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tv   In Depth  CSPAN  April 5, 2015 12:00pm-3:01pm EDT

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>> biographies and prominent political figures like laura bush and joseph kennedy. he will be answering your calls and tweets until 3:00 p.m. eastern. >> host: we have author ron kessler with desperate is the system broken? >> guest: not necessarily with the agents come of age and have been very dedicated and they would take a bullet for the president. but there is a retaliation against those who point out problems or threats, punishing agents who question really anything and on the other hand promoting management who goes
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along to pretend that the secret service is not vulnerable. so it is a corrupt culture and you saw an example of that when julia pierson, the director claims after this that he was stopped at the door that he was not armed, that was a total lie. how could any agency put out a lie like that and think that they could get away with it. and when it came out that that was not true, the new director joseph clancy, he was asked about that adhering and whether anyone would be held accountable for issuing that information and that was just an error. and they said how do you know it is an error, and they said i don't know how this happened and number one to be the director and number two, how can anyone on the lower level trust someone like that, how could they trust
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him stop this very corrupt culture how could you trust them with any information at the secret service today. >> host: out of the culture developed? >> guest: it started around 2003 when the department of homeland security took over the secret service. previously it had been the treasury department. it made it a little bit more political. they had the fight over but it's more and you will see they will leave the door of the white house open they need to have good alarm systems, and then in addition, the leadership was part of the culture. and they talked about the intrusion the crashes at the
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state dinner the prostitution scandal, and every time that this happened president obama would say that the confidence in the leadership and competence in a great service -- we should have replaced mark sullivan long-ago with someone from outside the agency who would not be but holden to interest within the agency who would change the culture, that is what you do in any organization when it is in trouble. you bring in someone from the outside. and i am afraid that president obama has guaranteed with the selection of clancy that the secret service will continue from one to another. >> host: is it helpful or hurtful that the president basically has a say over who is going to be the director? >> guest: well, the president should have a say. but at the same time the director should be confirmed by the senate, the same as the fbi director, the same as hundreds
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of obscure officials that you have never heard of. for example, the u.s. marshals and the 62 different districts in the country, is one of the recommendations in my book the first family detail. i'm quite sure that if that were in place and by the way some house members on both sides of the aisle have since introduced legislation to require confirmation of secret service directors. they would not have mr. clancy in charge, we would have an outside director, ideally someone who had been a high-ranking fbi official because the fbi has really done a spectacular job since 9/11 and keeping us safe from a foreign terrorist attack. they would never stand for this cover-up culture that you see today in the rest of the secret service. >> host: ron kessler, the secret service agents have to sign nondisclosure agreements?
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>> guest: it was always understood that you never see what is going on behind the scenes but after the prostitution scandal came out they never wanted to have that out in the first place the secret service didn't choir confidentiality agreements so they were not allowed to speak to the press and they do so on parallel with losing your job. >> host: james bamford, when you had written about the secret service originally wrote in "the washington post" what is truly dangerous is the kind of national inquirer gossett from the book the president secret service, without trust and confidence, presidents will want to keep them at a distance out at a safety range when split seconds may counts. >> guest: in one hand there's no
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gossett in this book, there's a firsthand account, about half are on the record. it is simply investigative reporting. because it so happens that this book begins with bill clinton's mistress it goes into hillary clinton's abuse of agents, the fact that she is like this that agents consider her part of foreign punishment, on and on to dick cheney's daughter who tried to get her agency friends to open restaurants, they refused as they should have, but she threw a fit and got her detail removed over that. not to mention the fact that the reason that ronald reagan was shot by hinckley is that his own white house staff let spectators within 15 feet of him if he came out of the washington hilton.
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onscreen, and that is why he was able to shoot him. it never came out that it was the fault of the white house. and so these are major disclosures that we need to know about. especially that we need to know about with what the readers have to say behind the scenes. >> host: you write about the first family detail. make sure that everyone who comes to visit the president is logged in except that there is one that you do not log into in the book. >> guest: this is what secret service agents were assigned to one it was in regards to the president and you know it's a very small example of corner cutting that takes place that could jeopardize the security of the president and on a larger scale when bradley cooper, the
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actor a went to a white house correspondents dinner, president obama was about to speak and a high-ranking secret service official in new york instructed agents at the hotel to let bradley cooper and his suv into the secure space in front of the hotel were only secret service vehicles were allowed. even then they had to screen for explosives because anyone could strap some explosive under a vehicle. and so it was just a favor to the pretty people the agents were horrified. you know, here they are, risking their lives to protect the president and they are being told that we don't care if there is an explosive, let him in that is the kind of culture that i'm talking about, which actually jeopardizes the life of the president. another example is that on a regular basis, the agents were told by management to let people into events without metal detection screenings.
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this is like letting passengers into an airplane without detection screening and again, the secret service is so spineless that they will bow to pressure whether it is from the white house or bush and the obama white house or from campaign to let people in and they had an attitude providing us. so they can say that you know we don't want these people outside the event, we want them to be in. and sure enough the secret service let them in because we had different aids coming and taking the president or vice president. that is something that still hasn't hit the press. dozens of examples of corner cutting and, you know other malfeasance in the book they still haven't come out.
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>> host: is to take your latest book, "the first family detail: secret service agents reveal the hidden lives of the presidents", what are some of the revelations that you found that did not make quite a splash they thought that they would to . >> guest: one is vice president biden. when he goes to wilmington back at his home, which he does several times a week he will instruct agents to keep his military like a nuclear football. which launches a counterattack on a country like russia or china or north korea. at least a mile behind a motorcade, along with his medical doctor. because he wants to have this image and he doesn't want a big long motorcade, so he says, stay back a mile behind. of course if obama were taken out, there would not be time for them to get divided so that they could launch a counter attack.
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when you look at this what could be more irresponsible and reckless, yet that has not been talked about. in addition he goes back several times a week and it's one thing to go back a few times a year. but the costs to taxpayers has been a million dollars since he took office and some liberal writer question whether or not any of this was true and what could be more official than the actual details provided by the air force. the only thing that was picked up by the press the fact that he
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likes to talk about this war on women. everybody borders on harassment when he does this going around naked in front of female agents. >> host: of joe biden is inconsiderate with secret service agents, hillary clinton can make richard nixon look like mahatma gandhi. when in fact he acts graciously but as soon as the cameras are gone, the angry personality and nastiness and imperiousness becomes evident. >> i love revealing secrets that are important that have meaning. in this case what this means is that we need to look at the character of candidates because the character ultimately influences how they carry out their presidency.
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take a look at before he was involved in this issue that led to the speech and sure enough that was watergate. that we need to look at character, the same things that we look at whenever we choose an employee or a friend, anyone in our lives. when it comes to the presidency somehow people just forget about this thing and then focus on this. in the case of hillary she treats the little people that she claims she is going to help if she is president, she treats him with contempt, she is abusive, nasty lying and to temper tantrums over nothing even this on the record quote from secret service agent who would drive her. and so what kind of a personality is that, it's an unbalanced personality of
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someone who is certainly a hypocrite and that she can't bear to treat those same people with decency. and another detail is the reason that james foster committed suicide is that on one hand he was always depressed, but his suicide was triggered according to fbi agents who investigated the death, by the fact that a week before the suicide hillary had a big meeting in the white house with foster and other aides and colleagues. and they had a disagreement over some legal issue and hillary called him a small-town hick lawyer and you will never make it in the big-time, she humiliated the guy and after that things immediately when downhill according to the people that were fbi agents, family members, aides, and according to
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two fbi agents on the record, that episode triggered suicide a week later and again, the press has ignored that. >> host: we will get into your other books as we go through things today. but does your material need to be vetted by anyone? >> generally we have talked about rival issues through rival lawyer, but i had to way back in 1972 when i was at "the washington post", president nixon is a good friend, a fellow with a contribution of both sides and it cost millions of dollars paid to williams and calmly and then a second one over these books.
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and so i'm very careful and i do think of myself as a lawyer and also one thing that i do is when i trust someone, even if i don't trust that person, i will present a draft of what i plan to write we need corrections comments and one of my books with the president secret service, i revealed that the treasury secretary under president bush mr. snow he had a mistress that he would go see every weekend and secret service would have to go down there. one time the agents saw him kissing this mistress and the mistress' husband was about to
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come back to try to alert mr. snow. i presented a draft of what i tried to write to him and he had a very high-powered lawyer, a very good lawyer richard cohen the former attorney general call me and sure enough he invited me to lunch at morton's and we sort of negotiated some items and he pointed out one or two errors and at his request i put this comment a little bit higher and change the wording here and there. but the story was there. and sure enough i could sleep at night not worrying about other things. >> host: how do you get secret service agents and other agents to talk to you?
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>> i don't really know the answer to that except to say that i know that i'm very interested in what they do. for example i did the first story on fbi criminal profiling in "the washington post" and i was fascinated about this. you know i really appreciated their work. and on the one hand, one of my books led to the dismissal of william sessions over his abusers so i am very comfortable talking about the abuses, the prostitution scandal as i mentioned, on the other hand when an agent era person does well, i they that and this
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is very unusual in today's world. and as i said i have made the point that the fbi has been very successful at blowing up a lot since 9/11 the whole culture was changed under those that emphasize prevention and emphasize this as opposed to putting people in jail. of course they always want to stop and put people in jail, but it is a matter of emphasis and i go through that in my book the secrets of the fbi. so that is another reason that i think the people who cooperate with me and they say that okay she has a lot of knowledge and he has a lot of sources. >> host: can you explain the bureau? >> guest: it's a complete mystery going back and because
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of this i was able to interview mark in california, he was the house breaking official during watergate and i went to his house, which was owned by his daughter and he was living with her and when i went to the door she said, you know this guy was out here about a euro bill in she didn't really know who he was, she knew he was a reporter and she said and he came in a white limousine and he had this 10 blocks away and he walked to my house. so this was what was being felt there was no way that he would do this. so the post picked up the story and that was the first really credible evidence that we had.
