tv U.S. Senate CSPAN March 7, 2013 12:00pm-5:00pm EST
couldn't kill more. their next weapon of choice is not going to be a hijacked airplane, i fear. it's going to be some nuclear technology or chemical weapon, a weapon of mass destruction. that's why we have to be on our guard. and when you capture someone who's associated with al qaeda, the best thing is to hold them for interrogation purposes, because we found bin laden not through torture, my friend. we found bin laden through a decade of putting the puzzle together. and senator durbin, senator mccain, both of you were i think effective advocates that we have to live within our values and when we capture somebody we're going to hold them under the law of war, we're going to exploit intelligence but we're going to do it within the laws that we've signed up to like the geneva convention, the convention against torture. so to my friends on this side of the aisle -- mr. durbin: would the senator yield for a question?
mr. graham: absolutely. mr. durbin: to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle it was 12 hours ago i was standing here, a lonely voice among others who were discussing this issue bringing up the points that you raise. the first is the drone is a weapon. there are many weapons that can deliver lethal force. we should view this as an issue of lethal force, not an issue of drones per se, although it may raise some particular questions and application. it is largely a question of lethal force. the second question has been raised by the senator from -- both senators. what if the fourth airplane had not been brought down by the passengers? what if that plane were headed for this capitol building and all other planes had been landed across america under orders of our government and we knew this plane was the fourth plane in control of the terrorists? what authority did president bush have as commander in chief at that moment? i don't think anyone would question, he had the authority
to use lethal force to stop the terrorists from using that plane as a fourth weapon against the united states. and i don't think -- there was no debate last night about that particular point. this notion -- and i'm glad this point has been raised -- that we are somehow going to use drones to kill people sipping coffee in cafes is ludicrous. it is absurd. it goes beyond the obvious. we need those people. bringing those people into our control gives us more information and secondly, i mean for goodness' sakes, the collateral damage of something that brutish would be awful. so i thank you for putting it in perspective. i think that attorney general holder could have been more artful in his language yesterday but at the end of the day even senator cruz acknowledged he said it would be unconstitutional to use this kind of lethal force if there wasn't an imminent threat pending against the united states. mr. mccain: an imminent
threat. we may have to do a little better job of defining that, but say imminent threat, would then translate into killing somebody in a cafe is -- is not a mature debate or discussion. mr. graham: if i could add, let me tell you about imminent threat in military law. in iraq, you had disabled terrorists, insurgents, and there was a big debate in the marine corps because under military law when a lawful combatant, a person in uniform, has been disabled, and it doesn't present an imminent threat, you don't have the ability to shoot them. okay. the terrorists in iraq put i.e.d.'s on wounded belligerents, unlawful enemy combatants so the marine corps
wrestled very long and hard with the rules of engagement. if you saw somebody, come upon somebody who was wounded who apparently was disabled, under what circumstances could you use lethal force because they may be booby-trapped? to the marine corps' credit, they came up with a balance between who we are, we just don't shoot even our enemies who are helpless and wounded and the ability for force protection. here's what i would say about the circumstance in question. the process of determining who an enemy combatant is has always been a military process. it's not a congressional debate. our committees do not get a list of names and we make a vote on whether or not we think they're an enemy combatant. courts don't have trials over who an enemy combatant is. if there's a question about enemy combatant status under the geneva convention you're entitled to a single hearing officer and that's all. in world war ii, there were a lot of people captured in german uniform who claimed they were
made to wear the uniform by the germans, and all of them had a hearing on the battlefield by a single officer. it has been long held in military law that as a military decision, not a judicial decision or legislative decision to determine the enemy of the nation. so president obama has really taken this far beyond what was envisioned. this administration has a very elaborate process to determine who should be determined to be an enemy combatant. i think it's thorough, i think it has many checks and balances and as much as i disagree with this president on many issues, i would never dream of taking that right away from him because he is the same person, the commander in chief, whoever he or she may be in the future, that we give the authority to order american citizens in battle where they may die. he has the authority to pick up a phone, senator mccain, and say you will launch today. and you may not come back.
i can't imagine a congress who is okay with the authority to order an american citizen in battle, we don't want to take that away from him, i hope, this uncomfortable with the same person determining who the enemy we face may be. as to american citizens, here's the law. if you collaborate with al qaeda or their affiliates, and you're engaged in helping the enemy, you're subject to being captured or killed under the law of war. what is an imminent threat? the day that you associate yourself with al qaeda and become part of their team, everywhere you go and everything you do presents a threat to the country. so why do we shoot people walking down a road in pakistan? they don't have a weapon, there's no military person in front of them that's threatened. the logic is that once you join
al qaeda, you're a de facto imminent threat because the organization you're supporting is a threat. so for someone to suggest we got to let them walk down the road, go pick up a gun and head toward our soldiers before you can shoot them is not very healthy for the soldier they're trying to kill and it would be a total distortion of law as it exists. back here at home, and i'll conclude. mr. durbin: if the senator would allow one last comment and i thank you for the statement on the floor from both of my colleagues. the judiciary committee subcommittee on constitution is going to have a hearing, already scheduled, on this issue of drones. and there are legitimate questions to be raised and answered. and i might add that my conversations with the president, he welcomes this. he has invited us to come up with a legal architecture to make certain it is consistent with existing precedent in military law and other court cases as well as our constitution. and i think that is a healthy environment for to us have this hearing and invite all points of
view and try to come up with a reasonable conclusion. mr. graham: i could not welcome that more. it worked with the military commissions act, i just think it's the right way to go. mr. durbin: if i can make one unanimous consent request before i leave. madam president, i have eight unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during the session of the senate with the approval of the majority and minority leaders, i ask unanimous consent these requests be agreed to and printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: madam president, i think that concludes our discussion, but i would agree with the senator from illinois and my colleague from south carolina, we need hearings, we need to discuss how we conduct this -- the united states in what appears to be for all intents and purposes an interminable conflict we are in and we have to adjust to it. but that conversation should not be talking about drones killing jane fonda and people in cafes.
it should be all about what authority and what checks and balances should exist in order to make it a most effective ability to combat an enemy that we know will be with us for a long time. mr. graham: if i could have two minutes to wrap up, i will. to my fellow citizens, the chance of you being killed by a drone because you go to a tea party rally or move on.org rally or any other political rally or you're just chatting on the internet, quietly at home, by your government, through the use of a drone, is zero. under this administration and future administrations. and if that day ever happened, the president of the united states or whoever ordered such attack would have committed murder and would be tried. i don't worry about that.
here's what i worry about. that al qaeda, who has killed 2,958 of us, is going to add to the total if we let our guard down. and i will do everything in my power to protect this president, who i disagree with a lot, and future presidents, from having an ill-informed congress take over the legitimate authority under the constitution and the laws of this land to be the commander in chief on behalf of all of us, as to any american citizen thinking about joining up with al qaeda at home or abroad, you better think twice because here's what's going to come your way. if we can capture you, we will. you will be interrogated, you will go before a federal judge, and one day you will go before a
court. and you will have a lot of legal rights, but if you're found guilty, he would be unto you. -- woe be unto you. and here's another possibility. if you join with these thugs and these nuts to attack your homeland, and if we have no ability to capture you, we will kill you. and we will do it because you made us. and the process of determining whether or not you have joined al qaeda is not going to be some federal court trial, it's not going to be a committee meeting in the congress because if we put those conditions on our ability to defend ourselves we cannot act in real time. bottom line, ladies and gentlemen, i think we're at war. i think we're at war with an enemy who would kill us all if we could and every war america
has been in, we've recognized the difference between fighting crime and fighting a war. and if you believe as i do, we're at war, those who aid our enemies are not going to be treated as if they robbed a liquor story. they're going to be treated as the military threat they are. mr. mccain: madam president, i thank my colleagues and i also thank the senator from illinois for his engagement and in closing i'd like to congratulate my friend from south carolina for his really best behavior last night at dinner. he was on his best manners and everyone was very impressed. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. udall: i rise today in support of the nomination of john brennan to be the neglect director of the central intelligence agency. he earned a bipartisan vote of 12-3 in the intelligence committee on which i serve. he's clearly qualified to lead
the cie and -- c.i.a. and deserve that bipartisan vote in committee and he deserves full confirmation by the full senate today. madam president, i say that in spite of the difficulties my colleagues and i encountered in extracting information and commitments throughout the confirmation process. our concerns were less about john brennan himself and more about the role that the next c.i.a. director needs to play. and we believe that the information and the commitments we finally secured from him and from the white house are extraordinarily relevant to the role of any c.i.a. director. alongside several of my colleagues in both parties, i fought to enhance transparency and preserve our system of checks and balances. the american people have the expectation that their government is upholding the principles of oversight and accountability. consistent with our national security, the presumption of
transparency should be the rule, not the exception. our government should make as much information available to the american public as possible, while also protecting our national security. we have seen during previous administrations the problems that can arise when even the intelligence committees are left out of the loophole -- the loop. the presiding officer served in the house alongside me many years, knows of what i'm talking. wireless tapping, extraordinary detention and torture. ben frankly put -- ben franklin put it well when he said those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither. congressional oversight is critical to ensure that we sacrifice neither as we pursue a smart but tough national security strategy especially in this age of new forms of warfare which my friend from south carolina, my friend from arizona and others were just discussing. this was true over the past several months as i joined
senator wyden and others in pushing hard for access to the legal justification used by the executive branch to lethally target americans using drones. the fact that we've had to push so hard, madam president, i'm sorry to say no doubt has eroded our government's credibility with the american people. but it also gave us an opportunity and give gives us an opportunity and a good reason to maintain and strengthen our system of checks and balances. i'm pleased the administration met our request and is giving members of the intelligence committee access to legal opinions on targeting american citizens. this is an important first step, but there is more to be done for this congress to understand the limits of the drone program. madam president, in addition, our government has an obligation to the american people to face its mistakes transparently, help the public understand the nature of those mistakes and then correct them.
in this regard, the next director of the c.i.a. has an important task. the specific mistakes i am referring to are outlined in the intelligence committee's 6,000-page report on the c.i.a.'s deeply flawed detention and interrogation program. acknowledging the flaws of this program is essential for the c.i.a.'s long-term institutional integrity as well as for the legitimacy of ongoing sensitive programs. i know the presiding officer will take a keen interest in this as she is a strong supporter of civil liberties and protecting our freedoms, and that's why i will hold mr. brennan to the promise he made to me this confirmation hearing, and that is to correct inaccurate information in the public record on the c.i.a.'s detention and interrogation program, and that's why i will continue to urge him to assure that the senate intelligence committee's report on this flawed program is declassified and made public.
in the committee's confirmation hearing, mr. brennan promised to be an advocate of ensuring the committee has what it needs to perform its oversight functions. i believe mr. brennan wants to be that advocate. that's why i am prepared to vote for him. i look forward to working with him and the administration with my goal of protecting our national security while also safeguarding americans' constitutional freedoms and determining the limits of executive branch powers in this new age of warfare. madam president, i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: i ask unanimous consent to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cardin: madam president, i come to the floor to note a sad anniversary. friday, march 1, marked the sixth year since the freak death of the 12-year-old maryland child named did a monte driver. -- damonte driver.
i have spoken about him many times since his passing which happened just weeks after i came to the united states senate. the death of any child is tragic. damonte was even more so because it was entirely preventable. he died from an untreated tooth decay. it started with an infected tooth. damonte began to complain about headaches in early january, 2007. by the time he was evacuated at children's hospital's emergency room, the infection had spread to his brain and after multiple surgeries and lengthy hospital stay, he passed away. the principal at damonte's school, gina james, remarked everyone here was shocked. they couldn't understand how he could have a tooth ache and then die. we sometimes give the little kids a candy as a reward. well, for a while, they stopped taking it because they would say if i get a cavity, will i die? because damonte did not get a tooth extraction that would have
cost $80, he was subjected to extensive brain surgery that eventually cost more than a quarter of a million dollars. this is more than 3,000 times the cost of an extraction. after deamonte's death, more americans began to recognize the link between dental care and overall health that medical researchers have known for years. former surgeon general c. everett koop once said there is no help without oral help. the story of the driver family has brought dr. koop's lesson home in a painful way. medical researchers have discovered the important linkage between plaque and heart stees, that chewing stimulates brain cell growth and that gum disease can signal diabetes, liver ailments or hormonal imbalances. they have also discovered that oral disease is far more prevalent than you might imagine. in fact, dental deday is the most common chronic childhood disease in the united states. dental disease affects one in five children ages 2-4 and more
than half of all children have dental disease by the time they reach the second grade. by the age of 17, approximately 80% of young people have had a dental cavity. children living in poverty are twice as likely to suffer tooth decay as middle and upper income children, and nearly 40% of black children have untreated tooth decay in their permanent teeth. this has serious implications in their overall health. these problems carry over to adulthood. improper oral hygiene can increase an adult's risk of having low birthweight babies, developing heart disease or suffering from a stroke. these are sombering statistics, but here is good news. dental decay is a dynamic disease process and not a static problem. before a cavity is formed in a tooth and it carries infection can actually be reversed. that means we can prevent tooth decay as long as the dental care is made available and good oral
hygiene practices are used. deamonte's story was told around the world, but nowhere did it hit harder than my home state of maryland. i am proud of how the maryland congressional delegation, dr. martin o'malley and the maryland general assembly have responded to the needs for better access to oral health. in 2010 and 2011, the pew center of the states made maryland a national leader in improving dental access for low-income marylanders. we were the only state to meet seven of pew's eight dental policy benchmarks, and we ranked first in the nation for oral health. c.m.s. has also invited our state officials to share their story at its national quality conference in august, 2011, and placed maryland's achievement in the best practices guide. i will mention some of what maryland has accomplished. in 2010, our state secured $1.2 million in federal funds to develop a statewide oral health literacy campaign called healthy teeth, healthy kids. more than 368,000 children and
adults in medicaid received dental care in 2011. 82,000 more than 2010. created by the robert t. freeman dental society and funded in part by the state, the deamonte driver mobile dental van project provided diagnostic and preventative services for over 1,000 prince george's county children who live in neighborhoods where otherwise care would have been unavailable to them. the kaiser family foundation awarded 200,000-dollar grant to the american dental action coalition that funded a dental screening program at a school-based health center in prince george's county. i am also very proud of what congress has done. in the chip reauthorization act passed a few months after deamonte's death, we established a guaranteed oral benefit for children. with the leadership of senators baucus, grassley, rockefeller and collins and former senator bingaman, we created grants to states to improve oral health education and treatment programs. we also addressed one of the problems that deamonte's mother faced in trying to get care for
him, a lack of readily available information about accessible providers. for a variety of reasons, it's difficult for medicaid and chip enrollees to find dental care. and working parents whose children qualify for those programs are likely to be employed at jobs where they can't spend two hours a day on the phone to find a provider. so h.h.s. must include in its insure kids now web site a list of participating dentists and benefit information for all 50 states and the district of columbia. then in 2010, we passed the affordable care act which was a landmark provision to improve oral health. the a.c.a. funds and encourages a number of oral preventative activities. first it directs c.d.c. to establish five-year national oral health education campaign. this campaign is required to use science-based strategy and to target children, pregnant women, parents, the elderly, individuals with disability and ethnic and racial minority populations, including native americans.
