tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN November 30, 2009 12:00pm-5:00pm EST
smaller public option not tied to medicare rates. a public option that will only cover 6 million. the tiny public option will cover only four billion americans in the senate bill. much of the tiny believe the democratic bill provides one not kick in until 2013. many people who need coverage now will be dead by then. who will stand with these two and against obama and his health care monstrosity? earlier this month congressman xavier was critical of into policy of giving up too easily. according to political nancy pelosi said that she understands she has tire tracks on your back because he threw her under the bus. . . my back because it xavier through me under the boss. no, madam speaker, it's the other way around. bye taking single pay off the
table, you through the american people under the bus. what about congressman john conyers? will conyers, the lead sponsor 676 stand with kucinich and massa? he said he was tired of rahm emanuel's approach of, quote, give us anything and we will declare victory. declare victory. conyers said obama, quote, but just sign anything. but the question is will john conyers agreed to vote for anything? he did earlier this month. when will he break from obama? congressman don edwards is another so-called progressive for single payer. she took single payer off the table. she, too, said in july anything less than a public auction tight to medicare rates was unacceptable. she, too, then reneged on a promise and accepted the puny public option. then just last week, guess what? steny hoyer posted a fund-raiser
for donna and ones, johnnies have shell on capitol hill. host come $5,000, pact, $25,000, individual, $1,000. congressman raul brough of all, the head of the so-called progressive congress started out supporting single payer. now he's in favor of the puny public option. he says he will strongly consider voting against the puny public option if it is watered down to the triggers. this is what the democrats are good at, capitulation. capitulate, capitulate. let's look at the other side for a bit of guidance. joe lieberman, the senator will shut down the senate if to the tropics have for the health insurance companies. who will be our joe lieberman? who will shut down the senate for the american people? once again, the people are ahead of the politicians. as the date reaches the end game, single payer forces all over the country are quickly moving against the democratic
legislation. earlier this month, health care now, a coalition of labor unions and other single payer activists, adopted a resolution at its national strategy conference in st. louis, calling on congress to defeat the democratic legislation. dr. marcia angell early this month called on congress to do nothing instead of passing the democratic bill. as the house bill better than nothing she asked? i don't think so, she answered. it simply throws more money into a dysfunctional and unsustainable system with only a few improvements at the edges, and it augments the central role of the investor-owned insurance industry. the danger is that as costs continue to rise and coverage becomes less comprehensive, people will conclude we've tried health reform and it didn't work. but the real problem will be that we've really didn't try. i would rather see us do nothing now and have a better chance of trying and again later and then doing it right. that was dr. marcia angell. last week robert reich, clinton former secretary said the cut is
90% empty. most of us are stuck with little or no choice dependent on private insurers who care only about the bottom line would deny the claims, who charge more and more for co-payments and deductibles, who serious and forms, who want to cover calls, he said. and then he went on with this. i want every senator not in the pocket of the private insurers and big pharma to vote for a ted kennedy amendment to whatever bill taken to the florida. that was reich. we only need a courageous few in the house and courageous few in the senate to take this turkey. call your member of congress and your senator. the switchboard for a number of congress is 20,222,453,021. tel dan the democratic bill is a bailout of the health insurance industry. tell them to join with massa and kucinich and vote against the 2,000 page obama bill, passed
the symbol 30 page bill instead, h.r. 676, health care as a human right. everybody in, nobody out. join us in this historic movement to defeat the democratic bill. start from scratch and pass single payer. synnott at singlepayeraction.org, on what to the single payer. thank you. >> good morning. can you hear me okay? i'm dr. margaret speed, a pediatrician and congressional fellow for physicians for national health program. i also serve on the steering committee of the leadership conference for guaranteed health care and i am on the board of health care now, which is a national symbol pay grassroots organization. members of physicians for national health program, which is known as pnhp, educate and advocate for eight single payer national health system also known as medicare for all. pnhp performs groundbreaking
research on the health crisis and the need for fundamental reform. and contributes scholarly articles to the peer reviewed medical journals. pnhp takes pride in providing information that can inform legislators and the public about the reasons why medicare for all is the optimal solution to provide necessary medical treatment to everyone and the united states in a way that controls health care costs. pnhp doesn't, however, take a position on how congress members should vote on the legislation that is currently proceeding for congress. we do provide information to members about whether the legislation is likely to be ctive, and how icompes to a national single payer health care system. we joined the many health care reform advocates across the nation who are disappointed by the health insurance reform legislation that is passing through congress. we, like you, are seriously concerned by the health care environment in the united states. we are saddened by the number of people, our patience, family and
friends who are donner and because they cannot receive or for access to health care. we are saddened by the number of people facing bankruptcy or foreclosure of their homes and those who are suffering needlessly because they cannot afford or have access to medical treatment. the anticipated a health care debate this year that would focus on the trees stakeholders, the patient and those who take care of them. and so we were disappointed that those voices were silenced by the industries that have a financial grip on the media and on our legislators. we share the growing sense of desperation among patients and providers across the nation, desperation that has been heightened by the current economic crisis. like you we are hungry for change but we believe we should act based on evidence of what types of health reform have been most effective in the united states. and review of the current legislation repeals it resembles health care reform that has been tried and failed over and over at the state level recently.
it is for the reasons i will list below we ask our religious leaders to start from scratch in order to create a national health care system that addresses the fundamental problems with health care in the nation and creates a system of similar quality to what is seen in other industrialized nations. number one, during the time that it will take for this health care reform to be enacted, which according to the house legislation is 2013 and the senate is 2014. tens if not hundreds of thousands of americans are going to die. number two, once the insurance reform takes effect people will still be left without health insurance. whether it is the 70 million who are going to be left out in the house version or the 24 million left out in the senate version we find this unacceptable. we know the actual number of uninsured people is likely to be higher than the estimates.
and we know the people who do not have health insurance have a 40% greater chance of dying. members become a medical bankruptcy is will continue to occur as families will face out of pocket costs on covered -- on covered services of up to $10,000 per year. in addition to the cost of premiums and uncovered services. the average medical debt that drives a family into medical bankruptcy is $18,000. number four, people who are uninsured will suffer a further indignity of being forced to pay a fine which may be as high as 2.5% of their income. this is called criminalization of health care reform. number five, the number of people who are underinsured will increase with this legislation. people will be required to purchase insurance or face a penalty. but there is no guarantee that the premiums will be affordable, even for those who qualify for the federal subsidies. health insurers have already predicted that the cost premiums
will rise because it required to stop the practices of not accepting pre-existing conditions and practice of rescission. a similar -- the public insurance is estimated to be more expensive than the private insurance. and a similar reform in massachusetts has resulted in a rise of patients who forgo needed care because they cannot afford the co-payments and deductibles once they take their insurance premiums. number six, people will continue to be confined to only receiving the quality-of-care that they can afford. instead of a standardized benefit plan that covers all necessary care, people will have to choose from a tiered set of plans. the least expensive plan will cover 60% of their necessary services and they will be responsible for paying for the rest. number seven, the legislation will not control health care costs and will in fact increase the waste in health care spending. the regulation of insurance companies which has failed to date and is predicted by industry whistle blowers to continue to fail will be
expensive to enforce. and the exchanges will have to be created from scratch. the exchange would add another level of bureaucracy which in the state of massachusetts has added 4% charge to each insurance premium. unfortunately this legislation does nothing to reclaim the hundreds of billions of dollars and on necessary paperwork, administration and marketing for the hundreds of insurance plans we currently have. number eight, this legislation transfers hundreds of billions of dollars of public dollars to the private insurance industry. people will be mandated to purchase insurance whether they can afford it or not, and the insurance companies will benefit by having millions of new enrollees. it is estimated between 447 million to $605 billion, public dollars, will be given to the private insurers and the forms of subsidies. to help people purchased the defective health insurance
products. number nine, this legislation protect the outrageous profits of the pharmaceutical corporations. the majority of americans will not see any improvement in the cost of medications, and in fact in light of the legislation that is passing through the pharmaceutical corporations have already raised drug prices 9% this year. in addition this legislation gives biotech firms a windfall tenure patent on the new pharmaceuticals. and finally, this legislation continues to allow discrimination based on age and immigration status. olver enrollees will be charged twice as much as younker enrollees and those will be required to prove their citizenship to qualify for the subsidies. those who currently do not have citizenship status will be required to purchase premiums without subsidies. so the current health insurance reform legislation that is passing through congress announced a massive bailout for the profit-making health industries which will enrich them and further increase their ability to lobby and influence
legislators in the future. at the same time, patients will receive little in the way of long-lasting protection or ability to afford needed health care. this legislation is designed to fail and in the meantime will waste billions of dollars and delay the process of creating effective health reform. we call on congress to start from scratch. we believe that we have the resources in the united states to create a national health system that will improve the health of our people and of our nation. we believe that being ranked 37th in the world for health outcomes is unacceptable and that we as a nation can do much better than this. we believe that improving and expanding medicare to all people is the simplest and the quickest way to achieve our goal of universal and financially sustainable health care. as far as the health insurance legislation in congress goes, we do support senator sanders substitution amendment which would substitute public
financing for the current complicated and wasteful patchwork of financing and we urge our senators to vote yes on the sanders substitution amendment. no matter what happens in congress this year, we will continue to build the medicare for all movement until we reach the day when all who live in the united states received the same health security as those who live in other industrialized nations. as those who see this as their and other board today that doctors have no interference by health administrators. we welcome all people who support health care reform to join us in this movement because together we will succeed. thank you. >> good morning.
mauney -- i am the founder of board member of health care now. president obama stated several times over the past year that if we were starting from scratch in a single payer system would make the most sense. so we are here today to say that it's time to start over from scratch and pass single payer health insurance for the american people. the house bill, 3962, is completely inadequate and expanding coverage and controlling costs. we have heard it stated already by dr. flowers and cannot be overstated, this bill is essentially an insurance industry bailout. most provisions to expand coverage to not even going to affect until 2013, 2014 in the senate bill. after which it still leaves at least 17 million americans uninsured. instead of putting more band-
aids on to cover up a continuing festering poor system, starting from scratch is seems to be the only way to insure that all americans can have equal access to care, where everybody is in and nobody is out. just looking out the turnout of the more than 6000 uninsured citizens it came to the form in inglewood, calif., this august to receive care from a remote free clinic, it is clear that many people, mostly poor, need more immediate access to care than what these bills are offering. many people, mostly poor, need more immediate access to care than what the bills are offering. thousands more have just recently been served this month by the national association of the free clinics with their one day operations in little rock arkansas and new orleans' louisiana. according to harvard medical school researchers, 45,000 people die annually from lack of access to quality medical care.
we cannot continue to simply rely on the kindness of these tireless medical volunteers just because we have a system that neglects even the least of these among us. healthcare is a human right. nearly 61 years ago on december 10th, 1948, the general assembly of the united nations, of which i might add the united states is a member, adopted and proclaimed the universal declaration of human rights. article 25 of this great document states in part and i quote, "everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the well-being of himself and of his family including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services." this declaration was intended as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.
and now, decades later the united states remains the only industrialized nation that has yet to enact universal health care system for its people. it is clear that the american people want more. a "new york times" cbs news poll from september, 2009, found solid support for a government administered health insurance plan. the poll asked would you favor or oppose the government offering everyone a government administered health insurance plan. something like the medicare coverage that people 65 and older received. that will compete with private insurance plans. with the question posed in that way, 65% of the respondents supported the idea. with a majority of americans supporting the idea of a government administered health insurance program, which is exactly what single payer is, then why is it that, chris, those elected to represent the will of the people, cannot seem to translate the people's strong
overwhelming desire into pragmatic application? .. to the website, open secrets.org, pharmaceutical industry has given millions of dollars of contributions to democrat, republican, and independent members of congress as well as president obama. sadly, a lot like the true story of the original banks getting, house and senate bills are direct give as to the private interest at the expense of health and well-being of common people. with these bills it would become a federal crime to be uninsured. with the penalty of 2.5% of income. the insurance industry would be very thankful to have the 25 million to 35 million new customers, mainly middle income
working people, promised and delivered through mandated health insurance and the hundreds of millions in taxpayer subsidies, that is what is basically being given with these bills. we say, no, to both the house and senate bills. start over from scratch and enact a single payer system. medicare for all, which is both humane and financial -- financially solvent. thank you. you. >> good morning. member of physicians fors. national health program. mikuak another set of voices that is missing from this debate
besides the voices of the uninsured and underinsured are the voices of america's doctors. here is what america pause doctors think. 59% of u.s. physicians now support national health insurance, up from 49% in 2002 according to ase studying the annals of internal medicine april 2008. says the lead author and member dr. aaron carol, quote many claim to speak for physicians and reflect their views. bad we ask the doctors directly and found the contrary to conventional wisdom most dr. support the government creating national health insurance. why? according to the co-author, dr. ronald ackerman another member, quote more physicians feel our fragmented and
for-profit insurance system is obstructing good patient care. as a practicing physician for 20 years, i see every day of the greed of the for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical industries have added a huge burden of financial anxiety and stress on to patients at exactly the time when they are most vulnerable, when they are ill. just this week a 62-year-old patient of mine told me that she and her husband lost their health insurance when their business of 45 years succumbed to the economic crisis. at 62 she is too young to qualify for medicare and she doesn't qualify for medicaid. they are living in a trailer attached to their car. she doesn't know how she is going to pay for surgery that she desperately needs next week.
later in the day i saw a patient whose employer just switch plans. and i don't participate in that plan. so now she has to find another doctor. congressman hoyer, senator mikulski, senator cardin, you represent my state when i am asking you, how does this constitute good patient care? how is this cost-effective? when you tell your constituents if you like your employer-sponsored health insurance, you can keep it, what you don't say is if you hate your employer-sponsored insurance, too darned that. you are stuck with it. with the single-payer option, which a single-payer solution would like traditional medicare, everyone has the freedom to
choose the doctor and hospital of their choice and i say made the best doctors and the best hospitals wind and prevail. that is competition i would support. in the toll isn't born just by patience. they are not the only ones who are stressed out and anxious. this toll is borne by physicians too. we have an epidemic of this heartened, discouraged and sometimes angry physicians. there misdirected anger has become such a problem to hospitals that hospitals are now required to have a policy for dealing with these so-called disruptive physicians. i believe that the disruptive physician is a discouraged physician. discouraged by a health care system that has become so intrusive, burdensome and
demeaning that we don't practice, we don't feel like we are practicing medicine anymore. it is a system that is taken the art and the joy out of the practice of medicine. doctors are retiring early. they are taking disability in record numbers. or leaving the practice of medicine entirely to join the ranks of health care administrators who add to the cost of health care but not to the delivery of care. for me, personally, the antidote to discouragement has been active as some. i am proud to say i am one of the 17,000 members of physicians for a national health program. educating and advocating for a single-payer national health program. it is something that i do joyfully and in the spirit of compassion of good will for all patients, all my physician colleagues and everyone living
in the united states. it is also something i do for my own peace of mind. pnhp, as margaret said is a wellspring of the evidence-based research that clearly demonstrates the flaws in the proposed legislation. i won't go over that again but i would encourage everyone who is listening to go to the pnhp web site, www.pnh bedaub lord.org and to president obama in 2003, when you were a state senator, you said you supported single-payer national health insurance. but you said first we have to win back the house and win back the senate when and win back the white house. well, mr. president we have done that. now as president, you said if i
were starting from scratch i would go with the single-payer system. mr. president, happy thanksgiving. but please, don't pardon this turkey. it is time to start from scratch. thank you. >> thank you all for coming and being so attentive. my name is kevin zeese. we are trying to remake the economy so that people have more control of their economic lives and it is more democratized and more equitable and so my comments will focus primarily on the economic impact of this legislation compared to what single-payer would do for the country. we are also initiating organization for mobilization for health care and i think this kind of demonstrates how the congress is so out of touch with the american people and basic
urgent necessities. the mobilization for health care we started a few weeks ago, six weeks ago and we focused on protesting insurance companies for denial of health care. we asked 100 people to step forward and go to insurance companies and sit in and risk arrest to make the case that insurance companies are not the solution to the problem but the cause of the problem. surprisingly almost 1,000 people live signed up and more than 150 people were arrested so here we have people risking arrest, protesting the insurance industry, thousands of people doing this will the congress is about to force them to buy private insurance quite a disconnect between the congress and the american people. not just the congress and the funders though. they put those interests first before the urgent necessities of the american people. the mobilization for health care which is that mobilized for health care dodd lord, if you
will visit that and get involved has switched its years in the last week and many of our activists are going to their senator's offices and asking them to support senator sanders of man meant to put in place a single-payer health care system as well as an amendment he will put on the floor to allow states to enact a single-payer statement. her they are urging them to support these amendments and on december 10th human rights day, wheat tend to go back to our senators officers and make the demand and seek their response to highlight on human rights day that health care is the human rights. it is a birthright, it should be a birthright of everyone in the united states. one other example what before i get to the economics and how out of touch it is, harvard found 45,000 people die each year in the united states a baseball stadium full of people die every year in the united states because they can't get health
care. harry reid's bill does not take effect until 2014. that means more than 200,000 americans will die while the congress waits to do something. how out of touch can a congress the? hauck incompetent and dysfunctional canoy congress beat, a democratic party be when they allowed 200,000 americans to die while they do nothing? when medicare was passed it was put into effect within a year. why did delay? 200,000 deaths on the hands of the congress. i am going to turn to the economic impact and i want to put the health care bills into context of the economy that is what most, the real economy most americans are living through and there have been a number of studies that i think will highlight that. first the census cannot. the census found a widening income gap as the poor and working-class take a big hit on
the recession. here is a report on it. recession has hit middle and ports families cardes wyden the income gap between the richest and poorest americans as rippling ravage households. household income declined across all groups. people soarer across all groups but the sharpest percentage was for middle income and poor americans, those who don't have insurance by the way. there income fell down to levels in the 1970's so people in that thing on 1970's income in the 21st century. poverty jumped from any levin ten-year hi, 13.2%. another report from "usa today" analyzing the census differently, the incomes of young and middle-aged especially men have fallen off a cliff since 2000, leaving many groups poorer than they were even in
the 1970's. poor then they were even in the 1970's. there is another study from the university of st. louis, and nearly half of all u.s. children will use food stamps during their lifetime. 49% of all u.s. children will be in a household that uses food stamps at some point during their childhood said mark rink, a poverty expert at the george warren school of social work at washington university. his steady entitled estimating the risk of food stamp use an empowerments with in the adolescent medicine found 90% of african-american children will be on food stamps at some point in their life. nearly one-quarter of all american children will be in households that use food stamps for five years or more. 91% of children of single
mothers, of single parents will be in households receiving food stamps. 91%. another study says 14% of americans are now short on food, more than 49 million americans, one in seven struggle to get enough to eat. the highest level in 14 years. so here we are, these workers and their families are the new working for. they are unable to put enough food on the table for their children or even for themselves. they are facing incomes that are being depleted, facing job insecurity, bankruptcy and foreclosures ed record highs and what does the congress do? they say these impoverished americans which is a big group of americans, you are going to buy health insurance from these corporations that you hate, with
ceos that make an average salary of $11 million a year. bucan put food on the table but we are going to force you to subsidize the in comes of the ceos. that is how out of touch our congress is. deaths, 200,000, people being forced to choose food over health insurance and the federal government making them criminals if they choose food. that is where the united states has come. at to that personal bankruptcy. hitting a four year high. here is a report from cnn, personal bankruptcies topped the 1 million mark for the first time in nine months. for the first nine months of the year, the first time it has done so in four years. personal bankruptcies were up 35% in 2008 according to the american bankruptcy institute. here is another report on health care in bankruptcy.
