tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN May 30, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
well as we could have with the world embraced the same economic and values we have always championed. but this all can change, every bit of it, but it depends on you. you must believe that you personally make a difference and work for our success. the value of a college education is to fill a life filled with hope. life without fear. solving problems is your great opportunity and your school has prepared for it. it has prepared you to make your own contributions to human progress. every american generation has the chance to beat the greatest generation. every generation faces challenges, but they were not an end to our progress. they were the beginning of another chapter in our story of
extraordinary success. the world will be made better by your accomplishments. the source of my optimism is my great confidence in the power of young people. you are the best response to cynicism, to show the world what you can do. i was a little sad when i graduated from college. i knew i would miss my friends. and i was worried. but i have had all the fun i was going to have. i am happy to report, there are amazing days ahead. congratulations to the class of 2011, and welcome to the beginning. be true to yourself. [applause] be true to yourself, but honest with others, as a curious, be humble, be brave, make a choice. make a choice today.
for this small group of optimistic problem solvers -- with your live without cynicism. live your life without fear. thank you for letting me be a small part of your life today. go get 'em. [applause] >> that concludes our coverage of commencement addresses. if you missed any of the speeches, we will we hear them tonight. included in the list, actors denzel washington and john tatzenberger. you can also watch them on line. earlier today, president obama went to arlington national cemetery for the traditional wreath lane at the tomb of the unknowns. here's a look.
>> this week, the house is set to begin work on 2012 spending bills, including ones for the homeland security and defense spending department. tuesday, rep. allen west on defense spending. you can see that live on c- span2. later, the house foreign affairs subcommittee will look at what system in other countries. -- atautism and other countries. this is also on cspan2. next, remarks from supreme court justice daniel a levo -- samuel alito. he spoke recently at a bar
association at the metropolitan st. louis' lunch. this is 40 minutes. >> thank you very much. thank you to any non-attorneys who have managed to infiltrate the room. [laughter] dwayne was one of the stars of our law school. it would not have surprised any of his classmates to learn, had they been able to foresee this, that today he would be one of the real stars of the federal judiciary. so, i want to idwayne for a great introduction. i want to thank all of you for a warm welcome. and i want to thank the bar association for all the courtesies extended to me.
it is a great pleasure for me to be here and have this opportunity, to talk to you this afternoon for many reasons. i welcome this opportunity to congratulate your bar association for its century long commitments to providing equal access to justice. i'm sure many of reno that's the inscription on the front of the supreme court building reads "equal justice under law." that is the highest to deal of our profession, and i commend the bar association for its many efforts to translate that ideal into reality. i hope during the next century, he will redouble those efforts. i mentioned one fact about the supreme court but i think many of you know, the inspiring inscription on the front of the building. what i want to talk about this afternoon are some other things
about the supreme court that some people, even knowledgeable people come not do not know were more likely have tended to forget -- even knowledgeable people, do not know or more likely have tended to forget i gave this talk a couple of years ago, actually, when i heard about a poll that asked people to name two justices of the supreme court. what the poll revealed was more people could name two of the seven drawfs then members of the supreme court. i was not disturbed by that report. knowing the names of the justices is not that important. i was just relieved all these people did not think sleepy, grumpy, and dopey were the names of supreme court justices. the kind of trivia is not
important for ordinary, knowledgeable americans to know. but there are some things about the court that should be well known. as i mentioned, many of these things will be things the knowledgeable people in this room know, but i think we tend to forget them if we read coverage of the court. in the general media, or even in general interest legal publications. the title i have for my talk today is "the top 10 things that you may not know about the supreme court." everybody watches late night tv. this is my spin on what you might see during that time. on to the first item. to introduce this -- i want to paint a fairly common scene. it is 10:00 a.m., monday morning in the nation's capitol. the court room is filled with spectators. the first few rows are occupied
by lawyers who are members of the bar of our core. the rest of the court room is usually pretty awful. many of those who occupy those seats are tourists in town and you would like to see a supreme court argument. among those spectators in the general gallery, there are often a lot of students who have heard about the court, study the court. i school american history courses, college courses. they have heard about the great supreme court cases of the past. marjorie vs. madison, brown vs. the board of education -- marbury vs. madison. the clerk stands up at 10:00 a.m. and announces "all rise." the first case is called.
the audience looks on with anticipation. and then the lawyers and the justices began to talk about something that is incredibly arcane, technical, and for many downright boring. the truth of the matter is -- and this is the first item on my list -- most of our cases are not about the great issues of constitutional law. in fact, the great majority are not about the constitution at all. less than three-quarters of our cases are not about constitutional issues. they are more often about statutes and rules promulgated by the federal agencies. this term, we have had cases surrounding statutes including
the four-r act. is there anyone who knows what this is? >> [unintelligible] >> you get a door prize. what is it? [unintelligible] -- >> [unintelligible] >> you really deserve a door prize for that. but only one person in this room of accomplished lawyers. we have also heard cases involving the federal arbitration act, the national childhood vaccine injury act, the copyright act, the uniformed services employment and reemployment rights act, the freedom of information act, the privacy act, the armed career criminal act, the security and exchange act of 1934, the national motor vehicle safety act of 1966, the bankruptcy act,
and many others. these cases involve important questions. for the most part, they're not one -- they're not what people have in mind when they think about supreme court cases. ok. that is three-quarters of the caseload. what about the remaining 25%? suppose that law student heard oral argument for two days in our court. what sort of arguments is the student likely to hear? most of you are probably aware that for the past few decades in legal academia, there has been an intense debate, and intensifying debate, about constitutional theory. our regionalism and non-our regionalism and all of that. -- originalism and non-
originalism. they come to have an exaggerated impression of the importance in litigation. there are cases in which theory looms large. a couple terms ago, we had a good example of this. the case i am talking about is the district of columbia vs. heller. this was a case involving the second amendment right to keep and bear arms. the question was whether that means an individual and incorporates the right to keep and to keep a firearm for the purpose of self-defense. it was an unusual case, because there was so little prior supreme court precedent. really just one unusual little case decided in 1939 in a very short and cryptic opinion. this was a case in which the
theory naturally had an important role. and the opinion for the court, written by justice scalia, was an example of one leading theory of constitutional interpretation. not surprisingly, it was vigorously originalist. the principal dissent by justice stevens was also an originalist opinion, but justice breyer wrote a separate dissenting opinion that was just as rigorously pragmatic. so the theory meant a lot. it meant a lot to the outcome. that was the exception that proves the rule. another case that came along a couple of years later in the
wake inheller -- in the wake of heller illustrates this point. this is the second item on my list. most cases are decided by president and not by theory. the case came along in the wake of heller. it is a case called mcdonnell verses the city of chicago -- vs. the city of chicago. this also involves the right to keep and bear arms. heller involved the district of columbia, so it did not have the question of the issue for the states. for the few non-lawyers, let me back up and provide some constitutional background. the provision for the bill of rights was originally to apply only to the federal government, not to the states. it was not until after the
ratification of post-civil war amendments that the question arose, that type of question was presented a new about the application of the bill of rights provisions to the states. in the macdonald case, the provisions of those post-civil war amendments, which it fundamentally alter the relationship between the federal government and the states, were at issue. one was the privileges or immunities clause of the 14th amendment prohibiting a state from of bridging the privileges or immunities of a citizen of the united states. the other provision was the due process clause, for having a person from being deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. shortly after the civil war, and a very famous case called the
slaughterhouse cases, decided in 1873, the supreme court gave the privileges or immunities clause a very narrow interpretation. when i think of the matter first of water heading down to the sea -- metaphors of water heading down to the sea, it is going to flow to the see no matter what you do. if one channel is blocked, it will slow down another channel to reach its destination. that may be viewed as what happened with respect to the interpretation of the 14th amendment. the slaughterhouse cases blocked the use of the privileges or immunities clause to provide substantive protection for rights that are not specifically mentioned in the constitution. now today, many scholars believe that is exactly what the
privileges or immunities clause was intended to do. but actual case law flowed in a different direction. it went through due process clause of the 14th amendment. almost all of the provisions in the bill of rights were made applicable to the states through the due process clause of the 14th amendment, by means of what is called this theory of incorporation. just as there are a lot of scholars to think the privileges or immunities clause is badly misinterpreted in the slaughterhouse cases. in fact, you can hardly find a scholar who thinks that the slaughterhouse cases interpreted that provision correctly. there are sellers to think the due process clause was meant to protect process and not substance. all right. in the macdonald case, we have the question whether the right to keep and bear arms is applicable to the states, and if
so, through which provision of the constitution? a friend of the court brief, filed by a group of academics, contained the following play. as professors of constitutional law, we look forward to the day we can teach our students how the supreme court corrected a grievous error made in the slaughterhouse cases. this is also the lead attorney representing the petitioners, arguing we should use the privileges or immunities clause and not the due process clause. you might think that this academically, based on solid scholarship, would have received a very sympathetic hearing in our court, because our current supreme court is the most academic court in the history of the country. today, four of my colleagues --
were former law professors. three of those justices were sitting on the macdonald case when it was argued. when one of the lawyers raised the privileges or immunities points in oral arguments, former prof. scully yet took the wind out of the cells when he said the following. >> it is contrary to 140 years of our jurisprudence. why you undertake that burden? when the position on mcdonnell was announced, only one member of the court relied on the privileges or immunities clause. everyone else applied to the established framework. ok. point four. this is a question i am frequently and i asked during a
week like this week when we are not hearing oral argument. it tends to come up over thanksgiving dinner when one of my cousins says "are you off this week?" when i hear that question, i bristle and i say, well, we're not hearing oral arguments, but i have a lot of work to do. i get the impression people do not believe me. they give the impression that hearing oral arguments is our main job. it is not. during oral arguments is a relatively small -- and if the truth is told -- relatively unimportant part of what we do. for every case we hear on the merit, we hear one our of oral argument. that is all. sometimes when justices or judges from other countries attend one of our arguments, they are particularly from
another english-speaking country, they are astonished we will devote just one hour to argument and a major case. in countries like canada and the united kingdom, the argument goes on much longer. for us, it is one hour and that is it, with rare exceptions. by contrast to the one hour we spend listening to the argument or participating in the argument, we spent many hours reading and studying the case before we take the bench. before we take the bench to hear arguments in the case, we will have spent many hours, often days, studying the case. the volume of reading we receive is enormous. last term, we had nine cases in which the braves, including -- in which debriefs -- the briefs totaled more than 500 pages.
