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tv   Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 20, 2012 1:00am-5:59am EDT

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>> some have said that if we would just "handle syria" that that would help us in what is brewing with respect to iran, that one of the effects of the military is that assad has one of the largest army ground troops in the area and that buttresses iran's bullying in the area. what do you say to that, that's if we would get involved in syria we could help the people there move onto a more democratic or different type of government, that it would help us to bring the threat of iran down in the neighborhood. >> there is absolutely no
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question that if the assad regime comes down, the one country in that part of the world that will be even further isolated is iran. iran knows that, and that is why they continue to provide some assistance to assad, because they know that their interests are in maintaining the assad regime, not in seeing it go down. >> the only thing i would add is, the fall of the assad regime would be a serious blow to iran. i think the general testified before this body to that effect. but saying is the key would be analogous to say it would be solving a rubik's cube puzzle by lining up one side and neglecting the other sides. x regiona very comple in the world. >> are there any circumstances under which the u.s. would get
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involved militarily? what if turkey invoked article 5 of our nato charter? >> if there is a consensus in the international community to do something along those lines, and not easily ensure that the international community is able to get the authorities required in order to make that happen. the one area with regard to article 5 and turkey, article 5 has only been enacted once after 9/11, as i recall. but they would have to make clear that what is happening there really does truly represent a direct threat to turkey. i think this point, that is probably a stretch. >> thank you.
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>> mr. jones. >> thank you very much for being here today. mr. secretary, if the situation changes and you believe the use of force in syria becomes necessary, will this administration seek authorization from congress before taking action? >> we will clearly work with congress if it comes to the issue of the use of force. this administration wants to work within the war powers provision to ensure that we work together, not separately. >> mr. secretary, as a former member congress, i have the biggest concern -- and this is not pointed at this administration. they seem to want to take the
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authority to decide whether or not they need to go into a country that has not been a threat. they might have evil dictators, they might have problems in those countries, but i have been very concerned. i actually went to the federal courts with dennis kucinich and two other republicans and two other democrats. we went to the courts because of the decision and how it was made. i realize you were not there at the time -- about libya. the american people seem to agree that we in congress have not exerted our constitutional responsibilities when it comes to war. i hope that if there is a decision, including iran as well as syria, if the decision is made to commit american forces, that the president would feel an obligation to the american people, not the
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congress, but the american people, to explain and justify why we take that kind of action. again, i am talking about a situation where we are not being attacked. we just see things happening in other countries that we don't approve of. i would hope, and i think he did give me this answer, but if you would reaffirm that if we have to use military force, and we are going to initiate that force, that the president, any president would come to congress and the american people and justify the need to attack. >> congressman, as you understand, this president's as other presidents will operate pursuant to the constitution. the constitution makes clear that the commander-in-chief should act when the vital interest of this country are in
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jeopardy. i believe this president believes that if that in fact is the case, he would do that in partnership with congress in terms of taking any action. >> i remember my good friend from virginia asking secretary gates when we went then, and it seem like if they call the leadership of the house and senate, it must of been one call. mr. ford as mr. gates if libya fired missiles in the united states, would that be an act of war. my friend virginia is a very articulate and intelligent gentleman. he never got a straight answer. i hope that you will prevail upon the administration not to take those kind of actions as they did in libya, whether it is justified or not.
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i will not get into that debate, but in my opinion, that was really kind of a snub of congress and the responsibility of congress based on the constitution. >> i can assure you that as long as i am secretary, we will not take any action without proper legal authority. >> thank you very much, and i will yield back my 39 seconds. >> thank you. mr. andrews. >> your service is both an inspiration to us and a blessing to our country. we thank you very much for it. i want to congratulate the administration on your success with russia and china, moving into a very different place on this issue compared to where they were just a few weeks ago. mr. secretary, i think the data you gave us about the exchange
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rate for the syrian currency and the gdp are a reflection of the effectiveness of that coalition. you also know that we do not yet have the level of consensus in the arab world that existed for the libyan problem. what do you see as the principal obstacles to achieving that kind of consensus with respect to the syrian regime? >> i think the arab world is struggling with the same issues that the whole international community is struggling with, which is in order to take additional actions, what, in fact, does make sense? who is the opposition? how can we best assist the opposition? cackle would provide the help the syrian people need in order to overcome this situation? what kind of pressures would best be placed on assad in order to force the regime downward? all of those same difficult,
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complex issues that the whole international community is dealing with, the arab community is confronting as well. libya, that all came together. in syria, it is still a difficult challenge putting those pieces together. >> this is a hypothesis that the cohering factor in the libyan situation is a sense that gaddafi had completely lost the support of his own people, and no one wanted to be associated with the regime that was illegitimate in that sense. do you think that assad has simply not reach that point with his own people yet, or is there some other factor that is diverting us from that consensus? >> i think is of the factors that i pointed out in my testimony that make this different from libya. the fact that number one, he does still enjoy the loyalty of a good job of the army and the military.
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that makes it more challenging in terms of trying to undermine the regime. secondly, that opposition is disbursed. there are a lot of groups there that represent the opposition. in libya, there were some different tribal groups that make up the opposition. they were holding territory. we knew who they were. we could define what the opposition was that needed assistance. it is much more of an insurgency kind of opposition. >> you mentioned that the phrase is vital national interest a few moments ago. do you agree with the proposition that it is a vital national interest to the united states to discourage regimes which could serve as an incubator for asymmetric warfare against the united states?
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>> that would obviously have to be debated on the issue of does it directly impact our vital interests. i guess an argument could be made along those lines. i would think in this case, it is a really important for the international community, if we are going to continue to work with the international community, if we are going to be a partner with them in deciding what additional actions ought to be taking place, it ought to be within the international context that decisions for action ought to be taken. >> how would you characterize the public record of the relationship between syria and hezbollah? >> the public record, and more importantly, the intelligence record that we have, is that there has always been a close relationship between syria and hezbollah, and that hezbollah has always had some level of protection. >> do you agree with the
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proposition that the weaker hezbollah is, the better the united states is? >> anything we can do to weaken the terrorist group is in our interest. >> i yield back. >> thank you very much. mr. forbes. >> thank you for being here, and general dempsey, we thank you for your service. you are both good men and you have served your country well. we are honored you would be here and share your thoughts, because today you have -- the risks to the country are huge today. when we talk a bottle national interest, probably there is no greater interest that we have than the rule of law. sometimes we have to ferret that out and see what it is. as i understand, you believe
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that before we would take military action against syria, it would be a requirement to have a consensus of permission with the international committee before that would happen. is that a fair statement? if not, would you tell me what the proper -- i would like to come back to the question that was asked. i know you would never do anything that you did not think was legally proper, and you said that the administration would have proper legal authority before they would take any military action. i question is, what is proper legal authority? as mr. jones pointed out in the war powers act, it is unlikely we would have a declaration of war, but that would be one thing. we know if there was a national attack, that would be one of them.
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the second thing would be specific statutory authorization. do you feel that it would be a requirement to have proper legal authority that if he did not have a declaration of war or an attack on the united states, that you would have to have specific statutory authority -- in other words, the permission of congress, before you take military action against syria? >> we would not take action without proper legal authority. >> i understand, and all due respect, we are trying to find out what exactly proper legal authority is. that is what we have to act under. we do not have the president here to chat with him or have a cup of coffee and ask him. you are the closest we get. we are asking from your understanding as secretary of defense, what is proper legal authority? with that require specific
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statutory authorization from the united states congress if we had not had a declaration of war or an attack upon the united states? >> again, that we put on this basis. this administration operates pursuant to the war powers act and whatever it would require in order for us to engage, we would abide by. >> thank you for putting up with me, as i just try to stumble through this and understand it. as i read the war powers act, and has those three requirements. are there any other requirements in there you are familiar with that i am leaving out or not reading? if that is the case, i come back to if there is no declaration of war, no attack upon the united states, and if we are going to comply with the war powers act, would it require specific statutory authority by congress before we took military action on syria? >> again, under the
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constitution, the commander-in- chief has the authority to take action that involves the bottle interest of this country, but pursuant to the war powers act, would have to take steps to get congressional approval. that is the process that we would follow. but she would have to take steps to get that approval, but with the approval required before we would take military action against syria? >> the constitution and the power the president, the president could deploy forces if he had to if our vital interests were at stake, but ultimately under the war powers act would have to come here for your support. >> you would get the support of congress after you began military operations. >> in that particular situation, yes. >> just one last thing. it is your position that the administration's position would be that we would have to get a consensus of permission from the international community
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before we would act, but that we would not have to get specific statutory authority from congress before we would act. >> in that situation, if the international action is taken pursuant to a security council resolution or under our tree obligations with regard to nato, that obviously we would participate with the international community, but then ultimately, the congress of the united states, pursuant to its powers of the purse, would be able to determine whether or not that action is appropriate or not. >> thank you, mr. secretary and general dempsey. i wanted to ask you more about the opposition groups and i think you have been quite clear that it is a diverse group and hard to read them in many ways, but is there one particular or
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several issues that you see them either fragmenting or coalescing? particularly as it would relate to trying to broker any kind of agreement with the assad regime short of eliminating it. >> as i have indicated, there are a number of groups involved in the opposition. it has not always been easy to get those groups to be able to coalesce. there are some outside syrian troops that are making an effort to do that. there has been better progress by other countries that have tried to, one way or another, provide assistance, to try to urge those groups to coalesce. there has been little more progress on that front, but it is still a difficult challenge. >> it read back to an earlier
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question about what is it seems so difficult to get the countries in the region to coalesce around a single, unifying idea. i think they are cautious about what comes next, and to thread these two themes together. it will affect the relationships. that is not to predict some negative outcome, but it will change. what they are circling around here is, can they get a clear idea of what might happen on the other end of this? these two thoughts are linked, i think you are >> in thinking about some of the efforts we have undergone there in terms of humanitarian missions, how are we protecting knows, if at all? what is happening in that
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arena, and to what extent is it going to have a positive effect, or helping to mobilize others or bring the opposition groups together in any way? what effect does it have? >> the humanitarian assistance, obviously the state department is directing most of that assistance, but it is going to programs like the world food program. $10.50 million is being disbursed in food aid. medical services and supplies, food and water, blankets, hygiene kids, about 8.5 million. the international committee of the red cross is providing relief supplies under their authorities at about 3 million. most of that, i think it is fair to say, a lot of it as
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probably being done in the refugee area where a lot of the refugees have gathered. there is an extensive number of refugees both on the turkish and jordanian border is that relocated there. >> is there any perception for those efforts that we are there to help the people of syria, that we have ongoing efforts? >> i have been has been made clear that we are trying to do whatever we can to provide that help. now we are making efforts to try to do some outreach into syria itself to try to assist those who have been harmed and try to see what we can do to provide assistance there as well. it is a much more difficult
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challenge. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. wilson. >> thank you for your service. i appreciate it as a veteran and also a very grateful parent of a son serving in the military. in the context of the instability that you are revealing, i am concerned about the sequestration of the defense budget, which would be a reduction of 8%-12%, beginning next january. you have learned about a hollowing out. people have heard and seen a hundred billion dollars cut and now pending $600 billion cut. it is just total confusion. what message do you have to the american people? what do you want them to know about the effect of sequestration? >> i tried to make clear time and time again about
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sequestration and the cuts involved, that it would be a disaster for the defense department. it would truly hollow out our force and weaken our national defense. we are already cutting close to half a trillion dollars. we made those proposals. they are part of our budget. we are doing that over 10 years. it has been a difficult challenge to do it pursuant to a strategy in a way that protect our national defense. sequester is a whole other set of cuts out there. it represents $600 billion across the board meat ax approach to the budget that would impact every area of the budget, regardless of apology, regardless of strategy and blindly strike at every area of the defense budget. we have to work together to ensure that does not happen. >> in terms of what message to the american people, i think first and foremost that the
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military is not oblivious to the economic ills of the nation and have done our best to contribute as part of the equation of national power, which includes economic, diplomatic, and military power. all three have to be in balance. we adjusted our strategy after the lesson of 10 years or more. our projection on what the nation would need in 2020. we match the budget to its. if we have to absorb more cuts, we have to go to the board and adjust our strategy. this strategy that we would have to adjust to would not meet the needs of the nation in 2012.
