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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 9, 2014 3:00am-5:01am EDT

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but any short term ad hoc measures aren't going to stop that. and we really need to get to the same. >> steve, i'm sure you'll find a way to answer the question as part of a comment in response to the audience. so let me make sure we get them in. thank you very much. so, i would ask if anyone has a question please raise your hand. as you ask your question or if you would please identify yourself and your name and where you're from. all right. in the first row up here, please. if you could wake for the mic, please. thank you. here it comes. >> question for john and the other panelists, i guess. when i served at treasury between 2001 and 2003, we described in congressional testimony the u.s. tax system as america's berlin wall and said really the only way to stop companies from wanting to leave, if it's in the economic interest to leave, is that tear down that wall and go to a territorial system and you can still raise 10% of the u.s. revenue from the corporate base and no one will
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need to leave. any comments on that. >> steve, do you want to start? >> sure, i can address that. >> i do not think shifting to a territorial system is right. the two problems that we've highlighted here are earning stripping and the deferred accumulated earnings of these controlled foreign corporations. if we shift to a territorial system in which a u.s. company is only taxed on its u.s. source income, and not taxed on its foreign income, there will be all the more incentive for multi-nationals to strip income from the u.s. base and shift it abroad. >> isn't that the first step and then you deal with all those issues -- >> let me finish my answer. so as part of any consideration of territorial, we need to address the earnings stripping issues that we're discussing here. one of the observations
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professor shay made in his article, he wanted treasury to adopt regulations that could fold into tax reform and we've got to address earning stripping and we have to do it sensibly and i think we could fold that in. second, the other problem that we've highlighted here is the large stock of accumulated earnings offshore, the huge i.r.a.s that have not been subject to u.s. tax. i disagree with john. i think the problem of inverted companies is serious and pressing. there's a 2 trillion dollar stock of deferred earnings abroad. and whether we go to territorial in any particular fashion, the deal is under our worldwide system today that u.s. companies are expected to pay tax on their worldwide income. we granted them relief by allowing them to park their earnings abroad with the expectation that they would be
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returned and subject a tax. we granted one holiday in 2004 and promised never to grant a holiday again. so we've got to deal with that issue as we shift as well. so i don't think there's a pansy of let's just tackle all this in reform and leave the rest for later. >> i think the deal was that if they brought the money back it would be subject to u.s. taxations. if it's offshore and stays offshore and you're going to a territorial system, there is really a disconnect there? >> john, you wanted to answer. >> let me try to respond. steve again said a lot on this issue of transition to a territorial system. it's a question of what do you do with historic earnings of u.s. companies. at least the bills that have been put forth -- i'll say when japan and the uk moved to territorial systems, they left the companies bring it back, no toll charge. the u.s. -- all the bills that
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have been introduced impose a toll charge of 5%, 8%, depends on the proposal. none of this inversion activity changes that. steve didn't get this quite right in his article. the u.s. company after an inversion is still a u.s. company, still owns cfcs and those will still be subject to the toll tax. they would be very happy to find out they aren't, but they will be. so i think that's a red heroin. i don't think there's any panaceas. will that exacerbate earnings stripping. maybe. i will point out the rest of the world have moved to territorial systems. the rest of the world do not seem to be having earnings stripping problems that we're conjuring up today, the uk, it's not a problem with the uk, it's
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not a problem in japan and if it's a problem here, we can deal with that problem. >> sir, can i continue to address -- i just -- >> go ahead. >> john, i'm not recalling saying what you said in the article, but -- >> it's in a footnote. >> but if a company is under a u.s. company, those earnings still remain subject to u.s. tax jurisdiction. i think i said that before here. but it is possible through a post inversion planning transaction to decontrol that company in a range of circumstances, sometimes it won't be practical but sometimes it's practical and it can be done without triggering a u.s. tax. if that is done, then those earnings are no longer subject. that's the concern. again, guiding us into the weeds and we can talk about that later. >> i agree with what you said. >> okay. >> let me just say, i will note to the audience that we're going to try to avoid detailed statutory interpretation in q
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and a as webest we can. i have a number of comments. there will be a side bar here after the panel for people what want to press those. i want to keep it broader for all of the audience. let me mention two questions i will ask any who wants to respond and take another question from the room. one question is i think there's a general confusion about whether or not inversions result in employment in the united states shifting or not. so i'm going to ask folks to address that. the second -- and that was from jennifer. sam sabo from online asks us also about the decision made by walgreen's when they purchased boots and chose not to invert. and they said that at the time that if they chose to invert they would be subject to intense scrutiny from the irs for many years to come and the impact of that uncertainty was sufficient to deter them from inverting. specifically, they said, a
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protracted controversy with the irs including litigation that could go on for years, almost a direct quote, would complicate and impede everyday tax and business planning so that with the implicit threat of such uncertainty et cetera, et cetera. if you would comment, please, on maybe -- are there some firms that will not undertake this direction simply because of the sort of heightened scrutiny it will subject them to? >> so let me take the first question first because i think it's really important. are any jobs leave the u.s. because of these inversions. the answer, can you put the chart back up, the picture -- do we still have that available? the u.s. company after the transaction still exists. it's just owned by a foreign company. no jobs leave the united states. no real assets leave the united states. no capital leaves the united states. all that's happened is the shareholders of the former u.s. company are now shareholders of
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a foreign parent. capital isn't leaving the united states. jobs aren't leaving the united states. capital is actually coming back to the united states through the techniques that steve would like to stop through regulation, the self help territoriality. it is true -- and if the u.s. company is larger than the foreign company, so the foreign company still can't be -- it has to be 25% the size of the u.s. company the management of the combined company will be a u.s. company. does that mean they have to move overseas? no. management can still stay in milwaukee or in -- whatever city they're in, will there be board meetings in the uk? sure. but a board meeting is hardly a major loss of jobs or capital. and that is really confused in the public discussion on these transactions. people think we're hallowing out real asset, real investment. we are not. >> steve, how big a deterrent is the heightened scrutiny that any
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company would get from treasury if they inverted? >> to talk specifically about walgreen's to put that in perspective, walgreen's was -- had already acquired 55% of its target and activist investor came in and said we want you to turn the rest of your acquisition into an inversion. in order to do that, they would have had to restructure the transaction in a way that would have raised a number of issues under existing law that would properly have attracted scrutiny by the irs. so that is a special case. and i think for those of us who served in the tax functioning government either treasury or the irs know, a, how incredibly important the integrity of treasury and irs are -- is to our government. and, b, that the irs really plays it straight and looks for where there are tax issues for
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which there is a real potential adjustment. and i don't think -- just because they're inverted, it depends how you do it, how clean it, what issues will be raised. there certainly could be a transaction like that that would not attract material scrutiny. all depends on the facts of transactions. and wall greens is an example of that. >> okay, great. other comments in the room here? you have a question right here and then we'll go back to the back of the room. so right here and then back there. we're waiting for a mic to get to you in the second row, please. thank you. >> thank you. my name is buck chapten. john, i just get to the point when you just said there's nothing -- the transaction capital comes this way, jobs stay here. i worry about the point i guess steve made that that really speaks to the integrity of the tax system, doesn't it? people read about it in the paper, it happening and nothing
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really changes. they just avoid a tax. and let me just say one other thing, wall green's would be stupid. >> why don't you go ahead. >> buck, i do not think nothing happens in these transactions. and that's why i don't think of them as inversions. the original inversion transaction is when a company merged into its own subsidiary. nothing did happen there and they did it to get their money back. congress didn't like that so in 2004 they enacted a statute to
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stop that but they wanted legitimate mergers to continue. and indeed secretary lew said he wants legitimate mergers to continue. congress defined a legitimate merger as one where the foreign company was at least worth 25% of the u.s. company. so there is a legitimate transaction going on here. and i do not think companies by and large are doing this just to get -- these are business combinations. you don't take your company and merge it with another company that's 25% your size just for tax reasons. you find a real]'l1yñfñjuj combination to be sure you have the foreign company be the parent for tax reasons, just like happened in chrysler diamond. >> well, but the point is, is it not, that the acquired company, will you will, the former u.s. company, it doesn't change anything, may call its address there, but the people are
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managed here. >> no. what's changed is it's now got -- it's combined with a foreign business. look, i do not think companies should have to do this and i don't want to defend these transactions. i think we need to change our tax code so they don't have to do them. i can't believe you think we should force companies to keep their cash outside the united states. >> if you could just add to -- look. folks who do acquisitions look at the discounted cash flow and say, am i richer afterwards or not? and part of that discounted cash flow are tax savings. and you weight them differently depending on your management frankly. it varies from company to company. what he is referring to is the fact that in contemplating the inversion in the walgreen's transaction, a very substantial amount of the potential discounted cash flow benefit
