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tv   2016 Annapolis Book Festival  CSPAN  April 16, 2016 10:00am-4:01pm EDT

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[inaudible conversations] >> good morning, everyone. welcome to the key school and the annapolis book festival 2016. i will be the moderator for today's fantastic opening panel entitled american dream american greed.
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>> she co-authored the smartest guys in the room about the fall of enron, but more important than that, she actually foretold it a few years earlier when she started asking questions, is enron overvalued x is it transparent. actually, when she says there may be another issue brewing, we probably ought to sit up and listen. to my left, ben strauss, he's written in depth on college athletics, but he's really dived into the very rich and multidimensional human interest stories behind college athletes and athletes around the world. actually, he's got my son's dream job. frankly, my dream job. so it's really great to have you here, and thank you pote for coming -- both for coming to this year's annapolis book
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festival. american dream, american greed, you know, it's a very provocative title. and i think today we're in for a real treat. we're going to try to have a very lively 30-minute discussion, and i'm going to try to leave room for about 10, 15 minutes of audience questions before we break, and we have a hard stop because of c-span2 today at 10:50. to kick us off, you know, both of your books are so well conveyed and really so captivating, i'd like to ask each of you to kind of kick us off with maybe a 2-3 minute elevator ride to the top. what are the major points in your books and, you know, what do you have to say about them. i'm going to start with bethany. before i do, shaky ground is the title. you know, there's very timely today. this week, unfortunately, japan is in the news again, a very
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severe earthquake. in 2011 i was in tokyo for the big earthquake there which touched off tsunamis and a nuclear emergency that they're still trying to deal with. 2008 our global financial system melted down. eight years later, bethany says we're still on shaky ground. why, bethany? >> so i've always been fascinated by these two large companies, fannie mae and freddie mac, collectively the largest financial institution in the world with over $5 trillion of outstanding liabilities. and these two companies were created to serve the american dream of home ownership, to help enable the flow of mortgage credit in the united states. and it's funny, because most people even in the financial world don't even care about fannie and freddie. they're part of the hidden infrastructure of our lives, the things we don't think about until they malfunction, but they're critical if you have a mortgage, if you ever want to
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get a mortgage, because the availability of mortgage credit helps shape your ability to finance your house. they're critical to the price of your house, and homes are still the most important financial asset that most americans have, and they're actually critical to our economy. way back in the 1920s franklin roosevelt's treasury secretary described housing as the wheel within the wheel of our economy, and it is. housing makes up some 15-20% of our gdp. so if the housing market isn't healthy, the economy isn't healthy. basically, i feel like everyone should care about the strength and the fate of these two companies. and some of you may remember they were taken over by the u.s. government in the fall of 2008 and put into a state called conservatorship where they were basically supported by a line of credit from the treasury, and the idea was this was going to be temporary. we were going to figure out a a way to resolve this. and instead, here we sit going on eight years from the date they were taken over, and they
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still sit as wards of the u.s. government. someone told me it was the greatest example of government dysfunction he's ever seen, and while that may be an exaggeration given what's going on in washington, nonetheless, the point probably holds. they're being drained of all their capital, and the profits that they produce are being used, basically, to cover the budget deficit. and the problem with that is in the wake of the financial crisis the big idea's been get more capital into financial institutions, and the whole system will be safer. and we have, collectively, the largest financial system in the world that instead is being drained of capital with no real plan for their futures. so i think that leaves all of us in a somewhat precarious position. >> thank you. well, that leaves me with even greater unease than when i read the book. [laughter] maybe ben can give us some more happy news, but i doubt it. his book is entitled indentured,
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the inside story of how a few people took on the injustices in college athletics and how the industry is where it goes and who gets it. i have to kind of make a confession here. before i read ben's book, i was very much on the side that said, hey, college athletes, they're getting a great free education. why do they need to get paid? they're not employees. i have to tell you you know that line in jerry mcguire where they say to tom cruise or she says to tom cruise you had me at hello? ben, you had me at page 2. half and i'm not that -- [laughter] and i'm not that easy. indentured, cartel, gestapo, mafia, some people in the book are compared to j. edgar hoover, even darth vadar. is this fair and why so harsh, ben? >> sadly, i think i have more bad news to follow bethany. so good morning, everybody. i think you can break up the problems with college sports,
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there's sort of three buckets. and the first is the money. college sports is a $13 billion industry now, so that, if you can believe it, is more money than the nfl bring withs in. so this is a -- brings in. so this is a lot of money. and there's coaches that are making $5 million and $10 million, there are conferences. we're in acc country, but i guess we're also in big ten country now because of maryland. they all own tv networks now, and they make between two and $300 million a year. the men who lead the conferences have $3 million salaries. most of the coaches 4, $5 million salaries. and of all of this money players, you know, the ones driving the revenue, driving the interest, see what amounts to less than a sliver of this. so you have this financial dichotomy. the second piece is that the
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ncaa has a 400-page rulebook that, basically, governs every aspect of a college athlete's life. it tells you how many times you can eat at somebody's house, you know? who you can accept a ride from. if you are a college athlete and you want to transfer schools, you have to get the ncaa's permission. you have to get your coach's permission. and whereas the adults in the room can leave school no problem, so the way the rules are applied to the kids, the athletes and the adults is wildly disparate. and the third thing is what is supposed to make all of this okay, as john mentioned, is the scholarship, this college education. so, yes, we have a lot of money. yes, there are a lot of rules, but this is all okay because we're educating these athletes, and that's what college sports are about. well, unfortunately, that isn't
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quite the case, because federal graduation rates for football and men's basketball players are about 50%. anybody that has seen the news about what happened at north carolina over the last 20 years where these athletes were funneled into classes, literally fake classes that the university knew about, that the athletic department knew about, they did not meet. the classes did not exist, and they were meant to keep the athletes eligible. at other schools you have majors like fitness studies that the bigtime athletes are clustered into. so the idea that they're getting a meaningful education or any education at all is sort of fiction and hearkens back to mythological college sports and ncaa that might have been around in the 1970s. but it's not anymore. and so, you know, between the rights that are taken away and
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the education that is not delivered and the financial dichotomy that exists, you have a system that ends up being, you know, there's no other word for it than it's exploitive. >> all of us, i think, love as americans, all people, we love authenticity. we also recoil at hypocrisy. hypocrisy is a threat i see, actually, in both your books. and you mention it explicitly, ben. could you talk a little bit about how it seems like the ncaa beyond being just arbitrary, really kind of picking and choosing who gets rewarded and who gets the blame or who gets punished, could you talk a little bit about that? >> i don't think you have to look any further, everybody knows the term "student athlete." we've all heard this, yes? this is ingrained in the fabric of america, the fabric of higher education and college.
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and the word was made up by the first executive director of the ncaa and precisely because there was a football player at a school in texas who got hurt playing, and his family requested worker's compensation benefits because here he was doing a job for the school. he was an employee, and as soon as he got hurt, he was entitled to worker's comp. and this terrified people at the ncaa, terrified people across college sports. and what did they do? be they invented the word student athlete, embedded it in all of the ncaa's literature. schools had to call the players student athletes, broadcasters on tv had to call them student athletes, and it was nothing more than a marketing ploy to avoid paying out worker's compensation. and it has worked fabulously. but i don't think that there's a more obvious example of
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hypocrisy than sort of this word that is treasured in the united states today and treasured by colleges and by college sports, but its origins and its roots are far more nefarious than we would realize. >> how about the markets, bethany? you know, we've all heard the expression too big to fail. are there some companies, are there some banks that are way too connected to fail? i know you don't cherish your time working at goldman sachs, i'm told -- [laughter] but i wonder if that gives you some perspective on, you know, why it is regulators and the government allow some banks to be saved and others not. and there's been a pretty common thread from goldman. am i seeing a bogeyman here? is that why aig was saved? >> it's a big question.
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so i worked at goldman from '92 to '95. i was basically at the janitor level, so i can't pretend any great insight into the workings of our financial system from that. but i did learn not to be afraid of financial concepts and, i guess, not to be intimidated by people in business. i think goldman is probably an easy bogeyman, but i think the real bogeyman is probably much, much, much larger than that. there is this -- back in the beginning days of our country, we were always scared about the power of big financial institutions. there was a lot of rhetoric about how we could never be a nation that had big financial institutions because of our fear of the power that those financial institutions could have. and one of the really odd things about the financial crisis is that for all the rhetoric about too big to fail and how institutions had grown too big and too powerful to fail, we
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came out of the financial crisis with institutions that were even bigger. and people will tell you that they are now much safer, that we've put in place all sorts of new rules and regulations that will, that have fixed all the problems. i tend tock a little bit -- to be a little bit skeptical perhaps from having billion around and for having a negative contrarian personality that we've fixed the problems. in the wake of enron, we passed a law called star babes oxley -- sarbanes-oxley, and when president bush signed this in the rose garden, he talked about how now our financial markets were safe, and we put in place all sorts of things that made ordinary people protected. so a few years later down the pike comes the financial crisis, and you had president obama sign a law called dodd-frank in the rose garden. and the speeches are remarkably similar.
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the similarities are quite depressing. >> at the school where i teach, it's called the dwight d. eisenhower school. ike eisenhower warned about the military industrial complex. bethany has a chapter in her book called the housing industrial complex. is this housing industrial complex, first of all, what is it? and is it something we need to fear as much as the military industrial complex? >> well, perhaps in some ways. so my perspective on fannie and freddie, these two giant companies, i think the tone of the book is a little bit how i learned to love the gses. there's this notion of the american dream as home ownership, as this thing that makes our country a better society. and it's ingrained deeply in our society. if you go back to the 1800s, that was part of the concept that a nation of landowners would make us safer, stronger, more cohesive society.
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but frank and freddie during their heyday were immensely powerful institutions and immensely politically powerful institutions, and they managed to take this concept of home ownership and make it a way to make a lot of money. because you actually couldn't challenge the notion of home ownership. if you challenged fannie and freddie and said they weren't doing the right thing, you were challenging home ownership. and that's also largely part of the story of the financial crisis, because if you tried to rein in mortgage credit even though people were getting a all sorts of risky mortgages, the companies would go to congress and say you're hurting people's home ownership opportunities. so it became an excuse for all sorts of behavior that actually had nothing to do with home home ownership. and there's a lot of money at stake. the mortgage market is a $10 trillion market. the american mortgage market's one of the largest bond markets in the world. it's incredibly lucrative. everybody wants a piece of the money. and so you have what people have jokingly, not so jokingly called
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the housing industrial complex which is this sort of loosely-knit, formidabling alliance of all the people who make money off your homes, basically. and there's been an incredibly formidable political force in washington, and fannie and freddie are part of that. >> so a $10 trillion market. ben, you referred to $13 billion in college athletics. where is all that money going? and is some of it going for good things to improve our higher education system? >> not really. [laughter] so of this $13 billion, much of it goes to very high coaching salaries. so when you can't pay the players, the money has to go somewhere. it goes into coaching salaries, administrators' salaries. the head coach at clemson, school played for the national championship last year, the head coach has a chief of staff that
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makes $250,000 a year. the strength coach of alabama's football team makes $600,000 a year. and so one of the reasons that they make so much money is because in this money has to go somewhere, and it cannot be given to the players. and the way to recruit the players is to build, you know, palatial facilities. and oregon's football facility has imported brazilian wood in it. they imported wood from brazil to build this facility. and it's gorgeous. and it's, you know, $40, $50 million. but that's how you recruit players, because you can't offer them money, so you have to offer them a lot of cool stuff. but another reason that, you know, the best coaches, that nick saban at alabama can make $7 million is because when they bring in the best players, it is a tremendous marketing arm for a school. right? and so when you hear about
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football players that get away with, you know, close to but not murder, right? they get away with, you know, breaking rules and mistreating women, it's because they are so valuable to the school. and so you have this strange dichotomy where these athletes are both exploited financially and then coddled and a lot of, you know, bad behavior is allowed because they are worth so much to these schools. and the budgets, the athletic school budgets are almost always separate from the main college. so very little money ever goes back to the school. it's contained, and it's used to build facilities and pay coaches a lot of money. >> you know, we spend a lot of our time at the national defense university teaching leadership, trying to look at kind of what are some of the successes and
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failures of leadership and and how we avoid that in the future in terms of our students' personal leadership development. you know, bethany has a great quote, actually. you know, when we look at the global financial crisis and we look at the situation that we're in, you know, the story of the crisis is often mortgage-backed securities and risk management tools. but you've said the end of the day the story is really about people. with the enron crisis, you had some pretty visible faces out there, ken lay and jeff skilling, you had the faces of the excesses in the 1980s. who are the villains now, and are there any heroes? >> that's a really good question, and it's interesting. i've always thought that business stories are stories about people. they're stories about human nature, and it's one of the reasons i love covering these sagas of business gone wrong so much, because they're human nature usually at its worst.
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maybe sometimes at its best. heroes are tricky in the financial crisis. my colleague who co-authored the book as well, there is this very human need to find the one thing to blame, the thing that is the thing we can say that villain caused all our pain, and if we just focus on that villain, everything will be better. but it's usually an oversimplification, and particularly in the case of the financial crisis and all the devils, it's a great line from shakespeare, hell is empty, and all the devils are here. it refers in my mind to the multi-causal nature of the financial crisis. it was lots and lots of things coming together with lots and lots of villains, and we profiled the rating agencies and alan greenspan and wall street executives and mortgage bankers who lured people into mortgages that they couldn't afford and in some cases homeowners who knowingly took out loans that they couldn't afford. complicated. are there any heroes?
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i don't know if any of you have said the movie made out of michael lewis' book, "the big short," which is great. and it portrays the small group of people who saw the financial crisis coming as heroes. and they were in a way. they saw what so many other people were unwilling to see. but usually in the financial world whistleblower come with their own, come with their own story. and in this case these people made a lot of money from the destruction of the financial crisis, that the financial crisis caused. so they're ambiguous heroes, i suppose i would say. >> ben, you actually chronicle some heroes in your book, people who really stood up to the ncaa whether it's a group of players from north western university, the sneaker guy and others. is there one that kind of stands out to you with as kind of a tipping point? >> i think if there is a main character in our book, it is
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sonny vicarro who is fondly known as the sneaker pimp because he worked for nike in the 1980s and was the first guy to figure out that if you pay schools and coaches to have them wear nikes, to have the players wear nikes, it helps sell nike shoes. so he introduced this concept that has blossomed and absolutely exploded since the 1980. he's also the guy who convinced nike to pour a lot of resources into signing michael jordan when he was coming out of north carolina and to build a shoe around him. so he is a guy who sort of invented commercialism in college sports. and then about 15 years ago he had seen so many players that he had worked with basically railroaded by the ncaa, by the ncaa's rules and quit his job. he was at reebok then and went
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on a crusade. there's no better word, a crusade against the ncaa. he's the one who ginned up a federal lawsuit against the ncaa that went to trial a couple years ago. he toured the country speaking at law schools, you know, in front of crowds of, you know, 15, 20 people trying to explain the ills of the ncaa in this off-the-cuff sort of, you know -- he's not a linear thinker. so you'd go and hear him speak, and, you know, you had no idea what he was saying, but you would understand the passion and the idea of injustice. he's that sort of guy. and if there is one main character, he is the guy. >> this is a little bit more of a charged question, a follow-up here. dale brown, the famous -- i hate saying famous, because i went to tulane university, and he was the coach of louisiana state
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university, our rival. but he once likened this all to kind of having the whiff of a plantation. racism. how, you know, you see a lot of this being played out on college campuses all over the country, some courageous people at university of missouri for one standing up to -- how much do you see racism as having played a role in kind of the slowness to redress some of the injustices around the system? >> yeah. i think if -- just look at what's happening. the vast majority or the majority of football and men's basketball players are black. the vast majority of administrators and coaches are white. and so this is a tremendous wealth transfer from, you know, some of the poorest, most vulnerable in our society to what are often upper-middle class people. but if it was the other way around, if you had, you know,
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white people generating a lot of money that black people werely reaping the benefits of, would something have been done a long time ago? probably. and i don't think anybody at the ncaa is thinking, you know, how do we, you know, take money from black people and give it to white people. how -- that's not sort of the way it works. but at the same time, the rules and the way that the system is set up, you know, a lot like, you know, drug sentencing, you know, the rules objectively are race-neutral, but they affect one section of our population far more than another population. it's just like that. and so the effect, the effect is that you do have a tremendous wealth transfer from young black men to other people on college campuses. and there's absolutely no way around that. >> so we're in the middle of a
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presidential campaign season, if you hadn't noticed. [laughter] and while it's being dominated by kind of who can ride the subway better, who has bigger hands and, you know, the twitter wars, they're not talking about substance, the kind of substance that bethany describes and the kind of concern she lays out in her book. but i want to ask you, have any of the campaigns reached out to you? do you see any of them kind of taking an interest in what you have to say here? >> in short, no. [laughter] so that's a really quick answer. i was actually thinking when ben was talking, this is a really interesting theme between our two books which is this implicit corruption, right? it's not that anybody's really intending or really -- the same holds true in the business world. it's not that you're always, when you're writing these stories, you're always looking for the moment where people met in a darkroom and plotted to defraud shareholders and plotted to destroy the global financial
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system, and you just wish you could find that meeting, right? of the heads of wall street firms in this preferably smoky bar off wall street. it never happens. there's never that moment, and these stories are always this weird mixture of a little bit about corruption with a lot of suspension of disbelief. and it's this notion of implicit corruption. everybody's in on it because that's just how it's done, and everybody thinks that's -- everybody's come to take the system as it is for granted, and it sounds like that's a parallel theme between our two books. >> and sometimes you wish that there was a smoking gun, because people want a smoking gun so badly -- >> right. >> and to have people really pay attention, sometimes you need a smoking gun. and it just, it doesn't exist, so you sort of build a narrative, and it's a lot of, you know, well, obviously something's going on here. but without the smoking gun, you don't have sort of this moment where everyone goes, oh, of course. >> right. right.
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or this moment of absolutely conscious, willful deception and wrong doing. in our human search for narrative, we want that turning point to hang the story on. so i think it always makes these stories somewhat unsatisfying on one level, although on another level they're a much deeper human story, right? because that usually is the story of how things go wrong, a whole lot of self-delusion wrapped up with a little bit of greed wrapped up with a little bit of outright corruption. >> well, so nobody's focused on these issues now, and it seems to take a smoking gun to really get action. but what's a possible way forward to try to fix frank and freddie mac -- fannie and freddie mac before it happens again? >> well, it's a really complicated question because on the surface you want to say let's just get these government-sponsored enterprises, what on earth is that? let's just shut them down and
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get them out of the housing market. we're a capitalist society, why do we need a government presence in our housing market? but the thing is some of the things that we take for granted as americans like a 30-year fixed rate mortgage wouldn't exist if you didn't have institutions that guaranteed that risk, because the financial markets don't want to absorb it. so when you actually look at the cost of getting the government out of the housing market, it becomes, it becomes a lot less clear that that's the right answer, particularly in a day and age where income inequality is at the top of everybody's list of the ills in our society. if you didn't have these two giant companies around or some facsimile thereof, mortgage credit in this country would be much harder to come by for people of middle to lower income, it would be much harder to come by in parts of the country that aren't as well off financially. when you really dig into this very clean idea of we'll just kill the two companies and get the government out of the housing market actually becomes
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a lot less simple. and that's part of the reason why we don't have any answer to this, is it's not ideologically appealing, right? because if you're on the hard right, you want to say, well, just get rid of them. and if you're on the hard left, you might say, well, let's just nationalize them and have the government do anything. -- and the government do everything. and the right answer is probably somewhere in the middle and probably actually somewhat close to the system that we had, that we had in place. and i think it gets to another sort of uncomfortable issue which is that a lot of times in the quest for perfect, there is no perfect. and you do the best you can, you muddle through, and you try to put safeguards in place that will make the system work for everybody. but i think one of the things that's holding up moving forward is ideologying, one, the quest for a perfect which may not exist. then just this idea that, well, the status quo is fine. that pushing off making a decision is somehow not a decision when, in reality, it is
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its own form of decision. >> how about the ncaa? there have been some positive things which have happened in the wake of kind of all these efforts to try to reform. there's now a concussion protocol in the ncaa. there are four-year scholarships now. now they're, i guess, factoring in the true cost of attendance. what's left to fix, ben? >> so there have been a number of lawsuits, and the union movement at northwestern really put a scare into sort of the status quo. but the system, there is a little bit of extra money for the players now. there has been incremental movement sort of toward reform. but it essentially is unchanged. and it's really hard to go through the courts, because there was a suit over using
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players' names and images in tv without their consent and without paying them for it. and they won. and on appeal, the idea that colleges could now pay trust funds to players was overturned. while still saying that the ncaa had violated antitrust laws. so in essence, it was the rules are illegal, but they can basically continue as they are. and it's because, you know, institutions like the courts and institutions like the labor board which weighed in on the northwestern case don't want to hit the eject button on the system that we have here and don't want to be the ones who are blamed for changing college sports because there are so many college sports fans, and people really like college sports. and so to change, fundamentally change the system that we have, i think -- you mentioned the university of missouri. and basically what happened was there were issues of racism on
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campus, and they had been percolating for weeks and maybe months. and as soon as the football team stood up and said we are not going to play on saturday until something is done, the university president resigned in 36 hours. [laughter] 36 hours. and that is how much power that the athletes on campuses have. and schools have given it to them almost unwittingly because there is so much money now tied up in the games; tv money, espn, cbs and the concessions and the sponsorships. and so if the game doesn't go on, there is so much money at stake. and so just imagine if a team didn't come out for the final four and said we'd like to renegotiate the terms of how we play college sports. i think the system would change in half an hour. it would change so fast. again, that's also really, really hard to do because these are 18 and 19-year-old kids who want to play in the final four. and so to take a stand is really
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hard especially because many of them are just in college for a couple years, they have a pro career that they're looking out for. but i think that is what it's going to take to fundamentally make the system more equitability with bl. >> and -- equitable. >> is it something that should be fixed not just for bigtime college football and basketball? we're in the land of lacrosse here in maryland. how about lacrosse players? >> yeah. i think the ncaa rules for all athletes, three things should happen tomorrow that would make it better for everybody. when you talk about salaries and actually paying the athletes, i think that's different for the football and men's basketball players because they are fundamentally on campus to generate revenue for the school and to be visible. and it's different even than lacrosse at johns hopkins or maryland. but for them i would say you should get a lifetime scholarship, meaning that you can focus on your sport while you're in school and come back and get the education you're promised whenever you want.
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you should have lifetime health care, so if you ever get injured competing for your school, the school covers those bills for life. and the third thing is even at johns hopkins or a division iii school, if somebody wants to pay you money for your autograph, you ought to be able to sell your autograph. if the car dealership wants to use you for a commercial to endorse their cars or if nike wants to pay you to wear nike, you ought to be able to have control over your name and image and make any money from a third party vendor that you can. >> well, i want to leave some time for audience questions, so why don't i open it up now. please walk over to the mic if you've got one. >> [inaudible] >> sorry, because it's television.
