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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  November 30, 2010 12:00pm-5:00pm EST

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the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota is recognized. mr. franken: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: yes. mr. franken: i ask that it be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. franken: are we in morning business then? the presiding officer: that's correct. mr. franken: thank you, mr. president. i rise to speak once again about the new start treaty. today i will talk about the new start treaty and the maintenance of a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent. that means maintaining and sustaining the nuclear weapons stockpile and delivery platforms, modernizing the buildings and equipment in the nuclear weapons complex, and supporting the scientists and experts who are involved in it. i'd like to preface my remarks
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by underlying the urgency -- underlining the urgency for the senate to ratify the treaty. how can it be that we don't have a treaty with russia in place, along with its verification regime, 360 days after the expiration of the original start treaty? that's more than six months after the administration submitted the treaty to the senate. the verification regime will provide insight into russian forces, insight that's degrading over time without the treaty in place. we need to ratify the treaty now. for decades, our relations with the soviet union and now with russia have been stabilized and made more predictable and cooperative through arms control agreements. how can it be that now, when russia is no longer our enemy and yet not our ally, that my friends across the aisle are refusing to move forward on ratifying a modest treaty that's
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critical to our national security? if consideration of the treaty is delayed or blocked, it will make cooperation with russia on national security interests much more difficult, if not impossible. do you seriously believe that if you block or reject the treaty, we'll see russia's continued cooperation with international sanctions in iran? aren't you concerned that russia will reconsider its prohibition on the sale of the s-300 antiair defense missile systems to iran, as it did in september? and why put the nunn-lugar cooperative threat reduction program at risk? senator lugar himself has warned that failure to ratify the treaty could imperil that enormously successful program in securing loose nukes. if this modest treaty is blocked by the minority, i don't believe my friends on the other side
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will be pleased with the consequences. many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle want to see negotiations with russia on reductions in tactical nuclear weapons. i agree. but that's going to be a difficult task under any circumstances, but, as our lead negotiator, rube gotmueller said recently, there is zero chance in getting to the negotiating table with the russians on tactical nuclear weapons unless we get this treaty ratified and entered into force. it's also important to note that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have been delaying consideration of the treaty for some time. back in august, senator mcconnell said -- quote -- "the only way this treaty gets in trouble is if it's rushed." and senator kyl told reporters that since it could be hard to get everything done before the
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november election, the senate might need a lame-duck session to vote on new start. the administration and chairman kerry deferred to those republicans, but now those same colleagues are saying we can't do it during the lame-duck session. to them i say, if not now, when? if we defer and delay further, we risk a collapse in relations with russia, including a loss of their continued cooperation on the all-important iran issue. now, the remaining objection to ratification that republicans have raised is not a feature of the treaty itself but maintenance and modernization of our nuclear arsenal and complex. there is bipartisan agreement that as our nuclear arsenal gets smaller through arms control
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agreements, ensuring that it remains safe, secure and effective takes on added importance. from my perspective, that's the fundamental justification for nuclear modernization, and i agree with senator kyl, who emphasized in a floor statement -- and i quote -- "the direct link between nuclear force reductions and modernization of the u.s. nuclear weapons complex." likewise, senator mccain has noted that -- quote -- "as we move to reduce the size of our nuclear stockpile, this modernization effort becomes all the more important." the obama administration has made a serious commitment to nuclear modernization and they've paired it with arms control. we have an extensive set of programs in place to retain confidence in the stockpile without testing. we're extending the life of our current nuclear delivery vehicles i and studying, planni,
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and beginning the next generation, and we're continuing to develop plans for major improvements in the complex of facilities that support our nuclear enterprise. i support the administration's approach to modernization tethered to arms control. now, i have to admit in these economic times, i do have concerns with spending $85 billion on an enormous nuclear complex. that's a staggering amount of money. without a commitment to arms control and nonproliferation, it's impossible to justify spending that much money. this is the 21st century, not the cold war, and our needs are different. that's why i won't support this massive investment in modernization without an equal commitment to arms control and nonproliferation. that's why earlier this year, i joined several colleagues in writing to the budget committee
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in support of the administration's massive fiscal year 2011 request for the national nuclear safety administration, or nnsa. i will continue to fight for nuclear modernization paired -- paired -- with arms control. but they must be paired. our national security requires it and political reality requires it. that's what the congressional committee on the strategic posture of the united states, better known as the perry-schlesinger commission, made clear. the commission's report has been the touchstone on all sides of the debate over new start. the december 15, 2009, letter to the president from 41 of my colleagues, including all the members of the minority, relies heavily on the commission's recommendations in spelling out its requirements for the treaty and modernization. senator mccain's september 14
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letter to the foreign relations committee relies on the commission's perspective on the modernization of the nuclear complex. senator kyl's may 24, 2010, floor speech on the new start treaty also makes prominent reference to and endorses the commission's report. here is the first page of the report's executive summary -- quote -- "while determination plays an -- deterrence plays an essential role in reducing nuclear dangers, it is not the only means for doing so. and accordingly, the united states must seek additional cooperative measures of a political kind, including, for example, arms control and nonproliferation. this is a time when these approaches can be renewed and energized -- and reenergized." not only deterrence but arms control and nonproliferation. we must be committed to both
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together. that's why the commission goes to say -- quote -- "these components of strategy must be integrated into a comprehensive approach. it is just such a comprehensive approach that the administration has taken." in its very first recommendation, the commission warns of the importance of maintaining both components of strategy. quote -- "the united states should continue to pursue an approach to producing nuclear dangers that balances deterren deterrence, arms control, and nonproliferation. singular emphasis or one or another element would reduce the nuclear security of the united states and its allies." i submit that the administration and those of us who have pushed nuclear modernization in good faith to support deterrence and nonproliferation and arms control are following this recommendation. those who have held the new start treaty hostage to
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ungrounded complaints about modernization and ever-changing demands are not. i believe that many of my colleagues on the other side will vote for this treaty. they understand that it is modest but also important and they'll put national security ahead of partisan political pressures. but if a small number of republicans continue to delay and to block this treaty, they will be responsible for the disintegration of consensus on nuclear modernization and the complex and arsenal will once again become subject to controversy, dispute, and drift. that's just the reality. it's true that republicans have broadly questioned the administration's commitment on nuclear modernization, but their criticisms simple do not stand up -- simply do not stand up to scrutiny.
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thus, senator kyl's criticism of the obama administration's pledge to spend $100 billion to maintain and modernize nuclear delivery systems -- that's right, $100 billion -- is -- quote -- "the plan makes a commitment only to a next-generation submarine, not to a next-generation bomber, ballistic missile or air launch cruise missile." this makes it sound like the administration lacks commitment to a credible deterrent but it's just not true. where decisions need to be made now, the administration has made them. with respect to the ssbnx, the next-generation submarine, where decisions would benefit from further consideration and do not need to be made now, that's exactly what's happening. the administration is undertaking a comprehensive set of assessments of 21st century
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threats and needs and it will then make decisions on what follows the minuteman iii, the air launch cruise missile, and the b-52 and b-2. the minuteman iii missile is, by congressional man date, having its life extended through 2030. studies to inform the decision about the follow-on are needed now and they are, in fact, happening. similarly, the department of defense is studying the right mix of long-range strike capabilities, and part of that will be the appropriate role for successors to the air launch cruise missile and the bomber. the decision with respect to our bombers can be made in the future because the bombers, though old, don't get that much stress and still have a lot of life left in them. same is true for the air launch cruise missile, though a decision on that will follow
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next -- next will be made sooner. the decision on our long-range strike capability should be deferred in part because, as the under secretary of defense recently explained, the d.o.d. will seek the same productivity growth and cost savings here as it is pursuing with the ssbnx submarine. on the nuclear stockpile, the administration, with congressional support, is moving forward with the ongoing life extension program for the w-76 and with studies for the b-61 life extension program. it will also conduct a similar study for the w-78, including exploring the potential for a common system with the w-88 warhead. some of my republican friends have complained that the administration's policy for the refurbishment, reuse and replacement of nuclear components in the warheads -- in
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the warheads unduly constrains the work of scientists in the nuclear complex. this is not so, as the lab directors have testified. these lab directors are on the front lines of maintaining and modernizing the stockpile and they will have the flexibility that they require. then there is the nuclear complex. in the ten-year plan the administration submitted under section 1251 of last year's defense authorization, the administration made an historic investment in the nuclear complex. it set a dramatically higher baseline for fy 2011. it included several years of funding increases consistent with what the nnsa can absorb and execute, and over ten years, it initially committed an $80 billion investment in the nuclear complex, a $10 billion increase. now, the democratic congress
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took the extraordinary step this past september of including funding at the full fy 2011 level for weapons activities in the continuing resolution we passed. almost everything else in the continuing resolution stuck to 2010 levels. the nuclear complex is one of the most controversial parts of the debate over nuclear modernization, particularly the prospect of replacing two major facilities. the first is the chemistry and metallurgy research replacement at los alamos, which is central to our plutonium capabilities. the second is the uranium processing facility at the y-2 plant in tennessee. republicans have complained that there is uncertainty and not enough funding for these two replacement projects but the administration's budget has shown a significant commitment.
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where there is uncertainty, it is not due too lack of commitment on the administration's part but simply because the design and planning process for these facilities are in an early phase. we simply don't know what construction of the facilities is going to cost, and that's something the fy 2011 budget submission from nnsa makes abundantly clear. to budget as though we did know those costs would be irresponsible. especially for an agency that is historically plagued by cost overruns. it's simply too soon to have a solid baseline planning number. now, to be sure, the administration has been updating and revising its plans and estimates. two weeks ago it released an update to its section 1251 report with a revised substantially higher cost estimate for both replacement facilities.
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it also included yet more funding for nnsa's overall budget. the administration has proposed an additional $600 million in funding for fy 2012, an additional $4.1 billion over the next five years. that brings the total for the next decade to $85 billion. this both serves as a reminder that it's too early to have a fixed budget for the new facilities and also strongly reinforces the administration's good-faith effort and commitment. this brings me back to my fundamental point: i believe that support for the two new facilities can be sustained if -- if -- we follow the path laid out by the perr perry-schlesinger commission and pursued by the administration. this means balancing deterrents, arms control, and nonproliferation. the reality is that there will
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be significant questions and doubts about proceeding with such costly modernization efforts, it is not accompanied by equal support for arms control and nonproliferation. there is no doubt that the existing facilities are aging and run down. there are even safety problems. something must be done. but if we are going to move forward effectively, modernization must be paired with arms control. and that starts with a modest first step: ratification of the new start treaty. without that step, census will break down, facilities will once again lose a coherent mission and we will be stuck with drift and controversy. the perry-schlesinger commission recognizes that if it's not possible to sustain the budget requisite for both facilities concurrently, choices will have
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to be made. they give powerful reasons for moving forward with the chemistry and met a lure ji re-- metallurgy facility. that is the kind of tough choice we will have to make if new start is not ratified. real uncertainty will creep into the consideration of just what sort of project the chemistry and metallurgy research facility should be. let me conclude by noting that the administration and the democratic congress have met every demand that many of my friends across the aisle have made on modernization. to my friends on the other side, i say, look at the demands in the 2009 letter that you all signed. the administration has met each and every one of those demands. look at what senator kyl said in an op-ed in july. "a key test is whether the
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democratic-controlled congress will approve the president's nuclear modernization request for the coming fiscal year." we passed that test, and as i mentioned earlier under an otherwise flat-lined continuing resolution. in that same piece, and in his march letter with senator mcconnell to the president, senator kyl indicated he wanted assurances that the fy 2012 budget would include adequate funding as well, although next year's budget isn't due out until february, as i mentioned before, the administration has already announced what it will be requesting and it will be another enormous increase in the weapons activities budget. can there really be any doubt that the administration will move aggressively forward with modernization? if republicans take the first modest step of ratifying the new
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start treaty now. we have passed our key test. the administration has met the demands senator kyl has laid out. now the key test for senator kyl and others is whether they will join us in ratifying the new start treaty. if they don't do that now, the consensus that we have built will fall apart. our national security will be put at risk. and we will return to the dark days when the nuclear enterprise was the subject of neglect and controversy. the new start treaty is a modest but very, very important first step. it is one that we should all take together. -- without controversy. thank you, mr. president, and i yield the floor.
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i note the absence -- oh, no, i don't. i ask unanimous consent that the senate now stand in recess for the weekly caucus meetings, as provided under the previous order. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. the senate stands in recess, under the previous order, until 4:00 p.m. their rights
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fowho writes for "the hill" joining us this morning. thank you.
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there is a front-page story on "the new york times." want to read a couple of lines before we get to your phone calls. this is
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freeze only ruins the middle class. we have need, the reason we have all this chaos, everyone wants to give the unions out o everything and if it wasn't for the unions, the middle class would have of nothing.but itas, this don't tell, don't whatever, if i'm in the army, or in the services, and the enemy is shooting at me, and someone - next to me has said what theirre orientation is said what their orientation is, i do not care what they are as long as they kill the enemy. host: the recommendations being released later today. if you are a federal employee, we want to hear from you especially on the announcement put forth by the president.
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if you are one of the 2 million federal workers that would likely be impacted by this pay freeze, during the conversation online pierre ye. -- you can also join the conversation online. we will go to san next in minnesota. -- sam. caller: i used to be a democratic activist when i . i left the party after realize there was really no difference between them and the republicans. and i voted for a third party rigid party candidates like they always do. you do not go and announced a freeze on federal salary without
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getting something in return. what are you getting in return for its? usa i am willing to offer this advice get something that is worthwhile, like an agreement on the taxes. -- you say i am willing to offer this advice if i get something that is worthwhile, like an agreement on the taxes. and i am sorry to say that, -- i am confident that i made the right decision. host: thank you for calling in.
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host: back to your calls. terry joining us from fort worth, texas. good morning. caller: good morning. they are bringing up a lot of things about cutting the budget, but the point is they are not bringing up a lot of the things that are the biggest problem. people have paid into social security all of these years. i paid into it 38 years myself. and they want to tell me they're going to try to extend mind, but not one time that i heard the politicians, the ones that get the greatest benefits and all of the federal and the county and the city and all of these other public officials that it great benefits, a great benefits, if you add olive that up it will far exceed the debt that we have a.
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the the thing about it is, we spend all of thesis money bailing out the states because the pensions are in trouble and not one time has anyone brought that up. host: there is one example in new york where the incoming governor will be facing in terms of pension and state employees. let me go back toolhouso "the nk times." on friday a temporary measure providing money for governor government operations will run out. mark is a federal employee joining us from damascus, md., a suburb of washington, d.c. where do you work? caller: i work for the
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department of state. host: your reaction to his announcement yesterday? caller: i am all for it. i have spent basically my entire life in service of my country. and there has to be a start somewhere, and a lot of people in the federal government make a good salary. i didn't pay freeze -- i think a pay freeze will not crash federal employes of the next couple of years. everybody working together to try to fix what is wrong with this country. we are a great nation, we do great things. we just need to stop arguing and work together to try to figure out how to make it better, because when it is good, everyone reaps the benefits. when it is bad, everyone has to pitch in and help and make sacrifices to try to fix it. we have that responsibility.
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host: if you were to get a pay raise, how much more money worud it mean for you? caller: not a lot. if people would tighten their bets and learn to live without it -- their belts and learn to live without it, you would not even notice it is gone. host: the average federal employee earning just over 74,000 per year in 2009. monte saying federal employees are used as a scapegoat. one friend the company gets $23 billion per year in aid. john painter, the speaker to be, and mitch mcconnell, i can't -- a chance to receive the voters.
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-- john boehner the speaker to be, and mitch mcconnell, a chance to further into their editorial, senator mcconnell and congressman boehner voters did not signal on democratic big government policies most americans oppose. on contrary they want both parties to work together on the policies that will help create conditions for private sector job growth. this coming in advance of the meeting that will take place at the white house, a bipartisan meeting set to last one hour. 10:30 eastern time in the roosevelt room. we also expect to hear from the president and democratic and republican leaders in what is known as the steakout area outside the west wing of the white house. we'll be covering that event as well. mike is joining us. democrats line. reston, virginia.
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good morning. >> caller: good morning. i will stumble all over my words but how do you get bipartisan when the other party he is main thing will be to get the president out of office? how will they be bipartisan sawn. they will get that president out of office if he decides not to cut that budget uses bushes taxes and stuff. you might as well say you're raising taxes on the federal workers by not giving them their pay raise but not willing to cut taxes on the rich? give me a break. if he doesn't sign off on that thing, i am not voting for a democrat, i'm not going to vote at all. thank you. >> host: thanks for the call. the year to year debt, deficit in excess of over a trillion dollars. if you add up the total cumulative debt according to the u.s. debt clock, it is currently at $13.7 trillion. joseph is joining us, independent line, scranton, pennsylvania. good morning. you're reaction to the president's announcement yesterday freezing any pay raise for fedded ral employees.
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>> caller: good morning. i think it is a pretty good idea. it is a first step in the right direction. i'm a local government employee. haven't gotten a raise in three years. it does hurt but, if it is necessary you have to do it. however i'd like to just emphasize on certain things, people in america don't understand that our problems here are not connected to the problems in europe. americans problems started with greed, corruption and mismanagement. europe and lack of regulation. in europe, it was overregulation, which strangled them. it is just ironic how the two collapsed at the same time. i believe that we have the power within us to pull ourselves out of this as fdr said, there is nothing to fear but fear itself. we need to get stricter on trade laws, immigration and crack down on illegal drugs. >> host: thanks for the
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call. from our page, they, meaning congress, will find a way to spend savings. look at this money any we're not spending is his comment. at wj. stands for "washington journal.". "baltimore sun". maryland faces pay freeze. details from the story by paul west. marylanders likely hit by two year pay freeze announced yesterday by the president, the state legislator top fiscal analyst predicting quote, adverse effect on maryland's revenue growth. local economists saying a freeze would hurt the state's recovery and could foreshadow federal job cuts. just three examples of the number of federal employees in maryland. there are 41,000 at fort meade. 17,842 at national institutes of health and 1,000 at the social security office. of course -- 13,000. military personnel exempted from the pay freeze although steny hoyer, representative from maryland saying military employees should
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also have the same pay freeze that civilian workers have offered. that story from the hill newspaper. jeanine, is federal employee joining us from fort meade, maryland. good morning. >> caller: good morning. i'm all for the pay freeze. i think it is appropriate. i would just ask at some point they look at number of contractors employed by the federal government and the pay that they receive because in some cases there is a lot of disparity. that's all, thank you. have a good day. >> host: thanks for the call. from "usa today", obama freezing the pay of federal employees and savings over five years could total $28 billion. here's more from the president's comments from the eisenhower executive office building next to the white house yesterday morning. >> i did not reach this decision easily. this is not just a line item on a federal ledger. these are people's lives. they are doctors and nurse who is care for our veterans,
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scientist who is search for better treatments and curse, men and women who care for our national parks, and secure our borders and our skies. americans who see that the social security checks get out on time, who make sure scholarships come through. who devote themselves to our safety. they're patriots who love their country and often make many sacrifices to serve their country. in these challenging times, we want the best and brightest to join and make a difference. but these are are also times where all of us are called on to make some sacrifices. i'm asking civil servants to do what they have always done, play their part. >> host: the president's comments yesterday. if you want to watch the entire statement. it is available on our website as is all of our programing at front page of the wash upon post. obama proposing two-year freeze. one of the comments made by the lisa rein from the
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"washington post." this comes before the fiscal commission he appointed scheduled to issue a final report tomorrow how to staunch of deficit spending. panel leadership recommended a three-year pay freeze on most federal workers. the freeze must be approved by congress would be first two-year halt to federal raises in modern history. with health insurance premiums for civil servants set to jump 7.2% on average next year and federal transit subsidy to be cut in half by december 31st, the plan would amount to a pay cut for many workers. we have this from our website. federal pay freeze, no earmarks. that's a start. but a beginning, next state employees she writes. bill, republican line joining us from bored you are town, pennsylvania. good morning. >> caller: good morning, steve. you're a great host. employees pay freeze for federal employees. of course all the federal employees calling in are saying yeah, sure freeze our pay. you put the numbers on the board. they went from 60 through
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2,000 up to 73 or 74,000. that is a huge increase. in fact i remember on c-span hearing that in the same time period that the average salary in michigan has dropped by about $15,000. so, i would say that any federal worker would be happy with a pay freeze right now. they're holding onto the gains that they have made over the last five years. as far as the deficit, i am a republican but i have to say that boehner and mcconnell, they don't speak for republicans when they say that every american deserves a tax cut. a guy that is making more than half a million dollars should not be getting a tax cut. and the fact that the republicans continue to harp on that is, it is ridiculous. i know it is republican and so do democrats. my last point, steve. >> host: absolutely. >> caller: the bipartisan
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debt commission that the president put in place this guy sam from the hill and gets on there and calls all the things they said dead on arrival. they're not dead on arrival. they're dead on arrival because some pundit and all the people in the beltway say they're dead on arrival. we have to look at social security. we have to look at means testing social security. we have to look at raising the age. everyone knows it. the ship is sinking. >> host: but i think --. >> caller: throw the cargo over when the ship is sinking. >> host: the question is whether or not congress and this president would go along with these recommendations. >> caller: thank you, steve. >> host: thanks for the call. another voice on all of this. congressman john boehner, the speaker to be in the 112th congress issuing this statement following the president's remarks yesterday. i hope the president will build on it by embracing much-needed steps to reduce both size and cost of government, including the net hiring freeze that republicans propose in our pledge to america.
