tv Panel Discussion on Terrorism CSPAN May 25, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm EDT
american foreign policy and ethics and international affairs and iso i have two guests today. >> one is urgently on his way. the one we are missing is the correspondence with "the new york times" and a person whose provided a lot off the story of the american response to september 11 attacks and since that is the story we are discussing today, he's a great person to be with us provided he were with us. he's on his way from the national airport and should nashville airport and should be here in another 15 minutes or so. james risen won his first pulitzer prize for explanatory reporting about 9/11. so appropriate, and command he won the second pulitzer prize writing about the bush administration's warrantless
wiretapping is part of the national security response to 9/11 and he's probably late because he's collecting his third pulitzer. he has an irritating habit of winning those and he's written two books, one is called the state of war the secret history of the cia and the bush administration. and in that book he did a lot of reporting using sources who later were tracked back and when he was asked to identify them he was subpoenaed and was forced a part of the subpoena. he was to be sent to jail and he appealed to the district court and supreme court and in both cases the supreme and the district court agreed that the government did have a compelling case and they wanted him to reveal his sources but he still refused and finally the attorney general holder declared we won't
be sending any journalists to prison on my watch. that kind of put an end to it until just the other day because now we have a new attorney general as of just last week so maybe that's why james risen isn't here. [laughter] the person who is here john nagl of the center for the american security and the naval academy and the school up in philadelphia was a colleague of the semester is. john went to west point at oxford as a rhodes scholar and
had the foresight to do his phd work on the british experience on the counterinsurgency. and at that time, counterinsurgency was of no particular urgency or important obviously history changed a judgment. he was called to turn his thesis into the army marine corps manual in the sense that the book general petraeus worked with closely and drew on two. of his strategy in iraq and in afghanistan. and i thought that i would start a by doing this critique on how it has gone by saying obviously it's gone great. since september 11 we have had 14 september 11's. it's been a successful war on
terror. >> not so much. >> i will try to do my best james risen impression but we agree some things we will probably clash on before he gets here but the attacks could have and should have been prevented by the national security apparatus. there were a number of indications that something was coming. this indications were missed in what i believed to be the greatest failure in history worse than pearl harbor. after the attacks of september 11 have the united states was unprepared for the kind of war it had to fight both in afghanistan and the war that it chose to fight in iraq and it chose to fight partly as a result of another intelligence
detailing the leaving that saddam hussein had weapons of mass destruction which he had a program that was destroyed and ended after the first war in iraq after the operation desert storm. the invasion of iraq in 2003 my former colleague in his book fiasco argues that the invasion in march of 2003 was the worst foreign policy mistake made by the united states in the niche and great history. for those of you that like steve are students of the subject that's really saying something. the invasion of iraq in 2003 certainly not just an intelligence failure can obviously also a policy failure of the first order and a military failure at an extraordinary level.
the subject of my book "knife fights" again with the decision when they planned for plan for the occupation of iraq that followed the unbelievably bad decision to completely disband the iraqi army, which had been destroyed in large part due to that invasion of march, april april 2003 but was ready to provide security on the streets of iraq after the invasion and a decision made in the bush administration that army was disbanded and all the soldiers were told that they could no longer work for the iraq he government. it was an extraordinary position up literally tens of thousands of armed proud experts in
warfare on the streets and glad i believe directly to the insurgency that my friends and i thought and iraq and i thought in ellen bar in 2003 and in 2004. i came back from that and a all and -- al anbar in the extraordinarily violent town between the capital currently fighting going on now to clear up the islamic state in iraq and serious from that territory, and falluja the town that is known for being welcoming to visitors and so you get a sense of what my year was like. we lost 22 of the purple heart is. we came back and went to serve as the military assistant to the deputy secretary defense paul
wolfowitz. and that was a big change from al anbar because in iraq i have some idea who i was fighting against. it was extraordinarily disheartening to be out on the front lines in any organization whether it is a school or an army and come back to the corporate headquarters knowing things are not going well on the field but somebody somewhere has been idea of what's going on and finding out not so much. and so i was privileged to be reacquainted with my former teacher david petraeus to work on the west point history department and others to write the counterinsurgency manual which petraeus been put into effect in iraq in 2007 and 2008 turning around a lost war and providing iraq with a decent chance at a decent future.
