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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  November 29, 2010 8:00pm-11:00pm EST

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having contacts. a very successful frur who -- entrepreneur who started working in a coal mine at the age of 15, who was a very successful industry executive, made a comment to me when i first got elected to congress. he wished that no person could run a federal agency or serve in the house or the senate unless they've created one job. so that they would know what it was like to deal with the consequences of regulation. and we come back and qualify this. the overall intent of the founding of some of these agencies was a very good thing. but let's step away from the e.p.a. for a moment, we'll come back there in one second, but move over to education. educati. we have some outstanding schools, blue-ribbon schools in our region and their performance, their increases in performance are not due to the mandates inside of the no child left behind bill. in fact, i brought the secretary of education from the bush
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administration, drr spelling, to kentucky in 2008 and took nine months to get her there, because i wanted her to see as an educator, i'm the husband of a teacherer and father of a current school teacher that the success is not a regulatory mandate but coming back to that context on the front line. in this case, i took her to one urban school and rural school who were at the top of the state. it was re-establishing parental visitation and teachers into the community, packing food backpacks for the weekend to make sure kids -- i appreciate what teachers did for me at that time. and we get down to the numbers. if we look at the impact of some of these regulations when you have an adequate performing or
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exceptionally well performing school system and impose on that a mandate that requires a huge amount of paperwork and consumes hours of time, it detracts from the classroom and the intent of the law, the intent is good, but the implementation is awful because 40% of funding on an unfunded mandate and the average funding in kentucky runs between 9% to 13% of that 40%, it's a tax by regulation on an issue that should be controlled by the states and local communities. i will give you another case in our district of a very successful young man from lewis county, kentucky. he ran and got elected county judge/executive in lewis county. tom massey.
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stellar student, went to m.i.t. and got a graduate degree and invented some technology and very successful in business and came back home to invest in his county, not montearlly about to make a difference. not only in texas and kentucky. we help to run our states. it is part of the engine of this nation to help lay that foundation in the base of the economy. tom came up with a brilliant idea that didn't involve coal, oil or nuclear power and let the market work but he came up with an idea that would leverage the resources in lewis county, because it has the longest stretch of the river. we have massive hills. and this m.i.t.-trained engineer took a pump and seen some
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examples done in other parts of the world and we had the ohio river flowing on the front of this. and all it would take is channeling water pumping it up to the rake and creating a system that would meet the needs for that county area in addition to the current base. it would create jobs and provide low cost utilities so working families, elderly and the poor would have access to electricity. it would be cheap and incentives for businesses and manufacturing to come into the area. we could do it through the river basins of our nation. he found something else. his brilliant idea that would have saved jobs and created jobs, he found out if they take water out of the ohio river, which i must say is not one of the more clean rivers in the country, the water, it would be
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considered dirty by our standards. but if he takes water out of the river, overflow from rain and want to put it back in, the project was killed. it has to be cleaner than the cleaning drinking water. one of the issues with extreme mitigation and slurry runoff, which is a problem, but the operators who want to comply and most do and they create jobs and create jobs that have an impact not only in kentucky, in my part of the world, they support jobs in new york, new jersey and pennsylvania because that electricity goes to other parts of the country and creates the same standpoint if the operator wants to clean part of the creek, the standard is for water that is cleaner than the water that creates an impossible
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situation, a double buy-in for anybody who wants to do business. let's step back. regulations like that need to be brought into context and the place is here. i appreciate you investing the time and bring this issue before the american people. the one saying that i have heard over and over through our election, we want to take back america. what's the taking back? we are restoring a constitutional balance that the representatives and senators of the people will be accountable for any decisions that are made by the executive branch and i appreciate the chance to participate in this debate and thank you for advocating so fiercely in this issue. mr. carter: we are going to be talking about this a lot this year because i think it matters to the american people and i encourage them to contact -- regulations are part of their
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life that is driving them crazy. and we need to get to work getting the teeth put -- the teeth put in the previous act so we can actually get this accomplished and start policing up these intrusive regulations that are costing us jobs. when our job here today is and every day is to create jobs and not cost jobs. i think it's time for me to call it a night tonight. we will reign this thing in and i thank you for joining me tonight and we will visit some more. yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the
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chair recognizes the gentleman from iowa, mr. king, for 60 minutes. mr. king: madam speaker, it's my privileged to reck be recognize dollars here on the floor of the house of representatives and take up the issues that are on my mind and the issues that i hope are on the minds of the american people, the minds of the people who are the elected leaders here in the united states congress and hopefully on the minds of those of us who see that the american taxpayer dollar is a dollar that should be invested wisely and responsibly. and any number of issues that can be brought up underneath that particular parameter, but i choose to come to the floor tonight to talk to you about the
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situation of pigford farm. pigford farm is an issue that emerged here in the united states government around about and exactly on -- again i say 1983. 1983 when the united states department of agriculture civil rights office was closed. at that period of time, there wasn't then an oversight department within the usda that might have looked over its employees to see if they were treating everybody with equal opportunity under the law. every american citizen deserves equal opportunity under the law. it's part of the 14th amendment. we take an oath to uphold the constitution, equal protection under the law and provide for equal opportunity, not necessarily equality for result,
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but equality of opportunity. and so i suspect that focus under the usda diminished somewhat or didn't have a check on it from 1983 on. but with the pigford farms issue and this is the largest civil rights class action lawsuit in the history of america, pigford farm and it looms over the heads of the members of congress here to be not what it was just a few years ago, $1.05 billion, not what it was when the farm bill passed here on the floor of the house under the chairmanship of the chairman and $100 million, which was designed to be the sum total that would be required to sweep up any remnants of pigford farms
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>> reared its ugly farms to pigford farms. pigford one emerged because i believe there was discrimination taking place within some of our offices particularly around the south where segregation and prevailed beyond the end of legal segregation that we have. and some of the offices manifested in the form of offices of the personnel, but that discrimination that then perhaps and i think likely and i believe did carry on true some of those years ue the 1980's, but this case deals with the 1980's, and 1990's. pigford farms, the chronology of it goes this way.
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1983, the united states department of agriculture civil rights office was closed. 1993, the -- 1994, and this would be under president clinton's sfration with dan glickman as secretary of agriculture, commissioned a firm to analyze the treatment of minority men and women in farm agencies throughout the united states. the study examined the conditions from 1990 through 1995 and looked at crop payments and disaster payment programs that it loaned. from 1990 to 1995, minority participation and farm service administration programs was very low and that minorities receive less than their fair sare of money for crop payments, disaster payments and loans. i'm always suspicious of their
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fair share. i know that the word fair comes up in law over and over again and comes up in many, many cases, precedent cases. if you read through case law, you will hear fair. you will hear the word fair debated on the floor of the house of representatives over and over again. didn't receive their fair share, i always cringe because we are a body that should be dealing with fact and i am empirical data and judgment should be on the facts, not judgment of the facts. but the word fair, always in the mind and eyes of the person who utters that word fair and none of us can agree with what the word -- meaning of the word fair. but i have raised three sons and
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anybody who races two or more kids know there isn't a such thing as a fair ball, but this word fair that's a judgment call is a word that could mean anything. it could mean within the context what was fair in 1776 doesn't fit with what was fair in 1865, doesn't fit with what was fair in 1942 and now in 2010. it's subjective and not objective and i would like to get away from using the word fair. nonetheless, the data didn't support that african americans farmers were engaged in the farms to a similar extent as nonafrican american farmers. that was the report from 1994. two years later, december of 1996, the secretary of
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agriculture, dan glickman ordered a suspension of government foreclosureses all the way across the country pending the outcome in the united states department of agriculture's agency loan program and later announced the appointment of a task force. so under the reagan administration, usda civil rights office was closed. 1983, glickman in 1986, re-established a similar agency usda civil rights task force. and in february of that year that task force addressed 92 changes to address the racial bias that existed, i believe, and to the extent is negotiable or debatable, as part of the usda civil rights action plan. and while the action plan acknowledged past problems and offered solutions for the future improvement, it did not satisfy those seeking redress of past
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wrongs and compensation for lost suffer. that was move to alleviate the allegations of racial discrimination within the usda. dan glickman stepped forward and announced the formation of the civil rights task force. that press conference in december of 1996, madam speaker, was essentially the confession by the department of agriculture that they had engaged in racial discrimination with farm programs, crop payments, disaster payments and loans. and this started then the litigation that was at least anticipated at the time and this litigation began in 1997. so in february of -- february 28 of 1997 the civil rights task force of the usda recommended 92 changes and those changes were not implemented and so in 1997,
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the same year, the litigation against the u.s. department of agriculture for discrimation against african-american farmers began in august of 1997, two cases. one was brought by timothy pigford. the other one was brewington vs. glickman. it dealt with the farmers from 1983 until 1997 when they applied for federal financial help. by failing to investigate discrimination. the allegations of discrimination were not aggressively investigated and those who applied for financial help often didn't get it. but, madam speaker, i remember those years. i remember what they were like for white farmers in my neighborhood and i remember what they were like for me. and i did business with the farm service administration and some of those years that are included in this that i've noted and i would remind the body and
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yourself included, madam speaker, that we had a farm crisis toughout the 19le 80's. i remember what that was like. i can remember a booming economy in 1979 where we had more work than we could do. i was doing custom work on farms, terraces, dams, waterways, cleaning out cattle yards, shaping up, trying to improve upon what more nature gave us. and -- mother nature gave us. in 1979 we were already watching the consolidation of farms. we were watching family farms that were -- people were being pushed off their land. they were losing their farms. they were selling their farms. the bid was so high sometimes that they couldn't afford not to sell. other times they didn't have the equity to be able to stand in and refuse an offer and i lived right in the line between that good land that runs all flat all the way up to canada from where i live and starts running hilly all the way down through missouri into arkansas until you
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get down to louisiana before it flattens out. right there in that line. good land, good producers. to the north they had more money and equity in their land, it appreciated more because it produced more. and they could afford to buy that land from which are lived south in the hills and pay a pretty good price for it and fix it up. while that was going on, was the beginning of the downward spiral of the farm crisis. and there was farm family after farm family and i remember the people, i remember the families, i remember their kids, i remember them walking the long lane to get out and get on the bus. i remember the days that they moved to town and moved off to a city or to another state and the neighbors bought the farm and hired me or others to come in and burn the building and bury them and put it back to farmland. family after family after family. 1979, very, very busy. 1980 we were now down into the really meat of the farm crisis
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and that went on, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985. i, madam speaker, lived for 3 1/2 years with a knot in my gut, not knowing if we were going to be able to make it, not knowing if i was going to be able to feed the kids. on april 26, on friday afternoon at 3:00 in the afternoon the fdic and the iowa ohio patrol pulled into my bank and locked the doors on the bank and stood a can guard in front of the door with a red sticker on the door. bank closed by order of the fdic. there i was. i actually had two pennies in my pocket to rub together. two pennies only. a payroll to me with my crew, my accounts were frozen and so were the accounts of most of my customers. made a lot of farmers go out of the business throughout the whole decade of the 1980's,
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madam speaker. a lot of them were white farmers. a lot of them didn't have a recourse. a lot of them would have liked to have a loan from the usda. a lot of them would have liked to have had some program benefits. a lot of them would have liked to have had what they would have considered to be a more fair shake from the board of the farm service administration. there were very tough decisions made throughout the entire decade and i remember how difficult it was to be holding some assets, equipment, a little bit of land, and watching as my customers couldn't pay me, when they couldn't pay me it was awfully hard for me to pay the people that had provided credit for me and as the downward spiral of that, as you see land values going down, equipment values going down, the assets of accounts receiveble going down, looking for a way out, you can't get out of a downward spiral. i watched it crush good men. i watched people whose entire
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eyity -- identity was wrapped up in the farm that was homesteady by their ancestors. some could hold it and it ruined them. others couldn't hold it and they forever held the guilt of. that this farm crisis era of the 1980's is part of the bigford farm issue. it's not something that can be divorced from it. and so i'm convinced that there were many black farmers that lost their farms during the 198s to when the farm crisis was in a downward spiral. there were many black farms that are believed that they should have had a loan program or a commodity program, a disaster payment, that they didn't get. that they believed that they were discriminated against by the board of the farm service administration which by the way is elected by all the people that are participating in the farm programs in the account. i don't have any doubt -- county. i don't believe -- i don't have any doubt this believe they were discriminated against and all of them that didn't get the program they were asked for were discriminated in one way or another.
