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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  December 4, 2009 1:00pm-6:30pm EST

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out that we were creating 3000 jobs for the chinese and 300 jobs for ourselves in this project. guest: well, you know, you covered a lot of territory there. but the first begin with the financial system and the banking. yeah, that's got out of whack. the financial institutions accounted for two big a share of our markets -- a 4 toofor too ba share of our market here. all they were doing were creating products and selling to each other. and i saw a headline that said that banks would not lend to each other and i thought, wait a minute, what's happened to lending to the consumer? on the manufacturing side, we do a lot of manufacturing here. i think manufacturing output is a share of gdp and has been pretty steady. and of course, fewer people all the time because productivity
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is so high in manufacturing. . . ed overseas in china because it is very simple, and it might be worth $20, but the thing that makes it valuable is the chip that goes in it, and that is the kind of stuff that we seem to do here in the u.s. it is different kind of manufacturing. we did a lot of the ingenuity side of it, the innovation, and that does have a very big pay off. that is the value added. that is the value added. what worries us is that now, a lot of that can be done in china and india, because for years we have been training lots of their people in our universities, and we have the best university system in the world, but a lot of ph peace -- ph.ds come here and leave. if you look at places like out in california, you'll find that half of the high-tech firms were founded by people who came from another country and got their
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education here and then started those firms. complicated process, but i believe fundamentally that american ingenuity can get the job done. what we worry about is the government getting at it with high taxes and regulation, telling us what to do rather than letting us figure out what works and what is most profitable, what will create the most jobs. host: from the reporting of elizabeth williamson in "the wall street journal," she points out that the mack truck in allentown, pennsylvania, a shutdown in 2008. the will be a 100-worker branch of the lehigh valley health network, the largest employer in allentown. what was what bethlehem steel is now up million dollars casino. -- now a 30-million-dollar casino. and fewer than 13 employees make up 13,000 -- fewer than 50 employees make up nearly 13,000 of the valley's 14,000
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employers. guest: paying social security for a least one worker have under 20 employees in the u.s. did small business is important to job growth and job creation. we employ half the private sector employees in the u.s. and reproduce have the private gdp, a small firms to -- and we produce half of the private gdp, a small firms do. what is nice to see is that -- this is what the system does. bankruptcy is that from a personal point of view, but the whole idea -- if the resources you have are not making money, meaning doing something that people value, then you have to replace those assets -- reprice those assets and try another experiment so that you start making money. when companies go out of business, they go out of this is because you and i put them out
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of business. we don't like the reston, the barbershop, we withhold our money, and they go out of this and they repress the facilities and try something else. -- they reprice the facilities try something else. with gm and chrysler, let's take them apart, take the good pieces, sell them to somebody who will do something good to them, and sell off the pieces that don't work anymore. that is how we state growing over the long haul. but if we get saddled with inefficient firms that don't get the job done, like a state owned enterprises, not a good deal. host: our guest is bill dunkelberg, the chief economist for the national federation of independent businesses. john is joining us from hartford, tennessee, an independent line. welcome to the program. caller: thank you, steve.
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mr. dunkelberg, all this stuff you saying don't make no sense to use a 10% unemployment is more like 18 to 20 -- you say 10% unemployment. it is more like 18% to 20%. the u.s. bank stole $60,000 out of my lockbox and i went under. -- stole $16,000 out of my lockbox i went under. i'm glad that those people putting his chips together that you were talking about, because manufacturing has gone down. you manufacturers -- all my people that come in my store are friends of mine and they're not going to spend their money, because the big banks and wall street people got all the money and they did not send us -- they said us $300, which will not by a tank of gas -- sent us $300,
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which will not be why a tank of gas. guest: if you ask yourself, where would i rather be, california or texas -- texas has grown immensely, added 2 million more new jobs, maybe 1.6 million, but the point is that it has been very, very successful. it has really taken advantage of the fact that many markets opened up and you could have trade between mexico and, of course, the united states. they have done very well with that. free trade between countries works just like free trade between new york and pennsylvania or any of the other 50 states which are the countries in the united states. free trade is really good. i don't know what happened to your lockbox, so i cannot help you with that, but small business is the r&d of the u.s. economy. if you have a new product or you have a better way of doing something, you can start a business.
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if you are right, you'll be rewarded with customers and money and it will make profits and it will finance her growth -- finance your growth and it attracts copycats. if you are wrong, you may have a bad experience and lose your business, but we did not lose you and we did not lose the building and the stuff. we repriced the assets and started a new experiment. i know stories entrepreneurs who started businesses 15 or 20 times, just kept coming back until they finally get the right formula. that is the real essence of u.s. economic growth and why we have outperformed our competitors globally for decades now. host: susan is joining us from north carolina. good morning. caller: good morning. i just want to say one thing -- in north carolina, we have factories, 6200, i know people who go to work on these
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factories and inspect them. an american will come in and seek a job and they don't have any jobs, and then somebody from a different country will come in and they will hire. one place as nine americans and the rest 2200 is from a different country. they have food places where they can buy their food, and they can buy their clothing there, that i have a business and does not help our economy. grocery stores or anything. i just wonder why nobody looks into that. you know, that hurts the whole economy. i bet you there is about 15,000 jobs around this area where
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americans to be working. they're spending gas money on and nothing because they're not going to get hired. the have like five fake id's, they have hit and runs and leave all their fake ids in the car. we are trying to straighten out our economy and we cannot even give our own people jobs. host: thank you for filling in. mr. dunkelberg? guest: well, certainly, that is an issue that a lot of us all worried about. the whole border and having so- called illegal immigrants or illegal a-list or however you want to characterize these individuals -- illegal aliens or however you want to characterize these individuals affects our economy. there is the whole issue about legal immigration versus
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illegal immigration. legal immigration is very important for us but we get 1 million people this year because half of that group will invite and a half of that will probably come in illegally. they contributed to the economy in many ways and we worry about keeping out to many of the skilled people that we would invite under the normal immigration rules. illegal immigration is a problem that we have not been able to effectively deal with in washington. hopefully, as time goes on, we will get some better solutions for dealing with those problems as we go forward. host: dening is joining us from louisiana. a -- good morning. danny is joining us from louisiana. good morning. caller: i cannot disagree more with the gentleman who is now speaking. i watched this whole thing collapsed.
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it all started with when we changed the economic models. basically, keynesian economics goes along with henry ford, and when they asked him why he waited employees so much, he said, "i want them to buy cars." and then you have the freedom and model. -- the friedman model. and during the reagan administration, i had my taxable on the same income. -- tax doubled on the same income. which is used to keep up with inflation. wages have been kept down. with this deregulation and reaganomics, the people of america has been taken for a ride.
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as far as your business, i sympathize with you, but you start out all your customers, sir. guest: that maybe true from some perspectives, but as you look at the whole economy and how it has done over the past decade, wealth increases all the time, real incomes increase all the time, over the last 12 months, wages are up 2.8%. your experience may differ from that of the whole economy. certainly, the economy is changing all the time the. the mix of the economy is changing. those kinds of adjustments happen. wal-mart is there because consumers put it there. if you don't like wal-mart, you don't shop there, then they would go out of business, just like kmart went out of this is for a while before it was taken private. uni, consumers, drive the market, -- you and i, consumers,
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but the market, who stays in business and who does not. on the tax side, lots of different issues we argue about at the polls every years -- how should -- how big should the government sector be versus how big the private sector should be. it is an important argument, what we will have again in 2010. we will see how it gets resolved. host: cleveland, ohio, for bill dunkelberg. caller: good morning. i listen to c-span quite often. i am 74 years old. i have worked in manufacturing all my life. i was an electrician at to the equipment running. they're always talking about unemployment, 10%. actually, on a plan --
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unemployment is begun in this country. we have to people or three people in this -- two people or three people in the household working that they should not have. two people working to support this. number two, u of christmas coming up. -- you have christmas coming up with everybody is going out and buying chinese toys instead of american products. and they wonder why we are out of work. guest: you make some very good points. when i started out, my house was this big, and the time i am now in my late fifties, i have a nice house or nice stuff, so i come from the day when people talk about "the good old days" one that could go to work and mom did not have to work and could take care of the children.
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but we now want everything, we want it now. want it now. my son sta my son started off in a house about 10 years ago bigger than the one i was living in. he had new cars and credit made all of this possible. it had to work hard to make all of the payments. -- they had to work hard. those are personal choices and are so often televised as the housing bubble bursting showed us. people were reaching too far trying to get too much. we should not let that happen. it is unfortunate. it does mean that you do have to have two people working to pay the bills if you are making those kinds of commitments. we will have to see whether the new normal where you start saving more money means we're going to adjust our expectations, not having to have the five-bedroom house when only three bedrooms are fine.
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maybe only 3 is fine. you don't have to have a new car every year. those decisions will shape what the economy looks like. from 2003 to 2007, we built an economy based on those savings. we built too many strip malls where you could buy those toys, too many restaurants, too many of all this stuff, and consumers are saving hundreds of billion dollars less in retail sales. a lot of those were empty spaces now. we will have to make an adjustment of the next couple of years. it will just take some time to reassert all this and we will see what the new consumer thinks about the future and whether or not they need to have a meeting today. maybe they will be willing to save a little bit and get it tomorrow. host: last call for this segment from tennessee. caller: i think it -- the people -- i think the reason people are not spending is that they are scared to death of what this president is going to give us with the health care bill and
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the penalties and taxes. there is no experience in his cabinet for growing jobs in the business. it is all government. only employment around here is people being hired to work the christmas season, and they know they will be laid off. people are saving the money. the three weeks ago you said there were going to take 400 million out of medicare. it is $500 billion. i know it figures the matter to you democrats, but it matters to -- i know figures don't matter to democrats, but it matters to people like me. this president is going to rob medicare to pay for his health- care plan. he is doing nothing to help the consumer and people are scared to death. host: with all due respect, we referred to $400 billion. caller: you said $400 million, steve. i take it. -- taped it.
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guest: they are such big numbers that it gets confusing. but job -- but government job creation is an oxymoron. it does not have any money to do this. as i hire you to become president, whatever you were making in the private sector we lose and we have to tax the private sector to pay to get yourself as a that you can buy stuff that the private sector is still making. the private sector as to generate jobs. what we need is a set of policies that try to empower the private sector to get back to doing what it does best, create jobs, not run social institutions, and get government out of the way of the small business owners out there so that they can do what they do best, which is create jobs and wealth. host:
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the >> senators are continuing their debate of the health-care bill throughout the weekend. our regular schedule will be pre-empted during these sessions. the programs will be resuming after the debate. watch the senate debate on health care live cattle to gavel on c-span2, the only network with the full debate and edited and commercial free. to read both versions of the bill and to watch video on demand go online to c- >> as we get better and better we run an increasing risk of arrogance. >> four of his books sit on the new york times bestsellers list including his latest, "what the dog saw."
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>> american icons. three original documentaries from c-span are now available on dvd. a unique journey through the iconic cause of the three branches of american government. see the exquisite detail of the supreme court through the eyes of the justices. go beyond the velvet ropes of public tours into those releasing spaces of the white house, america's most famous home. explore the history, art, and architecture of the capital, one of america's most symbolic structures. a free disc dvd said for $24.95 plus shipping and handling. -- a three disc dvd set. >> they had a forum on the president obama's impact on canada. this 45 minute and then was co hosted by the canadian club of
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toronto and the empire club of canada. >> good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. it is a pleasure and honor to be here with such a distinguished guests. my role today is to encourage a dialogue between the two ambassadors and with you the audience. to that end, you will note on your table question cards. i believe cancels are provided. we have facilitators in the room. will you raise your hand and ways. there they are. -- raise your hand and waive? if you have a question, write it down and that they will be handed up to me. we will try to get as many in as possible. the goal is to encourage discussion.
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those of us who were there that day will never forget the particular sound of that exalted the throng at 11:00 p.m. when he was declared the elected president. as always, he said it better than anyone else. if there was anyone out there who still doubts that america is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream bar rounders is still alive, who questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. since that night the 44th president has grappled with a vicious economic crisis, a severe recession. he is trying to craft a health care strategy that will clear congress while also enrolling 47 million insurance -- 47 million americans into the insurance agency. as for relations with canada, i
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think all canadians are enthused by the presence of mr. obama in the white house. there was one poll that said 60% of canadians would surrender the right to vote if they could vote for obama. nonetheless we have buy american provision is. skeptics wonder how we are two countries who are looking to fight global warming. they had ringside seats on pennsylvania avenue for the years leading up to this and we are anxious to hear your thoughts. if i could start with you, mr. mackinnon. what is your assessment of his presidency both on his own terms and on canada-u.s. relations? >> let me set this. he is human.
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secondly, he was elected with 49% of americans voting against him vehemently. he took office in january. fourthly, he entered office without any public servants supporting him. the entire top echelon lose their jobs when elections happen and the have to start all over. a lot of those took many months. let's set the scene. this was a country and a world that was on the edge of this financial tsunami. we had seen bear stearns, lehman brothers, merrill lynch, aig, ford, general motors, chrysler, fannie mae, freddie mac, tarp.
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wisn a huge a structural deficit. he walks into the office and the things he has to start with immediately and the stimulus package. it was fought by the republicans every set of the way. -- every step of the way. they started fighting for a stimulus package and then fighting with housing prices that have dropped 29%. there were mortgage foreclosures at the rate of 300,000 her month. in canada we have 10,000 per year. bailouts of financial institutions are continuing to take place. then the compensation which he and answer for it in those institutions. he introduced a health care measure which was extraordinarily difficult and would be in any country. america is deeply polarized and it is very different -- difficult.
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the climate is extraordinarily difficult. today, the united states unemployment is in the double digit area and has continuing reductions in house prices, the aftermath of the financial restructuring, and so on. a lot of americans are angry and frustrated. it is no wonder they take it out on their president. healthcare will be an accomplishment. i'd think he will achieve it. i the key will receive historical claim for it after it is done. cap and trade is working its way through congress. michael and i know that the president, all he can do is propose. this position comes from congress. more importantly, he has presented another face of america to the world. the world now sees america as an ally in a friendlier protagonist
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on major world issues. that would be the context. at the end of it, people would say he has burned off a lot of political capital, but you cannot live in such troubled times without attracting -- attracting. on relations, i think they are excellent. on the downside we have seen the thickening of the border with passport requirements. that was a down the track before he came into office. it was in motion for a long time. i think that would be a negative. we have to put these in context. canada has its own trade barriers for provincial and municipal procurement. at the united states is managing them. at the national levels, we do not and have continued free trade. that would be one ripple in the pond but not fatal and to the trade relationship.
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on the plus side, we have the first visit from him to a country to canada. that is something we take for granted. he is highly liked and admired in canada. we were able to do a deal together that allowed both of us to work. i give credit to michael and his people and the canadian government with achieving success in not being isolated in terms of resurrecting the automotive industry. when matched efforts in cap and trade. he has really helped considerably in giving this cookie crumbs on how oil can be brought under the tent of [unintelligible] i think the relations are excellent. >> mr. wilson, your thoughts?
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>> he covered a lot of territory. but we try to fill in some thoughts here. first of all, it has been a remarkable. . -- a remarkable period. there was tremendous excitement and anticipation when he came and in office. that was suffered because of the challenges he has faced. the man is a very, very gifted or tour. this is something he will use and has used -- a very gifted orator. this is a difficult time for legislation and it will continue to be so. there has been a sense of disappointment, disillusionment, and certainly the polling numbers with support that is slipping away in the support he has had. if you look at things internationally, there's no question that he has offered a
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different face to the world. he has made some significant outreach efforts with his speech to the muslim community. he has made a number of trips. there is certainly much more of a sense of openness, of dialogue with him, then with president bush. this has been a positive change. this is going to be a difficult. -- a difficult time for him with the international community. while he has reached out in a number of ways to attempt to start dialogue and the results have been able to demonstrate have not been as successful as he would like. i'm going to read something to you. it this is a short script from what he said to the united nations in september. "those who used to chastise america for acting alone in the
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world cannot now stand by and wait for america to solve all of the world's problems alone. we have sought, and were indeed, a new era of engagement with the world. and now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges." the challenge has been offered by the president. we in canada and other countries have to take note of that. i guess the question we have to ask ourselves is, are these efforts, both from the transparent and open approach to its sense of bipartisanship in domestic matters, are they working? as frank has pointed out, it has been a tough time for him. domestically, i think the congress today is as rigorous as we have seen in a long time.
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the republicans are opposing anything that he puts forth. even in the data -- even in the democratic party there are some divisions. one person said it is like trying to put a blob of mercury on the bottom of the glass and holding it still. the move to the middle to get to the moderates or he moves to the left and loses people or vice versa. it is a difficult domestic time. certainly his achievement in addressing the economic and financial issues, i think that has been a success and has been quite a remarkable achievement for what he has been able to do. healthcare, i think, is going to be tougher than the time you left, frank. i think he will get something but it will be quite water down. climate change which we did not
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have in copenhagen, i do not think we would have gotten as far as we had. likewise with the financial regulation. if we did not have the g-20, i do not think we would have had the progress that is being made in congress. we see two different approaches. there's one in the house and one in the senate. the administration is a little different still. there are difficult challenges that he is facing. on the u.s.-canada relationship, i agree with frank that the relationship of is in pretty good shape. the two leaders have had two bilateral meetings one at each of the other's capital and they have also met on a number of occasions at international meetings and they do get along.
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they are on the same wavelength when they're talking about different issues, different domestic and political circumstances, but they're pretty close on a member of the top issues. bond the area -- the area that i see the most activity is with ministers meeting with their counterparts, secretaries in washington. and there have been over 40 ministerial, secretarial meetings since the visit here in february. that is an extraordinary number. when i tell this to my ambassadorial colleagues they are amazed. partly because of the strength and complexity of the relationship and also proximity is an important element. i think the key factor in the relationship goes back during the bush years as well.
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that is the national security issues. there's a better tone and progress there. afghanistan has been terribly important on that. what our men and women in uniform have done there are both in the military side and also what we have done on the development and government side. there are very rare -- very highly respected and appreciated. the policies the government has been following on strengthening the status of the military, both numbers and also the financial support, so they can plan. on the border, also in national security issue, but we have had discussions that are different than the ones we had in the bush years. they have agreed to meet on a
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regular basis and talk with an agenda as opposed to just general meetings which is what we had before. we have had some successes. i think there will be progress. i think the other issues that we're going to have to watch out for is climate change. we have had some differences but we are next door neighbors so there are competitive aspects about how we deal with these things. i would say that the most frequent ministerial visitor in washington by quite a margin would be the one of the leading this file because it is very difficult. on the one hand, he has to demonstrate progress but on the other hand he cannot get too far ahead of the americans without putting us exposed if they go
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one way as opposed to copenhagen. there are some challenges there. on the trade file, i think once we got 2006 out of the way that it was very benign. now we are seeing things perk up a bit. he mentioned buy american. this is a response to anxieties the required is a response. it is not a big deal in the terms of the broad trade relationship but in a very focused way it is a concern. there are other issues that i will not go into into detail but are starting to perk up because of the protectionist pressures that are now more prevalent than what we have seen at any time since i have started.
