www.archive-org-2013.com » ORG » Q » Q-AND-A

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".

    Archived pages: 628 . Archive date: 2013-09.

  • Title: Q & A
    Descriptive info: June 2, 2013.. Shola Lynch.. Producer & Director, "Free Angela and All Political Prisoners".. Program Details.. Info.. : Our guest is Shola Lynch, producer and director of the recently released documentary titled Free Angela and All Political Prisoners.. The film tells the story of Angela Davis who in 1972 was charged by the U.. S.. government in a murder conspiracy case which generated vast publicity and ended in an acquittal for Angela Davis on all charges against her.. Lynch says the story needed to be told because it was what she calls a political crime drama with a love story in the middle of it.. The documentary details Davis life from her middle class upbringing in Birmingham, Alabama to her becoming one of the FBI s Most Wanted fugitives.. It culminates in her ultimate acquittal by an all white jury in a California courtroom.. Shola Lynch also talks about her previous documentary titled Chisholm 72: Unbought and Unbossed, about Rep.. Shirley Chisholm s (D-NY) run for the presidency in 1972.. In addition, Lynch discusses her childhood role as an extra on the PBS program Sesame Street, and her motivations for becoming a filmmaker.. Uncorrected transcript provided by Morningside Partners.. C-SPAN uses its best efforts to provide accurate transcripts of its programs, but it can not be held liable for mistakes such as omitted words, punctuation, spelling, mistakes that change meaning, etc.. BRIAN LAMB: Shola Lynch, when did you first want to know more about Angela Davis?.. SHOLA LYNCH: The truth? At Shirley Chisholm s funeral.. I had been thinking about what my next subject would be.. Previously had made a film and Shirley Chisholm and her run for president in 1972 and I want - I was - I was struggling between whether I would choose another woman, black woman or whether I would just do - pick another topic and there was this huge collage board at her funeral, all these pictures of her, various - with various people et cetera and in the corner there was this picture of Angela Davis, not with Shirley Chisholm and she was one of the people I had been thinking about.. You know, I rocked an Angela Davis T-shirt in my day and it occurred to me like that was a sign and I needed to investigate more and when I looked into the story, I had no idea the story was so good.. I mean that it was indeed a political crime, drama with a love story in the middle of it.. LAMB: Where did you go first to try to find out?.. LYNCH: You know I went back and I read her book and I looked at the notes that I had written and you know, her book gave me some sense but it was when I started to talk to other people and when I started to read the history books around the events, it became clear that there were so many questions that have just remained unanswered.. LAMB: Where is she today?.. LYNCH: She is retired.. She was at the time, at the University of Santa Cruz in the History of Consciousness Department and she was a - I believe she was a Professor Emeritus but she you know, she just retired and now she speaking all over the world on justice issues.. LAMB: I m going to run a clip that she did an interview with us back in 2004 just to establish for people who ve have never heard of Angela Davis, what she looks like and the charges against her that we ll get more from you about.. LYNCH: Great.. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP).. ANGELA DAVIS: On August 7th Jonathan Jackson, George Jackson s younger brother who had participated in that security detail one might, say, he used a - weapons that was registered in my name and entered the courtroom in San Rafael, California, the city closest to San Quentin and attempted to - well, we re not sure exactly what he was attempting to do but the outcome of that encounter was that a judge was killed, jurors were wounded and prisoners were killed.. I was charged then because of the fact that my weapons were found on the scene with murder, kidnapping and conspiracy.. (END VIDEO CLIP).. LAMB: Tell us more?.. LYNCH: You know one of the things about this story is, she is - the - so many young people at that time thought the revolution was around the corner and how do you explain that to an audience who has no idea and in fact if I said that it s probably kind of funny, you have to chuckle.. And so you know, it s the Vietnam War.. Kids are protesting against the Vietnam War, they are protesting for women s rights.. The Panthers are becoming very popular as well and part of the urgency to create change among millions of young people across races, was to arm themselves in self-protection and particularly the Panthers, so a lot of groups were.. You know having a gun was in vogue, very in vogue and so what happens with Angela is that, she s at the University of California teaching and she decides of all these political groups, to become a communist.. She joined the Che-Lumumba Club of the Communist Party.. And Ronald Reagan is Governor of that State and he pretty much says, Not on my watch.. Not at this State Institution.. Not with my dollars.. And tries to get her fired.. This gives her an incredible platform for, well standing her ground which she does.. She says, No.. You can t fire me.. This is academic freedom.. I have the right to do this.. And she also uses it as a teaching moment to talk about political prisoners and nobody was talking about political prisoners and what she was talking about were these young men particularly who were getting caught up in the prison system, sounds familiar, on petty charges and being given indeterminate sentences.. So let s for instance, George Jackson and the Soledad brothers are three young men who were in prison.. George Jackson had been implicated in a crime of stealing $70 and had been in prison 10 years on an indeterminate sentence of one year to life based on good behavior.. So she s trying to categorize not only Panthers who were coming in and out of prison and war protesters are coming in and out of prison as political prisoners but young people who were getting swept up, their bodies being used to - for the prison system to be called the political prisoners.. She s pissing everybody off.. LAMB: When did you first meet her?.. LYNCH: I first - look it took me about a year to connect with her.. LAMB: Why?.. LYNCH: Well, she wasn t that interested in talking about what happened, this period.. The crime, the implications, being chased by the FBI.. She wasn t you know, the love story.. She wasn t that interested in talking about it and so she s also one of these people you don t necessarily go to, directly and I was trying to get to her directly.. So I figured out that there were very important people in her life and I chipped away at the people she knew and trusted.. Was able to get appointments with them, write letters, get them involved, let them see my previous work.. And slowly she came around and she agreed to meet me and this is only after these other people had met with me and everybody had see - each one of them had seen my Chisholm documentary.. And so Angela finally watched it and agreed to meet with me and we sat down and I was nervous and she is shy.. So we actually kind of sat there like this, believe it or not and I think Eisa, Angela s niece said, Will you two talk to each other? and you know, just said - and we started to talk.. And what she said about the Chisholm film was, I thought I knew that story.. But the way she said it made me realize that there was so much about her own story, about this store that she can t particularly - she can t know and I m a historian and a documentary filmmaker and I love weaving together various points of view, with footage, the facts, the artifacts and creating a collage that makes you feel a moment and I d been able to do that with Chisholm s run for president.. And so she was trusting that I would do that for this very difficult, very intense, very political period.. LAMB: Let s watch a little bit about a minute and a half from your documentary.. SHIRLEY CHISHOLM: I stand before you today as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States of America.. I am not the candidate of black America, although I am black and proud.. When politicians come out from every corner to get the most important thing you have, your vote.. Why is it it has to be all these white males, white males, white males.. I m not the candidate of the women s movement of this country although I am a woman and I m equally proud of that.. I am the candidate of the people of America and my presence before you, now symbolizes a new era in American political history.. If you can t support me or you can t endorse me, get out of my way.. You do your thing and let me do mine.. LYNCH: That is the best trailer for Chisholm 72 that I - that I ve seen.. It s better than anything we created, that trailer.. I want a copy.. LAMB: When did she die?.. LYNCH: Huh! She died just after the film was released.. So it was January of 2005.. LAMB: Were you able to talk to her?.. LYNCH: Yes.. We were at Sundance in 2004.. LAMB: Together?.. LYNCH: No.. She wouldn t come.. She was feeling ill.. She was feeling frail.. She was you know, - but after Sundance I went down to Florida.. I had to bring a VCR with me and we only had a VCR copy of the - and I set it up, went to her house and showed it to her.. And it was a spectacular moment for me because what Shirley Chisholm did is she talked to her younger self.. I - you know, she got lost in the - in the movie, in the moment.. LAMB: What had gotten you into that whole issue with her in the first place?.. LYNCH: Well you know I had worked for Ken Burns for a really long time.. I d worked on the - his piece on Frank Lloyd Wright and then the 10-part 20-hour jazz series which was you know, as a job it s you know, it can t get any better than that.. And I started to think well why can t I direct? Well I want to direct! And rather than get grumbly about everybody else s work, I challenged myself and Shirley Chisholm s birthday was announced on NPR when I was thinking about this and I thought, Wait a second! Why do we wait until everyone s passed away and gone so they can t participate in their - the telling of their story? Shirley Chisholm is alive.. And I realized she was the first black woman elected to Congress.. That s part of what they announced on her birthday but when I did a little bit of research and went back to the books on my shelf, I was like, How did I forget? How did I recognize - not recognize that she ran for president? Not as a third-party candidate but as a Democratic nominee in 1972 and made it to the convention.. Beat half the guys! How do we not know this?.. LAMB: So what about that 72 election for people that don t remember anything? Did you find the most important part of her involvement?.. LYNCH: Well, the thing to remember is that Robert Kennedy had been killed so there was no front-runner.. He d been assassinated, so there was no front-runner.. There was Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern who became the front-runner but it wasn t obvious in the beginning and Edmund Muskie and then there were about 10 or 12 candidates total, all vying for the same number of votes.. So what she decided, what I found out is that she, yes she puts her hat or as Walter Cronkite says, on the Evening News Her bonnet into the presidential ring but she had a strategy, so it wasn t just a vanity run.. She actually knew that if she traveled around the country and collected delegates, she could get to the Convention and because the race was going to be so tight between the two front-runners, her 50, 100, 150 delegates could be the difference between the nominee which would give her political capital and leverage.. You can - and she had a line in the film you know, You can yell Women s power.. Purple power.. Black power, whatever you want, but what do those hard-nosed politicians know, how many delegates do you have?.. LAMB: Why did Hubert Humphrey release his black delegates to vote for her?.. LYNCH: Because he knew he wasn t going to be the nominee.. He knew.. He knew and it was a last minute, a last minute and not all of them did.. LAMB: Let s watch a little bit more of Shirley Chisholm then we ll go back to Angela Davis.. LYNCH: No problem.. CHISHOLM: All of the enthusiasm that was there, that a black woman, for the first time in the United States of America had the audacity and the nerve to say, She wanted to guide the ship of state.. She wanted to be president and I could imagine - I could see the picture now, it was so exciting but also beneath that excitement, excitement of the idea that persons other than a white male could and should be president, was part of the entire drama, that why is it that in the United States of America only white males could be president? So therefore here I was a not only a woman but a black person, so therefore I was representing, in a sense a black person and a female person.. And so my campaign in the beginning was wrong, with a lot of blacks and women around me and that s how that got off the ground.. But believe you me, it was not easy.. LAMB: That was from a 1992 interview at C-SPAN with Bruce Collins but how did that documentary do?.. LYNCH: Yes - well, it - critical acclaim, it was on the film festival circuit and we got picked up by 20th Century Fox and has done quite well on DVD.. We ve sold, I think now close to 50,000 DVDs over time and one of the - I think on Presidents Day, a couple of years ago 20th Century Fox sent out an announcement and - for Presidents Day and had all of their documentaries about presidents and presidential candidates, Shirley Chisholm front and center and this was before Barack Obama, so that made me feel very good.. LAMB: How much of your documentary is used in any kind of, an educational institution that you know of?.. LYNCH: You know I get e-mails from teachers, high school teachers, colleges, you know all kinds of professors and teachers who use that film as an educational tool because the thing about history is, the young people don t - and necessarily going to connect to it without story.. We ve forgotten - we forgotten about our storytelling.. You know it s not just facts, who cares? What s the narrative? And so with my work, I always want to tell you a really good story and I think when there s good music and great visuals, all of that kind of collage working together then yes, kids will recognize that history is important and they ll remember it and these people will become part of their American family.. LAMB: Shola Lynch started where in life?.. LYNCH: Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow!.. LAMB: Hometown?.. LYNCH: Well, hometown? OK.. New York.. LAMB: City?.. LYNCH: City.. Yes.. LAMB: Parents?.. LYNCH: My father was a professor at Columbia and my mother was a homemaker but she had a nursing degree and part of an MD and when they split up she went get - back and got her MBA.. You know my parents are - neither one of them are American.. My father is from Trinidad and Tobago and my mother is Canadian and they are - they are part of that immigrant American story.. LAMB: And your school? Where did you grow up in school?.. LYNCH: I went to Hunter Elementary and then stayed through high school which was a fantastic liberal arts education.. We got to think about and talk about a range of issues.. You know, thinking was important.. It wasn t just, knowing facts.. It was how do you analyze them? What do you do with them? What do they mean?.. LAMB: It s been a very serious discussion so far but I have to interrupt to show you the following clip of you.. LYNCH: Uh! I know where this is going.. ERNIE: You know, I Ernie, I m between, my friend Bert.. BERT: Yes.. ERNIE:.. and my friend Shola, right.. ERNIE: OK.. Shift.. BERT: Right.. BERT: Where should I go? Over here? ERNIE: Let s see.. You go, OK.. BERT: OK.. Good.. Now what? BERT: Now.. ERNIE: Here, now.. Who is between? LYNCH: You are next to me.. ERNIE: I m next to you? BERT: It s true.. ERNIE: But you.. LYNCH: You too.. BERT: I m next to you too? LYNCH: Yes BERT: But, but.. ERNIE: But, but, yes, but, but Shola is between Ernie and.. BERT: Bert.. LYNCH: Bert.. ERNIE: All right.. OK.. LAMB: How did that happen?.. LYNCH: I was a talkative little kid and I used to run ahead of my mom in our neighborhood and we would see - we had neighbors, you know it was, (INAUDIBLE) like Sesame Street and our neighbors would - one neighbor said, Hey, you know, there s this new show I work for at WNET, new show called Sesame Street, we re looking for kids.. My mom said, OK and took me down to the studio.. And I was good at playing games.. I liked playing games.. LAMB: How many times that - did you - how many shows did you do?.. LYNCH: I don t know how many shows but I was - I started - I was one of the young - I was potty trained really early so the earliest, I m about two and one half.. I mean, I m this tiny little thing and they loved to put me next to Big Bird because I was so small and I did it between the ages, I think of two on a half and six, pretty regularly.. LAMB: Have you shown your kids these clips?.. LYNCH: I have and they are amazed.. Well, at first kids are like, Wait a second! You re! And then they think it s the funniest thing on the planet.. LAMB: How old were you there?.. LYNCH: I think I was about four.. LAMB: And how old are your kids?.. LYNCH: My daughter is three and a half and she - this young person reminds me of my daughter.. LAMB: Would you like your.. LYNCH:.. my son is five.. LAMB:.. daughter or son do what you did with Sesame Street, today?.. LYNCH: Yes, with a show like Sesame Street.. I it wasn t professional.. It was fun.. It was games.. I you weren t brought in as an actor.. You didn t have to learn lines.. You were essentially who you were.. I m not a big fan of professionalizing your children early for any reason.. LAMB: Your college education was where?.. LYNCH: University of Texas.. I m a I was a Lady Longhorn, Hook em.. LYNCH: And generally that s the  ...   purchased about two weeks or weeks before this, this event.. There was a Soledad Brother s house being opened pre the Soledad Brother s house being opened in San Francisco, which is where the trial was going to be and so it was in vogue to have a gun in your political office and the interesting thing is when she bought that gun, she is very well known and the clerk was like, Hey, your Angela Davis? She s like, Yes.. And she signs an autograph, so the theory is that the two competing theories of the crime are, either she is the mastermind and she did this, she put Jonathan, 17-year-old Jonathan Jackson up to this and used to her own guns.. The defense pretty much was Angela Davis is not stupid.. If she if she were going to do this, at bare minimum she wouldn t be using her own guns and certainly she could have had access to them so you know, it plays out over, over details in the courtroom.. LAMB: Here is from your documentary, where the FBI began it s search, public enemy number one or three?.. LYNCH: Top 10.. BETTINA APTHEKER: The FBI and the police descended on the black communities all over the country and began pulling in any, young, tall, black woman with a space between her teeth because they just had this general description.. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had her fingerprints and a photograph of a girl with a big Afro and every office gets a box full of those things.. FANIA DAVIS: There were unmarked cars parked across the street and I knew then you know this was the FBI and we were under surveillance.. So many hundreds of black women with big Afros were stopped on suspicion of being Angela Davis.. LYNCH: From the collection of the court, the court collection around the we also knew from talking to the FBI agents and we had some of that stuff from the FBI files and then, some of that is archival footage.. But the FBI and law enforcement were not incredibly well practiced at identifying and distinguishing black women at that time.. LAMB: A split in the teeth.. She still have - a split in teeth?.. LYNCH: She still have - I think she still has a little gap.. You know I haven t checked - I didn t check that the FBI agent.. LAMB: It looked like some of the woman you showed though, didn t have the gap so were they what was did that was the main criteria criterion to bring her in, to bring somebody in?.. LYNCH: The main criteria was the basic description, so black woman were getting stopped.. If you were tall, light to medium skin and had an Afro, you were - you were getting stopped.. I mean, Fania was stopped, she was followed and various women - and in fact you know, every screening I go to, somebody comes up and says, Yes.. You know the local police they thought I was Angela Davis.. They thought I was Angela Davis, so part of it part of it is that the police are not well practiced, these are also a form of harassment in a in a way and then they re for a lot of these black women was a sense of pry.. Yes, I I m leading them off the trail for Angela.. LAMB: What was the date of the murders?.. LYNCH: August 7th, 1970.. LAMB: What did Angela Davis do next in that whole time frame?.. LYNCH: She was hiding out in L.. A.. at first when she discovered and she was always ahead of the - of the law enforcement.. When she saw when she was told about the news report.. She went immediately to her gun closet, all the guns were gone and she said, He used my gun.. And so she hides out in L.. and then it becomes clear that she s going to have to leave the area.. LAMB: Where was her closet with the guns in them?.. LYNCH: In L.. In L.. in an apartment that she had lived in previously.. It had become the Soledad Brothers, now meeting house.. LAMB: But the murders happened where?.. LYNCH: They happened, so this is L.. , they happened in Marin County which is outside of San Francisco.. LAMB: When did she discover that her guns were missing?.. LYNCH: Sometime after the 7th, 8th or some - you know, when it started to hit the news and she was already - she was in L.. , back in L.. and she went and checked the gun closets.. LAMB: What happened to - how long did she stay on the run and how did she come public?.. LYNCH: Well, she was captured in October.. LAMB: Where?.. LYNCH: In New York City.. LYNCH: Times Square, Howard Johnson s.. LAMB: Why was, she here and why was she public?.. LYNCH: She, well she was disguised.. She was, so she was not public.. She was running out of money.. They had been I think first she had gone to Las Vegas and then she was in Chicago where she connected with David Poindexter whose father was also a big person the Communist Party and his mom was a white woman and a very wealthy, so he had a little bit of cash and he was able to help out.. They ended up in Miami.. That was the period where she remained the longest, holed up in Miami.. And I think she was contemplating whether she was going to leave the country or not, whether she was going to get on a boat and go to Cuba.. And when she decided, and I she decided not to and the FBI is closing in.. They are starting to they figured out that she is somehow connected to David Poindexter.. They ve been tracking him.. LAMB: Who is David Poindexter?.. LYNCH: He is just a young man who was a member of the Communist Party, as a black man but primarily it was his father s party.. You know he was just a little bit of a businessman in Chicago.. LAMB: Did she ever marry?.. LYNCH: She did.. She did marry, in the 80s.. In fact, I was very surprised, she has a notice in People Magazine, I think is 82 or 83, they are early 80s you know, Angela Davis marries photographer, Braithwaite was his last name but they were divorced later in the decade.. LAMB: Is she married now?.. LYNCH: She s not.. LAMB: The trial and the jury.. When was she tried and what was the jury made up of?.. LYNCH: So it took a long time to get to trial.. It took a long time to figure out the judge and the every - all the parties to agree and the jury was made - and it was moved - and the location of the trial right, so Angela and her team wanted it in San Francisco, OK.. The prosecution did not.. They wanted it in Marin and so there had to be a compromise.. LAMB: Explain the difference?.. LYNCH: So Marin was where August 7th happened.. They would be a very angry community of people, most likely whether it - whether - she would ve been convicted.. LAMB: Marin s across the Golden Gate Bridge, up above San Francisco.. LYNCH: Exactly and the Marin County - Marin County Courthouse is actually Frank Lloyd Wright Building, beautiful, like a spaceship landing in the hills in Marin and so it - the trial ended up in San Jose which was.. LAMB: South of San Francisco?.. south of San Francisco, a working, farmer, community, not particularly a diverse but more diversity than Marin County.. The jury was an all-white jury except for a Hispanic male.. LYNCH: The voters, you know, we how do we how do we select our jury? If you re registered to vote you re up - you re up for potential juror and so that was how it happened.. LAMB: Did you look into what the pool was for jurors and were there any black people available?.. LYNCH: There were black people available and in fact the one black person that had come up in this, the prosecutor got rid of.. The defense tried to keep her on.. One of the things that the defense did that is not in the film but - is they were very good about jury selection.. They got the list of voters, they had an army of volunteers and they literally went out to canvas and get from basic surveillance what they could about each voter.. So in other words, what were the bumper stickers on their cars? Who had they voted for? You know public records stuff and they figured out, of the potential voters, these are the people that we re interested in and they had spreadsheets and spreadsheets, all by hand, no computers, no computers.. LAMB: How long did the trial go?.. LYNCH: The trial wasn t over until June 1972.. LAMB: And the decision?.. LAMB: Unanimous?.. LYNCH: All charges.. LAMB: Surprise you when you went back and looked at everything?.. Absolutely.. You know you know, when I went into this, you have a sense of her guilt, you mean and part of it is part of it is if you stack up, if you literally stack up, put in the stack all the articles about being chased by the FBI and conspiracy to commit murder, charges et cetera, it s probably wouldn t stick right, if you take a stack of all the articles that are on and include the trial, the acquittal and the trial, it s probably this big, so what are we going to remember? And more people go, Oh, you have to go to Cuba to interview Angela? That s so amazing.. No that s outside side of.. LAMB: Where did you interview her?.. LYNCH: Oakland, in her home.. LAMB: And her sister, what is she doing?.. LYNCH: She s a lawyer.. Well, she runs a nonprofit but she was first a lawyer and now she runs a nonprofit.. LAMB: Here s the last clip of Angela talking.. REPORTER: Ms.. Davis entered the courtroom, turned and gave a Black Power salute to the gallery, composed mostly of newsmen and sat down next to her two temporary lawyers.. Judge E.. Warren Maguire ordered a copy of the charge delivered to her and advised her of her rights to an attorney and to a jury trial.. ANGELA DAVIS: When the Attorney General arraigned me in California after the extradition, he indicated that he wanted the death penalty on each of the three charges and he wanted the death penalty three times.. That made me realize how serious they were and again it made me realize that it wasn t about me, now because first of all, I couldn t be killed three times, it was about the construction of this imaginary enemy and, you know I was the embodiment of that enemy.. CROWD: Angela must be free, now.. Angela must be free, now.. Angela must be free.. FANIA DAVIS: We had a nice long visit with Angela and she s in very high spirits.. She s feeling good.. And she s feeling good because she knows that the movement to free all political prisoners is growing every day.. That s what makes her feel good.. LAMB: Who were the two people there in the clip?.. LYNCH: Angela s sister Fania and her brother.. LAMB: So what happened after the acquittal verdict to Angela Davis?.. LYNCH: She did a tour, all over the world.. A kind of thank you tour to all the people who had been part of the Free Angela and All Political Prisoners Movement which was a worldwide movement and she thought, OK, I m going to do that for about a year or two and talk about justice issues and it s become her life.. So she returned to academia and she still travels and talks and is a public intellectual.. LAMB: So after this was done, by the way how long is this?.. LYNCH: So it s 101 minutes, so it s feature-length and it s essentially the story of how this 26-year-old philosophy graduate student becomes an international political icon.. It is you re really seeing her kind of make the choices and the repercussions of them and how it grows into something so much larger than her as an individual.. LAMB: From the time you graduated from the University of Texas up to your first documentary on Shirley Chisholm, what did you do in that time period?.. LYNCH: I got my Masters in American History.. LYNCH: The University of California, Riverside.. I was also - continue to run track, I was running for Footlocker, so I was competing nationally and internationally.. In fact I ran until I was 27.. I was not going to give up that Olympic dream.. And then finally I had qualified for the 96 trials and I my back, I just damaged my disk and I knew, phew! I was getting too old.. And so I came back to New York looking for a job.. I went to the Curate tell historical stories in spaces, multimedia.. Couldn t find a job doing that.. That was during Newt Gingrich cutbacks in the arts and by luck, landed a job with Ken Burns and Florentine Films.. LAMB: By luck?.. LAMB: Has got to be more to it than that? How did - how did that happen?.. LYNCH: OK.. So I got to Brooklyn Historical Society.. They had a job posting and I wanted this job so badly, of course it s low paying and all that stuff and they said, Well, you know what, we ve had we ve had we ve been given a freeze.. We hope you re unemployed in six months.. But I looked nice and I had my, you know bag and I was depressed and I went to an art gallery event, right after, free wine and cheese was my main motivation.. And in the corner before I had the wine by the way, were two men talking about film and I went up to them and said, You, you guys are talking about film because it occurred to me and people have been saying, Well, why not documentary film making? I just thought filmmakers were such geeks and these guys are talking about film and I said, Are you involved in the film business? And they said, Yes.. I mean, not in a friendly way.. How about, documentary filmmaking? Yes.. Historical documentary filmmaking? And one of them said, Yes.. And I said, I m going to give - I need two minutes of your time.. And I gave him my sad story, athlete lacking New York looking for a job, can t find a job, thinking about filmmaking, blah, blah, blah.. He gave me his card and he was a senior producer for Ken Burns.. And I had already just sent my resume.. He said, Well, I might be able to help you.. Why don t you give me your resume and I ll take it to the office? Boo yah! I had it with me.. And so, yes, given the opportunity I was hired for day research for the Writer and you know, I knew - I knew how to annotate.. LAMB: You have some interesting financial backers?.. You know raising funds for films are not easy.. You know, go through grants, you do all of that and even then, you sometimes find out you don t have enough.. And I ve been very lucky with both films through friends, to be able to get some celebrity money.. For the Chisholm film, actually Oprah gave us a little bit of money and Halle Berry did and the Cosbys.. For the Angela Davis film, we got close to the end and the cost of the footage was enormous.. It was three times what we had budgeted.. The state of licensing had just changed so much.. You know, Ford Foundation came in, our French partners came in and we were still short and I sent a Hail Mary e-mail to everybody who would ever said they could raise money and a girlfriend in Harlem said, I can do it.. And she was good friends with Jada Pinkett Smith.. LAMB: Will Smith s wife?.. LYNCH: Yes and she saw when she saw the film, she said, What do you want? How can I help? And really has stood up for this film.. And she is the one who showed it to her husband.. I get so pissed when people are like, Yes, Will Smith and Jay-Z are behind you.. No.. It s Jada and she brought the guys, we love the guys but you know, it was the woman it s when women stand up for women stories, they will be made.. LAMB: How did Jay-Z get into this?.. LYNCH: They went to Jay-Z and showed him the film and he I ve never met him so I don t - I don t, I ve never met him but he said, Yes.. I m I m down.. LAMB: So your husband, shy man, here in Manhattan?.. Well, my husband is.. LAMB: His name?.. LYNCH: He s Vince Morgan and he s a very gutsy, gutsy man.. He believes that as a politician, he can do right by the people, the citizens.. He ran for Congress against Charlie Rangel.. He s now running for City Council here in Harlem and has a great chance of actually being in the mix and winning the seat.. And his ideas you know, there are so many resources that are available to us, that we re not taking advantage of and he is, well part of that generation where you think a little bit outside the box and we want we have the energy and excitement to take resources and to make them work for.. LAMB: Where did.. everybody.. you meet him? Where did you meet him?.. LYNCH: In a bar.. LAMB: In Manhattan?.. LYNCH: In Harlem baby?.. LAMB: Harlem?.. LYNCH: In Harlem.. LAMB: How long have you been married?.. LYNCH: Vince has never, not known me, working on this Angela Davis film.. So now that it s over, we do wonder how what we re going to have to talk about in the evenings.. LAMB: So what s next? What s the next documentary?.. LYNCH: Well, I would like to write the book.. I mean, and the film, there s so much original research that we have unearth for Angela Davis and I m in the process of getting that, those materials together to write the book.. And in terms of films, I d like to reimagine Harriet Tubman as an actionl heroine and I want I d like to do The Dock but it also will be a major action movie.. Think about it, how is it possible that she could see herself as a whole person under the violence of slavery? The physical, the emotional, the psychological and that she had the ability literally to cloak herself in invisibility, run to freedom, be a freedom fighter and to return over and over again.. To be a General in the Union Army, that s an action story.. LAMB: The book will come out when?.. LYNCH: Well, yes, I m working on that, working on that, working on but it s going to happen.. I m one of those types, when I say it I say I m going to do it, I m going to do it.. LAMB: Can you buy Free Angela ?.. LYNCH: So we will be out on video-on-demand on DVD soon and next year it will be on television.. Right now through TUGG, tugg.. com, you can literally tugg the film to a local theater near you and see it on a big screen.. It s one of those films, like I made it for the big screen.. It should be seen with an audience and you need to talk afterwards.. You need - you need to talk.. LAMB: Shola Lynch, we are out of time and we thank you very much.. LYNCH: Thank you.. This has been wonderful, really.. END..

