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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  September 9, 2011 2:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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revenue-generating commercial enterprises worldwide. this financial backing helps fund hezbollah's operations, security, and weapons systems, along the terrorist organization to increase its political influence. it is within this environment that the administration develop its national security and counterterrorism from work. with respect to counter- terrorism,our national securityy is clear. our goal is too distraught, dismantle, and defeat al qaeda and its allies. this strategy is just one part of president obama's larger national security strategy. our counterterrorism policy do not define our terrorism policy. they are reinforcing the elements of our broader national security interests. our counterterrorism efforts are essential to keeping america and americans safe and secure.
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one of the key objectives is to deprive terrorist of their enabling it, particularly their finances. our strategy is to expand and enhance efforts to block the flow of financial resources and to enforce the violations that dissuade others. we have a wide range of activities that the private service of their financial and enabling it. -- deprive terrorists of their financial and enabling needs. prevent terrorist abuse of formal financial systems and the terror sector. and improve our insight into
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terrorist finances and activities. in pursuit of these objectives, we have made important progress in combating terrorism and this has spanned two administrations since 9/11. we have put relentless pressure on al qaeda inflicted significant leadership losses. we are making it harder for al qaeda to find and deploying out the tickets and making it harder for the group to harder-- i operatives -- operatives and making it harder to move and raise money.
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we look to our partners in the region to take the lead with u.s. support and assistance. important progress has been made by some of our golf partners in disrupting terrorist financial pipelines. owe a debt ofkno gratitude. not all countries in the gulf region have made the same commitment in prioritizing terrorism financing. they remain permissive operating environments for al qaeda facilitators. we seek strong engagement with them on other terrorist groups, which are also fund raising in those nations. we will continue to push for enhanced unilateral action by these governments and closer bilateral cooperation with the united states. reacting to al qaeda's core
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financial difficulties, we have come to rely less on support from the al qaeda network. the al qaeda core continues to provide strategic guidance. some of billions of turn to crime to generate funding, particularly -- some al qaeda allies have turned to crime to generate funding, particularly kidnapping for ransom. as terrorism networks come under more pressure, they will turn increasingly to criminal networks to help facilitate their operations. this is an issue the president feels strongly about, the payment of ransom by other countries and individual organizations that continue to fuel the forces of terrorism. this is something the president has raised on numerous occasions with dignitaries.
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ransom payments to terrorist organizations only make them more of a threat. it has a capacity to generate new and substantial sources of funding. the taliban continues to have sufficient resources to sustain its recruitment and training resources, conduct attacks on soldiers and police and against the united states and isap troops. we have worked with united nations to halt funding. weakened financial state is traceable to designations of al qaeda binding -- funding sources. they came under attack because
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of increased judicial scrutiny with critics arguing it does not provide adequate due process protections against those so designated. we have worked with our partners on the security council, particularly those in europe, to seek a solution to this problem. these negotiations culminated in the passage of security council resolutions 1998 and 1999 to respond to criticism about the bridging's fairness and transparency. -- about the regime's fairness and transparency. we will establish mechanisms that are able to withstand european country's due process concerns. hezbollah has established a legitimate charities. the united states has taken
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action against entities and terrorists supported charities through the executive order 13224. it prevents u.s. persons from doing business with them. here i want to be cleared. while government action with respect to muslim charities have been infrequent, they have had unintended effects on well- intentioned donor activities. president obama acknowledged this in his speech in cairo. we are working with muslim americans to increase awareness of existing policies and remove unnecessary hurdle to legitimate and important charitable giving. finally, i would note to the our efforts to combat financing are shaped by strategic the bids. in the last seven months, we have witnessed extraordinary
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political change sweep across the middle east and north america toward -- across the middle east and north africa. al qaeda has been left on the sidelines watching history passed them by. president obama has placed the united states on the right side of history calling for universal human rights that people in the region are demanding. this comes with opportunities and risks. we will have to remain vigilant to make sure in suing transitions do not make it easier -- ensuing transitions do not make it easier for terrorist financiers. in closing, i would like to say a brief word about the evolution of the terrorism finance unity. what started as a leash one
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one decade-- niche ago has become something that supports the president's terrorism efforts. we have proven the power of financial intelligence. detail, accuracy, and durability has given us insights and helped expose the group's inner workings and operational capacity. there is no greater testament to the importance of this financial intelligence to the present -- than the presence of the director of national intelligence. the cornerstone of this effort targets the top threats facing our nation, including terrorism proliferation, drug trafficking, and transnational
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organized crime. one decade after september 11, the terrorism community continues to revolve -- evolve and drive. a new position, headed by the assistant treasury secretary, will coordinate the terrorism and that activities across all -- all progress in combating terrorism finance is the result of many people spanning many years working hard day in and day out. they include distinguished guests here tonight. they also include a multitude of experts, foreign partners, and multilateral institutions who had a novel idea of
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disrupting terrorist finances. it has devolved -- evolved into one of the most important tools we have in protecting ourselves from attacks. it is a tool we will continue to strengthen as we do everything in our power to keep the american people safe. i want to thank secretary geithner and all of the treasury department and for you today being here to participate in this important event. on behalf of president obama, i would like to say thank you to all those dedicated and have to be made this company a much safer place. thank you. [applause]
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>> this afternoon, bbc news night remembers the 9/11 attacks and the changes that have been made worldwide in response. you can see that at 5:30 p.m. eastern here on c-span. in the 1844, henry clay ran for president of the united states and lost. he changed political history. he is one of the 14 men featured in "the contenders." his kentucky home tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> we will go to george washington university for a panel discussion looking back at me a coverage of 9/11. you will hear from dan rather and britt hume
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you can see live coverage tonight on c-span 2 begin at 9:00 p.m. -- at 8:00 p.m. 9/11 is remembered from each of the attack site. the flight 93 national dedication ceremony. and a dedication with president obama and former president bush. on c-span 3, honoring those who lost their lives on flight 93. earlier this week, eric holder and kathleen sebelius announced
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the result of their medicare fraud task force. this is about 35 minutes. to announce theere results of a nationwide take down by the medicare fraud strike force that has resulted
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in charges against 91 defendants for their alleged participation in medicare fraud schemes involving nearly $300 million in false billing. this is the highest amount of false billing in a single take down since the department of justice and the department of health and human services came together in 2009. the indictments were unsealed yesterday and today. 70 individuals, including doctors, nurses, health-care company owners, and executives were charged with a variety of medicare fraud schemes. this was coordinated with take down operations last week when 18 others in detroit and miami were charged with their alleged roles in medicare fraud schemes. in dallas, two individuals were charged with their alleged roles in another scheme.
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it is important to understand the types of activities we have identified and have shut down. the individuals charged are accused of beria's health care fraud related crimes including conspiracy -- accused of various health care fraud related crimes including conspiracy and money-laundering. the charges involve treatment and services that were not medically necessary and were never even provided. we alleged that in many of these cases the information of patience and medicare beneficiaries was put at risk. patients recruiters and medicare beneficiaries and co- conspirators were paid kickbacks in return for supplying beneficiary information to providers to facilitate fraudulent medicare claims. numerous physicians, nurses, therapists violated their
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professional responsibility as well as the public trust. some of the most vulnerable among us including seniors suffering from dementia and alzheimer's disease were exploited by those wanting to steal taxpayer resources and jeopardize the integrity of our health-care system and our nation's most critical health- care program for personal gain. through our highly coordinated nationwide strike force operation, we are fighting back. our efforts have never been more innovative, aggressive, or more effective. as of today, strike force operations in nine districts have charged nearly 1140 defendants who have billed medicare for $2.9 billion in false claims. to combat a problem of this scope, we have teams on the ground in baton rouge, brooklyn,
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chicago, dallas, detroit, houston, los angeles, miami, and tampa. we have open channels between federal agencies, law enforcement partners and the general public. secretary sebelius launched this initiative two years ago. we have made certain the fight against health care fraud is and remains a cabinet level priority. president obama has assured us it will continue to be a major area of focus in this administration. we can and should be encouraged by today's announcement and the progress that has been achieved in recent years to identify and to combat health care fraud. we have much more to do in our work to obtain -- contain and overcome the problem. our efforts are far from over.
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we will rely on our partners across government and on the american people. by working together, we can and we will end the fight against health care fraud. i would like to turn this over to one of our essential partners in this fight, secretary sebelius. >> thank you, general holder, it has been an honor to work with the general on a variety of initiatives, particularly this effort to stem the tide of health-care fraud. it has been a high priority in both our departments, a presidential pirated, and one that is achieving considerable success. i would like to thank our of the great partners. we will hear from executive assistant of the fbi, sean h enry, who represents the fbi's
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efforts in this effort. on the ground, we have a lot of collaboration and cooperation with local law enforcement, u.s. attorneys, state attorneys general, who are all involved in this initiative. i also want to recognize antifraud leadership provided at the centers for medicaid services. we have a specific leader dedicated to stamping out broad in cms. the program integrity team has been instrumental and aggressive in identifying many of the crimes we are discussing here today. today's news is the latest results of the obama administration's focus on
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stamping out brought in our health-care system. we have more than quadrupled the number of strike force teams operating in the hot spots around the country. hundreds of charges against criminals who billed medicare for hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent claims. those efforts that an additional boost last year when the president signed the affordable care act, which is one of the strongest health care anti- fraud laws in history. it has provided new resources to help law enforcement catch criminals and establish tougher sentences for those who get caught. as our law enforcement officers say, we cannot simply prosecute our way out of crime. they are also taking steps to prevent it in the first place. we are making it harder for criminals to get into the system. if you want to become a medicare provider, you must go through a
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rigorous third-party review process to make sure you have the correct licenses and meet all of the requirement to bill medicare. if criminals do get into the system, they are more likely to get caught before they can do any harm. starting this summer, our centers for medicare and medicaid services have new technological tools that give us a comprehensive picture of medicare claims nationwide with the first time ever. that means our investigators can see claims in real time and analyze them for patterns of thought. it and i did by suspicious claims and -- they can identify suspicious claims and investigate them before they are paid. the technology behind this aggressive approach is built by the same people who have been using it to spot fraud four years in the private sector in areas like banking and telecommunications. today, we are using the same
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tried and tested approach to protect our health care system. i can health-care fraud is about honoring two sacred trusts. our promise to taxpayers that we will spend their money wisely. at our promise to seniors and all americans that we will do everything we can to protect medicare for this generation and for generations to come. at a time where we are having a national conversation about how to make medicare more sustainable, we know that biking thought is a proven approach. it is already working -- we know that i king brought is a proven approach. as criminal -- fighting fraud is a proven approach. as criminals know, you will get caught. if you do get caught, you will pay a price. keep your hands off medicare and taxpayer dollars. it is my pleasure to introduce
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fbi executive assistant director sean henry. >> thank you, secretary. good afternoon. health care fraud in this country impacts everyone. it drives up the cost of health care. it causes insurance premiums to skyrocket. that means more expensive stores -- expensive prescription drugs for our seniors. these fraudulent schemes operate in a big cities and small towns alike. they vary in size and sophistication. those who commit the crimes share one thing in common. the distorted belief that the medicare system is their own personal atm. medicare fraud has wide reaching economic impacts. these syndicates share strategies, steal money, and avoid detection. they shift from one jurisdiction to the next to find more and
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victims and patients. the object of the game is simple. to steal as much money from the system as they can. in one take down, a mental- health clinic in miami paid recruiters to bring medicaid card holders to bring in people from other states. like others in today's takedown, the standard operating procedure is best described as admit first, ask questions later. while these crooks are playing fast and loose with the rules and with the american taxpayer'' money, your money, people who need mental health care are going country. to us, this is a serious business. we are investigating 2600 cases of health-care fraud. 500 agents and analysts are trying to identify emerging
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schemes and tactics. we are collecting evidence through undercover operations to help find and apprehend the leaders of these criminal enterprises so they cannot simply pick up and move their operations elsewhere. as part of the health care fraud prevention and enforcement team, we are committed to preventing and prosecuting health care fraud. today's arrests are indications that those at risk are producing results. the medicare fraud strike forces have charged more than 1000 dependents. we, along with our partners, have assisted in returning more than $4 billion to the u.s. treasury and fraud victims. this is a critical piece of our nation's infrastructure. we must protect the integrity of medicare and our health-care system at large. working together, we can stop criminals who seek to stop american -- steal american tax
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payers' and our hard-earned dollars. i would like to thank our partners in hhs and hhs oig. i would like to turn it over to the assistant attorney durigene. >> good afternoon. we are announcing charges against 91 defendants across the country. 19 were charged last week in detroit and miami and two were charged the week before in dallas. it is charged with the serious crime of be fighting the medicare program. we allege that to get it these defendants submitted approximately $295 million in fraudulent medicare claims. this represents the largest medicare fraud take down yet, as measured by the amount of the
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alleged fraudulent billings. they cover the entire spectrum of health care providers and perpetrated a variety of fraudulent schemes. a doctor in detroit billed medicare for performing psychotherapy treatments for more than 24 hours per day. he is also charged with building the medicare program for services provided to date beneficiaries. the owner of a health care referral business in houston is charged with recruiting, in exchange for kickbacks, medicare beneficiaries for approximately 100 different home health-care agencies. a supervisor at a community mental health center in miami that is charged with submitting over $50 million in fraudulent billings to melic it -- to medicare threatened to eject residents from a boarding house he managed unless they attended
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the center. a registered nurse and other health-care professionals are charged with participating in the same scheme. the endowments -- the indictment announced today serve as a powerful reminder that medicare fraud is a nationwide problem. defense already treated the medicare program like a personal piggy bank. today's law-enforcement operations served as a wake-up call that our fight remains nationwide as well. and with increasingly successful results. the medicare fraud strike force team is in the nine cities across the country and employing sophisticated law enforcement methods. we are determined to hold medicare cheats criminally responsible. that is what we will continue to do. of a relentless efforts to
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prosecute medicare fraud perpetrated upon the past 2 1/2 years are only getting stronger. just ask be registered nurse in miami who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in august. i want at this are becoming more sophisticated. just ask the therapeutic clinic owner in detroit who was sentenced in march. at the miami doctor who was sentenced to 19 1/2 years in prison in june. it is my pleasure to work with the prosecutors in the criminal division and the u.s. attorney's offices and the law enforcement agents at the fbi and hhs oig. we are waging an important battle to safeguard the medicare program. thank you. i will now turn it over to my colleague, the inspector general.
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thank you. this takedown you heard about is good news for the nation's beneficiaries and the nation's taxpayers. i would like to thank the 188 oig hhs agents who are but his painting in stride for cities across the nation today. they bring a unique expertise to the fight against health care fraud. we certainly cannot do it alone. i want to express my deep appreciation to our partners. i want to start with our partners within our own department. i want to express my appreciation to the secretary for so forcefully advancing the partnership that exists between oig and the centers for medicaid services as we get more sophisticated in our data and
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are able to catch these issues before they become larger, before they become more expensive. in many cases, we are able to turn off the spigot before the money goes out the door. that kind of activity, that kind of effort is only because of an effective partnership with and our department and the right kind of leadership to advance it. we also have great partners at the justice department. i want to thank the bureau for being such effective partners with us. i want to give special appreciation and thanks to the attorney general for advancing because of efficiency and effectiveness in law enforcement. because of his efforts, inspector general offices government-wide can share resources so that we do not have to go through the inefficiencies and costs of bringing agents into these strike forced cities
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and elsewhere. i want to express appreciation to the inspector general offices of the postal service, department homeland security, the social security administration. all of these oig that have participated and had agents in our strike force cities. we were able to call on those offices for assistance. this is a comprehensive, government-wide effort. with those resources strategically and danced, it is making a huge difference. -- advanced, it is making a huge difference. beneficiaries are taking notes. they are asking questions when things do not seem right. when they suspect fraud, they are calling hour hot line. what number is that, you ask? the number is 1-800-hhs-tips.
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1800-447-8477. thank you. >> or any corporations charged? >> there were some corporations charged. >> can you give an example of what corporations? >> a hospitalization program. at least one of the companies was indicted. >> can any of you address the claim you made, that the allegations were -- that the tenants were going to be effective they did not go to the clinic? >> we allege that some of the
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people who were not appropriate -- many of whom were suffering from dementia -- were in great dress and they were threatened that if they did not permit -- that they were threatened and if they did not permit themselves to be transported it would be effected. >> how much of the money was paid out? >> we will have to get back to you? . >> or most of the cases durable medical devices? or are you see less of that? have these scam artists found that that was a hole in the system that was more easily exploited? >> unfortunately, it is some of all of the above. some of these indictments and about durable medical equipment. those were two categories where
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we have seen a fraudulent activity. a new wrinkle seems to be the allegations are around the colors and involving mental health services. i think this is a wide range -- around the mental health services. >> or any of these cases uncovered by the newly created programs? >> i would say, absolutely. the financial support to build the kind of data system that we can have billing for medicare in one place as opposed to six different places came as a part of the affordable care act. we are creating prospective billing. we have enhanced resources for the strike force teams.
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the money came from the affordable care act and was enhanced in our budget operations. we have specific new charging authority. criminal penalties were increased. civil penalties were increased. a lot of those specific issues, which will come up in the prosecution and in our opportunity to catch these guys on the ground were part of the affordable care act structure. >> do you know which cases were caught because of that? >> i am not sure we can tell you what specific cases. i can tell you that prior to the creation of these data systems and prior to our putting in place a senior leader at medicaid services, someone who was focused on building and prevention and building a thought ... them, that did not
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exist. we did not have any opportunity to see the bills in real time and followed the patterns. >> we have some questions that are off topic. the justice department is involved in the action taken against gibson guitars. the ceo says this comes down to politics. what is your response to that? >> the actions we take in all matters are based on the facts, the law and the enforcement responsibilities we have. there are no politics involved. that is not how we make decisions in this department. >> the military says
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installations are raising the threat level. the you see an increased threat level now that the 9/11 anniversary is coming? >> we do not have the threat of any kind of activity on september of 11. we know from what we saw from the material taken from osama bin laden plus a hideout in pakistan that that was something he was focused on. we have focused on our response capability to deal with any possibilities. we are being vigilant with regard to what is out there. we are prepared to respond to anything we see that might indicate an and that up a plot. we also asked the american people to be vigilant as well and to report anything that you see that is of concern.
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>> as ythi happen in the past 24 hours that has changed from yesterday to today? >> will people see increased security when they are visiting the monuments board the anniversary? >> you will see an increase law enforcement presence. there will be other things occurring that will not be visible to the eye. i cannot go into those. in those places where we think the threat is, we have increased our capabilities. we have no specific, credible allegations that are of concern to us now. the threat is constantly there. shawn and i have an 8:30 a.m. meeting where we go over the threat from the past 24 hours.
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we have continued to do that. we have increased our capability in light of the 10th anniversary. >> have you done think like can increase over time? is it primarily a manpower situation you are talking about when you say you have surged capabilities? >> we have surged a lot of stuff, people, technical capabilities. there are people who will not spend a lot of time at home. >> are you working this week in? what are your plans? >> i have a lot of activities related to september 11 that i will be doing on friday. >> you announced a leadership change at the apf.
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can you tell us why you chose that time to announce it? what was your reason for that? >> the change was made with the best in -- best interest of atf at heart. a leadership change was appropriate to allow the men and women at atf to focus on their critical mission and to make sure we had the leadership in place that would be helpful in that regard. todd jones is a great assistant united states attorney. he will bring wonderful leadership to the atf. i spoke to ken about the need for the change. he agreed with me. ken has served his department
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well over the course of three decades. he has a particular expertise in the forensic area. we can take advantage of that expertise. >> who else at the justice department approved the botched operation? >> we have an inspector general operation and we will see exactly who was involved, who made the decisions in what was a lot enforcement effort. the notion that this reaches into the upper levels of the justice department is something that i do not think is supported by the facts. as the facts are real, we will see that is not the case. we are cooperating with the investigation. we have made people available
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for interviews. we have conducted briefings. our hope is that we will get to the conclusion of this investigation and a congressional effort relatively soon so that we can finally say with some purpose and some degree of certainty and without any political considerations exactly what happened and who made the calls. >> do you know when the investigation will be finished? >> the i.g. is working on this diligently. i cannot say how long it is going to take. i have no idea how long the congressional investigation will take. >> the investigation may not have reached into the upper echelons of the justice department. some say the leaders of the department should have known. what do you say about that? >> there are a lot of things that go on in the justice department and operations that
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people here in the department are not aware of. one of the things i have tried to do as attorney general is place in the field irresponsibility and the discretion for enforcement activities with the expectation that the parameters would be followed and filled in by a specific enforcement actions. the men and women in the field to do a great job. it is something that certain members of congress would like to see. the notion that high level people in the department were involved. i do not think that is going to be shown to be the case. that does not mean the mistakes were not serious. i asked the inspector general to conduct an investigation. we looked through e-mails and able variety of things to try to determine what happened. it will be interesting to see
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what the i.g. comes up with. i hope congress conducts an investigation that is not mired in politics. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> this afternoon, bbc news night remembers the 10th anniversary of the september 11 attacks. they will be live from new york as the show looks back at the day of the attacks and the changes that have been made in response. you can see that live today starting at 5:30 p.m. eastern here on c-span. in 1844, henry clay ran for president of the united states and lost. he changed political history. he is one of the 14 men featured
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in space -- in c-span's series, the contenders. tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> tonight, we will take you live to george washington university for the kalb report and a panel discussion looking at media coverage of 9/11. you can see live coverage of that tonight on c-span 2. begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> this weekend, the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with live coverage from each of the memorial sites. here is our live schedule. saturday on c-span at 12:30 p.m. eastern, ceremony. sunday morning at 8:30 a.m., a
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memorial ceremony from the world trade center site. on c-span 2 at 9:00 a.m., the vice president biden from the pentagon. 9/11 remembered this weekend on the c-span that works. -- networks. >> the american arab anti- discrimination committee holds a conference on grass-roots organizing by arab and muslim groups in the united states. this is one hour, 15 minutes.