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lots of activity between the two countries. there is the reason why but the situation has to be managed carefully. if i were going to conclude with one sentence, looking at the polls are saying in the united states and what john has said here, i think that president obama is thinking maybe it would be fun if i was in his chair. [laughter] >> thank you both of you for that spreads across the horizon. this would be a good time for you to be writing something down on one of your question cards and waiting it at a facilitator. -- waving it. i do have a couple of questions of my own. it that did not take long. -- that did not take off. poui would just ask you one
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question. canada, as you know, has been doing having lifting -- heavy lifting. this government and parliament are committed to withdrawing the military by 2011. next week we expect to your obama's plans for afghanistan and all of the early indications are that he will approve the manning of the forces. -- manning up of forces. if he is successful in doing that, that is outlining a way ahead that makes sense to the two of you, does it make sense for us to pull out in 2011 or would you consider the possibility that we should reconsider sting in and working with the americans?
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>> i do not see any circumstances where we would stay in. the americans would like us to stay, but we are extraordinarily valuable to them as an ally and they know it and the knowledge it. if you look at what we have done, we have been in the most dangerous part of afghanistan without caveat is. there are a lot of forces in afghanistan. we are the only ones that are there which are unfettered. there are some that are literally kept out of harm's way by not going out at night, not responding to combat situations. the dutch, the americans, us come and the brits are caveat free. we have fought in the most dangerous scenarios and we have suffered disproportionately more losses caused by a large margin, then everyone except the united kingdom and the united states.
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i suspect if you look at the population sizes of those countries we may be the largest single country in terms of losses. we have paid a heavy price for our involvement three of as always, the tradition of bravery, courage, and valor of the canadian troops has been exemplified. i do not see any circumstances under which we would continue in our current world either for political reasons or for purely logistical reasons. i am not sure we can rotate more troops in. that may be an issue. we will have a new role there. an area of ambiguity is how we will support peacekeeping efforts or reconstruction efforts without some combat capability to protect those efforts. >> mr. wilson, are we at the end of our tether? >> parliament has spoken. i do not think the position has
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changed from what parliament has said. the question that you put is what we do post-2011. what we are seeing in our thinking in canada is pretty consistent. i thing we will see next week with president obama's statement a very strong commitment towards training and i think this is something that we and other countries, the countries that have put the caveats in place. that is critical. the other aspect, which i would support and i do not think anyone in this room would not, would be increasing still further the development
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activities that we have. afghanistan is our number one recipient of foreign aid at this point. i would think that would continue. we have some very good projects over there, the dam working with the americans on, building 50 schools, a nationwide polio immunization program. these are things we can continue but we will need to have some ongoing security support for these because we have seen the people there. we have seen in the past at schools we have built who have -- that have been burned down. we cannot say, here's the school and walk away. it is going to be difficult to try and define this, but going back to the challenge that the president through at the united nations that included, canada
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has to recognize that. that is the world we're living in whether it is canada or other major countries, we all have to participate in these global challenges. >> thank you. we all -- we already have some very good questions. for those of you who did not hear it, it happened as we were getting ready to have our meal. the white house announced that president obama will attend at copenhagen which puts prime minister herbert -- harper in an awkward spot. given the political capital he has had to spend on political -- health-care reform, what you expect on climate change policy and how fast you see it taking place? what would look like?
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>> a think i can answer the second part of the question. i do not know what it is going to look like. the different approaches that are being put forward by different countries around the world leaves it unclear as to where this is going to end up. the president has said was to see the united states taking a leadership role in this. if there's one country who can play a leadership role is the united states. i think while there is quite a debate as to whether or not he would go to camp in nagin -- copenhagen, he is going to be in norway. he felt he needed to be there to put as much of an american push behind this. no one is expecting anything definitive. what i think he will be looking to do is to get some agreement
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on a broad political objectives that we can come as interested countries, tried to build around as we move forward over the next period of time. this is not go to the fast happening. they can get a sense of the directions and have an agreement on that, and makes the rest of the job that much easier. >> if mr. obama is going to copenhagen having the idea of moving forward, what could and should canada's response to that be? which canada has been playing this very smart on the climate change front. on the week at the end of the day, we can not be alone, get out in front of our block if 40% of our production goes into the united states.
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perhaps we can be more aspirational. we have to have policies that dovetail with the united states. i think the government is in lockstep. he is a true believer in climate change in there is no doubt about that. it would not be unusual for him to be at a conference where this is the focus of the world attention. on the other hand, congress are not true believers. the united states right now maybe the greatest single obstacle to an image change because of the fact that the economy is the most important issue that congressional members are facing. it trims their climate change agenda. i think the ad states will make progress on their own internal agenda of climate change in the fullness of time. we have to remember the local politics of the united states which is paramount. right now you have a democratically controlled senate
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and coincidently the represent a majority of the coal states. they're opposed to anything that impact on their industry which is making a very difficult to get something which is as ambitious as the white house might want it. on the other hand, it does allow our royals fans and the coal industry'ies to be simpatio to look at technology and all kinds of other things which could protect those industries. right now, i would say that the most we will come out of our aspirations and goals, perhaps frameworks, expressions of principle, but nothing in the way of a concrete agreement. >> and then we will start to lead up to mexico. this is one of those big, big picture questions. when i went down to washington,
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the then editor in chief gave me a mandate letter of two sentences that said, "is the united states still a city on the hill or is it an empire?" this question is in that vein. it appears that the following factors have caused the material decline in the social, political, and economic prowess. class-action, prevalence, poor education system, short-term-is m, for business ethics, lack of personal responsibility, a huge swing to socialism, etc. i do not know what the etc is [laughter] . the you agree the u.s. is in decline and can be reversed? -- do you agree? >> i do not think it is a wise move to bet against the united states. it is a powerful, powerful
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country. you really get a sense of the depth and the breadth of the competitive nature of the people in that country. they're going through tough spell right now. one of the etc. that was mentioned was the road block in congress today. the form of government was established 225 years ago to limit the role of the government. now you are looking to the americans to take some of these big issues, health care is one, climate changes another, financial-services and regulation which are all very important to us here in canada, but these are a logjam right now. that is something that has to be a concern. in the end, there is no doubt in
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my mind that they're going to come through and continue to be a strong country. what you might add to that question is, what is going to be happening around the united states? i think that is where the gap is going to be. countries that have hitherto not have been global players, china and india being the most obvious ones, are looking out much more in a global sense. ms. seen in the in the last couple of days. brazil is a country that is aggressively trying to build a place for itself in the global community. the gap is going to narrow which makes the challenge from the united nations that the president throughout a very important one. how are these other countries going to work with the united states to address the global challenges or are we are going to go our separate ways?
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that is a fundamental question. >> you worked at the bank that went from being the 14th largest bank to the fourth largest in north america just by doing nothing wrong. [laughter] >> do not take that sitting down. >> do you see the challenges facing the united states as ultimately compelling them to go into decline or is there another chapter? >> i will give you a funny story about the bank before we do that. we have as many branches in the united states as we do in canada. it is all branded t.d. now. last fall we had the meeting in new brunswick. it was full of american tourists. the branch manager overheard one of the tourist saying, they even have this up in canada now.
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[laughter] 5 -- -- i would to endorse everything that michael said. i guess the risk that i see going forward, there's no doubt the political structure of the united states which has worked magnificently for them is really not designed well for dealing with crises. right now we have intense polarization which makes it hard to get anything done. some people like that because they do not want the government to get anything done. the one thing isolate is the fiscal situation. going back some time now, the united states is dragging increasingly larger manual deficits. this year we're getting into a deficit of $1.20 trillion, north of 10% of gdp. there is a secular trend that does not bring it down into way
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out in the future. i can tell you that the deficit you deal with 20 years out is the easiest when you will ever deal with. it is the one you have today that is tough. and the kit will be very tough to the toothpaste back in the tube on spending and taxes in the united states. that concerns me the most. they cannot drag trillions of dollars in deficits indefinitely. it will have an impact on the entire global economy. we are tied to the welfare of the united states and that is an area that concerns me. >> if i could add one point here. it is something that is embedded in the history and both of you touched on this. the concern people have about the intrusion, i use that word
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carefully, the intrusion of government into our lives in the united states of america. you have the united states owning the no. 1 bank, or controlling. no. 1 insurance company, car company, you for review covered these earlier. this together with what is happening with health care and financial-services regulation, climate change, people in the united states who have carried this historical concern with them throughout their lives as part of their dna, they're looking at what is happening and trying to see what the cumulative effect is and what is it going to mean for the country? we value the freedom that we have not having too much government in our lives. that is the elephant in the room. how is that going to play out and what is going to be the response of the american people
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to that question. here is a non economic question. richard >> here is in on economic questions. he has been languishing in guantanamo ever since. then i requested him back to canada. the situation remains the same right now as we read on his legal status. increasingly seems to represent a travesty of justice to which our courts of the records have said, would it help relations under president obama? would it help our relationships to take him back and what we to? -- and ought we to?
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>> i am sure there have been discussions on the issue of guantanamo. i am not privy to them so i do not know the answer. the government has taken a particular view on omar and it went to elaborate just to say that i am not sympathetic to their family as the press are. we'll see what develops on this file. he will need to pay a price for their actions. the family has quite a track record. [applause] >> mr. wilson? >> i think the position of the government is that there is a legal process under way in the united states.
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after it has run its course they will take a decision. there is a another concern that i will mention in be very careful of how i address this. there has been an overriding concern in the united states since 9/11 and it goes back to the so-called millennium bomber then we are soft in this country. i'm not suggesting that that should be a consideration in the government's decision as to how they should deal with this, but what i will say and it is a related point to what frank has said, we will suffer the people
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who are managing these national security files if we seem to be doing something which is not quite appropriate under the circumstances. >> thank you for that. we have time for one last question. i apologize to those who wrote some great questions. >> you are writing an article, i recall. >> there are three or four pieces in here. [laughter] he does return from an extended trip from india. next week he leaves for another trip to china and south korea. the question is, the usa is a country of that tremendous deficit. why should canada remain attached to such a country whose military is is the main asset -- is its main asset? should we not align ourselves
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with europe? >> i disagree with parts of that question. we are linking ourselves to the united states not because of the military, it is much, much broader than that. 40% of our economy is tied to trade with the united states. we are in their in our own self- interest. i think that we should not be looking to see how we can diminish that relationship. going back to some of the things i have said earlier, the relative position of the other countries, i think we should be very cautious of what is going on in the so called brick countries and other countries just below the tab. we need to see how best we can improve our economic relationship we have underway right now. we have negotiations with europe on economic development
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agreements which will broaden trade. those are some of the things we should be doing, reaching out but not memorizing or diminishing -- minimizing or diminishing our relation to with the united states. . . we have a seamless trade relationship with the united states. it is easy and profitable for us. but we shall also have
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alternatives and that includes colombia, peru, trade agreements there, south korea, europe, all of which are very important things to do. latin american countries are huge growth forest. we should be doing all of the above. but we should not assume that the united states is not going to be the world's greatest economy into the future. i think we need to do all of the above. candidly, the government is pursuing the all-of-the-above situation. >> i think you go for it. thank you, ladies and gentlemen. [applause] >> senators are continuing their
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debate over health care during the weekend. book tv programs will resume after the debate. watch the debate on health care on c-span 2. to read the senate bill and the house version, plus watch video on demand, go online to c- >> we run. ever increasing risk of narrative's. >> his latest is on the new york times best-seller list. >> c-span's 2010 to do and camel contest this year. -- c-span's 2010 student camera
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contest is here. the deadline is january 28. winning entries will be shown on c-span. get a camera and start filling. >> this is a house hearing with secret service director, mark sullivan, on last week's security breach at a white house state dinner . three secret service agents have been put on leave.
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>> some people have asked me why we are having this hearing. this hearing is not about crashing a party at the white house. neither is it about one of these celebrities or reality television. on the contrary, this hearing is about real world threats to the nation. we cannot afford it all the
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hullabaloo and uproar. the indisputable fact is that a couple gained unauthorized access to the white house grounds because no one from the secret service prevented them from entering. the remain at the white house because no one from the secret service required them to leave. we are not concerned about agency embarrassment, discomfort, or shame cannot serve as a substitute for performance. the security get at issue cannot be explained away as missteps by a few from line employees. there were undeniable planning and execution failures of the entire secret service apparatus. with security failings that seem to hangover that evening, we
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are fortunate that this diplomatic celebration did not become a night of horror. there is no doubt that this incident can be an enlightening case study, but it is not enough for us to merely analyze. we must dissect every fact. we must learn the lesson and fix the problem. and through these things, we need to give thank you that no lives were lost. today, we take a hard look at secret service actions and omissions that have been revealed and confirmed iby this incident. this demands that we maintain vigilance. the fact that unauthorized persons gained access to the white house complex during an
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official state dinner, mixed and mingled and were photographed with the president, vice president, and the prime minister of india is about as far from vigilant as one can get. it is simply unacceptable. the american people deserve a full accounting and full accountability. and we must be reassured that this will never happen again. i look for to the testimony presented today. i look forward to the actions that should follow. the chair now recognizes the ranking member of the full committee, the gentleman from new york, mr. king, for an opening statement. >> thank you endure staff for the level of cooperation that you have shown throughout this matter, as far as scheduling a hearing, as far as keeping a surprise of what is happening, -- as far as keeping us
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apprised of what is happening. it is important that we dissect every fact. let me say that the secret service does of outstanding job. i commend director sullivan for immediate knowledge in that and conducting an internal investigation and for the level of cooperation that he has given to me and to you over the last several days. whatever decisions he has to make within the secret service, i am sure he will do the right thing. mr. chairman, the reality is that social events at the white house, security it is a joint responsibility.
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in this instance, for whatever reason, the decision was made not to have one person in the social secretary's office standing with the secret service. this affects at least two administrations. this is not in any way to make a vendetta. we want to get a complete picture. we have to learn from the secret service what they did, what they did not do. this to me as a real issue. during the week, the white house said that the secret service was entirely to blame. the assistant chief of staff said that the white house was going to begin a policy of having someone from the social secretary's office there with the secret service.
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what he is not saying is that this is the policy that was in effect for at least two administrations. to me the issue is who made the decision? why was the decision made not to have anyone from the social secretaries of is there that night? i would say that, if someone from the social secretary's office had been there doing what we have done for the past 16 years, the couple would not have been allowed into the white house. the secret service officer would have handed them off to the social secretaries office. previous administrations, they had a whole team of people there. ford does array roger's not to be here from the white house, -- for does arradesiree rogers note
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here from the white house [unintelligible] i was on the banking committee in 1994 during the whitewater hearings. all testified before congress. yet, on this issue, when we talk about the security of the president of the united states, the person who made that decision is not to be here. i think it is wrong. i think it is stonewalling. i think it is an affront to our committee. in this instance, they are stonewalling. for our committee to work with the white house, they havwe havo work with trust and they have reached the trust. i believe we should subpoena
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desiree rogers. we are talking about an administrative decision to have people or not have people standing with the secret service and to change its policy of at least 20 years' standing. this is an incomplete hearing. this is have a hearing. we have the secret service that has taken its responsibility. >> a the solelyalahis were not n the list. the social secretaries office or party planners. the reason why we have mr. sullivan here is to explain this from a security standpoint. he can name a number of these persons as we go forward.
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other members of the committee are reminded that, under the committee rules, opening statements may be submitted for the record. our sole witness is mr. mark sullivan. he was sworn in as the 22nd director of the united states secret service on may 31, 2006. mr. sullivan has been the recipient of numerous awards for superior performance throughout his 26-year tenure with the secret service, including a distinguished presidential rank award in 2005. welcome, mr. sullivan. i thank you for being here today. without objection, the witnesses full statement will be inserted in the record now i. now i ask mr. sullivan to summarize his opening statement in five minutes. >> thank you. good morning.
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the u.s. secret service is an organization that maintains deep pride in the work it does on behalf of our nation. based on the high standards to which the men and women of this agency hold themselves and the standards that the nation expects, i regret, on tuesday november 24, established protocols and procedures were not followed. it allowed to individuals to enter into the white house. this was brought to my attention on wednesday november 25. i immediately directed our office for professional responsibility to begin an investigation and review into the events surrounding the previous evening. while the investigation remains ongoing, preliminary findings
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have determined that the established procedures related to entering the white house were not followed at an initial checkpoint. in our judgment, a mistake was made. in our line of work, we cannot afford even one mistake. in this particular circumstance, two individuals who should have been prohibited from passing through a checkpoint and entering the grounds were allowed to proceed. although these individuals [unintelligible] their entry into the white house is unacceptable. in this case, i fully acknowledge that proper
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procedures were not followed and human error occurred in the execution of our duties. this flaw has not changed our agency standard, which is to rewrite 100% of the time. -- which is to be right 100% of the time. this past year, we processed more than 1.2 million visitors into the white house without incident. in our profession, however, there is no margin for error. i realize many people share our disappointment in this incident. as an agency, we will continue to remain our harshest critic and taking the necessary action to remedy this issue and continually and successfully
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carry out our critical mission. i am extremely confident and proud of the work of our men and women and the security measures we put in place on a daily basis at the white house, the pratt -- the vice presidential residence, in the thousands of venues located throughout the world which are visited by those we protect. the men and women of the u.s. secret service worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week -- every day of the year. there can sacrifice and commitment -- their sacrifice and commitment make as the agency that america can be proud of. i am willing to answer questions at this time. however, any questions regarding our security
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procedures will need to be discussed in a closed setting. additionally, i would like to respectfully advise this committee that, due to the fact that this is an ongoing investigation, i am unable to answer any question regarding the potential criminal aspect of this incident here or in a closed setting. thank you. >> thank you very much, director sullivan, for your testimony. i remind each member that he or she will have five minutes to question mr. sullivan. i recognize myself for the beginning questioned durin. director sullivan, and our oversight responsibility on situations like this, we have to look at it and we have to do our job. it is in that pursuit of doing our job is why this hearing is
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being held today. there are a couple of questions that i would like to get on the record. who is responsible for security at the white house? >> the u.s. secret service is responsible for that security, mr. chairman. >> the u.s. secret service. who is responsible for access control at the white house. >> we are, sir. >> how many checkpoints are we normally manning for access control at the white house at any point, at the state dinner? >> for this particular event, we had three vehicle checkpoints and we had two pedestrian checkpoints. >> ok. at each checkpoint, did those
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individuals have lists of guests that would be in attendance? >> yes, they did, chairman. >> in the two individuals in question, were they on any of those lists? >> they were not. >> so it is your testimony before us today that they should not have been allowed entrance to this event because they were not on the list? >> that is correct. >> just for the record, if an individual is not on the list, what is the procedure? >> the procedure would be that they should not be allowed entry at that point. for this particular event, the protocol would be that that officer should contact their immediate supervisor. the supervisor would get together with an individual from the white house staff. they would determine if in fact that individual was cleared to
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come in. we would call over to our control center to see if the names had been provided for clearance. >> did any of the smoker on the evening in question? >> it did not. >> have you identified all of the personnel who would have been responsible for this not occurring? >> sir, right now, that is ongoing. we have identified three individuals right now. we continue to investigate. since this occurred, we have done numerous interviews. we continue to go back and read interview people, but, right now, we three individuals that we have identified. i am not sure if that will change. right now -- one thing we are sure of is that ththe checkpoine this occurred. >> so they were not on the list.
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have you it determine how individual not on a list can gain admittance into this event? >> i have. >> is that something that you feel comfortable in this setting or would you like to do it in another setting? >> i would like to do that. we have established protocols. there were not followed. it the protocols are followed, we do not run into this type of situation clearly, this protocol was not followed. a mistake was made in early judgment. these two individuals who were knocked -- these two individuals should not have been allowed entry into the white house. >> have other individuals gained access to the white house in this way this evening? >> i can tell you that our investigation indicates that no other individuals were allowed entry that evening that were not allowed to come in.
