approached him in a crowded intersection, he shot down. he shot both dead and thought he was being robbed. from there, the situation kind of got even more out of control than the consulate sent a truck to go rescue him adman overate your person and then drove away, leaving davis to be taken into custody by the lahore police. what happened in the next several months -- several weeks, excuse me, was the sites inside the obama at ministration about whether to own a to the fact he was working for the cia and the pakistani government and how to get them out. what happened was initially the obama investigation didn't have the pakistanis he was working for the cia. president upon the cities that the amount and it was only after weeks and weeks and as the
situation spiraled out of control increasingly, world wide swallowed rat poison because she became the new marker and this commits raymond davis to be treated well and ultimately released. the obama administration that the pakistani government and said raymond davis is with the cia. we've got to get out of the country. in march 2011, he was ultimately released from prison after what was called blood money was paid, were picked as the families were paid over $2 million wiped away his charges and was released in the united states senate to afghanistan and the entire episode was a microcosm of how far it relations have become.
>> host: what was he doing for the cia pakistan? >> guest: the best i've been able to determine is what he was principally doing and lahore was working with the team, gathering intelligence about a group of lashkar-e-taiba, which is a militant group primarily based around the horror that for years and years has had support from pakistan spy service, the directorate interservice intelligence. the reason they did was they were long seen as a proxy for his, who could help against pakistan's main enemy, which is yet. so principally, they were trained with the help of pakistani spies and it did launch attacks on the kashmir area. the most well known and those new as the groups that carried out the mumbai attacks in
november 2008, when so many people died in the hotels in mumbai, india. so that really raised them on the radar and they became increasingly concerned -- a subject of concern and that was why there was tasty of working in lahore to gather more intelligence about the crew. >> host: mark mazzetti, how many cia agent in pakistan? >> guest: is impossible to know the exact number. my reporting has indicated from around 2000, six, seven, until the episode there was a study increase under a couple dozen. i would see a couple hundred at least. that means case officers, analysts, security people.
the way they would get into pakistan would be the u.s. government would submit the says to the pakistani embassy in washington and the visas would all say state department on them, but there would be visas that it submitted by the cia, visas submitted by the pentagon. it was a way to get people in honor different covers in order to do the work of the cia. coming at a time in the cia increasingly had been doing work you not really pakistan. in the years early after 9/11 they did a lot of work with pakistani spies. around 2008 at 10 of the bush administration, they decided they were going to stop notifying pakistani government drove strikes. a lot of intelligence gathering operations became unilateral as
well. it had to be done under the noses of pakistan's government. >> host: whited the change in policy happen at that point? >> guest: as they build up of a number of years. there is pretty good relations. over time, there is increasing frustration, lack of trust to both sides. the bush administration came to basically pakistan was playing a double game. they're helping with al qaeda round up al qaeda operatives in some parts. they were supporting the taliban in afghanistan. the drove strikes that have been done with the notification of pakistan's government, the people seem to flee at the last minute. intelligence is that your suspicions of tipoff. basically the feeling was the worship and ministration had
been too deferential to pakistan and by two make al qaeda built up a base about rations in the tribal areas of pakistan that looked a lot like afghanistan pre-9/11. base of operation for bush to launch attacks and bush was convinced by the cia it was time to start doing things unilaterally and that's one of the reasons you cite increasing drought strikes that obama carried through an increase in tensions between u.s. and pakistan. >> host: when you refer to sub title ii a secret army, are you referring to the cia? >> guest: i'm referring to a couple things. i'm referring to the cia paramilitary force evolved over the last decade. it could be people who work on the drugs, man hunting, all those things. the other aspect i talk about at great depths in the book is the special operations troops would
see their own tremendous growth since 9/11. one of the themes of the book is the blurring of the lines between soldiers and spies and the work that increasingly the cia has come to look a lot like the pentagon and the pentagon has come to look more like the cia, or the soldiers and spies to paramilitary were. secret army is not just in pakistan. it's in places outside of traditional boer sons. to talk about cocytus afghanistan, what's the history of this war? >> host: mark mazzetti is our guest. he's a national security correspondent for "the new york times." also a pulitzer winner for his coverage in afghanistan and pakistan. numbers are up on the screen. we are talking about the cia, war, john, cedric. talking about his new book, "the way of the knife."
