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tv   After Words with Karen Greenberg  CSPAN  July 25, 2016 12:00am-1:01am EDT

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seared what resonates with such an important founder and some argue the founder, the indispensable man, the one to whom all the others looked up loved and respected. so it's good good to take notes on people like that. that is a hefty reading list and again, i think c-span the letter may have the opportunity to share a few books that i will take a peek at my constituents know i go around and talk about the stuff stuff at our meetings around the ten counties. most people get stimulated by this kind of intellectual exchange. i sure do. thank you c-span for all you do. happy reading. thank you. >> be on tramp tv wants to know what you're reading this summer. tweet us your answer apple tv or post on our facebook page. >> c-span, created by america's cable television company about you as a public service by your
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cable or satellite provider. afterwards is next on book tv. florida university national security center karen greenberg discusses her book, rogue justice. she takes a look at the legal questions arising from policies and laws enacted to fight the u.s. war on terrorism after 9/11. she is interviewed by the author of the black answers, the inside story of 9/11 and the war against al qaeda. >> host: hi karen. another great book i see. rogue justice, rogue justice, the making of the security state. what you mean by the term, rogue justice? >> guest: rogue justice is the term i gave to the way in which the mechanisms that are supposed to keep us safe from interference from the state,
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they're supposed to protect the constitution went off the rails after 9/11. they have failed to really come back. so i call it rogue justice because it is out of control, outside the bounds of the law and it seems like a rogue element compared to what we expected and what we are use to. >> host: you have a lot of emotional quotes in the book. i know you loved going to court and watching these proceedings, especially when it comes to terrorism prosecution. why did you include them in the book? why do we focus so much on national security courts versus other courts. >> the book is really about what happened in the realm of national security. there have been people who have proposed national security courts but i wanted to see what goes on inside the courtroom
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because that is where the issues of guilt and interference, that's for the issues of power of the law are most clearly shown and demonstrated. it's actually fascinating to watch the difficulties that courts have on national security cases. that is why wanted to go. there's talk about can our courts try paris? we can't try the 9/11 terrorist, we haven't yet in 15 years. so years ago i started going to court to see what a terrorism prosecution looks like. i've i've been to many states in different districts to see what the narrative of the defensive, what the narrative of the prosecution is, and how it changed over time. i think it is important for the american people to understand there are nuances to these cases. not all terrorism cases are the same. there is there is an entire spectrum of cases from those who are accused of wanting to plot evidence like the subway
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bomber in new york to those who are just aspirational. i wanted to see how those cases played out differently. if there was a way in which justice could be described as not rogue. one of the takeaways from this book is that the courts were like the deer and a headlight when it came to national security cases. there there are a realm of cases, surveillance cases by the aclu and others about overreaching by the government. many of them them in secret, there are some secret court cases there are terrorism prosecutions, their prosecutions over for you. and so there is a realm of cases that we need to look at to see how the courts are dealing with national security. time after time, after time many
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of the judges, the important judges in this country and important jurisdictions have said, it's national security, we do not want to part of it. we are not equipped to think about it. the president has told us. the president has told us this president is an and many enemy combatant. the president has told us we need to have this kind of foia request denied, whatever it is. i wanted to see what the substance of this was and how the judges interacted with the lawyers and for the most part, many of them took a backseat. by the time they got engaged and interested was too late. spee1 it's interesting. interesting. he said the courts and the judges, i think the term that you just use was like a deer in the headlight. the federal courts were always used to prosecute national security cases, from big spice to terrace. the east africa embassy bombers were prosecuted in federal's courts, many spies in different big national security cases were prosecuted in federal courts. so
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the court has a lot of experience in precedents in dealing with it. why after 9/11 was it different? >> guest: that's a good question. that's what i wanted to try to figure out. why this why the shyness in the face of these prosecutions. i think one of the easy reasons is that there is not a lot of courts that did national security cases. there is a southern district of new york in a district in virginia that did national security cases and were comfortable and classified evidence as you expend that outward and had 400 prosecutions in states across the nation, where, where could you get the judges that would actually feel like they have the confidence to weigh in on this. as a a result of that, the national security in part the division was established at the department of justice for the purpose of being able to manage, oversee and make consistent the argument that were used to prosecute these cases. it took a long time. in taking a long time long time there became a lot of political
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backlash to let's not use or court. that that is one of the saddest things that happened was in the halls of d.c. in the halls of congress that the court was not up to the task. they are up to the task and they were up to the task and compared to the 9/11 trial, who could've taken this long to try any trial within the federal court system. i agree with you there up to the task but let me also say many other jurisdictions are now up to the task. for example eastern district of new york, the federal courthouse has done numerous terrorism trials since 9/11 and is now one of the leading if not the leading courtroom in this regard. virginia has had many more terrorism cases in addition to spy cases. the d.c. court, the the same thing. look, you have a case in boston slowly but surely you're getting courts that are more comfortable with these issues but it's been
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taking a long time and the scariness factor of what somebody get acquitted has just set things off course from the very beginning. >> host: that takes me to something that is at the beginning of your book with attorney general eric holder. i was the case with the 9/11 defendants. and transferring it to guantánamo bay. i think he was reluctant to do so. it's interesting that you start your book with that and throughout the book you go back again, gang, and again. what is the importance of that specific scene in the specific decision and how was that affected it have on our views in the united states as the efficacy of federal courts? >> it was unfortunate and unhappy moment for the american judicial system.