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>> since these individuals were not on the list, they did not get vetted or anything like that. do you think this not occurring provided any risk for those individuals who attended the state dinner? >> like everyone, i am extremely disappointed that these people were able to enter the court house. however, i would say that these people went through every layer of security that every other it individual went through going into that building. again, i would be more than happy to explain what the levels are in a closed briefing. from a risk perspective, i feel confident, based on what i have heard, based on what i have seen, based on what i have been apprised of, there was no risk to the president. >> so you are comfortable in making that statement.
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>> i am comfortable in making that statement, sir. >> thank you. i yield to the makin ranking me. >> when they went to the first checkpoint and they were not in the list -- >> >> his name. >> maya understanding is that when -- when they went to the first checkpoint and there were not on the list -- >> excuse me. >> my understanding [unintelligible] is that >> these two individuals did it go to the list and represented themselves to be on the list. the officer looked at the guest list, did not see their names of theire, and allow them to proced
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to the next checkpoint to check their names appeared >> at times, -- to check their names there. >> at times, a secret service agent has a guest over to the social secretary and gets back to processing those who are next in line. is that the way it has been done in the past? >> for every event that we have at the white house, we have a planning meeting with the white house staff. we did have a planning meeting wherfor this particular event. during that meeting, we determine what our padilla responsibilities would be for that particular event. -- we determine what our particular responsibilities would be for that particular event. >> there was no one from the social secretary's office there with of the secret service.
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>> we have seen other events were that has occurred. it does not happen often, but we have seen other events where that does in fact ocher. >> do you know if it has happened at any previous state dinner. >> i do not know that. i can get back to you on that. >> this is a hypothetical. when they come up to the security checkpoint and they say that we are on the list and the secret service agent says they're not, had the agent from the social secretaries office been there, with the agent -- would in the agent have turned them over to the social secretary's office? >> we would work to resolve it together. [unintelligible] > [unintelligible]
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>> mr. king, that is one of those things that we talk about an hour after action review. we believe we both recognize that there is a need to have somebody there from the white house. that is why, as we saw yesterday, new guidelines were put out where, for all of these events in the future, without exception, there will be somebody there from the courthouse steps. >> will bought those guidelines be similar to the procedures -- will not those guidelines be similar to the procedures used before? >> many of the events we have done over the past nine months or tenants, there have been people from the white house staff at the checkpoints. for this particular event, prior to this event, we believe we would control that -- >> you say it was agreed. who initiated that? the u.s. lease social secretary's office not to be
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there? or did they it -- did you ask the social secretaries office not to be there? or did they initiate that? [unintelligible] > [unintelligible] >> we always see someone there would bfrom the cigarett'' service. at this event, with a large crowd and the expected, the social secretaries of as just left and the secret service was there by itself. i think you for accepting responsibility. the only way we can find out who initiated this change and why it was done this way last tuesday, we cannot do it unless we have someone from the white house having the guts to come down here and testified.
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>> during that meeting, it was agreed upon that people from the at white house staff would be available in a roving capacity. we did have that available to us. those people should have been stuck in there and we should have called for someone to come out and help expedite those. >> i had there been someone next to the secret service agent, this never would have happened. they never would have gotten in. if someone from the social secretary's office been standing there the way they always had been in the past, there would not have gotten in. >> thank you very much. >> just for the record, no one would have been allowed into that even if the vetted. am i correct? >> yes. >> whether they had talked to the social secretaries office or
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whatever. >> [unintelligible] >> i defer to your questions. >> there have been occasions where people have shown of the house v not beenetnot been vett. we would have a conversation with the white house and they have been allowed to enter. it is rare. that is not just in this administration, but also another in ministrations. we and the staff are in agreement with that. >> the gentle lady from california for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you mr. sullivan for
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being before us today. i think the secret service does a great job. it saddens me to say that there was such a lapse this time at the white house. in the past, i know there has been close communication between the social secretary and the white house, legislative affairs, for example, if we're going to have congress people, for the christmas party -- c as peoplcongress people come for te christmas party. there are is always someone there at the first point before you get to the checkpoint where they check your purses, etc., every time. it is even if you have a meeting with the president for a particular policy. they're always there. in this pre planning meeting,
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did you all decide that no one would be specifically assigned from the social secretary's office or legislative affairs or what have you added the first checkpoint? is that a decision made? because i heard you say that there would be roving people. but was there a definite decision that nobody would be standing next to the secret service as people first made entry to come into the event? >> my understanding is that there was an agreement that, at the initial checkpoint, we would have that list on our own. if any discrepancy did come up, we would then call for somebody -- that person was to call for their supervisor and they, in fact, get in contact with somebody from the staff who was down around the main interest point on the east wing and there would be able to come out and
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help with the issue. >> so your feeling is that your first secret service agent who was standing there with the list had realized the that the couple in question was not on their, that, in fact, their focus was to call over somebody from the white house and confer as to what to do with that person? >> court. every day -- correct. every day, people show up at the white house and they want to come in. people will make the appropriate phone calls and the appropriate contact to see if maybe we missed something on our list and, in fact, these people are to arrive. i am understand this began and ended at that checkpoint. it was a simple protocol, a simple procedure that we had in place.
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>> that is why it surprises me. every time i have been to the white house and i had a guest to has been affectevetted ahead ofe and showing identification, there are still times when we are set aside and made to wait. i have never seen this incident before. it has been under three presidents that i have been going to the white house, democrats and republican. i have never seen a secret service agent, in particular with such an important process, with so many important people waiting in line to get through,
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i will agree that no person from the -- why would you all agree that no person from the white house be standing there? if there were problems to be immediately able to start some chain of line to figure out if this person is here, why, ahead of time -- i have never seen this before. why would you all agree to that? >> i will agree that that is pretty rare. i have not seen them myself all that often. i do believe that the memorandum that was put out by the white house yesterday recognizes that as well. they stated that we are there to work as partners, to make sure we get everybody in who should get in and prevent people from getting in the should not give in. because of this particular issue
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last week, but i think there's a recognition by all of us that that is the way things should be done and, going for it, that is the way things are going to be done. >> i thank you for taking responsibility, but i think there is more responsibility to be had in this. >> mr. sullivan, you have used "checkpoints" repeatedly. was there one or more? >> it was checkpoints. >> the list that you were referring to, was the list provided to you by the social secretary it or is this a list for the ve have beenose who havn
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vetted? >> i believe i have this right. if i do not, i will correct it. what happens before the event, the white house staff provides is a list of all the people who are invited. they also provide us with a name and date of birth and social security number. we do the appropriate record checks for all of those individuals. if anything does come up that would lead us to believe that somebody should not be let into the white house, we would get back to the white house staff on that. then they will give us back a complete list of who is going to be attending that event. >> so far, the social secretary's office or anyone from the white house or any influential can walk up and say this individual should be allowed in. you say you think that has been
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dead ve withoutttione without v? >> it may be a member from the hill or some other individual who is a family friend. this would have to be someone who is known to them we would talk through it. then we would allow them to be let into the white house. again, that is a very rare occurrence. >> this couple have been flashing all over the media that there are the mills that it could have been a potential mistake. there were exchanges asking to be let on the list. they claim that they were gone and did not hear it. did they show those the mills that the whole country knows now?
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>> that gets into the elements of our criminal investigation. i would prefer not to talk about that. >> one of my concerns -- when i was first elected to congress, the government formed an oversight committee and we started a whole round of investigations in 1995 and 1996 about what house clearance. dick morris and the tomlinson's were not on the list and there were allowed into the white house regularly. that led to questions for what the coating on the list was. we have been through this before with the secret service. we have asked this to be clarified and fix.
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-- and fixed. it led to a fundamental question about how and when these lists are changed. you said they went through all of the checks and there was no danger to the president or the prime minister of india. if there is no danger, why do the background checks? casual visitors from indiana to see the white house christmas tree are subjected to background checks. you just said that it did not matter that you did not do the background checks because the vet had beented because -- because they had been vetted at some may points. -- at so many points. >> in doing background checks is one level of our security. just because we do a background
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check and they have no record, that does not mean there is no danger. >> you said that there was no danger to the president because they went through all of these things to show that they basically did not pose a threat. is that correct? was there a threat to the president or was there not? >> i am confident in telling you that there was no threat to the president. last week, we took him to a basketball game with 5000 people. he was surrounded by those five dozen people. >> i've understand that. çówhy then run a background chek on every individual who is coming in when they are not even going to see the president? why do you run less of a background checks on individuals of their than you would on a casual visitor? you said sometimes it is way down there is no danger. the perception is that you're
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doing a background check because there is a potential danger. >> do i think those people should have been named-checked? i do. but does that mean that there was a danger to the president because two people came in who were not name-check to? i do not believe it does. we keep agents in close proximity to those people that we protect. if we thought that doing a name check was going to secure his safety, then we would not have any more security in the white house. we would tell the people in the white house to stand down. we do not believe that. with all due respect to the of 400 people that came to the white house last week, we looked into all of those people. when people walk up to a federal shoot, we're looking at those people as they approach. we're looking at their body language and gestures. we're looking at any time of furtive actions.
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we do not rely on one level of security. we look at multiple levels of security. again, i would be happy to talk to you about that in a closed setting. >> thank you. the gentleman's time has expired. the gentle lady from california for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i applaud you for taking full responsibility for this incident. it is not an easy thing to do if you have not flinched. you are right, as you said, "and airline of work, we cannot afford even one -- in our line of work, we can afford even one mistake." as you can see, we each consider this a security issue. we care very much going forward whether there are lessons learned. i think that ought to be clear.
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on numerous occasions, i have been briefed by you on threats to the president of the united states and what the secret service is doing about them. i have been to your headquarters to see firsthand what you're doing. i think you and the people that work for you for your service. and i think you once again for taking full responsibility for this incident. my questions are about what will we do differently going forward? all of the so-called purple tunnel of doom at the inauguration, i thought that was a demonstration of corp. crowd control by your agency and other agencies at . i think that entering the white house should not be like
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shopping at a big box retailer on the day after thanksgiving. i am sure you agree. tens of thousands of people are going to be at the white house in december, looking at the christmas decorations and attending a number of receptions. we're all going monday night with guests. we have submitted the social security numbers and the dates of birth for those individual. -- for those individuals. should we have a better business model year for large crowds and the smaller crowds? i recently attended the bruce springsteen concert in washington. it was quite wonderful. i just want you all to know. [laughter] and some of you may have gone. but it was also a very smooth security experience. tickets were scanned for authenticity. there were no lines. there was no
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confusion. i am suggesting that there may be more modern techniques for screening people who are trying to enter the white house building. let me finally suggests that layer of security always works better. miss sanchez and i have collaborated for years on port security. that is what we have put in place. in that regard, i very much applaud her comments about the social secretaries office. i sure hope those lessons have been learned. do we have the right security model here? are there things they you can improve immediately with respect to screening people who will come to the white house next month? are there things that this committee, either legislatively or informally, should be working on to make your job more effective?
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>> thank you. i agree with you. one of the things we do is continually looking at our methods and our procedures. that is not just because of this event. we do that continually. we continue to look at how technology can help us, x-ray machines, other types of technology. we have the technology working group which is not just our organization, but other federal organizations, academia, dealing with all of those people in a partnership to see if we can come up with the best methodology to expedite people through end to make sure that we do it in a way that is going to be non intrusive and make sure that it is very efficient. in this particular case, i don't think that any level of technology, any level of funding is a the reason for this happening. . simple, this is a human error.
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-- pure and simple, this is a human hair. -- pure and simple, this is a human error. we put 1.2 million people through the white house over the past year. all of those people were put through without an incident because we did follow procedures. i do agree with you that we need to continually look at technology and whenever methodologies are out there to ensure that we get people in safely as we can. i do think that it did not matter in this particular situation. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. the gentleman from california, mr. lundgren. >> if thank you, mr. chairman. it is too bad that it takes a roils group for us to regain the years and see that we need about security in this -- it is too
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bad that it takes a royal screw up for us to regain the urgency that we need about security in this country. what we ask you, mr. director. first of all, from your testimony, you do not make up the list of the invitees, correct? >> that is correct. >> the white house does. >> yes, sir. you bet the names on that list. >> that is correct. >> so your officers are not responsible for the list and would not know why someone is on the list are not on the list
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from an invitation list rather v than aetting -- rather than a vetting situation. >> that is correct. >> so it would be helpful to have someone from the white house with your personnel. >> yes, sir. i believe there is an acknowledgement. >> you said there was a decision made beforehand that that would not be the case. was that your recommendation? >> that was a recommendation that we made together. >> so it was your recommendation. >> it was a joint recommendation. >> why would you make that kind of a recommendation? >> we look at the issue last week. we had our people get together with the white house staff. they looked at the events surrounding last week. >> i do not need to know the process. i want to know why? that is the question. why would you are members of
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your staff decide that it would make sense not to have somebody from the white house had both of those or however many points their work with your personnel? >> i am sorry, sir. >> you said it was a recommendation. why did someone from the secret service decide that would make sense? >> again, we have done this not only with this administration, but with previous administrations, where we have taken responsibility for that list. this is the first time we have had a big down -- a breakdown based on our people handling that list. >> so you have done that before. so you do not know if you have ever done that when there was a head of state that'state.
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if you made that recommendation, it is inconceivable to me why you do that. all you have to do is have someone from the white house standing there. that is what they're supposed to do. >> are you saying did we make the recommendation two weeks ago during the planning time that we would be there by ourselves? >> yes. >> no. i apologize. we had a planning meeting prior to that event. >> ints stan. -- i understand. " i don't know who made the recommendation. all i know that, in the planning, an agreement was made that we would take that list and other members of the white house staff would respond to that checkpoint if there were any discrepancy. >> did that come from your side
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of the house? >> i do not know that. >> will your investigation revealed that? >> it will. >> you talk about layered security appeare. one of the lawyers was not there, correct? >> i would say that the protocol was not adhered to. >> i would say that one of the lawyers was not their. >> i would say that there was a breakdown in that later. >> use a human error repeatedly. you said it was unacceptable and indefensible. normally, when you have an organization where you have a screw up like that, there are consequences that flow from that. what i mean by that is this. the only way you're going to assure that you do not have scripps in the future -- you said you cannot afford -- that you do not have screw ups in the future -- you said yourself you can afford them.
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the consequences, after the review takes place, are there going to be consequences for people who made the human error or are we just went to shrug our shoulders and said that it was human error? >> right now, the head did -- the individuals who have been identified have been put on administrative leave. beyond that, i cannot go further. but i will tell you that we are going to look at this, find out what the culpability was, and we will take the appropriate action. >> thank you. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentle lady from the district of columbia. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate you accepted responsibility so quickly. that is more than the couple has done who continues to say that they had been invited. they are a no-show at this
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hearing where they could explain themselves fully as you are doing. you indicated earlier in your testimony that no others entered. how did you discover that this couple had entered? did you discover through facebook or was eighth your own discovery -- or was it your own history? >> we did not know until the following day. >> advise by whom, sir? >> facebook. >> as far as we know, there were other interlopers there. these con artists exposed and reveal themselves. ucd danger i am speaking of, sir. >> that was a concern of mine -- you see the danger i am speaking of, sir. >> that was a concern of mine as
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well. >> i was at the state dinner. once you got through the checkpoint, i do not know how you could say to this committee that you were sure that no others got in, especially since we have a precedent for somebody who did get in. for all the twittering about the social secretary and these con artists, what i see is that this couple has pioneered a new way to breach security. forget about all your barriers. forget about your id's. let me tell you what my concern is, mr. sullivan.
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it is well known that this president has received far more death threats than any president in the history of the united states. it is an alarming number of death threats. i am not when to rest before the details on that. -- i am not going to ask you for the details on that. was there any attempt to increase security, given what you know, which is much more than we know, about threats to this president of the united states? >> ma'am, no matter who the president is -- >> i am asking about this president and my question is specific. given death threats to this president, were there any attempt to increase security at this event? yes or no? >> i cannot talk about that. number one, i will address the
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threats. i've understand that the threat is up 400%. i am not sure where the number came from. >> please do not assign a number to me and my question. are the threats up or not, mr. sullivan? >> they are. is the same level it has been for the previous two presidents. >> this is very comforting news. reportedly, there were three times to four times as many people at this state dinner that had to be held in a tent-like building. is that not the case? >> i believe there were formed hundred people. -- i believe there were 400 people. >> did you have extra people on
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the ground to assist you with this state dinner? >> yes, ma'am. we will always adjust our security plan. >> where would you have gotten them from? i ask you that because a recent internal report says that, if there were an evaluation of services, it might be determined that it is ineffective to conduct its system. .
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we had the appropriate level of staffing at that and that last tuesday. >> when you question them, were they under oath? >> what i cannot get into that. >> you have submitted a transcript to us. were they under oath? >> when there were at the checkpoint? >> know, when you interviewed them. >> ma'am, i have been an -- informed that i cannot talk about any aspect of the investigation we have undergone. >> we plan at the end of the hearing to go into a more structured setting to get some of these questions answered. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> i just cannot go into those elements of the investigation. >> the gentleman form -- from
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alabama for five minutes. >> i want to go back to the pre planning that with the white house. you agreed not to have a person from the white house staff at the checkpoint. who suggested that? >> i do not know that, sir. >> can you give us the information of who was present at that meeting? >> yes, sir. >> to follow-up miss norton's question about when this came to your attention, it is my understanding from "the washington post" story that the night of the events roxanne roberts went over to a white house staffer and told them that when there were announced that they were not supposed to be there. were you aware of that? >> i was aware of that. i read that story. >> can you tell us anything
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about that conversation or what a deal that? >> we did read that and it is part of the investigation which cannot get into. which you do not know or you cannot tell us that the white house staffers to review that was informed it did or did not go to a secret service agent to communicate the information? >> i cannot comment on that. >> you talked earlier about not being on the list and in some events a staffer would say to go ahead and let them in 3 >> someone just might come to the white house, again, a congressperson or a friend of the family may come to the white house at some point during the day willing to get in. our officers called to confirm if the person has been invited. they may not be on a list but clearly because of their friendship, position, if they
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are known, have a legitimate reason to be there, we're not going to turn this people away. we work with his staff. we have to have a little common sense that there are people who have a legitimate reason to be there. the staff wants them there. they somehow did not get on the list and we will insure this people get 3 >> i understand that. at a larger venue event, and you would think at the white house it would be the easiest to adhere to those particles, but as you mentioned there are many venues away from the white house with the thought of someone being waived in by a staffer is frightening. we do not know who that staffer is and what their background is and who their connections may be. >> of this would be, again, one of the exceptions and is for people that we both agree yes, in fact, they should come in. both parties are both confident that the person should be in. if i gave the impression that we
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did this for parties or a state dinner, i apologize. that was not my intent. there are people who show up on occasion, mainly during the day for business reasons, that if they have to get in we will work with the staff to ensure they are allowed to be here. >> ms. norton raised a good quite a while ago when she emphasized that this has probably happened many times. we just did not know about it because they did not post it on their facebook or bread. >> i would say this is an aberration. we take our protection duties very, very seriously. protecting the white house is our number one priority. i do not believe -- i know that this has not happened. >> i hope not. this is a scary scenario when you think about the president
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being exposed to someone walking in off the street. you made the statement you felt the president was not in danger. maybe in this case, but these people could have been bad guys or carrying biological or chemical agents on them. the president could have been in danger. just because they did not have a gun than not -- does not mean president, vice president, or the prime minister were not in danger. no person who was not on the list should get into the white house and the matter what staffer tries to with them for. particles are followed for a reason. -- and tries to wave them through. >> the issue you brought up i would be more happy -- i would be more than happy to address that in a private meeting curry i would not want to talk about them in here.
