tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN May 16, 2011 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT
as the mayor of chicago. >> i am newt gingrich and i am announcing my candidacy for president of the united states because i believe we can return america to hope and opportunity. >> follow the candidates announcements and speeches on their "road to the white house and look back at their careers on lined with the c-span video library. with everything we have covered food since 1987, it is what you want, when you want. >> paul ryan says his proposal to overhaul medicare with a voucher system would fight rising health care costs by allowing senior citizens to deny business to what he calls inefficient providers. the wisconsin republican was at the economic club of chicago today to talk about the economy, the budget and the national debt. this is an hour.
>> wow, look at this crowd. apparently the ryan name has some pull around here. [laughter] it's really nice to see you, anne, that was very kind, i appreciate it. i want to thank you for inviting me here. i'm a big packer fan, i assume most of are you bears fans. so i know that it took a lot for you to invite me here. but that doesn't mean we can't work together. [laughter] i just want to say one thing, as chairman of the house budget committee, i stand ready to do whatever it takes to help you resign jay cutler. all right? [laughter] now, really what i'm here to talk about today is our economy, about the need to get four quarters of strong consistent performance. that wasn't another jay cutler joke, i swear. [laughter] it could be, but it wasn't.
i'll come to the point. despite talk of a recovery, the economy's badly underperforming. growth just last quarter came in at 1.8%. we're not even creating enough jobs to employ the new workers entering the job market, let alone the six million people who lost their jobs during this recession. the rising cost of living is becoming a serious problem for many americans. the fed's aggressive expansion of our money supply is clearly contributing to major increases in the cost of food and energy. and even bigger threat comes from the rapidly growing cost of health care, a problem i would argue made much worse by the health care law enabilitied last year. most troubling of all, the unsustainable trajectory of government spending is accelerating our nation toward a ruinous debt crisis. this crisis has been decades in
the making. republican administrations, including the last one, failed to control spending. democratic administrations, including the present one, have not been honest about the cost of the tax burden that would be required to fund their expansive vision of government. and congress' control by both political parties have failed to confront our growing entitlement crisis. there is plenty of blame to go around both political parties. years of ignoring these drivers of our debt have left our nation's finances in dismal shape. in the coming years our debt is projected to grow to more than three times the size of our entire economy. this trajectory is catastrophic. we see this coming. by the end of the decade we will be spending 20% of our tax revenue simply paying interest on the debt. and that's according to
optimistic projections. if rating agencies such as s&p 500 move from downgrading our outlook to downgrading our credit, then interest rates will rise even higher. and the debt surface will cost trillions of dollars more. this course sun sustainable. that's not an opinion, it's a mathematical certainty. if we continue down our current path, we are wark walking right into the most preventable crisis in our nation's history. so the sque, how do we avoid it? the answer's pretty simple. we need to make responsible choices today so our children don't have to make really painful choices tomorrow. if you look at what is driving our debt, the explosive growth in spending is a result of health care costs spiraling out of control. by the time my children are raising their families of their own, literally every dollar we raise in revenue will be paying for three major entitlement programs.
some of this is demographic. everyday 10,000 baby boomers retire and start collecting medicare and social security. but a lot of it is simply due to the fact that health care costs are rising faster than the economy is growing. revenues simply can't keep up. it's basic math. we cannot solve our fiscal or our economic challenges unless we get health care costs under control. the budget passed by the house last month takes very credible steps to controlling health care costs. it aims to do two things. to put our budget on a path to balance and to put our economy on a path to prosperity. i'm here today to stress the point that these goals go hand in hand with one another. stable government finances are essential to a growing economy. and economic growth is essential to balancing the budget. the name of the budget is the path to prosperity. you see right now we are
finally having a debate in washington about how to address our fiscal problems. but we're still not having the debate that we need to have to. an alarming degree, the budget debate has degenerated into a game of green eye shade arithmetic, with many in washington, including the president, demanding that we trade a federal spending restraints for large permanent tax increases. this sets up a debate in which we're really just arguing over who to hurt and how best to manage the decline of our nation. it is a framework that accepts ever-higher taxes and bureaucratically rationed health care as givens. i call this the shared scarcity mentality. the missing ingredient, of course, is economic growth. shared scarcity represents a deeply pessimistic vision for the future of this country. one in which we all pay more and we all get less. i believe it would leave with us with a nation that is less
prosperous and less free to. begin with, chasing ever-higher spending with ever-higher tax rates will decrease the number of makers in society and increase the number of takers. able bodied americans will be discouraged from working and lulled into the lies of complacency and dependencey. that's not who we are. worse, when it becomes obvious that taxing the rich doesn't generate nearly enough revenue to cover all of washington's empty promises, austerity will be the only course left. a debt-fueled economic crisis will more than force massive tax increases on everyone and indiscriminate cuts on current beneficiary ears without giving them time to prepare or adjustment. and given the expansive growth of government, many of these critical decision will fall to bureaucrats we never elected. shared scarcity impedes economic growth. it results in harsh austerity and it ends with lost freedom. in a recent speech he gave in response to our budget,
president obama outlined a deficit reduction approach that in my view defines shared scarcity. the president's plan begins with trillions of dollars in higher taxes. and it relies on a plan to control costs in medicare that would give a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats in washington the power to deeply ration our care. this would disrupt the lives of those who are currently in retirement and lead to waiting lists for today's seniors. on criticizing the president's policies i need to make something very clear, i am not disputing for a moment that he inherited a very difficult fiscal situation. he did. millions of american families had just seen their dreams destroyed by misguided policies and irresponsible leadership that caused the financial disaster. the crisis squandered our nation's savings and it crippled its economy. the emergency actions taken by the government in the fall of 2008 did help arrest the
ensuing panic. but subsequent interventions such as the president's stimulus law and the fed's unprecedented monetary easing have done much more harm than good in my judgment. in the aftermaths of the crisis, we needed government to repair the free market foundations of the american economy as it did under the reagan administration in the early 1980's by restraining spending, keeping taxes low, enforcing reasonable, predictable regulations and protecting the value of the dollar. instead leaders in washington embarked on an unprecedented spending spree, enacted a deeply flawed overhaul of financial rules, passing new health care law that raises taxes by $800 billion. and encouraging a sharp departure from a rules-based monetary policy. which created even more uncertainty. in the 2010 election the voters sent a very clear medge. this isn't working. washington needs to try something else.
well with, we know what that something else must be. because we know what has always made growth possible in america. we need to answer that call for new economic leadership by getting back to the four foundations of economic growth. first, it's pretty simple, we've got to stop spending money we don't have. and we all the matly, that means getting health care costs under control. second, we have to restore common sense to the regulatory environment. so that regulations are fair, transparent and do not inflict undue uncertainty on america's employers. third, pretty simple again, we need to keep taxes low and end that year-by-year approach to tax rates so job creators have incentives and certainty to invest in america. and, fourth, we have to refocus the federal reserve on price stability. instead of using monetary stimulus to bail out washington's failures, because businesses and families need sound money. let me deal with each in order.
the first foundation. real spending discipline. again, it's pretty simple. you can't get real sustainable growth by continuing to pile onto the debt. more debt means more uncertainty and more uncertainty means fewer jobs. the rating agency s & p just downgraded the outlook of u.s. debt from stable to negative. that sends a signal to job creators. if s&p 500 is telling us that america's a bad investment, they're not going to expand and create jobs in america, at least not at the rate that we need them to do so. mounting debt, also threatens the poorest and the most vulnerable citizens. because those who depend most on government would be hit hardest by a fiscal crisis. we have to repair our social safety net programs so that they are there for those who need them most. this starts by building on the successful, bipartisan welfare reforms of the 1990's. our reforms save the social safety net by giving more power
to governers to create strong, flexible programs that better serve the needs of their populations. more important, we propose to make these programs solvent. and as we strengthen welfare for those who need it, we also propose to end it for those who don't. we end wasteful corporate welfare for those such as fanfan, bigging a are a business, and others who have gotten a free ride from the taxpayer for too long. all of these steps are necessary to getting spending under control. but they're not enough. as i said, we cannot avert a debt crisis unless we directly address the rising cost of health care. getting health care costs under control is critical both for solving our fiscal mess and for promoting growth. one reason so many people aren't getting raises is that health care costs are eating into their paychecks. the second foundation addresses the growing scourge of what i call crony capitalism. in which washington bureaucrats abuse the regulatory process to pick winners and losers in the
private economy. congressional republicans continue to advance, reforms to stop regular bureaucrats from strangling job growth and innovation with red tape. week of advanced legislation to stop the e.p.a. from unilaterally imposing job-destroying energy caps on american businesses. week of advanced legislation, the dodd-frank law intensifies the problem with too big to fail by giving large, interconnected firms advantages that small firms do not enjoy today. but most important we've proposed to repeal the new health care law in its burdensome maze of new regulations. it's bad enough that the law imposes an unconstitutional mandate on americans. it also imposes new regulations on businesses which are stifling job creation. let me share with you one figure that serves as a devastating entitlement on the new health care law. so far 1,000 businesses and organizations have been granted
waivers from the law's onerous mandates. these waivers may prevent job losses now, but they don't guarantee relief in the future. nor do they help those firms that lack the connections to lobby for waivers. this is no way to create jobs in america. true bipartisan health care reform starts by repealing this very partisan law. the third foundation, recognizes that we cannot get our economy back on track if washington tries to tax our way out of this mess. the economic profession has been really clear about this one. higher marginal tax rates creates a drag on economic growth. as the university of chicago's john cochrane recently wrote, great school, by the way, big fan, quote, no country ever solved a debt problem by raising tax rates. countries that solved debt problems grew so that reasonable tax rates times much higher income produced lots of
tax revenue. countries that did not grow inflated or defaulted, end quote. higher taxes are not the answer. fourth, finally, this foundation calls for a rules-based monetary policy to protect working families and seniors from the threat of high inflation. the fed's recent departure from rules-based monetary policy have increased economic uncertainty and i would argue endangered the central bank's independence. advocates of these aggressive interventions cite the maximum employment aspect of the fed's dual mandate. the other mandate being price stability. congress should end the fed's dual mandate and task the central bank instead with a single goal of long-run price stability. the fed should also publish and follow a monetary rule as its means to achieving this goal. these are our four foundations of economic growth.
the house-passed budget starts the process of restoring these foundations and building a prosperous future. we lift the crushing burden of debt by cutting spending and reforming those programs that are driving our debt. we reduce the deficit by over 1/3 in our first year, putting an end to era of trillion-dollar deficits. the house-passed budget does not just simply put the budget on a path to balance, it actually pays off our debt over time. we can't achieve this goal by simply rubber stamping spending increases or raising the increases in the national debt limit without reducing spending in washington. our speaker john boehner made this very clear at a recent speech in the economic club of new york. if the debt ceiling has to be raised then we've got to cut spending. the house-passed budget contains $6.2 trillion in spending cuts. for every dollar that the president wants to raise the debt ceiling, we can show him plenty of ways to cut far more than a dollar's worth of
spending. given the magnitude of our debt burden, the size of the spending cuts should exceed the size of the president's call for a debt limit increase. [applause] our budget also gets health care spending under control by empowering americans to fight back against skyrocketing costs. our budget makes no changes for those in or near retirement and it offers future generations a strengthened medicare program that they can count on with guaranteed coverage options, less help for the wealthy and more for the poor and the sick. there's widespread bipartisan agreement that the open-ended fee-for-service structure of medicare is a key driver of health care cost inflation. ask any hospital executive, they'll tell you the same thing.