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without a hiring freeze, a pay freeze won't do much to rein in a federal bureaucracy that added hundreds of thousands of employees to its payroll over the last two years while the private sector shed millions of jobs. meanwhile, joe davidson this from the federal page of "the washington post." the president's salary freeze for federal workers he is getting a cold reception is the headline. wouldn't other is not officially here says joe davidson but a freeze is falling over the federal work place. don't expect a spring thank you unlike mother nature who provides intervals. it is a move that leaves federal employees cold. read more by checking it out on page b-3 the federal page of "the washington post." john is joining us. maryland, democrats line. good morning. >> caller: good morning to you, thank you for letting me speak to you. all this is lip service all over again from the president and from that so-called new republican congress that is coming in. the old boys are still
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there. these new guys are coming in don't have any idea what's going on. john boehner, rest of that old group were the ones that put this country in this mess. six years under the bush. they went out the door, now they're back again. if those guys are really serious about what they are talking about, the deficit, let them take a two-year freeze and prove to the american people that one who put them in office, that they're really serious about letting them start this thing off letting them take a two-year freeze, we'll see how real this thing really is. dealing with the defense contractors, if anyone can go back and pull up the billions of dollars those defense contractors wasted in iraq and in afghanistan, the money that was stolen by these people, it face nominal. then the president is going to stand there and say, oh, he had a hard time dealing with this? no. making it easy for him to deal with because he should have led the thing off telling republican party,
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look, you want this cut for the freeze? you got the majority in the house. you start with the freeze on all you republicans coming in and we democrats will follow suit to show the american people we're really serious about what is going on. >> host: john, thanks for the call. from twitter page, another viewer why all the news grabbing on when elderly social security has been frozen for two years now? john gauge the head of afx me. his comment going to the federal page of "the washington post." as president of american federation of government employees he is so upset. you would think he was talking about a republican writes joe davidson. the quote from john gauge, this proposal is a superficial panic reaction to the draconian cuts his deficit commission will recommend. a federal pay freeze saves peanuts and at best, will be his only means, as just a public relations gesture. this is no time for political scapegoating says john gauge. the american people did not vote to stick it to a va nursing assistant making
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$28,000 a year or a border patrol agent earning $34,000 a year. from john gauge, the head of afscme. next is mark a federal employee from bel air, maryland. good morning. welcome to the conversation. >> caller: good morning. the pay cut, pay freeze is not a big deal to most federal workers. i'm a scientist at national institutes of health and 10 years ago i moved to the nih from a university and the only thing the university could offer to keep me there was a higher salary. so i actually took a salary cut to come to nih because they have a lot more resources, both int elect wally and in terms of equipment and facilities. so i can make more progress on problems we're working on. >> host: mark, thanks for the call. next is andy joining us from connecticut. independent line. your reaction to the president's announcement yesterday? >> caller: my concern is, is,
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the punditry and partners in politics and there doesn't seem to be any lack of it. half your callers sound still blaming republicans or democrats for the woes in our country. yesterday i read a article in the local paper from a representative from aarp blasting the president's, the deficit reduction panel's plan to, you know, cut medicare. just seems to me that, when the deficit reduction panel gets its recommendations to congress, we're going to have more of what i hear on your program, which is a lot of punditry and a lot of partisan politics. >> host: okay. >> caller: you're going to have labor unions complain about pay cuts. people that work for the defense industry complain about cuts in defense. so i was just wondering what you think is going to happen with the recommendations when they make it to a
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congress? thank you, very much. >> host: thanks. the great part about this program you get the last say, not us. let me go back to another story and another issue here in washington this week. congressman charlie rangel from harlem, new york. the headline in the "washington post", wring rangel awearing sing of his peers. in an walls of congressional drama this year's debate on the state of new york congressman charlie rangel will be odder than most. rangel will emote over this question, will rangel who has been found guilty of 11 ethics violations be scolded in person or be scolded in writing? a story we'll be watching as that happens. if it does happen on camera, we'll have it live on c-span. greg is joining us from union, missouri. good morning, republican line. >> caller: yeah. i think the freeze is great. i think the american people got a realize that the biggest deficit will be is the health care plan that we don't even know anything
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about. and the prices are going up. the other thing we've got to look at is, the position our country's in. people don't realize this. inflation is on its way. you know george soros is making our moves for us. so, have a good day, america. democrats, look out. >> host: thanks for the call. david jackson has a story, front page of "usa today." he covers the white house for that newspaper. the president saying his proposal we must be approved by congress would save $28 billion over five years, a tiny percentage of the total federal debt now pegged at $13.7 trillion. the plan drawing compliments from republicans as their congressional leaders prepare to meet today with the president at the white house. republicans of course taking control of the white house, taking control of the house in january. the senate will remain in democratic hands. of course no change at the white house with the president two years left in his term. gina is joining you from
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picayune, mississippi. good morning. what do you do for the federal government? >> caller: my husband works for the u.s. postal service. i would just like to say that he has been employed there for 15 years and he only makes $55,000 a year. so i'm against the cost of living cuts. i would also like to say that people keep harping on the medicare. we have paid into medicare our entire lives, just like everyone else in the system has. and, they want to cut that but not one word is ever said about the entitlements to medicaid. and all these young people who are having children out of wedlock that we are paying for. which is totally wrong. i think it is just ridiculous what is going on in the united states.
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and i also think that our president could cut back on some of his expensive, outrageous trips he and his wife is making. it is absolutely ridiculous. he needs to be the first one to start the cutbacks by staying home. >> host: okay. thanks for the call. thank you, gina. appreciate the call. too mike in colorado, how can certain politicians claim 250 k is an income level makes it difficult for many families to make it while government workers making on much less with an average of less than 7 5k? this from tom, does the freeze include obama? it does as a matter of fact. when the president first took office he implemented a freeze on all of his white house workers that work for him. that includes his own salary. next is john joining us from fort worth, texas. good morning. welcome to the "washington journal.". >> caller: good morning. thank you for having me on. >> host: sure. >> caller: i think the pay cut for the federal employees is a good idea.
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i mean if you do look around the world there are federal employees in europe taking 15% pay cuts. all we as taxpayers are doing, are asking right now that they just put a freeze on for two years. so i think that is more than fair. and at a time, if you look at say, just the last five years, there have been large increases in federal employee hiring while at the same time, the private sector has been shrinking. so you've got a situation, you know, right there that is not sustainable. we're racking up large deficits. i think there is a lot of areas in government we should take a close look at, the usda farm subsidies that run five million dollars. >> we take you live to the white house. president obama has arrived to talk about his meeting with congressional leaders. >> we're spending a little more time in the eob. i just wrapped up a meeting with leaders from both
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parties. it was our first chance to get together face-to-face since the election to talk about how we can best work together to move the country forward. now it is no secret that we have had differences. that have led us to part ways on many issues in the past. but, we are americans first, and we share responsibility for the stewardship of our nation. the american people did not vote for gridlock. they didn't vote for unyielding partisanship. they're demanding cooperation and they're demanding progress. and they will hold all of us, and i mean all of us accountable for it. i was very encouraged by the fact that there was broad recognition of that fact in the room. i just want to say i it was a productive meeting. i thought that people came to it with a spirit of trying to work together, and i think it is a good start as we move forward.
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i think everybody understands that the american people want us to focus on their job, not ours. they want us to come together around strategies to accelerate the recovery and get americans back to work. they want to us confront the long-term deficits that cloud our future. they want to us focus on their safety and security and not allow matters of urgent importance to become locked up in the politics of washington. so, today we had the beginning of a new dialogue that i hope, and i'm sure most americans hope, will help break through the noise and produce real gains. as we all agreed, that should begin today because there are some things we need to get done in the weeks before congress leaves down for the holidays. first, we should work to make sure that taxes will not go up by thousands of dollars on hard-working middle class americans come january 1st, which would be disasterous for those
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families but also, could be crippling for the economy. there was broad agreement that we need to work to get that resolved before the end of the year. now there is still differences about how to get there. republican leaders want to permanently extend tax cuts, not only to middle class families but also to some of the wealthiest americans at the same time. here we disagree. i believe and the other democrats who, in the room believe that this would add an additional $700 billion to our debt in the next 10 years. and i continue to believe it would be unwise and unfair, particularly at a time when we're contemplating deep budget cuts that require broad sacrifice. having said that, we agreed that there must be some sensible common ground, so i appointed my treasury secretary, tim geithner, and my budget director, jack liu,
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to work with representatives of both parties to break through this logjam. i've asked the leaders to appoint members to help in this negotiation process. they agreed to do that. that process is beginning right away and we expect to get some answers back over the next couple of days about how we can accomplish our key goal, which is to make sure the economy continues to grow and we're putting people back to work. we also want to make sure we're giving the middle class the peace of mind knowing that their taxes will not be raised come january 1st. i also urged both parties to move quickly to preserve a number of other tax breaks for individuals and businesses that are helping our recovery right now and that are set to expire at the end of the year. this includes a tax credit for college tuition. a tax credit for 95%, a tax break for 95% of working
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families that i initiated at the beginning of my presidency, as well as a tax cut worth thousands of dollars for businesses that hire unemployed workers. we discussed a number of other issues as well, including the importance of ratifying the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty so we can monitor russia's nuclear arsenal, reduce our nuclear weapons and strengthen our relationship with russia. i reminded the room that this treaty's been vetted for seven months now. it's gone through 18 hearings. it has support from senators of both parties. it has broad bipartisan support from national security advisors and secretaries of defense and secretaries of state from previous administrations both democrat and republican, and it is absolutely essential to our national security. we need to get it done. we also talked about the work of the bipartisan deficit reduction commission and difficult choices that
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will be required in order to get our fiscal house in order. we discussed working together to keep the government running this year and running in a fiscally responsible way. and we discussed unemployment insurance which expires today. i've asked that congress act to extend this emergency relief without delay to folks who are facing tough times by no fault of their own. now, none of this is going to be easy. so we have two parties for a reason. there are real philosophical differences, deeply-held principles to which each party holds. and although the atmosphere in the day's meeting was extremely civil, there's no doubt that those differences are going to remain, no matter how many meetings we have. and the truth is, there is always going to be a political incentive against working together, particularly in the current hyper-partisan climate. there are always those that
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argue the best strategy is simply defeat your opposition instead of working with them. frankly even the notion of bipartisanship itself has gotten caught up in this mentality. a lot of times coming out of these meetings both sides claim they want to work together but try to paint the opponent as unyielding and willing to cooperate. both sides come to the table. they read their talking points. they head out to the microphones trying to win the news cycle instead of solving problems and it becomes just another move in an old washington game. but, i think there was recognition today that that's a game that we can't afford. not these times. in a private meeting that i had without staff, without betraying any confidences i was pleased to see several of my friends in the room say, let's try not to duplicate that. let's not try to work the washington spin cycle to
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suggest that somehow the other side is not being cooperative. i think that there was a sincere effort on the part of everybody involved to actually commit to work together, to try to deal with these problems. and they understand that these aren't times for us to be playing games. as i told the leaders at the beginning of the meeting, the next election is two years away. and there will be plenty of time for campaigning, but right now we're facing serious challenges. we share an obligation to meet them. that will require choosing the best of our ideas over the worst of our politics. so that's the spirit in which i invited both parties here today. i'm happy with how the meeting went. and i told all the leadership that i look forward to holding additional meetings including at camp david. harry reid mentioned that he has been in congress for 28 years. he has never been to camp david. i told him we will have to
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get them all up there sometime soon. i very much appreciate the presence today. i appreciate the tenor of the conversations. i think it will actually yield results before end of the year. i look forward to continuing this dialogue in the months ahead. thank you very much, everybody. >> [inaudible]. >> the senate is in a recess now so members can attend their weekly party caucus meetings. earlier today lawmakers approved a food safety bill after blocking an amendment offered by oklahoma republican tom coburn that would have allowed a temporary ban on earmarks. the day's recess is bit longer than normal with lawmakers out until 4:00 p.m. when they return connecticut's chris dodd will be recognized to give his farewell speech. more live coverage when the gavel comes down on c-span2. live at 2:00 p.m. here on c-span2 a live defense department briefing where defense secretary robert gates and joint chiefs
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michael mullen will detail a report of the military rest a don't ask don't tell policy. next, former president jimmy carter talks about his time at the white house and his flue book, "white house diaries". he also discusses his involvement at the camp david middle east peace accords among other issues. from yesterday here in washington. this is an hour. . .
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>> now they're developing, perhaps, nuclear weapon capability, others are still there. the middle east continues in energy, human rights,
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environment, the koreas, china, afghanistan, iraq and so forth. you could go down the list of a lot more. i counted, in all, about 40 things that i had to address that are still there. so that was one of the reasons i wanted to write the book. secondly, i was really surprised in reading it over at how frank and unadulterated the comments were about individuals and and about things that i had to face in the future or looking back on where i think, thought i made mistakes. and i thought it would probably be the unique -- i use that word carefully -- the unique picture of what the presidency is from the point of view of someone holding that office. i hadn't been in politics very long, and i had just -- i was 38 years old before i ran for my first office. i served for a long time in the navy ahead of time, and when i got to the white house, i never had been to washington before except just as a visitor. and so i thought it was a good
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thing for maybe folks to know just what a president thinks about when he's confronted with all the multiple opportunities and challenges and disappointments and successes and happiness and sorrow sometimes. and then sometimes regret, sometimes thankfulness. and so i wanted to have it just the way it was. and i have, i had -- i had over 20 volumes that thick of diary notes, more than 5,000 pages of diary notes. and i've cut it down by about 80%. [laughter] which i'm sure people buying the book are thankful to hear. [laughter] but after a about a year goes by, i'm going to let the entire, even with typos in it, be available to scholars and to news reporters and to maybe biographers to look at. without changing anything. >> well, you may have cut it down a great deal, but we still
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know what you got roast land for her -- rosalynn for her birthday in 1978. [laughter] we are, we're sitting in a city where people who hate each other's guts refer to each other in public as my good friend. [laughter] in the pages of your diary, people are described as a jerk, an idiot -- [laughter] a nut. some of them are still alive, most of them are not. [laughter] but you're still alive. and usually these kinds of really frank comments only come out after a person is no longer around to be thought badly of for it. >> well, i understand that. and in most of those cases where i refer to someone as a, with a deleter the crouse comment, later on i got to know them, and they became friends, and i have some kind of contradictory statements of a beneficial nature. and when i did refer to someone
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with a deleterious remark, i put in an explanation in modern day language of why i thought so and how that person later redeemed themself, at least in my eyes. [laughter] so i dictated on a little handheld tape recorder seven or eight times every day that i was many this the white house. and when somebody would leave my office or when i had an experience that i thought would not be published that weekend where everything is published, when i thought it wouldn't be in the public documents, that's when i dictated it. and as i filled up a tape, i put in a new one, and my secretary later on would type them up. and i never read any of them until i got home, and then i was, as i said, amazed at how many there were and, also, amazed at how frank i was. [laughter] >> well, it's a reminder, also, of a particular time in history through the eyes of a, obviously, central player. but you had leonid fresh never,
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anwar sadat, jim callahan and then margaret thatcher. some pretty hefty names in modern history. >> a notable person. >> and omar that' hose, maybe not of some of the same heft as some of the people i named, but somebody you had to deal with when figuring out how to settle the 100-year-old challenge of the panama canal. >> that was the most difficult political issue i ever faced. it was more difficult for me to get 67 votes to approve a very up popular -- unpopular treaty than it was to be elected president in the first place. >> really? >> yes. and i think that the vote of the senate -- it was the right vote -- was the most courageous act that any member of the congress has ever taken. just one quick statistic, of the 20 people who voted for the treaty in the senate in 1978,
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they were up for re-election that year. out of 20, only seven came back to the senate next january, and the attrition rate two years later in 1980 was with almost equal to that. but it was the right thing to do, and it alleviated tension that had been building up between the united states and the latin american countries even since the late sessions of the eisenhower administration. >> so it sounds like you feel that that decision has aged well, that now that we're into the 21st century -- >> well, people were saying that the panamanians were incompetent, that they were drug addicts, that they couldn't handle the canal, that it would go to heck before a couple years went by. the income from the canal last year was five times as great as it was at the end of 2000 when we turned it over to them, and now they're doubling the capacity of the canal on their own. one of the remarkable things about it is it changed from socialism to free enterprise. when the united states owned it,
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it was a socialism effort because it was owned and operated by the government. but when we gave it to the panamanians, they made it a free enterprise system, so we proved that free enterprise is better than socialism even when we have socialism ourself in some respects. >> i think you just got your headline for tonight's event. [laughter] dominating these pages, also, are the road to camp david. >> yes. >> and you at some, some evenings when you're jotting these notes down, you're pretty steamed. >> i know. well, it was up and down. when i became president, within a week i was already working on a comprehensive peace in the middle east because for the last 30 years i would say the number one foreign policy prayer that i've had and commitment that i had is to bring peace to israel. and israel's neighbors. and i realized that when i
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became president, there had been four wars in the previous 25 years against israel, all led by egypt who was the only arab country with enough health to really challenge us reel. and i wanted to bring peace to israel and egypt. that was my preliminary goal. is second goal which i and sadat worked on was to bring justice to the palestinians, so those were the two issues that were faced at camp david, and we left camp david believing that we had completely resolved both issues. the treaty was signed, now, 31 and a half years ago and not a single word has ever been violated in those years between israel and egypt. unfortunately, though, the commitments made to turn palestine territory has not been carried out, and that's still the major issue. i think one of the most difficult and challenging issues that the world faces today. >> hasn't establishing some sort of palestinian entity, a sovereign entity on former
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jordanian land in the west bank become even more difficult in the intervening years now that there are hundreds of thousands of israeli citizens living there? >> yes. there are about 300,000 israelis now living in palestinian land. and israel is still occupying territory that belongs to the palestinians, that wrongs to the syrians and also some small portions of lebanon. so the basic issue that has changed since then the desire of israel, primarily, to retain a good bit of that land on a permanent bay diswhereas when i became -- basis. and that was a commitment of united nations resolution 242. and prime minister begin signed the camp david agreement that said 242 applied completely to all the territories they occupied. but that's what's changed, and that's what the challenge is
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that president obama has to face in trying to bring a reconciliation. >> the same sort of difficulties that seemed to be driving you to your wit's end in the late '70s are very much present today. partners that don't seem to talk to each other but talk past each other. >> yes. >> partners that tell the united states one thing and their other interlocutors something else. and that's not just on one side of the equation, either, that's on all sides. can you see a good end to this in the near term? >> i can envision a good ending. [laughter] i can't say i predict a good ending. this was a top priority ever since i left the white house. we've maintained full-time offices in jerusalem, in ramallah in the west bank and also in gaza. and i go over there fairly off.
