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Senate Proceeding on Oct 1st, 2009 :: 9:57:25 to 10:15:45
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Joseph Lieberman

9:57:22 to 9:57:42( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: knocking down a missile from iran. mr. president, i would yield the floor and be pleased to give senator lieberman an opportunity to share his thoughts. mr. lieberman: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. lieberman: i thank the chair, and i thank senator sessions, my friend from

Joseph Lieberman

9:57:25 to 10:15:45( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Joseph Lieberman

Joseph Lieberman

9:57:43 to 9:58:03( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: alabama, for the statement he made and for this issue, and i'm proud to join with him and a group of other senators -- senators bayh, mccain, inhofe, virkts kyl, and bennett -- to introduce this amendment. mr. president, has the amendment actually been called up? the presiding officer: it has not. mr. lieberman: okay, then i

Joseph Lieberman

9:58:04 to 9:58:25( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: would like to ask unanimous consent to set aside the pending amendment and call up amendment number 2616. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator connecticut, for himself and others proposes amendment numbered 2616. at the appropriate place insert the following: mr. lieberman: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that

Joseph Lieberman

9:58:26 to 9:58:47( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lieberman: i thank the chair. mr. president, this is -- this amendment -- bipartisan amendment is both a the administration's decision to

Joseph Lieberman

9:58:48 to 9:59:10( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: cancel the mid-course missile defense system that was going to be in poland and the czech republic and the subsequent decision our friends and colleagues on the defense a committee to withdraw a significant amount of money that

Joseph Lieberman

9:59:11 to 9:59:32( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: it still wanted to be preserved for the ground-based interceptors. that is, the interceptors that would have been launched from pola from iran headed toward the middle east, or particularly

Joseph Lieberman

9:59:33 to 9:59:55( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: toward the united states. let me explain here, as quickly as i can. mr. president, i was disappointed by the administration's decision to cancel the planned deployment of this missile defense system to poland and the czech republic. thisystem would have provided our european allies and others

Joseph Lieberman

9:59:56 to 10:00:16( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: with a first line of against short and medium range ballistic missiles that iran already possesses that could have -- and allies in the region and in europe. but the point that i really want

Joseph Lieberman

10:00:17 to 10:00:39( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: focus in on here is that the -- i'm going to call it the g.m.d. the missile defense system. the g.m.d. for poland and the czech republic would also have provided a layer of what the military missile experts call

Joseph Lieberman

10:00:40 to 10:01:00( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: redundancy for the defense of the united states against an intercontinental ballistic missile fired from iran at us. kind of hyperanxiety imagination

Joseph Lieberman

10:01:01 to 10:01:21( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: we know that the developing long-range ballistic missiles, and as i'll mention in a moment, experts predict that they will have that capacity by the middle of the next 2015.

Joseph Lieberman

10:01:22 to 10:01:43( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: so the polish-czech system would have provided in addition to a defense of europe a redundant defense of the united states. what's redundancy mean in this se? it means that we have more than one line of defense to protect us. those of us who are to serve on the armed services committee or the appropriations committee and others know that

Joseph Lieberman

10:01:44 to 10:02:04( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: our military tries to build redundancy into equipment, for instance. i was up at the sikorski helicopter manufacturing facility in stratford, connecticut, a while ago. many new helicopters, there are three or four level redundancy in that system in

Joseph Lieberman

10:02:05 to 10:02:26( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: that single helicopter. why? so if one element breaks down, there are two or three other elements that will keep it going for the protection of the -- of our american military inside that helicopter. in the same way, if an intercontinental ballistic missile w

Joseph Lieberman

10:02:27 to 10:02:48( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: the united states of america, we have one line of defense. my friend from mississippi, senator cochran, is here. i rember so well in the decade of the 1990's trying our colleagues to invest some money in developing a ballistic missile defense system. a lot of

Joseph Lieberman

10:02:49 to 10:03:10( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: one is again we were -- we were getting carried away with our fears, and two, even iit was something to be concerned about, it was impossible to develop ballistic missile defense system. i rember people said we're talking about trying to hit a bullet with a bullet. well, by god, american military,

Joseph Lieberman

10:03:11 to 10:03:32( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: american innovation, american enterprise, american manufacturing have done it. we now have two ground-based missile defense systems in -- one in alaska, one in california , to protect the american homeland from ballistic missile attack.

