tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN July 8, 2016 4:00am-6:01am EDT
and deservedly so. i will throw a shout out to tsa supervisor supervisors, they do rather well in the survey, sir. >> thank you, i appreciate that kind of winding this down, just a couple thoughts. you need to know -- and i don't know if you do -- that gentleam that misconduct runs from the bottom line brand-new employee to the very top and i want to make sure oig has investigate the former leaders including former admin stristrators for alleged misconduct and i also don't know -- i received information recently that some of your folks in management -- not tso's, but in management were asked to be deposed and be asked some questions and they declined. agency council because they have no confidence in the chief council, and you need to know that. this might be a pesrsonality
issue, but the chief council is known to me, and it's known to me from the madison guarantee issue, where the chief council was then an object of investigation as purported to provide information of the investigation to other people that were objects of the investigation. and i tell you this because in this context of low morale, or not optimal morale, at the same time we see this issue of misconduct, those issues are important to people and how they react to them, and how you -- in this new job of yours, you have very little time to make the first impression -- and you know this, you're a smart lady -- and set that standard and that -- and that circumstance where justice is blind and there's standard that everybody from the top to the bottom has to adhere to and will be judged on accordingly. you're the person to do that, right? and i just wanted to outline that. we appreciate your time here today, we thank you very much
for it. i thank you the witnesses. your testimony has been valuable and i thank the members for their questions. members may have some additional questions and we'll ask you to respond those in writing. pursuant to the committee rule 7 e, the hearing record will remain open for ten days without objection, this subcommittee stands adjourned. cspan's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. and coming up friday morning, one of donald trump's initial supporters, congressman tom reed will discuss mr. trump's meeting in a bid to unify the party and community activist, and black lives matter, deray mccus in, we'll discuss these issues,
beginning live at 7:00 a.m. eastern friday. join the discussion. the presidents of the european commission and the european council address the eu parliament on the subject of britain's referendum vote on leaving the european union and their meeting with outgoing british prime minister david cameron. this portion of the parliament' proceedings includes remarks by british representatives. >> translator: ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. we it now continue with our debat debates. our next item on the agenda is the conclusions of the european
council. this is a council collusion to the european council of the 28th and 29th of june. i'd like to give the floor to the president of the european council, mr. donald tusk. welcome mr. tusk, you have the floor. >> thank you. the president members of the european parliament, before presenting discussion on the political consequences of the uk referendum, i will first report on the other results of the june european council, because the uk cannot stand until. the referendum in the uk does not relieve the eu of its guilty to solve immigration crisis, which has undermined the sense of security across the whole of europe. the eu must also boost its resistance to growing hybrid and cyber threats. to thisse this end, we adopted
increased corporation with nato. even in the uk referendum campaign fewer questions the fact that economic integration among members state benefit europeans as it kcreates jobs. this is why we've made the decision to work more closely together in the areas of digital and capital markets. the decision taken during the summit will have a positive impact on the lives of europeans regardless of the uk leaving the eu. on migration, the leaders reviewed the situation on the extent of our borders, acrossin acrossings from the turkey to greek islands have almost come to a halt. in october 2015, that border was crossed regularly by 7,000 people daily. now, it is around 50 per day.
given the significantly lower n infl influx, we can lower the part of our external border. this, in turn, should restore the sense of security in europe, which was our aim from the beginning. now, our attention will focus on the central mediterranean route to flows of predominantly migrants remain too high, although there have not been a significant rise in numbers compared to the last two years. leaders agreed to move to a new way of working with third countries applying the necessary leverage to ensure fast and operational returns of illegal legal migrants. the aim is clear, all irregular economic migrants must be rushed to the countries of origin.
the high representative is already taking negotiations with these countries forward. we also address libya and what needs to be done to stabilize the situation there. more broadly, we welcome the presentation by the high representative of a new global strategy to guide the unions foreign and security policy. the leaders thank prime minister for the dutch presidency and the hard work over the past six months including the arrangement with turkey to stem migration flows to the greek islands and the political agreement on the new european border and coast guard. i would like to thank this house for your invaluable contribution, in helping achieve this in the necessary time frame. the members, let me now turn to
brexit, where our discussion was calm and measured. respecting the will of the british people, the eu leaders recognized that the process of orderly exit is now in everyone's, and especially in the uk's interest. prime minister cameron explained why he's leaving the decision to trigger article 50 of the treaty on european union to the new leadership in britain. the leaders understand sometime is needed to allow the political landscape in britain, but also expect the intenstions to be specified as soon as possible. we also considered post-brexit economic situation in the presence of the european central-bound president, who reassured us about the corporation of international financial institutions. however, it was also made clear that brexit means substantially
lowered votes in the uk with a possible negative spillovera al over the world. for the second day of our summit, the leaders met informally without the uk prime minister to discuss our common future. i would like to reassure you that the leaders are absolutely determined to remain united and to closely together as 27. we also agreed that there will be no negotiations of any kind until the uk formally notifies its intention to withdrawal from the eu. it is now up to the british government to submit such a notification to the european council. we hope to have the uk as a close partner in the future, but leaders made it clear that access to the single market means acceptance of all four freedoms including the freedom of movement.
we will not serve our freedoms and there will be no single market a la carte. the members, this was the first exchange of the 27 leaders after the british referendum. it is still too early to draw conclusions more broadly on all of our future costs but it is clear that too many people in europe are unhappy with the current state of affairs, be it on the national or european level, and expect us to do better. the leadership called during our debate that for decades, europe has brought hope and that we have a responsibility to return to that. this is why the eu 27 will meet informally on the 16th of september, kindly hosted by the president. we will take this opportunity to
continue our political reflection. thank you. [ applause ] >> translator: and now i give the floor to the commission president, mr. yoncher. >> translator: you won't find the truth by repeating things. so i won't repeat everything the president of the european council said because i agree with everything he has said, also you won't find the truths in listening to paraphrases so won't paraphrase either because you will have studied them already, so i'm not going to repeat everything which has already been recorded in writing following the council meeting
last week. i am particularly pleased at the european council adopted a commission on the deepening of the internal markets, i'm satisfied that european council once again has stressed that right response to the refugee crisis should be european, and i'm pleased the european council confirmed its conclusions on the way we deal with the refugee crisis saying we need solidarity on the member states. i agree with european counsel, wh when it says the growth should be employment, that is also the major and first priority of the european commission. this is in line with the priorities i outlined to you for the commission back in july 2014 so i'm pleased at the european council agrees that we should
extend the investment plan for the next three years, the investment plan which we proposed to the commission, and this is a proposal which has been closely monitored by the parliament, and i've been >> on this means we have been able to increase investment by 108 million which would not have been possible had the investment plan not have existed. i agree with all of those that say we should not carrie on as before but really is that what we're doing? the council and the parliament and commission agreed we wanted to change our policies. at the same time we're going to stick to our priorities.
we still have our priorities and making sure that the decisions we take are properly implemented. >> it's europeans and that's why i believe that in the future we should better implemented the decisions that we take. i refuse to advise and agree with him that it's not the time for deep institutional reforms. i agree with those that say now is not the time to advise the treaties. what we do need to do is continue with our progress. and the markets union, these are all projects.
long-term projects. long-term projects that we now need, for these, what we need to do, if we have reforms we should accelerate reforms if and when we need them. when it comes to brexit i have no desire to complete what i said last week. i would just note that the brexit heros of yesterday are now the heros of today. >> those contributing to the situation in the u.k. have re-signed.