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i just came back recently from a trip to the middle east. and whenever i go to a foreign area of the world that's in any sort of contention, i always make sure i get permission or approval from the white house before i go because i don't want to inject myself in a way that might be embarrassing or aggravating to the incumbent president, so i always let them know i'm going somewhere, and if they disapprove, i don't go. and i'm always very meticulous about typing up a complete trip report on the way home, so the next day i send a copy to the white house and the state department, and usually to the secretary general of the united nations. so we now have programs in 73 countries in the world, 35 of which happen to be in africa, but we still elevate the mideast to one of the top positions. >> on the front page of the new york times and capturing a lot of ink on the interior page as well, the latest document dump from wikileaks. now, in your time as president if we wanted to pass 266,000
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documents to somebody, we would have needed a small truck to do it. [laughter] and now you can do it with a thumb drive the size of a key chain and with a couple of strokes of a key. >> right. >> is it harder to keep good counsel and keep your private thoughts private if you're president now -- >> i think it's much more difficult. you have to remember we didn't have 24-hour television then. cnn was not formed, which was the first one, until 19 80, my last year in the white house. so we had three major networks, and can that was basically it on television. and they had news maybe one time in the afternoon, 6:30 or 7:00, and maybe a morning news which was mainly entertainment. and that was it. and the other thing was newspapers. and, of course, magazines, thyme and "newsweek" and so forth. but it's completely different now where every moment of the day there's very avid reporters,
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particularly on the channel news, that are looking for any kind of headline they can cover and quite often those headlines are contrived and false, it turns out to be false, but they are newsworthy at the moment, and that's what the purpose is, to get viewers to watch. but, yeah, it's completely different now. and i would say the main difference between 25 years ago and now is the polarization of the parties. i had tremendous support from republicans in the house and senate. one of my closest working allies in the senate was howard baker who was the minority leader of the republicans. and in the house it was bob michael who was the minority leader in the house. and so they cooperated with me thoroughly, and i couldn't have had such a good batting average with congress. it was the best -- except for lyndon johnson -- since the second world war. i couldn't have had that good a battling average without full support from the republican side. and that's completely absent now where the republicans have been,
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in my opinion, completely irresponsible the first 18 or so months of obama's administration, and quite often he can't get a single vote in the house or senate for a major goal. and i had good support. so that's changed. and can the reason for that is the enormous injection of money into the political campaigns. and now, of course, with the dopey ruling of the supreme court last january -- [laughter] [applause] we can have unlimited injection of money, hundreds of millions of dollars into the campaign, by corporations, and the donors don't even have to be identified. when i ran for election and re-election in 1980, i and my opponent used a $2 per person checkoff of public funds. that was it. now if you don't have 100 million or $200 million to spend, you can't even get the democratic or republican
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nomination. and that money goes in, and a good portion of it, a large portion of it is spent for negative advertising to try to destroy the reputation and character of your opponent. and that animosity builds up in a congressional district or a state x when you get to washington, a lot of it carries on, and now we have the polarization of our country. that's new. >> let me press you, though, a little bit on the cooperation of the republicans. some of president obama's critics say that part of the problem is he's already figuring out what to give away before he comes to the table. again and again in this book you write of the fights that you're going to bring up again and again and again and again until you get what you want whether it's public lands law, environmental law, windfall profits tax after the repricing of oil. there have been critics in this city -- >> uh-huh.
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>> -- who have said they're not sure your current successor would do the same. >> well, i don't want to put myself in a position of criticizing president obama because he has to face a phalanx of republican opposition that i did not have. i've already said that. but almost every major legislative proposal that we put forward when i was president was drafted in the white house. and we would bring in the key members, the key lead ors of the senate and house committees to work with us on legislation. we got ready to, say, create the department of education or to create the department of energy or to pass an energy legislation or health care and so forth. we would work with the leaders in the house and senate in the white house, and then they would take the bill pack to their committees and modify it to some degree. and if i didn't like, if i thought the modifications were too large or contradicted what i wanted, i would veto it. so there was never any doubt
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from the beginning to the end what, what we wanted, and we made sure ha everybody in the house and senate -- that everybody in the house and senate knew what we wanted. i think president obama has taken a different point of view and i say this saying that he might be right. that is, when he got ready for the health care legislation, he told the five committees you draft, basically, what you want and then later we'll put it all together, and we'll pass legislation. and, of course, i think in that case quite often the five committees reached the lowest common denominator before they agree on a common bill that comes before the senate and house for a vote. so it's a different, different approach, but i can't say which is best. i personally think mine's best, but i wouldn't criticize president obama. [laughter] >> one of the more striking entries comes on november 4, 1979. i spent hours on the phone talking to political leaders around the nation, but early in the morning was quite disturbed
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to learn that iranian students with the subsequent encouragement of khomeini had taken over our embassy and captured 50 or 60 of our people. without the protection provided by the host government, it's almost impossible to do anything if one's people are taken. and can on november 4th -- and on november 4th you then go on to other business of the day. >> sure, had to. >> these eight lines ended up casting a shadow that would last the rest of your presidency. >> are that's true. >> and it's only with the subsequent months that you can feel in the entries the rising tide of both anger, frustration and concern that this was something that was not going well. >> that was one of the most difficult decisions i ever made was letting the shah come in to new york for treatment. he had terminal cancer. and henry kissinger and my secretary of state and a whole
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flay los angeles of people wanted me me to let the shah come in. i was the last holdout. and i finally decided i would not let him come in unless i got approval from the president and the prime minister of iran. one was named gazty and the other was named gobsedev. anyway, they assured me that the shah could come into new york for treatment, and they would protect our people in iran. there were about -- we had over 5,000 americans still working in iran in addition to the embassy personnel. and the only proviso was that the shah had to agree ahead of time that he would not make any political statement while he was in new york. and he agreed to that. so that was the circumstances under which i let the shah come in the. and then the student militants took our embassy, and khomeini held off for about three days.
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and then he backed up the students. and the president and prime minister resigned in protest because their word of honor to me was violated, and that's the way the whole thing started and, of course, it lasted as most people still remember, 444 days. so the last three days i was president, i never went to sleep, i never went to bed. i spent i up all that time negotiating the release of the hostages, and at 10:00 on inauguration morning, all the hostages were on an airplane ready to take off, and khomeini held them until five minutes after i was no longer president, and then they took off. but that was one of the happiest moments of my life. every hostage came home safe and free. >> by coincidence, i spent the last two days awake. [laughter] i was standing there when they came down the steps. >> you and i shared one of the most exciting moments in history. [laughter] that was wonderful.
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president ray gone was gracious enough to ask me to go over to germany and to meet the hostages when they got there, so i went over and met all of them. we embraced each other, cried on each other's shoulder, and it was a wonderful homecoming for them. >> in it seemed to be dawning on you and your foreign policy staff that you were not dealing with a normal country. that there were power centers scattered all over the place, that if you heard something that didn't necessarily mean that it was greed upon or ayatollah beherbty or the mysterious and never seen in public khomeini. >> that's right. >> hard to know how to talk to. was that a tough part of the negotiation? >> it was. yeah, because some of them would give me word privately or through hamilton jordan that the next week the parliament would decide to let the hostages go free, and i thought they would and then, obviously, they didn't. but it was a frustrating thing
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because even khomeini would never make a public statement directed to me, and he wouldn't permit any direct negotiation. we had all kinds of people that wanted to go over there and negotiate including famous boxers and others. muhammad ali thought since he was a muslim, he could go over and talk khomeini into letting the hostages come home, but he was not able to get there either. so the algerians were the ones that finally did the intermediary. but even that last three days we had $12 billion of iranian money held, and every message that went back and forth left in if english, got over there it was translated into -- >> farsi. >> no, parsi eventually in -- >> arabic in algeria. >> and, iffrench. so we had three-way negotiations. and we were talking about the intricacies of money and $2.2
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billion in gold bouillon located in 12 different nations. so you can see the complexity of it. and so i finally got the hostages out, and we still held $12 billion in iranian money. and the idea was, the agreement was that all the claims that americans had against iran would be fulfilled, and then the money left over would be given to iran, which it was. >> as 1979 became 1980, this began to eat heavily into the political year of 1980, the year for which you had been planning to run for re-election. >> that's true. >> fighting off primary opponents from your own party. >> well, one. yes. [laughter] >> well, two for a while. and did you -- was there a point where you realized they're still there, and now this is really starting to be a problem for
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this enterprise? i want to stay president. i think i'm doing a good job. >> i would say that even eight days before the election it was very close. but you mentioned november the 4th, right? and november the 4th, 1980, was the anniversary of the hostages taken as well as election day. so all the news media were completely fascinated with the anniversary of the hostages and paid very little attention to what i was saying or even president reagan. but that was the burningish sue in the american people's mind, these hostages are still there, and president carter e's been unable to get them free. and that was the major issue. the second one was one you almost mentioned before, and that is for the last two years of my term, senator kennedy was running against me. and very effectively. whenever senator kennedy made any comment, every news media in america covered him word for
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word, and so he was a very formidable opponent. and he never really was reconciled to me. so the democratic party was split to the very end. and then the other thing was that iraq invaded iran, and so all the oil supplies from iran and iraq were lost to the world's oil supplies. and so the price of oil more than doubled in just 12 months, so there was enormous inflation and interest rates went up all over, in all the nations of the world. so those three things combined to cause my defeat. but i've had a good life since then. [laughter] >> well -- [applause] you seemed a little frustrated at the time though. [laughter] because i read this book. [laughter] and teddy kennedy, you note with some pleasure that you're
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kicking him around pretty good in the primaries -- >> well, i did. i beat him two to one in the primaries. [laughter] >> he says with some glee. >> yeah. >> but he wouldn't go down. >> no, he never did give up. >> which was distracting to the democratic re-election effort? doctor well, obviously, it was. the democratic party was split. and one of the failures that i mention in the after word that i wrote was my leadership of the democratic party. i treated it as a secondary responsibility of me as a president. i was president of the united states first of all, i was the leader of the democratic party in a very secondary manner. and senator kennedy was much more. shrewd politically than i was because he appealed to a wide range of leaders in the democratic party. and so that was one of my reasons that i didn't prevail was my inability or lack of leadership to hold the democratic party together. >> was there a point where it
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just seemed like you picked up the next day's newspaper and there was more bad news that maybe you had nothing to do with -- >> a lot of times, yesment. [laughter] >> will okay. but had to deal with as if it was somehow something that you were responsible for because you were the occupant of the oval office when it happened. >> well, i kept on my desk the sign that was on harry truman's desk, the buck stops here. and i realized that no matter what happened in the world if united states was even tangentially involved in it, the responsibility was mine. and that related in my mind to sucks and also to -- successes and also to failures. and one of the failures i've had we've already discussed at length, and that is the hostage crisis. and we had some successes that i wasn't able to emphasize adequately, obviously, because
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of the outcome of the election. but we normalized diplomatic relationships with china, we kept the world at peace. we had some very trying times. we brought peace to other people during my four years, we never dropped a bomb, we never launched a missile, we never fired a bullet at another one, we brought diplomatic relations with china for the first time in 25 years, we resolved the panama canal treaty as we started to pass toward doing away with apartheid in africa, we brought peace in israel and egypt, and we got along well with the soviet union even in cold war. so we had some successes as well as some problems. >> are because the cold war was sort of having its final movements, though we didn't know that then -- >> sure. >> -- the world felt like a pretty unstable place. >> are well, it was unstable. and i think it's hard now to go back and remember how it was 25
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years ago when in every country on earth whether they were in africa or asia or latin america or where there was an intense competition between the soviet union on the one hand and the united states about who would prevail in that country for trade and commerce and for, and for diplomatic approval and for votes in the united nations. so there was an intense competition that went on in if almost every country on earth. and i used to -- i was worried more than anything else above everything else about the possible outbreak of a nuclear war. because both we and the soviet union, as you know, had enough weapons to completely destroy each other, but also maybe to cause a nuclear holocaust throughout the world. and i used to go in to my oval office early in the mornings, and i had a big globe there, and i would turn it to moscow. and i would try to put my mind in the same frame that i thought brezhnev might have. i put myself in his shoes to
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make sure that i didn't do or say anything that would cause him to be fearful or paranoid enough or embarrassed enough to launch a nuclear attack. and so that was a constant concern of mine, that thank goodness doesn't prevail now in nearly so vivid a fashion. >> one issue that you had to tackle was energy consumption. >> yes. >> and not always in ways that made everybody happy. you didn't tell them what you wanted to hear, you told them what you wanted to tell them. here we are 33, 34 years later still arguing about it. >> yes. >> how have we made it these 34 years without coming up with anything that isn't sort of ad hoc and seat of the pants and sort of hastily cobbled together? this you, you wanted to do something comprehensive.
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>> there are two reasons. one is -- among others. one is the incredibly powerful lobbying capability of the oil companies. with unlimited funds to give to members of the house and senate. and the other one is the unpopularity of the fact that americans need to conserve and to maybe be deprived of the expenditure of energy. when i was governor and president nixon was in office, we had terrible gas lines and so forth and very high prices. and then when i became president, we had a boycott against our nation by the, by the arab opec countries. and a secondary boycott, by the way, against any corporation of america that did business with israel. so i had, i inherited that.
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so i decided to have a comprehensive energy policy. we were importing then 8.6 million barrels of oil per day from foreign countries. and i set a goal that we would reduce it. i said we would reduce it in ten years. we actually reduced it in the five years from 8.6 to 4.3. now it's about 11 million barrels per day imported. but when president reagan came in, he didn't want to say anything about sacrifice or that americans had to conserve. i had put 36 photovoltaic panels on the white house to save energy and to be a demonstrable for americans to emulate. he ostentatiously removed them from the white house said we don't have to worry about alternative sources in our country. that and the influence of the automobile companies along with the oil companies was extremely
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powerful. and when i, when president obama came into office, we had just about as poor a record on automobile efficiency as we did when i went into office, although we pledged when i left office to reduce it, to increase gas mileage to 28 miles per gallon. president reagan undid all of that and his successors did as well. so i think that now is coming back to haunt us because we now have the excessive fence on -- dependence on foreign oil, but we also have the global warming issue which is linked to it inextricably. >> you're a guy that ran for the top office in the land, you ran locally in your part of georgia, you ran statewide, you thought about how to talk to people about the things that challenge us all. >> yes. >> are was it frustrating that it's -- was it frustrating that it's just really hard to tell americans they can't do something? >> well, it was. i made my best speech, i think,
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of all when i went to camp david and wrote a speech and told the americans that we were overconsuming, that we had too much of an emphasis on material wealth and benefits and not enough on the highest ideals of morality like peace and so forth. and it was the most popular speech i ever made for a couple of days, and then my political opponents began to refer to it as a malaise speech, and eventually it became an unpopular speech. but it had truths in it that i think are long lasting. in fact, now there have been books written about that one speech text, and i still think it's one of the best speeches that i made. but anyway -- >> and for the record, the word malaise doesn't appear anywhere -- >> no. [laughter] that was wrote deuced to me -- that was introduced to me by senator kennedy. [laughter] but anyway, i think that still is a problem because america, now, is addicted to
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overconsumption of not only fossil fuels, but also an aversion to efficiency. but we've passed enough laws that are binding on efficiency of electric motors and insulation of homes and refrigerators and stoves and so forth. that's still on the books, so we've had a dramatic reduction in energy consumption by those major consumers. but automobiles and other things have continued to be excessively expensive to operate. >> did you relive this time when you look back at this material to make this book? >> yes. yes, i was surprised at a lot of it. particularly my reference to people that i later became to really respect and to admire. at first when i met 'em, they said they weren't going to help me on an issue, i was kind of peeved with them, but i put it down in my diary. but people that read the diary
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ought to remember that everything was written, like, 30 years ago. and i didn't change anything. it's just there. and so i think the conglomeration of it, the totality of it gives a very accurate picture of a time in history that was approaching the end of the cold war, the emergence of some of the lesser-known countries including china and brazil and south africa and so forth that we didn't even know much about then. so it was a time of enormous change. it's a time of realization that we had an excessive expenditure of energy. we've already discussed that. and a time of realization that some of the issues are very intransigent like israel and its dealing with its neighbors, for instance. i don't think anybody dreamed that when i decided to normalize diplomatic relationships with china how much it would change china. because president nixon went over there in 1972, and he announced that there was only one china, but he didn't say
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which one. [laughter] and as a matter of fact, he came back home, and it was still taiwan and all the way during ford's administration it was still taiwan. and i had the difficult decision to make that it would be red china, communist china would be the one china. and it was a very unpopular thing to do, but it has turned out to be a transforming thing for the life in china because three days after that normalization was announced, he announced about reform and a new life in china and began the reforms that have taken place there, and now china is emerging. and i hope that we'll remain friendly with china. that's my hope, and i believe we can. >> it's certainly changed the world calculus to have a china that instead of being hidden and mysterious is, has got its fingers in pies all around the world. >> everywhere. >> it has to be dealt with now as a big power, doesn't it? >> it does. and that's another place where america is profully date, and we
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have to change our ways, and that is a horrendous deficit. we now owe china almost a trillion dollars. and every time we overspend our budget by a dollar, china has to pay for 40 cents of it by buying american bonds. and we go deeper and deeper and deeper in debt. and it's because the congress i guess mirroring what the american people want are reluctant to put a restraint on that. i i would say the republicans he taken, i think, an ill-advised commitment not to raise any kind of taxes no matter how much we need to raise taxes to pay for the wars and that sort of thing, and the democrats are committed to social programs that cost a lot of money. so some way or another we are going to have to make that change, or we're going to be in the serious economic problem which might be the most difficult and horrendous
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prospective catastrophe for america in the next 10-20 years. >> you were president when the soviet union invaded afghanistan. >> christmas day, '79. >> now we're there. >> will -- yes. >> and have just moved the date for beginning to withdraw from 2011 to 2014. what do you make of our prospects there, and is this bound to be a place where great powers come up proper because they underestimate how hard it is to get anything done there? >> that's been true since the middle ages, as you know. anybody who's ever invaded afghanistan has come out the loser, and i have serious doubts that we'll prevail in afghanistan, that is to meet the present goals that we've set for ourselves. my belief is that we'll
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constantly reduce our expectations or our goals lower and lower and lower until we can finally get out without serious embarrassment. but i don't think we have the capability or the will to actually prevail militarily over the taliban. that seems to me to be an almost hopeless case. and as you know, the cia has said that there are less than 100 members of al-qaeda in all the nation of afghanistan. that the leaders and others are in pakistan. and still we now have tripled the number of troops in afghanistan since president obama came into office. my hope and my prayer is that we will prevail and that we can establish a permanent police force and that sort of thing that can keep order and protect the corrupt government that exists in kabul.