i've been very critical of the bush administration's decisions up until 2006 in the midterms of 2006 when i believe george w. bush made the gravest decisions of the presidency most notably by replacing the secretary of defense donald rumsfeld was a man i believe is the best secretary defends the nation ever had in and named bob gates who was so good and a democratic the democratic administration they kept him in place. unfortunately the obama administration, which which did make a good decision to keep him on the job they didn't make a good decision to listen to him about iraq or afghanistan and made a number of other critical errors in both of those countries that in my eyes led directly to what is now the third war in iraq in my lifetime a war against the islamic state in iraq and blank syria.
he argues that it is al qaeda 3.0. steve asked how the war on terror has gone. september 12, 2001 if someone had told any of us in the room except for the naval academy kids that were in diapers at that point, big diapers in some cases, that they were not having another significant attack on the united states territory in those 14 or 15 years we would have been delighted and astonished if that was the case and in fact there had been a great number of successes in the war against al qaeda and the broad war against radical islamist extremism and i believe that the war inside pakistan has been one of those great successes and i'm confident that
that jim will disagree with me. however, the mistakes that we have made in that for most importantly invading iraq unnecessarily in march 2003 gave new life to the radical islamist ideology that i expect to continue to be a scourge on humanity for probably the rest of the century. so it is a decidedly mixed report card today i think there have been extraordinary successes and failures. and the one constant in my eyes is the valor of the men and women fighting this war on the front line and that deserved better national leadership than they got in this century. [applause]
just came out a few months ago and as if james were here he would take the question differently and he would have said actually be important aspect of the war on terror wasn't that part. it is the damage that was done at home. i think that he would give a definition of national security as the struggle to protect the american democratic way of life free speech first of all, and he as a journalist is a strong proponent of free speech. he would say that it's to protect the american way of life without damaging the american way of life. and he would point out ways that some of the measures we took in putting together what he calls a homeland security state have actually imperiled prospects for
the american way of life. he would say that there's been much more damage done by the measures here at home than could ever be done by a broad. >> i think you are right that is what he argues in his new book and to an extent he has a point but in every one that we fought there've been violations of civil liberties and freedoms as the people have been respected. this was true during the american civil war and certainly very true during this very unusual war against a stateless enemy against the islamist extremism. that said, adding to it is more
real than he contends that his book. it was headquartered in afghanistan, the attacks and later in pakistan and he attacked the united states in an attempt to create a comic to get the united states to overreact and against radical islamist extremism ultimately leading the united states to disengage from the world and stop supporting what al qaeda saw across much of the islamic world, probably most notably egypt and other countries across the islamic world as well. and he almost succeeded. so the attacks in response to
the bush administration correctly turned to afghanistan and asked who was responsible for those acts. the afghan government and the taliban refused to do so and the united states had no choice but to topple it in the attempt to bring bin laden and al qaeda to justice. we fumbled at a certain extent and send troops into afghanistan and allow bin laden to skate across the border to pakistan where he remained for the next decade, but we did essentially largely through drum strikes nullify all kind of 1.0 inside pakistan and in afghanistan. but the creed spread largely as a result of the misguided unnecessary invasion of iraq in 2003 it became the cause that inflamed the entire world al qaeda was able to attract literally tens of thousands of
recruits in what became al qaeda 2.0 al qaeda in the organization i fought against personally and killed a member of my soldiers and a member of my iraqi friends. as a result of i believe the counterinsurgency dot trend dot petraeus and others helped write and implement in iraq and by the greatest advantage we have against radical islamist extremist which is the fact nobody likes these people and in particular if you were governed by radical islamists it is no fun and ultimately you will prevail against them and that is what happened in the parts of iraq in 2006 and 2007 and ultimately they got tired of
having their daughters taken in what they called forced marriages got tired of nicotine stained fingers being cut off because they don't believe in smoking tobacco and what became known as the awakening rose up against al qaeda and with the help of the american military we pushed it them out of iraq back in where it should have died but because of the obama administration failures to reinforce the nascent iraqi government and the failures to a clip the so-called syrian army in the summer of 2012 it emerged inside serious and we are now fighting against it. it's shown an extraordinary ability to use the internet to mobilize followers and supporters and to inspire people
in the west to create attacks and that has happened in the united states and canada. think of how good you have to be to inspire canadians to take violent radical action. [laughter] it is a truly frightening thought. and in the best estimates we have today are that literally tens of thousands of westerners have taken up arms under the islamic states banner in iraq and syria. they have been trained and radicalized just as osama bin laden himself was radicalized by us in the fight against the soviet union in afghanistan. so this problem of the radical islamists trained and inspired by isis will be a problem that
will see these men through their careers, however long they are coming into their, and their sons and daughters career as well. this is a problem that isn't going to go away. we are not taking it nearly as seriously as we should be. >> i'm going to continue to channel gem here and i think the answer that he provides in his book would be that yes it is endless. it's one thing to say that link in for a matter of months to spend on habeas corpus in the war that was over in four years or that there were certain suspensions in world war ii or world war i that lasted for three years this one's lasted 14 years and all the points that he made indicated how endless it is bound to be. >> this one has lasted 22 years.