they are retro nationalists. they don't re-sign. they stay. >> that's the reason we are waiting for education. i could understand that the remaining camp needs weeks to reflect. so we don't understand that it needs months before knowing what to do. and instead of developing a plan and they were leaving the vote. and we're waiting for the notification and no negotiation before notification and those want free access to the market have that including the one of freedom of movement.
this has to be done. >> thank you very much. and now, on behalf of the group -- president, colleagues, in the first few hours after brexit decision when the council met then everything is about instability and coping with that. we had instability on the markets and the economy took a tumble. it's very unsure. there was fear about jobs and i think everybody needed to keep a clear head and i'd like to thank those that did that during the council meeting because it was important to retain stability in that context. and then we need to inspect the
brexit decision and the frame work is clear. i'd like to thank him for stating that there should be no informal discussions or negotiations. the internal market is tightly linked with the basic freedoms. that was emphasized by the council and others. it's not acceptable to be able to circulate freely out of all our motorways and there's no feasibility for that. that's not going to happen. we have to think about how to best deal with the situation and i think very quickly, we need to realize that if the u.k. don't know how to deal with the outcome then they should just step back a little bit and think about it but the rest of the 27
should not -- it should not stop them from fulfilling their tasks and objectives. there's not a problem in berlin or paris. a lot of people asking for a repeat of the referendum. people talk about elections. scotland thinking about what to do. the country is facing a lack of leadership at the moment. we need people to realize that the problem lies with london. it's not the european union and chaos is intensified because those that won now jumped ship.
this is completely cowardly as far as i'm concerned. responsibility politicians is extremely important. this is all undermined by this irresponsible behavior. we in europe have got to now keep calm. and discuss privacy shield, data protection and the internet, europe for citizens and for member states is a game and no decision taken in europe after all is not taken without a majority in the council. often it's actually unanimity what decisions are taken. so we're not talking about a lack of democracy and everybody here can see that we don't need
help along the lines of helping us to achieve more democracy. and today we're going to be deciding on the european border and coast guard proposal. that happened quickly. we already started work on this and tightening up our proposal months ago and when it comes to brexit, those that were banned from even having a view on europe, to say that they are the ones that are responsible for brexit, that is just pie in the sky. now ladies and gentlemen, we need europe and that's my parting thought for today. there's no reason to point the finger. that's no way forward and no way of solving our problems in the
future. we want responsibility, accountability, democracy and if the council decides to extend the sanctions on russia unanimously then you wonder why the foreign minister, foreign ministers that have been challenging that and criticizing that, then why have they voted for that. then go back home and criticize decisions that they themselves have taken. we need people to call each other to account. to actually bear their responsibility for their own decisions and not hide behind national concerns. when the leadership decided to go down the populous route and that's the mistake and we don't need to be worried about the populous. we need to ensure that we sure up our democracy.
>> we need to reach solutions to the problems facing us today. after the shock of the referendum and the summit next week, should have been a moment of change. we can see areas of shade as well. looking at the situation of light we have taken good decisions not to have negotiations before the official notification that's forth coming from the u.k. not to consider the european union as an ala carte menu that you can pick and choose what you like. working together and that's very important and if the u.k. wants access to the single market and
when it comes to immigration we're making progress. we're making progress with countries so these are both positive developments and there are areas that are less favorable. when we had the summit. now unity is what we need. we need the 27 to stand together and that straight away should have been very clear and come up with better integration. but everything has now been postponed instead of taking action straight away. but this delay, i have to be frank about this, is once more proof of the weakness. not of the european union. but an intergovernmental europe.
i don't understand where he is coming from. but how can he say that the intergovernmental method works well. how does he think that? what about the greek crisis? what happened there? >> and during the migration crisis, the objective is quite clear. to ensure that the european union is a driving force in the community. that's what we need to achieve. we don't want to defend the community method. defending the european union, we're defending the community system against an intergovernmental relaunch. that's unacceptable.
so turning to the council then i'd like to invite them to change tones some what. but also the commission on many points they have done well. but don't be scared. don't worry. you're a courageous person. so don't be intimidated. you have to keep going. the negotiations on brexit. we can't lose time. i've been waiting for the conservatives to vote for a new leader, it's absurd to wait for that to happen. we should be continuing on and what he has said, you know, the heros of the disaster have left the whole country in ruins and want to come back here as they
come to what they defined as hell on earth and that's just ridiculous. so we need to ensure that we've got to fight against tax dumping, social dumping, fight against tax havens. these are all things we need to look at. also the budgetary rules need to be applied with flexibility and intelligence. all of these are pertinent. we don't want to be controversial. we have got to be ready to support countries and support people rather than sanctions and things that don't keep pace with reality. we shouldn't be deferring matters. we have to take action now. we shouldn't be resting sitting aside and watching, observing, we should be taking action and being players here. thank you. >> thank you very much.
winston churchill once said where the eagles are silent the parrots begin to jabber. last tuesday and wednesday the eagles, the heads of government spoke. cooler and calmer heads began to prevail. and does not want to live forever it's right that eu leaders are saying they must respect the treaties and rights of the british government to decide where to respond. in the eu it is for them to decide how best to respond to a national referendum. this is the case now where the netherlands is given the case to decide it's response to its referendum in match. the treaties are clear and if they don't like what the treaty says blame the authors. who knows, maybe one or two of them are in the chamber here today. some are quick to point the finger at others and accuse them of breeching the rule of law while casting aside our own
rules when precedence doesn't insure the majority. deny them committee positions or reports that they are entitled to under the system. the internal affairs of member states where they don't like the democratically elected government of that country. the more the commissioners and parliamentary leaders try to pressure the u. k. the more they justify a decision taken. and the problem is its not it. and they seek to pursue the 1950s european project. and he's right to say that people are disillusions in the future.
and get on with a friendly relationship. foster hope that maybe a part of the united kingdom can roll up. i'll sure that they are encouraged to enthusiastically embrace determination. now we might be talking about the history. what about the lessons that warn of the barrel when leaders become disconnected from their people. decisions are not necessarily being made in an open transparent way. especially this chamber. decisions are not always made by all 750 from across the continent. politics is about perception and there's a perception that they're made by five men and if you want to share that you're open and transparent, stop the stitch ups. my group does not want the eu to break up but to avoid this the eu must change how it works.
whatever the challenge, more europe is not always the answer. ignoring the results and saying we continue anyway is not a good enough response. eu heads of state and government are meeting in september to ask some tough questions and that is what the ecr group was ready to do. sometimes answer tough questions that people in this chamber do not necessarily want to hear. with or without the u.k. there's a growing number of people across the european union who want change. so my plea to all of you is listen to those that want the eu to read the challenges of the future. listen to those that want politicians to stop addressing their concerns even when we must disagree and listen to those that want their leaders to focus on creating jobs and growth rather than creating political utopias.