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>> we have three special palace -- special panelists here to join us. we have the executive director of the rights of working group. to her left, the first vice- president and public relations chair of the lebanese american
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heritage club in dearborn, michigan. to her left, we have an attorney and advocate. what i thought we would do is have each of them speak for a few minutes and share their thoughts about where we have come in this arena of coalition building since the 9/11 tragedy, some of the challenges we face as a community, some of the successes we have been able to achieve at the grassroots and national levels and look at where we are now, 10 years later, and assess where we are as a community, as a country, some of the challenges we continue to face, some of the new challenges that might be a rising as we look forward. where are some of the opportunities out there that might be ways that we can continue to make success and do a better job of telling our
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story. what i thought i would do before i turn it over to margaret is set the stage, looking back from a personal experience on my part. i came here idealistic out of law school almost 16 years ago to serve my home town congressman from northern california. like a lot of you in the audience and a lot of folks watching, my first brush with politics was schoolhouse rock, watching television where you saw the rolled up bill singing about how he wanted to become a law. the american process of people asking for a lot to be passed to stop something or make something happen or to put a stop sign on a street corner or a signal lights where it might be in that democratic process
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with all of its box and hurdles and stops and -- bumbs and hurdles. when i went to college and studied political science and the law, i thought to myself, why not go to where the laws are made, just like in the schoolhouse rock cartoon, capitol hill, and be a part of the system where laws are made and where we hope we make laws that benefit our country and our fellow americans. several years later, i had the opportunity to serve in the white house under president bush. on that tuesday morning, i was preparing a memo for the president or his first meeting with major arab and muslim leaders, the alarms went off and we were told a jetliner was headed toward the white house and a jet liner had crashed into the world trade center.
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it was not clear whether this was an accident or whether it was delivered. the secret service and other law-enforcement realized this was a deliberate attack on our country. not only had we lost several -- an unknown number all americans -- there were possibly other losses of human loss in our country. we did not know how many attacks there would be in places like new york, virginia, and washington, d.c. for me and thousands of others around the city and the country, our lives changed with the 9/11 tragedy. it continued to change 10 years after. whether it is arab americans living in places like dearborn, or toledo, or orange county, california tackling challenges involving our national security, civil liberties, law enforcement, or even the
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particular communities that are affected, there are ongoing challenges. i am confident that there will be a happy ending. there is no ending. the story is ongoing. there have been challenges of civil rights and government scrutiny, sometimes unfair, political rhetoric that has spiked. i want to talk about that with our panel. why are we seeing anti muslim and anti arab hostilities by now, 10 years later. -- spike now, 10 years later. why is hostility against arab americans is at an all-time high, higher than it was after the 9/11 attacks 10 years ago. i am curious as to why that phenomenon has been occurring. i would love to discuss that
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with the panel and discuss some of the ways we can tackle some of those ongoing challenges and look to other communities. how can we as arab-americans, muslim americans, build coalitions with our fellow americans to meet those challenges? and to look to those committees who have seen this movie before, whether it is african-americans, jewish americans, japanese americans during world war ii, and most recently, the hostility toward jewish americans around our country. to look to those communities for their experiences and for their secrets in their ways of dealing with these challenges to overcome those challenges. picking up on the last panel, there was a question as to what
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we are an exceptional country. i feel that we are. there is a such thing as the american dream. it is an ongoing, evolving dream. the story does not necessarily end. we are at an important time, 10 years after 9/11. we will have a discussion among ourselves and with the audience and hopefully come away with a positive action plan as to how we might move forward in bettering our country. i will start off with margaret and we will go from there. >> good afternoon, everyone. good afternoon, everyone. thank you. i would like to thank abc for
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inviting me to be a part of the panel. i will speak a little bit about the coalition that i represent, the rights working group, which was formed out of 9/11. there was a backlash against him and write. it started as an initiative. there was a group that got together and said we are dealing with expanded use of existing policies and they are targeting our communities. we have to figure out a way to work together. we have to share information and collaborate in new ways to change these policies. a number of these groups worked on a piece of legislation from 2004. it went nowhere fast. the realization of the group at that time was that it cannot be an inside the beltway strategy.
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this is about changing a national conversation. this is about engaging constituencies across the country in the struggle. we started doing outreach to community organizations around the country. we have more than 320 member organizations around the country, many of whom are small, grass-roots, volunteer, and small. they are committed to the principles we laid out in the beginning, which is to combat things like the violations of human rights cause by the patriot act. most recently, in 2009, we launched a new campaign called racial profiling and the truth. it was designed to achieve three policy goals. the first was to enact federal legislation that would prohibit
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racial profiling by law enforcement agencies at the state, local, and federal level. using as the definition of racial profiling, profiling on the basis of race, national origin, and religion. it would change the way people have conceptualized racial profiling. the second policy goal was to try to get the department of justice to make a few important fixes to the 2003 guidance on the use of race. the guidance adopted by attorney general ashcroft told agencies that they could not use racial profiling. it included important exceptions or loopholes. for example, federal law- enforcement agencies were allowed to use racial profiling in the name of national security. there were also allowed to use it in the context of border
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security. it was unenforceable and did not apply to state and local law enforcement. that is where many of the or second goal was to make those policies stronger. a third goal was to target the department of home and security and stop the collaboration between local police and federal agencies and enforcement. as many of you probably know, there has been a dramatic increase in the role of police in forcing immigration laws, spurred by state laws in arizona, georgia, south carolina. and number of states have adopted legislation that require their police to ask status of those who come into contact with local police. the department of homeland security has a number of programs that either anchorage
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formal official relationships between local police and customs enforcement, or facilitate that collaboration. i think the most important goal of our campaign actually did not have to do with policy changes because we on not having that much success so far. of the most important goal was to get all of the targeted communities affected by racial profiling to work together on the campaign. as you might imagine, racial profiling has been around for a long time and we have a lot of things to learn from the african american community, the latino community, and other communities. these communities were not working together on these goals of. last year, we held a series of hearings around the country and asked each community to invite people from all the communities
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that had been targeted by racial profiling. so they could come and give testimony about how they have been affected. some of them were personally racially profiled and others were in cars or walking with family members and friends and witnessed racial profiling. the impact was quite amazing to hear in the personal testimonies, but also to see the commonality. for many in the room, it was the first time they realized that others from communities share that same frustrating, aggravated experience that they had as well. so we put out a report. i've brought a copy. this report includes a lot of the testimonies that we collected and the different
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places where the hearings were held, including michigan. we also wanted people to take away from this a sense of the need to work together. this year, in fact next week, we are putting out a new report. you are the first ones to see it. it has not been released yet. we are doing a press conference next week with the two sponsors of the end racial profiling act this year. this report looks at the last 10 years. all of these people have been working on the problem of racial profiling for the last 10 years. in the experiences that has made it harder for people or has
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given them more hope. next week, you can get a copy of this from our web site. in thinking about where we go next, one of the challenges for coalition building and working on issues like racial profiling and civil liberty problems, first, we have to mobilize our communities to demand a change. it is not enough for professional advocates to be leading the charge on this. we need voices of people who have been affected by this to join in on this. it will be their enthusiasm which will persuade those in the administration of the importance of this issue. we have to change the political debate. a lot as happened in the last 10 years. and number of public polls shows that american public is against racial profiling. nobody thinks it is a good idea.
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since 9/11, people have been making exceptions. maybe it is ok when i am getting on an airplane if they checked the people who look like they might be terrorists. those are the kind of responses that we are getting. once you open the door that racial profiling might work in certain instances, we are all at risk. we have to change that discourse. is important to know what the messages are. it is important that people from different communities are supportive of one another. along those lines is my third thought about where we need to go next. we have to support our allies in their struggles. with the african american community is concerned about high rates of incarceration in the impact on young men in their communities, our communities should be advocating and
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organizing with them. when the latino community is concerned about racial profiling from police and asking about papers, we should be supporting them in an advocacy effort. when we find out that the cia and the fbi had been spying on mosques, we should ask our friends to come out and organize and protest with them. it is important that we support all of the struggling people. i think that is an absolutely essential part of our work. the last thing i wanted to say -- i hope and number of you might have listened to the npr story this morning on the mall of america security problem. recently, npr did a big investigation of the way mall of america has been monitoring suspicious activity. you are all familiar with mall
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of america in minneapolis, right? the security guards have been participating in a department of common security program. they take reports of things they think look suspicious. if somebody is sitting down and writing a list, that could be suspicious. if someone is taking a picture of the mall, that might be suspicious. as it turns out, when npr reviewed the list of suspicious activity report documented by security, more than two-thirds of the people on the list where people of color. african americans, latinos, muslims, south asians. until we start working together on the question of what makes somebody suspicious, it is not writing a list on a piece of paper. it is who is writing a list. until we work together to
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surpass that notion, we are not going to succeed. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, margaret. i want to invite suehaila amen to add her thoughts. >> thank you. i would like to thank acu. i was a very active member of adc for a good 10 years. just a brief background -- i am coming from a completely different perspective than my fellow panelists. i come from the grassroots end of t hings. trying to pull together the
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moslem and arab american community in metro detroit. post-9/11, things change dramatically for our community. so this is something that has been at the forefront for many of us at the grass-roots level. you have to begin organizing at home in your home towns before you can take it to a national level. so, on my end, i wanted to touch base on some of the things that i feel that communities were 9/ at prior to 15 years ago, our focus was on foreign policy, how we were concerned with the issues that we were facing on a foreign level as opposed to dealing with things domestically. there was more of a focus on the middle east, the palestine-
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israel issue, immigration policies and procedures, and helping people to get political asylum to fully at the nation's they were living in and dealing with their own suffering. there was a lot of humanitarian aid work being done at that time. our focus in terms of media was to get rid of stereotypes in the media and film industries. a completely different level of what we are dealing with now post-9/11. there was a great push for participation prior to 9/11. i think we all understand 9/11 was a tragedy that affected every single person around the world. it was something that made us more aware, to take a look at
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who we are and how we are going to be affected by this tragedy. the focus shifted on communities organizing for things pertaining to domestic policy, where our foreign policies took a back seat for us at this point. we were not as concerned with how we were going to move forward with dealing with issues in the middle east, but now we are more focused on what is going on in the u.s., how we were going to be affected by domestic policy, how our social liberties were going to possibly be affected and infringed upon. and what we were going to face in terms of national security. in terms of immigration, what we were more concerned about was the focus on how do we get our families here, making policies and procedures easy to bring in relatives from overseas, and to
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make their transition into the united states in easy one. now, we are facing deportation and detainment and finding that secret evidence being used, and how we are going to save our community members from being shipped out without a moment's notice. people being taken in the middle of the night for a crime that was possibly committed 25 years ago. i know adc michigan worked on it a case several years back -- my father's first cousin when he was 20 years old had possession of marijuana charge. he should have voluntarily deported himself 25 years ago. but after he -- at the time, he was a new immigrant and did not understand the laws and what voluntarily deporting yourself
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meant. he had stayed, had a family, opened businesses cannot pay in taxes, leaving just as any other american citizen and never received a ticket or was in trouble with the law. 5:00 in the morning, doors, you and he isen down, taken to a country that he did not live in for more than 25 years. these were issues that we were now facing. how we protect the people who have been upstanding citizens who have done their job to participate in this nation and protect their civil liberties. we then began to face issues with the war on terror. our concern towards dealing with media then went from how we deal with misconceptions and the stereotypes of people in the film industry and movies where
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you always see the arab wrapped in his garb on his camel riding through a desert and now dealing with the fact that we were being stereotyped in every aspect of the media. in the news, in informational films, and it really any and everything that was common across to the television and internet. so that was a much greater effort that we had to now focus on. it was something that was depleting not only our resources but all of our energy. for myself, a lot of the people like me in the community work on a volunteer basis. we do not work as employees of these organizations. we were strictly on a volunteer basis, putting in our personal time, effort, and at times
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personal funds to forward these initiatives and to encourage our community members to speak out and to reach out to other organizations. our push was greatly on civic participation and getting people involved because at this point people realized that, well, i am an arab and muslim post-9/11, so nobody wants to hear what i have to say. people felt their civil liberties were being infringed upon. it took us much time and difficulty in reaching out to the grassroots community especially from an immigrant community that did not understand that the work communities that came before us that suffered the same. they all understand the civil rights movement in the 1960's, but they do not know what happened to others who immigrated here and faced the same issues that we are facing today. that took much effort and is
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still taking that effort to open up their eyes and to understand. a huge focus on the grass-roots level is to build relationships with organizations such as the aclu, the naacp, and organizations such as abc, the national level. is important for us to have these connections. walking that very fine line of being an allied with government agencies, while still maintaining that level of open criticism as well, because it is a very fine line working with the grassroots community that does not understand that you need to have these relationships in order to further your agenda and advance as a community in dealing with these issues. hopefully, in being here, i will be able to address that because it is coming from a completely
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different and go from what people deal with on a national level. thank you for allowing each year to date. [applause] >> finally but not least, we are joined by khaled beydoun. >> i had a nice, fancy speech prepared, but given the significance of the day to day, i speak more from reflection and remembering the events of the past decade and so forth. bear with me if there are some unconventional thoughts and interruptions and obstacles at during the presentation. earlier today, i had a chance to speak to a former law school friend who attended the ucla school of law with me, and we
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both reflected upon the de. i am sure many of you can remember the events that unfolded on 9/11 and where you were. he and i spoke at length about that day given that it was our second week of law school. it was an interesting, existential experience for me. i was moving to los angeles and being forced to adjust to a completely different context at the very critical and trying time, not only in my life but also in the history of this country. in reflecting at the time, i can paint a landscape for you. the university of california was experiencing a post-affirmative action landscape where diversity on campus was virtually non existent.
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latino americans was 45 or 50 which especially is a travesty given the location of the university of los angeles. we reflected on that day, and that was one of three arab americans at the ucla school of law. after the school of law, i had no platform to voice my frustrations and concerns and might worries post 9/11. through the friendship, i was invited by the black law association to be involved. i was given a critical platform and an ability to really present my concerns and dewpoints and give face and voice to the struggle of arab americans during their critical moment in the history of the united states
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at large and the experience in the narrative of arab-americans. those experiences are those that i look back a decade earlier and were very critical in forming the shape and trajectory of my career which has been very much based on coalition building and it is really building coalitions not along the lines of leaders of separate organizations meeting and framing strategy, but promoting a new brand, a new platform or paradigm for what coalition building is and should mean. it is a gift that we have suehaila amen because coalition building is truly manifested on a community level, where every day individual seldom who have the opportunity to deal with conferences like this and seldom have the opportunity to hear the speeches of organizational leaders truly execute the kind of coalition building and the true kind of community
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integration that needs to be had for this country to be united and for the interest of civil liberties at large in the interest of arab americans post-9/11 to truly be enhanced and advanced in a meaningful way bank and i would like to address three seminal points. i want to discuss how the diversity of the arab community lends itself well to coalition building. before true coalition building can be had on the part of arab americans, it is incumbent upon arab-americans to redefine what it means to be an arab american. finally, i want to address some of our natural allies in promoting the arab american platform and how to broaden that base of allies. first, diversity within the arab
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american community. if all of us could look at these wonderful portraits over here that are showcased. these portraits illustrate the diversity in the cultural and ethnic and religious mosaic that is the arab world. i think one benefit and one natural resources that it has is it is deep, rich with diversity. we have individuals who typically look black, caucasian, individuals manifesting a series of different ethnic appearances. we have religious diversity that is on parallel. it lends really well to building in house avenues toward coalition building with organizations that represent various arrays of constituents. sudanese americans, for instance.
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they provide direct, authentic in-house ambassadors that can build real bridges with the african american community here in the united states. organizations such as the adc and others have to really leverage and empower these individuals to build lasting coalitions with these organizations. first of all, one thing that needs to be addressed, and i have read about this issue very extensively, racism in the arab american community. secondly, there has been somewhat of a hyper and desist -- hyper emphasis to the detriment of other regions and
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communities in the arab world that have not been given to attention. that needs to be addressed. organizations should really pay more attention and more resources to address what is going on in the horn of africa, north east africa, and morocco and so forth. unless this happens, the ability to give a true voice and membership to other arab americans is not going to be had. i am going to rush really quick. finally, i have a piece that addresses in the handbook that you guys have. i think post-9/11, arab americans have not done the necessary work to pull the defy what it means to be arab- american. -- what it means to politify
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what it means to be arab- american. and lot of work and energy and research needs to be had to really finalized and refine what it truly means to be arab- american. i am going to stop now but i would be glad to field any questions that you might have on these issues. [applause] >> thank you. i got a little nervous when you brought up that big clipboard. i thought we would have a little bit of discussion amongst the panelists and with the audience. i know there are a lot of questions and thoughts that you all have. i will kick off with one issue of discussion before i turn it over to the audience. we are talking about coalition building, and this is something we have been engaged in at the community and national level.
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we have had some successes as has been described by some of the panelists. going back to what i was saying earlier, poll after poll demonstrates we are losing the conversation with the american public. the polls after 9/11 demonstrated that 50% to 60% of americans realize that the attacks on our country were in fact by a few and our representative of the major faith community, and their friends and neighbors who happen to be muslim are in fact americans like all of us. those numbers are down to 30's. after all of the work we have done, with all due respect, and i include myself in that effort, where do we need improvement? who of the others that we need to reach out to?
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i would offer that we need to recount to groups that have demonstrated the most question about who arabs and muslims are. those groups tend to be church- going catholics combat evangelicals christians, which together make up more than half of the country. if you look at polling data, those are the groups that have the most questions or in some cases the most suspicion. i want to ask on a local and national level what your thoughts are about where we are on coalition building and what you might think about expanding our role, our circle, hour or bit of those collisions -- our orbit of those coalitions that we reach out to. whoever would like to go first. >> [inaudible]
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i know on a community level, immediately post-9/11, i think i spoke at about 36 churches. people that reached out to us -- in fact, i was in the mall and month after 9/11, and a lady approached me and asked me if i would come and speak at her church, which was about an hour and a half away. so, i said yes. i thought it would be a small church, but there were 160 women. we sat and had a very open conversation, allowed them to ask all the questions that they wanted. from that point on, they actually had called their friends at other churches and we started doing that, where i
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would just grab a bunch of friends and say we are going to have some conversations. it was something as simple as sitting down with these various communities and churches and talking to them about the arab american community. though that was something that was done greatly at that point, for the first few years post- 9/11, most recently, i know we have a lot of groups coming in where they facilitate training and they do tours of the islamic center and give talks about muslim americansa and whatnot. i think on the community level you need to be able to reach
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out and open your hand and be willing to embrace your brother or your sister. at the end of the day, we are all americans and are here for the same reason, to better our lives and to move forward and have our families grow up in this great nation. so it is important for us to reach out to these other organizations, to these other organizations on the conservative end, to make sure they are aware that we are here. we walk to work together. is difficult -- it is difficult in coalition building to connect with these groups that do not necessarily want to embrace you. some of them are very standoffish and will say, "we are not interested." in knowing that you are making that effort on the community level that is necessary across- the-board even if there is one
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muslim living somewhere in a rural town in oregon, reaching out to the local church and trying to build their relationship and have a simple conversation can help greatly on the grass-roots level. >> margaret? >> i was listening to the discussion with the launch panel and the conversations are around bullying. the comments were made that the gay and lesbian community have had a lot more success getting their concerns out on a broader level than many other groups have been able to do. i always thought that one of the reasons for that was so many people in the united states knows someone who is gay or lesbian or bisexual or one of those categories. when you know someone, it changes the dynamic.
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i once sat in on a focus group session where people were trying to assess what kind of message and would get more americans in support of immigration reform. consistently, in all of the focus groups, the people who were willing to hear the messages where people who knew undocumented immigrants and thought they were good people and did not think they should be facing what they are facing. knowing somebody personally make a big difference. i think the work that you have done will take that kind of personal our reach and relationship building to make changes. that is a really long time. that is a lifetime investment that does not change quickly. i think the other key in building relationships with groups who may not know enough about our communities, who may not share the experience of our communities but can understand
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and relate to the goals that we have. one of our big targets in our campaigns against racial profiling our law enforcement officials which is an interesting group to be working with all the campaign. in fact, having police chiefs go up to capitol hill and talk about how incredibly ineffective is for them to do their job when racial profiling is a part of it is far more persuasive to a number of communities and me going up there and saying the same thing. we have to think about the messengers delivering the same comments that we would want to make, but who is going to be heard by people who might not be opened to our perspectives? >> thank you. >> i think some work needs to be done before you actually approached an organization, to truly understand the narrative, what specific platforms those
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organizations in those communities are trying to promote themselves. for instance, often times, organizations approach a potential ally and try to build a line of converging issues, racial profiling for instance. hypothetically speaking, that organization may not fully appreciate the experience that, let's say, latino americans have with racial profiling. they try to promote their interests without fully understanding the experience and kind of what specific strategy of the agenda of that organization has. that home work needs to be done, i think, before you approach an organization that you want to partner up with. >> thank you. i want to go ahead and open it up to the floor. go ahead and let me know who has a question.
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identify yourself. help me out. if you want to make a speech, you will be put on the panel. >> when i hear talk shows, i feel that no one is hearing about the work that we are doing and you are doing and abc is doing. what can be done? people in the media and those who are conservative and doing talk shows, they reach millions of people. now i am avoiding all these talk shows because they make me very emotional and upset. even the people who call in, 100% of all of them -- they are constantly putting muslims in a very degrading situation. who are the groups to address? i think the people in the media.
