tv Washington Journal CSPAN April 18, 2013 7:00am-10:00am EDT
45 minutes we will talk to the former defense secretary charles stimson about the treatment of detainees at guantanamo bay. ofdo we think that thousands families to not have a white -- do not have the right to weigh in on this issue? to rethink their loss is not relevant to this debate? all in all this is a pretty shameful day for washington. host: that was the president speaking after a series of votes in the senate failed to put regulations on gun purchases. what are your thoughts? opening topic today on "washington journal."
with the buy partisanship being in the state as it is it was almost doomed from the beginning. people have criticized him and the democrats for .busing the families of newtown i will leave that for other people. [indiscernible] prevented newave town. host: you are breaking up a little bit. we will move on to body, a democrat in pennsylvania. thank you for c-span. i am calling because even though i ama democrat and -- really against the extended background checks, mostly because it is not definitive in nature.
i had a child who was killed at three years old. myselftarily committed for four days. with these expanded background checks which are in violation of be able tohey would access that information even though it was 15 years ago. and they would use that against me so i would be unable to purchase a weapon in the event that i would need it to protect myself. there is nobody around for miles. when yout you mean say it could be used against you? caller: they never defined what "mental illness" is. grant them access
article 4 ofthe our constitution, security papers. that was never brought up and they never went into any kind of detail as to what they determined as mental illness. the: that is one of amendments they are voting on today in the senate, mental health status. 4% of poll, only americans think that control is an important problem mostly economy in general, 24% think that is most important. federal budget deficit and federal debt is 11%. here is the front page of "the new york daily news," --
lindsay is an independent here in washington d.c.. you are on "washington journal." am really sad and i want to make sure if one does in this country that 31,000 people per year are killed by guns. this is a normal and we did this is a horrible number for its allies civilization. horrible number for a civilization. stronger gun laws can make a difference. calling in.you for this is the front page of " the washington times." michael is from rockville center, new york. caller: the reason this legislation failed is not only would it have not prevented the terrible tragedy that occurred in connecticut but also the
tragedy in colorado. abroad is lacking because it would appear both parties have used this issue to raise money and at the same time not really address it responsibly. i think most americans are on to the fact that would appear you bringin -- that what you in personalities like cabby gifford or families from connecticut, at the end of the day we are failing to address the substantive problems that are far more concern to americans. are you a gun owner? caller: i am not. i would tell you from my own experience i am very fortunate. i know for a fact that a couple of my neighbors are law enforcement officials that carry guns. when we experienced the black hats here ends tropical storm
standee there was a sense -- the black out here and tropical storm sandy there was a sense that the police could control the situation. knowing that my neighbors had fire arms was a feeling of confidence. we put armed guards who were trained at banks, the idea that we are looking to strip responsible americans of their gun rights does not sit well with the majority of americans. it does not pass the tens of the past test common sense. host: have you discussed the issue of back projects with your law enforcement neighbors? caller: i have. what was surprising to me was one aspect of possibly conduct more background searches makes sense -- there seems to be uniform discussed amongst many people in law enforcement that currentlythat are in place are not enforced. the previous caller said 31,000 americans lost their lives of
the hands of guns. what she fails to understand is in the city of chicago there is more than 2000 gun control laws through guns is through the roof. is a veryntative brave and admirable person who suffered first hand from the effects of violence with guns when she lost her late husband and her son, who was shot but recovered. long island,ere in that is the only issue are senator covers. she is not effective when it comes to the economy or coming to holding the obama administration responsible. the money she raised recently came from $5 and $10 contributions. the money came from people who were not in her district.
out of the 46 senators, two are from georgia and i plan to get on the phone and talk to them. also agun owner and i am christian. i was shocked when i was 16 years old. that if background checks were into effect back than i could have had not been shot. i'm doing what i can rallies in support to find out why the senators voted against the bill. as you know we have two senators from every state. i am just upset because background to prevent lives that were lost in the other areas -- >> as a gun owner you supported what the senate was debating yesterday? >> i felt that a background check -- they could save one life that would of been a plus. i didn't see any reason why they
couldn't have gotten together bipartisan and passed a bill to do the background checks. a special commercial and internet sales and that type of things. host: if i could get a response to this tweet -- they say gain painters to not go to gun shows. a law of times the weapons that are bought at gun --ws, because they aren't because they do not have a tracking device they are sold on the black market. roderick ons albany, georgia. david in fairfax, virginia, and on our independent line. taking myank you for call. i heard the -- comments about president.
i think it was a loss for the american people. withnk we have a problem kings in this country and one of the biggest gangs is the senate. i cannot believe they would go against 90% of the american people. 30,000 people are killed by guns violence and they did nothing. i think that it is a travesty. the way that congress is playing with lives -- peopleve the american are going to rise up and put a stop to these conkers people that do nothing. thank you for writing this morning. get real difference has an opposite this morning -- -- cabralfford
jim is a republican. what you think about what the senate did? we havehere in delaware plenty of gun laws. sure that is the case in a lot places in the country where somebody gets arrested with a gun crime, usually they are able to eliminate that. they do not prosecute for illegal guns. there are plenty of guns laws already. it is just a matter of having the prosecutors have in the nerve to enforce these laws. this is just another attempt by the federal government to disarm the people of the united states
and it is not going to make any favorites. lot of this is a distraction from the economy and the fact they refuse to do anything to cut back on the sides of the government. host: are you a gun owner? caller: i do not own a gun but pretty much everyone else i know owns a gun. -- here ins castle new castle, a lot of people did not have guns. guns start leaking out towards this area. people are very open a round here about gun under ship. about gun ownership. are there any further regulations you would support on gun buying? isler: no, i just think it
enforcement of people who commit crimes with guns. if you use a gun you should have extra punishment. we live right around the corner from the new national park where they used to hang people. we ought to bring that back. people do not have respect for punishment right now. that is the only solution, to have punishment that fits the crime. we are just coddling criminals. we do not prosecute for guns. host: that is jim in new castle, delaware. "the washington times" has the lead editorial on what happened inthe senate is today -- -- the senate yesterday --
>> the question of a national gun registry, i do not disagree on its face, currently pending legislation, does not purport to create a national gun registry. the department of justice has you explicit that when require background checks for private fire arms transactions the only way to make that effective is through a national gun registry. the bill that is pending on the senate floor -- if it passes the next step in the process would be that critics say this is not effective. we do not know if you are selling your fire arm to someone else unless we know you have your firearm. my judgment, a federal registry of firearms, the federal government keeping a list of every firearm that is lawfully owned by every lot- abiding citizen would be
terrible policy and would be inconsistent with the constitution. host: joseph tweets in about this topic -- jamie is in kazakhstan, michigan on our democrats line. please go ahead with your stocks. -- with your thoughts. caller: the senate that a cowardly thing yesterday. i lost a great nephew. for whatt is shameful they did. may be atd passed least one of those would have survived. i am so embarrassed by this .ountry that we hold so dearly
when there is a bombing reclassified as terrorism. when anybody goes into a school and mows down 20 innocent sweet children. terrorism and that should be classified as that. i align myself with gaby gifford. i will speak out to the top of my voice against everyone of them that voted. that includes democrats, republicans, or whoever it is. that is all i have to say. god help us. cabin in windsor conn. independent line. go ahead, kevin. caller: my heart goes out to the people in boston and dallas texas this morning.
