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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 1, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT

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hhs or refer you to cms on that. the whole point, regardless of how statistically accurate those numbers turn out to be, we know and acknowledge that the website has been a problem. >> do you think there is a transparency problem for the administration? andhat the secretary and i others have said is we will provide enrollment agers on a monthly asus which is consistent with -- on a monthly basis which is consistent with other things, and we want to make sure it is accurate. we need to verify it and make sure it reflects what is actually happening. on novemberyou now 1, we do not expect those numbers to be high, and they will be lower because of the challenges on the website.
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with massachusetts, it is the president that makes sense -- precedent that makes sense to look at. you will see that the first month is going to be slow as people begin to familiarize themselves with options and then make choices they want to make when it comes to their health care. the othersident said day just a small fraction of americans would pay more. do you know what that fraction is? >> that is america question. i do not have that figure because here is the reality of what happens when you create a market that provides options to the american people. when you talk about it, and this is the focus we have discussed in the past, joe, on the portion of the percent -- 5% population that are insured in the individual insurance market,
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they often have one option, one carrier, one plan available, and every year that company can say your plan is canceled and here's your option, and it is usually a worse plan. what happens now to those individuals is they now have a variety of options. they have levels of coverage that begin with minimum level that if it's that already exceed what they had available to them, and they can choose from bronze, silver, gold, and platinum plans, and they can also see what kinds of tax credits might be available to them because of their income level. it is harder to predict because a lot of this depends on what choices consumers make. the fact they have those choices i think is -- we have to acknowledge is a good thing. massachusetts -- you said
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many times you think it is the proper template. it was a completely african political time it in massachusetts -- a completely different political climate in massachusetts. >> that's the extent how the bill passed. seeny would have liked to more bipartisan support for health care reform than the canident, and anybody here tell you there is a great deal of effort that went into building a plan that reflected not just democratic principles and democratic ways to tackle this problem, but also republican ways. those of us who are old enough to cover the debate under president clinton, there was a republican plan submitted at the time that is the closest precursor to what the affordable care act is today. a lot of the aca came from middle-of-the-road and conservative republicans, and i
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think that reflects the president's view all along that -- we ought to build a consensus. republicans have fought this tooth and nail, through passage, through the many pointless repeal votes they have held, and then challenged it unsuccessfully in the supreme court and ran a national campaign on it, and it did not turn up their way. we hope in the spirit of everyone's is our to help the american people, republicans and democrats can join together to make sure the american people who have benefits available to them by law are getting the benefits that they deserve. that is what democrats did. democrats who opposed bush's medicare part d plan. once it was law, hopkins and democrats came to -- republicans and democrats came together to
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make sure that their constituents got the benefits. we hope that lawmakers will join us in that effort. >> monthly enrollment figures? >> as i said from a dozen times. >> [indiscernible] >> that was probably said midmonth, which is consistent with everything. we want the data to be verified. this is not moving the ball. middle of november we will have october figures. >> i wanted to ask you about joe biden. wasyou know that biden conducting polling on the possibility of replacing him? >> i do not know the details of that. i can point you to those who ran the campaign, who according to this workad some of done, and everyone to a person seriouslyis never
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considered. it was something that the president would never have accepted. idea was never brought to him. you have covered campaigns. they poll and focus group on what you have for breakfast. >> but they did something on something that had an impact on the campaign. why would the campaign be polling -- >> you ought to ask pollsters and those who ran the campaign. what i can tell you is the president has in a partner in who hasn someone been an access when it comes to governing in washington and an asset in two national elections. if you look back at 2012 and that moment in the campaign when the vice president at his debate , it was a key moment, and job i delivered to the ticket. -- joe biden deliver to the ticket. the president knew he would.
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that is why he asked them to be his running mate and why remember any doubt among anybody here that he would be the running mate in 2012. enjoyedthe president quality time with ill clinton -- with bill clinton? >> he does. >> the president made a comment -- >> i have not read the book. two, i am sure it is filled with a lot of great color and detail allt a campaign that like national campaigns is filled with ups and downs and turns and twists. i am sure it will be a great read. what i can tell you is the president is enormously grateful for the advice and assistance that he received from president clinton during the campaign and the council he has received throughout his presidency from one of his only living predecessors. that relationship has only
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strengthened ever since the president, then senator, ran for the nomination against president clinton's wife. can see how that relationship only got stronger over the years, and it is very strong today. , at thejust in new york clinton global initiative in september, and they have a strong bond, and president obama very much appreciates the counsel and advice he receives from president clinton. >> he never gets tired of it? >> not that i'm aware of. >> officials including national security staff at the white house that with a slew of representatives earlier this week from the eu on the so- called nsa spying concerns. do you have an update, and do you think these meetings have improve relations between the u.s. and the eu? >> there's no question that the
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kind of communication we have had with the european allies have been very important and very useful when it comes to making clear how much we value the kind of security cooperation that our nations have and that we have with europe in general. comes toal when it keeping americans safe, when it comes to keeping our european allies safe. there are the tensions that of been caused by these disclosures are ones that we knowledge and ones that we are addressing directly in our communications with european nations and other nations who have been part of the disclosures. >> [indiscernible] >> i would not speak for any european nation or any other allied nation, but we believe the kind of medication that we have engaged in has been effective and useful in making we value those
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relationships, how important our cooperation is when it comes to national security issues and intelligence matters and how much more broad our relations verybecause these are important economic relationship as well as national security relationships. >> [indiscernible] you noticed the demonstration out front [indiscernible] president going to press the iraqi prime minister on accountability for the killing that took place in september? >> the president has meetings ki, andternoon with mali i will not give you a readout of the meeting. they will discuss a whole range of issues. this will be one of them. this is an important early ship. it is -- an important relationship. it is one that is in the aftermath of the iraq war that
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remains important, and our amendment remains very strong to iraq any assistance would provide them in dealing with their challenges from al qaeda in iraq and dealing with their overall economic challenges as they continue to make progress out of the past that created so many problems for the iraqi people. >> in the position on who is responsible for that? i think the state department has more for you on this, but we remain concerned about the fate of his individuals abducted from the camp as well as the security of residents remaining in the camp. we are proceeding these matters hcr and other authorities to seek information and to ensure as much protection is provided to the residents who are at that camp.
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these are the kinds of conversations we have with our counterparts as part of the whole array of topics that will come up. major? >> can you be definitive about the surveillance going on in the chancellor merkel? >> we do not comment on specific reports about our intelligence gathering activities. all these matters are under review at the direction of the president. >> the decision has been made and that is no longer going on -- >> this is, with regard to different questions -- absolutely, and that is fair, and all of these matters are under review. when it comes to heads of state and also allies in france, there is a special emphasis that is part of the review in looking at intelligence gathering activities. the on that, the issues --
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beyond that, the issues that you raise and when that review is complete at the end of this year i am sure you will have more information that we can provide to you about decisions that are being made and changes that are being made and how we collect intelligence. >> you cannot say whether a decision has been made -- >> i have no updates. >> two hours with the prime minister yesterday and he continues to have phone conversations with all key players in a rack. -- in iraq. artist making any post-meeting meetings, relating to all the other issues, and is this a time where the portfolio that he has been carried for five years becomes significant? >> it is an important time for iraq.