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>> to ms. mclean, i know what when i look at the meltdown of the financial sector in 2008, i think of it in terms of the, you know, greatest crime wave in american history. yet nobody went to jail. i'm very interested in what you think of that. >> i think that's the question everybody is still asking all these years later, and the fact that people are still asking it all these years later show that there's really no satisfactory answer to it. i'm going to give you a couple of different answers. the first one is these are really, white collar frauds are really hard to prosecute. even enron, which most people think of as a giant fraud are, was actually mostly what i like to refer to as a legal fraud which is they found ways to rip off the system and take advantage of loopholes in the
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system while meeting the letter of the law such that when prosecutors tried to go after it, it was actually very difficult to do it, because it turned out that accountants and lawyers and all the people in our system who protect top executives from the consequences of their decisions even when they benefit, even when they profit directly from those decisions had signed off on everything, making it really difficult to prosecute. the but difficulty alone isn't the reason there weren't convictions in the wake of the financial crisis. there wasn't an appetite to do it. and part of that was because nobody wants to wreak more havoc on these institutions that we'd just bailed out. and there was a very real fear, i think, that if there were prosecutions, that we would crater the very fragile confidence in these institutions that we just spent all this taxpayer money, all this taxpayer money bailing out. and then i think there's a third reason in the financial crisis that is really difficult which is that the regulators signed off on a lot of what was
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happening, so it adds -- it goes back to my first explanation. a lot of the things that we find the most reprehensible, that are the most deeply immoral are not necessarily illegal. and what i dislike about our modern markets is that it often seems like these immoral decisions aren't punished in other ways. you would like to believe that then there would be a deeper punishment in the term of career lost or shame felt if the punishment can't be legal, and our world doesn't seem to work that way anymore. >> floor is open. >> thank you all very much for a wonderful presentation. i find myself utterly blown away by the institutional greed that you have described. i know, knew it existed, but now
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i'm just shuddering. my question is for ben strauss. i have read recently that some of the problem with college tuitions exploding is that some of that money is going toward supporting the sports portion of the college. is that a rumor or is that true? and secondly, the human face of the students who are not able to take advantage of the money, the hunger that they experience, i'd like to hear a little bit more about that. >> the -- you're talking about student fees. and so there has been some coverage of student fees. at the bigger schools, we're talking about the acc and the sec and the big ten, those, the student fees there, it's much
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more of an issue at mauler schools that -- small or schools that don't have tv money to fall back on or to tap to pay for, you know, the things that they want, the bigger stadiums and, you know, more facilities and, you know, more money for coaches. but at some schools that are not, you know, florida, that are not, you know, usc there are student fees that fund athletics, and, you know, over four years it can be as much as $1,000 which, you know, when you're going into debt to pay for your college education, any more money, you know, for the football team you sort of shake your head at, and you don't have an option to pay the student fee. it's part of the tuition. so at smaller schools, that is an issue. as far as the human face, i can tell you the story of the prologue in our book is a player at the university of connecticut
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a few years ago, and he was investigated by the ncaa for taking an impermissible benefit, is what they call it. and it's really more about what happens to his mother and the family when you're under investigation. she was a single, black mother, and she had accepted money for a family -- from a family friend to go on a recruiting visit with her son, right? this is basic parenting. this wasn't a guy who was trying to steer the player to a specific school, this was sort of a human kindness. yes, you can go be a parent and go with your son on his recruiting trip. and the ncaa sent, you know, five investigators to her workplace, they took her out of work and took her to a hotel and interrogated her for five hours. these are, like, four white men and she's a single black mother, you know, asking her about every single check she had written for the past two years and having to prove that it was not some sort of unseemly or, you know, back
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channel money to recruit her son. and so the ncaa and college sports is one of the very first -- really one of the only places that you can think of where you're guilty until you prove your innocence. so as soon as you're under investigation, you cannot play. your school suspends you until you prove that you did nothing wrong. and so this -- the mother ended up losing her job also because, you know, she was under so much stress, and, you know, the investigators went to friends' houses and friends' workplaces asking about every single, you know, deposit in her bank account over the last number of years. it's sort of insane to think about, you know, institutions being able to do that, you know, in america today. so that's sort of when you -- the human face of getting investigated by the ncaa for doing something that really doesn't seem like a very big deal.
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and, in fact, is not a very big deal. >> yeah. and unfortunately, that's just one of many stories like that that ben and joe chronicle in this book. they really get your blood boiling. next question. >> i wanted to take a different perspective from the last couple questions and hope that nobody throws rotten tomatoes at me. bethany, as you said, it's human nature to want to blame and to want to blame the gses or to blame the ncaa administrators. but the reality is that they wouldn't have had the power that they have if we weren't the ones tuning in to the basketball games and the football games and if we weren't the ones that love our houses and want nice houses and take out loans for home renovation. and so i'm wondering how much each of your books address the real cultural nature of the greed that gets embedded in these systems. >> right.
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i have a line i sometimes use when i'm talking about scandals which is that every scandal, every story of business gone wrong in some ways always involves the complicity of the victims, because we all buy into this belief that in something after the fact is clearly going to seem too good to be true, and certainly in the financial crisis, home buyers bought into the fact that home prices would go up forever. i'm a big believer in personal responsibility. without it, we're all completely lost. but i think something that has gone wrong in our system is that there isn't often a corresponding feeling of responsibility. i think responsibility does have to be a two-way street. and i was firmly in the camp that this was the fault of homeowners until i came upon this institution called washington mutual who talked about how you persuaded people to take out a much riskier loan
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instead, because it was much more profitable to washington mutual, and they could turn around and sell it to the big banks for much more money. and so it was a script for their sales people about what you did when someone came in and said, no, really, i just want a safe 30-year fixed rate mortgage and how you changed their mind. and so i think to your point we are lost without personal responsibility, and we are all to some extent complicit in the story of every business gone wrong. but that doesn't mean it is all our fault. responsibility has to be a two-way street, and there has to be responsibility from people about the decisions they make but also responsibility from corporations about the decisions that they encourage people to make. >> i think we have time for just one more question. >> i have a question for bethany. i am an economist by degree, but i've gotten to the point of not caring anymore and not following what's going on in the economic
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arena. talking about the financial crisis, as a simple taxpayer you mentioned the guilt of fannie and freddie, but you didn't mention anything about ginnie. how are they structured now? how are my tax dollars supporting the subsidies that is going to the the three mega-institutions? thank you. >> right. so right now fannie and freddie are essentially supported by a line of credit from taxpayers, and they've actually -- they took $187 billion from taxpayers in the form of their bailout9. people thought they would never be able to repay it. they actually have paid almost $100 billion more than they took back into the u.s. treasury. and we've been able to use that to reduce the budget deficit. the big problem with the way they're structured is that the taxpayer is totally on the hook. capital absorbs losses in a football institution. -- financial institution.
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every financial institution needs capital to absorb losses. because fannie and freddie under the direction of the u.s. government are being drained of all their capital, in a few years they are going to have absolutely nothing which to absorb all those unexpected loss, so guess what those losses are going to happen and where they go? right back to all of us. so that's why i believe it's a problem we need to fix. >> well, i think that's just about all the time we have. indentured: the inside story of those who took on the ncaa. i'm converted. on shaky ground: the story of the still-unsolved story of the u.s. mortgage giants. i'm very concerned. but other than that, it's been a very pleasant experience. [laughter] up here x be i want to say congratulations to you both and thank you. >> thanks very much. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] >> and that was bethany mclean and ben strauss live from the annapolis book festival. in just a few minutes we'll be back with more from the key school in maryland's state capital. [inaudible conversations] >> retired army colonel patrick murray, why'd you write a book? >> peter, i spent 25 years in the army. i was honored to do that, and then i ran for congress afterward, and that was sort of my proverbial look behind the curtain, and it scared me straight with the state of our political system. when you look at polls, about three-quarters of americans are
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unhappy with the direction that their country is going and with government. and i as a constitutional conservative count myself as one of those. and i believe that that comes from the fact that our founders set up this system where the individual has the starring role, and government plays a supporting role. but it's sort of flipped on its head. and that led me to the title of the book, "government is the problem," because i believe our government has gotten way too big, and i believe both political parties, career politicians on both sides of the aisle facilitate that. and actually you're seeing that play out right now, i believe, in the republican primary in the fact that so much of the conservative base is rallying around someone with no political experience, that's completely outside of the republican establishment. >> host: is that a good thing? >> guest: i think it's a very good thing. i think the republican party needs to have this crucible to go through, because i believe, look, we already have one party of big government.
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that's the democrat party, whether you hike it or not. that's what they espouse. the republican party ostensibly is supposed to be the party that is intellectual descendants of our founding fathers. they should be channeling milton friedman. they should be standing for limited government, but they don't. i mean, you can go back to the two terms of president george w. bush where we had a republican-controlled senate, a republican-controlled house. we doubled the federal debt, we slathered on government regulations, we created a new entitlement, we created a new government agency. we were not, we're not -- they're not governing as conservatives, and i think that's what's led to this situation now. >> host: when people talk about, colonel murray, constitutional conservative, what exactly does that mean? what's a real-life example of that? >> guest: well, i'm a real-life example of that. so i stopped calling myself a republican even though i am a conservative. i'm a constitutional conservative.
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and by that, it's very simple. i believe our constitution is something along the lines of our owner's manual for the nation. and you need to adhere to it. when i swore an oath as an army officer to support and defend the constitution, then there's no statute of limitations on that. our politicians do the same thing. 13 to me -- and to me, being a constitutional conservative means adhering to that. that means limited government, individual liberty, especially the tenth amendment. we've gotten way away from that on both sides of the aisle because i think our career politicians have sort of broken the code that the bigger, the more powerful, the more extensive the federal government is, the better it is for their incumbencies. so i think they're really supporting and defending their incumbencies as opposed to the constitution. >> host: you refer to your book government is the problem as an after-action report on the 2012 election. >> guest: i do. so i started writing that -- whenever you do any kind of a
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mission or objective in the army, you finish and you write an after-action review. you take a look at what you did right, what you did not so well and how to improve things. that's what this started as. and the more i researched it, the more i looked into it, the more i realize that i don't believe a political cycle -- if you're not happy with the direction the country's going, i don't think a political cycle fixes that. i don't think, you know, electing the next great person fixes that, because i think it's systemic. and so that's where i came up with solutions. whenever you do an after-action review, you can't just complain. you have to provide solutions x. mine is that it's right in the constitution. it's article v of the constitution which affords us the ability to call something called a convention of states whereby the states can propose constitutional amendments separate and distinct from congress and the federal government. >> host: what was the self-publishing process like for you?
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>> guest: well, it was -- i'd never written a book before. but i'd never ran for congress before either. so i was blessed with some wise people who have done those things, and so when i found a couple of editors and i found it, in this plushing house -- publishing house, they're sort of a step above self-publishing, and they were helpful. so it was, it was about a one-year process to go through the whole thing, to write it, edit it and refine it. but it was terrific to be able to codify your thoughts and get them down on, get them down in the book. >> host: retired army colonel patrick murray. here's the book, "government is the problem." this is booktv on c-span2, and we are at cpac. [inaudible conversations] >> on your screen right now, a view inside katherine hall at the key school in maryland.
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coming up in just a few minutes, we'll be back with more live coverage from the annapolis book festival. [inaudible conversations] >> top people at koch industries working in washington put together a boiler room operation in which they worked with a private eye in new york city to dig up dirt on me, and they spent quite a few months looking for anything they could use to discredit me. i'm not alone in this. there are many instances in this book of the kochs specifically hiring private eyes to try to dig up dirt on people who challenge them.
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they have an awful lot of unaccountable power. they're private, they've got a huge private company, they're trying to play a major role in america's public life, but from behind the scenes. and they don't really like it when one shines a big light on them, and that's what i was trying to do. >> host: you say that boiler room was set up in former congressman j.c. watts' lobbying office. >> guest: that's right. it was sort of some extra space in the back room there. i eventually -- it took some time, but i eventually was able to get a pretty good picture of what was going on. and it was extraordinary in my experience. i've got to say i've covered a lot of things, but i have not, as far as i know, been the target of an effort to discredit me that was quite like that. i mean, maybe i should be flattered on some, you know, level, that anyone would take a reporter so seriously. but it was, it could have been -- it was scary in a way, you know? i mean, it felt like an effort to ruin me, and i think if they had succeeded in convincing
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people that i was plagiarizing, i mean, for a reporter that's, that's a crime of moral turpitude. it's something that could take you down. and so it was not a minor kind of effort, it was a killer effort. [laughter] so i'm very glad it didn't succeed. and my colleagues, from whom i was supposed to have plagiarized, were fantastic and stood up to defend me and said this is not true. one of them looked -- one of the stories i was supposed to have stolen, a washington post reporter, and he said not only did you not steal from me, you credited me in the next friggin' sentence. so, you know, it was a badly done operation in some ways. but it's unusual, and it gives you an insight into the hardball that these two brothers who want so much power over american politics have played. >> you can watch this and other programs online at
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>> here's a look at some books that are being published this week. in "the gunning of america," pamela hague explores the history of gun culture in america. georgetown university law professor randy barnett in "our republican constitution." in "panic at the pump," princeton university professor meg jacobs reports on how the energy crisis of the 1970s shaped the modern world. also being released this week, national book award winning author andrew solomon remembers his travels to places experiencing significant cultural and political changes in "far and away." joshua hammer in "the bad ass librarians of timbuktu." princeton sociology professor
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mitchell denear in "ghetto." and in "the fires of spring," rand corporate middle east analyst shelby culbertson reports on the economic and social landscape of the middle east after the arab spring. look for these titles in bookstores in the coming week and watch for the authors in the near future on booktv. >> for about ten minutes. this microphone i'm holding right here is going to be at this stand. please talk into the microphone so, one, we can hear you but, also -- >> and we're back next live from the annapolis book festival, a panel on political campaigning.
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>> good morning, everyone. i'm paris glenn denning, taught for 27 years politics, so i love this panel. taught at the university of maryland, served 31 years in elected office, so i love in the panel even more. and especially now that i'm not in elected office -- [laughter] and currently serve as head of an environmental group. most importantly though, i am the proud father of bree who is a student here and loves this school as well. let me not only say welcome to you, but to our two panelists. this panel, by the way, is american politics: campaigns off the rails. i hope everyone is in the right room. if you're not, now's the time to quietly slip out. i do that routinely because one time after giving what i thought was a really great lecture at the university, i asked for
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questions as i normally do, and someone put up a hand and said what does this have to do with sociology? [laughter] and the worst problem was this was the third week in the semester. so is if anyone wants to quietly slide out, now's the time to do so. welcome. my job is pretty straightforward. i will introduce the authors, i will aggressively enforce time limits so that we stay within c-span's requirements here, and i will also work to coordinate and stimulate a little bit audience participation. now having said that, let's go ahead and get started. our first guest is matt bayh, sitting to my left, whose most recent book is "all the truth is out: the week politics went tabloid." it's a really interesting revisit of the gary hart affair and how it changed forever
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really the intersection of american media and politics. .. >> political correspondent for the new york times, new york time magazine where three presidential campaigns in detail. in bethesda with his wife and two children, one more
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interesting note in this biography, some of you may recognize this, in a recurring role in the second season of netflix show house of cards. that will be it. i will tell you i really love that because one of the fun things is i once played the governor in homicide which most of you remember, and the mayor, it was supposed to get shot but they rewrote that and i came out okay. let me turn to matt and introduce joe cummings in a second. >> an honor to be with you and fantastic to be here at this book festival. all writers love book festivals
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and this is my home area. i was pleased with myself, and if it was based on anyone, i realized -- i was not as well known. i want to talk about this book, it is probably not the best marketing tool but in 1985 tremendous social critic called amusing ourselves to death. i wonder if you read amusing yourself to death? you should. the postman had a theory at that time, a year after the year made famous by orwell and the height of the television age, the postman said we have not as a country entered the stage orwell
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predicted. we did not live with big brother, we did not live under authoritarian rule, his pre-nsa wiretapping and all that but he said we had come perilously close to realizing the vision outlined in a brave new world. the real thing to worry about was we would entertain ourselves into oblivion. all the fun and games at narratives and storylines would come to make a mockery, to obscure the important public business of the country. and you can draw a direct line from postman's theory to where we are today for which i offer two words as evidence, donald trump. donald trump is a reality television star whatever one thinks of his politics, he is a television star, a celebrity candidate with no experience in governance, no interest in governance, no particular
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agenda. what he offers is tremendous ratings and outrageousness and antics, he is a provocateur. i have called him in my columns an emotional extremist. this comes close to encapsulating his ideology. he manipulates the emotions of an audience intuitively and brilliantly. for the purposes of capturing attention and being compelling and that is a great gift and that is what the political process is rewarding. to understand how we got to where we are at this moment and to understand where neil postman's vision came to reality you have to understand the events of 1987 and the story of gary hart which some of you may remember. many of you do not. if you go to a college audience and ask who gary hart is, absolutely blank which is remarkable because it is almost
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a novelist in american politics, this was not numb 100 years ago. in 1987 by the beginning of 1987 gary hart was the hillary clinton of his moment. the presumed democratic nominee having lost narrowly to walter mondale in 1984, former vice president having almost stolen the nomination. he was running 20 points above the next democrat in any public polling in those democrats were not even running and one of them was not even a democrat. it was mario cuomo and lee iacocca, that lasted 10 minutes and he was running double digits, 13 points ahead of george w. bush, gary hart was the guy to beat, a towering figure in american politics and a visionary candidate. this was 1987, talking about energy independence as a national security issue, not just an economic an issue, causing -- the end of state and
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stateless terrorism, talking about the end of manufacturing in addition to an information economy. he was way ahead of his time in a lot of ways talking about what was appropriated by bill clinton a few years later. there is only one corner in society he can't see around and that is part of the culture coming to embrace politics as celebrity, part of the culture that infected hollywood and has come to business, treats people, everybody is if they are subject in people magazine where your personal life and behavior and morality become more important than what you believe or have accomplished. a lot of that owing to the echoes of watergate particularly. gary hart can be made to believe as somebody might write about his personal life, has been
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known to be separated from his wife twice and date openly in washington for many years that that time he was reunited with his wife but what he can't believe is anyone will go out searching for the evidence of his infidelity and that is what happened. a reporter from the miami herald sitting at his desk when somebody calls up and says my friend is having an affair with gary hart, going to meet him in washington, you should go follow and i won't get into it here, there is no time, but gary hart did not have in his heart to follow me around, surveillance happened before he said that and he didn't say it to the press and this had nothing to do with the photos you may remember of the woman in his lap, that came out after he was out of the race. a lot of people miss remember. they put him under surveillance and watched the women in his house and there comes a moment on a weekend in early may 1987, the most important democratic politician in the country, presumed nominee of the democratic party is literally backed up against a brick wall in a back alley next to his townhouse in washington wearing
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a white hoody surrounded by three reporters and a photographer saying to him who is the woman in your house and how long have you known her and have you had sex with her? i believe in that alley, that oil stained alley the ground of american politics and american political journalism begins to shift and several days later gary hart is asked international press conference have you ever committed adultery? which no presidential candidate to that moment had been asked publicly and shocking to people in that room will tell you they remember it to that day is a watershed moment. all of the rules around politics change in that moment. i follow the arc and lives of the people wrapped up in this, the reporters, donna rice, spent a lot of time, how this reverberated in their lives, but
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how it reverberated through the life of the country and the industry that i have been a part of for, oh gosh, almost 20 years. a couple things shift in political journalism after that, 1987, one of them is the egos of political journalism changes from the elimination of worldviews and ideas and agenda to this notion of we know you are a fraud, we just have to figure out how and about what is it creates an almost predatory culture that tends to put everything into this broad rubric of character, no matter what it is, pushes to the side all governing substance that once mattered in american politics and moreover it begins this process of making entertainment of politics and when you create a process that is all about how compelling a character a person is and how
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much they can evade the traps set for them and how much it is like a reality television show and a process that subjects candidates to such an intrusive process to go through that only someone who is absolutely dead set and focused on the prize above all else would subject themselves and their family to and a bunch of things happen. 1 is you dr. people from politics who have something to offer, often for very little reason and other is you keep a lot of people on the sidelines who don't want to have anything to do with that because they have a sense of centeredness and self and perspective about their lives. and then you also allow a lot of people to glide through the process who may have no business holding public office because if all you have to do is be entertaining and fun and evade traps and avoid a terrible scandal and you can get to the
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office without ever having to think through or explain to others what you believe, what your worldview is and how you came to it then you can be successful in politics without having given any thought at all to what the impact of your service should be with the consequences of your policies. when gary hart got out of the race in 1987 he gave a very fiery, defiant statement. he wasn't supposed to. he was supposed to give a very contrite speech and he said it made him want to vomit, tore it up and went down in the hotel room and spoke from the heart. you can google the speech. it is quite remarkable and should be remembered. among the things he said that day was take it from me, our politics is on the verge of becoming a kind of sporting match. i paraphrase jefferson to say i tremble for my country when i think we may in fact get the kind of leaders we deserve. i find those words relevant and
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chilling in the current moment. i hope you will read and enjoy the book, thank you for coming here. [applause] >> may i thank you very much, we will have time for questions and personal attacks, whatever you want to do with them. our second author is joseph cummins who wrote the book anything for a vote:30 tricks, cheap shots and october surprises of the us president of campaigns. in addition to having one of the longer subtitles i have ever seen, this book is just fun to read. the publisher describes the book as a complete history of mudslinging, character assassination and other election strategies. anything for a vote covers 225
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plus years of smear campaigns, bad behavior in us presidential elections from george washington to barack obama. joe is also the author of numerous works of popular history, and civil works of short fiction. and creative writing from columbia university and lives with his wife and daughter in maplewood, new jersey. on a personal note description of the book that i have done and the publisher has done covering every election from george washington to barack obama may suggest a long, boring, historical tome that most of you might not eagerly run out and buy. those are my activities but i can tell you this is a fun read. to cover each of the elections,
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and really go to that. having said that, i will ask -- >> thank you for having me as the annapolis book fair. it coincides with a lot of things that i am going to be talking about. the reason i started writing anything for a vote is the idea began germinating in 2004 during the campaign between george bush and -- al gore? are we in 2000? >> 2004, john kerry. >> oh my god. john kerry. too many dirty elections is basically it. what happened was i began to
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realize people were talking about how uncivil our elective discourse had become when you have the voting of john kerry, you have during a presidential debate at that time george bush being accused of being wired to a transmitter because he had a wrinkle in the back of fabric of his coat so a sitting president of the united states was not able to speak at a public debate. i was wondering, really? have things gotten as dirty, much dirtier in our elective discourse or have always things been this way? i should have known that. i remember in 1960 in the kennedy/nixon campaign, the day after election day my father coming into the room, flicking on the lights in the morning and waking us up and snarling at us your friend kennedy won. i should have known back as a child that things were pretty bad when your own dad hated you for a moment because nixon did
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not win the presidency so i decided to go back, 1799, the book goes all the way to 2012 to take a look and dirty election has not gotten worse. it has gotten different as the governor is saying but basically american election campaigns are just as dirty as they have always been and perhaps not quite as bad as some of the election campaigns that took place in the 19th century. there was a guy named thomas elder in 1840, the karl rove of his day, i campaign operative for william henry harrison and he said passion and prejudice, properly aroused and directed, do as well as principal and reason in a party contest, i would say they kicked principle and reason's but in american
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electoral history. when you go back to 1800, i do like that people bring up thomas jefferson as the paragon of democracy, as one of our founding fathers but when you go to 1800 which was only the fourth election in american history where you have federalist candidate john adams against republican thomas jefferson, it is one of the dirtiest campaigns we have ever had even to this day, where thomas jefferson hired a writer named james calendar to assail john adams as a hideous hermaphrodite with -- neither a man nor a woman. they attacked him as getting in bed with the king of england, new american democracy over to the king of england and the federalists attacked thomas jefferson for being an atheist, you had to hide your daughters from him because he was quite
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promiscuous. one of my favorite political attacks of all time where they basically said he was dead. you can't vote for him, he is dead, case closed. as it turned out there was method to their madness because it wasn't thomas jefferson who was dead, a slave named thomas jefferson who was dead so therefore what they were pointing out was the fact that thomas jefferson, the great republican was a slave owner. the rumors about sally hemmings and sleeping with his slaves had not come out in 1800 but they would come out shortly in the next couple elections. james calendar, the writer thomas jefferson had hired turned against jefferson when he refused to give calendar a patronage post and began to write diatribe, and soon after
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found floating in the james river, no one knew what happened, when i think, people are surprised by the physical attack donald trump makes, in the 19th century, there were no holds barred about what they were saying about people. davy crockett who many people remember was a congressman, said martin van buren was a transvestite, many pages about a transvestite, you had james buchanan, democratic president in 1856 had a congenital birth disorder which causes head to tilt to the left, you can see it in pictures and his opponents
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claimed it wasn't congenital but he tried to hang himself and failed. therefore, of course, you couldn't elect somebody who couldn't even commit suicide right. in a more machiavellian fashion, one of the presidents was said to be gay, andrew jackson called him and nancy. william henry clay would lift when he spoke to him on the senate floor, poor james buchanan, very difficult as i am sure you know is a bachelor to run for president because either you are gay like ally stevenson only he wasn't, you are promiscuous, or you have a sexually transmitted disease like samuel tilden did, none of it true but in the 19th century no holds barred for attacking people that way. interestingly enough, one of the
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points i make about dirty elections is the average voter most eligible to vote in the 19th century was in the high 70%. everybody voted in the 19th century. there is a very interesting book that came out a couple weeks ago called the virgin vote and that is what it was called in the 19th century if you were about to vote for the first time, you were a young man about to vote for the first time, it was taken very seriously, people would help us or you to the polls and you would vote and do your civic duty but a lot of it was driven and inflamed by passion and prejudice. that has always been a part of american elections. the american elections have been bad in the 20th century but in a different way. 1964 is one of the ones i like to talk about, a great influence
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on american politics but most people in america did not know how dirty that election was and that was lyndon johnson against barry goldwater and johnson was running for his first elective term and was obviously going to beat gary as barry goldwater but he wanted to beat him by a landslide since he had a big electoral majority for his great society program upcoming so he created a group called the 5:00 club which meant after hours in washington, they did dirty tricks which ranged from creating a coloring book which portrayed barry goldwater to the ku klux klan, for children this was to writing hundreds of letters to dear abby and ann landers, americans having nervous breakdowns at the thought of a barry goldwater presidency, e howard hunt at that time was a cia agent, the goldwater campaign to bring back
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statements of policy statements that goldwater is about, and they bugged goldwater's campaign plan. and the present gotten a hold of it and people had not found out about that, and when you jump ahead to 1972 and richard nixon, and in 1960 against kennedy, and after watergate he says as far as i was concerned it was a routine political blogging and being disingenuous and it was a routine political bugging and doing what had been done to him which is not a view of watergate that is out there but from a certain point there were a lot of other things from a certain point of you that was politics
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as usual and woodward and bernstein changed it all and after 1988 it did become a tabloid race. they had grover cleveland having a child out of wedlock in 1884, but there were headlines saying he was the beast of buffalo, a foul lecture, he had the sense to simply say i am supporting this child, about 10 years old and, all he said was i am supporting this child, that is all he would refer to and the woman in question would not give statements to the press also helped and he was able to put that scandal to rest. it took another hundred years before this scandal really took off in american history. what i will say about this current campaign is occasionally in american history we have a perfect storm and we have a perfect storm right now.
