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tv   US Senate  CSPAN  July 8, 2016 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT

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i have black men in society that only same businesses i do do and are just as successful as me. it's because we work. it has nothing to do with being white on my part. that's all i have to say, thank you very much. >> host: let's get a reaction from our guest in more. >> guest: so the first thing about freddie gary and like i said, the officers chose not to seatbelt him. they chose to ignore any call for help that he gave. again, officers chose actions that led to freddie gray's death and that is real. i don't believe people should die for jaywalking and he was at best jaywalking. we live in a country where the officers have incredible power and can do whatever and it's
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deemed okay and that happened with brown and a lot of other cases. when you tell me that the officers were not convicted, that is not a sign that the officers did nothing wrong. it's a sign sign that our laws actually protect anything that they do. so what we need to do is make sense of laws and policies and practices and hold people accountable. just because they were acquitted does not mean there was no wrongdoing. it means that the wrongdoing wasn't found criminal because we have a shadow justice system for the police. then when we think about right privilege, it disappoints me that you have such a deep misunderstanding of the history of race and racism in this country. you are white skin affords you a set of privileges and benefits more than any other person in this country. there is a legacy of racism that is so deeply embedded. white privilege is a set of benefits that extend to you regardless of gender and income because of your whiteness. when you think about what skin tone looks like on products, that is white, that is
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normative. normally we think in a larger sense that we treat whiteness as a defining attribute of what it means to be normal in this country. so yes you do work hard, you work hard but that does not mean white privilege doesn't exist. it doesn't mean that if two people apply for the same job they will be treated differently. it doesn't mean that you have access to institutional wealth in ways that people of color do not and that is not because black people did not work hard. people have worked hard for centuries. people work and were not compensated for their labor. because of the way whiteness functions in the society, there's an immense privilege afforded to white people. >> just about ten minutes left with our guest. he is a community organizer and a black lives matter activist. he is calling from houston texas. he's republican. hello frank.
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>> caller: thanks for taking my call. want to get my heart out to the families of the officers and the officers that were killed in dallas. i would like to say the last caller was spot on. black lives matter movement grew out of the frustration that was stand by the media to get convictions on officers who were doing what they should've done, not so much with zimmerman, but the rest of them, there were no convictions. they were tried by a jury of their peers, they were leaned on by the department of justice, they were leaned on by the president of the united states. black lives matter movement is a frustrating fascist movement. you go around disrupting demonstrations, being a community organizer, you should know that when you let the media
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, you know the man was shot and killed in louisiana but you don't have any evidence of that. you're going by what the woman said. let the facts come in. let the trial be held. then do your protest. thank you. >> host: culture group of frustrated fashion. what's your reaction. >> guest: it's always interesting. what he said is that because the officers have not been convicted they must have been in the right. i think back on the history and legacy of recent in this country and there were very few convictions for lynching. they weren't right to lynch people. just because they want convicted in no way means they were right. what it highlights is the law are racist and protect a set of people in ways that are unfair.
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when i think about the police it is a similar circumstance. the laws are saying that the police, no judge has said the police were not involved in any capacity of these deaths. the law they are protecting the police at all cost and that is okay. acquittals push me to think that they had no involvement, it's a broken stem and we need to fix it. in terms of him suggesting that we are jumping to conclusions, i'll never except that these men should be deadpanned we have evidence time and again where the officers choose not to kill white people who point guns at them hold hostages, who did really grievous things but when you see a 12-year-old boy in cleveland get killed, just standing to still with a toy gun, the officers officers are choosing to do this time and again and to ignore the racist element of this is just living in a wonderland.
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>> host: so we read about several dozen laws that are out there these days to address police violence, many more, many can be considered, is there one piece of legislation that you can point to out there that you think might make a significant difference moving forward? >> president obama right now could sign an executive order or the congress could push through legislation around the natural use of force and that would have a large impact if we had a standard that highlighted the preservation of life and using deadly force as a last result. as of the last few weeks it was okay to hogtie in chokehold people. that is true in cities across the country and that's just not okay. when you think about contracts in chicago where the officers files were automatically steroid, that just doesn't make sense. it's not a system designed to
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hold officers accountable. not just one piece of legislation, it needs standards that are robust and calls for the preservation of life. >> host: we have time for a couple more colors. sean is a democratic caller from ohio. hello shawn. >> caller: i would like to say, you are a racist and that's point-blank simple, you are nothing but a racist. >> host: let me jump in and ask why you are saying that. >> caller: i have worked in the urban setting the past 20 years of my life. i am disabled now. these police have a split-second decision to think over 10,000 things of what they are going to do in that split-second decision sir, have have you ever been
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placed in that situation where you have a split-second decision to think of over 10000 things that you are going to do and have you ever been put in the situation where you have to make that decision whether you are going to take somebody's life? >> host: let me get a response from our guest. >> guest: have you ever been a doctor? b3 i've worked in the medical field for 17 years. >> guest: have you been a doctor. >> caller: have you been a doctor? >> guest: so you are unwilling to have a conversation because you know your argument is faulty i'm sure when you go to the doctor's office you have a set of expectation about how your doctor functions. i think of it to the same thing. i've not been a police officer but i have the same expectation
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about how these people function in the society. it is a public right to say how their job functions. it's disappointing that you offer a set of opinions and you are unwilling to be challenged on them. i will push you to thinking deeper about what you put out into the world into a reflect on your argument and construct them and put them out publicly. >> caller: i challenge that shifts are to go take a police exam and work those streets. >> guest: you are deflecting. your argument fell apart and you're now trying to put it back together. i appreciate your call and i
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hope that you reflect on the way you construct arguments before you prevent them in public. >> host: from nbc in chicago, here's a tweet about dallas. he said the suspect said he wanted to kill white people before being killed by a detonated bomb. any reaction? >> guest: at this point about dallas, i have more questions than answers and we have gone through these cycles before were something happens in the media and most of the information that comes in the immediate after fact is uncracked so i'm waiting before i make statements. it's important to know that when this protest was over before this even began. i spoke to the people who put together the protest in dallas and i know what is true and what is not about when the shooting happened. >> host: hi carl,. >> caller: i would like to say good morning and when the shootings happened in minnesota
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and down in louisiana, they did not make any statement of any kind and as soon as the tragedy happened in dallas, now they're all tweeting and making statements so it kind of goes that there is a we versus them for an us versus police mentality. we all know how much donald trump likes to run his big mouth as soon as the one happen in dallas yesterday morning he comes out and makes a statement. laws really need to be changed because there is a very high bar. anytime a police officer is involved. >> good afternoon everyone, i
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think you all for being here today. last night at least five police officers were shot and killed and several more were injured along with two civilians. as they sought to protect a peaceful protest in dallas texas , our thoughts and prayers and condolences go out to the families of those who have lost loved ones. the department of justice including the fbi, atf, the u.s. the u.s. marshals service and the u.s. attorney's office are on the scene and working closely with our counterparts. we intend to provide any assistance that we can to investigate this attack. also to help gila community community that has been severely shaken and deeply scarred by an unfathomable tragedy. this is an unfolding situation and we will provide additional information when it is available and appropriate. but more so, this has been a week of profound grief and loss.
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the peaceful protest that was planned in dallas last night was organized in response to the tragic death in louisiana and minnesota. we've opened a civil rights investigation in louisiana and we are providing assistance to local authorities in minnesota who are leading the investigation there. today we are feeling the devastating loss of the dallas area officer and for other fallen officers whose names remain unreleased as we await notification to all of the family. after the events of this week, americans across our country are feeling a sense of helplessness and uncertainty and fear. these feelings are understandable and they are justified but the answer must not be violence. the answer is never violence. rather, the answer, our answer, i'll all our answers must be action. called, peaceful, peaceful, collaborative and determined action.
