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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 28, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm EDT

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their country back. now i want to talk about hillary. and what's her name? elizabeth warren. elizabeth warren. are -- i believe, like the other color saying they were hateful about men -- you could see the venom coming out of their mouths. pure venom. for the democrats to think that they are good for this country, are you kidding me? don't care about lies. they don't care about deception. they only care about calling us racist. i'm afraid to burn my toast in case i am called racist. they have taken it to to have a level. brett: steve from --
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steve from florida. go ahead. caller: i would like to save the ridiculous.are i have a number of friends who are democrat and their entire families have switched over to vote for donald trump. girlfriend is an extreme democrats but she has switched to trump. it is amazing. i can't believe how many holes seem false to me. to a we are about to go press conference taking a look at benghazi. the last caller, jump in. caller: yes, i feel like theis l book should be publicized and it should be over the care, where
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everybody can find out the truth. find of the true situation about hillary clinton. you go to the website, there is information there about the report that was released today. 800 pages in total. now, members are gathering on capitol hill that is set to take place with a press conference momentarily. that website will give you a rundown of the republican information that they found. the democrats yesterday criticized the efforts, saying the money that was spent looking at the issue -- they had issues with that. that event takes place momentarily and we will take that to you now. we will see you with a new program tomorrow at 7:00. see you then.
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[chatter] [indiscernible]
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>> i want to begin by expressing tiecollective gratitude to woods. loved onesies and for their service and
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ultimately, the sacrifice that they made on behalf of our country. i want to express our collective appreciation of the americans who fought so valiantly that and uncontroverted we saved other lives. and sacrifice and desire to defend fellow americans in our interest for all truly represents the best of what our country has to offer. after more than 100 witness interviews, including more than andith -- congress talk to tens of thousands of pages of documents, that is the single greatest impression we are left with. there are men and women who love this country enough and what it stands for and how it can inspire others to serve in dangerous places under dangerous circumstances. so i will respectfully ask my citizens to simply do this -- read the report.
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read the report, and if you do, i think what will become manifest to you will be what has become manifest to us, two different images. the minute -- the image on the one hand of what was happening , and the other hand on the decisions made and not made in washington during that same time. you will see the urgency shown agents at the annex as they went to the mission americanto try to save diplomatic security agent lives. the emphatic mess with which they entered and reentered burning buildings in an attempt to save shauna smith and ambassador stevens. -- who got their own aircraft and deploy themselves from tripoli to benghazi for those fellow
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americans who needed their help. you will see the firefight at the compound and you will learn about the ambush from the compound to the annex. and you will learn about the ,irefight before the final lethal, border attacks. there are only three assets that made it to benghazi. and a team drones who deploy themselves. they were not ordered to go. they deployed themselves. glenn doherty was on that plane from tripoli to benghazi and he benghaziflew to th with libyans who were supposed to be our friends to get to the and so he could help defend the facility and he got there. just in time to join his fellow navy seal, tyrone woods, minutes before they both died.
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it has been said that nothing could have reached benghazi before the lethal border attacks. and i suppose what is meant by that is nothing other than the two unarmed drones and the team from tripoli that deployed themselves. what is missing from the analysis, each is straightforward to those who have investigated that, is that nothing could get to benghazi toause nothing was headed benghazi. no u.s. military asset was deployed, despite the order of the secretary of defense at 7:00 that night. so washington had access to real-time information but somehow, they thought the fighting had subsided. washington had access to real-time information but they thought these fighters were going to evacuate. even without the remains of the ambassador. and without asking, how is that evacuation supposed to be
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effectuated? how are you supposed to get to the benghazi airport? who was supposed to take you? are the decisions being contemplated and discussed in washington. and this mistaken believe that there was an evacuation that was evident without asking the fundamental question of -- how do you expect us to effectuate this evacuation? washington had access to real-time information. but the real-time information did not inform or instruct decisions made in washington. after the secretary ordered assets to floyd to help, the white house convened a two-hour meeting and perhaps nothing shows the contrast between what was happening in benghazi and the two-houran meeting.
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and the readouts that came from it. so it is true that nothing could have reached glenn doherty and tyrone woods, because nothing was going towards them. thatt is worth noting that statement would be true had the attack taken place at 7:15 a.m. or 9:15 a.m. or even at lunchtime. because at the time those two americans were killed, not a single wheel of a single u.s. military asset had even turned toward libya. our report starts with the sectionand there is a on the post-attack communication between government and the american citizenry. pre-attacksection on decisions made and not made which led to the environment which made our facility vulnerable. the firster to be
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committee to investigate and it is always better to investigate as contemporaneously to an incident or event as can be done . our committee did not have the luxury of either one of those. we began a 1.5 year investigation after the incident that collectively and individually, all seven of us believed that there were more questions to ask and more answers to acquire. more witnesses to interview and more documents to access. and this report validates that belief. there is new information in what happened in benghazi and that information should fundamentally view what happened in benghazi. and there are recommendations made to make sure it does not happen again. in conclusion, i want to thank the house of representatives for giving us the honor of our brave,ng four of
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courageous, fellow citizens. and those that fought so valiantly that night. and it want to thank the six members who are standing with me who took on this assignment, not in lieu of other assignments, that in addition thereto. ourthe women and men on staff who took on, what proved to be, and incredibly difficult challenge. they did so out of the singular motivation of honoring four ideationsse political none of us know anything about. that gave their lives in benghazi. lastly, i want to thank my fellow citizens forbearing with our committee as he went through the process of uncovering the process of new information of witnesses and documents. i hope my fellow citizens will read this report. but for those who
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sacrificed and those nameless, faceless americans who incontrovertibly saved other american lives that night. i hope you will reap the report with them in mind. i would hasten to add, you can read this report from pillar to our in less time than fellow americans were under attack in benghazi. iswhat i am asking you to do a small investment, it even what others were willing to do on our behalf. with that i would recognize the gentleman from georgia. thank thewant to committee members here, for participating in this. it has been a lot of hard work but we need to recognize the staff that we had. it is not easy working for seven
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members of congress, much less one. so i want to thank our personal staff for filling that and especially be staffed with benghazi. what we have done is produce new evidence that will allow the citizens of this country to take all the different pieces that have come out through the other investigations and tie those things altogether. one of the things that we have had and the reason this inmittee was born is that the house of representatives, each committee has a lane. and these lanes were getting confused and back and forth about who had the authority to interview who. this committee was put together so we could bridge all of those gaps and get new information out. and that is what we have done. i think if you will read the report, you will see, as the chairman mentioned, that what was going on in washington at
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10:08 when the secretary made her first comments, we had men on the roof at the nx trying to protect their lives and the lives of other americans in that ghazi. in benghazi. so what we have done with the new fax we have discovered is allow people to take those new facts with the old facts that came out, and some of those old facts have been reevaluated and determined that they were not actually good. so we have corroborated some of those different things in his report. to take this new information that we have got and be able to put it together. and if our fellow citizens will read this, they will come up with their own opinion of what happened. because there is enough new evidence that i think people will be able to put together for themselves exactly what led up to this attack, what went on during the attack and then post
