Skip to main content

tv   Public Affairs  CSPAN  May 10, 2013 9:00am-2:01pm EDT

9:00 am
anywhere from one to two to 20 dams of rivers. whether they are environmentally sensitive, and whether they are culturally sensitive, and not all of these are big questions. i will give you one example. there was a mining accident a year ago the chinese government labeled it a model mine. a year later it collapses. if the model mining is collapsing in tibet, it is minings that 205 taking place, estimated up to 3000. there are 132 thousand different types of metals in tibet. billions of tons of reserves. the poisons on the chemicals they use when it drains flows
9:01 am
into the river, and the people downstream are affected by damming. people downstream survive for millions of them, on fisheries, and that to tibet is a vital from a climate and environmental point of view. it affects the monsoon in the area. the monsoon delays or not and is also dependent on the tibetan plateau. if the monsoon is delayed, millions of people are affected, the livelihood, in every culture is concerned. tibet is vital from an environmental point of view. there was an incursion from the chinese side, nearly 19 kilometers in indian territory, and indian officials said, "it is a matter of perception because there is no real demarcation of orders --
9:02 am
borders," which is understandable because it was always between india and tibet. now the largest population in the world and the second largest population in the world are facing each other, and the military buildup in the border areas high. to 5000from 4000 kilometers long. tibet is a buffer zone. peaceful, and separation of these two giants -- now they are facing each other. geopolitically also, tibet is vital. host: our guest is the prime minister of the tibetan government in next out, lobsang sangay. welcome, sally. caller: thank you. good morning good i never thought i would see the day with a suit on, but for wonderful. you are doing a wonderful service and information for folks. thank you. my sister was claudia johnston. she was from vancouver island in british columbia.
9:03 am
tibetrked with free movement up there. nephews or' relatives lived there, with the canadian arm of the free tibet. she had private audiences with his holiness ended in light of international research for the tibet movement. i wanted to know -- she passed away in 1998. there is a paper that you can find on some of the websites. she did some real significant -- iwith the aspect of think it was 1949, and i am not sure if it was el salvador thedor who tried to table subject of the invasion, and she had discovered it are at the or the library of congress -- i'm not sure -- the tape recording hadhat hearing, and they
9:04 am
tabled the manner, and they were looking into the legal way to retable the invasion, the subject of the invasion. this was before china had its status to be able to say we are not even going to listen to this subject. i just wanted to know -- i understand your approach of autonomy. i think that is perfect. i just want to know, what, if anything, is going on with the united nations as far as being able to address that subject of autonomy and have you done anything with her work as far as being able to retable that subject? guest: thank you very much. i am familiar with he your sistr and her work and i had the privilege of meeting her as well, so my profound condolences. i know her research. she did research on the united nations solutions to tibet in 1951, 1961, 1965.
9:05 am
all three called for a human andts situation in tibet self-determination of the tibetan people. claudia did her research and found out that the debate is still not close. that was her finding, and she wanted to use it. as we all know, united nations general assembly is an advisory body. they can pass resolutions, then it has to be implemented by counsel -- the council on which the freedom loving power is china. hence, not much can be done as of yet. , and i want toar thank her and all her supporters -- and all the supporters of tibet in vancouver and north america as well. host: rich, republican. good morning. caller: good morning to it how are you? host: good. caller: prime minister, pleasure speaking with you, but my question is simple -- to full.
9:06 am
one, what is the chinese government actually asking of you? and are you actually able to comply? if you were able to comply with that, what would it look like when your government, your people, and everybody else gets to occupy the territory again and basically come home? guest: what the chinese government allege that the unity of the motherland is important and sovereignty and territorial integrity should not be challenged. --follow the middleweight middle way policy. we are not challenging challeng -- we are not challengg china plus sovereignty or territorial integrity. the tibetan people as one unit can have tibetan culture, tibetan language, tibetan economy, and tibetan environment and be taken care of by the tibetan people, whereas it will remain within the
9:07 am
people's republic of china. that is the solution we are seeking and that is a very moderate, reasonable solution, and it is a win-win proposition, because it will also help with the chinese government image. andrwise, the repression, the assimilation of the tibetan people and the torture that toetans suffer -- helpful the chinese government and to the tibetan people. hence, the united nations hardly comes out with bold famous, but the un human rights commission came out with an unprecedented statement saying the chinese government ought to solve the issue of tibet. they have made requests to visit tibet to find out the real situation. unfortunately, the chinese government has denied them permission. they have made several recommendations on how best to improve the human rights condition, and the chinese government has yet to consider in england those recommendations.
9:08 am
hence we are in a stalemate. host: our guest is the tibetan government in exile prime minister, lobsang sangay. he is based out of india and is never had the opportunity to go to do that himself, despite the leadership role. he is the political successor, essentially, to the dolly lama. -- dalai lama. one of our followers on twitter says he is facebook friends with the dalai lama. talk to us about the popular culture role of the the lie llama. -- dalai lama. we see him at visiting universities and with hollywood stores sometime -- with hollywood stars sometimes. he is one of the friends on facebook, and his wisdom helps
9:09 am
people around the world. as the political and religious leader, he shoulders the responsibility from the age of 76, 60 years. in the last two years, he does what he has always claimed, to promote nonviolence and peace, interfaith dialogue. nowadays he is promoting what he calls secular ethics. secular not in the sense of separation of church and state. secular in the sense of treating all religions come including atheists, as equals. that moral ethics how many ,hings, -- that moral ethics he things, is called for today, given the gun violence you see, the corruption you see.
9:10 am
legal and institutional mechanisms to deal with it. ultimately, he says, it has to come from your heart, it has to come from inside. to change or impact inside, what you need is more ethics. he calls for secular ethics, and there was a book called "beyond religion. religion."nd he is trying to reach out to as many youth as possible. he says that students are the future leaders of the 21st century, so he is investing in the future leaders of leaders of the 21st century. hence he was at the university of maryland, now in portland. he visits different universities to impart his knowledge and wisdom. that is what tibetans are also saying -- he is our leader and we want you back into bed so that we could be blessed by him -- we want him back in tibet so he could be blessed by him as well. host: ray joins us on the independent line. caller: i took courses on asia
9:11 am
history when i was in college, and i used to the study of high asia, and i contributed money to the tibetan cause over the last few years. i just wanted to point out that come from my studies of asian history, did that was never, ever a part of china. and also the fact that in asia, mongolia, manchuria, and especially tibet, they are ethnically and culturally totally separate. it is a contrived argument that the han chinese have created to say that these people are part of their nation. and it was expressed on the part of the uighurs. i wanted to point out that for thousands of years, the tibetan en, wereor tibetan man
9:12 am
warriors similar to the vikings and swiss, attacking all the countries and areas around their , india,eas -- china southeast asia. but they couldn't stay there because they wouldn't -- couldn't adapt. they did nothing but take booty, etc. 600 years ago, buddhism came to thet, and that stopped marauding, and it became a unique feature and unique country in history, to the point where even genghis khan, although he occupied to that, never felt he to conquer it because they had already been established as a unique society, in his eyes. ray, can we ask you before we let you go and go to our guest, why have you contributed money to the tibetan cause? why has it hit a core with you? anler: because this was illegal takeover in the 1950s --
9:13 am
not only illegal, but immoral act of aggression against people who had already abandoned hundreds of years the use of force, where previously they used to be the most dominant force -- warrior force -- in that region. host: ok, thank you for your call. guest: yes, he is absolutely right. if you look at history, it is clear that tibet was an independent nation and an empire. a treaty was signed between china and tibet, and the treaty said that tibetans were happy in the great land of tibet, chinese will be happy in the great land of china. signed by chinese representatives and tibetan representatives. this treaty exists today in the form of a stone pillar in the capital city of tibet. there is no doubt that was ancally, tibet independent country and it remains under occupation at the
9:14 am
moment. tibet is ethnically and linguists agree distinct and different from the chinese. for example, i speak tibetan language him and the chinese speak mandarin. we cannot converse with each other at all because we have totally different language. and we of course live in the high land, and the chinese mainly in the low lands. we being two distinct nations and nationalities, it is clearly established. his contribution to the tibetan cause is appreciated. host: harry in pennsylvania, republican caller. caller: good morning. please excuse my ignorance because i am not really sure of the history of your country. however, understanding that the maori are next your country, i would like to know why they did that.
9:15 am
second, you are living in exile. where do you live now? is your country recognized by the united nations? guest: i think tibet was invaded and occupied partly because of the territory. 1/5 of china. huge territory. partly because of the minerals we have and the water resources we have. china essentially has monopolized it, which is important for civil and military technology. rare earths are used in everything from tablets to the phones. bigt: they have found a reserve of rare earth, a finer rare earth, in tibet. with all the minerals that tibetans have and the water sources tibetans have, there plenty of reasons why they want to occupy. one of the reasons is also, china is called the middle kingdom.
9:16 am
the middle kingdom, the people in the middle kingdom are barbarians, so tibetans are considered barbarians by that definition. civilized and " liberated" by the chinese army. these are the justifications. the anti-communism and resentment we have. the last 15 years of our relationship with china is an aberration, mistake. what they advocate is sovereignty, territorial integrity, stability, military means to control the tibetan people. and our discourse is on the base of rice. -- rights. if you look before 1949, for thousands of years, sung dynasty to ming, nationalist governments in 1949, you can
9:17 am
take any of the years or any of the dynasties and we can live with that kind of arrangement, where we have some relationship, flexible, but acceptable. at the moment, this nationstate definition that sovereignty is paramount and tibetans subject themselves to the occupation and accept the repression, economic marginalization, environmental disruption, and most important, cultural assimilation, whereby tibetans are made to speak in chinese and accept chinese as not just the medium of instruction or as -- but as the mailing which discourse, it is very -- main line which of the scores, it is not just bothersome but violates the fundamental rights of the tibetan people. hence the resentment. host: our caller asked where you live. in india. dharamsala.
9:18 am
he also asked about the recognition of the tibetans. 2 final tweets. the obama out that administration has borrowed money from communist china. and jody tweets -- how does the u.s. deal with tibet and how does it play out politically? ,uest: the economy is important but human rights should be equally important. maybe she is right to point out that you get 12 pairs of socks for four dollars. but you can get 11 pairs of socks for four dollars from another country. but if you look at the deficit, americans are buying more from china and getting them more profit.
9:19 am
, china is equally if not far more dependent on america's market then the other way around. they need you as well. one should engage with china, we should engage with the fundamental principles on which america was founded -- life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. democracy and freedom are paramount and very important for americans as well as the tibetan people. hence advocating for the rights of the tibetan people is also in the interests of the global community, including the u.s., and for the region of asia and the tibetan people, as well as the chinese government in china. primeour guest is minister in exile of the tibetan government, lobsang sangay. thanks for speaking to us this money. guest: thanks very much, libby. good to be on your show. next, a report on a
9:20 am
firearm-related homicides. "usa today" reporter kevin johnson is our guest. >> this department may be nearing a stage where the frequency of this crime and the perception that there is tolerance of it could very well undermine our ability to effectively carry out the mission and to recruit and .etain the good people we need that is unacceptable to me and the leaders of this institution, and it should be unacceptable to everyone associated with the united states military. we need cultural change where every service member is treated with dignity and respect, where
9:21 am
all obligations of inappropriate behavior are treated with the seriousness, where victims' privacy is protected, where bystanders are motivated to intervene, and where offenders know that they will be held accountable by strong and effective systems of justice. >> this weekend on c-span, defense secretary hagel outlines new initiatives to fight sexual assault and the armed services, saturday at 1:40 pm eastern. sunday at 10:30, armor senior diplomat in libya gregory hicks before the house oversight committee on the attack in benghazi. ericoktv, google's schmidt and jared cohen share their vision of a world where everyone is digitally connected. and on american history tv, former cia chief soviet analyst on cold war intelligence during the eisenhower administration. sunday at 3:00.
9:22 am
nine/11, a whole lot more people cared about national security issues than was the case before. all of a sudden there was a ,arket for former cia folks former defense intelligence agency, even former national security agency, the big eavesdropping agency. all those guys who were used to operating in the shadows saw a market for their services as commentators come book writers. there was this someone uncomfortable -- somewhat uncomfortable interaction between the agencies and these usually former employees. >> at the time i felt that waterboarding was something we needed to do. as time has passed and as september 11 as moved farther and farther back into history, i think i've change my mind and i think that waterboarding is probably something we should not be in the business of doing.
9:23 am
>> why do you say that now? >> because we are americans and we are better than that. >> this is a guy who, i think by all accounts, meant well, who served his country well by most accounts for 15 years, in some very dangerous situations, who risked his life to take on al data and pakistan -- al kate in pakistan and terrorism before that. and he is going off to prison for 30 months, leaving his young family behind. >> this weekend on "q&a," scott , "ne on his feature story from spy to source to convict." sunday at 8:00 on c-span. >> "washington journal" continues. "america by the numbers" segment looks at a new report by the bureau of justice statistics looking at firearms
9:24 am
and violence. our guest is kevin johnson with "usa today." he is the national law- enforcement and justice reporter. take you for being here appeared one of the many headlines that came out after the report is that the sharp drop in gun violence, but most of the killings still involved firearms. let's tackle the first part of that. what is behind the decline in firearm violence? guest: that's the mystery, i guess. researchers have been trying to answer that question since the decline started back in 1993. one of the things they point to , it often is that in 1993 appeared to be the start of the decline of the violent cocaine street market trade. from there, various state legislatures began to institute harsher penalties for violent criminals, subjecting them to much longer prison sentences in
9:25 am
states across the nation. you have a number of violent offenders going away for a very tog time, contributing sustained decline over time. host: we see some of the highlights of this government report. firearm-related homicides declined 39%. that is down from 1993 to 2011. does this surprise experts? think so, because it seems to track what the fbi sinceown year after year 1993. not in consecutive years, but in a general trend, homicides have declined over that period of time annually. this report brings it all together for that period of 18 years. host: if you would like to talk about this report, here are the phone numbers to call. we have special lines set up.
9:26 am
tied into that, the nonfatal firearm crimes also firearm, and victimizations declined, and most of the decline was between 1993 and 2002. we also see, though, that when , firearms were also involved. people advocating for stricter controls on guns will look at these numbers and will most likely seize on that number, 70%. it is indicative of how many guns are available to people
9:27 am
these days, and the fact that guns are often the first choice in homicides. of firearms to 80% homicides, 90% of nonfatal firearm victimizations were committed with a handgun during some of these years, 1993 to 2012. handguns, why is that significant? guest: handguns are widely available. some say the nation is awash in handguns. , theyre widely available are different in the sense that some of these mass killing's that we have seen have involved assault rifles. most of the homicides are committed with handguns, which seems to provide some sort of context for the political conversation. host: let's look at the public perception of gun deaths. we see this from the pew research center that most
9:28 am
americans are unaware of the big crime drop since the 1990s. 45% believe it has gone up, 39% believe ites -- stayed the same, only 10% believe it has gone down, which according to the new government report, it has. guest: my colleagues at "usa today" -- it is interesting to juxtapose to the pew report on top of the justice report. highlights the disconnect in the united states, where most folks see a mass killing like newtown and automatically believe that perhaps gun violence is up, one for a long -- when for a long period of time, as this report shows and the fbi reports show year after year, gun violence has gone down. host: the nra pointed this out in a recent tweet. twitter handle is @nra.
9:29 am
how are the politics playing out? , therein this data set are statistics for everyone, as in most data studies. the gun rights folks will obviously sees on the 70% of ,omicides involving handguns and the advocates for gun rights will look at the longest line over time over those 18 years -- the long decline over time over those 18 years. host: if you would like to speak to kevin johnson of "usa today ," here are the special numbers. here is al in tennessee. caller: the thing to focus on is the disconnect between the fact and what people in america understand. you can lay that right at the media. all the same, whether you are
9:30 am
looking at obamacare, they were told that people were not getting treatment -- are: al, you know what, you breaking up with us on your phone, but it sounds like you are talking about putting the blame at the feet of the media and public perception through the lens of the media. atwe look, kevin johnson, how some of these stories play out, we can see that the headlines that have come from this report -- we mentioned "the washington post. here is "bloomberg businessweek" -- "good news on gun violence could shape the gun control debate." run violence has plunged, but americans think it's up." what is the media's role in this? guest: we play a significant role, and sometimes we muddy the water when major gun crimes occur. obviously, they make big news,
9:31 am
and that is continues for a sustained p -- bad news continues for a sustained period of time, given the perception that gun crime is up. but it is not to say that this major events don't have any underlying, very serious problems that people need to look at. host: debbie, philadelphia, pennsylvania. hi, debbie. caller: thank you, good morning. first question -- well, let me make a statement, and then i have a question. i lived in an urban setting. , guniolence is not down violence or gun crime, the numbershatever are. they are not down in urban settings. , ofcontribution to that course, is poverty, poor education, lack of jobs, poor --lthcare, housing, etc. drugs, guns, all of that. i'm interested when these
9:32 am
numbers come out. where is this research taking place? how do they come out with this information? guest: well, you are very right to say that they do not reflect the individual expense -- individual experience of everybody, and being from the philadelphia area, you are probably very familiar with the violence taking place in camden, new jersey writer crossed the river from you. across the river from you. they have been dealing with these issues, and in philadelphia, for quite a long time. the numbers do not reflect everybody's individual experience, but taken as a whole throughout the united states, these numbers are trending downward. you won't find people in chicago banking on these issues much, either. point oute right to that this is not everybody's experience, that there are still
9:33 am
pockets in the united states that experience very, very high rates of gun crime. more into the demographics, here is the chart that shows firearm homicides broken down, men and women. we can see a decline, but men are still far ahead in terms of the number of firearm homicides. , and men will always be at the top, unfortunately. and that has to do in large parts with the involvement of criminal groups in the united states. gang activity is still prevalent in many cities. the caller mentioned philadelphia. camden, chicago, los angeles, although those endless has seen a sustained decline in violent crime -- although los angeles has seen a sustained the klein in violent crime over the years. but all those factors play into these numbers. and i think a reflection of men being involved in gun crime can be attributed in some part to
9:34 am
the gang activity that still flourishes. host: and we also see a decrease in firearm homicides by race across all major races. you can see the decline among ,hites, american indians, asian pacific islanders, an african americans. guest: and that is the sort of the collective weight of these statistics showing itself in those numbers, when you take the numbers from across the country. i think those are good shooting to those declines. but again, as the caller said, not everybody is seeing that. host: and here we see firearm homicides by region, and you can give us a call depending on your region on these numbers.