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we must continue working to build trust between communities and law enforcement. we must continue working to guarantee every person in this country has equal justice under the law. we must take a hard look at how wrongdoers can get their hands on deadly weapons and the frequency at which they use them we must reflect on the kind of country that we want to build and the kind of society that we are choosing to pass on to our children. above all, we must reject the easy impulses of bitterness and embrace the difficult work, the important and vital work of finding a path forward together. above everything, we must remind ourselves that we are all americans and that as americans we share not just a common land but a common life. not just common goals but a common heart and soul. to those we've lost this week, they've come from different backgrounds and neighborhoods
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but today they are mourned by officers, by residence, by family and friends, by men and women and children who love them, who needed them and who will miss them always. they are mourned by all of us. to the families of all who have lost their lives in this series of tragedies, we share your pain and your loss. to our brothers and sisters who wear the badge, i am deeply grateful for the difficult and dangerous work that you do every day to keep ours treats safe and our nation secure. our hearts are broken by this loss. the department of justice will do all that we can to support you in the days ahead. to those who seek to improve our country through peaceful protest and protected speech, i want you to know that your voice is important. do not be discouraged by those who use unlawful actions as a
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cover. we will safeguard your constitutional rights and work with you in the difficult mission of building a better nation and a brighter future. thank you all americans, i ask you and employ you, do not let this week precipitate a new normal in this country. i ask you to turn to each other, not against each other as we move forward. let us support one another, let us help heal one another. i urge you to remember, today and every day that we are one nation, we are one people and we stand together. makeup plus the families and the loved ones of all who were taken from us this week and comfort their grief with his everlasting grace and may god bless the united states of america. thank you. >> what you believe explains the spike in police murders?
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[inaudible] [inaudible] >> those remarks on last nights shooting from atty. general loretta lynch at the justice department here in washington. she's not the only one responding. earlier today in poland, president obama spoke about the events in dallas. here's part of what he had to say. >> good morning everybody. let me begin by thinking the leaders for the opportunity to meet today. with your understanding, i want
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to begin with a few words about the situation back in the united states. particularly the situation in dallas texas. my team has been keeping me updated throughout the morning, the evening in dallas, i spoke spoke this morning with the mayor in dallas to convey my deepest condolences of the american people. i told him that the federal government will provide whatever assistance dallas may need as it deals with this tremendous tragedy. what we still don't know are all the facts. what we do know is that there has been a vicious calculated an despicable attack on law enforcement. police in dallas were on duty doing their jobs, keeping people safe during peaceful protest. these law-enforcement officers were targeted in nearly a dozen
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officers were shot. five were killed. other officers and one civilians were wounded. some are in serious condition and we are praying for their recovery. as i told mayor rawlings, i believe i speak for every single american when we say we are horrified over these events and that we stand united with the people in the police department in dallas. according to police there are multiple suspects, we will learn more about their trusted motivations, but let's be clear, there is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks. or any violence against law enforcement. the fbi is already in touch with the dallas police and anyone involved in these senseless murders will be held fully accountable. justice will be done.
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i will have more to say about this as the facts become more clear. for now let me just say that i spoke about our need to be concerned as all americans about racial disparities in our criminal justice system. i also said yesterday that our police have an extraordinarily difficult job in the vast majority of them do their job and outstanding fashion. i also indicated the degree to which we need to be supportive of those officers who do their job each and every day protecting us in protecting our communities. today is a wrenching reminder of the sacrifices that they make for us. we also know that when people are armed with powerful weapons,
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unfortunately it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic. in the days ahead we are going to have to consider those realities as well. in the meantime, our focus is on the victims and their families. they are heartbroken and the city of dallas is grieving. please across america -- people across america are grieving and asked everyone to say a prayer for these families is becoming your thoughts and as a nation, let's remember to express our gratitude to our men and women in uniform not just today but every day. >> those comments from president obama were taking place earlier today. lots reaction pouring it on twitter. donald trump said prayers and
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condolences to all of the families who are so thoroughly devastated by the horrors we are all watching take place in our country. democratic candidate hillary clinton commented condolences to those who lost their lives in all their family. prior to the family of officers and those injured in dallas. this is a tragedy. violence is not the answer. earlier today tyrus and butterfield and other members of the cdc spoke to reporters about the dallas shooting. they called lawmaker action aimed at preparing distrust between police departments in the communities they serve. here's that briefing now.
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>> good morning to all of you and think you so very much for coming on short notice. this is an important day. we need your coverage, we need your attention and we need you to tell our story. i'm gk butterfield and i chair the 455 member congressional black caucus. collectively we represent 30 million people in america. over half of whom are african-american. we come to this place each week to represent our constituents who are in pain. as of june 30, 491 americans have one americans have been fatally shot by police. most of those were african-american. at the same time last year, 465 were killed by police. last night, despicable crimes were committed against dallas police officers and when the
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dust settled, five of them were dead as a result of an organized execution by criminals who possess guns and use them to the extreme. and so, the congressional caucus convenes today to say to america that we are continuing our fight to remove guns from the hands of would-be terrorists and criminals and require background checks for those seeking to purchase firearms. we need legislative action now. we don't need to leave the hill this week or any week without assuring the american people that we understand the problem of policeman misconduct in america. we understand the murders of innocent black americans. we get it. we understand the problems facing our law enforcement officers and i don't want to diminish that in this conversation today. we understand the problems faced
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by law-enforcement officers, most, most of whom put on the uniform every day and serve and protect our communities. republicans, what on earth, why are you not giving us a debate on gun violence. why not give it a hearing, give us a debate or an up or down vote on our legislation on gun violence. why. last night while on the floor we were advised that several hundred protesters were in route to the capital, demonstrating and exercising their first amendment right, their first amendment right by demanding that we as elected officials protect their sons and daughters and their grandsons and granddaughters, their brothers and their sisters. at 10:00 p.m., the congressional black caucus along with other members from other caucuses went outside of the capital at the west front and we met the demonstrators. we spoke to them, we embrace them and we help to lead their march to the white house.
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they told us with unambiguous clarity that black lives matter that the movement is serious, it is organized and they demand legislative action now. we don't leave this place until it's done. i applaud, we applaud the demonstrators last night for telling us that the deaths in baton rouge and falcon heights give them the energy and determination they need to pull off the band-aid and stain of irresponsible police killings in america. the two acts of murder this week that we all so sadly no must be addressed by law enforcement, it must be addressed by the congress of the united states. if we fail to act, this will be a long hot summer. in the rally, a young lady held up a sign that read, i wept more
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last night than i slept. america is weeping. they are angry. they are frustrated and congress, and when i say congress i mean the republicans are refusing to address gun violence in america that targets black men in black women and hispanic men and women and yes, even police officers. the congressional black costco's is frustrated. you you want to say were mad, were mad. we are determined to take our advocacy now to a higher level. this is our responsibility to our constituents and we thank you very much for covering us today. were not going to let anybody turn us around. thank you so very much. at this time it is my honor to yield to the date dean of the u.s. house of representatives. the u.s. house of
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representatives of the ranking member of the committee on judiciary, the honorable john. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we are all here with a heavy heart and some growing anger with the process that is going on here in the congress. as i've said before and i'll say it again, we need to adopt gun violence prevention legislation to expand background checks to all gun purchases and we need to reinstate a ban on the sale of military style assault weapons. at the same time, i also believe we need to take a comprehensive approach at adjusting the issue
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of building and strengthening trust between local police and their communities. i've dedicated a lot of my time in congress to policing issues, to gun violence prevention, introducing legislation, town hall meetings across the country and meeting with grieving families of both citizens involved of fallen officers alike. there's a part of the controversial 1994 crime bill, i was able to pass the federal pattern in practice enforcement provision that allowed the department of justice to investigate state and local police departments most recently like ferguson and baltimore for unconstitutional and discriminatory policy.