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but i have my doubts about it. >> when you were preparing this book, were there entries that you looked at and you thought, boy, i remember how lousy that day felt? or how wonderful? >> i remember both, yeah. [laughter] i remember some lousy days. as hamilton jordan said, we had two white houses the last year. one white house dealt with america and its problems and its challenges and its successes. the other white house dealt with the iran hostage crisis. we had two different things that were separate, but i had to worry about both of them simultaneously. and those, that was the worst year of my life, the last year that i was in office when the hostages were being held. i didn't know if they were going to come home safe and free or not, or all be executed and killed. and i had advice from my strongest supporters around me
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we need to launch a military attack against iran because they are causing us to be distressed and embarrassed around the world. but i, i held out because i felt that we could have wiped iran off the map, there's no question about that, with our powerful military force. but if i had bombed iran, i would have killed maybe 10,000 innocent iranians, and i don't have any doubt that they would have immediately executed our hostages there. so i decided that i would pray a lot, which i did -- more than i ever have any other time in my life -- and that all my hostages would come home safe and free and that i would not violent the integrity -- violate the integrity of my country, and my prayers came true. a little bit later than i wanted but, you know, sometimes god says yes, sometimes god says no, and sometimes god says, you've got to be kidding. [laughter] so i had to learn how to be patient but eventually my
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prayers were answered. [laughter] >> you were elected with the strong support of evangelicals newly energized, newly politically active. >> yes. >> people who had really moved to the sidelines of american politics in, just after the civil rights era. they sort of said, we're going to take our bat and ball and go home. and they appear quite a bit in your -- they visited the white house, you had prayer services, you taught sunday school, and tell us which scripture passages provided the text for that sunday. it's very interesting to go through the year with you. what have you noticed that's caught your eye about the way that whole world moved after you were president? >> well, as a matter of fact, the world moved while i was president. because i heard about the so-called moral majority in my
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'76 campaign because a speech was made in alaska and somebody told me about it. that's the only thing i knew about it then. i was a very active leader in the southern baptist convention when i was a layman after i left the governor's mansion. i was in charge, one of the ones in charge of the brotherhood which is a men's organization. and i had full support from the southern baptists when i ran for president in a completely separate church and state separated. but then that's when the movement began in the southern baptist convention with its 16 million members for the conservatives to take over, the fundamentalists to take over. and in 1979 they succeeded. and during that time in the middle of my term there was an allegiance formed between the conservative baptists on the one hand and the republican party on the other. and that became a major factor in my 1980 re-election campaign
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when they were all against me. not all, but a lot of them were against me. so that happened while i was president. and that's been a permanent change on the american mitt call scene. political scene. i brew up with my father teaching -- grew up with my father teaching sunday school, it was a total separation of church and state. which i separated. i never had a service in the white house although my predecessors would invite billy graham to come in and have sunday morning service in the east room of the white house. i never did. i went to church at the first baptist church, and sometimes i taught sunday school without prior notification, but i kept the two completely separated. but they have been merged, now, in if a very uncomfortable way for me. so that's another one of those transcendent societal or political issues that changed during that very crucial four years. >> did you do anything to tick them off? this.-- [laughter]
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or was this a cultural change that was sort of in process during your white house years that really wasn't even about you by the time ronald reagan came along? this. >> yeah, it was in process, and i did a lot of things that ticked them off. [laughter] one of the main things they opposed was the creation of a new department of education. and another one was the nuclear arms agreement with the soviet union. another one was my not being in favor of prayer in the schools. so there were a number of liberal versus conservative issues where i came down on the more liberal side, and they were on the more conservative side. and this became, these became major points that they made very firmly with ronald reagan, and they have maintained those as well. for instance, when george bush was getting ready -- george w. bush was getting ready to invade iraq, i was strongly against it. i wrote an op-ed piece that was
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in "the new york times" and later briefly in other places called just war or a just war. and i defined what a just war was in christian terms. and that, i pointed out in that editorial that the primary supporters of a totally fallacious and unnecessary war in iraq was the southern baptist convention leadership. so they were more warlike. they were for the death penalty, and they were for a lot of things like that that they can find verses in the bible to support that were against my own personal beliefs. so my wife and i have separated, personally, from the southern baptist convention, but we're still baptists in my littleture. in my little church. >> but if one of your domestic policy team had said, well, mr. president, i understand your reasons, i understand your explanation, have billy graham
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come over, what could it hurt? [laughter] if you had been counseled that there might be good politics behind just softening the line a little bit, could you have bought yourself a little love on the other side of the -- >> [laughter] without giving up too much. >> my not inviting billy graham to the white house was not an issue, that i know of, that ever came up. billy graham resented it for a while until i met with him, and he and i became almost like brothers. i really love him. i think he's the greatest christian that's lived in my lifetime. but i explained to him that i had that belief that i inherited from my father, and he understood it. and i think i taught sunday school classes or bible classes in the first baptist church 14 times when i was president. but as i said, we never announced it ahead of time, and
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only the regular church members knew after i got there that i was going to teach that morning. so i did try to separate. but i think the issues that divided us were more of a political nature that i've already enumerated, a few of them, than they were anything concerning religion. >> well, i was teaching sunday school in those same years, and i thought it was cool you were too. [laughter] you were probably doing it better than i was. one last question, sir. >> yeah. >> you were a man in your early 50s -- >> yes. >> -- when you wrote the words in this book. >> right. >> you had an elementary schooler still at home and became a grandfather for the first time during those years. >> that's right. >> when you look over this, do you like this guy that emerges from the pages? this -- or now with the passage of 30 more years and all the things that you've been through, the things that you've seen, the things that you've experienced, do you make that marginal note,
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hmm, that was ungenerous of me, or i could have done that better, or, boy, if i could take that day back. [laughter] do you look at this guy who emerges from these pages and say, yeah, i still know that guy? i still am that guy? >> well, that's a difficult question. i don't think -- >> that's why i saved it for last. >> i understand. [laughter] i don't think i've changed in any material way except i've learned a lot since i left the white house. in working with the carter center, i think i may have mentioned we have programs in 73 countries now. and our preeminent commitment at the carter center, now, is to address diseases that exist by hundreds of millions of cases in the third world that are no longer known in the rich countries on earth. so we go into the villages in africa and in the desert and in the jungles and actually put
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medicine in people's mouths. and these are diseases that are not known, lymphatic foal rye sis, lymphoma, diseases like that. and i also have become very active since i left the white house in habitat for humanity. every year rosalynn and i go somewhere and build houses for very poor people. and the thing i have learned mostly since i left the white house is about those kinds of people who are suffering and who quite often are illiterate, who are poverty-stricken and quite often forgotten or ignored on earth. and i've learned that they're just as good as i am. they're just as intelligent, just as hard working, just as ambitious, their family values are just as good as mine. and i was asked at the turn of
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the century what is the greatest -- turn of the millennium, as a matter of fact -- what's the greatest challenge that the world faces in the new millennium. i made two speeches on that subject. it was actually the same speech, one in asia and one in europe. and the greatest challenge i think that the world faced then and now is the growing chasm between rich people and poor people. it's not just a chasm, but the chasm is getting greater every year. the richer people in america are getting richer and richer, the poorer people in america are getting poorer and poorer, and that is the case in almost every country on earth, and it's also the issue between rich countries and poor countries. the rich countries are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. and as we grow further and further apart economically, we grow further and further apart in understanding each other and having mutual respect. and i think that's a challenge that we still haven't faced
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adequately in this country or around the world. so that's what i've learned, one of the things, major things that i've learned since i left the white house. >> the book is "white house diary," please, thank the 39th president of the united states. [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> every weekend on c-span3
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experience american history tv starting saturday at 8 a.m. eastern. 48 hours of people and events telling the american story. hear historic speeches by national leaders and eyewitness accounts of events that shaped our nation. visit museums, historical sites and college campuses as top history professors and leading historians delve into america's past. american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. >> we're just a few minutes away from a live defense department briefing where secretary robert gates will release a new assessment of the military's don't ask, don't tell policy. the senate, still in a recess. earlier today lawmakers approved a food safety bill after blocking an amendment offered by oklahoma republican tom coburn that would have allowed a temporary ban on earmarks.
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>> and now to congressional republican leaders speaking with reporters from the capitol shortly after a meeting today with president obama on taxes, the deficit and other issues. >> let me just begin. the president had us all to the white house, we had a very frank conversation, and it was of interesting that both democrats and republicans, and the president, understood what the american people had to say on election day, i think, pretty clearly. because the president and democrat leaders acknowledge that the american people want us to create jobs and to cut spending. we -- the president did suggest that to unlock the tax
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disagreement that we have that secretary of the treasury, the directer of omb would sit down with four of our members -- one from each caucus on the hill -- so begin a discussion to try to unlock this disagreement we have over extending all of the current rates. i think republicans made the point that stopping all the looming tax hikes and cutting spending would, in fact, create jobs and get the economy moving again. and so we're looking forward to the conversation with the white house over extending all of the current rates, and i remain optimistic. mitch? >> yeah. i would only add i thought it was a useful and frank discussion. we did have an opportunity to reiterate the view of 100% of senate republicans and a number of senate democrats as well that
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the tax rates should not be fabricated, in order, that we ought to treat all taxpayers the same. as john indicated, we will each designate someone to actually try to complete the agreement. i think there was also widespread agreement that the two most important things to do, obviously, are decide how we're going to fund the government for the next ten months and decide the tax issue in the senate. we're wrestling with a lot of other matters that may have some level of importance but aren't in the same category as deciding what everybody's tax rates are going to be and deciding how we're going to spend the government. so i hope we can reshuffle our priorities on the senate side, get them in line with these two big issues and, hopefully, wrap up the 111th congress. >> eric? >> i was pleased on a number of counts. first, that the president did recognize that the election meant that the people want to see results out of washington. i think you've heard, now, a
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process that's being put into place that, hopefully, we can begin to see those results first and foremost, take away the uncertainty around the tax cuts or rates that exist right now. secondly, i was encouraged by the president's remarks regarding his, perhaps, not having reached out enough to us in the last session. and that this meeting was the beginning of a series in which he hoped that we could work together in a different fashion for the benefit of the american people given the problems that we face. >> in this meeting, it sowned like the meeting was -- sounds like the meeting was with conciliatory. would your side dial down the rhetoric on the president, are we going to hear a softer tone from republicans or wait and see what the president -- [inaudible] >> americans have preferred divided government more often than not since world war ii, it's not unusual to find ourselves in the position we'll
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be in the 112th congress. it's also important to remember only of these periods when you have divided government are quite productive. think of the second clinton administration with welfare reform, balanced budgets, trade agreements. i think we all agree there's no particular reason why we can't find areas of agreement and do some important things for the american people over the next two years. >> and i agree that the president did make an important point that eric mentioned, that he hadn't spent as much time with us reaching out and talking to us. and committed to do so. and as i told the president, i think spending more time will help us find some common ground. you know, there's a difference we have -- there's a reason why we have democrats and republicans. we believe in different things about the appropriate role of the federal government. but having said that, the more time that we do spend together, we can find the common ground because the american people expect us to come here and work on their behalf.
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>> -- [inaudible] the president being different now than working with mrs. pelosi, do you see that being more positive in the future? >> we had a very nice meeting today. we've had a lot of very nice meetings. the question is can we find the common ground the american people expect us to find. >> i would say this, too, it was pretty revealing that the leadership in the democratic side of the house right now is ready to go and get the job done. i think that somehow it's a difficulty in trying to help priorities come into being on the other side of the capitol. and, you know, i think all of us were here, and, you know, the president, i think, put his best foot forward and said we realize we've got to produce results. so i do think and am hopeful that we can, we can work together. >> any other areas -- [inaudible] [inaudible conversations] any other areas like s.t.a.r.t. treaty or dream act or anything else -- [inaudible] >> well, the s.t.a.r.t. treaty
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is a senate issue. there was some discussion of it, and i know the president would like to go forward as soon as possible. i think the view, the unanimous view of senate republicans is let's take care of the tax issue, let's take care of how we're going to fund the government, then there's time for other matters. it'll be up to the senate majority leader to decide -- >> [inaudible] on the tax cut issues at the end of -- >> i think that we're hopeful that they'll begin meeting today. [inaudible conversations] >> [inaudible] >> we believe mr. kemp will represent house republicans. >> all right, thank you! >> i haven't announced, but i will in the next hour or two. >> thank you. >> remarks earlier. now we take you live to the defense department. secretary robert gates briefing reporters. >> undertake this task with the thoroughness, seriousness,
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professionalism and objectivity befitting a task of this magnitude and consequence. i believe that a close and serious reading of this report will demonstrate they have done just that. we are grateful for the service they have rendered in taking on such a complex and controversial subject. the findings of their report reflect nearly ten months of research and analysis along several lines of study and represent the most thorough and objective review ever of this difficult policy issue and its impact on the american military. first, the group reached out to the force to better understand their views and attitudes about a potential repeal of the don't ask, don't tell law. as was made clear at time and is worth repeating today, this outreach was not a matter of taking a poll of the military to determine whether the law should be changed. the very idea of asking the force to, in effect, vote on such a matter is antithetical to
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our system of government and would have been without precedent in the long history of our civilian-led military. the president of the united states, the commander in chief of the armed forces made his position on in this the matter clear, a position i support. our job as the civilian and military leadership of the department of defense was to determine how best to prepare for such a change should the congress change the law. nonetheless, i thought it critically important to engage our troops and their families on this issue as, ultimately, it will be they who will determine whether or not such a transition is successful. i believe that we had to learn the attitudes, obstacles and concerns that would need to be addressed should the law be changed. we could do this only by reaching out and listening to our men and women in uniform and their families. the working group undertook this through a variety of means from a mass survey answered by tens of thousands of troops and their
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spouses to meetings with small groups and individuals including hearing from those discharged under the current law. mr. johnson and general hamm will provide more detail on the results of survey of troops and their families. in summary, a strong majority of those who answered the survey, more than two-thirds, do not object to gays and lesbians serving openly in uniform. the findings suggest that for large segments of the military, repeal of don't ask, don't tell -- though potentially disruptive in the short term -- would not be the wrenching, dramatic change that many have feared and predicted. the data also shows that within the combat armed specialties and units there is a higher level of discontent, of discomfort and resistance to changing the current policy. those findings and the potential implications for america's fighting forces remain a source
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of concern to the service chiefs and to me. i'll discuss this later. second, the working group also examined thoroughly all the potential changes to the department's regulations and policies dealing with matters such as benefits, housing, relationships within the ranks, separations and discharges. as the co-chairs will explain in a few minutes, the majority of concerns often raised in association with the repeal dealing with sexual conduct, frat earnization, bill lotting arrangements, marital or survivor benefits could be governed by existing laws and regulations. existing policies can and should be applied equally to homosexuals as well as heterosexuals. while a repeal would require some changes to regulations, the key to success -- as with most things military -- is training, education and, above all, strong and principled leadership up and down the chain of command.
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third, the working group examined the potential impact of the change in the law on military readiness including the impact on unit cohesion, recruiting and retention and other issues critical to the performance of the force. in my view, getting this category right is the most important thing we must do. the u.s. armed forces are in the middle of two major military overseas campaigns. a complex and difficult drawdown in iraq, a war in afghanistan. both of which are putting extraordinary stress on those serving on the ground and their families. it is the well being of these brave young americans, those doing the fighting and the dying since 9/11, that has guided every decision i have made in the pentagon since taking this post nearly four years ago. it will be no different on this issue. i am determined to see that if law is repealed, the changes are implemented in such a way as to
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minimize any negative impact on the morale, cohesion and effectiveness of combat units that are deployed, about to deploy to the front lines. with regards to readiness, the working group report concluded that overall and with thorough preparation -- and i emphasize thorough preparation -- there is a low risk from repealing don't ask, don't tell. however, as i mentioned earlier, the survey data showed that a higher proportion -- between 40-60% -- of those troops serving in predominantly all-male combat specialties, mostly army and marines but including the special operations formations of the navy and the air force, predicted a negative effect on unit cohesion from repealing the current law. for this reason, the uniform service chiefs are less sanguine than the working group about the level of risk of repeal with regard to combat readiness.
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the views of the chiefs were sought out and taken seriously by me and by the authors of this report. the chiefs will also have the opportunity to explain, to provide their expert military advice to the congress as they have to me and to the president. their perspective deserves serious attention and consideration. as it reflects the judgment of decades of experience and the sentiment of many senior officers. in my view, the concerns of combat troops as expressed in the survey do not present an insurmountable barrier to successful repeal of don't ask, don't tell. this can be done and should be done without posing a serious risk to military readiness. however, these findings do lead me to conclude that an an abundance of care and preparation is required if we are to avoid a disruptive and potentially dangerous impact on the performance of those serving at the tip of the spear in
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america's wars. this brings me to my recommendations on the way ahead. earlier this year the house of representatives passed legislation that would repeal don't ask, don't tell after a number of steps take place. the last being certification by the president, secretary of defense and the chairman that the new policies and regulations were consistent with the u.s. military's standards of readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion and recruiting and retention. now that we have completed this review, i strongly urge the senate to pass this legislation and send it to president for signature before the end of this year. i believe this is a matter of some urgency because, as we have seen in the past year, the federal courts are increasingly becoming involved in this issue. just a few weeks ago one lower court ruling forced the department into an abrupt series of changes that were no doubt confusing and distracting to men and women in the ranks.
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it is only a matter of time before the federal courts are drawn once more into the fray with the very real possibility that this change would be imposed immediately by judicial fiat. by far the most disruptive and damaging scenario i can imagine. and one of the most hazardous to military morale, readiness and battlefield performance. therefore, it is important that this change come via legislative means; that is, legislation informed by the review just completed. what is needed is a process that allows for a well prepared and well considered implementation. above all, a process that carries the elected representatives of the people of the united states. given the present circumstances, those that choose not to act legislatively are rolling the dice that this policy will not be abruptly overturned by the courts.
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the legislation presently before the congress would authorize a repeal of the don't ask, don't tell pending the certification by the president, secretary of defense and the chairman. it would not harm military readiness. nonetheless, i believe that it would be unwise to push ahead with full implementation of repeal before more can be done to prepare the force. in particular, those ground combat specialties and units for what could be a disruptive and disorienting change. the working group's plan with a strong emphasis on education, training and leader development provides a solid road map for a successful, full implementation of repeal assuming that the military is given sufficient time and preparation to get the job done right. the department has already made a number of changes to regulations that within existing law applied more exacting standards to procedures investigating -- or separating troops for suspected homosexual conduct. changes that have added a
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measure of common sense and decent si to a legally and morally-fraught process. i would close on a personal note and a personal appeal. this is the second time that i have dealt with this issue as a leader in public life. the prior case being in cia in 1992 when i directed that openly gay applicants be treated like all other applicants, that is whether as individuals they met our competitive standards. that was and is a situation significantly different in circumstance and consequence than confronting -- than that confronting the united states armed forces today. views toward gay and lesbian americans have changed considerably during this period and have grown more accepting since don't ask, don't tell was first enacted. but feelings on this matter can still run deep and divide often tackily along demographic, cultural and generational lines not only in society as a whole,
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but in the uniformed ranks as well. for this reason i would ask as congress takes on this debate for all involved to resist the urge to lure our troops and their families into the politics of this issue. what is called for is a careful and considerate approach p that welcomes all who are qualified and capable of serving their country in uniform, but one that does not undermine out of haste or dog mattism those attributes that make the u.s. military the finest fighting force in the world. the stakes are too high for a nation under threat, for a military at war to do any less. admiral? >> thank you, mr. secretary. i, too, wish to thank jay johnson and carter hamm as well as everyone involved in the working group for their extraordinary efforts over much of the past year. i fully endorse their report, its findings and the implementation plan recommended
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by the working group. the working group was given a tall order. indeed, nothing less than producing the first truly comprehensive assessment of not only the impact of repeal of the law governing don't ask, don't tell, but also about how best to implement a new policy across the joint force. as the secretary indicated, the working group surveyed our troops and their spouses, consulted proponents and opponents of repeal and examined military experience around the world. they also spoke with serving gays and lesbians as well as former members of the military who are gay and lesbian. the result is one of the most expansive studies ever done on military personnel issues, and i applaud the time that was taken to arrive at solid, defensible conclusions. more critically, i was gratified to see that the working group focused their findings and recommendations, rightly, on those who would be most affected by a change in the law: our
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people, all of our people. .. >> we all have our opinions, and those opinions matter. this is without question a complex social and cultural issue. but at the end of the day whatever the decision of our elected leaders may be, we in uniform have an obligation to follow orders.
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when those orders involve significant change, such as this would, we need to find ways to lead the way forward. our troops and their families expect that from us, and i think the american people do as well. second, we've heard a loud and clear that our troops also expect us to maintain high standards of conduct and professionalism. both as we move forward in this debate, and should repeal of occur. we treat people with dignity and respect in the armed forces, or we don't last long. no special cases, no special treatment. we are going to continue to purport ourselves with honor and hold ourselves accountable across the board two impeccably high standards. repeal or no repeal. finally, the report shows that however low the overall risk of repeal may be with respect to readiness, cohesion and retention, it is not without its challenges.
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we can best address those challenges by having it within our power and our prerogative to manage the application process ourselves. should repeal of her i'm sure the secretaries decide that it come about through legislation. through the same process with which the law was enacted, rather than precipitously through the courts. i further hope that such debate in the congress will be as fully informed by the good work done in this report as my advice to the secretary, and to the president is. thank you. >> you said it would be unwise to receive the repeal until there is more groundwork. how long do you envision that process lasting? and is this a concern and a recommendation that is shared by the white house, as far as once congress acts they're still being a period in which the new policy is in place? admiral mullen, you also share
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that recommendation. >> just to to be clear what we are talking about is that should the congress vote to repeal the law, what we are asking for is the time subsequent to that to prepare adequately before the changes implemented in the force. how long that would take, frankly, i don't know. the report, as you will see in the implementation plan, lays out an ambitious agenda, things that need to be done, including not only leadership training, but training at a military force of over 2 million people. i would say this. i think we would all expect that if this law is implemented, the president would be -- if repeal is passed, the president would be watching very closely to ensure that we don't doddle or try to slow roll this. so i think his expectation would
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be that we would prepare as quickly as we properly and comprehensively could. and then we would be in a position to move towards the certification. but how long that would take, i think, i don't know. >> there'll is a level of riskier as is laid out in the report. and i would hope you spend as much time on the implementation plan as i report. the implication plan, certainly from all the military leadership, is strongly endorsed should this law change. and it is in the implementation plan that the risk levels are mitigated. and principally mitigated through leadership. certainly the training, the guidance, the engagement of the leadership and having enough time to do that is critically important as we would look at implementation. that's what really mitigates any risk that is out there.