9:35 am
host: our next caller in the laurel, maryland and is a gun owner and law enforcement. caller: hi, how are you doing? we are all looking at these numbers, and high-capacity magazines are once again at the forefront. do you have any information about the number of rounds that are fired? i think the average is something like two or three per homicide rate, and we talking about wanting to go back to banning magazines with a capacity of more than 10. do you have any of those numbers? guest: no, i don't. i would like to see that number, but no, i don't have that specific statistic in front of me. but you quoted a number of two to three rounds per incident, is that right? caller: yeah. from what i have seen, in my work experience, typically two to three rounds fired. obviously, people miss mostly, but when you hit your target,
9:36 am
people get hurt. i speak for almost the entire law enforcement community -- we need to enforce more of the laws on the books could you get caught with a handgun on the street and you are up to no good, 10 years in prison would solve a lot of problems. , you are seeing a backf state legislatures in the early 1990s starting to institute those types of harsher penalties for gun crimes. knowill recall -- many about the three strikes laws that promulgated throughout the country, beginning in california and spreading across the country. a number of states have done just as you say. host: our guest is kevin johnson from "usa today." he is the national law enforcement and justice reporter could one of our
9:37 am
followers on twitter asks -- specific, this is not a "usa today" study. it is from the bureau of justice statistics, catiline firearm violence from 1993 t -- cataloging firearm violence from 1993 to 2011. but how do studies like this get funded? guest: the bureau of justice statistics is an arm of the justice department, so that would be a federal government- funded study. but it is also drawing information from another -- a number of other agencies. you will see the centers for disease control, the national center for injury prevention and control, and so a number of agencies are contributing to the justice department in order to put this out. is our next caller in
9:38 am
wisconsin. hi, bob. caller: thanks for taking my call. the -- host: go ahead, you are on the air. caller: the other night i heard on a news report basically with this gentleman is alluding to, but i just heard on the radio the other day in milwaukee, another little guy got shot, got caught up in the crossfire, and there was about 412. that averages 300 to 400 killings a year in milwaukee, and like that one lady articulated pretty well, in the inner cities and stuff like that, and chicago is way up there. i guess it does -- like you said, it fluctuates in pockets, and yet it never goes away, it seems. host: and, bob, are you still with us? caller: i'm sorry? host: do you feel like people in your community are talking about this question and issue?
9:39 am
caller: oh, absolutely. it is a serious issue when little children get caught in the crossfire because two people want to deal with their problems with handgun instead of with your brain. we had fisticuffs back in the old days, in my day, and we had an issue, two guys went in the back of the woods and clobbered each other for a while and then come home and had a beer at the end of it. there weren't as many gun problems way back in those days. host: how old are you, bob? caller: i'm 63, going on 64. host: ok, here from kevin johnson. guest: remind me not to go in the backwoods with you, bob. [laughter] but you are absolutely right, guns have become a bigger part of our culture over the years. and it's incidents like newtown, , have occurred, i think you are now seeing sort that,ublic acknowledgment
9:40 am
you know, there is a problem here. just how to tackle it, though, is an extremely difficult conversation have, both politically and throughout the country, even across dinner tables you have disagreements over how this problem should be handled. host: george in oklahoma, a gun owner. hi, george. caller: hello. yeah, i got a couple questions. one of the questions i got is we have all the politicians, president and everyone, raise their hand and swear that they will uphold the constitution of the united states. but when they get elected and renege onice,, they their word and try to when you delete the constitution to their way of think -- try to manipulate the constitution to their way of thinking. and just like the last caller
9:41 am
you had about the gun problem and the guy going out in the woods and beat each other up -- well, it has gotten to where the little guy cannot beat the big guy up, so he gets something, like you say, a bigger stick to beat the guy up, and the big guy takes the stick away so he gets a gun and shoots him. the little guy has the upper hand. that is what has happened to our society -- the little guy who cannot beat the bigger guy up, so we get something else too, i guess, take the other guy out. that's what they do. host: what would you do about that cycle? caller: it's hard to say. it's like the drugs and the alcohol and prohibition in the 20s and 30s. even though you outlawed it and they had policemen and fbi and theything to try to stop alcohol, it just got worse, and
9:42 am
people just got the money, and i am talking about the rich. , so i justt stop it kind of got to give my opinion of what is going on under. host: all right, george in a coma. guest -- george in oklahoma. guest: you mention at the start of your remarks when the administrations take office and what happens after that. if you recall during the campaigns, there was little if , evencussion about guns though aurora occurred during the campaign, and then it was followed by a shooting in wisconsin. thatt wasn't until newtown we saw sort of the flashpoint for this gun debate take off. but it was curious, because i recall writing a piece back during the campaign that john's
9:43 am
crimey -- that guns and were not to be seen on the campaign trail and there was little discussion about it, even after the attack in aurora. in --michael writes sharing his perspective on the media. let's look again at this firearm homicide by region. we mention this earlier, but you can see a decline in most areas except the northeast has an uptick. this comes to us from the bureau of justice statistics. you can see the south of the top, width of the most firearm deaths by region. then the west has tracked down, the midwest is in the black dotted line, and then the northeast down below. you know, again, you go back to the discussion about pockets of gun crime, and how
9:44 am
while nationally these numbers look good, there are communities in the country that continue to struggle with gun .iolence in the northeast specifically, i don't mean to harp on camden, but if you just take a look at what is happening there, they are struggling against, or have struggled against the wave of gun violence. new jersey has tried everything to improve that, including gun buybacks from the citizens there. again, there are going to be pockets of communities that continue to struggle despite this waited a decline. host: one of them is washington, d.c.. the washington post" recently
9:45 am
did a breakdown of gun homicides by state, with states with a darker color having the most firearm homicides per population numbers. guest: dc has struggled with this over the years. they have seen a good bit of success as well. onewill see louisiana also of the areas that continues to be -- or continues to struggle. katrina,ns back during gun violence there was highlighted during that time, and continues to struggle. , minnesota,uluth gun owner, joining conversation. hi, bob. caller: thanks for taking my call. i'm kind of on the fence about any legislation at all about guns, because i'm not really sure that anything they have proposed is really going to make a difference. i think that the problem that we have is not as much the guns as
9:46 am
the desperation of people. i think that if a gun is going to be used in a crime, there is a certain amount of desperation involved where that person doesn't care. he has reached a point where he is -- he has probably lost a little bit of his reasoning ability because of his desperation. and that needs to be dealt with it also, the kind of video games they have him in the kind of culture we have -- the kind of video games we have, the kind of culture we have. that contributes to the problem we have, and we don't have a good method of conflict resolution in this country. i've been overseas in the service and i've seen better places as far as conflict resolution goes. the only thing that i have ever entertain the thought of as far gun legislation is if we were
9:47 am
to have background checks. but i don't think we have the enough as far as to background checks goes to make a real difference, and it seems like one of the other colors brought up -- one of the other callers brought up religion didn't stop liquor. i don't think that -- brought up prohibition didn't stop liquor. i don't think that any gun laws are going to stop guns. i think it's just going to make bringet for people to guns in and sell them to people that shouldn't have them. you are going to have a whole new group of bad people grading the gun -- bringing the guns and then selling them to people who shouldn't have them. host: ok, thanks for your call,
9:48 am
bob. guest: the caller makes a good remark at the start of his remarks, he talks about the desperation that exist out there. one of the issues that has come up in some of these mass killings, both in aurora and newtown, has been the mental indition of the attackers these cases. when the caller speaks to the first -- speaks to desperation, there have been legislative attempts to try to pull together a database that would ,rovide, or at least prohibit guns from flowing into the hands of people who have mental illness. that is probably one of the most difficult problems we face and the whole gun debate, how you keep weapons out of the hands of an allele. -- out of the hands of the mentally ill. host: st. paul, minnesota.
9:49 am
hi, nathaniel. caller: thanks for having me on. i was going to ask mr. johnson bob, the last caller -- i was hoping he would get there, but at least in my community, the biggest contributor to gun violence would be the war on drugs. and gang about poverty violence. i think the war on drugs is a definitely a contributing factor to both of those. with regards to mental health, we know that people who do nots are more often than -- more often than not have some sort of mental issues. the attitude of this country is to lock them up rather than get some sort of help for them. i was wondering what mr. johnson thought about maybe rethinking our drug policy. and what kind of affect that gun crime in this
9:50 am
country could i will take my answer off the air. guest: thanks for your question. a lot of states, a lot of communities are struggling with that issue. do you put them in prison or get some suitable treatment for them? this is a struggle that a number of states are going through. simplyomes to mind because their budget problems, as many states are feeling the now, theyey pinch, have looked at how they can save money by reelecting at cap -- how they at incarcerate offenders, and they have put a lot of money into diverting drug offenders into treatment programs. they have seen some success with that. we have seen a proliferation of drug courts in a number of
9:51 am
states throughout the country, where people deal with drug offenders through treatment, special courts that monitor treatment, and hold the hammer of prison time over them to ensure that they complete their treatment. hoping that once treatment is completed, they are less likely to get involved with drugs again. the only area that's not seeing this type of thing happen is the , where theernment federal prison system continues -- their populations continue to increase dramatically, and are projected to increase through 2015. and the majority of the offenders in federal prison art work offenders -- our drug offenders.
9:52 am
guest: host host: tony writes in -- if that is going to instead lets look at the of using firearms to defend oneself. from 2011 -- from foreign -- 2011, less than one percent of victims and all nonfatal violent crimes reported using a firearm to defend themselves. guest: that's interesting, and florida is a place where they have laws protecting people who use guns in self-defense. the standard ground law, which got him -- the standard your ground law, which got a lot of notice after the trayvon martin killing. the one percent number will probably surprise a lot of gun --hts folks, who believe
9:53 am
and with the proliferation of concealed carry laws across the country, you probably expect the number to be higher. but one percent is obviously very low. host: we were just talking about texas a moment ago, so let's go to the arena, texas and hear from linda, a gun owner. good morning, linda. caller: good morning. i've been living in the stupid state, texas, where we decided it's a great idea to have students in our colleges carry guns, for example, where if you get a bad grade or you have a breakup with her boyfriend,, that is grounds on killing yourself and everybody around you. why not carry some more guns? it's crazy here. but i don't understand why we don't make it much simpler as far as back run checks or anything like that goes i having a person apply -- by having a person apply for a license and having them apply for insurance, just like you do for a car?
9:54 am
you get your background clearance through your license and then you go and you show that to the gun sales person that you want to buy the gun from. it seems like we're trying to approach it backwards. by having the gun sales people do all the proofing. host: thanks, linda. guest: first, i will take issue with your assertion of texas as the stupid state. i spent a lot of time there, nine years, and enjoyed it immensely immensely and found a lot of smart people there. but guns are also part of the culture there, a pervasive part of the culture there. ad i think there has been resistance over time at your governor certainly has certainly -- your governor certainly has not been on the forefront of advocating much to do with more background checks. but that, as you know, has been part of the federal gun debate for these past several months.
9:55 am
whether or not expanded background checks will do more to cut down on some of these very violent incidents that we have been seeing the past year. host: our guest, kevin johnson, is a reporter at "usa today," where he serves as national law enforcement and justice correspondent. he also spent time in san antonio working for a paper there, and he previously worked at "the l.a. times." another stat from the bureau of justice statistics. in2000 four, among thes -- 2004, among the state prison inmates who possessed a gun at the time of their crime, less than two percent by their firearm at a gun show. 40% got it from an illegal source. guest: again, these numbers have something in it for everybody. the two percent of those who bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show will probably
9:56 am
be seized on by gun rights advocates who say that gun shows have been a relatively safe -- have been relatively safe places. they have not been sources for illegal guns. and a number of academics have shown that to be true. this seems to track that. will again bember looked at by folks who are , whoested in more gun laws are interested in more background checks, and also looking further at limitations on magazines and assault weapons. mike is a law-enforcement officer officer in ohio. hi, mike. caller: hello. how are you? host: good, thanks.
9:57 am
go ahead, sir. caller: what i have seen is that it appears to me these statistics that we are seeing a lot of the higher crime pocket areas have the most restrictive gun laws. and i wanted to know if that is something that law enforcement, we should be looking at, and out these badroot guys in very -- host: i think we started to lose you, but we got the crux of your question. makes a goodhe point. in chicago, probably one of the strongest gun laws in the country, yet lots of violent crime. and i think police and others have been looking at ways to handle that. the gang problem there is very
9:58 am
challenging. number of police chiefs have attempted to make inroads in the area, bringing in the federal government with federal task force is to try to prosecute them federally. and changing their tactics in trying to find these people. gunshotof cameras, indicators where they now centers on light poles throughout the city just to try to figure out where a lot of this gun crimes coming from. host: maryland. frank on the line. hey, frank. caller: hello. do thetion had to do -- numbers include suicide victims, and do they also include deaths where law-enforcement officers , or bystanders, for that matter? guest: no, i believe these are just homicide numbers, and in
9:59 am
terms of where a law enforcement officer would engage in a fatal shooting, unless that officer was charged, i don't believe that number would be in here. that would be categorized as a justifiable homicide otherwise. so i think you are looking at, in numbers, just at homicides. host: let's try to squeeze one more call in. kerry, glenn britt, maryland, gun owner. caller: how you all doing this morning? 70% -- the last caller that just called -- when they do the homicide rates, the police shootings are added onto that because of gun laws involved. in the studies that you do when you do a gun study, they just use a guns. that's it. they don't throw nothing else in the mix. that's changed -- excuse me -- nothing. , terry.hanks,,
10:00 am
quick response from kevin johnson. remark about whether the numbers are in the study -- my understanding is unless they were characterized as homicides involving police shootings, other types of police shootings were not included. host: police shootings would not be included. johnson from usa today. that is all for "washington journal" this morning we will see you again tomorrow at 7:00 eastern. we will now go to an event of the constitution project looking at guantanamo bay prison. >> i think we should start on military time so let us start precisely at 10:00 a.m..
10:01 am
i want to thank all of you for attending. this is a very important briefing. much consideration and investigation over policy at guantanamo bay has taken place since september 11th, 2001. at this point teh facts are irrefutable. most of the detainees that were brought to guantanamo could not be charged with crimes. they were brought to guantanamo and return for substantial doubt he's given to their captors. -- for substantial boutnies given to their captors. they have been held extrajudicial late. extrajudicially.
10:02 am
they concluded that these inmates have also been tortured. i welcome the president's recent pledge to be engaged with the congress on guantanamo bay. guantanamo bay was created to be outside of the jurisdiction of the united states courts. the political and legal expediency of the detention center at guantanamo bay has not to america'se cost reputation around the world nor to the erosion of our legal and ethical standards here at home. it should never have come into existence. byhave also been joined
10:03 am
colonel davis this morning. he served 25 years in the u.s. air force. he was the chief prosecutor for the terrorism trials at guantanamo bay for more than two years. thing, that ite needs to be closed. i gave him a terribly hard time he came up to me in that army- navy game and said, "you were right. it needs to be closed." according to a landmark study 80% -- 86% of guantanamo bay detainees were captured by. the majority of these young men
10:04 am
have never committed an act of violence against the united states or our allies and only 5% have ever been members of al qaeda or organizations associated with al qaeda. statistics refutes the rhetoric that many of my colleagues have made. guantanamo's population consists of the worst of the worst. i have heard them say that over and over again. it is simply not true. the prison has been too easily used as a rallying cry and recruitment tool for our enemies. existence is a direct threat to our national security. congress has constrained
10:05 am
options. president obama still retains the authority to do so. tould he wish to choose fully exercise his power and authority -- he does have the authority to do so. to read into it with congress. he understands that. -- he needs to read-engage with congress -- to re-engage with congress. that position needs to change. if the president chose to exercise his full authority he could clear the transfer of up to 86 detainee's. of the prisonhalf population.
10:06 am
beener 46 detainee's have designated for indefinite detention either because they are too dangerous to release or they cannot be charged by court to evidentiary standards. the president did establish a periodic review board to give these individuals the ability to challenge this designation. the panel has never been formed. i respectfully suggest that the president should form the panel now. some have argued that military commissions are the solution to try those that cannot be transferred. but military commissions do not report with our civilian constitutional standards. for the market is not even clear that military commissions are a profit regardless of their
10:07 am
legal status. of the two guilty verdicts ever achieved by trial and military commissions, the verdicts were recently overturned on the basis that the terrorism charges leveled against them do not constitute war crimes. instead those detainees that cannot be transferred should be tried in civilian courts here in the united states. the president must re-engage with the congress in order to achieve that. notwithstanding these options, 166 men remain indefinitely detained. , understandably, given up hope. believing they will never leave cuba, 100 of them are protesting their indefinite detention through the only way available
10:08 am
to them, through congress strikes. because the situation has become so grave some of them are being tube-fed. detainee's are being held in a chair for approximately two hours to ensure that the liquid supplement they are fed into the tube is digested. has become an immediate humanitarian crisis that needs to be addressed now. ais morning we have organized great panel of speakers who have a depth of knowledge and experience with guantanamo. panel willor of the introduce each of them to you.
10:09 am
christine is an adjunct the member of is the board at directors of the constitution project. of is a counsel to a number current and foreign detainee's at guantanamo. i also want to give a shout out to todd, who spent innumerable hours searching for justice on this issue. he shares the commitment that i trust many of you do. i know the american people will when they have all of the facts at their disposal. at this point let me turn the podium to miss christine husky. >> i know you want to hear the experts.
10:10 am
andd irvine is attorney brigadier-general. he received the direct commission of the strategic development officer. he was on faculty for 18 years at the army intelligence school, teaching prisoner of war military interrogation law. he also served four terms as a republican in the utah house of representatives. and he member of the -- cannot with a report, it is back there on the table, the comprehensive version is over 500 pages and is available on- line. our next guest is a senior staff attorney for human rights. she represents the families of two men that died at guantanamo.
10:11 am
she is also an adjunct lecturer. the next speaker is a retired u.s. army colonel and former chief of staff to secretary of state: powell. he volunteered to serve in the vietnam war and locked in 1100 hours of combat. he went on to rangers school before attending the naval war college and served as a deputy director at quantico. colonel wilkinson is a professor of government at the college of william and mary. lastly we will have dr. george -- he is the professor of systematic theology at princeton theological seminary. he earned his ph.d. from yale.
10:12 am
expert, he is also an ordained presbyterian minister, the founder and a board member of the campaign against torture, and a delegate to the official reform roman catholic international dialogue. his most recent publication is "thy word is truth." he is author of the book "torture is a moral issue." after they speak we hope you will stay for the q and a. that will be a great time to ask the questions that have not been raised in their remarks. there is a table back there with informative material, containing reports and statistics and more data. you will notice this box of -- , with aboxes, actually petition to close guantanamo.