>> it's incredible. incredible. should it be not better that you never want to do in britain because in my opinion they have not any clue of what needs to be done. that should be better to give lessons in london and not here. and remind me of rats fleeing a sinking ship. besides, johnson, abandoned and wants more time for himself and his family to spend his european salary apparently. and remains or disappears for the moment. so i think that probably their colleagues, the last man
standing in britain will be one that will happen and it shall be like in the time of margaret thatcher, only a woman is capable to manage the tori party as we see it today. so women will rescue britain and my second by surprise last week was the reaction of the european council of this political earthquake because an earthquake it is what happens in britain. we should not change anything. just the question of implementing the exiting european policies. i find it shocking and i find it eat responsible. i don't think you understand this happening. it's not only a brexit referendum. before that it was a referendum in denmark. there was a referendum in the
netherlands. now in the u.k. what are you waiting for? when will the council recognize that this type of european union of today, you cannot defend it anymore and that europe needs to be reformed and in my opinion a new project or vision should be presented to the citizens of europe and the truth is that european citizens are not against europe and they are against europe and to approve of that and have not published it far too earlier. because it's from a few weeks ago from april. do you know what the results are? 82% want more european action on the fight against terrorism. 77% of european citizens are more european action in the fight against unemployment.
75% of european citizens ask for more european action. 74% are asking for european action on the issue of migration. on 14 of the 15 questions put forward and a few weeks ago, people are asking for more european action. not less european action and the problem is that europe has become what? europe has become an expert in legislation on the exact measures and the color of our package of cigarettes. we have become an expert in deciding the amount of flushing water in the toilets and also in the level of subsidies that a local football club can receive from a local government. but what they want as citizens and that's what the meter tells us is that they want a european
migration policy to tackle the migration crisis. to have european capacity and intelligence to tackle terrorism. to have the european government to decide the euro and to have a european army to defend our borders and end conflict in our neighborhoods. that's what the citizens are asking. that is what they are asking here. the problem is the inconvenient truth. in fact, i should better say, the convenient lie is that more of the same will not get us out of this crisis to your colleagues. that is burying our heads in the sand. people want you to work on another europe. a europe that delivers results and by not doing that, what you're doing is sleep walking to a disaster. 27 other referendums in the near future. so let's not be naive. the real problem, and he is
right, it's intergovernmentalism. a loose confederation of nation states cannot work. that is the reality of today. that you don't recognize until now. and i can tell you and i compute with that, we going to do our homework. parliament will be ready in october with a global plan based on three records of the way forward and we're going to be sure about federalism, integration, deepening, widening, coordination, implementation and all of these other buzz words that are at the center of our discussions. we're going to simply go back to the ideas of our founding fathers. that is what we have to do and it is now or never. i think really our union will change or it will die. that is at stake.
>> thank you. he has a question for you. i think he is still here? go ahead. go ahead. >> thank you. thank you for taking the question. very quickly, i've been confused by your common sense. are you aware of how british parliamentary democracy works? what happens is the leaders of the main party and those of government are all eu fans. they're all on your side. the people voted the other way. it wasn't a change of dpovrnment. when you say the brexit side has no plan, that isn't the government. the government has to change to allow someone to be prime minister that will carrie through the will of the people. that's how our democracy works so when you say these assertions you're missing the point of what a referendum actually is. >> i was absolutely not pointing
the finger to the problem, to the citizens of britain. it's their right to decide what they have decided. i was pointing the fingers to your leaders in britain. to mr. johnson, who today are leaving the political scene and have no clue how it has to go in the future. and, in fact, leaving the country with markets in turmoil. that is my criticism. citizens are right. but your political leaders, not. >> translator: for the left. >> translator: president, ladies and gentlemen, i believe mr. johnson and company have received enough of our
attention. for me they behaved like children, building a wooden tower or wooden blocks and then just knocking the whole thing down once they built it. that's childish play. children can do that. a politician shouldn't be playing like this in the eu. we have the result of the council. those results were scandalous in such a situation to declare that we need a further period for reflection and not to come up with anything specific and not saying what we should be reflecting upon, that reminds me of the action after the failed referendums of the european constitution in france and the netherlands. at that time, once again we said we need time for reflection and did that increase the confidence of the european people in the
european council and the european parliaments? well they certain ly changed their attitudes and there i think the previous speaker is correct. if we don't dhang things, if we don't change then it's going to fail and we'll all be responsible for that. the messages are messages indicating change. the messages saying we have to carrie on with more policies with respect to public budgets after greece were going to have to send greece and spain through. with more sanctions. for not doing what the european union wants them to do. he wants that. he wants more sanctions for spain and portugal. >> if this carries on you're going to have member states going their own way.
with tensions within and without the euro zone we'll continue to increase and despite the protest. it's wrong to say that it should not be discussed. i don't know what you meant when you said that. but you are confirming people's believes about the nondemocratic nature of the eu if you say things like that. let's just leave aside gattis cousins of changing the constitution. but as long as we see pop you lichl and shifts in europe, political shifts in europe and different coming and going we don't need a new convention. the question is what can we do right now?
it is time. the member states of the european union to stand together and to think in terms of humanitarian aid program. and would send the measures to those that suffered most from the debt crisis in recent years and we're trying to do something for them. we want an immediate introduction of a minimum wage and only equal pay for equal work in the work places. these are things we need to do now so we can make people's fears of becoming poorer. we can alleviate fears of coming into our countries. these are things we have to do
now. give them their lives back. make a statement to the young generation. say to them even if the uk is leaving there's going to be a redistribution in the european budget so that there's more assistance for young people to make them, to help them get jobs and more exchanges from country to country and make it possible to have better training in the european union instead of being sacrificial lambs of the european union. >> mr. carver wants to ask a question. go ahead. >> don't you appreciate you have spoken here about this great wooden tower but isn't in fact this great tower being built in this place on a bed of straw with it's two key foundations
that we hear all the time? the two pillars that represent the european union. freedom of movement of the euro zone and yet the italian banks are on the verge of a bailout. we see it cannot work and the big issue here i would contend is contagion. you know in your heart of hearts that the people of the european union supported trade but they don't support political union. >> well i talk about the very poor behavior of some of the leaders in the u.k. especially the conservative elite that have played with wooden blocks and built a wooden tower and then knocked it down. the european union is not a toy that you can kick against the wall and then knock it down.
>> colleagues, i don't know if boris johnson personally. i do know nigel and i have to say that i wasn't really surprised at all with the behavior. the fact that he has shucked his responsibility. i expected him to do that. the situation is a lot more crucial and a lot more serious than some of you seemed to think but still, one thing was surprising i think in the last few days and that's that after the brexit decision in the u.k., the first time -- the first time that when the eu was defeated there was an emotional discussion on the european union. that was the first time. you can see that in the reports from the u.k. talk about people break down in
tears about what's happened. they talk about how painful everything has been and the laughs that people have felt. it's the first time at a we have seen the level of emotion in the u.k. and what will happen now? well that's up to probably the new government in the u.k. but the eu of the 27 member states will have to assert it's rights and take into account what the u.k. wants but when you look at the u.k. as a whole now, with her appeal and the demonstration that took place at the weekend in the u.k. are quite right. the doors need to still be open to the u.k. we need to remain open to them. so what can we do? to establish a link with those that have been demonstrated in the u.k. now? the people that are against the
brexit decision? what happened? what's the underlying background to all of this brexit? there's a lot of talk about knee wroe nationalists, populists, antieuropeans of all time that have the -- that typically want to fan the flames of people's concerns and scares. the fact that they're scared. they don't want to disapate those fears. they want to contribute to them and keep them burning. and we need to look at other answe answers. people are in favor a different way forward but in london this is an empire of rich people, the elite people. what about the people that have nothing? where are they in london. what's their role in london? it's completely polarized in
london itself. and people have seen that. we have to improvise a response to these people that are left out in the cold. and not leave it all up to the nationalists and the populists that might be taking things in the wrong direction. we need to look at what we can do with the financial markets and how we are regulate them and mitigate them and how we can ensure that people's prospects can improve. that there's growth. we often talked about this in the past. particularly when you see in countries of the eu the social security systems are simply break up. they're falling apart. and what really concerned me the
last few days is to see how the people that are a little bit astounded at how they have not have them come out of this very well. that they had ordinary posts and vote to get their own interest. i myself come from a very modest background and i despise, i have to say, i despise people in this world that use the ordinary person -- i mean, the pis group in poland, how can they look at this because the u.k. -- they have worked very well together in the past. and now they're seeing all of this fall apart.