as my friend, a noted health care policy expert, likes to say, medicare is not the train being pulled along by the engine of rising costs, medicare is the engine and the rest of us are getting taken for a ride. this disagreement isn't really about the problem, it's about the solution to controlling costs in medicare. and if i could sum up the disagreement in a couple of sentences, i would say this, our plan is to give seniors the power to deny business to inefficient providers. their plan -- [applause] their plan quite to the opposite is to give the government the power to deny care to seniors. we disagree also about how best to deliver the tax reform that americans have long demanded from washington. here's a quick story about tax policy. 25 years ago in this club g.e.
crowe said, and i quote, i represent a company that does not pay taxes. funny, i guess things just never change. what i'm trying to say is we need to broaden the tax base so corporations cannot game the system. the house-passed budget calls for scaling back or eliminating loopholes in the tax code that are distorting economic incentives. tax policy drives economic decisions, not good business decisions. we do this not to raise taxes, but to create the space for lower tax rates in a level playing field for innovation and investment. america's corporate tax rate is the highest in the developed world. our businesses need a tax system that is more competitive . a simpler, fairer tax code is also needed for the individual side, too. individuals, families and employers spend over $6 billion -- six billion hours and over $160 billion each year figuring
out how to pay their taxes. it's time to clear up the tangle of credits and deductions and lower tax rates on everyone to promote economic growth and job creation. [applause] so that's what we proposed. the house-passed budget does this by making the tax code simpler, flatter, fairer, more globally competitive and less burdensome for working families and small businesses. by contrast, the president says he wants to eliminate deductions but he also wants to raise rates. that includes raising the top rate, the one that all those successful small businesses pay, to 44.8%. that would amount to a $1.5 trillion tax increase on families and job creators. when we tax our employers and job creators more than our foreign competitors tax theirs, they win, we lose. that's not a good idea. the president said that only the richest people in america will be affected by this plan.
look, class warfare may be clever politics, but it's terrible economics. redistributing wealth never creates more of it. further, the math is really clear. the government cannot close its enormous fiscal gap by simply taxing the rich. this gap grows by trillions of dollars each year, representing tens of trillions in unfunded promises to future generations that the government has no plans to keep. there's a civics side to this as well. suing social unrest and class envy makes america weaker, not stronger. playing one group against another not only distracts us from the true sources of inequity in this country, corporate welfare and crony capitalism that enriches the powerful and empty promises that betray the powerless. those committed to the mindset of shared scarcity are telling future generations, sorry, you're going to have to make do
with much less. your taxes will go up because washington can't get government spending down. they're telling future generations, you know, there's really not a lot we can do about rising health care costs, government spending on health care is going to keep going up and up and up and when with we can't afford to borrow or tax another dollar, we'll have to give it to a board of unelected bureaucrats, the power to tell you what kind of treatments you can and cannot receive. if we succumb to the view that our problems are bigger than we are, if we surrender more control of our economy over to a governing class then we are choosing shared scarsity over renewed prosperity and managed decline over economic growth. that's the real class warfare that threatens us. a class of governing elites picking winners and losers and determining our destinies for us. look, we face a choice of two futures. we can continue to go down the path toward shared scarcity or
we can choose the path of renewed prosperity. the question before us is really simple, which path will our generation choose? in 1979 my mentor, jack kemp, captured the essence of why we must choose the paggets to prosperity. quote, we can't progress as a society by using government to diminish one another. the only way we can all have more is by producing more, not by bickering over how to share less. economic growth must come first. for when it does, many social problems tend to take care of themselves and the problems that remain become manageable, end quote. you know, there's a question i get a lot from people at town halls, i do lots of town halls. and when you go around the country showing people these charts, that shows our debt is on track to cripple the economy, people start to ask you whether any plan, even a
plan like the house-passed budget, can save america from a diminished hue if you -- future. most people think the country is equally down the wrong track. they say, congressman ryan, i know you have to sound optimistic in public but do you think there's anything we can do to save this country from fiscal ruin or should we be bracing ourselves for the worst? it's a difficult question. it gives me pause. it's one that frankly keeps me up at night. but the honest answer is the one i'm about to give you. nobody ever got rich betting against the united states of america and i am not about to start. [applause] time and again just when it looked like the era of american exceptionalism was coming to a close, we got back up. we brushed ourselves off and we got back to work, rebuilding our country, advancing our
society and moving the boundaries of opportunity ever forward. we can do it again. america was knocked down by a recession, america was threatened and is threatened by a rising tide of debt. but we are not knocked out. we are americans. and it's time to prove the doubters wrong once more. to show them that this exceptional nation is once again up to the challenge. thank you very much for having me today. i appreciate it. >> thank you, congressman. >> thank you. is this thing on? sn >> yes. first of all, i'd like to say i
think it's pretty kin credible that a green bay packer fan gets a standing ovation in chicago. i don't think we've seen that. >> i'll safer that one. >> so, i was going to pick up on a couple of questions, thank you to all the audience who gave a few of these. in today's "chicago tribune," you say that despite washington comes to grips with the fact that the debt threat is real, policymakers are still not having debt bait americans deserve. you can expand on that comment and what what it means for america in your opinion? >> i think what's happening right now is we're into this green eye shade arithmetic dance which is talking about, well, just how much taxes should we raise and how much spending we should cut. knot let's not forget about economic growth and prosperity. we got to make sure that we keep our eye on prosperity and job creation. because the way in which we go into this debt crisis and how we handle it will clearly determine the kind of country we are coming out of it. and so what we really believe the right mix of policy is spending cuts and controls along with policies that get the economy growing. economic growth.
that's the mixture that works and if we try to tax our way out of this problem, if we try to tax our way even part of the way out of this problem, we'll shut down prosperity. again, the 21st century is a very globally competitive century. we can't take it for granted that our businesses can always thrive and survive and compete even when with we tax them a whole lot more than our competitors tax theirs. and so we got to keep our eye on economic growth and the drivers of our debt. taxes are expected to go back to where they historically have been. problem is, spending doubles then triples over the course of the century. when my kids are my age, instead of taking 20 cents out of every dollar to pay for the federal government which we've done for the last 60 years this current federal government is scheduled to take 40 cents out of every dollar when they're my age, just for this government at that time. it literally gets out of our control. >> let's talk about that economic prosperity comment for a second. obviously the midwest has been hit, many areas, very hard industrialy. your district as well. you can talk about innovative ideas you've thought of or policymakers are thinking about
to make us competitive globally across the nation? >> well, again, i think you have to get to the basics. the basic building blocks of economic growth. that's why i talk about these four foundations. sound money, low and predictable competitive tax rates, spending that's under control so our dollar is stable, to our interest rates are low and getting the regulatory stuff under control. right now we have so much government activism that is producing so much uncertainty in our economy and it's just putting a chilling affect on investment. it's also raising the hurdle rate at which people have to clear to be successful. and those basic fundamentals, those foundations, you can't replace them. there can't be some widget or some bill in congress to spend on some new program that fix all of these things. the other thing i would say is that we also embrace in our budget is you have to have a work force that's educated, that can be there for the high school jobs we need in the future and so we basically are saying, let's prepare our -- repair our social safety net.
we don't want it geared to keeping people on welfare but keeping people on their feet. there are 49 different job training programs spread across nine different government agencies in the federal government. we don't even meriwether they work or not. we want to collapse them or consolidate them into career scholarships so that the person when they're out of -- look, we lost four auto plants in the area i represent in just the last couple of years. displaced industries. when a person finds themselves in this situation, you want to have a system where it makes it easy for them to go back to school to get new skills, to get themselves back into a career. life-long learning, getting skills so that we can do this. we want miles white to add jobs up in abbott park, we love abbott park here but we want to have abbott park two up in kenosha and -- yeah, all right. that was miles, hopefully. but the point i'm trying to make is, we want to have a skill set, a work force, that is there to do these kinds of
jobs and so our technical colleges up there are primed and ready to do to develop a curriculum and we want to have a system that works to further those kinds of goals. so education's a key component of this. the federal government has a particular role to play, not a dominant role to play. and the four foundations of economic growth, you can't replace them. >> let's talk about education for a little bit. we'll get into medicare, don't worry, a lot of questions on. that on education you publicly commented that you like some of duncan's comments, he's a chicagoan, many know, you can talk a little bit about what you think the federal government's role is in education, a little bit more on what you just talked about, and where there are some opportunities for both parties to work together collectively to get toward as solution. he's a person that reach as cross the aisle. the federal government is a
junior partner when it comes from k through 12 but the federal government imposes a lot of regulation and unfounded mandates. idea is the biggest unfunded mandate we impose on local school districts. federal and state government have an obligation to finance unfunded mandate to free up local property tax dollars to go towards customizing education reform needed in local school districts. cheart school price, all of those ideas need to be implemented and tested. we should get washington out of the way, which are preventing them from doing those sorts of things. look what mitch daniels did in indiana. it's very impressive. we have similar reforms in milwaukee and wisconsin so we want in the spirit of federalism to expand these laboratories of education reform but at the federal level and postsecondary education, job training, helping people look, i'm 41, i have a lot of buddies in high school who lost their jobs at the g.m. plant in jamesville.
most people in my hometown thought could you go from high school to the g.m. plant to make a good living violent that job for the rest of your life. that was the conventional wisdom. that's not the economy we're in anymore. a lot of my friends find themselfs in their 40's or 50's with nothing. so we had to have an ain't for them to go back to school. one of my buddies is going back to school to learn a new trade and he's so happy to get in the new business. another friend of mine went back to get a degree in hvac. now he's his own contractor with own business, leading a fulfilling life and making jobs, providing for his family. those kinds of things, that kind of job training scholarship that goes with a person so they could go out in society to me is aa smarter way to go. that's where the federal government has a bigger role to play versus k through 12. we have to stifle that reform in my book. >> thank you. so both parties seem to be worlds apart on the budget debate. are you willing to compromise
with the senate democrats and president obama to get a grand bargain? won't republicans need to allow tax revenues to be part of the conversation? >> i don't think we're going to have a big grand global bargain only because i think we're just so far apart on issues like health care. now, we are putting our budget out there as our starting point. we submitted a budget that literally balances the budget and pays off the debt and reforms entitlement programs to make them safe and secure and solvent. we have yet to see anything from the senate or democrat that's comes anywhere from solving this problem. as far as who's putting plans dean tails, we've already done that. we're waiting for our partners on the other side of the aisle to contribute something. do we have to have some compromise in this? of course we do. but the way we look at revenue is if we look at revenues as a source to fix this problem, then it takes pressure off the problem, which is spending. spending is the problem that is a source of the problem. we need to address that. i am for having higher revenues
coming to the federal government. i don't think you get that by raising tax rates. i think you get that through pro growth economic policies and fundamental tax reform that raises economic growth and then you get higher revenues through that way. i subscribe to the gary becker school of thought. i see him here. it's great to see a living ledget in front of us. that to me is the way toin crease revenues and the other problem we have is if we don't -- if we blink in this moment and we show both political parties don't have the courage to actually address this spending crisis we have, then what kind of confidence will the bond markets have in us after that? so i think the biggest mistake we could make is rubber stamping a debt limit increase and showing we don't have any chance of getting anything under control. we've got to have serious down payments on spending controls to buy ourselves time in the credit market so whatever we don't resolve in this episode is resolved soon. i real bli believe this next
election will be the most important election in our lifetimes. it will be the choice of two futures. foyer one we believe we owe it to our constituents, give them an option or choice. what country do you want? historic american idea, limited government economic freedom, you know, opportunities with a safety net or go down the path we're on, which is a path to make us more of a european type social democracy, cradle to grave welfare state. i know those are harsh words but i really believe it is the practical result of the path we are on and least we can do is give all of you a choice so you can pick which one you want going forward. >> you mentioned political courage. i have seen you in the interview tauged about the third rail medicare issue and you looked as if you were a qualia bear grabbing onto this. can you talk about what it means to the political courage and what it means for others? >> you vb to be willing to lose your jobs to be good at these jobs? you just do. i'm serious.
