tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN January 25, 2013 2:00pm-8:00pm EST
people streaming up constitution avenue. that is the march for life, the march 40 for life happening today. we are covering that live also on c-span board. let's go to the house floor on c-span. commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house
a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c., january 25, 2013. i hereby appoint the honorable andy harris to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. gracious god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. you have blessed us with all good gifts and with thankful hearts we express our gratitude . you have created us with opportunity to serve other people in their need, share together in respect and affection and to be faithful in the responsibilities we have been given. in this moment of prayer, please grant to the members of this people's house the gifts of wisdom and decertainment that in their words and actions
they will do justice, love with mercy and walk humbly with you. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker pro tempore: [: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof.] [pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 he journal stands approved.] pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the chair will lead the house in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the chair announces the speaker's appointment pursuant to 22, u.s.c., 3,003, of the following member on the part of the house to the commission on security and cooperation in europe.
the clerk: mr. hastings of florida. the speaker pro tempore: the chair announces the speaker's appointment pursuant to sections 5580 and 5581 of the revised statutes, 20, u.s.c., 42-43 and the order of the house of january 3, 2013, of the following member on the part of the house to the board of regions of the smithsonian institution. the clerk: mr. becerra of california. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the house stands adjourned until 1:00 p.m. on
>> marchers in the 40th march for life. they are making their way up to the supreme court protesting the row v. wead decision. you can follow coverage on cspan.org. speakers included chris smith and diane black and presidential candidate. there is an event from the national revufmente that is live at 5:00 p.m. eastern. and next week we cover another confirmation hering. chuck hagel nominated by the
president. his confirmation hearing is coming up on thursday at 9:30 eastern here on c-span. >> >> the 1930's are known of the hard economic other time, you see commol i cans anonymous develop in the 1930's to various socialist activist movements. there is this whole thing going on out there. and there is personal finances out of this over a period of years. and her goal is to educate people so that the great depression will never happen again. it's very much in its time that we can teach people certain skills. >> the dark side of the
personal finances industry saturday night at 10:00 on afterwards on c-span2. and look for more book tv online. like us on facebook. >> but i think it's all an evolutionary process. you grow into this role. and my sense is that you never get comfortable if you are always pushing for change and growth, not just in yourself but in the issues that you care about. you're never done. so there is never a point in time where you feel like i am now here and i can do this the same way all the time. it's always changing. it's changes given the state of the country and you don't know what those are going to be from one day to the next. so you have to be flexible and open to involve. >> the first ladies their public and private lives. >> c-span is teaming up for a series for television, first
ladies influence and image airing over two seasons. season one begins president's day at 9:00 eastern and pacific on c-span, c-span radio and cspan.org. >> a u.s. air force inquiry found that 32 military training instruct chors engaged in inproirpt sexual relationships with 59 recruits at lackland air force base in texas. wednesday the house armed services committee conducted a hearing on their investigation. >> the hearing is three hours.
>> the meet willing come to order. 2k3w50d morning. -- good morning. thank you for joining us for a hearing of the 113th congress. we will begin with a subject the committee has been addressing for a number of years. i find it disturbing that despite the collective work of congress, the department of defense and the dedicated groups who advocate on behalf of these victims of sexual misconduct remains a problem within our armed forces. today we meet to receive testimony on sexual misconduct by instructors at lackland air force base. these are the most recent of assaults that have plagued our military for far too long.
32 instructors have been found guilty or charged with or being investigated for crimes against 59 trainees beg it is question, how could this have happened? how could this system and the leadership failed to protect the men and women who serve our nation from sexual predators who also wear the uniform? >> while i applaud the air force for pursuing vethses to find answers to these questions, i am particularly disturbed in there was significant delay reporting the allegations to proper authorities when they came to light. equally troubling was no action was take whn the delay was uncovered. this to me is unacceptable. i look forward to hearing from the generals, how the air force has addressed these issues to eliminate the possibility that sexual misconduct goes undetected in the future. make no mistake, congress
shares the responsibility for preventing sexual assault within the military and assuring victims that their cases will be prosecuted to the fullest exp tent of the law. over the past five years we have joined forces to put real reforms into place. we've assured victims are taken seriously, provided medical care and support and the cases are investigated and prosecuted. last year congress passed reforms in how the military tracks sexual assault to paint a picture of just how big the problem is. we also established a commission to take a critical look at the uniform code of med teenage justice and make recommendations for reform to make sure that the system can successfully prosecute sexual assault. however, legislation is not the only answers. commanders at every level in every service must make
eliminating sexual assault and all forms of sexual misconduct from their commands the highest of priorities. senior leaders at all levels must hold accountable for pursuing allegations of sexual misconduct. we will accept nothing less. i understand that the air force has already made several changes to improve the safety and effectiveness of basic training. i would like to hear from our second panel if the safeguards put in place are sufficient. i have no doubt that there is more to be done. my visit to lackland in september renewed my belief that the young men and women who volunteer to join our armed forces are the finest in the nation. they have earned the respect of the nation. they deserve the respect from their leaders and fellow service members. before i ask smith for his opening remarks i'd like to remind the air force continues
to prosecute the remaining cases at lackland fment when military perpetrators of sexual assault are tried, public statements especially senior leaders about the guilty or innocence of an alleged perpetrator can be perceived as or even may be un-- there may be undo command influence on the outcome of the trial. >> it could be used as ground for mistrial by defense attorneys. that isn't an outcome anyone wants. to that i will give latitude to answer questions to the extent it will not prejudice ongoing criminal prosecutions. we're all committed to eradicating sexual assault in our armed forces but first we must respect the victim's need for short and justice.
>> icon cur in all of your remarks and i thank you for that strong statement. i too have a statement which i'll submit for the record and i'll sum rise. i thank you for the leadership you've shown on this issue. this is a very serious problem, being able to protect the men and women in our military is job one. if there is not trust. if they do not trust the people leading them then the entire system breaks down. sexual assault and sexual violence is a major problem throughout the military and that's a big point to keep in mind throughout this hearing. this is not just lackland. this is an extreme example, one i hope we can learn from. one that needs to be resolved. the cases need to be prosecuted and we need to get to the bottom of what happened. but this is a problem that has plagued the military for too long. we on this committee and throughout the military need to
address it to make sure our military can function at the level we need to it. i want to thank the generals. we've had many meetings and it's apparent to me the department of defense takes this issue very seriously and is trying to do their best to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. it's completely unacceptable we got to this point, that it wasn't solved before this. we are now seing the seriousness from the department of defense that i think is warranted. there are too many members on this committee to name that have taken a leadership role on this to make the changes necessary to protect our men and women from this type of assault and violence. so i thank them for that leadership as well. going forward we have to do much better than we've done. to learn what are the changes,
to do a better job of protecting our men and women. at the end of the day, the culture needs to change. i've heard a number of members talk about this. basically when it gets to the point if you're serving in the military, you know that your advancement in the military is dependent upon protecting the men and women and being out front to protect the victims and make it clear throughout your command this is sun epable behavior that will be punished. when everybody in the military knows that is one of the things they will be judged on for advancement, when that cultural change is made, that's when we have succeeded. i thank you for being here this morning. i look forward to the testimony and the members questions. >> thank you very much. at this time without objection i ask unanimous con stheant an
additional statement from the center of redness be included in the record of this hearing. without objection so ordered. i want to ecomr. smith's comments about general welsh and general rise. they have been most helpful and those who conducted the investigation. i couldn't commend them more for the seriousness in which they've take thn and the leadership they've brought to this issue. this time now i understand we may have votes at any time. so what i would like to do in the interest of trying to make sure that we have time to properly conduct this hearing, if we just have one vote on the rule we will not break. we'll ask the members to go vote and keep moving so that we can expedite this.
we'll hear from general welsh and he'll divide the time up between him and general rice. >> thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today. this topic is obviously a tough one. but we don't have to enjoy the subject to appreciate the privilege of being before this committee. thank you for the opportunity. and general rice andry honored to be here. i'd like to start by having general rice give you an update on the basic military training investigations at lackland and i'll follow that with a few service wide things we're doing to learn from it and to do everything we can to ensure that it never happens again. >> certainly. >> thank you for the opportunity to provide comments
on the air force's investigation into sexual misconduct by basic military training instructors at our basic military training complex at joint base san antonio lackland in san antonio texas. we have done a comprehensive investigation. over 550 investigators have been involved which they interest conducted over 77,000 700 interviews. although we have conducted a look back, the vast majority of the allegations are alleged misconduct that occurred over the past three years. during this three year period 8555 airmen have been assigned
to instructor duty. of this group of instructors, we have completed disciplinary action against eight. we have court marshall charges against another nine and 15 others are under investigation. the allegations against these instructors range from sexual assault to the inappropriate contact with students after they graduated from basic military training and were no longer under the authority of the instructor. that the point, 24 of the military training instructors are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. we have identified 59 victims or alleged victims of this criminal activity or misconduct. regardless of whether a victim or alleged victim was the victim of a sexual assault, the recipient of an inappropriate e-mail or willingly
participated in an unprofessional relationship with an instructor in violation of established policy, we have offered each of them the full range of victim support services. and no victim or alleged victim has been charged with a policy violation or otherwise held accountable as part of this investigative process. the 32 instructors who have been disciplined or who are under investigation represent he has than 4% of the instructors who have served in basic military training over the past three years and i believe it is important to underscore that the vast majority of our instructors serve with distinction in a very demanding duty assignment. that said, it is completely unacceptable to us that so many of our instructors have committed crimes or violated our policies and we clearly failed in our responsibility to
maintain good order and discipline among too many of our instructors in basic military training. among the most important and fundamental responsibilities of commond is the requirement to maintain good order and discipline among the members of the military organization. this responsibility cannot be delegated. all of the changes we are making in basic military training are directed in one way or another at helping our commanders discharge this fundamental responsibility. although it is still very early, the evidence indicates that our efforts are making a difference. we have not had a reported incident of sexual misconduct in basic military training in the past seven months. this is not to say that we
believe we are nearing the end of our work. on the contrary. we know this is not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning of a journey that can never end. the key to success over the next weeks and months and years is to sustain the intense level of focus we have devoted to this issue over the past nine months. to this end, i believe the most significant action we are taking to address this critical issue is the establishment of the recruiting, education and training oversight council. this council will include the senior leadership of my command and will one, review the progress and effectiveness of the actions we are now implementing. two, provide an expanded perspective on future actions we will take to prevent problems from recurring.
and three, advise me on strategic issues affecting airman safety in basic military training. in short, this council will help us institution lies the intense level of focus we must sustain if we are to successfully defeat the threat of sexual misconduct in the basic military training environment. i look forward to your questions after general welsh's remarks. thank you. >> i completely agree that the b.m.t. investigations don't mark the end of anything. the air force has recommitted itself that every airman is treated with respect. it's a way of life. this has been stunning to most of us in the air force. there is simply no excuse for us or no justifiable exexplanation and there is no
way we can allow this to happen again. the goal is not to lower the number. the goal is zero. it's the only acceptable objective. the impact on every victim, their family and friend and the other people in their unit is heart wrenching. we are giving this our full attention. out of the 46 recommendations, 23 are fully implemented, 22 more will be implemented by november of this year and the final has been separated and has to do with short tng length of basic military training itself and that's being reviewed. some of these recommendations have appability to the entire air force and we're working into building them into the program into our air force leadership training at every level and into our investigative and legal
processes. since becoming the chief of staff i've worked hard to express my concern with sexual assault and i've shared my thoughts with every level of our air force. they understand, especially our senior commanders understand that the american people trust us with their greatest treasure, their sons and daughters. they expect us to lead them with honor, to value each of them and to treat them as if they were our own. we do not have a greater responsibility than that. every air force commander must be actively engaged in this effort. if they don't, i consider them part of the problem. i met with our four star generals in october to make sure they knew how i felt about this subject. not surprisingly they all felt the same. i directed them to come to washington in late november so that i could discuss this issue
with them face to face. there is no room for misunderstanding as we move forward from here. secretary donnelly approved an inspection during the first two weeks of december. the intent was to provide every airman an environment to allow them to excel and each of them is treated with respect. details of this have been publicly released. i reinforced the fact that obscene, disrespectful images or songs or traditions are not part of our heritage and will not be accepted as part of our culture. while these things do not relate to sexual assault they create an environment of unprofessional relationships. and i believe those are indicators for sexual assault. we are aligned with sexual assault policies with the
secretary of defense and joint chiefs of staff. we've created serble victims teams comprised of vecttors and attorneys who have received training in sexual assault cases. that has been encouraged and supported by members of this committee and i proshte that. 60 air force attorneys have been identified and trained to serve as victim's counsel. that program goes fully into effect on the 28th of january but in fact we've assigned serble victim's counsel to victims around the air force. we continue to employee over 3100 victim advocates. we are on track to hire and place a full time fully acreditted victim add vocat at every installation by october 1 of this year. there are many other things
we're doing to deal with this problem i'll be happy to discuss during question and answer period. i will never stop attacking this problem. we will never slow down our efforts to ensure our victims receive the best, most capable and thoughtful care and advice possible until we can eliminate the problem. and i promise every member of the committee that we will never quit working to eliminate this horrible crime from the ranks of our air force. thank you for the help you've given us in this effort and the time you're spending here today. general rice and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. i just was informed when we do have the vote, it will be three votes so we will have to recess and return as quickly as we can after the votes. general welsh, during your confirmation hearing you testified everyone in the air force is trying to do the right thing and figure out some way
of stopping sexual assault. i don't think this is an incident only at lackland. i don't think it's an incident only in the air force. i don't think it's only in the military. i think it's a society al problem. we cannot fix the societal problem. we can address the air force problem. i know talking to the chiefs, they are looking at all of the branches of the military. you acknowledged what was being done at the was not adequate to reverse the trend. what are your thoughts on how the air force can reverse the trend? do you have some specific examples other than what you've mentioned already that still need to be done? >> mr. chairman, i think there are a lot of things that need to be done and we 23450ed to do
them from now on. the biggest thing is committing to dealing with people on an individual level every day by every supervisor and commander. i don't think institutional directives will solve the problem. i think caring for every airman will help solve the problem. we've tried a number of initiatives while some of them may be successful and may be helping the problem, we're certainly not reversing the trend in a dramatic way. so we need to keep looking for new and different ways to approach the problem. as we find thanges work we should expand on them. the special victim's counsel i believe is a good example. if we can get the 30% or so of the victims who report as unrestricted and allow to us begin an investigation who then step away because of concerns about a number of things, i won't go into all the details
why they decide not to participate in a prosecution. but some of those clearly are related to the way we conduct an investigation, the way they feel as they go through the follow up care and preparation for trial. we have to eliminate those things and keep those victims engaged in the process of finding and removing the perpetrators because if we don't there will be additional victims. there are predators who commit this crime. there are predators. we have to find them, hopefully screen them out early if there are tools that allow to us do that before they come into the military. if not, we have to find that from people around them who know them. and if they commit a crime we have to stop them after the first one and not allow them to continue. we have to work hard to identify those activity that is lead to bad behavior and there
are a number of them. we deal with our children all the time. our airman are no different. they are in the same circles. a young man who bing drinks and louses control. let's stop the drinking. let's identify the behavior early. but that takes a clear understanding of the issue starting with our youngest airmen and youngest officers. i think that's the key, mr. chairman. >> the command directed the investigation in addition yated by you general rice found that the f.t.a. levels at lackland did not support optimum oversight during basic training. the report recommends increasing manning. given that the air force is drawing down personnel and is facing continued reduce
budgets, how will you fill these extra f.t.i. requirements? >> thank you mr. chairman. as i reported to the chief and the sec of the air force and talked about the resource requirement that is would be necessary in order for us to implement fully the recommendations, i am happy to say that resources were not a constraint in terms of my ability to address the issues. i asked for more military training instructors. they have been thoffersed. we are in the process of hiring them and training them. in the meantime, we have effectively achieved the impact of having two military training instructors assigned to each flight which is the instate we want to get to by bringing in temporary instructors on
temporary duty status and rearguing some of the staff positions to put them on the line, if you will, to perform military training instructor duty because we thought that was important to do now and not wait for the assignment and personnel process in the training process quite frankly to catch up. so we are -- have been authorized the additional positions by the air force. quite frankly, the long pole in the tent is our ability to effectively train enough instructors. we are in the process of doing that now but that will take a little bit of time for us to complete. in the meantime i'med satisfied we've been able to achieve the effect through other mechanisms. >> the investigation directed by general patrick response to the m.t.i. misconduct found
there was significant delay in reporting. when the commander learned of the delay, no corrective action was taken. what actions have you taken to address these failures and raise awareness among the leaders of the importance of aggressively pursuing reports of misconduct? >> thank you, mr. chairman. in the specific instance i believe you're referring to in the command directed investigation, i directed a separate investigation into the delayed reporting and did find there was comeability among the members of the supervisery chain in terms of informing the commander. and i have held people accountable for that delay in reporting. i did find in that specific snens that when the commander knew of it he took appropriate action initially. but there were other instances identified in the command directed investigation in other
areas we have discovered through other means where i was not satisfied with the action that is commanders and other leaders took in response to reports of misconduct. we have addressed that in a must be of different ways. to and include putting in place mandatory reporting requirements such that any incident of misconduct or maltreatment must immediately be reported up the chain of command, not just to the squadron commander but to the wing commander and two star commander who has overall responsibility for non-flying training within the air force. if it involves sexual conduct this report must occur within 4 hours and the alleged offender is removed immediately from the position of either the staff position or the instructor position until we've had enough time to sort through the details of what went on and ensure that it's proper to
either go to an investigation fully or to place that instructor back into the duty position. so partly we've handled it through this idea of having mandatory reporting procedures that allow us to ensure that these -- that the proper information is transmitted to the proper people at the right times in order to deal with this. i would say a second order we've dealt with this has to do with the level of seniorty and experience that we have placed now in the basic military training environment such that we have more senior experienced and seasoned leaders and supervisors making decisions about what constitutes an infraction and what doesn't and what should be done about it. this is not an environment where we want to test or
determine whether someone is a good leader, mr. wl someone has had supervisery experience. it's a place we bring people who have common straited strong ability to supervise and a strong history of making good decisions. part of what you have seen in the changes we have made is to get more experienced leaders into these positions so when they get that information they can make better decisions. thank you. >> thank you. after ranking member smith's questions, we will recess. mr. smith. >> thank you mr. chairman. i think you covered the subject pretty thuroughly. how do you measure success going forward? it's difficult because on the one hand you can say we have fewer sexual assaults but you don't want people to be not reporting. are you making progress just within the air force?
what are you looking for to figure out whether or not you are moving forward making progress and getting to the point where you eliminate sexual assault within the air force? >> one of the things i think we need to do is establish and maintain a clear baseline of information. in 2010 we conducted a survey that gave us numbers on the incident and prev lance of sexual assault and reporting within the air force. we are in in the process now of contracting for the follow up survey of that, the 2013 survey to follow up on the initial baseline and see which direction we happen to be moving. is our reporting increasing and if , so why. are the types of incidents changing, is the demographic of the victim changing? all of those things are critical to baseline our effort and figure out what is working and what isn't working.
i think the other thing is the feedback we get from people within the air force. we have made an effort to get to a discussion at the unit level of treating each other with respect. the feedback we are getting is interesting. because it's clear we haven't done enough in this area, that people don't feel valued. that we have a number of our air force that's been going along to get along that are uncomfortable with things in their work environment, whether it's mannerisms or poor language or pictures on the wall or whatever it might be. >> that is very important. you have to talk to people. what sit that's making them feel intimidated and it may surprise what that is exactly. so understanding that i think is critical so i appreciate you making that point. go ahead. >> i think that's where it starts.
the other thing we need to do is identify the numbers in a clear way so that we can have an unemotional logical discussion about a very emotional topic about how we are doing in prosecution etc. and what are the tools we can use to get better. we have major disconnect in our numbers versus if you look at the prosecutors numbers on the outside. i don't think the numbers are that far apart. i base that on the fact i took the air force numbers and asked our advocate to use the rain methodology to compute our percentages for prosecutions. internally when we did that null within a percentage point of most of the mean data that they have. what we've done to follow sup take that to reign and sit with a representative from rain and together put these numbers together so we can share with you what the numbers are relative to a standard or a
baseline in the non-military world just so we can determine where the problems really exist. we spent a lot of time focused on numbers and if the numbers aren't consistent, if we're not talking apples to apples it's hard to figure out where you put the most effort. the level of resources we apply has to have the most effect. >> i have one more quick question. >> i briefly prosecuted domestic violence cases and sometimes the victims won't come forward. within the military you've got to broad cultural challenges we talked about. but you have punishment and things that the normal criminal justice system wouldn't have. how are you planning on using those options in situations where you may not be able to prosecute because of various evidence things but you still
know there is a problem that needs to be addressed? >> can you explain some of the discretion you use in the military chain of command to change the culture and discourage this behavior? >> yes. i'll make a general comment then specific. of the lackland cases of the 59 incidents we are investigating, 45 of those we couldn't prosecute under sexual assault. they were prosecuted for unprofessional relationships. that is an opportunity we have to engage on where you might have a difficult time prosecuted outside the military. for a little more detail let me ask ed to expand on that. >> i think commanders have and will continue to use the entire suite of tools they have to enforce discipline. the court marshall process using the military code of justice is only one of those
tools. and in the cases that we are looking atlanta lackland we have cases where as a commander looked at all of the evidence that was available to him or her decided that a court marshall was not the appropriate venue to get to the right answer in terms of justice in that case, so they used some of the other tools that are available to them. uniquely in the military justice system. i think it's not as well understood often times in terms of the decision that is commanders make in terms of the venue that is used to achieve the right outcome in a case. and the fact that we can use non-judicial punishment and in other forms that would have the same sanction as you would find in a court marshall but are done in a way that does not require the same level of standards of proof that a court marshall would is a very
important tool that commanders can use in order to enforce discipline and get to a better outcome in more cases than if they did not have that tool. i think that's very important. >> i appreciate that. i think we are going to run and vote so i will yield back. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you. the committee will stand at recess for about 15 minutes or so. thank you very much. >> the committee will come to order. mr. wilson. >> thank you mr. chairman and generals welsh and rice thank
you for being here today. it's really uplifting to me as you were quoting air force secretary michael donnelly. he indicated that the air force is a family. and that's the way i believe too. and for me it's firsthand. my dad flew in the army air corp. i have a nephew serving in the air force today. i served in the army guard and reserve. i have four sons serving in the arnie and navy today. it is family and we want the best for our family members. we want them to achieve to their highest a fulfilling military service which is opportunity. so the issues you're dealing with must be addressed. i'm particularly greatful to general rice that you were ahead of the curve. your leadership and by selecting major general wood
ward to conduct the investigation has been so positive and i want to thank you. and i would be greatful if any of my family nebs could serve with you so thank you for what you've done. and indeed with the report, she in meeting with her i was so impressed by her determination. and she of course came through with 22 findings. and the findings then directed 46 recommendations. and these 46 recommendations are real world ways to address the problems for the best of our military. and i know that you'll be implementing 45 of the 46 recommendations. and from each of you i'd like to get a report on what is the status of implementing these recommendations? >> thank you, sir. we have to date implemented 23 of the 46 recommendations.
