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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 19, 2009 8:00am-8:30am EDT

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task when you thought that was also appropriate, and you've actually been a teacher for me today, so thank you for that. >> senator graham. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i know you've got to go to lunch, and i appreciate your patience. you have done a very good job of testifying for the committee. i just talked to the white house a moment ago, rahm emanuel, and he's indicated the president will not let these photos see the light of day, have you seen the linerman/graham -- lieberman/graham amendment if the secretary of defense certifies them to be a danger to our troops and civilians overseas? >> i have not seen them but -- >> fair enough. i will get them to you. do you think it would be the preferred route that congress would act on this subject matter rather than executive order? >> yes. i think that having congress act would be a preferred way in which to -- >> would give us a stronger hand and a better way to deal with
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this issue. >> yes, i do think. >> and i'd just like to let the committee know, my beef is not with the courts. i think unless these documents are classified or congress acts, the courts are making a reasonable interpretation of the freedom of information act as it exists today, and i want to applaud the administration for asking them to stay and have the supreme court review that case. quite frankly, mr. attorney general, i would not be surprised if the supreme court decided not to hear this case or honor your petition for serb ri and let the order stand. so i think it's very imperative that bun of of us -- one of us . i've been assured by rahm emanuel and yourself, i think, that the president's position is not to let these photos see the light of day. the majority leader's going to give us another vote in the senate, and i would ask the administration after that vote to urge the house to take it up because that's the best way to protect the troops. do you agree with that? >> i do. i think that there are
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compelling reasons why these photos should not be released. >> sure. and i would like o -- to enter into the record the comments indicating the danger to our troops to back up what you're saying. >> without objection, it'll be included in the record. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the military commissions act, i'm amazed we're eight year into this war, basically, since 9/11 -- this september will be the eighth anniversary, and we're still talking about how to do this. and it's very complicated. most of your questioning today has been about legal matters surrounding the war. and i will continue to call it war, you can call it anything you'd like. but the military commission act the administration would like to make some changes. i agree with that. i'm working with senator levin and mccain in the armed services committee to make some changes in the next few weeks for the defense authorization bill. i would urge you to get with us
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soon. will you do that. >> yes, we will. i mean, we have been discussing this internally. we have some thoughts and proposals, and i think it's time for us to share those. >> and i would like to do more than just amend the administration military commissions act, i'd like to deal with this third bucket, this folks that may not be subject to trial but too dangerous to let go. and the reason i say that is that we're losing, you know, whatever damage we're trying to repair with the international community over guantanamo bay, we're losing the public here about closing the facility. when you look at the polling data, there's been a severe change against the idea of closing guantanamo bay. have you noticed that? >> believe me, i've noticed that. [laughter] >> well, i'm sure the president has. >> i think it was raised -- i remember by one of the senators -- about the notion of having our plan out there, and i think that is something we are planning to do and we need to do as quickly as possible. i think we need to have our
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views on the entirety of this -- >> exactly. >> our comprehensive views on buckets one, two, and three and all the related things out as quickly as we can. >> and a habeas review. one, i want to congratulate you for appealing the district court's decision to apply haibs decisions at bagram air base. why did you do that? >> he's a very good judge, i think he's just wrong. i just don't think habeas applies to theaters of war. >> it would really disrupt the war effort if our troops and their commanders would be subject to appearing before federal judges, called off the battlefield all the way back to the united states, and it would really be disruptive and something that's never been done before, correct? >> as far as i know. >> senator leahy introduced a bill allowing detainees a one-time shot at it, and they could not bring money, damages,
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suits against our troops. are you supportive of making sure that any habeas petition doesn't allow the accused terrorist to sue our own military members? >> i've not looked at that bill, but i have a visceral positive reaction to that view. clearly, we want to have habeas rights that protect the welfare of the people who are being detained, but the notion that our troops might be the subject of lawsuits is something that i'd be very -- >> and the only reason i mention it is because lawsuits were brought against an army doctor for malpractice by one of the detainees. we have postconviction relief, sthect? >> we do. >> so there's no right for anybody to an unlimited habeas appeal. >> that's true. i mean, i'd like to look at what the specific proposal might be. >> sure. what i want you to consider is since these detainees have habeas rights, we can look at
