a "washington post" reporter in iran. we've had a lot of discussion about the cooperation between russia and iran undermining stability in syria and our interests there. i've also -- in brought to my attention recently that the supreme leader of iran has said about the recent agreement that any imposition of sanctions at any level under any pretext of terrorism and human rights on the part of any country involved in negotiations will constitute a violation. so here's my question to both of you. primarily to you, secretary carter.
6:43 am
what are we going to do about their violations of already existing u.n. resolutions when it comes to testing ballistic missiles and long-range missiles? you testified before this committee. the i in icbm is intercontinental. already, iran is violating resolutions with no response from us. already, the supreme leader is basically saying, you impose sanctions on any reason, even terrorism or other human rights violations, we are going to walk away. so do you not agree that their violation of the missile resolution warrants a response from the united states, and what is that response going to the? at this point, i haven't seen
6:44 am
any response. secretary carter: i think that it needs to be very clear, certainly clear to us in the department of defense, that the conclusion of the nuclear deal with iran, assuming it gets implemented, does not address all of our security concerns. >> yes or no, should we respond to their testing of this missile that violates existing u.n. resolutions? secretary carter: i'll describe one response. in our area, that is our continuing commitment to the development of missile defenses. >> i understand that we are developing missile defenses, but what is our response when they behave badly already? shouldn't there be a response from the united states of america? we had a panel of experts here and i asked each of them if we should respond.
6:45 am
they all agreed, yes. secretary carter: in our area of responsibility, i would say this, senator -- i'll let ambassador power and secretary kerry address the diplomatic side of it, but in our area of responsibility, that does not end all of our security concerns with respect to iran. >> mr. secretary, ending -- not ending, it seems like it is just the beginning, really. as we think about the unholy alliance between russia and iran undermining our interest in syria, as we think about the testing in our faces of long-range missiles, as we think about what the supreme leader has said, i would say that it's really just beginning. before i leave, i need to ask a
6:46 am
question of you, general dunford. i had the privilege of recently, on friday, going to the guantanamo bay detention facility and meeting with our men and women who serve there. they are doing an excellent job under difficult circumstances, as you know. one of the issues that was brought to my attention, and i know that you, one of your jobs having been a commander and serving in the highest position in our military, taking care of our men and women in uniform is so critical. yet we have a situation down there where we met with women guards who are being prevented from fully performing their mission because the five 9/11 attackers who are charged with killing 3000 americans will not
6:47 am
allow them to perform their duties because they are women. can you tell me what you think about that? do you think that is right? general dunford: senator, i feel the same way as the commander, commander kelly, who describes it as outrageous. i read his weekly report and have read it for about seven or eight weeks. it's outrageous. he's identified it. as you probably know, that is being worked by lawyers. i'm not using that as an excuse. i'm just sharing with you, that is where it's at right now. the commander has identified it. it is outrageous. it ought to be fixed. >> i'd like to see the administration speak out against this.
6:48 am
we talk about giving women more opportunity in combat, but this is an area where these women that we met with, that are serving there, they are not being able to perform the full responsibilities of their positions, simply because they are women, because 9/11 terrorists are manipulating the system to say that our women cannot guard them. secretary carter, i hope you would agree with me that this is outrageous. i hope the administration would do everything in its power. secretary carter: i do. i associate myself with what the chairman said. this is pursuant to the action of a federal judge. i understand that. but i think it is counter to the way we treat service members, including women service members, and outrageous is a very good word for it. >> i appreciate both of you
6:49 am
being here. thank you. >> secretary, general dunford, i've known both of you for many years. i've appreciated very much your outstanding work. i'm a great admirer of both of you. i appreciate your service. mr. secretary, it isn't helpful to our relations when there's a widely spread story stating the name of the ship, where it went, and you come and tell us that you can't confirm or deny something that is out there in the media. somebody has leaked all that information to the media, but you can't tell members of this committee who have the responsibility to exercise oversight. the second issue i want to mention is guantanamo. i understand the president has said on numerous occasions that
6:50 am
one of his objections is guantanamo. you and the president's top aide came to my office and said you were going to give me a plan. i've always favored closing guantánamo for a variety of reasons. yet we still haven't got a plan from you. not only not a plan, until i asked you about it specifically, there was no communication. after coming to my office and saying you are going to give me that plan, and i said we needed it, we got nothing. not an update, not a briefing on what was going on. so we put in language in guantánamo, and the president voices his strong objection to guantánamo. finally, this issue of whether we are protecting those people who we are asking to fight against bashar assad and isis,
6:51 am
isn't it true that we've dropped munitions, general dunford, to a group of people who we are supporting in syria? general dunford: it is true, senator. >> are we going to protect them from russian air attack? general dunford: senator, we have the authority. we have the capability and we have options. >> is it true that the russians are already attacking them? the ones we dropped munitions to. general dunford: the russians have not attacked the ones we've dropped munitions to. >> they have not? general dunford: no, chairman. to make sure that you and i are speaking of the same group, the group i'm referring to is known as the syrian arab coalition. they operate in the northeast part of the country. we recently provided resupply to those individuals. >> and if they are attacked by the russians, you will defend them?