we had one case where it exceeded 2000 pages. as a result, when we do take the bench, we are primed for the arguments and the justices tend to have a lot to said. last term, the court averaged 120 questions per case. 120 questions/16 minutes. you are averaging two questions per minute. 40% of the words spoken during the oral arguments last term were uttered by the justices and not by the attorneys. this term, a lot of observers have commented that we seem to be asking even more questions. if the statistics are compiled at the end of this term, i would not be surprised if we're pushing the 50% mark.
now i personally find oral argument is helpful as one of the final steps in the decisionmaking process. as i said, the truth of the matter is that it is less important than the briefing or the opinion preparation process that follows the oral arguments. this brings me to my fifth point. we do our own mark. here i am quoting my colleague. "the reason the public thinks much of the justices of the supreme court is they are almost the only people in washington who do their own work." [laughter] i am not going to address the first part of the statement about what people think about the supreme court. the latter is definitely true. we still do our own more. when i say that, i do not mean to cast aspersions on the president or congress.
their responsibilities are now so vast that an enormous amount of delegation is unavoidable. can you imagine how the president could possibly do his job if, for example, he wrote his own speeches or did many of the other things that are done in his name? in not criticizing the other branches. -- i am not criticizing the other branches. we've had the luxury of retaining an old-fashioned roll. with a small staff. some people are astonished that we do not have a larger support staff. we each have three career non- lawyers who provide support and we have four law clerks. the law clerks served for just one year. they are brilliant attorneys. young attorneys. their assistance to us is invaluable. as i said, they serve for only one year. by the time they become familiar
with all their tasks, at least one-third of their tenure is completed. despite this, there are those on the outside who think the clerks are actually pulling our strings. there was an article quoting macaulay's assertion, saying "no knowledgeable member the court would make such a claim." if that was true, knowledgeable observers of the court are wrong. do that in mind, because i will come back to that later. for now, on two. -- on to point number six. we're not manipulated by air clerks. in yen, we each reach an independent -- in the end, we each reach an independent
judgment. for the most part, we do not discuss cases prior to when we vote at a conference. with respect, we are all equal. we all have one vote, and no one is required to sign on to an opinion with which he or she does not agree. and we always have the right to issue our own concurrence or are under a sense if we're not pleased with the opinion of the court. of course, there's a big difference between productive independence and our refusal to listen to or take into account the views of colleagues. and this, as in so many things in life, the trick is striking the right balance. i recall the cartoons about the supreme court that appeared in "the new yorker." i think they had the approach
that the justice takes in considering how to react to colleagues and that justice is not agree with his or her colleagues. both of these cartoons the injured at a picture of the supreme court bench, all the justices on the bench in black robes, and in both cases, one of the justices was speaking. in the first, on one side of the bracket, one of the justices says, "if all you smart cookies agree, who in my to dissent?" that is one extreme of deference to your colleagues. the other cartoon again shows the whole bench. one of the justices is speaking. the justice says "my dissenting opinion will be brief. you are all full of crap." [laughter] i have had a couple of cases during the last two terms in
which i was the only person in this sense, but that was not what i was saying about my colleagues. -- i was the only person in dissent, but that was not what i was saying about my colleagues. [laughter] if you read some of our dissenting opinions, you might think that. that brings me to my seventh point. we are not at each other's throats, contrary to the impression some people might get after reading our opinions. some years ago, i had to write an opinion for the court. it produced a concurrence. the concurrence said that mine opinion was "meaningless, inconsistent with the rule of law, and in st.." -- and insane." [laughter] these were strong words. but i did not take them
personally and i know they were not meant personally. this is just the kind of intellectual disagreement we have. it does not mean there was personal animosity involved. this may not have always been true. during the last year, an interesting book was published called "scorpions -- the battles court." supreme the book says that some of the justices who served during the 1940's and 1950's act genuinely dislike each other and showed it. it has some interesting anecdotes. here is an example. according to the book, during a conference one day, justice frankfurter made an acerbic remarks about something that chief justice vinson had said,
and the chief justice got so upset, he rose from his seat and started walking forth with the intention of punching him in the nose. i can assure you nothing like that goes on today. after a morning conference when we may disagree quite sharply about legal issues -- and there might be legal issues about which we care very deeply -- we all have lunch together. we make a point of doing that on every argument and conference day. we have one rule at lunch. that is, you may not talk about any case. so, we talk about items in the news. we talk about music, sports, our families, books. anything but the cases, including the ones where we may have disagreed very sharply just a short period before. shifting gears, i am ready for point number eight, and that is
some of our opinions mean less than people think. what do i mean? this is so for several reasons. the opinion-writing just as a as a lot of providence. we do not make stylistic changes or a request for stylistic changes in each other's opinion. if you had eight people making all sorts of editorial suggestions, you can imagine how long it would take to get anything out and what the end product might look like. so we do not mess with the style of our colleagues' opinions, but style sometimes a bleeds into substance. if someone takes something from the tone of a particular opinion, at that person may be reading something into the opinion that is just not there. our opinions are also written under considerable time pressure. we do not have as much time to
mull over and revise our opinion as, for example, the author of a book might have. the third is, our opinions focus on primarily deciding the case at hand. the majority endorses the opinion, the agreement among the members of the majority might not actually extend a lot further than the ground covered in the opinion. if you read more into it, if you read it as having a broader application, you may or may not be correct. point number nine, some of what is written about us is misleading or just plain wrong. i will give you two examples. the first involves something that is misleading. i think intentionally, but none
the less misleading. i was struck and somewhat displeased earlier this term by a series of articles involving justice thomas' practice of not asking questions during oral argument. if he asked as many questions as the rest of us, i do not think the lawyers could get a word in edgewise. it is his practice, except on unusual occasions. in the press, there were articles suggesting justices have an obligation to ask questions during oral arguments of the the lawyers will know what they are thinking. none of the articles i read pointed out something that i think is important and would put this matter in historical perspective. and that is justice thomas' practice of not asking questions
is exactly the same as the practice of the person who was just about universally regarded as the greatest supreme court justice ever, and that is john marshall, the fourth chief justice of the united states, the person who more than anyone else but the supreme court into the institution it has become. in his day, the justices asked no questions. they sat there and they listened to the attorneys. the attorneys did not submit briefs. there were no limits on the length of the arguments. there was no prohibition on tag team arguments. a party could have brought or three attorneys arguing on his or her behalf. that was john marshall's practice. that was the practice of the justices during the founding era. i think it would have provided historical perspective if at least one of the articles that pointed out that back. now on to something that is just
plain wrong. and unintentionally so. for several years, the widespread popular criticism of our record is that we're very pro-business. we always decide cases in favor of business as opposed to employees and people who are consumers. this is been mentioned in a lot of articles. it has been mentioned by a lot of public officials. a few months ago, i was running on my treadmill, and when i do that, i almost always watch television to overcome the boredom and discomfort of what i am doing. so i was flipping through the channels, looking for something that will make 45 minutes or so passed relatively painlessly. i found slim pickings. nothing that interested me. finally, reluctantly, i settled on a c-span program that featured a debate between a
well-known and distinguished commentator on the supreme court and another person. i would not have watched it if the topic of the debate was squarely about the court. within a few minutes, the commentator began to discuss the court and he said, you know, the current supreme court is very pro-business. "but what can you expect because both chief justice roberts and justice alito used to work for the chamber of commerce." when i heard this, at almost fell off the treadmill. i had no recollection of this episode in my career. [laughter] as you may have gathered, i have only had two employers in my working life. the department of justice and the united states courts. i have never earned an honest living in the private sector. [laughter]
when i heard this, i thought, something has happened to you. you a partial amnesia. you ever gotten an entire period of your life. i thought i should go and look up my entry on wikipedia. but if i had done that, who knows what i would have found? "justice alito was once in the french foreign legion." that was early 2011. a short time after that, a number of articles began to appear that expressed surprise that most of our cases involving business law and employment law had gone against business interests and again employers -- and against employers. there was an article about this
that i asked "what accounts for the topsy-turvy world of the term?" court's 2010-2011 here is a possible explanation. maybe the law has something to do that. maybe the text of the particular statute involved and the presidents that we have to apply have something to do with the outcome -- and the precedents that we have to apply have something to do with the outcome. i know it is a radical thought. it is worth considering. that brings me to my last item. we -- the supreme court, the courts of appeals, the bankruptcy cuts, all federal courts taken together -- we are a co-equal branch of government. we are not more equal than the other branches, and we have to keep that in mind. we are also not less equal than the other branches. the constitution calls on the
three branches of government to check each other, but this can be done with fairness and it can be done with respect. i think that is what the american people expect, and it is surely what they deserve. this is the message i would leave you with on this, this occasion of this log day celebration. it is important for all of us who work in the law, for those of us who are fortunate enough to be judges or attorneys, it is important for us to teach about our legal system and the learning center is the perfect example of the sort of thing need to do to reach out to children and adults so that they appreciate our legal system. it is up to us to defend that legal system against
encroachments and to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of our legal system, to work to create the weaknesses. one of the advantages i had during the last five years of serving the supreme court is getting the opportunity to speak to justices and judges from many other countries. when you take an international perspective and to look at our legal system, if you drop back from the details that we're concerned with on a daily basis , and you look at our system from afar, you appreciate what a great legal system it is. yes, we know the defects of this system. we know them better than most people. understanding the weaknesses and resolving -- in spite of the fact that we have the best legal
system in the world. it is a rarity and something we have to work to preserve. it has been a pleasure for me to participate in your law day celebration. thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> is now my pleasure -- is now my pleasure to refer you to -- a case which involved a st. louis
cardinal, and the majority opinion was written by justice blackman, but it was unique in that he wrote of valentine to baseball that the rest of the majority opinion did not endorse. it included a lengthy list of hall-of-famers. i cite this but for the proposition that it is not unusual for a supreme court justices to have a baseball. as a token of appreciation, we have selected a baseball-themed gift for you. it is named -- is engraved with your name. thank you up for joining us. >> thank you. thank you.
