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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 22, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm EST

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>> more of road to the white house coverage ahead of the nevada caucus. ted cruz holds a rally in las vegas at 3:00. we will take your calls and comments. donald trump who won the south carolina primary saturday is leading in nevada and he will hold a rally also in las vegas. that will be tonight at 10:00 eastern. marco rubio has depth and endorsement from a senate colleague. said marco came from humble beginnings and worked hard to get where he is today. he will ensure that each and everyone of us can do the same thing. hasupports rubio because he
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an ability to inspire and uplift the american people. you can read more at the hill.com. >> only one network has taken you on the road to the white house. after the results this weekend in nevada and south carolina, the republican race has narrowed and the democratic race has sharpened. he will stay in south carolina saturday and then move on to the multistate primaries and caucuses in march. you can follow all of this on c-span. >> a debate about the military
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use of drones. lawe dame university professor says the rise of isis can be linked to drone strikes. both are former defense department officials and the debate is hosted by the chicago council on global affairs. >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. on behalf of the council for global affairs, i am delighted to introduce our distinguished panel tonight. i look forward to a spirited debate on an issue that is certainly without a clear answer to right and wrong. professor coll, professor o'connell and others, we are thrilled you have taken time to come here tonight. thank you. as you are aware, in recent years, drones have become an important weapon in the war on
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terror, conducting attacks in afghanistan, pakistan, and beyond. the increased use of drones for targeted killing has become an increase controversy. many questions arise both at home and abroad. this is a particularly interesting debate for me. as a former infantry marine corps officer, both the pros and cons of this debate -- and of drone strikes in general -- hit closer to home them probably for the general audience. on the one hand, drones are quite attractive. they provide the capability to have me here or true -- near or true reconnaissance coverage, and issue strike coverages on criteria being met, all are removing the risk of a downed pilot scenario.
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by the way, which would inevitably lead to hostage rescue situations. on the other hand, there are very real second and third order consequences from these strikes. while collateral damage may be lower than the alternative, based on analysis from academics as well as the cia, the potential increase in the actual overall number of strikes makes these consequences very real. because when we talk about collateral damage to we should be very clear what that means. we're talking about civilians. so each person needs to ask him or herself, you know, how many future enemy combatants and we actually created through these actions? so clearly, there is much more to account for when debating drone strikes. but is what much less debatable, drones are here to stay.
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according to the intelligence review, the market for military drones is expected to almost double to over $10 million. given this, we must grapple with them, their effects on our military, our society, as well as political and legal frameworks. so tonight, i'm truly looking forward to an in-depth and informative discussion on the topic. you all have biographies on your chairs. so please allow me to briefly introduce the panel. professor alberto coll, director of the european and latin american legal studies program at depaul university's college of law. previously, he served as dean and principle secretary of defense. professor mary ellen o'connell is a professor of law at notre dame university, where she also does research on international dispute resolution.
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she previously worked for the u.s. dod in germany, as a professional military educator. our moderator tonight's ambassador ivo daalder. he is director of european affairs at the national security council. so without further a new, ladies and a moment, please join me and welcoming the panel. [applause] ivo: thank you for the very kind introduction. and for setting the stage for the issues that we're going to be discussing in the next hour or so -- th dilemma that you have sketched out. we are just talking about the drones that are going to
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delivering your packages next week or that your kids are flying in the backyards. or at least mine are. we are talking about a particular kind of drone, armed and capable of inflicting harm on people who are capable of striking with military weapons. these drones, they came and were developed as part of our counterterrorism strategy. the idea of actually putting a missile on a drone came from the desire by the united states to target a single individual. osama bin laden, who was in afghanistan. and this was well before 9/11, it was actually done during the clinton administration, and spurred by both the agency, the cia, and the defense department. but encouraged her very much, by people inside the white house.
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so it was very much thought of in terms of a counterterrorism strategy. the employment of these systems in the last decade's plus, really since 2001, has raised a whole host of issues. issues that are important for us to understand, because whether we like it or not, these systems are with us. they are here today, and they're likely to be here tomorrow. and more and more people will have the capacity to decide when and how to use them. they raise fundamental issues of morality and ethics, issues of effectiveness and military strategy, and issues of legal that the legality of the use of these weapons. particularly, when it comes to killing civilians in a foreign country. but possibly in other ways. so, that is what we will be discussing today. and in somewhat of a debate
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format for the two participants here do not necessarily agree on every single point when it comes to the legality of the use of these systems. and you mentioned the unarmed vehicles, drones that have been around for a while. they were used by the u.s. first in the military in the 1990's. they were then armed for counterterrorism in afghanistan in 2001. after a whole variety of other theaters, afghanistan and pakistan and the middle east in libya and yemen, and in other places, it is not just the united states that has these capabilities. increasingly, other countries are using and employing these weapons, as well.
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so, here is how we will have our discussion. i will say nothing. for about 10 minutes. because our two panelists will each have five minutes of introductory remarks. we will start with faster o'connell and move on to professor coll. we do not have a red light, and orange light, a green light. but let me tell you, we are going to try to stick to these times so we can have a little discussion. mary ellen o'connell: i am a law professor and irishman was a speaking for five minutes will be challenging. just two years ago, we were so focused on the drone. i attended a wonderful conference from tom durkin who is here. some of you may be asking why we're still talking about drones? isn't isis the only issue on the agenda? i think you are right to ask
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that. but in my view, the comments i want to make, i will bring these two topics together. because i think a policy of counterterrorism that soaking to focus on and use the drone has been, in part responsible for the rise of isis. isis came up from, according to the cia, nowhere. but of course, they were around. the cia just did not watch as they were focused on using drone killings. drones that terrorized the people who are affected, not just the targets, but those who have to live under the constant threat of attack. and they are open to the recruitment by groups like isis, when they say, the people who sent you the drones are our enemies and we are going to train you to fight them. in fact, the drone has become the single biggest recruiting tool for islamic terrorist organizations since guantanamo
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was used for that purpose. now, it may be the actual success of isis, and self. reliance on drones has distracted the u.s. from pursuing other, more effective counterterrorism measures. it has distracted the cia from intelligence gathering, and they are associate with destabilizing the governments we need in place to oppose groups like isis. the focus on drones squanders precious resources that could be used to a college far more good, especially in establishing conditions for greater global security. drone use models violence. and in defiance of the rule of law, as an acceptable means to a competent positive goals. in a world awash with conflict, the u.s.'s failure to develop
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alternatives to the unlawful use of drones has helped give rise to groups like isis. let me very briefly lay out the law that i am talking about that we have defied in using drones. then spend a very brief moment, with more evidence on the negative consequences of that defiance of law. the drones we are talking about tonight our military drones only, as ivo said. the ones we used the reaper -- which is the main drone in our arsenal now that fires only one weapon. the hellfire missile. it was designed by lockheed martin to kill tanks. this is not a police weapon. if you're going to use a weapon like that outside the u.s., you have to meet the rules of the united nations charter. these are the rules for the resort to force which are binding to the u.s., a full party in the u.n.
