tv Book Discussion on Rumsfelds Rules CSPAN December 28, 2013 1:00pm-1:56pm EST
>> what sandy didn't say is i have lived one third of the history of our country. which tells you what a young country it is. or what on old man i am. i am so pleased to be here. and sandy, thank you for the moderately good introduction. george, and gavin, and all of the member of the president's council thank you for supporting this important institution. i am a supporter myself so i thank you. i have been travelling around
talking about the book. and i am told you are ready to ask questions and i will answer the ones i know answers to and i will respond to the others. but before i do, just a few words about the book. i spent four years writing this book. it started because my mother was with a school teacher and i would ask her what a word was and she would say look it up. and write them down and read them and remind yourself what they mean. and i started writing down thoughts or things i thought were important. i did that as a young man, a boy
scout, a navy pilot, in congress, and after resigning from congress in 1969 i served in the office of economic opportunity and it was my first executive job and i made notes about that. when president ford came in he called me back to chair of transition. and then i served as his whitehouse chief of staff. i mentioned one of these rules. and he said what is that? he had been a legislative. never served an executive position. and i told him i keep those rules and i don't know what i said to him, maybe something like the staff shouldn't say the whitehouse is calling.
buildings can't call. and so he said well let me see this and i had it typed up and i showed it to him and i said you should circulate that to the senior staff in the whitehouse. new york times wrote about it and people have been reading it now for a quarter of a time. i thought it would be interesting to people about meetings and i have a chapter on wrestling because i wrestled for ten years. that is where you learn the relationship between effort and
i proceeded to make other chapters and towards the end as i was finishing the book i thought about the fact that american business doesn't defend the capitalist system well. i saw the occupy everything movement and listened to the national campaign and i heard people talking about government growing jobs. it reminded me of one of my rules that washington, d.c. is 60-square miles surrounded by
reality. [ applause ] >> the chapter on capitalism i wrote because i was worried people in business -- first of all few people in government have been in business. it is easy for an academic to go into the business or a lawyer to go into government and come out. it is hard for a business person. if they are a small business person it is their business and they have to be there. in a larger corporation they are knocked off the ladder and it is hard to reenter. so as a result, and i will admit it, confession is good for the
soul my wife tells me, if you are looking at government from business you understand it one dimensional. you have no idea what government delay does to business or what uncertainty does for business. you don't feel the impact of the regulations. i send my taxes in and add a letter to whom it may concern, here are my taxes. i want you to know i don't have the slightest idea if they are correct. i went to college. my wife did. and she will not read them. i pay money to an accountant and
he does them for me. i hope they are right. can you imagine the country with a lousy tax system like that? how many people understand taxes? let's see? i don't know see many hands going up. but i wrote the chapter because i was in business and i know a business man has shareholders, customers, and they have employees. and they are across the spectrum in political views and ideas and parties. and therefore business people are very reluctant to challenge and criticize the government. they don't want to divide their stockholders or employees. and they worry about the irs.
well if you don't understand your taxes you ought to worry. i worry. i mean i know i don't know. they also if you are in the pharmaceutical business you have the food and drug administration and they all have these alphabet organizations and to the extent someone criticizes the government they will be turned on. and in my view, that is why the current irs think is so critical because americans don't want to feel like their government could be turned on them in a way that target people. if you target one, you can target another. and i think that is why that is so central. now, what i would like to do is
have sandy or somebody -- where are these people. do you have microphones? i think you do. i would be happy to respond to questions and answer some. i will do my best. and what you need to do is raise your hand and sandy will bring a mic. i always hate the first question. and then it pops up like a jack in the box. scares me to death. boy, those lights are bright. make it a good one or i will embarrass you if you don't. >> here is what we will do, mr. secretary. >> someone has to turn his mike on. >> you had the floor before, sandy.