    Original link path: /Transcript/?ProgramID=1446
    Open archive

  • Title: Q & A
    Descriptive info: May 26, 2013.. Tom Goldstein.. Co-founder and Publisher, SCOTUSblog.. com.. : Our guest is Tom Goldstein, who co-founded the website SCOTUSblog along with his wife Amy Howe in 2002.. Goldstein s website recently received the 2013 Peabody Award for excellence in electronic media, thus becoming the first blog to ever receive the Peabody.. SCOTUSblog also won the 2013 Society of Professional Journalists prize for deadline reporting for its coverage of the Supreme Court s healthcare ruling.. Goldstein discusses the early days of the blog when he and his wife operated out of a third bedroom in their Washington, DC home.. He explains his statement that the blog s inception was a marketing ploy, and talks about the decision to hire longtime Baltimore Sun court reporter Lyle Denniston.. He discusses the sponsorship of Bloomberg Law, a subscription based service for online legal research.. Goldstein relates his early education and interest in becoming a lawyer, and reflects on some of the humorous postings he has made on the internet to advertise his law firm.. BRIAN LAMB Tom Goldstein, can you remember when you named SCOTUSblog and why?.. TOM GOLDSTEIN: I think it was the very first day, when we imagined, Hey, what if we create a website? My wife, Amy, and I, who s the editor.. And we just used the initials - Supreme Court of the United States.. There was this thing called blogging.. We called it SCOTUSblog.. Not much more thought went into it than that, and it s been with us for 10 years now.. LAMB Why is what you re doing necessary?.. GOLDSTEIN: Well, it s amazing.. The Supreme Court is a really important institution; everybody s got to agree with that - from Bush versus Gore to the healthcare decision to affirmative action to same-sex marriage.. And yet with all of the coverage of Congress and the President, there was no place that was playing complete attention to what the justices were doing.. There was just a gap.. It was just an opportunity.. LAMB Why do you think there s so little interest on the part of the general media in the Supreme Court?.. GOLDSTEIN: Well, I think that it s not a very sexy place.. Every once in a while it does something incredibly interesting and the T.. V.. trucks race over.. And there is a core press core, and the major newspapers pay a lot of attention to it; CSPAN does significant oral arguments.. But it s so complicated when it comes to a lot of the technical legal issues.. And some of them are so dull, to be honest; that it s very hard for the public to be engaged, and stay focused on that place.. Unlike Congress and the President, for example, are always doing something that s important and interesting and accessible.. LAMB You applied to how many law schools in the beginning?.. GOLDSTEIN: I guess it s about - it s a sad time to remember - a half dozen or so.. LAMB What happened?.. GOLDSTEIN: They thought it would be better if I pursued other opportunities.. But I had my stepmother s - maybe second cousin or so - was an adjunct faculty member at American University s law school here in Washington, and went to the faculty head of admissions and said, My cousin, Tommy Goldstein, is my favorite cousin; I think he d just be fantastic.. And if we had met, I m sure he would ve believed that.. But it was just family doing something good for family.. And they let me in.. And I had the most unbelievable experience.. I got really lucky.. I had just been kind of that stereotypical college student who enjoys life more than they enjoy school.. LAMB You say you ve been in this business for 10 years of SCOTUSblog; but you ve also been an advocate for cases in front of the Supreme Court.. How many?.. GOLDSTEIN: Twenty-eight.. So I basically decided - when I was in law school, I got to be Nina Totenberg s intern, and fell in love with the Supreme Court.. Had no idea that I would, in the way that I did.. When I was a fourth-year lawyer - I graduated I guess in 95 - in 1999, I just quit my job, and said, I m going to be a Supreme Court advocate, and opened up a law firm in my house.. And since then, that s really all that I ve done for about 15 years.. LAMB Was it really in the laundry room?.. GOLDSTEIN: It was in what - it was in the third bedroom.. There was no laundry room.. It was a tiny house.. And it became the laundry room.. We had the law firm - Amy joined me in the firm, and we had the law firm for - in the house, probably about seven or eight years.. Now we have actual office space, so it s a big upgrade for us.. LAMB So you say that the whole SCOTUSblog thing was a marketing ploy.. GOLDSTEIN: Yes, so nobody was covering the Supreme Court on the internet, and saying, We re the site that you should go to.. At the same time, I had this law practice with Amy, and we d been doing it for a few years.. And so I had the brilliant insight that said, Look, if we cover the Supreme Court on the internet, people who are looking for a lawyer in the Supreme Court will say, Gosh, these people must really know what they re talking about.. It had - I thought it would be a little bit of a public service; but mostly I think in those terms - kind of business development terms.. Turns out that was a really stupid idea, and nobody does that.. People who need serious Supreme Court counsel don t go, Get me the guy with the website.. They want to talk about experience, and how you ve done, and what you know about the court as a lawyer.. So that didn t work out.. But after about three years, we hired a real reporter, Lyle Denniston, who s been covering the court for more than 50 years, has genuine experience.. And we changed the mission completely; and that is, we don t write about our cases at all.. And we re not allowed to talk about our own cases.. We said we re just turning this over to the public, and very much on the ideal of something like CSPAN.. It s not intended to promote us in any way; it s intended to be a public good.. LAMB So when did that switch?.. GOLDSTEIN: That happened about seven years ago.. And interestingly - and happily, ironically - the effect has been that we re much more respected now, now that we re not talking about our own stuff.. People trust us to objectively describe the cases; to not be engaging in self-promotion; to just being out there to give them the straight scoop and access to the briefs, and what all the cases are.. And I think people have really appreciated it.. LAMB: The general public - people watching tonight who are not experts in the court, not lawyers - what s in it for them on SCOTUSblog?.. GOLDSTEIN: Well, we re really focused on them much more than we ever have been.. Honestly, we started as a site for lawyers, pretty much.. And that is, we talked in the way that we talk, as attorneys who practice in front of the Supreme Court.. And over the past three or four years, we ve come to understand that it s actually the lawyers who can already best access what s going on at the Court and understanding it.. But there are 300 million other people in the country who are affected by the justices decisions, and we should be focusing on them.. So Amy, for example, writes a entire feature called In Plain English.. Lyle Denniston always has a plain English summary of all of the cases.. We have - on the big cases - a discussion of this case made simple.. And so we really, really want - and this is the best example of how it has nothing to do with business development; there s nothing in it for us in any way, shape, or form.. We just are trying to put these technical legal concepts, that have a big effect on people - say, can the government track you using a GPS device without a warrant; can you patent genes, including the gene that will let a test be made to tell whether you are susceptible to breast cancer.. Those things have very tangible consequences for people in the context of a very technical legal case.. And we want to just try and bring it down into language that everybody can understand.. LAMB We re going to show some video in a moment.. But before we do that, something put you on the map last year; something called Obamacare.. How did that happen?.. GOLDSTEIN: Well, of course, the Supreme Court was considering the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act - Obamacare.. And at the end of the term, what we realized is there was going to be unbelievable interest in the case.. And so usually, Lyle is at the Supreme Court on the phone with us describing the case.. And we thought, Gosh, that s not going to get the job done here.. Very complicated, huge interest.. So we took seven people, set up nine different internet connections down at the court.. We - there s a combined group of us that argued over 30 Supreme Court cases.. And it turned out that at one time, we had almost a million people on the website at once.. So the interest in what was going on in the case was so high.. LAMB Well, this will set it up a little bit on how the confusion came about with some of the other networks.. Let s watch.. It s from Talking Points memo we pulled this.. (VIDEO BEGINS) BILL HEMMER (FOX): We have breaking news here on the Fox News channel - WOLF BLITZER (CNN): Hold on a second - hold on a second.. Kate Baldwin has got some news.. Kate, go ahead - tell us what s going on.. KATE BALDWIN (CNN): This is our first read, and we re still going through the reading of the opinion.. But I wanted to bring you the breaking news that according to producer Bill Mahers, the individual mandate is not a valid - not a valid exercise of the commerce clause.. So it appears as if the Supreme Court justices have struck down the individual mandate - the centerpiece of the healthcare legislation.. HEMMER (FOX): The individual mandate has been ruled unconstitutional.. BALDWIN (CNN): I m going to hop back on this phone to try to get more information for you, and bring it right to you, Walt.. HEMMER (FOX): We re still trying to figure this out.. Be cautious with us.. We re trying to do the best we can right now as we sort through it.. It may take -.. MEGAN KELLY (FOX): And we need to update our lower third, which may not be correct now.. HEMMER (FOX): It may take several minutes -.. BALDWIN (FOX): This is a very confusing, very large opinion.. WOLF BLITZER (CNN): Excuse me - Kate Baldwin s getting some more details.. BALDWIN (CNN): As we re reading through this again, we are reading now that the entire law has been upheld, Wolf.. (VIDEO ENDS) LAMB Why is there such a need to be first?.. GOLDSTEIN: There isn t such a need to be first.. In a case like this one, everybody knew the day the case was coming down.. Everybody knew that the law wouldn t take effect for two more years.. There s just - there was a kind of unfortunate competition - a desire to be first.. And I think hopefully some lessons have been learned about that.. We actually - I had the opinion; I actually had a conference call that had on it almost all of the networks and newspapers, and the White House.. And I told them, Look, I m just going to put this on mute.. You re just going to have to wait.. Because it was much more important to get it right than be first.. And we re talking about the difference between literally one minute more.. So I think - and a lot of money was made and lost, because of some networks having it wrong, and the wire services having it right.. So I hope that we ve come to understand that - take a breath, especially when it s super-complicated in the way that the healthcare decision was, where there are a lot of different legal issues; and tell people accurately.. Because otherwise what we ve had, really is a crisis of confidence, in some of the networks and in some of the press generally.. You don t get to take it back; and people don t really understand that this was an honest and fair mistake.. They just think you re not reliable.. LAMB So what did you do differently?.. GOLDSTEIN: Well, I said, Look, I m going to take personal responsibility for this.. If we re going to put something on the website saying what s happened in the case, I m going to do it myself after consulting with my colleagues; and either I ll be right, or I ll be wrong.. And when I figured out what had happened, I nonetheless went through a second time to make sure that I had - that I was right, and there wasn t some nuance that I was missing.. And so I think the things that we did differently were - we were patient; we weren t trying to be absolutely first.. We double-check things.. And we had experts, right? The reporters involved had worked very hard on the case.. The CNN team, the Fox team, other teams had done dozens if not hundreds of interviews about the case.. They were actually very knowledgeable.. But nonetheless, they re general interest press rather than people who d been deeply involved in the legal questions.. And so we had just a natural advantage, I guess.. LAMB We ve got some very old video of Lyle Denniston.. At the time, he was with the Baltimore Sun.. He s probably in his early 50s there; he s now 81 years old.. Still working - and does he work every day for you?.. GOLDSTEIN: It s unbelievable.. Not only does he work every day, he works 14 hours a day.. He works through the weekend.. It s Amy who s the editor and reviews every piece - is editing stuff of his, Saturday, Sunday.. I ve never seen him - he s a machine.. And the interesting thing is, you have somebody who s 81 years old; who, when he started working with us, would have typed up sheets about the cases, but has embraced the internet and the technology in a way that s unimaginable.. It s fantastic.. LAMB Interesting thing is I don t think anybody on the Court is still there - back in 85.. GOLDSTEIN: Yes, it has changed a lot; once John Paul Stevens left the court, there was a big generational turnover.. LAMB What s the controversy over - and I understand it s changed - getting Lyle Denniston credentials at the Supreme Court?.. GOLDSTEIN: Well, for a long time - well a couple of things.. The Supreme Court, unlike other governmental institutions, doesn t issue its own press passes.. It has a press office; but it s a small body, and they don t really have, I think, the time to go through and deal with all of these requests.. So they use the Senate.. If you have a Senate press pass, then you can get a Supreme Court Press pass, generally.. And I think the Senate, like a lot of different places, is struggling with what to do with new media.. When is a blog a real part of the media? We re a special puzzle, because we re practicing lawyers as well.. And so after we had requested several times, they - a couple of weeks ago, for the first time, issued us a press pass.. And so we are in line, I think, to get a Supreme Court credential for the first time.. Which is, I think, a good thing, once we ve been covering the Court for 10 years, we have - objectively, the biggest effort to cover the Supreme Court ever.. It s nice that - it s a nice recognition that they ll treat us as a member of the press.. LAMB Now, people love to write about your other things that you do in your life.. And I ll bring is up so that if people think you re sitting oddly - you ve just come back from a difficult time in Mexico.. GOLDSTEIN: I did.. I had the good chance to go skiing out in Utah.. The problem is that I m a terrible skier.. So I hurt my knee; and then went on Spring Break with our wonderful two daughters - Amy and I, who are married, we went down there.. And because my knee and leg were very stable, I had deep vein thrombosis.. I had blood clots in my leg.. And then one of the blood clots thought it would be more interesting to go live in my lung, so I had a pulmonary embolism; and I was in the ICU there.. Eventually we got me an air ambulance back to the United States.. But I am on the mend, and going to be fine.. But it has been an adventure for the past month or so.. LAMB What s this business about you and the Ferrari, and the races in Las Vegas?.. GOLDSTEIN: I went through a time when, rather than focusing on being a Supreme Court litigator, it seemed like maybe it would be fun to do some other things.. And so I did have a little bit of a racecar, and did some drag racing out there; always good to mix things up.. It s not really what people who do what I do - Supreme Court litigators - tend to do.. They tend to be unbelievably accomplished, super-smart, but relatively staid people.. And that is not what people generally would say about me - either the super-smart or the staid.. LAMB You mention that you went to American University here in Washington - got your law degree there at night.. GOLDSTEIN: I actually didn t go at night.. LAMB Oh, you did not.. GOLDSTEIN: I was originally admitted into the evening program; that s true.. But a day before school started, a seat opened up in the day program.. LAMB But people often write about the fact that the Supreme Court justices go to Harvard, Yale, and Stanford.. GOLDSTEIN: That s right.. LAMB There s six Catholics and three Jews.. I mean, it s a narrow group in some respects.. GOLDSTEIN: It really is; and maybe unfortunately so.. LAMB But is it - is it possible that you re not accepted - or you weren t in the beginning - because you weren t from one of those big schools?.. GOLDSTEIN: Sure; well, and I didn t clerk at the Supreme Court, and I didn t work in the Solicitor General s office.. I think there is - look, there is a felt sense, in almost any group, that this is what people who do this look like.. And so I hadn t gone to those schools, although I love my school dearly, and felt incredibly fortunate to go there; it s a fantastic place.. I didn t work in the jobs that everybody else who does this did.. And the other thing is that I made a practice very early on of going after cases.. To say, look, you re a fourth-year lawyer; you didn t clerk at the Supreme Court.. People aren t going to exactly knock the door down to ask you to handle their Supreme Court case.. That s just not going to happen.. If I was going to get involved in this practice, and build a law practice, and have those opportunities, I was going to have to go out and find them.. And at the time, in the late 90s, that was totally unheard of.. It was - and again, it s a very staid institution.. Things don t change very much; people are extremely reserved.. And that s benefited the Court tremendously; and I respect that.. But when you - people are used to, if you ve gone to Harvard, Yale, Stanford; clerked at the Supreme Court; worked in the Solicitor General s office - then cases are going to come to you.. And they were not used to somebody who was going out and chasing down business.. LAMB So how did you - in the beginning - cold call? Explain that.. GOLDSTEIN: Well, what I did, is I realized that because the practice was so staid, that people weren t finding opportunities.. And the Supreme Court s practice of taking cases - so there are really two stages of Supreme Court litigation.. The first is you have to ask the justices to hear your case; and then they hear it.. And they hear about 80 cases a year.. But the practice of asking them - there s actually pretty much a formula for which cases they will take.. They involve disagreements between courts of appeals around the country.. And so I can read a decision of a court of appeals and tell you pretty accurately, yes, this is something that might well interest the Supreme Court.. And so I found bunches and bunches of cases, where if the party that lost only asked the Supreme Court to hear it, they probably would.. And so I went to the  ...   Constitution that he s written about; his view about administrative agencies, different statutes, the things that he finds most persuasive about interpreting laws and regulations and provisions of the Constitution; and that he s a way more complicated person than people think.. People think, Oh, he s super Conservative.. Well, he s an incredibly principled guy, first and foremost.. And so a lot of his Constitutional rulings actually favor criminal defendants, because he reads some critical provisions to the Constitution about your right to a jury trial, for example; your right to confront witnesses against you; in a very broad way, that s very favorable to the accused.. LAMB What about Justice Breyer?.. GOLDSTEIN: Well, I just thought that was beautiful, because Justice Breyer - who, by the way, as many people will know, is recovering from another serious biking accident, having shoulder replacement surgery, which sounds awful.. He really loves to explain.. He started - not started, but he has been a law professor for a long time.. And he really cares that people understand the law in its fullest.. And so he s been writing books about the law and the Constitution now.. And his perspective is kind of in some respects the opposite of Justice Scalia; where Justice Scalia is very rule-bound, a very clear sense of a particular way to read the Constitution.. Justice Breyer is the consummate pragmatist; he wants the system to work.. And so he will take different pieces of the puzzle of how to interpret a provision of the Constitution to try and assemble something that he thinks doesn t make nonsense of the law.. LAMB I know you have opinions on this, so let s let Justice Scalia talk about it first; and then we ll come back to you - on television in the court.. Antonin Scalia: But if you know what our real business is, if you know that we re not usually contemplating our naval - should there be a right to this or that, should there be a right to abortion, should there be a right to homos - that s not usually what we re doing.. We re usually dealing with the Internal Revenue code; with Orissa; with patent law; with all sorts of dull stuff that only a lawyer could understand, and perhaps get interested in.. If the American people saw all of that, they would be educated.. But they wouldn t see all of that.. Your outfit would carry it all, to be sure.. But what most of the American people would see would be 30 second - 15 second takeouts from our arguments; and those takeouts would not be characteristic of what we do.. They would be uncharacteristic.. LAMB: Yes, now but what we see is an article in the newspaper that s out of context with what you say is -.. Antonin Scalia: That s fine, but it s - people read that, and they say, Oh, well it s an article in the newspaper.. And the guy may be lying; or he may be misinformed.. But somehow when you see it live - an excerpt, pulled out of an entire - when you see it live, it has a much greater impact.. LAMB Is he right?.. GOLDSTEIN: This is where I always get myself in trouble.. No, he s not.. And it s an uncomfortable place for somebody who practices in front of the court - to say the justices have it wrong.. They ve thought a ton about this, let s be clear.. And there s a broad agreement among the justices, who are people who care about free speech and the First Amendment, and the public, that they shouldn t televise things.. I think that the experience of other courts in the United States and other countries is directly to the contrary.. And I just agree with what he started with, which is - if people saw their Supreme Court on CSPAN, if they saw it on the internet, they would respect it more, not less.. The justices treasure and value, and they do their jobs better, when they are largely anonymous.. Now, they don t stay entirely anonymous; some of them want to sell books, for example.. And so that s a valuable part of it.. But it is so hard to get to see the Supreme Court, when there are 100 to 150 public seats.. So a few thousand people can see it every year.. And it s a big, big country.. It s super expensive to come to Washington, D.. And so I think people would understand and appreciate and admire the Supreme Court more.. And even if they didn t, it s the country s right; these are public proceedings, in my opinion.. The American public deserves to get to see the institution in operation.. LAMB The last several justices, when they re at their confirmation hearings, have suggested they re in favor of television, as you know.. Then all of a sudden, we hear - no, not a good idea.. GOLDSTEIN: Well, I think there are a couple of things going on.. The first is once you get inside the institution, you better understand why it is that they ve been resistant to it.. And so I think that the new justices have probably moved some.. But second, we just have to understand that the justices really prefer to operate by consensus.. And so until there really is a solid majority for change, I would be very surprised if any justices came out and said, I think that there should be cameras, because of the conflict and controversy that it would create.. They think about the issue a lot; they continue to talk about it; they continue to learn from the experience of other courts.. I think it s just going to take another generation.. And it will change, and they will eventually televise it.. I think it s regrettable that they haven t done it yet.. LAMB Peter Irons gets credit for breaking this log-jam on the audio.. Here he is testifying back in 2005, in front of Arlen Specter.. PETER IRONS: Now, until 1986, there was no restriction on access to those tapes.. But in 1986, when Fred Graham of CBS news obtained a copy of the Pentagon Papers oral argument, and played excerpts of it on television and radio, Chief Justice Burger imposed restrictions on access to those tapes, limiting it to what were termed private research and teaching.. And I had decided in 1991, having heard some of these tapes when I was in law school, that it would be a good educational project to make them available to the public, particularly for use in schools.. LAMB So we now have audio the same week.. GOLDSTEIN: Yes, so this is essentially the court s compromise.. Because it has listened to the public interest in hearing what it is that they re doing.. So there s transcripts the same day, within a couple of hours of the oral argument; and we have the audio the same week, on the Friday.. And I think that probably the compromise here is a practical one; and that is, the court believes that they are making the audio available quickly, but not quickly enough so that it ll make it onto the evening news the night of the oral argument.. LAMB Why are they afraid of that?.. GOLDSTEIN: Afraid might be too strong.. I do think they sincerely believe what Justice Scalia said, and that is that what s going on in the oral argument is a to and fro on very complicated things; and that there will be a tendency on the part of the media to pick out the things - particularly comments from Justice Scalia, who can be hilarious, and can really get in the face of lawyers sometimes - that will be - raise the most public interest, but may not be the most informative.. It s an irony that the Court so treasures the media and the press and the First Amendment; but when it comes to what happens to them, they are more suspicious.. LAMB How much of all this do you catalogue, or do you archive on your website?.. GOLDSTEIN: Well, we have all of the briefs.. And we don t try and do everything related to the Supreme Court.. So there s a wonderful project called the Oyez Project, that has done incredible work with the audio - archiving it, collecting it, matching it up with the transcripts so that you can search it.. And so we have a cooperative relationship with them; where on Friday, they then post the audio on the blog.. LAMB And who is Oyez?.. GOLDSTEIN: Oyez is a project formerly done by a professor named Jerry Goldman at Chicago-Kent, that is another public service.. LAMB Kent is Northwestern? Or Chicago?.. GOLDSTEIN: No, it s at Chicago - it s in Chicago.. It s another university.. And they have an entire project devoted to - they ve now collected all - very recently, they ve gone all the way back, all the audio that s available over the decades from oral arguments, to make them publicly available.. And the justices view about this is, look, the oral argument audio isn t anything formally important at all.. It s the decisions that matter.. But what the Oyez project recognized I think was that it s still a part of the process.. It s a fascinating insight.. And I actually think they re right.. Because when you go to oral argument, where the justice are asking questions before they ve met together, you get the most unadulterated view of what that particular person thinks, before they have to come together and agree on some kind of least common denominator view.. LAMB So how many people work for SCOTUSblog?.. GOLDSTEIN: It depends on how you count it.. We ve got about four full-time staff; we ve got another part-time staff of around 15 or 20 people; we have another 100 people who contribute during the year.. It s gone from me and Amy, sitting in the bedroom, clicking away on a computer; to a whole enterprise, where the - it probably cost us $5,000 the first year; by year seven it was costing me a quarter million dollars a year out of pocket.. Its budget now is a half million dollars a year.. And money doesn t tell you a ton, except it gives you a sense of scale, where we really are throwing a lot of resources at it.. LAMB And what does Bloomberg Law have to do with it?.. GOLDSTEIN: They re its savior.. Bloomberg Law is unbelievably good to us.. I think Bloomberg - Bloomberg Law, which is a competitor of Lexis and Westlaw, a fantastic legal research service, wants to use the opportunity to get its name out there; but on top of that, just thinks the blog is a public good, so it wants to support it.. And they just let us do our thing.. They think that it s good to have a relationship with us, but they just want to be supportive.. So they make everything possible in terms of the finances of it.. They give us access to all of their online materials; and they give the public access to all of the online materials that sling from the blog.. And they say, have at it.. LAMB Is it a for-profit company?.. GOLDSTEIN: It is - it s not listed as a not-for-profit, but it has lost way more money than it will ever make.. LAMB So how many lawyers are there in your law firm?.. GOLDSTEIN: In the law firm, there are about four lawyers; but one part-time, three full-time.. And Amy, as I mentioned, is now really focused exclusively almost on the blog.. LAMB Are you still cold calling?.. GOLDSTEIN: Much less.. That s the thing, is that as you get better known, people tend to come to you.. And so whereas before, I would say - in the beginning, nine out of the 10 cases that I would do would be a situation where I went after the case.. Now, one out of the 10.. It s changed dramatically.. But still, if I see an opportunity out there, for sure I m going to go after it.. But now, if someone has one of those cases, where a court of appeals decides something, and it could go to the Supreme Court because there s that disagreement; then they re going to get contacted by 10 or 15 lawyers, in a way that 10 years ago, they would never have heard from anybody.. LAMB Is there more interruptions today than there was 20 years ago - by the justices?.. GOLDSTEIN: I mean, you can t even measure it.. Every single justice who s joined the Supreme Court has asked more questions than the one before them, for decades now.. And so it s reached unsustainable proportions.. I think the justices all recognize that.. But they don t have a way - they have what political scientists call a collective action problem; they can t all agree on a way of dialing it back a lot.. And Justice Thomas has spoken frankly about - it s one of the reasons he doesn t ask questions; he just thinks it s too much of a free-for-all.. And the lawyers don t get to say anything.. I mean, our job is to go up there and answer their questions as best we can.. But they - you can - when you re getting asked four questions a minute, it s hard to tell something coherent.. LAMB Did I hear you say on something I was listening to that the RNC impacted the way the court feels about releasing the tapes and all because of Don Verrilli s activities during - who was the solicitor for the government during Obamacare.. GOLDSTEIN: Yes, so what happened was - everybody remembers the oral arguments when the administration was defending the statute, the solicitor general, Don Verrilli, was criticized for having - what happened was, he had drunk a glass of water, and aspirated it; it went into his lungs.. And so he had a very halting start.. And so the RNC decided to make fun of that, and immediately produced one of these web-only commercials, that was never going to be on TV, but got a lot of attention.. And so the justices, I think, looked at that - in fact, I know - looked at that, and said, This is exactly what we re concerned about, is the ability to take something out of context, use it to make fun, not take seriously, bring down the institution.. It s a good illustration of their concern; and I think it s a valid point, that it s a good illustration.. So they set that cause back with that ad, five or 10 years, easily.. LAMB Those are your Bermuda shorts?.. GOLDSTEIN: Well, I wasn t getting - nobody else had any available like that.. I think that if we can lower the bar to people thinking the Supreme Court is this inaccessible institution, it s too complicated, that really isn t engaged with American life; and make them - I don t know if this succeeds - but make them feel like they understand the place, and it s not too foreign to them, we ll have accomplished something.. LAMB So, general public watching says, How do I get to all this? How do I get to Oyez, how do I get to SCOTUSblog.. com?.. GOLDSTEIN: Well, it s just - the fantastic thing about the internet; it couldn t be easier.. If you put in - if you put in Supreme Court blog, SCOTUSblog, my name, Oyez - whatever search engine you re using will take you straight there.. I got to do the Daily Show, and Jon Stewart said, SCOTUSblog - how do people find it? And I said, The internet? It s all very, very straightforward, thankfully.. And once you get to the front, you ll be able to search for particular cases, or see what the court has done this day, or this week.. LAMB They often cite Jon Stewart as one of the reasons why you ll never have television in court.. I think it s the reason, probably.. LAMB Why?.. GOLDSTEIN: Well, look - he is unbelievably funny; and he can cut like a dagger.. And uses - he and his team use video very effectively.. And the justices are incredibly serious people, doing unbelievably important work.. And that s not how he comes at it.. He brings everybody down to earth, and uses it to the ends that he thinks are appropriate in making fun, often, of big, important institutions; and having video of the justices at oral argument, that he can slice and dice, I think is something that they think would be - several of them, they think would be awful.. And look, they ve got a point - to a point.. The difficulty with that argument is that there are still the 95 percent of other times when people would look at that institution and see, gosh, they re taking this really, really seriously.. LAMB Do you still get nervous when you stand in front of the Court?.. GOLDSTEIN: I ve never gotten nervous standing in front of the Court.. I probably would be a better lawyer if I did, to be honest; and that is, it might drive me to prepare even more, no matter how much time I put into it now.. But this is the one place that I know.. I came to understand it during law school; I decided this is what I wanted to be.. And so standing up there in front of them is more home to me than almost anything else I do.. LAMB So you - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill - undergraduate degree, in what?.. GOLDSTEIN: Yes, political science.. Barely, but successfully.. LAMB Somebody s watching this, saying, I want to do what Tom Goldstein did.. What s your recommendation?.. GOLDSTEIN: Look, nobody should try and be me, because being me isn t the cat s meow.. They should really try and be whatever it is that they love; that they wake up in the morning and are so excited to have the chance to do.. And for me, that s the Supreme Court.. But it could be anything.. If you re a lawyer, it could be immigration, or patent, or whatever; it could be being a doctor; it could be helping people in your community; it could be politics; whatever.. That s how they ll be great.. And I m not saying that I m great; but I m as good as I can be, because I couldn t be happier doing this.. And they should not believe that because they didn t go to one of the top three schools in the country that that s the end, and they ll never be at the top of their game.. If you do what it is that you love, you can find something that you re the best in, in my opinion.. LAMB We re going to put on the screen a caricature, or a drawing, by Art Lien; it s not of you, but it s of the court.. Art Lien, we ve known for years - NBC -.. GOLDSTEIN: Yes, NBC and now SCOTUSblog as well.. LAMB Is he full-time SCOTUSblog?.. GOLDSTEIN: No, he s basically - principally works for NBC; so we have - he s a sketch artist.. He s been covering the court for decades.. And what I decided - SCOTUSblog is a little bit boring visually; and that s in the nature of the Supreme Court.. I don t have video.. LAMB By the way, before we - I just want everybody to know that that is a caricature where Justice Breyer would sit.. GOLDSTEIN: Yes, because Justice Breyer was hurt.. So you have Justice Sotomayor, nobody, Justice Thomas, Justice Scalia, and you re seeing the edge of the Chief Justice.. LAMB Why do they allow this in the Court?.. GOLDSTEIN: This has been going on since the 1800s, and I don t think they can put a stop to it.. And I don t - they re not afraid of people seeing a sketch of the Supreme Court.. I think that they re - that s not out of context; that happened.. That doesn t have the downsides.. And by the way, it s a little bit of an illustration - to use the phrase - of how it is that they are trying to do as much as they can without the cameras.. So moving up the audio; and of course, on super big oral argument days, they do the audio on the day; take healthcare, take same-sex marriage.. They ll do it right then.. So it is available the same day.. Or sketch artists, and print publications and everything - they just haven t gotten over the hump with video.. LAMB So you re a predictor from time to time.. If President Obama gets another appointment to the Supreme Court, who would it be?.. GOLDSTEIN: Well, I think it would be Justice Ginsburg retiring - would be the natural and logical person.. But who knows what it is that she ll do; if you would just say that was the most likely.. I think he ll definitely appoint another woman; because going from three women on the court back to two would be unfortunate, I think, in the view of a lot of people, including the President.. And then - who knows; it ll depend.. It won t be for a couple of years.. I would say my leading candidate for it is the Attorney General of California, Kamala Harris.. LAMB Tom Goldstein - lawyer; attorney before the Supreme Court; founder, with his wife, Amy Howe, of SCOTUSblog.. Thank you so much for your time.. GOLDSTEIN: Thank you for having me.. END..