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it is getting increasingly unstable for the reason we're talking about. adding we have done as much recanted given what i know about the future. >> this is the they dividend. the world movement is so dangerous. i am very concerned about the national guard. the administration has been proposing a reduction on the ground forces. fortunately, that is active duty. i see a threat to the guard. the concern i have are a
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reduction in the side of the air guard. how large will these cuts be? $50,000 reductions? $100,000? >> our goal is to keep the balance. a different amount of it is ready to go in six days or a year. that is how we balance the force. the reason we cannot take any of this reduction out of the garden is that we had growing the active force over the last 10 years by about 65,000. we had about 8000. when we absorb the cuts, we did not take many of them off of the guard. we have not grown them.
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if you are asking me with a further reduction in our budget at 30 results in an effect on the army national guard? ps. -- yes. i cannot tell you how deeply because it would depend on the depth of the cuts. if they keep it in balance, it will affect both active guard and reserve. >> thank you. i see cuts of dramatic effect affecting the american family. >> thank you for your answer on the sequestration. we understand that the defense has to be on the table. we have been there. isse cut we're going there
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enormous. you take 50% out of the defense. it is something that cannot be overlooked. what we need to understand is that we cannot solve our nation's financial difficulties on the backs of the military. the thing that we really need to keep the mind is if we eliminated the whole discretionary budget. we would still be running a half dollar trillion deficit. what really need to do is fix the mandatory spending side of the budget. >> thank you. thank you for being here with us today. we have talked about the differences between syria and libya. we have talked about trying to
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identify the different influences of the different folks within syria and how tough it is to predict an outcome. and when to pick you on the spot. we have seen that democracy, when you get people the choice, they cannot always use what we buy for them to choose. democracy can be unpredictable as we have seen. this is not a matter of this. this is made the best case/worst case. what kind of relationships with in syria, what would be summoned the things with a book for? >> this happen in a good way and bad way.
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if we can do this pursuant to the cease-fire and the reforms that he is suggesting and is done in a politically careful way in terms of implementing what needs to be done, we can have them moved out. it implements the kind of democratic reforms that the people deserve. it could be done in a way that recognizes that there are divided populations in syria that can be brought into this government. that would be the best way for this to move forward. it comes down to the various tribes. they began to assert themselves
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and have the beginning as some kind this civil war that takes place within their to try to assert who should take charge. that would probably be the course development. somewhere in between hopefully you could get some of the reforms that need to be taken place. it could take as an a better direction. this happens in the context of legitimate reforms. >> thank you. we mentioned that the
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relationship between the government and the military is strong. is there a basis for that relationship being strong in terms and may be just the general saying that we will stay where we can come out on top? is there a situation where that might change in the military might withdraw some of that support and make some things possible? >> i think there are conditions. i think they would recognize that using the violence they are using against their insistence is a fool's errand. at some point that will
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jeopardize them as an institution. now they returned to the referendum. this is best solved by the regional actors with our support. there is this an area where at the end of this that those were arraigned around assad become a threat. i think there is reason to believe that the military could come to understand that they are on a path to their own destruction as an institution. i think that case has to me made by regional players and less so by us.
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>> thank you. >> i want to thank you for your strong statements on the issue of addressing sexual assault in the military. your leadership as well needed. we appreciate your strong statements. we understand that general dempsey is echoing your strong commitment. you have recently said every day we are within an inch of war. as a look to the issue of syria, we know that russia and china have blocked two resolutions with respect to syria. i think that looks to an issue of when we look at the world in regard to russia. they have sent russian advisers to syria and deployed naval forces. how would you say that russia is supporting syria posed a
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military today? north korea's recent missile failed. i think this is probably misplaced really. we know that north korea continues its quest for missile technology. most recently the 100th anniversary of the founder of the dictatorship that brought forwsrd their mobile missile. secretary gates spoke of this. i ask that my letter be committed to part of the record. >> without objection, so ordered.
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>> my second question is tell me of your concerns of china's supporting north korea's missiles. is it a direct threat to the united states, something we are witnessing? >> there is no question that north korea's capabilities and their developing nuclear capabilities represent a threat to the united states. for that reason we take north korea and their provocative actions very seriously. regardless to the success of a
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failure, it is a huge failure. it is a provocation. this should have been condemned. our hope is that they do not take any provocative actions. we hope they do not do this. we are prepared from a defense department pointed you to deal with any contingency. there are multiple capabilities. tweaking a better intelligence and see what these capabilities are and what is real and not real in order to determine exactly what this represents. if they have mobile capability
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to be able have icbm's deployed, that reduces the threat. >> we're able to make the support for the systems. >> we have made very clear to china that china has a responsibility to make sure that north korea, if they want to improve the situation with their people and become part of the international family and want to deal with the terrible issues that are confronting north korea, there is a way to do that. china ought to be urging them to engage in those kind of diplomatic negotiations. >> the concern is that if the equipment itself has technology
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exchanges - >> i'm sure there has been help coming from china. i think you have to do with this and another context in terms of the sensitivity of that information. russia has a long history of having provided military assistance. russia is working with us to try to get a cease-fire. they are working with the international community. russia could have a much more a significant impact on syria. >> thank you. >> let me ask secretary panetta
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-- silence has not abated. this has been undertaken. when do we determine that they are not successful and move on to plan b? but i think that is what secretary clinton is still within paris as we speak. we're looking at this situation to determine what the net steps are with regard to the initiative. we try to deploy monitors that can go in and determine whether these violations are taking place. there's also a consideration that perhaps a peacekeeper initiative to back it up with peacekeepers. what the final decisions are going to rest of the international community.
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>> do we have credible on on what is flowing from iran and to syria? >> we really ought to do it in the context of an intelligence briefing. >> all right. i am concerned about reports that nato's assessment of the libyan air campaign has numerous problems and operations. how're we incorporating this. >> i was encouraged that the lessons learned were transparent. it will take us down a path that probably would be ill- advised. i am a buyer to that.
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i'm going to brussels next week. one of the agenda items is operation unified protection. what we have to do is be candid with each other. it they need to do what they need to provide. they relied exclusively on us to provide. i see this as a positive. >> what you think are the greatest risks of the united states? >> on vacation i've been portrayed as saying this is too hard. that is not the case. it has to do something, and we absolutely have the capability. i have to be clear about the military objective is that i was being asked to achieve.
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i have to be clear about how these were contributing to some outcomes that we would all understand and agree upon. but the dishes stopping the violence, that is one outcome. the other responsibility is to balance the rest to the mission. what would be the cost of doing this? the risk to the forest is a zero sum game. we are deployed all over the world. if i am asked to do something in syria and the secretary says i need this option, my response ability is to make sure i
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understand this and that by articulate the risks not to the mission where talking about but to our global responsibilities. it is all part of my advice. >> thank you. thank you for joining us. thank you for your service to our nation. i want to follow up on your scenarios of looking at u.s. engagement in syria. he spoke about looking at nato partners and making a decision about a particular engagement. do you envision a scenario or the u.s. would act unilaterally?
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to also look at a situation where in any scenario with the u.s. look at a broader combat perspective on that? i want to get your perspective on that? >> at this point in time, the decision is that we will not have any boots on the ground and that we will not act unilaterally. >> a want to make sure we're looking at these particular scenarios. to be your perspective, we see what is happening in syria. we also see the arab spring. as you look at that scenario, are you concerned about the
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continual expansion of these efforts by assad in syria? what is your perspective on what potentially this holds this effort continues? >> i do not see this body. i think the model is that it was privily suppress populations was saying what happened around them. i agree that change in syria is inevitable. i think we are all eager to seee long not been a reaping the benefits and have been
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suppressed. i think that long term this will become a stabilizing influence. i think getting from here to there will be a wild ride. i think we're in for 10 or 15 years of instability in a region that has already been characterized by instability. >> general alum was testifying before us, talking about operations and that afghanistan. i want to be your perspective. he said that he saw the use extending past 2013.
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i want to get your perspective on that. do you agree? are you looking to him as far as his thought about we utilize our current forces there as we are drawing down? i think all these parts of what happened not only in the middle east but in afghanistan our efforts there and are intertwined. i want to get your perspective. >> you bet we are listening to general allan. he is the best. he has exercised tremendous leadership out there and tremendous dedication. he has put together a very good plan for the future with regard to afghanistan. 2011 was a turning point. we have seen the taliban and weekend. they have not organize an effort to regain any area that
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they have lost. they are engaged in the sporadic ones. we expect they will continue. they are resilient. i have been weekend. the afghan people rejected it. the afghan army is beginning to operate on its own. these events in kabul said there becoming an effective force to achieve security in afghanistan. the transitions are working. there are two transitions that have occurred. the desert of the population is under afghan security control. this tragedy that general allen has developed and that nato's support is to proceed with that plan to take us to 2013 and be able to complete the final
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transitions and then drop down to the end it 2014. beyond that, to have an enduring presence there to provide suppor afghans. >> thank you. >> thank you. thank you for being here. you're asking questions about chemical and biological weapons. i do not want to read characterize your comments. i will say what i thought i heard. did you say you thought we had sufficient transparency/
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>> we have sufficient halogens on their facilities. >> this is the so what question. does that mean we're in the position to do something about it in these circumstances a rise? are we willing to do that? who makes that call? >> if you are talking about our vital national interests, it seems to me that the potential
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proliferation of chemical and biological weapons would be at the top of the list. >> in terms of the discussions we're having about syria and resistance to the violence in syria, and we thought there are going to use these biological weapons, what do we do? >> let me begin again with this because of a classification. it is updating constantly. the planning is being done with our allies in the region. >> i wanted to assure you that we have made plans to try to deal with any contingency involved in those areas. we think it does represent the most serious concerns with regard to our security.
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>> understanding classification is important to explore this later. i wanted to change the focus of a bid to afghanistan and china and russia. i heard a story this morning about yemen. the current director was sitting about where you are sitting. there is a difference between a civil war and what is a counter terrorism mess that the u.s. is trying to be supportive of in yemen. a loss of changes the arab spring. i do not know that a lot has changed in terms of usa out to the civil war purses' the u.s. continue to pursue it. they're working at changing the
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strategy. i will put it out see. we need to have that answer it. he cannot leave it there. -- and you cannot leave today until you answer it. [laughter] >> >> thank you. first of all with regard to a story in the paper, a think those operations, i guess i would urge you to go what is behind that. with regard to the larger issue, i understand the implications of what you're asking.
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our target represents those al qaeda terrorists that involve a threat to this country. this is not broad base. we're very targeted. we will remain pursuant to those kinds of operations. >> without going into specific details here comment the position of the administration is that our interest in yemen is the same interest we have had in somalia, which is to go after those terrorists who are involved and planning attacks of this country.
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>> can i add? that is not what we're doing a genetically. etically. we're working very closely with the military in yemen to increase their capability. it is important not to see this as we are only doing one thing and not the other. we're trying to round it off. >> thank you. >> thank you. thank you were being here today. of the next three months, it can you explain how you see the opposition? do you see it fragmenting? how do you see this playing out? back to the topic. >> you know, if i could give you a firm answer as to what we saw happening, i probably would
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not be in this job. i would be somewhere else. this is a tough thing to try to look at the elements that play here and try to determine how this will play out. intelligence has provided its perspective on this. the best thing that we is a result of the international community's unified approach to applying the sanctions. we now have the support of russia and china. am this will continue to play out. assad will continue to play out.
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it'll be a matter of time. >> the department of defense has our plans involved over the last year since we have lasting the syrian revolution. >> what we do and what general dempsey does with the chiefs is to develop all of the planes necessary for any contingency. whatever the president decides we will be prepared to
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implement. >> we are in nato partner with turkey. we have a strong relationship with jordan. we are to-300 military urge the 200-300 military strong. iraq has a piece of this on their western border. we have been meeting with leaders throughout the region. we met with the president from various regions. they had a huge interest. there are huge populations. these issues are often intertwined. we're in the business of sharing information and building capacity where we can. we're having the threat of military capability.