10:13 am
that is something to think about 190,000, close to 200,000 signatures in the last week. without further ado, general ivan. ado generalurther irvine. toi worked with all officers get the united states out of the business of torture and to close the prison facility at guantanamo bay, cuba. there are two iconic image as that will forever be the most widely recognized and reviled legacies that our opinion or against al qaeda. prisoner that is appearing to be connected to electric cables. they have created perceptions for the world, especially the muslim world, that the united states does not honor the rule of law and this particular
10:14 am
democracy is no different in its disregard for human dignity and injustice than the oppressive regimes under which some many people live. we can tell ourselves that these are false perceptions and truly they are. i am addressing a room full of politicians and you know better than anyone that perception is reality. as a nation we have found ourselves to a legacy that is absolutely contrary to the values and principles of the declaration of independence and our constitution. in january 2012 a group of flight officers wrote to the president's saying that the guantanamo bay prison facility has become a symbol of how the united states jettisoned its most basic principles and values out of fear rather than relying on reason and are world renowned justice system. unfortunately it remains central to al qaeda's propaganda.
10:15 am
we should not be afraid to provide terrorist suspects with new process of law as we bring them to justice. doing so will ultimately make america more secure on the battlefield, in the skies, and here at home on our on its soil. the response from the white house was silence. we requested a meeting with the present a few months ago to discuss the closing of guantanamo bay. the response was more silence. this was disappointing because most of our group should be behind newly elected president obama as he signs the executive order that was to shatter guantanamo bay in the next year. he has the authority to begin transferring detainees out of guantanamo. recently reiterated his pledge from 2009. indefinite detention without charges or trial is absolutely contrary to the principles of american law.
10:16 am
there is no precedent for them. proclaim, "andls new age begins." guantanamo is our very own chateau the gift. i was in london to interview three guantanamo prisoners. a detailed a regimen that was characterized by inadequate and poor quality food, lack of medical care, violence, and gratuitous and regular sexual humiliation intended to degrade muslims. one detainee was blinded in one eye. if another country were holding a few hundred americans under similar conditions we would be declaring war. americans do not care what goes on at guantanamo bay but it is safe to assume that no one else
10:17 am
is paying attention. millions of muslims are paying close attention and this is a culture that is prepared to take revenge for injustices' that occurred when thousand years ago. i am haunted by the words of one of the former prisoners, "you have lost an entire generation of muslims who have written you off. they are forever against you. strikes will likely prove another way of shooting ourselves in the foot. we concluded that the means to break the strike is a manifestation of violence. we recommended an adoption of standards of care consistent with the guidelines for management of hunger strikers as set out in the 1991 world medical association declaration, including affirmation of forced feeding is prohibited and provisions should be responsible in evacuating, caring for, and
10:18 am
it buys and prisoners engaged in hong airstrikes. this allows hundred strikers to make an informed decision to die. there are no good options for an indefinite detention policy. on a strike is their only means of protest. the reality is that world opinion -- second, for the brutality associated with the way we bring congress strikes or any alternative for allowing prisoners to starve themselves to death. the guards instructed them how to kill themselves. using the authority we currently have the president needs to clear out the detainee's. it is a first small step in what surely will be a long effort to restore -- colonel morris davis offers this
10:19 am
perspective, "there is something fundamentally wrong with a system were not being charged with a war crime keeps you locked away indefinitely and a war crime conviction is your ticket,." that is what the majority of the task force recommends that the remaining prisoners be tried by article 3 quarts or at least countries that will take them. we found indefinite detention without charges or trial to be in poor practice. we recognize that this may well require some individuals to be brought to secures facilities in the united states. i should note that one of the problems the state department experienced is the reluctance of many nations to solve our problems for us when we are unwilling to take cuts to any of these people on u.s. soil. one of my colleagues was pretty blunt about this. bring them to trial or release
10:20 am
them. if they return to the battlefield we will kill them on the battlefield. we are getting really good thought that. general colin powell has said he would close guantanamo this afternoon. i will say that it is a cancer on america's claim to moral leadership that becomes more dangerous every day it remains open we are in a position that was best described by sir winston churchill, "americans cannot be counted to do the right thing because americans can be counted to do the right thing only when they have exhausted all other options." -- americans can be counted to do the right thing only when they have exhausted all other options." >> thank you very much. i wanted to start by thanking the co-sponsors of this event, my fellow panelists, and all of
10:21 am
you for being here. i represented men at guantanamo and have been down to the base in 2007. i am going to speak from that experience. one of the man i first met has been known by his serial number, 310. he has been held for charge without dick held without charge -- held without charge for 11 years. justice department under president bush conceded in court that there were no longer any "military rationals" for his detention. as we speak here this morning he is in solitary confinement in a cell and the guantanamo. he is now 46 years old, he has lost over a decade of the most
10:22 am
productive years of his life. he is the son and brother to them when members -- to family members who have not seen him for years. his detention continues indefinitely despite that he has never been charged, will never be charged, and despite that two administrations have determined that his detention is not militarily necessary. last week we got a letter from him. he is on hunger strike like most of them at guantanamo. he has lost over 50 pounds. a doctor told him that when his body reaches the point of deteriorating he will be forcibly fed with 80 tube and restraints. -- with a tube and restraints. intod men have been forced afterfor 23 hours a day and obama administration
10:23 am
rejected the obama administration ordered a review. he discussed the situation as "unbearable, like our first days." all of this for the crime of going on a hunger strike because they no longer want to be abused. and painnued detention are senseless. the ndaa national security waiver allows for the transfer of men like him, the 86 men did ministration has determined is no longer necessary -- the administration has determined is no longer necessary. the waiver provision provides a clear route for transfers to third party countries with appropriate cases and to ensure that the requirements under do not bar alld transfers. before those requirements were enacted the administration
10:24 am
successfully transferred about to their home countries. the transfers were pursuant to an agreement with united states and the receiving countries that included security measures that are compliant. the same type of agreement could satisfied with the provision under section 10-28-d of the national defense authorization act. nor is the problem that other men have been approved for transfer remain because they have nowhere to go. of the 86 who have been approved to leave about a dozen men have feared persecution in their own countries. in 2010 there were a number of countries in europe and elsewhere that offer safe haven
10:25 am
to men who cannot return home. the problem is not at all countries are now unwilling to take the men but the administration has stopped asking and backtracked on its promise to closure, galvanize, and support the international community in 2009 that resulted in many resettlement. the administration closed the office of the state department's special envoy that has been tasked with negotiating the resettlement, repatriation of cleared land. that office should be open and more probably get ministration to appoint a senior official in the white house to spearhead this process of transferring detainee's. the administration can and moratorium onst all transfers to yemen that have been in place since 2009 obsessively without review. at the critic of the 86 to have
10:26 am
been cleared for transfer 56 are from yemen. many of those men want to go home. they're individuals with their own backgrounds and circumstances who we need to start treating collectively -- whom we need to stop treating collectively and start dealing individually. that shift to start with the president himself by lifting the ban that the un experts has condemned as "a clear violation of the principle of non- discrimination." the cost of maintaining that ban should have been evident last of a yemenie death man. he has been approved by the obama and bush administration for transfer. and yet he remained at guantanamo because this administration's policy. he had gone on hunger strikes many time to protest his
10:27 am
detention. he was forced fed as a life sustaining matter and he died, leaving behind a teenage son he has not seen since the boy was 3 years old. there are yemenis who remain at guantanamo today. men let our client, who i met at the base last month. he was captured by police in pakistan and was likely turned over for bounty, like most prisoners ever held. he was not charged. the obama administration unanimously approved and for transfer. he was 107 pounds and he is being forcibly fed. he went on hunger strike before this crisis. the administration failed to act in time for mr. latif.
10:28 am
there is a window of time now where we can do things differently. in parallel with taking immediate steps to affect transfers, president and secretary of defense should address the current conditions in the camps, which have regressed. the defense department team that was passed with that review specifically found that "further socialization would be essential to maintaining humane treatment over time." the key aspect to that would be "more human to human contact, intellectual stimulation, and group prayer." conditions have moved in the opposite direction. for months most men have been held in 22 to 23 hour solitary confinement.
10:29 am
they are limited to recreation time strict alone. they are deprived of news and prohibited from group prayer. only conditions not call into question article 3 but escalated the crisis. they deepen the resolve for the men to continue their hunger strike. some of our clients have said they would rather die than live like this in perpetual detention after 11 years in inhumane conditions. ?heir hunger strikes are not of suicide, they are a last resort to be heard and released. -- their hunger strikes are not? of suicide, -- are not acts of suicide, they are a last resort to be heard and released. thank you. [applause]
10:30 am
>> i do not know what i can add to what has already been said. i am not an expert on torture. let me read you a little history of the crime. -- let me review a little history of the crime and share the concerns of the shoulder and a citizen. "i did not lay aside the citizen when i became a soldier." i remember vividly the day secretary powell came back. i jotted down the notes of what he told me. one of the things he told me was he wasn't sure we were winning the battle of geneva. we had, in many respects, led the world in creating --
10:31 am
he said the argument over whether to abandon geneva or not have gotten quite hot and at one point his lawyer, who was with him at this meeting of principles, himself a former --uty secretary of defense donald trump's zero was asked "what is final -- donald trump's felt was as "what is final disposition?" do you plan on keeping these people in cuba? for 50 years? 60? was we will cross that bridge when we come to it. we crossed that bridge several times.
10:32 am
the world knows what we are about. noticed, a haven't former president of pakistan -- some of the charges have him on house arrest in his own country concerned the disappearing of pakistan, many of whom disappeared with his complicity and maybe even his monetary gain or the monetary gain of the isi. they collected the bounties on their enemies and their enemies ended up in orange jumpsuits in guantanamo, guilty of nothing more than having been an enemy of the powerful man in pakistan. guantanamo stands out to the rest of the world, not just the 1.3 billion muslims, but to the rest of the world as a clear
10:33 am
indicator that the american empire is in decline. major decline because it you look at history closely this is what empires do when they begin to decline. coveregin to use power to their needs. they begin to use power instead of wisdom and rights to achieve their goals in the world. reminds me of another issue in our history. marvelous book on george washington. i never thought i could read anything more on washington that would be just as insightful. a new note has been struck brought in from the 20th century. a note that tells you page after
10:34 am
page in an almost 1000 page book of washington and incidentally of jefferson's and madison's and other's struggle with slavery and how long it took forestry eradicate that cancer from our schoooul . george washington had personal slates in the white house. he toured the south in incredible long tours to show the country who we was and what he was and to hold the union together. he took his slaves with him. .e fought a civil war the casualty count was well over 600,000, it was more like 1 million. a bloody war to eradicate that from our souls. --s the same kind of problem
10:35 am
i remember being at the ritz- carlton in pentagon city. general irvine was there. it was the night john mccain was try to get the armed forces of the united states out of the business of torture. and it it in a letter was sent to his desk. i remember the comment made by a man who was clearly 90, a former -- towards the end of our proceedings he wanted to be recognized in the words that he wereme and the words searing. he started by saying he never thought he would be in a discussion like this. never. not in all his life. i never thought i would be standing at a podium talking about the democratic republic of america torturing people.
10:36 am
youou have read that report know it had two seminal questions in it, more than that but those that really struck me. "did we torture?" resounding yes. "was it of the rest in the highest credit authorized by the highest -- wasn't authorized by the highest power in the land?" resounding yes. guantanamo needs be close. [applause] >> i would like to focus on the
10:37 am
sacredness of human life. all human life is sacred is a bond across the world's religions at their best. it unites the the first religious communities, christian, jewish, muslim, and others, that have joined in forming the national religious campaign against torture, nr cat. 2006, it is an organization of supporters and 323 religious member organizations. we played a key role in prompting president obama to -- to the exucitveorders issue the executive orders on his second day in office to and u.s. torture. one of those orders was his pledge to close the prison at
10:38 am
guantanamo. this pledge, as we know, is still unfulfilled. more n nrcater -- more recently served as a task force on treatment by those who have just been released by the constitution pocket. one of the co-sponsors of our briefing is here this morning. he is a member of the constitution taskforce and has .ritten, "human life is sacred this means that each and every human being has been set apart for designation as a being of elevated status and dignity. each human being must therefore be viewed with reference and be treated with due respect and care, with special attention to preventing any desecration or
10:39 am
violation of a human being." he lays special stress on our shared moral obligation to protect human life from 1 ton description -- from wanton destruction, desecration, or violation of human rights. human beings must be protected and defended against all cruel, inhuman, and the grading treatment precisely because of human life is sacred. there are some things that must never be done to any human being, no matter what wrongdoing they may have engaged in. of life'stion synchronous provides a universal .oral framework
10:40 am
life's sacredness underlies america's commitment to basic fairness as enshrined in the rule of law. equal, beingreated endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. no doubt can exist that in many terrible ways the prisoners at guantanamo have not been treated fairly. they have not been protected from cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. indeed they have been systematically abused in a shocking way. abuse offends common decency and makes a mockery of the rule of law. their lives have been desecrated.
10:41 am
their human-rights are violated and their very existence, in some cases, being wantonly destroy it. i will not dwell today on the fact that despite what we were told, most of the men in guantanamo did not make up the worst of the worst. i will not pondered the disturbing revelation made some colonel wilkinson himself that most of the guantanamo detainees were guilty of no potential wrongdoing and that no intelligence of any value was ever gained from them apart from a small handful. nor will i expand upon the festering moral outrage that many of these detainee's have been stuck in that hellhole for more than 10 years without any charges being brought against them. finally, i would disregard the paradox that these detainee's
10:42 am
face a desperate future of prolonged indefinite detention with no prospect of being released for the rest of their ours, precisely because government tortured them and is therefore afraid of what they are going to do if released. putting the soros to one side i want to focus on -- putting these sorrows to one side i want to focus on human fate in guantanamo. i want to lift up the hunger strike to reasons it came into being. the main question i want ask is that do we even realize these prisoners are human beings? can our ears no longer hear the cries of those wrongfully
10:43 am
detained? have we allowed our hearts to become so hardened by bitterness and fear that we live in danger of becoming what we ourselves most heat? ?- most hate have we forgotten the sacred ness of human life? me."mo is killing te he describes his plight. en on a hunger strike since february 10. i have lost 30 pounds. i will not eat until they restore my dignity. have been detained at guantanamo for 11 years and three months.
10:44 am
i have never been charged with any crime. i have never received a trial. i could have been home years ago. no one seriously thinks i am a threat. but i am still here. last year on march 15 i was sick in the prison hospital and refused to be fed. they tied my hands and feet to the bed. they forcibly inserted an i.t. into my hand. this state,ours in tied to the bed. during this time i was not permitted to go to the toilet. the inserted a catheter, which was painful, degrading, and unnecessary. even permitted to pray. i will never forget the first time they passed the feeding
10:45 am
tube up my nose. i cannot describe how painful it is to be force fed in this way. as it was trusted it made me feel like throwing up. i wanted to vomit but i couldn't. there was a guinea in my chest -- agony in my chest. i have never experienced such pain before. i would never wish to school punishment upon anyone. cruel punishment upon anyone. the only reason i'm here is because president obama refuses to send any detainee's back to even. this makes no sense. not a human being, passport. i deserve to be treated like one. i will agree to whatever it takes in order to be free. i am now 35.
10:46 am
all i want is to see my family again and start a family of my own. the situation is desperate now. people are thinking with exhaustion everyday. -- are fainting with exhaustion everyday. i have vomited blood. there is no end in sight to our imprisonment. because of thet pain we are suffering the eyes of the world will once again look at guantanamo. the guantanamo hunker strike has continued now for nearly 100 days while spreading to 100 prisoners, more than half of the 166 being held there.
10:47 am
-- theek they resorted resort to force feeding has been condemned by international's as an international crime. the whole world is watching and it no longer gives us the benefit of a doubt. although guantanamo may be invisible to many americans it is virtually all that the rest thehe world and especially muslim world sees. as the hunger strike continues the first death is only a matter of time and america's moral authority will continue to plummet. ignoringquences of guantanamo are enormous. not only for america but chiefly for the prisoners themselves. many of whom have reached point
10:48 am
that they would prefer to die rather than persisting more years of indefinite detention, which is in itself that amount to torture. we have called to president obama to release all detainees have no case against them. we urge him to transfer the rest to u.s. courts where they can be charged and tried. doimplore him above all to as he promised, by shedding guantanamo down. it is imperative not only for the captives to be dealt with fairly but also for those who tortured them to be held accountable. the point of having laws against torture if they do not apply to the powerful? the real crimes were not
10:49 am
or inted in guantanamo afghanistan. committedrimes were in washington. without genuine accountability the sanctity of human life in america will continue to languish its content. thank you. [applause] >> thank you to our esteemed experts. i also want to thank congressman moran and his office for holding .his very important briefing i also want to thank the co- sponsors of the constitution project national religious campaign against torture and
10:50 am
the new america foundation for helping co-sponsor this briefing. we have this room until 11:30. this briefing is intended to be educational and informative and so we have a lot of time for questions and answers. let us start that. i would like to take a couple of questions together. if you have a particular panelist in mind please let us know and speak loudly as this is on c-span. in the back, please. please state your question very clearly. state your question and i will go on to another one. [indiscernible]
10:51 am
>> do we really have a good steady about how government detainees are being held in gitmo and how we have mass incarceration in the united states? [indiscernible] why don't we have a study of this basic issue? >> first of all, we are not going to have long speeches on issues that are not directly related to guantanamo. we want to make this not only as informative and to some extent as efficient as possible use of
10:52 am
our time. i would suggest to others that want to make a statement that no matter how valid the points they want to make that i am going to cut them off in the middle of that statement. we want to get to this issue at hand and address the experts accordingly. i heard your question. i do not want to be rude. there has been a steady. it is at the back of the room. you can read through that and there are other extensive studies on this issue. excuse me, i hate to be such a -- yes, sir? >> [indiscernible] to also mentioned he needs be engaged with members of congress.