the affordable care act also creates demonstration grants to study the effectiveness of research-based oral health programs which will be used to inform the public education. the health care law expands an existing school-based dental salient program to each of the 50 states and the territories and to indian tribes, tribal organizations and urban indian organizations. the affordable care act also authorizes h.h.s. to make grants to dental schools, hospitals and nonprofits to participate in dental programs, training programs. the law authorizes and requires a number of public health initiatives that should improve access to oral health care, including $11 billion five-year endangered species tiff that funds construction, capital improvements and service expansions at the community health centers where so many oral health services are provided. but perhaps the most important provision is the requirement that health plans cover a set of essential health benefits that
includes pediatric dental care. beginning january 1, 2014, the law says that oral health care for children must be part of the essential health benefit package that is offered under the new health insurance exchanges and in the small group and individual insurance markets that exist outside the exchanges. madam president, when the a.c.a. was passed nearly three years ago, i had great hope that in a few years i could stand here on the senate floor and celebrate all the progress we have made in bringing affordable dental care to every child in this nation. i had hoped that this would be a day to talk about what a difference congress has made in oral health of american children. we celebrated that section of the law because it meant that once and for all, oral health would be available to all american children. it gave me and many of us hope that we would be able to get every child basic dental care and begin to erase the dental disease that still affects millions of american children. now, however, the affordability
of that benefit is at risk. the a.c.a. includes finance committee provision that allows a stand-alone dental plan to exist in the market. in a colloquy on september 26, 2011, senators baucus, stabenow and big a man engaged in a colloquy that clarified the intent of the law in allowing stand-alone dental plan was not to create separate standards but to ensure competition in the assurance -- in the insurance exchanges and allow choice in the marketplace. later i joined ten of my colleagues in writing to h.h.s. secretary sebelius urging her to ensure that all children who receive their dental coverage through a stand-alone dental plan should have the same level of consumer protection and cost sharing as those who get coverage through a plan that offers an integrative benefit. in other words, one set of deductions. that's what we intended. last week, h.h.s. published a final rule on the benefits that created a separate out-of-pocket limit for stand-alone dental plans, but only specifies that the limit be reasonable. there are two huge problems with
this approach. first, an additional out-of-pocket limit will make that -- the benefit far less affordable to many families. it was not what congress intended. the whole point of adding pediatric dental benefits to the essential health benefit package was to make sure -- certain that oral health not be considered separate from overall health. we have been here before. this is -- this approach is similar to policies that were set decades ago for mental health services. separate policies to cover mental health treatment, separate limits on coverage and separate co-pays. mental health was treated as second-class health care. we know now that this was an injustice, it was wrong to treat those services and patients who use them as second class. many of my colleagues were here in congress when we fought the waltz for mental -- battles for mental health parity. it was a difficult battle but we won it. it seems to me this is what we are now doing with dental care. rather than treating it as part of the essential benefit
package, which was our intent under the affordable care act. section 1402-b of the law also establishes an out-of-pocket limit for all families and lowers that limit for families with incomes under 400% of the federal poverty level. by creating a separate limit, h.h.s. is reducing the number of families who will be able to afford dental care for their children. second, the rule has left the determines of what is reasonable out-of-pocket limit to each state. with pressure from insurance companies, a state could decide to provide an out-of-pocket limit of $1,000 or more per child which could more than double the out-of-pocket costs for families with five children. in a federally run exchanges, h.h.s. has the authority to set reasonable out-of-pocket limits. last thursday, in a finance committee hearing, i asked john bloom, the c.m.s. deputy administrator, about the idea of segregating dental benefits from health benefits and increased cost sharing. this is what he said, and i quote -- "well, i think one of the lessons that we learned with the medicare program is that
when the care is siloed, our benefits aren't fully integrated, that can lead -- that often leads to worse dental health care consequences. i can pledge to get back to you with direct answers to your questions, but i do agree with your general principle that when we -- when benefit design is broken up and care is not coordinated, that it can often lead to bad quality of care." i agree completely with mr. bloom. later that day, i spoke to c.m.s. acting administrator marilyn traver. i asked her to take into account the affordability of a plan that had a separate high cost sharing, and she agreed to consider my views. less than 24 hours later, c.m.s. released a proposed guideline to ensure setting a maximum out-of-pocket limit of $1,000. when i contacted h.h.s. to ask whether this was a per-family or per-child limit, the expert in charge of the rule was unable to tell me. they didn't know whether this meant an extra cost of $1,000 or
$5,000 for a family with five children. this tells me that the affordability of care was a secondary consideration when the final rule was written. madam president, there are still millions of american children without coverage for dental care. if we were to make real progress in improving the health of americans, we cannot afford to continue giving oral health care second-class treatment. the question is now whether the guidance to plans will go forward, how that will be interpreted and how that will be structured. it's contrary to congressional intent and contrary to the best interests of americans to allow the proposed rule to stand. on the sixth anniversary of the death of deamonte driver, let us pledge to do better for our children. madam president, i would ask consent that my entire statement be included in the record and that a copy of the colloquy between senators big a man, stabenow and baucus also be included following my -- my statement. the presiding officer: without
objection. mr. cardin: and with that, i would yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands in recess until 2:00 p.m. vote on the nomination. kentucky senator rand paul filibustered the nomination taking it to the senate floor for almost 13 hours in opposition to the use of drone strikes american citizens.
they talked about the filibuster during the opening remarks this morning. >> my republican colleagues love to extol the virtues, as we can get to the days of regular order will function again. we saw both sides of that. on the one hand we did practice regular order. on the other they didn't. let's take the one they didn't. they demanded a 60-year-old threshold for confirmation of a qualified nominee. and republicans once again hid behind a cloture vote of filibuster by another term for a simple up or down vote on this important nomination and took the easy way out. one republican senator did return to regular order. he spoke for as long as he was
able to speak. that is a filibuster. after 12 hours standing and talking senator paul ended his filibuster, quote, i would go for another 12 hours to break strom thurmond africa but i have discovered there are some limits to filibustering and i have to take care of one of those in a few minutes here. and i have been involved in a few years, what have learned from filibusters' is this. to succeed you need strong convictions but also a strong bladder. it is obvious senator paul has both. >> yesterday the junior senator from kentucky took to the senate floor to exercise his rights as an individual senator in pursuit of an answer from the attorney general concerning the rights of u.s. citizens. the filibuster was extended,
heartfelt and important and i wish to say a few words in reaction to that effort. and as well on the nomination of john brennan to the director of the central intelligence agency. the question he raised was entirely appropriate and should already have been answered by the obama administration. i wish to state for the record and to correct any misimpression that yesterday's long debate was a criticism of the senate's oversight of our nation's intelligence activities. in fact the senate select committee on intelligence is responsible for conducting a vigorous oversight of our nation's intelligence activities and i want to make clear that they were not the subject of last night's debate. members of that committee conduct the oversight and responsible manner and selflessly served the rest of the senate in that capacity. let me assure the senate the
activities of the intelligence community are closely monitored and overseen by the intelligence committee to include all counterterrorism activities. was recently the committee has conducted a serious and much needed inquiry into the terrorist attack on the temporary mission facility in benghazi, libya, and conducted a thorough review of john brennan's nomination to the director of the central intelligence agency. thanks to the leadership of chairman feinstein and vice chairman chambliss the committee has made significant progress reviewing mr. brennan's record, the intelligence related to the terrorist threat in libya and in reviewing the administration's legal opinions concerning some overseas activity. second, in reviewing mr. brennan's nomination senator paul asked a series of questions of the executive branch. senator paul has a right to ask
questions of the administration and the administration has a responsibility to answer in keeping with the rules established for oversight of intelligence activities and protecting sensitive information. the specific question is not an intelligence related question but a straightforward legal question. does the president have the authority to order the use of lethal force against the united states citizen who is not a combatant, on u.s. soil, without due process of the law? to his credit, john brennan directly answered the question, motivating senator paul's filibuster. the central intelligence agency does not conduct weasel operations inside the united states, nor does it have the authority to do so. what is befuddling is why the attorney general has not directly and clearly answered the question.
united states military no more have a right to kill u.s. citizen on u.s. oil is not a combatant with an armed aerial vehicle than it does with an m-16. there's no reason we cannot get this question answered today and we should get the question answered today. frankly it should have been answered along time ago. during senator paul's filibuster i noted i cannot support john brennan's confirmation. during january of 2009, the president issued a series of executive orders which in my judgment weakened the ability to show the intelligence community's ability to find, capture, detain or interrogate terrorists. as president obama's senior advisor mr. brennan has been a fierce defender of the
administration's approach to counter terrorism as articulated by the executive orders i just referred to. he has been up loyal, dogged defender of the administration's policies, policies with which i seriously disagree. my greatest concern is the director of central intelligence must be an entirely, must be entirely independent of partisan politics in developing objective analysis and advice which he gives to the president. after four years of working within the white house confronting difficult policy matters on a daily basis and having attempted to defend the administration's policies sometimes publicly, sometimes to the media and occasionally to the united states senate, i question whether mr. brennan can detach himself from those experiences. for that reason i will oppose his nomination. >> those remarks on the floor earlier today, senators will be back at 2:00 eastern to continue
consideration of the brennan nomination. you can see the senate live on c-span2 when members return. homeland security secretary judge andrew napolitano will appear on the hill for a joint hearing on cybersecurity. the senate, science and transportation and homeland security and government affairs committee are holding hearings. it will be live at 2:30 eastern on c-span. >> original peoples, navy seals, the alamo, our environment, journalism, panels and discussions from this year's tucson festival of books this weekend on booktv starting saturday at noon eastern, with the photography of edward curtis and 4:30 katherine power's and barbara or a list of what animal contagious about health and healing, and sunday, live starting at 1:00 eastern, afghanistan, followed at 2:30 by erik larsen on social security.
panels and daughters of the tucson festival of books, part of booktv live this weekend on c-span2. >> british foreign secretary william hague told members of the house of commons the u.k. government defense armored vehicles and protected bodysuits for the syrian opposition forces. secretary hague announced a $13 billion package of logistical and humanitarian support to syria. to stay comes one week after meeting with syrian opposition leaders. secretary of state john kerry and others leaders in rome. after his statement before secretary took questions from the opposition and other members in the house of commons. >> statements, the secretary of state, foreign and commonwealth affairs. secretary william hague. >> with permission of will make
a statement on the crisis in syria. the time has come to announced to the house necessary development in our policy and readiness to develop it further if the bloodshed continues. two years after it began the conflict has reached catastrophic proportions. 10,000 people have died since early january. that means more people have died in the first two months of this year than in the whole of the first year of the conflict. the total estimate death toll is now over 70,000 people. the regime has used missiles against civilian areas and the un commission of inquiry has found evidence of grave human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity including massacres, torture, summary executions and the systematic policy of rape and sexual violence by the force's militia. your ago, million people needed humanitarian aid inside syria.
that figure is now to four million people, out of the total population of twenty-one million. 40,000 people are fleeing syria at each week, three quarters of them women and children. the number of refugees has increased 30fold over the last weekend months and today the sad milestone of 1 million refugees has been reached. the population of love and on which i visited two weeks ago has risen by 10% from the influx. this is the desperate situation of increasingly extreme humanitarian suffering. there is no sign that the assad regime intends to enter into a genuine political process. they appear to believe they can defeat their opponents militarily and they count on being shielded by some countries of the united nations security council. it will be necessary to turn each of these calculation on its head as the conflict comes to a peaceful end. securing a diplomatic
breakthrough remains of course our objective. last week that discussed syria with secretary of state john kerry in london and other close partners in a core group meeting of the friends of the syrian people in rome. i also met the syrian national coalition president and welcomed his announcement of the national coalition opened to direct talks to members of the assad regime. we continue to develop common ground with russia. i have talks with deputy foreign minister bob downie later this afternoon and next week with foreign minister in london. at an end of january the un and terribly special representative to serious set out a credible plan for the establishment of transitional authority in syria. we are working with allies to achieve if at all possible security backing for a transitional process and i am meeting mr. brahimi is acting in the diplomacy is taking too
long and the prospect of a breakthrough is limb. each instance of violence in syria needs a larger debts, larger numbers of refugees and bloodier confrontations. we cannot stand still in the face of this reality. our policy has to move toward more active efforts to present a loss of life in syria and this means stepping up support to the operation and increasing pressure on the regime to accept a political solution. what we face is not a choice between diplomacy on the one hand and practical assistance on the other. helping the opposition is crucial to bringing about a political transition and saving lives and both must be pursued together. we will always be careful in how we develop our policy but our readiness to develop this service should be unmistakable particular relief for the assad regime. what happens in syria is vital for our national interest, the first is the growth of
extremism, we should never forget the vast majority of people opposing the regime are ordinary people trying to defend their communities and gain freedom for their country but syria today has become a destination for jihadists anywhere in the world and we are already seeing a rise in sectarian violence and attacks using improvised explosive devices including car bombs. we cannot allow syria to become another breeding ground for terrorists who pose a threat to our national security. second, the crisis is undermining the peace of the region. on top of the refugee crisis there have been reports of clashes on the iraqi border and in lebanon. we are increasingly concerned about the regime's willingness to use chemical weapons. we have warned the assad regime that this would lead to serious response from the international community. those who order the use of chemical weapons and those who use them will be held to account. there is critical information that iraq is providing considerable military support to
the regime through its revolutionary guard including personnel, equipment, weapons and direct financial assistance. third, we and our allies must be prepared to respond to situations of extreme humanitarian distress. our foreign policy is inseparable from holding human rights, protecting lives and supporting international law. we must assist genuine moderate and democratic caucuses in syria who are in dire need of help and to feel abandoned by the international community. the longer this conflict goes on, the more human suffering, persecution of minorities, radicalization and sectarian conflict there will be. despite these three compelling arguments there will still be those who say britain should have nothing to do with syria but we cannot look the other way while international law and human rights are flouted. we cannot step back from a crisis that could be -- destabilize the heart of the middle east and that would be the height of irresponsibility to ignore potential threat to our own security. so i want to explain to the
house today the next step in increasing our support of the syrian people and i emphasize they may well have to be further steps. we have contributed 1 forty million pounds in humanitarian aid so far. this is from food, clean drinking water, medical assistance, blankets and shelter for many tens of thousands of people. we are supporting the syrian national coalition's efforts to deliver aid inside syria and we will seek new ways to relieve the humanitarian crisis and expand access for aid across the country and preparing the health of future governments deal with the aftermath of a conflict. we have committed 9.4 million pounds so far in not lethal support to the syrian opposition, civil society and human-rights such as power generators and communications. we have trained 300 syrian journalists and activists and we are providing satellite communication devices to document human rights violations and abuses.
i informed the house in january we would seek to amend the european union's sanctions on syria to open the possibility of further assistance of the situation deteriorated. on thursday we finalize with european partners a specific exemption to the e.u. sanctions to permit the provision of non lethal military equipment and all forms of technical assistance to the syrian national coalition where is intended for the protection of civilians. this is an important advance in our ability to support the opposition and help save lives. first technical assistance can include assistance, advice on training on how men to maintain security in areas along her controlled by the regime and how to protect the billions and minimize risk to them and how to maintain security during a transition. we will now provide such assistance, advice and training. we intend to respond to the opposition's request to provide equipment and rescue operations
and incinerators and refuse collection kits to prevent the spread of disease. we held local council to access funds and equipment to repair electricity and water supplies to homes and we also respond to the opposition's request for further water purification kits and equipment to help civilian political leaders operate and communicate. we will also provide new types of non lethal equipment for the protection of civilians going beyond what we have given before. in conjunction with the national coalition we are identifying protective equipment which will be of assistance and likely to save most lives. i will keep the house updated but it will certainly include for instance armored 4 wheel drive vehicles to help opposition figures move around more freely as well as personal protection equipment including body armor. we will also be able to provide testing equipment for the opposition to enable evidencegathering in the horrific event of chemical weapons use and we will also
fund trading to help armed groups understand their responsibilities and obligations under international law and international human-rights standards. any human-rights violations or abuses are unacceptable on all sides. we have allocated three million pounds in something this month to support this work and additional ten million pounds thereafter from $20 million in nonlethal equipment and practical support to the syrian operation, civil society on top of $60 million just announced by the united states and we hope other countries will offer similar assistance. the cabinet is in no doubt that this is a necessary, proportional and lawful response to a situation of extreme humanitarian suffering and there is no practical alternative. all our assistance will be carefully calibrated and monitored as well as legal and we will be aimed at saving lives, alleviating their human catastrophe and supporting moderate groups. the process of amending the e.u.
sanctions regime was difficult and the decision came down to the wire. we persisted with it because we believe it is preferable to have a united e.u. approached. in our view as a political solution to the crisis in syria is not found in the conflict continues we and the rest of the european union will be ready to move forward and we should not rule out any options of saving lives. in case further necessary amendments to the e.u. sanctions prove impossible to agree we stand ready to take any domestic measures necessary to assure course sanctions in syria remain effective. this is a situation in syria where extreme humanitarian distress and growing danger to international peace and security must weigh increasingly heavy in the balance. with this crisis becoming one of major dimensions by any standards with millions of people on the move, tens of thousands dead, tens of thousands more in daily danger of their lives of losing their lives, the world's most volatile
region in growing tension and political deadlock for two years, our policy cannot be static, nor our position in different. the situation of growing gravity requires a steadily more active approach, learning of previous conflict and emphasizing the need for political and diplomatic resolution of the crisis but crucially also being prepared to use increased pressure to try to bring this about. we will continue to keep the house properly informed as we press an end to the conflict, provide life-saving assistance and work to assure that syria has political transition its people need and deserve and which they have now waited far too long to see achieved. >> mr. alexander. >> can i think the foreign secretary for his statement this morning. this month marks the second anniversary of the start of this brutal conflict, 2 years old as
the foreign secretary rightly pointed out to the house this afternoon, the death toll is now estimated at some 70,000 and is rising by the day. only today the united nations announced the numbers of refugees have reached 1 million. half of these refugees are children. more than 400,000 become refugees since the first of january of 2013 alone. seven thousand are reported to be fleeing every day. the united nations high commissioner for refugees today declared syriac is spiraling towards full-scale disaster. mr. speaker, as the number of casualties rise, frustrations have been growing and this frustration has understandably led to renewed calls for the international community to do more. the primary responsibility for this crisis rests with assad and his regime but does the foreign secretary think the strategic situation in syria also
represents abject failure on behalf of the international community and collective responsibility? it is right that efforts must intensify, but the key issue is the breadth of these efforts, how these efforts are channels, how likely they are to deliver results. the international community must coordinate and target its efforts. first, mr. speaker, on international diplomatic efforts, the united nations security council is more than frustrating, it is deplorable. the case must be made to russia and china that supporting or aiding assad not only harms syria but their own interests and standing in the wider region. the foreign secretary, what representations he will make to the foreign minister when he is in london next week, specifically on this issue and the prospects. secondly on sanctions, separate
rounds of sanctions against syria have already been greeted the usual present is not necessarily about new sanctions but effective enforcement of existing sanctions. given his recent visit, does the foreign secretary agree that more must be done to ensure countries fully comply with the existing sanctions to which they have already signed up? ..
