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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 8, 2009 7:30pm-8:00pm EDT

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the region. instead of sending in more troops and investing in military solutions that won't work, we should be investing in smart, peaceful power that will work. smart power means helping the people of afghanistan and pakistan to build roads, schools, hospitals and better agricultural systems. it means helping to create jobs and assisting those who have been displaced by the war. this is what the people of afghanistan and pakistan really want from the united states. if we provide smart assistance to them, madam speaker, we will defeat the violent extremists. we will bring peace to the region and we will make america safer. this strategy is at the core of my smart security platform for the 21st century. this is legislation that is described in house resolution
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363. madam speaker, i encourage all of my colleagues to consider resolution 363 and to support it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: mr. jones of north carolina. . mr. jones: madam speaker, i want to thank my colleagues in the house from both parties for joining me as co-spon or of h. are r. 24 legislation to redesignate the department of the navy as the department of the navy and marine corps. as of today this legislation has 278 bipartisan co-sponsors. for the past seven year the language of this bill has been part of the house version of the national defense authorization act. each year, the full house of representatives has supported this change. this year, i am grateful to have the support of senator pat roberts a former marine who
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introduced the same bill in the senate s. 504. with his help i'm hoping this will be the year the senate supports the house position and joins in bringing proper respect to the fighting team of the navy and marine corps. the navy and marine corps have operated as one entity for more than two centuries and h.r. 24 would allow the name of their department to illustrate this fact. this legislation is not about changing the responsibilities of the secretary of the department, reallocating resources between the navy and marine corps or altering their missions. redesignating the department as the department of the navy and marine corps is a symbolic gesture, but it is important to the team. over the years, i have been encouraged by overwhelming support from so many members of the armed forces of the united states have written me letters.
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last month, i received a letter from retire mad rein corps giles kaiser who expressed his support for h.r. 24. he wrote, and i quote, as a combat commander of marines and say alreadies in iraq, i submit that no one understand the parity of the two services better than the corpsmen and chaplains serving alongside their marines. i dare say if you ask any one of those sayors -- sailors to voice an opinion about the proposed change, most would wonter why our country took so long to take this simple action. the colonel further wrote, and i quote, when president truman considered disbanding the marine corps after world war ii in 1946, then-commandant of the marine corps alexander vnder griff brought the issue before the congress of the united
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states and the general presented the lidgeage and let those actions speak for themselves. after hearing the general's remarks, our congressional leaders did the right thing, not only preserving our core but -- our corps but ensuring its roles, mission, and size become the law of the land. the colonel further stated, the stroke of a men, adding three words, and marine corps, will complete general vander griff's actions of some 63 years to ensure our leaders, their staff and constituents recognize the co-equal status of the marine corps and will ensure once and for all the equity of the marine corps in the eyes of the nation around its people. i ask unanimous consent to submit the full text of counselor kaiser's letter for -- letter for the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. smith: madam speaker, i
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have beside me an actual copy of a letter sent to a marine family. s the -- mr. jones: madam speaker, i have bd my an actual copy of a let every sent to a marine family. on behalf of the department of the navy we extend our deepest simply. if h.r. 24 and senate 504 become the law of the land, it would be the way it ould be for the family of a marine who gave his life for this country, it will say the secretary of the navy and marine corps with the navy flag and marine flag. it will say dear marine corps family on behalf of the department of the navy and marine corps, please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your loved one. this is all it's about, bringing the team together. it's time the marine corps be
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recognized as part of the fighting team. i will ask god to please bless our men and women in afghanistan and iraq and ask god plees with his loving arms to hold the families of those who gave their life in afghanistan and iraq, and i ask three times, god please, god please, god please continue to bless america and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: ms. kaptur of ohio. mr. burton of indiana. mr. moran of kansas. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the gentleman from virginia, mr. wolf, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. wolf: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to speak about an issue of great importance to our country.