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eric holder conveyed that. he basically said when he said they're going back to the military commissions act wonton a mole, instead of being tried in manhattan federal court what he said was, look, i believe our courts are up to this task. i do not believe for one minute that this is how it should be. but congress has taken the decision out of my hands by making it impossible to bring wonton among detainees to this country for any reason including prosecution. one of the original reasons for writing this book was a memo to eric holder which is basically, listen it was not congress that did this to you. it was ten years of deference by the court to this idea of a national security state. after ten years it is not just congress able to do this it's the fact that the courts are not same here we are, how many prosecutors came down on the side of congress? how many prosecutors say these
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are not cases we should handle, it's too dangerous, too, too much classified information. we don't want to run the risk of acquittal and we don't want to be responsible for more death in america, it's it's not our job. so it was not just about the congressional ban on transfers from guantánamo. it was a long narrative that started right after 9/11, the original commission document came out as a presidential order in the fall of 2001. it one. it was taken out of the federal courts and there should have been an outcry, an outpouring of know, this is ours we know how to do this were protecting ourselves our system and a balance of powers. it didn't happen and after those years that is how i see the story. that's what comes back into me, the 9/11 trial is an incredibly important misstep, mishap the fact that we have not had it for americans.
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trials are guilt and innocent, trials layout and narrative, trials are healing. they bring closer. we have not had closure for 9/11 on some very deep, psychological level that i cannot name and put into a scientific category. i know it. i know it's a lack of trust in ourselves and it's fundamental. a lack of trust in our courts. so glad you asked about the holder because it does matter to me. it is what inspired me to go back and say how could this happen that we didn't try this and what else went wrong with the trust in our judiciary. >> host: we see the sink guantánamo again and again, every time there is a hearing most of the findings in the discussions and legal proceedings have to do with secrecy. it seems that secrecy is very important to you. again that's a topic you refer
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to throughout this wonderful book. so can't we have secrecy at a time of national crisis? i'm trying to be the devil's advocate here on this. >> guest: we need secrecy classification which is a more sophisticated reporter secrecy is essential to national security. there's no question about it. but how much secrecy is really the issue. secrecy that shuts down our courts in a way that they can't function as they used to, secrecy that takes away from the american people the right to really know what is going on, let's remember that when president obama took office he talked about transparency. it's one of the issues he said i'm going to bring transparency back into our realm, you're going you're going to know what goes on inside this government. it hasn't happened. but i would say about these
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cases is that when you go to court there's a tremendous amount of classification are ready, these cases whether before or after 911 has always have classified issues and there is an act which gives guidance and rules to judges, prosecutors and defendants about how to handle classified material. for the most part it has worked. that doesn't mean it's not contested but it's worked for a long time. we have it. the classification and secrecy issue on guantánamo, they can even get to the beginning of the trial. it's all about what's going to be presenting what is it going to be presented. what's allowed to be seen what exists one of the problems of secrecy and 9/11 is that some suspicion on the part of many and some of it i share, not all
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of it that the secrecy is about things the government should have done and that cannot be the reason things are classified. rather than sources, methods and methods and information that would help her enemies. so for example, torture. the fact that we know these individuals were tortured. what kind of torture, we may not know. who do the torture? we may not know. but it seems to me that cannot be the reason we cannot have these trials. >> host: you mentor torture and we've been talking about that for a long time, from your experiences you've been looking into these issues for a long time. you looked into guantánamo in your first book was about guantánamo and today it's about the federal court, in your understanding is there a lot of -- in the federal system or in
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guantánamo and how this over justification has an impact on the tire justice system? >> guest: i think i'm not the only person at all to think that over classification is an issue. you can see the government struggle with this. recently they recently they decided on a level of classification that will no longer be classified. i think that it's is a move in the right direction. there are number of federal judges who have said, i look at the material classified i was astonished. the reason is if you give breath to classification your the officer who has to decide to classify it or not why wouldn't you? why would you take the risk that you made a mistake about something that somewhere down the road could've been the needle in the haystack. there's none willingness to take on responsibility that is fed by push towards classification and all these categories. there has been over classification and who knows where that will go.