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but don't believe they were all discriminated against on the basis of their race, although some i believe were. that's the scenario of the farm crisis in the 1980's. that's the scenario by which the issue was raised in the civil rights class action was brought forward against the usda, that 1997 litigation that brought about the pigford vs. glickman case and the brewington vs. glickman case. it covered those years of 1983 until 1997. then in mid november of 1997 the government agreed to mediation and to explore a settlement in pigford. and the next tonight in december the parties agreed to stay the course for six months while mediation was pursued and settlement discussions took place. the usda had acknowledged past discrimination and the justice department opposed blanket remediation so they argued the case had to be investigated
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separately. i would agree with that from a legal standpoint. but a year later, a little less, october of 1998, the court issued a ruling that certified as a class black farmers who filed discrimination complaints against the usda for the period of time between 1983 and february 21 of 1997. and then in april of 1999 the court approved this consent decree. this is pigford. and they set forth a revised selement agreement of all claims raised by class members. they reviewed the claims and it begun almost immediately and the immediate dispersal of checks to qualifying farmers began. now, this is where some of the rest of the usda employees came in. to summarize this, madam speaker, it works like this. ronald reagan's administration shut down their usda civil rights office.
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and under bill clinton they started a similar entity back up again. 1994. two years later dan glickman the secretary of agriculture essentially confessed that the usda had been discriminating against black farmers and so he appointed a company to do an analysis of it and over time it devolved into the courts declaring that the black farmers that had filed the complaints were a class. a class that could be dealt with by the courts to try to get them some compensation. and so pigford one was born and it resulted in $1.05 billion being distributed, now, there was a couple hundred million dollars worth of administrative costs that i believe are in addition to that and not part of that accounting, but roughly $1.05 billion was distributed to farmers who -- let me say this,
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african-americans who filed claims. and in order to administer all these claims, this massive number, over 22,000 claims, it was required of the usda to expedite this to call from across the country their f.s.a. county directors, farm service administration county directors, to come to washington, d.c., to plow through these pileses of paperwork and so they did. and they came from many of the states and certainly they come from iowa. we are a farm state, after all. and as the f.s.a. directors and other personnel arrived here in washington, d.c., and began to dig down through this paperwork, working with a lot of it by certifying it as paperwork application and others face to face or over the telephone with the claim ants. here's what came back to me. one of those individuals, and i've had anecdotes from several, one of those individuals felt the burden of the corruption and
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the fraudulent claims that were coming forward in front of him that he copied a box of applications. a literal box of applications, which i'm really sure that would not have been very construct to have him maintaining his job with the usda. but it bothered his conscious so much that when he came back to iowa, he wanted to make it a point to make sure think a knew that these applications that he was dealing with where he believed a minimum of 75% fraudulent. 75% fraudulent. now, he just you a ply that to the $1.05 billion in claims that were paid out, if he's right in that number, $750 million were wasted paying people that didn't have it coming. $250 million or so went to those that did have a claim that had it coming. and these applications are quite interesting to read through them
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one after another. take the stack and read through them. and you'll see that there also were copies of complaints that were filed about fraudulent claims. and the fraudulent claims might be, well, johnny, yeah, he was raised on a farm but he wouldn't help his dad. he went off to the city and became a drug addict and when his dad needed the help, johnny wouldn't come and help his daddy. but now his daddy's died and johnny wants the $50,000 that comes from the usda under this claim. pigford one was set up to do this. to pay out claims to people who met -- i believe it's four criteria. i'll see if i can remember them. people that were black, people that farmed, or people who wanted to farm, those who believed they were discriminated against by the people within the f.s.a. office, farm service administration office, within the county, and those who also
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issued a complaint, filed a complaint and one of the criteria that's allowed which would mean if there was an individual that -- if you were black and you wanted to farm and you wanted to apply for a farm program and you believed that they would not treat you fairly because of your skin color and you complained about it to the proper authorities, that's all that's required. you didn't have to be a farmer. there actually wasn't a verification that you had to be black either but let's presume that's the case. so if you're an african-american and you didn't have to farm or ever farm or even know what a farm looked like, you just had to want to farm, you didn't have to know where the farm service administration office was, you just have to complain that they weren't going to treat you right and get somebody to sign an affidavit that says that, yep, joe complained about it to the
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farm service administration employee at a public meeting somewhere or a member of congress or a couple of other criteria there. and if joe and tom can agree to sign each other's affidavit, that's all the proof that's required. it's not proof of discrimination. it's an allegation that you believed you were discriminated against and what comes out of the usda? and pigford one is this. rive read through form after form of these, if you are black and farmed or wanted to farm and you believed you were discriminated against, you were willing to say so on the application, and you allege that you complained, even verbally, to an f.s.a. employee, a member of congress, a couple other criteria, and if somebody else will attest in an affidavit that you have actually filed that complaint, that's it. there's no check on whether they have been discriminated against.
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the consent decree doesn't allow for verification of discrimination. it just simply pays out what they consider to be a legitimate allege of discrimination this way. an allege of discrimination that meets those four criteria with someone hop signed the affidavit, $50,000 essentially automatic. $50,000 and because of the tax liability that comes with it, there is another $12,000 500, that check is cut to the i.r.s. so there isn't a tax liability and if you happen to be a farmer and you had engaged with the farm services administration and say you had program loans, a 100% debt forgiveness went along with the $50,000 payment. and another 25% of that, an
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additional 25% of the debt forgiveness was a checkals written to the i.r.s. so the tax liability would be gone. and the judge that -- who approved this consent decree wrote in his opinion that the average settlement would not be $50,000 but $187,500 because $50,000 check for the discrimination or alleged discrimination, $12,500 to the i.r.s. and the average that the judge concluded, the average debt with the usda was $100,000, that's forgiven with $25,000, 25% of the debt forgiveness. add those numbers, $187,000 500 for supposedly to be the average
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settlement in pigford one. this all out of the pockets of the taxpayers, all without a shred of proof -- well, i could you could say a shred of proof because the signature on the affidavit is the proof, that affidavit and the application is filled out by the staff of a lawyer. well, this door was opened up in a huge way. and the lawyers went to work that began to promote this across the south, black chumpts, town hall meetings, fish frys and promoted it as 40 acres and a mule. that seems appalling and sounds like it's a stretch, but in reading the judge's decision, it starts out with these words, and i quote, the very first words in
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the judge's decision, and i quote, 40 acres and a mule, close quote. 40 acres and a mule. and he goes on to lament all of the wrongs of slavery and segregation cannot be corrected in the largest civil rights class action suit and settlement in the history of america. but he sets about to try and that's how he comes with the $50,000 plus the tax component of it and $100,000 average debt waiver plus the $25,000 in i.r.s. tax liability. and addresses the issue of some of the groups in the black farmers wanting to have an exception from the inheritance tax, the estate tax, because they believed that money that would come from pigford would be a large enough sum that they wouldn't want to pay estate tax on that when they died and pass
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it onto the next generation. that would be part of the good judgment concluded that was too much to ask for. and so, pigford one was supposedly settled and resolved and before the house judiciary committee, there was a new bill introduced, pigford two, by bobby scott and others, and this would be the companion and not veer bait i am but introduced by then-senator barack obama. we have a very, very urban senator barack obama who has decided he is going to run for president, and what does he do? he introduces legislation to create a new claim. pigford one settled. why would there be an action of
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a court, why would there be a consent decree that was a handshake signed off by dan glickman and the black farmers organization, the clinton administration, why would they sign off on all of that, if it didn't end the pigford issue? yes, it was designed to end the claim and package it and move on, but it didn't work that way because barack obama -- there was a statute of limitations by the way. and that statute limitations from the opening up of pigford one until it closed, the consent decree was approved on april 14, 1999 and they had six months to file all of their claims, which would have settled that on october 12 of 1999. and there were over 22,000 that
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claimed they had been discriminated against and complained about it and got in line for the $50,000 plus the debt forgiveness and the tax liability being paid up front along with the rest. almost 22,500 claims. and there must have been some paperwork gliches along the way, 14,000 of those were paid out. and that's the $1 poiven 05 million. to pass the statute of limitations, the effort on behalf of barack obama and bobby scott, they introduced legislation to open up pigford again to disregard the statute of limitations and allow for a new signup period because they had accumulated some 74,000 new names oblack farmers who believed they were discriminated
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against shut out of that process on columbus day in 1999. well, the new name -- so we had hearings, in the house judiciary committee and the hearing went like this. john boyd, the president of the black farmers organization, which was forled to move forward and collect on pigford, testified under oath before the house judiciary committee that there are 18,000 black farmers. now if you are listening, madam speaker, you would have added up there are 94,000 claims. if you are listening madam speaker, 94,000, 22,000 plus 72,000, 94,000 claims. john boyd, the head of them, who has driven a tractor around washington, d.c. and filed his claims and made this a high
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priority public issue testified there were 18,000 black farmers. so how is it, even if one would concede the point and i do not, if one would concede the point that every black farmer was discriminated against, that would be 18,000 claims, not 94,000 claims. one could go back through the records and try to find the time we had the highest population of black farmers in modern record history and we were able to go back into the 1970's and through rationale put together some numbers that might justify twice that many, as high as 36,000. but his testimony was 18,000 black farmers, 94,000 claims. how does that work and when i asked him that question, he said we have brothers, we have families. maybe they never saw the farm, maybe they moved off to the city. they have a share.