90% wanted the background checks and therough republicans were bought off. it is a shame rand paul was saying the victims of connecticut used as pawns. he has every right to go down to a connecticut -- go down to the capitol to lobby just like anyone else. it was a win for the criminals and terrorists. background checks, that is all. it was a defeat for the people that backed up the republicans. now they know the republicans are bought off by special interests. it is just a shame. is a bad mark on the republican party. common-sense laws -- it is just
a shame. host: the next call comes from daniel, who is a republican in but i, arizona. caller: how're you? host: good. caller: i want to respond to the last caller. i do not think anyone is bought off. i think our constitution was protected. i think my rights as a gun owner was protected. i am a father. of an individual man who did not purchase a firearm it was not illegal -- it was not a legal firearm purchase. it was not somebody who went to a store like i would do.
this individual was the same as a criminal. he obtained a firearm outside of the normal avenues. he performed a gruesome act, a very sad act. i can't imagine -- host: you said you were a gun owner. have you ever bought a gun at a gun show? caller: i have begun from individual people, i have bought a gun from a gun show. -- do youou think have a problem with the fact that you get checked at retail stores but he did not get checked again show? checked out aget gun show? shows: i go to many gun in the state of arizona. when you purchase a firearm at a
fromhow, if you purchase an individual owner you do not require a check. ffl if you purchase from an sales person,l they ahve a store or are ffl licensed, then they are required to have you fill out a background check from and call it in. host: there is a difference between the individual and the ffl holder. do you think that difference ought to be maintained. caller: no, sir. it would lead to a national gun registry. it would be no different than it is in great britain.
to a seizing lead and eventually come down to you need a permit ownven own a firearm or meantms that are only for hunting or clay shooting who is to say it will not turn into a police state? host: are you indicating you would like to get rid of all background check stacks caller: not all background checks. i served in the united states army. i have never committed a crime.
discussing pretty fully here this morning failed 54-46. and a substitute that increases enforcement failed 52-48. it has to look for that 60 vote margin to avoid any filibusters'. the assault weapons ban failed 40-60. 46-54. magazines failed failed 58-42.g that is the one that came closest. -- allowingents only a dutch to the team that prince mentally incompetent. that failed. -- state prosody reciprocity for the carrying
failedearms 5 53-47. randy is in millington, michigan. go ahead. the first thing i would like to do is remind all of the americans out there that democracytexas -- protect the minority for majority rule. that is one thing this country has. we have protection from the minority view. i am glad we do. i would like to know now if the federal government is good to go out and regulate pressure cookers. this is why we are getting this divide between the countryfolk in the city folk. i am out here in the middle of nowhere. i have to have my gun for protection.
that is where i am coming in with this. no matter what you do you start regulating that eurostar them. -- atter how much to cut it calling on the democrats' line. is this issue strong enough to you that you change your vote? never vote for gun control as a democrat. that is one thing i do not understand as part of my party. money to both staffs. going to hold this personally. that is what my big concern is. i have to have the guns. i am sorry for the tragedy's.
this emotional running up there to make laws on the motion and not faxon thoughts are with getting this country -- are what is going to get this country in trouble. you have to do more than one thing in the government. let us get back to the real important issue and that is the economy and jobs. going to settle down a lot of this disturbance because they will not have all this time on their hands. that is my belief. more of president obama yesterday. >> we can still bring about meaningful changes that reduce gun violence so long as the american people to not give up. even without congress my administration will do what it can to protect more of our commuters.
we're gonna give law enforcement more information about lost and stolen guns so it can do its job. we're going to help to put in place emergency plans to protect our children in their schools. more if congress gets its act together. if this congress refuses to listen to the american people than the real impact is going to have to come from the voters. the lead editorial to "usa today," --
joseph is an independent in oklahoma, good morning. caller: good morning. the gentleman from delaware speaking earlier about people for theirarrested guns or anything like that -- there are a lot of people in inner cities and minorities that get caught with a gun that probably was a straw purchase and they get a rested for it. they get sentenced for it. they get sentenced for how many bullets they have in it. there is no way to track back with that then came from or if it was sold from a gun show or not. the funny thing is that most districts have and tough gun laws. just like the gentleman in the
real countryside to has to have his gun -- a person in the city have to have their guns were crimes are happening just a block away that nobody pays attention to until it is too late. minutes take about 20 to get to our destination. what would you like to see, if anything, done when it comes to gun regulation? caller: when you do not vote for background checks and the criminalization of straw purchases, the stock purchase to happen. there is no way to track pack a stock purchase unless you have guns registered. other people in the country and maybe other people on the other side of the country -- they will be able to make a straw purchase.
go downrrorists do not to the police department to get a bunch of people because they have guns. they know how the shooting gun. they can take care of our kids. another thing is i heard somebody say what to do -- whenever he was praying and it took him to crucify him, the took off one of their ears. he was a pretty good shot to take off some one ear. he knew it was time. you cannot legislate against evil. you just have to pray against it. beverly from chicago, a democrat. caller: thank you so much.
i would like to propose this to these people who are spending about their amendment rights. legal, legitimate, law-abiding citizen, what is the problem with having a background check? sincerely believe that the people who are doing the most spouting perhaps cannot pass a background check. what is the problem? supply its of security numbers, get insured, get driver's license. i am a teacher in chicago. i am not carrying a weapon in my classroom. i am not going to do it. if that then gets into the hands of a student i am at fault. the gun manufacturers, who are these people? who are the people making money
off of death? behind a cloak of social amendment rights. you do not have a right to go out and get guns are manufactured guns and give them to anybody that wants to get them. i would like to see every single solitary person with a weapon had been a background check. if the government needs a registry is for the safety of the people. are you currently teaching? caller: yes i am. host: after newtown what was the discussion you had? caller: until something happens to a certain segment of the society they are not interested in what happens in the inner city. god goes megrace of and you. when something happens to you or someone in your family you are
up in arms. as long as it is not your family or students in your school or people out in the country than you do not care. guns are lethal weapons. thisld also like to say from the vantage point of a teacher -- people out there who are listening to others to not just the constitution. read it for yourself. if you do not learn to read for yourself other people will read for you and they will tell you what they want you to know. host: we are going to leave it there. thank you for calling in. that is the end of our first segment this morning on "washington journal." coming up in just a little while, senator tammy baldwin will take your calls on this topic and other topics that the senator is currently confronting. coming up next week acquitted turn our attention to guantanamo
bay and get an update on what is happening down there. the constitution center just recently conducted a study about what to do with guantanamo. we are good to be talking with former deputyon secretary of detainee affairs. he is with the heritage foundation about that. we will be right back. ♪ >> she was very bright, she was very political, which is why she and lincoln got together in the first place. she spoke several languages fluently. she had all of these things going for her but she has suffered a series of tremendous
emotional dollars. >> four children died, one in the white house and one shortly after her husband assassinated. the kinds of grief this woman we're going through it was amazing. folks demonized her for that. they thought she was crazy. we found that she
wasn't crazy. mary todd was a very significant person and i hope some day we get a better view of the range of things that influenced her life, not just the tragedy. >> more on larry todd lincoln and her conversation live on c- span adn c-span3. began, congress came into session in july and it issued a statement known as the
crittenden resolution. it was very simple, very clear. the purpose of this war is to restore the union. distrupt the social
isntitu -- social institutions of the south. presidentlution of lincoln's views on slavery. "lectures in history," saturday night at 8:00 eastern. journal"ngton continues. caller: charles stimson is the forer assistant secretary
detainee affairs. we have invited him to talk about guantanamo and get an update on what is going on over there and then talk about the constitution projects, findings and recommendations of their study of guantanamo. first of all because a status update on guantanamo bay -- give us a status update on guantanamo bay, how it is being used. guest: guantanamo bay was in the installation the u.s. set up in 1903. after 9/11 it has had a detention of an enemy command -- of any combatant's mission. today there are 166 detainees from 23 different countries. when the obama administration both obama and mccain were both saying they will close on guantanamo.
dozenent back a few detainees. the majority are a bolt of -- the majority were transferred during the george bush administration. just today the military judge granted a defense continuance in the u.s.s. cole bomber. inse cases will continue motions in june. host: why is there still 166 if the obama administration wanted to shut down? in june 2006 president obama announced that he would very much like to close guantanamo. whens in wind down mode obama was in office. to his credit he put a coat on that by signing that executive order ordering it to be closed within the year. it is still open because there
was a window of opportunity in the first two years of the obama administration he had his own party in power in the senate and own party in power in the house. use some political cash, some will to force the culture -- forced the closure of that place. he would need to up the risk calculus. the major population at of many.o are tweet patch with it most of the saudis. the amenis have n -- the yemanis have not been sent back.
we do not believe they have the capacity or willingness to mitigate the threat they would pose and would simply be out on the street at potentially get back into combat activity. host: is there evidence against the 166 detainees still being held that makes -- that says "you are a danger?" detaineesst off all the federaloned district court for habeas because they enjoy the federal constitutional right of habeas. have orderedourts some of them to be released. evidence,here isn't there is evidence to suggest they are enemy combatants under court orders. that is number one. there is another pile of
detainees, a population of 46, but the obama administration should -- that the above -- that the obama administration has ordered be held under military charge. there is a small population that will be subject to military commission, which means the prosecutor the government believes they can prove a case beyond a reasonable of doubt that they are guilty of war crimes. there is this other pot of detainees that have been cleared for release either by executive viet by the court where the country -- where the court has a hard time finding where to take them. are a bunch of different categories. is ourharlie stimson guest. is aboutussion
guantanamo bay, its current status, and perhaps what to do with it as well. the constitution project recently came out with a recommendation. the cochairs of this study of guantanamo, the former dhs secratary and general james bees, say guantanamo should closed by 2014. should lift prohibition on allowing remaining duties in the west. remaining detainees in the u.s.. making an argument for closing guantanamo -- guest: the argument for closing guantanamo is that it has sustained our national reputation.