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make no doubt about it. i am not trying to minimize the fact regarding the danger here. i do not like what happened. none of us wanted to see this happen here. i am confident in our level of security, are men and women that are protecting the president in close proximity to him, all of these situations would put him in. we traveled all over the country and it is very difficult protecting the president in a democracy. it is far from that that person is allowed to get out their agenda, get out their message, and have access to the people. we deal with these types of situations every day. if we had our way we would put him in a bubble but we cannot do that. we make sure we're able to give that person out there and allow them to get out their message and agenda. i will tell you that we do it every day. we have to let people have access to him, but we do have people that are prepared to react to any type of threat in
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proximity. >> thank you. >> the gentle lady from texas. >> you are right. you have the responsibility of protecting our president. in a letter i wrote to the secretary of homeland security which i believe should be more intimately involved in this issue as we go forward, i indicated my appreciation for the brave men and women that served in the secret service. i will levels that back from that representation. but i will never step back. there is no margin for error. i applaud you for the 1.2 million people who have come in securely. i want to join you in recognizing that you staff up, man up, woman up when you need to. this is a time to understand what happened and what kind of
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resources is going forward. let me say to you that my perspective is that this is a law enforcement issue, a criminal activity that could have generated into a horrific incident at a state dinner in washington d.c. in the white house has been classified as the most powerful nation in the world. this was one year almost to the day of the incident in mumbai. i would like to show you how severe i think the circumstances are. we've seen these over and over again. absolutely severe because the person standing there was not vetted to the report you submitted to us. it is severe when we see a picture we have seen over and over again -- severe.
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violation and potential threat to the violet -- to the president and vice-president of the united states. in another location altogether, in an uninvited circumstance standing with the united states military. i am sure they could take care of themselves, but it is still severe. the prime minister of the nation that suffered this terrorist act was there. let me focus on why i believe this is a law enforcement issue. you may not be able to discuss a lot of this, but let me quickly discuss. was there a secret service personnel there? >> there was. >> did that personnel inquire of the salahis, where the invited guests? >> the present themselves as being invited. there was a discussion.
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>> in your report they said they would insisted were invited, allowed to proceed to the second pedestrian checkpoint. this book to a secret service officer? -- they spoke to an officer? >> correct. >> it did today, again, speak to a federal officer? >> yes, they did. >> they were covered by federal law? >> yes. >> let me proceed that in this law says that anyone who proceeds to falsify, casino, or cover up by any scheme or a device is violating a federal law. we can talk about the secret service who you have mentioned had more than a faux pas. the lives of these individuals were threatened. the salahis are playing.
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i would like to offer into the record and asking a question in particular. there is an e-mail that they said senator harry reid and his wife will not be at the dinner. can you tell me how they would have access to this kind of classified information? are the lists of people long coming printed saying they will not show up? >> i do not know where they got that information. >> there's also an additional statute that suggests in 18 usc 1036 into a false pretenses to any party who ever by any fraud or false pretense intends to enter or enter -- were they on the list? >> no. >> do you believe they entered
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on false pretences? >> ma'am, as i said before we are in the middle of a criminal law investigation with the u.s. attorney's office. >> did they enter with approval in terms of the being on a list to your knowledge? >> they were not on a list. it is our mistake because they were not on a list and we let them for. >> they were therefore not vetted. is that your understanding? chairman i want to cement into the record four or five of these emails that reflect the knowledge that they were not invited and their misrepresentation in a very, very large and conspicuous way. >> without objection. >> mike -- may i make a comment? i feel i have to defend my boss.
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secretary napolitano has been intimately involved on this investigation. we have been speaking daily regarding this. we spoke about 30 minutes before i came up here for this testimony. i would not want to leave any indication or have you under the impression that she has not been intimately involved in this. we have been speaking daily. >> thank you, mr. chairman -- mr. sullivan. >> the gentleman for texas -- from taxes for five minutes. >> i am understand there is an investigation and the attorney's office and i know they will do a very thorough and a diligent job. you brief us on a monthly basis in an intelligence threat briefing. i do not need to emphasize to you that right here as the first state dinner. the prime minister of india who
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has also been a target was at the state dinner. india was threatened by pakistan on the eve of him giving a speech on afghanistan and pakistan. you have two major targets of the white house. the idea that a couple could get in without their names being on the list, without any sort of vetting, without their social security numbers being submitted is really astounding. you were very candid in saying that established procedures were not -- brought followed. how in the world could this couple get past the secret service without having their names on the list, there socials in advanced, get right up to the president of the united states? >> sir, i have asked myself this
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question 1000 times over the last week. what we keep coming back to is that procedures were not followed. again, what we have found is that when we follow procedures, when we go by the protocols we have these situations do not occur. i would like to think that all of these layers, and that is one thing we realize that we put a plan together that things might not always go to plan. in this particular case, that is what happened. i still do believe because of all of the countermeasures we have which would be more than happy to speak to you about a closed session that their city was never in question. -- their safety was never in question. but the best people on the prime minister of india's detail.
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i understand your concern and i have the same concerns. i think this is an aberration. >> is there a protocol when officials can waive a guest in if they are not on the list if background checks have not been done? >> i prefer not to get into our procedures on that. every event is going to be different. >> you said human error happened and certainly looks at the secret service had an error. i want to know whether or not anyone from the white house intervened to allow access to these individuals. >> congressman, this is our fault and our fault alone. there's no one else to blame here. look at me and believe me. this is our fault. >> i think that is an issue we need to look into. you mentioned the planning meeting prior to the event.
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were you at the meeting? >> i was not. >> the decision that came out of the meeting was that the social secretary was not be necessary for her for her staff to the present with the secret service? >> sir, as i understand it that the agreement was they would have people available in a roving capacity and we would accept that checkpoint and the invitation list. >> in this case, were they there? >> the white house staff was available. it was just a matter of our people either getting on the radio or picking of the phone and asking them to come out to help resolve issues. >> does this mean that a secret service let these people in without any sort of vetting process and the white house had no role in waving them in? >> that is what i am telling
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you. >> i will be very interested to see you friday envious -- investigation unfolds. looking forward, the white house has admitted error in this memo by the deputy chief of staff where he stated that in the future that someone from the white house absolutely needs to be their present with the zebra service. looking forward, protecting the president of the united states and the heads of states across the world, the white house employees, officials will be present with the secret service is individuals come into the white house. >> that is correct. >> i yield back. >> the gentleman from texas of for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the history of the secret service? since 1865. listening to what we have seen
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here today and from what we have read by in my opinion is that you are a good soldier and taking full responsibility. in my opinion, i think responsibility should be shared. you're being a good shoulder -- soldier. the men and women there working for the secret service are also. >> we hthey say they will now he people at the checkpoints. is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> let's assume that the checkpoint in question, if someone from the white house would have been there, someone could have dropped the ball by not calling, but let's assume that someone from the white house would have been there at that time. what would have been the procedure? >> the procedure which has been the same as if our person had called her >> the person is right next to secret service progress they would have worked
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through the issue together pre >> who would've had the ultimate call? >> that is a very difficult thing to answer. it is a joint decision ultimately. when it comes to security, we have the old cement call. >> have you ever turn anyone down the white house asks someone to come in? >> i cannot categorically -- > i cannot recall that, no. >> do you have the necessary resources and funds to effectively investigate this use like this? you have the personnel, resources available to do all of this work? >> i believe we do. when it comes to protection, that is our number one priority. we work with the department, capitol hill to ensure that we have the necessary funding. i do not think you were going to talk to an agency head in washington d.c. who says they need more money.
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we do our best and prioritize. we do everything we can to ensure we have funding for it which you prioritize with whatever resources we give you? " c.s., that is correct. -- >> yes, that is correct. >> what could have hindered them from doing their protective services? was there anything in particular? >> no, sir. >> i go back to my question. if the white house would have had their persons standing there, what would you have that at that time? >> we both would have looked at the list and determine they were not at the list and would have worked through it together to determine if in fact they should have been invited. >> again, with all due respect, i think you are being a good soldier. i still think the work that your men and women do under the
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circumstances have done a good job. i still think that if someone would have been there right with you that we would have had a different results at that time. again, i think you and your men and women who do a good job requests think you, congressman. >> the gentleman from pennsylvania for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and mr. sullivan for being here. i appreciate you and those who serve you in your agency. listening to everyone here, i am grateful for your willingness to take responsibility. we always expect the secret service to take a bullet. we did not expect them to give blood for the president's staff. i think we have had a discussion here about that issue. there are issues of cooperation
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and coordination that are not up to the high expectations that i know you have for your agency and that we all have. it is critical that we hear from the social office on this. my main question is this -- there has been much discussion about the planning meeting in whom recommended that no wreck -- no reason -- no reason to defer the social off as the present. would you have made such a recommendation given your experience? >> i really do not want to debate whether that was the right or wrong decision. i think the fact is that regardless if it was right or wrong that we agreed to it. when we agreed to it which took responsibility for that list. -- when we agreed to it, we took responsibility for that list. my opinion is to look back and to say what we should have or
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could have done does not take away from the fact that we allowed someone into the white house who should not have come in. we have a protocol based on our decision that if anyone came in who was not on the list that that person should have called for help and we did not do it. i guess you could debate for hours whether or not i would have made the decision but the bottom line is we made a decision and we have to live with it. >> i appreciate your candor. bandstand that since you would not have made the recommendation that when the white house social office receives recommendations from you about the security of the president of the united states that they would take those recommendations very seriously and they should have in this instance. the media has reported desiree rogers was listed as a guest for
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the events and hosting her own table. was this case? >> i do not know anything about that, sir. >> if the service had a question as to whether or not the very important person was authorized for the event, would she be a logical person to contact? >> again, i would not know. i think there are several people working within her office. for this event we have contacts from within her office we were dealing with. i'm not sure if it was her directly. >> throw your time as a director of the secret service, were representatives from the white house staff stationed for these types of events in the past and would such a practice the beneficial in the future? if you of your things, too, i want to run by you. when reviewing the office of the inspector general security i
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found an interesting statement that i would like to share with you. a secret service protecting found that the allegations were true but did not consider them a breach of security. on page 15 it states, because the secret service relies on physical screening in the monitoring and not invitations to provide security there were no lapses at the breakfast. can you describe why they consider a to get a crowd control mechanism and not a security mechanism? >> it depends on how the tickets -- again, i am not sure on the conditions and how those were distributed. many times they are mailed out unilaterally to hundreds of people. i am not exactly sure how those were distributed. i would be more than happy to look into it and get back to
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you. i guess i am not familiar with that offense. >> you have already stated that a layer of security was breached. there was an agent near the president when he was in the receiving line and met the couple. >> with a rope line they are not as close as they usually are. if you watch them on the phone lines, people have to pass by an agent on one and, other agents on the other hand, and we are monitoring these people. we're watching the people approaching the people we protect. >> we thank you for your service and i yield back. >> the judgments time has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you understand that this is a hearing that should never have
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had to take place. i commend you for your courage to stand in the breach here today. i am just at a loss to and stand why the white house did not send someone to discuss this as well to give us a better sense. certainly for a white house that tots transparency we would expect someone to be here. in a very bizarre way we owe a thanks to this pathologically egomaniacal couple that has tried, not just the the white house, but at other places to do this sort of thing. we owe them a weird things for exposing some of these issues. -- a we're thanks. -- a weird thanks. what is going on with the guards to let them through? are they on administrative leave? can you tell us what is going
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on? >> yes, they are on administrative leave with pay. >> how often does the secret service exercise, practice, go through their routines for these sorts of things? >> for every event we do that. >> for every event? >> and do you do it as a matter of course for regular trading? -- training. >> our level of training for these types of events is probably not where it should be. we have done a tremendous job of improving our training. we train out in raleigh and look at these types of issues and put scenarios together. we are not where we need to be but we are improving every day as far as getting more people
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out to train. our uniformed division, we have an authorized to thousand three. right now we are about 1350. i am hoping with more people we will achieve the 1419. that will allow more training. we are working with congress to get a bill passed which i believe will help with retention and recruitment into the uniformed division. it has been passed to the senate and is going to the house right now. -- passed through the senate. we do put training procedures together for these kinds of issues. i am not going to tell you we are getting it done as much as we would like to. as we grow the uniformed division we're going to see more training. one thing we have learned from this particular event,
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managerial oversight is very important. i believe we have the appropriate level of managerial oversight on this night, however for these kinds of events we're going to have even more managerial oversight there. we have also, with the resolution help desk -- come up with a resolution help desk. it will be staffed with eight senior level from the white house staff and someone from the uniformed division. this will be stationary and everyone will know where it is. i go back to the fact that i am not sure that any level of training, funding, any number of people could have prevented what happened the other night. this was just an error in judgment. >> how much discretion is a uniformed guard or another uniformed guard have? an ununiformed guard?
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>> a lot goes on in our hiring. there is about seven months of training. i am very confident. there is a lot of things that happen out there when they have to make on-the-spot decisions. they do not have the luxury of being able to pick up a phone and ask someone for advice. we give them a lot of discretion buried in this particular case we did have time to make the right decision and just did not do it. >> i am very concerned rather revelation that was presented in the email of no - knowing who was and was not going to be at that event. we need to investigate few new one, when, and why and how they got the information. that was extremely frightening to me.
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apparently he sent this e-mail. how he was able to come up with the guest list of not who was going to be there and why, that is exceptionally troubling. that is a clear security breach that really needs to be understood. it may not be secret service's in this case, but there is a breach that people need to understand. when we've err in this country needs to be on the side of national security. >> that information has been entered into the record and it is our expectation that director sullivan will get back to us once he has an opportunity to investigate the email, the source, and what have you. we have four votes on the floor.
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expectations are too recess and reconvene about 12:15 p.m. committee is recessed. >> the next person in attendance is from michigan for five minutes.
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>> thank you very much, mr. chairman. director sullivan we appreciate your attendance today and/or service to the nation as well. many of my questions have already been asked and i know you have answered many of them and that an investigation is under review. i am cognizant of why that is the case. just a general observation, i think in some ways, a strange way, this may have a silver lining because it does point out since a rigid system failures. i am also of the mind that there is shared responsibility here not only with the service but in the case of the white house and their social secretary, another -- and other officials that should be have been assisting. i also want to make an observation about the email which i think is almost the most troubling of all. e-mail is coming from mr. salahi.
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i know for a fact these people are unable to attend the state dinner. imagine senator harry reid and his wife and two other couples -- and they mentioned senator harry reid. they also say why they are not coming. in the case of senator reid, who have gone home early for thanksgiving. gupta unable to travel to d.c. top brass from lockheed martin? i cannot believe the secret service would be releasing that kind of information. only an inside source would have access to that kind of information and i find it troubling. i would ask you to respond to that if you could. >> thank you, congresswoman. maybe there is a silver lining here. i, more than anyone, which this had not occurred but we're going to use it to learn and make our
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organization even better than it was before. as far as those emails, i am not familiar with them and i have not seen it until it was brought up this morning. i understand your concern with that. i do not know where the information came from. i am hopeful during the course of our investigation and we can determine where it came from. i agree to have that information out there and not know where it came from is troubling. >> it is very troubling. i was certain you would not know. he did not have to comment, but it would have to have come from an inside source, someone within the digressive the white house. and is why i think it will be more troubling that no one from the white house, particularly social secretary, was not able to testify.
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i thought that was an interesting comment particularly when speaker policy in the case of the congress trying to get information from the bush white house said that the white house cannot violate the constitutional not being [unintelligible] other members of the judiciary chirred lead the charge it to force bush officials to testify and they were being held in contempt. they would not come and testify in front of the congress. i find that very troubling and i want to point it out. this is in an ministration that ran -- and they talked about transparent. -- transparency. when we asked to have a social secretary to come testify they
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are not here. in that case they say it is a separation of powers which i think is a far, far stretch. i would also mention -- you mentioned, director sullivan, that some of your staff as your investigation is proceeding, but you have put them on administrative leave with pay. i am wondering whether or you are aware or not that the social security -- if any members or a ministry of -- or administrative staff have been put on leave? >> i know nothing about that. the reason we have taken the action we have taken, that i have taken, and to follow up. >> let me just ask you to be clear, the secret service does not perform any political work on the part that those they protected?
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>> we are a non-political organization. >> it would seem to me in the case of a state dinner when you have a local people who have affiliation with the president that it would be helpful to have the social secretary and other appointees of the best bridge of the administration to be available -- appointees of the administration to be available or would seem there would be outsourcing to the secret service. i think -- i think that is a mistake. i appreciate the time, mr. chairman. thank you. >> the gentle lady's time has expired. the gentle lady from california for five minutes. >> mr. sullivan, let me start by saying i appreciate you coming here and facing the music, as i would say. you could have easily hid behind, we cannot talk about it, we have an investigation, but
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you came to answer the questions and i respect that. i also want to say to all of those who serve with you and under you that i think it is important we remember that you not only do a job when you also make a commitment that if you have to you may have to choose your life to protect any of us who happen to be there. and think is important keep it in perspective. what i do not want to do is send a message to those who are serving the depreciation is not there. i think this is fixable. -- that the appreciation is not there. it is my understanding from press reports that i have seen that it was quite busy that night and there may not have been enough equipment systems set up. how many do you normally set up for a dinner such as this with having almost 400 guests?
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quest's clearly >> clearly the doors opened a little late and there was a crowd build up. we had one at magnetometer operating that might great if we had had two we would of been able to clear people through faster. that had nothing to do with what happened at the original check 0.3 >> at the checkpoint, where is the magnetometer? but >> the initial checkpoint is at 15th and alexander and alexander hamilton adjacent to the treasury. the magnetometers is just inside the east wing. had a line built up of people? how long was the line? >> we had two things going on. there were 35-40 vehicles dropping people off in the
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driveway by the east wing. the rest of the people were arriving by foot. i am told that there was a backup of people and i am not sure how long the line was. >> the white house support staff that was available to you by phone, grabbed, however, how close were they to the checkpoint? where were they? >> as an understanding, they were ready east wing. they would have been up at the entryway to the east wing. >> with that the clothes were the machines were in line? >> i am not sure if they were behind or in front of, but they were in the area. they were available. >> you said you feel that no one else reached the system. if the officer allowed someone
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to pass, what makes you think they just did not allow some other people to pass? >> that is one issue i wanted us to put a significant amount of review into. so far, our review is -- has indicated they allow no one else to get in. i would speak to you get in a classified setting to resolve the issue for you. >> did they come in with other equipment to your knowledge? >> as far as i know, i think all they had was a self on. -- cell phone. >> the only identification they had on their person was a passport. would that normally have been something to raise a red flag? your name is not on the list and you are using a passport. given the nature of who was present? >> they shut it passport for identification and i am not
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sure -- >> by issuing a passport would that have been something that normally the officer would have thought? >> we would except a passport. -- accept. >> if a person misrepresents and says their name is on the list and come to you and seek entry. is that illegal? >> you can be charged for lying to a federal agent. >> are we pursuing in the criminal charges in this case? >> we do have an ongoing investigation. we also have an ongoing criminal investigation. but i would like to see some sort of clarification and we
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said opprobrious standards. even with the ongoing investigation, mr. chairman, maybe you can work with him. i think we need communication that people are not just going to be able to get off scot-free. i would have a serious issue with that. >> just so i'm clear, we do have an ongoing criminal investigation. i just cannot talk about that. >> thank you for all that you do. >> thank you for your comments brief >> the gentle lady from new york for five minutes. >> think you very much, mr. chairman. let me add my voice to those who commend you, director sullivan, for being so forth right and taking the heat. i would like to share with you that i received numerous calls that was nothing short of outrage from my constituents and certainly i am outraged as well.