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all of this depends on external events. between the media and rumor mongers, they found found out this, they found out that, and in the snowden case, and were entering a world where where classification world were classification is actually harder. because secrecy is harder. because the way the internet works, the way sophisticated hackers work. there's always this sense that you have to have deeper and deeper means of classification not just that first level of less classify something. what i would say about classification is that needs to be rethought within the context of 21st century technology. we have a long way to go. it will impact these trials. >> host: but some basic thing, i thing, i mean in guantánamo, i understand that the word term -- is classify. there's a lot of issues with the government different agencies
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admitted to publicly. it's part of official investigation that has been released by these agencies and by these entities in your government, but they are still considered classified in a guantánamo courtroom. how do you explain that? spee2 i explain it as its inappropriate comments beyond inappropriate. you have a number of individuals have either testified in congress or written and spoken about things that in one context are classified and in another they're not. so there's a chill factor, you you better not write or talk about that even though it's public knowledge and people can google it. this is is dangerous because it diminishes the legitimacy of classification. it's not a good place to be inches we all left left about it because it seems ridiculous. but it makes a mockery of what classification should be. classification should be
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reserved for those things which are truly dangerous. truly secret, truly important and there is a category of those things. what is happened and it's happened in a lot of areas not just classification that the government is so overreach that now people don't trust the decision. they don't trust the lines drawn between classified and unclassified. that's another thing that i lead to in the book live which is the withering way of trusting government to say what's real, what's right, and what makes sense for us to go for. and rogue justice howdy d.c. classification of federal courts? >> guest: it works well. there's been issues of all of these terrorism cases involve classified information. the judges have figured out a way to handle it. defense attorneys are not up in arms about it. there are cases where they wish things had gone their way but they work it out. that's what the judge's role is to say, look
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you can have this but can have this. in the selling case, the the longest terrorism case we've ever had look how they litigated what can be shown in court, when you are really dealing with individuals had been tortured which nobody knew at the time, with information from torture which people may or may not have known at the time depending on when in the case it was. and after tremendous appeal to the circuit court twice they came up with the system but they came up with a system that involves summaries of substitutes for the witnesses and the testimonies verbatim. they came up with something and they had the trial. it was concluded and it took years but it didn't take 15 years like the 9/11 trial. even in an egregious case where it's complicated and unmentionable, they worked it out. >> host: one of the biggest
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philosophical constructs after 9/11 is the balance between liberty and security. a lot of people have been advocating that it's fine to do all of these kind of things that they keep us secure and can prevent another 9/11. from reading the book and knowing you personally, i know you're big on that balance. how do you see the balance not based on your opinion but based on your countless hours sitting in court listening to national security cases? spee2 for the most part security has one in the balance. there has not been a balance since 9/11. security has overwhelmed courtrooms and juries and the media in terms of understanding what is at stake. and liberty has suffered tremendously. and i will come back to that in terms of what
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and how i think that is the case. what i think further is that we focus too much on liberty. what the the book shows is that while we are focusing on liberty versus security we should have been focusing on justice versus security. it's interesting, we have lost the strength, fiber and backbone of our judicial system in this context. including a loss. so i think when you think about the security versus liberty in the courtroom which is a really good question for this book and i say security has really want, you see a lot of cases where the first amendment rights are really an issue. it's it's really hard to tell when some of these cases with how many