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shortly after i returned from a trip to algeria in 1998 where thousands had been killed by terror attacks and in the wake of two u.s. embassy bombings in africa where 267 people were killed, including one of my constituents from mclien, virginia, serving at -- mclean, virginia, serving at nigh robo, i offered a commission. it provided evidence of a growing threat of terrorism. a congressional research service report described the main finding of the commission this way -- it calls on the u.s. government to prepare more actively to prevent the future mass casualty catastrophic terrorist attack. regrettably the commission's recommendations were not implemented until after the attacks on 9/11 when 3,000 people were killed, including 30 from my congressional district. i was disappointed the clinton
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administration and late they are the bush administration dud not take more seriously the recommendations of the commission. i take seriously the responsibility of the congressional oversight, especially in matters with potential national security implications. profound national security issues were, of course, thrust to the forefront on 9/11. following attacks, congress granted the president the authority to, quote, use all necessary and appropriate force against those who plan, authorize, commit or aid the terrorist attacks against the united states. in the ensuing war on terror, many individuals were captured and transfered to guantanamo bay. on january 22, 2009, in an attempt to fulfill his campaign pledge, president obama issued an executive order requiring that guantanamo be closed no later than one year from the date of issuance. however, in the weeks and months follow, the justice
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department under the direction of attorney general eric holder, failed to provide necessary information to congress regarding the plans for implementing this order. madam speaker, it is important for the american people to know the full details of all of the detainees currently held at guantanamo bay. they are not simply felons serving their time with a future of release. they are hardened terrorists, bent on killing americans. the detainees already released have had a high rate of recidivism. on march 11, "the washington post" detailed how a detainee recently released from guantanamo bay is now the operations commander of the taliban forces attacking u.s. and nato forces in southern afghanistan. flf also been reports that 61 detainees processed and released from guantanamo bay were recaptured fighting
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american forces. those individuals were deemed safe to release from custody, yet returned to terrorist activities and killing americans. what does that say about how dangerous the detainees still at guantanamo bay must be? a recent "new york times" article indicated that one of every seven low-security prisoners released from guantanamo bay were recaptured on foreign battlefields fighting american forces. what does this say about the threat from the media and -- medium and high security detainees still being held. i was also to troubled to read that five guantanamo detainees described themselves as, quote, terrorist to the bone, end of quote and stated in a court filing that they described their role in the 9/11 attacks as, quote, a badge of honor. these dangerous individuals simply cannot be transferred anywhere near a large civilian
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population. khalid chic mohammed -- khalid sheikh mohammed was the architect of the 9/11 attacks and took pleasure in beheading "wall street journal" reporter daniel parole. another was a planner of 9/11 and was supposed to be one of the hijackers until he was denied enter into the united states. walid ben atash is believed to be the master mind behind the bombing of the u.s.s. cole in yemen in 2009. i'm also --ed about the danger these individuals would pose were they placed in u.s. prisons are jails. these individuals are responsible for planning the deaths of thousands of americans. in the case of nociere, court tapes show that conspirators provided assurances that in the event some were captured, others would work to free them.
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in addition, in the 2000 trial of salim, one of the terrorists accused of the 1990 bombing of the u.s. embassy in kenya, he stabbed a u.s. prison guard in the eye in a prison escape attempt. al qaeda saw the rights given to its members to meet with counsel as an opportunity to carry out violent escape attempts. mr. salim was one of the original followers of osama bin laden and the highest ranking al qaeda member held in the u.s. at the time. in addition to trying to escape from prison, al qaeda members communicated with confederates while in prison. it's my understanding that one was involved in plotting the 1993 world trade center bombing while in custody in at ka state prison. in addition, -- at attica state
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prison. in addition, another prisoner issued a fatwa while he was in prison. it emerged later that with the assistance of his lawyer, rahman continued to send instructional mess -- messages to the egyptian terrorist organization. in 2004, nbc news reported that despite their incarceration in max couple security conditions, convicted world trade bombers were communicated by mail with the terrorists in madrid, spain, where many, many people died in that attack. there would certainly be strong reasons to believe that detainees currently held at guantanamo, known to riot and grossly abuse prison guards, would use their access to counsel and investigators in order to convey messages to their allies. i'm concerned about the extra
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cost that would be incurred in preparing prisons and courthouses for trials. i understand the courthouses in which try terrorism cases were litigated had to be hardened to accommodate terrorism prosecutions and the attendant threats they entail for participants and the public. a recent "new york times" article indicated that one of every seven prisoners released from guantanamo bay and determined to be low-security risks were recaptured on foreign battlefields fighting american forces. what does this say about the danger posed by the medium and high security risk detainees still being held? there have been numerous documented accounts of al qaeda members using violence in prison attempts to escape. newsday and the buffalo news reported in they the 1995 trial
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of omar abdul rahman, the master mind of the 1993 world trade center bombing, terrorist confederates were planning to break him out of attica state prison in new york. an appeals court brief for the trial detailed the lengths al qaeda operatives would go to to break out of prison. their appeals court brief states, and i quote, mohammed sahid later described to selim a plan to break sayir out of jail he surmised if he and salim or others could get jobs with contractors providing the prison with sanitation or food service and if nasir could get a prison job that would situate him in the appropriate area they might be able to snatch him and hide him in a nearby apartment until it was safe to move him.
