tv [untitled] CSPAN June 15, 2009 7:30pm-8:00pm EDT
personnel announcements. >> the secretary has full confidence in dennis ross to continue in his present role? >> absolutely. >> if dennis ross is going to continue as adviser to the secretary of the western gulf -- southwest calaveras? >> he is as i say working very hard, he worked very hard it throughout the weekend and is continuing to do his job. >> has a book that he and david makovsky publish cause any problems internally in this administration? >> no, it's a very good book. >> doing reviews from the podium and. >> was a concern about -- >> is probably inappropriate. >> was there any concern about his authorship of this book of some of the opinions that he and his co-author expressed in the book during the time leading up to his appointment came at not at all. mr. ross is in the
administration now, he is very close adviser of the secretary and on a number of issues related to iran in the region but he also came out of the academic community and he was entitled to his opinion. he wrote the book before he came on board here. >> but i mean his opinion in his book and everything notwithstanding are using the dennis ross is not being reassigned to another position at the white house? >> he is working hard at the speed -- state department. >> you are not saying now? >> is working very hard. i am not going to predict the future. >> no one is asking if he worked retardant,. >> i don't have a crystal ball and can predict. i may be reassigned to god knows where tomorrow, i don't know to reckon we stay with iran? >> i sense something saying at was worldwide available to
mchenry stay with the iran situation just a moment? to questions, do we see in the evidence that you have been describing authoritarian regime revealing itself with such? >> well, i think our concerns about iran and the lack of transparency, accountability is well-known. i mean, it has been said and from this podium, it has been said in our human rights reports. right now we are focused on was unfolding and iran. and we had a lot of our allies including the foreign ministers of the e.u. today, have expressed our concerns about the allegations of election irregularities. we're concerned about some of the treatment of the demonstrators and we're calling for the irony in authorities to
respect the right of people -- to the iranian authorities to respect the right of people to express themselves peacefully but we are, what we are focused on is on the unfolding of events. and will also continue to focus on the need to get iran to adhere to its international obligations. >> what message does it send to pro-democracy dissidents around the world when the united states very clearly indicates that regardless of the election results in iran and regardless of how much. forces used to suppress the demonstrations going on in it tehran right now the u.s. will pursue its policy of engagement with one ever broke regime turns up in tehran? >> i don't think i said that,
but what i said is that we have a -- we have concerns about what's going on on the ground in iran. we have concerns that the right of the iranian people to self expression -- that we want to see that right to express themselves peacefully the respected. we also have serious concerns about iranians -- the iranian authorities refuse zero -- refusal to abide by its international obligations and allow the iaea to come back in and verify in a transparent way that they are not working on a nuclear weapons program. >> so when you are saying that you're going to engage with iran regardless of the out, -- >> i did not say regardless.
>> that is what vice president biden seemed to suggest yesterday so you are saying when you have real national security concerns that are pressing and urgent that democracy takes backseat? >> no, not at all. what i am saying is that we will call things like they are when we see irregularities and problems with elections, but also have to -- as we are going for and we have to look at our own national interests. non-proliferation is a very serious, very important priority of this administration. >> so do you just expressed concerns about all this or do you condemn it? do you condemn what we're seeing in iran or are you just expressing concern? >> what we're doing is consulting with our allies and we're doing basically what we would do it in any of the system -- kinds of situations.