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and to other rules of international law. the charter says that all use of military force is prohibited, with two narrow exceptions that are in the charter, itself. the security council can authorize force, which it did most recently in libya in 2011. or a state may use force in self-defense to an armed attack. if an armed attack occurs, that is what the charter says, and for such time -- until such time the security council enters in and helps defend the country. so when the united states went to war in afghanistan, after 9/11 on october 7, 2001, we did so on the basis of article 51 -- self-defense under the u.n. charter. that is what our letter to the security council said. but it does not end there. not only do you have to have an armed attack, as we did with the
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9/11 attack, but you are using force, and must meet other principles. it have to be a last result. they cannot be achieving the defensive purpose. second, the force has to do some good, it has to accomplish the necessity of that military defensive purpose. and third, it has to be proportional. you cannot kill more people would do more destruction, create the conditions for ongoing revenge in your strategy to carry out defense than what was originally inflicted upon you. so, this is a very narrow right to use force as self-defense. and if you're using a bomb against the territory of a foreign, sovereign state, regardless of who is there, you
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have to only attack the country that is responsible for the initial triggering attack. the problem with using the drone in places like pakistan, yemen, somalia -- those countries never attacked the u.s. and what has happened and what has been the result of the u.s. using the drone? unlawfully in those countries to which i contend has been the case, yemen is in far more worse condition than when the first day we use the drone there -- in december of 2002. our drone use, constant military force against that small, fragile country helped trigger the civil war that is the stabilizing -- destabilizing the country. i could give other examples of what actually works. but we actually did in the case of osama bin laden, we did not get him with a drone. we use, basically, police tactics.
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we used intelligence gathering, and we sent a commander team that apparently according to john brennan -- with orders to arrest. and if he resisted arrest, we could kill him in the resistance to arrest. we did not use a drone against bin laden. that is actually a model case of how to go about in countering, not military force. we have been hearing from more and more of our experts in this field, that drone use has this unlawful use in all of these countries. and at the end of the day, as of today, it has been counterproductive. general dan bolger just spoke at notre dame in the fall, and he said that the war on terror has been lost. we have been using military force, which is not effective against terror to them and dictatorial governments. general michael flynn, former head of the u.s. intelligence agency, said drone attacks have
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been a failed strategy. on november 18, 2015, four former drone operators, all veterans, publicly criticized president obama's targeted killing for inflicting heavy civilian casualties and developing an institutional culture callus to the death of children and other innocents. well, when you're children are being killed unlawfully in this way, through drones, the families are going to send their surviving children off to an organization like isis to get revenge. there is a better way, one that is lawful, ethical, and effective. ivo: thanks very much. as a law professor and an irish person, you can stay within the time.
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can a human person to the same? alberto: i want to thank the counsel for the hard work. and also my good collie, mary ellen. i have had the pleasure of knowing her for over 20 years. i respect her profoundly for scholarship. and all these things do not prevent me from disagreeing with her, quite vigorously. [laughter] which shows that, of course, one can disagree with people very strongly and still admire them soundly, as i do. so, here is the problem the united states has. ok? we have individuals in certain parts of the world who are engaged in planning and carrying out attacks against the u.s. ok? and they operate not in china, not in russia, not in iran, not
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in great britain, or mexico, where we might be a would extradite them or be able to ask those governments to detain them. they operate in areas where we do not have a peaceful option of detaining them or incapacitating them. and so, as a society, we have an obligation, ok? to respond to those attacks by attacking them. and that is covered by the united nations charter's ruled on article 51. mary ellen talks about self-defense against the armed attack. and indeed can only use drone strikes against those individuals, we are responding to an armed attack.
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we are not responding against an attack by the yemeni government. we are responding to an armed attack by the individual operating in yemen. she did not tell you, of course, that under international law, yemen, pakistan, and somalia have a legal international obligation to prevent individuals in their territory from carrying out attacks against the territory or the nationals of the state with which they are at peace. just as the united states as a similar obligation. you know, we are obligate to prevent any individuals from carrying out attacks from u.s. territory against any nation or state with which we are at peace. now, these governments -- pakistan, somalia, yemen -- either in able or in some cases are unwilling because of deep domestic political divisions to prevent these individuals from operating. and so my question is, what are we supposed to do? do we simply cross our hands and allow them to operate with impunity?
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they are not operating in a zone of armed conflict, and might be area, or iraq, or afghanistan. but they moved to another area and we allow them to operate with impunity? is that what natural law, morality, what the law really allows? and i suggest to you that when the language in the united nations charter was written in 1945, ok, we did not have this problem. we did not have the capacity of individuals and terrorist organizations operating in these lawless areas, striking against the u.s. or against other countries. so, we have to respond. now, i agree we have to respond using necessity, using proportionality. we may agree that sometimes, perhaps, we have used too many drone strikes. and we might agree that maybe we
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have to be more selective, more careful. ok? but to ban drone strikes as unlawful, i think, makes a travesty of what international law is. as it has been famously said, it is not a recipe for suicide. former secretary of state said this about height of the cuban missile crisis read and so last resort and yes, in many cases, it is a last resort because peaceful resolution, detention, arrest does not work. i find it interesting for mary ellen to call obama's osama bin laden operation a police operation. it was not a police operation, ok. and it was not a police that it was the use of u.s. military force. it was an attack, a combat operation against an individual who had engaged in an armed attack against the u.s.
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now, obviously, had osama bin laden surrendered, we were under a legal obligation to arrest him and bring him back to the united states. and we would have done so. if he did not surrender, we were there to kill him. ok? and it was a combat operation. proportionality, obviously, you know drone strikes are designed to be proportional. sometimes going to do cause collateral damage. innocent people get killed. and we look at how we could make some of these operations much more discriminate. we do go out of our way to make
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these operations very discriminatory. and we try to avoid collateral damage. we make every effort not to hit individuals who are present in mosques, and hospitals, in places where there is a high likelihood of collateral damage. we still wind up killing innocent people. but i suggest to you, that if we were to use so-called police tactics, as mary ellen has suggested, to arrest these individuals, we was still have massive collateral damage. we was still wind up killing lots of innocent people because the militants against which we would direct the so-called police tactics would have armed supporters around them. and they would use shelters in the civilian population to force us to cause these civilian casualties. our member very clearly, of course, and somalia, we actually sent u.s. forces there to arrest mohammed, the somalia warlord. and we all know what happened. he mobilized his militant sympathizers, they surrounded a group of u.s. special operation
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forces, it was a firefight. and the result was hundreds of innocent people killed. so, we have to look very closely and at the question, what options does the u.s. have in some of these cases? ivo: great. thanks to both of you for i think of very clear, definitive statement. i will throw out a few questions, in order to get the disagreement going. [laughter] i will not discourage any of you to -- mary ellen: i think it is going great. ivo: let us hope that this of it. mary ellen, let me start with you. i was intrigued by the idea that it was the unlawful use of force that was a big recruitment tool for isis. which seems to imply the lawful use of force against isis would not be a big recruitment tool.
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and yet, we know that, of course, since june of 2014, the u.s. has engaged in military action in a lawful way against isis. because it was invited by the iraqi government to defend iraq against an attack -- they came from syria, not a foreign country -- i do not think there is any dispute that the u.s. was acting on behalf of of the iraqi government, or with the support of the government. and that ava has of the government, -- and at the behest of the government, it is likely that isis is using that as a recruitment tool. because the bombs falling from an aircraft, as opposed to a missile from a hellfire droned, might not be distinguishable,
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particularly to the person being killed. so what is it about the unlawful use of force that is a recruitment tool, as opposed to the use of force? mary ellen: there is a very clear understanding among people who have been victimized by drones whether they are living in a combat zone, a place that has fomented an attack on the u.s. that they, or their neighbors or country responsible for it, there is clear understanding between that and people who believe that they have done nothing to this country. and yet, are being victimized. the evidence is overwhelming. political scientists collecting data, journalists collecting data, have shown time and again, the people living in a rural pakistan, that do not believe they have done anything to the u.s. -- and they are correct -- they are the ones who are saying, if we're going to be victimized we're going to look for a way to respond, our
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government will not stand up for us. it is under the thumb of the u.s. and we are going to do something, we're not going to just try and live our lives and put up with this kind of business. so, that is how the recruitment tool -- and that is because international law, ivo, really does track -- it is older than u.s. law. it has build up incrementally brood it does follow a great deal of common sense. the rules, as alberto already suggested, on the use of force in the u.n. charter are rules that alberto seems to feel we can adjust as our own u.s. policy permits. but these are rules dating from. policy permits, but these are rules dating from or emerging from the just war doctrine. they are very deeply ingrained
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in people's natural, moral understanding of what is right and wrong. people around the world have a very instinctive and strong moral sense of when they should be free of this kind of violent attack, this kind of destructive attack. and when they are on notice, the people for syria for example, when opposition to the members of the government decided to take up arms, people throughout syria new they were now in danger. but the people of pakistan, where we have been attacking and have made some of the neighbors have common cause with the afghan taliban, they do not see that as an attack on the u.s. and they do not understand why they are being victimized. so, that is where recruiting -- and i can make the same comment even stronger about yemen -- yemen had a problem with certain
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lawless, terrorist groups coming there and taking advantage of their relatively weak government. much stronger than the situation in yemen now. and in those days, the u.s. was working with the yemen government, during the clinton administration. after the attack on the u.s.s. cole in 2000. and the fbi, another response to alberto, was being very effective and rounding up a small groups of individuals who carried out that attack. they were prosecuted, they were in jail. we took our eye off yemen. we did not give them the report that that small government needed when we decided to invade iraq in 2003, and yes, drives were paid. -- bribes were paid. it was easy for al qaeda members to get out.