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>> you said the chiefs are less sanguine than the working group. what specifically have they told you about their concerns? and why -- on back -- [inaudible] >> that she's will speak for themselves on front. the chairman has spent much more time with them than i have on this. i think it's fair to say that their concerns revolve around stress on a force after nearly 10 years of war. and i think they are concerned about the higher levels of negative response from the ground combat units and the special operations units that i've talked about in my remarks. i think, i would just like to go
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back and underscore the chairman's point. and that is, the level of risk is tied intimately to the quality of preparation. and to do this, so i guess i would put it this way. if a court ordered us to do this tomorrow, i believe the force, the risk to the fourth would be high. are if we had no time to prepare. if we have plenty of time to prepare the force, to prepare the leadership, i think the more effectively we do that preparation, the lower the risks. >> i've engaged actually many, many times with the chiefs over the last many months, so we've had very, very extensive discussions about this. and from the standpoint of a change in the law, i mean, my perspective is, what i would call certainly was my personal
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opinion is now my professional view, that this is a policy change that we can make. and we can do it in a relatively low risk fashion. given the time and given the ability to mitigate whatever risk is out there through strong leadership. in fact, part of this is the fact that we have been at war for so long. we have one of the discussions about this is affecting combat effectiveness our combat readiness. i've never been associate with a better military than we are right now. and better military leaders, and i have tremendous confidence, that should this change that they will be able to implement it very specifically. [inaudible] >> again, the chiefs will speak for themselves on friday. >> secretary, you raise a, and the report shows that those polls, 50% in army combat or a
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pose, 60% in marine combat arms. and there's also an issue of chaplin. the reports is very strong opposition among the chaplains here as well. what would you say to both groups? how would you deal with this, both groups? >> well, the interesting, one of the other considerations in this, that the report reveals is even in combat arms units, those who, among those who believe they have served with a gay person before, the level of comfort with going forward was something like 90%. so part of this is, it's a question of unfamiliarity. part of it is stereotypes. and part of it is, is just sort of inherent resistance to change
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when you don't know what's on the other side. and so i think, i think that the contrast between the significant levels of concern for those who had come who said they had never served with someone who is gay, as opposed to those who had, is an important consideration. but what i would say to them is, frankly, if the congress and united states repealed this law, this is the will of the american people. and you are the american military. and we will do this, and we will do it right. and we will do everything in our power to mitigate the concerns that you have. [inaudible] >> same thing. >> they view homosexuality as a send? >> the report identifies that the chaplains already served in
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a forest. many of whose members do not share their values, we do not share their beliefs. and there is an obligation to care for all. but it is also clear that the chaplains will not be asked to teach something they don't believe in. and so i think that, i think the report is pretty clear on that. >> can ask on the don't ask, don't tell question real quick? what's your sense and was at the information sharing climate created after 9/11 to encourage cooperation and transparency, and intelligence communities in the military, led to these -- [inaudible] how concerned are you there might be an overreaction to clamp down on information of dispersal because of disclosures? >> one of the common themes that i heard from the time i was a senior agency official in the
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early 1980s, in every military, engagement we were in, the complaint of the lack of adequate intelligence. that began to change with the gulf war in 1991, but it really has changed dramatically after 9/11. and clearly, the finding that the lack of sharing of information had prevented people from quote unquote connecting the dots, led to much wider sharing of information. and i would say especially wider sharing of information at the front. so that no one at the front was denied in one of the theaters, afghanistan or iraq, was denied any information that might possibly be held to. now obviously that aperture went to why. there's no reason for a young officer at a forward operating pose in afghanistan to get
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cables having to do with the start negotiations. and so we've taken a number of mitigating steps in the department. i directed a number of these things to be undertaken in august. first, and automatic, automated capabilities to monitor workstations for security purposes. we've got about 60% of this done. mostly in, mostly stateside, and i directed that we accelerate the completion of it. second, as i think you know, we have taken steps in centcom in september coming out everywhere to direct all cd and dvd right capability off the network, the disabled. we have done some of the things terms of two men policies, where you can move information from a
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classified system to an unclassified system, to have a two-person policy there. and then we have some longer-term efforts underway in which, first of all, which we can identify anomalies from sort of like credit card companies do in the use of computer. and then finally, efforts to actually taser -- taser access. but let me say, let me address the latter part of your question. this is obviously a massive dump of information. first of all, i was a unlike the pentagon papers, one of the things that is important, i think, in all of these releases, whether it's afghanistan, iraq, or the releases this week, is the lack of any significant difference between what the u.s. government says publicly and what he things shall privately. whereas in the pentagon papers showed that many in the government were not only lying to the american people, they
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were lying to themselves. but let me just offer some perspectives of somebody who has been at this a long time. every other government in the world knows the united states government leaks like a sieve. and it has for a long time. and i dragged this out the other day when i was looking at some of these prospective releases. this is a quote from john adams. how can a government go on publishing all their negotiations with foreign nations i know not? to me, it appears as dangerous and pernicious as it is novel. when we went to real congressional oversight of intelligence in the mid '70s, there was a broad view that no other foreign intelligence service would ever share information with us again. if we're going to show -- share it all with congress. it was all unfounded. now i have heard the impact of these releases on our foreign
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policy described as a meltdown, as a game changer and so one. i think, i think those descriptions are fairly significantly overwrought. the fact is, governments deal with the united states because it's in their interest. not because they like us. not because they trust us. and not because they believe we can keep secrets. many governments, some governments deal with us because they fear us. some because they respect us. most because they need us. we are still essentially as has been said before, the indispensable nation. so other nations will continue to deal with us. they will continue to work with us. we will continue to share sensitive information with one another. is this embarrassing? yes. is it awkward? yes. consequences for u.s. foreign policy? i think fairly modest.
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>> did either of you reach out to any their counterparts in advance of this week and warned them or even apologize in advance for what might come out of? >> i didn't. >> i didn't. spirit to whom? >> general in pakistan? thank you so that now is the time to do this. largely because the threat of legal action. i just wanted it that was legal action, what is looming? how much do you think that this was a right thing to do now? i'm wondering how hard you can tend to lobby those on the hill to get, to sway to the other side? >> well, i don't spend much time thinking about the world as i wish it were. the reality is the issue is out there. and in my view does lend urgency to this. you know, the question has been
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raised, well, maybe the courts would give us time, to which my answer is, maybe, maybe not. we just don't know. but the one path we know it gives us the time and the flexibility to do this is the legislative path. and i don't know how fast the courts are going to move on this, but what we've seen it seems to be more and more action in the courts, in the last year or two, and that's what gives me a sense of urgency about my greatest fear is what almost happened to us in october. and that is being told to implement a change of policy overnight. >> mr. secretary, senator mccain is not arguing that this report is the wrong report and that it won't get to the bottom of how this repeal could affect unit cohesion or more router i'm wondering if you are admiral mullen had any reaction to that response to the report? >> well, i think that in this respect, and i obviously have a
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lot of admiration and respect for senator mccain, but in this respect i think that he is mistaken. i think this report does provide a sound basis for making decisions on this law. now, people can draw different conclusions out of this report. the comments, for example, in the evaluation in the report of the higher levels of concern for him of the combat arms units, and in the marine and so what. so people can read his, and potentially come to different conclusions. but in terms of the data and in terms of the views of the force, it's hard for me to imagine that you could come up with a more comprehensive approach your we had . we had something on the order of 45,000 people in uniform answer the questionnaire, the survey.
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we have something on the order of 40, 45,000 spouses respond to that survey. tens of thousands of people reached in other ways. so i think there is no comparable source of information or data on attitudes in the force than this report. and it's hard for me to imagine another effort, taking a much different approach than this report did. >> and its main thrust was on combat effectiveness, mission effectiveness, readiness, unit cohesion, et cetera. and the data, again, you can certainly take part of it that read, you might want to read it fully, but the date is very compelling. in particular with respect to those issues. i mean, that was the main reason for the report. >> i win if you talk a little
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more about how you would see this implemented and what you mean about giving time. would you say not have openly, if the law is changed, would you not have openly gained service -- gay servicemembers, would you take, which integrate the noncombat arms units first? i mean, could you describe a little bit more of what you're and limitations plan would be? >> first of all, the repeal of a law would not come as i understand it, now, i am not a lawyer, but as i understand it, and a b.j. johnson can address this more authoritatively for you when he comes up here. but as i understand, and tilt we certify, until the president, secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs certified that the u.s. military is ready to implement the law,
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the repeal, the existing, currently existing rules would continue to apply your and so you have a period of preparation, if you will, that, as i indicated earlier, i don't know necessarily how long that would take. >> from my perspective, we are one military. we are one military. >> to more questions. >> you have spoken quite clearly that you support the president's position on this.@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ @ w your urging the senate to@ act and how this needs to be done. i to have it -- [inaudible] do you feel personally that it is not just or wrong for gays and lesbians not to feel to serve their country? are you comfortable with the idea of opening integrating the military? >> i think that in my -- one of
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the things that is most important to me is personal integrity. and a policy or a law that in effect requires people to lie gives me a problem. and so i think it's -- i mean, we spend a lot of time in the military talking about integrity and honor and values. telling the truth is pretty important value in that scale. a very important value. and so for me, and i thought the admiral, admiral mullen was eloquent on this last february, a policy that requires people to lie about themselves somehow
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seems to me fundamentally flawed. last question. >> earlier in the process, general conway had the idea of separate derricks and said they may not be eligible sharing with openly gay truth that is that on the table? with the idea of separate barracks, separate housing, separate showers, is that on the table? >> we will get in the details of that, or you can with jay and general ham, but the bottom line of the report is no separate facilities. thank you all. >> thank you.
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good afternoon. i believe general ham is going to begin with his remarks, and then i will follow up. >> good afternoon. it's been a long time since i've been at this podium, and i don't miss it at all. [laughter] >> as secretary gates indicated, on march 2 of this year he gave mr. johnson and i a task to review the issues related to repeal of section 654, title 10 of the u.s. code, the law, referred to as don't ask, don't tell. it an important historical note that i think today being the 30th of november is, in fact, 17 years to the day or when president clinton signed into law the fiscal year 1994 national defense authorization act which included don't ask, don't tell, the matter we are talking about today. secretary gates gave us two
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tasks, two primary tasks. first, to assess the impact of repeal on military effectiveness, military readiness, unit cohesion, recruiting and retention, and importantly, on family values. secondly, he told us to recommend a private changes to regulations and policies and guidance in the event of repeal. additionally, we were to develop a plan of action to support implementation of repeal of don't ask, don't tell should such repeal ogre. as we began our work, secretary gates directed that we thoroughly and objectively and methodically examine all aspects of this question. and he told us in written guidance and told us verbally. to systematically engage the force. with that guidance over the last nine months, we solicited the views of 400,000 servicemembers, active national guard and reserve, which solicited over 115,000 responses. we solicited the views of
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150,000 spouses of active and reserve component servicemembers receiving over 44,000 replies. we received over 72000 comments from servicemembers and their families on a specifically designated online inbox. we conducted 95 face-to-face meetings, at 51 different bases around the world, interacting in that effort with over 24,000 servicemembers to mr. johnson and i participate personally in many of those. we held 140 demographically selected focus groups. an example, nine to 12 junior enlisted male combat arms. nine to 12 midgrade noncommissioned officers. we engage the service academies, their staff, faculty, cadets and midshipmen. we have directed including, 2010 update to their 1993 study. we met with a number of veterans
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groups, service organizations, and groups both for and against the repeal of don't ask, don't tell. and one of the more difficult tasks through a non-dod manage confidential communication mechanism, and through work, reach down to currently serving gay and lesbian servicemembers. in all we believe this to event the largest most comprehensive review of a personal policy matter that the department of defense has ever undertaken. based on all that we saw and heard, our assessment is that when coupled with the prompt implementation of the recommendations we offer, the risk of repeal of don't ask, don't tell to overall military effectiveness is a low. and as the secretary mentioned, it is important to note that that assessment is based upon the prompt implementation of the recommendations. we to conclude that while repeal of don't ask, don't tell will likely in the short term bring
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about some limited an isolated disruption, to unit cohesion and retention, we do not believe this disruption will be widespread nor long lasting. and we believe it can be adequately addressed by the recommendations we offer. in the longer-term, with a continued and sustained commitment to core values of leadership, professionalism and respect, we are convinced that u.s. military can adjust and accommodate this change, just as it has others in history. the secretary, the chairman mentioned, to be sure with the survey results revealed a significant minority. around 30% overall, and 40 to 60% in the marine corps and in various combat arms specialties who predict in some form and to some degree negative views or concerns about the impact of a repeal of don't ask, don't tell. and clearly any personal policy change for which a group that
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size predicts negative consequences must be approached with caution. however, there are a number of other factors that is to lead us to conclude that the risk of repeal to overall military effectiveness is low. as one example, we know what's, in the overall military was asked about working with someone they believed to be gay or lesbian, 92% stated that their usability to work together was very good, good, or good nor poor. in response to the same question, in the army combat arms unit, the percentage was 89%, or 3% lower. and 84% for marine corps combat arms units. or 8% lower. still, all very high percentages. and we heard much the same as we have talked to the force. does our survey results reflecting actual experience, actual experience our other engages in the lessons of
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history leaders to conclude that while the risks of repeal within were fighting units, while certainly higher than the force generally, remain with an acceptable levels, again, importantly with coupled with our recommendations for implementation. mr. johnson. >> thank you. general ham has explained a comprehensive process we undertook to get where we are to today. and our basic assessment. in support of our basic assessment, for a number of things that were explaining in detail in a 150 page report. here are a few. to begin with, that are the results of the servicemembers survey. it was one of the largest non-census surveys ever conducted of the u.s. military. we believe the results of the survey are best represented by the answers to three questions. first, when asked about how, having a servicemen and their immediate unit, who said he or she is gay would affect the
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unit's ability to quote work together to get the job done, end quote, 70% of servicemembers predicted it would have a positive mixed or no effect. second, when asked quote in your career have you ever worked in a unit with a coworker that you believed to be homosexual, end quote. 69% of servicemembers reported that they already had. third, as general ham mentioned, when asked about the actual experience of serving in the unit with a coworker who they believed was gay or lesbian, 92% stated that the units ability to work together was quote very good, good or neither good nor poor. the results of the spouse survey are consistent. when asked whether repeal of don't ask, don't tell would affect their preference for their husband or wife future plan to stay in the military, 74% said repeal would have no
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effect. the reality is that there are gave men and lesbians already serving in today's u.s. military, and those servicemembers recognize this. further, in the course of our assessment it became apparent to us that, aside from the more and religious objections to homosexuality, much of the concern about quote openly end quote gay servicemembers is driven by misperceptions and stereotypes about what that would mean. in today's civilian society, where there was no law that requires gay men and lesbians to conceal their sexual orientation and noted to keep their job, most gay men and lesbians still tend to be discreet about their personal lives, and guarded about the people with whom they share information, about their sexual orientation. we believe that in a military environment this would be true even more so. this discretion would occur for reasons having nothing to do
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with the state of the law, but everything to do with the desire to fit in, coexist and succeed in a military environment. in communications with gay and lesbian, current and former servicemembers, we heard repeatedly a patriotic desire to serve and defend the nation, subject to the same rules as everyone else. most said they did not desire special treatment to use the military for social experimentation, or to advance a social agenda. some of those separated under don't ask, don't tell will welcome the opportunity to rejoin the military, if permitted to do so. from then we heard expressed many of the same values that we heard over and over again from servicemembers at large. love of country, honor, respect, integrity and service over self. we simply cannot square the reality of these people with the perceptions about quote open, end quote service.
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based on our work, we are convinced that the u.s. military can make this change, even during this time of war. however, our assessment depends upon the prompt implementation of the recommendation we offer in the report. here are several of them. first, successful implementation of repeal of don't ask, don't tell. as the secretary stated will depend upon strong leadership, a clear message, and proactive education. we must equip commanders in the field with the education and training tools to educate the force on what is expected of them in a post-repeal environment. and underlying theme should be fair and equal treatment of all service members, regardless of sexual orientation. the key message is this. if repeal comes, gay and lesbian service members must be treated the same as everyone else. second, in the course of our review, we heard a large number
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of servicemembers raise religious and moral objections to homosexuality, or to serving alongside someone who was gay. in the event of repeal, we should make clear that servicemembers are not expected to change their personal religious views, or moral beliefs about homosexuality. servicemembers are expected to treat all others with dignity and respect, consistent with the core values that already exist within each service. these concepts are not new for the military community, as people of sharply different moral views and religious convictions already coexist, work, live and fight together on a daily basis. 30, throughout our engagement with the force we heard many concerns expressed by servicemembers about possible inappropriate conduct that might take place in the event of repeal. many of these concerns were about conduct that is already regulated in the military,
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regardless of the sexual orientation of the persons involved. we believe that it is not necessary to establish an extensive set of new or revised standards of conduct in the event of repeal. in the end of repeal, we do recommend, however, that the department of defense issued guidance that all standards of conduct applied uniformly without regard to sexual orientation. fourth, we address the subject of benefits for those in same-sex relationships. we recommend that for the time being, all service members not in a federally recognized marriage should be treated as single, for purposes of benefits eligibility. we also recommend that the department of defense study ways to reshape additional benefits into the member designated category, provided it makes sense from a policy fiscal and feasibility standpoint. fifth, in the event of repeal, any birthing or building of
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assignment or designation of separate bathroom facilities based on sexual orientation should be prohibited. however, commander should retain the authority to alter birthing or assignment or comic privacy concerns on an individualized case-by-case basis. six, in the event of repeal we recommend that servicemembers who have previously separated under don't ask, don't tell the permitted to apply for reentry into the military, pursuant to the same criteria as others who seek reentry. general ham and i are both convinced that our military can do this, even during this time of war. we do not underestimate the challenges in implementing a change in this law. but neither should we underestimate the ability of our dedicated servicemen and women, to adapt to such change and unite to defend the nation when called upon to do so.
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>> questions? >> i will moderate questions. go ahead and direct your questions to either jeh johnson or general ham, either, or both. >> having gone this process, do you have a recommendation about how long this sort of interim period should last if congress were to act fairly quickly to lift the ban? how long is it reasonable to expect that the military would need before it is ready to go the whole distance? >> the support plan for implementation in patients a three phase approach that a pre-repeal phase which we begin at the direction of the secretary of defense, to start doing the assessment of regulations, policies, other guidance that existed at the service level and department level. and implementation phase that would begin at least under the current legislative construct with passage of legislation that would lead to repeal would
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continue on through the effective date of repeal, sometime into the future. and a sustainment face. we did not any specific timeframe to those faces because the future is somewhat uncertain. we don't know, you know, with the legislation, will that be the legislation that is passed, with the be some other means that repeal comes about, or perhaps repeal does not come about. so an uncertain timeframe, but the phases i think are important. >> and i think the answer to your question is more for the personnel and readiness community. if we were talking about the current form legislation that is pending in congress right now that has contemplated this process before certification is delivered, i think the answer would be not fast, but not drawn that are protected either.
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if this process were drawn out over an extended period of time. but the current legislation contemplates that before the president, the chairman and secretary deliver that certification to the congress, the department of defense will have written new policies and regulations to put in place in a post-repeal environment. the secretary has made it very clear that before he and the chairman and the president signed this certification, he would want to know that we had that post-repeal architecture in place, and we have at least begun and accomplished as much as possible some of the education and training that we are recommending. >> to question. you must have -- [inaudible] >> months or years that we're talking about here. just tell us what it is months or years. and general ham, one of the
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congressmen said that you are personally opposed to sexual homosexuality. is that too, and if so, why? >> one of the principles, one of our guiding principles for our group was that you check your personal views at the door. it is not helpful for members of the working group to have personal views intruded into the conversation. and so we didn't discuss personal views within our group. i am, as all senior military officials are, obliged if asked by a member of congress before duly constituted committee to offer my personal opinion. and in that setting i would do that. >> and i will comply with the requirements of my appointment. >> i get to general ham in february when we got this assignment, and what general ham said was our directive about checking your personal views at the door is absolutely true.
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such that today was the first time i heard him give any type of personal view on this issue when asked by a member of congress. >> can you narrow it down to months and years? >> like i said, not fast but not drawn out either. it's a question more for the personal in readiness community. >> follow up on the. you don't come of with a plan to how long it would take education bit? you didn't come up with any kind of asthma how long it would take the to train the people? >> we have laid out what we think would be necessary in terms of education training, talking points, where the emphasis should be. how long that would take depends a lot on emphasis. the level of resources that is devoted to the task. there are many tasks within the department of defense, and depending upon the number of people and the level of resources you devote to it can happen in one time period or at
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a different level of resources can happen in a different time period. so much of that will depend on how we staff this and the level of resources we devote to it. >> and until such time as the regulations, policies and guidance are developed, you can then determine how long it will take to train and educate the force on policies that we don't, we don't know what they are just yet. so those decisions must precede any determination of length of training and education. >> to questions. one, with the current policy of separating service members who are found to be homosexual continue to apply, even if congress passed the law of repeating, repeating will and innovation of the plan put into effect? and second to general ham, you are an experienced combat leader. how deep do you think the resistance would be among combat
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units to integration hear? >> let me take the first question. under the current version of the legislation that is pending, it remains in effect unless and until the certification is delivered to the congress. and in 60 days after that repeal would become effective. so 654 would remain in effect until that happened. >> does that make any sense? we are talking a year from this implementation plan to be put in to place that you'd be separating people who could then turn around and reapply and get back into the military within a year. it doesn't seem to make sense. plus i would add there's been no separation since the change in the policy a few months ago that brought it up to a higher level. there does seem to be a recognition that that is not exactly working the way it used to work. ..