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i've now introduced an act that would provide local incentives for local police organizations to voluntarily adopt performance-based standards to ensure that misconduct will be minimized through appropriate management training and oversight protocols. now we are working on negotiating a version of the law enforcement trust and integrity act to bring before our committee. however, like too many well intended efforts, we are stuck trying to push toward a finish but negotiations are still going on. we have to be able to find agreement on major items like accreditation standards, best
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practices, body cameras and even data collection. the real challenge is now finding the support that would bring this bill forward in the committee. and so, we must begin to deal with these tragic shooting deaths which have been avoided and with better training, particularly in detentions and use of force is addressed by accreditation standards as best practices provisions that are currently in negotiation. out of respect for all the have lost their lives, we must dedicate ourselves to engaging the difficult issues to make lasting change in our
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communities and heal as a nation. we must debate and we must vote. that's what we are here for in the congress. thank you. i now recognize the ranking sub committee member. >> chairman i stand here today with members of the black caucus, each of whom have hearts and minds and many of us were tutored, along with the late doctor and dr. martin luther king. we are advocates of nonviolence, we are students of protest but
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we also, as our hearts are broken and we mourn with our fellow texans for the loss of five dedicated law enforcement officers. they died in the line of duty. as members have watched my colleagues fight for justice and equal treatment for all and they applied over -- they have cried over the bodies i never heard
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one person talk about an attack. you will find that the movement that many of us were involved in, the protest movement, the violence came toward us and we did not promote any violence. today we stand here answering the call of leadership. each of these members will go home to their district and they will seek peace and understanding but they will respond that there must be action. so as we mourn the loss of those who were lost in a criminal terrorist act in the killing of those officers, we mourn those officers and all of the victims but we ask that the nation see us as leaders of peace. we are asking the speaker the house, were asking the majority
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leader to now realize that an ar-15 does not discriminate. it finds itself in the heart and bodies of many that we love. we are calling on the passage of no-fly, no buy. buy. we are calling on the passage of closing a loophole. were calling on the passage of bringing together police and communities, the law enforcement integrity act. we hope there will be roundtables of discussion between police and community and that we will be in the midst of those discussion calling upon peace and then finally, let me say, say, we cannot do this without resources. resources for police, resources for young people in pain resources for community. we are fighting for money that is needed to bring our community together. i will join with congressman on the judiciary committee to fight for legislation that will
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respond to the needs of police and respond to the needs of community. our heart is broken. we must take violent guns and violet people off the streets of this nation. >> the congressional black caucus is the conscious of the congress in the next figure is the congressional black party. i now announce mr. lewis. >> thank you very much chairman butterfield. my wonderful sisters and brothers, the congressional
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black caucus, we are like a family. we prayed for the people in the louisiana, minnesota, for the police officers and the people of dallas. there's no room in our society for violence. we respect law enforcement these individuals risked their lives during their job. any needs to be greater training of law-enforcement and sometime i feel that maybe not only those
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of us that engage in nonviolent protest but police officers need to be taught the way of peace. the way of love, the way of nonviolence. to respect with dignity and the worth of every human being, that's what we were taught. they were arrested and put in jail and beaten and we didn't fight back. today we corralled and we feel the pain in the hurt of the people in baton rouge, minnesota, dallas and all across our country but whatever we do, we must do it in an orderly, peaceful, nonviolent fashion. we have to redeem the soul of america and bring us together to
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create what doctor martin luther king jr. called the loved community. we all live in the same house. it doesn't matter what black or white, latino, asian, american or native american. we are one family living in one house. we must learn to live together as brothers and sisters. if not we will perish as fools. we have too many guns, there's been too much violence and we must act. thank you very much. >> thank you congressman john lewis. you lead the way in 1963 and you're leading the way today. thank you so very much.
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the next speaker will be the congressman from the second district of louisiana. congressman richman. >> today i stand here speaking and i would have to say today is probably the angriest i've ever been while addressing the public and the media. i share the anger of our young kids. when we look at this congress, we can do nothing but include that they are co-conspirators and a devaluation of the lives of men and women of color. the systematic devaluation from mass incarceration to the lack of investment in communities show that we have little faith or concern about their future.
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let me also say, the congressman from texas reminded us yesterday that in the end it will not be the words of your enemy that you remember but the silence of your friends. john lewis will tell you that during the civil rights movement one of the reasons that was so strong was that people of all walks of life came together to talk about injustice. we are calling on our friends to join in this fight of injustice. let me just say, yesterday a few
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of us joined together and some request of the chairman of judiciary to convene a hearing on the use of deadly force. we thought our country was on the tipping point where we were so angry that we have not seen any action where their friends and family are mowed down in the street. that frustration was at a tipping point and we again today call upon speaker ryan to convene an adult conversation about the use of deadly force, the need for ar-15 on our street, the need for high-capacity magazine, no fly, no buy but if this congress does not have the guts to lead believe that we are responsible
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for all the bloodshed on the streets of america, whether whether it's the hands of people in uniform or whether it's at the hands of criminals, we bear that responsibility if we don't act. in closing, i would just say, as the congressional black caucus, we stand here today in a lot of pain. we stand here today very angry. we stand here today with our hearts very heavy. but we stand here today with our resolve stronger than it's ever been that we can lead this country and we have to show the leadership in this country to make this country that it should be the country that we wanted to be in the country that our precious children deserve. i just want to thank you and thank my colleagues who have learned so much from and their leadership on this issue. we are the intellectual capacity
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of all and at some point will start to listen and start to follow because the answers to our problem are the same in the intellectual capacity of this group. thank you very much. >> thank you congressman richman. please proceed the congressman from the 33rd district of texas. >> good morning i am now my second term in congress and i can tell you that this is the saddest day for me being a member of congress. what happened in the city of dallas last night represents part of dallas, not only is at the saddest day as a member of congress but i can't think of any other event in the dallas area in my lifetime that has
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been the solemn. i was on the phone early this morning and i spoke with one of the police officers family. i spoke to the mom and the aunt of one of the officers that was killed. he lived in fort worth and my districting grew up in the district that i represent. his parents still live in the fort worth area. i condemned the violence that took place last night and what happened to those police officers. it was horrible and hate fields. the police officers and protesters were getting along and taking pictures with one another. the gunmen, the people that were involved in this senseless act had nothing to do with the protest. the protesters and the police, according to some reports, after
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the shooting happened even hugged each other last night. yesterday we had a press event to talk about what happened in louisiana and to happen -- talk about what happened in minnesota. i have to tell you, i have a 10-year-old son. he is more like his mom. he looks like both of us, but he's more like his mom. right now he's a cute fifth-grader. he's going into the fifth grade. i worry about him when he gets older, when he gets into high
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school, what if he's out with some friends and he smarts off the wrong way. i just don't want anything to happen to him just because maybe he shoots off his mouth or does someone that someone doesn't like and have something happened to him. that can be prevented with better understanding between the community and the police department and just because i want that for my son does not mean that i don't support the police 100%. without the police we would have anarchy in the streets and no order in the country we live in wouldn't be the country that we know today. we have free press and freedom of speech and we have the right to gather and protest. that is all that i want. i want the police officers to be protected but i do want to know
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that when my son gets a little bit older and his voice starts to change and he starts to put on weight like his dad that he will be given the same benefit of the doubt that any other kid would be permitted for having a smart mouth or maybe not doing what the police officer said, that he didn't think that he should've been doing or whatever the circumstances may be, i just want him to have the same chance as any other kid in this whole. thank you. >> thank you congressman. the next and final speaker before we open it up to question and answers will be from the gentle lady from chicago, congressman woman robin kelly who returns every week and
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brings war stories from chicago. she's not the only one peer we have four stories from los angeles and san antonio and it just continues to repeat itself every week, but thank you congresswoman kelly for your advocacy. >> thank you, the united states is on edge and we have to decide for going to go over the cliff with gun violence and senseless murder or for going to take a step back and find the space for peace and solidarity. i associate myself with everything my colleagues have said. our black men and boys cannot be continued to be looked at as animals in a jungle that are dangerous and shot all too often, but also i come from a family of law enforcement and i texted my cousin in new york last night my nephews in chicago to tell them to be safe because i know they're trying to do the right thing and they're trying to protect us. we have to find peace together. we cannot continue like this but we also have to be the leaders
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in finding the solution to this gun violence problem. it's the common sense gun laws, it's police and community relations and getting more african-americans in law-enforcement. it's sustainable communities. why are people picking up guns and not books or pens or pencils. we have to get to the root cause also. we have to work together. we dropped a bill yesterday that deals with all of those components because it's not just one thing. it is not just one thing. it is all of those things together and i bow and they know to fight to the end. i haven't stood up for moments of silence in a long time because we stand up and sit down and we don't do anything. it's time to ask for everybody whether you die alone or in a mass shooting or you are police officer that was senselessly murdered. thank you. >> thank you robin kelly and all my colleagues. we are open for questions.