-- it had stained our national reputation. it has made relationships difficult on a host of levels. not just on security in the onst critic not just security matters but other matters. because guantanamo is seen as a stain and illegitimate and was set up to be beyond the reach of the law it should be closed for that reason and reason alone. the more important reason is that it has put a strain. the reason to keep it open is even the obama administration says military detention plays a part in the war against terrorists and we are in a state of legal conflict. the president has said that multiple times. in his inauguration address he said we are at war. bring them to the united obama, which the
administration had an easier time to do that during the first two years of the administration already hadow, they constitutional habeas but they may recruit additional legal rights and perhaps constitutional rights and some judgment ordered them free and therefore to keep them at guantanamo because they are treated safely, securely, humanely, they are not going to escape and to have to keep them somewhere. host: when you're serving at the pentagon as assistant defense secretary of detainee affairs, what was your with regard to gu? guest: remember that that office did not even exist until after several thousand miles away in iraq. a whole series, of events took place.
believe it or not, there was not a central point of entry into the pentagon for all things detainee related. we have thousands of detainees in iraq and afghanistan, and a few hundred at guantanamo and in various parts of the pentagon were dealing with the detainees. that is separate from the cia interrogation program, which my office has nothing to do with, and we have read about in the papers like everyone else. up officeecessor set in 2004, early 2005. ofs set in motion a series major investigations across the entire department of defense, 12 and back. of those major investigation from intention -- detention policy, interrogation, treatment -- you name it, can 492 specific
recommendations. so when i came to the pentagon from the department of justice where i was a homicide and violent crimes prosecutor in d.c., the implementing of those 492 recommendations was under way, but that was a big part of what i had to do. at the time we had 16 or 17,000 detainees in iraq . surge soe started the the detainee population went up. we have detainees in afghanistan and 500 some in guantanamo bay. my job, the job of the team, not the mine, was to give secretary the best considered a vice we code with respect to all detainees.ated to dod it resulted in september of that year, 2006, and new, upgraded,
overarching department of defense policy guide that applied to all detainees. still in force. and the new army field manual on interrogations' because of interrogation policy prior to my coming to the pentagon. so that office today has a much smaller and more focused mission because we have no detainees in iraq. very few in afghanistan we are concerned about. a couple dozen that we label now as in during security threats. the 136 in guantanamo. of course, commissions are ongoing in office for which i have the privilege of serving on has very little to do with military commissions. it is more detainee policy. >> finally, editorialized, do you stand -- what should happen with guantanamo?
guest: i think president should have maximum possibility -- the ability to prosecute the with a one. george bush thought guantanamo should be closed. this president clearly thinks it should be closed. therefore, i think we have to give deference to the commander in chief. if he wants it closed, he should do what it takes to close it. are at war, if you and if you pick up detainees, and you will, you have to put them somewhere. if we kept them in afghanistan were the majority were picked up, they would never have access to federal court. if we brought them to the united states, which we had over 400,000 not the germany pow's here during world war ii the laws have changed and they would have had access to the federal court from the very beginning. , thedless of the location
zip code, we will have lots of work the tension, because it is a necessary part and parcel of the law of war stance. --t: grace tweets in question.a great frankly, i cannot remember if any of them have been declared not the enemy combatants by the judge in the federal habeas process. i think some number of those 46 enemyry detention combatants detainee population actually are, have been determined to be enemy combatants by the court to meet the standard. that is a good question. >> jonathan in illinois, independent line. please go ahead with your question or comment regarding guantanamo. >> thank you for taking my call.
think you for taking my call. the overwhelming sense of americans have long agreed torture is undemocratic and violates every basic principle of humanity. by that and recent findings of how detainees are being treated, it doesn't that justified george cheney and others to go before the criminal court as soon as possible? thank you for taking my call. guest: appreciate the question. i do not think there's any doubt that your comment of torture is an american is true. i agree with that. when i came to the pentagon, there were 492 recommendations in place. many of them dealt with mistreatment of detainees. 2006, ild also note by
think we have prosecuted any number of soldiers, sailors, airmen or marines in the military court for detainee of use. a couple were for homicide. there was an ongoing legal process of a criminal nature for those who perpetrated the crimes. let me segue to the second part of your question about prosecuting of high government officials. the obama administration, when they came to office, took a look at specifically the cia's interpretation program and whether the legal advice provided to those running the orgram violated the law referral to the bars and they decided, although it was regretful and mistaken, that there were no crimes. you think the time for, as are suggesting, criminal
accountability before the criminal court has passed. but i think that is with the state of play is. diana in massachusetts. diana, you are on the washington journal. caller: good morning charles and peter. i wanted to go back to the history of guantanamo bay. you mentioned was founded in 1903. i always wondered why fidel castro did not take over guantanamo bay when he came to power in the late 1950's and later during the missile crisis? i would think of that time the soviets would have pressured him. i was wondering how the u.s. was able to keep it. guest: a great question. i actually pondered that myself when i first came to the pentagon and started going to guantanamo. guantanamo has put together a history book, which i believe you can get. let me try to answer your
question briefly. not around in 1903 when we signed a lease with the government of cuba. the lease is unique. it has five characteristics. the most interesting, besides the fact of it to pay in gold bouillon is both sides have to agree to terminate the lease. so we have had a naval presence at guantanamo since then. it has been a refueling station. there appears there. warships go in there. , ships -- coast guard ships go in there. is served a critical role during the clinton administration when we had a huge migrant operation where thousands of people left their country on rafts and other devices to flee the country because they were oppressed. guantanamo house 75,000 criminal migrants in tents on the golf course in the 1990's. there actually was a little
prison camp camp x-ray. we had a naval force there. we have a military presence there. we have a marine security guard there. even during the cuban missile crisis and other times we simply have not had to fight back to keep the base. projectse constitution on the recent findings in guantanamo. finding number-one. u.s. forces in many instances used in syria -- interrogation techniques that constitute terror. an even larger number that involve kroll, and human or degrading treatment. both actions violate u.s. laws and international treaties. such conduct must directly counter the values of the constitution and our nation. guest: i read this report.
oddly enough i was not contacted to be interviewed for the report. you within one of the by people who have this office would have been. i know my predecessor was. i read it with great interest for obvious reasons and did not see anything new that i have not seen in the public domain already. the 12 major investigations, including classified annexes, and they did not have access to classified information, which the right we stayed up front, but insofar as the fact that this report once again highlights of the hundred + thousand detainees we attained since 9/11, some of them repeat customers, the bulk of them were in iraq. not afghanistan and certainly guantanamo. there were people that this treated the enemy. as john mccain said, how we mistreat the enemy's is more about us than them. i agree with that completely.
my job when i got to the pentagon was to put in place -- first off, clean up the mess. old people accountable for the crimes they committed or misconduct committed and put in place policies that could insure to the extent that it will not happen again. understanding that human behavior is erratic sometimes, and people take the wall in their own hands sometimes, but i will say that, for example, made of 2006 when our government presented the second periodic report to the committee against torture, i was part of that delegation. i was on the odod team. out thefied and we laid number of prosecutions of individuals who abuse, murder, mistreated detainees. one other point about your comment. a tough race to understand. it comes from, and article 3,
the third article of the geneva conventions. the way we have defined it, and what is called a reservation to the treaty, is we will only, we will define it in terms of how we look at constitutional law for the fourth amendment, but the minute and eighth amendment. host: april 14, an editorial "gitmo is killing me ." i did not know if you read this or not.
