Metavid

Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Apr 14th, 2011 :: 6:31:45 to 6:48:55
Total video length: 10 hours 25 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

Note: MetaVid video transcripts may contain inaccuracies, help us build a more perfect archive

Download OptionsEmbed Video

Views:321 Duration: 0:17:10 Discussion

Previous speech: Next speech:

John Cornyn

6:31:42 to 6:32:02( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to approve it. the presiding officer: senator from texas is recognized. mr. cornyn: thank you, madam president. madam president, i would ask unanimous consent to speak for up to 15 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. cornyn: i thank the chair. madam president, moments ago i

John Cornyn

6:31:45 to 6:48:55( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John Cornyn

John Cornyn

6:32:03 to 6:32:24( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: sent to the desk a resolution on my behalf as well as that of senator collins, senator blunt, senator lee, senator roberts, and senator inhofe relating to the military operations in libya. and i'd like to speak for just a few minutes about that and about my concerns. like all of our colleagues, i

John Cornyn

6:32:25 to 6:32:46( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: respect our troops and honor them and of course their sense of duty which obligates them to do whatever the commander in chief has directed them to do. and, of course, i respect the role of our president as commander in chief. but i've grown increasingly concerned that the role of

John Cornyn

6:32:47 to 6:33:07( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: congress, in consultation and in communication with the white house on matters of such grave import to our country and our men and women in uniform as intervening in a foreign country, that the powers of congress have seemingly been ignored or certainly erode. we know this is not new. since world war ii, to my

John Cornyn

6:33:08 to 6:33:28( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: recollection, the united states congress has never exercised its authority under article 1, section 8, of the constitution to declare war. instead, we've had something other than a war declared by congress, but most often with communication and consultation

John Cornyn

6:33:29 to 6:33:50( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and even authorization by the congress. i believe it's imperative, particularly in light of the subsequent events subsequent to our intervention in libya, that the president should submit a plan to congress on libya. i believe the president should also come to congress and ask for a congressional

John Cornyn

6:33:51 to 6:34:11( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: authorization for our continued participation even in a nato mission of which the united states necessarily bears a disproportionate responsibility. like many americans, i admire the libyans who protested against moammar qadhafi beginning on february the 15th of this year, and these dates, i

John Cornyn

6:34:12 to 6:34:33( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: believe, madam president, are important. february the 15th: they showed they wanted the same things as people in tunisia, in egypt, in bahrain, in syria, iran, and so many other nations in the middle east, and that is a chance to live in freedom and to determine -- have a voice in determining their own fiewvment but like many americans, i would

John Cornyn

6:34:34 to 6:34:54( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: also concerned that the people of libya got so little encouragement from the president. true, president obama said on march the 3rd that qadhafi had lost legitimacy and he must step down from power and leave immediately. that was on march the 3rd. he said it was the policy of the

John Cornyn

6:34:55 to 6:35:16( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: united states government that regime change was our explicit goal in libya. regime change. but he obviously had no plan to accomplish that goal or to further assist the libyan people in accomplishing it for themselves, other than handing the responsibility off to nato. now, this is not like handing it

John Cornyn

6:35:17 to 6:35:38( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: off to some third party alien to us or not part of us. we are a significant part of the nato operations. for example, in afghanistan, basically for every one coalition troops from nato countries, there are two american troops.

John Cornyn

6:35:39 to 6:35:59( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and we bear the proportionate financial responsibility as we will. the president watched as qadhafi forces regained the momentum against those that had taken umarms against the regime -- taken up arms against the regime. france became the first nation to recognize the libyan transitional national counsel sails a legitimate government of

John Cornyn

6:36:00 to 6:36:20( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: libya on march the 10th. and then the arab league dishad no-fly -- asked that a no-fly zone be imposed on march 12. on march 17, this was lamb month after -- this was almost a month after the first protest against qadhafi in libya, the united states security counsel sail

John Cornyn

6:36:21 to 6:36:41( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: proved a no-fly don over libya as we will as necessary measures to protect civilians in that country. madam president, the u.n. security council resolution takes a lot of time to negotiate. there's a need for consultation between the nations make up the

John Cornyn

6:36:42 to 6:37:04( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: u.n. security council. that's why i'm left to wonder why it was during this period of time that the president had so little -- made so little effort to consult with congress in a substantive way. i admit he appeared to act like he checked the box once or twice. he sent us a letter on march 21, two days after "operation

John Cornyn

6:37:05 to 6:37:28( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: odyssey dawn" began, letting us know what we could have learned from reading the newspaper and watching on cable television: that he had ordered strikes on libya. but the level of consultation with congress about libya was nothing like what we've had in recent years leading up to iraq and afghanistan where congress issued an explicit authorization

John Cornyn

6:37:29 to 6:37:49( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: for use of military force at the request of the president of the united states. this is not just a constitutional powers matter. this is also, i think, a matter of communicating with the american people about the reasons for our intervention in libya and expressing to the american people what the plan is

John Cornyn

6:37:50 to 6:38:11( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: is so the american people can do what they naturally want to do, and that is provide support for our men and women in uniform, particularly with they are in harm's way. the president waited until nine days after our planes and missiles were in the air to make his case to the american people in a speech at the national defense university.