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came from tax savings. that is all we're trying to deal with. we're trying to say get the law, whether by regulation or law, to a situation where deals are done on pretax economics, if they work, they work, if they don't work they don't work. and so part of the reason why i'm more sanguine than a lot of people about putting in regulations if they're well designed and fair is because if a transaction -- a transaction will still go forward if they can do it by the rules that are properly designed, okay. the fact is that the current rules -- we've said since 2007 in a treasury report issue by the bush administration are not working. and that is why there have been budget proposals almost since and now we're paying a cost of having done nothing on this subject. >> but i haven't heard you or steve -- i agree with you address the fact that therefore treasury said to the congress, please change the law. we need the law changed, amend
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section 163 j. congress hasn't for inverted companies, congress hasn't gotten around to doing that yet, but that's congress's decision. once treasury decides congress isn't going to do it, they say well we're going to act on your own. we'll issue some regulation. >> i think there's a subtle difference here in that it would be more desirable for congress to do it and secretary lew said that. the best practice is for congress to do it. now, you're saying the word necessary -- >> that's what the treasury says. >> i understand. they're saying the use of that word notes that they are otherwise impotent. until there's a change in the regulation they can do nothing. i'm not sure that necessarily follows. it is better for congress -- >> let me respond. i think what i'm saying is when they say it's necessary, they're implicitly saying i don't have the authority under these other code sections. >> that statement was made in budget documents that were
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issued before the pfizer deal, certainly drafted before the pfizer deal, before $100 billion more and now more than that in issue deals. there is a saying that when the facts change you should change your thinking. and i think what we heard from secretary lew this morning was his thinking has changed. and it's clear that it's changed because of those developments. and we can disagree with whether it's right and that's perfectly fine. i happen to agree with the secretary. this is important. these facts, these change in facts are important and the treasury needs to act. >> so i agree when the facts change you should change your opinion. i don't think when the facts change it changes your authority to act. i think it makes it more important for congress to act, much more important. i think congress should act. i hope they do act. but i don't think because facts change it changes the law. >> sally said before just because you have the authority doesn't mean you have to use it. it's clear the treasury didn't. i disagree with your reading of
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the budget statement as saying they can't. and it seems to me evident on reading a statute and all the analysis we've gone through today with the great patience of this audience that they have the authority. >> all right. let's see. i had promised in the back on the left there. could you stand so we could see you, please. >> mindy hertzville with tech analyst. part of my question was answered by the previous question, but professor shay -- >> stand up first, please. >> professor, maybe you could clarify what you meant when you were saying that your proposal was the target only expatriot companies. so i think what you meant maybe was that it would target all in-bound companies but you think it would impact just expay ating in order to push that down? >> what my article actually said
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was essentially good policy would be to cover all foreign controlled companies. but that there's authority, which i read earlier from the statute, to take on particular factual cases. there's data supporting looking at inverted companies differently and in order to act quickly and to deal with the immediate problem, the tourniquet so to speak, in my article i actually recommended only address -- only applying the heightened standards to inverted companies. that's a decision treasury could easily not follow. they could say, no, let's do it for everybody. i mention in a footnote in that article that there are political economy reason to not target everybody was just basically to reduce the number of lobbyists you have to deal with in the short term while you're trying to get this done. but i'm glad you laugh because it was facetious. >> okay. could i get a microphone down here? thank you.
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thank you very much. >> tig -- >> could you stand up for the benefit of those in the back. thank you. >> i guess my question there's been a lot of questions about the regulatory authority, sally, you talked about what the due process was. that seems to be one of the things that's really absent if the administration just makes unilateral changes and in particular, some of the things that professor shay talks about on 385 seems arbitrary in determining what is or isn't. so i'm curious, how is due process carried out if in a matter of weeks the rules are changed? >> due process is normally carried out in rule making through the notice and comment process. it takes more than a few weeks, i will grant you that. but it can be done in fairly quick time frame. i'm reminded of a regulation
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that was done by department of treasury. department of transportation that had to do with -- with car seats in the front because the air bags were exploding. and were smothering children and women of short stature. and to stop that, d.o.t. put out a notice called for comments in 30 or 45 days, and were able to turn it around in about five days, so that the total lapse period was about two months. that's fast. but it can be done. and if there is a need and i can't speak to that, if we do have the tourniquet issue, you can do the notice, you can get the comments, it sounds to me like most of you are pretty up to speed so that if -- if notice
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of proposed rule making were to issue, you might be able to get the comments in very quickly. the treasury people could review them very quickly or the irs people could review them very quickly in final rule without going through ira could issue in a matter of months, not a matter of weeks. that is due process, the courts have consistently held that where the public participation follows the rules of the apa, section 553, since you're pulling out section numbers, 553 of the apa, that that does satisfy the requirements and provides the public the opportunity. there is in addition a weird position -- provision in the congressional review act that any regulation that is issued could conceivably be set aside through a motion of disproval if
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poe both houses of congress and the president sign off on it, it is pure majority. if it happens during this administration, presumably the president would veto that, even if both houses of congress chose to disapprove it. but it is -- there is a clawback provision. this is more than you ever wanted to know, i'm sure. but it enables the congress to look back, to claw back, to appear if there were, for example, a republican president in 2016 in both houses were held by the republicans in 2016, they could claw back as far as may or june of 2015. that should set treasury thinking. we don't have until next november or the following year, there is a time frame that they would want to get their reg finished so it can't be clawed
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back. and if you really care about this, look up the history of the ergonomics rule during the clinton administration where in 2000, they clawed back to a june or july rule and disproved it. very rare, very, very rare. but it is out there. and it is part of the due process scheme. >> so, steve, you wanted to comment. treasury works through interpretive rules. are you okay? >> i just -- >> steve needs to make a plane back to boston to teach a class today, so we're going to let him out at precisely in time. so we have time for a very short final comment and then we'll close this panel. is there any other comments, a hand back there if you would, please. >> if you would target to one of the panelists. >> another question for sally. my name is jeff. on this issue of whether we can afford to wait for tax reform and the issues of retro activity
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we have been talking about, would congress have greater ability to act retroactively than the treasury department and the administrative setting? >> i haven't gone into all of the tax code provisions, but it strikes me from what i have seen that treasury has a great deal of authority here. it is always better to have congress act. they should make the law. that's their job. and therefore it is usually less suspicious and less contested. but treasury does have some authority here and i can't really opine on a relative merits. >> all right, with that, thank you. i'm going to also say to david and ryan who sent comments in that we're very thoughtful but also precise that we will share them with the panelists and encourage you to follow up by e-mail if you have questions. could i ask everyone here to please join me. this was probably for those of you who are not lawyers a bill
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bit of a return to some statutory interpretation that we don't always get to do, but the courts may well find these very questions in front of them. i know treasury is wrestling with them now and it is great to have this really extraordinary group of people here to help us all understand and get a flavor of what that is. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. i'm going to run for my plane. >> on the next "washington journal," steven bucci, a military assistant for then defense secretary rumsfeld talks about military options against isis. then congressman brad sherman of california on president obama's upcoming speech on u.s. strategy against isis, and threats posed by the terrorist group. washington journal is live every morning at 7:00 eastern on c-span. and you can join the conversation on facebook and
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a question, whoever the moderator, host was of that event, they said, they told the person at, you know, the audience member who was asking the question, don't leave, you know. and then they would go and say what they were going to say about whatever that person's questio℠,,,,,
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the weekends. thanks for running this thing and all the different things you do with the different histories and everything. i sure do appreciate it. thank you very much. >> and continue to let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us at 202-626-3400. send's tweet at #c123. or e-mail us at comments @c-span.org. next, a discussion on u.s. military rules of engagement, and how they impact soldiers on the battlefield. speakers include a former navy s.e.a.l. commander, former army attorney and the parents of a navy s.e.a.l. killed in action during the afghanistan war. hosted by the institute of world politics, this is an hour and 45 minutes.