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they have been discriminated against, too. well, seems to me to be a great big stretch, madam speaker, 18,000 black farmers and 94,000 claims and nobody is advocating for the funding for pigford, can -- they can't get their brain around this concept that how would it be 100% of the black farmers were discriminated against. the data that i have seen that shows the percentage of the populations in each of the counties where there were pigford claims, the percentage of african americans in those counties, the percentage of those claims is directly proportional to the black population in those counties. think about that. if the percentage of claims reflected the discrimination, then wouldn't it be that there would be a variance in that relationship between the black population and the black farmers, for one thing?
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they aren't always going to have an equal between the black population and some counties will be a higher percentage of farmers to black population and others, there would be less. but also, an equal distribution of claims for discrimination. madam speaker, i can't seem to reconcile this idea that if you look at the data, the data would show that the discrimination was equal county by county by county in nearly every county across the land in proportion to the black population. how could that possibly be? and i will say it can't possibly be because i know something about the culture within the farm services administration offices. i have dealt with them on a regular basis for nearly 30 years and here's what i know. each office, a county office, has its own culture. the culture of that office is sometimes shaped by the career
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employees that work behind the counter. a lot of times, they are every farmer's wives. they know the crops, their permits and how to take care of them and how to process them. and the director, the county director is hired by the county board. the county board is elected by the people who participate in the farm frams. it is a reflection of the county. it could well be and i wouldn't take -- take issue with that they discriminated against black farmers. i believe that happened but not in equal proportion in every county where there were black farmers, which is what the data would indicate. i believe that there could have been counties that discriminated against every black farmer in that county.
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and we know there are counties that had all black staff. hard to believe they would have discriminated against every black farmer. and i'm convinced there were counties that had county directors and staff people behind the counter where the culture there would not tolerate discrimination in any way, shape or form. i believe in all of these hundreds of counties that were involved, probably there is a full spectrum of culture within each of those counties but no way i can accept the idea that they all discriminated equally county to county across the board. the culture of these counties change. but i will and i can get my mind around the idea that if you get enough lawyers that understand there is a nice contingency fee for doing work, that they can go out and promote the idea of every african american that they can convince that will fill out
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the forms, that may have some form of a complaint or willing to file one without having a complaint that they could gem this thing up and we have the data that supports that they did. and what we have is pigford two. pigford two set up at least by the words of our secretary of agriculture, tom vilsack, by the 2008 farm bill. and so when he told me that i had voted for legislation that directed him to sit down with eric holder and john boyd and negotiate a settlement for opening up pigford a second time, it's a pretty shocking thing for me to hear. wasn't aware that i had been complicit in facilitating of billions of dollars worth of
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fraud here in the united states. so i went back and read the bill. and i remember the discussion that we had on the way in here with the chairman of the ag committee, colin peterson, when they slipped in at the last minute, $100,000 provision in the 2008 farm bill, that was designed, was designed to fund pigford two. now, remember pigford one was done and packaged up. it had a limitation equivalent to a statute of limitations, a closing date, which was october 12, 1999. there were those who said they missed their chance to sign up. they thought there were 70 some,000. and bobby scott introduced legislation that didn't go anywhere. barack obama -- congress never acted on a
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willful mean to open up pigford two. that didn't happen. congress didn't act. congress didn't appropriate. congress didn't authorize. congress accepted that consent decree that closed the filing, october 12 of 1999. even though congress didn't act. not the house, not the senate. then it still was not enough to say no to some of the people that wanted to see this half -- happen. the chairman of the house ag committee said, $100 million will close up pigford. we need to have that provision in the farm bill. i argued that that's a place holder for $1.3 billion. he argued back that i was completely wrong, $100 million would settle the account. and be done with it. now $100 million is not loose change, madam speaker. that's a lot of money. but it's a whole lot less than $1.3 billion, which i allege would be the cost of him providing this place holder in
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the 2008 farm bill. we sharply disagreed on that. and now i'll read from you -- to you from the 2008 farm bill, madam speaker, what went into that bill and this is the language that the secretary of agriculture says authorizes him toit down with eric holder, the attorney general, john boyd, the head of the black farmers, and open up a pigford two for another $1.15 billion. so limitation. under pigford. and this is the 2008 farm bill. h.r. 2419 for those who are paying attention. limitation in general, and subject to paragraph 2, all payments of debt relief shall be made exclusively from funds made available under the subsection. this subsection right here, madam speaker. subsection -- item number 2. maximum amount. the total. a payments and debt relief
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pursuant to action commenced under section 3 shall not exceed $100 million. that's consistent with what the chairman of the ag committee told me. $100 million will cap the united states' government's liability to black farmers for discrimination by adding an additional $100 million to the previous $1.05 billion that had already been distributed, to clean up anything that's left out there, and here's the language that says so. this is intent language. it says, it's the intent of congress as to remedial nature of section, it is the intent of congress that this section be liberally construed so as to effectuate its purpose of giving a full determination on the merits for each pigford claim previously denied that determination. that means if anybody was denied a determination, even by
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statute of limitations that closed this on october 12, 1999, that this $100 million was to be the sum total that would be used to settle this issue. the secretary of agriculture said this language gives him license to sit down with eric holder and john boyd and put the american people in debt because this is debt for another $1.15 billion? without having any proof of discrimination. madam speaker, i read this language and i point this out. that's why this chart is here. subject paragraph 2, all payment or debt relief shall be made exclusively from funds made available under subsection i, maximum amount, $100 million. that's what was in the farm bill of 2008, that's what was represented to me by the chairman of the ag committee, collin peterson of minnesota,
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who argued with me that i was wrong, that it wouldn't be $1.3 billion, it would be $100 million. madam speaker, i'd point out that we're looking tomorrow or the next day of $1.15 billion coming at us down the pipe through the rules committee, no amendments allowed, although i've got one up there on a request but it's not going to be allowed. $100 million plus $1.15 billion is $1 d.25 billion. my number was $1.3 billion, a lot, lot closer than this $100 million here's. place hold that are opened the door -- place holder that opened the door and if we have bureaucrat, cabinet members, the secretary of agriculture, the attorney general of the united states that take it upon themselves to read license in this language, to put the american people in further debt, to a tune of $115 -- $1.15 billion and open this door up so
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that people that alleged that they believed they were discriminated against and alleged that they filed a claim and have some friend that will sign an affidavit will get a $50,000 check and the i.r.s. gets the tax liability of 12.-- $12,500 on top of that and if they have usda-f.s.a. debt, that's all forgiven and the taxes are paid on it and they're all happy because they don't get a state tax waver on these particular assets. week of got to stand up at some point and say we're not going to pay. that war's been fought. that was over a century ago. that debt was paid for in blood and temperatures paid -- it was paid for in the blood of a lot of yankees especially. and there's no repperations for the blood that paid for the sin of slavery. no one's filing that claim. they're just filing a claim because they think they can get away with it and because they
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believe that -- and i understand probably appropriately, not a lot of members of congress want to stand and fight this battle. it's a matter of justice and equity, it's a matter of needing to look into this and bring the facts out. madam speaker, i wt to make sure that the members of this congress kw what they will be voting on tomorrow. i will be voting no. i will be voting no because there's no justice in this decision. this is something that -- there's no court decision that enables it, there's no legal authorization that provides for it, there's no directive from congress that directs the secretary of agriculture or the attorney general to enter into any kind of agreement. there's no court agreement. the court hasn't approved this. they sat around a table, wrote up a document and apparently shook hands. i don't even know if they shook hands. this document said that if congress authorizes or appropriated the money by march 31 of 2010 then they would have an agreement that would bind the black farmers if that day went by they wouldn't be bound.
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that's what's happened. if government can sit down and decide to pay reparations with money borrowed from the chinese, this government is still in freefall, we've got to fix it and arrest that and one of the people that's here to arrest the freefall in the united states congress is my good friend, the gentlelady from minnesota, who could with stand anything they throw at her, michele bachmann. mrs. bachmann: i want to thank the gentleman from iowa, steve king. it was some months ago when steve king first had told me about the situation with pigford. he's been investigating and looking into this matter for probably about three years now. he's very interestingly situated by having a seat on both the judiciary committee and the agriculture committee and both of those committees have something to do with this case. and i just want to go back to basics for just a moment if i can. because as congressman king was giving me details about this case, it just didn't add up.
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on every level. he had talked a little bit about the reparation thing, all of that of course was an opinion that was written by judge friedman in the very first class certification case with pigford. that was about $1 billion of tax money that went out to claim ants. this is now a situation called pigford 2 and as congressman king rightly said, there is no judgment, this is simply something thank negotiated around a table -- this is something negotiated around a table with our attorney general, eric holder, and tom mill sap, ag secretary, came together and came up with this agreement. here's part of the problem. i'm a former federal tax litigation attorney, madam speaker. and in that capacity, when i was working at the federal tax lawyer, we had to refer to something as our standard of measurement and we would use the bureau of labor statistics. well, according to the bureau of
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labor statistics, in the years in question, the maximum amount of number of black farmers in the entire period that we were talking about, giving people money for alleged discrimination claims, is about 33,000 black farmers. now, there's dispute that that number is even egregiously high. 33,000. well, in the pigford 1 settlement there's already been $1 billion that's been paid out and that estimate is something like $15,000 to $-- 15,000 to 18,000 claims have already been paid out. here's the situation. under pigford 2 now we have new claim ants that have come to the floor and have said now they want to have money, too. well, just think, if the entire universe of black farmers is 33,000 black farmers, today we have 94,000 claim ants asking
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for money to be made whole. now how does this make sent? if you have a total university of 33,000 black farmers, how you can possibly have 94,000 claiments? you'd have to presume that every black farmer in the united states applied for a loan through the u.s. department of agriculture. that's almost statistically impossible. then you would have to assume that every black farmer who applied for a loan qualified for that loan. that's not -- that would also be a statistical improbability. then you'd have to assume that every black farmer in the united states who applied for a loan, was qualified, and that they were turned down for their loan. every single black farmer. not one would have been give an loan. then you'd have to presume that every single black farmer in the country applied for a loan, that they qualified, that they were
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turned down but then you'd also have to assume that every one was turned down because they were discriminated against. this is unbelievable. and even if you believed all of that, we still have 60,000 too many claiments than there were black farmers. the numbers just bespeak obvious fraud in this situation. and the taxpayers are supposed to pay out another $1.15 billion? doesn't make sense. and even if all of this is true, why is it that there isn't even one employee for the u.s. department of agriculture -- because remember, we're -- we would have to talk about it. every black farmer in the united states would have had to apply for a loan, been turned down because of obvious discrimination, but what's even more bizarre is that after all
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of this terrible discrimination that's been alleged, after $1 billion that's been paid out, after another $1.15 billion that speaker pelosi wants to pay out this week, after all that there isn't even one employee after all this discrimination at the usda that's been fired? that's been suspended? that's paid a fine? that's been reprimanded? we can't find evidence of even one. in fact, just the opposite is true. there are whistle blowers that have come forward from the department that have been willing to testify privately that there is obvious fraud that's going on right now. so it really begs the question, why have settlements? why pay out 94,000 claiments when there is only a total university of -- universe of maybe 33,000 black farmers? why is that? what's going on?