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so i sat next to "washington post" and bob woodward came over and they would write their stories over the typewriter because bernstein was a good writer, but woodward was not. they would argue about things and i recently said you know, we actually are talking about this. and so there was a real discussion of the sources, they were not making up sources there was a conspiracy theory a combination of different people, i don't know why they are bad or what the point of that was in an
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embarrassing footnote to my life, a week or two after watergate started they propose to ask you think twice replace him on this and he was abusing his expense account and a month later they would get a bill for the rental car that was left in some garage somewhere and they really wanted to push him aside. and i love to do and original investigated reporting and i was talking about how i possibly would not have gone along with woodward who is also at the post, although he was the best man. but in the end i am happy with my life. >> host: from your book "the first family detail: secret service agents reveal the hidden lives of the presidents", secret service agents like barack and michelle obama, treat them with respect.
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>> again i think that this is a very important clue for the character, one of the reasons they like obama even if they may not like his policies sometimes is that people do have this sense that she is not a very likable person. and so this is an example of the fact that my books are political, they tell it like it is, reviewing the previous book in saying that it presents flattering and unflattering stories about presidents of both political parties. >> host: what goes into the president's annual trip to hawaii. what kind of planning by the secret service? >> guest: i think two weeks before they do in advance and they will interview local law enforcement to see if there are any threats out there, they go
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to the whole territory, they plan out everything, right down to the most minute detail of the motorcade route. one-time one george h. w. bush was going to give a speech in oklahoma when he was campaigning for reelection he advanced and people went out there, they talk to local law enforcement and law enforcement said no, there is this psychic in town who has been incredibly reliable in the past and let us to a body of the murder victims and she said that she had a vision that bush would be assassinated by sniper at an overpass. the secret service agents were embarrassed to take this seriously, but nonetheless they interviewed the psychic and after if she knew anything more about this alleged plot and she said i know that the motorcade
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vehicles are out at the air force base. they said can you show us where and they went there and there were five hangars and she pointed correctly to the hangar where the motorcade vehicles were. this was from one of the agents who is actually in charge and asked her a few other questions and she said this is going to come out of air force one wearing a sport jacket and sport coat, and i thought, that is absurd, but sure enough the next morning he came out wearing a sports jacket and a sports suit. so they went to an alternate route that did not go under any overpass and of course bush was safe and he was not told at the time but he knows about it now, and i'm always asked did they go to look at there is any sniper at an overpass, no, they didn't, but the secret service agents
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are very impressive and the fbi agents admire them more than any other law enforcement. when they interview the suspects if they can find them and put them into three categories category number three is the most serious where they believe that if they would carry out the plot, in most cases when the president goes the secret service will actually show up at the home of one of the individuals and warn them to stay away from the president, that they will be watched all the way through and [inaudible] they interview everyone involved and he probably will not be prosecuted.
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>> host: what is crown? >> guest: that is the secret service codename for the white house. often generated by a computer, although an individual presented protection can veto a particular codename. for example george w. bush was going to be called [inaudible] and he didn't like that. it reminded him of his drinking days and so he became trailblazer and dick cheney was angry because he likes to fish. and so these names, they are helpful because in a crowd of secret service agents on his radio someone who is under protection other people don't know who he is talking about and then it also clarifies the name because some names may sound the
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same. [inaudible] so when you say the codename for michelle or barack obama, not everyone understands what they are talking about. >> host: from your book "inside the cia: revealing the secrets of the world's most powerful spy agency", you write that today the cia is a different agents the from the one that created sensational headlines in the early 70s about drug testing and domestic surveillance. >> guest: this is how i present what i think is beyond the story. the cia back in those days before there was any oversight by congress whatsoever they were engaging in foolish practices and they had a plot and that this would somehow mean that people would respect them anymore in the country and it
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was insane and often illegal. it often goes with these unfocused efforts and my good friend john martin he was in charge of prosecuting for 25 years, he prosecuted 76 spies. john walker james, all of the big names only one prosecution resulted in a not guilty plea. he gave me very good framework for looking at these things. legal framework, if you will. and that is when hoover would go after antiwar protesters exercising the first amendment rights. he was not only violating the rights but also was confusing real criminal activities with
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rights that people have a right to exercise. the result is because because of a lack of focus that he did not do a very good job of casting spies. which isn't to say that he didn't do a lot of good things. and so he came to the cia on the one hand in the old days and on the other hand today just like the fbi, they are as possible for the fact that they have not had a successful attack. and yet always in the press is the cia the fbi the immunization. and not one of these has ever been part of this, meaning something illegal and they have very good reasons for the collection of data that the nsa is engaged in. that is how they stop the plot.
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and of course knowing these people, seeing how they work, going out to the secret service training facility learning how they train agents. [inaudible] filling in any mistakes. the fact is that there is years since the hoover days and i think that's very important to keep in mind. we have many saying that the cia has an asset in yemen, people who are onto bomb plot, bombs that have been put on planes, even though there is no abuse, they are doing their job as they should be and yet you must weigh like that optimizing the source could result in death.
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it could result in an attack on the country and so this is a standard form of journalism that i just don't get that i did not see existing when i was part of "the washington post." i remember bob woodward wanted to do a story about the fact that the nsa had penetrated the soviet communication lines. even though it turned out that they knew that the nsa had done that and they were introducing this, they would not run the story. there was no abuse they were doing their job, why would you compromise security by running us. and yet you see the press lining up behind the ap supporting with a dead. i just don't get it and i think
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it is outrageous. >> host: did j. edgar hoover abuse his directorship? >> guest: i think what he did, about half of it was very good. he established a great law enforcement agency that is acknowledged throughout the world and he established a system. he would not countenance brutality and i was very much a part of this he was a stickler for facts. at the same time he abused his position partly to keep his job. above all he wanted her main director forever and he almost did. he was a director for almost 50 years until he died in office. and one key to doing that is that he would keep files on members of congress and of
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course they would all give him the budget they would want the bureau to document how one particular chief of staff was potentially blackmailed sending an agent over to tell him that he knew that he was having an affair even though he was married and they expected him to talk about it. this guy said well, i hope that you have photographs or it so that was the end of that. but that is documented on the record as to how he was. and he would let john kennedy noted he knew about his affair with judith exner. and so of course, he was never going to fire hoover and it is
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incredible. you look back at what happened in those days. >> host: the afternoon and welcome to booktv booktv on c-span2. this is our monthly program and we have one author on to talk about his or her book. this month it is best-selling author ron kessler, the author of 20 books and we will be talking about some of the things that you have heard in the past half-hour, we will put the numbers on the screen because we want your input as well. (202)748-8400 if you live in eastern or central time zones if you can't get through on the phone, if you want to make a comment via social media at c-span booktv is our twitter handle, you can make a comment there or a comment on her facebook page finally you can send an e-mail to booktv at c-span.ord. so how did you get into this
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business? >> well i got involved in a high school newspaper and i interviewed all the clergymen and sure enough they almost all thought that there was a need for that. well, we were giving our best to try do talk about what to do. but i really got into journalism when i was in the class and i did a survey of discrimination against blacks and i would say that i'm a student is this still available, they would say yes and i would say my roommate is coming, is that a problem.
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and so they use this against the discrimination which actually complains about some of those that we name in the story is having said yes. [inaudible] so that waited my appetite for investigative journalism. >> host: "washington post." when we there? >> guest: i was there from 1970 through 1985 and i previously telegram the fact that i do that story. i was running the boston herald for three years and then "the washington post" for 15 years as an investigative reporter. >> host: why did you leave? >> guest: i left to right books. my second book i was still on
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leave from the post, he was the world's preeminent and we talked about this back and forth and eventually he invited me to a birthday party in spain along with brooke shields and sean connery and i thought hey, this is really fun. there is also a party and this was used. but give us an opportunity to go in depth and my wife who is also at "the washington post", she had been assistant as we know, the one that came up with this term, she not only supported my idea of this but actually encouraged it and that was just tremendous because it
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was so big to leave a steady job and go out into the free enterprise world where you never know how a book is going to do. i have done 20 books now and i have never looked back. [inaudible question] >> guest: it is a conservative website that i was therefore chief washington correspondent and what i did was go interview everyone from george bush and romney to deborah norval, it jim cramer your friend brian lamb, and it was just fun and in the process i exposed this talk of spousal abuse and there was a story on that. also the reason that david
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petraeus had to resign the was that there was an fbi investigation going on in the involvement with his mistress and so i practiced real journalism while i was there. >> host: ron kessler is the author of 20 books. here's the most recent one in 2002 "the bureau: the secret history of the fbi; a matter of character: inside the white house of george w. bush" came out. "inside the cia: revealing the secrets of the world's most powerful spy agency" came out in 2003. "a matter of character inside the white house of george w. bush" came out. and then the terrorist watch came out in 2007 and the president secret service behind the scenes and the secrets of the fbi, and the most recent is the "the first family detail: secret service agents reveal the hidden lives of the presidents", revealing the hidden lives of
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the presidents. why two books on essentially the same topic? >> the second book focuses on new revelations and focuses more on first families the spouses, and so i have almost a dozen bullet points in the press release with new revelations about the secret service. and i mention the fact that he was shot because of his own white house that and that the bite in episode and a number of other new items. also we went much more into the corner cutting culture with many more examples. and you would think that he
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would wise up and do something about it. and he doesn't. it's a real concern because agents tell me that it's almost a miracle given all the corner cutting and covering up. >> host: why in the world did you do these of george w. bush? >> guest: after 9/11 i became much more attuned to the fact that the press was misrepresenting counterterrorism measures "the washington post" would routinely do stories proclaiming that they are spying on us they are doing terrible things. they are doing something that shows that the whole story was bogus or in fact would never show up at all. so i cited examples of this in
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my book and i have to say that right now the post is very fair and balanced and there is a description that really is a part of this and of course it results in credibility. so even "the washington post" says so-and-so is siding with the conservative person were pointing out something that conservatives like. but the fact is that day in and day out they are doing a magnificent job of telling folks that. and so what was the question again? >> host: why the biographies on laura bush and others. >> guest: i felt with bush that he was actually crucial in
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changing that culture in the fbi to make it more oriented towards prevention. a few days he was being briefed on the investigation with prosecutions into 9/11 and bush said wait a minute i want to know what you are doing to stop this next plot. so there was a supposedly interesting situation at cleared a new infrastructure that made it safe, not to mention the no child left behind act which is very dear to me because i could not read in the fourth grade. i had been taught with a bogus method which was not fun at, it was called whole language, some people say it makes you guess the words, when my mother remarried, i was in the fourth