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>> the police chief. >> your name and organization. >> cnn. the police chief in dallas this morning talked about the suspect who had died. one killed white people a one killed cops. he said he was upset by the black lives matter movement. you all have been blaming the lack of gun-control action as part of this problem do you have any concern with the black lives matter movement? some of the things that people have been saying about the police. >> we have to be intelligent enough to separate the issues that we are confronting today in america. the congressional black caucus not only supports black lives matter but we embrace black lives matter. each member of our caucus feels that sentiment and if not he or she can speak for himself but i know all of them individually standing before you and we collectively embrace the ideals
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and goals of black lives matter. there are multiple issues that we are facing in america. we are talking about, number one, taking away gun from terrorists and would be terrorists and criminals who use these guns to kill 491, 491 police shooting so far in america this year. at year. at this time last year, 465 americans were shot by police senselessly and unnecessarily. we have to separate that. this does not discount our support for law enforcement all across the country. we have said in our private meetings in our public meetings that 99.9% of police officers in this country are wonderful men and women who put on the uniform each day and they serve in a protect and they defend us and
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they defend our constituents and our communities. i want us to be intelligent enough to separate the issues that we are talking about today. if someone goes in a building and assassinates five officers, they are a terrorist. by any definition, they are terrorist and they are not part of the black lives matter movement. i've seen the earlier accounts this morning but please, let's be intelligent enough to celebrate the issues that we are debating today. i now introduce al green from texas. >> first, the nation is in morning. we are a country that is suffering.
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innocent life, whether it is at the hands of these assassins who killed police officers were at the hands of persons, any loss of human life is something that we deplore. we must always protect innocent life. i'm a former president of the naacp and served in small claims justice court and a lawyer. i assure you that people of goodwill announce any statement that have been made with reference to the shooting of these officers. we absolutely, adamantly, totally oppose anyone who would advocate shooting police officers. we want to make it clear that
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what happened in dallas texas was beneath the standards that human beings have set to live peacefully with each other. we want to make sure that those persons who are involved in this, our prosecuted to the fullest extent of the lyle law. just as anyone who harms the person who happens to be an innocent citizen with a taillight of. those persons have to be punished to the fullest extent that the law allows. with reference to the congress of the united states of america, before we can get these acts of congress to pass the legislation that we advocate for, that mr. richman has talked about, before you can get an act of congress, you have to have a congress willing to ask.
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the congress has refused to act on issues of importance to the american people. the speaker of the house has to be called on what he has failed to do. make moment no mistake about it, the speaker has the power. he has the political power here to call and convene a meeting to bring in the head of the fbi and demand that he account and investigation. if he can do this he can demand that we bring in the appropriate people so that we can find out what is happening in this country. that is his responsibility. we will not let him off the hook >> thank you congressman green. there is no question that the power to address this issue is in the hands of speaker paul
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ryan. i hope he understands the significant importance of bringing this bill to the floor. >> i have questions for you, what have you been hearing this morning from constituents and family members and what's your message been? >> i did speak with the dallas police department and was updated with as much as they could update me on everything. again, i talked about one of the parents of the police officers who have been on the dallas police department for a little under ten years. he was a veteran serving in the navy who is currently in the navy reserve and graduated from a local high school in the fort worth school district. one of the staffers that worked
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in the fort worth office worked with the police officer and his wife and this is something that's very deep and close and personal to myself and i've been in that same area more times than i can remember. just to see that happening in the metroplex in dallas really hit me like i've never been hit before. >> thank you. next question. >> there's been a lot of talk about the civil rights movement, how does what african americans face today differ from what you face in 1963 in 1964.
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>> sometimes i want to believe that we have made much more progress but then i think, if were not standing still, sometimes we are sliding back. the racism is deeply embedded in american society. i think what is happening cannot be swept under the rug heard. local government, religious community. i hope that we will get there.
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: >> earlier you said you are reaching out to friends and other communities and i'm wondering if-- what kind of feedback and support are you
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getting from hispanic leaders both in and out of congress and also, are you concerned by comments like the one that former congressman joel walsh was making last night on twitter calling the black lives movement thugs and blaming president obama for the chaos that was going through as a country now and i'm wondering, you know, what are you hearing that from these folks and also the fact that the nra has been silent on this whole issue as well. >> mr. richman will address your concerns, but i will make reference to the fact that the conger's men from illinois was with us last night as well as-- and spoke passionately in our democratic congress as well as castro from texas. mr. richman. >> lets me just say in congress, number of our colleagues from
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the progressive caucus and hispanic caucus have joined on this issue. walsh last night and protests also and have been arm in arm with us as we address it. as we talk about the nra, lets me just tell you the how piracy there is a blatant. one of the young men had a concealed carry weapon, a permits, which they advocate for , which they go around to states to advocate that they pass concealed carry laws where you can bring weapons to work, to church and to school. how do you advocate for that? and then you watch the result of it with a young black man who says i have a permits, which he advocated for and you sit by quietly. and i will just tell you, look, my life experiences, i always
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thought the nra was not concerned about me and i hunt and fish and i own a gun, but the last few days have clarified it for me. that their second amendment concern is a void of concern for african-americans and i just believe that we cannot give them a pass on not making a comment, not defending this young man and not calling for some change. let me just touch on the end, which was black lives matter. people cannot use a black lives matter as a scapegoat. those young kids came together to protest something that was not imagined, something that was real and they came back-- they started protesting in ferguson, and the sad part is we keep having more events that they have to protest.