>> [applause] >> the other thing i would say is the public is way ahead of the political class in washington. the problem we have and both parties do this is put something that proposes a change, anything that's bold, the other party uses it as a political weapon against you and that fear of that political weapon paralyzes the political system. we had this political paralysis for a long time. are republicans do it to democrats, democrats do it to republicans. i foreone, what we're trying to do is break through that. put ideas out there and, yes, grab those third rails. a, i think the country is head of us. b, i represent -- my district goes from janesville, long the border to michigan and including seven milwaukee suburbs, and lake geneva, you all know. you're chicagoans too. it went for dukakis, for clinton, for gore and obama. it's not, you know, a big republican area.
i put these ideas out there in 2008, in 2010 and again. i for one believe that people are ready to be talked to like adults, not like children on these issues. when you give people the facts, when you show them what we're trying to do, i think people want to see us fix this problem. so political courage simply means worry more about our economy and the next generation than you are about the next election and it will all make out -- it will be fine at the end of the day. >> great. let's get into the medicare a little bit more. your budget included significant med medicare and medicaid reforms and calls for a full repeal of the health care law. how do you address the uninsured? what about rising health care costs for businesses and are you still committed to replace and not just repeal the health care law? >> yes. for sure the answer is yes on that especially. so what our budget does is we -- given that medicare, medicaid are the greatest drivers of our debt went have charts that show that. those two programs alone are the
biggest contributors to t you have to restructure not only how these programs work to save them the bustees gave us a new warning last week medicare is going bankrupt a lot faster than we thought it was. what we're saying is if we do this now, we can do ton our own terms as a country. meaning you don't have to pull the rug out from under people who retired. people who are on medicare, they've organized the retirements around this program. people who are ten years away from retiring are preparing for it. our whole point is don't change their benefits but in order to do that, have you to reform this program for the next generation. for those of us under 54 and you make it a solvent system so you can cash flow the current generation and make good on the promises the government made to them. wait to do that is we believe it's not by giving a panel of 15 bureaucrats the authority to micromanage, rass and price control medicare. and that is in law now and that is being imposed on current changes. we repeal this. we say let younger people when they become medicare eligible
select among a list of medicare guaranteed coverage options medicare provides. it works like a system members of federal congress have. in this case you subsidize the person's insurance f they're poor and sick, subsidize them more. if they're wealthy i. subsidize them a lot less. give support to the people who need it the most and less support to the people who need it the least. doing it this way, according to the budget office, makes the program solvent and secure so my generation can count on it when we retire and helps solve our debt crisis. quet is, can this be done? well, look, i hardly think this is some radical idea. this is the same recommendation president bill clinton's bipartisan commission said to save medicare in the 1990's. it came out of the brookings institution with the left center think tank. it works like medicare benefits works today. prips drugs, medicare advantage
works like this, buying supplemental insurance works like this. private providers competing against each other for our business. that runs to the earlier part of our question. we believe the best way to get at this issue is help inflation is by giving the patient the power, consumer directed system where the providers, hospitals, insurers, doctors, compete against each other for our businesses as consumers. we spent over 2 1/2 times per person on health care in this country nain other industrialized country. we spend a lot of money on health care but we don't spend it very intelligently. and so we need staple like all other market-based sectors of our economy where you have transparency on price, transparency on quality and economic incentive to act on those things so apples to apples metrics to compare so we can shop. do believe ultimately you need tasme exclusion. have i several legislation to do that. we subsidize people in the higher income brackets a lot more than lower income brackets.
i think that's upside doufpblet more importantly, we want a system where the individual is in the driver's seat, not some bureaucrat. and subsidizing pre-existing conditions so they don't get bankrupt when they're stoik have the preventive medicine that i think are risk pools and we bring more competition, more choice to the health care sector. i think we will be fine. not only grow the economy but the point i'm trying to make, we can have insurance for who've doesn't have it and do it without breaking the bank. without taking the entire sector of the commofere by the government. >> and in a speech you gave on january 25, you addressed the house budget committee and you said, our debt is the product of acts of many presidents and many congresses over many years. no one fern or party spom for it and americans are skeptical of
both parties and it's justified. can you expand on the notion on the problem we face here as a product of both parties and how do we get past and move forward collect collectively? >> both parties -- look at what politics rewards. the politician who makes the prom esto the empty voter. it's simple. want to get evicted, promise somebody something. you get elected. we have to stop that. what we're trying to achieve, and we will see if this works, turn the political rewards system away from rewarding the politician that keeps making the empty promise to the political leader that speaks honestly about where we stand as a country and what it will take to get this thing fixed. that's what we have to address. both parties have done this but we're on borrowed time. the way i look at this, one of the most unpleasant experiences hi was tarp, financial crisis in 2008.
i was in the meetings with ben brian: -- bernanke and henne paulson. it was an awful situation. that crisis caught us by surprise. we watched the spreads and money markets meltdown that.s0 caught us by surprise. let me ask you this, what would you think of your member of congress if they knew it was coming, if they knew why it was happening, when it was going to happen and more importantly knew exactly what to do to prevent it from happening and had the time to do it but chose not to because it was just bad politics. what would you think of the person? that's where we are right now. this is the most predictable economic crisis we ever had. the thing that is stopping fruss fully and fixing this thing is politics. we have to get through that. that's why some of us are pulling these ideas and plans to try to move this conversation to the level it has to go to.
we're not there but we're sure going to keep trying. >> you clearly touched a nerve in the nation with the ability to convey this message and you got the respect of the president. you said you respect the president as well. mutual admiration society. can you talk a little bit about what it's like to be the voice that discusses these issues with someone of that stature and how you take that on? >> i don't think about it too much like that. my job, i grew up studying electronics. i wanted to go into the field of electronics and then independent up being a politician. that didn't go so well, i suppose. i'm joking but i'm chairman of the house budget committee whfment you get a job like this, it is your job to look at the physical finances of the country and they're downright scary.
the thing is most people have been involved think of budgets like they thought of at the beginning of the decade or 1990's. because of the financial crisis and recession, the numbers moved up and it's really a scary situation. went don't have a lot of time left before we have a debt crisis on our hands. all of these things with take for granted. world reserve, l.v.o.'s are threatened. i think it's my job, elected by my colleagues to take this post, to do whatever i can to address this issue, to be a paul revere and get this country having this kind of conversation. with respect to the president, we just have very different philosophies. i have a lot of respect for him but i don't respect the political tone that's been injected in this conversation which i think is counterproductive. not productive. at the end of the day i think we have to make a choice two of theories government or philosophies.
one i characterize as the traditional american idea where the goal of our government is to protect our natural rights and promote equal opportunity. we can make the most of our lives where we are defined by the characteristic of equal opportunity, up ward mobility and prosperity. first is a different vision and philosophy. one we have seen on display in many other nations where the goal of the government grows to try to equal lies the results of our lives. that to me is shared scarcity and managed decline where we delegate so much more decisions in power to unelected people in bureaucracies and they try to micromanage these things, busy things in our lives. i don't think it works and fatal conceit. >> you mentioned the debt ceilings. what what conditions are attached to a raise and if you require a dollar for dollar in each dollar of debt, where do you envision the cuts coming
from? >> we put out $6.2 trillion in cuts. we also proposed budget process reforms. there are three reforms that are in our budget what we call statuary caps on discretionary spending. we had it before but got turned off in the last decade. we propose debt targets and limits with enforcement limits meaning your debt rises above a certain level, we call it sa quester that kicks in. we also propose a global spending cab on government as a share of g.d.p. this is often referred to as corporate bipartisan cap in the senate. we are not taking anything off the table but if certain entitlements are taken off -- first i think we should no dot that. i disagree with that. we also proposed $719 billion in savings from other mandatory programs, farm programs, many other areas that are in dire need of reform.
discretionary spending went up 24% the last two years. the government just gave a number of executive agencies triple-digit increases in their budgets. that's totally us sustainable. there are a lot of areas where we believe we should be cutting back sponeding and capping spending going forward. so i think what you're going to see at the end of the day is a mixture spending cuts measured in the trillions and caps on spending to lock in those gains and keep those cuts going into place. then wherever it is, we don't have agreement on, and whatever big issue did may be, we owe it to go to the country with our plan to fix this versus say the president's plan. i think that's what we will end up doing. >> let's get it to defense, just a quick question here. have you been critical to putting war on off budget, as you scay. emergency supplements have been a poor way to do this. can you talk about your path to prosperity and how it deals with defense? >> we budget for the war. to president obama's credit,
does he too. the last obama -- administration didn't do that. we were in the war for a couple years and they kept using emergency funding legislation, outside congress's limits to budget for the war. i didn't agree with that. izz think we have consensus between president obama's budget director and ourselves, it's a tradeoff and call it like that. number one. number two, you can't throw $700 billion at any government agency and not expect there to be a lot of waste. so nothing should be immune from the budget scalpel. we cut $178 billion in defense spending. we dedicate 100 to our troops to modernize equipment we have been burning through and $78 billion for deficit reduction. that's basically what secretary gates recommended as well. i would love nothing more than fwounlt for a peace dividend. here's the problem -- we don't
have peace right now. we have our men and women out there fighting on two, maybe -- argue libya's a third front. we can't put the rut out from under them. we have to back them off. they have to have the resources they need to do their jobs. that doesn't speak to foreign policy decisions or not but they're there. we can't underfund or defund them. we have to go after the waste at the pentagon. propose doing that and yes, that, too, should be a contributor to deficit reduction. >> a couple more questions. some of your critics, "the new york times" columnist paul krugman -- >> never heard of him. exactly. >> i had to bring "the new york times." there's a lot of "the wall street journal." you said you izzwo raise taxes for 95% of the population and produce a $4 trillion revenue loss over ten years. also on "meet the press" newt gingrich had a few comments on your budget. how do you defend these issues? it's open debate, and some of people have been voicing concerns. >> for off for the tax portion,
that's not an accurate statistic. we use c.b.o. numbers, not somebody else's back of the envelope calculations. we're not talking about cutting tax revenues. we're talking about revenue neutral tax form. let me explain it this way -- this is where all of the class warfare gets into it. the people who enjoy the big of the tax deductions are the folk in the twop brackets. you have a dollar of income parked in a tax shelter. that dollar income is taxed at zero. if you think away the tax shelter, lower everybody's tax rates, that dollar is taxed so by broadening the tax base, depriving tax shelters, you're supporting the income two taxation, albeit a lower rate, and here's the key, just like the president's fiscal commission, which i served on, supported by a majority of democrats, they too agree, you need to lower tax rates to make us competitive globally to create jobs and broaden the tax
base. our tax reforms are page taken out of the book of the fiscal commission, broaden tax base, lower the tax rates. again, we are taxing our employers, our job creators at tax rates higher than our foreign competitors are taxing theirs. whether it's a corporation or successful small business. the president has in law, his budget, a plan to raise the top tax rate to 44.8%. don't know what illinois' rate is now. ours is between 7% and 10% and i know yours is higher or just went higher. excuse me. the point is we're going to tax all of these subchapter s corporations, l.l.c.'s, partnerships, over 50%. ohio on earth do we expect them to thrive, survive and compete in the global economy? drive around wisconsin. go to kenosha or racine, el corn and look at the outskirts of town and there's going to be an industrial park. that industrial park will have a lot of businesses that have 50 to 500 employees.