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what we have is there is no incumbent running, no incumbent vice president running, you have both parties written by internal divisions, you have a lot of terrorism going on in the world and other incidents around the globe which create the no phobia, xena phobia is a potent force in many candidates especially at the right and a candidate like donald trump who has echoes of the most bombastic candidate since teddy roosevelt, although teddy roosevelt has much more substance than donald trump in my opinion but when you had teddy roosevelt showing up at the 1912 convention smoking a cigar, wearing a sombrero and referring to william howard taft, a sitting president as a rat in a corner you can see that he and trump have something in common.
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you also refer to his 1904 opponent who no one remembers as, quote, that neutral tinted individual which is great because it is a low-energy charge of its time. i love that the neutral tinted individual, there are some precedents for trump but there has not been a trump before it. he isn't really a politician, he is not interested in governing. i am not sure what he is interested in. we will see what happens as we get to the convention but thank you for having me. [applause] >> let me thank both of our office not only for their presentation and their insights but remarkably we are on time for audience participation. we are not under suspicion. okay. we are being directed from the floor.
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let me just add a couple quick comments to this. as i said in my starting introduction, i had a number of different exposures to the political world when i taught at the university of maryland for 27 years, i taught political science, i taught courses on executive presidency and courses on elections, i enjoyed it greatly. i also held elected office for 31 years, went through 19 elections counting primary and general. went through all those different elections and have been involved in one way or another starting with street-level volunteer in every presidential campaign since and my stephenson. for many of you, you were not even born and have no idea who at my stephenson was, but i did and growing up in florida i went to the democratic office when i
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was 13 years old, county democratic office and i saw all the candidates and a big picture of dwight eisenhower, what is going on here? at my stephenson in the south here, that is the way the campaign was run and have been a delegate to every national democratic convention since 1984 when walter mondale was home. i found these books very interesting and i learned a lot of additional things, some of them which i plane forgot, things that really stand out including i forgot this entirely, supreme court justices were often directly involved in politics, running as candidates and so on. they do it from a different perspective, interesting to
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watch all that. turned to questions at this time. i will make an observation is people get ready for questions, speak closely to the mike. number 2, think about this a little bit, it was alluded by authors, you hear this all the time, is elections about covering personal life so absolutely different than elections about bad -- babbling which, bad politics or is it because you live in the day of 24 hour news coverage, three major channels put news in quotes above a couple others and social media where something happens somewhere and instantly you have 12 million people texting and passing that on.
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the exact same system with a different technology that has inflamed the public. let me stop and ask. >> that was a good segue for my question, great panel, for joseph, i agree with you and my daughters have alexander hamilton the musical playing all the time, these dirty politics obviously go way back. i would like to hear your take on the fact of the media, six multinational corporations that run almost all our mainstream media today. trump has been so buoyed by so much press and these corporations have an agenda, a big part of washington and how is that different now? you have 24 hour news cycles but
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agenda based and backing certain candidates. >> in the old days you had newspapers that were completely agenda based. they were run not so much by the candidates but people working for the candidates. the new york times was so agenda based against william jennings bryan, they convened a group of so-called alien us. were not whether or not he was crazy, this goes on for a couple days in the newspaper, and deciding he was a common degenerate. i think the difference, the governor as said how large it is, not how big it is and i really do think these news
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organizations have their agendas as they did formerly in the past so the idea of impartiality has never been a part of it though that is always the façade but it remains to be seen after this election how big it is going to be because donald trump says it is the spectacle created candidate. >> my question is about the current system of presidential debates. obviously the primary wins but soon we will be in for the general election and ties in with the idea of politics as entertainment. they cover this, treated as a sporting event and game event, people tally up the number of guests, who screws up the least is the winner. general reflections on ways, there are pro-plaps and cons to that in which the debates are a
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help to the election process and possible ways in which they are a hindrance to the election process. anything you want to say about them? >> sure. before i answer that question, the last question or i read a series of columns on donald trump and the media in december called trump and the media made for each other. you can look them up and google them. i have strong feelings about that, very outspoken about it. i don't go to presidential debates anymore, primary, general, can't stand being around all that media. you watch it on tv with a bunch of reporters. i can watch it at home with one reporter, my wife. but i will say the debates by and large are good.
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every four years people say they don't matter but they do. the most pivotal moment of this year's republican campaign period was the moment in new hampshire, the new hampshire debate prior to voting when chris christie took marco rubio's legs out from under him and showed him to be very fallible and marco rubio went into the fetal position and had to be carried offstage practically. that was a real problem. at that moment i was in new hampshire, and marco rubio was on fire. he came out with a lot of momentum and his first event in new hampshire had 700 or 800 people, the fire marshal was running around going crazy and there was all this excitement and that hit dropped him and what that did ultimately was enabled a bunch of people to stay in the race who would have been knocked out, at that moment, enabled chris christie to stay in and george bush to
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stay in and they went to south carolina and the field remain fractured and absent that debate donald trump loses new hampshire and never recovers. they are not perfect. i share the concerns of people who think there are a lot of questions about this person or that person, that is important, to make accusations like courageous people but there is a balance to be had but my pet peeves in the debate is a little different. i was frustrated with the role that polling played in deciding who got to debate in the republican field and almost as insidious but not talked about where people stood on stage. if you were pulling at the bottom you are always on the edge by the door and if you were donald trump you were always in the middle. that sent a signal to voters about who mattered and who didn't. if you were john kasich you were tightening in from the edge and not getting as many questions.
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i think the idea of debates introduce people and their arguments to the public not to have the public's crude judgments based on nothing factor into how those arguments are presented. it doesn't give people a chance to get in debates and there are better ways to do it. that was a poor and ratings driven decision as were many of the coverage decisions particularly in the cable news cycle. >> the first hundred years or so candidates not only did not debate but didn't appear in public, give public speeches. >> no, they let somebody else do their dirty work for them. we might have been saved a little it. there were donald trumps in the 19th century when it was considered undignified to appear in a public forum. if you were running for president they did not do it. >> you said that gary hart's dating was widely known throughout washington and
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historically there have been other political figures who had similar things who were widely known but it had been the tradition in the press to ignore that or give them a pass. what caused the shift on the part of the media to decide what was fair game to go after and when did it occur? >> that is a big question and i will answer briefly. you are right. there was a shift, people look at joe's story, people look and say grover cleveland had a legitimate job but in the 1800s a guy could get caned within an inch of his life on the house floor. we don't want to use that as a benchmark. to me the 20th century is where the modern media takes hold and i look for comparisons and you
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had fdr, lyndon johnson and dwight eisenhower as i said when we argued about this point in the book, he said why didn't anyone ask fdr about his affairs? we could build a time machine and go back and get rid of fdr and john kennedy and harry truman and find somebody else to handle the great depression of the nuclear bomb and the cold war and find somebody else to handle the cuban missile crisis but i think most americans believe those were well handled. something definitely shifts. i think there is a series of forces in culture, my main point, one of my main points in the book is this isn't something gary hart created. ever after people thought if it weren't for gary hart following me around, as i say, this was going to happen somewhere. if it hadn't been gary hart it might have been bill clinton almost certainly. forces were coming together, there are moments in society where forces come together.
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you are now a little more than a decade past watergate, the idea of morality and politics, we remember woodward and bernstein having achieved a great thing, brought down a lying president but the political media were -- the political media had failed. it was a huge failing to follow richard nixon for 20 plus years in public life and not have known his psychosis, what he was capable of. there is a new generation of journalists getting onto the campaign trail who were drawn to the business by woodward and bernstein, believed it was their prime directive to keep someone of faulty character from assuming the presidency. you had the birth of the satellite dish in the 1980s, cnn is brand-new there is this ability to broadcast live from every scene whether it matters or not. the advent of punditry, crossfire is brand-new and changing attitudes about adultery on the left and right,
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the moral majority in feminism that the personal is the political as the feminists would say. suddenly that 3 martini lunch and a tryst with the secretary is not funny anymore. there is a societal attitude changing at that time too so all these things are coming together. gary hart doesn't created, he scuffles into it and the story i tell in the book, is this about how ill-prepared he was for how perfect the vehicle he was to find himself in that mess because he had come from another world. although he was a candidate of the 60s generation he was 10 years older than the boomers and had grown up in the plains, in kansas and had a very pronounced sense of privacy and was deeply conflicted about giving that up. in that sense you could not appreciate the moments. >> around here you have a large number of people who started their political career involved
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in the gary hart campaign living these eventss regularly. >> i would like to thank matt for his hard-hitting coverage of president frank underwood. >> for six split second, i thought i was going to be appreciated in my time. >> the actor and character, excellent reporter, my question is assuming donald trump does not get elected president, do you view his candidacy as the beginning of a chronic illness or is it a fee for breaking? >> for me? i don't assume he won't be elected president. i don't think anyone should assume that. i understand where the unfavorable ratings are and where polling is, i think donald trump is running with a strong historical current if he is the
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nominee because as we were discussing earlier there is only one party, a third term since we outlawed third consecutive terms in the 22nd amendment in the 1950s, that was the crazy 1988 campaign that i have written about. i think hillary clinton is a flawed candidate, not a great candidate running against the tough historical current. donald trump is he is the nominee, he won't pivot, he will respond in some way and americans won't care what you said two months ago. i don't think this is an open and shut election. do i think it is the beginning of something anomalous? mostly the beginning of something. i have written for a long time the two party system is breaking down largely as a result of the breakdown of institutions in america generally. we had a 70% voting rate in this
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country, we are not joiners, we are not participants and that is creating a lot of dissatisfaction in the system, people who do not feel bound to one party or another, an independent presidency is inevitable or independents take over the party. that being said trump is not quite anomalous but has a particular set of attributes that enable him to explain that, his celebrity, 10 years he had a highly related television show, what he stands for, i don't think anyone can do that. will we see a string of outsiders with more viability than they have before and perhaps working outside the two party system to make politics less predictable? i do. >> let me ask joe. >> what i would say about that given what you heard me say today and my love of the history of presidential elections that donald trump is inevitable.
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this had to happen. partially it was because the spectacle politics that have been created in the last 20 or 30 years, because in american history, every hundred years or something like this is in 1912 there will be a bloodletting, there will be something that is going to change, people will be so dissatisfied that they will seek out financers. i am not necessarily certain he is the harbinger of the future, i don't think he can be elected president in my opinion. i can't imagine that he would. i will have to take a canoe across to canada if he does. i could be wrong, these are famous last words. i will say that there is enough antecedent that everything that has come before has pointed to donald trump. we had to have one. >> i came to the conclusion that the great wall will be billed and it will be billed by
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candidates to stop americans from coming. [laughter] >> i think we have time for two last questions. >> this may not be answerable but i wonder if you think in general the journalists have the wherewithal or the competence to report on substantive issues because after a year and a half of this campaign, seems much longer, it seems they are always defaulting to the horse race, character, we don't hear about substantive issues. >> i am not a journalist but i would agree with you. i think going back to the question about debate i think there were too many debates, it is extraordinary such ratings would be given to republican debates. the history, that is quite incredible but there are too
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many debates, too many gotcha moments, too many things thrown out there, on the republican side, not a lot of substance put out there to talk about. i think perhaps this is happening too fast and there is not a lot there. you have to file a story very quickly. >> technology changing journalism, this change is that company and there was no yahoo! news because we built a tremendous team, the digital print is all changing and we are in the wild west, going to television in 1950s but i disagree with the premise that it is not substantive journalism. there is outstanding journalism,
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some of the best political journalism that has ever been done but there is more responsible on you to find it and there is more media, it is confusing, it is electronic, it is prince, it is on tv, it is partisan, it is nonpartisan, it doesn't come to your door every morning in the same package, the 1-stop shop where you know what you are getting so we need to be media literate in the country, legitimate consumers but to look at that confusing landscape that often seems shallow, i agree with you, i don't watch cable tv but to look at a landscape it feels so shallow and non-informative and conclude the journalism is dead is just wrong because when i were see you cut the new york times and i work at yahoo and the washington post and many many other outlets in the country there is better journalism being done about politics, more data-driven, more experiential and very expensive to produce than we have ever
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seen before. >> the weight of the fact that the entire view based on your words of wisdom please. >> i will let you be the judge of that but just looking through a great interview, a lot of surrogate campaigning and he mentioned the obama administration tried to limit the amount of negative campaigning in media that would be consumed by young people. can you comment about the history of how negative campaigning target audiences may have changed in the past and how you see that moving forward? >> negative campaigning that is any good has a target audience so it targets women. these days it targets young people because they are using social media more than some of the older people. i didn't know the story about the obama campaign doing that but i would imagine it is a
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smart thing to do if they can get away with it. the think about negative campaigning is you take a hold of people and everybody says they hate negative campaigning, they think it is terrible but the thing about it is it has been shown that negative campaigning increases participation in elections which it did in the 19th century. it has been shown that when negative campaigning is out there at its height more people are tuning in and listening and spending time paying attention to these candidates. you are still listening to it. in terms of targeting they have always done that with negative campaigning. >> i am good. he is the expert on negative campaigning. >> if only my father could see me now. >> let me thank my offers and everyone for joining us here.
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this fascinating election, i am one of the people who says we should not assume donald trump would not be the president because you have to take a step back and say how would you feel if he is? circumstances a long time between now and the election, that is and may well be another chapter to be written but that is viable but more importantly, i will wrap up with this thought, both authors alluded to the fact that this is the age of media celebrities of this type, i can see from where trump is, moving into a quarterback winning the super bowl sunday and on monday announcing his candidacy for president. i can see someone winning a
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great artistic award for a song and a week later announcing candidacy for president. >> we never win anymore. >> that is right. >> it has changed, it is incumbent upon us as citizens to seek out and get involved and bring some rational balance to this. thank you again, have a wonderful day. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> booktv live coverage from the annapolis book festival will continue shortly. we bring you author events all day from the key school in annapolis maryland. >> here is a look at some authors recently featured on booktv's afterwards, weekly
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author interview program. former congressman jc watts talked about guiding principles he follows in his professional and personal life. professor and former chairwoman of the us civil rights commission mary frances berry explored the history of voter fraud and suppression. nancy cohen discussed the challenges women facing politics at the potential of a woman president. in the coming weeks on afterwards, mother of dylan k klebold will talk about how she dealt with the tragedy. aol cofounder steve case will discuss how emerging technologies will reshape the internet. coming up peter marx will tell us about the career of the late aig ceo bob benmoche. ellen malcolm will recall her creation of emily's list, a political action committee that works to elect pro-choice
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democratic women to political office. >> we did that because we wanted to raise early money and we thought if we gained women credibility by raising early money, then they could go on and raise the additional money they needed to win. we were like political venture capitalists, we were going to go out there and we would kick starter for women and emily stands for yeast, we make the dough rise and we have been doing that ever since. >> afterwards airs on booktv every saturday at 10:00 pm and sunday at 9:00 pm eastern. you can watch all previous afterwards programs on our website here is a look at some upcoming book fairs and festivals happening around the country. coming up in may look for coverage of book expo america from chicago, the publishing industry's annual gathering featuring hundreds of books and
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authors. later in the month live from gaithersburg, maryland for its annual book festival featuring fox news host juan williams and washington post columnist ej dionne. we head back to chicago for live coverage of the 32nd annual printers wrote it fast. then we visit hyde park new york to bring you live coverage of the 13th annual roosevelt reading festival held at the franklin roosevelt presidential library and museum. for more information about book fairs and festivals booktv will be covering and to watch previous festival coverage click on the book fairs tab on our website >> booktv has covered the annapolis book festival in maryland for several years. you can visit and search for previous years coverage. we will be back live with more shortly.
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>> we have made it so legally difficult and politically dangerous to capture and hold someone that we seem like we just defaulted. if we had our successor john in here. >> we are still in the capturing business. if we have a chance and so on, johnny speaking his heart too but if you look at the numbers january 2009 i probably got more fingers up here than we have people we have captured and held for american interrogation. >> we are pretending the rules of criminal law and criminal justice apply to what we are supposed to do with respect to terrorists or ignoring the fact we are at war with terrorism.
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>> one of the themes i try to emphasize, in the public debate we got this default option that if you are not treating them as you would in the criminal justice system then you are acting in a lawless way and when i try to check out is stop, stop, stop, we have multiple structures under which we can operate. we have the criminal justice system which is useful and don't give that up but you also have the loss of all conflict and two president and congress and we are at war with people, if that gives us more potency we can operate in any particular operation under the law of armed conflict, not under the laws of criminal justice. >> you can watch this and other programs online.
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>> next up from the annapolis book festival national public radio talkshow host diane ream talks about her career. [inaudible conversations] >> if you could take your seats we are going to begin in just a moment. thank you all so much for being here. welcome to the annapolis book festival. we will be getting started with this event in just a minute. the session is being broadcast on c-span booktv so we ask you to please silence your cell phones and remain quiet during the discussion.
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>> i want to get to immediately introducing our panelists. first, my name is beth ann, i am a book reviewer and writer. i have a panel at 1:30 about the books that changed my life, my recent anthologying, and that's one of the reasons i get the privilege of being here today, because i interview authors frequently and absolutely love it. i don't think our panelist needs much introduction. however, diane rehm is the host
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of an e upon mouse show on npr, and she has been so for many years. weaver delighted to have her -- we're delighted to have her here. i have lots of questions, but again, i'll try to make sure i leave lots of time for yours. thank you, diane, for being here today. >> oh, it's my pleasure. [applause] >> diane is a national treasure, and her new book is a very heart felt one about coming to terms with what life is like after a beloved spouse, after -- dies, a long marriage, and life continues on. and today i'm going to speak with diane about a great many things from the book, but we'll have time also to talk with her about her career in radio and some of her favorite moments there. but, diane, first i want to ask
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you, "on my own" is about being on your own, but it's also about, if you will, life alone, the solitary life, a life that has a different tenor, if you will. so could you tell us a bit about shaping the essays that make up this book? >> well, first of all, i want to thank you all so much for being here. it's a pleasure to be here where john and i spoke back in 2002 on our book about our marriage that was titled "toward commitment." this is primarily a love story, a love story of mine toward my
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late husband and the difficulty that one has when one makes that commitment at time of marriage in sickness and in health, vowing to support another life, another being, another person with whom you have lived for, as it turned out, i lived with john for 53 years. we were married for 54. john had parkinson's disease, and as it became more and more apparent that his parkinson's was taking him downhill, he decided to end his life.
