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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 23, 2009 9:00pm-9:30pm EDT

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truthful in regard to their response. in fact john podesta i think basically said, look, the c.i.a. spoke the truth. it is -- the consequences, madam speaker, are so serious to this nation. . and indeed to the world that it is important. if you ask any citizen of this country and you said, who do you think you depend on most to tell the truth? would it be the speaker of the house or the director of the central intelligence agency? i'm not sure how most people would respond, madam speaker. i'm not sure how i would
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respond. you expect both of them at that level of government to be honest. and truthful. so it is disturbing to me as a member of the house of representatives, it's disturbing to me as a citizen of this country, as a dad, as a granddad, as a husband, as a father, to find out that maybe the central intelligent agency -- intelligence agency is not telling the truth. and even worse than that, madam speaker, that possibly that there's a pattern of the central intelligence agency not telling the truth. that is just about as frightening a concept as you can possibly imagine. what can we rely on?
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should we have done what we did in operation enduring freedom in regard to taking out al qaeda and the taliban and that regime change back in 2001, 2002, before representative carter and i became members of the congress? you know, it's a very, very disturbing thing and that's why we're here tonight and again it is painful but i'm not standing up here, madam speaker, i'm not standing up here saying that our speaker, the speaker, the first female speaker in the history of this body who is now serving in her third greer as -- third year as speaker of the house of representatives, i'm not saying that she was dishonet. i just simply am here to say -- dishonet -- dishonest. i am just simply here to say that we need to know, the american people need to know and
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if the c.i.a. lied once even but certainly if there was a pattern of giving misleading information to members of the select committees on intelligence then we've got some serious problems, madam speaker. we have some serious problems. and something needs to be done about that and needs to be done right now because as judge carter was saying, these things that are going on in iran, in north korea, and other parts of the world this can't wait. if we got a problem, we need to solve this right now. so that's why we're here tonight. and again i appreciate my colleague from texas for doing this gutsy thing because he's not perfect, madam speaker, and i'm not perfect. and, again, i may have a little speck in my eye, you know, and the house i live in may have too much glass in it, but on the other hand, if we see things and
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i'm, again, not suggesting anybody, certainly not suggesting that our speaker, the speaker, was lying, but if there's a problem, it needs to be brought forward for the betterment of this body. we owe that to the american people. we owe that to the american people. we have a, unfortunately, mr. speaker, it seems that our house committee on standards of official conduct, the ethics committee, it's been dysfunctional since the day i came here seven year ago. i'm in my fourth -- seven years ago. i'm in my fourth term, mr. speaker. and that body has been dysfunctional since the day i came here. it's supposed to be about -- to be a bipartisan, you have five members of each party, and yet we seem to be just sweeping
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things under the rug and not addressing problems like we should. and i'm going to yield back to the gentleman who controls the time here in just a second. but the point is, the just exactly what he said -- it's just exactly what he said at the outset, mr. speaker, i remember it so painfully well because back in 2006, when we republicans still were in the majority, i mean, every day, every evening during special order hours the then minority party, the democrats, just pounded, pounded over and over again of what they call a culture of corruption and we did on our side of the aisle, mr. speaker, have a few members, thank god not many, but three or four, that is too many, of course, one is too many, that
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were not conducting themselves in the manner that this house demands. that the sanctity of this house demands. and by campaigning on that and along with, of course, the unpopularity of a prolonged conflict in iraq and too much spending, absolutely too much spending, but of course it seems like a penny compared to what's going on now, but, you know, it caused us to lose our majority status, mr. speaker. and it's painful. it's painful to find ourselves in this situation and to think that, madam speaker, and the -- that madam speaker and the democratic minority at the time talked about, man, ladies and gentlemen of the united states, you give us an opportunity, you let us control and we will drain the swamp, we will end this
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culture of corruption and here again i am mighty disappointed. we're not seeing any end to the culture of corruption and it seems like more and more is being swept under the rug and it shouldn't happen on either side of the aisle and so that's why we're here. that's why -- and again, it's painful and we're not trying to hurt anybody, we're just trying to help the american people and i yield back to my colleague from texas. mr. carter: and i thank my friend. let me say, first, being no biblical scholar but that's from the sermon on the mountain where jesus talks about, try to get the cinder out of your neighbor's eye before you take the plank out of your eye. and that's fine. but i know that somebody thinks -- most everybody thinks this is a very con tin jouse place and so when people start talking about these things, they think,