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>> does anyone want to address that? >> i think the media is clearly a ratings game. the kind of content is going to be based on the audience and who they are. i think one encouraging trend that we have in this country is this country is quickly becoming a minority country, meaning that people of color in this country will soon be the majority. one thing arab-americans' need to do to partner up with the latino community which is the most proliferating population in the country -- other segments of the country that are growing in number. by partnering up with populations that are rising, in the long term you would hope that that would be reflected in the media and other sources of power, and allies are going to
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provide platforms for arab americans who have a similar experience. if i was stranded judging their trajectory of adp, one of my top priorities would be contact latino organizations. these are organizations that would want to work with the adc and the arab community at large. african americans, also. to identify marginalized communities, organizations of all sorts, there is that natural overlap of experience and camaraderie that come to being marginalized and the victimized in some sense. >> i would add to that i have gone on shows that you are
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probably referencing, and there is no doubt that a lot of the language has become more hostile. there are a couple of factors that we need to examine. the news has changed. we used to have three choices. 7:00, half an hour. you watch the news, in the next news was the next day at 7:00. or you would read your paper that you would wait for the next morning. now, i do not even know who does that any more. you can get on your blackberry or your windows phone or your ipod and get news anytime. what is more interesting, now we do not have a shared-of news. now people watched or read news that reinforces their own world view them bang for some, that means al jazeera or fox news. that narrow view of news, i
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would argue, it has made intermission more democratic because more people are out there getting news out into the bloodstream, but it has let anybody in, good and bad. sometimes what is it reinforced is very hostile to arabs and muslims. i think it is important that we can reach out to groups but we also have to go beyond that because the hostility is coming from different segments of society. that means going on fox news even though you might not be comfortable with that. yes, you might get some hostile calls, but if you do not, you are leaving the whole segment of population to have a certain narrative without the reinforcements -- unfortunately, there are arabs and muslims in
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these media outlets who are willing to sell out the community to say that, yes, all arabs or muslims are all that. there is an industry of anti- muslim or arab hate out there. they unfortunately are happy to use that platform to sell out their friends and neighbors who have to be arab or muslim just to get some air time. we have to be out there confronting those people, as uncomfortable as it might be. in the next 10 years, we might have to adjust as to who we are talking to. are we talking to adjust our friends? are we talking to people who have real questions. the majority of americans are fair minded people who will respond to a message of fairness and justice, but we have to address questions and concerns, including national security. it is my personal thought and
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experience. some people -- if some people think i am wrong, i would like to hear it. >> in the last few years, one law center has been tracking hate groups in the united states. as you commented earlier, in the last couple of years, the number of hate groups has grown quite dramatically. the fact that there is increase in hate crimes and bullying and ill treatment of people in the muslim and arab world is not uncommon, what is happening in the latino world and other immigrant communities. we are seeing this pattern across the country. one of the most critical things to do is to call it out. unfortunately, a lot of the hate groups are not recognized as such. there are groups that are very anti-immigrant that it invited regularly to speak on various
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talk shows about their views, and they are not trying to present information that has been collected using due diligence and etcetera. i think it is really important that we call out those groups who are engaged in hate speech against those communities, not to tell them that they cannot use that, but i think it is important that we recognize that it is not only directed at our communities but many, which is a shared problem that we should be working on together. >> living in a city that is the hub of the arab and muslim community in the nation and the place where every hate monger wants to visit to spew their hatred, you know, it gets to a point where our concern is you
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do not want to infringe on a ,erson's constitutional rights so where do you draw the line? when is it enough? when you have people like we were blessed to have graced their present upon us, and you have other groups where it is your right to say what you feel and have that opportunity to express your views, but when you are allowing your views to perpetuate that ahthate and fear, to allow bloggers putting our their, which is getting picked up not only on the web site but is getting copied on another web page and facebook and people are seeing it all around the world.
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this is a problem for us. we do need to open our eyes and take a deeper look into what is then -- what then becomes a hate crime that can hurt other communities. because we are facing this problem dave it. we have people coming in and protesting that this is my right to do so, yet at the same time we are having this problem with a are expressing their views which is increasing the hate in the area, and then once they leave and go back to their community, wherever they may live, they have allowed then for that hate to perpetuate and for people to perhaps do something against an arab or muslim.
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that is a constant fear i know we have and is something that is a huge issue for us. if you are afraid to walk out of your home and walk the streets because so and so just left after doing a huge protest and now has people riled up, then what? then a person's rights are infringed upon because they are not comfortable walking down the street in their own neighborhood. >> who has the next question? go ahead of. >> since 9/11, do you find that the diversity of the arab american and muslim community has been somewhat overcome? there are groups that may be did not even talk to each other or shared a common heritage. have you found that that has
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changed since 9/11? >> post-9/11, in metro detroit, i think there was a concerted effort among these communities to embrace one another and take tackle these issues head on. unfortunately, it took that tragedy to bring the community together in a more concerted effort to battle this discrimination they wer facing. people realizing that it did not matter unless you were visibly muslim like myself nobody knew if you were muslim or if you were christian as arabs vary in their religious beliefs. there was that effort and that coalition building and bringing groups together to combat discrimination.
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in the communities did work together prior to 9/11 -- the communities did work together prior to 9/11. now, there are umbrella organizations and a lot more work has been done together that include one another in almost every activity that is being done a matter which community. you always find a christian community is participating or acting in some capacity. it is something that has worked in our favor, and we have come to realize that we are very much alike, as opposed to concentrating on the differences, and instead on similarities. >> good. next question or comment?
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>> [inaudible] [laughter] thank you for coming out. related to seeing what we have seen since 9/11, organizations working together, recently organizations have gotten stronger and been around since then. a lot of us have been. there have been spikes and a lot of great things happening. ups and downs. we will go up, protest, rally, and get together. we all knew in the heart, a sense of urgency that we would have to come together and go to
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the churches or the mosque or whatever heritage we are from, we are going to go out there and do whatever it takes to share our feelings and thoughts and be out there to be proactive together. my question is do you see what the next sense of urgency is? if, god forbid, another tragedy happens, and the next arab spring, our organizations going to come closer together? how are we going to change our perception and a little bit more? >> i think what is taking place in the region in the arab world with the arab spring and the successful revolutions that are
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taking place, clearly what is going on in syria provides an ideal opportunity for americans to come together along the lines of human rights and free from in the agenda beyond the domestic agenda. id seems to me, a decade after 9/11, we are well beyond the 9/11 era if you will. we have endured the aftermath of 9/11. i feel like we have felt the brunt of the civil rights attack from 9/11 and now we are entering this new phase, this new chapter, if you will, for arab americans. i think the arab spring is dominating that new chapter. i think that organizations, base organizations -- i never want to deflate the fact that muslims
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and arabs -- the majority of them are actually christian. aside from that, the arab spring really provides an ideal opportunity to build along the lines of human rights, promotes the rule of law, and through that promotion, really build strong alliances with human rights organizations beyond the ethnic and racial lens, promoting the notion in the body of universal human right across the board. i think that is an avenue that organizations should truly explore. >> on a grass-roots level, it is of vital that people get involved, that they are sickly active and addressing the fact that they have a responsibility. there are civic duties. you have to get out and vote and have your voice heard. in metro detroit -- i cannot
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speak much for other communities and how they are when it comes to organizing, but we are more reactive than pro-active. when an issue occurs, we need to take to the streets. we have faced issues where, i know in 2006 during the lebanon- israel war, at the time, they wanted us to ask for a permit 30 days in advance. you had to receive a bill for all of the expenses that occurred. we were lucky enough in 2003 during the iraq war, the aclu because we built a relationship with them tackled this issue and allow for us to not have to request a permit 30 days in the advanced. by then, the issue was over with
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and resolved. what is important is that people realize that it is not about what is happening right then and there. you need to be proactive and involved in every aspect of american life, that you cannot just wait for something to happen before you say oh my god we need to run with this and demonstrate or rally. is a concern that we face on a daily basis. we feel like those early generation -- the younger generation is more active and aware of the issues that we need to deal with and are facing. it is a very important part of life for us. sam, i think we all know that we tend to jump the gun only when issues arise. on a grass-roots level, it is vital that people be more involved with organizations and
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the community and the political system to move forward. >> maybe i will just add quickly -- i think it is inevitable that there is going to be another tragedy. we have had several tragedies since 9/11, so i do not think we should wait until the next tragedy. i think the message of being proactive is exactly right. there are a number of things happening right now that may not sound like they directly affect the arab community, but they do. there is a bill in congress that would require indefinite detention of people who fall into certain categories. it would allow for immigration officials to detain people coming in seeking asylum. that is something that affects every community of immigrants in this country. that is something that you can get involved with right now.
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we should be looking to things to get involved in, to get our communities aware of, educating and bringing in young people. let's not wait for the next thing to mobilize people. let's have them ready now. >> i wanted to echo on the level of engagement. nothing more that i know better than my own experience. i remember, going back to 9/11, days after, there was a report on fox news there was a mysterious muslim man in the white house who had ties to al- qaeda. of course, my brother from california called me and said i think they are talking about you. it can't be. of course, they were. i found out that one of those very well known hate groups out
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there planted that story. fox, to their credit, pulled the story and took it off their website the bank it was an example for me -- their website. it was an example for meat, and i opener for me. i bring that story up because when that attack was made against me and my character and my loyalty to my country, the very well-funded groups that go out there to people in public service, politicians, both on a local and national level, what has kept me alive, politically as it were, is my own determination in my life and that i had friends across the political aisle who knew me and had worked with me. windows attacks were levied, i did not have to defend myself --
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when those attacks were levied, i did not have to defend myself. they defended me bank they were the ones who said this cannot stand. this is not right. i think from that example, i really draw upon a larger topic of coalition building that when that next attack occurs, whether it is a tragedy like fort hood or christmas day or whatever it might be or something that is directed toward the community like when we saw this hateful rhetoric can lead to, those american bloggers who have been going out there and demonizing arab americans, it only takes one person to take the next step which happened in oslo. my sense is that there are two things. we do not want to curtail free
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speech. it is one of the things that makes our country special, that we have a first amendment for free expression. also, the best way to counter such hateful speech is to have more speech, to respond with the truth. in other words, for people to get to know us before those tragedies occur so when they do, we are not demonized. in the vast majority of americans will say we know our friends and neighbors have nothing to do with what happened in new york or virginia or pennsylvania or wherever it might be because our friends and neighbors are law abiding citizens who love our country as much as we do them bank that engagement has to continue to be there beyond our own comfort zone. it has to be with those communities out there we might not feel as comfortable with. i remember speaking to a very conservative group, making the
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case. i was the first and only arab speaker to the group and was asking tough questions. afterwards, one of the persons came up to me and said do not take it too personally. he said, "i would not vote for a mormon or a catholic either." he was very up front about that. i think that is the minority, but it is out there. it is step-by-step. i do not want people to lose heart. we have time for one final question before we close out. go ahead. >> not all muslims and arabs, and these two -- going back to an earlier panel's discussion, have you encountered any state
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or federal agencies cherry picking selectively engaging only certain segments of communities that would want to be reached out to or vice versa? have you received any push back in trying to bring other coalition members to the table which the agencies are engaging in that might not draw connections to? >> who would like to tackle that in 30 seconds or less? >> that was a more complicated question that i thought it was going to be. that is ok. yes, yes, we have encountered trade seeking an absolutely there are some groups that are deemed respectable spokespersons on behalf of whatever community they represent, whereas others are not. i think the key is, again that is where coalition building can
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be of help. when we host a meeting for our members, all of our members are invited. that make sure that not only diversity is at the table but that we have people from outside washington at that table. our members from around the country are invited to participate and we try to make sure we are always bringing those voices to the table. that is a pretty simplistic answer. >> i want to thank mark critz and all of you, and especially to abc for hosting this wonderful conference. thanks, everybody. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> this afternoon, bbc news night remembers the 10th anniversary of the september 11 attacks. live from new york, looking back at the day of the attacks, the decade since, and the world's response. we'll have that live today at our 30 p.m. eastern, here on c- span. >> in 1844, henry clay ran for president of the united states and lost, but the changed political history. he is one of the 40 men featured in c-span's new weekly series, "the contenders." that is tonight at 8 eastern. >> tonight, we will take you to george washington university here in washington d.c. for a live broadcast of the kalb report and a panel discussion looking back at media coverage of 9/11. you will hear from charlie gibson, dan rather, and current
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fox news anger brit hume -- fox new anchor brit hume. >> this weekend, the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 on the c- span networks, with live coverage from each of the memorial sites, new york city, shakes bill, pa., and the pentagon. here is our schedule. the plight 93 national memorial dedication ceremony from shanksville, pennsylvania. sunday morning, a memorial from the world trade center site critics must president biden at the pentagon, and on c-span3 at 9:30, honoring those who lost their lives on flight 93. 9/11 remember, this weekend on the c-span networks. >> next, a panel focusing on the joint deficit reduction committee and what it success or
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failure could mean for the economy. we'll hear from budget, legislated, and business experts during this hour-long event. >> they give very much. -- thank you very much. when we think about going big, here comes the next panel, getting specific deficit reduction. we have some actual panelists and a superb moderator today, the honorable jim nussle. this panel is going to look at some spending reductions in a little more depth, some of the entitlement reforms, maybe some government restructuring. as of former governor, i would like to see some new partnerships with the states. they have bought a stake in all this. we are delighted that jim nussle is moderating this panel. here rejiggering perspective from the legislative branch, a
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veteran member of congress, the former head of the omb. he may have something to say about one of the areas where money could be found, but we know he is a 16-year veteran of the house for the state of iowa. each year that budget committee for six years and was the 36 director of the office of management and budget and member of president bush's cabinet. jim nussle, the stage as yours. >> thank you, governor. what an outstanding first panel we had today, particularly maya. i am honored to be her co- chairman at the committee for responsible federal budget. they do a fantastic job there. she and her team provide some fantastic information. i would recommend you to go to our website and see all the different sources of information
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that you can used to augment what you are learning here today. the opening sign said "meeting the challenges of economic growth and reducing the challenges." they said boy, are we in the wrong place. i suppose the good news is that more and more people than ever before are where our fiscal challenges that face our nation. i would suggest that regarding the bad news, it may be how many people believe that all you need to do is eliminate foreign aid, and maybe some of those earmarks, and we will probably have this thing under control. people know that they need to be concerned, but have a difficult
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time still relating to trillions and billions and baselines and sequestration. i had to try to explain to a layman sequestration, and it sounded very kinky when they asked me the question. i want to thank the business roundtable for hosting this discussion. this panel is no exception. as you can see from your agenda, today second palace challenge with getting more specific about spending, about entitlements, and then the third panel will focus on revenue and tax reform. if i had a nickel for every time that this particular panel gave advice to the united states congress, many of them in front of my budget committee -- if i had a nickel for every time they said entitlement growth is unsustainable, we could probably have a doozy of an offset to put into the kitty for some of the work that needs to be done.
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unfortunately, the majority of policy makers have not heeded their it buys and we find ourselves dealing with the current truth of their dire predictions and learning what unsustainable truly means. while the how did we get your question is fascinating, often confusing, it is often a tiptoe through history that can be done in a partisan way. in the next hour i will try and focus on the future, how we will use the talent we have gathered on this panel to focus on solutions and get more specific. remember that when congress arrives for work this year on the first day that they were sworn in and took office, that had already used all of the revenue for the entitlements. all of the revenue that was going to come in for this year was already out the door and obligated for entitlements. of the discretionary accounts needed to be borrowed in order to sustain the budget. upon their arrival today, bill
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counted it up as a staffer. i counted it up as a member. there are only 50 legislative days between now and december 23, and that even count a few of the fridays that were already given back. that does not give a lot of time for the super committee let along the congress to do their work. that is not of course the only agenda on the fall item -- on the fall list. there will be policies to foster long-term sustained economic growth, job creation, and other budget challenges including the possibility of a continuing resolution. our budget and we have here today is a good group of folks who know a lot about the challenges we are about to face. dan crippen is the executive director of the national governors' association and a former director of the congressional budget office. doug holtz-eakin is the president of the american action forum and a former director of
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the congressional budget office. alice rivlin not only served recently as a member of the presidents' day commission but is the founding director of the congressional budget office. last but certainly not least is nancy taylor, who served in several positions in the u.s. senate, including health policy director for the senate committee on labor and human resources. these folks are here to help us work through some of the issues regarding entitlement spending. let's take profits just a few minutes to kind of set the stage. i will ask this question of all four of you. all of you are very astute observers of congress and the budget process. it is kind of a two or three part question. how difficult is the challenge that congress basis? i realize that there are many answers that have been put forth on the part of policy advisers, but how difficult is the
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challenge over these next three months? what would be the first principle that congress needs to consider, the super committee -- what would be the first principles you would advise them to consider as they take their position, and if it is possible for you to end it by entering the question of, how would you define success? is it defined by the $1.20 trillion? is it defined by an agreement? is it defined by meeting and not killing each other at the end of the first session? that may be success in some people's minds. dan, let me have you kick this off. >> do you want us to do all three, or one at a time? >> i realize that is a tall order. >> i will try not to take too long, either.
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on a scale one to 10, probably nine. as others have said before, the answer ultimately is health care spending, whether it is medicare, medicaid, retiree spending, and the public programs are very important, both as models, precursors. we set a lot of payment rights based on medicare. people of my generation -- we will have roughly 80 million on medicare. both the expansion population in those who are already eligible in the medicare program will raise another 80 million. roughly half of the u.s. population will be in public programs and that half will be largely more expensive, greatly more expensive than the average
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citizen. so make up the number, but something like two-thirds to to three quarters will be in public programs. minuet in current governor programs, state and local programs, it is easy to get to 75%. the principles, from where i sit now, i have to say art don't shift costs back to the state, don't do more unfunded mandates, and don't do more maintenance of effort. it is important because we can move costs around, and the gerard debate on health care for the last two decades has been about who should pay, and what you think of as employer versus employee, public versus private, retirement age or not. all that has to do with how much and who is going to pay, not what we are buying. when we get to the debate about
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what is health care buying, there is some important payment reforms that would help change that composition. but it does come back to these more expensive patients. chronic diseases and senate by% of all costs. until we have a real paradigm shift in health care where we get away from acute care and focus on who should pay, we will never get to health care reform. it will be very tempting to continue to shift costs to others, including states. we can do it by disallowing certain tax revenues to be counted against the federal match. whatever we think of those policies, the effect is still going to be to shift costs back to states. the principles would be don't shift costs back to state. you can force those taxpayers to pay. it can do that kind of thing, but it is not a solution for the country. success, therefore, for me would be that we do have at least a serious discussion and the beginning of a change in our
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healthcare paradigm. i mean things like from where i sit, the governors need to recognize that states have control over most of the supply of health care. they train the doctors and nurses. they train the dental hygienist. they do all that stuff. that determine the number of hospital rooms and nursing home beds. they determine who gets imaging machines and on and on. to understand the whole health care supply is important for the paradigm shift. we have to change the training of people away from being necessarily specialist. we need a federal research program that says we understand now that we have changed. we are no longer treating acute people who become sick or injured. we are treating people who are not in institutions but hopefully at home. that is my measure of success,
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we get a certain amount of savings, probably avoiding sequester is a good thing all the way around. more importantly, i think we need to get on the whole discussion of health care reform and not simply how to cut the deficit for next year. i think the conventional wisdom would be, this is not all that hard. they have been given tons of device previously by the people at this table, and if they had just followed it, we would not be here. there is no absence of substantial of policy materials they could adopt. it is not like they have to go dream something up. they don't have to invent it in the next 50 legislative days. the other perspective is that conventional politics just bails and then we get the sequestered that will happen after the election. there is the chance we will
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daubs that sequestered bypassing some piece of legislation. there is a lot that points to this not being all that hard. there is not all that much that could get done. in particular, the recent roundup:that suggests that the debt ceiling fight was just a turning points in america's feelings about washington. the pressure will be on this committee from a political point of view to prove that washington still has some -- that the legislative process to work to some extent. that is what makes this difficult, to have a high burden of public prove. it is about how they conduct their affairs and what is perceived to be responsible legislative practice. and getting an outcome that keeps the public happy. the second question, principles.
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the most important principle that should govern their deliberations is this should not be about the money. if you turn this into an exercise in getting to 1.2 or getting to 1.5 for all dollar reductions count the same, you will make some terrible policy errors. this should be about changing the structure of entitlement programs so they will survive the next generation of seniors and low-income americans, and do it in a way that does not explode the nation's debt. if you just turn to something that looks like across the board cuts, it will spring back to life the minute the money shows up. they literally cannot make that mistake. it has been framed as a budget cutting exercise and there is a temptation to just get there anyway you can. i would be much happier with an outcome that fell short of 1.2. you could reform social security so that it lasts in
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perpetuity. you would have done an enormous amount of good from the perspective of an important social safety net program. that would be a principle that should adhere to, do the right thing by the policy and even falling short of the numbers. i define success very differently. successes the public education process that comes out of the focus on this committee that sets the status quo is toxic and dangerous to this company, and that a failure to deal with these entitlement programs is an acceptance of a future in which we stagnate as an economy and serve the beneficiaries poorly. success would be for everyone to understand that at the end of this process so that forms in the next congress become more politically likely.
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>> what would you suggest to this group as they get going? >> i would start with defining success. unless you can do that, you cannot answer the question about principles and how hard it is. i would urge them to define success much as i think doug has. real success for the long-term, to stabilize the debt at some reasonable percentage of gdp. i don't care whether it is 60 or 62 or 69. in some reasonable period, we have got to make sure that the debt is not going -- growing faster than our gdp. it does not mean you have to balance the budget. it does mean you have to get the deficit down to some lower% of gdp in the economy can grow at,
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which is another way of saying you don't grow the debt faster than your economy can reasonably grow. we have to be pretty sure that we are on that track. if that is your definition of success, and i would say there is one more, i think you have to do that in law so that the markets can be sure of it, but you also have to do it in a way that does not derail the current recovery. all of those conditions on what is success. if you define it that way, then you are driven first to the entitlement programs, to the health care entitlements, particularly but not exclusively. we have to get the entitlement programs growing slower than they are now projected to grow.