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the violence has escalated, and we condemn it in the strong as possible terms and that is why we believe we need to work gather with other allies and friends of iraq to help them counter the terrorism being perpetrated by al qaeda there. the vice president is part of the conversations today, and i'm sure he and the president will discuss this very important foreign-policy matter going forward. >> time for some fresh thinking in terms of u.s. policy in the post-pullout? >> we are focused on providing the necessary assistance to a iraq to help them combat terrorism as well as the broader assistance to provide through the strategic framework agreement. that encompasses not just the security relationship, but an economic and political relationship. part of this -- part of what a for has been going to
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many years now is the efforts to resolve the political differences and divisions within that country peacefully and through politics rather than through file it conflict. violent conflict. the forces of al qaeda have been trying to disrupt that throughout this time. it is important that in spite of the differences that exist politically in the iraq that the parties and groups continues to resolve their differences peacefully, which further isolates the activities that al qaeda and him and straights what they are for all to see, which terribleeking of violence on innocent civilians which is damaging to every iraqi. our systems encompass more than a level of security cooperation, although that is part of it. in a newsweek, that
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is filtered through the analysis of the president and his leadership style. suggest thestory president has been indifferent or absentee or lacking of attention or involvement in these things in port to his agenda, but his overall projection of power. i want to give you a chance to offer the white house rejoinder to some of that. >> i think i know what you're talking about. i will have to address the specific-- >> [indiscernible] >> good job. >> [indiscernible] >> let's take the piece that some of us will look at when it comes to intelligence gathering. this president is a very deliberate consumer of the him, androvided to he focuses on the things that keep him up at night, which are threats to the united states, against the american people, and our allies, and that means
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qaeda, andran, al other threats that are directed the united states. you can be sure that he focuses on those issues. this question has come with regard to some reports, and all i can say without commenting on specific intelligence gathering matters is when the president wants to know what one of our allies things, the president calls chancellor merkel or the prime minister hollande. i think that answers that piece of the question. when it comes to health care, this president has been focused on day one -- since day one to make sure that implementation is carried out effectively. that includes the implementation of the website, which is why nobody is more frustrated by the substandard performance of the website and the president. he is making sure every effort is extended to bring it up to snuff.
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the president expects results. that is the way he manages this white house, the way he manages this administration. he believes smart people ought to bring all their talents to bear to solve problems. >> on the question of the website, does that mean that evidence has been raised to think that the president has known, or that it does not matter that he knew? imagine --ot know -- of course we did not know that the website would perform as poorly as it has. we would not be speaking about it the way we did. >> [indiscernible] >> what the secretary has said and others have said is they were told the website would function, it would not be error free, there will be glitches,
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but it would function. it has not functioned up to our standards which is why we are dedicating resources we have two fixing it, because this is not about a functioning website, it is about delivering affordable health care. >> on intelligence, there are many who find it inconceivable that the president could not have known everything that has been closed -- has been disclosed. it seems to someone on the outside. a way that the president would -- i cannot answer every specific report about our intelligence gathering activities. it came pretty close to answering your question when i describe the kind of intelligence the president focuses on how he goes about having discussions with the learning and thinking about our allies. raq and the assistance you talked about, there are some lawmakers in this country
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talking about keeping some u.s. forces behind as part of the transition, and the president said not to do that. the violence has escalated. are there any rants about not leaving some u.s. troops there? >> the decision to fully withdraw from iraq was one made by the iraqi government and the united states government. it was the right decision, because anyone who believes that the president's -- the presence of u.s. troops in perpetuity is the answer to solving iraq's political challenges i think is just something wrong. i think that was part of the sustained abate in the 2008 campaign, and the president was committed to ending the war in iraq, and he has fulfilled that. that does not mean we have an intense and focused relationship with iraqi going forward, including one that focuses on providing security.
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iraq asters all the challenges that face -- iraqi has to face the challenges that face it, and aided by the skirting forces, troops and police who have been trained by the united states and our allies in that effort. answer the assistance would provide them in going forward. >> officials have privately confirmed that israeli warplanes a couple days ago truck -- struck military air bases in syria. was this discussed on that call and what can you tell us about what the u.s. -- >> i have no comment on those reports. answer you in your talked about how they work well .ogether or i does the president believe the vice president would be a strong president? >> sure.
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the president picks joe biden as his running mate for the right reason, which that if necessary biden to be president. the first item on your checklist when you are picking a running mate. -- inappens in 20,016 2016 is something we will see then. 2016. not get into the we can talk about republicans. that is pretty interesting. [laughter] >> [indiscernible] would be awesome. >> you started on the question of six people and rolling on day one by saying the numbers were cherry picked. [indiscernible] seen select documents -- what i'm saying is those are
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notes from a contractor, as i understand it, and we are going about the business as we promised gathering all the data, verifying data, and we will provide it -- >> why don't you put out a preliminary number and show us some transparency? >> a reasonable, accurate number, as we promised we would on a monthly basis, consistent with the data released that you see for other programs. -- forus here understandable reasons, i guess -- is how low the number might -- listen to me now. they were always going to be low for the first month because that is how enrollment periods work. that is how all the monthly and romans on your plans work. monthly and romans on
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your plans work. those figures to be relatively low, but we expect those figures to grow. it is our challenge and responsibility to make sure we provide for the people who want this product access to it, to the websites, to call-in centers, by mail, so by january 1 and by april 1, everybody who wants affordable health insurance on these murder places is able to purchase it. that is why we are working hard on the goal here, and the means city and is only important because the means have to work to get you to the end. beis the president going to campaigning with terry mcauliffe on sunday? not sure what you're talking about, investigations are something that are not handled here.
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the president believes strongly that terry mcauliffe is the right person for the job, and looks forward to campaigning for him. >> [indiscernible] >> whatever investigation you are talking about is something for investigative authorities to comment on. >> we tell us what the president's message on sunday will be, and we've hurt his message before. is this the only rally he is doing this election cycle? >> this is an off year. >> this is the one speech that he will get this year, and what will it contain? >> he will say mcauliffe is the right choice for virginia and will make an argument for why. the on that, you will have to you and see -- beyond that, will have to wait and see. --really [indiscernible]
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[laughter] >> i do not have any updates on his schedule. >> is it fair to say somebody gets daily updates on enrollment figures? >> we set up briefings -- >> somebody every day is finding out what the numbers are -- >> cms might be able to tell you more. what i can tell you is what the secretary said, that they are compiling a that. you need to verify it and make it accurate. there are challenges in doing that and they have been exacerbated i the difficulties with the website. if i wanted an update now, could somebody provide that number? somebody could, but the point is you want to get accurate information if you want to release it publicly. this line of questioning is of fierce interest to those who
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never wanted affordable health insurance available to the american people to begin with is to demonstrate that those numbers are low. we concede that they will be. we said that before october 1 because that is how enrollment works. look at massachusetts. imagine what that month would look like at the time. they rolled out the new health insurance reform program and governor romney signs it into law and they implement it, and after a month they have 122 people signed up for it. or than 36 thousand people signed up for it, but in that first month, enrollment was low. the important thing is we provide steady, improvements to the accessibility to the website into the accessibility of information and and roll it through other means available to the millions americans who want to shop for insurance are able
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to do so. >> this is the federal exchange only -- >> i have not seen the document. >> does the president think the united states has a special safetyibility for iraq's whether or not he believes in the works on and -- >> the president believes it is in the interest of the united states ever robust relationship and direct -- with direct help them deal with -- with iraq and help in the will of their challenges as it makes its way out of decades of dictatorship and tierney and terrible -- -- tyranny and terrible violence. the president believes it was the wrong thing to get involved
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in that war. he thought it was his responsibility to and the war to protect our national security interests. >> to say the president believes he needs provide a relationship that helps security. yet the prime minister is saying he needs even more help. with the president be open for special forces, -- >> no, i do not anticipate troops on the ground. i think what will be a focus is the way in which the united states can provide assistance. we are providing assistance and we believe it is important. what you are asking about, boots on the ground, we made clear we withdrew from iraq and believe we can provide through ouro iraq foreign military sales and through other means. >> the president thinks iraq is a robust democracy?
