somali refugee community, every kids who are attracted to the al-shabaab, now they are attracted to isis, their moms cannot be elected and because i don't speak english and they certainly don't speak internet which is a big problem. we need to go get trained. >> one of these things, i will end on that, but one thing that jessica, where you differ our isis, that threat differs, and i will be, what i want, the cynic here, so what you all describe is threats. gabby ambers describe our threats and they are scary, but okay, whatever, they might be that anything things happen here or there, but land is what matters to the enemy. and it's where jessica's work with isis really does it differ in some respects.
this would be the traditional notion of foreign affairs and national security, the isis has been able to use new capabilities and new technology, but that's only consistent with and complementary to the massive amount of land that they now govern in parts of the world. so first of all describe how those two pieces of ice is work to make as successful as it is, and can challenge me on that notion that land, that i'm in the 20th century world. >> well, landed both isis strength and a vulnerability because it means that it is possible to attack them in a way that wouldn't be possible if they didn't have a location. the reason land is so important to this group is its i noticed it, and organized criminal ring extraordinarily successful at criminal activities.
in fact, it was founded by a secular fog who found religion -- thug. it's important to them because their most important source of revenue is what they call taxation, and what we would call just that. >> protection. >> yeah, yeah. so that is one of the things that makes this group different. it's both its strength and its vulnerability spent i think land is very important if for a group like isis that declares a state or a caliphate, and there's a sense of domination and control for gentrification a special seat at the table of the international community if you want. but for most types of threats that we talk about, you don't need territory. it actually doesn't matter where you are physically.
to attack someone on site recommit anywhere around the world. it really doesn't matter. to start a bio threat, a bio weapon or release some harmful virus, it doesn't matter where you are physically. and the drones as we know allow you remote attacker it doesn't really matter where you are physically. so i think if anything that is approaching technologies diminish the importance of territory, and on the flipside jess is right, territory is also a vulnerability. by the weight not just for isis. the united states can control what happens in its own territory but has no jurisdiction elsewhere. if you have a cyber attack emanating from somewhere else, yes, doesn't have jurisdiction, they can do anything about it. plus even within the united states territory the government now relies on all these private companies that bruce is talking about. think about the bp oil spill. who deals with the bp oil spill?
is that the government? no. it's bp. bp is the only body that has the expertise, resources, a capacity to plug the well and clean the water. the government provides some support, perimeter support, but the government has become a much weaker tour, in terms of its reliance on private actors to perform its own executive function. >> the same things in cyberspace, wakeup is attached, if the county doesn't cleanup, even sony was attack by north korea, i like this notion of land being both an asset and a liability. entities. depending on who you are you going to choose land or not debate about the balance goes. if you are isis you're trying to become a state. if you're trying to get into i guess the u.n., in the government club so land is an
asset. if you are a criminal group, if you are a hacker, land as a liability because now we know where you are. when you see this democratization of tactics, you are seeing it, a lot of tactics that don't need land. and i think this changes with history. this land as were power is centered is really only 1400s until now. before then the castle to keep was important land. margarine was largely irrelevant. it was the isolated pockets of where you were. now i think nation-states are fading more come and the notion of land as a locus of power, while still real important, the united states as an example, is getting fuzzier, getting more diffuse.
think about, imagine a big climate change negotiations. who do you think has more power, axon or bolivia? it's not even close. -- exxon. the land it doesn't get power in this particular sphere and we are saying more security related spheres of have that characteristic. >> a common theme, and i don't know if you know it, but all three of you mentioned the challenge between security and privacy in dealing with either u.s. populations and limiting online access to data. and all three of you sort of suggest we should do it that way, that is not averse is, it's an and. and it seems to me though, in reading that i can help the audience thin because how can yu conceive of it as an and, when the government can do this in
terms of data analysis or drop a drones anywhere in the world, or monitor muslim populations in the united states to make sure i violent extremism is going on. how can people think that in the future, in the threat we're facing, that privacy will be a factor in any of this? >> is not just privacy. within the book we tend to think about security and liberty more generally as a balancing act. you give a little bit of something in exchange for the other, and there's kind of a zero-sum game in between the two. and we think it's more accurate to think about in terms of -- take a turn from biology where these values sometimes conflict is sometimes actually mutual reinforcement, they always depend on one another. so security without liberty is largely meaningless but it's also true you can't have liberty without security.