as you know, there was one that i decided was not appropriate for this forum so we are going to implement 45 of the 46 and we have completed our implementation of 23 of them. some of the most important near term actions we've been able to complete especially as it addresses leadership and as i indicated in response to an earlier question t reporting requirements to ensure that leadership is notified in a timely manner of issues. we are on pace to implement the remaining recommendations, 22, by november of this year. some of them require a more deliberate process for implementation such as ensuring that we get the right leaders in position through the assignment cycle instead of just pulling people in who may
not be proirpt for the position. as i indicated earlier, we've got to go through the right process for training. we have some experience of what happens when we try to overload the training system. we did that not too long ago and the results were not satisfactory. so i've directed we do this in an aggressive but deliberate manner so we get quality training done. i'm comfortable that we have taken action on the most important recommendations near term. those that we couldn't implement in the way that we want to finally implement them, we have taken snirble temporary action to achieve the end state. and i am briefed weekly on our progress in implementing the rest and we will get at those quickly. >> indeed, i worked on such issues as a jag officer in the
national guard. a concern i have are trean niece being reluct tonight report misconduct. there is concerns about retaliation. how is this being addressed? >> you highlighted one of the most challenging issue that is we have and that is how do we get qualityty feedback from everyone, both trainees, instructors and others who are part of this system? >> we have a system of getting feedback now but it's not effective enough. when i looked at the 59 victims he has than a handful of them came to us to provide us feedback on what happened. totally unsatisfactory. we have to find a better way of connecting with them. as part of the investigative process we've broken important ground on how to do that better as an institution. you can't just ask the question once and expect the initial
answer is always going to provide an accurate assessment of what is going on. and so how we talk to people and the persistence with which we engage them in the right way is very key to this. we also know that although victims themselves won't talk to us or report for any number of reasons, they do talk to other people in many cases. they talk to their friend, they talk to their family, they talk to co-workers and by engaging those people in the right way, we have been able to get a great deal of additional information on the cases that we have today. i believe this area of feedback and accurate feedback is one that we are going to continue to explore. i've asked this issue to be looked at specifically. it's easy for me to write down a bunch of questions over a couple of hours and think that i have an effective survey.
the actual facts tell us that isn't very effect i have and to do this right requires a sophisticated understanding of people and how they feel about these issues. so they've begun this process and i think are going to help us understand how better to get at this area of better feedback. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> mrs. sanchez. >> thank you. my question is of those military training instructors who have been convicted or currently under investigation in the lackland case, did their service record show any history of sexual behavior prior to this? >> i'm not aware of any that showed any behaviors of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. we have a screening process that before you can become
military training instructor, we look back at your history for five years and you had to have essentially a clean history. that was waiverable by the group commander and so that's another area where we have addressed that process to look at the background screening program and to assure ourself that is we are doing everything that we can to not bring -- as i said earlier, not bring people into this environment that don't have a very strong and proven record of disciplinary history in addition to job performance. >> in the air force, if an airman or airwoman is assigned to be involved in a sexual harassment case, how does the air force proceed? >> the same way we deal with any other misconduct.
e.c.m.j. is a process available to them. you go through the process and make what you believe is a proper decision. >> if you are being screened and want to be an instructor and you've had sexual harassment in the past on the job, would it necessarily be on your record? >> i can create a scenario where it would not be. >> various scenarios where it would not be? >> yes. >> because it's at the discretion of commanders or certain people how they deal wit. and a lot of times the sexual harassment in this type of situation may not show up on somebody's record, am i correct? >> i believe you and i might disagree on the terms a lot of times. i wouldn't tolerate it as a commander. >> you wouldn't tolerate it. but there are various instances where the commander can do various things? >> certainly it's happened.
>> if this instructor want to be instructor is being transferred to another unit, would that new commander necessarily know that they had had a sexual harassment episode in the past? >> let me answer generically then i'll ask ed to address a specific issue. if an individual was transferred as a result of poor performance related to sexual harassment i will be astonnished if it wasn't in their record. if they were being transferred as a part of routine transfer and the sec sexual harassment wasn't substantiated it wouldn't be. >> or if the commander decided it would be hand nled a different way it would not be
on their record? >> that could happen. fy or the commander or the one next to me knew about a commander acting that way, we would remove them from command. >> i wish all of the commanders were held to that standard. they don't actually hold themselveses to that standard. i'm asking these questions because i'm trying to find out, you know, we have seen through studies that sexual harassment leads in many cases to sexual assault. and so we have to be cognizant of trying to handle these things, these issues and to really put it on people's records so that we don't promote them, move them, etc. and let them know they got away wit in this case, sometimes it's a progressive sort of situation. so my next question is about
the air force commanders conduct of climate assessments in september 2011 told us this wasn't consistently done. how sit done in the air force? we've put it in the fiscal year 2013 n.d.a. that climate report ts have to be done. there are two reasons they don't like to it. commanders are resistent to conducting them and they lacked an equal opportunity advice sor to conduct them. what are you doing about this? because if we had climate assessment some of this ha rassment situation might have been put forward? what are you doing now? >> i would like that written for the record please? >> noted. >> i appreciate you holding
this hearing and the other hearings you have also held and the attention trying to address the sexual assault. you've been a leader on this. i preesht your support. you have been a >> gentleman, we know why this happens. it happens where we come to this time where we say how in the military, could there have been such a systematic breakdown of leadership and not know? we know why. it is absolutely an issue of culture. we can try to pass laws, we can try to pass legislation, but until we break the culture that allows the environment for this to occur we're never going to be able to make the changes from the seats of congress. it has to come from the seats and the leadership that you have. i want to thank you because i
believe you have turned to this issue. twine focus on the issue of culture to identify how bad this is and why the military d.o.d. needs to address this issue first of culture. i had two tragedies occur in my district. we had a marine came forward with the accusation of rape and was murdered. and my office provided assistance to her. i want to read to you a letter i got back from the marines. after she was murdered by her accused, we contacted the marines and asked them how they did not know that she was at risk for a violent crime or action or assault and they wrote back this letter to me. i have it from the attorney
general. i asked him doesn't a rape accusation contain an element of force or threat? this is the letter going to. the victim never alleged any violence or threat of violence in any sexual encounter. have you heard of a nonviolent rape? general rice? >> no. >> general welch? >> no, i have not. >> i appreciate that. that is basically, the part of the problem with the culture to understand that this is a crime. this is violence. we were a moor recent's house sitting around his dining room table. we were having a discussion on the issue of culture and the need to change the culture in the department of defense.
we were all done. we all identified the issues that needed to be addressed and the wife said before you leave you need to hear this. she turned to a senior female officer and said to her, can you tell them what you told me earlier? if you were subject to assault would you report it? she said no. i would like to address that issue with both of you because clearly that is the culture. the concern is the fear of coming forward of the fact that they would be subject to revictimization. their career would be subject to disadvantage. as we hear all the stories of the victim, the basic issues is their concern of fear of coming forward. i want to ask both of you, you have to see in the culture of the military part of the problem of what happened in these number
of cases that you have is the fear of people who are victims from coming forward. i want to ask you to discuss that, the fear of the victims coming forward. general welsh you made a comment that i cringed at. it comes to the discon in the view of this. -- disconnect in the view of this. you said we have to stop bad behavior. this is not bad behavior this is a crime. we only have 30 seconds but if you could begin to comment on that. >> the bad behavior i was referring to is the behavior before a crime is committed. it is crimented by people who -- critted by people who will commit a crime by the
perpetrators. why what was undoubtedly the worst day of a victim's life did they not turn to us for help? we go toward with them, we protect each other's lives. we're missing something fundamental in the human-to-human interaction that allows them tow feel safe enough for them to come to us and let us help them through this horrible part of our life. >> if you make this that your priority we will go a long way in addressing this. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as congressman turner alluded to i think you know many of us on this committee take this issue seriously and many of us who have worked so hard to address it. so i thank you both for the efforts you have putt forth to
address sexual misconduct in the air force. it is a crime that shocks us with his irregular tory. most recently in bringing all the 164 wing commanders to washington to discuss the serious issue. i think you all know that in other words for changes to really take hold the culture of the military has to change. it is a multifass ited effort. what brought me to this issue was meeting with a nurse soon after i had been elected to congress, about five years ago. she had been deployed several times. she had never been sexual assaulted but i asked her if it was as prevalent as i had heard. she said she was more afraid of
her own soldiers than of the enemy. this culture change has to happen among the enlisted service members as well. as you talk about what you're doing and you're starting at the top, how do you change culture across the 80%? what are you doing at that level? how do you encourage everyone to embrace the efforts that you are currently engaged in? i fear that you don't and you are not successful there, we will come back again and again. you will tell us your good stories but we will continue to hear shocking situations that you have said will not occur again. >> thank you, congresswoman for giving me an opportunity to comment. i did not say this won't comment again. we will do everything we can to prevent it. we can't accept this.
it is horrible, we all know that. human behavior, as you know, it is difficult to change. i don't believe the entire air force has a culture of sexual assault. i don't believe that. i believe there are units, there are places over time, as people change and personalties take over. that is what happened a lackland in this investigation. i don't believe that everybody in the united states air force accepts the culture of sexual assault. we have officers, we have n.c.o.'s, we have civilians in our air force who has daughters working with airman. they will not tolerate an environment with sexual assault. >> what do you do to change the culture at the 80%? what are the specific steps you can take to address that? >> you start with simple things.
we try to increase the battle rhythm to address this issue. this is a sheet that shows activities from january to march of 2013. there are things like videos to the force. it is commanders conferences. it is command chief conferences. every chief and every squad is getting together with a wing command chief to discuss the issue. it is roll call at the flight level. it is in every training, it is in every p.e. course. it is a matter of getting the discussion going and keeping it going not just for a short period of time so it becomes part of who we are and part of how we operate. >> how do you institutionalize that when you are no longer the air force chief of staff? how do you make their that
continues? >> i meet every week with the response team on the air staff. if i'm out of town, my advice chief meets with the lieutenant and our experts in this area. we create activities, what i asked them to do is bring in something new, something we haven't tried. some idea they found from some where else, from a university that seemed to work or in a certain base or certain demographic group. then we create a battle rhythm where we're creating new ideas and we stop doing the ones that don't have a major impact. it has to be part of the fabric on how we operate. it is no different on how we operate aircraft every day. we meet, we come up with new approaches, we have to do the
same thing on the commanled side of the house. that is where we're starting. >> the time has expired. mr. coffman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general rice, general welsh thank you both for coming here today to testify on the problems of sexual assault in air force basic training at lackland. one question i have, general rice i think you mentioned one of the conclusions out of this was to reduce the training time, the number of weeks, i guess at the lackland air force base, is that correct? >> it was a recommendation that was in the commander director investigation. it was the 46th recommendation that i said i would deal with in a different forum. we looking at the length of basic military training. the lepts will be determined by the training we need to
accomplish and not based specifically on addressing this issue. >> thank you. let me just tell you, obviously your training is inadequate. off culture in the united states air force that allows these sexual assaults to occur by your senior enlisted personnel during basic training. i've gone -- the purpose of basic training or this entry level period of training in any of the branches of service, and i've been through two of them. it is to take that marine, sailor into the culture of the service and into the rules associated with the uniform that spans all over our services equally. obviously, something is missing in that training. so i would ask you, you need to
reinforce that training, not reduce the training. they need to come out of this, the airman, the men and women in uniform that service in the united states air force with a solid understanding of what the values of the united states air force are. because obviously those senior enlisted that perp traded these crimes were not sufficiently endock traited into the united states air force. would you like to respond? >> yes, sir. i appreciate the question. what makes this so egregious in basic military training is for the reasons you stated. this is the place where we have to teach the basic values of our service on our newest airman. when we violate the trust and the responsibility it is difficult to describe the damage
that happens to those individuals and to us as an institution. i agree 100%. i would say you're right, there is an element of training to this. at the end of the day, we have people who knew well what the rules and policies were, who knew well the difference between right and wrong and decided to make a wrong choice. so part of that i can address with training. part of this has to do with people's values on what they perceive as wrong and what is right. how i get at that is partially training. i think i've got to think more broadly about how i affect someone's calculus and their actions they are going to take.
the requisition that some people are not going to be persuaded by the training that i have. the consequences of their actions are going to be negative enough that they are going to take it. as much as i concentrating on the training piece of this, i am also focusing on the deter and hold accountable piece because there are people that i have to do that with. >> i would agree with you on a critical point. that is this, i think it is important that those entering service have a moral foundation. i think you're right. people that don't have a moral foundation, you can put them through the toughest training in the world. at the end of the day, everything will be as calculus as you described as to what is the risk and reward for my conduct versus what is the
morally right thing to do. i do want to stress that discipline come from that entry level training. of course, i think it has to be reinforced at all times. but thank you for your testimony today. i yield back. >> gentleman's time will expire. mr. castro. >> thank you, chairman. i proudly represent san antonio, texas the home of lackland air force base. i think when there are scandals like this i think two things must happen. first, we must make sure that justice is quickly served. second, we have to learn from our mistakes. in regard to that, do we know for example, have we investigated any of this occurred at any of the other basic training branches? what is hard for me to believe is a n the last three years at
lackland there is something specific in to that environment that didn't happen somewhere else at a different time. can you speak of the scope of the investigation and whether there has been a indication of problems anywhere else? >> i do know and i won't speak for the other services. i do know each one of them at the drerks of the secretary of defense -- direction of of the secretary of defense has reviewed the report that we have written on it and looked at the issues and have applied to their system. there was a review done by the other services. i cannot speak to what they found as a result of their reviews but they have looked at it. >> congressman, also the secretary of defense asked general rice to come forward and
give him an update on what he was finding. as a result of that initial update the secretary ordered an assessment of military training and programs for all the services. that is ongoing. it will be delivered here shortly. i don't remember the exact delivery date but it will be in the next couple of months. anything that is learned from this it will shared between the services. the council will be able to communicate with the other services and the training programs and make those connections for routine not just when it occurs. we hope to share all of this with the other services. they have be briefed on the investigation and the findings. all of that has been okay traited but the defense office. >> finally, have you seen an affect on recruiting and what is the affect of the moral at the
soldiers at lackland? >> no impact that i can tell and we've looked on recruiting. ful, we are still able to attract the best and brightest men and women that our nation has to offer and we'll continue to work on that. in terms of moral, this has been a significant emotional event for the people who are responsible for the training program at lackland. i would say in general the reaction of other instructors and supervisors, and leaders when this started to break was one that -- their belief was this a few bad apples. this does not represent any significant number of m.p.i.'s. i think today they understand that although it is 4% of the
population, 4% is 32 m.t.i., a much larger number that anyone would have suspected existed. so they have had to both recognize that this is in fact, a real problem. they had to recognize that they have a significant part to play in addressing the problem. i think they have embraced the changes, many of them have run against the tradition of the way we have done things in the past. but a part of what we're doing and we aren't there yet, this is an ongoing process is to work with the m.t.i.'s to have them understand that they have to take control of this issue. if we are going to be fully successful, they have to be part of the solution. and this is an ongoing process,
i think of transformation that we're on our way towards but i'm not in any way ready to declare victory. >> thank you, general. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. runyan. >> thank you, chairman. kind of getting to talking about culture environment. compare the air force to other services and you talk about environment, how much of it -- have either of you ran the numbers or seen any numbers? how much of this people who will are comfortable in their situation and created a bad environment instead of having changeover and holding people accountable more often than not? general rice, do you see where i'm going with that? >> let me tans question, if i don't answer it fully please re-ask it. i agree having people in an
environment that can be as challenging as basic military training for too long a period of time exposes them to, i think, issues and challenges that could be kerr row civil over time. we have to watch how long we allow people to serve in these situations. we're going to restrict the amount of time how long you could serve as an instructor it is going to be three years, it used to be four years. we're going to divide the duty day so you will not have contact with trainees. it is a way of getting at this issue of exposure over time that could be kerr rosive. culture is used in a negative way. every group of people, whether
it is two, 200, or 2,000 people. most aspects of developing culture is positive. there are lots of elements of culture that will i want to have as part of basic military training as part of trainees and trainers. this way they can enforce the training they have to have in this environment. you have to be careful with a culture because over time it can develop negative elements that you have to be careful about. part of the changes we have made are to ensure that in addition to the people who are part of basic military training who have come back for a second or third assignment, which is important toville a right experience levels. we also have more people who are not part of the culture, if you will, in terms of having
previous experience. it is why the most senior enlisted level we're bringing in chief master sergeants who have not been former military instructors because it gives a fresh outside perspective that is important to inject these group of people. >> you did answer the question, thank you. as we are as an society, if you see something, say something. when you're in a situation in a group and you have personal relationships with your buddy, you will tend not to raise that question. as far as -- what do you do -- is there anything you can do on a disciplinary aspect of it to have more stringent penalties?
to discourage behavior that we're discussing? >> we have a behavior that we demand of our instructors. there has been disciplinary action taken because people knew of things that they did not report in the right way. i have a set of policies that requires reporting any maltreatment or mall training. if anyone sees something that is maltreatment then they have to report it that is part of the accountability for the standards we put in place. there is a sanction. i would say when this works properly, that is sort of a secondary, you know, way to address the problem. when we have it working in a way we need it to work to be most
effective, the instructors and people within the system -- it will be self-correcting in a way that i don't have to use the hammer. this is a work in progress. i think we have to recognize regardless of the screens that i use to bring people in, i'm still going to have some people that i have to use a variety of tools on to achieve the results. >> i yield back. >> mrs. davis. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you generals for being here. as you know a few of us had the opportunity to go to lackland. i want to commepped them for opening up the -- commends them for opening up the facility and allowing us access. their discussion with us was very compelling.
i wonder if you have or how you have engaged them particularly because they have good background from which to speak about this? certainly feeling astra sized. on this whole issue of culture and bystanders that have information that is not shared. how was that information used when you move forward? and did you actually talk to them? one of the things we heard from them which was surprising, that nobody asked them. >> thank you, congresswoman davis. i appreciate the question. when major general woodward conducted her investigation she had an extensive piece of her research work which involved
talking to instructors and several of her recommendations are based directly on that feedback that she got from the instructers. the wing commander who is in place now and the group commander that is in place now, who is directly responsible for basic military training. he conducted a series of engagements with the instructors. the first thing that the new wing commander did was sit down with all the instructors and had a session to let them know what hills expectations were, importantly, to convey to them clearly what the outside world was thinking about this. and also to get feedback from them and let them know he was open to their assessment of what we flood to do to move forward. he -- we need to do to move
forward. >> think is important. one of the things we did here and i'm assuming it was relayed as well. having some informal -- this sounds like a contrary but informal mandatory meetings. so everyone has a chance to sit down and talk about what they see. trying to get these issues of culture, environment, i think most people don't believe you actually get there. having the opportunity to sit down and -- if it's mandatory then everybody is doing it and it doesn't mean someone is going and telling on their peers, which is a wig problem that you all have discovered, i know. i didn't quite see that in the
recommendations. where does that issue fall when it comes to the broader areas of recruiting and review that not have all been instituted yet. >> ma'am, you're right. that was not a specific recommendation. the 45 recommendations are just a starting point. we have done a lot more since then and will continue to do more. i'm open and welcoming any suggestions and rmses on what else we can do. you and i talked about this issue and i think it is an important one to find the right way to address. i want to do it in the right way. it gets back to this idea of feedback. >> my question would be why not? why something like that is it cost? is it personnel? i guess the follow-up question in terms of numbers and female
m.t.i. and what you doing about that? >> i will answer your initial question if i could and i will turn it back to ed. first of all, on speaking to the m.t.i.'s at lackland, a lot of people have spoken to them. ed, of course, the leadership and the team have all talked to them. the individuals that you talked to might not have been there. the number one i took away with the meetings with them is that those people, and the passion they have for this problem they feel the way i do. that's our air force. our military ought to be leading this effort. we have a structure, we have the ability to command, control, educate, and oversee, we have the ability to punish. we all the tools in place to be the role models for this.
we owe the american people for that. >> general, please, time has expired. please finish that answer for the record. >> mr. nugent. >> thank youment -- thank you, mr. chairman. my big concern, having been a sheriff and prosecutored and investigated sexual assault cases is the victimization. how do we deal with those victims and in particular, as an organization how does the reporting process go? sexual assault or sexual harassment don't always go hand-in-hand. they are different in certain aspects, but the reporting
process. the commander makes the decision on whether it goes to a judicial process or if it doesn't? how do they make that decision? >> very often it will be raised by a report to the equal opportunity office on base. the office conducts an investigation and there is a process that it goes through and then there is a decision made on what to do. is there something that you escalate that you deal with this? you make the decision after the promise is completed. a report of a sexual assault takes this to a different level, there is law enforcement and investigations are involved. it jumps into a process that is bound and judged through the ucmj. >> do they have to follow the chain of command to report that?