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accuraelieves what is te, in that it is struggling with democratic governance. it is not alone in those kinds of struggles. i think iraqis would be the first to tell you it is imperfect to say the least. it is important iraq make progress and that it may process -- progress by resolving images through elections and conciliation and not through violence. olivia? >> the president has always reserved the right to reserve -- to use military force when governments will not. [indiscernible] is that option on the table for iraq? >> i do not have any military actions to brief you for. i answer the question about troops on the ground. canr new orleans,
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you talk about the economic situation in new orleans now as the president talks about foreign trade? about the specific situation economically in new orleans? , in addition to being hit as the rest of the country was hit by the great significantlso had other economic challenges caused by hurricane katrina, and this president hasn't focused on and dedicated to the effort to help -- the president has been focused on and dedicated to the effort to help new orleans. increasing our exports helps grow our economy and helps create jobs in the united states, including in new orleans. >> [indiscernible] >> i do not have a further preview on it. twothere are at least officials who have great possibilities of [indiscernible]
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so will the president be strategic, because in any kind of -- >> i do not know where this is going. >> listen, listen. making be strategic and any kind of support for any of these principles, because they have far-reaching ramifications down the road, so would we see a president who sits out until the general election? >> i have to tell you, on november 1, 2013, the president is not thinking about 2016. he is thinking about it he needs to do every day to make progress for the american people and the economy and on jobs, make progress in getting the website fixed so americans can have access to affordable and quality health insurance, making progress in our relationships
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with our allies as well as in keeping the american people safe the fighting to take to al qaeda. that is what he is thinking about every day. i'm sure 2016 will take care of itself. this president has run for the last time. interestll watch with what happens, especially in the republican party. >> so he does not stand behind any democratic candidate -- >> you are way ahead of the game here. >> [indiscernible] >> i can promise you nobody is talking about that now. >> why did the president decide theto campaign for candidate in new jersey? >> i have no information on the president's schedule politically beyond his visit to virginia on sunday. i have not been asked that question in a while. >> he is the democratic nominee -- in new, and he was
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jersey earlier this year, but i do not any updates. >> [indiscernible] >> i honestly-- >> [indiscernible] [laughter] i thought you were focused on whether he was going up to new jersey. yes. mike. nations sent figures out, more than 900 iraqis were killed last month alone. 5000 since april. you have repeatedly intruded the violence to al qaeda, but there are others who say that prime minister malik he has mismanaged the situation and that he has fostered sectarian strife there. >> i will respond two ways. the violence coming from al qaeda and its affiliates, no
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question about that. when it comes to democratic governance and resolving differences between the parties and factions and ethnic groups and religious groups within iraq , that is hard work and it is every leader's response ability in iraq to make sure that that is done that does not foster violence. about the a question nature of the political system, and there's no question it is a work in progress. make no mistake that the source of the violence is al qaeda. i think that for iraqis that is something that is particularly painful, but also illuminating. this is not the product of intraparty or intra-faction conflict. this is al qaeda once again andng to destabilize iraq take advantage of the instability there. justin? >> on monday it looks like the
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senate will vote on [indiscernible] 1996,e first time since but it failed by one vote. what is the white house doing to make sure that doesn't happen again? >> the president has long supported and inclusive nondiscrimination act which would enshrine protection on the basis of secretary -- sexual identification. his administration will continue to work for it. guessing progress as that bill moves to committee and now we will get a vote in the full senate. we are make clear to every senator who may be on the fence or may not have expressed support for it, that we strongly believe that a yes vote is the right vote on this legislation. we are working toward that end. >> do you think it will pass? >> counting the votes in the senate that the next person in
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the senate does. >> [indiscernible] would that change the landscape in his thinking for an executive order for -- >> are you asking me if it will pass the house -- >> with that change his thinking about the executive order? >> we have long believed that legislation and inclusive employment nondiscrimination act that would enshrine into law these protections is the right way to go. i have talked about this periodically over the year, and that is still our view. i will happen in congress. than somee further expected a year ago, and we want to continue to see that progress. >> [indiscernible] >> i think i answer the question
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expertly. >> [indiscernible] >> thanks. [laughter] president's is not thinking at all about 2016. can you tell us what he is thinking about, 2014? >> he wants to see lawmakers elected that will focus on the problems this congress best this country has when the terms to -- when it comes to growing economy and making the middle class or secure. he will do as president before him has done and get out and support those candidates among democratic candidates he focus on hishat agenda. practicalent wants progress made in washington. the american people are crying out for it. they are tired of the dysfunction we saw during the shutdown, they are tired of the
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blame in that they see people engage in here in washington. they want their elected leaders focusing on them and their futures, not on their personal political futures. that is what the president is committed to doing. he is not running again. he wants progress, what's this economy to grow faster, he wants it it to create more and better jobs for the middle class. that would be the message he carries in the midterm elections, when that time comes. that time comes. the time is still some ways off. in the meantime and throughout the time he wants to focus on working on this august and doing everything he can with authority to move the ball forward on economy and on jobs. monday, thead, on president will welcome the five- time stanley cup champions chicago blackhawks to honor the
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team and their stanley cup victory. following, the president will deliver remarks at an organizing for action event. that is monday. tuesday the president will travel to walter reed national medical center and visit with wounded warriors who are being treated at the hospital and with their families. the president will visit the fisher house, a program that supports the theory that was by welcoming them to stay at the house while their loved ones received specialized medical care. wednesday the president will travel to dallas to participate in dscc event. friday, theed on president will travel to the new orleans area for an event on the economy. the president will discuss the importance of taking measures to grow the economy and create jobs i creating -- by increasing our exports. we will have more details on the president's travels as they become available. later that day come friday, he
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will travel to miami to participate in an event. that, ladies and and gentlemen, are your week ahead. i hope you have a fantastic weekend, and i will see you on monday. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> the president meeting this hour with iraqi prime minister. earlier today the president issued an executive order creating a task force on climate repaired miss and resilience. the ap says the second order establishes a task force of state and local officials to advise the administration on how to respond to severe storms, wild fires, droughts, and other impacts of climate change. the task force includes
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governors of seven states and the republican governor of coulomb -- of guam. in the briefing, lots of comments on the implementation of the affordable care act and the website. halfling sebelius testified -- kathleen sebelius does divide on wednesday and apologized for the flaws of the website as it was launched october 1. >> thank you. members of the committee, i left my position as governor of kansas for the opportunity to continue the work i've been doing for most of my over 35 years of public service to expand opportunities for all americans, gardens of geography or gender or income to have affordable health coverage.