we didn't have these debates about surveillance. where bruce and we disagree in the comments or via as an evil, where privacy versus a cutie but i think about airport security. we don't call it surveillance because we don't like the word but, of course, it is surveillance. the reason we submit ourselves and go through the tsa airport security procedure is because we think it enhances both our security and our liberty to plug. wouldn't be find other ways. when we have government regulation that protects our medical records we don't trade liberty for privacy. we can do think this kind of regulation enhances both. the protection of our medical records enhances both our security and our privacy. in this complex world whether so many actors, the big brother but there's so many little and medium-sized brothers out there,
it would be wrong to just think about it as he always trade one for the other. a lot of the time you are trying to maximize both. >> i also use of the term liberty. i use liberty versus control. security versus privacy is the economy comes from the false belief that surveillance enhances security. you said it. we surveilled muslim populations because it counters terrorism. it actually doesn't. what we know about it is, it is very invasive on the populations. they feel less secure. they feel less safe. they feel more hostile. there's a documentary on community south of chicago, muslim committee was surveilled through the '90s and early 2000. really beautiful commentary on what it does to the fabric of community. it doesn't make them more
secure. so i think the security comes from this false belief that if you have less privacy, you get more security. but we don't buying for chinese level surveillance. we don't pine for east germany. we don't wish we lived in iraq. would actually like the fact we have a privacy, and that gives us security. we are not secure when we all observed. there's an interesting primatology relationship. we feel like pray because surveyors feel like predators. of course, there are examples of sometimes having to give it up something, some liberty to get security. airport security is a great example. lots of others. we want the fbi to investigate crimes and your into our lives. to how to make that trade off? we do that, we have some mechanisms and it's pretty simple, transparency, oversight and accountability of windows
mechanisms are in place we feel secure giving the police abilities to invade our privacy because we know and we can verify that they're not going to do that capriciously or in self-serving ways. think about how this might work in a country like china where you don't have those checks in with his wife it is like nsa surveillance which doesn't have transparency, not counting snowden, thousand of oversight, thousand and accountability. this is surveillance that is making us less secure rather than more secure, something the police might do which we much more transparent. kind of a long winded answer. >> i guess i'd like to give a counterexample. the president announced in february of this year that it would be three private cities would be a countering violent extremism program. in london is boston is boston to another is los angeles and
another is minneapolis. and there's a lot of concern about civil liberties when the government starts trying to work with individuals in at community that may be ripe for recruitment. by the way the are many converts who are as i said earlier where we, and foreign fighters or isis. but i think of how i would feel if i was worried about my child. what's happening again, imams want help. they are desperate for help from the government. they know they can do without the government and yet the government can't do it without the moms. there's an example where on the one hand there is a civil liberties concern of the people who are most actually acted often are not as concerned as those who are thinking about it intellectually. >> jessica brings a good point
up in a book which i want for you to try out little bit, the challenge of government, talk about government, especially in terms of isis, there's a legitimate intelligence interest in allowing extremists to use social media up to a point. that there's a dance in some ways going on if something bad happens. you don't think -- you have to think about isis. think about child pornography. can you describe that is a government able to actually sort of monitor but then be able to tell we are past the point of this being a dance and now this person is radicalized enough to jump on a plane speak with this group is unprecedentedly good at using social media. they have been using a specially twitter, youtube and facebook, took an isis recruit the sites much more quickly than
twitter did, but it is a very important source of information the way they communicate, recruit, move onto encrypted sites comes in this thing up to 100 hours trying to recruit one individual. the trade off is if you take it all down as the united kingdom is trying to do, how to continue to be aware of what's going on when you take it down one twitter account to another one pops up? and what my colleague, michael often found, is that what happens is the new twitter account, the are a lot fewer people like us, odyssey there's a lot of academics who are following the isis accounts. how do you find that trade off? you are right, juliette, presumably that applies in child pornography as well. there is a trade off. and i think i like the united kingdom, we haven't banned, we
have insisted that every single one of those sites, accounts get taken down immediately. >> this is in the democratization of tactics. we are seeing isis use twitter as an organizational tool, so can has collectors. so can syrian dissident. so these tools of coordination, of mutation, of organization are incredibly empowering for everybody, both the good guys and the bad guys. the only thing that is keeping our society afloat right now is there are way more good guys and bad guys. most of the organization that on site with assistance, whatever they are, with modern technology is for good. and i think it's interesting to watch this. syrian dissidents use facebook to organize. this year in government uses facebook to arrest its citizens. we are seeing very complicated
power play between traditional power, which i think of as governments and corporations and is more distributive power, which may be isis, might be a criminal organization who wants to assassinate people with the drones, or even individual drone hobbyists. this balance is changing and we're seeing this democratization which really gets into daddy's notion of many against many. and i set you up for that. >> e-letter to our previous conversation about the privacy and liberty and security. there's this notion the internet is this virtual place and it's the sake of because it's virtual. it's where our thoughts are and sort of our other self and that's why nobody should be in the business of watching what we do. its would have are very real
love and relationships and financial transactions and medical records and all that. just like we want to be in a place that isn't policed in the physical world, i'm not sure wanted in the place that isn't policed in the so-called virtual world. facebook and what a wonderful because, sort of want to be a citizens, what claims do we have, vis-à-vis those corporations are those corporations that give these platforms to all the wonderful things they create but also the potential harms. do we have any claim against them? ear i think we share very much the same sensibilities that think about product liability. we have demands from companies all the time to make sure that what they give us are produced for us is safe, regardless of what is security related or not. think about drug and food administration. the government can't make sure that the food you consume or the medicine you take is safe.