we have to change the eu but you can only do that if you want to defend the eu and that's the only chance to stem the tied of this rebel rouzing and neonationalism. it's a blue card for you. will you accept it? >> thank you very much. you seem to be a bit contradictory in your exposition there because you seem to be saying that the eu was a construction in favor of rich people which i would agree with but they're very rich people at the top and then you didn't seem to understand. do you understand that the people that voted to leave predominantly, not all, but predominantly in the u.k. were those people that have been hit
hardest by the european union and had to bear the economic burden. people that don't have jobs, don't have prospects and see their living standards being driven down. you understand that it was those people that voted to leave and, in fact, the eu is a construction for very rich people at the top. the big banks and the gold man sacks of this world. >> translator: well, any responsibility, the central responsibility for what has happened in london that's up to the british government and not just the last government but a number of proceeding governments as well. the fact that they were not able to change that situation. i'm full lay ware of it that to shift the blame over the europe and causing all of this
antagonism among ordinary people. that is not correct. now corporate tax will be lowered and the social benefits in the u.k. will be curtailed. that's your responsibility. that's your policy taking effect there. >> book tv has 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors every weekend and here's some programs to watch out for. on saturday at 7:00 p.m. eastern, hillary clinton's 1996 book it takes a village is a topic of a round table discussion. >> 1993, 1994. no one knew what they were talking about. it's hilary's branding. >> it was a big moment right then to declare as she did in this book i'm a moderate. >> and amie parnes of the hills.
>> she is pushing ideas she is pushing today. equal pay and child care which is a huge issue for her right now. >> gary burn discusses his book crisis of character. a white house secret service officer discloses his firsthand experience with hillary and bill and how they operate. on sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern afterwards heather mcdonald's discusses her book the war on cops that looks at policing in america. she is interviewed by the professor of law and police science at john jay college. >> there's no question that black males today face a much higher rate of getting stopped when they're innocent than white males do today and that's a crime tax that the community unfortunately pays because of the elevated rates of crime. >> go to book tv.org for the complete weekend schedule.
>> the hard fought 2016 primary season is over with historic conventions to follow this summer. >> colorado, florida. >> texas, ohio. >> watch cspan and the democrats consider the nomination of the first woman ever to head a political party and the first ever nonpolitician in several decades. watch on cspan and get video on demand on cspan.org. you have a front row seat every minute of both conventions on cspan. all beginning on monday july 18th. >> the causes of the 2003 invasion of iraq said the intelligence leading was flawed and that they had not been
exhausted and reacted to the report apologizing for his decision to join it saying his main goal was a close relationship with washington. the former prime minister answered questioned for reporters. this is an hour and 50 minutes. >> good afternoon. the statement that i make will be fairly long. but after the statement has ended then i'm happy to stay and take questions for as long as you want to ask them. the decision to go to war in
iraq and to remove saddam hussein from power, in a coalition where over 40 countries lead by the united states lead by america was the hardest, most momentous, most agonizing decision i took in my ten years as british prime minister. for that decision today, i accept full responsibility. without exception and without excuse. i recognize the division felt by many in our country over the war. and in particular i feel deeply and sincerely in a way that no words can properly convey. the grief and suffering of those
that lost ones they loved in iraq and the nations or iraqis and the assessments made at the time of war turned out to be wrong. the aftermath turned out to be more hostile, and bloodied than ever we imagined. the coalition plan for one set of grand facts and accounted another and a nation whose people we want to set free and secure from the evil of saddam became instead victim to terrorism. for all of this, i express more sorrow, regret and apology that
you may ever know or could believe. only two things, i cannot say, it's claimed by some that by removing saddam we caused the terrorism today in the middle east and it would have been better to have left them in power. i profoundly disagree. saddam was himself a well spring of terror. a continuing threat to peace and to his own people. if he be left in power in 2003 and when the arab revolutions of 2011 began he would have clung to the same deadly consequences that we see in the carnage in
syria today. at least in iraq for all of it's challenges and it was recognized as internationally legitimate and is fighting terrorism in the international community. the world was and is in my judgment a better place without saddam hussein. secondly i will never agree that those that died or were injured made their sacrifice in vain. they fought through the defining global security struggle of the 21st century against the terrorism and violence which the world over destroys lives and divides communities and their sacrifice should always be remembered with thanksgiving and with honor when that struggle is
eventually one as it will be. i know some of the families cannot and do not except this as so. i know there are those that can never forget or forgive me for having taken this decision. and who think that i took it dishonestly. as the report makes clear there were no lies. parliament and cabinet were not mislead. there was no secret commitment to war. intelligence was not false identified and the decision was made in good ith. however, i accept that the report makes serious criticisms of the way decisions were taken. and again i accept full responsibility for these points of criticism even where i do not
fully agree with them. i do not think it is fair or accurate to criticize the armed forces, the intelligence services or the civil service. it was my decision they were acting upon. the armed forces in particular did an extraordinary job throughout our engagement in iraq in the incredibly difficult mission we gave them. i paid tribute to them. any faults derived from my decisions i should not attach to them. they are people of enormous dedication and courage and the country should be very proud of them. and a history of that time so even if they passionately disagree shall at least understand why i did what i did.
and learn lessons so that we do better in the future. on the 11th of september 2001. 9/11 was the worst in history. over 3,000 people died that day in america including many british people making it the worst ever loss of life in our own countries citizens for any single terror attack. in fact, 9/11 was not the first attack. prior to then, 23 countries had it and in 2002, 20 different nations lost people to terrorism. the regime of saddam had become a notorious source of conflict and bloodshed in the middle east. he attempted a nuclear weapons program only halted by a
prevented strike by the israeli military. he began with iran, a war that lasted 7 years with around 1 million causalities out of the iranian experience. he inevacuated kuwa-- invaded kt in 1990. the international community made frequent attempts to bring him into appliance for u.n. resolutions and as in march 2003 he was in breach of no fewer than 7 resolutions. in 1998, following the ejection of un weapons inspectors from iraq, president clinton and i authorized military strikes on his facilities and from that point regime change in iraq became the official policy of the u.s. administration. in a country where the majority
of iraqis, shia muslims and 20% of the population kurds he ruled with an unparalleled brutality with a government drawn almost exclusively from the 20% minority. saddam was not the only developer and weapons of mass destruction. and it was an active prolif ray to of such technology but only one regime used such weapons and that was saddam. intelligence still valid. indicated al qaeda wanting to acquire such material and 9/11 showed they were prepared to cause mass causalities. so it's important now that we're here 15 years after 9/11 to recall the ts at that time.