10:53 am
what efforts does he need to do to re-engage congress? >> that is a question on everybody's mind. there are concrete steps. can one of the panelists -- would you like to address it? beenthink as we have saying, concretely the national defense authorization act passed in 2011 does contain certain requirements on transfers that makes the process more burdensome. there are some specific requirements that oppose a reasonalbe and impo -- a reasonable and impossible burdens on countries. there is a national-security waiver provision that allows the
10:54 am
secretary of defense to take other actions to mitigate risks. they may be imposed by specific individuals and ultimately to certify that transfer in the security interests of the united states. what you're saying is those types of actions to mitigate security risks were taken pre- ndaa. there was no detainee transferred from guantanamo in 2009 or 2010 that was pre transferred. they were all pursuant to very carefully negotiated agreements with host countries that included security arrangements that were agreed upon by the united states and the recipient country. those kind of agreement can happen again and the certifications can happen under the national-security waiver. that would make the transfer aof at least 86 people possible.
10:55 am
those are 86 people the obama administration has unanimously determined can be transferred with the property agreements -- with the appropriate agreements. there are additional detainees who remain. starting point after years of no movement is let us look at the group we all agreed do not belong at guantanamo. , ilet me cut to the chase teach presidential opposition making -- presidential decision making. if the president can decide to go into libya without even talking to the congress of the united states he could close guantanamo tomorrow morning. [applause] can i just add a footnote to that?
10:56 am
i mentioned this group of retired flag officers in my comments earlier, we look at this question as a consequence of the last presidential election and in conjunction with another human rights organization, proposed a plan for closing guantanamo. i will just give you the website reference, it is apt www.humanrightsfirst.org. the title of the document is "how to close guantanamo." >> thank you. i have to leave at 11:00 so i am just going to say a few words. the question the young man asked is the most important one to be addressed. with regard to the panel, these are great people.
10:57 am
greek people choose not live within their comfort zone -- great people choose not live within their comfort zone to the outside of our comfort zone. it would be within our comfort zone to turn our back on guantanamo, to close our consciousness to the people -- to close our consciences to the people of guantanamo. became a nation that we are today. this is not going to be easy, to close guantanamo. and i can tell leawood every confidence, particularly given -- tell you with every confidence that congress is not going to do the right thing in this instance without a great deal of political pressure. president wants to
10:58 am
do the right thing regardless. there are some things i know, that without political pressure the president is not going to be able to accomplish this. if there is not poiltical pressure in this democracy guantanamo will never be closed. the only hope these detainees have is an informed public. that is our only hope. that is why we are having this panel today. that is why i appreciate all of you being here. i have to go on to another thing. the mall all very much. -- thank you all very much. [applause]
10:59 am
to follow up on yorur question, there are certification requirements. the national-security waiver allows to waive those requirements and the executive can do that. he can start by appointing somebody in the white house who will every day wake up and say , "how do we start transferring men yesterday?" another question? it is just like getting the flow going again. wouldght the case of -- be an easier one because he is a u.k. citizen and the prime minister has asked for his release. we heard a very strange response sayinge administration
11:00 am
the u.k. didn't want him released. pushis is a good case to know.ldy ou let u you let us the prime minister of human wanted to meet why are they so reluctant to move forward on any releases to yemen? >> we will take one more question and then release that. another question, please. in the back there, a gentleman with the glasses. >> i was wondering, the question was who would you blame for changes that have come to the think thewhat do you president should do to fix the issues with the lock down following the hunger strike?
11:01 am
what should the president do to fix that aspect? >> ok, the first question, does anybody have any information the --ng the u.k. and anyone in the room? there are people here who have following that. i guess i put to the department of state who might be able to answer that. it is a very good case. the next question is the yemen -- any intel and essentially on what happened with the human rights minister from yemen and a white house? ofdid invite the department defense, office of detainee policy, the department of state. i understand mr. russo was just coming back from afghanistan,
11:02 am
and expressed interest in attending. i am sorry they are not here to answer questions. >> i am going to open my mouth. i met with the shadow defense minister of the u.k. about two weeks ago at the state department's in addition, and we had a conversation about a lot of things. ur, not in power. is in a very weird coalition with david cameron and has been neutralized. i would suggest to you any signal coming out of london is and because of that and can be played on by the white house, the white house will play in the direction it wants to play in. with regard to yemen, it is the same issue. it is the issue with guantanamo and this president in general,
11:03 am
and that is they do not want their hands tied and they do not want to do any thing, and said the best way to do that is to avoid dealing with anyone who might potentially tied their hands. and that in my view makes me question my vote for this president. a and the question about hundred strikes and you might be to blame for the changes and what can be done other than start with conditions, the parties you were mentioning. >> i do not know behind the scenes was gone on. the camp administration is its own entity, and our senior people in the department of defense and the lighthouse. the cat administration and the commander right now at the base seemed to be responsible what we have been seeing in terms of lockdown and the changes and conditions. what needs to happen is some
11:04 am
kind of intervention by the secretary of defense or the white house to take a look at what is happening and to intervene. , think immediately the problem the changes have resulted from camp administration at the base. why, i do not know. >> the detainee treatment task force report has a chapter on the role of medical professionals in detention and interrogation operations, and there is an interesting discussion in that chapter with respect to how the force-feeding protocol at guantanamo differs from the procedures that are generally followed by the you're right -- u.s. bureau of prisons. i will not go into detail with that, but there are steps that could be immediately taken that would alleviate some of the concern about the way force feeding is accomplished.
11:05 am
one of the task force members and is a physician, noted that if a prisoner is sufficiently strong, that he can resist efforts to feed him forcibly. he is probably not at a state where force feeding is medically necessary as a way of sustaining life. one of the concerns we had was that the force-feeding process may be restored to much earlier in this state than is necessary to maintain life and to sustain life. another difference between the procedure at guantanamo and that with the bureau of prisons is -- at least i believe this is a difference -- if the bureau of prisons undertakes to force beat a prisoner, there is a requirement that those feedings
11:06 am
be video taped, so there's no question about how it is being accomplished and how it is being practiced. one of the complaints that was made by prisoners that we interviewed was that the force feeding tubes as they were used would be withdrawn from the system of one prisoner and van reapplied on the other prisoner without cleaning. i do not know if that is the case, but if it is the case, that is a violation of every medical protocol i can think of. i would refer you to chapter 6 in the task force report. it is a pretty interesting chapter. >> let me add comments to that, which is the american medical association made a statement last week, i believe, or perhaps this week, that forced beating of detainees by its core ethical bounds of the medical profession and the world medical association has stated forceable beating is never ethically
11:07 am
acceptable, even if intended to benefit. feeding, accompanied by force or physical strength is a form of in a humane and degrading treatment. the issue here with the force beating is whether detainees are voluntary the consenting to artificial feeding or if they are being forced to be fed, and that is clearly a violation of several treaties and the u.s. constitution. >> we talked today about [indiscernible] what would you remember -- were meant that members on the hell do today and where we need to go to bring this issue to a close? question, thank you for coming. >> simply cannot political pressure from the public has a role. we have been focusing on obama.
11:08 am
he is ultimately who can make this happen, but the public needs to share support foreclosing on the panama, and it issue has been invisible for many years. getting the facts about who is there and making a demand that this is not happening in your name is a very basic thing that everyone can do. there has been -- i cannot work on the hill, but by mentioning the senate i am not making a faux paw here -- but i believe there has been dear colleague letter that goes to a, that says, damn it, start those transfers. glad i did not work on the hill. >> question of the force feeding and other issues. i am a member of the general public and i feel like i follow this issue closely, but i am confused as to whether the united states is allowing red cross in to observe what is
11:09 am
going on, and without notification first, and whether or not the u.n. human rights group is about to go in an unannounced and watch and see what is taking place in guantanamo. >> take one more question and we will answer but. the person address the issue -- >> contingent issue? how many signatures and how we started. a good question. and, you, sir, in the back. >> >[indiscernible] it seems to be a force more power than the president holds. >> okay, start with the first question -- sorry -- >> red cross.
11:10 am
the red cross is allowed to make visits. as a matter of policy they are not allowed to discuss their findings publicly. so that is the basic issue, that we do not know what concerns they may have and what they are conveying or not to the administration and how the administration may or may not be responding. as far as other monitors, no, the red cross is the only independent monitor about at the base. u.n. experts, the injured- american commission on human rights, they have requested access and have continuously been denied. it is the red cross only that is allowed access to the base. >> i want to plug the report once more. there is an interesting discussion about the role of the red cross at guantanamo, and about a particular disagreement within the highest levels of that organization about how it
11:11 am
was going to deal with what it found at guantanamo and at out great. the discussion about the directoron of the early on, because of the way the administration at that time was trying to politicize the fact that there were red cross visits and make it sound as though the red cross had in fact sanctioned what is going on at these facilities, when in reality the red cross evidently was appalled by what it was fighting is a very interesting part of that report. >> let me say, having worked with the red cross before, as a soldier, i am sure the general knows this, too, the red cross' policy is to go to the lowest level of the chain of command and to report the infraction or infractions and see them corrected. then if they are not, to go to the next level, and the next level and the next level. they want to stay within the chain of command on the ground.
11:12 am
that is how they are so effective. when you get the director of the powell, youee colin understand how about it was, and i will not make any comment on that director, but the icrc caught in the dilemma that it is most effective by staying inside a jet of command, and yet the chain of command is unresponsive, what does it do? past u.n.in the bodies and special parties, they did requests, but the conditions were that they would not be allowed to speak with any detainees directly. they refused because the goal is to be able to speak with detainees, and other organizations are allowed at the military commission only as observers and not as a monitoring, independent body. and mode davis, can i call on
11:13 am
you, to tell us about your petition. change.org \gtmo. led me was code pink. i was watching the john cornyn hearings and i saw these little old ladies standup -- [laughter] i thought whyt, don't i have the courage like these ladies who stand up for what they believe in? guantanamo is wrong, and for all the reasons that have been laid out, the financial, fiscal irresponsibility. if it continues until the end of this administration, we will onnd another $750 million guantanamo. to fiscal conservatives, it makes no sense. we're witnessing its torture at change.org, and if other people
11:14 am
are willing to stand up, why can i? a prosecutor in the military commissions. [applause] >> and the third question was what is the political will to keep it open? why is it open? that.ill take a shot at put my foot in it again. courage.ral moral courage is most often the most missing ingredient in any presidential decision-making process. i do not care what president you want to talk about -- ronald reagan, harry truman, dwight eisenhower. moral courage is set by what i would call political reality. it is sapped by clinical opposition and the caliber and brouhaha nature of that opposition.
11:15 am
bank in and the grant, mcmillan -- don king, and that democratic party and others. what happens when you confront a series like this, even though you are in your second term, have been reelected, even though you do not have political concerns for yourself, you do have concerns for others. why do you think my party, the republican party, is still going on about benghazi? it has nothing to do with their affection for the incident or their desire find it should. it has everything to do with hillary clinton so they will not be a candidate or give them worry in the next presidential election. what about elections in the congress with regard to the house and the senate? they are up there, too, so the president has to concern himself with all these things. i come back to my original point -- very seldom in the post-world war ii national security state
11:16 am
iraq do we find a president with the moral courage to go against essentially all those influences. and that is what is tying this president in not. i have no doubt in his conscience it tells him he should close it. i have no doubt either that the political currents working against that decision are also. csire. >> in terms of reparations for people who have been tortured domestically with long-term solitary confinement and for speeding and also in guantanamo with the more extreme methods of torture, do you think bringing charges against president bush for war crimes or crimes against humanity and possibly against president obama is how we really address this issue and move on to a more spiritually clean
11:17 am
path? >> will take another question. yes, ma'am. >> i heard numerous people on the panel about putting detainees into the federal court system, and there has been concerned about evidentiary issues, especially with the torture going on in the state secrets. i am wondering if someone could address what i'm hearing about the federal courts cannot what that would look like in terms of something we and should take into consideration in terms of jurisdictions? start with the general on this question of reparations and past quarter and war crimes and accountability. report thatall, the the task force prepared early on made a determination that we were not there to function as a
11:18 am
screening panel as to who did or who did not commit more crimes. we do not raise that issue specifically in in our report for a number of reasons. reparations or making things right is a very interesting issue, because one of the things that people do not forget when they talk about torture, for example, is that we have tortured a lot of people, including a lot of people who either had done nothing that warranted that response or who had no information to provide even if they'd wanted to. so the question becomes, how do you make that issue right with people who have been wronged? so far, the record of our justice system is pretty poor, because the administration, to
11:19 am
the department of justice, has asserted the official secrets act or defense on every occasion when someone who is claiming they have been wrongfully tortured or treated or abused has tried to get that case to court. our record in that respect is pretty appalling. there needs to be a way for someone who has been legitimately aggrieved -- that sounds like a conflict in terms and it probably is -- but if there is a grievance that can be compensated with money, which is the whole basis of our tort system with law, there needs to be a way that person can get the case before a judge and a jury and get a determination and get compensated. we have made no effort to do that in any kind of responsible way. the other issue that is as is it with that is when prisoners have been released from guantanamo,
11:20 am
they are almost literally dumped where they get off the plane, with no means of support, no network to receive them, and this is a real problem. again, there is a chapter on this aspect of how we have dealt with guantanamo prisoners that is interesting as well, and more needs to be done provide a way of integrating these people back into the social system from which they came. the arrangement that presently exists is that there is no system for doing that. in britain said i am not responsible for guantanamo, but i am spending all this time dealing with prisoners who have been released who come to me and say, what can you do to help me get on with my life " he said, i did not come to the united states.
11:21 am
united states came to me. this is not my issue, but somehow i am and up responsible, as are others who are involved in other countries, for solving a problem that we had created and that we want to wait -- want to walk away from. just to put this in some kind of perspective, two things -- first, many of you will know the name of a canadian citizen who was wrongfully abducted, sent by extraordinary rendition to syria, tortured severely. they found out he was the wrong person. he is a canadian citizen, and the canadian government did get him significant reparations. millionit costs about a dollars a year to keep each prisoner in guantanamo.
11:22 am
if we are not offering these people reparations, as an adequate as a financially preparation would become a cannot be for financial reasons. >> let me add one footnote. one of the issues that the report deals with is the rendition program and how various individuals were snatched by the cia and other places and then rendered either to other countries for interrogation or taken to guantanamo. a number of those individuals were citizens of great britain. when of the ironies of all this to me is that several libyans who were protesting and wanted to rebel against the government taken by theddafi say -- by the cia and turned over to the gaddafi by a favor by the central intelligence agency. some of these guys have now served lawsuits on the officers
11:23 am
in britain who had some responsibility for that, and there are a couple that are very curious. jack straw, the british foreign secretary, is the object of one of these suits. the government of great britain settled with one of those snatchees for $3.5 million. when of the individuals in libya who has sued against mr. straw has said publicly he would be willing to settle that case for a nominal payment of about six ..s. dollars, plus an apology the apology is the sticking point in putting that case to bed. apologies are extremely whoortant to the victims have traumas that will affect them for the rest of their lives. >> did you want to add
11:24 am
something? we have gone on about this issue, one thing i would want to say, because there has been no -- the administration has decided not to pursue criminal accountability and civil liability has been very difficult in u.s. courts, we have gone outside of the united states and used universal jurisdiction law to bring cases in other countries for criminal prosecution, accountability, and those efforts so far have not resulted in success yet, but there are those efforts happening. and the different forms of reparations and acknowledgment of wrongdoing, this extends beyond attention to targeted killing, the various areas of national security, where the acknowledgment of even the act is not forthcoming. so i agree there are different ways that reparations can happen, and the base king is acknowledgment, which is not the least being seen in the targeted
11:25 am
killing context either gary >> the next question is a very important one, giving the closing at guantanamo, which is could detainees be brought to u.s. federal courts? are there issues or concerns regarding allegations of torture, and what would that trial look like? let me say there was a trial in federal court of the detainee who was at guantanamo, and as far as i know, that trial ended in a conviction, and i will turn this over to mo who can talk about commissions versus federal court spirit that trial ended in a conviction. it was a life sentence, yes, a life sentence, and they stuck to the federal rules of evidence in civil procedure, and the constitution, and there was a conviction, and it happened quickly. as you all might know, there have been seven convictions in
11:26 am
military commissions. six of those were plea bargains. two of the main charges that are -- that have been brought, that are being brought, which are conspiracy and material support for terrorism are up at issue now as to whether those are war crimes prior to 9/11. or at 9/11, at the time. -- let'salk more about say it, bringing detainees in the trial -- but will that look like? can we do it? come up here. there is a seat for you. >> yeah, a could be done. when i was the chief prosecutor, 14 guys off the airplane. muhammed. one was galani the a, only
11:27 am
detainee brought to the u.s., prosecuted in new york. new york did not collapse in a heap because of the trial. he was convicted. critics say he was acquitted. of 199 anditted convicted of only 1/5. but he got life without parole. at guantanamo we have had seven convictions. five of the seven people being the big dough -- being convicted are now that compared you get convicted of a war crime, that might be our joke. you have to lose to win. to liz, you might get to go home. if he did not get charged, he could sit there for the rest of your life. the administration has to make a decision on which cases they want to prosecute, and they should be prosecuted in federal court, where it has been fast. there have been no acquittals in
11:28 am
a terrorism-related case. severe sentences at guantanamo got a misdemeanor. a family in virginia got a bigger sentence by giving their teenager a beer. the d.c. circuit has overturned his conviction, saying material support for terrorism was not a the to the offense, nor was concurrency. six of the seven people being convicted have been convicted in the offense that our courts have said is not a crime. again, it is hard for me to imagine what is the good reason to keep guantanamo opened and continue this process other than right-wing talking points to be the president as weak on terrorism. but that may add as a former litigator, there is a classified information procedures act that people are concerned about classified
11:29 am
information. do you know how many trials with a bad related to al qaeda, suspected terrorism, where it comes to the play? classified information is protected. if torture is classified in some way, then it will not be released of public. if not, then the public should know. we have a right to know, whether torture is being done in our name. >> you can establish a federal district court right now at guantanamo bay if the president so decides. second, this group of retired flag officers and others oppose the use of military commissions to try these people for this reason. it grants them warrior status, which they very much desire, but which is an honor that they do not deserve. we would much rather see them treated as the common criminals they are rather than as the war
11:30 am
years they pretend to be. warriors they pretend to be very. >> should be focused on the procedure and not necessarily the at the end and look at the length of the sense as an indicator of the strength of the system. we should be focused on fairness, which has a better chance of happening. me take one more question and then we will wrap it up. i would ask us to reflect on how we have let our institutions do our singing for us. -- sinning. i was at the holocaust museum in is your, there were pictures of generals sorry allegis to hitler. we are not very far from that. right now we have
11:31 am
representatives of the best of the best, ok, of those three professions. some doubly represented, ok? but how is it, for example, that the legal profession cannot find its voice? the ama says there is at such a thing as a hit a crack of the. the aba talks about the hypocritical things. but what will it take these accountable by their professional peers? [applause] is anm not sure there answer to that. let me ask our experts if they have concluding remarks regarding transferring the men out of guantanamo, particularly those who have been cleared, and closing guantanamo.
