tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 6, 2015 8:00pm-10:01pm EST
ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for coming. i'm a visiting fellow at the american enterprise institute and a columnist at the washington examiner, and i think that you've seen erupt around the country especially this last year a discussion on criminal justice reform on over criminalization and all sorts of things we will focus on a specific aspect of that. my thoughts on why i picked this i have libertarian leanings and
justice and mercy need to play up. i don't think we will get into a question of are we locking up all the millions of people that we lock up makes our country safer that is a tricky question to debate. once we put people in prison, are we doing anything to help them or just burning lives. when you having prison sentences that serves a deterrent effect so it serves some good. it keeps criminals off the streets there's some good there. we call these correctional facilities. are they just making things worse? so given the debate for some extent of criminalization although that will be relevant.
can we change anything going forward. i ask them asked them who they felt within their lives and i write about lobbying and politics and i run a former lobbyist politician. on mine right is my right is a lawyer and fellow republican congressional republican study committee. he passed through the revolving door and became a lobbyist in 1999. he wrote a book which was big reading in my house with my brother when he was in law school it was scalia's dissent. it was an excellent book to get your final up and running. it is was against mandatory minimums and on my left, jeff smith former missouri state senator congressional candidate
who a lot of us stumbled upon in a documentary called ken mr. smith still go to washington and he is now an assistant professor at the new school in new york. the reason i bring them here as they both have served time in prison. so before we get to the substance quickly. i was a lobbyist and the leader ended up being the scandal in the bush administration, and i was basically charged with honest service fraud.
in a federal prison camp in maryland i forgot to mention i said the documentary name is ken mr. smith still go to washington and what i have in my hand is the brand-new book for sale in the lobby called mr. smith goes to prison which tells his story very well. can you quickly tell us? >> sure. i was in the senate in missouri and the moderator asked a question i found too intrusive and i took the end. no. [laughter] i will try to convince this as much as i can. russ carnahan who was a successful two-term governor and senator and sister and secretary of state.
about three weeks before election day to the consultant billed himself as a practitioner of the political dark arts. he told by aides he wanted to put out a postcard detailing my opponent of the race. he wants to do this, should we give him the information and what should the voting record tell him and i replied i don't want to know what you do. so does that mean we should do it? and they said okay so they gave him the voting information which was publicly available. about a week after the campaign my attorney prepared an
affidavit for me to sign in response to a federal election commission complaint. it provided any knowledge about the postcard even though i knew my aides had that with the person who figured it out and i found a false affidavit. my best friend called me and told me that the man who had done that five years earlier had just been picked up by the feds for mortgage fraud, bank fraud, illegal weapons possession, spousal abuse, cocaine distribution, human distribution i let my aides get mixed up with this monster and my best friend and i said what are we going to do what they come but if they come and knock on our door
because this guy says five years earlier i can deliver something to you that a state senator so my best friend and i talk about that for a couple months and little did i know that entire time he was wearing a wire; a chance to stay out of prison was to do something similar and i didn't do that and i was sentenced to a year in federal custody for about ten and a half months. >> part of where i want to start here is from your experience and your knowledge professionally, does prison do anything to help criminals and can it can if your dose if it or does it just sort of ruined lives.
they should be kept away from civil society. there's no doubt about that. i don't think anyone would disagree about that. they have a problem where they would keep offending person may be the only solution. for some there's a lot of people that were uneducated. these are not master criminals. if we ratchet up the penalties people will be more inclined to follow the law and that is in the population might not like -- i met with and read the code to figure out what they were and to cost-benefit analyst us. they sold drugs because they wanted extra money. and i should say it captured my
experience almost perfectly. there is a method called white-collar prisons because not only are we white-collar but there are no white-collar prisons anymore so most people than my camps for violations serving minimum mandatory for drugs so it was a wide array of people. some people needed to age out. they had just limited to brain functioning and they needed to grow up and mature. other people who didn't speak much english and limited education were able to get their ged while they were there and they have helped. for most of the people though it is just killing time and people would say that's okay if you're bored your board doesn't bother me. but it should because while you are sitting there like a can on a shelf in the job market is advancing, technology is advancing, your family is moving on. everything is changing and you
have no responsibility when you were in prison. you may have a job that's a lot of makeshift straw this. man is a creature that can get used to anything and that is what happens to prisoners you'll hear they get institutionalized so you will hear what it takes to become a decent prisoner. you stay out of fights and arguments and you don't touch people's other laundry so it's just that sort of stuff. but you go to the commissary and have a limited amount of things you can buy. you learn that lifestyle. there's a comfort in that that and when they get close to leaving to get nervous because they are afraid of the choices. so, for a lot of people, long sentences without any meaningful programming, and i will address that, because unless you were able to get a drug treatment, were you -- or you get your ged,
there's nothing else available that will help you react when made and that is a problem so when you look at recidivism rates and people come out and reoffend the people who will do the right thing. some people will be fine and will try to do the right thing. after a few years they are not going to be up to make ends meet. they have their family to support and they are at risk to go back to the lifestyle that sent them there in the first place and so i do want to talk and say there's so much more that can be done on the programming side of things but it has to be coupled in a way that not only do the do more to treat them while you're there because his compassionate and in our interest and reoffending but also we have to shorten the sentences to satisfy some of the ten or 20 years living in that kind of confinement. connected you see anything where you thought people were being helped or improved or anybody that left sort of better impulse control or more prepared for the world when they came in?
