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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 27, 2009 3:00pm-3:30pm EDT

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negotiation on some of these issues. there have been no particular requests made about exit number of detainees be placed by such a date. the conversations have remained at a fairly general level. . .
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>> let me tell you clearly we will not shirk the responsibility. it needs to be brought in line with the legal situation. in germany, we are showing a constructive spirit and will come to a good result. >> thank you, mr. president. i have a question for each of you. on iran, do the events of the past few weeks and even the past few days forestall your ability to have any sort of meetings or dialogue with them on the nuclear issue? are you losing precious time on that issue? there has been an upsurge of violence in iraq. will that have an effect on the deadline to withdraw the combat troops? >> on the iranian issue, which are still waiting to see how the situation plays out there.
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i continue to be deeply disturbed by the reports of violence taking place there. i continue to call on the iranian government to deal with people who were peacefully protesting and wanting their voices to be heard in a way that respects international principles. there is no doubt that any direct dialogue or diplomacy with iran is going to be affected by the results of the last several weeks. we do not yet know how many potential dialogue will have been affected until we see what has happened inside iran. this is the point i was making earlier in response to the other question.
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we have a continuing set of national security interests that are going to have to be dealt with. the clock is ticking. iran is developing nuclear capacity at a fairly rapid clip. they have been doing so for quite some time. iran's possession of nuclear weapons would trigger an arms race in the middle east that would be thabad for u.s. securiy and the entire region. even as we clearly speak out in a unified voice in opposition to the violence that has taken place in iran, we have to also be steady in recognizing that the prospect of iran with a
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nuclear weapon is a big problem. we've got to work in concert with the international community to try to prevent that from happening. my expectation would be, and we did discuss this, that we will continue to see some multilateral discussions with iran. there is a structure that exists with the talks that include russia and china. there will be discussions that continue on the international stage around iran's nuclear program. i think a direct dialogue between the united states and iran and how the proceeds, we will have to see how that plays itself out in the days and weeks ahead. on iraq, any time there is a
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bombing in iraq, we are concerned. anytime there's a loss of innocent life or the loss of military personnel, we grieve for their families and it makes us pay attention. if you look at the overall trend, despite the high-profile bombings, the security situation has continued to dramatically improve. when i speak to the general and the ambassador in iraq, they continued to be positive overall about the trend lines in iraq. there is still some work to do. i think family government -- i think the maliki government will have to strengthen its forces and engage in the political give and take leading up to the elections that we have been talking about for some time.
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i have not seen as much political process -- progress there as i would like to see. there are always going to be -- let me not say always. there will continue to the incidents of violence inside iraq for some time. they are at a much lower level than they were in the past. i think the biggest challenge right now will be less of those attacks by the remnants and insurgent groups. the bigger challenge will be whether they can resolve some of the major political issues having to do with federalism, boundaries, heavy oil revenues are shared. if those issues get resolved, i think you will see a further normalization of the security atmosphere inside of iraq.
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>> on iran, over the past few weeks, we have seen horrifying scenes of how the security forces there dealt with the demonstrators. we will not forget this. we want to identify the exact number of victims, who they worere, and how they dealt withs demonstrators. in the 21st century, iran cannot count on the world community turning a blind eye to this. we were able to see this. my own experience tells me that it is so important in that situation that people know that others are knowledgeable of what is happening to you. iran must not be allowed to regain possession of nuclear weapons.
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that is even more important. there are those in iran and who would like to have a different system. we would like to have a diplomatic solution to preventing iran from gaining possession of a nuclear weapon. i completely agree with the president. we have to bring russia and china along in order to see to it that this solution is brought about. the more determination we show, the better the prospects are for the middle east peace process. i think we can be successful in that process and with iran. the microphone of the gentleman is not working. we cannot translate. i am sorry. >> west germany -- i wrote a
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biography about your life. what did she tell you about germany? did she say anything about germany in the 1980's? your predecessors did not give interviews to the media before this. how long do we have to wait for a german out what to have an interview? -- a german out whlet to have an interview? if there were a commitment, i would appreciate that very much. >> my second question is for the chancellor herself upon a policy between the house of representatives and the senate.
