tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN June 12, 2012 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
-- i think regulators are appointed to make technocrat decisions but i think there's times when regulators will take a particular ideological view. is a tricky area. take a particular slant. and i think there for -- -- therefore, they should ultimately have a right to say, well, hang on a minute, i think this regulator has gone down the wrong road on this. i think they've misunderstood what actually, the law demands. if i can give a very specific example, which is perhaps admittedly, an unusual example, in the end, why did the be asking why the decision go down?
-- why did the bskyb decision go down? well we put in motion in parliament. i'm certainly not recommending that as a way forward for these kinds of decisions. but that was motivated to an extent by a sense of where the public interest play. that is the first point i would like to make to you. and secondly, i believe it is possible for politicians -- of course, politicians have views, but i do believe it's possible -- and you have heard torturous testimony from people like teselle joel -- tessa jowell and others that urge more transparency -- to really try and run down and execute the
function in a way that respects the quasi--judicial nature of their role. >> thank you. this relates to resetting the relationship between politicians and the press, and it may be that you've covered this already -- is that you urge more openness and transparency about dealings, and i think that probably covers what in practical terms you believe is appropriate in the domain. is that right? >> i think it does. i reinforce what i said at the outset, which is that i think that there are no blank check your. i think the default position for us as politicians must be to try our very, very hard is to use the recommendations that this inquiry eventually makes to provide a framework for the future and not to become an academic textbooks. >> thank you. are there any other matters you feel we have not covered? if not, that concludes what i have to ask you. >> thank you very much, mr. j.
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> the inquiry into british politicians and news media continues this week. tomorrow morning, the inquiry hears from deputy prime minister nikolai. he is partnered with the conservatives to form a coalition government. his testimony starts at 5:00 a.m. eastern and it is live on her companion network c-span2. and thursday morning also at 5:00 a.m. and also live on c- span2, british prime minister david cameron. his former communications specialist-specialist was previously at the news of the world where he is accused of being involved in phone hacking. >> it has been 48 years since the watergate scandal began. this week, conversations between president nixon and members of
his staff concerning the break- in. >> [unintelligible] it is growing daily. it is compounding geometrically now. that will be clearer as i explained some of the details. one would be blackmail. two, people will start perjuring themselves very quickly. >> hear more of them and some tavis this saturday -- of the nixon tapes the saturday in washington on 90.1 fm and streaming at c-span.org. >> attorney general holder went before the judiciary committee today to answer questions about security, and the fast and
furious operation allowed guns to fall into the hands of mexican drug cartels. part of the hearing is coming up in a few minutes. but first, we talk with the congressional reporter about the attorney-general sir testimony today. -- the attorney general's testimony today. in an >> senior reporter with the politico.com what did the judiciary learn from the attorney general's testimony? >> he got beat up pretty heavily by the republicans. he told the senate judiciary committee that he had an in of rio, he and director of the fbi robert muller had been interviewed. he just started an investigation into leaked information on u.s. cyber attacks on iran and about a hit list of u.s. drone attacks.
it was a very serious interview. the fbi agents conducting the probe are very serious. there has been a special counsel appointed on this. ins -- in fact, sir john mccain has introduced a non-binding resolution. the obama administration are playing this off. he got some criticism from republicans over the independence of these u.s. attorney's he appointed. the republicans were very tough on eric colder today puritans >> why does the attorney general continue to get questions about the so-called fast and furious program? >> that is a hugely controversial issue. that is the program where u.s. law-enforcement allowed guns to go to mexican drug cartels.
the justice department has faced for over a year now questions about its handling of that event and questions about its response. at one point, the justice department sent a letter to congress saying this is what happened. it was an extraordinary move and they had to withdraw that letter. now holder faces a hearing on june 20 over failing to cooperate. today, senator john cornyn in taxes called on him to resign over fast and free areas. -- fast and furious. he has dozens of republicans calling for him to resign. the mitt romney has called for him to resign. he has not offered to give any ground. he said he would work with john painter over some kind of compromise.
-- john boehner over some kind of compromise. he also offered to work with the senate chairman john got -- tedero isaf. -- daryl issa. holder today continue to talk about a constitutional crisis over this content vote, which is just the right house's way of pushing on the republicans. -- the white house's way of pushing back on the republicans. the stakes are very high here. >> in your story in politico suggest that perhaps the republican leaders do not want to keep the content issues. what are they concerned about? >> basically, their position is they want the justice department to cooperate.
they feel they have a legitimate right. is a congressional investigation to get access to the justice department. it is an extraordinary movement by the justice department dropping an official letter to the congress. and that took place last year. they want all this information and they feel they have the right to ask for it. t for attorneydenc holder to offer this information. the justice department is saying, look, a lot of the material is being used in ongoing investigations. if some of it is court sealed, so they cannot give it to republicans. house republicans would rather not go to a contempt vote if they can avoid it.
they do not want to take that step. they will do it if they have to, if they feel they have to. even if there is a contempt, they may not get everything they want. i think their options are limited. if justice does not cooperate, they are being driven by their own members and their own base, who feel very strongly about this. this is a very serious issue. many of the weapons that were given to the drug cartel ended up being involved in the deaths of two border control agents. there's a lot of concern over the justice department of being fourth covering -- forthcoming. i do not think they want a showdown with justice over this in the middle of an election year. i think they feel about will become caught up in the white
house politics. this could easily be misconstrued. but this is a legitimate case for the republicans. this is a serious matter and there is a general sentiment that the justice department has not been handling this properly. >> you can read his reporting have to politico.com. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> and here is an hour and 10 minutes of the attorney general's testimony before the judiciary committee today. we will start off from some church truck -- chuck grassley about the fast and furious gunrunning operation. we will also hear the attorney- general explain why he thinks he could face a constitutional crisis, and senator john cornyn
telling him he should resign over the fast and furious operation. >> i want to follow-up on fisa request the authorization. and i agree with you, are there any changes needed to enhance capabilities or to protect the rights of u.s. citizens? and secondly, is in it true that the u.s. faa conducts oversight of the program? >> it is true there is that component that the inspector general has to do. i believe it is on an annual basis. it might be every six months, but i believe it is on an annual basis that the inspector general does report. as we look at the bill and the potential reauthorization, we are essentially in a good place.
we want to look at any concerns that might be raised in terms of new tools that we need, liberties and protections that perhaps need to be advanced. >> on fast and furious i have had the chance to review some of the details on the wiretap. i do not have a lot of the details on the tactics of fast and furious. in march of last year he said he was alarmed at the contradiction and immediately send an e-mail warning to others. but the department did not withdraw the letter to him until december, 2011.
in july of 2011, we ask for that e-mail from acting director nelson. we need to see it to corroborate his testimony, but the department is withholding that e-mail along with every other document after a jury for, 2011. on what legal ground are you withholding that e-mail? the president cannot claim executive privilege to withhold that e-mail. is that correct? >> let me just explain. we have reached out to chairman issa and members of the leadership on the house side to try to work our way through the issue. these are sporadic context. there is a basis for these documents if they deal with
deliver tariff -- in spite of that, i want to make it clear that i am offering to sit down, i myself, and offering to sit down with you, the chairman, whoever, to try to work our way through this to avoid a constitutional crisis, and come up with creative ways in which we can perhaps make this material available. but i have to have a willing partner. i have extended my hand and i have to hear back.
i read that affidavits and a summary memos, i think, after my last house hearing. it had become a topic of conversation. and i'd -- i had not known what was contained in them. i spent some time with my staff reading those affidavits. >> how can you look at those and see no problems when others reviewed them and saw very major problems? >> i cannot talk about the contents of those that were sealed, but i will align myself with what ranking member cummings said in his letter in reaching the same conclusions that i do.
you reach conclusions on the basis of hindsight. and i try to put myself in the position of the people who were actually having the material given to them. >> i wrote to four months ago asking you to seek permission of the court to share the affidavits with congress. i have received no substantive reply that you have acknowledged my letter. liu seek the court's permission to release the affidavits so people can decide for themselves what they mean? and if there are any problem somewhere there is some incentive, maybe the judge could remove any sensitive information before release.
and if you have any concerns, and i hope you do not, but wouldn't that address your concerns? >> we have done some preliminary research and it does not happen very frequently. the justice department has sought to have wiretap information available. but i will put that on the table as something we can continue -- consider. i am willing to consider that as a possibility to try to avoid what i think is an impending constitutional crisis. >> have the -- why should congress get to see what the
indicted smugglers get to see? greta i do not know on that issue. >> and it has been reported that the national security division has been recused from at least one and is -- one investigation secure -- stemming from the security leaks. is this correct? and if so, how is this not a conflict of interest and how do we know this case will not be dismissed prosecution like maybe the tampa case? >> good people early in this investigation. two great attorneys who have shown a willingness to take on difficult kinds of cases.
one was so impressive that the president asked him to stay on as u.s. attorney for maryland. we have shown -- we have people who have shown independence and the ability to be thorough and the guts to ask tough questions. and i have given them the john reid where they are. lead wherever they are. i have great faith in their abilities. >> in the tamez case and the fbi amtrak case, you relied on the prosecutors to dismiss the cases. here, u.n. structure political appointees to do the work. why did you -- you rely on your political appointees to the work. a wide view rely on political appointees in this investigation? >> we have to be able to command career people to be able to interact with the investigative
agencies. the logical people have done on -- and a couple of cases that we have been asked to do this, we have moved away from in a pending council model, which proved to be not particularly successful. what we have seen since that time is the use of u.s. attorneys who were not involved in the underlying manners -- matters. >> at the last oversight hearing, we discussed the justice department plans to close four antitrust field offices. since then got six of the chiefs in the seven of the field offices wrote to you that this group -- that this decision be reversed. it stated to you that if the field offices are closed, it will make the difficult to continue investigation in the 21
states and territories served by the field offices. april i wrote to you that it was affecting consumers and local governments and have brought in $95 million in fines in the last five years. closing the dawes and atlanta offices will have no antitrust presence in the southern half of the country. moreover, we have been involved -- informed that $6 million to $8 million because of the lack of staff which gene -- would seem to show a lack of responsiveness. of the sixosing four offices be perhaps a penny wise and pound foolish? would you be willing to reconsider your decision?