>> i wish i could tell you differently but in my experience , presented a lot to create criminals and almost nothing to rehabilitate people. if i'm going on for too long just to stop me. but the first way is the prison reinforces people's tendencies to operate outside of like the rules and outside of the normal economy. when you get roughed up -- locked up most prisoners are destitute. they get into prison, they don't have someone on the outside to put money in their books. maybe some of them do for the first year but then people say they kind of forget about them and so the problem with that is you don't have it made coming to
your soap computer and cut-and-paste to the basics of personal hygiene are when you're looking virtually on top of hundreds of thousands of other people and hygiene is a really important for a lot of reasons i could get into later but the point is if you want to have a normal lifestyle where you make you have to find a helpful indicator range from things that are totally legal like those that develop their artistic talent and those that go portraits of other guys do things the hard little bit less legal like bookies who make book on the prison basketball games to the guys that run barbershops which the business is fine with to those that run tattoo parlors
which i'm fine with. to them the most too bad the most lucrative hospital which is used for smuggling contraband. so, there's all types of -- and i would tell you i agree with almost everything you said except i found some very skilled men and i would say that in my experience there's not a single concept you could learn that you could learn inside the prison new product launch, quality control, territorial expansion, mismanagement, barriers to interest. i heard every one of these elucidated numerous times using so much different lingo. unfortunately there was no training at all in the business world but they have we have learned through success in the drug world, no training to turn
those into formal enterprises on the street. there was a computer course that was offered. there were three courses while i was there, one had a prisoner teaching so that prisoner didn't really care that much from most of the time and so if you did in 20 go you didn't have to go into them there was the course because what better way to compare someone for successful reentry than to learn how to code tomatoes and water for two weeks. and then third is a further with the computer skills are supposed because to course for everyone on their way out. finally, we have been salivating the whole time over this room 12 brand-new computers but no one ever got to go in. it was locked the whole time. i sat out the computers and i was an aggravation and southeast kentucky and the ceo tells us sign in so the sign in the form and he's as we all sit down and
he's a youth event button on the bottom rack, push and. so the computer turns on and we sit there for about 90 seconds. a prisoner says custards playing with the mouse and says if you push the -- shut the f up. so we sat in silence in about 40 minutes and he says you're a member that little button, push it again and didn't get the f back to your cell. but since we had all signed in, they could tell them that we have successfully completed a computer skills course and now the prison could get their stipend from the federal government for having done that. so that i would say was sort of the indicative of the amount of
reading the petition going on. so that's where i want to go now is with programming that it does happen. it's supposed to be part of the federal system for the state system and do they try it and what can work? it seems like a good thing they would learn because that is a huge part of what sort of creates a coming apart at some go to computers and others don't. are they care they are based, are they just -- can you teach somebody something .-full-stop or is it to lead by the time -- what would you want to see? these are eight discourses. they are taught by inmates. most of the program is taught by inmates and so i didn't take hydroponics but i could take a class on current events or crochet and get credit and it
was all busy work and it was just the prison administration wanted to show that they were keeping us busy. when they go to the review you would give them a certificate i'm so busy working hard rehabilitating youth. they felt so good about this column of the road and on. but i talk about it and i think that it's so corrosive because these are people that need to learn the rules. check was saying there are people that do these things that are -- i didn't really care about that. it's just i thought this is the place where you've broken the rules, the lowest of the low. the prison doesn't -- isn't fair to isn't there as a people are isn't fair to people or in idle hands and end up doing the wrong thing so the program was
lackluster. in terms of things i thought others drug treatment but there's fewer addicts then people would think at least in the federal system there were only a couple people that came in that were really strong out in the throes of an addiction that needs help and there were people that have dependency and probably needed help that it's not like they committed their crimes. they were trying gimmick money. but the thing i think is missing the most is cognitive behavioral therapy and some sort of psychological hurt and some therapy. a lot of these folks come from communities where that is frowned upon and there's people everywhere but frown upon this. but the lack of impulse control to just sort of emotional disconnect, these are lots were lots of behavior that antisocial and that is what got them in this position and now they are great the most antisocial place in the world where you are walking around with headphones on screaming music to no one.
somebody is calling a foul in a basketball game and those are things you have these people in a fishbowl and they might not seek help otherwise but while you have them there there are certain things you could do to work with them to get them thinking about their thinking patterns and get them thinking about their behavior and choices they are making at the roots of those traces. people do what they were raised to do and they are not even thinking about it otherwise even those of us to try. they are not thinking of any of that and it's not cool to think that either so we headed to hundreds of the prisoners prisoners and we had one trained psychologist and she was the head of the drug treatment program. she didn't want to do any do any
more work than that so when i was there after a while and i had two girls i was missing terribly and i knew some of the others the others that are missing were missing their kids we talked about putting together a group and we said let's put together a father's group so that we can talk about ideas about how to stay in touch with her kids and usable minutes like the guy that creates pictures, anything you can find to stay close to your children that's what you want to do and you also want to be able to say i'm bummed out. you don't go cry on your bunkmate's shoulder. to have a group like that i thought this would be a sure winner for you to the psychologist wanted no part of it she wouldn't respond to my e-mails asking if we could group together so there's a lot of service to talk about, family reunification and how important it is to stay close but close but there's not a lot that gets done and like jeff said, that is the level of concern.
it's sort of i checked the box and gave you your computer training doesn't matter if you learned anything so i think the states do a better job from what i hear that the federal government is really far behind. >> i'm going to ask you in a second about something that's been alluded to in your book you used the phrase about how you have to behave to not have other prisoners make your life horrible. but before you talk about that i want you to see what you can about programming. do you think psychological help as possible, helpful, what are your thoughts on that? >> i agree with everything kevin's head. you have crochet? [laughter] and i'm a master now. >> i put in how to teach five different courses, and instead i was put to work and i see a couple of you have the book if you turn the book on the back you can see what my job was.
i worked in a warehouse on the loading dock and you can see the crew i worked with. you can probably tell which one i was. [laughter] anyway, so no. i'm not trying to be like -- you do the crime you do the time and you do the time how they want you to and about how you want to do the time, so i'm not going to complain about my job but i definitely think i had a decades worth of teaching experience and i had been a state senator and i would have loved to teach a course as i applied first to to teaching black history course because i was a black history study major in college and i hope it could have been interesting. i wanted to teach a current events close. i applied to teach -- that i realized anything that had any political or ideological charge was never going to fly and so i applied to teach a job interviewing and resume writing that could teach a little bit more about that but they ignored all the requests.
although about three weeks before i got out, they did finally moved me which was interesting. i had fallen off of a -- -- removed about 35 we moved about 35 or 40,000 pounds of food a day into freezers that were bigger than this room and i fell off the top of a freezer a few weeks before i left and i don't think they were going to move me that the lieutenant governor of missouri had to visit the next day and then they figured he might have come in response to be falling even though it was totally confident in who they figured he might have some juice behind you than they did move me. [laughter] and they sent me to the education department and then i was heartened at least it wasn't going to be long i hope i get to teach and the guy in charge of that said inmate, but the education level and i said phd and he said all right .-full-stop you are sweeping the
classroom. so i swept the classroom for my last month. >> that's one thing i would say not to put it to too much on the bureau of prison because i was going to teach a writing class as well because a lot asked me to edit things they were doing either court filings or coursework or correspondence courses and they would ask me to write and i think writing is a lost skill. anyway, but in prison and be miserable and so i said -- someone said what you teach a class in writing and thinking, resume, cover letters, basics like that and i have to say part of the problem was no one would have come. a couple of the guise of seeking out privately that they were not going to come from five to six at night because the prison wasn't kind to make them. there were some who were interested but i didn't want to put it all on the present that they should have made them come. that was the thing so the head of education i said -- he said
out of 50 people go to this class and it doesn't even hold 50 people within electrical class and i said they aren't going. he said then why am i getting them all certificates and i said because you don't know who's there and who's not. he said how do i fix that and i said you stay and check attendance when people come out and he said forget it. >> what you said really spoke to said people would come out and ask me for help but they wouldn't go to class. all the time people wanted help, they wanted tutoring on their ged or help writing a resume, all that stuff they would quietly come to my cell and ask so there's definitely interest and i've actually say like pretty insatiable thirst to figure out what they are going to do next and how they are going to acquire a skill but yeah doing things for multipurpose and wasn't always interested in that. so there's a lot of research actually on prison education programming and the corporation they just did a study of dozens
of other studies of prison education programs around the country and it shows before first of all there's a 43% reduction in recidivism for prisoners to advance education while they are incarcerated and second, for every dollar that we spent on prison education programs and vocational training varies in almost 6-dollar return and reduced cost related to that recidivism and that makes sense if you think of the 43% reduction in think it's costing on average $31,000 a year to incarcerate someone that you can see how much money we'd save doing we would save doing it so what kind of courses. you talk about therapy, therapy would be so important because people don't have an outlet and prison teaches you so many things. it teaches you a way to behave like to suppress all in motion all the time. >> this is good to be my next question if you talk in the book about the code that making eye contact or seeming to frankly
there is a way that you have to behave which is antisocial in a way that you have to learn the rules of survival that probably are counterproductive outside. is there anything -- i mean i can't imagine it being something that all would be easy to fix or is it rooted in the fact that it's sort of the prison versus prisoners is there anything that could be done even if you were just dreaming that could make prison not foster that code that pushes people towards the end >> i would say yes there is. and that code what results is number one, a tendency to suppress all in motion because you learn very quickly that any show of emotion is a sign of weakness. to be like i'm so excited for the visit i'm going to get this saturday now. you don't tell anyone else about your family, you don't tell them how much you miss your kids.