odds are they're paying taxes as individuals. that's where most of our jobs come from. if we keep cranking up their tax rates on the guise of class warfare, we're going to shut down job creation, stifle economic growth. [applause] on the newt thing, i would just say these ideas are the most gradual, sensible thing we can come up with. name me another government program that came in 41% below costs. medicare prescription drug program did. why? because it gives seniors the power. seniors get to choose which among competing private plans did they select from for their drug benefit. and the provider knows that the senior can fire them if they don't perform. if they don't give them competitive prices, good quality service. next year they can fire them and get somebody else.
so they compete for the senior's business. that brought premiums down, saved taxpayers, brought 41% down. what we're seeing is replicate that kind of reform for people 54 bean low when they become medicare eligible. this doesn't take effect for ten years. hardly is this radical in my opinion. what's truly radical is status quo. kicking the can down the road, going tens of trillions of dollars deeper in the hole every year we don't fix this situation, means we record a debt crisis and then awe terty, cutting indiscreme knitly against senior where's you're giving them no time to prepare or adjust and taxing to slow us down, that is the result of the political paralysis if we keep it up, if it happens. >> let's talk about the kicking the can down the road analogy, and you spoke about the importance of the generation to pass on to the next generation a better america. can you talk a little bit about that and what it means to you as
leader in today's economy and nation and political debate on how can you improve that thinking? >> i will talk to you about it as a dad. look, jan and i have three kids that are 6, 7 and 9 years ofmente i ask the c.b.o. to run numbers all the time. i asked the c.b.o. what will the tax rates have to be on my children when they're my age raising their children if we just raise taxes to athleticism this problem? that will take us a while to figure out. we have an intergenration 58 accounting model. we can do that. they got back to me. here's what they said, the lowest income bracket that lower income pay which is 10% goes up to 25%. middle income taxes goes up to 66% and then top tax bracket, one all of the small businesses pay i was talking about goes up to 88%. then in the next sentence the c.b.o. said this could have negative effects on the economy at that time. they did it there at c.b.o. their model forecast comet going
forward. their model a year ago crashed in 2054 because the computer simulation couldn't envision any way in which the economy could continue because of debt. this year the computer crashes in 2037. our government economic estimators conceive of a way in which our economy can continue past that year. when our children are in the midst of the prime of their lives. they're telling us without a shred of doubt that we are giving the next generation an inferior standard of living, lower living standards, less prosperity. we've never done that before. look, you know, like the ryans here, my family came when they stopped growing potatoes in ireland and made a go of it. earth movers in southern wisconsin and northern illinois. and made something of ourselves. each proceeding generation sacrificed, worked hard, took on challenges whether it was
depression, world wars or wa what this is not so the next generation could be better off. that's what we dofment all of the authorities telling us that's not the case anymore. if we don't turn this thing arrange, we will be giving our kids a lower standard of living, less secure, less prosperous america. the point i keep thinking it's not too late to turn this around. we know we can fix it. we want to fix it and that's the whole point. >> last question just to pick up on that point -- [applause] you obviously have a great sense of midwestern ethic and that's why so many people are supportive too. >> it's the packer fan thing. >> the packer fan, we have to work on that part. dog about your political mentors? you mentioned jack kemp earlier in where you derive a lot of your political thinking and authenticity and how it drives you going forward? >> ideas.
i lost my dad when i was a young guy so had mentors in my life. jack kemp and bill bennett were my professional mentors. my mom a big mentor to me. ways a big reader when i was younger. i read a lot of people of chicago. i read gary becker and steegler and all of those guys i grew up on and those ideas. i grew up with aptitude and interest in economics. when you get into public policy, the whole idea to ply to lessons to the problems of the time. it's not as if we have to reinvent the wheel. we know what ideas built this country. freedom, responsibility, limited government, self-determination, all of those things made us great. they will continue to do so. we just have to reapply those founding principles to the problems of our time. that's what we try to do with this budget and we're going to be fine.
that's what makes me sleep soundly at night because i really think americans want america. i don't think they want another country. so it's those mentors and those writers inspired me. i'm a big churchill fan as well. we're in a churchillian moment. it's not a foreign threat. it's an internal threat, it's debt and economic stagnation. i think we will turn it around. i really do. i think this country is not done with exceptionalism. so thanks. >> great, appreciate it. >> thank you.
>> a discussion of cia interrogations' in the role it played in killing bin laden. and on the middle east policy. after that, rahm emanuel is sworn in as the mayor of chicago. and later, the launch of the space shuttle endeavour. former national security adviser, james jones testifies tomorrow morning before the senate foreign relations
committee on u.s. relations with pakistan. that is on our companion network, c-span3. and thad allen about legislation on drilling. you can see that here on c-span at 10:00 a.m. eastern. >> follow the house and senate when you want. c-span is comprehensive resource on congress, congressional chronicle, makes it easy. progress of bills and votes. at c-span.org/congress. >> next, a discussion on the role of cia interrogations. panelists focus on whether the
so-called enhanced interrogation techniques which some considered torture was responsible for the success of the mission. the forum is moderated by john yu. from the american enterprise institute, this is an hour and a half. >> we start promptly at 130 and end at 3 p. i am john yu and it is my pleasure to be the moderator for this panel on cra interrogations'. rather than presentations followed by discussions, we're going to do this as a round table. my job is to ask questions of what could get a word in edgewise.
there are several lawyers on the panel. i pro we will not get a word in edgewise. please turn off your cellphone. that goes for the panelists also. this panel is prompted by the successful operation that killed osama bin laden and the role of interrogation methods in that success, or not. i hope this will open up some of the discussion to other issues, including detention, use of drones, and what to expect next in the war on terror. let me start by asking about the news that has been in the paper which is whether or not any of the intelligence that was used to locate -- identify and locate
the couriers who led the cia to osama bin laden's compound. if any information came from the use of enhanced interrogation techniques. there was an op-ed making that claim. john mccain took issue with the claim and asking judge mukasey to withdraw his earlier statements. i would like to start off by giving judge mukasey the opportunity to respond. >> do i have the opportunity to withdraw my statement? as another character named michael said, this is not personal, this is business. my business has to do with facts and law. the fact is, khalid sheikh
mohammed and who was subjected to enhance terror -- interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, did disclose the name, the nickname that the courier use. and of course, the questioning that took place after. no one questioned why they are undergoing any of those techniques. the questioning takes place when they become compliant. was there a memo containing the name beforehand? it was not regarded as significant. until -- and not only did that come out, but he said that person was no longer affiliated or had anything to do with al qaeda and it was married with later facts that were learned, it became obvious he was
covering and that is a significant fact. it was a mosaic effect. that was one of them. so much for facts. as to the law, the techniques to which he was subjected including waterboarding were not in violation of the law as it existed at the time, and clear -- including the principal statutes. that was disclosed in memos of the office of legal counsel but i was basically tasked with reviewing and i did review. and found by the time i conducted my review, the program had changed and that technique and a number of others have been eliminated so there was no need -- there had been other statute passed cents. detainee treatment act and the military commissions act that changed the landscape to a certain extent or may have as to
what was permissible and what was not. the real issue is not whether there was or was not a tile in the mosaic but rather than -- what we have in place now to exploit the trove of material we got from his residence according to all reports. there was a huge amount of intelligence obtained. that was bound to lead to people. people who could disclose the label information. what programs we have in place to interrogate those people? we do not have anything in place. we had the army field manual which al qaeda used as a training manual. we do not have that. and we should.
and this is an issue that ban has written on and explored in greater detail much better than i could, we do not have the detention policy. we have an impossible -- improvisational regime, if you want to call it that. whether we are paying people or we use predator drones. we need a detention policy as well. >> let me turn to our next panelist. responding or commenting on the comments. >> thank you. i wanted to start by saying that i appreciate the opportunity to be on this panel. it is a great testament to the american enterprise institute and i say the same thing to my folks of the time. we need to knock just be talking among ourselves, with people who
share the same views, but we need to be talking with each other. i wanted to say one word about where i come from in this debate. i grow in a military family. my father served in the nuclear navy during the cold war. i group aware of the dangers and sacrifices that we ask our men and women in uniform and their families to make. also, with a strong sense of what our country stands for. the values for which we and our men and women in uniform fight. my own view as an adult on this issue are shipped by a group of retired generals and admirals who believe strongly that torture and cruel treatment of prisoners is wrong. that group is led by two four- star marine corps generals. one is a former commandant of
the marine corps and another a former centcom commander. they agree with general petraeus and senator mccain, who owns the success which brings us here today cannot torture violates our fundamental values and our principles as a nation but it is counterproductive in the fight against our enemy. it puts our men and women in uniform at greater risk. the way this panel was framed was what was the role of torture and the debate in the op-ed page has been about did torture lead to him? to we have gotten there and achieved this great victory with the elimination of osama bin laden without the use of waterboarding and other torture. with great respect for general mukasey, the facts as he
describes them were challenged by senator mccain in this piece on his speech on the floor. he has asked general mukasey to clarify them. senator mccain was informed by his discussion and it turns out, a letter from director leon panetta about what we know about what led to bin laden. and " the washington post" got a copy of that letter. it looks as though the letter confirms clearly what senator about the damage that torture does. that is that the facts as a matter of record, as we now know them -- now know them, the cia got the names and the travel
document name used by the courier from a low level informant. the accuracy was confirmed by a foreign intelligence service, probably the kuwaitis. we did not learn his name or alea's as a result of waterboarding or so-called enhanced care -- interrogation techniques used by any detainee in our custody. none of the three prisoners that we reported the water board provided his real name or his whereabouts or an accurate description of his role in al qaeda. people are surprised when a person from a human rights organization talks about the efficacy or not of torture. many people think it is a legitimate to talk about the question when we're dealing with an act that has been so
universally condemned by our government, by many president's going buwe back. we have prosecuted enemy soldiers for engaging in it against our troops. i do think it is relevant and i think here it is important for us to have a discussion based on the facts. i think we will learn more facts as leon panetta pose a letter comes out. we -- it is very tempting when you have a national security victory of the level that this is. the killing of our enemy, osama bin laden. two -- success has many mothers, as they say.
what we're talking about here is the policy of abuse of prisoners has been repudiated definitively. i am sorry that we're having to have a conversation about it again. i think is necessary that we do. there are well respected people, including my fellow panelists here who believe that torture was the pathway to bin laden. i think they are wrong and we should talk about it. >> think you. -- thank you.