i will certainly treasure this. i am as enthusiastic. i would have joined the first part of the opinion. just to tell you, when i was driven to the hotel, i had a request. i gave them a street address, and it was the former location know,rtsman's park, and i that is where rogers hornsby and sam mitchell and all those great players play. it was an experience i wanted to
laugh. this will, as i said, be displayed in my baseball museum in my office. thank you very much. >> tuesday on washington journal, the associate editor of "the atlantic" chris good looks that republican presidential candidates. then bill gertz talks about u.s. military operations. the house recently passed a spending plan the president has threatened to veto. and then major paul kremer. plus, a your emails, phone calls, and tweets. >> the c-span video library
makes it easy to follow campaign 2012. get instant access to events from announced and potential presidential candidates. all searchable and free. it is washington, your wife. -- your way. >> earlier today, president obama named his nomination for the replacement for admiral mike mullen. this is 10 minutes. >> all right. good morning. in a few moments, i will be joining members of our armed forces for the memorial day observance. we will honor those who gave the last full measure of devotion
and service of our country. it is the ultimate sacrifice, but it is one that every man and woman who wears a uniform is prepared to make. the men and women of our armed forces are the best our nation has to offer, and they deserve nothing but the absolute best in return, and that includes leaders who will guide them, support their families, give them strength and compassion. that is what i expect as commander-in-chief as we work to keep our nation secure. i find those qualities in leon panetta, who i announced as my choice to succeed our outstanding secretary of defense, bob gates, who i think for joining us today. i find this in general martin
dempsey as the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and to suceed general dennis c. -- dempsey, general ray odierno. since taking office, i have been pleased with the leadership of the current chairman admiral mike mullen and the vice chairman. these two men have served our nation with distinction for decades. i look forward to paying tribute to their service. i have equally valued mike's professional steadiness and personal integrity. on his watch, our military has excelled across combat
operations in iraq to relief efforts from the peak earthquake. -- haiti earthquake. i believe history will record mike mullen said what he thinks is right when he said that no one who served in uniform should compromise their integrity to serve their country. martin dempsey is a technical expert from cyber to missile defense and strategic thinker, whether it was updating our nuclear posture or preparing us for 21st century missions. as he concludes before decades of service, he can do so knowing that our nation is more secure and the military is stronger because of his remarkable career. i know i am joined by
celebrating deborah mullen and sandy cartwright for their service. it is my hope that leon panetta will take the reins as secretary of defense. ends thisullen's term fall. i am announcing my choice for their successors today, because it is essential that the transition be seamless. i want to thank the deputy secretary of defense for the continuity he will provide during this transition. for nearly 40 years in uniform, martin dempsey is one of our nation's most respected and combat-tested generals. in iraq, he led our soldiers against the insurgency. having trained iraqi forces, he knows the nation must ultimately take responsibility for their
own security. having served as the commander for central command, he understands the security gains and political progress must go hand in hand. and just as he challenged doctrines and practices, i expect him to push all our forces to be ready for the missions of today and tomorrow. i was proud to nominate marty, and i realize he only assumed that position last month. marty, your tenure as chief maiy could down as one of the shortest and army history, but it is your lifetime of accomplishments that brings us here today. today, i want all our men and women in uniform to hear the words you spoke on your first day as chief, because it is a
shared message for all those to serve. we will provide whatever it takes to achieve our objectives and the current fight. as vice chairman, my choice will draw upon 30 years of distinguished service. his carrier strike group played a critical role in air operations over iraq. sandy is well known to our allies, having served on the joint staff. he is known and trusted at the white house. sandy has been responsible for the defense of our homeland in times of crisis, which is the reason -- he supported our mexican partners in their fight against the cartels and their japanese allies in their response to the nuclear
emergency. sandino's we have to be prepared for the full range of -- sandy knows we have to be prepared for the full range of challenges. i think you, your wife, and your two sons for your service. i have selected them because they will make extraordinary -- make an extraordinary team, despite their competing loyalties between army and navy. they bring every forced to bear, land, air, sea, cyber. both of them have my full confidence that both have something else. for the first time, the chairman and vice-chairman will have the experience of leading combat operations in the years since 9/11. on the morning of september 11, 2001, the enterprise was returning home from the persian
gulf when word came of the attacks. rather than wait for orders, sandy took the initiative, reversed course, and put his ship within range of afghanistan by the next morning. a few years later, as marty's first armored division was rotating out of iraq, he got new orders. he shifted and defeated an insurgent uprising, are remarkable endeavor that has entered the annals of army history. this means they will be losing their new chief in a time of war, which is why for the next army chief of staff, i am nominating one of the army's most accomplished soldiers -- and one of the tallest -- in three pivotal deployments to iraq, he commanded the troops
that captured saddam hussein, partnered with general petraeus to bring down the violence and then allowing us to remove 1000 american troops and and the combat mission. after years on the front lines, he understands what the army must do to prevail in today's wars, to prepare for the future, and to preserve the readiness of the soldiers and families who are the strength of america's families. we are fortunate that his dedication to our soldiers is shared by his wife, linda, and their family, including their son, tony, a combat veteran and advocate for his fellow when the warriors. i urge our friends in the senate to confirm these outstanding individuals as swiftly as possible. their innovative, flexible, focused on the future, and deeply devoted to our troops and their families. general dempsey, and roll when
the feld, we have much to do. for bringing our troops home to reducing our force this summer and transitioning to afghan lead, from defeating al qaeda to protecting the libyan people call all of this even as we make difficult budget decisions what keeping our military the finest fighting force in the world. as commander-in-chief, beyond all, i will be looking to you and the rest of the joint treat -- joint chiefs what i value most in my advisers -- honest, unvarnished advice and the bolt range of options when it comes to our obligation of protecting the men and women in uniform. we have no greater responsibility, as we are reminded today, as we honor those who sacrificed so we can enjoy the blessings of freedom. to you and your families, thank you for your patriotic service and your readiness to leave or -- readiness to lead once more.
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> a free-lance the a journalist was embedded with the u.s. army in afghanistan in march and april. he joined u.s. and afghan troops in logar province on patrols of local villages and clearing roads of explosive devices. he talked with commanders about the training of afghan army and police. the u.s. is scheduled to begin withdrawing troops from afghanistan in july.