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he did it in a way that still makes me so sad. because there was and is no law in maryland which allows doctors to assist individuals who have been deemed within six months of death as john was, there is no law that allows doctors to help those patients. john chose to top drinking water -- stop drinking water, stop eating food, stop taking medication. now, as i'm sure many of you know -- would you forgive me if i stood up and walked? >> i think so. i think we could forgive you, diane. [applause]
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i'm just so much more comfortable this way. it strikes me as being a little difficult, but i hear a little echo. and if we can get that down, that would be great. as i'm sure most of you know, you can go without food for days upon days upon days but not without water. within about ten days to two weeks, the organs begin to break down without water. be -- and john chose to end his life that way, and i had chosen to write a book that i began writing on the night he was dying. i was sleeping, trying to sleep on two chairs by his bed with my
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little dog maxie on my stomach, and that didn't work. so i just got up at about two a.m. i had my ipad with me, and i began writing. i cannot tell you, beth ann, that there was any plan in mind at that time to continue to write and somehow to create a book of essays or thoughts or anything of the sort, but all i know is that that night i needed to put on paper what i was feeling, what i was seeing, what i was thinking. and so it began.
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>> and so it began. there are so many ways to move into what began that night with your ipad, diane. but one of the things that really struck me in reading your book, and i've read it new twice now, is that loss teaches us things. it has meaning, and it also is a great teacher. and so perhaps you could speak that night when you began to write and as you added pieces, some of them are letters, some of them are meditations and so on, what you learned. >> i think the most important learning was that i had to adjust to being alone. something that i as a woman when went from my parents' home to my
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first brief marriage to marriage to john for 54 years i had really never experienced. and the idea of being alone was something i had never even thought about until john had to move into assisted living. and what's so curious is that john rehm loved being alone. he loved the quiet. he loved the silence. he once said to me that a room without words and quiet in it was like a drinking of water -- a drink of water. for him, and there was at one point when he said this, but he said it many times, he would
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rather have lunch with the "new yorker" magazine than with any human being -- [laughter] and that included me. [laughter] but i knew that about him. and rather, i mean, the teaching of writing this book, the lessons in writing this book came from recognizing how i could have been a different person. how if i had simply recognized his need to be alone as his need rather than rejection of me. >> that's a powerful statement. and in "on my own," you are quite honest about how difficult your marriage was at times due
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to this misunderstanding, due to john's own needs and also, as you say towards the beginning of the book, he admitted late, very late on in his illness that he felt he'd been emotionally abusive to, towards you. that's a tough thing not just to hear, but to share. i wonder if you might share a bit more with us about why a very difficult marriage can also be a very rewarding, rich and loving marriage. >> the reason i wrote that -- and so many people have asked me about that, why would you include such a painful admission on his part,? diane, i apologize to you because i was deliberately emotionally abusive toward you.
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why would i write that? and i think it first came out of my heart. it was something i had to include, but it was also to demonstrate how a marriage of such mixed emotions and mixed experiences can truly be a successful marriage. there are no perfect marriages that i know of -- >> or i -- [laughter] >> maybe out there, maybe out there, maybe. i'm not counting your marriage. maybe you regard your marriage as absolutely perfect. ours was not. and yet from all perspectives, it was a successful marriage.
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i remember walking into our pediatrician's office with our son who was then probably about 8 or 9, and the doctor said to me tell me your secret. what is it about you two that makes you so compatible, that makes your marriage so good? his marriage was breaking up. and he was wondering about ours. so i think that that was part of the reason i wanted to put that in, to say not only to myself because i had to hear it, and it was like i knew he he had had
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that feeling and had been specifically, deliberately emotionally abusive. but to hear it come from his mouth, was something else again. >> that is such an amazing statement about intimacy. and the reason i want to pick that up, diane, is because one of the reasons you say in the book that you've become such an advocate for aid in dying -- that's your phrase, and a very good one -- is because you were denied that final intimacy of being able -- it gives me chills just to say that -- of being able to be with john at the last. and it was because of this process. it was because he could not have agency and aid in dying. and so intimacy isn't just about being told something important -- >> right. >> -- and taking that in. >> right. >> it's also about sharing every part of life.
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>> exactly. and the last moments of life. after that last night when john's caregiver arrived at 7:30 in the morning, i said i'm going to take maxie home, i'm going to feed him, shower and then i'll be right back. well, after i got home, i got a call from the caregiver saying, diane, please come quickly. mr. rehm is going. and by the time i got there, it was 20 minutes too late. and having spent the night there, you know, wanting to hold his hand at the last, it became very frustrating to me.
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and as i think of it now, it's just extremely hard to bear. had he had the right to die, he would have had had medication which he would then opt to take or not. >> right. >> and he would have had informed me when he was going to take it. and i could have been there with him. thus far, as i'm sure you know, the maryland state legislature has rejected the bill that has now been introduced two or three times. so far it has not passed. there are five states that do have aid in dying starting with oregon and, most recently, with california.
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i think that legislation is going to move throughout the country, and people eventually will have that right to choose. and by the right to choose -- >> [inaudible] >> i'm sorry, your mic is gone. let's get diane's mic back on. >> there it is, there it is. [laughter] i did it, i'm sorry. [laughter] so here's what i mean by the right to choose. i believe in god. i am a strong believer in god. and there are those among us all who believe in god, who believe that it is only god's timing that matters. and if that is your belief, i
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strongly support it. you should be able to say i will be here on this planet until god decides it's time for me to go. if, for example, you find yourself very, very ill and you wish for your doctor to not only continue to try every means possible to keep you alive and then to offer to you palliative care -- simply care to keep you comfortable -- i totally support that. if, on the other hand, you find yourself as john did, unable to
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feed himself, unable to walk from bed to bathroom, unable to care for himself in any way and you wish to have that right to choose, i totally support that as well. it is the right to choose. [applause] that i believe in. [applause] thank you. >> preach, sister rehm, preach. [laughter] you say in the book that probably it will take another ten or twenty years, like marriage equality took a while to get hold. and one of the other things i think that's quite interesting for all of us here is to hear about your accidental advocacy. because you believe strongly in aid in dying for john, but you
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did not become a public figure speaking on behalf of aid in dying all on your own. it happened because of some events. some talks, some things you got involved in. >> right. >> but now, and this is the important part, now you want to -- once you've retired and your show is no longer on -- [laughter] going to take me a moment for that, you want to move on to working full time in this cause. and so i wanted to give you some time to speak about the public side of aid in dying. >> you know, it was "the washington post" who labeled me a new and strong advocate for the right to die after i had attended three dinners, attended three dinners sponsored by
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compassion in choices. they did these dinners as a fundraising vehicle and felt very strongly that my presence would attract large donors. each of those dinners was for 20 persons, each of whom paid $2500 to attend. at those dinners i did nothing but speak of john. and to speak of how he died and my belief that he should have had choice. npr and my own station, wamu,
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felt that by attending those dinners i had crossed a line of journalistic ethical behavior with which i did not agree. i had already attended two dinners. npr folks, wamu folks and i all came together, and we all together agreed that since i was committed to a third dinner, i would attend that dinner and then no more. and i agreed to that. with regret. and i said i am very said that it has come to this, because i do not feel i was there in an advocacy position.
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i was there talking about my own husband. i want to correct one word you said. i am not retiring. [laughter] [applause] i am -- >> i stand corrected. [laughter] >> i am simply stepping away from the microphone after 37 years of doing two hours a day, 10 hours a week of "the diane rehm show"ment -- show. i am 79 years old, i will be 80 in september. it is time for someone else to have that glorious real estate. >> no. [laughter] [applause] >> so we are in the process of
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thinking very hard and very carefully about what comes next, and the management at wamu has been in touch with so many people, so many stations. npr has been involved. something really, really good will come into those two hours. i really believe that. i will miss being with all of you every day. there is no question of that. but i am going on to do other things. i have appeared in a play about alzheimer's, and we've done that play in washington, in l.a., in san diego, in boston, in
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raleigh, indianapolis, and we plan to continue taking that play around the country. i am also going to be speaking out wherever i am at on the right to choose. i want to be very clear about that. as opposed to saying you and i and everyone else should have the right to die, i am saying you should have the right to choose. and i hope that that's what it comes to. >> so no retirement. however, diane, i know in the book you let us know that saturdays are your days to sleep in. and so what will saturdays look like later this year for you? i imagine it's going to be quite
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a luxury. >> saturdays will be marvelous. [laughter] i have been getting up at five a.m. for the last 37 years and more because i supervised my now 56-year-old son's piano practice each morning. so i used to get up at five with him and supervise that. so i got in the habit early on in our married life of getting up early and, gosh, there were times when i was freelancing for the associated press, radio network where i'd have to get up at four and be downtown. you know, i don't know, i'm not going to plan ahead. [laughter]
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i'm just going to hope that maxie's health stays well. maxie is a now-13-year-old long haired chihuahua. [laughter] he's all black -- she's all black, and she has a copy of the book i wrote about maxie. [laughter] and he is my beloved. you know, i talk with him, i talk with john every single day. every day. i talk with john. and he talks back to me. which is wonderful. the saddest part came two days after his memorial service when i got a telephone call telling me that i would be awarded the
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presidential medal for the humanities. and i thought, oh, my god. why couldn't he have lived to see this? he was my champion. on the first day i volunteered at that tiny little station, wamu, which was on the campus of the american university, you went off the curb, you couldn't hear the station anymore. [laughter] but i came home, this is 1973. npr got off the ground really in 1970. and so wamu was not even a member of npr at that time. you had to have five full-time employees to be a member of npr, and we did not. i came home from my first day as
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a volunteer at that station, and john rehm -- honestly, this is so hard to believe way back then -- john rehm said to me, "someday you'll be host of that program." so he dreamed for me. he saw ahead for me in ways i could not see for myself. now, contrast that with what we talked about earlier, the tension, the difficulties in marriage. i mean, it's so complicated. marriage is the hardest job in the world next to parenthood. [laughter] >> that's very true. i have a couple of smaller questions, but since you just spoke about john rehm again, one
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of the things i wanted to mention is that you talk at the end of the book about missing him more. and so often in our society we think, you know, grief has a time, grief ends. but this isn't actually the mourning that you're talking about, it's missing him more. and i think you touched on that a bit, but i'd love to have you expand on it. >> john rehm went to friends seminary with malcolm brown of "the new york times." malcolm won a pulitzer for his coverage of vietnam along with a number of other reporters, and malcolm married a woman from vietnam. and malcolm, unfortunately, came down with parkinson's at about the same time john did.
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he died two years before john. his wife sent me a note saying, "i miss him more even now." i miss him more. and i was struck by that comment because here we are almost at the second anniversary of john rehm's death, and i find myself missing him even more now. i think in that immediate aftermath of the death one is -- i was so busy readjusting my life and so busy with so many
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things that i threw myself into work. and as elmer cliff says in the book, i ran as hard as i i could from grief. just trying to keep busy. so i think now that we are where we are in the timeline, i really do believe i am allowing myself to the feel the grief and his absence even more now. >> and that, of course, it brings you to being on your own. and now that you're on your own, a couple of questions. again, i asked you about your saturdays, but i also -- and before we speak to the audience -- want to ask you because you've been such an advocate for books and authors and reading about what you are reading now. and i love the fact that you
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were reading jude the obscurer to john, and then he asked for a haiku. but now on your own what are you reading for pleasure? has that time come yet, or will it be a bit later this year when you have stepped away from the mic? >> well, i confine my nighttime reading to fiction. >> good. tell me more. [laughter] >> i don't read anything that is event-related or news-related at night. i'm trying to calm down. [laughter] i'm trying to get away from the news of the world which is catastrophic right now. in so many ways as we think about the news politically, as we think about what's going on internationally, as we think about all of the evil that is
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present right now in the world. i am reading elizabeth strauss' latest novel. >> wonderful. >> because that is going to be our readers' review on the 25th of april. >> wonderful. >> the last -- >> my name is lucy barton. terrific book. >> yes. it really is. and it's a dark book -- >> yes. >> this latest one is a dark book, but she writes really very compellingly. so fiction, latest book is elizabeth strauss. >> excellent. well, i want to now open up to questions. i want to give a few extra minutes, because i know you all will have some. and, again, if you'll come to the mic in the center here, you can form a line behind it. i'll try to make sure things go smoothly. >> don't be bashful -- >> don't be bashful at all.
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open mic night with diane rehm. or afternoon, excuse me. [laughter] >> excellent. >> go right ahead. lead the way. >> now, i don't have a question, i have a comment. >> all right. >> we, we just love you being in our lives. we will miss you, but i'm sure we all wish you just the most wonderful life after "the diane rehm show". >> thank you so, so much. that's very kind of you. [applause] thank you. >> i read a book recently by dr. joyce brothers called "widow," and it for women here, i would recommend it, to read it. and i don't have any other -- i don't really have a question for you, but i'd just like to recommend that book. it's out in paperback. it's an older book, but it goes, shows what you go through with
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loss. >> i think that's a great recommendation. thank you very much. i, the one thing i do strongly believe is that each one of of s who becomes a widow or a widower experiences life individually. it really does depend on, for example, if you are blessed enough to be working, to have friends, to have relatives nearby to support you, all of it is so individual. so i think there are no easy formulas, and that's why i did not intend to write one. thank you, though, for that recommendation.
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>> thank you for your remarks. a couple of comments. first of all, i've heard so many times that somebody has waited by the bedside of someone and left for a few minutes only for them to die. and it does appear to me that it is often a choice that that person makes. so i -- >> i think the nurses said exactly that to me when i got back and i was so devastated not to have been there. >> well, it might have been a choice -- >> exactly. >> my other comment is about the feeling the absence, and i would agree with you that you run and you run, and those of us that like to run do so even harder. i think though because marriage is complicated, after a while it simplifies in your mind, and you perhaps remember some of the less complicated things --
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>> you are so right. [laughter] you are so, so right. and i find myself now seeing john as a young man, totally in love, totally involved. he was a very, very busy professional. he was an attorney at the state department and then went to the white house. so that his life was just very professionally focused. but i see him as so strong. thank you. >> hi, diane. >> hello. >> it's an honor. i am just at the beginning of a journey as a wife, as a mother -- [laughter] >> congratulations. >> -- as a professional. >> good. and you nailed it when you said all of those things are just the hardest.
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and something you said really struck me, was that john dreamt for you. he had dreams for you, and i would imagine you had dreams for him. and i wonder how having those dreams and continuing to evolve those dreams helped you get through some of those just very complicated, trying times as a mom, as a wife, as a professional? >> oh, boy. [laughter] oh, boy. that's a great question. frankly, therapy. [laughter] [applause] twenty-five years of therapy. >> we're on it. [laughter] >> good for you! good for you. [laughter] thank you. hello. >> hello. i've enjoyed listening to you for many years. >> thank you. >> and i appreciate the way you interview and listen to everyone
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who's a guest and all your callers. but sometimes i find myself with some of the more mundane topics like water levels in 2900, i kind of lose interest. and i wonder, do you ever encounter that and try to get sleepy or lose track of what -- [laughter] lose track of what you were asking, what they're saying back to you? [laughter] >> sure. [laughter] that happens. i mean, i'm human. like you. there are some things, topics in which i am far more interested than others. but i'll tell you, as far as water levels and -- [laughter] what's happening to our shorelines and the whole question of how the environment
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is changing, that doesn't bore me one little bit. but there are other topics. i can't think of any, and i wouldn't want to think of any right now. [laughter] but thank you for the question. >> hi, diane. thank you for your book, i look forward to reading it. >> thank you. >> i had a question about how the medical world or the hospital reacted to your husband's choice. and i ask it in the context of having been a caregiver for my own parents who had advance directives and living wills and no extraordinary measures. and i just found at every turn until we got to hospice the medical industry, you know, doctors, they just want to keep trying everything. and so i was just wondering if john had any pushback. >> gosh, that's such a good question and leads me to say to
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everybody here, medical directives are not going to do it for you. they're not going to do it for you. you must be in conversation with your spouse, your children, your friends, your families. i'll tell you about an organization that has just developed in st. louis. it's called cupcakes and death. [laughter] people, people in neighborhoods are coming together so that everyone in the neighborhood, they have cupcakes, they have cake, they have sweets. everyone in the neighborhood
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knows what you want. if you do not want an ambulance to be called, if you do not want emt people rushing in and putting, inserting a tube down your throat, this is what we need to do. the papers are not going to do it more you. for you. and forgive me if i offend anyone by saying this, but if you are going to a roman catholic hospital -- and, of course, they have very, very strong perspectives on keeping people alive -- that will not allow you the choice you wish to make.
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so when john and i, with our son in the room, his doctor in the room and our daughter jenny who is herself a physician, she was on the phone from boston. john said i am ready to die, and she -- he turned to the doctor and said can you help me. and the doctor said morally, ethically and legally, i cannot help you. the only thing you can do for yourself is to stop eating, drinking and taking any medication. and the next day john began that journey. so you must make your wishes known. i have said publicly and in the
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book that should i suffer a heart attack or a stroke in my own apartment, i will not call 911. i do not wish to end up in a hospital, intubated and with many wires keeping me alive. my dear friend roger mudd's wife, e.j. mudd, died exactly that way. and her last words when the ambulance arrived for her, her last words that roger mudd heard were "i don't want to do this." and to this day, he does not know whether she meant i don't want to go to the hospital or i don't want to die.
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so think about how you can make your wishes known. thank you. >> so the bill that went through or tried to, the maryland legislature last year was killed, the right to die bill or the right to choose bill, and you've talked here about the broader perspective that it's like the lgbt movement and will take a decade or two, but what specifically in maryland can people do to try and get something that's not passed several times through finally? >> well, but that's what had to happen in california. that's what had to happen -- i don't know about montana and how long that took. we have to simply keep pushing. and jamie raskin in maryland introduced it the first time. someone else did it this second
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time. and it went down. i have the feeling -- i may be totally wrong -- but like gay marriage, i have the feeling that california could be the turning point that you may have a great many states following suit more quickly now that california has passed its law. but as a citizen, you write letters, you write e-mails to your own legislator. that's all you can do. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> hi, diane. i work as a professional gardener x so i have the good fortune of being able to listen to your program every day on my mp3 player. >> thank you, thank you. >> and sometimes i get the information that you might be a gardener, so i'm wondering, are you a gardener, and will you be
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doing some of that when you leave the program? >> oh, thank you for that lovely question. we had a house for 40 years in maryland, and we created the most beautiful garden. and i was out there every single day in the spring and summer. and just to give you a sense of how beautiful it was, our daughter was married in that garden on june 16th in 1992. it turned out to be the hottest june day -- [laughter] in 75 years, and there's one photograph that was so wonderful of all the men's jackets on the fence. [laughter] so it was just great. but, yes, i love gardening.
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but living now in a condo, my gardening is restricted to my balcony. so just a few potted plants. thank you. >> we have time for just one more question, diane. so -- >> hi. >> hi. >> he had a feeling, i don't know how he had that feeling, but he was right. so i want to preface this by saying that you are looking fabulous for 79. [laughter] [applause] >> thank you, thank you. >> she's looking fabulous for any age. [applause] >> thank you. [laughter] >> but my personal experience with aging, i never really knew anyone -- coincidentally, i lived with a woman over the summer that was also 79. and she was just like you, she was vibrant and going at it and living her life. my experience with aging, my grandparents -- my one grandmother died much younger than you, and my grandfather who's still much younger than you has pretty bad dementia. so to me, i don't often see a lot of older people that are, like, kicking it and doing it.
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[laughter] i know this is not really an original question, it's been asked all the time, but what do you do that you feel keeps you happiest and healthiest to this day? >> i am with friends, and i am with my dog, and i have taken up playing the piano again. so those are the things that make me the happiest right now. thank you for the question. thank you all so, so much. [applause] it's wonderful to see you. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, diane, so much. i was going to say i have a feeling we're going to have a little standing ovation here. thank you.
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and everyone, please, go to the signing. [inaudible conversations] >> and that was diane rehm live from the annapolis book festival in maryland. we'll have more in a few minutes. >> here's a look at some of the current best selling nonfiction books according to u.n.ty bound, a -- indy bound, a group of independent bookstores.
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topping the list is "when breath becomes air," in which the late neurosurgeon contemplates his own mortality. ta-nehisi coats, winner of last year's national book award, looks at the current state of black america in "between the world and me." in "seven brief lessons on physics," the author reviews concepts of modern physics. next, how medicine can best be used to extend and enrich the final days of a person's life in "being mortal." our look of best selling nonfiction books continues with timothy e began's "the immortal irishman," a civil war general and governor of the montana territory. in "spain in our hearts," national book award winning author adam hopingshield explores america's involvement in the spanish civil war.
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bill bryson in "the road to little dribbling." and in "smarter, faster, better," a new york times reporter explores how to increase productivity. that's a look at some of this week's best selling nonfiction authors. you can watch many of these authors on our web site, >> what happened in the 1970s is often not talked about. it's often overshadowed. and the question is, what has overshadowed that? and the answer to that is the outbreak of hiv/aids. and so many of you know the ways in which hiv/aids has devastated the lives of countless americans and people across the world. but what people haven't realized is the extent to which the hiv epidemic actually retold the
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history of the 1970s. the 1970s was this incredibly vibrant, diverse moment in american history. it gave way to an explosion of churches, it gave way to an explosion of newspapers long before there were apps, long before there were -- [inaudible] gay men needed to communicate, d they turned to newspapers. yet the history of this has been overshadowed because doctors, policymakers, public health officials were looking for an explanation for why hiv spread. and what they said was the 1970s was a period of unfettered sex. that there were gay guys and orgies, that there were gay guys in bars, that there were gay guys just having sex. and my question as a historian was how much of that is true and how much of that has been used
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to rationalize the spread of hiv? were the '70s, in fact, this period about just sex, or have we defined that era as about just sex in order to explain the epidemic? and my argument is that we have diluted the history of the 1970s as a way to tell the origin narrative of hiv. and that as a result, so many key points in the history of the 1970s has remained untold. the fact that there was this extensive, quite exhaustive religious network, the fact that there was a print culture, the fact that gay men were thinking about different kinds of bodies. but all of that history, all of that vibrance, all of that nuance, all of that detail became shortened, became reduced
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to a story about explaining hiv. so that's what basically started the history of my book, that's what started me to sort of ask questions about the 1970s, and that's what led me to uncovering the quite horrific and poignant story of the upstairs lounge. >> you can watch this and other programs on line at >> the annapolis book festival will continue in just a few minutes live from katherine hall at the key school in maryland. up next, a panel on race in america. [inaudible conversations] >> could you have picked a more challenging topic? you have a woman who disappeared
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from public view in 1941 when she was only 23 years old. where does the biographer even begin? and more importantly maybe, why? >> you know, those are two great questions. why is easier to answer. back in 2005 i saw rosemary's obituary in the newspaper, and it was like a three-paragraph to obituary in "the boston globe". and for some reason it just hit me. i had been vaguely aware of rosemary and, of course, i was very aware of the kennedy family having grown up in new england. and i just thought, i thought, oh, this life, you know, what happened to her? and as a women's historian, you know, my antenna went up right away like why don't we know more abouter? so i tucked it in the back of my mind, and i was working on another book project. but i just had this sense that i should investigate her life and that might be my next project.