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individuals, were not talking about the lethal cases where people are caught in the middle of an activity, or after a plot. were not talking about the embassy bombings are about the subway attempting bombing, were talking about individuals who are somewhere between aspirational and operational. and talking about al qaeda, talking about isis is an eight comes across so where is the overt act, how do you push back that's an issue. another issue that has come up and this is bigger is the fourth amendment. the fourth amendment and not just in the courtroom the fourth amendment has been beaten up since the beginning of the war on terror. that's what the snowden revelation showed and i write a lot about this, and said the government lawyers and others, the current head of the fbi, jim kony, now professor at harvard, been a justice department lawyer recognized that the surveillance authorities that were being used were not justified by the way
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they had been legally laid out by john you, and other lawyers and they did their best to rethink, recalibrate. >> host: gym was heroic and mention the story in your book. he was heroic in standing up for this attorney general. >> guest: he was willing to put his reputation and career estate to say look, we cannot to this. this is a guy who understands the security and understands the security state. yet, he understood and wanted to bring it back, ran a backend. the fourth amendment still is not protected as protected as it used to be. we'll see where the conversation is headed. the patriot act a year ago and the surveillance parts of it, and but there are some question to bring back some of those powers.
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what is necessary, what is necessary, we haven't figured out as a country at. that's what i mean by security has one, liberty, mostly through, liberty, mostly through the work of the aclu report organizations has found his voice and lingering here and there. but that balance isn't there. i also have been thinking about this and i'm not sure that balance is good. but i think contention between that is great. i think it's great for the country. national security people are supposed to think about how to keep the country safe. civil liberties advocates and constitutional scholars and others are supposed to think about how to protect our constitution and our laws. you want tension. you don't want to be like yeah, it has to be. it's built into the fact of who we are as a nation. >> you mentioned something about
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the cases so-called aspirational. but from the other perspective if you look at an individual who is trying to reach al qaeda or trying to reach isis and the only tool you have is this undercover agent, the fbi law-enforcement in general, or to have a source to deal with that and see if they are serious. do you see that as entrapment or do you see that as law-enforcement doing their job, utilizing the only tool they have at hands. do you prefer that individual to be arrested before they commit the acts or actor they're trying to reach out to them? that is also a balance that you have to look at from a law-enforcement perspective. what is your experience from reviewing many of these cases what can he tells about that? spee2 that is a hard question because the answer is, there there is a range of cases that
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are called entrapment cases, but there is a range of cases in some are just shameful. others are spectacular. so where you see individuals who, you see what is going on that their larger plates at floors that there is an intelligent component to this and it's important and substantial. and then other cases where the guys if you like they could not have done anything on their own like the riverdale case. they could not have done anything on their own. so couple ways to think about this. one, the fbi's you know in the very beginning and still from today although better it is not had undercover agents who can go in and are either muslim, foreign-born, arabic speaking, or whatever. whatever they need they don't have. and didn't have enough of those
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agents. so the reliance on informants probably was not the best way to go about things because informants have something to gain. whether it's it's not being deported, not paying a fine, not -- whatever it is there's a trade-off. and these informants have turned out to be rather duplicitous creatures. their testimony can fall apart on the stand because who knows who's in control them, i think control themselves? in the fbi control them? so the more undercounter untrained undercover agents more is professionalized. so that's the first thing. the second thing is yes, use of informants it's not just terrorism that the fbi uses informants for. so we have doing business in going about infiltrating and being inside human intelligence. something that is good intelligence and law-enforcement agents have to rely on it should rely on.
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but you have to be really smart about it. some some people are, some people are not. that's what you start to see in some of these cases when he say some are good. the fbi is not large. it's about 13000 agents to cover a domestic and global portfolio. he went to really make sure that you are not wasting your resources on individuals who really are not the type that can go towards al qaeda. it's a judgment call. but you have to make sure you make it the right way. >> host: one of the things here, allow me to comments on a statement you made about people who they will never be able to do it by themselves. yes, and usually we have seen a lot of even people who are idiots.