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oh, it's that same old stuff. i want you know that the announced date of the firing of that rocket by north korea is independence day, july fourth. that's the day they said they're going to shoot a rocket at hawaii. now, i'm assuming that the white house and the select committee on the house and senate on intelligence are very, very interested in knowing accurate information about what's going to be on the nose of that rocket when it's fired. because, quite frankly, if you want to restart the korean war, how spectacular could it be that they'll have an armed missile fired at one of our states and then invade across the 38th parallel? it could be disastrous. it's not my imagination working,
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it's happened before. i mean, the invasion took place, that's what started the korean war. they've got the largest -- one of the largest armies in the world. they're saying that they have canceled the armistice. now, under technical rules of war, canceling an armistice re-instates the war. we're not treating it that way. because regular rules of war kind of have been changed, not by what's written in the books, but by usage. so we never really called it a war, we called it a conflict and so forth, like we've done in so many other things we do. but the reality is they said the armistice is off, which means we should be technically back fighting. they said they're going to fire a missile on our independence day, the fourth of july. now why do i bring that up? because by my watch, this is the 23rd day of june. we've got to be able to trust our intelligence committee and
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our intelligence community in what? that's the next 10 days, in the next 10 days we have to be able to have that confidence in them. and we've already got the third most -- the third person in line for the presidency of the united states telling this body that the intelligence community lied about what they said about briefing them. now, you know what? i'll even give you the ways it can be handled. this place is full of things that go on that are very confusing. it could be i made a mistake, i didn't understand the briefing, yeah, i heard it but i didn't realize what he was saying, there's lots of things to be said, but to sit here with this -- it's trying to just go away, the president isn't talking about it anymore so it will just go away but it's not going to go away if on the fourth of july and the missile's on its way, we
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have a decision to make, do we take it down, shoot down that missile as it heads towards hawaii, which it probably can't get there, but if it can, do we shoot it down or do we let it fall into the ocean and take our chances or do we let it fall on one of the islands in hawaii and take our chances or what are we going to do? the intelligence community, how safe do you think that launch is? they give us a fact. now the meeting's behind closed doors and somebody says, yeah, they tell us it's got a nuclear warhead on it but they lied to pelosi. you know, are they lying to us? do we want that? is that good governance of this country? there's a lot of -- and the reason you have to raise this issue is because there's so much politics involved in all of this. it's all about politics. as well as what really happened. and at this point, with somebody
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announcing on the fourth of july they're firing a long range missile, you got to put politics aside at that point in time and say, trust the committee, they don't lie, because they're going to tell us what's happening with that missile. that was my -- that's my whole take in this deal. and the truth is, what i've been trying to talk about since day one of this conversation i've had when i brought up the rangel rule and all these other things is that if we as members of this house have questions that we think need to be resolved, we have only one place to go and that's to our colleagues in this house and say, these issues need to be resolved. if there's nothing to them, we need to find out there's nothing to them. but they need to be resolved. and if you're draining the swamp that means you're going to address issues as they come up. if something stinks over in this
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part of the swamp, you drain that swamp and fine out what's stinking. that's what she meant when she said draining the swamp. now we have parts of the swamp where our colleagues on the other side seem to be dwelling in right now by accusation home, by press accusation. let's clear those peoples' names. if there's nothing in that swamp, let's drain it, let's find out. and that's the responsibility of the leadership of the majority and that's the responsibility of the ethics committee and that's why we keep talking about those ethical issues. and unfortunately there may be more. we have to be prepared to do what we promised the american people and the first thing we need to address is this issue of whether or not the community was lying to the american people. i see we are joined by my good friend and loyal stalwart who always shows us -- shows up when he sees me all by myself and
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phil on the floor. my friend, steve kinger from iowa. i'll yield you whatever -- steve king from iowa. i'll yield back the balance of my time you whatever time you want. mr. king: i thank my friend from texas for yielding and also organizing this special order and the gentleman from doctor from -- and the gentleman doctor from georgia as well. who stands up for fiscal responsibility, constitutionality and as i'm reading "the washington post" language, the statement that came from our speaker november 8, 2006, the american people voted to restore integrity and honesty in washington, d.c., and the democrats intend to lead the most honest, the most ethical and the most, perhaps, moral congress in history. and the most honest, most open and most ethical congress in history, closed quote, is that language. and you know i heard that constant drub of cyst similar that was coming here for -- criticism that was coming here for several years. the 30's group came down here to