>> in his comments an interview given last week, he claims he was ready to negotiate with anyone including militants who surrender their arms. neither of these offers have yet been accepted, north we make a judgment as to the spirit in which they were intended. can the foreign sector offered his assessment of whether or not constitute even a slight narrowing of the gap between the city and authorities and opposition forces? finally, mr. speaker, let me turn to the central issue of the support for the city and opposition announcement and the statement made today. which is right that you case at the forefront of coordinating international aid to those most in need both within and beyond the syrian borders and i welcome in announcements. beyond humanity assistance when it comes to our support for the city and opposition forces, it is right to but all of our support must continue to be targeted and accountable if it is to be effective.
so mr. speaker, the foreign secretary has said the government will move towards and i quote directly more active efforts to prevent the loss of life industry. it is right the international committee must increase their efforts but it is vital the parameters of these efforts are clearly set out to find and understood. indeed, on this issue before secretary's statement at times raise more questions than answers as to the real direction he is suggesting for british government policy. the foreign secretary has spoken of the amendments made to the eu arms embargo but i welcome the fact these changes were collectively agreed that eu foreign affairs council. those amendments were focused on the right to nonlethal equipment and technical assistance could be delivered to opposition forces. but mr. speaker, the work of the foreign office minister and the house on monday seem to add some confusion to an already complex issue. when addressing the house the minister said at a quote directly, this is not about
lifting an arms embargo. mr. speaker, he then went on to say but the recent amendment to the existing eu arms embargo that it was about ensuring that all options are on the table. and that eu countries have mac the flexibility to provide -- with all necessary assistance to protect civilians. mr. speaker, a thing given the statements which is understandable that currently there's some confusion or the government's position that requires further clarification. so can the foreign secretary today seem -- say more about the next steps interested in his statement? can you confirm whether or not the government will be phishing for an eu arms embargo to be lifted? can he also set out what, if any, further amendments to the embargo he will be calling for? the foreign secretary has admitted that when it comes to lifting the arms embargo, the risks of arms falling into the wrong hands and i quote directly, is one of the reasons we don't do it now. we agree with him that the risk
of this is indeed very fierce. so kenny therefore said unto the house what would have to change on the ground in syria for him to change his view as to the relative risk involved in such a strategy? does he accept the reality is that today's city is replete with arms and will he accept the very great difficulties involved in guaranteeing the end use of weapons, given a lack of clarity about the identity, the intent and, indeed, the tactics of some of the rebel forces? as he accept it is perfectly possible that if europe were indeed the west more generally were to decide on the rebels, that russia or iran would simply increase their provision of arms to the assad regime? mr. speaker, president pushing for the eu arms embargo to be relaxed, amended or lifted altogether, cannot urge the foreign secretary to direct his efforts towards getting the russians and chinese to agree to impose a u.n. mandated arms embargo?
is would undeniably be the most effective way of cutting off a key lifeline to the assad regime that they are currently relying upon. somewhat curiously the foreign secretary having crazy mentioned the fact al qaeda are known to be operating in syria, was silent on the issue of the remarks today. in light of potential increase uk support for the opposition forces, and the foreign secretary set out the british government assessments of the present level of this activity by al qaeda and related jihadists groups in syria? the foreign secretary spoke about this three national coalition, but can he give any assurances about the degree of authority and control exercised by the sec over the wide range of opposition forces operating on the ground? >> i am mildly alarmed by my site of a further full page of text from the right honorable gentleman but i know he will put my mind at rest when he tells me that, in fact, it relates to something entirely different and he is not intended to deal with it. >> one of my missions is always
to seek to put your mind at rest, mr. speaker, so i will endeavor -- so i will endeavor to keep my remarks the shortest possible. i indicated from listing to the foreign secretary's statement it would beg more questions your guy mindful of the speakers of you so let me conclude with the following remarks. i understand that frustrations are going on the government benches, but a strategy born of frustration is less likely to deliver than one based on clear thinking and strategic insight. surely the priority for britain should be to work to unify the syrian opposition, not to army. the continuing loss of life underlines the fact that syria needs to see a de-escalation and a political resolution. while the government have our support for its action to provide humanitarian and nonlethal assistance to syria announced today, it is far from clear that taking steps to intensify this conflict in the months ahead would do anything to reduce the present level of violence being suffered by the syrian people.
>> mr. speaker, the right honorable gentleman quickly draws attention as i have done to the extent of the human suffering. the fact the united nations has launched the largest ever appeal and financial services for humanity assistance, just underlines what catastrophic scale their suffering and we must all remember that is the background. decide what we have to do in that situation. he recommended something towards the end of his statement, some of which we have done, such as work to unify the syrian opposition but, of course, that's what we've done for many months, and they have been unified. and to the extent that that can be practically achieved, in the national coalition, and that is the group that we recognize as the legitimate representatives of the syrian people. and they may not be i don't suppose any opposition or any political grouping will be perfect in our eyes in this country or any other country.
but i don't believe that will be a better sense our greater success at unifying the syrian opposition than the national coalition. some other things that he was recommending i thought would be wonderful if they could be achieved, such as russian and chinese agreements to impose an arms embargo of the whole world on syria. of course, we would support that. but i have to say, and, of course, we'll go over all the ground with the russians again in the meetings that i said will take place this afternoon and next week. there is the prospect that i've seen of russia agreeing to such an arms embargo. and so it's a good thing to wish for, but in practical, diplomatic terms there is no possibility at the moment of that being achieved. and that is the background to the decisions that we have to take. there are many things that would be far preferable, that any
immediate agreement would be reached straight went on a negotiated political transition in syria. and, of course, he asked quite rightly about how serious are we should take the offers to negotiate. and i certainly believe having talked to president al-khatib of the national coalition last week that is offered not only was very sincere, he would love it to be taken up and that he really means that he will negotiate with members of the regime without prior insistence on the departure of trenton. -- assad. such as a "newsweek" an interview, the regime is ready to negotiate, something we've heard for two years and has never turned into actual substance. of course, we will discuss with mr. brahimi again this afternoon whether those statements can be used to bring both sides closer together. that's part of his job to try to do that. but as the evidence of the last
two years is that in current circumstances, offers to negotiate by the regime are not sincere and are not followed up and do not lead to the sort of progress that we all want to see. and so it is against that background of the diplomatic deadlock, political stalemate while tens of thousands of people die that i argue that we have to do what we can, yes come in a very cautious and considered way and a very clearly thought out way to try to change that situation and to try to save human lives as best we can, working of course at all times with our partners and allies, including those in the arab world. there is a meeting of aaron foreign ministers of the arab league today. and we will continue to use every diplomatic effort, but the situation i described and that he is described is not one of which our policy can remain
static. he's quite right to say the international community has been an abject failure collectively. the u.n. security council has not shouldered its responsibilities. we have tried many times put that right. our resolutions have been vetoed. we have been working in the last month since mr. brahimi's last briefing to the council to find a new common way forward in the security council. again we will discuss this with the russians again in the coming hours, but that common ground has not emerged in a month of discussions behind the scenes in new york. and so we all have to ask ourselves, given that situation, are we going to hold our policy completely static or are we going to show we are prepared to change as the situation deteriorates, reluctantly perhaps, cautiously at all times. and argue that we must be prepared to show that increased level of support for the opposition, and that it has to take practical form if we are to
exert any pressure on the regime and, indeed, on russia as well, to successfully negotiate about this. the parameters of what we are talking about i hope are clear he set out in a statement that a given because they are set out clearly in the amendment to the eu arms embargo. it is amended, not lifted. the arms embargo remains in place. these are the -- these are specific exemptions for the protection of civilians. i have just given some examples in my statement of what that means in practice. as to the future, the eu sanctions have now been rolled over with that amendment for three months. and so the will be a further discussion in a about the renewal of such sanctions. and the government will be able to form, the house, every member will be able to form their view of what we should do in whatever situation we have arrived at in may, about further amendments, if they are necessary to the
embargo. so i think the parameters are clear. the policy is clear, and one of want to make clear above all else today, its direction is clear, which is we must be prepared to do more in a situation of such slaughter and of such suffering. and that a policy, a more static policy would not measure up to the gravity of this situation. >> sir malcolm rifkind. >> while i welcome the tone of the foreign sector a speech and the specific measures that he is announced, i regret to say that i cannot see how any of them will have any series prospect of reducing the length of this conflict and preventing the massacre of tens of thousands of more syrians. will be foreign secretary except that until such time as the syrian opposition of the military equipment that will enable them to defeat the assad regime and thereby bring the
conflict to an end earlier than would otherwise be the case, we will see a continuation of tens of thousands of people being killed and the extremists in the opposition benefiting from that delay? what would that foreign secretary have to be persuaded of to accept that military support to the opposition in a controlled and responsible way is indeed necessary? >> well i think what i -- what i suspect most of the house would have to be persuaded of is that there was absolute no alternative remaining. and my right honorable friend has put the case, for a long time, for going much further than i have said today, for the actual arming of the opposition movements in syria by western countries. the difficulties of that are one, the shadow foreign secretary referred to, and also
of course we have to recognize that the conflict is already militarized in syria. opposition groups do have access to substantial quantities of weapons, and those weapons already inside -- already inside syria. there is such a flow of weapons. so i think it is right for the development of our policy to be graduated, for us to shore readiness to deliver increased assistance, the willingness of european countries and the united states to amend our policy as the situation continues to deteriorate your but we have to do that in a way that welcome in general support we have to do it in a way that poses the least danger to the increased militarization of the conflict. and that's what i think this is the right balance to strike, rather than to move to the position my right honorable friend has consistently advocated. >> mr. jack straw. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
would be foreign secretary say that it's a fair summary of the position we have reached is that we are now providing every kind of assistance to the military forces of the opposition, short of explosives, guns and bullets that actually do the killing? and i have no objection to that. i think it's essential, but will he also acknowledged that in my judgment is right not to rule out the option of direct lethal military supplies, the strategic diplomatic consequences of any such decision, and the degrees to which we frankly get bogged down in a kind of cold war, proxy war in a situation, really needs to be thought through very carefully indeed before we make a positive decision? >> yes, i very much agree with the right honorable gentleman. he accurately characterizes the
position, although he is perhaps putting a two-story saying we provide every kind of -- we have providing the assistance i've said that. we will provide other assistance of that nature that is for the protection of civilians. that is an important requirement in the exemption to the eu -- to the eu arms embargo. we will interpret it exactly. it has to be for the protection of civilians. he went a bit too far in his characterization of the position. but he is right of course for the reasons i was just speaking about a moment ago. it would be a further and it would be a bigger step to say we are sending lethal equipment. we have taken no decision to do that, and with no current plan to do that. but it is necessary of course to be clear that in a situation of this gravity, and of the possible implications of the piece of all region, we can't rule out option. we can't definitely rule it out, and that was the thrust of this
question. >> [inaudible] >> my right honorable friend is a compelling analysis of the deteriorating situation in syria, and the measures he announced is not only accepted but welcomed by the house. but as we approach the 10th anniversary of the mistaken military action against saddam hussein, does he understand that many of us in the house who are concerned lest we might drift towards something which could be described as military intervention? >> well, i'm grateful to my right honorable friend forcing the measures i've announced should be welcomed by the house. and, of course, welcome that support. and yes, i absolutely understand that after more than a decade of conflict, in different ways, people are always anxious about new conflict. that doesn't mean, however, we
can stick our heads in the sand and ignore new conflicts that have arisen in the world that can affect us for all the reasons that i have described. it does mean that our response to them has to be very intelligent, has to be very well calculated. and i think we can say quite clearly, answering the heart of this question, that no western government is advocating military intervention, military intervention of western nations. or in the nation's, in the conflict in syria. that discussion is entirely focused on the degree of assistance that can and should be delivered to the opposition in such a. that is what the discussion is centered on, rather than on an external military intervention. >> [inaudible] >> but will the foreign secretary except for the logical next step up and strategy has to be pursuing for six months, if not more, is to arm the
opposition? that's the logical position he is in. and i think it's profoundly mistaken. these eloquently carried the whole house every time his made a statement these last six months, the horrors, the deterioration, the barbarity of the evil assad regime. but actually it is his strategy which is wrong. just going for regime change in what is a civil war, with shia-sunni conflict there, with a reincarnation of the cold war as well, it's not going to ever achieve its objective. what he should be doing is just come instead of just promoting the opposition's call for negotiations, you should test the intends willingness to negotiate, expressed over the weekend to test it to destruction, and is not doing it. is pursuing a failed strategy, and it's making the situation worse spent well, the right honorable friend really doesn't help his case in a way that he described the government's position. and, of course, it very much
follows from what i've been saying an answer to the shadow foreign secretary, that we believe the apparent offer to negotiate with president assad must be tested and tested to destruction, absolutely. so we will survey data, and we will agree very strongly on that. but he has to think that if you're in government today that, in fact, that doesn't work and over the last two years it hasn't worked then what else do we do? and -- well, it hasn't been tried. it's been tried countless times. locked our brain has been to damascus countless times. times. kofi annan before and went to damascus countless times. -- lakhdar brahimi. they have never entered into a sincere or meaningful negotiation. that being the case, it is not adequate to watch slaughter ask you and say we will stick our heads in the sand about it. it is important to have a
foreign policy that relieves humanitarian suffering and uphold human rights. and i would've thought there was something the right honorable gentleman would always have been in favor of the. >> mr. richard ottaway. >> while i agree with the foreign secretary's position in a supply weapons to the rebels, it is perfectly clear that someone is supplying weapons to the rebels at present. and isn't the great challenge for say that fact will end up fighting against the shia backed militants, backed by iran, lebanon and iraq, sometime in the future? >> of course the increased sectarian nature of the conflict is one of our great concerns. that is the reason why we had to do everything we can, everything we can reason we do to shorten the conflict. because that will only get worse as this goes on. the conflict in syria is all really -- is already militarized.
but i fear the longer it goes on the war and will have a sectarian nature, and the more they will be the opportunity for extremists to take hold within and, therefore, giving our assistance to moderate forces and not to extremist forces is one of the ways in which we can try to shape the situation in a more sensible direction. >> [inaudible] >> what consideration, if any, has been given to the possibility of implementing a no-fly zone? >> well, a no-fly zone is something -- sometimes advocated, including at international meetings. but i think the greatest difficulty with a no-fly zone is that, of course, it is a response of a totally different nature. it is a military intervention. it is what we've been talking about and many honorable members have been warning against. it would require military force
externally on a very substantial scale. now common a good argument of principle can be made for that, and of relieving humanitarian suffering i do whatever is necessary, but the willingness of nations around the world to implement such a military intervention is limited, for understandable reasons. and, indeed, such a no-fly zone could be achieved in practice only with the full participation of the united states of america. so there are major practical difficulties. what we must not get into is saying that there are protected areas, that there are humanitarian corridors, and then not being able to protect people. it is a sad and tragic history of those things but and so we should only take the steps the honorable lady is talking about if the world of international
community were truly ready to bring that about. >> alec shelbrooke. >> thank you, mr. speaker. my right honorable friend, mr. speaker, is quite right to say so you can count on being shielded by some countries at the united nations. not least and we know that russia had the opportunity to bring about some sanctions early on the united nations security council. could ask my right honorable friend to start talking to his counterparts in the european union, and, indeed, in the united states as we try to say to the russians, if you don't want to take part in this, if you get on the ground, and if they refer the russians refuse to take the cause of action i would want to stand by and let tens of thousands of people be slaughtered, and we should work with our european partners and south american countries and say we're not going to come to your country to showcase your country in the world cup in 2016. >> 2020. >> right. i'll say to my honorable friend, we must put, use every art of
persuasion we know in our talks with our colleagues in russia and i assured him we do that. the shadow foreign secretary argued earlier that we must put the case to russia about the growth of extremism in syria and so on, and we do. i have lost count of the number of occasions that i and other western foreigners us up with the case for russian counterparts that everything that russia most fears in syria is more likely to come true the longer the conflict goes on. including the rise of international terrorism and instability in the whole region. they clearly have a different analysis. we haven't had any meeting of minds on that. i'm not a great fan of sporting sanctions. i have to say. and as a country the just host the olympics, we have a good, well-established position on a, but we will use every other art of persuasion in dealing with russia.