    Original link path: /Transcript/?ProgramID=1445
    Open archive

  • Title: Q & A
    Descriptive info: May 19, 2013.. James Gates, Jr.. National Medal of Science Laureate.. : Our guest is S.. , a recipient of the National Medal of Science.. The award for 2011 was presented by President Obama in a White House ceremony in February of 2013.. Dr.. Gates discusses the process by which a scientist is nominated and selected for this distinction, which is the highest honor the U.. government bestows upon scientists.. Gates shares memories from his childhood, and details how he came to be interested in studying science as a young student.. He shares the story about a PBS Science Now video he appeared in titled, 30 Second Science.. The goal of the video was to attempt to explain the fundamentals of the scientific research of string theory in physics in a thirty second period of time.. Gates tells of his continuing dedication to teaching and explains he is now entering his 41st year as a teacher.. He currently teaches at the University of Maryland.. He talks about the intersection of public policy and science and suggests that without public funding, scientific research would be deeply impacted.. He describes how he came to be appointed to the President s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, a distinction he describes as unimagined in his life.. BRIAN LAMB: Dr.. Jim Gates, how would you define the word science?.. SYLVESTER JAMES GATES JR.. : Science is really the method by which humanity acquires its most precise understanding of our home, the universe.. LAMB: And when did you first get interested in it?.. GATES JR.. : Oh, my story is sort of weird.. It actually starts when I was four years old.. We were living in Saint John s Newfoundland at the time.. Dad was a soldier in the U.. Army.. He spent 27 years in, went in during World War II and was in the Red Ball Express during Second World War, rolling across Western Europe supplying General Patton s third army.. But in the 50s, the U.. still had army bases and British possessions from the old (lend lease) program.. So Dad was stationed at Saint (John Smith).. One day, my mother took her then three children to see a movie.. The movie was called Spaceways.. It s about space travel.. And I only figured this movie out about three to four years ago because although I m 62 now, I still have memories, a few memories of what the movie was like.. And I ve carried these memories my entire life.. And so I use them in the web, because what is great technology is for to figure out what the movie was, it s Spaceways.. It starts with a guy by the name Howard Duff and a lady by the name of Eva Bartok.. And when I saw the star, I knew why mom took me to see the movie, because you see, my mother had no interest in science and technology.. She was an artist.. She fired clay, she did macramé, she knitted.. And so I always wondered, how did mom take me to see this movie? Well, Howard Duff was married to Ida Lupino.. And Ida Lupino was my mother s favorite star.. So it made perfect sense that she d take us to the movies.. That s my first encounter with science.. That evening, I tried to come home and explain rockets.. I m told my father who was in the army, a four-year-old kid, that s pretty funny.. And so I was really attracted.. Four years later, we live in Saint in El Paso, Texas, Fort Bliss.. Dad was stationed there.. He remembered his four-year old son had gotten excited by rockets.. One day, he brought home four books by an author named Willy Ley on space travel because we all knew that pretty soon, some person was going to go into space.. And I read the books and had a personal revelation.. I then understood at age eight that the tiny dots of light in the night sky were places to which one might travel.. And I was just excited about this idea.. And subconsciously, I think I must have remembered this movie because I knew that science was how you go to such places.. So at age eight, I decided I wanted to become an astronaut/scientist.. A few years later, I was in high school well, actually, a few years later, even in elementary school, back in the old days, we didn t have the web.. When the kids do homework, we have these huge things called encyclopedias.. Dad bought a set of Encyclopedia Britannica for us.. One day, I was paging through it and I came across this really weird thing at the time.. It was some kind of a arithmetic, it was a word actually I was using because they had equal signs and plus signs.. This thing turns out to be one of the great equation of the physics, something called Schrödinger equation.. And yet for me, at around age 9 or 10, I was fascinated by this thing.. And I wondered, could I ever personally understand that story that it told.. And then finally in high school, when I was in 11th grade, I had to in Orlando, Florida, it was a segregated high school, Jones High, over 100 years old now in Orlando.. And I had just a fantastic physics teacher, a gentleman by the name of Mr.. (Freeman Coney).. Two weeks since the course, I knew it was Physics I want to spend the rest of my life doing if I couldn t be an astronaut.. LAMB: What was that equation called again?.. : Schrödinger s equation.. It s the equation so when I think you ve met Brian Greene.. He talks about the Quantum Café where all these weird stuff goes on, walking through walls and duplicates coming.. That behavior, although we don t see it in our world, that is the world of electrons and we know that because this equation written by Schrödinger accurately describes how to build cellphones, for example.. So that s the equation that sort of hooked me into science.. LAMB: Your current job?.. : Well, currently, I have I m a professor of physics at the University of Maryland.. My title is ridiculously long.. I m the Regents Professor of the University System of Maryland, the John S.. Toll Professor of Physics, and the Center for String and Particle Theory Director.. It s a real mouthful.. What it basically means is that those dreams that I had when I was 8 and 14, it means they all came true.. LAMB: Here s a video clip because there are a lot of them on the web with you, talking about something that I want you to define for a (inaudible) like me.. : Oh, very good.. (BEGIN VIDEO).. LAMB: How do you feel about describing your science in 30 seconds?.. : I m going to make the attempt.. Imagine that you had a yard stick, if you cut it into 10 equal pieces, and throw away 9, you ll go from something this big to that big.. Take that remaining thing, cut in 10 equal pieces, throw away 9, keep 1, you go from the yard stick to the size of my fingernail.. If you do this process ten times, you get to the size of the atom.. Suppose you did that say 35 times, what s left in our universe? Well, we have no instruments to measure that.. And so people like me have been working on a piece of mathematics called string theory, a super string theory to answer that question.. We think there are filaments there I tried.. LAMB: What were we watching?.. : Well, I was challenged to explain to explain the science I do in 30 seconds.. And so this is a part of a program called the Secret Life of Scientist.. They have a whole archive of people like me doing this and talking about what we do as people engaged in science.. And so that was a challenge and that s what I delivered.. LAMB: How can you tell when people like me hear that 30-second definition and haven t got a clue?.. : Well actually, what generally happens is people do tend to get something from that because they understand that what we re doing is trying to study the world at its smallest possible scale.. The other thing I think is really interesting is my wife is often asked by people who find out I m a theoretical physicist, what does your husband actually do? And see, her answer is he makes some stuff for a living.. Now, that s sort of right.. But the way I preferred it is to tell my story is the following.. Most people know what novelists do.. A novelist takes words and sentences and makes characters and tell stories.. Well, a theoretical physicist does the same thing, except that we use mathematics to make up our characters and tell our stories.. And then if we re really glued at what we do, our stories correspond to something that happens in nature.. So that little clip that you saw a few moments ago was my attempt to sort of boil down to a very 30-second sound bite mode describing what it is that I and people in my community do to try to understand the world.. LAMB: Did you have to practice that?.. : We got that take in about three or four times.. LAMB: Here s another piece of video that further defines your life.. Female: 2011, National Medal of Science to Sylvester James Gates Jr.. , University of Maryland, for contributions to the Mathematics of Super Symmetry and Particle Field and String Theories and Extraordinary Efforts to engage the public on the beauty and wonder of Fundamental Physics.. (END VIDEO).. : I don t know the complete story because one never knows for these major scientific awards how I got started.. I can tell you generally what happened which is that someone somewhere decided to nominate me for this award.. In fact, that part I do know.. Eventually, of that day in fact, I found out that the former president of the University of Maryland Campus, a gentleman by the name of Daniel Mote who served a magnificent term as our president, just stepped down about two or three years ago, was the president who nominated me for that award.. The process after the nomination becomes totally opaque.. Some set of my colleagues that I m sure includes some of the physicists in the world were then solicited to provide input on what it was that I had done in my scientific career.. This then went to another group of scientists who then evaluate the letters of reference as they come in and then, you know, the there s a group that does an evaluation, says, is this scientist really worthy of receiving this recognition? The National Medal of Science is a unique honor in my life.. Most people I ve heard of the Medal of Honor, because we know that brave soldiers and extreme acts of bravery defending our country can earn the Medal of Honor.. And some people have heard of the Medal of Art, so for example, these beautiful performances in the Kennedy Center for the recipients and often you see pictures of that on the news.. Most people don t know that there s a Medal of Science which is the comparable medal that our country uses to recognize an individual s contribution to science and so I it was just a dream come true.. LAMB: Did I hear them say, at 2011, but you got this in 2013.. : Yes.. So yes, this was a 2011 award for the medal.. It didn t happen till 2013 because in between that time the White House was slightly distracted with the little called an election.. And so, we this ceremony and I m sure, numerous of other things were put off while they were tending the business of trying to win an election.. LAMB: What impact has the award had on you?.. Jim Gates: Oh my goodness.. I wish someone had warned me before what the award does so, the ceremony took place at the beginning of February.. Since the middle of February till now, I have been in 12 states and two countries and so I have been constantly running since the award, making presentations and receiving invitations to go and talk to people about the science I do but also some of the public policy because actually I have four careers in this life.. And one of them involves Public Policy.. Part I m pretty sure that though the award was given for my science.. I m sure that the other parts of my professional activities also contributed to people judging me a worthy recipient.. So, I tell people I have four careers.. My first career was actually teaching.. This is my 40th consecutive year teaching in the classroom.. I have been teaching since 1972, University students either Mathematics or Physics.. My second career is as a researcher in 1977, I wrote my Ph.. D.. thesis it was the first thesis at MIT on the subject called Super Symmetry, which lies at the foundation of Super String Theory something a lot of people have heard.. And in fact in some sense I prepared myself very well to work on Super String Theory which is part of what I do.. My third career is basically in public outreach.. I ve been featured on five, six, seven video documentaries mostly on NOVA where I have been asked to talk to non scientists about what it is that our community does.. So, one of those programs, of course was the Elegant Universe with Brian Greene.. His actually invited me to serve on two of his programs as one of the expert commentators.. And then finally my fourth career is in public policy.. It s very strange because it has this career didn t come from no place because I have been involved my entire life in some lesser ways in public policy.. But in 2009, two quite remarkable things happened within two weeks of each other.. I was at a conference and a friend and my secretary called, So, the governor s office is trying to reach you.. and I thought, Gee, what could I ve done wrong, now that the Governor s wants to talk to me.. And it was one of the Governor s staff members and we begun a conversation about my perhaps joining the Maryland State Board of Education.. The staff member explained to me that the Governor of Maryland, Martin O Malley had a very deep interest in what we call a STEM, Science and Technology Engineering Mathematics education and its interplay with the economic vitality of the State in the future.. And we could you really want kids that are good at this stuff because the jobs out in the future looked like they kind of use that skill set more than we do now.. And so that was one thing, and then the other thing that happened as I said, within about the two weeks of that was a call from Dr.. Harold Varmus, Nobel Prize winner and former head of National Institute of Health.. I have known Harold for some time.. In fact, this is a funny story because I was on my way to India and I was sitting there an airport in Amsterdam and at my computer like I always am when I have a free second and I get this message from Harold saying, We need to speak.. And I sent back a message, I m on my way back to India.. Let s talk about it in a week s time when I go back.. I got back to the U.. I wait for Harold s call, nothing happens.. I said Oh well, whatever it was must have gone away.. Then about a week after that, I get another message from Harold saying, I need to talk to you.. I m like, Well Harold, I ve been back a week.. I thought we would touch base by now.. Let s talk anytime if you like it.. Another week goes by I don t hear anything.. So then I m on my way to the University of Florida in Gainesville to give a talk at the Physics Department there and in the airport, my mobile phone rings.. It s Harold and Harold says, Jim, can we talk? And I said, Harold, we ve been trying to talk for a month now, what s been going on? And he said, If you were offered an appointment to the U.. President s Council Advisors on Science and Technology, what would be your answer? My response was, Harold, will you just stop kidding.. And then he said he was serious.. And it was one of the few times of my life when my knees went weak because I knew exactly what PCAST was.. That s the acronym that we use and to be called upon to advise the President of the United States in service of to one s country, this was just unimagined to me in my life.. And so since 2009, I ve been an adviser to President Obama on this council of about 20 of us that includes people like Eric Schmidt of Google is a member of the council.. Craig Mundie of Microsoft is a member of council.. Rick Levin, former president of Yale is a member.. Shirley Jackson, President of RPI is a member and it s just an incredible group of people and we advice the president of the United States on issues having to do with science and technology.. LAMB: Your parents are alive?.. : I wish they were.. My mother actually died when I was 12.. It was a very painful experience but in a very odd way, it contributed to my becoming a scientist.. In order to escape the emotional pain of the separation, I retreated to a world of fantasy, reading science fiction and comic books and drawing and creating my own characters or what have you.. And so because of this attribute of my personality, I sustained the use of my imagination well into my teenage years.. And I, you know, at that time, I noted that a lot of my friends no longer used their imaginations but I did.. And it turns out that was very important because to be a theoretical physicist is to utilize one s imagination.. So I did the right thing to support that.. My dad, who was an incredible man Dads left a farm in Alabama when he was about 17 years old, joined the U.. He, lying about his age in the process, weighing all of 127 pounds and I like to tell I used to tell him after I found out his weight, I said those two pounds sure made a difference because if he had been two pounds lighter, he would not have been inducted in the Army.. But because he had made the weight requirement, he joined the United States Army.. He had a 27-year long career, loved service to this country, just absolutely just was in love with the idea of being a soldier and defending the country and he was a very industrious guy, very committed to education.. In our family when we were young, the question was never what college no, whether you would go to college, the question was what college would you go to.. So, you never had the option of saying I don t know if I m going.. And he s the person, I think, that I have to attribute most of who I am.. My mother, as I said, died when we were 12.. For about two years before her death, he raised four children by himself while he was on active duty service.. I look back at that and I am simply amazed at how he did how he could manage that.. At my mother s funeral, the Commanding General of Fort Bliss which is a training center still in operation sent his color guards to my mother s funeral.. I still have memories of having these soldiers with their flags and, you know, honoring my father because of the loss of my mother.. So we have a deep tradition of service to this country.. And when I received the call to serve on PCAST, I thought, my goodness what father would have said about this.. LAMB: Why did you take an interest in chess at an early age? How old were you and what s the story about the chess club?.. : Brian, I could tell you ve done some research.. So, when I was in seventh grade, we had just moved about a half year earlier to the  ...   participate, it was translational program called Project Interface.. And it was it was the most challenging intellectual thing I had ever done to that point.. But one of things that we did, that some (inaudible) group of us, so we have a stipend, you know, we re all bunch of poor students who were looking for ways to save money.. And one of the ways that we did was a couple of us formed what we called a food coop.. We would pitch our little money together and there was a young lady in the group and she would cook the food, and so we would go into Boston, to Faneuil Hall and the Faneuil market and buy fresh vegetables and what have you.. That s how I first met Ron, because he was part of our little food coop in 69, so that s when I first met him.. We attended MIT as graduate students together from the period of 1973 to 1977.. In 73, I was very surprised to see he had returned to MIT because he had actually done his undergraduate work at a historically black college in Carolina.. And we met back and became great friends, taking lots of classes together.. But we truly bonded over something called a general examination.. In order to get one s PhD, it is the standard practice that there s kind of a final exam that the university or department will administer that acts as a go/no go signature.. So it s called a General Exam at MIT.. It s a five-hour written exam at one day for part one, then this five-hour written exam for part two.. And there s an oral examination.. You have to successfully do all these demonstrating to your faculty that you ve actually mastered a content of a graduate student and you are prepared then to go on, to write your PhD thesis.. So Ron and I tried to take this exam.. And we were both unsuccessful on our first attempt.. I was amazed, because you know, at that point, I question whether I d get to this lifelong dream of becoming a physicist.. Ron, although, at the point was also in love with the idea of being a physicist.. And Ron and I concluded that maybe if we worked together, we d have a better shot at it on the second time.. So in the entire month of January of 1975, we studied together.. It was the first time in my life that I actually did study with someone else.. Before then in doing homework, it always was I was sort of a lone wolf, I d go to my corner and do my work and get it done and, you know, come back and get pretty good grades, feel pretty good about myself.. It was clear that I had to learn to be more.. And this interaction with Ron taught me lots of really interesting things.. One of the things is the power of having more than one mind to attack a problem, which I had no appreciation of before then.. They also taught me that a problem usually has several alternative solutions.. And one of the things that I really took away from the relationship is I learned how to do what I called simulated second voice of my thinking.. So when I m thinking about a problem, I now say, OK, so this is what you think about it from this point of view.. What other possible point of view might there be for you to get a solution? So I got that from my interaction with Ron.. So we studied together and eventually we both passed the qualifying examination and we were then both permitted to proceed with our writing of our respected thesis.. LAMB: Where were you the day that the Challenger blew up?.. : So I was the professor at the University of Maryland, the day that the Challenger exploded.. And, of course, it s one of those days, personally that is similar to what a lot of people say about the death of Kennedy.. I know exactly where I was when I heard the news.. So for me, this was one of those days.. Of course, I also remember exactly where I was when I heard that President Kennedy had been assassinated.. So I was a professor at the University of Maryland.. I had walked into a bank because we had a bank on campus.. And I was standing line to get to the teller and a young woman ran into the room and shouted, The shuttle exploded.. A bunch of students started laughing because we have a bus that s still on the campus that s called The Shuttle.. And they re always breaking down.. So people thought she was making a joke about another one of the shuttles stopped working.. And then there was a look of horror came over her face.. And she said, No, the real shuttle blew up.. And when she said that, that instant, I realized I had lost a friend.. I d seen Ron about six months before his death.. And we had had a roast for him back in MIT.. And it was really interesting because he and I talked about our earlier experiences of studying for the general examination.. And I talked about the fact that when Ron when Ron Ron almost always beat me to the answer by very different methods.. And so, you know, I d say, you know, he had access to some kind of incantations or spells to get the answers.. And his response was, Oh no, Jim was just slow because he always want to start off with Green s Function which is a certain mathematical technique for finding answers, so we had a great time at the roast.. And about a week before he died, we saw the TV news about he and teacher astronaut and all of them about to go up.. And then on the day of the explosion, I was stunned.. I had a friend that I had worked with at Caltech, who was also at Maryland with me, a gentleman by the name of Warren Siegel who s also, you know, obviously, a theoretical physicist.. And Warren let me sit in his office and tell Ron s stories all day.. That was the way I emotionally processed the loss of a friend.. In a year or so later, there was a ceremony at MIT dedicating a building to Ron s memory.. So there is a McNair Building at MIT.. And a year or so after that, a very odd occurrence in my life happened, I was in a bookstore and I was walking by a book and it fell on the floor and I don t remember actually touching it.. I have no recollection but it fell on the floor and it was open.. And as I picked it up, I saw my name on the page and I thought, you know, what is this? And so I read a little bit, in this book, the author had relayed the story of the dedication of the McNair Building at MIT.. And the book was basically about the African-Americans who had been among the first astronauts, including some that never had an opportunity to fly.. And I immediately bought the book.. LAMB: Why did you not pursue your possible dream of being an astronaut?.. : Because NASA told me I had the wrong stuff.. So 1979, I was a post doc at Harvard University.. I had left MIT, got my PhD.. I was doing some of the some of the I worked in a very strange mathematical area called supergravity.. I and my friend Warren Siegel.. In fact, we re working together on it and we had developed some things that no one in the world understood, you know, it really excited me.. And then I was going to say, I m doing something that no one has ever done in Math and it s Physics.. So we were just having a great time.. And so I was ending my three-year appointment at Harvard.. And I had actually gotten a second appointment at Caltech by then.. And so I was looking forward to going to Caltech working with John Schwarz, Murray Gelman, Dick Feinman and I have own personal Feinman stories because of this.. But so I got this call from Ron saying, NASA is going to open up another round of applications for people who want to be astronauts.. And he says, I know you, we ve talked about this.. You should apply.. And so I had some debates but I did, I applied.. And they had well, I m told they had about 3,000 people in that round of applications and they successively cut the pools down by smaller and smaller sizes.. And then when they got to a remaining people of about 120, they invited the candidates to come down to the Johnson Space Flight Center for psychological and physical evaluation.. And so, to my very great surprise because I thought, you know, look, I m not a super-athlete.. You know, I m pretty good at school stuff and, you know, I m I had this kind of manic part of my personality that when I do something, I is I m going to do my best to get as good as possible.. But I hadn t thought that they would really look closely at me but they did.. So we went down and we spent a week at the Johnson Clear Lake facility put you inside boxes and spun you around and had some psychological evaluation.. I tell people that I had a psychiatrist who actually asked me if I loved my mother which to me, I thought only happened to the movies, I couldn t imagine happen to real life.. And the but the most interesting part of that week s visit was while I was there on campus, I bumped into Ron who didn t know I was there.. He didn t know I had made it that far in the selection process.. And so we re both walking down the street and there s Ron.. I m like, Ron, I didn t know you re here.. So, you ve made it this far? I m like, Yes.. He said, Let me go take you and introduce you to some friends.. So we went over to where the astronauts, the real astronauts were, their offices.. And I met Colonel Fred Gregory, the first African-American to pilot the shuttle.. I met Guy Bluford and I met Charlie Bolden, the current administrator of NASA.. So I ve met them all in that day.. And then a few weeks later, I got a call from an official at NASA.. And I was still living at just right down the street from Harvard at the time.. And he said, Jim, you know, you know, you present a great case for yourself but I m sorry you were not selected as a finalist.. At which point, I started sort of laughing.. Now, I m sure that the person at the other end thought, gee this guy s gone hysterical and then lost it.. But what he didn t know was that if they had said yes, I would have been faced with then the greatest quandary in my life.. The quandary would have been, do I continue to pursue my career as a scientist working with people like Richard Feinman and Murray Gelman and John Schwarz? John Schwarz being the inventor of string theory, do I do that or do I pursue this other part of my childhood dream to become an astronaut? How could I make that decision? I would have dreaded that.. So when they made the decision for me by saying no and in fact, well, actually NASA told me I had the wrong stuff, then I didn t have to make the decision anymore.. It was all set.. And I was very happy to pursue that line of possibilities.. And so I just started laughing, you know, just with great hilarity on the phone call.. LAMB: Here is a story you told about a flight to South Africa.. : So I was trying to make my way to this window seat on this occasion and this gentleman saw me approaching and he looked up and he smiled this brilliant smile and he said, Is this your seat, with a slight African accent.. And I said, Yes, that s mine.. He said, Here, let me move out of the way.. So he jumped up and I had some bags to put up in the overhead and he was helpful with me getting the bags up.. And I thought, god, this was not my first visit in South Africa but I thought this was one of the most helpful, friendly South African I ve ever met.. And so I said, oh, are you a fan of science? He said no.. And so at this point, I m like, well, where did you actually see me? He said, Oh, come on, all of us have seen Invictus, and then I hard time convincing him that I am not Morgan Freeman.. LAMB: Has that ever happened before or after?.. : Brian, you re not going to believe this but it has happened within the last month, it s certainly the last two months, three different times.. The most recent time was about two weeks ago.. I was on an airplane and I had to come back from the lavatory and I was coming to my seat and I sat down.. And the young man in front of me turned around and said, You know, Shawshank Redemption is my favorite movie.. And I said, And you re telling me this why? And he says, Well, you re Morgan Freeman, of course.. And I said, No, I m not Morgan Freeman.. I was in South Africa about a month ago and I was at JFK having to make a connection and there was a young couple, it was morning, I wanted to get a croissant for breakfast.. And I was standing in line and there s this young couple in front of me and I noticed the young man looking back at me and I didn t think very much about it.. And then they got their order and paid for it and moved to the side and then he then I moved up and told the young man, I wanted a chocolate croissant and some orange juice.. And then at that point, he turned to me and said, Oh, you re not Morgan Freeman.. He said, Until I heard your voice, I thought you might be.. So I keep telling people I m not Morgan Freeman.. This has been going on since 2005 and it leads to all kinds of funny events.. The one of the most memorable perhaps did occur in South Africa one evening, I was in a restaurant with a group friends.. We d gone out to an outdoor café.. We re having a wonderful time.. And at one point, I notice the people at the adjacent table turning to look at our table and I thought, gee, that s rather odd.. And then I noticed the wait staff starting to turn and look at our table, gee, you know, what s going on? And then you could see some of the chefs coming out to the door and leaning out and looking at our table.. And I m like (inaudible).. So finally, the head waiter comes over and leans down in a very sort of sotto voce says, Sir, are you Morgan Freeman? And my friend who s one of my African friends who was sitting to my right, pipes in, Yes, he is.. He is.. But he doesn t want anybody to know.. We had a great meal that night.. LAMB: But why hasn t somebody said are you Nelson Mandela? The part that he played.. : Yeah, you know, I don t know.. I ll tell you I m actually hopeful to meet Morgan Freeman.. Well, I ve been to South Africa many times and I have always wanted to meet Nelson Mandela but I don t think I m going to ever have that opportunity.. You know, we follow the reports on his health.. LAMB: Here s your friend Brian Greene at Columbia.. BRIAN GREENE: Because all of the scientific work that we re involved with has to be funded and, of course, they re limited funds, what do you spend your money on.. So for instance, we were building a machine in Texas called the superconducting SuperCollider in the early 1990s.. And that was meant to be a huge (atmosphere) measure, huge tunnel in which particles would slam together at high energies recreating events unseen since the Big Bang.. And that was a very expensive undertaking and it was ultimately cancelled because budgetary constraints wouldn t allow it to go forward.. This is big blow to science.. So there you see that the intersection of the work that we re doing with public policy can have a great impact on the rate of progress.. LAMB: SuperCollider, what does it do?.. : What would have done because we.. LAMB: Well, I m thinking of the one in Europe.. : The LHC, the Large Hadron Collider.. So what does it do? Well, we take protons and use electrical fields, basically radio signals to pump energy into them and that causes them to move.. And in fact, the protons that are accelerated at the LHC are moving at 0.. 9999999, the speed of light.. Humans have never made anything move this fast before, so it s almost at the speed of light.. So we put them in magnetic fields which then cause them to rotate in circular paths.. And then actually, rotating there in two separate pipes and the pipes have the air pump out of them because we don t want them bumping into air molecules.. We want a pure beam.. And then you let these two pipes open up into each other so that you can allow the protons to crash into each other.. Now, at those points, we Americans have done something incredible.. There are two I d like to tell people they re big iPhones.. They re these devices called detectors.. One of them is called the Compact Neon Solenoid, the CNS.. The other one is the Atlas detectors.. Both of these devices represent over several thousand U.. physicists working in Geneva, Switzerland as well as several hundred million U.. dollars.. I remember in 1998, I was in the White House and I met President Clinton.. And this was just after the SuperCollider in Texas, the one that Brian spoke about had been cancelled.. And you know, it was a great tragedy, especially as we look backwards.. So you talk about cost, cost is about maybe two to four B-2 bombers.. That s what basically doomed their project.. In some sense the SuperCollider wound up being perceived by our policy makers as being a choice between the SuperCollider and the space station.. And so the space station was the way that the country chose to go.. The SuperCollider which would have been three times as powerful as the LHC that operates right now, three times, would have found the same physics.. We would have been there over a decade ago.. So the rate of progress that Brian was talking about in your video, we would have done these discoveries over a decade ago.. LAMB: Where can people find I know, I saw a lot on the web, but what would you recommend when you re talking science that you ve done a lot?.. Well, the project that I ve done most complete discussion is something called Superstring Theory, the DNA of reality.. It s a commercial project with the teaching company.. People can go to the website and I ve actually touched up all the Physics in this thing.. LAMB: So they re teaching how many cells.. LAMB: videos and audios of you talking about the String Theory.. : Yes, only video.. LAMB: We have not talked much about science, we ve talked about you and your background and people can find you at Maryland in the classroom.. : Yes, I m still teaching as it is, going to year 41 teaching.. LAMB: What year of students do you teach?.. : I teach at all levels.. Right now, I m actually teaching second and third year undergraduates.. LAMB: Professor so Professor James Gates, professor at the University of Maryland, a Regents professor which there only a few of those.. : Only six in the history of the entire system.. LAMB: Thank you very much for doing this.. : Thank you, Brian.. It was a great opportunity to speak with you and your audience..

    Original link path: /Transcript/?ProgramID=1444
    Open archive

  • Title: Q & A
    Descriptive info: May 12, 2013.. Scott Shane.. New York Times National Security Reporter.. : Our guest is Scott Shane, national security reporter in the Washington bureau of the New York Times.. He discusses his recent New York Times Sunday feature story titled From Spy to Source to Convict, an examination of a former C.. I.. officer now in prison for leaking information to a reporter.. He details the charges against former agent John Kiriakou, a fourteen year veteran of the agency who gained notoriety by speaking out against water boarding in an ABC News interview with reporter Brian Ross.. He outlines his own involvement as one of the reporters with whom Kiriakou spoke.. Shane says that this case represents one of six prosecutions under President Obama for leaking information to the news media.. He explains that prior to this administration there were only three other prosecutions for leaking information to the press which were prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917.. He suggests that e-mail and other electronic records have contributed to the increase in cases being brought, and that Attorney General Eric Holder has not exercised prosecutorial discretion to stop the cases from proceeding.. Shane discusses his early career as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, and what motivated him in his early years to choose a career in journalism.. BRIAN LAMB: Scott Shane, back in January, actually it was January 6 you said something unusual something on the front page of the New York Times were you lead the paper with not per se a new story but something you d been working on for a long time.. Would you start to fill us in on what this was about?.. SCOTT SHANE: This was a very unusual story from several points of view.. And one that the New York Times allowed me to write it in the first person which was actually the only way I would be able to write it because I was involved in the story, and normally I would have had to recluse myself, and they agreed to my pitch that there was an unusual story about journalism and how journalists cover sensitive national security topics and that this was the best way to tell it.. Essentially it was the story of John Kiriakou, former CIA officer, who was a source for me and for any number of National Security reporters around Washington after he d retired from the CIA and how through a lot of twists and turns he ended up being the first CIA officer to be in prison for leaking classified information to the press.. Never happened before, he is now at the Federal Prison in Loretto, Pennsylvania.. LAMB: Part of your story starts with an interview that happened in 2007, late 2007 with Brian Ross at ABC.. We have just a 30 second clip so our viewers can catch up with what John Kiriakou looks like and a sense of what he was talking about.. (VIDEO CLIP).. JOHN KIRIAKOU: And at the time I felt that water-boarding was something that we needed to do, and as time has passed and as September 11th has moved farther and farther back into history.. I think I ve changed my mind, and I think water boarding is probably something that we shouldn t be in the business of doing.. BRIAN ROSS: Why do you say that now?.. KIRIAKOU: Because we re Americans, and we re better than that.. ROSS: But at the time you didn t feel that way.. KIRIAKOU: At the time I was so angry and I wanted so much to help disrupt future attacks in the United States that I felt it was the only thing we could do.. LAMB: That was six years ago, what was the importance of that interview?.. SHANE: That interview made a big splash, even though we had all written about water boarding, this technique that certainly historically has been considered to be torture.. In fact one of the favorite torture techniques of despots through the ages where water is poured over the mouth and nose of somebody who is strapped to a board to give them a feeling of drowning.. We had written about how the CIA had engaged in that practice with at least three prisoners in 2002, 2003, but even by 2007 several years later no one from the CIA had actually spoken publicly about that.. It was still considered to be classified, and so John Kiriakou happened to be the guy who first talked openly about water boarding on national TV and it made quite a splash.. Those of us in the National Security reporting business, I think I can speak for all of us, immediately rushed to call this guy because here was a former CIA officer talking openly about something that was pretty sensitive.. So I called and talked to him, and among other things I wanted to establish who is he, how does he know this kind of thing.. And one of the things that gave me a little bit of pause was that he acknowledged to me he hadn t witnessed the water boarding.. And that his information was second hand, but he came across as a very nice guy, very candid, and I got to know him a little bit, we d have lunch from time to time.. And I think in that respect I was not unusual there were a bunch of other reporters talking to him.. LAMB: How old a guy is he now?.. SHANE: He s in his late 40s now.. He worked, he s from sort of steel country of Pennsylvania.. His grandparents emigrated from Greece, speaks fluent Greek, which was an advantage for him at work as it turned out.. And he went to work, he went to George Washington University here in town.. He was recruited by one of his professors who suggested that he might want to apply for the CIA.. He worked first as analyst and then moved over the great divide of the CIA between analysts and operators, as they call them the clandestine authors.. And he moved over to the clandestine side and worked against terrorism in Greece, out of Athens and then after 9-11 in Pakistan.. And was perhaps most well known for having helped captured the first of the guys considered at least at the time to be an important terrorist guy named Abu Zubaydah who was caught in Pakistan and this guy John Kiriakou helped run that operation.. He left the CIA in 2004, so by 2007 when he gave that interview he d been gone for three years.. Brian Lamb: I remember the time when somebody wouldn t even acknowledge they ever worked for the CIA.. SHANE: Yes, it s funny.. Something that s happened and I think it s changing the nature of the relationship between government and journalism and it s still very much unresolved, Kiriakou s case being a very good example, is post 9-11 a whole lot more people cared about National Security issues, then was the case before.. So all of a sudden there was a market for former CIA folks, former Defense Intelligence Agency, and even former National Security Agency the biggest eavesdropping agency.. All those guys who are used to operating in the shadows saw a market for their services for commentators, for book writers, so there was this somewhat unformidable interaction between the agencies and these usually former employees who were coming out of the shadows and writing about what they had done in their lives.. And there s been many lawsuits and many tussles over that since.. LAMB: I know we ve got a lot to discuss about John Kiriakou and the whole process.. Why is he in prison?.. SHANE: He, as I said, got to know a number of reporters and would be helpful within limits.. Sometimes he would say you know that s classified, I m not going to talk about that, but relative to many CIA officers he was pretty candid about things.. And you know as a reporter in this area you treasure anyone you find who is willing to talk about things.. I think he saw it, as a lot of people saw it, as a legitimate thing.. We re a country where the government doesn t get the last word on what the people learn about.. That tends to be a system, I spend some time in the Soviet Union, and that tends to be a system that doesn t work very well.. And so it s always and uneasy process but I think his view was the public deserved to know what the CIA had done to prisoners in these so called black sites, these secret jails the CIA ran for years after 9-11.. So he began to talk to a number of us.. There were referrals from the CIA to the Justice Department.. A referral, a leak referral, is a form that an agency fills out when people at the agency feel classified information has been made public.. And it s fairly routine, it doesn t always result certainly in a criminal investigation or criminal prosecution.. But it s essentially a form that heads up the Justice Department, you know, and in fact one was sent after that Brian Ross interview on ABC with John Kiriakou.. It was still technically speaking even though it had been widely written about, classified that water boarding had gone on and so here was a guy who had signed a non-disclosure agreement talking on TV about it so a referral went over to the Justice Department.. Which is essentially, you know take a look at this and see, if it needs to be investigated criminally.. He gave a number of other interviews after that, resulted in referrals.. As far as I can tell from my reporting, none of those really went anywhere.. But finally what got him in trouble came from sort of a different angle that didn t initially involve him.. Folks at Guantanamo, at the prison in Cuba, discovered photographs and sort of bios of some undercover CIA officers who including interrogators, at Guantanamo in some of the cells.. And this set off great alarm bells because the immediate reaction was Oh my God, you know the Al Qaeda guys are some how targeting the people who interrogated them, the people who caught them from the CIA and this could be very dangerous.. As it turned out it was not quite as alarming as that essentially the defense attorney s had sought to identify the interrogators and the other folks who had been at these black sites so they could call them as witnesses, ultimately in these military trials that they re having down there.. So, a criminal investigation for that episode was started, and at some point they started look at Kiriakou and got his e-mails, I believe with a search warrant and started looking at his e-mails, and went all through his e-mails and discovered what they considered to be several occasions where he had discussed, or exchanged information about classified subjects with reporters.. I was one of those reporters.. That is why I had to write about him in the first person, and why it was a somewhat unusual situation.. In the end he was indicted in January 2012 on a bunch of counts.. Some of which involved me.. I was not identified by name but I was identified as Journalist B and it was obvious it was me because they listed one of the articles I had written that quoted John Kiriakou.. In the end, he, after a long and very expensive legal battle he decided he didn t want to roll the dice and go to prison for 10 or 15 years, which it seemed like it was at least a possibility.. He has three young children and he just didn t want to be gone from their lives.. So he agreed to plead guilty to one count involving a different writer, a guy who was a freelance journalist to whom Kiriakou had give the name of someone who was still operating undercover, a CIA officer.. And he was sentenced as part of a plea bargain to 30 months in prison and he s serving it now.. LAMB: How long do you think he ll serve?.. SHANE: You know the Federal system you serve most of the time you, that you are sentenced to.. Sometimes there are special programs that you can get into that speed it up a bit, but I think he was expecting to serve certainly at least 20 or 25 months.. I mean a couple years.. LAMB: Went in prison, what day? Do you remember?.. SHANE: He went to prison in February, mid February.. They gave him a little time to get his stuff together essentially and say good bye to his family.. LAMB: Have you talked to him?.. SHANE: You know I have written to him, but I have not managed to talk to him.. There s kind of an elaborate process to reach folks, and the Bureau of Prisons is, in my experience, is very averse to journalists getting to prisoners and particularly in controversial situations.. So I had done, about a year ago, a long piece terrorist in Federal prison and I had corresponded with a bunch of them.. But when I tried to visit them I was completely shut down at several people, several prisons, seemed to be pretty much a ban.. LAMB: Here s another minute clip of John Kiriakou talking to Amnesty International panel discussion back in October 2008, again just to get a flavor.. KIRIAKOU: I think water boarding is torture and I think we should not be using it now seven years after September 11.. But in the immediate aftermath of September 11, Osama Bin Laden said two things and I think we rightly concluded that we should take the man at his word.. He said that Al Qaeda was planning an attack that would dwarf September 11 and it was just a matter of time before it was implemented.. He also said that Al Qaeda would not stop attacking American s and American interests until the green flag of Islam flew over the White House.. So we had to take him at his word.. With that in mind and with the immediacy of trying to disrupt that massive attack that was coming along with the guilt that we all had that we couldn t do anything to stop 3,000 murders the decision was made to pour water over Abu Zubaydah s face.. LAMB: Abu Zubaydah again did what?.. SHANE: Abu Zabaydah at the time he was caught in March of 2002 he was described by high level Bush administration officials as the number three in Al Qaeda.. Later on they backed away from that.. He was actually not a sort of sworn member of Al Qaeda but he was a fairly significant character.. He d run an essential a terrorist training camp.. He d run guest house where a lot of these militants came in and out.. He was probably more accurately decrypted as a facilitator, or sometimes I even heard him described as a travel agent for terrorist in Pakistan.. He kind of knew everybody and he would help them move in and out, help them to forged documents, help them with a place to stay that kind of thing.. So in that sense he was very valuable to the CIA because he knew a lot of people.. LAMB: Have you ever known of anybody who had died of water boarding?.. SHANE: No, water boarding has, as some of us has learned in the early years when this was being discussed, a very long history.. One thing that in my reporting that I found and was amazed to find was that as far as I could determine, neither high level White House officials in the Bush administration nor even the top brass at the CIA even knew the history of water boarding when the approved it.. It was presented to them in a sort of different guise as a military training program.. But in fact there are wood cuts, amazing wood cuts, of water boarding being used in the Spanish inquisition.. And these wood cuts show it being used pretty much exactly as it was used centuries later by the CIA, which is that a cloth is placed over the mouth and nose, water is poured on, this is a person who is bound and can not remove the water, and you know the person gasps for breath inhales water, can t get the breath, it causes a panic reaction and intense fear, I m told having tried it.. And unless, if you were to keep pouring, eventually the person would drown, but generally speaking you know the situation is such that, you re trying to get the person to talk.. Therefore you poor for a while and then you ask them questions, then you poor for a while and ask them questions.. In some instances in an inquisition they did something a little bit different.. I suppose this was in a case where it was being used as a sort death by torture as opposed to an interrogation technique, and that was they would poor water until a person had ingested so much water that their belly was swollen up, and then they would jump on the belly and that kind of thing.. But this, in a torture interrogation technique it was also famously used by Pol Pot the leader of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.. And in the museum they now have in the former prison of the Khmer Rouge regime in Pnom Pen, there is the water board that they used which again is not very different from what the way the CIA s water boards were described and there s a famous painting by one of the few survivors of that prison showing a torture using essentially a watering can to poor the water on the person s face.. All this history was apparently unknown to the folks at the top of the American government when they were briefed on this and gave their OK.. LAMB: How much of a surprise reaction have you gotten that the Obama Administration has prosecuted more of this type of an individual than the Bush Administration or anyone else?.. SHANE: You know it is quite shocking and a bit of a mystery that we ve spent some time reporting on.. You re talking about criminal prosecution for leaking classified information to the press, which in the, in the rare occasions that its been pursued, has been pursued under the Espionage Act of 1917 oddly enough.. Because  ...   even suspected maybe he had been put up to this by the CIA, and this was sort of disinformation propaganda about the water boarding.. I m sure that at this point that s not true.. I sure that what he actually said what he believed, what he d been told.. Now what the wrinkle that s come up more recently that we still don t understand fully.. The Senate, the Senate Intelligence Committee has spent four years looking at this same program.. And they have a 6,000 page report that remains classified at this point, even the summary is something like 325 pages.. We only know the basic bottom line findings because a few Senators have talked about them.. We don t know the details.. But one of the things that was said is that there was a lot of disinformation about this interrogation program inside the CIA.. And between the CIA and the White House, and there s been a suggestion that some folk at the CIA were presenting this as far more effective than it was, even inside the place, into the White House.. , so that maybe John Kiriakou was hearing a sort of laundered version of the true story in 2007 when he made those statements on TV.. LAMB: The main reason that we asked you to talk about this, was the fact, and this was back in January, this was an unusual place to find a story in the New York Times on a Sunday, what went into the decision, and you say in the story you go permission from John Kiriakou to reveal the source thing.. Did you have that in writing?.. SHANE: You know there was a kind of long legal history because at one point, what you fear in a leak investigation as a reporter is that you ll be subpoenaed by the government to say, to come into court and say, this person was my confidential source.. Something you often don t want to do and in this case reporters say they would prefer to go to prison rather than reveal the name of a confidential source because those promises of confidentiality are sort of the key to whole business, this kind of recording.. In this instance, the prosecutors made clear pretty early on that they were not going to subpoena me or the other reporters that John Kiriakou had talked to.. As it s partly, as I mentioned, they had these e-mails, between reporters and Kiriakou.. And what did happen and this was extremely unexpected was that John Kiriakou subpoenaed some of us, including me.. And this was sort of an unusual situation because you know why would the source want you to come and talk about your dealings with him.. And I didn t like the idea of going into court and talking about a confidential source even with the permission of the source or at the instigation of the source.. So we objected to that, and it was pushed back and kind of eventually they decided not to do it.. But in that process John Kiriakou did give me in writing a sort of waiver that said, you know I authorize Scott Shane to talk about our previously confidential exchanges.. So what happened actually, I suppose I can talk about this it s sort of interesting story as just kind of a human interest story.. After he was indicted in January 2012 my first instinct was to call the guy and say look I m sorry, because I felt partly responsible.. Certainly I had absolutely no intention of seeing this guy criminally charged.. I was shocked that he was charged with particularly in the area that he, in the area of our exchanges.. I thought it was completely unjustified and do to this day, and, however it s obviously a very sensitive thing we had to cover the indictment.. We had to write about that.. Another reporter took on the job of writing about it because I was involved.. And our lawyers at the New York Times told me that I should not talk to Kiriakou.. And that kind of made sense, I d gotten him into enough trouble to begin with, so I was sort of banned from talking to him for quite a while.. Until finally, I think it was in October, he pleaded guiltily.. Which after the quietly plea, which I also didn t cover, because again I was conflicted.. I had this conflict interest.. I asked my lawyers, hey can I get in touch with this guy now and just kind of have, you know, a personal conversation with him? And they said sure.. So I sent him an e-mail basically said, you know an e-mail, what was I thinking.. And said,.. LAMB: And by the way, did you suspect the NSA would be reading that e-mail?.. SHANE: It wouldn t be the NSA I don t think, but it certainly is conceivable that they were continuing to monitor his e-mail though it would be the FBI, I would think but as part of this on-going investigation I wasn t talking about anything classified.. I say hey, I felt terrible when you got indicted, I was allowed to talk to you.. You may never want to talk to me again or hear my name again.. In which case I totally understand but if you re willing I d love to buy you lunch.. And he responded very graciously and we had lunch.. And he told me a little bit more in a little bit more detail about he kind of hat it was like to be prosecuted, some of the stories about when he first became aware that perhaps he was under scrutiny, what the thought about it and so on.. And I thought, wow, you know there s a great story here.. And I actually, initially, went to the editors, I wrote a long memo.. First the editors said forget about it, said I d have to write this in first person.. I said forget about it.. And I wrote a long memo and they thought again, and decided I could do it.. But initially it was scheduled to run in the New York Times magazine.. We heard that the New Yorker was planning a long story on John Kiriakou, and the lead time with a magazine of course is a lot longer than for a newspaper.. So in the end to my great relief the editors agreed to just sort of crash it into the papers, as we say, on short notice and put it into the Sunday paper.. So that we could beat out the New Yorker.. You know one of these silly journalistic competitions that goes on.. The New Yorker, Steve Calver, actually has written a very long article that s run since then.. But that s basically how I came to write about this in the paper.. LAMB: You know there were pictures that you had in the article with John Kiriakou with his daughter, and his children.. Why would he want his kids seen in public?.. SHANE: Well, I don t think he has huge fear from terrorist and that kind of thing.. He actually, he was one of these people.. I mentioned that got out of the CIA and wrote a book, it s called the Reluctant Spy, and it s a fun read.. It s a pretty interesting and sometimes, and somewhat, hair raising account of his work for the CIA.. Like most former CIA officers that have wrote a book he fought a bit of a battle with what they call the publication review board over their, I believe it s true that when he first submitted his book manuscript he s obliged to show it to them because he s sort of signed these non disclosure statements.. So they can look for classified information, and I believe the first message he got back from them was everything s classified in this book.. And so there was a long fight that went on as often happens and he took out some things and eventually the book was published.. He was weary both when he spoke on television in 07 when the book came out a couple years later.. You know, I know he had some concerns about would terrorists go after him.. Nothing in the end, thank God, happened.. That s generally been the case.. These folks who come out and speak publicly, Al Qaeda and its ilks seem to like to kill large numbers of Americans randomly rather than sort of hunting down individuals kind of in a vendetta.. But when he was talking to me later, and he knew he was going to prison, I think he probably wanted sympathy, understanding, for the somewhat momentous punishment that his country, his government was handing him.. And whatever you make of his case, and I know people who know his case well who think, yes they need to crack down on leaks.. He s a good sort of poster boy, this ll send a message people will be more discrete in talking to reporters.. And I certainly know lots of people in my profession who feel the opposite of that, that they leak prosecutions are over-kill there kind of misguided and they pose a bit of danger to the press, but in any case this is a guy who by all accounts meant well, served his country well, by most accounts for 15 years in some very dangerous situations.. He risked his life to take on Al Qaeda and Pakistan.. And to take on terrorism working out of Athens before that, and he s going off to prison for 30 months leaving his young family behind.. LAMB: After your article was published in January on the Web, a lot of comments came in and I want to read one from a woman named Katherine Fitzpatrick and just get your reaction.. The entire time I was reading the article about Kiriakou I kept thinking the reason Scott Shane thinks he should not have been punished so severely is simply because he s his source meaning Kiriakou.. That s all, he s simply proprietary and myopic.. You re being accused of being myopic.. And the other thing I thought, he and his editors feel guilty and so they are taking a lot of space with a lot of visibility to try to talk themselves away from that prick of conscience they none the less feel.. And let s say this mission not accomplished.. And in fact, Shane is channeling that he had a lot of progressives at the Times about the CIA and how it should be reformed or dismantled or defanged or something.. It simply fits their views, and I could go on, but you get the gist of it.. SHANE: Yes.. You know that s a well put version of an argument that I certainly heard a lot.. You know after that article was published and in other Times as well, I, you know, in that article as someone who reads it carefully will see.. I don t hide my conflict of interest.. I have an interest in getting government officials to talk to me about National Security affairs.. You know that s my bread and butter, that s how I make my living.. I guess the second argument, and a more important argument in a way is this, not that is this good for me, of course this is good for me.. Is it good for the country, for the government.. Thinking about this was actually shaped by my years in Russia.. When I came back from Russia I wasn t really ready to give up the experience I guess and spent a while writing a book about the Soviet collapse, and essentially the thesis was that it was Gorbachev s decision to ease up on information controls that actually toppled the system.. The Soviet system just could not withstand the free flow of information about the Soviet past, about living standards in the West, and all sorts of things.. And when I was living there and writing that book I got a really good look at a society where the government has the last word on what s public and what s secret.. And in that kind of a country, and this was absolutely true in the Soviet Union.. Every editor had a giant, sort of, note book of directives that said what you could and couldn t publish.. And every part of the bureaucracy put something into that book to cover up its own mistakes.. So the fisheries ministry, this is one I happen to remember, said that you couldn t write about if you were a Soviet newspaper, certain practices that they had including dumping huge amounts of fish into the ocean.. And you, incredible wasteful practices that they engaged in and so this ministry put it in there that it was censored.. You know it doesn t take a genius to realize that a society like than and a government like that is not going to be terribly efficient.. If you cut off all the feed back that you can get from the public about how you re doing, you know you re not going to do very well.. And so, you know I was acutely aware when I started writing about the secret world in the United States, the secret government in the United States, of this problem.. I recognize, absolutely recognize that there s some things that the government does that has to be secret at least for a time.. I, you know, I mention the National Security Agency.. Historically the National Security Agency one of its big jobs is breaking codes, if the, let s say, let s pick on Iran.. If NSA is now reading all of Iran s most secret communications traffic because they ve broken the Iranian codes that s obviously a huge American wind fall for the American government.. Helps us in a lot of ways.. If I write that the NSA is reading the Iranian codes, then Iran can fairly easily switch codes, switch machines and take away that wind fall of intelligence.. That s an important secret that needs to be preserved, again at least for a time, so I recognize that.. If we have a agent who had infiltrate Al Qaeda say, in Pakistan, this actually happened in Yemen, there was an agent working for Saudi, British and American intelligence who infiltrated the Al Qaeda branch in Yemen.. If we identify that person when he s in an Al Qaeda camp there, you know, he s dead.. He s a dead man.. We lose that source and certainly as a human matter you wouldn t want to do that.. So there are secrets that deserve to be preserved.. But the other problem with that is bureaucrats love secrecy.. Outside, even beyond the National Security realm, but especially in the National Security realm why is that? Well, if I can control a certain amount of information and it s secret from everyone else it enhances my power, if I screw up and I can keep that secret that preserves my reputation, my career.. So there s always huge sort of urge for secrecy in the government.. Sometimes that s justified and sometimes not justified.. I think you can fairly ask why is it so secret that we, you know why are some of the details still so classified about what we did to Al Qaeda prisoners in the secret CIA jails in 2002, 2003, 2004.. Years have passed, all those prisoners are back at Guantanamo.. We know a great deal about this stuff and yet the Senate s report, 6,000 page report on this program, still completely classified unclear if any of it will be declassified.. So you know from my point of view as a reporter if there s a proper balance between secrecy and openness I would move that line far, far beyond where it is today towards openness, towards open government.. But certainly I think it s legitimate to have a debate about that and I happen to disagree with the person who didn t like that article.. LAMB: Have you noticed any change in the attitude of people who work in government, in the CIA, former CIA agents, in their interest in talking to you now that John Kiriakou is in prison?.. SHANE: Yes, and I think most of my colleagues who have covered National Security would say there s definitely an impact.. It s not just Kiriakou, it s six cases as I mentioned.. You know this I don t think was by any plan but there s one guy who was working for the State Department, one guy was working for the FBI, one guy who was in the military, one guy was working for NSA.. So it s like all the agencies now have one case of somebody being prosecuted.. And if the goal is, as some folks in the government, say it is to deter others from talking to the press, I think it s working to some degree.. I think there really is a chilling affect, and I don t blame people frankly.. The line between what s classified and what s unclassified has always been some what blurred.. But these cases have made it even more blurred, so a lot of people and these would be Congressional staffers, members of Congress, current intelligence officers and officials, former intelligence officers and intelligence officials cause the obligation to protect classified information you know is a life time obligation that goes on until you die.. All of those people, many of them look at this possibility, that they could say something that could be considered to be classified that they could find themselves talking to the FBI and you know in a worst case scenario find themselves going off to prison.. And they balance that with helping Scott Shane with the story and it s not hard for them to say, you know I really don t want to talk about that.. That s always happened in this area.. There s some people who just feel more comfortable not talking about anything sensitive, but it s happening a lot more often today than it did some years ago I d say.. LAMB: We ve been talking about an article that Scott Shane wrote in the January 6 addition, 2013 of the New York Times.. You can find it on-line and read the whole article and we are out of time.. Scott Shane, thank you so much for joining us.. SHANE: My pleasure.. Thank you so much for having me Brian..