Joseph Lieberman

10:03:33 to 10:03:53( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: but -- but we need redun just like the pilot and the crew in redundancy in the helicopter in case one of the lead systems goes, we want to know they have backup, if a missile is headed with -- weapon on it towards the united

Joseph Lieberman

10:03:54 to 10:04:16( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: states of america, i think we want some redundancy. we want more than one line of defense to protect our people and our country. and right now, we just have that -- that system in california and alaska. the ideal here, according to the people who thi to hav what they call a shoot, look, and shoot defense.

Joseph Lieberman

10:04:17 to 10:04:37( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: a missile is fired from iran. we gauge that it's heading toward the united states. the plan for the ground-based system in poland and czech was that we have our first shot at that missile heading toward us from poland. if -- then we look. if we

Joseph Lieberman

10:04:38 to 10:04:59( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: second opportunity to down from a california or alaska. unfortunately, the alternative system that the administration has positive aspects to it for the defense of europe and the middle

Joseph Lieberman

10:05:00 to 10:05:20( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: east for short and medium-range missiles leaves most of the united states without that second shot at missile. interestingly -- and i don't have the pictures with me from a report that the congressional budget office did, a diagram, but the eastern part of the united states would have a redundant defense, but

Joseph Lieberman

10:05:21 to 10:05:43( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: everything pretty much west of the mississippi would not. that's serious stuff. that's why i'm disappointed by the decision that was made. i want to explain a little more about how dealt with that concern about america's homeland and what i

Joseph Lieberman

10:05:44 to 10:06:04( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: think we can do about it. they have proposed -- a lot of technical language here. i'll see if i can do it without confusing everybody -- that they would eventually develop -- they have this sm-3 missile defense system that would be the basis to the alternative of the polish-czech defense, and that would be good for europe and the

Joseph Lieberman

10:06:05 to 10:06:25( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: middle east, but the administration knows it -- it leaves america without that second line of defense to a missile attack. so they are proposing to build a block 2-a and block 2-b interceptors as part of the so-called sm-3. the advance developments of that system which they argue could

Joseph Lieberman

10:06:26 to 10:06:46( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: protect the united states of america from a long-range missile fired from iran. the problem is block-b of this don't exist. they're on general cartwright acknowledged

Joseph Lieberman

10:06:47 to 10:07:07( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: so much in testimony to us. the ground-based interceptor that was going to go into poland exists. it's been manufactured. it was scheduled to testing this year. and in the proposal the administration has made, they

Joseph Lieberman

10:07:08 to 10:07:28( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: say that the sm-3 block 2-a, the first one that could possibly defend the united states, will be available -- won't be available until 2018 at the earliest. the block 2-b even more sophisticated, will be available in 2020 at the earliest.

Joseph Lieberman

10:07:29 to 10:07:50( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: now, let me try to explain through a quote what worries me about that. in -- earlier this year, in testimony before the armed services committee, the then-commander of our european command, the supreme allied

Joseph Lieberman

10:07:51 to 10:08:12( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: commander in europe, bans craddock, stated, and i quote, "by 201 an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching all of europe and parts of the united states." now, i know that's not a hard prediction, but that is the range that most people in the intelligence community, the

Joseph Lieberman

10:08:13 to 10:08:37( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: military community give, that sometime in the middle of the next decade, maybe a little later, the iranians will have a long-range balliic missile that could hit the united states of america. and look, they can do better than that. it may surprise us. we have been surprised before by the ballistic missile capabilities of our adversaries.

Joseph Lieberman

10:08:39 to 10:08:59( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: the north korean tests come to mind. unfortunate incident in which the north korean government tested a long-range missile just seven days after our intelligence community concluded that north korea was another three years away from having that capability. one of the reasons the administration has given for this change to the sm-3 defense

Joseph Lieberman

10:09:00 to 10:09:21( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: is that it provides a quicker, better dense for europe and the middle east to short and medium-range missiles, and the administration concludes the iranians are making more progress more quickly on those two short medium-range missiles than we thought they would. well, if they are making progress on the short and medium-range missiles more

Joseph Lieberman

10:09:22 to 10:09:42( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: quickly than we thought they would, they might also make progress more quickly on the long-range missile hit the united states of america. so here's what i'm worried about. and i understand these are not exact numbers. 2015, according to general craddock, iran may have a long-range ballistic missile

Joseph Lieberman

10:09:43 to 10:10:07( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: that could of america. at the earliest, the sm-3 block 2-a missile to give some protection, second line of defense, to that missile will not be available until 2018 at the earliest. missile. it's not been built let alone tested. you have got three years there and probably more where there

Joseph Lieberman

10:10:08 to 10:10:29( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: will be defense gap in which iran could fire at us and only have to get by the ground-based missile defense systems in alaska and california. now, i think the administration as testimony went on understood our concern about that.