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the question really has to do with some other protocols. i know we will go into this in a secure environment, but for you familiar with president victor [inaudible] of the ukraine? >> yes. >> he was poisoned at a dinner. he carried -- whoever poisoned him utilized a chemical agents known as dioxin but. i am just concerned that we opened up a scenario here that we need to be reassured that we have closed every possible loop of harm or danger to our president. i am sure an agent like that is not something that is detected through a magnetometer.
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i am sure there are other similar agents that cannot be detected through normal physical means. i look forward to that conversation that we will have about how to address something like that. i also wanted to ask because you mentioned you felt that this particular instance was an aberration and probably was for the white house. were you aware the salahis attended the congressional black caucus dinner? they entered the premises for the kitchen. it was widely publicized that the president and first lady were going to be there. there seems to be a pattern with these people. i am very concerned because, again, they mixed and mingled with the crowd in the same way at that event that they did at the state dinner.
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can you speak to that, director sullivan? >> i read the reports of it and we're looking into it as well. but sanders and there are a whole lot of photographs of the same couple. -- i am understand there are photographs. >> entering through a kitchen facility raises the flag of contamination and other types of harmful elements that can be disbursed in an environment where our president and his guests are present. i want to thank you for being forthright in your presentation to us, but i believe the level of consciousness that our agents have, that the white house has come about safety and security has to be taken to a whole level. it is our hope that there would not be a scenario of this magnitude ever again and then we will use this as, unfortunately, a very rough, teachable moments
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to get things right. there are people who need to question themselves around this particular issue. i hope we're questioning ourselves and that we close these loopholes so something like this can never happen again. i would just close by saying, mr. chairman, that i find it ironic that they were able to get in to the white house with such ease when i was basically detained by secret service just trying to get into invesco stayed it reduce stadium. there seems to be standards about who is credible. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you. the gentle lady from arizona for five minutes. >> think you for taking responsibility and having the courage to show up today and
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answer our questions. from my standpoint, the most important question is, was there at any point that the president was in danger? >> as i stated earlier, in my hand, no he was not. >> i appreciate your willingness to look beyond that incident and see if there are other older abilities within the department. i was concerned with the statement that mrs. richardson made regarding the entry at 15th and alexander hamilton were only id is checked and weapons are not checked and so there at the east wing. i wonder if that is of the new consider its vulnerability and they should be checked before they get that close to the white house. is that procedure correct? >> for a state dinner that is our procedure. for other events it will happen
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further offside. again, it is inexcusable that these people were led through. they never should have been let through with their name not being i checked this. depending on what the type of event is that will derive where we are doing screening. >> thank you. i am a former prosecutor. over the years, i have observed that we expect superior enforcement from our law enforcement and yet we do not give them the resources they need. i am not putting you on the spot to ask you if you feel like to have adequate resources, but i am sensitive to that. it is also our committee's response ability with oversight to make sure they have the resources they need to do the superior job that we expect of them. i think you again. mr. chairman, i want to make one remark. i am disappointed that they did not appear today.
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i think perhaps it was because -- thank you very much. >> i think director sullivan can affirm the fact that in every instance, from a committee perspective, we always ask whether or not he has the resources to do his job. when the budget comes it is a budget from whenever administration is in charge and his answer, in most instances, is i can get the job done with the money. not to put words in your mouth, director sullivan trade >> my words are that i work with the secretary, the hill, to insure we have the appropriate funding. i do not know of one agency head who does not say they need more
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money created there is a process that i do my best to follow. i work for the secretary of homeland security and i do my best to work for that process. what's the view, mr. sullivan. -- thank you mr. sullivan. >> the gentleman from kansas city or five minutes. >> mr. sullivan, as head of the secret service you are perhaps the less visible of the most significant agency in the federal government. you are secret service but you are certainly not a secret. your picture in position -- and position. i am very, very happy that this occurred. i think it is one of the best things to happen to us because
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your agency now along with others are more engaged in looking at ways in which we can prevent things from occurring. sometimes something negative can actually be positive and i think this is one of these incidents. i have become a little concerned over the fact that the secret service is engaged in searching for missing and exploited children. while i think that falls outside of what i usually think the secret service is doing, the secret service is now expected to expand its role to include mortgage fraud. why? what is leading us to take what has traditionally been the responsibility of the fdic, the
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sec, and probably to some degree the irs and place it with the secret service? >> to your point, sir, first of all i cannot say i am happy that this occurred. i do agree that i think there will be some good that comes from this. we are a dual mission organization. we were first founded to combat counterfeit currency. we did not pick up protection responsibility until about 50 years after our creation. i believe the dual mission of our -- organization is important. 2200 of our agents are out in the field and do support our protective mission. it is my belief that what our agents learn as investigators make them that much better in their protection assignment,
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evaluating people, dealing with them, dealing with various types of situations the investigative mission of our job revolves around financial crimes. the majority of those crimes are credit card fraud, identity theft, and into crimes, and several related -- and cyber related issues. >so that is because of the capabilities we have. that is not full time for every age and we have a small number of agents assigned to that. we believe our job is to make an impact on the community. we believe that this is a good thing for us to do. it does not take away from our other mission. i want to be clear. i have said this in writing. i have said this in numerous meetings.
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our number-one priority is to protect the president. every employee in our organization realizes that it would be a disaster for this country, for the world if anything were to happen to the president. nothing will take priority over our protection of the president and the other people we protect, but i do believe we have enough resources to work and these other investigative issues that we do. i think it makes as a better organization. >> i agree with everything you said. there is a proposal now to give secret service $20 million more to work in mortgage fraud. i am looking for consistency. why not give the money to the fbi which also investigates mortgage fraud? it seems to me we are duplicating services in different agencies. if the fbi is doing mortgage fraud investigations and you
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are and to some degree the sec, the fdic, the treasury, why can't we have one agency that does one particular service like protective services? why do we go into all of these other areas? it seems we are deluding are affected this -- diluting our effectiveness. >> we have jurisdiction for bank fraud. mortgage fraud is a dovetailing into some of the other mortgage -- financial crimes. i am not trying to compete with the fbi when it comes to doing mortgage fraud investigations. they have more assets and more people dedicated to that than we do. i believe we are making a contribution there. . .
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>> what would say to that is that i do believe that there's plenty of work out there for everybody. protection is the number-one priority. if i believe that this initiative and us working mortgage fraud was taking
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away from us working our number- one priority, i would not do it. i would be more than happy to bring up our assistant director of investigations who is in charge of this initiative and he can give you a briefing on that. i want to make sure that you're comfortable with why we are working and how that is not having an impact on our other duties. >> gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pasquale. >> mr. sullivan, the highest compliment that i can give the secret service is that every member of your agency that i have met has been of the highest quality and professional, as you have been. i am very proud of the agency. but let the congress, we make mistakes. you make mistakes. where do not say that what we're talking about today is an institutional problem? -- would you not say that what
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we're talking about today is an institutional problem? mr. sullivan? >> i do not believe it is an institutional problem. as i said before, i believe it is an isolated incident. it is due -- i do not believe it is due to any systemic problem. i believe it is due to poor judgment. >> you know that in the beginning of this year or after the inauguration, a newspaper reported that several security vulnerabilities were observed by some guests at the inauguration of president-elect barack obama. there reported that secure buses could have been infiltrated because there was no mechanism to prevent unscreened per sense, etc., etc. can i assume that everybody on
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this panel assumes that all of those were addressed and solutions were implemented. >> first of all, i believe that that report did not substantiate those claims. as i read the report, we did have appropriate security procedures. working with the inspector general, we went to california and interviewed some of the people that made the report to the paper. we confronted that and was booked will look into all of the people that made that claim. one thing that we had done was that one of the people that run on the behalf for not known to these people. they had on a hat and scarf and they were mistaken. we did have people up there. we did learn that, for a future
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situation like that, it would be better to change the location of the magnetometers. at no time was there any threat for anyone getting on the bus because we did have our people there and it was proven by the report. >> i am interested in not only threats to the president, which is the high priority, but i am interested in the threat to your folks. this is no reality tv. apparently these two people think this is a continuation of the popular tv programs in dealing with reality. after a while, you cannot separate reality tv from reality. americans have been a problem right now. we're trying to distinguish between truth and fiction and myth. what bothers me is that many people are looking at this
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hearing and thinking is about some sensational incident. it is really about a failure that has plagued many institutions. the larger department has yet to integrate its disparate security components. this is a big homeland security department. the committee has talked time and time again about the documented problems at the secret service, this committee. that includes low morale among some of the uniformed officers. it has fallen on deaf ears. i think it is because, i am sad to say, we still have a pre-9/11 mindset. the real agreeugly truth is thae do not think about the secret
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service because we think they have it all covered, that is until something happens, and then we start asking questions. so i want to be supportive of you tomorrow as well as today. it just bothers me much that it is now almost seven years to the date that we created the department and we're still reactionary in their approach to threats instead of being proactive. -- reactionary in our approach to threats instead of being proactive. you started out as a special agent in 1983. do you agree that we need real institutional change at secret service right now? >> how do you define that? >> do we need changes? we're not just talking about this one incident. have you had full cooperation in
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the three and a half years to bring about the changes that you see are important to make your agency more effective and more efficient? have you received that aid? we do not know much about secret service. we go there and we see all the great work that you do. -- we don't know much about the secret service until we go there and see all the great work that you do. >> we can always do better and we are always looking to do better. we are working with the department. when we went into the department of homeland security, people wondered why we were doing that. i believe that we are in the right department and we're getting the right support from this department. our people have a really challenging job. we made a mistake here. it is an unforgivable and
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indefensible mistake that we have made. but i do not believe that has anything to do with any of the institutional procedures or any of those other issues. i believe this is just a breakdown in judgment. we do some great things everyday. if we had hearings for every great thing we did, there would not be enough hours in the day to hear the great things are people are doing. they're not looking for a pat on the back. they're not looking for new to praise them. we're not looking to bring a lot of attention to ourselves. our men and women are working out there every day, 24 hours a day, away from home, traveling. they do a great job and i cannot be any more proud of them. the believe this was a mistake and not indicative of any institutional problem. >> thank you appeare. >> i am glad that mr. sullivan is before us. when someone goes on to the campus of the white house, if it
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is different from going into the white house. there are questions that you were asked before. it is the same thing. you have to get onto the campus first. in order to get on to the campus, you have to go through security. in order to get into the white house, you have to go to another set of securities. i am glad that you brought that up and clarify that. we're not talking about going directly into the white house until you step out of the car. thank you. >> the gentleman from texas, mr. greene. >> thank you for this hearing. i think it is timely. i compliment you for holding it as expeditiously as possible. i ask mr. director for appearing. mr. director, we are a country of laws, not people, in the sense that we do not allow
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people to come out on a case-by- case basis, to change the law. i want to compliment you for the job that you have done, that the secret service has done, and i want to compliment you on the job you have done today. you have indicated there are certain things that you can talk about while an investigation is pending. i think he should be complimented for this. i don't think people should be prejudged. i think that a thorough investigation should be done before you come to your conclusion. my assumption is that this is what you are doing. is this a fair assumption? >> yes, sir. >> let me tell you what i think the american people want. the american people want what they perceive to be interlopers treated the same way they would be treated if they showed up without an invitation and
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somehow managed to get into an affair of this magnitude. that is what they want. but they want you to be fair. they want you to investigate. but if you find that they have breached law, they want them prosecuted. that is what the american people want. there is some consternation in the minds of people of that emanates from the notion that this is a real significant embarrassment for the secret service. the fear does exist in the minds of some of that because of the level and the magnitude of the embarrassment, there may not be the level a prosecutolawful pron that this circumstance
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would merit if this was john q. citizen. so my question is this. if the facts show that there has been a breach of wall, that -- breach of the law, will there be a vigorous prosecution of the salahis? >> as you stated, this is un embarrassment. however, i am not going to let that embarrassment get in the way of doing the right thing. from the right thing, i have confronted this issue. i have done my best not to duck this issue and step up for what has gone wrong here. if laws were broken, it does not matter who broke them. we are going to pursue whatever option we have. as i mentioned before, we currently have an investigation ongoing. we are not going to leave out
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any option here. >> the next thing i think that the american people want is this. they want not only the salahis properly punished, but if there are other persons who conspired or who worked in some way in a fashion that was antithetical to the law and protocol, they want those persons to be properly punished, too. that is to the extent -- to the extent that your investigation reveals that others were involved in this who may have breached the law, will you assure us that all persons associated with this, who may have breached the law, in your opinion after its thorough investigation, that they will all be properly prosecuted? >> absolutely. >> my final comment is this, sir.
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i don't think that you should have your head bowed. i think you should maintain the posture of having a top-notch organization that does its job with a great degree of dignity and pride. things happen and it is unfortunate. but out of adversity there is opportunity. you should see this as an opportunity to modify, clarify, and continue to do the outstanding job that the secret service is known to do. and that complement you for what you have done and i believe that you will make sure that the proper persons, after a thorough investigation, if bill mall merits, that you will ensure that -- if along meritthe walllt you will ensure they will be
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prosecuted. >> thank you. >> i believe the chairman has these also. these are the e-mails may be available to me by the salahis' attorney butsalahis' attorneys. i will have days subpoena issued for desiree rogers. we do intend to request the subpoena. >> thank you. >> in the gentle lady from texas. >> do you accept the fact that this is a law enforcement issue?
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>> i accept this is a shared responsibility. >> are you representing that the social secretary office is engaged in law enforcement activities? >> i am strongly stating that his starkly and continually the social secretaries office has worked with the the secret service at these types of events. if they had been there, this would not have occurred. >> i would suggest to you that any social secretary responsibility is administrative or administerial. the secret service is before us and the perpetrators are not. the two parties that are directly involved with access, vetting, and perpetration are the ones who need to be before the homeland security committee.
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i respect the gentlemen's requests, but i would argue vigorously that muddying the waters with an administrative actor, if you will, will not give us the facts of that our colleagues have asked for us to get. i want to know where the perpetrators are at this time. those are the ones who intentionally entered into the white house falsely. then we will have to hear back from mr. sullivan. i raise the question about the propriety of a subpoena for the social secretary who is in any administrative or a ministerial position. i yield back. >> let me indicate that even the discussion is out of order at this point. we are not able to do it. >> let me just respond to the gentle lady, though. >> you made a comment and she
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responded. >> she raised issues that i had not raised. historically, this has been a shared responsibility. for some reason, at the dinner, they were not there. i feel very strongly that, due to the white house staff issued a memorandum saying that the white house acted improperly, we need to inquire why they made that decision and what they will do in the future. >> we differ on that. we will go forward. the director has already indicated that security at the white house is the responsibility of the secret service. there is no question about that. and ancillary individual does not remove the primary responsibility from the secret service. that is where we are trying to
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keep the hearing focused. i would like to thank director sullivan for his valuable testimony. given that some of the information we are seeking is classified, it is my expectation that the committee will move into a closed executive session at the conclusion of the second panel. before being dismissed from the public session of this hearing, i would remind director of sullivan and the members -- that the members of the committee may have additional questions. four members of the committee, in very short order, we will move into in executive session. we will clear the room and ask some of the questions that we were not prepared to rest and get answers from now i ask the
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clerk -- answers from. now i ask the clerk to prepare the witness table for the second panel.
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>> we would like to reconvene the second panel. on november 30, 2009, the committee invited tarik and michaele salhi tsalahi to attens meeting. we need this testimony to ascertain the extent of the security breakdowns from the perspective individuals who were active participants in those breakdowns. half of that picture was just provided by director sullivan. we still need the other half of the picture from those private citizens. the committee needs to understand all the facts. for the record, we did in days
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to their attorneys to facilitate this testimony and communicate that rule 11 of the house rosecrans this committee the authority to subpoena -- of the house rules grants this committee the authority to subpoena this couple. the committee could compel the testimony through subpoena. to that end, i am directing staff to prepare subpoenas for the salahis and this committee will consider them next week. once the machinery of the congressional subpoena authority is activated, if they continue to rebut this committee's oversight request, they could be subject to contempt of congress. my door remains open. hopefully, they will be as willing to talk to congress as they have been to talk to the media.
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i now move forward to the executive session for the purpose of talking with director sullivan. >> to preserve the record, i would ask also to say that desiree rodgers who was also invited at the same time that we invited the salahis. she is not here. we are going to proceed with a subpoena for desiree rogers. >> the subject is security. for this reason, we invited director sullivan and the salahis. according to rule 6, mr. king,
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as a ranking member, is generally entitled to identify a minority witness to testify at that hearing. for this hearing, mr. king identified designe rogerree rog. her staff does not encompass security. on the question of subpoena, i believe there is a clear distinction here between mr. rogers and sathe salahis. mr. rogers is not a central figure -- miss rogers is not a central figure in security. the salahis have a firsthand knowledge of the security breakdown of that dinner. this inquiry necessitates swift
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action, especially in light of the series of upcoming white house holiday season events. it simply would not be prudent to spend committee resources and a time on engaging in a protected fight with the white house when the testimony is not central to the question at issue. >> mr. chairman, i could be heard on that, i do not believe you would have sent a letter to the white house requesting her if you do not believe that she was inappropriate witness. also, the fact that the deputy chief of staff has said beneficial memo to the white house staff saying that the social secretary's office will have to be part of security in the future, the white house believes that desiree roger [unintelligible] i think we have taken a very narrow and limited view of the jurisdiction of our committee if we do not believe that excepting
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the white house's own version of security and demand that they testify on that issue. >> since the ranking member is correct, add a personal courtesy, generally, i will allow you to call whenever witness -- to call what ever witnessed. it is no precedent-setting in any way. with that, we move forward with clearing the room for the executive session. >> mr. speaker, mr. chairman, we can do it in a regular session.
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deserve. without this change, every arkansas at taxpayer and the u.s. taxpayer subsidizes the state insurance executives unlimited salaries and compensation packages. at the same time, the companies are denying coverage to hard- working americans who need care. when health care insurance reform becomes law, these companies will receive millions of new customers, purchasing insurance coverage for the first time. our amendment will make sure that premiums that they pay will be spent on better care, not executive salaries. my proposal would limit this amount for health insurance companies that will profit as a result of health insurance reform. it does not dictate what a business pays an employee. but it does limit the taxpayer subsidies for that compensation. this is only for those insurance
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companies participating in the program. this is a fair policy aimed at encouraging health insurance companies to put a premium dollars toward lower rates and more affordable coverage, not in their pocketbook. to be sure, there is evidence that these companies need the encouragement to do the right thing for consumers. for health insurers spent more than 90 cents on every dollar for patient care, in the 1990's, that has turned into over 80 cents of every dollar in 2007. earlier this year, this trend has translated into a difference of several billion dollars in favor of insurance companies' shareholders and executives at the expense of health care providers and their patients. so it is imperative. if we -- so that it is imperative that we do what we can to reverse this trend, especially now, when millions more americans will be
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purchasing health insurance coverage as a result of our health reform package. taxpayers are footing the bill for the subsidy and we must take the steps to deter the health insurance company from further enhancing their profit margins at the expense of the american people. the amendment i am offering would set the deduction cap at the same level as that of the highest paid government officials, the president of the united states. it is estimated to be $650 million over 10 years and it would put that money into the medicare trust fund. i urge all of my colleagues to support this today as we worked for this amendment on behalf of america's seniors. >> thank you very much, senator lincoln. i congratulate you for this initiative. i want to remind all so that i
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came with a broad experience of business. i ran a fairly large company with thousands of employees. we had to appropriately compensated our executives as well as the working people throughout the company. paying salaries is an appropriate thing. but the question here is quite different than that. this is a service, a commodity, that is essential for the well- being of our citizenry. these companies are not selling lawnmowers. these companies are saying that we are there to help you have better health, to help you take care of your family's health needs. it is to make certain that is as affordable as they can be.