    Original link path: /Transcript/?ProgramID=1443
    Open archive

  • Title: Q & A
    Descriptive info: May 5, 2013.. David Stockman.. Author, "The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America".. : Our guest is former Michigan Republican Congressman and Reagan administration budget director David Stockman.. He discusses his new book titled The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America.. He suggests that Wall Street and the Federal Reserve have joined forces to harm the economy, punish savers, and fuel new financial bubbles which he claims will soon burst.. He asserts that control of the federal budget has been surrendered to lobbyists, PACS, and special interests which block legitimate attempts to implement real spending cuts.. Stockman talks about his early days in Congress and his appointment to be Ronald Reagan s Director of the Office of Management and Budget at age 34.. He explains the Gallery of Economic Heroes and Villains he has compiled dating back to the beginning of the 20th century and how each one has improved or harmed the economy.. He says he began writing the book because he was outraged in 2008 when the TARP bailout was approved.. He called it a total betrayal of everything free market conservatives had been trying to do since the great depression.. BRIAN LAMB: David Stockman, author of the book, The Great Deformation.. What is the residual for you from 1981 when you were Budget Director for Ronald Reagan?.. DAVID STOCKMAN: I think the lesson was that the machinery of governance in the United States is pretty brittle.. And if mistakes are made, and clearly we made a huge mistake when the tax cut got, double the size we originally intended, people forget that.. But that was true.. But once it got put into law and then people began to take partisan positions and Republicans took everlasting credit for it.. The deficit widened and it became almost impossible to reassemble a coalition to undo the damage that had been done or the harm that might occur down the road.. And we did, you know, several times have small tax increases that closed some of the gap.. But what I learned is that if big mistakes are made in this Madisonian Democracy that we have, with divided powers and all the vetoes and checks and balances then it s very dangerous.. So that s why it s so, the lesson is so apropos to today.. Because after 30, 40 years of this, we ve created a massive Keynesian State as I call it, dedicated to constantly medicating and stimulating and boosting and propping the economy.. As a result of that, we have a trillion dollar deficit, both sides are dug in.. Everybody knows this can t last.. It s dangerous to keep, you know, rolling down the road.. And yet the system has a serious inability to make compromise.. To find packages that, you know, you can assemble a governing majority.. So it was a very limited scope issue in 1981 to 85, when I was there.. But writ large, the lesson from that time is what the clear and present danger is today.. Our fiscal process is paralyzed, dysfunctional, broken.. And that s why I called the budget a Doomsday Machine, something that s going to roll on and no one can seem to stop it.. LAMB: 34 years old though.. OMB Director.. Is there a personal residual where somebody today still doesn t like you from what happened back then?.. STOCKMAN: Well you know I m sure there are.. Because it s the one job in budget that should have a hat sitting along the desk that says Mr.. I mean there is no other place in our government where the buck stops.. Where choices have to be made and pain dispensed let s say, or allocate, or priorities set.. The agencies are advocates.. The Congressional process is divided into dozens and dozens of subcommittees who all become advocates for their little piece of the pie.. Who like the log roll, you help me, I ll help you.. The Congressional process is a great log rolling machine.. The Cabinet departments aren t much better.. There s one little place, it used to be 6 or 700 people, I don t know what the staff is today.. Probably not much bigger, which is at the kind of junction switch of this great and massive government that we have.. Where there is a dedicated force of people whose job it is to examine, to second guess let s say, and to say no, or to make priorities.. And that s a pretty weak read.. Ultimately OMB has no power.. Today OMB can t even get their budget out in time anymore.. It comes out months late.. It s dead on arrival.. LAMB: Right before you were named Director of the Office of Management Budget, you ran for Congress how many times?.. STOCKMAN: Three times.. I was elected twice, served two terms.. I was elected the third time in 1980.. It was right after I had voted a very controversial vote to, against the Chrysler bailout, the first one.. I think I was right at the time.. There were 19 members in the Michigan delegation, I was the only one to vote no.. I had a lot of Chrysler district, plants, there were suppliers in my district.. But the odd thing was the rank and file and the businessman on Main Street knew they weren t going to be bailed out.. Because they weren t a big enough squeaky wheel.. And as a result of that, I got the largest vote I ever received in 1980.. So I learned a lesson.. And that is, you can say no to the squeaky wheels.. That lesson and I don t say it s heroic or virtuous, I think it s just true.. But that lesson has been lost.. And today our problem in government is no one will say no to any squeaky wheel because these immense lobbies of K Street, these immense PAC, the enormous billions of money that flow in to the process, make it almost impossible.. LAMB: Let s just take a clip of you back in that confirmation hearing before the United States Senate back in 1981.. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE).. STOCKMAN: The tax burden today, in my view, is so debilitating to the kind of activities, investment, savings, risk taking, innovation, entrepreneurial activities that our economy needs to grow.. That without a growing economy, we simply can t hope to achieve a balanced budget.. And so therefore, our economic program that we shape together has to be an integrated program.. One that diagnoses the problem correctly and then includes those elements and those policies which can help achieve the goals that we want.. (END VIDEOTAPE).. LAMB: At that time in the process, you were already sitting down with Bill Greider and I think I read that 18 times you had breakfast with him or talked about it.. STOCKMAN: Right.. LAMB: When did you decide to do that?.. STOCKMAN: I think it was very, it actually started when I was nominated for the position in December, 1980.. I had been kind of an enterprising young politician Congressman.. I liked to write.. I wrote Op-Ed pieces for The Washington Post quite often when I was a Congressman.. So I knew you know the editorial staff there.. And I knew Bill Greider from that.. He was then editing the front page of The Washington Post.. I knew the Reagan Program.. We were going to cut deeply.. I wanted to reform everything from food stamps to farm subsidies and export/import bank and everything in between.. It would be presented in a biased way as basically an attack on poor people, rather than what I thought, what I was trying to do, an attack on weak claims.. Not weak clients.. So my, I guess naïve aspiration at the time was, I ll sit with him, off the record.. Try to give a persuasive and clear and balanced view of what we were trying to do.. Because I knew it was going to leak.. Government leaks like a sieve.. So it was going to be leaking every day.. I wanted to get ahead of the leaks.. It was off the record.. And unfortunately it worked.. I think we got a better front page coverage, a fairer coverage out of the Post for months and months than you might have expected from the first kind of conservative government in several decades.. But we didn t have unfortunately, a clear understanding of when we called it, off the record for the season.. We didn t define the season.. I saw it as something that would last for years, he apparently saw it as something that would last for months.. He wrote the Atlantic Monthly article, I was shocked.. There was a few loose quotes in it.. Mainly what I said in there wasn t heretical really.. I wasn t you know dumping on the program.. I wasn t trashing the program.. I just was frustrated with the Pentagon.. I called it a swampland of waste.. It was then.. It still is today.. I didn t really call the tax cut a trickle down machine.. I said that would be one effect of it.. But the rate cuts were meant for everybody, not just the wealthy.. Anyway, a lot of this got distorted and I guess I learned a lesson.. You have to be very careful with the press.. LAMB: I got the old, this is The Education of Bill Stockman which came out later by Bill Greider.. Supposedly, and then you wrote your own book and you talked about having been taken to the woodshed by Ronald Reagan.. I ve asked for years about Ronald Reagan here and you never quite get what Ronald Reagan was like up close.. Tell us from your experience, how many times did you meet with him?.. STOCKMAN: Practically every day for a long, for most of the time that I was there.. LAMB: Start with the woodshed thing.. I mean, when you were taken to the woodshed because you had talked to Bill Greider off the record, what did he actually say to you? What was it like?.. STOCKMAN: Well first of all, as I laid out in my book, and it s no secret after all these years.. That was a photo op.. It was an orchestrated press campaign that the handlers at the White House came up with, actually when I had the lunch, I went through the same explanation of the Greider story that we ve just talked about.. And he was totally sympathetic.. And he, the two of us were in the Oval Office, no one else.. Having our lunch, soup, whatever it was.. He said, you know that reminds me of when I was President of the Actors Guild and we were having a, what I thought was an off the record meeting, of the Executive Committee and there was some press guys in there.. And all of a sudden I had a firestorm on my hands.. I know what happens when you get betrayed by the press.. So.. We had, we had a very amicable lunch.. Then he said, oh by the way, the fellas want you to do something to calm this down.. LAMB: Did you know that this was a setup to get a photo op?.. STOCKMAN: Well I said, well why don t I say you took me to the woodshed after supper? He said, oh that d be great? You would say that? I said, yeah I ll say that.. LAMB: And this was in 81 or 82?.. STOCKMAN: 81.. This happened in the fall of 1981.. LAMB: And a lot of people were astounded he didn t fire you.. Were you astounded that he didn t fire you?.. STOCKMAN: Yeah, I was.. But on the other hand, the White House staff was very divided.. There was the pragmatic practical wing that actually accomplished the Reagan program, Jim Baker, Dick Darman, David Gergen, that group.. Then there was basically the Mike Deaver keepers of the body, as they were called.. They all wanted to fire me, the Meese wing, the California right wingers.. But I think Baker prevailed because he realized that the whole Reagan program was being held together by bubble gum and bailing wire.. That the, you know, the spending cuts had to be defended, explained.. And we needed more of them, by then the tax program was already in effect and Defense was getting out of control.. So he came to my defense.. And the President understood that this wasn t intentional.. I wasn t sabotaging the program.. I began to realize that the things that my old boss Congressman John Anderson, who was the third-party candidate in the 1980 Campaign said, you can t raise Defense, massively cut taxes and balance the budget too.. I thought that could be done through honest math.. By then I was realizing that it couldn t be done, it was pulling apart.. You know the teams of horses were going in different directions.. But I was for a mid-course correction.. I was still totally onboard with the idea of shrinking the government, lowering the taxes as far as we could, taking the waste out of spending and reforming entitlements, all of the rest of it.. But I knew we were going to have to make compromises, adjustments and probably make some deals with the Democrats.. And that s where the Baker wing was.. The Meese wing, you know, they like to wave their Adam Smith ties and think you could govern by waving your Adam Smith tie.. LAMB: What was Ronald Reagan like up close every day?.. STOCKMAN: He was a very amicable guy OK? Tremendous personality.. I ve been in politics, I was in politics a long time.. It s a, you know, it s a world of massive egos.. Of people who are always looking around to see if they re being slighted.. And so forth.. He was not that way.. He was a strong man of conviction.. I think he was wrong on many things, like the defense buildup and I ve said it.. And his stubbornness on repairing some of the excesses on taxes was wrong.. But he had a tremendous personality, no ego that got in the way.. And he was therefore a great politician.. And if he had been a little more flexible on some of his good principles that were carried too far, like tax cutting, like the defense buildup that we really didn t need, he would have been far more successful.. Now I think the success that has been attributed to Reaganomics is totally unwarranted.. We had the greatest Keynesian deficit binge between 1981 and the end of the Bush administration, the first Bush.. Those first 12 years are all really the Reagan program.. And so we did have an economy that rebounded because Volcker killed inflation and the deficits were enormous and they stimulated the economy.. But they established a precedent for continuous, chronic, massive peace time deficits and put the Republican Party the old defender of the treasury gates, into the position that Cheney eloquently, so ineloquently expressed, deficits don t matter.. And that was the beginning of the end.. Because in a democracy, if there s not a conservative party that is defending the treasury, the tax payers, and fiscal rectitude.. You re going to have a free lunch competition between tax cutters, the Republicans, and spenders, the Democrats.. And that s why you have $17 trillion of national debt today.. And why it s out of control and why we have kind of a dooms day machine.. LAMB: How smart was he?.. STOCKMAN: You know I ve learned enough over the years on both Wall Street and Washington to say this isn t an IQ game, IQ rating game.. Because if you have an abysmal temperament as a political leader as the leader of the nation, and a massive IQ, you re probably going to be a tremendous failure.. And Reagan had a tremendous temperament.. He had a pretty decent IQ.. He had some fundamental convictions that philosophically were correct.. But he had an inability to deal with facts.. He had an inability to make practical choices when he, when his advisors were divided.. When his advisors agreed and then took the decision in, there s three choices, we go for the middle.. He was OK.. But when he had to make tough choices like on defense, I sat at the Oval Office desk at hours once.. Cap Weinberger on one side, myself on the other.. I wanted let s say $220 billion in spending he wanted $250.. He could not decide.. We d make our arguments, we d move a little bit.. He couldn t make a decision.. Finally I gave in because it was embarrassing.. We were there all morning.. You know, and the President of the United States couldn t make a decision.. So that was his problem when it came really to tough choices, Social Security.. He thought, you know, that there was massive waste because there were too many dead people still getting benefits.. So we would demonstrate to him, that s not the problem.. The problem is there are too many affluent retirees getting benefits that shouldn t.. And we re going to have to means test it.. And that s not going to be popular.. And basically, for the most part he was unwilling to take on the big parts of the welfare state.. He liked to give the speech but he really wouldn t go after the tough stuff.. LAMB: Who, did anybody that you saw when you were around him, did they make fun of him in any way? Those that didn t agree with him, that were working around the way he operated? You know when they were out of the Oval Office?.. STOCKMAN: Not really.. I think there was, you know, a tremendous respect.. Even though the White House staff was enormously divided between, as I say, the Adam Smith tie wavers and the pragmatic wing, the Bush-ites so called, Baker, Darman, some of those guys.. But everyone had pretty good respect for him.. LAMB: I want to go back to this business of your controversy back in those years.. Bob Novak has a few things, he s deceased, but he had a few things he said about you.. Let s watch this and get your reaction.. NOVAK: We used to talk constantly on the phone.. And we had breakfast at the Hay-Adams every other, every other Saturday.. And the odd Saturdays, he didn t talk to me, he talked to Bill Greider who was a left wing journalist.. And he wrote an article on the, for the Atlantic Monthly quoting David Stockman on the record, just attacking the Reagan administration.. I said in the book it was like in the middle of the Russian Revolution if Stalin had turned against Marxism.. And it was an incredible stab in the back for Reagan who didn t fire Stockman.. We couldn t believe it! He believes Stockman hadn t intended to do it.. And he kept him on.. He was a disruptive force for the rest of his time there in the White House.. LAMB: Disruptive?.. STOCKMAN: Well you know Bob Novak was a microphone or megaphone even for the hard core cadre of supply siders of which there was about four.. Jack Kemp who was a great guy, but unbelievably doctrinaire on tax cutting.. And Jude Wanniski formerly of The Wall Street Journal who was the real Prince of Darkness, a fanatic.. And Art Laffer, who was a charlatan.. Who claims to be an economist and he waves his hands and talks magic and draws curves on napkins and so forth.. And he s still at it to this very day.. So that little group wanted to dominate Reagan policy and Novak was their public, you know, shill, the voice in print.. And when I realized that we were going to have to backtrack on some of the supply side doctrine and some of the overage on the tax cuts, these guys that I ve described, not so much Jack, but the other two and a few of their fellow travelers, used Novak to do whatever damage to me they could.. Unfortunately it wasn t a lot, but it did obviously complicate my life.. I became known as a tax grabber.. All right? We were facing a deficit that  ...   And it s the government s policy.. It wasn t something nefarious that people did.. So I was in that business caught up doing it.. And I finally had some companies that blew up.. I had some serious issues that I had to deal with after those bankruptcies.. And in the wake of that I began to realize, how in the world did this happen in the first place? Why did I believe that you could put five or six times leverage on companies in the auto business for instance? Which is violently cyclical.. So it made me realize that bad policy causes good people, or just everyday guys trying to earn a living, whether or they re on Wall Street or a hedge fund or a buyout fund, to really do counterproductive things.. But I don t want to regulate them.. I want to remove the incentive for all of this debt and all of this speculation and all of this leverage and you can only do it if you get an honest Central Bank that is not basically in thrall to Wall Street, which is what we have today.. And we have, as a result, a Central Bank, that s basically a serial bubble creator.. It s not helping the Main Street economy.. It s not raising the living standard of the American people.. It is simply creating bubble after bubble, serial bubble.. With the one percent make a huge windfall off of them and everyone else suffers the periodic consequence when we have a crash.. LAMB: On your personal life, when did you meet your wife?.. STOCKMAN: In Washington, while I was in Congress.. LAMB: What was she doing?.. STOCKMAN: She was working for IBM.. And actually we met because I needed to buy a computer for my office, 1977; I was a young, eager beaver Congressman.. Wanted to be progressive and advanced, be the first Congressman with a computer in my office.. LAMB: We have a picture of the two of you at a dinner, I assume up in New York, we re going to put on the screen.. She s all involved in - that is your wife I assume?.. LAMB: You looked startled there for a minute.. STOCKMAN: No I was looking at the wrong screen.. LAMB: And we have another picture of her here where she s by herself.. I don t know where that event is.. But it looks like that she s right in the middle of social New York.. Is she still President or Chairman of the Guggenheim Foundation?.. STOCKMAN: Yes she s President of the Guggenheim Museum.. I m very proud of her and the work that she s done there.. You know, art has got a financial aspect, but it also has a cultural and an aesthetic aspect.. And that s why she s in it.. She s an avid collector.. She knows the artists.. She knows the galleries.. She knows the people involved in this world.. It s a very fascinating, it s an intellectually based world.. Now there s also all the bubble aspects of it and the high prices and the auctions.. But that s not the totality of it.. LAMB: You dedicate this book to my daughters, Rachel and Victoria, who s future inspired me to write this book and my wife, Jennifer, who patience and loving support, enabled me to complete it.. Tell us about Rachel and Victoria and why did they inspire you?.. STOCKMAN: Well they re our two daughters.. They re in the middle now of launching very budding careers and we re quite proud of them.. Rachel is actually a journalist, she s in your business.. Went to one of the great journalism schools at Northwestern, the Dill School.. She s moved through the ranks, Green Bay, Phoenix, now at a big station in Atlanta.. So very inquisitive, really interested in journalism, in law, in covering constitutional issues.. So you know, she s terrific.. I m very proud of her.. And Victoria is a budding scientist and she s just been accepted to the PhD program in neuroscience at Columbia and will be spending a lot of years working on her research and degree.. And really wants to make a contribution in the field of science.. So we couldn t be more proud or pleased with the way our two daughters have pursued their own, very different kinds of careers.. LAMB: This book is published by the Public Affairs Book Publisher which is known for not paying high advances.. In other words, you got to make it on your own.. I assume that this is not a, because of that, do you expect to make a lot of money on this?.. STOCKMAN: That wasn t the purpose OK? If you re expecting to make a lot of money, I would say, don t be an author.. You know, there s some more -.. LAMB: When did you start this? When did you start thinking about -.. STOCKMAN: I started thinking about this when I was really so put off, even, I would say close to outraged when the TARP bailout occurred.. And when the Bush White House totally collapsed and essentially allowed a coup d etat to take control of the government led by Wall Street, Hank Paulson, all those Goldman-ites running around the Treasury building.. That offended me deeply because it was a total betrayal of everything that free market conservative people had been trying to do ever since the Great Depression, the New Deal, for crying out loud.. And how in a moment of, a spasm of panic, that couldn t be justified.. I got chapter after chapter in there that shows all the urban legends and basically the lies that Bernanke and Paulson told the exaggerations, and the horror stories that weren t real.. Like Great Depression 2.. 0 was around the corner.. That s the economic equivalent of WMD.. There never were any.. It wasn t going to happen.. It wasn t a prospect, it was simply a rationalization for the crazy bailout things they were doing to stop the hissy fit on Wall Street.. Because they weren t willing to allow Wall Street to take it s medicine.. And I think it should have.. So that really mobilized me.. And I got to work after that.. Spent a lot of time re, reviving my history.. I ve been kind of a buff of monetary fiscal history ever since I was in graduate school.. And then outlining this story.. It started really as mainly a polemic against the bailouts.. But as I got into and asked, how did the whole government get buffaloed?.. I mean how did Bush sit there in the White House clueless and -.. LAMB: How did he?.. STOCKMAN: That s the question that I had to deal with and I began to realize that the seeds had been planted deeply over many years and many bubble episodes.. In 2001, why did they panic when the dot.. com crashed? The economy was in fine shape.. The recession of 2001-2002 was minor.. You have to have that in a capitalist economy every now and then to wash out all the excess.. And yet they panicked, Greenspan cut the interest rate to zero.. Started the housing bubble and then you got to 2007, 2008.. So then I went back to 1998 and the bailout of long-term capital.. Then I went back to 1994 and the bailout of Citibank and the rest of them.. So my point was, I began to work my way back into the roots and through different periods of the Fed and Congress and different administrations.. Until I got myself back to 1914 and the founding of the Fed.. And the reason I did it was not simply as a matter of economic archeology, but also because I believe the partisans today, with the crisis that we have, have mythologized enormously golden eras that didn t exist.. Keynesian economics in the New Deal first was not implemented.. And second, it didn t end the Great Depression.. Reagonomics in the 1980s wasn t the greatest thing since sliced bread.. It did not create the great boom of the 90s and 2000.. Money printing by the Fed did, in my judgment.. So part of the book is basically designed to demystify the legends of both the left and the right and try to get at the truth.. LAMB: Let me go to though something that seems to keep happening all through the years.. Politicians are elected, Presidents, members of Congress, stand up and say, this is the way it is.. But we learn for instance, when you were saying this is the way it is, you were telling Bill Greider the other side of the story.. And so many people wait until they re out of office to say, I didn t really mean it then.. I just had to say this because that s what we were doing as an administration.. I mean when are we going to get, from your perspective now, the truth? Do we have to wait until people get out of office?.. STOCKMAN: Well it s always a dilemma because when you re in office, and I was in the middle of that, first of all, as I tried to explain before, I wasn t telling Bill Greider I didn t believe in what we were doing.. I was saying that problems are developing, balancing all these elements is going to be difficult.. But then as I realized how off course we were, you always have the belief that if you just dig away at it, pretty soon everybody else is going to see the light.. Pretty soon the decision makers, in this case the President, will come around.. And you ll correct the problem.. And that s the better thing to do because you are invested with all the knowledge and the to and fro of what went on that led to the mistake.. Now the point is, after a decent interval, a sufficient period of time, when it should be obvious to a rational person that you re not going to turn this around.. You re not going to correct the error.. That the decision makers are not listening.. Then you have an obligation to stand up, leave, and you know, resign, and tell the truth.. Now I resigned in 1985 because I kept trying and we did have a tax increase in 82.. You had another one in 83.. You had another one in 84.. We did make some headway.. But then when Reagan won the election overwhelmingly and all the Reaganites with their Adam Smith ties, the Meese wing, all those California right wingers, came in and said no more talk of raising taxes.. The deficit will take care of itself.. We won the election.. It s morning again in American and all that stuff.. I said, that s it for me.. I did the best I could for one more budget cycle, got out of there.. LAMB: If you had to run today, what label would you put on yourself?.. STOCKMAN: There is a, I wouldn t run in either party.. I ve said, and I believe, that both parties today have totally failed.. They re corrupt.. They re essentially glorified concierges who introduce politicians to the money, the PACs and K Street, so they can get re-elected and stand for nothing.. When a Republican party bails out Wall Street or General Motors, it stands for nothing.. When a Republican party says deficits don t matter, it stands for nothing.. When a Republican party appoints a Greenspan and a Bernanke and all the rest of them to the Fed, who print money like there s no tomorrow, it has no principles.. So why do we need a Republican party -.. LAMB: Could you be a Democrat?.. Couldn t possibly be a Democrat because at least they admit they re for big government.. And I m totally against it.. LAMB: You were criticized over the years, the last couple years, for not dealing with your own failure with the companies that you were running.. But in this book it s buried.. I m not accusing you of burying it, but it s in the Willard M.. Romney chapter, about five pages, where you deal with the whole business of Collins & Aikman.. And I ll read a little bit, I was afforded exactly that experience in the spring of 2005 when the largest LBO, limited buyout, in my equity fund, blew up in bankruptcy.. And not just an ordinary one, the company Collins & Aikman was a supplier to Detroit of the automotive interior components such as instrument panels - Rather than me read it, why did you put this in here and were you stung by the criticism that you didn t, over the years.. STOCKMAN: No the reason I put it in there.. And I think the part you didn t read, the preface is, I go through the Willard M.. Romney and the Truman Show of bubble finance.. In other words, I was trying to make the point that even Romney who was involved in LBOs from 1984 to 1999, didn t realize that he was fortunate and had all these successes because Greenspan was inflating this massive bubble in the stock market that made it possible to buy something cheap, two years later flip it out in an IPO and take home a killing.. Now I accused him of being therefore, the wrong candidate in 2012, being clueless about how he made his money and that it wasn t a sound basis to run an economy.. That he wasn t a job creator, he was simply a cash stripper.. Then I took myself on, and I said, I was in the bubble too.. I was doing all this stuff.. And I talk about all that.. For years, until finally when Collins & Aikman blew up and I was sort of sprawled out on the street below and I had to think how all of this happened.. And think about the dangers of the kind of bubble finance debt-ridden -.. LAMB: You were indicted.. STOCKMAN: Yeah but they dropped the case because, you know, there was a nole prosequi which means we made a mistake.. They don t send you a note of apology, but you know there was some young prosecutor who didn t understand accounting.. They dropped the case and you know, it s one of those things that happens in a bankruptcy.. LAMB: Why did you have to pay $7 million in nuisance money you said?.. STOCKMAN: It was mostly nuisance money because whenever you get the Justice Department after you or the SEC, the private bar piles on with all these class actions suits.. And that s essentially where all this settlement money came from.. You know, I can either spend the next three or four years, contesting all these class actions suits that were piggy backed on top of the government case, or settle them.. And so I settled them.. And then the SEC claimed credit for the settlement.. LAMB: How much did it cost you for your legal business? Defending all of this?.. STOCKMAN: I mean it was just incredible.. It s one of the things that s wrong with the current system.. Not only me, but there were four other people who worked for me at the company, totally innocent people doing their job, head down every day.. We had this company way over levered and were bailing and bailing and bailing to try to keep it stable.. But we couldn t.. Four of them got indicted and you know their lives were ruined.. They were bankrupted by it.. And then the government drops the case against me and says, oh we made a mistake.. You re not indicted now, you re unindicted.. And four other guys pled guilty because they were coerced and browbeat into it by the government.. And they had their guilty pleas withdrawn.. Why? Because the government said, oh there wasn t a crime, so I guess you confessed to something that didn t happen.. Now it took $100 million for all of those people and the whole process to finally bring some nuisance money to the class action bar and some justice.. I can handle myself.. But some justice to these innocent men and women, men actually in this case, who were indicted or coerced by the government into a guilty plea.. When by it s own action it withdrew it s indictment, nole prosequi.. LAMB: Where are those people today?.. STOCKMAN: They re out there -.. LAMB: Are they still broke?.. STOCKMAN: Yeah they probably are.. I mean once, you know, it s pretty easy for me to explain myself.. I get a forum here and there.. Once you get indicted or you plead guilty to a crime, no one remembers that you had it withdrawn because the government decided that they made a mistake.. This was a huge mistake.. So the attorney who brings this, somebody who had been prosecuting drugs and gangs, didn t know the difference between gap which is accounting and rap which is what she was dealing with in these gangs on the street.. And she ruined the lives of all these people.. Before she ever brought the case, she quit, goes hangs out her shingle at a big time Wall Street law firm and now makes a huge amount of money working for the other side.. It s really despicable.. LAMB: How, how are you financially at this stage in your life? Are you whole? You live in Greenwich, Connecticut which is a nice place.. STOCKMAN: Yeah, well you know.. I think at this point, I was very fortunate over a long career.. But I m not sort of in the money-making business now.. I m trying to assess a pretty unique career.. Forty years, half in Washington, half on Wall Street.. I think I understand finance.. I think I understand what goes on in the interstices of the system in Wall Street.. Plus I had long, long experience at the top level in the fiscal monetary Washington process.. So putting the two together, I think is pretty unique.. And therefore I had something to contribute.. LAMB: You were 34 when you were OMB Director.. You re 67 now?.. STOCKMAN: 6.. LAMB: 66? Soon to be 67.. STOCKMAN: For the moment, yeah.. LAMB: But what do you do for the rest of your life if you re out of this business of running companies? Do you still have funds that you re working with?.. STOCKMAN: I mean I have investments and I m trying to stay out of the market because I think it s totally unsafe for men, women and children and even the robots that trade on the Street.. But you know, there s a lively debate going on in the country.. I think I ve kicked some of it off with articles I ve been writing over the years.. This book certainly will add to it.. The Keynesians are going nuts.. I m making a pretty strong, detailed, in depth, historical statement that the current wisdom, you know, this recentcy bias that is extent in current policy, is wrong.. And there s a lot of people who love the status quo because it s either their brainchild or they benefit from it.. And I think the status quo is very dangerous and I m trying to give them reasons why.. LAMB: We only have a minute.. Were you a crony capitalist?.. STOCKMAN: I guess you could say that.. I was in the bubble.. That s why I wrote what I did.. I was an unwitting crony capitalist in this sense, that if debt hadn t been deductible, if the madness of the Greenspan Fed hadn t been happening, at Blackstone and then my own firm, we never would have borrowed nearly as much money as we did.. The leveraged buyout business wouldn t have been anywhere near it s current size.. There would be some leveraged buyouts because it can work well for some companies that need to be shaken up.. So yes, I m a, I guess a lapsed crony capitalist.. LAMB: The name of the book is The Great Deformation.. The subtitle is The Corruption of Capitalism in America.. And our guest has been David A.. Stockman, and we thank you.. STOCKMAN: Thank you..