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grade and i couldn't read. and sure enough they put me into phonics and i learned how to read and that is one thing that george bush pushed. so i admired that. and that is one reason i did the book on him. >> host: in your book it you quote the overall thing is a strengthening of the communication. and it says that his intelligence reform, greater intelligence, the transformation of the fbi and the technical tools at the nsa terrorism surveillance program and the financial program, some of these changes are greater than the parts and now the u.s. is on the offense. >> another example is that bush created a national
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counterterrorism center where the fbi shares information that was totally different from what happened before 9/11 when they had the so-called wall either between the fbi and the cia or within the same situation. so all of these changes have been responsible for the fact that we have not had a successful attack and people do not understand that. they don't even think about it. but they don't connect the dots to why that happens. and there is this new approach with measures one is that the fbi has what they call a tripwire, making explosives to report any suspicious situations
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and as a result that a plan to blow up the home of george w. bush was ported. another important part our tactical operations teams to plant bugging devices. they are using almost every important case espionage political corruption, and it's unbelievable what they do. so unbelievable that they gave us approval a week or two before the break-in, or even agents will watch and see who goes in and who goes out and that on the night of the break-in they will have agents make sure that they
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don't go back to the premises and serve these agents. if they do try to go back, the agents will disrupt them and divert them. they will give them a traffic ticket or they will open this in the area. and they will also take a photo of any dog that could be on the premises monday show that to a veterinarian that is on contact and he prescribes a trickle as a dog with a dart gun. so here she is knocked out during the break-in and at the end of the break-in they will wake him up with some other drug because the only dogs could tip off that the fbi was there. so they may want to break into an office suite they learn how
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to take over an elevator, they go into the office building during the day, they take over one of the elevators and then in the middle of the night they go in and get back on the elevator, come out and nobody is the wiser. [inaudible] and they drape over the front of the house this chart and enable go behind it so that nobody who is walking by can see them and they will defeat the alarms and the break-in. one time they were putting books into a mafia front there was actually a mafia front and this store overlooked a bar, they
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didn't want to go in the back because it could be booby-trapped, but they could see them breaking in. so what did they do? they borrowed a city bus they drove in front of the electronics store, they got out they made it look like the place had broken down, they win in they broke through the locks, the bus went around the corner until they put the bugs then, but it went by the bus stop. and they were furious that the busted nonstop for them. so as soon as they open the doors of bella tonics stories the two of them ran in and the agents didn't know that they were from these secret teams. but then some of the agents started taking off their walkie-talkies and things like
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that. and the agent that was driving says hey, stop bothering me, i'm having a trouble driving the bus. and then another got up and he had a shotgun on his shoulder and these guys when wild. so finally the agent understood what was going on they went running down the street and no one ever heard from them again. and the fbi showed me a real bug, i couldn't believe that this was happening. and it was a size of a postage stamp, a little bit thicker, recording or transmitting as you wish, and that is the key to solving many of the guy cases. >> host: at year book "the terrorist watch", spying on americans. increase surveillance of americans and the war on terror.
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>> guest: you know the fbi conducts investigations to spying if you will under court order. you know, if they go after you you're going to be dead and they do a very thorough and honest job. and so the spying business is something that critics invented and journalist invented and believe me, if there was a real case of spying for no good reason, that person would be prosecuted. >> host: what about the nsa a gathering of phone calls that people are making? >> guest: the nsa has been gathering phone calls because the phone companies is to keep the records for years and years and then they decided that it's too costly and they started
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discarding them after a few months. well in one case the fbi knew of one of the hijackers in san diego and they knew that he had been making calls to terrorist operations overseas. but looking back they could not find out who this person was because the records had been destroyed. so all they wanted to know was the identity of the guy and they just wanted to know who he was and they couldn't. and instead of this program had been in effect at that time they would have found out who he was. they would have done surveillance. he would have stopped the plot and there's no lesson about it to that effect and you can see that it's obvious that they would have been able to do this and that is all the program was about keeping these records in case they need to go back and
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then they started the investigation or maybe they perceive to get court orders to conduct surveillance in a legal manner and stop millions of people from being killed. because it would be so easy for someone from isis as an example, to unleash a chemical or a biological attack on our country. and somehow people think about this. that is not the real threat. the real threat is what could really change our whole existence. >> host: what is your connection to the senate intelligence report? >> guest: it is a totally nonpartisan the republican staff does not allow this state.
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and they are enhancing this to find out about the program. and it said i was essentially the talking about this along with this deal because the cia gives interviews with ice in which they claim that this enhanced interrogation program has led to actual plots, and only three were water boarded we now have more journalists water boarded than those three individuals because journalists have been explaining how this thing works, thousands have been water boarded an dictionary
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definition of torture does not involve the infliction in pain but it can involve scaring people and it's certainly not anything that we are looking forward to having. but essentially they said what turns out to be the truth according to president obama, the cia director who said that in fact these techniques led to including uncovering where he was leading up to his dad. so it's an interesting story it which only mentioned this and by the way i compared the information at the time with the fbi, which agreed in essence that the information was
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correct. and obviously as they mention in "the new york times" report showing that we were not such fools after all. >> host: do you consider yourself a political conservative? >> guest: you know, it's funny. if you're someone from the mainstream media, you're going to assume that that person is probably on the side and he wouldn't be interested in his or her political beliefs or think that they were questionable. but after 9/11 i became very concerned for our own safety and concerned that democrats were undercutting some of these efforts that we need in order to keep us safe and the republicans were strong on national security. more recently we have dean a lot
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of walking on the conservative side, you see they are constantly going after the patriot act which is a very simple measure which helps to protect us. but the result is that i started to change my views but they do not affect my books, as i mentioned, totally nonpartisan many examples and the secret service book of very critical information about republicans ranging from bush to newt gingrich, to rand paul, ted cruz and on and on. so i like to tell an honest story, i feel very accountable being honest, and that is what i really enjoy. >> host: ron kessler is our
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guest, we spent the last hour getting to know him a little bit. cost >> host: call us at the phone numbers listed below according to your time zone. jim right here in fairfax county, virginia, in the suburbs, you are first with author ron kessler. >> that afternoon as we enjoy this discussion so far, but there's something i must ask you because i forget what book it was then, when i read it i was laughing to hard i about fell out of my chair. he reported in one of your books that are former vice president spiro agnew had had an affair, can you explain that he meant i can't believe it. >> there is this guy talking about this in more ways than one. he preached family values and that was this whole thing and yet he was having an affair with
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one of his very shapely aids and also with a few other women, i described how secret service agents would take him to a hotel in washington in order to have an affair with these women. and i'm not saying that because jfk had affairs all the time they're for news about president, but certainly it was a clue to the character and something that i think is important. and so that is one reason why these stories are relevant. >> host: spiro agnew mr. and mrs. nixon. okay. this was from in the book "in the president's secret service: behind the scenes with agents in
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the line of fire and the presidents they protect." this question is from dave at in florida. >> good afternoon. we have met i have been talking about your book a matter of character. and we are talking about a discrepancy [inaudible] joe kennedy in your biography. completely exonerated joe kennedy from having been a bootlegger i would say everyone here to for including you including him in that and there is a picture of him in cuba with a bunch of bootleggers that is hanging in ernest hemingway's
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house in key west florida. and so i think that the discrepancy should be discussed. >> host: "the sins of the father" came out in 1996. >> guest: yes, it went into how he created this whole dynasty. the information about him being involved in the mafia was quoted but it was certainly not the most important revelation in the book, the book when an to his admiration for hitler, his anti-semitism and some other things that are well known about him as well. and it also revealed that rosemary kennedy, one of his daughters who supposedly retired was actually mentally ill, and that is why she had her lobotomized. and it turned her into mush.
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and so on the record with the actual age and who performed this lobotomy. the only interview in which he said that she was mentally ill he described the symptoms and said we never would have performed a lamotta beyond someone who was. in addition rosemary had a fourth grader with the tech that she did. someone who is mentally could not possibly do such combo kit ed mountain division. joe kennedy simply did not want what he thought was an embarrassment. because he wanted one of his sons to be president. and so it was more palatable if rosemary was hidden away being mentally ill.
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there was also joe kennedy's secretary in hyannisport and also his mistress for nine years, three times longer than joe kennedy's affair with gloria swanson. but i know that ted kennedy's people put out the word to the media that they better stay away from this book and it didn't get much pickup. one more anecdote, my mother was going to the party for that book and she got out the plane and said he must be going to my sons party. and he was very gracious and he did get invited after that was he didn't go. something he said about my mother she got everything revolved around me. she also had a crusading spirit and she was a concert pianist and musician and at the same
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time [inaudible] she said i would pay for this but today other online retailers have proven her right. [inaudible] also when donald trump gave a book party for my book inside palm beach and america's bridges, call it a midlife crisis more parties and more champagne with my wife mother chatted with her in palm beach and later my wife asked my mother what do you think of donald and as control, he's doing a lot of great things for himself and i'm thinking that that was her whole life was music. and so pam comes up with a lot of my book titles for example
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as additional ideas about things to pursue as well and in the case of this kennedy had the state they are and we had a bottle of chardonnay at a restaurant, and i said wouldn't it be great to do a book on palm beach and she said that is the only book i would collaborate with you on. and that is why i did the book because i probably would not have seriously considered a book subject like that so different from my other books unless she had said that. and so a lot of her influence shows up in my book. and i would like to redo a very short passage because he contributes her vivid descriptions to the book and so
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for example she talked about the spying and who among other things would be involved in orgies and other things. [inaudible] but she wrote in the book in mid july she described the bar and nightclub in palm beach and she said that in mid-july a blonde is complete dressed woman came prancing past and stopped. the palm beach strut, all women have it straightening up and sticking out their chests and walking past the bar. and they are on display and they know how to work it. they wear short skirts and
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simple expensive clothing. low-cut dresses are everywhere and [inaudible] >> okay great. pam kessler. the next call is from pompano beach, florida. >> caller: hello, i had two questions one was the hillary jerrett affair and whether jack anderson got his justice out of that. the other one was a brief report on a makeshift agent who is in charge of twin towers security and how does premonition of the towers being attacked. and it seems to be an undercovered story in which i'm interested in hearing anything else about that. >> host: can you explain more about the valerie jarrett and jack anderson connection.