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and al qaeda reach out for them and then to blind themselves up. you don't have to be smart to let yourself out. actually the prerequisite of that is for you to be an idiot. so the fbi discovers an individual who is on that path when trying to reach out for al qaeda, yes they might be mentally unstable or not that smart in any way, shape, or form but do they take a chance. if your supervisor and the fbi in charge of the fbi office in some areas someone comes one of your agents come to you and say this is the situation, this guy situation, this guy is trying to reach out, do you way for the real upright solar the real isis to come to that mentally unstable individual and convince them to do a terrorist attack? or do you divert. this is also part of the balance of the people in law-enforcement have to take into account. >> guest: this is important today because isis recruits are social media recruits. you cannot even say will just watch the al qaeda guys. you cannot cannot do it that way. it becomes more complicated.
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that is why there is such a push inside the fbi, inside inside the department of homeland security, inside the white house and society at large for thinking about these individuals that are vulnerable through to a message of violence. to think that these individuals in a way that sees a diversionary program rather than a law-enforcement activity. it's something that now, even more than al qaeda days because it is younger individuals. these individuals are coming on the radar of law-enforcement either through their parents, through associates, through something the fbi picks up, social media -wise at a very young age. what's really needed and this country does not have yet is a program that can help these individuals realize that this is not a path to go down. . .
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that's happening in the united states right now in a way that visible and palpable and something that can be focused on that's why i do these calls. it would be better not to waste resources in that way when there are individuals that wish us harm, and isis does not need detoured in its call for violence. >> host: how do you see them working? you probably have a better understanding because you have been to so many court
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proceedings, and i think you've probably know if it would have worked in this case or not. what is your general opinion about that? >> guest: individuals have actually gotten weapons often by themselves and wanted to commit acts. the off ramp and vaults was not available to us, so is there a case where there might have be been? he was arrested before a legit material support, but i think there are some cases where that could have happened. we haven't figured it out because it feels like targeting
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a. we don't want to ask people to report on individuals so we need a safe space. we don't have a choice. >> host: do you see any progress from the bush administration to be obama administration because the war on terror has been executed in a similar manner to the george bush war on terror what is your opinion about that? >> guest: my view of things would have liked to see that i
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see it this way obama wanted to change things. guantánamo fundamentally i think border did want to return the commissions ancommission didn'tn federal court. >> guest: they were not up to the task politically and i want to come back to guantánamo but to say it is a little murky in terms of what they wanted and didn't want to because this administration have used the power in the programs i talk about in the book the targeted killing programs of weaponize drones the obama administration set this up exponentially conducting the war on terror so all of these and without the review even including an american citizen you really want the executive to get into the business of deciding who's
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guilty and innocent and who should be killed? if you think about how this country was founded it was on many principles against a general warrant that you had to have specific suspicion for executive detention. obama did and really cleaned this legacy up from the bush administration. having said that i think he tried on a number of levels. he is curtailed and restricted the weaponize to killing which i think is executive decree. while this administration has embraced a lot of these incursions in the fourth amendment and expressed tremendous anger, obama was the
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person that unleashed the report and commissioned the report after the revelation that trusted the state including lawyers and the cia and said tell me about this. make an assessment and their assessment was codified by the patriot act. it doesn't work and it's illegal, basically that's what they said. it was obama that created the ground that led to the petri act. so it's complicated where you stand on this. guantánamo is another story. in my heart of hearts, taken at his word, he wanted to close guantánamo. at least early in his presidency he didn't want to end in definite detention. by spring of 2009, he gave a
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speech and basically said among the possibilities are indefinite detention, which we still have two this day cannot be released or tried and those are some of the best names like individuals we've known about for a long time. but i honestly believe in terms of closing guantánamo that are not perfect. he wants to do it it's clear. these advocates -- individuals that are not charged or cleared to release that they are working on the pace and i do think it's going to close before the end of the presidency.