>> the antitrust division has been a priority for this justice department. we can look out of the things that we have done and see that fact is true. we are looking for the time of budgetary constraints to come up with ways that we can be efficient and effective. that is why we have decided to implement this plan. we have seen these cases become more complex. they can best be handled with the reduced number of offices with larger number of teams. also, a number of people in these offices will be offered jobs within the justice department. people can move to all other places. people in support will be given jobs in the u.s. attorney's office that is closest to them. i think there is a programmatic
reason for this and a budgetary reason for this and their work is no loss. >> all of the money to be saved would be the reduction in staff. you are saying those people will be given opportunities to relocate. it does not look as if we are talking about any appreciable reduction in costs. and fewer offices. that is why i'm asking you to reconsider this decision so we can be clearer about the advocacy of doing it. >> there are rents that we do not have to pay. there are places where we can use people where we now have vacancies. at the end of the day, it is very positive for us. >> for nearly three years i've been working with industry
stakeholders on legislation to allow nurses -- to allow those in nursing homes access to preserve should drugs for crippling pain. i'm very much aware and do appreciate the gravity of the problem. the longer this remains unresolved, the more nursing home residents will continue to suffer. we need to reach a mutually agreeable solution. >> i thought you and i worked pretty effectively on dealing with some of the concerns valued at very legitimately raised earlier. i want to make sure that we follow through in that same spirit and ultimately, get a handle around any issues that remain.
i know that you will be leaving the senate, and i hope that we have an opportunity to conclude this in a good place before that happens. >> in connection with that, let me ask you about your future plans. by the end of the year, you will have served as attorney general for nearly four years. we know that your position is very demanding in dealing with some of the issues of our country. we commend you for your outstanding service. if president obama is reelected, will you continue to serve as attorney general at in a second term. >> i think that you need to ask president obama that question. >> in the event that he asks you to. >> i have enjoyed my job. it is one that takes a lot of you. some raise concerns about
whether i was tough enough before this job. hopefully i have done this job in a way that is consistent with our values. i stuck by my guns. i have been criticized a lot by the positions i have taken. i have lost some, but i have one more -- won more than i have lost. it has been the highlight of my career to have been attorney- general of the united states and to work with you all and to serve this president. what my future holds i am not sure. >> thank you. when the second court of appeals overturned the conviction of a goldman sachs programmer who sold millions of dollars -- stole millions of dollars from the company. the court rules -- ruled that he did not steal from the company because that stolen computer was not the issue.
does this give a free pass to anyone out there who wants to steal a company's proprietary and highly valuable computer codes? >> we have to -- there's no question that the decision was a suspect -- a setback. when we get back to this committee, oer members of congress, we need to see if there is a fix we might put in place to deal with that issue. but there is no question that is a negative issue. i think your right to raise the concern and i hope to work with this committee to identify concerns. but the analysis has been ongoing.
>> thank you. >> thank you, senator kyl. i'm going on the list given to me by rank and member staff for order. senator kyl will be next and then senator feinstein. >> mr. attorney general, i would like to ask you about what you have delicately describe as the unauthorized disclosures. first, what are you investigating? second, the potential need to get evidence from reporters. third, regarding the conflict of interest. and fourth, why two prosecutors? when i say what exactly is the department investigating, we have all read about four specific areas of leaks.
on the matter of journalists, you said you would commit to following the evidence where it leads. i presume that means leaving no stone unturned. does it require journalists to reveal their sources of the information cannot be retained otherwise? it would be helpful if you think the own -- your own justice parvin guidelines in dealing with the members of the public are adequate. are these adequate for your purposes here? what are the circumstances requiring testimony from the media. you said these leaks will not be tolerated. i want to know if there will be
an exception if journalists will not give you information. i know there are references to title 28, section 600, the cfr's, but since the reporting, the information here is that the leaks came from participants in situation room mean-spirited that boils down to a very small and specific group of people. -- in situation room meetings. that boils down to a very small as this of a group of people. the photos of the meeting when bin laden was killed, the people in the room we recognize. would it be a potential conflict of interest if the evidence pointed to tom donnelly or john brennan?
and i presume that the president and j. carne and david axelrod are not part of your investigating team. how can they say with great assurance that "this case does not present a conflict of interest"? how can they present that at this point? and i'm curious about prosecutors. do the two have to agree on everything? can you just expand on that? >> with regard to the national security division, the refusal is not the entire division. it is only the specific portion that might have had exposure to these at a matter of the investigation. that is simply as a matter of routine. it does not mean that these people did anything wrong. there section might have had access to the material that was inappropriately disclosed.
these career people who are not in that category can be a part of the ongoing investigation. with regard to the question of the press, we have in place, as you indicated and as you know, regulations that have to be followed. and i think those are adequate. we have to have testimony from the press and that has to be signed off on by the attorney general. and i think that is appropriate. we have brought more leak cases during this administration than any other administration. i was getting hammered by the left on that only two weeks ago. now i'm getting hammered on the right by potentially not going after leaks. it makes for an interesting dynamic.
the mechanisms in place or the ones and we have shown in the past no hesitancy to employ them. >> on and check it with your investigating, can you be more precise? >> >> i do not want to go exactly into what we are looking at. some of the programs are extremely sensitive and as the deputy attorney general testified before the subcommittee last week, to my knowledge an investigation of a particular item could necessarily be seen as the acknowledged of the existence of the program, or that effort. i do not think that is an inappropriate thing to do. but that is one of the reasons -- i do not think that is an appropriate thing to do. but i do think it is one of the reasons to keep the intelligence community abreast of what we are doing.
>> on the conflict of interest income of we are bringing it down to the participants in the situation room meetings. a very small, readily identifiable group of people. doesn't that inherently present a conflict of interest in those people's direct involvement with the president? >> i read the article with mr. sanger. he talked about information from sources may be other than the white house. but let me be clear, our investigation will follow wherever it may take us. they have the end -- the independence and the ability -- >> but doesn't that represent a
conflict of interest? they might have had access to is this a big individuals. and i'm saying, if the evidence led there, wouldn't that be an inherent conflict? courts we do not want to get into a hypothetical. -- >> we do not want to look at hypothetical. we want to also look at the alternatives. the need is to operate with some degree of haste. that is why i picked these two really good u.s. attorneys to handle this issue. >> my time is up. i presume that j kearney and david axelrod are not involved.
do they have a basis for knowing that the case does not have a conflict of interest? and can you describe the two individuals? you have appointed to two, not one, but two individuals what is the division of responsibility? are they looking at the very same thing? what are the rules of engagement? could you specifically tell us whether david axelrod, or the president, or jay carney have a basis for reaching the conclusion of the case does not have a conflict of interest? can they sit at this point? >> at this point in the investigation there is not a basis for a conflict of interest. but we are monitoring on an ongoing basis. we have set up a mechanism so we can be a bias on the possibility of a conflict.
and at some point, the people given that responsibility indicate to director moeller or toomey -- to me and we will act appropriately. >> anything on the last point? >> i'm sorry? >> pettibone prosecutors read the than one. >> i do not want to go into -- two prosecutors rather than one. >> i do not want to go into the division of duties. and i'm not trying to be evasive. i just do not want to go into things that should ever have been leaked in this setting. but i will be honest about my attractions with the intelligence committee in a different form.
-- for rahm. -- forum. >> these prosecutors, one a bush appointee and 1 aidan obama -- and one and a obama appointee. choice.they're a good senator feinstein. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. welcome, general. it is good to see you. noon, ae that around sense of the senate revolution announcedtion will be se to set up the general counsel. and i would just like to say that at this time i oppose the legislation. the attorney general called me on friday and indicated he was assigning to -- two united
states attorney's to investigate, so i looked up the credentials of these u.s. attorneys. i would like to review some of the credentials. one of them is the wrong united states attorney from maryland. he is a republican, but has served in both republican and democratic administrations. he served in the ashcroft justice department as principal deputy assistant ag for the tax division from 2001-a 05. he also worked for kenneth starr as associate counsel. he found no basis for prosecution of the clinton white house officials who have obtained fbi background of reports. in 2005, he was nominated by president bush and unanimously confirmed to serve as u.s.
attorney for the district of maryland. on his nomination, president bush said this. "rod rosen seen is a highly accomplished and well respected attorney who was widely praised by lawyers and judges alike, for his ethical standards and fairness. -- and fairness." . his nomination was favorably reported by this committee and he was confirmed by the full senate by unanimous consent. he served as assistant u.s. attorney from 1987 to 2001. he worked as a partner before becoming a u.s. attorney. he is a graduate at stanford and harvard law school.
the reason why i appoint a special counsel is because a special counsel takes a long time. if you take a look at the scooter libby case, it took four years to complete. by comparison, we have been told from the washington field office that they are already conducting interviews to find out who leaked to the aqae bomb plot. i really think this is the way to go. i will support it. i'm hopeful that members of the intelligence committee and this committee will support the investigation of these leaks. i think to have a fight over how we do this now will set back any leak in this investigation.
these are two scrupulous men and i have no reason to believe that why they cannot work with the fbi and assemble a very strong prosecution team where warranted. on the subject as to why fbi agents were recused, and you pointed this out mr. attorney general, that this was really an abundance of caution so that no one had anything to do with in this edition -- with the investigation, particularly the bomb as it left yemen, will be involved in the in the investigation. >> yes, i do not believe anyone that has been reduced -- some of the attorneys have been reduced
in that way. -- were accused -- recused in that way. >> i mentioned to them ranking member as he left, on the reports, i very much agree with what he said. the committee has extensive language on the report on the bill that we are now our bar to put together on the subject. there is an abundance of i.t. requirements. and requirements on your department to produce various reports. let me just read a couple of things. section no. 2 requires annual assessment by the attorney
general and the dni provided to congress and the service corps. in addition to the department of justice and certain elements of the intelligence community, your authorized for section 702 and must provide copies to the attorney-general ahman gma -- the attorney general. at our last meeting we had a reminder of their reviews. we also just recently have the inspectors general before us. i can tell you i found them very forward leaning, straightforward, and really felt that they are capable of exercising a strong investigations and making
conclusions regardless of where those investigations may fall. senator grassley and i had something called the senate caucus for international drug control. and it has been very interesting because in the course of so doing, we have had the opportunity to look at mexico, the caribbean islands, afghanistan, guatemala, and a number of different places with respect to drugs. the senate passed a bill that senator grassley and i did talk -- called the targeting transnational drug trafficking act of 2011. the bill withholds the threshold of current law, which says that
no illegal drugs will be traffic into the u.s. and instead it says requires reasonable evidence to believe that drugs will be traffic into the united states. under current law, our ability to attract has nothing to do -- those wety to attractrack are bringing drugs into the u.s. has nothing to do with whether we believe they intend to. could you tell me whether this extradites the ability to -- whether this enhances the ability to extradite drug kingpins to the u.s.? >> this is pouring out a problem that we have in getting these drug kingpins back into the
country where we have shown over the years, republican and democratic justice department, where we have the greatest capacity to incapacitate people and put them in jail for extended periods of time. your emphasis on nations other than mexico is really important and is something that we have not necessarily been -- don as great job. these cartels are looking for other ways to get their drugs into the united states as we have had efforts that are more successful. the mechanism that you have talked about can be extremely useful. i look forward to working with you with regard to that bill. >> thank you. it has passed the senate. but we need to get it passed the house. >> i agree. senator gramm is next.