11:32 am
in the last thoughts? >> i want to play off a comment that the colonel made. the congress of the united states is a reactive branch of government. the supreme court of united states is a reactive bridge of government. the presidency has the power of the bully pulpit and fast path party to accomplish many, many things. and i think in this case, what really is necessary and will do more than anything else to flush this issue to the front would be for an aggressive presidential leadership policy to be implemented from the white house, and he may challenge the limitations on presidential power, but unless those challenges are made, nothing is on to happen. and he is the one person who right now is in the position and has the authority and the political power to begin to make a serious difference, and it has
11:33 am
to start there. [applause] up, this is a very disquieting thing for me to follow the polls in this country on, for a double, torture. the polls are not declining in terms of americans who support torture. they are rising. if you do not have the american people behind you, then you have potentially broken the greatest missing., that is one of the great ingredients of the presidential decision-making process, sensing the american people. you go out in the hinterland, and in the hinterland, 61% of americans under certain those ins -- express
11:34 am
your polling questions -- would support corker. a hell of a lot of moral court required on the part of the president to stand up to that. it is actually a little worse. the numbers are exactly flipped. more americans are opposed to ,orture under president bush and now the number that are opposed were pretty much the number that favored torture under some circumstances under president obama. why did this happen? i think the primary reason -- and this is the flip side of the president meeting a popular refresher -- the proponents of torture had been given a free without anymedia
11:35 am
significant opposition from the president and the people in power. and so they have managed to turn public perceptions in their favor. you cannot move forward without looking back. and if you do not look back, the past will come back to bite you. i wanted to end by underscoring the urgency of the situation, the urgency of action by the president now. there really is not time, and i do not think it is exaggerated to say there is not time to review cases and deliberate. there needs to be transfers that start now. there are over 100 men who have been on hunger strike for over 100 days. over 20 of them are being forced fed. the military's response so far has been we will not let people
11:36 am
die, what we will just force feed them. as the president said, that is not a sustainable, tenable scenario. guantanamo from becoming a more shameful chapter of american history, there needs to be action starting now, and there are 86 people p.m. administration has approved for transfer that can begin transferring today. [applause] >> with that, i would like to end, but i would like at that when we talk about the little well, that means the people and members of congress. -- about the political will, that means people and members of conference, to start those transfers yesterday. thank you. [applause] wants to join us, there will be a [indiscernible]
11:37 am
at 1:00. you are encouraged to come join us. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] britai >> live coverage continues this afternoon on c-span. a look at the latest developments in the korean peninsula, including security
11:38 am
threats from north korea and china's role in the region. we will hear from the state department's envoy for north korean human rights. that is that one of 30. the president will make remarks in the white house easter and, in what is being built a mother's day event. there will be an effort to permit the benefits of his 2010 health-care law before an audience of women and families. this is before next week's efforts on the house to repeal that health care bill. we will have the comments this afternoon at 2:40 eastern, and that will be on c-span2. "road to the white .ouse" is from iowa step is governor bobby jindal. paul00, remarks from rand at the iowa republican lincoln date dinner in cedar rapids. live coverage at 8:00, all
11:39 am
getting under way at 6:00. harry forng, prince to is abated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the tomb of the unknowns in arlington. tours ins served two afghanistan and did this as part of his american tour. this fromlook at earlier today.
11:40 am
>> present arms. plays]ave the queen"
11:41 am
["the star-spangled banner" plays]
11:42 am
11:43 am
>> present arms.
11:44 am
plays]
11:45 am
>> because prince harry this morning at the tombs of the unknowns at arlington national ceremony. -- cemetery. he continues on this afternoon with a stop at walter reed
11:46 am
military hospital and flight the 13 orado springs for the 200 year games. his trip will include visits to parts of new jersey affected by hurricane sandy, and greenwich, connecticut. is department may be nearing a stage where the frequency of this crime and the perception that there is tolerance of debt could very well undermine our ability to effectively carry out the mission and to recruit and retain good people we need. that is unacceptable to me and the leaders of this institution. it should be unacceptable to everyone associated with the united states military. we need cultural change where every service member is treated with dignity and respect. where all allegations of
11:47 am
inappropriate behavior are treated with seriousness, where victim's privacy is protected, where bystanders are motivated to intervene, and where offenders no that they will be -- know they will be held accountable by effective systems of justice. >> this weekend, saturday at 1:40 p.m. eastern. sunday morning, gregory hicks before the house oversight committee. a vision of a world where everyone is digitally connected, sunday morning at 10:45. cold warcan history tv, intelligence during the eisenhower administration, sunday at 3:00. republican members on
11:48 am
the environment and public works committee yesterday bore kit -- boycotted a meeting to prevent a vote on the nomination of gina mccarthy, that picked to run the epa. democrats held the meeting anyway and responded to their colleagues decision not to attend. this is 50 minutes. >> welcome. the meeting will come to order. i have been informed just a few minutes ago that the republicans are boycotting this markup for one of the most qualified, perhaps the disqualified nominee, to ever had the epa. i have left a glass of water here for the senator out of french in hopes that he, and clears his throat and join us. i am stunned that this has
11:49 am
happened because i have never seen a nominee in my life answered more questions than gina mccarthy has done. we have been informed that the republicans are boycotting, and i hope members will make a comment on how you feel about this. mccarthy deserves a vote. i delayed the vote at the request by ranking member, and i have delayed that long past when i wanted to mark it up, and i was under the impression as soon as he received the answers to the 1000 questions -- when a dozen questions -- record- breaking number of questions that they would allow us to move forward with this the. every nominee is entitled to a but. predict early a nominee like this one. the ninth president nominee? with this level of experience, who has been confirmed by the senate for the position she holds is wrong.
11:50 am
it is unacceptable. jeanette is tremendously qualified to head the epa. she has more than three decades of public service experience, including, at the local, state, and federal level. she has a very well-demonstrated record of working with republicans and democrats. she has received support from business. she has received support from health officials. she has received support from environmental organizations and scientists. i would say today that at this stage, their opposition, even to allowing us to vote, shows how outside the mainstream they are. it shows how obstructionist they are. it shows how their pledge to do better with women voters is false. how could you have a more qualified woman the gina
11:51 am
mccarthy? this is outrageous. got1100 questions we submitted to her. i would say that every member of the committee has a right to ask the questions, but once they get the answers, if they don't like the answers, if the answers aren't in accordance with their philosophy, don't be that surprised about it. we just had an election. this is not mr. romney's cabinet or mr. rick perry's cabinet. this is barack obama's cabinet. don't be that shocked that you may not agree with her views. the i'm going to retain rest of my time, because i know everybody has important meetings to get to. but i am going to stay here and have many more comments to make
11:52 am
at the way we intend to proceed on this. at this time, we're going to go of seniority. >> thank you, madam chair. it is with a heavy heart that i am sitting here, too. ourlked with a number of republican colleagues prior to today, urging to support the nomination of gina mccarthy. while they did not commit to doing so, for the most part they had very positive things to say. she expressed concern that had not fully answered the questions asked of her. i say to them, do you know how many questions she has been asked? over 1000. compared to what? compared to mike lubbock, who served as epa director, secretary of health and human services. when he was nominated for the
11:53 am
same position, he was asked fewer than 400 questions. she has been asked over 1000. the governor was asked more -- fewer than 400. she has answered a bunch of their questions, a lot of their questions. if they want to say, why don't we ask 2000 or 3000, she may not be able to answer all of those but i think she has answered all of these questions. she may not -- they may not like the answers, but she has given unto them -- them to them. this is the cabinet of barack obama. i'm no governor. i believe the election had consequences. i believe when you are an executive, you happen to be the president of united states, you have the the obligation to nominate good people. he nominates someone unanimously confirmed by this
11:54 am
committee. and i think maybe by the senate, for one of the top positions at epa four years ago. she's not somebody that comes out of left field on these issues. she's someone who has worked for republican governors before. i think for five of them. and somehow she is unacceptable. callry about something i executive branch swiss cheese. i'm talking about an administration -- we have cabinet positions that are vacant that are filled by acting people or deputies, or assistant secretaries or undersecretaries. that's not good. thee our friends in
11:55 am
republican party's think that is bad or hard for the obama administration. it's bad for our country. what's even worse is the example it sets, and the invitation it extends for future administrations. someday there will be a republican president. someday the republicans will be the majority in the senate. that republican is going to want to have his or her cabinet in place. if a president nominates good people, honest people, they ought to at least get a vote. they ought to get our support. i will close with this, madam chair. memberse we all the some meetings we have had here. i especially remember a meeting i had eight years ago. i was the ranking democrat. i met with eight or nine utility ceo's from all over the
11:56 am
country. were talking about clean air issues. one of the utility ceo's at the end of the meeting, a guy from the southern part of the country said to me, you should what the rules are going to be. you should give us a reasonable amount of time and some flex ability, and get out of the way. the problem with what we're doing here is it makes it difficult to do exactly what he said. it makes it hard to tell them what the rules are going to be, to provide a reasonable amount of time, and get out of the way. we need to move this nomination. we should have a good robust of eight and we should vote. this nominee deserves a vote. our country needs it. thanks very much. >> thanks so much. senator cardin. >> the community record should
11:57 am
reflect that not a single republican has shown up today for this scheduled committee markup. this is very sad. we have seen over two months ago the president made the nomination of gina mccarthy to be the epa administrator. this is a key part of the president's cabinet. the american people deserve a confirmed administrator. the president has made that submission. our responsibility is to vote. this is obstructionism, pure and simple. it has nothing to do with gina mccarthy, nothing to do with the answers that she has supplied. it is republican obstructionism. we know her. we know she is well qualified for this position. every senator had an opportunity to meet with her. many took advantage of that. she has answered over 1000 questions. the maximum number before was like 300.
11:58 am
when lisa jackson was confirmed, there was 100 questions. republicans have used every opportunity to delay the confirmation process not because of her qualifications, but because of their desire to obstruct the confirmation process on president obama's appointments. they don't like some of her answers. they don't like the laws. it has nothing to do with her answers, it has to do with the fact that she answered them honestly and they just don't like that, and they don't want her to do what cannot be done. this administration is going to carry out the clean air and clean water act's. they have a responsibility to vote up or down the nomination. there's many endorsements of gina mccarthy to be the ministry here. i want to quote from two. the former epa air chief, mccarthy has shown a willingness to listen and industry -- understand industry's concerns.
11:59 am
the national association of clean air agencies, she is brilliant and honest and incredibly hard-working. she is a practitioner. listener nomination, i to the comments of my republican colleagues and they had the nicest things to say about her. she has worked for democrats and republicans. it is well past time for us to vote on this nomination. madam chair, this has been a pattern on the republican side of the aisle, obstructing president obama's nominations. yesterday we saw in one of our committees and technical rule used to block the vote for tom perez to be secretary of labor. that was the second scheduled meeting that they had on this vote. they use the fact that the senate was still in session, that we could not have a committee hearing. blocking pattern of
12:00 pm
president obama's confirmation votes on his nominees for key cabinet additions. i know tom perez well. he's a decent person who turned around the department of justice, civil rights division. he speaks out for what is right for all americans. he is eminently qualified to be secretary of labor. that nomination is being blocked not by a vote on the floor, but by procedural ways to gum up the operations of the united states senate. it has nothing to do with information not made available, it has everything to do with obstructionism. as we saw with the majority leader's request for us to go to a conference committee with the house on the budget, they use procedural hurdles to block the actions on key issues here so we can't even take up bills.
12:01 pm
this is a pattern we have seen. my friends on the judiciary committee have seen how the onpublicans have blocked votes nominations for judges, and how long it takes to get a judge confirmed here. -- judges, and how long it takes to get a judge confirmed here. madam chair, remember very vividly when we had the nuclear option that was being considered. had senators that got together and said, we don't want that to we want the senate to act like the senate and do its constitutional responsibility and vote on nominations. we are seeing it employed the republicans today in a different way. by not showing up to committee hearing as a way to block the constitutional responsibilities that we have as senators to take up nominations and vote on nominations. this is wrong. you want to know why some of us are going to be in favor of reforming the rules of the
12:02 pm
senate? because of abuses like this. we see the republicans to playing this every day. we have a responsibility to make sure that we carry out our responsibility. madam chair, we're going to do it. we're not going to let today's failure of the republicans to show up to block the response-- the responsibilities we have as senators. >> thank you, senators. i'm going to put in the record, gina mccarthy's answers to these 1000 questions. small print, both sides of the page, going in the record for call onwho wants to see. senator sanders. >> let me just pick up on what senator cardin just said. this has nothing to do with gina mccarthy. that is clear. in my view, global warming is maybe the major -- according to the scientific community -- planetary crisis facing us that
12:03 pm
we have not dealt with it aggressively is an embarrassment. we need an administrator at the epa.but as senator cardin just mentioned, this is not just an administrator for the epa. are republicans make it difficult to get judges on the d.c. court of appeals. there was a discussion about whether or not the national labor relations board is going tombe able to function. perez is a strong candidate for the department of labor, and that is being delayed. i think we understand where our republican colleagues are coming from. the question is what we do in response. i think we act strongly. we have the american people -- the american people understand that there are difficult times, and want government to function efficiently. as i understand it, 10 votes can
12:04 pm
bring this nomination to the floor. >> that's correct. >> i respectfully request that as soon as possible, as the rules allow, that we hold another meeting, we make sure there are 10 senators here and we pass that.let me take it a step further. senator cardin touched on this as well. if we bring this nomination to the floor and there is a request for 60 votes, which we are not going to get, it is time for the democratic leadership to do with the american people want, and that is to have majority rule in the united states senate. i was a kid in elementary school. we used to elect class president. we were told that majority rules. it is the minority that is ruling right here in the united states senate. sometimes you win in politics, president you lose. obama won the election, and we have two win our senate election. that is where we are. it
12:05 pm
we know where they are coming from.i don't need a motion here, but i respectfully suggest as soon as the rules allow, we have another meeting and we have 10 votes and bring it to the floor. i would then respectfully urge the majority leader to allow 50 votes, 51 votes on the floor to bring forth not only the nomination of gina mccarthy, but other nominations where obstructionism is taking place. >> i will quickly respond. let this committee speak very clearly today. i believe you speak for all of us here. if it's not true, let me know. i'm going to tell senator vetter , becausenking member i will see him on the floor
12:06 pm
today. that we do intend to use the rules. that's it. that means 10 people present.if he wants to provide some of those 10, we would be very appreciative. >> how quickly can we do that? >> it depends on the health of senator lautenberg. we have some work to do on that. one would hope that senator thither -- senator victor -- vitter -- knowing senator lautenberg is not well, perhaps would revive 10 votes in honor of senator lautenberg's situation right now, which we hope is improving. we will definitely discuss this. >> do we not have proxy votes. >> you need to be physically present under our rules. >> can we look at the rules? >> of course. and we will. >> i believe in process. when people have honest differences of opinion, we debate it. when the goal is obstructionism, our job is to respond. we are not responding to the needs of the american people if
12:07 pm
there is not an epa administrator. under these circumstances, we should look at our options in order to move the nomination. >> senator, we will look at all our parliamentary options, including changing the rules of this committee.i don't know if we can do it with just the majority, we are going to find out. i will be in touch with you and all colleagues. i want to thank all colleagues for being here today. it means a lot to the people of america, who support clean air and clean water. that is what it is about. it is not about us. it is about gina. it certainly is impacting her in her world and her life and her future. clearly it is about the american people at the end of the day. we will work together on the parliamentary ways that we can move this.
12:08 pm
>> thank you, chairman. let me quickly review some of the folks who have written favorable comment into this process in support of gina mccarthy. the american automotive policy council. the united states hispanic chamber of commerce. the president and ceo of the southern company, a huge energy utility. the alliance of automobile manufacturers. believe it or not, the president of the national pork producers council. american electric power's vice president, american forest and paper associations. president and chief executive, the national mining association's spokesman. the past presidents of the american association for the advancement of science. trout unlimited. and the republican former governor of connecticut, jodi
12:09 pm
rall, who gina mccarthy worked for. that is the backdrop to this letter we received today, which is an interesting, carefully phrased letter that on first reading would suggest that she has not answered the questions. as you have pointed out, she had 1000 questions she was asked. that is a senate record, i believe. 1000 questions to a known commodity who already works at the epa and has been confirmed by the senate. really? they needed 1000 questions answered? looks like they are just trying to throw something in the gears and not get their questions answered. when you look at the letter, they're not asking to have their questions answered. they may even concede they have had their questions answered. what they're saying is that they
12:10 pm
haven't had five requests honored. now, you can take those five requests and put them all in one category. that is, she should agree with us. she should not agree with the president who appointed her. she should not agree with the majority of the environmental public works committee. she should not agree with the 95% plus majority of scientists who said the issues she is going to be involved in which relate to carbon pollution are vital ones. she should take the side in advance, honor their requests to take the side of them, the oil industry, and the coal industry. that's what this is all about. they really want predetermined answers in favor of the oil industry and the coal industry. well, forget it. the oil industry, the coal industry, and for reasons that are hard to imagine nowadays, the republican party, are on one
12:11 pm
side of this issue and alone. against them stand the entire scientific community. every single major scientific organization. right now there is a vehicle the size of an suv being driven around on the surface of mars. they shifted their and landed in -- they shipped it there, they , and they are riding around it on the surface of mars. they have the property casualty and reinsurance industries. you have the vast majority of the american business community. they want in advance for this woman to take the side against all of them. that is crazy behavior. you look at what happened to
12:12 pm
gina mccarthy, what happened to caitlin halligan, the candidate for the d.c. circuit. you look at what is happening to tom perez as a candidate for director of labor. if this is the republican party's new outreach to women and latinos, guys, you need to bring up your game. this is not working. this is not good outreach to women and latinos to be just throwing the sand in the gears for very qualified nominees because they won't agree with you in advance when you are wrong. it's not the minority's right to met nominees to agree with the in advance it's not the minority's right to get them to agree with them in advance when they are so clearly
12:13 pm
in the wrong. thank you. >> thank you so much. and thank you for the statement you made last night, which i'm sending around, in which you take the phrase that they put out there, which was why are we worried, god will protect us from climate change. you used your incredible understanding of religious philosophy and put that whole notion to rest. i thought it was so brilliant. i'm sending it around to others. senator udall. >> thank you, madam chair. i also echo what has been said earlier. i think it's a sad day when we have an entire party not show up to do their work. if i was watching this and sitting here and saying, who are the people that have not showed up? that would be my first question. i thought i would read the role. senator brosseau. senator bozeman. senator credo. senator fisher, center fishing,
12:14 pm
hoffe,r in hal senator vedder, senator wicker. all of them serve on this committee. they usually participate and are part of the process. but they are not here today. they're boycotting this committee. the thing that hits me the most about this is that this is just an outright obstructionism and abuse of the rules. we are starting to see this spread throughout our committees and on the floor. it's spreading like an epidemic, like wildfire. the list here goes on and on. we had all of this talk about, we were going to return to the regular order. we were going to do the budget. we stayed up until 5:00 in the morning and in the senate produced a budget and in-house produced a budget. now they don't want to go to conference on the budget and are
12:15 pm
objecting on that front. more obstructionism. the court of appeals in d.c., one of the most important circuits in the country, a lot of people argue just as important as the supreme court, justice robert's position has not been filled for eight years. once again, obstructionism on appointments in order to achieve a political objective, and ideological objective. it continues on the judiciary. we have pushed to have appointments. the president has put appointments forward. once again we have obstruction. it is infecting every part of the government and it is on display here today in our committee. they're not showing up.
