Paul Wellstone, Minnesota U.S. senator (D), discusses his fact-finding trip to the former Yugoslavia. Wellstone also answers listeners. Later into program, a White House news conference with President Clinton, where he formally nominates retired Admiral Bobby Ray Inman to replace Les Aspin as Secretary of Defense at a news conference at the White House.
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(00:00:00) For several months now Minnesota senator Paul wellstone has been calling for tougher action by the West specifically the United States to try to end the fighting in Bosnia. And the rest of the former Yugoslavia. Well this month he took a trip to the area to see firsthand what conditions are actually like in the area and Senator wellstone has been good enough to stop by today to report on what he found out and what he thinks the US should do about the situation. Thanks for coming in Senator. Thanks for having me guys. Now we should note President Clinton has scheduled a press conference and it's expected. He's going to be announcing a new secretary of defense. It will be providing coverage of that announcement. We do want to move right along here on the Bosnia situation. But Senator quick real quick thought on the Aspen resignation and Inman do we know much about him at all (00:00:42) really about him and not much other than as we were talking earlier that he seems to have widespread support and and I'm sure they'll will be it'll be a consensus decision. That's my guess. I mean, I certainly want to learn more about his background and on. Les aspin, it's kind of hard to say as to why he's leaving, you know, there's all sorts of speculation. I will say this to you. I was speaking at a White Bear Lake High School. I'm usually in a school about every two weeks and is kind of nice because my daughter teaches there too, but and I was saying today was a kind of focus on International affairs with the foreign exchange student speaking and I was saying that it is a very to be fair to all to Les aspin and others as well mistakes being made by all of us. This is a very new world and every day it's a different equation and he certainly has had a difficult time. There's no question about I don't know really why he's leaving and there are some very, you know, we were we were talking about Bosnian. I was saying to the students I'm going to raise questions with you, but you have to answer those questions and people can reach different conclusions, but it's there are some really just the world is changing and big questions like in Bosnia. It's almost gulps back. World War II when entire populations are at risk. How do we respond? Is there a moral claim to help our neighbors? When do you when is military action necessary or Justified? What's the standard you use? Is it International is that unilateral? These are going to become bigger and bigger questions. Look at what's happening my father the country. My father was from Russia, right? Look at what has happened in Russia right now frightening. I mean I visited the former Soviet Union and several years ago and saw some of that economic disintegration. Now it's given rise to this kind of quote fascist or nationalist politics. I would say a politics of hatred. I mean, this is I think we're going to have to focus on our own country. Yes, but I think we're going to have to have an international perspective as well. Well based on what you (00:02:43) know, it's hard to summarize this but based on what you saw in what used to be Yugoslavia. Yeah. What do you think the United States policy should be I mean over the last well it certainly the last year and it goes beyond that. We've issued threats of one sort or another about every month or two. We're going to do this we do that and not really much as ever happen. That's right. (00:03:06) Well, I can actually I won't go into the misery that I saw in the heroes and heroines that are there. I'll just answer your question very directly a I think that the International Community we've already agreed to this NATO and the United States would be part of NATO should provide air support not not not a wide war against the country of Serbia the people of Serbia but to get the Convoy through in other words, the focus should be humanitarian relief you're reading about it yesterday. And today we can't get the food we can't get the fuel assistance to people and if we don't do that God knows how many innocent people innocent people are going to die. So I think we should provide air support and when you talk to the relief workers, they tell you we can't get the assistance to the people unless NATO provides a support. We would be part of that air support just to get the Convoy through be we should keep the economic sanctions on Serbia and be very tough It's a blunt instrument. I'm sorry. Some innocent people suffer, but we should do that. I think I was there. I think it really is taking its toll three. I think with two German president tudjman of Croatia. We should hold him accountable for some of the actions of the hvo which are Crow ads in Bosnia and I think we should tell them that if this continues and there's blocking of humanitarian supplies by crow the crow ads they also might be faced with sanctions. And finally we should make the war crimes tribunal which has been set up Gary real we should fund it we should staff it. We should name names that is to say draw up and diamonds and show that we are serious. Those are I think the things that we should do whether or not we will do those things. I don't (00:04:42) know do you get the sense that any of the sides in this war are interested in settling at this point even the Muslims of late have been taking offensive action trying to recapture land that was lost. Is anybody really interested in settling or do they just want to fight it out? (00:05:00) I think that is a bag of which is interested in settling but he of course is trying to talk about some kind of quote map. That would make this partitioning would make a Muslim state of viable State and but I mean, he's got tremendous pressure not to do so, but I think given what's happening to this of is the war against civilian populations and mainly the Muslims right now. I think he I think he would settle if there if there would be a little bit more if there would be more flexibility milosevic. I don't know about I talked