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the brief goes on to discuss several conversations his friends had with him while he was in attica. it talks about plans to murder someone who antagonized his supporters during the trial as well as the trial judge. . i quote, the four-hour meetings in the visiting rooms during which nasir railed at the evils of the united states and quote, sitting doing nothing, end of quote, while he sat in jail for doing his part in jihad. when told about the jailbreak scheme, he recounted there had been a great escape opportunity when he had been escorted to the prison hospital by two guards armed with pistols, end of quote. nasir said they should be
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targeting the big heads, including the judge who presided over the trial and new york assembly man. he said the judge should be kidnapped and held as a bargaining chip or chilled. the brief goes on in details on the details that the operatives uncovered in order to help prisoners leave the united states. two agents detained one and attempted to frisk him and explained they were there to execute a search warrant. he became angry and struck both agents and placed under arrest. on his person, the agents had an envelope containing a stack of documents that included nasir's american passport and egyptian documents, five passports issued
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by the country of nicaraugua, depicting his wife and children with false names assigned to each. five fraudulent birth certificates showing five false names and a driver's license issued to nasir and his wife. an indictment filed in federal court filed against lynn stuart in the case of u.s. versus satar discusses how the blind sheik killed tourists in egypt to force his release from prison. the indictment states, quote, on or about november 17, 1997, six assassins shot and stabbed a group of tourists visiting a site nf luxor, egypt. 58 foreign tourists were killed, some of whom were police officers.
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before making their exit, the terrorists scattered leaflets ex pousing their support for the islamic group and calling for the release of rahman. one tourist was slit by the terrorist. on or about november 18, 1997, a statement issued in the name of an islamic group, tried to take prisoners of a large number of tourists to secure the release of the commander of the terrorist group. the statement continued, quote, the rush behavior and irresponsibility of government security forces with regard to tourists and civilians led to the high number of fatities. the statement also warned that the islamic group, quote, will continue its military operations as long as the regime does not
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respond to our demands. the statement lists the most important demands as, quote, the establishment of god's law, cutting relations with the zionist entity, israel and returning the sheik to his land. on october 13, 1999, a statement in the name of islamic group laider, yasir, who was a co-con spirit ator not named and said the united states, quote, hostile's strategy to the islamic movement would drive it to unify its efforts to confront america's pier asy. in or about march of the year 2000, individuals claiming association with the terrorist group kidnapped approximately 29 hostages in the philippines and demanded the release of prison of rahman and two other
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convicted terrorists in exchange for the release of those hostages and threatened to behead the hostages if the demands with not meant. philippineo authorities found two beheaded hostages and four hostages unaccounted for. on or about september 21, 2000, an arabic television station televised the meeting of only and ayman zawahiri. sitting under a banner which read, to support rahman, the three terrorist leaders pledged to free rahman from incarceration in the united states. during the meeting, rahman and a son was encouraging others to avenge your sheik and go to the spilling of blood.