guest: what do you expect a person who is incarcerated to say? is this -- it is an interesting insight though, because i think, at least i hope today people do not complete like we did early on in the war against terrorists, the concepts appurtenant associated with criminal law, which is if you are detained you need to be mirandized or charged or let free and the law of war, which says you can be detained without charge, under the law of armed conflict for the duration of hostilities. here he says i have not been charged, never gone to trial. you are not going to trial if you are not going to commissions. this is a rich and historic body through theruns
history of war. hunger strikers have happened at guantanamo since the very beginning. it's bike during the 9/11 timeframe and christmas time. 9/11 spiked during the timeframe and christmas time. this administration and previous took the position we will not allow people to kill themselves. when doctors decide as a medical manner they're getting to the point where they could become and physical distress, they use nch tube to -- a frech tub to provide nutrition. theally it is ensure, voluntarily feed them to keep them alive. host: when you were at guantanamo visiting, did you
ever talk to the prisoners? guest: no. is policy we have always had -- first of all, i was a policymaker. i was not an interrogator, prosecutor. i was the policy guide. the only people who would talk to detainees would be the guard force to get them to go to their doctors appointment or recreation time or take them somewhere, and then the interrogators, if they chose to speak with the interrogators, and then the detainees talk to each other all of the time. and then the intelligence services would come in and speak to the detainees. of course, the international committee of the red cross has made dozens and dozens of trips to guantanamo since the very beginning. they have a confidential dialogue on a one-on-one basis. they also facilitate the sending and receiving of mail, which happens during wartime. host: that said, why did you not
talk to them? guest: of course, i am human. journalists want to talk to them. congressman and senators would ask if we could talk -- would ask me if they could talk to them. the answer was no. when i took the three european talkations they wanted to to them. part of it is under the geneva convention you cannot hold enemy combatants in a place where it would be considered a spectacle. allwing a reporter or with deference to reporters or congressman or senator, another person to start peppering them with questions changes the dynamic of a safe, humane, dignified way of detaining people. host: tony in riverside, ill.. go-ahead. great show, gentlemen.
mr. simpson, i want to thank you for your service on behalf of the people of the united states. the question i have i will proceed with a brief comment. that is the war on terror that has been declared by congress who has the authority to declare war on terror or any war, which is then been supplemented by the patriot act and the defense forthorization act allows these offshore bases, u.s. territories or holdings to hold the prisoners of war who are foreigners. the question i have for you mr. simpson is regarding jose pedia , a u.s. citizen who was arrested in illinois and that was held for three years without charges, without access to a lawyer, and was charged in a minor offense and tried in the state of florida, and ultimately imprisoned for 17 years.
how do you justify that as a legal scholar, attorney, lover of liberty as we all are, in the case of a u.s. citizen being treated that way and abuse in that manner? guest: sure, tony. me for my for thanking service. anyone who serves as a was crippled and privilege to do that. i wore the uniform of the country for 20 years. it is an interesting case. today he would not see it happen i do not think. enemy combatants, american to associate with al qaeda today would either be killed with a overseas, or if they are arrested here in the united states, and taken directly to federal court where they would belong and have all the constitutional rights anyone else requested. pedia has a long history.
remember, prior legal precedents allow for and still allows for arguably the commander in chief to detain an american citizen and hold them without charge for a period of time and declare them to be an enemy combatants. there is no desire on behalf of this administration to do that for the second half of the bush administration as well. host: democrat. please go ahead. caller: a couple questions. can you tell us how many terrorists have been tried by the military and put into prison, and how many have been tried in the united states in the federal court system inside the united states they have been tried and put into prison for life. why is it so much better to hold these people up in cuba? we are afraid to let them appear in court in the united states
for what they will tell the people of the united states. that is what it appears to be to me. thank you. >> that is a great question. i appreciate it. there have been seven convictions and military convictions overall. one is from baltimore and as pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate against other detainees. in our history, military interrogations' has played a discreet but important role for -- tool for commander in chief as an option for him to use. often times you hear a number thrown around a 400 plus federal terrorism convictions since 9/11. that number is true. i am a former federal prosecutor and proud of our courts, but when you look at how congress and the obama
administration in 2009 at four military convictions and the previous conviction, it is for against -- is for non-citizens and only for war convictions. the vast majority of the terrorist convicted in federal court would not have been ellet -- eligible for a military conviction. less than a couple dozen. we should be proud of our federal prosecutors, military prosecutors and defense counsel and public defenders who take on these cases, and of course, the judges who exercise powers over the trial. host: the majority of the task force believes the situation of indefinite detention is abhorrent and intolerable. our new prisoners still being taken to guantanamo? guest: no. the last detainee to go to guantanamo was in 2008. the obama administration has taken the position since they
want to close it, it would be inconsistent to bring other people there. i understand the logic of that, but i take issue, as does every person who wears the uniform of the military. during they mean is wartime you could not detain the enemy, because that is with the geneva conventions allow. if you do not detain the enemy during wartime, you resupply the enemy with their own fighters. it is a logical. it brings up the age-old question since 9/11, since we do not know when this war will end, how can you justify the tension? we did not know when world war ii or i would end. what i would suggest is when congress revisits the law that allows you legally to justify , and ion of these guys think there will come a time
where either in this of frustration or later on or somewhere in the middle when people will say look, we have decimated al qaeda and affiliates. the bill blogger have the capability -- they no longer have the capability to attack as or severely diminished. therefore, the legal strength of use of military force is so weak, we cannot rely on a matter of what to justify detention, or, the executive will simply say, we have detained these people long enough, to declare them as a matter of executive grace, a freeport transfer. the tricky part is getting them transferred to somewhere, perhaps their home country. --st: two tweets what laws are we trying to circumvent by having a detention center for foreigners outside mainland usa? he follows up by --
how would our government react if americans are captured on streets of foreign lands and thrown in jail without charge or rights to trial? guest: let me try to give the combined answer to monte. 9/11, the supreme court thed in certain cases that commander in chief, the executive, is certainly within foreign-s to not allow born captives captured overseas during the time of or access to federal courts. there is nothing in geneva that prevents you from moving detainees, prisoners of war, from the battlefield to another location within the country or a third country. in fact, you are required to keep them away from harm's way. the generals in charge of the war in afghanistan were saying we cannot successfully detain
these people and keep themselves and interrogate them lawfully here on the field of battle and afghanistan, we need to take them somewhere else. language and they were trying to avoid putting them in a place where they would have access to federal courts, so they put them into detention facility at guantanamo that the clinton administration had used for detaining criminal migrants, and during the 1990's when the criminal migrants to the accord, the federal courts rebuffed them. there was prior president to use guantanamo as a detention facility. it is very easy today in the cushy confines of your armed share in 2013 to look back and say i would have done this if i were in that place, but the law in place at the time and the president at the time was you could move detainees out of the theater of battle.
chemo was used as a detention place before and did not want to bring them to the united states -- people would have thought bush was nuts for bringing 300, 400 al qaeda operatives to the united states. formerext call for the deputy assistant defense secretary during the bush administration comes from robert and columbia, maryland. caller: good morning. thank you to c-span for taking my call. journalistependent for d.c. media group and global revolution tv. i interviewed capt. jason wright one month ago. he had some very shocking revelations of this conference.
currently there is a hunger strike at guantanamo bay. the government is grossly understating that issue. have definedey hunger strike. the most shocking revelation was detainees are beginning to on the outside of the cells. he is the attorney for shik mohamed. that person should be detained for the rest of his life. apparently he is going to trial, and that is a good thing, but the other person he represents is a young man and the story is a little bit too long, but what does wrap this up. the conditions right now in guantanamo bay are under a new
commander who has taken a very pushed detainees to the hunger strike. as obama have control to change out the commanding officer? have control to change out the commanding officer? guest: sure, president obama could easily direct the commander to relieve the joint task force commander at guantanamo. place,re protocols in which we reviewed extensively in 2006 and 2007 for how you deal with hunkers strikers. we have them look a protocol. we had a look at the bureau of prisons that has protocol for the same sort of thing. hunger strikes happen for a variety of reasons. it is a form of political protest. it has happened in prisons around the world.
have engaged in hundred strikes over the decades, and i suspect it will continue. host: charlie in new york. republican line. caller: thank you. in june, 2004, the supreme court beed that detainees would given access to lawyers, article three trials, and 2000 for being an election year, and the republican party being famous for being spineless did nothing. helddent bush should have an immediate press conference, announced the justices on the supreme court are insane. these people are not bank robbers. they are harming terrorist. toy will not be given access lawyers, not given civilian
trials. we will line them up against the wall and shoot them. host: we will have to leave it there. guest: the supreme court decision he was referring to in 2004 did not say they were required to go to article ii courts, and the detainees, lawyers were working very hard on behalf of the detainees and filed the first sue for access to the detainees and on release, weeks after they got there in january 2002, and i would say saidi have pushed for and publicly many times and luckily it is happening now, that especially the detainees before military commissions in the 9/11 as cole walmart, be given the most highly qualified, as defense counsel our country has produced. they have these council.
the besthe lawyers are criminal defense lawyers the country has seen. they are very aggressive in the motions' practice before the court. they are very effective. i would want one of them defending me. that is the way it should be, putting the best prosecute -- prosecutors against the best defense counsel. from russ call comes in california. independent line. caller: good morning. i want to send my wife is from holland. during world war ii her grandfather was taken by the nazis, sent to russia. he was kept in a soviet prison camp similar to guantanamo.