america never suffered such an attack like that before. they regarded themselves at war. the taliban who had given sanctuary to al qaeda had been removed from power in afghanistan in november 2001 but over 200 victims, mainly australians lost their lives, showed the continuing threat. all nations were changing their security posture. we were in a new world. at that time we didn't know where the next attack threat or danger would come from. the fear of the u. s. administration which i share was a possibility of terrorist groups acquiring by accident or by design chemical weapons, biological weapons or even the primitive nuclear device. the report expects that after 9/11 the risk changed fundamentally. we believed we had to change
policy on nations developing such weapons in order to eliminate the possibility of wmb and terrorism coming together. saddam's regime was the place to start. not because he represented the only threat but because his was the only regime to have used such weapons that were outstanding un resolutions in respect to him and his record of bloodshed suggested he was capable of catastrophic actions. in addition, the u.n. sanctions were crumbling and therefore containment was faltering. the final iraq survey report which was conducted into saddam's wnd program and ambitions after the iraq war and whose findings are accepted in this report, found that saddam did, indeed intend to go back to developing the programs
afterwards. so i ask people to put themselves in my shoes as prime minister. back then, barely more than a year from 9/11, in late 2002 and early 2003, you're seeing the intelligence mount up on wmd and you're doing so in a context of mass causalities caused by a new form of terrorism. you have to at least consider the possibility of a 911 here in britain and your primary responsibility as prime minister is to protect your country. these are my considerations at the time. there was no rush to war. it dismisses the theory and call for texas in april 2002.
i did not and could not as they explicitly in their report conclude, i was absolutely clear publicly and privately however that we would be with the usa in dealing with this issue and i made that clear in the note to president bush on the 28th of july, 2002 but i also said we had to proceed in the right way and the conditions necessary especially that we should then go down the un route and avoid action as indeed the inquiry finds. so i persuaded them to take the issue back to the u.n. this resulted in the november 2002 un resolution giving saddam a final opportunity to come into, i quote, full and immediate compliance with un resolutions and to cooperate fully. any noncompliance is defined as
a material breach. finally and only under threat of military action they return and see the report of inspectors to the u.n. and the 7th of march 2003. again referred to in the body of the report. however by then there was substantial disagreement in the un security council. america wanted action. president putin and the leadership of france did not. in a final attempt i agreed with inspectors set of six tests based on saddam's noncompliance with which he had to comply immediately which included things like those responsible for his program and which up to then had been refused. except in country. and it's accompanied by an
ultimatum. the noncompliance would result in military action. again i secure an agreement to a resolution and tests which if he had passed and the united states understandably insisted that the un had to be cleared of action to follow. and this was the approach rejected by saddam. the americans and the u. k. and other partners from over 40 nations had assembled a force in the gulf ready for military action. president bush made it clear he was going to act. the british government and my leadership chose to be part of that action. a decision endorsed by parliament and the leaders of the opposition.
thousand the inquiry finds as of the 18th of march war was not the last resort but given the insistence of the united states for reasons i completely understood and with hundreds of thousands of troops in theater which could not be kept there indefinitely it was the last moment of decision for us as the report indeed accepts. by then the u.s. was going to war and to prove with us or without us. now the inquiry finds that going to war without a majority of the un security council agreement undermined the authority of the u. u.n. we britain continually tried to act with the authority of the un. icon vinced the americans to go back to the un in november of 2002 and after the initial conflict it was britain that put un authority back in place for
the aftermath so that from june 2003, british troops were in iraq with full un authority. however, as of the 18th of march, there was gridlock at the un. in resolution 1441 they agreed to give him one final opportunity to comply. it was accepted he had not done so. in that case, action should have followed. it didn't because by then politically there was an impasse. i say the undermining of the un was, in fact, refusal to follow through on 1441 and with the subsequent statement from president putin and the president of france that they would veto in any resolution authorizing action in the event of noncompliance it wasn't possible to get them to agree to a new resolution. there were no points and standing decision by majority
will be vetoed. so on the 18th of march and this is the vital thing to understand, given especially what sir john said this morning, we had come to the point of binary decision. right to remove saddam or not with america or not. the report itself says this was a choice and it was. now the inquiry claims that military action is not a last resort though it also says it might have been necessary later. with respect, i didn't have the option of that delay. i had to decide. i thought of sad dam. his record. the character of his regime. i thought of our alliance with america and it's importance to
us in the post 9/11 world and i waited carefully. i took this decision with the heaviest of hearts. i had already as the inquiry finds consulted our armed forces and received their commitment to be part of it and their view that we should be part of it. if you read my private notes to president bush in march of 2002, you'll see my caution and my recognition. and my desire to do this isn't peaceful. but as of the 17th of march 2003 there was no middle way. no further time for deliberation, no room for more negotiation. the decision had to be taken and it was mine to take as prime minister. i took it. i accept full responsibility for it. i stand by it.
i only ask with humility that the british people accept that i took this because i believed it was the right thing to do based on the information that i had and the threats i received and that my duty as prime minister at that moment in time in 2003 was to do what i thought was right. however imperfect the situation or indeed the process. and moments of crisis such as this, it's the profound obligation of the person leading the government of our country to take responsibility and to decide. not to hide behind politics and expediency or even emotion but to recognize that it is privileged above all others to lead this nation. that the accompaniment of that
privilege when the interests of our nation are so supremely and plainly at stake is to lead and not to shy away. to decide and not to avoid decision. to discharge that responsibility and not to duck it. neither history, nor the fierce conduct of modern politics with all it's love of conspiracy theories and it's willingness and addiction to believing the worst of everyone should false identify my motive in this. i knew it was not a popular decision. i knew what it's costs might be politically though that shrinks into complete insignificance beside it. i did it because i thought it was right and i thought the human cost of inaction, of leaving saddam in power would be greater for us and for the world in the longer term.
so the action commenced on the 18th of march. in less than two months american and british armed forces and those of other nations successfully opposed saddam and that part of the campaign that was a major part of our strategic objective was brilliantly conducted by the military and you can never forget that. it was putting the coalition forces in charge of helping the country to a new constitution with un support and another un mandate. in august 2000 they have to with draw following the bombing of the u. s. headquaters and baghdad by al qaeda. and especially following the bombing of the mosque. a state of near civil war continued until the surge of american forces began in 2007 and restored the country to relative calm.
in 2010, a largely peaceful election in which the party with the most votes was a nonsectarian coalition was held. and in 2010 al qaeda and iraq was effectively defeated. in 2011 the arab spring began. the remnant left for syria and built it's space and came back over the border in iraq renamed as isis and heed by the nature of the government and exploited the situation in iraq and created what we see today. we should never forget that as a result of the removal of sedan in 2003 they agreed to yield up the nuclear chemical weapons program. this lead to the complete destruction of the program under international inspection which turned out to be much more advanced than we knew.
which had it remained in the hands of gadhafi would have posed a serious threat. the network was shutdown. come to our alliance with america. it was my prerogative as prime minister and decide to be with the united states in military action. the inquiry questions whether this is really necessary and important to catch the alliance. 911 was an event like no other in u.s. history. i considered it an attack on all the free world. i believe that britain is america's strongest ally. should be with them in tackling this new and unprecedented security challenge. i believe it important that america is not alone and part of a coalition. in the end a majority of european union nations supported action in iraq. i do not believe we would have
persuaded the bush administration to go down the un path without a commitment to be along side them in the fight. throughout my time as prime minister, britain was recognized as the united states foremost ally. it serves this well and allow us to protect more innocent people than we could have and i believe that was right. there are two essential pillars and our alliance with the united states and our partnership in europe and we can feel both strong as a national interest. peel can disagree with that. but that was our judgment as prime minister.