we argued what was done was not tortured. i was asked by a major newspaper to write a piece defending the use of torture and they said i'd there were not interested when i said i did not support torture. senator mccain in his speech waterboarding is torture. many people dispute that. i interviewed colonel bud day, who won the medal of honor from escaping a camp and he was captured. i asked what he thought.
he said waterboarding is not torture. it is a scare tactic that works. one of the -- an american hero who underwent excruciating torture knows many -- more than us and says it is not. he said waterboarding is not torture. torture involves extreme and brutal pain. in my mind, there's a difference. in most pow's mynas there is a difference. i could go on. another source says it is not
torture. as to senator mccain, you mentioned he said it was not the first place, we learned through cia detainees and he cited in his floor speech a foreign intelligence report. he said the first mention as well as the description of him as a member came from a detainee held in another country. the u.s. did not render him to that country for the purpose of an tillich -- interrogation. this is being held as proof. i talked to a number of former senior cia officials and none of them had heard of this report. they did not what -- know what he was talking about. we dug deeper and it turned out the report senator mccain is referring to is a foreign intelligence report that was collected in the early 2000's and had no information of any great value. it mentioned al-kuwaiti in
passing. after the detainees had identified him and realized he was a person, they went through their databases and scoured them to find any mention and came across this report in 2007. it was the first to have seen it. it told them nothing they did not know already and they moved on. the idea that the statement is true, no one knew about it. the way they learned about him was as general mukasey mansion. they learned from cia detainees, including khalid sheikh mohammed and senator mccain misstates the situation and says that we did not get the information from him, we got a true standard interrogation. hassan was taken into custody
and was uncooperative. he underwent enhanced interrogation and became cooperative. the enhanced interrogation stopped when he cooperated and that is when he gave the mother lode of information about al- committee. the most important information. senator mccain knows because he is briefed -- been briefed that there were never used in intelligence. there were used to take a nahyan cooperative detainee and state -- bring him to a state of cooperation. they ask questions to test whether the detainee was resisting and once he made the decision to cooperate, they stopped the techniques and rybak and for the subsequent years there were in custody, they
used standard debriefing technique. the idea that we got it through standard interrogation techniques ignores the fact that he would not have been talking if it had not been for enhanced interrogation. senator mccain believes what he is saying but many of the things he said were misleading. >> part of the debate, you have turned it into a dispute over facts over what happened. both sides are turning to things the cia has been saying either in letters from director leon panetta or the weeks after their operation. i want to turn to the person who has worked at the cia. asking him, which version of what you have been hearing seems closest to the facts as you know it or could both sides the right
here in some way and they are speaking past each other? what is your perspective? you were over three decades a lawyer with the central intelligence agency. until -- you were the acting general counsel at the cia. >> thank you for that trip question. i stayed at the cia through october of 2009. i served as acting general counsel for seven months. all i can say at this point within the degree of certainty is with respect to the program, i was in it from the beginning, for better or for worse. i was the addressee of the first
memo. beginning with -- i was the beta, that was the real beginning. the cia always recognized, the lawyers. these are the operators and analysts. always recognized that couriers were they rosetta stone to finding and locating bin laden. i distinctly remember from the beginning attending all of the operations. there was an amount of information derived from detainees on couriers. who had been subject to enhanced
-- the enhanced interrogation program. the purpose was not to basically break detainees with these tactics so they would board out the truth. the purpose of the program was to create a condition that would cause a detainee basically to give up hope and began to be truthful in the answers. some detainees who were approved for enhanced interrogation techniques never received them. because they began talking relatively soon and without a considerable amount of dress. as you know, waterboarding comes to the front when this
discussion is held. the program contained a menu of sorts of techniques. some relatively mild, waterboarding probably being the the most aggressive. many detainees began talking after being subjected to some but not all of the techniques. what i am saying is in general, and i have been gone from the cia so i have no cross to bear. i would like to read the letter. he is a man i got to know when i was at the agency and he is a man of the utmost integrity and honor. i would be prepared to accept his characterization of the role that the program played. also when we talk about the enhanced interrogation program,
what worked, what did no work, sometimes an overlooked aspect is the near isolation of it. putting detainees incommunicado. that is a technique that would not have been available other than by the cia program. i have always thought and there is evidence on the record that the isolation, the incommunicado nature of the program that our detainees were allowed no visitors, no red cross, i always thought that was a key element for causing an atmosphere whereby detainees would talk. by definition, isolation by itself is nothing but isolation.
i think that is one of the unrecorded or not sufficiently recorded benefits or attributes of the program. the program along with the rest of the interrogation program is effectively taken off the table. by the presence of the executive order to days after he took office. no idea whether that answered your question. some of this is a noble. i cannot -- i will not tell you if i can tell you that but for every single one of those techniques, we would never have learned anything. i cannot say that. i cannot say with any degree of
certainty that some of the information would have been collected somehow without the program. i cannot say that i do know that in the cra program, they are the hardened and most sophisticated and most knowledgeable elements of the al qaeda leadership. i find it hard to believe that any information, valuable information, these guys would have given up on a simple army field manual question and answer format. >> one thing that several of you have mentioned, one of the big differences between the bush administration and obama administration is the closing down of any classified methods. i would like to welcome you from the brookings institution where he is a scholar and an author on these issues. he has written several articles
about terrorism and counter- terrorism policy and so on. the difference is in the way that the operation may have been carried out. it has been noted this administration has ramp up the use of drones to kill al qaeda leaders where it might be the case where the bush administration preferred to capture them. the obama administration does not want to be involved in -- [inaudible] is that a loss to security? >> thanks for having me. i had -- would like to start with a point that was touched on briefly but i think there's some emphasis. there are people in the human rights community who would object to her having this debate
at all. i think this is an important place to start. editorialized -- editorial after his question arose, we arwere sort of not allowed to discuss this at all. i think the important place to start is first of all to agree importantese are questions and it matters profoundly. the questions are hard to answer for all the reasons that we have talked about and i am sure we will talk about them. the situation in which you're going to capture high-value detainees in a crisis environment and have to figure out what techniques you are and are not going to do to them is going to rise again at some point. when it does, the calculation
that we will make will not be a simple moral population. do we feel better if we are very nice then if we are not nice against do we feel better if we are not very nice to really not nice. the question will be indelibly inflected with the question of what we expect to look like. i want to start buying emphasizing the you can disagree profoundly about these issues and there is a lot of disagreement as you have seen. the first important point is they are important questions and we cannot shy away from them. i want to divide the questions and to before returning to the broader question, i want to divide the issue into three analytically distinct questions that are often completed in the did corstan divens bin laden?
there could be different levels. all these questions are -- have been contested vigorously over the last 10 years, although the first question, a lot of people are denying they ever contested it. the first question is, was there important information derived from programmatic custodial interrogation of detainees that you assemble over time in a mosaic and continually process and go back and refer to and did that contribute materially to the mosaic of information that led to the killing of osama bin laden? the answer to that question is simply yes. i do not think it is a complicated question or difficult. i think, there is a very -- this is where this debate interacts
with the detention debate that under is what -- underlies it. large numbers -- if you are not allowed to detain people and interrogate them for those little bits of mosaic information that you assemble, i do not think there is any good argument that this result arises. that is the easy question. the second is the one that john alluded to, which is, is there value added to that general process of custodial interrogations and strategic interrogation as a feature? is there value added to that when you isolate the highest value detainees in a separate program subject to a different set of rules. but aside the question of what those rules do and do not permit. you are taking out the highest volume people and putting them
in a specialized program and putting in charge of that and analytical and interrogation expertise that is different from the standard military interrogation model. the ants -- answer is pretty clearly -- pretty clearly shows that there is some bill you added to such a program. how much, i am not sure. i do think that there is -- it is a striking fact in the debate that has arisen that a lot of key pieces of information seem to have come out of this program. that does not necessarily mean that the same detainees in a different program would not have produced the same information and i do not think you can prove that but it is a striking thing about what has come out. there does seem to be a lot of
information contributing to the mosaic and it has its origins in this program. the third question which is the one we always focus on and we let subsume the other two, that is unfortunate, is whether specific interrogation techniques used in the program were responsible for the take. this is probably an unanswerable question. you do not know what would have happened if you had used stender techniques or lesser course of technique, or if you have just waited while walker. it is hard to turn the clock back and figure out what they know hypophysis is. so i am hesitant to say that we have enough information at this stage to figure out what the best hypophysis is regarding the role of coercion. i do to address john pose a
question, i do think that there is a concern that this issue raises. if you do not have some programmatic answer to the question of what you are going to do with high-value detainees, and let me say, i do not think that the calculation would have been different if there had been a programmatic answer to the question. this is an extraordinarily risky operation, even as a kill operation for the kill or capture operation. i think if you had had an answer to the what the heck do we do with him question, the calculations to would have been similar, which is, you are sending people into an extraordinarily dangerous environment and both for
protection reasons and a lot of other reasons, you do not want -- you want the rules of engagement to be relaxed, pretty open. that said, as a general matter, i do think alessa answer you have to the back and question -- the less answer you have to the back end question, what are you going to do after you have exhausted his intelligence? the less stable answers you have as a general matter, the greater the incentive structure will be to morally value rather than less. >> i wanted to pick up on this because i wanted to clarify the question we are talking about. there is a lot of -- ben took
this to a bigger picture than what we came here to talk about. it is important for us to be clear what techniques we're talking about. i want to address waterboarding in torture. i guess you cannot say it is indisputable. some people dispute whether or not waterboarding is torture. the fact is that we have always called it torture when other nations have done that. we have prosecuted enemy soldiers for waterboarding our people. that is a standard that we have upheld for many decades. well we're having a conversation about efficacy, i want to remind you, my opening remarks emphasized i am imbued by this
sense of what america stands for. perhaps that is not because of my own personal of burning, but also because as an international human rights advocate, i spend time talking with people outside this country who are putting their lives on the line to a band's freedom and democracy in their country. against repressive governments. they believe the u.s. stands for something. i recently had occasion to meet with some former soviet bloc representatives, a guy from poland who was expressing how distraught he was that the u.s. was we engaging this debate about torture and how prisoners ought to be treated, whether or not we would comply with the
geneva convention. he was formed in the crucible of looking to the u.s. says the moral beacon, the city on the hill. it is good to say, are we going to feel better if we treat nicer? it is a deeper question about who we are as a country. i do not believe that is irrelevant or would not have come to a panel that is framed, how did we get bin laden and what role that the interrogation program play in that? this is key to defeating this anime in particular but it has always been key. i do not question that. we can talk as though there is not a current program in place and there is not a high value interrogation growth that includes experts from the cia. there is and i have met with them. they are putting together and
have for some time put together what they believe is the best and brightest, experienced interrogators to go after those who we believe are of high value in intelligence. we have the program and i would not want anybody listening here or watching to think that we do not have a way of interrogating or dealing with people whom we capture. i think it is important. i do think we would-be -- we should be listening carefully to the message of general petraeus in his letter to the troops in iraq which he issued several years ago. we are as a country, very feared -- seared by this experience of 9/11 and the ongoing threat of terrorism. similar to the experience that warrior's face on the battlefield when basie the
horrible treatment and brutality of our own people by the enemy. i would urge you to go back and look at this letter from general petraeus in which he instructs his own troops to reject the back-and-forth of politicians about this issue. he says, "sum the market we will be effective if we sanction torture to obtain information. there would be wrong. beyond the basic fact that it is illegal, history shows they are neither useful nor necessary. using extreme physical action can make someone talk but what they say may be of questionable value and it goes on. one of the things that is striking about as the details come out of the program that led
to the information that led us to bin laden, some of what we discovered after using waterboarding in particular is people told the truth sometimes after they were water border. sometimes they lied. we cannot have it both ways. it is almost as though -- i am not sure what that proves. if it is, no matter what the person says, it proves that torture "works," i am not sure why we are interrogating in the first place. it works in a way that a rowboat to europe works. it is incredibly slow and risky and probably self-destructive. >> let me stop you there. i will turn to general mukasey. this came up in your confirmation hearings that you have to conduct a review on this issue. you have had to make a
determination. >> what i was asked during the confirmation hearing is whether waterboarding is torture. since i did not know what the cia did, they called waterboarding, i could not answer the question. much to the frustration of the number of the members of the committee. i undertook to review of the memos which i did over months. with the assistance of two other lawyers, neither of whom knew who the other was. i had input from two people who were independent from one another in may. what the cia did did not violate the torture statute. the label has been attached to waterboarding that it was torture. that if that is what we are here to discuss.