who has the first question? okay. anthony. is your microphone on? >> i have two quick questions. >> i am 81 in july. i don't need multi-part questions. it is 10:15 in washington where i flew in from. single question. but feel free to go ahead. >> okay. first question is -- >> no, you only get one. turn off his mic. >> will you write a book for republicans and say that wasn't tax without doing a tax decrease? thou will not raise expenses
without some sort of cut in the middle? i mean i remember when i watched your interview on the letterman show you suggested there was a time in which the debt reached like a $100 billion and the world went crazy. >> i was there. it was the presidency of johnson. it was the first federal budget in our history that hit $100 billion dollars. and everyone just gasped at the thought. >> but now it doesn't seem like -- >> now we have a trillion dollar deficit. >> it doesn't look like the republicans are helping any. so will you write a book for them? >> i think the republicans -- there are people across the spectrum in both parties. but i was speaking about my
other book, "known and unknown" at fort levinworth, the army base not the prison. it is a big school there. and someone asked me what is the biggest problem that i worry about when i go to bed at night. american weakness was the answer and why do i say that? i think the signal being sent out from this county is we are modeling american economy on europe and that is a failed model. it doesn't work. there is no way you can have the deficits we have had and have the debt we are accruing without sending out the signal this
county isn't going to be what it was like in the past. people take that message and see it. and then you turn around. when i went to washington, esionhour was president. we were spending 10% on gross defense and today less than 4%. the signal that knows out to the world is we have cut $193 billion from the defense budget and about to cut half a trillion and that is close to $950 billion out of ten-year budget. that sends the signal that the united states isn't going to be in
the iraq war and i would like to know what you think happened and what will happen >> to the poplar slogan that bush lied and people died. the intelligence was fashioned by the united states intelligence community and it was studied by collin powell who made the presentation to the country from the united nations. it was supported by the congress including hilary clinton, john kerry, and rockefeller. it had been the policy of the united states for a decade that there should be regime changed and that was signed by president clinton president of the united states at the time. the idea that has become a theme against president bush it seems
to me is a. unfortunate. and a narrative has been made in the media which isn't the case. in iraq, what is going to happen? i don't know. we know that saddam hassan is bad. he used chemical weapons on his own people/his neighbors. we know he killed hundreds of thousands of people. the mass graves in that country were heartbreaking to see. we know the country has ethnic issues still. they have elected a prime minister, president and a par
parliment. it is a tough part of the world? you bet. is it going to be an easy road? no way. it is going to be tough. but we had slaves in the 1800s and killed 600,000 americans in a bloody war. women didn't vote until the 1900s. it is bumpy road for almost every country. how it comes out, i don't know. i know they have a chance and i have a lot of respect for the young men and women who have severed over there on behalf of our country. [ applause ] >> hi, mr. secretary, thanks for
coming all the way to the wild, wild west to see us all. we appreciate it. you said you have seen about 1/3rd of his country's history -- >> i have lived it. >> that is right. >> i have not seen it all. >> the question is can we turn it around? because right now you keep seeing one thing after another after another coming out of this government and you think that is going to do. that is going to turn the american public around and they will start paying attention. what can we do to turn it around? [ applause ] >> i think the first thing we have to do is recognize that the idea that anyone one citizen can't do much isn't true. our whole system is rooted in the reality that for it to work,
each of us has to participate in helping to guide and direct the course of the country. some people say well maybe i will not vote or there is so many in the neighborhood who vote the other way why bother. it doesn't make a difference if you write a letter to the editor. you have mayor and state official here. if people are picking on them unfairly it doesn't matter if i stand up. well it does matter. each individual can do a lot. every time things get bad in this country, and there are plenty of times it has been worse than today, the american people change their priorities.