>> thank you, attorney general holder, for coming. it is the national security adviser part of the white house, in your view? >> every time i see him, that is where he is. >> have you read tom orix review of -- tom rick's review of mr. singer's book? >> and no, i have not. >> on the kill list and other things that we are talking about, he says that mr. singer has enjoyed great access to senior white house officials, most notably thomas bauman, them national security adviser. he is the hero of events. i do not know what mr. donnellan did, but according to this review and my other reading of the exurbs of the book, someone has been talking to others about high-level
programs. how serious do you consider these leaks? >> i think they are extremely serious. >> with baby 10, 8, 9? but i'm not sure what -- >> would they be 10, 8, 9? >> i'm not sure what a 10 would be. >> i guess my concern on this side of the aisle is that there are clearly people around the president leaking stories that involve highly classified information. here is the concern that we have. you have one program called fast and furious that has been an embarrassment to the administration. and it has been like pulling teeth about it. when you have programs on the national security front that seem to show the president as a strong leader, you can read
about it on the -- in the paper. my concern is that a lot of us believe that if there was ever a need for an outside special counsel. what do you say? >> as i've said, the two people appointed to look into these matters are first-rate prosecutors, ny think will do a great job. as we look at a history of what you as a balinese -- as we look at the history of what happened? chelan >> i guess what i'm getting at is come -- i guess what i'm getting at is, do you believe this was a good thing? >> shourd. >> one person in the staff that was close to the white house ended up being purged -- prosecuted. you think it was good to have
special counsel in the jack abramoff case? >> let me go back to the other case first. you are trying to muscle my words and i misunderstood. deplane case involves someone who was a u.s. attorney, the same thing i have done here. these people are now appointed as regular u.s. attorney's because it is possible that some of these acts occurred -- if we have proof that things happen outside their districts to mike and appoint them under section 515 as special counsel. >> you are fighting the very concept that press -- that senator obama wrote a letter to the bush administration. vice-president biden was on tv morning, noon, and i'd urging the bush administration to appoint a special counsel in the valerie plame case, the cia torture case.
senator obama then wrote a letter with a bunch of his democratic colleagues urging attorney general of solace -- gonzales about the jack abramoff case because of the access he enjoyed. and as a result, some high- ranking republicans wound up being compromised, and going to jail. the political intrigue around valerie plame and jack abramoff is no greater than it is here. we are talking about people surrounding the president and the national security apparatus at the highest levels and you are resisting doing what senator obama and senator biden suggested was in the public interest. why? >> as attorney general, i am seized with looking at -- with the responsibility of looking at allegations and controversy and making decisions on the basis of
what i think makes for a successful investigation and -- >> i hate to interrupt. we have a good relationship. but you are being subpoenaed. you may be held in contempt by the house. 39 democrats have asked for more information. i'm just a justin god-given the -- i am just suggesting, given the problems with republicans in the house, and the example of that then senator obama and senator biden, you would be doing the country great service to appoint someone new. i am sure these people are fine folks. but quite frankly, i am very disturbed about the inability of getting any information regarding programs that are deemed embarrassing and the tendency of the administration to tell the whole world about things that are good. i think he would be doing a great service to your country if
you followed what has been done before you. >> i have followed what has worked. >> the valerie plame and abramoff investigations worked. >> well, certainly. >> somebody new other than these two people that all of us could buy into. >> [unintelligible] >> i think you're missing the fact that this is a very big deal. and you are howling in a way to create suspicion is where there should not be. all i'm asking is for you to find a lawyer that all of us can say that is the right person to do this job, rather than you picking two people and telling us how great they are. i do not know them from addams house guest. there are a lot of lawyers in this country i do know that
would follow the lead. i'm asking you to reconsider your decision and appoint somebody that all of us have confidence in. i am asking no more of you then senator obama and senator biden asked in investigations that i think are no worse than this. >> i do know these people and they are good lawyers. they are tough prosecutors. >> the answer is, you are not going to change your mind. >> they are a cut of the mold of pat fitzgerald. what you are missing is the sitting u.s. attorney who has done nothing differently than what i have done regarding these people. >> what you are missing is the biggest double standard in recent times. if the very people who are in charge of a white house that i believe has compromise national security on like any time in recent memory, when that -- unlike any time in recent
memory, when they were in this body, they were advocating to the bush administration to appoint somebody new. appoint a special prosecutor that we could all have confidence in. it suggested that the bush administration was trying to protect themselves by not doing what they were urging. now here, the shoe is on the other foot and you are not willing to embrace the idea that we -- it would be better off for the country if you could pick somebody that we could all buy into from the get go rather than picking two people that you say are great that i do not know anything about. at the end of the day, i cannot believe this is even a debate given the national security implications of the leaks. >> i let my friend go way over his time so he could get his speech in -- >> not nearly as much as my other colleagues. >> i would note that the request
for special counsel, as i recall, that was after attorney general gonzález testified that he considered himself part of the president's staff and not an independent attorney general, unlike attorney general casey -- and the casey, who appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the firing of u.s. attorneys at the cia. >> there is no doubt in my mind that the shoe on and -- were on the other foot, you and everybody on that side would be screaming to appoint a special prosecutor that all of us could buy into. given the record of the way you have behaved, as well as your colleagues, and when a obama and geithner centers, this cries out for corrective action. >> and i have seen the talking points that the republican candidates have and you have
probably use them better than anyone else. >> mr. chairman, if i could correct the record here. the abraham -- the abramoff case was handled by the public integrity section of the united states department of judges -- justice. the valerie plame case was handled by the u.s. attorney. >> specially appointed with powers and protection outside the system that we are all concerned about. you have the chance to leave the country in a new direction, and the fact that you are not going to do this deserves all of us on our side of the aisle. >> i think before we prejudge what the u.s. attorneys are going to do, let's see what they do. the crux -- >> i have been criticized by both democrat and republican administrations if they are not going forward -- they will be criticized by both democrat and republican administrations of they are not
going forward with their jobs. let's see how they do. >> let me state at the outset that the senator from south carolina is my friend and we agree on so many things, but i do take attention to your statement that this administration -- i do take exception to your statement that this administration is compromising security more than others before. i think i was out of line. we i would like to remind those that are following us that we have listened to speech after speech from the minority leader and other members of this panel about how impossible it is to prosecute would-be terrorists in article 3 courts and should be referred to military tribunals. i believe the track record at this moment under this administration is that over 400 would-be terrorists have been stopped and article 3 courts, and six in military tribunals. that our country is sick today because of the administration when appropriate to send cases to article 3 courts and to suggest that this particular of ministration somehow compromise national security is not borne
by the evidence. i would ask the attorney general to respond. >> in terms of the article 3 system, it has proven to be effective in this administration and prior administration. we have proven the ability to get intelligence out of people. we have had successful prosecution. we have been able to conduct these cases safely without putting anyone at minsk -- at risk in the immediate area. we need to have faith in what we called the greatest judicial system in the world. those who lost faith and the ability went head-long into the facts. >> if i could return to this specific instance here, i recall very well when patrick fitzgerald was chosen, a sitting u.s. attorneys from the northern district of illinois,
who conducted a lengthy investigation of the valerie plame situation. it started with the premise that someone had outed valerie plame -- [unintelligible] that has in fact been vacant for 10 years. i think he did an excellent job, over the job for man of his character. we talked about this on the phone. the suggestion that you cannot find two sitting attorneys they could do this good a job, they have all been approved by this panel. the senate judiciary committee reviewed their qualifications before giving them this authority.
i like to ask you, do you believe is necessary as senator mccain is going to request in just a few moments on the floor that we delegate and outside special counsel, outside the department of justice, to serve the cause of justice in this important investigation? >> no, i do not. we have the capacity, the people, the mechanisms within the department of justice to really look at these kind of cases. we have handled plead cases within the department. i have been criticized for being as aggressive as we have. i have great faith in the ability and integrity of these two gentlemen. >> amar to respond to some of the things that have been said and asked. relating to my home state of illinois, we have a prison owned by the state of illinois that has in fact been vacant for 10 years. our state has tried to
negotiate an agreement with the bureau prisons, which faces its own overcrowding challenges to come up with appropriate purchase price, and they agreed on one that has been approved through the state government. one of the contentious issues related to whether or not guantanamo detainees would be transferred to the thompson prison. you sent a letter that suggested -- did not suggest, as stated consistent state law, we will not transfer detainees or otherwise house them at thompson. that letter was sent several years ago. i want to ask this question as to whether or not there is a vacation and that statement. i would like to ask you, and i am sorry to say this, under oath as you are as testimony before this committee, i would like to ask you as attorney general, but will you pledge under no circumstances will be obama administration seek to transfer detainees from
guantanamo to thompson regardless of what the law permits? take of that is an accurate statement of our position. we want to acquire the thompson facility. it would be a welcome addition to the bureau of prisons and increase the capacity we need for those kinds of prisoners, and we will not move people from guantanamo, regardless of the state of the law for thompson. that is my pledge. >> for the record, this matter has been debated for over a year. at has been approved on the senate side. it has been held up by one republican congressman. i hope your testimony under oath will satisfy whatever questions remind -- remain in his mind. but me ask you about another issue. i would ask ari u.s. ambassador, what is the first thing i should raise on behalf of the united states when
meeting with the president of this country. he would say without fail, elections. make it clear that it there want to be a clear democracy they have to have clear and fair elections, given the opposition and opportunity, making people that are eligible to vote able to vote. i have held hearings in two states as part of the subcommittee in florida and ohio. over recent the laws that limit the opportunities of the residents of those states to vote in the november election. i have called the election officials and ask them point- blank, what was the evidence of voter fraud that led state legislatures to put of the requirements of the law to restrict opportunity to vote? without fail, they said there was no evidence that led to the
state decision. this group, alec american legislative campaign counsel has been campaigning to change state laws. this comes into a voting rights question, which you are well aware of. i might add that some of the evidence that is coming out now makes it clear, for example, in the state of florida, they launched a controversial project that made this franchise voters. they are purging them of non- citizens. only eligible american citizens should be able to vote, but florida's process is the leading people from the registration list has been so careless, it has been wracked with errors. of the two house -- 2780 names on the list, many were majorities.