harvard study finds 50% increase from 2001. most of those bank corrupted by illness or middle class americans who have insurance. medical problems contributed to nearly two-thirds of all bankruptcies in 2007 according to a study in the american journal of medicine. surprising most of those bankrupted by medical problems have health insurance. more than three-quarters, 77.9% were insured up the start of the bankrupting illness and yet they went bankrupt anyway. what does the house bill do to stop bankruptcies? nothing because denial of care will still exist on these bills. there is an effort to include in the bills allowing an independent court review when an insurance company denies doctor recommended care but that was not included so these people facing health crises can be denied health coverage by the insurance industry and there is
no cost control. the projections are we will see a 75% increase in the cost of insurance premiums that the party jumped dramatically in the last few years. so here we are again, the congress out of touch with one of the most pressing issues today, bankruptcy and the health care and the form they put forward will do nothing to solve it. what alternatives are there? there is a study that came out last week that i think is one that needs more attention and didn't get much attention the book that medicare compared to non-medicare patients in black, latino and poor households. they examine 6,000 people over a seven year period looking at cardiovascular disease in diabetes. what they found was even though we have gotten better at treating these diseases for those under 65 years old and their health actually got worse with these diseases because treatment was out of reach the wind you got to 65 and had
medicare suddenly that inequality disappeared and people got healthier. medicare worked over all socioeconomic groups, all ethnic groups, blacks, latinos, the poor got healthier under medicare. medicare was an equalizer. it worked. that is consistent with how people on medicare field. studies have found 60% of those on medicare rented a nine or ten on a scale of positive values, nine or ten, 90 or 100% said yes we like medicare. in contrast to only 40% of those on private insurance ranked it positively in that way hand multiple surveys back this up. 68% feel their interests comes first when it comes to health care under medicare. only 48% of those on private insurance feel that way. staring us right in the face, 40 years of the successful health
care program one that has made the united states one of the best in the world that treating cancer, one of the few areas we do better than most of the world. we talk about how bad we do in the world, but-- why? because those people are treated by a single-payer system, medicare. it works. so rather than taking up people like, what has been shown to be effective what is uniquely american, what is the low bureacracy of three to 4% compared to 21% for the insurance companies, does not create hospitals and doctors' offices, they ignore the obvious position, medicare for all. , for everybody. that is the solution. one other point in this is a broader point. i study came out of ritgers earlier this month that says it will take seven years for the jobs to recover in this economy,
seven years. 2017 remake it back to where we were at the beginning of this recession. compare that to a study that came out earlier this year on the impact of single-payer health care-- single-payer system will provide a stimulus to the u.s. economy by creating 2.6 million new jobs and they infusing $317 billion in new business and public revenue and $100 billion in wages for the u.s. economy according to the findings of a report released earlier this year. a stimulus to the economy. a net increase of 2.2 million jobs that creates 2.8 comment you lose 600,000 insurance jobs and a net increase of 2.2 million jobs. that is as many jobs as for lost in 2008. single-payer would be a
stimulus. rather then-- everyone recognizes the economy is a matsen rather than putting forward a solution that will control costs, create opportunity, they pick a bill that is going to anchor it, that is going to create new taxes. rather than choosing a single-payer that would be a stimulus to jobs they pick a choice that is going to be an anchor to job creation and reduce the number of jobs. it will ensure jobless recovery rather than job expansion. rabid than single-payer which would brings hundreds of billions of revenue to the system now we are going to spend a trillion dollar band-aid to cover a failed system. this bill, the democrats have made a dramatic mistake on. this bill needs to be defeated. we need to get on a single-payer path, defeat this bill and start all over with the obvious solution that stairs as in the face, one that is in touch with the needs of the american people, one that will prevent death and that is a single-payer
system expanded and improved medicare for all. please join us as we try to remake the economy. we see health care is an essential step toward giving people control of their lives and join us at mobilize for health care.org to challenge the senate to put in place some real provisions that can improve this bill if they don't do it, we should defeated. thank you very much. >> thank you kevin. carol, mikuak, margaret. i was listening to c-span this morning in a call-in show and they were talking about the war in afghanistan. apparently president obama is to send some 30,000 more troops over. the calls were overwhelmingly opposed, left, right, center, independent with and i think the same c-span audience is opposed to this democratic bill. the republicans, when they go on
the floor of the senate and talk about this bill they hold up the 2,000 page stack and there's something real about it. nobody can understand it and nobody is going to read it. our bill is 30 pages. it is simple and we have compromised if you want to compromise on single-payer, dropped the medicare age from 65 to 55 and then dropped it to 45 and then dropped to 35 but what is going on now is out reaching the american people, both the afghan war in the health bill and those should be defeated but we hope to see an uprising this coming year on this. we have a few minutes for questions. yes sir, could you identify yourself? bead john reichert with "congressional quarterly" healthy. i was just wondering what chance do you see it turning centers sanders vote in the senate into a no vote in on the house side you mentioned two of 88 people who support single-payer.
do you expect a no vote and how many more do you think you can pick up in the house? >> we have low expectations. first because the progressives in the house have waffled and when they said they would do something they did not stand by what they said so for example in the july 30th letter 54 progressives said that anything less than what they decided was a robust public option, public option tag to medicare, anything less than that was unacceptable so that is where they drew the line in the sand and two months later they said we can accept something less. grijalva is saying i will strongly consider voting against-- but he also signed the july 30 letter. how can we believe him? when i raised to a friend the
possibility that sanders could be our joe lieberman and say no to this monstrosity he said sanders is no metzenbaum. we had a history of fighters in the senate, fighters for the american people. standards apparently is not that. >> your question really brings out is going to leave tens of millions uninsured and it is not going to control costs. it is not going to solve bankruptcy problems. it is not going to solve the problems of denial of care. it will cover up for a few years but the reality is all these problems remain so that is the practical reality. they can pass this bill but they are not going to solve health care with its do we believe we are going to continue with this
there were various organizations and continue to mobilize and build an organized and the and we think single-payer health care is the solution that will actually solve the health care crisis in the united states and i think it will come sooner than people realize. her. >> the question i have is congress and the white house is basically said it is this bill or no bill, this plan or no plan. are we going to be better off without passing this bill? are we better off now then if the plants in congress got passed? >> thank you. that is the age-old question. what we have been the history in this nation is that very same struggle of do we pass something just to pass something that is going to help the few people because it is all we think we can accomplish and we keep accepting that saying we have done this before, we of the
mandates and subsidies, we have done expansions overmedicate before and while it does help some people in the short term in the long term it has failed. each of these programs that fail within a matter of years. none of them achieve the coverage they anticipated the cheating in talking about states like tennessee, maine, massachusetts, or again so they all predicted these four solutions that would cover everybody in save money and within a matter of years they have failed. our concern is i think realistic one that if something is passed this year people will get the sense that we have done this, we have done health care reform and let's move on to the next issue and in fact this is not going to be fixed, so we want people to remember that no matter what happens this year we have not address the fundamental problems. we have not created a health system one that provides health care to everybody, one that allows doctors to practice and care for their patients.
we have not enacted something that is going to save money so we need to continue working for medicare for all. >> beginning with the public option, a robust public option, what will that actually consist of? will it actually helps some people? have the break that down? what would actually have been there? husein. >> what that is why we call it designed to fail, is that those who were healthy, those who are working will be keeping their employer-sponsored insurance. they will be allowed to actually by the public option so most likely the public option is going to end up with those who have more medical problems. this has been kind of a pattern we have seen repeatedly in the united states, when you have
public and private insurance is that are kind of both available, the private insurance is typically able to attract mostly healthy to avoid this shipwreck of the public programs pick up the sicker patients and struggle to be able to provide for their health care costs and the ultimately fail. the public option in the house is estimated to be available to about 2% of the population. it is estimated to be more and she-- expenses and the one in the senate is estimated to be available to about 1% of the population, who will be the sickest. >> you said that it would be basically the same money we are spending now and up costing the same while covering everybody. why hasn't the cbo moved on this? there have not been any cbo numbers as i understand.
why hasn't that happened? >> that is an excellent question. there have been studies in general office accounting studies done in the 90's would show under a publicly funded health care system we could provide health care to everybody for the same amount of money we are showing. the leadership conference for guaranteed health care that with leadership early this year and requested that we have cbo scoring of single-payer so we can compare head-to-head with the legislation passing through congress. that request was denied. we were told that it wasn't a priority, that the bill had not, our bill h.r. 676 said not made it out of committee so we were denied that's going. there was a request when anthony tweener was offered the possibility of having a vote on a single-payer on the floor of the house but the cbo did not have time to do a study so we have not had a full cbo scoring recently in this decade on
single-payer. we know that it would perform much better than what is coming out now. >> him aye wet eight blog, election dissection.com. your organization organized a series of protests against the whole foods market, op-ed in "wall street journal" opposing-- and modest version. it didn't seem to get much action. a lot of people showed up. i went to the one where people were avoiding it like they did on election day in an election year. that constituency had these 80% of people voting democratic for obama who say they would support this. it seems to be low on their-- as far as how excited they are about this. in light of that how do you see
this passing if people aren't fired up about it? the first of all the whole foods protests, there were protest all over the country, indications that whole foods lost some business over the protests and people were very upset about it. for those who don't know the ceo road in op-eds in "the wall street journal" basically saying health care should not be a human rights and a lot of people were very upset about it. there were facebook web sites. we did call for a boycott and a lot of people participated in protest of round the country, so i think it was a successful protest. how do weech rigor mass action on single-payer? i don't led obama off the hook on this. a lot of people in the single-payer would say we have to push obama, we have to give
him cover but obama, obama started in the middle. obama started with a dirty deal with the pharmaceutical and health insurance industry's. had he started with single-payer , there would have been a real coalition. there is a coalition now because the health insurance companies are going to fight everything and the pharmaceutical companies are going to fight everything but had he started with single-payer the line would have been clear and we could get heady real national education campaign about what this is about. amman he pulled his punches and i think it is a disgrace, and we have to start over. we have to start over and we have to be clear about it. >> democrats who favor single-payer seek-- they had met and some public moments that the public option is backdoor single-payer but that is not
good enough. we want to walk in the front door and we want to confront the health-insurance industry had on. >> i would like to add to that that, when single-payer gets the media coverage that the teabaggers gatt, i think we will have a lot more about wellspring of enthusiasm. the single-payer advocates are not teabaggers. we are not crazy, screaming, yelling people. we are intelligent, compassionate people to use evidence-based research to make our points and unfortunately sometimes that is just not very
sexy. thank you. >> on your question again, two points. first i would say the media if you go to prosperity agenda that u.s. and search single-payer you will see the research that shows overlapping boards with insurance company executives on media boards. you will see the advertising that media survives on with, from articles insurance industry so it is hard to get media coverage and that is a big challenge but on developing and moving, i would first off say even russell is being nice to obama. obama held a white house town hall on health care of right at the beginning and not only did we have a hard time getting single-payer in there, we got john conyers and representative the pnhp but neither was allowed to speak but he was allowed to speak? the first speaker the insurance
industry, the last baker, the insurance company. it was obvious president obama was leading us down the path of a private insurance bailout, a private insurance base system and that is what we got but i see evidence of real growth in the single-payer movement, real activism in the single-payer movement. as i mentioned we started the mobilization for health care hugo to that site you can see what has been going on a run the country. it hasn't gotten immediate attention and i'm talking about demonstrations in dozens of cities at dozens of insurance companies were hundreds of people have been arrested sitting in an protesting the insurance companies. it shows the conflict from where congress is going and where the american people are. even without the media coverage we set a goal of 100 people setting in and we got 1,000 people willing to sit in. tin the motley expected and we thought 100 would be hard to
get. ascetical 500 signing up and we have almost 5,000 signing up in just a handful of weeks. so i see this movement actually growing and getting stronger and getting more determined and i think we have all come to the agreement that what is going on in congress will not solve the problem and our organization has become more for the so i expect he will see this issue come back sooner than people expect and he will see the single-payer movement which is under the radar screen because of the lack of media attention, much stronger than you realize. [inaudible] definitely, shirk, definitely. the next phase is focused on congress and we are focusing on the democratic leadership in the senate because they are the ones who are making these, this health care bill and so particularly senator reid, senator durbin, senator baucus and dodd and harkin.
these are the primary focus is the buyer effort so yes they will be pressured by their constituents at home. this week they are making the demand on december 10th on human rights day and they will come back and make it clear that health care is the human right in should be considered a birthright of all people in the united states and they will make that demand aggressively so keep watching that and hopefully you will visit mobilize for health care.org, joy gnat and report on it. >> i am john craig, i work in the health system in fairfax and albania park to develop media tools for health care and for the politics of health care now. i just wondered in terms of, obviously there are a number of organizations and a lot of people interested. i just want to see if he might comment on how well you think
right now the different organizations, how well coordinated they are in terms of working together in a unified way. you are always talking about the right wing noise machine and how beautifully coordinated the message is and things like that and i was just wondering how he would assess that, is there room for improvement and things like that? >> i would answer that by saying from what i have seen in experience with being introduced to the various-- there is cohesion and it is growing. i think as was indicated both by kevin and others who have spoken here there is growing momentum and growing awareness and education around that. there has been more coming together with in fact the health care knell conference that took place in st. louis, a variety of organizations being represented there are looking at ways to improve andy pfaff the messaging of the single-payer effort, so that as we continue to move
forward because there is the intention of continuing this move down the court. it is not over by any means, and the matter what happens now. there is momentum building and we are looking at new tools in terms of media outreach and ways to engage community across the nation, becoming more inclusive of the first groups and organizations that recognize health care is a common ground issue. also with the u.s. social form coming up in june of next year in detroit that will be another point of further mobilization for the single-payer effort across the nation, so i do think from my own observation, of my own exposure in involvement that there is cohesion. it has room to improve and there is certainly the effort there on the part of all the organizations. as he can see today there are 45 organizations here representative of this press conference and basically cure in
solidarity recognizing we are committee for guara .. association, national organizing committee, health care knell, progressive democrats of america and numerous labor organizations, faith and community groups. we represent over 20 million people nationwide who support a single-payer national health system and we are growing and we anticipate continuing to grow. health care now, which a number of us are on the board of health care now, in national grassroots organization has single-payer act of this in those states across the nation in many of us particularly those of us who are physicians and physicians for national health programs speak
regularly and are willing to speak so if there are states are groups around the country who would like to learn more about this or join the movement i urge them to go to health care-health care dock now--.org, if you go to www.pnhp.org you can speak there. we will continue to educate and grow. there is the issue of money. our organizations do not receive industry dollars, and so when you look at the work that we have done over the past number of years and the amount of, a small amount of money we have had to put towards that work and you look at the millions and millions of dollars spent to oppose health care reform we have come a long way and that also speaks to the power of our movement. >> one last question. the interesting thing about this movement is that there are a lot of grassroots groups that sprang
up spontaneously. i'm from west virginia and in the eastern panhandle there's a single-payer group in west virginia and there are literally scores of these groups and the list a lot of them at the resourced page at single-payer action.org. a lot of it is spontaneous grassroots. their national organizations. as mikuak said we are coming together. the first thing would be to defeat this democratic bill and to have a single-payer advocates in the house and senate in the lead on defeating the bill so for the second round we have a leg up on the debate and not just let the republicans take charge in the defeated the bill. last question. >> back to the whole process thing, before the teabagger thing happen in august as you noted that the beginning of the news conference, a bunch of you were arrested at those hearings and what was a mistake to step back from that?
the illusion that there is a settlement made. >> that was just a legal settlement and it was a legal settlement and it was pretty much a plea agreement with part of the condition of the plea, we did not plead guilty, but we said we would not protest in congress through the end of the year and then the charge would be dropped so that was the agreement on that. >> did you abdicate protests on that? >> we can get arrested on the hill. it is just the consequences mobile little more severe potentially but my view is we should focus on the democratic leadership in congress. they are responsible for this bill. they are the ones who created this bailout and if we are going to get arrested we should get arrested up there from now on in front of pelosi, in front of harry reid and we should hold their feet to the fire because they are the ones who are responsible for this bill and we won the defeated so that is where the attention should be.