that is not a discussion i can have because it is not. it does not violate the torture statute. if we are here to decide if torture led to the capture of bin laden, it did not because we did not torture anybody to get information. as far as people being prosecuted for waterboarding u.s. troops, they were. what they did, there is virtually no relationship, i would say no relationship to what the cia did. what people were prosecuted for when the water boarded u.s. troops is forcing water down their throats until their intestines and stomachs became distended and stepping on them and forcing the water backed up and doing that repeatedly. or, forcing water down their throats and waiting until the rice expanded. that would cause excruciating pain. what the khmer rouge did was to
handcuff people to the bottom of a barrel and fill it with water. that was also called waterboarding. but the cia did was tie someone to board with a cloth over his face and pour water on him for no longer than three seconds at a time and the effect was to increase the co2 level in his blood to cause panic. that is all it caused. all three of the people who were water boarded showed no ill effect afterward. that is the plain and simple truth. you can call an 18 wheeler and many cooper motor vehicles but i do not think that creates meaningful comparisons.
>> i will give you a common- sense definition. there are more journalists who have had themselves water board to prove it is torture than there were terrorists who were water border. if you're willing to try it, it is not torture. none of these individuals offered to have them selves have electrodes attached to certain parts of their body or have their teeth drilled without novocain or have their bones broken by leg presses. those are some of the techniques that people were subjected to. it does a disservice to people like colonel day to compare.
it does a disservice to real torture victims and it does terrible service to suggest we were in league with what the japanese did and what the japanese and the khmer rouge did. the issue of that was raised about they learned they said certain things that were not true, first of all, the enhanced interrogation was not a truth serum. there was not the point were you injected them and everything they've told you was against their will. they took a detainee who was in a state of total resistance, khalid sheikh mohammed was asked about planned attacks and they were not used to get information on osama bin laden. it was to get information on terrorist attacks. it was not a technique that could be used. the person had to be someone of
high-value new information because that could lead to a terrorist attack and we have to stop it and we did not have the luxury of time. to take someone who was in a state of nahyan corp. and start -- in a state of non-cooperation and star with a tommy's lap and work up to waterboarding. after that, the techniques stopped. they had made a decision to cooperate. there is no such thing as a truth serum. paul restor who follow the army field manual in his interrogation, he estimates none of these were used in guantanamo, he estimates that based on providing snickers bars and subway sandwiches, he got what he [unintelligible] the detainees who were in cia
custody, some did not go through. they cooperative because of the fear of enhanced cooperation. -- interrogation. they estimate they got 70 or 80% and that is closer to the acceptable amount. including four khalid sheikh mohammed. he admits he has an attack plan and they're going to happen and he tells them, americans are weak and decadent and do not have the will to do what is necessary to protect their country and he found out that we have the will and in the process, we got bin laden. >> twice to use the phrase truth serum that brought to mind a question i have been asked.
what we have to use these techniques? let's just inject them and use truth serum. it is illegal. you are not allowed to use mind altering drugs. there is no exceptions. you cannot do it. even if the alteration is temporary. >> i knew that. [laughter] [unintelligible] maybe we will turn to this but this administration disagrees with the efficacy issue. it could be as effective as you say but we are not going to do it. for many of the reasons alisa has mentioned. it causes operations to decrease their flexibility.
>> i am delighted to shift to the question. one of the things that, one of the oddities of this debate, i do not this -- mean this debate but in general. we tend to focus on the most extreme technique which is to say waterboarding. and what that causes us to do is ignore the fact there is a very large gulf and i do not think anyone disputes this. this is an disputable and undisputed. there is a large gulf between what the field manual permits and the legal line. why do you think that gulf is and what does or does not fit under, the army manual is law for the military under the mccain amendment but it is not
the law for the cia. the cia is bound by common article 3 and is bound by the other terms of the amendment which prohibit cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. the field manual was never designed to exhaust the list of waufle techniques that are not cruel, inhuman, and degrading. i think everybody -- it is widely agreed that between the field manual and the legal line, there is some degree of space. we argue about how much space there is and what does and does not fit under it. the argument that there is some category -- the word enhanced house a weird connotation now. i mean it non-euphemistically. enhanced over what the military
is permitted to do under the field manual but within the law. is overpoweringly strong and the question of why you do not -- why the administration has chosen it as a provincial matter to go nowhere near the legal line, even in the highest value cases, is an interesting and important question. the answer to it as a practical matter is some combination of beliefs about efficacy. some combination of beliefs about reputational damage and the sense of who we are as a nation but there is another factor that is important in conditioning the entire thing. we're not operating in a crisis environment and we're not capturing large numbers of high- value detainees. the atmosphere if you did capture a high-value detainee today is still so different than
what it was in 2002 and 2003 and a sense of that person's knowing something that is unacceptable not to find out, is a lot lower than it used to be. you may as a provincial matter to to forgo certain techniques that would be indisputably a lawful as a result of these other factors. the point that will test the debate between my fellow panelists is the point at which the threat environment is much higher than it is today, and you are capturing detainees once again where it is unacceptable to be a 20%. that is not resolving the debate over whether waterboarding is or is not torture. that is a legal debate and it will put pressure on the
decision to stop, if the legal line is here, to stop down here. there is the space between the legal line and the provincial wine that is quite broad and i think clearly encompasses some for many of the techniques the cia was using. what everyone thinks about them as a policy matter and i think there will come a time when we will have to face that question again of whether we do not or what to live in that space. >> a couple of corrections, being on the scene at the time. the executive order of january 23, 2009 made the army field manual the standard applicable across the government. it applies to all agencies.
>> i was there at the time. let me give you the best i can give you about what we were thinking at that point. there was subject to further guidance, it was suggested to us that we come up with a series of interrogation techniques that might be beyond the army field manual. collectively, after seven years of collectively being pummeled and accused, that was no man's land. we were not going to turn on a dime after being called torturers and suggest to the new administration, how about this
technique? would you go for that one? this was -- this is the anonymous collective view of the career category of which i considered myself one. disputing. i'm trying to give you some context to what was the agency's position or state of mind at that juncture. second minor correction. it is true that if one was -- what was the first goal of the program? it was to prevent another catastrophic attack. there was a second goal and that
was always one from the beginning, to locate osama bin laden and zoller harry -- al- zawahiri. those are basically, broadly speaking, the criterion under which we decided if a detainee was high value or not. >> i thought for waterboarding, they had to have knowledge of an imminent attack. >> they needed to -- it is hard to, we did not hold up a shopping list. terrorist attack was first and foremost the objective. i cannot emphasize enough the
single mindedness inside the agency from the beginning to getting information that would lead to the taking down of bin laden. >> just to clarify, i did not suggest that the decision of whether to live in that space was a cia matter. the decision not to live in that space is a presidential matter and the decision to revisit that would have to be a presidential matter. i meant it as a statement about the government itself. there will come a point when we have to decide based on the gap that exists between statutory law and the field manual, whether that is a gap we do or do not want to continue to exist. >> a few quick points on that quickly. i agree there is nothing magical about techniques in the field manual as if they are -- if
there could never be any other techniques. i do think it was a provincial decision to make clear what had become incredibly monday did to our people, military and civilian, who were charged with this task. what by implying that is all about subway sandwiches. there is a lot of flexibility in the army field manual. many interrogators from outside of the military has said, i do not need anything outside of what is in the army field manual. another quick point i want to make about the description about
what the cia actually did. i have to say, if this debate comes down to parsing whether or not we are more humane atwater boarding down the cambodians -- it makes me heartsick. that something that john mccain has said is equivalent to a mock execution. i do not think that will give too much comfort to my polish friend. finally, i just to get into this question about the bush administration and the obama administration and what is different, i think it is a mistake to view this as a bright line between the policies. we did a lot of things with the country right after 9/11 data fear, ignorance, we were not
well and -- well educated about the threats. that we later came to our senses about. to his credit, president bush was already starting to move in the direction that president obama ultimately moved, whether president bush would have gotten there with more time, i do not know. but i do think that it is not accurate to talk about this as a bright line that changed when obama came into office. he did some very important things, closing the secret prisons and establishing a single standard for interrogations'. but president bush had already started down that road by seizing waterboarded, by talking about how we can go about its closing guantanamo. we ought to talk about what we are going to do next. we should do that in the context
of some historical accuracy of about the art of this policy, even within the bush administration. >> before we turn to questions, i would like to ask the panelists to think about the future. is there an example or policy should be kept the same? what would you do differently in terms of counter-terrorism policy going forward? chairman, would you like to start? >> what would i do differently? at the beginning, i said that we need an interrogation program that is classified and administered by the cia. that is one deny would do differently.