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at that point, the u.s. was using drones regularly in yemen and in pakistan by then. and they were able to use al qaeda members in yemen -- they were able to use that fact to say, do you want to see muslims, innocent women and children, being attacked? because when a drone strike attack, it is not like a bullet in the head. an assassination of that kind. these early strikes especially, they were inevitably taking 20-30 people every time. not just the intended target, the people who had nothing to do with anything that individual might have done in the past or the future. so in yemen, it is a clear, straight line between drone attacks, which began in 2002 in november, and the growth of al qaeda in yemen. so those drone attacks were unlawful. people knew it. and it helped recruit, to the point where isis does not need the point of drones anymore.
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-- need to point to drones anymore. the fact that they have been successful against u.s.-backed forces from iraq, and the u.s.-backed opposition in syria, it is that very success against the military might of the united states and the proxies in the area. so we are now in a very bad situation, created by the failure to take the wisdom and guidance of this ancient area of international law, restraining the use of force, with the embedded morality. follow that, maybe it takes more patience and time, alberto. but at the end of the day, the way the british control the ira, the germans control their terrorism problem, and the way we were having great success against al qaeda after the 1993 world trade center attacks and the 1998 embassy attacks, we
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took our eye off the ball. we had it under control. we did not do the good police work, we did not patent into the attentions --pay attention to the intelligence in 2001. and we exacerbated that mistakes are using military force and declaring and exacting the global war on terror. you could ask, but i have said enough, so i will say that for later. ivo: because we do get into a very different argument about the global war on terror, versus the one instrument. i want to stick with the instrument, the centrality of the instrument in this discussion. and alberto, you make the observation that we do not -- that we are living in a slightly different world. a world that is different than one in 1945, when we drew up the charter in san francisco. in which we were concerned about nations going to war against
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nations. now, we're talking about individuals were going to war against nations or other individuals in other nations. and that is the dilemma we face from an international legal perspective, but also from a practical security perspective. as i think you made the case. how far do we want to push this? let me take the case of the united states deciding it is ok to kill american citizens in other countries. as indeed, the u.s. did in the case of yemen, in the case of -- of a lundy -- by the way, scott, was here a few months ago, he wrote a book on the dilemma. where is the legal justification that says it is not just a foreign individual, but now an american individual, who can be
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targeted? alberto: yes, i do not have a problem with that. because american nationals, ok, who leave the united states and have planned attacks against the u.s. become combatants. and we have a series of u.s. supreme court decisions going back to the 1940's, the very famous case of the german saboteurs, two of them were american nationals. ok? and we have lots of german-americans who at the outbreak of world war ii, they went to germany and joined the german armed forces. they put on german uniforms. and when we were fighting against them, we did not say, well, we have to detain them because they are american citizens. we simply engaged in combat with them. and so, american nationals, who
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leave the u.s. and become combatants, they are assuming the risk of becoming combatants. and the president can order that they be attacked. now there has to be a process in , place. ok? and the president has to have a process in which the intelligence is reviewed very carefully, to determine that indeed they are combatants. that they're not just preaching fiery sermons in a mosque, but they are indeed engaged in planning an attack on the u.s. and that intelligence should be reviewed by legal counsel in the administration. ultimately, the president, under the constitution, has the obligation to protect the u.s. against people who are planning attacks. let me make it very clear. we are not attacking simply an enemy. this is not a case of political assassination. ok? i do not condone political assassination.
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i do not condone trying to kill fidel castro, who may have been enemies of the u.s., but who were not planning attacks against the u.s. that is the key distinction. so, as combatants -- individuals placing himself at risk -- you cannot simply say to the u.s., well, we have to arrest them. of course, we can try to arrest them, mary ellen. i am all in favor of peaceful solutions. i think your comparisons with the ira is inappropriate. no more than we should have killed the boston bomber. they are arrested and in u.s. territory. we have the appropriate legal instrument to deal with them. but these individuals who operate in lawless areas, in which the governments are either unwilling or unable to turn them over to us or to allow us to
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work with them, we have to be able to defend ourselves. and to the extent that the fbi was able to do this in yemen early on, i applaud their efforts. i think that the airstrikes -- whatever we can -- but i think we are not able to do that in every place around the world. there are places around the world were the fbi is not able to operate to bring these individuals to justice. and to also protect ourselves from the dangers they are posing. the rules, i think are still , there. i'm a strong believer in morality, the just war tradition. the rules of the charter are there. but an armed attack is not the same thing in 1945 as what it means today. in other words, armed attacks are carried out not only by states and also by these individuals, who because of technology and globalization, and all kinds of development including social media, they're able to attack us in ways that they really could not do back
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then, 70 years ago. mary ellen: i did not say this before and i want everybody to understand, regardless of alberto's argument based on practicality and the world changing, the law has not changed. in 2005, the united nations held a world summit in new york city. and every member of the u.n. agreed to abide by the u.n. charter rules that i explained to you, as written. there was no exception made for this idea that was first trotted out by some think tank folks in the u.k. that instead of reacting -- ivo: nothing wrong with think tank folks. [laughter] mary ellen: but we do not let them decide for our countries what international law is. and they want to allow a state
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being unable or unwilling to prevent terrorism. the world community is never going to accept that. really, we're going to allow vladimir putin to decide the ukraine is unable and unwilling to control a lawless problem? seriously? we are would let the ayatollah khomeini decide that israel -- no, it does not work as a general rule. and it will never be adopted. nobody gives the u.s. and -- u.s. an exceptional right to decide who is unable or unwilling to control their lawlessness. they say it is lawless in yemen, or alberto does, that is not a view in yemen. yemen is to control its own country. and the lawlessness there you find there today in fact, has a , lot to do with us. if we get back to becoming a cooperative, supportive country helping to build the rule of law, supporting criminal
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justice, we will be able to do the extradition, the deportation of the people that did work in the u.k. and germany and the u.s. itself. regardless of what works or does not work the law does not permit , what alberto is suggesting. and if scott shane was here, talking about his new book, which is focused on this, this very technology is driving people to think that what you can do with it must be lawful. you have the capacity and you want to use it, and therefore, that is crowding your clear-eyed view. shane's careful reporting showed that he was no combatant. he was guilty of propaganda and of inducing people to commit
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terrible crimes, although he is -- has never been tried for that in a court of law, as opposed to inside the white house. and shane makes, i think, a very strong case that he was killed out of revenge. not because it was lawful under our constitution, under the human rights treaties that we are committed to, or under the u.n. charter that this country, our president franklin delano roosevelt, wrote. this is an example of how careful you have to be with seductive technology like the drone, that makes it so easy, with very little risk to the country itself, not putting their own individuals in harms way, not asking them to pay the price and patience and persistence with doing the right thing. but look at the -- and they have some short-term benefit -- but really long-term costs. that is absolutely the isis story. ivo: alberto, i want to give you
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one chance to come back. and then we want to open up the floor. so, start thinking of your questions, if you do not have any. you have not been listening. [laughter] but as you come back on this point, international law, like all law evolved, and the dilemma that you have with states no longer being able to control necessarily what happens in their territory. as for example, changing humanitarian law with the responsibility to protect -- which 200 world leaders have accepted -- we have not agreed what to do about it. but that is true for most of the things we do under the law. how does international law change? alberto: it changes because international law reflects practices. professor thomas frank, the late
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professor, a wonderful scholar of international law and a very strong supporter of international law, he argued in the last decade of his life, the article does not prevent absolute prohibition on the use of force. it had to be interpreted in light of what actually was going on in the world. nobody would accuse him of being a nihilist. but he said, look, you have to recognize that the use of force is not just simply conventional armies invading another state, as saddam hussein did in 1990 when he invaded kuwait. what we have here is a very serious problem. ok? with regards to russia russia and the ukraine, if ukraine allowed armed groups in its territory to carry out attacks against russia, ok, russia would have legitimate grounds for
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holding the ukrainian government to its international legal responsibility. these governments have an international legal responsibility to control the launching of armed attacks from the territories against another state. and when they do not exercise that kind of responsibility, you cannot expect another state to simply fold its arms and say, welcome and might take 10 years. we're going to try to arrest them. in situations where that is not practical, i mean, if it is practical, yes, we need to do it. and so, i think that we need to understand this. that the united states, and you can look at the policy and say let us see how we can improve it, and maybe there have been to many of these drone attacks. to argue that this technology is simply unacceptable, i think i'm basically deprives us of a very legitimate means to exercise our right to self-defense against individuals who are planning attacks.