Joseph Lieberman

10:10:30 to 10:10:51( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: in fact, when the secretary of defense gates and cartwright rolled out the administration's new architecture for missile defense, polish-czech program and going to the new system, one of the points general cartwright emphasized was that the administration would continue to develop the two-stage ground-based interceptor, the one that was supposed to be in poland.

Joseph Lieberman

10:10:52 to 10:11:13( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: he continued, and i quote, those tests are funded and will co to address this threat. the following week undersecretary of defense for policy testified before the senate armed services committee, and she also expressed a commitment continuing to develop this

Joseph Lieberman

10:11:14 to 10:11:34( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: two-stage ground-based interceptor. presumably the thought is it could be located at another site in europe or perhaps somewhere on the east coast of the united states of america to give that second line of defense to our entire country.

Joseph Lieberman

10:11:35 to 10:11:55( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: secretary for were discussing the cancellation of the european missile defense system, secretary gates had to be convinced of a couple of things. those were her words. namely, that we could still -- i'm quoting the secretary gates wanted to know -- quote -- "we could still

Joseph Lieberman

10:11:56 to 10:12:16( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: defend the united states homeland should a threat develop earlier than was predicted and that we should have technical options should the development of the later blocks, the sm-3 miile either failed or was delayed." exactly what we have been talking about. in response to these requirements, secretary gates told his staff, and again i

Joseph Lieberman

10:12:17 to 10:12:37( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: quote the secretary, "we are going to continue the development of the two-stage ground-based interceptor as technological hedge" against the failure to adequately develop these alternative long-range missile systems, the missile

Joseph Lieberman

10:12:38 to 10:12:59( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: defense systems. against an iranian threat. now, here's the problem. despite this administration's statements of support for continued development a testing of the two-stage ground-based interceptor, the defense appropriations bill before us has by -- for that program by $151 million.

Joseph Lieberman

10:13:00 to 10:13:20( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: i gather that defense has already appealed this reduction, arguing that it would force the cancellation or potomac of a pair of g.b.i. tests soon, and that would be losing this funding could render the entire ground-based mid course defense

Joseph Lieberman

10:13:21 to 10:13:41( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: system less effective. so now comes the amendment that senator sessions and i and our co-sponsors have offered which would restore the funding by allowing the missile defense agency to access no less than $50 million and up to the original $151 million of funds provided in fiscal

Joseph Lieberman

10:13:42 to 10:14:03( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: 2010 defense appropriations acts for a long-range missile defense system. and use those funds to support the testing of the two-stage ground-based interceptor. the amendment would also fence funding for the two-stage

Joseph Lieberman

10:14:04 to 10:14:25( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: program to protect it from being reprograed and require a report detailing specific options for how the two-stage g.b.i. could be used to the defense of the united states against the emerging threat of iranian long-range missiles. so bottom line, this acknowledges my part with

Joseph Lieberman

10:14:26 to 10:14:46( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: disappointment the decision has made. it doesn't try to turn it around but says ok, under theew to do at least as good, maybe even a little better at protecting europe and the middle east, but we're going to do worse at protecting the united states of america from a long-range missile which the

Joseph Lieberman

10:14:47 to 10:15:10( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: iranians particularly are working let's at least keep testing this missile we've got, the ground-based interceptor as a hedge soe're ready in case these other alternatives don't work, to put it in the groun europe or perhaps on the east coast of the united states, give the american peoplehe two

Joseph Lieberman

10:15:11 to 10:15:32( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: lines of defense they deserve. against an iranian long-range missile, and thereby to close what will now be a missile -- ballistic missile defense gap for the united states of america that will otherwise develop in the middle of the next decade and go on, in my opinion, for at

Joseph Lieberman

10:15:33 to 10:15:46( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: least three years. again, i thank senator sessions. always a pleasure to work with him. this is complicated stuff, but it's really the heart of our national security in the next

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