you don't do anything because then they know how to get to you and people play a lot of mind games and have a lot of time on their hands. they've developed really sort of acute senses for other people's weaknesses and they will print on the sea were not to express any emotion and of course you develop a tendency to overreact to small fights because if someone cuts ahead of you in line and you don't step up your weekend everyone knows your weekend then people will find other ways to try to exploit that and so all these tendencies that you develop of course are totally dysfunctional out in society and that's the root of the problem. does it have to be this way you ask? don't think it does. i was in a prison in texas that was the most positive place where the camaraderie and the enthusiasm for learning xe did anything that i've experienced among phd candidates at the new school. [laughter] i'm being honest. it was a nonprofit called the prison entrepreneurship program
which full disclosure i'm on the board now, it operates inside to prisons in texas. they ran a nine-month long curriculum where it culminates prisoners that compete in a shark tank like business plan competition. they have nine months with the hope of executives and students from all over the world who advise them advised them on the creation of these business plans and the sort of positivity and just genuine care and concern and love for one another i felt like it was similar to that of a great winning high school team or college team and the recidivism rate for graduating to prevent the last 11 years, 6%. less than one tenth of the national recidivism rate and several men started multimillion dollar businesses as well. so i think there are ways.
we see examples of ways to create an atmosphere that's very different. >> so there are examples of these things being done right. >> i don't want to disagree, and again when i read the book it was i scared everybody telling my story because he really told perfectly well. the one thing i would say is my sense of soft folks there as there were too many bill gates just waiting to be born and i think i afraid sometimes we romanticize the prison population to think that these are people you would have a dinner party. this is everybody's least valuable players. it's not a great group of people to hang around with. i say that -- i was there so i'm not trying to be above it. the device of the things they are people would put it right on me that i was with them and i get that it's just that these are low skilled, low education bad social skills, all of which
i think can be dealt with. but i don't want to mislead people into thinking they are all budding entrepreneurs because what worries me the most is when people would come up and say i've got this business plan i'm going to come out with a map. they don't even know an iphone is that they had an ad is have an app is going to sell and be like gangbusters if somebody just heard of this idea and they've been sitting there for six or seven years. they have no market research or anything. they didn't know what they did and now. so i felt like with some people you shouldn't worry about being your own boss and you get out you should just hope to be a card and a machine somewhere. you don't need to compete with wal-mart you just need to be a greeter at wal-mart, just hold a job, get something that pays the bills and put you and don't crush your dreams. but you're going out with a felony conviction, you don't know what the job market is like and so i thought the prison could give people a little realism by giving so much space
they let people dream unrealistic dreams and i thought that was really counterproductive for the people who really needed a dose of reality as to what they were going to face when they got out. i was the exact opposite. i was fortunate my circumstances were so much different, so i could exempt myself from that. i knew i was going to do when i got out that a lot of these guys don't and they get scared that they are allowed to dream unrealistic dreams i don't think that's helping them. >> i want questions from all of you in a minute. but i have one last topic for these two. reentry. when they get out of prison, you know, are there existing programs? you studied a lot of things that work, and also just so that -- i mean people here who haven't had anybody close to them go in and come out of prison what are the challenges that besides not having seen an iphone box >> a huge challenge his family
and community support. we talked about how heartbreaking it is to watch men who work i don't know what the wage laws for your job that i made $5.25 which are what people say that's not bad and then i told him that was my monthly. for 40 hour working in the warehouse and so but of course like you, i was lucky. i have money. most of my money went to my lawyers and then i had to pay a big fine for the government so that was most the money but i still have enough to have someone send me a hundred bucks here and there so i always had money on the books if i needed it. most of these guys you're working making between five to $25 a month and not only do you have to buy the basics of like personal hygiene but if you sometimes have child support over years accumulating while you are incarcerated and then just to stay in touch with your family where i was, that phone calls were like a dollar 50
cents a minute for me to call home. for others it was even more. there were some prisoners is not just $14 a minute. the fcc changed that in a ruling that came out last week that thanks to the great work of kevin's organization and some other organizations as well. but this is a a huge part of the reentry is the reason that a lot of family members have because guys didn't stay in touch and they don't fully understand just how hard it was to get the resources to stay in touch. you never told people how bad it is in there. you don't tell people, that's part of the code. you don't want people feeling already worse than they already feel so you say everything is fine. so getting the family back together is a challenge and they perform background checks and that is a huge obstacle. one of the reasons i'm an advocate for entrepreneurship is because so many people won't hire you and i'm not saying everyone is going to get out and do an app.
i know you have a he might have a slightly friendly disagreement about this stuff but basically these guys could run their own trucking company. they could run their own landscaping business and become their own barbershop and they could run their own janitorial business. they have that entrepreneurial spirit and that is what led them into the drug trade because they said i don't want to work at mcdonald's and think $7 an hour i want to do better and so the challenge though is channeling that energy into something that's legitimate and then also literally figuring out a way to get them just the basics like a halfway house. my halfway house was worse than my prison. i don't know what yours was like but my halfway house was crazy. and when you put people right back in that place, 650,000
people every day conducted or six of the communities, the same communities they've already failed but now they have the stigma of a prison record and they are broke and they have to pay for the house and they their drug testing and further transportation "-end-quotes to look decent job a decent job interview it's surprising to me sometimes that one out of three people don't reoffend. how they are able to get back on their feet. we need practical therapy, therapeutic resources, not po's that are like beer, be here at this time time eventually i will buy you a cute. you need to be here for the drug test with somebody to counterbalance that and say hell are you feeling about being back here, what do you need can help you? can we help you with bus passes? can we hope you learn to use the internet tax you don't do any employers or have anyone you can list as a reference? have people you can talk to. a database of employers like second chance employers willing to hire people.
it's great to see coke and wal-mart be on the box but we need productivity and need people to step up and say one of the researchers that it takes to identify, recruit, hire and then support and retain people who are incarcerated. >> and again, i'm a conservative libertarian but that sounds like the perfect sort of thing for a nonprofit sort of vocal by local state-by-state level. do you think that should be part of the criminal justice system. he was the brother of the company owner and he came out and said we want to help you can use bake some bread. he started baking bread and you know there's some good cooking. >> i miss the not chose.
but he made about are totally different and experimented with different stuff and went nuts and everyone wanted and it grew hundreds of percentages and it got acquired by a much bigger company because it's been so successful and they decided they were going to made it their mission to be a second chance employers almost 40% of their employees are people who came out of prison and gave him a big summit for employers all across the pacific northwest to learn what they are doing and so i think the government could have a role in connecting people back to wherever you're from and connecting you to those resources. i'm not optimistic given my prison experience they are going to take that seriously because frankly one of the ceos when people would leave his mind would be i will see you in six months. it jackasses like you that remind me i'm always going to have a job.