    Original link path: /Transcript/?ProgramID=1442
    Open archive

  • Title: Q & A
    Descriptive info: April 28, 2013.. Bob Ney.. Author, "Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill".. : Our guest is former Ohio Republican Congressman Bob Ney to discuss his recent memoir titled, Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill.. Ney discusses his eleven years in Congress representing Ohio s 18th district.. He describes being sent to serve for thirty months at the Federal Corrections Facility in Morgantown, West Virginia.. He was in prison for 12 months and was released to a 12 step alcohol rehabilitation program in Columbus, Ohio for five more months.. He describes entering prison and what it was like to go from a law maker to a law breaker.. He pleaded guilty in 2006 to a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to a charge of falsifying financial disclosure forms.. He relates in detail how he came to Washington with the best of intentions, and was instead sidetracked by the enticement of money and an addiction to alcohol.. He suggests that little has changed on Capitol Hill with respect to lobbying members of Congress and the lure of money in politics.. BRIAN LAMB: Former Congressman, Bob Ney.. In a chapter headlined, Pretty Alice, you called Pretty Alice the most covert, manipulative, cunning, stealth, vicious, cold-hearted instrument of evil that Karl Rove and the Bush Administration had.. What are you referring to? Who is Pretty Alice ?.. BOB NEY: Well I must have left out a couple of things, I guess, Brian- that too.. Alice Fisher.. And Alice Fisher is a very interesting person that received some attention from Senator Levin, in particular, and then that basically kind of went away as I explained in the book.. But Alice Fisher had really never particularly tried cases and was criticized for that.. She was in the criminal division I think it was 2001 to 2003.. Went over to work for Chertoff.. She was basically, by the White House, directly placed here-and-there as they needed her.. An extreme political operative in a business where there s politics but the Bush/Cheney re-election campaigns, you know, et cetera.. She was I didn t want to say political hack, although I ve been unkind to her in the book.. But I ll say political hack.. She then was up for appointment when Alberta Gonzalez was the Attorney General of the United States.. Now it ran afoul of Senator Carl Levin.. And the reason it did is because he said A), she was close to Tom Delay s defense team.. She had had some dealings with his defense team.. B), she didn t have a lot of experience, you know, trying cases, was going to be head of the criminal division.. But the most important part where she was so stealth on this and that s where I bring in the whole Cheney torture Guantanamo Bay Alberta Gonzalez flare to this thing is that she was approached when she was in the criminal division of the Justice Department by the FBI.. And this is you know, available through Wikipedia, et cetera.. It s not something that I created.. And she was part of saying, torture, let s suppress that.. She was part of that whole cover-up.. So she was just not a person that was an attorney.. She was in the power position to be able to say no.. Torture, we ll just we ll let that be suppressed a bit.. LAMB: So you plea-bargained and what was the plea bargain to her?.. NEY: Well, she was head of the criminal division and she made all of the announcements.. Now I call her Pretty Alice for a personal reason as I state in the book.. When we would be sitting there and we would see press conferences, I d be with my attorneys.. She would put on, you know, this red dress and she would be quite dolled up and smiling before the cameras.. And I would look up and say, There s pretty Alice.. So it became an inside joke with my attorneys and I and I incorporated that into the chapter, Pretty Alice.. But the reason it was important for her, which I didn t connect all of these dots frankly until later during my prison time and afterwards of the exact integral part of Alice John Boehner at that time, Majority Leader; Barry Jackson, who was his Chief-of-Staff who worked for Karl Rove whenever in the White House.. And then my former Chief-of-Staff, David DiStefano.. I didn t put all of those pieces together.. But what ended up happening was she was being criticized by Senator Levin.. Not enough travel experience.. Too close to Tom Delay s defense team.. Tom Delay was close to Jack Abramoff.. He was under scrutiny, supposedly by the Justice Department, which, you know, faded away.. And the other part to it was that she had been part of this cover-up of torture.. Now her appointment was basically in trouble, as everybody knew from Senator Levin going to the floor of the Senate.. At some point and time, when John Boehner in August called me and cut a deal with me majority leader at that point and time and he said I had 24 hours to consider this deal or it would be irrelevant.. That, in fact, I would be able to get a job comparable to the salary I made in Congress, and I he would help me raise legal defense to put this behind me.. This whole problem I had with the Justice Department, if I in fact I pulled out of the election.. Didn t have to resign from Congress, but I needed to say publicly, I m not running.. They, then, would get a replacement which Congressman Boehner named Senator Joy Padgett, from Ohio.. LAMB: What year is this?.. NEY: This would have been 2006, in August.. I had 24 hours.. And I clearly remembered John Boehner saying, If you don t accept this deal in 24 hours it s off the table.. We won t have this deal again.. I called within 24 hours after a lot of soul searching and I said, Fine.. I ll take the deal.. Comparable salary.. You find me a job and then you help me raise legal defense money to fight this thing and put it behind me.. I just won the primary in 2006.. I was full-steam ahead to run.. Boehner s call made the significant difference of me getting out just in time so they could find somebody to run in my place.. Now after that, and I announced and I officially sent my letter to the Secretary of State of Ohio, I couldn t get a janitor in John Boehner s office to call me back.. It all evaporated.. Soon after that, into the September or so timeframe, my lawyers had contact from the Justice Department.. It was full-steam ahead.. Indictments multiple-multiple indictments or plea take your pick.. At that point and time, I made a decision to take a plea.. By September 13 or so, Alice Fisher solved her lack of prosecution on the Abramoff case, and that was me.. All of a sudden the plea was let out.. They had a plea in process.. Alice Fisher goes on to her appointment process.. And that s where if you read the book, I believe the dots connect.. LAMB: Here is the woman you refer to as Pretty Alice.. NEY: Pretty Alice.. ALICE FISHER: International and domestic trips, such as a trip to Scotland with others valued at $160,000.. A trip to New Orleans valued at $7,000.. A trip to Lake George valued at $3,500.. And thousands of dollars of meals, drinks, tickets to concerts, tickets to sporting events, and use of a box suite to conduct fundraisers.. In exchange, for this stream of benefits as Congressman Ney admits, he agreed to perform a series of official acts, including agreeing to insert four separate and unrelated amendments to election reform legislation.. Statements into the Congressional record and agreeing to support Jack Abramoff s clients in obtaining a multi-million dollar contract.. And then he concealed these actions from the public and from the House of Representatives by filing inaccurate disclosure statements.. LAMB: Anything she said that was wrong?.. NEY: Yes.. And this is very fascinating.. First of all, let me make it crystal clear.. I committed illegal acts, unethical acts, improper acts.. I took free food from Jack Abramoff.. I took free booze from Jack Abramoff.. So I don t deny any of that.. I created this problem for myself and I admit that right out front.. However, she mentions a Lake George trip.. And I was not, you know, indicted or asked for a plea on that trip.. That Lake George trip I paid on that Lake George trip.. The people that went on that trip know that.. The people that they downloaded some of my former staff, they know that too.. That that trip was the basic bulk of it, that was a personal trip.. Four friends took it and I paid my way on that trip.. As far as the thousands of dollars which the Justice Department estimates $6,000 of my staff and I at Jack Abramoff s restaurant my staff and I that we partake - that we partook in food and alcohol.. That s true and they estimate about $6,000.. And I didn t disagree with that over a period of I think it was three years.. On that, that s accurate.. Now what she fails to mention is when I would go to Jack Abramoff s restaurant signatures, I would have to shove the Bush White House staffers aside to get a drink at the bar.. They were getting free drinks too.. Which is fine.. You know, I m my own problem on this.. But when she mentions kind of highlights it amendments this is the one that really gets me though.. Amendments into inserting the amendments into the Help America Vote Act.. I inserted no amendment for Jack Abramoff into the Help America Vote Act, which was my legacy bill to Steny Hoyer.. The first official election bill dealing with the federal government in probably the nation s history was a legacy bill an important bill.. I did not insert Jack s amendments.. I was on a Congress committee with Senator McConnell, Senator Dodd and any of those gentlemen will verify at no point and time did we lay an amendment on the table.. At no point and time did I say, Here s an amendment for Jack Abramoff.. Simply didn t happen.. Now did I agree to consider an amendment for Jack Abramoff for that bill? Yes, absolutely.. I am probably one of the first members of Congress, in this country s history in modern times to plead a felony for agreeing to consider an amendment to a bill.. If they would go to the Hill today and charge felonies on people that are considering amendments to the bill, there would barely be anybody left on Capitol Hill.. LAMB: When did you know that you were doing something wrong?.. NEY: Well there were bright lines I crossed.. For example, when Jack Abramoff came into my office and said, I have an amendment for the Help America Vote Act, he said that members of the Senate were interested in this, members of the Senate were on board.. I, as a member of the House, said very clearly to Jack Abramoff that I would consider this amendment which is my felony, I guess, for the considering of an amendment.. I would consider this amendment.. The other thing is that if the Senate wanted this amendment, of course, I need that Bill.. And if Senators want that amendment and it doesn t ruin my Bill, I told Abramoff, I ll consider it.. Now at that point-and-time though I didn t know it was an amendment.. We didn t have an actual amendment.. And that in itself is a problem.. To just generically consider something that a lobbyist wants whether it s Abramoff or not.. And to say, Yes, I ll consider that.. Then I think that s a problem in itself.. But the bright line is when we received a member of my staff received an e-mail.. And it said if you want to go to Jack s restaurant and if you want to eat and you want to drink, meaning myself and the office, although staffers went I ll take the responsibility.. I could have said, No, none of us are going.. Then, you know, it s going to be taken care of whether it s by Jack or my former staffer that worked for Jack or whoever whatever lobbyist.. That was a crossing brine of the bright line.. The other one was the Scotland trip.. And as I note in the book, I came back, I turned to two staffers I said, That was weird.. At that point and time, I should have written a check because I knew that did not smell right.. So there were bright lines I crossed.. When did I know? I operated like D.. operates in some ways, but there were definite signs probably within a six-month period of meeting Jack Abramoff that I should have said, Eh, doesn t look good.. LAMB: How long did you spend in Congress?.. NEY: I was part of the contract with America class, so I came in 1995, of course, in January and I resigned in September or November of 2006.. LAMB: How long did you spend in prison?.. NEY: I was in prison 17 months.. Now I was behind the wall as we would say for a year s period and then into the halfway house.. So I did 17 months officially of federal time.. I was sentenced to 30 months.. My plea deal, I think, was 18 months.. LAMB: When you think back on prison and I know you do a whole chapter on and your halfway house, what comes to mind first?.. NEY: First is people are warehoused it s a warehouse.. Anybody who thinks it s rehabilitation.. Any that thinks it s anything of trying to get people prepared to go back in society.. It s a warehouse.. So the first thing that comes to my mind is the word warehouse.. LAMB: What was it like getting there the first day? Who was with you? What were the first couple of days like?.. NEY: I did something I didn t want to do.. My friend, Ellen Ratner, who is now my current boss at Talk Radio News Service, said you must come to D.. and you have to sit with Web Hubbell.. I remember Web Hubbell when he walked into our hearing room.. Mike Oxley was chairman, I believe, or maybe Mr.. Leach , of the financial services committee.. We were looking at Whitewater and the president.. We had Web Hubbell brought out of prison.. I remember seeing Web sitting in a suit in the anti-room of the House financial services committee.. That s how I met Web Hubbell the first time.. They took him back to Cumberland, Maryland prison.. Later on in my life, I m here in Washington, D.. spent maybe four hours with Web.. He prepared me for what was going to happen.. He was the former Assistant Attorney General of the United States, former Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court.. And he said, This is what s going to happen.. So that was the preparation.. When I went to prison, I didn t take my family with me.. It was traumatic and emotional as it was.. I took two of my one current staffer and one who had just quit and went on to an operations media firm.. Those two staffers went with me actually, and then they dropped me off at prison.. And I went in.. I walked into the little kiosk, I said I m Bob Ney here to report.. A guard came up as we walked down.. He said, Oh I knew one of your campaign managers in Ohio.. I said, OK.. Got down in there, the guard said, Here you have some hate mail.. It was from California, I remember, and Massachusetts.. You have some hate mail waiting on you.. They gave me the mail.. You go through this most embarrassing part of the strip-down.. And then I got into the intake, walked into prison, down into the courtyard.. The warden I won t use the language I do in the book, but the warden told the man who was supposed to take me around, Get away from him.. He can find his own way.. And I m sitting there not knowing where to go, where I m staying, what clothes to get.. You re in these newbie clothes, they called them, like pajama pants.. And some of what another prisoner said was, Where s your escort that s supposed to take you around? I said, I don t know.. Some little guy in a suit yelled some foul language.. He took me in the back way of the laundry room.. I walk in and a man is sitting there and he said, Are you the Congressman? I said, Used to be.. He said, Are you a Republican aren t you? And I said, Well, Republicans put me in here, you know.. I have to pull up some humor in this situation.. He said, Well I was the mayor of East Cleveland.. Welcome, I ll get you some clothes.. LAMB: And he was a prisoner?.. NEY: He was a prisoner.. I think he s just been recently released.. He was a prisoner.. He got me clothes.. He said, Where s your unit? I said, I don t know.. He said, Well where s your escort? I said, Some little guy yelled all kinds of foul things and the guy ran away.. At the end of the day I found out the next day that was the warden who was standing behind me screaming, Let him find his own way, you know, to teach me a lesson.. I walked towards the main line to eat the next day and, you know, my mind s racing.. How am I going to - when I get out of here get a job.. I ve lost every dime I ever owned.. What about my children? What about my family? You know, what can I do? You re disgraced.. You know, full of shame, et cetera.. And a prisoner turned to me and he said, You co-authored the Sudafed law.. You put in here.. And I realized it s a day-at-a-time.. I ve got to get through this place.. Forget the house, forget the job.. And I sit down and from that day changed my attitude.. So that was my first 24 hours.. LAMB: What prison was it?.. NEY: Morgantown Federal Corrections.. LAMB: What s it close to?.. NEY: It s Morgantown, West Virginia.. It s between Wheeling, West Virginia and Cumberland, Maryland.. LAMB: You were born in Wheeling- or born in Wheeling.. NEY: Born in Wheeling, West Virginia.. Raised in Ohio.. Went to prison in Morgantown, West Virginia.. And I m going to make a choice to be buried in Ohio.. Not to be buried in West Virginia.. LAMB: You say you worked for Ellen Ratner.. LAMB: This audience knows Ellen Ratner from her appearances here.. Before we talk about her because she s mentioned throughout your whole book, I want to run a clip.. This is just her appearance on this network about the same time that this was all happening to you.. It has nothing to do with you but they can see what she looks like.. ELLEN RATNER: Well I ve been I was a big marcher in the 60s.. Right over here on this mall.. Many marches of the last the last big one I was well not the last march I participated in.. But the biggest one was in 1969 November of 1969 against the war.. You know, all those LBJ and hey, hey what do you, you know, I m not even going to repeat what we used to say.. But I ve been a big dissenter my whole life.. LAMB: Ellen Ratner, in my recollection, could not be any farther away from you politically.. NEY: In the day in Congress in those days, there was zero that Ellen Ratner and I agreed upon.. Zero, politically.. Today, we might agree on some things, but still today I call Ellen lovingly the Queen of the Left.. Ellen is a pure, true Liberal in all of the sense of being Liberal.. We ve been friends since I walked into the doors of Congress.. And politically, we re a little closer here-and-there today, but in the Congressional days there s probably not one vote we would share.. LAMB: What did she do for you?.. NEY: Ellen did several things.. We not only became friends.. We had this karmic relationship in the sense that she changed her birthday her birthday party - her big 50th.. And as a result, I didn t want to go to a scheduled event I had in New York City where I was to open Nasdaq, going into the tower, and then some kind of fund raiser and close the stock exchange.. And I had it set our office had set it for September 11 of 2001.. And I said, Well Ellen changed her birthday party.. And they said, We think we can make it September 4.. So one week earlier, I m up in the tower looking out over the crisp day in New York.. That was a karmic, you know cosmic bind with Ellen and I.. I would have been in the towers that day had she not changed her birthday party.. So there was something about Ellen Ratner beyond just a friend.. And she visited me in prison.. And she said, You need to come work for Talk Radio News and do radio.. And I said, Ellen I don t want publicly to do anything.. I just want to work a job.. That s all I want to do..  ...   s a bad security aspect of having these repeaters.. Will you hold off on this? I said, Sure, we ll do that.. Well Jack Abramoff represented Foxcom.. Haley Barbour, at that time, who later became governor of Mississippi represent LGC.. Those were two of the lobbyists.. So, of course, those companies contact us and as Jack Abramoff did and Haley Barbour did and they wanted to, you know, see if their clients could get the Foxcom contract is what eventually got it or the LGC contract.. But I put it by the wayside; at Bill Livingood s request because I was serious about the security of Capitol.. Later, when we kept getting complaints from members of Congress not from Haley Barbour or Jack Abramoff but members of Congress would come up and you d say, Bob, you know, I can t use my cell phone.. I want to use my cell phone.. So we looked back into it.. I called the NSA, National Security Agency.. They came to my office.. We privately met.. I said, Tell me , and Bill Livinggood was involved in this meeting.. Tell me, what s the bottom line of this security aspect? They went ahead and they looked at this and we went into a skiff room which is in the Capitol and that s a private room.. Nothing bounces in, nothing bounces out.. And I won t reveal the information today because of security at the Capitol.. But they said it s OK to do these if we do them this way.. It doesn t matter which company does them.. The Israeli based company, which in fact, has an American entity or the LGC pure American company.. It doesn t matter which one.. We do it this way.. It s involved this way.. And that s all I can say about it.. Then we re OK.. So we made a decision toward the contract.. Now what we did with the contract, it went through Jay Eagen, the CAO of the House at that time, the Administrator of the House.. What we did with the contract was have the providers do the survey.. Now the providers were Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, or whoever else.. There were five of them- I can t remember the other two.. And they would sign off, do you want LGC or do you want Foxcom? So we had that input into it.. The majority said they wanted Foxcom.. Now there s one little twist in this though.. At one point and time the word was used and this is how I met with Foxcom but the word Jew was used.. Now I have many Jewish friends, and in Israel Israeli will say, I m a Jew, or she s a Jew or he s a Jew.. You can refer that way.. But when you refer and use that word in another way, it s a derogatory way to use that word.. LAMB: Let me just read what you wrote.. LAMB: And then you can comment on it.. This in a couple of paragraphs.. You say, The gist of the story involves Neil Volz not as a lobbyist but as Staff Director for the House of Administration Committee which you chaired; Haley Barbour, the lobbyist for LGC, called Neil.. He had an air of Hey it s Haley.. Need this one.. And translate that.. What do you mean, Hey it s Haley.. NEY: Well Neal Volz can verify the story.. Because he came to me and he said, Hey it s Haley.. I need this one.. Haley used to be head of the Congressional, you know, he was the head of the Republican National Committee.. He was when I came into Congress, he was the money guy, you know, wanted to raise money.. You need Haley Barbour.. You want to get re-elected, you need Haley Barbour.. LAMB: He s acting as a lobbyist though for LGC?.. NEY: For LGC who s against Jack Abramoff as a lobbyist for Foxcom.. LAMB: Neil told me that at one point, Haley said something to the effect that he was fairly busy and Have Bob call me on this sometime.. LAMB: Do you normally do members of Congress normally pick up the phone call on lobbyists on something like this?.. NEY: Well you can.. I mean it s happened.. I mean it probably happens today.. I ve done it.. Neil s point at that time it was pretty it was pretty flipid.. Hey I m a little busy, have Bob call me.. LAMB: OK, let me finish this.. However, the real problems stem from something LGC s lobbyist said not only to us but also to the others involved.. He referred to Foxcom as the Jews and could not understand why I would want to give a contract to a foreign Jew company.. Now you don t say this, but are you talking about Haley Barbour saying that?.. LAMB: Do you get a pension?.. NEY: Yes I get a pension.. In fact, I took the pension early because, you know, all of my money was gone.. So I took an early pension.. LAMB: How much did your legal fees cost you?.. NEY: $518,000 approximate.. LAMB: Are they paid.. NEY: Well part of it is paid, part of it s not paid.. LAMB: How did you raise the money for that/.. NEY: That was a legal defense fund.. I used campaign funds mainly.. I would raise legal defense money but I drained by campaign account which is I refer in the book caused me to go before John Boehner to ask him for money.. When I went to Barry Jackson, Karl Rove s number one guy was sitting there in a room, which was to me very unusual.. But I was trying to get money to get through the election to win it.. I ran out of money basically.. Won the primary and then was headed into zero balance practically into the election.. LAMB: Here is Jack Abramoff talking about you I think it s at a National Press Club.. JACK ABRAMOFF; One of the reasons Bob was the only one that went to prison.. Bob, apparently had a different issue that wasn t related to mine.. He gave or he took $50,000 in casino chips from an Iranian business man apparently who wanted the government to give permission to sell planes to Iran.. Now that act and doing it in a casino in London is what I think unhinged Bob and Bob plead by the way.. And if Bob had fought, I m not sure where it would have wound up.. Probably he would have been convicted.. But in terms of the stuff with me, nobody else was indicted because a lot of the Congressional action is protected under the Speech and Debate clause.. LAMB: You write in your book, just before you answer that.. I am skeptical today as to whether Jack Abramoff has learned his lesson or if he is back and after the mighty dollar rather than redemption.. So where are you today? Have you seen him since you both.. NEY: I ve not seen him.. I sent him a little note on Face book.. He sent me one back.. Sort of a God Bless You, you know.. LAMB: He said, I mean this whole story about London and the chips.. NEY: Well this is interesting.. This is the first time that I saw this.. So if I read my quote now I m not sure- not after seeing this I am sure that Jack Abramoff just doesn t want to be too frank about what really happened.. I m sure that.. LAMB: So what really happened?.. NEY: Well first of all when Jack says, Well, you know, it was the problem of the chips.. I was not indicted for the chips.. The government did not indict me.. Second, it was not an Iranian businessman.. He was a Syrian businessman.. And the other thing is that the government had this story about I asked Colin Powell to try to tell sell airplane parts.. Anyone is free to call Colin Powell.. That conversation simply never happened.. I never asked Colin Powell if he would help and we would sell airplane parts to Iran.. So when Jack says, Well you know they got Bob because of casino chips.. I did have a problem of declaring all the chips.. I declared some and didn t declare others.. And I put that in the book.. Bu the government didn t indict me on that.. What Jack Abramoff is saying there is, Well you know if the government, I know what he s saying.. If the government if Bob hadn t had that problem in the casino, not saying that helped, but if he hadn t had that problem in the casino, there was nothing Bob and I did that they would have convicted him for.. That s why nobody else was convicted.. That s not accurate.. I had a stream of favors for Jack Abramoff.. I took free food from Jack Abramoff that should have been reported.. I took free alcohol from Jack Abramoff that should have been reported.. I plead guilty to falsification of a federal document was actually a Congressional document which I could have shielded with speech and debate.. Jack doesn t like the answer the very question that he has created now in controversy.. On 60 Minutes, Jack Abramoff said, I had a hundred members in my pocket and I spent a million dollars.. If Jack Abramoff spent a million dollars on a hundred members and he spent say thirty thousand on me, what was the difference between those members and me.. Now, I m not saying I could point the finger and say, This member should be indicted, or not.. But there were other people who took trips with Jack Abramoff, other people that signed letters for Jack Abramoff, other people that inserted items in the Congressional record for Jack Abramoff.. I argue Jack Abramoff is not correct that he and I really didn t do anything.. It was the London problem Bob Ney had.. I argue it was he and I London didn t help me for leverage by the government.. But it was he and I.. And I argue that the rest of it is only known to Jack Abramoff.. And I write in my book I think once I went away Congress the bad guys were in prison.. They didn t have to go after anybody else.. When John McCain had his Senate hearing on Indian affair and drug Jack Abramoff there, Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian coalition was involved in a secret plot, received money maybe millions of dollars to act like he wanted to close a casino.. Jack was to open it.. That was the Tigua tribe which I said to them, He s Jack s a good guy.. I was culpable in that terrible thing doing it to the Native Americans.. When John McCain had his hearing, he didn t drag Ralph Reed there.. He only drug Jack Abramoff.. When John McCain had his hearing, the only named mentioned was me.. I did wrong things.. I committed criminal acts.. But when Jack Abramoff says, Oh It was just, you know, even Bob wouldn t have been found guilty if it wasn t for London.. That is not an emission of reality.. LAMB: Let me read what you said at the end when you re talking about the press and Abramoff.. Now you said earlier you corrected that he didn t want to buy the Roll Call on the Capitol Hill which is done by the Economist.. He wanted to buy the Hill.. NEY: I made a mistake in the.. LAMB: But but but he did want to buy that and you did talk about John Bresnahan, and then you said, Jack knew, meaning Jack Abramoff knew that once I went away his friend like Delay and others would be spared.. Delay s legal woes are in the state of Texas and had nothing to do with Abramoff.. The Justice Department totally dropped it.. Should Tom Delay have been indicted by the federal government?.. NEY: You know I can t answer that because I m not Alberta Gonzalez, and I m not Jack Abramoff.. But I will tell you this.. If Tom if I was indicted for going if I had plead because I went on a trip to Scotland and Tom went on his trip to Scotland and Tom went to Marion Islands, which I didn t.. The question is that an illegal trip in itself? I don t know.. The closeness to Jack Abramoff Jack did Tom s daughter s paid for the bridal shower or the baby shower.. Tom s former Chief-of-Staff received a filtered through million dollars from Jack Abramoff into some type of foundation or some such thing that Ed Buckham received.. Now are those all indictable? I don t know.. I m not Alberta Gonzalez.. But my point is that if a jury in Texas and the state in fact, convicted Tom Delay, what happened here with the Justice Department.. If this if these are peanut things as Jack Abramoff comes to a conclusion then one of these couldn t, you know, they couldn t really indict Bob then, either we were all indictable or we all weren t.. LAMB: Let me show you the picture of you standing over on St.. Andrew s golf course, I believe it is, with the group and look at this picture.. First of all, you were how heavy there?.. NEY: Well when I went into prison I was 234 pounds.. I ballooned completely up.. I was probably a good 212 there.. LAMB: And what are you now?.. NEY: About, let s see I ll tell the truth.. I was 168 when I came back India last but about 173.. LAMB: And who s in that picture? The fellow in the back, Sabathian?.. NEY: David Sabathian who spent I think or is still in prison maybe a year.. Ralph Reed, Jack Abramoff, myself and some guy that I don t know Jack hired I don t know who that guy is.. LAMB: You suggested though in your book that Ralph Reed was on the airplane with you and it was an eight passenger private jet.. Who flew you over there to Scotland?.. NEY: Jack Abramoff.. LAMB: He paid for that?.. NEY: He didn t fly the plane.. LAMB: And what year was this?.. NEY: 2002?.. LAMB: We also have a picture of you a whole group of you standing in front of planes and we has this been cleaned up here in this town? Can you can a member remember this picture I think that s Jack Abramoff s son there in the front.. NEY: I think probably if you do a fundraiser you might be able to do it.. But this part of it might have been cleaned up most likely.. LAMB: How available were planes to you when you were Chairman of the Administration?.. NEY: One point I want to make about this trip.. The trip was under reported.. The trip did not turn out as we had listed it would.. Did not meet with people that we were supposed to, you know, should have wrote a check for the trip.. Tom Feeney from Florida got in trouble over the same trip.. He wrote a check and he didn t go to prison.. So maybe if I d wrote a check, I wouldn t have went to prison.. I don t know.. I can t really compare myself to other members and why the government not let why couldn t I write a check? I don t know all that because I m not in the mind of Alberta Gonzalez that you know had the jurisdiction over this.. But as far as this trip we didn t even know, particularly, it was still fuzzy, you know, who paid for it.. The point I make in the book as Chairman of the House Administration Committee, as a Chairman I could call up the State department and say, Fire up the jets.. I want to go to Scotland.. I want to meet with so and so, so and so.. And by the way, I m going to say three days under the Congressional law at that time and I m going to golf.. I could do that.. So my one argument about this trip that I would make is this.. At no point and time and Jack Abramoff knows this and the Justice Department knew it and everybody else under the sun.. At no point and time did I say, Jack, I want to go to Scotland.. Take me to Scotland.. At no point and time.. At no point and time did I say, Why don t you have the Indian tribes, pay for it.. When I say Jack Abramoff duke me I m referring to one thing.. When Jack Abramoff told the Indian tribes, Ney wants to take a trip and you guys pay for it.. I didn t have to do that.. I could call up the State Department and go to Scotland and golf for three straight days in a row.. And I wasn t even a golfer.. So that part of it, I have issues with Jack Abramoff over.. I did not ask him to get the Indian tribes to pay for that trip.. I didn t need that to happen.. So that s where I use the part about duping.. LAMB: I want to be careful about how I say this.. But when I read your book, and you go into so much detail than we ve been able to cover here in this I thought maybe a shower might be useful.. Not thinking about you but thinking about this town.. How much of this goes on to this day? I mean the more than anything that we haven t talked about is all the staff abusing their privileges behind the scene.. NEY: Jack Abramoff and I would agree on one thing if he was sitting here today, to clean this town up.. Everything we did is on steroids now.. Everything Jack and I did.. And maybe the trips are stopped.. But everything s on steroids.. They can do all kinds of things up here.. The power games, the money games, you want to be a committee chairman.. Everyone on that Hill knows what I say is true.. You have to raise 150,000 you have to raise half a million.. You want to be a chairman; you have to raise that money.. You have to play that game to be part of the system.. The leaders are making incredible amounts of money and they control a lot of the power through it.. The big pharmaceutical companies, et cetera, they don t have to go to individual members.. Go to some of the leaders.. Now at the end of the day on this shiny, bright Capitol Hill are some of the most wonderful people in this country, Democrat and Republican.. But also this is corrupt.. A lot of good people, some bad, mainly good I argue.. But the system is broken.. The barrel is corrupt.. LAMB: Let me ask you in a different way.. If you were teaching high school or college course, would you teach an academic s view of how a bill becomes a law or would you have them read this?.. NEY: I would tell the academic process, I would have them read this and I would tell them the truth of the reality of how some of the bills become a law.. It s a mixture out there.. And if you take away the money game and again, I would agree with Abramoff things I ve heard him say.. If you want to serve in Congress, you don t become a lobbyist period.. If you re a staffer, you don t become a lobbyist.. This is not the feeding ground for the lobby circuit.. Take that out of it.. Take the money out of the system if you can.. Truly take it out.. Don t buy chairmanships of committees.. Don t have that nuclear campaign arms race of raising money.. Look, today, people take their staffers federally paid, they take them to the Democrat war room, I call it.. They take them to the Republican war room across from the Capitol.. And they raise money on federal time.. Is it illegal? No.. Is it right? No.. LAMB: They sit in the camp the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee and make phone calls.. NEY: Sure, absolutely.. I did it.. It s doing it as we speak.. I can safely say somebody s doing it.. Let s take that side of it out.. There are a lot of changes that today Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi could join hands today and within 24 hours, have such a dynamic change on that hill and allow those good people who are up there, Democrats and Republicans, alike to function.. LAMB: We haven t got any time left, but when is the last time you had a drink?.. NEY: September 13, 2006.. LAMB: AA every day?.. NEY: About four times a week.. LAMB: And I m assuming you re talking about.. NEY: 12 step recovery I m sorry, it s 12 step recovery traditions of AA.. LAMB: And you may not want to answer this, I m assuming when you refer to old Bill in here you re talking about Bill Wilson?.. NEY: No, I m talking about my friend in Ohio we call him old Bill and his wife Judy.. LAMB: I thought you were talking about me.. NEY: No, the founder of AA.. But I do 12 step recovery because the traditions of AA we don t talk about AA I m very respectful.. I do 12 step recovery.. LAMB: The name of the books is Sideswiped: Lessons Learned, Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill.. Our guest has been Robert W.. Ney, former Congressman from Ohio.. Thank you very much.. NEY: Thank you..