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>> these are comments that have been made from my colleagues as it related to what happened in libya and the concerns with how we perceive them -- proceeded in that action. of all the conflicts we have dealt with, the one lesson learned is endgame. it is my hope that we move through this to share information with us. we act in our role that there will be clear lines of communication on behalf of our military family. >> i appreciate that concern. i want to assure you that general dempsey and i are
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unified with regard to not proceeding with any military action unless there is a clear objection only know what it will take to achieve that objective, how long it'll take an do you have the legal authority to accomplish what we're being asked to accomplish? that would involve close consultation. >> thank you. i yelled that. >> thank you for being here. what you think will be there if it occurs?
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>> what we do know for a fact demographically is 7 the firm of the syrian population is of the suny -- 70% of the population is of the sunni population appeared to have a ship from the minority government to the majority in power. i think there will be some combination of conservative islamic parties. the jews and the christians have been supported by be assad party. this is the point i think. in terms of looking toward helping identify the opposition, and also holding them accountable before we support
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them to committing themselves. my concern is in egypt. this is as far as the arab world those. they brought about 40% muslim brotherhood. this is a fairly frightening coalition. i suppose the question should be what are we doing and what more can we do to ensure it encourages the population. should be reaching the overthrown? would try to do that in iraq.
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many of us were concerned about religious freedom. that was not achieved. it is a frightening thing. i direct this to either of you. >> then she pointed out are truly legitimate concerns. if we can build democratic institutions and to these countries, and to some extent we see it in iraq. we're beginning to see it in egypt and libya. want to build some of these institutions were parties have
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to participate in have to look at how they can try to meet their responsibilities to the people. it does have some kind of moderating the impact. even in egypt were understand your concerns. i understand there are various segments of the brotherhood that are trying to understand they have the bigger responsibility. they'll have to exercise leadership in regard to every
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aspect. in iraq, every time in looks like it is headed toward one direction, we're seeing some of that in libya. there are a lot of forces as a result of the era of spring. one thing we do not want to lose sight of is as a result, we can help redirect those countries. >> you're on the right track. i am hoping we might be able to involve some of the religious and ethnic minorities. it seems the we have the chance and mentoring the issue. >> i agree with what you just
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said. >> thank you. it is very great that this is a distinguished veteran. >> thank you. i appreciate the strong leadership. i will talk about syria and a second. i'm curious to hear the feedback. i am recently back from fort bragg and visiting with when the support commands. it is remarkable the level of team work that goes on. i feel that we are lacking in terms of systemic codification of some of the very encouraging
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development of the past decade. it can happen that the intelligence committee may be working the line of operations. figure to become a they will bump into each other. and their efforts to bring stronger collaboration in terms of information sharing. given your recent history, i would be curious to know what your thoughts are in terms of reform to bring it closer cooperation to the intelligence committee. >> i have been in this town. i do not think there is a better relationship between the intelligence and the military operation forces then there is today.
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they are surely working together. in afghanistan in yemen and other parts of the world, they are unified in the approach. they are working off strong intelligence resources letter being shared. the operations are basically worked out within the operations centers. there is very close coordination this is not involve the participation. they're doing a very effectively. i do think we need to lessons. i think we are right. when need to put in place the lessons learned.
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we can make sure the cooperation is one that continues. that is my biggest concern. we are facing al qaeda in terrorism. as we're able to achieve some success, there may be a danger the both of these make often tried to do their own thing. >> the game changing lessons learned are the integration of cyber. i think you're seeing a global network approach. most of our adversaries are not confronting us directly. to defeat a network, we have to be a network.
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and have to find a way to a network our capabilities. these are ways that have not had to do before. >> i concur with the assessment. as the go forward, we do not want to over codify to the point that would stifle initiative. am also concern that much of this is based on relationships. this would not come to the end in the event that two individuals may not get along. they still need this to work. i see my time is getting short here. with regard to the unrest in syria, have there been any adverse implications and ramifications in the province?
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>> not coming from syria. this runs from saudi arabia through western iraq into syria. there is assistance been provided on tribal relationships flowing into syria. we have not seen any backwash coming. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you for being here today. thank you for your service. chairman didn't say, of thank you for your commitment to our troops and veterans. we shall be adjourned.
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talked withtor check talk mike allen of political. dyspepsia was first launched in
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1984 and flew 39 missions, more than any other shuttle and nasa's fleet. tomorrow, a conversation with housing for closures in the economy. we will hear from joseph smith. live car bridge starts at 1:00pm eastern. >> from probation to today, this is always been a part of the american landscape.
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live on american history television. ber iner inilles of america. >> eric cantor talked abotu the republican agenda. this is 45 minutes. >> good morning. thank you for coming. i am mike allen, the chief political correspondent for "politico." hello to c-span and cnn. thanks for following this. we are on twitter. >> what was the first political office that you held? >> it was the 73rd district. >> how is that similar to what
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you did? >> it is the confidence that voters give you in a policy- making role. i started my political career based on the experience i head. i was a real-estate lawyer and developer. i face the challenges that must do every day. i brought that experience with me to the table at the state level and policy making level and interacted with regulators and administration there. trying to make it easier for entrepreneurs to succeed. >> what we are hearing from business people now is there is some sort of deficit deal that there could be a slowdown on the consumer side and the business side. >> there is a lesson to be
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learned from what happened last year. i think the public expects results from washington. a lot of us are frustrated that we are unable to see the results that we would like. as you recall, speaker boehner put a goal out there that if we are going to increase the debt ceiling, we will make sure that we will find the right cuts to match that increase. unfortunately, we cannot get congress to go along with it. i think we need to do everything we can to watch the spending. we need to be managing this deficit in a big way. over time, people are beginning to appreciate that watching the spending and shaving off unnecessary spending and getting rid of waste, fraud, and
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abuse is one thing. but getting to the root of the problems is where the two sides have a lot of difficulty coming together. >> what is the chance that there will be some sort of deal after the election? >> again, i think the country is in no mood. the economy is very frail. we cannot get another near calamity. the debt ceiling is not a positive thing. we all need to work together towards resolving differences. in the lame duck session, the country will have spoken. there is some indication of a direction that the majority wants to see us go. we need to avoid calamity on the debt ceiling. >> let's say that governor romney is elected. >> you can look at it that way. a month later, the tide can
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turn. the new party can be in place. hopefully the election will serve as the end point of this big discussion and we can get on about solving problems. that is my hope. the lame duck will then be, ok, voters have the opportunity to speak out. we are where we are. let's get together and solve problems. >> do you foresee a deal by december 31 to avoid the bush tax cuts? what will happen? >> the house will do everything it can to make sure that taxes do not go on anyone. we will make some moves throughout the year to reflect the notion that we do not think washington -- >> the house can do everything it can, that is fine. but some say there is a possibility that these tax cuts
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will expire. >> it depends on who wins. it really does. i believe that mitt romney will win. he is in a position to make sure that no taxes will go up on anyone. we can also provide for a transition period so we can put tax reform in effect. >> a letter was sent to house republican leaders for ways to avoid spending. as i look through the ways that you suggested to cut, it sounds very much like the ones that you were dismissing a moment ago.
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restraining spending on bureaucracy and waste. >> i did not diminish the importance of doing that. >> what is the dollar volume you're likely to get out of the next few months? >> you will see a reconciliation package that will allow us to save at least for a year so we do? not see the pentagon hit with a sequester after the president's budget. these are not inconsequential savings. it really is the entitlement question that we have to address. >> if i am working in the pentagon, should i be worried or not? >> there is no question that the pentagon is trying to do more with less. >> let me try to diagram that sentence. you want to support the pentagon in trying to do more with less. >> they are trying to do their best under the president's budget.
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they are going through the motions of where there can be savings. they are finding out more efficient ways to do things. bring innovation to bear. managing techniques. we want to preserve investments in our defense community.
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we want to shave off the inefficiency and waste and get on about with the mission that the pentagon lives under, which is the defense of our country. >> i had a conversation with jake sherman earlier. it seems as if there could be a lot of changes for taxes, but it would not help people. >> the 20% business tax cut was never proposed to be the ultimate. we know what we have to do. we need broad tax reform. it lends itself to the competitiveness of our country worldwide. it will make sure that investment flourishes again in this country and get washington out of the way it from picking w[here capital should go. that is what tax reform does. the 20% small business tax cut is something that we felt would
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help. we know jobs in the economy is the number one issue facing people today. they want to do something about it. >> let's see how good you are. how many democratic votes will you get today? >> i never pretended to be a good counter on the other side of the aisle. i think the president signaled that he wants to help small business. that is why i question the signal that he will veto a small business tax cut. >> you mentioned tax reform. "politico" had an interesting story. there is a push to get tax reform that you can take up in 2013.
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how far do you think the tax reform will go this year? >> the whip and another are planning sessions on what to do with our tax codes. >> that does not sound very specific. >> we know that the goal is to bring down rates. we know that the goal is to get washington out of the business of honing capitalism and rewarding those with affluence. get rid of the preferences and the loopholes. make the system a lot flatter and simpler and fairer. we also know that over 45% of people in this country did not pay income taxes at all. we have not questioned whether that is fair. it should be broadened, the base, in a way to lower the pay for everybody.
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if you have 45 percent of the people who are not paying income taxes in the country, should they even have a dollar in the game of income taxes? the purpose should be to bring down rates for everyone. look at the corporate rate. we have the first highest corporate tax rate in the world. that does not look well for america. >> how might that be addressed? >> we need to look at where the burden is and what is best to help those who are at the bottom sector of the income scales. how do we help them with their income mobility? that is what we want to do. how do you help people who want to have a better life? who want to have higher wages? you create growth in the
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economy. how did you do that? straighten out the tax code and flatten the tax rates. look at the reality of the income disparity in this country. how do you fix it? increase income mobility. >> after many years, the shape of the tax reform debate is clear. president obama has put out a plan where he talked about lowering corporate tax rates and getting rid of loopholes. it sounds like this should be doable, but you are smiling. >> again, we should be putting into effect tax reform. what we hear from the white house is that tax reform means tax increases. >> but that is not what they say. they say they want to lower it. >> but that does not happen. when president obama unveiled
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his proposals for international tax reform, all of a sudden, there is now a minimum international tax that american- based companies will have to pay. that puts them at a disadvantage. >> that would be a deal killer for you. >> you have to think about what the goal is. we need to be more competitive. we want more revenue generated by a growing economy so we can help manage the deficit and debt. you do not do that by saying that he will raise taxes. there are consequences to that. we want to create jobs here at home. but companies may move abroad to escape higher taxes. >> so house republicans will have a package to move forward? >> we have been very bold in putting forth prescriptions, something the other side has not
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done. i believe that we will be looking at all of the issues. there was a hearing on the retirement provision in the tax code and what tax reform means to those retirement provisions. this is not easy stuff. >> do you think the comprehensive tax reform will pass in 2014? >> this is tough stuff. we want to make it simpler. >> it sounds like you are not really confident on comprehensive tax reform. >> i believe that there will be some comprehensive tax reform. we know we are working with 435 members in the house and others in the senate.
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we all have to learn that in order to get results, we will have to come together. when you say my kind of tax reform and other tax reforms, really we all want results. >> for those of you on c-span and live stream land and twitter, give us your questions and responses. that will be handed to me in a minute. we will hear from a white house respondent. but first, let me ask you about the house leadership. "politico" talked about peace talks. why can you not get along?
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>> we really do get along. there is some notion among your profession that we need to have a story there and say that we do not get along. we do get along. the speaker and i meet all the time, one-on-one and in groups. >> let's be accurate. >> i can tell you that we do get along. we have a professional relationship and a personal relationship. we are able to match as a speaker and majority leader in a way that allows us to function. we have regular communication. i think that there is a fascination that is misguided. >> does it bother you? do you think you should do more
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to correct it? >> i think the misplaced fascination no longer bothers me. >> so you are saying that there is no reality to it at all? >> no. >> at the white house, they are giddy at the opportunities that you have represented to make this a contrast composition between president obama and the republicans. do you feel in the sense of where this goes now that you need to listen to what the republican nominee wants going forward in order to that contrast the white house is eager to get? >> the public polling suggests that it will be about jobs and the economy. we welcome the opportunity for voters to see the difference as to our vision of the direction the economy and country should take versus the president's. his policies have failed. people understand that. that is why you can see in polling that anxiety levels are very high in this country.