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so, when we talk about their anger and their frustration and their activism you can't blame them for these incidents happening and as much as people would like to call them for his and other things, they do that for their comforts so that they can explain to themselves why bad things happens and the truth of the matter is for young african-american kids and young african-american males and i will you i came in a couple others yesterday when a press conference to reiterate that if we were not wearing suits people would lump us into the category of young black thugs based on how we dress and it's unfair to do that to the black lives movement that has been positive and sparked a debate where presidential candidates had to address the issue of whether black lives matter and it lets just say fact that there number one goal is that law enforcement
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not kill unarmed black people should be low hanging fruits. of the ultimate goal is economic opportunity so every young black boy and girl can reach their dream and if i was-- blaming president obama is nonsense from people who can't over the fact that michelin bomb up, president obama and his children wake up every day in the white house. >> i know yesterday you said you called for meetings with attorney general lynch and fbi director. is there any update on that? >> [inaudible] [inaudible] >> the nation is in mourning right now because of the painful incident that has taken place this week in baton rouge, louisiana, suburbs of
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minneapolis and of course tragically last night in dallas. we are suffering right now. scripture says that while suffering main doer during the long night, joy will come in the morning, but in order to get from suffering to joy we have to be willing in america to have a meaningful legitimate, authentic conversation about the challenges that race continue to pose and the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color. that's why we have called for a high level conversation unfettered between leadership here in the congressional black caucus, the attorney general, the fbi director and people in the law enforcement community from all throughout the land.
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in order to make sure that we can turn tragedy to triumph traction and let me just lastly, to about the black lives matter movement. john lewis will tell you that in order to make progress in america as we continue to march towards a more perfect union you need peaceful agitation to proceed legislation. and i think that's simply what the overwhelming majority of young people in america want. to be able to grow up and fully experience the american dream without the possibility of it being tragically cut short by either a criminal or rogue police officer and we will continue to affirm that as we move forward soon i can add something from last night? i started out by saying that our hearts are broken, indicated we
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were-- [inaudible] >> many of arts are students of natalie john lewis, but a martin luther king and in his letter from the birmingham daly told us to leave our places and to fight against injustice. it should be very clear, we should repeated again, we are praying for the families of those phone officers and it was a terrorist act in a mass shooting. we are broken hearted and sad, but it should be very clear that this a violent perpetrator using an ar 15 said that he was not affiliated with any group, that he came out out of hate and anger and what we are saying to you is we are among the asian people and when to call the names of the andre, a big young man, 6'5". he was out last night in the
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washington protests. as a mother as i watched those children welcoming the fact that someone cared about them, when he finally reached the white house this young man broke down on the ground. he was overwhelmed that he had been able to lead like you did as a young man, nonviolently and all he said to us was do something. he said no fly, no by. i was so impressed that he even knew those words, but he fell on the ground. i think america needs to use us as leaders of unity. we want to do that. to be unified and to be as much a unifying force for law-enforcement officers who are serving their nation and for those young people who have seen the loss of life and are praying
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for action from all of us. we are going to do that and i think we can do that if the nation listens to a peace and nonviolence is and listens to the call of doctor king and john a lewis that we must fight against injustice. it was not black lives matter. it was a person intending for violence. >> thank you. >> question for congressman lewis, if i may. with every piece of graphic footage that emerges with the shooting, anger is mounting and mounting. from your experience, how is it possible to contain that? what is your message? >> sometimes when people are not
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down or beaten, arrested and jailed or sometimes when some of our leaders, some of our coworkers and friends are murdered we have the capacity, we have the ability to get up and move in orderly, peaceful, nonviolent pot-- fashion. this young woman here was born in selma, alabama. her mother and father and relatives were involved, schoolmates marched across the bridge that were beaten and tear gassed. they did not buy back, but because of what they did we got a voting rights act passed and now hundreds and thousands and millions of our citizens can
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participate in the democratic process. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you condors and john lewis. we are closing our. went to think of you for coming today on short notice. please know that we believe in the congressional black caucus that this movement is maturing. it started with trayvon martin and even before trayvon martin and this has continued to escalate. this is a movement that we are going to be serious about and there will be more announcements yet to come. thank congresswoman bernice johnson, represents the dallas community and lives a few blocks from where the can-- police officers were savvy assassinated last night and she joins us in this effort today. thank you for coming. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> lots of reaction on twitter to the dallas police shootings. house minority leader nancy pelosi said: dallas has touch all of us.
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and doctor king's words darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that and house majority leader kevin mccarthy commented: all of america mourns the south-- senseless loss suffered our nation must unite. heal the wounds that unite us and let justice be done. senate minority leader harry treat-- read tweety: the nation stands with the people of dallas and the brave police force. >> our road to the white house coverage continues live with the democratic party's platform commune orlando today starting at 3:00 p.m. eastern and continuing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. eastern. members will debate him both on the democratic party platform for this year's election and light coverage on c-span, c-span radio app and c-span.org. in less than two weeks c-span will have live coverage of every minute of the 2016 republican national convention followed by the democratic national convention and every saturday
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night at 8:00 p.m. eastern the look at past conventions in the presence of candidates who went on to win the party's nomination took this saturday we focus on income it presents he ran for reelection, dwight eisenhower at the 1956 republican convention in san francisco to 1974 atlantic convention. richard nixon at the 1972 republican convention in miami beach. 1980, democratic convention with jimmy carter in new york city took my committee for republican convention in dallas with ronald reagan. george a shelby bush at the 1992 republican convention in houston bill clinton in chicago for the 1996 democratic convention and the 20000-- 2004 new york city with george w. bush. pass republican and democratic national convention. saturday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span.
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book tv has 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors every weekend and here are some programs watch out for. on saturday at 7:00 p.m. eastern, hillary clinton's 1996 a book: it takes a village, is a topic of a roundtable discussion. >> 1990 through 1994, it takes a village is hillary's branding. >> it was a big moment right then to declare as she did in this book, i'm a moderate. >> any part of the hill's connections pushing ideas that she is pushing today in equal pay and child care, which is a huge issue for her right now. >> 8:30 p.m. eastern, gary burns discusses his book: crisis of character. white house secret service officer discloses his first-hand experience with hillary, bill and how they operate. on sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern, afterwards, manhattan institute senior fellow heather mcdonald
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discusses her book, which looks at policing in america pick she's interviewed by dolores jones brown, professor of law at john james college. >> there's no question that males today face a much higher rate of getting stopped when they are innocent than white males do today and that is a crime that the community unfortunately plays because of that elevated rates of crime. >> at a book tv.org for the complete we can schedule. >> sunday morning testimony from fbi director james comey on his agency's recommendation not to prosecute tiller clinton for her use of a private e-mail server. he spoke yesterday before the house oversight and government reform committee and we will show you that hearing sunday at 10:35 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> if we are going to invest less a additional $100 million