    Original link path: /Transcript/?ProgramID=1441
    Open archive

  • Title: Q & A
    Descriptive info: April 21, 2013.. Rajiv Chandrasekaran.. Washington Post Senior Correspondent and Associate Editor.. : Our guest is Washington Post Senior Correspondent and Associate Editor Rajiv Chandrasekaran.. He discusses his recent Washington Post article titled, Too Big to Bail, an examination of the embattled F-35 jet fighter program.. He highlights the program s unique ability to avoid budget cuts despite increases in production costs and delayed project completion.. He points out that the program will not receive spending reductions from the budget sequester process.. He defines what opponents of the F-35 call political engineering which he describes as a process employed by defense contractors to spread production throughout as many states as possible.. He says this is one of many reasons defense contractor Lockheed Martin gets continued funding for their advanced fighter jet for the Navy, Air Force and Marines.. Chandrasekaran reviews his time as a war correspondent in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the two books he wrote as a result, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq s Green Zone and Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan.. He discusses another Washington Post article he wrote titled 5 Myths about Iraq, and comments on the scandals which led to the resignation of General Stanley McChrystal and General David Petraeus.. BRIAN LAMB: Rajiv Chandrasekaran, in March you did a front page piece on a Sunday about the F-35.. What is it?.. RAVIJ CHANDRASEKARAN: The F-35 is the most expensive weapons system in the history of the United States.. Well, the history of mankind, quite frankly.. It is an advanced war plane, a fighter jet that is to be used by the Air Force, the Navy, and the Marine corps.. It s the replacement for the F-16 for the Air Force, for a number of other planes for, for the Marines and the Navy.. It s supposed to be our new advanced all purpose fighter jet.. It was a plane that was supposed to be in the skies fighting now.. It s still in development.. It s an incredibly troubled program.. It s a program that has gone tens of billions of dollars over budget.. And I burrowed into this program as a way to write about the overall challenges of trimming the defense budget.. Because this program is in some ways singular in terms of its cost overruns, its delays.. And the way it s been structured to as I write in the piece.. It s most effective defensive attribute may not be all of its radars, and sensors, and missiles, and stealth technology, and ability to fight supersonic speeds.. It may well be the way it s been designed to evade budget cutters in Washington.. LAMB: I know that for the folks that don t follow this stuff, it could be gobbledygook.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Yes.. LAMB: But what s the difference between the F-35 and the F-22? And what happened to that?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: So, the F-22 is is flying.. It, it, it has its share of technical troubles, too.. That was supposed to be and is the Air Force s high end fighter, the replacement for the F-15.. It s a, it s a real high performance fighter.. And it s meant to, you know, win against any potential adversary in, in dog fights; in, in air-to-air combat.. The plan was always to have fewer F-22s.. And then you d have more of the F-35.. That was going to be the mainstay of the fighter fleet.. And, and not just for now, but for the next 40 to 50 years.. And this is going to be the backbone of America s combat aviation.. And so, the idea is if you re if you re fighting against a sophisticated adversary, your F-22s are going in.. And they re they re fighting in the air against the adversary s combat aircraft.. And then your F-35s come in.. And they re the ones that are carrying the bombs that are going to take out the, the radar installations, the other military targets.. And so, they re the they re the, essentially the, kind of the second wave that come in with, you know.. To, to do the real heavy lifting; but these were also planes that are that are supposed to be all purpose.. So, the F-35 is, is supposed to be able to provide close air support to, to combat troops on the ground.. If they re if they re fighting in some, you know, African nation.. They re supposed to be able to provide a degree of aerial reconnaissance in other parts of the world.. So, it this was supposed to be, if, if the if the F-22 was, was going to be kind of the Cadillac in the skies for the Air Force.. The F-35 was supposed to be the Chevrolet.. LAMB: But the F-22 stopped at 187 airplanes.. Why?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Because costs went whoop and because of engineering challenges, because of mushrooming costs.. What, what the Pentagon and what appropriators in Congress decided to do was to say all right, look.. We, we just simply can t afford to, to build as many of these as we want.. And so, the overall buy shrunk.. What, what we should notice is that the overall cost.. While a little lower than its projected costs is not that much lower.. So, what, what you have here.. The real tragedy of the F-22 is that the cost per plane is much, much greater than what it was supposed to be.. LAMB: Four hundred and some million dollars a plane.. CHANDRASEKARAN: That s right.. LAMB: Let s run some video.. This is pulled off the Lockheed Martin website, the principal contractor for the F-35.. And we ve, we ve kept is just as we saw it on the website.. And this is the, the I don t know how long the video is? It s not too long.. It s just so we can see what it looks like and how Lockheed promotes it to the public.. LAMB: What did you see there?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Boy, I saw something that I d love to fly in.. You know, you, you saw you saw a video that both plays up America s combat air superiority.. It shows off a, an admittedly very sexy airplane.. Thing s designed in a very sleek futuristic way.. Nothing like those images of planes taking off and landing from, from ships to, to really demonstrate American military might.. A very well produced ad that helps to, you know There s a Top Gun element to this.. And, you know, you look at that and they say, you know.. We should have these.. LAMB: Who ? How important is Lockheed?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Well, Lockheed is the principal contractor building this.. LAMB: How do they compare to other contractors in the country for everything?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: They are they.. LAMB: The military ?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: They are our nation s largest defense contractor.. They build a whole host of various weapons systems.. And do a lot of other work for, for the military; a lot of classified work.. They re biggest part of their business is providing hardware and, and other services to the defense department.. LAMB: If I read right, I ve never met this person, but it s run by a woman.. CHANDRASEKARAN: It now is.. And, and what s interesting is a number of our largest defense contractors today are run by women.. LAMB: Any reason why this has all of a sudden happened?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: You know, I think I think it, it It, it was sort of fortuitous in some of these other, other firms of the, the rise of, of female executives has been occurring over time at, at some of the nation s largest defense contractors.. And I think shows just how, how, you know, women are breaking through the glass ceiling in, in a field that has been, you know, really traditionally dominated by, by men.. LAMB: When you set out to do the F-35 article, where did you start?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: You know, I started by reaching out to some friends in the U.. Marine Corps.. Because I knew that they were particularly invested in the F-35.. It was going to the F-35 is to is supposed to replace every Marine combat airplane that they have.. And, I spent a lot of times with, with Marines in Afghanistan.. And so I reached out and said, look, I want to start to learn more about this.. And, and those initial conversations then led me to, to reach out to more people; to critics on the outside; but to folks at the Air Force, the Navy to, to really burrow into this.. What I what I learned very quickly is that this is a very complex program with a very troubled history.. And it wasn t something I was going to understand overnight.. And I, I literally I spent weeks and weeks on this piece.. LAMB: When did you start it?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: I stated in the fall.. I was distracted by a couple of other things.. Not the least of which was David Petraeus s resignation.. And, and the scandal that, that was part of all of that.. And I came back to it earlier this year in large part; you know, at in the fall I was a little unsure of whether I was going to sort of bring the story to, to completion.. Once it became clear that we were going to be hitting the, you know, going off the, the sequestration cliff.. And, and issues of the future of the defense budget, and the scope, and scale of it were really coming to the fore.. It, it took on a new urgency.. Look, the, the story of the troubles with the F-35, the story of the, the giant cost isn t new.. A number of my esteemed colleagues in the press corps have written about it in recent years.. But to me all of this needs to be set in the, in the debate that is now rolling in Washington about the, the Federal budget.. And I thought if I could examine this program through the lens of budget cutting, that would be a, a new way to look at this.. It might tell us something that we didn t already know.. LAMB: I want to put on the screen a slide of from your article of what s happened to the cost of this.. And get you to explain it.. This first of all shows that approved in the year 2001, 2,852 planes for $233 billion.. Then move ahead 12 years, the Pentagon plan is been the planes have been reduced to 2,443 planes for now $397.. 1 billion.. The design and production, $84 billion has already been spent.. What does that? What happened there?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: What happened is that; you know, the, the price has almost doubled.. We re getting fewer planes for, for much more money.. And we ve spent an enormous amount of money.. And the plane isn t, it s only about 17 percent tested at this point.. I mean, it, it s still got millions of lines of software code to be written.. The, the Navy s variant has still not been able to, to land on an aircraft carrier.. The, the Marine version, which is supposed to land and take off vertically, still having engineering challenges.. What that slide tells you is just the sheer amount of, of money that we re we re The sheer growth of this program in terms of how the, the initial estimate is.. It, it was so different from, from the reality.. Now, what Lockheed would tell you is that this reflects the real technical challenges of building a sophisticated plane like this.. What critics on the outside would tell you is that this is this is a program that has run amuck.. That is run, kind of run aground.. Be, and, or put differently, run out of control.. LAMB: More video of the Marine version and trying to work through your article.. And showing how these planes could differ, all F-35s.. Here s the Marine video.. (BEGIN VIDEO) (END VIDEO).. LAMB: The U.. Wasp a helicopter landing ship.. LAMB: Not a regular carrier; and not, I mean, not a not the full length jet carrier.. What, what why do they need that?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Well, the Marines have 11 of those types of ships, amphibious assault ships.. They have, they have short decks where they can they can fly planes like that and helicopters.. The Marines want to, to continue to have fixed wing combat aircraft.. And fly them off of those.. And Marines argue that look if, if we have a plane that can do that, that, that essentially doubles the nation s carrier fleet.. Because the Navy has 11 full length aircraft carriers.. So, this means you could you could put those ships in, in other parts of the world.. Or, if you were fighting a war in, you know, more, more distributor forces in a broader array.. And, and then a than have those ships serve as, as platforms to, to both launch those sorts of planes, and to bring them home.. It s worth noting that, that version of the airplane, the, the Marine version, that is the costliest and most troubled one, because of the challenge of taking this stealthy, supersonic fighter jet.. And essentially getting it to land and take off like a helicopter.. I mean, it is a massive engineering accomplishment what they have done there.. But, there is still a lot of kinks to be worked out.. And, and just getting to that point has really involved, you know, billions and billions of dollars of, of design work.. LAMB: When did the F-35 planning process start? How long ago?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Well, the program itself began in 2001.. Although, planning for it began years before that.. And the, the vision here was, was going to be a noble one.. You know, the idea that you build one aircraft.. And it would be used by three different services; by the Air Force, the Marines, and the Navy.. You get economies of scale.. You get interoperability on missions.. Air Force planes could fly with Navy planes.. They d be able to talk to each other.. And you get these, these great economies of scale.. That didn t happen in part because the services decided to sort of lard on their own requests.. You know, the, the Navy obviously wanted theirs to fly off of carriers.. The Marines wanted it to go up and down like this.. The Air Force wanted the planes to be a stealthy to have stealth panels on it to fly longer ranges.. And so, you had these requirements that sort of started to make each of the three versions more and more different.. What was supposed to be an airplane that was going to have about 70 percent similarity between the three versions now is about 70 percent different.. And that has been a big factor that has led to the increase in costs.. LAMB: Let let s look at just a little bit of the politics.. Carl Levin, and chairman of the Armed Services Committee from Michigan.. He s been there for years.. He s not going to run again.. But we see a lot of him on this network.. Here he is talking about the F-22.. Let s just listen to what his attitude about that a number of years ago.. Carl Levin: This debate is not about whether or not we re going to have the capability of the F-22.. It s a debate about how many F-22 aircraft we should have.. And what cost.. And we re talking here about whether or not we should accept the recommendation of two Commanders in Chief, two Secretaries of Defense, two Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.. That 187 F-22s is what we need.. And all that we can afford.. And all that we should buy.. LAMB: Who was pushing more F-22s?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Members of Congress from states where those planes were produced.. ; and where Lockheed Martin has some of its largest business interests.. As well as some of the, the key sub-contractors.. LAMB: You say in your article that 45 states have something to do with the F-35.. LAMB: And I was on their website yesterday.. And it s up to 47.. What is ? What s going on that with Lockheed Martin? And, you you d make a strong point of spread out to 47 states.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Critics call this political engineering.. Essentially try to distribute your supplier base as broadly as you can around the country so that you, you spread the employment around.. And you win support of members of Congress from around the country.. So, that it s not just a, hey look, this helps Texas, or Georgia, or California, or Virginia.. States that have large traditional defense employment.. But you get the smaller states too to help win new friends on Capitol Hill.. LAMB: Put up on the screen, the list of the states.. And how much money they get for the F-35.. And how many people are employed.. You can see that California if number one with 27,000 jobs.. I m not sure why Texas has 41,000 with only 4.. 9 billion.. But those figures are movable.. But you can see which states.. LAMB: Have the most jobs out of all this.. The Chairman of the Armed Services Committee over in the House is from California, Buck McKeon.. We have, we have the top 15, which have in almost every case they have.. As you can see here, almost 1,000 jobs at least; Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Utah, Vermont, Washington, New Jersey.. How much of a political game is played about this, this business right here?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: So, you know, Lockheed Martin would argue that it s looking for efficient suppliers around the country.. But, those who are critical of this program would say they are actively trying to spread it around.. And, there s no real reason to do that other than to try to win political support.. You know, the bulk of the plane is, is, is built in, in Texas and in California.. And that s where the real work is being done.. But, certainly it is a benefit to have; you know, even a, even a few dozen jobs in a in a small state.. It s a it s a way in to, to try to convince those members that this is a program that s worth $397.. 1 billion of our taxpayer money.. LAMB: I m going to pull out some quotes from your piece.. And you can explain it.. Here s one, This aircraft reinforces the way Americans go to war.. We don t want to win 51, 49.. We want to win 99 to nothing, said Lieutenant General, Frank Gorenc, the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force.. He said he is convinced the F-35 quote, Will become a superstar in the arsenal of the United States.. CHANDRASEKARAN: So, why I thought this quote was interesting Brian is that it speaks to really the, the, the approach the Air Force is taking to aerial warfare.. You know, instead of saying, all right, look.. Like, like the infantry in the Army, you re going to have some losses when you go into an operation.. And saying, all right, we you know, we ll send sort of lower tech planes to go and do some of these bombing runs.. And yes, we may lose some of them.. The Air Force wants to a, establish air superiority right away, like we did in the first Gulf War and, and in successive conflicts thereafter.. And wants to get to a, a zero pilot loss, standard for, for some of these conflicts.. And so, it wants to, to put in more and more enhancements to these planes.. And that, that costs money to try to make the  ...   because the plane, and the way the plane is designed with the Bomb bay, and the engines, and whatnot, the hook has to be far, further back.. And that creates its own set of, of structural challenge.. And this is what, what happens when you try to build one size fits all.. It becomes much harder to meet these other sort of engineering requirements.. LAMB: I want to put back on the screen the slide that shows the amount of money and the number of planes that will be spent and the change over the last few years.. LAMB: You can see there on the screen.. It approved in 2001, 2,852 planes for $233 billion; (200), 2013, the Pentagon plan was for far less and almost over 400 less planes for 397.. 1.. And the design and production, 84 billion.. When they give you the cost of, of anybody, whether it s the Pentagon or the Lockheed Martin, give you the cost of an aircraft? Did they put in the cost of the research and development?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: In, in this phase, yes, they, they That is that is part of it.. When they moved beyond the sort of design phase, then that does not become factored in, into the cost.. LAMB: So, what s the cost of this airplane now?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: About $160 million a piece.. LAMB: And what will it be in a few years?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Well, they claim it will drop to around 100 billion.. LAMB: A hundred, a hundred billion?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: A little more it s a million, pardon me.. CHANDRASEKARAN: A little bit more for the Marine version.. Because that s, that s more complicated.. A little less for the, the air force version.. But those are aspirational targets.. LAMB: As you know that Navy is still building the F-18 and they have a lot on the drawing board.. LAMB: What are they paying for an F-18?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Much less.. And that s what s driving the Air Force.. Or, pardon me, that s what s driving the Navy to reexamine whether it wants to buy as many F-35s as it is committed to or, whether it can get away with more of the advanced F-18s for the moment.. And then wait for additional advancements in unmanned technology.. And maybe either get out entirely of buying the F-35.. Or, buy far fewer of them.. LAMB: But when the military contract with Lockheed Martin; and if all of a sudden the military said we don t want to build anymore.. How much would they have to pay Lockheed Martin?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: That s a good question.. I mean, they d have to pay some sort of penalty.. But what they d have to pay would obviously be a fraction of what, what they and what they re planning to, to spend on these planes.. LAMB: In 1993, you were the editor in chief of the Stanford Daily, and I m going to take a little break here to get some background.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Sure.. LAMB: On Rajiv Chandrasekaran.. But first I want to show you an appearance that you had on this network back in 1998.. CHANDRASEKARAN: I think what we re seeing on the Internet is it s, it s so young now.. And it s, it s emerging so quickly.. But it s, it s still, you know, shaking out that we have a hard time.. Whereas in the real world, we can we know that there is a different standard for the National Inquirer than the New York Times.. We it s not as clear on the Internet.. So, a lot of people who, you know, six months ago were subscribing to the Drudge site.. And not really knowing to much about it.. One didn t know.. There isn t a longstanding reputation there.. LAMB: And what were you doing back then?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: What we see is Rajiv looking really young with more hair.. Wow.. LAMB: Well, you re not exactly old.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Well, you know.. LAMB: Are you 40?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: I am, yes.. LAMB: So.. CHANDRASEKARAN: But, but a lot of gray hair from then, between then and now, having spent time in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.. LAMB: And that s what I really wanted to get to is that you ve been with the Post for 19 years.. LAMB: How much time in your writing career have you spent around the military and, and war?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Boy, the better part of the last decade, Brian.. I was a, a foreign correspondent in Southeast Asia when 9/11 occurred.. And I quickly like many of my ilk turned into a war correspondent.. I was in Pakistan a couple of days after 9/11.. Eventually, into Afghanistan; the following summer I moved to the Middle East.. But very quickly then started going into Iraq when it was still under the control of Saddam Hussein.. Spent the, the following two years after U.. troops arrived in Baghdad running our bureau in Baghdad.. I came back to write a book about the Iraq war.. And did some management jobs at the newspaper I was actually the Post national editor during the 2008 cycle.. And managing in a newsroom was well.. Let me just put it this way, Brian.. After, after my stint in management, there was nothing I wanted to do more, but run off to another war.. So, from 2009 through last year, I covered the, the war in Afghanistan, splitting my time between Washington, D.. and Afghanistan.. And wrote that book you re holding up there.. LAMB: This is the paperback version which is just out.. LAMB: You had well, the end of the last year you had the, the hardback version called Little America.. We ve gone through ten years of the Iraq war and longer.. CHANDRASEKARAN: The longest war in our nation s history.. And with Afghanistan When you look back right now, did we get our money s worth? And was it worth losing over 5,000 people? Iraq, both Iraq and Afghanistan ?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Let let s take let s take the separately.. I mean, Iraq, God, what s the true financial cost here? It could be, you know, you know, certainly north of a trillion dollars.. Some estimates are that it s going to be like two trillion.. Lost almost 4,500 American lives.. Countless thousands others gravely wounded; and we ve got a government there that is I make no excuses for Saddam Hussein.. He was an evil man.. But we ve got a government there now in Iraq that is more closely aligned with Iran than it is with the United States.. We ve got fundamental political issues unresolved between the, the principal groups in Iraqi society.. All for what? There were no weapons of mass destruction.. It s you know, it s a stretch to argue that the liberation of Iraq then sort of led to the Arab spring.. You know, I think we as, as American people will be wrestling for a long time with, with the overall question of the cost.. When you look at I think I think it was a good thing to get rid of Saddam Hussein.. But, at that price tag? I just There s no way it was worth more than a trillion dollars and as many lives as it cost.. LAMB: You did, and the Post a piece, The Five Myths of Iraq, and on March the, the 15th.. And I m going to go through them very quickly.. And just get a quick answer.. LAMB: Because we ve got to go back to the F-35.. One is the troop.. And this is a myth.. It says the troop surge succeeded.. CHANDRASEKARAN: The troop surge was always supposed to be a two-part endeavor.. One, you improve security so that you can create the space for political compromise.. You can bring those principal factions together to come to forge a grand agreement.. So, you essentially have some longer term stability.. The, the surge did improve security.. No doubt about it, but Iraqi leaders didn t take advantage of that security to forge the necessary compact.. LAMB: Two, myth; Iraq today is relatively peaceful.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Well, you know, you have horrendous attacks that occur, you know, almost daily or weekly there.. A lot of residents of Baghdad would tell you that their capital is far from peaceful.. LAMB: Three; Iraq is a Democracy.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Well, on paper it is.. But the government of Nouri al-Maliki is a, and the prime minister himself is, is moving to really consolidate a lot of power in ways that are disenfranchising political rivals.. And leading many Iraqis to, to see echoes of Saddam Hussein in him.. LAMB: When is the next election?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: A couple of years.. LAMB: Will he run again?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: I believe his term limited out.. But who knows?.. LAMB: OK, the fourth myth, and your piece was Iraq is in Iran s pocket.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Well, Iraq and Iran are very closely allied, but when you look at for instance the permission that Maliki is granting to Iran to fly planes over Iraqi airspace to provide supplies to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.. There s one view that he s being forced to do so because of Iranian pressure.. Well, quite frankly Maliki has his own reasons to want to have the Iranians support Assad.. Maliki worries that if the Syrian rebels topple the government in Damascus, those rebels will then work in concert with Iraq s minority Sunni population to further destabilize his government.. LAMB: And your final myth number five is the Americans have all left.. CHANDRASEKARAN: We still have a couple of hundred security force trainers there from the military.. Our largest embassy in the world is in Baghdad.. And the CIA has, you know, hundreds of personnel there.. So, there s still a robust American presence in Iraq.. LAMB: Your personal reaction to General Petraeus s situation when he had to leave the CIA.. And Stanley McChrystal s, General McChrystal; you, you knew them both.. LAMB: You reported on them a lot.. When he had to leave his post after the Rolling Stone piece, what was your personal reaction, not the necessarily professional? What did you think of that?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: So, I was I was surprised by both.. You know, Petraeus, a, you know, a, a man who preaches great virtue.. He talked a lot about the importance of character and leadership.. It wasn t something that I expected out of him.. And, I I m not the only one among the people who know him to have been deeply surprised and, and saddened by, by that.. With McChrystal, you know, I spent a lot of time with him.. I never heard members of his staff say the sorts of things they were quoted as saying in the Rolling Stone piece.. I m not trying to say that, that didn t happen.. But, again, you know, I was surprised that, that his public affairs officer wouldn t set clear ground rules with the reporter.. And was surprised that he didn t he didn t get a He didn t get a good spanking.. And, and then, you know, let to resume his command.. But, instead, the president accepted his, his offer of resignation.. LAMB: When he wrote his book, General McChrystal, he didn t ever name Michael Hastings, the reporter.. LAMB: And he only spent about a page, a page and a half, maximum on the whole thing.. Was that a smart thing to do, and why? Why weren t more reporters inquisitive of him? He never really explained himself in depth on that.. CHANDRASEKARAN: You know, I would have liked to have seen more.. And certainly, this, this was this was a defining moment in his career.. You know, forced out of the Army.. It deserved more than a page, a page and a half in the book.. And, you know, he it has now led him to a remarkable career transition.. Where he s, he s teaching at Yale University.. He s opened up a, a consulting firm that is doing very innovative work.. Well, he, he hasn t gone away.. He s, he s a brilliant guy; and a very capable leader.. But I would have liked to have seen him talk a little bit more about some of the lessons he s taken away from that episode.. LAMB: Back to your March 10th piece.. LAMB: And so, the audience can see what it looked like.. It was huge in the Washington Post on a Sunday.. Too big to bail, costly F-35 s most impressive capability might be how it has it has evaded budget cuts and gotten the government to stand by it.. And this man, here, you write about.. Did you meet him?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: No, that, that was at another base in Patuxent River, Maryland where our photographer went to go take some pictures of the plane.. LAMB: Back to the politics of this.. LAMB: Here is Lindsey Graham on the floor.. I, I believe it s it may be in, in Committee.. Lindsey Graham: The air force, are we going to have less airplanes?.. Male: We ll have to have less airplanes, Senator.. Lindsey Graham: What happens to the F-35?.. Male: It depends on what the top line is going forward.. Short-term, it s one to two airplanes this year.. And if you.. Lindsey Graham: Let s say sequestration fully goes into effect.. Male: We re going to have to look completely at the programs.. Lindsey Graham: I mean, it s going to be hard to modernize, right?.. Male: It s going to be impossible to modernize the way we currently would like to as well.. Lindsey Graham: Would that make it more difficult to go into a situation like an attack on Iran to prevent their nuclear program in the future?.. Male: Yes, sir, our kick in the dirt capability would be impacted.. LAMB: Senator Graham, I believe is still in the Air Force?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Reservist.. What was going on there?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: He was talking about the impact of sequestration on the F-35 program, which at least initially, it s not having much of an impact, couple of planes here.. It s not a big deal.. The bigger question is what would happen if further rounds, cuts take place? But, that discussion really avoids the central issue, which is how many overall planes does the military need? Does the Marine corps need its own version? Does the Navy need this? And how many how many can the United States really afford?.. LAMB: Making too much noise here with your paper.. But, I the reason I It s a it s a big spread both inside two full pages on this, and a journalism question.. How hard is it today with the shrink in size of newspapers to get this largest story in a newspaper?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: It s, it, it is not as easy as it once was, Brian.. But when you have a story that is important, when it, it, it touches upon key issues in Washington, and when you can tell it in a compelling way.. I found that I can still build the necessary support among the editors of the Post.. They re they re committed to doing this sort of work.. LAMB: What kind of reaction did you get to this?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: A phenomenal reaction from people within the military, people on the political leadership of our government, I heard from members of Congress.. It, it got a lot of traction.. Look, it s not a brand new story, it s just been told in a different way.. And at this moment it was something that helped to, to really kind of clarify a set of issues.. And it got a lot of resonance.. LAMB: I want to read this paragraph from taken away from the article.. The program supports about a 133,000 U.. jobs in 45 states and Puerto Rico and includes both Lockheed Martin employees, and employees of the program suppliers.. The only states without suppliers are Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Wyoming.. What happened to those states? Actually, as I said earlier in the I, I saw on the website, the Lockheed website that two more states had been added.. LAMB: Do they do that? Do they do they study that and do that on purpose?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Well, the company would deny it.. But its critics say sure, yes.. They they re looking for how, how to spread that wealth as broadly as possible? And it s not just U.. states, Brian.. They re also suppliers around the world.. LAMB: How many different countries are going to buy this aircraft once it s completed its testing?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: So, eight countries have, have initially committed.. The hope is that they ll sell it to more than that.. But some of those countries have not just committed, they ve already invested money up front in the development of the plane.. And this is yet another barrier to cutting.. Because if the United States buys fewer of these airplanes, it drives up the cost per plane for the allies.. So, there s a potential diplomatic cost there.. You know, let s say the United States were to buy 500 fewer F-35s.. Well, that raises the cost for instance for Britain, which is counting on the F-35 to replace all of its Harrier jets on its aircraft carriers.. LAMB: A Harrier jet is what?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: A Harrier is like the Marine version of the F-35.. It can land and take off vertically.. It s not nearly as sophisticated as the F-35.. LAMB: I wrote down a bunch of countries that are want to get it.. Britain, Italy, Norway, Canada; and Canada wants 65, and Australia wants 100.. LAMB: When you when you look back at this piece after.. And, you know, we re about out of time.. When you look back at this piece, what would be a follow-up? Where would people be able to go to find out more information if they wanted more detail?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: It s a very good question.. You know, I there s some very good work that has been done by the Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Budget Office.. LAMB: The GAO.. CHANDRASEKARAN: GAO, and CBO; they ve written some, some very, very good reports.. Some of the best work has been done by, by those organizations.. And so, if you really want to delve into this, do a Google search for the F-35 and, and GAO.. And you ll come up with some good material.. LAMB: What s a follow-up for you?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Well, you know, I m I m looking at some other military budget issues going forward.. Just because it is a it consumes an enormous portion of our overall federal budget.. And it is important to look at some of the, the tradeoffs here.. And as we go forward, what can we afford? And what is important for our national defense? And what are the sorts of things that we waste money on?.. LAMB: Last question, when you wrote this, who in your mind were you writing for? And just the average folk out there reading it, how did you appeal to them?.. CHANDRASEKARAN: I tried to make the plane the central character of this.. I mean, stories about military procurement; and stories about budget issues.. Aircraft development, they re complex.. Hard to understand; filled with jargon.. And so, I tried to step back and say, how can I tell this in a way that would be engaging to people? And I figured the way to do this would be to focus on the plane itself.. LAMB: Two books you ve got out.. One is called the Imperial Life in the Emerald City.. We talked to you about back in 2007.. Inside Iraq s Green Zone; and then this paperback, Little America The War Within the War for Afghanistan.. Rajiv Chandrasekaran, thank you very much for joining us.. CHANDRASEKARAN: Great to talk to you again..

    Original link path: /Transcript/?ProgramID=1440
    Open archive

  • Title: Q & A
    Descriptive info: April 14, 2013.. Senate Youth Program.. : This week on Q&A, high school students from the United States Senate Youth Program discuss their participation in a week long government and leadership education program in Washington, DC.. 104 students were selected from 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity.. Delegates were given the opportunity to meet and ask questions of President Barack Obama, United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Secretary of State  ...   group setting, students discuss their reactions to these government officials, and share some of the insights they gained from their presentations.. Topics include the lack of bipartisanship in Washington, challenges facing the younger generation and the rigorous selection process to be chosen as a delegate in the program.. The students talk about the importance of history in education and express gratitude to those teachers who fostered their admiration and study of politics.. To view the full transcrpit click.. here..

    Original link path: /Transcript/?ProgramID=1439
    Open archive

  • Title: Q & A
    Descriptive info: April 7, 2013.. Tom C.. Korologos.. Former Deputy Assistant to Presidents Nixon and Ford.. : Our guest is the former Ambassador to Belgium and former deputy assistant to Presidents Nixon and Ford, Tom Korologos.. He discusses his recent Washington Post opinion piece about White House nomination battles titled A History of Nomination Train Wrecks.. Mr.. Korologos speaks about his service in the Reagan administration as Director of Congressional Relations and his volunteer service assisting in various Senate confirmations in both the Reagan and Bush administrations.. He points to the failed confirmation of Judge Robert Bork in 1987 as the most difficult proceeding he was involved with.. He points out several key mistakes the nominee made while testifying and in the days leading up to the testimony.. He reviews the nomination hearing process for William Rehnquist to be Associate Justice.. He says Rehnquist did not feel he needed an additional Senate hearing upon his nomination to become Chief Justice.. He had to convince Rehnquist to appear at the hearing.. Korologos shares details about his early days in journalism in Utah and working on Capitol Hill, and why he chose public service and lobbying as a career.. BRIAN LAMB: Tom Korologos, former ambassador to Belgium, what s the first thing you tell someone who needs to be confirmed by the Senate that they re going to face as they go through the nomination process?.. TOM KOROLOGOS: Actually, the first thing I say to them is what is there in your background you have done that you don t want anybody to know, but you better count on it coming out in the hearing.. So get an answer, I m not telling you to tell me what it is, but get an answer because they re going to ask it and what could be your nightmare question and sometimes they tell you and sometimes they don t.. I said that to one guy one time and they said how do they know that and he withdrew his name.. LAMB: How often does it happen that somebody says they ve got a problem?.. KOROLOGOS: Quite a bit, but problems are relative.. It s not big, little or small and the reason you ask the question is I say to him, if you tell me what it is, I might be able to help you, but if you don t tell me, you re on your own and that scares the devil out of them and they come forward with financial disclosure thing or college thing or I smoked pot and didn t put it on the report, all kinds of little nuances that could kill your nomination.. LAMB: The toughest person you ever escorted to the process, I don t mean them being tough, but the toughest situation.. KOROLOGOS: Bob Bork, unfortunately, we lost.. We didn t see the opposition coming.. We knew it was going to be fierce.. Ten minutes after the nomination was made, Senator Kennedy was on the floor talking about returning to segregated lunch counters and backroom abortions.. I ran into the senator in the hall after and I said I m putting you down as undecided, I haven t given up and of course he chortled, but that was really a brutal, rough one that was a gross injustice at what happened to that man.. LAMB: I want to show you, from 1989, a clip of Paul Weyrich, conservative, helped start The Heritage Foundation and he s testifying against Senator John Tower for secretary of defense.. Let s just watch it and you can explain what you re seeing here.. PAUL WEYRICH: Over the course of many years, I have encountered the nominee in a condition, lack of sobriety, as well as with women who, to whom he was not married, I recognize both of the senator s wives because as you know, I worked here in the Senate for 11 years and I encountered it frequently enough to the point where it made an impression.. As I say, I don t go looking for this sort of thing.. I didn t obviously make any records of the times and places, but I did encounter this on a number of occasions.. LAMB: What went on there? What was going on?.. KOROLOGOS: That was a sad state of affairs.. I think what happened to Tower was that through the years as chairman of the armed services committee, ranking on the armed services committee, he had alienated a lot of people.. His personality was a little abrupt and short and yes, he had a drink or two and yes, we all know he divorced and remarried and so on, but that was a little too over the top for Weyrich to do that and I m afraid it cost us.. It cost Tower.. Then there was opposition grown from the armed services committee that was supposed to confirm him.. These are the same guys that he had been digging into over the years in an abrupt way and it was a rare thing for the senate to turn down one of its own.. That was very unusual.. I m not sure it s happened before or since.. We had the Hagel confirmation where senators turned on Hagel a little bit, but not as fierce as the Tower nomination, and I guess history being what it is, you look back on it and in the end, don t forget how Tower said well I hereby say that I ll never have another drink, that was a cruel thing to force the guy to say in order to get confirmed.. I m a little sorry that that happened, Weyrich being Weyrich, he had to tell his story, his side of it and he felt so strongly he had to let it all hang out in the committee.. LAMB: What do you mean about Weyrich being Weyrich? He s deceased and John Tower went down in an airplane, so he s gone too.. KOROLOGOS: Right, well Weyrich was an ideologue who created a lot of conservative little groupies around.. He was one of the founders of Heritage in the beginning.. He was a true believer and he was no cross the line, no nuance was good enough for him.. There are some people around today who have taken on the same mantra and I m afraid that he, on that one, he went over the top.. He, frankly, shouldn t have done it.. LAMB: Your parents came from Greece, they moved to Utah.. You re eastern orthodox religion, but you lived in a state that s 62 percent today Mormon.. What was that like?.. KOROLOGOS: Well, it was interesting.. There was a big Greek community in Salt Lake City.. They came to work in the railroads and in the mines and my father opened a bar which is really not a good place to open a bar.. Frankly, I m not sure this is in the record, but I was arrested when I was 11 years old for being a minor in a bar.. They hauled me off to the police station and I m not sure if the statute of limitations has run, but my dad came up with five cases of beer and I went home and the next night, I was working back in the bar.. We all did, all the Greek community did.. We lived in a certain region of the city and there was some discrimination.. I heard a lot of dirty Greek, a lot of fighting, most of the time though, we got along very well with the Mormons because we were so opposite.. They had no problem with the Greeks; their big problem was those that were on the fringes.. So it was an interesting life.. LAMB: You went to the University of Utah but then moved on to get a journalism degree from Columbia.. KOROLOGOS: Yes sir.. LAMB: Where did you get interested in your life in journalism?.. KOROLOGOS: Well, I had a job at a grocery store and they sold the grocery store and I went to the Salt Lake Tribune and applied to be in the backroom in the printing shop and there were no openings.. The union had said it was all filled.. So I went upstairs to the newsroom and I said can I be a copy boy.. I had heard the term, had no idea what it was and they hired me as a copy boy.. Someone had just left and they hired me on the spot.. While a copy boy, I would fool around and sit in the slot in the desk and write headlines as a copy boy.. People at the paper said boy, this guy is interested.. I would, suddenly started writing headlines on the sports copy desk and they made me a sports writer.. LAMB: So your parents, were they political at all and how did you get interested in politics?.. KOROLOGOS: What happened, my parents were Roosevelt democrats because Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman had saved Greece.. Then an interesting thing happened, I had a job at an ad agency part-time and they were handling Senator Wallace Bennett s campaign for senate in 1962.. LAMB: Father of Senator Bob Bennett.. KOROLOGOS: Father of Senator Bob Bennett, and they said that his press secretary was leaving, win, lose or tie in the 62 election and I applied for that job and they hired me as a press secretary to Senator Bennett and I came to Washington, my gosh, 50 years ago thanksgiving Friday, last year.. LAMB: Why did you stay with this business? What is it that attracts you?.. KOROLOGOS: Oh the freedom of expression and the life of a journalist.. I was the ski writer of the Salt Lake Tribune, I was a sports writer which morphed very easily into the political arena where you had sides taken on issues and we hit it off with the senator and I enjoyed it.. It was, the give and take was there and we had a pretty good relationship.. LAMB: How long did you work for Senator Wallace Bennett?.. KOROLOGOS: Nine years on the hill.. LAMB: Why did you leave him?.. KOROLOGOS: The White House called one day and said we want you to come to the White House and be a senate liaison.. Bill Timmons called and Ken Belue and I went down in the Nixon year, 1971, yes right, and became a senate liaison handling senate relationships.. LAMB: What moment in your experience working for Richard Nixon do you remember the most?.. KOROLOGOS: Gosh, the day he left, that was the saddest state of affairs.. He got up in the east room and said goodbye to all of us and then to take it to the very next step, so now Gerald Ford is sworn in and I should say quickly there were a lot of other things but that was one of the saddest, so Gerald Ford is certainly president and we invited the leadership down to meet the new president.. They were hanging out in the door over there and I was talking to President Ford, I was seeing what was happening, his back was to him and I filibustered a little bit so that the leadership could see me talking to the new president.. President Ford said now you listen to me, he said everybody around me is a house person.. You re the only senate guy in this building, don t you let anybody talk you into leaving.. So I d like to think, and I bet you I m right, I was the first person Gerald Ford hired as president.. So now President Ford has just hired me and I m happy as could be and we brought the leaders in and they shook hands, but then I did a naughty thing.. I went to the White House mess for lunch and all the Nixon people were down there with their faces down in their bowls and I looked up in a loud voice and I said you Nixon guys are in a heap of trouble.. Nobody laughed.. LAMB: What did you think of Richard Nixon during that time and did you ever change your mind about him in the middle of all the revelations?.. KOROLOGOS: No, I tell you what happened on that.. I thought Nixon and Mitchell were too smart to let that happen as much as it did.. I had faith that it didn t happen that way until finally, then it was over.. I was doing impeachment vote counts.. We had 35, 37 votes until that Friday when the smoking gun tape alleged came out and they dropped down to about six and we had to go in and tell the president that his political base was gone, which is when they brought the Goldwater and Rhodes, minority leader Rhodes down to tell him that his political base had eroded and he said well I guess we better call it quits.. His family kept saying to him don t quit, don t quit, don t quit and he d get up in the morning and say well, this may be the day and finally, it caught up with him and then he had to say that s enough.. LAMB: Thinking back to that time when you were liaisoning in the Senate for Richard Nixon, who was the senator that got mad about this first for you, that you said this is not, this isn t going well?.. KOROLOGOS: I guess I picked it up everywhere.. We had, when people like Senator Long came up to me and said well even the rats have to leave the sinking ship once in a while and when we started losing Senator Tallmadge, but we had some faithful that didn t go.. Senator Curtis, Senator Bennett, Senator Eastland, Senator Stennis, we had about six votes there at the end but I ll tell you, we had 35, 37, we would have beaten impeachment had it come to that.. LAMB: Needed two-thirds?.. KOROLOGOS: They needed two-thirds, we needed 33 plus one, 32 plus one I guess and we could have beaten it but there were a lot of senators that got nervous over it, Senator Griffin.. LAMB: Michigan.. KOROLOGOS: Senator Scott among others.. LAMB: Pennsylvania.. KOROLOGOS: We re getting close to saying hey, enough is enough.. LAMB: So how long did you work for Gerald Ford?.. KOROLOGOS: I stayed, we stayed a year and a half.. Timmons and I lifted out after a year or so, year and a half, and opened Timmons & Company, a lobbying firm.. LAMB: Bill Timmons.. KOROLOGOS: Yes.. LAMB: By the way, you were cofounder of that, why didn t you call it the Timmons & Company instead of Korologos & Timmons?.. KOROLOGOS: Well it s a funny story on that, we were fooling around, trying to find a name.. We were pioneers really in the boutique lobbying shop we like to think.. There were tax lawyers, environment lawyers, trade outfits, well we wanted to be lobbyist unlimited.. We did it all.. I didn t pretend to be an aeronautical engineer for the airplane company, but nor did I pretend to be a pharmacist for the drug company.. So we ended up coming up with the name of Federal Services, so Stan Ebner, one of our partners, went over to register at the district, Federal Services, and come to find out, there already is a term, a firm like that that sells toilet paper to the district, to the federal government.. So we had to quick change our name before midnight to get it in there so we said OK, Timmons & Company.. LAMB: How long did you do Timmons & Company?.. KOROLOGOS: I was there 27 years in various forms and then we lifted out of there when Rumsfeld called and said I was at the University of Utah giving a commencement, got an honorary degree, and I remember giving this talk that said I will serve this country wherever called, I was born for, I was born and raised four blocks from here, my dad s bar, and the phone rang when I went home to change, well back to the hotel to change shirts and he said pack your bags, you re going to Iraq.. So I lifted out of there in 2003 and went to Iraq.. LAMB: But go back to that, the time that you were a lobbyist, how often did you help shepherd through nominations in the senate?.. KOROLOGOS: Probably from the first day.. I was, it really began when I was working with Senator Bennett.. Nixon suddenly became president in 72 and he sent up two Mormons, David Kennedy for treasury and George Romney for HUD.. Senator Bennett knew them both and so I was his administrative assistant in those days, we didn t have chiefs of staff, and I helped them with their confirmation through that, going through some paperwork and through some confirmations which in those days was a piece of cake compared to what we go through today.. LAMB: What do you mean by piece of cake?.. KOROLOGOS: Perfunctory, the president got who he wanted, yes you had to go to a hearing, yes you had to go answer questions of the committee on policy, but there was no two week, three week vetting, three, four week cogitating, witnesses and what have you, that were much more civil in those days.. LAMB: William Rehnquist went through confirmation twice, we re going to go back to July 30th of 1986 which would have been his second time I believe.. KOROLOGOS: Correct.. LAMB: Where he was going for chief justice.. Let s watch a clip and then you can tell us the circumstances.. SEN.. HOWARD METZENBAUM: Did you ever confront, personally confront voters at Bethune precinct?.. JUSTICE REHNQUIST: Confront them in the sense of harassing or intimidating?.. METZENBAUM: No, in the sense of saying, questioning them, asking them about their right to vote, asking them about the constitution, asking them to read something, asking them questions having to do with their voter eligibility.. REHNQUIST: Does this cover Bethune precinct for all years?.. METZENBAUM: Yes, yes, did you ever personally confront.. REHNQUIST: I don t believe I did.. METZENBAUM: Would you categorically say you didn t?.. REHNQUIST: If it covers 1953 to 1969, I don t think I could really categorically say about anything.. METZENBAUM: Do you think at some time, at some point you did personally confront voters at Bethune precinct?.. REHNQUIST: No, no I don t.. METZENBAUM: Well when what do you mean when you qualify your answer?.. REHNQUIST: To the best of my recollection though, you re talking about something, 1953 would have been 33 years ago.. LAMB: Were you in that room?.. KOROLOGOS: I was in that room.. I have to go back a step on that confirmation.. They called me from the White House and chief justice said also can you help me, I m about to be confirmed.. So I went to see him at the court and he said why do we need a hearing.. I said what do you mean why do we need a hearing, you re being re-nominated.. He said Tom, my opinions are out there for everyone to see, I m not going to second guess any of them that I did and nor am I going to telegraph how I m going to vote on pending cases, so we don t need a hearing.. I said, I looked at him and I thought he s kidding, but then he was serious.. So I had to calm him down and say yes, you need a hearing.. He said there s only been one hearing of associate justice going to the chief justice and that was Fortas.. He said tell them no, I m not coming.. I said OK, that s enough of that, this is a new era.. So we went to the hearing and we had murder boards and what have you to convince him that he should go.. This piece here on the voter harassment was something that Senator Metzenbaum picked up on that the chief at his youth was a republican poll watcher.. When I went and voted here the other day, last November, there were poll watchers there making sure I was a republican.. You go to the desk and they want to see your driver s license.. Well I was akin to that and Senator Metzenbaum went a little overboard on that.. There was another thing that happened in that hearing that was interesting.. Senator Metzenbaum dug out  ...   pardons, about Gerald Ford pardoning people and pardoning, maybe even pardoning the president.. What do you remember from that and why were people saying to you things like I think Strom Thurmond had a strong message, that they didn t want some of these people pardoned.. KOROLOGOS: The only thing I remember about pardons was that, well there are two or three things about pardons.. There were a couple of senators whose staffers had gone to jail that were working the president to pardon, but the one pardon that was the big one of course was when President Ford pardoned Nixon.. The long national nightmare was over and so a short time later, he pardoned Nixon which Dick Wirthlin would tell you, the pollster, that Ford s popularity went down and it probably cost him the election to Carter shortly thereafter.. But the pardon always came up with Haig too, was Haig involved because Haig was chief of staff to Nixon when he went to Ford and said something, I don t know, wasn t there, but are you ready to take the presidency, the president is going to resign period.. I don t know what else happened and nobody else does.. They re both passed away.. LAMB: Were you ever asked to lie?.. KOROLOGOS: Asked to lie?.. LAMB: Yes, did you ever knowingly know that you were telling somebody on the hill an untruth that the White House said go up there and tell them this.. KOROLOGOS: No, there were a lot of things I didn t say of course, somebody would ask and I would say I don t know which is an acceptable answer or let me.. LAMB: The reason I ask that is because a lot of people in the Nixon administration went to jail because of perjury.. LAMB: Not because they stole anything, they lied.. KOROLOGOS: Well they lied to the FBI.. I remember the FBI guy came in to see me and said what do you know about this and that and the other thing and I, who did you tell, I remember the tape, the famous Rose Woods tape that was.. LAMB: Eighteen and a half minutes.. KOROLOGOS: Eighteen and a half minutes, Steve Bull or somebody said to me, we ve got another problem.. Somebody has discovered that the 18.. 5 minutes were redacted and I said gee whiz and I went and told two or three people we ve got another problem.. Everything bad in that Watergate year happened on a Friday.. So this was another Friday and I remember telling somebody oh my gosh, we ve got another problem and so, no, the FBI guy came in and said what do you know about that.. I said well, what somebody told me.. No, I never, you told your side, the other thing I did and I m bragging for a minute, the other thing I would do when I d go to lobby somebody, I d say Senator, here is the upside of our issue and by the way, your opposition is sitting in your waiting room, let me tell you the downside and here s what they re going to say to you.. Here s why I think they re wrong.. So I would give him both sides and they appreciated that.. Once in a while, the lawyer or the economist or the chemist would give you a number or give you something to use in your lobby talks that was wrong.. I would find out about it later.. I would chase senators down at airports and at dinners and say hey, I was wrong this morning when I told you nine, it should have been six.. LAMB: Who on the other side of the aisle has done what you did and did you ever represent a Democrat?.. KOROLOGOS: I have represented Democrats in confirmations.. In fact, there were three or four in the current administration.. LAMB: Name somebody that.. KOROLOGOS: Well, I should say again, more than once, I m not alone in doing these things.. Cole the lawyer at state, I was on the fringes of Tara Sonenshine who is the new, who is the undersecretary for public affairs at state, I helped Eizenstat.. LAMB: Stu Eizenstat.. KOROLOGOS: Stu Eizenstat, there s a funny story about that, if I may.. He was undersecretary of commerce, he was something at commerce for about three months and then he went to state to be something.. Three months earlier, we went through a murder board and he was fingerprinted by the FBI to do the thing, to do routine paperwork.. Three months later, he goes back to state and I said where are you going.. He said I m going to get fingerprinted.. I said we just did it.. Well, the system is one, they wanted to make sure it was the same guy, that some scoundrel hadn t taken his identity and now gone to state under some other identity so they had to re-fingerprint him.. Then he had to fill out more papers and had to do more vetting and what have you.. LAMB: You were ambassador to Belgium what years and who appointed you?.. KOROLOGOS: President Ford, President Bush appointed me in.. LAMB: W or H.. W.. ?.. KOROLOGOS: W in 2004, what happened on that in 2003, I spent a year in Iraq, when Rumsfeld and Jerry Bremer asked me to go to Iraq and I did confirmations.. I did budget and 275 members of Congress came to Iraq in 2003 to see Iraq and have their picture taken and we took them around to hospitals and sewer places and oil fields and what have you.. When that was over, we passed the $87 billion supplemental and I went to the signing ceremony at the White House and Andy Card and Karl Rove and the President said see me after and Karl Rove and =- Others have given us $1 million but president-elect can make you an ambassador, where do you want to go? I said anywhere that doesn t end in stan and so they, Belgium opened up and then we went to Belgium.. LAMB: I want to show you a person that you know rather well, another part of your life, just a little bit of a video to connect the dots here, let s look at this.. TED KENNEDY: You have not had a particular experience in dealing with labor issues, the issues which come before this committee and that are the central kind of responsibility of this committee and I d be interested in how you would compensate for that.. ANN McLAUGHLIN: Well Mr.. Chairman, it is true, I have not had direct experience in labor issues.. However, I would compensate, as you put it very wisely, as I have done in previous jobs where I may not have been an expert in the field and seek the counsel not only of this committee and the Congress as a whole, but the many, very fine experts in the field.. LAMB: You lost your wife Joy in 1997?.. LAMB: And then eventually married Ann McLaughlin, how did that happen?.. KOROLOGOS: Well, I met her at a, I knew her before, I knew her both at CRP, the committee to reelect in the Nixon years and then she, I knew her in the Reagan years when she was at treasury and interior and then labor and I should say very quickly, she answered correctly in that hearing.. Larry Harlow handled that confirmation.. LAMB: Bryce Harlow s son.. KOROLOGOS: Bryce Harlow s son Larry, and we ve talked about it a little bit, we met at two or three different occasions and I kept giving her my card saying here, call me some time.. She took great umbrage at that and eventually we got together for lunch and next thing you know, we were married.. I ll have to tell you another story about that.. We were going to the Kennedy Center on probably our first date to one of the galas and I ran into Bill Marriott, with whom I went to school, and Ann was on the, one of the Marriott boards and he saw us in the elevator, said Tom, man, how long you been going together.. I looked at my watch and I said about 20 minutes.. LAMB: For the people outside of this town, they see, you came from an upbringing in Utah, small, father was in the railroad, bar business and all that stuff, and here you are, the power couple, making lots of money, representing lots of big corporations and all, Ann served on lots of boards and all that, what do you say to folks that think that you just kind of cashed in on all this.. KOROLOGOS: Oh, what you say to them is several things, keep your nose clean.. Be honest, be truthful.. This town is so fraught with possibilities.. I say to young kids coming in, that oh, Mr.. Ambassador, Mr.. Korologos, what advice do you have for me.. What shall I do? The first thing I d say to him, what do you want to do.. A lot of young kids haven t thought of that.. What do you want to do and then I say to them, first thing you have to do is go get a job on the hill.. Go get a job in the government.. Ninety percent of the successes in this town and there are obvious examples I m not right on, come from experience on the, this is a company town.. It s called Congress.. That s the company.. It s the executive branch and if you re a lawyer, go be a lawyer over at justice or somewhere, but get an experience on the hill.. You go to the hill and you think you know everything.. My goodness, we re in a whole lot of issues and I m smart as can be, but what happens to you on the hill, you only know about 15 minutes on the clock.. When you go to the executive branch, it fills out the other 45 minutes.. I should say quickly, I ve been on the hill nine years and I ve been in the government another 10, 20 years, various alliterations.. I m an executive branch creature.. Congresses are necessary evils and I respect their work.. In this day and age, however, I m afraid not so much.. LAMB: Explain this.. I m about to show you a clip, you ve probably already seen this, you ve got a man who used to be a republican and a man who is a republican questioning a nominee.. They both were warriors in Vietnam.. Explain what s going on here.. JOHN McCAIN: Will you please answer the question? Were you correct or incorrect when you said that the surge would be the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam? Were you correct or incorrect? Yes or no?.. Senator Hagel: My reference to the surge being the most dangerous.. JOHN McCAIN: answer the question Senator Hagel, the question is were you right or wrong? That s a pretty straightforward question.. Senator Hagel: Well.. JOHN McCAIN: I would like to answer whether you were right or wrong and then you are free to elaborate.. LAMB: What happened there?.. KOROLOGOS: Oh, what happened there was that two personalities that clashed, don t forget, Senator McCain was running for president and then the next time we know, Hagel is not supporting McCain.. LAMB: And Hagel used to be a republican.. KOROLOGOS: Used to be a republican, well, he still is, yes and then he got trapped and wrapped around the axle on positions that he probably should have been answering better in the hearing.. I don t want to cast dispersions on him but somebody didn t do a very good job on the murder board on that one.. He knew those questions were going to come up.. Senator Mel Laird had an op-ed in the Washington Post here shortly.. LAMB: Former secretary of defense.. KOROLOGOS: Former secretary of defense some time ago, saying defense secretaries do set policy.. There were little things that should have been answered better and McCain and Lindsey Graham and others on the republican side were really, weren t going after Hagel, they were going after the president s policies.. That s what the whole thing was about and no matter who you re going to nominate, they left Kerry alone because Kerry was a little more smooth in his hearing and he didn t have the record of opposing republicans after he had run for president.. LAMB: You have lived on this earth 80 years and I just read that you have taken up a client named Al-Jazeera.. LAMB: Why are you still working and why Al-Jazeera?.. KOROLOGOS: Well I m still working because I haven t got anything else to do.. I d like to go be a ski instructor which I ve been, we have a place outside of Aspen and by the way, we own an art gallery out there.. LAMB: Are you still skiing?.. KOROLOGOS: I still ski.. The bad news on that is they raised the age for a free pass.. It s now 80 and I m very unhappy, used to be 75.. But I still ski and I m still active and I m still working because I enjoy what I do.. I like the job and why Al-Jazeera, I m a journalist.. I was born and raised in journalism.. I got a graduate degree from Columbia Journalism School, one of the Pulitzer traveling fellows for finishing number one, two or three, whatever pick your choice in the class.. I m for freedom of the press, the more the merrier.. Al-Jazeera America is not Al-Jazeera English nor is it Al-Jazeera Arabic.. They re going to have bureaus all over the country.. They re going to have news outlets today.. Today you can go watch Fox or NBC or one of those and it ll show on the bottom of the screen, Al-Jazeera reporting.. That fire they had where all those people were killed in South America and Chile I think it was, had Al-Jazeera reporting.. They ve got more bureaus than networks do.. LAMB: Should we be concerned though as society that this whole network operations owned by the Sheikh of Qatar?.. KOROLOGOS: Not really, I ll tell you why.. There s, I m not sure there s a firewall, but no more concern than the BBC is owned by the Queen and VOA is owned by the president and the state department.. The journalists and you know that and I know that are an independent soul.. I remember when I was on the broadcast board of governors, Senator Helms used to complain, why aren t we doing more propaganda for America? Why are you advocating this or that policy? The reporters at Blanch would come yelling at me, we cannot be intimidated by Congress or State Department.. I remember they ran stories that State Department would call me up and say what the hell is this that you guys are running, whose side are you on? So I m not worried about that.. Those guys are going to be journalists.. LAMB: One last clip and this is just to show the, whether or not you advise people that are being confirmed and what they do with the family and all that.. Here s Chief Justice John Roberts at confirmation.. LAMB: Sitting next to the chief justice, Ed Gillespie doing your job I guess or doing the same thing that you ve done.. Does that image matter?.. KOROLOGOS: It matters a lot.. You ve got to humanize the nominee.. That was, we still talk about Justice Roberts adorable children that upstaged the announcement by the president.. You ve got to humanize them which we kind of didn t do with Bork.. The other thing that we did, I remember in the Haig confirmation, who did we sit on the front row, his brother was a catholic priest.. We put him right behind Haig with his priest collar on.. We got his Native American there.. We got an African-American in the front row, the prerequisite wife or the, whoever it is, you humanize them by having the people that are closest to him behind him.. First of all, that gives him comfort and it takes away a lot of the sting from the hearing and it s a good idea.. LAMB: You re with a company called DLA Piper, 3,400 lawyers worldwide, 64 offices in this country or worldwide?.. KOROLOGOS: Worldwide.. LAMB: Senator Mitchell, Senator Daschle, others that are.. KOROLOGOS: Congressman Castle.. LAMB: Berl Bernhard who used to work for Senator Muskie, you re in this business, have been in it for years, is this a good thing that people come to Congress then go downtown?.. KOROLOGOS: Of course it is, somewhere, you ve got to go somewhere.. You don t want to be a hillbilly all your life in this town.. What s a hillbilly? Someone who just goes to the hill and gravitates and stays there.. I should correct you, since we came in, I think the number is up to 3,800 lawyers.. It keeps growing.. They re all over the.. LAMB: Who owns that company?.. KOROLOGOS: It s a conglomerate of law firms that they have been buying and expanding.. Their model is everything matters so we do everything, from here to China to Singapore to South America.. It s a big firm and what I do, I m a strategic adviser over there.. What does that mean? Well it means that they come to me and ask for strategic advice and I give it to them.. They wanted to make me senior adviser and I said that implies old, so I became strategic.. Yes, everybody is entitled to representation.. It s in the constitution.. LAMB: We are almost out of time, biggest mistake you ve ever made in all this time as an adviser on confirmation process?.. KOROLOGOS: Not taking Bork in the backroom and I m about to say a naughty word, beating the hell out of him and say now shut up and listen.. You re going to answer it this way.. I don t know that he would have listened.. He intimidated me and he intimidated all of us and that was one of the worst losses that we ever suffered.. LAMB: Did you like him?.. KOROLOGOS: I loved him.. The guy was great.. He was smart as anything.. He was, he had a sense of humor that didn t come across.. It didn t come across in the hearing.. We didn t humanize him.. We didn t have any young kids running around in front of him.. He had that weird beard.. We had Kennedy and the people of the American way, Gregory Peck running ads against him.. They made him a racist.. The Washington Post had a headline above the fold, South Worried About Bork.. Well there was no way he was going to return the racist laws that had passed, civil rights laws and all that.. They beat us.. LAMB: Do you ever keep notes through these years of possibly ever writing a book?.. KOROLOGOS: Well what s happened on that is Don Richey, the Senate historian, heard me one day at a table telling war stories and he said you and I have got to talk.. Well 17 or 19 two hour sessions later over a period of a year and a half, we created an oral history of a lot of these things.. He said you ve got a book here and I said the bad news about that book is there s too many people still alive and we re not going to run it.. But the Senate is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act so I could say everything I wanted.. LAMB: Where are those tapes and can you listen to them now?.. KOROLOGOS: Those are in the senate historian office, senate historical office, I ve just reviewed a bunch of them.. He wants me to release much of it.. Scholars still want to delve into the Bork business and who did what to whom.. They want to hear about my work in Iran.. They want to hear about the early Nixon days and what we did on impeachment.. Those are valuable things for the historian, but as I say, there are too many guys still alive.. LAMB: Tom Korologos, thank you very much.. KOROLOGOS: Brian, I appreciate it..