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consolidating their rights so we don't have different standards by different judges and make sure we have a uniform way of dealing with this. as the armed services committee moves forward on amending the military commissions act, i think there will be a comprehensive proposal coming out from senator mccain and myself, and i'd like to work with you on how to do that. >> sure. >> final thing, if we're following a satellite phone in afghanistan and we believe the person in question is a member of the enemy force, what is your understanding of the law if they're talking to someone else in afghanistan but due to the routeing system it goes through an american interchange? do we have to get a warrant in that situation, and does that make sense if we have? we do? >> so we have two parties overseas, two parties in afghanistan finish. >> being monitored by our
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military. right. they're activity combat dance, they're being monitored by our intelligence services, they're talking to each other in afghanistan, and the only connection to the united states is due to the phone system in question they have to go through an interchange in the united states. what's your view? >> it is not my view we would need a warrant in order to intercept that conversation, but let me make absolutely certain. i think it depends on the locations of the parties. right. >> the only reason i mention this, and i know i've run over my time s that when we had the two soldiers kidnapped in iraq during this whole debate about wiretapping, they picked up communications from one of the kidnappers to someone else in iraq, and because it went through an exchange in the united states, it took two hours to get approval to continue to monitor that conversation, and we lost valuable time. please look at this and make sure that we're not -- in the
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name of, you know, making ourselves to be a rule of law nation, not doing something unrequired and, quite frankly, stupid. i don't want americans to be monitored as being suspected fifth column movement members of al-qaeda. if you think i'm a member of al-qaeda, i want you to go get a warrant if i'm talking to somebody overseas. i want you to, you know, any american in that situation. but when it comes to ballot field communications -- battlefield communications, let's not let it hamper our troops, and i'm afraid that's where we're headed. >> if we have two non-u.s. persons speaking to one another -- >> i can tell you in this case because an american phone company's interchange was involved, they lost valuable time. please look at that, and i'll talk with you further about it. >> thank you. >> attorney general holder let me ask you, if i might, about voting rights cases because we haven't touched on that too much during this hearing. the section 5 of the voting
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rights act we all know that this is on appeal, this is on hearing now before the supreme court. i was there during the oral arguments, but the preclearance, congress felt, was a very valuable tool to deal with potential and actual discrimination against voters. and congress recently acted to reauthorize the voting rights act. i just want to get your views as to how important you think the preclearance provisions are and how you will be monitoring with the supreme court decision -- what the supreme court decision might restrict? >> obviously, we await the supreme court's decision, but that portion of the voting rights act is a key for our efforts in trying to protect the voting rights of all americans. if you look at just the numbers, the number of -- even though we have made great progress in this nation, the number of cases that are brought under that section have not dwindled. the fact that congress
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unanimously three years ago, two years ago reauthorized the act, i think, is a recognition on the part of congress that the need still exists. we argued, i think, very strongly for the continued validity, viability of that section, and it is our hope that the court will agree. we will see what the supreme court opinion is and then, obviously, have to react to it. but it is our view, it is this administration's view that section 5 is a critical part of the voting rights act. >> well, i'm glad to hear that. i strongly agree with you, and i think most of the members of congress strongly brie agree with that statement, and we hope the supreme court will, likewise, see the relevancy of continuing the voting rights act in preclearance, but it needs to be monitored closely, and one of the issues that i've raised in previous hearings with you is the aggressive alaska of the department of justice -- action of the department of justice in protecting the fundamental