>> we are trying to expand the security bubble out from kabul to make sure the security, government and development are increased and improved in these provinces so that we can slowly transition the security, governance, and development back to the capable hands of the afghans. the provinces the hugely critical. the security forces here in logar are making great strides
both in the police, the afghan national army, and their intelligence director. from my point of view, over the last five months or so that we have been here, a credible progress has been made with the police, specifically. what the afghan government is attempting to do is give security back to the people. the afghan local police is a program by which communities stand up their own police forces. they get training from the afghan police. local communities hiring from within their communities to defend their communities. they get training by the afghan
national police and get partnership and mentor ship through us. it they get oversight and they are paid, equipped, and uniformed by the interior, so it is exactly where they need to be during this critical time of transitioning security over to the afghans. >> the afghan army is out there patrolling, securing population, making a connection with the local people, showing them day are capable force. police are transitioning from counterinsurgency operations, moving into civil policing functions we see over time. we will start to see some transition -- we're seeing right now in some areas in some
locations, where the police are able to go out and do beat cop activities. it is demonstrating to people that the government is working, we are doing development based on the funding that we have and showing they have capable forces that allow for transition at some point. >> i think security is on a positive trend. i think we are making improvements and one of the ways we see that manifest is we start to see it on the local level. people are getting fed up with
violence and not only coming to us to seek assistance, but, in some cases, working out ways to take care of themselves because nobody can take care of people as well as they can take care of themselves. when you start to see that sort of stuff happening, success is just down the road. there is a local town that's near eight major road which is sort of a battleground at times. when we move through that area, the enemy comes from outside that town and uses that location to fight. so people in this town are uninvolved either way and they see the negative consequences. so it is encouraging, the people regularly coming here to the district center to see the
district said the governor and any other government agents we have here and to engage them and ask for help and bring up ways they can help to secure their own town. that is a sign of progress. the government is to the people are going to to solve their problems and look for help, so that is a significant thing for us. >> has there been any security setbacks? >> >> there is an ebb and flow. it is not as though everything is on a positive trend all the time. sometimes you take a few steps back, so it is a constant balance and reassessing as well as the other efforts we make.
from a security perspective, it is a reassessing of where you need to go and what he needs to do and where the next step is. >> how would you gauge the opinion of the local people regarding the taliban? also yourself, the coalition and u.s. army? >> here is what i would say about a lot of the local people -- they are tired of fighting. they're tired of the fight going on on around them. i think the insurgency is a vast minority of people. a lot of people are fed up with that danger to themselves and their families. and the constraints on their daily life having to worry about security. i do not think that people want us to provide their security. i think people understand that they need is right now because
we are assisting their forces, but what the people really want and what i see from the people here and hear from them is they want afghans to provide their stability. that is a positive step in my mind. it is much better that we are working through the afghan security forces and police. the people want them to provide for their needs and i think that's a step in the right direction. >> one of the old adages is winning the hearts and minds. yet, do you do things like that, like try to win over the local populace? >> what we try did is facilitate the army and the police doing that. our number-one priority is protecting the populace above
all other things. the way we go about it it is by working with our partners. it is not us helping to build a speed bump in their village, is us setting conditions to allow afghan security forces to do it. >> what about the afghan security forces like the army? how is the army during? >> the army is doing well. they live right here with us, just on the other side of the compound. the police are here, pretty much everything you need is here in one stop. the army here is very capable. we are just now getting into the warmer months of the year, so we expect activity to increase from
an insurgent perspective and from a security forces perspective. they are capable, they can communicate and provide security and their leaders planned pretty well. >> what do they still need from you? >> what they really need from us is the next step. what we can provide them that they are not good at yet is planning and logistical operations. when we conduct a week-long operation, we can help them organize a way to resupply through that. those are the kinds of things we are applying right now. not just that an advisory level, but at a partner level. we are with troy at -- literally
on patrol with them. they operate in t ld,ute contbu se eernc beuse ours is significantly older than theirs on how to conduct operations. >> what about the police? >> the police here are actually doing pretty well. when we have a district with above 180,000 people in it and we have 43 or 45 police to secure the population, that is our primary challenge, increasing the manning of the police so they can take care of the population. >> how do you do that? >> we have community policing here.
just like back home, if there is an altercation in a neighborhood, people will call the police and the police are expected to respond. if it's something nearby, with the number of guys they have a ground, they can handle that. they need our support just so they have enough security to complete that particular mission. able toortant they are provide assistance because if not, they will lose the trust of the people, and that is paramount. every month, a couple of additional policeman arrived and the numbers keep increasing. we work with what we have as far as facilitating them and helping them secure their district. from the afghan perspective, the
ministry of justice, the ministry of interior work to increase those numbers. whenever you have quality, you need quantity. it may be a better thing to have a few fewer guys. >> i understand there are pockets of the district where the taliban has actually gotten stronger in the past year or two years. how will that factor into your assessment of what you need an id before in this district? >> it can go a couple of ways. because of the resources we have, we have to set certain priorities. i'm talking about our partner perspective with the afghans. you can only be some anyplace is at a time, say have to pick your priorities and move forward and
reassess and make sure next week you're still doing the right things. so we focus for the population centers are because our primary task is to secure the populace. if we can provide security, they buy into afghan national security forces, once we have that accomplished, we can move into the less populated areas and conduct similar methods. >> what is the most difficult part of your mission here? not for you personally, but for the company? >> partnering is a challenge on a day-to-day basis because the armies are different. we do things differently and it can be frustrating when you do not have understanding of why
and how things are being done. it can be frustrating that things are not going the way you think they should. that is one of the challenges we face. we have cultural gaps and one thing that's kind of neat about our soldiers as they get that pretty well. it is a day and-day out basis and folks get frustrated. it's a very normal function. >> patrols like today, we go into the bazaar and is more secure. it's a good time to practice their communicating skills. by the time they go to another place, they have a foundation by
>> as a policeman, i have to encourage them. if there are security issues, we have to think about ways to reinforce those things. when it comes to issues within the populace, the police do good and talked to them. >> i believe it is my number one task to stand up the afghan national security forces through training, partnership, side by side, shoulder to shoulder operations. you cannot have -- you cannot have an effective governance in a counterinsurgency without securing the people. and they are much more effective at it than we are. if we can give them the training that allows them to go
operate effectively as a military or police or security force, they will be able to take that and we could go in more of a mentor should parole and assists in pushing into areas that are not secure yet. the more we can stand up afghan national security forces to operate on their own, the more we can push into mary -- the more we can push into areas that are not secure and bring development to their area. >> delegation is an important part of your task, but a lot of what you do is establish a climate for operations. what is the philosophy you want your subordinate commanders to subscribe to? >> i am extremely satisfied with
their level of training before we came here. as i go around and talked down to the soldier level, they come back to me and say i know what's important. it's very satisfying when i hear it soldiers talking about the same things i talk about. you've heard stories of the strategic level decisions that are made every day. something they decide to do could affect the afghan's president's decision making or president obama's decision making. they understand the importance of what they're doing here and
understand the importance of the decision making they do every day. the answer your question is respect and getting every soldier to understand they are here to protect the afghan people, and that is their mission. that can only be done through mutual respect of the afghan people, mutual respect of the afghan governments, and understanding they have a different culture and we have to understand where they come from because they are from a different culture. before we came here, we did a lot of training on afghan culture. a's a very hard to transplant 19 or 20 year-old man or woman
to a different country for the first time and say go operate. by the way, you're not an american anymore. challenging for all of us, and the important thing is we are all human beings with mutual respect and you have to understand day live in a different culture. we have all heard the decisions that have to be made on cutting back on resources. i have not seen that. i have everything i need to do as a brigade commander to accomplish my mission. as things begin to change, my government will tell me where i have to cut back, but honestly, i don't see at this point.
i had everything i need to accomplish my mission. >> if you could tell one thing to the american public, or the portion of it that represents our viewership, what would that be? >> there is this support given by the american soldiers -- that is incredibly critical to the morale of the armed forces in afghanistan. it is going much better than is normally portrayed than what i see in the media. it is a tiresome more, as you see in the media these days. many people are saying it is not worth fighting anymore.
but i will sit here and say i believe is and we are going in the right direction. i believe with the same amount of focus we have been given to this, we will be able to accomplish the strategic goals of the nation here in afghanistan. >> security and afghanistan depends on where you are. my experiences in the east. i was in the south and there is a lot of large scale open combat. it is kind of the headquarters of the taliban. in that east, it depends on where you are.
just south of kabul, places like logar, are today just bombing galleries where troops, a large coalition presence is trying really hard to lock those provinces down to protect kabul. but every step, they're threatened by explosive devices that are killing hundreds of troops and many times that number of afghans every year. a few days before i was caught up in an explosion, i accompanied a patrol, a team of army engineers whose job is to -- whose job is to define these
explosive devices before they hit the other troops. >> today's mission is to conduct clearance. our purpose is to clear these roads for any possible obstacles to allow coalition forces to move freely and protect the afghan nationals as they travel these road. it is important because we keep our guys save so they can conduct their mission and provide the population the ability to move freely on their roads and not be stopped by obstacles. >> these guys roll out every day in these gigantic armored vehicles, i really tall one with a robotic arm called a buffalo and another one with a scanner on the front that scans for
bombs under the ground. also, vehicles for protection. the rollout in a big convoy and, depending on the nature of the road, if it is good enough, the kind of road where it is practical to conceal a bomb, they will cruise up and down the road and scan for it and hope that blows up their vehicle instead of the vehicle of other patrols. they are generally better protected. those buffaloed trucks are very tough and it's very hard to destroy them. the patrol's take a higher proportion of casualties than most units.
the roads that are less accessible, roads where troops might travel on foot, the patrol's will get out of their vehicles and walked up and down the roads and probe the roads with bayonets and scan them with these world war two style metal detectors. if they hear a beep, they get on their hands and knees and start poking around in the ground, trying to uncover what ever is lying underneath. if it's an explosive device, they backed away and call a bomb squad. they will come in and properly dispose of the bomb by wiring
and up and blowing up safely, sometimes using robots. it's very tedious and dangerous work. the guys travel from base to base, hitting in the major roads and walking up and down the smaller roads and they live this homeless existence that can be lonely. the clearance patrol by covered, they did not find any bombs and when back to base unharmed. just a few days later, they were struck by an ie d and insurgents followed that up with rockets and gunfire. two soldiers from the team were killed.