585386 for those of you in the not in our pacific time zones. mr. mazzetti will be with us for another 45 minutes and that is the end of our "l.a. times" covers this year at the book festival. mr. mazzetti, who is michael furlong? >> guest: michael furlong was an army officer, work and commanded a tape unit right before drafted before president nixon abolished the drove and overtime he became interested and not combat operations, but information operations and it basically means psychological warfare, propaganda, fighting inside the minds of the enemy.
and he became quite good at it and worked in bosnia in the 90s doing psychological operations. post-9/11 he was hired as a contractor hired to civilian service in the air force and worked in the senior staff of donald rumsfeld and where i pick up his stories in the middle of the last decade, researcher for a contractor to go to tampa, florida to work for operations command. what they were doing at the time was looking to give contracts to companies that could do basically spread pro-american messages around the world in subtle ways and at the same time gather intelligence about various people in unconventional ways. so what furlong started to do was work with a number of companies to develop video games that could be downloaded to people cell phones and think about the cell phones in the
middle of the last decade. they were smartphones. it was pretty rudimentary stuff. basically would have been with the worked in particular with this company from prague to build cancer people go to a website, download the game to their phones and most of them were games about the war in iraq or how to help the iraqi troops fight terrorists and settled her american messages they are. at the same time, whoever downloaded the games would collect information about who's using them and go into these websites. so furlong was sort of classic washington bureaucracy knows how to get money for different operations. he was able to get to work on
these games and build up during the surge in iraq that general petraeus wanted to suspect that the psychological warfare aspect petraeus wanted it for the iraq war, so he was useful for that. in 2008, two dozen nine, the bush administration an obama administration turns from afghanistan to iraq furlongs and smart time in kabul. what a detail by the chapters is his effort to basically gather information about what is going on around afghanistan and pakistan for the military. this is a period of time when violence was rising in afghanistan. the general in charge, general mckiernan didn't trust the cia. he saw his troops getting killed and think the cia was giving him viable information about afghanistan. he thought they were giving him valuable information about
pakistan. until michael furlong, who uses a dod contract to hire for basically her back of better terms a spy network in private spies gather information in pakistan, afghanistan and feed all this information into pentagon intelligence database. and it has caused a lot of friction with the pentagon and the cia because they don't want other spies and pakistan running over their spies in the dollar implodes, where there's an investigation the cia starts and the pentagon starts investigating and in the end, michael furlong is pushed into retirement and asserted views his story is an interesting way to show one of the characters rise to the forefront in a war that some traditional and four
cases where you can't send in the marines. >> host: what about the role of contractors in this war? >> guest: there's no question the use of contract tears to carry out missions that one would traditionally have thought were government missions seem to be unprecedented since 9/11. the cia was on 9/11 a shadow of what it was in the cold war. it's been eviscerated through budget cuts and all of a sudden finds itself as basically the center of the recent wars. president bush sends an order to kill kite around the world and the cia is a small force. so they rely on outside companies that some are former cia paramilitary forces to basically get hired in during the pana companies are companies like blackwater.