to him about it. I met with him I didn't shake his hand but I met with him and I don't know whether he's interested in any kind of settlement he might because he's already most mainly gotten his way. He's already changed everything. He's you know already conquered a lot of territory. I think Croatia is I think I think to Sherman is very interested in a Croatia. That's part of a West Western World wants to have good economic ties and I I think would like to so there are some incentives and but the real horrible thing about this is this sort of this is the civilians are really suffering and I think if there's no political settlement we in the International Community still have to remember that we have an obligation to at least get the in humanitarian relief to people we haven't done that (00:06:25) Senator. I want you to put the headphones on here and let's go to our first caller. Hi Senator is you know, the United States and spends four percent more in constant dollars on its military in 1994 than I did in 1980 with a height of the Cold War and now outgoing Secretary of Defense Les aspin's asking for 50 billion dollars more in military spending over and above the one point two trillion in military spending protected by the Clinton Administration when next five years. My question is Senator. What is your reaction to the current level of military spending particularly to request for an additional 50 billion dollars, it would obviously have to be taken away. Domestic programs (00:07:01) I didn't vote for the the defense budget for the very reasons that I think you're stating or the sort of in because of the import of your question. I am for strong defense, but I think the money that still spent on Star Wars the money that still spent on the stealth bombers the money that is still spent on other weapon systems doesn't make a lot of sense in terms of the redefining of National Security that we need to do. So my answer to your question is I think the budget is too high. I don't agree with the secretary defense Aspen who of course is now going to be leaving and I think we have many competing claims and I think that the military budget or defense budget needs to be significantly scaled down the one caveat that I feel very very strongly about this is that I think we've done a horrible job on quote economic conversion or economic diversification and I do believe that we do have to And that we need to enable people who have been working in the defense industry or in the armed services are in to be able to make a transition to other kind of employment. We've done very very little of that and that I think is there is the sort of problem but I agree with what I believe you're saying to me and I think it's a matter of priorities and too much money still spent on some of this Weaponry. (00:08:22) Let's go back to the phones and other callers on the line with a question for senator Paul wellstone. Good afternoon, Senator, good afternoon you and I have met in the past. I wanted to comment first on this Yugoslavia issue. I believe that because the Prelude to any potential us involvement has been so disastrous in the way. Our Administration has gone from one extreme to the to the another to the other and a lack of follow-through that despite how horrible it is and everyone agrees. It's horrible. I I just I feel very reluctant for ministration to commit anybody to defending what's a very fuzzy policy. I did want to interject because it's rare that you get a chance to to interface with the public this way. I'm a member of United We Stand and I am certainly a 65. I think you're 65 percent hero. I love the ethical approaches that you're taking. I think you're bringing a lot of rational discussion into Health Care reform and so on and my way of thinking is that even people who don't like you agree that you're not owned by anybody and I think that's terrific. I think that you could become a hundred percent home run hitter though. If you look a little bit more sensitivity to pocketbook issues and you know, not turning to the public trough to address every of all of society's problems, but I think you're really a man of integrity and I admire you a (00:09:47) lot. Well that I could never ask for anything more that makes me very proud. Thank you. I'll try and take a question real quickly one two on. Bosnia my feeling is that you're quite right in terms of the inconsistency of the approach. The International Community has taken and I'm not talking about unilateral action. I'm not talking about ground troops, but I really and and and and you and others can say listen any kind of involvement might pull us into a quagmire. I think people are worried about that. I just want to say that the consequences of our inaction. I think a real betrayal and and God knows how many freezing and starving and dying women and children were going to see this winter and that to me is the other thing that we have to understand. I understand full. Well what you say and so I believe we should the International Community could should come to the support of the civilians there on the issue of budget. I want to say two things one. I eventually am going to be able to not promote myself, but tell a good story to minnesotans, which is that after the rhetoric the real issue is how Go to an appropriation bills and we did that this fall and I'm going to be a real pleasant surprise to you and others because I voted against a lot of these procreation bills a lot of what people call pork a lot of things where you got to go down right next to someone who's asked you to vote for something and I voted no and I feel pretty good about that where I think we disagree and it's an honest disagreement is I think deficit reduction is one of our goals, but it can't be the only one and I keep saying to minnesotans and others we keep talking about crime. We save talk about race and gender and poverty and children and families and violence and crime and we've got to face up to that and law enforcement people tell us you can't just build prisons and you can't just have police. There's got to be opportunity. Where's the focus on jobs? Where's the focus on Health Care. Where's the focus on education? Where's the focus on housing? Where's the focus on community policing. Where's the focus on community? We can't do that without resources. So I have a tendency to say yes