>> no, they do not. you can report directly to the inspector general, you can go through the chain of command, you can report in several different ways. reporting is part of the problem. that's one of the major issues we have to get to. >> how do you get folks to come forward, in particular, in the military application because they within to cooperate and gad with it. they want to move up to -- through the ranks and they are fearful that the allegation would be used against them versus a fair application. i guess -- what are you doing specifically for the victims to encourage them to come forward
without the worry, you know, retaliation? >> we start this when they are recruits. so their recruiter provides them with a one-on-one briefing on what is allowed and what isn't allowed in terms of behavior when they get to basic military training. that briefing is repeated once they get to basic military training within the first days they arrive. then we repeat it again in technical training in terms of expectations. it is not a silver bullet but it is one of the means we try to over time, set the expect take of what brand-new people to our ogs should expect and what is normal behavior and what is abnormal behavior. they have to be done in the right way to develop a level of
trust. the person that is conveying the information and in the system and how it will react. i think a second important way we're addressing this is basic training, is to provide other avenues and more of those other avenues for trainees to reimportant. we have added more sexual assault response coordinaters who will be out in the community. we've added more chaplins. again, someone who we hope they will feel maybe more comfortable talking to until one-on-one sessions. more leadership in general, will be part of the equation. again, none of these are one point solution but part of a total package that we feel it has in our right direction. >> do your victims work hand-in-hand to try to heaven
the victims -- work with the victims -- the job is to make the pros is as simple and painless as possible. follow include up through court-martial active soty so they are removed from the lack of understanding and the poor communication which make theirs situation worse. >> does their mental health -- >> gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you for your participation. i've a letter dated the 16th to general rice from me they would like to submit. >> no objection. what year was that? >> last year.
we all had a meeting about this document. we talked about 17,000 hours, we talked about 32 staff. general rice referenced 7,700 interviewed and not one of the victim, not one of the 50-plus victims at lackland was interviewed. 46 recommendations came out. but how can those recommendations be complete without first having talked to at least some of the victims? now, the letter i sent to general rice said those victims were interviewed. i have yet to get a response from general rice. >> i don't think it can be complete. >> let me go on. the trainees we met with, we had lunch with them. they were 17, 18, 19 years of
age. they were young, naive, and easternest. i thought to myself these are the age of my daughter. all these trainees are the ages of my daughter. my daughter would no more have the ability to say no to a military trainee instructor, who you are taught is the law. you do everything that training instructor tells you. there has been a lot of talk here today about all the things that are happening. what happened was the military training instructors instructed these trainees to go to the supply close eithers and the laundry room where they were sexual assaulted and raped. we had two instructors who admitted they had sex with 10 of their trainees, each.
these instructors were married. do you agree or not agree that con consent should not be part of this quotion. general rice said some of these were willingly engaged in sex with their m.t.i.'s. as i understand it, the m.t.i. should never be aloe with a trainee in a room. never alone. so, can a trainee willingly have sex with her instructor? your answer. >> i would never be able to look you in the eye and tell you that no trainee of any age, we have trainees that are 32, 34 years old that go there the program, would be offer conscent. let me tell you what i do agree
with. an individual who is serving as a military training instructor who has a relationship like this with a trainee has no room now air force. >> i'm introducing a bill today that will basically say no longer can a con centennial rim between a trainee and instructor used as a defense. would you support that? >> i would have to ask the legal on the technicalities of that legislation. i would support you in an effort to make sure someone who that is kind of relationship in a training program, it is unacceptable. >> that they are kicked out of the military? >> out of the military. >> a military expert professor hagel from yale said that the
ucmj is something that would be recognized and it is similar to what is going on in the u.k. the united kingdom had a scandal like this in 2006. they created a separate unit. a separate unit that was staffed with experts in investigations and prosecutions within the military to handle these cases. so that the decision was not being made by the unit commander. that was in 2006. in 2007, they found that good order and discipline stayed in tact, in fact, the unit commanders were relieved not having to handle these cases anymore. i would like tone couge you to speak with your counterparts in the u.k. to see how their system works and if we would be better
served to move into a system like that. i yield back. >> i'm encouraged to hear you say there's a training session for the new recruits before they actually go to the m.t. think is very helpful. how do we get the recruits to fully understand or believe that reporting bad behavior will be supported by leadership and will not harm them? they can develop that trust and know that is the right thing to do and have more conversation in their reporting and what might your suggestions be on that? >> very challenging. i've been through basic military training as well at the air force academy we do the same thing. i've been in that position and understand fully what these trainees think about this environment.
and how challenging it would be, you know, looking back at my time and my experience to talk about things like this. sometimes it is very challenging. so as much as we want people to do certain things, i think we have to deal with the reality of the environment they are in and try to think about it from their perspective. part of this has to do with getting more feedback from trainees and looking at those barriers. i think the most important element or decision we can make in this regard has to do with trust. at the end of the day, if people don't trust either a person or institution there isn't anything we can do in terms of train ling that is going to have them take that decision as what they perceive as perm risk. as we train our instructors how we relate to the trainees.
how we train other people within this environment to relate to trainees, who we try to ensure that they have that level of trust and confidence -- within the system is part of the work we are undertaking. i don't have the answer today but i know that is a place i've got to get better at if i'm going to be more successful in the future. i think we can do a lot better but i'm not ready to tell you that i've figured it out. >> mr. johnson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. a person who is training under a trainer and has a consent yull,
some might say sexual relationship or sexual intercourse with the boss. the boss might thing it is consentual but what is going on in the mind of the trainee is i need to do this in other words to get through training successfully. it is a duress -- it is a mental-type of situation. it might not be forcible physically but forciblely mentally. that is why if there isn't one now, there should be a crime that makes it a per se violation to have sexual intercourse be it
consentual or not between an instructor or trainee. i think that is probably something that mrs. tsongas has dealt with in her bill, which i fully support. now, a different situation between say, a former trainer or a trainer who formally trained someone who has made it through training and now that person is out of the dominion and control of the trainer, then there could be a consentual relationship that does not akuwait to rape. -- so i'm not saying it at all
times noncriminal. but let's just say that former trainer and a former trainee, -- a former trainer and a person that he trained -- he or she trained at a time previously, they are in a sexual relationship. but then the woman or the man -- the victim might say no, i don't want to do this today. then it is forced on them. ok, so that is a classic rape allegation. classic allegation of rape or someone just took authority and imposed himself on a weaker individual physically.
i've looked at the guidelines, the list of the recommendationses and i see nothing about training military police in the gathering of physical evidence that would support the accused -- excuse me, support the accuser in making a allegation of an enforcible rape. you only have one's word against the other. you have no other witnesses so you have to prove the case, prove it by physical evidence, a rape kit is what it is generally called. what is it that we don't have -- we don't make provisions for these types of cases.
i think it is pretty typical in addition to the other sexual assault cases, harassment, nonphysical activities. why is it we're not dealing with this issue of rape and forcible sodomy and things like that in terms of police investigation and prosecuting ability to prosecute effectively? >> we've trained special victims investigators to this point. we just started a new class model on the army's c.i.d. class that was advised by outside experts to focus on that type of investigation. that first class just completed this week. we had outside experts to give us feedback that was objective. we will run classes through that course routinely. we sent 50 ajebtses through the
army's c.i.d. course before starting this one. we will further train our investigators to better investigate these actions. part of the reason we have trouble with people starting with prosecutions because the way they are handled it is so critical for them to stay with their commitment in identifying and prosecuting an assailant. >> january's time has expired. >> [inaudible]
>> of those 17% of those women that reported the incident. my question is, i apologize, this i'm brand-new. this is my first hearing. i don't have the spence -- experience of those on the committee. if i'm in the military and i'm sexual assaulted how do i report that? is there a 911 in the military? what generates the report? >> there's a hot line in the military. you can tell someone in your chain of the command. you can go to the security forces, gouk to the base hospital or clinic and ask for help there. anywhere in that network is connected to the reporting mechanism that starts the
activity moving forward. the problem is not that they don't know where to talk to, it is they don't feel comfortable reporting. sometimes they are concerned about getting in trouble or someone holding accountable for reporting. some are concerned about their family and friends finding out or their spouse finding out. some of them are embarrassed and some feel guilty about the incident. all of these things come together where people don't feel comfortable stepping forward. it is something we have to work constantly. i don't have an easy answer, congresswoman. >> do we have in the military, the there something specific for this? this is crime. do we have a whistle blower protection in the military? am i protected and know as a
female, if i'm a victim of a crime that i know i'm protected and i'm not going -- am i protected if i go and say i'm a victim of a crime, do we have a whistle blower protection? >> maybe. there is no hard, firm law that says you're protected physical you come forward and report something and everyone is going to make sure that you are not going suffer any consequence for the action you took. i think in the past, there were many more accidents that people were held accountable for an event where they became a victim. none of the victims have been held accountable, made to feel like they are guilty of anything. that's the way it has to be going forward. we have a sexual assault response coordinator in every situation. they are trained on thousand
handle these situations. as soon as we find out we have a victim, the victim is contacted and all the things we can help provide are available to them, not just law enforcement or investigative stuff. that is the last thing we want to worry about at the first contact. it is the rl personal care, the health care, the exam that is required. >> i appreciate that. when i call and report the accident. am i matched with -- is it gender to gender reports? am i reporting to a woman. >> no, that is not the case everywhere. >> what is the ratio? i just don't know but what is the ratio of basic military instructors? if you're a basic military instructor -- how many men
versus wimpage wise? >> about 25%. air force wise it is about 19% women. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> general rice, would you agree with me that the command chiefs with the commander set the command climate of a unit? >> i think command chiefs are an important part of that but i feel it is fundamentally the commanders responsibility. >> and the command chief is the interface between enlisted foxes, the n.c.o.'s and the commander? >> certainly yes. between the commander and the airman within the unit. >> general rice, i would like to
know how many female command chiefs do you have at lackland air force base and how many do you have in the recruiting command? >> i can't answer. i would like to take that for the record, please. >> general rice, can you tell me what the accessability that a female trainee has to reaching out to a female command chief? >> no, i can't give you an exact answer to that question. i do -- i would answer it this way. we have a number of females who are in the instructor or staff or supervisery or command positions. we are moving to a place where we have more females in those
positions. i don't select commanders based on they jenledser. i don't select command chiefs based on their gender. i do believe at the instructor level that the team that is responsible for a flight of 50 trainees should be include one female but beyond that we have not made another determination to make assignments of leadership positions based on gender. >> have you in any way, germ rice, empowered your command chiefs to deal with this problem that seems to be happening -- or seems to have been happening? have you empowered your command chiefs to enact with this and if so, how? >> no. at my level i have not taken any direct action to specifically empower command chiefs other than making it mandatory that
the rank of the command chief is no longer a senior master sergeant but a chief master sergeant. i believe you understand, based on you background the significance of that. i have to depend on a commander to use the resources that i have provided to him or her to maintain a proper command environment. it is up to that commander to use those resources whether it is a first sergeant, a command chief, a supervisor or anybody else, to use that combination of resources in a unique way because every commander is different. so they can use the resources to maintain a good environment. i think it is problematic if i dictate how they put that team of people together. >> i would agree with you it may
be problematic for you to do that but i think you have a problem that needs to be dealt with. and i would suggest that having dealt with those kind of problems in my previous career, that by setting the proper command climate, you can resolve those problems. and an inherent way of doing that is empowering and relying on your command chiefs. i'm talking about e-9's, chief master sergeants to aid the commander in ensuring n.c.o.'s and every one of those t.i.'s who is an n.c.o., those n.c.o.'s fully understand the commander's intent. i yield the balance of my time. >> dr. hecht. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you both for being here
and for your service. we heard a lot of discussion about the climate and what's being done to encourage individuals, victims to report without fear of retribution. general rice, talked about much of the training that goes on to try to impart the knowledge how to report and what to report. i can tell you as a military commander, i know well those training programs, both basic and recurrent. and the problem is whether it's e.o. or consideration of others or prevention of sexual harassment, they seem to become stagnant power points where people are sitting in a classroom with eyes glazed over. these programs have been going on for years. yet these incidents have occurred even while training programs have been put forward. how do you judge the effectiveness of those training programs that are supposed to be providing those initial entry service members, those that are on the front lines going through their annual recurrent trainings on these topics to make sure that they understand, because it
seems that the training we do. and it's not the air force, i'm an army guy, the training we do across services isn't resonating. these incidents continue despite this this ongoing initial entry and recur training. how are we going to assess the training programs we have out there to stem the tide of these sexual assaults and associated sexual incidents? >> fantastic question, sir. thank you. exactly the question we're trying to answer right now. i mentioned before the volumes of training and education programs we have had in place for years and we continue to keep in place and we added more. every time we have an incident, we add more. all of the services do this. the question is which ones are having an impact? expand those and get rid of the rest and wasting people's time that could be better spent in a different way tackling this problem. we have talked to experts advising us on this topic. one thing they told me that got my attention because i'm more
interested in see fg it works quickly continue if it doesn't, dump and try something else. he said you have to be more careful because some of those you won't know the impact until you give them time to work and it takes a while. the tricky parts are which ones can we stick with and the ones we stick with, we have to refresh and modernize and applicable workforce and scenarios on youtube. ted talks. the kinds of thing that's will attract them. that's scenario based training, not power point, go home and look at it on the computer that.s0 will not help. that's the type of effort we're focused on. how do we energize this training and bring it in a personal level, not in the back of the room with 500 of your closest friends leaping through the latest sexual assault courage training. >> i'm encouraged by that approach and hope it works and you share with our sister services. ky tell you we have come far too
of on training to time then standard. sitting in a classroom watching slides go by for 30 minutes regardless of the information being sov observed by the person in the chair. i applaud your efforts of doing assessment of what works and push that out across the services. thank you. i yield back, mr. chair. >> gentleman yields back. >> general welsh, i have a question i believe should be directed towards you. how were the victims involved in this investigation at lackland air force base currently being cared for by the united states air force? >> thank you, ma'am. this is maybe most important question of the day. they're being careful as well as they possibly can. 59 victims were offered whatever level of support we could provide them. 57 accepted some level of instance, whether health care, counseling, legal assistance, whatever it might be. general rice can give you more
of the details. types of things they accepted, i'm not fully aware with that. we tried to do everything we could. we offered new special victims' council. we offered that in advance of the initial capability date because we knew there were trials coming up and wanted to help them through that. some took advantage of that. anything we can think of to do to help them sadly after the fact we're trying to do. >> thank you. general rice, could you shed some light on why some of these victims chose not to exercise every opportunity to get care and counseling through the united states air force? >> i think there are a variety of reasons. as i have gotten feedback. it goes from some of them do not consider themselves victims and so they have not wanted to have support. other 0s have considered the level of victimization, if you will such they don't require support. and others have made more full use of the support mechanisms
that we have. so each one of these is a very individual case and individual decision. i'm confident we have made a good-faith effort to offer the support and conduct the investigations in a way that we have tried not to revictimize the victims. we tried to honor their requests if they said, you know, please i just want to sort of move on here. i do think, and it's something i have talked to my team about, just as we found out oftentimes the initial answer to did something happen to you, no, if you reapproach the people in a different way over time that we can get them to develop a sufficient level of trust so they can be more accurate with us, that because a victim said no, don't need any help that we
should go back at some appropriate time intergal and reask -- reoffer that assistance because time does change people's perceptions of this. so we need to find the right way and time to do that. but i have that on my list of things to do here. >> we have had a lot of discussion here today about lack of reporting, on willingness to report incidents as they happen. i think right now every single airman is watching the situation and watching our victims to see how they're being treated and making decisions on whether to future report or report on incidents that could be going on now or could go on in the future. that you're building a reputation about how you respond to these victims and it will determine your success on getting more accountability, on getting more reporting of airmen being willing to come forward and talk about what may or may not be happening. so just know as we work our way through this painful process and try to bring a resolution and improvement to it, there are a lot of eyes on you and a lot of
eyes how we're caring for the current victims we have and we have an opportunity to do the best we can to take care of them. i have looked at some of the recommendation that's have come forward. i have a specific question about one or two, depending on how much time i have. one of the recommendations was a-19, shorten tour lengths to maximum of three years and do not allow special follow-on duty of assignments. will the m.t.i.'s that were perpetuating these crimes against victims there for longer period of times? did they have a longer service rate in their position that they held? is that why this recommendation has been accepted? ? we did have some that with there are for longer then three or four years. typically, you won't serve as a military training instructor that long. you will move on to a supervisory position. so that recommendation is less about serving as military training instructor then it is consistent participation in the
whole process, so the idea is you serve one and then you move on to something else. >> my concern was i read this and i assumed that some of the perpetuaters, potentially were in these positions too long and maybe the climate within that position as they were there for a long period of time developed an attitude or environment where they felt as though it was more acceptable the longer they were there. i guess that's the answer i'm looking for is there's no consistency on length of time in that position from the perpetuaters. ok. thank you for that. i appreciate that. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> gentlemen, that concludes the questions we have for the first panel. thank you very much for the work you're doing. and we will excuse you and move to the second panel. thank you.