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after all, the federal government makes a contribution to the revenues of these companies. i think that senator lincoln has the right idea. the average compensation package for the top insurance executives, between 2006 and 2008, was about $15 million a year. these companies are offering a service, an opportunity for people, again, to have good health and to relieve them of the anxiety that comes along without having the appropriate health care. these executives are making millions of dollars every year. their subscribers are being told, sorry, that condition is
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no longer covered or we will not provide that kind of surgery. when you look at a company called united healthcare, after that company backdated hundreds of millions of dollars of stock options, the c o then retiring, william maguire, was forced to leave. despite the scandal, united gave him a golden parachute of more than $1 billion. that was besides the compensation he had annually that exceeded most year's $100 million. it is hard to comprehend that $1 billion for an outgoing ceo who engaged in misconduct every day, when americans were having
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services turned down our could not afford the policies. that is an outrageous situation. there were gorging themselves and gouging the public. health insurers and their c o's have had the is extravagantly high pay, were hard working families have found it harder to pay for appropriate care. a cancer patient may not get the chemotherapy that they deserve. a family may not be able to cover the ravages of a child with diabetes properly. but health insurance executives are getting millions of dollars more than they normally would. it does not add up. these bonuses are paid based on profitability. but when you're in a service business like this, a commodity
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business, it is more like the fire department than it is like wall street. it should not exist in that fashion. i agree with senator lincoln. witi think these health insurane executives should be limited in salary. they are not limited in salary. if the board of directors decides that they want to pay the individual more than $100,000 a year, those funds will go to help medicare better prepare for its future needs. i want to say once again thank you. >> first, let me thank senator lincoln for her leadership in the senate finance committee where she is a fierce advocate for arkansans end for how rural
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americans are treated under health-care reform. she made some compelling arguments, got a lot into the senate finance committee's health care bill, and this is another example of her leadership in this regard and what a strong voice she is with the people of arkansas, as well as for people across this country. i join with her today because the way the business of health insurance is run today, it makes you think that for the c e o's of health insurance companies, it is about money. the quality of care is decreasing. but rest assured that the risk to insurers is being carefully managed. coverages being creatively
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denied to those who have come in good faith, pay their premiums. now they need to see their doctor, but they are deemed to have a pre-existing condition. at the same time that all of those hurdles for the person who paid their premiums, met their obligations under their own policies and need that covered the most, they find themselves being denied. at that same time, executive compensation is going up. it is estimated that, in the health insurance industry, $4 goes to executive pay for every $1 paid in benefits. so this proposal will make insurers pay their fair share while policyholders pay ever- increasing premiums for coverage that is often denied or delayed. it applies to the limit to all
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officers and employees. that is not all it does. it specifically directs all of the money that will be generated by this into the medicare trust fund. in my view, that is the least health insurance executives can do to help fix the health care system that was broken on their watch. it is a good amendment. it is a good proposal. it is fair. as a has been said, we are not telling private companies what they can decide to pay their executives. we're simply saying that there is a limit to how much of the taxpayer deductibility you're going to get toward the compensation. we are strongly in support of the amendment. once again, senator lincoln, thank you for your leadership on this unequivocal issue. >> thank you. hi, everybody. i am just so proud of this amendment.
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so many of us have calls from our constituents to tell us they are ill, cannot get coverage, their insurance company drops them, and they just say that it is too expensive. you really can get this coverage c yet thand yet the ceo's are tg home multi-million dollar salaries. i know i am being repetitive, but this is a very specific point. we are saying that $400,000 is the pay for the president of the united states. if you want to pay your ceo more than that, you cannot write it off your taxes. the message is that the people who are getting the service are important. no ceo is that important that they can get that type of
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salary out. this is a big amount of money. it is $600 million. that would go right into the medicare trust fund. we are here to show our support. >> thank you. any questions? >> does that amendment apply equally across privately and publicly traded companies? is there different compensation that is performance-based? >> if only applies to companies that have 25% of their premiums in the program. so it does not apply to everybody. it will only apply to those that are coming again, largely guinea from the fact that we have -- that are, again, largely gaining from the fact that we have all of these new customers going
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into the market. [unintelligible] >> -- >> [unintelligible] there have been a lot of people coming to you with lots of options. would any of the persuade you for any form of a public plan? >> i have said before that i do not support any public plan that is government-run and would put the taxpayers at risk in the long run. >> [unintelligible] >> that depends. >> [unintelligible] >> it affects everyone. i think it is a critical part of what will make us competitive in the global marketplace played we look around the globe -- marketplace. we look around the globe and others are paying half of what we pay and cover more people. we have to be competitive. we have to create efficiencies.
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we need an effective beverly system and our health care. there are good -- we need an effective delivery system in our health care. there are good things in this bill. >> [unintelligible] is that something you can support? >> i have looked at all of the different things. it goes back to whether it is a government-ryan/government- funded and creates -- government-run/government- funded. there are a lot of discussions and we are going to see whether there will be a compromise. i have not seen one yet. >> it has been said that the public plan is not a big deal and it is taking on a life of its own politically. how do you square that off with
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the the evidence that you and the other senators say you cannot offer a bill it has a public plan? >> if it is a public plan, i have the fear that it will create a long-term risk for taxpayers. i think it is critical for us to look at how fiscally responsible we can be on behalf of taxpayers. i think that is critically important for us to do in this bill. i think we have done a great job. this bill is paid for. this -- there is actually savings in the bill. we want to continue to see that happen. i want to ensure that, in the long run, we continue to do that. >> it is fair to say that the discussion of the public plan is one that certainly can be raised and discussed. but the present amendment that is being considered is
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something that should apply whether or not there's finally a public plan among the exchange opportunities. we are hoping we will have enough compromise to pass the bill totally. the one of the things that should not be in there is the probable but -- is the profitability at the expense of the average working person. >> that is right. when we talk about fiscal responsibility, we want to make sure that medicare is going to be there for not only current seniors, but seniors in the future, putting his money into the medicare trust fund is one more of those steps to ensura se seniors. we want medicare reform that will be productive and protect medicare for seniors today and in the future. i think this amendment reflects one more definite fiscal
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responsibility. >> [unintelligible] >> i have not seen the mechanisms that make that happen yet. >> [unintelligible] >> i am looking at everything i am going to look at everything and i will judge it based on that. i will judge it based on whether or not there is long-term risk to the taxpayers and whether it is a government-funded and government run by want to talk to everybody. i think it is important to get -- government-run. i want to talk to everybody. i think it is important that we get reform done. >> particularly on the government-run part, you may
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have members of government who will put them to run the public plan. i>> the most important thing to remember is that most of what the public wants is more options. that is what i hear when i talk to people. they want greater choice, options, opportunity. this is a part of that. in order to create competition in the marketplace, that is what most americans want, more choices, better cost, better coverage, and that comes from greater competition and greater options. creating options is great. i just have concerns about the long-term risks to taxpayers. so creating more auctions is great. >> -- so creating more options is great. >> [unintelligible] >> thank you, all, very much.
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>> of the senate continues working this weekend on a health care measure. today, members voted on amendments. you can follow the health care debate in the senate at our health care of website at c- up next, we have a capital update. >> kate hunter is with us. >> thank you for having me. caller: thank you for having me.
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host: this recipe for getting health care done is the front page story of "the washington post." are you hearing this? caller: it is a very quick timeframe that they are dealing with. yes, it is just a matter of weeks before christmas and they want to get something passed by the end of the year. as soon as next week is a real possibility. host: can you walk us through some of the amendments on the floor? then there is a saturday and sunday session. what are you looking at? caller: it is a long and slow process. it took us four days on monday, yesterday is the first set of votes that we saw on any amendments whatsoever. now we are moving into the second stage with a chunk of
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amendments coming up. looks like there will be a session over the weekend, saturday and sunday. yesterday harry reid said that there would be votes over the weekend. the problem they are facing is that in the senate the rules are very cumbersome. what they do is they get these consent agreements to move forward on amendments and they have been hard to come by. there is no time set yet on any amendments. host: we have been seeing publications about the republican attempt to use parliamentary procedures to slow down or block the process. what you think that judd gregg and amid mcconnell and others, what tools they have? caller: the democrats have a filibuster-proof majority as long as they stick together.
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as you said it is a matter of slowing things down and taking more time to do that. senator gregg, the top republican on the committee, put together a list of budget related points of order and other tactics that republicans could use to slow down the debate. republicans are saying that they are not trying to be obstructionist, but that date view this as a big and important bill and i want to use their limited our to provide adequate time to look at what is in the bill and debate it. forñi their part, democrats want to get this through before the end of the year. they are going to do whatever they can. host: the other issue, this is a 2007 before page bill and there have been talks that senator
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colburn is one to read every page. the latest is that he may have a signed a pledge from each senator. what are you hearing on that front? caller: he said before thanksgiving that he was going to ask the senate clark, which is within his province, to read the bill on the senate floor word for word. it seems like that did not happen and now it seems that he is trying to get another, go another way with that. he makes the case that the american people are concerned about what is in this important bill and that making sure that the senators are aware of what is in the bill is an important thing. host: with the health-care debate continuing and the president turning his attention to unemployment, stopping in allentown, pa. today, does that have any impact on what the
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senate debate is about? caller: in a number of different ways. democrats have been talking increasingly in recent days about trawling -- trying to draw a link between health care and the economy, making the case that you need to have this health care bill, a particularly right now when people are struggling. republicans in the meantime are making the case that the government does not need to be passing another trillion dollar bill when there are people suffering. both sides are trying to use the issue to their advantage. the broader issue is that there are certain benefits that will expire before the end of the year, such as unemployment insurance, food stamp benefits, the need to be dealt with.
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if the senate is consumed with the health-care debate, those other issues will not reach the floor. host: >> as we get better and better at what we do, we run an ever increasing risk of overconfidence and arrogance. >> he is our guest sunday night on c-span's q&a. >> american icons, three original documentaries from c- span are now available on dvd. it is a unique journey. see the exquisite detail of the supreme court through the eyes of the justices. go beyond the velvet ropes of public tours into the rarely seen spaces in the white house.
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and explore the history, art, and architecture of the capital, one of america's more symbolic structures. the dvd said is $24.95 plus shipping and handling. order online. >> we have testimony from defense secretary robert gates. the three officials appeared at several afghanistan hearings after the president's tuesday night announcement. this one is held by the senate foreign relations committee. it is about three hours. xd
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>> the meeting will come to order. thank you for joining us and giving us more detail about the president's plan. it is a decision of the enormous consequences for our soldiers, our security, and our country. this is a decision that the president of the united states has made, but, ultimately, all of us share responsibility for its consequences. given the complexities of our challenge and the sears needs of the challenges ahead, -- and the seriousness of the challenges ahead, i believe the president
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expressed important leadership by indicating the time he needed to make this decision even as political pressure mounted in different directions. the administration has a analyze the realities and considered a path forward. i believe that the president appropriately narrowed the condition in afghanistan. what he presented to the american people is not a nation- wide counterinsurgency campaign, nor should it be. the president is right and framing the context of our responsibility. over the last days, i have heard a number of people say that we are in afghanistan today because that is the place from which we were attacked.
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frankly, eight years later, that is simply not good enough. we have largely expelled al qaeda from afghanistan. today, it is the presence of al qaeda in pakistan, its direct ties to and support from the taliban in pakistan, and a nuclear-arms pakistan that drives our mission. .
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in fact, the conditions that permit the reduction in american troops in afghanistan are a benefit to pakistan. the president was correct to define success in terms of our ability to empower and transfer responsibility to afghans as rapidly as possible. while simultaneously in achieving -- achieving level of stability [unintelligible] as i have said before to each extra family that is asked to send a family member into harm's way, at the deployment of a single additional soldier makes all the difference. a public debate that reduces the
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complex mission to a headline that says all of the service. what will matter most on the ground in afghanistan is not the number of troops but what they will do and how they are integrated into a broader civilian and military strategy. i returned from afghanistan in october with serious concerns that even if additional troops are able to clear the enemy and hold the area, even in limited areas where we will operate, unless we were able to build and transfer leadership to local afghans, unless the governance and development pieces are in place, we risk squandering the gainst time and time again. right now, our military will tell us that in many places, that tripartite capacity is not there. there are three principal conditions that i still believe must guide the tasking of additional troops.
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first, are there reliable afghan forces to partner with american troops and eventually take over responsibility for security? the president has recognized the prickle importance of speeding up -- critical importance of speeding up training and mentoring. i will look forward to hearing your plans to increase training capacity and move security forces into the center of the fight. second, or their local afghan leaders with whom we can partner? we have to identify and cooperate with provincial leaders who command the authority to help deliver services and restore afghans' fate in their government. third, is the civilian side ready to follow with development aid that brings tangible benefits to the local population? the president has outlined a surge in civilian personnel which will be crucial to locking in any of our military gains in bringing stability to afghanistan. i know you have been working on
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that task, secretary clinton and we look forward to exploring it today. just as the exit strategy is based on the conditions on the ground, so too should our strategy for any escalation be based on conditions on the ground. i continue to believe that absent an urgent security we should not send troops in to clear places unless we're confident we have the afghan partners and resources in place to build on those victories and transfer security and government function to legitimate afghan leaders. i remain concerned that additional troops will tempt us beyond a narrow and focused mission and with 30,000 troops rushing into the afghanistan, i believe we will be challenged to have the evidence in place quickly enough to translate their sacrifice into lasting gains. through conversations with the president and vice president and the president's speech, i've been assured that the administration recognizes the
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need to meet these conditions. how we answer these challenges will go a long way toward determining our overall prospects for success. we're eager to hear in detail how we can do better than we have done on each of these components. everyone understands president karzai's efforts to follow through will be critical to the outcome. some are trying to make much of the president's target deadline. i think we learned in iraq that when our policy is to be in another country with troops for as long as it takes, our hosts are good at setting as long as they want. the president is correct to set a target. it will help create a sense of urgency and for the afghans to chafe at foreign boots on their soil it sends a message that while america will remain
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committed, we are not interested in a permanent occupation. we can agree that the next 18 months are crucial to reversing momentum and laying the groundwork for an unstable afghanistan. one where the police and army can play a greater role in serving their citizens whose government focuses on reclaiming legitimacy with the afghan people. where we have intelligence in place to engage in the missions that for years ahead we will need to be able to engage in. we should recognize that americans fundamentally share this challenge. the senate voted unanimously to go to war in afghanistan. it should humble all of us that today, there are simply no easy options. we have no choice but to grapple with complexities and reach the conclusion that best serves the american people and work in partnership with other branches of government and that is how a
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democracy fights a war. the president's speech offered a vision of the path forward but a great many questions remain. including how, beyond adding more resources, the u.s. and afghan civilians strategy will improve what balance we will start between securing population centers and venturing in the afghan countryside, how we intend to finance this increased commitment, and how we intend to improve our partnership with pakistan? we look forward to the conversation this morning. the presence of all three of you underscores the success in different programs.
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as we consider our course in afghanistan we should evaluate options according to how well they contribute to the u.s. national security. the ultimate purpose, committing tens of thousands of new troops and tens of billions of additional dollars to the war effort in afghanistan must be to enhance united states security and our vital national interests in the region. this may seem to be an obvious point. but during long wars, specific tactical objectives can become ends in themselves. disconnected from the broader strategic context or an accounting of finite resources. pursuing al qaeda, or the taliban, and improving governance and economic and opportunity in afghanistan are important. when our country commits the level of forces contemplated by the president to a sustained war, the objective must be absolutely fundamental to the
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u.s. security. this is especially true at a time when our armed forces have been strained by years of high deployment rates, our capacity for new government debt is limited, and our nation has not emerged from a severe recession. the president made the case on tuesday that what happens in afghanistan can directly impact the safety of americans. i believe that most americans accept this point based on the reality that the 911 attacks were conceived in afghanistan and the taliban forces who protected al qaeda are likely to become more research and if we leave. much more discussion is warranted on whether the afghanistan mission is so central to our core national security. it necessitates a huge spending increases and the deployment of a large portion of our finite combat capability.
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we have to ask whether the cost of this deployment are justified in our overall national security context and whether we are mistakenly concentrating our forces to fight a terrorist enemy in a specific location. even as the global terrorist threat is becoming increasingly diffuse. terrorist cells and are associated with or sympathetic to al qaeda exist in numerous countries. in africa and the middle east. terrorist attacks were perpetrated in europe by homegrown cells. killing taliban fighters and training afghan soldiers and policemen are likely to substantially diminish days broader terrorist threats. the results of even the most skillful civil military campaign in afghanistan are likely to be imperfect in the long run.
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i do not doubt the application of additional united states allied forces will result in a military setback for the taliban. during this time, it is hoped that progress can be made in building afghani security forces. over the long run, we should recognize the problems stemming from tribalism, corrupt governments, and like of economic opportunity are almost certain to persist. complicating efforts to ensure the central government can effectively govern the country. and resist the taliban when allied troops are withdrawn. even if the plan achieves the best sterilization scenario, allowing for u.s. withdrawals on the schedule he contemplates may be responsible for most of the afghans [unintelligible] and police budgets indefinitely in our budget.
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pfft is not clear how an expanded military effort addresses the problem of taliban and al qaeda safe havens across the border in pakistan. if the safe havens persist, any strategy in afghanistan will be substantially complete. specifically, will pakistan work with us to eliminate the leadership of osama bin laden? and other major of qaeda officials. as hearings have an underclass -- underscore the potential global impact of instability in a nuclear arms to pakistan [unintelligible] the future direction of governance in pakistan will have consequences for non regulation efforts and global instability
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and relationships with india and china, the security of in the middle east and south asian regions. among other major issues. the president does not -- did not dwell on pakistan. perhaps because sensitivities in that country to american influences and intentions are delicate. the president and his team must justify their plan not only on the basis of how will affect afghanistan, but also on how it will impact our efforts to promote a stronger alliance with pakistan. that embraces bottle common objectives. having made these observations, i want to recognize the president has been confronted with extremely difficult choices in afghanistan and pakistan. he and his team have worked through the problem carefully and deliberately to reach their conclusions. there are no options available
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that are guaranteed to succeed. every conceivable horse from complete withdrawal to maintaining the status quo to the plan outlined by the president to an unrestrained and unlimited counterinsurgency campaign has its own set of risks and costs to the united states. the president deserves credit for accepting ownership of this difficult problem. as we go forward and for his advocacy expressed in a speech tuesday. congress and the american people now must evaluate whether this course has a reasonable chance to succeed. if success can be defined. and whether the objectives outlined are worth the expenditure of american and afghan lives and treasure. in this situation, the advocacy of the president and his national security team must be as broad minded and throw as his
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policy rivera appeared to be. within months, the president is likely to ask congress for additional funds related to afghanistan. in the meantime, the administration must be prepared to answer many difficult questions about his strategy as the american people study the potential consequences of the decision. why thank our distinguished witnesses for their leadership and very substantial leadership and i look forward to hearing their testimony today. >> let me say that senator dodd may have to leave at some point during your testimony because he has to chair the bernanke hearings today. that will be the reason he has to go. >> i could have brought him here. >> maybe he could have told us how we will pay for this. >> thank you for being here, madam secretary. mr. secretary, if you would
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follow the secretary of state and admiral michael mullen, we look forward to your testimony. >> thank you very much, chairman and ranking member liquor and the members of this committee. it is an honor for me to be here to testify before you and also, to continue the dialogue. both the chairman and the ranking members' statements were extraordinarily thoughtful and raise a lot of hard questions that we are grappling with and post the challenges that we have to meet, both the administration and congress together. i want to thank the committee for the constructive role that it has played in helping us to address the difficult issues raised in the region of the world that we're focused on today. when president obama addressed
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the cadets at west point, he said fourth half both the rationale and the difficult choices that his policy represents for. at the end of a very long and thoughtful process that consisted of 10 meetings with could president and his national security team and three times that many among rest of us without the president, the president concluded that among a range of very difficult decisions, this is the best way to protect our nation now and in the future. the extremists who have taken root in the border area of pakistan and afghanistan have attacked as before. they have attacked our allies. they're attempting to destabilize, if not overthrow, the pakistani government and take back enough control, if not the entire country of
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afghanistan. we believe that if we allow afghanistan to become a failed state, if we allow the extremists to have the same safe havens that they used before 2001, they will have a greater capacity to regroup and attack again, and also to continue to provide the leadership the operational and logistical support that they currently to global extremism. we believe they could drag an entire region into chaos and we know that based on reports from our military and civilian leadership, the situation in afghanistan is serious and worsening. i know we do not want to go back in history and anchor our decision on what happened on
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september 11, 2001. i think it does have to be part of the national debate. the damage done with those attacks against our economic and military power centers was also an attack on my constituents. at that time i had the honor of serving as senator from new york. i witnessed the tragic consequences to the lives of thousands of innocent families, the damage done to the economy, and the damage to our sense of security. i feel a personal responsibility to help protect their nature -- nation from such violence, and i entered into the consultations we have been engaged in. with that as my overriding off goal, but without any preconceived notion of exactly the best way to meet that goal. the case for action against al qaeda and its allies has always been clear.