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how optimistic are you that the stringent rules on climate change will be successful in the house and the senate? what will be the consequence if they are not able to do that? how will they deal with the situation? i would like to receive a reply to this. >> first of all, in terms of my emotional maps, the times i have visited germany have been extraordinary. i have had a wonderful time. the people of germany have received me with great warmth and affection. keep in mind that i visited germany even before i was elected president. we had a pretty good rally in berlin. it was not bad. i will always have a warm spot
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in my heart for germany. in part, because of the response and reaction i have received from the german people. i will tell you that part of the ones i feel towards germany is because i like chancellor merkel a lot. i have now dealt with a lot of world leaders. i think that chancellor merkel is smart, practical, and i trust her when she says something. that kind of approach is exactly what you want from an international partner. i had very much enjoyed my interactions with her and her team. my sister obviously had a great time in heidelberg. when i met her, she was going
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out with a german guy. i do not want to comment on how that played out -- [laughter] that may have an impact on how she views germany right now. [laughter] that is a little too personal for a press conference. i do want to make the point about climate change. europe has moved more rapidly than the united states on addressing this issue. i have been very blunt and frank with chancellor merkel that we're still working through creating the framework where we can help lead ithe international effort. i think this legislation that we are seeking to pass indicates enormous progress from where we have been.
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i think we all recognize there will be more to do. the united states is going to have to work with germany and other advanced economies to make sure that our obligations are clear. then we are going to have to work with the emerging economies. they have enormous potential for growth. unfortunately, they also have enormous potential for contributing to greenhouse gases. their obligations need to be clear. i am the first one to a knowledge that the united states has not been where we need to beat. we're not going to get their all in one fell swoop. but i am very proud of the progress being made. i think the energy bill being debated in the house is an example of that progress.
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if we can get that free market place, i am confident that the united states can be an important partner in this process. >> you will understand might refrain from commenting in any way on the behavior of members of parliament who are free in their decisions. that would be counterproductive. i am very gratified to know that the president feels committed to this issue. it has become apparent in all of our talks. he wants to see to it that copenhagen is a success. we are both convinced that this question of climate change amounts to much more than just numbers and targets. it means that we take a commitment and responsibility for the countries in the world that will be more heavily affected by climate change. we're also committed to ensuring
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energy security for our country'ies. dependence on raw materials can be difficult. it is always good to look at new technologies. we need to deal with the fuel sources responsibly and economically. this is something that we feel about strongly in our own country and internationally. i will say something on heidelberg. in the book, she is telling us about her own impressions. i find this interesting. on the one hand, she describes this as a country where you have the impression where everyone has to fend for themselves. there is not as big community or family network to protect you that you have in africa. as you go throughout the book,
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it was also something good, maybe. it strengthens people's own awareness of their own responsibility. it is very important to look at this when we deal with africa. the way we live can be tough on people. on the other hand, we should also address how certain things can be dealt with more efficiently. it was a very good experience to read this book. >> thank you very much, everybody. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009]
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>> this week saw the release of more than 150 hours of secret cordons -- recordings from the nixon white house. >> they are not to have any advance information street is that clear? the message is not to be funny. is that clear? it should be from the whole state department. >> we will have more from the tapes this afternoon on c-span radio. >> how is c-span funded? >> publicly funded? >> donations? >> government? >> surtaxes. >> federal funding? >> 30 years ago, america's cable
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companies created c-span as a public service. it was a private business initiative with no government mandate or money. >> this is a look at the conduct of the justice department during the george w. bush administration trade participants at the forum allege that prosecutions targeted defendants on the basis of political party. this event is hosted by the sara mcclendon group, named for the longtime white house reporter. [applause] >> they'd you very much. -- thank you very much. she has been a leading voice and a leader for many years. it is my honor to be introduced here by her today. i want to extend to you the warmest of greetings and
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congratulations for this conference from chairman conyers. business made it impossible for him to be here today. the same is true congressman johnson. the chairman became chairman of the house judiciary committee in january of 2007. since before becoming chairman, he considered it one of his critical responsibilities to do oversight of the department of justice. there has been a whole lot of oversight to do, particularly in the time that has ended on january 20th, 2009. i'm going to talk about 10 specific issues that have come before our committee concerning potential abuses by the department of justice. you will find more about this in the report on the house judiciary committee website.