12:16 pm
they're not coming to do their work. they're using the rules to slow down the process and to prevent a very good woman from being the epa administrator. another case that was mentioned earlier, tom perez. very qualified nominee. using a technical process in abuse of the rules to obstruct. what we have going on here is across the board in a number of circumstances outright obstructionism. i think the american people, if they looked at this, madam chair, would say the president is entitled to have his team. just four or five short months ago, the president of the united states was elected to a second term. he's trying to put his team in
12:17 pm
place at the epa, and here we have this boycott. i'm reminded of a short time ago it used to be the republicans would say, we are entitled to an up or down vote on our people. that's all we want. we want an up or down vote, madam chair. that's what we're looking at. i would just recommend -- others have said this here today. this is an outright abuse of the rules. our obligation as the majority is to rule and to take action and move forward. if were not going to get any cooperation, if were going to get boycotts, we have an obligation to move forward. we should use the rules as best we can. i understand on this committee, what we can do is if we have all of us present, we can vote out the nominee. i would suggest we do that as soon as possible. i would also suggest that we work with our leadership and
12:18 pm
find a way where this obstructionism, we come to the floor and use 51 votes to pass these nominees and give the president his team. this should not be tolerated. it is something that is such an abuse of the rules that it can get you angry every now and then. we get angry, we get sad. these are colleagues we have worked with. i don't understand why they do it. they're doing it today and they're doing it across the board. we need to stand up and govern. we were elected to govern. we need to carry out the policies and give the president his team. think you, madam chair.
12:19 pm
it is a pleasure to be here with you. and i just want to say you have been a very good chairman. you have tried to be fair to the republicans. the thing that is amazing about gina mccarthy is the chairman boxer has leaned the other way. she has leaned into the republicans, helped them out. 1000 questions. the last republican nominee, secretary leavitt, had 300 they have gone three times as far. she's bending over backwards to try to make sure that we are fair to them. and then what happens, you do that -- this has been pending since march 4. here we go, over and over again. now we are ready. it is may the ninth. they're boycotting. it is our obligation to move forward. i would suggest to the chairman, let's move forward as quickly as we can. we know what the situation is. we know they really don't want
12:20 pm
answers to questions. they have not showed up. let's move forward. >> thank you. i want to make a point here. we have held up this hearing for three weeks already. based on my being willing to give the republicans the time they needed. we had asked 400 questions to leavitt. excuse me, 300 plus. we said that we wanted the answers to the questions. and so we said to the republicans, we're not going to come and mark them up until we have the answers to the this is what they said. -- senatorrn and cornyn called that behavior
12:21 pm
blackmail. this is what they said when we held up the leavitt hearing and markup for two weeks. they have held her up three for three weeks. they have asked three times the number of questions, and they are not here. it seems to me unbelievable that after what they said, when we wanted answers to questions and we held it up for two weeks, now they have held it up for three weeks with nothing in sight. they have gotten the answers to the questions. they don't like the answers because they are holding gina mccarthy hostage to their pro- polluter fringe philosophy. i want her to say, i give up. if she did that, she would not
12:22 pm
represent president obama. in her position she has to enforce the clean air act great if my friends want to change the clean air act, try it -- act. every time you have tried it, we eat you -- we beat you. i know they are harassing and haranguing this nominee. it is because they are trying to get her to change the views of the obama administration and the views of the american people. i'm going to show one chart. they are fringe. here's the deal. here's the last poll. 78% of voters say the clean air act is extremely important. 69% of voters favor epa updating standards with stricter limits
12:23 pm
on air pollution. they are fringe. they are out of the mainstream. they're forcing their pro- pollution. they're trying to force their pro-pollution stance on the obama administration. they're not going to take it. and we are not going to take it. i agree, for nominees, it ought to be 51. otherwise no president is ever going to get their team, republican or democratic. >> thank you, madam chair. thank you for the incredibly fair process that you have had in this committee. providing plenty of time in both the first round and an additional round of weeks for questions to be fully addressed. what we have today is an embarrassing dereliction of public responsibility. and the word embarrassing doesn't capture the grave harm that is coming from members of
12:24 pm
this body deciding to abuse the advise and consent obligation that this body has, the senate has under our constitution, to abuse it and turn it into an attack on the judiciary and on the executive branch. today it is an attack on the executive branch to say, we are going to use advise and consent to undermine the second of justch -- executive branch. a few days ago we had a situation where we could not get a vote on a judge for the d.c. circuit. that was an attack on the judicial branch. a coordinated strategy playing out at the committee level and on the floor to undermine the bipartisan or nonpartisan nature of the judiciary, and to damage and delay the president because he happens to come from a different party than the members
12:25 pm
who are missing in this room i am deeply disturbed by this strategy. i have borrowed the chair's binder clip full of questions, hundreds of pages of westerns asked and answered -- questions asked and answered. answered incredibly articulately and seriously, thoughtfully. these are available. the public can take a look at these. this lays out the thoughts of someone who works hard on the ground to make the law work, as has been stated, not the perspectives of an ideologue. this is not soap book, soapbox responses. these are serious thoughts about the responsibilities under the law as asked for in these questions.
12:26 pm
once these questions have been asked and answered, as it has been pointed out, over 1000 questions, it is time to take a vote. on the floor of the senate, we are seeing this strategy continued. i have no doubt that after our nominee passes out of this committee that there will be obstruction on the floor as well, trying to prevent an up or down vote on the nominee. we had the first-ever filibuster of a defense secretary, the first ever in the history of united states of america. that nominee was a former republican senator. it was more about attacking and undermining a newly elected president from leading our nation in taking on a serious issue than it was about who the nominee was. today we have an extra nearly -- extraordinarily qualified
12:27 pm
nominee. i think that if anyone doubts the popularity of clean air and water, you just have to take a little trip to some of the countries in the world don't have rules that control this. many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle have visited china, where you cannot see 100 yards because there is so much particulates in the air that it is the equivalent to smoking more than a pack of cigarettes a day just to walk down the street. that is not the america we live in because of the work we have done to say that we want to keep those particulates out of the air. we want to have fish in our stream that you can actually not only have live, but eat the fish. this is part of our resource- based economy, where our air and water are incredibly important as a resource. chair boxer, thank you for your leadership on this.
12:28 pm
we as a senate, as a body, are failing to meet our responsibilities of advise and consent. that failure is unacceptable. we need to have that conversation among our members about how we're going to change how the senate works, because the courtesy that is an extended has become a courtesy abuse, a be used -- abused to the point that it is a dereliction of anotherbility.and acceptable attack on other branches of the government. i look forward to working with the chair and my colleagues as we take on this very important issue so that the senate, once considered a great deliberative body, can at least become a functioning body. >> thank you.for all your leadership. i went to thank my democratic colleagues for being here. let the record show thatsenator jill a brand -- senator
12:29 pm
gillibrand had to leave to go to the white house for a meeting about sexual harassment and crimes in the military. i want to put in the record this other quote. they served as epa administrators republicans. i would say this to my republican friends if they were here. why don't you listen to these mainstream republicans? the out of the fringe lane. american people want clean air, clean water. they want action. they want tougher rules and regulations to protect their
12:30 pm
health and their family's health. ask the kids who are in your states who are in public school, how many of them have asthma. how many of them know someone with asthma?half the hands will go up. get out of the fringe lane. work with us. i will tell you, this nominee, one of the most qualified ever, her name was put up on march 4. i'm going to close with some of her supporters. robert engle, vice president, domestic policy and american automotive policy. upon confirmation, we look forward to working with gina mccarthy, who has demonstrated a willingness to consider the views of those impacted by the agency and to find practical solutions to issues facing the auto industry. not good enough for the fringe. the president and ceo of the united states hispanic chamber of commerce. throughout her career, gina mccarthy has shown
12:31 pm
environmental responsibility side-by-side with economic growth coexisting is ossible. david levine, ceo and founder, american sustainable business council. he says, they applaud the nomination of gina mccarthy. we believe ms. mccarthy can provide the strong leadership needed at the epa, including working collaboratively with the business community. i say to my republican friends, get out of the fringe lane and join the mainstream of business in this country. it goes on and on. stephen harper, global director of environment and energy policy at intel. we have not always agreed with every action taken under mccarthy's watch, but we have always respected her rocksolid dedication to protecting the environment and commitment to finding solutions that protect our nation's economy.
12:32 pm
it goes on. chairman and president southern company has beautiful things to say. i ask unanimous consent. -- consent to put the rest of these into the record. it goes on and on. it is business, organizations, respected individuals in our communities. how about this? republican governors, including jodi rail, republican governor of connecticut. he says that cheetos views are nationally respected -- gina's views are nationally respected. gina mccarthy is one of the most mainstream nominees ever
12:33 pm
to come before the senate. the fact that every one of my republican colleagues on this committee would not show her the respect of being here today and are hiding from this public arena, the fact that they would reat her in this way after she answered respectfully over 1000 of their questions -- did she say she wants to overturn the clean air act? a guess not. did she say she wants to redefine the borders of united states so that nobody has any rights to clean water? guess not. did she say she wanted to overturn the superfund
12:34 pm
program? i guess not. i don't know who they want to be the head of the epa. maybe the head of some polluting oil company or coal company. that would make them happy. that's not what the american people want. the american people want an overwhelming numbers -- in overwhelming numbers, their health protected. if republicans think we're going to be quiet about this, they have another guess coming. gina mccarthy is going to become the poster child of their obstructionism. gina mccarthy is a woman who deserves this promotion. 78% of voters say that clean air is extremely or very important. 69% of voters favor epa
12:35 pm
updating standards with stricter limits on air pollution. i say to my republican friends n this committee, it's a pleasure to work with them on infrastructure but when it comes to the environment, they are in the right fringe ane. e are not going to let the people forget it. we're going to take the story of gina mccarthy and her success, her record, her fairness, her broad support in america. we're going to take this to the american people. so will the president, i assure you of that. by the time this is over, i hope the republicans will recognize this is one of the best nominees either party could ever find to head the
12:36 pm
epa. and i want people to understand today that we did not intend to vote this nominee out with democrats. that was not my intention. i would not do that unless forced to. let's be clear. would not have voted this out just with democrats. i'm asking my republicans to come home, to come back to your responsibility. you want to be here and vote no? be here and vote no. but be here. don't anyone say we would have voted it out of senator lautenberg and senator baucus were here. -- if senator lautenberg and enator baucus were here. today we are asking the republicans to come back. we will schedule another markup. it is my intention if they continue this obstructionism to
12:37 pm
report this nominee out if i have to just with the majority members. that was not my intention today. i never even knew they were boycotting this till i got a letter this morning. so let's be clear. the republicans have blocked this. they have done it on purpose. they have done it by making up false accusations that she never answered their questions when she answered every one of them. they're in the record. i will talk to senator fedor on the floor -- senator fedor on the floor. but i've always said this is an odd situation when you have environment and public works in one committee. have you a team working when it comes to the vurement, we have clashes every single day. and this is an example of one of those clashes. unnecessary and we intend to
12:38 pm
keep on pushing and we invite them back to do their job. maybe some of them slept in this morning. maybe it was a little early for them to get up. e stand adjourned. >> in just under an our on c-span we'll bring you a discussion on the latest velopments in the korean peninsula. we'll here about north korea human rights. president obama will be making remarks this afternoon in what is a mother's day themed event. the president will be franked by mothers and families before next week's debate on a house republican bill to repeal the
12:39 pm
healthcare law. >> she's is first first lady to earn a college degree and during the civil war soldiers serving under her husband call her the mother of the regimen. she persuades her husband to switch from the wig party to the republican party. meet lose si hays. as we continue our series on first ladies. monday night live at k9 eastern c-span and c-span 3 and c-span radio and cspan.org. >> c-span's road to the white house 2016 coverage is live from new hampshire and iowa his evening which first up politic coe then bobby jindal
12:40 pm
up at 6:00 p.m. eastern. then remarks from rand paul . om the dinner in er on c-span2 prime time tonight panels discuss the use f drones both domestically and abroad. they talk about unmanned military operations that are becoming more and more common place. >> i am considered a trader by many people in my community. patrick smith chases me around to basically harass me about trying to put the commercial pilot out of work. the fact of the matter is the hey day is over. the hey day of the fighter pilot is over. israel announced a couple of years ago that all fighters will be uab's.
12:41 pm
it's really fun. it's really cool and what makes me better than everyone in this i is i flew a fighter and can land an aircraft carrier on by myself. the commute computer always can. the computer doesn't get tired. it doesn't have a ramp strike at 3:00 a.m. the computer puts the bomb or the went on on the target it's supposed to and it doesn't make mistakes in terms of trying to get the visual target. there has been concern about went niesing ux av's and i'm in agreement we need to revisit our policies about how we rep nies any platform. but as a flight pilot humans make more mistakes trying to drop bombs. conducting warfare where you
12:42 pm
have a group of people and a lawyer next to you trying to make these hard decisions is a much better form of warfare than the kind i fought in. even though we are scared in terms of went niesing them, i will tell you in doing so we've actually saved a lot of lives. >> we'll have that this evening on c-span2. off the noor of the snoot yesterday the ju dish yare began work marking up legislation. the bill by a group of senators known as the gang of eight includes a pathway for citizenship for immigrants. earlier today we talked about the developments in that first markup session. >> ron --host: fawn johnson is a national correspondent at national journal. guest: good morning. host: we headlines about the senate judiciary committee
12:43 pm
starting the markup of an immigration bill. the washington post has this headline -- what did we hear the start of yesterday? uest: this is the start of a everal-week process in the judiciary committee where they are going line by line in this 44 page bill, very complex mmigration bill. they are amending it. there are 300 amendments that are pending on this bill. yesterday they were dealing
12:44 pm
mainly with title 1 of the bill, which involves border security. many of the amendments are little changes. a lot of them were accepted without any debate. some had a little debate. then a few were dramatically changing the bill. we saw the judiciary committee practicing this earlier this year, spending several weeks marking up legislation on gun control. they will do the sitting next few weeks. then the bill would go to the floor after memorial day. host: as issues are debated, the democratic proposals and republican proposals, do we expect to see the bill changed? guest: i don't think you'll see much change from the basic outlines we have now. we can review those outlines. we have a program that would egalize about 11 million undocumented immigrants here in this country, those who have non-criminal records. we have another provision that would greatly enhance border security by doing two things. requiring employers to verify electronically all their new hires. and, also, complete an entry-exit system. that would allow people --
12:45 pm
allow authorities to know which foreigners are in the country and who has left, even if they are traveling abroad. and it would establish a new work visa program for low-skilled workers. the idea is to allow those guys to come here legally. that the basic framework of the bill. i don't expect it to change in part because we have four members of the gang of eight, who have written this bill. it's a bipartisan measure and four of them are on the committee. they have agreed that anything that would substantively change the bill, they will vote against. host: we looked at the four republicans in the gang of eight. tell us about why they are
12:46 pm
influential in this process and ow they may be the ones to watch. guest: day four republican members are important. robably the most important person on that gang is not on the judiciary committee. that marco rubio of florida. the reason is he's a tea party favorite and a newcomer to this debate and he's the kind of person whose whole purpose is to give other conservatives cover to vote for this bill, to tell them that it's ok, but they will not lose their conservative credentials if they vote for it. so he's important in that sense. two others on the committee, senator jeff flake, who is new to the senate, new to this committee, but not new to the issue. he sponsored a similar bill in 2005 and 2006 in the house. senator lindsey graham from south carolina, who was on the committee the last time they dealt with thiwith them on this bill. rubio is the most important. the other three in have long histories of increasing something, prince of like what the senate is doing.
12:47 pm
in some ways they will not be ble to bring extra cache for ome of the tea party conservatives who might not be willing to vote for something as big as this. host: we saw the front page of the national review -- looking at the question of where he stands on immigration and other republicans and conservatives can get behind him. opening up the story, it says -- he author says it's not what we expected from marco rubio. guest: rubio has undergone his own conversion on the issue of immigration. if you think about his role in the gang of eight in the senate, it is to have other people who are very conservative will of logotypes to follow the same kind of
12:48 pm
reasoning that he has. essentially, what he has said and he says over and over is when he first started out on this issue about a year ago during the presidential campaign when he was being talked about as a vice-presidential candidate, said we need to secure the border first, we need to enforce our laws, make sure employers stop hiring illegal immigrants. he was very firm. then as he got into the issue and started researching, he realized if it's impossible to do that without some of these extra provisions that are being talked about. we have 11 million people and documented in this country right now. there's no way to enforce the law without doing something to adjust their status. so his purpose is to make sure that the rest of the enforcement that would happen after they have some kind of investment actually occurs. all his strength to do is make sure that lawmakers who are looking at enforcing the law are held to their promise. host: we're talking with fawn johnson of national journal about immigration reform. it's making its way to the senate judiciary committee right now. we will also talk about what else is happening in congress. here are the numbers to call if you would like to join this conversation -- "usa today" looks at five urdles ahead for
12:49 pm
immigration. border security is one of the items listed. chris ault border security debated yesterday in the markup. let's listen to an excerpt of a conversation. senator dianne feinstein of california leading things off. there's back-and-forth with senator grassley, a republican from iowa. and a member of the gang of eight on immigration reform, senator flake of arizona. >> candidly, senator, i am amazed at the progress that is eing made. just the california border alone, it is amazing to see how it has been toughened. that extends all along the
12:50 pm
way. i think the beauty of what has happened is not necessarily that it's all relies on the fence. it lies on backup, automated facilities, cameras, aerial surveillance. i don't think we are ever going to have a perfect situation as long as people can tunnel first of all, i don't question the chairman -- or the senator from california's sincerity. and i hope what she says is accurate, but it seems to me that your argument makes it all the more easy just to have the bill say so. >> senator flake? >> i really appreciate a lot of these amendments put forward and i know the ranking minority member just want to make this better and make the border more secure. believe me, coming from arizona, that's what we want as well. but we not only suffer from people crossing the border. we suffer from having a big population of people here illegally now.