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rights of all americans in being able to cast their votes and have those votes properly counted. we'll continue to monitor that situation. i just want to also add my support for your statements in regards to the hate crimes statute in response to your initial statement and senator shierm's comments. we really are looking for an opportunity to advance the statute for all the reasons that you have said in your, in your statement and response to questioning. and then lastly, i just want to make sure i put on the record legal services and pro bono. i mention it frequently, and i don't want this hearing to go without strong effort to make sure that the department of justice is the leader in access to our legal services by all of the people of this nation. i think the attorney general and the department of justice can play a very important role. >> no, i agree with that. i mean, we talked about this during my visit with you during the confirmation process, and
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the concerns that you raised at that point, i think, are extremely legitimate ones. i think the attorney general has to take a leadership role in this in the way that president clinton did and attorney genere know did and the lawyers for one america project that i had a role in effectuating, so i think that your concerns are very serious ones and ones that we'll try to work with you on. >> we thank you for that, and it's been very refreshing to hear from the attorney general here today in such candid responses to our questions, and i think you have restored the confidence in the american people of the department of justice being there for all the citizens of our country, and we look forward to continuing to work in a constructive way as we deal with some very difficult challenges whether it's how we handle the detainees in guantanamo bay or afghanistan or how we deal with the surveillance programs in this country. these are all issues in which we have to work together. we won't always agree, but i
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think it's important we have these candid discussions, and we thank you very much for your attendance here today. and with that, the chairman has indicated that the record will stay open for questions from the members of the committee. with that, the committee will stand adjourned. thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. [inaudible conversations] 234r-rb >> where is the accountability for the millions of people in this country? we've petitioned, we've e-mailed, we have petitioned again and again. where is the accountability? there are millions of people in this country who are demanding accountability for the crimes of the bush administration. we demand accountability. mr. attorney general, all due
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respect, there are millions of people in this country who lived through the eight years -- >> the radio and television correspondence association holds its annual dinner tonight with president obama scheduled to speak. entertainment will include the singing group sweet honey and the rock and actor and writer john hodgeman. live coverage at 8:25 p.m. eastern. >> how is c-span funded? >> i have no clue. >> maybe some government grants? >> i would say donations. >> advertising for, for products. >> public money, i'm sure. >> my taxes? [laughter] >> how is c-span funded? thirty years ago america's cable companies created c-span as a public service. a private initiative, no government mandate, no government money. >> during friday praise today at tehran university, iran's supreme leader ayatollah
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khamenei gave a speech about the elections that set off several days of protests. this portion lasts about an hour, courtesy of iran's state-run tv. >> translator: in this sermon, too, i recommend all the respected brothers and sisters who have attended here, i recommend them all to piety and to refraining from evil. what i'm going to raise in this sermon is the issue of the election which is the topic of the day in our country. for the time being. there are three issues i want to
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address, three different groups. the first one is i address the general public wherever they are in the country. i would like to mention some points here at this point to you respected people. there is one thing i want to address the political candidates of the presidential election, activists, and those who have been active in the process of election as well. and also i have something to tell the leaders of world arrogance in the western countries. some of the western countries, of course. and those leaders of some of the
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media that they are running. the first point which i'm addressing you, the respected people, i want to express my appreciation and thanks to you people. in my speeches i do not want to exaggerate while addressing my audience. but regarding the recent election, i should tell you, great people, no matter how i exaggerate, how much i exaggerate it's still nothing, and it doesn't really matter to exaggerate. you really have made a great
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accomplishment. the tenth presidential election was actually a great show in which people indicated their feeling of responsibility toward the destiny of their country. it was a great manifestation of people's participation in the affairs of their country. it depicted very well people's solidarity with their establishment. truly anything like what you did in this country i have not heard of any such thing in various kinds of democracies in the world now be it artificial,
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fabricated democracies or those democracies that are really in which they are referred to people's votes. >> translator: in the islamic republic, too, apart from referendum one year after the islamic revolution in 1979, there is no other precedents like any election, like the one election that you took part last friday.