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the u.s. course of action has not. the fog of another war obscured our focus and while our attention was focused elsewhere, the taliban regained momentum in afghanistan and the extremist threat grew in pakistan. a country with 175 million people and a nuclear arsenal and more than its share of challenges. it was against this backdrop the president called for this careful review of our strategy. our objectives are clear. we will work with the afghan and pakistani governments to eliminate safe havens for those plotting against us, our allies, and our interest rate will work to find reliable partners in the region to help stabilize its which we think is fundamental to our national security. we will develop a long-term sustainable relationship with afghanistan and pakistan so that we do not repeat the mistakes of
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the past. primarily our abandonment of that region. the duration of our military presence will be limited but there are civilian commitment must continue even as our troops begin coming home. accomplishing this mission and insuring the safety of the american people is not easy. it does mean sending more civilians, troops, and assistance to afghanistan and significantly expanding our civilian efforts in pakistan, which we have begun to do under the leadership of the chairman and ranking member of this committee. we will be asking the young men and women who serve in the military but are part of the civilian service team to be taking great risks and facing extraordinary sacrifices. i want to assure the committee that we will do everything we can to ensure that their sacrifices make our nation safer. the situation in afghanistan and
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pakistan is serious, but it is not as negative as frequently portrayed in public. the beginning of president karzai's second term has opened up window of opportunity. we have concerns about corrupt officials influence in the government and we will redouble our efforts to pursue them. in his speech last month, i witnessed president karzai call for a compact with the afghan people and international community. he pledged to combat corruption and deliver. his words were long in coming but they were welcome. they now must be matched with action. the afghan people, the u.s., and the international community must hold the afghan government accountable. we will help by working with our afton partners to strengthen institutions at every level. the president has outlined a timeframe for transition to afghan responsibility. as he said in his speech, the additional troops will allow us
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to accelerate our handing over of responsibility to afghan forces as we begin to transfer our forces out of afghanistan in july 2011. just as we have done in iraq, will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground. this is not a cliff. this is a transition. the time frame for the transition provides a sense of urgency i am working with the afghan government. it should be clear to everyone that unlike the past, the u.s. and our allies will have an enduring commitment to afghanistan. our results in this light is reflected in the commitment of troops since the president took office and in a significant civilian commitment that will continue after our forces begin to leave. our civilian effort is already bearing fruit. civilian experts and advisers are helping to craft a policy inside government ministries. we are engaged in a process of
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certifying this ministries we feel confident in providing funding for and we will not provide it if we cannot certify them. when our marines went in this july, we had civilians on the ground with them to coordinate assistance the next day. as our operations progress, our court nation is growing stronger. we're on the track to triple the number of civilian positions in afghanistan to 974. when we started, tehrhere were 320. a lot of them did not spend 30 to 60 days in afghanistan. we have revamped how we are providing civilian assistance and we believe we are beginning to make a difference. each of these civilians leverage 10 partners from locally employed staff to experts with u.s. funded ngos.
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what we're finding most interestingly is the leverage expertise within the military. when you put an agricultural expert embedded in a battalion and along with the commanding officer of the battalion, they go looking for soldiers with ranching and farming experience, we have a force multiplier. when i was in kabul meeting with their teams, those were the kind of stories i was told. the military who are responsible for the clearing phase of our military operations told me repeatedly how important the civilian presence was. as one said to me, i am happy to supply whatever support these valuable civilians need. we need more of them. this strategy will make that possible. not only do we believe we have the right people to achieve our objectives, we believe we have a sound strategy. will bill -- be delivering
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impact assistance and bolstering the core of the afghan economy. a number of my former colleagues have talked with me in the last months of about the importance of agriculture and how they tried to create jobs and reduce funding the taliban receives from poppy cultivation. drawing insurgents of the better filled -- battlefield from moving them from poppies to pomegranates. we will support an effort to open the door to those taliban who are willing to renounce al qaeda, abandoned violence, and wish to reintegrate into afghan society. we understand some of those who fight for the insurgency do not do so out of ideology or conviction, but due to a fortune in money. the average taliban fighter is -- receives two to three times the salary of the afghan officer
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or policeman. we seek to mitigate external interference and working to shift the calculus of neighboring countries. that leads me to pakistan. a strong, stable, democratic pakistan must be a key partner for the u.s. and an ally in the fight against violent extremism. we have seen progress as people in pakistan increasingly come to the view we share a common enemy. i heard that repeatedly during my recent visit. we have a long way to go. we will significantly expand support intended to help develop pakistan and its people, demonstrating a long-term commitment. i spent three days in pakistan last month and most commonly, i heard over and over, you left us before, will you do it again? you walked away, you left us holding the problem you helped to create. we want to send a clear message as the legislation does that we
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intend to be committed over the long term. we will not be facing these challenges alone. we have 42 other contributing countries. our allies have already made significant contributions. i will leave for brussels to began the process of securing additional commitments. ambassador holbrooke is their consulting with our allies. we have had an encouraging response in the conversations we have had and we're looking beyond the note to build the strongest global coalition. japan announced a $5 billion commitment to afghanistan. we think other governments are beginning to recognize this is a common fight against a common enemy. let me conclude where i began. we face a range of difficult choices. the president's plan represents the best way we now to protect our nation today and in the
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future. the task we face is as complex as any national security challenge in our lifetimes. we will not succeed if people view this effort as the responsibility of a single party, a single agency within our government, or a single country. we owe it to our troops and civilians who will face these dangers to come together as americans and come together with our allies and international partners to help accomplish this mission. i look forward to continuing to work with you to achieve that goal. thank you. >> thank you. secretary gates. >> wwwww >> as the president stated in
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march and reemphasize tuesday night, the goal of the u.s. in afghanistan and pakistan is to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al qaeda and prevent its return to both countries. the military effort to stabilize afghanistan is necessary to achieve this goal. defeating al qaeda and enhancing afghan security are mutually reinforcing missions. they cannot be un tethered from each other. -- untethered from each other. the success of the taliban would strengthen the message to the muslim world the violent extremists are on the winning side of history. the taliban and al qaeda have become symbiotic. each benefiting from the success and -- of the other. al qaeda leaders have stated
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this repeatedly. the lesson of the revival is the time and will are on their side. with the western defeat. they could regain their us drink and achieve a major strategic victory. as long as there leadership lives and can attract followers and funding. rolling back the taliban is now necessary even if not sufficient to the ultimate defeat. at the same time, one cannot separate the security situation from the stability of pakistan. a nuclear armed nation of 1 hedden 75 million people also targeted by islamic extremists freed giving extremists breathing room in pakistan led to the resurgence of the taliban. and to court needed, sophisticated attacks in afghanistan. this would put more pressure
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on the government under attack from groups operating in the border region. the pakistan taliban has become a real threat to pakistan's domestic peace and stability, carrying out without caid is help escalating bombing attacks throughout the country. the year in afghanistan would mean a taliban takeover of much if not most of afghanistan. the taliban ruled areas could in short order become a sanctuary for al qaeda as well as the staging area for research and militant groups on the offensive in pakistan. success in south and central asia by islamic extremists would beget success on other fronts. it would strengthen the al qaeda narrative, providing renewed opportunities for recruitment, fundraising, and more
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sophisticated operations. it is true that al qaeda and its followers can plot and executed tax from a variety of locations, from munich, to london, to denver. what makes the border area between afghanistan and pakistan uniquely different from any other location, including somalia and elsewhere is that this part of the world represents the epicenter of extremist jihadism. foreign muslims defeated one superpower and causing its collapse at home. for them to be seen to defeat this so remaining superpower would have consequences for this country and the world. some say this is similar to that, though -- domino theory that to muddied military escalation in vietnam. the difference is we have very real and recent history that shows what can happen in this part of the world when extremists have breathing space,
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a safe haven, and governments composite with and supportive of their mission. less than five years after the last soviet tank left afghanistan in 1993, islamic militants launched their first attack on the world trade center. we cannot afford to make a similar mistake. we hope to reverse momentum and reduce the strength while providing the time and space necessary for the afghans to develop enough security and government's capacity to stabilize their own country. the essence of our civil military plan is to clear, cold, build, and transfer. beginning to transfer security responsibility to the afghans in summer 2011 is achievable. july 2011 will be the beginning
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of a process, an inflection point of transition where afghan forces can begin to assume greater responsibility for security. the pace and character of that drawdown which districts and provinces are to under our and plan can be determined by conditions on the ground. it will be gradual but inexorable process. it will be similar to the gradual but steady conditions based drawdown that began to take place in iraq 14 months after the search began there. as with so many issues in the defense arena, the real challenge in afghanistan is finding the right balance. the prom to dispatch of 30,000 u.s. combat troops -- prompt dispatch of 30,000 combat troops sense a certain message that the president is resolved to our partners and our adversaries and afghanistan and pakistan. when this bill that is complete,
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total u.s. force levels in afghanistan will have more than doubled under president obama's orders. 100,000 troops. whether you agree with what we're doing, there should be no doubting that to this president's commitment -- doubting the president's commitment to the mission. we have to send a message that when all is said and done, the u.s. military is not going to be there to protect them tomorrow. they must step up to the plate and take responsibility for defending their country and do so with a sense of purpose and urgency. this is the balance we are trying to achieve and i believe the president's plan provides the resources and flexibility to do so. making this transition possible requires accelerating the development of a larger and more capable afghan army and police, through intensive partnering
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throughisa -- through isaf forces. tghhe u.s. will continue to support their development. we must not repeat the mistakes of 1989 when we abandoned the country only to see a descent into chaos and then into taliban hands. let me offer a couple closing thoughts. the president believes as i do that in the end, we cannot defeat al qaeda and its toxic ideology without improving in stabilizing the security situation in afghanistan. the president's decision offers the best possibility to change the momentum in afghanistan and alter the strategic equation in pakistan and central asia. all necessary to protect the u.s. and our allies and our vital interests treated, as always, the heaviest burden will fall on the men and women who
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volunteered to serve their country in uniform. i know they will be uppermost in our minds and our prayers as we take on this arduous but vitally important issue. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> thank you for your time today. i would like to express my appreciation for the work this committee has done to get the bill passed and it could be easily lost in these discussions that the bill is non-military aid which i think, having spent time in that part of the world, is critical. the other part is it is over an extended period of time. for too long, it has been year to year. the five-year commitment is significant. i want to ensure you in the
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debates we have had with respect to the strategy in this region that there was an enormous amount of time spent on pakistan and to your focus on this, that was a very critical part of the discussion as well. by and large, the principles agreed fund the need to have the long-term partnership approach with pakistan, even given the complexities there. the linkage between afghanistan and pakistan is almost absolute. at the outcome in afghanistan bears directly on pakistan's future and how they see their future. a stable, support of afghanistan will make a big difference in how pakistan sees its future. i support fully and without hesitation the president's decision and appreciate the
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opportunity to contribute to what i believe was a healthy and productive discussion. i have seen lots of internal debates on national security issues when i have been chairman. i can honestly say there is not one issue that was so thoroughly and thoughtfully considered as this one as it should be as secretary clinton said. this is the most complex national security issue that faces us. it is also in my belief directly tied to our vital national interest treated every military leader as well as those of the chiejoint chiefs was given voic. we have a strategy that matches us to the situation on the ground in afghanistan and resources matched more appropriately to that strategy. particularly with regard to reversing the insurgency's
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momentum, focusing immediately on 2010. given the stakes in afghanistan for our security, and our partners, the time we took was worth it. the largefrom a purely military perspective to our new approach does three critical things. by providing more discreet objectives, it offers better guidance to commanders on the ground about how to employ their forces. they will work to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al qaeda and prevent afghanistan from becoming a safe haven. it will still set drive to protect the afghan people who remain in the center of gravity. it will pursue major elements of the counterinsurgency campaign designed by general
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mcchrystal which, as we all know, involves some measure of active counter-terrorism operations. now, they will tailor this campaign and those operations by focusing on key population areas, by increasing pressure on al qaeda is leadership and working to degrade. taliban's influence. by streamlining and accelerating growth of confidence afghan national security forces. the strategy is about providing breathing space for the afghans to secure their country. it is about partnering and entering just as much, if not more so, then it is about fighting and combat. once we believed finishing the job meant to our cells. we know it cannot be done by anyone other than the afghans themselves. one-third of the u.s. troops in
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theater are partnered with afghan forces as we speak. i expect that number to rapidly grow over the next year. secondly but not insignificantly, this new strategy gives commanders on the ground the resources and the support they need to reverse the momentum of the taliban insurgency. and to accomplish these more limited objectives. i said before and i believe it today. this region is the epicenter of global islamic extremism. i acknowledge that there are federated terrorists glee. this is the epicenter. it is the place from which we were attacked on 911 as has been discussed. should we be hit again, it is the place from which i am convinced the planning, training, financing, and leadership will emanate. al qaeda may be the architect of such an attack but the taliban will be the bricklayers.
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though hardly a uniformed body, taliban groups have grown bolder and more sophisticated. i saw that a few months ago where forces attacked coalition outpost's using what i would call almost conventional small unit tactics. the their fighters are better organized and better equipped than they were just one year ago. that has been the case for the last three years. coalition forces experienced a record number -- level of violence over the last year, up 60% in 2009 when compared to 2008. enter burkle intimidation, the taliban has established shadow governments across the country, forcing the support of locals and challenging the authority of elected leaders and state institutions. we believe the insurgency has achieved a dominant influence in 11 of afghanistan's 34 district provinces. to say there is no serious threat in afghanistan, falling
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again to taliban hands ignores the audacity of the insurgency's most public statements. to argue that, should they have that power, the taliban would not at least tolerate the presence of al qaeda on afghan soil is to ignore the recent past and to ignore collision of these factions. the cost of failure is great. that is why the president's decision for the extended search of 30,000 additional troops is so foreign. it gets the most u.s. forces into the fight as quickly as possible. giving general mcchrystal everything he needs in 2010 to gain the initiative. it validates our adherence to a counterinsurgency approach and offers our troops in afghanistan the best possible chance to set the security conditions for the afghan people to see our commitment to their future, for the karzai
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government to know our strong desire to see his promised reforms and for the afghan taliban to understand it will not and cannot take back afghanistan. finally, for those beyond afghanistan who support the taliban, who would see the return of al qaeda to realize the futility of their perceived. this comes on top of the 21,000 troops the president ordered after taking office. it has made a huge difference in the southern helmand province. no amount of troops and no amount of time will ever be enough to completely achieve success in such a fight. they simply must be accompanied by good governance and healthy public administration. this, not troop numbers, is the area of my greatest concern. i look forward to working with the karzai government. we must have the support of the
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interagency and international communities as well. that brings me to my final point. the president's new strategy still recognizes the criticality of a broad based approach to regional provinces. it doeshe has called for a stror and more productive cooperation with neighboring pakistan which is under the threat from radical elements and who support remains vital to our ability to eliminate those safe havens. he has pledged and we in the military of a renewed emphasis on securing more civilian expertise, more contributions by other donations, and a realistic plan to transition responsibilities to the afghans. his is a more balanced, more flexible, and more achievable strategy that we have had in the past. one based on pragmatism and real possibilities.
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speaking for the 2.2 million men and women who must execute this, and to come out with their families have borne the brunt of this dress and the strain of eight years of constant combat, i support the president's decision and appreciate his leadership. thank you. >> thank you very much. thank you, each of you for your comprehensive statements. they're very helpful. let me focus in on secretary gates, you talked about the nexus with respect to al qaeda taliban relationship and why afghanistan is important. last night i had dinner with a group of congressmen, a number of home either do not see the nexus or do not accept it. somehow they feel we can get by notwithstanding whatever nexus there is and it does not rise to the level, of building and
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senator lugar's opening statement where he talked about the question of being fixated on al qaeda and committing a certain number of troops that may be out of proportion to the level of threat. you both address this in your statements. there is a way that you do not always hear the escalation -- exclamation point. some feel the nexus is not sufficient. it brings security bubble to a three-year have to have 100,000 troops. what i want you to do is put the exclamation point on it. how do you convey through your experience and the stakes you are trying to protect what is at
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stake here so people understand why the president, who clearly at west point said he does not take this decision lightly. no one would to make this kind of commitment. in the simplest of terms, what is it that compels you to say al qaeda in pakistan remains [unintelligible] in afghanistan? >> i would say the situation today is more dangerous than it was one year or 18 months ago. because it is clear that just on the pakistani side of the border, that al qaeda is deeply involved with the tariqi taliban in pakistan and
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attempting to destabilize the government. and the al qaeda provides them with operational information and technical information and support. al-qaeda also is supportive of the terrorist group that is responsible for the bombings in mumbai. and al qaeda is providing them with targeting information and helping them in their plotting in india. clearly with the idea of provoking a conflict between india and pakistan that would destabilize pakistan. they also are very much involved with the afghan taliban. they are supporting all these different groups in ways that are destabilizing not just for afghanistan, but for the entire
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region. al qaeda is at the heart of it. whether or not the terrorists are homegrown, when we trace their roots, the almost all and up in this border area of afghanistan and pakistan, whether they are from the u.s. or somalia or the united kingdom or elsewhere. what we see is al qaeda, despite their being under pressure and despite their limited numbers and despite the fact there were few of them in afghanistan right now, they are taking advantage of the situation in the region to play a destabilizing and dangerous road. what they have learned as i suggested is in an uncovered space, you have the opportunity to recover and reconstitute and reassert yourself which is what the taliban did in pakistan over three years.