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>> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. welcome to the institute. my name is john lynn schaffski. the president of the institute. for those who are new to us, we are a graduate school of national security affairs, we offer five different masters degree programs, and 17 certificate programs. we have a faculty almost exclusively a scholar practitioners. and we specialize in teaching all of the different arts of state craft, the different instruments of national power, including military strategy, intelligence, counterintelligence, the art of diplomacy, the many arts of public diplomacy, cultural diplomacy, strategic communications, political action, economic strategy, and so on. and how each of these are integrated into the overall symphony, so to speak, of our foreign policy and grand
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strate strategy. we have a regular lecture series here where we address a multiplicity of subjects related to various world affairs and we're honored today to have a -- several speakers put together an orchestrated by two great and wonderful friends of the institute, ken and sharyl cohen. ken and sharyl have been long time supporters of our -- of those who serve our country in uniform, of our wounded warriors, and of various and have been staunch advocates of a strong national security policy. ken, who is going to be the maestro of our afternoon here is -- has had a very broad engae
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engaging career in law, but has wide ranging interests stemming from some of his earlier days in his education where he got a masters degree in ancient and near eastern languages and literature. he's a graduate of the bolt law school at the university of california at berkeley. he has served as -- as an attorney with the great firm in los angeles on melvin and myers and was the founding and senior partner of cohen and ziskin, which specialized in banking and real eee state law. as part of his civic activities in various having to do with military and national security affairs, ken has also served as an adjunct jag lawyer, volunteering with the u.s. army in california. and so he has been long
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concerned with issues of the conditions under which our fighting men and women have to try to achieve their objectives, and he's been focusing lately on the whole question of rules of engagement. so i'm going to turn it over to ken, with gratitude for your extraordinary citizenship, your and sharyl's citizenship, the concern for the welfare of our armed forces and our veterans and for ensuring maximum wisdom in our defense and national security policies. and ken will be introducing our -- several other distinguished contributors to the -- to the event today. ken cohen. [ applause ] >> thank you, john.
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many thanks to you, to merit, to katie and the others at the institute for hosting today's program on the rules of engagement. sharyl and i, by the way, are very proud to have been associated and supporters of the institute for a number of years. we have witnessed its really dramatic growth as a leading academic institution promoting the values of western civilization, freedom and democracy and for that we thank you. so thank you. >> couple of housekeeping issues. questions and comments, we have a fairly significant amount of time set aside for that at the end of the entire program rather than as each person speaks. and one thing i'd like to note is this is being filmed, this morning i said by mistake by espn, but it is -- i guess that tells you what i watch, but by
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c-span. and so it is being filmed by them and i wanted to point out that the comments and opinions of all of the speakers are their own and not those of the institute. the -- as my wife sharyl is fond of reminding me, on multiple occasions, that i am the least knowledgeable and experienced person on this panel today. and i think that the only advantage that i can see in that is that i expect to learn how our secretary of state feels on most occasions. today's program focuses on the rules of engagement and tactical directives promulgated by successive generals in afghanistan, appointed by the commander in chief to command the coalition forces there.
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while a number of our invited guests are familiar with rules of engagement and tactical directives, the nonclassified published expressions of rules of engagement, for others today's program will be an introduction to a new and important concept. so i wanted to try to provide a little background primarily for those people. after many years and much hard work, in 2005, the united states established standing rules of engagement for its fighting forces. the rules of engagement are the primary tools for regulating the use of force in combat. now, while incorporating traditional rules of combat for civilized nations like the geneva conventions and what is referred to as the rules of law, the rules of engagement also
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incorporate nonlegal issues such as political objectives and mission limitations that restrict military force used for a number of reasons. some of these reasons might be that rules of engagement may be designed to accommodate the objectives of allies, or to sustain support at home for foreign military action. however, however, incorporated in the standing rules of engagement, and for centuries in the law of war has been the right of warriors to defend themselves. section six of the 2005 standing rules of engagement declares unit commanders always retain the right and obligation, right and obligation to exercise unit self-defense and in response to a hostile act or demonstrated hostile intent. it is this right, the bedrock right of self-defense that has been eroded and effectively
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eliminated in the combat in afghanistan. leaving our warriors to fight with both hands tied behind their backs. today, few people would question the statement that our commander in chief is a muslim sympathizer. it has not been difficult for him to locate upwardly mobile general officers who will put forth rules of engagement or tactical directives that under the now century discredited coin doctrine or concept of trying to win the hearts and minds of the afghans by demonstrating islamic sensitivity, in fact, overly restrict the way the u.s. fights in afghanistan. these obama administration rules of engagement and tactical directives have not only resulted in skyrocketing casualties for u.s. troops, but have resulted in significant increases in civilian casualties
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as well. and emboldened enemy who fights without any of these restrictions that we impose on our forces as do other civilized countries. that enemy is now far better able to kill and maim both civilians and u.s. fighters without significant fear of reprisal because of the overly restrictive limitations, rules of engagement mandate. a few brief quotes from tactical directives will make this apparent. this is general mcchrystal in 2009. i recognize the carefully controlled and disciplined employment of force entails risks to our troops and we must work to mitigate that risk wherever possible. but excessive use of force resulting in an alienated population will produce far greater risks and the use of air to ground fire or air to ground munitions and indirect fires
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against residential compounds is only authorized under very limited and prescribed circumstances and conditions. from general petraeus in 2010, prior to the use of fires, the commander approving the strike must determine that no civilians are present. and then general john allen in 2011, every civilian casualty is a detriment to our interests and those of the afghan government. even if the insurgents are responsible and his second quote, presume every afghan is a civilian unless otherwise apparent. you will hear more in today's program about how the rules of engagement promote inaction or dangerous hesitation on the battlefield -- on the battlefield with devastating consequences. remember, a service member who doesn't follow the rule of engagement, which is an order, can be and frequently is
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court-martials. a term in leavenworth can be the result. and failing to follow a tactical directive can result in a career ending administrative reprimand or other administrative action. as a consequence of these overly restricted rules of engagement, as our warriors have increasingly hesitated to pull the trigger, the number of u.s. warrior deaths and casualties escalated dramatically. it is no wonder that these rules of engagement became known as the suicide rules of engagement. it is also -- if you think about it, no surprise that as a result of these rules of engagement, many of our nation's most honorable and best warriors have chosen to end their military service. as one brave worrier stated, i didn't sign up to be sacrificed, i signed up to fight. with that backdrop, i would like to ask my wife sharyl to
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introduce a special guest, karen and billy vaughn. >> well, i'd like to extend a huge thank you to john and the entire staff here. the opinions expressed today are those of our guests, but it is really wonderful of you to host us, and talk about such an important subject. i have some special guests that i'd like to extend a special welcome to, and those are the warriors that were in the film, "warriors in their own words", james, greg, frank, frank, and tim. thank you. there are some of you that have been to afghanistan and recently have come back and are going again. and i know all of you have seen friends die or been maimed by the rules of engagement that you've had to work and fight under.
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why? why is a big question. it is a question that mr. and mrs. vaughn asked when their son aaron, a s.e.a.l. team 6 chief and 29 other americans were shot down in extortion 17. 90 days after osama bin laden was killed. when they started to peel the onion, what they found was an infiltration of our government at the highest levels. take a look. ♪
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♪ ♪ >> obviously a mission was compromised. we might as well have turned them over to the taliban.
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but they knew they were coming. we didn't provide the required suppression fire. somebody needs to be held accountable. >> i am determined. >> intelligence community, cia, s.e.a.l.s. >> they knew they were)ú3y comi. >> this administration, theñr muslim brotherhood has made some of its greatest advances. the muslim brotherhood creed is to destroy america from within by their own miserable hands. their intent is to replace our constitution with sharia law.