it is really sad. it feels like we're doing the same thing. we have become the soviets and not cease in some strange way. when this war is over, they need a criminal trial. if they cannot prove they did anything, let them go. we are america. we are not nazis and soviets. think there is more to come in the guantanamo saga. commissions will continue, and these commissions are some of the most complex trials the country has ever been engaged in. there have been 3 hacker 25,000 documents disclosed by the government to the defense. i am sure hundreds of thousands more will come. there have already been 100 litigated. at least so far as the military commission goes, guantanamo will remain open. when the detention mission finally ends, the naval station
will continue because we need a place as a strategic asset in the middle of the caribbean because you do not know the other commissions that will come up. host: we a been talking about the status of guantanamo -- guantanamo bay with charles stinson. thank you for being on with us. hour-and-a-half to go in the program. coming up next, senator tammy baldwin, a democrat from wisconsin. after that, we will return to the newspapers and your phone calls. here is a news update first. more on reaction to yesterday's failed senate vote on gun purchase background checks. jeff delany reports a victim of the virginia tech killings and another from tucson to yield you."lled "shame on and george stephanopoulos during
a special report during president obama's rose guard report said this is about as angry as i have ever seen the president in public. a new development for the victims of the bombings in boston this morning. the massachusetts governor to call patrick and the mayor have announced kenneth feinberg, an attorney who managed the 9/11 victim compensation fund, has been chosen to be the administrator of a new fund to help people affected by the bombings. they say the one fund boston is intended as a central place to gather donations for bombing victims. as of 5:00 yesterday the fund had more than $7 million in commitments from corporate and individual donors, and more than 500,000 in online donations from 8500 people. while the president travels to boston today for a memorial service for the victims of the marathon bombings, an interfaith service will take place at the catholic cathedral of the holy
cross. live coverage on c-span radio at 11:00 eastern time. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. is the most expensive weapon system in the history of mankind quite frankly. it is in advanced warplane, fighter jet, that is to be used by the air force, navy, and marine corps. it is the replacement for the f- 16, air force, marines and navy. it is supposed to be the new, advanced, all-purpose fighter jet. it was a plane that was supposed to be in the skies fighting now. still in development. an incredibly troubled program. a program that has gone tens of thousands of billion dollars over budget. program asinto this a way to write about the overall challenges of trimming the defense budget, because this program is in some ways it
singular and hunt -- in terms of the cost overruns, delays, and the way it has been structured to, as i write in the peace, the most effective defense of attribute may not be all of its radars and sensors and missiles and stealth technology and ability to fight supersonic speeds, it may well be the way it has been designed to evade budget cutters in washington. >> more with rajiv chandrasekaran on c-span "q &a."" a democratoining is from wisconsin, tammy baldwin. we should probably start talking about what happened in the senate yesterday with gun- control. your thoughts? guest: i think the senate of the united states let the american people down yesterday. it was hard for me to fathom some of the basic provisions
that enjoyed the support of over 90 percent of americans were voted down. a majority of the senate supported it, but as you know, we have the rules that require 60 votes to a dance certain provisions. certainvance provisions. ad was probably my most disappointing day so far in my short tenure. host: are there a lot of nra members or gun owners in wisconsin? guest: there are many gun owners, just like the country, wisconsin is reflective of that, but i would say the hunting culture and tradition is very deep. if you think about last year's deer hunting season, over 650,000 hunting licenses were taken out in wisconsin. that is over 10 percent of the that participate in the enjoy is the tradition of
hunting deer. there are other hunting seasons also. expandingdea of background checks and reducing the% of sales that take place without a background check was widely embraced. and the measures against trafficking. we all know too many of the incidence of mass violence, as well as individual gun violence occur with weapons bought from traffickers. people want to see as crack down on these things. very disappointing. in wisconsin we have had mass shootings in recent months. one at a place of worship. time for congress to act. i was very disappointed by yesterday's inaction, but
helpful, and i listened to the president's resolve on this issue, that we continue this dialogue and press again. we cannot give up on this fight. host: was gun control, gun ownership, a topic in the recent election to the senate? guest: it was a minor topic. and i am a gun owner myself, a supporter, strong supporter of the second amendment. believe the second amendment supports the common sense steps forward to create safer communities to protect our children. therefore, i want to see us move. up inanother issue coming the senate is immigration. where are you on the gang of eight proposal and immigration in general? you it wasn tell very heartened to see a proposal put forward by four republicans and for democrats.
we have been stymied on this issue for so long in the congress of the united states everyone knows who interacts with the system knows it is broken and in desperate need of attention. i think it is a very promising step forward. i look forward to that debate coming up. host: where you stand on the issue of path to citizenship, and or amnesty for 11 million or so illegal immigrants? the compromise introduce has a tough, but i think fair path to citizenship for those undocumented individuals who are here. a separate path is for those we call the dreamers. we're all familiar with the previous debates on the dream
act. the act through the auto people who were brought here -- there are children who were brought here as children. we do not look at them as having violated u.s. laws because most of them came in were too young to make those decisions. the future is so limited by the fact that they lacked documentation that i think the path it set out for them is also fair and appropriate. tammy baldwin served on the budget committee. house democrats up pressure on john boehner to start the budget conference. the you think there will be an actual budget conference this year rather than continuing resolution? protect, is hard to having served in the house, still hard to predict what the house will do. i was proud to work on the
senate budget resolution with chairman petty, who i thought did a fabulous job of moving us forward, and we crafted, i think, a resolution that like all budget resolutions reflects a set of values as we move forward. it stands in stark contrast to the approach taken by my wisconsin colleague, paul ryan in the house budget. i am pleased both chairman are talking with each other right now and looking for common ground, but i think there are other ways to get back to regular order. resolutionsbudget provide guidance for the respective appropriations committee. there is nothing to stop them from getting up and going, and i think both are. the conference could happen at
that level on each of the appropriations bill, rather than on the competing budget resolutions, and still allow us to move forward without a continuing resolution. host: would you like to be part of that conference? guest: absolutely. resolution,udget very proud of and voted in support of, recognizes that right now our country is facing two challenges. you hear some elected officials around here talk as though the debt and deficit are the only challenges facing this nation, but when i am home in wisconsin i hear about the very slow and difficult recovery from this deep recession. jobs, and the ability for hard- working person to support their family are still -- i think still the key challenge facing the nation.
our budget has to recognize both of those challenges are out there and respond. i think that is exactly what the senate budget resolution does. it focuses on job creation and the investments we need to make in people and education and innovation and infrastructure and manufacturer -- manufacturing in order to move forward as it tackles the deficit and debt in terms of cutting spending. cutting spending in the tax code. then i think it also keeps promises to people, it to those that were part of their whole life and want nothing more than a secure retirement. and our veterans to whom we have made promises as the have donned the uniform and fought for the country. host: what about the issue of chain cpi? guest: i start with the very basic notion that social security has not contributed one penny to the current deficit or debt.
table in not be on the this part of discussion. similarly, to be concerned about the long-term solvency of so-so security. urity.ial sec retirement security is a real question mark for many americans. let's look at the real contributors to our deficit and debt as we try to tackle those challenges. and host: two final questions before we go to calls. this is another article from the hill. why were you left off the list of the 12 senators that went to dinner? iest: i have no idea, but have been very pleased with the president's increase -- increase out reach to the senate and a house. that dialogue is essential to
making progress, especially when on see the progress made immigration reform. we saw yesterday that even measures with bipartisan support to get caught up. what we have to press forward -- while we have to press forward on gun safety and gun control issues, i think this dialogue is very have -- very healthy. >> what is your relationship to paul ryan and ron johnson, a republican? >> paul ryan and i were elected to the house of representatives and adjoining districts the same year back in 1998. and i regard paul ryan as a friend. you can imagine there are many issues in which we disagree, but i can tell you that the lines of our district split -- split through a county in wisconsin.