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that means fundamental reform. as somebody said on the earlier panel, we are not going to get any group politicians and bipartisan group to talk about fundamental entitlement reform unless they can also talk about tax reform. i don't think that is just a political point. we cannot expect to handle as many more older people with rising medical costs and do a good job of it without raising the proportion that those entitlement programs are of gdp, unless you close down the rest of the government. that means we will have to have more revenue. it drives you to tax reform. the principles i think of got to be that it must be bipartisan. it must be balanced, and it must
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be pro-growth. that does mean that you have to tackle both the long run entitlement reform and a pro- growth tax reform, but one that raises more revenue over time. those things cannot be done belfast -- they only have a 10- year window. they can get to 1.2 fairly easily, but i don't think that is success. success is putting in place the longer-term reforms that are going to stabilize the debt. that means that they have to go to some kind of a two-stage process. bill hoagland suggested one in the first panel, that you get your near-term savings, some of which will be tax expenditures, some of which will be more savings in the entitlements.
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some of which may be a little more of the discretionary, although i hope not too much, and then you put in place a second stage process, which could be like reconciliation instructions to the committee, that will guarantee that you get the rest of it. >> thank you. i am the one that has not been a cbo director. >> the most influential on the panel. >> after living through health care reform, i have to say that i think this will be an incredible challenge for this committee. i think it will be an incredible challenge because people will say that they have already given money towards a law that is being implemented and it will be difficult to find additional savings. i think it will be a great challenge, but i hope it is not abandoned. i agree it will take a cultural change.
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i think whatever is done has to be bipartisan. it has to reflect a vision of the future. health care costs are consuming us all. it is consuming private employers and public programs. it is my hope they start focusing on the fundamental issue, which is benefit structures in the medicare program or outdated. the way we are delivering services are outdated. there has to be a longer-term vision on how purchases are purchasing, and greater innovation from the private marketplace has to be adopted. i have cheat sheets because i am a staffer. of all the list of potential things that could be done, that would be the wrong way. these are rifle shot that will only get you marginal savings, without thinking about how you need to have structural reform in these programs. i think that is the challenge. the principles have to be that
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we have a longer-term vision, and we have to be prepared to take on those who want to fight against a long-term vision of how we can do things better. providers have to become more efficient. perjure shoes have to buy better. we have to find a way to take on that challenge. we cannot pay for everything. we cannot afford health care system that is growing at the rate is today. finally, my vision of success is that we do not just to rifle shot, but we look at everything. we look at medicare, medicaid, we have to look at health care reform. the congress made a decision to cover -- to expand coverage, and we have to focus on health-care costs. we know that 91% of those are
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uninsured yet we set tax credits that 400%. we have a recognition that employer sponsored coverage is good and valuable. why? they innovate. private employers innovate and to create things, so we have to start adopting some of those principles in our public programs. to me, success would be to find a way to challenge our leaders to find new ways of offering and delivering health care benefits, without resorting to some rifle shot cuts that only end up in short-term savings. finally, the final challenges, the physician's fee schedule will have to be fixed by the end of the year. it is the secret in the health- care community that everyone talks about. one year, $18 billion. i hope -- permanent fix, $300 billion. i don't know how you fix the
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medicare program and make it function like a more modern health care system without permanently correcting that deficiency on our system. so those are the challenges. success to me would be in the amount of money that looks at a long-term vision of having a culturally different view of health care. bipartisan, looking at a way of delivering the benefits and more innovative, moderate approach. >> let me ask alice to comment a little bit on -- one of the things i would look for if i was a member on this, how you build momentum of of some early success, early agreement? nancy mentioned this as well and doug had mentioned that most of the proposals that are out there have been out there for quite some time.
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alice, you know that in your come -- your commission that you had. where would we go first? what are the common denominators of proposals that we could look for the committee turning to to build some momentum? it would be an early goal that would want to try to achieve. the committee for responsible federal budget put out a side by side of all the different commissions and where there were similarities between different proposals. is that a good starting point, or would you approach this differently? alice, how would you approach it? >> there is a difference between what you do inside the committee and what you talk about. i would caution them against talking at all. once they say here is our framework, we are going to do this much of this and this much of that, then they are subjects
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to both lobbying and press pressure. they had better stay as vague as they possibly can until they have it all wrapped up. the common elements dominate. >> give us an example. >> the most common element is reform of the individual and corporate income taxes in a way that broadens the base and lowers the rate. but it does not lower them so much that you cannot raise more revenue as the economy grows.
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and i think the commission ought to go big on tax reform. the other is how to get a credible health reform, and i think it has to have a couple of elements. it has to have everything that nancy says in terms of being favorable to innovation and efficiency. it also has to have redefined the government's contribution. we have to know how much the government is going to spend for health care. the congress can decide that. we cannot do that now. the congress simply has to pay the bills, what ever they are. in our plan we came out with the version of premium support which is potentially a defined
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contribution. you would have the government say here is how much we are going to spend for medicare. it is not going to grow faster than x, which is gdp plus 1%. you can pick any number you want and the congress cannot easily change it, but within that total, you can structure a program in different ways, and we gave seniors a choice. go to an exchange, stay within the service if you want to, by a plan that will compete, but in no case is your subsidy going to go up faster than gdp plus one. i think we need something like that. >> i think the key of course is to get members to agree on things, and i think the first thing to work on, because it
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does not require so much, is to agree on the problem. it is quite necessary to agree with are not going to try to solve the discretionary spending problem. this is about entitlements. we are going to focus on first the ones that we understand the best, and get a real agreement on what problem they are trying to solve. my take on what has gone on in this area is that many people have proposed solutions to problems that the american public has not yet accepted, which is that we simply cannot continue the way we are. this committee's primary job is to educate the public on that. agree on a problem, that will get you going. the second thing is, do some geeky budget process things to make sure the committee and its successors can not cheat. there is some public good
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governance that says we are serious about this and taking off the table the standard games, mandatory savings in discretionary bills. i would do that second. third, i would do the programs that we understand, that we don't need to radically change, but are just too generous or broken. there are things like our programs and things like that. social security. every commission has looked at this. prove that you can solve a problem like that. work on that. then you get to health, which is really hard, and about which there is no consensus. there is not yet bipartisan agreement on what medicare will look like in 2045. you lay the groundwork before you try to go there. i worry a lot about the tax reform -- i love to talk about
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tax reform, but if this turns into the commission to do tax reform, it will miss the fundamental problem, which is the spending side. one of the things you will do is you will shave back the non taxation of employer sponsored health care. if you do that before yupiks the spending programs on the health side, we will end up with every single american in these exchanges, and your governors will be toast. it will cost more than anyone can calculate. it has to be done together in the right order, or it will not work. >> we keep coming back to health care. do you see in the health-care silo, whether it medicare or medicaid or in general, a common denominator, momentum building proposals that are out there to get the committee moving in a positive direction and get it growing slower than the
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national economy is growing? do you see any of those out arafat that can turn to as a starting point? to avoid the rifle shot she were talking about. >> we have to start figuring out how to fix an amount of money for a beneficiary and how to spend more efficiently. it does not have bipartisan support, and it does need to be built. in health care it has to be called the committee of courage. i don't think you will be able to come out with either rifle shot torbit reforms without building a consensus around it. for example on health care reform, a lot of people are very concerned about health care reform and the new law. but if you step back and look at it, it is law that was built on expanding coverage in the private marketplace. what has happened is, some have
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viewed that the private marketplace is being over burdened with too much regulation and rules and requirements. the business of offering coverage is may be becoming too burdened. maybe we need to start with the cultural understanding of who is the purchaser and how they can purchase and innovate and look at some of those kinds of things. i do not seek consensus coming around anything except a great fear in the health-care community that it will just mean more health care cuts, which means cost shifting to the private marketplace. and that would be wrong. or to the states or to other purchasers. >> obviously that is one of the things you brought up early on. how can that be avoided, and where we dewpoint them? are there any state initiatives you have seen that he would bird
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dog for them? there have been a lot of austerity proposals and innovations that used to be in the laboratory for the federal government. three-point them as a momentum building place to go to get this kicked off in a positive direction? >> let me start with your observation, continuing to ship across state in health care is not going to work. the last budget submitted, medicaid went up 16% or 18%, but everything else went down. education was cut. roads were cut. anything you think of as an investment in the future, whether capital, human, or physical at the state level was all cut because medicaid wind up. that is going to continue. after 2014, will we get another
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5 million eligible people into medicaid, plus the 15 million new folks. as doug said, governors will have to either managed this or be unelected because of all the other cuts that have to be made to balance the budget. it is just not possible. only somebody is going to pay if you do not reform. there are things on the state level that are possible in this construct. for example, in medicaid, about two-thirds of the folks are currently in some kind of care management. you can call it whatever you want. so far, most of those folks are the mothers of kids. medicaid now pays for almost half of all births in the country. it is the chronicly ill folks who spend most of the money.
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more of those funds are going into the management of care. new york was pushing all of those folks into care management. california is in the process of doing so. the necessity of managing care somehow, coordinating it, doing something about making sure someone is watching based on health. as you give people better health, you get your expenditures. one area that is very promising and that the fed could do a lot more about facilitating is what we call it dual eligibles. if they were eligible for both medicare and medicaid, they collectively spent all of -- almost half of all healthcare dollars in our country. these are folks who are disabled and elderly mostly who cannot work and have high costs. medicare is funded one way and medicaid another. if you go into cms anywhere, you will find very different staff.
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one site is medicaid and one is medicare and never the twain shall meet. the patients in both programs are spending half of all the dollars. somehow combining these programs, with appropriate regulation and sharing whatever savings there are with the state and the fed would produce a great innovation in this context and produce savings. one example, hospital payments are now made for all these very expensive patients out of medicare. doctors and drugs, depending on which program, medicare or medicaid, or home care and nursing-home care is medicaid. it depends on what your illness is and how you are being treated what program pays. if i am an administrator and i save someone from going to the hospital, i don't get credit for that and my books, the fed's credit because they did not pay for hospital admission. if we had a way of sharing the
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savings and giving both sides the right incentive to combine, we would be on the path to a much more robust system. our former colleagues at cbo were skeptical about how fast and how much, and rightfully so. how we pay for these patients is one of the important things that this commission could address. >> alice, do you think that program reduced should be required? is that something you looked at as forrester commission? the other one is any kind of government or agency reorganization. that is on our agenda of things that maybe we should consider. did you consider that on your commissions, and did it get you much? >> i am skeptical of mandated across-the-board program reviews. almost every administration has
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tried to do this, some with modest success, but it generates a lot of unnecessary paperwork and sort of busy work on the part of bureaucrats. the answer is no, we did not talk about mandating program reviews most programs are there because people wanted them, and the people that they serve still want them. so i think that there is no substitute and it really has to be done in the context of budgeting, if you are saying we only have this much money. is there a better way of spending it and the way we are spending it now? and trying to get rid of some of
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the least effective things. it does not mean that you establish a process saying every program has to have a cost- benefit analysis every three years or something. >> i will never forget when we did one of our reviews, one of the typical budget committee exercises. we thought we had found a perfect program to eliminate, call the national helium reserve. some of you may know that this was there for the dirigibles in world war roman one. when we eliminated it, -- and we eliminated, the national helium association came out of the woodwork to let us know how important that program was. >> that is why caps work because they give the congressman something to say when the helium people come and say we really need it.
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>> i don't think a big reorganization -- i don't think a big reorganization would be helpful. the one thing we should do is cut commercial staff in half or by one-third of what they are now. most of our problems and execution in government come from micromanagement by the congress. we have all sorts of ways to assess the effectiveness on paper of programs if we would just let people run them and look at the results. instead, we get continual micromanaging by the congress. i think that needs to stop. >> i would just throw this out and then i would like to go to the audience if you have questions. i realize in the last panel there was some question whether
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or not there is enough pressure, given the fact that these cuts from sequestration would not take place until 2013. do you see that just a position of defense cuts birch's entitlement reform as enough of a balance of pressure cooker to get to an agreement, or how do you see that dynamic working or not working out? >> i don't see that yet. it will be more perception and reality, i suspect, because this sequestered does not go into effect until 2013. there will be lots of time after the election to undo bad defense cuts are bad domestic cuts. i don't know that a sequestered -- the threat of sequester versus entitlement programs, if we actually vote for changes in entitlements, as we have all seen, that spawns a lot of television ads about
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specifically what you cut. knowing is in the future, sometimes it is not a current boat. you know that better than i do, how specific votes and specific programs can be used against you. one of the standards i have found has come to pass in the last year or so is, how can this be misconstrued? when i am talking to governors, they say how can that be misconstrued? that is your standard that does not let you do much. how can the other side misconstrue this statement are position? it is a very limiting standard. if we don't get beyond that, the sequester is in the future and it will not bother me. >> i am already starting to seek
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a concern by the health-care community that this process may result in larger reductions than the 2% sequestration. i do think there will be some attempt to limit the courage of this group to identify better ways of doing things. my challenge to this group, this panel is that i hope that cbo will take on the challenge and identify war current ways of scoring how these kinds of innovative ways to deliver services and entitlement programs can be done, so that the members of this bipartisan committee can look at different ways of doing things, rather than merely cutting a dollar or reducing the beneficiary, and instead they look at more innovative ways of reducing health care spending so there is not as much concern. >> while medicaid is off the table, medicare is subject to a 2% limit on sequestration.
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at any rate, there still is that pressure. >> the sequester is there to scare the committee into finding a solution. the question is, is it scary enough? the real scary thing is what happens if we don't fix this problem? doug alluded to this earlier, but i think the committee has to be telling itself every morning at 9:00, if we don't solve this problem, which could have a financial meltdown. the markets will turn against us. the economy could be wrecked for generations. we better step up to the plate. they should not focus that much on the sequestered. >> let's put it this way, which do you think would come first? that kind of financial reaction to the lack of a decision by
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december, or the election, which possibly is a lot. to these guys than any of the things we have talked about so far. which do you think would come first? >> the trick is, we don't know. we should pretend we have no time to fix our debt outlook. we are in the territory, gross debt to gdp above 90%, where historically countries have suffered lower growth. we have similar characteristics to the place we get in trouble. heavy reliance on short-term borrowing. we have a lot of non trend's parent liabilities we don't understand. we don't know what state pensions are going to look like. those are the characteristics of countries that get in trouble. we should not pretend we are
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immune and we can ignore it until the next election. that would be unwise in the extreme. >> the next election is not going to make it easier, and a matter who wins. if your democrat, you think obama is going to win and we can fix it our way, and republicans think we are going to get rid of this guy and then we can fix it our way. there is no unilateral solution to this problem. we have to do all of the above and then some, and it will not get a bit easier after an election. >> back to the basic question, i do not think this sequester is very scary at all. the conventional wisdom answer is, they just go to the sequestered and maybe modify its sole is less terrifying. there is a small probability of a good fit that is an enormous success, and that has to be big. that have to be weighed bigger
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than the 1.2. it has to be bigger that everyone's office gets scored and it has to take on these big problems in a way that makes the political pay show economic success and not having to come back and do it again and again. that is where the courage caucus needs to focus. >> i agree with everything that have both said, but my skepticism it was born over couple of decades. as you started out by saying, this is not new news. it reminds me of herb stein who said it this cannot go on forever, it will not. we keep saying the same thing, this cannot go on forever. it is going to collapse on us, and it will. it is getting more and more critical.
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we are on a very steep, flexible curve. without some other calamity, whether it is europe or whatever it is, without an action causing event, it is just easier to wait for the sequestered which you do not have to vote for, and then undo the worst of it. it is just easier not to do. if i were going to appoint a panel of 12 to get a solution, this may not be the 12 i would appoint. [laughter] >> let's go out to the audience for questions. i have more, but i want to make sure we are answering the questions that are on your mind. >> my question is for you, congressman.
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>> that is not in my contract. i am not supposed to answer any questions. [laughter] >> the former cbo directors came before you testified we were in trouble. they said they were ignored. why? what was it that caused, not just you, obviously, but plenty of other people in the same position to be ignored? >> that is a great question that has kept me awake at night on many different occasions, thinking about this. alice and nancy were right when they referred to this as the courage caucus. what in stills that kind of courage in a member of congress? i will give you one example that i have to chuckle about, the
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predicament i was put in. in 1993, the mississippi river flood. at that time it was the flood to end all floods, and unfortunately we have had seven more sense. at the time, i made the politically idiotic request that we all said the emergency spending reducing spending elsewhere, and in addition to that, that we began budgeting for emergencies because while we don't know what is coming next year in that cycle, there will be unfortunate hurricanes, forest fires, etc., that will occur. i did not succeed then. there are more members of congress now making that plea, but probably will not succeed as well this time, at least without a lot of pain. i am not suggesting was courageous. there were many who thought i was completely stupid for doing
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that, but i have to tell you that unless somebody is willing to do it when id affects them, it will not work. when you try and instill that discipline on someone else, to do unto others as you would expect them to do unto you in principle. some of the comments here are exactly right. it has to affect everyone. everyone has to feel some of the pain. when we got to a balanced budget back in 1997, there are various reasons why we got there, but one of the reasons why we got there was because everyone felt at the time that everything was on the table, with the exception of social security, but people pretty much understood that was not the problem at that point. i think having this group understanding that everything is
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in, and as doug said, there is the reason you can say to the next constituent group that comes into your office, i am sorry, because no is not a natural work for a politician to utter. that did not necessarily answer your question as to why they were ignored. as i said in my opening comments, ignored by a majority. i like to think that for most of these folks i tried not to ignore. i was able to get instructions for reconciliation in about every one of my six budgets except for one, i called it weeding the garden. if you don't take out one or two here and there, hopefully by doing that you would not get to the bigger problems. i am not sure that was necessarily the best advice either.
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given the fact that there horizon is the next election, that is probably the answer of all answers. the rise and we are talking of today is 10, 15, 20 years, and the importance of doing something today that will have important ramifications in that window. they are thinking about the changes that can happen because of a debate or presidential speech to a joint committee or whatever it might be, and that is a dipper horizon. -- a different horizon. >> what else? >> what are the one or two things the joint committee could do to boost economic growth, and what are the one or two things the committee could do to hurt economic growth? >> i would say to boost
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economic growth certainly in the long run is to stabilize the debt and make it visible. you create the certainty that this is going to happen. to endanger it is not to do that, but also to not realize that the entitlements are the driving force going forward, and to focus too much attention on cutting discretionary spending, which will inevitably cut everything like science, infrastructure, an education investments more than it should be cut. >> other questions? >> can i make one point? we put a lot of emphasis on these 12 people, and dan said maybe they are not the right
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people, but they are not really the ones that will make this succeed or fail. if the president and the leadership wanted to succeed, it will, because they can command among them seven out of the 12 votes, which is all they need. it is a good committee from that point of view. i think it is that simple, and we will hear more from the president this week, and i would not give up on the notion that the president and the leadership of the congress might see it in their mutual interest to have a success here. >> you anticipate it one of my last two questions, which is how does the administration address this committee, approached the committee? i will go ahead and let the others respond to that.
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>> sure, i think the president has to give leadership and say everything is on the table and have a discussion about programs he supported and not supported and new ways of doing things and not just rely on old ideas but roll up his sleeves and find out new ways of doing it. whoever said we need to use this process as a process to educate americans about our needs and their involvement in making our country better, with a better financially sound system i think it's critically important. >> it is important to remember this is not some radically different way of doing business. this is simply an expedited procedures for congress to do what it usually does, which is to consider legislation and pass it to the president. the topic of interest, the entitlement programs, tax reform
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if we have the momentum to do it, stabilizing the national debt, is of enormous national importance, and big changes like that only take place with white house leadership. his leadership is crucial with this and it cannot be overstated. he has to supply leadership in this. he is the only one who could do the bipartisan gestures that are the hardest in this endeavor. he can provide political cover for his allies by raising money for them and campaigning in their district, show at reach for those who have not been polite to him, and set the tone for this. i think his role is crucial. >> i agree, the president first and foremost has to be the leader in this effort. congressional leadership is also important, and that is probably simplistic but nonetheless true. back in 1987, we had a market crash that was even much greater than we have seen here.
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the president negotiated with the budget and everybody was interested. social security was on the table, we talked about cpi, and all kinds of big things at the moment, and as the pressure decreased because we were further away from the financial event, the less pressure there was to come to resolution. we got an agreement and it was nice, but it was not monumental. it congressional leadership will be very important here as well. the president himself cannot do it. he ultimately does not have a vote and leadership passed to produce those majority votes. we all have to be in this together, but the president has to leave first and foremost, but we need congressional leadership, to. >> nancy, will there be an agreement that is passed by december 23? if so, at what amount? >> when bill says 100%, i think
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it is so hard and i will be happy if they even get half of the $1.2 trillion. as long as they have the courage to do things rather than just rely on the old things that have not worked in the past. >> i am optimistic. i think there will be in agreement. i do not know the number, but i am in favor of the two-stage agreement, but i think success needs at -- means a lot more than 1.2. it means ultimately what comes out of this would be ultimately like four trillion, five trillion and deficit reduction. >> 90% chance of sequester, 80% chance of a big fix. >> i am almost as pessimistic, 20% chance of an agreement over $1 trillion and significance. it 20% chance of getting there. >> i yield back the balance of my time to the governor. >> in 1844, henry clay it ran
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for president of the dead is dead and lost the changed political history. he is one of the 14 men featured an "the contenders." this week, his kentucky home, tonight at 8:00 eastern. >> tonight we will be going to george washington university in washington, d.c., for a live broadcast of the calpers report. a panel discussion looking back at media coverage since 9 cessna 11. we will hear from former news anchor charlie gibson of and beast -- of abc, and the current fox news anchor brit hume. that begins tonight on our companion network, c-span2. before that, a look at the bbc news night, remembering the -- remembering the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
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and the world's response come alive today at 5:30 eastern, right here on c-span. meantime, we will take a look at president obama's jobs plan which was unveiled last night during a joint session of congress. we will show you as much of this as we can be for the bbc's look back at september 11. host: pleased to be joined this morning by tim bishop, a democrat who's served on both the education committee and infrastructure committee through the presidential proposal last night. it really affects your committees, education spending and infrastructure spending. congressman bishop, what did you think of the president's proposals? you think? guest: i thought the proposals were good proposals, praat leasf passing the house of representatives. and i also think they have the potential to put people back to work and to try to get our economy growing again.