what they can do is order these companies to make sure that it's safe. i think a lot of that, not just what we want in a relationship with a big brother but what we want from these corporations, how much self-regulation, self-monitoring. did it take on site or allow them? is there something in our state is reset to mention that does limit to market forces but says here's the line that you can't cross anymore. >> last week john brennan, director of the cia, his aol e-mail account was hacked by a teenager, i a kid spent why does he use aol? [laughter] >> because he's other generation i got an aol account. we know why uses aol. what's important is he did nothing wrong. he didn't have a lousy password he didn't write it down. he didn't share or e-mail it. what the hacker did is called verizon can pretend to be a
verizon employee and get information about john brennan. credit card information, use an income e-mail address, a bunch of its information, and use that, called aol customer service virginia to be john brennan and got the e-mail password reset. john brennan is sitting, having dinner with his friends and to companies, unbeknownst to them, are tricked into the hacker getting into is the new. who is at fault? it speaks to cabbies go directly. it is those companies fault. and brennan can't do anything about it. it has to be the government assisted those companies, you can't be this sloppy. we are just not going to let you. this is a matter of public safety. so we do agree that government needs to be, take a much stronger hand in these commercial systems. >> so the government and the
particular specifically is government sort of comes up in these books as both a bumbling and big cannot get enough and using aol accounts, to compare to the twentysomething -- >> we are the odd e-mail. >> when my daughter tells me, don't e-mail me. how else are they going to e-mail anymore. i still print, i have to be honest with you. and also though a perception learned about the government as being a mission, all-knowing, all powerful, maybe both are true. but given the threats that you will describe, i think the overall question is what can the government do? what should it do and does it have the tools necessary, given the kinds of threats that we describe? jessica, i will start with you. >> i think there's a limit to what the government can do both about what's happening in iraq and syria.
you know, we are un-american. we think we have to fix every problem. also, we played a role in bringing the problem so there's a sense of moral imperative. at the same time i'm not sure how much we can do without making things worse. when it comes to recruitment of foreign fighters, it's very hard. the private citizenry can play a much bigger role, and i see an army of individual muslims who have decided to take on this problem of equipment, who are actually responding to kids online. in fact, yesterday i spent quite a bit of time. there's a kid in libya he was telling he's to join isis and we've been in communication, at least he says he is from libya. i don't know where he is.
anyway, we've been having this long conversation. i also think the state department is trying to respond to the online recruitment with something called think again, turn away. it basically says ice special event. listen to us. it's a bunch of middle aged people try to come up with something -- >> with aol accounts last night. >> and it really needs to be 19-year-olds who are doing there. i'm going to be participating next fall in an effort to get students to compete to develop the best online platform to respond to this. i think that's important for the private sector to get involved. >> just to pick up on what jessica saying, that there' thes the chance the national ticket apparatus, the revolution also a
city with security clearance, the traditional notion of the white guy from arkansas who speaks through it which is getting recruited from the cia, next great government employee might have been arrested for pot use and a couple tattoos additionally good at hacking. we will have to change the notion of it. >> it's an overarching theme, the notion that governments are slow and ponderous but very powerful. the more disputed users are fast and nimble but inherently less powerful. so we are going to see this, this -- puzzle is a bad word. battle between the quick and the strong. there's the cyber criminals and the fbi has to go through a procurement process, have to get someone a clear and.
you don't have to get a clearance to join isis. probably best if you don't get one. so this group will be moving faster. this group will be stronger. so it's kind of a little david and goliath thing you it's an open question who's going to win. traditionally, big and strong winds. go back 10, 15, 20 years, but now governments, they are realizing that they have to be, active early. so can they learn and nimble? and the fast learned strong? when new technologies emerge, which side are they going to benefit? getting back to searing dissidents using facebook to organize. searing governments use facebook to arrest dissidents to who's going to win the next platform? twitter. all of these technologies, current and future are going to
affect this quick versus strong and that's what you've got to watch whether it's strong corporate, stronger but, what is quick criminals were quick dissidents or quick anything. >> i think there's a sober principles here. the first is that we shouldn't try our attempt respond to every threat. here i want to echo what juliette has written about many of great length, the concept of resilience. that if we wanted every reason -- free society, if you want to be true to the values we espouse and we need to live with a certain degree of threat. that's true in everyday life, true in our globalized that it would be a grave mistake and i think just makes the same point, we should not fix everything or try to respond to everything that is not possible at this has huge detrimental calligraphic.
that's the first principle. second pencil is that the government can't do this alone. bruce describes in his book great reliance with the great nsa that is actually impotent without the private sector, right as the verizon and even aol of the world. the government must rely on them for partnerships in order to perform security function. and the third is that we as citizens have a responsibly to engage in a conversation about preferences, tastes and values. let me give you two examples of the very different social attitudes we have towards regulating or the government's role if you want and regulating technologies of mass and probably. one is handguns. so make that choice in the constitution to have a right to bear arms and, therefore, any regulation can only be minimal
and very restricted. nothing about a different technology of mass and power but, the passenger car. passenger cars are two tons of steel driving at high speeds on public roadways operated by millions of people who are more or less experienced at doing so. sounds crazy, absolutely crazy. the reason for the way we can enjoy driving at some risk but not an intolerable risk we think is because also the very intricate system of licensing and identification and insurance and testing, both of the vehicle and the driver can and we don't really have a social conversation about whether we have an intangible right to drive without government experience. i think the same can a conversation will have to with regard to use emerging technologies that are hip and novel of the young people's world, but we as citizens now
have a responsibility to think what's a sensible way of control are addressing these issues that allow us to enjoy all the benefits of technology without putting us at an intolerable risk. >> talking about making the discussion more democratic, we do want to open it up to the sticky question. i see a microphone now. there's a microphone right here if you could come up. rightly demand is that it is a question for the authors. i will give it a few seconds. any questions for the panel? yes. good. see them if you wait long enough. there can be more than one. we have a few minutes. >> i guess my question is, if we did nothing about isis, what would be the scenario? >> i'm curious, too, actually. >> i think you can alter but the question was if we did nothing about isis, let it be, what
would happen? >> obviously i don't have a crystal ball, but we do know that terrorist groups come and go. it's almost like a fat. it's fashionable today. it will not always be fashionable. at the same time, i think there are, the iraqi people are asking quite a bit of us and are asking for a military assistance. and this difficult and there's a humanitarian crisis that i think we must respond to in part because we did play a big role in the rise of this organization. it was formed in response to the invasion of iraq. and then left iraq in the way we did in its update secretary and
later, that led to increase sectarian tensions which isis has taken advantage of. isis will disappear. i do feel confident in saying that. the question is, what would be the humanitarian impact of it? between now and when it ultimately disappears. >> this question is primarily for bruce but anybody. and that is, in cybersecurity you see so much for other users being asked to do so much more can change your password, make them longer and longer, change the more quickly. people don't do that. what are you seeing now that makes it easier for users, less work rather than more? >> i think that john byrne shows -- the john brennan star shows there's nothing to whenever we and the industry makes an add-on users or blame users it is a failure of the system. that we as designers have
failed. we need to have security mechanisms that work for the average users, like for my father, has to be able to use the security. i know my father. he's not going to take a class. so things have to work. while saying that is good, things that work we are not seeing. right now after decades try to get people to use e-mail encryption, most of our e-mail is now encrypted because, not because you were doing anything but because we now have a dozen e-mail providers instead of 10,000, and yahoo! and google encrypt the mail between the. ..