some to deficit reduction, but don't make that the only goal of domestic public policy. We also have to do that investment piece as well that that's I think where there is some (00:11:58) disagreement. Go back to the phones now the callers on the line with the question for senator Paul wellstone. Hi Bruce Anderson from International Falls High inasmuch as we're getting I think the short end of the stick and playing the world's policeman. I don't understand why we must continue. Yeah European countries. There aren't poor anymore. Why can't they take care of their own? (00:12:22) Yeah. That's fair. Hey Ruth. The only thing I would ask you is don't know, you know, I'm short don't say short end of the stick. I'm getting real sensitive to this language. Okay, let's talk about the tall end of the stick. But I understand what you're saying and I do think without being self-righteous. I mean, I think the universe the European Community has a lot to be held accountable for okay, I'll count for I mean this is happening right in the middle of Europe. The only point I would make is the one I tried to make earlier which is the United Nations people who are trying to get the relief have to ask for NATO support not unilateral us support. If they do and I think they should that NATO support would be the European countries it be the United States and it would be air support with the limited objective of just making it clear to the serbs. Especially you cannot shell relief workers who are trying to bring in food to people and that would be the objective the objective. I think it would be a limited objective and I think we should do so, so I think we should be a part of it. I've never called for unilateral action. (00:13:24) What is the position of the people in Bosnia themselves delivering this a do they want are sporting this point. Yes. I (00:13:32) tried really hard. I didn't mention it to to show her to my family but because and I didn't there I was heard about our government about all the security risk. So I didn't put it on a schedule. I tried to I talked I was a refugee camps and I talked a lot of relief works. I tried to get to Sarajevo our government won't let a conch a person in the Congress go in on a u.s. Plane. So I figured out a way to get in on an International Red Cross plane, but Zagreb was fogged in and smogged in for two days and it was impossible to do it as it turns out. Out but the relief workers who were real heroes and heroines. They really are so angry at the International Community. Yes, they say short of a political agreement which you asked me about a moment ago. They say there is only one way and everyone knows it and that is if you give us air cover and if you don't we won't be able to get the food we won't be able to get the fuel assistance to people (00:14:20) having the peacekeepers over there though. The UN peacekeepers been very reticent about this on the theory that if we actually started taking military action that they were going to end up as the targets. (00:14:30) They have been you'd have to you'd have to do it in such a way that there would be If you will some kind of logistics planning so that so that they wouldn't be the targets but I'll tell you Gary really I would not I mean I wouldn't miss represent anybody. I didn't find one relief worker that I talked with who did not say that there if there isn't any kind of air support, they won't be able to get this they won't be able to get the relief to people. I think that is that is a horrible reality that I think the International Community has turned its gaze away from I'm sorry. I really believe that I said that to the students this morning. I mean to a certain extend my frame of reference is the Holocaust and I just feel like the world should have learned more in the last 45 years. (00:15:16) Let's take another caller. Hello. Hi Senator wellstone. First of all, I want to thank you very much for your humanity and your persistence in finding the facts about the genocide. It's absolutely outstanding and we certainly need you. Thank you. I have two comments that maybe can bring some answers and that is first one is do you think that perhaps the media and I also see politicians always speaking about only Bosnia when in fact, I think the bigger picture is that Serbia has committed genocide and occupation on 1/3 of creation territory as well as in costs over him - yeah, so I don't you think that it is talking about Bosnia is like taking one little piece of a mosaic that does not give us a whole picture and I think if people in America, so the whole picture they would be able I think more like you and I do because there were no more facts and and second thing is, you know, I went to see refugees many many this summer. I had many appointments and I talked to massive number of them and found very much the same what you did. I have no doubt about that. But what is shocking is that correlation is dealing with 300,000 of creation refugees. 170,000 Muslim refugees, right? Why is it that everyone is avoiding to draw the parallel which would be like 30 million refugees taken by Americans in only one year. We need a lot of help and when I talk to refugees, you know, what they told me is that where convoys can't go they're not coming with food. (00:17:06) Yeah, first of all yes to both points and and I visited Kosovo and in You know where you have again a 10% some to me and people have 10% of the population. This is part of the loss of itches view of Greater Serbia. It's and trying to control 90% of the people who are Albanian Gary its apartheid. I mean, it's shut down the university. They shut down the high schools for the Albanian people. They have fired all the doctors and nurses. I mean people were out of work and it's a police force and people are detained and people around it up and it's awful. It's awful and the caller. I've sorry. I'm not using first names is absolutely right. There's a larger piece and if you go to vukovar and Croatia, you see the complete destruction of a city, of course, that is true as well, which is not to say so I agree with what's been said, although again. I do think that in Croatia has taken in a lot of refugees. However, I do want to point out that I think there is some even understanding the horrible God all the role of milosevich. I do think that there is some accountability also with Croatia