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so when i did start researching her life, it might have been a little bit of naivete on my part thinking i'd be able to unearth all this information, and it won't be any problem, and i could write about this beautiful young woman and, you know, about what happened to her. the process took a lot longer than i thought because the record was, you know, a little bit spotty. but over the years, more and more papers became available, so it made it easier. but it is a challenge to write about somebody who disappears and who believe leaves few papers behind. but it is possible. >> tell us what you think about rosemary's life before the lobotomy in 1941. was she a happy child? was she integrated into the life of that family? >> rosemary was an adorable child, happy, but also she struggled and suffered in trying
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to compete with her much more capable siblings. she was integrated into the family when she was home, and her siblings did a great job trying to accommodate her disabilities. they would play sports with her, they would go sailing with her, and they would take the helm but help her be part of that sailing. and tennis. all the sports activities that they were all capable of doing by themselves, she needed help, but they accommodated her. which, of course, influenced eunice as an adult to start the special olympics. she knew that sports was an important aspect for every human being, but also for people with disabilities. and so she was happy on the one hand. on the other hand, she was very unhappy because of the struggles that she faced. and her parents also sent her off to many different schools over a period of ten years, and that was very hard on a young
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child, teenager, young adult woman who was constantly separated from her family who she loved very, very much and wanted to be with. so her life had bright moments but also a lot of struggles. >> you can watch this and other programs online at >> the next panel live from the annapolis book festival starts now. a look at race and racism in america. >> welcome. hello, good afternoon. welcome to the annapolis book festival at the key school. we'll be starting in just a minute. this session is being broadcast on c-span's book television. we ask you, please, silence your cell phones, remain quiet during the session. if you need to leave in the middle of the session, you may do so through the side doors. at the end of our discussion, we will spend a few minutes taking
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questions from the audience. you'll be asked to use the microphone in the middle of the aisle, and we may not be able to get all the questions. c-span panels are back to back today, book signings will take place immediately following the discussion in the activity building next door. we will need to get our panelists there quickly so the next panel can come in. please, do not approach the panelists while in the building. thank you. good afternoon. my name is ivan bates, and i will serve as the moderator for today's panel, "black in america." one of the things that's very interesting here at the key school, we have the opportunity to look and listen to the school's leader. ..
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once we sit down we understand we have a couple great authors with us. we have doctor ibram kendi from the university of florida, author of the book stamped trump in the beginning. it is a definition of the history of the racist ideas in america and this is a booklet spent a great deal of time researching. a book that chronicles the entire story of the anti-black racist ideas and their power over the course of american history. ibram kendi has done this through a number of ways, he uses the life of five major americans, intellectuals throughout the time period of history, the first with the
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puritan minister who sits down and talks about that and how he looked at some of his ideas. the next individual, thomas jefferson, talk about him and his family upbringing and the thought he had in framing the constitution. we sit down and look at the abolitionist who was strong in making sure he ended slavery and worked within that movement. we have amazing scholar web du bois, the naacp leader and the legendary prison activist angela davis. ibram kendi is a native son of jamaica, queens, new york, where he lived until he moved to virginia. he went to the florida and them for the undergraduate, and got
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his doctorate, from temple university. he is now a professor at the university of florida. ibram kendi will give the background under the history of racism in america. professor d. watkins put together a number of essays, living and dying while black in america. the book chronicles his life story in many ways, talks about the things he grew up with and the things he witnessed but professor d. watkins is able to talk about racist policies we have had in america, how they impacted him growing up in baltimore city and the urban environment. d. watkins is a young man who turned his life around from the early days gaining education
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showing the power of reading and how important it is through education is the key to success. d. watkins is a graduate with a masters from john hopkins, he also teaches a creative writing program at the university of baltimore. they have both of these gentlemen, scholars and activists on this panel. it is a great opportunity for all the panelists. thank you very much for joining us. i would like to start with ibram kendi. just talk about your book and what led you to this point in terms of publication and your research. >> thank you. incredible introduction and truly a pleasure and honor to be here, to be presenting at the annapolis festival. i went to high school not far from here in manassas, virginia. anytime i can come back to my
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second home, i certainly take that opportunity so i am actually here talking to you about my new book and it really is brand-new, it came out on april 12th, just a few days ago, stamped from the beginning, the definitive history of racist ideas in america. on april 12, 1860, jefferson davis, who at the time was one of the us senators from mississippi, stood before his colleagues in the u.s. senate and uttered the phrase inequality between the black and white races was stamped from the beginning. ironically my book came out on the very day the title was inspired from. he made that statement because there was a bill on the floor that was considering granting funds to educate black people in
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dc. of course he got out and argued against it. many of you know jefferson davis later became the president of the confederacy. i start with that very small story to say that to a certain extent that was indicative of the long and lingering history of racist ideas, that you essentially over the course of american history had racist policies put in place, or you had individuals who did not want antiracist policies to be put in place like a bill that would provide education to black children in washington dc, in the same manner that educational funds were being provided to white children. then you had individuals like jefferson davis produce, reproduce racist ideas to challenge those antiracist bills
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or to defend existing racist bills, to defend existing racist policies. what i am saying in a nutshell is typically we have been taught in history that ignorance and hate have led to racist ideas and individuals who have these racist ideas are the ones who essentially have created these viciously racist policies that have impacted the lives of people over the course of american history and what i found from studying the history of racist ideas is the connection actually has been quite the opposite. what i am saying is i differentiated between what i call the producers of racist ideas, powerful producers, someone as influential as jefferson davis or as influential as donald trump, talking about powerful producers
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of racist ideas or powerful producers of ideas, i am differentiating between them and the consumer of those ideas, people like us, people like you and i, in my book i study the history of these producers of ideas. why were they producing these ideas? i found that people created racist ideas to justify the slave trade. i found people created racist ideas to justify slavery. i found people created racist ideas to justify segregation. i found people continue to create racist ideas to justify mass incarceration. i am finding we have these policies in place, these disparities in place and people creating racist ideas over the course of american history to justify and rationalize them and it caused you and i having consumed these ideas to look out at america and see disparity or
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to see people in slaves or to see 2 million black people in jail or to see hundreds of thousands of people in chains coming over to america and view that as normal. and view that as normal. that is the power that racist ideas have had over the course of american history. i tried to chronicle that from the beginning. that these ideas have been powerful enough to make us believe in equities are normal and hopefully we will have time to talk about that from the beginning. >> with these policies and throughout history, where are we today? how have these policies impacted us on the grassroots level? that is why we have professor watkins living and dying while
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black in america, professor watkins, thank you. >> thank you for having me. ibram kendi did amazing research to put these in historical context. it goes well with his book because it breaks down how these things hit every day citizens who have to deal with these issues, the same issues that were established a long time ago. if you are from a place -- any urban area, you never see your self in a book, never see your self on television, never see your self as a statue when you walk down the street. there is no representation of your self anywhere in the country that you helped build and it is a love story for you, a chance to see yourself and understand your story, understand your journey, and flirts with somebody -- putting it in historical context. on the other side of the spectrum if you are from a place
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far removed from a place like east harlem or a suburb and don't have a lot of experience with urban communities or you have one black friend, it gives you an opportunity to understand or see the humanity the media leaves out. a lot of times you see unarmed black kid drummed down and what is next? we have to stop and think that kid was just a kid, he had goals and dreams and ambition, he could have been the next barack obama. you never know what these people can grow into because they never get a chance. think about some of the people we celebrate in society today. look at them when they were 20 years old and it goes across the board, look at malcolm x at 21 or those who look up to george
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w. bush look at him in his 20s, though not much changed as he matured but you get the point. in life we all make mistakes, nobody is squeaky clean. we go through these things and we can experience redemption and we can take those mistakes and resiliency that comes from those mistakes and grow to be great people. a great job at showing humanity, you know, where people -- we have a lot in common with all types of people around this country so i try to do that and put it in language everyone can understand. it is very accessible. if you read 20 million academic articles a day, you say literature, if you like a second
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grade reading level like a 50-year-old you can get to the book in three days. >> ibram kendi and d. watkins, as you put together research, in terms of your personal background, what is the number one thing you would like the reader to take from your book? >> black readers or white readers? >> both. >> i ask that for a specific reason. for black readers, one of -- one of the major unfortunate findings in the book in studying this history is -- i not only try to study racist ideas but i also try to study antiracist ideas and antiracist policies and strategies, protest
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movements to show the course of history, interlocking struggles and black people specifically middle income black people have been long taught ever since the abolitionist movement that the way that we can undermine racist ideas of whites is when we go before white audiences to not defined stereotypes. to represent the race well. many of our parents have told us to, quote, represent the race well which means don't defined stereotypes, defined stereotypes. don't make it seem as if you are inferior. act intelligent, speak proper. all of these different things. abolitionists, specifically in 1790 began lecturing free blacks that this is the way that you
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undermine the prejudice of whites and thereby undermine the ideas that were underlying slavery, free blacks need to go before white audiences and show your equal humanity. that is what we -- two black people by white abolitionists and many internalize those ideas. we have been consuming them in teaching and reteaching and what i found in the book is that idea is based on a racist idea. that strategy is based on a racist idea. it connotes this idea that black people are responsible for the racist idea that white people have, that black people are somehow responsible for the racist ideas white people have which means there is some truth in the racist ideas that white people have because black people are acting a particular way. i basically chronicle this strategy of upwardly mobile
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blacks defying racist ideas and show the way those ideas are based on racist ideas. very quickly, typically most americans think of a racist idea as an idea that states racial groups are biologically distinct and black people are genetically distinct and inferior and typically people do not acknowledge the other ways people have considered blacks to be inferior like culturally to give you an example. throughout history you had a group i call assimilationist's who stated they are biologically equal but when it comes to culture they say black people are culturally inferior. they say since we are biologically equal black people can be developed. they entered into black communities trying to develop
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black people because black people were inferior but since they are biologically equal they can be developed, they can be civilized, they can be improved. i show in the book that is a racist idea too. >> d. watkins, what would you like readers to think about? >> three things. i would like every reader to think more critically about race in society after reading the book. it doesn't ask you to change your perspectives what to think about these things. the traditions and information given to you versus your own thoughts and opinions of how these systems came about and how you can interpret them. humanity, we are humans, people, these people who die and who go through these things are people. you can be a ku klux klan member from mississippi or gangbanger
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from california, but put two of those guys in a room with free ice cream they are both going to take it. who is too racist for ice cream or too gangster for ice cream? we are taught we are so different but we have so much in common. and another thing, something i live by, the ethiopian proverb that reads, when spot is united they can take down a lighting. i don't care what will trickle down into these communities. i think about how we as individuals can use our power to make real change. my thing is literacy. i work with reading programs, i help other writers get book deals, i helped a whole lot of other writers get their work published in different places. that is my job. i have another friend that does the same thing with financial literacy and nutrition. we are all figuring out what our
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passion is and we are working really really hard to achieve mastery and share no skills with other people. i want people to read this book and understand how strong we are as individuals and the things we can do because all of us have been waiting for politicians forever so when people ask me things like what do you think of the election? what do you think about this president, this candidate or that candidate, i am not jaded and i understand the importance of all these things but i know that any and every change i wanted to see came from grassroots work so i put my time and energy there. i don't need to donate campaigns and wear a t-shirt with someone's name on it. i don't need a slogan. i don't need to wait for you to come to my city and call me a third world country and leave. or offer free bumper stickers. that is not going to help people
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make money, in won't keep you out of prison, he won't get people reading or do any of these things. i want people who read this book to understand how powerful we are as individuals and how we can do more for our communities than marching in protest. marching and protesting is great, you need marches and protesters but we need lawyers, teachers who believe in these issues, we need people who run for office who believe these issues to keep them when they get elected and do all these other things too. i was on the television show not long ago, chris hayes, we were talking about these issues and the guy -- working with the guy in the nikes to work with the guy in the suit, work with the white guy, we need all these different people to get together and work if we want to get through these issues and
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hopefully this book gives enough examples on how we can unite as one to give you these issues that plague our country today. >> ibram kendi, you see the history and knowing the history, how do we move forward? are we able to move forward with the history and scars inflicted on the african-american community? >> i will take your second question first. the answer is yes. black people have suffered quite a bit of trauma as a result of many things we could talk about, but at the same time i don't think the history of oppression has made black people inferior in any way.
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it reduced their opportunity, but the people themselves just like any group of people throughout world history who suffered oppression, the people were able to put a strikethrough. i think we should first recognize black people, racial groups are equal despite their differences. that is the first thing people recognize. i am pretty clear i take a very antiracist position which is racial groups are equal. when you believe racial groups are equal, when you believe antiracist ideas and you look out at racial disparities and inequities you will see discrimination. when you truly believe the racial groups are equal and you look out at disparities you are not going to see the black unemployment rate is twice as high as the white unemployment
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rate, black people don't want to work because black people are, quote, unqualified, you will see discrimination because you believe the racial groups are equal. i am hoping people really understand the difference between antiracist and racist ideas because it is a very simple distance, antiracist believes racial groups are equal, racist ideas connote that in some way a certain group is inferior or superior. i will say also as i stated in my opening talk when we are trying to confront these producers of racist ideas differentiating them from you and i, the consumer, when we are trying to confront them and their ideas education and persuasion is not going to work. so again, it could work with us but if you are creating ideas to
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justify existing policies, you are not creating those ideas because you are ignorant or hateful, you recognize the ways in which those ideas benefit, and rich you, manipulate others, you recognize that. you and i when we go to those people and try to persuade them and convince them otherwise is not going to work. that is like trying to convince an executive of the country that sold harmful products that its products are harmful. they already know and don't care so we need to recognize the differences and those producers of those ideas and they are simply manipulating those ideas to enrich their policies, to enrich, rationalize disparities.
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and you see that over and over again. we understand that in slavery. we understand how slaveholders create ideas that black people were stupid and turn around and when skilled workers would run away they would put out advertisements saying my smart black worker needs to be recovered. we know these contradictions, that is one of the things, our strategies have to change. to undermine racist ideas we have to undermine the policies that gave birth to them. >> d. watkins, we understand where we have been but how do we make the change did you look at the educational system in baltimore city and we can look at educational system here and bring your children here a phenomenal education. these children are already on the path to success. how do we get our children in
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baltimore city beyond that path to success and what are the things we need to do? >> there are a lot of things we can do when we talk about resources, finding qualified teachers and giving them what they need to stay in and all these things that would work in a perfect world, in all fairness, i give a full disclaimer, the type of work i anticipated, what i believe in, is not a 30 year battle, it is not a 45 year battle. when i die i will not see the change i want to see in schools with a country or in general. these issues took hundreds of years to create and will not be affected by policy, there will be a few good teachers to change it, we are fighting against a culture of people, forced to go to school when there was nothing on the other side of success,
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97% of the people in baltimore, pull your pants up and getting a good grade does not guarantee you will not get a bullet in your head, it does not guarantee you won't -- i am not fighting against simple ideas. maybe a few months ago i was watching a television show that came out in the 90s called a different world about kids in college, like a black college and there was a woman named whitley who was a substitute teacher who came home, really frustrated she had a long day, duane wayne said what is wrong? what is going on? she said they want these kids to fail. these textbooks are old, my class is crowded, they are saying these kids have a
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learning disability but they only behavioral issues, like it is a system set up for these kids to fail. i said wow! this is crazy! look at the clothes and equality of the show and i remember when a different world without so i knew it wasn't anything new but the issues were the same. i hit the button on my television to check the year, make sure i wasn't hallucinating, it was 1991. 2016, the same thing. the school of education, they fly people in from all over the globe and they sit there and say the data says this or that, give me my check and leave me alone and that is it but if everybody is so smart and we have all this research, we are not making it into the classroom. that is why i put so much of these things on community-based work. what i have seen is from the ground up, social fabric, strong
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neighborhoods. the cliché works, it takes a village so my job like i said, my commitment and focus is literacy. i try to continue to create the content that gets young people excited about reading or telling their own story. i am trying to create a culture of thinkers and readers and communicators, you cannot creates a culture in one lifetime, not the way i want to see it, these things take time. i always have much love and respect to the dynamic, administrators and teachers and these people who want to change these things, this is capitalism. you know what social reproduction is? sustain capitalism, you must
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create a permanent underclass, and the police forces. you do that through education and it is in front of our faces and they say -- a conspiracy theory guy, drug testing them, crazy. the same issues have been going on year in and year out. it is a mistake, you start saying these things were put in place for a reason and it is up to us to change them because the system is working great for the people who created it. [applause] >> the last question i would like to ask is a very hot button issue which deals with the criminal justice system. my question to you is how has racism impacted the criminal justice system?
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you touchbase with that through the book and professor watkins, how has the criminal justice system impacted the life of the african-american male? i will first go ahead and ask ibram kendi to talk about that. >> we have spoken a lot about many different things so i want to give a brief history lesson on the relationship between black men and crime. so anybody read shakespeare? i am sure -- i don't know how many of his plays you have read but there are certain ways in which the black characters are seen as devils or demons. some people are shaking their heads.
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this literature came about as a result of these connections that were made between blackness and the devil and those deep connections were being made in the 1600s and those connections settled into america. we saw those connections made in a very dramatic way in the salem witch trials, those familiar with the salem witch trials, people were constantly saying the devil, black man was speaking to the witch and the which was of course bringing harm to me, that was a constant refrain during the salem witch trial, the notion of devil and blackness, the devil is the ultimate criminal, right? so that was -- that emerged
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early on in american history. when black people resisted enslavement in maryland, in florida that was illegal, they were considered criminals. when they resisted enslavement, when they fled to the north they were considered fugitives of the law and when black people, black people were enslaved in this country for roughly 200 years so over 200 years when they were resisting slavery, doing what many people in this room were doing, that led to their classification as criminals and roughly by p 1890s you had more and more reports of crime data specifically from census data and that census data started showing black people were more likely to be arrested, black people were more likely to be in prison and those racial disparities have continued to
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this day and scholars in 1890s took that data and stated this means black people are by nature criminals and now of course most scholars took this crime data as fact, as actual crime rate meaning they stated black people are more likely to be arrested and imprisoned, they are more likely to commit crimes so in being more likely to commit crimes they are more criminal like and that criminality emerges from their nature or their culture. scholars put forth over the course of the 20th century, those are the theories put forth by police officers, prosecutors, politicians, many other people today to justify why 40% of incarcerated populations in this country are black even though
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black people represent 13% of the prison population. and 22 times more likely to be killed by police. they are recklessly violent and criminals. that is the reason why. these racist ideas, blaming black people to justify racial disparities, it is a history of racist ideas. when you see these shootings, typically three responses. there is a response that states the individual, trey von martin or jordan davis in florida was acting somehow recklessly or you have people who say the police officer was acting recklessly and people who state both.
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those positions, the three positions, people who utilize to explain racial disparity over the course of american history there was something wrong with black people, something wrong with discrimination or racial profiling or both and we see that constantly playing out. racial groups are equal which means there are black people who act recklessly bullet before the police, some white people are recklessly before the police and some people don't, the racial groups are equal or they are not. when they are not so many people believe they are not, black people actually commit more crimes when statistics say otherwise. we know the racial groups we were talking about earlier, white people are more likely to sell consumed drugs in this country, we know there is no such thing as a violent black neighborhood, we won't think of it that way because that would call for a war against
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unemployment as opposed to war against drugs and criminals. [applause] >> before we turn it over, we will ask a couple questions. would you mind answering that quickly in terms of the role you have seen in terms of incarceration in your neighborhood? >> i studied at trump university. i wish everybody was. we have to leave time for questions, doctor kinsey summed it up beautifully but i would like to add the biggest employer in the united states of america, it worked. and outside prison, we don't produce any products in the
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country unless they come out of jail. everything is gone and we are outsourcing all these things to different countries, and we wonder why things are the way they are. the biggest employer, sucking young people up, it used to be a joke going around among the delete, you are not making money unless you own a prison and the judges who got convicted not long ago, he was selling young people to his friends. if you think of it, it is better than slavery. if you have a plantation and you own slaves, make sure you are going to house them and clothe them and make sure you are making money. the taxpayers are paying for healthcare and housing and clothing. how do you let it become a superpower and make poor people
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pay for it? mitt romney doesn't pay anything. >> at this point we would like to open the floor for questions. >> this is me when i quit smoking cigarettes. >> if you want to ask a question you can line up behind the microphone. >> such an enlightening panel, happy to be here. one question is about the power of social media and race relations and broadening situations that occurred in
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neighborhoods and taking it national. and power of hashtag by black lives matter. how do you see that shaping the movement? how do you see that? >> i would ask professor watkins, he talks about social media. >> social media is like a gun. if somebody comes and you take that gun and shoot the person and save everybody you are a hero. if you aim at these people who might be buying my book, a horrible person. you get a lot when you get qualities like people, they do great on the ground reporting and help spread these causes and issues which is great but a lot of times people think they are making a difference and the whole illusion, it can go either
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way. great communities accomplish great things but at the same time you have a lot of control to infiltrate these movements. what i would like to see social media do is i would like to see it used as a tool to mass educate our children or all these issues you need to know about, and it will be in the same place at the same time, access to everybody. >> i thank both of you for your work. i work as a surgeon, whether i am at home or grew up in rural north carolina or baltimore seeing folks from greenmount or
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liberty, i was wondering, where have you seen in your research that racist ideas have been implanted? not the evidence of it but i don't read much about it. >> you have probably seen a recent study of medical students, medical students that believe black people are more susceptible to pain, that theory was a theory that was used by benjamin rush. benjamin rush was in medical school, a famous doctor in
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philadelphia during the late 1700s and early 1800s and in one of his books he fight another doctor who stated his doctor was able to amputate a black person's leg while the black person held their leg because that black person did not feel pain. later the father of gynecology, has a statue, in new york city in front of the american medical academy. so this guy was a practicing doctor and foul decided there was a major gynecological problem affecting women and he
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decided he was going to experiment on the vaginaes of enslaved black women and this speaks to the deck i was making earlier, he experimented and did not give them anesthesia and argued they didn't need anesthesia because they were black. in other writing he talked about how these women were rising -- writhing in pain, he saw the women writhing in pain but in his literature when he was trying to justify why he didn't use anesthesia they are black, he probably knew, he knew black people are equal in the sense that we feel pain too but he had to figure out a way to justify
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why he did not use anesthesia. i will also say the first scholars in the united states were typically medical doctors, phds did not emerge to the degree until the latter part of the 19th century and these medical doctors were the very people creating these racist ideas not only about medicine but all different types of things and the very people creating notions that raises are biologically distinct and have specific diseases that need to be treated differently and all these ideas that never showed themselves to be true. >> if you ever read this book, medical apartheid, medical apartheid does a great job, he had a brilliant idea, african
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babies born in stables and i forget what the sickness was but he had a bright idea of taking it off the books like a nail, trimming the nail into the skull of these babies, infant mortality rate. medical apartheid is a great book that talks about that. i was reading that book and making myself upset. >> an instrument in surgery, won't call it by that name. >> we only have time for a few more questions. >> dick gregory one time said or houses were desegregated before churches. when jimmy carter was governor of georgia, he went to church
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one sunday morning and took several african-americans with him and they were admitted but had he not been there they would not have been admitted into the church which is also known as a house of god. my question to the panel is does the history of racism in the united states represent failure of christianity, failure of the message of christianity as described in the new testament, in the gospels or over 1 billion people in the world consider themselves christians and yet we have this history the panel has been talking about occurring in a christian country. so my question to you is do you
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agree the history of racism in the united states -- represents a failure of the ethics of christianity? >> yes, i agree. [applause] >> last question. >> thank you to ibram kendi and d. watkins, i just retired after 25 years as a librarian in prince george's county in the public library and most of the time i worked in district heights as my privilege to work there in district heights and places like that, and i want to add one thing to what you said about the guy in the suit and everything, there are a lot of women who are out there doing that kind of thing too.