>> what timing. this is the call for the last series of votes for the day. let's try to get as far as we can before we leave. we have on our second panel david liesick, frinsic consultant. chief master sergeant cindy mcnally. united states air force retired with the service women's action network. and technical sergeant jennifer norris, u.s. air force retired from protect our defenders. >> thank you, mr. chairman,
ranking member smith and thank you to the committee for giving me this opportunity to speak to you this morning. i'm complain cal psychologist, researcher and frinsic consultant for the past 25 years, i have studied rapists and treated and evaluated men and women who suffered sexual violence. for the past ten years i have worked extensively with the four services of the u.s. military and simultaneously in the civilian sector i have worked with dozens of universities across the united states and numerous law enforcement agencies and with state and local prosecutors. my extensive contact with both military and civilian institution as cross the country provides me with a perspective on the problem of sexual violence i would like to articulate to this committee. sexual violence afflicts all nations and all societies. societies are not distinguished by whether or not they have a problem of sexual violence but rather by whether or not they actively and forthrightly confront the problem. same is true for institutions within those societies. it's perhaps ironic given the testimony have you been hearing
today but in almost every respect u.s. military is doing more to confront sexual violence then any other institution in the united states. nevertheless, despite their efforts there are serious problems within the services yet to be addressed or yet to be fully resolved. it will require many, many years of sustained effort and commitment to resolve these problems and, therefore, many, many years of sustained scrutiny by this committee, congress more generally and by advocacy groups, which are some are represented here today. however, scrutiny and criticism of the military very often implies its problems and short comings are somehow unique n my opinion this is not only grossly inaccurate, it also is a serious disservice to our country because it lets other institutions in this country off the hook. and in so doing puts men and women at those communities at far greater risk of sexual violence. specifically our universities have not confronted their problems of sexual violence with anything like the commitment shown in the services, there are
a few exceptions. however, in no university have i ever seen the type of commitment from leadership, comprehensive efforts, sustained efforts tackling very challenging problems i have witnessed in the services. perhaps the most scathing criticism the military received has been focused on its short comings in prosecuting cases of sexual violence. again, i believe this criticism is necessary. however our country would be well served in the criticism of the military's prosecution record was placed in the context of the civilian prosecution of sexual violence. with rare exceptions again there are enormous problems of the prosecution of nonstranger sexual assaults in civilian jurisdictions. nonstranger cases represent the vast majority of all sexual assaults. challenging case to investigate and prosecute and very few civilian jurisdictions made the necessary efforts to train their staffs to competently and effectively take on these cases. as a result many nonstranger cases are inadequately
investigated and never even taken to a courtroom. many local prosecutors failed to prosecute the types of nonstranger cases that military prosecutors are now increasingly taking to court. services are making efforts and you heard some of these this morning, to increase efforts to response to sexual violence. one example and i think this was mentioned already, army develop aid two-week course to train investigators in state of the art techniques for investigating nonstranger sexual assault cases and 440 investigators now are being trained each year. this is an example of one of the much-needed improvements that needs to be -- take place in the military's criminal justice response to sexual assault but it will take time for these improvements to take hold and be felt. and there's much, much more work to be done. improved training for investigators and military prosecutors must continue to evolve and it must be sustained. the services must confront the problem of junior litigators
handling complex sexual assault cases far too early in their professional development. unhelpful biases and attitudes are still present among investigators, prosecutors and commanders and these must be addressed through a process of culture change that i think has been already stated, will be a permanent process. i hope that my testimony will not be taken here either as an apology for the military's handling of sexual assault or as yet another criticism of its efforts. based on my experiences working with the services, both very good and very bad things are still happening. this is the reality and institution that is undergoing significant and meaningful change and i suspect it will be a reality for some years to come. it is impossible tooverage these good and bad things. they are simply both true. if the services sustain their efforts, if congress continues to provide clear-eyed scrutiny and crucially if congress provides the resources that the services need to sustain their efforts, i believe the united states military will lead the rest of the country in
demonstrating what it means to confront sexual violence honestly and with sustained commitment. thank you very much. >> thank you. sergeant? >> good afternoon, chairman, and thank you members of the committee. i sit before you today having experienced sexual assault in the air force from multiple perspectives. first as a survivor of sexual assault as young airman. second, enlisted troupe -- troop who spent her career as aircraft maintainer and supervisor who had 1500 groups as maintenance superintendent. i have had direct dealings with all of the personnel issue that's come with supervising people in today's air force and i will be sharing that perspective with you today. i enlisted in the air force in 1975 and was assigned to a woman and air force squadron at
lackland air force base. at that time women trainees were segregated from men, both physically and in our course curriculum. following basic training i attended technical training where i began mint congratulation into -- my integration into the air force. it was there i was sexually salted by two of my instructors. i reported the incident believe my leaders would handle it and that didn't happen. i knew then would i never, ever report another sexual assault. in fact, a year later at my first assignment, i was sexually assaulted again. i did not report it, nor did i ever discuss either of these two incidents until after i retired 28 years later and was being treated for ptsd. while many things have changed in the air force since i enlisted, the trauma of sexual assault has not changed. it feels like someone has reached into you and sucked the
soul right out of you. it is traumatic and it is ugly. and for those of us who have survived it, we do so because of our strength and our will to overcome what could otherwise be a crippling episode in our lives. i remained in the air force, proud of my service, however. the reason i served for outweighed any single incident in my life. this was my choice. i also served alongside the nation's finest. in an air force where honor, integrity and service before self are a way of life. our job as enlisted leaders is to defining the standard and make everyone absolutely understand we have no problem removing anybody in a blink of an eye if they cross that standard. and maybe that's where general rice and i somehow disagree. i believe the enlisted leaders are one of the most important people in the military to stop
this epidemic. to me the sexual acase -- sexual assault cases demonstrated what happened when leadership failed. sons and daughters at their very vulnerable. the power military instructors or t.i.'s have over airmen are perceived as absolute, turning young men and women from all over our country into airmen is a transformational process where the t.i. represented the sole success of that transformation. turning to female leaders, when assaults have occurred is not always an answer. true yard stick for effective leader has nothing to do with their gender. i have worked with many men who have sent astringent work environment where all airmen are free from harassment and threatening workplace. n.c.o.'s in the chain of command have overarching duty to take care of their troops. doing what is is right is
genderless. i have followed closely the recommended actions in the midst of lackland disgrace and i have discussed some of these with swan and i had the privilege of talking to general woodward and a applaud her for her efforts in looking these these issues. i believe the following steps that are being taken will have a positive effect on the training environment at lackland. i agree we should increase the number of female m.t.i.'s to at least the percentage that they are in the air force. all basic training students should be exposed to both male and female n.c.o.'s. this is after all who will be leading them. increasing instructor-to-student rashe joe an absolute must. i was shocked find out that the t.i.-to-student ratio was roughly the same as when i went through basic training 35 years ago. a reasonable student to instructor ratio is education 101. i also agree with the requirement to raise rank of m.t.i.'s, technical sergeants
and master sergeants are seasoned leaders and have a good deal of experience in identifying and taking action. however, a nonvoluntary t.i. assignment didn't work for and it won't work now. i have had troop that's viewed t.i. duty as death nell for their career. that needs to change to attract the type of people suited to train our next generation of leaders. incentives to attract the best of the best are the answer, not nonvoluntary duty assignments. additionally, i do not believe women should be segregated. we train as we fight. one team. segregation in training did more harm then good in attempts to integrate us into the air force. we want to be viewed as airmen first and you cannot do that coming from a segregated unit. our own 0 history with racial integration should tell us that. larger solutions we need to look at integrating women completely
into the armed forces. renew the combat exclusion policy. then we will be fully integrated force. being able to do the job should be the standard, not whether you're male or female. i believe that as leaders we took our eye off the ball. we enabled a climate where our troops became vulnerable and we can train and train but in the end, it is about leadership. we draw the line on what is acceptable behavior, define it and enforce it. i don't believe we could legislate leadership but we can certainly have you hold our leaders responsible and legally liable for the welfare of their troops. that's an absolute must. in the maintenance career field where all of our leaders are passionate about doing what is right to protect pilots while they fly, our leaders need to feel as passionate about protecting our troops as they do the plying mission. you cannot minimize risk to zero but leaders can and better make sure they are there to make the
right decision and do the right thing. our troops demand nothing less. thank you, mr. chairman. >> the vote is just about at an end. i have to recess the committee at this time to give everybody an opportunity to vote. we will vote and return. it will be looks like at least half hour. thank you. >> we will call the meeting of the house armed services committee back to order. thank you for your understanding as we ran across to cast our
votes and i'm sure other members will be coming back shortly. at this time we would like to recognize technical sergeant norris for her testimony. >> thank you for having me. i am jennifer norris. i'm an air force 0 veteran, wife to my dear husband lee. national advocate for the military rape crisis center and protect our defenders vadcasy board member. protect our defenders is a place for survivors to build community, amplify our voices, support one another and take collective action. it is with heavy heart that i appear here. i speak not only for myself but for the thousands of survivors whose lives were forever altered by this epidemic. a culture that punishes the victim is a broken justice system.
i want to recognize the service members who have not survived due to murder, or suicide, and their families who are still waiting for answers. last august i stoot outside these doors with fellow veterans and survivors. we delivered a petition asking to you open an investigation into the lackland scandal and its causes. there were 30 victims. now there are at least 59. since august the dod estimates roughly 10,000 more men and women in uniform is have been assaulted. we hope this hearing is the start of fundamental reform. to remove bias, conflict of interest and opportunity for abusive authority that precludes
justice. we ask this be a first in the series of hearings to fully explore the reasons lackland and similar abuses are occurring and what must be done to sprent them. as the restaurant express news put it, hearings look at the systemic hearing that's trial s can not and reinforce the concept of civilian oversight. both are needed. core issues must be addressed. the committee should hear from current lackland victims and from independent experts on issues of victim treatment and military justice system. the cycle of repeated scandals, self-investigations and ineffective reforms must broken.
because because no victims from the current scandal have been invited to testify, i will share one of their stories from the local press. quote, a young air force recruit who said her basic training instructor sexually assaulted her testified after two months of obeying his orders, she was frightened to protest his advances in a dark supply room. the defense asked the woman if she resisted astacio's advances. i was too scared to, she replied. sometimes when somebody's too scared to talk, does that mean that they want to do something? a military judge found astacio not guilty of sexually assaulting the trainee. allowing the instructor to face a maximum one year prison
sentence. her story is very similar to mine. when i joined, i was a 24-year-old, a small town girl with an idyllic childhood. soon i was raped and assaulted by superiors. two of the predators pled guilty to sexual assault. they were honorably discharged with full benefits. by not dealing with a culture that provides easy targets for predators, we are hurting our military and our society. the predators often appear to be great troops, achieve high rank, are very charismatic and manipulative. but that is only part of the problem.
the military justice system elevates an individual's discretion over the rule of law. too of on the commanders go -- too often the commander's go-to solution is sweep the problem under the rug and kick the victim out. often legislative reforms are inconsistently applied, unnecessarily encumbered or just not implemented. in my work as an advocate, it breaks my heart to see the same problems today that exists when i joined. 16 years ago. sorry. 39% of female victims report
their perpetrator was of higher rank and 23% report it was someone in their chain of command. the air force's lackland report and previous reports indicate a failure of leadership. how many more times must congress hear this before enacting fundamental reform? why didn't the air force interview the victim to determine if they tried to report or feared reporting, and why? according to the d.o.d.'s own data, 47% of service members are afraid to report because of the
reprisals that occur. this isn't just an air force problem. it is service wide. many secretaries of defense have declared a zero-tolerance policy yet recent actions challenge that notion. in september secretary panetta proposed the president sign an executive order which would have eviscerated the military's rape shield rule. in 2011, the military argued in court that rape is incident to service. had i known this that the military dismisses race as an occupational hazard, i would never have joined. according to "the l.a. times" in 1992 -- 1992 -- in response to
the tailhook scandal, quote, several lawmakers proposed stripping the armed services of their role in probing sexual molestation cases. the deference in patience that congress has shown the d.o.d. has come at great cost to other service members. our security, and ultimately our society. brigadier general, retired brigadier general lori sutton recently said the only credible solution is an independent special victims unit completely outside the unit chain of command under professional civilian oversight and i agree. i ask you as our elected
representative, please, please, don't let this wait. god bless our brave men and women in uniform. >> i want to thank all of you for your testimony and thank you, tech sergeant for your courage to be here today and to tell us your story. certainly, acts of sexual assault under any conditions are especially heinous. but when committed by those in position of power and under the color of authority, they are especially reprehensible. and southwesternly appreciate you taking the time to be here today. this question is to to miss mcnally, miss norris. the d.o.d. have taken a number of steps, albeit maybe not enough to develop and refine their respective sexual assault prevention and response programs. as individuals who are regularly involved with provided and
coordinating care such as violence of sexual assault, what do you consider to be the tradmarks of a good response program? the chief first. >> thank you. one of the first things i think has been a big problem is understanding why we go unreported. i could see generals were putting arnaoutis this very same thing -- their arms around that trying to explain that. and i can tell for myself and some of the victims i supervised over the years, they don't report it because number one, it is so traumatic, it is so ugly and they know it will be public knowledge. so the number one fear, no matter how compassionate you are is this will get out. how could i let this happen to me? men have the same response when they're sexually assaulted. number one thing is something very personal, very ugly, very
traumatic is going to be public knowledge. that's one of the biggest fears. the second thing it's a he said/she said. and unless you see evidence that commanders have removed -- removed from the service with consequences anybody who enables an environment that allows harassment to even start, then have you no trust in your system. you have to see evidence. not whack amole responses to whatever crisis comes up in the sexual assault thing. and finally it's the -- you know, we have he said/she said and then we have, everyone likes to use the word accountability and i think that's turned around a lot. that just means we moved them to another assignment. they need to be responsible. they need to be held liable. these are basically three reasons why people don't report sexual assault. until they understand that, they cannot present a viable sexual response, you know, sexual
assault response program in any place, whether it be in the air force or in college. that is a fundamental thing. have you to get your arms around and understand. they should not come to you. you should be out there talking to them. and talking to your troops and commanders cannot do that. senior enlist kd do that. commanders cannot do that. >> tech sergeant, anything to add? >> i provided with you my personal testimony to give you a little bit of background so we didn't have go into detail, but unfortunately, the rape and the three different other predators who assaulted me, it all occurred within the first two years of my career and for those who have served in the military you recognize quickly that rank does come with privileges. meaning when you're lower enlisted, you're that guy.
or girl. and you're new to the institution. so you have not been able to establish the credibility necessary to make a claim against something -- someone that's been there for 18 years and appears to be the best friend of -- or the right-hand man of the commander. they're stuck. if you want a career, you don't want to say anything because you get retaliated against. you get thrown out. you get beat up. and that's what we need to stop. we need to remove the chain of command from the reporting process. it's absolutely detrimental to us being able to report safely and if you think about it, it's actually good for the perpetrator too. not that i stand up for them by
any means. but a fair process would be a fair process for both. so think about it. commander, 18-year veteran active duty guy, just raped me and i know he's your buddy and best friend and he your back this whole time. i know, i just entered and i'm just a little old e-1, but just wanted to let you know. it doesn't work that way. you're too scared to tell the commander. because, first of all, it's alleged. in every case. very much of a trigger for me. second of all, others start to think, oh, no, you better be careful around that girl because she might just say that you sexually assaulted her. so you almost become a leper.
and because of the small community within the squadron, the rumor mill starts flying. the victim doesn't want to talk about what happened. they don't want -- i didn't want to tell anybody what happened to me aside from the commander because he was the only person i had to go to. i wanted it kept confidential. i was ashamed. i was embarrassed. i couldn't believe that it happened and continued to happen and pushed me to the point where i was forced to report, to prevent another rape. so this small squadron business with they're putting commanders in charge, i'm not saying every commander is say bad man or bad woman. what i'm saying is that to put that decision-making authority in one person's hands, that's a
lot to ask of not only commander but also for the rest of us, you know, he decides one thing. i don't agree with it. what recourse do i have? none. so if they decide they don't want to believe you, have fun with that. >> thank you. dr. lusik, based on your experience in the military and civilian sectors, is it your view the military is doing worse in institutions when it comes to investigation and prosecutions of sexual assault cases? in your view what are the areas in the military's response to sexual violence that need the most attention and improvement? >> well, this is one of those things that is really impossible to average. there are several civilian jurisdictions doing good work in investigating, prosecuting non-stranger sexual assaults but they are exceptions. by and large, it's a pretty bad
picture. likewise in the services, there are -- there are some good thing that's have started to happen in terms of better training both for investigators and for j.a.g. officers. it may be too soon to see much of the impact of that. i hear a little bit, i just did a training of arm j.a.g. officers and begun to hear them say they are seen better c.i.d. reports. that's encouraging. very anecdotal. if you started hearing that more, it would be encouraging. about three months ago i consulted on a court marshal. and it was probably an anomaly in that things wnt really well. everything went well. everybody did their jobs really well. what i valued that experience for is they told me it's possible. that if you have both j.a.g.
officers and o.s.i. acts and the judge, military judge who are well trained to understand the issues that this is a process that can be respectful to victims, can be respectful to the rights of the accused and can handle even the complexities of a nonstranger sexual assault well. and there was a good outcome. there was from perspective, conviction and good sentence. it's possible, it's still obviously happening rarely. and i would hope that if the training that has begun is sustained, that we will see more of that. i also hope that if you see more of that, that some of what has just been described here is we will begin to see inscremental changes in the level of trust -- incremental changes in the level of trust in the system which would lead hopefully to more victims being willing to report. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> miss davis? >> thank you, mr. chairman.
and thank you all for being here. i'm sorry i missed the first part of your testimony. but tech sergeant norris, i appreciate what you said, because in many ways, you capture this incredible dilemma that we're facing. and if i may, mr. chairman, i just wanted to follow up briefly because i had asked about what we were able to capture really from the m.t.i.'s that were spoken to at lackland. we had an opportunity to speak to several of the whistle-blowers and they were very clear about what they felt should be some key recommendations. and i am disappointed and wanted to include in the report the response came back about m.g.i.'s generally. i believe the generals knew -- i think they knew and, you know, i have great respect but i think that we were talking about
whistle-blower m.t.i.'s and to our knowledge, they have stopped and spoken to and i think people who were willing to come forward because this very issue of sort of seeing through the good guys and being able to say, hey, you know, it's not all that it appears. which is what many of the victims grapple with. i think we are doing a better job training prosecutors and we had an opportunity to hear some of that evolution of the way we do that. but it's still a big problem. i wanted to ask, i must say, i have been reluctant to take this out of the chain of command. because everything else is in the chain of command. and for us to pull this out in some way says that we don't believe that our officers are capable of dealing with this issue.
but i wanted to just come back and ask of the -- of the testimony we had and i often think that it's better to go with this kind of testimony and then follow up, frankly, but what is it that you heard that was hopeful, that you think is moving forward well and what really was problematic? because what we're interested here is what is the most effective? what will change the culture and change the ability of the people to have any trust in it? so if you could respond to that, that would be helpful. if you want to start. >> yes, ma'am. >> are you talking about when i was listening to general welsh and general rice? >> if you would like to respond to that. >> i had a very difficult time listening to general welsh and general rice today. not only because of my own experience but also because of what's happening to this day.
this morning i got a call from a client that's in the air force they were having issues with. so despite what general rice and general welsh are saying which could very likely be very genuine and they really do care, they're basically putting their trust in each individual commander to do the right thing. and in my eyes, that means ok, commander, you're judge, jury and executioner. you make the decisions and what is happening is, our commanders, depending on who they are, and even whether they are even schooled in this. i mean, it was hard for me to understand the whole thing and i was a victim of it. so what we're finding is that the commanders aren't always giving people the right information in addition to even
dealing with it? so they're not saying, ok, maybe we contact o.s.i. and do something about this. they have the ability to stop it right there. just by saying a couple things. all it would take is for a commander to say well, this is alleged. or well, it's a he said/she said. for the victims to pretty much fall apart and decide, i don't trust you and i don't trust anybody and i'm not doing anything with this. me personally, i am a spit ball. i'm a spit ball of fire and i fought back on every single thing because i knew that in america there's basic constitutional rights that include males and fee -- females.
we are equal. so why is it that commanders in the military are given this special position that in society we have civilian courts. we have supreme court. we have the ability to appeal. we have all of these different options available to us but in the military, we have one person that may or may not help you. >> if i may go to dr. lisak, if your experience as well, looking at this in a beyond the military, what is your sense of this? again in in terms of pulling that out from the military accountability. >> well, i guess i have to preface what i say with a major caveat, which is i'm not an attorney and i don't view myself as anything close to an expert on military justice system. so this is purely from my own
experience just anecdotally. i recognize what's been very ar tickly posed here is a significant problem. i think a solution has to be found to that. the services are clearly trying to solve it with training. i am not -- i don't have a crystal ball. don't know if whether 25 years we could wait that long whether that will work or whether in 25 years we will have another hearing like this and be looking for another solution. i wish i could. because it's clear even not being an expert i could tell this is a major decision to make. and it t could 0 have all kinds of repercussions, many of which we cannot anticipate and some of which can be pretty harmful. so it's a serious decision to be made. i guess my only cons traa bution could be that -- contribution could be this is a very serious problem and what is described so perfectly when you have -- we
all want victims to come forward. if they don't come forward, not only can we not provide them with the services we want but we cannot go after those predators. the justice system can't work, nothing works. and yet we have not earned their trust and how do you earn their trust when the command structure is in a sense, very incestuous place. and you're asking victims to come forward to somebody who has a tremendous amount of power over them. how we resolve that? i don't know and i don't want to pretend that i do other then you're hearing this is a serious problem that we have to find some solution for. >> i know we have to move on. did you have a comment? did you want to respond to this issue? >> i think the first thing we need to look at is change in culture. i mean, we sent out one of the things that we did was we had command directive look at for inappropriate material in the
workplaces, that was directed by the secretary of the air force. what we didn't say was you had notice and commanders ignored you. we found this much material, then generals why did the commanders ignore you? if you have a good grasp of the culture, why are they blowing you off? we need to start from the beginning. i would have been down at the base removing a commander. if after a month's notice, he knew we were coming and they had videos and inappropriate behavior. we're not taking action on existant issues we have right now. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, thank you. let me say to all of you, i really apoll exercise for the fact that -- apologize for the fact many of the members had threev, many catch planes and the like. would i agree with congresswoman davis it would have been appropriate to have you speak first so that it would have
allowed for the generals to recognize what we're talking about here more specifically. to you retired sergeant mcnally, you're absolutely right. there was an actual notice that went out of the air force. we're going to come through. we're going to see whether or not have you sexual harassing documentation in your cubicle, on your computer. not, sure -- by the way, not your lap tops but just main servers. and after a month's notice they collected 32,000 -- 32,000 inappropriate documents. so your point is well taken. mr. chairman, i want to introduce one other victim who was not one of the -- survivors, i should say, not one of those two testified. jessica is here. would you stand up for a moment. jessica was an airman. she was raped. she reported the rape in 2009.
so this is not an old case. this is a recent case. she was told that it was going to be investigated. it was going to go to court marshal. two days before it was going to go to the court marshal, a new commander came into town and that commander has the authority to dismiss the prosecution and order the court marshal to be abandonned. that's what is wrong with the system. certain individuals have power that far exceed what it should be and if you could basically stop a court marshal after all of that has taken place, you don't have the kind of independence to look at these cases. and that's what is so frustrating to so many of us. thank you, jessica. dr. lisak, you spoke earlier and talked about your work with the military and it's been over ten years. i got the impression that you were basically saying that things are looking pretty good. and while, you know, there's
probably more work that should be done, it's better then it is in the civilian arena and so i would like for you to just comment on that a little more specifically. >> sure. thank you. well, i'm sorry to give you the impression i think things are looking pretty good. anything but. i was comparing the military's performance to the performance in the civilian sector, both local district attorneys and university's similar populations and compared to that, the military looks pretty good. but that really is -- as much, if not more comment about how bad things are in the civilian world. i don't disagree with anything that's been said here in terms of the really profound problems that the services have. i do see the services making efforts that i don't see in the civilian world. and i see little bits and pieces
of evidence that some of those efforts are bearing fruit and that gives me some hope. >> ok. let me ask you another question. you have done a lot of research and you have profiled sexual predators, if i'm not mistaken, is that correct? >> i studiously do not use the word profile. >> you have studied them? >> yes. >> and you studied them in the military. and my understanding is that it's not unusual to have these individuals who i will call sexual predators be exemplary soldiers and beyond being exemplary soldiers, being soldiers that also are very good at identifying targets that are ripe for the preying. is that correct? >> that's correct. >> so one of the things that happens in the military is, you can have as a mitigating factor the fact that you have good military character. that's a mitigating factor. so we can reduce, even though
this is a felony, even though this is a crime, if have you been an exemplary soldier, we're going to reduce the sentence because we don't have sentence guidelines in the military either. would i actually disagree with you on a lot of counts as compared to the civilian society where we do have sentencing guidelines. where there is a rape shield law and where there is an appeals process and where there's independence. none of which exists in the military. but knowing that, don't we have a greater obligation in the military to make sure that these individuals that prey on victims , trainees in this case, over and over again get taken out? >> you mean -- >> i mean taken out of the military. i don't mean taken out -- [laughter] >> well, i certainly agree with you that the only solution, if you identified a predator and
you have a -- some kind of judicial process that the research is very clear that there's very little that can be done to rehabilitate predators and for the protection of the community, whether whether it's the military or university or civilian community, these individuals have to be isolated from the community basically. >> thank you. my time has expired. >> thank you. >> miss duckworth. >> thank you, mr. chairman. so dr. lisak, the question i have for you in dealing with these situations, having been part of an air crew and tight military unit myself, i find that the unit members know that the tendencies of individuals so that when this person is being accused, it's not surprising. they may be of great, upstanding moral character and as we used to say in the army, high and tight soldiers. hard chargers.