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the floor almost every night and made those kind of allegations and i was looking at people over on this side of the aisle that clearly committed to this cause -- that were clearly committed to this cause and people i would trust with everything i have, working hard, struggling to represent the american people. they took that kind of criticism and some of the american people bought that kind of promise but today they know different. today they know this congress doesn't meet that standard. the other statement here, national public radio, under strong attack from republicans, house speaker pelosi accused the c.i.a. and bush administration of misleading her about water boarding detainees in the war on terrorism, closed quote. again, they mislead us all the time, i was fighting the war in iraq at that point, too, you know, closed quote. not really. not really, mr. speaker. . here's what i remember. i remember speaker pelosi taking
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the gavel and she led 45 votes here on the house of representatives that were were to underfund or undermine our troops. that is a matter of record and on a spreadsheet in my office and i could put it all in the congressional record. but fighting the war in iraq, she was fighting against the war in iraq and the goal was to get our troops out of there, declare defeat and bring disgrace upon the bush administration. but it was clear in the rhetoric that came that it wasn't in support of victory in iraq, but every move, all 45 votes as a matter of congressional record undermine our troops. and yet, president bush issued the surge order and the surge strategy has clearly been a success. traveled to iraq with the gentleman from texas. and i recall some real hot days over there. and i can remember that there was a time when we couldn't go
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to places like ramadi or fallujah, because they were too dangerous. and i remember coming back six months later and shopping in ramadi. and i remember meeting with the mayor of fallujah who declared the city of peace. this happened because of the no built, sacrifice, courage of our u.s. military. and president bush gave the order. and now we've reached this point where we have achieved as a nation a dineable victory in iraq. and it's defineable in a lot of ways, but it wasn't because of this quote we are reading here about the speaker fighting the war in iraq. no, she was fighting against it here on this floor and that point can't being allowed to pass. so what has been achieved is a defineable victory that's there. the ethnosectarian deaths have
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dropped 98%. our american casualties over the last year and my data will be brother up to date on the 30 of this month, last day of june last year and pray to god we don't have any more casualties there for all time, but the roughly accidental deaths in iraq to americans are roughly equivalent to those deaths that are hostile deaths. now that is a very good statistic if you're looking at wars' statistics. greater risk getting killed by a rollover in your humvee. there has been a lot of progress made there, in the local government with free elections. have had a number of free elections and ratified a constitution. the last election was as peaceful as our last election and probably as legitimate as our last election as well. there is a lot to be celebrated in iraq. i didn't mean to divert from the
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sub-- subject matter. and what about the national security of the united states of america when the speaker declares that those who are briefing her are liars, who have continually lied and misled the congress and the speaker of the house. why would the speaker go back up and be briefed by the people she declared to be liars and how can they differentiate them from the 14 other members? with no evidence, with no proof, simply an allege. now in this country, if you believe that someone is not telling the truth, you don't raise that subject. you're accepting what they say without challenging them, unless you can prove the wrong. that's the way it is in western
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christian civilizations. and i believe that's rooted in the book of john when christ stood before the high priest caiphus when he said, did you really preach those things? and jesus said, ask them. they were there. and the guard struck jesus. and jesus said, if i speak wrongly, then you must prove the wrong. if i speak rightly, why do you strike me. if someone speaks wrongly, they have the responsibility to prove the wrong, she should have said that to the high priest. we could ask the same standard of our speaker. and this will not go away. we cannot tolerate a situation where there's a mistrust between the highest level of intelligence gathering services in the united states of america that gather the intelligence information, that direct our military, our overt and covert
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operations and go in and preempt terrorist strikes against americans and other free peoples in the world and have them intimidated by an allegations of telling a lie, which would be a felony and there is a specific section in the code, punishable by eight years in the penitentiary. if the intelligence community should lie to the united states congress. title 18. it's very specific. so this has got to be stopped and resolved. this congress has got to bring it to a head. and i appreciate the gentleman from texas for bringing this special order and opportunity to echo this out across the american people and i yield back. mr. carter: i thank my friend. and i recognize my friend from georgia. seems like he has something he wants to say. mr. gingrey: i appreciate the gentleman for yielding and i appreciate him having the courage as well as the courage
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of my colleague from iowa, representative steve king, to come to the floor and to talk about issues like this. as i said earlier in my remarks, it is very painful and hard to do, but it's something that has to be done. if the c.i.a., as i said before, if they are lying to someone who is third in line to the president, the speaker of the house, and there's a pattern of that lying, we've got some serious problems. and it would seem to me that something of this magnitude would rise to the level of iran-contraissue or a watergate issue, where you absolutely have to know who's lying, who knew what and when and who's telling the truth and who's not telling the truth.