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>> caller: i hope i got the names right. my understanding is that jack anderson is the alleged leak that was involved in that story. >> host: i think that he had passed away before. >> guest: okay, i'm sorry, the wife of the statesmen of the cia agent. >> host: okay, let's hear from ron kessler. >> guest: that whole thing was very overblown. somehow when i came out the press wasn't interested but was
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actually a person that out of her and not purposely but just gossiping and at the time she was not actually undercover and there was no real problem involved in revealing her identity. and the other item is about the fbi and of course we all have dreams about all kinds of things and there were so many things, that is what we tried to do with the real information and it depends on the sensitivity of information, how much with some minor details. one night a couple said that they felt like having twinkies
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and asked the waiter if he would get them twinkies. so he actually went out to the local supermarket and got them twinkies with whipped cream and raspberry and the couple gave the waiter $500, the typical palm beach kind of activity. someone like that is on the record, i don't need any additional collaboration, and i do try to get quite a bit of collaboration. >> host: he said the were very affected by 9/11, what were you doing on that date to . >> guest: i was driving to interview an fbi agent and i heard about the attack in new york and i saw black smoke
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billowing and i decided to turn around and go home. i called the fbi guy and he did not know about it. this is the way things were, they did not have any alarms as to notify anyone of something like this but i later interview that person after things calmed down. >> host: we often get calls on a programmer from people who think that 9/11 was an inside job. >> guest: looking at video, you have people that say this, you know, it goes back to the jfk assassination when there are all these claims that the moffatt did it that the kgb did it and there's all this supposition.
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but it doesn't mean that they did it. and if you look at the one commission report they show in their opinion very conclusively that one person killed jfk and they just can't fathom this how someone could be taken out by some nut which is often the case and assassins tend to be narcissistic, looking for attention and often mentally ill or borderline mentally ill. and that is how this occurs and there is no grand conspiracy in those cases.
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>> host: you are on with author ron kessler. >> caller: good afternoon and happy easter. >> guest: happy easter. >> caller: i read the bureau, i was roaming around the bookstore and looking for something to read that caught my eye and i wound up reading inside the cia and white house and your books are great, i can attest to this fact, those are the only ones that i have read. but you certainly are very much are just the facts and very apolitical. you know i was trying to think of a question and i really just wanted to call up and say that i enjoy your work or it may be the only thing i can think of is how did they do on the west wing
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with secret service, they pop up with the big assassination attempts are out the seven years that was on. so thanks again for all of your work. i had no idea you sat next to carl bernstein. >> guest: yes, thank you, i appear in the movie the presidents men. >> host: not a character, but you yourself. ..
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i am reading your book, "the first family detail." having spent a year in law enforcement, here's what i don't get: with plenty of jobs in law enforcement, i really can't underthe mindset that allows an agent to talk the abuse ignorance and depravity of some of those you have not only to protect, but willing to die for.
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those like the hateful hillary clinton, jimmy carter and the rest of that ilk. >> guest: by the way on jimmy carter, he would pretend to be this jolly peanut farmer, this populist but he actually told agents he didn't want them to say hello to them in the morning on the way to the oval office, it was just too much bother to say hello back. he would pretend to carry his own luggage in front of the cameras, but it was empty, or he would give it to aides to carry, he would come in at five in the morning to the oval office and tell the press that he was working hard for the american people, but then he would fall asleep on the sofa. how those agents took it, is beyond me. it's just a testimony to the patriotism that they will even take a bullet for hillary who treats them with such contempt, if necessary, to save her life. at the same time, they have to put up with this management
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culture that punishes them for reporting something such as the shots at the white house in 2011 this culture naturally leads to all the problems that we've seen including the most recent one where two very high ranking agents in management had been drinking at a party, retirement party went into the white house, impeded the investigation, bumped into a barrier and then uniformed officers of the secret service wanted to arrest them for drinking and driving, and to give them sobriety tests, but their supervisor overruled them. that's obstruction of justice. and then you saw mr. clancy, a not even knowing about it until five days later, and then putting these two high ranking agents on desk jobs claiming
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that he needs to do that because there is an inspector general investigation, but at the same time low ranking agents were involved in a prostitution scandal and other behavior and there was an investigation by the inspector general those people were put on administrative leave, their guns badges, credentials were taken away. so it's a double standard between management and the agents that mr. clancy, the current director continues to uphold. >> host: can't get through on the phone lines and want to make a comment e-mail us, james in bellevue washington, you're on with ron kessler. >> caller: mr. kessler, i'll try to make this as quickly as possible. you touched on what i was talking about -- what i want to talk about a little while ago that every american ought to be concerned about especially in light with what's going on in
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switzerland now and a country that is working to create intercontinental missiles in addition to atomic weapons. my congressman is adam smith who's ranking member of the armed services committee. he had a town meeting here in bellevue, washington, a little while ago, and i asked him, i said forget isis except individually. what i'm concerned about is some terrorist getting ahold of an atomic weapon and wiping out a million people in seattle or new york or los angeles. how secure -- and i want to pick your brain with your contacts in the cia and the nsa and maybe you don't know. but i asked mr. smith how secure are these nuclear weapons in pakistan? now, he gave me a generic answer, but have you ever asked that question of anyone that knows? >> host: that's james in
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bellevue washington. >> guest: i know that the cia makes it a very important point to try to get access to weapons of that sort and to be able to, one way or another, neutralize them either through some of the people who may be in charge or possibly with cyber attacks. so i don't think we're falling asleep at the job when it comes to issues like that. but, yeah my attitude is look what happened during world war ii where we saw countries where we did nothing the isolationistses like joe kennedy -- isolationistses like joe kennedy actually admired hitler didn't want to have any intervention. you know, we have a defense
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budget of a trillion dollars a year. what are we doing with that if it isn't to wipe out threats in the nuclear age? it could really be the end of our country. >> host: this is a tweet from mpili or something like that. how much did carl bernstein's parents' communist background contribute to his anti-nixon animus? >> you know, i don't believe that bernstein or woodward had an animus like that. they were just on to a very good story, and they loved it, and they put up with tremendous threats and abuse. they were in fear a lot of times that they were being followed. the attorney general, mitchell threatened katherine graham that her tape would wind up somewhere. and in addition to that, i don't think we all mirror our parents'
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political views so i don't think the family is relevant. those two reporters were up until midnight night after night knocking on or -- knocking on doors. now there's sort of a counternarrative you see in some right-wing circles that they really didn't uncover watergate, that they were just political people going after nixon. that's, you know, i was there. i was there every single day. i was there every night when they were doing their work and i admire what they did because really richard nixon, i think, might well have disbanded our entire system, our constitution if he had been allowed to proceed, to pursue what he wanted to do which was to cover up watergate, to pay off people. it was a horrible time in our history. >> host: judith roberts, e-mail. why don't women work for the secret service?
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>> guest: well, that's not true. you know, about 10-15% of the agents are women ask they certainly try to recruit women, they try to recruit minorities, so that's that's one knock that i would not ascribe to the secret service. >> host: you do have a story, though, in the first family detail about a woman, a female supervisor who is out of shape and couldn't protect the president if she had to. >> guest: yeah. this applies to men and women. the secret service has these physical fitness requirements and firearms requirements, and yet they dishonestly ask agent ises to fill out -- agents to fill out their own test scores, so of course they all pass or the same with firearms qualification. it's outrageous. and just to have dishonesty like that in a law enforcement agency is outrageous. one other thing that the secret service will do is they'll put on these scenarios at a training
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center in laurel which as i mentioned, i visited and they will have congressmen out there to impress them. and they'll claim that these scenarios are spontaneous, the agents, you know found the explosives, they didn't know where they were. in fact those scenarios in the case of the congressmen are rehearsed beforehand. so the answers are essentially, given to the agents. again, dishonest. i mean, how can you expect an agency to perform its functions at all properly if this dishonesty is actually condoned? >> host: what's the relationship between the secret service, the cia, the fbi? >> guest: the cia develops intelligence overseas the fbi develops intelligence within the u.s. as well as going after criminals who violate federal laws whether it's espionage, mafia, organized crime terrorism. and the secret service protects
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our leaders, protects some 47 individuals, also visiting heads of state also when the pope visits, they will protect them, and they also do investigations into financial crimes. atm fraud phishing, they've been expanding their jurisdiction. and in that area they're very good. they're very highly respected when it comes to those investigations. >> host: do they get along? >> guest: the secret service tends -- >> host: cooperate, i should say. >> guest: yeah. secret service is territorial. the four-person panel that is appointed by the homeland security secretary, jeh johnson, to look into secret service reforms found -- it was not in the report, it was in a section that i was told about that was not made public -- that, in fact the secret service is not only insular, but does not cooperate well with the be fbi.
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so that's another problem. and you can imagine why. you see this arrogance, you see this willingness to issue lies about gonzalez's penetration of the white house. why would they want to cooperate with another agency that might second guess what they're doing? >> host: greg is in batavia, illinois. hi greg. >> caller: getting back to hillary and her abusive language and actions against other agents, you know i'm much more concerned about her treatment of the american public, especially with this e-mail scandal. you know she deliberately destroyed evidence in the benghazi attack then she has the gal when it was discovered -- gall when it was discovered that this was on a private server to say it was guarded by secret service agents. is this hacking to require
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secret service protection? i mean she takes the more than public for a bunch of dumb -- american public for a bunch of dumb, you know morons to say something like that. i guess that really offends me the most about. by the way, i think my best secret agent is mitch iran, but anyway -- >> host: who's mitch rapp? >> guest: he's a fictional character in -- >> caller: he's a fictional character in flynn's novel, you know? >> host: all right, thank you. >> guest: yeah. that's the central message of my secret service books, and that is the importance of character and choosing a candidate to b president. you know? look at president johnson. he, according to one agent, if john pson were not -- johnson were not president, he would be in a mental hospital. for example he would hold press conferences at his ranch in
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texas, and in front of male and female reporters urinate in front of them. he would sit on the toilet and defecate in front of aides. one time he was going when he was vice president from the capitol to the white house, secret service was driving him. it was about 5:00. it was rush hour. he was late for an appointment with jfk, and so he said drive on the sidewalk, drive up on the sidewalk, get there faster: and of course, the agent said, no, i'm not going to do it. johnson took a newspaper, hit him on the head and said "you're fired." he was not fired and this was the sort of thing that went on ever single day. yet we entrusted this guy to prosecute the vietnam war which was full of lies as to it effectiveness. that's how character applies with policies. you saw that very well with one of my favorite books which is by david mccullough on truman.