we would consult with them and come up with a multilateral solution. >> so you don't condemn what we're seeing? >> i am not using the word condemn. >> so you are not prepared to? >> we need to see how things unfold to machinates more has cracked? >> no, we need to have a deeper assessment of what is going on. >> two follow-up on what the president obama said friday that there would be good opportunities for engaged in a matter who wins, standing as it is right now would you say there are fewer opportunities for engagement? >> well, i think that what we need to do is get iran to take seriously the reports of violence and arrests and election irregularities. we also need to get them to take seriously the will of the international community to get them to live up to their responsibilities and
obligations. >> and if not? >> if not, you asked, you used the word if -- we will make all of our decisions based on our national interests. >> i would like to switch gears and there are no further questions on that. now the question of the two american journalists in north korea, we haven't had an update and i want to ask if you have anything new, whether the swedish envoy has seen them and know anything more than the last time. >> i am afraid not, we continue to call for their immediate release on humanitarian grounds to make any discussions with the north koreans through new york or any other channel? >> i'm not aware of any. >> as the administration regard that north korea has a highly enriched uranium program? >> we have seen north korea's announcement that it will weaponized the plutonium extracted from spent fuel reprocessing at the yongbyon nuclear facility and that is
beginning uranium enrichment work. as required by security council 1874, north korea should abandon all its nuclear programs in a complete revival and irreversible manner. >> t believe that they have a highly enriched uranium program? >> we have seen reports of it. >> you have seen reports of it? jim kelly went to p'yongyang several years ago and said the u.s. knows you have any uranium enrichment program so now you're looking at reports? >> all i am prepared to say is we have seen reports of goods and in -- i know you guys are responding to the news that came out over the weekend and i don't want to get into a situation where we are responding to every bellicose and direction/statement coming out of north korea. >> but is not just bellicose rhetoric, they have been
launching missiles, they conducted a nuclear test. >> and we are very concerned and that is why we work with our colleagues on the u.s. security council and with south korea and japan to come up with a real tough resolution. >> the so far north korea has done everything it said it would do. >> not surprised. >> is okay, it said it would conduct a nuclear test and it is so, and now it is saying that it is going to weaponized in nuclear weapon in enriched uranium so do you have any doubt that's what they're going to do consider your knowledge of the number three in a uranium program? >> a couple of things. one is we just passed an extremely tough resolution on friday, showed incredible unity among the security council of and with south korea and japan. where are going to be focused on implementing that resolution.
and beyond that north korea knows what it has to do. north korea needs to give up all this. all this rhetoric and belligerent actions and return to the six party talks unconditionally. >> with respect to those talks, today the secretary made some with the president from south korea at the blair house later this afternoon. >> right. >> if things get dramatically worse, especially with the two journalists that you want to see separated from these nuclear tests and missile tests you are trying to and through the u.n. to institute sanctions. in other words, lookit vessels, airlines, what have you. now it appears over a time of two months now both the chinese and the russians are now backing what she said.
but what you put the country, meaning north korea, under total lockdown? i guess with the cubans back 45 years ago or whenever, we called it then in 1961/628 quarantine. it's not necessarily what many people when say would be a blockade but are we and other countries willing to go much further? >> i mean, we want to work with what we have with the resolution that we have which is targeted the. we don't want to have any -- we didn't want to have any kind of resolution that would harm necessarily the korean people. that is what we're focused on right now, it's only been a couple of days since we have this resolution and we need to work out the details of implementation. but we're going to work with what we have right now.
>> isn't the the family, kim jong-il and his younger son, are they, in fact, operating a thugocracy? >> operating --? >> thugocracy. >> that is a new one, it is not the most transparent and and a cattle government derrin in the world and. >> with north korea now fellas belligerent activity and threatening nuclear attack in nuclear war, sell-through rhianna seems to want to extend the nuclear umbrella deterrence written some agreement. you think this should be a good opportunity at this point to stand the agreement to set aside immunity to north korea by putting something down in writing? >> i haven't seen that report and it if there is a formal proposal we will look at but beyond that i really don't want to say. also number three and? >> one more. >> the two journalists in north korea on may 15th when north
korea announced the trial date for the journalists secretary clinton said in my coat, a child they'd been set with you as a weapon in time frame so does the state department still see the legal process so far as a welcoming time frame? >> i think there's been a number of developments since the secretary made that statement. and as i have said before i don't want to get too deep into the details of characterizing our approach, their approach. this is a sensitive issue and i think i would just leave it at that what i said in his answer to charlie's question, is that we continue to call for the immediate release of these two young women on humanitarian grounds. >> so can we change? >> sure. >> one or two on israel -- are the conditions set yesterday by the prime minister of israel is