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into higher education in the commonwealth we had to change the way we deliver education and we also have to expect more for the dollars that we are getting. >> sunday night on q&a, aei resident fellow gerard robinson talks about the state of education in the us senate body of literature that is pretty clear that there are certain courses you should take, math, science, english that should be in place if you expect to be successful in college. to simply accept students who haven't fulfilled that curriculum obligation let them into a school is doing a great sit her-- this service to and selling the efforts. >> sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's q&a. >> following a march 2016 hearing the state and defense department special envoy for the guantánamo bay detention closure to turn to testify before the house foreign affairs committee about the detainee release
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process from the detention facility in cuba. the two witnesses were specifically questioned at length about the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of a prisoner who was one of six detainees relocated to uruguay from guantanamo bay. this is two hours. >> of this hearing will come toward her. today, we welcome back of the obama administration's top officials for closing the detention center at guantanamo bay. in march, these two gentlemen
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appear before the committee to discuss the administration's proposal to relocate the prison and its detainees to the cot hill united states as well as the process of releasing individuals to foreign countries. much of the news from that hearing surrounded mr. lewis is revelation that in his words, unfortunately there have been americans that have died because of guantánamo detainees and indeed, last month the "washington post" reported that the administration believes that at least 12 detainees released from the guantánamo facility have since attacked us or allied forces in afghanistan, killing about a half-dozen americans. that was startling enough, but it is particularly disturbing that upon close examination
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these witnesses made statements to the committee that are inconsistent with the documents and inconsistence with information that the administration has supplied the committee under the law, specifically the committee asked: whether the department of defense ever knowingly transferred a detainee to a country that did not exhibit on ability to substantially mitigate the risk of recidivism or maintain custody or control of that individual. mr. lewis and mr. molosky assured committee members that it had not. yet, numerous intelligence reports provided by the administration suggests that their answers where inaccurate. in fact, the defense department had it done so on numerous occasions. the secretary of state has the sole responsibility to negotiate
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transfers including agreements to monitor released detainees under the law, congress regularly sees information from the intelligence community on the return to terrorism rate of individuals released to foreign countries as well as assessments of a country's ability to prevent terrorists from returning to the fight. simply put, many countries just aren't up to the job. a diplomatic agreement to do the job isn't worth the paper it is written on if the country does not have the resources, does not have the training to keep committed terrorists from returning to the battlefield. yet, the administration has sent guantánamo terrorists to these countries anyway. to then to see this committee in american people is deeply disturbing and when given the opportunity to correct the
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record for the committee they ignored as. i appreciate that the administration finally responded on tuesday, but it should not take the calling of a hearing to elicit a return letter especially on something as consequential as this. this committee have salvation to conduct oversight. while we have differences of opinion over guantánamo policy, i don't think anyone here find the administrations dismissiveness acceptable. and should anyone think the committees concerns are theoretical and specifically i would pressing on these terrorists who have been transferred to uruguay, it is not theoretical because now jihadi, au wael dhiab who is al qaeda linked terrorist who was
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sent from guantánamo to uruguay in december 2014, we sounded the alarm about uruguay's lack of legal framework. we explained to you about the critical resources to prevent travel outside the country, that and that was lacking in the case of uruguay. what is the result? the result is last month au wael dhiab disappeared from uruguay. his current whereabouts are unknown and this was after trying to testify to us in march that we are confident that the government of uruguay is taking appropriate steps to substantially many get the risks of this former detainee and others sent to uruguay. yesterday, cnn citing us officials reported that this terrorist was last spotted in venezuela. he is believed to be headed back
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to syria or yemen. we have been awaiting answers to the committee's inquiry, but while i have been patient the president has been in a rush seemingly willing to release wonton about terrorists to every can. i wish we were not here today holding another guantánamo during this week was not my intention, but he is loose and my patience is running out and i now turn to the ranking member. >> thank you, mr. chairman and mr. molosky and mr. lewis. welcome back and thank you for your service. last time you gentle men were here i made my views on the guantánamo prison pretty clear and i would ask that my opening statement for that hearing be included as part of the record for this hearing. to recap, the prison should be closed.
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national security experts of both parties agree with me. in fact, have a litter here from 36 retired generals and admirals are in for the prison's closure i ask that it'd be included in the record. the prison is a waste of money and property in it tool for terrorists, and a story as far as the prison goes. there were issues raised about transferred detainees at the last hearing that desires follow-up and i say transferred rather than released because this is an extensive process that goes into removing a detainee from the president sending him to another country. it's not as though they just are set loose, but it's important to know how exactly we're monitoring transferred detainees and assessing the risk they pose those are good questions, but because they deal with intelligence methods we can only discuss them in a closed classified setting. my understanding is that the administration offered to do just that and that offers was rebuffed. i hope that after this hearing
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in a few weeks or so we can have a closed classified setting to get answers to questions that you are not really allowed to say here in open session. so, why are we here? to demand account ability of the administration's reckless release from terrorist from guantánamo and since we say reckless release it sounds like minds are made up and i went to make sure the facts on the table because i think there is plenty of blame to go all around. i think the chairman raises legitimate issues, but i think there is plenty of blame to go around. first, the vast majority of guantánamo detainees are transferred out of the prison before president obama took office with a total of 780 detainees have been held in guantánamo during the bush administration, 500 were transferred out compared to 159 detainees under president obama.
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secondly, let's look at the number of transfer detainees who returned to the battlefield. figure 30%, but what goes into that number turns out includes a total number of transfer detainees that we know for sure have returned to the fight as well as those suspected every engagement over the entire life of guantánamo prison 2001 to present during the bush years 2001 to 2008, the rate of suspected confirmed cases every engagement was actually higher than that, 35% with 21% of the cases confirmed and 14% suspected, so let me say that again, more than one third of the terrorists under president bush's administration transferred may have returned to the fight. let's contrast that with the obama administration under president obama the number again totaling suspected and confirmed cases drops to make 13% on eight % suspected and 5% confirmed that 5% rent this--
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represents seven people. i know one person is one person too much, but i just want to have a balanced hearing here because if we have already made up our minds and talking about administration being reckless, it doesn't seem to me that we are here to learn anything more. i reiterate, almost 13% of those transfers since january 2009 have reengaged compared to as much as 35% during the previous administration. contrast is striking. let's not get lost in the numbers because this is perhaps the most important point. ..
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the obama administration helped to bring it back down. thirdly, administration closure plan would not transfer any person who did not meet the most stringent criteria. i heard the remain degree takenees are the worst of the worst and the administration wants to simply turn them loose. that's false in 29 of 9 detainees set for transfer, the administration is not trap transferring them yet. as a matter of policy we transfer though their countries. the case of yemen they cannot provide adequate security -- we need to find country who can find adequate security assurances. that leaves 50. some of these are really bad guys. ten will stapled trial, another 40 are being held as prisoners of war. under no circumstances in my opinion, is the obama
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administration simply opening the gates and releasing dangerous terrorists on to the street. guantanamo is a mess and always has been. no one is blameless. anyone can cherry pick single cases to point a picture big or small, good or bad. by the facts and the statistics speak for themselves. and i think that what we should do after this, instead of having the witnesses come and tell us they can only tell us things in a briefing is to spend our time with them after this hearing in a few weeks, where we could be in a closed setting, getting to the bottom of this matter. now, the foreign affairs committee obviously has oversight on this issue. a hearing last march and today's hearing are the only two times the committee has taken up this issue in the near hi 15 years the guantanamo prison has been open.