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they do not have confidence in their ability to make it through the month. it is tuition prices and health care prices and gas prices. it is the uncertainty. that is why we welcome the opportunity to debate the differences that we have with the white house. >> is mitt romney a true conservative? >> yes, he is. he is someone who has a proven track record in the one area where voters are most interested to see results, and that is jobs in the economy. he is the only one who has that track record. he certainly beats the president in terms of job creation. he also wants to put out a bold plan for growth. this president has not done
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that. >> you have a lot of irons in the fire. what role are you playing in the romney campaign? >> we want to help him in any way we can. i am very focused on helping our candidate deliver the message that we are the party of small business, opportunity, and job growth. we have the prescriptions and want to put them out there to help small businesses and entrepreneurs and how to ensure that america becomes a star country again. we used to be known as the place to come to if you wanted to make a better life and strike out on your own. we really are the country of economic freedom. we are the country that says that, economic freedom for its ordinary people and the ability to do extraordinary things. that is what we want to restore.
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mitt romney has the track record to say to people, it is all of us together reclaiming that dream. >> why are so many republicans lukewarm toward mitt romney? >> i do not think that is true. >> do you talk to them? >> again, i would say that we need to stop selecting the ones who may want to give you the message and the narrative you want to portray, but our conference is excited about uniting behind mitt romney. this election is about making life better for people who seem to think that america has forgotten what has made us so great.
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>> you think republicans are on fire and excited about mitt romney? >> i have been to a primary process and it has been pretty rigorous. i think we are now at a point where members in our conference are satisfied that mitt romney is going to be a terrific candidate for us. they are getting behind his candidacy and his policies in contrast to those in the administration. >> what is the law for the house? >> i am very bullish on the house. i am very confident that we will strengthen our majority. as you know, we had a program in place that stemmed from the young guns program that is in place. it served as an excellent
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vetting and grooming program for candidates. redistricting has yielded a safer playing field for us. i think many incumbents that were elected and what were swing seats have been shifted off the category. we are looking at playing offense and potentially having 30-40 seats in play. >> what is the most that you can gain? >> if we are looking to make sure that we are playing offense -- >> i am sorry. how many do you think you will gain? >> 30-40 seats in play is our goal in offense. >> you think you can pick up how many seats? >> we will see how things will go. on offense, 30-40 seats. >> most people seem to think
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that you will lose some seats, but you are saying that you will gain seats. >> i am optimistic about our ability to strengthen. >> but that is not what you said before. >> but that is what i said. >> we've got a question about running. should he put bob macdonald on the ticket for vp? >> i think he would be a great vp. >> how would that help?
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>> i think he would be great. if he is on the ticket, he will help us in virginia and north carolina and in a lot of states where voters matter. bob macdonald, he was my seatmate in the house of delegates when you and i first met. he is a father, a family man, a businessman. he is someone who understands what the independent voters wants and that [gets] results. >> and you heard some of the issues that came up in virginia? >> i think that his leadership in virginia has been stellar. look at the public polling in virginia. bob macdonald is very popular. he has been able to manage the budget. the state has unemployment numbers that are much less than the average. i think he is very strong. >> what about paul ryan? >> paul ryan is terrific. i said that before and i will say it again. he would be a great leader.
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>> how would he help mitt romney? >> paul ryan demonstrated the ability to lead on matters of budget. he has a clearer grasp on the budget than anyone i know. he is serving in congress. he understands that we need to get our fiscal house in order. >> would that give him some vulnerabilities with the middle? >> i think right now people are squarely focused on making their lives better. they have more job security. all these things have provided uncertainty for too long. the leadership there looking at
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is not responding. i think that is why mitt romney and you every he picks is going to be the antidote people are looking for. >> as about ask about ryan and mangled. something he mentioned, fortifies our of americans are not paying any federal income tax. what do you say about that? do you think should have a tax increase tax >> just looking at it, you have got to discuss that issue. what is going to fund it the necessary operations? how do we allow that to take place? >> whatever scenario teammate she used to embrace about
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cutting the spending are reforming the entitlement programs, the necessary piece is a growing economy. are you will never manage down at the budget. that has got to be the goal. how do you deal with that? how do you deal with a shrinking pie, and a number of people and entities that support the operations of government? and how do you go about continuing to milk them more, if that is what some want to do, but preserve their ability to provide the growth engine? that leads me back to saying those at the bottom end of the income scale want nothing more than to increase their income, to get up the ladder of success. the goal should be, how do you do that? i have never believed that you go and raise taxes on those that have been successful, that are paying in, taking away from them so that you just hand out and give to someone else. they want the ability to get up the ladder.
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those are the kinds of issues we've got to be asking and fighting resolution to together to affect -- a finding resolution to together to affect tax reform. >> on the bp that surge up, i'm wondering if you can give some guiding principles to romney in who he should be looking for. should he try to put a woman on the ticket? your name was on the list for mccain. should eric cantor be on the list? >> no to that answer. eric cantor is not interested at all in that. and jonathan, i will just say this. the election is going to be very clear. there will be a very clear choice.
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it is mitt romney's choice. he will make that decision. he will set the tone on what the terms of the debate are. and we welcome that contrast with obama in terms of the economic vision with this country that is so central on the minds of so many in america right now. >> you got in a little hot water for supporting a challenger to a house member. what did you learn from that episode? >> i made a commitment to a colleague of mine way back and i felt it necessary to live up to the word that i gave that kolly. >> and what sort of -- what have you learned? you got a lot of blow back from your conference. what did you learn? >> decisions that you make are sometimes not easy. but most importantly, you live up to your commitments and you make sure that your word stays good.
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and your word does not mean that some days it is good and others is not. >> a very interesting behind- the-scenes story on politico about this. it said that the member who lost, the representative of illinois -- you supported his challenger -- said that according to a half-dozen reports, it said that you would not be saved. what do you have to say about that? >> i will say only that it was a commitment i made to a colleague. >> you believe that he said that? >> again, i am not commenting on that he is an upstanding individual who served his constituents well. >> you think there's any anti- semitism among members of congress? >> no, i do not want to say anything about those remarks. i do not want to talk about anything having to do with the sort of darker side of any kind of comments made or whatever.
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>> you are saying there is a darker side. >> all of us know that in this country, we've not always gotten it right in terms of racial matters, religious matters, whatever. as we continue to strive for equal treatment for everybody. but to sit here and say that in america we've got it all right now, i think pretty much all of us can say that we've still got work to do. >> we are talking about the house republican conference, not america. you are just back from a trip to google facebook. tell us about your tweet wall. >> we've got to go where the people are. we have tried to be very aggressive in opening up the kinds of things that we are doing here, making them acceptable to the people of the country. so much of what the people of
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the country see and feel coming out of washington has, for the longest time, been controlled by others. social media has enabled the people to actually assumes some ownership, to control the kind of news they want. they want to be able to interject themselves in the debate on certain issues. >> tell us what your twitter wall looks like. >> is a twitter what, a panel. >> is it in the waiting room? >> it is in the lobby, a central place where everybody has to walk by to get to the office. it is a clear reminder that everything we are doing should be ventilated with the public and the people that sent us here. we will end up getting a better work product if we pay attention to the fact that we've got to engage the public. it is they who sent us here. that is a social media, whether twitter or facebook.
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is any of the platforms now online, and in your pocket. they allow people to engage in a much more rapid fashion, for sure, and in a much fuller way. the more we can do that, the more we can invite people in. we have a project called the citizens co-sponsor project. >> that is on facebook. >> we just launched it and is to be compatible with facebook and other social media platforms dot where people can incorporate what they like and the things they are tracking in the legislative process into their home page, into their profile page, so that their friends can see what is going on and they can also get the update. they can see what is going on and it can spark some interest. they can say, i can go in and figure this out as well and become an honor of the process, too. >> what can washington learned from silicon valley? >> one thing i was told when i went out there early on was that in silicon valley, you wake up thinking globally.
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that is an interesting added because i think it means -- and interesting adage, because i think it means that we are the first to innovate and we can take those ideas and bring them to the market. what i think we learn from that is the onta and a real drive -- entrepreneurial drive, that commitment, that we do not stymie innovation -- that is what we learned from silicon valley. america is the frontier to the world. >> very specifically, how could the house changed its approach to mirror those lessons? >> one of those things is to ventilate, be open for ideas. that is why we have the twitter wall. that is why you see so much activity with vermont --
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republican members of congress on line. and the more we can stay close to the exchange of ideas and the input of the people that put us there, the better the product is here. one of the things we try to do with the schedule in the house this tart -- this term, is to make sure that members of the house are going home and meet with the people that elect them and do not stay in the beltway conference, under the dome, if you will, to think that all answers come from washington. because they do not. this is a country that is unique in that power virus -- power derives from the people. >> tell us about the google driverless cars. >> our road in the driverless cars. it is awesome. >> tell us about it. >> it is a pre s -- prius where they have taken cameras and put them on the roof and in the
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rear, and they have a laptop in the front seat and they put google maps onto the lap top and then images at filling that out. the car knows what you are passing by, whether it is trees, bushes, whatever. it also knows another car or truck, a person walking across a crosswalk. it senses where things are moving around it, and is utterly -- i was speechless to see what was going on. there was a driver in the seat in case anything went on -- went wrong, and an easy shot off switch. the goal that they've got is to make sure that those who are less fortunate, may be wounded veterans, or those who are handicapped have the ability to get around. imagine what you could do to provide mobility to people like
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that. obviously, they are going through more testing and things like that. >> you have always been an apple pie. you are one of the first offices on the hill that was totally a knack environment. >> yes, but i was all about this. this was the first unbelievable tool we had before us. one thing i wanted to assure you, i had my political open -- politico open right there. but we had some difficulties with politico the other day. >> is a fix now? >> yes, it is. but the amazing thing is the drop box app. my office is trying to go completely paperless. when we talk about preparations, and the staff is exchanging memos, etc. it is all done electronically now. it is all portable. it is all right here.
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>> your briefings come in the drop box? >> it all comes into the drop box. >> and what other 8 bps do you like? >> i have the politico app. and there are others as well. i do not want to slight anybody, but we really do -- >> do you play games? >> do i play games? >> you are not a scrabble die? >> i have so daukoru on here and say -- i have sudoku on here and a few others. [laughter] >> one of the reasons you're here is to learn about how people live, shot, etc. tell us about that. >> you got to learn about
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people, learn about what drives them, what makes them choose their lifestyle, and what kind of outcomes they want. i got into real estate development after law school because i had a father who was a real estate lawyer and developer, and a family in that business. what i saw is that you have an ability to start literally from the ground up. when you plan a project -- and my family is in land development -- and when you start a neighborhood, a subdivision, you start thinking about what people will see and do every day driving into that neighborhood, turning onto the main thoroughfare. what kind of shopping is available? what kind of entertainment? what kind of services do they need? it is about patterns of life.
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>> tell us about a place to shop. give us an example. >> how would applies to shopping? >> when you think about patterns of life. >> i was just recently in florida and i was on an island where people live and i think, how do they go shopping? how do they get a carton of milk? or if their child is sick, how do they go get medicine quickly? you know, without having to go off the island. i was told later that there were some stores on the island that i did not see. but it is that kind of thing. what are the necessities of life? what are the elements that families require to support
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their existence? i know, from being a parent when your child has a hallmark of time and do and suddenly they forgot to tell you something they need to bring to school the next day, thank goodness there is a wal-mart down the street open 24 hours that you can access to get what you need. but it is that kind of access that forms the basis of support in a community. and it is not just school supplies, but what kind of health care services are available. when you have a retirement community that you may be involved in building, what would they be interested in? they are certainly interested in health care facilities, and and making sure that a hospital is nearby. it starts with community and it starts with people and trying to understand in a market way what the market will demand and what will make the project successful. >> we are about to give the look really quickly with a book that is on there. what do you think we should read? >> i am reading "boomerang" by michael lewis. it is the sequel, or prequel to the big short that he wrote. it is fascinating. and obviously we are trying to figure out how not to step into that here. >> and music, the red hot chili peppers. >> yes, it is true. and you have a little jay-z and kalisha and the rest. obviously, we have the cleaned up version.