John Cornyn

6:38:12 to 6:38:34( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and during that speech that the president began to draw a very confusing distinction between our political and military objectives in libya, saying "there's no question that libya and the world would be better off with qadhafi out of power." "i, along with many other world leaders, have embraced that gold and will actively pursue it

John Cornyn

6:38:35 to 6:38:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: through nonmilitary means." or, as he put it in an interview the next day, he said, "our primary military goal is to protect civilian populations and to set up a no-fly zone. ow primary -- our primary strategic goal is for qadhafi to step down so the libyan people may have an opportunity to live a decent live." now, madam president, i bet i'm

John Cornyn

6:38:59 to 6:39:19( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: not the only person in the country who was confused by this dichotomy between our military goals and our strategic goals. i think they should be the same. the american people, we know, still have many questions about what we are doing in libya and why. as a matter of fact, i met with some national guardsmen who were from texas who were visiting the

John Cornyn

6:39:20 to 6:39:40( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: capitol just today who asked me a question on this very subject because they are confused. if our men and women in uniform are confused and the american people don't understand what it is, it means there hasn't been a good case made explaining the need for military intervention in the ongoing operations. but don't take my word for it.

John Cornyn

6:39:41 to 6:40:01( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: according to a pew research poll on april the 3rd, only 30% of americans believe that the u.s. or our allies had a clear goal in libya -- 30%. our troops deserve more clarity. the president told our troops that their involvement in libya would last a matter of days, not

John Cornyn

6:40:02 to 6:40:23( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: weeks. these men and women, as we all acknowledge, are the finest fighting force in the world. they can accomplish any mission given to them, and they -- but they can also tell the difference between days and weeks. our troops can tell that they are still responsible for about 25% of the nato support missions

John Cornyn

6:40:24 to 6:40:44( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: in libya. they hear the voices calling for nato to expand its operations, and they know that any expansion of nato's mission, in scope or duration, puts more of them in harm's way. they simply deserve more clarity, as do the american people. so i think the congress, on behalf of the american people,

John Cornyn

6:40:45 to 6:41:05( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: consistent with our constitutional responsibilities and our shared power in matters as serious as this, deserve a plan from the president of the united states so he can present it to us and we can have what we sorely need, which is a genuine debate about our role in the

John Cornyn

6:41:06 to 6:41:26( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: future, the way forward in libya. so what should that plan look like? i'll just make a few suggestions. i believe that a credible plan should contain a detailed description of a united states military -- of a united states policy objective in libya, both during and after qadhafi's rule. it should include a detailed

John Cornyn

6:41:27 to 6:41:47( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: plan to achieve those objectives and particularly in these times when we are struggling with enormous debt and deficits, it shoos include a -- it should include a detailed estimate of the costs -- approximate costs of u.s. military operations in libya and any other actions

John Cornyn

6:41:48 to 6:42:10( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: required to implement the plan. congress has a responsibility for the purse strings and would asked to appropriate the money. so the president should present to us a plan that we can debate and vote on in the form of a resolution. i think a credible sploon also include a detailed description of the limitations the president has placed on the nature, duration, and scope of u.s.

John Cornyn

6:42:11 to 6:42:33( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: military operations in libya. the limitations he referred to in his letter of march 21 to congress. a plan from the president would of course be a cat a list for a long overdue debate right here in the halls of what we call occasionally the world's greatest deliberative body.

John Cornyn

6:42:34 to 6:42:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: well, w deliberate without debate. it's clear just by referring back to the debates we had on iraq and afghanistan, the amount of time devoted in this body to lib dwarfed by the fulsome debates we had over a period of years relative to iraq and afghanistan.

John Cornyn

6:42:56 to 6:43:16( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: now what questions should a senate debate over libya hope to address snicked think of a few. was the secretary of defense correct when he said that libya is not a vital interest of the united states? is the situation on the ground in libya, as reported by the news, basically knew stalemate? remember that the initial u.s.