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attack, when there was so much misinformation that was being repeated by this administration. so with that, i turn it back to the chairman. attack ended, no military assets were headed towards benghazi. but what did start was the political spin. with tyrone woods still on the roof of the annex, fighting for his life, secretary clinton issued this statement. the official statement about government this evening. justifying this behavior. we know that statement was misleading because an hour later she told her daughter that terrorists killed two of our people today. the next day she told the prime minister that it was a planned attack, not a protest. and then public-private contrast
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continues for days, publicly telling the american people it was a protest but privately telling the truth that it was a terrorist attack. on maybe be best example is the 14th. we had mr. carney at a press meeting saying -- there was no example to suggest that benghazi was a preplanned attack. that same day, a state department in libya says -- benghazi was a well-planned attack. you couldn't have a starker contrast in those statements. it is important to member this. don't forget the context. libya was supposed to be the crowning jewel of the clinton state department foreign policy and administration. this was their example of how it works. no boots on the ground, out the dictator -- this was supposed to be how it works. where he talksil
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about leadership, stewardship and ownership of the policy from start to finish. this was something that hillary clinton pushed for and got done. maybe be better one is the ebay -- the e-mail from blumenthal. gadhafi had been removed and he sent an e-mail to the secretary saying it is a big moment. he finished of the evoke the statement. "this is a big moment, you are vindicated, don't wait. tell cleo now." committed to this. they were invested in this. this is how it was supposed to work in the state department. and they were so committed that it didn't matter that there were 200 security incidents at the time from when blumenthal said the e-mail and the incident happened. it didn't matter that the agency
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went to benghazi and when he came back he said it was a suicide mission. "everybody there is going to die." it didn't matter on august 17, 2000 and 12 when a memo was sent to secretary clinton about the uptick in violence in libya. widespread violence. it didn't matter because they were committed to this policy. and then it happened. then it happened. . terrorist attack beforeer 11, 2012, days vice president had said that the president -- they now had a terrorist attack and they had to mislead the american people because it is days before an election and the legacy is on she has the goddess
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of history looking over her shoulder. so they mislead the american people. we put together a report that we think supplements the good work and the full report. we did that because we felt it was important to know what happened and also why. why did it happen? you look at every step of this and i am convinced it happened because of political concerns that this administration had. why do we stay in benghazi when everyone else was leaving? why did we stay with the security position was so o dangerous? why were they talking about military went in wearing civilian clothes and not uniforms? it was political concern that drove this and that is what we outline in our report. i would encourage you all to read both because i think it tells that story.
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and that is something that shouldn't happen in a country as great as ours, for a political concern to dominate instead of telling the truth in a straightforward fashion. america asks its citizens to go to dangerous places and to do difficult rings. these are people in the military, in the services, diplomats -- and they go willingly. and they go acknowledging there is a risk. but the understanding that they carry with them is that if they end up in harm's way, historically, they have rest assured that their country will do everything they can do to rescue them. that is not a guarantee. and the people that go and accept assignments voluntarily, they know there is an inherent risk but the understanding is that their nation will move heaven and are to save them. happen. didn't and for people were murdered.
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that is the scandal of benghazi. thishing i take away is jarring contrast between the ingenuity and heroism and initiative that was taking place in benghazi. you can read the communications and understand the urgency of what they were dealing with. of overwhelming sense responsibility to rescue other americans. across the ocean, almost a disposition of near fecklessness. the summary of the white house meeting that the chairman mentioned that took place at 7:30, half the discussion of suggested that they were talking about a video. when you read this information, you come to the conclusion that more concernern --
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-- about whether they will be defending the libyan government by how this rescue is supposed to take place and whether the rescue is successful. a second.n that for they are worried about approvals and how this will come off. it is clear that they were worried previously to that about the notion of pulling back from benghazi, because an early exit would have done what? it would have upset the libyans. that is outrageous. , when he istevens the envoy, he goes and lands with no diplomatic immunity. he is on his own. it was a white house policy of no boots on the ground that deprived him of military support , support that was previously going to accompany him. yet he goes in alone. it is a foreshadowing of things to come. so i think we have to look at
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this notion of responsibility. ofre has been a lot discussion about secretary clinton. at the end of august, we learned that she approved a $20 million grant global security contingency fund to the libyans. but this was the same state department that basically stiff armed one request after another , cumulative requests, requests for security and support that were essentially and went ignored somewhere else. so here is what is in it for us. here is what we have to recognize. ask americansg to to put themselves at risk in the future, we have to remedy this. all of us. america needs to have your reputation with people who are serving america that america will follow its end of the bargain. the bureaucrats in
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washington, failed this miserably. 56 days. you cannot begin to understand all of the facts that this committee has worked to present to the american people. while understanding that this took place 50 six days before a contested political election for the president of the united states. whether it was the failure to put adequate security on the ground. the dithering while americans were at risk that night or whether it is the continued story, despite evidence to the contrary, about a youtube video, it takes place against a political backdrop. you don't have to take my word for that. you can read the e-mails themselves. they are talking about politics. as they debate whether or not to send additional security to
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libya, the concerns are about the libyan government, not about americans on the ground. i sit on the intelligence committee and i come from it in that perspective. when you read what the intelligence was the night of the attack, it is uniform and uncontroverted. this was an attack by radical islamic terrorists on an american facility. there was no dispute. the evidence was clear. go read what secretary clinton herself said. officials on the ground that night communicating with the senior levels of government what had transpired. it wasn't about a youtube video or folks out for a walk. and when secretary clinton says -- what difference does it make -- we can now tell you exactly what difference it makes. it makes a difference in how you respond to an attack. whether you think this was a bunch of folks walking around or
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an assault on america that took place in benghazi, washington, d.c. somehow viewed this as having ended once our men and women were evacuated to the annex. this,ad the timeline of the men on the ground that night understood it was not over. they understood that the risk to their lives continued. and in washington, d.c. we debated and that had nothing to do with whether we had aircraft on route. that is what difference it makes. you can't begin to exercise the leadership you need if you don't understand what is happening on the ground. and if you choose to put a lyrical expediency and politics ahead of the men at women on the ground, you will have to answer to yourself. i find it morally reprehensible. if it was your son or daughter or family member or friend on the ground that night and you watch the actions in washington, d.c., you have every right to be
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disgusted. this was a failure at the most senior level of the government and one that i hope the recommendation of this committee recommends will help to make sure something like this never happens again. let me start by saying i am so proud of this report. i am so proud of the work that this committee has done as a whole, the majority. i want to thank our chairman and the rest of the committee for the way in which this andstigation was handled for the leadership as the chairman. uncoveredtigation has a time of new information, which leads to our much greater understanding about what happened before, during and after the attack in benghazi. while our guys were on the ground, taking gunfire and mortar attacks, washington was
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moving at a snail's pace. in washington, the administration was more concerned about diplomatic sensitivity with the libyans and promoting policy than it was about the americans that they had sent to benghazi. at the end of the day, no military assets wherever moving towards benghazi. the bottom line is that washington failed to have our guys backs when they needed it. perspective, this represents incompetence, indifference and both. but for theow, bravery of a few americans and the unexpected response of --hafi's underground militia there would have been an even