but they rely on contractors. at an office like they like they never have before, but ways were they hired him to gather actual underground intelligence. they hired them for paramilitary operations, training him for his squad were not to my knowledge carried out, but blackwater employees were hired at the cia to look into carrying out killing missions on the globe. so it's really amazing when you look at the whole facet of the war. the pentagon is a whole another issue relied on contract terms to fight the wars in iraq and afghanistan and they're trying to dial back to his contractors can be expensive. special operations has experienced people leave the green berets to work for a contractor that guy hired back at three times the salary doing
a lot of the same missions. >> host: one of the things i noticed is if you stored blackwater pakistan, people know what you're talking about. >> guest: blackwater is one of those terms, ideas, images that is at the center of so many conspiracies and pakistan. blackwater is behind everything, even though it's not. in the minds of many pakistanis, it really is the center of the secret conspiracy. so when you had to read davis episode cover raymond davis had worked for blackwater, so it was like the environment for the conspiracies you have a former military officer, former blackwater employee working for the cia caught having killed two on the streets of lahore, so
blackwater raymond davis, i attended a rally last summer in islamabad led by the head of lashkar-e-taiba and he was trying to answer something that happened were a number of pakistani troops were killed. the suspicion was that it was his people who killed the pakistani troops and rally pictured by saying it wasn't me. this blackwater and raymond davis and the crowd went crazy. those are the terms that really focus people's mind and pakistan. >> host: first call were mark trained to come through jay louisville, kentucky. >> caller: yes, my belief is after sit number 11 come in here for a help and cooperation. so it's my belief that the only reason pakistanis have been any
help as they fear the u.s. would get closer to india. that's all i have. >> host: it's a very interesting question. india jumps right in to help the united states because they saw some common cause. they saw their concerns about islamic terrorism in india. they wanted to show their support for the united states. this concerned the pakistanis a great deal. president musharraf in a speech to pervez musharaff of pakistan spoke to the nation that after 9/11 spoke his nation and said were going to help the united states, too. one of the reasons was not that we want the taliban out of afghanistan, the basically said they pledged their help and wrote later that his concern was
that the united states would form an alliance encircle pakistan and use it for the of pakistan. >> host: if you can get drunk so let's come us and to mark mazzetti@booktv. and you can make common interface but page, facebook.com/booktv. george in south carolina, go ahead with your comment, please. >> caller: it appears president obama and his national security direct or determine who gets his by the drone. can you give us makes the calls on not? >> guest: is a great question. the president obama's top counterterrorism adviser for the first years was john brennan, who is now the cia director.
they may frequently in the white house to discuss the drone wars and this escalation of drone strike in the last several years. the question was to authorize the amount but it basically depended which country the strike happened. the cia director was leon panetta and david petraeus had the authority, which outgaining each one approved by the white house. outside of pakistan or had to be a discussion that john brennan would have to approve. for instance in 2009 and 2010, when strikes -- missiles are asked in increased, those were discussed at the white house. the national security council were elements of the national security council met and had to
approve each individual strategy. so it depends on the country. >> host: mark mazzetti, president obama does approve every trend straight? >> guest: outside of at least a first-term outside of pakistan, his top counterterrorism adviser would notify him when he would sign off on it. we are not talking about the numbers. and pakistan 1600s. not nearly as much, hundred. in yemen, it's been a far smaller number, but a number where the rate is increasing. >> host: do you have any idea how many germs are in our bases in afghanistan? >> guest: i don't have the numbers. the numbers those planes is probably in that area less than a dozen.
but they fly 24 hour surveillance in many time and they rotate through. now they have had two bases. one of pakistan about in afghanistan. pakistanis have pushed the cia out of the pakistani-based. so flights continued despite some concerning the pakistani government about the violations of sovereignty. but the cia hasn't been kicked out of pakistani at. >> host: next rodrick fernwood, idaho. we're talking with mark mazzetti about his book, "the way of the knife." >> caller: big fan of c-span. i wonder how the cia is day nine of this country's business. there seems to be an homogenization of all the intelligence gathering sources in the world and with fusion
centers here, the book written by shane harris, the watchers on the nsa, who keeps everybody's milk in their own class? banks. >> guest: yeah, it's a good question. the increase over the last 10, 11 years -- first of all, money going towards what i've termed the military intelligence complex, the fusion of the military and intelligence world and surveillance, keeping tabs and government databases, the hiring of outside companies to seize the information together is extraordinary. know who's watching it is a good question. in the middle of the last decade, the director of national intelligence was created in order to oversee other spy
services, all the intelligence services and provide the oversight. that job was created by design by congress to be fairly weak because the pentagon was concerned about losing its authority to the new job. so the director of national intelligence has a lot less authority than you probably would if they need to build stronger, so it's hard to know who's really overseeing all of this outlines in his watching the watchers i guess. >> host: how is the rivalry between the pentagon and cia affect the policy? >> guest: in the early years after 9/11, the cia and pentagon were basically jockeying for a position for supremacy in this
war. the cia was given this mandate to capture and kill around the globe and the pentagon thought the military should be at the center of this. his problem was he didn't have the authorities on 9/11 to send soldiers all over the world. he didn't have the capabilities and they were the delta force and the seal team six were small unit that couldn't sustain operations more than a day or two. so he poured a lot of money into this. but he was trying to ask dan his little empire in order to expand pentagon man hunting around the vote. so it affected policy because in a way that people running into each other in these dark space is and there wasn't very good coordination between the two in
terms of who is running this manhunt. as i write about in the book in 2005 in 2006 there is a recognition this wasn't working on the cia and pentagon got together to work out a handful of arrangements, where they tried to carve up the road and said you're going to be in charge here and in certain countries if soldiers are operating, though be under cia control. the idea was to get people on the same page so the colloquial term to cut use of pakistan, they were sheep dipped, with a return into cia officers in an instant.
