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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 1, 2015 5:13pm-5:31pm EST

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know we're building our future hoar. >> yeah. fascinating. one more one more -- yeah. one more question. how about you there. >> do i need a mic? >> yes you do. >> you do. [laughter] >> this question is also for jenny. granted this phenomenon in surreptitious, but i'm wondering if you have any ballpark -- how widespread is this? >> well every afghan will know someone. there will be -- every afghan who's not an elite ex-patriot who's lived abroad for many years will immediately offer up an example of someone in their extended family, a neighbor a great grandmother who did this. there's usually one in a school that will be referred to, officers and midwives will know of these children because they've been brought in as boys, and they prove to be girls.
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it cuts across geography, education, class, ethnicity. the journalistic term it's not uncommon. that's as far as i will go but there's no -- afghans many times will not even say how many children they have. so they certainly won't divulge if they have a daughter dressed as a son. so in that regard it's -- there are no statistics. it's not possible to say. >> sadly are we out of time? >> we are out of time. >> this was so fascinating. >> i would like to thank the three of you, and i would like to invite the three of you and everyone else to our book signing in the next room. [applause] >> wonderful, thank you. [applause] >> thank you. that was terrific. terrific. i had so many questions i didn't get to. >> well, suki, i'd like to ask
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you one question which is -- these are the kids of the elite but -- [inaudible conversations] >> you're watching booktv, television for serious readers. you can watch any program you see here online at booktv.org. >> host: and now joining us on booktv is dennis johnson who is the co-publisher of melville house. melville house is publishing the senate intelligence committee report on torture. mr. johnson, what's the purpose of publishing something that's in the public domain? >> guest: well, for one thing it's not readily available as a print book and we felt that that was an important or format for it to be in so that it could just circulate more widely, be more accessible to more people, be more affordable and findable for most people. we also felt that the edition of
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it that was issued by the government which is a very low resolution pdf format was very difficult to read. you know it's not laid out and properly formatted like a book. it's just like a huge collection of manuscript pages, and it's very difficult to read because it's so low resolution it's very difficult to search. it's almost impossible to surgery, in fact. so we -- to search, in fact. so we wanted to make a better edition of that so i don't know if people really want to read that edition the way you would read a book, but it's more useful to have that for researchers and academics and things like that, to have a more searchable edition of the book. >> host: now how much of the report will you be publishing will there be editing, commentary? >> guest: we are publishing exactly what the government has released. the only -- the full report is over 6000 pages long, but it
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has not been declassified. what has been declassified was declassified in april and only just released this month was the summary report issued by the senate subcommittee, and that came with an introduction by the head of the committee, dianne feinstein. and that will all be included as well as all the notes verifying all the documents in the, in the report. we are not amending anything else to it. we feel that it should just be the core document. it's a historic document, it should not be freighted with any other kind of apparatus that would give it any kind of bias or dilute the power of the pure report. >> host: now what goes into publishing a book of this sort where the material is already written but you're organizing it, i guess, would be a word to use? >> guest: no, we're not organizing it or changing anything. we're just trying to make it
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readable. and as i say, it was issued as a low resolution pdf, very hard to scan almost impossible to scan in fact. you know it's a low resolution, there's lots of corruptions in the document. if you try to scan it and say there's a smudge, that smudge might then, you know be translated as a word, it might trigger repetitions it might trigger deletions. so we really had to take this document and basically retype it and reformat it just to, you know, to be able to lay it out like a proper book so that it'd be much more readable than in the edition the government issued. >> host: introduction? commentary? >> guest: as i say just the introduction that came, that is actually part of the summary an introduction to the findings of the committee written by senator dianne feinstein, the head of the committee. >> host: now, have you published books like this before? >> guest: no, we haven't been allow today publish books like -- allowed to publish books like this before. previously the government has
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taken these reports such as the 9/11 report or the investigation that the senate did into the financial crisis and it has awarded those books as if they were contracts to larger publishers and gave them the report early so that they could lay it out for the government and publish those books simultaneously with the government's release of the document. i've never quite understood why that was allowed. those are public documents, they should not be given, you know, preferentially to one publisher or another. they belong to the people of the united states. the government did not do that this time. senator feinstein seems to have been opposed to that. i mean, in the past the government's even given production money to some publishers to do this. senator feinstein seemed opposed to that it didn't happen this time, and those publishers, without that advantage declined to do it. so when we realized that's what was going on at melville house, we decided well, these documents must exist as a print book they must exist as a more
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readable digital book. and so we jumped to do it as quickly as we could. but there were all kinds of difficulties in doing that on short notice. it's called crashing a book. it's christmas time, so it's very hard to, you know, to get into the system. booksellers have already ordered their books for the season warhouses are already shipping those -- warehouses are already shipping those books it's hard to get on the trucks to be distributed, it's hard to get printed, and it's hard to cut to the front of the line. we had to pull a lot of strings, ask for a lot of favors. we had about five consecutive days of the entire staff and a team of volunteers staying up around the clock to, basically, retranscribe the book, copy that new transcription, proof it compare it to the original, lay it out and then print it. so it's been an amazing an amazing five days just trying to