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during my years as a state is a governor, a two-term i have worked on that effort that i care deeply about. there are still millions of americans who are uninsured as well as underinsured. forle have some coverage some illness, but had no real protection from financial ruin and no confidence he will take care of themselves and their families if they have an accident or an illness. and for them a new day has finally come. in these early weeks, access to has been miserably frustrating experience for way too many americans. including many who have waiting sometimes their entire life for the security of health insurance. i am as frustrated and angry as anyone.
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with the flawed launch of so let me say directly to these americans, you deserve better. i apologize. i am accountable to you for fixing these problems. i am committed to earning your confidence back by fixing the site. we are working day and night and we will continue until it is fixed. we have recently added new management talent, additional technical expertise and a new general contractor to manage fixes across the system in two broad categories. performance, which deals with speed and reliability, and function, which deals with bugs and problems in the system. our extensive assessment has determined that is fixable, and i just want to outline some of the couple of improvements we've made to date. we have more users successfully creating accounts. we can process 17,000 account registrations per hour.
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nearly five per second. instead of some of the users seeing a blank screen at the end of the application process, they they can see whether they were eligible for financial assistance and make more informed decisions. because we've improved performance, customers can shop for plans quickly. filtering plans takes seconds, not minutes. users are getting fewer errors and timeout messages as they move through the application process. the system has been strengthened. we've doubled the size of servers, software that is better optimized through a physical database that replaces a virtual system. the chairman referred to outages this weekend and again yesterday. and i would suggest to the committee that if you read the statement from verizon, who host the cloud service, it is the verizon server that failed, not and it failed not only h.h.s. but other customers. we have a lot of work to do. we have a plan in place to address key outstanding issues. it includes fixing bugs in
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software that prevented it from working the way it supposed to and refreshing the user experience so folks can navigate the site without having time-out and slow response times. and by the end of november, we are committed that the vast majority of users will be able to enroll without the problems that too many have been experiencing. but consumers are using the site every day and continue to do so. and problems are being solved. but we know that we do not have a fully functioning system that consumers need and deserve. we are still at the beginning of a six-month open enrollment which extends through the end of march, and there's plenty of time to sign up. and just to put it in perspective, the average open enrollment for an insurance plan is two to four weeks. the new marketplace has a 26- week open enrollment and those who enroll by december 15 will be able to access their benefits on day one. even with the unacceptable problems with,
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which we're committed to fixing, the affordable care act by any fair measure is working for millions of americans. they are benefiting from new health security, young adults, americans living with pre- existing health conditions, seniors on medicare. 85% of americans who already have health coverage are protected with new rights and benefits. the 15% of our neighbors and friends who are uninsured have affordable new options in a competitive market. cost growth for health care is lower than it has been in years. millions of americans are clearly eager to learn about their options and to finally achieve health security made possible by the affordable care act. and my commitment is to deliver on that promise. thank you, mr. chairman. >> the person who has been the
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treaty -- the chief troubleshooter say they expect that website will be working smoothly by november 30. the house oversight committee released the commits are state indicating that only six people managed to enroll on october 1 when the website went live. that committee has also subpoenaed kathleen sebelius for testimony. president obama is meeting with the prime minister of iraq. the prime minister yesterday talked about this country's progress in political transition. he spoke at the u.s. institute of peace in washington. bipartisanan -- a group of senators said the prime minister is not doing enough about violence in his country. he responded to those concerns. >> [indiscernible]
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>> we apologize for the slight delay. hagel's fault. for those of you who do not know, the institute, putting it simply, stops fights around the world, and doing so in partnership with governmental and nongovernmental organizations, the mystic and foreign. we work closely with the state usaid, defense department, with the government of iraq, and many others in order to prevent, and resolve violent conflict. i would like to recognize some of the folks here today. of course, prime minister maladie, thank you for returning to the institute. have the minister of foreign
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defense the minister of advisor,ional security and both members of the council of representatives. the ambassador to the united chief staff to the prime minister, the chief media adviser in the office of the prime minister, head of counterterrorism bureau, deputy chief of mission for the embassy and the military general who is the attaché for the embassy of iraq. today, formers secretary of state and the first woman secretary of state for the united states, madeleine
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albright great i am listing her team,t of the usip which includes steve hadley, jeremy rads, kristin lord, our executive vice president. i would like to recognize a couple of special state ambassadorguest, jones, the assistant secretary of state for near east affairs, the u.s. ambassador to iraq, and the deputy assistant secretary of state for iraqi and iran. if you would come forward, i would like to recognize bill taylor who is our vice president for the middle east and africa and lead to our efforts in success, andaq's
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then a great asset to the institute, two united states, to the world. she has done a perfect amount of work where iraq is concerned. andhas published a book, an important part of the institute and has let ari -- work.s led for years our she was big about the u.s. institute's work in iraq. >> thank you for such a warm introduction. i would like to welcome his excellency prime minister malki, his accompanying delegation, and our guests. usip has been working in iraq since 2003. we have shared its high moments as well as its difficult ones. we work hard with our partners in government and civil society
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to overcome the violence in 2006 and 2007. takes pride in that we have maintained an office in baghdad theng the divisive -- difficult days. our purpose is to strengthen capacity to prevent and resolve conflicts. we work with partners to develop the tools and the institutions necessary to resolve disputes. we have been doing so by working with facilitators and mediators, supporting dialogue among working with youth, women, and minorities as well as working with immediate to prevent incitement to violence, and a crucial summit of working with religious and tribal leaders and holding institutions for quality -- >> our partnership in relationship to the government of iraq has grown stronger over
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the years. we engage with the executive branch and the council of representatives, the judiciary, the regional and local governments, as well as a vast number of civil society organizations. we have many joint success stories to point to, such as a local -- we have supported. some of them are provincial leaders and other organizations critical to advancing the transition toward peace and stability. we have mitigated disputes across iraq. we also put a foundation of civic education, human rights, and religious moderation for the institutions of education. ip and its partners are proud of the progress we have made. we also recognize a lot remains to be done in iraq, and we see from the unfortunate tragic
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violence that has still cost many lives the road ahead will not be easy. you excellency, we assure and the iraqi people that as iraq prepare for the 2014 elections and faces challenges to a secure better future for the people, iraq and kept on the support of the u.s. institute for peace for a partner on all levels, starting with the community, two local councils, to international dialogue. thank you. ask theld like to ambassador to come forward. the format today will be an introduction -- come here. it will be an introduction of the prime minister i the ambassador, and in the prime minister will speak. and then sit and take questions.