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our current director of cia is a convert to islam, which never seems to get discussed. >> what difference at this point does it make? ♪
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>> i am honored to introduce aaron's parents who have dedicated their lives to continuing his work defending our freedoms. ladies and gentlemen, karen and billy vaughn. [ applause ] >> thank you, all. sorry. for having us here today, we
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were a proud blue star family who had a son, a brother, a husband, and a father, who loved this country, who knew and knows the enemy that we're engaged against, who was able and is able to see good and evil. but on august 6th, 2011, that blue star turned to gold. and in the days and the weeks and the months that followed, karen and i began to discover and uncover many, many disturbing things that we wish we never had to tell you the
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truth. if our son had died that night, on an mh-47, special operations chopper being flown by the 160th aviation night stalkers, and a sky full of fire and bullets and rpgs in the middle of a battle, i wouldn't be standing here today. but that's not what happened. in october, we were brought in to debriefing, we were told two things that were very disturbing that day. one, that night, that night of the assault, the most premiere assault force in the world, s.e.a.l. team 6 was flying in an antiquated ch-7 d chinook retro fitted. because we don't have enough special operations choppers to fly our warriors on, and many,
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many congressmen, many politicians, even high ranking military officials will tell you today if you give them the opportunity to ch-47 is just as effective as the mh-47. i'll tell you what, i'll stand here and tell you they're liars. because if you go on boeing's website, boeing will tell you plainly what the ch-47 was built for. it was not built for nighttime assault missions. you couldn't have kept my son or those other 29 americans off that chopper that night. but that is no excuse for what happened. because that's the kind of men they were, this country, this republic, this government, this administration, this congress, this department of defense owes them the best equipment and the best rules of engagement that can possibly be given to war fighters today to defeat a savage enemy that has been at war with western civilization for over 1400 years.
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and that night, none of that happened. we learned they were on that antiquated helicopter. we learned when the chopper was shot down, 30 americans dead on the ground, that our weapons team overhead did not take out the men who fired the rpgs, although one of the ah-64 choppers and gun ships in the air saw where the shots came from. they did not take them out. the ac-130 was denied to take them out. the ah-64 didn't even ask. and, by the way, in the testimony that we have, the ah-64, the air weapons team, when they were asked about the fire on the way in for the chopper that night, they didn't even request it. because they have given up basically, because it is a one in a million chance was one of them's testimony. we can almost never get preassault fire cleared as another testimony.
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we know that the men on the ground that night, the ranger, ranger is the one platoon pushed for preassault fire, yet there was none. we don't know why. we also know that -- you'll have to tell me how many minutes. we also know that there was seven afghans on board that chopper that night that nobody will tell, they were not the same men as listed as the men listed on the manifest. nobody will tell who those afghans were. but we know that according to a delta force operator who was at our house with admiral william mccraven on january 2013 they were changed out at the last minute by some commander. there may have been nothing -- anything na fairious there, but we don't know. what i do know, in 2009, our ambassador to afghanistan made a public statement that we know that the afghan national armory is infiltrated with taliban.
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we know that according to mullah omar, the taliban's main goal of defeating the coalition forces in afghanistan publicly stated was to infiltrate the afghan national forces, yet our defense department, our administration and our -- many of our senior military leaders -- i don't like to say these things, folks, but it is the truth and america must know the truth. this is not easy for karen and i because we love our military. but many of our senior military leaders have compromised our warriors. we fight alongside over there, a group called the operational coordination group, made up of the afghan national army, the afghan national police and afghan national security ministry. they have eyes, ears, on every special operation that takes place. this is not my opinion. this is straight from the military. they have -- they have the very
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equipment to watch the operations take place that our tactical operating centers for nato forces do, so they see -- they have the radios, they see and hear everything that is taking place. they have the authority to squash every special operations mission that takes place in afghanistan. so in theory we have lent our special operations forces out to the islamic republic of afghanistan, the sharia compliant islamic republic of afghanistan. folks, this is criminal. there is a memo, a memorandum of understanding signed by general john allen that the very title of it is the afghanization of special operation forces in afghanistan. these men have been betrayed by many of their senior military leaders and certainly by the -- certainly by the administration. and as ken said a while ago, i never thought i would have to learn anything about rules of
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engagement. what i've learned is not pleasant. and i know that there are many experts here today, if i say something wrong, please forgive me. today, our war fighters fight by rules handed down by the commander in chief as ken said, enforced by jag officers and, listen, most of these people will never, ever see the battlefield. most of these people will never go out into the dark of night and face the savage enemy, face to face. most of these people will never see the blood drain from their buddy's body, smell the stench of war, or have a bullet whiz by their head. most of these rules are written over white linen, dinner cloths here in washington, d.c. by people who don't even know what's going on over there. it is time it has to stop. the problem is our defenders
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can't speak up. they are beginning to. let me give you two instances. just last night, it leaked out that our special operators in afghanistan right now are confused. they don't know what their mission is. folks, this ought not be. hesitation should never take place on a war fighter in battle -- on the battlefield. this morning, a 29-year-old marine was on fox news and said the rules of engagement have to be moderated before we go into war again. many times my son, when he came home from deployment, we would talk and sometimes i would hear him say things that would happen, and we are a believing family, a believer in christ. and i would want to say, son, is there something else that could have been done. head to words never left the tip of my tongue. i love my son too much to ever put any hesitation in his mind if he were are in front of the enemy. and him think, well, dad said.
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let me tell you this, the people in washington, d.c., senior military leaders, are doing it every day. the night extortion 17 was shot down, the ac-130 gun ship was denied on multiple occasions to engage the enemy, even though the ac-130 said there is zero percent civilian damage estimate. let me tell you this, folks, our warriors are fighting a vicious savage enemy overseas. but i will tell you today the greatest killing field for our war fighters has been opened up in the rear in washington, d.c. and it must be stopped. it must be stopped and today they cannot stand and defend themselves, so it is up to us, the american citizen to defend our war fighters. this is not just about aaron and the men on extortion 17 anymore. it is just what ken said, many are getting out. many of our special operators are seasoned operators who have been there for years and years
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are getting out because they're not allowed to fight. we must stand and defend our defenders. thank you, folks. [ applause ] >> thank you so much for being here this afternoon and thank you, ken and sharyl for your gracious, willingness to put this together and all the leaders here at the institute, thank you. our hearts are full of gratitude. i'm going to try to be very brief here. you saw the numbers in the short film there about people who have been killed since we implemented the coin strategy that ken told you about in 2009. better known as the winning hearts and minds campaign. what i would like to share also is an even more staggering number as if that's not staggeri"="cqj('gerenough, sincn is included in those numbers, that is the wounded in action. in the first 7 1/2 years of war are in afghanistan, we had~?!ó u.s. soldiers come home wounded in action. and i'm talking about lives forever changed. we're not talking about a bump on the head, we're talking about
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dramatic brain injuries, amputations, a major course of amputations because their primary warfare against us on the ground is ieds. but here's what happened, over the next three and a half years after this strategy was implemented, 15,044 soldiers came home wounded. that is a 1,000% per year increase in wounded in action number on the battlefield in afghanistan and nobody is talking about it. so billy and i dedicated our lives to it. you've heard -- you've heard and you are going to hear more the factual parts of rules of engagement. and billy and i could talk to you for five days literally about what we have learned that is go on in the battlefield and senior military leadership and in our current administration, but i want to make this human because in my opinion, the most important thing i can do as a parent is make you understand that every one of those numbers we just recited has a circle of family and loved ones that flow
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beside them, a circle that is forever altered, forever changed. i want to make this personal for a minute. i want to tell you about our son, if you would allow me. aaron, from the time he was 8, he would tell anybody who would listen, one day he's going to be a navy s.e.a.l. he had a heart so full of righteous indignation for evil. he gave his life to christ at a young age. there is a lot of good things about that, primarily his father and i know where he is right now. and we know we'll be with him again one day. but also what that did was that drove this force in him to do what was right, for america, for the world, for the -- aaron just had this -- he had this presence about him, always pointing out what was wrong and how to fix it, not aggressively and hatefully, but how can we fix it, how can we make this world better. he always thought that one day he would get to serve this nation as he ended up doing. and i want to make this very brief because his story is big enough, you know, to fill a book. but, you know, like i said, by
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everybody he was go to be a navy s.e.a.l. heówuñ?=ñi obliterated the acl left knee and it was a huge setback as you can imagine, but he had it replaced and rehabbed it and was right back on track. he was going straight into the s.e.a.l. challenge program when he graduated high school. just before school let out that year, he obliterated that knee again in a pickup game of basketball with some friends after school. he just thought he would do the same thing again, have it replaced and get back out there and maybe a little bit of a setback, but he was going to achieve his dreams. unfortunately when the surgeon came out of the surgical suite that day, he came and told us mr. and mrs. vaughn, there is nothing we can do for aaron's knee there was too much damage, there is basically nothing left in there to attach anything to so aaron is going to spend the rest of his life somewhat incapacitated, somewhat handicapped. he'll never be able to do anything physical again without the use of a special brace. so imagine our surprise when aaron came home on his 2 161st birthday, a few short months after 9/11, which changed our
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lives and told us, mom and dad, i joined the s.e.a.l. challenge program today. his father's response was, son, you'll never make it, not to be discouraging, but it was insane, he had no knee. first thing i said as a mom is, son, do they know about your knee? well, of course not or they wouldn't have let me in the program. to make a long story shorter, aaron graduated 157 men started, and seven finished and he was one of them. and i say that because aaron always knew that god had allowed him to achieve his dream beyond all odds and he -- because of that also his father and i knew that no matter how vile the circumstances that took place around our son's death, we knew he was doing exactly what he had been created to do when he lost his life on august 6th, 2011. i want to spend just my last couple of minutes here, telling you about some of the applications of the lives that have been cost by rules of engagement. you know about our son.