and had a stock pile of chemical weapons. it reduces findings but there is no difference in the september 2002 or that number 10 is properly influence the text but though it makes no finding of inappropriatety it finds that the intelligence had not established that saddam possessed wmd. i only asked that people read the reports given to me in march 2002 and then september 2002 and many other occasions for example in the note written by my senior advisor. >> we may know some of this information was not correct but i had to act on the information at the time. i would point out two other things. first, virtually every intelligence agency reached the same conclusion and very good
reasons. saddam's previous use of weapons is the complete disregard and eviction of un inspectors in 1998. secondly, it is essential to consider the findings of the iraq group. conducted by leading un weapon's inspector with 1400 people on his team. this was done after the war in 2004. ews, include with saddam himself and his leading officials, the very interviews denied inspectors in 2003. read that report because it is -- the inquiry calls it significant but with respect to them, never explained its significance. the survey group finds that saddam's priority in the late 1990s and in early 2000 was to get sanctions lifted and once they were lift they would fine
it was his intent to reconstitute the program because he believed it to be essential to this personal and political survival. above all, the survey group finds he intended to go back to a nuclear program, fearing the iranian's nuclear weapons and kept his team's ability to develop those and chemical weapons once sanctions were removed. now, of course, you can never know whether he would have done this, but i ask, if you knew that for a fact this dictator had used chemical weapons on his own people and those of other nations, for a fact he lied about having them so he could continue to produce and use them, and for a fact he had killed thousands of his own people and those in other countries with no respect for human life or norms of civilized behavior, would you have wanted to take that risk, leaving him in place, or would you want to eliminate it?
saddam in my view was going to pose a threat for as long as he was in power. now, the planning in the aftermath. the inquiry makes several criticisms of the planning in the aftermath of the invasion. i accept that in hindsight we should have approached the situation differently. these criticism are significant and include failures to seek better planning for the american side, which i accept, and the failures of american planning are well-documented and accepted. i do note, nonetheless, that the inquiry fairly and honestly admits they have not even after this passage of time, been able to identify alternative approaches which would have guaranteed greater success. and this i would suggest is for the very simple reason that the terrorism we faced, and did not expect, would have been difficult in any circumstances to counter. this is the lesson we learned
from other condition flict zones -- conflict zones special i libya syria, yemen, and others. our planning proceeded on on the basis those risk which is we warned, name through possibility of a humanitarian temperatures a, the use of wmd by saddam, resistance from the regime, and the challenges of reconstruction. in the event that the report does not deal with this in detail, the real problems with those caused by terrorism and through causes we did not expect. al qaeda whose attacks on the u.n., on reconstruction, on the shia population, took the country to birching of civil war in 2004 and 2006, and other attack from shia militias, inquiry does find that there were warnings about sectarian fighting and blood-letting. accept that. but i would point out that nowhere were these highlighted
is a the main risk and we did not anticipate the blood-letting but an insurgency stimulated by external amounts of money. we also now know that the assad regime in syria is deliberately sending terrorists across the border to cause terror and disability. this had a major impact on the coalition's able to make progress in the country. in short, we ended up fighting exactly the same elements we're fighting everywhere in the world today, shia extreme jim and sunni extremism. but the elements were trying to wreck our effort biz second tearar violence and that's what we did not foresee. the inquiry fund thursdayan 2003 there no option papers presented to cabinet. i note the cabinet debate iraq 26 times in the rubup to conflict. 28 meetings of the ad hoc
committee with relevant ministers present. but i should have had a formal options paper for the cabinet. coming to the legality. the report does not make a find only the legal judgment of the then-attorney general. there were very good reasons for not disputing that. the whole negotiating history of resolution 1441 made it clear the u.s. and uk refused the second resolution. the finding of the obligations of iran and the failure to comply was the rome bay -- reasonable basis for action the advice of the attorney general was in line with other law offices and nations and distinguished legal experts who i fully acknowledge and respect that others took a different view. well where the politics is hotly contested war would be felled. i understand the fining was far
from satisfactory but does not alter the legal conclusion of after the detailed meeting the attorney general had with u.s. and uk officials explaining the negotiating history of 1441, painted the view it was not necessary for a second resolution. on the 27th of february gave that view. already on the 7th of march provided that in writing. i accept it would have been better to provide the full written advice to cabinet, but this is not the legal precedent and was not requested by the cabinet. except there is a case of providing it anyway. number of these processes alter the fact that it is clear and does not challenge the inquiry. the inquiry says there was no indication why i gave my view to the attorney general that saddam was a material breach of 1441. had the attorney general -- as the attorney general was explained my view is not legally necessary because 1441 determined what was a breach.
but nonetheless he sought my confirmation of what i thought. but saddam was accepted to not be complying. he had a long history of -- intelligence that is considered valid, showed saddam at the time in breach of u.n. resolutions and blocking officials. the issue was despite the breach he should be given more time. i accept, of course, it is better politically if the security council makes such a determination. but the then, given the position in the security council, with a fundamental disagreement, it was clear there would be no agreement irrespective of the circumstances. come to this important point is the world safer or less safer
without the removal of saddam in 2003? the report never deals with this issue in specific terms. but again with respect to inquiry, the situation has to be debated if we're to reach a conclusion on the wisdom of the judgment i made. i ask a fair-mined to at least consider, if we had withdrawn the threat of action in 2003 and pulled back our forces, we would have found it almost impossible to re-assemble those forces. sir john says today it might be necessary to take military action later. he said that. but i don't see how we would have re-assembled that force. it would have been hard to keep the process of inspection in
place. saddam would have remained. and immensely politically -- he would have had the benefit of $100 a barrel oil. this where is the iraq survey group is so important. it indicates he would have resumed his earlier development of nuclear and chemical weapons. if that is conceivable, as it surely, then his removal avoided what would otherwise have been an unacceptable risk in my judgment. i acknowledge completely and i respect the other point of view. i simply ask that people respect my point of view this, judgment i took on the facts i had at the time. we then come to the state of iraq today. still engaged in conflict. conflict all over the middle east. but to those who say but nor actions 2003 iraq would be peace
inflame 2016, ask them to consider the following: there is no doubt that the sectarian policies of the maliki government attributed to the conflict in iraq but the decisive event in the middle east is the arab spring which began in 2011. starting in tunisia, regimes across north africa and he middle east were toppled or put under sustained attack. in the case of tunisia, libya yemen, the regimes fell in. in 2011 the revolve over the syrian people against he assad regime began. in syria, a small minority ruled the sectarian majority, comment this case with the sunni in major whit. between 2003 and 2011, by the
way, all of those regimes remained in power. not one of them have changed. supposing saddam had stayed in power in 2003. ask this counterfactual. is it likely he would still have been in power in 2011? and the arab spring began? is it likely that the iraqi people would have joined the arab spring or the countries were part of it and this was the most tyrannical regime of any of them and is it likely if the iraqi people had revolted, there was was an upride had gone would have reacted like assad in syria. sure live it's possible the answer to those questions is affirmative. in that case, the nightmare of syria today would also be happening in iraq, except that the shia sunni balance is inverted. consider the consequences of that.