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jam that book into the system at christmas time. >> host: and is it being published as a paperback and an e-book? >> guest: that's correct. it'll be issued simultaneously as a trade paperback and also as an e-book. >> host: now, "the new york times" is reporting that your initial print run will be about 50,000. is that accurate t? >> guest: well, that is accurate at the moment, although we're getting just deluged with requests for the book not only from booksellers large and small, but from libraries and all kinds of academics are contacting us asking how quickly they can yet -- get the back book. so it's looking like right now that number may have to go up. >> host: when will it be available? >> guest: the official publication date is december 30th. we will have the book printed and in our warehouse friday three days from now and we will start shipping immediately. so it may start popping up a little before the 30th in
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various independent bookstores, but it'll be fully distributed around the country and available on online retailers and in brick and mortar retailers and independent bookstores and thain bookstores and you name it on december 30th. >> host: and dennis johnson is the co-publisher of melville house located in brooklyn, new york. here is the cover the senate intelligence committee report on torture. thank you, sir. >> guest: thank you. >> first let's just start with your name and the title of the book please. >> anne -- wilcox my co-author, p.j. wilcox. the name of the book is "west point '41." >> how did you come across this project? >> my husband and i were working with the general on his memoir, and he invited us to his 70th reunion ott west point. he was part of the last class to
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graduate before world war ii. so his officers were catapulted into high command. we went to the reunion and started hearing other storiesover classmates and officers that were astounding stories of closing the budge in the -- bulge in the battle of the bulge and other historic incidents in world war ii and they went on to the korean war and vietnam. so when we were hearing these stories, we said we really need to record this history. these are amazing stories and if we don't record it it's like libraries burns down because the history that these men have this their minds of the things that they did will be like libraries burning down if we don't put it down in the written word. so we wanted to share it with future generations and we were very, very honored to work with people like the lieutenant general. >> general, can you tell me what made you want to write your memoirs? >> oh, i wanted to -- people of the next generation to know that it's important to keep your
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strength up. enwhen i went to work for president reagan, our forces were way down and he had a policy of peace through strength which i helped to promulgate. so i wanted to, this generation to know that you can't let your guard down. you have to be eternally vigilant in order to be secure. >> the general fought in three wars, and he was the chief negotiator for president reagan that ended the cold war with the soviets. he negotiated nuclear disarmament, and i can't help but point out the ribbon around his neck which is the korean medal of honor that he just received this past summer for helping to plan the invasion that recaptured seoul in the korean war among other great efforts he made in the korean war. >> general would you say that was the highlight of your military career? >> well, one of the highlights.
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i think probably the highlight was when president reagan cited me as one of the chief architects of peace through. i thought that that was the highlight of my career. another highlight was introducing our helicopters into vietnam, a very controversial item. and we finally got armament on our helicopters which change the way -- ever since that time. so it made a great difference in vietnam and in the gulf wars and in society and military ever since, to have helicopters and particularly armed helicopters. >> prior to that helicopters had primarily been used for transport and for command and control. so it did change the nature of warfare as we know it. and one of his class mates, as a
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matter of fact oversaw the development of a little something called the blackhawk. so it was really an exceptional class involved in a lot of innovation. so the book is not just about war, it's about the innovation that occurred in periods of peacetime in between when this class was in areas of unprecedented military latitude where they were told as wes pointers -- west pointers go out and do something anything, but do it. thaw became directors of the apollo tech, they worked on helicopters, they put the first communication satellite into space which gave us gps and your iphones, i might say. so unprecedented innovation and duty honoring country. >> the thing that's interesting about this class of '41, at the end of the book almost we found one more officer in california. i went out to see him immediately. he was j finishing k's -- jfk's wingman for the apollo space
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program. he was instrumental in so many things with our current space program. when the astronauts first went to space, they couldn't sleep. colonel la roca was a key newsologist in the '50s, he understood how the body works. he magnetized the space capsule. jerry was a nutritionallist, he designed the food. he was jack -- [inaudible] younger brother. the reason i'm so excited about this, i was invited to give his eulogy at west point. i said there, i said the class of 1950 is the class the stars fell on. there were more generals in that class. well jerry reached for the stars. these men we've met in this chat don't pound their chest. they're selfless. that's why you don't know anything about them. we tell their story. the general is the one that facilitated that, allowed us
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into their lives, and we're so grateful to him. >> well, we always agree that we were the class that ended world war iii. world war iii was, of course the cold or war -- cold war peacefully, without touring a shot. so we did arms -- without firing a shot. so we did arms control and also apollo and other ballistic missiles -- [inaudible] missile submarine which meant that we were able to win the third world war without firing a shot. >> general when did you retire? >> i retired in 1992. i spent 38 years in the military from second you lent to lieutenant general -- second lieutenant to lieutenant general, and then i spent ten more years as arms control
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negotiator and served for five presidents during my career on curbing nuclear weapons. >> was it hard to leave? hard to retire? >> oh, yeah. except i was ready and i moved into my favorite charity, so it was the time to go. but -- >> i would say he has never retired. [laughter] he continued to advise on national security after september 11th. he had the idea to create homeland security because, of course, we had never been attacked in our homeland, so he had helped launch the effort to create that, and he's continued to advise. so he has more energy than i do at the age of 97 and a half and works every day, god bless him. [laughter] >> [inaudible] this weekend, december the 7th, what's going on in new haven? >> we're having a conference of
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a society where i'm the president called the american policy add viewly council where -- advisory council where we're going to talk about security in central europe and also how we can help rescue ukraine from falling into the clutches of russia the old soviet union. >> coming up next pulitzer prize-winning biologist edward o. allson talks about what makes -- wilson talks about what makes us human. he spoke about the topic, the subject of his latest book, at the free lieu prayer of philadelphia. this is just under an hour. [inaudible conversations]

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