is it possible there is a tipping point where you get shoved too far one way? i suppose there is. have we reached it? i doubt it. i have confidence in the american people. think of all of the people who rushed into the world trade center in new york or the pent gone and pulled people out who were dying? the american people have a lot of fiber. i mean this country's streets were not paved with gold. and all of the people that came from other countries that build it into what it is. i have a website, rumsfeld.com and i put a speech on their that was given to my senior class in
1954. if you have young people who are wondering about the world. read that speech by adly stevens. he was governor of my home state and a democrat. he was a cerebral type. one of his slogans was egg heads of the world unite, we have nothing to lose but our yokes. but this speech in 1954 was brilliant. if you think about the people that do stand up and support people and understand how precious what we have -- you know, i have a couple titanium
hips and shoal shoulders. i had a therapist coming out and after a couple days i said i can do this on my own. and then he said do you mind if i say something personal and i said go ahead. and he said i came from nigeria and this county is so special. i don't think those of you who were born here appreciate it. if you went to any embassy all across the globe at 10-12 a.m. you would see people sleeping on the lawn trying to be first in line to get a card to come to
the united states. it is that important. and we have to pause and think how lucky we are. and how special this country is. and given that i guess my answer to that question is -- and i tried to write this in the last chapter of my book -- it is i think, not a good period for our country right now. but i think there will be a good period ahead. and we have been through tough times before. and i personally have a lot of confidence. i came from the midwest and we are optimistic people. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you, mr. secretary. i am a current u.s. state department employee and i want your opinions on the benghazi
situation. >> if you are going to put people in danger you ought to provide security for them. [ applause ] and then if for some reason you cannot, you take them out. the brits were there and pulled people out because they didn't have the right protection and they saw the threat risk. there were al qaeda targets that were armed. and they pulled out their people. and our people were not. they requested additional
security and didn't receive the security assistance they requested. second, the bush administration had to deal with september 11th. and in my view they put in place a set of structures that have helped to protect the american people for the 12 years since then and done a good job. what we didn't do a great job in was competing in the space against radical islam. and the administration not only has, this administration will not compete there but they pretend it doesn't exist. they talk about fort hood being workplace violence. and that is not true. it is people who are radical and
determined to oppose the concept of a nation state and impose their views on the world. it is people think when you say it is as a war on terror that it is a war that will be won with bullets. well this is more like the cold war. it will take decades. we don't today -- we are not competing in the space as we did against communism and that is because people don't want to be seen against a religion. but the american people are tolerant of all religions. yet there is a reluctareluctanc name the enemy and you cannot win that way. [ applause ]
on my website, i had a meeting with a combat commanders in 2003 and i got back to my office and i was concerned. i wrote a memo on october 13th or 16th of 2003. and i said we don't have metrics to know if we are winning or loosing the war on terror. we don't know the number of people being trained or recruited and funded from people all across that part of the world. we don't know the amount of money that is being raised and contributed to train terrorist and teach people how to strap on suicide vest and kill people. the purpose of terror, i think lindon said, isn't it kill people, it is to terrorize them
and alter their behavior. you cannot defend against terror because a terrorist can attack any time, any place using any technique and you cannot protect all of the places day and night. so the only thing to do is go after them, put pressure on them and make everything they do more difficult. harder to raise money, harder talk on the phone, harder to move between countries, and above all harder for them to recruit and fund the training of additional terrorist. it isn't that complicated. it is hard. it will take decades because it is strong stream of radicalism. but it is doable. just like dealing with the co u communism threat was by competing with their ideas.
so i will take the next question. i am looking for one i don't have to answer. >> this is probably more -- >> the man said i stand by what i meant to say. i don't see a thing around here with the lights. who has the mic? someone yell at me. 12 o'clock. you must have been in the navy or the air force. >> not really. i wanted to know what you thought of the democratic president who has been compared to two major republican presidents. one as lincoln and the other -- >> you will have to speak up >> say it again. i don't understand the words. >> i wanted to ask you about a democratic president who has
been compared to two major republican president. one entering as lincoln's su -- successor -- >> i cannot follow. >> i am saying what do you think of a democratic president who has been compared to two major republican presidents? first when he entered he was compared to lincoln. now he compares to to nixonian politician. >> i think i get it. what do i think? i didn't vote for him.