to and that that was really the When I wanted to make but it's wider than Bosnia on the second point which was I'm forgetting and I (00:18:26) apologize. I think I think the point was that there are so many refugees currently in Croatia. Why aren't they getting some help in the meanwhile? (00:18:34) Well, there isn't I mean they they are I mean, they're trying to I mean a lot of the people are living at home. It's interesting. It's not so much in the camps. The problem is that the tends to be more of a focus on supporting people in the camps all be it's awful conditions. Whereas actually many of them have been taken into homes and there's less support there. Well, I think it's another way in which there just isn't the the international commitment that they should be but I agree with the point that it's wider than Bosnia. However, the problem is right now in Central Bosnia so many of these cities have just under siege and isolated and it's just you know, as awful as Kosovo is at least there's food coming to people and you know, heating assistance, whereas there in some of the cities and towns of central Bosnia it is just right I mean the snow is falling the temperatures are plummeting minnesotans know what I'm saying. (00:19:20) You get the sense Senator that if if you were to Lop off all you know, all the political leaders on all three factions just kind of get rid of all the politicians that everybody would get along okay, or the divisions the hatreds that have been created so deep that the fighting would go on anyway. (00:19:41) I don't want to be glib trying to answer the question I'd I would love to be able to tell you that if you lopped off the politicians, you know, you could put Humpty Dumpty back together again, and it I don't know I think there is some at this point in time. I think there's a considerable amount of hatred to I think by and large of course people's would like to live with one another and but I can't tell you for sure. I mean, for example, I think milosevich has like it or not. I think he said he Taps into a sentiment in Serbia among a good many people who are trying to settle in historical score if you will, so, I don't think it's just the leadership is much as I would like to be able to say that I do think the vast majority of the people want to see peace in their sick and tired of War. They're paying a price in one way or another the sanctions are hurting Serbia difficult Economic Times several hundred thousand young people have left the country. They wanted nothing to do with the war and I met this great group of the radio station Gary that are called B92 Belgrade 92. The oldest person. There was 31. They're threatened every night, but they continue to beam out opposition to milosevich. So but people are hurting their people are hurting in Croatia. God knows the Muslims are hurting. So yeah, I mean there's a there's a common ground. I think the most people wanted to end it but it's a war that should be taken place. But it is (00:21:04) our yesterday is Minnesota. Senator Paul wellstone who is just back from fact-finding tour of the former Yugoslavia and shortly here. We're going off after the war to a Washington White House. President Clinton is a press conference scheduled. He's expected to announce a new secretary of defense but in the meanwhile back to the phones another question on the situation in Bosnia Croatia, Serbia, hello. Hello. Hi going from Milan. Hello. Hi. Yes, go ahead. Okay Senator before the fall of Russia. We were all Gung ho about communism and it seemed to me the fight would then was communism versus democracy Now the communism doesn't seem to be the big problem anymore. We've seem to have dropped the business of the other hand other part of the stick the Democracy part of it. Yeah and that we seem to be retreating and it's very reminiscent. I'm not quite old enough to remember this barely old enough to remember some of this when we didn't join the League of Nations and the League of Nations was left up to the European people to run and they messed up and I think head we belong there possibility of a Hitler and Mussolini would have been less. I think I think his lot of historians would agree with me now. Anyway, since you are kind of an iconoclast, I mean that in the best into the word, I wonder if somehow or another in Congress has shouldn't be some sort of push toward supporting democracies. Around the world more than just it rather than just ignoring what's going (00:22:43) on. I can give a quick answer some more questions because I can give a quick answer. Yes. Actually, it's a part of our law that we really now in our foreign policy and our trade relations are supposed to take into account whether or not other governments respect the human rights of their citizens, I would argue. I'm not it's not an argument with you. I think it's an agreement. I think we really should continue should condition our trade agreements and our economic relations with other countries to the promotion of democracy and human rights. I would very much like to be someone in the Senate that is remembered for really doing a lot of work on the human rights questions. And I think that that should be a Cornerstone of our foreign policy. So the answer is yes. I don't think we're there yet. (00:23:27) Let's take another caller with a question. Hi. Hello. My question is about what I think is kind of ignoring some experience. That would be could be very useful. I think that the Soviet Communists were dealing with a I think what they consider when their biggest problems was keeping the hundred and twenty four different language in people's living with each other without going for each other's throats and they developed many bad plans, but some good ones too. And I think that we Americans don't listen to Communists and there we could learn something from these people that successfully kept the Soviet Union a pretty peaceful Nation for about 50 years. Well, maybe 30 years I would say (00:24:08) well here my argument would be as follows. Let me try this out on you again. I am not without my strong feelings on this my father could never return To Russia because it became a communist country never saw his family again. I think that where it all went wrong is if you think the state should own and control the means of production. I don't think that's such a good idea. But if