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the fact that truman was such a forthright guy a bold guy, called it like it is and at the same time was able to take action decisively as president to stop world war ii by bombing japan, to create a whole structure for dealing with the cold war and containing the soviet union. this is so basic that, of course, we should look at character. and yet, again, we, when we are engaged in elections when the media talks about who's ahead, who's behind, character is pretty much ignored. another example with hillary is there was this discussion when her book came out last june is she disconnected from real people because she's well? well, that's a ridiculous proposition to begin with, you know? is bill gates disconnected from
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people because he's wealthy? was andrew carnegie disconnected from people, didn't care about people because he was wealthy in of course not. it's a non sequitur. but what is important is how she actually treats people, and that is that she treats them like dirt. >> host: ron kessler's our guest this month on "in depth." we're about halfway through the program, and as we like to do, we always ask the author in advance what his or her influences are, some of the books they're reading, etc. we want to show you that now as we continue our live program. ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ >> here's a look at some upcoming book fairs and festivals happening around the country:
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>> our full schedule of coverage for the weekend is available on our web site at >> let us know about book fairs and festivals in your area e-mail us at >> here's a look at some books that are being published this week:
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>> look for these titles in bookstores this coming week and watch for the authors this the near future
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on book -- in the near future on booktv. >> host: and we are back with our author, ron kiss already. mr. kessler, one of the books that you listed -- and, of course, i've lost my sheet now that i brought that a up -- "all the president's men was one" that -- men," was one and we've talked about your former coworkers, bernstein and woodward, but another one of your influences that i wanted to ask you about itch colluded -- included joe aboody, the owner of the el morocco. >> guest: that was a lebanese restaurant in worcester mass, where i went to clark university, and after editing the school paper -- and, by the way, i spent almost all my time on the school paper rather than going to classes -- way past midnight i would go to the el morocco and get a sandwich,
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stuffed cabbage or grape leaves and i became friends with the co-owner. and he when he learned that i was a scholar, took an interest in me and started sort of promoting me, introducing me to the first journalist i'd ever met, a columnist on the worcester telegram. and it was such a thrill to meet a real professional journalist. about that time i'd done the story in the scarlet on the discrimination against blacks in rental housing, almost half said they would not rent to blacks, and that give me a little more prominence. but, you know, back then i i had no idea what i was going to do, whether i would ever be a success in life and joe would introduce me to these people and really made a huge difference to me that he would believe in me that he took an interest in me. and, of course, later i went back to el morocco with my two
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kids, my son and my daughter, greg kessler is an artist in new york, does shows there and teaches art. my daughter, rachel kessler, who is in public relations she has her own independent business, gets hits for ceos on tv. my stepson was not there, but he is a guitarist in fred rick, maryland -- frederick maryland, and performs there. and i was able to very proudly tell them the story of joe aboody, and when he died in 2001, i cried. i had not realized how important he was in my life until then and i wrote to his sister grace, about what a wonderful heart he had. >> host: two books that you are currently reading one by peter baker of "the new york times," and leon panetta. what do you think of those two books? >> guest: well, panetta i haven't -- i'm just starting. but with the peter baker book, it's absolutely the definitive,
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authoritative work on the bush administration. it's totally fair, totally factual, and, you know, it's very unfortunate that bush did not consent to an interview. he mistrusted someone from "the new york times", but he should not have because baker, you know, i think performed a great public service by telling the truth about the administration. both the problems as well as the successes. >> host: reports that the obama administration has been one of the most secretive or off-camera administrations. >> guest: you know, in some ways i admire what they're doing because i thought that the bush people, you know, could have done a better job of manipulating the press. you know i've covered beats as a reporter, and i know what it's all about. or and it's about, you know, trading favors and access and that sort of thing. and colorly the obama people -- clearly, the obama people do
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give access to the people that they favor, and they find people on their side who are telling them. they're probably smart. that doesn't mean they should cover up things or, you know, prevent disclosure of material in the freedom of information act. but i don't really get too upset about that. >> host: from "inside the cia," the cia for most of its existence has treated the american press as an add adversary a target that was to be manipulated at times but never confided in, nor trusted. >> guest: way back in the old days when richard helms was director, they had a so-called pr guy, and he told me his job was just to say no comment and that was the extent of his job. things have changed. they have wised up. as i mentioned, they let me interview them about the
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enhanced interrogation as well as a broad range of other issues within the cia. but, of course, they're still secretive, as they should be, about many operations. you know very frequently people the press especially just assumes that we know everything and they're not doing anything, and in most cases the cia is much more successful and knows much more than is publicly known. >> host: "inside congress" came out in 1999. this is a quote by raymond carson former capitol police lieutenant. house speaker carl albert was always drunk. >> guest: well, in those days, almost everyone was drunk including the reporters at washington post. we would go out and have bloodily marys -- bloody marys for lunch which is how i met my
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wife pam. i don't think i had bloody maryss, she did, but i would have something else. maybe whiskey sours. that was par for the course. but, no albert was, you know, falling down drunk. and, of course, that was all covered up. you know, the fact that johnson would urinate in front of reporters was never reported. certainly jfk's affairs were never reported. the first time the press actually reported anything of that sort was when gary hart was running for president, and "the new york times" revealed that he was having this affair with donna rice. i reveal in my secret service book "the first family detail," that that was just the tip of the iceberg. warren beatty, hart's friend, arranged to have these gorgeous starlets show up at beatty's home. hart would be there, beatty would not be there. these starlets would jump in the hot tub with beatty outside, take off their tops and their
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bottoms and stay overnight, and the secret service agents would just be amazed. there's a 10 there's a 9 going by. so that was the real story on gary hart. >> host: gotta a tell you "inside congress" leads like a jekyll and suzanne novel. lot of sex, money, drugs. >> guest: well, one theme in the "inside congress" book is the double standard, the arrogance of members of congress who, for example, with ted kennedy would drive drunk. a police officer would stop that person and, of course then never arrest them. in fact, they have a term to this day could unarresting meaning they arrested the person then they realized the person was a member of congress. they unarrest them meaning hay just wipe it out they don't make a report. thatthat is going on to this day. terrible, terrible double standard. these lawmakers are so powerful
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and so arrogant in many cases and when it comes to their own personal comfort they really dictate exactly what goes on is on capitol hill. >> host: ron kessler, what book are you working on currently? >> guest: i have to keep that a secret. no, i wish i knew. i don't have a current subject. it takes a while, especially in this internet age, you know? you simply have got to come up with something that will really be revelatory because there's so much information out there. i do think i'm a little perverse because i love a challenge, i love a secret subject. if it's too easy, i don't want to do it. so i am looking at different summits. i'm also on -- subjectings. i'm also updating the "first family detail" book with an epilogue to the paper barak version along with an update going into all these recent developments and revealing some new information. >> host: do youly write at home?