we saw this dramatically most famously in 2011 and may amount to about about pakistan and caught osama bin laden and the entire operation was under cia control. >> host: that could send the kerrville. hi, rick. >> caller: what kind of clandestine operations of the cia taken benghazi that may have precipitated the attack, consulate? >> guest: is a good question. we are still trying to learn more with the cia was doing in libya. i don't know about precipitating the attack. rumors have floated around about that. the cia certainly was operating out of that case and benghazi. they were trying to get weapons off the street and the attack
happens and what precipitated it is controversy. it is still unknown worth taking down deeper into. there was an official report on the benghazi attack and it was -- it didn't handle this aspect for some of it is classified. some of these agency operations wherein ben ghazi before the attack is something that would still be worth knowing more about. >> host: when you refer to the with a knife, to what are you referring? >> guest: is in reference to a speech john brennan gave and he was formerly the counterterrorism adviser. he said in contrast to iraq and
afghanistan receives a hammer week, kinesis scalpel and it is an idea that scalpel certainly implies a war that is risk-free, costa rica free. surgery without complication. i thought i would take the analogy. so that's where the title came from. >> host: steve, alameda, california. you are out with mark mazzetti of "the new york times." >> caller: yes, the united states is not declared war in over 70 years. they enrolled in constitutional to declare war, congress seems to have trouble declaring wars but it's far more finding them.
i wonder whether or not eating the militarization of the cia, potential conflict between the different agencies might in fact except whether or not to the basic principle congress declares war and not essentially wars writes the conniving of the congress. do you think a semi-political will or do you think the american people just don't care? >> guest: a question about whether people care or not. basically the cia has been running this war on the basis of a presidential fine in spain shortly after the september 11 attack. given this authorization. historically they have the
president's senior author is to do this. as you say for the military to operate, congress, and point used to declare war. in the case of the authorization for military after 9/11, congress gave a broad authority to fine, go take the war to whoever carried out the 9/11 attack is something called the authorization for use of military force. there's some discussion now about whether congress needs to go back, revisit that because that type of al qaeda affiliates. al qaeda as it existed on 9/11 is a shadow of itself. are these ontario operations in yemen carried out by an affiliate of al qaeda, are they covered under the broad congressional justification.