pages? that's just wrong. >> i should say in bruce's book is recommendation for government and then the private sector. there's something for people that feel overwhelm by the cyber-threat. >> what are the best strategies of protecting ourselves, read the book? >> it's the single most effective way to feel safe. >> this is why you should never trust -- [laughter] >> like you just said, we all
using with mobile devices with apps and we go accept, accept, right. my question to you is when you talk to people, those that are not writers here, they look at like you're crazy conspiracy theorist. >> now your data is on google, facebook, it's in the cloud controlled by other companies. and you can't do anything. your level of control is much less. remember last year, iphotos and
celebrities. they found that apple messed up. they could read the 87-page license agreement. you to trust us, and if we are lying to you, sorry, it was just business. there's things we can do. it's largely around the edges. it's so much out of our control. this is why i really need government solutions, regulations. this is feeling a lot like food safety. yes, you should use the refrigerator. >> also has to do with expectations. given that we live in semivirtual, go to the point
about resilience. you have to expect some infringement on that. i assume that the nsa read all my emails and i don't particularly care. >> i hope you entertain them. >> it's much more my colleagues reading my emails. >> she's going to isis website. [laughter] >> i should say we are at a book festival and jessica tap in for a second, all three of you have managed to write mainstreamed books about either a very scary or technical thing to audiences that aren't necessarily in the field 24/7, but you in particular sort of engaged the enemy. can you just spend a minute. i think people would be curious -- how do you actually do that
physically. anyway, tell us. [laughter] >> i don't know. >> i used to go and hang out with pakistans and gentlemen -- jehadi's. >> why not? >> i'm afraid with the intelligence more than anything else because they don't agree. now it's easy to engage with jehadi's and other terrorists online. the world has changed including in research of this topic. >> do you -- do you pretend to be islabish jehadi or -- >> don't answer this without a
lawyer. [laughter] >> i'm really curious. >> as i said yesterday, somebody had read my book, a couple of books ago and felt -- he started quoting the book saying why he would like to join isis. that's how he first came to me. he was quoting my book assaying he wanted to join isis. >> that wasn't the intent of your book. >> no. please write me an essay about why you want to join. that was my solution. write me an essay. he kept engaging with me. the guy who brought al-qaeda to america has gotten out of prison and he really wants to get involved in communication with
jehadi's online. he wants to learn in the solution. i thought i wouldn't be very good at it in person and we can't do that because of human subject requirements. we can't do that. >> talking about rules in university that prohibit falsity going on, mostly scientific experiments and others. >> all of y'all have mentioned so far government regulation is more of a necessity, given the state of the united states congress, do y'all foresee that happening in any time soon within my lifetime? >> you're young, yes, in your lifetime but yes, in your lifetime.
>> it looks like there will be some cyber legislation passed given what happened yesterday. despite what you hear on tv there might be common ground with various pieces of both parties falling in the sideline. >> my guess is you're going to see the regulatory agency step in. faa are going to regular -- regulate the drone use. >> power to the states, now you see effort at the state level as you're talking to the massachusetts attorney general to see what they can do without federal government, and also just like in any other context, if and when we see a terrible thing happening, then there will be a government response. you always respond to the most recent emergency. we are very good at racheting
up. it has a lot of sort of responding to whatever is out there as long as we are dealing with identity car theft. not too bad. >> okay. the last question. >> hi, could you speak -- you speak earlier about licensing for cars. how would you feel that security would be enhanced or the opposite of that if we had to license internet users or had some kind of identifier for internet users? >> i wouldn't license internet users. why doesn't an isp pass through all traffic and require my father to have a personal
firewall. i don't see the uses that you regulate the same way you do cars. gas companies that are providing service to the users. to me that's a much better point, you have more ability to make changes, so i would put regulation there than regulating the users, we can certainly talk about internet driver's license. there has been people talking about it. i tend to be against it. >> i mentioned earlier where a guy flew a drone to a stadium. i want to be able to trace a drone back to an operator and with a company that sells lab
equipment. i want some kind of obligation to monitor who purchases what through these websites. >> there are survey cards in your big pamphlets. if you could fill them out. each year the boston book festival gets bigger and better and just before the round of applause for the great panel, i do want to say that given the world we live in, it's easy to tune out, these are three authors that have taken the time to provide narratives about threats in a scary world, so to speak, in a way that's accessible. please buy them and support their efforts. the future of violence by gabi
bloom and then -- now you have me data -- i said it right the first time and they're all going to be back in the room in just a few minutes to sell their books. thank you all for coming on a saturday morning and thank them. >> thank you. [applause] >> and now from the seventh annual book festival a panel on veterans.