you think so, then the question becomes whether the people get to own the state that owns and controls the means of production that didn't happen in what used to be the Soviet Union. Thus it did become a totalitarian country and people paid a dear price in terms of Human Rights and democracy what I think we're going to have to reappraise however as an International Community is the World Bank and the international monetary Fund in the u.s. We have sort of imposed in our in our eight equation with Russia a kind of Orthodoxy Chicago School of Economics where we've basically said straight Market. Yes, there's going to be a ShakeOut. Yes, people are going to be out of work, but eventually they'll be this equilibrium. And but the problem is we don't really do that in our own country and it strikes me that I really think with what's going on right now in Russia. We need to be more flexible and in terms of Formulas for them because when there is terrible economic pain, it is breeding ground for the worst kind of politics out of politics moreover in the United States. We have a strong private sector, but we also have a strong public sector and there are countries which are social democracies, which is sort of a middle way. I think we're going to have to take more of a comparative (00:25:39) perspective Senator. I've got word that we're going off to Washington are very briefly strong views on what you've seen over there. What you going to do to try to convince the policymakers to get US Air (00:25:52) Support came back and and briefed Peter tarnoff who was acting Secretary of State while Warren Christopher was gone. I'm going back to Washington next week for a couple of days to meet with staff on many domestic issues like health care, but to also meet again just keep prodding and just keep pushing and try to write and to speak out and to do my very best. Thank Senator. Thank you. (00:26:11) We're off to the White House broadcast is made possible by The Advocates of Minnesota Public Radio contributors include the General Mills foundation and first The Region's Financial partner for 61 years from National Public Radio. This is a special report on the naming of a new defense secretary. This is Brian Taylor in Washington. Where in just a moment President Clinton is expected to walk into the Rose Garden outside the Oval Office and announced his choice to replace Les aspin as Secretary of State that choice is expected to be retired Navy Admiral Bobby Bobby Ray Inman. I'm sorry. It's as a secretary of defense that's expected to be Bobby Ray Inman. We can see ladies and gentlemen the president the Secretary of Defense the National Security advisor and Admiral Inman. your nose president ladies and gentlemen Yesterday I announced that secretary Aspen would be stepping down as secretary of defense next month after a year of devoted service. I want to stress again How Deeply grateful I am on behalf of all Americans for his hard work and his many unique contributions to the Pentagon and to our National Defense to ensure the greatest possible continuity. I wanted to announce a successor as soon as possible. So today, I'm very pleased to announce my intent to nominate Admiral bobbin as the next secretary of defense Admiral Inman was one of our nation's highest ranking and most respected Military Officers. He was a four-star Admiral whose career in the Navy in our intelligence community and in private business has one in Praise from both Democrats and Republicans who admire his intellect his integrity and his leadership ability. The animals experience in serving. Our nation is truly impressive. He personally briefed President Eisenhower and Kennedy. He held senior positions under presidents Ford. Carter Reagan and Bush former Secretary of Defense James Schlessinger called Admiral Inman a National Asset and I know he will be a National Asset as Secretary of Defense. He brings to this job the kind of character all Americans respect the son of a gas station owner in a small East Texas Town Heroes to distinction and success on the basis of his brains his talent and his hard work. He finished high school at 15 graduated from college at 19 joined the naval Reserve at 20 and then launched an impressive 31-year career in the Navy. He served on an aircraft carrier two Cruisers and a destroyer as well as an onshore assignments as an analyst for Naval intelligence in 1976 at the age of 45. He became the youngest vice admiral in peacetime history. Bob Inman Stellar intelligence work caught the attention of many military and civilian leaders and prompted his elevation to several High posts in the intelligence Community. He served as Vice director of the defense intelligence agency director of the National Security Agency and deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency because of his outstanding service. He was awarded the National Security medal by President Carter over the past decade since Admiral Inman left government. He served in a wide range of private sector positions including CEO of to private sector Electronics firms chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and a teacher. At his alma mater the University of Texas. He's also served on 11 non-for-profit corporate boards. And in all these roles Admiral Inman is established a reputation for penetrating analysis strong leadership and a rock-solid commitment to this nation's security those qualities will serve our nation. Well as the Admiral becomes our next secretary of defense, this is a time of great change in our world. We must build on the work Les aspin began with the bottom-up review to ensure that we have the right forces and strategy for this new era. We must ensure that even as we reduce Force levels our military remains ready to fight and win on a moment's notice. We must ensure that our men and women in uniform remained the best-trained the best-equipped the best prepared fighting force on Earth and we must maintain and build strong bipartisan support in the Congress and in the country for the foreign policy and National Defense interest of our nation. I'm confident that a Linman is the Right leader to meet these demanding challenges. I'm grateful that he's agreed to make the personal sacrifices necessary to return to full-time government service and to accept this important assignment at this pivotal time in world events. I'm