-- minorities. the overwhelming were registered independents, democrats, and republicans. more to the point, all the people of the state's list of non-citizens are actually american citizens. i raise this point because as we preach to the world the requirements of democracy when it comes to elections, the question is whether we're practicing them in the states of florida, ohio, and so many other places. in light of the department of justice conclusion, what steps is your department taking were prepared to take a florida's governor and the secretary of state continue to ignore the department of justice ordered to stop urging the registration list? >> we sent two letters to the state of florida. i have given authorization to the civil-rights division to go into court and sue the state of florida to stop these purchase, which are inconsistent with the national registration boater at.
-- voter act. clearly in violation, which requires there be a quiet period, 90 days between any action you might want to take in the holding of an election or primary. my expectation is that will be filed within the next 24-48 hours. we have done all we can and try to reason with people in florida through the provision of these letters. we're not prepared to go to court. -- we are now prepared to go to court. >> i hope that is not necessary, but what is at stake is critical. if we are going to preach to the world the requirements of democracy in our practice them at home, we will flunk our own human rights scorecard in the part of state. i think we have to stand up for those that have political power and tried to restrict the rights of the american citizen -- american citizens the right to vote. >> would you agree with me that given the gravity of the national security leaks that it is important the investigation be non-partisan and independent?
take your shirt, and we can do that with the people i have appointed. -- >> sure, and we can do that with the people i have appointed. >> the report to you, correct? >> they report to me as they have in the past. >> the acting attorney general delegated all investigative authority of the attorney general through the special counsel. it operated independent of the control of any officer at the department of justice, correct? >> he was a good deputy attorney general. the regulations in place make very clear that someone appointed pursuant to those regulations is supposed to act within the chain and followed justice department rules. it is in contrast to the independent counsel act that was led to expire towards the
end of the clinton of frustration. to go you hired him first in 1997, correct? -- >> you hired him as an assistant deputy counsel in 1997, correct? >> yes, i am not sure of the date, but i did hire him. >> would it surprise you to know he is a contributor to president obama's campaign? i am confident he has the ability, capacity to investigate this case and an on-partisan independent, the road, and aggressive way. >> the question that raises by your answer is whether you have the independence and ability to conduct the investigation, if in fact all of this comes back through you, and given your track record. i just want to go over -- >> my track record is consistent -- my record i think it will stand on. i have shown the capacity to
investigate people within the administration. we have brought -- let's focus on those. >> let's not filibuster the time. but the talk about your record. you misled congress in february 2011 and claimed there had never been a gun walking program and had to retract that in november 2011. you missed lead rep issa in may, 2011. then you had to a bit to senator grassley you learned about the tactics in january of 2011. you claimed in a press conference of september 2011 you had no knowledge of the last entry is done walking program, while it was clear your inner circle employees received briefings and memos, including we need for work, grinler and others. you claim that fast and furious wiretap did not detail walking tactics.
i have read them. they do please read tea -- raise plenty of red flags about the tactic. you have defied oversight responsibilities to the house of representatives in the senate. you resisted producing documents. and you failed to respond to my letter of august 2011 were i asked to about gun walking tactics that occurred in my state. after ryan terry lost his life in service to his country at the hands of a drug cartel member who shot him using a weapon that was allowed to walk under this program, there has been zero accountability to the department of justice. you will not appoint a special prosecutor in the face of a potential conflict of interest. you will not tell the truth about what you know and when
you knew it fast and furious. he will not cooperate with a legitimate investigation. you will not answer my questions about gun walking in texas. you will not take responsibility for the failures of your inner circle and will not hold anyone accountable. i am afraid we come to an impasse, the leaking of classified information represents a major threat to national security, and your office faces a clear conflict of interest, yet you will not appoint a special counsel. he will not take the threat seriously. meanwhile, you still resist coming clean about what you knew and when you do it with regard to operation fast and furious. you will not cooperate with the legitimate investigation, and you will not hold anyone accountable. your department blocks fixed from implementing the thames to combat voter fraud, and you have violated the public trust
in my view, and by failing to refused the duties of your office. it is more with sorrow than anger that i would say you leave me no alternative but to join those who call upon you to resign your office. americans deserve -- deserve an attorney general that will be honest with them. you have proven time and time again, sadly, you are unwilling to do so. the american people deserve better and deserve an attorney general that is accountable and independent and puts justice before politics. it is my severe hope president obama will replace you with someone that is up to the challenge. >> you certainly have the right to respond to that. the attorney general from texas has accused you of perjury, a criminal offense.
i remember his strong support for one of your predecessors, attorney general gonzales. i have a different view of that. i felt you are a more appropriate person to be attorney general, so feel free to respond. >> with all due respect, there is so much factually wrong with the premises you started your statement with. it is almost breathtaking in the inaccuracy, but i will simply leave it at that. we want to talk about fast and furious. this is now the ninth time i have answered questions before a congressional committee about fast and furious. i am the attorney general but put an end to the misguided tactics. the attorney general was briefed on these tactics and did
nothing to stop them. 300 guns at least walked in that instance. i am the attorney general called on an inspector general to look into the matter and investigate. i am also the one that made personnel changes that was involved in overseeing the changes of prophecies and procedures to make sure that this does not happen ever again, so i do not have any intention of resigning. i heard the white house press officer said yesterday that the president has absolute confidence in me. i do not have any reason to believe that is not the case. in terms of what it is that we have turned over to congress in this regard, let's put something on the record. we have collected data from -- this is part of fast and furious.
we collected data from 240 custodians. we process millions of electronic records. turned over 7600 pages over the course of 46 separate productions. we have made available people from the department at the highest levels to be interviewed, and i have also indicated earlier in my testimony to the extent that all of that is not enough to satisfy the concerns that have been raised in the house committee. i am willing to sit down and talk about the provision of more materials. i have sent letters in that regard. i have not had responses, which leads me to believe that the desire here is not for accommodation, but for a political point making. that is the kind of thing that that you and your side i guess have the ability to do. it is the thing that turns people off about washington.
we are still involved in this political gamesmanship. >> mr. attorney general, the problem we have is you will not allow congress to do its job when it comes to our site and you fort a legitimate investigation like fast and furious. you send a letter in february 2011 to this committee in response to senator grassley's increasing nothing like that existed. it took until november 2011 to apologize for misleading congress. finally, you refuse to produce any documents that post-date the false letter of february 2011 to either the house or senate. i am happy to have a conversation about what the facts show at another time and place, but i stand on the record. >> with regards to the letter, let's talk about that. i made available all the
material that went into the creation of the letter, which is unheard of. that is something the justice department always tries to protect. we made that available. as i said in will say it again, to the extent there are issues that remain unresolved, materials that people want to get, i am willing to subject myself to the process to listen to those requests and make available to things yet today we have not decided would be appropriate. i want to avoid a constitutional crisis. i will not compromise the integrity of on going prosecutions or put at risk witnesses or people we are working with. aside from those concerns, i am willing to work with congress in this regard. to go out of fairness to the other we should go forth. -- >> out of the fairness to the
others, we should go forth. i do appreciate that you stop it. >> welcome, attorney general. i wanted to make one point, and then ask a couple of questions. the point i would like to make is that it is my belief as a former united states attorney of someone who has been involved with the department of justice, that it should be our baseline expectation that every attorney general, and every united states attorney should be willing and able to follow evidence in the criminal prosecution were ever leaves, and in that regard the department of justice is a somewhat different entity than the other elements of the administration in which
political control of the department of agriculture might be more appropriate, but that within the department of justice, we behaved differently. i worry that where this discussion is going is setting the bar to low with a presumption that then will become the standard that the united states attorneys are not capable of investigating the executive branch of government, which i think is factually wrong and runs against the history of the apartment, and the department has put a lot of effort into building a safeguard of checks and balances to make sure those pressures stay out of the department. i cannot remember that for a long time there was actually a role based on the letter from senator hatch that only very few members were allowed to contact anyone in the department
of justice, and it was a very small number on either side. during the bush administration hundreds of people could have direct access to the department of justice folks on criminal investigations, and after i pointed that out, i think they've retreated on that, but there have been all of these senses build overtime to protect the unique role. there have been high point of low points. when the acting attorney general went all the way to the oval office to stand up for the department of justice independent view that the war was wireless -- wiretapping program was be conducted illegally, and if the white house did not back down, he and a considerable number of senior members were all going to resign. faced with that pressure from the department of justice, the white house blinks and reconstituted the program.