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but when you live with teenagers, you have to understand what they are about and try to correct their direction sometimes. >> and i've seen you play golf with my key, and i guess now we have to call him michael because he got into you va. >> i still want to call him mikey. >> you just got one going out of you va. >> i do. he is heading to new york. he is going to work in the financial-services industry. my wife has always had a terrific quantitative head as a cpa, nba, and j.d.. he is probably following in her steps. he gets terrific grade. >> you also have a daughter at the university of michigan.
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>> she is finishing up her sophomore year next year. and i do have the youngest, to 17, just alerted of his acceptance to you va. next year, will be empty nesters. >> and in two months, he will be 49, and you are a young done. -- a young done. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> is the complete guide to the 112 congress. you will find information on in house and the senate. plus information on supreme court justices. it is $12.95 plus shipping and handling. thursday, nasa officially delivered the special discovery to the air and space museum. that salmon is next on c-span. then a briefing with christine lagarde of the international monetary fund. later, leon panetta testifies about the political unrest not as serious. >> this is such a complicated
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conflict that we have never ever fought a war like this. it is complicated. what is referred to back in washington as nation-building. it is very targeted were fighting. >> he has spent decades facing u.s. military organizations.
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and former astronauts. this one-hour event is courtesy of nasa. ♪
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[applause] ♪
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[applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to our distinguished panel of presenters. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the presentation of the colors and the singing of our national anthem by ms. denise graves. ♪ ['it's a grand ol' flag"] ♪
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♪ ♪ oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light what so proudly we hailed at
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the twilight's last gleaming? whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight, o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? and the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
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oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? ♪ [applause] >> tamarine card -- the marine guard color before you is unique wild in on commissioner officer carries the official better core of the marine corps.
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the vans is played with the battle corps commemorate to the campaigns in which the marines have per dissipated. they span the entire history of our nation from the revolutiary war to the president, declared with pal, oakley's, and clusters of stars. they represent the campaign of the united states marines. it is the oldest post of the core to be entrusted with the colors of this battle corps. -- custody of this battle color. ♪
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♪ >> ladies and john, please be seated. -- ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. in honor of this historic event, we would like to recognize the dedication and patriotism of all branches of our armed services. once your service song is played, please feel free to stand and be recognized. we are proud to present armed forces salute. here is ce again, the
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commandants alone, the united states marine and drum and bugle corps. ♪ ["into the wild blue yonder"]
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[applause] ♪ ["anchors away"]
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[applause] ♪ copps [applause] ♪
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[applause] ♪ [applause] >> ladies and all men, the commandants of, the united states marine drum and bugle corps. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the director of the smithsonian air and space museum, general jack daley. [applause] >> if your blood is not moving now, let me know and i will send a gurney for you. [laughter] how about another hand for the tremendous pformance as we have had here by miss denise graves said, the cover -- the color guard and the drum and bugle corps of the united states [applause] marine corps] good morning -- united states marine corps. [applause]
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good morning. it is my pleasure to welcome you here. this is the most mispronounced name of any smithsonian facility. we are delighted to have you here to transfer the space shuttle discovery into america's collection of aviation and space treasures. it is great to see such a large, enthusiastic crowd. and many of you have bee standing for several hours. we realize that and we will keep this program moving. but i hope the memories you take from today will make it worthwhile. the center opened in 2003 in the recognition of the wright brothers a century before. the wright flyer is one of the most iconic aircraft in the museum's collection today. and today, we will welme
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another. another treasure, one that recommended -- represents the 30-year history of the shuttle program, that symbol of the trams of human space flight. -- a triumph of human space flight. the represent courage, creativity, skill, and that unique quality that we all share, the americaspirit. for every major milestone in space history, americans have participated in the excitement, pride, and optimism of the occasion, and today is no different. since 1960, nasa and the smithsonian have worked together to make space objects accessible to the public. discovery is the latest example of this collaboration. on behalf of the national air and space museum and the american people, grateful to nasa for its continuing generosity. it is ok to apply there, folks. applaud there,
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folks. [applause] without private support, the museum would not be able to present exhibitions and programs. today's ceremony was made possible through the generous support of the boeing co. and lockheed martin corp. another opportunity. [applause] to set the stage for the celebration, i would like to introduce a short video produced by nasa. please, turn your attention to the screens for highlights of discovery. ♪ >> the space shuttle discovery, named for past ships of exploration, was delivered from it palmdale california factory to the kennedy space center in 1983. since then, discovery has lived up to the historic legacy of its name it s been up more than any spacecraft.
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in order, a probe -- it carried laboratories to study with us as, and insurance to study the earth and its atmosphere. it became the first spacecraft to bring his satellite back to earth. [cheers and applause] but perhaps even more compelling than the discovery is enabled in space, the spirit of this vehicle has help humanity to discover on earth. it's missions include flights that showcase how one time cold war adversaries can become a longtime friends for exploration. it's like have panded space travel beyond boundaries of age, gender, and race, counting among those who flew on it, the olst astronaut, the first female shuttle pilot, and a
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first african-american space walker. [applause] but above all, discovery twice proved that america had the willnd determination to persevere and to succeed in the face of devastating grief and tragedy, returning america to space after the challenger and the columbia accidents. discovery is the most this -- most accomplished space shuttle endeavour, amounting to over 5000 trips around the earth, and more than 300 days in space. [applause] >> although it is impossible to recognize that thousands of people by name who contributed to discoveries achievements, we are honored toave 15 of th 32 commanders of discovery who are here on stage.
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we have of co, whose 1985 mission contributed to two satellites in orbit. jo english, whose crude -- joe engle, whose crew delivered three satellites -- whose crew deliver three satellites. if you are going to cheer for one of them, you ought to cheer for all of them. mike coast who is now director -- mike caots, w is now director of the johnson space center. [applause] fred gregory. [applause] he commanded eighth classified -- he commanded a classified mission. remember your days in space? >> [unintelligible] [laughter] >> you can tell an astronaut, but you cannot tell him much. [laughter] bob, who served on the discovery mission ken cameron, who deserve doniger that said
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the atmosphere. -- that studied the atmosphere. i got to get these pages here. that is what moister does for you on a morning like this. just stand up. frank culbertson. he commanded a mission that it astrophysics research. [applause] charlie moulton, now administrator of nasa, and commded a mission with a scientific laboratory on board. [applause] stay up. [laughter] curt brown, the only one to man 3 discovery missions, including one to service the hubble space telescope charlie mere court. -- telescope. charlie precourt.
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dr. horowitz, completed the first docking and crew exchange with the international space station. eileen collins, -- [cheers and applause] flew two missions on discovery, first as product, and then return commander to the space station. [applae] [applause] steve]. -- steve lyndsey. [applause] get it? [laughter] will work on that one. c j sterko. [applause] to theivered equipment o space station. alan poindexter -- [applause] became the large contingent in space ever at one time, 13
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people. and also with us, 13 more shuttle astronauts. and welcome pilots bill reedy -- [applause] -- don williams -- [applause] -- joe allen -- [applause] -- chris ferguson -- a [applause] -- tom jones [applause] -- ] -- [applause] tom jones -- [applause] can writer. -- ken ritenour. [applause] steve robinson [applause] casey torn [applause] -- casey thornton.
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[applause] and last but not least, payload specialist, john glenn. [applause] this is one of the greatest gatherings of astronauts probably in the history of nasa. [applause] the things we have to do to become an astronaut are incredible. but when you are commander, you are the top of the bunch. is is only a handful of the incredible people at nasa. they are risking their lives
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every day in space and developing new capabilities to get there. you will not see this again either. 2012 is the 100 anniversary of the mane corps aviation. and we will celebrate this the entire year, and you will see toead of it as a evidence by the new zocor -- the drum and bugle corps. you will see more of it right now. he was a distinguished aviator preserved in the record 35 years and it -- in the marine corps 35 years. it is my pleasure to introduce major general usns he retired, charlie bolden. -- retired united states marine corps, charlie bolden. [applause] >> thank you very much.
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to my mazing colleagues who flew this incredible machine and the entire shuttle fleet, thank you very much for what you've given to my country. there is group to my left and to my right. you see those? they wear those iridescent green safety jackets anstuff. they are part of the incredible career of people who make it possible for us to do what we do. they represent the united states alliance, boeing, lockheed, you name it. it is the entire nasa family. please, give them a hand. [applause]
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and i will tell you, if you want to meet some incredible people and shake their hands and get some stories about where the skeletons are hidden, you can talk to the crowd. [laughter] it is my pleasure to be here to welcome discovery to her new home and opened this chapter of her historically. i welcome all of you to share in the accomplishments of discovery and a fleet of which she is a part as we look forward to the future which she has led us. it drew this nation together in times of tragedy and triumph. we are now happy to share this legacy with millions of visitors in thisantastic venue. alongside this historic air and space craft that has changed our world and turned science fiction into science fact, and how does realize what seemed to many to be impossible dreams. we have been able to travel $148,000,221.600 75 miles.
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miles.5 i was privileged to board discovery twice, first as the hubble mission in 1990, finally as commander when we flew for the first time with their russian crew member 1994. discovery also was of the mir space station torrez, conducting the -- twice, conducting service missions to the hubble and to the international space station. and speaking of the international space station, when the coastguard saw was played got -- kasab was played, -- song was played, a coast guard meer was with us in spirit. dan was with us in spirit.
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[applause] i also want to look forward to what she and the shuttle fleet have helped to make possible. the we are embarked on an expired -- exciting new space exploration journey. and we are relying on american ingenuity and know how. nassau is partnering with private industry to provide crew and cargo to the international space station, while developing the most powerful rket ever built, to take the natio are the never before into the solar system political -- the source system. the shuttle fleet was amazing and we have learned what we will apply to the next generation of sce transportation systems. even now, the shuttles have been at transferred to the space center for early testing of the heavy launch vehicle that will take us further into space than ever before, to an asteroid
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and on to mars. the shuttle and space that we had in order was something we could accomplish it regularly, although i will not say routinely, because every time a human t off for space and leave for thplanet, i know we describe it as white, but you will notice it is start a little bit. -- charred a little bit. try going through three dawson degrees and see if you do not get a little charge. -- 3000 degreeand see if you do not get a little charred. ultimately, they helped us construct the international space station, where astronauts have lived and worked continuously for more than a 11 years now, helping with experiments that help to further destinations. that unique laboratory will be our stepping stone to the rest of the solar system. as nasa retires the shuttle fleet, we are transitioning to
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a new era of exploration. with technology at the forefront to help us to reach higher and leave future generations with greater capabilities. today, we turn discovery over to the smithsonian with great expectation that as we have always done, nasa will continue to inspire young people today and tomorrow to dream of space, to dream of on covering the secrets of the universe, and take steps to pursue their careers that will make them the exploration leaders of tomorrow. the hope we leave you with today is that this magnificent flying machine that carried more people into space than any vehicle ever before will be a testament, not only to overcoming the human and technological obstacles of the day, but a tangible example that our dreams of exploration, of reaching our higher potential are always within reach if we stretch for them. to the smithsonian institution
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and the national air and space museum, i know you will take care of discovery as you have the many, fax -- space artifacts that you're taking care for more than a dece now. -- more than five decades now. i know that sunday, my grandchildren will be able to stand in awe othis great white bird that our innovation is continuing to pursue. to innovate and create the on the next horizon. now we have another speaker will talk a little bit more about the incredible life of discovery. >> the space shuttle began in august of '94 through its final flight in march 2011, during which it delivered the permanent multi-purpose module to the international space
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station. discovery launched a year in space during 39 flights over 27 years of service and travel more than 148 million miles during 5 miles -- 5038rbits of earth. all told, the space shuttle's lost half biion miles in space over 30 years of space flight and 135 missions and conducted scientific research. >> tho machines include the delivery of interplanetary probes that deployed the servicing of the hubble space telescope. we remember discovery fondly and wish her well at her new home at the center in virginia.