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>> yes, add david mentioned, there hasn't been a discharge under "don't ask, don't tell" for at least 40 days. can you tell us why there has been no discharge? and under what circumstances discharges might resume in the department of defense if nothing happens in the legislature? >> i can't tell you why. i know that in october, we elevated the separation authority to the service secretaries in consultation with dr. stanley and myself, and i
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have not had the opportunity at this point to coordinate on a separation. that for all i know could change in a couple of days, depending on what's in the pipeline. >> i could ask both of you, what was the most surprising thing that you came across during the nine months? >> i would say two things, one, i actually -- this is not true of general ham. i was nervous about presiding at the large group sessions of 100 to 300 service members on the very emotional. -- emotional topic about which everybody has an opinion. i won't say surprised, but extremely gratified and pleased the discussion we had with service members were remarkably frank, but civil and professional at all times.
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we would have 90-minute or hour-long sessions. people were not shy about raising their hands. if ten people got to ask questions, 30 people had their hands up. the discussion was very frank, across the spectrum, but it was at all times very, very civil and very professional. i guess the other thing that i would somewhat surprised about is though that the survey results reveal somewhat of a distinction, in age groups and age brackets the younger officers were more -- less negative about the effects. we didn't see the huge generational gap that i think both of us going into this thought we would see. in a large group session, when a
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young service member stood up, i would not predict, i could not predict what that service member's view of this issue was going to be. i think the exception to that was that the academies, in mid share were all pretty much 20, 21 year olds. i don't want to generalize too much. they were by and large, you know, what's the big deal? >> mr. johnson under states his nervousness about the large group sessions. [laughter] >> but we did. and we heard very impassioned -- >> i had him next to me at all times. we heard very well informed discussion points by -- across the spectrum on this particular issue. but even in minnesota there for a time, i was struck by the
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civility that the service members even with widely differing opinions, the way they treated each other. that was very reassuring to see that. >> for both of you, you say that there was a lot of objections on religious grounds among the 30 or 40% of some units. would you say that was the -- that was the basis of the majority of the objections of the 30%? or? >> well. >> can you quantify that? >> the only way to address the reasons for someone's view would be anecdotealy what we heard. i would say based on what i saw and heard, between the two of us we came in contact face to face with over 10,000 service members. i would say as people put it to us, most of the concern was about open service, gays and
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lesbians serving openly. there were definitely concerns expressed on moral and religious grounds, but most of the concerns expressed were concerns about serving alongside someone who was open gay or lesbian. >> based on the religious briefs of the service member? >> no, it was just based on what will my life be like serving in a unit with someone who is openly gay. that was most often what we heard from those who had concerns about repealing the policy. >> but the religious moral aspect of this is very, very important. it became clear -- very clear early on as we met with the people, this was a significant issue. at that end, we assured we had chaplains on the working group, we spent a lot of time reaching out to chaplains to better understand, we met with the
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armed forces chaplain board. which many of you know is comprised of the service chief of chaplains who advise the secretary of defense on religious matters. we reached out to the endorsing a a a agents, those organizations that sponsor and endorse men and women to serve in the military as chap ran. there's 202 of them, i believe, at least when we were doing this. we reached out to them and asked what would be the impact if the law changes. for example, would you withdraw your endorsement? of those that responded, none indicated that they would. there's very clearly a concern out there by chaplain, by endorsing agents, and by service members they would somehow be treated adversely if they held or espoused religious views that were contrary to the government's view if the law is repealed. and so a very important part of
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our recommendation is that we have to make sure that people understand that first of all, chaplains first amendment rights, i would say their requirement to minister according to their denominational practice must be protected, even in an era where their denominational views might differ with the government. we've been doing that for 235 years. we know how to do this. our chaplains are well practiced. and the same for service members. our recommendations focused on changing behaviors of respect for one another, respect for other service members, even those who beliefs are different than your own. rather than changing attitudes. >> based on what you heard, do you predict that there will be people who feel so strongly on moral or religious grounds that this ban should not be lifted.
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they must resign or make some sort of large principal of it and would you actually advise someone in that position to resign? >> i think if the law is repealed, then it was certainly likely that some service members will come to the position that says, i just cannot abide by this. there are likely to be some chaplains who will say i just cannot reconcile my denominational religious beliefs with this position and their endorsing agent may withdraw their endorsement. that chaplain may leave the force. we do not believe, and we do not recommend that a service member simply by stating, you know,, -- homosexuality is contrary to my belief or my religious views, should that person then be
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eligible for separation. but having said that, if a service member is unable to reconcile his or herself in their conduct, and they become disruptive in the force, leaders, commanders, have a full range of authority that could ultimately lead to that service member being separated. we don't believe that should be the first course of action. but that remedy is available today under current authorities. >> i'd like to add to that that one of the points we make in the report is that surveys that ask for predictions of future behavior most often are based on attitudes. and predictions and attitudes are -- there's data out there that tell us that -- they are poor predictors of actual behavior. once the person has to make a choice. that is corroborated by the
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experience as reflected in the report of our foreign allies when they dealt with this issue, changes in policies, there were surveys done of foreign militaries where the predictions were dire. that the opposition was as high as 70, 80%, there are limited surveys that were conducted in the 40s of the force on the issue of racial integration which showed very high levels of opposition and so the point is that predictions of what you will do if something happens are very often poor indicators of what the actual behavior will be. which is why, by the way, the survey spends a fair amount of time asking service members about their actual past experiences in units with people
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they believe to be gay or lesbian. >> two questions on the recommendations that you made, assuming that the repeal goes through and that your plan is put in place as you've drafted it, would a gay couple, if the gay service member was hurt or killed, would they have the same visitation rights, death benefits as a heterosexual married couple? also, you said there would be no separate bathroom or facilities, but individual commanders would have some discretion? i don't understand what that means. what would be the circumstances which they could put in separate bathrooms and barracks? >> well, the report makes clear we are recommending that at a unit level or a base level or what have you that a policy setting up separate bathroom or building or baraks -- barracks
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should be inhibited. it's going to be impossible to limit. people aren't going to self-identify. we noting that commanders should obtain the discretion on an individualized case by case basis to address concerns about privacy. this is a discretion that they have right now. if the service member has a particular concern about an issue of privacy or can't get along with someone with whom he's been assigned to roam, a commander has discretion to deal with that. he doesn't have to force two people to live together if they just simply can't live together. it should be as it is now, dealt with on a case-by-case basis. we are strongly recommending against a policy of separate facilities. >> with regard to the hospital visits and death gratuities and the like, if the law is
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repealed, then we believe that there are a number of -- a number of benefits to which service members are entitled that our service member designated and we belief that the examples that you offer would likely fall into that category. so next of kin notification, the person to whom you identify as a beneficiary for your service members group life insurance, those kinds of categories we think would be the types of benefits that could move into the service member designated category. >> one very quick follow up, you mention the discretion would be for the commander, let's assume from the other point of view, if you have an openly gay service member that feels like their safety is at risk, there are a mechanism for the service member would say for my own safety, i need to live my myself or i want to live by myself? >> i hate to answer hypotheticals.
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it depends very much on the circumstance. but i would not prohibit a commander from addressing a situation like that. if any service member at a well founded fear for his own physical safety for some reason. you know, it depends, obviously, on the circumstances. >> my question, going back to predictions versus realities. you have said there would be a lower risk of disruption if there was proper imply -- implementation of the plan. what exactly are the fears that would happen? the risk of what happening? are we talking about the mission not being accomplished? benefits not being paid? or violence towards the troops by other troops? is that an issue or concern? if that is a concern, how does that gel with what you said, all of the predictors historical
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tend not to be true. >> let me take on the violence issue. this would appear. but infrequently in our conversations with the force, the united states armed forces are a disciplined force. it doesn't mean there aren't some bad actors occasionally who engage in misconduct. we do have assaults and what have you. but we know how to deal with that. and so that the focus is on respect for a fellow service member, just as it is today if that service member's believes are different than your own. we have mechanisms in place to deter and certainly to respond to any violence that might occur. clearly the message from leadership would be this is unacceptable, criminal behavior, and we have means of dealing with that. >> is that what you are
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concerned about what you talk about disruption? just to follow up on kevin's question. specifically, when you talk about disruption, violence, hate crimes, is that the main concern? >> well, an example of disruption, elizabeth, the answer is no. we are not concerned about ramped violence. that's not what we mean by disruption. we mean what we saw in october over the eight-day period where on monday there was a law "don't ask, don't tell" on tuesday we were enforcing it. eight days later, an administrative stay was put in place where the law was was -- e the law was back in place. then we placed also possibility the 9th circuit could take the day off. the lightbulb was going on a
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number of times over a matter of days. we had to keep sending communications about whether or not this policy can and should be enforced at recruitment centers and elsewhere. it's distracting, it's confusing. if repeal is to occur, this was the secretary's point, it should occur in an orderly way with the forces educated such that we can create an environment in which gays and lesbians, post repeal, can be most readily accepted. >> you said the disruption that would -- that might occur after the appeal. you weren't talk about disruption back and forth. you say specifically in the executive summary, there might be some short-term disruption, but in the long term it'll be mitigated by effective leadership. again i ask. >> if we are going to change the policy that has a far-reaching
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impact, the type of disruption in my mind that would follow repeal would i believe can be mitigated through good leadership and education training, it's still going to occur. when the service member in a of unit who discloses -- who chooses to disclose his or her sexual orientation, some of their fellow service members in that unit are going to react differently to that disclosure of sexual orientation. there's going to be, you know, the disruption that occurs as we just talked about. i don't want to share a birthing accommodation. i don't want to share a barracks room with a gay or lesbian service member. it's those kind of disruption that i think are likely to occur in the immediate aftermath of
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repeal, should it occur, but i believe, it's important to -- i'm not just a co-chair, i'm a commander. so if this law is repealed, i have to do what's in that report. so that was on my mind all the time as we went through this. >> any sense of why the marine corps seems to be so resistant to repeal. they were the largest percentage in expressing a negative view. any conclusions jump out at you? >> yes. i think generally, and it's not true for all specialties, but generally the marine corps respondents indicated a lower percentage who had actual experience of serving in a unit alongside someone who was gay or lesbian. and so the point that minister johnson made about the perceived
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effect of open service for lack of a better term was somewhat problematic. we did find, for example, in marine corps and army combat arms units, who had -- in combat environments, when those were asked about their experience with gay service members in their unit, reported actually quite favorably on the units performance. so i think again it's a largely -- there is a differential, an actual experience. >> general cohen was here a few months ago. he was asked, and his response we recruit macho guy or woman. did you come across that? they distinctively don't like
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the idea of serving near a gay person. >> no, i mean as many of you know, i love general conway, and worked with him and for him, and clearly he's got a tremendous amount of experience. but in our survey results, that wasn't a question that we asked. because that did not necessarily reveal itself. >> follow up on that, given the fact the survey seems to show different levels of support in different services, do you envision any place for the d.o.d. to leave some flexibility for the services to develop certain policies and guidances on their own and to ultimately have some variance in the way that individual services handle some of these policy matters? or do you see things being very, very different? >> well, there's a fair amount -- there are a number of recommendations where we leave it to the services to device
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their own policies with some overarching themes and suggestions how to bring it about. we are not recommending here there be a phased-in approach where a certain service does it at a certain pace and another certain service does it at another pace. so we are not making a recommendation one way or another on that. >> anything that you ultimately see being a place that air force do it this way, army might do it this way? >> on the issue of benefits. we say the services should look at certain types of benefits that could be extended to same-sex partners can be redesignated. the service member can designate whoever he wants, same sex partner or aunt jenny or my long
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lost brother or first great teacher. if it makes sense from a fiscal policy and feasibility point of view to redesignate it that way, this issue in mind, then we would encourage the services to do that. so it's quite possible to me that army could do it one way, air force could do it another. >> we tried to craft the support plan for implementation in a manner that was respective -- respectful of service cultures. recognizes that each service trains and educates a little bit differently. we tried to provide an architecture for that training and education to occur, but allow the services then to flesh out the details of exactly how they would do that, consistent with their own methodology and their own service cultures. >> i'm sorry. general ham and mr. johnson, in terms of a follow up on the marine corps issue, one the
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comments by admiral mullen today was that the working group finding was that one of the most -- the most important part of implementation of repeal would be leadership. is there any message that the working group found or that either of you individually take from the fact that some of the strongest comments against repeal have come from the leaders of the marine corps and the marine corps is the area where the survey has found the least receptive response to open military? >> i drew a lot of significance from the new commandant statement, that if there's a repeal, we will step up and do to smartly. and i believe that. >> okay. last question. do you recognize any changes to the ucmj? >> yes, there are several recommendations in the report for changes for the ucmj.
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the one is to remove from the ucmj the prosecutions for consensual sodomy. that's something we should look at "don't ask, don't tell" despite of lawrence versus texas. there's also a recommendation for changing the definition of adultery in the manual for courts marshal. it's in the report. >> all right. thank you all for your time. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> as i told the caucus today, i've had the good fortune over the years to serve with a lot of really good people in government. all local, state, now in the federal government. but i have rarely in my experience come across anyone like senator murray. she is such a tremendous help to me personally, and to the caucus. she is efficient, she is someone when she speaks people listen to her, she's experienced, and it's really understandable, to me, why the people in the state of washington keep returning her to the senate of the united states. it was with this background that i introduced patti today to the caucus as the new chair.
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patti? >> well, i am very humbled to have the support of my leader, the leadership and my entire caucus on taking on this very important task for democrats across the country. i know that this is not an easy task. but i'm not doing it because it's easy, i'm doing it because it is a very tough time for many families and businesses and communities across this country. they are looking to us here to fight hard for them to help them get back on their feet. and i know that with a strong democratic caucus here, that that's the agenda that we'll put forward. and that's why i'm doing this. i'm doing this because i believe that we need to fight for our middle class americans, to help them be strong again so their kids can have an education. they get the tax cuts that they need. we get people back to work again, and i know that my caucus stands with me in working hard
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to make that happen. i think that's stands in sharp contrast to the words of the republicans shortly after the elections, that their goal for the next two years was to defeat this president. i know what our goals are. and that's to get our country moving again. and as chair of the dfcc, i will be working with our candidates across this country to help fight to put america back on it's feet. >> any questions? >> your reactions to the "don't ask, don't tell" report from the pentagon? >> the report is common sense. it's no surprise to me, or surprise to the american people. it's been shown time and time again that having gays in the military does not hurt the military. it improves the military, it adds to recruitment possibilities. so the report that came out was not a surprise to me.
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i do, however, look forward to the hearings that senator levin is going to hold on thursday and friday this week of the armed services committee. [inaudible question] >> i'm closer on it today. >> would you outline the tax cuts? who's going to sit on the panel that the president outlined? how will you move forward to get results to the floor? >> we've had a lot of discussions with the president the last couple of weeks. including during the thanksgiving recess. and the president has made a decision. he -- we had a -- really it was a very good meeting. i don't know what my republican colleagues said publicly, but i'm sure they said publicly what they said privately. it was a very, very efficient, very, very productive meeting that we had in the white house today. the president suggested that i, senator mcconnell, the speaker, and leader boehner each
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appoint a person to start meeting with tim geithner, and larry summers. i think the meeting will start at 4:00 or 5:00 today. i haven't had the chance to firm up that time. i'm going to ask senator baucus to respect the democrat caucus. the caucus knows that. i would hope this will allow the american people to say that we are trying to work in good faith to come up with a bipartisan proposal. if we can't to that, then we will come forward with what we believe is the best thing for the american people. and although number one goal that i have, i think everyone in our caucus has and i know the president has is to protect the middle class. [inaudible question] >> this is one of those times
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that i wish i were king, because of something i believe in so very, very strongly. i'm not king. i can't do it with this signing a letter or any edict. but i'm going to continue work, my republican colleagues to see if there's a way we can get this done in the lame duck. it's extremely important for job creation. [inaudible question] >> pardon me? [inaudible question] >> i'm so sorry. the noise here. [inaudible question] >> i'm going to going to talk about procedurally what we are going to do. i do know this, senator baucus knows this, i know he believes it in himself. the $250,000 middle class vote is extremely important. thanks, everybody. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> just before majority leader reid spoke, senator republican leader stepped to the microphones. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> well, good afternoon, everyone. senate and i had an opportunity to meet with the president and other leaders in the house and senate. the one thing we clearly agreed on, first we ought to resolve what the tax rights should be for the american people beginning next year, and second how we are going to fund the government for the next ten months. the president had what i thought was a useful suggestion. which was that each of us designate one member to meet with the vice president and jack lew, the director of omb, and move forward to resolve the tax issue. my designated person will be senator kyl. also, he's a senior member of
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the finance committee. if there was a news peg from this morning's meeting, i would say that's it. senator kyl. >> thank you. the only thing i would add according to the gallop poll last week, 80% of the american people do not want to see taxes raised. part of our approach to this, will be to ensure that nobody's taxes go up in the difficult economic times. and i'm hoping that in the spirit of bipartisan we can at least agree on that proposition and there will be a lot of other details that will have to be dealt with. the state tax, the other so-called tax extenders, the amt, as well as other issues. i think we can agree on the first proposition that it might be possible for us to have a bipartisan agreement which is rather rare. but it might be possible to achieve this time. >> and bringing up so many different issues in this lame
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duck session, the democrat leadership of the senate is insists on an encore for a concert that drew a lot of boos. and we believe that instead what we should be doing in this session and the message was clear from the american people is keep tax rates where they are, freeze spending, fund the government, go home. >> the president talked about extenting the tax division credits. [inaudible question] >> well, the first -- i think most americans are wondering what's going to happen with their income taxes. that's the first item. but whatever the president and his folks want to talk about end our members of congress want to talk about, obviously, we can discuss. i think first things first,
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that's the income tax rates. >> you and i assumed the s.t.a.r.t. treaty was part of the discussion in the meeting with the president. can you give us a sense on how the discussion went? >> just to say this, the president said he'd like to have the treaty considered during the lame duck. leader reid has the ability to bring up the treaty at any time. there was a general agreement to first focus on how we're going to fund the government and how we are going to deal with the tax issues. after that, depending on how much time remained, leader reid would make a decision about what to bring up next. [inaudible question] no. we're going to discuss everything and see how we can come out. >> thanks, everybody.
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> the senate will gavel back in at 4 p.m. >> while we wait for the senate, from todays "washington journal" a discussion from the fall out of the latest release from the wikileaks web site. >> host: we want to welcome -- >> guest: it's good to be with you. thank you. >> host: let's get to you about what's in the document and ask about who's responsible for the wikileaks. what tools are in the government to go after the leaks? >> guest: first, who got in and gave it to them?
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first the suspicions the guy in d.o.d. first go after them. we maybe able to go after them from treason or minimum espionage. the further that you go down the tool chain, the less tools the federal government has. it's what they are looking at potentially of violations of espionage law and then you go to the, you know, the guardian or "new york times" and probably no tools to go after them. >> host: was "the new york times" responsible or irresponsible in publishing the information? >> guest: i think the one thing you can say about "the new york times," they are inconsistent. when similar materials were leaked regarding climate change, they made the decision not to publish. these are personal, they were obtained illegally, they were transferred to us. they decided not to public them.