>> this ground clearance we just conducted has proven to be successful. with boots on the ground, our guys using their mechanical tools they have available and our eyes and the ground, we're finding more explosive devices this way than the other way. it's a proven technique, but there is greater risk solely have to constantly change to prevent the enemy from watching our habits and trying to attack us. >> you talk about dismantling the network rather than just going after the bombs. >> they are paying for these things because you can clear them all along but if we're not taking the guise of the battlefield better building them, we're not having a great -- the battlefield that are building them, we're not
defeating the enemy. >> how are you able to can be -- how are you able to contribute to dismantling the network? at my level, we do analysis, we look at the intelligence, the best way to attack the enemy based on what we found and the things, we do them on a daily basis. >> i was in bed with a unit of the 10th mountain division in logar, afghanistan. we are on a mission to visit a village right outside of a major u.s. base.
despite being close to the base, it is a borderline town that has had some problems they blamed on the coalition construction activities. there are some residents who are not too friendly to the alliance. the mountain division has this idea to go into the village and take along some afghan and jordanian troops and use them because they are muslims to drop in on the village mosques. the idea is to figure out if they need new rugs or loudspeakers and the coalition can pay for those things as a gesture to the village to try to pull them back to the coalition's side.
on march 19th, we drove into the town with americans, afghans and jordanians. we got outside of the vehicles outside of town and walked to the town, sending the jordanians and afghans into each of the several mosques as we passed by. there was some indication early on in the patrol that things were not right in the village. the village has always been borderline, but that day, it was particularly irritated at the coalition presence. it is not uncommon for kids to throw rocks at the coalition patrols. this day, it was a veritable brush and one american sitting in his vehicle keeping watch while the others bouar on foot, one american gunner was struck in the face and was bleeding.
the patrol leader, a sergeant was furious and came back to the vehicle to check on his guy and found a village elder and yelled at him and said we are here to help. your people are hurting my people. you have to cut out. the elders said what can i do, it is just kids being kids? he and the elder duke did out for awhile and then made peace. they continued the patrol. we did not have any reason to fear the problems would escalate beyond a few thrown rocks. the 10th mountain division has mount clearance patrols the go up and down the road than check for improvised explosive devices. i have been told the road in and out had been checked and there were known -- there were no known explosive devices on the
road. but that afternoon, we left the village and got probably 50 yards outside the village on a dirt road, just passing by what looked like an abandoned motorcycle when a bomb exploded underneath the vehicle i was in. there were seven people inside the vehicle, including myself. of the seven, five were hurt a enough to be evacuated by helicopter. myself and a medic were sitting in the very back of the vehicle, in the very back during the blast. we were not hurt although concussions are sometimes hard to detect in the short term.
>> something else? [groaning] >> my kevlar -- i don't know where my kevlar is. >> in the aftermath of the blast, the army evacuated the five people inside track and i stayed behind with the patrol as they cleaned up the damage and investigated the blast site. ultimately, we left the village as villagers gathered on hillsides, watching us like some kind of spectator sport. the bomb that struck the truck
was in could have been any theber of a variety of ied's taliban or any other of the groups used. there are bombs made of old military grade explosives like military shells were there are bombs may out of nitrate fertilizers. there are differing kinds of trigger mechanisms, there are radio controlled or they could be triggered by pressure plate so that when something rolls over the bomb, it blows up. some are even triggered by an infrared tripwire that when you break the beam, it goes off. this was probably pressure plate and probably not an old oil -- and all -- and old are tory share -- an old artillery shell. you can use a metal detector to detect those. but it was not detected, so it might have been fertilizer
packets or wouldn't with a pleasure -- would with a pressure play. the bomb struck the front of the first vehicle in the convoy. piecing together the details after the fact, it seems the bomb had been buried there for a while. when we entered the village, someone tipped off the taliban or it could have been another extreme makes group, but likely the taliban. when we're in the village having rocks thrown at us, the taliban stole a motorcycle or was willing to give up his own, raced out to where the bomb was, left the bike behind it and hopped the fence and ran and then only had to wait while we drove out of town and rolled over the trap. the vehicle i was in save our lives. it is a mind-resistant ambushed
protected truck. these days, the standard vehicle for any u.s. patrol that leaves the bases in iraq and afghanistan, it's a very tall, heavily armored vehicle, with an angled body that helps deflect bomb blasts from underneath and from the side. the pentagon began buying tens of thousands of these things that about a million dollars apiece back in 2007 and 2008. this was after i e d casualties spike in iraq. iraq is not so much the problems, but after summiteers, when afghanistan did not have many explosive devices, they are now the major killer of american troops in afghanistan. around half of americans killed or injured in afghanistan are victims of improvised explosive
devices. the pentagon says about 1300 are discovered either -- discovered every month by a blowing up or being discovered beforehand. that does not count the ones no one ever sees. you're talking about tens of thousands of a bewildering variety, some which are very hard to detect, killing hundreds of american troops per year. there would be many more of we were not spending billions of dollars on these trucks. as it stands, even the survivors suffer long-term consequences, besides the trauma injuries, brain injuries are a huge problem now. i read something like 25,000 american troops have been concussed and suffered brain injuries in afghanistan. most of those are since the ied
scourged picked up in the last few months. it's a major reason why the coalition cannot fully control provinces close to kabul, where they have the most troops. it is extremely difficult just to get between two. in afghanistan. to do it with any guarantee of safety at all, although there is no perfect guarantee, requires the patrols is up for their own casualties -- because he was clearing the route for them? for the routine patrols to go out safely, there is often overhead surveillance. sometimes during the patrol, there are aircraft that can detect the devices or jam this signaled that detonate the devices using radio interference. after the fact, when there is a
blast, you have to call in an explosive ordnance disposal team or forensics team, depending on whether there are more explosives present or there is just a crater and bomb debris. they have the effect of limiting where patrols can go and making movements that are possible extremely risky and exacting a high price for every mile you traverse. also slowing everyone down because every ied and sub being an hours long process of dragging the vehicle of the crater and investigating the blast site to determine what happened and who is responsible. it goes on and on and on to the point where the war in certain provinces of afghanistan is basically an ied-centric fight.
the major weapon and most of what american and allied soldiers to is an attempt at countermeasures. what is left after you clear out the hamster wheel of the ied fight is a few people with a few days and months to spend trying to change attitudes in afghanistan and reform the country. >> freelance video during list, david axe was embedded with u.s. troops in march and april. he is a regular contributor to c-span and the "washington times." you can watch this programs and others like it on our website, c-span.org. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> tuesday, remarks on china and the secretary clinton possible trips to indonesia. he will speak to the center for strategic and international studies. you can see is comments live on tuesday at 11:00 a.m. on c- span3. then a look at the electric grid and possible weaknesses in the system, held by house energy subcommittee. that is to o'clock eastern on c- span3. -- that is 2:00 eastern on c- span3. >> this week, patrick conroy was sworn in as the house chaplain. he replaces the departing father daniel coughlin. this ceremony took place on the house floor. this is about 10 minutes. this bill are postponed.
>> mr. speaker. the house will be in order. the house will be in order. members, please take your seats. members, please leave the well. take your seats. the house will be in order. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio, the speaker of the house, rise? mr. boehner: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. the speaker: i want to thank the speaker and thank my colleagues for the time.
one of the most important members of the house community is not a member of the house. the house selected a chaplain to deliver the opening prayer, a continuing aradition started in the first continental congress. as the house grew so did the chaplain, which they looked for advice and counsel. the chaplain sees to the well-being of this institution which serves people of all faithsnd a nation that has always put trustin god. our national motto is an echo of the 16th psalm which in part says preserve me, o lord -- i'll start me over. preserve me, o god, for thee do put my trust. in many ways the chaplain is the anchor of the house. so it's with regret we bid
farewell to reverend dan, who retired after 11 years of distinguished service. father dan left behind one last blessing. he recommended someone who he felt would be a worthy successor. and to no surprise, father dan was right. father pat conroy comes to us from the northwest. he was born and raised in washington state and spent much of his priesthood in oregon. and next monthill mark his 28th year as a jesuit priest. father pat also served here in our capital city. he was chaplain of georgetown university for a total of 10 years. and he has a deep appreciation for public service. and before being called into the priesthood, father pat had a calling to politics, specifically the united states senate. father, something tells me you'll fit in just fine right
here. i think it's important to give the house a sense of father pat's character. and this is from a letter he wrote expressing his willingness to serve as chaplain. it says as follows -- as a jesuit, i believe it a part of my calling to find god in all things. and to discover the spirit of god present in the people i encounter and whom i serve. i wish to say i am ready and willing should those to be served deem me wory of this ministry. though true of any ministry, the position would call me to a radical reance upon the grace of god which will also be god's gift. i think it's clear that this loyal servant of the faithful is uniquely suited to serve as chaplain of the people's house.