but you know because the same situation that gets you into a situation where you're protective of one another and close-knit also puts you in a role where you understand, carkse i have to watch out for this guy. is there anything that has been changed by the rise of women into higher ranks? i wa ovens the highest-ranking female in my unit and i found it could be my role to step in other units as well and i was often the only e.e.o. officer. are you seeing some of those dynamics? i'm not saying they are great male officers who act the way they should but does that change the die nam toik have more female officers who trained? >> this is a very anik -- anecdotal response to that because it's my limited experience with the various services. i think it helps but i don't think it's something that can be relied on as the fix because the
same culture dynamics we have been talking about here all morning and all into the afternoon apply to women as well. and the forces, pressures to conform, pressures not to report, pressures to be careful about who you say what to can apply to women as well. and can silence women even when they're in authority -- when you're in authority in the services, which is always somebody who's got more authority and more power. i think it is -- it's an improvement and it helps but it's not a sort of fundamental fix. >> thank you. would you like to add something? >> yes, i would like to start by saying that oftentimes this issue gets turned into a male-on-female issue. and it's very important to note that 56% of our victims are males. it is yet to be looked at and given the attention that it
needs to. and i want that on the record today that this is not just a female issue and just to let you know, things are getting worse. in 2010, in 2011, commander actions on the ground dealing with sexual assault complaints went down 23%. down 23% court-martials, 2010, 2011, down 22%. court-martials convictions, same year, down 8%. the d.o.d. surveys find that 39% of perpetrators are of higher
rank and 23% are in their chain of command. we're asking our people, our troops, to turn to potential pred towarders to -- predator to report another predator. >> thank you for that. you said 56%? >> yes. >> that is good to know. so my question to you is, you obviously, as you said a spitefire and are willing to stand up. do you find many of your clients choosing to stay in once they are given the tools--any of them -- is there any way once they have gone through this process and if there is a resolution that can be reached. is there any way to keep these amazing men and women that we have invested so much money and effort into who take this
knowledge and help others to go on in their career? are they so hurt they don't want nothing to do with the military? >> that's a great question. on paper, all the sexual assault policies in the military, they are so pretty. they are beautiful. if they were actually implemented that would be great. but they are not. we see it to this day, since the passage of the defensive strong act in 2011, we have been dealing with implanementation issues the entire time because of people straight up ignoring it, not wanting to deal with it, or we don't have time for this, the mission is more important, beat it. that's what we're seeing. the culture is getting more vicious. i don't know if it is because it is so particular with -- popular
with congress now, but the stakes have risen. your getting beat, you're getting threatened then we're fighting with commanders on how to get that person off the base because they are dealing with ptsd. we cannot save them with the system we have right now. >> i'm out of time but i want to thank you for your leadership and courage. we need a lot more like you. >> like wise we want to thank you for taking time to be here this afternoon. thank you for sharing your compelling story and further witnesses to broaden the expertise of the panel. seeing no other questions, the meeting is adjourned. >> we go live to a conference hosted by national review on
challenges facing conservatives and ways to advance the political cause. this is live coverage on c-span. >> we're here today because we beg to differ. i would be amiss if i did not draw on our founder who new a thing or two about fighting for the conservative principles and he also has a way with words. oom 50 years ago, bill gave a speech where he counseled a group of young conservatives not to despair but have faith that their principles are timeless and true and nothing could be more worth fighting for. in the course of the speech he said the followinging "i do not know of any purpose for national review if it is not to serve as a lightning rod for the best thought and the best expression
of that thought to pierce the surrounding gloom and remind ourself of the necessity to hurl back the 20th century. " our tests still remain to hurl them back. so thank you very much for being here, i hope you all enjoy a wonderful, inspiring, thought-provoking and problem-solving weekend. thank you and enjoy. [applause] >> this microphone does work. tom cotton of arkansas. [applause] >> hi, what bright lights and
what a big room. thank you for coming to this national review jam but re-- jam borrow. tom, you may know a little, you will get to know him more. he was just sworn in, a new house member from the 4th district of arkansas. he was brought up on a farm from true grit county. all those who have read the book or seen the movie know about the county. he was a high school basketball player. calls himself a high school hero college zero. i'm not sure about that. he went to harvard college. after that some graduate study at claremont and back to harvard
for law school. he told me his first teacher on the first day of class was another new member of congress, the massachusetts are senator elizabeth warren. i'm not sure warren learned anything from tom back the school. during law school, 9/11 occurred and tom decided he was going to join up after law school, which he did. he went to the recruiter and he said you will be in the jag corps, the legal branch but he said no, he wanted to fight. he went to afghanistan. at home, reran for congress and elected and here we are. i'm glad you're in congress. how's life? you've had two weeks of it --
three weeks of it? >> three weeks. >> you're not quitting yet, are you? >> no, not quitting. we just got started. >> what can you do in the house? can you appear on television? can you block anything? all the republicans say i'm a conservative i'm not a republican. i'm boat. what can we do? >> you saw in 2011 and 2012 which looked different from 2009 to 2010. when i hear people talk about gridlock i wish we had gridlock in 2010. things like the stimulus and obamacare but we can do more than what we're doing. if we stand united as republican party in the house behind bold
conservative ideas. you saw that this week. the president thought he had the republicans over a barrel with the debt ceiling coming up with no time to announce any long-term balance budget framework or any kind of structural reforms to heanlt retirement programs. we had the short-term extension to give each chamber to go through order and pass a budget in our house. obviously, paul ryan and his team will work through, i think even a bolder budget to send to the senate. the senate and the president might not accept the bill we passed. but in fact, they are going to pass the bill and the president is going to sign it. as speaker boehner said, this is something the house should
continue to do. we are in the opposition but we're in the majority but as the opposition we should take the opportunity to paint bold principles and stand by those and then we can campaign on those in the next two years. >> so, tom, you are a conservative. did you become conservative at some point, are you a natural born conservative? >> right from the beginning. i grew up in a very small town. my parents were not political at all. my father would not put up a yard sign until my campaign, thankfully, he did not want to offend the opponent. >> a good neighbor. >> so i had a conservative up bringing in terms of morals but not really what you would call a
political upbringing. i did not think much about politics in bill clinton ran for president in 1992. i was 15 and that was the time when i first started reading the newspaper. i could not believe my governor was running then he was elected and i couldn't believe that my governor was elected. >> did you have ever a flir today shun with the left? how did you stay true, so to speak? >> i think when you go into an institution like harvard or higher education they are so left-wing, it is good to be fully baked. so you're not buckling under the
pressure. when reagan became a candidate, his views had been very forward. he's not still learning on the job, so to speak. you go into a place like harvard, if you are already a conservative, you are more likely to emerge as a conservative. it will not produce many conservatives when you have the pressures of your instructors, whether they are graduate students. you have the opensive-- opresencive. >> you are an outsider of a kind. conservatives, at least in my experience love to splinter. people say i'm a social conservative, a fiscal conservative and so on. you strike me what we used to
call a reaganite. what kind of conservative are you or are you just a conservative conservative? >> i'm a conservative. the modern conservative movement came to power in the late 1970's, early 1980's by not just focusing on fiscal and monetary policies. they are all essential elements as the republican party as a whole. i go back to the founding, the declaration and those documents and the principles they announce are the basis of conservative principles today. >> you have this fetish for the constitution. this musty document written by slave holders. how do you explain -- >> i took an oath to it so i should have a fidelity.
>> how many times have you tange the oath? >> a few. several times in the army and again in congress as well. the world's oldest written constitution and it is the greatest constitution if f you look at what it helped us achieve. if you look at the bills about what he had done and the genius of the constitution as madison and hamilton described. it has preserved our liberty over 200 years. it created a prosperous society. a chance for everyone to rise to their own station in life no matter what station into which they are born. which is extraordinaryly rare in the world. and a chance for people around the world to become american. as lincoln said, or like reagan said or bill buckley has said.
>> you heart from a lot of conservatives and i hear this a lot this weekend. people are naturally conservative but we nominate the wrong people, us republican. we screw up the campaigns. if we nominate the right people we would win because this is basically a conservative country. i think this is wrong myself. i think mitt romney was a splendid candidate and people made a mistake on november 6. what do you think about this idea that people want to vote for us but they just can't? >> if you want to win elections you have to nominate skillful candidates. some candidates are better than others regardless of their philosophy. if you look at one of the best candidates to emerge was ron
johnson, a senator from wisconsin, no prior political experience. often times, businessmen like senator johnson fund themselves. he turned out to be a marvel and he is extremely conservative. we've nominated conservative candidates that turned out to not be so skillful. i agree with you that mitt romney was one of the most decent men to run for president and his campaign did make some mistakes and that did contribute to the defeat he suffered. i don't think it is because of the republican philosophy. >> you don't think people are lost to us for the foreseeable future? >> no. i think it is short-sighted. we certainly are not in the depth we were in 1975 or 2009
for that matter. we came back from those periods and we can certainly come back from this one. >> tom, do you think the people, brordly speaking, are willing to see entitlement reform. they may say they want it but do they really want it? why is it so hard? if the people really want it wouldn't with have done it? >> the need just became important in the last few election cycles. the baby boom is just starting to retire. medicare and social security -- they are just now starting to retire and this is starting to affect their life. you also had a 3% to 4% growth. so the baby boom retiring and the growth over four years with
a $1 trillion deficit made it more urgent. it has been accelerated by barack obama's policies. therefore, i don't think it has been fully formed the complete need for it. look at what happened two years ago when the house passed paul ryan's budget. they urged the house republicans not to do this. there is no way we can sell this to anyone. what they meant is, it is harder to sell it to someone. john boehner and the house leadership and the paul ryan disagreed with that. they said we need a bold bill. we did not lose a single seat because of paul ryan's budget. in fact, it prepared the ground for obamacare because that has
removed $700 billion from medicare without changing the flaw, without injecting consumer choice like ryan's budget would have. >> let me ask a question about what we just talked about. i have been to your district in arkansas. i think it is fair to say it is an afluent district. how do you appeal to people who are not so well-off? it sold with you or you sold it? how do you approach this? >> first, i observed everyone -- jake has been to my district and out to my family farm. he got there and i think it is fair to say he probably spent more time in the city than the country, right? >> lately. >> he looked out from the dining room table and said the a fields
are so beautiful with the yellow there. what do you call those? my father looked at him like he was from new york and he said weekends. >> i think it might have been something else. >> the way you sell free markets -- >> country boy now lives in d.c. if way you sell -- >> the way you sell free markets experience is the way you sell you don't sell on their own. they succeed based on how connected they are in washington or privileges they have or who can hire the best lobbyists. the slogan of the populous
party, i don't agree with their policies but their slogan captures a lot a the american creed, equal rights for all, special privileges for none. when you succeed not on the value or the service and you use our own free choice can decide on how much value but based on who you know. you see that in our tax code. our tax code is so complicated because there are so many giveaways to the special interest groups or the well-connected that don't privilege americans that work hard and try to put food on the table. >> i have often wondered and explored this if people have an appetite for limited government?
americans in general, the government keeps getting bigger. we struggle to obtain the a slower right of growth, which is a great vibtry in a way it is. have you found an appetite for limited government? or limited government for others and not for themselves? >> i believe so. i said often times in the campaign trail that the constitution is very popular and big government is not popular. that is where we should anchor our program and policies. you saw this in the president's speech on monday even though it was a very liberal speech. he didn't call for big government. >> the inaugural address? >> yeah, the inaugural address. that's because he knows what bill clinton knew in 1996, that big government is over. so i do think --
>> the era is over. >> yeah. again, if political leaders will explain the circumstances and choices that we face and make the case for limited government, free market economics and constitutionalism the americans will side with those principles and they always have. but it takes some explanation and leaders that are willing to do it. >> without transitions, without smooth ones. let me throw something out. immigration, the republican party is said to have an immigration party. we republicans have one specifically even though the country has one. we're mean, we're quasi racist. i think the general republican position is reasonable, secure the border, less illegal
immigration. but apparently we wear black hats and it is supposed to be killing us, or at least hurting us. what should republicans do about immigration? we think that a politician should say whatever he believes. as a general policy, how do you think republicans should act on the issue of immigration? we're supposed to be such scrooges. >> i think what you described is broad. i disagree with the underlining facts that have had people reach those conclusions. john mccain four years ago only got 31%. if you look at george bush, he
received, i think 40%, even though immigration wasn't really on the agenda. it shows that it is somewhat condescending that hispanics are single voters about immigration just because they are immigration. most hispanics like most americans are focused on what leaders going to do for them and the economy and securing their streets and securing their place in the world. that shows in the exit polls, hispanic voters are not single-issue voters. as a republican party we can probably do better by being more welcoming in our rhetoric at times and there is a lot of policies that recognize that we are, not just a nation of immigrants, but a nation of
laws. expediting illegal immigration. i have an interpreder the from afghanistan who tries to get a visa but he fails to get a visa because there is not enough visas. he could come here easily lylely but he wants to do the right thing to be a productive citizen. same thing with immigrants that are already here. if they are high-skilled workers or if they are low-skilled migrant workers. we can have policies that have them stay here and not have concerned about returning them to their home country once their visa is up. the problem with comprehensive immigration, the 1986 bill that did pass, you often times get the amnesty without the enforcement because other groups
sue and block it. >> not to get into too many details. but i wonder this, there's so many illegal immigrants here and have been here for a long time. what do we do about them? if not amnesty, self-deportation is a bad, scary word. this is a question i have problem answering. if one more and that never again. what are we going to do? >> i don't think we can do that because it creates bad policy for the next generation of illegal immigrants. >> i agree but what in its place? >> i mean, to use the favorite term of the. false choice. we don't have to make a choice between necessity or deportation. often time, immigrants are here illegally are not here
permanently. they move back and forth from their home country. if we can streamline procedures it will make it easier for them to apply from their home country. and not give them an unfair advantage for those who are coming here legally. we should encourage all of those immigrants to come here. given with our retirement plan and health plans we need them here to replenish our worker base. >> let's talk about abortion. pro-life, pro choice. you're antiabortion, i'm antiabortion. this is supposed to hurt us. i remember something a colleague of mine said years ago. she said, a lot of people are in the republican party or
sympathetic to the party because they are anti-abortion but they are not with us on other stuff. you and i have our view of abortion, whatever its popularity or unpopularity of your view. do you think it is -- sorry about the crackling guys. if i did not talk it wouldn't happen. >> no, i don't think so. as we mentioned earlier when we talk about the modern movement. it is one of the anchors of conservative thoughts and conservative principles. >> why do you say that, tom? there many great pro choice who are conservatives. >> there are. if you return to the constitution that we're all created equal. no man is born with a saddle on
his back to be ridden or with spurs on their feet to right. we should treat everyone equally and we should not extinguish the lives of unborn americans in this circumstance. it is a tragedy that the estimates are 50 to 55 million unborn americans have been aborted since roe v. wade was decided. it is true of those who are at the end of their live who is will be treated under obamacare. i think it can lead to a disrespect for life more broadly. i think we need to do everything to infiltrate the respect for life which, frankly has been growing to the surprise of many. public opinion is moving toward the pro life direction in recent years. i think hopefully it will
continue to move in that direction. i don't think it is a alba tross around our necks. if you look in swing districts where republicans lost. they did not lose because they were pro life. they lost because, you know, votes on taxes or spending or regulations or so forth. it is very rare to find republican politician who is have lost because they are pro life, i think. >> let's glance in on gay marriage. people say like us, you have to give up your view of marriage if you want to win another election. do you think they have a point? >> i don't think they do. i'm a supporter of traditional marriage. that is not disrespect for gays or lesbians. but the marital unit of one man and one woman producing children is the bedrock of civilization for as long as we've had
recorded history. it is a risky thing to start fiddling around with that kind of natural, organic institution that has developed. because you don't know the kind of consequences it could lead and you don't know the kind of breakdown it could lead to in the family structure. i disagree with the political case against it. it is in the last year that people have decided to accept gay marriage in their states. even california, four year guys voted for a marriage amendment. that will be decided in the supreme court in the coming months. i disagree that it is a political albatross. >> here's a big question that many books can be written about. i will give you two minutes. it has to do with the culture and its affect on politics.
you can separate one from the other. a lot of conservatives say the left dominates education k through graduate school. the left dominates hollywood, movies, popular music, the news media, all these shaping institutions. these same people often express surprise that conservatives lose at the ballot box. obviously, we're not going to take over "the today show" or "saturday night live" you maybe they would be worse if we did. we swing against a cultural tide. i don't want to sound too sell-pity. it is a hard thing to swim against, is it not? you've successed and maybe you're an exreppings. you're a square, as far as i
know. >> the major newspaper, magazines, tv networks, hollywood, are liberal. no doubt about that. that has been the case for a couple of generations now. >> even when reagan was president. >> reagan faced challenging circumstances when he was succeedsing then we do today. fox news didn't exist then. the dominate cultural institution is liberal. we as conservatives have more media outlets and it provides the kind of alternative views that if you just go by ratings, americans accept and agree with. i think conservatives like to complain about how tough its is in today's media environment. that's not getting into new
media platforms like twitter and facebook that allows us to bypass the old media filter. >> in my experience and observation, conservatives do a few things. they make too much of media bias or too little of media bias. do you think media bias is more of a nonfactor? should people like me buck up? >> it is gravity. it is part of the environment. >> something to deal with. >> yeah, something to deal with. i think it is important that we point it out. that is why we have it easier today than reagan had it 30 years ago. we have institutions like fox news which i don't think is a conservative outlet but it is more fair and balanced than msnbc or cnn or the three networks and a whole host of websites that do a good job of
policing media bias. as political leaders at magazines like "national review" we should emphasize more on what our plans are for america than being media critics. >> i follow the news a little bit but i'm confused. is the afghanistan war over? and did we win? was it worth fighting? is it over? >> it is not over if you ask the 68,000 troops that are still there tonight. they are probably fighting at this moment. did we win? it is hard to know if you thereon the president because he has banished win, loss, from his vocabulary. wars don't end. wars are won or they are lost. physical you don't win the war, you will never win the peace which is the what the president said he wants to do.
we only won "the peace" in japan because we destroyed our enemies and we achieved unconditional surrender. in the nature of counter insure jency you're not going to have that kind of moment. the war is winnable as iraq was. i worry that the president's decision will snatch the fete from the jaw's of decision. i think they need to stay where they are now and beyond that they need to have a robust force that stays behind, the kind he did not leave in iraq. they will be more fragile than iraq just from a tear rain it is harder to govern than iraq is. >> did we win? was it a stalemate? was it worth fighting? >> well,, i mean, you can say
the iraq war is over from the american point of view. you can also say it is too soon to tell. wars ended badly are usually wars that have to start again. that is true if it is the world war i, world war ii, our the gulf war. i hope it is over and i hope the gains we made in the surge, i saw the war spiral out of control in the lowest political moment george bush had the finest hour with a new strategy, new troops. most republicans didn't want him to do that. by 2008 we achieved victory. that was built upon the n the early years of the obama administration. by refusing a stay-behind force
that the leadership in the military wanted at the time, we do risk the gains we had made. you have more strife in iraq. you have, some strange behavior and right now it is too soon to tell if the war has been won. it was won at a time but, as i said, we might be snatching the feet of the jaws of victory. because the president's concern is ending the war not winning the war. >> there are people who are licking their chops for the cuts in the defense department. there are people who don't bawling at sequestration. there are people who welcome it. i take it you are not one of those people. >> i don't welcome it. i have said many times, i would oppose the budget control act which will raise the debt ceiling. in part, because the way the question provisions were written. they were unbalanced.