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in general, i was pleased with the proposals. host: "the wall street journal" you heard me reading, trying to manipulate a $15 trillion economy with a $447 billion stimulus package, and where does the money come from? guest: the second part first. the president indicated last night that the money would come from increasing the mandate for spending reductions or deficit reductions of the special deficit reduction committee. he also indicated that a week from monday he is going to present his own detailed plan for what those reductions ought to look like. i think we all await that plan and want to study the details of that. with respect to the size of the package, it is roughly -- since most of it would be spent out over one year -- it is roughly the equivalent of the recovery act that was passed in february of 2009.
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that most mainstream economists indicate has had an impact of at least growing the economy in some measure and maintaining a workforce. the congressional budget office, for example, indicated that they believe that at least 1.8 million more people are employed as a result of the recovery act then had we not pass it. but again, i guess what i would ask is, what is the alternative? it government intervention of the type that the president outlined last night is viewed as some as unacceptable, what is the alternative? how do how do we take the 25 million americans and improved their status? what we have seen in the house from the republicans is an agenda that is comprised
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exclusively of either eliminating regulations or blocking regulations that are proposed. i would have to ask the question of how does changing policy on eight or 10 regulations, how does that move the $15 trillion economy? host: hear the phone numbers. tim bishop, a democrat from new york is our guest and has spent a long time in higher education as a career. some of the commentary this morning has taken this tact -- obama demands of congress do something.
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host: he says the president is blending congress. guest: congress does need to act. i am in the house. the republicans have been responsible for the agenda since january. the have not brought a single bill to the floor to address the jobs crisis. their agenda the have articulated for the fall in terms of eric cantor's memorandum iconsists of
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eliminating or blocking regulation. but i do think it is time for the congress to act. faa reauthorization it is expiring in september. this is september 9. host: our hearings scheduled for those bills? guest: not to my knowledge. we have not seen a surface transportation bill. we've been told the surface transportation bill will be roughly $35 billion a year. set that against a five-year bill. we would be moving from spending $50 billion on surface transportation to approximately
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$35 billion a year. we have not seen anything. in new york, the estimate is that would cause the layoffs of 21,000 construction workers in new york. about 400,000 nationally. that to me is not a vision that moves this country forward. i was pleased to hear the president talked about a renewed investment in infrastructure. host: kathy honor a democrats line -- kathy on our democrat line. caller: i called about the previous topic, about obama. my opinion about obama's in decision -- i am emotional about this. it is difficult for me.
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i think that obama -- i voted for him. i believed in him. i believe in all that. i do not see him taking the bully pulpit. several hundred thousand people were killed. i do not see obama -- i did not want him to kill hundreds of thousands of people, of course. i do not see him having that kind of faith and i'm wondering what is causing him not to have that power. guest: this is a time for presidential leadership and that is what we saw last night. we saw the president laid out a clear plan, an ambitious plan, and we for the president say he is going to, starting today, go to every corner of this country
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to sell it. that is the kind of leadership we need. the president, when he comes forward next monday or whenever with his specific deficit reduction ideas, that also is the kind of presidential leadership that we need. all we heard last night was the president responded to what the american people say is their greatest concern, and that is the faltering state of the economy and that we have so many people who are unemployed or underemployed. the president needs to be commended for facing that head on and making a set of proposals that have the potential to have an impact. host: what was the chatter before and afterwards? guest: before the speech, there
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was a concern that the proposals would not be sufficiently ambitious and would not be sufficiently aggressive. after the speech, i think in terms of the people i've spoken with, we're pretty pleased. any reasonable person could look at any part of that speech and say he should have done this or that. but in general, the package of tax cuts and investment in things like infrastructure and rebuilding schools and putting teachers back to work, we all agree that that represents a pretty reasonable package. it also represents the thinking of most mainstream economists. they say will we need are measures that will stimulate spending in the short term, the tax cuts, and measures that will bring about long term reduction of our deficit, which the
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president will present to was a week from monday. we need measures that will prevent further layoffs. we have lost 500,000 public sector employees, and has been a significant drag on our economic recovery. that is an economic drag and i think we have to ask whether that is the wisest way in which we allocate our resources. in general, the democrats i was sitting with last night and i spoke with were pretty pleased with the speech. host: bloomington, illinois. caller: good morning, gentlemen. to me, the president sounded like newt gingrich. he wants to take money from social security and from medicare and wants to use that
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to stimulate the economy. that is the old philosophy in a nutshell. the problem is i don't think it will work. once the stimulus is gone, we will be losing jobs again. i did not think that is a solution. politically, in my appeal to some independents. but i don't think it will work. guest: i will take a different tack. i don't think he it was talking about starving tehe beef. and he did not mention social security at all. the devil is in the details. medicare in its current form will be difficult to sustain, given the rapid growth of health care cost and the rapid growth in the retirement age
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population. reasonable people have to recognize that we have to look at medicare and we have to look at medicaid. the other issue is -- what the president said is that the government can play a role. the recovery has to be driven by the private sector. the speech was about giving some tools to the private sector to facilitate that process. host: from one of your home town newspapers, "the new york post." he was not there to cheer the new jobs plan.
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guest: one, i think the president made clear and most people agree that we have to take a careful look at our regulatory structure. the president announced that back in january. he talked about several hundred regulations that have been changed or modified or eliminated. and i think we have to be careful. we should not paint with too broad a brush. certain regulations serve a public good. there are regulations that we have to take a careful look at. i read very carefully the
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memorandum by eric cantor about the 10th most egregious regulations in their proposed or currently enacted. if we eliminated everyone of them, it would not create a single job in my district. a regulatory reform has to be a piece of what we do. we have to recognize that one of the reasons we're in a crisis that we're in is that regulators walked off the field with respect to the financial crisis 2008.7 and it helped bring about the crisis we are facing right now. we have unemployment of around 7%. we're doing better than the country. but still 7% is too high in my
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view. we are the eastern end of long island. we have a lot of small businesses. a lot of the economic business is tourism and travel and farming and fishing. we have several hundred miles of coastline. i would say in our district, one of the things that is people great concern is when they hear leadership in washington talking about walking away from environmental regulations. people recognize that the job creator is the environment. in our district, you don't have a second home industry unless you have a good environment. you need clean beaches and clean air and open space. when my constituents hear about walking away from environmental
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regulations, they are concerned about that. it is those regulations that are a part of the underpinning of our economy. host: minnesota, you're on. caller: good morning, america. how long have you been in congress? guest: this is my ninth year. i am on the education committee and on the transportation committee. caller: here's my question. education has been going down the pipes for year. you cannot take it from 24th to 2nd in the world. there was the dodd-frank bill that was supposed to help -- you are talking about leadership and regulation. the dodd-frank built ignored all the derivatives. we also had -- the dodd-frank
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bill ignored all the prederivatives. all these regulations should have been looked that. he should pursue the regulations we already have. guest: that was one of my points. regulators walked off the field and did not enforce the regulations we had in place. it was not fair to blame secretary geithner for the kind of irresponsible behavior that took place on wall street at the height of -- the financial activity. with respect to education, the thing that i focus on is access
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to higher education. there two statistics that plague me. we have fallen from first to sixth in the world in the number of high school graduates that go onto college. that number does not argue for a favorable future with respect to our ability to compete in a global marketplace. that is one of the reasons i have been as focused on maintaining the pell grants and a strong level to assist students. the president has also been concerned about the telegratellt maximum -- pell grant maximum. >> if charges this congress to come up with $1.5 trillion in
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savings out by christmas. i'm asking you to increase that amount. i will be releasing a more ambitious deficit plan a week from monday. stabilize our debt in the long run. host: back to your calls. susan from indiana. caller: there is no bill, nothing to vote on yet because this is just so for a speech and we have no idea what is going to be in the bill. they should get warren buffett and his friends to pay for it. open an account. they should be able to pay for it. it took three years for him to recognize that small business gets the job done, not
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government. guest: there is no bill. you're quite right. the devil is always in the details. we deceive the specifics, the legislative language -- we need to see the specifics. with respect to generating revenue, i think the very best way we can generate additional revenue is to put 14 million people back to work. the best way to rein in our deficit and for us to increase our economic activity is to reduce the number of people who are unemployed and underemployed. i am hopeful this plan will be a start of the effort to do that. host: did the white house reach out to house democrats prior to the speech?
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guest: not that i'm aware of. they may have reached out to the leadership. not to members of the rank-and- file. we were given the text of the speech when we got into the chamber last night. there was some additional detail that was distributed to our offices while the speech was going on. there was no advance effort about talking points. host: how would you describe your relationship with the white house? guest: it is cordial. there are pieces of the white house's agenda that i did not subscribed to, but others i enthusiastically support. host: talking about the president's job proposal last night. green bay, wisconsin. hi, liz.
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caller: hi. i would like to find out the names of the senators and congressmen who were not standing and applauding our presidents's comments. americans are waiting for something to happen. i would like to say that it is one thing to get people back to work. it is another to get them back to work at jobs that are meaningful and productive and support a good lifestyle. education is key to that. i'm kind of radical in my thinking. i would like to stop unemployment benefits. people would be more motivated to go out and to move on. no one talked about the talk that the president gave to the labor unions.
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i believe that it is what the unions have done for wages and rights in this country that have kept the standard of living up for many years for the rest of the middle class. here in wisconsin, it has been a huge, huge issue. hopefully the next time we go to the polls we will bring in more democratic constituency and repeal some of the things that have been happening with the labor unions. host: what kind of work do you do in green bay? caller: the economy is pretty good. i work in a national retail company in sales. we have seen a decline over the summer as people are more nervous about investing in their homes. i would like to see that turnaround. one of the deregulations of the banking industry is a big reason
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we're in the mess we're in right now. i like to see that turnaround. guest: i thought the, the president made that we do not have 14 months to make was one of the most important comments of his speech. it goes to the heart of one of the issues, which is whether or not a political consideration is affecting people's policy judgment. i think what the president was saying was we need to act on behalf of the american people in respective of were the lay.ctive fall outmout may liz talk about stopping unemployment. she leaned that to education. there is a long track record of
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higher education involvement being countercyclical to the economy. when the economy is bad, a higher education enrollment grow because people return to school to get the training they need to get jobs. some of what liz hopes what happened has been happening for a long time. the unemployment piece -- most economists say that the single most stimulus think we can do is continue to unemployment benefits. if you put money in the hands of people who have no other means of support, they will spend it on the everyday necessities of life and the will keep economic activity going. keeping unemployment compensation available to people who are unemployed is something that we must do. host: you spent 29 years in southampton college.
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the president called for a summer job funds. what has been your experience with a federally funded summer jobs? guest: at one. at southampton college, there was a program and it was in the late 1970's, and we employed several people under that and they worked hard. when the funds expired, many were able to be added to our permanent payroll. in terms of the summer jobs program, we did not have any experience administering one of those. we have several summer academic sessions and we employed some students to help with that. but we didn't have a direct summer jobs program. host: eric from florida. caller: my biggest complaint
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without obama is dealing with stuff is he is acting like robin hood. he likes to still from the rich and give to the poor. the people that have money and have the ability to create new jobs are going to get punished for being good at what they do. give money to the poor -- people on welfare -- there needs to be nationwide thing with drug testing. we give people money and they turn around and get drugs. i see this in florida all the time. that is the thing. as far as the jobs obama is trying to get us, they are all minimum-wage jobs. "we save the environment."
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no, we didn't. we need to get better-paying jobs and do a tax break for american manufacturers and american companies and to a tariff on any kinds of imports. guest: i didn't take from the speech to what the president intentioned is to still from the rich and give to the poor. the tax break that the president proposes is one that would affect every single american worker. that is the kind of broad base tax breaks that can be helpful. i would say that he is trying and there has been an effort to try to provide some tax relief to our small businesses. there were several elements of tax relief for small businesses in the recovery act.
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>> we will leave this conversation to take you live to / discussion of 91 >> i cannot turn the other cheek, not on this one. >> so much changed that day. so many souls were lost. so many preconceptions were shed about america and the links it would go to defend itself. two planes caused huge casualties in new york. another was flown into the pentagon in washington. the dead from the attack are remembered here. the choice of the pentagon as a target was a deliberate humiliation by al qaeda of american power. a call for a new type of strategic thinking, a different sort of response. president bush was fueled by
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popular outrage and hurled american power forward across the world in retaliation that would prove enormously costly. the consequences of that are still being felt today. general jacking was the highest councils of the military. -- general jack keene was in the highest councils of the military. >> they were conducting a relatively low-tech war against a high-tech military. intellectually, we were not ready for that. we had purge ourselves from everything we've learned in vietnam based on how the war ended. >> the military had barely thought about starting back when the president visited ground zero. people there were still clawing away of the rubble, desperate to
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find survivors. among them was a retired firefighter who donned his old uniform and had gone to how. >> he was right in front of me. asked if he was ok. then he started to talk. the guys were yelling they could not hear him. then he turned the megaphone around and said he can hear us. the whole world hears you. [applause] >> do you think america was bent on revenge after 9/11? >> revenge? of course. we were at work.
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>> his brother had gone to a conference in the north tower that morning. it took his family weeks to except that he would never come home. >> we do not know when bill died. none of us know how he died or when he died. i did not want to think of my brother being scared and fearful. i wanted to think of him as may be having his last moments with thoughts that he would survive. >> the loss of her brother produced grief, fear, and anxiety as america started to strike back weeks after the attack. >> i do remember clearly october 7, when we started bombing in afghanistan. i remember feeling awful. i remember crying the whole day and thinking that there are no families in afghanistan who had nothing to do with september 11
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who would be in the same position as our family. on a very deep level, that did not make sense to me. >> we will smoke them out of their holes. we will get them running. we will bring them to justice. >> the bush administration declared a war on terror. soon, it would be mired in controversy after shocking images. as operations continued in afghanistan, bush sought to carry the fight to the heart of the arab world. >> right after we took the taliban them, we had a meeting among the senior generals. the chairman told us the administration had made its mind to go to war in iraq. i was the first one to speak. i said, why are we doing that? he said he did not know why. we would eventually get some insight into that decision. i said, why not wait? i could see some logic. why not wait and finished a cut
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off in afghanistan? we just down the taliban. we are plenty of al qaeda running around. we have to get our arms around these guys. >> invasion of iraq soon brought u.s. troops into the heart of baghdad. an arab strong man fell. the placing of the american flag suggested trident and euphoria -- triumph and euphoria. he was an officer who saw that happen and quickly stepped in. >> i thought that is not what we're here to say. that is the worst possible thing we could be showing the world right now. we were all very aware of how much of the world was watching us at that moment in time. i was right by my vehicle. i went and pulled an iraqi flag.
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>> did you feel a change of mood in the city? >> we pulled the statue down. then we said, what now, boss? they said, what now, boss? it was silence. >> that lack a prepared as cost american and iraqi dearly so much that it prevented large scale interventions elsewhere. the bush administration surge provided an opportunity obamas and the mysteries and was determined to take. -- provided an opportunity that the obama administration was determined to take. this is staunch democratic country. the scene of the day it neatly with that of the moment, keeping america moving forward, trying to restart the economy. the obama administration may have come in with a markedly
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different political language and an attempt to assert traditional american values in foreign policy, but certain inconvenient facts remained. guantanamo is still open despite the campaign pledge. certain types of preventive strikes have gone on at an even greater rate under this president than under president bush. >> i have determined is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 u.s. troops to afghanistan. >> president obama may have wanted out of iraq, but he surged in afghanistan and ramps up special operations. that paid spectacular dividends osama binkilling of those laden. >> i would have given him another minute to think about
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it. they took him right out. >> they held the labor day yacht races. the american economy is struggling to get underway. costly wars have required a huge borrowing, money that might have helped the recovery. >> economies have typically been the linchpin of security. when you look at what happened with the soviet union, their state collapsed when the economy collapsed. europe can collapse. our economy can collapse. these things are in front of people in terms of thinking about security. we need to get our own fiscal policy back in line, get our budget back in line, maybe pull back and not try to be the police of the world. >♪
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>> 10 years on, the passage of time and the death of osama bin laden have brought some sense of closure to americans. an intervention on the ground is no longer on of the political agenda. make no mistake, the country is prepared to act illegally and preemptively against terrorists now in a way that was unthinkable before 9/11. ♪ >> the man who led the military response to 9/11 was secretary of defense donald rumsfeld. i spoke to him earlier. i asked him about his memories of that day. >> when the plane hit the pentagon, what did you do? >> i left my office to find out what had happened. no one knew what had hit the pentagon or what had caused the
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explosion or the building to shape. i ran down the hall on my floor. as the smoke got too bad, i decided i would better go downstairs and outside. i did and ran into a lieutenant colonel who had seen the plane hit the pentagon and that was what caused the damage. i ran around the corner. there was the smoke and flames with people streaming out of the building burning. it was shortly after it happened that i was physically there. >> union people have perished? >> yes. -- >> you knew that people have perished? >> yes. it happened to hit a section that was not yet fully occupied and was reinforced. it had been part of the pentagon that had been rehabilitated and fixed.
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it was stronger. therefore, we were fortunate that the numbers were not much longer. >> does it come to you in strange moments, flashbacks and dreams? >> you cannot go through something like that and watch the twin towers or think of the people on board the airplanes who went to subdue the terrorists and saved the capital and white house from being attacked. >> there were strong emotions around that time, particularly of revenge. you have to go from someone seeing what was happening to your job. you had to implement what was going to happen. >> the president called and said to start getting my people thinking about what was next for us. he said that it would come to me.
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you used the word revenge. i try to avoid having people use that word. i said this was not about retaliation and revenge. our task is to protect the american people. it is not to get even. it is to put pressure on terrorists wherever they are, make everything they do more difficult. make it harder to talk on the phone, harder to move around in countries. make it harder to find countries hospitable to them and harder to recruit. >> when you think about the enhanced interrogation techniques, torture, and tradition -- rendition, and do you think you went too far? >> the pentagon did not do renditions or water boarding at all. i know the world thinks that the pentagon did, but we did not. the cia water boarded three
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people. the director of the cia and his successor -- tenet was appointed by clinton. the other two were appointed by bush. leon panetta was appointed by president obama. they have all said that the information that came from those enhanced interrogations' constituted a large fraction of what we knew about al qaeda and that in some instances, it contributed to the mosaic that led to the killing of osama bin laden. my view is that the people in the cia did what the president asked them to do. they did it professionally. it benefited the information needed to tackle the new problem of a terrorist network like al qaeda. >> after almost a decade, the u.s. finally got osama bin laden. do you think his death
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represents a moment when america could stop feeling fearful? >> you say america as though we are distinctive. there's been a lot of successful terrorist attacks around the world. they just happen not to have been in the united states. they have occurred in a number of other locations. i think osama bin laden is replaceable and that there will be a replacement. i think the broader, deeper task is to weaken their fund-raising support, the recruiting ability, and persuade more people attending radical medrassas the killing innocent men and women ought not to be your first choice in life. >> to you eventually need to talk to the people who are the leaders of al qaeda? the former mi 5 leader said she
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hoped that western countries were talking to al qaeda and the taliban because it is necessary to have that kind of solution. >> there is no question that people have to be persuaded not to do what they are doing if three people are going -- if free people are going to be with to do what they want without fear. we should talk to people all over the globe and try to persuade them directly and indirectly that they should not be doing that. >> you have no compunction about that if it leads to peace? >> the goal has to be to compete in the battle of ideas. their idea is a danger to them and to the world. we need to be willing to confront it and talk about it and persuade people not to do
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that. >> if that means talking to members of al qaeda, so be it? >> they are talking to the taliban, sure. >> you talk about the unknown unknowns. where do you think the next threat is? we have seen people killed in the streets of syria. what makes it any different from libya? >> if you ask me which is more important to the united states and our strategic interests, clearly syria is. libya is a sideshow compared to -- not to the people involved, being killed, and repressed by gaddafi -- but the combination of syria and iran funding terrorist networks, causing
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difficulties in iraq and afghanistan, they are brutal to their own people. the assad regime is vicious. the idea he is a reformer is nonsense. >> you said you tried to council president bush not to call it a war on terror. you thought that was wrong. >> are lost. he decided to call it that. -- i lost. he decided to call it that. when you say war, the implication is that it will be a battle of bullets, tanks, and airplanes. what we're iengaged in is much more than that. it is the competition of ideas and a way to live lives. when you say war, the implication is that the pentagon is going to solve it. when you say a war on terror, you are basically talking about a technique, a method used by the enemy. they could use tanks, airplanes, terrorist activities.