[inaudible] well, you know sam, it is not, it is pretty difficult to get 13 people willing to be arrested for single-payer and we pulled that off. it did trigger a wave of anger and we didn't see a lot of people coming up and saying we want to get arrested in congress. we did not stop that and we are continuing to agitate and we are going to continue to focus. keep your eyes on these web h >> today's white house briefing was expected to start at 1:00 p.m. eastern. as been to lead a couple of minutes. 1:15 is expected start time. we will have a live one spokesman robert gibbs gets under way. until then, your phone calls and
comments on "washington journal." us up to speed. what happened over the weekend? guest: we have had about one week off since the last push over health care debates and a rare saturday night session in the u.s. senate that brought the health care bill up for a vote in the first place. it was not clear until the closing hours to live there would be enough support in the first place. but it did pass. host: they write about the tight rope that needs to be walked today by harry reid. "harry reid will attempt toi#@ host: what is senator reid's
mission leading up to the christmas break? guest: trying to cobble the other the 60 votes presumably for some sort of a public option. this is what democrats really want. this is the legislative goal, ideological goal, to have some sort of a government-financed health care system by now there does not appear to be that amount of votes for some kind of public option. but that is what the backroom dealing will be all about and we will see where we end up in the next couple of weeks or so. host: what will be the republican mission be? guest: republicans will be to block the bill entirely or, if they cannot do that, offer as many amendments as possible and to push it down to 2010, an election year, or at least, force a vulnerable democrats to vote for controversial provisions, for the public
option or the bidding access to abortion services, or any other controversial -- limiting access to abortion services, or any other controversial measures. host: "republicans won six weeks of debate and have -- democrats control of the debate all at once simply by reaching a deal on the public option of filing cloture on the bill. senator ben nelson said the debate would and with 60 votes it." guest: more moderate and conservative-leaning democrats -- a few of them are flat out opposed to a public option. i interviewed a freshman at democrat and he said that the public option is something he will look at but is not crucial, not make or break. he will look the other measures as well.
it is not clear how far democrats will push this in the senate. you have the sender's -- you have senators on the more the end of the spectrum, such as bernie sanders of vermont or sherrod brown of ohio, who might vote against the bill if it does not include a public option. host: "usa today" profiles eight senators who are seen as key players in the debate, and it mentions to lieberman of connecticut, who will spurn any government-run option. the article talks about senator lincoln, senator land through -- senator landrieu. is it make or break for them as well? guest: they are also skeptical if not outright opposed to the public option. senator blanche lincoln center was pretty much opposed to a public option. that does not mean it cannot be
finessed in the back room to the senator mary landrieu is in somewhat of a similar position. interestingly, there is also one republican senator who appears to be in play, olympia snowe, a moderate republican, who has suggested that she is at least open to some kind of public option if it includes a trigger, meaning if insurance rates do not go down a certain amount over a certain amount of time, she might be willing to open up to a government-financed program. host: you mentioned senator mark begich of alaska saying that the public option is not crucial. what are some other things we might see, with the abortion funding issue and what else might come into play? guest: in the interview with senator begich, he mentioned one measure pushed by republicans, which would allow americans to be why insurance across state lines. -- buy insurance across state lines. it is more of a free market
approach. it is one of the measures he would be willing to look at. he wants to make sure that there are no significant cuts or any cuts to medicare services at rural hospitals. in his state, alaska, a majority of hospitals, and the broad national concerns. is this a tough balancing act for the leadership to push something through. host: "usa today" q mentions mitch mcconnell as "the tortoise." guest: his goal is to block the health care bill. he got pretty close to blocking it from coming up for a vote. eventually it did past that hurdle. but the very least, he wants to slow this down, and not just him, but some of its allies on the republican side -- senator
tom coburn, a doctor from oklahoma, who says he might force the entire bill to be read or lease specific amendments to be read aloud, and senator orrin hatch wants specifications on abortion similar to on the outside -- similar to the house side. host: do you have a sense of how open the democrats might be to republican amendments? guest: it depends on which ones they are. as i mentioned, when i mentioned senator but, he liked a couple of republican ideas, -- what i mentioned senator budish, he liked a couple of the republican ideas. if democrats could get away without considering any republican amendments, it would be happy to take that route. if they need to take four or five to keep this moving, they will probably do that. host: let's look at what senator
richard lugar had to say yesterday on cnn. >> i make this suggestion, that with the three weeks of debate we have had us, we focus on the overall strategy of our country and the cost, and we ought to be on the the budget. passing the preparation built in the proper way. we may wish to break out that, we may wish to discuss higher taxes to pay for it, but we will not do that debating health care in the senate for three weeks, through all sorts of strategies and so forth. the war is terribly important, jobs and the economy is terribly important. this may be an audacious suggestion, but i would suggest we put aside the health-care debate until next year, the same way but cap-and-trade and climate change and talk now about the -- semi we put cap- and-trade and climate change, and talk about the essentials, bore a money. -- war and money.
host: what is the prospect of getting anything else done, and will that take away from health care? guest: senator lugar's sentiments as pretty what support, not just among republicans, but even it ever regrets are suggesting that approach. health care is an -- but even some democrats are suggesting that approach. the war in afghanistan, how to pay for that, the overall jobless situation, the sputtering economy. this is an argument that i suspect could pick up steam if the health care negotiations that bogged down -- gets bogged down and it goes into jenna or or february of 2010. host: larry on the independent line from iowa. please give us your thoughts on health care. caller: first off, i would like to thank the staff of "washington journal" for burning
the voice of the people to the forefront. -- bringing the boys of the people to the forefront. you do a really good job there. with health care, congress is allowed through their health care program -- they work for us, don't they? health care for all. whether it is through a public option or -- i think we need to get the insurance companies out of health care. we are paying so much for premiums -- they have all got up in the last few years. your copays, a the thing else, it's just mounting up. we are way behind other industrialized nations when it comes to health care and what we provide for our citizens. host: lowry brought up the point
about whether or not americans get covered and to the program that covers congress. -- gets covered under the program that covers congress. where does that fall in the debate? guest: this is the amendment that senator tom coburn of all pall mall wants to offer, if he is allowed to -- senator tom coburn of oklahoma wants to offer, if he is allowed to. this has been tried in various forms on the house side, never quite made it through. it is the populist measure. at the very least, it puts other senators on record of saying, " we want a different system for the american people that we want for covering ourselves." host: robert from indiana. caller: i have a goal that is far superior to medicare. i don't even deal with medicare.
another thing -- you should announce that "politico" is a left wing the group. they have a permanent post on msnbc but it is not fair to the people to put them out as unbiased like you guys used to do with chocuck todd as an unbiased reporter. host: what will you see happen this week with health care? guest: it will push democrats, at least in their rhetoric, it to get americans to keep the coverage that it wanted this has been a long time talking point of democrats, to reassure people that if they'd like -- the people -- they like the coverage they have now, they will not have to give up. host: let's look at the other things that are going on this week -- other issues regarding afghanistan, the president is
taking a big speech tomorrow night talking about what he expects to do. there is an article in "the wall street journal" on it back to obama -- a batch of obama initiatives. "adding iran's nuclear program to the week's agenda, rahm emanuel defended the big bang approach to the administration's first year. he contended that on each front, 'we are in a bigger -- better position than we were when we began,' citing progress on health care bill and shifting resources to afghanistan." california. hi, tim. caller: i want to comment on
this idea that insurance companies are pushing on to their hired guns in cars that they should be allowed to sell insurance paul -- hired guns in congress that they should be allowed to sell insurance policies across state lines but may i remind you what happened when banks were allowed to sell credit cards across state lines? they set up shop in states with the most permissive and die-use of the laws, and rates went through -- anti-usory laws and rights went through the roof. you have heard how bad money drives out good. we will see once again how bad consumer protections will drive out good. thank you, c-span. i will talk to you later. host: all right, our next caller -- what are your comments to that? c-span.or-- what are your commes
today? and she, you are on the air. -- angie, you are on the air. caller: i'm sorry, i did not know it was me. thank you for c-span. i agree with everybody who is talking about the public option. hello? host: yes, go right ahead. caller: the public option is the one thing americans can do for citizens that cannot pay for health care. once you pay your premiums, it is gone. if you do not pay premiums that time for any reason, you are out of luck. the only thing americans can do for citizens is to ensure that whenever they cannot pay the premiums for any reason, they are still able to afford health care. one other fact -- war is not more pressing than the health of
americans. we are at war because 3000 americans were killed on 9/11, not to take away anything from the 9/11 event , but lack of health care kills more people in america than anything else. thank you. host: let's look at comment senator bernie sanders made yesterday on a talk show. he talks to george stephanopoulos. >> will you vote to prevent the bill from getting to a final vote and support a filibuster if the public option is not included? >> let me just say this, george -- the reason i am a supporter of an enhanced public option is two reasons. number one, the american people, for all the right reasons, do not trust private insurance companies, because they understand the function of the private insurance company is not to provide health care but to make as much money as possible. second, if we are going to
control health-care costs, we need strong cost-containment. the best way would be medicare for all single payer system, but we not apply to have that. but one way to control costs is to provide real competition for companies to give as many people as possible a strong public option. if we do not have that, i would be very reluctant to support legislation that did not have a strong public option. host: how much interference can he give? guest: if you parse what he said there, he suggested he might not be supportive of the final bill, which is different from that -- from not actually coming up for a vote at supporting a filibuster from republicans. to see a senator from the democratic caucus actually filibuster his own party's health-care bill is a big step.
it happened before and it could happen again. i do not know if it will necessarily and that way, at least for senator sanders. host: call from west virginia. good morning, paul. caller: it is nice to talk to somebody from "politico." i think of "politico" as being reasonably independent, unlike the other caller, so thanks. i have a question that this sort of technical and i hope it does not got you down too much. we have heard talk of the possibility, as has been done on other issues in the republican congress, of bringing the bill through reconciliation rather than having to go to 60 votes, which the constitution does not actually called for. the constitution does not call for it at all.
cloture -- what exactly does it mean to bring the bill through by the process of reconciliation? we hear it can only be for budget measures, but i don't think anybody has really describe what that looks like. just a reminder that it would not only be -- sanders is not a democrat, he is an independent, like joe lieberman, and joe lieberman has already said he will filibuster, so it would not be extraordinary for bernie sanders to take the same position for the other direction. guest: that is an excellent point. this is something that senate democrats have not wanted to talk about publicly very much. it is essentially a nuclear option for the senate. it is a reserve measure it and something that is used rarely pretty as the caller mentioned, it has been done, the reconciliation maneuver was used for the bush tax cuts in 2001,
and a few other measures. it would essentially eliminate the filibuster. it would mean that they would only be the majority of 51 senators voted in favor to push it through. other types of legislation are immune from filibuster, including budget bills. there are technical problems with trying to push through a health care bill for budget reasons. has been under a certain budget cap -- and passed to be under a certain budget cap and there are lots of technicalities involved with that. it is not clear if the public option measure would make it through. for technical reasons, it would be very difficult, though not impossible, for democrats to do this sort of thing through sit -- through reconciliation. host: why not do that? guest: it would essentially upset the comity of the senate. it would say that filibusters
the matter, a super majority still better, and setting a precedent, because democrats -- super majorities don't matter, and set a precedent, because democrats will be in the minority again and they will have to live with those same rules sometime down the line. host: republican line, a somerville, alabama. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i wanted to ask a question and have a statement. my statement is i remember -- i was watching a show in my class -- i was watching a show in my class, and we were -- you know, the health care and everything -- i am sorry if i am going off -- host: that's ok.
go right ahead. caller: what i am saying is that we had a thing where they were showing people with health care and different things, and this one lady -- like, she had signed up with blue cross blue shield, and she went on a trip that the company could not cover, and she got a note when she got back saying she was protected from across bushel. how can stuff like this -- from blue cross blue shield bid out and stuff like this be prevented in the future? thank you for taking my call and thank you, c-span, for all that you do. guest: the senate bill as it currently stands would prevent companies from not covering pre- existing conditions. no about a certain list that the customer has -- if you know
of a certain malice that the customer -- certain illness that the customer has come at you cannot provide coverage. we will have to look the final language to see if that stays in, and what exactly could still be covered or prohibited from being covered. host: "usa today" has a chart comparing the health care bill version in the house and the one in the senate. all americans, except for dependents, people living overseas, and those with religious objections, would be rid quired to have held the giants by 2013 or face a 2.5% income-tax charge -- have health insurance by 2013 or face a 2.5% income-tax charge. requirements for businesses -- on the house side, companies
would pay more than five the thousand dollars and do -- and what -- more than $500,000 and would be required to offer employees insurance. take us through what the numbers really mean. looking at percentages versus actual $, how do those play out at how people feel about them? guest: this is the pay or play provision that we have heard about for some time. in the clinton health care plans from the mid-1990's -- this would compel private citizens and companies to carry health insurance for them. it is something that health insurance companies have come around to more than they were, say, 50 or 60 new -- is ago >> we are going to leave today's
"washington journal" to go to today's white house briefing. >> good afternoon. let's quickly go and do a couple of -- the week ahead, a couple of announcements before we start with questions. as you know, on tuesday, the president will address the nation at 8:00 p.m. eastern time from the military academy at west point on afghanistan and pakistan. on wednesday, the president will attend meetings at the white house. on thursday, the president will hold a forum on the jobs and economic growth here at the white house. it will be an opportunity for the president and his economic team to hear from ceo's, small business owners, and financial experts about ideas for continuing to grow the economy to put americans back to work. >> [unintelligible] >> i don't know when that starts
yet, but we can figure that out on thursday evening, mrs. obama will try the president of the national park service for the annual -- joined president at the national park service to the annual business tree lighting -- for the annual christmas tree lighting. the president on friday will be at it allentown, pennsylvania, this thing communities across the country over the next -- visiting committees across the country over the next two months sharing ideas for economic recovery. i mentioned that the congressional readout and consultations will be 4: 45 tomorrow -- that is now changed to 4:00 p.m. tomorrow. before the president spoke this morning with president sarkozy of france, he spoke with the danish prime mr. rasmussen, and
they canceled the upcoming copenhagen climate change, -- council on the upcoming copenhagen climate change conference. the president also updated the prime minister on his review of our strategy in afghanistan and pakistan and thanked him for his countries significant contribution to the effort in afghanistan. the united states and denmark are close allies and partners together around the world to promote freedom, security, prosperity. we talked a little bit this morning about additional calls the president will make between this afternoon at the time of the speech. i anticipate those will include president karzai, president zardari, chancellor merkel, president hu of china and prime minister singh of india.
advisor general jones, said terry of defense, secretary of state, and others will make consultation calls to our allies over the course of the next many hours before the speech. >> in addition to -- >> yes, those are a least in addition to. the could be more. most of them, quite frankly, are likely scheduled for tomorrow. yes, sir. >> we have heard a lot about the benchmarks and what the president is looking for in afghanistan. we've not talked in detail about pakistan. what is the president hoping to address with pakistan tomorrow night and what does he want to get in exchange? >> i think you can anticipate that a good portion of the president's speech tomorrow will discuss our relationship with pakistan and touch on going back to the very beginning of this administration in a renewed
engagement diplomatically with the pakistanis, as i said this morning, to jointly address of violent extremism. our relationship is stronger and our efforts are stronger in dealing with that as a result of that engagement and diplomacy, and the president will build on that and talk about the importance of them in the region tomorrow night. >> will he talk about benchmarks in pakistan tomorrow night? >> i will let the president make a little news to more, but i anticipate he will be pretty clear about how we are moving forward without -- with the afghanistan efforts. >> how much as a touch to officials in -- how much has he talked to officials in pakistan ahead of the speech? >> president zardari is on the
list and first thing tomorrow we will have clarity. >> but in terms of what he will set -- >> look, i don't have the last time the president spoke directly with zardari, but i know many of the national security team -- secretary of state clinton visited not too long ago, and others have made trips to pakistan and throughout the region on the diplomatic tasks. let me get a couple here. >> how specific tomorrow the president be about exit strategy, and hospice of will he be about costs? -- and how specific will he be about costs? >> that the president will reiterate tomorrow what i have said a number of times, that is not an open-ended commitment.
that we are there to parker with the afghans -- to partner with the afghans, trained the afghan security forces, army and police, so that they can provide security for the country, and wage the battle against an unpopular insurgency againsin tt country. that is first and foremost our primary mission. >> on wednesday, he said that we would not be there in eight or nine years. will he spell that out tomorrow? >> it is important not to get too far ahead of where the president is. i think you can be assured that the president will talk about the fact of this is not an open- ended commitment. >> will neehe give it costs and figures of how much -- is
the talk of a war tax? >> i have not heard extensive discussion about that here. i do not expect him to get totally detailed in his speech tomorrow. >> one more troops are sent into the country, -- when a more troops are said to the country, it inevitably results in more casualties. is that going to be part of the president's message tomorrow, preparing the american people for the fact that while the exit strategy is going to be bloodier the last few months? -- bloody than the last few months? >> we have discussed this before. the amount of sacrifice we have seen from the men and women over there already is something that i know the president is assured by each and at -- assured by
each and every day. he signs letters of condolence, he meets with the families of those that have been killed. obviously, the trip to dover is something that i doubt you ever truly for gatt -- ever truly forget. he will reiterate the importance of why we are there, but by all means, acknowledge the tremendous cost and sacrifice to our men and women in uniform. i don't think there's any doubt that we are all in all of the commitment from our military -- all in awe of the commitment from our military and civilian side to get this right. >> where is making sure that we have a stable afghan partner and nation building began?
what is the line? is it just a question of our responsibility, he was responsibility -- >u s responsibility, being to train afghan troops? we have heard a lot about what the u.s. intends to do. i know you do not want to get ahead of the president's speech, but define the terms of a little for us. >> i guess i would more ask you -- i am unclear as to what continue, you are putting -- what continuum you are putting -- >> well, the president has said, about that new strategy, that it is important to have a secure and stable ally. >> well, and a partner that understands, as the president directly told president karzai, that it is time to turn -- it is
time for a new chapter in our relationship as it relates to corruption and improved governance in order to address the security situation, not just through training and security forces, but also -- look, it is hard for civilians to go in and improve various -- it is impossible -- that are not secure. i would say this is all part of what has to be a partnership. i think anybody would tell you, jake, that -- and i have said this, and you have seen this from democrats and republicans in congress -- without partners that are willing to do stuff in afghanistan and pakistan, no number of american troops can solve all of those problems,
unless or until those steps are taken inside both of those countries will be see a change in the security situation. >> a stable partner means a partner that is willing to have his own troops stepped up? it does not mean a thriving democracy, a great economy, it does not mean it services for girls and -- >> first of all, we have to have a partner that can identify, recruit, retain security forces and police forces that are able to take improved security -- and improved security environment and eventually hold of the -- hold the area. once the area is clear, the area has to be held. the overall strategy will be to transfer the security responsibility of the area to
the afghans. that is a big part of what you will hear the president talk about tomorrow. >> that is what you want for the afghan government? >> that is a big part of it, yes. >> about the war tax, he said the president does not want to get too much into detail about it tomorrow night. why not? why don't the american people deserve some explanation? >> i don't think you heard me say that the american people all deserve an explanation. he will certainly touched on the cost. this will not be the beginning of the debate nor will it be the end of it. the president will i knowledge the resource requirements -- will acknowledge the resource requirements and the responsibilities and drops the will be needed -- and tradeoffs that will be needed.
what the president has a policy and can put -- when the president has a policy and can put a price tag on it, you will see the numbers. >> with the state dinner, the white house has asked the secret service to investigate what what rockridge will adjust look at -- what went wrong. will they just look at the secret service, or will they look at others? >> my understanding is that the secret service will look at what the secret service did. >> but there are guests who came to this event will set previous dinners, there was an officer because it was checking names. -- officer who was checking names. >> i think the director has admitted that somebody who was not on the list was allowed into an event that clearly he
said should not be, and that no call or recapped ever came -- or recount ever came from staff or the secret service as to whether there was confusion about a name on the list -- >> if they had been there and the person had not been on the list -- >> again, i assume in absence of somebody being there, because they are working telephones in the white house, somebody would have checked. i think the focus of the investigation at this point is on the fact that the name was not on the list, that name was not waived in, but the couple got into the white house, and that is what the secret service is rightly focused on in their security investigation. >> normally come in the past, there was always a checks and balances type of system, a
social office -- >> i think that is what ed just said. >> that is what i am saying. again, there's always been a series of checks and balances if there was a concern from secret service, it would always delay the back-and-forth between the social office -- relay the back- and-forth between the social office -- >> let me reiterate my answer. none of that really happened between the secret service and -- whether or not the social office was standing at the gate or somebody was sitting in their office at the white house. >> if you will allow me to finish, you can understand what i'm saying. the relay did not happen because that person was -- as we understand, the person was fired earlier -- >> again, you can ask it seven
ways. the answer continues to be that the relay did not happen because nobody picked up the phone to relay the information i appreciate the observation that somebody could or could not have been in a certain date, but again, you can pick up the phone just like i can pick up my phone in the office and relay you, april. you do not have to be standing in my office for me to communicate information to you -- >> are you saying that the social office no responsibility -- >> there is an investigation into what happened and i will wait for the statement. >> we are questioning the social office and the secret service because in the past, both worked in conjunction and were able to successfully protected the president of the united states without anyone coming in. now, because the social office did not have the other relay, this happen, and people ask me why this white house is that --
>> i will let the investigation put the onus on where it should be. if somebody was confused about whether or notomeby was on a list that a guard tower on the exterior perimeter of the white house, and there was a question, and generally, somebody could pick up the phone and ask. i am saying that the secret service, in the statement they released a few days ago, acknowledged that that did not happen and that that was a mistake. >> will the social office be working in conjunction with the secret service now? >> first and foremost, we will go through this investigation, and i will refer you to the secret service for anything that might change. >> the secret service said the president was not in danger and many people have said that was not true.
these people met with the president. they shook the president's hand. who is to say -- granted, they did not, but hypothetically, what if a person walked in and could have done something to the president? >> i appreciate the opportunity to indulge you in a grand hypothetical. >> [unintelligible] >> i think the president shares the concern that the director has for how this happened and how we can remedy it from happening again. >> are you concerned about his safety with this? >> no. >> is the as incredulous as the average american is about how somebody could just walk into the white house like this? >> suffice to say that the president is rightly concerned about what happened last week. >> have you actually heard him say anything -- >> i have not heard.