50% of our cuts come from the defense. it just cut everything by the same amount as opposed to give our military leaders the pentagon to cut from unsuccessful and outdated programs and put more money into the most successful and important programs. with that said, the only thing worse than the defense cuts and sequestration is no cuts at all. if we don't have the sequestration cuts at the top line revenue level went we will increase the debt ceiling with almost nothing to show for it. part of the reasons why the house republicans this week, extended the debt cerealing for three months to feel out paul ryan and his team to draft a budget that gets us balanced in 10 years but also protects the
department of defense from further cuts because they have already been cut by $500 billion. >> do you get the idea, do you get the sense that americans are tired of world business. that doing some business here at home is gaining traction with people. are they world leadership weary? is the american hour ticking to a close? >> i think there is a degree of war weariness among the american people. it is not surprising. when your commander in chief is war weary you will be as well. when i was leading troops in baghdad, if i were weary and then my privates who were manning my guns they wouldn't want to go throughout either.
the president was making the case why we were in afghanistan and we weren't winning. american people look for victory strategies and they did not see a path of victories in 2005. now think don't see a victory strategy because the president is weary of war. it is not surprising that the american people show a degree of war weariness. what they need, what we need as a party is political leaders to make the case why it is so important that america be a leader in the war. it is not something that the world opposes. they want us to be a leader in the middle east and east asia. when we retreat from the world the world becomes a more dangerous place. it also becomes a lells prosperous place. the side effects of military leadership in the world is
security for global commerce, glorblee trade, and so forth. the consequences of withdrawing from the world are high and dangerous. they are not always immediate. that is why we need political leaders who will make the case. on the campaign, foreign policy is different than domestic policy. you might have seen this people don't ask what do you think we should do abouts? what do you think about the second amendment? they ask you're going protect my second amendment rights, aren't you? they ask that about libya and afghanistan. we experience the economy or the domestic policy first-hand in our churches, in our workplace. very few people including the people here in washington experience the world first-hand. there is more opportunity for leadership and persuasion in foreign policy than in domestic
policy. unfortunately, our prosecutor does not try to make that case. >> on the subject of guns, i take it you're not a gun controller. do you regard any of president obama's proposals as reasonable? something that one should swallow? >> i think his proposals will be ineffective. i think they are provepbt to be ineffective of the assault weapons ban. there is no impact on crime in general or mass murderer in particular. there was an assault weapons ban in effect in connecticut where the sandy hook murders occurred. california has bans on large capacity magazines, there is no effect there. chicago has some of the harshest gun laws and there is high
violence there. there are shocking gaps in our mental health system that could help keep firearms out of the hands of the dangerously mentally ill. like our privacy laws or access to the adult mentally ill but none of the laws that the president proposed would be a solution. it might make the people in the media cheerleaders and make them feel good about themselves but it would not solve the problem to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals. >> we have about a minute. there's this new obama term and a lot of a people thill america is changing going in the way of social democracy. the sun is setting on us. you remember that old thing from
revolutionary days. here's a question, touchy feely. how co you feel about the future? >> i feel great about the future. i always have and i think i always will. >> you are an american. >> yes. anyone who thinks that america can't recover from eight years of the obama presidency is ignorant of american history and the greater challenges we have faced. what we need are political leaders who will clearly and boldly state the case for reform. if that means blocking obama's agenda or passing our reforms and have obama explain why he is opposed to them. we should articulate our goals and policy programmings and explain them. >> tom cotton of arkansas. [applause]
>> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. i'm the director of the at the heritage society. welcome to our conversation about life. it is strategically timed on this 40th anniversary on the infamous roe v. wade decision. hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the mall to march for life. thank you for standing for life. a generation and a half have grown up in the shadow of roe.
we are thankful for those pro life leaders who have cast life into the darkness created by the ethic of roe. today, we are joined we -- by foreof the lights. chuck donovon is the president of the institute. chuck has served the pro life cause at the national right to life committee in the reagan administration at the family research council and most recently with the at the hear taj -- heritage center. he serves in the family life, represent life office. working on public policy issue.
we was a prosecutor, he has a law degree from harvard and a relodge jouse studies degree. there he directs the center for ethics and culture. he previouslyly served a general council to the president's council. we're going to have a conversation about the state of the pro-life movement and the future of the pro life movement and cause. i want to begin by asking our panelist to comment on 40 years into the ethic of roe. what is the most encouraging or most discouraging about how far we have come or how far we have not come? you can answer either of those or both. >> thank you. i think the most encouraging thing is what happened today. when you have hundreds of thousands of beautiful young people marching on the mall for
4 years in a row. this is unprecedented. that is very encouraging to me. it is also encouraging that we understand now that abortion does tend life of a human being. science has helped us to understand that. what is discouraging and i think the challenge for the next 40 years is to disspell the second myth. we now understand it is a baby, not a clump of tissue. the second myth is that abortion helps women. that is a myth. the reality and the data we have is that abortion harms women greatly. abortion is violence against women. abortion is the war on women. so that is the message and the message discipline that we need to embrace and teach tour children and policy makers. >> chuck? >> i think the most encouraging thing and the most discouraging thing is one in the same.
what some thought was a narrow or single issue about whether a particular human being at an early stage would live or die and who makes that decision is an isolated moral question. over the last 40 years and especially in the last 10 the heritage foundation is key to this. we came to a better understanding that this being of a court decision and remains as a constitutional law which is an unpopular decision. it has also had a produce found affect on everything, including the relationship between men and women. how vague is the conversation that out the be the most enriching relationship which is family and we are seeing cover stories in the magazines proclaiming the end of men.
who wants the end of men? and he wrote it in the six major vir chews. we are common to all traditions. as of these come into play not as an isolated matter. on permission of some of these services, we're seeing that civil society itself, the church, church institution, charities, they escape the implications of one supreme court decision. we see it and the discouraging thing is we have to endure and we are much of the damage that this has done. >> one of things i find is the fact we're still here talking about this. i think most of the major institutions, especially the law school i went to, the
entertainment world, they want this settled, and they want us to sit down and shut up. i think the fact that we're still here and still talking about it and growing is very encouraging. what i think is discouraging is there is still a lot of people -- they know what abortion is. but they don't care. there was a horror riffing article the other day, a woman saying, i know it is a human life but i don't care. it is all about me. it is still discouraging there is so much hardening of hearts out there. people aren't willing to admit the truth and act in a caring and humane way about it. >> i share the same view. the unbelievable resilience and encourage that is proposed in the pro life movement. it is a young movement.
you see in the mall hundreds and thousands of students compose the movement, especially women, we have an strude group of women leaders who are at the vanguard of this movement. that is a powerful thing. in some ways it is not surprising that the argument, the pro-life argument has got increased purchase and people identify themselves as pro-life more than they have at the -- in the past. the argument, that everyone matters, no matter how small or unwanted they are. it is routed now most honorable traditions. at the end of the day because we have the truth on our side we're going to prevail. what is discouraging and especially this last election cycle is how our political
discourse in some way, seemed one sided. it seems like most of the politicians weren't making these arguments. they were a lot of -- the ground was seeded to those on the left and those on the proabortion rights argument who wants to make an argument about one candidate or another or wanted to talk about, yeah, mischaracterizing certain kinds of facts. talking about the details in the ultra sound in virginia and trying to mischaracterize their opponents as extreme. with some exceptions there was a lost silence on our side. i don't think politicians should be afraid of the case. we're blessed by extremist opponents. president obama has tried to defund our medicare stores
because our state legislator has tried to the funds. president obama we saw from president bush in his campaigns, focusing on common sense solutions to the other side opposes -- a rental notification, late-term abortion bans and limits on taxpayer funding. this resonates with wide swaths of the voting public, but if we remain quiet and allow the other side to caricature us, it is not surprising that we see setbacks. >> dorinda, we heard a lot in the election cycle about what women want, and what is your
perspective? do women want abortion? >> i do not know any little girl this as when i grow up i want to have an -- who says when i grow up i want to have an abortion. women found themselves in abortion clinics because they are either abandoned by the men who should be loving them instead of using them, or they are coerced, physically or otherwise by the men in their lives and often their parents. abortion is a place of hopelessness. of course women do not want this. the most powerful voices we have now, and the reason we have success in the state is the courageous women that can speak to this and speak to the lie of what abortion has done to
destroy their psychological lives, the relationships, the horrible medical impact -- i could give you a mountain of data that we do not have time for. of course women do not want abortion, and the characterization that those who oppose it are not really winning -- women are -- is insulting, and they are on the verge of over-reaching. i am blessed with four children. as they look at what is going on, they keep shoving these contraceptives, these drugs -- did they think we are prostitutes, somebody to be used? there is no respect that the young women are looking for. we are made to love and be loved, not used and be used. >> i could add to that.
from a male respecter of and we work with -- perspective, and we work with a lot of women at the archdiocese, and if you were to ask a lot of them what they want more than anything else, they won the men in their lives to be then -- want the men in their lives to be mad. they want their fathers to support them, the father of the baby to support them, treat them like a woman and accept their responsibility. there is nothing more heartbreaking than to be parading outside of a clinic and see the fathers -- and be praying outside of a clinic and see the fathers and the mothers drop them off. we didn't need -- women need men. that added with julia, what was missing from her life? there was no husband, no man and that is what women want, men to
be men. >> yesterday, at the national press club, one of my heroes talked about taking it to the man -- that we may need to take it to the man, then we need to challenge men to man up, because think about it, everybody looks at the woman, a say you are killing the baby, and it is all about what the woman did. did anybody say where is the man that shamelessly left you in this position? you should not be -- you should be ashamed of yourself. what kind of man are you watching mark -- question -- man are you? nobody shuns men, and we do not want to do that, though we want to raise young men to respect women. roe has robbed when -- women and
men. >> one more question, and i want to address this idea to carter, the hhs mandate under obamacare recovering almost all employees to cover regardless of religious objection has been presented with the wrapper that this is necessary for women's. in the workplace. how would you respond -- women's parity in the workplace. how would you respond question mark >> it is a strange argument. i do not think anybody thought that before it came down the pipeline. it is important to point out that there is no restriction on access to contraception. the university of notre dame does not prevent people from seeking contraception but -- by
whatever means they want to, what will notre dame and other institutions like it become held to act in a way that is contrary to the principle it affirms, conducting business in a way that is not integrated with its most deeply held commitment? it is a very strange idea that contract -- commitment? it is very strange the idea that contraception, which is not very expensive and this has been documented, it does not break the bank, but it is very strange also to suggest that religious employers have the obligation to fund this activity. for me not to pay for somebody's access to contraceptives is in no way a restriction on their equality or freedom or ability to pursue their own resources. it is an argument that makes an ugly appearance in the abortion debate as well. in the jurisprudence there has
been a shift of privacy to liberty, and now equality seems to animate justice ginsburg and other commentators in esteemed law schools where arguments were made that abortion is necessary for equality. i think that is a deeply ironic and troubling idea to cut the notion of equality would be purchased by the permanent entrenchment of radical inequality for an entire segment of the human family and that strikes me as a problematic argument. as far as the hss mandate, in some ways it is and install team, paternalistic argument -- consulting paternalistic argument, where they have to pay for your choices, and if not they are imposing their religion on you. that is a backwards notion. >> the idea that women are
simply reproductive units that have to be given drugs or abortion drugs, that strikes me as an insufficient moral anthropological respect for women. >> there are a few rhetorical deficiencies that loom large in the emory, but they are in -- memory, but they are in contrast to pro-life wins. to what do you attribute those gains at the state level? >> there are political developments that should embolden us. just the size of the crowd here, and the youthfulness, and if anybody like the republican party were to abandon this issue, imagine losing the energy of the people gathered here today, how disappointed they would be.
we need to be realistic about what this legislation can do. it was only, 2010," was loader - lower turnout, but there was a wave election where obamacare was the central theme, and it should still be because we have not seen it yet. we are just getting the foreshadowing before the big earthquake. that brought in conservative legislators, said to bt partiers interested in a new future for finance, but they also turned out to be social conservatives. you have 27 states, both houses controlled by the gop, a high water mark, and 27 republican governors, four of them women, and all very pro-life. to turn off the spigot from the issue makes very little sense. 138 ills were passed. they were not todd akin bills. that was never discussed. we will not go there again, but
those bills were about sex selection abortion, pain in the unborn, the nerves of the child at 20 weeks -- all of that makes pain perception happened. states are dealing with that. sex selection -- yes, it is happening in the united states. we have a fact sheet on our website, self-promotion here, but it does happen worldwide and it is a byproduct of 200 million missing girls worldwide, and people chant the name feminism while they are wiping out as many girls a year in the people's republic of china as are born in the united states every year? we have a lot to accomplish, and we need a ronald reagan approach. hearing how he developed and talk about these issues -- the
core of it was belief in america, faith in god and an optimism. this is the scary thing about all of these regimes. they are frighteningly limited about the human future. we talk about women's rights now, but the abortion rights came out of population panic, beliefs ecological disaster was around the corner -- all of these things. we have to be very careful as we talk about fiscal cliff's and the like, we are the party and the people of optimism. we think a down syndrome child can do great things, their lifespan can double. we think a 16-week-old child can have surgery. of course, when you love the baby, what can you do? you can do marvelous things. we do not have a space program. it is a wake-up call that we have dropped into al gore's limited view of senator that we
are in a death struggle for the rest of eternity. we are not. we need to be believers like charles krauthammer and neil armstrong who said we are not bound here. it seems impossible to you and me, but it seems impossible to friends of columbus that they would get across, but they did. we have to be optimistic about finances, growth and everything. that, we can sell. fear, they are selling. [applause]>> i think the theme of the movement of optimism is absolutely right, and one of the initiatives that we at the bioethics defense fund created for the state and was passed for the first time last year is called signs of hope. i brought armstrong who said we are not bound here. this. nothing like a show and tell, right?
what this is is a sign that must be posted by law and created the state department of health with the words that we wrote and required, every single word in the law, that this must be posted in the waiting room and the patient room of every abortion clinic in that state. it says some optimistic things -- women, no you're right. you cannot be forced -- it is unlawful for anyone to force you into an abortion against your will. you are not alone -- many public and private agencies are willing to assist you. you and the father -- the father of your child is liable to assist in the support of your child even if he has offered to pay for the abortion. you and adoption -- the law permits adoptive parents to pay costs.
for more information, there is a department of health website, and a little code on these signs, so a woman can type this into her iphone and have a bevy of resources on pregnancy centers, pantry services, what the unborn child looks like at that point, what are the medical risks short-term and long-term -- all of the information to make a truly informed choice. you would think that pro-choice people would have no problem with information to take a choice, but lo and behold planned parenthood said at the committee table and oppose this vehemently, saying it was insulting and offensive. now, we have a beautiful, black, republican -- no, democratic woman, and she said we can change the words, which part is offensive because we can change this?
you can not be forced is that offensive? you are not alone, does that part offend you? the father must pay? which part offend you? she said it was insulting because women already know all of these things. well, maybe her and her friends are brilliant and do not need resources, but i know when i go into a dentist office i have to sign in, what could happen. it is informed consent, a standard of medical care, and this is a winning piece of legislation. people can do these reasonable, commonsense things so that women can realize, whether it is obvious or not, that they have other options. >> this is so important not just in the political arena,
but also the practical arena around the kitchen table and in the community. we are in favor of all of these things. we believe in unborn children. we believe in handicapped children. when we make these arguments, it resonates with people. there is a wonderful project called catholic voices that encourages people of faith to speak positively about the issues and engage people at the emotional levels, not just talk about it as an intellectual manner, but to help them understand they can feel like better people if they are in favor of what we are in favor of. the things on during the's list , we live these things every day -- dorinda's list, we live these every day. we are committed to this. we do this all the time. we need to talk about this more and show people the things that we are in favor of and the positive things that we are
doing to promote life. >> carter? >> i agree. there is a lazy slander that we only care about the prenatal life, but that is a slander because the pro-lifers have been at the heart of creating maternal group homes, practice pregnancy centers, and centers that deal with people that have been wounded by abortion, men and women. it is a holistic approach and it is rooted in love from conception to natural death, and every person that is harmed by abortion we are here to embrace and take care of. that is not just the right and to do, but it is also a very appealing, welcoming message. it is not a cold message that in order to preserve your future you have to be at war with your own family.
we are the only people that listen to those women. the pro-abortion crowd does not want to hear them. they hate posts -- aborted women when they speak. we want to get them over their pain. that is a gigantic difference. >> we are the movement of hope, the movement of women speaking for themselves, evidence-based choices. chuck, are we the movement of healthcare? >> -- healthcare? >> we are not quite the movement, and it is good the alarm has gone off that there are consequences to the nationalization of healthcare that will destroy civil institutions, religious mostly
in this case, that provide healthcare for nonprofits that do. think of the ironies. if you are a pro-life center and you get to 50 employees, you will have to provide abortion services? civil institutions, religiouswhen we , the health care issue did not get the attention. i do not know if i could define today what the alternative to obamacare really is overall. bits and pieces live through the night, like buying insurance in other states, tax reform -- heritage has done a great job of summing a comprehensive plan. i personally would tweak it a little bit. at the end of the day, when we have the opportunity, and i would urge the congress now. we have the house. why wait for the deadline for what they want to do?