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the audience already knows this. if you have questions, perhaps you have already written them out, we will not have time for a great number of questions, and hopefully the prime minister will find questions interesting am a hopefully not too provocative, and with that let me turn it over. welcomerime minister, to the delegation. some of my longtime associates are especially welcome. it is wonderful to be here with secretary albright. it is wonderful to be here at suip. -- usip. i want to thank them for the great work that they have been involved with since last year, and the work that usip has done for so long in iraq. introduce nouri al-maliki, the premise or iraq -- the prime minister of iraq. to findstrives solutions that will provide greater opportunity and
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iraqi people.the the prime minister will meet with obama and vice president ayden tomorrow -- biden to further strengthen ties. they will discuss how we can confront these challenges and discuss ways to enhance our two countries under the strategic framework agreement. this is an important time for u.s.-iraqi relations. we must never forget the thousands of americans and many more iraqis who lost their lives in the struggle for a new, free iraq. iraq has moved on many issues, and its future looks bright. it is blessed with committed national -- natural resources. it has to medically improved relations with its neighbors, particularly kuwait, and it's deepening ties with jordan and turkey. as iraqi has worked to agree integrate itself into the region, you seen 17 arab countries open embassies in
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baghdad. we have seen increased opportunity for american business. are nowrporations invested in iraqi. in may of this year the united states in iraq -- and iraq signed an agreement that paves the ground for future generations of iraqi leaders. thousands of iraqi students and scholarships come to the united intes to research and study a writing appeals, and every year this number increases. iraq still faces challenges. we share their deep concern over the increasing number of terrorist attacks have claimed over 6000 innocent victims this year. this includes deplorable, heartbreaking attacks on schools, religious sites, marketplaces, weddings, and funerals. most of these attacks have been conducted by an al qaeda
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affiliate. has a base of operations in syria. its leader is subject to un security council sanctions and specially designated terrorist. we continue to discuss security with iraqi e-government, although this is only one aspect of our cooperation. political and economic tools must also be used to train drain the pool -- to recruiting pool of all extremist roots. we welcome the commitment to ,olding elections april 30 2014. we call on all political blocs to finalize the law to govern those elections as soon as possible. the framework agreement gives the united states a unique role in fostering a rack's democrat we will work with the united nations and iraqi leaders to ensure that all technical
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requirements to ensure freedom and elections are in place. i want to assure you that if iraq faces these challenges, it will have a committed partner in the united states. our relationship was rooted in respect and interest, as enshrined in the strategic framework agreement, are permanent and enduring roadmap. i thank you for this opportunity and ask you to help me welcome prime minister nouri al-maliki. [applause] >> in the name of god, may the
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blessing of god be upon you. i want to express my gratitude and esteemed to former congressman mr. jim marshall for his speech. i also want to give my thanks to ambassador beth jones for her warm words, and i want to extend to the usip my greetings and gratitude for their words. -- because of the development of the mechanism and the new techniques used by terrorists who undermine interests and
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institutions in all countries. we are here in a strategic important institute. i want to thank you for allowing me to be here. i want to stress the bilateral relationship that links the united states with iraq. we cooperated with our partners, and shed blood together while fighting terrorists. this allows us to win over terrorists in iraq. we give lug together, american soldiers and iraqi soldiers. all of the people of iraq were victims of the terrorist attacks led by al qaeda and the remnants
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of the former regime in iraq. we are starting a new round of reconstruction after defeating al qaeda, who at some point stop stopped explosive in our resources. -- at some point stopped development in exploiting our rich resources and stopped the assistance to iraq. nonetheless, our old exports, our budget increased. the economy started recovering. the construction developed. the security and economic level, and the political level, despite a disbalance we witnessed. immediately following the fall of the saddam hussein regime. we were able to defeat al qaeda, and this brought life and union
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back to iraq. why do we see what we are seeing today? why did we see the massacres? amnesty international has considered it a genocide of iraqis. some believe that one component is fighting another component. this is not true. all of the iraqi people, the sunnis and shiites, are all killed. it is relating to the morale of al qaeda, who work to reach the goal by shedding the blood of iraqis and spreading terror. and undermining the political process. so, why is al qaeda back in a rack? the cooperation between our
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forces in the united states of america, why is terrorism back in the region? i do believe you understand why, but let me state it again. back to iraq?sm what is the reason? are the main reasons why terrorism is not improving in iraq? it is a vision of the reality been impacted by the region. after the arab spring, which we support because they targeted dictatorships, no single regime can remain acceptable loss -- whilst governing in such a wrong way for so many years. hence the revolutions, necessary to rebuild these countries and the people and societies on a
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sound basis, because they were misgoverned for many years. regretfully, the arab revolutions were not able to get -- were able to get rid of the dictatorships but not able to , fill the void in the right way. a vacuum was created and al qaeda and others were able to exploit it and gain ground. they benefited from the fall of the state structure. now, we are seeing the region that allows terrorism to the back. it benefited some of the vacuum. you know perfectly well it is happening in libya and tunisia, in egypt, syria, iraq and
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lebanon, and other countries that may have the same problem that all the countries are facing. as long as al qaeda is not clearly fault by all countries and societies. we want an international war against terror. if we had tools to wage war, we would have a war against those who are killing people, calling for bloodshed, for ignorance, and do not want logic to govern our daily lives. this is why we are stating that we are calling all countries to
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international conferences, and by counterterrorism, i don't mean fighting terrorism only in iraq. terrorism is worldwide. terrorism is not anymore a local production. -- and iraqi production but it , international production. this is why we want to carry the task. because iraq is the first country that ever fought terrorism directly. but now, regretfully it is , coming back because of the political situation. we have two political tracks. -- we have two parallel tracks. the political track and the regime in charge of some countries of the region. if we do not have political regimes based on freedom, on democracy, regimes to listen to the will of the people, and to go back to the constitution,
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iraq at some point in not have a constitution but a single leader who spoke for the constitution. now we have a constitution and a constitutional democratic institution. we have separation of powers. and independent executive power. independent do just repower. -- independent judiciary power. and other independent powers, such as high commission from elections. the high commission for human rights. so we do not knock democratic , institutions. but you do know that democratic life and democratic exercise needs maturity and learning, and training. unroot the legacy of
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the corrupted regime. we need ongoing training and development. thank god we were able to have five rounds of elections. the last one a few days ago in order to listen to the will of the people. this is how local government and the federal governments were formed. the next element [indiscernible] the next parliament will be the results. and we will not agree on postponing of the elections. they will be held according to the legislations. of course we are facing many problems. because we are facing terror. this is costing us money, effort, and lives. but still parallel to this we , are building democratic institutions and infrastructure, developing services. had we not faced terror, we
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would have moved forward more than we did in building the iraqi states. nonetheless, we moved forward. iraq is one of the main countries in developing and rebuilding exports and so on. without terrorism, we leap forward in providing to our people. the situation in the middle east has given a new chance for terrorists, who came back to iraq when the situation started in syria. terrorist organizations found another chance to develop, to be armed. and to benefit from the political conflicts.