>> nigel dodds spent the assad regime has courted barbera's and has to go. but does the foreign secretary understand the concerns of many of our constituents who raise issues about atrocities and war crimes, al qaeda and the opposition side and the rule of al qaeda and to express concerns about support and help it will be going from good and proper reasons that have been set out in good faith end up helping people who are deeply hostile to western interests, and also equally guilty of some terrible crimes against humanity? >> yes, of course people are right to be concerned about any atrocities, or any opportunity for international terrorism to take hold in a new place. now, that is one of the reasons why we cannot just turn away from this crisis. but it's also why, this is a the number of this question, the assistance we give must be very carefully thought out and monitor.
and, of course, all the assistance i talked about him i talked about, albeit with and of talk about is nonlethal. we will monitor to the best of our ability its use, and if it were this user fell into the hands of groups that it was not, that we not intended it for, that would have a very cities impact on her willingness to provide any such further assistance in the future. but i do want to stress that while people of course read about and we're concerned about, the way i've described, the opportunity for extremists to take hold. the great majority of the people who are involved, even in the fighting in syria from what we can see and tell, and certainly the opposition leaders that i i need, by people who sincerely want a future for the country that is nothing to do with extremism and terrorism. and we must not leave those people feeling abandoned i the world. >> dr. julian lewis. >> unfortunately the record of moderates in standing up against
extremists in such situations isn't all that great. doesn't foreign secretary except that are sworn -- that are sworn enemies come al qaeda, are fighting on the side of the opposition, and that therefore, our concern is that if and when the appalling assad regime is overthrown as the government wishes, its chemical weapons stocks will fall into al qaeda's hands? what practical guarantee can the government give us that that will not happen? i asked this question on monday, it wasn't satisfied to enter, that's why i'm asking it again. >> well, no one, mr. speaker, can give any guarantees. this is why a political transition is needed against say. this is why what should happen is an orderly transition. because there are certainly there are in syria terrible weapons, chemical and biological weapons. that's what i think is important to be clear that there is no
military only solution to whatever once pointed you to the situation in syria. and so those chemical weapons our best safeguarded in a peaceful transition. that's why we have to keep up the argument for. but without giving additional assistance to the moderate elements of the opposition, if we were not to do that we would be reducing rather than enhancing the prospects for such an orderly transition. >> mr. mike gapes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. isn't the reality was that it would be more secure, more and our interests, to have a no-fly zone and to arm of the opposition? because we can keep control of the equipment in a no-fly zone. we can't if we handed over to jihadists groups. but isn't it also the reality that the united states administration and some neighboring countries, including turkey, are against a no-fly zone and, therefore, we are not
introducing it? >> well, to have a no-fly zone -- by the way, just to be clear, i'm not announced arming the opposition, so this is something different. this is an increasing the level of assistance we get to the opposition in nonlethal ache with the. i.t. is putting the case for an extra military intervention rather than movie to any policy in the future. of lethal equipment supporting lethal equipment knowing into three. it is a respectable case for that, but i made the point to his honorable friend earlier that to do that they would have to be the wilderness on a large part of international community, almost certainly including the united states to do that. they would have to be that willingness so that we were not making a false promise to people of safety. city is a country that continues to have strong air defenses with very modern equipment, and the implementation of a no-fly zone
would be a very large military undertaking your and so it's important that those who advocate that bear that in mind. >> sir gerald howarth. >> mr. speaker, however distressing the picture that was in a television of documenting situation, and it is indeed distressing, i have to tell my right honorable friend that i'm extreme the concern that the united kingdom's hand is being drawn ever closer into this mangle. i shall always concerned by my honorable friend who said, what confidence does the foreign secretary have in his belief that what he calls i think the modern and democratic forces can be assisted, and will therefore be in charge of a post-conflict syria? because it is not competent, then what we face with is more bloody jihadists. i hope my right honorable friend will completely rule out the use of britain's armed forces who are already greatly
overstretched. >> well, what i'm confident about, mr. speaker, i completely understand my honorable friend's concerns. is that giving support, giving the active support of the kind i have described to the moderate and democratic opposition is the best way to help ensure that they are the ones who are successful. their chances of success will be less in standing up to extremists. our honorable friend has pointed out that very often the modern forces who lose out to the extremes in the situation. their chances will be less the longer this goes on him and the list support they receive from outside. and so we have to make a choice about whether we are prepared to give that support it and i think it's the right choice of the united kingdom to increase the level of support for people who we would be prepared to see succeed. >> mr. tierney corbin. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the situation in syria -- jeremy
corbyn. >> at the end of every war, it requires a political solution of some sort. could he tell us what series negotiations are undertaken with saudi arabia and qatar, who are fundamentally the funders of the opposition forces in syria, and what series engagement is being with the government of iran, particularly on bringing about some kind of comprehensive piece negotiation and piece process? because without that there will be more suffering, more deaths and more difficult for everyone. >> well, he makes a fair point in that the regional powers were able to agree among themselves about the situation at about a solution, that would be an enormous step forward. just as if the five permanent members of the security council were able to agree among ourselves, it would be a vital step forward but it would be among regional powers as well. there have been such attempts.
and, in fact, through last autumn the egyptian government convened a group of egypt and saudi arabia and iran and turkey to consider the situation together and to see if they could come to an agreed way forward. i have to tell them that that the group did not come to an agreed way forward. that's not to say such a group can't be revived in future. with absolutely no problem with the group being assembled. it can be revived, but it didn't succeed and it didn't succeed because iran has not been prepared to come to an agreed way forward with other countries in the region. that doesn't mean it shouldn't be tried again. >> bob stewart. >> thank you, mr. speaker. in the civil war, foreign secretary, it seems there is a military stalemate between two sides who have military forces. under those circumstances, and considering each side, claims
that it wants to negotiate, is there any chance that we can put all our efforts into getting a cease-fire arranged so that in the cease-fire when the guns of stop and civilians stop being killed, we might actually be able to use politics to solve the situation? >> here, here. >> well done. >> this again is a very good thought, although again it has been tried. it should be tried again. of course, in any negotiated way, a cease-fire would be a very important element of the early part of such negotiations. my honorable friend may recall that last summer, the u.n. envoy, lakhdar brahimi, proposed a cease-fire to coincide with eid, and there was hope for a short time there weren't many elements but it broke down for a very short time. within days a cease-fire had completely broken down.
again, that doesn't mean that shouldn't be top of the agenda of negotiations. but as my honorable friend can gather, we don't have successful negotiations for the moment, much as though we will discuss that with esther bertini this afternoon. >> gisela stuart. >> could be foreign secretary tell us what discussions he has had with turkey, and also what turkey's attitude is towards easing of the arms embargo? >> turkey is very supportive of the change the european union has made in the arms embargo. and, indeed, turkey as a forward leaning approach, let's just say to this crisis. and the turkey foreign minister here, he when i was having i said today that quite a lot more, the need for greater international support to the national coalition. i will be meeting with him again tomorrow, here in london when it
comes to the friends of yemen meeting, but turkey is certainly very, very supportive of this announcement to the change of the eu policy. >> mr. bernard jenkin. >> i welcome my right honorable friend's statement. i know that he does not rule out any option, any specific answer to questions that he does not rule out military intervention. and while no country is yet advocating that, if syria is meant to be part of a primary interest in our national security strategy, are we equipped to deal with this crisis? and to what extent should he be talking to his opposite number, my right honorable friend, the defense secretary, about what contingency should be made and, indeed, what additional expenditure is required in order to give us the capacity to at least influence the security situation around this problem?
>> well of course, the defense secretary and i discuss the whole range of international affairs on an almost continuous basis to we make the decisions about how policy on syria and the national security council or in the cabinet. we discussed this yesterday at the cabin. the defense secretary and i are very much of the same mind and work closely together on all contingencies, noted events have planned for as my honorable friend knows, for a great range of contingencies. it's not helpful to speculate for ministers to speculate about those contingencies, and i stress as i made clear earlier that we are not calling for nor are we playing a military intervention. the discussion in international community is about the degree of support to the opposition inside syria, rather than an external intervention. so we will plan for all contingencies, but that is the context and the background to any military role in this cris
crisis. >> louise ellman. >> thank you, mr. speaker. what does the foreign secretary inc. is a likelihood of chemical weapons being used in syria, or for those weapons being moved to hezbollah in lebanon, destabilizing the wider reaching? >> we are as i said in my statement increasingly concerned about the regime's possible use, possible willingness to use chemical weapons. and we are always concerned, as are many of the other countries in the region about the transfer, any transfer of those weapons to other groups or to other countries in the region. and we send those strong messages that i gave in my statement, the president of the united states himself has given a similar strong message about the use of chemical weapons. and by anybody, including the syrian regime. i think it's very important for them to get that message that the world will be determined
that the individuals responsible are held to account if chemical weapons are used. >> mr. martin horwood. >> i strong support the foreign secretary's stand on this very difficult issue. and will they tell us this afternoon that with 1 million fled and as many as 100,000 dead, the searing catastrophe now stands in congress int congo the rwandan genocide which led the international committee to adopt responsible to protect doctrine in the first place and that russia should engage with the coalition forces or face the prospect of a jihad's regime, which neither we nor they would want to? >> basically i will tell him that, yes. absolute. this is part of the argument as i have said earlier, that russia is concerned, rightly concerned about international terrorism. russians have experience with that themselves, if this situation goes on for many more months or years, well then we're
going to see a much greater opening for such international terrorism. and it is indeed, it is becoming a human catastrophe of immense proportions. so my honorable friend can be confident that i will make this argument in a robust terms he would want me to to my russian counterpart. >> [inaudible] >> and i think the right honorable children for his advice copy of the statement, and i do welcome its emphasis in a statement on humanitarian aid. i'm sure we'd all agree that it's time now for all nations to focus on a nonviolent resolution if at all possible. clearly that is obvious, but yesterday israel said, threatened, agassi could counsel that it cannot stand idle as he puts it is the syrian civil war spills over onto its border. now, this is a very safe position and i'm sure that right honorable gentleman is aware of and we need to be doing
everything we can to avoid for the conflagration. >> absolutely. he is quite right that the danger of the spread regionally, the spread into other countries in different ways of the crisis is one of the reasons we cannot just watch it develop. we have to work out the best constructive approach, difficult though these choices are, to try to push this crisis in the right direction rather than let it drift in the wrong direction. any of the neighboring countries will take action if their borders are infringed, of course. we have agreed to the station of patriot missiles by nato in turkey. lebanon has been very concerned about clashes on its border. the jordanian and iraqi -- the jordanian border is a tense place, that is even before we consider the golan heights and the iraqi border as well. so the regional dimensions of
this is of increasing and serious concern, and that's one of the reasons for this package of policy changes and announcements that i've given today. >> edward leigh? >> may i strongly reject the neocon policies and ideas emanating from my right honorable friend from kensington? want to be gained by arsenic arms into this cauldron? have we forgotten the disaster policy of arming the rebels in afghanistan? have we forgotten the appalling atrocities being committed now by jihadi's against christians in syria? what's wrong with raising our policy on life and not death? >> well, my right honorable friend can be richard i've never considered myself to be a neocon, and don't use that, don't describe myself as bad as foreign secretary. our policy must be very carefully calibrated. and my right honorable friend draws attention to situations where, which have gone through
so wrong from a point of view of the international community. was also the got to bear in mind if we look at the western balkans in the 1990s, the sense of abandonment and the radicalization of muslims in many parts of the world, from a policy which for too long denied people any civility in the stream situation to protect themselves. sucking our policy, a policy that i have announced they're doing we can to protect civilian life is a necessary and proportionate response. >> geoffrey robinson. >> mr. speaker, the foreign secretary is well aware that there is no shortage of lethal weapons in syria at all. is very little case for our supplying any. indeed, putting it to them friendly, supplying armored four-wheel drive vehicles as well as personal protection equipment, including body armor, to the opposition and people are trying to support isn't necessary. they are driving around in total personal immunity.
where you would carry the whole house, they'll country i mean is a massive increase in our humanitarian assistance. and if he can find value, european partners, that's what his efforts ought to be directed. >> the right honorable friend can you please in the case because we have announced a norms increase energy management systems. i'm not announcing today, the defense secretary was here earlier, announced these things. she announced them to the kuwait conference at the end of january a vast increase, 50 million-pound increased taking the 140 million pounds. where one of the biggest donors in the world to try to alleviate humanitarian suffering. and i think he should become when the quotes of the list of what i'm saying will be sending to the opposition, i hope you will quote the full list of all the things that i've said there
about medical supply, about water. occasion, about measures that will help prevent the spread of disease. they need to alleviate humanitarian suffering is therefore at the forefront of her mind and it is what britain is devoting by far the greatest resources to in all the effort we are putting into this crisis. >> crispin blunt. >> i strongly commend my right honorable friend and the foreign office for the policy their olympic in his statement he was right to draw attention to the jihadists committing atrocities using explosive devices, including car bombs. i have a british syrian constituent is on the verge of acquiring british citizenship who has immediate family who has been killed i such a car bomb. she now wants to bring her parents to the uk simply to take some rest but for what is happening there. their face with an incredibly difficult journey either to lebanon or to jordan in order to somewhat make the application to
come here, which that seems extreme difficult even if they were to succeed, even if they got here. if the circumstances are as i've described, will be made clear that he will make such application for the parents to come in for a while, would merit his support of? >> well, as my honorable friend knows he is described a case very well, but those decisions are for the home secretary. and i can't say though in all circumstances we will be opening doors for people to come to the united kingdom. there are now 1 million refugees, but it is the responsibility of those countries that receive the refugees to look after them with international force. i'm a patriot to the generosity of the people of lebanon and turkey and jordan and iraq in what they're doing, and we are doing our best to assist with it. so i think that is the prime way
for refugees to be assisted. but his question is a reminder that there are not only 4 million out of the population of 21 million who are displaced or are in desperate need. many of the remaining people are in extremely dangerous and stressful conditions and are unable to pursue normal life in anyway, so it is affecting the great majority of the whole country. >> hugh bayley. >> the divisions between factions in the modern and democratic opposition not only make the extremist stronger than they otherwise would be, but it also makes the process of staging negotiations extreme difficult and the ability to determine who will be a government of syria when the regime falls absolutely impossible. so what is our government doing and our allies doing to get greater coherence and common purpose with an the moderate opposition? >> there is much greater
coherence, mr. speaker, than for a long time. it's not surprising that it's difficult in these circumstances of course to bring together something like the national coalition. but it is very much the best attempt that can reasonably be made to bring together those moderate and democratic forces. and it is there now to be negotiated with, quite often over the last two years of the been the refrain of some of the other countries on the city council or of the regime well, we want to negotiate but we don't have someone to negotiate with. now they do not have that excuse. a national coalition is there for them to negotiate with, and it is willing to negotiate, so the onus is now on the regime to show that it can seriously negotiate. >> mr. john baron. >> mr. speaker, i urge caution. human rights groups have confirmed that atrocities have been committed by both sides, and arming the rebels we did the army the terrace of the future.
may i bring the foreign secretary back to the comments over the weekend which could indicate a change in thinking when he came to non-legal support, despite what we are told in this house on monday? to what extent were his comments a reflection of the fact we now get report that president obama is thinking of changing his policy on this issue? >> i'm not aware, mr. speaker, been inconsistency in what i said. in fact, throughout i say we don't rule out any options. i have said that for two years, and it would be a strange thing indeed is a situation got worse, start ruling out options when they've not done anything. so that's what i said today and that's what i said at the weekend. but what we are proposing to is what i set out today, and my honorable friend will know from the announcement of secretary kerry made that it is closely related to by the united states, they've announced $69 of additional practical support,
but nonlethal support to the national coalition, and i've announced $20 million to use a competitive figure, that the united kingdom will provide. so our policy is closely aligned with the united states, but neither country is advocating the policy to which my honorable friend is so strongly opposed. >> frank roy. >> when the city rebels use our armored vehicles during battle, would not this be seen as the united kingdom giving lethal assistance of? >> such vehicles are nonlethal equipment. that's how they are defined and that is very clear as that applies well to body armor. by the honorable gentleman could advocate a different policy of not trying to save lives in syria. that is what he is suggesting in his question so we say no, we will not try to save lives. will not stand people who desperately ask for it, this kind of assistance even though they are slaughtered in huge
numbers. well, that is his choice to advocate that policy, but i don't think that is either responsible or would give moral authority to our foreign policy. >> sarah newton. >> thank you. i'm very concerned for my constituents who syrian christian family living in aleppo are being persecuted for their faith and their friends murdered by the jihadists whom the secretary of state has made you. what assurance can he be given to me, at any reduce support cost of helping rebels who are also islamic fundamentalist. this is a very important point, and it's important to stress as i did earlier to other questions that our support is to the moderate and did a quick forces in syria. and as i said earlier, and it's one of the reasons of course all of our support set out is also nonlethal. but it also is important for us to monitor, as best we can, the use of that equipment.