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now they are in a position with -- where with their momentum they are challenging successfully significant numbers of modern armies. the point is that if given -- if parts of southern and eastern afghanistan once again come under the control of the taliban, that would be space in which a credit could reconstitute itself for a much as the taliban did in pakistan in recent years. and then expand their operations and capabilities to launch attacks against europe and the u.s. and all over the world. >> the following three points. we have come to see these organizations not as separate independent operators that occasionally cooperate with one
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another. but as part of a syndicate of terrorism. the level of operational cooperation, training, financing, has grown exponentially. at the head of the table like an old mafia kind of digram 6 al qaeda. al qaeda still has much greater access to the financing that comes from the gulf and is able then to support a lot of their taliban partners in their various undertakings. al qaeda as experience in recruiting foreign fighters has aided and abetted certain of the taliban operations inside pakistan and afghanistan. the pakistani military said they picked of foreign fighters in south waziristan and the continuing training of new recruits, people that go off to
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yemen or somalia or indeed, denver, has a global reach that is unmatched. secondly, the planning and brains of the operation with respect to plots against us remains of qaeda but increasingly, the taliban are the bricklayers. the recent arrests in our own country trace back to pakistan and trace back in the case of zazi back to an al qaeda originated training camp and training program. finally, and perhaps most chillingly, the fact that pakistan is a nuclear power raises the stakes enormously. there is no doubt in any of our
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minds that al qaeda seeks nuclear material, seeks access to nuclear weapons, the challenges within the pakistani military that @ roll mullah can address because he has done yeoman's work working on building a better relationship, we walked away from the pakistan military. we were sanctioned. we could not cooperate with them. there is a gap between the leadership of the pakistani military that trade or connected with the american or british or australian military, and the younger officers. there is a struggle going on for his influence, for -- for influence, the kind of the advantage that would give this and it of terror a terrific -- syndicate of terror a horrific
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advantage. >> i have certainly agreed with the nexus. these groups are coming together. secretary gates talked about the linkage between l.e.t. and al qaeda. that is an example of the collaboration that is going on with all these units. i was struck as i am sure you were in mumbai that the terrorist of would -- outfit could generate that kind of attack and bring two nation states closer to conflict. that is not an achievement lost on anyone that observed that. those knids of plot -- kinds
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of plots continue. seeking the material and weapons. it is extraordinarily dangerous and i recognize the price we pay in blood and treasure and the cost, that it costs our government specifically. these and my own view of this is without addressing this, the potential risks of something recurring on the order of what happened before is out there and the enormous costs that would be associated with that. this decision and investment now is absolutely critical. the terrorist central cells that are there on the border, this is their headquarters. there are other franchise cells but this is the most dangerous one. they all need to be addressed. this has a significantly more
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capable center of gravity because of all the organizations that are associated with al qaeda in this border area. >> i appreciate that. >> could i add one sentence, in terms of underscoring the central role of al qaeda in the afghan-pakistan border area? the reality is, al qaeda in the arab peninsula place high value on their affiliation with al qaeda and there is intelligence showing other terrorist groups that are in the application process to become affiliates of al qaeda. so the central mythology and central role of these people is still there. >> let me say that i think is going to be important in the next days to build this linkage and case of people have an understanding of the importance
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and it begs the question -- i will not ask it now. it begs the question of pakistan's cooperation and we can expect in these next month. -- these next month. congratulations on chelsea's engagement. my advice is hire a professional. >> are you available? . .
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this board of various is significantly different, admiral mullen, you pointed out again. and significantly different as a base for the greatest threats. secretary deeds, you just mentioned how they sort of feed into either spiritual /intellectual, whatever you want to call it. leadership is coming out of this situation. the problem that i want to ask of each of you to express is back we have heard you say we believe in a strong, stable democratic pakistan must be a
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key partner for the united states and allied against violent extremism -- and allied -- ally against violent extremism. that is correct, but a number of people have come before the board in previous discussions of this, and they have made comments such as this -- that the al qaeda in afghanistan is actually useful for pakistan. to at least influence is not controlled things over in afghanistan so that india would not have an influence. when the indians were here visiting with you recently, they've sort of expressed some feeling of this exclusion that came not only from pakistan, but pakistan's use of the taliban in afghanistan. recently, the three of you have been engaging in diplomacy with pakistan and collectively with the president and vice president, general jones and others, have convinced the
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pakistani military that they ought to do something about pakistani taliban, and maybe that is a change in their viewpoint. but we still get back to the point that we are talking about this border area, and it has two countries. on one side, we are going to place additional troops dealing with these 11 provinces in afghanistan. what is not clear is precisely what is going to happen in pakistan in this alliance of the u.s. and pakistan in this case. you would say for good reason. do not be naive. this is a very difficult situation. we have a long way to go. it is a growing relationship. we have been out on the countryside, visiting places the president of the country has not chosen to visit because he is
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out of there in the capital. it is a very tough business, but i suppose what i am asking today is -- and i agree with the chairman -- all the concentration on the number of troops, whatever is going to happen in the urban areas of the 11 provinces, but this is important. but what is crucial is whether any of the three of you or the three of you collectively or the president, the vice president, general jones, and what else in your team is going to be able to deal with the leadership in pakistan, whether it be the civil, military, or intelligence leadership, so as a matter of fact, they are prepared to face what we are all seeing is a problem. the border area, al qaeda, osama bin laden area. one wants to talk about osama bin laden. isn't this a major target? isn't this a reason why continued warfare is necessary? if it is so, we had better talk about it directly to pakistan,
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and this being a public hearing, the pakistanis are hearing that loud and clear. and they are going to have to respond. it is all well and good for us to say they have got to be stable over the long run. they have got nuclear-weapons. well, of course, they need to be stable. they understand that. they often have resented us talking about their nuclear weapons, quite apart from that we might protect them and our -- and the nuclear weapons in our own interests. what i would like to ask the three of you is progressing from the president's plan, that is not the end of the story. whether this plan works or not depends upon maybe personal diplomacy. and the ability of leadership in pakistan to come to very different significant conclusions from the past in terms of their welfare. how rapidly can this occur? in 12 months, 18 months, two years?
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in other words, it had better occur soon, or we are going to have the shifting of people back and forth across borders, even as we have a military success, as we will, in the provinces of afghanistan. would anyone want to respond? >> i will start, and i'm sure my colleagues would want to add to what i say. i share your sense of urgency, your analysis of the challenges that we confront, but i think we have to look very clear-eyed at where we're starting from. when i went through my round of confirmation hearings and then sort of introductory hearings in the house, that was back in january. i said at the time that it was hard to believe that the pakistani government was not going after the direct threats that it faces from within its own borders, and that caused a big outcry in pakistan, but i
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think is significant that we are sitting here today having seen two major military operations after the failure of some kind of accommodation and unsuccessful peace agreements were finally recognized. we are now making the case to our counterparts in pakistan, both in the civilian and military leadership, that the efforts they have made against the ttp are necessary but far from sufficient efforts to protect themselves. that this syndicate, this network of terrorism has to be addressed, that whatever the utility of any of these groups might have been in the past, they have more to into a form -- morphed into a form that poses a
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threat to the pakistani government, and this is an argument that i think takes time to make. it is certainly an argument each of us plus others have carried repeatedly and will continue to do so, but there is a great gulf of mistrust. secretary gates can speak very eloquently since he was involved in the 1980's in working with the pakistani government to put together the mujahadeen that led to the overthrow of the soviet union, but which the pakistanis feel like we then walked away from, helping them cope with, and they accommodated themselves. they went into a survival mode and maybe even saw some certain advantages flowing from those relationships and advantages that there were kind of making lemonade out of lemons in order to obtain. i think your analysis is right, but we are dealing with a sovereign country that has a
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very clear idea of who they think their overall enemy is, namely india, but who have slowly been convinced, because of what happened inside their own territory, that they have to take action, and i think that that will continue to lead to positive steps. >> senator feingold. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman. it is an honor to have this distinguished panel of witnesses here today. i am pleased that the president has set a goal for when we will begin reducing troop levels, however, i am disappointed that he has decided to escalate our military presence and did not give any goal or timeframe for when our massive military operation in afghanistan will actually end. i do not support the decision to prolong and expand a risky and unsustainable strategy in the region, and while i support ongoing civilian engagement in afghanistan and counter- terrorism efforts in the region, i cannot believe more american lives should be risks for a war
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that no longer serves our most pressing national security interests. we must promptly transition to a sustainable, targeted counter terrorism strategy for the region and the world, one that is as agile and global as the enemy we confront, al qaeda. rather than focusing so much of our attention and resources in afghanistan, i think we need a comprehensive global strategy that divides al qaeda from populations that have principal local abilities. the need to improve our intelligence capabilities, build partnerships with legitimate local partners, and if appropriate, utilize targeted tactical operations. mr. gates, you have argued that we have -- we must continue to pour more resources into afghanistan, or it will be perceived as a victory by al qaeda. i have to say, i am somewhat less concerned about the perception of victory and more focused on the actual the feeding of al qaeda for real.
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i think the best way to do that is to recognize that we are dealing, as you have recognized, with a global entity with a very limited presence in afghanistan. al qaeda [applause] stated objective is to bankrupt united states. i guess my first question is do you at least acknowledge that investing over $100 billion in just one country in one year alone risks degrading our long- term ability to relentlessly pursue al qaeda around the globe? -- al qaeda's stated objective is to bankrupt the united states. >> first of all, just for clarity, the cost the we're looking at for fiscal year 2010, for both the war in iraq and afghanistan, will be about $20 billion less than we spent in 2008. i realize that a small comfort, given how much we spend in 2008, but i go back to the
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chairman [applause] comment -- the chairman's comment. what are the consequences? what are the costs of tolidine being able to control space in afghanistan and on the pakistani side of the border that gives al qaeda the ability to reconstitute itself and perhaps provoke a war between india and pakistan or get access to nuclear weapons in pakistan -- >> i understand that is your view of not doing something. my question is once we spend as $100 billion, what are the consequences for our resources in all the other places that we're talking about? >> i think that we have, frankly, adequately resourced the effort to go after terrorism on a global basis. we certainly have had successful operations, some of which have been in the newspapers, but --
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and we are devoting a lot of effort and resources from the congress to the kind of partnering that you have described in terms of trying to root out the terrorist organizations. i will tell you, having come back to government after being gone for 13 of 14 years, the improvement in the quality of our intelligence in terms of being able to go after terrorists and in the depth of our intelligence liaison relationships with other countries is a world apart from what i saw in 1993 when the rig -- when i retired, so i think we have made good investments, and these investments continue in terms of going after the global threat, but it is important to recognize where the whole nest is and to deal with that as well. >> i appreciate that, and i realize we're at it -- i appreciate it radically resources other regions around
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world. i would not give specifics, but it is something we can discuss. general mcchrystal stated that even a properly resourced military strategy would still leave large swaths of afghanistan outside government control. even as we have increased levels of troops in the south, attacks have grown more deadly in the north. order the chances increase in troop levels will only push militants into different regions. >> the principal threat is, i think, will continue to remain in the south and east. we recognize in the north over the last year or so that it has gotten more difficult, but general mcchrystal is confident that the spread, if you will, there and also to some degree to the west, although not really significant at this point, can be handled by our nato forces, and in fact, the nato forces
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that we have expectations for receiving additional nato forces -- commitments in the near future to address that. his main effort is in the south. that really is where he will focus most of his troops, supported by his efforts in the east, and that really gets to the most critical areas from may pashtun standpoint, from a border standpoint, and the intent of this strategy, and his, certainly to support, is not to do counterinsurgency all of the country -- we do not see it going to a point at this point where it would turn into something equal to the kind of threat that we have in the south and in the east up north. >> admiral, several witnesses testified before this committee that the majority of people currently fighting in afghanistan do not have any international terrorist agenda but rather tend to coalesce against what is perceived as an outsider. one former cia station chief in
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islamabad has testified that we send 40,000 additional troops to afghanistan, it would only produce 40,000 additional militants. ashley, i would like both you and secretary clinton to answer this. is there a danger that our current strategy has provoked greater militancy and has therefore made it harder for us to isolate members of al qaeda? -- actually, i like both you and secretary clinton into this. >> we know we are not an occupying force. obviously, our actions need to support our intent with respect to that, which is very clear, but the afghans that we engage with a much more concerned with what we do with our forces as opposed to how many they are. mcchrystal has shifted the focus to secure them. population security for them. that is what they need more than anything else right now. while i recognize that, particularly because of history, we have not seen that extensively, nor have we seen an
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extensive generation of additional militants, although that is a concern, and we are looking to get as many of them off the battlefield in this new strategy as possible as well by reconciliation, reintegration, etc. but that has got to happen through better security. >> senator, i would just add three points. one, general mcchrystal significantly changed the way that our military forces conduct themselves with respect to the civilian population. he significantly tightened the rules for air support for any kind of combat. in order to limit the number of civilian casualties. and he also issued orders concerning nighttime raids, particularly with use of dogs. and i was in afghanistan, i had a number of people tell us that
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made a huge difference. secondly, in every reliable research that i have access to, there is no appetite for the return of the taliban whatsoever. what we have seen an increase in over the last several years has been more hedging, that people are understandably nervous about what is the outcome, and whose side should they and their families and upon, but there is no appetite for the return of the taliban, and we do not see what is a legitimate concern, but keep in mind the potential reaction that would lead to increased insurgents. we also know that a lot of the people who are in the taliban do not share the overall goal. the core group that had to afghan taliban and is closely
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allied with al qaeda has more -- morphed not just into nationalistic islamic group, but now buying into this caliphate idea. therefore, a lot of the people who have been conscripted in effect into service on behalf of the taliban have no real allegiance. so part of the challenge here, and it is something that we are working on with president karzai -- obviously, we have a whole team embedded in nato isaf retired british journal, who had played a major role in iraq with the sons of iraq and the awakening, is to begin to do a much more thoughtful job to separate out -- i mean, the taliban are home grown into deep. the students, they rose up in part against the oppression of
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the soviet regime, the chaos of the warlords in europe, and a desire to have an islamist state, and impose sharia order, etc., so we know there is an opportunity for those who renounce outside of violence, etc., to be reintegrated and play a part in the political system. we may not like their political agenda -- i will just put that on the table. we would not be particularly enthusiastic about a non-mile and a peaceful taliban political movement that legitimately played with in a democracy, but there is that possibility that i think we have to recognize -- non-violent. >> i just want to say thank you for a thoughtful answer. i'm sure you would agree that we want to potentially minimize the feelings of the afghan people for extended presence there.
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i know you are aware that, but be so careful not to minimize the importance of that. >> thank you, and thank each of you for your service. i very much respect the positions that each of you hold and realize that there are no easy answers. i know this has been very complex, and i know it is very agonizing to come before panels like this when you are part of the administration. i do hope -- and i see the chairman has left, but since this is so pakistan-centric, i hope that an patterson -- i know she is here -- will be made available and we will have hearings with her and others involved. my understanding is we are trying to set up mcchrystal and i can bury this next week. is that correct? >> that is correct, and we would certainly make any witness available. we might want to suggest that you plan a short, a public hearing and a longer classified
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hearing. i think that would be very useful to get out a lot of the issues that both senator luger and chairman kerry have raised. >> didn't have a classified briefing with the station chief in pakistan, and i think that will be very beneficial, but you can make this decision. i hope we can at least have a public hearing with patterson, who is an outstanding ambassador and certainly knows what is happening in the area. you cannot help but be in afghanistan and know that part of what is driving what we're doing there is just the, the fact that we're there, and we are loath to leave before success, whatever that means. and the fact that we are trying to prove to pakistan and afghanistan's citizens that we are real friends. my point is that much of what you said, no doubt, is true, but there is an underlying current
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that creates an inertia, i think, for us to be there, and i know a lot of comments have been made about the fact that it is very clear what we're doing now. then maybe we were not clear in the past, and so there is no doubt will not clear in the past. i have average intelligence, and i think it is still pretty unclear to me what we're doing. i know last march, the president announced a more narrow mission, supposedly. it was evident to me that it was anything but. on september 22, general jones came in and showed us the metrics used to measure what is happening. i do not mean to be pejorative, but it was evident that we were nation-building in afghanistan. the metrics there much layout and nation-building in afghanistan. richard holbrooke as a whole team of people that would call it a rebuilding a nation because he goes back in history
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to the times when afghanistan was more of a functioning country, but my point is there's no question that the metrics laid out in september were nation-building. i met with secretary gates, who might respect, at the pentagon, and we talked about a partial nation-building, and now, we talk about coming home in 18 months with our troops -- i realize civilians will stay at that point in time, and i realize the coming home part based on testimony yesterday was really just throw it, to sort of a peace people -- throwaway comment to sort of a people who are nervous about the buildup. to me, it is not clear, and i think the american people, -- the civilian side in particular is going to be for decades -- the whole budget in a guinness and today is about $90 million. security troops we're talking about are about $10 billion a year. i wonder whether it would make
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sense to really lay of clearly what all of this means, that from the standpoint of support for the next several decades, the amount of civilian activity, and just from the standpoint of security, what we really anticipate doing overtime. i know in 18 months, the buildup security-wise is going to be less than 400,000, but i know over time, at least unless it has changed again, that has been our goal between afghan police and army. i would say to you that it has been very unclear, and it has been like a sine wave over the last nine months as to what we are actually doing. i would love some edification. >> senator corker, i will do my best, and perhaps i could bring in some reinforcements on either side of me. first, let me just provide the context the best i can. in our view, looking back, we
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never adequately resourced the mission in afghanistan. that is just a fact. i think this committee's work in reports certainly give a lot of credence and support to that view. there were basically 30,000 troops for a number of years with an additional, you know, 30,000, 40,000 nato troops, and we did not really have the kind of commitment that we were needing. we also transferred a lot of the assets that should have been used to support the troops we had in afghanistan to iraq. that is just the fact as well. when the president took office, there were backed up requests for additional troops that had been in the pipeline, and i personally know several of the people who were commanders on the ground in afghanistan going back to 2000. there were always additional troop requests, which, because
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of the move toward iraq, were never given what was requested. so that as part of the history. there was a pending troop request that the bush administration and secretary gates can speak to, that was looked on favorably as they were going at the door. 17,000 troops. and then request the lead of president obama of 21,000. so right out of the bat, the president is given what is a 38,000 troop request, and he orders a very quick study at a very experienced intelligence professional headed up along with richard holbrooke and michele corridor from the defense department. as the president said when he made the announcement back in march, we are going to go forward with these troops. they have been pending.
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there seems to be an argument for them. our goal is to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat at tight. we are changing commanders, something that is rare, but we are going to look at this again as soon as the election is over because the election season in afghanistan was taking hold. that is exactly what we have done. unfortunately, the elections last a very long time, and so thanks to the chairman, we finally began to bring it to a conclusion. so i do not blame you, and i do not blame anybody for wondering where we are because of the history we inherited and our effort to finally make sense and rationalize what is happening in to put into an integrated civilian military strategy. one of the first things as it was i am confused. you talked about how and mr. lewis appears to be doing countries also want to 2005.
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it was the war on terror. then, suddenly, started hearing people in the government saying we did not need to kill some of the modern, and it did not know what that meant, so there have been some confusion, and this administration has been trying to sort through it, and we think we have got it about as right as you can get. there is no doubt that putting these additional troops in in our mind is necessary to reverse the momentum of the taliban to demonstrate clearly to both the afghans and pakistanis that we are serious about our resolve to work with them to try to stabilize their countries, improve their security situation, and that we know it cannot be just a military undertaking, and that is why we are emphasizing the civilian side of it. ultimately, senator, we are going to have to maintain civilian support for afghanistan and pakistan going forward. civilian support for afghanistan and pakistan going forward.


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