    Original link path: /Transcript/?ProgramID=1438
    Open archive

  • Title: Q & A
    Descriptive info: March 31, 2013.. Medea Benjamin.. Author, "Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control".. : Our guest is author and co-founder of CODEPINK, Medea Benjamin.. She discusses her new book, Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control, and explains why she believes the use of military drones should be stopped.. She talks about what motivated her in her early years to become an activist for peace, and provides insight into CODEPINK s origins and motivations.. She discusses many of her disruptions of congressional hearings and public appearances, and talks about the experience of spending overnight time in jail.. She reflects on her early days of activism and recalls how the Vietnam War inspired her first protest.. She shares stories from her visits to pre-war Iraq, including an encounter with a border guard in Iraq who was studying Hebrew.. She responds to accusations by critics that she is anti-American by saying she would describe herself as a passionate American.. She reveals many of the tactics her group employs in organizing demonstrations, and talks about the varied receptions her outbreaks receive from committee chairmen.. BRIAN LAMB, HOST: Medea Benjamin, what is Code Pink?.. MEDEA BENJAMIN: Code Pink is an organization that started after the 9/11 attacks, with the idea that if we did our job as citizens, mobilized and organized, we could stop something like the invasion of Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11.. We were led by women, but open to men; and we created a strong movement of people around the country who did their civic duty of organizing.. And yet the government at that time of George Bush didn t listen.. And we are still, to this day, trying to shift US policy to focus more on diplomacy and less on war.. LAMB: Why did you change your name from Susie Benjamin to Medea?.. BENJAMIN: Oh, that was a long time ago, Brian.. I was 18 years old, I went to college, I started reading the Greek myths and every month I would ask my friends to call me something different.. My original name was Susan, I was the little Susie, there were always many Susies in the class.. And I liked the name Medea.. I read a version that said she never killed her children, but she was a powerful woman and that s why they blamed her for that.. I thought, aha, I want to recover that name.. And I just think it s a pretty name.. LAMB: Now, we ve watched you for years on this network at hearings.. What do you do at hearings?.. BENJAMIN: Well, first the issue, Brian, is getting into the hearings.. I lived in San Francisco.. I moved to Washington, D.. about four years ago.. But I never knew these hearings were public.. And I think a lot of people don t know these hearings are public.. But I think the biggest the first problem is how do you get into them? And most of the time it s a question of standing on line.. So I do a lot of standing on line, a lot of waiting and waiting.. But I am really excited that there is such a thing as CSPAN, that lets us hear these hearings.. But more interesting is actually going to the hearings.. And I would encourage anybody around the country listening, come to Washington, and get into one of those hearings.. Because it really gives you tremendous insights into how our government works, and how it doesn t work.. LAMB: Let s go back to 2007.. We re going to run a bunch of this tape showing what your organization does, and then get you to tell us why and how.. Here is 2007, the late Senator Bob Byrd.. MALE WITNESS: I would tell you that the number of troops would be a small fraction of those that are in the country today.. And I think no one really knows what the duration of their presence would be.. It would depend, I suspect.. The contracts operate under the Coalition Provisional Order 17, which says the non-Iraqi contractors are immune from Iraqi legal processes if their acts are pursuant to the terms and conditions of their contract.. MILITARY OFFICER: My upbringing tells me that sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage between a man and a woman is immoral.. That s what I was taught.. That s what I believe.. It is where I.. BOB BYRD: This hearing is adjourned.. (Female): Thou shalt not kill! Thou shalt not kill!.. (Multiple): Thou shalt not kill! Thou shalt not kill!.. (Male): I don t need any lectures from you.. BOB BYRD: Clear the room.. Clear the room, let s clear the room.. I ve had enough of this.. Clear the room, clear the room.. Clear the room.. That s enough of this.. (Female): We ve had enough of the war.. Bob Byrd: I ve tolerated all I can stand I stopped it before you were born.. I said stop it before you were ever born.. I said don t go into it before you were ever born.. Get out of this place.. Here, let s go.. LAMB: What d you see? And were you there?.. BENJAMIN: Yes, I was there.. I think it s important to preface all of this, Brian, with the fact that we re really anguished over what our government has been doing.. And we go to the region, we go to Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran; we go to Egypt, Jordan, Gaza.. We go to all these places and we see things for ourselves.. And then we come back and we see our government is in a whole different reality.. The American people, after 9/11, thought Saddam Hussein was responsible for the attacks at the World Trade Center.. We went there, and we saw weapons inspectors who said, There are no weapons of mass destruction.. There s no need to go to war.. And so we come back and we try to get into the halls of our government, into their offices.. We try to say, We should not be going to war against a country that never attacked us.. And when our government doesn t listen, and goes ahead, we try to find other venues.. And some of those venues are Congressional hearings.. It s one of the few places we can actually see our elected officials, and get our message across.. It s not something we want to do.. We get arrested all the time at these hearings, and that s not fun.. We don t do that lightly.. We get arrested for holding up a little sign like that.. I got arrested in a hearing of the judiciary, by John Connors, for going like this for holding up a peace sign.. So we don t do this because we like to.. We do this because we feel obligated, as U.. citizens.. LAMB: So how many do you remember how many you might ve had in that room?.. BENJAMIN: Oh, at that time we might ve had about 25 people.. LAMB: Why did they do it, and who are they? Your friends.. BENJAMIN: Well, many of them are people who have gone on these trips with us to these places, and come back with this sense of obligation.. Others are people that we have gone out and talked to over the years, empowered them to make their voices heard.. Many of them come from places around the country where they go into their Congressional offices regularly.. Trying to have meetings, when they can t have meetings; they do sit-ins in the offices; they sometimes get arrested in their Congressional offices.. But they are people who feel passionate, as I do, that our government has been doing a lot of bad things that have led to the deaths of many innocent people.. We mourn the lives of everybody who was killed on 9/11.. And we mourn the lives of innocent people in other countries who have been killed as a result of our actions, post-9/11.. LAMB: How much in advance do you plan these?.. BENJAMIN: Sometimes we plan them the evening before, because oftentimes we don t know what are the hearings that are coming up.. Sometimes we ll get advance notice, and we ll get a couple of days to plan.. But they re pretty spontaneous.. LAMB: Let s look at a hearing in September 18th of 2002.. This is Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.. (Multiple): Inspections, not war! Inspections, not war! Inspections, not war! Inspections, not war!.. Rep.. Duncan Hunter: Thank you, ladies.. Multiple: Inspections, not war! Inspections, not war!.. Duncan Hunter: Mr.. Secretary, we re going to put them down as undecided.. Donald Rumsfeld: Mr.. Chairman, as I listened to those comments, it struck me what a wonderful thing free speech is.. And of course, the country that threw the inspectors out was not the United States, it was not the United Nations.. It was Iraq that threw the inspectors out.. And they ve thrown them out, and they ve rejected 16 resolutions of the United Nations and stipulations.. But of course, people like that are not able to go into Iraq and make demonstrations like that.. Because they don t have free speech.. LAMB: Reaction?.. BENJAMIN: I m really glad you found that clip and played it, because that was the first hearing I ever went to.. I flew in from San Francisco with my colleague, Diane Wilson, who flew in from Texas for that.. There were just two of us at the time.. That was the hearing where Donald Rumsfeld was making the justifications for attacking Iraq.. We had just come back from Iraq.. We had met with the weapons inspectors.. They hadn t been kicked out.. They were there, they were inspecting in Iraq.. They said, There are no weapons of mass destruction.. And so we were furious, to come back and hear the lies that Donald Rumsfeld was giving.. And what you didn t hear in the clip was questions that we got a chance to ask him, which is how much money is Halliburton going to make from this war? How many U.. soldiers will be killed in this war? How many Iraqi civilians will die from this adventure? And I d like those questions answered now, by someone like Donald Rumsfeld.. And you know, everybody laughed in the room there.. And it was like we were fools, we were freaks.. Let s look at it now.. We were right.. So many people suffered.. My heart breaks for the families of American soldiers who were killed in that war.. My heart breaks for the Iraqi people.. You know, Iraq I went several times to Iraq.. It was a despite the sanctions, a country with a lot of educated people.. A country where, yes, Saddam Hussein was a dictator, but they had healthcare; they had free education.. Iraq is a shadow of its former self now.. And my I feel that the American people ought to really see, 10 years later, what state Iraq is in, and what we did to that country.. And people like Donald Rumsfeld should be tried at the Hague.. LAMB: What auspices were you under when you went to Iraq? How did you get in?.. BENJAMIN: We were a group of women.. We had just started Code Pink, it was the very beginning.. We put out a call to people around the country saying, Who would like to go with us? We didn t know if we would get in, and we didn t know if the U.. would have bombed by that time and we would be in the middle of that.. So it was a scary time to go.. LAMB: The war started March of 2003.. BENJAMIN: Right, and this was in February.. And we didn t know, was it going to start in February.. So we got a group I think there were about 11 or 12 of us.. We flew into Jordan.. We did not know if we d get into Iraq.. We rented a car.. We drove across the desert.. And, Brian, I m Jewish religious and we got to the border, and a border guard took my passport and said, Benjamin, is that Jewish? And I started shaking like a leaf.. I thought, Uh-oh, I m in big trouble now.. Because the tensions between Iraq and Israel at that time were very high.. And he ran away.. And a half hour, I was waiting and waiting.. He came back a half hour later, huffing and puffing, and he said, I brought my notebook; I ve been studying Hebrew, I wondered if you could correct my grammar.. That was the border guard.. And I said, Why are you studying Hebrew? He said, When we were at war with Iran, I studied Farsi.. And now that it looks like we might be at war with Israel, I m studying Hebrew.. We should learn to communicate with those who we are taught are our enemies.. That was my first Iraqi that I met.. We got into Baghdad, first woman I met said, Oh, you re from the United States.. She d never left Iraq in her life.. She said, I love black women poets.. Who is your favorite black woman poet? And she started telling me hers.. I mean, this was an educated country with, yes, a dictatorship, but wonderful people.. LAMB: How many went with you that first trip?.. BENJAMIN: So, I think we were 12 on that first trip.. LAMB: Who pays for it?.. BENJAMIN: Everybody pays their own way.. No matter where we go, how we go.. Everybody pays their own way.. If they don t have money, they go out into their community and they say their church group we have Mennonites, we have Quakers, we have people from the Jewish community, all kinds of communities say, Will you fund me to go? Everybody pays their own expenses on the entire trip.. LAMB: By the way, where did you get the name Code Pink, and why?.. BENJAMIN: Code Pink came from we were a group of women environmentalists, actually, at a retreat.. We took a break in our retreat.. It was lunchtime, and we were joking around about President George Bush s color-coded alerts the yellow, orange, red and how silly they were, because we didn t know what we were supposed to do if an alert changed from one to the other.. And we said maybe we needed another color-coded alert that says we have to find peaceful ways to resolve conflict.. And that s how we came up with the idea.. LAMB: So, when you go to these hearing rooms, they see you with pink.. What do they say to you when you come in the room?.. BENJAMIN: Well, it doesn t even start in the room.. It starts when we walk into the Capitol building, and the guards see us, and they go on their walkie-talkies and they say, Code Pink s here, Code Pink s here.. It s kind of silly, Brian, because they know us, that we are absolutely committed to peace.. And the only thing we ever do is maybe hold up a little sign.. And when we get very angry, we might speak out; knowing that if we speak out, we will probably get arrested.. They can t they try, sometimes, to stop us from getting in a hearing.. Just recently, I was in a judiciary hearing.. They tried to stop the line the minute it came to me.. I said, You can t do this.. It s a public hearing.. You can t stop me.. So then, when they let me in, they tried to put me in the back row instead of where they were putting everybody else.. This is the United States of America.. You have to let me in this room.. So we have to fight to get our way into the room.. And then oftentimes we get pulled out by doing something as very simple, certainly nonviolent, as holding up a sign that says Stop funding war, or something like that.. LAMB: Here is 2004; it s April 7th maybe May 7th and it s Secretary of Defense, again, Rumsfeld.. Donald Rumsfeld: Within the constraints imposed on those of us in the chain of command, I have a few additional words.. (Female): What about the other abuses in Iraq? (INAUDIBLE) What about the illegal mass detentions? Are you investigating that?.. (Multiple): (Inaudible).. (Female): Fire Rumsfeld! Fire Rumsfeld!.. (Multiple): War Criminal! War Criminal!.. Sen John Warner: The Committee will resume the hearing.. Secretary?.. Donald Rumsfeld: First, beyond abuse of prisoners.. LAMB: So what do you think the impact of that is?.. BENJAMIN: Well, sometimes we do get a little rowdy, Brian.. And I think the impact is that it shows people who are watching CSPAN, either in the United States or around the world, that there are Americans who are very passionate about these issues, and don t like our government invading other countries we shouldn t invade, torturing prisoners.. I mean at that point, we were trying to get out how the U.. was torturing prisoners.. This is if I recall is before the scandal of Abu Ghraib broke.. We had been to Iraq; we had been to Abu Ghraib.. We had talked to people who had been tortured.. We had talked to women who were crying, and crying, telling us what had happened to their sons.. And we came back to the United States, trying to meet with our Congress people, trying to meet with people in the White House, in the Pentagon; and saying, How can we be doing this? And the doors are shut on us all the time.. And so this is our one chance where we get our voices out there.. And yes, maybe some people will see us and say, Oh, those stupid women.. And obviously there are men with us.. But other people see it.. And people overseas do watch CSPAN and see it, and say, Thank goodness there are some Americans who really care about human rights, who care about international law, and are willing to get up and speak out and risk arrest for doing that.. LAMB: Where did you get this political feeling in your life?.. BENJAMIN: I got it from an early age, Brian, when I was growing up during the days of the Vietnam War.. I was a high school student, and my sister is two years older than me.. Her boyfriend was drafted and went off to war.. He was a really lovely young man when he was before he was taken off to Vietnam.. And a couple of months after he was in Vietnam, he sent her back a present, and it was an ear of a Viet Cong, with a chain around it.. And he said this was a souvenir for her to put around her neck.. And I was so horrified that this nice young man had turned into what I considered, at that time, a monster; that would think that somebody s human ear would be something you would wear around your neck.. But that changed me for life.. And it really made me feel like we have to do everything we can to stop killing each other.. We have to avoid wars that are avoidable, like the war in Vietnam.. And we have to speak out on behalf of looking for other ways nonviolent ways to resolve conflicts.. LAMB: What did your parents do?.. BENJAMIN: My parents didn t do anything.. My parents were very typical, suburban Long Island family.. I think, mostly Republican,  ...   States Capitol grounds, or within any of the Capitol buildings, with intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of any session of Congress, or either House thereof; or the orderly conduct within any such building of any hearing before, or any deliberations of any committee or subcommittee of the Congress or either House thereof, and one more point, number seven, to parade, demonstrate, or picket within any of the Capitol buildings.. Were you prosecuted after that?.. BENJAMIN: Yes, those women were arrested.. LAMB: And what happened to them?.. BENJAMIN: Well, they oftentimes spend the night in jail; then they have to go before a judge; then they have to come back for a court date; then they have to come back for the court; and then they sometimes are given a fine, plus community service.. It depends on what the individual case is, if they have a history.. But it s a lot of expense for people, to have to keep coming back into Washington, D.. LAMB: Do you support them, legally? Your organization?.. BENJAMIN: We have lawyers who are part of an organization called the National Lawyers Guild, who give them pro bono help.. LAMB: And have you been in jail?.. BENJAMIN: Oh, yes.. I ve been in jail many times.. And, Brian, we don t do this lightly, and we don t like going to jail.. I actually don t think we should go to jail for this.. I think we should be escorted out of the hearing, and told we can t come back in.. And that would be punishment enough.. I don t think speaking out warrants going to jail.. LAMB: What is your reaction when you see the chairmen of the Committee, both liberals and conservatives, reacting the way they do to you being in the room?.. Medea Benjamin: Well, sometimes they are actually very nice to us in the room.. You haven t played those clips.. But there are many times where we are just sitting there, with our signs.. We don t yell out, they don t ask us to put sometimes they ll say, Can you lower your signs? Or they ll send some of the police in to say, Lower your signs, because you re obstructing the view.. That s what happens in most of the hearings.. LAMB: Do they ever invite you to testify?.. BENJAMIN: I have testified only once.. Most of the time, they do not invite us to testify.. And most of the time, I must say, I don t think they have good witnesses testifying on these issues.. For example, on the drones, they have not they ve only held one public hearing on the drones.. That was very recently.. Do you think now, I don t know if I can ask you a question, Brian but do you think it would be appropriate, maybe, to hear from a drones victim family member, or survivor of a drone attack at a hearing?.. LAMB: Well, we don t determine anything that goes on in the hearings.. But we would be glad to have anybody like that on one of our shows here, so that they can explain that.. But we don t tell the Congress how to do their business.. BENJAMIN: Yes, of course one of the problems there, we tried to get some of the drone victims in the United States to tell their stories, and we couldn t get visas for them.. The U.. government would not allow them into this country.. So I think, at these public hearings, you just get a very small range of messages out there.. They don t allow people like myself to testify.. They don t allow the victims themselves to testify.. And at the hearing that I went to on drones, the first one that they had, I couldn t believe how narrow the range of witnesses was.. So I m very disappointed on how most of these public hearings are conducted.. LAMB: Condoleezza Rice testified in 2007.. Here s a minute of what happened in that hearing room.. Chairman Tom Lantos: That man needs to be removed without delay.. And the woman across the aisle.. (Female): Me, sir? For holding up a peace sign? I just want to be clear.. (Male): (Inaudible).. Chairman Tom Lantos: The gentleman from New York Mr.. Engel.. (Male): This is a public hearing.. (Male): Thank you, Mr.. Chairman.. Madame Secretary.. LAMB: What do the policemen say to you all when they come get you?.. BENJAMIN: I must say, the Capitol police are really nice.. In the beginning, when we started, there was a lot of friction.. They didn t understand who we were; maybe they thought we were dangerous.. Now they understand us.. They are extremely professional.. They are extremely nice to us.. They, I think, appreciate that there are people like us who are so passionate about these issues that we go to these hearings; that we are sometimes willing to risk arrest.. But I must commend them, for the most part, being extremely professional, and not hurting us as they take us out; and for really respecting our First Amendment rights.. LAMB: Here s some more from that very same hearing.. (Female): The blood of millions of Iraqis are on your hands Condoleezza.. War criminal! War criminal!.. Condoleezza Rice: How are you? Yes, it s great to see you.. Thank you.. LAMB: What do you notice about I mean, Condoleezza Rice was off talking to somebody else, not paying any attention.. What do you notice about people in the room when you do this? What do they react how do they react to you?.. BENJAMIN: Well, first, I should say that police behavior, they have been criticized for that, and they don t do it like that anymore.. They re much more gentle with us.. LAMB: But however, didn t you all just go limp?.. BENJAMIN: Well, you know, professional police people don t hurt you when they go limp.. LAMB: But that is a tactic, isn t it?.. BENJAMIN: That s a tactic.. And that s a fine, nonviolent tactic to use.. But anyway, they have changed the way they take us out, and they try not to hurt us.. Which we appreciate.. LAMB: Who was the woman who charged up with the hands? What was that all about?.. BENJAMIN: So, this woman is a librarian.. And she is a wonderful, committed activist.. Her name is Desiree Farouz.. Very passionate about this issue.. She also has people who have been in the military in her family, and has been very upset about things like the invasion of Iraq, and the needless killing of so many American soldiers and innocent Iraqis.. She went up with blood on her hands, and went to Condoleezza Rice.. Now, Brian, that picture in that split second, the pictures that came out of that those pictures went around the world.. And to this day, when we travel around the world, people will say, Code Pink, aha, I remember that picture of that woman who went up with bloody hands and said, The blood of the Iraqi people is on your hands.. And they appreciate so much that an American would do that.. Desiree went to jail for that.. But she is very proud that she had a chance to speak up and say to somebody like Condoleezza Rice, something that we feel very passionately, The blood of the Iraqi people is on your hands.. LAMB: People who are of another thought process, would say, You are anti-American.. What do you say?.. BENJAMIN: I say I m a passionate American.. I love my country.. I love the fact that I can go into a public hearing.. I love the fact that I can go into a Congress person s office.. There are many things, like the Constitution, that I really love.. And I feel that it is my obligation, as a patriotic American, to do this kind of work.. And let s remember people like Benjamin Franklin, who said that dissent is the highest form of patriotism.. LAMB: What is the Global Exchange, and what s your relationship to that?.. BENJAMIN: Global Exchange is another organization that I co-founded with two other colleagues.. And we started it as a way to get Americans to get involved in global issues.. We thought that there are too few Americans who ve had an opportunity to travel overseas.. And if we can help facilitate people getting other experiences, whether it s going to a place like Mexico, or going someplace like Central America, or wherever.. That seeing how other people live, seeing the U.. through the eyes of other people, is a very important opportunity.. LAMB: How long did you live in Cuba?.. BENJAMIN: I lived in Cuba for several years.. Actually ended up falling in love with a Cuban who I d met in Africa.. Went to live in Cuba.. First thought it was wonderful when I went there.. I enjoyed the music, the people s great spirit, the culture.. But I had some bad run-ins with the government, and I ended up getting deported from Cuba.. LAMB: So what did you think of that?.. BENJAMIN: I thought that it s a place that has a lot of positive things; like the free healthcare system and education, like the culture; and a lot of negative things, which is no free speech, no freedom of assembly.. Things that I treasure highly.. And, in fact, when I tried to use my free speech in Cuba is when I got myself in trouble.. LAMB: When did you marry Kevin Danaher, and what does he do?.. BENJAMIN: Well, Kevin Danaher and I co-founded a group called Global Exchange; that was the group that I mentioned trying to take people around the world.. We also one of the main things we did was try to import this label Fair Trade label that you see now on coffee, and on tea, and other products like chocolate, to try to improve labor conditions overseas and in the United States.. We worked on very successful campaigns to get big companies like Nike, Adidas, Reebok; or companies like the Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, to improve the ways that they were using labor overseas in places like Vietnam, Indonesia, China.. And I ve been very involved in those kind of issues, as has Kevin Danaher to improve conditions.. LAMB: Still married?.. BENJAMIN: We are separated.. LAMB: All right.. Human Events, in 2007, wrote an article, obviously from another point of view.. And I m going to read some of it and get you to respond.. Code Pink s leaders are not pacifists.. They are revolutionaries.. Start with that.. BENJAMIN: I think revolutionary is a positive thing.. We would be speaking now with a British accent, if there hadn t been a revolution in this country.. And our founding fathers said that they thought that periodic revolutions would be a good thing.. So revolution, and stirring things up I think that there d be a lot of people who would agree with me that our system is not working well, and we could use a revolution.. LAMB: They are not devoted to peace, they are dedicated to political turmoil.. BENJAMIN: I think what we have now is political turmoil.. The fact that we ve had a two-party system that got us into wars we shouldn t have been in, that are using these secretive drone strikes that are killing so many innocent people and jeopardizing us here at home is political turmoil.. We would like to have our country be a democratic one that lives in peace and harmony with people around the world.. LAMB: They are not even feminists in the ordinary sense of the term.. This has been written by a Human Events reporter.. Actually, the name is not on here, obviously.. I think the last name was Tierney.. Did you do you remember seeing this? This article?.. BENJAMIN: We had a lot of criticism.. I don t remember this particular one.. LAMB: While they hold themselves out to public, as women who have left the kitchen for the street on behalf of peace, the leaders of Code Pink are actually well-organized political operatives on a radical mission.. BENJAMIN: Well, if you look at the tiny budget that we have, and we have a staff of about three people, Brian, I don t know how well-organized we are.. LAMB: They even go on to suggest that you re Marxists and Communists.. BENJAMIN: Well, we don t have a litmus test for who wants to join Code Pink.. If you, Brian, want to be Code Pink, you re Code Pink.. You don t even have to wear pink.. People can be Republicans, Democrats, Marxists, whatever you want; as long as you believe that we need to live in a more peaceful way, we invite you to join us in Code Pink.. LAMB: Here is another example of how you protest in a group.. This is in December of 2012, I believe.. No well, anyway, it s recently.. You ll see what I m talking about.. It s an NRA press conference with Wayne LaPierre.. Wayne LaPierre: Our children.. We as a society leave them, every day, utterly defenseless.. And the monsters, and the predators of the world know it, and exploit it.. That must change now.. The truth is.. (Male): NRA should stop killing our children.. Wayne LaPierre: Rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonize gun owners.. Medea Benjamin: Reckless behavior coming from the NRA.. The NRA has blood on its hands! The NRA has blood on its hands! Shame on the NRA! Ban assault weapons now! Stop killing our children! Stop the reckless behavior of the NRA! We need gun control now.. Wayne LaPierre: Rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonized lawful gun owners.. LAMB: That was your voice.. LAMB: Where did you get that big voice, for a person who is, as you would say, small in size?.. BENJAMIN: Well, first let me say that the first person holding it up is my partner now, Ty Berry.. And then I came up after.. We re very passionate about these issues.. We believe that we shouldn t have assault weapons in our communities, that we shouldn t have the kind of violence that s killing so many children in our communities.. And whether it s working for peace overseas or at home, we want to live in peaceful communities.. LAMB: Why interrupt someone else s speech?.. BENJAMIN: Because NRA is a big bully.. And NRA is one of those powerful lobbies that our Congress has been afraid to stand up to because they put so much money into the system; because they take out Congress people who don t vote the way they want them to.. And we think that it s important to stand up to big bullies.. LAMB: So what when you look back on all the tactics you ve used what works the best for you? And, I mean, we can see we re there anyway, we re going to be there from beginning to end a lot of them, you see there s still cameras in the room.. What works? What have you learned about that?.. BENJAMIN: What works is mass movements, Brian.. That s what changes history.. LAMB: But I mean, getting publicity for this obviously, if you re known around the world as Code Pink, something s worked.. BENJAMIN: Yes, but I m staying that this is only a tiny part of a much larger tactic to change policies.. Whether it s changing policies about assault weapons on our streets, that has to be done by a mass movement.. This is a tiny little piece that inspires people to say, Yes, yes! I m glad there s someone standing up to the bully.. Let s get out there at the next protest, or let s contact our congressperson.. Or whether it s trying to stop these drone this drone program.. We need people that are going to stand up and say, We don t want our government, in secret, deciding that it can go anywhere in the world, killing anyone it wants, on the basis of secret information.. If those people can stand up, I m going to stand up.. LAMB: I have a book in my hand called Drone Warfare Killing by Remote Control, Medea Benjamin, with a forward by Barbara Ehrenreich, published by OR Books.. Who s OR Books?.. BENJAMIN: It s a small publishing group.. It s now coming out in a new edition by another publisher called Verso Books.. LAMB: Verso is a well-known liberal publisher.. LAMB: Do you feel like you re getting your voice heard?.. BENJAMIN: Well, I m going out and speaking at universities, church groups, community organizations; as well as my colleagues are doing that.. And we are building a movement.. Right now, there is a big movement that has been growing against this covert, lethal drone attack.. So yes, we are not only getting our word out, but we re helping to build movements that change policies.. LAMB: Do you ever feel like the government has infiltrated your group?.. BENJAMIN: I know the government has infiltrated our group, because when we get Freedom of Information Act documents, sometimes long time afterwards, we find out that the government has infiltrated our groups.. LAMB: How I mean, are they among you, as you re in one of these hearing rooms, with Code Pink t-shirts on?.. And oftentimes, they re the people who are doing things that we like the least, that make us look the worst.. So sometimes they re government infiltrators.. Sometimes government infiltrators are just sitting quietly among us.. But, Brian, I don t really are much.. Because what we do is open; what we do is non-violent.. And I care, in the sense I don t think my government should be using my tax dollars to infiltrate peace groups.. LAMB: What do you not like, that some of your group does from time to time?.. BENJAMIN: Sometimes we get a little too agitated, and our language gets negative.. And I do it myself sometimes, when I find myself going to a place of real anger, I try to kind of tone myself done.. Often what we try to do is start singing, because that really calms us down, and calms the whole crowd down.. So, I don t like it when we get too angry.. LAMB: We re out of time.. Which national leader, or official in the government, has been the nicest to you all?.. BENJAMIN: Well, there are Congress people like Dennis Kucinich, who unfortunately is not in Congress, who has been a great ally to us.. Many of the people in the progressive caucus.. And I would say one that I admire tremendously, who s still in Congress, is Congresswoman Barbara Lee, one of well, the only person who voted against authorizing a green light for attacking anywhere after 9/11.. LAMB: What about somebody you ve attacked, though?.. BENJAMIN: Somebody we ve attacked?.. BENJAMIN: Oh, I must say that Senator Dianne Feinstein is quite nice to us.. We camp out outside her home in San Francisco quite often, to see her when she comes in and out.. She often stops and talks to us.. And even though I ran against her, I find that her and her staff are quite open to talking to us.. And we appreciate that.. LAMB: Our guest has been Medea Benjamin.. She runs Code Pink.. BENJAMIN: Thank you for having me on, Brian..