leader pelosi and i have gotten a chance to know father pat, and we are honored that he has accepted our invitation to serve as chaplain. we're blessed, i think, to have his idance and wisdom as we discharge our duties, fulfill our obligations to current and future generations of americans. so please join me in welcoming and congratulating the 60th chaplain of the house of representatives, father pat conroy. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the minoty leader rise? pelosi pelosi -- ms. pelosi: i ask unanimous
consent to speak to the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. pelosi: as the speaker takes the chair, i join him in commending the leadership of father pat conroy. father boehner -- speaker of the house -- at least he -- the speaker: i've been called a lot of things but not that. ms. pelosi: you really have to be a good politician to be called father boehner. in any sense, speaker boehner, his remarks beautifully explained how proud we are that father conroy has agreed to this additional responsibility. i would only like to add that in his ministering to the needs of georgetown as chaplain there, he was engaged in many interfaith ministries. so that serves him well to come here with the diversity of --
within the protestant part of our congress but also throughout the congress. so father pat conroy comes with a healthy respect of what we do, as speaker boehner said. he was -- has been a long-time jesuit and, again, served very beautifully in that capacity. before that he was an attorney for the making of laws of interest to him. that is not to say that he doesn't understand his first responsibility, and that is to minister to the spiritual and personal needs of our colleagues. yes, speaker boehner was correct in saying th one of the last gifts that father coughlin left us was a recommendation that patrick conroy, father patrick conroy would be considered to follow in his footsteps and huge footsteps they are, for 10 years -- more than 10 years
father dan was our spiritual leader and we were blessed with that. and today we are blessed again with the speaker's recommendation to the body of father patrick conroy as the chaplain of the house of representatives. it is a beautiful honor steeped in history, deep will he personal, free of politics and we wish him every suess in that job. and father, we pray for you. pleaseray for us. thank you, father patrick conroy. the speaker: will the chaplain-elect please present himself in the well? the chair will now swear in the new chaplain of the house. if you'll raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united stes against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that you will bear true faith and
allegiance to the same, that you take this freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of whh you are about to enter, so help you god? chaplain conroy: i do. the speaker: congratulations. >> tuesday, remarks from house minority whip on the manufacturing sector of the u.s. he's expected to talk about the democratic congressional agenda hosted by the center for american progress. that starts live at 11:00 eastern on c-span. while the senate is out of the session, the house dabbles in
tomorrow for legislative business. -- house gavels in. also expected are spending bills on military construction and veterans affairs as well as the homeland's security department. follow the house live on c-span when members gavel back in on tuesday. >> you are watching c-span -- bringing you politics and public affairs. every morning, it's "washington journal" our call in program about the news of the day. weekdays, watched live coverage of the u.s. house and weeknights, congressional hearings and public policy forums. also, supreme court of oral arguments. on the weekends, you can see our signature programs including "prime minister's questions"
from the british house of commons. you can watch our program anytime at c-span.org. c-span -- washington, your way. created by america's cable companies. >> last month, a group of former nasa space shuttle commanders share their experience and a national symposium hosted by the space foundation. this is one hour. >> because we want to give each commander as much time as possible, i will keep the introductions brief. there are more detailed bios in your brief right there. the leadoff commander earned his astronaut wings in the x-15 rocket powered research craft,
flying to a maximum altitude of 280,600 feet. in 1977, he flew pioneering approach and landing tests in the and powered spatial prototype at edwards air force base. he later commanded to orbital missions aboard columbia and discovery. representing the flight test vehicle enterprise is the retired air force major general, joe engell. with three shuttle missions to his credit, our next commander played a key role in returning the prime to flight following the challenger tragedy. he continues to serve the space program as a a senior executive oeing division.
she helped orbiting be chandra x-ray technician. eileen collins. our next commander is a veteran of three missions aboard challenger come and atlantis, dedicated to the department of defense payloads. he retired as the agency's deputy administrator and continues to consult with the space community. representing atlantis, fred gregory. lobbying four shuttle missions, the sixth commander flew
challenger, discovery, columbia, and the maiden voyage of endeavor is endeavor mission featured four eva's. representing endeavour, retired navy captain daniel brandon stein. -- brandenstein. these are all commanders, but before we get started, with every after not here today who has flown on the space shuttle please stand and be recognized. thank you. ok, joe, you're up. >> i am not sure my mike is working. thank you very much, and i would
like to say how proud i am to be part of this symposium, part of this forum. . i want to start the airplane i am representing is the enterprise. one thing i have told a lot of people at a couple of interviews is that as far as cdr goes, during the first to flights into orbit, there are only two people aboard the airplane, the space shuttle. the space shuttle is a pretty busy airplane to fly. to have a designation of commander and pilot is a little and big u.s. trade in my opinion there were two commanders aboard, richard and i. we shared the duties.
commanders -- the only reason you call one a commander is case something goes wrong, commanders try on every mission to distribute the tasks equitably among the crew. of course, on the alt program, the war only two flights -- there were only two people on board. my task was to distribute flying equitably. we swapped control of the airplane back and forth. i will show you when vick is flying and when i am flying, and in retrospect i screwed up, because he got more flying time than i did. we are trying to have that do that all over again. the enterprise was a unique vehicle from her siblings 3 she was never intended to fly into
and from space treat she did not have the thermal protection system. she had styrofoam sheets that were molded in the same thing this, so she would have the same hour mold line. the wing leading edges were not the rcc that would have absorbed the heat. she had a couple of sections that were rcc to test, but she lost those later on when she went to the smithsonian. she did not have the main engine system, the high-speed turbo pumps, the weight of the hydraulics to gimble on. she had locked up engine bells, so aerodynamically should give the same drag and
characteristics as the airplane coming back from orbit. the albert mold lined, albert-- the outer mold line, she was an order, but she weighed less than the orbiter's. she was a lightweight hurt job was very poor. her job was to gather as much her dynamic data as possible to confirm the air dynamic data base for the flight engineers and planners, who did get all the coefficients, the secondary school officials, -- coefficients, so the air dynamics would know about how much margin there was in maneuvering and not have to rely on wind tunnel data.
her job was important. in addition to gathering as much data, to confirm these databases, her job was to check out the flight control system and to check out and modify the flight control system where it was needed. we did make some rather significant changes to the gain, s and filters in the flight control systems. we saved ourselves embarrassment by coming back and trying to land with less than ideal weather conditions. later on when we got into the orbital flight program. she was to gain flight experience and maturation on andems, like the apu's
hydraulics. how they would play together. the approach and landing test program consisted of three different kind of like a free there was a program where she made it to the top of the 747 with no pilot on board, but getting her ever dynamic data. then the activex program where she stayed megan, but we would move the services slightly to begin to get some of the date on how affective -- effective the services were. then the free flight program. it was reduced to eight flights and then five flights. it was not a necessarily an indication that we were not obtaining data. they were anxious to shorten it up and transfer resources to the orbital flight programs.
we flew five flights, three with them the tail cone on, that reduces drag, and allows you to lighter file. we had a very comfortable flight. tail cone off, it kept your attention. one comment that i would like to make before i get into this film, and i think everyone feels this way, is that i personally am convinced that we will look back on the space shuttle program and say this space shuttle, she was the most capable workforce that we will ever have had the privilege to put back in airspace barn.
i do not think we will -- [applause] you can quote me on that, and if we build something better than the shuttle, i will eat my words in front of you. i do not think we will ever do it, -- we will have to do it fast. i have alluded to the fact we tried to share of high living task during approach and landing tests. i have a short video. it lasts two minutes in 20 seconds. it is not -- as is the entire flight from separation of the 747 to landing. you will see a budget splat. we got that sucker on takeoff. that was so refreshing to know
that -- and we really love that. i will tell you when i am flying and richard is flying. one thing we figured out we could do. it was difficult to get the desired inputs, this that inputs and the balance -- doublets and still maintain the basic parameters that we wanted to give the engineers the data, maintaining a certain angle of attack. kind of the flight control hasem the speace shuttle was very difficult to do. it had electronic flight control systems, and richard and i were able to try out technique of one of us holding the basic profiles steady while the other vote was cutting test kit that includes,
overlaying than on. richard is trying desperately to hold an accurate profile and manage and the g, and i'm disturbing him by putting these inputs in. i'd want to show you what the film looks like. if you could roll of film and i hope -- here we go. here is the bug right there. we got him right there. we just separated from the 747. it has gone off to the left. richard is pushing over now and he has this thick and i should point out we are going to touch down up here, and i lost sight of the touchdown here. i looked out the window and that is what i saw. he had pushed over to over 36
degrees pitch. here is the rudder cake. we are accelerating to the next day that point, reconfiguring with speed brakes. there will be a role or pitch input. now the pinch back to the angle of attack. doug cook is here in the audience. i have the stick back now, and i am starting to clear creek steak is getting ready to put the year down. we cannot see that touchdown point. it is about up in here, and we are in the flare. when we touch down we still have a couple of directional controls. here we are rented touchdown right about there. you will see the nose veer
off to the right. then dick and i decided -- we have differential breaking to see how effective it was. still sharing the load. we have practiced this in the same area. we've got a little bit of all wabble here. it was not visible from the ground cameras. we were able to slip that time. one more thing, and i've -- were known as the serious crime -- crew. we had a theme song. if you remain remember, a country-western song. we had nicknamed the 747 lucille. we agreed he would pull one on
follow, for sure. columbia was a tough order. columbia was the first launch vehicle of any kind that on its very first flight of all the long flight elements of that staff very people the orbit and got them back safely, and it continued to do that for a very long time and god bless john young and bob crippen giving us a chance to follow them into orbit. first stage, all the orders are pretty much the same. -- the first stage, all or biters are pretty much the same period a nice smooth? because columbia was a very stiff vehicle. i compared it to atlantis, you
could feel it as an oil can a little bit. columbia was rock solid. my experience with john on sts9 with the guys we were with us, we were doing space lab 1 mission, and we had to do a lot of maneuvers, and this was early in the program, and the software had not been refined. we had to do these maneuvers one at that time, cut them into the computer. we did 215 maneuvers and took us over 15,000 keystrokes trip we spent a lot of time punching those little buttons on that thing. the interesting part of sts 9 relative to the orbiter itself, and i did not blame this on columbia, just the nature of the beast, when we were getting ready wedeorbit, it has five
general purpose computers cricke. if you have a software problem, the fifth one will take over. we had gpc 1 and 3 up, and we had been flying a 25-pound thruster the whole flight to do these maneuvers, and we had enabled the primary thrusters, and they were likely be cannons. when the fire in the back and, not too bad, but when they fire in the front, it gets your attention. we got to a dead -- the autopilot, and one of these things fired up, and immediately got something on the computer.