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greater loss of life. in this case, i believe that the government failed and lied to the public in the aftermath. it is unacceptable. and i know that this report shines light on that. willing, this from ever happening again. i want to join martha in n thanking our chairman. this has been an incredible task to undertake and we have worked day in and day out to come up with the truth and bring facts to the american people that we did not know before. i was particularly focused on issues prior to the attack. and the things that we learned about benghazi -- there were many new things we learned about benghazi. admitted and it has
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been known for sometime that the security was in adequate but what we didn't know until this investigation was that the state department made a conscious decision to keep the benghazi compound off the radar. and not provide it with the security it needed. in fact, none of the facilities in libya met the security requirements, required by the state department and law. was sentchris stevens into benghazi, he was initially going in with the military. but because of the president's policy of no boots on the ground, at the last minute, military support was pulled. so we know he didn't have enough security, whether it was people or security tools. but he had a mission. and a mission to ensure that benghazi became a permanent post at some point. because it was the individuals leadnghazi that helped to
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the mission that helped to topple gadhafi. and so the secretary of state benghazi howw important they were. they wanted to show them that they would not leave. and we learned during this investigation that it was during october 2012 that the security had a planned trip to benghazi. she had planned a trip to libya in order to show the libyans that the americans had been there for them and that the americans had led the charge. i will tell you that this was failed american foreign-policy. failed policy from the beginning. , we haveis because learned and does the president has said, the worst thing that we did was not planning for the day after. he has indicated that the worst mistake of his presidency was not planning for the day after
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gadhafi fell. and so we sent american libya,ts to benghazi, to to a failed state. and what they were most concerned about at the beginning of going into libya was making sure that it wasn't a failed state. and what is it today? a terrorist safe haven. isis, al qaeda. militias are there controlling the resources of oil. it is failed policy. we failed the american people. by making sure that people realize that we said we would try to make sure this didn't happen in the future. so not only did this committee work hard to uncover facts and truths and to put light on the truths, but we have pages of recommendations. many pages of recommendations. and i would encourage you to look at the recommendations.
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just a couple recommendations that are so critical is that our government agencies and the leaders of the agencies had not planned for an attack like this. cia, defense department, state department -- they have not been prepared and no plans were in place to execute something like -- septemberl days 11, even though the president had called a meeting of top government officials asking if we were ready for september 11. and while leaders said the ready, we were not ready. we were not prepared to respond. we also learned that political operatives got involved in messaging after this incident occurred. that should not be happening. internal and public government communications should not be taking place. the government should be telling the people the truth, not trying
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to put a political spin. have many recommendations that we hope and will encourage members of congress and administration's to look at, to change policies and laws, to find funding mechanisms to make sure that our people are protected in the future. and with that, i yield back. have questions, please identify yourself, the entity with whom you work and who the question is directed to. >> the democrats on your committee say that you put out a lot of new details but that they don't really change the fundamental understanding. that lot of those themes you discussed have been known for years. day, was thisthe worth taxpayer dollars and your time? >> it is difficult with where i the foundationth
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of your question. who says that stuff was new? nobody has ever reported that nothing was headed to benghazi. that not a single wheel was headed towards libya. god knows nobody has ever reported who ever evacuated our folks. you may have reported that clinton reported back but you did not have the corroboration of the e-mails. of then't know about any e-mails from ambassador stevens or the e-mails from sidney blumenthal. you didn't know that a single u.s. military asset did not leave a single designated timeline. inc. about that. the world's most powerful leave a singlet solitary self-imposed timeline. so all of that is new. and as for the democrats, color
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me shocked that they are critical of our report. all five of them voted not to form the committee. they threatened not to produce spate and for the most part, they did not. they have been beakers of information and they missed a good opportunity -- i don't know if you have had a chance to read the report but if you do, their report mentions her name far does.imes than arours you can direct those questions to elijah and the rest of them. i am proud of what we found. >> are you saying the military could have saved those people and done more? >> clearly you couldn't have saved two of them because they were dead within 15 minutes of the fire starting. there were three assets that made it there. the group from tripoli that deployed itself, an unarmed drone that was elsewhere in
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position over the facility and , theer unarmed drone evidence is split on whether or not it could have been armed. it got there before the border attack. so -- i don't know. a recklessng to make allegation that their lives could have been saved but that it will tell you is that if it ,ad happened at 7:15 or 9:15 the result would have been the same. nothing was coming to benghazi. that is an important question to ask. there is an e-mail that is a takeout from the white house meeting, which, which you knew about it, no one reported on it. so for the democrats to claim there is no new information i have not heard about that meeting until our report was issued. one of the takeouts from that in addition to the five action items on the video -- consider
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this. the video had been out for a while. it wasn't new. cairo had happened. benghazi.d before so if you were concerned about this video, you have done absolutely nothing after you received notice that the video was going to be disseminated. you did nothing after cairo happened. so cairo happened and you have not changed one iota of military position. happened, 50%azi of your action items coming out of the civics related to the video. [indiscernible] election -- when we have talked to members of the committee and read through the report, there are different lanes that deal with secretary
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.linton, the defense and so on there are folks who read this and say this is a ploy to get hillary clinton before the election and convention. that will be the criticism. how do you fight that. ? some of you have said this demonstrates incompetence at the highest level. how do not have that perceived as -- >> read the report for yourself. if you read this report and you believe on the last-place of the report that it is about one person instead of four people than i have nothing to say that can dissuade you. there is no amount of fact that will this we do from your previous conviction. the democrats mantra all along is that there was no new information. -- it their position is
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doesn't fundamentally change the way we view benghazi. if it does not change the way you view and ghazi, if the fact that no asset was ever headed towards the place that had a crisis, this e-mail that we need to plan in c a plan in case a crisis expands and a real threat approaches -- what was going on in benghazi? was that not a real crisis? i can't do anything to this a fuse what elijah thinks. he is not my audience. my audience is reasonable americans who want to know what happened to their fellow citizens. -- quoting hillary clinton -- what difference does it make russian mark saying that you can't be a leader if you don't know what is going on on
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the ground and then saying she was morally reprehensible for the leadership -- how is that -- i don't think you will see any of that in the report. >> but you are promoting that right now. >> you are going to write a story about your take away from the report. how you read the report. you read the report and you will not see any of that. >> can you address that? is hillary clinton's leadership morally reprehensible? >> yes. but let me be clear. none of us volunteered for this assignment. we were asked to undertake this mission and it was clear. he said in a room and i remember it like it was yesterday. we looked each other in the eye and we said this day would come and what we want to be able to tell each other is that we tails hard, worked our
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off to develop every fact we could. we have been obstructed and free step along the way in that effort. including by the democrats. go read the transcripts. look to ask the questions. the firstt congressional inquiry in the history of america. identified another congressional inquiry where one party behaved in a way that was so deeply instructive to getting the american people the facts that the needed. with respect to my statements about secretary clinton, i believe them in my heart. delivered anwe had important work in the committee's tally of the information that was available. had to askt that we everyone of you to develop your conclusions. i have been knee-deep in this for over two years. incrediblye it is important to highlight the