>> i think the reason is because the halfway houses you are were still under the department's control. i was still serving my sentence when i left so i had to do home confinement for a couple of months and i got to go to rockville and quickly get the home confinement that if i have to go to hope village in dc i know a lot of people have been to hope the ledge and and it's worse for a lot of people. the ceos are stealing things from inmates and some people would pass up a halfway house time even though they wanted to be closer to their family and communities and start getting a job they did did to go to the halfway house because they didn't want to deal with it so there are some standards that could be set. even though i didn't have to spend time there, they have a good reputation because they really spend time getting people on the phone. they require a certain amount of time applying for jobs and that is their whole focus is you're going to apply to ten jobs at a
server if a server is a set of period they are making them do that so they are really on demand so i think that is a good thing. you mentioned coke and wal-mart and i would just say this is one of those cultural changes that need to happen. >> so, coke, wal-mart, target of some of the companies voluntarily said we are not going to put on our application whether you have a criminal conviction. we will find that out. but we don't want to knock you out of the consideration based on that one fact alone so that is a smart movie did on their own. there is no law that requires that. president obama announced he is going to ban the box for federal contractors. i will just say this as a conservative i think an employer can ask whatever they want so this idea to me is less about what is actually going to do because a lot of guys i served with the couldn't get asked on the application they would submit their resume and be a ten-year gap with nothing to
take long for someone to figure out where you've been or on some people list the prison jobs because they don't want the gap and they did do some work. so i'm not so optimistic about that. it has to be a cultural change. there is no wall that is going to do this to make people hire vendors and give them a second chance. we have to do that. i do not -- i had to do community service because after the trials i couldn't afford to pay fines i have to do 200 hours of community service and i live in montgomery county. this progressive county in the world more than a side of the weight. psychedelic. if bernie sanders or not the answer to maturity is a fascist up there. and so this is the greatest place you should be able to come home to and yet i got turned down by three different places to do community service because of my felony conviction. the place is a blanket policy is not to hire felons. i don't seek to be paid, have a law degree at just want to stack blocks in your bookstore but they will not hire me.
so forget banned the box and forget about even not asking me. how about getting rid of policies that don't allow you to consider me at all? so again i think it's cultural. i think it's just saying and knowing more people who've gone to prison saying i'm not going to write it off because you served some time. i'm going to judge you as an individual and get to know you and i think that's what has to happen. it's not a government solution though. >> one possible solution and we might be -- i think that even people on the right kind that's when people on the right might find this interesting. remember what he said people got out, that feeley that feeley and david the incentive structure that operates for prison wardens and prison administrators. they have a job because they know this could be a constant supply. what but if we turn it on its head? what if we gave stipends for bonuses to the ceos who worked in prisons basically a feature packed everyone who came out of prison and they went five years
without precipitating then we gave a 5,000-dollar bonus to the co at the last two prisons where they were housed? maybe if we turn the incentive on their heads than prison guards would be more focused on boosting you up then tearing you down. >> i totally agree with that. i would take the sword of war do not have the facility and put it on him to create that culture and i certainly would want to know -- i think they judge themselves now on nobody escaped today. you know. [laughter] but everybody that leaves prison is reoffending. said the bureau could at least track that information how are the differences of these doing. they were this close to being inmates themselves and so does
rate is like 23%. they are doing great. the best present i have ever been in that house in texas. at the liberals and cynics might say the reason the rate is so low is because they execute so many people. governors have led the way over last five or six years both on the front end on sentencing reform. not only did he focus on this but then he ran for the reelection.
once again with an accolade and then to go to my question first, gentlemen, thank you there's times you regret what happened to you but i think that it's been my impression working in irvine schools and areas to one population is probably least represented as prisoners. so that's good and by question kind of comes along with that. you talked about old about this has been the reaction of so much to you personally that your message i think is an important message. are they beginning to act, obviously it's going to be multiple things but. only in only a political only in the political lines as is being received differently it's just as you imagined, some people --
i didn't want to be the one that came out of an expert and it's not because i didn't want to relive the experience. i worked for families before i was invited so i was involved in these issues and i have been on the wrong side of these issues when i was a staffer on capitol hill and i wrote the walls when i was young but i thought i knew everything. as a part of this was a little bit attendance at just the idea that if it doesn't appeal to me as conservative any more that we would than we would with politicians sentences for cases they knew nothing about. so i thought i wanted to get that message out and i am lucky that as jeff said there are so many other conservatives are doing this and a personal level, you know, you think that you are getting so much support because of the people who are talking to you. it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. i know there are people who -- but i don't like is any other walk of life experience matters. and since for conservatives if you're a businessman complaining about the epa they would say you know because you are out there
as they are screwing from your business we want to hear your viewpoint. if i said was in my experience of the justice department they would say of course you said that because you broke the law. said nobody has done more to fight crime and eventually. he digitally. he was the chief during 9/11. he ran rikers island but if you're going to dismiss him because he has a conviction -- either way, just never talks about jeff never talks about reforming the law for his conviction was that i talk about mandatory minimums but i wasn't subject to one. he doesn't talk about tax reform area talking about the system that we saw coming and unfortunately we have experienced, so i'm a big play, i can take it but i don't become a discount it as that that experience that it's discounted because people think it is a note if i had. i would just as well not talk about this. i helped create that system as part of a staffer being a staffer and so the reaction is mixed. obviously there is a sample of people that come to the events
where i'm selling my book. but i go on to conservative talk radio and i go wherever i can. i talk about rape and my standard talk because i think it's important to talk about. we tolerate a rape culture inside prison. there are more that have been in prison than they have been on the street, that happen outside. so how do we handle that? the laugh about it. our pop culture is the staple of the detective shows, law and
order state prosecutor says don't drop the soap to the perpetrator going away. how callous do you have to be to think that no matter what happens to you on the inside you deserved it because you broke the law. that's crazy. and unfortunately a hugely disproportionate number of men. they come out and tragically attempt to reclaim their manhood in some ways i'm a good messenger for it because i was a policymaker and i actually worked on the kabul justice reform as a policymaker and then i am a researcher, too and so it came from that angle. and with the one the one respect i'm not the right messenger. i am highly educated, not
represented at the prison population. but in a perverse way i can reach people utterly can't reach and so i'm hopeful that i can do that and spread the message to people that otherwise wouldn't have listened. >> speaking of, you may have noticed that we are all white. he was attacked, jeff was attacked in the campaign just as a well-known caucasian when he was running in the district was largely black. >> we invite people here to get a diversity summit = yes in some people say no so i want to apologize for that. >> im a lawyer and a writer. we have 6,000 federal prisoners that are being released and he talks in his book about the reason why, one of the reasons why he was doing inventory on the loading dock because he had -- he could read that he had math skills so i'm curious
there's been a lot of reports about how there's a limited number of books in prison libraries. they don't allow newspapers, so what are the 6,000 prisoners going to do if they can't even read and they have minimal math skills? you can't even back at the grocery store without having literacy skills or math skills. >> do either of you experience this also? >> we had newspapers, we had a library that i worked at for a little while. i had books. again, part of this is not everybody is in their dying to read. some people can and want to and some people to use the time to self educate because there isn't classes. >> that's not the norm. but be honest if they've are really starting their education some of them they wouldn't be in