>> [unintelligible] >> that is not a power bestowed on me as the press secretary. according to media reports, they had been interviewed by the secret service. that is a decision that would be made by the secret service and the united states attorney in that area. >> fol onlong april's question -- >> april's question was a follow-up. >> presumably if the social office had been at the gate -- >> i will give the following answer i gave to april -- >> there would over here the couple -- announced -- they would overhear the couple announce themselves and -- >> if the couple had not come, they would not -- i understand. generally, when people have questions, i don't have to be
there in person to answer your question, despite the fact that you may announce your question. generally, you can pick up the telephone and reach me right in the office. somebody could retreat -- meet at the exterior gate of the white house -- >> >> the second layer -- >> given the fact that did not happen -- >> [unintelligible] >> is the white house going to do what is necessary to make sure that the secret service is not a scapegoat and that there is responsibility in the white house? >> of course. i am simply reiterating from the three questions i got on the same subject what the u.s. secret service put out on this last week. chip, i have walked with and did next to the secret service --
and then the next to the secret service for it to a half years, virtually every single day that the president has had been valuable and grave protection of the united states secret service. nobody -- nobody is more thankful for that than the president, as well as the country. the president' has faith in the secret service, always has, and that is not about to change. we will go to chuck. >> on afghanistan, in the march 27 speech, many the things sounded like what you are previewing now -- we cannot turn a blind eye to corruption, we will seek a contact with the afghan government to crack down on corrupt behavior. he said going forward, we will not blindly stay the course, but sent a clear message -- saend
a clear message. how much of that speech will be applicable to what we hear tomorrow? >> we heard about the security force's decision in march about whether there would be benchmarks -- the answer then was s and the answer now is yes. >> are the benchmarks changing or -- >> no, we have finished setting the benchmarks, but not to get ahead of what the president announces, but there will be some new wrinkles to what we're doing. as reported to congress, absolutely. in terms of the corruption in governance -- >> re-election -- >> well, somewhat up in the air as of the middle of august. >> so i guess the thing is --
what is going to be different about what he said that from what he said? like he just said, new wrinkles? -- like you just said, new wrinkles? >> i will let the president outlined what the mission is going forward and discuss in depth the benchmarks that will go along with it. >> can you get into -- he will simultaneously a short folks that we will withdraw troops in a -- timely fashion -- asursure folks that we will withdraw troops in a timely fashion and let allies know that we're in it for the long haul? >> i don't think we should underestimate the commitment of the president that has thus far doubled the amount of men and women on the ground in afghanistan. i don't think anybody could look themselves in the mirror with a straight face and say
that this president has not been in any way anything but resolved to doing what has to happen in afghanistan to make this country safe. >> does the president think there should be charges filed against these folks, to set an example? >> i have not talked to the president about that. the white house will leave that up to relevant law enforcement to determine -- >> [unintelligible] >> well, again -- >> it will be used as a reality tv show. >> i think the concern goes beyond "the real housewives of d.c." we have got from afghanistan and i just said "the real housewives of d.c." >> all the benchmarks issue -- on the benchmark issue, the training of afghan security
forces, stability, corruption and the government -- are there also benchmarks for failure? >> well, i don't know the -- >> in other words, will u.s. forces be withdrawn if the benchmarks cannot be met? >> again, i will let the president outlined the benchmarks. i think the president believes we will be setting forth a mission that he believes it can be attained. i think part of that is we have to look at, again, jonathan what that mission is, and making sure that what we're doing is a mission and a series of resources that are attainable. as i mentioned to chuck a minute ago, there are twice as many forces there that were there
just a year ago -- than were there just a year ago. what the president has to do for the american people is let them know what is needed there to accomplish what that mission is, rather than somehow assuming that we can do that with half of what is there now. >> the reporters are going up to west point tomorrow -- the press room will awful lot of time up there. -- havee a whole lot of time up there. will there be briefings up there? >> i think there will be briefings by some double allow you -- that will allow you to take part in. tommy mention that to me early. we will make sure that it has all been scheduled around. >> i am wondering why foreign leaders are being briefed on this before relevant members of
congress, and what the difference is -- >> i think, obviously, that when the president sits down with congress, he will go through a series of detailed decisions that he has made and has been related to the chain of command -- relayed to the chain of command. in terms of reaching our international partners, understanding isaf is an international entity, with a valuable contribution to the united states. when the president talks with the french, the germans, the danes, and others, it is because they are valuable partners in this mission. i don't believe that -- i know that nobody is going to get a briefing that is ahead of what
the president tells the members of congress and the american people. >> how director of a message is he going to have tomorrow night -- direct of the message is he going to have tomorrow night for enemies of the region, like osama bin laden and other al qaeda leaders? >> we are there at the president has moved an additional 30,000 or so forces in march, with the stated mission to dismantle, disrupt, an historic al qaeda. that mission remains the same. -- and destroy al qaeda. that mission remains the same. the president will discuss the actions we can take in that region to address the violent extremism. obviously, that will be a healthy portion of the speech. >> was mr. orszag there yesterday? >> the members in the oval
office, the situation room -- there were no additions to that. >> will this be put off until fiscal -- >> let me get better guidance on that decision, and we will get a better sense of that once the president makes the decision. >> [unintelligible] >> there have been discussions. i don't have anything conclusive. >> do you have a range? >> i think the rough map wheat used before is applicable -- we used before is applicable. for 10,000 troops, it is $10 billion. that is the rough estimate that people have been using both here at the pentagon. -- and at the pentagon. >> what about the idea that he
administration has not figured out how to pay for this? >> i will not get into detail about some of the discussions had here. the costs of our involvement in afghanistan, both in terms of our men and women in uniform, the health of the force, and what this will mean a budget early -- will mean budgetarily i assure you has been part of the discussion from the beginning. major? >> does the president support or oppose it were taxed? -- oppose a war tax? >> i have not been involved in those -- >> position one way or the other -- no position one way or the other?
with talking to international leaders, is a partly to hear from them the commitment that will make, and to explain not only what the united states will do, but what international partners will do? >> this is an international effort. this is not one country's problem, because tourism is not just affect one country or one region, -- the world terro -- terrorism does not just affect one country or one region of the world. i would refer you to nato in terms of whether or not there are specific contributions or contributions they make as part of this. .
i have seen already reports a day of british announcements. as i said earlier, the australians committed a greater number of forces back in the spring when the president dedicated more american forces. so some of this has come as a part of the security buildup toward the elections. some of this may come as a new force contributions. >> the primary mission the president will talk about going forward will be training afghan forces. it will also obviously be a combat mission --
>> there is no doubt that there will be some amount of counter- terrorism, and there will be fighting back against insurgents. >> side by side -- >> sure, our efforts will continue. >> new primary mission will be of these new -- >> prior emphasis has to be on the training of afghan security forces. -- primary emphasis. again, we are not going to be there forever, and we can't and we do not have the resources, manpower, or budget to be primarily responsible for afghanistan. afghans have to be primarily responsible for that security through increased training so that once an area is cleared or health, it can be transferred eventually to the afghans to -- once an area is cleared or held. >> why is it a good idea for the
president to arrive at the beginning of the climate top negotiations as opposed to the end when the deal will be struck? and second, does the white house have a comment on the controversy of the tax e-mails as a just as some of the propositions put forth by climatologists may be in error or may have been altered in some way? >> second part, i think carol browner addressed that last week. order several thousand scientists have come to the conclusion that climate change is happening. i do not think that is anything that is, quite frankly, among most people in disputed any more -- and in dispute anymore. in terms of where the president goes, obviously, we believe that progress has been made in the developing nations. the u.s. has made some progress with the chinese and indians over the past couple of weeks. the president will travel to oslo, and he believed it was
important to use this visit to help get us to the point of a deal, something that can take the type of action the scientists say needs to be taken to stop and reverse climate change. i think the president believes that a visit happening at the beginning is just as important as it would be at any point to getting that deal going quicker. >> can i follow that up? is it possible the white house could have done more to assist the secret service to prevent that situation? >> again, there is an ongoing investigation. >> just a two-part.
are you aware of the published list of 31,000 scientists who oppose this idea of global warming? 26,000 of them are phd. >> i do not doubt that there is such a list, lester. i think there is no real scientific basis for the dispute of this. >> the white house list of those attending the first state dinner listed "the hon. robert gibbs, white house press secretary," and my question -- can you name any previous press secretaries who were given the title usually reserved for judges?
>> as somebody intimately familiar with the thinking of the hon. robert gibbs -- >> i did not say you were dishonorable. >> i write all those. it was a flattering promotion that i'm sure the press secretary was quite honored to have. >> the president wanted this? >> i daresay that the president is quite busy doing a number of things. i seriously doubt he was proofreading the press release guest list, but i will double check. >> last night on increasing senior vice is on the decision, essentially closing the book on the internal deliberations of the last six months over this, and there has been so sharp disagreements on approach. i'm wondering -- is the president at all concerned of the morale of his group of rabbis is that came around to
talk about this -- group of advisers that came around to talk about this? >> i think that -- and i know you have an opportunity to hear from and talk to people that participated in what i think to a person with scenes discussions that have made this policy better. look, i know there is a washington game of trying to pick winners and losers. i think when people step back and look at what the president's ultimate decision will be, i think that everybody sitting in that room had a valuable contribution in making this a better policy for the men and women in our armed services, and, quite frankly, for each and every american. i do not think anybody participated in this process thinking, "if i argue something in the situation room and it is
not adopted, that somehow i have lost." i think each and every person -- i daresay -- well, i will not say that. i think each and every person helps contributing to make this a better policy for the united states. >> you have the commanding general in afghanistan and the top american diplomat, was sort of publicly disagreed over approach. is there concern specific to them that they can carry out a decision? >> i think suffice to say that leaving the discussion last night, both of those individuals in afghanistan and the president felt very good about our way forward. >> changing the topic quickly to health care, does the president still believe he will be signing health legislation by the end of the year? >> he hopes to. >> you say that he hopes so. in the past, he had said that he
expected to. does he still expect that he will? i >> not know why he would not meet the deadline. >> i as much to be clear about what the president is going to say tomorrow night if i may be asking -- by may be asking what he will not say. >> 0 go back to the speech in terms of the degree of specificity. i think the president will talk about and allude to the cost. i do not know if it gets down to the granular to of the exact dollar amount for each and every thing. quite frankly, some of that is going to depend on decisions -- logistical decisions that are ultimately made. >> he clearly is not going to give us a plan for how he will pay for it tomorrow night, correct? >> i do not think that is the intention. >> the president is pretty scathing about the bush
administration is a failure to do that with iraq? >> i think this was something that was not contemplated as being part of the regular process. we have talked about this before. one of the reasons that we are involved in a lengthy debate on health care is we have had a lengthy debate on how we are going to pay for an initiative of the president's. i anticipate that these will -- these are discussions as it relates to other priority -- these are discussions that will be joined as it relates to other priorities as well. >> what is your answer to the people who say that you're basically telling enemies to just wait as out -- wait us out. >> that, to me, does not make
any logical sense. if you believe that a certain insurgency has the momentum and they are increasingly occupying and attacking and gathering more space, are you saying that all we have to do is say we are going to leave at a certain date, and they will stop the pursuit of their momentum? if that is the case, maybe presidential just say that. it does not actually make any -- i mean, it is a great talking point. it does not make any logical sense. >> what about the argument about erstwhile allies like the people in pakistan or even warlords in afghanistan, that there will hedged their bets that we are not going to stay -- >> the president put his hand on the bible on a cold day in january, and there are twice as many courses as there were then. there is not anyone who can question the resolve of this cheap to put the resources -- chief to put the resources on
what he saw was a threat. i do not think anybody could make that argument. >> this was an extraordinary process, a lot of meetings, a lot of questions that bore down in a way that may be unprecedented. >> i think the president and every participant will tell you they are glad of that. what happened was we bore down on this in a way that i dare say had not yet been done. without revealing confidences, there was discussion in these meetings about the fact that we were talking about a resource -- an effort that had been under resourced for quite some time. >> was there a turning point in the process? was there a moment when the president kind of shows one path instead of another? can you talk about this
extraordinary -- >> i do not think there was a single inflexion point or eureka or epiphany. i think over the course of these discussions, there -- the president and the group of advisers, his group of advisers settled on a decision that i think you will hear tomorrow people are very comfortable with. speaking >> of epiphanies, the president has not had a full press conference more more than -- for more than four months. his appearances would join leaders have been cut down to one question on each side. does he feel that kind of exchange with the press is no longer use will to him? >> i think we have some upcoming interviews with abc, which i think would probably provide the president with the unique opportunity -- i picked that
that were just out of there. i think the president has -- in fact, i think the last time we got a question about the president answering questions, if i'm not mistaken, it was -- he was overexpose? hard for me to imagine that the president would commit himself to so many questions that the pundit-ocracy would say he is overexpose, but the new opinion would be that he is not taking of questions. you'll be taking questions from reporters throughout the process, and i assume he will continue to do so. >> you said this morning that the president had given orders in the oval office over the weekend. are they being carried out now? >> i suspect that they are acted upon by those whose job is to implement them, yes.
>> will general mcchrystal be in town? >> believe he will be in afghanistan tomorrow, and i believe in the coming days -- i do not know exactly when -- he and ambassador will travel to the hill to testify. david. >> earlier, you said that the primary mission in afghanistan is to train and setup afghan security and police forces to fight the on popular insurgency there. you did not mention al qaeda in a statement. i assume there is a connection. can you lay out what the connection is? and does the president still believe -- let me ask you this -- how does the president these days assess the threat posed to the united states by whatever remains of al qaeda? >> i do not think you have to
dig deep into news clips to see, and you certainly do not into the president's daily intelligence briefing that the threat from al qaeda exists in very real ways. not just emanating from the border region of afghanistan and pakistan, but throughout the world. the reason that al qaeda was in afghanistan was because al qaeda had the safe-haven protection of a government run by the taliban. i think what the president will discuss tomorrow is ensuring that we prevent the taliban from being capable of controlling government of afghanistan as well as incapable of providing safe haven from which al qaeda can plot and undertake terrorist
activities like we have seen happened previously in the united states. >> to do that, do you have to have a complete success with the counterinsurgency, so that there are no brennans left of taliban? >> i will let the president go through some of that. >> two congressmaen put in a bil calling for a surtax in 2011. i understand you have not heard any discussion on it, but when the president meets with centrist tomorrow, will he give them any guidance on that? >> [inaudible] >> will they try again to engage iran, continued a process that started a few months ago, or should we be at a turning point with the announcement from iran yesterday? >> that is a question for the iranians. the iranians should quite clearly understand their
responsibilities and obligations under international treaty that they signed, okay? the iranians have been rebuked for their actions with a single -- by a single international voice through a strong vote in the iaea board of governors. if they make the decision to fulfill their responsibilities and obligations, then the international community would welcome back. if they decide not to fulfil those responsibilities and obligations, then all i can say to the iranians is, "time is running out." thanks, guys. >> thank you, honorable. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> early today, british prime minister gordon brown announced a true increase in afghanistan.
president obama is expected to talk about the same issue tomorrow in an address to the nation that discourages 40 8:00 p.m. -- that is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. eastern. in just a few minutes, the focus is on the obama administration and hiv/aids policy, posted by the white house. that begins at 2:30 eastern. also live on c-span. after that, a live discussion over reporting from iran after the recent elections. that will begin at 4:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. as we look live at the u.s. capitol where the u.s. senate will start debating health care later today. right now, and our of general speeches. that starts at 2:00 eastern. the debate will get underway at 3:00, and already senate majority leader harry reid is saying the senate will work through weekends to get health care down, possibly beginning this weekend -- the date will get under way at 3:00. a reminder that it took up 30, we will have live coverage of
the white house discussion on hiv aids policy. until then, i look at how cyber warfare is being waged more freely, not only against military, but also commercial and economic topics as the targets as well. host: i joined by shane harris, correspondent with the national journal. your november 14, 20009 cover story. what is a cyber war? we can imagine, but what is it really? guest: imagines that of a conventional war that would take place on the battlefield or the air or sea, what you are talking about and the context of cyber war would be two nations, or a group on behalf of nations, battling it out over the network, cyberspace, trying to assert dominance over computer systems were using their computers to attack the network for critical infrastructure like electricity, power plants.
duking it out of line to try to have real world consequence. host: talk about how it was used during the iraq war. guest: it started essentially in may of 2007 when the surge was just fighting to ramp up in iraq and the major troop surge, we are all familiar with. the director of national intelligence, mike mcconnell, former director of the national security agency, the largest intelligence agency, had a meeting with president bush and white house where he asked authorization for the president to use what he called information warfare against insurgents in iraq and the war fighters who were scoring dramatic victories with the improvised explosive devices. the key here is manning were using cell phones and computers to coordinate and plan their attacks and in many cases have been posting video of the attacks did internet which they could use as a recruitment vehicle, which has a demoralizing fact, i think even at home as well.