so that is a question now. one could argue that is a declaration of war but it was so broad and so sweeping and in many peoples views, unending people feel we've got to go back to set parameters for the next decade. >> host: michael, your question, please. >> caller: yes, i was wanting to know if the cast is familiar with gary webb and his reporting on the cia and drug wars in south america. >> host: michael, why are you interested in that topic? >> guest: i'm interested in wars around the world's and during the 80s it seemed like a very big topic was covered very much. >> host: your second question,
sir. >> caller: as far as the drones stumbling of the black budget access in the paydown budget. i was wanting to know if we have any idea how big this budget is inside the united states. >> host: first of all, i'm familiar with his work on stories and i don't know too much about what he uncovered the on what you would describe. i do get into cia latin america operations in the 80s. counternarcotics operations as a way to talk about the operations officers doing cia work could not america ended up in the counterterrorism worries of post
9/11. a lot of people in the latin america world for some reason ended up doing counterterrorism missions. cia budgets can have estimates on the pentagon now is required for the budget. how much of these special access programs, what do they do? how many companies. it still needs to be done. even when you see shrinking budgets for the pentagon for big things like tanks and aircraft carriers, the budgets for intelligence missions and intelligence operations are a
lot cheaper to hire people for intelligence gathering sent on an aircraft carrier. these budgets continue. >> host: train to come any idea how many people in pakistan are in the pentagon payroll for the cia payroll are working at the cia? >> guest: -- on since the 2010, 2011 period of time. after raymond davis, after the bin laden raid basically shut down a number of not only cia operations, but they sort of declared u.s. special operations. so the perceived threat has received it.
so after that 2011 timeframe that is the relationship of the u.s.-pakistan, numbers of air can undercover is significant. >> host: how many paramilitary groups are in pakistan? >> guest: while so this is another dispute. they deny it has any support from lashkar-e-taiba and there is concern while there was once support for these groups used as a proxy force for india companies start to carry out attacks inside pakistan. so whether it be the pakistani taliban, which is different than the afghan taliban, which is
what was commonly known as the taliban, carries out attacks on pakistani soil. so there is this fear that this monster has been created that has to some degree come back and hurt and killed dozens and dozens of pakistanis. the interesting thing, which has a public front, which is a political party and they deny any involvement terrorist attacks, but there is an affiliation between the militant arm of political wing of the group. >> host: with all the groups
and ties it in pakistan alone? >> guest: well, i would even claim to be an expert. i've traveled there several times. my colleague who's covered pakistan for years, i consider him an expert but he would consider him so far from an expert. it's a complicated country. as i say in the book, i describe one cia officer's experience. each day in know less than you did the day before. by the time the tour is up, you know nothing. >> host: jamie, saint augustine, florida. >> host: we talked about drones a little bit earlier. what are your thoughts about being used as a preventative measure domestically to prevent
terrorism. d.c. is getting closer? >> guest: you are already starting to see a movement of surveillance drones used by police forces. it's used along the border by customs and border patrol. that is already here and that is going to increase. the real fear in people's minds that spin rates of domestic use of armed drones used in manhunts are the recent bombings in boston. could she have natrona said a police forces hunt these people? the obama administration a few months ago was asked by a member of congress, will you use the drones domestically? the answer was we envision no
scenario that is the case, which most of you pointed out was not a flat no. a decade from now or lasted certainly possible that the fbi might use some instances. >> host: would have been legal to use the dreaded austin today? >> guest: is a good question and i'm not a lawyer, but if one were to say it is a type of weapon that if you have the authority to kill someone, does it matter how they are killed? for instance, if a police nicer can shoot someone hiding in a house who is believed to be a thread, if the sniper has the authority to use that, is there a difference between that and sending a missile into the house? i don't know the answer, but
many people say there is no difference. not that that's going to open the door for this, but this is why answered the way i did, that was drawn to knowledge you'd be insane, they're not going to be the big predators flying over pakistan. they are small drones armed with eggs. this is not science fiction in terms of this is happening. >> host: booktv is on the campus of southern california at "the l.a. times" festival of books. author spoke, "the way of the knife." jim, you are the next caller. postcode that afternoon, gentlemen. i verity posted to one of the largest providers of service i'm