the position that they were in. but in terms of the 6,000 coming out i just wanted to say because sam has been having to respond on this a lot this is into the obama administration decision this is the sentencing commission it if we cannot tolerate the lowest of the low -- so there's been news reports about 6,000 people being let out early from federal prison for drug offenders and if you listen to bill o'reilly think you should run to your basement and lock the door because they are all violent folks. they are not. i was in prison i just got six months ago when all the people got their letters in the level to reduction and so what happened is the sentencing commission over a year ago said the drug houses were too high, the right lines were too high and since the sentence was driven by the weight of the drug that was involved in the offense they reduced the trigger of that so for most people think of a slightly shorter sentence. you have an 11 year sentence he would get a nine year sentence
and they said it's not fair to not include that for the people that are already serving its get rid of some of the overcrowding that we have and just as in equity matter let's do it this way people work people about to go into court and had to have a good record in the prosecutor was allowed to object. the judge have to had to agree to this is that the people that are coming out there's been this fear mongering going out about 6,000 people, federal prisons with 70,000 a year in state prisons without more. these are like a handful in each community and these are people that are serving drug offenses who serve substantial amounts of time who were coming out anyway so if you were worried that they were not ready for society they want it to wanted to be ready a year and a half either. those that want to tackle the bigger prison issues will have a hard time because these are the
lowest hanging fruit that we have in the system. >> what are we doing to help them do have much bigger problems. they are the lowest of the low do but do they have literacy skills? for some of them you mentioned some examples of things that have worked in some cases. they worked at a local level and it could be expanded and adapted into situations that on the
question of people that are illiterate getting an education and prison. if i said was the recidivism rate he would give the number that you heard that if i said that as the number of people going back to jail or is that the number of people just reoffending come is that the number of people that have technical violations you start to drop off and not know a lot of researchers don't have the answer to that either we don't have good data so even when we talk about the programs that work for matheny to do is also assess its programs, so i'm all for them doing the programming that we think works and reduces education as an example of that but i want to measure tested. and then if it works, you know, sort of spread elsewhere in the country. >> that might be the best answer possible. we need more data. >> the microphone is coming from
right behind you. >> good evening. >> my name is elizabeth charity and find a fan of the corporation services and up and as i was in the corporate world and then what i did is i lost my job and i started volunteering in the juvenile justice system and detention center. and while i was there i volunteered about 20 years and what i did is i wrote a grant and i gave it to the floor of governor george abbott and i started a 12 week job readiness program.
>> again, i want to know if i can maybe get statements. >> we can talk about that after. [inaudible conversations] >> ma'am over there in the salmon colored shirt. >> ii serve on the board of the advocates for the goucher prison population fellowship which offers programming in a high-end support goucher college offering liberal arts degrees at the only prison for women in maryland as well as a minimum security prison in jessup. we have a friendly audience, but talking to people who are much less sympathetic, whether we are talking to a ceo who might only have a ged and no longer gets a subsidy to take a community college course how is it that we talk, spending yet
more money talk to the skeptics. i was once one of them, and sothem, and so sometimes it helps that i remember what i was thinking at that point. and it is still helpful sometimes to be working on these issues and talk to someone on the hill who is like comeau why would i ever shorten the sentence for anyone who committed a crime you think, wait, wait, wait. because there is no evidence it is reducing crime. it is not helping recidivism. recidivism. but there is still just this -- turn on fox. >> especially among conservatives there is a deeply ingrained sense that justice needs to be served and these people do not deserve sympathy or help. >> until they know somebody
who runs afoul of the law which is happening more and more.more. some of these people who come out and are supportive of the right, look through the family tree and you will find someone who went to jail and all of a sudden they have a first-hand experience with the criminal justice system. some get it for other reasons. you know, that old, stale debate. and so, but how to talk to them, i really think that it is about appealing to self-interest because you cannot make someone feel compassion. they talk about personal stories command, and that reaches people in a lot of cases, but sometimes -- i don't want us to not be tough on crime. it is tough on criminals, individual criminals. if i want to show how tough i am in's and some -- sentence someone to 2020 years i may feel good about how tough i was, but if i
>> quickly i agree with kevin, self-interest. money. money in public safety is how i talked to conservatives. do you like spending $80 billion year of your money? >> and they say it's because they give plasma screen tvs and comfy beds. >> you at the comfy or bad. >> my bed with the stick to that fake. and i talk about public safety a lot. you know, these people, 93 percent of prisoners in this country are coming home whatwhat we do to them, like comeau we are sh it paying our own nest. we are -- these are americans.
we will see them. maybe they will live in your suburb, but when you go down town for the opera or for the baseball game you will see them. and if you want them to come out even more damaged, broken, and angry then they went in, then you have got the right recipe. >> yes sir. >> good afternoon. great talk. obviously entertaining, but speaking of entertainment before i aski ask a question i wanted to know, are you familiar with the comedian kevin hart? so, i went to see him recently and can relate because he is under 5-foot nine. i am 5-foot seven. no go go it is interesting
to here the rationality uses is he basically says i knowi know the consequences are going to be a fog in the fight with this person. is a difference between the way some people think. and it comes out okay versus someone who says it's going to, bad and i think i need need to walk away from that. so i have been able to stay out of prison because i have avoided a lot of situations where i could have made the wrong decision and maybe it was because of my mom or dad but as a result i would be the whitest guy in prison. i would be the guy they would pick out and say you uncle tom, i'm going to do this to you. do you are people you spoken to actually believe the things they did that got them put into prison were wrong? 's i think there is a.where you decide maybe i'm wrong,
maybe i should have been put in prison, there is no perfect answer. do you think -- because i don't understand what you said the supposedly got put in for. >> i lied. does not matter whether you lie about jaywalking or structuring financial transactions are killing someone, you still lied to the fed. i did know about that. so it sounds sort of technical comeau but the underlying crime was a campaign finance violation. and then the obstruction of justice was signing a false
affidavit saying i didn't no anything about the meeting. so that is what i did. do i think i did anything wrong? i think i broke the law, and therefore in this country i've done something wrong. i also have perspective on it and you get a lot of perspective on it by watching the presidential campaign i don't want to get into too many details, but he has a super pack. his political alter ego is running the super pack. they don't need to coordinate because they
spent the 1st six months figuring out exactly what they were going to do with that hundred and $60 million. i was an amateur, naïve, stupid. as a neophyte i made the mistake of doing it and illegal way. with some politicianwith some politician has done since we came here together on sunday. the fact is i did the crime, so i had to do the time. one of the biggest misconceptions is that prisoners all say, i didn't do it. they will tell you they did. it's a long story. there are going to plan raw meat in my freezer jacket because they were going to give me in trouble. i was not ceiling and so therefore they thought i was
a rat. i had to start ceiling. it was aa threat that i would have to utilize security prison. and this guy is like comeau what are you afraid of? they are murderers there. the only differences i missed. >> very smart and thoughtful and he had shot at people. he was in the drug trade and had shot at people and freely admitted everything. i believed he was intelligent enough and ambitious enough and hard-working enough. it was prison. it did not matter if the boxes were stacked perfectly adding care.