>> good afternoon, everyone, it looks like we are ready to get started. my name is giselle sterling, i'm the commissioner of the city of boston, i would like to thank each and every one of you for supporting the boston book festival. i'd like to personally thank you for supporting this afternoon's presentation and discussion. before i served at the city of boston, i served in the united states marine corps and if there's something that i share with each one of our my service members, is the idea of making
sense of our experiences and it's even for difficult to make sense of those on our own, so it's exciting for me to introduce the host of today's discussion, ms. lisa mullins. >> thanks a lot. would you like me to go up there thank you all for coming here. i have the pleasure of telling you important things like please turn off your cell phones and no flash photography. you can take pictures but if you want to see the presentation you can ultimately see it on c-span. i will remind you that there are surveys in your program at the end of the day if you could fill out the survey. it's very important for the boston book festival, please put it in one of the boxes that you'll see in venues like this.
after we finish speaking, we will have a chance for questions for you, and i think there's a microphone some place around here. yeah, there is it is right over there. feel free to ask questions of our authors and then at the end they are going to be whisked away and go to the back to sign books for you. i want to say it's a thrill for me whenever i'm able to talk to authors whose books are so revellent, and in this case, come from many different places and background. it's incredibly relevant and one subject dove-tails with the other. if you're not familiar with their work, you'll know what i
mean. joe klein, charlie mike. anybody knows what charlie mike means in military speak? no. >> continue the mission in military radio code. >> go ahead. >> oh, okay. yeah, well, it's kind of weird for me to be here and to have written this book because i was a political columnist starting here in boston at the beverly times and then in phoenix, the real paper. i retired in 2000 from my job as washington correspondent for the new yorker, i retired at the end of 2000 and i retired for eight months and ten days. on the 11th day of the nine month, i was living in a small town just north of new york city and nine of my neighbors didn't
come home and a couple of widows said, joe, could you tell our kids that their fathers just died. i had a mission. i wanted to learn the military, wanted to learn islam and did just that, i felt we had a moral responsibility to at least quiet it down so that the iraqis could determine their own future if there was such a thing of iraqis, which is another story, but 2006, early 2006i wrote a column about counter is the
exact opposite of playing, where you go and play the bad guy. you try to protect the snnt, you try to protect civilians in the hopes that they'll tell you if you provide services for them, they'll tell you where the bad guys are. i got a call from a david who had sent to kansas into the outer darkness of the military. portrayas said to me, look, you're on the right track but you don't know anything. and he said, would you be willing to come out and study with us. i said, sure. within a matter of minutes he lent -- sent me a list of
articles in military journals. so i went out to kansas and met with his group of advisers all of whom were road scholars or first in their class at westpoint. these were most intellectually group of people. i read the article as a major of liberal arts would read them. the deal was i could ask anything and i would answer, it was all off the record, of course. when i asked the question that was in the reading, i would immediately be taken up, klein, didn't you read that about military review followed by another gay saying, looking at my shoes, klein, you're too lazy
to sign your shoes in the morning. naturally, i fell in love. when he was asked to take over seven months later, i went and i embedded with him in iraq and then i embedded in a number of times in afghanistan. i wouldn't be here today if i hasn't been there. i kept going back to the same town in afghanistan and what i saw was a succession of 30-year-old captains, young americans commanded companies trying to provide public works and stability and security in an impossible situation. and i would go out on patrol with the troops and we would do something that had never been done in human history. we would ask the people, what do you want, we have some money, what would you like us to do,
the answer was absolutely unanimous and they wanted us to reopen a very nice school that the canadians had built before and the taliban had closed and booby-trapped, it was near area that the taliban controlled which was 90% of the area and 10% that we controlled. it was in a very precarious place. had to sell this to both sides. he had to sell it to the local shura counsel, war lord who wanted them to do something different. they wanted them to use the money to build the capable 12 months west of town to where the war lord had some land where we later learned he was planning to plant and give proceeds to the
taliban. well, how are you going to protect the kids if you don't have troops there? but, he dealt with all of that and there was one day when i was out on patrol and he was talking to local land owner that had two stories overlooking the school and wanted to use that as oversight to make sure taliban weren't leaking in. as he sat negotiating under fire, in a different language, with an interpreter obviously, in an impossible situation, the lightbulb went off in any head. if this guy ellis can do that here, he can go back to iowa and run for governor. did you ever think about the fact that training is giving the