a less happy event is when the inspector general investigation into the politicization the attorneys actually lead into the white house, and the attorney general refused to conduct an investigation once it touch the white house, even though there is no executive privilege between the white house and the united states department of justice, that may have been the first time that i am aware of that the department of justice back down on pursuing evidence reluctant -- relevant to an investigation because it touched on the white house. i think that was an unhappy and not representative of the best traditions. i stand with you that not only should the department not do these investigations. if not, we have our real problem on our hands. it should be the default position that the attorney general's have the ability to do that.
if we do not think they do, we should not confirm them. >> today's hearing with attorney general eric holder lasted two hours and 45 minutes. and see the entire hearing tonight on c-span at 8 eastern. you can see it any time on our website, c-span.org. >> this week and next week, two congressional hearings have meetings on whether large financial firms such as j.p. morgan pose a threat to the u.s. financial system. both committees will hear from j.p. morgan ceo jamie diamond. j.p. morgan recently lost at least $2 billion in derivatives trading. the senate banking committee hearing is tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. eastern, live, on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. next week on tuesday, june 19,
jamie dimon appeared before the house and into services committee. that is live on c-span3 at 10:00 a.m. eastern. >> the story behind the star spangled banner, the invasion and burning of washington d.c., this weekend on american history tv. mark the bicentennial of the start of the war of 1812 from fort mchenry, the site which princess scott key would see through the rockets' red glare. live saturday at 11:00 a.m. eastern. also this weekend, more from our series on key political figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history. the contenders, sunday at 7:00 p.m., this week with william jennings bryan. american history tv, this weekend on c-span3. >> secretary of state hillary clinton today said the conflict
in syria could be dramatically escalated because russia plans to send attack helicopters to the syrian military. her comments came at the brookings institution where she made a joint appearance with the israeli president shimon peres. there were introduced by president clinton's former ambassador to israel. >> good afternoon, everybody. thank you very much for joining us. it is great pleasure to have you here on the occasion of this event to honor tenure support .or that saban center ar i am director of the foreign policy program here at brookings. we are especially appreciative that so many of you who have
been involved in the work of the saban center art over these seniors are here to join us today. i especially want to welcome center in a way -- center inouye, chairman genachowski, and the ambassador to israel for honoring us with their presence today. when i asked him how he would like to be honored, he at first, of course, refused, and then when i said no was not an option, he said that we should do it in the brookings saban center our tradition of an exchange of ideas about the middle east, and who would he like us to invite to conduct that exchange, i asked him? he answered, shimon peres and hillary. it is a great testament to their friendship that they both agreed to join us today.
it is a great testament to their high reputation and fame that i can say wordsshimon and hillary , and everyone and no to whom i am referring, the president of israel and the secretary of state of the united states. thank you both very much for doing us the honor of joining us today for this conversation. i am not going to spend time on introductions, since you know them both so well. instead, i thought we should go straight to the conversation. i am not sure what the protocol is. i suspect the president outranks the secretary, but since he is such as chevron rose gentleman -- he is known for that among his other characteristics, and i am sure he would agree it should be ladies first. [laughter]
so, madam secretary, i wanted to start by asking you about syria, just to go to the heart of the matter. you have done an incredible job dealing with the world's problems, but i suspect the one that for the time being is the most vexing for you is syria. tell us, please, what is your approach, what is the u.s. strategy for trying to deal with this tremendous brutality that we seem to be witnessing going on there from day to day? >> first, let me thank you and brookings and particularly the say bonn sent -- a kasay event center for allowing us to be here. -- the saban center for allowing
us to be here. i don't think i am alone in saying i admire him so greatly, and i appreciate the chance to talk about some of the issues that we are addressing together. certainly what happens to syria matters greatly to the united states, but it matters drastically to israel, and how we work through the many difficulties that are posed by this unrelenting, brutal crackdown carried out by the assad regime and their military loyalists will have far reaching consequences for the region and beyond. let me just make three quick points. first, we continue to support kofi annan's efforts, and we do so because he represents both
the united nations and the arab league. it is quite unprecedented to have a joint special envoy who is speaking for two organizations that have seen cut their common interests in trying to bring an end to the violence and helped to precipitate and then shepherd through a political transition. the six point plan that former secretary general annan laid out is a good plan. of course, but it is not being implemented, and of course, the contempt and rejection of the first principle of that plan, namely the cessation of violence by the assange regime, has certainly been a grave assault not only on the lives of the
syrian people, but on the international effort intended to bring an end to this ongoing conflict. kofi annan is now trying to put together a group of countries that would include russia we agree should be included, to work on a road map for political transition. russia has increasingly said that it was not defending assad, but it worried what came after a saw, and it would work on political transition, but there are always a lot of caveat that they then interpose. so i met with kofi annan on friday. we talked through what his strategy would be, and he is working very hard to try to implement it. the red line for us would be the
inclusion of iran. we thought that would be a grave error, since we know that iran is not only supporting the assad regime, but actively mentoring, leading, encouraging not merely the regular army but the militias that are springing up, engaging in sectarian conflict. so we have a time line in mind to see whether or not this effort can be successful. the outer limit of that is mid- july when the security council has to decide whether or not to extend the mission, and certainly if there is no discernible movement by then, it will be very difficult to extend a mission that is increasingly dangerous for the observers on the ground.
secondly, cut think that the challenge faced by so many from the near neighbors in the area to those further out is what one can realistically do to try to bring an end to the violence without seeing an increase in the activities of certain elements of the opposition that could lead to even greater violence and the likelihood of a civil war that we are all trying to avoid. so you hear from time to time that the turks are meeting with certain elements, the saudis and others are trying to figure out how to support people who are under the assault of the syrian
regime, and it is quite challenging to actually deliver on that. there are lots of weapons on the black market. there is money that is available. there seems to be an increasing capacity in the opposition, both to defend themselves and take the fight to the syrian military in an irregular way, but there is no doubt that the onslaught continues, the use of heavy artillery and the like. we have confronted the russians about stopping their continued arms shipments to syria. from time to time they have said that we should not worry, everything they are shipping is unrelated to their actions internally. that is patently untrue, and we are concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the
way from russia to syria, which will escalate the conflict quite dramatically. there seems to be amassing of syrian forces around aleppo that we have gotten information about over the last 48 hours. that could very well be a red line for the turks in terms of their strategic and national interests. so we are watching this very carefully. finally, i would say that part of the reason why this is complicated in the face of a clear rejection of what the assad regime is doing is because there is such a fear among many elements of the syrian society and in the region about what would come next. you have not had a wholesale pick departure, support, or even
into exile of a lot of major players in the syrian society. we are approached on a regular basis by representatives of different groups within syria who are terrified of what comes next. i don't know how else to say at. so how we manage a political transition, assuming we could manage a political transition, how we provide restaurants and some level of protection -- how we provide reassurance to christians, jews, kurds, sunni business leaders and the like, how we prevent a massive inflow of refugees across the board damian and turkish borders, how we protect levitan from getting caught up in the sectarian divide -- how we protect 11 on, if these questions -- how we protect lebanon.
if these questions and answers, i would certainly share them with you. as things stand, this is our constant, painful analysis as to how we can push the assad regime out. there is no doubt it needs to go, but create a transition that gives at least some possible reassurance to those who fear what comes next. so i think with that, i will stop. >> mr. president, syria is your northern neighbor. the israeli army is 40 kilometers from damascus prie- dieu deputy chief of staff is in the papers in the last two days about the dangers of serious chemical weapons get into the wrong hands. how do you see this, and what do you think can be done about it? >> i want to thank you very much. i feel at home with them on
matters of peace and matters of social justice. i want also to say a word or two about hillary. not only my personal admiration but by the uniqueness of our role. i never recall if anybody in history, men or women, who travels thousands of miles from place to place, day and night, not because traveling is such a great pleasure, but because she has an unprecedented responsibility. all the previous secretaries of state were dealing with international relations, which is one thing. hillary is dealing with global responsibility, which is a
totally different thing. when you have international relations, it is enough that you go to a capital and that is it, no more. she has to face people all around the world with unbelievable differences. occasionally people are leading the government and sometimes the government is leading the people. we live in a world where governments become weak because their main instruments are taken away from them. the control of the economy and control of security. since economy became global, it affects every country. the global economy without a global government. it is global, it is wild. there is no government that controls it.
hillary is trying to fill the gap by creating alliances, by trying to have common basis, by remaining passionate. it is an entirely new experience. i believe in the middle east we have to think about [unintelligible] the future is permanent. none of us has a choice. in between, we have a transitional situation, which is not the same for all countries but different for every country. [unintelligible]
a doctor came into the hospital and set it give me the average temperature of the sick people. there is no average temperature. you have to have every situation to deal with separately. now, syria. there are unprecedented things. first of all, the validity of the seriasyrian people. people are facing fire every day. a dictator that kills children. for me, the most shocking part is a small coffin with the dead child and it. i cannot stand it.
people are reluctant to say for assad to go, we don't have an alternative. even if there is no alternative -- this is the first time i really want to express my admiration for an air of attempt -- era of attempt to fight for their own freedom -- for an arab attempt to fight for their own freedom. i admire them and i wish them success. as hillary has mentioned already, it is a joint venture between the united nations and the arab league. now you know the situation, what is your proposal? you don't want anybody else to intervene.
the united nations will support you. syria is a very complex case. it is either a dictator that will cause them to be together or a federation that will make them agree. they are ready, let them take responsibility. let's not support them in any way we can. we would like to help, not by arms, but by support. i think right now this should be the decision. the leaders of the world, and
what can the russians do? [unintelligible] no single country can do it without being accused. the arab league could and should do it, and if you ask for my advice, this should be the policy. thank you. >> just following on from that, i wonder if we can shift to the palestinian issue for a moment. here we say that the status quo between israel and the palestinians is unsustainable. but out there where you live, it looks from day to day like the government of israel and the palestinian authority, all of them seem to be satisfied with the status quo, at least for the time being. is the status quo sustainable? >> i think there are two of
those, a movement. in israel before and affairs are extension of the domestic situation. what i can say about the rest of the world, the domestic situation -- we cannot separate ourselves from the global world. it is moving. between us and the palestinians, for example, there are two points. one is the economic development. in order to make peace, you have to build a nation, and the palestinians started to build a nation american help, with israeli support. secondly, the palestinians have never had a force of their own.