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the turnout of almost 85 percent, that means almost 40 million voters, you can see the role of the 12th imam behind such incidents. this is a sign of god's blessing to us. it's necessary to mention from the bottom of my heart to address all you people across the nation. i feel humbled in your presence. our young generation, our young generation showed and proved they had the political
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understanding and insight, they had their -- they are committed like the first generation of the revolution that they have the same commitment of the first generation of the revolution. the difference is during the revolution days in the heat of the revolution all hearts were excited, and during the war they acted a different way. these days this understanding, this insight that you can see, you can see the same feeling and fervor, enthusiasm in our youths these days. this is nothing to be ignored. this must be reckoned with. of course there are difference of opinions and difference of taste among our people. some people support some principles or support a certain candidate, some others back
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another person and his words and his ideas which is natural. but you can see a collective commitment amid all this. among all ranks of people with a difference in their votes. you can see a consensus, a collective commitment for restoring and preserving their country, their establishment. everyone entered the scene in villages and towns and cities, in major cities and small towns. different ethnic groups with different faiths, men, women. everyone participated in this great move. this election was a political
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earthquake for your enemies, if you will. for your friends this election was for your friends across the world it was a real celebration. it was historical celebration and victory for your friends across the world. thirty years after the victory of the islamic revolution, such a huge turnout of the people and showing their commitment to the islamic establishment and the late imam, this is a popular movement for paying, for renewing allegiance with the late imam and for the martyrs and for the islamic establishment it was a fresh breath, it was a new move, it
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was a great opportunity. this election showed off the religious democracy for the whole world, people to see. all those ill wishers of the islamic establishment saw for themselves what a religious democracy means. this is a third path in the face of dictatorial establishments and arrogant powers on one side and democracies devoid of spirituality and religion on the other side. this religious, this is religious democracy. this is what brings the hearts of people closer together, and it pushes them to the scene.
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this was our ordeal, that's what one point i wanted to make about this election. the second point regarding the length is that -- election is that last friday's election showed that the people have their confidence, they have their hope, they have their fervor, and they live in this country with all the enthusiasm and feelings they have for their country. this is against what some media and your enemies say in their campaign, in their propaganda. if people in this cup are not -- country are not hopeful for the future, they will never take part in any election. if people do not confide in the
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islamic establishment, they will never vote. if people do not feel free, they will never attend the polling stations. trusting the islamic establishment was evident in this election. and i will tell you later on that the enemyies targeted this very trust of the people in the they want this trust to be crushed, that's what the enemies want. this confidence is the greatest asset of the islamic establishment. they want to rip the islamic establishment of this trust. they want to create doubt, they want to cast doubt on the election. the confidence that people have
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in the establishment they want to create pan pick among the people -- panic among the people. the enemies of the iranian people know without confidence there would be low turnout. when there is low turnout, then the legitimacy of the establishment would shake. that's what they are after, that's what the enemy wants, that's what the enemy pursues. they want to take away your trust so that your turnout is no more theirs. so the legitimacy is no more there for the islamic establishment. this harms much more than setting fire to banks and putting buses ablaze.
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this is what cannot be compare today any other laws. compared to any other laws. in such a great move, the people actively turn out, and the people are told that you have made a mistake, you shouldn't have confided in the islamic establishment, they are not trustworthy. that's what the enemy wants. this is what they have been pursuing even before the election. a couple of months before the election was held. in late march i told people that the enemy is repeatedly whispering into ears that voter fraud is on the way, that vote
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rigging is on the way. they were paving the ground for that. then i told your great friends -- our great friends inside the country, i give them the warning not to echo what the people want to inculcate in people's mind. the islamic establishment is trusted by the people. this is not gained easily. for 30 years the establishment with all its officials and statesmen, with its performance, with all the pains it's taken it has managed to, to keep this confidence. the third point is the issue of


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