also the war department in afghanistan. i asked him asked him how the afghan was going. i quote certain and mr. mark and he says it's basically a total failure and went into details about that aspect of what basic means. what do you think the result is basically in afghanistan? >> guest: it's a lot of people's minds now. i think there's no dispute that the optimistic assessments years ago of what could be possible as stability and peace and a strong central government is not going to be the case. most people admit that. the question is whether a year from now will be security forces
to to the extent that when the united states leaves, what would be the strength of the taliban? what will be the strength of the government of hamid tarzana? these divisions inside the government in kabul. people certainly do for good reason i ask, was this worth a? is too easy declare, and what is possible has changed a lot from where we were in 2002, 2003. >> host: mark mazzetti, how many are excited to work? >> guest: or the cia's carrying, i sat in the book
there is one order that gave new authorities for a dozen countries. so i would say the shadow wars defined upwards of two dozen countries, where you have covert operations, military clandestine, legal action. there's hunting and killing going on, but clandestine gathering but the idea of waging this war. >> host: what policy changes are not changes have been made between the bush and obama administration. >> guest: one of the first things was publicly end of the cia's detention and turkish and programs and basically said there's no more and hand interrogation techniques. effectively the program -- the
shelves are empty and few people being detained and interrogated. besides that, there's marching in counterterrorism policies. used in guantánamo bay still exists, and you seem more drone strikes under the obama administration. >> host: there have been a lot of other missile strikes. so in many ways, president obama said during his second inaugural address at the decade of warrior is coming to an end. what he was referring to is the
decade of the big wars is so fair, but these wars is there waning. >> host: the way of tonight is the cia, secret -- "the way of the knife: the cia, a secret army, and a war at the ends of the earth." >> caller: hide, mr. mazzetti, how are you doing? first question, is there any truth to george bush senior having funded terrorists to the bank in the early years of the war? and how do you feel about the cia hiring students for terrorist attacks against the united states? thank you. >> guest: i didn't hear the
second question. >> host: literary studios of attacks against the united states. i don't thought much about it. i know that was a movie, but are not informed on either subject. >> host: you know, hartsdale, new york. >> caller: mr. mazzetti, i was wondering with the attack by al qaeda. >> host: >> guest: that's a good question. a number have been tracked to a similitude groups that historically evident to suggest have been nurtured by pakistan's . there was a great deal of high-level diplomacy that why not to prevent indian response,
at least indian republic responds that sort of keep a war, because the two states have nuclear weapons that could escalate into nuclear war. i remember traveling with donald rumsfeld in 2002, which was during one of the state of heightened tension between india and pakistan after one of these attacks. so you flip over a decade a number of times where it looked in tensions between these two powers would escalate, doesn't mean a nuclear war, but it does look like there could have been a real-life, major series of battles. indians have kept her knee-jerk response to some of these attacks the pakistanis think indians are operating in other
ways that are trying to do clandestine operations in afghanistan and exert influence in afghanistan to encircle pakistan. say no, there are other ways of carrying out response than a public shooting war. >> host: mark mazzetti, what's in islamabad in this shadow war and diplomacy? >> guest: well, the role of the ambassador is that barry at times powerful or not depending what the position is on what the cia sent to you. the cia does hold a lot of control inside pakistan. so in paterson, ambassador for a number of years carried over into the obama administration
and she was someone who came to see the necessity of the program was seen as someone who is close to the cia and permissive of what the cia wanted to do. her successor was a man named cameron on terror who was not the program, but he came to be skeptical of the long-term value of some of the strikes. so he found himself at odds. he came out shortly before episode of the new cia chief. i spent time talking about the concerns the sky had. he found himself at odds with what the cia was doing, and it pushed to give more power over activities and pakistan went up the chain of command and hillary
clinton went to bat in their senate tense moment between hillary clinton and the banana inside the security council meeting, where there was a tense exchange, where she was picking up her guy and pineda was picking up the cia. ultimately so retained authority over what it did and pakistan. >> host: and a report in "the way of the knife" a whole wing of the u.s. embassy that's kind of walked off from the rest of the embassy. >> guest: the embassy itself has grown dramatically. there's construction at this secure site. so as the cia presence has expanded, the cia station has expanded and the wing of cia operations. this building is going on. it seems like there's going to be this long-term american