if we thought that equipment was at any stage being used by people we have not intended for, and then our attitude provide any such further equipment would of course have to change dramatically. >> mr. paul flynn. >> the house is deeply united on humanitarian aid that deeply divided on the oversupplied view of the foreign secretary who, on this complex civil war, he couldn't bring himself to make sure -- a vital part of the opposition who have been accused of some of the most bloodthirsty massacres of civilians. can he give an absolute guarantee that before we commit military equipment or personnel to syria that would be a debate and vote in this house, to avoid as repeating with done so often, and try to punch our way, we die beyond our responsibility is? >> well, the honorable gentleman unsure then listen carefully and will know that i have not
announced or advocated sending military equipment or personnel. and, of course, we have, we have our convention of which he and i strongly support in this house, so that when we take decisions in the house and we will observe all of those conventions. but you also have to decide, with his long concern for humanitarian issues, whether it would be right to be complete static in the face of this situation. and that is the alternative to what i have described. everybody, everybody is concerned, right across the house, about the managing situation. but i don't believe it is responsible for policy this is still in the face of a rapidly worsening situation. >> mr. james morris. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the foreign secretary mentioned the increasing evidence of the involvement of the iranian regime in the arming of the assad regime. would agree with me to my the
opportunities to put pressure on the iranian regime to desist come in the context of the ongoing negotiations around the nuclear -- the iranian nuclear program? >> well, i'm not sure those negotiations provide that opportunity, those negotiations are very focused on the nuclear program. and i report to the house yesterday during foreign office questions the progress, but a very early stage, that was made in those occasions last week. i think the pressure on the iranians should be a different pressure and is a different pressure. and that is that the world knows about these activities, and that, that in the end in syria it will be proved that the assad regime is doomed, and there will be many people in syria it will not want to forget iran for intervening with, and all the ways i have described, including
with armed personnel in what is happening in syria. >> jenny chapman. >> thank you, mr. speaker. how concerned is the foreign secretary at the u.n. high commissioner's comments this morning on refugees that they had underestimated simply the number of refugees leaving this city as they had their 25% of the resources they needed to deal with now 1 million people leaving the country? what is he doing together with colleagues to make sure that lack of preparedness is not allowed to continue? >> well, the united nations asked at a time o of the quake congress are one and half billion dollars in donations but this is the biggest financial appeal they've ever made for such a crisis. we come in supplying the additional promising additional 50 million pounds, my right honorable friend, to give him a secretary out 20 minute -- humanitarian support and 140 million pounds. we are very good at not only pledging that by delivering that as well. not only saying we will write a
check but writing the check as well. not all countries are -- women have billion dollars was pledged. now have to make sure that other countries deliver on those promises. and so of course we are raising that. many bilateral meetings with other nations involved in this over the next 36 hours, and we are raising that with each of those countries. we all know how to deliver on the pledges we have made. >> mr. rehman chishti. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the secretary of state will know that the trend it was one of the last leading country to recognize the syrian opposition. candy secretary clinton if there's not an agreed joint policy on syria by genetic tenet and the u.s. a? if there is no such policy, then the future for syria looks bleak? >> there is a joint policy. my honorable friend will notice what secretary carry announced last week, very close to what i am announcing this week, discuss it with many occasions last week
in rome and in london. we have a very similar view on both of the gravity of the crisis and the need for increased action of the kind that i announce today in order to try to speed a resolution of the crisis. so he can be assured that london and washington are very closely online on it. >> john cryer. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i started many statements like this in years gone by, and inevitably most of the time with into being involved in a quagmire from which we cannot extricate ourselves. my honorable friend, i take the view now that full debate in government time on the floor of the possibility of a vote. >> right spent i think it's important for the honorable member to distinguish the situations where we, britain, may be involved in a quagmire and where we're helping other people to try to get out of a quagmire. and that is what we are trying to do with this sort of the system. we cannot turn aside requests
for assistance. but, of course, in getting i think this is the eighth state i've given about syria, more willing to come to the house and debate it. >> [inaudible] >> the first secretary talked about the impact on the wider region. could he comment on jordan as key specific allies with very limited endorsement that is facing a huge influx of refugees from syria? >> i pay tribute to the people and the government of jordan. i visited last summer the refugee reception areas. just inside the jordanian border. since then the numbers involved have got much larger. now over 312,000 refugees in jordan, most of them residing with host communities and families, but some are in camps. the jordanians have been a magnificent job. we discussed regular with them
how we can help further. we're meeting with foreign minister of jordan tomorrow and we will be discussing this further than. >> dr. phillip lee. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the late father of the current president of syria, a ruthless and murders individual did have the reputation of doing what he said he was going to do by contrast, his son is a fundamentally weak individual surrounded by stronger characters as advisers. to what extent does the foreign secretary agree with me that the personal weakness of the president of syria will make a diplomatic solution, if not impossible, very unlikely? >> my honorable friend is right that this is one of the obvious situations described as an obstacle. there are of course, not only the presence of syria but other members of his family close involved, including his brother in the power structure. in syria. and, of course, an entire system
of finance and power and rewards, and entire pyramid which president assad is simply the top. and so a solution to this, a political and diplomatic solution requires people much further down that pyramid to agree that it is a good idea. that makes a very complex. that is one of the reasons of the negotiations by the regime are not actually followed up by serious negotiation. so it is indeed one of the obstacles. >> mr. andrew gwynne? >> the foreign secretary set out for the house a very bleak picture of a dangerous civil war with a toxic mix of iranian involvement, possibly al qaeda and other extremists. given that, what assessment have the british government made of the claims of alleged involvement from hezbollah in the conflict in syria and for the wider potential for regional instability that would flow from
that? >> here, here. >> there is the potential that we have discussed for regional instability, including 11 and including in relation to hezbollah. and, indeed, one of the dangers is of clashes on the lebanese border and the south of lebanon between hezbollah and the free syrian army or other elements of the syrian opposition, let alone seeing regime forces as well. so that is one of the dangers i don't have any other evidence i can quote him about hezbollah. but that in itself is a great danger and is one of the reasons we are assisting with the stability of lebanon. in lebanon two weeks ago i announced additional british funding for the lebanese armed forces, who are very important part of trying to keep that border peaceful, including our direct help with the construction of border observation post. and, of course, everything else we're doing to try to bring about a resolution of this
crisis. >> mr. stephen mosley. >> my right honorable friend has always been clear that our priorities are to try to stop the killing and to find a peaceful solution. if the police -- is a peaceful solution can be found but the price is that assad stays in power, would we be up to accept the deal or have we reached the stage at which the precursor to any deal must be that assad goes? >> it's not for us to decide he was in power in any other country, including in syria. it is of course the position of the city national coalition and all opposition groups that they want to see the departure of president assad. but we will not be more like the three opposition dentistry in opposition. mr. outeat has said that he is prepared to negotiate with the regime without assad going first. while that is a position that we should support it but it is impossible to see, for any observer that event to see president assad ever again being able to unify or govern his country.
so we say he should go, but the opposition has offered to negotiate. that is the right thing to do. >> mr. mark durkan. >> it is clear that the house shares a humanitarian urgency that the foreign secretary has articulated so well, but many also are concerned that urgency should not entail a working disregard for the true character and real agenda of some of the opposition forces. and i acknowledge particular principles that have been expressed by the foreign secretary today? our foreign policy is inseparable from upholding human rights, protecting lives and supporting international law. we must us is the genuine moderate and democratic forces who were in dire need of help and who feel abandoned by the international community. and we cannot look the other way while international law and human rights are flouted. when will we see those principles manifest in the government engagement in other situations, including palestine? >> well they are, and that may
take us wider than the subject of syria, absolutely wider than the subject of syria. i welcome in general what the honorable member says, and, of course, this is the object of our policy more broadly in foreign policy. we are heavily engaged in conflict prevention or conflict resolution in somalia, yemen, in sudan. and the work that we do now to promote the arms trade treaty, to pursue my own initiative on preventing sexual violence in conflict. the united kingdom, the united kingdom under successive governments has considered a strong record in conflict prevention, true to theiding ofe principles that he was quoting there and we must always uphold that tradition. >> madam president, it's my understanding that this -- >> now like to the senate floore as the senate continues thisoh afternoon live here onn c-span2. . the presiding officer: the
senator is recognized. mrs. feinstein: thank you very much. madam president, as a kind of predicate to this nomination, we have heard a 13-hour filibuster from senators who desire an answer to the question that was proffered by senator paul. i have that answer. it's dated march 7. it's from the attorney general and signed by eric holder. it's to rand paul, and this is what it says. "it has come to my attention that you have asked an additional question. quote "does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an american not engaged in combat on american soil." the answer to that question is no." i would ask that that letter be placed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. feinstein: so hopefully the question of continuing this will be vitiated and we will be able
to proceed with a vote. it's my understanding that i have a half-hour on behalf of the majority of the intelligence committee to make a statement in support of mr. brennan. thank you very much. as you know, mr. brennan's nomination was reported out of the senate intelligence committee on tuesday by a strong bipartisan vote of 12-3. and i look forward to an equally strong vote by the senate later today. let me begin with his qualifications, which are impressive and unquestioned. john brennan began his career as an intelligence officer with the c.i.a. in 1980. he worked as a c.i.a. officer for 25 years in a variety of capacities, including as an analyst in the office of near eastern and south asian analysis
and as the top analyst in the c.i.a. counterterrorism center from 1990-1992. both areas that remain very much a focus of the c.i.a. today. that's good. he was the daily intelligence briefer at the white house and served as george tenet's executive assistant. despite his background as an analyst, mr. brennan was selected to serve as the chief of station, a post generally filled by a c.i.a. operations officer. he served in riyadh, saudi arabia, one of the most important and complex assignments, and then returned to washington as then-d.c.i. tenet's chief of staff and the deputy executive director of the c.i.a. mr. brennan then served as the head of the terrorist threat integration center, the predecessor organization to the national counterterrorism cent center, where he also served as
the interim director. after a short stint in the private sector, he returned to be president obama's top counterterrorism and homeland security advisor. in that capacity, he's been involved in handling every major national and homeland security issue we have faced since 2009. he's been involved in counterterrorism successes, including this administration's efforts to bring osama bin laden to justice and at least 105 arrests of terrorist operatives and supporters in the united states since 2009. he has also helped implement the lessons learned from umar
abdulmutallab's attacks. for the past four years, mr. brennan has been among the president's closest advisors. as director of the c.i.a., he's going to lead this nation's largest intelligence agency and will continue to provide information and advice on intelligence matters to the president, his national security team, and this congress. throughout the past three decades, mr. brennan has observed every aspect of intelligence from analysis to collection to covert action, from inside government and the private sector, and from both the intelligence and policy sides. i actually don't believe that there is anyone that's more qualified to take over the c.i.a. than john brennan. so he cannot be denied, in my view, on the basis of qualification. and i think even those who oppose his nomination recognize
that there is no question but that he is well qualified. from the time he walks into the c.i.a., he will be ready to go, up to speed on the numerous threats and challenges this country faces all over the globe. madam president, let me speak for a moment why that's important and why it's so important that we move to confirm john brennan. the director of the c.i.a. leads the most diverse and clandestine intelligence agency, the only agency to conduct covert action, the largest all-source analytic work force, and he sets in the principal committee meetings where the most sensitive national security decisions are made. the past two c.i.a. directors, both mr. panetta and general petraeus, have played significant roles in keeping the senate and house intelligence committees informed of sensitive
operations. they have provided an independent assessment of hot spots and strategic threats around the world. john brennan will do the same. by its nature, the c.i.a. is among the parts of our government that receive the least oversight. this is important. its it's are largely shielded from the public, the government, the government accountability office, and, indeed, most members of congress. the director of the c.i.a. must be both unimpeachable in his or hopefully one day her integrity. while guiding a work force of people who operate in the shadows for the benefit of our nation. he must manage an independent and creative work force, build and mature relationships with foreign spy chiefs, and lead teams of scientists,
technicians, lawyers, analysts, and operatives who are involved in clandestine work. in short, the c.i.a. is capable of the very best of america and catastrophically at times it is capable of great mistakes. it follows that the position of c.i.a. director requires an uncommon nominee and that position shouldn't remain vacant for long. for the past five months, the deputy director, michael morrell, as served as the acting director. mr. morrell, like john brennan, is a career c.i.a. officer and a very gifted one. but as i discussed with him last friday, he department single-handedly attend the white house principles meetings, the deputies meetings, direct the agency, meet with liaison partners, testify before congress, implement
sequestration, and do everything else the director and deputy director must jointly do. john brennan and michael morrell will be a great team in leading the c.i.a. i believe they really compensate for one another. michael morrell has these skills in analysis and john brennan has skills that make him i think a very strong and, yes, even tough leader. we face continuing attack from terrorists, there's no question about that. i see the reports every day. our posts overseas remain at risk and terrorists still seek to attack us at home. as a matter of fact, there have been over a hundred arrests in the last four years of attacks that have been interrupted, the planning of which has been interrupted by the f.b.i. in this country. there is a massive and still
growing humanitarian disaster underway in syria with no end in sight and the prospect of an increasingly desperate regime with nothing to lose. tin stability is going to continue to fester across north africa, from mali to algeria to libya and beyond, breeding and harboring a new generation of extremists. the north korean regime is threatening to disavow the 1953 cease-fire with the south and it has the nuclear and missile capacity to cause massive destruction and instability. we just had an update on that on tuesday. iran's nuclear program continues to grow and its revolutionary guard and hezbollah proxy are growing bolder and more capable. china's foreign policy and military might are increasing.
according to a well sourced recent unclassified reports, its cyber operations are bleeding our private sector dry. the c.i.a. has a role to play in all of these areas as well as maintaining and expanding its global coverage. this is going to require prioritizing resources and producing better results from a very skilled c.i.a. work force. so the c.i.a. director position must be filled. five months is too long to leave it vacant. and john brennan i believe, and 12 members of our committee believe, is the right person to fill it. some have questioned whether we can depend on john brennan to be straight with the committee. i believe he will be and that he will be someone with whom we can build a strong and trusting relationship. and let me just say one thing,
that's important. it is very important that the intelligence committees of both of these houses have that relationship with the director of the c.i.a. with a bond of trust, there can be a sharing of information which enables our oversight to be more complete. without that, our oversight is not complete and it certainly is not rigorous. in nominating john brennan, president obama spoke of his -- quote -- "commitment to the values that define us as americans." d.n.i. clapper, in a letter of support to the committee, noted john's -- quote -- "impeccable integrity." and that his dedicated to country is second to none. he has been called the administration's conscience and i believe he will be a straight shooter, which is extraordinarily important to me. i want the truth, whether it's
good or bad. i want the truth. and i believe every member of my committee feels the same way mr. brennan has been straightforward with the committee throughout the confirmation process. he has pledged to be open with us if confirmed and we take him occupy that pledge. in his opening statement, the committee's public confirmation hearing, mr. brennan said that if confirmed -- and it's a quote -- "i would endeavor to keep this committee fully and currently informed of course, not only because it's required by law but because you can neither perform your oversight function nor support the mission of the c.i.a. if you are kept in the dark." he acknowledged that the trust deficit has at time existed between the intelligence committee and the c.i.a. and pledged to make it his goal to
strengthen the trust between our institutions. i really look forward to giving him that opportunity and be sure i will hold him to these words. and i recognize that building a relationship and trust requires two willing partners. we are willing. i believe he will be willing we will find out. in fact, madam president, there is a broader issue here on the interaction between the executive branch and the congress on intelligence matters. and it goes well beyond mr. brennan and i want to speak about it. i have served on the intelligence committee for more than 12 years. this is actually a lot more unusual than it sounds. from the committee's establishment in 1976 to the end of 2004, there were term limits on committee membership so
senators rotated off the committee just when they had served for long enough to really understand what the intelligence community is doing, and most importantly, how it operates. now senators rockefeller, wyden, mikulski, and i have all served on the committee for more than a decade, and senators chambliss and burr are near that total, and both served on the house committee before coming to the senate. so you have some veterans on that committee who have watched and be listened -- and listened. we spend a minimum of two hours in a committee meeting twice a week, and often longer. we cannot take home notes. notes go in the safe. we cannot take home classified information. so it means a lot of reading, wherever you can get the time to
either go to a skiff or in some way, shape, or form find a way to read the classified information which runs daily like this. we see everything except for the president's p.d.b. that's' the president's daily brief. all of the other information from all of the agencies stream through this committee, and it's really vital that we read it because that's where we find out where the threats are. we have been able to truly understand the relationship between the intelligence committee and the intelligence community. and the importance of having the committee kept fully and currently informed of intelligence matters. that's not our wish. that's a requirement of the national security act. we have seen what happens when this is not the case. when the committee doesn't have access to and full knowledge of
intelligence, like with iraq weapons of mass destruction before the war, or with the c.i.a.'s detention and interrogation program through the past administration. by contrast, when we are briefed, we can provide input and advice. we can work to put an end to ill-advised plans and we can give the intelligence community a measure of support, and we can defend its actions. i can tell you, madam president, that there is a very strong feeling on both sides of our aisle that the committee is not getting the information it needs to conduct all oversight matters in the manner in which we should. there is the matter of what's called o.l.c., office of legal counsel opinions concerning the targeted killing of americans.