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from the library, a lot of predominately women there but also sororities, men, and women with ministries and all sorts of things doing a lot too. i also want to say there are two annapolises but one place they come together is annapolis senior center where most people have gone beyond a lot of stuff, thank you. >> i always acknowledge all the women i work with, i should have been more clear in my language, i wouldn't even be here, can't even do anything but thank you for that. >> i will echo that. first of all that will conclude the panel. i know, i know.
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we have time constraints but definitely wish to thank the panelists, ibram kendi, d. watkins, we want to thank all of you for coming out, taking time and please support, read their books, they are very excellent. we know you have a question and we have opportunity, we will allow you to answer that question, just not right now. okay? thank you very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> that was d. watkins and ibram kendi on race in america. booktv coverage of the 14th annual and apple is book festival continues momentarily. [inaudible conversations] >> host: april ryan has written a book called the presidency in black and white. how long have you been covering the white house and why do you write about it? >> i have been covering the white house for 18 years. i write about it because it is very important. the leader of the free world, it is especially now with the first
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black president beyond the fact that he uses -- you want a picture of him writing some bill or signing actual issues affecting america. what makes up his thought process, sending boots on the ground in syria to fight isis, in his mind what he thinks about women's issues or what he feels is rate. everyone needs to know what the president is thinking, i have to be privileged to be one of the few people in this country who get a chance to get an up close view of the presidency and the president of the united states and people need to her about it. >> host: what is the black and the white? >> guest: the black and white is cyclical, something that continues to happen since the enslavement of africans in the country, there is a problem with race in this country and it is
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yet to be fixed. we saw the civil rights movement in the 50s and 60s and major laws but there is still an intrinsic problem in this country that needs to be fixed. today we are now seeing tension between the black community. not saying we don't support law enforcement, we do support law enforcement wholeheartedly but there has to be a weaning out of that policing. there is a problem in this nation and a lot of the problem is settled and some of it is overt. i talked to president obama recently on a flight going to selma and he is here to close the gap. the gap still remains sohere are still gaps in the station that need to be closed and hopefully the next president will deal with those issues but this is an issue that is not going away. we have not been able to get it right yet. other countries are watching us.
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>> host: if someone picked up the presidency in black and white will be here personal stories about you working in the white house and if so what do they want to share? >> when the person picks up the presidency in black and white, three president in recent america give various views, various stories, stories firsthand of the presidents themselves. on the record from barack obama, bill clinton, laura bush:powell, condoleezza rice and a host of other people and some of the things that happen in the white house when it comes to race. i remember a story, one of the most compassionate stories of my life, going to the art gallery a few feet from the white house when laura bush, descendents of slaves in alabama, and i will
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give you a synopsis ultimately the first lady scored all the way around and at the end these black women, five black women, i do not believe were republicans, they were so happy. they embraced the first lady in a huddle and started printing thank jesus and started crying and a descendent of a slave on my mother's side, fifth-generation brought tears to my eyes. there are a lot of human stories that so many people can relate to in this book and it is about you and me, not just black but white, all of us coming together. >> host: people go to booktv and type in april ryan we will see a big panel that was held, and author panel, what was that? >> guest: a panel discussion on race. the author talks about criminal
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justice. we had joy read who wrote the book pratchett. and author himself who is in various books that i was the moderator and we had a serious civil discussion on issues of race and from authors who have written about it and researched it who are experts in their field and we had a panel discussion, people from all walks of life, various people who actually were in the audience and asked about it as questions, it was a great discussion, the beginning of the discussion that needs to happen in the station and we thank you for booktv and politics and prose and we are going to do that in february. >> host: april ryan from the white house and presidency in
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black and white. >> on your screen catherine hall almost ready for the next panel to begin. booktv live coverage of the annapolis book festival will continue. >> booktv tapes hundreds of other programs all year long. here's a look at some of the events we will be covering this week. at the wilson center in washington dc for terry lott and his look at the life of missionary john birch, the namesake of the political organization of the john birch society. on thursday at george mason university in fairfax, virginia, economist and historian deirdre mccloskey on how nations build wealth. also at the free library of philadelphia that evening for pulitzer prize-winning historian annette gordon reed and
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jefferson scholar peter boat off's talk on the intellectual life of thomas jefferson. next saturday we will be live from the folder shakespeare library in washington dc with the 400th anniversary of the death of william shakespeare. there will be short talks on the bard by the likes of supreme court justice stephen breyer, actor cow pen and journalist clarence page followed by your calls with the folger library director michael whitmore and shakespeare scholar ellen mckay. that is look at the other programs booktv is covering this week. if these events are open to the public look for them to air in the near future on booktv on c-span2. >> booktv live coverage of the annapolis book festival continues. starting now a panel on drone warfare.
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[inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon, everyone. welcome to the annapolis book festival. we will be getting started in just a minute. this is being broadcast on c-span booktv. we ask that you silence yourself and then remain quiet during the discussion.
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>> it is my distinct honor to share the stage with these tremendous authors. i'm going to start on my immediate right in introducing them. after my introductions, i'm going to let each of them talk for about ten minutes, then i'm going to take the power of the chair and ask a few questions and then open up to the audience for questions. on my immediate right is richard whittle. his book, "predator: the secret origins of the drone revolution," is the book we'll be discussing today. richard's a career journalist, he cut his teeth at the raleigh news and observer, then on to the "dallas morning news" where he covered defense issues for a
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number of years. i happen to be one of the larger fans of his earlier book called "the dream machine." and then he's written this book, "predator," both of which i would contend are remarkable biographies of machines. and so, again, a remarkable book. then to my left is scott shane whose book "objective troy" most recently, just two weeks ago, received an award as the outstanding english book on foreign affairs given each year by foreign policy magazine and the university of toronto monk school of global affairs. i remember scott from my time at the naval academy when i was a young lad and he was writing for the baltimore sun where he spent, well, i guess 21 years from 1983 to 1994. his most recent book, "objective troy," is about the
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assassination of anwr al-maliki. so we start with the origins of the technology that allowed us this drone warfare and changed the way we're fighting wars to a story of this drone warfare. again, a tremendous book. and then lastly on my left is mark moyar who's done an analysis of the policy of drone warfare that's come about in the last 20 years or so. again, another tremendous book. mark is not a journalist like the first two but, rather, a practitioner, a researcher, a true academic but also happens to have served as an adviser to some of the most important operations that we've had from special operations command to central command to advising people like general mckiernan and general mcchrystal, general petraeus and general dunford. he also is an expert in counterinsurgency, not what his book "strategic failure" is about, but he has an entire
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generation of young officers that he's impacted from teaching at university. during my time in the marine corps, much of our time was talking about these issues, analyzing american foreign policy. mark moyar was one of the guys we were always talking about, so i look forward to a fantastic discussion. with that, i'm going to turn it over to rick whit billion for him to talk about his book, "predator." >> thanks, scott, for that very generous are introduction. i'm honored to be part of this distinguished panel and grateful for the chance to talk about my book, "predator: the secret origins of the drone revolution." it's a book that tells what i think you're going to agree is a surprising story about the predator, how the predator was invented and how in the words of air and space smithsonian magazine, "it changed the world." this is, after all, the first weapon in history whose operators can stalk and kill a single individual on the other side of the planet from a
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position of total ambush and invulnerability. think about that. my book is largely based on first person interviews with primary sources; that is, the people who did the things i write about. and i tell in detail how the air force armed the predator in 2001 and how air force pilots and sensor operators in a ground control station tucked away on the cia campus in langley, virginia, began using this exotic weapon in afghanistan late in 2001. i had been writing about the military for three decades when i started work on this book in 2009, but in the five years it took me to research and write it, i ran into a lot of surprises. the first was that the predator was not invented by the usual suspects in the military industrial complex. it was invented by this man, abraham carroll, a former israeli aeronautical engineer
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who many people regard as a genius. he got inspired to work on drones during the 1973 i don't mean yom kippur war in the middle east. a couple of years later he emigrated to the united states, the land of opportunity. and like all great american inventers, went to work in his garage. his garage was in los angeles. now, abe went bankrupt trying to sell his ideas to the u.s. military who weren't much interested in drones in the early 1980s. but in the late 1980s, a pair of billionaire brothers who decided to get into the drone business bought abe's ideas out of bankruptcy and hired him and his top engineers to go to work for them. their names are neil and lyndon blue. they're the private owners of the san diego area company that build -- built the predator, and they're still very active and fascinating in their own right.
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in 1957 when the blue brothers were in their early 20s and still students at yale, they made the cover of "life" magazine by flying a small plane around latin america during summer vacation, a trip they decided to take, by the way, before they ever took their first flying lesson. because neil and linden blue weren't traveling for fun. they were born and bred entrepreneur, and they were traveling around latin america to look for a business opportunity they could pursue of after college. and as a result of that trip, after they graduated from yale neil and linden blue began working on a -- created a banana and cacao plantation on the east coast of nicaragua in partnership with the ruling family. for the blues, that venture lasted only a couple of years, but it was the first of many that by the 1980s had made them uncommonly wealthy, wealthy enough to buy general atomics for $65 million.
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now, as the name suggests, general atomics began as a nuclear energy company, and it still is one, but it got into the drone bids after the blue brothers bought it from chevron in 1986. they had a number of reasons for thinking drones might be a good business investment. but among their motives was a desire to help the contra rebels in nicaragua overthrow the leftist sandinistas who in 1979 had overthrown their business partners. gps navigation was brand new in those days, and neil blue's idea was that the contras or an ally could pack a gps-guided drone with an explosive and use it as a poor man's cruise missile on behalf of the sand nice thats. -- sandinistas. as i say in my book, if necessity is the mother of invention, war is the mother of necessity. and a few years later the war in
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bosnia and the difficulty of finding serb artillery that was bombarding sarajevo in 1993 led to the actual birth of the predator which was derived from a smaller, less capable drone called the nat-750. in 1993 the cia brought two of them to use as spy planes in bosnia, and they got good results. that helped inspire the defense department to develop a derivative, the predator, which flew for the first time in july 1994. one of the big improvements over the nat-750 was that the predator could be flown by satellite which is why it has that familiar bulbous nose. there's a satellite dish inside. the predator wasn't armed at first. it just carried a video camera, radar and other sensors that could be used to gather what the military calls isr, an acronym for intelligence, surveillance
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and reconnaissance. but the military found the predator very useful in the balkans wars of the 1990s because it could stay airborne as long as 40 hours at a time without landing to refuel. and all the while sending its video back to its ground control station. partly for that reason in the spring of 2000, an innovative air force general named john jumper decided to arm the predator. jumper assigned that project to a very special air force unit that goes by the exotic nickname big safari. in my book i describe big safari as a real-life version of q branch, the technology shop in the james bond movies. and that's where the cia comes into the predator story. because as big saw farly was starting -- safari was starting that project to arm the predator, richard clark, the counterterrorism director at the national security council, and
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charlie allen, a very senior cia official, had come to the conclusion that the united states needed to kill osama bin laden before he killed more americans as al-qaeda had done in bombing our embassies in kenya and tanzania in 1998, and as it would do again by bombing the uss cole on october 12, 2000, killing 17 american sailors. but if they were going to kill bin laden, first the cia had to find him. so in september of 2000, the big safari crew and a ground control station at an air base in germany flew an unarmed predator over a place near kandahar, afghanistan, called tarnac farms. the cia believed bin laden was living there as a guest of the taliban and, indeed, the air force predator crew found him. at that point, big safari's product to arm the predator -- project to arm the predator went into high gear.
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they quickly figured out how to put a missile called the hellfire on the predator and wired it so that the ground control station could aim and fire the missile from the other side of the planet. starting with a test launch from a predator strapped down to a concrete pad on january 23rd, 2001, the big safari team, the predator team, launched test shots from the air and at a target tank and then into a building the cia ordered constructed to find out whether hellfire missiles -- which were designed to destroy tanks -- would kill osama bin laden if fired into his residence in afghanistan. the arizona contractor apparently misread the specifications and built an adobe brick structure that bore little resemblance to the mud houses of afghanistan. so the testers nicknamed it taco bell and hung this sign on it. [laugher]
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they were in a hurry at this point, so to help measure the hellfire's lethality inside a building, they had to dispense with the usual mannequins filled with ballistic jelly. instead as you can see in this photo, they used watermelons to simulate people in test shots. now, i was surprised to learn that in those days, before 9/11, the defense department didn't want its people to be the ones who pulled the trigger on a predator hellfire strike that killed osama bin ladennen. so at first they had big safari create a trigger that was connected to the air force flight crew's control panel by a long, white cable but was to be operated by someone from the cia. then the cia argued that they shouldn't be the ones to fire a military weapon, especially in something that would count as an assassination.
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for years there had been executive orders banning assassinations. so an air force master sergeant who was working for big safari dubbed this remote trigger "the monkey switch." excuse me. whoa, i lost my slide. with where's the monkey switch? i had it, sorry. i'll dig it up later. [laughter] they called it the monkey switch because they figured that maybe they could just train a monkey to press the trigger, and nobody would have to take responsibility. but while big safari and people at the lower levels of the cia were getting prepared in that summer of 2001 to send an armed predator at osama bin laden p, richard clark was having trouble getting the bush administration to focus on the threat he and others saw in al-qaeda. the bush administration national security council held its first meeting to discuss sending the armed predator after bin laden on september 4, 2001.
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many of the preparations had been made. i'm not sure how well you can see it in these google earth photos, but this is the happeningly campus at the cia in early september, 2001. the inset shows a double-wide mobile home that was put there to is serve as a command center for an air force predator team. the small rectangle ajays are sent to it is a -- adjacent to it is a ground control station painted white to make it look like an ordinary construction bin. but at that september 4th national security council meeting, neither the cia, nor the military wanted to take responsibility for pulling the trigger on this unfamiliar new weapon, even using the monkey switch. so they decided to wait. one week to the day later, of course, everything changed. and the day after that, three armed predators were on their way to a base in uzbekistan where they could take off and land for missions over afghanistan. predator 3034, flown by big
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safari's captain scott swanson and master sergeant jeff with quaw, launched the fist lethal drone -- first lethal drone strike on the first night of the war there, october 7, 2001, a story that i tell in great detail in my book. three days later president bush, at another national security council meeting, said why can't we fly more than one predator at a time? we ought to have 50 of these things. and in december of that year, bush gave a speech to the corps of cadets at the citadel in south carolina where he said, "before the war the predator had skeptics because it did not fit the old ways; now it is clear the military does not have enough unmanned vehicles." i think that's when the drone revolution began, and now i'll leave it to my fellow authors, scott shane and mark moyar, to talk about how the cia's initial
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reluctance changed in succeeding years quite dramatically. thank you. >> thank you very much, richard. [applause] i want to, i'm going to give a quick personal vignette as i turn it over to scott shane. i had the great honor to serve as a research assistant for admiral turner when i was in graduate school in the early 990s. he was the director of the cia in the carter administration, and you mentioned during your talk, richard, about the executive orders banning assassination. in the aftermath of the church committee hearings which some in this room are not old enough to remember, there was a lot of consternation about some cia programs that had as their aim to assassinate political leaders. and executive order 11095 was signed by jimmy carter in february of 1976 that banned political assassination. president carter expanded on that two years later, in january
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of '78, that banned any sort of assassination. and then ronald reagan, in his first year in office, used that same language in executive order 12333 that banned any agent of the united states from taking part in any assassination. lawyers within the government revisited that decision in 1998 after the embassies in kenning ya and tanzania were bombed and determined that anyone who was confirmed to be a terrorist could be the target of an assassination. and that was the legal logic behind those tomahawk strikes against those camps of bin laden in afghanistan in 1998. boy, where have we come from there. the story of not just that, but also specifically the assassination of an american citizen is the story that scott shane has told, and so with that, i want to turn the floor over to him, and i look forward to hearing your few minutes. thank you, scott. >> thank you, scott.
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so my book is called "objective troy," and the subtitle is "a terrorist, a president and the rise of the drone." and if rick's book is the biography of the machine, the predator, mine is really the biography of a guy who got killed by one of these machines. anwar al-awlakiment one of my reasons for writing this book was actually to understand how somebody becomes a terrorist, how somebody in this case, anwar al-awlaki, who had had a happy life for quite a few years in the u.s., an american citizen, a very successful imam, muslim preacher, condemned 9/11, called for bridge building after 9/11 from his post at a big mosque outside washington, d.c., how he ended up spending his last years with al-qaeda in yemen trying to to kill americans.
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and so i'm going to sort of fast forward really to the second half of my book to where anwar al-awlaki has moved to yemen, has joined al-qaeda, and i'm really going to start with the moment when al-awlaki is essentially, he's become essentially the leading spokesperson, certainly in english, for al-qaeda and for the cause it represented. looks like we're having a little bit of trouble. should with play it through the microphone up here? >> [inaudible] >> okay. well, while he works on that, i will tell you what you would have seen. in march -- the first video is in march of 2010. anwar al-awlaki, this guy who was a, you know, sort of peace-loving preacher in the
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u.s. shows up, he's dressed in a camo jacket with a traditional yemeni dagger in his belt, and he speaks right into the camera and says that it is -- he's speaking english, and he's addressing muslims in the west and in the u.s. in particular. and he's saying it is your obligation, your religious obligation to join the violent jihad against the united states, that the united states is at war with islam and every muslim's obligation is to attack america. and this comes on top of, first, he sort of comes to public attention in november of 2009 after nidal hasan, a army psychiatrist, u.s. army psychiatrist and major, opens fire on people at fort hood. and it turns out they were in communication, and the next day anwr with al-awlaki, who was a
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very tech-savvy guy, put on his blog that nidal hasan was a hero and did exactly what you're supposed to do as a muslim in america. then the second thing that happened was on christmas day in 2009 some of you will remember the underwear bomber who tried to blow up an airliner as it came into detroit. the bomb, fortunately, didn't go off, it burned him. but when he came off and eventually was interviewed by the fbi, he told the fbi that anwar al-awlaki, this guy in yemen, had recruited him, vetted him, coached him and prepared him for his mission blowing up a plane. so when, you know, when he has been proven to be not just a propagandist, but an operational terrorist, president obama asks the justice department can i put this guy on the kill list. will it be legal and
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constitutional to kill a u.s. citizen in this circumstance. and the answer comes back in february of 2010 in secret memos written by the justice department that, yes, it will be, it is legal and constitutional based on, first, the idea that it's infeasible to capture this guy in the wilds of yemen, and secondly, that he poses a continuing and imminent threat to the national security of the u.s. and to the safety of americans. so that's the order he gives. what follows is, essentially, an 18-month manhunt involving all 16 intelligence agencyies, nsa, the national security agency, essentially drops an electronic net over yemen. the cia's offering $5 million to family members and anyone else
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who can tell them where this guy is. and eventually, after some close calls, they catch up with him at the end of september 2011, and they fire some hellfire missiles at the vehicle that he's in, and he's killed along with a young american named samir khan, another member of al-qaeda and two yemeni al-qaeda guys. they're basically incinerated in their vehicle are. so the -- at that point on that day, obama mentions publicly that al-awlaki is dead and mentions that the brave men and women of the military and intelligence agencies deserve, you know, it's a special achievement for them or something like that but doesn't quite say how this man came to die. because they're still being very secretive about the drone program. a couple years later in a big speech on drones at national defense university, obama makes
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the killing of this more than citizen for the first time -- of this american citizen for the first time sort of the centerpiece of his argument in favor of drones. maybe you can queue up the next video if it works. down on the left-hand corner. oh, no, go back. >> forward or backwards? >> hit the left arrow, and you'll go back to the other one, and then go down to the left-hand corner. you have to use the cursor to go down to the left-hand corner -- >> yeah, which slide? >> the next one. >> [inaudible] >> that guy. [laughter] >> [inaudible] >> there could be a little caret down there in the left-hand corner of the image. if you get your cursor down to the left-hand caret, it should play. there we are. >> for the record, i do not
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believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and kill any u.s. citizen with a drone or with a shotgun without due process. nor should any president deploy armed drones over u.s. soil. but when a u.s. citizen goes abroad to wage war against america and is actively plotting to kill u.s. citizens and when neither the united states nor our partners are in a position to capture him before he carries out a plot, his citizenship should no more serve as a shield than a sniper shooting down on an innocent crowd should be protected from a s.w.a.t. team. that's who anwar al-awlaki was. he was continuously trying to kill people. he helped oversee the 2010 plot to detonate explosive devices on
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two u.s.-bound cargo planes. he was involved in planning to blow up an airliner in 2009. when farooq abdul mat lab went to yemen in 2009, al-awlaki hosted him, approved his suicide operation, helped him tape a martyr video to be shown after the attack, and his last instructions were to blow up the airplane when it was over american soil. i would have detained and prosecuted al-awlaki if we captured him before he carried out a plot, but we couldn't. and as president, i would have been derelict in my duty had i not authorized the strike that took him out. >> so that's president obama's, you know, articulation of his thinking in ordering this extraordinary act which hadn't happened since the civil war of a u.s. president giving the order for an american citizen to be killed without criminal
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charges, without a trial. still a very controversial decision. but after he was killed, many people at that time thought that he was the most dangerous single individual to american security, and there was -- i remember in the days after that at the end of september 2011, you know, the white house and counterterrorism agencies there was a real sense of accomplishment, of victory, and people were quite pleased with themselves. that lasted for about two weeks, because if you could put up the next slide, please -- that's just a slide. so two weeks after anwar al-awlaki was killed, there was another strike in yemen. killed seven guys on the ground, one of them turned out to be anwral anwar al-awlaki's 16-year-old son and also his 17-year-old cousin. some of the others were probably linked to al-qaeda.