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conclusions that we draw from the facts. read the facts, read the report. i think you will see that the conclusions we draw our real and accurate and fair. >> the flip side of that could be that -- had you drawn -- had you chosen not to draw conclusions, does that suggest that -- any blame on the administration? shockingly, that was not what the house asked me to do. look at the resolution. he resolution doesn't mention secretary clinton. ryaner boehner or speaker have never asked me to do anything about 2016 politics. they asked me to find out what happened to our fellow citizens and i believe that is what i have done. you are welcome to read the report, i know you will. if you at the end of the report that you can conclude it is about one person, i will be shocked. >> i'm asking the opposite question. doinglieve that after
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this for two years and spending millions of dollars, do you believe that the american people should look at this and see this woman -- >> i believe the american people should look at it. they ought to look at it because fellow americans died and americans did her wrote things to save other americans. what conclusions a draw after reading it is up to them. that iote the report think is centered in the facts. i have a background of who, what, when, where. i don't have a background on the why. my job is to report facts and that is what i have done. you can drop whatever conclusions you want to draw. tapping the brakes on the military response? my second question is -- what did you learn about the
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operation? we asked questions about a covert weapons operation and we made some progress. the lawyers intervened when we were beginning to make a lot of progress. and among the questions i asked the president included that one specifically. i have not heard back from him yet. i have heard from his lawyer and i am not holding my breath that i will get an answer for that. i think it is important because the house asked us if there were policies that could have led to the attack. it is important to ask that question but that is not the focus of our debate. >> who was tapping the brakes on the military? we said weer when were going to interview -- i remember a lot of raise eyebrows. why are you talking to him again? as if all the right questions
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had been asked the first time. i think military leaders would tell you what i said. they believed an evacuation was imminent. when you question why they believed an evacuation was imminent, the answers do not withstand even the mildest level of scrutiny. lives, real witnesses who can tell you what is going on. if you think the fighting has subsided, i don't you talk to the witnesses who are being shot at? if you really believed an evacuation is imminent, at some level, you are going to have to ask, how will that evacuation be effectuated? you don't have the proper vehicles to take them from the annex to the airport. and the only plane that you have is one that is privately commissioned. you have no idea whether it will hold everybody. so how are you going to evacuate in the midst of a firefight? general helmet did not even know our guys were ambushed from the
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compound to the annex. he didn't even know that. so for everyone who wanted to know why we wanted to talk to him again, we thought it would be nice for him to have all of the facts because he didn't have them when he made decisions. >> some have described this as a perfect storm of bureaucratic inertia. is there one entity or person to whom you lay most of the blame after the analysis? thehat is in the eyes of fellow citizens. i think there is enough to go around, just like there is ingenuity.ncy and that really is my take away. and maybe it is because i have talked to the families of the four. used to do what i for a living, you ask the family -- what is it that you would like to see done? and i am at peace that we did
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exactly what the families that we said we would do. it took longer but we did what we said we would do. i want to be able to tell the widow about the truth of the military response. i want to be able to tell sean smith's mother about the security leading up to it. and i'm appeased that we have more information than the other committees had and we could have had more if we had cooperation from the other side. lines, put aside the attack itself and what happened that particular night -- have you been able to, in some way, some abstract way, getting to ambassador stevens' mind regarding the american presence in libya? inut the facility there benghazi? about how he wanted america to not appear militarized?
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>> let's be clear about something. chris stevens loves the people of libya and in particular, he loved the people in that ghazi. and the heroism that he showed as the envoy before he was ambassador is a level of valor and heroism and commitment to this country where if you don't read the report for any other reason, read it for what he endured during 2011. andot there on september 10 started meeting with intelligence officials about the state of security in libya. and he began to postpone subsequent readings because of what he was hearing. he knew it wasn't great. he had no idea how bad it was. the nextan to postpone meeting is ready, and here is our ambassador saying, i am not
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through getting my debriefing. and then he moves the off-campus meetings on campus. and then you see his diary entry. you see it on september the 11th. read his diary entry. read e-mailed that he sent to the british diplomats. on we know exactly what was his mind. anghazi had deteriorated in way he didn't expect and security was on his mind. wanted the appearance of the united states presence there was not solidified -- wanted to stay alive more than anything else. with all the respect. and if that means a slightly higher footprint, then at their me be experts or supervisors who say, we appreciate your valor but we are going to give you the security you asked for originally. people have asked a version
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of this question in different ways -- >> they didn't like my answer. have viewed who these events and investigation through certain lenses will despite the report, there are bumper stickers and t-shirts over this country that say "hillary clinton lied, people died." is that true? >> you don't see that t-shirt on me and you don't see that bumper sick or on my vehicles and you have never heard me, it on that. have you read it? i'm asking you to read it. i'm asking you to read it. i'm not going to tell you what to be on the lookout for. i will tell you there is new information and it fundamentally changes the way i feel about what happened before, during and
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after. who was it, then rose said reporters know literally nothing ? i don't believe that. i trust you to read the report for yourself. >> but you are the expert, what do you think? i know this. i want you to contrast the information and the evidence that was available on the evening of september 11. look at the full body of evidence that was available. and then book at what was said. and dry your own conclusion of whether you have the best views of the evidence and information that was available. it is one thing to say the evidence didn't exist. it existed, we found them. we found the agents. there are conversations that were ongoing throughout the night. argument works both
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ways. information, she was definitive in certain statements she made two people privately. there was no ambiguity. can't answere, i that question mr. egyptian political leader, i don't know. she was definitive. uswas just in statements to that you was less definitive. so you have to decide that for yourself. >> i will pick up where the chairman was. look at the statements made privately. decide for yourself. saidat the administration privately and what they said publicly. someone said the intelligence analysis changed over time. that is true. but the statement didn't. they were consistent publicly. -- video inspired protests privately, terrorist attack. that continues. look for yourself. when you look at private statements versus what they told
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the american people, a stark contrast and a dramatic difference -- look for yourself. that thisjust say report has never been about one person. it has been about the four and what the other americans inside libya did to save their colleagues. this -- wantsmade to make this -- about one person. the democrats want to make this about one person. that has never been our intention. facts in thenough report that i think every american should make their own mind up. -- talkalk to tie woods to tyrone woods' dad, he will have a different opinion reading the report from what the
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secretary told him and what the facts say in the report. mother will probably have the same different way of looking at the report. so each american needs to look at this report. it's lengthy but it had to be lengthy so that we could spell out what the truth is and what these new facts have given like to. promise you,- i the chairman has made it clear that each and every one of us -- it was not about one single person. think, wehe report, i reached our goal when we came up with a different recommendation that needs to be done to prevent this from happening again. and i think the detail that we thesento makes recommendations all the more important. and hopefully the speaker and other people will take them and
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do something with them. because i do think they lay out ineans of us not getting this same situation. , would like to comment too that when these americans arrived from tripoli to the airport in benghazi, they were there for three hours. i don't think we knew if we had another hostage situation at the airport or not. but as it has been said i other members, not one wheel had been up, not one person headed to benghazi, and we didn't really know how those guys -- if they toe even going to be able leave the airport. so there were many other situations that should have been talked about at different times in washington that were never talked about. do we have another hostage situation?