the committee needs to understand the legal underpinnings of not only this program but of all clandestine programs, of all covert action, so we can assure that the actions of the intelligence community operate according to law. absent these opinions, we cannot conduct oversight that is at robust as it really should be. so during the confirmation process we were able to reach an agreement with the administration to receive these opinions, with staff access and without restriction on notes. and i want to say thank you, i think increasingly the administration understands this problem. it is not a diminishing one, it is a growing one, and it is
spreading through this house and i would suspect the other house as well. it has to be this way. we have to know the legal basis for very serious actions taken in a secretive way by the intelligence community. therefore, we can defend it. if we don't see this, we don't really know. i want to address a couple of other concerns, mainly based on hypothetical examples, and that, of course, is the senator from kentucky. he mentioned, and i began with this, that what we're talking about is eating dinner in your house, you're eating in a cafe or you're walking down the road and a drone strike can occur, it's not about people involved in combat, it's about people
who they think might be. this will never happen in the united states of america. this is not permitted in the united states of america. the attorney general by his letter has said just that, it will not happen. i hope this puts this to an end. it's one thing in an isolated country where we have isolated mountains and valleys, and where we know terrorists, terrorist leaders targeted carefully by our government may well be, and these leaders have taken american lives. that's one thing. that's the battle zone. the united states of america is a different place. we have access to law, we have access to police, we have access to f.b.i., we have
access to warrants, we have access to arrests, we have access to be able to ferret out the individuals. drones will never be used in the united states of america. not if i have anything to do with it. and this -- and yesterday senator cruz followed up on senator paul's concerns, asking attorney general holder if an american eating at a cafe -- this is in judiciary committee where i was present -- who doesn't pose an imminent threat, could be killed by a drone. i don't think the attorney general at the time he heard the question recognized the simplicity of the facts presented by the hypothetical, but when he did, he said no. my view is that the attorney general's letter to senator paul is right. and that the only case in which the use of lethal force against
americans in the united states could be complicated or could be constitutional would be an extraordinary circumstance such as the attack on pearl harbor or the terrorist attacks on september 11 where three big commercial airliners were hijacked and driven into three large buildings. another issue where the committee has sought documents is related to the benghazi terrorist attacks. i notice that the vice chairman is on the floor. he and i have worked to bring the additional documents that his side wanted on the benghazi attacks. we have an absolute commitment to the administration that all those documents, if they haven't already been forthcoming and it's my understanding from the senator that they -- most
have been forthcoming, that the remaining ones will be as well. so my view is that the committee has received the information we need in order to render a judgment about what happened in benghazi before the attacks of last september 11 and 12 during, after, and before, and i think, my view, quite simply stated, is that there was intelligence that said that this mission -- not a consulate, it did not have marines, it had no consular materials, but that this mission could well be a site of attack. members have asked legitimate questions within -- within our jurisdiction about benghazi and they deserve answers to their questions. so many senators on both sides of the aisle in the committee see the need for a better
relationship and a better appreciation of what we need in order to do our work. it was pointed out recently that we are really different from other congressional bodies that do oversight. our efforts aren't supplemented by the press or by g.a.o. or by nonprofit and advocacy groups, in the same way they are in other committees of the congress. the intelligence committees in the house and the senate need to get information from the executive branch in order to exercise robust oversight. i have spoken directly to the president, the president's chief of staff, the national security advisor, and the director of national intelligence about this, and i believe they are really coming to understand the issue. i've been told that they have an open view, that they are
discussing increased transparency with us at the present time. i strongly believe that john brennan will be part of the solution, and that he will be someone with whom we can work closely. he is well qualified, his leadership and management are sorely needed, and he has strong bipartisan support in the committee. i urge a yes vote. i'd like to yield the floor to the distinguished vice chairman from georgia with whom it has really been a great pleasure for me to work. we haven't disagreed on a lot. we disagreed on a few things, but i just want you to know that i want to continue the relationship that we have, we need to put together another authorizing bill, where we discuss information sharing, i think we want to proceed by regular order and i look forward to working with you, mr. vice chairman, in that regard and i thank you.
mr. chambliss: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. chambliss: i rise to explain why i'm opposing the nomination of john brennan to be the next director of the central intelligence agency and i will do that but i first want to say i thank the chairman for her kind comments, and let me just say that as she just iterated, we've had two great years of working together where we've accomplished an awful lot. she is one more tough lady, particularly when it comes to the national security of the united states, and it's been a pleasure to work with her. it is rare that we ever disagree because we both have the same end result in mind, and that is to make sure that america and americans are safe and secure and that the intelligence community is doing their part to ensure that that happens. her leadership has just been amazing. we have produced authorization bills, each of the last two years, we've actually done three in two years -- four in
two years. and that tells you that there was a backlog of those authorization bills. we've also reauthorized fisa and some other measures that equips our intelligence community as well as our law enforcement community with the tools they need to combat terrorism and it's because of her leadership that we've been able to do that. and when we do disagree, it's kind of an unusual situation in that we can have disagreements in a bipartisan way within our committee. and that's -- that's good. it's healthy. and sometimes democrats will side with me or republicans will side with the chairman on an issue. and that just shows you that people are voting with their hearts and what they think is in the best interests of america and not from a partisan standpoint. and i atribe beaut that to the leadership of that of chairman
feinstein because of her openness and her allowing participation in a strong bipartisan way. now, madam president, i expect mr. brennan is going to be confirmed by the senate and i would like to have supported his nomination. unfortunately, i have significant concerns about several matters that i simply cannot put aside. if confirmed, mr. brennan will interact extensively with the senate intelligence committee and in particular, with chairman feinstein and with myself as the vice chairman. he will have many opportunities over the next several years to alleviate my concerns and i hope he does so. but at this time i cannot support placing him in a position that is so vital to our national security mission. during the confirmation process, including during the open hearing, i, along with other members, asked mr. brennan questions about the leaks of classified information. issues involving congressional
oversight and interrogation and detention matters. his responses to many of these questions were very troubling and raised new concerns about mr. brennan's judgment, his reluctance to commitment to transparency with congress, and ultimately his candor. let me describe these concerns more fully. first, i'm deeply disturbed by mr. brennan's responses to the committee regarding leaks of classified information, especially the disclosure relating to the aqap underwear bomb plot that was thwarted in may of 2012. mr. brennan acknowledged to the committee that he had told four media commentators that we had, and i quote -- "inside control control" -- of this bomb plot, but he disputed assertions that this disclosure resulted in the outing of a source. it is undeniable that the day after his disclosure, there were
dozens of stories in the media stating the plot was foiled by a double agent or undercover agent who posed as a willing suicide bomber. mr. brennan is poised to serve as the head of the nation's leading spy agency where he will be privy to some of the most sensitive if not all of the most sensitive and highly classified operations being conducted by the intelligence community. that he apparently thinks that he did nothing wrong in this disclosure is very troubling, to say the least. we all know there is a big problem with leaks of classified information. we constantly deal with it in the committee and seek to eliminate it. we cannot effectively hold accountable those responsible for such leaks if a senior government official appears to shrug off his own damaging disclosure. i hope mr. brennan will reconsider his position on this case and convey to those that he expects to lead, not just in words but by his own example the importance and necessity of
maintaining the secrecy that he will be sworn to uphold. second, mr. brennan appears to be one of the architects of the administration's current detention policy or, better stated, lack thereof. since the president signed executive orders in 2009 disbanding the c.i.a.'s detention and interrogation program and ordering the closure of guantanamo bay detention facility, many of us have been asking the administration to tell us what their new detention policy is. unfortunately, in the years since, we have seen a most unsatisfactory response play out in ways that i believe are detrimental to our collection of timely intelligence and ultimately to our national security. we have seen a disturbing trend of returning to the pre-9/11 days when bringing criminal charges against terrorists was a preferred course rather than
long-term detention which allows for greater intelligence collection. because of this preference, the 2009 christmas day bomber, abdulmutallab, was read his miranda rights 50 short minutes after being pulled off the airplane that he had just tried to bomb. it took five weeks before he would again cooperate and no one knows what intelligence might have been lost during that delay. somali terror suspect ahmed abdu wasami was held on a naval ship and interrogated for 60 days before being brought to a federal court, all because the administration refused to send any more detainees to guantanamo bay. even in the months before the osama bin laden raid, other than saying guantanamo bay was off the table, administration officials could not tell congress where bin laden would
be held if he were captured. most recently, ani al-harzi, the only person held in connection with the september 11, 2013, attacks in benghazi that claimed the lives of four americans was released by the tunisians and is now roaming about free because this administration would not take custody of him unless criminal charges could be filed here in the united states. mr. brennan is not merely a staunch and unapologetic advocate of this misguided policy. he is the driving force behind it. by criminalizing the war on terrorism, this administration has tied the hands of our intelligence interrogators and appears to be avoiding opportunities to capture terrorists in favor of just killing them or relying on our foreign partners to do our intelligence collection for us. mr. brennan disputes this
assertion and testified that he was not aware of any instance in which we had had the opportunity to capture a terrorist but took a lethal strike instead. but his testimony on this point appears to be particularly incredible. while reasonable minds may differ as to whether bin laden should have been taken alive, to argue that he could not have been taken alive and captured is just not believable when his wives and children were left behind during the raid. the truth is the administration simply had no plan to capture him. now, while in this case of u.b.l., killing him was probably the best option, i believe that all options have to be on the table and utilized when appropriate. otherwise, we are potentially losing valuable intelligence. yet, mr. brennan's testimony before the intelligence committee made clear that he is fully satisfied with how detainees are currently being
handled, and he is insistent that the c.i.a. remain out of the detention business, even if it means we do not get direct or timely access to detainees. thirdly, mr. brennan continues to insist that he convey to colleagues at the c.i.a. his personal objections to the c.i.a.'s interrogation program, yet not a single person has come forward to validate that claim. and mr. brennan still refuses to identify those colleagues in spite of several direct requests by the intelligence committee. during the time in question, mr. brennan served as the c.i.a.'s deputy executive director. we know he was privy to information about the program, as we have seen numerous documents he received during and after the interrogation of abu zabada. it is just not reasonable. it is expected that our intelligence professionals,
especially those in leadership positions, will speak up when they see actions they believe are harmful to the agency or to others. yet, by mr. brennan's own account, he stood by and let the c.i.a. proceed down a path that he says he believed to be morally wrong and likely to harm the long-term reputation of the c.i.a. this is not the moral courage we expect, especially from those who are in a position to influence policy and operations. unfortunately, mr. brennan continues to insist that his official silence was entirely appropriate, and i could not disagree more. i am also troubled by mr. brennan's apparent willingness to scuttle years of belief in the value of the information obtained from the c.i.a.'s interrogation program simply because the recent interrogation study conducted by the committee's majority staff found otherwise. in my view, the study is
significantly flawed, not the least of which being that not a single intelligence community witness was interviewed. i'm worried about the impact mr. brennan's reversal will have on the -- on the morale of those current c.i.a. employees who were involved in the program and whose own judgment and reputations are called into question by this study. i expect that when the c.i.a. returns its comments to the intelligence committee about the accuracy of the report that mr. brennan will not let his personal views of the program interfere with the professional assessment and analysis of c.i.a. employees. finally, underlying all of these issues are the principles of candor and transparency with congress. our nation was founded with three co-equal branches of government, each one providing checks and balances over the other in a manner specified in the constitution.
federal law also imposes explicit obligations on the intelligence community, such as keeping congress fully and currently informed of significant intelligence activities. ordinarily during confirmation hearings, nominees unequivocally pledge their cooperation to congress. yet, during his confirmation process, mr. brennan refused to give affirmative answers when asked to commit to such cooperation. for example, he pledged to only give -- quote -- "full consideration to any request that the committee be provided with raw intelligence, even though the committee has been given such intelligence in the past. when asked about the inexcusable problems the committee has faced in trying to obtain documents about the benghazi attacks, mr. brennan promised only to try to reach an accommodation with the committee if a similar situation should ever arise again. this is hardly encouraging.
some may say that mr. brennan was simply being honest and not overpromising. i might agree but for the fact that this pattern of obstruction and lack of cooperation is becoming all too familiar to the committee, and mr. brennan has been involved in many of the decisions to withhold information from congress. for example, when the national counterterrorism center was created, congress gave it specific responsibility to serve as the primary organization for strategic operational planning for counterterrorism. for too long, the committee has been refused full access to the resulting counterterrorism strategies, a decision for which mr. brennan is directly responsible. rather than give us the strategies the administration has proposed an accommodation to simply brief the committee, but as of today, we still have not been briefed, even though we are
asked to fund the strategies as well as their implementation. there are other examples, including the absurd restrictions that were recently placed by the white house on the review of the o.l.c. opinions regarding lethal strikes on u.s. citizens. it's incomprehensible that congress is being denied unfettered insight into matters concerning the intentional killing of u.s. citizens. during the confirmation process, mr. brennan called on the intelligence committee to be the protector and defender of the c.i.a. that's not really an accurate description of the committee's role. given the classified nature of intelligence activities, the committee serves as the eyes and ears of the american people, and our responsibility lies first and foremost to them. that is not to say that we will not defend the c.i.a. or the rest of the intelligence community against unjust
attacks. we will. the committee's primary role is to conduct oversight, and we cannot do that effectively without full cooperation from the intelligence community as well as the administration. i hope and expect that mr. brennan will now give us that cooperation rather than just what he views as an acome days. the director of the c.i.a. has extensive and direct interactions with members of congress, especially those of us on the intelligence committee. during sensitive operations or times of crisis, the director is often one of the first to communicate with members. there have been too many instances in the past under administrations of both parties in which facts were withheld from members or information was painted in a particular light to suit messaging needs. as we saw with the benghazi talking points, and that is simply unacceptable. if confirmed as the c.i.a. director, mr. brennan's credibility must be
unquestionable. we expect our spy agencies to be very good at hiding the truth but not with congress. here, too, mr. brennan will be an example that all c.i.a. employees look to and his own standards of honesty and credibility and dealing with congress must be above and beyond all reproach. in conclusion, let me say that i have great confidence in the men and women at the c.i.a. each and every day, they give this nation their best, and for that we are most grateful. they are the most professional, best educated, best operational intelligence agency in the world. they are unbelievable men and women. my vote today is not a message to them, nor is it an indication of the faith i have in the c.i.a. my vote is not personal towards mr. brennan. rather, it simply reflects my belief that the unauthorized
disclosure of classified information is wrong, regardless of whether you are on the front lines or you're an advisor to the president. my vote also reflects my belief, especially at this time in our history, that the director of the c.i.a. should not support detention and interrogation policies that are returning us to the pre-9/11 days of elevating criminal charges over intelligence collection. in my view, mr. brennan is on the wrong side of both of these issues. i also believe that congress must be an equal branch of the government, and this growing trend of refusing to cooperate with congress must end. the future insecurity of our country depends on all of us working together. to do that well, there must be transparency and honesty. if confirmed as a c.i.a. director, mr. brennan has a tough job ahead of him. if he abides by these principles, he will find that his job will be much easier as
he will have earned the support and the trust of congress, and the country will be better off for it. assuming confirmation of mr. brennan, he will have my full cooperation and support, and i expect nothing less from mr. brennan and i hope that all of my concerns will be put to rest. with that, madam president, i would yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: madam p -- madam president, i would yield myself ten minutes. and i would first associate myself with the remarks of the senator from georgia, senator chambliss, who is the ranking member on the intelligence committee and who's looked into this much deeper than i would ever be able to. and i appreciate the -- the comments, the depth and the knowledge that he's imparted on that and so would be in opposition to the nomination of john brennan for c.i.a.
director. the administration hasn't been forthcoming in answering a vitally important question of whether or not americans could be killed by a drone on american soil without first being charged -- mr. reid: madam president? madam president? the presiding officerwould my fa unanimous consent request? mr. enzi: i would yield as long as i can have the floor back. mr. reid: senators are waiting to make sure they know what we expect of them. i ask unanimous consent that the time on the republican side be limited to 15 minutes for senator paul and how much time does my friend from wyoming need? mr. enzi: i asked for ten. i could do it in eight. mr. enzi: eight minutes. -- mr. reid: eight minutes. everybody else is gone. so off we go. i ask unanimoui ask unanimous ce on the republican side be limited to 15 minutes for senator paul, eight minutes for senator enzi, and that following the use or yielding back of time on the nomination, the mandatory quorum under rule 22 be waived, the senate proceed to vote on the cloture motion, that if
cloture is invoked, the senate proceed to vote on confirmation of the nomination, with no intervening action or debate. further, that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate and no further motions be in order to the nomination, that president obama be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: is there any objection? without objection. mr. reid: madam president, i extend my appreciation. there's no one in the senate, period, that is more courteous and thoughtful than senator enzi and i appreciate your yielding. mr. enzi: thank you. thank you very much. and as i was mentioning, this -- this administration hadn't been forthcoming in answering the vitally important question of whether or not americans could be killed by a drone on american soil without first being charged with a crime or being found guilty in a court of law. this should have been a very simple answer. white house press secretary jay carny stated today that the administration does not have the authority to kill americans on american soil. that's great news.