delighted that he will be joining our national security team and I thank him for his service to the nation Admiral. Thank you. Mr. President. You do me great honor with us appointment notwithstanding all the wonderful things. You said I am an imperfect human being who has been provided many wonderful opportunities none quite yet of the status of this. I've not done all of them as well as I would like but I've always worked hard at them and I will work hard at this one. As you know, I did not seek the job honesty. I did not want the job. Ultimately you even ask then. Why am I here? Duty in country I was persuaded from our lengthy conversations. The president's absolute commitment to build a strong bipartisan support for where this country needs to go in the years ahead. I would tell you upfront honestly, I did not vote for President Clinton. I voted for President Bush, even though I was mad at him about his handling of the economy, but because I considered him a personal friend the president did know that when he asked me to take this job. I look forward to the challenges that are in front of us. I've particularly look forward to working with the senior members of the National Security team Warren Christopher. I consider an old friend and someone I enjoy working with but I greatly admire. Tell me like is a new acquaintance to me. But in these very few short days. It's been a great start. But ultimately the key to my being willing to do this to give up a very happy and prosperous life. Was the president's commitment and our interaction. I had to be comfortable that he was persuaded. I was the right choice for this time frame and mr. President. As you know, I had to reach a level of comfort that we could work together, but I would be very comfortable and your role as the commander-in-chief present while I was secretary defense and I have found that level of comfort. As I look at the challenges in front of us. The road ahead is already pretty well mapped. I've had the privilege of knowing Les aspin for more than 15 years. He is truly one of the great intellects in this country from the first meeting. He's always been challenging. What was the best approach to National Security for this country? I'm persuaded that the work he's done over these last 11 months will make it vastly easier for his successor, but it won't be an easy job. As I tried to describe myself. I'm an operator. Hopefully with a strategic View. I would hope in the years ahead to focus on an area that may surprise you. I've noted the media coverage. This morning is focused almost entirely on my intelligence background. When these last 10 years, I've learned a lot about how business works and I would hope to spend a lot of my time on bringing best business practices to the Department of Defense my sense and traveling the country is that the public is less concerned about what we're doing overseas are our commitments than whether we are getting a dollar value for a dollar spent in defense and I would hope at the end of our user working together. We will have persuaded them. Mr. President that they are. And I would hope to ensure that we practice standards of ethics and integrity in the Department of Defense. That will be a beacon for the rest of government. Finally to my many friends in the media both here and around the country there have been at my last count some 82 calls last night and this morning for interviews. If we are going to build a bipartisan support for National Security, it has to begin with establishing the best relationship with the Congress. I will be deeply respectful of the Senate's approach to the confirmation process. I believe therefore it will be wisest if I limit my public remarks on issues until the confirmation process is through and then I will try to be as available to all of you in the future as I have been in the past. Thank you very much and thank you, mr. President for your confidence. You're listening to live coverage of a news conference and Announcement by President Clinton from National Public Radio. This Rod cast has been made possible by The Advocates of Minnesota Public Radio contributors include the Honeywell Honeywell foundation and 3M maker of post brand removable notes Gary eichten here in st. Paul and senator. Paul wellstone was good enough to stick around good thing Senator. We expected the president might take some questions as he often does but no questions today just the announcement that the Inman will in fact be the new secretary of defense right as we get back to our discussion of your trip to the former (00:36:13) Yugoslavia, or if people want to call in about whatever effective whatever is whatever issues, you (00:36:19) noticed a Bobby Inman saying that he thinks that the the country is very concerned about about making sure that we get a bang for our buck there at the Pentagon. I think that's true or (00:36:29) yeah, I think oh, yeah, I think that I think the country Is very concerned that we get a bang for our buck in all of what we do in government isn't there a g and (00:36:43) this isn't there a danger though that that government officials are getting so concerned with management there seem to be any Vision. Yeah, (00:36:52) I was I wish you hadn't said that was what I was going to say. I was going to say that the one thing that disappointed me a little bit about his answer was I think that's true and I and I think that you know, that's always been a big big issue with the Pentagon. I mean a big issue in terms of some of the waste but it can apply to other programs as well. The one thing that bothered me is that I would have wanted him to talk more about the other thing that people are concerned about is some of the issues that we've been talking about which is in this quote new emerging world that we live in what is the how does the United States of America located self in relation to this world? What what what do we defined as as leadership? And how do we view for example Millet when when again when when populations are at risk as is the case right now and in Bosnia, where do we draw the line? I mean when is military action the right option? I always think military action Gary's the last option. I always think first it's whatever other options but but is there a place for military action when and how what kind of you know, I think people in our country are kind of I think