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and now in an article that just came out last week in the associated press the reporter wrote that once this claim that's satisfied of $1.15 billion of pigford 2, the next claiments are already in the queue. those are hispanic farmers who allege they've been discriminated against. and women farmers who alleged they've been discriminated against. if that's the case, why is the united states department of agriculture even allowed to be in business anymore? if they had this blatant level of bigotry and discrimination going on? why haven't they been fired? i think what we need to have and i believe that this is something in the future that congress needs to do because it's certainly not happening today, madam speaker, under the headship of speaker nancy pelosi, what we need to have is a very thorough review of every
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single claim that's going out the door. because these payments that are going out in the form of $50,000 payments per claiment tax-free. so not only do they not pay the taxes, we the taxpayers are paying the taxes for the claiments. we're paying a payment of $12,500 to the i.r.s. on behalf of each claiment. claimants. so the claimant will get 50,000 tax free and we will pay their tax bills for them and we will wipe off the books any outstanding loans that they have on their farm property. everybody is going to want to know where to sign up for this deal. who wouldn't want to do that? you have farmers who are trying to make ends meet. and meanwhile, they watch this
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go on at the usda. every single claimant needs to be investigated. not one check should go out the door if it's not warranted. no one agrees that if the usda did something wrong and acted in a wrong manner that people should be allowed to be made whole. everyone agrees. but i would be the first person to stand on this house floor and say if that is the case, then each of these usda employees should be at minimum, at minimum written up in their personnel file, reprimanded, fined and most likely fired if they are causing the taxpayers to have to pay out what will add up to be over $2 billion. we are here talking about what can we do to cut the budget. this is the perfect place to
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start here in pigford where we are paying out 94,000 claimants when there is a total universe of 33,000. i thank my dear colleague from iowa, representative steve king, for being on this issue for three years and now we are coming to the climax and see another $1.15 billion go out the door which we don't have which my colleague said we'll go to china and borrow and our children will have to pay back. this is just flat out wrong. can we say it? can we be gut si enough on the floor of the house of representatives to say this is pure and complete fraud that is about to be voted on this week. it's wrong and it's got to stop. and i want to encourage any of my colleagues on either side of the aisle, vote no on this bill.
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i will be voting no. representative king said he will be voting no, because this will be a vote that i guarantee will haunt members of congress in the future if they vote yes, because of the obvious fraud that it will very soon be discovered and played out for the american people to see. and i yield to my distinguished colleague from iowa. mr. king: i thank the gentlelady coming to the floor to add to this discussion. i clicked on youtube and i did a little search to see what i could find timothy pigford who is the lead plaintiff and he is sitting there telling his story but goes on to say that he is hopeful that first that they all get paid and second, lays the foundation so that the hispanics and native americans and women
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farmers all get fade, too. when i listen to that, i think, what is the motive, do you think there is any place in america where people who are listed on his list get a fair shake? not one county, not one staff that sits behind the county says this is the right thing to do, we are going to treat everybody equal. doesn't that happen in one single county in america? they would deny it, they would deny that americans can be nondiscriminating and understand this equal opportunity and equal justice under the law and to have this kind of pressing that comes from timothy pigford and the other permits involved here, this system and there are a good number of african american farmers that file their complaints, they complain that
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it has distorted their reputation, they may have a legitimate claim that wasn't settled adequately and because this has been a full court press pushed by lawyers in bow ties from in the northeast and marketed as your 40 acres and a mule, this has damaged the legitimate black farmers and i can't think of a more honorable profession than raising food. i can't think of a more honorable profession than sometimes bending over and getting dirty in all kinds of winter, wurm and winter, rain and storm, having your roots go into the soil. nothing makes you more rooted to america than being rooted in the soil. and i applaud every farmer, black, white, native american, women, hispanics, hard way to make a living, but certain honor and glory that can't be replicated any place else,
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because it builds character. and we need to say no tomorrow to the pig frled farms funding that is coming. no because it wasn't authorized by the united states congress. there wasn't even a hand shack from congress that said secretary of agriculture and the attorney general, why don't you see if you can sit down with the head of the black farmers who formed the organization with the purposes of pressing the taxpayers for money -- i don't think in the beginning he thought we were going to borrow it from the chinese. congress said, even though i disagreed with it, that $100 million would cap this and puts an end to it and anybody who didn't have their case resolved in pig forward would be resolved but vilsack took license and sat down with eric holder and poised
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tomorrow to stick the taxpayers with $1.15 billion and the american people need to say enough. this election was about debt, deficit, jobs and the economy and we have to have the will to say no and draw a bright line. and there isn't guilt on the part of this country -- we can't borrow money and pay out people. we want to make sure we make those people whole who were discriminated against. i want to follow the money and thwart the applications and put them on a big spreadsheet and see what the data indicates and i think we'll find that there is a massive amount of fraud and we may lose this vote tomorrow. if we lose this vote tomorrow, that still calls upon us to shed sunlight on this shoe so the -- issue so the american people
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know what happened and don't go down the list. so i come to speak of the pigford farms issue which i'm convinced has more fraud in it than legitimate claims and the american people deserve equal justice under the law and if they have a legitimate claim it should withstand the scrutiny and i stand in opposition to the funding of pigford two and the people who would perpetrate it, madam speaker. and i would yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. does the gentleman have a motion to adjourn? mr. king: i move the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is agreed to. accordingly the house stands
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she calls the disclosure and attack on the international community.
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later, an update on the status of the u.s.-russian nuclear arms treaty. >> provide coverage of politics, public affairs, a non- fiction books, and american history. it is all available to you on television, radio, and social immediate networking site. we take c-span on the road whether local content of vehicles. it is washington, your way. created by cable, provided as a public service. >> president obama proposes a two-year pay freeze for government employees. the president also discusses his scheduled meeting tueay with congressional leaders.
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hello, everybody. good morning, everybody. let me begin by pointing out that although washington is supposed to be a town of sharp elbows, it's getting a little carried away. for those of you who are worried about my lip, i should be okay. the doctor has given me a clean bill of health, and i will continue to be playing basketball whenever i get a chance. in fact, i played yesterday with sasha and malia and they took it easy on me because they were feeling pity. i hope everybody had a great thanksgiving, but now it's time to get back to work. congress is back in town this week. and i'm looking forward to sitting down with republican leaders tomorrow to discuss many issues -- foremost among them the american people's business that remains to be done this year. my hope is that tomorrow's meeting will mark a first step towards a new and productive working relationship.
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because we now have a shared responsibility to deliver for the american people on the issues that define not only these times but our future -- and i hope we can do that in a cooperative and serious way. our two most fundamental challenges are keeping the american people safe and growing our economy -- and it's in that spirit that i look forward to sitting down tomorrow and talking about urgent matters like the ratification of the new start treaty, which is so essential to our safety and security; and the status of the bush-era tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of this year. and this is just one of the many economic issues we've got to tackle together in the months ahead. as i said a few weeks ago, the most important contest of our time is not the contest between democrats and republicans; it's between america and our economic competitors all around the world. winning that contest means that we've got to ensure our children are the best educated in the world; that our research and
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development is second to none; and that we lead the globe in renewable energy and technological innovation. it also means making sure that in the future we're not dragged down by long-term debt. this is a challenge that both parties have a responsibility to address -- to get federal spending under control and bring down the deficits that have been growing for most of the last decade. now, there's no doubt that iwe want to bring down our deficits, it's critical to keep growing our economy. more importantly, there's still a lot of pain out there, and we can't afford to take any steps that might derail our recovery or our efforts to put americans back to work and to make main street whole again. so we can't put the brakes on too quickly. and i'm going to be interested in hearing ideas from my republican colleagues, as well as democrats, about how we continue to grow the economy and
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how we put people back to work. but we do have to correct our long-term fiscal course. and that's why earlier this year i created a bipartisan deficit commission that is poised to report back later this week with ideas that i hope will spark a serious and long- overdue conversation in this town. those of us who have been charged to lead will have to confront some very difficult decisions, cutting spending we don't need in order to invest in the things that we do. as president, i'm committed to doing my part. from the earliest days of my administration, we've worked to eliminate wasteful spending and streamline government. i promised to go through the budget line by line to eliminate programs that have outlived their usefulness, and in each of the budgets i've put forward so far, we've proposed approximately $20 billion in savings through shrinking or ending more than 120 such programs.
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i've also set goals for this government that we're on track to meet: reducing improper payments by $50 billion, saving $40 billion in contracting, and selling off $8 billion of unneeded federal land and buildings. i've also proposed a three-year freeze on all non-security discretionary spending -- a step that would bring that spending to its lowest level as a share of the economy in 50 years. and we've brought unprecedented transparency to federal spending by placing all of it online at and, so americans can see how their tax dollars are spent. the hard truth is that getting this deficit under control is going to require broad sacrifice. and that sacrifice must be shared by the employees of the federal government. after all, small businesses and families are tightening their belts. their government should, too. and that's why, on my first day
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as president, i froze all pay for my senior staff. this year i've proposed extending that freeze for senior political appointees throughout the government and eliminating bonuses for all political appointees. and today i'm proposing a two- year pay freeze for all civilian federal workers. this would save $2 billion over the rest of this fiscal year and $28 billion in cumulative savings over the next five years. and i want to be clear: this freeze does not apply to the men and women of our armed forces, who along with their families continue to bear enormous burdens with our nation at war. i did not reach this decision easily. this is not just a line item on a federal ledger. these are people's lives. they're doctors and nurses who care for our veterans; scientists who search for better
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treatments and cures; men and women who care for our national parks and secure our borders and our skies; americans who see that the social security checks get out on time, who make sure that scholarships comes through, who devote themselves to our safety. they're patriots who love their country and often make many sacrifices to serve their country. in these challenging times, we want the best and brightest to join and make a difference. but these are also times where all of us are called on to make some sacrifices. and i'm asking civil servants to do what they've always done -- play the part. going forward, we're going to have to make some additional very tough decisions that this town has put off for a very long time. and that's what this upcoming week is really about. my hope is that, starting today, we can begin a bipartisan conversation about our future, because we face challenges that will require the cooperation of democrats, republicans and independents. everybody is going to have to cooperate. we can't afford to fall back onto the same old eologies or
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the same stale sound bites. we're going to have to budge on some deeply held positions and compromise for the good of the country. we're going to have to set aside the politics of the moment to make progress for the long term. and as i've often said, we're going to have to think not just about the next election, but about the next generation, because if there's anything the american people said this month, it's that they want their leaders to have one single focus: making sure their work is rewarded so that the american dream remains within their reach. it would be unwise to assume they prefer one way of thinking over another. that wasn't the lesson that i took when i entered into office, and it's not the lesson today. so while our ideas may be different, our goals must be the same -- growing this economy, putting people back to work, and securing the dream for all who work for it; to summon what's best for each of us to make lives better for all of us.
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and that's why we are here and that's why we serve. that's how we've moved this country forward in the past -- and i'm absolutely confident that that is how we are going to move this country forward once again. thank you very much, everybody. >> she spoke with reporters at the state department about the leaks and vowed to hold those responsible. immediately following, secretary clinton headed for the organization for cooperation in europe summit. this is 15 minutes. >> good afternoon.