acceptable to the administration? is it wise to have a palestinian state in the form and unwise -- an unarmed as prime minister netanyahu is suggesting were demanding? >> i think he saw the president, i guess it was robert gib statements, the white house statements yesterday. >> they didn't say much. >> and welcome the fact that prime minister netanyahu made in a poor and staff. we are committed to two states. living side-by-side in their historic home stand -- homeland and we believe a solution and must ensure israel's security and the fulfillment of the palestinian legitimate aspirations for a viable state so we will come prime minister netanyahu endorsement of that goal. >> with all these conditions can be a viable state? i mean, that israel would
maintain rights over palestinian aerospace and has to be demilitarized? >> our policy is clear on this, that we want the conditions -- in the road map fulfilled, we want is real security to be insured, we want to the palestinians to have their own homeland. in terms of what prime minister -- prime minister netanyahu said yesterday, we have our policy. this is, of course, we are involved in negotiations now and we will have to see how things go forward in this negotiation. but our goal remains the same: a two state solution, the two states living side by side in security and prosperity. >> so you have your policy --
the israeli government has is some policy and you were saying that in the near future there is no hope of perhaps a line in those two policies? >> we are going to sit down i hope soon and with all the difference stakeholders and workout dissolution but i'm not just going to -- i'm not going to characterize the prime minister situation in terms of -- i'm not expressing this right. >> we are going to have -- is going to be a complicated negotiation. and in the prime minister netanyahu has laid out his point of view as he sees it as the head of the israeli government. we have seen the reaction of various palestinian officials and leaders. and we just want to reiterate that is in the interests of everyone in the region to come up with a solution whereby you
can have at the state of israel and a palestinian state living side by side in looking to the future, a future of security and prosperity for both peoples of the two states. >> does the obama administration and doris prime minister netanyahu to the palestinians must recognize israel as a jewish state? >> i know you're focused on the adjective their. we do think that, yes, to the palestinians need to recognize the right of israel to exist and on the sleeve at that. >> but hold on a second, is a the position of the obama administration that israel should be defined as a jewish state? >> i'm going to lead the president's words stan. you know that yesterday he said he was committed to the jewish state of israel, senator mitchell said and i will let it stand at that. >> president clinton said when he was tried to work a deal in 2000i believe that
demilitarization was acceptable. and i'm paraphrasing but he did use the word demilitarization. has the obama administration tacitly agreed with israel that any palestinian state would not be allowed to have a standing military? >> well, i think i'll just say that in any solution that we work out -- israel needs to have its security concerns taken very seriously and worked out. but i'm not going to jump ahead and say what exactly that package would entail specifically. this is something for the two parties to work out for themselves. >> can use a with a secretary clinton has communicated with any former bush demonstration officials in order to help clarify her own understanding of what commitments the united
states may or may not have made to israel in relation to settlement activity? >> no, i don't have anything for you on that. >> what about settlements? the white house simmons said nothing about settlements after two very clear statements from both the president and the secretary about this issue, there are some money is really right suggesting that perhaps the obama administration has backed itself into a corner and there's also policy concern of trying to reposition the u.s. as an honest broker according to some analysts. where is the u.s. on the settlements? >> it couldn't be clearer -- the president has said it clearly and my boss secretary clinton has said it very clearly and that is that we oppose continued settlement activity. israel has an obligation under the road map to freeze all settlement activity. our position is that it has to stop. we know is a difficult issue but
is one that has to be addressed and we are continuing to discuss this issue with the israeli government and we prefer not to conduct diplomacy from this podium. >> but still although it isn't the u.s. willing to push that point enough for -- >> you are asking me to get into what we may or may not do. >> you sound like the bush administration at this point. >> is house like you're making the settlement issue -- >> are you trying to get me fired? >> is sounds like you're making this one of the main issues, up until presidents obama and secretary clinton have spoken on settlements the judicial policy has been the sediments are unhelpful and you know our position on that but now for you to continue to say for the podium that summons should stop indicates that this is one of the main points that you're pushing was israel. >> where focused on the goal here and we think the goal is
peace. the goal is two people's living in their historic homeland. and there are a number of obstacles to this the ultimate goal. i'm not saying that settlements is the main obstacle, it's just one of the obstacles to this old man goal. >> the israeli prime minister on the today show this morning said that he felt there was room for negotiation on the issue of natural growth and they seem to indicate that did will be discussion on kind of how to finesse that with the obama administration. is that you're understanding? >> you are asking me to get into what -- what is going to happen when we sit down and negotiate things but i have to be worked out first and foremost between the two parties themselves. we are a facilitator in this process. >> as far as the settlement freeze in negotiation on natural
growth and what the understandings are is there room for negotiation? >> our policy is clear. settlement activity must be free this. is an obligation under the road map. >> why not criticize prime minister netanyahu speech because he fell short in that area did he? it doesn't meet your conditions. >> again we want to focus on how we can get to this old man goal that the whole world wants and we take it as a positive that he accepted this idea of tuesday's living side by side in beside the at -- >> is not the whole world. >> okay, much of the world. >> can i change the subject? >> good. >> yemen, the bodies of the missing people who have turned up? >> i am afraid i don't know what you are referring to.