in an isolationist mood really if anything and that raises a whole set of interesting questions, I mean, yes real strength begins at home. I mean, but on the other hand we do live in a world in foreign aid. How much foreign aid what kind of Aid do we just withdraw and how much can we do? Where do you draw the line? We have limited resource. So yeah, I think the vision the vision thing did somebody say that before the vision thing is still real important. (00:38:32) Well people are lined up. And with questions for you Senator, so let's go back to the phones your turn. Hello. Hello. Yes, go ahead sir. Hi. Hi. I'd like to talk to thank the senator Paul wellstone for taking the time and the private initiative to go to Yugoslavia and to Croatia and also into Bosnia Herzegovina and into Kosovo. One of the first questions. I would like to ask him. Now. I'm going to try to get three points across here. Okay, very briefly. So it gets lots of calls as I want to I would like to know why the United Nations and NATO and the European Community has not implemented the 27 resolutions of the United Nations. The second question. I'd like to put in there in is that senator for some reason seems to assess some of the blame for tordjman and the croatians the country of Croatia was invaded over 25,000 women and children were massacred and killed by the Yugoslav Army. Right. There are a hundred thousand children and civilians with no arms and no legs. Also. The third point I would like to bring about is that there has been no mention in Bosnia, but there's over a hundred and eighty thousand crores who have been expelled by Muslims and serbs in central Bosnia and in Northern Bosnia and to get the record straight to croatians in Bosnia hold only seven and a half percent of the territory in Bosnia, and there's no mention of the Muslim offensives or the towns were the croatians were driven out of okay, let's let's work our way down the list (00:40:19) that is that is that is fair enough in what you've said and maybe I didn't say it. Well, yes, there is a Muslim initiative right now. And yes, there is some blame that can be passed around to all sides. I would say it this way. First of all, I I think when we when we think about kind of what set this off and the person that I think you have to put at the top of holding accountable. It is Melissa, bitch and Serbia. There's no question my mind and I said that I've been to bukovina and it's horrible what has happened to Croatia. But when I met with President tudjman, I told him you know, you have taken in refugees and credit should be given for that and I know what you've been through but by the same token, I do have to say that everybody I talked to talked about the actions of the hvo which are the some of the croat said Bosnia and they have blocked themselves some humanitarian relief to cities like most are and I think they have to be held accountable for that. I really believe that and I think president tudjman has to be held accountable for that on the last part of it. I right now Gary asked me earlier about, you know recommendations without trying to pass myself off as an expert expert on the region again. I think the focus should be not on Sort of you know, the historical scores that different peoples of trying to settle but rather the humanitarian relief and it strikes me that right now in the dead of winter time is not neutral and that ought to be our Focus to get the humanitarian relief to the people that need it that particular case. I think there is a special problem right now with the serbs who were doing so much of the shelling and that's really where I would put my focus on that. I would stay with the economic sanctions and I do think that that the war crimes tribunal should not just be symbolic, but I'm first and foremost the quote name of the game right now is is just getting the relief to people there and I think that would require some air (00:42:15) support usually or often in these conversations when Europe is talked about there's kind of the implication that they're all spineless disorganized indifferent to human suffering and the rest is it not possible that they because they're closer to the situation have a better feeling for what is possible and not possible in that area and that To what may look like a good action from afar from here up close really doesn't make as much sense. (00:42:47) That is possible. I mean I said to you earlier that that not so self-righteous that I would, you know, make the argument that people cannot say no, this is a mistake but on the other hand, it does have a horrible sense of deja vu about it with so many of the European countries turning away from what I really do think is a war against civilians and really is a genocide, you know, Gary this is going to sound kind of melodramatic. I don't know if I can say this well, but when I looked during the Persian Gulf War I had felt I felt that the economic sanctions and negotiation had not gone far enough and I thought military action not when it was taken. So I so I took a minority View and oppose that involvement not the troops, but that the policy the other thing is that I ask myself. Out my own children were all in their 20s. You know what I want them to be there. And if God forbid anything happened to them what I felt it was for the right reason and at the time we had to vote I didn't I couldn't answer that. Yes. I feel rather differently about you know, if my children in the 20s if they had to be there and if God forbid anything should happen. And again, I'm only talking about limited are right board. I think I would say to myself. This was the right. I would never want that to happen. God forbid, but I would say to myself the International Community. The United States included should have been there. There should have been a military presence. I believe that I will always believe that (00:44:17) lets sir. Take another caller with a question for Senator wellstone. Hello. Hello. I'm calling from Wisconsin Hi. How are you? Good. I appreciate your melodrama. I think there is a place for that in this world particularly when we're dealing with human suffering my question. I'll give you a brief background. I'll be quick about it. I spent a month. In Bosnia in September. Yeah in a refugee camp near monster. Yeah working with the people you've met. These were Bosnian