John Cornyn

6:43:17 to 6:43:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: commander of coalition operations in libya, general hamm, testified before the armed services committee just last week. he agreed with that assessment that it was essentially now a stalemate. and i think this is to me the most -- the simplest, the most direct question. if the president's goal was to

John Cornyn

6:43:38 to 6:43:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: stop qadhafi from killing libyans, civil yeas and nays rebelling against him and protesting against his tyrannical rule, how in the world do we stop the killing without killing the killer? and that would be moammar qadhafi. how do we stop the killing of civilians until it is our

John Cornyn

6:43:59 to 6:44:20( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: objective to remove him by any means necessary? i think it's also appropriate to inquire as to whether the pottery barn rule applies in libya. colin powell once said, once you break it, you own it, the so-called pottery barn rule. has the administration's focus

John Cornyn

6:44:21 to 6:44:43( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: in libya distracted it from our efforts in iraq and afghanistan? we committed huge amounts of blood and treasure to success in both of those countries and i think congress needs to know and we need to have a fullsome debate about whether this mission in libya has distracted from those other two vital missions. we also need to talk about

John Cornyn

6:44:44 to 6:45:05( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: whether nato's peformance in libya jeopardies its effectiveness and reputation. is there a risk the alliance is already splitting because of caveats and restrictions some of the coalition members are making on their participation in the intervention in libya? and finally, i think we need to know because certainly everything that happens is precedent for some future

John Cornyn

6:45:06 to 6:45:26( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: action, whether there really is something that you might call an obama doctrine. is it that the u.s. will use military force when requested by our allies like france or perhaps organizations like the arab league's or the united nations but not otherwise? is it something like the united states will protect civilians

John Cornyn

6:45:27 to 6:45:49( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: when they capture the world's media attention but ignore their suffering otherwise? is it something that explains why, for example, we're engaged in libya but not engaged in syria? remember that syria is a nation that is slaughtering its own civilians, a humanitarian crisis, i would submit. it is a known state spofr

John Cornyn

6:45:50 to 6:46:11( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: terrorism so did he go -- sponsor of terrorism so designated by the united states department of state. and it is a well-known and notorious conduit for arms from iran to the lebanese hezbollah. whatever the obama doctrine is, why doesn't it apply to syria? we need to ask those questions, and i think we need and deserve,

John Cornyn

6:46:12 to 6:46:32( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and the american people even more so deserve answers. i believe the resolution of our debate in the united states senate should be a congressional authorization for the president's plan, whatever it is, in libya, but we ought to have a conversation. we ought to communicate. we ought to have a consultation, not treat congress like a potted

John Cornyn

6:46:33 to 6:46:53( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: plant when it comes to intervening in a foreign nation in a military fashion. i believe the president should ask congress for an authorization, and i believe we should vote on one. now, i certainly don't believe that what we've done so far, which is a nondebated really resolution that was passed

John Cornyn

6:46:54 to 6:47:15( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: without really much notice or debate, is sufficient. and, frankly, i don't really understand why some of my colleagues are so willing to acquiesce to the president filling this entire void and conceding to the executive branch all authority in dealing with a matter of this gravity and seriousness.

John Cornyn

6:47:16 to 6:47:36( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: i believe that a robust debate about libya would be good for the united states senate, it would be good for the house of representatives. i think it would be good for the american people. and i think it would be good for the president. i mean, if the president takes action knowing that the american people and the united states congress are behind that plan, that's good for america, and that's what we need.

John Cornyn

6:47:37 to 6:47:57( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: i'm afraid, though, that the president is taking the support of the american people for granted. the american people instinctively want to support our commander in chief, but history shows that our military operations are successful mainly when the united states people -- when the people of the united states are behind them. and when they're not, when they

John Cornyn

6:47:58 to 6:48:19( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: become disengaged or disillusioned, success becomes much more difficult not just in libya but for future missions as well. and i hope the president will act in such a way that shows respect for congress as a coequal branch of government, and the american people who expect that their representatives will debate questions of this gravity in open and ask the questions they

John Cornyn

6:48:20 to 6:48:40( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: themselves would ask before their sons and daughters were put in danger. madam president, i hope the american people will have the benefit of a vigorous debate on libya in the united states senate. so it is with that objective in mind that my colleagues and i have submitted a resolution. i know there are other resolutions. i believe the senator from connecticut and the senator from

John Cornyn

6:48:41 to 6:48:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: massachusetts, the senator from arizona have another one. i'm advised that senator ensign from arizona, senator hutchison from texas have another one. i think we need to consider all of those views and have a debate and vote on a resolution. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor.

Personal tools

MetaVid is a non-profit project of UC Santa Cruz and the Sunlight Foundation. Learn more About MetaVid

The C-SPAN logo and other servicemarks that may be found in video content are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with Metavid