kids a new skill set that propels them toward public service. and he said, wow, you may be right. after that i enlisted him and a number of other people to be on the lookout for american troops who had come home and gone into public service, and i found -- i found a lot of them including congressman up in the north shore of boston, but i decided to tell the story of two amazing guys who were linked by a tragedy. the first one was eric who was a road scholar and a humanitarian, he was the guy who would try to save the world one spring break at a time. when he was at oxnard he would go to refugees, he would go outside of africa and he saw children with legs chopped off
and he got very angry, the innocent of the world need protection and so he became a navy seal. probably only navy seal that worked for mother teresa. he started walking the wards and asking the severely wounded children, what do you want to do next. the answer is always the same. the answer is i want to go back to my unit and he said, well, he didn't want to say, what else when you get out of the military. well, i want to be a coach, i want to be a teacher, work with the police department, we have since learned that 90% of the veterans want to serve the
community in some way and eric came up with a killer forward sentence, it was, we still need you. it wasn't just thank you for your service, it was we still need you. he came up with the idea of giving six-month public fellowship to wounded veterans. he called the mission continues and there are thousands of them now who have been out working in the communities. one of the early fellows was a guy by name jake wood. joined the marines and was watching the haiti earthquake on cnn about a month after he got out and he said to himself, hey, i want to go help and so he called a bunch of his buddies and four or five responded and
they met some doctors on the way down. they hooked up with the jesuits who had medical supplies that they wanted to move in and within four days they were running the emergency room in the largest hospital in porta prince. how did that happened? we are marines, they have been doing chaos around the world and in this country as well. 30 oh members organize 10,000 civilians for the disaster relief and cleanup of the rock aways in new jersey after hurricane sandy. they are mobilizing right now to go down to méxico, they're in south carolina, they are all over the place. but i want to tell you what this really means for us because it touches on themes that i have
been thinking about my entire career. first thing i learned was this, that being in the military and only 1% of our public has served in the act of duty military of these wars, they call the rest of us the 99%. being in the military has given these people values and disciplines and a sense of community that the rest of us have lost in this country. in fact, being part of that tightly nit caring community where everybody has a purpose, where everybody has something to do each day and everybody knows that they're part of something larger than themselves molds their personalities and their spirits and what we learned, we are beginning to learn that a big part of post traumatic stress is not who they saw and did over there but the
communities they lost when they came back home. and there's a woman up in -- i guess he's in lawrence, her name is natasha young, he was a sergeant in a disposeal unit, she has accent, what i did was i deployed myself to camp couch where i was a commanding officer my mos specialty was to stay on camp couch. her best friend from the marines was a mission continued fellow who saved her life. this is a book about lyes saved, but it's also about what the rest of us are missing. it seems to me that there are two political spectrums, there's left-right but community --
orlando the governor of new york. greatest enemy of a republic. how do you keep a republic coherent when it's not at war? we had a pretty long excerpt in otisio in this country. my whole life we've had wars but not wars that were threats, we had financial problems but until recently none that were real society threats and during that time we lost the habits of citizenship. and the result is what you're seeing now in the 2016 election, you're seeing a lot of low-information voters who have lost habits of citizenship
glomming onto candidates that make wild pronouncements. they may not be ready for democracy but they are ready for reality tv and it's really difficult to have a democracy without citizens. and i think the message of charley make is we should look to these stories and take a lesson from them, you know, these guys are classic, many of them u.s. military. first thing eric said to me, first thing you have to do is read the audicy. why? boy, did he have a raging case of posttraumatic stress. [laughter] >> and i started reading the
greek philosophers as a result of these people but my favorite philosopher comes from new jersey, biews -- bruce springsteen, we have to start saving for things money can't buy, for me charlie mike and the stories within it. >> thank you. [applause] >> before we go to bryan i'm going ask me question now, joe. weeric is running for governor n missouri. >> yes. >> a among a group of republicans, not at the top of the elections next year. when you find that people like
eric get into service or jake go to haiti it's amazing -- >> the red cross changed the position. they now look for team for guidance. >> that's what when he doesn't take no for an answer. >> right. >> it's really interesting in the book that they had the pilot on the planes say, look, we need help here. >> that's how they recruited their doctors. >> yeah. >> can you briefly tell the story how they got first group? >> the first group were jake's buddies, most of the marines don't have sports but about three or four of them did, they got on plane, his wart ner william grew up a jesuit, the slogan of the jesuits is that you are a man or a person for
others and got in touch with the jesuits in the hometown of chicago. they put him in touch with a monk down in haiti, brother jim, and jesuits brought the supplies to santo domingo, dominican republic, and they spent the first day working in a camp helping people. he was blown away by the haitians. and the haitians not only were very calm and respectful, but they -- they triaged themselves the most badly wounded were brought forward first.