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>> guest: i write at home. i have desktop my wife has her desktop. we go out to lunch together and when i'm writing i will sometimes -- i'll frequently wake up at five in the morning four in the morning. i just get very intense. i do that after i do the reporting, and then i just have a ball. i love the reporting, i love the writing, i love the promotion. i just love writing bookings. >> host: where you write -- john grisham, we talked to him and he said that he writes on a computer but it's not connected in any way to the internet. >> guest: well, you know, an fbi agent who was in charge of a lot of this told me there's only one way to prevent being hacked, and that is to not use the internet so i think john grisham knows what he's doing. but i do use the internet, you know to get basic facts. it's certainly much easier than in the old days. so i appreciate that. i appreciate computers. i actually had the first ibm pc
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back in 1985, and it's helped me tremendously. >> host: 202 is the area coarksd 748-8200 in the east and central time zones 748-8201 for those of you in the mountain and pacific time zones. we're talking with author and investigate i reporter ron kessler. you can also contact us via social media is our e-mail address, @booktv if you want to make a comment on twitter, and finally a comment on our facebook page, peter is calling in from burris, louisiana. huh, peter. >> caller: hello, sir. thank you, mr. kessler. i appreciate your audacity and your honesty. i have a challenge for you. how about investigating george soros and his corrupting influence on the democrats? and my question for you is did -- [inaudible] establish the wall between the cia and the fbi in order to
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protect clinton from the adverse investigations? flush thank you very much. >> guest: yeah, there are so many possible subjects out there, and, in fact almost everyone thinks that they have a book in them. but really is anybody going to buy a book on george soros? i don't think so. when it comes to the other issue of -- what about clinton? >> host: jamie goralik? >> guest: oh, yeah. the so-called wall was developed by a low-ranking justice department official who had the bright idea that, you know you couldn't share information that was developed through intelligence sources versus information that might be used in a prosecution. each though there -- even though there had been 76 prosecutions involving this kind of information before under john martin 75 of which resulted in convictions, many of which were upheld on appeal. so there was no question about
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the legality of doing that. but somehow he developed this theory i actually interviewed him, i asked about the fact that previous cases had been upheld on appeal, he said he wasn't aware of that. well jamie goralik and janet reno signed off on that memo and the result was the whole law enforcement community on the federal level was tied up in knots. they couldn't share information, it was nuts. and that also tells you something that's rather embarrassing about those agencies and those individuals. why didn't those people, brave fbi agents who would risk their lives to arrest someone why didn't they speak up? why didn't they challenge that? they didn't. one of the few who did was art cummings who was over counterterrorism and eventually over counterintelligence as well, and he did actually flout those rules and would not follow
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them. very, very rare that you find someone like that in the bureaucracy who will take a chance on his job or her job by challenging the conventional wisdom. >> host: wade is in florence, south carolina. hi wade, you're on booktv. >> caller: hi. i really want to thank c-span for shining a flashlight on the dark kit that is our federal government. dark pit. we need to know what our little devils are up to and i appreciate y'all shining a light on it. and especially if we can't do much about it like in the case of who seems to be above -- in the case of hillary clinton who seems to be above the law. but i'd like to ask mr. can kessler -- and, by the way thank you, mr. kessler for your appearance. i've reallien joyed listening to you. what do you believe is the most serious threat to our way of life and our freedom in the united states? today? >> guest: well, the most serious
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threat, as i mentioned was -- or is -- the possibility of a weapons of mass destruction attack on our country as well as an electromagnetic pulse of emp attack. with the emp attack, a country like iran could detonate a nuclear device 20 miles up in the atmosphere which would fry our electronics and we would have millions of people who die of starvation because everything from our cars to our refrigerators would be inoperable. and these are things that, you know, are just so devastating that people don't want to think about it they're in denial but it would not be that difficult and that is a real threat. and that's why, you know, i think we all have some sense that we're on the verge of possible destruction these days, and that that's really how it could happen. >> host: e-mail woodbridge
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virginia. mr. kessler spoke of president bush's unheralded responses to 9/11 which i have not heard of before but deserve credit. however, this does not excuse his irresponsible culpability in the war with iraq. >> guest: you know from my book "the terrorist watch," i interviewed an fbi agent by the name of george piro. he was born in, i think baghdad. he spoke -- >> host: beirut. >> guest: beirut, thank you. he's still with the fbi. and after saddam was captured he was assigned to try to interview saddam. and he did that to a remarkable degree. he spent nine months with saddam and got quality admissions out of him. and one of them -- and by the way, he manipulated saddam with baby wipes. saddam loved baby wipes so he would give him more baby wipes if he behaved himself. and they developed a real rapport. in fact, when they finally
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parted and saddam was about to be hung saddam teared up because they were parting. and one thing that saddam admitted is that he purposely manipulated world opinion to make enemies, but particularly iran believed he had weapons of mass destruction can. he would, for example, not let weapons inspectors into certain palaces, he would have all these other schemes to make it appear that he did have weapons of mass destruction can. so that's -- and on top of that, he admitted that he was planning on developing a nuclear war, nuclear capability within about a year when he thought that sanctions would be lifted because he was paying off u.n. inspectors or, and then he could develop his own little nuclear weapon. so there were plenty of reasons why the cia and all orr intelligence agencies -- all other intelligence agencies got that wrong. but that was the belief, and you know if faced with that
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same kind of information, would do the same thing. we simply cannot take a chance in this day and age that we're going to be wiped out by weapons of mass destruction. >> host: and here's the chapter where you talk about george piro saddam's friend it's entitled. did you see judith miller's piece yesterday in "the wall street journal"? she's got a new book coming out -- >> guest: yeah, i heard about it. >> host: basically saying that colin powell did not lie president bush did not lie? >> guest: well, that shouldn't be, you know, such a surprise because, obviously, they've been saying that. and as i've said, all intelligence agencies, you know the british, the israelis, they all thought that, of course, saddam had weapons of mass destruction. you know, and to say that they lied why? i mean no one has ever figured out why. it's just this conspiracy theory that woodward and bernstein came up with this conflation of
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different people to call deep throat. i don't know why. why would they want to go into iraq? some conspiracy theory that they just loved the idea of going into iraq. no, that was not until after 9/11 that we went into iraq. and based on that information and, you know obviously the war was not carried out properly at various points, there was not enough thought given to how things would work out after saddam was toppled. so there were many mistakes. but, certainly, the intention of the bush people was to keep us safe. >> host: kent in koppel, texas. please go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: i want to thank c-span for bringing light on these issues and having
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interesting people come how on. i want to take issue with a lot of what mr. kessler has said -- [inaudible] >> caller: good and honest person. yeah. but just very naive, to sum it up in one word. you know, to paint hillary with a brush of being mean and treating people like dirt, she was under a lot of pressure through center parts of her life. and, you you know, she probably budget that way the first -- wasn't that way the first 50 years of her life and she's probably not that way today. >> guest: if that's what she does when she's under pressure, i would hate to see what she does when she's president. >> caller: really neat to read about. the sales of his book are obviously what he's about. why didn't he report are about those more when he was a reporter, you know? >> host: all right kent, let's get a response. >> guest: do you make a salary by any chance? >> host: kent is now gone. sorry.
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>> guest: okay. well, i assume that he makes a salary. most of us do make money one way or another, and that's how i make books -- make money by selling books. whether it's called royalty or whether it's called salary, we want to make money we want to do well, we want to get promotions, we want to sell so there's anything -- this is sort of a red herring when people say, well he just wants to sell books. the question is are the books credible do they hold up, and i would say they do. so that's my main response to that. >> host: what's the goal with your writing? what's the goal with your books? shine a light? >> guest: um, shine a light on important subjects. even "palm beach" is an important subject because it's a very closed society, it's the richest place in the world. to see what goes on when billionaires are able to be in this playpen, to see the
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schemes, the scams, to see the anti-semitism which still exists within the old guard through clubs -- few clubs still prevent jews or certainly blacks from being members and to see just what the other half lives like i think is certainly interesting. it's certainly fun for me. i love being able to just ask people questions to go into different worlds that i otherwise would not have any access to. i like to go into new subjects you know? if i've already done a book on palm beach i'm not going to do a book on beverly hills, that would be a step down. so that's why the hardest part of my job is coming up with the right subject for the next book. if anybody has any ideas i'm always looking. >> host: ron kessler if you can't get a source on the record or a secondary source will you not report something that you
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believe to be true? >> guest: absolutely. you know, many many times i've not reported information that i've been given even about hillary, for example. and, you know it's, by the way, important to me that the books be truthful, honest, accurate and that's why i'm very careful about the information that i provide. >> host: dr. few man chew tweets in, now that they've been revealed, are the secret prisons in europe still being used? >> guest: i don't believe those so-called secret prisons are being used in europe anymore. certainly not at present. >> host: hugh, ashland virginia please go ahead with your question or comment for ron kessler. >> guest: you're triggering a lot of wonderful memories and is i've had a pretty bizarre life. i just left a voicemail for rachel so you can connect with me for the next few books at least.
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i'm going to throw out a couple of reporters that were probably when you fist came to washington -- when you fist came to the washington postif you knew jonathan kwitny. he did an article based on information that i gave to him that eventually triggered the eventual resignation of jim wright from speaker of the house in shame. i was interviewed after "the wall street journal" article broke by dave montgomery who was a fort worth star bureau chief in -- >> host: so, hugh, tell you what, why don't you tell us why you're listing these things and what your question is. >> caller: just to give a little bit of information that can be looked at, because mr. kessler seems to be an old school type of reporter but reports the truth. and along the lines of the hillary clinton, this is on youtube. google wade mcgovern who was cia and did the presidential
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briefings for seven presidential administrations. he was at a hillary speech he stood up and turned his back on her, and he was beat up by the people in security there, and he won a lawsuit against it. .. >> guest: i would just go back to this information. recently fox radio wanted to interview me about a piece that they were preparing about the
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fact that vice president biden collects rent from the secret service and. >> host: you report this. >> guest: actually i did not. because i do not think it was an issue. and the reporter, a very good reporter, very excited about the story, and i said no i think that that is a perfectly legitimate action by the secret service. and why should he be penalized and so he said okay, i would like to put you on anyway. sure enough we are running through this weekend. so that is where i try to be honest about these individuals
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and i believe we are on the right and that is what i am going to do it. >> hello, i just wanted to bring attention to the difference between the cia and the fbi and i was wondering [inaudible] and then i saw the advocacy and i learned my lesson that you cannot trust them. so then i got in to this with hb1 visas to work. i contracted an individual and he met with me and he said that he would bring in the head engineer of a nuclear submarine and he said i can get you a bunch of engineers like this.
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but he said you have to get the visas. and i said okay. this is very helpful. i contacted the va office in michigan at the time, [inaudible] i had been talking about this and i had seen this in the next guy got out and i said oh, that is a tia man. i went inside and i was right. the first thing that they said was we don't need him any information, we have only one. but we would like to do industrial counterespionage and then send them back. and i said no i'm not going to do that. because i know how the russians treat people as bias.
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so the first time i was denied a visa by the state department. that engineer was going to be an absolute gold mine for the cia. >> host: that kind of ties into a couple of your early books. >> guest: in my book "escape from the cia" i talk about the individual that affected in these defectors are inherently not able to be trusted and therefore they treated him like that and sure enough because of that and also because of someone he believed was his mistress, he
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decided to defect to the soviet union and sure enough even though they knew this not because it would otherwise show that they were stupid for trusting them. but it's certainly an example of how the cia can be really screwed up and i eventually did an interview in moscow and this is at the end of the cold war, it was a little bit teary the kgb talked about this of course relying on everything and they said it was an interesting episode. >> host: one individual says ipod for i apply for a job, i was successful through several steps through the polygraph after which they rejected me. it left me with with an impression that i consider to be pseudoscientific and i now work in law enforcement.
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elsewhere in the federal government. do you have an opinion of the over reliance polygraph exams? >> guest: i believe that photographs are very useful versatile as a deterrent you may not engage in improper behavior if you know you're going to be polygraph. and secondly in many cases when confronted with the fact that someone has failed a polygraph individuals will confess and that has led to many people going to jail or people being rejected by these agencies. obviously it's not perfect. the kgb has interesting ways for instructing people, for example one individual became the more he was instructed on how to evade and so it's not always infallible. but going back to the robert hanssen case, the fbi agent who
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was a spy for russia and probably the most damaging one in u.s. history talking about the secrets of the fbi he revealed that the because he was free, the fbi director refused to approve a proposal that all of them be polygraph. so it is in fact part of this and he would have been caught. and so for seven more years we are able to compromise, millions of whom were killed. and so it's something that i do believe in. >> host: what is the relationship between the cia fbi and congress? >> they have been very smart about congress.