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and we all know the consequences of those actions. and you know, again, i'm not suggesting, mr. speaker, that our speaker, the speaker has lied. i just -- in my earlier remarks this evening, i misstated something. i said john podestoo. he is not the director of the c.i.a. but leon panetta. we all have senior moments. i look old irthan the speaker. she is a very attractive speaker, but she could have had a senior moment in regard to this. and mr. speaker, my colleagues, don't you know that after this happened and she said that, don't you know that there was a meeting of the powers that be with the speaker and with the c.i.a., with the director of the
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c.i.a. and information was presented, which would have shown that she either misspoke or didn't misspeak. and if she misspoke, how simple, mr. speaker, how simple it would have been to just say, ladies and gentlemen, not of the congress, not of the house of representatives, more importantly, ladies and gentlemen of the country, i was wrong about that. i didn't deliberately lie. i was wrong. i didn't remember. i didn't remember that briefing. or the opposite, the c.i.a. was wrong and didn't inform. and that puts the issue to ress. mr. speaker, that's all our minority leader, the gentleman from ohio, john boehner, the respected leader of the republican house conference,
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that's all he said that should be done. let's get to the bottom of this thing, put it to rest and tell the truth. the truth will always serve you well and the truth is not painful. so -- mr. carter: reclaiming my time. i don't want to keep belaboring this issue, but someone ought to think about this before they light the first firecracker on the 4th of july. and a country said they are back at war with us, and going to fire a missle at one of our 50 states and going to do it on the 4th of july. let's assume we will get intelligence on that. let's start off with them saying, doesn't carry a war head . and the man is going to have to make the decision is the president of the united states. this isn't a decision you do by committee.
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that's why we have an executive branch. he will collect that data. and the question is do we shoot it down. pretty sure it doesn't carry a nuclear missile. but he says, wait a minute. wait a minute. wait a minute. they lied to nancy pelosi, how do i know that they haven't done their work and telling me this to feel good about it. maybe there is a missile on board. or he thinks, i don't know what to do because i don't know if i can trust our intelligence. he knows the firing of the missile, which, by the way, according to trent franks, we have missiles that can take this thing down. and the north koreans says that's it, active war and then they come into the 38th parallel of south korea and marching that 80 miles to seoul. or worst case scenario, say, well, we can't trust the
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intelligence, don't shoot it down and hits the big island of hawaii and goes boom. now, it's a war head and it's nuclear. or maybe less than nuclear. who knows. the point of this conversation is, intelligence matters. mr. gingrey: if the gentleman would yield. and i thank the gentleman. we were just before the rules committee, mr. speaker submitting an amendment to the defense authorization act of 2010, our national defense authorization act, something like 525 billion. but $1.2 billion, as the gentleman from texas was alluding to, was cut from the missile defense program. it was cut from the missile defense program at a time when
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kim jong il is firing missiles and testing nuclear weapons, violating the nuclear test ban treaty. and our intelligence is telling us as the gentleman from texas just said, these ballistic missiles that they're testing could reach hawaii. while we're getting that information, not necessarily from the c.i.a., but from all of our intelligence agencies. there are 16 of them. and most of them are within the department of defense. the defense intelligence agency is an example. of course, we have a national intelligence director, which was insisted upon by the 9/ upon by commission and the families of the victims. and it seems now to me, mr. speaker that we are kind of get iing loosey goosey and thinking
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that gosh, you know, the speaker of the house says the head of the c.i.a. lies and we can't trust them. we don't believe the intelligence. mr. carter: all the time. not just this, her statement was, they lie to us all the time. mr. king. mr. king: i thank the gentleman from texas for yielding. you have raised a scenario here that disturbs me a great deal about what happens about the indecision when you don't trust your intelligence community because of an allegations that's made by the person third in line by the president of the united states. this is the person third in line for president of the united states. the indecision that could come because of the doubt that's been planted. let me submit another way that this hurts america's security. beyond this point that you have made, judge, about the indecision


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