to industrylated there, we worked together on a number of things, so i think that -- i would regard that as a very strong relationship. i am getting to know ron benson, and in fact, would pleased to tell you we had a real success yesterday in announcing the process to fill judicial vacancies in the state of wisconsin. they languished a little too long in my view, and we work together and i think river process to move it forward. we will continue to do that. i know it is a very high priority for me to be the strongest voice for wisconsin that i can't, especially the hard working -- that i can, especially the hard working families that are trying to get a break and get ahead again, and
when i can engage senator ally -- senator johnson as an ally and admission, i will do that. the governor and i served together in the state legislature. i was elected 1992. he came in in a special election a couple of months later. of baldwinfacts walker bill was signed into law by gov. tommy thompson. transparency and campaign finances. and interesting. this was before wisconsin had any laws to allow for electronic filing of campaign reports. i did not want to say was the early days of the internet, but it was not used yet for public documents. if you really want to see how candid it was raising money into their were getting money from,
you had to either pay for hard copies to be xeroxed and mailed at great expense or you had to journey to the state capitol in madison in order to get copies. this started the process in the states of electronic filing. ast: tammy baldwin, democratic senator from wisconsin. serves on the homeland security committee and special agent. bob on the republican line. first up. caller: i would like to ask the senator there why they cannot that willst on things benefit the economy as they did the gun control? they got the vote and received it. what are they going to do? there are veterans out there waiting for benefits.
waiting yearsre to receive this. they ought to push it through as fast as they do the gun-control stuff, but as much effort into it as they did that and get something done for it. you foryou -- thank your service to the country. i deeply appreciate it. i would say as a new member of the senate, i am -- i have long wondered about the pace of change, and one of the positive forces in terms of moving things forward. i would reference the senate budget resolution that was just talking about it a short while ago, because one of the things that was really important to me in helping our chairman craft that budget, as well as passing it, was keeping the promises in keeping the promises to veterans, as well as to seniors
who have worked their whole lives and deserve to receive the benefits they were promised at the outset. lot of work to do in the va system, especially the speed with which claims are processed. that is something that i take very seriously in my home state. the health- -- sure care promises that a been made have been kept. i was recently at a major va facility in milwaukee, wisconsin. asking lots of questions about the care that our veterans received. thank you for your service. my, newport, ky. think you for taking my call. a couple of quick statements and then a question.
a lot of money has been spent andting than post 9/11 wars taxpayers still have many unanswered questions about the events. despite the fact at an international team of reviewers published a physics journal proving the existence of a man no thermite found in the dust -- host: we got where you are going in the first question. caller: the agency task with investigating why these three buildings failed -- host: do you have a follow-up issue? the senator has to say about that. 9/11 conspiracy theories and different ways of looking at 9/11. what are your thoughts? the report i go by is the 9/11 commission. frankly, many of its
recommendations and assessments have become very relevant this week as we have dealt with shocking tragedy in boston. it has actually given me an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come with homeland security in the 10 years since that agency was created. as you noted, i am on the homeland security and government affairs committee. the jointard at work, terrorism task force through the fbi and homeland security and local officials in boston in trying to bring answers and bring ultimately the perpetrators to the full weight of justice in the united states. back to the caller's question, is wes important to meet
have made dramatic improvements in securing the safety of our homeland, the security of the homeland, but we could always do better. further you see attempts at legislation of some type? >guest: i think it is really too early to say. first of all, our hearts go out to the victims and their families, and my respect goes to the civilian and uniformed first responders who did incredible things in responding to something that was not fully understood in a moment. they were potentially running into harm's way to aid others. we are at the very beginning of what will be a thorough investigation. i think we will have a chance to stand back after that has completed and say did it go well?
what lessons were learned? what was done right and wrong? i have no idea whether any of that will call for additional legislation, but just in the early days of the briefings we have gotten so far, it seems like many prudent precautions were taken until there was an it was not ant attack beyond what we saw. host: have you seen increased security on capitol hill, especially with respect to the mailings? a lot unfolding right now. yes, i have seen evidence on capitol hill of heightened since the bombings in aston, and we have also had member of alerts on capitol hill as items and letters have been mailed to the president into
members of the sun at -- members of the senate that have tested positive for ricin in this particular case, and specific packages have been alerted. our secretary of homeland security has been saying to committees and to the public, see something, say something. be alert and vigilant. i think a lot of what we're seeing is a result of the heightened vigilance on the part of all citizens. host: paul, please go ahead. caller: i have about three things out of like to run off and then get a comment on them, please. first of all, i am getting to be was caughtnow, and i and still believe that the federal government is for the purpose of providing national defense and interstate commerce,
but since the state have shuffled off welfare and education and everything else to the federal government, neither one of the governments are doing the job properly. another thing is i am a 21-year veteran. out of we should get afghanistan or any other place that we're in now that we're not going to go over there and beat and come ont of them home. of timeseterans a lot are complaining -- there are cases where they are being arereated, but there veterans who are complaining that are probably getting too much help as it is. i think you very much. -- thank you very much.
fort: i want to thank you your service to this country. the role of the better government, i have to agree first and foremost is a national defense. homeland security plays a key role in that. is to keep people safe and do what we can. certainly understand the docern about making sure we what we do it as efficiently and effectively as possible. public role with regard to the things that make america strong economically also. the president's words a couple years ago to say
-- when he said to win the future must we must out in a bit and out build the rest of the world. those running very true to me. those are the investments we make to make sure we have a strong future, a strong economy, and a strong middle class, frankly. the idea that people should be able to get ahead, and we know for many of the neighbors that is not happening. with regard to your comments about afghanistan, i cannot agree more. it is high time for us to redeploy the troops home. it is a position that i have taken for some considerable time. i would note that when i was serving in the house of representatives, i was one of those who disagreed with those theng into a rock -- iraq first place. i thought it was a war of choice
and thought it was the wrong choice. we are bearing the cost, the human cost as well as monetary cost of those commitments. and we will for some time. host: senator baldwin was born and bred in wisconsin and got her undergrad at smith. michael in missouri. caller: i have a few issues. i was a marine 21 years and it than i gave six to the army, and i have had issues with gun control. you know, you talk about background checks. they have been doing background checks for a while. all these politicians, even in congress, are so complacent with making money and letting these states do as they please. you know, you got people out there going to conceal classes -- they will take your money and
anybody will pass that class. they need to quit being so complacent. and the government wants to sit there and make money and take money away from veterans and seniors. it is ridiculous. we pay that social security .nto our retirement but then the government wants to take it from us because they don't have to pay into social security and will put more money in their pocket. i think it is ridiculous. guest: well, thank you also for your service to the country. keepingwith you about our promises, keeping our promises to veterans and keeping our promises to seniors who have worked hard to whole lives, paid into social security, paid into medicare, and look for nothing more than a secure retirement. i was actually raised by my grandparents, and i mentioned that because at a much earlier age i got to see their struggles
during their retirement, their reliance -- my grandmother in particular lived to 94 years of age. she depended upon medicare and .ocial security i am one who wants to fight for the integrity of those programs. we are talking about paul ryan and his budget earlier. i do not believe that we should ize or privatize the medicare program. i do believe we have to tackle our nation's and nations debt, but i don't think we need to go invade the benefits offered in the medicare program in order to do that. there are many other ways we can extract all savings in our health care -- cost savings in
our health care system could just earlier this week i joined senator jay rockefeller in introducing a bill that will reduce drug prices for seniors in the medicare and medicaid the statesallowing and the federal government bargain with pharmaceutical companies for lower prices. we do that already in the va system, probably as you know, and it extracts savings of considerable amounts for taxpayers and for our veterans. we should be doing that for our seniors, two. where were you raised? guest: my mother was 18 and going through a divorce. my grandparents were there for me when i needed them. raised me. yeah. i feel very lucky. , and brian in pennsylvania
he is a democrat. you are on with senator baldwin. caller: good morning. good morning, america. i just want to go on record and state that i value my second amendment rights, and i think that our rights are threatened every day right -- every day by our nations government. we have become a regulation nation. i'm sure you have heard this before, senator, but when i voted for this gentleman, barack obama, i was persuaded by what he was saying. he gave us hope, he gave us change, very powerful words and i feel that he has failed. i feel he is ignoring the real issues that are facing our troubled economy. he has been very distracted, and so was our government, for that matter. i have been unemployed for some time, and struggling like everyone else. i'm doing the best i can, but i think we need to refocus.