even if we disagreed with removing satisfied sad in 2003, we -- saddam in 2003, we should be thankful we're not dealing with him now. he was deeply sectarian, as the latest research show the leadership was heavily sectarian, deliberately made so. to those who think removing saddam was the cause of the turmoil in the middle east, what is happening in iraq today, i say the following:... >> more people have died in the whole of iraq with the refugee crisis and no agreement to the
future. at least for all of the challenges in iraq today there is a government actually fighting the terrorism and doing so with support, internationally recognized including by saudi arabia and iraq with a legitimate government. and with the prime minister welcoming the white house and capitals across the globe. none none of this excuses the mistakes we have made. none of this excuses the failures for which i repeat, i take full responsibility and i apologize. but it shows the uncertain and dangerous world we live in that all decisions are difficult. each have consequences predicted and unpredicted area the only thing a decision-maker can do is to take those decisions on the basis of what they genuinely believe to be right and that is what i did. the final passage i will draw a few lessons and concluded take your questions for as long as
you wish to ask them. i was the prime minister for the period after 9/11 and through iraq and afghanistan. since then i've spent the bulk of my time in the middle east and study the origins and character of islamic extremism. what is clear is the extremism is a global problem not confined to the middle east, pakistan or afghanistan, it's across africa including nigeria, czech, somalia, asia, including, somalia, asia, including the philippines, thailand and bangladesh. it's in central asia, and of course we have terrorist attacks here in europe and in the united states. i watched today's decision-makers in libya and syria with the same type of dilemma that i did. we talk about lessons about iraq another complex but i will
summarize them briefly here. the first is the danger of revolutionary regime change what her islam is going to be a major factor is once the dictatorship, no matter how abhorrent elements of extremism will move into the vacuum to cause chaos and instability. unlike kosovo or indeed even germany after world war ii, the challenge challenge becomes not one of reconstruction but of security. therefore it is possible evolution or the presence of changes better than the overthrow of existing order without agreement. that is why when the arab spring began it would've been better to try to agree processes of transition in libya and syria so as to control the aftermath and make changes without instability. be sensible now as a precaution to invest in nation building in both parts of the world where any other time of collapsing and leading to further sense of destruction. some parts of development should be devoted to this.
second where we decided to intervene in the majority muslim country than we need to do so in a strong alliance with muslim nations. otherwise we risk being accused however unfairly of intervening in those countries because they are muslim. not because because they represent the security or humanitarian threat. the wage by terrorist groups have a completely different type of military strategy the bank other warfare. we have a expressiveness from around the world. we need to construct the new doctrines and capabilities which allow us to do so effectively and with the right alliances, within the west, within the muslim world and between us. for us in the west the pain of taking casualties in a fight that is often politically controversial and which does not involve the defense of our own territory is now so great that we risk a situation where political leaders are reluctant
to commit especially ground forces to come back. on the other hand forces particularly those of the united states and u.k. are the most experience and highest level of capability. this means consideration of whether we required a different level volunteer for these missions otherwise we are fighting without the best available forces to do the work. for the u.k., we have to have an active debate included with armed forces about our desired level of participation. given that we will always be a partner and the case of the usa a junior partner, we can all agree in person principle that the un's right to decide the policy including the just occasion of the use of force. the reality is the un is gridlocked effectively with russia in the usa regularly on different sides of similar issues. how can you and be reformed, how can the clear set of rules be agreed and with what measure of
objectivity? therefore we must understand the true nature of the threat we face. it is islamic extremism and its ideology, we need to urgently put in place a unified, hence a strategy to defeat it. it should be combination of hard and soft power, including a global commitment of education to reform education systems, encouragement of modernized within islam and it divide the country of propaganda with extremist. then we need an honest debate in the west about her own values and level of commitment to them. the. the west is a big decision to take doesn't believe it is the outcome of the struggle of the middle east and elsewhere around these issues of islamic extremism and if so what level of commitment as it prepared to shake the outcome. my view is obviously that it does and should make the necessary commitment. so in conclusion, many will find it impossible to reconcile themselves to the decision to remove saddam or my motives in taking it.
but it is vital that when i continue to allow controversy of iraq to have the real contemporary threats are security which reflect absolutely the difficulties we actually encountered in iraq. this extremism those who are with us iraq and those who oppose iraq, those developed and developing nations, north and south, while the import. this is our times, it is a challenge of our generation that requires us to act bravely even when in perfectly. at some point we are reach for and achieve a unified, comprehensive foreign defense policy that can defeat it. iraq will be a chapter in the struggle and an important one. but it was not first and it will not be the last. want to thank you for that report on the time in the care
it is taken. i also want to pay tribute to martha gilbert who so tragically passed maybe for the report was concluded. we cannot make decisions without benefit of hindsight but we can issue learn from our experience and from the mistakes that were made. i hope future leaders can learn from those that i made. so that our determination confronting terrorism and violence is not lost but our ability to do so effectively is much greater. the decisions i made i've carried with me for 13 years and i will do so for the rest of my days. there will not be day of my life where i do not relive and rethink what happened. sometimes ask me why spend so much time in the middle east today, this is why. it is why i work i work on middle east peace and the dialogue between faith and how we can have young people growing up without hatred in their hearts for those who look, think or behave differently from them. it is my believe that if we
learn the right lessons today, if we do, the next generation will see the dawn of everlasting peace in place where this began and where will finally end, which is in the middle east. thank you. now for questions. >> two quick questions. one you have said in the past you would do it again, would you still stand by that? and secondly, would you require no through the cameras for the families of the soldiers who died he said the question i'd like to ask you is, look me in the and tell me you did not mislead the nation. >> i can look not to stepfamilies of this country but the nation and the eye and said,
i did not mislead this country, i made the decision in good faith on the information that i had at the time. i believe that it is better that we took that decision, i acknowledge all of the problems that came with that decision. i acknowledge the mistakes and accept responsibility for them. but i cannot do and will not do is say i believe we took the wrong decision. i believe, i believe i made the right decision and that the world is better and safer as a result of it. now many people can disagree with that and that's their prerogative. but this report makes clear and it does it when you go through the report, there is no lies, there's no deceit no deception but there was a decision. it was a controversial was a controversial decision, decision to remove saddam and it decision to be with america. now many people would disagree with both of those decisions.
they came quite close to it this morning, that's fine but if you are going to do that you have to say what the consequences of the opposite decision would have been. because the point about being prime minister is that you are the decision maker. you you sit in the seat and take the decisions. your obligation to the country is to take it as you believe it to be. all of this stuff about lies, deceit, it is all a way of getting us to obscure what is the essence of the question. at that time in march of 2003, was that the right decision? now as as we look back on it, 13 years later what it it had been better to have taken the opposite decision? what are been the consequence of that opposite decision? if you cannot answer that question then you are not another decision-maker. i have to make the decision. sometimes a people talk about this and talk about me as if i
don't care about the loss of life or the grief and suffering of the families or the families of our arm forces but the families of all of those who have died in iraq since 2003. but i have to decide, are more people going to suffer, are more people going to die if we leave this brutal dictator in place? he had already killed so many people. so that that was the decision i'm afraid. >> in july 22002, i am with you what ever you said with george bush. now that does sound and it was read by the americans like a blank check for war. did you do enough to disabuse them of their reading of that is a blank check for war. >> that was the correspondence, they did not read them that way. neither could they could they have but in july 2002, the whole
thing, the whole purpose of my intervention with the president was getting to go down the un route. so after july 2002, comes the un resolution. had saddam complied with un resolution that would've been the end of the matter, but he did not. by the way think it is clear even the words that continue after that statement in the memorandum, i think there is a button i explain all the difficulties in what we perceive with the normal care and the whole purpose of what i was doing was making clear i was going to be with the americans in dealing with this, that was absolutely clear. i said this evidence, but we needed to go down the un route. >> [inaudible question] >> the fact was we had to go down the un route. but but if we do not put on the un route i'm
not in a position. [inaudible] >> what was the decision you had to make on the 18th of march 2003? you took that decision with the consequence of taking that decision were that if you had pulled back the americans would've gone through anyway, military contribution was irrelevant getting the job done anyway and by going through with it when you faced a choice between your frustrations with diplomacy at the un and effectively pulling the trigger that you had already loaded because you cannot keep the troops there indefinitely was to plunge this country for 14 or 15 years of this agony. you could have said no that i'm going to continue with the un and saddam would've been gone anyway. >> this is a really important point, let's just disaggregate that permanent. first of all our forces did play an important part. it was absolutely essential.