they are the same people that bombed the world trade center in 1993. there are no indications that we are winning it yet. endless war is correct. it will be a 100 year war. it's a multigenerational war that we are fighting and it's extraordinarily fortunate that it has had so little impact on the vast majority of the population. this is the first war in history found by all volunteers and i applaud that and i can't say enough good things about this generation of america's sons and daughters who i believe compared favorably with the so-called greatest generation who gave him the great depression and defeated tierney on three continents. the greatest generation, two thirds of them were draftees. this generation they are all volunteers. these young men and women
volunteered to join the military in a time of war which is something i did and to do when i went to west point and i think it speaks remarkably well that they've chosen to do so and it speaks remarkably poorly of the rest of this country that we haven't made a comparable sacrifices and we haven't shared the pain of the war and so i applaud that it's fought entirely by volunteers and i'm appalled that it's the first war that we've put on the credit card. we haven't raised taxes to fight. so james is correct when he finds out the cost of this war the 3 trillion-dollar cost is excessive. we haven't had a proper public debate about it. we haven't made any of the sacrifices the nation is required to fund the war and were we to do so were we to
raise taxes as every previous generation has come of the american people would be far more engaged in the war and paying closer attention to the problems cut the domestic problems that jim raises in his book. >> and he would take exception to almost the first thing you said that it's had so little impact on the people on the homefront. he would say actually that when you construct a military-industrial complex of the sort that eisenhower complained about coming you can see the military-industrial complex and when he told us that it means you don't get to build 30 good schools he said we must not be so getting over the resources to things military that we slide to the important things that will make the country educated and strong and is all cared for. but what he is worried about in
his book isn't so much a military industrial complex which is visible. the homeland homeland security complex is more implemented in the form of intercepted communications and suppressed thoughts and alternative source so that the very nature of the free country gets corrupted. >> yes because we are not fighting a state common nonstate actors who correctly in my eyes observing the strategy they've chosen not to take on a global force for good at is the u.s. navy that would pulverize them in minutes or hours but chose to fight us as insurgents and terrorists. a smart strategy on their part but they do not openly identify themselves since in the rare
case of the islamic state they do not take and hold to a -- territory. inevitably we are going to use our technological abilities to attempt to find them and intercept communications to wiretap the american people, and i do not completely discount the damage done by that and i certainly share the concern about the fact the resources spent in one way or not spend another but the fact that they are spending a very low percentage on the national security issues and in fact i believe could easily increase that percentage if we only raised taxes again to those end boards by ronald reagan in the
1980s we would have plenty of resources for the federal government to provide both guns and butter for the american people. >> when i think about the damage done and the trade-offs taken giving up privacy in order to increase security, i do agree that we have given up some privacy rights to the homeland security industry that i would argue that almost every american is probably almost certainly given up for privacy rights to facebook and target a van to the nsa. i understand the righteous indignation and i'm confident
people will post about it where they will also reveal their addresses they are currently engaged with and their child's latest softball victory. i think the american people are not widely very indignant about that. and i share the concern indignation that the american people are not very involved in these wars. jim had a very important study in january called the tragedy of the american military which argued we need to bring back the draft because the american people are disconnected from the war. i disagree. no one i knew of in uniform wants anybody near them with a weapon who doesn't want to have that weapon and put me tell you we have more than enough
americans volunteering for the service we are currently unbelievably getting pink slips to u.s. army captains serving in combat in afghanistan telling them that we think them for their interest in the national security but because of the sequester impost by the house of representatives in the united states senate we are not able to find all of the captains the department the names we need so we are out of here. it's not that we don't have a draft rights that we haven't asked the american people as a whole to make sacrifices on behalf of the war. that is the real tragedy not of the american military that the america of the century. >> franklins line was benjamin franklin declared those who would give up potential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty putting it more eloquently, how about this way which has done