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admiral mueller would spend a lot of time with them behind the scenes. he was very open and honest and the result is that they have gotten a tremendous increase, which they should have and the secret service also is pretty good at that. they will show you the facilities at national conventions, give them special access to members of congress and unfortunately that has not resulted in more money because he could service has not asked for more money which is really outrageous. and, you know it's been back and forth. he would lie to congress he he would lie to the public and they were not very happy with supportive with him although newt gingrich did understand.
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>> host: we have another caller from san mateo california. >> caller: thank you, i appreciate you allowing me to participate. mr. kessler. hello? >> host: please go ahead. >> caller: yes, my question in regards to bush in the white house he had given carte blanche to the white house to the log cabin republicans, who are picking up young under age boys bring them to the white house to be time that that happened. i'm wondering if you could shed light on that. >> host: where you sourcing this from?
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>> guest: this is material that i read that never reached the papers of these kinds of things do not. usually it is anti-democratic and so i was curious whether or not he could respond to this question. >> guest: in most cases what i will call a conspiracy theory, you can say that, you know could this be going on and so many people are involved with the assassination, don't you think that by now we would have some defectors who would want to make a million dollars on the real story and that's what we need to know about some of these conspiracy theories, the same with whether the cia was involved as well. do you think that hundreds of cia people would keep it wet or dozens to this day? the case of this claim i think
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that is one way to approach it and totally not true. and i reject the implied bigotry that there's something wrong with them. >> host: have you heard that story before? >> guest: i have never heard that story before. especially with the internet i do not understand why people can't be more skeptical. for example the claim about obama being born in kenya. aside from a birth certificate which is an issue, the fact is that newspaper articles appear at the time and the hawaiian newspapers announcing his book so as my wife pointed out and i will point this out unless his
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parents when he was born in canada decided that he was going to be president and therefore put this announcement in hawaiian newspapers, the whole thing is a can of worms and also untrue. again, something that should be obvious to people but apparently is not. >> host: how many presidents have you interviewed reign. >> guest: only george bush. presidents are not going to say very much. i love to get what i think is the real story. that is why coming and asking questions of the press secretary trying to corner him with tricky questions, woodward and bernstein would never have had watergate developed unless they have been coming to the white house from the fact is that the nationals after "the washington
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post" about the whole thing was baloney they are trying to undercut from this they were coming to police headquarters covering local stories, this is a big thrill for them and a major reason why the post was able to reveal the stories because we are courageous. >> host: where do you think the health of investigative reporting is today? >> guest: there are exceptions "the washington post" has been doing a very good job, they have been doing very good stories on the secret service and on the other hand you have this impetus putting a story on the internet without any checking or investigation. so it is such a mixed bag.
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>> host: martha from irvine, california, you are on with author ron kessler. >> caller: james calmly put forth a strategy of innovation and analyst. so he noted the strategy and my question is how reasonable is this one agencies are known not collaborate with each other. >> guest: there is an effort that you have to work with there's an effort underway to give him more status, he established training for animals which had never been done before. progressively both of them have been pushing for more collaboration between analysts and there is a pecking order at
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the top of the herd and there is still work to be done there. >> host: this is ronald kessler's twitter handle. can people contact you via these two vehicles? >> guest: yes, definitely on the website, that is the best way. i'm not a big twitter affection otto. i should learn it. >> host: coming up next we have philip and marino valley. >> caller: hello yes. my statement in question is i talk about the administration that is one of the biggest scandals in the united states today. i'm a veteran and a former employee from the hospital in loma linda.
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and as a veteran i still receive treatment. but the employees tell me that people are dying to do not have to die. they are saving money at the expense of those who have a lot of problems and they make them comfortable. this is the biggest scandal in the united states today. a lot of people don't realize that even in not not to germany, hitler culminated this and this is happening now and i go to loma linda twice a week and there is an attitude of indifference would make an impact. and unless you have this it is really the worst thing in the
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united states today. >> guest: i agree. this brings up the question as to how scandals like this can occur and it always a mystery. how can people be so callous? how can they cover up to actually delay treatment that results in death and it's the same thing with the secret service and the culture described. how can they cut corners or relax when the president of the united states has a life that is at stake. yet it continues and that is the biggest challenge when it comes to someone who is in charge of an agency like that where you don't have a profit motive and you are going to do well if you don't have a profit motive. and that is why you need someone who is from outside the agency
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who will understand this and of course buy the same time they refuse to actually acknowledge what the color as. because of alcohol because of stress, that's not the problem we have one or two other incidents, but the truth is that most agents have no time to engage in that sort of thing and that includes mr. clancy who refuses with knowledge what the real problems are. >> host: i agree with not publishing secret tech geeks one individual says one of the stories with using cell phones and etc. yet you talked about so much information about
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planting bugs in the description of their size and etc. why did you do the same thing remapped. >> guest: in the case of bugging devices there is nothing that anyone can do. i want to understand that the fbi can in fact love them and the fbi was so sly about how they do it that no matter what they do in the book they will be wiretapped. in the case of the secret service and the laxness that i reveal, the degraded service could change that overnight. they could stop being lax and stop the corner cutting. and if you do you will be fired. and so this says that things will not be in jeopardy. that is why i feel perfectly safe dealing with this corner cutting because something is making me change.
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>> host: one individual on facebook says i am interested on expenditures of former presidents and vice presidents. mr. kessler makes an important point that fails to report the story. >> guest: the total expenditures are probably in millions of dollars but i think that if you have a president like jimmy carter or george bush or laura bush, taken hostage by isis we don't want that. when you compare the budget of the secret service, which is $1.9 billion as projected per year a which cost about that much. it is just ridiculous. we need to prevent another assassination. that really nullifies democracy.
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i was in college when jfk was assassinated and i cried for days. it was such a blow to everybody. and so when it comes to money it should not be a factor. the secret service would not even spend money to have detectors to detect gunshots at the white house, that is something that the police in washington have talked about. they will not spend money to use the latest detecting intrusion or what is available from the national laboratories. anyway you look at the secret service, it is in shambles. >> host: as a result of the reagan incident, the secret service began using magnetometers screened crowds at
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events. >> guest: before this the secret service used magnetometers and the real reason that reagan was shot was they overruled even though they didn't have the authority to overrule, the secret service and that is why the secret service covered us, they tried saying that the fbi covered up what really happened and it was actually reagan's own staff that caused that shooting. >> host: here is a quote from a current agent. this could be on the leading edge when it comes to weapons. and they are just not. >> guest: they are not up-to-date on the latest
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weapons, even the police have no certain weapons this is all part of corner cutting. the director said take a look at the soldiers in iraq, they had to leap on the floor, so if we agents working tremendous hours, that is not so bad. can you imagine comparing a secret service agent that can make five times more money in the private actor with a young soldier in iraq? to showing you the lack of management cycle that you see in the secret service today. >> host: the secret service, from the again your book. the secret service found richard nixon to be the strangest protect the. >> guest: one hunter watching
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nixon watch tv and in his home in california and he was feeding dog biscuits to his dog and then he took one of the biscuits and looked at it and ate it. that was normal behavior. he really doesn't have a clue about how to do the normal things. that was just one story out of many about nixon. >> host: the next call comes from stephen in decatur, illinois. >> caller: oh, thank you for letting me speak. such a good writer thank you for being part of looking into what our government does and the individuals that have power. i think that the greatest like his comments say the government and the truth depends on who's
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got it and how they want to use it, partisan politics and it is putting aside the needs of the nation, you just talked about mr. nixon and he was a pretty effective president in so many ways except he did not trust the media, he wanted to control it and he got involved with something that didn't make any difference in his election and that got him into a lot of things trying to cover it up. [inaudible] i got from this bar district place that some saw that whether it was anything immediate and a
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lot of people died on the assumption that they had weapons that even i knew were questionable at the least. i heard a guy talking about politics. the mustard politics, foreign affairs, the american people were ready to kick somebody's butt and a rock was there to get their butts kicked and a lot of people say that it still has not been close to. >> host: let's get a common comment here from our guest. >> guest: i think that when that sort of thing goes back it goes back to character. if we don't look at character when we choose a president, then we are in for trouble and that is a good tempo. people often ask me if i ever fear for my life. but no although we do get
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certain things that are nasty with swear words come apart of this covered up culture if you expose the truth, there is going to be a retaliatory attitude and when i was interviewing the individual arrested with [inaudible] and i interviewed carl and his wife with my wife, pam and her one point carl started asking my wife about some part. and he knew that kim covered art for "the washington post." she didn't want to talk about it. and i could tell that carl was getting suspicious. this was during the cold war and
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i laid out exactly where her stories appear in "the washington post" so that he could look them up. later as we were parting at the airport, he admitted that he thought that pam was an fbi agent and i was her [inaudible] but that was his conclusion about this whole episode. >> host: what you discussed at length in one of your books is [inaudible name] >> guest: obviously i think he did a great job even though i think he was lying is almost any intelligence official went in this world but he knew how to rally the troops which is important and there were successes under his tenure. >> host: use not your typical
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cia director. >> guest: he was a very real person. >> host: what you think about the cia? >> guest: i don't think people think a lot of it it's just another layer of bureaucracy, and that could've been done by the cia director with perhaps additional legislation. so i just, in fact i quote
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being in charge of counterterrorism does this mean that we have these boring meetings, that we waste time it doesn't top the cause whatsoever >> host: joyce, please go ahead with your western or your comment. >> caller: hello, i'm wondering if you're familiar with the case and sarah the senator from florida who is on the 9/11 commission and never passed on it. the case in sarasota was one that was saudi arabian family in a gated community 6 miles from the airport where the men who ran into them [inaudible] these people were one of the
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people that went into this gated community they took the lessons of these people and one of the people whose licenses they got along to mohamed atta. >> guest: that is not true. he is not connected with the royal family. even though bin laden and others were from saudi arabia saudi arabia actually expelled him took away the assets, didn't want anything to do with them, so i think that in this case of saudi arabia they are our friend >> host: senator graham has called for the full disclosure of the 9/11 report, hasn't he?