the computer failed. at that point we had not had a gpc failure on warburg. we get out of pocket checklist and go through one gpc failure malfunction, and six minutes later the primary jet fires, and crt 2 fails. so we have two of the computers failed and no one is home flying the ship. we activated another computer and got it under control, and we start talking to the ground and we do what is called a dump, down to the ground and the analyze it, and they reinitial program load. gpc never got to recover. gpc 2 we got to get back on
line. ground did not feel comfortable letting us land. they were going to analyze a situation. we had this time. the way. as we were running shifts , with three people on one thing, john had blown up along tons, so he went to the mid deck to take a nap while we were waiting around. he was down there may be three hours, and finally he came back up to the flight deck and he was very angry with us from a i try to go down there and sleep and you guys are up here making all this noise fr. when i told him, that was not us, that was our measurement number one beating itself to death, his eyes got about that day. now have two gpc's with a
problem, and we had to set ourselves up for entry in a different configuration. we did that. the ground gave us right instructions. we got that thing set up all right. we flew entry and entry was pretty nominal from that standpoint until the nose gear hit the ground after we landed, when that happened gpc 2 failed all over again. that is a cake, because there is still other gpc's and we just rolled out and stopped. an unusual thing happened during the post-landing operation when i was getting ready to shut off the auxiliary power unit, which are the units in attackback. one of the declared and others under speedan
failure shut down. john and i did not know what that is about, but we got a call later on that told us that apu's 1 and 2 both had the same failure, a failure of a shaft that input is the hydrazine, that spewed into all over the apu's in the back of the or biter. it started the fire back there, and we were burning from about 40,000 feet down on these two apu's, and after shut down more hydrazine out and detonated and made a mess in the back of columbia that they had to fix up before we could fly her again. other than that, it was pretty swell. [laughter]
it was a thrill to have the opportunity to fly with captain john young, a man who i have the greatest respect for, and i sure wish him well. he led us into space with the space shuttle program, and look at all the opportunities we have given to all the human beings the thrill of space with the system. i think i must be at a time. -- i think i must be out of time. thank you. >> thank you. ok, dick, you're up next. >> thanks. i am representing challenger. she was named for his majesty's ship challenger which was a
research vessel that left portsmouth, england, in 1872 and changed the course of science, in three years, sailing around world, doing oceanography, but in the atlantic and pacific. challenger the space shuttle was in our fleet less than three years. during that time, in less than three years, she flew 10 missions, and of course, was lost on january 28, 1986, as we all know. her loss changed the course of space history, and it also changed the course of my history because i got pulled out of where i was in naval space command to go back and be responsible and had catered -- in headquarters for investigation and recovered.
all that is another story worth another long panel. in those conditions that she flu, frankly, it was a hell of a ride. she launched the first woman in space, the first african- american in space, and that picture of a bruise mccandless untethered, on the first untethered eva the black stars behind him. for dan, who was in the right seized on our flight sts8, first that meant the most to me -- i cannot speak for dan -- we got to make the first night launch and night landing of the space shuttle program. we did this because we had an indian satellite in the payload
bay. we had to launch about 2:00 in the morning to get that satellite to the right place, and if you do the flight mechanics a week later, you are one to land somewhere around 2:00 in the morning. we got out to the launch pad. jay reminded me last night of us looking into the night sky in seeing lightning. we were surrounded by thunderstorms. i was convinced we were not want to go. i told the crew that and i was almost asleep at the nine minute hold, and suddenly they said you are coming out of the nine minute hole in one minute. -- nine minute hold in one minute. the first night landing was a real privilege.
with joe, i had flown first enterprise, which made all this possible. then we had backed up john and cripp and flew sts 2, and here was an opportunity to open up the capability for the rest of program. it reminded me of when i went out to make my first night care plan the and i had an officer named duke, and i was nervous and young, and he said, dick, don't worry about a thing. it is just like coming aboard ship in the daytime. he just cannot see what you are doing. standing in the way of making them night landing for dan and me, the fact that we had a heads up this late in challenger that we have not had in colombia in
the early days. frankly, we felt like for the job at hand, we wanted a simple heads up display that was simple and uncluttered so we could just concentrate on getting this bird home. we just thought it had too many bells and whistles, and that -- and the second thing that was in the way, we did not have a night lighting system. and so, during the couple years before the flight, we've redesigned with the help of many engineers and other guys in the crew office the heads up display and got the support of the program office to change the program, and we were satisfied with that. then the other thing, the
lighting system, we looked at flares lit at fresnel carrier systems, but it was not quite enough for the diseases we were expecting to see. after working at a lot of people up here in the audience helped us by flying against these lighting systems on the ground, and i never looked in my log to see how much like time he got, but it was plenty. in addition to dan and me spending all our time on this, i got to give credit to mike smith , who was killed later in the challenger vehicle, because m work, andid yeoman's
we would never had solved the thing without him. we ended up with a really simple system. it was made of automobile headlights, red and white, and for the pilots in the audience, it was very simple. if you were on the correct glide slope, you saw two reds and two whites. if he were high, you sell more and more whites. then we had the big xenon lights illuminate launch pad, eliminating down the center line, and turned them off so they would put a beam of light right down the runway, and as bright as they were, during rollout, the actual amount of
light he could see the cockpit was measured a handful of lumens. you could see. for flare, we had a takeoff and a navy carrier lighting system that essentially was called a ball that showed if you were high or low, or show it if you were on that more shallow glide path. we flew the flight. we got to entry interface at 400,000 feet. dan and i were pointed up at four degrees up at the stars, at the start the entry, and as we went on, we noticed a funny thing. the stars began to dim. they went out, and i glanced over to dan, and i said, going
blind at this point is not a good idea. then they started changing colors in all the windows. later, we realized that what we were seeing was the ionized gases in the foot-thick shock waves standing out in the order as a heated up. we saw every color of the rainbow. he could not see upside except for that. finally got down to about mach 7 and it was white hot looking out the shuttle windows. again we thought, ok, god, it is time to let us see. suddenly, just like this, it went away. we were in a steep left bank. i looked out and it was the most gorgeous view of the california
coast, los angeles, santa barbara, san francisco. we roll back up and way out into the black hawks no moon, i could see the edwards, those xenon lights. we crossed over the field at 50,000 feet at mach 1. put it into manual, and dan and i flipped in a circle, and now with the moment of truth as to whether the lighting system was really going to work. we rolled out, and it was the most beautiful sight you ever seen, right there in the center of peking hub was two reds and two whites. and we kept coming down,, and by this time of thistwo reds and whites was all we could see. we got blown off at about 3,000 feet where the top of the frame
on the top of the window covered the runway. we could not see that. we kept driving down to pre- flare, and we started a slow pre-flare. finally, the runway came into sight. it was a helluva ride. [applause] >> thank you, dick. >> could afternoon. i want to say it is an honor for me to be up here with the shuttle commanders, and i have absolutely great respect for all the severe work they did before i flew the shuttle, but before i even came to nasa, to make the shuttle so much safer as the years went by.
i am here to talk about discovery. i want to say a little bit about the history and the things discovery did. she was the fourth orbiter built. the contract went out in 1979. she was delivered in 1983. she flew 39 times, the last flight was just last month, march of 2011 very some of the more famous missions discovery flew, she launched the hubble space telescope, flew the return of flight mission after the challenger accident and after the columbia accident. discovery performed the first round of woo with -- the first rendezvour with mir. discovery flew the first cosmonaut in 1994.