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i think there was a lot of intelligence. he was not just a simple preacher. he was involved in operational planning activities. ok? and i think that was part of the intelligence that led to president obama to authorize his killing. and so, i think that, and the answer we have to look at these issues and say, states have a right to defend themselves. and this is not simply a matter of discarding the rule of international law, but recognizing that these rules have to be applied not just in terms of restraining the use of law, but allowing law to be used to justify self-defense and -- in legitimate situations. ivo: at this point, i really want to go to the audience. please put up your arm, and we will have someone bring a microphone. one of the things we like about it when you ask questions, that you actually ask a question. so that we can have as many people participate. we will start right here, up front.
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wait for the microphone. there you go. >> thank you. i teach university level courses on terrorism. the question i have is a question of fact. whether or not before 1945, considerable nonstate actors that involved attacks on civilians and on governments, one thinks of the beginning of world war i for example, but also the people's will in russia. and a all host of other examples, how does that fit into your factual statement, that in 1945, the law was based only on nationstates. presumably, the treaty of west phalia. alberto: the transnational unity was not there. you can mention, for example, in serbia, there were people who
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hated austria and hungary. the prince came from those groups, ok. but there was not the ability to systematically organize and carry out attacks against transnational boundaries, across large distances, as there is, today. very different situation. mary ellen: they absolutely did have non-state actor groups in mind. there are provisions in international humanitarian law, of course, that were built on the spanish civil war where there was plenty of non-capacity to carry out a lot of violence. no, as the technology becomes more and more widespread, the -- it will become incumbent if you want to have any kind of sense of order and restraining of the law, to raise the taboo on this kind of violence. two evermore really -- to stick
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to the rule of law as agreed by the international community and not take the soft interpretations that meet your needs of the moment, but they do not have the idea of how we're going to really raise in people -- in people's minds that violence is beyond the pale. and the answer is not to turn to the bomb. you do have the possibility of being part of a government that gives you a voice. i mean, the emphasis by alberto that somehow, i am saying you do not have a right to self-defense, yes you do. but the united states treating someone as a combatant, one individual, and use the law that was created to defend the country modeled on germany's invasion of poland, that is where we are really getting things wrong. and not understanding the lessons of history. thanks for your point. a good one. alberto: just very briefly, when
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we attacked him, we were not attacking the country in which he was located. we were attacking him. mary ellen: that is not what yemen thinks. of course we were attacking the country. ivo: let me point it out. frankly, that is dilemma. right? the dilemma is if you are attacking individuals in your country, that is one thing. another thing if they are in another country. that is where they exist. the question is, is it a combatant or not? maybe it is or is not a factual one. but let me bring on another person. with a question. >> yes, i am dr. dale lemmon. we are watching for everyone come visit us. professor, youu, talked about the seductive technology of the drone. let me ask you what a drone is? it is a flying robot of death.
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set a dangerous and convenient precedent of killer robots eliminating certain human beings? and the robots will continue to evolve, by moore's law. doubling their capacity every 18 months, how long will it be? think about the unintended, secondary consequences in the future of allowing robots to become bringers of death to human beings. mary ellen: i thank you very much for the comment. because one of the things we do not have time to talk about is what is happening in the laboratory in the u.s., the u.s. is hard at work on what we call the fully autonomous robotic weapon. this will allow us to program a drone to attack, at some time in the distant future, years
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after the programming, on parameters that the programmer today thinks are important. through using sensor technology, and other means that are also being developed, the robotic weapon carries out its legal -- lethal task. that is a super problem in my mind. technology is now the subject of the u.n. review in switzerland. part of the article 33 review process and there is a very strong effort to try and create a rule that fully autonomous robotic weapons will not be permitted. there always has to be a human human -- human being in the near time, the decision to kill. and i support that. but what support even more is understanding that the best way -- we are not going to -- the history of arms control is that we are not going to stop the
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inventions. the way we succeeded in the past is creating legal barriers to use. the prohibition on the use of the nuclear weapon, the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons, the prohibition on the use of a blinding laser weapons, that is what has succeeded so, we need a , legal prohibition on fully autonomous robotic weapons. and we need to restrict the use of drone technology, with the hellfire missile, to armed conflict zones. and not to policing matters. alberto: i think we are in danger of confusing two issues. one, is the issue of technology, which is not supervised by humans. on this i fully agree with , professor o'connell. absolutely, we do not want a situation where weapons themselves make the decision. right now, that is not the situation with drones. they are fully controlled by the president. they are under full command.
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there is no robotic drone out there on its own, deciding who to target. so let us not be overly dramatic about this issue. the second thing i want to say is that, with regards to policing, ok, if the american people want to have a conversation and decide that we want to ban drones, along with other states, and we might ban chemical weapons or biological weapons, that is a very legitimate conversation. but we need to be aware of what the costs will be. ok? which are different from the cost of banning chemical weapons. the cost will be that we are vulnerable to attacks by these individuals, who will not operate in an armed conflict zone, but will operate somewhere else. and they will have impunity to plan attacks against us. in areas where we will not
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practically be able to arrest, detain, or get the government to do that. if we want to incur that risk, and we decide that that is morally acceptable, that is a decision for us to make. but i think that right now, you know, the idea that somehow we could allow these individuals to find areas in the world where they can operate freely, under the justification that this is not a combat area. therefore, we can attack them, that is morally inappropriate. mary ellen: alberto, it is a non sequitur to say that if we do not have drones we cannot do anything about the terrorist threat. we did plenty about the terrorist threat before we had drones. so that is simply a non sequitur. alberta: i disagree. mary allen: and we have but he -- we have plenty that we can do. and i'm not saying that the legitimate use of drones on the battlefield. they have been, as we heard from our introducer, they can be very, very helpful.