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these are extremely dangerous individuals who would require extraordinary precautions where they be held in a prison while on trial. the court documents i rempsed tonight detail the individuals who are willing to go to set come patriots free. it is imperative that the american people understand that these individuals will not be sent straight to a super max, but held first in a local jail. not only would this put local strains on prison guards and staff, it would require huge expenditures to harden the facilities to the point where they would be secure enough to house high-level threats. people living in virginia will virginia that ma suey's trial didn't take place for four years. a trial and appeals process could take much longer than four
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years. every day, there are dangerous individuals are out and the more danger they pose to everyone with whom they come into contact. prison guards and officials, judges, jurors and inmates and families could possibly need extra protection of the threat posed by these individuals. some have stated that detainees would be sent directly from guantanamo bay to a u.s. super max facility and public should not be concerned. yet if detainees are transferred for trial in civilian court, they would have to be held in a facility near that court, near that venue. often these are local jails similar to the alexandria jail that held the 20th terrorist. such a move could mean that kalid sheik muhammad could be
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held in alexandria for the duration of his trial. similar trials in the past have taken more than four years. regardless of where these detainees are held, i believe that should be in a location that ensures the safety of both those guarding the detainees and american citizens. my primary concern is their presence in a large civilian population could invite additional attacks and danger to the citizens. i take the oversight responsibility of congress very seriously and the fact that the justice department would take these actions without notifying members of congress is incredible. these detainees could pose serious threats to local communities and place an extraordinary burden on the cities where these individuals will be tried. i believe congress and the american people have a right to know their history of individuals the administration is intent on bringing on to u.s. soil. the guantanamo bay prison facility is closing.
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since the president has made that decision, we must know the facts to make informed decisions on the next step, my own view is that any trials or military commissions should be held on a military base far away from civilian population centers. madam speaker, much of the recent debate surrounding the closing of guantanamo bay has centered on a group of detainees from china who are members of the al qaeda-affiliated terrorist group known as etim. last month, i became aware eric holder, was planning on allowing these trained terrorists into the united states without, without informing this congress or the american people. "newsweek" magazine reported on june 1, quote, administration officials were poised in late april to make a bold steggetty
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move. they instructed the u.s. marshal service to prepare an aircraft and a special group to fly the detainees on flights from gitmo to northern virginia for resettlement. quote, in a conference call overseen by the national security council, justice and pentagon officials have been warned that any public statement about gitmo transfers would inflame congressional republicans according to a law enforcement official who asked not to be named discussing internal deliberations. the "newsweek" report also confirmed by bloomberg news makes clear that attorney general holder had every intention of releasing these trained terrorists in our communities. i repeat, released in our communities, not held in our jails, but free in our neighborhoods and communities. this administration expects you to take it at its word as these detainees are not a threat.
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it is unacceptable. eric holder should have been prepared to come up and tell the congress and give the information on these individual cases. but to move these individuals who were in guantanamo bay on a friday afternoon when the congress was gone and the press was not watching is certainly wrong. some of my colleagues may be aware i have long been an advocate of the detainees, the largely muslim people in china. they have long been the obtsl objects of brutal chinese subpoena presentation. and those are being per cuted by the chinese government. however, a small number have been going to terrorism to target innocent civilians and formed the terrorist organization now known as etim and moved to afghanistan in 1998 at the invitation of the
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taliban. it is linked to a number of terrorist attacks in china during the mid-1990's, including several bus bombings that killed dozens and injured hundreds of innocent civilians as well as threats of attacks against the 2008 olympics in beijing, where people from around the world, including americans, gathered. over the past decade, the group has operated out of afghanistan and pakistan and has developed close links with al qaeda and the taliban. on august 19, 2002, then deputy secretary state richard armitage designated etim, a trit group. the group was designated by the state department under executive order 13224, quote, blocking property and prohibiting transactions with persons who commit, threaten to commit or support terrorism, end of quote,
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which defines terrorist activity as activity that involved the violent act or act dangerously to human life, property or infrastructure. later in 2002, the u.s. embassy in beijing reported that two members of etim were deported from allegedly plotting to attack the u.s. embassy. following the attempted attacks the united nations designated etim as a terrorist group under security resolution 21267 and 1390 which provide for the freezing of the group's assets nfment 2004, the state department further added etim to the terrorist exclusion list under section 411 of the u.s.a. patriot act of 2001, which prohibits members of designated terrorist groups from entering into the united states. for two months, just twnt

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