>> maybe you can ask and take a look. >> can you give me a little more detail. >> well, they were killed, there were germans, a. and a south korean. >> i will have to look into that. >> but i'm looking for a comment on that but also if there are any -- does this mean there increase security concerns for your people there? >> okay, we will look into it. >> thank you. and
how c-span funded? >> i have no clue. >> maybe government grants. >> donations. >> advertising for products. >> public money i am sure. >> my taxes balckout is c-span funded? 30 years ago america's cable companies. is c-span as a public service, a private business initiatives with no government mandate and no government money. >> david drucker of roll call, what is the status of the health-care debate in congress? >> i think it all comes down to the government run public plan option. if you're a democrat you are going to emphasize the public plan part of it because you believe that is going to allow people that find it difficult to get insurance in the private market have access to good quality health insurance and if you are republican you're going to emphasize the government run
part of it because you leave implementation of the public plan is going to crowd out and drive out private insurers and leave a government in charge of the health-care industry. it is the sole provider and that is honestly what really is going to boil down to in terms of anything that will or will not get bipartisan support. that and how to pay for it, of course, will be a major issue. >> you wrote about one element of the plan and that is senator kent conrad, what alternative to a system run by the government -- how would that work? >> it remains to be seen exactly, the senate budget chairman has tried to bridge the divide of the public plan and he has offered an idea that instead of a neighbor of a plan like a government-run insurance company, which is essentially what the public plan would be, he is offering to create or help create cooperatives that are similar to credit unions. they have some rules that make them a lot easier for customers
to deal with that make them more price conscious, they don't have the same pressures, business pressures as private companies in terms of profit-making but by the same token they are not government entities and therefore would be much more fair in how they competed with private insurance companies of that is what these medical cooperatives would be theoretically although some democrats who are willing to take a look at that idea are trying to design them in such a way that the government would essentially run the cooperatives themselves which are causing republicans to say, well, that is just like having a government run private plan even if you call it a cooperative and therefore we're not interested but at the same token democrats are saying if the government doesn't have a heavy role we are not interested in a president obama adjust the public insurance option in a speech to the american medical association. what was his message? >> his message is he has no
interest in socializing the united states health care industry, he has no interest in preventing people who like their doctors and their insurance companies and their insurance coverage continuing to receive the same coverage and going to the same doctors for treatment. all he wants to do is find a way to ensure that 46 million or so people who currently do not have health insurance and assure the people with pre-existing conditions and living to graphically out of the way price of the country and have access to the same quality of care as other people do. that was the message he was trying to send to them and he is trying to preempt the ama who started to grumble and take a look at the health care concepts coming out of the u.s. senate in particular, he is trying to prevent them from launching a full-scale offensive against the kind of health care reform he wants. >> health committee is scheduled to work on its health-care proposal later this week. what will you be watching for as
a mark of that could take weeks? >> well, the health committee in my opinion there's not too much to watch in terms of the action. the health committee process although it has included in the republicans all the way through, now is pretty much democratic territory. with a bill that reflects the priorities of most of the senate liberal democrats also doesn't go as far to the left as people like sanders would include in a single payer system, so what i am interested in is going to occur next week when the finance committee is set to begin marking up its bill. finance chairman max baucus and democrats had of montana has been ottoman -- adamant in garnering significant public support and he believes do so will ensure whatever passes his staying power or this coming decades monotone the next coming year or two and so i am curious to see if he's sort of sketch o