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these are merely examples of some of the work that the committee has been doing and is continuing to do with respect to some of the abuses we have seen in our federal justice system. number one on the hit parade is clearly the unprecedented firing of the u.s. attorney's that happened in 2006. the committee has been undergoing an extraordinarily comprehensive investigation. it is not yet done. it produced testimony by countless justice department officials, and numerous documents. it has already demonstrated that there was clear, improper, political influence in the decisions being made by a republican administration to fire republican u.s. attorneys who were not considered to be aggressive enough in going after the folks some wanted them
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to go after. they may have been too aggressive in going after some with the same political stripe. our investigation led to an extremely comprehensive investigation by the office of the inspector general and professional responsibility. it also produced something close to a special counsel. a special u.s. attorney was appointed by the attorney general mackenukasey who contins to look into criminal investigations. the committee and full house held. myeharriet myers and scott bolton in contempt. that led to a lawsuit that produced a landmark decision in district court on the authority of congress to go forward with
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that kind of oversight. that led to an important settlement that is now being implemented. i cannot give you details of what is going on. one of the terms of the settlement is only after all the interviews are over, only then can we review the documents. i can tell you what has been reported in the filings with the federal court of appeals. we have received a number of internal white house documents that provide more information about this. there will be on the record interviews under penalty of prosecution of both miers and karl rove. in the interviews are done, all of that material will be available to the public with additional conclusions from the committee and the possibilities of hearings at some point. we're not done in that area. we have seen enormous abuses of power that had begun to be corrected.
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congress passed an important law limiting the ability of the attorney general to simply appoint people as u.s. attorney without senate confirmation. the abuses that occurred just in that respect are truly astonishing. there is more to come, unfortunately. there was a politicization of hiring at the department. the centerpiece of the committee investigation was the living testimony of limonica goodwin with knitted she used political factors in recommending career attorneys. this led to another investigation that further documented problems there and in the justice department of program and summer internship program. i am happy to say that we now have a new attorney general who
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has clearly committed to the complete extrication of any of that kind of problem. there are still things to do in that area. the attorney general has indicated he will reconsider the possibility of prosecution of the former justice department attorney who is has been suggested rep -- misrepresented to the justice committee when he testified on this issue. the politicization of the hiring is something that the department has clearly turned the page on. we continue the oversight. the feedback we hear is that a new day has dawned, at least in that respect, in the justice department. the department of justice and interrogation policy is another extremely serious issue. because of the opinions of the office of legal counsel and the
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work of the department of justice continued the interrogation policies and torture that occurred under the prior administration. this administration has made it clear it will not be tolerated going forward. many of you remember the hearings of those deeply involved in the issue. we hope they helped contribute to what is now going on. there is an important opr investigation that looks specifically at some of the attorneys in the office of legal counsel that provided the opinions. chairman conyers has already stated that when the investigation is done and released, he will hold hearings involving those there in the olc at the time and involved in the opinions.
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they will find out more and in some questions about this troubling episode in the history of our department of justice. the warrantless wiretaping is another abuse that occurred unfortunately in our not so recent past. the department of justice played an important role in facilitating some of what happened in that area before congress and others got into the act. we also conducted hearings in this area. the hearing led to an important statement signed by the democrats that made it clear the lack of justification for what happened under the prior administration. in the fis of legislation passed, there was a specific mandate for investigations by
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multiple agencies. that is due this july. a significant part of that is mandated by law to be done in public. we are looking forward to that report. we're looking forward to seeing what else needs to be done in that area with respect to these very important issues. further needs to be done in that area with respect to these very important issues. fifth, the issue that brings many of you here today, the issue of selective prosecution. our investigation here was also extremely comprehensive. we had several hearings before several of our subcommittees reviewed countless documents, conducted numerous witness interviews, and unfortunately, what we found, as scott has alluded to before, is that there was substantial evidence of selective politically motivated prosecution that occurred under the prior administration. one expert did a study and found that 80% of public corruption
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type prosecutions during the prior administration up to 2007 were of democrats, his estimate was that the chances that that would happen by chance were 1 in 10,000. we heard testimony from a number of people, former u.s. attorneys and others, who talked about the problem which really occurred in two areas. first as been alluded to already, we select a prosecution of democratic officials for alleged offenses. several prosecutions have already been overturned, the georgia thompson case in wisconsin which was practically ridiculed by the seventh circuit court of appeals, the recent action by the court in pennsylvania to throw out essentially the possibility of further prosecution with respect to cyril wecht, a democratic official in pennsylvania. one of his attorneys, republican
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attorney general richard thornberg, testified before our committee that as a result of this kind of selective prosecution, the confidence of the american people in the fairness of our justice system was truly being shaken. but that wasn't all. in addition you have the other side of the point, instances of genuine activity that was extremely troubling, that was undertaken by republican affiliated organizations and individuals that was not prosecuted in an aggressive, vigorous way. the most clear example being an example of a republican or a voter registration firm who in nevada and other places conducted voter registration all right, but then tore up voter registrations of people who registered democrat. that case was never prosecuted under the prior administration. we issued aomprehensive report on that subject, which is also available on our website entitled "allegations of selective prosecutions in


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