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in a close combat engagement situation, where you know you are engaging two sets of fighting forces. where they have been unbalanced and nobody doubts this, counterproductive, is in trying to go after single individuals suspected of a past crime. and perhaps planning a future one. we do not allow that in the u.s. we could do the same thing. we have plenty of people plotting things here, as we know. and by your logic, we should be using these invaluable drones to fly around after them. to say that we can do this in this small list of countries, is to say that they do not deserve the same respect as a resident -- as the rest of the countries in the world. and we are in no position, under international law, to make those
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claims, but my real objection is that you are painting this black and white extreme. that if we do not use drone attacks in yemen, we can't do anything. alberto: in many ways, we cannot do anything in certain places of the world. that is why i draw a distinction. there are many places where they do not operate. even though they may not like us, they do not allow attacks against us. mary allen:, but you do agree alberto, that international law does not say to the u.s., welcomed, you can pick and choose the countries where you want to. international law does not say that. alberto: international law does say that states have responsibility to prevent their territories from being -- mary ellen: what does international law say is the right response to a country that is not fulfilling obligations, not doing due diligence. unless the country is responsible for an armed attack on the u.s., we have to work with countermeasures, sanctions, or cooperation to get them in
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line. ivo: i would just raise what happened in 2001 as a counterexample, which is to say that a terrorist organization, trained and operated from afghanistan and attacked the u.s. we invaded in october. our invasion of the country was designed precisely to go after the individuals who were responsible for this. because the government explicitly failed to take care of it. so, i think the issue there was one where do you use military force, as we did in afghanistan war, when we do not have drone attacks. they probably would not have been very effective. or not? mary ellen: they're somewhat different. when we went to war in afghanistan, the british have produced the detailed white paper that pointed out for purposes of international law analysis from the links between the taliban government and the
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al qaeda training camps. and it was on that basis that the u.s. and great britain made their cases to the security council's, and a pair of letters, that went forward and pointed out the exact rule of law that i'm emphasizing here. that afghanistan was responsible for the 9/11 attack. subsequently, we know that the british have a problem with cooking the books. as they did with 2003, as well. so, the factual case that they had made, that the international community accepted as the proper legal basis for going to war in afghanistan, under article 51 in self-defense, was weaker and to , our great regret, because how how -- how many years did we fight theire? -- there? it was also a case.
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and if you read lawrence wright's "the looming tower," we would be far better off if we had taken wholesale force. based on the evidence, we were fully in compliance. ivo: i will open up the issue here actually is not about drones. it is under what circumstances do you use force to deal with terrorism. >> is germany the only foreign country from which the united states launches drone wars? mary ellen: we have bases in half a dozen countries now. but the only european country. as you probably know, the bundestag has an investigation into whether germany is complicit in supporting unlawful killing and providing intelligence. i expect there will be action to end that complicity in unlawful
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conduct. ivo: there are no, as far as i'm aware, drones being used on german soil. the question was whether there was another place where american bases outside of germany, germany is not one of the places where we base drones. >> we base them there. >> congratulations. i am more confused about who is right than ever. [laughter] >> professor coll, you mentioned the degree of certainty that either an administration or intelligence agency would need to have to authorize lethal
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force. really, that is the ultimate question, right? how do we define that degree of certainty? just to go a little deeper in that, which is it is very well , documented that, essentially, machine learning algorithms have been used to indicate a potential threat moving forward. that has been used to authorize lethal force. i would like to get your thoughts on that. the second is to you, professor o'connell. let's not kid ourselves. yemen is a-ok with us launching drones from their territory. pakistan in the same right, if
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anything, we were potentially doing them a favor in doing less. we may have encouraged them to do more in their own right. can you talk more about, when the u.s. is launching the strkes on individuals with either explicit or implicit agreement from the host nation? alberto: i think the standards the president and his attorney general have tried to articulate to the american public, the standard is not simply speech, ok? it is not sympathy. it is not the fact that somebody is an enemy of the united states. it is the fact the person in question is participating in action, supporting, ok, the planning and carrying out of an attack against the united states. that is gathered on the basis of
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intelligence and the evidence has to be multi-source, not just one human intelligence source saying, johnny is plotting to do this, ok? there have to be several sources, and that is studied very carefully, the planning and participating in an armed attack against the united states and u.s. nationals. that evidence is reviewed by councils within the executive branch. i think those are reasonable standards. we need to continue to subject them to scrutiny and demand the president abide by those standards. we are not talking about speech. we are talking about specific steps taken by an individual to plan and participate in an attack against the united states.
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mary ellen: consent of a country where we might be using military force. first, the facts with regards to pakistan, there is an excellent new book on the shah. he is a pakistani international lawyer that has detailed information about the authority structure in pakistan. it is clear from his book and my research that the united states never had clear and explicit authorization of the elected president of pakistan. we had some cooperation and quid pro quo negotiating. you let us kill our guy, and we will let you kill the guy you want to kill. that is the poker-playing dealmaking which is offensive hopefully, to every american, from members of the i.s.i.
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from members of the military. this is like if mexico were to ask the cia if they could kill some of their druglords in miami on vacation because it would be an easier place to send a drone than where they are, having a good time on the water off miami, because the u.s. cannot control its borders -- we have been hearing a lot of that lately -- can the cia give mexico authorization? we have given them drones to take out a guy. this is the same as asking i.s.i. for permission to kill somebody on their territory. in yemen, we did. in 2002, the first use of a drone outside of a combat zone was to kill six people in a vehicle. there was a 23-year-old from upstate new york who had not fired a weapon, as far as i know, that decided al qaeda was
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the real deal and was in the vehicle with the one intended target. the cia sent a drone and shot two hellfire missiles into the vehicle. the cia flies in, takes dna to prove they got their guy. this is the longest chaotic -- law lists -- wallace -- lawless chaotic situation alberto is talking about. we had an indirect ok for that. as far as i know, presidents of countries cannot give the ok to deny the fundamental right to human life. there was no armed conflict in his country that he invited us in to help, as we were invited into iraq, afghanistan. those were the bases on which we
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used force for 12 years in afghanistan and iraq right now. we had consent to suppress a civil war or insurrection. but that is not what is going on in yemen. we got permission to violate fundamental human right to life. i do not think he had the permission to give. so, so much for consent. ivo: the gentleman in the back. >> i think this will be short. you mentioned, professor coll, that the basis for a drone strike is a government's inability or unwillingness to control its own territory. last year, 17,000 americans died as a result of drug overdoses. thousands more killed indirectly. that is more than terrorism has
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killed in the last 100 years. mexico is the primary source for illicit drugs. the mexican government has been unable to control territory, particularly in the south. i wonder if you feel targeted drone strikes are a legitimate tactic to use in mexico against drug lords. if so, why not? what is the legal difference. alberto: absolutely not. there is a fundamental legal difference. drugs kill people. so does air pollution, cancer. so does reckless driving. what happens with regard to mexico and drugs coming in, is a matter fit for criminal law ok? , it is a criminal activity, not the sponsorship of an armed attack using weapons against the united states. >> you are saying it is only the motivation? alberto: not just the motivation. there is a distinction between
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using an armed attack, ok, and simply exporting to a country substances that may cause people who wish to consume the product great harm, including death. two very different things. no more than the united states, when phillip morris exports cigarettes to a foreign country that causes cancer, that country would be justified in firing drones. significant difference. an armed attack is something different than selling substances that may cause harm. mary ellen: the important point is how the thinking about drones is diluting the idea of when and where you can use violence. in 2001, an ambassador to israel said this country was morally and legally opposed to targeted killing.