we really need to focus on job creation and stop being distracted. our second amendment rights are fine already. i'm just disgusted because of the fact -- host: all right, brian, i think we got your point. that's get a response from the senator. guest: brian, i couldn't agree more that our central focus needs to be jobs, private sector job creation, adding our economy back on track, helping to rebuild the middle class that , noteen really devastated just because the recession, but because of policies policies that have been in place for some time. i agree with you that that needs to be the major focus of congress. i do believe that we ought to be able to do more than one thing at once. i don't know that the effort to increase safety in our communities through the debate
that we have been having on expanding background checks needs to be viewed as a distraction. we should be able to walk and chew gum and do multiple things at the same time, as they say. thate to agree with you what you view as the core responsibility for the president and this congress is what i view as the course possibility -- the core responsibility. that is what i think we should be fighting to do every day. weets in -- beach t , we buy asknow consumers sometimes in bulk and we get a better price if we via doesn't. sometimes we get a baker's dozen when we buy a dozen. one by one. and really when government
through a program like medicare purchases on behalf of 40 million and fisheries -- 40 million beneficiaries versus each of us going in as an individual consumer and bargaining on our own, we don't have much bargaining power on our own. but we do when we act collectively. i taken makes all the sense in the world. -- i think it makes all the sense in the world. the va does it, most other industrialized nations do so on behalf of of their citizens. we don't in the united states. ics paying the price and the taxpayers pay the price. tweets -- badey one of the amendments the senate will be voting on today. guest: in terms of the current background checks, once a name goes on the list by virtue of an /localcation at the state
level, it is one of the areas where there is the least complete records in the system, as they say. what we are voting on today is not really going to change that but, rather, look at these issues especially in schools and provide more resources for outreach to those with mental illness. host: do you support the idea of people with mental illness or have had met -- episodes of mental illness being denied guns? guest: yes. i think it is well agreed that if you have a felony conviction
or have an adjudication relating ordangerousness to self others, it makes sense, and we -- and it should be the law of the land that you are denied the ability to purchase a gun. what i would want to say emphatically is that being dangerous and mentally ill is not synonymous with being -- diagnosed with having a mental illness. there are many mental illnesses that are -- don't imply any level of dangerousness to self or others and that should not be part of the backbone check system. host: do you know where houston, wisconsin is? -- towson, wisconsin is? guest: if i have a map in front of me i can find it. host: scott is coming from towson. where is it?
caller: north of green bay. host: you are way up there. caller: i am loving it up here. i just lost my wife to cancer nine months ago. guest: i'm sorry. caller: one of the questions was whether she could get medical marijuana to help her, and for some reason in the state we cannot get it and i am wondering why that is. guest: there was a recent attempt in the state of wisconsin, i think, to pass legislation through the wisconsin legislature, and it didn't pass. there are other states where medicinal marijuana is available. it has been achieved many times through popular referendum. in some states you are able to put those on the ballot through petition where a sufficient number of citizens petition to put it on the ballot. in wisconsin, if my memory serves me correctly, it has to be placed on the ballot by the .egislature
in order to create movement on the issue, one really needs to talk to the state legislature. back when i served on the state legislature, there was a who supportedup moving on this issue, and in part because a couple of the legislators had experiences with , andy members, as you did didn't want to see them suffer, and therefore stood up and said this is something that we should debate and tackle in the state of wisconsin. i'm sorry for your loss. host: has it been decriminalized in wisconsin? am i wrong about that? guest: not as far as i have heard. i hope i didn't miss that. variousainly we see states moving forward with
.ifferent initiatives a lot of movement in the last election cycle. and what you see at the federal level is a realignment of what i would say is prosecutorial discretion of -- host: do you support those efforts on the federal level as well? guest: well, i think we should re-examine the federal policy. i think that it is hypocritical .t this point when you have states that have legalized medicinal use and the federal government that is acting at odds with those states, it is time to re- examine trade -- time to re- examine. host: just a few minutes left with senator tammy baldwin. walter, republican line. caller: how are you doing, senator baldwin?
guest: i'm doing well. caller: i, too, emma, veteran. guest: thank you for your service. caller: i was going to talk about the second amendment, but i think the first amendment is the one we need to be talking about, the cleanup tv's. all the stuff that's coming on tv now is a violence bad talking all this stuff. why don't senators start focusing on that and cleaning up the television, and then we will see what happens to this country? , that isll interesting. congress has waded into this territory you are talking about several times in the past. usually the result has been the supreme court has not been satisfied with the activities . i amthe first amendment not sure we are going to see that happen again. we have to remember that we also
have the option of not watching and choosing carefully what it is we watch. host: baby blue ice tweets in -- guest: well, it is a great topic. we have had several people talk about their strong support of the second amendment. i strongly support the second amendment, but we are not getting into the details about whether we believe that the second amendment allows common sense, sensible legislation like expanding background checks. i don't think anybody is saying that the akron checks that are currently in place -- the background checks that are currently in place are somehow in violation of the second amendment. we're talking about expanding it to more purchases.
that is simple and straightforward. it is embraced by any percent -- 90%, according to the president of the american , certainly consistent with what i hear. we are talking about going after traffickers and giving law enforcement the tools that they need to stop illegal trafficking. right now they don't have sufficient law-enforcement tools to go after these folks. i think there is really brought support for these commonsense measures that we are talking about. i wish -- this is the point on which we started -- i wish my colleagues in the senate had the to moveof this moment forward and do right by the american people. just a minute left. frank in orlando, democrat. caller: good morning, and thank you for taking my call. i just find it laughable that the president saying that the
bill did in the past because of misinformation -- bill did not get passed because of misinformation by the nra when we have politicians up there putting bills in like inresentative degentis colorado that thinks that magazines are ammunition, that as soon as you shoot them they are gone forever. and robin kelly in chicago stating that aura was filled with carry holders and daschle laura was filled with cash -- that aurora was filled with carry holders. all editions cannot get things straight how can the american people expect you to -- if the politicians cannot get things straight, how can the market people expect you to pass laws governing us? that is a great question
and it brings up an issue that was discussed earlier in this debate about guns that has fallen off the radar screen in terms of discussion. that was the recommendation that we actually find a scientific- based research on -- that we actually fund scientific-based research on gun violence. several years ago the cdc in atlanta had done a fair amount of research on gun violence, and the leading cause of death through injury or violence -- leading cause of death for younger people -- they did research on this issue, and they were defunded. i think we could benefit from or facts and research and evidence in this whole gun safety debate, and it is actually an area in which i wish we were more active. host: last call for senator baldwin comes from another frank, independent line. was trying to rid i
to figure out what you said when you said that -- yes. i was trying to figure out what he said when he said that the social security fund had not been touched by the government, and when president obama cut the thenfrom 6.4 to 4.2, and he said that the government would make up the difference. where did the money come from that went to the government? to me, the politicians, especially lifetime politicians, speak twice and you have to listen to what they say, because our government had to replace that money spent money had to come out of the government somewhere. guest: that's right. i think you must have misread what i said earlier when i i was talking about touching social security. what i was talking about was whether it ought to be on the table as we discussed our nation's debt and deficit.
the reason i think it should not be on the table during that debate is that the social security program right now is solvent, and it is not contributing to our nation's deficit and debt, so why we should be looking at making policy changes their when we are trying to tackle our deficit and debt sort of -- it is frustrating to me. i think we have lots of challenges to confront with the social security in the out years, when it will become insolvent, but that is not the immediate task. we should be looking at what does drive our current deficit and debt, especially runaway health-care costs. as we tackle that deficit and debt. that said, when we had the payroll tax decreases during the deepest days of our recession,
the government did obligate itself to make up for the shortfall in the payroll tax .evenues and yes, that will come from other funds, other taxpayer funds. host: this is "washington journal," and we have been talking with tammy baldwin on a first-term senator from wisconsin. please come back. guest: thank you. really appreciate it. host: the house is coming in at 10:00 a.m. we will open the phones. we have put a lot of topics on the table. we will take your phone calls on issues we have been discussing today. first, we will get this news update from c-span radio. >> 9:20 a.m. eastern time. the number of americans seeking unemployment benefits increased i 4000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 352,000. the level is consistent with solid hiring and suggests the job market should rebound this month after slowing sharply in march. the labor department says the
four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose to just west texas ems director george smith says as many as 60 or 70 people died and hundreds were injured last night when a fertilizer plant exploded in the small community near waco, texas. x-tv.is according to kwt the explosion measured at 2.1 magnitude on the sizing chart. the seismic chart. officials are still evacuating homes at that point. the pope sent a tweet asking people to pray for the town. extends are reacting of cautious optimism -- mexicans are reacting with cautious optimism to the immigration reform bill in the senate. it at least gives records a stable path, according to the associated -- at least gives migrants a stable path,
according to the associated press. a group of senators is holding a news conference today to talk about the bill. c-span will be covering the afternoon event. those are the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> she was very bright, very political, which is why she and lincoln sort of got together in the first place. she spoke several languages fluently. he was extremely well-educated and she had all of these things going for her, but she had suffered a series of tremendous emotional blows. s died, one in the white house, one shortly after her husband's assassination. the kinds of grief this woman was going through were amazing. folks demonized her. they thought she was crazy. well, we found out she wasn't crazy. mary todd was a significant person and i hope someday we get
o a better view of the range of things that influenced her life, not just the tragedy. >> more on mary todd lincoln and our conversation with historians and you, live on monday night on c-span and c- span., c-span radio, and c org. "washington journal" continues. host: we will spend this segment going through the newspapers and taking your phone calls, e-mails, tweets. whatever public policy discussion item you would like to discuss is open today. i want to let you know that the president is on his way to boston. right marine 1 flying around the building just a minute ago, half-hour ago or so. thes going to be attending
boston marathon bombings interfaith service. the entire event will be live on in about an hour and a half, 11 :00 a.m. eastern time. this is from "the hill" newspaper. discuss a newats formula to calculus social security benefits at a two-hour dinner with president obama at the jefferson hotel wednesday night. 'we talked for two hours on a wide range of topics and the president was in terrific form, ' says a democratic senator who broke bread with the president. a pool report quoting an administrative -- administration official says that that topics included the attacks in boston and gun control, hours after the senate delivered a stinging blow to obama's agenda.