he was like, that's not right. change it around. he had pride in his work. i think he would be fine on the outside. even though, sure, there were guys already plotting. but that was not the norm. most of the guys wanted to fly straight. >> that was my experience as well. he knew what you are doing, with the penalty was. he had no idea what the penalty was. or you thinking? he wasn't. he made a decision in the spur of the moment my
charges, lobbying charges, essentially bribery charges because i disagree with the theory of events ultimately in the hope that they would do something for my clients. that was lobbying. it was what was my intent. i would have done anything to stay home with my daughters. i was going to have to incriminate others, testify against people i work with, members of congress. so that is my sob story. i live with it comeau what to prison, and did not seek sympathy for people who were serving much longer sentences for similar mistakes, things. so i will take my lumps. you asked for it. watching you hang out with.
the people there did not think about the conduct, and if you had said the penalty is five or the penalties for 25 it would not have altered their behavior because they were not thinking about doing cost-benefit analysis. this growing field of behavioral economics would inform more policies because there are things that you can do to prime people to make better decisions or to at least punish them in ways that respond, story justice, likable person whose fall drugs, be accountable, go to a clinic where people are trying to get off drugs and let them see the repercussions of what the drug trafficking did, don't let them sit in a cell for ten years with a have no face-to-face conduct. there are other things that we can do, but the whole idea of these people made mistakes, they are not innocent. every black guy in the system would say this system is racist.
no one was in they're fighting trials. what matters is not whether they are guilty. the question is, isis, is the punishment proportional to what they did? and i don't think it is. that is what we need to reevaluate. >> i think this has been a great discussion. most cheerful thing to me is that there are programs and smaller scales that have worked. this is now been taken up across the ideological spectrum, criminal justice reform broadly. i would like to go on forever, but we are incapable of doing that. i will say just book is available outside. just a quick note. i got the book and still have the dust jacket on. my five -year-old said what he says about every person
in the newspaper, is that your friend? what is the book about. suddenly all the older kids gathered around and thought it was an interesting story and informative thing me talk to them about. my oldest asked if she could read it. by it, don't buy it. but i thought that was an interesting thing, the exposure to that. but you're supposed to visit and care. i see it getting picked up across the spectrum and hope that the solutions on the local level bubble up. >> speaking of located in the book, four -year-old son is very gregarious and walks around to everyone says, high command you read dan i went to prison? [laughter] thank you for coming.
[laughter] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> the united nations high commissioner for refugees estimates a record number of migrants arrived in europe last month in the largest migration since world war ii. us assistant secretary of state and richard's talks about the situation in this challenges. >> i have learned that you can do anything you want to.
you can do anything that you want to. and it is such a great opportunity. so i would advise any first lady to do what you want to do. and another thing i learnedi learned is you will be criticize no matter what you do. i would have been criticized. and i got a lot of criticism. you learn to live with it, as i said earlier. you expected and you live with it and you never let it influence you. >> her husband's political partner from there 1st campaign and attended president jimmy carter's cabinet meeting.
their partnership on health and peacekeeping issues has spanned four decades since leaving the white house. this sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on "chasing" original series 1st ladies, influence and image, examining the public and private lives of the women who filled the position of first lady and their influence on the presidency for martha washington to michelle obama sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on "chasing" three. >> a signature feature is our coverage a book fairs and festivals across the country with nonfiction author talks, interviews, and you were colin are: segments. live from the 32nd annual miami book fair with coverage on saturday november 21. authors include representative john lewis discussing his book march, live call-in with wall street journal columnist and
author, journalist judith miller joins us to discuss her book the story, reporters story. surviving the aftermath. speak with the authors live. your calls on his book thrown under the omnibus and then calls about her book fracture, barack obama, the clintons, and the racial divide live from miami on c-span2 book tv starting november 21. be sure to follow and tweet us your questions. >> coming up next on c-span2 from washington journal: washin.
is then your screen former world chess champion and the author of the book, winter is coming. >> host: what is your history? your history with vladimir putin? guest: i have never met putin. this man has been destroying the who is, he is a dictator quite desperate to stay in power. searchinge has been for enemies outside of russia as well as enemies inside the country. inevitable, history wishes to recycle. but i have been saying that vladimir putin was a russian
problem for a long time and he will eventually be everyone's problem. the plans now that are spreading way beyond our borders. he has been elected and democratic elections and the other high approval rating? guest: let's look at these things. let's go back to the year 2000. in 2000-2004,tion they had thousands of real actions. it was not fair at all. in 2012, when he returned to power, but of course, he never left power. it was just a charade. and i have always said that in russia, we are not trying to win elections, we're just trying to have elections because it is putin's russia. register at
political party without his debates, you can have and the elections were rigged. and he has never participated in a single debate. and everybody understands now in russia and outside of russia, elections in russia are not going to change anything. propaganda -- it is a democratic institution. book, you write that his russia is the biggest and most dangerous threat facing the world today. guest: absolutely. host: so mitt romney got it right in 2012? right but it is
something you have to understand -- you should look at the true nature of his regime. obama hasy president attacked this conflict and romney defended. putin controls, that is a very important fact. and of course he is a militant throw tot russia can the global stage and putin is a dictator in the final stage of his role, which means that he needs conflict. he is quite good at creating conflict. requires energy.
the economy doesn't offer an excuse. no one expects the russian economy to get better or worse, that is why putin has present andpublic with this concept this is his great, invincible and a manof russia who can defy the free world. host: we are going to put the numbers up on the screen. his book is about the soviet union and vladimir putin. up onl put the numbers the screen. if you are a democrat, (202) 748-8000. if you are a republican, (202) 748-8001. and if you are an independent, (202) 748-8002. guest: you just said soviet union. [laughter]
host: i apologize. guest: it is freudian. putin has been trying to resurrect that. his action in 2000 was to restore the soviet union. host: let's go back to your book, the soviet union existed in 2001 -- in 1991. what was vladimir putin like in that time? when the wall came down? he appeared in moscow as the head of the kgb in 1998, before, he was the right hand and i was in st. petersburg in 1996, a few months before the election.
recall seeing putin there. he probably waited for his moment. when --quite surprised brought him in and gave him power. tourat he did in his first doe realized that he could things inside russia and also use russian resources. jumped and putin had a lot of money in his hands. host: the soviet system -- did a benefit you growing up, becoming the chess champion? absolutely.
as someone who grew up in the soviet union and was a chess prodigy, i enjoyed the privilege of support and opportunity to work with my great predecessors. talent, youstrated could enjoy this process. chess was a very important ideological tool to demonstrate stability of the regime. like what was your life growing up in the system? did you have a privileged life? i got tos, because travel the globe. my first trip aboard was in 1976. it had a big impact on me because they could start to see the difference, but my
privileges were connected to my successes. so as long as i could werestrate that my skills better than other players, i .ecame the challenger but when i prompted to the world champi as much as the soviet system like to be promoted and found out and to protect the -- officials didn't like the fact that someone from half a million, half jewish, this outpost of russia, was at this stage challenging, so i had plenty of problems of my own, and i think it's several moments i defied -- like in 1985, giving
interview for the magazine, -- spiegel, from the first interview, and playboy interview, so also talked about america and the free world. as much as i knew at that time. but the first soviet athlete who refused to play -- my match in new york, i demand russian flag next to me at the table. >> host: you ran for president. >> guest: again, running for president means you can study a campaign, register a party or super pac and get money, go around your country, campaign. all we did in russia, me and my friends friends and colleagues, is demonstrate the political system by putin did notice allow
anybody outside of the tim to participate in the process. >> host: i want to show this video from 2001. you'll recognize it. >> i look the man in the eye. i found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. we had a very good dialogue. i was able to get a sense of his soul. a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country. and i appreciate very much the frank dialogue. it was no kind of diplomatic chit-chat, trying to throw each other offbalance. there was a straightforward dialogue and that's the beginning of a very constructive relationship. i wouldn't have invited him to my ranch if i didn't trust him. >> host: gary kasparov.