-- that is one thing that i would do differently. we have not talked about this at all, but it has to do with the commission's as opposed to article 3 courts. i do not know -- i do not think the military is in place to run a parallel justice system. we have done it before, but never long term. we ought to reform that system. >> john, i thought you wanted to say something. turn on your microphone. >> ok. i can be very forward-looking.
having been part of and witness to be interrogation policies of programs of the bush said in a station, -- but should ministration, i do not see any real factual argument that it did yield huge benefits in terms of intelligence. i think it is on knowable whether any of that intelligence would have been acquired without the enhanced interrogation program. that we will never know. i think the country would benefit with an interrogation and detention program of some sort. frankly, the program, for better or worse, does not come close to
producing the kind of intelligence of previous programs. i do not want to make -- i do not want to make a despot, it is not worth it. make no mistake about it, the program today is different. i come at this with seven years of experience, seeing the political pendulum swing. i think for the agency to embark
upon an interrogation program, to take the lead in the program, if i were still there, i would advise my colleagues against doing that, even with the experience that we have had. if there is a national well, to involve cia directly in a risky an aggressive program of interrogation, the least the men and women of the agency dessert is consistency. tell them what they are to do, and give them adequate authority to do it, and do not change your mind six or seven years down the road. >> good luck. [laughter]
>> i can tell lee said that president bush would not have ended where president obama is. it do you think back to the. after 9/11, we did not know that ksm was the operational command of al qaeda. we did not know anything. it was through the interrogation of these detainees that we established this information. michael hayden that says over half of the intelligence we had came from detainee's about threats to the country. its stock a series of terrorist plots and it gave us a huge -- it stopped a series of terrorist plots. as we became more knowledgeable, when he resumed the program, he made a conscious decision because we obtained a lot of knowledge about the operation, he decided to scale
back the techniques and sacrifice some effectiveness and he knew he was sacrificing effectiveness in exchange for political sustainability. he wanted to have a program in place that the next administration could come in and continue. without compromising their values and what they believed. we know what the details of that program work. there were six techniques left, the spatial hold, a diet of liquid comment there is one other that i'm forgetting. mild sleep deprivation. during the transition, mike hayden and briefed the president on the program, had eight represented demonstrate the techniques to the president. is reaction was, that is it? that was all that was left in the program.
the reason that it worked, nobody knew that. president roh, canceled that. a limited that and released all the techniques. the terrorist could learn the legal extent of what we could do in interrogation. what the president could do looking forward, restore what he closed, what he shut down, what he inherited. everything you think you need to do, we have already done. he can do that in a very easy way. he can amend the executive order with a few words. he can announce that there is a classified ad next to the field
manual. it could be nothing, but as long as the terrorist do not know what they're facing, the key to breaking these people is that they cannot know what they're facing. ksm figured out water boarding. he mocked his interrogators by holding out his arms and counting off the seconds. he knew exactly how far we could go and when the terrorist know how far you can go, it is hard to break them. >> i would like to suggest that the way to move forward it's actually not to focus on interrogation right now. interrogations presents probably the hardest and most divisive issue that had arisen in the
post 9/11 era and because we are not capturing large numbers of the sort of people who would be going into this program. while wheat -- while i agree there is a long term or medium term question that we will have to confront, i think the much more pressing short-term problem is the underlying detention question. when you capture somebody, what do you do with them in the immediate sense? do you think of them as somebody who comes to the united states for criminal trial? do you think of them as somebody who gets helped and transferred to another country for detention? do you start bringing people back to guantanamo?
these are questions with really no stable answer and they do affect a substantial number of our people. it's your time resolve or begin to bring a resolution to -- if you can resolve or bring a resolution to the detention architecture, some of the interrogation questions will follow from that. what did you decide you are putting someone in the criminal justice system -- some of them are very permissive rules. the military interrogations', ironically. you are not allowed to threaten anybody under any circumstances.
some of the rules are very restrictive relative to the military. for example, you have to mirandize people. when you make decisions about what system somebody is going to be in, you make a very profound decisions about the nature of the interrogation rules that will be permitted. i think there is a lot to be said for starting with the question of what the detention rules are going to be and over time, as you figure out what the long-term volume of high-value detainee's and talk walker to they are or are not in whatever detention in bair mickey put them in, -- whatever detention environment that you put them i know, that will give you data from 2012 and 2013 about what kind of interrogation techniques that you do need that we do not have now, if any. >> very good. >> [inaudible]
i think it is important, the question about criminal trials. a lot of what we learned about al qaeda, we learned through the trials of the first world trade center bombing. this question about whether we look back or look forward, i have a lot of that -- i have a lot of friends in the agency and i have a huge amount of sympathy for the situation that they were put into. i wish more of our political leaders have stressed that kind of sympathy in advance before they lead people who'd joined the agency to protect the united states and led them to believe that they had to compromise their honor and -- to protect us and do their job. that is what is criminal. i find it astounding that at a panel here at the american
enterprise institute, that we're not talking more about what this means for whom we are projecting as our identity as a nation to the world. i think that the people that we asked to fight this fight make huge sacrifices. we owed them a huge debt, but we also of the clarity. i fully agree with what you were saying, john, about what the rules are. they can uphold their own honor personally while protecting us. that is vitally important. >> good. thank you. raise your hand, and they will come over with a microphone. please state your name and your institutional affiliation and keep the questions very short. we do not have a lot of time. u.s. had to hand up for 30 minutes, i think. -- you have had your hand up for 30 minutes, i think. >> we do not know how the obama
interrogation techniques worked so long as we are relying on intelligence gathering that is not fully dried out or until we go up against another terrorist group. that is years away before you have made market test. you do not know how it is working, no one does. hypothetical for the panel, state and islamist group takes over in pakistan. a few months later, a bomb goes off in an american city. did you restrict yourself to the army field manual interrogating him to find dow if you do not have conclusive -- find out if you do not have conclusive evidence? or do you use in hands techniques?
-- enhanced techniques? >> very good. does anybody want to -- john, do you have your microphone on? do you want to respond? [laughter] that will teach you not to be ignorant of communication technology. >> from the parochial standpoint of the agency, i felt fairly confident in saying that the agency, the people in the agency, will not proceed with conducting any renewed techniques without the personal written into a monster of the president of the united states. >> if the president of the united states -- >> [inaudible] >> in this scenario that you described, yes.
>> your hypothetical is extraordinarily detailed and a vague. the question is what -- the question of what you know and how you know actually know something that is really valuable is extraordinarily important in deciding what interrogation tactics are and are not appropriate. i think you are describing a scenario that it's very hard to respond to responsibly. >> [inaudible] my question is, the debate has
been going on the last 10 years, why the u.s. cannot get osama bin laden? now obama got him. this debate will go on, why we got him? palestine kept the nine dead for 10 years. should pakistan -- pakistan kept denying it for 10 years. only the military were living around the compound. this is according to pakistan, somebody new in the military
that osama bin laden lived there. we do not know if anybody else here in new. -- here in new. -- here knew. where do we go from here? >> there are two questions. is it really possible that pakistan did not know that osama bin laden was there given the location, or was he being shielded in some way by the government? what do we do with pakistan? how should that change our policy toward pakistan? or not? i think a lot of people on the panel have thought very hard about this problem. >> i am not sure if i can -- it is a question that a lot of people are asking right now.
it is really a question that we should have been asking immediately after the 911. in fact, going back to the huge numbers that were turned over to the united states, the contract is striking. many people were turned over to the united states. during much of the time since 9/11, it turns out that the leader of our enemy has been in hiding their in open site. i think it's absolutely must change the dynamic of our relationship. the dilemma that we are in is that we also need a relationship with pakistan to fight this and any.
-- the enemy. we have to be very frank with the pakistanis, and i think congress will start forcing that as the administration revises its relationship. >> all the way in the back standing up, with the curly hair. >> [inaudible] thank you very much. george mason law school. thank you for joining us in the lions' den, as it were. do you think the army field manual should be the standard for interrogations' conducted by nine armed forces personnel? why, given how restrictive the techniques are? you cannot do a good cop-bad cop, you cannot do solitary
confinement unless you get higher approval, you could not threaten a source, coerce, yell, which would come as a real shock to fbi agents. why should the cia be bound by interrogation limits? >> that is more of a policy question that a legal question. >> i think there is no magic about the army field manual. it does not contain all the techniques that we -- that are compliant with our laws. that is also why it is a good thing that president obama has created this high-value integration group that has representatives on it from cia, fbi, and the military, in an attempt to make sure that we canvas experts from all the relevant agencies to collect the most effective and legal
techniques for gathering intelligence that we have. i think that was lacking right after 9/11, frankly, and is part of the reason why things went so awry. i think that is good, as i understand their current activities, part of what they're doing is looking to see if there are other techniques great i think -- what i am concerned about is that our techniques are compliant with the geneva convention and with our constitution. i think we ought to be able to stand firmly on back in front of the rest of the world and say, the idea that we can convince al qaeda and the rest of the world that we might tortured them, i do not think that is a good guy thing -- a good idea or a useful thing to do.
it was a provincial decision to go with the army field manual as an existing document that has proven and was testified to by many interrogators that it provided them what they needed to get the information from dangerous people. could it be changed? yes, it has been changed a lot of times. it can be reviewed, revised, and techniques can be added. i would disagree with your characterization about how limiting it is not go there is a lot of flexibility in their. too much flexibility, some would say. but you have the ability to isolate people, to deprive them of all kinds of things that some people would argue violates the geneva convention. i think it is a useful starting place. >> i would say that we do want to hide what we are doing from somebody, the terrorist. we do not want them to know the limits of the techniques because
they can trade against them. it is very easy for them to do that. the problem is this high-value interrogation group. i would be very interested to know who they are interrogating. mike hayden said recently that outside of battlefield of afghanistan and iraq, there is not been one high-value detention by the united states since president obama took office. we are simply -- it is not a question of what techniques, we are not even not at point. we are doing battle field interrogation in iraq and afghanistan. this is the most exclusive club in the world. this is the hardest group to get into. this is the cream of the crop. there are people out there like that today. this administration has been blowing them up with predators,
which is better than letting them go, but we are not getting any intelligence. president obama deserves credit for making the decision to send troops on the. into the compound because if he had not done that, that whole treasure trove that they're gone through would have been blown up. it would have been gone. what'd be excuses for doing predators versus these kinds of raids, back in the early days, they were in big cities. now they have moved to the tribal regions and you cannot get teams in fair because it is too high risk. there is right now at this moment a hideout guitarist who was captured his defeat -- a high value terrorist was captured. he was one of the last remaining members of the ksm network.
he had been hiding out in the philippines for 10 years. all of a sudden, he appears. what was he doing there? obviously, he was there to meet the guy that we killed their a few weeks later. this administration does not have that. we do not have a protocol in place to take him. we do not have interrogation techniques to use against them. we are in a big world of hurt. >> i think we only have time for one really fast question. >> i am with abc news.
since john mccain gave his speech, it seems like there is a word game going on. he said that the information was a nickname, no detainee's in cia custody revealed the couriers of poultry and game down coat is that we're talking about here? nickname -- revealed the couriers school name. is that what we are talking about here? >> i am not accusing anybody of being misleading and i'm certainly not here to play word games. i know what i said to be true. you can read into that what everyone to read into it. i will go back to what i said earlier. it was part of the mosaic, and a key issue was the one we have been addressing at the end. what do we do going forward? we need a program in place.
we also need a detention program and some upgrading of of what we do we capture. i am not interested in playing word games with anybody. least of all with a certified morihiro who has -- war hero to had a superb record. >> could not think of a better note in which to end our panel. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> in a few moments, james jones on the middle east policy.