but you cannot make a baby become a boy in a short while, and the boy become a grown man. it takes time, but it is growing. i think now it is the time to make peace with the palestinians. the israeli government' -- the palestinians understand that not everything happening in the arab spring is necessarily bringing them time. one of the important things about the arab spring is the arab youngsters understand that their situation is not a result of the conflict between us and the palestinians. they know that reform begins at home. what is happening in syria as nothing to do with israel. what happened in tunisia has nothing to do with libya.
the think we should lead thearabs reform their lives -- we should let the arabs reform their lives and stop using the arab-israeli -- the israeli- palestinian conflict as an excuse. they brought an end to dictatorship. i don't recommend anybody try to grow up to become a dictator in the middle east. it is over. people go in to the elections. if he does not have a solution for the growing problems of the
future, the elections don't mean much. if they don't have a solution for the security of egypt, the elections don't mean much. i would say to the people in egypt, 60% of the population are young people. the future is theirs. they are sick and tired. they don't want to remain poor. they want except corruption. they want freedom. many of them open their eyes. many of the demonstrators were young ladies who are sick and tired of being discriminated. by the way, if you discriminate women, you discriminate your people, because you allow only half of the people to participate in building a nation. the women don't have a chance to be educated, the children are
not educated. 40% of the egyptians are illiterate. for that, you don't need money. you have to reform at home. believe me, i wish and i pray that the young people will succeed, not because of us, because of them. they will have a better. >> do you want to pick up on the women's issue in the arab spring and your view of how things are going for the women in this process? >> i think it is too soon to tell. i think shimon is right, we have a transition that we are going through to get to whatever future there will be, and it is not going to happen quickly.
it is going to have, i would expect, some bumps in the road and difficulties along the way. but i believe that one of the important indicators as to how the whole process of democraticzation, political reform, economic reform is going is the way that the newly formed governments and their allies in the various countries treat women. to that end, there is mixed news. there is some positive news, in that there are certain guarantees being put forth about women's rights and opportunities, but there are
some worrying actions that certainly don't match those guarantees. i think that raises the larger issue, because shimon is right that democracy has to deliver. a lot of what was behind the revolutions of the middle east and north africa with economic aspirations that were not being met, outrage at corruption, the difficulty of doing business, the doors that would slam in one's face, the absence of jobs, even if you were an educated young person. so there has to be a level of economic returns for people's leap of faith and investment in a democratic future. that is going to be extremely hard. every one of the countries that is making these changes has a
lot of work to do to open up their economy to go after corruption and the like. at the same time, the political reforms that are occurring and the commitment to democracy, albeit unformed and quite not yet clear in the minds of leaders or citizens, is raising a lot of issues, because for us, democracy is not one election, one time. we are not sure exactly how others see this democratic enterprise that they have signed on to, because democracy is about building institutions. it is about extending rights to everyone, protecting rights of minorities, ensuring that people are equal under the law, require
independent judiciary, free press, and all the rest. so it is not just what happens to women, although we will keep a very close watch on what is happening to women. it is what is happening to the democratic experiment. what we are trying to do is encourage the countries that are pursuing this to keep reaching out, learning from the experiences of others. most recently, the post-soviet nations, but also latin america. we come with a long, 236-year experiment and people in the region may or may not think we are a relevant example, but we have encouraged a lot of outreach to countries that threw off military dictatorships, totalitarian regimes, and to find common cause with their experience.
i think we also have to have a certain level of both humility and patience. we have to call out at any turned developer is that we think in danger the democratic enterprise. the consolidation of power, authoritarian tendencies and the like. but we also have to recognize that we did not have a straight line. there were a lot of changes that we had to do as we moved toward a more perfect union. we did not include everybody in the first run. we excluded women, among others. we had to fight a civil war to extend citizenship to former slaves. we have to be honest enough to recognize that time has set up, and to some extent, the work that has to be done in building these new democracies is much
harder today than it was even after the berlin wall fell. every single move is not scrutinized, spread around the world for social media. even if the people involved are coming at it with the best of intentions, but fate, they are going to face a lot of -- good faith. they are going to face a lot of setbacks and challenges to their decision making and other problems that will make what they are attempting to do very difficult. women are the canaries in the , as many have said before, in these societies. how they are treated, whether they are included, will tell us a lot about what we can expect from the democratic movements that are ongoing, but i think we have to do all weekend to support the right tendencies and
decisions in order to get the right outcome. >> thank you. mr. president, can we get to iran? >> i am more optimistic than hillary about women. president obama asked me who is against democracy in the middle east. i told him the husbands. they don't want to share with the women equal rights. so why my optimism -- why am i optimistic? today the children are on the side of the fathers, not on the side of the mothers. that is my hope, they understand that if they want to reform their country
they will not give up. democracy is a little complicated because they have to convert from being a muslim to a democrat. that is not the case. islam is a spiritual position, not a economic doctrine. for that i am a little more optimistic than you are. i think one should watch the combination of women and youngsters. they might find themselves all of a sudden -- minor bit of
where are we really against iran? is it just because of a nuclear bomb? not only. when revolts the world against iran is the 21st century, the iranian leaders, not the iranian people are the only ones who want to renew imperialism. to become accepted. that is the reason many arabs are against the irani and hegemon a. they do not say it should be arabic because they are not arabs. they want to say must come, because they are muslims. -- they want to set muslim because they are muslims.
we cannot support it. the world cannot support it. i have spoken with putnin to say, we cannot support a nuclear iran. the whole middle east will become the victim. the world economy will become the victim. it is a world without regard to anyone else. this is the first problem -- we cannot allow it to happen. all of us. it is againstng t, the formula. the goals justify the means. you can kill, you can lie, you can collect arms.
we cannot let them do it. it is a human problem. the globe is already so complicated. it does not govern without the government. this is alternative. i am afraid that some countries might take advantage if the iranians and syria, lebanon on. they do not stop. ago further. there is a chance of gaining anything. we cannot agree with it. that is why the nuclear weapons became so dangerous. they serve a purpose. nobody can guarantee they will restrain.
it is governed by a single man who nominated himself as the deputy of muhammed. reason stops, prediction stops. i am not aware of anyone that threatens iran the -- nothing -- iran could flourish without it. they are a large country. who is against iran? we are against a policy that endangers our age. unfortunatelyyou can say to thed states, why did you do this?
the character of our history, there is no trace of imperialism. yesterday i had been at the kip -- headquarters of your army. i said you are the only army who does not fight to conquer or occupy, but to fight for freedom and peace not only for america but for the rest of the world. historically speaking, the americans are fighting for values, no matter if you do this or that. you cannot be caring of the rest of the world and indifferent to iran. they are taking the american process of democracy and making the wrong use of it. i believe the president represents the deepest
assumptions and concepts of american history. i think there is something serious, profound and arrogant because -- the president said, i want to try this with non- military means. this should be the only option, the iranians said nothing. said, ok. the americans are sitting there are options on the table. please do not forget it. they are aware of the time element as well. i do not take it personal when it is a personal ambition, clearly remorseful. nobody threatens iran did.
it threatens -- what did they do to them? i do not suggest this is the only thing that makes it more sensitive. it does not reduce the grade and a major danger that we are facing. >> madam secretary, maybe you can tell us how it is going with the negotiations after the initial sense of optimism with both tracks of the iaa and negotiations taking place in baghdad. not much progress is being made. is that an accurate deception? >> i think the point of the negotiations is to do exactly what he said. we have to be consistent in pursuing the since the beginning
of the obama administration, to have a credible pressure trap that united the entire world. that was not the case when president obama took office. it now is. it is quite remarkable that not only the international community in general but the p5 plus one and china and russia have remained as committed and forceful in the diplomatic negotiations with iran over the nuclear program. there will be, as you know, meetings in moscow starting next week or the weekend it. there is a unified position being presented by the p5 plus 1
that gives iran if they are interested in taking a diplomatic way out a very clear path that would be verifiable and linked to action for action. that has been the approach that we have advocated and has been agreed upon. i cannot sit here today and tell you what the iranians will or will not do. but i am quite certain that they are under tremendous pressure from the russians and the chinese to come to moscow, prepared to respond. with that response is adequate or not, we will have to judge. for the last 10 days, they have been pushing to get a so-called
clearly the threats that shimon outlined are very real. to use terror as a tool to do so, it extends to our hemisphere and all the way to east asia. so the threat is real. we are dealing with a regime that has hegemonic ambitions. those who live in the near neighborhood are well aware of that. trying to manage it and avoid the iranian's ability to score points and create more islands of influence is one of the great challenges we are coping with. i just want to end with a story that i brought back from georgia
last week. it is being turned into a many las vegas on the black sea. lots of casinos. big hotels. all kinds of public art. i was talking to one of the municipal officials. i said what kind of tourist season are you expecting. he said, we will have a huge tourist influx. i said where did they come from? he said, we have a lot of turks, russians, iranians, and israelis. i said, how does that work? he said, i will tell you. if you go to the disco's late at night, the two kinds of people left are the iranians and the israelis. shortly after hearing that story i walked into a public building,
which is one of his creative advancements where it is one- stop shopping. you can get a marriage license, a work license, a passport. it is quite remarkable. i was being shown this modern technical project technological wonder. i walked into the visa section. three men came running up to me and said, we love you. we are from iran. i was like, we're trying to get along with you. the people like you. who knows? i think the larger. very eloquent and as usual compelling description is that there continues to be this disconnect between the people of iran the, which is a
much more diverse society than most of us understand or know how to deal with, and this leadership that has become more and more rigid, more of a military dictatorship if you will. so there is a lot happening inside iran. keeping this pressure on. keeping the sanctions on. keeping the world united against a nuclear threat and what it represents to the regime remains our highest priority. we are pushing forward on that. we will see what comes out of moscow. >> unfortunately, the time has come when we have to conclude. the have been both very generous with your ideas and analysis and time.