they went on the second day to mother teresa's hospices and they sent mcnolty to the hospital and at the hospital he asked for more medicine and they -- more medicine for his team and they said, you have doctors. we need them. and so by the next day team was set up there and more medical supplies were coming in from chicago, but what they realized, what they realized was that this was a transformative experience for them. you know, brother jim, first night, this is something that happens on deployments which you -- every one of you can go, by the way, i've been on them after the tornado of okays. at night there's a debrief, military debrief of what was
established and what we have to do tomorrow and then an emotional debrief and people start talking about the things that happened overseas and their feelings of loneliness here and how much importance and satisfaction and sense of purpose this brings back to them and, you know, i only ask how many of you feel a civic sense of purpose. you know, we live -- i live in new york, -- you live in new york and i live in boston. they have something that's sense of purpose and desire to help that the society could you a lot more of. >> let me just ask the very brief question is what happens when people like eric get into
office, when a veteran gets into office? >> the interesting thing is that i just saw zeth, he sends his best to constituents. i saw him down in washington. he was telling me about a meeting that he had with a right-wing congressman who was a veteran. he reached out to the guy. the guy was from oklahoma. why don't we have lurch and talk about what we have in common and eventually the two of them wrote a piece which i was privileged to published in time magazine about the importance of service and when i heard from veterans on both the left and right that they feel they have more in common sense with each other than they do with other members of their own party. and, you know, what eric is doing in missouri is very interesting. i got him in trouble on morning
joe and i said that he was running for governor as republican and had taken issues on gave issues and immigration reform. oh, oh, four people that are going to be dragging the whole race to the right. he call med worried and an hour and a half later he said, the hell with that, this is why i'm doing this, i'm doing this to make government better, i'm doing this so that the republican party won't be about silly issue -- social issues, he isn't use the word silly, i don't want him to get in trouble again. [laughter] >> you know, and eric's case he's very concerned about education and he doesn't believe that the democratic party can address education because of the power of the teachers' unions. he had very good ideas specially
in the education of boys in poor neighborhoods. that's the spirit that i see coming. eric and zeth talk to each other a lot. jake i hope is going to run for office some day and what they're going to bring a sense that we can actually gets things done and that we don't have sob -- to be cynical. and our media, my colleagues, our society have been ruled by cynisism. you look at these kids in action as i have and you realize that there are other things in life
and if you're going to have a democracy it's going to have to be built on faith. >> thank you. >> the theater of war. >> so theater of war is a project i founded seven years ago. at the time i didn't know a single person in the military. i had a classics degree. everyone told me i would never make a living and end up maybe borders or borista, i i ended up becoming a defense contractor, which was a surprise to many. tragedies written more than 2500 years ago by a general which would have something important to say to service members and veterans and families and the reason this idea came to me and to others working in the field,
greeks were in war for years. lies a man who fought in a battle of marathon. and through this lens a form of story-telling, ritual purification by a highly democracy for its veterans by veterans. so it took me about a year and a half that this would be a good idea in the military. i had a lot of doors in my face, some slammed. i had a day job running a nonprofit organization in new
york city. just at the point where i was growing tired of, you know, the rejection i read a report in "the new york times" about veterans returning from iraq and afghanistan suffering from the signature wounds -- invisible wounds pts, pti, moral injury, an article about homicides, an article about suicides. the first wave of violence and consequences. like, joe, i i was against the war. i remember feeling totally completely helpless, that felt like an exercise at the time, but it was all that i could do. when i read about the walter reid scandal and flagship army medical hospital being underresourced by the administration that sent our service members to war and they
were returning to substandard medical care and i couldn't sit on my hands any longer. all i had was greek and latin. so i went after some of the leading generals in the country and generals. so there was a reference for the greeks, but in this article "the new york times" there was a section in january 2008 there was a section ancient connection in which jonathan, award-winning until recently massachusetts psychiatrist who worked with veterans. story telling in the western world was born from the need to hear and hear the veteran
stories. in that same article there was a section which quoted jonathan and followed by a quote by a navy psychiatrist who was working with marines. he had been in the battle of folusia and had earned his stripes with the marines in the trenches. i began all of my discussions of combat stress. i got on the phone and started e-mailing and within 24 hours i heard back from captain nash. i don't know about coming to a military to actors with greek plays, but how about 400 marines in a hyatt ballroom in san diego. so i brought a group of actors. i have been attracting great actors.
bill camp, heather ruffo. we performed in san diego for 400 marines and spouses. plays about betrayal and suicide and invisible wounds and isolation, abandonment and we had no idea what was going to happen and after the perform performance, and by the way, what we do our readings on steroids, actors sitting at a table in street clothes bringing all of their skills, all of their talents on the ancient material. so it is flying and vocal cords are being shredded. of the 400 that came, many of them that night expected to see fully reenacted depiction of
spartans and were deeply disappointed to see actors in street clothes. but about 40 minutes in, all of the cell phones went away and the military audience leaned forward, they did a locking on, staired at the target, which was the play with a natural level of concentration i had never seen a commercial of nonprofit theater. there was a silence in the room after the performance over and a standing ovation. i thought, maybe they're respectful, who knows whether they struck a nerve or hit a cord, the first person to speak afterwards was the military spouse. hello, my name is marshel. i'm the proud mother of a marine and wife of navy.
my husband went to war, dragging invisible bodies into our house. the quote from our play, our home is a slaughter house. when she did that, she gave permission to every ore spouse in that audience to follow her lead, to quote line from the play for memory and relate those lines to personal private stories they never shared with anyone else, let anyone to 400 pierce. we held a 45-minute discussion and the discussion lasted three and a half hours and had to be closed to midnight. this classic major that even though i translate it had play to greek, i thought i knew what they were about, i had no idea what the plays were about. in fact, i needed to military audience to translate the plays to me.