>> [inaudible question] >> so what you're saying is we should a pullback at that point, let the u.s. do it and i do not know whether you think we should've been in the aftermath or out of the aftermath at swell, that would've been a huge decision for this country to take. at that point, we were u.s. the u.s. strongest ally. that we should be part of this and right at the last minute we are going to pull out and let the other countries go forward, and -- it diplomacy had been exhausted actually in the sense. there was an impasse in the us, this is familiar to us today. you have rush on the one side and u.s. on the other. >> he said we can continue -- >> that was my decision. the problem with this debate on
iraq is once you clear out of the way all the obligations of deceit and so on, and i hope people do actually read this report because it makes it clear those allegations cannot be sustained. but then i agree with you. you have to go back in my shoes as a decision-maker and say at that moment are we going to pull out, leave the u.s. to do it hoping that they do it presumably. yes, they would've done it but we are say we think it is the right thing to do but we are knocking to be part of it. i. i think that is very difficult. >> this rejection that you said that the aviation was no way the aftermath and not responsible for the terrorism that is ripped iraq in the region. as you know very well, al qaeda six what it calls on government spaces in which the spread of hatred and violence. the way that the aftermath was on plan for which was adequately plan for in the aftermath which is which the report lays out, ungoverned space for the
creativity in iraq, the military was disbanded, the intelligence services, all of it was the serrated within months. into that boy. internet boy came al qaeda. what is happening in syria today is being led by the very men who were in the american -- they grew out of al qaeda and to say what is happening in syria today has no links with iran is disingenuous. >> i don't did say it has no links let me be clear about this. you are completely right about -- particularly when the civ war began in 2004-2006, then i agree al qaeda use that the removal of saddam to move in and create secretary intention. then came the search. the surge largely fixated and so what's shifted after 2010 remember they had an election in 2010. they elected their government then and the leading party in
that election was one that was essentially secular. after that time what changed dramatically with syria. you're right, there are people from iraq and then went into syria but it was in the chaos of syria, exactly the same point by the way in the chaos of syria and that ungovernable space, that is where isis came into being. they headquartered themselves that themselves at rocca and then went back over the border in iraq. now my point because we had a debate about syria this past year, i agree when you leave that space ungovernable that is where terrorism breeds. but not intervention can also lead to those spaces being created. partial intervention can lead to those spaces being created in one thing i've got to say about this report and i say this with respect but it's the difference of writing a report and making a decision. nowhere in this report did they say what they believed what happened if we would've taken the decision
-- didn't quite advocate but implied. nor did they say that. now the people are going to say the decision was wrong, they have to at least consider the point that i'm making. that saddam may have gone back and reconstitute his program and we might've had the same situation in iraq today as we have in syria and let us be clear, in syria today more than double the people died in iraq have died in syria, is the worst refugee crisis since world war ii and that is when we did not intervene. >> [inaudible question] what is the fundamental disagreement with -- he says that you went to war when there was no imminent threat from saddam, he does say that the process authorizing the war there is no founding in preparation of the aftermath, and that our troops were
inadequately resource and therefore put in undue risk. now you've said two things today, on the one hand you have created the impression that you are apologizing but you have also say that you stand by your decision to go to war. so what i am wondering and what are you apologizing for today? >> for the mistake. >> what mistakes. >> the mistake some planning and process i absolutely acknowledge. i accept responsibility and i'm not passing it to someone else. i i accept full responsibility for those mistakes. it is not inconsistent with that. to state that i believe we took the right decision and the difficulty with a report like this is those two things get mixed up together. by the way, in, in the first part of this
military campaign at one point i think and at least this morning the first part of this campaign and the british by the way deserve enormous credit for that, what happened after we know, the question is would we be in a better place today if we took the opposite decision. >> [inaudible question] >> i would take the same decision because that's the decision i believe is right. all insane today is because honestly some of the intelligence has been done and the planning wasn't done properly and i except those criticisms and accept responsibility for them. but i but i think people want me to go one step further and this is my problem, it is a very fundamental problem and i know it causes a lot of difficulty even with people who might support me otherwise. they say no, we want you to apologize for the decision. i can't do that.
i can't honestly tell you it that i'm in the middle east or three times per month and i tell you the roots of this terrorism go so much deeper than what happened in iran. we got caught up in the problem there and ultimately if we are not prepared to take these types of decisions and engage this way we'll make the world less safe. that is why you believe in 2013i think it was when parliament had to make the decision on syria and chemical weapons we made a fundamental mistake. i supported the prime minister at the time. in libya -- they accept how these things are difficult but we are not going to be in a better position from these decisions and misplaced in the world. >> [inaudible question] >> will is it, or is it because we now know how difficult these interventions are? you see, the worry that i have from all of this is that the lessons we learned our lessons essentially a political safety and not political strategy.
that ultimately these decisions are difficult. i do not regret taking the decision but there's no doubt about how difficult it has been how controversial it is ben, how much it is overshadowed, and of no significance of this at all but obviously it overshadows everything people think about me, of course this is really difficult. if we had intervened in syria it would also be really difficult by the way. in my view it would've been better if we had taken the action rather than not. so, look this is where i understand all of the criticisms that the report makes of the process. but i do think it i try to do this, it is too long to get into all these things, but i read and we learned real lessons in political and military strategy. i don't see where they are in the report. i don't see where it tells you what is the right
capability today to fight terrorism. what force of a line should britain be constructed in the world today. how does britt make sure it leverages its power the most effective way to defeat terrorism. given other countries who are affected by the terrorism are countries of every description. whether they are aggressive or benign, north or south, pro-iraq, anti-iraq, what does this report tell us? what does this report tell us? what should we do as decision-makers? >> you stand by your decision but this report is a devastating catalog of the failures both in your government and paint a very clear picture of the prime minister who was that dude who is determined to act with the united states almost,, make, to understand so the some of the families who believe that not just a long time ago but now you should face some kind of
punishment? >> by the way that is completely on correct. i was apologize for mistakes in planning and in the intelligence even though i'm not actually responsible for the intelligence. but, you see it's true i took the decision after 9/11 that we should be america's closest ally. again you can disagree with that. i personally think that when you're fighting terrorism in the world today, it would be better if britain today had a really strong type relationship with the united states. now i personally think with our parliament decided not to back president obama and syria it dealt a blow to that. i'm sorry, but i do. so none of that and diminishes the pain of those families are my sorrow for them or sorrow for what they have gone through their suffering. i would
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