    Original link path: /Transcript/?ProgramID=1437
    Open archive

  • Title: Q & A
    Descriptive info: March 24, 2013.. Francis Collins.. Director, National Institutes of Health.. : Our guest is Dr.. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health and former head of the Human Genome Project.. Collins talks about the administration of the NIH which is comprised of 27 institutes and centers.. He discusses the importance of the Genome Project to medical research and how it has helped doctors personalize medical treatment.. He shares details about author and journalist Christopher Hitchens and the role he and the NIH played in treating Hitchens terminal cancer.. He explains how he first met Hitchens and details their opposite views on the existence of God.. Collins reveals his own personal transformation from atheism to Christianity.. He explains why he sees no contradiction between his belief in science and his faith in God.. He reflects on his early life growing up in rural Virginia, where he credits home schooling with sparking his love of learning.. He talks about the nation s obesity problem and the educational role he believes the NIH Director should play in promoting healthy living.. Brian Lamb: Dr.. Francis Collins, can you give us in a nutshell what the NIH is?.. Francis Collins: Well, the National Institute of Health is an amazing place, it is the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world.. It has a budget every year, approximately $30 billion, 85 percent of that goes out in grants to universities in every state in this nation.. When you hear about a breakthrough that s happened in cancer research or diabetes research or autism or Alzheimer s, it is very likely if that came from a university or institute somewhere in the US, that it was supported by the NIH.. That s what we do, we support the best and brightest to chase after their most visionary ideas and we think we re pretty good at it.. Brian Lamb: What is the director s influence on 27 different institutes and centers and how do you influence what goes on?.. Francis Collins: It is a very big place and each has these 27 institutes and centers, they are various disease or organ system focused.. There s a cancer institute, there s a diabetes institute, there s a heart, lung and blood institute, there s an eye institute, each of those led by remarkable world class scientists who look across the landscape in their particular area and try to identify what is the most exciting stuff that needs to happen next in order to advance human health.. My role as the NIH director is to look across the entire landscape and particularly to identify opportunities that might not be specific to one disease or one organ system but could benefit everything, news ways of doing science.. Since I came out of the genome project as an example of one of those kinds of enterprises that now benefit everything, always sort of looking for examples like that and that is a great and wonderful exciting thing to be able to do.. To be able to try to steer this massive ship in the direction that s it s going to have the greatest public benefit in the shortest time.. Brian Lamb: Two years ago I did an interview with (Christopher Hitchens) and maybe, I don t remember for sure but it may be close to his last and he died about a year later.. I want to run this clip and get you to talk something about this.. Francis Collins: Sure.. (Christopher Hitchens): Thanks to the wonderful American, Dr.. Francis Collins, who s the head of the National Institute of Health, which includes the National Cancer Institute who did the human genome project, (inaudible) this, you know, ahead of time and under budget, a marvelous scientific achievement.. He and I have met because we re opposite sides of the religion debate, we became friends that way.. He s a very convinced Christian and we ve become friendly debaters and he s taken a very kindly interest in my case and has helped me have my genomes sequenced because I m trying to look for a more perfect identifiable match for an imitation they can find that s peculiar to me that can be (inaudible) drug.. Brian Lamb: How did you become friends?.. Francis Collins: As (Christopher) said, we started out as debating about the topic of science and faith and in fact, are these world views compactable? For me they are, for me as a believer, the opportunity to both do science and to see God s hand in nature is a wonderful positive experience.. (Christopher), obviously, has taken a different view and has been very articulate in his argument on the side of atheism, so we began in a circumstance of having interesting intellectual jostling about this and he s a very impressive debater and intellect.. But over the course of time, we became friends, I had great respect for the way in which he could amass arguments and facts.. And then he developed cancer and I reached out to him, hearing that, to see if there s anything as his friend and as the NIH director, I might be able to do to help him sort through the many options because, clearly, he was in a very difficult place at the time of diagnosis.. Having this (inaudible) cancer which had already spread beyond its original site and so we met many times in his apartments to talk about philosophical issues, to talk about literature and history, but also to talk about medical issues related to his cancer.. Brian Lamb: Did you ever think that you could really help him?.. Francis Collins: I had hopes that we might be able to slow down what was clearly going to be a very threatening and almost certainly fatal circumstance, given the far advance nature of the disease.. And I think we might potentially have slowed it down a bit.. His original diagnosis seemed as though he might have only a couple of months to live, he actually lived a whole year and a half.. And he was a pioneer by being (actor) on the leading edge, went to Saint Louis to have his (GNOM) sequenced and his cancer (GNOM) sequenced to see if there is something in those cancer cells that would lead to the selection of a different therapy.. And, in fact, it did.. Did that therapy actually, specifically, result in benefits? Hard to be sure, this is any (quiz) one science, which most scientists will tell you is a difficult way to draw conclusions.. But he was intensely interested in this and it was an experience, I guess, he and I sort of went together to see what we could do in his particular case.. And he wrote about it, brilliantly, in his columns in the Vanity Fair Magazine and now in a book, so I think by that mouthpiece that he had to the world, he was able to share some of the excitement about where cancer research is going.. That s an amazing time right now.. Brian Lamb: Go back over some of the things you said, did--I know that you re running the (GNOM) project, what does it mean? What s (GNOM)?.. Francis Collins: (GNOM), yes, I worry that people disagree even whether it should be (GNOEM) or (GNOM).. It is all of the DNA of an organism.. Brian Lamb: Hold it.. Francis Collins: What s the DNA?.. Brian Lamb: What s the DNA?.. Francis Collins: The DNA is the hereditary material that gets passed from parent to child, that carries all the hereditary information that Watson and (inaudible) (could get out) back in 1953, was a double Hilux.. It case that information in a remarkably elegant and (deceptibly) simple way by a series of chemical basis, just four of them, so really, think of the (GNOM) made of DNA as a book, a book that s written in a funny language, that has just four letters in its alphabet, we happen to abbreviate them ACG and T.. And many people think we should have chosen ABC and D but, well, ACG and T and your heredity and all other biological properties you re born with or encoded within 3 billion of those letters in just the right order.. Pretty amazing, and all other organisms use that same language, that same concept of the (GNOM) to carry out heredity and evolution acts upon those (GNOMs) over hundreds of millions of years to result in the marvelous diversity of species we see around us.. Brian Lamb: Let me (start) and ask about heredity.. How important is that?.. Francis Collins: Heredity is enormously important from almost every perspective, certainly, we all are interested in it, aren t we? In terms of our families and the characteristics we see in ourselves and in others.. For me as a physician, heredity is hugely important, almost every condition you look at, there s some mix of nature and nurture, that the nature part is heredity.. If we re talking about cancer or Alzheimer s disease or obesity or diabetes, heredity is the strongest known risk factor for all of those conditions, operated, though, on by the environment and by health choices we make.. The (GNOM), now revealing a lot of its secrets to us, is helping us nail down what that heredity looks like and how we might learn enough about it to actually influence outcomes.. So that if you re born with a high risk of Alzheimer s, maybe there s something we could do about it before you re stricken with the disease.. Brian Lamb: So when you sent (Chris Hitchens) to Saint Louis, what did he do there?.. Francis Collins: So he was examined by their cancer experts, they conducted DNA analysis of his normal cells from his blood, so that could tell you what was the DNA he was born with, but then they also looked at the DNA in his specific (GNOM) cells because cancer is a disease of the (GNOM) that comes about because of mistakes in the DNA you re born with, causing good cells to go bad and starting to grow when they shouldn t.. Here s no exception, and so in his cancer (GNOM), they found a dozen, or so, mistakes that had been acquired during the live that were driving those cells to grow.. And at least one of those not previously described suggested the possibility of using a therapy that you would not normally contemplated for a (inaudible) cancer.. So there was a chance there to try something that was rational for the evidence based design or drug, based upon the detail of his particular tumor.. And this is where cancer is going, the idea that cancer is one disease is very yesterday.. Every cancer is essentially a unique disease for that person because it has a different collection of these glitches in its instruction book.. The goal that many of us have is to get to the point where every cancer has that detailed information, you can then look at a menu of therapies and do the match and say, for this person, this drug is likely to be beneficial, this one is probably not.. And we would then move from our current approach to cancer which is pretty much generic, (one side, that s all), into something personalized or precision based or it really is designed for that person.. Brian Lamb: When did you first meet him?.. Francis Collins: Goodness.. I guess I met (Christopher) probably five or six years ago, he was doing a debate at Georgetown with a distinguished theologian, (Alistair McGrath).. I went to listen to the debate and then went to dinner with him afterwards and we got into a fairly intense argument about whether or not the concept of right and wrong has any meaning.. If you don t accept the idea that there s something greater than us behind all of this.. Brian Lamb: So when did you get involved in his cancer problem?.. Francis Collins: Certainly, after he was diagnosed, which will now be about two years ago.. Brian Lamb: Have you ever totaled up how much it cost him to get from diagnosis to the end?.. Francis Collins: I don t know.. Brian Lamb: And did the NIH pay for that?.. Francis Collins: He enrolled as a participant in a clinical trial as others did as well.. We had no special treatment for (Christopher), but if he was interested in a trial and wanted to sign up, he was able to do so.. Brian Lamb: What does that mean when you enroll in a trial?.. Francis Collins: So very important question, lots of people are facing medical issues where we don t have great perfect answers.. Whether its cancer or diabetes, whether its Alzheimer s disease and we at NIH run hundreds, in fact, thousands of clinical trials where you re testing out some new experimental therapy.. You don t know for sure whether it s going to work, the only way you ever find out is to do this in a careful rigorously observe fashion.. People interested in that go to a website called clinicaltrials.. gov, where they can go and see what s available for their condition, where is the study being done, what are the conditions that you would have to match in order to be enrolled in that trial and if they re interested, they sign up.. They go through an extensive process of informed consent to know what they re getting into, what the benefits and the risks are and they decide whether to participate.. And that s how we make advances in medical research, is by a partnership between patients who are willing to enroll in these trials and investigators who have new ideas about how to cure a disease.. Brian Lamb: I want to show you some statistics that have come out of the CDC down in Atlanta, now, do you have anything to do with how.. Francis Collins: We work very seriously with (Tom Freidman) in the CDC.. Brian Lamb: Do they work for you?.. Francis Collins: No.. We are parallel, we are sister agencies within health and human services but we work closer together.. Brian Lamb: This is the 2011 statistics over on the screen right there and it shows the number of people that died in the United States, 2.. 4 million and the death rate--life expectancy now 78.. 7.. Francis Collins: Mm-hmm.. Brian Lamb: infant mortality 6.. 15, life (inaudible) per thousand, but this is what I really want to show, heart disease, 597,000, cancer, 474,000, (inaudible) disease is on a 38 stroke 129, accidents, 120.. There s another slide here for 83 for Alzheimer s, diabetes, 69.. Brian Lamb: (Inaudible) is 50, influenza and pneumonia at 50 and then suicide at 38.. That number, those numbers on heart and cancer, haven t they been there forever like that?.. Francis Collins: Actually no.. Those numbers are way too high.. The heart disease, we have seen death from heart attack drop by 60 percent in the last forty years.. Those numbers would be much greater.. And why is that? I will take some pride in saying NIH, by supporting research, going back to the (Framingham) study in Massachusetts that started now, 60 years ago, basically laid out what are the risk factors for heart disease? We didn t know.. And we discovered high blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, all of those which were unknowns as far as risk emerged.. Out of that came a lot of developments in public health, the development of (Staten s), very much something that NIH researched and led to and a variety of other interventions, including the ability to unclog arteries to the heart when that happens.. Sixty percent drop in death because of that research, now we need to go further and we have ideas of how to get there.. Cancer, certainly, way too many people die with this disease, but actually, the death rate has been dropping about 1 percent each year for the last 15 years.. So we are on the right part of the curve, we just wanted to go down faster in these new developments, particularly with cancer (GNOMs) are making many of us optimistic that we could move into a very new space in terms of design a drug therapy that will be more effective than the standard approach.. Brian Lamb: How much of it is diagnostic instruments and the ability to see the disease before it develops too much and how much of it is actually medicine?.. Francis Collins: It s all of those and, I mean, we really need to have three things.. We need to have better prevention, methods to keep people from getting cancer in the first place and certainly here, we have to work harder on how to come up with behavioral research that will encourage people not to smoke or if they started smoking, to stop.. That is the single most actionable cause of cancer that we still have not succeeded, 20 percent of people in this country smoke cigarettes and that is clearly putting them in enormous risk for cancer, for heart disease.. Brian Lamb: (Christopher) smoked a lot, is that what got him (inaudible) cancer?.. Francis Collins: Hard to say exactly, he was a heavy smoker, he would agree with that, he was a heavy drinker, he would agree with that.. Both of those are risk factors for (inaudible) cancer but his father had (inaudible) cancer, so heredity as well.. It s the old statement about, you know, genes load the gun but environment pulls the trigger, he may have had both of those going at once.. Brian Lamb: Now, I have--there s a fellow that I work with here who smokes and I chide him about smoking and just yesterday, he sent me a link to a woman who s a 100 years old and had smoked all of her life, as if to say to me, it s none of your business, I m going to live to be a hundred.. How can--how direct--how much do you know for sure that somebody who smokes or that cancer--I mean, that smoking will definitely cause cancer?.. Francis Collins: That is absolutely incontrovertibly proven beyond the shadow of a doubt and has been now for 30 years.. And the fact that people are denying that really means that they haven t had a chance to look at the data.. The data leaves no doubt about that conclusion.. There was a recent pair of papers in the England Journal of Medicine that looked at what smokers have done as far as just their overall longevity from cancer, from heart disease.. Somebody who smokes lifelong on the average has lost 10 years of life, 10 years.. Brian Lamb: Every single one of them?.. Francis Collins: On the average, again, this is an (inaudible) statement.. If you smoke but you stop at age 30, you get most of that back, if you stop at age 40, you still get, maybe 8 of those years back.. So people who are listening to this who are smoking and haven t yet sort of gone through their whole life that way, there s a lot of opportunity to turn this around.. It s not like, well, I m a smoker, I m doomed anyway, not true, but you have to figure out how to take advantage of the many ways that are now available to help you stop.. NIH has many of those--you can go to our website and read about programs that have proven to be successful.. For what--something is very tough, I mean, nicotine is addictive, it s not like this is just people who aren t, you know, showing any will power, it s really hard once you ve been a long term smoker to quite.. Brian Lamb: Did you ever smoke.. Francis Collins: I never had.. Brian Lamb: My mom smoked for all of her lifetime, smoked a pack a day and then she quit and then two months--two years later, she got lung cancer and she said to me, I didn t get lung cancer because I smoked, because I quite.. Francis Collins: Well, you know, cancers grow slowly.. When somebody has a diagnosis of cancer, that cancer probably started six, eight, ten years earlier but it takes that long for that one cell and as it acquires that ability to grow to reach enough of a mass that you can detect it.. So I m sure her cancer started a lot more than two years ago, yes.. Brian Lamb: There s several sides of a Dr.. Francis Collins and one of them is--we have some pretty (inaudible) of you at a graduation at the University of Michigan back in 2007, were you given a graduation address?.. Francis Collins: I was.. Brian Lamb: Let s look at Dr.. Collins back in 07--2007.. Francis Collins: So this is a song which you will recognize the tune and probably after today never again want to hear it.. And I got to tell you, this is a rush, playing my guitar in Christ (inaudible) Arena, wow! Will somebody please lock the doors, I don t want this to slip away.. So this is a song for you, (of) the students experience, right here in (inaudible), except for the last verse which is for me as a genetics professor.. So here we go.. I came, I bought the books, lived in the dorms, followed directions.. I  ...   as, sort of public interest messages.. And (Covier) kind of likes to bring scientists on, I think he is sort of got that inner geek himself, so it was a great chance to talk about our national epidemic of obesity, which is resulting in a national epidemic of diabetes.. This came along right at the point that HBO was doing its special on obesity, which was a very powerful four parts series that we at NIH had a big role in helping produce.. So it was trying to raise the national consciousness through the (Covier) channel or give it the (Covier) (bulb).. Brian Lamb: From all appearances and this is a shallow statement I m about to make, it doesn t look like this nation is going to (inaudible).. Francis Collins: It is not, although you can look at some examples where some progress is being made and learn from those.. I m particularly interested in some cities, for instance Philadelphia, where mayors have decided that this is an issue for their community and if they re really going to make inroads here, we have to look at this as a community issue and not just blame the individuals who are struggling with their weight.. And that means providing safe places for people to exercise, bike lanes, thinking about the food deserts and what to do about them.. Better efforts to do something about school lunches which often times have not been particularly ideal for the nutrition our kids need and a lot of the problems that worry us most is obesity in children.. All of those things in many ways are local issues that communities can deal with.. We can t solve our obesity problem by any single thing and we can t do it simply by education of people, what they should eat or changing national policies, it s got to be everything.. Brian Lamb: Why is it such a heavy nation?.. Francis Collins: It s a combination of things, you can see its been growing on us, literally, over the course of the last 30 to 40 years.. Some of that is, sort of, the addiction to screen time instead of outdoor time, which is greatly reduced burning of calories.. Some of it is that food has become very calorie rich and very cheap, some of it is the things that we put in our mouths that are really empty calories, sugary drinks for instance, soft drinks which gives you, basically, no nutritive value and don t even suppress your appetite.. That is a big issue that has grown over time.. Brian Lamb: What do you think of what the Mayor of New York is doing?.. Francis Collins: I think the Mayor is conducting some very useful experiments to see whether it is possible with government policies, to try and encourage public health changes that are going to be better for our nation and save us in terms of healthcare cost.. He gets accused, of course, of being heavy handed and conducting and (anti) state, but, you know, if we re serious, if obesity is threatening to make this the first generation where our kids don t live as long as we do, seems like there s a responsibility.. Brian Lamb: How tall are you?.. Francis Collins: 6 4.. Brian Lamb: How much did you weigh when you started your diet?.. Francis Collins: 213 pounds.. Brian Lamb: Are you still 30 pounds less?.. Francis Collins: I still am.. Brian Lamb: And did--where did you get your weight that you had to lose it?.. Francis Collins: I was a junk food addict, honey bunks, muffins, anything with sugar and pastry, (believe it), that was something I could not pass up.. Brian Lamb: For how long?.. Francis Collins: Most of my adult life and it gradually crept up on me.. I had my DNA analyzed as part of writing a book about personalized medicine, I though it d be good for me to access my own risk to future disease and we are discovering the heredity part of diseases like diabetes, and it turned out my result suggested I was at higher than average risk for diabetes.. And that was part of the wakeup call that made me finally decide to take charge.. Brian Lamb: Who can do--who can have a DNA test done?.. Francis Collins: Anybody now, there are companies out there on the internet.. You need to be very careful in looking at what they re offering and what their truth in advertising is.. But you can have your DNA analyzed for a couple of hundred bucks and give you recommendations for what you re at risk for and what you might want to do about it.. Brian Lamb: How can you find out what DNA companies are the best?.. Francis Collins: You could read my book, I suppose, but you can also, I think, look at their materials and assess, pretty readily, which of those seem to be given you scientific evidence.. What are their citations, what do they point to as far as the basis upon which they make these recommendations.. But I don t mean to promote this too much because this is still early days, most of the kind of genetic analysis that we can do change your odds a little bit up or down, but they re not telling the whole story, there s a lot more there.. Brian Lamb: What did you learn about your medical future that you haven t told us?.. Francis Collins: I pretty much told all, I was worried about the Alzheimer s disease risk because that s one way we have a pretty impressive ability to make predictions based on one gene called (inaudible).. And I was a little reluctant at first about whether I wanted to even know that one because right now if you re at high risk for Alzheimer s, there s nothing we could offer to reduce that.. I ultimately decided to look and it was OK, so I m glad about that.. I had some increased risk of prostate cancer, for instance, certainly of diabetes, I had reduced risks of some other things, I was glad about that too.. But, again, knowing the evidence here, all of those things could be misleading because we still just scratching the surface of understanding heredity.. What I can see now is a small fraction of what s there.. Brian Lamb: Let me ask you about prostate cancer and breast cancer, the numbers, you probably have them but on that, I think from reading that more men get prostate cancer than women get breast cancer.. Francis Collins: That s true.. Brian Lamb: Why do we not see the pink ribbons for prostate cancer and we see all of this attention on breast cancer? You almost see no campaigns and you know much as nothing on prostate cancer.. Francis Collins: There s a bit, I mean, there s certainly are groups of prostate cancer foundations that have very much promoted the importance of this.. But prostate cancer, generally, is a disease of older men and prostate cancer is also less frequently lethal, perhaps.. So, perhaps, therefore, it s not seen as quite a public health emergency as breast cancer.. But, certainly, there is a lot of advocacy that plays a role in terms of the visibility of particular conditions.. And it isn t always connected in terms of the seriousness of the problem, I mean, if you look at diabetes, diabetes kills a lot of people.. From heart attacks, from kidney failure, it blinds people, but does diabetes have the same visibility as breast cancer? It doesn t seem to.. In part because there s a different level of urgency and that s promoted sometime by just how effective the advocates have been.. Brian Lamb: How much money does the National Council Institute spend on breast cancer and how much does it spend on prostate cancer?.. Francis Collins: I don t know the numbers, it s a lot, the national cancer institute.. Brian Lamb: Breast a lot more than prostate?.. Francis Collins: I bet they re fairly close and you know what, this is also something that s important in terms of how we allocate funds.. What we re learning about cancer is that probably, our designation of cancers by the organ in which they arose is not very helpful.. What really matters is which genes are activated, so if somebody is studying breast cancer, they might make a discovery that was actually more useful for prostate cancer than for breast.. We should think about cancer research in a different way now and not try to pass it out into particular tissues of origin.. Brian Lamb: As the head of the National Institute of Health, do you appoint the heads of the national council of institutes or the other institutional centers?.. Francis Collins: They re appointed by the secretary of health and human services, (Cathleen Sellibus) but I have a very heavy role in making a recommendation and I do so generally by organizing a search committee of the best and brightest people in the field in trying to identify that perfect person, having go through all that vetting and then make the recommendation to the secretary.. It s not easy to recruit people to come and run and institutes in NIH, we can t pay them.. And probably more than about a quarter of what their market value would be.. Brian Lamb: What s the top salary for any institute head?.. Francis Collins: You can barely squeeze up to 300,000 if you really, really push, but very few of our institute directors are at that level and most of them could be college presidents or executive vice deans of medical centers and get paid three of four times that.. Brian Lamb: Why were you picked to do the human (GNOM) project?.. Francis Collins: I wondered that at the time myself.. Brian Lamb: Who--and who picked you?.. Francis Collins: (Bernadine Hilly), who was the NIH director in 1993.. Brian Lamb: Who died of cancer?.. Francis Collins: Who died of cancer, a brain tumor, she was the one who reached out to me very early in the course of the human (GNOM) project.. It had started in 1990, the first director was none other than (James Watson) of Watson and (Crick), he and (Hilly) tangled over a few things and suddenly he was gone.. At that time I was at the University of Michigan, I had been engaged at hunting for genes that cause diseases and my lab had founded genes for cystic fibrosis and for a disease called Neurofibromatosis.. And I had set up a small (GNOM) center at Michigan with NIH support, but I wasn t expecting to get the call to come to NIH and lead that effort and I initially said, no.. Because it didn t seem like the kind of thing I was ready to do.. My mother, who I told you earlier was such a wonderful influence on me, had always said, there s one thing, Francis, you must always avoid and that is becoming a government employee.. Whatever else you do, don t do that, so I had quite a conversation with my mum about this.. Brian Lamb: How long were you with that project and how much money did you spend?.. Francis Collins: So I came in 1993 and stayed until 2008, but all the goals of the human (GNOM) project were actually achieved a year and a half earlier, in 2003.. About $400 million less than hand been initially planned was what it took.. So there was a $3 billion budget, we did it for 2.. 6 over the course of 13 years instead of 15.. So federal project, ahead of schedule, under budget, not bad.. Brian Lamb: So (Bernadine Hilly), and they may not be any politics in this, you can say, (Bernadine Hilly) was a republican working for a republican president and you were picked by her and then Barack Obama picked you to be the head of NIH, how did that happen?.. Francis Collins: I m happy to say that even now in this hyper polarized environments, medical research remains one of the few things that is not partisan.. And it--may it always be that way because medical research is something we should all kind of value if we care about our own health and that of our families and our friends and our constituents.. This is not something where republicans and democrats generally differ and they don t even differ now.. Brian Lamb: Back in 2009, the president in his brief made this announcement and I want to ask you what happened to the money?.. Francis Collins: Hmm.. Barack Obama: We know that the work you do would not get done if left solely to the private sector.. Some research does not land itself to quick profit and that s why places like the NIH were founded and that s why my administration is making a historic commitment to research and the pursuit of discovery.. And that s why today, we re announcing that we ve awarded $5 billion, that s with a B, in grants through the recovery act to conduct cutting edge research all across America.. Brian Lamb: Certainly, you were there in the room, what happened to the $5 billion?.. Francis Collins: It went to accelerate some very exciting science that, otherwise, would have taken a lot longer.. We ve talked about cancer, our ability now to know for 20 different cancer types, exactly what is the menu of generic mutations that can cause those cancers, was greatly accelerated by part of that $5 billion.. Our ability right now to say that within the next few years we may have a vaccine for influenza that works for all the strains, so you don t have to get your shot every year.. You ll get your shot and you re covered.. That was greatly accelerated by those dollars and hundreds of other projects which otherwise would have taken a long time to go forward were stimulated by the recovery act.. It came at a great time because from 2003 until 2008, the budget for medical research at NIH was essentially flat, which means inflation was eroding it, and so the ability of investigators to chase after visionary ideas was being gradually diminished.. This (tapped) into a great pent up opportunity to do visionary science and it happened.. Brian Lamb: Who made the decision on where that money would go?.. Francis Collins: We had a very vigorous team across all 27 institutes working together at remarkable speed because this all came along very quickly, to try to identify what would be the best way across many different diseases and projects to spend these dollars and I will defend every penny.. Brian Lamb: How fast did you get the money out there?.. Francis Collins: We did it at record time, we think we knew in February that the money was coming and it had to be then couched, in terms of new programs that were announced.. Applicants had to write grants, they had to be reviewed and most of the dollars went out the door by September.. Brian Lamb: We don t have much time left and I know you need more time to talk about this, but a couple of weeks ago, on February the 25th, you picked up the New York Times, that day there was a lead story that said, connecting the neural dots.. Brian Lamb: (Percent) is by (John Markov) in setting the nation on a course to map the active human brain.. President Obama may have picked the challenge even more daunting than even the war in Afghanistan or finding common ground with his republican opponents.. This, as we record, it has not been announced but I didn t see your name in this story.. Are you involved?.. Francis Collins: Very much so.. This is an exciting opportunity, this is the kind of visionary projects that s right on the edge of the possible, which is what NIH should be all about.. We have, after all, gotten the ability to understand the brain in certain ways but there s a huge areas that we don t really have a clue about how it works.. For instance, we can record from and individual brain cell, a neuron and see what it s doing and we can take pictures of the brain with MRI scans or CT scans or (Pet) scans and see the whole thing.. But there s this enormous gap in between about how the circuits in the brain function in order to be able to move my hand or to look at you and process that information or to lay down a memory.. We don t know how that works.. With technologies, you have to be inventive, so a lot of this is going to be technology development, a lot of it is going to be Nano technology.. What we aim to do is to be able to record from thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of brain cells at the same time and to be able to afford to understand how these circuits work.. That s the brain activity map that s being talked about.. Very early days, you know, really have a scientific, you heard about milestones and timetables and costs, but it s getting to be a very exciting moment to put something together that we couldn t have thought of.. Brian Lamb: The article says it s going to be harder to do that than the human (GNOM) project, do you agree?.. Francis Collins: I think I would agree, the human (GNOM) project had the advantage of having a clear end point.. You re going to read out those three billion letters of DNA and you re going to say we re done and we said that in 2003, we were done.. This brain map, it s hard to say when you complete the effort because the brain, enormously complicated, a 100 trillion cells, all of the ways that they interact with each other, we will never be able to say, we ve got it.. We understand it, it will be an ongoing effort, so we have to really nail down, what are we talking about here with the activity map.. Not that we re going to completely reveal all the secrets of the brain, but then we re going to reveal some of them in an ordered way.. And that builds by nailing down some of those goals and accelerating timetable.. Brian Lamb: When will it start and how much will it cost?.. Francis Collins: Still to be discussed, not really clear, we would hope to start at least some of the pilot efforts in the next year.. I can t give you a cost figure at all until we ve had more chances to lay out exactly what the scientific plan will be and that s probably, at least a year away.. Brian Lamb: How long are you going to do this job?.. Francis Collins: I m having fun, although the budgetary squeeze makes it less fun that it would be if we were in a growing phase.. And that is a frustration and its particularly troubling when I see young scientists looking at this situation and wondering whether they can stick it out through thick and thin because there s a lot of thin right now.. But the science is exhilarating, I was appointed by the president, I am still there for the second term, traditionally, the director of NIH turns over when the president turns over, so I suppose, realistically, I should assume, I ve got a little less than four years to go.. Brian Lamb: And then for you personally, the most exciting possible discovery that you are aware of (coming along) in your work.. Francis Collins: It s very hard to pick one, I do think what s happening in cancer right now because of the secrets that are being revealed by the tools that basically came out of the (GNOM) project, are teaching us things about cancer at the most detailed molecular level that I didn t think in my life time we would learn.. And with direct implications for how we would figure out how we will prevent and treat this disease.. Brian Lamb: Do we waste money in medical research?.. Francis Collins: If there s waste there, I haven t found it, certainly, right now, especially, when we re only funding one out of six ideas that come to us, we waste ideas because we don t have the resources to support them.. If anybody thinks that somehow, a medical research right now is rolling in dough and we could cut back on it without consequences, come and spend the day with me and listen to what people are saying who are having trouble keeping their labs going.. Remind mails from graduate students who are wondering whether they should continue down the course when they see their mentors struggling to keep their science going.. I don t see waste here, I see lost opportunity.. Brian Lamb: We re going to go back to that 2007 graduation class at the University of Michigan and I want to thank you for joining us today.. Francis Collins is the head man at the National Institute of Health but here you are in the different setting.. Let s--and thank you for joining us.. Francis Collins: It s been great being here..

    Original link path: /Transcript/?ProgramID=1436
    Open archive





  • Archived pages: 628