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you are not really making a war on tanks or terrorists. you are making a war on the people that are trying to kill innocent men, women, and children. >> do you think it is easier to talk about the war in iraq and why it is a good thing is because it has led to the arab spring? >> goodness, i could not prove that. there is no question is a good thing to have a country in that part of the world that has a constitution they have fashioned, that has a democratic government, that is respectful of other elements, and no longer has an officially vicious dictator running it. it is no longer the kind of country willing to invade its neighbors. i think the world is a better place with saddam hussein gone. the evolving democracy in that part of the world, i think is
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right. >> you said we cannot guarantee what regimes come out of the egyptian revolution and libya. >> nobody knows. you cannot help but be hopeful that they will end up with freer political and economic systems and that the young people will get jobs and opportunities. but you cannot be certain of it. therefore, you have to do what you can to encourage the people trying to move in the right direction and discourage those who are moving in the wrong direction. >> thank you very much. i am joined by michael chertoff, the former secretary of homeland security who introduced many of the most controversial measures of the war on terror. we will be joined by christiane amanpour, brad blakemon, and john meerscheimer.
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let's discuss what is happening now. we are on a new security alert. how serious must this be? >> this is not the first time since september 11 that we have had this kind of warning. what was described to the public is that there is credible information, but is uncorroborated. there may be a particular piece of information that we do not know enough about. >> what with the authorities be doing in this mosaic of making sure that new york and washington are safe? >> two things are happening. there is a determined effort to collect more intelligence. human sources, technical sources are being put to get more details. you see a show of force in new york. the idea is to be prepared and deter by changing retains so that terrorists cannot count on knowing what we will do. >> is this part of the fact that
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america cannot move on, that cultural fears still exists? >> i do not think it is cultural sphere. i think it is prudent capability to respond. you do not want what happened in mumbai to have been where it took 60 hours to eliminate the attackers. we will not let that happen here. >> we've been talking about the war of terror, the idea that allowed the u.s. government to produce all sorts of measures to promote different policies. do you think this is part and parcel of the same thing? >> i think the fear was generated by the acts, the visual image of people jumping out of the world trade center because it was about to collapse and was on fire. that was not generated by the u.s. government. that was the reality. >> there are accusations about using the phrase the war on terror.
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>> i would describe it as a war on network of radical islamic extremists. it is a war. you dealt with a global network determined to bring catastrophic loss to the united states exceeded what we had in prior wars. >> do you regret using that kind of language? >> the war on terror became shorthand. the critical piece was to recognize it was a war. it is a war. it is not merely a police action. >> because of the nature of that kind of language, what happened was the patriarch take in. -- the patriot act kicked in that went beyond the norms of american law. >> i need to corrected. we have always had rules on immigration they made it easier to look at business records.
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>> we took tactics that had been used against drug dealers. for the first time, we said we would use them against terrorists. it seems we ought to be tougher on the terrorists than marijuana dealer. >> the point is that they were controversial at the time. people thought they were extraordinary. you may say it was extraordinary times. >> there were unanimously passed by the senate, almost unanimously. >> that is an opinion of the senate. some may say it was a blight on america for having to do that. what you were doing was infringing on people's civil liberties. perhaps no one has yet pointed to a case where the patriot act resulted in infringement on civil liberties. it allowed us to share information and use the same techniques we have used for years in criminal cases in terror cases. >> now it has become part of the fabric of the legal system in america.
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even you said it would only be a temporary measure. is it now permits? >> it is permanent. it adopted us to a technological era that the old law did not allow us to address. >> they say they want to export freedom of brought. you would agree you are limiting freedom here? >> i would not agree with that. there were measures in the act that allowed us to share information. they allow the freedom to travel and enjoy your life. that is basic. >> we're now joined by christiane amanpour. let's take you back your recollections of that day. what do you remember most clearly? >> i was abroad as a foreign correspondent for cnn at the time. i was on a shoot in sierra leone. it was difficult to get to.
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it was in the throes of war. there was no cell phone coverage. only one airport was functional. we got trickles of information for my producer in new york that this had happened. cnn had to airlift me out and get me to the street to start covering it. it was a visceral and shocking moment. i had covered wars for many years, but never one that had happened in the united states. i was getting ready to cover the fall out. >> i do believe it was the right decision to go to afghanistan. the country had been attacked. the people of afghanistan needed to be free of the taliban and al qaeda and have voted with their feet in support of being liberated. >> what about iraq? >> i think iraq was a major mistake. it had little to do with the al qaeda problem. in fact it had nothing to do
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with the al qaeda problem. in a sense, we took our eye off the ball. instead of finishing the job in afghanistan, we went to iraq and found ourselves in a quagmire there. of course, afghanistan eventually turned into a quagmire as well. >> what you say to michael chertoff positive view that the response had to be what it was? >> i think michael and i both agree on what the enemy was, but i think the strategy that we employed to deal with that was a boneheaded strategy. i think we should have emphasized intelligence and police work and not gone charging in. >> i don't think i would describe it as boneheaded. people forget there were actually laboratories that the
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9/11 committee reported on where they were experimenting with chemical weapons. we had to get rid of that. the proof is eliminating bin laden in may. that was the fruit of all that work. iraq is kind of a separate issue. >> it is much more controversial. >> afghanistan was very much at the core of what we had to do. >> looking back, do you still defend iraq? >> that is a long question, but it has to do with a legitimate concern that for years, saddam hussein had defied u.n. mandates about getting rid of weapons and had not confess to what he was doing. >> that had nothing to do with afghanistan and al qaeda. by going into rak, we maximize the prospect that we would fail in afghanistan because we took our eye off the ball. >> did you think the response in iraq was damaging towards the
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hot for al qaeda? >> no, i don't. i was in one house at the time, and i believe i am the only one house personnel to have lost a relative in 9/11. i was proud of the work that michael chertoff has done for our country and tom ridge and all those who serve the president at the time have done. i think we allow ourselves to bring iraq into a question about 9/11, which i don't believe has a proper place. i think iraq is totally different in the response on terror. i think we would into iraq for a valid and proper provocation. we allow ourselves to drag it into a position -- >> your report or round the world. looking at the response of different countries and what you
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are hearing from people about iraq and the way iraq was prosecuted, how do people respond? >> it was a very controversial issue. the main fight was al qaeda. it did prolong the hunt for osama bin laden. it did portray america in a different way and a negative way. you have all these muslims -- where are the moderate muslims? where are their voices? there they are, repudiating the philosophy of nihilism and hate and asking for progress, democracy, and freedom. i think that is a big thing we should focus on.
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>> i think it will be difficult to prove, and we probably will not know for many years what the outcome is and what was the cause of set of factors. what is important is to try to do what we can, recognizing is limited, to encourage those tendencies that create an alternative narrative to extremism. >> the story is still very much unfolding in other countries. >> the key point to keep in mind is where the united states is today. our economy is in shambles, in good part because of these two wars and the response to 9/11. is it as a place? i think it is a safer place. it would be a safer place if we had not gone into iraq. it was not necessary to go into iraq to make it a safer place.
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it was better to do a good intelligence and good police work and go into afghanistan and solve the problem there. going into iraq just complicated matters because we took our eye off the ball in afghanistan. is at's say there fledgling democracy in iraq. nothing is settled yet. if the arabs bring actually does not deliver the democracy that george bush wanted to export and actually is hostile to america in of being dangerous, lawless places -- >> we will not know for some time how it turns out. we don't know if we will get democratic states, or if the military will come back again and run another dictatorship. we don't know if the countries
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will break apart. the arabs bring is not something we precipitated in the u.s.. generated itself. it teaches us we are in a world in which technology and globalization means even problems in another part of the globe can have a direct effect. in times square in new york city. >> here we have the greatest democracy in the world on its knees economically. has this decade seen the waning of american power? believe that the prosecution of the war, keeping of save has been the reason we have faced the economic strife we face today. i just don't believe that. i think there were other systemic problems within our economy that created the crisis we are in. having said that, i believe the united states is the great power. have we lived up to all we can
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be? sure, we made mistakes by not rebuilding ground zero and opening it within 18 months of the attacks. >> did you think this is the end of american intervention? >> absolutely not. look what happened in libya. france, great britain led, but it seems to be working. we should not be dumping all over the arabs spring and thinking it is going to become an anti-western thing. give it a chance to play out. >> the antagonism still exist. is it time to recalibrate what america does abroad? >> the fact of the matter is these people have risen up
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because -- foreign policy of the united states is going to be tied to the street. >> we do like to see america taking a lead role in syria. >> i don't want to see the united states be the world's policeman. i believe in self-determination. i believe people in individual countries should figure out for themselves what kind of political system they want to have and the united states should keep its nose out of people's business. if it goes in there with ground forces entrusted to massive social engineering, it will end up in this situation is now win in iraq and afghanistan, which is a disastrous situation both economically and strategically. >> will have more 9/11 coverage tonight with a look at how the media covered the attacks during
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a live broadcast of the report. >> we will hear from courage anchor rid him of fox news. >> in 1844, henry clay ran for president of the united states and lost, but he changed political history. he is one of the 14 men featured in c-span's new weekly series, the contenders. this week, tonight at 8:00 eastern. >> turning now to capitol hill, the house is done with its legislative work this week. members will return monday at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business with the votes in general speeches starting at 6:30. later next week, expected completion of build on expanding
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the number of charter schools and a measure to prevent and labor relations board from ordering a company to reinstate labor relations. you can launch live coverage of the senate on c-span2 and the u.s. house, right here on c- span. earlier today in the house, republican leader eric cantor and democratic reps any lawyer outline this week's agenda. they talked about the president's jobs plan, extended the faa program, and disaster funding. this is about 15 minutes. in the house. the house will consider a few bills under suspension of the rules on monday, a complete list of suspension bills will be announced by the close of business this afternoon. as for the remainder of the week we have a number of items to consider. we will complete action on h.r.
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2218, the empowering parents to quality chartered schools act, we expect to consider an additional f.a.a. extension, whether he vote on a resolution of disapproval relating to the president's debt limit increase request and we will consider h.r. 2587, the protecting jobs from government interference act , the first bill in our fall agenda, mr. speaker, relating to job creation. i thank the gentleman from maryland and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for the information that's given to us. can i inquire, as the gentleman knows when we left for the august break, there was a very substantial issue with respect to the f.a.a.. does the gentleman know whether there will be any policy writers on the f.a.a. bill? i know there's a reduction in authorized levels but are there any policy writers -- riders in that bridge bill?
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mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i'd say to the gentleman that we are still in discussions with the other body and the other side of the capitol as well as the committee on exactly the construct of that bill. but i do intend to bring that forward next week. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for that information. i certainly hope that we can do so and i'm pleased to they're that we're having discussions so that -- hear that we're having discussions so that will not be a matter of contention. as you know with had 4,000 f.a.a. employees and 7,100,000 or so contractors, private sector employees who were laid off for peard of time because of the failure to get an agreement with the rider that was included in the bill that we passed over to them. so i'm hopeful that we don't have a recurrence of that situation because it would be very harmful not just to those 7,500 to -- 75,000 people but to the f.a.a. and the generaly.
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so i'm hopeful we can work that out. the president, mr. leader, spoke to us last night about a jobs program. i know that you have made comments with reference to shifting focus from cuts to jobs . we think that's appropriate, we appreciate that observation. but do you have any idea of how soon we may get to the president's proposal on job creation and trying to get our economy growing again? you made some, i think, positive comments, the speaker has made some positive comments. i think those are welcomed. but can you give me some idea, given the president's sense of urgency, and i think the sense of the american people of the
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urgency of trying to create jobs and give them some more resources with which to support themselves and their families and to invest and to comprehensively try to staunch the loss of teachers and police and fire personnel that each one of our communities is experiencing and i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman and, mr. speaker, i respond by saying, first of all, the president has not sent a text of his bill and we will be awaiting that. i would also like to respond by saying that the president came last night and there were several things and proposals within his speech that seemed to reflect some areas that we can both agree on and build towards consensus. i would say to the gentleman that insisting that this body and the two sides here agree on
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everything is not a reasonable expectation but that i feel and have said so many times since the president's speech that this is an opportunity for us to set aside the differences that we have because good people can differ and begin to focus on things like allowing for tax relief for small businesses, like allowing for the rollback of regulatory impediments that stand in the way of small business growth. as the gentleman knows we put we put forward a fall agenda that's focused on those goals. proposals standing in the way of job creation and affording tax relief for small businesses to create an environment for middle class jobs. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. i would hope that we could also have hearings. i understand the gentleman's
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correct that the text has not been sent up. i expect that to happen in the very near future, probably i would hope before we get back on monday night. i would hope we could start hearings on all segments of that and see that on which we could get agreement. certainly investing in our infrastructure, investing in our schools and highways, critically important. we believe, and i think that will not only create jobs but it will create jobs that will have a meaningful, positive impact on our infrastructure and our economic competitiveness. the president mentioned about making it in america. as you know we have a make it in america agenda which includes a large number of items, including a manufacturing strategy, the president mentioned, and we all -- it was one of the few times we all stood very enthusiastic when he mentioned it whether it was making cars or refrigerators or other goods here in america
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that having made in america goods was something that i think we all support. that's part of his agenda as well. and i certainly -- our agenda, and i hope our agenda writ large on a bipartisan basis. if i might ask you on the front page of the "washington post" today, as you probably saw, is a picture of my district in upper marlboro, maryland, where great flooding as a result of the rains that we received and irene , the supplemental for the fema is coming hopefully from the senate relatively soon. i would ask the gentleman, as you know there are 484 million remains -- $484 million remains in fema's disaster relief fund. not enough to meet the disasters.
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in the aftermath of 9/11, as the gentleman knows, we appropriated such funds as were necessary. and we did so without paying for them because, in fact, they were real emergencies, real pain, real displacement, real dislocation, real costs immediately incurred by people as a result of the disaster. in that case of a terrorist act, but this case of a disaster. can the gentleman tell me whether or not we will be able to pass in a relatively accelerated fashion sufficient resources for fema without getting into arguments about how in the short term we'll pay for them? we have to pay for things in the long term, i'm for that, but i would ask the gentleman whether or not he would anticipate getting that supplemental done as early as possible and hopefully a clean supplemental next week if that is at all
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possible because we need to respond to the emergencies that confront us. i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: first of all, he knows as well my district was the epicenter of the earthquake and damage there for that as well as extremely hard hit by the high winds associated with irene, and had almost 900,000 people without power. still people without power. i understand the situation that people are suffering and we need to get them their relief. the gentleman knows i share his commitment to making sure that happens. i also applaud the gentleman for saying that, yes, because he has always been, mr. speaker, someone who says we have to pay for what we do here. and i don't think that the two are mutually exclusive. i don't and have never said we should be holding up any relief at all for people who need it. i also think we can work together to act responsibly. the gentleman has been an advocate always for paying for what we do. and so i would say as to the
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request as to where and when we were doing the supplemental, we still have not heard from the administration because as the gentleman knows there's a process that goes on at the local and state levels to make a determination about the need and to make a determination that the need exceeds the capacities of the local and state governments. so as to then turn to fema and the federal government to come in. so i say to the gentleman we need to understand exactly what the costs are going to be. and we will make sure that we find the money. i will also say that we continue to try and get out of these sort of ad hoc way of appropriating for such emergencies. the fact is in the past that we in this congress have not adequately funded the disaster accounts and if found ourselves caught short-handed when disaster hits.
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and as the gentleman knows, part of the debt ceiling agreement included a 10-year rolling average to now be the amount for which we will budget for the disaster fund and hopefully that will get us on a much more even keel and allow for the adequate funding of what's needed, both in the short-term and long. but as for the supplemental, still waiting for the administration's determination of what it needed, and if it is f.y. 2012 moneys, we will have the opportunity to roll that into the process of budgeting for the disasters the way we set out to do that in the debt ceiling agreement. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i appreciate the gentleman's observation and also his reference to the head room that we gave in the agreement that was reached in raising the debt ceiling, understanding there are emergencies that occur and you need head room to deal with those emergencies.
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i'm appreciative of the gentleman's observation. i understand as well, i want to acknowledge that his district was hard hit not only by the earthquake but by irene and i presume by the rains as well that have compounded that issue. but in any event i appreciate his willingness to ensure that we do, in fact, get a supplemental that will meet the needs, the immediate needs of those people throughout certainly the atlantic coast, but in other parts of the country as well. i appreciate and will look forward to working with him on that objective. as i will look forward to working with him on realizing the early passage of a jobs bill which will in fact get americans back to work and get our economy growing is essential. unless
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>> the house is done with this legislative work for this week. members return monday 2:00 four legislative business with votes in general speeches starting at 6:30. former vice president dick cheney talks about the terrorist attacks on september 11, 2001, saying he was able to keep his emotions in check during the days that followed. steven haze of the weekly standard talked with him about bush era surveillance, interrogation programs, and the iraq war at the american enterprise institute. dax good morning, everybody. welcome to the american enterprise institute. i am the vice-president for foreign and defense policy studies here. let me first remind everybody to please turn off their telephones or put them on vibrate. and ask everybody when the session ends, to please remit -- please remain seated in order to allow our speakers to leave the
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room. a final housekeeping note, booksellers are available with the book in the reception after the end of the event. when aei president arthur brooks invited vice president cheney to join us today, it was with a view to remembering get tax of 9/11, 10 years later, and considering some of the lessons learned and those that were not. since that day, the person to recall about 9/11 and about the long war that we are still fighting is the many who gave their lives. the families who sacrificed loved ones and the awful loss. first and foremost, now is the time to remember those many brave americans who died at home, are fighting men and women who risked everything so that we can live in freedom and
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are invaluable allies from two big countries to name who share our cause. as some of you know, vice- president cheney recently published a memoir written with his daughter, liz cheney. we understand it will debut at no. 1 on the new york times best-seller list. [applause] today he joins us with best- selling author steve ahyes for conversation about that attack on our nation, about decisions made since then, and some reflections on an amazing life and politics, and pretty much whatever else he and steve tisch to talk about in the hour they have. in the time remaining after that conversation, we will have a question and answer session moderated by steve.
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dick cheney is a member of our board of trustees. we are so glad to have them as part of our aei family, and we thank them and all of you for joining us here today. [applause] >> thank you. i will not interrupt. remember you are a reporter, steve. >> that's right. >> i just wanted to say a word and i will turn it over to mr. hayes. the book i wrote is a memoir. it covers all 70 years of my life, the early years are short. there was not a lot of good stuff to write about during that time, but the last half of the books focuses on the bush- cheney administration and my
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years as vice president. the book opens in the prologue with a recounting of events as i saw them on 9/11. much of that last half of the book deals with what we had to do during the course of our subsequent 7.5 years in order to keep the country say, some of the controversies we were involved in on things like the terror surveillance program, intense interrogation, and so forth. a large part of the book is relevant with respect to 9/11 and the aftermath, although i don't want to mislead anybody. there is a lot of other subjects as well, going back to the fact that there have been five republican administrations since i was in power. i worked with four of them and work closely with the fifth.
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i am going to turn it over to steve. >> just give you an idea of what i thought i would try to do this morning, i am going to start some questions about 9/11 specifically and push you in particular about your personal views on these things, because i know you like to put yourself on a couch. then i am going to go and talk about a number of different ways in which the policies that emanated from 9/11 that you helped drive, and try to fill in some gaps. i have spent a lot of time looking at the interviews you have done since the book came out. some questions that i have remaining for you. i think that is how i would like to proceed and then we will
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throw it open to everybody for some additional questions that will probably be much better than mine. i thought the first place we would start is on the morning of 9/11. i would be interested to know when you first knew we were under attack, not when you first heard about it, but when did you know we were under attack, and what were your very first thoughts at that moment? >> i was in my office in the west wing, working with my speech writer and my secretary called in and reported that a plane had struck the world trade center in new york. we turn on the television and this was after the first plane had gone in, but before anything else that happened. the immediate reaction was, how is this possible? perfect for clear weather, there was no way to account for it, and then as we watched and we saw the other plane hit.
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that immediately triggered the notion that this had to be a terrorist attack. you could not have two airliners flying into the world trade center within minutes of each other and not have it be anything but a terrorist attack. shortly after that, i talked to the president down in florida, and we talked about a statement he was getting ready to issue, whether or not it was proper to talk about terrorism within that context of that statement, and we both agreed it definitely was. i think the words he used was probably a terrorist attack on the united states. within a relatively short time, people began to gather in my office, secretary rice and the national security adviser was there, scooter libby. we probably had seven or eight people in the room, and all of a
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sudden the door burst open and my lead secret service agent came in and came over to the desk where i was sitting. he said sir, we have to leave immediately. he said we have to leave immediately, put one hand on the back of my belt and one hand on my shoulder and literally propelled me out of my office. i did not have the option of not going anywhere. [laughter] the reason he had done that, he explained to me as he was taking me down to the presidential emergency operations center under the white house was that he had received a report over the secret service radio net that there was a hijacked aircraft out at dulles headed towards crown at 500 miles an hour, crown being the code word for the white house.
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that turned out to be american 77, which came in and made a circle and then went into the pentagon. at that point, i was down part way and i immediately use the telephone that was there to place another call to the president. that was our second or third call that morning. to let him know that washington was under attack as well as new york, and the secret service had strongly recommended that he not come back. i also recommended that he not come back, believing it was very important for us to stay apart so that we did not become a riper target. he did not like that at all, for understandable reasons, but he agreed to it. i think he saw the wisdom of it. >> i went from that spot after i
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talked to the president, and i was presented by the secretary of transportation with a list of six aircraft that they believed had been hijacked -- hijacked at that point. that actually had the flight numbers on them. of course it was only for, but for a while we thought it was six. there were to back major drivers in terms of what i thought about that morning and as we work through the crisis that way. number one was we had to get all the planes down out of the sky so we could isolate whatever had been hijacked and account for all the aircraft, including the list we had of the ones we thought had been hijacked and that point we had accounted for three of them. that was a major part of the effort.