12:51 pm
we don't know what status they are. we don't know where they are. they are in the shadows. we've got to bring them out. so i think it would not be a good move to wait on that process. host: members of the senate working through a proposal -- a proposed amendment dealing with border security. guest: i would argue that the mendment they were debating in that segment, that was the most mportant amendments they voted on yesterday in the committee. it was an amendment by senator grassley of iowa to not allow any of the legalization that the bill would provide until the border has been certified
12:52 pm
s secure for six months. this is the classic argument that the heritage foundation has talked about and a number of republicans in 2005 and 2006 also argued for. but the committee voted down grassley's amendment on the theory that marco rubio and others have argued, that you cannot secure the border without dealing with a population that is currently here. the other argument that i heard marco rubio expressed very articulately is if you already know that you are going to give some kind of legal status to the people here without papers, it makes no sense to keep reporting them until a certain enchmarks -- to keep deporting them until a certain benchmarks is met. if you get caught before that, you are out. it's a matter of fairness and leveling the playing field. they had no problem considering it. they talked about it appeared there was even some levity and joking about it and then they voted it down. i think that's what you'll see for the rest of the couple weeks. the committee will take the mendments that fundamentally
12:53 pm
under the framework and the hey will say thanks but no host: thanks fawn johnson of national journal. eo on the democratic line from california. caller: a couple things i want to ask. first of ai rk construction all time almost since i got out of the service. i'm a korean veteran. i feel these young people that are getting out of the service, they need a place to go. our illegals are taking their
12:54 pm
jobs. how do i know? i worked construction 22 years. i taught carpentry for vocational training and the union for 18 years. so i know what goes on and what happens. i can tell you this, our union is selling us out like the democrats are doing. our illegals are taking their obs. years ago we were able to pick up good jobs and get the education later. we need to stop telling everybody there are jobs people won't do out there. because i've been out in had that sun as hot as it's ever been in 115 degrees in california, and i've worked the trades and i know many people would do it but they have to
12:55 pm
pay them a decent wage. what is happening now they say they can't find the people to work the crap work, that's bull because i know many many carpenters that would go out there and work. hey won't work for $8 an hour. host: let's get a response from fawn johnson. guest: the one thing i would say to the caller is that the legislation that they are talking about would impose new wage requirements on people who are coming into the country under this new work visa, and to some extent there are business people i know, some of them in the construction industry, who are very concerned that it would require employers to pay more than they would for an american worker. but that is because the unions have been very heavily involved in this debate because they
12:56 pm
want to answer exactly the point that the caller just made, which is that some of hese jobs american workers will do, but not for the wages that a migrant worker from mexico would do. there are other jobs, and i think the agriculture industry is rife with this -- fruit picking and whatnot -- it would be very difficult to find an american worker willing to do those jobs. hat is why employers have been so careful to make sure that there is some kind of a visa program for the workers to do hese jobs. host: mark from winter haven, florida, an independent caller. go ahead. caller: there are a lot of things floating around out there that the politicians and the media are just kind of skirting over, hoping that we are just going to let go
12:57 pm
by. of the people impacted know better. they are everywhere. you see them working on federal jobs and all these places that are supposed to be checking -- e already have laws. i don't understand why we have to change the laws just to accommodate this group of eople. host: ok, thanks, mark. uest: one quick point on the federal jobs. the federal government is required to use the electronic e-verify system. if there are any undocumented immigrants in the federal government, they would have to steal someone's id. i doubt there are any of them in that capacity. but the caller is right, we see a lot of day laborers, migrant laborers that i have met, many undocumented immigrants working in those kinds of fields -- the restaurant industry.
12:58 pm
24% of dishwashers, for example, are undocumented. but i think the thing that the caller points to, which is just a fact that there is a lot of nxiety inside the united states about what we do with immigration generally, and this is why this is such a difficult topic to talk about. senator grassley has been saying over and over again for the last several weeks that you only get a crack at fixing the immigration system every 25 years because it is so difficult. no one is going to tell you that it works right now, and that is the reason why they are trying to fix it. it is really just a matter of taking something that is a complete mess and trying to tweak it, but unfortunately it is such a big mess that you cannot tweak it in any kind of small way. you need a big pick -- a big
12:59 pm
fix. host: "the washington times" says that two thirds of the senators have not seen the border, and those who have say it is a learning experience. guest: senator john mccain has spent a lot of time on the border. we were talking to him earlier this week about that, and he was very happy that at least one third of the members had gone down to see the border. he says as soon as they go down, they understand the enormity of the pressure. i have been down to the border myself, and the thing i was impressed with was not only the professionalism of the border patrol agent the way that they operate. it is a very high-tech system. the other thing i was impressed with, just the piece that i saw, there will be a fence here but not somewhere else. but there might the ground fencer who can track anybody coming across. groundng that people realizebue
1:00 pm
fencer who can track anybody coming across. the thing that people realize who go down and visit is that it is complex. each sector has a different challenge. some sectors are used heavily by foot traffickers, others that nowhere. it gives these numbers and understanding that they cannot just put forth some sort of amendment that they are going to build an 18 foot fence with armed wire all the way across 2000 miles of the -- with barbed wire all the way across 2000 miles of the border. host: john, our democrats line. caller: with this bill legalizing 11 million illegals, does your guests have any sense as to how or what the feeling is regarding those people who are looking -- who are here or looking to come here legally -- does she have any sense as to what the view is of the people
1:01 pm
passing this will, how it relates to those people willing to come here legally? you have 11 million people who are suddenly going to become a legal -- or become legal who entered illegally. if i may make a general statement relating to immigration -- and maybe your guest may want to comment on this -- don't you think that in this "bring me your tired, your poor, your hungry," which was valid when the country was growing, but we are in an entirely different world today in this 21st century. don't you think our politicians who are looking to pass these bills are looking more to the votes of the immigrants as opposed to what is best for the country? they are looking really to
1:02 pm
their self interest in a great part of this immigration a committee, and i would like your caller's views on that, if possible. guest: taking then in order, the answer to the first question about what we do with people trying to come here legally, that is a very big part of the bill. you might have heard this, that the people who are here undocumented have to get in the back of the line, which means they are supposed to legalize all the people waiting for green cards first before these other folks can have access to a possibled and to citizenship. what that means impracticality, though, is that the department of homeland security has a backlog of people. there are employment-based green cards, numbers of categories. but the department of homeland security will clear the background -- we're that backlog very quickly. the problem is that there is a
1:03 pm
hard cap on the permanent visas and green cards that we have. once we hit that cap, the people waiting in line have to wait until the next year. that is a big consideration for members of congress, and they really want to make sure that they are fair to people trying to get here legally. just answering the second point, which involves how we think about immigration generally, that is underlying a lot of the debate we are seeing right now with conservatives who are concerned about the cost of bringing in immigrants to this country. the conservative heritage foundation has put out a study that is being disputed by a number of people, but they say the amount of social benefits that would be taken from immigrants amounts to the trillions of dollars.
1:04 pm
but then you look at other economists who argue that immigration is really good for the country. there are specifics out there that show that for every immigrant who comes into town, two or three other american jobs are created. startups are started by immigrants. that is a big debate that is ongoing, and i believe will continue to be ongoing regardless of whether the bill passes. host: here is a headline in "the washington times," $6.3 trillion projected cost for legalization. theyrvatives fault heritage report. "six years ago, a heritage foundation report helped kill immigration reform. now the conservative think tank is on the defensive, facing attacks from conservatives over a similar report."
1:05 pm
dig into that. how are we seeing this play out? guest: this is a great story that i think the media picked up on a lot. i find it kind of amusing because essentially you have those coke different factions the conservative party that are debating one another. the important thing to know about the heritage study -- $6.3 trillion, yes, that is over 50 years. so keep a grain of salt on that. there is a lot that can happen in over 50 years. including we have social security reform to do. the heritage report -- and they are clear about this -- they are only looking at the cost of living in the united states, so they are taking an estimate of how much it costs the united states in all benefits -- including things like roads and schools, for example -- if you're in a household that does not have a high school education. the estimate becomes $4500 a
1:06 pm
year, i believe. intohey are not taking account the benefits that would be paid. they are discounting taxes that would come from anybody who is working here, but the rest of the benefits in terms of job creation and growth -- keep in mind that the current american population is actually decreasing in terms of its reproduction rate, but then you have the hispanic population, the large majority of the undocumented who are increasing at a much higher rate. i think we need those workers and their tax revenue to pay for social security. more importantly, when you are looking at the dispute between the free market side, cato is a libertarian groups. people who are much more law and order, the people who are willing to say that spend a whole lot of money to make sure that we reinforce our borders,
1:07 pm
keep the country in the state that it is in, that is an ongoing dispute among conservatives for a long time. host: we are talking about immigration reform. our next caller is melvin from texas, republican line. how are you doing? caller: i am good. i have been listening to this hearing, and it is the most top again the thing i have ever saw. i drive a few thousand miles on a new car in texas and oklahoma. all outside jobs are done by immigrants. roofing, paving, state construction jobs coming out of houston, oklahoma city. when they pay the street, they run the machines. they put out that they do the low skill jobs. i am 72. in the 1950's@1960's, people made a living for their family doing that. -- in the 1950's and 1960's, people made a living for their
1:08 pm
family doing that. overpopulation has killed us. all the big news says there will be three in six. every small town like oklahoma and texas -- i go to both of them. i am originally from oklahoma, been down here 10 years. these people are taking over everything. they drive the paving machines, the graders. one guy says building a home with a guy who works for crap, from texas, there are so many immigrants building the homes now and stuff, he says they work cheap and they do work hard. they do work hard but they work cheap. guest: it is interesting to hear that. again, this is the kind of fear that people are expressing, and this is also -- keep in mind that they are also taking over the country? that is something that members of congress, particularly in
1:09 pm
the house, hear when they go home to their constituents. they want to make sure they are not offending someone like the caller. if you are just viewing people paving the roads or various other jobs that you see outside, some of them may look like they are immigrants, but chances are a lot of them are americans. especially in texas and arizona. i have been down there, and there is a long history of families who are there for years who are all americans. thes mixed, and that is place where i think some people have difficulty, that there are undocumented immigrants working on the roads, there are undocumented immigrants working on roofs. that is the jobs that they can get. keep in mind the face of the country is changing in certain places, and some people are very uncomfortable with that. this is something i suspect will be a bigger issue should it ever go to the house, because most of the republicans in the house are in districts where
1:10 pm
more of their constituents are expressing views like our caller, and less of them will be saying go ahead and fix this, it is all kind of a mess anyway and i would rather not have to worry about whether or not the person next door will get deported. host: a timeline for us, the senate judiciary right now -- when do you see it going before the full senate? and then what happens in the house? what kind of parallel work are they doing, and how is the white house involved? guest: the senate is the easiest one to talk about. senator leahy, who runs the judiciary committee, expects them to mark up the bill and have it ready by labor day. they expect to do the same thing again on tuesday and thursday, looking at each individual title of the bill. i think it will pass through the committee without too many problems. on next step is to put it the senate floor. that will take a couple of
1:11 pm
weeks of floor debate, and that will happen after the memorial day recess, in a week or so. depending on what happens, there is some doubt as to how votes the bill would have in the senate. the members of the gang are looking for upwards of 70 votes, meaning they want to have a sizable chunk of the republicans as well as almost all the democrats vote for something like this because they think that will help. then we get to the big question, which is what happens when this bill goes to the house. we know a couple of things. ande speaker john boehner the majority leader eric cantor are fully in favor of moving forward and doing something. we also know there are lots of republicans in the house who are not at all comfortable with what the senate is doing. particularly, the chairman of the house judiciary committee, bob goodlatte, is wanting to go slower and pack individual bills piece by piece, deal with
1:12 pm
things they can deal with on their own. how that plays out is still in question. the house judiciary committee will be having hearings on individual pieces of the bill, but they are not committed to doing any kind of markups or anything. meanwhile, we also have a house gang of eight, like the senate gang of eight, who are putting together their own comprehensive package. my guess is we will see some form of hybrid pieces and then a big bill being debated on the floor. and then what happens, they do a formal conference or any of this pinging back and forth in the house and senate -- a lot of it will depend on the public reaction. whether people are more like our callers, who are saying don't do this, and other people are saying please fix this problem, we have been dealing with it for long enough. host: the president was in texas yesterday, but not talking about immigration. he was talking about job initiatives. how does the white house get
1:13 pm
involved in this, and what are they looking at in terms of their political power to get something accomplished as we head toward 2016? guest: i think the role of president obama when it comes to immigration, at least, he is kind of the puppet master. he really does not want to be out front in this because he knows he needs republicans, and he needs republicans running against his record in 2016. it has been very interesting to watch, the dynamic, a cousin there are people in the white house dealing with this for a long time. cecelia mu is one of the -- cecelia munoz really understand this backwards and forwards. it is not like they don't know what they are doing, but they are taking the opportunity to let congress work as well. republicans have as much credit
1:14 pm
for a passing as they do. in the end, if it passes, resident obama is the one who gets to sign it, but we have a possible presidential candidate in marco rubio who gets to say that he is the one who brought republicans along. host: fawn johnson is our desk, correspondent for "national journal," who covers migration as well as other topics. she has also written about the gun debate. less talk to our next collar, stanley -- our next caller, from massachusetts, stanley. caller: i have worked on so many engineering jobs across the country, with 30 different nationality engineers in this country. h-1b's, and some who come in on a tourist visa. they don't pay any taxes. all the jobs are temporary.
1:15 pm
thear as the border goes, border is the international airport. they could sense the entire country in. it doesn't mean anything. guest: i am glad that we brought this collar on -- this caller on. we have not talked about the high-skill piece of this. this is not the undocumented population. most people who are here in a skilled capacity are in on some kind of visa. the h-1b is the most common one, and the tourist visa i had not heard of that one. a lot of them are temporary. it is not true that they are not paying taxes. they pay payroll taxes and other kinds of taxes. but there is a fair amount of debate particularly in the engineering community about whether these foreign workers
1:16 pm
are actually any better than the american engineers we have now. one of the things that this bill would do, it would make it much more difficult for employers who rely on h-1b workers to hire them. payinguld have to start pretty steep fines almost immediately if they have more of there will -- more than half of their workers on h-1b visas. or 2/3. it is really big business model changing types of stuff. they want to make sure they have access to workers. there are high-profile cases of google and microsoft moving operations to canada because they could not have access to the foreign workers that they needed. but that in and of itself will likely be resolved in some kind of compromise fashion, which would mean employers who want to bring in high skilled immigrant workers will have to pay a fine, and they also have to offer jobs to american
1:17 pm
workers first. it is not even clear how it is going to work. depending on whatever they decide to make as the criteria for hiring a foreign worker, it can only help american workers, particularly engineers. i hear from a lot of them. they might be skill but they don't have a particular programming language that an employer is looking for. so they worry they are being passed over for someone who does. host: immigration reform with fawn johnson. let's go to michigan, karen, up next on our democrats line. caller: hi. i recently watched a thing showing about a migration study and talking about migration as opposed to immigration, and how mexico and central american
1:18 pm
countries could benefit by having an open-border policy where people could go from mexico and central america and the united states, and depending on where their needs were, whether it is an aging population, we will have a high need for people to take care of them. mexico is starting to develop, becoming a country where people are coming into that country for jobs. i think if they took the they are spending on border security, and for god's sake the damned lobby -- i'm sorry -- i think the whole area could benefit from this. i just think all these arguments -- we stole this country from mexico and the american indians. that is just a fact that people forget. and built it on the backs of people from africa, and now we
1:19 pm
are demonizing them. to me, that makes absolutely no sense. i think the migration as to immigration, the worrying -- it would make so much more sense. the conversation was so intelligent with leaders from the united states, mexico, central american countries. it is humanitarian, it is intelligent, and the global economy that people -- it is just like we are america, the best country. it is a global economy, and to me it makes no sense. host: ok, karen, thanks for your call. guest: i think that is a very good point. there are numbers of analysts and economists who i think largely agree with our caller, that they would be a lot easier if there were not limits on people who could come into the united states. the biggest problem is that we have a huge imbalance into the economy of the united states
1:20 pm
versus mexico and other central american countries. that is essentially the problem. one of the more fascinating things about migration patterns generally is that as the economy dipped in 2008 and 2009, so did the number of illegal border crossings. they went down significantly because people knew they could not find work here. theeas prior to that, housing market, this huge construction boom, you had half a million immigrants crossing the border illegally to come and take those jobs. theou can see that really economy is what drives this, regardless of whether it is legal or illegal. that is the argument of a number of these people pushing this forward. host: richard, minneapolis,
1:21 pm
minnesota, republican, go ahead. caller: good morning. i have about three points. the skilled workers, i think you should do like whitaker smith said when he was on a few days ago. he said in germany the companies train the workers if they don't have a particular skill. we should follow that model for the skilled workers instead of bowing to bill gates so he can get cheaper workers. there are a lot of program results that are unemployed. on the unskilled workers, and a lot of people are unemployed that our citizens here, and they should be hired first, and sanctions should be put on the employers who are hiring illegals. if they didn't have work, they would not come here. we have a lot of people that need work that are american
1:22 pm
citizens, born here, that should be given the work first. host: richard, the question of jobs came up yesterday. lindsay graham talked about the difference between the mexican and canadian border and how jobs come into play. let's take a listen. clip] >> i don't know how many fences we have along the canadian border. if we have any, i don't know about it. i don't know how many security people we have along the canadian border. i doubt it is 21,000. why are we ok up there and not to the south? the tale of two borders -- why is one of problem and the other is not? because canada is a place where people like to stay. they like canada, we like canada. we love to have them visit, they want to go home because it is a nice place. people coming across the
1:23 pm
southern border live in hellholes. they don't like that. they want to come here. our problem is we cannot have everyone in the world who lives in a hellhole coming to america. we have to create order out of chaos. you have to do something on the southern border you don't do in the northern border, but if you don't agree that the differences jobs, then we just don't agree. there are 11 million people coming to the southern border because they come from countries where they cannot find work and life is miserable. so it seems to me that if you could control who gets the jobs, you have gone a long way to controlling illegal immigration. host: senator lindsey graham in the hearing yesterday. fawn johnson, what do you make of his comments? guest: i am so glad you pulled that. that was my favorite moment from the two dishy or a committee yesterday. senator graham -- from the judiciary committee yesterday. senator graham has an amazing way with words.