however, it shouldn't have taken a united states senator 12 hours of nonstop talking for the administration to acknowledge the simple fact that it can't kill americans on american soil without a trial. i'd like to applaud senator paul's courage and conviction last night as he stood on the senate floor for nearly 13 hours defending our rights under the constitution. senator paul deserves recognition for standing up for the american people and bringing this issue to light. and it's an issue that i and many of my constituents in the state of wyoming find very troubling. in fact, as i traveled around wyoming a couple weeks ago, it became abundantly clear that people are very concerned over the administration's disregard for constitutionally guaranteed individual rights. drones, unmanned aerial vehicl vehicles, have been made famous by their use in our war on terrorism. for a number of years, these weapons have served in operations in iraq and afghanistan with success.
however, the use of drones for both military and civilian purposes abroad and domestically is increasing. according to the congressional research service, the federal aviation administration predicts that 30,000 drones will fill the skies in less than 20 years. although many of these uses will likely be for civilian purposes -- disaster relief, border control, crime fighting, and agricultural crop monitoring -- the use of drones raises new privacy and civil liberties questions for u.s. citizens. the first concern raised by the use of drones is how it may impact on the fourth amendment rights. u.s. citizens have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. drones push the limits of what could be considered reasonable. courts generally recognize that u.s. citizens have substantial protections against warrantless government intrusions into the home and that fourth amendment offers less robust restrictions
on public places. however, drones begin raising the question of what is reasonable when it comes to the expectation of privacy in one's driveway or even backyard. in his speech last night, senator paul reiterated additional constitutional concerns that he's been seeking an answer on for a number of weeks. the administration just now responded but it raises the concern about the willingness of the white house to act transparently when it comes to important matters of national security and constitutional liberties. we should all be asking ourselves why it took a united states senator 12 hours of nonstop talking for the department of justice to acknowledge the simple fact that it cannot kill american citizens on american soil without a trial. senator paul asked a straightforward question and deserved a straightforward answer in a timely manner. his question hit right at the heart of the fifth amendment, rights as united states citizens, particularly, no
person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. the first response that senator paul got back was everything short of a straightforward answer. this administration did not rule out the possibility of using drones against americans on u.s. soil. this is particularly problematic because our constitution does not say that the fifth amendment applies when the president or attorney general thinks it applies. but it raises a concern about the willingness of the white house to act transparently. there is no reason why it should have taken so long for the administration to acknowledge that they don't have the authority to kill americans on u.s. soil without due process of law. specifically, to deny someone the right to a judge and a jury and a trial. the fifth amendment was written with this particular form of government abuse in mind and it was more than appropriate for congress to ask thi ask this qun its oversight role. we know and our legal system recognizes that you don't get due process when you're actively
attacking our soldiers or our government. however, that wasn't the question senator paul posed. congress needed clarification from the administration on this nomination in order to build faith and confidence in our nation's military and intelligence community. we also need transparency and responsiveness in the questions raised by congress. i will not be supporting john brennan's nomination because the lack of transparency and timeliness on this important matter and the reasons given by the senator from georgia. mr. president, i'd yield the floor and reserve the balance of the time. a senator: madam president? mrs. feinstein: oh, senator paul is here. mr. paul: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: yesterday i spent a considerable time -- amount of time on the floor talking about the idea of whether or not americans are protected by the
fifth amendment always, whether or not you can be targeted for drone strikes in america without your due process rights, whether you get your day in court if you're accused of a crime in america. and i asked this question directly to the president and i'm pleased to say that we did get a response this morning. the response from the attorney general reads: "it has come to my attention that you have a question. does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an american not engaged on combat on american soil? the answer to that question is no." so it has taken awhile but we got an explicit answer. i'm pleased that we did, and to me, i think the entire battle was worthwhile. one, because we got to have a lot of discussion about, you know, when can drones be used, particularly when can a drone strike be used against an american on american soil.
the reason this is important is, often drones are used overseas towards people who are not actively engaged in combat. now, i'm not saying they're not bad people or they might have previously been in combat, but the thing is, we have to have a higher standard in our country. we can't have an allegation from the country that says you're an enemy combatant or that you're associated with terrorism. that's an allegation. if you're e-mailing somebody who's a relative of yours in the middle east and they may or may not be a bad person, it doesn't automatically make you guilty. if we label you an enemy combatant and say you're guilty, you don't get your day in court and that's just not american. we have many soldiers from my state, from fort campbell and fort knox, that fight overseas for us. they're fighting for the bill of rights. they're fighting for the constitution. so i consider it to be our duty to stand up and fight for something that we all believe in
and that's that the protections of the bill of rights are yours. when you're accused of something, you get your day in court. so i'm very pleased to have gotten this response back from the attorney general of the united states. and i think that americans should see this battle that we've had in the last 24 hours as something that's good for the country and something that should unite republicans and democrats in favor of the bill of rights. thank you, madam president. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mrs. feinstein: madam president, i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. officer if he without objection. mrs. feinstein: madam president, i yield back all time. the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order, the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion: we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the
nomination of john owen brennan of virginia to be director of the central intelligence agency. signinged by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that debate on the nomination of john brennan to be director of the central intelligence agency shall be brought it a close? the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote: vote:
the presiding officer: does anyone want to vote or change their vote? anyone? on this vote, the yeas are 81. the nays are 16. three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to. under the previous order, the question is on confirmation of the brennan nomination.
the presiding officer: anyone wishing to change their vote? if not, the ayes are 63, the nays are 34. the nomination is confirmed. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: under the previous order, the motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table. the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action, and the senate will resume legislative session. mrs. murray: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: madam president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to a period of morning business until 6:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
mr. whitehouse: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: i ask unanimous consent that the pending quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: and unanimous consent to speak for 15 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: thank you. i'm back to again urge my colleagues to wake up to the stark reality of climate change. we often hear in this chamber colleagues extolling the virtues of the marketplace, and indeed a fair and open marketplace is the cornerstone of our economy. markets work. not perfectly always but better than any other mechanism. paraphrasing winston churchill, one might say that markets are
the worst form of setting prices and exchanging goods except all of the other methods that have been tried, but markets only work when they are fair. and markets are not fair if the price of goods doesn't take all the costs into account. a grocery store, for instance, has to pay to have its garbage removed and has to build that garbage removal into its prices, and that's the right thing. that's the market working. and if that grocery store can recycle or compact or compost its trash and make removal cheaper and lower its prices, then that's right, too. that's the market working. but if a second grocery store down the street breaks the law and just throws its garbage into the park next door and then competes with lower prices, that is not a market in proper operation. that is not a fair market. that's just one person cheating
another. if a factory makes a product and treats its waste, that's part of its cost. that's good. that's what it's supposed to be. if the factory can figure out how to treat its waste more efficiently and lower prices, terrific. that's also the market at work. but a factory down the river that breaks the law by just dumping its waste into the river, they may have better prices as a result, but that's not a fair market. the value of open and fair markets is lost when people cheat. when they just offload their costs onto the general public. the garbage in the park, the waste in the river, the grocery store down the street and the factory down the river didn't reduce their costs. they just offloaded them onto their neighbors, onto the rest of us. they may actually have even made it more costly for everyone, but they have managed to impose that cost on the public. there is even a word for these offloaded costs. they are called externalities.
the harms that are caused that are external to the company. this isn't complicated. it's econ 101, and it's also law 101. 70 years ago, a soda bottle exploded and injured the hand of a waitress named gladys escola. she sued the bottler, and the court decision has been in almost every law student's first-year classes ever since. in a famous concurrence, justice traynor ruled in the case of escolav. coca-cola bottling company that the cost of her injuries should fall on the bottler. his logic was simple and clear. they made the bottle. if they didn't have to pay for the injuries exploding bottles caused, they would just keep making exploding bottles. if you made them responsible for the exploding bottle they made, they would have a big incentive to improve their bottles, and everyone would be safer.
as judge traynor said it 70 years ago, and i quote -- "public policy demands that responsibility be fixed wherever it will most effectively reduce the hazards." so this idea that you shouldn't be able to offload your costs and have the park or the river or miss escola's hand pay the price is not new and it's not unusual, and frankly we see it in our own lives. it's also fairness 101 as well as econ law 101. you don't get to rake your lawn and throw the leaves over your fence into your neighbor's yard. principle's the same -- they're your leaves, you clean them up. so what does soda bottles and yard work have to do with climate change? the very same principle applies. we now know how much harm carbon pollution is causing. we see the costs all around us in storm damaged homes and
flooded cities, in crowd to stricken farms and raging wildfires. in dying coral and disappearing fish. in shifting habitats and migrating diseases. in changed seasons and rising seas. in vanishing glaciers and melting ice caps. these are costs. in some cases they're an economic cost -- people lose money. the owner of a ski lodge, for example, loses money when the ski season gets shorter and shorter. in some cases, they are personal costs. not being able to take your granddaughter to the stream you grew up near because it's dried up. or the beach island you used to explore as a kid because it's underwater. and in some cases, the cost is life and death. powerful storms and severe heat waves take a deadly toll. these are real costs and they come as a result of carbon pollution. these costs are not, however, factored into the price of the
coal or oil that's burned to release the carbon. the big oil companies and the coal barren barons have offloade costs on to society. there's nothing inherently wrong with producing energy. there's nothing inherently wrong with bottling soda or running a grocery store. what's wrong is when you knowingly pass on the cost of your exploding bottle, of your waste disposal, or of your carbon pollution to everybody else. oil and coal companies have been sending carbon pollution into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. when these industries started, the risks were poorly understo understood. but today, they know better. they know what the harm is that they are doing, and they keep doing it. when they lie and pretend those costs aren't out there -- leaves? what leaves? there's no garbage in the park. your hand's just fine,
mrs. escola. or when they pay people to lie and pretend that those costs aren't out there, well, that is all just flat wrong. and when they do it with fat campaign contributions and slick lobbyists and marauding super pacs, well, that makes it worse. that is dirty pool, and it is a market failure. it takes unfair advantage of competing energy sources that don't pollute so much. it makes the competition between them unfair. the big oil companies and the coal barons are no different than the grocery store dumping its garbage in the park or the factory spilling its waste into the river. they are not bearing the costs of their product and they are cheating on their competitors. there's a right way to do it. they figured out how to do it the wrong way and have other people pick up the tab. when it comes to carbon pollution, economists can estimate the true cost of dirty energy. it's often called the social cost of carbon.
the social cost of carbon includes the financial consequences of changing climate, like property loss, increased health care costs, and loss of productivity that come with heat wave, drought, heavy rain, sea level rise, habitat shifts and ocean warming and acidification. we recently learned from noaa that their scientists predict that worldwide, the average summertime loss in labor capacity will double by 2050 as the climate warms and periods of extreme heat become more frequent and more intense, affecting labor intensive outdoor work, like construction and farming. that's a social cost of carbon. of course, certain costs can be hard to predict. how do you calculate the cost of an extinct species? what does it cost to leave to our children and grandchildren warmer, more acidic, less
biodiverse oceans? these calculations may not always be perfect but that doesn't make the costs any less real. for instance, in my home state of rhode island, the costs to our fishermen of these changes is very, very real. in the final tally, economists tell us that big carbon emitters are unloading a big cost on to the public and on to future generations. on average, estimates of the social cost of carbon are about $48 per ton of carbon dioxide. $48 per ton that these big businesses dodge and that we all pay for. whatever the exact dollar amou amount, it's time for congress to wake up and start discussing these very real costs. that's why i'm working with several colleagues to establish a fee on carbon pollution.
we hope to have a draft framework soon to start this discussion. the idea is simple. the big carbon polluters pay a fee to the american people to cover the cost of dumping their waste into our atmosphere and oceans. the costs they now push off on to the rest of us, giving them unfair advantage against their competitors. i'm glad to participate in an effort to determine how best to assess a carbon pollution fee, how to protect american manufacturers from overseas competition that is cheating, and how to protect middle- and low-income families. it has been recognized by republicans and democrats alike that a carbon pollution fee can reduce emissions and help make the market more efficient. last month, senator sanders and senator boxer introduced related legislation and i commend them for their efforts, and i also want to commend senator boxer
for this week, as chairwoman on the environment and public works committee, beginning a regular appearance on the floor to draw this chamber's attention to the dangers of carbon pollution. mr. president, i hope more colleagues will join us in this important discussion. it is economics 101, it is law 101, it is fairness 101. we've had enough sleepwalking. we've had enough silence. we've been warned by our national defense and intelligence communities. we've been warned by the national academies. we've been warned by the government accountability office. we've been warned by the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community. and, of course, we are hearing from millions of concerned americans. it is time, mr. president, for this congress to wake up and to put a price on carbon pollution that matches the costs of that carbon pollution. but we won't get that done if we
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. coons: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. officer without objection. mr. coons: rise to speak about what we so often want to do, thansd to help grow our american economy, to help create jobs for people from our home states and from all across our country. just yesterday in my state of delaware, i cohosted with my congressional colleagues a job fair, a job fair where 1,300 people showed up, showed up early, stayed late, interviewed for jobs with dozens of employers. it was just a personal reminder of how many people in my home state and across the country continue looking for work in this recovery that is still too slow. and it is a remired that one of ow core challenges in the government is to do what we can to create an environment of opportunity and an environment of economic growth where the
people we work for have a shot at a better job. well, one of the things i think we can do is to seize opportunities in the global markets, because 95% of scheduleconsumers worldwide acty live beyond our borders. i wanted to take some time to draw the attention of those in the country to the enormous opportunity presented by the continent of africa. too obvious the impression of africa from the american media and the popular imagination is one that focuses on crisis, on very humanitarian crises. the average american so often overlooks a changed reality in the last decade, a decade in which six of the ten fastest-growing economies on earth were in su sub sub-saharan
africa. what are we to mas make of all s opportunity in africa? there are some fortune 500 companies -- coca-cola, caterpillar, dupont, pioneer -- who have seen this opportunity and have taken advantage of it, who recognize that a vast and rapidly growing middle class in countries like edgethiopia, chad, nigeria, note average countries that americans think of, these companies have recognized the opportunity that lies therein. it is important that they've done that in no small part with help from the u.s. government. as i held two hearings last year on the subcommittee and as the folks who work with me and i met with folks from think tanks and from companies and from embassies, we realized we could do this better. we could be more streamlined, more targeted, and more focused in the work we are doing to take advantage of this remarkable opportunity.