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in my conversations with counterparts from around the world over the past few days, and in my meeting earlier today with the foreign minister of turkey, i have had very productive discussions on this issue. the united states strongly condemns the legal disclosure of classified information -- the illegal disclosure of classified information. it puts people's lives in danger and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve a share of problems -- shared problems. this administration is advancing a robust foreign- policy.
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from fixing the global economy to supporting international terrorism, to stopping the spread of catastrophic weapons comet to advancing human rights and universal values. in every country and in every region of the world, we are working with partners to pursue these games -- aims. this disclosure is not just an attack on america's foreign- policy interests. it is an attack on the international community, the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations that safeguard global security and advanced economic prosperity. i am confident that the partnerships that the obama administration has worked so hard to build will withstand this challenge. the president and i have made
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these partnerships a priority and we are proud of the progress that they have helped achieve and they will remain at the center of our efforts. i will not comment on it, or confirm, what are alleged to be stolen state department cables. i can say that the united states deeply regrets the disclosure of any information that was intended to be confidential. including private discussions between counterparts or our diplomats personal assessments and observations. i want to make clear that our official foreign policy is not set back through these messages, but here in washington. our policy is a matter of public record as reflected in our statements and are actions are around the world.
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i would also add that to the american people and to our friends and partners, i want you to know that we are taking aggressive steps to hold responsible those that still this information. i have directives that specific actions be taken at the state department in addition to new security safeguards at the department of defense and elsewhere to protect state department information so that this kind of breach cannot and does not ever happen again. relations between governments are not the only concern created by the publication of this material. u.s. diplomats meet with local human-rights workers, a journalist, religious leaders, and others outside of government who offered their own candid in sight. these conversations also depend
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on trust and confidence. for example, if an anti- corruption activist shares information about official misconduct, or a social worker passes along documentation of sexual violence, at reveali that person identity could have serious repercussions. whatever are the motives in disseminating these documents, it is clear that releasing them poses a real risk to real people and often to the very people who have dedicated their own lives to protecting others. i am aware that some may mistakenly applied those responsible. i want to set the record straight. there is nothing laudable about endangering innocent people and
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there is nothing brave about sabotaging the peace for relations between nations on which our common security depends. there has been examples in history in which official conduct has been made public in the name of exposing wrongdoing or misdeeds. this is not one of those cases. in contrast, what is being put on display in this cash of documents is the fact that american diplomats are doing the work we expect them to do. they are helping identify and prevent conflict before they start. they're working hard every day to solve serious practical problems, to secure dangerous material, to fight international crime, to assist him in rights defenders, to restore our alliances, to ensure global economic stability. this is the role that america
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place in the world. this is the role our diplomats played in serving america. it should make everyone of us proud. the work of our diplomats does not benefit americans, but also billions of others around the globe. in addition to in danger in particular individuals, disclosures like these tear at the fabric of our proper function of responsible government. people of good faith understand the need for sensitive diplomatic communication, both to protect the national interest and the global common interest. every country, including the united states, must be able to have candid conversations about the people and nations with whom they deal. every country, including the united states, must be able to have honest private dialogue
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with other countries about issues of common concern. i know that diplomats around the world share this view. this is not unique to diplomacy. in almost every profession, whether it is law or journalism, finance or medicine, academia, or running a small business, people rely on confidential communication to do their jobs. we count on the state of trust that confidentiality provides. when someone breaches that trust, we are all worse off for it. despite some of the rhetoric we have heard these past few days, confidential communications do not run counter to the public interest. they are fundamental to our ability to serve the public interest. in america, we welcome a genuine debate about pressing the questions of public policy.
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we have elections about them. that is one of the greatest strengths of our democracy. it is part of the we are blended is a priority for this administration. stealing confidential documents and then releasing them without regard for the consequences does not serve the public good and it is not the way to engage in a healthy debate. in the past few days, i have spoken with many of my counterparts around the world. they have all agreed that we will continue to focus on the issues and tasks at hand. president obama and i remain committed to productive cooperation with our partners as we seek to build a better, more prosperous world for all. thank you. i would be glad to take a few questions. >> [inaudible] >> where are you going, charlie?
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>> madam secretary, are you embarrassed by these leaks personally, professionally true? what harm have the league's done to the u.s. so far? -- leaks done to the u.s. so far? >> based on the many conversations that i've had with my counterparts, i am confident that the relationships that we have built in this administration will withstand a challenge. the president and i have made these partnerships a priority, a real centerpiece of our foreign policy and we are proud of the progress that we have made. every single day, u.s. government representatives from the entire government in gauge with hundreds, if not thousands,
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of government representatives and members of civil society from around the world. they carry out the goals and the interest and the values of the united states. it is imperative that we have a candidate reporting from those who are in the field working with their counterparts in order to inform our decision making back here in washington. in my conversations, at least one of my counterpart said to me, that do not worry about it. you should see what we say about you. i think that this is well understood in the diplomatic community as part as the give -- as part of the give and take. i would hope that we will be able to move beyond this and back to the business of working together on behalf of our common goals. >> madam secretary, i was
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wondering whether you could tell us what you think your upcoming trip is going to look like. a lot of the people you have been mentioned in those alleged cables are going to have conversations with you. the think that is going to cause you discomforts in the coming week? i know that you do not want to comment on the particulars, but one issue that has been brought up is the debate about iran. what do you think the impact is going to be of those documents? >> you are right. i do not know if you are going on this trip or not, but we will be seen -- seen dozens of my counterparts.
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i will continue the conversations that i have started with some. i will seek out the others because i want personally to impress upon them the importance that i placed on it the kind of open, productive discussions that we have had to date. my intention to continue working closely with them. obviously, this is a matter of great concern. we do not want anyone in any of the countries that could be affected by these alleged leaks to have any doubt about our intention. and about our commitment. that is why i stressed in my remarks that policy is made in
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washington. the president and i have been very clear about our goals and objectives in dealing with the full range of global challenges that we face. we will continue to be so and we will continue to look for every opportunity to work with our counterparts -- are friends and partners and allies are around the world and to deal in a very clear i away with whom we have differences. that brings me to iran. it should not be a surprise to anyone that iran is a source of great concern, not only in the united states. what comes through in every meeting that i have anywhere in the world is a concern about iran and action -- iranian action and intenti. if anything, any of the comments
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th are being reported on allegedly from the cables confirmed the fact that iran opposes a very serious threat in the eyes of many of her neighbors and a serious concern far beyond our region. that is why the international community came together to pass the strongest possible sanctions against iran. it did not happen because the united states went out and said, please do this for us. it happened because countries, once they evaluated the evidence concerning iran and their actions and intentions, reached the same conclusions that the united states reached. we must do whatever we can to muster the international community to take action, to prevent iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state. if anyone reading the stories
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about these alleged cables thinks carefully what they will conclude is that the concern about iran is well-founded, widely shared, and will continue to be at the source of the policy that we pursue with like- minded nations to try to prevent iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. >> [inaudible] >> thank you. >> reaction from the white house on the release of classified documents by wikileaks. robert gibbs talk to reporters about the leak and discussed the president's pay freeze. this part of the white house briefing is 12 minutes. >> yes, ma'am. >> thanks. we have the statement that you
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put out yesterday condemning the wikileaks release, but what was the reaction from the president when someone informed him yesterday that these documents had come out and reports were coming out about the contents of the documents? i was not in the pdb when the president was directly briefed on this. this would actually not have been yesterday, but would have been sometime last week when -- after we became aware of the upcoming release. the president was briefed by those in his daily intelligence briefing on the size the scope of the information that was to become public. and obviously, the secretary of state and the state department at a foreign minister level have been very active in discussions with our allies and our partners around the world about what is in these documents. i think it is safe to say that the president was -- it's an understatement -- not pleased
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with this information becoming public. as you saw during the presidential campaign and during his time in the white house, open and transparent government is something that the president believes is truly important. but the stealing of classified information and its dissemination is a crime. >> have any world leaders called him to talk about the release or to complain about the contents of -- >> the calls have originated -- the calls that our government has made have originated from the state department and the secretary of state, so i would refer you more specifically to them.
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the president has not been on the phone around this. >> will he speak on this at all? will he speak -- will he comment publicly on this issue? >> there are no plans for him to talk about this today, no. >> robert, i know administration officials have been out there today talking about ways to tighten up the procedures -- >> yes. >> -- or handling this material. >> yes. >> but why was the information so vulnerable to being stolen in the first place? >> well, i think we have for -- and i speak a little bit for previous administrations, as well -- there is always the balance of need to know and need to share. if you look at one of the main critiques in the pre-9/11 intelligence world was a difficulty in information- sharing about threats up and down and across different government platforms. that is something that i think each and every administration struggles with.
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understand that we want soldiers on the front lines of battle to have the most up-to-date intelligence that's possible about the enemy that they face, the tactics that they use. that's important. it is obvious, though, that serious controls and oversight have to be in place in order to balance, as i said earlier, the need to know and the need to share. specifically the department of defense has made it much more difficult for somebody to get access to and to copy and move both this type and this volume of infortion, disabling the ability to, for instance, plug in a thumb drive or a cd and copy vast amounts of information; limiting the access to certain documents based on rank; greater oversight.
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all of those things as well as -- i don't know if you all heard the statement that the secretary of state just made where she announced a similar review at the state department, as well as jack lew's memo to agencies reminding them of how one handles sensitive and classified information, and to convene groups to ensure that the best practices are being used, and to evaluate whether those practices are sufficient to ensure that this type of information isn't released. >> i also wanted to ask you about tomorrow's meeting with republicans. it's a one-hour meeting from what we understand. and i'm wondering what you think can be accomplished in that one hour.
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you've talked about the tax cuts being the top issue and start. is it possible to really make a lot of progress on both of those issues in one hour? and also why was it downgraded from an initial invitation to dinner? >> well, look, we obviously had an invitation several weeks ago that didn't work with the schedules of republican leaders in the house and the senate. and there are also caucus meetings that go on in the early afternoon which limit the amount of time that we have. but that's not to say that this is the first and only meeting. i think this is the first of many, many meetings over the course of the next several years as democrats and republicans, the white house and congress are going to have to work together to solve some very difficult problems.
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you mentioned i think two that will be on the forefront of the president's mind -- first and foremost, ensuring that taxes for middle-class americans don't go up at the end of the year. and our safety and security as it relates to nuclear nonproliferation and the reduction of deployed nuclear weapons is also something that the president will be focused on in that meeting. but i think this is the beginning of a new relationship with leaders in the house and the senate. i think this is the beginning of a longer-term conversation about how we get to compromises on issues that we know are important for the american people. >> specifically on the tax cuts, though, do you expect there to be tangible progress. do you expect there to be some kind of announcement?
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>> well, i think this is the beginning of a conversation. i don't think this will be the last conversation that this group has on taxes this year. the president is clear, and i think many are clear, that we have to address this problem before the end of the year. we've got the expiring bush tax cuts; you've got amt tax relief; you've got a host of other things like unemployment insurance that's going to expire later this week -- which we have to address, some obviously in the short term and some certainly in the medium term, if you assume that medium term means before the end of the year. i think this is an ongoing conversation, not the -- certainly not the last. jake. >> is the president worried because of the wikileaks disclosure that other countries will no longer be candid with american diplomats?