before i call on the concluding ceremony, shimon asked if he could say a few words. >> also while i had the privilege to be among the the openers of the center, i think the profiles the late king hussein's admired profoundly. we feel -- i think that was an unusual idea. to bring the two impossible people at that time to speak to get there. maybe it was the opening of the peace process. he continues me a little bit and i will tell you why. what is wealth and what is
poverty. for example, i am suspicious he is not a poor person. he did not become pour in his skill. i believe that the person who is rich is a real rich person. -- this wealth is his own imagination or his own charm. it can charmed everybody all over the world. the careful. neither him -- there are really
caring for the united states. caring for peace between us and the palestinians. caring for friendship between america and israel. without any publicity, when it comes to charity and giving. he is very modest and very restrained. that is what makes him a real person, and a very confused one. i think if he remains pour, it is fitting because he got money. who needs him. if he has money and he is rich and is feeling good that he has money, he can be of help.
this institute with their outstanding people already -- they really are thinking the the thinkable and thinking the unthinkable. it is easier for us as a politician to think of the thinkable. you are afraid of the unthinkable as well. your listening very carefully. i really want to thank them. i want to thank the two of view. it is an outstanding good job in trying to bring the peace and trying to help those that needed
your help. thank you very much. [applause] >> attorney general eric holder testified before congress today for almost three hours. much of the questioning focused on investigations of national security leaks and the fast and furious and gunrunning operation. you can see the hearing tonight on c-span that it o'clock eastern. tomorrow morning on c-span 3, leon panetta and joint chiefs of staff martin dempsey. there are testifying before a subcommittee about the pentagon opposed the proposed budget for 2013. that is live at 10:30 eastern. proposed budget for 2013. >> eight years ago this month,
the soviet union invaded afghanistan. the occupation of afghanistan has turned into a bloody war with no vectors. a group of human rights lawyers from the united states, britain, sweden, documents acts of terror perpetrated against the afghan people. >> 25 years later, the former speaker was honored on the house floor by republican and democratic leaders. watch online at the c-span video library. on today's washington journal, we spoke with the head of the commodities futures trading commission. that agency regulates futures contracts or agreements to buy or sell a commodity like green or oil. the head of the commission explained his agency's duties and took phone calls for 40 minutes.
host: we have been focusing on federal agencies. we began with the chairman of the securities and exchange commission. today, we focus on the commodity futures trading commission. the chairman of that commission joins us right now. he is gary gensler. it chairman, thank you for joining us. how to explain about your organization and what it does? guest: we have two market regulators. you may be more familiar with the securities and exchange commission. president roosevelt requested another to see the commodities market. it is a department of agriculture. we overseas markets for contract that help people locked in a price. originally it was for corn and wheat.
a farmer and wanted to lock in a price of their corn or wheat at harvest time. later, complex products. it is today known as a swaps which is part of the problem in the 2008. it is a bright light shining in the market. just as there are in a securities market. host: can you explain the role of derivatives and its role in the market? guest: derivatives include both the historic product called futures and the more recent product called swaps. it is a vast market. it is measured in size over $300 trillion. there is over a $15 of trevelyan's for for every quarter in the economy. that is just the swaps. why does it matter to the american public? it matters if you buy gas at the pump, how the price of oil is a
set. because somebody in our economy is using a derivative to lock in the rate of interest, the currency, or a commodity price somewhere in the economy. host: according to figures that come from the ctfc, you're dealing with stuff that was formed in 2011. the bite of the swaps market are about $300 trillion. guest: that is correct. what does that mean? $37 trillion of futures and $300 trillion of swaps. that means, somewhere in the economy, if you fill up a tank of gas, or in these days, sometimes $70, you can think summer and the economy there is between $1,000 and $1,500 dollars behind the pack of gas. they want to make sure the price goes up and down and
somebody else there's that to rest. usually, a speculator on the other side of the market. host: if the average person wants to see who goes on with the swaps, is there transparency? guest: wall street understands the markets, but as we found in 2008, the american public had a risk on the other side. there is currently not the new york stock exchange listing all those prices every day. even the chicago mercantile exchange lists the prices.
the agricultural products like corn, wheat, and oil, most people remember on the bottom of the screen this s&p 500 future. that is a derivative on the stock market. host: these things were brought to light? guest: very much so. a product called credit default swaps, a fancy word for sank by some insurance on credit. if homeowners were not default on their mortgages, credit defaults loss or at the heart of the crisis. there were not transparent. it is only with dodd frank we will get much that needed -- much-needed transparency. host: here are the numbers to call. the number to call for our democrat line is 202-737-0001. the number to call for our republican line is 202-737-0002. the number to call for our independent line is 202-628- 0205. if you want to send a say tweet -- send us a tweet.
the commission was created in 1974. what role do you play now under dodd frank? how have you changed as an agency? host: under this new law, some agencies to oversee this market. now, we often oversee these contracts called interest-rate swaps. we will bring some common sense rules. yes, they have to tread on transparent exchanges. yes, the public has to see the pricing. yes, we have to lower the risk of these contracts. host: as an example, jamie dimon jpmorgan is set to testify this week.
what happened with him, could that have been prevented? making it more transparent? guest: we have been investigation in the matter, i will not dive into the specifics to compromise that, let me talk more generally. credit driven products, those that were trade by j.p. morgan's london office, they come under the new financial reforms. we are mid stream. we're standing up to their regime. a lot of wall street are pushing back and asking that we slow down. but after four years from the crisis and two years after the law, i believe it is time we
have to get this done. would they cover these products? yes. what we have more transparency in these products? absolutely, yes. should our rules cover the trading in london of a u.s. bank? i would say, absolutely. yes. if we do not, it would be a retreat from reform. host: if i'm a person on wall street, a banker, what is my perception of what your agency does? guest: some have respect for what we are doing. we have a job to look out for the american public. the system fundamentally a failed in 2008. wall street and washington regulatory systems failed. i think we have to address that and make it better. there is a lot of push back and debate. i hope they also respect that we have a bit of a different role. host: our guest, gary gensler. washington, d.c., your up first on our democrats' line. caller: my question has basically, i think, been answered, in part, by gary gensler.
i would like clarification. has the dodd frank bill corrected all the abuses of the financial sector? and if not, would reinstating glass-steagall solve that problem? guest: thank you for the problem. -- thank you for that question. my mentor, the problem in dodd frank. i think, yes, i have stayed in touch with her. she is one of our advisers on the joint advisory panel of the fcc. she has been a wonderful advocate for reform. there is still a lot of push
back from wall street, of course. but i think that the dodd frank financial reform and bodies overseeing the swaps that she had pushed for. host: and she asked what the impact of glass-steagall over which you do. guest: these banks have grown ever larger since the 1990's. when there is risk in one part, whether it is in london or the cayman islands or anywhere overseas, even though the jobs in the markets might be overseas, the risks come right back here. i think it is why we have to make sure we do not retreat from reform and cover these complex institutions, wherever they happen to risk. and ensure that international regulation protect the american
public. host: kentucky, your next for our guest. this is the republican line. caller: good morning. i wanted to see which are comment was on commodities, especially with these compared secret transactions concerning like gold and silver. how people are able to hide their treasuries without paying taxes. -and a commodity to trade for a domestic product. also, how marijuana at would be included as a secret transaction to gain revenue, possibly to distinguish our lower taxes. host: i am sorry. i did not mean to cut to off. guest: futures products for silver and gold and other commodities, some of the things you mentioned, and nothing there are futures at or swaps on. some of those are illegal substances. what we ensure is that the
markets are transparent. that is important with silver and gold and speculators in the market not have an outside position. one of the things we're putting in place, it is still a work in progress, our position limits on speculators and the energy markets and in the silver and gold markets, which had not existed prior to dodd frank but had existed in the 1980's end- 1990's. host: and a speculator is? guest: hedgers and speculators meet in the marketplace. we go back to a farmer. they are naturally hedging their harvest. but what at harvest time someone on the other end of that transaction. on the other side, it could be
you. it could be my mom. it could be a large pension fund who says, i think the price of corn will go up or down. i will take the other side of that transaction. that is traditionally called a speculator. our markets today, producers and merchants on the make of a minority. for corn and wheat it is only 30% to 40%. for oil and natural gas it is only 15% of the market. hedge funds, swap dealers, other financial parties. usually called a speculator. host: that is when mortgages came back into play in the 2008? they were being packaged into some kind of device to hedge that? guest: investors around the globe, whether they be pension funds investing you are my pension money, or hedge funds which are usually investing
institutions money often come into these markets. sometimes for mortgages, which that is another regulator. that is not our regulatory system. but those would be overseen in these contracts that transfer of risk. host: new york, go ahead, independent line. caller: i would just like to make a couple of comments. first of all, in terms of credit default swaps, they're not a certain kind of insurance. they are, in fact, insurance. the reason they cannot be called insurance is if they were, they would have to go and see that if aig had any funds to back up those insurance
policies. i also think the worst of the trading is especially staples like rice. five men consider around -- it might be a woman, nowadays, consider around the table, play poker, and when they walked out, someone is $0.50 billion up. the price of rice as of 20% and millions of people on the edge of starvation at stars. from the 16th century to not to do recently, it was a capital crime. the penalty was hanging. there are good reasons for that. maybe we should go back to the old days. host: your question, sir? caller: my question -- i do not think transparency is necessarily what we need. it is transferring dollars of
wealth from masses of people to the very few on the top. guest: thank you. i share your view that markets work better when there are limits. back when president roosevelt asked for our agency to first be created in food products, which you rightly said was our origin, congress granted authority to set limits on speculators. not to panic, but to set limits. we did that in food products, agricultural products, all the way until today. what we are doing now is to try to bring those similar limits to the oil markets, to the other energy markets, to the rest of the silver and gold markets as well. a lot of push back from wall
street. we finish these rules last october. they promptly took us into court. we are vigorously defending this new rule in court. but we also have to finalize some of the rules, believe it or not, with the securities and exchange commission. if you want to call them and encourage them to help us finalize the jointer roles so that these positions can go into place. i believe they held markets work better. we agree that transparency is critical. you have to have an affective, well-funded cop on the beat. also, it is appropriate to have some limit that any one speculator not have too large of an outside position in the market. host: michael is on our democrats' line. caller: my question is, and i know you cannot talk about details, when did your most
recent investigations into the silver and manipulation, when did the investigations start? and the second question is, can you compare how long it has taken to come to some resolution on that investigation compared to historical of other investigations? you or other regulatory agencies you have conducted? guest: thank you for your question. you are correct that i cannot speak of any specific investigation in any particular year. last year we brought just under 100 actions. we may in a particular year bring hundreds under
investigation. i believe for the first part of your question, which i can answer, there is the form that i was actually at at the agency. the agency decided to publicly announce that investigation. we normally do not do that. we chose just recently because of the nature of the situation to do so, again, with regards to these derivative products of jpmorgan chase. we bring hundreds of investigations and normally we do not say anything publicly about them. we do not wish to compromise those investigations. host: with the budget request for 2012, $205 million. what is your budget? guest: we are a small agency. we are only about 10% larger than we were in the 1990's. with the agency is, about one- quarter of the people are enforcement lawyers. cops on the beat during the investigation i just talked about. the big slice of the other
folks are on market oversight and now overseeing the swap dealers. what does it mean to overseas markets? we do not have enough people to go in and examine any of these parties directly on a regular basis. we do get to the chicago mercantile exchange. that is how thinly staffed we are. we rely on other parties of self-regulatory organizations. we are sort of the second wave of defense. we need a lot more people. we're taking on the market eight times that market we currently oversee. it is far more complex and at the heart of the crisis in 2008. the president and ask for about 40% to 50% more money to overseas markets. think about the national football league. there were eight times the number of games and every sunday, you want more referees. i think.