what he wanted to do is get the president's fourth organization that allowed his old agency to launch what is called a computer network attack on the devices being used by those insurgents and a fighter groups in iraq. according people i talked to about this, including people in the room when he made the request, and allow our intelligence agencies to get inside the system and have given them the capabilities of the when some important things, tracking people using them, locating them, and potentially sending false and formation under the guise of posing as one of their own which could have led them into harm's way or into the sites of our troops with some people did tell me in fact occurred. host: you wrote former officials and knowledge the computer attack, all of them requesting anonymity be on techniques, saying it helped turn the tide of the war. even more than the thousands of additional ground troops but was ordered to iraq, the credit the cyber attacks with allowing military planners to track and kill some of the most
influential insurgents. the cyber intelligence augmented inflation coming in from aerial drones as well as expanding network of human spies. guest: one of the more extraordinary things about this particular attack. it did have the effect of being able to give more what the military and intelligence community it said was actionable intelligence. when you augmented it with the information coming in from the drums with a better human intelligence, that the military commanders in the theater were getting, it's sort of combined to create -- it sort of combined to create a real-time situational awareness. people like talked to said this is something that really was not held at the time i think partly because it was classified in nature but and therefore -- there few did a lot turning the tide. remember, a lot of these networks of and surgeons and born fighters so vexing u.s. forces were dependent on his communication or but -- networks. if you could compromise that it
created a serious strategic advantage we could exploit and apparently we did. host: cyber warriors already deployed of around the world and like other our arenas the u.s. does not have been made and the damage that can be inflicted is so great that restraint is the first rule. tell us where the u.s. stance in terms of being competitive? guest: people say it is a three- way tie for first. there are really three nations that have the capability and xbox -- expertise to be a formidable and credible force and the cyber war context. united states, china, and russia. none of the countries are admitting secrets about how they are pursuing cyber warfare as part of the legitimate strategy for component part. the reason we are falling behind is because cyberspace is a battlefield that could easily be contested. there are no borders to it, but
armies are not deployed at that are in land and sea and air. not -- much more difficult if not impossible to control that space the way you would a terrestrial space. i think all three of those nations, and others, have seen how critically important this is going to be to military strategy, both because military communications depend upon cyber, civilian, and if you could really cripple a nation's ability to see and to communicate, it is an extraordinary strategic advantage. we have known that for centuries in warfare. we know the internet, the web is so integrated in everything that i think a lot of nations estimations it would be foolish not to pursue this as a strategy. but obviously clearly the u.s. is out there leading that charge and we have used the techniques before but we have not gone as far as some nations have in warfare, and i think clearly there is no guarantee we will take the lead in that space, either. host: restraint. talk about some of the danger.
and give as examples you mentioned about when it could of been used. there was a recognition it could essentially go out of control. host: in the spring -- guest: in the spring of to thous and three military leaders look at using cyber attacks to knock out or cripple the banking system in iraq. the idea was if you could disable financial networks that saddam hussein and ed ba'ath party would find it difficult to move around the lead the country, like freezing assets. the reason why it was called off was because when you launch a computer network attack or a cent to do something like release a computer virus, something people are more familiar with, there is always a risk that it may affect one system, but when you are trying to target, but it could quickly extend to the network to affect other systems you did not mean to target. in this case the planners determine the networks that
controlled the banking system in iraq were connected to networks that controlled banking systems in france as well and that the risk was deemed too great. that if you attack the banking system in iraq -- iraq you could of a spillover or collateral damage to an allied country. that is always a big risk living in the background when planners are talking about and all outside attack, is how can you guarantee you gun-control its effects and how can you know it will not get out of control and potentially harm an ally or come back at you. why the u.n. does military in particular has shown a lot of restraint and hesitation deploying these things without really a lot of clear thinking into what the effect is you want to achieve and without giving high level authorization. in the case of 2007 in iraq, that authorization came from the preseftiá,#
but the 911 terrorist had rather than crash and buildings into a crashing airplanes into buildings in new york, had gained access to its financial institution and corrupted the data so that it could not do business and essentially had to close down, that the economic consequences of the cyber attack would have been greater than the economic consequences of the actual attack, which we all know where actually sit here. the presidents and incredulous about this in turn to henry paulson, the treasury secretary at the time, and asked him if it was true. issued and that was and said that in his former role as a ceo of goldman sachs, that his number one security fear was that someone would do exactly what mcconnell had just described, get into a financial institution, corrupt the data, which in fact could lead to what
you're talking about, a run on the bank, and loss in confidence. we saw that playing out in a financial crisis when banks were doing by the market to be potentially insolvent or holding some toxic assets that people were interested in withdrawing the money from those banks. guhost: we are talking about cyber wars, and this relates to a story he did recently this month. you can give us a call. we are also on line. you can find us at twitter, and you can e-mail us. you talk about over the fourth of july weekend this year, a series of attacks on websites used by the white house, homeland security, service, nsa, the defense department -- what was done? was this a trial run or a warning, perhaps? >> it is unclear to me precisely
what the nature of these attacks were, but the telling aspect of what happened is i think the immediate resumption was that because these were attacks that were on u.s. websites and sites in south korea, which is potentially being launched from north korea? the north koreans have been pretty vocal as have chinese and others including us, about the fact that they are interested in pursuing cyber war. one of the things making it a little bit skeptical about this is that north korea does not really have much internet connectivity, much less electricity in some places, so it leads to a question about how there would be able to do something like this, but the key underlying fact of this is that while people suspected perhaps the north koreans, no one could be absolutely 100% sure, and not with an uncertainty that we could have actually formulate a response to the attack, and this is one of the bedeviling aspects of cyber war. that this inability to have 100% attribution -- they call it -- to know precisely where the attack came from mixed response particularly difficult.
if someone launches a missile at the united states, we could know where the missile came from. is not the same with a cyber attack, and that makes the -- responding to it problematic and legally difficult as well. caller: good morning. i have two questions. i will make the first one quick. i'm not concerned about a cyber attack, but what would happen in general terms it, like, the chinese were to knock out our satellites? and my other question was more about the ethics of cyber attacks, i guess. like i heard you say before that america's military decided to launch a cyber attack, but then only after they examine the consequences, we just did not want to ruffle the feathers of the french. if we decide to do it to
someone, why would we not expect someone to decide to do it to us? that kind of thing. so thank you very much. >> to take your last question, i think you have hit upon something that is a really good point. there's a question of, "want somebody do this to us? and why should we have qualms about doing this to them?" so far, we have had some restraint, and so far, we have seen nations not using restraint. two key examples would be a cyber attack that was launched against estonia after a dispute that estonia was having with officials in russia over a soviet-era war memorial statute. there was a very large cyber attack that kind of laws -- not the government and the country offline for a while. that was attributed. also, the russians are believed to have used cyber warfare techniques in advance of their conventional invasion of georgia
a few years ago. when that happened, probably a lot of people in the military and intelligence community were asking the question you have just raised. we have presumably operating under this principle of restraint. is anyone really going to be bold enough, some might even say reckless enough, to try this? what had happened in estonia and russia, i think that people in the u.s. military got their answer. at the same time, i do not think it has made the question and a clearer of one we would strike compared to what we would not. you based the question of ethics, and that may be a decent way of raising the question here on a case by case basis, with what the effect be? what will actually do? obviously in 2003, it decided not to do an attack on the banking system. in 2007, things changed, and we went after a different kind of target, so clearly, the military has the capability to decide to strike first, but it is always on a case by case basis. i think the united states is
going to be continually reluctant to use the kind of large-scale attacks that have been attributed to estonia. in a case of the chinese knocking out satellites, it is another interesting question. i ask the question of what would constitute a cyber war or an act of cyber war on the united states, and the answer was that there may be some debate about whether or not a network attack qualifies as an act of war, but knocking out the satellite would more clearly be in the realm of an act of war. how people make those distinctions can almost be an arcane matter at some points, but clearly, there is this lingering question of what is a cyber attack, what constitutes an act of cyber war. that question has not been answered yet. host: we have a question from twittered. -- from twitter.
guest: this has been a really hot issue, and i'm sure a lot of viewers saw the piece talking about the black hats in brazil. hast of reporting on the ability of foreign governments to penetrate the electrical grid, and president obama has said that cyber intruders have in fact it down like. there is some debate about what damage they have cost, and i think this is the hottest of hot button issues right now, and security is protecting the grid. the grid, or at least many parts of it, are run by control systems, and essentially, these are devices that are kind of like the brain or the functioning modules, it you like, that have the power grids what to do and allow people to run them remotely, and this is good for the power industry because you can run power systems very efficiently over network. problem is of those devices are sitting on a network, they are vulnerable to people who might try to commandeer them, and
there are those who believe that is happening. going forward, the interest of congress right now -- >> we're leaving washington -- we're leaving "washington journal" at this point. as a white house for monday efforts to combat hiv and aids. this is live on c-span. >>, and welcome to the white house and good afternoon. we are here today on the eve of what stage they 2010 to commemorate this important day of remembering and recommitment. we have come a long way in responding to the agency pandemic, but we have much important work left to do. i like to acknowledge some of the key leaders in our audience from we have with us today. first, a champion among all congressman -- champion among all, congressman barbara ley, where are you? [applause] she is chairman of the congressional black caucus, and she just told me that she moved
back from much warmer climates to be with us today. she has long been a champion for people living with hiv aids -- a to b/aids. -- people living with hiv/aids. and the mayor of the district of columbia. joining us in audiences gail smith, special assistant to the president, senior director for development of democracy, as responsible for global health policy and national security secretary. were you? i know i saw you. [applause] the president's commitment to hiv/aids is demonstrated by the strong leadership of the team he has assembled within his administration, and we are so fortunate today to be joined by some of the administration's top leaders in this area on hiv/aids. first, we are going to hear from secretary clinton.
then, we will be hearing from secretary kathleen sibelius. she will be followed by ambassador at large of the global is coordinator, and i'm also pleased to welcome the special guest, the president- elect of the international aids society. finally, you'll be hearing from the director of the white house on international aids policy and a senior adviser on disability policy. he will give the closing remarks today. we have major accomplishments to celebrate. but we also know that there is much work to be done. the president's commitment to fighting hiv/aids is personal. during the course of his career, he has traveled around the country, and he has been touched by so many people across the country who are fighting with hiv/aids right now. we're not always very good at talking about hiv, and we have
to do a better job of talking about it in our places of worship, throughout our communities, our organizations, our schools, and, of course, our workplace. my commitment is also very personal. you may have noticed since you arrived that we have panels that are commemorating aids memorial quilt that are hanging all are around the white house, and we also have a large red ribbon displayed at the front of our white house. i cannot see these without thinking about people in my life who have lost their lives to a charity/aids. i lost my sister-in-law die and tragic death. i saw members of her family and her 5-year-old daughter, who all struggled with her death. i also have close friends, who have either passed away as a result of aids or are living with aids right now, so it is a very deep and personal commitment for me. we have members of the white house staff who have hiv, and as a black woman, are also have to say that it is heartbreaking to see how many black women are affected by hiv.
black women have it 15 times greater chance of being infected than white women. within the african american community, that accounts for 13% of the population in the united states, almost half of the incidents, 46% of the new infections, are within the african-american community. the news about hiv, however, is not all grin. in addition to launching the global health initiative, the president has made a commitment to developing a new national hiv/aids strategy. this will not make every problem go away, but it does create a real opportunity in strides in our government's efforts to combat hiv. one thing we know about president obama is he makes his decisions grounded in fact. one of the facts about hiv is that it has always been a disease that disproportionately impacts underserved in disadvantaged communities. in our country, this includes communities of color, day and
bisexual men, people dealing with addiction, and people who are homeless -- gay and bisexual men. in recognition of world aids day, let's recommit ourselves to increasing awareness about how to prevent hiv ensure access for all people living with the disease. with this, i like to introduce you to secretary clinton. thank you. [applause] >> as valerie leaves, i want to thank her for her leadership on this and so many issues here in the white house and in the administration for her personal testimony as the importance of this issue for her, for president obama, for all of us. we are gathered on the eve of world aids day to renew and recommit ourselves.
it is obvious to those sitting in this audience as i look out at you and see people who have been involved in this struggle for a long term, that you know that we have made progress, but we face an unending pandemic, one that spares no one, that unfortunately come disproportionately affects the most vulnerable, and which is the defining health challenge of our time. we have to address it through a series of broad and cost-cutting global partnerships, and the whole government approach, and that is exactly what we are attempting to do. we know the ravages and complexities of hiv/aids here in our own country, and we know many of us what it looks like our around the world -- what it looks like around the world, but
we can take some heart in the progress that has been made over the last two decades. access to anti-retro viral treatment in low and middle- income countries has risen tenfold in the last five years. new hiv infections have fallen by 17% over the last eight years. and much of that progress has been due to the concerted efforts of the united states government and our partners. i want to applaud president bush for making a serious commitment to american leadership in combating hiv/aids. his administration spearheaded the creation of the president's emergency plan for aids relief. the united states has made the largest effort in history by any nation to combat a single disease. i remember well serving as a senator from new york, how there was bipartisan support on behalf
of this initiative and the extraordinary commitment of dollars and technical assistance that backed it up. it has provided life-saving anti retro viral treatment to men, women, and children worldwide. we supported care for more than 10 million people, including 4 million orphans and vulnerable children. the efforts to prevent mother to child transmission have helped nearly 240,000 hiv-positive mothers give birth to children who are hiv free. it is clear that our nation's investments are having an impact, and president obama is dedicated to enhancing america's leadership in the fight against global aids with pepcar serving as the cornerstone of our health care initiative to promote better and more sustainable
outcomes. later this week, the ambassador will prevent the five-year strategy, outlining the important role that will play in transitioning from emergency response to a sustainable health systems that help meet the broad medical needs of people with hiv and the communities in which they live. in its next phase, the programs will support a comprehensive government approach in many countries to increase awareness, reduce the stigma, and get services to people at earlier stages. obviously, our efforts our efforts. whenever discrimination of certain populations results in less effective average and treatment, so we will work not only to ensure access for all that is needed but also to combat discrimination more broadly. we have to stand against any efforts to marginalize and
criminalize and penalize members of the lgbt community worldwide. it is an unacceptable step backwards -- [applause] on behalf of human rights, but it is also a step that undermines the effectiveness of efforts to fight the disease worldwide. we will also redouble our efforts to address the needs of women and girls who are disproportionately affected by hiv/aids in many parts of the world. promoting the health of women strengthens families and communities and have positive spillover effects in areas like poverty reduction in education. since we know the most effective health programs are integrated with functioning local and national governments, we will work with partner governments to assess capacity, identify gaps, and make customized plans to
meet each country's needs. that means creating more programs like the ones that did ambassador and i visited over this summer. in angola our framework supports the country's aged the national strategic plan to strengthen the healthcare infrastructure there. we visited a clinic in south africa, which we co-sponsored with the south african government and heard from patients who not only receive care but also support as they face stigma associated with hiv and aids. al investments have made a positive difference, and we will continue our support, but we have to do more. we have to make sure that our programs foster conditions that improve people's lives and in turn promotes stability, prosperity, and security. in his time very tight budgets in our own government and our own people suffering from
unemployment, from other kinds of cutbacks in services, we have to do more even here at home. we have seen some of the results of the cutbacks that are happening at the state and local level, so while we are talking about our commitment internationally, let's not forget our fellow citizens who are suffering right now. we also have to make the case to our fellow citizens that our investment in dealing with the pandemic worldwide is in america's interests, so we are committed to doing so. president obama is implementing the repeal of the hiv entry ban, a longstanding policy that prevented people living with hiv/aids from entering our country. the repeal will take effect earlier in the year, and we will be vigorously enforcing it. today, i am pleased to announce
that with the repeal of the band, the international aids society will hold the 2012 international aids conference in washington, d.c. [applause] this conference will draw together an estimated 30,000 researchers, scientists, policy makers, healthcare providers, activists, and others from around the world, so as we look to 2012, we have to continue to seek a global solution to this global problem. world aids day, let us renew our commitment to ensuring that those infected and affected by hiv, the woman on treatment who is supporting her family, the child who dropped out of school to care for sick parents, the doctors and nurses without adequate resources, that all
those who have joined together to fight this pandemic will someday live in a world where hiv/aids can be prevented and treated as a disease of the past. thank you all very much. [applause] >> well, it is my great pleasure to have an opportunity to join secretary clinton, not only on the stage today, but more importantly, to work on this important issue nationally and internationally. i think that collaboration and cooperation between the department of state and the department of health and human services has never been stronger. ambassador, thank you so much for your great work. is great to have an international ambassador here in the white house. this really is an example of the
kind of collaborative effort that is under way to combat the spread of aids and to deal with the pandemic worldwide. we are pleased to join secretary clinton in welcoming back the international aids conference to the united states, and i want to also acknowledge that valerie has already talked about congresswoman lee, but without her tireless efforts, this would not be announced today, and the reminder during my early confirmation visits, the first thing she asked me was when is that been going to be lifted? i reminded her that i was not yet the secretary, but i would be happy if confirmed to take it on. the aids entry ban, the hiv entry ban was a policy that tore apart families, kept people from
getting tested, forced others to hide their hiv status and forgo life-saving medication. most of all, it did not reflect america's leadership in fighting the disease on the world, so it was fulfilling to sign the papers, to get rid of the entry ban earlier this year, and that really delivers on a commitment made by president obama during his campaign for the presidency when he made the case that this man had to go, so we celebrate on the eve of world aids day this step forward, but we have good knowledge as we make this step forward that we have a long way to go. you have heard from secretary clinton about the great success pepcar has had, but we also know there are way too many places where too many people are acquiring hiv and dying too young from this disease.
so in its next phase, our challenge will be to build on a successful interagency model we have created under the leadership of secretary clinton and ambassador tuesday, and that means working with partner governments to create the kind of local health infrastructure that we can sustain for help improvements we are aiming for. as the head of the department that has over 1000 employees in more than 30 countries, working to implement pepcar, i can tell you hhs is very excited to take this next step, and i want to abolish the fact that we have many department leaders here with us today, and they are just representative of the team hhs, eager to work collaborative we on this challenge.