more damage the terrorist attack or the american reaction to the terrorist attack? >> in the city of brotherly love as you've experienced if you've gone to a silly game the attacks on september 11 were the worst attack on american soil in the nations history. the total cost to the american people easily billion dollars depending on how you value human life but because of the loss completely not just innocent human life but also people who would not volunteer to put themselves in harms way. the over reaction that followed in particular cost more than
4500 lives at least $2 trillion inflamed and gave new life to an al qaeda and radical islamist ideology that was clearly the pendulum swung so strongly away from qaeda after the september 11 attacks and high point very quickly in afghanistan it would have been relatively easy for the united states to have completely defeated al qaeda in the mountains of afghanistan with literally a few more battalions from the u.s. army's tenth mountain division which the secretary defense at the time refused to send them or act on the request for more troops and bin laden got away and then we invaded iraq unnecessarily and provided a motivation for the event that radicalized young men
around the globe, tens of thousands of additional fighters for the horrible ideology and so bad as they were as much damage as they did to the united states, the invasion of iraq in march of 2003 was far more injurious to this nation with repercussions that will continue to upset the middle east into this country for generations to come. >> and here is our other speaker. >> mr. risen welcome. [applause]
>> we've had a discussion that's been talking about providing a critique of the war on terror and what i've been trying to do is take your position and a few snippets out of your book and what i knew about your other writings. but i was just asking john was a summary question which has done more damage the terrorist attack on september 11 or the american reaction to the terrorist attack tax >> that is a loaded question. thank you for waiting i'm sorry i'm late first of all. the way i would answer that question is the whole point of terrorism is to terrorize. it doesn't have a conventional military objective. it's trying to provoke a
response. that's what it's always been throughout history. people called asymmetric warfare but i don't think that's the right term to use because it implies that it's a form of warfare it's just political theater designed to provoke. throughout history it's always been a way of which the aggrieved minority or part of the society can get an outside response from the majority, and in the case of al qaeda attacking the united states, it wasn't even an indigenous terrorist groups. most groups in history have been an indigenous part of society and that's why it is usually in the cases where it is an indigenous organization part of
the method group or some other form of the minority in which actually has lasting power and lasting effects because there is an actual base in the population that supports the viewpoint of that group and so that was the inherent weakness attacking the united states there was no indigenous support to speak of inside the united states for al qaeda. it wasn't like the ira which had a large base of support for what they wanted to do or the plo in the west bank. so i always thought al qaeda have this inherent weakness on its attacks in the west and there was no support for what they were doing. there was no support in the arab world for what they were doing either.
>> and so i always compared al qaeda to the anarchists of the 19th century. to me that is the closest parallel in history to what i'll qaeda was. it's a rebellion against modernism. it's not against the state. the anarchists of the 19th century basically were rebelling against the industrial revolution and they used assassination and small bombings in europe and the united states to make whatever point they had and the problem was they didn't really have a point. i'll qaeda didn't really have a point and unless you want to believe that they won a global caliphate but it's such a fantasy world they lived in and i think it's fair to say they
didn't have a real political strategic aim on anything they were doing and so i think to look at it in those terms it makes it easier to understand all they were trying to do in real terms is provoke us and they did a damn good job of that. and that's why i think the response that we have had to this has been far worse from our point of view than what the original attack plus because we have transformed our society in response to a group that never represented a serious threat to us in any meaningful way and they were like the anarchists meaning they could inflict small attacks and they could kill some people that there was no great point to it.