[ applause ] >> mr. secretary, what we will do next is we are live streaming this program globally tonight via utube and we have taken questions the last view days and we will put them up and i am read it to you. the question is what lessons or practices can politicians and government leaders learn from the private sector? this is from brian wilson in toledo. >> first thing that flashed into my mind was what ms. thatcher once said and that was the trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money. [ applause ]
the big difference between government and business is that in business you are using your money. in government you are using other people's money and there is a big difference between how people handle their money and other people's money. it is just true. it is true anywhere you look. we all behave a little differently if it is other people's money than our own. in the pentagon it broke my heart to turn my head and seeing expensive wood paneling going up in a hall. we would not do that if we were a corporation. the advantage of a corporation or company or business is they can go broke and that is a good
thing. walk down know retail street and go back a year from now and about 10% will remain. dead leaves die. but in government they go on and on. and trying to find some technique you can use to get people in government to manage money like they mind manage their own instead of how they manage other people's money is a difficult thing. the only way you can do it is for people to be vigilant, for people to understand that the federal government ought to be the very last resort. you start with individuals. and if individuals need help you look at charitable and non-profit organizations. and then local government, the
closest to the people where people have strength and can talk to the people. pick up the phone and call the mayor and say i need help. if the local can't do it then the state. only as a last resort do you go to the federal government. and only if we have people that feel that way. this is the most generous country on the face of the earth. you think about the volunteer organizations and the assistance they provide in our country and all over the world. tom curtis used to stay public money drives out private money. if they see government, federal state or local, taking over an area people don't want to help in that area. why should they pay for in taxes
and then separately. and they back off. you start talking about presidents and truman comes to mind. and he did a good job after people figured out what he did. he went out of the whitehouse way down. but when he was president he had the department of defense, the cia, the national security counsel, the usaiid, nato and a number of things. but one of this rules was if you want a friend in washington get a dog. and the rumsfeld corollary was
get a little dog as the others might turn on you. >> next question, since we are in the nixon center and he made the opening to china, what do you think your prospects are for continuing a good relationship with china? >> i think it is possible. china is a big country. it is an important country. china has trouble with its neighbor india. and trouble with vietnam nam. and trouble with mongolia and tibet. and causing problems for the japanese and other countries operating in that part of the world. they are investing in double
digit in their defense capability and developing a blue water navy. i could be wrong, but it seems there is a tension between a growing economy, which means a lot of people milling around with computers, cell phones, and electronic stuff and facebook and twitter and all of the stuff you younger folks understand so well. and that is not highly compatible with a communist system. there is going to be gives. and if they try to repress all of the activity that is going do go on if they allow cellphone and computers and all of the that stuff. if they try to repress it, their
economy will slow down, i think. and if they don't, the economics side of their economy will do well but i think it will probably cause pressures on their political system. i don't know what that means quite. but i think there will have to be changes in their political system in how it functions and operates. but i guess time will tell. one of the proverbs i have liked is sometimes you have to kill the chicken to frighten the monkey and they do that.
they invaded part of india or captor fisherman to frighten the m muonkiunkies. and they had a pr minister who fled the country to go to the soviet union. this plane was shot down and he was killed and a messenger came in and told mao his defense minister was killed and his comment was rain will follow and
widows will remarry. they don't spook easily. but i personally think today -- when i was running an electronics company we had 5000 employee in taiwan. and the interaction between them is extensive. planes flying back and forth kw i bet you 3/4th of the employees are chinese now. what is happening? if there were to be a conflict between taiwan and the china it
would be the failure of modern time. india is going to end up i think being bigger. china has real problems. they have a lot of government corporations/businesses that are enormious and way over populated and have to be privatized and you will have enormious numbers of people out of work and they will have security to put down the opposition they will face. and the one baby policy is mindless. they are not accepting female babies. and they will end up with millions, tens of millions of men without women. and their population is being desorted. the demographics.