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now, we do it without hesitation. as soon as the cia brings evidence to the white house this guy might be planning something in the future, and he is in an area where we will only kill maybe six or seven people around him, let's kill him. we used to think that was anathema, that that was wrong. now, for a modicum of a false security, we think that is ok. so why not the drug lord, the reckless driver who is drunk driving and killed six people? he knew when he went out drinking and did not make arrangements to get home. why can't we pull out guns and kill that guy? we have seen this view that killing is ok in different contexts has infected police
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forces. we have taken violence as acceptable. this leadership from the white house, lowering the threshold that we think violence is beyond the pale, is causing an endemic of exactly the kind you are worried about. alberto: i would like to respond, ok? the framework mary ellen is giving us would leave us unable to respond to a very serious threat posed by individuals and groups against the united states. the rules of international law were not intended to prevent the united states from defending itself. all the great moral theorists say there has to be a means by which law recognizes the new and, sadly, ever more creative ways of carrying out violence
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are created. there has to be a means of responding to that in a way that provides deterrence so that individuals will know if they operate in certain parts of the world, they could be subjected to destruction, and that is important that is important in a sinful world. ivo: i think we live in a complicated world in which, even if we agree on what the set of rules are, how to apply them is contentious. this has been a great contentious debate, but civilized, which is good. i know we will not end this with agreement, but we will thank both of you for elucidating. [applause]
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>> more life road to the white house coverage this afternoon and evening with two events ahead of the nevada republican caucus.
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senator ted cruz holding a campaign rally in las vegas at 3:00 eastern time. we take your calls and comments right after. donald trump who won the south carolina republican mary on saturday is leading in nevada and will hold a rally in las vegas. we will have live coverage of that at 10:00, eastern. >> a look here inside the white house where president obama will be addressing members of the natural -- national governors association. their weekend sessions are available online at c-span.org. they talked about a number of issues. the economy, drug addiction and jobs. we will be live at the white house as soon as the president's remarks begin. at about 12:30, the leaders of the nga will have a briefing and we will have that live on c-span.
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the supreme court is back in session for the first time after the death of justice antonin scalia whose funeral was saturday. hear two cases today and the late justices seat will remain black. the vacant seat will move toward the end of the row, waiting for a new justice to be appointed. chief justice john roberts will ship seeds to reflect the new order of seniority. you can check out more details online for usa today.com. the governors of the governors association at the state dining room will bring you back here as soon as the -- as soon as the
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president begins his remarks. while we wait, we will take a look at his budget blueprint for the next fiscal year and opposition from congressional republicans as well as the attack plans -- tax plans never put forth by the candidates. this is discussion from today's washington journal. a familiar face from washington journal viewers, president of americans for tax reform and joins us now to discuss the 2017 budget released by the white house. we are also talking about the tax plan that candidates are talking about on the campaign trail. it is a $4.1 trillion spending plan. you described it as an explosion of taxes. what is fueling that explosion? guest: it brings taxes up 3.4 troy and dollars over the next decade. spending over $2.5 trillion over the next decade.
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it is bernie sanders wish list of more money and spending for the government. none of this is going to happen. his budgets have gone to the hill and luckily they have gotten two votes from democrats. it is an exercise in something. i guess he is trying to make a point or make some friends happy. he has a massive tax increase, $.25 on a gallon of gas. it would double the federal gas tax. all of that money goes to not roads. it is not roads, but more like
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pats and high-speed trains which people decided they don't want -- bike paths and high-speed trains which people decided they don't want. what people want from the government is roads that do work and are wide enough to get traffic through and take the gas tax money away from roads and put into something else. host: in his statement, the president said the budget and here's your last year's bipartisan budget agreement which i want you to help us work through. drives down the deficit and includes smart savings for health care, immigration and includes tax reform. tax reform is certainly something that you have been advocating. guest:'s definition of tax reform is to get the irs another billion dollars. there has been no reform of the they's -- oversaw the billiard to discipline people for going after people for political reasons, auditing people based on political purposes.
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i served on the commission on restructuring the irs during the clinton years. -- nonethe commissioner of the groups are being audited, i talked to my right senate friends in many of the groups are being audited. i was wondering if you can explain to us how you decide who to audit? have this very scientific nonpolitical way of doing this." great, what is it? " oh, it is a secret and you have to trust us." that trust has been broken and we should not be giving more money to the irs or specifically rewarding the people who are supposed to protect people's taxes when they have been targeting people politically. host: is there a reform plan being talked about on the campaign trail by any of the candidates that you can endorse? guest: i said there are things about each of the net -- each of the public and candidates --
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republican candidates. while hillary clinton is being marched hard left with obama and the vermont senator and the other and obama -- spend and tax budget, she cannot turn to him and say this is crazy. bernie sanders is also moving her to the left. she is not want to run as they gun grabbing very left candidate -- as the gun grabbing very left candidate. she is so far off the moderate path because she was picked up at these two men and carried off. this is not the political decision that she would have want to -- wanted to run that way. she has just agreed to all the tax increases. on the republican side, i know they yell at each other and call
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taxes,her names, but on they made the decision to not raise taxes which i agree with. they asked them to make a commitment in writing historically that they will raise taxes. we have strong support in the house and senate that can and will stop any tax increase, even with a tax -- a democratic president. side, they allan dramatically reduce rates. international competitive -- competitiveness problem. an all-timex is at high -- [applause] >> thank you and welcome everybody. i can tell you as i've been thinking about the convention, the conference this weekend, it has been very well attended and
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we have a robust discussion. ae highlight is that we have opportunity to come and visit with the president and vice president and have this question and answer opportunity. we appreciate them hosting this. i have been here seven times. i know that is not compare much kerry ranson's 21 times, but i feel like it is an experience for me. i was talking to secretary of interior sally jewell about the nostalgia that comes as you get to the end of your term and what we accomplished and what we still have to do. i think that is what we are about as we gather to say what can we do as we accelerate and lengthen our stride and service to our states and the people of america. we thank you for your service and i'm pleased to be associated with you. i learn from you all the time and it makes me a better governor of utah. i have come to appreciate that we have a lot more in common as
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republicans, democrats, independents than differences. we need to recognize the similarities. in my own state, 80% of unanimouslys past -- is passed unanimously. with that, living take the opportunity to introduce people who need no introduction, the vice president and the president . the vice president has certainly been a friend and we look forward to hosting him in utah as he comes and talks about the moon shot of cancer and what can we do to find a cure, something that we all know about. it has had our families and friends. the opportunity for him to engage with the hospice cancer institute in utah and see what the private sector is doing and what can we do better working together to see if we can't rid ourselves of this scourge.
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his 30's, 36ce years as a senator and the vice president now doing a lot of the heavy lifting on behalf of this administration. we are very honored to have vice president joe biden. the president we had a great opportunity last night to associate with has broken barriers for his country. night, thened last realization and resolution of our founding fathers that all men are created equal and we see the diversification that has come in our country and we appreciate the opportunity to be with the president and for his service and dedication. welcome theet's vice president, joe biden and the president of the united states. barack obama. [applause]
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>> thank you. thank you, everybody. please have a seat. thank you, so much. please, have a seatthank you. please have a seat, everybody. it is wonderful to see all of you. i hope you had just the right amount of fun last night and not too much fun. believe, it is hard to that was the final dinner michelle and i get to host for you. like me, some of you might be in the final year of your last term , working as hard as you can, to get as much done as possible for the folks that you represent. fixing roads, educating our children, helping people reach rain, appointing judges, the usual stuff.