why doesn't the house pass everything a republican or a conservative would want so that americans can see this is the tax reform plan,when we had bete one that i have now. it has to be about growth and opportunity, more than cuts. i do not believe people believe we have a coherent message for that. if we get that together, have a healthcare plan where people say i can pick my dr., get 15 minutes with them, not two minutes because the independent advisory board says you have to do 80 patients a day, and my dr. when not be sued for every mistake he might have made. it would not be sued for every mistake he made -- would not be sued for every mistake he made. cvs is open money for hours for some reason. at the end of the day, we have
to be about helping people and giving them a chance to help themselves to represent their values in all that you own or if you do not own your healthcare plan, you do not own anything in our society. somebody else's treating your those -- those various. the world is for a better tomorrow, not the campaign of fear that we are living under. >> i wanted to ask the other panelists about the obamacare opportunity, and whether you see the vulnerabilities in an increasingly centralized healthcare system. >> can i speak to the lawsuit that is on the table? as a pro-life organization, we do not take a position on nationalized healthcare as a whole, but we do have to focus on and dig through the thousands of pages to find where they have
hidden not just contraceptive mandates, but surgical abortion premiums that people will find themselves in. if you are in a plan that has abortion and you do not find that out until you enroll, every man, woman and child will have to pay a minimum of one dollar per month into an abortion allocation account that will be used exclusively for other people's elective abortions. this is the land parenthood slush fund of the century, ok -- planned parenthood slush fund of the century, ok? plan that has abortion and you do not find that out untilthree weeks aftere presidential election, the us supreme court revised the 2010 obamacare challenge, liberty university versus geithner, and this is not just a challenge to the contraceptive hhs mandate, the abortion premium mandate, but a challenge to the whole
obamacare scheme -- individual mandate, the employer mandate. now that we have characterized this as a tax, we have uniformity issues. all of that -- the supreme court itself remand this case to the fourth circuit court of appeals in richmond. two or three days ago, they set the briefing schedule. our friends at liberty university will be reviewing these measures and we will be filing an amicus brief on the abortion premium mandate. it is entirely conceivable there could be a decision by the summer from the fourth circuit. it goes to the us supreme court ,three weeks he could expedite d there could be a ruling before it takes effect. it is conceivable -- i hate to get people's hopes up, but if you have blows to the employer mandate, that knocks this thing out. it is still standing, but it falls apart on its own, the same
with the individual mandate. states are opting out, so it creates a different scheme. be paying attention to liberty university versus geithner because that might open up -- if there is a problem with the law as it is, we will have an opportunity to come forward with positive initiatives to really impact people's choices and prices in of care. -- in healthcare. >> we should be clear how many suits have been lodged against the hhs mandate itself, more than 100 plaintiffs and more than 40 different cases. >> from the church's perspective, the hhs mandate is a gigantic issue, and at the archdiocese we have been pushing forward our own case. from our perspective, the affordable care act normalizes abortion as just a part of healthcare, and obviously, from our perspective, abortion is very different from any other
kind of healthcare. here we have a situation where it is a surgery that is directly intended to end human life and not to save or preserve it. the idea that it can be a normal part of healthcare is very frightening. it is a deep entrenchment of an anti-life mentality and it is going to spread. it is not going to stop with abortion. it will get to the end of life, and it will lead to rationing -- the idea that ending life is a valuable goal of healthcare -- very troubling era >> i agree entirely, and the entire -- troubling. >> i agree entirely, and the entire mandate emerged from a big preventative service mandate in the affordable care act that was construed by the secretary of human services and hhs and treasury and labor to include, after process and the liberation, a new sub-agency
that farmed it out to the institute of medicine, which is not even a governmental body, which is obviously ideologically committed to an outcome more so than doing it. : research. -- doing empirical research. -- more so than doing it. the notion that a board of preventative services is itself a corruption of an idea, the notion that preventing or disrupting a human life is a preventative service. by the way, congress tried to pass on 24 different occasions the precise law that was achieved by administrative fiat in this case and it failed every single time because there were not votes in congress to achieve such an aggressive anti- religious result, but they used it using the delegated
authority, which is extraordinary. if you look at the affordable care act, there are thousands of instances of the phrase giving authority to the winds of the secretary of health and human services, which has granted thousands of waivers, many of which were in nancy pelosi's district. something that chuck said that is important here as well and it is an opportunity to revive it an important conversation about civil society and civil institutions. one of the unbelievably corrosive effects of this contraceptive mandate is that it threatens to drive from the public square those intermediate bodies that stand between the citizen and the government -- institutions like catholic charities, the salvation army, catholic relief services -- organizations that serve the poor, take care of sick people and address serious
social ills because people are motivated by a principle rather than our employees of the government. the government can not love you , and that is something that is becoming increasingly clear, but as the affordable care act functions to compel employers to drop their healthcare plan because of cost and drive people to the exchanges where there might only be one plan at the end of the day, the government plan might be the only left standing, but a defective government run -- de facto government run healthcare does not seem like a rich life for people cannot come together in voluntary situations to help others because they are driven on the public square by a one- size-fits-all anti-religious policy by the federal government. >> chuck, can you make a closing word with what the audience can do to make their corner of the
world more hospitable toward life in a way that might influence policy and politics? x be totally aware of the -- >> the totally aware of the pregnancy alternative services. we did a report on the passion to serve, 40,000 volunteers, almost 3000 maternity homes, they charge next to nothing or nothing to every patient they see. they are getting increasingly medical. they are probably the best model for pregnancy services in the entire world and they will take whatever time with a woman that she needs. there is always somebody nearby doing this work. many more are flooding into this. we have protected the conscious rights of medical students and we have to fight fiercely for that because these are the folks that will stack these agencies, and when people realize the alternative to medical care is a government
bureaucracy waiting on your services, and your neighbor will spend an hour with you if you are losing a baby or deliver that they be. we can find it close to home, we can strengthen it, and we can make our country a better country. >> would you please join me in thanking our panel for their words here today. [applause] [captioning performed bynational captioning institute] [captions copyright nationalcable satellite corp. 2013] >> everybody, thank you to our first two panels. they are a sign of what is to come and we had a good weekend ahead of us. across the hall in the
ambassador ballroom is a reception, and that will conclude at 7:30 p.m., and that we will come in here for a fund and eliminating conversation between richard lowery and dr. charles krauthammer. thank you, and enjoy the reception. >> taking a break here in tonight national review summit, they are expected to reconvene in about an hour. tomorrow, we will have more from the conservative summit as it continues with texas senator ted cruz and wisconsin governor scott walker as well as journalist joe scarborough. our coverage will return tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. eastern. tonight, in our companion network, some highlights from the 57 is a joke inauguration from monday with the -- at the seventh in the duration from monday with the swearing-in and
the commander-in-chief's ball. ed gets underway at 8:00 p.m. on our companion network, c-span2. before we go back to the reception and the summit, earlier today, the president announced that his current national security advisor would become white house chief of staff. the announcement from the white house was about 15 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states, accompanied by mr. jacob lew, and mr. denis mcdonough. [applause]>> thank you. thank you, everybody. please, everybody have a seat. good afternoon, everybody, and welcome to the announcement of one of the worst kept secrets
in washington. [laughter]as president i rely on an extraordinary team of men and women here at the white house every single day, and i rely on my chief of staff to keep up with them and our entire permit, making sure we are all moving in the right direction, they can share my high 40s are being carried carried out, and that our policies are consistent with the commitments that have made to the amerile and that are delivering progress to the american people. as i said earlier this month, i could not be more grateful to jack lew for his amazing service, first as our omb director, than at the state department, and ultimately as my chief of staff. as he prepares for confirmation hearings, and the challenge of leading our treasury department , i am pleased to announce my next chief of staff, and a great friend to me, and everybody who
works here at the white house, mr. denis mcdonough. [laughter][applause] [applause] now, i have been counting on dennis for nearly a decade. since i first came to washington, when he helped to set up my senate office. he, you know, was able to show me where the restrooms were, how you passed a bill. i should point out that even then denis had gray hair. i have been trying to catch up
to him, but at that time i relied on his intellect and his good judgment and that has continued ever since. he is been one of my closest and most trusted advisers. he has been in indispensable member of my national security team as well. he has played a key role in every major national security decision in my presidency, from ending the world in iraq, from winding down the war in afghanistan, to our to natural disasters around the world, to the repeal of don't ask, don't tell, thomas crisis day -- countless crises day and night, and that includes many nights. i begun to think that he liked to pull all-nighters, and the truth is nobody out works denis mcdonough. heart of the reason you saw such warmth in applause is in
addition to being such a talented and hard worker, he is also a pretty humble guy. too many admirers he is still just a dude from stillwater, minnesota, and given his humility, i think people do not always appreciate the breadth of his experience and the range of his talents. it is precisely because of that determination that i wanted him in this job. as a veteran of capitol hill, where he was mentored by the likes of tom daschle, he understands the importance of reaching across the aisle to deliver results for the american people, whether it is on jobs, the economy, healthcare, reducing the deficit, or addressing climate change. he is respected by leaders of the government, and if you add it all up, i think he is spent most of the last four years leading interagency meetings, hearing people out, listening to them, forging consensus, and
making sure policies are implemented and everybody is held accountable. he always holds himself accountable first and foremost. it is no easy task, but through it all denis mcdonough does it with class, integrity and thoughtfulness for other people's point of views. he is the consummate public servant, he plays it straight and that is the kind of teamwork that i want in the white house. time and again i have relied on dennis to help in the outreach to our immigrant and faith communities. he understands that in the end our policies and programs are measured in the concrete differences that they make in the lives of fellow human beings and the values that we advance as americans. he insists on knowing for himself the real world impact of the decisions that we make, so away from the cameras without fanfare, he has visited troops
in iraq and afghanistan repeating the, hearing their concerns, following up, finding out what they need. he travels to walter reed, spending time with wounded warriors, and to know them. then, he comes back to the white house and he gets it done. that is the kind of focus in the carton -- kind of heart that i want in this white house. now, do not get me wrong. dennis can be tough. it probably comes from being one of the 11 children. you have to be tough. two of his sisters are here today, and i know they are just beaming. they could not be more proud of their brother. maybe it comes from his college football days as defensive back under the legendary john galardi. i always tease him and that he made up for modest talents with
extraordinary dedication and a high threshold for pain. [laughter]this does remind me of the one topic that we will never agree, biking versus bears. -- vikings versus bears, and there's another reason we all love him so much, and that is his decency, his respect for those around him. ask any of the staff that are here today, and they will tell you despite the unbelievable pressures of service at this level, denis mcdonough is still the first to think about a colleague, or write a hand- written note to say thank you, or to ask about your family. that is the spirit that i want in this white house. this, of course, is reflected in his incredible love for his own family, liam, teddy -- i know that dad has been at work a
lot during the week and on weekends, and i guarantee he would much rather be with you than with me, but the next job he will have will be demanding, two, but the one reason he does this is because he wants to make sure this world is a better place for all of you. dad will probably have to stop riding his bike to work. as chief of staff, i do not think that is allowed. [laughter]he does what he does because he loves and cares for you guys so much and he wants to make sure that the next generation is inheriting the kind of america that we all want, so i am grateful to his entire family for putting up with us. you are not just one of my closest friends, but one of my closest advisers, and mike everybody here, i cannot imagine the white house without you.
thank you for signing up for this very, very difficult job, as jack lew will testify. i know you will always give it to me straight, as only a friend can, telling me not only what i want to hear, but more importantly, when i need to hear to make the best possible decisions on behalf of the american people. so, for me, michelle, your friends and colleagues that are here today, thank you for taking this assignment. congratulations. [applause]>> thank you. [applause] [applause]>> i have one other thing to add.
we made a number of personnel announcements today. there is going to be an incredible team that denis mcdonough will help lead, but i thought i would take the occasion to just embarrass somebody. some of you may know that today in the whitest day house. i had to hide this in the end of my remarks because i knew he would not want me to bring it up, so we had some secret squirrel stuff going on here to avoid him thinking that we were going to talk about him, but as many of you know, david has been with me from the very start of this enterprise, running for president. i cannot tell you how lucky i have been to have him manage our campaign back in 2008, then joined the white house during these very challenging last two
years. he has built a well-deserved reputation as being a numbers genius and, you know, a pretty tough combatant when it comes to politics, but what people do not realize because he does not like to show it is the reason he does this stuff is because he cares deeply about people, justice and making sure everybody gets a shot in life. those values have motivated him to do incredible things come and if it were not for him -- things, and if it were not for him, we would not be as effective as a white house and i probably would not be here. i thought it was worthwhile, even if he does not want us to say it, thank you to david. [applause] all right.
you talked about protecting gays from sharia law. i do not quite follow what you are saying. are you saying there is an expansion of sharia law in the united states that we should worry about? >> i would encourage you to get a documentary entitled "the third jihad here: it was not -- "the third jihad." the moderator has highlighted the movement of the sharia law movement in the united states. if you look at the dallas holy land file, i think it is called the project, and it explains in their words what their intention is. sharia law -- the word sharia at one time meant the path, and
this is apparently the muslim believer that it is the right way to go, and along the -- belief that it is the right way to go, and along the generations man added that you cut peoples heads off if they are caught stealing, if a woman sheaped, use don't hurt, if is a second -- you stone her. all of that has crept in subsequent to one mohammed actually spoke. -- when mohammed actually spoke. his first wife was actually aimed merchant and led a battalion of troops. some people believe in trying to promote women's rights in the middle east, one woman who lives here in washington, dc, she has a program that was going to egypt, telling people to get involved politically and
economically, and authorities said that was not islamic, we will close you down, and she said mohammed's first wife was a merchant and led a battalion group, so bogged out of here -- bug out of here. they ended up closing her down. she is better to answer those questions than i am, because this is just one of my interest questions. the answer in your quest -- to your question, in iran, they kill homosexuals. >> it had to do with gay rights and the republican party as you mentioned sharia law. >> to me, and i do not represent the republican party, i am an antiestablishment guy, so my zeal is to make sure my homosexual friends can be protected from the fact that they can be killed if they travel to certain countries
where sharia law is in place. i want my brother-in-law and my gay friends to be able to travel to iraq, afghanistan without fear of losing their lives. >> that was part of the discussion at the christian science monitor. we will show the entire event at 11:40 p.m. eastern on c-span two. a look now inside the hotel room here in washington, dc, where the national review is holds in -- hosting its conservative summit. we will bring you back here for live coverage for remarks by charles krauthammer, at first a look at how conservatives are preparing for the obama administration from today's "washington journal peer co--- journal."
h: let me share the comments from bobby jindal. guest: i like bobby jindal. i think stupidity allows you to stick to tried and true vegetables that is better than the cleverness of people in the obama administration who think they can design the entire health care system from scratch in washington, or target $850 billion of stimulus effectively. i would defend it to some degree, but i would agree there's probably been accessed in the last two years, and it is easy to say that, but the proof is in the pudding third in the case of bobby jindal, he has been an impressive governor of a state that was not in great shape when he took over, and that will be crucial to the
republican party, not people like me saying do not be stupid , but republican officials proving that conservative policies work. host: reince priebus indicated that he is authorizing an autopsy, in trying to figure out what happened last november. what happened? what would you check out -- what would you tell the chairman of the and art critic of the rnc? guest: i would say do not panic. barack obama 1 -- won the financial crisis in 20 -- 2008. it is not as if we're talking ronald reagan in 1984. republicans have the house. they did not do as well as they might have done. the economy was a little bit better than republicans assumed. they're wrong to think that they could make it a referendum on the economy. they did not talk about the foreign policy, they did not
even have a positive economic plan. they said it will be a referendum on an unsatisfactory referendum -- unsatisfactory performance of the incumbent. the stock market was stronger. it was just good enough to drag president obama across the finish line. i think there's plenty to look at. there are plenty of problems. project orca, the get-out-the- vote project. the message is much too limited, too smug, too assumed that people would reject liberal policies because we said they were liberal. the failure to provide a positive reforming conservative agenda. where was the romney health care plan, the positive plan, not just or peeling -- repealing obamacare? i do think scott walker, sam brownback, bob jindal, that is
where you alcee conservative principles govern. in washington, a half to boast both oppose the obama administration, collaborate, and in the house, they have to figure out what it means to the beat -- to be the majority of one body of congress while the presidency and other house and congress is held by the other party. host: in the last five elections, in four of the 5, republicans have not had a majority of votes. even though george w. bush served two terms, he did not get a majority in 2000 and barely got one in 2004? guest: i'm not one to minimize the danger and challenge of the republican party.
losing 25 senate seats this year president obama only got 51% of the vote. the economy is looking great. .- was not great a lot of democratic incumbents looked people ribble. the senate cannot be gerrymandered. it looked like a clean a snapshot of the country. for republicans to win 8 while democrats one -- republicans will 8 and democrats won 25, that is dangerous. we need to figure out what went wrong in 2012. i'm not for endless naval gazing. there are plenty of fights to be had. where can we cooperate with president obama? in some ways, you lose an election, and you think about it for a few months.
and you get back right on the horse and try to start writing again and figure out what we believe and and what fights we want to have and what policies we want to -- want to propose. host: politico wrote about you what have you been doing? guest: it is interesting to learn that is what i have been doing. i can start all i want. other people have to decide what they want to stand for. host: it says that bill crystal and his allies have been talking about starting reformist organization to recruit republican fiscal policies and champion rising generation of republicans -- guest: i'm involved with the weekly standard and a few other organizations. we have been putting the chuck
hagel nomination for the secretary of defense. also less partisan activities, foreign policy, try to make sure the u.s. stays strong, even though i believe president obama's policies are taking us in the wrong direction. i have talked to people about restarting a small republican group from 1994, the project for republican future, which tried party was a little exhausted, the conservative movement was exhausted, it tried to reinvigorate things. it worked for gingrich. it opposed the clinton health care plan. now is the time to think about the republican future to make sure -- there are many good ideas out there, national affairs, the national review, they are publishing interesting positive policy agendas for getting us out of the whole we are in on that -- on debt,
deficit, reforming health care, financial services, foreign policies. there are a lot of good young politicians. i'm not sure anybody is going around the country and talking to younker -- younger voters and officials who might want to run and getting them in touch with thinktanks and magazines. i do not want to compete with the rnc or any huge organizations, the super pacs, but i think there is more to be done in getting the paul ryans of the world, the scott walkers, before the run, helping them to run, publicizing what they're doing. we know enough about what boby
jindal has done in louisiana -- bobby jindal has done in louisiana. he has a great communications guy. their focus on weighs in. host: you, paul ryan, and others keep thinking they lost the election because of technology that was on twitter. guest: i agree that was not the case. it was kind of a disgrace. a multi hundred million dollar campaign, you might test it and make sure that it actually works. it is too easy for me to sit here and say it, they spent hundreds of millions of dollars, but the election results be any different? would mitt romney have one -- won fewer states? i do not think that is the fundamental problem.
i would recommend a fresh look at the whole world of republican consultants and operatives. many of whom are my friends, but there might be some generational changes there. fundamentally, is about ideas and message and candidates. that is where i would like to focus on for the next couple of years. host: you brought up the nomination of chuck hagel. he was asked about some of the opposition. and senator john kerry, designated to be the secretary of state, responded. here's a portion from yesterday's confirmation hearings. [video clip] >> i know chuck hagel. he is a strong, patriotic former senator and he will be a strong secretary of defense. i have dealt with him in a number of areas. he's been ahead of the atlantic council.
some of the things -- and of the efforts to color his approach on some of these things don't do justice. host: you and many others are in opposition to his nomination. guest: i've been urging president obama not to nominate chuck hagel for secretary of defense. there are plenty of mainstream and moderate to liberal democrats as well. president obama won the election and is entitled to have john kerry as secretary of defense. we're not making a fuss about that at all. -- secretary of state, rather. chuck hagel is not in the
mainstream. i agree with john kerry that chuck hagel was a strong, patriotic former senator, reason to become secretary of defense. his defense of him was pretty lame. he could not say that chuck hagel was a leader in the senate. where is a hagel legislation? is a hagel distillation? -- where is a hagel legislation? chuck hagel has no noble speeches or doctrines or ideas associated with him. except he was one of two senators to vote against iran sanctions, to not have the iranian revolutionary guard designated as a terrorist organization or for hezbollah to be designated a terrorist organization.
and has accused people of being a jewish lobby. i think he's not a good candidate. is not a very distinguished candidates for secretary of defense. he is not of the stature of leon panetta or bob gates or dick cheney or any of the people will ever been secretary of defense over the years. many of them are democrats. there are people in the democratic party who served from the clinton defense department to the obama defense department with management experience, which will be awfully important as there are budget constraints. he said that we should not be threatening the use of force. i don't know why the president selected chuck hagel.
maybe he likes him personally. he was a mentor to him when he was a senator. it is really a mistake. it's not bipartisan. i think t it think too late. there's a low chance that chuck hagel will be defeated. a huge majority of republicans will oppose him. the question is what democrats will do. many democrats are asking, aren't there democratic could have appointed? host: which side will it come down? guest: chuck hagel supported him in 200, but i think he will vote
against him. >> we're talking with bill kristol. robert is on the democratic line from new jersey. caller: how are you gentlemen? you are looking well. i am a democrat, but i have always liked bill kristol. i've always read the weekly standard. he is a common sense, down to earth republican that i really admire and respect. i watch him off and on fox news sunday. i always want to hear what he has to say, because he speaks to the things that i really agree with. here i am a democrat saying this. guest: you are also my cousin, but we don't after say that on
the air. thank you for the kind words. i do happen to have a couple of cousins who are democratic. caller: one of the things about this democratic party is that it is really a very big tent. i don't call myself a blue dog democrats, because i don't believe in that language, but i am a more conservative democrat. let me give you guys this briefly. when chris christie ran for governor of the state news jersey, i did not vote for him, because i did not know anything about him. i had never heard of him and i follow politics pretty closely. i was like, who is this guy? i felt like i might a twisted my vote. i was not sure. but it is one of the things i
regret, because chris christie is a fabulous governor of the state of new jersey. i regret that i did not vote for him. he has my full support. i cannot wait to cast my vote for him when he runs again. and it is because he is a common-sense republican, a common sense thinker. i would not put bobby jindal in that category right now because of the nice words he has said lately. you and people like chris christie, you guys have been a common-sense conservative voices that just makes sense to people like me. if the republican party can get past the name calling and past the petty fights and get back to real honest discussions and pragmatic discussions about things, they will be able to grow. a personal point of privilege, steve, many people call c-span in the morning and always say thank you for c-span and other i think that's good, but i
think this c-span announcers and commentators like yourself should spend more time in thanking the people for calling c-span, because they do take a little portion of our money each month to keep you guys running. but there should be more thanksgiving to the callers. we need to just thank each other. thank you, guys. host: thank you for a phone call, robert. let me use his point to go back to something you wrote about earlier this week. "the republican party in opposition." you point to patrick moynihan of new york, why is the model for the republican party today? guest: he wrote an article in 1975 in which he said -- he had just come back from being ambassador to india -- he said, it is unusual for the u.s. to think of itself as being in opposition to international
bodies like the united nations, so crucial in creating these bodies, and shaping them, but it was clear by the mid-70s the u.s. was in opposition to much of the third world and to the soviet bloc. he said let's go with the opposition and we will do it cheerfully and we will stay in our principles and find people to work with and we will not be embarrassed to say i'm sorry, that's unacceptable, even if we are in a small minority. all but a bad guidance is useful for the republican party which does not control washington even though it controls the house, should not kid itself that it can get a lot done in the house. i am for a responsible opposition. in the states where republicans do have governors and state legislatures, there republicans have to govern seriously. chris christie is one of the
unsuccessful republican governors looks like he has a very good chance of getting reelected in a democratic state that obama has carried. the caller said the democrats are big tent. republicans are as well. i am -- it is hard to know -- no one will say the party should do this or the party should get rid of those people or tell those people to be quiet. that's not the way politics works in america. leaders emerged and they're the ones that help shape it. sometimes they do it contrary to expectations. most people thought it would be a clintonian formula in 2008, but obama did not do it that way.
i give him credit for having the courage of his convictions and had a theory of how he could win and he did it. i'm not sure bobby jindal's model is the right model -- or chris christie. it is important to take risks to be contrarian and to accept the fact the republican party will have some different voices. there will be people will say this issue is fundamental and others will say we need to compromise on that one and draw the line here. obviously, we still make arguments and tried to persuade people that this is not the right fight to have. but you have to accept it will be a certain amount of disagreement among conservatives and republicans.
it's chaos after you lose two presidential elections in a row and that can be healthy. a little creative destruction, creative chaos would not be a bad thing for the republican party. the governors are doing things differently. many republican governors will have success stories in terms of policy and politics. host: i want to and share with you a couple of cover stories. this is the weekly standard -- and from last week, a caricature of senator harry reid. who comes up with these covers? >> our artist has been working
with us on a free-lance basis for years. we talk about what the image should be and how it should be executed. they make the image funnier or sharper in some ways or cleverer than we do when we just sit around office thinking about it. so i think our covers are good. so we talk about what obama is doing in areas where he cannot get legislation through congress. it is important. it tells republicans in the house that this is a place where perhaps you can make a difference. regulations are only issued pursuant to legislation, so legislation comes regulation. republicans could stop or override some of these regulations, and maybe some democrats will go along. the epa and some other regulations are pretty hostile to small business, the energy production.
and others that democrats are not really on board. alternative energy agenda that the obama administration is pursuing as well. and on health care, there are particular parts of obamacare that congress may be able to slow down or stop. the piece is mostly a report on what the administration is doing, but it gives guidance to congress. one thing republicans in congress needs to think about is what they can accomplish in by sized chunks. there will not change health care in a conservative direction in the next four years or reform entitlements. can they accomplish a few good things that also point the way towards bigger things later? i thing maybe they can. host: our guest is bill kristol. our next call is from frederick, maryland, peter is on the republican line. thanks for waiting. caller: how are things? host: fine. sounds like you're listening to us on c-span radio. caller: yes, sir. it's good to listen to, but it plays havoc on my blood pressure.
republicans have been losing for 30 years or more. they are up against a very liberal education system as well as a very liberal media in general. my expectation with kids coming out of high school or college this sort of seem to think the government just passed the money and gives it out. they don't seem to realize until much later in life that they're taking my money and giving it out. so i think it's an educational problem, much deeper than whether a candidate is running in a particular town. thanks for c-span. host: peter, thanks for the call. guest: conservatives have a lot of work to do in the media and in education. the media situation is a lot more balanced than 20 years ago or 30 years ago. a couple of major newspapers and magazines have collapsed.