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the other thing that was very important that i focused on was the continuity of government. some of you are probably familiar with over the years, especially during the cold war, we had developed programs and procedures for preserving the continuity of government in the event of an all-out global conflict with the soviet union. that was always the scenario, and we had actually exercise that system on many occasions. it focused on having ways and taking steps to ensure that somebody in the line of succession survive whatever kind of attack we were under, so that when the dust settled, we would have a president and a government able to function. that is what we refer to is continuity of government. that day i took the form basically of recommending that
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the president and i not bunch up. it was very important for us to stay separated. speaker hastert was out at andrews air force base for his security detail had relocated him, and we arranged for him to be moved from there to a secure, and this goes location -- undisclosed location, because he was next in line for the presidency. if something happened to the president and me, that he would be able to take over as president. those were the two major concerns that occupied most of our time, one being getting all the airplanes down out of the sky, and guaranteeing there would be someone in the line of succession in a position to take over. >> speaking of your undisclosed location, much of the time when the media was reporting that you were in a secure, undisclosed location, you were actually at camp david, and that is where you went the evening of
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september 11. i remember having a conversation with you much later in which you describe what that was like, being at camp david late that evening. the way you describe it to me was that the family gathered around a television -- use that basically in silence for a couple of hours, watching reruns of the planes hitting the towers and of the horror that day. what was that like, how long did you do that, and what were you thinking at that point? >> it was after the president had returned, we had a national security council meeting and he addressed the nation. when we finished that,lynn and i got on a helicopter on the south lawn and were flown to camp david. it is the only time i have ever taken off and a helicopter on the south lawn without being with the president. the south lawnff
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except in extraordinary circumstances. when we got to camp david, they took us to the aspen lodge, which is the presidential lot of there, but for security reasons, the secret service was obviously focused on and concerned about the possibility of follow-up attacks and so forth, and aspin is the most secure facility at camp david, so we spent a couple of days there at aspen lodge. we sat in the living room, watched the television and i was accompanied by my wife lynn and daughter liz. my daughter, mary was out of the country then. i can remember sitting there focused like people were all over the country, watching the tower comedown and the fires at the pentagon and so forth. i began to think about what we
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needed to do by way of policy, what steps we might take in order to deal with this new situation, and the thought that came to mind first and foremost were that this was not just a terrorist attack. we have had a lot of terrorist attacks over the years and we tended to treat them as law enforcement problems. we would go out and find the bad guys, arrest them, put them on trial and lock them up. this was an act of war. we had 3000 dead americans in a matter minutes that morning, and we need to treat it as an act of war. that meant obviously you marshall all the resources of the federal government to be able to deal with and prevent a follow-on attack and deal with those who were responsible for what happened. we had a pretty good idea the afternoon of the attack that
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this was al qaeda related. that was the advice we are getting from the intelligence community. it was not a big mystery about who was behind it, but pretty well focused in on osama bin laden. but there was a lot we did not know about al qaeda. now we have heard so much about it for 10 years, there is a bit of a temptation to think we know everything there is to know about al qaeda, but the day of the attack, this was a group of terrorists, but there were a lot of key questions we could not answer. we did not know how big they were, who was finance in them, where all of operating. there was a lot we need to learn. that drove our search for intelligence that generated some of the policies that we put in place.
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as i recall, i sat and made a series of notes of legal tablet that night as i thought about what we were faced with and how we might begin to deal with it. i went over in my own mind what we need to be doing. ultimately we all met up at camp david that weekend. the attack was on tuesday, and by friday night we had pretty well gathered up at camp david and spent saturday and sunday up there with the president's and began to pull together what ultimately emerged as our strategy for the global war on terror. >> in the days after the attacks, we saw various public officials in very public displays of emotion. we saw president bush almost come to tears in the oval office. we heard about condoleezza rice
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going back to the watergate in in breaking down because of the emotional toll this was taking. >> i remember coming back from new york, driving across the roosevelts bridge and hearing " america the beautiful" and i broke down crying. did you ever have a moment like that? >> not really. [laughter] >> you understand that people will find that peculiar. >> well, my wife and daughter were with me that evening. lynn was with me all day. she had been downtown that morning when the attacks started and the secret service had brought her over to the west wing. she really sat beside me throughout the day. she would probably be the best person to comment on what my mental attitude was.
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i was focused very much on what we had to do. i was thinking in terms of what this met with respect to policy and our military forces and what the targets were out there we might go after and how we might go after them, and so forth. what kind of intelligence we would need to cope with this. that is what i recall. it was not that it was not a deeply moving event, it clearly was, but the other thing that influenced me from a personal standpoint was that i had spent a good deal of time over the years, continuity of government program, and i had been through exercises where the nature of the attack on the u.s., in excess of what we actually faced, with hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions killed. i had the benefit of having gone through those exercises over the
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years and the training just sort of kick then in terms of thinking about what we had to do that morning and the next day. .> let's get to those policies specifically, let's talk about two that everyone thinks of as the most controversial. can you describe -- i think there is a general sense among the public that you sort of brainstormed these ideas. you came up with them, they were your ideas. you had been the most fierce public advocate of them. can you describe how the terrorist surveillance program came to be? >> sure. it is important to keep in mind , they were initiated at different times. the terrace surveillance program is something we moved to within days of overtime after 9/11.
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the enhanced interrogation techniques really came in a year or two later when we were in the business by then of capturing people like khalid sheikh mohammed. it was the capture of certain kinds of individuals that led us to the point where we needed enhanced interrogation. but coming back to the basic question of the terror surveillance program, the origin of the program and relief from mike hayden and his people at the national security agency, and george tenant was involved as well. there had been a conversation between the two of them within a couple of days of 9/11. as i recall, the two of them had talked, and george mentioned it to me, the basic question being, are there additional things we can do with our
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capacity to read the mail that would help us deal with the situation we then face. that led to a meeting in my office, as i recall, where mike cavemen, then general hayden, a later the head of the cia, and george tenet. the three of us talked, and there were things that nsa thought they could do if they had additional authority. i took that proposal basically and went to see the president and sat down and went through it with him. he signed up to it, but with a caveat. he wanted to make certain that he personally approved it each step of the way and that they had to come back in for approval
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on a regular basis. what emerged out of that was a significantly enhanced capacity for us to be able to intercept communications originating outside the united states, possibly from what we referred to as a dirty number he has a computer or rolodex or whatever it is with a group of numbers on it, and you wanted to know who he was talking to in the united states, for example. the safeguards we built into it at the direction of the president involved the fact that every 30 or 45 days -- it varied from time to time -- i think the secretary of defense, the director of the cia and nsa all had to sign off on continuing
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the program. it did not get renewed automatically. they all had a say in writing to the president if they thought we should continue the program from the standpoint of the nation's security, etc. the attorney- general had to sign off on it. all of that then went to the president. the president, once he had received input from his senior advisers, he would sign off and extend the program for another 30 or 45 days. that is the way we operate it for years. i briefed key members of congress. i had the chairman and ranking member of the house and senate intelligence committees come down every couple of months to my office, and mike hayden would come in and then george tenet. we would brief the key for
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members of congress who had jurisdiction in this area over what we were doing and what kind of result that was producing, so they were wired in from the beginning. later on, some controversy arose inside the program with the justice department. we expanded that group of four into nine. we added the speaker, majority and minority leaders of the house and senate and had all of them in and briefed them as well. then i went around at that point and ask them all at that point -- nancy pelosi within the group, jay rockefeller on the democratic side. i ask them if they thought we should continue the program, and they said absolutely. then i said, do you think we ought to go back to the congress and get additional legislative authority to continue to operate the way we are operating? they said absolutely not, and they were unanimous on both points. they were concerned that if we
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went up and ask confident -- ask congress for a vote on the subject, the fact that we were doing it would leak and we would in effect be telling the enemy how we were reading their mail. there was some controversy later on internally that the president dealt with, but i am convinced it was a key part of our success in terms of preventing further attacks against the united states. i think we saved thousands of lives by what we are doing. i think is one of the greatest success stories, especially with respect to nsa and how they put the program together and developed the capability, one of the great success stories of american intelligence, and maybe some day it will all be told. >> he made the same argument about enhanced interrogation. let's go beyond that part of the debate and talk about the
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effects of enhanced interrogations' and the perceptions around the world that it is torture, that the things we did amounted to torture, and the sense that maybe a moral position of the united states has eroded because of the things that we did here in this country. how do you respond to those arguments? >> is that a question, or an invitation to argue? >> i have always offered you an invitation to argue. there are crazy critiques and then there are more paul volcker critiques. i think that is a more thoughtful critique. >> i do not. i am persuaded that the way we went about seeking the authority to be able to extract more
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intelligence from a handful of individuals -- we are talking not about your rank-and-file enemy troop. this does not involve the military. this does not involve the department of defense. this is program that was authorized by the president's, by the national security council, carried out with all kinds of safeguards by the central intelligence agency. we had a case where we had a handful of individuals who clearly had knowledge of what was in the works from the standpoint of al qaeda, what they hoped to be able to do, how they function, who the key members were. it was people like khalid sheikh mohammed. the notion that somehow the united states was wobbly
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torturing anybody is not true, and anybody who takes the time to look at the program i think will come to the same conclusion. obviously there are people out there who differ with respect to that perspective, but when we get into the whole area, and one of the most controversial techniques was waterboarding. there was a protester this morning who commented on waterboarding. three people work waterboard, not dozens, not hundreds. 3, and the one who was subjected most often to that was khalid sheikh mohammed, and it produced phenomenal results. there are reports that the intelligence community did -- they were classified marquest and are now available on the internet. they talked about the quality
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of information we got. we were talking about only a handful of people who were indeed part of the al qaeda organization, and khalid sheikh mohammed was not only the man who we then had reason to believe, correctly, had be arl, but also pe claim credit for being the architect of 9/11 that killed 3000 americans that morning. another key point that needs to be made was that the techniques that we used were all previously used on american military personnel. not all of them, but all of them had been used in training for a lot about our own specialists in the military area. so there was not any technique
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that we used on any of private individuals that had not been used on our own troops first. just to give you some idea of whether or not we were! torturin -- whether or not we weren't torturing the people with captured. george tenant came in and talk to meet and talk to a couple of other people did basically, he wanted to know how far they could go in terms of interrogation of these individuals that recaptured. he needed two kinds of sign off. one was from the president and the second was the grueling from the justice department as to where that line was that you did not cross. we saw and obtained both of those.
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the president signed up to it as did the other members of the national security council. some of my colleagues may have forgotten that, but in fact, everybody who was a member of the national security council was informed about the essence of the program and signed up ticket, so you had the proper governmental authorities agreed this was necessary and worth while. we had the key people in the , peopledepartment's like john yu who has been severely harassed big they were legal opinions from the justice department that said this is ok and inappropriate and gave us very clear guidance that we could follow. the folks out at the agency insisted on that kind of guidance before they were willing to go forward.
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one of the things i found most objectionable with respect to the obama administration when they came men was the initial decision by the president and attorney general holder that they were going to investigate and prosecute the people in the intelligence community who had carried out this interrogation program at our direction. i thought that was a terrible precedent to set, the president of the united states had signed up to it. the justice department had signed up to it. these guys had gone out that our direction and used this authority to collect intelligence that we badly needed to have, and the next thing you know you get a change in administrations and the new crowd coming in says we are going to prosecute those guys who were responsible for carrying out these policies.
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i came here at one point about two years ago and spoke on the subject. i will say the administration appears to have reversed course. although the activities were investigated by lawyers in the justice department at the tail end of the bush administration. it had all been looked at before to make sure it was copacetic. the obama administration did finally, and i hope the matter is now resolved, back off, and those people that frankly i think did not deserve to be prosecuted. i think they should be decorated for the work they did for us that saved many, many lives. >> let's john for from that speech of may, 2009, which was in part a critique of penetration on those things you mentioned. it was also a warning, by
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stepping back from the kinds of things that your administration had done, you were in effect saying we are choosing to put ourselves at greater risk. and yet here we are, some 2.5 years later. we had of course the attack at fort hood, but in spite of all the things you warned against, we have not been attacked again. osama bin laden has been killed. we have had a series of successes on al qaeda central in afghanistan and pakistan that has by most accounts been decimated, or pretty thoroughly taken apart. were you wrong when you made those warnings in 2009? >> i don't think so, steve. i would argue that the policies
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we put in place back in those days that were available to us and were utilized over time, and i have seen some comment to this effect from current officials of helped produce, the intelligence that allowed us to get osama bin laden. it was out of the enhance interrogation techniques that some of the leaves came that ultimately produced the results so i think it's been a will, betweenyou administrations focused especially on the part of the career folks in the intelligence community and in the special ops community and the military that have worked it over time. it wasn't just that the new administration came in and, gee, all of a sudden we got bin laden. they had the benefit of all the work that had been done.
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>> at the same time, the terrorist surveillance program isn't operating as it was originally conceived. there are no more enhanced terrorist interrogations. we read miranda warnings to farooq, and here we are, we haven't been attacked again, we've had major successes. when the bush administration came to an end, i remember you making the argument that you should be judged by the fact, in large part, that we hadn't been attacked again, that that was a sign of success. why can't we use that same standard for the obama administration and say the things they're doing have been successful. >> i guess i make the case that they've been successful in part because of the capabilities we left them with, the intelligence we left them with, because of what we learned from men like back whenikh mohammed he was subjected. i think it's a mistake, for example, not to have an enhanced
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interrogation program available now. the president, when he canceled our enhanced interrogation program, said they were going to set up their own for high value detainees but i don't think they ever have. i don't know what they would do today if they captured the equivalent of khalid sheikh mohammed, probably read him his miranda rights, i don't know. that's not, in my mind -- it's a mistake for us to give up those capabilities. i hope there are no more attacks. but even as we meet here today, everybody drove to work with their car radio on this morning, heard there's a threat that's of sufficient credibility at least at this stage that the authorities are saying, you know, this is unconfirmed but we're taking it seriously. so i think, say i do think it was a mistake for them not to stay as actively and as
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aggressively involved. charles crawthomer has written a brilliant piece on the flowing we overreacted but i don't think we did, i think we did exactly what we had to do and the results speak for themselves. >> one or two more from me and then we'll open it up to questions from others. you often made the case that iraq was a central front in the war on terror. looking back on iraq, one of the things that people have focused on in reading your book and in the reviews of your book is the fact that you don't think that a lot of mistakes were made, that there's not much you would change about the way the iraq war was conducted and i noticed in my reading of the book that in the criticism of what the state department did, you focused on secretary powell and secretary rice but in the criticism of the pentagon, you
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didn't focus on your friend and mentor, don rumsfeld. why is that? >> well, i thought i wrote a pretty good book. i thought it was relatively balanced. i chose not to dwell at length sort of on what transpired in the immediate aftermath of our going into iraq. there have been a lot of books written, some of them pretty good, i think, about the policy in terms of setting up a new government in iraq. jerry bremmer's written one, several other books have been written. rumsfeld's written pretty extensively with it. i basically took the approach that i could focus on a few things and what i really wanted to focus on was the surge and
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the counter insurgency doctrine that accompanied the surge we put in place at the beginning of 2007, so there's a lot written with that in my book, but i didn't spend a lot of time going over what the state department did with respect to managing situation in iraq or what the pentagon did outside normal military activities in terms of the -- >> if you read jerry bremmer's book and if you talk to people -- i've talked to people on your staff and elsewhere, who said you were asking questions about the u.s. military strategy in iraq during those years that things obviously weren't going well, asking tough questions, what is our strategy? do we know how to win? why are we doing the same sning is the training effective? and i guess i'm interested on a personal level, when did you start asking those questions? >> well, on a personal level, at
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some point, we'll sit down and talk about. >> i think now is as good a time as any. >> i could have -- you have to make choices in the book. we wrote about a little less than 600 pages and as i point out in my early remarks, i had material for four or five books. what i chose was to focus on the highlights as i saw them and what i thought was vital in that regard and obviously i wrote it from my perspective in terms of i saw, what i believed. i exercised a certain amount of discretion. i didn't put down everything i know about what transpired in a whole range of different areas. >> would there be a second volume? >> it depends on how this one does.
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there are things i didn't talk about, not just on iraq, but throughout my 40-year career. when you're chief of staff to the president of the united states, you, you know, there are things you're involved in where he expects discretion and deserves it. and i didn't write about those things. that's generally true of lots of things. connection with my time with the president bushes, i think it's fair to say in both cases there are confidences they had in me in certain issues and i've honored those. >> on second term foreign policy, you write in the book a bit in a chapter called "setback," about iran, north korea, syria, nonproliferation issues.
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you suggest at various points in the chapter that the bush administration lost its way, had essentially veered away from the bush doctrine that was well established in the first term. and i wonder if you think president bush himself lost his nerve. didn't say that in my book, did i, steve. >> that's why i'm asking you now. >> i did write a chapter called "setback" and i thought it was important because it was a source of frustration for me. it also demonstrated pretty clearly that i didn't win all the arguments and i thought that was important, to convey that. and there were, this was an area had to do with north korea's nuclear aspirations and activities, building a nuclear reactor for the syrians in senior syria that would allow
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them ultimately to produce nuclear weapons and so forth. it was one where there were significant differences inside the administration. i think many of those were known, but part of my interest was in putting down the history of this period and the policy debates and i thought there were lessons to be learned. we weren't the first administration that had trouble figuring out how you get the north koreans not to go nuclear. clinton administration faced similar problems, i think the obama administration will have similar problems, as well, too. but i thought it was important to put down the record, if you will, of how we dealt with that. now, in the final analysis, the president made the decision, he had to make choices. that's why he got the big bucks and lived in the big house. it's the responsibility of the president of the united states. he didn't always agree with my advice and in this
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particular case he opted for the state department view of how we should proceed rather than what i was recommending. it's not the first time i've lost an argument with the president. >> do you think we're less safe because of those decisions? >> well, i think -- this is a way to put it -- would be that i believed -- i gave an interview before 9/11. it was actually along in april or may of 2001. we'd only been in office a couple of months. and it basically, i think it was the "atlantic" or "new yorker" where i cited as the biggest threat of nation faced the possibility of a terrorist organization acquiring weapons of mass destruction, and al qaeda with nukes kind of thing, that i believe deeply especially in the aftermath of
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9/11 and i think it's important on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, to remind ourselves that that threat is still out there, still very real, and one of the things i thought we did well up to a point was when we went in and we took down saddam hussein, obviously, we eliminated one of the guys who had been a prime source of weapons of mass destruction previously, he produced and used the equivalent. whether or not he had stockpiles at the time we went in, he was a proliferator of that kind of capability. so we got rid of saddam hussein as a threat. five days after we went in and captured saddam, muammar qaddafi held press announcement that he was surrendering all of his nuclear materials. he had centrifuges for enriching
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uranium, uranium feed stocks, he had a weapons design. he surrendered all of though and they're now in our possession. so we took him out of the nuclear business, pretty good given what's happened since in libya, would not have been good to have the difficulties they'd had over there if muammar qaddafi had had nuclear weapons. we also took down the a.q. kahn network. kahn was the mastermind of the pakistani nuclear program, then he went into business for himself, black market operation, peddling nuclear materials. his biggest customer was libya but he also was dealing with north korea and iraq. so saddam, muammar qaddafi, a.q. kahn, putoff the business from the standpoint of worrying about them producing or proliferating, using those materials. the one we didn't get a handle on was north korea and the
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chapter you referred to that i call "setback" is basically a story of how we did not deal effectively with the north korean threat. so i think if you're keeping score, three out of four is not bad. but the problem is, that threat is very real and north koreans especially dangerous because they've now tested two weapons. they have -- we caught them red-handed with respect to their providing a plutonium reactor to one of the worst terrorist sponsoringra -- sponsoring radiveems on the face of the ergt, syria. the north koreans established they will proliferate nuclear materials to terror sponsoring regimes and the problem that
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we're faced with is still very much there and we do not yet have a handle on north korea. the other problem, obviously is, still iran, and we haven't about that, but that has to be front and center, as well, as the north koreans, in terms of our concerns about that threat and i do believe still, today, as we meet, that's the most dangerous threat the united states faces, that technology will fall into the hands of an al qaeda type organization and then nuclear weapons will no longer be a deterrent, but an incentive. >> maybe we could take a few questions and maybe we'll get a question about iran. please, when you are called on, wait for the microphone, give your name and your affiliation and ask a question rather than making a long statement. thank you. yes, ma'am. >> were you surprised when you found out that osama bin laden
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was in pakistan in terms of your talking with president musharraf at that time, the cooperation you had between both countries. did you at any time feel the pakistani authorities had been hiding something from the bush administration? >> i never had reason to believe that president musharraf was involved in anything like that. if there was, i think there was a general view that bin laden was in remote -- some remote section of pakistan, not just a short ways from islamabad. i think what was startling was to find that he was living where he was. he wasn't hiding in a cave someplace. there was a lot of the imagery that somehow he's gone underground figuratively. i had no reason in, my
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dealings with president musharraf, and i dealt with him quite a bit, the question -- to question his commitment to the work he was doing with us to help us deal with the threat that had emerged from pakistan. i think he came to believe that al qaeda types threatened him personally as well as his regime as much as they did the united states and i think that was true. there were two or three attempts on his life in a matter of weeks by al qaeda, or al qaeda affiliated organizations, while he was still president. >> another question? yes, sir? right down here in the front. >> mr. vice president, my name is jason stern, a graduate student of middle east studies at george washington university.
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i think it's fair to say that no matter who's in the white house, the arab spring presented a great challenge to present our interests and uphold our values. how well has the obama administration responded to the arab spring and how would the bush administration have responded differently if they had still been in power? thank you. >> it's difficult to judge the quality of the current effort without having to speculate about what's going to come out at the far end of the process. and, frankly, i don't have answers to a couple of key questions. i don't know who's going to be in charge when the dust settles and new governments are established, what are these regimes going to be like? how are they going to look at the u.s.? what kind of relationships are we going to have?