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but it was, you know, the drone strike was essentially described to me privately, u.s. government has never said anything about it publicly, as a mistake. they didn't know this kid was there, they didn't know his cousin was there, and obama was reportedly furious when he heard about this because this guy, too, the kid was another american citizen. he was born in denver when his dad was living there, and while they'd gone through this legal process on the first case, they had not gone through any legal process, and they had no intention of killing him. he had no history of terrorism. by all accounts, a sweet kid, and obama knew that there'd be a huge backlash against this in yemen. and, indeed, when i went to yemen in 2014 to report the week, you know, this was what was on people's minds. they kind of understood the killing of anwral awe backly. he was with al-qaeda, he was trying to kill americans. the kid was a different story, and it generated a lot of anger and sort of bafflement, i would
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say, in yemen. that was in the short run. in the long run, if we could have the next slide, please, there was something else that cast a shadow over this whole operation. anwar al-awlaki, as i said, was the leading recruiter and propagandist for al-qaeda in english. when you kill a guy who is that big on the internet, youo not actually kill his most important presence. and his, you know, his importance was not as a bombmaker, his importance was a speaker for this cause. and when they killed him, his presence on the internet did not go away. not only did it not go away, but islam, like christianity, has a long tradition of martyrdom, and his fans began to see him as a martyr. and so the number of videos of awlaki and audio, illustrated audio that his fans kind of cut
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up and put up and posted and reposted has actually risen. when i was writing the book, they're up to about 40,000 hits on youtube, that went up to 60,000, now it's 71,000 last i checked about a week ago. and it covers everything from his early mainstream stuff about the life of the prophet muhammad a always way through his call to jihad at the end of his life where he basically says go blow something up, go kill some americans. and it's had an enormous impact. many of these sort of small scale terrorism cases that you probably haven't heard of, when the fbi looks at the laptop of the person involved, they'll find a long history of watching awlaki's material and also some of the most famous attacks of recent years. the boston marathon bombers, the cher january brothers who blew up the boston marathon, big fans of awlaki and got not only their
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ideology, but their bomb-making instructions from an english-language online magazine that awlaki put out. "charlie hebdo", the shootings in paris, those guys were not even english speakers, but big fans of awlaki, and one of them had been to yemen to see him before he was killed. and even in san bernardino, that couple that shot up the husband's workplace meeting back in december, it turns out a neighbor -- they were killed by police, but a neighbor who had plotted with the husband said that they had sat and watched anwar al-awlaki videos for hours and hours. so he actually speaks from beyond the grave with greater authenticity and authority as a martyr than he did when he was alive. which is just to say that when you kill the messenger in a case like that, you do not kill the message. and, you know, it's an example of something that's happened again and again in the war on terror which is that something
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the u.s. does to promote american security and safety generates a backlash, has unintended consequences that play into the hands of the enemy. and i think in this case that drone strike, arguably, has done that. thanks very much. [applause] >> well, thank you, scott, and that's a perfect lead-in to mark mo to yar's book titled "strategic failure." be there's anyone that has -- if there's anyone that has taken a look and taken stock of this generation of drone warfare that's been going on now for, well, 15 years now, since the first strike on october 7th of 2001, it's mark. and so, mark, we'd love to hear more about your analysis of the balance sheet of drone warfare. >> thanks, scott. and great to follow up on richard whittle's remarks and scott shane's which i think
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provide you a lot of the context for what i'm going to talk about which is the use of the drone as a strategic instrument of u.s. national security policy. and this is mostly a story of the obama administration which is really the first administration to use them on a truly large scale. the bush administration possessed them but did not use them in anywhere near the frequency of the obama administration. but it is worth looking a little bit at what the bush administration did to provide some context for what follows. the bush administration certainly had the ability to use the armed drones. you've seen early on that capability was present. but in pakistan, which was the most likely place to use them where we couldn't go in on the ground, they were used very intermittently in the early years of the bush administration. it wasn't really until 2008 that the bush administration decided
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it's going to step up the drone campaign because there's a rising al-qaeda threat perceived in that country. so in the second half of 2008, president bush authorizes large scale use of drone missiles for the first time in pakistan. and we know that at least nine senior al-qaeda figures were killed in pakistan during that time period. is so pretty effective in that time x. we look back on this, this is really of the golden era of the drone. when president obama comes in, he learns of some of the details about the program, and he and his inner circle see this drone program as a way to showcase the president's commitment to fighting terror. he's talking about pulling out of iraq, and he's looking for ways to break the stereotype of the democrats being soft on national security. so this seems a good and fairly low cost way to do that.
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but unfortunately what's happened is, you know, in warfare you typically see when a new weapon is introduced, it's very effective at first because the enemy doesn't know how to deal with it. but by the time obama comes into office, the enemy's already starting to figure out some countermeasures. so one of the things they figure out is that, you know, there's homing devices that were used to target these weapons, and so they start searching people who are coming and going through these areas for devices. they figure out that gps technology's involved, and al-qaeda actually publishes a manual of gps devices to tip their people off. the most simple and effective way that they found was simply to move their people out of the areas where the strikes were taking place, because pakistan had restricted the area geographically where the strikes could take place. so a lot of the al-qaeda and other extremists simply moved.
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as it becomes apparent that it's not going to be that easy to target these al-qaeda guys, other options they use for the drones. one is to extend the groups that are going to be targeted by the drones. it happens that in obama's first year the pakistani government is ramping up operations against the pakistani taliban which is conducting an offensive, and that's one of the few extremist groups in pakistan that's actually trying to overthrow the government. and so they're happy to feed us lots of information on the pakistani taliban. the other thing it's done is that the criteria for targeting are loosened, and the administration starts to permit signature strikes which means you haven't actually identified who the person is by name, but they're doing things that would suggest that they may be a terrorist in terms of how they're traveling, how they're communicating, and so that allows us to strike more targets.
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we do, as a result of these things, the obama administration is able to hit and kill a lot more people than the bush administration did, and that's a fact that, you know, gets publicized. of previously the drone administration had been kept under wraps but, again, part of the political motive is to try to show the administration is getting tough on terrorism. when you dig into the numbers which, you know, the numbers are just presented without real context, but when you look at them, there's a couple things that stand out. one of them that most of those people who are killed are actually members of the pakistani taliban which is a greater threat to pakistan than it is to the united states. there's not a lot of people that we're most concerned about on that group. another thing that's very interesting is most of the people who are killed are actually very low-level insurgents. they're not the sort of terrorist masterminds that people were, i think, led to believe. in 2010 there's a u.s. official
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acknowledges that out of 500 people who have been killed, that 90% of them are low-level fighters. and in 2011 another report that comes out says only 2% of the people killed by the drone strikes are considered to be extremist leaders. we also know that in terms of disrupting terror attacks, that the drone campaign in pakistan was not what was hoped. najibullah zazi which was planning to blow up the new york city subway and faisal shahzad who got the truck to times square but the detonator didn't work, thank goodness, both of those individuals were actually trained in the pakistani federally-administered tribal areas during the peak of the drone campaign. over time our ability to conduct drone strikes in pakistan declines.
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the idea of us doing this in pakistan is unpopular, and there's a growing pakistani opposition to it x. there's a number of events that lead to a souring of relations between the united states and pakistan, and this culminates with the killing of osama bin laden, the fact that we went in without notifying the pakistanis was cause of great turmoil. so they put a lot of -- they closed our main drone base in pakistan, put a lot of other restrictions. so the number of drone strikes in pack tan papers off -- pakistan tapers off starting in 2011. at the same time, 2011 is a time of great strategic change for the obama administration. we have a changing of the guard in terms of personnel, career officials and highly influential people like secretary of defense gates, general petraeus, admiral mullen. a lot of them move out, and you have a change in strategy that is spearheaded by vice president joe biden. and according to their argument,
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the use of counterinsurgency that we did in iraq and afghanistan where you control -- send lots of troops to control territory and population, that's too expensive and not really necessary. and what we can actually do is use drones and special operations raids to take care of these extremists at a much lower cost with much smaller u.s. military footprint. and this idea had been pushed originally by biden in 2009, but he'd been shot down. now that a lot of these other people, especially gates, are out of the way, obama decides this to pick this up. and it's used also to cut the size of the military which was prioritized by obama. and so obama at the end of 2011 puts this into his national security strategy. in fact, we're going to get out of counterunjury seven city -- insurgency, we're going to use drones and special operations
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raids, and it's much more drones statistically than the raids outside of afghanistan. and this will have a lot of ramifications for what goes on in iraq and afghanistan is used to justify retrenchment there. in terms of the drone war, the place where it has the biggest impact is in yemen which by 2012 really has become the epicenter of surgical counterterrorism. and pakistan's ramping down. and scott provided a lot of rich detail on the specific events. but just in terms of strategically, there was -- by this time there has been a lot of discussion about the u.s. approach to yemen. and within the u.s. special operations command, there was the recommends that we need to help the yemenis do counterinsurgency, not just counterterrorism. and so we want to help them control territory, not just kill people. but the administration chose not to do that. they decided that was too much.
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we didn't want to get tangled up, we could just use the drones. so we ramp up the drone campaign against al-qaeda in the arabian peninsula. the part when we decided not to be concerned about counterinsurgency, that means we have a smaller presence out in the rural areas which makes it hard to get intelligence. to part of the intelligence problem leads to errant targeting. you already heard a little bit about it. there's been a number of incidents where women and children are killed by mistake, and al-qaeda uses these very effectively to gain new followers. so during the period of drone strikes -- or the number of al-qaeda followers go from 300 to more than a thousand. and it's all really kind of collapsing in yemen in 2015 when the houthi insurgents actually overthrow the yemeni government which then ruins the whole counterterrorism program that we've put in place. we have to pull all our people out, lots of hardware falls into
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the enemy's hands, we don't have intelligence now to do any more drone strikes there. so to sum up, drones have been useful tactically in certain situations. they've had, certainly, some benefit. we've also seen they can be counterproductive when they hit the wrong targets. the idea they can be a strategic instrument i think has been very much disproven by events. the enemy, if we don't have boots on the ground, our friends don't have boots on the ground, you're not going to be able to stop these groups. and the idea is problematic simply because we thought that having drones as a strategy was a viable strategy, and that has prevented us from adopting strategies that are actually more effective. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, mark. we'll have time for a couple questions. i'm going to ask one x then i'll turn it over to everyone. you concluded with drones as a strategy. that was the term that you used.
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and i'd like to ask each of you the same question but give a little bit of context to this. drones, during my time in the marine corps, were always viewed as a tool. i deployed right after 9/11 as a forward air controller, as one of the ones on the ground with an infantry unit, and we spent the better part of five months floating off the coast of yemen to try to go get a young man who was one of the high-level al-qaeda folks. we were going to have to go 300 miles inland to get him. that's a complicated operation in helicopters. is so we never executed the operation, and we returned in september of 2002, and lo and behold, only a few weeks later he was first individual killed by a drone outside of the afghanistan and pakistan areas. and so as we look to this tool, you know, we were kind of lamenting the fact that we didn't get the call, but also we knew how incredibly difficult it was. and as i continued to deploy and saw the great efficacy of the
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tool that a drone could give you, he could be over the target for nine hours which is a lot more than the half hour you get with an f-16 often times. we're in an election year. if you were advising the next administration as three students of the drone, what advice would you give to the next administration, be it someone in charge of the foreign policy transition team or even to the man himself, as to how you would tweak or change what we've seen in a drone policy now with two administrations? be why don't i start with you, mark. >> okay, yeah. one thing i would say and one of the very interesting things is within the military where i spent a lot of time, there's almost unanimous recognition and fact this is just a tool, it's not a strategic weapon. i think the administration has reluctantly come around to that view. i mean, they've been forced into that position, and a lot of their own supporters have argued that. but i think it's certainly worth everyone icing that -- emphasizing that surge call
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strike, it's not -- surgical strike, it's not a viable solution to dealing with violent violent extremism. you need a lot of other things. you need counterinsurgency, long-term educational programs and diplomacy. so i would just, you know, caution against thinking that this is some kind of silver bullet. >> very good. scott? >> well, as a reporter for "the new york times," i'd probably get in trouble if i gave the president any advice. but i will make a point which is why obama embraced the drones to the surprise of many of his fans and detractors, and that was because i think he thought the big wars in afghanistan and iraq had basically been disasters. the cost in human lives in those countries was huge, the cost to american troops was huge, the cost financially was huge. and in both cases, it was, you know, the contribution to american security was quite e give with call. you know, even after years and
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years of fighting in those countries, was the u.s. safer or less safe as a result? so he was, you know, that was not clear cut. so he saw this as a tool that was particularly suited to taking out small numbers of people who were trying to kill americans. he would say let's kill the people who are trying to kill us. and he saw, i mean, i think he's very much a pragmatist by nature, and he saw this as a way of sort of taking out the small numbers of people who were doing this without turning a country upside down with the kinds of, you know, long-term consequences that you've seen in both iraq and afghanistan. and, you know, it clearly has proven problematic in some cases, but i've talked with administration officials recently about, and they still believe that it prevented attacks on the united states and that it is, compared to the
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alternatives, you know, a very useful tool against al-qaeda, that style of terrorism. perhaps less useful against, you know, isis which is essentially, you know, an insurgent army and a much larger target. >> richard? >> well, i think when you talk about the use of drones, you have to bifurcate it, you know? there are two -- the military uses them in a different way generally. the cia has used them as a means of targeted killings. and the military operates under title x of the u.s. code, the cia operates under title l, and there are different rules and regulations that affect how they use them. now, i spent a lot of time talking to military people about drones, and my feeling is that there's a wide recognition within the military that you are
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not going to win a war by drones alone. the idea of drone warfare really a non-starter in a way. but for military operations, drones have become almost an essential tool. and there's an insatiable appetite not for the ability to fire weapons from drones within the military, but for the ability to see what's happening on the ground. and that's how they're playing their greatest role militarily now in the campaign against isis, for example. mq9 reacher drones are flying over iraq and syria all the time, and they are the way that military locates targets sometimes and then guides manned aircraft to them. the drones are the eyes, the eye in the sky that you didn't have before because they can stay up there for hours and hours at a time.
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you know, the use of drones for targeted killings, to me, raises a whole host of issues. i would say, first of all, on the question of why did the obama administration go into it, leon panetta when he was cia director expressed their attitude beautifully when he said it's the only game in town. in other words, they didn't have any more, any better way to deal with al-qaeda and the islamic terrorists in their bag of tricks when they decided to pull all troops out of iraq and afghanistan. not all, but most troops out of iraq and afghanistan. and i think -- we haven't talked about it, but i think an issue that people ought to think about is whether we really want the executive branch of the government keeping a list of people who we are willing to kill based on evidence that no one outside the executive branch sees, based on a process of deliberations that may be well intentioned, but i think needs
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some oversight either from the congress or from the judiciary. we don't wiretap people in the united states without the fbi going to a federal judge and offering a reason this is necessary. and i think that in a democracy we shouldn't pill people in target -- kill people in targeted killings without the cia or the justice department having to go to a federal judge and present the evidence and say this is why this is justified. >> very good, very good. i think we have time for one short question, and then i think we're going to have to conclude. so please step to the microphone in the center. thank you, sir. go ahead. >> thank you. to no one in particular. this tool, weapon has been loosed on the world now. how do you see a possible future iteration of this tool? and how might that come back to haunt us?
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>> great question. who wants to take that one on? >> well, i can talk a little bit about that, i -- i think the drive within the military industrial complex is to make drones more and more automated. there's been this myth out there up until now that they are somehow killer robots. there's nothing robotic about them. there are crews that sit and guide drones, and there are people above them who decide what to do with them. and the -- but the drive is to make their flight more and more automated, to make everything about them more and more automated so that they can be used in conjunction with manned aircraft and other assets in military operations. for example, the new f-35 fighter plane sometime down the road might, the pilot might be able to fly with as many as three other armed drones that have similar capabilities to his
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fighter plane, and he would, in effect, become his own little fighter group. this is one vision that i have heard the navy admiral who runs air warfare talk about. that's the way it will go. now, let me just add that i don't think anyone is aiming to create drones that will automatically pick out and kill the their own targets. that's the myth that's out there as well. because, in fact, there is a defense department policy on the books against a machine being -- an automated weapon killing a target without any human intervention. so anyway, that's one, that's a very vague answer, but that's one direction these things are going. >> very good. one minor, one additional answer to you is that as you might expect, when the u.s. demonstrates a weapon like this,
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many other countries take an interest. and i think we're up to about a half a dozen countries that now have used armed drones. i think there are 70 countries with drone programs. most of them for surveillance at this point. but one thing that, you know, whatever critical things we may have said today about this weapon, you can bet that it will be, become a, you know, permanent part of many countries' arsenals and, for better or worse, we'll see other countries using it increasingly as the years pass. >> and i would just add to that, too, other countries, there are a lot of these countries that will not probably be as careful or judicious in how they use these which, for all the mistakes we've made, i think we've been a lot more careful than others. and there's also the potential use for terrorism within this country and other countries is certainly, certainly troubling. >> that's a great point. i think we could go on and on. this is a fascinating topic and three gentlemen who have done a remarkable job telling those
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stories. i'd ask you to join us in the authors' area where they'll be signing copies of their books, and i certainly commend to you these books and thank you for your attention. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> booktv's live coverage of the annapolis book festival continues. starting now, a panel on drone warfare.
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>> "usa today" reporter ray locker looked into the nixon administration and found some things. what'd you find that others haven't? >> well, the big thing was that he restructured the national security council on his first day in office, funneled everything through the white house and away from the cabinet agencies that usually handled that, and that created a series of ree sentiments and rivalries that then nixon had to keep his hands on and cover up a lot of secrets with throughout his entire presidency. >> was this unprecedented at the time? >> yes, it was. i mean, these agencies -- state department, pentagon, cia -- used to have a lot of latitude and a lot of authority, and he really bottled that up. >> by taking control of those agencies, what did -- how did it affect the u.s. government? >> well, it meant that those agencies didn't know a lot about what was actually happening in vietnam and in diplomacy and all sorts of matters of foreign
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affairs, and those cabinet officials could not testify before congress and let them exercise their legitimate oversight roles because they didn't know what was happening. >> was this, would you consider this a master plan by nixon, or was this just nixon wanting control over everything he touched? >> i think it was his master plan, and i think that's the gamble in nixon's gamble, that he could do everything secretly before he got caught. and he managed to accomplish many of his goals -- opening to china, ending the vietnam war -- before everything caught up to him. >> we talk about nixon making an unprecedented move, but did it set precedent for future administrations? >> i think every president since nixon has consolidated national security manning in the white house up through the obama administration. -- planning in the white house. you hear from any cabinet agency they don't believe they have enough authority, that the white house controls everything, and i think that's something that has endure id for the last 45 -- endured for the last 45 years.
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>> why did you pick this story? >> i've long been interested in nixon, grew up with him as president and has have been loog at various facets of his life and administration and found some things that kind of led me to this and some fairly significant discoveries, i think. >> have we learned everything we can learn about richard nixon? >> no. no. i mean, that's the great thing about history, right? so many things that you think have been out get uncovered, they get declassified, people learn about them, and that can help you understand things that you thought you had known for years in a different way. >> what do you report on for "usa today"? >> i supervise our reporters who cover the white house, the pentagon, money and politics and health care. >> how has the media's relationship changed since the nixon administration? >> well, i think that nixon kind of broke that relationship to the extent that it was very strong. now people are much more skeptical. i think in large part because of him and because of the acts of subsequent presidents.
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and that's made the relationship much more adversarial than it used to be, and mostly that's a good thing because we need to be skeptical of what the white house does. >> ray locker, he's a reporter with "usa today," author of "nixon's gamble: how a president's own secret government destroyed his administration." thank you, mr. locker. >> thanks. appreciate it. .. to two superb authors treating richard nixon. nixon is back. something more recently said of
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voldemort, but also nixon is back. i remember just after he got on the helicopter the vice president who became gerald ford said my fellow americans, the long national nightmare is over. but like a lot of nightmares, there are flashbacks. i hope there will even be a few remarks that reflect on our current crazy primary season, but in any case these two top-flight writers have given their sharply transit -- contrasting reading, tim weiner on my far left, one man against the world, the tragedy of
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richard nixon, record and dramatic detail how lawless and devious nixon really was. his indictment is excruciating and fascinating. detailed, very convincing. evan thomas on my immediate left, by contrast, his book being nixon, a man divided seeks to explain what it was like to be richard nixon. compassion and understanding that anxious, conflicted, self-destructive person. there is plenty in tim weiner's book about self-destruction of the man. they are both experts in
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national security. books about the cia and it is great to focus on tim's book, dealing with brezhnev and to turn to evan's book. and when he in assisted in staying at the western white house. and they wore the same perfume as pat nixon, traded up and down the hall after dark and pat nixon was not pleased. tim won his career.
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so bad. tim weiner was national security are correspondent for the new york times, his book is called enemies:the history of the fbi and his book about the cia is called legacy, and the national book award and evan thomas is a journalist and editor with newsweek for much of his career and his book about the cia is called the very best man and he won the national magazine award. it strikes me both men were excellent candidates for nixon's enemies list. these were the kind of journalists with establishment journals like newsweek and the washington post, the new york times, evan thomas went to harvard and is the grandson of a man who ran six times for
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president has a socialist, norman thomas was not nixon's kind of guy and yet he writes a very compassionate biography. tim weiner went to columbia university and columbia school of journalism and the new york times with almost as much as the washington post, a real antagonist of mister nixon in nixon's point of view. read these books together. the war in vietnam, chile, the detente, dealings with china and russia, that is tim weiner's book, and that is complemented by evan's study of what it is like to be richard nixon and take the entire life to mister nixon's birth through the full
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extent and insight about him as a father and husband, as a man who was always striving. tim weiner captures the way he was a raging insomniac who as he remarked in the attempt to deal to medicate himself with alcohol, not a good formula. each book is so convincing you need to sit down with a two of them together. in the last paragraph nixon was no saint but he martyred himself in a lot of his self-destructive behavior. i thought i would ask tim weiner to tell us what it was that caused him to set out to write this book. >> a few years ago i was at the
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nixon presidential library and archives in the home town south of los angeles, talking about nixon's relationship with j edgar hoover whom nixon called, not entirely sincerely, my close personal friend in all political life of 25 years. when hoover died six weeks before the watergate break-in, probably wouldn't have happened had he lived. nixon actually said he died at the right moment, didn't he, been trying to figure out how to get rid of hoover for years. so three years ago after giving a speech, an archivist at the nixon library, what is happening? by the end of 2014, everything. all the tapes, a quarter of 1 million words of haldeman's
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diaries that were classified top secret. everything will be out and i said that is amazing. 40 year struggle to get this material in the hands of the american people were just as wrong. i put aside what i was working on, tapes began coming out in 2013, they continue to come out and i listen to so much richard nixon i could plausibly do richard nixon. what i finally understand, and richard nixon has been put on the analyst's couch, something
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laterally, and one was how the war in vietnam was fought on two fronts, abroad and at home and how the war home became the war of watergate, was nixon going after his political enemies, those who oppose the war and opposed him that led to the crimes that brought him down. between 2 wars were as one, vietnam and watergate. after listening to the newly released tapes which cover roughly the end of summer of 1972 until the taping mechanisms were revealed at the watergate hearings in 1973, what the torment this man went through, he knew before he was sworn in for a second term that he was doomed, the presidential chalice
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was poisoned and the agonies he put himself in this country through trying to cling to power must never be repeated. violations of the constitution under the nixon administration were as grievous as anything we witnessed since the civil war and no free republic has survived longer than 300 years, that was the roman empire, in the history of civilization. we made it to 240. we need to remember what happened, what really happened in the nixon years, to make it to 300. >> you decided to do what you did. >> i worked for the washington post for 24 years and where i worked, nixon was the devil.