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so, since we have our top guantanamo experts with us today, i hope you can give us your opinions on some interesting ideas we recently heard about the prison. going to read you a few quotes. i recognize them. give you a hint. it's one of the candidates running for president. here is the first. this morning i watched president obama talking about gitmo, which by the way we are keeping open. and we're going to load it up dismiss bad dudes, going to load it up, unquote. and the second, quote, torture works, okay, folks? believe me, it works and waterboarding is a minor form. some people say it's not actually torture. but they asked me the question, what would you think of waterboarding? absolutely fine. but we should go much stronger than waterboarding. much stronger because our country is in trouble. end quote. i just want to say that i read that because some people say
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they want to expand the guantanamo prison and torture. i can't think of a worse proposal for our national security. these schemes would only harm us with our allies, and provide ammunition to our adversaries. maybe we can hear your views on what would happen if we went in that direction. again, i hate doing tit-for-tat but i think it's not a really fair to blame the administration for all the frustrations we have about guantanamo, but when we see there were problems and long things done in previous administration as well. so imi look forward to hearing your thoughts. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. this morning we are please told be joined by special envoy lee
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woloski, special envoy for guantanamo chose sure at the u.s. department of state. previously mr. wolosky was the director for transnational threats on the national security council under president clinton, and mr. paul lewis, joining us. pleased he is here, special envoy for guantanamo detention closure at the u.s. department of defense. previously mr. lewis served as both the general counsel and the minority general counsel on the u.s. armed services committee. without objection, the witnesses' full prepared statements will be made part of the record. members will have five calendar days to submit any statements or questions or any extraneous material they might want to submit for the record, and i'd like to remind everyone, including our witness its, that wilful misrepresentation or false statements by a witness is a criminal offense under
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18-point u.s. code section 1001. indeed that is the case for all of our hearings, and special envoy wolosky please summarize your remarks. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. ranking member, distinguishes members of the committee good morning itch appreciate your inviting me once again to appear before the committee. i look forward to continuing our discussion in closed session, either later today as we have offered, or as soon as possible, so that we can have a fuller discussion on some of the classified topics we know are of interest the commit yeah. altogether a total of 779 detainees have passed through guantanamo and of those, 700 have departed. the vast majority of detainees transferred out of guantanamo to other countries, some 532, were transferred by the administration of george w. bush. measure president obama, a total
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of 159 detainees have been transferred. today, 79 remain. president bush acted to whittle the detainee population because he understood that, and i quote, the detention facility had become a propaganda tool for our enemies and a distraction for our alliesful closed quote. president obama has continued detainee transfers for many of the same reasons. of the 79 detainees at guantanamo today, 29 are currently approved for transfer. detainees have been edition it indiana approved for transfer during this administration through one of two rigorous interagency processes. first, soon after taking office, president obama ordered the first ever comprehensive interagency review of all of the 242 detainees then in u.s. custody. in 2009 and 2010, the guantanamo review task force, also called the executive order task force,
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comprised of more than 60 national security professionals from across the government, assembled all reasonably available information relevant to determining an appropriate disposition for each detainee. then based on the task force's recommendations the department of defense, state, justice, and homeland security, the office of the director for national intelligence, and the joint chiefs of staff, unanimous didetermined the appropriate disposition for each detainee. transfer, referral for prosecution for continued detention. second, pursuant to executive order 13567, detainees who were not approved for transfer in 2009 and 2010 could be subject to additional review by the periodic review board. but the prp provides senior representatives from six agencies and departments. none of the prb representatives are political appointees.
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having -- detainees have been approved for transfer i'd like to describe the press for transferring detainees. decisions regarding weather, when and where to transfare detainee are the culmination of another rigorous process. the department of state leads diplomatic negotiations, foreign governments regarding the transfer of guantanamo detainees but we are typically joined in our discussions by senior career officials from the department of defense, justice, and homeland security, as well as those in the intelligence community, and on the joint staff. generally, transfer negotiations occur in two steps. first, the u.s. government obtains or reconfirms a political commitment that the potential receiving country is willing to resettle or repatriot detaineesees and impose various measures that with substantially
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mitigate the threat of detainees and we have discussion wiz foreign officials responsible for implementing the measures. the technical discussions offer the opportunity to tailor the integration and security measures to specific circumstances under consideration, to share best practices of previous transexpect perhaps most importantly to determine, based on an individualized assessment of these specific circumstances, whether the statutory standard in the ndaa governing the foreign transfer of guantanamo bay detainees can be met. once we conclude that our diplomatic negotiations will result -- substantially mitigate the threat 0 detainee may pose after transfer, the secretary of defense consult with the secretaries of state, homeland security, and the attorney general, the director of national intelligence, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff on the transfer.
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only after the secretary of defensives the views of those principles, only if he is satisfied the requirements of ndaa are satisfied, does the secretary of defense sign and transmit a certification to the congress conveying his intention to transfer detainees. ladies and gentlemen of the committee, let me close by saying that although we would obviously prefer that no former detainees engage in terrorist or insurgent activity following their transfer, we believe that the low rate of confirmed re-engagement for detainees transferred since january 2009 under five percent, a testament to the rigorous interagency approach the administration has taken to both approving detainees for transfer and to negotiating and vetting detainee transfer frameworks. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. mr. lewis.
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>> chairman, ranking member, distinguished members of the committee, representative donovan, thank you for the opportunity to testify again regarding the administration's guantanamo detainee transfer process. secretary carter approved the transfer of 43 detainees, 28 of whom have been transferred this year. secretary hagel approved the transfer of 44 detainees. secretary panetta, seven. secretary gates, 65. during this administration 159 detain yesterdays have been transferred. we understand the importance of this issue to you and this committee, and we appreciate the attention you have given to it. as i stated in march at the outset, i'd like to reiterate one continuing fundmental point regarding this detention facility. the president and his national security committee have determined that closing this detention facility is a national security imperative. imperative is a strong term. the president and his leadership of the national security team
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believe that the continued operation of the detention facility weakens our national security. closing guantanamo is about protecting the country north weakening it. as you know the importance of closing this detention facility is echoed by former president george w. bush and a long list of former secretaries of state, secretaries of defense, joint staff chairmen and other former military leaders can, as representative engle noted, a letter was provided to the committee by former flag officers, including a former commandant of the marine corps. transfers from gitmo are in the national security interests of the united states and are conducted in a safe and responsible manner. on march 23, 2016, i testified before this committee. during that hearing, as the chairman note, was asked whether the department of defense had ever knowingly transferred a detainee to a country that did not exhibit an ability to substantially mitigate the risk
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or control the individual. in response to that question i stated the department of defense had not conducted such a transfer. stand by my response. we have addressed your concerns, mr. chairman in the letter that we sent to you this weekend. i again apologize for the late response. but i want to briefly highlight several points. here's our statutory framework. 2016mda requires that at least 30 days prior to any transfer, and in addition to other requirements, secretary of defense certify to congress that the receiving country has taken or agreed to take steps to substantially mitigate any risk the individual could attempt to re-engage or otherwise threaten the united states. we have met that statutory requirement with each of our transfers. prior to the transfer of any detainee to a foreign country the united states government received security assurances from the receiving country regarding the actions they receiving country has taken or
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agrees to talk substantially mitigate the risk. after assurance is negotiated the secretary of defense and senior staff engage in a robust review process that considers many factors, including all of the intelligence that the government has regarding the threat posed by the individual detainee and the security assurances. importantly, updated intelligence, compliance information is provided to each country regarding the detainees under consideration for transfer. many countries also take the opportunity to travel to gitmo to interview transfer candidates. after full consideration of all this information, including a full and update assessment from the intelligence community, the secretary makes the determination that i told you about earlier. as secretary carter has testified, secretary hagel testified, they take this responsibility very seriously. secretary carter has said he will not transfer a detainee
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that he does not believe is in the security interests of the united states to do so. these transfers have not been conducted on the -- each transfer is formally notified to congress and we regularly brief members and staff on transfers. notice of each transfer we offer to brief congressional leadership and members and staff of all the national security committees elm we appreciate the opportunity we have had to regularly brief you and your staff regarding these transfers. briefly, think it's important to put these recent transfer decision in a foreign policy context for this committee. many countries in international community want to close gitmo and have stepped up to help us. specifically over 30 countries since 2009 have accepted for resettlement guantanamo detainees that are not nationals of their country. additionally there is sustained support for closure efforts from civil society organizations both domestic and abroad, including
