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Transcript: Arizona Daily Star and John McCain

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), the chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, met wih members of the editorial board and news staff of the Arizona Daily Star last Tuesday.

The paper published a transcript of the session. He didn't talk about the broken trust fund or the tribal lobbying scandal but touched on other issues. Here are some relevant excerpts.

On immigration:
"Immigration is broken. Our borders are not controlled so it is a national security issue. We have sent about 20 additional billion dollars for immigration enforcement, and illegal immigration is up rather than down so we obviously have other aspects of the equation. ... There will be money, but it's not enough. What I mentioned earlier - the wildlife refuges being destroyed, the Tohono O'odham Nation being destroyed. The ranches being destroyed. Trash is one of the means of destruction."

On global warming:
"In Alaska, the seal, sea lion sea otter population is down by 80 percent. In the Yukon, half of their spruce trees are dying from an attack of the spruce beetle because they have not had a cold enough winter to kill the larva. The native Alaskan tribes keep oral history that is handed down to them for generations, through thousands of years, and they've never seen anything like this. Alaskan villages, because of melting permafrost, are toppling into the ocean. Erosion is incredibly severe, again because of the melting of the permafrost. The poles are a miner's canary of climate change - the atmosphere and the ozone layer at the poles. Whether we act or not is just a matter of time. Whether act in time so that our kids and our grandkids don't pay a huge price is still unknown."

On Iraq:
"Serious mistakes have been made for which we've paid a heavy price in American blood and treasure - primarily by not getting control in Iraq after initial military success, allowing looting, not having more American troops on the ground, not understanding the people that we have just defeated. We cannot afford to lose. We must prevail. ... I refuse to believe that the United States of America went into Iraq because of oil. I didn't believe it then. I don't believe it now."

Get the Story:
Transcript of John McCain's roundtable discussion with Star editors (The Arizona Daily Star 8/28)

Relevant Links:
Senate Indian Affairs Committee -

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