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we absolutely are convinced that rules of engagement claimed his life and 29 other americans. here is a couple of stories we have learned since then from other parents who reached out to us. there is greg buckley jr., he was a marine that called home and told his father and wrote him, dad, i'm not going to make it home from afghanistan if i have to stay here until november. his father said, what is it, son? is the battle that heated? he said, no, i'll be killed by one of the afghans i'm having to partner with on the base. guess how greg buckley jr. died? he was killed by one of the afghans on his base. there are soldiers unarmed, but the afghans were not. a tribe boy, a sex slave, a tribe boy opened up fire on a group of our men working out in their makeshift base, killed three americans and wounded one, very tragically. the second thing i want to tell you is about jordan bear, jordan was on an american base in afghanistan, and while again our men are armed because, you know, we're trying to play political
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games with our soldiers' lives, saying we don't feel threatened, our men aren't armed, but guess who is, the afghan men on the base. opened fire on the men below, killed two soldiers in that attack. and kept shooting so long, jordan's life could have been saved, but because he kept shooting and because he had had such a superior position to all the men on the ground, trying to save jordan's life, nobody could do anything. and jordan actually strangled on his own blood laying on the concrete while his men watched. the third one i want to tell you about is -- i believe this is the most egregious to my heart. we learned from a ranger friend that if you are fired on by an afghan, by the taliban member, whatever, and they run behind a
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rock, and duck down, when they pop back up from behind that rock, you're not allowed to open fire on them until you can verify they did not lay their arms down behind that rock. so this is the insanity that cost sandrino his life. he was out on the platoon -- on patrol with his platoon and they came under fire by some taliban members. the first thing that the taliban did because they know the rules of engagement is they ran into a building and out the other side of it. guess what sandrino had to do leaving his men? he had to call his forward operating base on his radio and ask permission to engage the men who had just opened fire on them. and guess what the answer was? no. sandrino began arguing with them, these are bad guys, they just opened fire on us, what are you doing, what is going on here? the answer continued to be no until sandrino was shot and killed while he was arguing with leaders sitting in an air
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conditioned building somewhere, probably sipping a cup of coffee. this is unacceptable. we had a member of s.e.a.l. team 6 come to us not long ago and he said that their greatest fear on every operation is being shot in the back of the head by the afghan component they're being forced to work with. he said there were constant mexican standoffs. this man was 2 1/2 years shy of a full retirement package. when he left, his career, his career that he loved and his quote to us was i didn't join to be sacrificed. i joined to fight. i need to live on the other side of this and it is not going to happen if i go back again. so he quit. like billy said, we're losing our bravest and brightest and strongest, our heroes. know they have been betrayed by this government, by this senior military leadership, not all of them, i would never say that, but there is people in key places that are not getting this right. another member told us when we would try to explain to our
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leaders, what was happening in those raids anigt night, what w happening in the situations we found ourselves in, they said we were being illogical. we committed our lives to making sure people know what is happening to our fighters. it is up to us to defend our defenders. thank you very much. >> there really is nothing much i can say. thank you for sharing your stories with us. but i guess i can do one thing, which is introduce you now to a jag officer who is out at night fighting. which -- i'm going to take the time to read the next two speakers biographies because i
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don't want to mess anything up, basically. so this next speaker is professor jeffrey addicott, director of the center for terrorism law in san antonio, texas, at st. mary's school of law. lieutenant colonel u.s. army retired jeffrey addicott is a full professor of law and director of the center for terrorism law at st. mare arey' school of law, antonio, texas. an active duty officer for 20 years, professor addicott spent a quarter of his career as a senior legal adviser to the army special force. he's an internationally recognized authority on national security law and testifies before congress on a variety of legal issue. he's also a regular contributor to national and international news media outlets to include fox news channel, msnbc, cnn, bbc, new york times, washington post, wall street journal and
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usa today. he's published over 60 books, articles and mondaygraph monogr variety of legal topic. professor addicott pioneered the teaching of the law of war and human rights courses to the militaries of numerous nascent democracies in eastern europe and latin america. for these efforts, he was awarded the legion of merit, named the army judge advocate of the year and honored as a co-recipient of the american bar association's hop son award. jeff addicott served in senior legal positions in germany, korea, panama, and throughout the united states. professor addicott holds a doctor of sjd degree and master of laws llm from the army judge advocate general school in charlottesville where he was the deputy director of the international and operational law division and a jd from the university of alabama school of
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law. apart from teaching a variety of courses at the law school to include national security law and terrorism law, dr. addicott served as the associate dean of administration st. mary's university, and was the 2007 recipient of st. mare ary's school of law, distinguished faculty award. importantly, professor addicott represented service members in alleged roe rules of engagement violation court-martials and proceedings related to alleged violations of tactical directives. with an impressive -- very impressive background and forth right manner, please welcome colonel and professor jeffrey addicott. [ applause ] >> it is a great pleasure to be here. i have 15 minutes and i'm not a texan. i'm from alabama. i'm try it talk faster. i'm going to spend three minutes giving you a quick fly by of our
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center for terrorism law and we'll talk about this fellow here, lieutenant waddle, who knew if you're in the military, you may have seen it on the front page of the army times where it says screwed by the roe, rules of engagement. also on the front page of the federal times, the washington times and i was interviewed by catherine heritage at fox news and publicized there. first, our center for terrorism law, there are 200 law schools in the united states, we're the only law school that has a center divided to studying the issues associated with terrorism. i founded the center in 2003. we celebrated our tenth anniversary, governor rick perry came down to help celebrate that event, marcus luttrell who was the author of lone survivor and if you haven't seen that movie, i highly recommend it. part of the mission of our center is to assist the government and when i was in the military, i was a senior at jag for the green berets and our job is to tell the boss when the boss is wrong and tell him how to fix it. i was introduced to roes at an
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early stage in my career, 1995, special forces going into haiti. and the initial roes being drafted by the pencil heads in washington with our canadian allies was that our soldiers would go in, only armed with a pistol because we didn't want to upset the poor little darlings down there. and therefore obviously we were sacrificing or potentially sacrificing the lives of our soldiers. i raised a fuss about that, and i eventually we were able to send our troops in with reasonable weapons. despite that, my neighbor, a green beret soldier, lived right below me was shot to death at a roadblock. so what are rules of engagement. we know the law of war is static. these are rules you may not amend and basically they're resting on the hague conventions, geneva conventions, the last revision of core significant revision was 1949. we had protocols in the 1970s.