dozeninvited a democratic senators to join him for an informal dinner after holding two separate meetings with republican senators. senators dick durbin, diane feinstein, jack reed, mary ,andrieu, and debbie stabenow sheldon whitehouse, jeanne shaheen, michael bennet, and chris coons were the democratic -- that that attended jericho attended." tony, republican. hi, tony. caller: i wanted to bring up the fact that yesterday the -- obama was out there and the democrats were talking about how the nra by then calling people liars and that kind of stuff. what amazed me that they never talk about all these lies that had to do with obamacare. lie after lie after lie to that is all these democrats do is lie, but they call other people liars. i think that all the companies are to make sure that when they
have to lay off people for obamacare, make sure it is your democrat voters that go and send the voters a message to stop sending these democrats in their. host: another article from this morning cost is -- this morning 's newspapers. , * among tea paul party voters, said wednesday he is considering running for resident in 2016, in part because a white house bid would give him a larger microphone for his ideas. he said he would decided 2014 if he will mount a campaign for the republican nomination. 'being considered is something that allows me to have a larger microphone.' he said he would continue to visit early republican primary states. he traveled to south carolina in touary i scheduled to speak republicans in iowa and new hampshire in may." "hat is in th "the hill
newspaper. this next article is from "the new york times." a bipartisan group of eight senators introduced a sweeping overhaul of immigration system, conservative radio twoshow hosts to go over floors of a capitol hill hotel on wednesday and announced the proposal on the drivetime airwaves as nothing more than a reward for lawmakers. on a florida station, joy -- joyce kaufman called it. amnesty. zonans on not taking this sitting down.
i want to tell the lady who called in who said that senator baldwin was saying they wanted to fill in more on the background checks. and buygo to gun shows guns without telling out background checks. , felons,or gangs killers, and al qaeda. that is what she is talking about. there is a film they show -- thatthey showed last night showed one of the most wanted op-ed of members who was telling people to go out and buy guns at gun shows because you can get them without background checks. that is all they were trying to do was fill in the holes they had passed before so people
cannot get guns and kill our children. anybody who would not want that has to be crazy. it has nothing to do with second amendment rights. . am from west virginia my family has always had dones -- guns. know people who have guns who should not have them. i work with a few, and i know that can happen. that is all i have to say. host: what was your job when he carried a gun? guest: i was in security. out of the state newspaper out of north carolina.
, connecticut, independent. caller: thank you for taking my call. i want to touch on cyber security. i would like to see -- i am not , but we for europeans, are having an issue passing this bill. this is a real concern to not only me as an individual, but other regional manufacturing out of connecticut. there has been an uptake lately. we have to move along. i want to send a shout out to
thisis the boston globe morning -- they also have a picture on the front page of the chinese national student who died from the attack. , new york, republican. caller: i would like to comment on the gun bill be defeated yesterday. distrust of gun owners in the united states. also about the lies that have been perpetrated i media on tv. people should know better.
that 100,000te people will killed by guns every year, but they do not say that part of the people are criminals. 2.5 million people are saved by gun owners every year. crimes are stopped by gun owners. then they call people cowards because they stand up for the second amendment? that is their personal believes. they dos the nra goes, not have as much input as mike bloomberg. he is the mayor of new york and is getting into affairs -- none -- national affairs with his money. they want to have a big show up front. it is disgraceful that people who believe in the second are being infringed
upon. host: thank you. here is the front page of the guardian newspaper out of london. -- here is the front page of the financial times -- , democrat.porter caller: thank you for calling -- taking my call. i want to talk about the boat coming up on the mental health expansion for background checks. it seems to me that voting for that amendment would complicate things so much and delay things , can you imagine the challenge
is to different groups? you're talking about dr. and patient confidentiality. could delay itt for a decade. for that reason, i am guessing that republicans will vote for that. it mightas included, pass. patienty from local .roups it to the corporations that was dead in florida. -- that was ted in florida. i want to read a couple of tweets.
host: the washington journal now has its own webpage. it is easier to find recent programs and segment. you can watch the journal on that page as well. you can search for guests and topics. you can follow the journal on twitter stream from that page that page. the fbi's coded several news outlets on wednesday who mistakenly reported that an arrest had been made in the boston marathon bombings. unverifiedhat reporting could have unintended consequences for the investigation.
host: allete, connecticut, independent. because wem calling went through an ordeal with the town. i am wondering why it is hard for this nation to come gun legislation. people talk about the second amendment right, and i agree. you should not have that right taken away from you. when the constitution was written, it was written by our forefathers in a different place in the world. mental health was not as prevalent back then. there are a lot of things that
have changed since then. 90% of americans agree with the gun legislation. why is this not being seen in washington? why is this not being represented if this is how we feel? we are the constituents. we vote for you to be in office, but the people are not serving us. the government is broken and is not working for the people. people have to go and follow up on votes and go to the polls to make our voices heard. we have dmv's and licenses for cars, why cannot -- way can we not have these for guns?
host: here is a tweet. host: this is the front page of the new york post tabloid newspaper this morning -- pete, north carolina, -- we will put you on hold until you turn on the final on your tv. herbert, pennsylvania, democrat. caller: let me way can the american people up. we have a constitutional right to hold a balloon. whether you approach the balloon
with a pen or a needle or in acts, it is an and frenchman on the balloon. -- an infringement on the balloon. theyrday in the senate, did a terrific job. those who want to pray on the pain and the misery and the suffering of the people who lost loved ones shall fail when they go after political gain. thank you. host: let's return to pete in north carolina. what is the name of your city? pete? i have to let you go. when they tell you to turn down the vinyl on your tv, we mean it. robert, new jersey.
caller: i want to speak on immigration. -- havingbills being trouble being passed right now. whos ironic that citizens are all born from immigrants, no money or -- no matter how many generations down the line, you are here illegally or legally. the only one to have the natural rights to be here are native americans. when you to have a more open feeling towards why you want to come here. amazing ourow country is, but we get mad when people want to come here. they want to come here so they can understand and see and join into our country. when itat do you think
comes to non-citizens being granted benefits? guest: there has to be a kind of -- if you're going to have rulings that establish they can get here, they need to have their own a set of things to make it easier for them. i feel like the real issue is that we are like children. the government is like our parents. a parent it you see giving more to one kid than the other. we need to see more of a balance when it comes to people trying to come to the country or the ones who are already here. feeling jealous of someone else. host: what do you do? caller: i'm a student.
host: would you go to school? guest: hudson county committee to college. host: thank you for calling in and watching. margaret, oklahoma, republican. caller: on the gun issue, i was see that it ise not the guns doing this. for the last 200 years, we had no mass killings. then when the movies and video games that our children are , that is when all of this started. saidody the other day they wanted to kill people since they were eight years old. this is a mental health issue. yesterday on the vote about our
, and theythey go in come home and bad shape from being in war. to go in front of a clerk instead of a -- instead of medical people when they come back. there is something right here -- not right here at all. just because of the red tape, they might say they are ok when they are not. then they lose the right to bear arms. to hear what the american people to say what they want about this. the democrats and the president the been voting to spend trillions of dollars should lose their right to bear arms. are you a gun owner? caller: i live alone.
i believe in having one. i do not have one, but my family hunts. my father bought a place in québec. we have bought guns all of our lives. , -- i'mad punishment not talking about abuse. i am talking about any child who is rebellious. one at a not had -- gun at anybody, -- pointed a gun at anybody, they would not have been in trouble. .ost: thomas, north carolina marine i am a retired