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-- publish them. in this case, diplomatic materials, they were obtained illegally, they decided to move forward with them. you know, today up to this point, they made the decision to publish the materials that have been leaked or that they have published, i think have been put out there as quote, unquote, as much as you can say in a responsible manner in terms of not leaking specific names and individuals in certain cases that might jeopardize their safety. you know, all over, i think media gets this material, they are going to print it. they are going to publish it. and their case is the public's right to know. >> host: that was the argument yesterday in the "new york times". trying to be responsible, the information was going to get out anyway. we wanted to take "the new york times" the responsible route. >> guest: it's an argument that can be made. i personally would have preferred they not have gone. i think the responsibility coming back on the federal government. how did we create an environment
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and allow a database to be created that has all of the information in one place. had 500,000 plus people who had access to it, it was an accident waiting to happen. i think that there's probably multiple leaks into this system. you know, this is only one example. it was just a flawed structure, an accident waiting to happen. > host: if convicted, could those face the death penalty? >> guest: if they are convicted under treason, i believe the death penalty may apply, yes. >> host: would you support that? >> guest: actually, i'm a pro-lifer. i've been opposed to the death penalty. i've been opposed before i ran for office. i think in this case, you lock up the person, the people that are responsible. you throw away the key. >> host: david brooks in the "new york times," one of a
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number of editorial that we'll go through in the next 45 minutes in the conversation. he writes about julian, the founder of wikileaks. >> host: so you have two points. background on julian assange, and his newspaper's decision to publish the material. >> guest: the -- well, i think the background of assange, regardless of the background, there are lots of people including myself and a lot of
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people in congress and in the american public who are very suspicious of big government. and the ability of government to deliver services and those types of things to the public effectively. the decision to publish, that will be debated over and over. they have the materials. they are going to publish it. publish it as responsibly as you can. i pointed out the one problem about how did the government allow this to happen. the other thing is jane harmon and i have argued together on this point against the executive branch for years. jane harmon was my colleague when i was chairman of the republican party, she was the ranking democrat. we keep way too many things secret. we over classify material. one the interesting things that happened to me on sunday when the leaks started coming out.
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i was in yemen this year on january 1. i had planned to go early in december, and be there on news year day. that was six or seven days after the underpant bomber from yemen was there. i got there, ambassador, other people, said welcome to yemen. we can't share information or data with this. this is the first time on the intelligence committee that this has happened. the areas that i have responsibility for, the embassy was not going to brief me on the material that they have a responsibility to brief me on. in the cables, there was a cable, i think dated january 3 or 4 of this year, there's an outline of all of the materials, the type of stuff they should have briefed me on, but they refused to brief me on from the ambassador back to the state department. made available to 500,000 people who have access to that
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database, but they wouldn't share it with congress. i would never have seen that material or data if wikileaks hadn't made this information public. it's over classification, it's keeping congress out of the loop. it's a grave error by this administration, the bush administration did the same thing. >> host: on the point, the "washington post" writes about it. we'll read an exert in a moment. also phone calls, e-mails, or join at "washington post" this morning --
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>> guest: "washington post" is absolutely right. we made the same statement that politico published yesterday. >> host: how do you do that? >> guest: you are just smart. it seems like after 9/11, you know, the intel community and the federal government was criticized because they had stove pipes of information. and so they said, hey, we have to focus on information sharing. the dni recently has talked about, you know, the constant tension between sharing information and giving information to people only for the need to know. well, this doesn't even come close to the tension. allowing a 22-year-old in baghdad to have access to the conversation of general petraeus and the president of yemen is absolutely crazy. you can create boxes of information. say this information is available to this group of people. you don't dump it all into one place and say everybody has
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access to all of this. you know, there's other stories out there about people similar to this private first class in baghdad. you know, just kind of going through all of these cables. no need to know. it doesn't help them do their job. it doesn't help them do their job to keep america safe. it just makes for interesting reading. they are going through it, talking about it. it was ineffective, inefficient, and from my stand point, lazy management of national security issues by creating this huge database and letting everybody have access to it. and then it allows people to say, well, see, we are sharing the information. no, you have to share the information appropriately, and you have to steer it to the people who are responsible for making decisions. but now we'll never be able to say we didn't share the information. the issue is not information sharing. the issue is doing this appropriately and properly. >> host: again, you are talking about private first
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class bradley manning who is now being held in quantico, virginia, outside of washington, d.c. do you think he is solely responsible for the leak? or are there others involved? >> guest: i think there are others involved. i think the system has been compromised in more ways than just private manning. when you create the database with the honey pot of data. there's speculation there maybe the cables regarding the negotiations on the start -- s.t.a.r.t. treaty. that would be of great interest to the russians. when you create the honey pot of information, so much information, it's not top secret, but there's a lot of good tough in here. people were using it inappropriately. i think you'll go through there and find stuff that should have been labeled top secret. people were dumping it into this system because it was easy. with the honey pot of information, i would wager a guess that there are other people who are disseminating,
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and i believe the russians targeted, and when a system that has at least 500,000 access points, i don't think it's all that difficult for the russians or chinese to find and, you know, piggy back on one of those access points or to create one more access point that enables them to get into the system. i think that the system is probably been compromised multiple times. >> host: our conversation with congressman pete hokestra. his district includes holland, michigan, cadillac, michigan. gary from lansing, michigan. good morning, welcome to the program. >> caller: yes, i would like to raise the point that i think that many of the economic decisions and policies that we have had our congress and government take regards as well
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as our defense and our expenditures that they have hurt our nation far more than these leaks. we've actually weakened our country through some of our policies and our kinds of trade policies that we've had have really hurt our country far more than these wikileak things that have happened. >> guest: you have no disagreement with me on that. i think some the trade agreements, the whole thing for free trade, some of the free trade policies have, from my perspective, clearly hurt the country and clearly had a economic impact, gary, on your state and my state. the state of michigan. it's not about free trade, fair trade. make sure you give our workers a level platform. the question here is not about which one is worse. the question is let's focus on
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making sure that we do all of the things necessary to keep america strong. which includes trade policy, it includes the appropriate foreign policy initiatives, and the appropriate defense strategies. >> host: steve harrison saying he's pro-life and against the death penalty. agree with his views or not you have to degree with his consistency. >> guest: that's very nice. thank you, steve. personally, i believe life is a gift from god. and so whether it's the life at the beginning of life for the unborn or whether it's for those criminals that have created a material -- terrible crime, i think we as a society should honor life. there's a way to punish without taking life. >> host: another post.
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>> guest: that's exactly right. i mean i think -- there's -- we put a lot of focus on wikileaks over the last week. but i think that we have to look at our government. how did we create an environment where this information was available and how much of this data should never have been in a classified database anyway and should have been available to the american people? if we've got less information that we need to keep secret, it's going to be easier. i think this -- you know, the person that leaked this probably was just going through this and saying, a lot of this stuff, this should be public information. it wouldn't hurt. i might agree. it doesn't give that person the
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right to take all of it and make all of it public. if we went after the classification issue and made more information generally available to congress and the american people and really kept secret what was needed to be secret, it would make all of our jobs easier. >> host: latest information focusing primarily on the state department. new information expected by early next year. telling "forbes" magazine, it will impact a major bank. secretary clinton weighing in on the impact. here's her response yesterday from the state department. >> now i'm aware that some may mistakingly applaud those responsible. so i want to set the record straight. there is nothing laudable about endangering innocent people and
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there is brave about sabotaging the peaceful relations between nations on which our common security depends. there have been examples in history in which official conduct has been made public in the name of exposing wrongdoing or misdeeds. this is not one of those cases. in contrast, what is being put on display in this cache of documents, american diplomats are doing the work we expect them to do. they are helping identify and prevent conflicts before they start, they are working hard every day to solve serious practical problems, to secure dangerous materials, to fight international crime, to assist human rights defenders, to restore our alliances, to ensure global economic stability. this is the role that america
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stays in the world. this is the role that our diplomats play in serving america. >> host: congressman pete hoekstra, your reaction to her response and tone? >> guest: i think the tone was fine. a lot of the leaks are very, very accurate. a lot of this is about making public policy and taking it from theory discussions and making it policy. which means that you are always going through negotiations with your counterparts overseas. we do the same thing in congress. we hope that the end result, the product is good product. we all recognize that the process of negotiations and these types of things typically may get to be very ugly and it gets to be very personal. what these leaks and what these cables demonstrate is, you know, we've heard it all the time in congress. it's about making the sausage. it's not very pretty. but at the end, hopefully, you
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get a great piece of sausage. this is now what's happened. the interworkers have been exposed. sometimes it's not very pretty. you get effective foreign policy. >> host: another editorial. from "the wall street journal." >> guest: it will damage foreign policy. >> host: the president has not made any individual phone calls to world leaders implicated in this latest wikileaks information. it's all comes from the state
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department. should he pick up the phone? should he be the one making the phone calls? >> guest: i think initially the calls from the secretary of state and diplomats maybe the appropriate response. if we find out there's additional work that needs to be done to repair the relationships with some of our key allies overseas, then the president should get involved. but, you know, that's a calculation that's going to be made as we go through this process. you know, the state department really is the only organization -- well, the state department and the obama administration, they are the only ones that know what has been leaked, what the content of those leaks maybe, and where we maybe in two or three weeks as more of the materials become public. remember the documents that were released represent one or two percent of the documents. >> host: america's red face. secretary of state linda joining
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us from washington state. good morning, linda. >> caller: yes, i'd like to say my appreciation to representative hoekstra. i've watched c-span a long time and appreciate his stance on many issues. what would he have us do with the time left he has in office as republicans, and also republican control of the house, what would he have changes made that this would not occur again? >> >> guest: thanks, linda. i think what we need to do is we need to fix the system within the executive branch, within the intelligence community, within the department of defense. we need to go through and find out how we put together a system like this. we've got some of the brightest people working in the intelligence community who work at nsa. these people are smart. were they not involved in the
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process? they could have designed a something that got the information to the people that needed it and put up security firewalls to make sure it would be very, very difficult for people who were not authorized to get access. we have to go back. i have no doubt that we have people in the intel system and can design them much more effectively than what we have. linda, the bottom line is we have a shooting war going on in afghanistan, pakistan, we have the threats coming from yemen and these times of thing. >> we leave now as the senate gavels back in following a recess. it's expected that connecticut's chris dodd will be recognized to give his farewell speech. live coverage here on c-span2.
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arrive as a senator or shortly thereafter and then any closing remarks you may have. i can't recall what my maiden speech was even about 36 years ago in the house of representatives, except that i do recall very vividly that there was no one else in the chamber when i gave it. it was an empty hall early one evening except for one colleague, johnny dent. those of you who are old enough to remember johnny dent from pennsylvania. he was sitting in the chair. he wore dark glasses forever. he wore them all through the day. he sat this and listened patiently to me as i gave my knee-rattling, maiden speech in the house of representatives. midway through the speech, he walked up to me as those who envision the chamber of the house speaking to the well and walked up to me and said quietly into this ear, you know, kid, it's not on the level to me. so that was my maiden speech in the senate. so i'm great inful a number of you came out to hear me today so
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i'm not speaking to an empty chamber about my remarkable service in this chamber. a uniquely american story has unfold here in the chamber of the united states senate. a fascinating, inspiring, often tumultuous tale of implicate examine compromise reflecting the awesome potential of our democracy and its occasional moments of agonizing frustration. for much of my life, this story has intersecretary with my own -- intersecretary with my own in ways that have been thrilling and humbling. as a 14-year-old boy i sat in the family gallery of this chamber watching my father as he took the oath of office as a new senator. a few years later in 1962, i sat with these young men and women, where they sit today serving as a page, a senate page. john f. kennedy was president, lyndon johnson preside over this body. 18 years later, this the fall of 1980, the people of connecticut gave me the honor of a lifetime when they asked notice give voice to their views electing me
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to serve as their united states senator. for the past 30 years, i've worked to sustain that trust. i'm proud of the work that i've done but it's time for my story and that of this institution, which i cherish so much, to diverge. thus, mr. president, i rise to give some valedictory remarks as my service as a united states senator from connecticut comes to a close. now, it is common for retiring senators to say the following. i'll miss the people but not the work. mr. president, you won't hear that from me. most assuredly, i will miss the people of the united states senate, but i will miss the work as well. over the years, i've both witnessed and participated in some great debates in this chamber, moments when statesmen of both parties gathered together in this hall to weigh the great questions of our time. and while i wish there had been more of those moments, i will always remember the senate debates on issues such as central america, the iraq war, campaign finance reform, securities litigation, health care, and, of course, financial
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reform in this congress. but when i'm home in connecticut, i see the results as well of the work that we did every day. i see workers coming home from their shifts at a pratt and whitney jet engine plant, the lifeblood of a defense manufacturing sector so critical to the national security and the economic well-being of my home state. i see communities preparing for high-speed rail and breaking ground for new community health centers. i see the glants we fought for helping cities and towns to help achieve sustainable communities and to promote economic development. when i'm home i meet parents who because of the family and medical leave act don't have to choose between keeping their jobs and taking care of their sick children. i visit with elderly folks who will no longer have to choose between paying for their prescription drugs and paying for their heat. and i flare consumers who've been victimized by -- hear from consumers who've been victimized by unfair practices on the part of credit card companies and will no longer be
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subject to those abuses. and i meet young children as well through early head start or access to afterschool programs who have blossomed academically in spite of difficult economic circumstances. as proud as i am of the work that has made these stories possible over the last thee decades, i'm keenly aware, particularly today, that i did not do any of this alone. until this last congress, with rare exceptions, every major piece of legislation that i authored that became law, including the ones i've just mentioned, had a republican cosponsor, as well as support from my democratic caucus. so to my democratic and republican senate colleagues who joined me in all of these efforts over 30 years, i say thank you this afternoon. i also want to thank, if i can, the unsung heroes of this institution. the senate staff, my personal staff. it would be a grievous understatement to simply say that they make the trains run on time. without them, as all of us know, the train, of course, would
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never leave the station at all. the floor staff, the cloakroom professionals of both parties and the hundreds of unknown and unseen people who show up every day in this body to make this critical institution of democracy function, without th them, no senator could fulfill his or her obligations to the american people. many of my personal staff and committee staff are present in the senate gallery today and neither i nor the millions of americans whose lives they've enriched or whose burdens they have lightened can ever thank you enough. i only hope that your time with me has been as fulfilling as my time with you. of course, i owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the people of connecticut whose confidence, patience, and spirit has given my life and its work deep meaning. as rich as our common language is, words cannot even come close to capturing the depth of my affection for and the appreciation of the people of the state of connecticut. for almost four decades, three terms in the house of
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representatives, five terms in this chamber, you've entrusted me to labor on your behalf and i deeply thank you for that honor. and lastly, my family. my parents are long since deceased but their guidance, inspiration and example have never departed. for the last 30 years, i've sat at this very same desk occupied by my father during the 12 years that he served in this chamber. his courage, character, and conviction have been a constant reminder of what it means to be a united states senator. i want to thank my siblings and their children, other relatives for their enthusiastic support, particularly during the rough patches. from time to time, we all need the safe harbor of family at the darker moments. and to jackie and grace and christina, who've supported and inspired me every day, you mean more to me than i could ever say in these few short moments. so come january, i'm glad i'll have more time to say it to you more often. and to jackie in particular, you've been my anchor to winward and the rough and turbulent
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waters of public service. when it was the darkest, you were the brightest. so to you and to my young ladies, i love you more than life. as this chapter of my career comes to a close, a new chapter in the senate's history is beginning. when this body is goostled order in january, nearly half of its members will be in their first term. and even though i could spend hours fondly recalling a lifetime of yesterdays, this new senate and the nation must confront a very uncertain tomorrow. so rather than recite a long list of personal memories or to revisit video highlights of my senate service, i'd like to take these brief time and these few short moments to offer a few thoughts to those who will write the senate's next chapter. i'll begin by stating the sadly obvious. our electoral system is a mess. powerful financial interests free to throw money along with their -- about with little transparency have corrupted, in my view, the basic principles underlying our representative
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democracy. and as a result, our political system at the federal level is completely dysfunctional. those who were elected to the senate just a few weeks ago must already begin the unpleasant work of raising money for their reelection six years hence. newly elected senators will learn that their every legislative maneuver, their every public utterance, and even some of their private deliberations will be fodder of a 24/7 political media industry that seems to favor speculation over analysis and conflict over consensus. this explosion of new media brings with it its own benefits and its drawbacks and it is occurring simultaneously as the presence of traditional media outlets in our nation are declining. so while the corridors of congress are crowded with handheld video and cell phone cameras, there's a declining role unfortunately for newspapers, radio and network journalists reporting the routine deliberations that take place in our subcommittee hearings. case in point, ten years ago, 11
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or 12 reporters from connecticut covered our delegation's legislative activities. today they're only one doing the same work. meanwhile, intense partisan polarization has raised the stakes in every debate and on every vote, making it difficult to lose with grace or nearly impossible to compromise without cost. americans distrust of politicians provides compelling incentives for senators to distrust each other, to disparage this very institution and disengage from the policy-making process. these changes have already had their effect on the senate. the purpose of insulating one-half of our national legislature from the volatile shifts in public mood has been degraded. and while i strongly favor reforming our campaign finance system, revitalizing and rehabilitating our journalistic traditions and restoring citizen faith in government and politics, i know that wishes won't make it so. now, i've heard some people suggest that the senate as we
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know it simply cannot function in such a highly charged political environment, that we should change senate rules to make it more efficient, more responsive to the public mood, more like the house of representatives, where the majority can essentially bend the minority to its will. i appreciate the frustrations that many have with the slow pace of the legislative process and i certainly share some of my colleagues' anger with the repetitive use and abuse of the filibuster. thus, i can understand the temptation to change the rules that make the senate so unique and simultaneously so terribly frustrating. but whether such temptation is motivated by a noble desire to speed up the legislative process or by pure political expediency, i believe such changes would be unwise. when 100 senators are but a -- we 100 senators, rather, are but temporary stewards of a unique american institution founded
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upon universal principles. the senate was designed to be different, not simply for the sake of variety but because the framers believed the senate could and should be the venue in which statesmen would lift america up to meet its unique challenges. as a senator from the state of connecticut and the longest-serving one in its history, i take special pride in the role of two connecticut yankees in the establishment of this very body. it was roger sherman and oliver ellsworth, delegates from connecticut to the constitutional convention in 1787, who proposed the idea of a bicontamine rel -- bicameral national legislature. the connecticut compromise, as it became to known, was designed to ensure that no matter which way the political winds blew or how hard the gusts, there would be a place, one place, for every voice to be heard. the history of this young democracy, the framers decided, should not be written solely in the hand of the political majority. in a nation founded in revolution against tyrannical
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rule, which sought to crush dissent, by the way, there should be one institution that would always provide a space where dissent was valued and respected. e pluribus unum, out of many, one, and though we would act as one, and should, the framers believed that our political debate should always reflect that in our beliefs and in our aspirations, we are, in fact, many. in short, our founders were concerned not only with what we legislated but just as importantly, with how we legislated. now, in my years here, i've learned that the appreciation of the senate's role in our national debate is an acquired taste. therefore, to my fellow senators who have never served a day in the minority, i urge you to pause in your enthusiasm to change senate rules. and to those in the minority who routinely abuse the rules of the senate to delay or defeat almost any senate decision, know that you'll be equally responsible for undermining unique value of
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the united states senate, a value, i would argue, greater than that which you might assign to the political motivations driving your obstruction. and so, but in the end, of course, i would suggest this isn't about the filibuster. what will determine whether this institution works or not, what has always determined whether we will fulfill the framers' highest hopes or justify the cynics' worst fears, is not the senate rules or the calendar or the media. it is whether each of the 100 senators can work together, living up to the incredible honor that comes with the title and the awesome responsibility that comes with this office. politics today seemingly rewards only passion and independence, not deliberation and compromise as well. it has become commonplace to hear candidates for this body campaign on how they're going to washington to shake things up all by themselves. may i politely suggest that
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you're seekingy eks ting electie wrong office. the united states senate disunt work that way nor can it or should. mayors, governors, presidents can sometimes succeed by the sheer will of or force of their will. but there's never been a senator so persuasive, so charismatic, so clever or so brilliant that they could make a significant difference while refusing to work with other members of this body. simply put, mr. president, senators cannot ultimately be effective alone. as i noted earlier, until last year's health care bill, there had not been a single piece of legislation that i've ever passed without a republican partner. of course, none of these victories came easily. the notion that partisan politics is a new phenomena or that partisan politics serve no useful purpose is just flat wrong. from the moment of our founding, america has been engaged in an eternal and often pitched partisan debate.
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that's not weakness. in fact, it is at the core of our strength as a democracy and our success as a nation. political bipartisanship is a goal, not a process. you don't begin the debate of participate. you arrive there and you can only do so when determined partisans create consensus and, thus, bipartisanship. in the end, the difference between a partisan brawl and a passionate but ultimately productive debate rests on the personal relationships between those of us who serve here. the legislative body that operates on unanimous consent as we do cannot function unless the members of this body trust each other implicitly. there is eno hope of building that trust unless there is a will to treat each other with respect and civility and to invest the time it takes to create that trust and to strengthen those personal bonds. no matter how object noxious you find a colleague's rhetoric or how odious you find their
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beliefs, you need them and despite what some insist, you do no injustice to your ideological principle when you seek out common ground. do you no injustice to your political beliefs when you take the time to get to know those who don't share them. i've served with several hundred senators under every partisan configuration imaginable -- republican presidents, democratic presidents, divided dwofts, and one-party rule. and as odd as it may sound in the present political environment, in the last three decades i have served here, i cannot recall a single senate colleague -- democrat or republican -- with whom i could not work. sometimes those relationships took time, but then that is the way and why the framers gave us secure terms, so that members could build the social necessary to make this function. each of us are given a six-year term. but only each member can decide how to use those years.