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basically hurmen e humans inherw what these are. these are the rules we have that are associated with warfare. on top of that, we have self-imposed things we called rules of engagement, self-imposed. not required by the law of war. we did that for political purposes. president obama is not the first one to do it, president bush had them, we had -- you can trace them back to the origins of our great nation. we had an american officer who said don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes. that's the rules of engagement. not necessitated by any law of ense. this type of activity is the policy. and, of course, that's where we have gone adrift probably since the korean war. the goal of the military is to destroy the enemy. we're not a boy scott troop. our mission is to identify the enemy, identify the center of
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gravity and crush tjiv&i and yet that's a lesson that our leaders have seem to forgot, they have forgotten and they have poured out the blood of our soldiers like water on the sand. 6,000 dead in iraq and afghanistan for what? the morale of our soldiers in afghanistan is extremely low. i keep in very close contact with me of my comrades and people that go there and come back. they're not stupid. they know they're being asked to die for, what? they know when we leave that we have lost. our commander in chief, when he first came into office in 2009, a cnn reporter asked him, how do you define victory in afghanistan. quote, i'm not comfortable with that word. what? obviously we can define victory as a -- if you an ounce of common sense, you identify the enemy, you identify the center of gravity and you crush them. we're not fighting other democracies, we're fight regimes that have no regard for the law
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of war and use engagement against us. they know the rules of engagement better than our own soldiers do. the latest the obama administration is if the enemy is shooting at you and go into a civilian dwelling, you may not shoot at them. they stay in the civilian dwelling until night fall and go out the back door. these are rules of engagement that are supercilious. some are good, necessary. and in my latest law review article on this topic, which you can download if you go to our website for free, i go into deep detail about the rules of engagement and how these things play out. here is a real life story. this fellow, his name is lieutenant waddle on the front page of this marine corps times. i got a call from his dad in 2011, the day before christmas. and, of course, our center represented soldiers wrongfully accused of murder, green bere rai berets charged with murder. i'm known for helping soldiers when they're the victims of our own government and wrongfully
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accused for political expediency or other matters that don't make any sense. the dad calls me up. a retired navy s.e.a.l. in dallas, texas. our center does not represent soldiers that actually engage in war crimes or violations. we do have bad apples in the military, soldiers that murder and engage in crimes. i don't do that. i represent people that are actually innocent and the numbers are staggering. i said let me look into the case. i looked into it briefly and immediately agreed we would represent him and assist him. our center doesn't charge these people a dime. and because soldiers don't have money. that's why they're probably in the military. in!6 many cases they're there because they're patriots. some of them have money, some don't. the waddles didn't have a whole lot of money. but the dad is a true patriot. here is the facts.óz;z october, 2011, waddle and his platoon are out in afghanistan, and they're on patrol, one of
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the platoon members steps on an ieds, blows off both legs and part of his arm. and three days later, lieutenant waddle is the officer of the day at what i call ft. apache. we have outposts out there. at night, you go back in and do patrols and other activities. he's the officer of the day. we have a lot of cameras and other surveillance equipment, i won't go into detail, but he's able to pinpoint something off in the distance and there is four or are five guys digging a hole, planning an ied. they zoom in, and we discover to waddle's joy, i'm sure, that the guy that is leading the effort to dig this hole is this person they have been looking for about a year in the region. well known ied taliban leader. the rules of engagement, you may not shoot them unless they're shooting at you or you have a positive id. he calls up mommy at headquarters, may i shoot this person? do you see the feed i'm looking at? this takes time. the law of war would say give that lieutenant the ability to kill them all now.
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but because we have these rules of engagement, has to call mommy. calls up headquarters, may i shoot? they wring their hands like little old ladies for 20 minutes. these knuckle heads are still out there digging the hole. and finally they say, yes, you may engage the target. we have identified that this person really is that person. but, you cannot use a weapon that is a -- well, you cannot use a significant or large weapon, you must use the least intrusive method to kill him. that means a couple of snipers. the law of war would say, what? kill them with the biggest thing you've got and law of war would say if there is anybody around, that's called collateral damage. that's allowed. you don't target the civilians. if they're around, oh, well. you're targeting the military target. and so the lieutenant gets two marine sniper, they aim, boom, boom, miss, miss. sore are sorry, marines. reload. and the guy goes down. people come running out, pick him up, put him on a civilian tractor and start to drive away.
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the law of war are would say kill them all. nobody runs out in a fire zone unless you're an enemy combatant . in afghanistan, nobody wears a uniform. in a live fire zone, you're dead if you run out to help this enemy combatant. the rules of engagement, you cannot shoot unless they're shooting at you or have a positive i.d. lieutenants cannot shoot them. but he says i'm sure a couple of military words in his own mind, being a good red blooded american male, and says i'm not letting that person get awachlt perfect shot, marines hit the tractor, tractor go up in snoke, tractor stops, and so what do we have at the end of the day? one bad guy bleeds out and he's dead. no civilians killed and one tractor wounded. for are that, they relieved him from his position as the executive officer and gave him a
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fitness report. it says never promote him. it is called an administrative stab in the back. didn't court-martial him, which they could have, because he violated the rules of engagement and the policy set up there, but the administrative stuff is hard to defend because what are you going to do? so i called up the one star general in theater and said do you know who i am? yes, we know who you are. you've been very successful in getting soldiers off of murder charges that were actually innocent. and i said, well you tell that general i want him to rip up that fitness report before he puts it in his official record. once it makes it to your official records, you'll never be promoted chld of course, the general did a pontius pilot. that was the roman governor, christ was before him for trial and charges that were if true would have him executed under roman law. he was found not guilty twice and yet he turned him over for execution for political expediency. same thing of this general. i really agreed that the
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lieutenant didn't do anything wrong in the big sense, but i'm not taking in the big sense, bu not taking it out of his records. i got on a plane the next day and flew to d.c. i had an interview with fox news. i've done about 4,000 media interviews in my ten years. and anyway, we publicized the story. i got him on the front page of the marine corps times, navy times, army times. i've got to shame them. obviously, any normal american when they see these facts and they came up with these headlines, not me. obviously, this person is being destroyed. now, joshua wadell, when i first pursued this case, said he didn't want me do anything. he said, dad, jeff, i don't want you to do anything. it will make me look really bad. the dad and i told josh, josh, this is not just four. it is for the hundreds and hundreds and thousands of soldiers getting screwed out of the roe, and that's the title, pardon my french, ladies, on the
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cover of the army times. and of course, this got to them. because this is inside the beltway. that's where you got strike at the heart of the beast, in the beltway. and these generals up there are all yes people. if you say no to the obama administration, you are fired. and i have to laugh because the military tv talks about the military rules of engagement like it's the military that wants to have them ruled. it is not the military that wants them folks, it is the political leadership that couldn't think their way out of a wet paper sack. again, they poor the blood of our soldiers like water on the sand. and you cannot win a war this way. you cannot win. because again, they don't think like you think. they see it as weakness. they see it as vacillation. and they thrill in what they do to our soldiers. they say to themselves, nobody could be that stupid. yes, we are that stupid. one american life is worth 10,000 of the enemy.
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that's my scale of values. when you go into battle, you give our soldiers the tools to destroy them. that's a message they understand. somehow liberal he thinks, if you're nice to people, they will respond in kind. it's a lie. if you're nice to a criminal, they'll respond in kind. that a lie. somehow liberals think this is the last war we will ever have. i have a son that's 12 and 14. they are good red-blooded american males. they want to kill the enemy. you better have people like that or we won't be sitting here sipping on tea unless we have men, fighting men, and the men and women in uniform that support them to kill the not my and stack them like cord wood for a cold winter's night. that's how you win. and this administration, like other administrations, not just this administration, they have no idea what it means to seize victory. as the president himself says, i'm not comfortable with that word of victory. i can guarantee you the enemy
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will be. they say, by allah, we have driven the enemy pouout. it is a propaganda war. we have lost the propaganda war since day one. we have leaders that don't understand the military victory. there is no substitute for military victory, period. so what happened to joshua wadell after we shook the cage. he was promoted to captain. low an behold, he was shipped to the school in california where they groom soldiers to be general officers. we got all of the bad information pulled out of his records from the correction of military records from the navy. now he is back on track. but he's just one person. just one person. i was asked to draft legislation, and asked to make the rules of engagement more reasonable and how they are
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punished when they so-called violate the rules. it was sent to the pentagon for a brain check for staffing and it died. it never got out of halls of the pentagon for consideration by our lawmakers. and unless we raise holy hell, and that's my military language. i have professor language. and we congratulations, you, kiki kim, for what you do today. and i have a professor language. in the military we say, get the blank up the hill. and i like our strategy and you kill them and kill them and kill them. if not, they will grow like a cancer and inspire other jihadist to join them. that's how win a war. no one seems to understand this
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basic simple fact. our soldiers understand it but they are true, true professionals. and i congratulate those men and the men and women that support them this the field because that's what protects us and they know they are being slaughtered like sheep, and yet kudos to those that stay anyway, hoping, hoping that change will come and we will realize once again what it means to be an american and this is the greatest nation the world has ever seen. has ever seen. i, too, am a christian. i know god drives things. there is a purpose in things. when we see outrageouss we have speak out. all that's necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to say nothing. thank you very much for your attention. thank you for having me. [ applause ] >> that was an exceptional,
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exceptional presentation. and i'm amazed -- i'm from new york, i can't get that many words in that many minutes. that's a phenomenal job. our final speaker is commander ryan zinky. ryan zinky attended the university of oregon with an athletic scholarship and graduated with a bs in biology. his career started in 1985 when he graduated from officer school and went to seal training. he was assigned to seal team 1 in coronado where he led contingency operations in the persian gulf and in the pacific theater of operations. from 1990 to 1993 and again from 1996 to 1999, he was selected to seal team 6 where he was a team leader ground force commander task force commander and current operations officer in support of national command authority missions.