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here's what i think could happ happen. it could cost over $4 million per detainee at guantánamo to maintain guantánamo. it's an amazing number and it's going to go up because for every one that is released it goes up and up so when you have less than 20 individuals come and it could've been less than that in the category that haven't been cleared for release, do you know how much it's going to cost? you were talking about $11 million. he will have the population again and it's going to go up exponentially and i don't believe congress will be able or have the support. this has to be the calculation inside the government. then all you have left are the detainees there will be a small number and divide them up and
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put them in prison military or otherwise that will get dicey because what rights do they have, etc. and they may be able to be tried or plead in federal court. there is a lot of talk about getting these individuals to plead to federal court charges if they waive their rights. so even that small number could be whittled down. it's not part of guantánamo at the very start, but it took a long time to get going under president obama who put them on hold. you have to 9/11 trial and other input iimportant trials that hae resulted in death. if this country cannot figure out a way to have a federal
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procedure would be surprising. >> host: one of the things you mentioned i know a lot of people use military courts can you clarify the difference. >> guest: the court-martial is a separate piece of law that can try everything from a petty offense to a serious offense in the same way they would be tried in federal court. when you get to the military commission that as is a whole r structure that's gone through tremendous evolution in terror. the supreme court says -- and
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then obama in 2009. with the heads of the military commission now say is these are as close to article three as we can make them. the only differences are that we have certain other than cheery procedures based on classification and hearsay that's a little broader than it would be elsewhere. and so, you have these things built-in that turns out however much they are like article three courts are not like this to get going when the judge doesn't have control of the court and there are other forces at play where it is just a mess and the reason it's a mess is because the nature of the evidence in
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these trials is extremely hard to prevent in court. so why would it be different in federal court? they are getting back to the aspirational and there are issues about the death penalty and whether or not these individuals would if there were no death penalty but this isn't the way to go about it. it's a mockery of the system and after 9/11 which is sent. >> host: what is the top shocking thing about the system when you were writing the book? >> guest: the biggest thing is what i thought shouldn't be allowed was law. like the fact there are things
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you can't say or do over acts that can be interpreted as in the courtroom if you see that in the wall itself how it plays out. so that's the first thing. second, charges try hard to think about the wall and entrapment. understanding and traffic is so difficult, and it's almost like they come back with questions all the time. does it have to be a predisposition to a certain thing? this is another thing i found out as th is the intricacy of te development and the jury is fascinating. and i think a real shining gem is in the american system. also judges that don't wan wanta ticker rest in their courtroom
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or to get away from i from it se take away in the book which everybody knows is how powerful the judges are. when you see guantánamo, and you realize you do want somebody to have control in the courtroom. another interesting thing is the degree to which the one exception stood up to the security state was the supreme court. they stand up and make the ruling saying you can't detain a person this way but what shocked me is the supreme court ruled in 2008 that guantánamo detainees have the right in federal court in the hideous proceeding. so that is a sign about the rights and liberties that goes to the district court in dc
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approved to do this. and then the circuit court. the government on the evidence was a surprise the degree to which the supreme court said what they said and then it was just like you said it but we are the circuit court. i found that a conversation disheartening and surprising. it's still surprising to this day. >> host: you also talk about how powerful the judges are. how do you marry the two together? >> guest: basically from the issues at hand. if it was a surveillance case we are not going to discover that. if it was a detention case, look what happens to the so-called
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dirty bomber that was never charged. but even before the case gets going he is in the enemy combatant status at the government clearly wants it that way to the fourth circuit in dc, and finally the judge to sit on and says we will agree with what they said knowing it's going to go to the supreme court. the white house realizes the supreme court might say no, no. you can't hold them here. then they say you have to revoke your decision. the reason they were willing to do that as they already have several years of being able to say to the judges look, we are telling you don't do this. if you do if we knew, we know and we are holding the reins of
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security. don't go there. and the judge who was off at the time, one of the people they were thinking about in the supreme court decisions is no i'm not doing it. but think about that. think about the overt miss of the white house going to a federal court judge and saying you need to revoke a decision we wanted you to make that we changed our mind. >> host: you talk about overreach. >> host: you talk about torture being committed by the government.
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do you think we need accountability to move forward? >> it's not because we don't like that guy it accountable to the system. i do believe that lawyers would justify and be held accountable because it shouldn't happen again. we are confident that we can do things from the perspective that compromises whcompromise is whos donald trump says, we can go back to waterboarding when we need it.