without more referees, what would happen on the field? there would be mayhem and fans would lose confidence in the game. this past week the house appropriations subcommittee actually voted to cut our budget. host: what justification do they make? guest: i think the justifications are that in an overall budget situation the u.s. economy needs to have -- meese to balance our books. in many ways, you'll find that i would agree that we need to balance our books. on the other hand, this small, underfunded agency i do not think is the place to do it. i think this agency is a good investment for the american public and the affect of cutting our budget is basically siding with wall street instead of with the american public because of the core of the two dozen a crisis was credit default swaps, credit derivatives, interest-rate swaps
played their role as well. i think we need to bring that reform forward, finished the job at hand, and have a well-funded agency. host: if you're asking for $300 million, or to they want to give you? guest: $108 million. they're faced with a challenging job. we have debates on that. that is a small cost, compared to the $180 billion that went to a lightly regulated insurance company called aig. what happened with them? why did some of the americans have to put in money through our government? why did 8 million americans lose their jobs and millions of other americans have houses? because of credit default swaps. it is time for us to fund the agency well enough to oversee this market. host: next, we have bob on our republican line.
caller: i just wanted to ask you if you think the requirements for companies, if the requirements to have more capital would have helped. i looked at the debt. i don't remember seeing the asset ratios, if i'm using the right terms. basically, they were pretty highly leveraged. you think of their regulated more closely that would of had a significant effect on perhaps keeping bear and a lehman brothers in business? guest: i do think that is part
of the story. i do think both bear and lehman brothers had a lot of capital. even the of a homeowner who puts very little into their house and has a huge mortgage. troubles come, as troubles came in 2006, 2007, 2008, there was not enough to stand behind it. one of the trouble at both bear stearns and lehman brothers were risks that were offshore. they looked at the public has trouble in 2007 when the had to back two of their hedge funds that were incorporated in the cayman islands. all of a sudden because of reputation, they back to them. lehman brothers had significance what businesses. i think it is a multi factor problem. capital is one of the problems. i agree with you. i also think swaps and derivatives trading or not
transparent. host: on twitter, he asked if the average retailer can invest any swaps market. guest: it can be traded by the regular public, or as you call it the retail public. that is because it has all of the transparency. it is on the regulated exchange. swaps can be traded, not by everybody, but by people that have a certain net worth. with the passage of dodd of frank -- dodd frank, if someone were to trade these, you could trade on that fully regulated exchange. similar to the chicago mercantile exchange. host: next is john on our independent line from pennsylvania. caller: how are you doing there? guest: i am surviving the show. caller: good. i'm glad to hear your on here and a c-span is covering this.
my question, regarding the budget cuts the house wanted to do, i think have lost their minds. the question is, i guess you were with goldman sachs the back with the -- when the modernization act was enacted. what were your thoughts and you think that the ramifications and independent consequences would have come down so hard on us? guest: thank you for your comments. on the first, i think it would be unwise to cut the budget of this agency. i think it is critical that we have well-funded oversight. my example, the expansion of the national football league, that we not leave may have on
the fields because these are complex products. i would say that looking back to the 1990's, when these products for not regulated in asia or the u.s., and knowing what we know now, all of us should have done more back to them. markets had the ball from that time. i think it is fortunate that we now have this worldwide consensus. we need to use that consensus and bring these markets under reform. what were some of the assumptions that meant that proved wrong? these were done by banks and there were kind of regulated anyway. somebody is overseeing them. but think that assumption -- exhibit a was this company called aig who was so lightly regulated. we had to use the best, frankly, all the way back to the 1930's reforms of president roosevelt and the securities market and bring that transparency. bring that anti-fraud to the markets as well.
host: our guest is the chairman of the commodity futures and trading committee. how long have asserted the commission now? guest: just a little over three years? host: when does your term end? guest: we have a fixed term. my term ended in april. i can continue to serve unless the president and everyone else decides otherwise. i am doing everything i can in this job. it is fantastic. we are going to, of course, see this out this year. i think we have to get these reforms in place this year and
complete the job at hand. under the statute, i am on the job. host: there was a store that sutter sanders and some others ask that you not be appointed to another term. did you explain that? guest: the oil and gas market is critical to the american public. the markets have, as i said earlier, hedgers meeting in the marketplace. we at the cftc initiated a process to bring back a place that causes limits on speculators. we had successfully worked with congress to get those new reforms in place in congress. we completed those rules last october. subsequently, we have been working with the securities and exchange commission at congress's mandate. we had to further define the word swap. senator sanders and i both
believe we should have these limits. he has been a frustrated that they have not manfully and place earlier. and yet we have the cftc doing everything to get them in place. and we have the fcc that i would suggest, if you want to get in touch with them, ask them to help us finish in this role on further defining swaps. that would be helpful. host: when the statements he says, in blatant disregard to the law, is that it could be dictated by wall street speculators instead of supply and demand. what do you make of his characterization? guest: he and i have had some lively discussions. i think we've completely complied with the loss. as a very underfunded agency. we are not a price-setting agency. we are to ensure that markets
are free of fraud and manipulation. and that there are limits on any one speculator. we are doing just that. we will complete the rules and get this implies. host: new jersey, our democrats' line. good morning. caller: good morning. i spent a lot of time as a purchasing manager. one of the things i bought was silver. i always had the feeling, even though i fought well, i always had the feeling that the market was somewhat incestuous. car precious-metals go back farther than anybody really thinks. i think it goes back to in the hunt brothers tried to corner
the silver market. comment of? guest: i think this is similar to a comment earlier who talked about the rights market. some markets are quite diverse and have hundreds of actors on the stage. and some, rice, as was said earlier, and the silver markets, are more concentrated. i think that is why it is critical that we complete the task at hand on these limits to speculators. some would think the press should be higher, some lower. a diverse group of actors on the stage. host: cleveland, ohio. john on the independent line. caller: by any stretch of logic, they are all synthetic. i'm not involved with the
homeowner. i want to know why you allow synthetic [unintelligible] to exist and planet earth? how can you have a new balance sheet in any institution? guest: john raises a very good question, if i could just brought net a little, as to why can't parties be in these markets who never are going to hold of the product or create something called a synthetic derivative, which is maybe a derivative of a derivative. it gets removed from the market. it is true, these markets, when they add extra complexity. as a regulator, we're supposed to comply with the loss. rather than banning some products, please bring
transparency. s make sure that people know the pricing and the volumes in these marketplaces in a real-time basis. make sure you have manipulation of authority for the first time ever. clear authority to be a cop on the beat. make sure we limit the concentration or speculation in any one of these markets by any one actor. that is what we are moving forward to do. to oversee the market, to police the market. i think, john, you raise something, and many people have debated this. there will still be these products. in the general sense, they help some of producer, merchant, in our economy, locked in the price, locked in their risk, and focus on what they do well.
whether that is a former rancher or producer, somebody providing you your mortgage from the bank. host: what is your role in the creation of the volcker rule? guest: paul volcker was advising president obama. the tip of reform in his name, the volcker rule. it said these large financial institutions would be prohibited from proprietary trading. what is proprietary trading? a betting on the markets will go up or go down so quickly. that will lower the risk of the taxpayers. the cftc has a role of one of five agencies -- i think you have them all on your tv show. you can chat with mary tomorrow because she is helping corral all of us together from the
treasury department. to prohibit proprietary trading so that taxpayers are protected from some of the bets that we as taxpayers a bore in 2008. it is one of the most challenging roles the congress gave us. they gave us as 60 different rules to implement. we propose all of them under federal laws. we take them under, and then finalize based on public comment. i think that is a good process, even though it is very along and sometimes appears bureaucratic. host: how much of that is influenced by the industry? guest: a tremendous amount of it. the more we hear from investors, academics, it helps a balance the debate. we welcome all sides of the debate.
the volcker rule, i would think we will get the job done this year. it is one of the more challenging. how to prohibit proprietary trading but at the same time allow banks to lower their risk through hedging. permit banks to do something. these things sometimes overlap. host: a few more calls. misery -- missouri, the republican line. caller: i would like to speak about your budget. you people do not realize how much of $308 million is. the rise that would keep our war effort in afghanistan going for almost eight hours? it costs every man woman and child $0.20 a week, almost $1 a year.
i think he did with that in perspective when you talk about your budget. guest: all right. i think you're of captured well that $1 a year for the american public. that compares is something which is a much different figure, which is a $180 billion which went into the saving of aig, which i think is $600 per american. so, a family of 4, that is $2,400. 8 million americans lost their jobs. homeowners have homes that are worth less than their mortgages. the markets are far outweighed these costs. you're absolutely right. we have to respect every dollar and use it prudently. host: how you gauge success at your agency? gu i