1:24 pm
he is making the exact point that i think everyone who wants to see something change on immigration is making, urges that the reason why people come here -- and i have met people like this -- people making five cents a day in mexico can come across the border illegally and clean houses and make five dollars a day. why wouldn't you do that? he is saying why don't we come up with a rational way to let some of these people in, but then we also have to come down on the border because we cannot have everyone come in the country who wants to be here. he should be given credit for saying it like it is. it is true that -- i think most economists would agree, not everyone, that immigration is good for the country and the economy, but certainly you cannot have everyone for mexico were some of these other war- torn countries to come in and work. we have our own country to run,
1:25 pm
and that is the point he is trying to make, which i thought was amazing. host: donna, st. louis, missouri, independent line. caller: good morning. i want to -- am i speaking -- host: yes, you are on the air. caller: there are two voices coming on to me. i want to know why two republicans and business owners are going to fight us along the way. if you legalize the ones here, which i think they should do, business employers will not only have to pay the minimum wage to these people, they are going to have to pay medicare and social security taxes also. this't really see how can't pass, quite frankly. i would love to see it, but i would be shocked if it does. guest: i don't disagree about the sentiment about whether it will pass. i see more at the wind of the backs of opponents than i had in years.
1:26 pm
i covered this back in 2006 and 2007, and that was a huge maelstrom of activity and it died spectacularly on the senate floor. businesser the community wants this to pass, they actually wanted very badly to pass. part of the reason is they are dealing with a completely irrational system. the people hurt most by our immigration system is the undocumented population who are by and large it would either intentionally or unintentionally, and then you have the employer community, who sometimes they don't know whether or not the person they are hiring is legal or illegal. if they turn out to be here without papers, they have to pay significant fines. isir ability to check for it really hampered. if they sign up for the e- verify program, that could mean they could be subject to fines, tentative nonconfirmation for
1:27 pm
somebody. they have to keep an employer for a certain -- an employee for a certain amount of time, and then they have to let them go. a lot of employers are paying taxes and social security for undocumented workers who have a fake social security card. it is a real mess. whether or not they actually managed to take care of it is up for debate because as we can see, it is an issue to take somebody who broke the law and say it is ok, we want you here. pay a fine and we are good. host: one of our callers commented yesterday, and pete said, "the only ones attending from leaving the system as it is are the employers that hire illegals everywhere they can to save money." another says, "it will pass the senate controlled by democrats, but it will not pass in the
1:28 pm
house controlled by republicans." giving his odds on what may happen. on twitter, not who doesn't like the oz. -- the odds. going to make it right now. if there is a 12 year wait, democrats want to kill it. if there is no border security, republicans want to kill it." craig, florida, independent color. caller: i have not been able to work since 2007, and now you are going to give amnesty and a pathway to citizenship to criminals who come across the border because they enter the country illegally, and you will not give me my right back to support my right and -- to support my wife and daughter? that is discrimination, and i don't believe in it. and we are not going to tolerate it. guest: one important thing to note is it is true that people across the border who come in
1:29 pm
illegally -- not everybody does that, a lot of them come in on legal visas and extend their stay illegally. those are not crimes, they are misdemeanors. if they are repeat offenders, they are charged as criminals and they are not allowed to come back. host: one quick final thing, we are seeing other issues coming up and being incorporated in this bill. "the washington times" says that gay rights may be an obstacle. how is this being incorporated in this right now. guest: gay rights are one of the more salient issues coming into this. relatedl security- issues, they are part and parcel of the idea of immigration reform, so i would not call them not germane. but this one is interesting because there is a group of gay
1:30 pm
rights activists who want to have same-sex couples to have the same rights as do married couples. so the chairman of the committee, senator leahy of vermont, actually has a couple of amendments that will be voted on in the next week or so that would give same-sex couples the right to sponsor their partner as a legal resident of the united states. it would also give the international couples the same rights under the law. right now they cannot do that under the defense of marriage act. those are called pillar of merriment's -- pillar -- killer amendments, and my hunch is that they would be voted down by republicans. host: fawn johnson, thank you for talking to us this morning. this department may be
1:31 pm
nearing a stage where the frequency of the crime and the perception there is tolerance for it could undermine our ability to carry out the mission and recruit and retain good people we need. that is unacceptable to me and the leaders of this institution. and it should be unacceptable to everyone associated with the united states military. we need cultural change where every service member is treated with dignity and respect, where all allegations of inappropriate behavior are treated with seriousness, where victims' privacy is protected, where bystanders are motivated to intervene, and where offenders accountable held by strong systems of justice. >> this weekend, secretary a goal outlined initiatives to address sexual assault and the armed services. sunday morning, gregory hicks
1:32 pm
before the house oversight committee and the attack in benghazi. tv," apan2's "book he vision of the world where everyone is digitally connected. and on american history tv, a chief soviet analyst on cold war intelligence during the eisenhower administration. sunday at 3:00. next, live on capitol hill where the institute for core american studies will speak about issues. we'll also hear from an envoy for human rights. >> >> introduce our first speaker. he is a trained lawyer from
1:33 pm
harvard law school. recently, he also served in the office of secretary of defense. now he teaches at georgetown university and also is a distinguished consultant in washington. it is all yours. thank you for the invitation , and although i am no longer teaching from a georgetown. it is good to be here and appreciate the invitation. the outrageous threat butter by north korea's new leader confirmed what kissinger wrote about the prospect of a nuclear north korea. the spread of these weapons into hands not restrained by the historical and political considerations of the major states augurs a world of devastation and human loss without precedent, even in our age of genocidal killings.
1:34 pm
a decade earlier when north korea was along the way to acquiring a nuclear weapon, kissinger said eliminating that nuclear program is overwhelmingly in the chinese interest. they do not want nuclear weapons on their borders. that was not the first nor the last time that kissinger made that assertion. inwas far from being alone that judgment. the wisdom among government officials and china scholars has long been that beijing approached north korea's nuclear program at least as much as we in the west do, because they said it is not in china plus interest. the problem is for more than two decades, china has had a different view of what is or what is not in their interest. north korean nukes have not been a matter of deep concern to beijing. in fact a strong case can be made that china sees its sheet
1:35 pm
interest as having been advanced by the nuclear missile program, at least up to this point. first, the north korean threat coerced massive western aid to help keep in power a close communist ally and -- china and one prestige as a responsible international stakeholder and the central partner in the six- party talks and other negotiations intended to curtail north korea pus wmd activities. it greatly enhanced paging's negotiating leverage with washington on trade, currency and, human rights, tie 1, iran, and other issues. when joe biden was asked why washington was not being tougher on beijing, he responded, after all, we need china to help roll back north korea's nuclear program.
1:36 pm
pyongyang's intentions diverts attention from iran, iraq, and counter- terrorism and strained american public support for overseas commitments. they entered the as counter proliferation efforts with iran and spread dangerous technology to other anti-western regimes and to terrorists. been anis -- has not innocent bystander of north korea's activities. the startup technology for its nuclear program came from china by way of pakistan. much of the flow of nuclear missile technology and material from north korea to other rogue states has gone through chinese territory. china has not only been a proliferation beenwmd, it has
1:37 pm
been a prolific writer of proliferators. last year panetta told congress that china hasn't implicit in developing north korea's missile technology. china has consistently blocked or significantly weakened security council resolutions seeking to halt pyongyang's nuclear missile programs. such as the 2005 and 2009 resolutions. even when it has allowed something to pass the council, it has failed to follow through with the effect of a fortress of -- effective enforcement treat china will tell if their pattern of behavior will be serious or sustained after the most recent security council condemnation and the bank of china must action against north korean companies. it is not only an area for proliferating weapons of massive it also blocked
1:38 pm
council resolutions condemning the unprovoked attacks that killed a total of 50 south korean sellers -- sailors and civilians trip to the careers of three generations of eritrean despots, including the shooting down a civilian airliner, kidnapping japanese civilians and asian co-stars, seizing a u.s. navy ship, beijing has always been there for its communist ally, just as it was for the invasion of south korea 63 years ago. the north korean regime's treatment of its own people has been as monstrous as its international behavior, condemning millions to privation and that whatever in the nation us what to build a world-class first largest army in violation of secret council resolutions. but the entire country effectively in a prison, the government operates scores of special gulag where hundreds of thousands routinely faced forced
1:39 pm
labor, torture, rape, forced abortion, starvation, and that without charge or trial. mr. king can elucidate on this. the question to the chinese people should have for the paramount, is, how can modern china, an aspiring superpower, the demands the world's respect, the secede itself so intimately with a universally despised regime? china'ser is that communist leaders are not easily shocked by north korean behavior, that in some ways it mirrors their own governance not so long ago. even today beijing's authoritarian rule reflect a value system and world view that is in many ways closer to the pyongyang's - to than the west. chinesew years another
1:40 pm
general trends nuclear destruction of american cities if the u.s. should there to defend taiwan and get the chinese attack. northof fire in a tree, korea regularly conjures, is also part of china's the cabinet. thater repressive regime favors that term is iran, which has benefited from missile technology. wherever there is a state oppressing its people, proliferating gaugers missile and nuclear technology, where threatening its neighbors, china intends to take its side against the standards and values of the international community. given beijing's philosophical kinship with such rumors about its enduring support for north surprise western observers. shared attitudes toward the west and help to explain the china- north korea alliance. in their official doctrines,
1:41 pm
both see the united states as their past and future enemy. washington lost decades-long truck g8 -- practice patient with pyongyang has serve beijing bus interest by the threat the u.s. attention against the growing potential china threat by enabling it to posture as a responsible agent power. beijing is transparent in declaring its worst fear, which is the end of the pyongyang regime and its replacement by a normal, unified, democratic korea. to avoid that result, china is perfectly content to have the best live with the nightmare of a nuclear-armed north korea. the accepted rationale for chinese behavior is that each communist north korea as a buffer against the pro-western south korea or unify korea. but only extreme paranoia or duplicitous chinese intentions could envision an unprovoked
1:42 pm
attack on china from either the u.s. or a democratic korea in the absence of north korean or chinese aggression. attitudey, china's towards north korea says much about china's attitude toward the west, and suggests that beyond the north korea problem, we have an even greater china problem. while china must roll in keeping the north korean regime in power and in the wmd in business is no longer seriously in dispute. and this course analyst accept the argument that china must hands are tied. even cutting aid would collapse un's rule -- refugeeger a massive flow into china. secretary of state kerry said last week the chinese authorities were about north korean instability because they know that from a humanitarian point of view they would have to
1:43 pm
deal with most of the problems. it has been clear for 60 years that the sole cause of tension and instability between the pyongyang caused dangerous behavior, despite substantial aid and concessions from accommodating south korean governments. north korea continues with those policies, and china has the power to change that. visit, clinton bank china for controlling north korea's nuclear programs. -- in 2008, thesenec obama administration has expressed the same cooperation. ist week kerry said china
1:44 pm
obviously lifeline to korea. china provides a vast majority of the field to and north korea. china is their biggest food donor. there's no group of leaders on the face of a planner who have more capacity to make a difference in this than the chinese. it is fair to say that without tschida north korea would collapse. -- without china north korea would collapse. f china -- it seems clear that china has never confronted pyongyang with that choice. so far despite its bombast north korea has not launched another missile or conduct of another it nuclear test and china has sent signals it has become dissatisfied with rhetoric. the latest convention wisdom has it that north korea has finally crossed a chinese red line by threatening to destabilize the region, but questions remain.
1:45 pm
is this more wishful thinking about chinese intentions, or is it the real thing this time? as beijing decided to put the pressure on pyongyang, or will it be a re-enactment of previous cases, where it appears to take corrective action only to go back to business as usual with north korea? is china this time genuinely concerned with north korea's actions, or is a worry only about washington's reaction? president obama reportedly china ping told him if does not like the enhanced presence in asia, then he needs to do something to reduce or eliminate the regional threats that caused it. was the president referred only to the recent deployment of missile defense assets following north korea must third nuclear test in february? or was he suggesting something broader? the official news agency in china has criticized the test
1:46 pm
for finding the flames in the green for peninsula. it keeps sending more defense ships to the waters of east asia and carrying out massive drills with asian allies in a dramatic display a pre-emptive power. the article noted that washington sees both north korea and china as. oul, kerry made clear that united states would continue to deploy such weapons. during his stay, kerry seem to moderate the u.s. position, and warning to a bargaining chip. he raised the possibility that if north korea gave up its nuclear weapons capability, the united states might reverse military moves in the region. included additional missile defenses in guam and japan. kerry said the discussion had included why we have taken steps
1:47 pm
that we have taken and missile defense. now if the threat to the paris, the same comparative it does not exist. carey later seemed to back off from the idea of a straight quid pro quo. he had in mind a possible analogy that occurred during the cold war when he was a young naval officer in vietnam. washington had deployed missile turkey to help deter soviet incursion into western europe. moscow was not happy about it. in 1962 it station, offensive missiles in cuba, which led to the cuban missile crisis. conventional wisdom at that time was that president kennedy had stood down the soviets and forced khrushchev to withdraw the missiles. a few months later, however, the u.s. missiles in turkey where
1:48 pm
also quietly withdrawn in what is now confirmed as an explicit trade-off. in that case, aggressive coming this behavior manage the first provoke a crisis, then cool it down by appearing to back off while extracting a significant concession it was not able to get otherwise. china sees the recent north korean crisis as an opportunity to reverse not only the u.s. actions of the past few weeks, but also the pivot that actually began in last two years of the bush administration and accelerated under obama. beijing is convinced washington is reacting not only to north korea must explicit threats,, but to the perceived threat from china itself. this -- missile defense systems that can shoot down north korean missiles can do the same with the chinese missiles. russia as parallel concerns with systems that are intended to protect against the threat from iran, but can also destroy a
1:49 pm
rougher car -- a russian weapons. whether the imperfect cuban missile analogy applies will depend on what engine cost actions going forward with the resources and policy attention needed to sustain a robust rebalancing to agents -- to a jet provided, or will they wither away under the cover of financial constraints such as the to sequester? before that legislation, there was already concerned that the administration cost rhetoric on rebalancing would not match the deployment of resources to sustain an american presence of a long-term credit achieving a ratio of ships in the pacific could be done by drawing down may be assets in the mediterranean and the persian gulf, without adding anything to asia. in recent weeks under the rationale of defense spending cuts, either previously planned or as a result of the sequester, the u.s. military has taken several actions to
1:50 pm
diminish her presence and activities in the pacific. the 374 aaron wing based in tokyo cut its program by 25%, to cancel its participation in the joint exercises with thailand. the air force canceled committee out reached events at bases across japan. the navy reduced ship and tug boat movements and other operations. the naval facilities command and public works reduced normal maintenance and upkeep. , all military branches have cut power usage and official travel. civilian workers in asia are facing furloughs. the visible shrinking of u.s. operations in asia revives concerned about friends and allies in the region, that for all the talk of pivoting to asia, we may actually be moving in the opposite direction. that is exactly the wrong response they want from the u.s., and north korea's what rhetoric and china costs ongoing
1:51 pm
military buildup and aggressive behavior in east and the south china sea. with reason to doubt that kept insisting ability america us commitment to asia, some may feel it prudent to move closer to china which will remain in asia in the foreseeable future. other countries like japan will decide to enhance their own defense capabilities to beat the number 3 in a and chinese threats. as a general matter, it would be welcome development for our allies to pick up some of the slack and participate vigorously in joint defense planning. and at hand, some in washington fear that too strong a nationalistic response in japan and south korea could exacerbate the situation. once again the united states is seen as the indispensable nation, not only to defend against those, but to reassure and if necessary to restrain friends. hopefully any sign of u.s. branches the cold and north
1:52 pm
korean crisis will not jeopardize that long-term u.s. role in the region. >> thank you, joe. given the issues. either very to ask or -- larry? ok. you, joe. a great presentation. he touched on some very critical and most important issues. i think it is important to will writeuotation i down and keep, the proliferators of proliferators. that is a good understanding of the nuclear programs. you mentioned the bank of korea and a recent action which is important. i read a report which i did not
1:53 pm
know if it is true, but apparently north korea has said or asked china to take the case on industrial complex workers if they would employ them, and apparently china rebuffed that. i wonder, your feeling of the action of the bank of china, including some financial constraints on them, and rebuffing potentially rebuffing that, do you think china is giving the appearance that are exerting pressure on the north to try to make them back down? second thing that has interested me about the relationship with china, and we have put it in terms of u.s. , a china's relationship with seoul. i heard a chinese scholar, an american scholar of chinese
1:54 pm
academic background, he talked about the real change on the peninsula will occur someday when china realizes its security interests are better served with its relationship with seoul than with pyongyang. i wonder what you think about that, because as i look at that, we know that china is in south korea cost largest trading partner, and certainly the relationship with seoul is a much more productive one than the one with north korea. but of course, everything that you laid out, why it is in china plus interest to support north incommensurable relationship with seoul and with north korea. i wonder if you envision there would be a time when china would feel that seoul is more
1:55 pm
important than pyongyang and what are the implications of that? >> those are excellent questions, dave. on the bank of china, we will see the other is sustained. we have had iterations in the past of china appearing to crack down, appearing to get tough, but then as time went by, people forgot about it and chenowith through its pressure on north korea. we will see what happens this time. i guess is clear that all the south koreans have been -- are out of there, so it is a completely dead so now. i have not heard about china rebuffing the overture to take the workers about the south korean and north korean workers -- >> yes, it was in the japanese press this week, north korea asked china to take those workers, and i assume that they do not want those workers going
1:56 pm
back into north korean society there because of the contact with south koreans. >> they have been contaminated. >> we have heard reports that some have been sent to reeducation camps. there is no goodness that would come out of that for china, but i just -- two things there is not a pattern, but i just wonder if china is at least giving the perception that they will act stronger against the north's behavior, to try to temper their behavior.
1:57 pm
1:58 pm
1:59 pm
2:00 pm

107 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on