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in some cases, some of the regimes that have been replaced, like president mubarak and egypt, for example, have been good friends and allies with the united states over the years. worked cholve with him in the first gulf war, for example. if you're evaluating the outcome in terms of u.s. interest, i think there's a lot we don't yet know about the outcome. in terms of whether or not we should be supportive, i think that it is important for us to continue to express our support of certain values that we believe people ought to have the opportunity to live by. we believe in freedom and democracy, and i think that needs to come through, but again, you've got to come back and be cautious here, i think, in terms of, are we promoting
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that process with respect to islamic fundamentalists, or to groups or organizations that may have one election and then they'll shut down the electoral process? we don't know yet. i think it's difficult to make a final judgment until we see how some of those things develop. >> should the united states be taking a more out-front role in promoting the arab spring? >> i'm cautious, steve, partly because of the things we don't know. but also, i think it's important for us to be a little cautious about lumping them all together and my experience over the years with that part of the world is, it's very important to remember, these are different countries. in some cases, there are linguistic differences. in some cases, there are
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religious differences, splits between shia and sunni, in some cases you have governments that i think are probably viewed as legitimate in the eyes of the governed and others who are clearly -- syria comes to mind -- you have a brutal dictator who's in charge and using violence to try to preserve his hold on power, and most of us could agree that bashir assad ought to go. you need to make those kinds of judgments. when we talk about the arab spring, i think i understand what that means, and i think generally it's been welcomed as a fundamental change and reform in the region but i do think it's important to keep in mind as we evaluate these that each and every one of these countries is different and needs to be dealt
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with accordingly. >> next question? over there in the front. >> allison epierson, your average citizen here. when do we know we've won the global war on terror? >> when do we know we've won the global war on terror? well, the facts are obviously, it's not similar to what we think of as a conventional war where, you know, we get the battleship missouri and steam it in to tokyo harbor and get all the guy there is to sign a document saying "we quit," and that's not going to happen. i think there's evidence out there that we're making significant progress. i think getting osama bin laden was very important and very
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useful, demonstrated part of that process. but i think also it may be the kind of thing that just gradually fades over time. but i don't think there's going to be that there's likely to be a kind of ah-ha moment where you can say, it's done. >> we'll take a couple more. sure. >> vice president, take you back to your earlier comments about the middle east and bring it back in history, the great controversy at the close of the bush 41 administration was general norm schwarzkopf's assertion that, had we continued the march, the phrase he used, there might have been a different outcome. what do you think the outcome would have been had his advice been pursued in that regard? how would that have changed the course of events? >> john's talking about when he
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and i were in charge of the pentagon, i was the secretary, but he was the comptroller. where all the money was. and the -- as i think back on that, i'm careful here not to challenge my colleagues from that era, because i think they all did good work -- but my recommendation of the close of the gulf war was that there was unanimity on the part of the president, of his senior civilian and military advisers, that we gathered around the desk in the oval office, we had a secure line open to riyadh where our senior military commander, general schwarzkopf was, and you could look back on it later and say, well, we should have done
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this or we shouldn't have let him have helicopters. there were things we didn't know at the time but there was a general sense that we'd done what we set out to do. we said we would liberate kuwait, that's what congress authorized, what the u.n. security council signed up to. i promised when i went over there initially to get permission to put u.s. forces into saudi, i promised them, as soon as we'd completed the mission, we'd go home. we were not looking for permanent bases in saudi arabia. and so there was a general sense of that. now shwe -- should we have gone all the way to baghdad? circumstances were pretty dramatically different 10 years later after the events of 9/11, after we'd seen saddam violate 16 out of 17 u.n. security
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council resolutions and produce and use weapons of mass introduction against his own people. the world had shifted 10 years later and if we'd gone in -- if there was a way to -- one thing i could think of that i would like to have changed, it would have been to have saddam at the table signing the surrender document, that one of the things that emerged out of the way it was dealt with was, he was very creative and didn't have any qualms about misrepresenting the situation, but for years afterwards, he peddled himself as somebody who had defied and successfully defied the united states of america because after all we'd done to him, he was still standing. it was the fact that he was still standing that he used to
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demonstrate or validate the notion that he'd won. of course, he hadn't, but he was able to peddle that in that part of the world so if i could think of one thing i might have liked to have seen differently, it wouldn't have been to go on to baghdad at that point but it would have been to have him set his fanny down in the chair and sign the surrender document. >> another one? all the way over. >> yes, sir, my name is said arakat and i served in iraq for five years as a united nations spokesman and i can tell you that iraq is a disaster zone with very little chance to recover for decades to come. iran has almost total hom genuity. was it a mistake to invade iraq?
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>> i think it would be a mistake to cut and run. i don't think we should turn our back on iraq at this stage and the efforts we've mounted there over the years. i think it's very important for us to complete the mission and i think, my own personal view is, that there's a danger here, a rush for the exits under the current administration and that would be really unfortunate. >> one more quick one? >> with a.e.i., the "washington examiner," president bush, in his memoir doesn't really mention iraq from the spring of 2003, the spring of 2006. what do you say to the criticism that the president was insufficiently monitoring his generals and not eliciting early
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enough or as early as desirable, something on the order of this surge strategy which was ultimately developed at the end of 2006 and early 2007. could that have been done earlier? >> well, i -- i'm inclined, michael -- first of all, what i remember is, the president was heavily engaged during that period of time. he was not by any means ignoring what was going on in the operations in iraq. we had fairly regular sessions where he would get on the secure hookup to baghdad, not only with our own senior people but also with senior iraqis. i've got a picture, it was a picture i put in my book, of rumsfeld and rice and i up at camp david and doesn't show the
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president, because he's on the other end in baghdad and we've got a secure hookup during that period of time. gone into baghdad and is over there visiting with, having an important session with then prime minister maliki. the notion that he wasn't focused on or wasn't engaged, i would challenge that. i don't think that's true. >> let me take the prerogative of asking one last question and bringing it back to 9/11. you've made the case that 9/11 changed the government and i think that's business to everyone. in many respects, it changed the country. clearly changed the world. did it change you? >> did 9/11 change me? well, it was -- i don't think it changed me in the sense that some have suggested, that, you
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know, i've got friends out there, used to be friends, who say, i knew cheney when he was a nice guy, warm and fuzzy, but i don't know him now. and the other night i did jay leno, i don't know whether anybody here saw it, but they have what they call a cold open, and the program begins with jay in greeting his guests for that evening, he's wearing blue jeans and so forth, she asks me if i am going to wear the suit there on a hanger on the show that night. at that point, i am open the door and came out of the dressing room dressed as dorothy prater -- darth vader. he was part of the joke, but it did not help my image. [laughter]
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i suppose i cannot say it didn't change me. it was part of my life, and it was an important milestone for all of us. obviously i spent the next 7.5 years working with the president and our colleagues to try to make absolutely certain that that never happened again on our watch, and that meant we had to take steps and enact policies that would guarantee the safety and security of the american people. i see it as okay, here's the problem, here is what we are going to do about it, and we did it. the notion of change may lee came to focus in my own mind -- i had thought before about this problem of a 9/11 style
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terrorist attack with deadlier weapons, something other than barks cutters and airline tickets, but the events of 9/11 really brought that home. i think it heightened my concern, that would be a fair way to put it, about the potentially devastating consequences. we had anthrax attacks at the same time and it turns out those were probably domestically initiated. i remember being up in new york a month after 9/11, and as we landed that day, to go down to the waldorf for i was the guest speaker for the evening, we received word that there had been a botulism attack at the white house, suggesting the president and i and others had been exposed to botulism toxin,
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which is deadly. we did not know for several hours whether not that was true. it turned out to be a false reading, fortunately. so there was a level of heightened concern in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 that we had to deal with. it was like on 9/11 you get a report there are six planes hijacked and it turns out there were only four. a report there was a car bomb at the state department. turned out there was not a car bomb at the state department. it turned out there was a report of a plane that had gone down on the ohio-west virginia border. that was american 77 that suddenly dropped off the radar and hit the pentagon. there was a report of a plane down in pennsylvania. turned out that was true, it was united 93. as we went through that process in the immediate aftermath, as
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we were putting together policies and so forth, there is no question but what there was a significantly elevated level of concern. i felt that part of my job was to make certain that we never again got hit the way we did on 9/11. >> with that, i would like to thank mr. vice-president and thank the american enterprise institute for hosting. [applause] thanks so much, stephen. aei is extraordinarily grateful to have a man of action that represents us so well. we are so painful for your time this morning. thanks for all the questions
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this morning. we will let you get out of here. i think have some media interviews right after this, and then we will excuse the crowd. thanks again. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> in 1844, henry clay ran for president of the united states and lost, but he changed political history. he is one of the 14 men and featured in c-span's new weekly series. this week, henry clay's kentucky home, tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern.
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>> this again, the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 on the c- span networks, with live care rich from each of the memorial site, new york city, shanksville, pennsylvania, and the pentagon. here is our live schedule. saturday at 12:30 p.m. eastern, the flight 93 national memorial dedication ceremony from shanksville, pennsylvania. sunday morning at 8:30 a.m., a memorial ceremony from the world trade center site with president obama and former president bush. on c-span2 and 9:00 a.m., a vice president biden from the pentagon. on c-span3 and 9:30 a.m., honoring those who lost their lives on united flight 93. 9/11 remember, this weekend on the c-span networks. >> the house is done with legislative work this week. they will return on monday at 2:00 p.m. eastern for legislative business.
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later next week we expect completion on a bill that expands the number of charter schools as well as a measure that would prevent the national labor relations board from ordering a company to reinstate production or make certain investments. next friday also marks the expiration of the current federal aviation administration extension. of the house and senate need to agree on a plan for extending the faa programs. like coverage of the u.s. house has always can be seen on c- span. next, remarks from treasury secretary timothy geithner on anti-terrorism efforts since september 11. they say that al qaeda is suffering financially, and it is difficult for the group to plot attacks against the u.s.. this runs 25 minutes. >> thank you, david, and i want to welcome you all here today to
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pay tribute to your work and the work of so many others in helping strengthen our national security. >> we meet today, of course, in the shadow of a tragedy 10 years past. on september 11, 2001, our nation suffered a terrorist attack that killed thousands and shook the nation. i want to start by asking all of us to observe a moment of silence in remembrance of that day. >> those attacks were brutal.
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there were sophisticated, and they were well-funded. in the aftermath of those attacks, our government revamped its national security structure to fight the terrorist threat more effectively. as we began to fully understand the complexity of al qaeda and other terrorist organizations, it became increasingly clear that it was crucial to disrupt their ability to fund their operations. while terrorism is very different from conventional military threat, it has something significant in common with them. it needs cash and money. 25,500 years ago, the greek historians wrote of a spartan king who said war is a matter not so much of arms as of money. and two and half years ago, the chilling echoes words, a senior al qaeda leader in afghanistan
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explained, without money, jihad stops. and that is why the work of the people in this room and the subject of this symposium are so important. the long arc the treasury's efforts to counter terrorist financing began before 9/11, with the work of secretaries rubin, summers, and neil to combat money laundering. to prevent the illicit use of the formal financial system. after 9/11, it became evident that we needed a dedicated effort to disrupt the funding networks of terrorist organizations. secretaries no established treasury's office of tourism and financial intelligence, which we call tfi. in president bush appointed stuart levy as the first undersecretary. stuart, together with a remarkably talented group of individuals, were armed with an innovative and powerful set of tools. and their accomplishments have
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a fundamentally changed and it strengthens the way we fight terrorism. that team, which is led today by david, dani, leslie, adam, and jim continues to carry on the work that stewart and secretary paulson were instrumental in establishing. let me explain how this noble endeavor works. it brings together four key things. intelligence, targeted sanctions, international cooperation, and private sector engagement. a comprehensive strategy to identify donors, financiers, facilitators of terrorist organizations, and to disrupt their ability to fund them. we are obtaining, analyzing, and acting on intelligence to constrain the activities of those who would fund terrorism and to hold them accountable for sanctions -- through sanctions.
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in the harsh and direct consequences of those sanctions have succeeded in deterring the owners across the globe. international cooperation is critical to the effectiveness of this work, whether we're providing intelligence that another partner can act on or we are receiving intelligence that we can use it ourselves. multilateral institutions, including the g-20, have institutionalized this focus on combating terrorist financing, both through the adoption of new standards and through visible public support for increased financial transparency. and of course, finally, the private sector plays an important role, acting as the key partner for national governments. the vigilance of financial institutions to identify block money for terrorist activities, reinforces the ability of governments to target their founders. because of this strategy, donors, financial institutions, and facilitators across the
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world are no longer free to fund and facilitate terrorism activities. the pool of money for terrorism has -- is shrinking, and it is growing harder to hide and moved funds. this is no small accomplishment. 10 years ago, al qaeda's ability to access a large network of the pocket donors and move money to the formal financial system allowed to carry out the deadliest terrorist attack in our country's history. today, however, al qaeda struggles to secure a steady financing. it can no longer rely on a big rolodex and a symbol bank transfer. of course, in may, its leader and its most effective advocate for donations, osama bin laden, was killed by u.s. forces. al qaeda is a determined and sophisticated organization, and it will continue to find ways to access funding. so as al qaeda and other terrorist groups look for new methods to raise and move
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money, we will continue to develop creative and inspective strategy is to stop them. chance for provide us a to reflect on the state of the thread in the best ways to defeat it as it evolves. treasury's office of terrorism commenters financing and intelligence, has become an integral part of the u.s. national security architecture and has dramatically expanded the options available to the president to respond to threats. tfi's success in the recognition it has received around the world helps make sure that combating terrorist financing continues to be a central part of our nations and other nations counter-terrorism strategies. and as we all move forward together over the next decade, increasing international
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cooperation will be essential to the success of this effort. credit for this progress is opposed to many of the people in the room today and to the hundreds of other dedicated and talented people here in treasury and across the u.s. government. they have helped make our nation safer, and will continue to do so in years to come. we owe them our gratitude, and this is a solemn gratitude. thank you. [applause] so good morning, again. first, please join me in thanking our first panel for a very informative and stimulating discussion. [applause]
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quinn al-qaeda struck the united states on september 11, 2001, killing thousands, the american people demanded a swift and powerful response. to punish those behind the attacks, to leverage all elements of national power, to protect the united states and its citizens, and to ensure that nothing like the acts carried out that tuesday morning ever happen again. our military, with the help of our intelligence community, quickly swung into action, driving al qaeda from its safe- haven in afghanistan, destroying its training camps, and disrupting its ability to plan, coordinate, and launch another attack. but it was also understood that more could be done and needed to be done to fight al qaeda, including its financial foundations.
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so in the decades since 9/11, the u.s. government has undertaken an unprecedented effort to unmask and choke off al qaeda's financial support networks. the strategy is developed by treasury's office of tourism and financial intelligence have placed the department squarely within our country's national security community and at the forefront of the battle to deprive al qaeda and terrorists of the world over of the financial world and how it operates. treasury is not alone in this fight, not by any stretch. this is truly a whole government effort, involving our colleagues in the state, justice, and defense departments, the intelligence community, and the law- enforcement community. nor is the u.s. alone in this fight. we work closely with the u.n., which has established an
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extensive legal framework for combating terrorist financing of the global level. and we work closely with dozens of countries, many of whom are represented here this morning, to stem the flow of funds to terrorists. and we work closely with the international banking community and others in the private sector to prevent terrorists from using the formal financial sector to receive, store, move, and use funds. this morning, i would like to briefly shared the treasury department's assessment of al qaeda's current financial situation and sketch out where we will take treasury's counterterror financing efforts in the months and years to come. in the last few years, it became clear that al qaeda was encountering financial difficulties. by 2010, we believe the organization was in its worst
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financial position in years. we assess that al qaeda posing increasingly precarious financial situation would not only impair its ability to operate, but would also likely send al qaeda and its affiliates in search of new sources of funding. recent intelligence confirms that al qaeda devotes a great deal of attention and effort to raising money and managing its budget. for example, we have learned that al qaeda kept meticulous accounting statements on operating costs, such as weapons, fuel, tracking expenditures that amounted to a little more than $1. we also learned that al qaeda's shaikh the bottom line attracted the attention of al qaeda's senior leaders, who in early 2010 at lamented that al qaeda was experiencing great financial hardship. these difficult is or not simply a theoretical concern for al qaeda's leaders. the shortfall had began to affect al qaeda's operational capabilities. new information revealed that early last year, al qaeda not only was stressed financially, it was struggling to allocate funds on plant and to execute a attacks against the u.s. and western interests. this financial squeeze led al
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qaeda to explore new avenues for funding. by early last year, the terrorist group was seeking to fund raise through another method, kidnapping for ransom. the picture we have been able to piece together from recent intelligence includes both good and bad news. while it was heartening to get confirmation on global efforts to disrupt al qaeda's financing had begun to pay off, we are reminded that al qaeda remains an innovative, resourceful, an adaptive thing. we will need to continue to innovate and adapt, and to maintain the impact we began to see in recent years. with that in mind, let me turn now to the key areas where we will be focusing our energies and efforts. first and foremost, we will keep the pressure on. the recent deaths of osama bin laden and others, capping off a
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decade's worth of comprehensive efforts to attack -- attack the kind that has lifted weekend, but now's the time to let up. for as the treasury, that means continuing to concentrate on disrupting al qaeda's financial and material support efforts. just yesterday, we designated three senior pakistan-based al- qaeda leaders, including the commander and a longtime al qaeda fighter in charge of al qaeda's external operations as recently as last year, who was arrested by pakistani authorities just a few days ago. these actions follow a set of designations we announced in july, targeting a key financial pipeline for al qaeda, which runs from kuwait, qatar, through iran, and into pakistan, which depends on agreements between al qaeda and the iranian government to allow this network to operate within iran's borders. so job one is to continue our
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intensive focus on shutting down al qaeda's pipelines of money, men, and material. second, we will step up our efforts with our allies and partners around the world, particularly in the gulf, to encourage more consistent and comprehensive counter-terrorism financing efforts. we need other countries to work with us to combat al qaeda, its affiliate's and other terrorist organizations. this is especially true for kuwait and qatar, which unfortunately have become permissive environment for extremist and raises. there's no question that kuwait and qatar are strong allies of the united states and that we share many important goals and work closely together on many important initiatives. but the fact remains that kuwait is the only country in the gulf that has not finalized tears financing. in a recent evaluation, the international monetary fund emphasize that this the efficiency substantially hampers to wait's ability to
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combat terrorist financing. although catarrh enacted a good terrorist financing law year ago, implementation has lagged. the approach taken by kuwait and qatar poses a danger to them and all of us. so we will continue to work with kuwait and qatar and urge them to take the necessary steps that as it -- that others in the region have done over the past decade. third, alza and -- as al qaeda evolves and the nature of the threat posed changes, we will continually adapt and expand our counterterror efforts to meet this shift in challenge. most importantly, we are increasing efforts to combat the financial support networks for al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, al qaeda in the islamic area, al-shabab, and others inspired by or possibly affiliated with al qaeda.
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attacking these groups, financial support present new and different challenges, because their means and methods of funding and facilitation are different from the traditional donor-based fund raising model for al qaeda, and they differ among one another. working with our colleagues in the intelligence community and our partners around the world, we will have destruction strategies tailored to the ways in which each group raises, stores, and moves money. fourth, we're focusing on emerging trends and how terrorist to raise money. most importantly, the increased use of kidnapping for ransom, which is quickly becoming a critical funding source for al qaeda and its affiliates. for example, we have information that aqim has raised tens of millions of dollars since 2008 through kidnapping for ransom operations in africa. , betting kidnapping for ransom
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is notoriously difficult. at the policy level, it is easy enough to say that no one should pay ransoms. but at the personal level, when one citizen, a colleague, our child is being held hostage, is hard to adhere to the no ransoms policy. few do, which is one reason that al qaeda and its affiliates are trying increasingly to kidnapping for ransom. the u.s. government has a policy against paying ransoms, and we believe this has dissuaded terrorists from targeting millions. our information reveals that earlier this year, aqim was planning to target mainly europeans, not americans, for kidnapping for ransom operations, because they believe european governments would pay ransoms, while the u.s. government would not. in addition to bolstering the no ransoms approach, the international community must also make kidnapping harder in the first place, to improve
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security measures, and if ransoms are paid, we will make them more difficult for terrorist groups to move, store, and use that cash. finally, as we sharpen our efforts to combat new sources of terrorist financing, we will also continue efforts to stay ahead of new ways terrorists store and move money. our growing success in driving terrorists out of the formal financial sector has led terrorist facilitators to rely increasingly on informal methods of moving money, notably cash courier's. but it has sparked an interest in exploiting new technologies and new payment methods, such as stored value card in transactions by cell phones. these technologies hold great promise to bring people around the world into the formal financial sector. unquestionably, a critically important goal.
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but these new methods of storing and moving value also create new vulnerabilities, if not adequately covered by anti-money laundering and counterterror as finance and regulations. as we continue to disrupt specific actors and networks, we will also work to build a more transparent financial system with a robust safeguards that is increasingly inhospitable to terrorist financing. in closing, as we remember the victims of the 9/11 attacks, this important milestone also provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made in finding al qaeda and in the broader threat of terrorism. counterterror said financing is contributing importantly to that progress, more so than anyone would have predicted 10 years ago. that is thanks to many of the people in this room, throughout the treasury department, across
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the u.s. government, and around the world who have dedicated their careers to this cause. as we survey the challenges ahead, from terrorism to other threats to our national security, the effective deployment of financial measures will continue to be central to our strategy and our success. i know i speak for all of my colleagues in the treasury department when i say we relish the opportunity to use these tools to help make our country safer. thank you. [applause] >> next, live, the c-span series "the contenders." in a moment, from kentucky, the life of henry clay.


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