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[applause] >> overseeing the museum with its 19 research centers and its global duties is a big job. especially with the 37 million objects in the collection. nasa is not the only whone who can use numbers. but when it comes to adding that to the naonal collection, the secretary is an enthusiastic supporter. it is my pleasure to introduce the secretary of the smithsonian instition, dr. wayne kollhoff. [applause] >> thank you. it is a pleasure to be here. i have one of the best jobs in the world. i even have a general that reports to me. notice he did not show up when he introduced me. [laughter] -- choked up when he introduced
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me. we are so proud of jack and his staff. and let's give them a big hand. [applause] we value charlie and our great partnership. i am proud to be here with our fellow region's chair and the members of the board. i would like to ask the members of the board of regents to stand up. [applause] of course, it is always an honor to see our friend, senator john glenn, who is certainly a supporter of the smithsonian and a lendary pioneer of space travel.
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discovery is just one of the latest artifacts on display here. senator -- you can see the fiberglass from the mercy program, or the drug ore camera he bought and modified to take on this historic flight. now, this magnificent engineering marvel, discovery, which will be a centerpiece here at the center. f. scott fitzgerald famously noted there are no second acts in american lives. senator gle dispel that notion when he reprise his after not role on this very shuttle at the age of 77. now, discovery begins its own second act as an engine of imagination, education, and inspiration. as secretary of transportation
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ray lahood said tuesday when it landed, that was a wow moment in american historys people stood and cheered as a discovery made its final flight. in 2009, i had the pleasure of introducing center glen at the john h. quinn electors. or commemorating the 40 it -- 40th anniversary of the apollo program. he said something that struck me. in 1969, people all over the world said we landed on the moon. that united all cultures on our planet. many, if not most of us, have some personal connection to the shuttle program and the discovery. we had an employee for 30 years who worked on the shuttle program from its inception. as president of georgia tech, i was touched when we were
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presented flags from space in our archives. two were from the discovery. [applause] discovery and all of the space bridging were good at cultures. the astronauts represented a full spectrum of our diverse society and work alongside counterparts from europe, japan, and canada on the international space station. no matter where you are from, with hard work and dedication, by learning math, science, and engineering, you might travel to the stars. as discovery embarks on its new mission, it will continuto teach that lesson. although millions of people will have a chance to see it in person, we can reach many more worldwide. all this week, people are sharing their discovery photos,
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comments, and memories. on tuesday, we will use something called instagram. results in 24 hours or remarkable. 10 million people talking about the landing of the discovery. amazing. that has helped us and nasa bring our science and educational program to the people of the world. we are especially excited about discovery's potential to help reach students and inspire young people everywhere. young people in the audience today, we are glad you are with us today. you will grow to be the next engineers and scientists. our scientists today represent the best. maybe one of our young visitors will even be the first after not to set foot on a distant planet
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in the distant universe. discovery is not just a render of human ingenuity -- it is a challenge to keep the wizard in -- exploration is the essence of the american spirit. let discovery rekindle that spirit so we remember what we did before and we can do again. thank you. [applause] >> our next speaker is himself an american icon. at 90-years of age, he has served our country in many capacities and has contributed to the space program in many ways. in november, he received the highest civilian award from congress -- the congressional gold medal are his pioneering
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space exploration. it is my privilege to introduce someone who made his historic rst flight please welcomeenator john glenn. >> thank you. thank you very much. perhaps this started with a pioneer sippers landed on this new land that americans have always had a curious nature that has served us well. what is over the next hill? what is around the next bend? if we could just learn how to
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separate out of this chemical, it could use it to do whatever? explore they did. it paid out beyond their wildest dreams. they sent out scouts followed by wagon trains over insurmountable obstacles of forests, mountains, rivers, does it. sometimes there were -- deserts. sometimes there were losses but they moved on. a good trip was about 10 miles as they made the six month journey to oregon or california. discovery in the travel that 10 miles in just two seconds. albeit at a little higher altitude. new science breakthroughs were changing our nation. railroad replaced wagon trains. gasoline engines brought on automobiles.
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23 years after the last wagon train, the wright brothers flew a hawk in 1993. for tens of thousands of years, people looked up at the blue sky by day and the stars and moon by night. they wondered what was up there. could we ever go of their? where to go if we could go up their attacks there seem to be insurmountable odds against that ever happening. we must count ourselves among the most fortunate people of all time when we could realize that ages old dream can finely go. mercury and gemini i developed our abilities followed by apollo and neil armstrong's never to be forgotten first footprint on someplace other
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than the earth. we transition from apollo to a new vehicle, the space shuttle but was intended to broaden opportunities r orbital activities. it certainly did. it is the star. it has the most extensive rord of all the fleet. the missions included a wild bunch of things. it became a science platform for nine flight, a telescope repair station. this has literally written the astronomy books for all time. it is a flat out truck. it was the first space station delivery truck, at 13 flight it made to put together the space station that goes over us even today.
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discovery westerly a heavy haller any space station. that station is now doing continuing research with 15 international partners for us and the most unique scientific laboratory ever conceived. the unfortunate decision made a 0.5 years ago to terminate the fleet prematurely grounded our discovery. we recovered and now we move on with new programs and possibilities unlimited. today welso honor those who may discover possible. the work force kept if flightworthy. they were represented here today by 15 former flight
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commanders. today they take on a new mission. it is important. it will be on display not only as a testament to the events of our time, but also as an inspiration to future generations. adobe symbol for our nation a space flight and hope unchallenged and leadership and aspiration to explore and to excel. that is a big mission. we recently celebrated its 50th anniversary of our first orbital flight in a speech to congress.
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i closed with a statement that i would repeat today. as our knowledge of the universe in which we live increases, may god grant as the wisdom and guidance to use it wisely. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. an internationally known physicist, our next speaker is also helping to shape the future of the smithsonian. it is an honor to introduce the chair of board of regents, dr. france cordiva. >> thank you. i would like to add my welcome to senator glenn.
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our colleagues from nasa and all our guests here today thank you for your support at the smithsonian. it is your support of our american values of freedom and exploration and discovery. i would like to congratulate the staff of the national air and space museum. i do not know about you, but i will never forget those two big birds touching each other like that. wasn't that extraordinary? i am particularly pleased to be here today not only in my capacity as chair of the board of regents but also as the
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former chief scientist for nasa. and as president of perdue university where one of our goals is launching tomorrow's leaders. at perdue, we have had 22 of our alumni go into space including the first and last astronauts on the moon. following senator glenn's remarks, hundreds of engineers and scientists who have helped ensure that the shuttle program makes a tremendous impact for us all. since before senator glenn first orbited the earth in 1962, at nasa and the smithsoan have recognized the need to preserve and make it accessible artifacts that can best tell the story of american in space.
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as a result, millions of americans annually visit the national air and space museum including this, the hockey center. there are thousands of historic objects that have interested. some of these are iconic. but there is maybe lesso. parachutes, engine parts. all of them help us understand the unique flight that the space program holds in our imagination.
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before discovery can officially joined them and the national collection, we have a little bit of paper work to complete. the agreement transferring discovery from nasa to the smithsonian. i will now like to ask the general bouldin and general dailey as representatives to step forward. senator glenn, would you please join them as the witness? >> i am a witness. [laughter] [applause]
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>> n sure they don't screw it up. >> keep an eye on them. it is done. >> the space shuttle discovery is not officially part of the national collection. quite the pc presiding. we can learn a lesson. can you notice how the suspect of these guys are? -- how disrespectful of these guys are?
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or let them get away with it one more time. i like to recognize all those involved. the washington dulles airport is celebrating its 50th anniversary. the department of common security which work in cooperation with the shuttle flies over -- signature flight support for tugs and telling. they provided all of the support for the telling to and from. we appreciate that very much we
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welcome the discovery family weakened this saturday and sunday. our discovery festival is just beginning. these will remain on display this afternoon until about 4:00. all of you have -- who have been held up while take your family of voters. we ask that you have some educational programs on the stage. we ask that you do not move the chairs. it did not come up on the stage. leave the chair is when you go. we want me to feel free to stay and joy the day. this is extraordinary opportunity that we have. these are some video scenes that were films and the last three days.
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if you will stand by and give us a chance, we will get organized. we will turn you lose your photo opportunity. we appreciate the support you have given us. as we introduce the latest, thank you very much. ♪ [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] ♪
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>> #3? >> he looked kind of creepy. >> it appears they had a bias. >> i think this video present the fact very well. the tsa full-body scanners have a direct purpose. the protect us from potential terrorist threats.
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i find the defendant guilty as charged. >> thank you. thank you. >> they left, will you please take the defendant into custody. >> how do you feel about the ruling against your client? quite we believe it is unconstitutional. superman stand for truth, justice, and the american way and should not be convicted for what he does every day. >> to continue the conversation on our facebook and twitter pages. >> the pentagon is working on ways to try to halt the political unrest in syria. we would get an update from defense secretary leon panetta
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and the general martin who testified on capitol hill yesterday. on washington journal, the allegations against six -- 6 service agents involving prostitutes in colombia. washington journal live at 7:00. today, a conversation on housing foreclosures and the economy. the national community reinvestment coalition is overseeing a $25 billion settlement between 49 states. plus, the former ceo of fannie mae. live coverage starts at 1:00 eastern. later, a presidential candidate mitt romney will be in scottsdale, arizona. that is live at 3:45 eastern.
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>> defense secretary leon panetta and joint chiefs chairman general martin dempsey gave congress an update on the situation in syria. secretary panetta said the u.s. continues to pressure russia and china to join the international community in opposing syria's government. at least 9000 people have died in the country since protests began more than a year ago. this house armed services committee hearing, chaired by congressman buck mckeon, is an hour and 45 minutes.
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>> the secretary has a hard closed time at 12:30, so we are going to be as expeditious as we possibly can here. the house armed services committee meets today to receive testimony on the security situation in syria from the secretary of defense, the honorable leon panetta, and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general martin dempsey. thank you for being here today. the syrian conflict is now in its second year and the situation remains both uncertain and dire. as we convene, a tenuous cease- fire is in place. comes on the heels of horrifying violence at the hands of the assad regime, yet even though assange has committed to the cease-fire, reports indicate that he continues to inflict violence on the syrian people. president assad's years crackdown has been fruitless, including frederick human rights violations, use of force against noncombatant civilians, including children, and interference with the provision of humanitarian assistance. the estimate for the death toll is 9000. other estimates put the death toll as high as 12,000. just over a year ago, in the midst of the arab spring, the syrian people peacefully took to the streets, calling for the opportunity to elect their
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leadership's through fair and democratic process. this embodies the essence of what is driving the opposition. the president has stated that the violence in syria must end and that assad must go. it remains unclear how the president will accomplish these goals. in addition to the humanitarian concerns that i believe we all share, i am very concerned about the implications for regional conflict. as recently as april 10, assad back military unit shot across the border into syrian refugee camps in turkey, killing five individuals. additionally, violence is still in levitan and iraq has begun to behave erratically as it
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considers the prospect of a sunni controlled government succeeding the assad regime in the western border. moreover, the situation extends a strategic opportunity to deal with known supporters of terrorism in the region. as iran continues to back the assad regime, groups such as hezbollah have enjoyed support and residents in syria. on the other hand, there is much we do not know about opposition. syria maintains robust air defenses that limit military options. therefore, i am not recommending u.s. military intervention, particularly in light of our great budget situation, unless the national security threat was clear and present. these reflections lead me to wonder what the united states can do to stem the violence and
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hasten president assad from power. we also need to understand what we are doing to ensure the security of one of the world's largest stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. to paraphrase general petraeus, how does this all end? i look forward to your insights into the security situation and our way forward in syria. mr. smith. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in the interest of time, let me just say that i agree completely with the chairman's opening remarks. the assad regime has made it clear an awful choice to simply kill as many of its own people as he can to maintain power. it is in international outrage that should be condemned by all nations. i applaud calling attention for this outrage and try to build enough support to stop it. we need greater support in nations like russia and china
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and they should rise to the challenge and work with us to find a solution to this problem. they clearly have not done enough. i agree with the chairman that i do not see military option for us in this area for a wide variety of reasons. i have a longer statement will submit for the record that explains that. i agree that it has profound impact for a region that was already unstable in many ways. i look forward to the testimony from witnesses today to hear what our best options are going forward to try to contain this and give this committee a full briefing on where the situation is at and where they see it going, as difficult as the prediction might be. i think you, chairman, and i thank both of our witnesses for their leadership with our country and for being here today. >> thank you. secretary panetta. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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thank you for the opportunity to be able to discuss what is obviously a very tense and fluid situation in syria. the arab spring was impacting other countries and then hit syria as well. rather than trying to meet legitimate demands of the people, the regime of the bashar al-assad turned instead to violence. that violence has been cruel and devastating. it has put the syrian people in a desperate and difficult situation. has outraged the conscience of all good people and it has threatened the stability in a very important part of the world.