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is the ambassador hostage? are these military guys -- are they being held hostage? we didn't see any evidence of that ever being talked about while these guys are standing there, trying to talk their way off the airport to help their friends. i haven't gotten the question yet although this last one may ofabout the latter part section two, the post-attack communication. i want to go to the person the administration put on the sunday talk shows. we talked to her and i appreciate the struggles and making her available. she was the third choice. i thought she was inadequately prepared and that is what happens when you are inadequately prepared. you say a things of demonstrably
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false things on national television. including about the fbi, including conflating the video with the demonstration, including saying that a handful -- just ait is set is made up. it would be one thing if it was in the talking points. if it wase one thing in there and they got it wrong and therefore she got it wrong. it's not even there. it is just made up out of whole cloth. who made mostrson of the public pronouncements at least on that sunday after the attacks. >> back to the specifics of the marine staff team. the officers who told them to get off the plane?
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did you name the names of those kinds of details? people?al names of to name it with respect to how high up before your name is used publicly as opposed to using the names of people -- we tried to be sensitive to that across all agencies. you will see the title, you will read the transcripts and you will be able to see the underlying data and that is important. e-mail, you may read it differently than the way i read it. i want you to be able to read the e-mail. i want you to to read what kennedy said during the firefight.
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to read the underlying data and the transcripts, i don't think all of the transcript i can make publicly available are going to be made publicly available. to be madey ought publicly available and you ought to look at the underlying data and you can decide whether or addressesport fairly that. if you say that it is in context or not in context, i want you reading it for yourself. >> do you know if the drone captured that and was fed to the white house? drone was int the place at the time of the attacks.
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i do not know the degree of granularity that the drone video footage past. but you raise an interesting point. when you meet with families privately, you hear questions that you would never hear at a press conference. they are incredibly personal questions. while these are for fellow americans to us, they are sons, the peoplerothers to we talked to at the very beginning in the last i talked to which was the family. the questions are very different . even though it's not in the report, i'm happy we were able to answer some of the questions that were asked by the family of those who were killed. thank you.
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> you can read the report from the benghazi committee republicans on our website. also have the democrats reports on the attack. both are available. going live now to the office building face senate foreign relations hearing. among the witnesses is a state department presidential envoy to the global coalition to combat isis. >> encouraging the coalition to do the same. on the other hand, the united nations does not have a way forward because the unitarian situation is not improving. , i don'tion remains particularly view that russia
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and iran have the same goals that we do as it relates to syria and the syrian people. engaging ind to be trying to ensure the humanitarian situation on the ground so that aspirational political talks can move forward? shouldn't we be looking at safe zones, no-fly zones, elements of forng to create the basis aspirational peace talks to take place? >> there's no question that without a de-escalation of violence and a cessation of hostilities that they can be contained, at least the transitions are extremely difficult. side, sinceitarian the cessation of hostilities has been in place, we managed to reach 10 times as many people who have been reached an entire year before, but it is not nearly enough and the assad
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regime continues to attack areas after humanitarian aid is delivered. these multiple offenses are ongoing and we are working very hard to try to deescalate that. without the cessation of hostilities that can be maintained, the political process in geneva remains at a standstill. >> there was a group of 51 people who dissented on u.s. policy which i think is a good thing that the state department allows that kind of thing to take place. i also get the sense that very has urged that we put pressure on assad
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militarily because of this lack of cessation taking place and when humanitarian aid is delivered, have the erlbaum killing the very people humanitarian eight was given to. can you give us any sense of whether there is a debate relative to how to handle a sod and the fact that with no cessation occurring that maybe enhanced military pressure from the u.s. may be a route that is worth taking? >> we are looking at how to have an enforceable cessation of hostilities. that is something that is very much underway. we have looked closely at the assad regime. about 100,000 fighters have been killed by the opposition. gdp has collapsed 80%. those are the assumptions many people i've think would assume
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that would lead to the conditions that would lead to a political transition. we need an enforceable cessation of hostilities. >> which we don't have an without pressure, we are not going to get. and i think everyone understands the circular situation we are in. it's not going to happen. we met with secretary kerry in munich and others felt this cessation issue was not real. it hasn't been real and i don't see anything at present that is going to change that dynamic. going to go vote and i'm going to come back hopefully in time for you and senator markey to go vote. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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candid.timony is always i know you are the messenger. i'm concerned about the 14 months from now and i'm not putting words in your mouth. i'm very concerned. it seems we have had witnesses in here who have given us testimony that the best opportunity is a sunni fighting force on the ground. not an american force, not an outside force, but a sunni fighting force. have a militia after a town is liberated and so forth and in private meetings with some of the major players, they have given us information that they are ready to stand up 30,000 fighting troops. concern is a lack of u.s. leadership and resolve, so they
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are not doing that. they are waiting on the u.s. can you speak to that and little more detail? confused battle space than we have seen in iraq. as we are seeing today in afghanistan, when the troops liberate a city, that's when the taliban and comes right to act. the question in iraq is it different one. what kind of fighting forces going to be able to sustain a long-term effort to sustain the ground and hold the ground once it is liberated in syria? premise ofamental what we need are local people to liberate and hold their own territory. we need sunni arabs from the local area. i mentioned mobilizing the tribes and training local police. have a coalition effort led by italians and we are looking to triple that by the end of the
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year. that effort has been successful, but we very much agree that we need sunni arabs to be the ones to liberate and hold their own territory. but oftentimes, they need their help. defend this like an army, so you cannot just take out a bunch of sunni tribesmen and train them and put them on the fight to liberate a city like falluja. i met with sunni tribal leaders who were exiled from iraq and claimed to have tens of thousands of people ready to fight and we say give us the names and we will train them for the fight. it is a very complex dynamic. what we found in an bar is having presence. and that's sites
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where coalition advisers are located. that has given us the ability to figure out who is who, organize local sunni fighters and giving them the capacity to succeed. gone from 50 have special forces advisors to 300 is for this reason. -- ecognize >> are they primarily training? >> they are training, but the -- organizing the force that will push down. >> last year in 2015, the training program was initiated. we spent about $45 million under testimony of the armed services and it was an unmitigated disaster. today, theere numbers have been reported in i thinkred range and we
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are approaching the 500 million that was authorized. can you talk about the training program we have initiated? how many forces are going back in the right and are they just enablers or spotters? >> the effort that was trying to organize and train these units is something that did not work. there are a lot of fighters on the ground fighting isil every single day. rather than taking them all out and training them in a course, we are identifying those groups. and wet support from us take out a couple of their leaders and people they identify to call in airstrikes into more sophisticated type things which is a force multiplier for that unit. system now that is
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, being ableructured to call in precision airstrikes based on training. to organizetrying these large units to move around which was something that was not very successful, identifying units that are on the ground and are able to write and giving individual leaders those specialized skills that will enhance their capabilities on the ground. fighters not adding through that mechanism. is that fair to say? iswhat we are trying to do organizing to grow. i think it is you and me until people get back. >> i would like the numbers. this works well.