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and is the president worried that countries like yemen or the gulf states will now be forced into a position where they are publicly not cooperating with american efforts either against aqap in yemen or against iran's nuclear program? >> well, i think for obvious legal reasons i don't want to get into the specifics of these purported cables. i will say that while we -- and you've heard the statement that we released from me yesterday, the statement from the secretary of state and from our ambassador at the united nations -- obviously a breach of these type of discussions is decidedly not good. that does not, however, change the fact that we have a series of problems that have to be addressed on the world stage, and that without -- it is hard
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to imagine progress on those issues without american leadership moving those forward. you mentioned iran. i think it's important to -- let's focus on that for a second. iran is not a threat because we have said to other countries it is a threat and you should treat it as such. i think it is obvious that countries throughout the world, countries in north america, countries in europe, countries in the middle east all understand the threat that a nuclear iran poses, again, not because we said it was a threat but because they recognize, either for regional stability or overall global stability, that dealing with their pursuit of a nuclear weapons program is a grave concern not just to us but also to them.
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i do not believe that the release of these documents impacts our ability to conduct a foreign policy that moves our interests forward and addresses both regional and global concerns about the issues that threaten this world. >> is the administration considering taking legal action against wikileaks itself? >> i would say two things. obviously there is an ongoing criminal investigation about the stealing of and the dissemination of sensitive and classified information. secondly, under the administration -- or i would say -- should say administration wide, we are looking at a whole host of things, and i wouldn't rule anything out. >> can i ask a question about the spending freeze? does the president believe -- >> the pay freeze. >> pay freeze, i'm sorry. does the president believe that the size of the federal government is too big?
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>> well, let me say this, jake, that we are in the process of putting together and ultimately releasing early next year a budget for the next fiscal year which lays out several fiscal years beyond that. we have taken steps to, as you heard the president mention today, cut programs that are unnecessary and unwise, and believes that we should -- we have to continue to do that. our government should be lean and efficient, and the actions that the president outlined today and the actions that he has outlined in both previous budgets and in future budgets will meet that test. >> but doesn't the president believe that you can't really get a hold of the deficit or the debt unless you actually start making cuts in programs that are necessary and wise?
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>> i don't think a -- i think there's a whole host of decisions, again, as you heard the president say, that are going to have to be made in the next year or two years or three years to address a problem it took us many years to get into. jake, i think -- look, the president did not say today that this action alone will solve our deficit problems. there are a series of actions alone that won't solve our deficit problems. but we have to make a series of collective but very difficult decisions to get our fiscal house in order. obviously the deficit and debt commission will come back later this week and the president will get a chance to, and the team here, to evaluate where we are in that process as we create a budget going forward. yes, sir. >> up next, an update on the
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status of the u.s.-russian nuclear arms treaty. after that, eric cantor hold the town hall meeting. then education secretary to steven chu on the new energy technology. i tomorrows "washington journal ," pete hoekstra will talk about the recent leak of documents. after that, susan glasser of foreign policy magazine on the start treaty and wikileaks. plus the recent article on employment -- influential speakers of 2010. later, defense secretary robert
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gates will brief reporters on the military's don't ask, don't tell policy. live coverage on c-span3. the senate foreign relations committee passed the new start treaty earlier this year. the full senate has not taken it up. next, academics from the brookings institution and the american enterprise institute debate the prospect of the treaty's ratification by the senate. this is 90 minutes.
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>> we have a very good panel. we have discussed these issues before publicly. we discussed these issues with you this morning. i am delighted to see everybody here is struggling back after a thinks giving weekends. i think you -- i think we can formally mark the end of the redskins season. we await the return of the senators and members of congress for the rest of the lame-duck session. the new start treaty is on the agenda up -- agenda. we will run down the line with presentations of about 8-10 minutes each. we're talking about the new start treaty, recently signed this year and awaiting senate consideration. we will be talking about the future of nuclear weapons.
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you are invited to raise whatever parts of the broader subject you like in discussion. sitting to my left is my colleague here at brookings and one of the nation's export negotiators and practitioners as well as academics on nuclear arms control. he is a former member of the state department and worked a great deal on the inside process during his time in government. he was also the u.s. ambassador to the ukraine. i will briefly take the [inaudible] we're not quite there yet. much of today's discussion will be on a new start. i think as people make a case largely in support of the treaty. keith payne is the ceo and
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the author of the great american gamble. he is the foremost expert on nuclear arms. he is a member of the congressional commission on the strategic posture of the united states. i was honored to be part of his working group last year. he is extremely thought- provoking and will raise some different points of views on arms control. tom donnelly is that the american enterprise institute. he is a distinguished author u.s. written a number of books on ground forces and conventional combat. all the more reason why it is very important to have tom on the panel because he brings a perspective on the interrelationships between different military forces, different military capabilities. forthcoming paper is
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strategies and forces for the third nuclear age. his most recent book is "lessons for a long war." i will briefly mentioned that my most recent book on this general subject is called "a skeptic's case for nuclear disarmament." they have articulated a world sunday free of nuclear weapons, whether that would be a good thing, if feasible thing, or in any way relevant to the issues today. let me briefly remind you that this new start treaty that is now being considered by the senate would lower our overall deployed strategic forces by 10-30%. it depends on how you do the
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counting and on how the two countries would posture their courses. it would not affect tactical nuclear weapons. it would not affect surplus nuclear weapons, weapons that are in a stockpile. or missile defense, even though there has been a great deal of controversy about even the mention it -- missing to the possible association between a missile defense and arms -- offensive arms. there are no binding restrictions whatsoever. there is no differential or distinguishing between a nuclear arms long-range missile and a conventionally armed one. for those people who are interested, there is no particular allowance for that.
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if we do that, it counts against your treaty limits. these are a few of the points that will come up in discussion. we are looking at 10-30% reduction in deployed strategic forces. that is the basic immediate issue, but we will be talking more generally about everything that is under the sun about nuclear. >> thank you. about what thelk next step is. let me remind you about the three basic limits. the united states and russia would be limited to no more than 1515 strategic warheads. each heavy bomber would count as one. there is a set limits, at each cycle can deploy it no more than [inaudible]
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ballistic missiles. a non deployed launch europe would be a ballistic missile submarine it tube with no missile in it. typically, they are in long-term overhaul with no missiles on board. they would count as non deployed launchers. let me talk about why the u.s. start treaty is in our interest. first of all, it will reduce and cap the level of russian strategic nuclear forces. i do not lie awake at night worried about a russian attack. but i think that americans are more secure if the russian forces is limited. the new treaty it contains a wide range of verification measures, detailed informational
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exchange. it will give the u.s. military a lot more information about russian strategic forces than the u.s. military would otherwise have. that means that we would be in a position where we can avoid assumptions. the military could make smarter decisions. the third, it will require some reductions on the u.s. side, the result would be a u.s. strategic deterrent that is very agile and robust. it would be capable of defending the united states and american allies. bringing the new start treaty is going to strengthen the u.s. in terms of raising the -- the assault against abrasion. we have already seen over the last 15 months as -- you see a
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better relationship with moscow. russia has provided more access to provide supplies to american and nato forces in afghanistan. russia has taken a much tougher attitude toward iran and the nuclear question. that flows from the recent that has been driven by the new start treaty. i do believe that the new treaty is going to be ratified in the end. the arguments in its favor are compelling. it is difficult for me to see how serious republican senators can justify opposing the treaty that has been supported you guessed it -- unanimously by the joint chiefs of staff. by every senior serious republican statesman, every former secretary of defense, and
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national security advisers. i am optimistic regarding the ratification. i do not know whether it will happen in the lame duck session or sometime in 2011. i hope it will happen sooner. the transparency of measures will begin to give us information about russian strategic forces that we have not been receiving for the last year. in december of 2009. i think that when the treaty comes into force, there is a question of what comes next. president obama has said that he envisions a step-by-step process in reducing nuclear forces. i am not enthusiastic about further cuts, but they have had a step-by-step process. when you get into that, you have to look at a number of questions that may arise. what would be the level of
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strategic warheads under a new tree? do we go below 1550? how far? would you also want to reduce strategic vehicles, at strategic launchers below the 708 hundred limits. going beyond that, i think we are going to get into some new territory. when president obama signs the treaty this year, he said the next round will address nonstrategic and non deploy strategic weapons. that will again have some new territory. it is not going to be easy for a couple of reasons. the russians have a large numerical advantage. when you have this kind of disparity, moreover, because the russians perceive that their conventional forces have disadvantages through nato and china, the russians that adopted the nato nuclear strategy now is
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the technical -- tactical nuclear weapons as a disadvantage. that will complicate non- strategic forces. moreover, you will have a new verification challenges. a lot of the verification measures centered on the go ahead with intercontinental ballistic missiles. you are likely to talk about weapons that have been -- we are seeing them somewhere in bunkers, and that will approach to verification challenges that the united states and russia have had to grapple with before. it will likely be an area of u.s. numerical advantage. the united states plans to
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achieve most of its limits by down lading missiles, taking more heads off. it will carry three warheads and will be -- will be deployed. they will be stored somewhere, they won't be in the immediate future. it would give the united states the potential should the russians put those warheads back on. the russians appear to be reducing their forces by eliminating missiles and keeping their residual missiles with full war headsets. they will not have that capability. in terms of non and deploy strategic warheads, there might be a bit of bargaining on the russian advantage from the tactical side. the russians i suspect will raise missile defense again in the next round of negotiations. there is potentially limit for the administration because the russians will seek some kind of constraints with msile defense
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and i don't detect any interest on the part of the administration in negotiating missile defense. i think they also understand that any treehopper will contain how meaningful restraint and will be done arrival at goes to the senate for ratification. there is this potential box here. many have articulated about engaging and when the russian president met with leaders and expressed interest in working towards cooperation on missile defense. if you could adopt a genuine cooperation between the united states, nato, and russia for missile defense protection, it might change the whole dynamic surrounding the missile defense question. another issue that might come up is the question of third country nuclear forces like britain, france, and is tied up. the greater the pressures will
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be to bring other countries in. my sense is that the u.s. administration folks would like to have one more negotiation that will focus mostly on u.s. forces before you got into the much more complex of bringing in other countries and in bringing those -- making those negotiations multilateral. one thing that we'll mention either now or for early on the web site, the paper also talks about what might be a u.s. position for the next round. what i suggest is looking toward the 2500 total nuclear weapons counting everything except those weapons that are in hot the queue for dismantlement. it would include strategic, tactical, and within that 2511, there would be a supplement for strategic correspond to the start treaty.