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the united states has made clear that the assad regime has lost its legitimacy, and that this crisis has no effective solution without assad's departure. the president has stated -- recent days are testing whether the assad regime will live up to all of its responsibilities to the syrian people and to the international community. restoring calm to the cities and towns across syria is just one test for assad in the days ahead. assad is responsible for fully abiding by the transition plan that has been outlined by the joint special envoy, kofi annan. he also faces deep skepticism about his motives, a skepticism
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based on a long train of assad's deceitful actions today, including broken promises to his own people and to the international community. the united states is committed to holding the syrian regime to its obligations. we are leading an international effort to help stop the violence and support the peaceful, political transition in syria. even as we speak, secretary of state clinton is meeting with our international partners in paris to determine what additional steps should be taken to make that happen. we know achieving that end is a
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tough task. from every angle, the situation in syria is enormously complex. there is no silver bullet. i wish there was, but there isn't. at the same time, the situation is of grave consequence to the syrian people. there are many others who are affected by what happens in syria as well, including syria's neighbors, turkey, lebanon, iraq, israel, jordan, and all nations with a vital interest in the middle east. meanwhile, it is fair to say that iran is syria's only ally in the region. no other country stands to lose more than iran from the eventual fall of the assad regime, which is why iran is
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supporting the regime material, financial, and technical assistance. we also know that the complex problems in syria cannot all be solved through the unilateral actions of the united states or, for that matter, any other country. they demand a coordinated, international response that is uniquely tailored to the situation we are confronting in syria. there are, however, certain principles that have guided the administration's response to unrest across the middle east. these basic principles have shaped our responses in tunisia, in egypt, in libya, and now in syria.
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first, we oppose the use of violence and repression by regimes against their own people. second, we support the exercise of universalist human rights. third, we support political and economic reforms that can meet the legitimate aspirations of ordinary people throughout the region. our policy in syria is very clear. we support a political and democratic transition that fulfills the syrian people's greatest aspirations. to support that objective, the united states is leading international efforts along five tracks. first, we are supporting efforts to maintain international pressure and advance the political transition in syria.
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we join with our partners in the united nations security council, including now russia and china, in calling for the urgent, comprehensive, and immediate implementation of all aspects theannan plan. second, we are further isolating the assad regime. we are encouraging other countries to join the united states, the european union, and the arab league imposing strong sanctions against it. the sanctions are putting assad under greater pressure than ever before. we are undermining the financial lifelines of the regime. three united states executive orders have targeted senior leadership, commercial and central bank of syria. the result is that 30% of the
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regime's lost revenues have occurred as a result of those sanctions. the u.s. and the eu have imposed a strong oil embargo. the exchange rate has depreciated by more than 50%, and their gdp has been in a serious decline, approaching almost - 8% in 2011, and more now. third, we are strengthening and unifying the non-violent political opposition in syria. the united states is in the process of providing direct, non-lethal support, including communications and medical equipment to the civilian led opposition. we are taking these actions in concert with similar steps taken by the friends of syria and other international partners to assist the opposition.
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fourth, we are providing in emergency humanitarian assistance to the syrian people. the total commitment so far is in excess of $25 million. food rations, medical supplies, water, and other relief supplies have been provided. lastly, we are reviewing and planning for a range of additional measures that may be necessary to protect the syrian people. my acting along these lines, we are increasing pressure on the assad regime every day. make no mistake, one way or another, this regime will ultimately meet its end. there are legitimate questions about what steps are necessary to achieve this end, with some arguing for an approach similar to the one we took in libya. the fact is that our recent experience in libya is helping to inform the approach that the
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united states is taking toward syria. first, our efforts are strengthened by multilateral, international consensus. that is extremely important to our ability to keep maximum pressure on the assad regime. second, we should maintain clear, regional support from the arab world. the arab world and sell, nations of the arab world, are outraged at the regime and what they are doing to the syrian people. third, we should offer substantial u.s. contributions where we can bring a unique resources to bear. fourth, we should have a clear, legal basis for our approach there. that clearly involves close consultations with congress. fifth and finally, our approach must keep all options on the table, while recognizing the
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limitations of military force. we must be prepared to take whatever action is required. but let me also say the situation in syria is different from the one in libya in some very important ways. this is not libya. in libya, there was widespread international support in the arab world and elsewhere in a clear, security council authorization for military intervention. nato was authorized to act on that. no such consensus currently exists regarding syria. the opposition is also not as well organized and does not control territory as we saw in libya. there are almost 100 different groups. on the one hand, that indicates that this is an insurgency that is broad based.
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on the other hand, it makes it difficult to determine who to help if they cannot come together and organize as a single opposition force. we must also be mindful, as secretary clinton has noted, of the possibility that outside military intervention will make a volatile situation even worse, and place even more innocent civilians at risk. the united states has made clear that we are on the side of the syrian people. they must know that the international community has not underestimated either their suffering or their impatience. the defense department's, as we always do, is reviewing and continuing to review plans for a variety of possible scenarios, should the president determined that further steps are necessary. in the meantime, our only clear
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path is to keep moving diplomatically with the international community in a resolute and deliberate manner to find a way a return syria to the syrian people. if we remain dedicated to that effort, i think we ultimately can prevail. thank you. >> thank you, mr. secretary. general dempsey. >> i appreciate the opportunity to testify before you today. the regime responded with brutality. serious internal convulsions are having consequences for a region already in turmoil of refugees are fleeing. spillover into neighboring countries is an increasing concern, and of course, we also
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need to be alert to opportunistic extremists who may seek to exploit the situation. as well as the need to be especially alert to the fate of syria's chemical and biological weapons. they need to stay exactly where they are. the u.s. is applying diplomatic and economic pressure on the regime to compel assad and his accomplices to stop the killing on their own. our military's role at this point has been limited sharing affirmation with our regional partners. but should we be called on to help secure u.s. interest in other ways, we will be ready. we maintain an agile regional and global posture. we have solid military relationships with every country on serious border. should we be called, our responsibility is clear, provide the secretary defense and president with options. these options will be judged in terms of their suitability,
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feasibility, and acceptability. we have a further responsibility to articulate risk and the potential implications to our other global commitments. in closing, i want to assure you and the nation that america's armed forces are ready to enter the call, wherever that takes us. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. the vote has been called. we are five minutes into the vote. i will ask questions and get as much done as we can, and we will break. those of you who desire to leave earlier to get over there to vote, i would encourage you to return as quickly as we can so we can keep this moving forward. mr. secretary, according to media reports this morning, the french president stated that action should be taken to establish humanitarian
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corridors. what are your views on this option? have you been aware of that? >> mr. chairman, we have looked at a variety of options as to what could be done, including the possibility of developing humanitarian corridors. again, we are prepared to do whatever the international community and ultimately agrees ought to be done, but clearly we have made plans along this line. >> general dempsey, you stated that syria's chemical and biological weapons need to stay where they are. what can be done to make sure they are secured? >> as i mentioned in the statement, we are sharing intelligence with our regional partners. in the aggregate, we feel like we have a good understanding of the disposition of syria's
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chemical and biological weapons. >> one of my concerns has been being said for a long time since the uprising started that mr. assad's days are numbered. what is the path for that happening? as i said in my opening remarks, the assad regime has sort of decided they don't care what the international community thinks, they will kill as many people as they need to kill to stay in power. they are getting some sort of tacit support from important nations like russia and china, and much more direct support from iran. that makes it clearly different than gaddafi in libya. he had no friends anywhere. he could not get that assistance. with that support, the leverage
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we need to pull to make sure that the assad regime goes, or my that support not be enough to let them stay? >> i thing that concerns you have indicated are the concerns we all share. part of the problem here is that assad still seems to maintain the loyalty of the military, even though there have been significant defections, the military still seems loyal and they continue to strike back at the libyan people, even as this effort to try to achieve a cease-fire and try to reduce violence there. we still see continuing artillery barrages violating the whole effort. >> what hope is there to get russia and china to change their stance and actually be more aggressive about fracturing the assad regime?
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>> obviously that was a concern when they initially voted against the security resolution that would have taken action here, but they have come around. they have supported the resolution that was adopted supporting annan and his efforts to try to achieve a cease-fire. diplomatic pressures being brought on both russia and china, particularly russia. that battle longstanding relationship and that part of the world with syria, to bring pressure on them to exercise whatever influence they can to ensure that they abide by annan plan. so there is some progress being made on that front. the additional steps that are important is that the international community continues to be very unified in taking action against the regime. there are additional sanctions that could be applied. we have applied some sanctions
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and they are putting great pressure on the regime itself. that pressure needs to continue. the third thing i would indicate is that this is a broad based insurgency. i think it is fair to say that the intelligence community feels that because it is a broad based insurgency, yes, he can strike back. he can continue to try to hold on, but ultimately, his days are numbered and openly, he will be taken down. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> the committee will recess know until we are able to return after votes. thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national
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cable satellite corp. 2012] >> we will come to order. mr. bartlett. >> mr. secretary, in your oral testimony noted administration is publicly committed to sending communications equipment
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to syria humanitarian organizations. i am aware of american companies that can provide the necessary hardware to the syrian opposition groups and humanitarian efforts. what steps does the administration take ensure that potential future allocations are dedicated to the future of u.s. manufactured equipment? what steps are being taken to assure american made technologies are being reviewed and properly vetted? >> i will yield to general them see on this as well. my sense is that most of the in the general dempsey. most of the communications gear we are talking about is made in this country, and that is primarily the communications gear that we would be transferring to the opposition leaders.
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>> i have nothing further to add to that. that program is being supervised by the department of state. >> the state department, other than the office of political and military affairs is charged with not providing equipment to these areas. is my understanding that the political military affairs personnel are not actively involved in determining the nature of what equipment should be distributed to syria. seeing as how the department of defense would have more precedent in such a role, what agency coordination is occurring between the department of state and part of defense? >> congressman, there is ongoing coordination with the department of defense, with the department of state on this issue. we do have a liaison who is they are working with them. let me give you a more in-depth report as to what the level of that relationship is like.
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but there is a military liaison that is working with the state department on this issue. >> i have nothing to add, congressman. >> thank you very much. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you, ms. sanchez. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, both gentlemen, for being here once again and for your service to our country. russia has not been very cooperative in moving the un closer to authorizing some form of action in syria. i know a lot of us have been disappointed in one to move something. some members suggest that we use some sort of pressure on russia to help convince them to be more helpful. for example, we could suspend cooperative threat reduction
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funds. do you believe that is a good idea? why or why not? >> at this stage, obviously the state department is the one that is taking the lead in dealing with russia, so i am not going to prejudge what the state should or should not use as leverage with russia. at this point, i have to say that russia has been cooperative with regard to support the annan effort. the most important leverage for russia is to try to make sure that they understand that, in fact, their interests are served by taking the steps, because once assad goes, the interest they have in syria are going to go away unless they participate with the international community.