there was no political threat and there was no x. essential threat. so what we have done in creating a massive national security infrastructure in response to terrorism is in my opinion far in excess of what the threat was >> so nothing more than the idea that there is a certain number of terrorists and you can -- there is no way militarily to counter this kind of theater without creating the effect. >> that's the problem by invading iraq and invading afghanistan occupy them both but in addition to these two in addition to the global war on
terror using special forces, drones, any other number of operations we tended to act as a recruiting tool. we've created a lot of resentment in the world against our own and one of the things people don't like to hear a is when they all talk about how they've been radicalized with people here don't listen to is what they actually say. many of them say i was radicalized because of the invasion or radicalized because american troops are still in the middle east or radicalized because the drone killed somebody and so we have to think
smarter. i'm not saying that we shouldn't view the military we just have to do it in a spot away and recognize that there are consequences and that we are caught in a vicious cycle of how we responded to the terrorist attack and that that has the consequence that leads to more. and when do we get out of that cycle and i don't think anyone has thought through that. first the bush administration and then the obama administration has taken the tactical approach. they've never stepped back and felt more talk more broadly about how do we get beyond the waccamaw strategy. >> the cycle that you described has a particularly incendiary stage when the u.s. is occupying another country. political scientist at the the political scientist at the university chicago has shown that an iraq there was never in
history and practice of suicide bombing to the first suicide bombings began when america occupied the country and continue to come and it shows the same pattern in other countries. >> iraq had a regime that it didn't have any meaningful relationship to al qaeda. they were not involved in any widespread terrorism. they had some isolated events before. the chaos that we created is what led to the growth of terrorism and iraq. it's a very unpopular thing to say. people don't want to remember where -- people see isis on television. they wear black city looks scary and they have a very deal of care devices come from forgetting the last decade of our involvement in iraq and the middle east. >> john yoo have been mostly
nodding in agreement i think. >> before you came and i answered the question in the same way i focused on the international cost and agreed that the american response to the september 11 attacks have done more damage than al qaeda did it to solve. and i agree with you i think on the planes such as the invasion of afghanistan in 2001 was absolutely necessary when they refused to hand al qaeda central over. i think that we mishandled that war. >> i would agree i would just say that we occupied it and we didn't need to stay there forever. >> i'm looking hard to disagree. they had to work with saint augustine. they talk that the purpose of the war to build a better piece and so my argument after we used
afghanistan as a way to defeat a spending hundreds of millions of dollars to build a better afghanistan i would argue that is what allowed the taliban to host bin laden and after toppling the taliban and i believe that. and we had a moral obligation and national security obligation and i think we could have done that more cheaply than it had been done if we hadn't taken our eye off the ball in what i consider to be the worst mistake in foreign-policy history so i think we did need to occupy afghanistan that would never again be a safe haven.
>> the first time i went to afghanistan a few years ago that trip is what gunny writing because this was 2006 and we had already spent as a country tens of billions of dollars on reconstruction in afghanistan. and i expected to see some evidence of those tens of billions of dollars in kabul and riding around the city there is absolutely no evidence of any n. proof meant based on anything from economic reconstruction. there are no paved streets. and i kept thinking as a
reporter where is the money going. and over time a lot of reporters figured out it was going on flights from kabul to dubai where it was coming in from the united states and going back out >> they told a number of the gold rush to cash in on the spending so some of it went to dubai. the audience has been listening but you must have questions and i think we have time for at least two or three. we have about ten minutes so anyone who would like to move to the microphone. >> if we hadn't gone into iraq in 2003, whether the war on terror be over by now? stack i think there is a good chance of that, yes. >> counterfactual is always hard but had we defeated the -- as
long as we are on counterfactual had we sent troops to afghanistan in 2001 2002 to track al qaeda rather than letting them get across the border to pakistan at that point the ideology would have been almost completely discredited. there was the unnecessary and a brutal and poorly conducted invasion and subsequent occupation we would have seen a far more effective reconstruction effort in afghanistan and it's important to remember jim is right that it's a tough place. but 70% of the people think their country is moving in the right direction.
since we were just coming up from such a low base there were numbers that were three digits on september 11, 2001 and there are fewer than a thousand telephones in the whole country and today there are 15 million. every other has a telephone and smartphones. think about the multiplier effect. by failing to focus on the war in front of us by september 11 paul wolfowitz was whispering and president bush's you're saying that we needed to invade iraq on the day we were already talking about and jim is right in the and the country that had nothing to do with al qaeda or the attacks on september 11 but that decision to invade iraq had
that's not happened i that not happened i think this would have been a decade-long rather than a century and neither jim or i would have written our books and we had a panel on education. >> you've been critical of the bush administration and the obama administration. one of the criticisms u.s. policy has for a long time we have dictators for the sake of temporary security that fostered the rise of political islam. in just about every country except tunisia but would you recommend going forward for the united states in terms of its