as big as our challenges and opportunities are on the one, we cannot forget that there is a lot more work to be done here at home. according to our latest data, more than 56,000 americans are newly infected with hiv each year, and what's more disturbing is this number is not going down. if our results are not changing, and our actions have to change, and that is why this summer, president obama launched an ambitious campaign to develop a national hiv/aids strategy that will reduce the spread of hiv, increase access to care, and improve health outcomes for people living here in the country with hiv. hopefully, eliminating h.i.v.- related health disparities right here in the united states. as part of that campaign, the director of our office of national aids policy and my
department have spent the last few months hosting community meetings are around the country to hear from state and local leaders and americans living with hiv/aids about what the component of the new domestic strategy should be. what we know is we need to do a lot better job reaching the groups that have been hardest hit by hiv/aids. here in washington, d.c., mr. mayor, i'm sure you are aware that one in 16 african american men are hiv-positive, and if you look at just the gay men in the community, the numbers are even more staggering. in 2005, the centers for disease control found that in five major cities, almost half of all african-american gay men are hiv-positive. that is why we've recently launched a $45 million h.i.v.- a education campaign. it is our first federal hiv education campaign in 20 years,
it is specifically targeted to a desert communities including racial minorities, women, day, and bisexual men -- gay and bisexual men. we're also taking steps to ensure that americans get the care they need. earlier this year, we reauthorize the ryan white hiv/aids program, which provides some lifesaving care to more than half a million americans, and we will continue to work with congress to pass health care reform that will prevent americans from being denied coverage because of their hiv status and because they have a cap on that out of pocket expenses. this world aids day, we remember those who we have lost, look back on the lives that have been saved, and we rededicate ourselves to reaching all those affected by hiv/aids, not just around the globe, but here in our home communities and in communities across the country. to talk more about the announcement we are making
today, i would like to introduce a man who has been working to help people with aids for as long as we have had a name for the disease. [applause] >> thank you. it is really an honor to speak to you today. thank you for the introduction. i would like to offer special greetings to the members of the diplomatic corps from our partner countries who joined us here today. we are greatly appreciative of their presence, and we value their partnership with us. i see more people than i can count in the audience who are old friends that we have worked with for many years going through much of the epidemic. indeed, the last time we have an
international aids meeting in the united states was in san francisco. it was 1989, so it has been a long time. world aids day evokes memories for many of you, as it certainly does for me, and the urgency and providing prevention, care, and treatment services is fuelled by the memories of those we have lost. .
equally true -- [applause] >> it is equally true that the global aids emergency is far from over. countries still struggle with vast, unmet needs. there are vast, unmet needs in our own country. we need to work harder and smarter than ever before, laying the foundation that countries can build on for the long-term. later this week, as secretary clinton mentioned, we'll release the new five-year strategy that reflects what we have learned. it will be followed from the release of additional information and more detail on evidence based prevention, integration of programs, increased capacity building efforts, among other topics. pepfar's strategy will focus on
sustainability and the sustainable responses. programs that are country-owned and country-driven, programs that address hiv-aids and the broader context. programs that build upon our successes and incorporate efficiencies, programs that work with governments to support policy change to address discrimination, including as the secretary noted earlier, the situation in uganda. it will not be an easy task to transition our emergency response, especially as we maintain high quality of services. but the move towards sustainability is an essential one. as we expand our h.i. vimplet prevention care and treatment efforts we need to move our partners to create a shared vision of the global response to this global spobs built. i want to -- responsibility. i thank secretary see bell yuss in implementing pepfar over
1,000 h.s.s. employees dedicated to the implementation and evaluation and improvement of the programs and for its action to end the entry ban for people living with h.i.v., it moves us closer to ending the stigma worldwide and a shining example thereof. the stigma hinder our ability to provide preventive prevention, care and treatment services. it is important for us not only to support service delivery, but the policies needed to remove barriers to quality and accessible care. as secretary clinton noted, the removal of the entry ban paves the way for the u.s. to host the international aids conference once again in 2012 for the first time since the end of the 1980's. all of us are engaged in this work domestically and internationally. we rely on new data to deepen
our understanding of the science surrounding h.i.v. the international aids conference is important for the science and we look forward to deepening our partnership with the international aids society. i thank you very much for this opportunity. i want to introduce my friend and colleague, president-elect of the national aids society. [applause] >> i am honored to secretaries clinton and see bell yuss and the ambassador. i'm glad to be here for the announcement that washington, d.c. will be the site for the 19th international aids conference in 2012. the international aids society
is the world's leading independent association with over 14,000 members from 190 countries. our international aids society is to convene the conference -- international conference. the conference brings together sciencists and leaders from all over the world to evaluate the recent investments to force debate and dialogue to the end of the aids epidemic. aids 2012 will bring together more than 25,000 pell in washington, d.c. the city is deeply impacted by the epidemic. as its president-elect of the international aids society, i
will be very proud to serve as international co-chair of the aids 2012 alongside with my colleague who will be the u.s. co-chair. he is here with other members of the international aids governing council, including our current president. the governing council decided to hole the 2012 following president obama's announcement that the united states will end the entry restrictions on people living with h.i.v. this change is a victory for public health and human rights. it now calls more countries that still have similar policies that restrict the free movement of people with hiv-aids through
their borders to remove them immediately. i express our sincere gratitude for this approach the u.s. government and our research and civil society partners have shown for the conference and its aim. we will have a ever stronger partnership with others on the aids crisis in the united states and throughout the world. thank you very much. [applause] >> good afternoon. i'm the director of the office of national aids policy. i want to take one quick note, valerie acknowledged a couple of people in the beginning and i want to add one more person. within the white house, my office has lead responsibility for aids policy and she acknowledged gail smith and the
national security secretary and i want to acknowledge zeke emanuel. so thank you. [applause] >> since the inception of world aids day in 1988, consider progress that has been made. our investment in prevention has produced incredible united states. incidence has fallen to 56,000 cases a year currently. our investments in h.i.v. treatment has borne fruit. today, we have more than two dozen treatments that are saving lives and extending lives of people living with h.i.v. the development of these medications is important and it's important to share them with people who need them.
the president signed bipartisan legislation re-authorizing the ryan white hiv-aids program which provides care and treatment to over 500,000 people living with hiv-aids in the united states. he has determined to enact comprehensive health insurance reform that will make insurance coverage more available and secure for all americans, including people living with h.i.v. as you have heard, our efforts to combat h.i.v. extend overseas. with the leadership of former george w. bush and the american public, including many in our audience today we are the world's leader in fighting the pandemic. the pepfar program and other international efforts have given millions of people access to treatment and services. and in may, president obama announced his administration will build on these successes by doubling pepfar funding over the second six years expanding support for the treatment of neglected tropical diseases,
ramping up assistance for children's health and integrating these programs in order to better respond to the lives people live. holding the international aids conference in the united states in 2012 will give us the opportunity to reflect on our accomplishments in addresses hiv-aids and gives us an opportunity to learn from our international partners. the president's thrilled that the international aids society will hold its conference in washington, d.c. and we look forward to working with our local and federal partners to make this conference a success. we have major accomplishments to celebrate, but we know much work needs to be done. as we commemorate world aids day, let's increase awareness how to prevent the spread of hiv-aids and ensuring access to care for people living with the disease. this concludes our event. i thank you for joining us and thank you for your ongoing partnership with us on world aids day and every day of the
year. thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> a freelance journalist, photographer and documentary film maker talks about covering iran's recent presidential election and how he was held for three weeks in solitary confinement in tehran live today at 4:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> regulatings the internet, one of the topics tonight with
meredith baker, the newest republican commissioner at the federal communications commission on "the communicators" on c-span 2. c-span's student cam contest is here. $50,000 in prizes. top prize, $5,000, just create a video on one of our country's greatest strengths or challenge the country is facing and must incorporate c-span programming and show differing points of view. deadline, january 20. grab a camera and get started. go to studentcam.org for contest and info. >> the oil minister said now is not the time for opec to increase production because the global economy is still weak. he spoke at the u.s. energy association for about 50 minutes. >> i'm barry worthington.
and i must welcome c-span for covering our event this morning. we have one of the most respected energy experts, oil and gas experts anywhere in the world. a few of his key appointments have included serving as secretary general of opec for six years, serving as president of opec for nine sessions, a special adviser to the minister or to the president of nigeria for oil and gas, minister of foreign affairs, minister of mines, founder and chairman of the african petroleum producers association. our newsmaker session is on the record and we'll proceed with the doctor making remarks and
time for questions and answers and try to be done and finish by 12:00. i would like to thank bp as our sponsor of the energy "newsmakers" series and please join me in welcoming the minister of petroleum resources, federal republic of nigeria. >> thank you very much for your generous introduction and very happy to be with you this morning -- this morning -- yeah? we are a bit disoriented with jet lag, but i thank you, me and
my team for this opportunity. i introduce my colleague known as dr. energy, petroleum adviser and we have ahmad from the embassy. my assistant. and why are you hiding there? he is the secretary of oil and gas. i don't know what you would like me to talk about. i suppose talk about energy generally and maybe petroleum in particular. but maybe i should tell you why
we are here in washington. we came specifically to meet up with the world bank. as you know, we, in nigeria are having an important exercise in trying to reform our oil and gas industry, which exercise is in our view long overdue. the idea is to restructure the industry and put it on an keel and make it more consistent with best international practices. and one of the major ingredients of this exercise is to create a morrow bus national oil company,
international petroleum company into a company which will operate in a purely commercial undertaking distinct from the role it has played in the past, which is confusing because it was involved in policy in addition to being responsible for commercial operation of national oil and gas company. which, as you know -- we, as you know, nigeria is well endo youed with petroleum and gas. we are number one in oil and gas. the moment, we have proven reserves of oil of around 36 or so million barrels in the ground. we have the capacity to produce
3.6 million barrels per day. and we have -- we are a member of opec. we joined it in 1975. we are very much interested in developing our gas resources which have not yet been fully ploited in the past largely because we recognize that gas is a future energy -- it's going to be very important and our resource in gas is not equivalent to our resource in oil. some people have argued that we
are more of a gas country than oil country because the gas we are developing is associated. and we believe that if we do explore, we find more gas than we have right now. we are very key member of the organization of petroleum exporting countries >> we try to play our way in the international oil market by participating in supply and demand of the international community. we have mistakenly or wrongfully
have been accused of being a cartel. we're not. no cartel behaves like opec does , increasing production when prices go high and reducing production when prices go low in order to moderate the international market for the benefit of both producers and consumers. america -- united states is one of our major trading partners as far as oil is concerned. we supply the oil coming to the united states. oil goes to europe. so half and half, north america and some of it finds its way to the far east through various trading arrangements.
we believe that the current market situation is one that has to be andled with delicate hands because the international economy is still in the process of recovering. and until it's fully recovered, we have to be careful on how much oil we put in the market because if we're not careful, we could drive the prices very low that went as low as $30 a barrel at the height of the economic problems and the world experienced in the past year or so. we are hopeful that the recovery of the international economy will continue, in which case, we
may be able to produce and export more. we have -- i'm sure you have heard about our problems in the delta, which resulted in serious reduction of our capacity to produce and infrastructure. with the recent fortunate occurrence of the amnesty, we are hoping that we will be able to repair and put back some of the infrastructure which has been damaged during the insurgency. but this will take a little bit of time, but be that as it may, we are hoping that we should be able to resume both our oil and gas industry with the gaiter
benefit of our people. oil for us is very important aspect of our national economy. we are dependent on oil for exports. 90% foreign exchange comes from oil. substantial part of the government revenue, very high percentage, more than 80%, 90% comes from oil. so oil is extremely important for our country. and we are trying through various programs and devices to diversify the bases of our national economy so we will eventually be less dependent on oil and gas ultimately. we are diversifying various ways
toe on downstream extreme activities of refining and petro chemical and very much involved in the development of our gas resources through the supply through the west african gas pipeline. we have a major energy project already in production with two new l.n.g.'s and we have a proposed pipeline project which will deliver hopefully nigeriaian gas to mediterranean and to algeria. and we are internationally speaking very active member of
the petroleum producing countries in africa through which we try to coordinate the policies and activities of african producers of petroleum like we do in opec coordinating member countries policies and approaches so that oil industry can play a real meaningful part in the development of the evolution of the national and international economy. i could go on and on if you let me, but perhaps it would be more appropriate if people have questions that they would like me to address and spend more time on something that interests you rather than for me to ramble on and on and on.
[applause] >> any questions of the doctor. please identify yourself or the news organization. >> dow jones news wires. you said that the current market situation needed to be handled delicately and opec needed to take care in how much oil is put into the market. are you saying that -- can you expand on exactly what you mean on that. are you talking about having oil prices go too high for the economic recession? and in light of that, can you indicate what opec -- what you will be recommending that opec do in angola. >> what i meant is that from our computations, the international economy is still in the possess of recovering from what happened
a year or so ago and it would be foolhardy for us to assume that this international economy is out of the woods and pumping oil without hindrance. we know the prices have risen from the very low level of $30 a barrel to $70, $80 a barrel. but indications are that the stock levels are easing but not low enough. and we are just going into the winter season. so we have to be careful to see we don't unbalance the market by pumping too much oil. the international economy should
have as many oil as it can usefully consume to fire the economy. so it's a question of balancing. as to what we're going to do next month, i don't know. i think from experience, what opec does is to look at the whole picture, the whole situation at a time of the meeting and then take their best judgment what decision the market is calling for from the data that is developing. in this particular case -- my recommendation will depend on the facts at the time of the
meeting. >> my first question, one is regarding your talks regarding china international oil company and there are concern about what this will entail. other countries, oil-producing countries have been diversifying into various fields, chemical, refinery. is nigeria looking at doing that? there are a lot of chemical assets, also in europe and you bringing oil to europe and then expanding your export market? >> the exercise will involve all of the things you have mentioned. when it is put in place, it is permitted to go to the international oil companies.
investing and production of oil and gas outside the international borders and also getting involved in downstream activities of various types, including petrochemical, anything that will make its presence in the international arena more complete. the chinese are looking for opportunities and possibilities of participating in oil and gas industry and we welcome participation by other people. we are very well endowed with western companies like chevron, shell and maybe a mix wouldn't be a bad thing to balance the
equation as it were. >> i'm from the voice of america. i have two questions. recently, the military of nigeria asserted that the region is now stable. would that be your assessment. also from the economic point of view it is stable enough to do business with and others that are doing business in that part of the world will continue to do so without any similar -- previous concerns that they had? that's one, the second question is the refineries in nigeria, where are we in terms of physicianing the refineries in nigeria? >> well, the story has been a long one and very painful one for us as a country.
we are very delighted that the amnesty that the president had put forward is working and major insurgent groups have laid down their arms and the government is in the process of rehabilitating the former militants -- re-integrating them into nigeriaian society and we hope the arrangement will hold and develop nigeria into a quieter situation in the delta. in which case, investment will continue beth from the international oil companies and the new comers will continue to grole oil and gas industry in a more peaceful atmosphere. the refineries, again, is a
dishartening story because up to now, for instance, we are talking now two or three oil refineries are not functioning. why? the facilities have been very badly vandalized and the government was in the process of trying to repair those damages to enable us to deliver. and when that is done, we are hoping that we resume production. unfortunately, we have not managed our refineries as we should have done in the past. we have not maintained them when due. therefore, they were in various stages of repair which has to be corrected through the programs that will be instituted.
because there was a long period of neglect, the refineries i think will be able to perform when we start them up again. but we will have to ensure that they perform a lot better than they have done in the past. you are probably aware, they are trying to integrate the oil and gas industry because no question the government has a lot in subsidy and not allowing ordinary citizens to benefit from this subsidy regime. so we need to move the subsidy, not only to allow us to perform better -- they're not able to
sell to the market or regulate it. the re-integration is to allow the private sector to invest in refining, which they haven't been able to do because nobody in their right behind would produce that. we hope it will help to enable more people to build refineries, even the government itself, public-private sector to build more refineries. even if all the refineries are working at full capacity that we will be able to meet the total demand of petroleum products. some form of importation will have to continue.
so we need to expand the refining capacity by building new refineries and that will be further down the road. in the meantime, ensure that our refineries are doing better than they are doing now. >> energy intelligence group. thank you for being here. you mentioned the meeting with the world bank. what is it that the government of nigeria is looking in terms of its help in restructuring and creating the national oil company with a global reach? and what is the time frame you talk about it being ongoing for quite a while and where do we go from here? >> the world bank has helped other countries like ourselves to restructure the energy industries and we believe we can learn a lot from them, from their experts. and also, they have facilities.
so we are looking forward to them assisting us in formulating governance procedures for our ventures. and also the various subsidiaries of the national oil companies that will be put in place. they can also help us with structuring the outfit in such a way to attract the right type of financing so we don't have to rely on government to render operations of the joint ventures when we eventually incorporate. there are many things they can
do for us, training of our people, developing capacity in the individual bodies, et cetera, et cetera. >> is there a template, other examples of oil companies -- >> yes. when we are doing the restructuring, we looked at petro price, stock oil, to name just a few. and we crafted the bill and the structures we think we will put in place on the experience of other countries. we cannot create 100% from what malaysia did because our own institutions is not quite the same as these other countries. within the limits of able to borrow from, we have borrowed
extensively. and benchmark, it is not too harsh nor too generous. time frame, i don't know. we think we need the better part of a minimum of 12 months, max would be 30, 36 months to put all the form and structures and get everything along nicely. we have to give ourselves enough time to put things like that and develop procedures and practices and we are talking about -- drop a what are we going to do and procedure we need to follow and then put a time frame on the
political part of the various stages. >> reuters. thank you for speaking with us today. you mentioned that nigeria's oil production capacity was 3.5 million barrels per day? >> yes. >> what is the country's current production level and do you expect that to rise in 2010? if so, how much higher do you think it will go next year? >> well, potential capacity to produce 3.7. a lot of the facilities have been damaged and compromised during the insurgency. so a lot of our efforts is targeted towards restoring this potential capacity. how much it will produce depends on what the market is asking
for. we should be ready to produce to the maximum if the market calls for it. in any event, we want to maximize our revenues. at the moment, as you know, we are subject to opec. we hope it doesn't last too long. until the world economy went down, there was no quota in place and until the international economy recovers enough quite possible that the quota will be displaced or removed. but we don't want to wait until then. we want to be ready. [inaudible] >> current production, if you include crude oil, 2.5. [inaudible question]
>> i don't know about next year, but there is a potential we could produce 3.7. if the amnesty holds and there is peace and quiet in the delta, i don't know, maybe we don't need much more than 12 months to restore the facilities. [inaudible question] >> if allowed to go to quota-wise, let's say for the sake of argument, we could go up to 500 easy. i'm not saying we're going to do that. >> but you could? >> we could, by the end of next
year. >> iran is making the argument that it is seeking nuclear energy for energy profits. given nigeria's situation, any consideration for nigeria to follow suit, use its resources to produce nuclear energy? >> we have a nuclear energy commission in place, i hope that at the perfect time go to nuclear. with oil and gas, we have coal, of course wind, solar, these are all in the cards. talking about nuclear, we have discovered uranium in nigeria.