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>> if i could broaden the aperture and point out the places where we are cooperating with russia in a very positive way. >> i am not suggesting i am one of those, but i do hear from my colleagues. >> we have to understand in the context of the entire relationship, not just this issue in isolation. we have terrific contribution with the no. distribution network out of afghanistan, counter piracy and narcotics. we have to understand the entire thing in context and deal with them as we would other nations with whom we have a variety of relationships. >> some have said that if we would just "handle syria" that that would help us in what is brewing with respect to iran, that one of the effects of the
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military is that assad has one of the largest army ground troops in the area and that buttresses iran's bullying in the area. what do you say to that, that's if we would get involved in syria we could help the people there move onto a more democratic or different type of government, that it would help us to bring the threat of iran down in the neighborhood. >> there is absolutely no question that if the assad regime comes down, the one country in that part of the world that will be even further
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isolated is iran. iran knows that, and that is why they continue to provide some assistance to assad, because they know that their interests are in maintaining the assad regime, not in seeing it go down. >> the only thing i would add is, the fall of the assad regime would be a serious blow to iran. i think the general testified before this body to that effect. but saying is the key would be analogous to say it would be solving a rubik's cube puzzle by lining up one side and neglecting the other sides. >> are there any circumstances under which the u.s. would get involved militarily? what if turkey invoked article 5 of our nato charter? >> if there is a consensus in the international community to do something along those lines,
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and not easily ensure that the international community is able to get the authorities required in order to make that happen. the one area with regard to article 5 and turkey, article 5 has only been enacted once after 9/11, as i recall. but they would have to make clear that what is happening there really does truly represent a direct threat to turkey. i think this point, that is probably a stretch. >> thank you. >> mr. jones.
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>> thank you very much for being here today. mr. secretary, if the situation changes and you believe the use of force in syria becomes necessary, will this administration seek authorization from congress before taking action? >> we will clearly work with congress if it comes to the issue of the use of force. this administration wants to work within the war powers provision to ensure that we work together, not separately. >> mr. secretary, as a former member congress, i have the biggest concern -- and this is not pointed at this administration. they seem to want to take the authority to decide whether or
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not they need to go into a country that has not been a threat. they might have evil dictators, they might have problems in those countries, but i have been very concerned. i actually went to the federal courts with dennis kucinich and two other republicans and two other democrats. we went to the courts because of the decision and how it was made. i realize you were not there at the time -- about libya. the american people seem to agree that we in congress have not exerted our constitutional responsibilities when it comes to war. i hope that if there is a decision, including iran as well as syria, if the decision is made to commit american forces, that the president would feel an obligation to the
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american people, not the congress, but the american people, to explain and justify why we take that kind of action. again, i am talking about a situation where we are not being attacked. we just see things happening in other countries that we don't approve of. i would hope, and i think he did give me this answer, but if you would reaffirm that if we have to use military force, and we are going to initiate that force, that the president, any president would come to congress and the american people and justify the need to attack. >> congressman, as you understand, this president's as other presidents will operate pursuant to the constitution. the constitution makes clear that the commander-in-chief should act when the vital interest of this country are in jeopardy. i believe this president
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believes that if that in fact is the case, he would do that in partnership with congress in terms of taking any action. >> i remember my good friend from virginia asking secretary gates when we went then, and it seem like if they call the leadership of the house and senate, it must of been one call. mr. ford as mr. gates if libya fired missiles in the united states, would that be an act of war. my friend virginia is a very articulate and intelligent gentleman. he never got a straight answer. i hope that you will prevail upon the administration not to take those kind of actions as they did in libya, whether it is justified or not. i will not get into that
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debate, but in my opinion, that was really kind of a snub of congress and the responsibility of congress based on the constitution. >> i can assure you that as long as i am secretary, we will not take any action without proper legal authority. >> thank you very much, and i will yield back my 39 seconds. >> your service is both an inspiration to us and a blessing to our country. we thank you very much for it. i want to congratulate the administration on your success with russia and china, moving into a very different place on this issue compared to where they were just a few weeks ago. mr. secretary, i think the data you gave us about the exchange rate for the syrian currency and the gdp are a reflection of the effectiveness of that coalition.
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you also know that we do not yet have the level of consensus in the arab world that existed for the libyan problem. what do you see as the principal obstacles to achieving that kind of consensus with respect to the syrian regime? >> i think the arab world is struggling with the same issues that the whole international community is struggling with, which is in order to take additional actions, what, in fact, does make sense? who is the opposition? how can we best assist the opposition? cackle would provide the help the syrian people need in order to overcome this situation? what kind of pressures would best be placed on assad in order to force the regime downward? all of those same difficult, complex issues that the whole international community is dealing with, the arab
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community is confronting as well. libya, that all came together. in syria, it is still a difficult challenge putting those pieces together. >> this is a hypothesis that the cohering factor in the libyan situation is a sense that gaddafi had completely lost the support of his own people, and no one wanted to be associated with the regime that was illegitimate in that sense. do you think that assad has simply not reach that point with his own people yet, or is there some other factor that is diverting us from that consensus? >> i think is of the factors that i pointed out in my testimony that make this different from libya. the fact that number one, he does still enjoy the loyalty of a good job of the army and the military. that makes it more challenging in terms of trying to undermine
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the regime. secondly, that opposition is disbursed. there are a lot of groups there that represent the opposition. in libya, there were some different tribal groups that make up the opposition. they were holding territory. we knew who they were. we could define what the opposition was that needed assistance. it is much more of an insurgency kind of opposition. >> you mentioned that the phrase is vital national interest a few moments ago. do you agree with the proposition that it is a vital national interest to the united
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states to discourage regimes which could serve as an incubator for asymmetric warfare against the united states? >> that would obviously have to be debated on the issue of does it directly impact our vital interests. i guess an argument could be made along those lines. i would think in this case, it is a really important for the international community, if we are going to continue to work with the international community, if we are going to be a partner with them in deciding what additional actions ought to be taking place, it ought to be within the international context that decisions for action ought to be taken. >> how would you characterize the public record of the relationship between syria and hezbollah? >> the public record, and more importantly, the intelligence record that we have, is that there has always been a close relationship between syria and hezbollah, and that hezbollah has always had some level of protection. >> do you agree with the proposition that the weaker hezbollah is, the better the
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united states is? >> anything we can do to weaken the terrorist group is in our interest. >> i yield back. >> thank you for being here, and general dempsey, we thank you for your service. you are both good men and you have served your country well. we are honored you would be here and share your thoughts, because today you have -- the risks to the country are huge today. when we talk a bottle national interest, probably there is no greater interest that we have than the rule of law. sometimes we have to ferret that out and see what it is. as i understand, you believe that before we would take
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military action against syria, it would be a requirement to have a consensus of permission with the international committee before that would happen. is that a fair statement? if not, would you tell me what the proper -- i would like to come back to the question that was asked. i know you would never do anything that you did not think was legally proper, and you said that the administration would have proper legal authority before they would take any military action. i question is, what is proper legal authority? as mr. jones pointed out in the war powers act, it is unlikely we would have a declaration of war, but that would be one thing. we know if there was a national attack, that would be one of them. the second thing would be
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specific statutory authorization. do you feel that it would be a requirement to have proper legal authority that if he did not have a declaration of war or an attack on the united states, that you would have to have specific statutory authority -- in other words, the permission of congress, before you take military action against syria? >> we would not take action without proper legal authority. >> i understand, and all due respect, we are trying to find out what exactly proper legal authority is. that is what we have to act under. we do not have the president here to chat with him or have a cup of coffee and ask him. you are the closest we get. we are asking from your understanding as secretary of defense, what is proper legal authority? with that require specific statutory authorization from the united states congress if we
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had not had a declaration of war or an attack upon the united states? >> again, that we put on this basis. this administration operates pursuant to the war powers act and whatever it would require in order for us to engage, we would abide by. >> thank you for putting up with me, as i just try to stumble through this and understand it. as i read the war powers act, and has those three requirements. are there any other requirements in there you are familiar with that i am leaving out or not reading? if that is the case, i come back to if there is no declaration of war, no attack upon the united states, and if we are going to comply with the war powers act, would it require specific statutory authority by congress before we took military action on syria? >> again, under the constitution, the commander-in-
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chief has the authority to take action that involves the bottle interest of this country, but pursuant to the war powers act, would have to take steps to get congressional approval. that is the process that we would follow. but she would have to take steps to get that approval, but with the approval required before we would take military action against syria? >> the constitution and the power the president, the president could deploy forces if he had to if our vital interests were at stake, but ultimately under the war powers act would have to come here for your support. >> you would get the support of congress after you began military operations. >> in that particular situation, yes. >> just one last thing. it is your position that the administration's position would be that we would have to get a consensus of permission from the international community
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before we would act, but that we would not have to get specific statutory authority from congress before we would act. >> in that situation, if the international action is taken pursuant to a security council resolution or under our tree obligations with regard to nato, that obviously we would participate with the international community, but then ultimately, the congress of the united states, pursuant to its powers of the purse, would be able to determine whether or not that action is appropriate or not. >> thank you, mr. secretary and general dempsey. i wanted to ask you more about the opposition groups and i think you have been quite clear that it is a diverse group and hard to read them in many ways, but is there one particular or several issues that you see them either fragmenting or
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coalescing? particularly as it would relate to trying to broker any kind of agreement with the assad regime short of eliminating it. >> as i have indicated, there are a number of groups involved in the opposition. it has not always been easy to get those groups to be able to coalesce. there are some outside syrian troops that are making an effort to do that. there has been better progress by other countries that have tried to, one way or another, provide assistance, to try to urge those groups to coalesce. there has been little more progress on that front, but it is still a difficult challenge. >> it read back to an earlier question about what is it seems
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so difficult to get the countries in the region to coalesce around a single, unifying idea. i think they are cautious about what comes next, and to thread these two themes together. it will affect the relationships. that is not to predict some negative outcome, but it will change. what they are circling around here is, can they get a clear idea of what might happen on the other end of this? these two thoughts are linked, i think you are >> in thinking about some of the efforts we have undergone there in terms of humanitarian missions, how are we protecting knows, if at all? what is happening in that arena, and to what extent is it
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going to have a positive effect, or helping to mobilize others or bring the opposition groups together in any way? what effect does it have? >> the humanitarian assistance, obviously the state department is directing most of that assistance, but it is going to programs like the world food program. $10.50 million is being disbursed in food aid. medical services and supplies, food and water, blankets, hygiene kids, about 8.5 million. the international committee of the red cross is providing relief supplies under their authorities at about 3 million. most of that, i think it is fair to say, a lot of it as probably being done in the refugee area where a lot of the refugees have gathered.
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there is an extensive number of refugees both on the turkish and jordanian border is that relocated there. >> is there any perception for those efforts that we are there to help the people of syria, that we have ongoing efforts? >> i have been has been made clear that we are trying to do whatever we can to provide that help. now we are making efforts to try to do some outreach into syria itself to try to assist those who have been harmed and try to see what we can do to provide assistance there as well. it is a much more difficult challenge. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. wilson.
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>> thank you for your service. i appreciate it as a veteran and also a very grateful parent of a son serving in the military. in the context of the instability that you are revealing, i am concerned about the sequestration of the defense budget, which would be a reduction of 8%-12%, beginning next january. you have learned about a hollowing out. people have heard and seen a hundred billion dollars cut and now pending $600 billion cut. it is just total confusion. what message do you have to the american people? what do you want them to know about the effect of sequestration? >> i tried to make clear time and time again about sequestration and the cuts involved, that it would be a
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disaster for the defense department. it would truly hollow out our force and weaken our national defense. we are already cutting close to half a trillion dollars. we made those proposals. they are part of our budget. we are doing that over 10 years. it has been a difficult challenge to do it pursuant to a strategy in a way that protect our national defense. sequester is a whole other set of cuts out there. it represents $600 billion across the board meat ax approach to the budget that would impact every area of the budget, regardless of apology, regardless of strategy and blindly strike at every area of the defense budget. we have to work together to ensure that does not happen. >> in terms of what message to the american people, i think first and foremost that the
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military is not oblivious to the economic ills of the nation and have done our best to contribute as part of the equation of national power, which includes economic, diplomatic, and military power. all three have to be in balance. we adjusted our strategy after the lesson of 10 years or more. our projection on what the nation would need in 2020. we match the budget to its. if we have to absorb more cuts, we have to go to the board and adjust our strategy. adjust our strategy. this strategy that we would

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