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he then served as the special operations officer in europe, and led the first exercise between former soviet special forces and nsw forces and served as seal commander of joint task force 2 in support of special operations missions in the bosn bosnia cr bosnia croatia and kosovo. in 2004 he was assigned special joint operations task force arabian peninsula in support of operation iraqi freedom where he led a force of over 3500 special operations personnel in iraq in the conduct ofirrr: patrols, and hundreds of sensitive operations. he was responsible for killing (eúbbw5i&pn:r;%zácr?i/k"tr' 20 bronze stars for combat. ryan he a first naf yl
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assignment was astab lishing the special -- i'm sorry, final naval assignment was the naval special warfare advanced training kbandç where he serve as dean of the naval special warfare training school with a staff of over 250 educators which provided over 43 college-level courses to over 2500 students annually at 15 different locations worldwide. he retired from active duty in 2008 after serving 23 years as navy seal. in 2008, commander zinky was elected to the montana state senate. he chard the senate education committee and served on the finance and claims committee. commander zinky holds an mba in masters and science from leadership from the university of san diego. he is married to the former lolita hand who's terrific, and has two young boys and a daughter who is a former navy u.s. navy diver and is married
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to a navy seal. rye on is the republican candidate for montana's u.s. house of representatives seat in this coming election in november. cheryl and i admire even support commander zinky for his service, character, intelligence and experience. we also consider him a good friend. please welcome commander ryan zinky. [ applause ] >> thank you. i appreciate it. i don't really have any prepared remarks, i just want to talk to you a little bit about rules of engagement and touch on isis. rules of engagement. i fought in a lot of countries and i've seen rules of engagement become less about threat and special forces in particular is very, very good at determining threat/no threat.
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that's what we train on everyday. youant ear building, you're on the field of battle, it a s really the kmeeld commanders that determine threat/no threat because they're there. you can't go back to washington, d.c. or headquarters and ask for analysis. it is the strength of this country and strength of our forces that we trust our commanders in the field. and we have magnificent commanders. recently you may have heard that we lost about 300 flag officers. to me, that didn't bother me. we were probably too heavy in flag officers, anyway. but what bothers me is we lost 8,000 chief petty officers. 8,000 chief petty officers. in the strength of our service is always about the quality of our lieutenants, quality of our majors, but more importantly, the quality of our noncommissioned officers and chief petty officers.
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that's what has made our service what it is today, the proudest, most sophisticated and strongest military force on the planet. rules of engagement, i have seen them migrate nor of a miranda type of environment. the bottom line, war is ugly. you may recall my daughter is a diver, my son-in-law is a navy seal. no one is more reductant to go to war than i am. there is a cost and the cost is often our nation's finest. but when we do go to war, we have to go war to win. we owe it to our kids. we owe it to our country. you can't take the ugliness out of war. because war is ugly. it's painful. it's sad.
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but when you try to cross deck rules of engagement in a warren viernment to what's happening in america where we're going to read miranda rights, or in the case of afghanistan, you can't pursue an enemy even though he's armed, because you haven't identified him. or you have to inform a nonu.s. force about the actions you're going to do. there is operation security. and when you have to bring an interpreter that's not u.s., when you have to inform organizations that are not u.s.-controlled or coalitions. or if you enter a house in afghanistan and you treat the house as if it's located in ennis, montana and you have to have a warrant, what we're doing is tying the hands of our field commanders and soldiers, airmen,
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marines, in an environment in an environment where we have to trust them. it is trust. i've seen the rules of engagement move over time. and i'm glad we're speaking about it, because it is important. and i'm a fight or go home guy. if you fight, you fight. and i think we owe it to our kids, too, when you decide to fight, we should have a plan at what time to bring them back. we've had a long history lately about taking our troops to war and leaving them. war is about carrying the battle to them. keeping momentum. and on the offense. that's how you take ground. that's how you defeat enemy. but when you move to a defensive posture, then the advantage is
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to the adversary. and we are in a defensive posture. overseas. and one can argue our policy, in full retreat everywhere. carrying momentum to battle wins. isis. it's my opinion we're going to fight isis. even i would rather fight isis in the streets of iraq rather than the streets of america. we've had multiple opportunities to contain and reduce isis's threat. and each time, we have not acted. and it is about action. and unless the u.s. leads, i can tell you the world will not act. nobody has what the united states does. when france does not have the
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ability to put troops into mali without u.s. assistance. when the u.s. has more ships in the mediterranean on routine operations than the entire fleet of the british empire, it shouldn't surprise you that unless america leads, the rest of the world cannot act. so isis, couples with the threat, there's a threat at home. if a 7-year-old child can come across the border in this country on the southern border, what makes you think that a group of isis warriors packing surface-to-air missiles can't come across easily. and it should scare us all. isis is not reformable.
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when you chop the heads off children, you're goning to reform isis.ing to reform isis. they're going to have to be destroyed. even the sunnis who are originally thought they could contain isis now reel at the evil that isis presents. the indicators across the way when isis came across the border -- and i say isis, because we should recognize it as iraq and syria. i don't think we should let our administration off the hook by renaming it. and they surprised me and took it easily. that was the first indicator. then isis takes mosul down. mosul is more than just a water project. it supplies the main irrigation,
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the main power of the entire region. so having an isis force control that facility on august 6th was a danger. and yet we did nothing. and isis almost o took baghdad. i don't2aq think that isis is capable of taking baghdad and the united states had a problem of really taking baghdad. but they could have surrounded it.oh i mean, we had contractors, over a thousand contractors, and the only thing between them and being held hostage was a hundred troops that weren't configured to do defensive posturing. didn't hear about that. so what would have happened if over a thousand u.s. contractors were taken in balad? can you imagine the film?
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one head after another. and yet this administration did nothing. they didn't put force in place. so again, we're going to fight isis. and i'm not in the administration. i'm running for congress. and the commander-in-chief is the executive. but i would hope he would consider putting no-fly zone immediately between iraq and syria. that's not about the air. the no-fly zone allows to you look at reconnaissance, what happens across the border and allows some air to ground capability and allows to you move logistics in place to box them. and we're going to have to box them. and we're going to have to arm the kurds fo with what they need to win. and we will have to work with the sunnis. sunnis aren't happy. if you're in amman, the small
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village, if you know about the sunnis and amman, amman is like a pastor, mayor, counsellor. the quintessential structure in that village. and many of the small villages are control bid an amman. and they don't like the idea of having their structure for centuries put on its head. so i think that there's an opportunity. the opportunity is, work with the sunnis. work with the shia. work with the kurds. and eradicate isis through american leadership. if it takes boots on the ground, it takes boots on the ground. but we have to fight this battle there and not here. and shutting down the border for the nation that built the panama canal in the current of the century, you can't tell me we
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facility, build a structure so that we can secure our southern border. i bet if you ask governor perry and give him the authority do it, i bet governor perry would shut down texas. and same thing with the governor of arizona. empower them to shut down the border. they live it everyday. honestly, as i was asked, why would anyone want to run for congress. it's fixable. america's a fourth-quarter team. we didn't get involved in world war ii until they sunk our battleships. and we didn't really get involved in the war on terrorism until they knocked down our towers. if you haven't been to new york, and walked around the holes, the names of the firemen and the
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passengers, i think every american should. we didn't get involved in the government's financial calamity, until the government was shut down. i can tell you, people are paying attention. and we should. we're all stake holders. we're all stake holders to make sure this country so success and prospers. and honest. if i ask a poll across america of how many trust the united states government, the answer would be appalling. i've been to of 60 countries and fought in a lot of them, and can i tell what you happens when a people no longer trust their government. it is africa, it is the middle east, but it is not here.
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we all have a stake in holding our elected officials and bureaucrats accountable. we deserve the truth. he can take iwhe can take ite c. so with that, thank you very much. it's been a wonderful opportunity to come to washington. even though i prefer montana. it's great to be here. and thank you for the host. thank you. [ applause ] >> instead of having just questions and answers, people can certainly ask questions, but áh @r(t&háhp &hc% from people who want to comment.