>> guest: my individual reaction was for george w. not to look in hills eyes but to look at his files. once kgb, always kgb, and this remarks from the u.s. president demonstrated that he completely -- putin has completely outplayed bush 43, and so created the foundation for the political -- it's not friendship but very close relations and putin's propaganda has been using methodically and -- i have to give him credit. they did it extremely well, presenting this confession, but also other events with democratic leaders and the peak was in 2006 in st. petersburg where putin was at the chair of the g-8 meet, tony blair, all
the leaders the free world, and could dismiss claims from people like me pulling out of the dictatorial nature of his rule, and for russians it was no choice to believe. a few guys were shouting, all to all these leaders who just accepted putin as a member of this most prestigious democratic club. they say the picture worth a thousand words but put had both the picture and the town words to prove his -- the thousand words to prove hissen den shalls and that -- his credentials and that hem him get power and deflect our criticism and our attempt to bring russia back to the democratic way. >> host: has it back cult of personality? i have some pictures.
>> guest: absolutely. that what's a dictator need at one point. it's not about elections. it's not about campaigned or debates. it's about each. it's all about the strength that he radiates to the public, and again, putin knows this, and the propaganda machine also knows this, and they have been building this image of a strong man and since putin is not engaged in debates and every appearance is well prepared and every word is measured, so russian public has a great difficulty understanding who putin is and how strong he is or how weak he is, and every time that he appears, it's presented as vladimir putin the great, defying powers. i can remind viewers about his recent trip to new york to general assembly of united nations, a meeting with barack obama, and his reluctant
handshake. i bet you he had been practicing four hours in front of the mirror because it was very important image for russian television. he is there, vladimir putin, in new york, in the belly of the beast, and the next day russian plane bomb american -- that projected sheer power, and how can we challenge whos not just lucky but also so influential and powerful that even the u.s. presidents have been trying to shake his hand and get cooperation but basically putin turned it down. >> host: this article from this morning's financial times. public support for putin drowns out critics. this is with regard to the metro jet that crashed in egypt. began to mock mr. putin's handling of past crieses and insinuate his government could never be trust evidence to tell a truth.
another internet user predict the bomb theory was proved the government would have to turn to charging to explain this had nothing to do with the syria campaign and yet the critics appear to be far outnumbered by those who back the government's version of events. >> guest: again, we paul know what russian people -- we don't know what russian people really think because we deal with the situation where putin's propaganda could fall -- false media and very few russians are listening to the alternative sources of information. also, i believe if we are talking about this tragic accident in the skies, it also a syndrome called stock stockholm
syndrome. if it was a bomb, it's a long investigation ahead of us and i'm not sure because i know the conditions of russian plane and i could believe it was a technical problem. it looks more like it was bomb. but to connect the tragedy with putin's invasion of syria, is basically to recognize that everybody is now, who is traveling abroad, even in russia, is defenseless against this threat which is not an invasion, not an army, but it's a bunch of terrorists that can go anywhere. i think public is quite scared but also over many years they believed and they were told by propaganda machine that putin could solve all the problems. maybe now we're face something problems, maybe we're in trouble, but eventually putin was so lucky and so skillful
that he will find a solution. >> host: steven, connecticut, you are on garry kasparov. >> guest: thank you for taking my okay. want to express my condolences to the people of st. petersburg who were all flying back from the sinai and this terrible, terrible accident. garry, i was surprised that vladimir putin didn't react sooner, and just -- his lack of real human sympathy for the people of st. petersburg was just shocking. what is your take on the metro jet, once again, what would you really think how this will play politically for him? >> guest: now, vladimir putin proved many times before that he had no -- we had his rule to
begin with second war ask then the bombing, the crisis with the hostages killed in the in 2002, and the terrible tragedy, the school hostage situation with 300 people killed after russian troops stormed the building, and what we know that after every crisis, every tragedy, putin always took his time to prepare these measured response. right now i think he was -- i wouldn't say shocked but it was unexpected. i think putin wants to address the nation and the world with a statement that could reflect his policies. right now i don't think that
russian government is convinced it's a bomb, but reading russian press a few days after this disaster, you could see that they tried to avoid any connections to the terrorist attack, because definitely could create problems if putin says russian and egyptian authorities have the same interest of deflecting this possibility. it's not clear to anyone, but the terrorist attack could be a dramatic blow to vladimir putin and his ability to defend russian interests everywhere, and also to egyptian authorities but a egypt lives on tourism and could be a big blow to the tourist industry. >> host: what about the plane crash over the ukraine, the malaysian jetliner that was shot down over ukraine. >> guest: it was a russian missile. it's the only question is whether it was in the hands of
russian-backed separatists or i would call them terrorists. most likely it was actually done by a russian crew, because it is very complicated system. not just a stinger you can use on your shoulder. that's a system that requires professional treatment, to handle it with experience, and it seems again from the information gathered piece-by-piece it was russian crew, and why they made if the mistake remains to be seen but undoubtedly they dead this crime to -- was commit by russian forces. >> host: bill from pennsylvania on the run line go ahead, bill. >> caller: good morning, gentleman. >> guest: good morning. >> caller: i watch a cable station that you can get here. encourage the c-span viewers to watch it. you learn a lot about russia, a lot more than you're learning from listen toking to this guy,
garry. i think putin is a strong leader. much of the world thinks he is a strong leader. he appears to have solved 'our problem in syria by coming in and negotiating a peace through diplomacy of the last hour when our cia was reporting they had chemical weapons and that they were going to use them on their own people and that actually turned out to be false. another false flag. so, i really don't see why you keep calling him a dictator. it's very, very troubling to me. >> host: all right, let's get a response, bill. >> guest: we can start discussing the definition of dictatorship. i think somebody who stay in pour for -- power for life and show no intention of sharing the power is a dictator.