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it would allow a trade-off. the russians might have an advantage of tactical weapons in the context of overall quality. i should add that in that kind of limitation regime, he would likely have a verification system in which you would have high confidence in your ability to monitor the limits on deployed strategic warheads in you have much less confidence in your ability to monitor limits on capitol warheads. i think in the end, even though it is a verification scheme, there is some monitoring on the constraints on russian tactical weapons, and hopefully, as you go through that verification scheme, you get the expertise that would allow you to form a
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smarter verification system for later on. this kind of agreement and will help reductions on the russian side and also to maintain a robust deterrent. and i think at that point, you get a little bit of stress on the triad and it will make decisions that will be a bit painful. all of this is the next step in the immediate future, the ratification of the new start treaty. >> it is a pleasure to be here this morning. how to thank them for the invitation to speak. as the academic, i usually look out 50 years in my discussions and writings, but because it is an immediate concern, a subject of immediate attention, of like to comment on the process that
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has gone along with a new start in washington because in this case, the process has been important to the substance of the debate. the obama administration efforts to garner support for ratification of this newfie have met greater than expected resistance. this resistance follows primarily from concerns about the various loopholes in the trees and limits on forces, the narrow but explicit limits on missile defense and nonnuclear strategic missiles. and those of the strategic weakening of the verification provisions. it might well be that the opposition in this resistance that we see has as much to do with the administration's mode of promoting the treaty as it does with the substance. senior members of the
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administration have contributed to skepticism about a pattern of this characterization and misdirection about a tree while simultaneously being dismissive of reasonable concerns identified by knowledgeable commentators. for example, even before president obama signs the treaty in april of 2010, some commentators expressed concern that the administration would agree to limits on missile defense. they fan the flame by frequently claiming that the treaty would in the limit u.s. defenses. in response, the administration assured that there would be no such limits whatsoever. the start was to be a treaty on strategic offensive forces and not on the offensive forces. during april 29 press conference to explain new start, the
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secretary of state for arms control and international security stated that the treaty has nothing to constrain missile defense, is about strategic weapons. there is no limit or constraint on what the united states can do. further, there are no constraints to missile defense. the actual text of the treaty shows russian commentators and u.s. skeptics to be correct. it explicitly limits and u.s. missile defense options. the treaty establishes some bilateral commission where a missile defense can be the subject of further ongoing secret discussions and possible limitations. the administration has repeated the false claim of no limits on missile defense so often and so definitively that the claim continues to be erroneously presented as fact by journalists
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and commentators. several u.s. commentators expressed concern that the administration would allow russia to gain limits on prospective strategic forces under a new start. senior military commanders have pressed for nonnuclear strategic forces for prompted global strike, and specifically warning against such limits. it assured that there is no affect for -- it doesn't have any constraints to it. posted on march 26, the long- range conventional strike cabilities. this carefully nuanced statement is precisely correct.
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it would have been impossible for profs capabilities of the strike -- explicitly constrains options for these prospective weapons for strategic nuclear warheads, on deployed nuclear warheads and launchers. the pattern of this characterization is not limited to -- and several commentators observed an old russian favorites and were not specifically defined as they had been in previous agreements. this raised the concern that the
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mobile icbms -- the supporters in general who dismissed to this concern. when the demand, the tree does -- is stated that such a u.s. claim can tell them to stop action on the treaty. he noted that the americans are trying to apply the new start treaty to icbm rails if they are built. this problem identified early on was not so outlandish. new star will reduce the number of warheads by about 30% below
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the 2002200 maximum. however, the specific terms of the treaty preventing number of weapons to move higher than the 2200 under the previous moscow treaty. despite the claims of 30% reductions, new start would have an increase because hall of the weapons would count as only one warhead. even though some are capable of carrying many more. and nuclear-armed cruise missiles would not be captured at all. the russian strategic expert described as this sleight of hand has nothing short of fraudulent.
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aa nevertheless, the universe 0 -- nevertheless, the universal talking point is that it would be by 30%. not only nuclear warheads, but in the number of strategic launchers. the fact that the administration has typically been left and sen -- as presented in the oakland russian press, russia is already well below hot climates and is headed lower. with or without the treaty. in short, the strategic water limits imposed reductions only on the united states.
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the department immediately responded with a continuation of this characterization and misdirection. the treaty does not force the united stas unilaterally. the administration rightly claims that new start mandates commendations on watchers. it erroneously denies the fact that number of launchers trying to meet those. and you have to build up its forces to do so. the administration claims that the lame-duck senate must ratify a new start immediately. for u.s. national security would be seriously endangered. ecretary gates has stated repeatedly that russia poses no military threat to us or our allies.
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so why the urgency? this of illogic remains unexplained. it remains hot overstatement and hyperbole. perhaps the administration's apparent treaty as characterization and misdirection will be left -- if it is not so frequently -- the are numerous illustrations of this behavior. for example, an assistant secretary of state observed that no one with any pedigree has raised concerns about new start. this dismissive characterization manages to be simultaneously insulting and arrogant and nonsensical when notables whole
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raised serious concerns about the treaty. in addition, the undersecretary of furred concerns about the trees as red herrings. in the testimony before the senate, hillary clinton suggested that those expressing concerns just don't believe in arms control treaties at all. and from my perspective, are unfortunately slanting a lot of what they say. so dismissing skeptics concerns has been the administration of's -- the administration's mode of operations. it is cause for bipartisanship.
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as the president harry truman famously observed, if you can't stand the heat, -- advanced arms control, even its current mode of operations had engaged in concerns about the tree be seriously and thoughtfully. thank you. >> over to tom. >> he very kindly set aside the heart of the long term, so i will take that as my team. but before i do that, i have two words to say on starts.
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there is conventional military power as opposed to all things nuclear from the congressional staff and a political hack who can count votes and read the constitution recently. i am also painfully aware of the senate. i want to talk about the politics of the start to deal. as a way of suggesting why a there is unlikely to be a vote during the lame duck session. i think the administration could have had and ultimately will get sent ratifications of the tree because they have not seriously engaged in making any concessions are any deal making particularly with senator john cabell who is a man with a pedigree when it comes to nuclear issues and the leading
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figure in opposition to the treaty as it currently stands. he signaled, and i think certainly the senator himself and the representatives have suggested in particular on upgrading missile defense investments and making a serious investment in the modernization of the nuclear infrastructure, not just for the purposes of the tabling a test ban, but actually modernizing the infrastructure in the event, i think it is a reasonable price. but thebama administration having governed keeping 60 senate votes in mind up until this point has reached the juncture where it needs 67
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votes and cannot get them. senator kyl is likely to have more influence to get more of what heants in the coming ssion of congress. i would say there is very little incentive for senator kyl to reach an agreement unlesthe obama administration is willing to move the needle pretty substantially and make more commitments, and the president himself is going to engage in these negotiations or deal with it at a much higher level. the president's priorities have been elsewhere. it is sort of like an expanded version of the courier free trade deal in this is that you can't get there from here in the time remaining. having that would be the one note that i could contribute about the current debate.
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if we look a little bit more at the larger picture, the connection between nuclear issues and the larger questions of international politics and military correlations as we used to say are coming much more interrelated than they have been. certainly during the later years of the cold war when it was the presumption that nuclear weapons were qualitatively different. it is what they enjoyed during the salad years, quite capable of eradicating all life on the planet. those days are gone. that is also the case that the sort of by polar international system of the nuclear balance
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was a reflection and also a thing of the past. why are we negotiating with the soviet union? they are totally unlike the united states except with the amount of nuclear weapons that it has. there is a demographically collapsing state, a politically imploded empire. they are highly unrepresentative, and the economy is a resource extraction ha ha ha larger scale, but not quantitatively different. by contrast, the world that we see coming in the twenty first century that everybody talks about features most prominently the rise of the people's
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republic of china. is that behind that, the rise of india. but with many other factors that complicate national politics. the administraon felt right rightly and spends a lot of time talking about proliferation and and the proliferation efforts to keep it out of the hands of terrorists and other non-state actors again. it is a terrifying prospect. the sensible american which stand against that. this has nothing to do with that. it is the rise of other was weak and a second-rate powers
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with iran and north korea had been the leading edge examples of aspiring in a small nuclear states the constantly have larger arsenals, the efforts to contain north korea oppose the program as we have heard in recent weeks has not been successful. likewise, it is highly unlikely that any effort to prevent iran from obtaining nuclear weapons -- and obtaining a militarily significant arsenal not measured in the thousands or tens of thousands of warheads, but certainly measured in dozens if not low hundreds over the course of time. those points, those facts are creating uncertainty and instability and new questions
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about the need for nuclear weapons among not only adversaries of the united states such as venezuela, but also america's friends. the conversation that we have thed as the story's over weekend suggests, the prospect of an iranian bomb is believed to aerifying to the persian gulf region, and long-term strategic partners. secretary clinton i think quite rightly but without much discussion extended an offer of deterrence to the gulf states about 15 months ago, and the pressure is likely to expand.
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demand for american security guarantees in the face of proliferation is already increasing. nally, as i suggested, the competition will inevitably have wheat to modernization and expansion of small arsenals that we see in china and india and pakistan for example, if not all threeategories were played out, pakistan would be subject for yet another panel. at any rate, this is an entirely different feature that our cold war past. all of these things that we told ourselves were stable and predictable, who do not obtain
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any future. what of the great debates in the negotiating committee is when you expand the realm of negotiations to include certain parties? an interesting question, but as he suggested, and much more complex set of negotiations. it will make our cold war and ongoing negotiations look like child's play. there is no consensus for nuclear disarmament. that is the only way you can explain the behavior of those that feel threatened by american powers and those that have their own regional ambitions or own domestic regimes abilities-north
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koreans do. if we are so uncertain about what the future is going to be like except to say that it will be deeply on like our past experiences, it continues to be locked like to scorpions in the bottle. we don't know what is coming, and that is exactly the point. we don't know what kind of arsenal we will need, although we do know that we need to respond to very different nuclear crises and nuclear use in the face of very different nuclear threats. why should we continue to go down this road with the russians? even if the treaty itself is ultimately ratified, it doesn't
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really address the most pressing nuclear questions. we will face this now and we will face this in the future. and we don't know what kind and what are re of nuclear capabilities we will need, but it is almost certain that we will need some form, probably more variedorms of nuclear weapons ourselves. now is a good time to open the aperture and ask ourselves not what deal we can reach with the russians, but what set of deals and what kind of arms control agreements will actually secure americans in the future, and what kind of arsenal do need to respond to the future that is almost impossibly different from the past?