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in particularly, mr. and mrs. cohen, particularly touching
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against the united states, on the united states adoption of optimal and unsustainable rules of engagement and undermine the united states investments in revolution of technology, say directed at energy weapons, that would act as a tech fix to -- advantages of hugging noncombatants with the united states and its conventional superiority. >> i know it is a complex question. a challenging one. anybody have any comments on that?
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jeff or ryan? >> i would say, that obviously knows that they can't -- [ inaudible ] they also know we have this, quote, unquote, idea, and they use it to their advantage. women and children, for example, in hamas. put them in hospitals. hide behind churches or mosques or whatever they can. they also realize the issue of propaganda. they know if they can just win the propaganda war, they can win the war. militarily we were not defeated in afghanistan. we were not defeated in vietnam. they did not understand the overall strategy. that's just the basic premise. that people do not understand what the military is to be used for. military, in my presentation, is
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real simple. and i'm a conservative, obviously. we're very -- [ inaudible ] my colleagues use three sentences. juris prudence. we get it. but you need to understand that we are a confused people. somehow, oh, shucks, we're not -- and they use it against us. so we don't think like they think. we want to think that the enemy thinks like we think. and they might not think like we think. and that's the greatest weapon. you have technology, they have propaganda weapon. i could tell you another story, but that's my time. >> any other comments? yes? >> this has been a very, very
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interesting presentation by all of the speakers. and as a mother of a son who was in afghanistan, shortly after the war, i could only expect how hard broken they are -- my sympathy -- and i can only imagine my situation if the same had happened. but my son happened to have been in afghanistan where a lieutenant general was recently -- yes, major general -- lieutenant major general. i'm losing track. was shot at the base there. however, while all the speakers have a lot of very strong and important words to say, particularly with regard to the
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shaping of roe, i felt that unfortunately, i wish the cohens would not have opened this up with a very stacked and politicized presentation. i think it takes away from the importance of the issue and makes it more clouded. because the professor from st. mary's points out, this is not something that's new. this has been going on for a long time. we can look back to the end of world war i when we had our military shoot upon our own soldiers afterwards when they were on the capitol hill. speaking their promised rights. so unfortunately, we have a history in our own country of mismanaging our forces and this is not new. and it has to be addressed.
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but to address it in the way that it is initially presented, i think that is to the blood that's been spilled. thank you. >> certainly your opinion. any other comments or questions? yes, sorry? go ahead. >>. [ inaudible ] i would like to direct this question to professor. the catholic church has just war doctrine. according to the just war doctrine, military force is last resort. you have harm known combatant. and i think nagasaki and tokyo bombings would be considered unjust. it seems to me that that might be a validation of the italian air doctrine of terrorizing populations in wars. but we don't have any concorde with the vatican.
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and we have no national church. but there are other churches like the russian federation. and so the man who developed export and ak-47 and that sort of thing, before his death, on the one hand he expressed no regret oest fact that jihad is using weapons. and saying that politicians were to blame, not him. and if you express that the russian orthodox church saying well, he made those weapons to defend the mother land, he is not responsible for what happens to them in saudi arabia. and so my question basically is, russia is part of the geneva convention, i believe. it is proxy and going to these almost islamist groups. so we would do well by pulling the rug from under them. and i'm wondering whether russia
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orthodox church may have a just war doctrine whereby you can -- you have looser rules against the enemy than they have against you. >> just war doctrine is -- [ inaudible ] that's kind of the moral side of war. but right now, the rule of war, as you were, is article 51, u.n. charter. you may use violence but only in self-defense. that's the measure we use. we won't go into long dissertations about just war doctrine, et cetera, et cetera. you may not use force the rest of the way. so if we go to war, we are doing it in self dpe fence. and we can argue about what self-defense means. but nothing is perfect. and the rules of engagement have been around for a long time. when president bush was in office, would you see me raising cane about some of president
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bush's policies, but he is not here any more. nothing personal about president obama, but my job was to tell your boss he's wrong and how to fix it. i'm all about fixing stuff. so pardon me if i didn't include that in my criticism, but he's not here. he equally shares the blame for rules of engagement in the development. i think that's important to learn. but the rule of law really is article 51 of the u.n. charter. we have the self-defense, this is the god-given right of self-defense. and recognized as customary international law. so that's what -- that the touch zone that we operate on. again, inherent right of individual self-defense or collective self-defense. i agree with ryan, if we don't lead the world, no one the lead the world. every u.n. mission has been led by the united states. and we have a responsibility.
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we just can't go back into our borders and say, well, it won't come here. it's already here. we have other people, according to the fbi, probably 300, isis, that's the propaganda part. they see in isis something they haven't seen since 9/11. there is hundreds and even thousands of jihadists, that if you are amongst them, inspired by isis. they don't need to go to isis, they can do it right here. and so that's the threat. we've got to anticipate the threat. we've got do something now instead of react to it. >> i see two -- there is a lady in the back who had a question. >> my name is sharon. quick question. the isis people, people that don't have any background, i'm trying to say why we need the --
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they don't want that p.m. i talked to many people because of the no draft. people don't have a relative directly affected. with the rules of engagement, how we educate people, to -- [ inaudible ] . >> that's what woodrow wilson said before world war i. it is not the military renewe n to prepare, it's the people. it is okay to have the word islam in the fbi manual. it is okay to recognize there is a station between islam and radical islam extremists. it is not a battle against islam. it is a battle against islamic extremists and their reading of the koran. they are a rising threat. >> and boot on the ground. >> what force is capable?
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you've seen pictures of isis with tafrmgnks. you know, some of it is our armor. who will defend and who will establish a military dominance if it's not us? the entire british army can be held in qualcomm stadium in san diego. so it is us. in many cases. we are the best force on the history of the planet. someone talked about, you know, russia. take a look at the russian pictures that are coming out of the ukraine. dissimilar uniforms. often times don't have the same wheel set. why? russia is a regional force. they certainly don't have the capability to project force outside of their territory.
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it is interesting when russia invaded the peninsula, i think they gave us a softball pitch. and it was a softball pitch. we should have, as a country, approved the keystone pipeline, which goes through montana. we like it up there. and we should have, as a nation, looked at capturing our liquid natural gas, liquefying it and probably supplying europe. that gets most of their national gas from russia. then a sweet crude excess. we probably could relax the restrictions. and i will say soviet, putin is soviet, you do what reagan did. hit them square in the face with a scare market. if you take your energy, out of the russian economy, there really isn't much there. i think as a nation, militarily, we're not putting a battle group in the black sea. we're not going to put troops in
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the peninsula. but economically, we can deliver a fatal blow at our choosing, if we decide do that. >>. [ inaudible ] >> no. i mean, we can compete with them. i can guarantee you that if we liquefy -- you know, in north dakota alone, north dakota alone, everyday, we flair or burn about 3.5 million barrels equivalent of gas because we can't build a pipeline. 3.r5 million barrels equivalent of gas. price point overseas and europe is around 8.5. price point here is almost 4. so we can compete. we can sell europe liquefied gas at a better price point than what russia can do. that's how you beat them. hats how you won the cold war.
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can't compete with the technology if we're allowed to innovate. >> lady in the back? yes. lady in the back. >> my name is monica, i'm one of the co-authors. i just wanted to hang out and answer to this lady's comment, then i would like to thank you personally and mrs. cohen for what you've done in making this possible and bringing people together to discuss experiences and facts. and while we were working on this book, i want to point out that i came from a background that didn't really understand the military very well. and also, i came from the experience of setting policy history in my undergraduate years. and i wrote on a policy that was
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drafted bay relative of mine. and as coincidence can be quiten marvelous, today is the 160th anniversary that justice moore was elected as a congressman. and eventually, he assisted abraham lincoln in being elected president. they became general sous of the rottu that the officers trained for. an i observed and studied and poured over the history books of how jfk, during his administration, leveraged the moral act for political capital. i received the proclamation on the moral act a little over two years ago during the 150th anniversary of the moral act. and frankly, i agree with this lady that things are being used with political purposes.
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but what's different about this, and what is different about what is happening is we are finally getting people on the ground in washington, d.c. no discuss this. finally. and we present facts. we present testimony. we present the truth. and the other side, if they want to disagree with us, all they today throw at us is a fledgeling weakened ideology. and i would like to thank you. what is happening now needs to be discussed. it needs to be amplified in a way that we've never seen before because this is -- we are hearing the cries of our men on the battlefield asking for help. we are not the voices for our men on the ground, then you will have no voice left. thank you. >> thank you. >>

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