but i guess we of here with the case of rt poisoning, the putin propaganda machine. russia today. it's the best financed television in the world and it's quite interested, if you look at putin's budget, and russia experiencing problem with cash for the first time in putin rule. it keeps spending more money on military, on security apparatus, and on propaganda. and russia today, alongside with the domestic propaganda machine, are just a great beneficiary. definitely will not give you a good picture of the world because you just become a hostage of putin's views, of what is happening in russia or outside russia, and i'm troubled
by your claim that assad has not used chemicals against his people. i'm sure he did. and more troubled by your claim that putin solved the problem. two years ago syria wasn't in trouble but today is it a disaster and that's because of putin's gainment. hit attempts to prop up assad, and now russian planes have been steadily bombing not islamic state, but american-backed rebels and killing hundreds of innocent civilians and we have at least 100,000 more refugees now leaving syria, creating more problems in turkey and also in europe. thus helping putin to destabilize the situation and create new opportunities for him to insert his power. >> host: want to play another piece of video and get your reaction. this is president obama talking about vladimir putin and geopolitics. >> you think that running your economy into the ground and
having to send troops in in order to prop up your only ally, is leadership, then we've got a defendant definition of leadership. my definition of leadership would be, leading on climate change and international accord that potentially we'll get paris mitchell definition of leadership is mobilizing the entire world's community make sure iran doesn't gate nuclear weapon, and with respect to the middle east, we have to fix the country coalition that isn't suddenly lining up around russia's strategy. to the contrary they are arguing in fact that strategy will not work. >> guest: my point was not that he was leading. my point was he was challenging your leadership and he was very much involved himself in the situation. can you imagine anything happening in syria of any significance as out without the russians now being involved in it and having a part of it. >> that was true before. keep in mind for the last five years the russians have provided arms, provided financing, as have the iranians, as has
hezbollah. >> but they haven't had troops on the ground. >> the footprint they had to do this is not an indication of strength. it's an indication that their strategy did not work. >> guest: what i can see, putin's -- military personnel to syrians. iran has been sending troops and ammunition, and obama keeps sending john kerry. the question is who is calling the shots. and whole region is ablaze, expects that exactly what putin needs because he at one point -- he have to try to do everything he can to push up oil prices. even at 50, oil at 50, will not save russian budget from a collapse. maximum two years time at the
current rate of spending. so putin will use every opportunity to involve other countries in the region, and it's very clear he is not attacking islamic state now because he holds the islamic state will eventually start confront face with sunnis versus sunnies and that could happen blow up saudi arabia, the largest exporter of oil, and push oil prices up and let's not going forgiven get. another state nearby, the state of israel. and i don't know -- israel could be neutral in this battle because you have hamas and hezbollah, they are there and they need the confrontation to justify their existence, and even if putin doesn't -- i'm sure he doesn't want to be seen as a -- attacks, but he has -- most dangerous ally in the
region, iran, that will do the job. >> host: next call from georgey virginia, democrat. >> caller: yes, good morning, and thank you for c-span. great tool for the democracy. a question for mr. kasparov. what do you see as soviet's intentions in the caribbean. we see the more ship calls in cuba, we see they've reactivating the listening post. we see them extending their influence and cooperation, countries like venezuela and bolivia and others. what do you think? what is putin up to to in this part of the world. >> guest: too early to say he doesn't have specific plans because he doesn't have the resources to attack in many directions, but naturally putin is looking for every opportunity to extend his power, and now
enjoys working relations, nice works relations with cuba because he has written the old soviet debt and i think he is viewing cuba as the strong russian ally. you correctly mentioned venezuela and other countries in the continent with governments that putin could believe, eventually would be allies in the new coalition to defy the united states to challenge american interests. it's very important to remember that unlike for the soviet leaders, for putin expansion is important for domestic purpose because he has to demonstrate that at every part of the globe, he was in position, powerful enough to challenge the united states, to challenge the free world, and to keep up his image of a strong man in russia who cannot be challenged. >> wild and wonderful tweets in
to you: have the russian people learned that a free society is not easy to sustain? are they willing to abandon it for return to old ways? >> guest: look, i guess it takes time. just to learn about the values of a free society, and unfortunately in the '90s when there was powerful move into dethrone communism into democracy, russians could see the benefit of free leaks because the economy was in terrible shape, and for millions of soviet union who thought that democracy would mean an immediate rise in living standard, it was a shock so when oil prices went up and things looked much better, it was some kind of restoring the balance. yes, we still can vote. elections were not very free and
not very fair but we could go to the polling stations, but we had a much better life. we could see a steady improvement of our living conditions. so, it seems that it will take major geopolitical defeat for vladimir putin for russian public to understand that he is no longer invincible and the result of putin's running the country over 50 years was disaster because we missed so many opportunities to rebuild our infrastructure with trillions of dollars being wasted, or to be precise, invest ed elsewhere, not in our country. >> host: gary cass spa roof write is said put put was a russian problem for russians to solve, but that he would soon be a regional problem and then a global problem if his ambitions were ignored. this regrettable transformation
has come to pass, and lives are being lost because of it. it is cold comfort to be told you were right. it is even less comforting when so little is being done to halt putin's aggression even now. what is the point of saying you should have listened and acted when you still aren't listening or acting? >> guest: i think we still dealing with this 25 years of belief in this town, washington, this administration, that russia, after the end of the cold war and the collapse of the soviet inunion was no longer a threat, and somehow you could build relations and turn russia into an ally without pushing real transformation in the country. started in the '90s where america was the very powerful position and could help russia to solve maybe problems and
solve some future problems on the international stage. the first time when american president race the issue of iranian nuclear program with russia what is in 1995. bill clinton to yeltsin because the u.s. congress want today impose sanctions and cut financial aide to russian but unfortunately clinton -- so it is swept away and we are already saw the bush 43 reaction to putin. so, what bothers me and what i'm actually asking to respond in my book is a debate, a bipartisan debate about foreign policy. it's not about russia. it's about the world. well after the collapse of the soviet inunion, the end of the cold war, from world war ii to the beginning of the '90s, all american administrations, democrats and republicans could
have differences but within a range. there was a clear understanding and foreign policy that should be preserved within this range. then after '91 you could see the pendulum swinging from one side to another. bill clinton, who did little. bush 43, who did too much. and then obama doing nothing, and i think that is the problem, and i hope that this presidential election, the debates, already for the general election, will help america to go back to the -- unity on foreign policy agenda. >> host: in a review in "the new york times," surge simmons, the former "new york times" moscow bureau chief, one thing he said about your book is the real problem is the presumption that the u.s. is somehow responsible
for what russia has become or for what should become. >> guest: look, it's without saying the fact that for many years a putin apologize and'>s anyone can google him what he has been writing for years. this is -- you could hear this criticism and if you go from mitt cal left and political right in this country. whoa should we bother right now? the most globalized economy in the world cannot ignore global security, and the united states, whether people like it or not, is still viewed as a leader of the free world and the most powerful country that could be in the leading position or can stay away and walk away, but walking away in today's globalized world is not going to
work because we have everything d everything is global. trade, business, finances, social, cultural. unfortunately terrorism. because always the knew tools, although beautiful tools are agnostic. neither good nor bad. and pretending that in this world, we can -- in this case the united states could stay away, relying on the two giant oceans, protecting america against enemies, it just simply ignoring the realities of the world, and unfortunately in case of describe the former soviet union, many moments the united states could insert even small piece of its power to prevent further retaliation. for instance, after putin's invasion of the republic of
georgia, technically it was medvedev in power but everybody know it was put's plan the united states granted russia a new sanction policy. for putin was a signal that he could do whatever he wanted in the post soviet political space, and i believe it more or less due to ukraine bus putin's next step in ukraine was based on his calculation that nobody would argue that he was kind of a -- >> host: next call from jay in nashville, north carolina, independent line. >> caller: yes, good morning. thank you for taking my call. russian investigators have estimated putin's personal wealth also $40 billion. one investigator, when asked if he thought putin was a criminal, answered, --break russianbreak
how do you think mr. putin acquire this huge wealth? thank you, i'll take my answer off the air. >> guest: now i think the operating with very old news. it's way, way -- about $40 billion but the trick is that putins immense wealth and controls more money than any individual in the history of the human race but out connected to staying in power. he probably could move around something in the range of $1 trillion if you look at the russian reserve, russian budget, and the oligarch fortunes, most of them are connected to him and owe him everything they made through these state orders and ability to evade taxes in russia. so that's why for him walking away, keeping even part of this money, is actually