so they don't have a smooth road in my view. i think if we manage the relationship well, it maybe possible to navigate through bumpy times. but people are running around saying the solution is the law of the sea treaty. and of course those countries have signed the law and china is doing whatever it wants. it doesn't do any good. i remember when regan sent me over to meet world leaders and talk them into opposing the law of the sea treaty. i went to see ms. thatcher and i sat down and explained what president regan and i felt were the key elements. and he said that sounds like the internationalization of 2/3rds
of the earth's surface. and you can tell the president i am with him. it isn't solving the problems. yes, sandy -- >> i had read your last boboo boboo book "known and unknown" and couldn't help but think when you set out to do this book tour, what did mrs. rumsfeld say? >> here name is joyce. we have been married since 1954. if it were a little earlier in the evening i would tell you how many years that has been. [laughter] >> but i don't want to gus and
be wrong. but what she says to me and don, avoid being resentful of the press. they have their jobs and you have your job. i take that advice about the half of the time. >> you have been at so many different levels of the government including secretary of defense, when you were there you know all of the interworkings of how the government worked. in regard to benghazi what is timeline, should the president know, and did he know and he is
saying he didn't >> [laughter] >> it seems me to a leader, if people are being killed, gets people in the office, talks to them, and says i want ground truth what happened? how did it happen? what can we do to save lives? and how do we get this system that is broken fixed. and instead he went to a campaign event in las vegas. and the thing that political leaders have, the currency they have, we don't lead by command, we lead by consent and we have to be persuasive and people have to trust and to the extent you allow the trust to be eroded you
are weakened. and after everyone knew it was an al qaeda related attack and they were armed and organized and contended it was a you tube video that sparked the outrage. and hilary clinton went to the families and said we will find the person who did the you tube video. admitting to the fact there was a campaign going on and when you have a narrative out that al
qaeda is over it is uncomfortable for there to be terrorist attacks. but as huck fin says you cannot pray a lie. the truth is the truth. and you need ground truth. even if you are well intentioned you say things that turn out not to be true. goodness we know that has happened to all of them. but you need to fix it. as a navy pilot when your air plane is lost the become says climb, confess and get help. and that is not bad advice for people in government. you need to stop and say we need to get it right. one big problem for the whitehouse is tough.
the pressure is enormous. two big problems is like ten and three is a perfect storm. they have tough jobs. there is no doubt about it. the things they ought to have in the front of their minds is they have to preserve the trust of the american people and you figure out the truth, get the ground truth, and say it even if it is unpleasant. >> mr. secretary, we will do two more. the next one is from your live stream you tube audience. what was your favorite part about working in the whitehouse? this comes from charlotte, north carolina. >> going home at night was my favorite part of working in the
whitehouse. [ applause ] >> it is pressure cooker. that is a tough place to work. as george shultz said the days are long and the years are short. >> come on, sandy, let's have the next question. it is right over there: >> good evening, mr. secretary, i applaud your leadership and thank you for your service to the country. i am a recent law school graduate and i just the job forecast isn't well enough in our economy and i am wondering if you think the road for this generation of professionals is harder than those had after the aftermath of lbj's great society. >> you know, first of all congrats on graduating from law
school. i dropped out. it is true story. i went a year and a half and had a wife and child and went to manage a campaign and decided to go back to illinois and run for congress. do you think how many lawyers there are in the department of defense? 10,000. is that a breathtaking thought? we had such a society that everyone has to be lawyered up. your question is important. and i think that i am, as i say from the midwest i am an o optimist. there is a wall street journal
review on a book called is college worth it. it talks about the cost of going to law school and the value that society is giving that investment of time and money and the debt people have when they come out of college. but the short answer is for people who want to stick their head town and work hard and contribute there is a bright future. and my guess is you will do just fine. dupont circle >> i think i'm going to get the hook and the cup. >> thank you, sir. let us thank him for being here.
[ applause ] >> you are watching 48 hours of non-fiction writers and books on c-span's book. we are talking with james rose and looking at his new book "dupont circle". tell mew about the book. >> it is about young people, 20s and 30s, who came to washington on the eve of world war 1. and they all lived around dupont circle. they were all friend and in and out of each other's lives. franklin roosevelt, a