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>> the first fight is on the ground and in the air. i think that's a messy fight with all the groups fighting each other on different days. like to talk about the hybrid that is underway. the inary 16, ministration announced a major change in direction in terms of trying to counter the message of isis on social media and other hybrid platforms. and have weworking been able to draft outside forces to counter isis? what are we doing today to counter the isis message and propaganda? >> at the great question. gec is focused on this 20 47, but this is not something that can just be done out of washington.
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starteds ago, when this , there was a free reign on facebook, twitter and youtube and their message was one of come and join this glorious movement and we have reversed that trend. single row isis twitter handle, there are six anti-isil.-- some of them are just voices from the region. some of it is coordinated, but what works most effectively is the coordinated organic counter messaging. those working with companies. twitter has taken off pro-isil sites. but yes a good question of how this is organized. the internet is an organic
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enterprise. we have coordinating centers. >> we just stood up to brigades of cyber warriors. >> we have centers to lead this effort. organization with young and engage young people from the uae that want to write isil online. in leading and the u.k.. and that's important because in different parts of the world, the message is different. is sundrenched scenes of the caliphate with kids eating ice cream and it's a total lie. they are working to counter that. this network of voices is starting to turn the tide. rescue my colleague.
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there's no time left on the floor. even though i'm not sure we are voting the same way, i want you can get over and cast a vote. members are coming back. i started over on the floor so we could continue the hearing we have talked about territorial gain and what happens afterwards. there has been a lot of confidence in being able to block routes to turkey. what does assad do and what does russia do in regard to the territorial gains? what would be their strategy? thee don't talk at all to
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russians. when we run an operation, we make sure there's no interference and in most cases, that has been the case. withorces we have worked have been able to govern that territory fairly effectively. one thing we have had in syria that we have not had an iraqi is the ability to get humanitarians lies into some of these areas is extremely limited and this gets to the issue with turkey and the syrian kurds and the border the enclosed. identified ngos and resources to get manchurian aid flowing, so we have to give the border post to make sure it can be flowing in. we have not had any in your -- any interference from the regime, particularly in the north where we have taken territory away from ice all. >> as far as the assad loyal
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forces conflict in with the syrian democratic forces, is that likely to occur in these areas? >> this gets really complicated in northwest syria where you have syrian regime forces and syrian democratic forces and the kurds. none of whom really coordinate and many of him disagree with each other at a local level. i was working on this with some about -- whattalk is happening in this town, what is happening in that town to try to quiet down. all of them share the threat of my soul. this is the most complicated thing from the strategic level. technical level, we have to work in all
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dimensions. we are working to get the leaders of different groups together to talk about how we can better work together to get humanitarian aid flowing. : as isis begins to lose be able tosee them inspire attacks abroad and that drains individuals who can mass atrocities and doing it under the banner of isil. that to confirm what we saw in florida and orlando. as isis continues to lose territory and argue that they ,re creating this caliphate
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these are becoming more common lace. -- more commonplace. mr. mcgurk: i'm not sure it's more commonplace. isil has always called for attacks on our homeland. they are saying stay at home -- but they have been saying this for a couple of years. this is a problem and that's why i have the candid in my assessment. this is a threat that will be with us for years. we believe taking away their territory, taking away their caliphate will diminish the appeal of isil. rubio: i'm trying to
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break through this directed by isis and inspired by isis they are two parts of the same strategy. they want to call attention to their organization. inspiration is a way of direct thing these attacks and we talk also because even if you were to wipe them out on the battlefield, the ideology, this radical jihadist ideology will remain in lace. when it comes to the issue of syria, syria will remain a fertile ground for an isis like group for someone to step up and fill that back -- that vacuum. he's the irritant that creates the condition by which these sorts of things exist on the ground. enough ofce creates
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an irritant where groups like can or some successor group take advantage of that to further their ideology and take up arms the way isis has done. regimeurk: the assad remains and incubator on both sides of the sectarian divide. that supercharges these extremist from both sides. young shia and young sunni from all over the world coming in to fight in syria. it is destabilizing to syria and can spawn attacks outside of syria. preconditionental -- senator rubio: the removal of assad is critical. endmcgurk: the war will not
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while assad is there. senator rubio: it has been described as circling the drain. it's not going well, the process of giving russia cover to do the things they have done like much of the russian military engagement has not and targeted at isis. we saw an open source report last week that they targeted u.s. backed rebels at the jordanian border. much of it has been geared toward non-isis rebels in an effort to wipe them out and turn to the world and say you have two choices -- isis or a sod. mr. mcgurk: when russia first came in, 70% or 80% of their attacks were against modern opposition groups. after the cessation of hostilities, we did see that flip so that they were focused on other areas. but we have seen the situation
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particularly in aleppo has increase. total violation of the cessation of hostilities. we have two problems. one is launching massive offenses and second is the regime air force. the regime air force as far as , dropping barrel bombs and attacking civilians under the pretext of attacking nusra. as long as this is going on, it's a petri dish for these organizations. senator rubio: i share the objective and i'm concerned about the alliance we have placed and their activities and what it means both to our relationships with the turks and uniting themal of
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across northern syria. i think in the long-term, it creates significant complications with the number of groups, including the kurds in iraq. markey: during the past two weeks, the ambassador nominee to iraq and a special envoy to libya testified before the committee. tactical successes against isis in iraq or libya will not bring about the strategic defeat of isis unless tactical operations hard done in a way that avoid harming civilian populations but proactively protect them from harm.