it's also frankly in our strategic national interest for us to do a better job of promoting u.s.-africa trade because, as african economies grow, it promotes free markets, democratic values, good governance and stability in african conditions. and by ensuring that these countries and the regions are stable and economically vibrant, we reduce the number of times that we're drawn in to humanitarian crises or security crises and we improve the lot of hundreds of millions of for instance who then go on in a virtuous cycle of building their trade relationships with us. as i've heard time over time, it takes firsthand personal engagement. it takes trade missions, it takes being there in person to grasp the scope of the opportunities and to respond to them responsibly, and do that well takes american diplomats and american representatives there on the ground. i won't soon forget meeting with a head of state in west africa
on a trip last year where he asked us why america isn't more present, why we don't send more trade delegations. his comment comments was, the be distance were here, the indians are here next week and the chinese, well, they practically live here. we are not doing enough as a country, as a government, as a congress to promote investment and to see this opportunity for what it is. well, others have seen the opportunity and have seized it. just to pick one, china has actually exceeded the united states in terms of its total amount of exports to africa and has rocketed past us. the amount of foreign direct investment, the amount of import sales between china and africa have grown dramatically, far more rapidly than the united states. and even though we have long-standing and positive
relationships, i fear we will wake up and discover that china has secured long-term contracts for decades that lock out american companies, american employers, and american interests. the world bank has rasly predicted that africa is on the verge of a takeoff, much like what we saw in the pacific rim or in central america over the last 20 years. in my view, we have to engage now. when we grow our exports to sport parts of the world like africa it grows american objects jobs and high-quality jobs. every $1 billion in exports that we send overseas supports another 5,000 u.s. jobs and just last year u.s. exports overseas supported more than 7 million jobs. i salute the initiative of the president who is focused on doing more with africa. we need do movement as chairman of the foreign relations subcommittee on africa alistening with my friend and
partner in the last congress, senator johnny isakson of georgia, i convened a series of hearings to focus on u.s. economic state craft in africa, to gather data to have conversations and to learn the facts. about what we need to do to be more competitive. so i've released a report just today called "embracing africa's economic potential" that offers concrete recommendations to the u.s. government, actions we can take right now, often in partnership with our private sector and with african governments to strengthen our trade relationship between the u.s. and the countries of sub-saharan africa. anyone interested can download a copy. our report makes six recommendationsings none of which involves spending a single dime of additional taxpayer money. in fact, it recommends ways to use what money we already spend on exploring eangsdz spanning into the market of africa more efficiently and more effectively. so let's look at the
recommendations in the report. first, it suggests that we work with our african partners to remove barriers to trade. trade is impeded in africa by everything from poor governance and unreliable infrastructure and complex tariffs to corruption. there are solutions that the united states has already offered and there are efforts already under way by american businesses in partnership with our african partners. in particular, u.s. dad i had a.i.d. has sheet up -- we can and should do more. second, reauthorize and strengthen the african growth and opportunity act in advance of its expiration in 2015. this legislation has been hugely successful in promoting african exports into the american market and in building mutually reinforcing relationships between the united states and the continent. i think we can do even more to promote jobs in the united states and africa by
diversifying products covered by agoa, by improving its utilization, by ensuring its benefits are mutually beneficial between our country and africa, and by not waiting in the the 11th hour. senator isakson and i worked very hard to secure reauthorization of the third country fabric provision of agoa last year, but it took longer than it should have and was more difficult than it needed to be. and it is my hope that working together with colleagues here and in the house we can get a jump on this in advance of 2015. the third recommendation is to improve coordination between the many u.s. government agencies working on trade policy to develop a comprehensive strategy for investment in sub-saharan africa. as many as 10 different federal agencies are responsible for parts of trade policy and international development, so making sure they are working together efficiently is a good way for us to ensure success. fourth, we need to increase the
presence of the u.s. foreign commercial service in critical areas in the regions. this chart shows those countries that have the fastest of the-growing economies and this, the few places where we have representatives from usaid or the department of commerce. there are many, many countries in which there are strongly growing economies where we have no representation. we have in fact zero u.s. foreign commercial service officers in five of the six countries listed here as have the fastest-growing economies. we only have six officers in awful sub-saharan africa compared with significantly higher numbers in asia and elsewhere. i'm concerned the reason for this is that commerce isn't forward-looking in its resource allocation and just doesn't see the scale of the opportunities in africa. although i was grateful that acting secretary blank made a trade mission, made a trip to africa late last year, this was the first time in a decade u.s.a. secretary of commerce had made a visit to the continent,
and there is much more we need to do. our fifth recommendation is to bolster support for the agencies that finance and support u.s. commercial engagement overseas, particularly in africa. that's the export-import bank known as ex-im, and the private overseas corporation known as opec. they help with financing, if i cannily financing to markets where they don't yet have the a robust banking sector and where the rule of law is less certain. these agencies are smart investments that actually generate real returns for american taxpayers and contribute to the bottom line for the american federal government. our sixth and last recommendation is to engage the community of african-born individual whose now live in the united states, the so-called deasper a community, to strengthen economic ties. who better to serve as a representative who better to take on spirit of entrepreneurship and pen trite african markets thank those born, raised, or connected to
african countries, who have been educated in the united states, been successful here, and who now have the resources and opportunity to reconnect with their countries of origin or the countries of their families? we can and must do more to strengthen these resources, and i was pleased to get a chance to speak at the second annual diaspera conference last year. it is my hope we will invest further in this recorks something that distinguishes the united states from our competitors in other parts of the world who do not have the blessing of a strong diaspera community as we do. so in short each of these recommendations will get us closer to our goal of a more vibrant, faster-negotiation, more sustainable u.s.-africa trade relationship. but the key to implementing these recommendations in an integrative way is to listen to each other, is to embrace them and move forward across the several committees of jurisdiction, across the ten different federal agencies ants entities and to develop a coordinated plan for taking advantage of this remarkable part of the world that can also
grow american jobs. we have an opportunity to seize, to promote economic engagement, to strengthen the american economy, and to advance the values of freedom and democracy around the world. make no mistake, though -- today we are falling short. we are failing to grasp this opportunity, as strongly as clearly as our competitors are. so we can act on a number of smart legislative proposals, including the increasing american jobs through greater exports to africa act, which i cosponsored in the last congress along with senators durbin and bozeman and which i hope we will reintroduce sortly to establish a comprehensive u.s. strategy for public-private investment, trade, and development in sub-saharan africa. at the same time the administration can and i hope will do more to coordinate strategy and use our resources effectively. this report we've irked today i hope will be seen as a wake-up call. if we fail, if we wake up ten years from now, we will see jobs
and opportunities we might have grasped taken by our competitors. it is my hope that we will not watch these opportunities pass us by but will instead take advantage of this remarkable moment and this great opportunity. thank you. mr. president, i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: quorum call:
mr. whitehouse: i'd like to add to the remarks i made a moment ago on climate change to respond to some statements that have been made recently on the senate floor on this subject. as those of us who are advocates in the cause of doing something about climate change know, the polluters and their advocates have an advantage. they only have to kaet doubt -- have to create doubt, they only have to create debate in order to create delay and allow the polluters to continue making money at the expense of the rest of us. that means that the arguments, frankly, don't have to be true. they just have to be made. then they can say that there's still debate. then they can say there's still controversy, both of which are self-fulfilling prophecies. but they're not real. and some of what's been said is pretty flagrant. one of the lead senate deniers
came to the floor the other day to challenge president obama. president obama said in his state of the union address that the fact is the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. heat wave, droughts, wildfires, floods all are now more frequent and more intense. my denyer colleague quoted him. and to quote my colleague -- quote -- "he said, referring to the president, the president said it's true no single event makes a trend but the fact is the last hottest 12 years on record have come in the last 15. that is flat wrong said the denyer. why don't we see where the president got his information so we can put this into some
perspective. the president got his information from nasa. maybe people in this body are more capable than nasa in dealing with scientific things. but when you consider that nasa has put an explorer on the surface of mars, i think they're entitled to some credence about basic science. and they agree; in fact a program manager at the goddard institute laid out the actual years. some of these are statistical ties because they're equally hot. the number one and two hottest years according to them are 2010 and 2005. the number three to eight hottest years are 2010, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2009. the 9th through 12th hottest years recorded are 2012, 2007, 2001 and 2004. if you go to the 13th year it
is 2008. the 14th and 15th are 1997 and 1995. all of the 15 hottest years on record are 1995 and thereafter. the top 12 all have happened 1998 and thereafter. and it's not just nasa's data set that confirms this. at noaa also looks at the same information. they come at it a little bit differently. they do have a difference, i'll concede that. noaa considers 2012 to be the tenth warmest year on record instead of the ninth. that's the difference between nasa and noah. -- and noaa. we're talking about records going back to 1980. if you look at noaa records it shows 14 of the past 15 years were the hottest on record. ditto the national center for atmospheric research and of course as many of us know, in
political life there,'s a group out there called politifact that takes a look at claims that are made in the public debate in politics, and they assign them true to pants on fire. they looked at the president's claim that the 12 hottest years on record have come in the last 15 years. they gave the president a "true." indeed they said -- and i quote -- "obama was actually overcautious in his statement. so we rate his statement true." so, we have one denier senator against nasa, against politifact, against noaa. i think it is pretty clear who has the facts on their side.
the other statement that was made -- and i'll quote -- "i don't think anyone disagrees with the fact that we actually are in a cold period that started about nine years ago." let's look at the facts. this is the temperature data. the green represents the actual data. the red line is a statistically derived mean of all that information. it is something that is done mathematically. it's not amenable to argument. it's not amenable to debate. you can do it using different methods. but it's clear from that data set that we are in fact in a warming period, not a cooling period. so how do you get to say that in nine years we're in a cooling period? well, if you go back a few years
here, you see there's some high points. and if you pick just those high points and then you go forward nine years, you can draw a graph that goes down. but you have to be very careful how you pick your points to create that illusion. you can actually do it if you want repeatedly in the data. you could pick this point and have it go down. you could pick this point and have it go down. you could pick this point and have it go down. and this and this. each one of those points you could say, well, during this period was actually a cold period. it was actually a cooling period. but when you look at the actual information and when you look at the statistically driven mean that cuts through all the data, it's pretty clear that to try to look at it this way is playing tricks with the data.
it's playing games and trying to fool people. it's twisting and distorting the data. i think that that's less than honest application of these facts. so if that's the sort of trick, the sort of misleading statistical trick that the polluters and their advocates have to resort to, i think that's just another reminder that it really is time for us to wake up and get to work on this. there is no credible scientific debate over what carbon pollution is doing to our atmosphere and our oceans, and it's pretty darned clear that it's warming and warming pretty fast. so i appreciate the opportunity to clarify this, and will yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: mr. president, may i ask that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: i ask unanimous consent that the politifact that i referred to in my last set of remarks be referred to in my remarks as an exhibit. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: thank you. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. whitehouse: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: i ask unanimous consent that h.r. 933 which was received from the house and is at the desk be placed on the calendar. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: i ask unanimous consent that on monday, march 11, 2013, at 5:00 p.m. the senate proceed to executive session to consider the following nominations: calendar numbers 9 and 17, that there be 30 minutes for debate equally divided in the usual form, that upon the use or yielding back of time the senate proceed to vote without intervening action or debate on the nominations in the order listed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate, that no further motions be in order, that any related statements be printed in the record, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action and that the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without
objection. mr. whitehouse: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the appointment at the desk appear separately in the record as if made by the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration en bloc of the following resolutions which were submitted earlier today: senate resolution 71, 72 and 73. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measures en bloc? without objection. mr. whitehouse: i ask unanimous consent that the resolutions be agreed to, the preambles be agreed to and the motions to reconsider be laid on the table en bloc with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: i understand that there is a bill at the desk, and i ask for its first reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read for the first time. the clerk: s. 505, a bill to prohibit the use of germs to kill citizens of the united states within the united states --s use of drones to kill
citizens of the united states within the united states. mr. whitehouse: i ask for a second reading and then i object to my own request. the presiding officer: objection having been heard the bill will be read for the second time on the next legislative day. mr. whitehouse: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 2:00 p.m. on monday, march 11, 2013. that following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour deemed expired, the journal of proceedings journal of proceedings be approved to date and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. and that following any leader remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business until 5:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. further, that following morning business, the senate proceed to executive session under the previous order. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: i am informed that at 5:30 p.m. on monday there will be at least one roll call vote on confirmation of the taranto nomination. we hope to begin consideration of h.r. 933, the continuing appropriations bill received from the house.
the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. mccain: well, thank you, mr. mccain: well, thank you, >> well, thank you, mr. president. i'd like to quote from this morning's editorial in "the wald street journal" entitled rand orul's drone rant. read f and i like to read for the edification of my colleagues the editorial that was in "the wall street journal" this morning. a credible media outlet.
credit "the wall street journal" reads quote, give rand paul credit for theatrical timing, as the snowstorm dissented on washington, the kentucky republicans old-fashioned filibuster wednesday field ofgt, the attention void on twitteron and cable tv. easoning matched awmanship. showmanship.ched awmanship. ag paul begin talking filibuster against john brennan'sthe nomination to lead the cia. is in fact, -- a tactic that was20. rarely used paul said an alarm had to be set about did, he promised to speak billion the president says "no," he will not kill you at did a i cafe. meant by a military drone. he was apparently serious, though his argument isn't. senator paul had written the white house to inquiry about the possibility of a drone strike against a u.s. citizen on
american soil. attorney general eric holder replied that the u.s. hasn't -- has no intention to bomb any specific territory. drones are limited to the remotest area of conflict zones like pakistan and yes yemen, bus a hypothetical constitutional matter, mr. holder acknowledged the president can authorize the use of lethal military force within u.s. territory. this shocked senator paul, who invoked the constitution and miranda rights. under current u.s. policy, mr. paul mused on the floor jane fonda could have been legally killed by a hellfire missile during her tour of communist hanoi in 1972. a group of noncombatants sitting in public view in houston may
soon be pulverized, he declared. calm down, senator. mr. holder is right. even if he doesn't explain the law very well, the u.s. government cannot randomly target american citizens on u.s. soil or anywhere else. i repeat that, the u.s. government cannot randomly target american citizens on u.s. soil or anywhere else. what the it can do under the laws of war is target an a enemy combatant anywhere at any time including on u.s. soil. this includes a u.s. senate -- citizen who is also an enemy combatant. the president can designate such combatant if he belongs to an entity, a government, say, or a terrorist network like al qaeda you that has taken up arms against the united states as part of an internationally
recognized armed conflict. that does not include hanoi jane. such a conflict exists between the u.s. and al qaeda. so mr. holder is right that the u.s. could have targeted, say, u.s. citizen an with a al alwaki had he continued to live in virginia. the u.s. killed him in yemen before he could kill more americans. but under the law, awlakist was no different than the nazis who came ashore on long island in world war ii and were captured and executed. the country needs more senators who care about liberty, but if mr. paul wants to be taken seriously, he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids in their college dorms. he needs to know what he's talking about." well, mr. president, i watched some of that -- quote -- "deba
"debate" -- unquote -- yesterday. i saw colleagues who know better come to the floor and voice some of this same concern, which is totally unfounded. i must say that the use of jane fonda's name does evoke certain memories with me, and i must say that she is not my favorite american. but i also believe that, as odious as it was, ms. fonda acted within her constitutional rights. and to somehow say that someone who disagrees with american policy and even may demonstrate against it is somehow a member of an organization which makes that individual an enemy combatant is simply false. it is simply false.
now, mr. president, i believe that we need to visit this whole issue of the use of drones, who uses them, whether the c.i.a. should become their own air force, what the oversight is, what -- the legal and political foundations for this kind of conflict needs to be reviewed, and it -- the foundation rests mostly on laws designed for another task that government lawyers have interpreted without public scrutiny to meet new challenges outside the surveillance context. congress as a body has not debated or approved the means on the other hands of secret warfare because secret surveillance and targeted strikes rather than u.s. military detentioning are central to the new warfare. we need -- there are no viable
plaintiffs to test the governmengovernment in court. the executive branch decisions since 2001 have led the u.s. to new enemies hon a new battlefield without enough focused national debate, deliberate congressional approval or real judiciary review. and i would probably need a new framework akin to the national security act of 1947 or the series of intelligence reforms made after watergate or even the 2001 authorization of force. to define the scope of the new war, the authorities and limitations on presidential power, and forms of review of the president's actions. i'm quoting from an article by jack goldsmith that was in "the washington post" on february 5, 2013. the u.s. needs a rule book for secret warfare. but i don't think we should have
any doubt that there are people, both within the united states of america and outside of it, who are members of terrorist organizations that want to repeat 9/11. all of us thank god there's not been a repeat of 9/11. most of the experts i know will say that there's been a certain element of luck, but a small element, but still an element of luck such as the underwear bomber and others who have prevented a devastating attack on the united states. but to somehow -- to somehow allege or infer that the president of the united states is going to kill somebody like jane fonda or somebody who disagrees with the policies is a stretch of imagination which is, frankly, ridiculous. ridiculous. so, i don't disagree that we need more debate, more discussion, and frankly probably
more legislation to make sure that america does protect the rights of all of our citizens, to make sure at the same time that if someone is an enemy combatant, that -- that that enemy combatant has nowhere to hide. not in a cafe, not anywhere. but to say that somehow that even though we would try to take that person -- to say that we would hit them in a cafe with a hellfire missile, first of all, there are no drones with hell -h hellfire missiles anywhere near. they're in afghanistan and yemen and other places in the world. so we've done, a i think disservice to a the love americans by making them think that somehow they're in danger from their government. they're not. but we are in danger -- we are in danger from a dedicated,
longstanding, easily replaceable leadership enemy that is hellbent on our destruction. and this leads us to having to do things that perhaps we haven't had to do in other more conventional wars. and i don't believe that anwar al-awlaki should have been protected anywhere in the world. but that doesn't mean that they're is going to take him out with a hellfire missile. it means that we're going to use our best intelligence to apprehend and to debrief these people so that we can gain the necessary intelligence to bring them all to justice. so, mr. president, all i can say is that i don't think that what happened yesterday was helpful to the american people. we need a discussion, as i said,
about exactly how we are going to address this new form of almost terminable warfare, which is very different from anything that we ever faced in the past. but somehow to allege that the united states of america, our government, would drop a drone hellfire missile on jane fonda, that -- that -- that is -- that brings the conversation from a serious discussion about u.s. policy to the realm of the ridiculous. i'd also like to add an additional note, mr. president. about 42%, as i'm told, of the members of this senate are here for six years or less. every time a majority party is in power, they become frustrated with the exercise of the minority of their rights here in the senate.
and back some years ago there was going to be -- we were going to eliminate, when rings republ, this side was in the majority, we're going to eliminate the ability to call for 60 votes for confirmation of udges j. we were able to put a side of the there was another effort just at the beginning of this senate to do away with 60 votes and back down to 51, which in my view would have destroyed the senate. a lot of us work -- a group of us worked very hard for a long time to come up with some compromises that would allow the senate to move more rapidly but at the same time -- and efficiently, but at the same time preserve a 60-vote majority requirement on some pieces of legislation. what we saw yesterday -- what we saw yesterday is going to give ammunition to those critics who say that the rules of the senate
are being abused. i hope that my colleagues on this side of the aisle will take that in information. i'd note the presence of the senator from south carolina. the senator from south carolina, as many of our colleagues know, is a lawyer. he has been a military lawyer in the air force reserve for over 20 years. if there is anyone in the united states senate that knows about this issue from a legal, technical standpoint, i would ask -- it is my colleague from south carolina. i would ask my colleague from south carolina, is there any way that the president of the united states could just randomly attack with a drone or a hellfire missile someone, without that person being designated an enemy combatant? and i don't think, as much as i hate to say it, that that applies to jane fonda. mr. graham: well, thank you. that was a very good question. this has been a very lively debate. senator paul