so it will we will have nuclear power generation. but at the moment, we want to concentrate on getting the basic gas-fired, coal-fired stations going. but nuclear option remains a potential. >> thank you for coming, doctor. did i understand that your government proposes to construct another company alongside or restructure? my other question is, can you
say something about the projects, multiple projects, some of which are being called mega projects that are being planned in the south, the delta, that have long been demanded by the people in the south, roads, rails, hospitals. >> we have quite a few new projects in the delta. most of our plants are in the delta. we have three out of four refineries in the delta. and on top of that, we have major infrastructure developing in the power sector, the delta area. so oil and gas production is
mainly coming from the delta and really big projects. and the major offshore oil-producing facilities in the regime are all in the general area. so there is no shortage of projects. [inaudible question] >> -- amnesty in the south and the insurgents are willing to do that currently because the government commits to building roads and railroads, hospitals and so on. can you say something about the recent developments on that front. >> well, don't forget, amnesty
is only a couple of months hold and the government -- in addition to what it is already doing. don't forget, we have a whole ministry of the delta specifically geared to the delta. we have a commission also specifically for the delta. on top of the government, they are involved in various infrastructure. what we are trying to do under the amnesty, the government has to rehabilitate the former militants by creating job opportunities through some of the things we're going to do, building roads, schools and hospitals and retraining the people from bang, bang, bang and developing -- train them for
mundane things like being electricians, carp enters, welders in the oil and gas industry. we need to train them first. instead of running around in the jungle with firearms. teach them a useful trade that he can deploy in the various activities. this is where the challenge is. and if we don't succeed in doing that we won't be able to keep them out of mischief for too long. this is an important aspect of what the government is trying to do. >> can you clarify what changes are being made? >> it is not a public corporation.
incorporate them into a limited liability company and incorporate laws so it will be a company in its own right independent of government. it will represent the government of nigeria and this is without prejudice to selling parts of shares of this company to the private sector. and we want to make sure that it operates as a commercial entity. as i said, it has been required to be concerned with policy and regulation and also to deal with things that are really commercial and very confusing. and governance is very difficult because i don't know what mandate -- going to make an oil and gas company.
this means completely orienting the organization from what it is now. we'll maintain it, but it's very well known national pet lum corporation between nigeria and national company limited. >> can i just ask you to clarify. you said, nigeria could increase its capacity to produce crude by 500,000 barrels a day next year. can you clarify what your current output capacity is. i thought you said 3.5 to 3.6. so i'm confused about the exact levels. and then will nigeria pump above
its agreed levels to make up for lost oil from the civil unress? >> i thought you'd ask that. but there's nothing to be confused. the guy at the table is the expert. we are potentially we should be able to produce 3.6 million barrels. we have the potential. but part of this capacity has been compromised through the militancy and vandalism. i said to you now that we are at peace -- when it was going on, we couldn't go to these places to repair. and people are being kidnapped off of oil rigs and funny things were happening. now that there is peace, we are able to go back to these facilities, check them out and try to put them back in the form that they can operate. whether we operate them or not depends on how much oil.
as we are talking now this very moment, we are doing 500,000 to 600,000 barrels and doing 7.8 million barrels of crude oil. it fluctuates from day-to-day. 2.5 myion. it's been about a week since we left home. do you know where we are right now? [inaudible response] >> it changes. but the fact that we can produce 3.7 billion barrels doesn't mean we will produce 3.7 million barrels. it will be on our commitment to operate and moderate production. we stand to lose more than anybody else if the price collapses. so we have a vested interest in maintaining good prices which is
used of pumping 3.5 million barrels. >> any more questions? >> mr. minister, i wanted to follow up on something you said about the privatization of downstream assets in nigeria and other petro chemical businesses. do you have such a time frame for asset sale? what kind of revenues could you see coming from that? and just in general. and have you had an expression of interest from other players in the sector? >> the privatization of some of the operation has been in our view obviously misconceived because the idea that privatizing everything that is owned by the government is nonsense because if we're going to grow it into a world class
oil and gas company, no way you could exclude them from any part of the oil and gas chain. so we have no problem with privatization. we have nigeria l.n.g. is a good example of public-private partnership and we are developing right now as we're speaking a model for our privatization of the refineries, which will be jointly built by l.p.c. and private people. so that will be private participation. we have to work it out. and talking about the bureau of public enterprises has advisers. they went too far. they sold some of our refineries
-- i won't say for nothing, but gave them away for a pittance and we said this isn't what we should be doing. we make sure we get good value for them. have you ever been to nigeria? >> no. >> you should. let us know when you come, we'll take you around and show you. our refineries are start of the art refineries. we have allowed them to go into disuse and not maintained them properly. but they are some of the best. i commissioned one of the refineries, the newest of them all. and when we built it, it was one of the best in the world, no, in the africa. and eventually, privatize, i don't know how much to extend,
50%. but we'll allow private sector enterprise. new ones we are building, public and private partnership. >> today, you spoke -- you expressed concern about making sure opec doesn't put too much oil in the markets, which could lower prices and you talked about how the global economy is still recovering. and here in the u.s., just today, the government revised down the economic growth of america. we are a big consumer of oil and import a lot. given that the economy in the u.s. is still going to be recovering, not there at least in the first quarter of next year, do you see a need at this point that what will happen economically in the first quarter, that there will be a need for additional oil supplies
from opec to meet demand in the first quarter globally? >> we have a robust division in opec. and at the moment, we are not looking to the united states or europe for demand for crude oil. we are looking more towards to china and the far east and developing countries of africa and the rate of growth of china has come up very strongly and so has india up to a point. and this is where the incremental demand is going to come from either from the united states or western europe. and if this recovery in the far east continues the way it is, we will -- we think we should be able to sell as much oil as we're selling now.
and if there is a bonus and growth in europe and north america even by a small amount, there may be room for a small increment in the quantity of oil that we are putting in the market. but at the moment, we don't see that that is such a likelihood. in the event of the international market calling for more oil and keep prices within reasonable level, then we are ready to put more oil. >> you said china and india in particular. recovering faster than europe. and if that is the case, you don't see a need for additional oil on the market from opec because current supply -- the current levels that opec is producing should be able to meet
that demand? >> up to a point. as i said, we don't try to second guess the market. we go by what is there at any particular moment in time. if i was in vienna or let me call vienna, i will tell you what the current structure level is all over the world and will tell you -- i don't know if you have the right computer, you could see what the price is doing, looking up and down perhaps moving between $75 and $80 now. and any particular moment in time, the price in the market is not only based on supply and demand fundamentals, there is a lot of speculation that goes on depending on what is happening to the dollar and moving in and out of oil and do move into oil, speculators tend to make the
price go up. if the dollar weakens, the dollar price of oil goes up. well, you know that. there are so many things that are playing all the time and just have to -- when the price goes up, i don't start jumping with joy. i see what is happening and i try to find out why. is it going up because demand is going up or because there is a speculator in the world is speculating. if the price shoots up and due to speculation, that's no basis for us to put more oil in the market. .
>> it is a pleasure to welcome you and your colleagues to the center. the floor is yours. >> thank you. thanks to c-span for bringing this to the audience beyond washington. thanks to the wilson center for hosting this event. bob's books on a rogue states and regime change are among the most lucid, insightful treatments of the challenges we face in countries like iran. the experience in an iranian detention center of his colleague, head of the center's middle eastern program, have taught us all about the nature of that country's current
government. so do the headlines we have been seeing the past six months from the tumultuous presidential campaign last spring and violent aftermath, a continuing protests, and right up through this morning as the government of president ahmadinejad shouting a defiant note to the international community's demand for pulling down its nuclear program. today's panel, we are pleased to be part of this with two people who know much about iran, the country's internal politics and how it has been trade in the western -- how it has been portrayed in the western media. a writer, photographer and documentary filmmaker, covering middle east and current affairs from his istanbul base. a graduate of oxford university and a fellow at oxford university. he also lived in tehran for three years of pursuing graduate studies. he was reporting on iran's presidential elections last june
on a grant from the pulitzer center when he was jailed at the direction of iran's intelligence ministry and held for nearly three weeks in solitary confinement. he was a consultant on a death in iran, a documentary for the bbc and front line, that aired earlier this month. barbara is one of the most experience diplomatic correspondence and editors in washington. currently assistant managing editor of the "washington times," she is responsible for world and national security coverage. she previously served as a senior diplomat reporter for "usa today" and has also written for "newsday," "the new york times," "newsweek," and "the economist." she's the author of "bitter friends, but some enemies: iran, the u.s., and twisted past two
confrontation." i want to take some time to tell you about the pulitzer center and how we became involved with this project. the pulitzer center is a non- profit journalism organization founded almost four years ago, and we are in the business of filling gaps in coverage of systemic crises around the world, and we collaborate with major news media outlets across the country and in europe and around the world in print, broadcast, radio as well as television, and we also have a very active presence on the web and in our education programs that high schools and universities in which we take the journals and that we sponsor out to younger audiences and try to engage them in the international issues that affect us all. at this point, this year, we are doing on the order of 50 projects around the world. we have partner with everybody from "newshour" and the "new
york times," the "washington post," most of the major news outlets. the "washington times" has been a wonderful partner of the pulitzer center and supported some really unique and and and reporting we have commission in a number of countries around the world, so we see our approach as very much a collaborative model, trying to stretch the available resources that all of us have to reach new audiences and to engage as many people as possible. i met yachts and when he was a harvard fell almost two years ago, and we talked about projects we might do together, and the first present to do was looking at internal conflict in turkey as part of the project we did last year. he went on from there to do work
for us when there was a student protest in greece, and that developed into a project for the pulitzer center. in the spring, we decided together that it would be very good for him to go to iran to cover the elections, and as a general rule, the pulitzer center is not about covering elections and the immediate aftermath of breaking news because we see that as something that i shall read the news media does do, the conventional media that, despite all the cutbacks, they still devote resources to those issues. but in this case, we knew that he was extraordinarily well versed in iranian politics and culture. his exhibit on children of the revolution, his photographic exhibit, was displayed here at the wilson center last year and across the country, and he has done some extraordinary writing and photography on iran based on the three years he spent their. became fluent in farsi and had a
wide range of contacts in that country, so i hope going in that he would be able to report not only on the election, but on the context behind it in a way that many other reporters, journalists who were coming in for a short term without the kind of background he had, would be able to do, so we were pleased to get him to tehran and to work with ed harris, to know that he would have out with in the american and european media. we were less pleased that a week after the election, that on his way out in with his visa had expired, he was taken into custody and detained and held in prison where he had nearly three weeks of exposure and it is very interesting, and i hope we will talk some today about his experience and compare that to the "newsweek" correspondent who just came out i guess after almost four months of detention.
they were in the same prison, came in about the same time and had different experiences. after iason cannot, he continued to cover the story in iran. i think that his perspective on trends in iran and looking at the media coverage and how the media function in a situation where first they were under extraordinary restrictions as to where they could go, what they could do in the immediate aftermath of the election, and then, you had people being arrested, and most of the foreign journalists being taken out of the country so that there were not able to report firsthand. how the report on the situation as it unfolds in that circumstance? so i think we will begin with iason to talk through the experiences that he had and his perspective on iran today, and then we will turn to barbara, also brings tremendous background on the subject to get
her perspective as well, and then we'll open it up, i hope, to q&a. >> thank you very much for coming today, and thank you very much for posting me. it is wonderful to be back at the woodrow wilson center. as john mentioned, -- as jon mentioned, we met on my lehman year, which came on the heels of three years living in iran. in fact, i made a secondary fortunate clinton's -- fortunate acquaintance that year, who was also sitting on this panel, who came to give a talk on her new book mit while i was at cambridge. this serendipitous of clinton's has led to us in a way being here today and along the way has led to some journalism being manufactured. i am half greek, half english. i grew up there and learned english when i was about 10, and
that opened the way to learning more languages like arabic at university. then i went to iran were either in person, and now, i am trying to learn turkish in istanbul. the whole idea behind journalism is to -- well, we're basically no longer in the age of the old foreign correspondent, who would parachute in somewhere, live life in a world of lesser are in an exotic capital and basically get the job done by his local contacts. local contacts are absolutely crucial today, more so than ever, but certainly, the budget that used to allow that kind of lifestyle no longer exists. so for someone who is by cultural -- bicultural and more
greek and english, it has been a real challenge trying to follow this path of journalism, which basically involves learning foreign languages, understanding foreign culture, and only then trying to write about them. hopefully, i would cover a culture with slightly more sensibility than would have happened if i did not speak the language. this posits a problem on both sides. on one side, you have countries that are not particularly acquainted with this idea of the u.s. media industry having gone there unbelievable tunnels in the past three years, and in iran, they still think that the "new york times" andy "washington post" -- this is the case still. they do believe that old template still holds, so when someone turns up who is a free lancer, who does not have a
specific affiliation, who speaks their language, this is in a way to challenge. the english seem to have this unique traits of being found universally suspicious by everyone. then, when you combine this with being greek, you guess with first imperialists, so i'm not doing very well on either side of my background. the other hand on the other side of the process when you are no longer in country or on the ground covering a foreign story, you have to deal with added is back home, and i have made a decision that i write in english, so i write for basically british or american newspapers, and there's a slight hesitancy to entrust someone who is not perhaps fully 100% of one place with telling a story. so again, all sorts of
challenges exist. that was the thinking that took me to the middle east and arab world and to three years in iran. the absolute godsend of the three years of living in iran, but fundamentally not particularly working in a particularly high profile as a journalist was coming across the pulitzer center, which is in itself a relatively new arrival in the scene in is basically filling in a block that is increasingly getting in deed -- emptied by the gradual destruction of the conservative media. this is the thing that took us to iran in elections over the summer where i returned for basically the second time since i left the country in order to do coverage of the elections, and it was a very strange time. this was not the man that i have
lived in between 2004 and 2007, and even with the stand while we were on the streets for those first few days, things would happen later on. in fact, things have changed, and perhaps they have changed without any hope of going back. i want to show you a clip now from the documentary that i consulted on for pbs frontline that shows those first few hours and days after the election results came out. there is very shocking election results for some new people, and all the turbulence that followed from that. >> there were a few girls, and we sat on the front line. the police would be more hesitant to shoot at a girl or beat a girl. little did we know that we would
be the first people to actually be attacked. of of a sudden -- all of a sudden i just felt something in my knee. it was so painful. i just passed out. >> she had been shot in the leg with a plastic bullet. >> the hospital was packed with the injured. i could not stop crying. and then i thought that all these people were going to die in front of me. my uncle's friend just left me. they attacked the arm of the hospital, and these people were, like, screaming and running away. when we think that they actually want to hit people who were laying down on the ground on the floor because there was not enough space.
>> i think the regime has been preparing for this for several years in fact, and i think that we saw the first sign of it back in september 2007 when the new resolution regard -- revolutionary guard commander announced, to the surprise of many iranians, announced that their greatest enemy was no longer a external threats. the biggest threat to the regime really was coming from inside iran. >> its legitimacy now in question, the regime brought out its -- it was impressive show of strength for a president who claimed overwhelming support and dismissed the protesters as dirt and dust. >> ahmadinejad is a blacksmith's son, and he is at heart a socialist who wanted to be able to help the people, so an awful lot of people voted for him.
it is perfectly natural. >> a columnist for a hard-line newspaper plants the violence on opposition -- on the opposition leader. >> if he had not said the election had been made without any evidence -- substantial evidence, none of this would have happened. we are not going to give up iran because they have lied. we will not give up brand because we paid such a heavy price to have it -- we will not give up iran because we paid such a heavy price to have it. >> it was turning into a war of numbers. the opposition fought back with a massive demonstration through the heart of tehran, the largest since the 1979 revolution, a fact not lost on a former revolutionary elite, who has turned against the regime.
>> they do not want to accept. they do not want to understand. this is the people of iran. like the constitutional evolution. this is the majority of the people who want freedom, who want human-rights -- human rights. >> was that particularly audible? that gives you a sense of how fast the events were moving on the ground in this first few hours and days after the elections. it was almost impossible at this point to do real journalism. there would call me when it would the notoriously bad lines, and barbara would say to find something to check on something, and at this point, i think we
were 28 trichet 2440 it was before the regime actually criminalize investigative journalism or actually on the ground journalism, and at that point, it just became an issue of waiting while the alice ticked down on my visa, which had only been granted for seven days -- i think we were 24 or 48 hours before the regime actually criminalize investigative journalism. things are starting to look really bad. i started wearing local shirts, which did not look like my for insurance -- foreign shirts, and trying to go around in the streets with friends and trying to understand what was going on. this country that i had lived in, and i had really, and which now was starting to slip away in a very dramatic way. all the old trends were still there. there was a paranoid, a sense that the foreigners are trying
to create a revolution and that it is up to the hard core of the regime to stop it, to the loyalists. there was also a cultural struggle going on, which got very little play in the foreign coverage. you hear about the foreign struggle more in a kind of a reactive way. when the revolutionary guard come out with any plan to create, for example, a second cultural revolution or to islamize schools and universities, or to set of units fighting the spread of news or propaganda, as they call it, but the cultural struggle in my experience, certainly my experience and said the prison when i was being interrogated, is one of the most important aspects of what is going on in iran today if you want to understand. this is something that came out in a piece on "newsweek." he had interrogators who came
from the revolutionary guard. i was fortunate enough to be arrested by the minister of intelligence, which, at least, because of the chain murders of the 1990's has gone through a certain process of reform, so i had interrogators who were relatively educated, respectful men. obviously, the fact that i was a forerunner -- forerunner -- foreighnener really helped. there were not about to start bidding up someone who was going to be released in the near future. the journalist from "is a" was kicked and punched and also exposed to some outlandish accusations, like he had participated in six parties in new jersey, which was one of the
signs of american corruption -- participated in sex parties in new jersey, which was one of the sense of american content -- corruption in the eyes of his investigators. because identify primarily as being greek and because i live in the region and also because one of my interrogators spoke arabic, we kept off on a more serious discussions on the west. quite frankly, i explained to them, for me, america had been insane when i moved there in 2007. i really cannot fill in to much, and certainly had not been anywhere close to new jersey. the fascinating thing that came out again and again after we got to the nitty gritty of intelligence questions -- who did you know you have been here? where did you go? what jennie's did you take a
broad? and so on. we got into a more philosophical plan. we started talking about neoliberalism and the great threat that it poses in their eyes. we started talking about the concept of westernization, which was coined in the 1960's, at least in its current form, and which had to do with the idea that the cultural influence of the west was so powerful that it basically shreds everything in its wake, said the judicial muslim societies -- so the traditional muslim societies have the protection when really tough measures are taken. we talked a little bit about the major proponent of this theory, and we talked about what the muslims might be more susceptible than other people, and i felt -- and this is something that was pointed out in interviews -- that there was
a real divide, sort of, between the real world and between the ideas that some of my interrogators had. not to say that they inhabited lala land, but, for example, it was cut up into very neat slices, which were either black or white, and there was great difficulty. almost struggled with the concept that someone could inhabit both or have an unbiased view. for example, they asked me about the west against the east, and i said that dubai and was a little bubble of the west into the east, and you could even cut it down into further slices and look at it as being both western and eastern and all sorts of pictures in between. this is something that did not leak into a deeper conversation. but anyway, just to say that it seems that there is a new beat that is running iran these days,
and they are quite divorced from the revolutionaries who over the shock -- overthrew the shah in 1979. their kids than grow up, and they went to university, and maybe some of them grew up in denmark or the u.s. or canada, so you have this whole new generation, many of whom were in the streets, and i called in the third generation, who are even more capable of seeing things in shades of gray. then you have this second generation, and many of the people in power today come from the revolutionary guard, and many of those people, while their colleagues were off in copenhagen and paris and washington, understanding and
grappling with the west, they were fighting. they were defending their country in the trenches of the iran/iraq war for 20 years, and they did not have the opportunity to do this. many of them it seems today are running iran in one way or another, and cannot actually taking executive decisions, perhaps they are interrogating people in jail cells, or they are ambassadors to allies of her and abroad. i think it is very interesting to try to understand, try to engage with this generation. a few words about my imprisonment. as i said, i got off relatively lightly. i only got beaten up what i -- when i tried to get the message out at the airport on the night of my arrest. the islamic republic has a habit of arresting people and then denying it has them while it puts pressure on them to come up with some form of confession. thankfully, because i managed to
start shutting of both in english and in farsi that i'm a greek journalist being arrested , the time was really cut down -- because admonished to start shouting out. they came and said they had proved that they were arresting a citizen in an airport, steps were taken, and within three or four days, a process of release had begun, or at least a process of negotiation. in terms of the interrogators themselves, i think i spoke enough about them. there was a very amount of just chilling moments. the lack of certainty as to what was about to happen was the worst thing because there would be three or four days at a stretch when i would just be left in myself, and i have obviously no cellmates, nor did i have the opportunity to go out and get exercise.