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[laughter] those of you who have been in office for a while also with just -- witnessed all the progress we have made together and it has been a partnership. millions of new jobs created, millions of people newly covered with health insurance, the new energy project popping up all across the state. i do want to comment before i on the issue of security for the american people. we all raiseparty, our hand and take an oath and assume the solemn responsibility to protect our citizens. that is a mission that should unite us all as americans. three we are focused on threats in particular. first and foremost is terrorism. the attack in texas, chattanooga, san bernardino, were attacks in good and decent
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communities, but they were also attacks on our entire country. as americans, we are united in support of men and women in uniform from every day who read the coalition we built with the mission to destroy isil. we're working with other nations to prevent terrorists from entering the states, unwavering and thatere at home, is where the partnership with your states come in. this is a shared mission and we have to stay vigilant. across the country, we have got more than 100 joint terrorism task forces. federal, state, local experts working together to disrupt level, and at the state pushing information out to law enforcement. sure oureed to make extraordinary law enforcement professionals and first responders have the equipment and resources they need, and we have got to stay united as one american family working with
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preventies to help loved ones from becoming radicalized and rejecting any politics that tries to divide the american people on the basis of faith. something that is a shared project. it is not something we do together. one of the genuine areas of progress that i have seen since i came into office, and it was started in the previous administration and this is one of the findings of 9/11, breaking down some of the silos between federal, state, and local law enforcement when it comes to encountering -- countering terrorism. thatve made progress on but that is where state and local partners are absolutely critical. this is not something the federal government can do alone, particularly because many of the attacks may end up being lone wolf attacks, rather than those imported from the outside. the attack in san bernardino killed 14 of our fellow americans and here is a hard truth.
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we probably lost even more gunscans than that two this weekend alone -- to guns this weekend alone. on saturday, another was terrorized by gun violence. six people were gunned down in michigan. the four i joined all of you, i called the mayor, the sheriff, and the police chief there and told them they would have whatever federal support they needed in their investigation. officials and first responders did an outstanding job apprehending the individual very quickly. families whogot are shattered today. earlier this year, i took steps that would make it harder for dangerous people like this individual to buy a gun. clearly, we will need to do more if we will keep innocent americans safe. i have got to suit -- to assume that all of your our -- our --
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all of you are as tired as i am. think about what we need to do in a commonsense way and a bipartisan way without the thattisan -- the rhetoric surrounds that issue. the second area we are focused on is cyber threats. the technology that connects us like ever -- like never before also allows our adversary to do us harm. havers and nations targeted our military, our corporations, the federal and state governments. our are a threat to national security and economic leadership. they are a threat to our critical infrastructure. they are a threat to the privacy and public safety of the american people. this is a complex challenge and we will not be able to meet its alone. we have made -- meet it alone. industryade progress
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and with your states, but all of us are still vulnerable. this is why earlier this month, i launched the cyber security national action plan and toposed significant funding push our cyber security efforts in a more aggressive direction. a major overhaul of federal computer systems. i want to do more with your states, including sharing more -- moreation, information, improving our response capabilities. a jointinitiated bipartisan commission made up of one of my national security advisers, former national security advisers, tom, but joined with the former ceo of ibm so they can work together to help provide us a sense of direction at the federal and
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state levels as well as the private sector in terms of how we move forward on this. we will want your input. i think we probably have good ideas about where your vulnerabilities are in terms of your state databases and what you're doing there, so that is an area where i think we can probably work together. finally, we all have to remain vigilant when it comes to the spread of disease. since late last year, my administration has been focused on the threat of zika. so far, while there is no evidence of zika transmission from mosquitoes here in the continental united states, there are confirmed cases in puerto rico. as leaders, it is important we convey very basic fact, including the fact that zika is not like ebola. ebola was primarily spread from human to human. based on what we know right now, zika is spread predominately through the bite of certain kinds of mosquitoes in a certain country.
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the symptoms are generally very mild. most folks do not even realize they have it. as all of you have read, the possible connection between zika, birth defects, and other serious health problems means we have got to take precautions, particularly with respect to women pregnant or who are trying to get pregnant. fighting thiso be disease at every level at every tool -- with every tool in our proposal -- disposal. emergency funding for efforts at home and abroad, including research into better diagnostic tools, new vaccines, improved methods of mosquito control, and support for territories where there are confirmed cases. we will launch an aggressive coordinated campaign with the nga to stop seek at the source and keep americans healthy. usope each of you joins especially if you are in the southern states where the risk of transmission may be higher.
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fighting terrorism and gun violence, combating cyber attacks and cyber threats, guarding against the outbreak of disease, these are areas where there should not be any dispute or we have got to be working together to keep our country safe and strong. to theforward partnership with nga and each and every one of you in all of these areas. should point out one of the things i am proudest of over the course of the last seven years has been the federal coordination with state and local governments with respect to disaster response. i think it has been extraordinary. i am really proud of the work think thatne and i kind of model of partnership across many of these threats is exactly what is needed to give the american people the confidence their governance --
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that their government is on their side when they need it most. with that, i will take some questions and start with your chairman. you can use the microphone. here you go. >> thank you, mr. president. we again are appreciative that you let us come talk to you about issues near and dear to us as governors. i am struck by the ability we cordial to have relations with your cabinet. i want to complement your people there. one of them talked about the importance of communication and used the term cooperative federalism as a way for us to get things done better between the states and the federal government. i will mention one that comes to my mind. that is working with your department of interior. during the federal shutdown, we were able to work together,
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communicate, and collaborate, and opened up the five national parks of utah to benefit americans. in effort of communication and cooperation, which i think is a great success. i harken back to may be an epic failure, a lack of communication on a previous administration, where a national monument was designated in utah, larger than the state of delaware, 2.5 times larger than rhode island -- [laughter] the vice president made a little -- [laughter] the problem was governor mike leavitt found out about that resignation by reading the washington post. that was the other side of the corn -- coin. you, mr.on to president, really is in the effort of the national governors
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association. what can we do to communicate better with the federal government? what can a federal government do better to communicate with the state so we have cooperation? we are already off in the sunset some time. it would be nice if we have some kind of institutional process to make sure we work together in a collaborative ration, communicate better, and have better outcomes. president obama: i think the nga terrific has been a partner with us. i hope you feel the same way. my instructions to my cabinet, to my secretaries, has always laws,hat we have certain statutes, mandates, that we have to abide by. we have certain policies that we care deeply about. but my instructions to them have been, you check with the
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governor's and the localities that are being impacted, and if they have ideas about how to achieve the mission in a more flexible, sensible way, and we have got that flexibility, we should exercise it. that has been my consistent message and many of you have benefited from those kinds of interactions. what i do is throw the question but at you, not for today it is maybe one of the projects we can do jointly together, and sort of do an inventory. what has worked and what has not institutionally in terms of communication? where have there been areas that governors are concerned that they have not gotten the heads up asked enough? where are the areas where communication has been strong? let's see if we could improve that communication. but my overall impression has been communication with the cabinet secretaries has been good.