in about an hour, rahm emanuel is sworn in as the mayor of chicago. after that, the launch of the space shuttle endeavor. later, paul ryan on the economy and? . democratic representative don edwards will outline the budget proposal by the progressive caucus. michael still looks at the gop presidential field. we will discuss the work of the office of civil rights. "washington journal" is live on c-span every day at 7:00 eastern. >> the c-span that works, we provide coverage of public affairs, non-fiction books, and american history. it is all available to you on television, radio, and on social immediate networking site. find our content any time at the
c-span and video library. it is washington, your way, the c-span networks. created by cable, provided as a public service. >>, former national security adviser, james jones says it is tragic that no one is willing to take the first step in the middle east peace process. speaking today about middle east policy, he added that the u.s. should consider a plan for egypt. this event also includes his comments on u.s. relations with pakistan and. -- pakistan. >> welcome to the national press
club. we are the world's leading organization for journalists committed to our profession's future through our programming, events, and working to foster a free press around the world. for more information, please visit our web site. to donate to programs offered to the public, you can find information on the website as well. on behalf of our members worldwide, i would like to welcome our speaker and those of you attending today's event, our head table includes a working journalist and guests of the speakers. if you hear applause in our audience, we would like to note that members of the general public are attending here today. i would also like to welcome our c-span and public radio audiences, are luncheons are featured on our member produced weekly podcast from the national press club, available through
itunes. you can follow the action on it twitter. after our guest speech concludes, we will have a question and answer. . it is time to introduce our head table. i would ask each of you to stand up as your name is announced and. mark with harris corp., john, a columnist with the washington times, my read is our club's secretary and t is an adjunct professor would george washington university. lee perryman with the associated press, diana jones, wife of general james jones. moving over the podium, mullis
up with media and she is the chair of our speakers committee. pact milton, investigative producer for cbs news. this is her first event today. thank you very much. buzz is a vice-president and is a guest of the speaker. john donnelly, vice chair of our board of governors. she is with the center for a new american security. please give them a round of applause. [applause] our guest speaker today is a man who's spent his life facing the most critical challenges one can imagine and handling them with grace and a steady hand. bows to know them point to his
intelligence, his integrity, his confidence, and this sense of humor. at 6 ft. 4, he played basketball for the georgetown hoyas and college. he chose to fall in the footsteps of his father and his uncle and joined the marine corps. he had big shoes to fill out. his father retired as a major and he was the first commander of marine corps reconnaissance. all three, father, son, an uncle, ended up serving in vietnam at the same time. after the war, he was faced with a crucial decision. if he was going to have a career in the military, he would have to follow orders to japan. that would be a huge burden for the family, but like most decisions, his wife took on that
responsibility and he would be forever grateful and so is the nation. not everybody who works hard and pursues his dream is asked -- in such as commandant of the u.s. marine corps. there is only one general james jones. general john has served his country selflessly and with distinction, and he used to ride his bicycle to work at the white house. that meant a pre-dawn 14-mile trip from a suburban washington home. he speaks pull into french, he is a big fan of country music star toby keith. he had keith perform for the marines in washington. since leaving government and military service, our guest speaker has turned his focus to
launching a consulting company and he is confronting 21st century national security issues to improve u.s. economic competitiveness and develop a comprehensive energy strategy. his areas of expertise are relevant to affairs of life and death, and those critical decisions that rise to the highest level of government. that is why we're so pleased to have him as our guest speaker today. [applause] >> i want to compliment you on your choice of weapons. this is very impressive. marines like knives. be forewarned, we are defending the podium.
i am thrilled to be here. i want to thank all of you for coming. i want to especially thank pat milton. i had been asked to speak on the strategic implications of current and development and the greater middle east. we have plenty of time to cover a subject like that, 20 minutes. it to be more than adequate to be completely superfluous anything we talk about. for those who thought that the iraq and afghanistan complex or representative of how the 21st century was going to announce itself in terms of the type of conflicts we are faced, we have really found out quite recently just how wrong the thinking was. the rapidly changing strategic landscape, especially in the last few months, tells us that while it is very difficult to
predict the future, it underscores how crucial is that we do our very best to assess the strategic implications of recent events and to not be distracted from the historical potential of what appears to be similar, but in reality, the erie diverse series of events. while all these events in north africa and the middle east share some linkage, they're all quite different. i feel very sorry it for my successor and the staff at the national security council for the amount of influx in the number of issues that have surfaced just in the last few months. we owe it denigrates debts of thanks in the way that they manage these things. it seems to me that the recent events have in common is the
awakening of an entire generation of young people in many countries. young people lived close to the realization that absent major reforms, their future and that of their children hold little promise for them. they are aware of the options that are available to people elsewhere in the world. this awareness comes from a diverse number of sources, travel, the internet, the fact that some have been educated abroad, word of mouth, whatever the source. it is powerful to change the course of history and to do so extremely rapidly. what we are witnessing in the middle east and in the north african, is perhaps the most
significant historical event since the end of the cold war. while some people claim that they knew the social tremors were developing in several countries, no one could have predicted with any accuracy the spark that would cause the irruption -- eruption of so many people simultaneously. even the most oppressive regimes have been put on notice. this is definitely a good thing, but it does present some special challenges for the united states noncom if --. . it has relegated the traditional headline grabbers to a lesser positions and are collected attention. the nuclear project of iran, a hot topic for 2009.
the middle east peace process, our own national disengagement of combat troops in iraq, the war in afghanistan, other important events have taken a lesser place with regard to our daily focus. all of these remain as critically important as ever before, perhaps even more so. in iran, a country which still cast a menacing shadow over the entire region, just over 30 years ago, it was supposed to lead to a more open iranian society, but yielded just the opposite. we can be sure that they temporary fire of iran is working extremely hard to ensure that the new egypt, the survival of the president of syria, yemen and libya, the continual -- the
failure to restart the peace talks, all come out the way that they want. the regime has continued its nuclear program unimpeded by global condemnation. we can be sure that this regime has to be paying close attention to the popular movements going around -- going on around it, especially in syria. as we watch the brutality of the events unfold -- unfolds in syria, we should be mindful of the strategic consequences of any solutions to the current challenges. jordan merits special attention in this regard as well. the middle east peace process, perhaps the longest running a major global issue of our time, the one that most people love steady problem and its history
know with near certainty what the ultimate resolution will look like. it is just that no one is willing to take the first step in the process required to get their. how tragic. this is not to say that is on resolvable, but it is to say that the time is not on anyone's side. the inability to making the smallest progress is hurtful to both sides. for the past few years, americans, arabs, and europeans have largely been an agreement with regard to what must happen in order to establish a palestinian space and to satisfy israel's legitimate concerns for its own security. but it hasn't happened to get. it is not an indication that --
iran is quite content -- contend with this development. the implications of the reconciliation need further analysis, but initial signs want that this might not be helpful for the process either. in iraq, the current government is not exactly what we had in mind. just a few weeks ago, on the eighth of april, iraqi troops launched an unprovoked attack noncom --. print this attack on unarmed people resulted in 35 deaths, and over 200 wounded, including women and children. the evidence of collusion between iraq and iran is strong, so the questions that should be
passed are becoming clearer as the withdrawal our combat forces. what have we created in iraq and what will we have to show for the enormity of our sacrifice? in egypt, when we look at strategic important countries, egypt commands a unique position and it is extremely important that he did not turn out the way that iran did 30 years ago. fortunately, thus far, the egyptian army has shown itself worthy of the trust of the egyptian people as they move toward september elections. it is worth thinking about how the united states will relate to a new egyptian government. from my perspective, it may be time to consider a bold idea. consider a type of marshall plan for emerging democratic states like egypt, such a plan would be
international of scope as the world has much to gain from any security, economic and governmental assistance that can be provided at this critical time in egypt's history. it would also send a clear message to people that doubt our intentions. it would limit the ability of a radical element. egypt is foremost in their thoughts. egypt and what happens there in the future is very much a point that we should pay it turned into. -- pay attention to. with regard to libya, while we should applaud the speed with which the united nations and the north atlantic treaty organization entered into, responding to the humanitarian issue and the naval blockade, it
does appear as at the gaddafi regime is fairly well entrenched and willing to take a long of the with regards to the struggle. for the united states, libya is not on par with egypt, in terms of interest, but how this crisis is resolved and when it is resolved is of great importance to us, and to nato, the success will ultimately be evaluated against the regime's survival or its collapse. it happens to be the reality. the crisis in which the u.s. plays a supportive role will also be influenced in large part by the arab league and the african union. their early voices have been more forceful than expected.
it is very important and for good reason. in afghanistan, 2014 is now the year where president karzei will get his wish not go to the full control of his nation's security, economy, and government. the path to that end will start this year. you can be sure that some of our allied forces. this is encouraging, as the plan for transferring to afghan's control as security, governance, and economic measures taken hold, it is something that we have worked on for quite awhile. this efforts, which has taken its toll in many countries, has come to the point where we can not want for the afghans that
they do not want for themselves, or are unwilling to fight for themselves. this was true in south vietnam, as i discovered as a young 23- year-old second lieutenant, and it is true in afghanistan. their future destiny beyond 2014 will be up to them, just as president karzei demanded at the london conference. they will have the means to chart their own destiny. pakistan and the state of osama bin laden are intertwined. his fate and the fate of the majority of al qaeda's leadership should serve as a clear warning to those who would lead such movements in the future.
osama bin laden unified most of the world. the result is clear, the world is safer because of an astounding progress made by the cohesion of intelligence assets of many of our government. this is a major achievement and one that should not be ignored. osama bin laden and others like him will fail. the fallout with pakistan over the discovery of osama bin laden and his headquarters will have important and long lasting consequences. pakistan has resisted the offer of a long-term strategic relationship with the united states and other countries, which would help bring a better life for its citizens and a more peaceful region to its east and west. pakistan should be given credit
for some incremental progress in reaching out some terrorists within their border, the undeniable fact is that the decision to not put their army along the border with afghanistan, thinking that the tribes -- the tribes would patrol the border and prevent illegal crossings. pakistan has become a selective safe haven for terrorists and leaders. this fact alone has resulted in prolonging the efforts in afghanistan and continues to cause us and our allies to suffer many more casualties and to deplete our national treasury. but egypt, the strategic importance of pakistan cannot be
overstated. the slight -- despite current tensions between our countries of the incident, and with regard to safe havens, it is time to consider the possibilities that we can ensure that the conclusions but the hunt for osama bin laden will become a starting point for renewed effort to find common ground on issues that we should all care about. it will be to the betterment of pakistan and its people and to the betterment of its neighbors on either side. bair to capitalize in a positive way on the street -- failure to capitalize in a positive way with the mistake of significant proportion. the importance of global events we witness each day it is astounding. these events are forcing strategic decisions to be made
at a more rapid pace than ever before, and will clearly need an increasingly more proactive engagement strategy to prevent future conflicts and to meet the challenges of our smaller, but more globalized world. the 21st century requires that we rethink the 20th century ways. it will continue to be necessary, perhaps as never before. i'm very optimistic that this can be done. in times of crisis, america has always found the solution to its most serious and pressing challenge. make it always be so. thank you very much. [applause]
>> thank you very much. we will begin with the questions coming from our audience. osama bin laden is the most pressing news story of the past several weeks. that is the area where we began bread on the question of pakistan, how can the united states -- he talked about trying to make a renewed effort, but how do you get that going? >> this is a puzzling fact. i know that president obama and the entire national security council staff and the state department and secretary gates, cia, the whole structure of our government, has been involved
in working to try to overcome the hurdles that are in this relationship. one of the things that it is important to try to do when you are dealing with complex issues is to try to understand how the other guy on the other side is looking at the same set of problems. while we have made some progress, we could not have done a lot of the things that we have achieved with regard to eliminating some of the al qaeda leaders and terrorists over the past two years, with great success, and we have also been helpful in addressing some of pakistan's concerns. we have come to their aid in times of humanitarian disaster. we still have not crossed that threshold, or what we have
proposed as a long-term strategic relationship, and all that implies. the involvement of the whole government, not just ours, but significant portion of the international community. an expectation of two things. to renounce the use of terror as an instrument of foreign policy, which most countries do. the other is to ultimately move against terrorist safe havens that exist. as i said, cause the afghan -- the rate of progress in afghanistan to be more difficult. we will have to wait and see how