i got my one and only meeting with the greek ambassador, which was a huge blast of oxygen to my system, and back in a solitary cell for another two weeks. i was moved from quite a rundown sell into a sort of glittering brand new freshly painted one with a really intense light. the lights were all throughout, but in my old home so, one of them had broken, and the other one was like a 40-watt lamp, and this new one was really intense in your face with reflective mirror is behind and so on. also, i seem to be in middle of an enormous processing center, and that is how i started to get a feel for what was happening in the streets because there were hundreds of people being brought in every day, so when i would be taken out for interrogation, i would normally avoid stumbling over rose applied to all the
people sitting cross legged wading for processing for. when i was sitting in my interrogation cell, which was another outrageous luxury because most people were getting interrogated in the corridors, i would hear sounds of intense interrogation is coming from neighboring cells or from outside in the corridors. again, because we were talking about culture, because i try to understand culture, and i tried to speak languages, and i try to get across what the place is politics and political pronouncements are about, a cultural thing is very crucial. i have, for example, comments from them, "would you expect? we are going to tear off your fingernails? look at this jail. it is very nice." or jokes about how some people were saying there was raping going on, and did i really fear
i was going to be raped in an islamic appropriate jail? the 10180 degrees around when i came out of jail and started hearing about these allegations that were being made and started seeing the evidence. i started doing a lot of journalism in the country in which i live, turkey, dealing with former political refugees or people that had escaped iran, some of whom had been extremely badly abused, and one day, i was watching an interview given by an iranian feminist activists, and she was saying that she was taken one day to a large room, which was like a classroom, and there were maybe dozens of desks. those kind of school class desks with the wooden chair and the desk that comes out in front which is all one piece? and there were prisoners sitting on those desks and getting very violently beaten up by jailers, and this whole scene was kind of unfolding in complete silence
because those who started shouting would get beaten up more. so perhaps that explains what all in all i did not hear that much going on. but in any case, i think it is the understatement of the year to say that iran is in a state of tumult. perhaps it shows us to some extent the mentality of the regime right now. they are in a state of full cultural paranoia, of sitting back and just fighting this perceived western onslaught coming from the outside, and, of course, the opposition is continuing. they do not have the power to go out and take to the streets on a daily basis, even as they tried
to do it recently with the anniversary, but you have the students coming out the easter day coming up, a date that is part of the islamic republic's calendar of mass demonstrations commemorating the students during the iranian revolution in 1979 against shah's regime, and it will again try to hijack that like they tried to hijack the commemoration of the u.s. embassy storming, and also the jerusalem day. so we have two different dynamics going on right now. the dynamic of continued opposition, a continued crackdown, and it now seems in the last few days that they have gone out to the next tier and are starting to round up people whose names came up during the initial interrogation. not people and particularly wanted -- bets that has already been taken with the really important ones, but now, they are really going for peripheral people. they are arresting friends of
people and putting them under a lot of psychological pressure, and at the same time, you have, of course the nuclear developments and how this is again -- again, you are seeing sort of moves in the nuclear sphere, which is the most hallowed, the most prized part of the iranian foreign policy that are really can to taking the nobel peace prize when you have the islamic republic coming out and saying that there are going to develop several more uranium processing centers and going to possibly step away from the npt. that really shows the pressure is being felt all over. so i will be really happy to hand this back to jon.. >> great, thank you. barbara, your perspective on coordinating the work of journalists you were doing at the time of the election and since then, your own perspective
on where we are today. and perhaps we can all addressed the role that social media played, twitter, and there was a lot of coverage about youtube and the impact that that had, how important it was, how valid it was in giving a sense of what was happening on the streets in tehran. >> first, let me thank the wilson center. this is where i wrote my book. thank you, john, -- thank you, jon, for the work you're doing, which is filling an enormous gap for us trying to provide insightful coverage with a very limited budget. i always identify with my reporter's as a former correspondent, but it is fair to say that identified more with iason than any of my other correspondents. i wanted to be there on the streets with him in iran.
i was experiencing it, watching it on television, seeing images on facebook, a twitter, so on, and it felt almost like i was there within the whole time that this was going on. obviously not the part in prison, although that was a pretty dreadful experience, even on our side trying to get him out and try to figure out what the right words were that we needed to say to impress the iranian government that he was no threat to them and he was actually -- would be more of a threat if he was kept than if he were released. i think what we witnessed over the last six months has been truly extraordinary. we do not know how long it is going to take for the iranian government to change again in some profound way, but clearly, the ingredients are all there, and the behavior of the government shows that of a relatively weak government, i think, that is struggling to come to terms with unprecedented
domestic opposition and domestic -- unprecedented international opposition. glenn has a been so isolated since the iran/iraq war. the people who are running the show, to the extent anybody is running the show now, are veterans of that war, and perhaps they identify with that time when iran was virtually alone with one allied, syria, against what seemed like the entire world -- one ally, syria, against what seemed like the entire world. perhaps in a way that people try to recreate bad marriages -- you know, if you have one bad marriage, you go and you repeat the pattern. maybe these individuals are trying somehow to go back to that time when iran was all alone. it was besieged, and yet, there was this revolutionary spirit. you see this on the campus is where they are trying to recreate this sort of cultural revolution that took place in the early 1980's, but at the
same time, you know that this is an impossible task. as iason pointed out, this third generation is very plugged in. iran has -- what? 40% internet usage among the population. it is an extraordinary figure, the highest in the middle east and one of the highest in the world. 80% literacy. this is bound to fail. the question is how long will it take, and how disruptive would be, how bloody will it be? the statements that the iranians have made about starting up new uranium enrichment plants seem like a bomb dust. they have not been able to complete one facility. the facility so has something like 8000 centrifuges, of which only half are really operable right now. it may take years before the facility is completed. they have another one that they started that the west found out
about in qom, which is not operational yet. so for ahmadinejad did talk about 10 more, 20 more, whatever, it is really bomb dust, but it is their way of showing the outside world iran will not be pushed around. they're not afraid. they can take sanctions, and they can continue to move on. they figure that obama will not agree to military action against them, that the u.s. administration is busy in iraq and afghanistan, and, of course, and can always turn up the heat in both those places if it wants. they seem to think that they can crack down on the opposition internally, defy the rest of the world, and move on. it at some point, the pressure gets too great, they can always compromise. iran has done it before, they ended the iran/iraq war when some hussein was still in power, and that is another reference point i think we have to keep in mind, but one thing that is worrisome to me, and it is
worrisome when i listen to iason, and that is the mentality of this particular group. during the iran/iraq war, you had people who had visited the west. i remember interviewing one and about his visit and talking about his impressions of the state. one had lived in turkey, iran, -- turkey, iraq, france. many important figures in the revolution had been educated abroad, and you do not have that with this particular if cohort. there are people in the revolutionary guard, members of the force i have met who are relatively sophisticated, but their education comes from books. it does not come from on the ground experience in the west. and this is worrisome. it raises the possibility of this calculation, and one
wonders how far iran will go before it will perhaps make a compromise -- it raises the m raises ofiscalculati -- it raises the possibility of m iscalculation. it is a difficult time for those of us trying to figure out what is going on. i had a reporter there for some months. actually, a young man i found on facebook. he was told after he wrote about five stories for me that he could no longer ride -- that he needed credentials to write for the "washington times." so we sent a series of letters and somehow and some have the credentials never came through, so that is what i was particularly delighted that iason was able to get his visa, although it can be before the election, i recall. so we had iason there. since his experience, i have had to cover iran through stories
that come out, a video that comes out. the killing, which i saw on facebook like so many people. i clicked on it, and suddenly watched this horrific video of a young woman being killed. we have pictures still coming out of the protest demonstrations, people taking pictures with cell phone cameras, and they smuggle it out. i have a couple of iranian americans who write for me, who call their friends in iran and do interviews via sky and on the telephone through twitter and facebook -- interviews via skype. hopefully the iranian government will open up to foreign correspondents. certainly everything we have
seen in the last few weeks does not fill me with optimism that they are going to open up to this sort of coverage in the near future. i think i will stop there, and we will open up to your questions. >> questions? over here. >> [inaudible] how much was the glory of the prison empire of the past part of the election process -- the persian empire of the past part of the election process? how often is this talked about directly, and how much is it referred to? >> iranians in general have a wonderful idea of their own history. the question was about what the iranians are referring to their glorious history of the great ancient empire during the elections. there is a fair amount of hubris, and again, in his
calculations -- and needs open up at the last minute to hundreds of foreign correspondents. they let in people from "the daily show" not exactly knowing what they were getting themselves in for, and he got his visa. they opened up hugely, and in what they had hoped would happen did not happen. they had an election, and it appears to have been rigged. during its came out on the street and protested. this attempt to show that there are the most democratic regime in the region, which they insist is still the case, backfired on them because they overreached. the sense of a great civilization is there, and one
hopes it will act as a check. this is in iran, and not sure we can count on memories of glory to necessarily produce restraint. do you think there are limits? there are limits in the sense that they're going to move people down in the streets with guns, even the -- >> the mogul down in the streets on saturday. but i just going back to the point about the persian empire, and islamic democracy, you will never have preferences to what they considered to be ignorant islamic past. but you do see these elements of
splendor or the quest for person splendor -- persian splendo, so it will be interesting to see if ahmadinejad is more about a powerful and that will be more about a revival. >> question over here. if we could, if the speakers could identify themselves and where you are from. the microphone is coming to you. >> i am jennifer with "voice of america." i believe you said the iranian regime was bound to fail, and he made in direct reference to social media. do you think there's a potential for social media -- i mean, this new notion of social media can actually bring down a totalitarian regime? >> of all, it is not a totalitarian regime, at least not yet. i would call it an authoritarian
regime with many unique features. if it were totalitarian, you would not be seeing these massive demonstrations, and you would not see people risking their lives every day to continue to protest in the way they are. i cannot tell how iran's government is going to change. i just know that i think it is inevitable because 70% of the population is under the age of 30, and they are wired, and that is a factor. is it the only factor? no, we have not talked about the economy, the lack of jobs, the fact that iran has the biggest brain drain of educated youths in the region. ultimately, you will have a young society that will have been connected at least through social media, to the outside world, and will be influenced by and in a way that perhaps this generation is not. to make predictions about iran
and when and how is not something i think anybody can do. we can sense the trend. that is probably the most that we can do. >> social media is not a weapon. it is a tool. basically what they do, whether it is toward or facebook, is in maximizes voices -- whether it is 20 or facebook -- whether it is twitter or facebook. to get an answer to that question, we need look no further than what has been loaded with lebanon. and that a tent at a peaceful revolution that happened they did their own peaceful revolution, and a paralyzed beirut for more than a year. i think it is a matter of in previous decades, the 1980's,
really, the 1990's, and the beginning of this decade, you really had the advantage, but increasingly, they are learning this tool book and using it for their own purposes. >> question here. >> [inaudible] >> please wait for the microphone to get to you. >> i'm from voice of america. in your documentary, in your opinion, what is the main message that you want to describe? i have another question. you must have had time to talk to the people. what do you think the opinion is with regard to how important is the nuclear issue for them? the government claims that it is for the people. what is your opinion on that?
>> these are both really difficult questions to answer. i will start with what should be easier one, even though i actually sort of took a distance from the documentary before it was broadcast because it focus very heavily on the human interest sorry, and i was very interested in doing the big picture current affairs and go. i do not know what the ultimate message of the documentary is, but i think it is a pretty detailed look at the killing nadan. what i would argue is flawed -- we did not have access to iran. we did not have access to both sides of the debate, so we managed to speak with her boyfriend, with the doctor who happened to be on the scene when she was killed, and we basically spoke with a couple of people who were close or sympathetic to the islamic republic and could give the official view, but it
was very difficult to get conservative voices within the power structure, let alone speaking to the plainclothes who were there on the day. with regard to the second question, i think it is very split throughout. it is not a fallacy that the more pressure you put on iran, the less popular the program might become. on the other hand, the iranians, like the greeks, are very famous for becoming more stubborn. i cannot speak for the government, and i know that one of the defining features of 20th century iranian history is that when people get pushed, they react, as we have seen these days, as we saw in 1979, as we
saw in 1999. it is difficult to say to what extent the society is behind this project or not. it is great to have nuclear power. it is great to be out there, but once you get down to the nitty gritty, i think you start to see differentiation, and that has always been the story of iran. it might be a full-blown ideals, and once you get down to the nitty gritty, there are a lot of questions that come up that have not been thought of before. it is the action of the islamic republic and the people went to vote in 1979 and voted so overwhelmingly in what by most accounts was not a big election, for an islamic republic, they had no idea what they were voting for. they have not heard the word cultural revolution yet. >> question back here? and again, if you could wait for the microphone to come around. >> thank you.
i am with the brookings institute of washington. i just want to get a sense of during the early days of protest, with the government essentially controlling communication, how much of the protest movement was planned? how did people get the word around as to where to meet, what to do, what to say, particularly after the second and third day? i am very much interested on how much of that was planned. >> great. that is one of the few things i can talk about because that is one of the things is that most of my time doing when i was there. basically running around the streets with friends and trying to figure out what is going on. that was also one of the main accusations against me, i was an agent and influence and i had engaged in espionage. but i was very confused. i had no idea what was going on. i did give the key to my facebook to a close friend of
mine, who would then just sort of copy/paste -- she does not speak farsi much -- and less tweets and messages and e-mail them to this -- and list -- endless tweets and messages and e-mail them to me. and i shall tell them what was the latest on the pro-mousavi media and what they were saying. then, you had the wrong information or the sort of publicly wrong information, where it seemed that several demonstrations were arranged in a way by the government or by government agents and then funneled into the opposition mainstream, so that people would gather in places that have basically been staked out, so you have this confusing flurry of "don't trust these coordinates" or don't go there"
or go there." the speed with which different information was coming through even when we were on the streets and the amount of rumors going about what's astonishing. mousavi is under house arrest. a committee is looking for the ministry of interior -- no, he is walking toward the ministry of interior. that was actually the rumor that i heard on monday, the day of the biggest demonstration, literally seconds before that demonstration just kind of coalesced into one very pact body. up until then, it had been dispersed fragments of people kind of looking around at each other, looking at the police and wondering if the demonstration was actually going to happen on not, but this rumor kind of swept through the body of the people, and suddenly, we saw a demonstration emerge, so it was
very confusing, and i think to a large extent, it was organic, to the point where there was any kind of organization on saturday as we were going around to the ministry of interior, we saw people with photocopies of mousavi's statement. people would just pass around and -- walk around, pat on the soldieshoulder. often, it went back to 1979 techniques. people which is right on the walls -- people would just write on teh walls. >> the chaos and confusion and misinformation -- none of that is new in situations like this. what was new was the speed with which it was reported around the world. i am interested in both your take on that, having now come back, once you get back to the west, to europe and the states,
seeing how it was portrayed. was the real story authoritatively portrayed and when and-? in your sense of being in the middle of that, adding a day-by- day, looking at this material coming in. >> i remember being on the phone to barbara, maybe 30 minutes after being down at the ministry of interior where we had seen motorcyclists sliding down with batons. i'm embarrassed to say this, but it is true, i remember thinking i was not sure i would report this first because i had five days left on my visa, and i really do not care to have this exclusive 20 minutes before ap reports it. i would rather just stay in the country. so there were all sorts of journalistic ethics questions being thrown out. >> but that is a different issue. that is where you actually know something. you saw it with your own eyes. that is the question of playing
the shorter breaking story to the long-term being there for a few more days. but i am talking about the misinformation, the confusion, and seeing that be reported and out there. it is broadcast. how do you -- you cannot put it back in the bottle. how do you bring perspective to that sort of material? >> really, i can just sort of say people lose coverage are like -- scott petersen had great coverage. roger cohen for the "new york times." it was really difficult, actually, to have information when we were on the ground at the day and reading 700-would write ups. at most, i would have to look at my -- at the message is being funneled to me from my facebook or from people outside the country, but really, it was just a matter of calling around on- line networks and just figuring out what they're saying and then making a snap decision -- do we go?
do we not go? then you have this item up on the roof -- the snipers. anybody who goes there would be dealt with extremely parsley. >> -- extremely harshly. >> who do you call? >> i called people that i knew when i lived there or people that i had met in the demonstrations who were clearly taking some kind of leadership role. we had come to a demonstration at university, which had become a focus of protests, and i met a student there, who was clearly one of the organizing elements. in other day i found myself in a room in one of the tehran university dormitories with one of the student protest leader is glued to his cell phone, directing people where to go, the idea of stretching the
police so they would not all focus on one area, tiring the mouth, or these impromptu traffic jams that you saw, which were not so impromptu because they blocked the passage of those columns of riot police that would go and basically sort of engaged in firefighting. this is also something that came up when i was in my interrogation cell where the younger in teradata said to me that i'm a work for the intelligence ministry, but it was all hands on deck during the post-election on rest -- unrest, and i was on a motor bike riding behind the guy who was steering, and the only thing to protect myself was a tear gas canister into a radio -- and a two-wave radio, and it adjusted as the places where there were threatening to overwhelm the security forces. it was an interesting game cat and mouse, but you did not know at the time who was the cat and who was the mass. most of the time, it was the security forces, but it was interesting to be in jail and get the glove sif