presence in pakistan, but i wonder after 2014 whether we will it to these buildings for this present is not going to be there after 2014. >> host: charles dunlap, oklahoma, please go ahead. >> guest: good afternoon. this is very interesting. out of information operations and targeting in the military. one thing that cannot resell any, which i find disturbing is we are using templates in order to upgrade zone strikes if you could talk to these of templates. >> guest: so i'm not sure what you mean by templates, but i know they are trying i'm not sure if this directly answers your question, but they are trying to work out basically the
rules -- it's interesting so late in the game are still trying to work out the rules of who could be hit them where they could be hit. this is the rules described as a playbook that the obama administration is working out, where sets rules warrant stone about how a president can wage war in countries around the world. my college at a very good story about how the obama administration would assume that governor romney might win the election but they were frantically working to finish this in order to set these rules and stone if obama were to lose. that goes up to the rules set that we all know president obama won. so the effort like to get rules in place, but it's still ongoing. >> host: denniston, you're the
last caller. are you with us? >> caller: my question was why in the face of terror we must have counterterror. what is your response to that? >> guest: well, we've seen a lot of counterterror. the book is basically a response to the attacks of 9/11 and how it's changed the u.s. government and how it has changed the way we fight wars and changed institutions. there's been successes and failures and a lot of this is going to you for a long time come even though al qaeda as we know has changed the way of war has also changed. >> host: as mark mazzetti
said, "the way of the knife" said a lot of u.s. policy since 9/11, et cetera, a lot of new information in this book. here again is the cover. "the way of the knife: the cia, a secret army, and a war at the ends of the earth" national security correspondent for "the new york times," pulitzer prize winner mark mazzetti has been our guest. >> mr. rose is the author of "congressman lincoln" in washington d.c. tell us about kim's first tenure as a politician from illinois. >> guest: we know so much about lincoln's presidency. so much has been about is presiding over the war. this is lincoln's only national experience before becoming
president. his one term as a member of congress. many big issues going on. the country is dealing with the mexican-american war. the question of what to do with all the land was acquired as a result of the war. is it going to be both? this is lincoln's formative experience three comes out as a single issue politician concerning slavery. >> host: how well was like in nomine came to washington? >> guest: you could've been anonymous on any street corner in washington d.c. he was one of many new faces join in the 30th congress. >> host: user representative for the wit dirty, correct? talk about his legislative initiatives. >> guest: because we associate think about the civil war, we forget he decisions on other issues like any other politician would have. so he worked on trying to build infrastructure, roads, bridges, canals, trying to improve the
national economy. he was a member of the poster is committee so he returned to expand mail delivery throughout the united states. he ended up helping to pass the initiative. this is someone who worked hard for constituents and played a role in big national issues. he was one of the first supporters of zachary taylor for president. they call themselves the young indians. he and alexander stevens became vice president of the confederacy. >> host: what was lincolns forayed politics? >> guest: lincoln was a member of the illinois state legislature in heavily democratic state if you are an ambitious whig politician come you are going to be elected senator. the one seat was your only hope. so he runs, looses, is able to come back for your seder and successfully secure and gets all this incredible experience and
know-how. the first and only president that gets to watch on the job before he becomes president himself. >> host: what was the political landscape like? >> guest: notably those, but is intensely paralyzed. big issues were dividing people. people wondered whether their government was up to the task presiding over the country. methane that would sound familiar now. but it was a member of the first congress that had a vote on whether to shut down the government. there was an appropriations bill in the slavery issue tied into it. lincoln voted to shut down the government rather than expand slavery. >> host: was a considered successful? >> guest: not generally by historians. i disagree. he's someone that pay close attention to constituents in illinois, the plato major hand in national issues weather was
in team for theater postal initiatives. abraham lincoln was a good congressman. >> host: was a notice of presidential aspirations during this time? >> guest: know, it's interesting to read after-the-fact. they thought he was a smart guy, historical, on display is a member of congress. you have almost every member of congress who sees the future president. i don't think abraham lincoln was any different. the first chapter is the most ambitious man in the world. as for colleagues, i don't know that they would've put money on him becoming president voters later. >> host: chris derose is author of "congressman lincoln." thank you. >> guest: thank you. >> pretends to be denigration by some historians when one german