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so, the terrorists found a second fence. we support the syrian people and what it wants, what it aims for. a democratic regime based on the will of the people. we do not want the syrian people to lose freedom, democracy. in any sort of regime. but we are warning, and we are fearing, and we are worrying of the potential success of terrorist organizations in syria. if they win, we in the world should do everything to prevent this. to prevent al qaeda and other terrorist organizations -- in
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any country, in libya or other countries. all of our efforts should aim at preventing the success of al qaeda and other organizations because they would have a platform, a safe haven, and environment, and more capabilities. it will be harder for them to fix the problems that they will be causing. facing terror is not only about military force. of course, military force is important. security forces are at the forefront of this. the developing of capabilities. destroying all this is necessary, but not enough. we need a sound structure.
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if there is indecision in the political structure this allows , for al qaeda terrorist to develop. we are working on containing al qaeda in iraq by enhancing social peace and finding constitutional solutions to problems. of course we have problems in iraq. it is a new democracy. it is a nation following a dictatorship. it cannot be without problems. many other democracies way older than ours are still facing problems. we have problems, but quite candidly these problems are , under control through the constitution. we may get angry, but eventually we reach a solution that is constitutional and that is adaptable. this is what you always see.
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you will hear voices, angry, differences. eventually we reach an agreement. this is reassuring for us and the world. internally, as we are preparing to fight terror at the military level, getting weapons, buying intelligence area did we are -- buying intelligence information, but we are also working on having harmony. you may ask who are you killing? some of the ones killing iraqis are coming from other countries. they are also iraqis or assisting them. i cannot say iraqis, sunnis, shiites, are ignorant and can be supportive of al qaeda. these exists, but we have terror is coming from abroad.
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comingave terrorists from abroad. this is why the situation is deteriorating. the situation as a whole is good. there is no problem between sunnis and shiites. the shiites -- who is killing them? in their own region? it is al qaeda killing all of the iraqis. the ladders they are using to get to the ignorance are sectarian banners and propagation of division. with the will of god we will remain united. we defeated al qaeda previously. today, once again, the sons of iraqi are with us. the tribes and the clans are supporting the security forces and all of the provinces of
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iraq. people again are seeing the situation is deteriorating because al qaeda and its organizations are back. those supporting it are back. it is leading to more unity. we will defeat the terrorists. by our local efforts, and our partnership with the united states. we came to washington to consolidate the partnership and cooperation in which we move forward. at the regional level, we support the idea of moderation. we have meetings with other countries that are also seeking moderation in the region against extremism. we'll have other meetings. in each meeting, more countries are joining because they want to
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be moderate in facing terror. we want to mobilize to face difficulties we are facing. frankly, we need to say that al qaeda benefited from the regional and international contradictions, and from experiences and expertise they gained, so the develop their methods, the way they hide. the way they act. this is why we also should find new ways and new means to counter the means that al qaeda is using in the region. help for us in iraq. when i talk about iraq -- iraq is very close to syria. you know that the relations
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between b-2 countries are historic. only talk about the american role in iraq, it starts in iraq. it ends anywhere in the region where we can find strongholds of terrorists. we are creating a strategy, new one based on the development. we have a new strategy based on mobilizing the security forces and the people, the sons of iraq, and enhancing intelligence expertise. we are talking with americans and telling them that we need to benefit from their experience, from training for those who are targeting al qaeda in a
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technical way. iraq needs the benefit of training. the weapons necessary for counterterrorism, which has specific needs, it is not about tanks or long-range missiles or artillery. it is specific weaponry. aside from the political forces, and mobilizing the people we , need intelligence information that will help us to target the strongholds and groups of terrorists. we're not saying the world should support us. of course we should, we are part of it. it is our right to seek international assistance.
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if iraq is not well treated, it will be disastrous for the whole world. this applies to syria as well. but what we are saying is that the international community, it is their responsibility as well. terrorism does not know a single individual or borders. terrorism carries weapons, ideas, everywhere. they carry ideas instead of flowers. al qaeda is a dirty when that wants to spread worldwide, and we want to carry flowers, to expand them at the international level, to enhance cooperation. so we have a request. it writes.say it is a request. it is only about iraq. it is about all the countries in the world suffering from
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terrorism. terrorism creating a crisis. in many wars, internal crises in the region are proxy wars for regional countries. the most dangerous of these are the wars that are waged under sectarian banners. people are free to choose their religion. no one has to write -- has the right to interfere in people's beliefs and no one can force a belief on people. if someone wants to force what they believe on people, to force people to eat and drink, to think in the way they see fit, and according to their own ignorance. this is dangerous. at the cultural level. these kinds of ideologies, has its own school, its own institutes.
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its own supporters, and hence the problem is increasing. so, the problem is huge and increasing and we should face it and we have the right to request is sufferingld from terrorist supporters and all the country suffering from al qaeda. they want to live in peace. ladies and gentlemen, you are witnessing an economic recovery despite what you hear at times. this is not having an impact on companies coming and working in iraq and in this meant -- and investment and in building. we will contain the potential disasters that we would have suffered had this it -- security forces not ceased.
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-- not faced al qaeda. today they are suffering in , iraq. due to people wearing bombs and entering cafes or funerals. blowing themselves up. this is what is leading to huge casualties. we cannot control the iraqi terrorist. with a car bomb, they cannot kill as many people. this is why they are using those ignorant terrorist and criminal to wear belt bombs and explosives and target gatherings and killing as many people as possible. in our new strategy, we are still discussing in iraq. we need to adopt a policy and mobilize the people of iraq.
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on the other hand, target terrorist and arrest them. we also need a scientific study for intelligence. that is the best prevention against terrorist, even better than weapons. i do not want to be lengthy. i will stop here. let me say the relations between us and the united states is something we are proud of. we came here in order to consolidate the strategic framework. we must at all levels consolidate the strategies. not only at the security level. in education, economy, construction, energy, and every other possible dimension between our two countries.
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consolidate them and bring our opinions closer together and lead it into a genuine partnership. to face the challenges the middle east is facing and because the middle east is facing it, the world as well is facing it. we shed blood together. we paid the price. we want to continue our bilateral cooperation and partnership in order to reach all of the goals we have set in an agreement signed. thank you very much. [applause] >> outtake the united states
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one. statesll take the united one. [laughter] >> that was very impressive and passionate and informative and frank. i thank you for it. i think we all thank you for it. as i was listening, it prompted a lot of memories. i probably visited 15 or 20 times as a member of congress. can we turn the mic up a little bit? i have visited iraq 15 or 20 times during my tenure. i was on the armed services committee. earlier when i was a much younger man, i fought in vietnam. i spent time studying the problems of terrorism and counterterrorism efforts.
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it comes back to the populace. if the populace in a given area is opposed to the terrorist, to those who do harm, they are pretty good at being able to see where the problem is and get in touch with authorities and let them know. that with authorities can deal with the issue. i was listening to your remarks. in iraq, with assistance from the united states, the armed services are in a position to deal with terrorists once they know who they are and where they are. you describe the tools that are available. are you getting the support you need from the populace to identify the terrorists? if not, could you describe why you do not think you're getting the right kind of support? what could be done?