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>> we are anxious to get you involved in the discussion. i will use my will presentation to make some comments in support, and we will engage you in that conversation. as i expected, there have been some comments from various participants on this issue, and i think that senator kyl is being entirely sincere in serious -- and serious. republicans have proven that they are willing to be supportive of president obama on foreign policy issues and the policies have largely been relegated to domestic matters. it is a little bit of an affirmation of the old adage that politics should stop at the
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water's edge. i have been struck by how much in the past two years we have had a bipartisan accord on issues like iraq and afghanistan, and i will come back to that in just a second. i think his arguments that he has the kind of questions on his mind, as opposed to wondering whether this is the moment to give the obama administration a political boost or not. let me make some arguments in favor of new start. the oma administrion is correct, it has helped improve u.s. strategic cooperation i general on other issues. while it can be critiqued here and there, he has done a very good job on specific points. it is generally solid and tough that i don't worry about the
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loopholes allowing one side to increase their forces and not worried about how one particular way could be constrained because the overall possibilities are generally run wide open for american and russian consideration. i am interested in seeing that u.s.-russian relations are much improved, and this is not a critique of how u.s.-russian relations were handled under george w. bush. i agree with president bush about his approach to arms control, to say that the strategic details shouldn't matter anymore the way they used to. let's do a treaty and agree among inhuman to reduce forces, we don't need to verification, we don't need the lengthy consultations. unfortunately, it did not really
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seem to work in the sense that it improve the relationship dramatically. and also felt it was losing a litt bit of clout internationally. the bush administration was controversial in other ways, leading to a situation where russia wanted to resume a classic form of arms control. i see no harm in it, i think the treaty is generally sound, and let me quickly itemized where i think it has actually improved security. it has fostered a spirit of cooperation on the northern distribution network shipping supplies into afghanistan where we don't want complete dependence on pakistan for the war effort that involves hundred and 45,000 foreign troops to require an enormous number of supplies.
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in much of the early years of the war, russia either opposed or tried to interfere with the shipping of supplies from its own territories where the soviet republic. now we have seen a mellowing of that to the point that depending on which supplies you're looking at, 30%-40% is not just important numerically, it is important because it may also strengthen our handle the to remind pakistan that, in fact, we don't depend on them exclusively entirely likely once might have thought. this is important as we seek to pressure pakistan to work harder against the insurgents. we have come a long way, and linkages we are -- real. we have seen benefits because of
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this generally improved relationship which is partially due to giving russia what it asked for. just mention one more issue, in the spirit of bipartisanship or nonpartisanship the of the present across the entire panel, it is a very serious substantive argument. i think that in their earlier years, not only did they have a very reasonable approach towards trying to limit offensive arms in a way that is consistent with our interests of the day of american interests in general, in fact, russia was putting greater pressure -- began to
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impose some of the un sanctions and informal cooperation is starting to improve during the 2007-2008 time period. putting pressure on iran, a high-technology, some of this was not officially, some of it more unofficially. it has accelerated under president obama. we have seen more u.n. resolutions, more u.n. sanctions and more international cooperation, including russia and stopping the shipment of advanced surface to air missile batteries to iran partly as a result of this improve u.s. russia relationship that is helped along by the start treaty. i don't want to get into the
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details any more that i already have on the specifics of the treaty. not to say that we should side of that treaty to do good things elsewhere, but even the midsized flaws that might have, the stipulation that might not be as quiet as ideal, it is generally solid and it allows us to do everything we need to win a nuclear, conventional, and other defense forces. it helps strategic relations on other issues that are more pressing and will get to the matter is that we were talking about with other countries. and how we can work together to deal with those. i look forward very much to the conversation with you all on any other issue in the future of nuclear deterrence, so for the benefit of the tv cameras in your fellow members of the audience, identify yourself and
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wait for a microphone. please post a concise question. we will begin in the front row and moved back to the third row. >> i am from the center for american and arab studies. this seems to me that the nuclear clock expanding lately and the prospect of the expansion on the horizon. even the issue of iran probably going to end up guiding the arab states and other states to renew their efforts to establish their nuclear programs. the question is, what is this --
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[unintelligible] to get rid of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction. it seems to me that in particular, i sense that he is looking into new forms of nuclear weapons for the united states to introdu more weapons and stability. the question remains for the rest of the world, how do we get rid of the weapons of mass destruction and why don't we go through the issue of nuclear freezes for each continent. we look at this goal and everything will be measured toward that goal. >> that is the topic of my book. i would quickly say that i don't
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think this panel would all agree of the desirability of that goal of a nuclear-free world. there is no particular linkage between the start treaty and judging the long-term ability to reach that conclusion. i have a skeptic who supports the vision of a nuclear-free world, but i think it is several decades into the future. i am worried about rushing too much toward that at a time where a lot of american allies are worried about whether the u.s. nuclear commitment is strong enough. of volunteer myself to start the answer, i am pretty skeptical of how much we can pass for the process in the next few years. let me go down the aisle. >> i agree that we should have the objective, and i am no sure
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that we can reach it. a lot of things have to happen, and we might agree here that if we can get to a non-nuclear world, it might not be a bad thing. it would probably be about how likely is to get to the new verification mechanisms, and it would require fundamental changes in political relationships. a non-nuclear world is not bad. we have the pacific ocean, the atlantic ocean, and friendly neighbors. you may have a different view, and until you can get that likewise comfortable, the country is going to have hesitation about nuclear weons. i have come to a different conclusion, as we think about u.s. weapons in a broader
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context, we have to worry about not just russia and china, but others. or it might come to a different conclusion, looking at 1550 deployed warheads or even 1000, it seems to me that that level of forces will be sufficient in deterring anybody else. if the country is not going to be deterred by 1000, you're going to have to come up with some way to affect calculations. >> i am agnostic on the goal, i must say. you have seen what a non-nuclear world looks like. it looked like the first half of the last century. it looks like world war one and
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world war two. of thing that was a very attractive world. i am a bit agnostic about the possibility or the possibility of that as a goal to its -- aspire to. as long as they provide a profound deterrent effect, it seems to me that they are enormously important for us and for many other countries. let me add to that, because the bipartisan strategic commissioned i believe got it right with regard to the goal of nuclear 0, the pie partisan commission saying that it will be feasible with the transformation of the world order. i agree that it will be feasible and even admiral as a goal -- an admirable as a goal. the question in my mind is whether the transformation is
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feasible. if there is any indication of what might be possible in the future, the answer is that level of transformation is not possible. the league of nations was an effort to create security to end international war. it failed. the united nations was an effort to create a security system to an international war. so far, it has failed to do that. in my mind, absent a collective security system that can provide security for all members, nuclear 0 will be difficult to get to if not impossible. let me say lastly, i think nuclear zero is the wrong goal in general.
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i would much prefer to see zero weapons of mass destruction. if we are going to have a goal to aspire to, it should be no weapons of mass destruction. biologicaln't want weapons that can be every bit as devastating as nuclear-weapons. it is difficult to get rid of nuclear weapons if biological weapons are going to remain out there. some countries want a nuclear deterrent to prevent a biological attack. i would much rather see the goal of no weapons of mass destruction if we're going to pause at a goal. it will take a transformation of the world order. >> i am not going to speculate in the scholastic way as to what the world should be like.
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i prefer thinking more practically about the world that we actually live. there has been a lot of fashionable talk of the last 18 months or so about containing the miracle cure. it has been interesting to go back and read what exactly containment is. and it will be sort of quantitatively being experts. to thatknow the answer question, but i think it is an open question. in the cold war, there is an
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intermediate range which the american side of the nuclear bazooka, not that was a very useful solution, but we do ourselves a injustice if we think it was just that the people who were trying to solve those puzzles were completely misguided. there is a huge ballistic missile competition going on right now. there is something destabilizing in east asia. that is a game that we are constrained from entering because of past deals with the ex-soviet union. again, i just think that we have to confront the world as we find
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it. trees limitative armaments are traditional state crafts and stragy to achieve goals. you cannot simply export mechanisms in wholesale fashion from one strategic era to another and expect them to be perfectly effective and efficient in the way you expect them to be. particularly when the landscape is different and the number of factors is much more perverse, inspired by a wide array of ideology and geopolitical goals. these are questions that we need to ask and did not foreclose answers now because we are continuing a set of negotiations.
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>> we will take to questions that time, we will take responses. >> thank you for a very excellent and analyze questions. one was that in the first response, but let me repeat so that i make sure we are totally clear. is it the policy of the obama administration to declare -- is it a rhetorical policy or anything else, that they embraced and endorsed the nuclear-free concept? that does have some bearing on whether we go beyond the current will, or the new start make sense. secondlym, -- secondly, it is
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contended that given that pressure, they have mapped all of the objections and given him more than he asked for. somehow he has welshed on his commitment. hearing him yesterday on the news shows, he may have thought a verily -- a fairly persuasive case is a request for modernization, upgrades, except in a kind of loose goals way. they didn't practically commit. isn't the illustration's policy to strive -- but to embrace it as a goal? what is their policy and in particular, the request to modernize the facility.
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>> >> thank you for your presentation. my question is, what about north korea? what should the united states government to after its [unintelligible] and should the united states to review its current policy? thank you. >> a question. i will defer to others. the president of the commitment to a nuclear-free world is pretty clearly stated, and there is still a question of that is their policy. it doesn't obligate them to
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take any particular set of next steps. the path to get there, there are many paths to get there. the understanding is that it has been pretty consistent about what they have wanted from the start and that the particular investments in budgets proposed by the administration have not met his threshold. and we can't make commitments for future administrations that said the bay though there are things they could do to prepare for a long-term modernization of the facilities that you describe the. i would tend to take a senator kyl's word, but have not been
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privy to discussions. it is hard to judge from the outside. again, i think that is another case that is demonstrative of the world, trying to describe a very broad and general way. these are the kinds of nuclear issues that we are likely to see more of. and for which we do not have a very good response, which are only tangentially related to either our overall relations with russia and our arms control, but again, my point is not that it is bad, it does raise some important issues that need to be addressed. i would agree about the need for investment elsewhere.
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we're not devoting most of our efforts to the most critical nuclear problems that we face navajo and will only get greater in the future. >> let me address the first question, i believe it had to do with the obama administration's policy concerning nuclear zero. let me point you to the 2010 revue that the administration produced and by and large is a very good document. i think if you look at that document, what it says is that movement toward non- proliferation is the highest nuclear policy. i mention that because the administration in the past has
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given rhetorical support to nuclear disarmament. they tend to balance that al of the goal of maintaining a nuclear deterrent and assuring allies with the extended nuclear deterrent. administrations in the past have had a goal of nuclear disarmament. the really dramatic change that i see any kind of document that i refer to is the comment that this is the highest nuclear policy priority which leads to concerns that we will see is a disadvantage of requirements and assurance. it is connected with the other question concerning the nuclear program in north korea, as a see the potential for nuclear
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proliferation continue, north korea, other countries interested in acquiring nuclear weapons. how do we assure our allies who live in these growing and increasingly dangerous neighborhoods? if north korea is going to stay with a nuclear capability and modernize that capability, we need to inspect the requirements to ensure that japan and south korea are likely to change ha. it will likely become deeper and wider in scope. as a country that provides these kind of guarantees, they're very important to our alliance structure. the suit nuclear proliferation does continue, it will require
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us to be very agile and listen closely to what our allies say about what they see the requirements are for this emerging threat. this has been very typical of the types of debates in the united states, we identify weapons that are adequate for deterrence and say it is a good number. arms control can obtain that number and we are satisfied. deterrence is not the only role for the strategic nuclear forces. deterrence of enemies is a role for strategic nuclear forces, but assuring allies is a very important role, and i believe it was said that during enemies is 10% of what it takes to assure our allies. our allies.


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