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we haven't seen dianne feinstein's reporting. i do believe they should be chasing. i do believe the agencies, the fbi walk away from this. the agencies need to be held accountable in some way. if this happens again or whatever it is, it should be held accountable. government officials should be held accountable. there were some that closed their eyes and others embraced it and ran with it. torture has infected, and this is a big part of the book, it's infected much more. case after case whether it is just abuse in american circumstances were something that happened at the sites are
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on the. eight infected the individuals that were tried in federal cou court, and it has infected so much of the court system. it was the poison. there's too much about torture. so now they still don't work. >> host: it goes beyond the efficacy. i don't know from personal experience but now you're talking about a larger part it did for the justice system. it doesn't stop. think about the individuals that have family and clan and count
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country. it isn't even a fight. remember that. the harm of the torture program and some accountability would restore our standing in the world in terms of leadership like human rights but it would also bring the courts from this hate to maneuver around and it would cleanse them on some level that we were too scared to go down that road and if president obama is the person that led to that. you can't go forward. you have to confront what was
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done, think about it and who we want to be as the people. ana people. and it can't be as a people if we tortured. that's okay we won't do it again. it doesn't work like that. >> host: we heard some officials that said it's considered torture but if the cia does it, it's not. what is her comments on something like this? >> guest: he knows it's just not true. torturing a human being is torturing a human being no matter who does that and thi its what bothers me about it. as you know, as you so well written and spoken, you can't have torture in your back pocket as that's what you are relying on, that's where we report chileans of dollars and capabilities. they are trained professionals
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that if he can't do it, if we think we have an extra tool that's barbaric what does it do in compromising our techniques. >> host: so many politicians that refuse to acknowledge that waterboarding is torture, you mentioned for example donald trump so it doesn't see that it's getting any better. it's going to be probably ten times worse. it's never going to swing back.
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the book makes that point. but there have to be safeguards and again with the commander in chief power, this torture etc. was based on an exalted version of what the president could be, and that's why we ended up with executive killing etc.. and so, it's complicated. we have yet to see lawyers involved in the government who can make as much headway as they want. but the never quite got to the end of turning back what they were focused on in the surveillance program and the torture program which they did a lot to try to stop at least in one form or another. so yeah, it a little problem. >> host: how do you assess the
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failures in 15 years of the war against terrorism? we started officially the war against al qaeda on septembe september 11. officially the war was declared against the network and now we have isis and a lot of other affiliates that operate in different places around the world for some under isis. with everything you mentioned, do you see that we have been more secure, less secure as a nation, are there things we need to do in order to make ourselves more secure or confident and facing the threat of? >> we are much more secure than we were on 9/11. and for all those tax dollars in our law enforcemenhour law enfot intelligence, military etc., there were tremendous glitches.
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i don't think one of them was by federal court in the way they work and the rule of law. in that way we are favored. we have yet to have a publication i will say guess what, we are safer. we are going to trust our law-enforcement officers. law enforcement officers. we are nothing to do xyz. we are going to have rules and regulations and we are never going to do things just to see quickly behind the scenes but we are safer and the reason is because of the things we did legally and because we took a step back. >> host: what about the nature of the society and as a melting pot of? just from my perspective we have a nation of 350 million you look
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at a place like belgium and they have 500. something that we are doing right that goes beyond. >> guest: rose colored glasses, which i like, pay our job is here to make sure we don't become friends and we are inclusive in a way that isn't going to be inclusive that's the next step. the good news is the structure of government you have those that are basically saying there
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will be a reintegration program. they are 13, 14, 15 west function as a nation and understand that there has to be a sense you can be logged essentially you want to be part of pacific framework and see what you think and you have to have a stake in the future. -- hasn't happened and is our challenge here. you're right. >> host: very few people know more about the topics then you.
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i highly recommend it to everyone. thank you for joining us today. i've enjoyed the conversation. thank you so much. >> this is one of those classic cases you want to read the book the martian and then i got intrigued by this new thing which is in old books for
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whatever reason i didn't read that one but we just finished up a biographer. >> we want to know what you are reading this summer or you can post on facebook page. >> good evening. it is a pleasure and honor to introduce you to the maryland state library for the blind and physically handicapped. the sociologists i'm a professor of studies at the university of pennsylvania and former professor at the johns hopkins university up


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