discovery has cumulative days of space of almost a year. almost 365 days in space. 13 of the missions went to the international space station on assembly and resupply. discovery has flown its last flight, and soon you will be able to see it up close in the smithsonian. we have been asked to answer to questions. if there's something about your that makes it different from the others, unique, and makes -- until a personal story about a mission you flew on the order. the first half of that, is there something unique? i thought something hard about it. they're pretty much the same. the only differences are in the payload that are flown, and that will change the way in the center of gravity, and it will change the switches and circuit
breakers, but other than that, they were pretty much the same period from a pilot cost point of view, as far as flying the biter, would you be able to guess which one you are flying? . would say, no flying qualities of the or biter were very predictable. i will say that the pilot will notice a difference not by the orbiter but by the weight and the center of gravity. if you are flying a light weight rbiter, he noticed that controls are a lot more responsive. maybe it is more predictable to
fly and land. with a heavy weight orbiter like discovery, i noticed a delay and more sluggish flight controls. all those flying characteristics could be programmed into the software in the gulf stream that we fly to train. regardless, the pilots are trained and well prepared. you can see delaney as we have made over the history of the program have been very safe and predictable. i have a few minutes left to tell a personal story. i flew my first and fourth flight on discovery. this is about sts 63, and we flew in february of 1995. the highlight was the crew was to perform the first rendezvous to mir. the plan, handed to the crew,
was we were close to a thousand feet, and we would test the communications, navigation, and the flying qualities of the shuttle in close proximity to their space station. we started negotiating with the russions. -- russians. we used translators. to get the russians to trust with you, you had to drink with them. it was part of their culture. we started negotiating at 1,000 feet. we thought that was too far to complete what was a knapp test plan and find out are we sell, prepared, ready to do the first docking flight. through all this negotiating, we came down to 300 feet. we looked at it closes, that is
not close enough. we need to go in closer. we negotiated down to 100 feet. the months went by, and it was not on the happened there. we negotiated down to 30 feet, and when we launched, that is what the plan was. launch date, very smooth ascent, no malfunctions, main engine cutoff, still no mel hudgins -- no malfunctions. then we got a master of law. one of the jets failed off. then another of the jets failed. the third one to fail failed because it was leaking creat. it was facing exactly where mir was going to be on its close
approach. it was leaking hydrazine. we obviously did not want to contaminate the solar arrays. around a new -- the rendezvous was canceled. the flight team did a fabulous job down in houston and in moscow. we turned the jet to the sun. we did other things over couple of days. we got public -- we got the leak down to a trickle. it looked like a geyser. it never totally stop.
the russians agreed to go in and the rendezvous, and we did and it was successful. on day four i realize the russians wanted to do this flight test as much as we were. it was to pave the way for future human space flight programs. all that tough negotiating we have done was just their style, their culture. we learned how to work together. that mission of discovery reminded me that sometimes small failures can lead to some pretty important lessons learned, and their relationship with our cold war rivals, engineers, flight directors, cosmonauts, while not
perfect, was and is strong, especially between the astronauts and cosmonauts. part of the legacy of discovery is the role it played in international corp. and diplomacy. -- in international diplomacy. thanks. >> had the privilege of flying atlantis on my last mission. the story of atlantis is very rich. it flew 32 missions. and it will fly one more time. it flew -- it took the columba' module to the international space station. it visited mir seven times.
it had the shortest turnaround time between landing and launch of 50 days. it had the fewest interim problem reports. it's set the record and then on its next mission came back and between its mission and its follow-up mission, it broke the mission. was a very clean airplane, and everybody who has flown it has enjoyed it. i have to live with, before every flight i go talk to the main engines, and i go out on the pad and i talking to the bills. and some of you may laugh, but the engines respond to me. i can tell you that it has worked because i have never aborted or had to unload from the orbiter, and i know some of
the people here have had to do that. if they took my advice and talked to the engines, that never would have happened. when i talked to atlantis engines and said okay, we're ready to go. we launched, and it is very interesting because on my mission, there were two experienced folks -- three experienced folks and board -- onboard and three workers. we are sitting on that pad, and one of them asked if we were in space yet. [laughter] as a commander, you would not want to say, idiot, no. would say something like, well,
not yet. atlantis was a beautiful bird. forrester -- brewster talked about the way it moved like this. it was a very smooth airplane and got to or but -- orbit, and we had no burns necessary to get it into a circular orbit. the main purpose was to deploy this satellite. this picture the have probably seen a hundred times if you look at in the air force publication or "aviation week" or any publication that shows satellites. this is the defense support program satellite, and it is the only one launched by the shuttle. i love this picture, because it shows the harmony between space,
that black stuff you see on the left, and earth, the blue, and the beautiful atlantis. if you look at it closely, the big nozzle of the satellite, you can see the reflection of the earth. with rookies, and in particular, this flight, we had an interesting crew. three of us were married and treeless were bachelors -- and three of us were bachelors. before every flight, the significant other was issued something called a primary contact apc badge. it was very interesting because for the three of us who were married, it was obvious to the
significant other was, and that person could visit us during the times we were in quarantine. dan brandenstein the office director, the officer chief, and he had the opportunity to decide what to do with these bachelors. i think he gave up, just like i did, and we issued these primary contact badges to any significant other that these three bachelors with light seeking. every day a new set would come in. being a good commander, i just sat there and watched them come in and go out. it was never the same. in fact, if there were two visits a day, you might have three significant others. i will not name the names of the crew members. on orbit, i thinking orbit
operation to a pretty standard. we had the defence support program that we launched immediately on her first day, but then we had an army chief warrant officer with us, tom henning, and his purpose was to determine whether he could look to the windows and look down in an area on the earth to assess the situation, the battle situation, and report that to a military commander. clearly, that did not work. when we came home, i was asked to visit a general who was the air force space command commander. of course, i do not think -- i knew he knew it was not want to work, but he wanted to demonstrate to me that he had capabilities to see much finer than we could with our naked
eye. he showed me a lot of that. he said, in this particular case, the target was obscured and the satellite could not see what was on the ground. i said, sir, have you ever had a person in space look down and verify that you could not see it from space? of course, he paused a moment and he smiled and that was the end of that conversation. that was the end of that program. atlantis was an amazing byrd. we came home. we were supposed to land at edwards -- at kennedy, because we lost an inertial measurement unit, we came home early and went to the edwards cricket joe henry earlier showed you his approach to the landing.
that was on 05. there will several -- there were several runways there. as we were turning to final, mike hollen -- my pilot said, the you know what strip your landing on? i said i knew where i was going. i said this is what you get when you had a rocky flying. i talked to a atlantis three weeks ago, and atlantis asked me, have you heard that it was going to make its last mission could i said, i have heard rumors. is it true? he said yes because a couple high guy told me that. i found out today that atlantis is going to be stored at kennedy
after it lands in june, june 20. the last thing it said to me was i certainly hope this is not the last human flight that we make here in america. i know you guys are going to make sure that that does not happen. thank you. [applause] >> good afternoon. anytime you talk about shuttle's about the discussion comes back to the people. endeavor was no different tricks -- and never was no different. i got involved with the program because there was a program to name the new orbiter given to schools throughout the country. it was for suggesting the name and also a science project. two schools won. it was named after captain cook
's ship. kids got involved in the or biter for it rolled out. it was pristine. columbia looked like it had zits. it was a testimony to the people who put it together. the people who worked on the other orbiters were no more and they were calling to be laid off. the workers got together and had a heck of a party. management was not invited. i did not qualify because i was invited and it was great. they showed up in tuxedos and cowboy boots and had one heck of a party. they were proud of what they had
done and were going to go out in style. sts 49 was the first flight, scheduled, and we launched in may of 1992. the primary mission was to recover and repair ilsat. also, back then the space station was on to be the wes -- was going to be built tinkertoy style. the first rendezvous, we had a bar that was designed on earth, the first time we try to capture the satellite, we were not successful. on that first day we did three tries before it tumbled out of control. we back away from it and were feeling bad.
you have seven people on the crew, a pretty good job of change. about 30 minutes later we got good news because the ground crew had the satellite back under control and that meant we had another chance. we changed some of our processes. we tried it again. this time we got six shots at it before it was out control and we could not capture it. then the team, the people, the crew and ground team, decided to take a day off. going back to the last capture, the six tries, it goes back to the people who designed the vehicle. that baby flew really great. truly amazing design and flight control system. getting back to the people, now
we had the crew and a team on the ground trying to figure out what we were going to do on the next day, and we came up with a plan to send three people out and use a good old-fashioned hand to capture it. everybody concurred with that plan. a long story to tell you. we did it in one day. the shuttle flying up to it, three people stationed out there, the satellite at a bit of wall on it. we had to wait, and we moved up and the three guys grabbed it, put the bar on it, and we had one more eva left and did some of the mission on me iss repair.
forester talk about it, and never worked on its first flight perfect. we had no problems and it was important because we were busy trying to get the satellite. we had to mess what if we had to mess with computer problems, it would have been harder. since then endeavour has gone on to fly many successful missions, and it is a true testament to the people who operated hit the in and day out. it is a shame to see the shuttle's coming to an end, but just as those people who had a party after endeavor rolled out, the people we worked on a day- to-day basis, their noses to the grindstone, they are determined to do a great job, and i have to what meyer them because they have been a great team for many
years. it will be a big loss to our space team around the country. thank you. [applause] >> at 5:15 these and two additional shuttle commanders will conduct a briefing in the auditorium on the lower level of the exhibit center. go over there, take the elevator one flight down. seating is limited, but registrants invited to sit in. on behalf of our audience, i thank you for sharing your experiences to date. we appreciate your service to this great nation and its space program. let's hear one more time for our all-star team, the space shuttle commanders. [applause] [applause]