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>> i said regardless of the -- people and the direct we have got the support of the people and the direct contribution with the security , thes to fight al qaeda population is supporting the security forces. they are determining who that terrorist are and informing us. al qaeda did something that helped us mobilize the people. they are targeting very -- they are targeting all iraqis. now very few iraqis have interest in being part of al qaeda. as a result, the iraqi people are suffering from al qaeda. this is giving us a new chance
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in mobilizing -- the iraqi people are suffering from al qaeda. this is giving us a new chance in mobilizing. many of our operations against al qaeda and fighting them are the reason of information and -- are the results of information and cooperation from the iraqi people. all of the iraqis are supporting the security forces. the iraqis are discerning at this point because there are you ready -- their priorities are -- they are fighting al qaeda. i am very optimistic. >> there are several good questions that have been asked by the audience. what do consider to be your key achievement being in two terms now in iraq? what do consider failures? what did not work well?
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and why? >> well, it is a question that is not easy to answer quickly. i cannot say that i be last anything. the iraqi institution, the parliament, the cooperation between them, everything achieved because iraq was about to collapse. as you know. baghdad was besieged. people were not able to move out of the north and the south. in baghdad some of the regions , were controlled by the terrorists. there were many talk about dividing iraq in internal strife. we had militias who are in -- abducting people.
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killing people. we held that -- we had al qaeda. there was a huge battle going on. we had on a daily basis, 25 car bombs and beheadings of people and unknown corpses. destruction of the infrastructure. everything was about to collapse. our main achievement was to reunite the iraqis and to start again based on our being iraqis and not based on our sectarian allegiances. some of the people still believe in their concessions, but we are not taking -- talking sunnis and shiites. iraq comes first. this is our main achievement. the second-best achievement is
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defeating al qaeda in iraq because al aeada wanted to make iraq into the islamic state of iraq, but it failed. people resisted and got stronger. we would have defeated them have -- had the situation not deteriorated in syria and libya are those of the vacuum i mentioned following the fall of the regime. when al qaeda was able to thrive. extremism the belt, sectarianism developed. also, on the achievement level, universities are back. students came by the thousands to the united states to specialize. they came back. we also have the oil contracts that increased our reduction and moved our budgets to $125
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billion this year. these all our achievements because when we came to power, iraq was a complete disaster. war, weapons, destruction, everywhere. no kind of reconstruction. deterioration and we stood again on our feet. iraq was able to integrate its arab environment. under the previous regime and following the follow, we do not -- following the fall of the regime we did not have one single arab identity. iraq was isolated regionally and internationally. 17 countries have embassies in iraq. we have good relations with them with exception of a few. we are working on these. we have wonderful relations with
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neighboring countries, african countries, european countries, and so on. we found our role again. we adopted the policy of non- interference in other countries affairs. we are looking for common interest. we do not want to use force against others. we are looking for cooperation between us and other countries. this is the best thing we can achieve. as for the details -- again, we are still suffering from is lack of infrastructure and schools and housing for the poor. despite the fact that we progressed a lot. also one thing to mention in iraq, we were able to build security forces, army, police, and so on, with weapons that can defend the iraqi sovereignty.
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and with the military ideology where it is not about ,nterference in other countries talk about a state that wants to protect itself and to open up and engage other countries. an army for our defense. defending iraq and its sovereignty and not targeting any countries in the region, as happened with the previous regime. >> as someone who used to be a politician, i should know better than to ask such an open-ended question about achievements. [laughter] common vision for governing iraq shared by the major political block? if the answer is no, look of the done about that? -- what could be done about that? >> the answer is, yes. definitely yes. to the exception of those who do not want to work in the interest of iraq and those who have specific agendas.
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all of the iraqis say yes. we have a common ground, a common vision based on the constitution, the constitutional institutions we have built. if you want to ask me why you have problems, i would say democracy needs lots of time and solutions. we have a heavy legacy. moving from a central, harsh, single party government based on one single personality into a democracy is not something easy. pluralism, equality national , identity -- all of this needs time. some of the iraqis want a single party or needs a country without a constitution. the primary -- the problem is a
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solution to the many problems that we face in moving from dictatorship to democracy. this needs time. >> is there any present coordination between iraq and syria on security? especially preventing the flow of fighters? and weapons? >> no. nothing between the iraqi and syrian government. we decided to be neutral. we want to support the interest of the syrian people. we do not support the regime or the opposition. we do not want to support the opposition or the regime with weapons. what we want is a peaceful couldon to a crisis that
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overspill and endanger the region and the world. any bilateral relations do not exist between the two regimes. we're are trying to talk about solutions. we give initiatives about solutions to all friendly countries. at this point, for although -- following all the suffering, we believe the world believes the political solution is only possible way to the syrian crisis that is having a brew -- having repercussions on all. >> do think the ongoing relations between iraq and iran come at the expense of larger or better relations with arab countries, especially in egypt? this was not my question. [laughter]
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>> the audience has a right to ask any questions. i want to quell the fears of all of your respectful audience here and outside. iraq is seeking friendship. we want to have open doors to all countries in the world. we do not want to have conflict with iran or saudi arabia or syria, not any single country anywhere. this is our policy -- when we have friendly relations with any country, we do understand that it should not be at the expense of the interest of other countries. i want to say candidly and frankly not from an isolationist point of view, but i want to say that we need to make sure that the iraqi interest comes first.
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each and every single people has its own interest, its own agenda. our interest is to open up to everyone and have note difference -- have no conflict with any country. if we have differences with one country we will work on , differences and find solutions. i am calling, we are holding we a meeting for the moderate countries. we used to have problems with some countries. we're are moving forward into solving these problems as happened between us and our neighboring turkey and some countries of the arab gulf states and some problems with kuwait. but we worked them out. so, our relation with iran and any other countries is important, but it will never come at the expense of iran or the expense of our friendship with other countries. if you follow iraq's foreign
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wallace e you would see that the , iraqis think independently and not according to the interest of any others. we have a partnership an agreement with the united states. this is something some other countries are not like. this is what matters. as soon as we like it, we believe it is in our interest to have a strong relation within the united states. if others do not agree it is , their problem. they cannot impose anything on the iraqis. if they want our friends -- to be our friends -- they do not impose on others. >> how do you respond to critics this is not coming from me, but a question from someone else -- say you are consolidating power around you and this has adversely affected iraq's democratic process? >> the constitution and ruling
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in iraq -- let me know when it is an unconstitutional way. -- let me know when i act in an unconstitutional way. if i act in a way that is not acceptable to some of our partners, this is something else. as long as i am committing to respecting the constitution and as long as i use my prerogative in a constitutional way, there should not be a problem. if i act unconstitutionally, please let me know and tell me to go back to the constitution. sometimes there are disagreements with some partners. they start accusing us. we need to be wise. we need to go back to the constitution to work out differences. i never stepped off of the constitution. one of the american leaders or officials when talking with some of our partners told them, this
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is your constitution. the constitution gives these prerogatives to the armed forces and it does not have a deputy. and he has [its, as is the case with united states. if you do not like this, change the constitution. you cannot ask someone and hold them responsible for what the constitution allows. >> i'm kind of glad you are the one who are answering these questions and not me. here is another one. many sunni leaders have faced ba'athges from the party.