policy or do we go for temporary security click >> there is no one size fits answer. if so and cane onto your hats. the most radical population in the world, the number one funder of al qaeda the source of 15 of the 19 hijackers and they've gotten more radicalized since then, so it isn't something i'm in favor of. this is one of the reasons the obama administration is pursuing a relationship. the population is the opposite with a thin veneer of an anti-american government so i wouldn't be surprised to see saudi arabia and iran for places in terms of their relative importance as pillars of the foreign policy in the middle
east. there is no easy answer in general. i'm not in favor i am not in favor of military interventions and we should intervene only when we are committed to remain for generations as we have been in germany, italy, japan and south korea and only when we are willing to pay as we go and raise the taxes in advance of the operation. that said, the world is on a strong democratic trend and you can see that clearly over the past century and that trend will continue over time. >> we have time for two more quick questions. >> good afternoon. you mentioned isis being al qaeda 3.03 i would like to borrow a term that was used by the university of new mexico but at one time they were the briefer on the cia he referred to it as the gitmo generation
emerging. the way that we've conducted ourselves in the eyes of the people along with the abu ghraib prison how do we correct our mistakes and remedy that? because these others are weighing down heavily on the minds. >> i would concur completely with that assessment but both of those cases are extremely harmful to the perception of the united states. i believe that they had the right answer here moving to the maximum-security prison in the united states. the congress has picketed that
from happening. just one of what i believe to be many instances have been injurious to the interest of the united states over this decade. >> this goes back to the degree that they've had a negative effect and unintended consequence but this is one of many. i think it is part and parcel of the decision to invade iraq and to continue this approach to the war on terror. if you think that you can kill your way out of the war on terror, then you are not understanding what's going on in front of you. you have to be smarter about how we intervene in this whole region and this is just one of
those issues. what bothers me is politically inside of the united states there is no political incentive now for anybody to step back and say wait a second i think the war on terror isn't being conducted in the right way because the only political cost today to any politician is was there and attack come did somebody get blown up was pipe bomb someplace and so the public has taught the politicians that's the only thing we have to fear and so that leads you to a very tactical short-term approach. because of that dynamic, nobody in congress or in the white
house has any time to think about are we doing at the it the right way? its just code out -- a guide number three again. >> i think we have time for one more question as long as we answer each in 90 seconds. >> i think that you referred to one of the successful parts of the war on terror. i'm just curious on the collateral damage and how it isn't just creating more resentment. >> first, they are far more precise than the warfare of the subject of which i had some experience have some experience in the previous bombing campaigns so collateral damage is inherent in the use of violence. you are always going to kill some people. we have destroyed and done great damage to the successor
organizations but i agree with jim's broader point we have not conducted the operations war in order to minimize the effect of those accidental deaths and more broadly to attack the ideology of the enemy. >> i would say if you are looking purely at military if the drones have been successful i would have to disagree on the point of the degree if you look on balance i would say that the resentment especially in places like the northwest frontier in pakistan and yemen and places like that automatically it's like a drug. it's kind of like crack. it's helping us in the short-term and it's helping us get through these short-term
periods where the officials are looking week by week. they are not looking down the road of the long-term consequences of this and we are creating new generations in that part of the world that say when i grow up i'm going to kill an american because they killed my father. >> that has to be the last word. thank you both very much. james risen the author of "pay any price: greed, power, and endless war." and john nagl, author of "knife fights: a memoir of modern war in theory and practice". thank you for joining us today at the school in an annapolis. [applause]
i think it is a form of -- i think grieving is degrading. >> you call it fear-based learning. >> homework is fear-based learning and grades. socrates never gave grades were homework. the american education system no more than socrates and montessori i don't think so. but i have to do it with college. at the catholic university i teach a class and i walk in the first day, did anybody here use to get in a view archive raise your hand. i promise you you can leave right now and i will turn it in for you at the end of the semester. they were like what's my catch.
there is no catch i said so one more has handed down and said here's my name, and he left the room and never came back. so word spread i was handing out aids aides like flowers in the spring time. so they didn't like it and they didn't invite me back. i never saw him again but the boy in the book was in the class and he stayed and learned something and he now runs a shelter for homeless people. they tell them told and take a look at the obituary page in the times and the post he will never see one that says 2.9 average in college died yesterday.
find somebody that sat on their deathbed and said i wish i got more a's in college. >> host: it's also the parents pressure. a mother calls you to say how is my daughter doing in class and you said ask your daughter. i said what i know how would i know, i'm a teacher. [laughter] just ask your daughter, she will tell you. but they want to get them into the iab. i said send them off into the plays and ip. it doesn't make a difference. >> but it does make a difference in terms of the students these days getting out of school with so much debt they are on this track that they have to get high-paying jobs and a lot of times getting that high paid job depends on what college you went to and how you did.
>> plus what you measured in command there is a decrease in philosophy measures. engineering. now obama is pushing science technology engineering and math. >> host: what do you advise people that are coming out of school with $100,000 in debt i want to do something good for the world what can i do? >> the first thing you can do is marry up if that's possible. [laughter] it is a tough thing that they will excuse most of the dead if you do public interest law. i think a lot of the law schools are doing that and some of the colleges also. but we are finding all of these wars. we've been fighting these and