croats. I had an opportunity however to then work with Muslims on the island of broch off of split (00:44:53) right? I couldn't get the split because of the again couldn't fly in because of the couldn't get out of Zagreb because of the (00:44:59) fog right at that time. They were shelling on the way to split and I was able to take a ferry along the coast. Anyway, I have wound up staying in touch with a Muslim woman a 20 year old student who has gone to Great Lengths over the last six months to try to get to the United States. We ran into all sorts of red tape at the unhcr office. I started questioning. What is our policy in the United States about taking in refugees. She then has gone to the trouble of getting a four year. Scholarship to University and Connecticut has a church sponsoring her has a family willing waiting with bated breath to take her in and the latest word. I got two days ago from her in Zagreb. Was that the the embassy will not Grant her an educational Visa that they are they have ended that or at least it they're not going to give it to her at this point. And I know this is one case but I it's represent some of the incredible red tape of people seeking help during this (00:46:03) conflict our Embassy in Zagreb which Embassy (00:46:07) the u.s. Embassy. (00:46:10) Yeah. I mean, I'd certainly know the Ambassador there whom I think is really no he's outstanding Peter Galbraith. He's just outstanding and I wish you would you know, and you can call our office to I wish you would try and get a hold of him. He would you know, I don't know how much he knows of this but he's as he's he's the very best (00:46:29) is it pretty is it pretty easy for people in that war area to come to the United States if they want to get away from it. (00:46:37) I don't in general. I don't you know, I'm not I'm that's why I'm confused by the question most of People I met don't want to come to United States. They want to stay closer because they still have hopes of going back and I'm not quite I thought we had a ceiling does it call her? No don't we have a ceiling on the set at a pretty I think it's a pretty low (00:47:01) ceiling ceiling was hit. Yeah has been hit in early fall. (00:47:05) So we're not really so really we're not taking in refugees now, is that correct? Correct? Yeah, but I don't remember the reason I'm struggling as I don't remember. Do you remember the number that it was set (00:47:13) at I can't tell you the number. I just know it was hit and it makes makes me wonder. What is this? This is policy set by legislators that legislators. Is that what sets the ceiling? (00:47:29) I think it's I think there's I think it can be approved by I mean, I think there's a way of legislatively trying to change it. I don't know if it's possible or not. It's another thing that I need the beginning of next week. I can try and get a clear reading on it because I think we have I don't think we I think that we don't take anybody and now because because we had a pretty rigid a pretty rigid ceiling but I don't remember the number. I have to I have to say that Gary was some hesitation because I don't I'm a little embarrassed because I don't know the exact number and I may be wrong, but maybe maybe we still are taking in refugees, but I don't think so. (00:48:03) I think we've got time for one more caller anyway, and then and then I know you have to leave we've got a lot of things going on yet this (00:48:08) afternoon. I wish the last caller would try to get a hold of Peter Galbraith if he can and if not to call our office in Minnesota and I'll try and help out. (00:48:15) Okay, the callers on the line with the question. Yes. Hello. My name is dr. Stan will know I'm calling from Egan. I just wish to express my support for Senator wellstones position on Bosnia. I believe that it is necessary. However, regrettable to use air strikes against entrenched artillery positions that are shelling civilians and blocking relief convoys. I think that the inaction of the West has only led to further deterioration and and ethnic polarization within this area and that it encourages bullies to continue their barbaric practices. (00:48:50) All right. Yeah. I I cannot disagree with one word. That was just uttered. I agree with the caller. (00:48:57) Do you think there's anything that would would change the this debate? It doesn't look like at this point the country is ready to do what you would have the United States do doesn't seem like (00:49:09) it. Well the only the one hope I have is that I was told when I met with Peter turn off that the given the fact that what people thought maybe was going to be a political agreement that that's now those negotiations that have been put on the back burner at least for the moment that the European countries in the United States were beginning to reconsider what options there were as we move into the dead of winter. So maybe yet there will be some kind of air support, but I'm not Real optimistic, but Gary, I don't know. I don't know whether there is any other option, you know what I mean? I mean, I don't I think if the focus is on getting the humanitarian relief to people right now and that's the issue. I don't see any way around the the air support for it unless there's some political breakthrough. And by the way, whatever settlement would take place would be a pretty awful one. It wouldn't be one that any of us would be comfortable with because it would be based upon just naked aggression of the loss of vision his having, you know had his way in many ways. I told him when I met with him that I think in the long run, he won't that I think the world will not forget that I think they'll be continue to be economic sanctions until he's willing to settle (00:50:22) Thank Senator. Thank you. You get a run here. So sure appreciate you. Thanks for having me and sticking sticking with us through the press conference. (00:50:28) Thanks for having me. I I'm sorry on that one question. I'm not quite sure of what our current policy is and whether we've hit the ceiling on the immigration. I apologize to call us for not knowing that but I guess no one's surprise that I don't know everything about everything. I sure don't thank you. (00:50:45) Senator Paul wellstone who has just returned from a trip to the former Yugoslavia reporting back on what he found in what he thinks the United States should do.