i was barely able to apprehend what was happening in the room. and so it was at that moment that we had stumbled across an ancient tool developed by a democracy to create a moment when -- when those who had been war to were given permission to feel what it would be appropriate to feel about the things they had experienced. the greeks knew that it was not adaptive to cry during a battle and we know that too. but what they knew that we don't know or were only starting to understand is there has to be a moment where people are rehumanized or given the opportunity to feel again. that's what theater has been
about. we performed for more than 65,000 service members for veterans and their families all over the world and what started to one project has now grown to # 4. they all use the methodology of presenting usually ancient material, usually plays to some audience that experienced some type of trauma to create conversations that had not happened if we didn't perform them. they were only a pretext that wouldn't have happened otherwise. after an early performance of theater of war, a vietnam veteran stood up and he said in new york city, bryan, that ptsd makes me feel a little less alone in the world. i ask the audience why do you think who was a general wrote
the plays and all of their violence and all of their graphic depictions of war and aftermath and performed for 17,000 citizen soldiers in a century in which they saw 80 years of war and after an early performance a general stood up, the highest ranking psychiatrist of the u.s. army at the time, i think he wrote the plays because he must have been the minority with regard to the compassion he felt for individuals whose struggles he was portraying in these plays. i think he wrote the plays to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. and that's been our mission, and the mission continues. we brought together and comforted by what divides us across very des -- experiences but we are divided in our country. we can have a reaction to
suffering on stage and even if that reaction is discomfort, which i'm not convinced is the primary almost of -- element of this work. now i'm convinced that this work is about shared discomfort, tragedy is about e -- eliciting discomfort. i said, what's morale boosting about watching a best friend losing a warrior, attempt to kill his commanding officers and ultimately take his life on stage against the pleading of his family. we're all sitting here acknowledging it together. i'm convinced that the hope and
tragedies is not in the stories but the community that comes together to bare witness of the truth. if there's anything that this work has taught me, is that we have so much more work to be doing in this country across tremendous divide in military civilian, cynical climate to face the darkest aspects of our humanity together and to acknowledge our basic human beings, to face our tragedies together, and so that's the idea behind my work and that's what we've been doing for the last seven years. >> thanks. [applause] >> peter and nicole, tell us how
much time we have left. >> i think it's like 20. >> 20, excellent. >> yeah, yeah. >> okay. so get your questions ready and, in fact, if some of you want to start coming up to the microphone that would be great, and while you do that i'm going to ask a question to you bryan. i'm guessing that you are one of these keen observe internal revenue service of -- observers of the people observing the play, and you've seen so many people witness the various plays, but specially in terms of ajacks, is there a part of the play that you can see a visible reaction to among the audience members and -- and, you know, if you want to quote a line or two that may make an impact. >> i know of nothing that rivals with western literature.
he doesn't just take us inside his thoughts, he takes his inside. in 2007 the army handbook basically said if you attempted to kill yourself in theater, you could be court marshalled. major shift in the military. what is the state of mind that leads somebody in the position that the world would be better off without their life. it takes us inside. and the final seconds of the last speech he talks about the friends he'll miss and the places he played as a boy and then he takes his life, and what the play does and i see an audiences night after night is a
validation that this is not weakness that's being displaced, and it's not weakness for people who struggle with mental illness or invisible wounds that, in fact, this is epic. so what i'm going to answer your question is the moment -- and this is a little bit of stage trick on our part. when i know we stage the death, we collapse time in the reading and bring his wife on immediately and she discovers his body and in the greek there's a word in greek it's more of a sound, sound of a scream. he says in the play, who would have thought my name would some day become the sound a man makes in despair, it's a conscious reference that the name is the sound of the screen and he finally understands who he is, a sound of despair and when his
wife discovers his body she makes an inhuman sound. one of the quotes before they go on stage is make them wish they had never come. because, again, back to the sense of shared discomfort, if we could make an audience so uncomfortable that wished leave the audience, but then we can interrogate. when his wife admits that sound, the sound of a woman discovering her husband's body, you see
response. it's as if it transcends language itself. and for me, that's what translation is. it's not about words, it's about the impulse behind language itself. how do you translate that with something that people could understand years later. >> could i say -- i neglected to say this before. one of the reasons why i wrote charlie mike is because all the disaster stories, the suicides, drug addiction, you know, the wife beating and all the rest, and that's not the whole story and what we are beginning to see
and there are some academic literature on this, just the very beginnings is that the act of helping others is a way of getting past your obsession with self and the guilt that you've been part of that it's the way that that tasha young got off of camp couch was to start helping other people, and the really interesting thing is that there's a literature that points in this direction and it has to do with the elderly, there are a lot of studies that show -- i'll give you one example. in ohio state study that had two groups of elderly people in a nursing home doing fruit baskets. one were told that they were doing it for themselves and the other were told that they were doing it for poor people in the community and the people who did them for poor people in the community had better appetites,
slept better, were more responsive afterwards. and when you think about it, a couple of brilliant socialists at washington university in st. louis came up with the idea. elderly and veterans have in common, number one is sense of stability, sense of isolation that the first two qualities have given them, and, you know, my feeling is and having seen this in real life that one way to prevent suicide, first of all, you have to go through the scream. >> you can't avoid that.
>> one way to start -- to deal with the pain is to reestablish those communities here and make them helping communities where they are not just helping each other but they are helping the rest of us, and that is the extremely powerful thing that i see every time i go out on an either mission continued service program or a team disaster deployment. >> thank you. >> i just want to -- >> anybody who wants to ask a question to come up to the microphone? >> yeah, i totally hear that. it was simply a career to acknowledge. part of what we are doing is creating culture where people are able to talk. in