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>> guest: i have seen him be critical of a lot of things [inaudible] and a lot of the material has been disclosed. but yes, there has been an issue and i believe that that is just having to do with 9/11. but the commission did a very good job and working out what the problems were and something worth reading. >> host: stories over the last several years about the size of national security as well as what is being kept secret from the american public. >> guest: there was a series of articles in "the washington post". yes, the expenditures are higher, what do you expect after
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9/11 yes there are many employees and agencies, but was there any abuse did they fail given the fact that we have not had this since 9/11? no, those stories never said that. the dishonesty that you see in the press so many times today, you know i just don't understand how these people live with themselves writing dishonors stories. not to mention the fact that a paper like the post today is going to be more successful. people are going to recognize you can actually trust "the washington post" and we should look at this as opposed to some other examples, are they going downhill because they are so one-sided and ideological. >> host: the next call comes from robert.
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please go ahead, you are on with ron kessler. >> caller: thank you very much. thank you to c-span because it's a very enjoyable to get random topics delivered. and thank you, mr. kessler. i was in college during the nixon administration and very unaware. i was struck when he said that he was perhaps the first attack on the constitution. i would like to comment on that and then come back when i hear obama being called the worst attack on the constitution that we have ever had. >> guest: my reference to the constitution is that he had fired the special prosecutor over him and he instructed the cia to lie about money in order
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to cover up what nixon did in one out. so all of these activities not to mention an actual break-in all of these things made it very clear to me than i now is either at the center of it that nixon's next step could be to disband the constitution. it was a very close call and as for obama i do not think that it is not clear that his executive order is illegal, on the one hand he is doing a good job of killing overseas with jones but on the other hand it troubles me and what could be more obvious then yes, the vast majority are
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peaceful many are friends, i have several friends that are admirable people. on the other hand knowing that they are within that religion and claims to be muslim and that they are like serial killers. i don't see what is the problem with it in this way, i think that everyone can understand that it does not lead to bigotry, to the contrary, it makes it clear that we should respect things post back about 20 minute left for this month's "in depth." please be sure to try the lines or social media. we will try to get to you. >> caller: hello, i am a democrat and i have questions
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about hillary in regard to it authorization for a question about hillary in regards to her e-mail that came from c-span watching. i'm concerned with the whitewater issue and also i met her at the democratic convention in may she gave a great speech, was very welcoming when we met, i helped somebody with a wheelchair get to talk to her and she was very interested in the paper that i wrote when i moved to new york city i was her constituent and did not expect her to remember me. but i did have an appointment with her aid and the office did not let me in to see her she happened to be there and she walked right by me and i tried to get up and talk to her and it just seemed very close, the
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constituents in the middle class and i'm concerned about how somebody in the lower class would be treated and concerned about her transparency as a president, and in turn i saw how it shows the judicial watch asking many legal questions and in a separate story not on c-span a reporter asked questions about how the secret service could keep a server safe. can you give me more examples as to how the secret service could keep such a server safe and also -- >> host: thank you, we are going
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to leave it there. >> host: in regards to servers, of course we are talking about some coming in they might prevent that but that is not the issue, the issue is in the case of her keeping her government e-mails on her server, that there could be cyberattacks. in that case that something that the secret service would not be involved in whatsoever. how she treats people hillary had actually instructed secret service agents when she was in the white house of a were not post to be seen by her, they were when she was coming down actually to go behind curtains because that is sick behavior. and you can just imagine how someone with that kind of a personality might get in the
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white house and as opposed to how someone appeared on tv whether that person acted well in a debate, those are things that are totally relevant to the real issues in the real issues are that track records. fbi agents are taught when they go for initial training in virginia that past behavior is the best predictor and that is pretty obvious most of the time but somehow we ignore all of the signpost. >> host: capitol police officer
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greg lacoste will never forget turning the doorknob to one of lyndon b. johnson seven capital hideaways. he was making his rounds. checking to make sure that officers were locked. he was having sects with carol tyler. he said tweet you jumped up, took off running because i knew that man i just can't tell you he's learning to kill me he told them to hide in those walkers were little. and then i could hardly breathe
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and i thought it would break. and i said where is that officer, and johnson applied tweet who came in here i will kill him and eventually johnson tired and he executed him from the locker. >> guest: i revealed that he was having sex and one time his wife caught him and he blew up at the secret service and said you should have warned me and ordered him to install a system so that they would want him in the area and that shows the arrogance and hypocrisy and just someone that, you know, when you think about it how could this person ever be president and how could this be in charge of the vietnam war that led to 50000
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or 75,000 deaths what kind of judgment does that show. again these are things that people are in denial about, that they put blinders on and they don't look at the real picture. that is one of the messages of my book. >> host: neil is in long beach california. >> caller: hello, i am proud of you and c-span. it's hard to find a fair person. and even then this was a lot of truth before it happened.
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>> i mentioned this before but the one commission based on the fbi investigation has done in early job and that is the pinnacle of assassins, showing that they are unstable with this and just think of. >> host: fred in waterville maine. >> i have art he talked about three copies of ron's book and
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congress really doesn't represent a cross-section of america. when i talk in washington among groups and the groups think the same way that we all do and one is gerrymandering and we can't get that solved so we can get the right districts and states question and comment is about this. it is political cronyism and a sense of non-transparency. one says that nothing gets done and i'm proud of that because we
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have bad legislation put in. my suggestion is have humorously that very seriously wearing a jacket similar to nascar, a succoth if you want and they must have patches on themselves equal proportionate to the number of dollars that it donated that the nra donates half the money, i want to be able to look at a senator and have them show me that jacket and comments about gerrymandering and allowing big money into this portable system and given that the supreme court money is free speech and it should not be limited that
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we should have a term limit which would bring in new candidates who would not be as the holden and i think that that would help a lot and that would require members of congress against their own interest and i'm not sure that is going to happen. but the fact is that elections do have consequences and republicans come in democrats come in, changes are made and in the end i think that it is possible to have a fairly effective government. >> host: here is chapter he called follow the money. let's take this next call frommarianne in san diego, california. >> caller: hello i think i have a suggestion for a book.
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i would like to see a book written on the first i remember when i was a child. the reason for them and a special comment on the latest comment to you. >> we did have a very shortsighted policy in those days where we could probably overthrow government, for example, and then look at what we got. and it was foolhardy and the ca was part of that and that is a good example of the problems that existed in those days within the cia. it was just ridiculous where
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everyone in "the new york times" new with this invasion was being planned and yet the cia went ahead with that and hundreds of people lost their lives. so was just an outrageous thing. in many ways the country has gotten better since those days, they have gotten more accountable, certainly and has become more focused the improvement in oversight has made a big difference in terms of civil rights we have seen big improvements and at the boston herald that the other reporters would refer to them and that is how bad things were in those days and now they have often
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been in acceptance to college because we do want to be a part of that. >> host: of all of your 20 bucks, do you have a favorite? >> guest: one is a palm beach book and i had a wonderful time with my wife pam. this remarkable stories of wealth and what can happen when you have too much of it in the recent book i think it encompasses so many of the important messages that i feel that people need to know about, not to mention exposing this vastness and many of those stories. my wife pam she did the archival research for that and there are so many myths about him and for example he was
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described in the press as this very religious guy that went to church every day and he never went to church. and the other stories like that. >> host: her first book. what about that. >> guest: it deals with how deceptive the insurance industry is. and it is regulated by the fcc and i can never get away from some of these deceptive practices and for example they will tell you that they will get a universal return plus a death benefit and it was just
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outrageous and i think that that would be a big improvement. >> caller: the person that that person was talking about would've been john o'neill who worked in the fbi do you refer
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to him in any of your books? that's one question, my second question is the woman that just called not too long ago about sarasota florida. there was a nurse in sarasota that was on to the fact that the suppliers were staying in venice florida [inaudible] >> guest: mr. o'neill was respected he was in charge of
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counterterrorism for the fbi. he had a higher position with the world trade center and he was tragically killed and he did not have any premonition about the attack and he certainly was aware of the danger and the threat. peter: >> host: the books by ron kessler include "escape from the cia: how the cia won and lost the most important kgb spy ever to defect to the u.s.", "inside the cia: revealing the secrets of the world's most powerful spy agency", "inside the white house: the hidden lives of the modern presidents and the secrets of the world's most powerful institution", "the sins of the father: joseph p. kennedy and the dynasty he founded", and the cia one includes the most important kgb spy to defect to the united states.
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and we also had "inside the white house: the hidden lives of the modern presidents and the secrets of the world's most powerful institution" and "the sins of the father: joseph p. kennedy and the dynasty he founded" about joseph kennedy that came out in 1990 ickes the season that we have talked about "the bureau: the secret history of the fbi; a matter of character: inside the white house of george w. bush" came out in 2002 "the cia at war", and "a matter of character", "laura bush" "inside the desperate race to stop the next attack" and the last book "in the president's secret service: behind the scenes with agents in the line of fire and the presidents they protect" of 2009, and finally his most recent, "secret service agents".
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>> caller: great program, the one question for mr. kessler would be given the thoughts on the president. [inaudible] and who had the best presidents from truman forward, the best mutual respect going both ways. >> guest: george w. bush was very involved with the cia. very appreciative of what they
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did. and another reason is inside the cia, today that is the one book as i understand that that they recommend to applicants and new employees at the cia even though the book came out years ago. and they would not put up with that, they would start prosecuting the cia officers and
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another time he goes on to how it really works and that is why i think it is important for new employees to learn from these lessons, to know what was wrong about this era without a lot of misinterpretation to understand very clearly why hoover was not someone to be admired. because he did abuse american rights even though he also did a lot of good things. and i have hope as i have written these books within the management and the employee workforce and i believe that that has happened.
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>> caller: i would like to ask mr. kessler why is it that the call to death consistent with the autopsy protocol, i'm curious to know if that is not a cover-up. ..
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thanks for your time. >> guest: thank you. enjoyed it. >> c-span, created by america's cable companies 35 years ago and brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. >> karen paget recounts the cia's involvement in the u.s. national student association in the 1960s, a group she was a member of in 1965. the author reports that the agency used the left-leaning student organization as a conduit in their efforts against communism. this is about an hour and ten minutes. >> karen has had a long career. she was a member of the boulder city council in


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