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what does that say or mean for the country that they have this sort of populist court? -- support. that is somebody else's question. glad you're answering it and not me. >> yes, of course. everyone has the right to be a candidate according to the constitution. if they are elected, so be it. some of the candidates are being elected, but not all those who are members of the party still have the mentality and approve ba'athpolicies of the party. in the security forces, we have officers in the huge majority were officers are of the army. they forced everyone to be part of the party. if some people are supported by
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the people and can win according to the constitution, they are welcome. at the constitution does not allow them to be candidates, they will not be. if their candidacy -- let me say at any rate, iraq is still a party regime. anyone who is not in that certain party were excluded or someone was killed. so, no, it's some of those people are candidates, they can get -- but none of them was a candidate. as stated officially he was from ba'ath party. we know that some candidates at a certain level do not have a right to be candidates.
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the commission has to approve the candidacy. otherwise, we have no problem with a candidate. >> could you elaborate on the means used by the iraqi government in the efforts it will make to ensure that iraq's christian minorities have a future in iraq and are not forced to flee the country were be faced with terrorist threats and blatant discrimination. >> well, terrorism is of a single component, including a minority. they use a ideology. al qaeda uses the same ideology. even more so against christians. they kill everyone, including christians. christians are part of our history, of our country. they are good, peaceful citizens.
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they love their nation. they are committed to supporting it. at but al qaeda has another perspective. al qaeda feels they should kill all those who do not think alike. many of them were victims. this is the case of all of the iraqi people. they targeted churches and mosques and sunnis and shiites mosques. religious places. they killed christian leaders. because a number of the christians is limited, it seemed that they were targeted. we supported them strongly, we provided them with protection, to all of the christian political leaders and holy places. when i met the pope, i asked him to ask them to remain in iraq
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and tell european countries not to encourage iraqis who are christian to leave iraq. they are fighting al qaeda. i told him i do not want to see a middle east that is void of christians or muslims. -- or a west that is void of muslims. christian in the east and muslims in the west is necessary for cooperation and the coexistence of the dual religions. the situation of the christians at this point is much better. we are supporting them. we respect them and love them. they are respectable. we cannot deny that they were targeted, as all people who are targeted. >> a question -- from the tour de force we saw today, i think i might know the answer to this --
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have you decided to seek another term as prime minister next year? if so, what are your plans for the election? [laughter] >> well, i did not know what would justify this question. which i have been asked every single day -- that this is something that is up to the iraqi. they will decide. i do not want to speak for the iraqi people. of course, it is a difficult job. it is harmful. and destroys people. the interest of the iraq comes first. the decision comes with the iraq he people. even if it is at the expense of my own nerves, i will act responsibly as did all of my
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partners in the previous two governments. it is up to the will of the people. if they are looking for change, i welcome that and i am part of it. >> prime minister, iraq success is success in the middle east and that is success for the world and success for the united states. we want to be as helpful as he possibly can to iraq so it can be the success we know it can be. thank you for coming and thank you for your candor and your willingness to respond to difficult questions. thank you to the audience for their patience and for your attendance and for some good questions. i think the meeting is adjourned. if you will wait for the official party to leave, we would appreciate it. thank you all. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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malikiprime minister a meeting with president obama this afternoon. this afternoon is that's a u.s. drone strike killed the leader of the pakistani taliban today. it is a major blow to the group the day after the government started peace talk with the militants. the president getting a briefing gunmanshooting at lax, a armed with a semiautomatic rifle opened fire, killing a tsa transportation authority employee and three people. that report from the associated press. also, the american bar association held it national security conference. part of that discussion was
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focused on organized crime and how billions of dollars have been made trafficking in marijuana. here is a look. >> the problem has been created that organized crime particularly and latin american entries have made billions of dollars trafficking marijuana and other contraband, drugs and other contraband materials. i do not know how successful we would be and i would agree about the success that might or might not happen from legalizing marijuana. the example i would use is when alcohol was illegal in the united states, you did not have luckless and no stretch involved in any great way. they did -- you did not have la nostra involved in any great way. prohibition, it creates the out the bone and lucky luciana and others hitting involved in the importation of
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illegal alcohol and the speakeasies and the network to consume it. it when prohibition is eliminated, too late to nostra.e la cosa they have dominated the four largest labor unions in the u.s. and the industry affected i those unions. they have corrupt did public officials and police and regulators and all the way to washington. so, the elimination of prohibition did not eliminate the mafia growth that had been allowed and created, able to flourish was then and trenched. now, they could move to other things, other aspects to make money and it was too late to take them out then and it has taken, you know, 75 years of coordinated efforts and sustained attack to reduce that now and we have been successful in reducing them.
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if example i would give is, you watch godfather, it's a very accurate depiction of la cosa 1950 row,the 1940's, 1960's. as a result of the rico statute, godfather, to the sopranos arguing over vacant lots in new jersey. [laughter] of theirhe reduction national influence, from 26 families to a handful. it took 75 years to do it and really the elimination of prohibition did not weaken them. it was the continuing attack later. thehat was a portion of conference held earlier today by the american bar association. you can see that entire meeting 8:40 p.m. eastern time or anytime on www.c- >> this is a tough time for in
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essay where everybody says what are you doing or why are you doing it? here is what we do. maybe a couple times we wind, ined, but we say it is much more important that we defend this country and take the beatings than to give up a program that would result in this nation being attacked. we would rather be here in front of you today telling you why we defended these programs then having given them up and have be nation or our allies attacked and people killed. >> this weekend on c-span, intelligence officials defended program.ecurity saturday on c-span2 -- that is at noon on
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."ok tv's "in-depth in november --d remembering john f. kennedy. eyewitness accounts surrounding his assassination. sunday at 3 p.m. eastern. had recently died when that super airport out and virginia had been built. president eisenhower named it would be called dulles airport. president kennedy did not want to name it after a cold will -- cold after a crusty old warrior. you can see the video. he holds back the curtain. behind it is a bust of john foster dulles. it stands in the middle of the
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airport. i went to see it and i could not find it. i asked the security guards. nobody had even heard of it. andas a long process, finally i was able to discover the bust had been taken away from its place in the middle of the airport and it is now in a closed conference room opposite adage claim number 3 -- baggage claim number three. i find this a wonderful metaphor for how the dulles brothers, who at one time exercised earth shattering power and were able governments,reak have now been effectively forgotten and airbrushed out of our history. >> with john foster head of state and alan at the cia, the dulles brothers ran over and covert operations for a good portion of the cold war. find out how the ramifications can still be felt 60 years later
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with stephen kinzer on q&a. senator levin -- >> sander levin serves as the chair of the armed services committee. he spoke earlier today for about an hour. >> welcome to the council on foreign relations. it is a high honor to be here with carl levin. actually, no introduction is necessary. the incredibly brainy carl levin is chair of the armed services leak, from the great state of michigan, -- jerry the armed , from the great state of michigan. he had a meeting with resident karzai. i'm eager to hear about that.
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sander levin? >> i appreciate joining you this morning. i look forward to receive some of the ideas. we'll need them in this kind of world religion. mentioned, i recently returned from afghanistan where meeting withw days our commanders, our troops, president karzai. and the defense minister from brussels before he went to afghanistan. he feels that things have significantly improved and changed for the be d