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and as one senator who has written what is possible, i urge each of my colleagues to take the time to use those years well and i pledge to those of you who have recently arrived, your tenure here will be so much more rewarding. more importantly you'll be vindicating the confidence that the framers placed in each person who takes the oath of office as a united states senator, upholding a trust that echos above the centuries. i share the confidence that roger sherman, oliver ellsworth and the framers placed in this body and in its members, but i'm not blind. i know the senate today in the view of many is not functioning as well as it can or should. i urge you to look around you, however. this moment is difficult, not only for this body but for our nation it servings and in the end what matters most in america is not only what happens within the walls of this chamber but, rather, the consequences of our decisions across the nation and around the world.
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our economy is struggling, as all of us know. many of our people are experiencing real hardship in our country. the obvious unemployment, home foreclosures, endangered pensions with the obvious problems people are facing. meaningwhile, we face challenges of a mounding debt, nuclear proliferation, ongoing conflicts in iraq and afghanistan and comp more. all of these challenges make the internal and procedural conflicts we face as senators somehow small and petty. history calls us, each of us who serve here, to lift our eyes above the fleeting confidences of the moment and to refocus our attention on our common challenge and common purpose. by regaining its footing, this institution, the senate, can help this nation to regain its confidence and to restore that essential sense of optimism. we must regain that focus and most importantly we need our confidence back. we need to feel that same opt mix that has sustained our nation for more than two centuries.
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i am he not naive. i am aware of the conventional wisdom that predicts gridlock in congress. but i know both of these leaders, democratic and republican leaders, and i know the sitting members of the chamber well. and my confidence is not unshaken. why? because we've been there before. this is not new. the country has recovered in the past from economic turmoil. we've come together to heal deep divides in our nation. understand the senate has led bid finding its way -- and the senate has led by finding its way. we have proven time and time again that the senate is chabl of meeting that test of history. we've evidenced the wisdom of the framers who have set the high standard that we must meet. after all, no other legislative body grants so much power to each member, nor does any other legislative body ask so much of each member. just as the senate's rules empower each member to act like
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a statesman, they also require statesmanship from each of us. but these rules are merely requiring us from the kind of leadership that our constituents need, that history's history calls on us to provide in difficult times such as the ones we're encountering. maturity in a time of pettiness, calm in a time of anger, leadership in a time of uncertainty -- that is what the nation asks cht united states senate. that is what this office demands of each who serve here. over the past two centuries, some 1,900 men and women have shared the privilege of serving in this body. each of us has been granted but a temporary fleeting moment in which to indulge into our political ambition and ideological agenda, rise to the challenge and make a constructive mark on our nation's history. my moment is now at an end, but to those whose moments are not yet over and to those whose moments will soon begin, i wish you much more than good fortune.
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i wish you wisdom, i wish you courage, i wish for each of you that one day when you reflect back on your moment that you will know that you have lived up to the tremendous honor be, the daunting responsibility of being a united states senator. to quote st. paul, "the time of my departure has come. i've fought a good fight. i finished the. i kept the faith." so it is with great pride and deep humility and incredible gratitude to awful you here today, as a united states senator, that i yield the floor. thank you, mr. president.
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mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. the majority leader is recognized. mr. reid: mr. president, i have, on many occasions, spoken of my afection of my friend chris dodd. that the caucus today, the presiding officer was there, i indicated that very few people have had the opportunity and the challenges in a single congress as chris dodd has. he found himself chairman of the banking committee at a time when the country was collapsing and the banks were collapsing but yet he led the way, to working with a republican president to do the so-called tarp.
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it was something that was done on a bipartisan basis. there was never a better example in my entire government career of a more cooperative group of senators, democrats and republicans, house and the senate working together to create something that was badly needed. and then we had -- of course there are many other issues dealing with wall street reform -- and then to complicate his life and add to the challenges in his life, the best friend a man could ever have was chris dodd's best friend, ted kennedy. and ted kennedy was stricken very ill. senator dodd knew that he wouldn't be back to the senate. very few people knew that but he knew that. and he in effect was sharing two major committee -- sharing two major committees at the same time, the "help" committee and the banking committee.
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he did it in a way that is so commendable, so exemplary. i have so much dish repeat -- affection -- i have so much -- i repeat -- affection for chris dodd. i'm not capable of expressing so deeply i feel about this good man. i'll have more to say later, but i did want to take this opportunity-to-, mr. president, to -- but i did want to take this opportunity, mr. president, to allow, as soon as the republican leader makes his prarks, t remarks, to allow his colleague to speak. i ask unanimous consent that following senator mcconnell's remarks, the senator be recognized. officer without objection. the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: like most members of this body, i am rarely for loss of words. mr. president, i think we've just had an opportunity to hear
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one of the most important speeches in the history of the senate about our beginnings, about our traditions, about what is unique about this institution, which really makes it different from any other legislative body in the world. and i've heard many people discuss that over the years, but never anyone so cogently point out why the uniqueness of this institution is so important to our country, as the senior senator from connecticut has done it today. and so while we had a huge number of senators on the floor, i'm going to strongly recommend that those who were not here have an opportunity to take a look at his remarks because i think they're enormous significant and important contribution to this institution and to its future. and on a personal basis, i want to say to my good friend from
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connecticut ham how much i'm going to miss him. wonderful personality, able to talk to anybody, really uniquely effective individual. and so we bid adieu to the senior senator from connecticut and hope that our path will cross again in the future. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. lieberman: thank the chair. mr. president, for 22 years it has been really a blessing for me to have served with chris dodd in the united states senate. as my colleague from connecticut, as my dear friend, as my legislative partner, i'm going to miss him a lot, as everybody in this chamber will. and i think when we listen to the words that he spoke to us just a few moments ago, how full of wisdom and warmth they were,
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we know how much we're going to miss him and how much we should consider what has made him not only our great friend but a truly great senator. chris mentioned sherman and ellsworth, whose pictures are out in the reception area just off the senate, who crafted the connecticut compromise, really created the senate. i think chris dodd, who is the 54th senator from the state of connecticut in our history, took this institution that sherman an ellsworth created in the connecticut compromise and made it work. to to the great benefit of the people of connecticut and the people of america. chris dodd was born to a legacy, an honorable legacy of public service which he watched, as so many of us did in connecticut, and of course learned from from
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his father, senator thomas j. dodd. i could say a lot about senator dodd sr. he was a prosecutor at the nuremberg trials, remarkably principled, skillful prosecutor. became a member of the united states senate. as a young man in connecticut -- me -- growing up, thinking about a political career, when i heard that senator tom dodd was somewhere within range of where i lived or went to school, i went to listen to him speak. he was a classic orator, an extraordinarily principled man who had a great career here in the senate. and as we know from the years we've served with chris, the characteristics i've described in his father were taken and put to extraordinary good use here in the senate.
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chris' words were very important. and as senator mcconnell said should be studied by all of us and anybody thinking about coming to the senate. we all talk about this being an age of hyperpartisanship, but i think that misses the point. because as chris said, he's a partisan in the best sense of the word. he's a principled partisan. he's passionate about what he believes in. but he knows that wedom a point when -- we come to a point when partisanship ends and you've got to get something done for the public that was good enough to send you here. over and over again, any of us on both sides of the aisle who have watched chris work a bill know how persistent, how open, how anxious he was to try to find common ground, yes to
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compromise. because ultimately our work is the art of the possible. somebody once said to me, the futility of the failure to compromise, there's no result from it. but if you have a goal, a principled goal, you know that you can achieve a significant part of that goal if you can build enough support in this chamber. and time and time again chris dodd did that. the other reason i think that he did it is because of the truth that he spoke in his remarks, which is that beyond the great debates here and the headlines and the sniping back and forth, the senate, after all, is 100 people who go to work in the same place every day. and your ability to get things done here, as is true in office and factories all over america and other places of work, your ability to get things done here
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is affected in great measure by the trust your colleagues have in you and even the extent to which they like you. and i think by those standards, chris dodd has been totally trustworthy, as we were taught when we grew up in connecticut, politics was word. it has been his bond and his personality has warmed each of us as we've gone through the labors that we go through here. chris dodd has served longer in the united states senate than any senator from connecticut. so on this day -- and he'll forgive me a little bit -- i would guess just as a matter of friendship and faith that he's probably accomplished more than any other senator in the history of the state of connecticut. and he's done it because he cares about people. and when he takes something on, he simply does not quit. i just want to tell you one
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story. 1989, chris met a woman named ehave a bane -- named eva benell at her church. she told him her daughter had been born with a rare brain disease and was fighting for her life in the intensive care unit. but when her husband asked his employer for time off to be with his wife and critically sick infant, he was told to go home and never come back, leaving the family without income or health insurance. the story, all too common at the time, is just the kind of injustice that has repeatedly moved chris dodd to action. he authored, as we know, the family medical leave act. worked, as i said before, on compromises that made it acceptable to a large number of people, stuck with it through two presidential sraoe toerbgs and then -- vetoes and then
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finally saw it signed into law by president clinton in 1993. today the records will show that more than 50 million people -- 50 million people -- have been able to take time off from work to care for a loved one or give birth to a child without fear of losing their jobs. that is a lifetime achievement. that's only one of many such achievements that chris dodd has had here in the united states senate. senator reid talked about this last session of his senate career, extraordinary accomplishment: health care reform, wall street reform, the iran sanctions bill which came out of the banking committee which is the strongest such bill we've passed and the last step to avoid to take military action against iran, in my opinion. this is the kind of record chris
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has built up. up until this time i've been serious. when you talk about chris dodd it would be wrong to be totally serious, because one of the things we're going to miss here is that booming laugh and the extraordinary sense of humor. i've had many great laughs with colleagues here. i've probably given too many laughs to colleagues as i think about it. but i have never laughed louder or more than i have over the years with chris dodd. perhaps it's not totally appropriate on the senate floor, but i have two of his comments. one about me that i want to share. and i notice the former comedian is here. a while ago only chris dodd would have told an audience here in washington that he thought enough time has passed in my career that he could reveal that joe lieberman actually had not been born jewish, but was born a baptist and raised a b.p.a. teufplt and then -- raised a baptist.
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then when i got into politics and saw how many events i'd have to go to on friday night or saturday, i converted to judaism to be able to take the sabbath o. then chris says, i'm thinking of converting to judaism myself but only for the weekends. another quick quip, as my colleagues in the senate know, it's our honor to walk our state colleague down the center aisle here in the senate to be sworn in for a new term. the first time i did that, we walked arm and arm, as we always have, and chris turned to me and said you know, joe, there are people who are worried that you may be the only person i'll ever walk down an aisle with. well, fortunately that was not true. because chris and jackie got
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married and had these two wonderful daughters: grace and christina, who have provided so much joy and satisfaction and hopefulness to chris. we're going to miss you. i'm going to miss you personally, but i speak for myself but i speak, i would bet, for just about everybody in this chamber in saying that we feel so close to you that we know our friendship will go on. and i would say that chris dodd leaves -- to sum up, leaves an extraordinary senate career having achieved a record of results that has benefited the people of connecticut and america in untold ways. that he has a wonderful family that he looks forward to spending time with, and he has so many great years ahead of him, including, i hope and believe, times when he will
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again be of service to our country. god bless you, chris and your family. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: mr. president, i want to join with my colleagues here in saluting the departure of one of our best, senator chris dodd. i first saw his father, though i didn't meet him, when i was a student intern for senator paul douglas of illinois who had an office that was next door to your father's. and i saw senator thomas dodd leaving that office and was certainly aware of the great contribution he made to america. little did i know that some 16 years later when i was be a candidate for the u.s. house of representatives his son would come to decatur, illinois, to do
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an event for me in my campaign. it was a smashing success, the biggest turnout ever. i'm sure shah senator dodd believes it might have been because of his presence. it also could have been because there was a $1 chick *pb dinner and -- chicken dinner and people came from miles around. christopher dodd was born in 1944 with a call, a thin veil of skin thought to be a sign of good luck covering his head. the doctor who delivered him told his mother with this sign of good luck this baby might grow up to be president, to which mrs. dodd replied what's the matter with franklin roosevelt? it was a great line. the truth is while grace and todd dodd were new dealers they knew when they taught they children they all have an
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obligation in our own time to try to move america to a more perfect union, thomas dodd worked to fulfill that obligation in his time. he chased don dillinger as an f.b.i. agent, prosecuted war criminals and kkk members as government lawyer and served in the house and senate. his son chris followed his father's example, found his way to serve america by serving as a peace corps volunteer in the dominican republic where he lived in a house with tin roof, no running water or telephone. in that village he started a maternity hospital, family planning program, youth club and school. those were the first installments of what would become for chris dodd a lifetime of work protecting women and children worldwide. senator dodd was elected to the senate in 1980 at the ripe age of 36. he is both the youngest person ever elected in connecticut history to the senate and the longest serving. early on his colleagues recognized his talent and named him one of the three most
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effective fresh tph*epb senators. he never let up his efforts to help america. he is a passionate articulate voice for human rights and for america's role as a moral leader in the world. he is a champion of fairness, cofounder of the senate's children's caucus, lead sponsor in 1993 of the family and medical leave act which helped countless millions of americans. he's achieved more in the last two years than most senators achieve in long careers. chairman of the senate banking committee, he led the fight in the senate for the most important wall street reform since the great depression. he picked up the standard from his dear friend ted kennedy and helped lead the fight that ted kennedy always dreamed of for affordable health care for all americans. for that achievement alone chris dodd earned a place in history. chris dodd has as eugene o'neill might say the map of ireland on his face but he has the promise of america written in his heart.
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his work in the senate has made that promise real for millions of americans. in his office in the russell senate office building, once occupied by his father, are portraits of two thomass. thomas dodd, his father, and another of his he roerbgs sir thomas -- his he roerbgs -- heroes sir thomas moore. he said if you can't completely eradicate wrong ideals or deal with inveterate licenses as effectively as you wish that is no reason for turning your back on public life altogether -fplgt you wouldn't abandon a ship in the storm because you couldn't control the wind. 30 years in the senate, chris dodd kept his compass fixed on the ideals that make america great and good. in doing so, he has made the senate, connecticut and america a better place. i'm proud to have served with him and call him a friend. i thank him for his efforts that brought me to the house of representatives so many years
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ago. i thank him for his special service and thanks to his wonderful family, jackie, a great friend and those two great daughters, grace and christine, whom i've seen as swimmers. good luck and good health to the whole family for many more chapters in their lives. and i yield the floor.the presie senator from rhode island. a senator: mr. president, i rise this afternoon to pay tribute to my dear, dear friend and colleague, and in a very real sense mentor. mr. reed: i can testify from the experience in the last two years of his remarkable contribution to this country. i don't believe any of the -- other senator could have navigated the treacherous waters of the dodd-frank bill. it was like watching a great
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conductor conduct a complicated piece of music, knowing when to let tempers cool, knowing when to pick up the tempo, knowing when to come to the final conclusion. it was a virtuoso performance in keeping with connecticut and to this country. but the most remarkable tribute that i've ever heard about this wonderful man was in a very unusual place by a person who honestly probably doesn't know who he is. it was may 21, 2010. i was visiting a wounded soldier at walter reed army hospital, a member of the 108. he had been wounded around kandahar by an i.e.d. fortunately he was on the road
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to recovery. we joked for a moment, talked about his experiences and then i turned to his mother, who was sitting there, watching her son, her life, her hope, make a full recovery. and i said, how are you doing? and she'd said to me very simply, i'm doing fine, you see, i was able to take family medical leave and be with my son while he recuperated. now she probably doesn't know who you are or what you did, but she, along with 50 million other americans, were by the hospital bed of a wounded son or sick child or ailing parent and that, to me is the greatest tribute to what you've done. there's a great line that i recall about franklin roosevelt,
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his cortege was winding its way through washington, the man -- a man was sobbing, a reporter rushed up to him and said, did you know the president? he said, no, he never knew the president, but he knew me. chris dodd and the people of connecticut and the people of the united states and in every moment he served them with integrity and diligence and honor. and, chris, to you and your family, and i say this because your mother is from westly, rhode island, god bless her, an your beloved sister are rhode islanders, so as an adopted son of rhode island, thank you for your service to the nation.
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: may i associate myself with the remarks of my distinguished senior senator and reemphasize our pride in the comments that senator dodd, chrised to has with rhode island. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. a senator: mr. president, i just want to take a couple of minutes -- mr. lautenberg: to salute the service of one great united states senator. chris dodd. chris and i have served together more than 25 years and when i arrived here, and i was not one of the youngest people they get here at that time, but chris was someone i knew from other walks
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of life, and i turned to him and my dear friend who used to occupy this seat, ted kennedy, for advice and counsel. sometimes the counseling was better than the advice, but we were younger then and chris dodd has that incredible personality that gets things done that presents a leadership position on issues and has -- and showed incredible patience in the way that he dealt with financial reform, with health care and -- but never as i saw it did chris leave the people who disagreed with him with anger, with a feeling of anger or feeling o
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of -- other than respect and friendship. chris comes from a distinguished family. his father, having occupied seats here for a dozen years, and now for senator dodd, senator chris dodd to have decided to leave senate, it was a decision that he made that i totally disagreed with. it was bad judgment, can i tell you that. because chris, when i left after 18 years of service, i had three terms, and i decided i had enough. and i -- i left and good fortune smiled on me and i came back after two years of a two-year absence. missing being here maybe more than it missed me, but i remember as i made my outgoing
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visits -- no, my decision-making visits, kristin sighted m chrise office and paul wellstone, who is deceased and they sat with me in chris's office and chris tried to talk to talk -- tried to talk me out of leaving and i said, no, it's a decision i made and i began to have misgivings about it. by then the dye was cast and there were other people who wanted to run for the job. and so i left with lots of regrets and i was away from here for a period of time in 2001 when i left. it was a terrible year, the year of 9/11 and the beginning of a
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war. and i tried to play turn around with chris. i said, chris, don't leave, don't do it. chris -- chris dodd will leave a void. i think it's obvious that someone will follow, take the reins, it doesn't mean taking place. i don't think that's possible. chris dodd will have left an impression here of decency and honesty and fun and respect. all -- both sides of the aisle, one of the few times that we all agree. and so i say to chris and jackie and his little girls that we wish you well. our friendship will endure way past our time serving together. and, chris, follow my example.
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give it a couple of years. get back here. thank you, chris dodd foryour wonderful service. we love you and we miss you, but we'll always think about you. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mr. schumer: i too rise -- i'll speak briefly -- in honor of my friend and our colleague, the senior senator from connecticut. and i have watched him from date i came here. we knew each other a little bit when i was in the house. he left the house to go to the senate, but we had many of the same friends when i came to the house and always marveled at his abilities. you know, for those of us who have served here, i've only been here 12 years, we know the joys and difficulties of legislating here in the senate. we know it's not easy and we know how satisfying it is. there are very few who reach the
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acme of how to do it and who devote their lives to it. and i guess they're given a title -- i don't know if it's official, but probably not -- they're men and women of the senate. we've had two leave us in the last year, senator robert byrd and senator ted kennedy. they were truly men of the senate. and it's not a title bestowed easily or lightly or frequently. chris dodd is a man of the senate in the category of ted kennedy and robert byrd in terms of his abilities to get things done, his ability as a legislative craftsman, of somebody who's able to combine idealism and practicality, of somebody who's able to sit down with someone as mentioned before of a totally different viewpoint and get them to compromise and be on his side and be part of the effort that he is leading. he's a man of the senate.
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he will always be a man of the senate. i will miss him personally for the guidance and friendship and i think every one of us will. chris, god luck. godspeed. -- good luck. godspeed. a senator: mr. president, if there is no other senator seeking recognition, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the role. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent to dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reed: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, today we have an opportunity to assist thousands -- literally hundreds of thousands of families across the country who are out of work, through no fault of their own, who are bating wit battling witt severe economic downturn since the great depression, who are chasing jobs that have disappeared, are looking everywhere to try to find work. we have the opportuni


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