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to bring together version armed groups to unify governments that represent and protect all the people. sunniknowledge the committed abuses against those fleeing for their lives and it apparent adequate advance preparations were not made to receive transport and provide relief to tens of thousands of people who fled the fighting in falluja. after the fact, the iraqi government says it will hold offenders accountable and the international community is stepping up humanitarian relief efforts. but i'm very concerned that after the fact it may not be enough to convince sunni people that the iraqi government is on their side. what are the armed forces doing
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before and during military operations 20 mitigate risks that shia militia will engage in sectarian attacks on sunni and what should they be doing to ensure battle plans to keep suchres attacks from happening. we are politicians on this panel. is theyill not forget were not protected even if there is a tactical victory. this is something that took up many of my discussions last week. it is important to recognize most of the atrocities committed against sunnis are committed by isil. we are finding-
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prisoners in dungeons. told -- however, we have make sure when security operations come in to liberate lawlesseas that these groups are not part of the operation. hours, there were serious reports, many of which turned out not to be credible, but some of which were credible. particularly about the measures now in place to mitigate the risk. one thing that happens when you liberate the territory, you have to screen the population to make sure they have not infiltrated that population. there's a local official that is part of that process every step
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of the way. that's something that the local leaders insist on and discussions on how to do the campaign is a front and center issue. we have to make sure these types of events do not occur and that they are operating under the -- this isthe iraqi why the government of the -- the government of iraq is supportive. were a tarnish on the government, the iraqi security forces and that is something the premise are very much recognizes. senator markey: do they agree falluja was a mistake? 24 hours after the offensive move into the city, it iraqop to bottom voices in from the grand ayatollah to madonna also water condemned
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those reports of abuse. the government did, the minister of defense announced it to members of the army who were in that abuse and they have to remain vigilant. when you get a lot of young people on the streets with guns and a situation like this, it's almost impossible to mitigate the risk of anything happening. senator markey: how many people have then punished for what happened in falluja? i think 45 members of the iraqi army have been retained. senator markey: what is their punishment so far? mr. mcgurk: i don't think the investigation has been concluded. markey: what is the answer to why are the shia
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allowed to be put in those positions where they can commit those kinds of atrocities? there is one unit of the mobilization forces on the shia side operating totally outside the law in some of the suburbs of falluja. i can't say specifically why the unit was there that government has taken measures to make sure it is addressed. those fivekey: if individuals and more are not punished in a way that is public and clear, then there will be no discouragement in the other cities. job is to makeal
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-- other militias will do it, get a slap on the wrist and --the end of the day, they in the years ahead, that we not have to revisit this thing. is that a goal that you have? mr. mcgurk: accountability is fundamental. markey: accountability can be just saying don't do it again. mr. mcgurk: they have to have a process and a have to be punished when violations occur. senator murphy: i know we consider mr. mcgurk to be a global citizen, but he's a isduate of connecticut and -- has overcome the rivalry.
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here and for being thank you for taking on what is a nightmare of a job trying to manage this crisis and coalition and we are lucky to have you at the helm. response to a question from senator corker earlier, you were talking about some of our coalition partners not being as involved as we would like, especially with the air campaign. to ask you a question relative to the reason members of the coalition are not participating at the level we would expect. in abu dhabi at the and of last year, i went to get a reef from the ministry of defense and i was there to oversee our counter isis campaign.
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talkng i was there to about the coalition fight against isil was the threat from was and the entire brief about the work the uae and other coalition members are doing to counter the expansion of iranian influence and, from what i yementand, their focus on has been one of the primary reasons why they have been less participatory in the campaign against isil. speak to the worry some of us ofe that this concentration has quite frankly distracted resources from members of the coalition that we would like to be used in the fight against isil.
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has quite frankly us, it appears we have facilitated that withdrawal by , sosting their air campaign talk about the intersection of those two conflicts and how we get our partners to focus first on isil. >> there's no question the conflict in yemen has pulled resources away from what was a real focus on the counter isil campaign. that's one of the reasons we've tried to establish a particle process to end the conflict in yemen. when the saudi's ca threat on the board, they have to act, and a been one of our closest partners militarily and have maintained a strong participation in the counter
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isil campaign. we believe the primary focus is on isil and is a threat not only to us but to the kingdom of saudi arabia. now, in the right war in yemen, to focus on the counter isil campaign. as these multiple conflicts have been going on, it has reduced we have been able to focus over the skies of syria. we have had coalition partners extend their strikes into syria. as was the most kinetic phase of the campaign to date. 70% of the planes are dropping their munitions. we have more partners on the rings fighting and that us to the key point we are raising. we need more key points in the
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sky as we consider you -- as we continue to accelerate. senator murphy: there's been several reports of groups within the rebel coalition fighting each other and some of this is relative to groups that are backed covertly by the united states and i understand the limitations on how much you can talk about that. us, our reluctance to arm and train groups inside the fight is because we been -- we have a belief that we are in the second order of fighting. the second order is the part of the war in which isis has joined but there are third, fourth, fifth orders that may involve groups that may have been funded
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by the united states funding battlefields the shrinks and perhaps we make progress against some of the groups that provide a buffer between organizations funded by the united states. speak to the fear that ultimately groups that are armed by the united states that maybe fighting the same enemy may be ultimately fighting each other if we are successful in our effort to try to downgrade the power and lethality of some of these existing groups. where we are successful at temping down these complexes where we have relationships and a presence on the ground. in iraq, we've had problems between kurds and arabs, problems between different province.an bar where we are present and have relationships, we can't and that down. on the syrian side, we don't
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have anybody inside syria on the ground and sometimes it's very difficult to tell what is happening. we rely on people particularly in the northwest telling us what is happening and our ability to tempt down localized escalations is not what i wish it was. eastern syria, we are developing a relationship race and we hope we can build upon that in this localized part of country where we can work locally to deescalate that. without people on the ground working these problems, it is very hard. it's very hard to do it by remote control. in iraq, we have people on the ground and we can work to flare them down. we have platforms where we are developing close relationships and we recognize we need an air force to move down and not just
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the kurds. isnorthwest syria, it incredibly if occult. : you haverphy identified the gordian knot we all have to work with. an american presence on the ground, we risk these local conflicts becoming more heated and problematic. putting more u.s. forces on the ground, this is a tough one to figure our way out of and i'm glad you have taken this up. >> i know we are a few minutes pasture hard stop and you've talked about laying the foundation and talked about the makeup of what needs to happen. present the forces can be assimilated to deal with
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rocca in the near term? mr. mcgurk: we recognize we have to have an arab force that moves into these areas. just gettings was off the ground. this operation which was the biggest in syria in an arab forced andganized a of about 25,000 or so and it turned out to be successful. that is one of the things that gave president obama the confidence to increase our special forces ability. what is so important is the ratio is reversed, so it is an arab force moving, a much more limited role for syrian kurds.
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the americans working this on the ground every day, the reports i am getting are encouraged that as we are having success, more and more of these tribal leaders are coming to join this force. i think right now the trend line is good, but i would not underestimate how hard this is. however from the proof of concept to now, i think we have hit on something that could work. >> you don't want to lay out a timeframe for postal or rocca. before lastonths june when we thought it was going to be the time we went in and it's june and we are not ready, but i look forward to having that off-line conversation.
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i don't know who the audience is that assad is still the day after humanitarian aid is being delivered, that begs the question of what kind of force needs to be pressed against him to stifle a civil war. this is never going to be dealt with appropriately until that ends. had effect on assad that was contemplated when it began and i hope you are able to where you're thinking is on that regard. we thank you for your service to the country. the record will be open until the close of business thursday if you can respond to written questions and i'm sure we will follow. we thank you for your service and thank you for being here.