young people can access a ton of points of view and a lot of data and information and that is a healthy thing. people complain about the internet and all of these blogs and what happened to the good old days when you had serious editors manning the phones? i think the current situation is much healthier for a vigorous democracy and there's a lot of good stuff out there. we have a piece on our website, a woman who was a marine gunnery sergeant for 20 years, explaining why women in combat would be a very bad idea. i don't know her and did not know her. we checked or out to make sure she is so she says she is. that's the kind of thing that would not have happened in the old days when you had better commission and his friends to write pieces. in some ways it is a problem of the media being a chokehold on information has diminished a lot in the last 20 or 30 years.
i think you'll see something similar now an education, especially in higher education. the oligarchy of the education society is about to collapse, partly due to the internet where people are learning in more different ways from other people. progresstimistic about there over the next 10 or 20 years. host: this is from the atlantic magazine -- he said, "in the last decade, even the places where republicans wanted to spread liberty, but turned into a debacle. they had dubious notion of what the military could accomplish. they failed to execute. they stubbornly denied anything was amiss. as a result, republicans, especially neoconservatives, lost the trust of american voters."
guest: i don't know what those places are. i guess most people were against fighting in afghanistan and we had a limited footprint over there for most of the bush administration. that was not the place where we pursued a neoconservative foreign policy. the only place was on iraq. one war in iraq, which i will defend to this day, and which we succeeded. by the end of 2008 we had won the war, thanks to the troops surged, which chuck hagel opposed. we had a reasonably stable democratic system. we were about huge waves of reform in the middle east. the incredible retreat that's now underway by the united states throughout the world, which i think as an opportunity to do a huge amount of damage.
historians may judge bush on policy against obama, the places where it's going downhill is where the president's own instincts are withdrawal and retreat and a light footprint have been in effect. is syria better than iraq? or libya, where we just a little bombing and get out so the terrorists can take over? iraqis lost a lot of lives and americans did as well. but in 2008 iraq was a lot better off than syria or libya are today. we may not have capitalized on the successes over there.
am happy to defend -- i was big critic of donald rumsfeld. i thought we should of had a lot more troops over there and i agree that they did not execute well enough. i'm afraid we will pay a big price on what's being put into effect under the obama administration. what chuck hagel embodies and the defense even to a greater degree than john kerry or others in the obama national security team. host: did you ever consider running for public office? guest: not much. i would not say there was a huge groundswell of demand for me. host: if you were in elected office, where jobs would you want? guest: i've always focused on federal issues or national issues, so i don't think i would be a good state legislator or governor.
i'm no expert on state governments. i'm well-versed in foreign policy, so i think the senate would be excited if i could shape foreign policy. theplaces i've worked with executive branch. you can make changes across a broad spectrum of area. host: james is on the phone in dallas on the independent line. good morning. caller: how are you? host: fine, thanks. caller: i want to ask why his party always lies on the president? and what did you all given to harry reid to sell out the president yesterday? host: thanks for the call,
james. the issue on the filibuster. guest: i am generally against overstreamlining legislation. i don't exactly understand what the compromise was or what the alternatives were. so i don't know if harry reid sold-out the president or not. he was elected by his fellow senators with a democratic majority. it took me a little while to realize this. because they are in the same party does not mean they work for you. harry reid does not work for barack obama. we criticize the president, but we have been criticizing nancy pelosi and harry reid equally. i have supported president obama on things such as in afghanistan, but i wish he had
not to undercut it by announcing the withdrawal. there are few areas that i think we could have bipartisan agreement over the next months and i hope we do, for the good of the country. i'm expecting mostly opposition, but partly because of the president. some say his second inaugural speech was very ideological. he's entitled, if he thinks it's the right thing for the country. if what he's doing by pushing this broad agenda on the military and foreign-policy and refusing to entitlements, he is setting up a situation where there will be a lot of opposition. honest opposition on policy grounds from conservatives over the next couple years. host: this is from one of our viewers --
guest: i think maybe they should. there's a project that stuck in my head, a project for the future. we should look at the primary process, which the party does not control. the debates, the election process for the candidates. it's hard to make a case that it is really the best process. it's not set up to produce the best nominee for president, for the republicans. maybe the democrats are happy with the process. host: in the washington post -- guest: it would help republicans because they would get some votes rather than no votes. a winner-take-all state or electoral college process served the country well.
quasiconstitutional arrangements are a little murky. in some states there really are no presidential campaigns. like the larger states like texas. we have red states and blue states that seemed pretty reliably one party or the other, so they don't really spend on campaigning in those areas. last fall you cannot turn on the tv in virginia without seeing ads.
especially when the obama ads were better than the romney ads. it was weird when you go to visit people in new york or los angeles. they are not actually experiencing the campaign. if you went to a congressional district, then you would go fight in california, because republicans could win 20 out of the 54. i'm normally reluctant to tamper with these long standing institutions and practices, but there might be a case in this instance for at least thinking about it. host: your comments on speaker boehner, a first one to go to danny joining us on the democratic line. good morning.
caller: hello. you put harry reid on the cover. if you look up the words chicken hawk and neocon, there's a picture of bill kristol. the only people who were surprised that president obama won the election were fox news viewers. host: thanks for the call. guest: i was not surprised. i thought romney had a chance, and he was all a little short at the end. if the viewer does not want to watch fox news, he has other options. host: our next caller is from pennsylvania. caller: good morning. the way i perturbed about
william kristol was i got mixed up with the comedian billy crystal. guest: it happens all the time. caller: when billy crystal goes on his long rants, he actually says some things that are funny. the one funny thing you said is you thought we should have sent more troops into iraq. you must be the only one i have ever read say that. guest: we did send more troops in 2007. the surge worked incredibly well and casualties were extremely low by the end of 2008 of one they had been very high in 2006. i'm not the only person to have that analysis of what went wrong. caller: so you think perhaps the same thing should of been implemented in libya and syria where we just did some bombing in libya and then turned it over to terrorists? when i have to say is instead of talking so much, part of the leaders and spin doctors of the
republican party should listen to the republicans. many republicans stayed home because they did not like the way the process was run. there were many libertarian- minded republicans that said we will have to have a big tent. you have a fraction between neocons like yourself and the libertarian-minded in the republican party. host: we will get a response. guest: paul did well. he was able to build a big grass roots group of supporters. he got votes, but not enough votes to be a significant factor. in end it was 80% of the vote going to romney. those were the voters. it was not me deciding who would be the nominee.
grand ball is now in the senate. i give him credit for a very intelligent campaign in kentucky. and mitch mcconnell's protege. rand paul has been trying to articulate this agenda. i think he will run for president in 2016. i don't think i will agree with him on all issues and maybe not on most issues. you make your case and you have to live with the consequences. i'm happy to say that intervening is risky and dangerous and leads to a young men and women getting wounded and killed and it can sometimes go wrong, but we have to think about the consequences of not intervening and what happens and what the world looks like in two years or 10 years if we let things fall apart around the world. that is an honest policy debate. paul will have it over the next couple years with marco rubio
and others in the senate. there will be more rand paul type candidates running. i think it's healthy for the party to have the debate. i agree with the caller more than he would think. i have never been for shutting down debate or ruling out different points of view in the party. i think a help the party does challenge its own assumptions. in this case i really think we will see out of president obama the great cost from retreating from the world. host: if he runs, marco rubio would have to give up his senate seat. in the wall street journal -- she writes that it will take a stand of unity to fight president obama.
can the gop in washington now develop those things? guest: i don't think we can assume there will be unity. you should not just cast a vote for the sake of unity. there are some issues where you can have unity, on procedural votes. i think people can modify their views for the sake of unity. i agree with what peggy says. when the president said you did not build that, that was correctly jumped on.
i think the romney response was mistaken at. the romney response was i did build it. the ones who built it was us. i'm all for celebrating our entrepreneurs, they contribute a lot to the country, but they also have a ton of people who work for them and with them. you have a lot of americans who don't get up and the morning and say i want to be steve jobs or bill gates. they say i want to go to work and do a good job for my employer and i hope to move up in the company and support my family and i hope my kids to better than i will and i contribute to my church and my community, i am a nurse or a soldier or a teacher or cop, or private-sector employees.
those people contribute an awful lot to this country too. romney never seemed to appreciate the degree to which you have to speak for and to those people and not just to their boss. he was more concerned about the guy who was the owner of the small business than the people working for the small business. it's important that republicans have an agenda that speaks to the economic needs and challenges facing the middle class. they have not had a great 10 or 20 years. people at the very top have done well. people at the very bottom have been supported adequately by the safety net. the middle class has been crunched. and on health care, it's not just a matter of getting rid of obamacare, which i am for. if we have more effective and efficient health care in this country, we will save a lot of money for middle-class families,
of which could then go to educating their kids or building up their savings. tax reform, that is also important for conservatives and republicans. host: a question from our viewer -- who is your favorite newcomer to congress? guest: tom cotton, the congressman from arkansas, a friend of mine. he went to harvard, which i went to, so i'm biased. he went to harvard law school, which i don't hold against him. he volunteered for the army in 2004, served as an officer in iraq and afghanistan, work for is that business a while, had a close primary against an aggressive person. but he won. there he is, a first term congressman in the house.
he will be able to weigh in on the chuck hagel nomination. he has spoken eloquently on that. he is a real rising star in the house. he is already respected by his peers. he was involved with the speaker, paul ryan, and others, in trying to devise a tactical maneuver to get the debt ceiling moved back and to able to deal with sequester. he will have a tough decision in a few months. there's pressure on him in arkansas to run for senate in 2014 against pryor, a vulnerable democrats. to run for the senate right after you got into the house, it's a little fast. he may be able to accomplish more. he is a rising star in the
party. there have been others as well. there are people thinking of running and some ran and lost the first time. that part about the republican future i'm very encouraged by, the younger candidates. we can find a lot more if we put in a little more effort. i think it's time for generational change in the republican party. it is a party that's conservative. at least at the presidential level we keep nominating the next in line guy, a 65-year-old guy who ran last time but did not quite make it and gets nominated. they are impressive individuals, but it's a kind of pattern of dole and mccain and it's tough to compete with barack obama. that has been true somewhat at the state level until recently.
they nominate the senate majority leader. you get some good people that way. a lot of the more innovative governors have been younger people who jumped the line and said i have good ideas about running even if it's not my turn. i would be interested in encouraging more people to run even if it's not return. think of the model of obama who ran for the house and lost and was then running for president as a young man but did not differ to hillary clinton or all the others running. republicans could use a little bit more that, political entrepreneurship, among young candidates and potential candidates. host: do you think paul ryan will run? guest: i don't know, but he's awfully impressive. he did well as a vice- presidential candidate. i think it helps begin the process of making the republican party a much younger, more forward-looking party. host: mike from california.
caller: good morning. thanks for in lively and thoughtful commentary. i have a slightly different take on the romney's loss. the election was framed by the social conservatives and the obama campus as the makers versus the takers. there was criticism of the people, at least 47% of the people, versus criticism of the system or the policy, the marxist redistribution policy. each according to his need. the people are not moved by politicians who enjoy a moral authority not quite up to cockroaches. guest: i very much agree that the makers slashed takers formulation is not helpful.
it could be accurate in very limited ways. but if you're talking about all the people on medicare and social security as the 47%, those are programs people paid into. these are people who are not dependent on government through any fault of their own. people pay into the system and they get social security in old age and then medicare to take care of their health after they reach a certain age. it's not the fault of elderly people. a 47% video, the famous video that was used in many ads by obama in virginia. it did a lot of damage. it also reflects a problem in the republic in party. there are genuine problems with a welfare state and with social dependency and those are legitimate issues to raise. but there's a certain attitude amongst some in the republican party, the leaks, and financial elite, are people out there who depend on government and that they just want more. benefiting from crony capitalism.
that they did not make all their money on just individual efforts. they could use more empathy for people who are struggling and who taped advantage of government programs to which they legally have access. many of them are good programs like the gi bill and student loans. they need reforms, but in principle it's not a bad idea to help lower income people get to college and to help with an upward mobility. the gi bill incentive was a good thing and is a very good practice. i do think republicans and conservatives need to be careful about this kind of simple-minded economic elitism that looks down on working class or middle class americans.
host: here's a portion of speaker john maynard earlier this week here in washington. [video clip] >> given what we heard yesterday about the president's vision for his second term, it's pretty clear to me and should be clear to you that he knows he cannot do any of that as long as the house is controlled by republicans. so we are expecting over the next 22 months to be the focus of the administration as they attempt to annihilate the republican party. i do believe that is their goal. to shove us into the dustbin of history. host: your thoughts? guest: i imagine president obama
would like to reduce the influence and authority and members of the republican party. i don't know if this is legitimate for a republican leader to make such a statement. i think the republicans should spend less time complaining about president obama and his intentions and more time to thinking about what they can solve and where they can work with him and where they really can fight and should fight him and really try to do some good for the country by mitigating the damage he is doing. and where they cannot mitigate the damage, they can set a fire say we are confident the public will see the failure of president obama's policies and we will get a real alternative. host: this tweet -- jeb bush of florida has this in
the wall street journal this morning on solving the immigration puzzle. jeb bush says there is no line. guest: i would be with him. and i thought that romney's attacks on rick perry and newt gingrich were not fair on immigration. mitt romney was supposed to be the moderate candidate and rick perry was the right-winger. rick perry was the one who was more forward-looking and more liberal on immigration, which would have served the party better. romney by pandering to what he thought or parts of the republican base on immigration. when he mentioned self- deportation. and criticizing a scheme that they have in texas.
i am for immigration reform. it is an issue where republicans should try to work with the president. it would be helpful for the country. marco rubio seems to be taking a lead on that and paul ryan is working with him. it will be a test of whether president obama really wants to achieve something. the best way for republicans to avoid letting president obama to cause trouble for republicans is for republicans to have an aggressive and positive agenda. host: bill kristol, a founder of the weekly standard. what is the cover story this week? guest: a very good piece on human rights commissions around the country, the bodies in different cities which are causing a lot of trouble for people who just want to say what they believe and run businesses the way they want. host: thanks for stopping by. when we come back we will turn >> the conference is hosted by
the national review institute on challenges facing a services -- facing conservatives. while we wait for it acres to come up to the table, we will take a look at a short interview with the capitol hill reporter. it is about a filibuster agreement the senate reached today. >> with the headline from huffington post, the senate takes action on the filibuster. the story was first broken by ryan who joins us on the phone. you write the senate voting to modestly curved filibuster. what did the senate agreed to? guest: they agreed to a series of steps that will quicken the pace of legislation and in the senate. there have ben a battle raging
over how they will rewrite the rules. there are two separate of detectives. one is that progressive senators want to higher quality of legislation. and the requirement of getting 60 votes rather than a simple majority was standing in the way. for someone like harry reid, and was the volume of legislation. felt the chamber was to back up by too many bills. under the current system, it could take a week to get legislation through, even if it had a near majority support because of the different roles involving 30 hours of time and the closure vote. in the entire week of senate floor time has been chewed up and there are only two years.
that meant there was a strict limitation on the amount of legislation that could get your that has led to judicial vacancies that are at crisis level. as well as a ton of legislation they wanted to get to. they just ran out of time. yesterday they focus on the volume rather than the quality. it will still be 60 vote threshold but it will move much quicker. host: modest seems to be the word used, in terms of the changes in the senate agreed to. this is from the hill newspaper. the reforms of the biggest changes to the senate filibuster rule in decades but falling well short of the drastic reforms demanded by labor unions and liberal leaning advocacy groups. the senate passes a watered-down filibuster plan.
can you touch on that? guest: the progressive senators backed by a huge coalition of progress of groups wanted to change what they call the silent filibuster, where one senator can object to a bill then leave the senate floor and it is done. he does not have to stand there and do a mr. smith style filibuster. they want to say we will leave the threshold at 60, but the minority has to stand there, look up the c-span camera and tell the country why it is they are rejecting to this. they denied that provision. that is why labor unions and other liberals are so upset about how they went -- how this went. there is a tremendous amount of support among democrats to go this extreme route. harry reid went to mitch mcconnell and said you have to traces -- a modest set of
reforms we can do in a bipartisan way, which i think is good for the long-term health of the senate if we work on this together. if you reject this, here is the more aggressive reformers i will take to the floor and ram through with 51 votes. mitch chose "a" to work and preserve the senate filibuster. host: let me share with you one other headline from a capitol hill newspaper, "roll call." focusing on what senate leaders will be facing. specifically with regards to mitch mcconnell. word is this put him as the leader of the republican party in the senate. guest: it is another example of him compromising with democrats to the extent that there are still strong element of the tea party in kentucky that think
there should be no compromise. that will hurt him. i suspect he has just as much towards the general election that he does not see is an advantage in being as .bstructionist as he was th he has an obvious advantage in kentucky. it is a red state. but it is possible there could be a democrat. -- that could win a general election. he is one of the party leaders. approval rating is in the single digits. that is not something you want when you are going before the voters. the more he can look reasonable, the better he looks a that a general election. host: explaining some the
changes voted on yesterday by the senate. he is the washington bureau chief for the huffington coast. thank you for being with us. >> we are back live now to the conference being hosted by the national review institute on challenges facing conservatives. one of the speakers, charles krauthammer. >> i like sharing this story every time she comes to an event where i am. one of our writers, president of the ethics and public policy center, a lives on the same block as my mother. right and on the corner. he thought he should introduce himself. a couple years ago on halloween, houseopped by my mom's with his children and asked, are you rich lowry's mother? a look of panic came on her face and she said yes, but i have nothing to do with anything he
says or writes. clings to a locked, mom. i -- thanks a lock, mom. it really want to impress people, i tell them i am a former researcher for charles krauthammer. i was a research assistant for him before he was a tv star. it first on don me he was becoming a tv star in 2004. -- it first dawned on me who was becoming a tv star in 2004. why was it into a green room at fox. -- i was in a green room at fox. in 2004, there was a guy there who is part of a musical act.
i thought he was an eccentric delegate. when charles came on, he pumped his fist and said "go hammr!" shut up everyone in the greenroom. prior to getting a dvr, i planned my life around 6:40 eastern time to be in front of the tv. -- during the such a report panel. [applause] charles, you are listing almost compelling -- the single most compelling panelist on special report, accept for when jonah is on. and we are very grateful to
charles for making an hour or so available to us this evening, to the pulitzer prize-winning columnist, a first great intellect, a fearless and let the chips fall where they may analyst. and a gentleman. also, a trained psychiatrists, which has made his insights on joe biden particularly keen and valuable over the last several years treat please join me in once again welcoming a great friend of nr, charles krauthammer. [applause] >> if i could rebut that, there are current introductions, there are nice introductions. the nice ones car with a list of
your achievements. degette in notarized copy and send it clear mother. -- the nice ones are where they list your achievements. they get it notarized and send it to your mother. people ask me how i went from walter mondale to fox news. the answer is simple -- i was young once. i am really happy to be here and to be associated with national review institute which has done tremendous work. truth be told, i am happy who to be anywhere where williams can't interrupt me. [applause] i will be sure to tell him how you feel. >> i will start as off and
throw several questions at you that we will open up to the floor for your questions. let me start with the broadest gauge question possible. you wrote a famous essay after the 2008 election about how to kline is a choice -- how decline is a choice for this country. fokus said that as a mostly on foreign policy. does the reelection of president obama reflect an impulse on the part of the american people towards the kline? >> i think it does. it is not a conscious decision. no one consciously wants to see his country decline. we have had this unparalleled influence in the world since the second world war. with the demise of the soviet union, it became an unprecedented dominance in the
world trade release and 1990, 1991, the gap between the first power in the world and the second is larger than in the last 1500 years since the roman empire. even at the height of the european system, when the british were the leading power, the french and the germans and others were behind them and the combination of any other to other powers would of outwait the british which is why they created the balance of power system. we have been living in an unprecedented situation. the question we have a the first decade and a half is what do we do with that dominant? the problem is that dominant hinged on one thing -- keeping one domestic economic house in order as the primary issue. as the secondary issue,
maintaining the will to be active in the world abroad. these are related. i think what the obama presidency represents is a country that is seeking some kind of rest this. to look at it non e geologically -- ideologically. we thought we had been over involved in the world until the last decade. right now, we would rather not be involved. the problem is if we do not, if we can ignore our enemies but our enemies will not ignore us. i do think when you lead from behind, as we have seen, or you do not lead at all, north africa as a good situation and certainly their relations with iran and russia, there are really no areas in the world you can point to where we are
anywhere more advanced or stronger than we were at the beginning of the obama administration. the overall ideology of the obama presidency, the one he clearly demonstrated an openly declared in his second inaugural, obama is at heart a social democrat. he sees europe as a more just model for the democratic industrial societies. detroit's those european countries made after the second world war -- the choise those european countries made after the second world war was a drastic one. they gave up their imperial ambitions and shifted their resources into social welfare. it was a conscious, deliberate choice of an exhausted continent
of ex-imperial powers. they were able to get away with that and decline in appointments -- in importance because they have the protection of the american umbrella. i think the united states does not really have that choice because if we do what obama wants to do with modern american liberalism, is to recreate that choice and shift the resources that come out of this engine of the free-market into social welfare. increasingly unsustainable. allowing it to come out of the budget of the greatest power on earth and choosing the european path. hoping we will keep the world at bay, hoping we can sustain ourselveth