6:52 am
general dunford: we have the capability to do that. i can't answer that question. >> they would be interested in knowing, i think. if we are going to give them equipment and ask them to fight, and we can't answer to them whether we are going to protect them or not, i think it is a degree of immorality. secretary carter: chairman, may i take a moment? first of all, i don't mean to be coy about the ships sailing and i know things are in the newspaper. it has nothing to do with this particular operation. there are all kinds of things in the newspaper that should not be in the newspaper. i don't like to talk about military operations publicly. you are entitled to be briefed on everything, but talking about things in a public setting -- >> why -- what is classified
6:53 am
about it? what is it that you wouldn't want -- in fact, i think literally every member of this committee applauds it, so i'm not sure what the reason is why you wouldn't want to just state what has already been from somebody who works for you, the name of the ship, when it went out, but yet you won't tell us. that causes frustration, mr. secretary. secretary carter: i don't mean to cause you frustration. >> i hope you understand our frustration. secretary carter: i do, but maybe my hesitation is excessive, but i don't like to talk about military operations in public. perhaps this one should be an exception. let me go on to the other thing you said about gitmo. i too favor, like you, closing
6:54 am
gitmo if at all possible. some of the detainees in gitmo are not, cannot be safely transferred to another location. in order to close gitmo, as you know, we would need to find a location in the united states in which they could continue to be detained. what has taken the time, chairman, is that we had to survey a number of sites. we've done that at a number of sites around the country. we've completed that. some of those are department of defense sites. we needed to have them nominated by the justice department. and then to do the site surveys, all of that took some time. i expect you will get your proposal shortly. >> i would have appreciated an
6:55 am
update. the cynicism on this side at the capital is, to my view, somewhat justified. the law was broken when mr. bergdahl was swapped for five people. the law required that the president of the united states notify congress, and he didn't do it. frankly, there's a credibility gap that is huge when the president act ins direct violation of the law and uses the excuse that there could be a leak. to me, that is not an excuse to violate the law. the cynicism here is immense. the president complains about the nda. to expect that the committee would act after the president violated the law and there is no plan is something that is not
6:56 am
reasonable nor in keeping with our responsibilities. could i say again, my respect, i appreciate the great work that both of you do. as i said, we've known each other a long time. i also have to tell you, there's a certain amount of frustration here because of the lack of communication. guantanamo is one. another one is this policy or lack of policy about what people we train and equip and whether we defend them or not. the lack of strategy to say that we can take out syrian air defenses in order to establish a no-fly zone is simply not true. i'll ask any military expert. that's not true. you don't have to take out syrian air defenses. syrians can't fly into our places. we've had military members like
6:57 am
general petraeus and general keane and others who have a very different view of the whole issue of what we're going to do, which by doing nothing, has triggered a flood of millions of refugees, which is a problem we are going to be grappling with for many years to come. it didn't have to happen. i look forward to more conversations with you. i appreciate you coming to the committee. i appreciate your service. this meeting, i'm sure you'll be happy to know, is adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
6:58 am
[inaudible conversations]
6:59 am
>> today on c-span, "washington journal" is next with your phone calls, tweets and facebook comments. then live coverage of the house and they are expected to take up the budget and debt ceiling agreement made between congressional leaders on the white house. in 35 minutes, we talk to congressman mike pompeo about the house select benghazi committee and the recent testimony of former secretary of state hillary clinton. heen congressman john -- on t
7:00 am
budget agreement and the editor of popular mechanics discusses their story about the interval -- inner workings of koch industry, the private corporation that funds political activities of the koch brothers. ♪ good morning, everyone here is wednesday, october 28. lawmakers are slated to vote on that two-year, $80 billion budget deal brokered by leaders in congress and the white house. it is likely to pass a bipartisan vote and then sent to the senate for action over in that chamber. political reports it will be a political piñata at tonight's debate. here, we debate in colorado on cnbc.we begin this morning with changes will to social security and

9 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on