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the organization for american states. even the vatican supports our closure effort us. in summary, each transfer is only approved after careful scrutiny by the intensives intereight progression and the negotiation of security assurances sufficient to substantially mitigate any threat. finally, i'd like to take a moment to again recognize the military service members who conduct detention operations at guantanamo. these men and women continue to have our deepest appreciation for their service and the professionalism they display each and every day on behalf of our nation. thank you, mr. chairman itch look forward to your questions. >> thank you, mr. lewis. the last time you appeared before this committee, we asked specific questions about the transfer of detainees to countries ill equipped to handle them, specifically we asked whether the department of defense ever transferred a
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detainee to a country that it knew was incapable of maintaining control of that individual and keeping him from returning to the battlefield. mr. lewis responded no. mr. wolosky state head was not aware of such. upon further review of your own intelligence assessments, those answers appear to be false. in fact, it appears that the administration has released dangerous terrorists to ill-equipped countries on numerous occasions. on may 16, i wrote to your departments, asking you to correct the record. you did not. the committee asked the administration to halt all transfers until you explained your testimony. you did not. in fact, you completely ignored the letter. until we called this hearing. that is why we are here today. i'm going to ask you several simple questions and i'd appreciate a simple yes or no answer. mr. lewis, mr. wolosky in your
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deals you have access to intelligence assessments of detainees and transfer countries? >> yes. >> do you review those intelligence assessments prior to the transfer of detainees to the custody of foreign governments? >> yes, sir. >> review the intelligence -- that are material to the issues before us which is whether to transfare detainee to a specific country under certain circumstances in order to be able to meet the statutory standards. >> in my may 16th letter, i referenced three intelligence reports submitted to congress pursuant to section 1023 of the national offense authorization act, those reports are dated may 31st of 2013, july 15, 2014; august 6, 2015. are you familiar with the
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content of those reports? >> yes. >> yes. >> are you aware that those reports contains assessment of each country to which the defense department has transferredded detainees. >> ese. >> yes. >> our aware those assess ems indicate some opportunity countries lack the ability to control those terrorists. >> cannot by law discuss classified defense intelligence agency assessments in this session, mr. chairman. we're happy to do that in closed session. what i would point out to the committee, that in connection with each transfer, we do rely on intelligence that is tailored specifically to the i-transfor a certain country at a particular point in time and it's geared
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toward a determination or an analysis of whether the relevant statutory standard for transfers can be met. >> mr. chairman, the report us you refer for one of many reports looked at. we look at all source information from the intelligence community. the envoy has stated the secretary makes his determination looking at all the evidence that is available, the updated evidence, and in particular, he makes his assessment after we overlay the security assurances to that country. so if the intelligence tells us there may be a gap in capables, that's what we negotiate the assurances for. so, again, we look at those records, mr. chairman, but we look at a much broader array of records. >> i'm going to explain to you, mr. lewis, that us not what you said here in march. all right? and in light, in light of your familiarity with the intelligence reports and what is in those reports, just going to
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ask you again, has the administration ever transferred a detainee to a country it knew was incapable of monitoring that individual, preventing him from traveling outside the country or otherwise keeping him from returning to the battlefield? >> sir, since i've worked for secretary hagel and secretary carter ever transfer has met the statutory requirement and it's my understanding the administration, prior to my coming, transferred pursuant to the process that envoy wolosky indicated and there are no transfers i'm aware of that did not meet the statutory requirement. >> i don't think you can just wish away intelligence reports that raise grave concerns, reports that you chose to deny when asked about them in our last hearing. but if you're now saying that the intelligence reports are, i
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assume, implication here, incomplete, then i have to say, from what we can tell, the president has made a political decision to close guantanamo no matter what the cost to national security. based upon our experience, based upon our discussions whi go on some considerable time now in terms of the warnings from us on the committee about the five individuals who were transferred to uruguay and their subsequent conduct, and now the fact that one of them has been released. that can be the only reason why these intelligence assessments are being pushed aside in my judgment. and it appears that the
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assurances that you got from uruguay didn't account for anything. this fellow, jihad, walked right our another uruguay. we have no idea where he is. and if that country is telling you that they won't prevent their travel, which is what i pointed out to you, then we'd better listen. if that are not going prevent their travel, then it's not a surprise what subsequently has occurred. so, mr. wolosky, you briefed this committee several times about uruguay, and told us that the government of uruguay was capable of handling these terrorist us. in fact you testified on march 23rd we're confident that the government of uruguay is taking appropriate steps to substantially mitigate the risks associate evidence weapon of the six detainees traps federal to
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its custody. turned out to be wrong, as i pointed out. jihad diab has now escaped. the other point is would make out, make to you, -- this also goes to some of the conversations he has had -- i'm aware this was the third time lefting lefting our -- left uruguay, and nobody knows where he is. the media reports he could be on his way to syria or yemen. would just like to, and why did you provide false assurances to congress, why did you mislead us about uruguay's capabilities? i made it clear you our concerns below uruguay's capabilities. they were pretty up front. >> mr. chairman, i strongly disagree with any suggestion that i misled this committee. in fact, i stand by my testimony from march in which i affirmed that uruguay had committed to
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and is in fact taking steps to substantially mitigate the risk of the six detainees that were transferred to it custody in november 2014. while we would have preferred that mr. dy ab remained in uruguay if in fact he is no not uruguay currently, until the end of the votelement program that was the subject of the agreement reached with uruguay and reached with him, frankly. the fact is that the standard is not elimination of risk. it is mitigation of risk. and there is no -- we never represented to this committee there was a travel prohibition, but the president's closure plan describes generally -- and i cannot get into this forum into the specific assurances provided by the government of uruguay but what the president's plan
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described, the travel restrictions on the president's plan describes specifically the withholding of international travel documents. now, there are a number of additional steps we take and our partners take to restrict travel and monitor travel. i cannot go into those in open session. i'm happy to describe them to you, even in this specific context of uruguay in a closed session. but i cannot do it here. >> but let me explain this simple fact to you. when a country tells you that they won't prevent a terrorist from traveling, then you had better listen if your intention is to release that terrorist into that country. but my time has expired. will go to mr. ingle of new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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mr. lewis, let me start with you. in a hearing before this committee in march, you discussed the issue of former guantanamo detainees killing americans. according to white house press secretary josh earnest, none of the form detainees who have gone through the screening process implemented by this administration in 2009 have harmed americans. i quote mr. earnest from march this year and i quote him. no one who has been released from prison at guantanamo bay on probe reb's watch has been implicated in violence against americans. unquote. so i would like to ask both of you, how is the obama administration changed the detainee transfer process before president -- a process established before president obama took office, or -- i understand it's been changed -- how have these changes helped prevent former detainees from harming americans
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mr. lewis? >> thank you. 532 detainees from guantanamo were released under the administration of george w. bush. the fact is that we can't tell you much about the circumstances under which they were released but we can speak to what our administration has done, and what we understand to have been the process in the previous administration. so, first, we engaged in a rigorous interagency evidence-based process, relying predominantly on career government official, determining first if a detainee -- that's the first step. this is an interagency process that includes many career professionals throughout the government and as i described in my testimony, this administration there are
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actually two separate processes. the first determines whether in principle a detainee may be safely transferred subject to security assurances. second thing we do very carefully is we negotiate for detainees who have been approved for transfer, specific security assurans packages consistent with local law in the places the transfer these detainees to, and after obtaining a political commitment from the country in question, that under those circumstances in questions measures to put in place, travel, integration plan, will mitigate substantially the risk that particular detainee may hose. that's what we too and have done, as i said in my opening statement, has reduced the re-engagement rate, the
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confirmed rate, to under five percent. it's much higher than the previous administration. we believe that reflects the fact that things i just described simply weren't done in at the previous administration. that's what we have done. >> mr. ingle, it's a more rigorous process. the process in the previous administration was only dod. primarily only dod, as envoy wolosky said this is interagency. when the obama administration took office there were 240 detainees at gitmo. we took a fresh look over a year at all detainees and decided three categories. those that could be eligible for transfer with appropriate security assurances to the proper country; that's that they wanted to refer for prosecution, and those that merited continued detention. state more rigorous because

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