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with that, the meeting is adjourned. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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reefing's white house is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. eastern. he will take questions about the benghazi report that was released today, the brexit, presidential campaign, all possible topics. we will have that life when it gets underway starting at 1 p.m. eastern. also coming up today, donald trump will speak on the economy at two: 30 eastern. you will be able to see that live on c-span. after his speech, we will open our phone lines to get your reaction. on our companion network, c-span3, a subcommittee chaired by ted cruz will have a hearing
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on the term radical islam. that's on c-span3. thet now, a discussion on term of this agreement and some of the major decisions that have been made during the term from journal.ing washington we will have white house briefing at 1:00. wydra of the constitutional accountability center. she served as the president. good morning. guest: good morning. host: can you tell us about the center? what do you do? nonprofit public interest law firm that is dedicated to showing that the constitution promotes progressive values and outcomes. we use the text and history of the constitution to argue for greater quality, greater inclusion, stronger democracy, criminal justice, environmental reforms all across the board. we look at the text and history
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of the constitution and use that methodology. host: so the constitution in your view does show that there are progressive things that can come out of it, especially written so long ago? guest: absolutely. we look at the whole constitution. we do not stop at the 18th century and we look at the amendments that we the people have added over time, particularly the reconstruction amendments. they remove the stain of slavery from 18th-century documents and wrote the quality and justice and liberty that we espoused in the declaration of independence directly into the text of the constitution. we look at the constitution and take it very seriously. us toy ways, it allows find common cause across the ideological spectrum. we are progressive, but we are nonpartisan organization. we like to find common cause with libertarians and even conservatives in some cases with the supreme court we have been able to do that. host: in your point of view,
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what did you make of the decision concerning the texas abortion law? guest: my organization filed a brief and that case and we brought together the jurisprudence of justice kennedy, linking his marriage equality ruling, talking about the importance of being able to live liberty and the marriage context, but here in the context of determining whether or not to have a child. we married that, no pun intended, to justice ginsburg's jurisprudence on abortion rights itself, which she roots not just in the due process clause, but the idea that you cannot be a full equals the sum unless you can determine whether or not you can bear a child . host: one of the issues they brought up was states rights. you may have to explain what
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that is and you have to think about that argument of whether this is a states rights issue. guest: the casey decision reaffirmed roe. its said that there is this constitutional right to have an abortion, but it said that states could regulate abortion to a certain extent at different times of the pregnancy, etc., but there cannot be an undue burden. that is the language that they an undue burden placed on the woman's constitutional right to have an abortion. what we have been doing ever since man is litigating with state regulations to constitute an undue burden on a woman's right to choose. the texas rule struck down yesterday were considered to be an unconstitutional undue burden. host: if you want to talk to our guest about these issues stemming from this up in court orsterday, (202) 748-8001 f republicans, (202) 748-8000 for democrats, and for independents,
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(202) 748-8002. our guest is a supervising attorney and teaching fellow at georgetown university and a lawyer for a local law firm here. she also served as the chief counsel and from the supreme court if i understand it. guest: yes, for the constitutional accountable the center. host: when it comes to the undue burden, make the argument that having doctors with practices at other hospitals and conditions of the centers themselves -- why is that unreasonable? guest: the court looks at the effects of those regulations, which would have closed down nearly all of the clinics that provide abortion services in texas. i think they might've been perhaps a little less than 10 that would've remained open. texas is a very large state. you would've had women who have had to travel hundreds of miles in order to access care.
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within those clinics, there would be enormous problems of traffic. there would be over demand for that particular clinic because there would be so few of them. when you take all that into account, the burden on women who would be seeking to exercise their choice about whether or not to have an abortion is a substantial obstacle to exercising that right. this "looks at the just a supreme court looks at the justification can while they justification. while they said it was for women, others said it was not necessary for being safe. the justices noted in their opinion that there was uncontroversial evidence that these procedures, when they are done in these connect, are very safe. they are regular procedures like colonoscopies or like a section, which are generally more dangerous, but are not subjected to these regulations.
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it seems that targeted regulations at shutting down abortion clinics, not regulations that were focused on health and safety. host: when it comes to the similar states that have these types of laws on the books, the decision reste yesterday makes t easier for states to overturn those lost or are there other hurdles that have to be jumped? it really asks a strong question on those other states laws. maybe they can justify them and maybe they have better reasons than texas was able to put forth. i'm skeptical about that, but they can certainly try. you can see states decide in light of this very strong and fair ruling from the court to try to walk back those regulations if they think they are covered by this decision, and they probably are. we might have to see litigation proceed and i'm sure that the clinics will fight back very strongly with this encouragement from the supreme court. with justice kennedy joining ustice breyer and
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kagan, about these thinly veiled attempt to regulate abortion will not be tolerated. host: we have calls lined up for you. the first one is from plano, texas. this is matt on the line for democrats. you are on with our guest. caller: thank you, pedro. good one, elizabeth. i want to say that i am impressed by your organization. to often conservatives think they have ownership of the u.s. constitution. their view is that they are the only ones defending it. i'm just glad to hear that there is somebody on the progressive side who has a different view. on wanted to quickly ask you about your organization's view on the second amendment. obviously that has been in the news a lot lately. -- peopleually have
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can have their right to bear arms and have sensible gun regulation. want to get your take on your organization's view on the second amendment. guest: thank you for your kind words about the constitutional accountability center. i think it's a great organization and i feel very blessed to work there. the constitution is a progressive document. of our nation is literally written across our constitution through the amendments. i think your question is interesting and it's something that academics have been grappling with, academics who take seriously the text. in the history of the constitution . one case that the court took up after the heller ruling was the mcdonald case out of chicago, about the 14th amendment. briefanization filed a onh perhaps the most left the ideological spectrum along
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with the most right on the ideological spectrum of scholars who wrote about the clause not known very much, because it was strangled and its crew in reconstruction. that was a very progressive part of the constitution that would have protected a lot of individual rights. what is interesting is that there was discussion by the drafters of the 14th amendment that it was important for individuals to be able to defend themselves in their homes. particularn concerned about newly freed african-americans in the south who could not rely on the protection of mostly white, generally slave sympathetic malicious to protect them. there is this idea in the constitution, although i would not say it is the second amendment at all. that a 14th amendment gives the flavor of the home protection of self-defense that you can have these big assault rifles out in public. that is what the constitution and text history
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shows through the 14th imminent. absolutely there can be sensible regulation of that right. we thought at the time that the 14th amendment was drafted they were having these discussions. there is a wonderful book by adam winkler that goes through this. i recommend it. adam was a client on a brief that we filed in the supreme court and the mcdonald case. i think we have a nuanced view of this, saying the constitution 1000% protects any gun right you want without any regulation -- that is wrong. saying there is zero constitutional interest in some way of having a gun to defend in that context of the south of having southern militias who were not going to protect newly freed slaves who want to protect themselves and their family and their property, that is in the constitution as history. i think it is best if we can have a conversation, but absolutely the constitution
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allows for sensible gun restrictions and gun regulations. i think the supreme court, even friendly with antonin scalia on it, would've held regulations. host: we talked about domestic abusers and having their ability to own guns themselves. guest: it was the first time justice thomas asked a question in 10 years, so it's clearly something important. that's a very interesting conversation for justice thomas to engage in. he himself is very interested in the text and history of the constitution. i'm always interested, even when i disagree with him, when he weighs in on these issues. host: for maryland, carl, you're up next. caller: i have a quick, and a question. my comment is that i agreed that a woman should have a right to choose. my question is does the father of that child have a right to choose whether to financially support that child

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