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i think our intergovernmental affairs office has tried to be very active. there may be additional things we can do to improve that. i would be happy to hear ideas from your side about what could be done. you probably where there is the biggest gap in communications has to do with our interactions with governors versus our interactions with your congressional could -- congressional delegations. that is where oftentimes things converge. we will have a conversation with governors and they will identify someority, we work out approach to get something done, and then it turns out the congressional delegations have an entirely different idea. the biggest example would be on transportation, for example, where anthony foxx probably traveled to every single one of your states, and before that,
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ray talked about things that needed to get done. everything was -- everyone was excited about getting things done but congress could not get things to move. one of the things i would think would be interesting, as we explore better communications, is how do we create a triangle where we have some interaction with states, states governors, and congressional delegation at the same time? sometimes, that is difficult because we have different parties and different political agendas. sometimes, there may be commonality and it is a matter of closing the loop so that --ional staff know what congressional staff know what the governors are saying. >> [inaudible] president obama: they have got their own legislators. i know they enjoy those interactions tremendously. [laughter]
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next, teri. -- terry. terry: thank you on behalf of all of the governors. [applause] president obama: that was michelle, basically, that put that together. i tried to take credit last night but nobody believed me. and rightly so. we just finished four great days at government leadership. we met with your team about six yous ago and laid out what need it. your administration gave us what we needed. let me say this has been a great meaning -- meeting. thank you very much. we are here from 50 states, different clinical parties, we have different interests in our
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states, but one issue that brings a lot of us together is the issue of trade. as a global economy we have today, many of us do international trade trips. i have done 13 in my first two years. i just got asked from the middle east and cuba. live5% of the customers outside of america. 81% of the growth in the next five years will occur outside america. trade is critical to grow our economy. can you give us an update on the trade policy, where the legislation is, and most importantly, what can we do to help you push trade with congress? president obama: i appreciate that question and government -- governor hogan and i were talking about this yesterday or you told me how much of utah's economy depends on exports. an international trade. that is true for so many of us. maybe the way to answer this is to give a broad overview of how shaped the politics have
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the narrative around trade, and then let me give you some of the facts and what is going on with ttp. over our lifetimes, and certainly accelerated over the years, this has become a global economy and not a national economy. train -- chainly distribution, the fact that companies can set up house anywhere where there is an internet service, the fact at the date cargo containers can ship things more efficiently than ever before, the logistical and speed with which they can move, goods and services around the world, all of this has created a global marketplace. the good news is we are best positioned to take advantage of
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the global marketplace than anybody else. we have got the best cars, the best businesses, the best technology, the best innovation, the best workers. a free market, dynamic economy like nobody else. there have been disruptions as a consequence of that global trade. there is no doubt about it. in everyone of your states, there have been times where somebody has been affected. not all the trade deals of the past were designed just to look out for workers. wase were times where it good for consumers, it was good for the businesses, they may have found lower wages. but it was not always good for those communities that had big lants, that got shift -- shipped over seas.
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on the one hand, people benefit from low prices and low inflation and the degree to which globalization has given people access to more products, lower prices than ever before, that is something that people may be take for granted. what they see directly is that this plant closed, you used to be able to walk in without a college education and get a job. if you were tarred, you would have a middle-class life with benefits and health care and to take care of your family. now, those jobs have contracted. that is the prism through which a lot of folks have been looking at trade. i understand and am sympathetic because i have seen this in my own home state, of why people are suspicious. you look at what happened over the last seven years since i came into office, first of all, exports robie early part of
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this recovery. the early part of this recovery. if you are part of this state, the ad community was making out great for the vast majority of because ofstration exports. the second thing that happened is we actually rebuild manufacturing and started bringing manufacturing jobs back here. folks started to figure out, u.s. workers have become so remain such ad we significant marketplace and our energy costs here are low, it makes sense oftentimes to locate here, even if you are paying a higher wage, because it will be more property. we have created more manufacturing jobs than any time since the 1990's, despite an open trade regime. it is because of my confidence
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in our ability to compete and the fact that we have no choice said, compete, that we where is the next big market where folks are selling us goods and we are not able to sell them goods? we looked at the region that is the fastest growing, most -- most youngest dynamic, youngest population in the world, and where in very ugly activity is going to be invariably economic activity is going to be driving. the 800 pound gorilla. if we allowed them to set trade rules there, american businesses and american workers will be cut out. if we got in there and we set the terms of trade, making sure there were higher labor standards, higher environmental standards, making sure intellectual property is
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respected, making sure that we do well is protected. lower those barriers. if we did all those things, then it would be an improvement for american businesses and american workers and we would know that we would be able to compete in those areas or years to come. so we got ttp done. michael is here. if he has not already, he will brief you on every paragraph, every t crossed and i dotted on the agreement. the bottom line is this. indisputableeve, that once we have ttp in place, we, american companies and american workers, will be better off than the existing trade regime we have right now.
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i will give you an example. right now, there are 18,000 taxes essentially on american goods and services that would all be eliminated. so if you have got a rancher in colorado, they can sell beef to japan in ways they cannot do right now and that is a huge market for them. if you are interested in selling cars in southeast asia, right now, oftentimes, they will slap a 70% tax on the value of the you are noteans competitive peer we will bring those down. no one has described for me, none of the critics of this described forve me how we are better off with the current status quo where --se oaks are all keeping hi, then we would be with ttp p old they argue against is
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trade deals. keep on explaining to them, look, i cannot do anything about what may have happened 40 years ago, but i can do something about what is going on now. because mexico and canada are signatories to the deal, it actually does strengthen labor -- which hasntal previously been one of the main complaints from critics. having said all that, the emotions around trade are still strong. labor unions, and i am a big labor guy, you know, they are not happy with me on this and they disagree with me because they have memories of this weakening the manufacturing base no matter howd much i indicate that the facts show this will improve, the position of american workers, and we will slowly raise labor overseas as a consequence, they are adamant in their opposition.
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which means it order to get this passed through congress, we have to depend on a set of strong, pro-trade democrats who ofognize the importance trade to their economies and their membership, their constituencies, and republicans who historically have been in favor of free market and free trade. i am cautiously optimistic we can still get it done. and speakernell ryan both have been supportive of this trade deal. they have had some concerns along the margins of the trade deal. you know, i will just give you one example with respect to tobacco. we said very explicitly in the trade deal that any country that regulates tobacco is not somehow violating trade agreements, as long as it is done fairly and as
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long as they are not discriminating against americans , tobacco companies, and their own. that raises sensitivities in kentucky. of issuesthose kinds but overall, they have been supportive. the presidential campaigns have and roilede noise things a little bit within the republican party and the democratic party around the issue. i think we should just have a good, solid, healthy debate about it. we will sign to enter this present it formally with some sort of implementation documents to congress at some point this year. my hope is we can get votes. to help of you can do is to talk to your congressional delegations and let them know this is really important. inconceivable, if, for
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example, you are in california, that you do not want a transpacific partnership that ensures the gateway for commerce tothe pacific is open california businesses and workers for decades to come. it is inconceivable that you would be opposed to that. we have got longshoremen in california that said, where do you think your jobs come from? it is from moving stuff off those containers, onto trucks, and rail, just fanout all across the country. this creates jobs for you. that gives you a sense of some of the emotions that are sometimes blocking this up. all of you can really lift up the benefits for your states, and talk to your congressional delegations directly.
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talk to your businesses because they will tell you how important this is to them. all right. who else have we got? >> mr. president, from wyoming, a great celebration coming on this year, the national park service. as the stateroud with the first national park. a great opportunity for the country to celebrate park and what they bring not only to the nation but to the world. president obama: you have got some nice ones. >> you could say the best if you want to. [laughter] president obama: i wasn't going there but they are very nice. >> mr. president, thank you for last night. we all enjoyed that. i am the chair of the national resource committee for the national gun association. .e had a good meeting this week there was discussion and certainly we do not all agree as governors in terms of sort of
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national energy policy and where we should go. a big know, we are mineral state in wyoming and there are other states as well. addressed climate change. concern is fossil fuels, we have to continue to invest in r&d. .isten, it is real coal producers, 40 present a lecture as the in this company, if that is the concern, let's work to clean it up. we appreciate the work of the secretary of energy in doing that. 5% reduction in r&d in terms of where that may go. we are investing in our state in how . what is the long-term view and how to make things better?
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i appreciatema: the constructive conversation taking place between the nga and the energy producing states. number one, climate change is real. the science is clear. we can debate how we approach the problem, but we cannot debate the science. i just have to be very clear about that. is thatogy i have used if you went to a doctor and he said, you have got a disease and you said, you want a second opinion, and the second doctor said you have a disease. you went to 100 doctors and 99 of them said you had a disease, at a certain point, you would say, i have got to do something about this. that essentially is the situation with respect to climate change. 99% of

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