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a few i shared. john meacham at random house approached me about writing about nixon. i felt i would be the 12th or 13th nixon library and the picture of nixon as the bad guy is pretty well-established by now and rightfully so but i want to see what it is like to be in, put myself in his shoes so i set out to do that. the good news is an amazing paper trail, he hated talking to people. his aides called a yellow legal pad his best friend, he wrote a lot of notes to himself. an amazing paper trail within the white house, quite an excellent paper trail, nixon had
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quite -- grotesque action, the white house was a fairly well-run place, then of course nixon wrote thousands of pages of memoir of varying degrees of reliability. even the tapes, 3700 hours of tapes, they only cover a couple years of his presidency. you can get pretty close to richard nixon and that is what i endeavor to do. what i found was not the criminal mastermind but rather someone who was pathologically shy and unable to confront subordinates. a big reason he dug himself such a big hole in watergate was his fear, his inability to confront his own top aides.
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for instance nixon did not know about the watergate break-in himself, he participated in the cover up. he did but he could not get everybody together to ask what happened here for about tween 9 months after the break and. by then it was too late, it was a cover up. that was partly shyness, not criminal malevolence but shyness on nixon's part. that is not excusing that he committed a crime but i am interested in his worldview, got along with other people and the way he dealt with people because i think it is significant. tim mentioned the nexus between vietnam and watergate. there certainly is. watergate begins in various places but one big beginning is when they decide to break in when nixon's as three times on tape that he wants to break into the brookings institution after the pentagon papers have been
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revealed. june 1971, secret history of the vietnam war, the papers never mentioned richard nixon but nixon is obsessed about leaks, running private diplomacy, henry kissinger in china, obsessed about the times and loves and he thinks somewhere in the brookings institution there is a report that he himself commissioned on a long and convoluted story about how he did something illegal before the 1968 convention, communicating in the 1968 election, communicating with the south vietnamese government to tell them not to make a deal, that was treason. nixon is obsessed with a report, tells his folks to break into brookings. one of his aides said why don't
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we just go ask them? nixon was crazy. at various times. certainly at this time. one thing and this is where historical context is useful, for a long time if he wanted to find stuff, political intelligence, the fbi did that, that is how j edgar hoover stayed in office all those years acting as a political spy and blackmailing them. by 1971 the wind is changing here. they are liberal and starting to outlaw wiretapping or put restrictions on illegal wiretapping, the president is limited in what they can do. j edgar hoover is no fool, a long time because of his political instincts he could see the wind is shifting so when
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nixon says i want you to dig up dirt on elder berg, hoover refuses to do it. he is out of the game of black bags and burglaries, the fbi is not doing that anymore. what does nixon do? he goes in-house, he creates his own investigative unit within the white house, the plumbers would remember them? the plumbers. here is the thing about the plumbers. they sound like a bunch of arch criminals, those guys were stumbled bums, classic washington fashion, they -- like james bond or the g-man. actually hunt was a fool who had been dumped on the white house by the ca in classic modern washington tradition. they didn't want to give him the cia. lady was an idiot who had been dumped on the treasury which dumped him on the white house so
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the crack squad were run by eagle crowe who is not a criminal mastermind. he was a former eagle scout was his nickname at the white house was evil crowe. it was a joke. it was a joke. he wasn't evil at all but he was intimidated by nixon and ran into this crew of clowns and they screwed up. they broke into a psychiatrist's office and made a hash of that and then broke into watergate and did other things as well and got caught. not criminal masterminds. nixon didn't even know about these break ands. there is some evidence is top aides certainly did. nixon certainly did. the record is a little squishy on that but mostly the point is it wasn't a master conspiracy to violate the constitution. it was a bunch of hapless guys
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running around to carry out the will of a deeply insecure president. >> this might be a time to bring but crowe on stage. >> you make it clear again and again the phrase gutter politics. we may think of nixon as a man who was out of touch and had some devious and totally ungoverned stumbled bums working for him, but you tell the story in a much more sinister way. >> they didn't call him tricky dickie for nothing and they had called him that for a long time and the beginning of his political career. but what we get in one man against the world is on top of the insecurity, a sense of a man coming apart and there was no better witness to this than but
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krogh. the time is may 1970. a few weeks later hoover would say no to nixon for the first time saying i won't do your dirty work anymore and appreciation of the plumbers. this is may 1970, nixon has just invaded cambodia. in search of a nonexistent bamboo pentagon supposedly coordinating enemy supply routes on the ho chi minh trail. the campus is exploding. you all remember this. the national guard kill four kids at kansas state. nixon at this point hasn't been able to sleep for a solid week. haldeman notes in his diary the president is really beat and needs some rest and then comes the shooting and then as 100,000
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kids are coming to washington to protest the invasion of cambodia nixon is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, stays up all night into saturday, in his own words agitating, uneasy, making 50 phone calls and finally calling upon his valet to accompany him to the lincoln memorial. and but krogh was on duty that night at the white house and vividly recalled in an oral history at 4:30 in the morning i was in the secret service command post and over the loudspeaker came the words searchlight is on the lawn, searchlight being the president's secret code name and i punched in the home number and said the president is out and about and i think he is on the lawn in the rose garden. they said render assistance right now. so i did, where the president
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was going and followed him to the lincoln memorial. couldn't have gotten there more than two or three minutes after he got there, went up the stairs to see what was going on and found him in discussion with 10 or 15 young people, students who had come in from all over the east coast. there were three women who were there as eyewitness accounts of the conversation, the only ones we have. their names were lynn and ronnie and jane, he didn't look anyone in the eyes, was mumbling, sentence structure, there was none. someone who asked him to speak up, would jolted out of wherever he was and he would look up and shake his head around and then go back and was gone again, there was no train of thought. nothing he was saying was coherent. at first i felt are and that changed to respect and then as he kept talking it went to disappointment and disillusionment and that i felt
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petty because he was so pathetic and just plain fear to think that he is the president of the united states. i think we all went through that. anyone who lived through this went from that feeling of our to fear. the root of our is awful is in terrifying. this is a microcosm of what happened to richard nixon as he disintegrated over the next four years. >> that shows the difference between then and now because it took an entire presidency to reach that point of fear at the prospect of such a man in office where with trump we have already gotten there and haven't completed the primaries. it is amazing. that is the difference then and now, you have these thousands of hours of tapes, we can hear you
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listen to everything said in the oval office and nowadays you won't have tapes from the oval office or emails. >> or emails. they learned that. instead the oval office is going to have all of our emails and tapes of us so it is kind of inverse. do we really need to bring nixon down so hard? it seems like after reading the indictment that you lay out there is nothing left of the man. i get the idea that you were so anxious, so afraid constantly, that also was very very effective in putting himself -- protecting himself but did you feel it was necessary? he sometimes comes across as a political dracula, each of your
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chapters is another stake in the heart. >> it was nixon who famously said i gave them a sword and they stuck it in and twisted it with relish and i guess if i had been in their position i would have done the same thing. this is a man who set hours before he left the white house, we all remember that gray august afternoon in 1974, one of his last words to the american people, always remember others may hate you but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them and then you destroy yourself. this is the story of a man destroying himself and doing serious damage to american democracy. it is a lesson that we cannot forget. >> i was fascinated by that,
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this was his last day to get on a helicopter. to make that remarkable statement in which he says hate your enemies, it is going to destroy. i read that, too laid, just realized that? i looked and i looked in the record for some self-awareness, all the way back to childhood, his anxiety about his enemies. was he never aware that this was a fatal flaw, that this was going to hunt him? there are tiny hints here and there. he says to his son-in-law a few days before he resigned it is like a shakespeare play or a play by the ancient greeks, i was curious if anyone ever read a play by shakespeare, high school and college papers in the library, he read shakespeare's julius caesar and wrote a paper about it, it is a terrible paper, he totally missed the
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point, you cannot find -- he talked about his own destiny but was remarkably, do you think richard nixon knew himself. and he said sometimes i think he took a peek. >> he didn't like what he saw. >> nixon's secretary of defense and cia director, did nixon know himself? no. then he looked out the window and said who does? that is a fair question and when you deal with powerful people, think about it. you can't be too worried about where your car keys are or when you get away with your wife. often men have blinders on, they are going in one direction, and
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the lack of self-awareness which was so hunting in nixon and self-destructive, not uncommon, lincoln, a lot of others, it raises an interesting question about greatness, aspire to do great things if you are self reflective or do you need to have blinders on? nixon is a tragic case, a lot of gray areas and other leaders and i wonder, i was fascinated by this. it may be in the 4:00 a.m. of nixon there is a 10,000 page nixon diary sitting behind closed doors. i asked frank gannon, nixon's ghostwriter on his memoir, has worked on this three years and i asked is there any civil war in the senate? he said no. one of the wonderful things about history is there are
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always documents. you think you are done, you are not. there is always another around. maybe we will learn more about nixon. the very thing tim raised about nixon and his enemies i found so interesting, so blind. >> i believe so. as an authority on this none other than henry kissinger who famously said can you imagine what this man -- can you imagine if anyone ever loved him? >> a virtue of that is it is imagining -- i don't think you can fault a man who can produce two daughters is marvelous. and how they endured we will
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never know. >> unlike some politicians, he did -- a little tiny editor. >> nor did the speak with her. and claimed getting up in the middle of the night, they slept in separate bedrooms, but that marriage is interesting. by the end of watergate it is terrible. when nixon decides to resign, he doesn't tell his wife, he tells rosemary woods, the early marriage is pretty good. the love letters are real and gone for years and he depends on her at least five or six times when nixon says i am getting out of politics, i have had it, i am done and she said you can't because she understood him to know that would destroy him if you get out of politics, you
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won't be able to live with yourself. fishing with that, he wanted her to say that but she didn't and she gave good political advice but unfortunately when they became president, hr haldeman, nixon's chief of staff and the chief of staff in many ways, not critical ones, he really drove a wedge between nixon and his own wife. >> he spent more time with the president. >> she felt isolated, mad at haldeman, and she knew her husband well enough to know what the tapes would sound like. >> so did a lot of other people in the question became will you build a bonfire on the white house lawn, who will strike the match?
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the president's not very faithful irish that are? the valley. that would be obstruction of justice, gone to prison for 100 years. >> actually not true. a day before the subpoenas arrive, they could have burned the tapes, all hell would have broken loose. i wrote a book about that, that was his advice. bertha takes on the front line before the subpoena arrives, you can weather the storm. >> could have given them to gordon liddy and he would have eaten the tapes. and held his hand over them. to see how much pain he could endure. there is an uplifting moment on
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that last tragic day that we do want to take some questions. >> yes we do but we have another 7 minutes or so before we need to do that. >> there is an uplifting moment i would like to close on because i do not want people to think this book is 300 pages of blood and tears. >> i appreciate you doing that. i may have overemphasized it. >> there was a young man who is gone now, on the national security council staff. a marine who went on to become a diplomat serving in iraq, lebanon, saudi arabia, syria, yemen, he was the american ambassador in bahrain in the 1990s and he sadly died in 2005 at the age of 65. he is on the nsc staff, wanders to the east room where nixon --
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his final address about how you destroy yourself and nixon is in a trance, the military aid with him is brazen and telling him where he is and what is going to happen and what is going to happen next, nixon gives a speech and remember the gloomy gray august morning, the helicopter is waiting on the lawn. nixon leaves the white house, says farewell to gerald ford and walks to the chopper. young david michael ransom, then 32 steps out onto the balcony on the south to watch nixon fly away and there are two people standing next to him on the little balcony, just enough space for the three of us to be there. one is this young nsc aid, 6 x
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6, and the others, secretary of defense, james lessons are --'s lessons are, he signaled his departure with two fingers raising the v sign and he entered the helicopter, it cranked up very slowly, lifted off and disappeared into the gloom of the morning, almost a hunted seen. as the helicopter faded, the three men looked at each other, he takes a pipe out of his mouth, bangs it on the railing of the portico and says it is an interesting constitutional question but i think i am still the secretary of defense. i will go back to my office. he looks at the chef and says what are you going to do? the chef says i will prepare lunch for the president. the young nsc staff are said i thought of course the king is dead, long live the king. the cook had it right. our state was going to carry on,
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the president would want lunch and the cook went off, something important about the country, we may stumble but we don't fall. >> tim mentioned a man who could have two such daughters. there is a short passage i would appreciate evan thomas, even when the man was running the world he was very concerned about the people closest to him like rosemary woods and i was really startled to find in his book that at one point he dictated an entire letter so as not to include a word he was afraid she would not be able to spell so he changed the word and started over. he was concerned about small details and she was not a small person in his life. she is the one who for 16 minutes of the gap in the tape
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must have been somehow in the most gymnastic position where she could be -- >> i think that is a bad rap. >> i do remember a picture, might have been in newsweek that showed the position she would have had to hold for 16 minutes with her toe on the eraser button and her hand on the phone because she is answering phone calls and forgot for 16 minutes to lift her foot in any case. this was a passage about the day when prisoners of war come to the white house in released 491 prisoners and nixon wants to give them a party and captures a lot of style. >> you want to do the full thing? >> it is awfully good. >> okay. >> we have good time for questions. >> nixon's one bright light was the return of the 591 prisoners of war from vietnam. the state department greeted
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them one by one. the first pilot to be shot down and captured, nixon grabbed alvarez's arms and shoulders, saying you look good to the naval aviator who had spent eight years in captivity looking down and nixon said in a sovereign tone i tried, i really tried. the president and first lady wanted to give these men, some of whom had been in brutal captivity for years, the biggest party in the history of the white house. on the rainy night of may 24, 1200, guests on the south lawn in a great white tent, larger than the executive mansion. a pow crossed -- one of them had written to former prisoners of war and their families invited to wander through nixon's private quarters on the second floor. presenting nixon with a plaque inscribed our leader, our comrade, richard the lion heart.
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invited celebrities, john wayne, the pows i say ride into the sunset with you anytime. nixon introduced irving berlin, the aged songwriter with a gravelly voice with the most famous song god bless america, the men shouted and cried the last words, god bless america, my home sweet home. at 12:30 a.m. the party was still going strong, nixon went upstairs to the lincoln sitting room. sitting before the fire listening to the sound of laughter and music from below he felt he recalled this is one of the greatest nights of my life and he thought of watergate and was struck by an almost physical force. picking up the phone he called julie and trish and asked him to join him. my father seemed trained as if the emotion of the evening had been too much for him. nixon telephoned his friend, tv producer paul keys who organized
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the evening's performance, bob hope and sammy davis junior. no girly show for the first lady's instruction. with keys, the creator of laughter in, it was almost painful to see how sad daddy's face looked despite the laughter in his voice tricia recorded in her diary. nixon hung up, there was silence, and do you think i should resign? a wave of exclamations according to tricia, don't you dare think about it. she wrote in her diary, wanted to give him reasons to not resign. >> the next phone call he makes after midnight. he says, and he is either exhausted or drunk or both, he says wouldn't it be better for the country to just check out?
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no. seriously. i am not at my best. i have got to be at my best and that means fighting this battle, fighting it all out and i can't fight the battle. it has gotten to me and he gets to the point if you can't get the goddamn job done you better put in somebody who can. this is 15 months before he steps down. >> you keep hearing him deliver these lines to his daughters are getting his wife to assure him he must stay in the residency and you wonder has he just pulled off a set up? has he just gotten them to tell him what he must do? that is what he wanted to do. >> psychologically he does that. >> i think it is time for some questions. i would note as i read what is going on in the papers today there is an operative for mister trump who decided he wanted everyone to know who was
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wavering in their delegate dedication to him that they would be collecting the phone numbers of delegates in cleveland and publishing them so people could find them in their rooms and punish them for their infidelity. roger stone is his name and his first good political job, committee to reelect the president, working for richard nixon. gone but not forgotten. gone but back again. >> i think both your books are vital in looking at the individual nixon and people around him. at the same time, i think about all the victims of nixon and henry kissinger, not just in the beginning but going back at least five years, specifically
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in vietnam, chile, the united states. >> it goes back to 56. >> i wonder if you could comment on that, individuals as much as richard nixon. >> richard nixon along with j edgar hoover is the most powerful anti-communist in america for a very long time, and as terrible as communism was, it did destroy lives and a lot of people in this country, richard nixon was fully -- watergate hearings.
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and american foreign policy to the rise of the right immediately after world war ii and richard nixon's rise coincides with that time. >> nixon is the guy who goes to china. and any communist reputation. was a pretty bold diplomatic stroke using henry kissinger as the front man but it was nixon's idea, not this and are -- the first president to go to moscow where he signed, negotiate and find the first ever arms-control treaty. détente is a nixon creation. and going to the left, one thing
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that is hard to pin down about nixon is a famous expression not from nixon but attorney general, watch what we do, not what we say. it is hot and interpretive but it could be moderate, she was always making deals with the democrats on capitol hill. democrats control congress. nixon created the environmental protection agency because he wants to save the represent waters, not entirely, he did it because the senator from maine was cranking up to the 1972 presidential candidate for the democratic party and nixon saw a way to outflank them by coming up with the epa. nixon refused to invite him to the ceremony for the cleaner clean water act. >> needs to watch what he says.
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>> what he says is the environment is not worth a damn to us. >> i am thinking beyond the political aspect you are talking about, the individuals typified -- soldiers were pushed to the point and encouraged for mass destruction or napalm being dropped on hundreds of thousands of people, just the tragedy, it didn't start with nixon. >> it didn't start with nixon. >> that part of the tragedy of life with their actions. >> if you just want to talk about the mystic policy instead of foreign-policy, the attorney general mentioned john mitchell who went to prison for three years and eight months for his obstruction of justice also said the country will go so far to the right you won't recognize it. he said that in 1970. the pendulum has shifted every
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30 years or so. and the country did go quite a ways to the right. we have as the young nsc staffer, we may stumble but we don't fall. we have a self-correcting mechanism, the constitution. >> a couple quick questions. regarding the midnight visit to the lincoln memorial was there any indication it could have been alcohol fueled in any way? didn't henry kissinger report -- >> he was loaded. >> something along those lines. >> he hadn't slept well for days and he had had a few. >> regarding the tapes, what was nixon's initial thought, what was happening with those tapes? to what use were they going to be put? >> he didn't put the system in until february 1971.
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he actually took out johnson, nixon ripped it out, nixon didn't want to be eavesdropped on by the pentagon. the system was installed by the pentagon and nixon was afraid the pentagon would be spying on him. nixon was right, the pentagon did spy on him not through taping but a yeoman was going to the nsc staff and lincoln and the joint chiefs of staff, you can't make it up. >> everybody was spying on everybody else. >> nixon became particularly upset about henry kissinger boasting about foreign-policy achievements, he was a national security advisor, but that was nixon's idea. nixon, when they write their memoirs he wants there to be a
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record that shows what happened. that is the impetus for putting in those tapes and kissinger later said he paid an awfully high price for that. >> absolutely right, to guard himself against the inevitable and continuing memoirs of henry kissinger. and also to write a multimillion dollar white house memoir. >> it never occurred to him that these are going into the president a library, many people would be able to listen to them. >> and thought they were his tapes. >> something like $17 million. he fought for years and years to keep the tapes out and ultimately lost but it took forever. >> i used to be a student here back in the day when the lot of this was going on but i have a
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question. not so much looking back but looking to our present and possibly our future, you made a comment a little while ago that said democracy lasted 400 years. that was a unique time. vietnam, you had riots in the cities. in a lot of ways nixon was himself not -- at the time he was a reflection of the times. if we don't advance from back then until now. hopefully we don't have riots in the cities, but i wonder, my question goes to the system. we have a self-correcting system but what we have is a system where back in those days you have liberal republicans who decided against the president and to a great extent were responsible for him stepping down. we had the polarization then that we have now, would we have ended up with a constitutional crisis and an end to democracy and what does that do about the future?
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[laughter] >> polarization, thank you. the polarization that gripped washington, where you had an impeachment process in full swing and no question nixon would have been engaged in the house, convicted in the senate and criminally convicted as a private citizen for obstruction of justice or other crimes. has now spread, thanks in part to the political strategies of richard nixon, specifically the southern strategy where he is pulling off the racist governor, former governor of alabama george wallace whose shot nearly killed, after winning primary after primary in the democratic
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race so if you put conservative republicans together with conservative democrats, essentially segregationist platform, then you can build a coalition that lasts. i think that coalition was broken in the 2008 election and we will see if anybody can reform it in the 2016 election. >> a question of process -- [inaudible question] >> thanks. >> i am usually loud enough and don't need one of these.
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the question is process. we have listened to a lot of nixon tapes. i assume they have been transcribed and indexed and things like that. are they available online, on the internet now? how did you go about it? >> you too can go online to a professor at texas a and m, one person listened to all the tapes, every one of them has put a lot of them online and it is fun to roam his site. amazingly have not been transcribed, partly because they are so hard to decipher. i listened, did my listening -- with a head set so you could hear them on the tapes at the presidential library. a lot of the best tapes were from nixon's hideaway, mumbling
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past each other and the transcripts very depending on who is doing them. some people use the word ambassador, or did he say bastardized? their difficulty is you have to spend a lot of time on them to really understand them. they have not been transcribed. i think there is some talk, it would be an enormous project. >> there are other sources of the nixon library itself, has put everything that is available online and you can listen online. there is also a remarkable feat that has been accomplished by the state department. under law since the civil war, state department publishes a series called foreign relations of the united states, and the historians at the state department have done an
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astonishing job of transcribing nixon tapes relating to foreign-policy that have never previously been transcribed and they are stunning. and revelatory and terrifying. >> we have time for one more question i think. >> thanks. >> both of you mentioned when the president talked to general haig isn't it time to give this up? did he have something darker in mind? >> he has a story further along than tim's story, the summer of 1974, nixon brings up the whole old image of a military tradition where an officer leaves a pistol in a drawer and nixon according to haig raises the possibility should you leave
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a pistol in a drawer for me and that made haig anxious that nixon wanted to kill him. other people were worried nixon would kill himself and i don't know. it is hard to know how much of these are cries for help and seeking reassurance and indicates true suicidal ideation and they -- one thing about him, he would get knocked down and come back again and again. he was finished off in 62, beaten for governor and he will not have dick nixon to kick around anymore and in 1968 running for president. even after he is driven from office he moved back, he could have just played golf, had this beautiful house, moves back to new york and lived a block away
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from arthur's lessons are, they hated him. and in the thick of things surrounded by people who couldn't -- and he and bill clinton towards the end. >> two month after he resigned. october 1974. that was compounded, it flares up, and he goes into coronary crisis. he rushed to the hospital and his doctor. and -- wake up.
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and he spent 20 years of his life, and and there was an obvious and largely successful -- to create him as a global statesman, and 20 years later, finally use the tapes and the journals and the recollections and interviews and get a great sense of what nixon was like. and talking to tim weiner. nixon is the one. the tragedy of richard nixon.
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and also to evan thomas, author of being nixon, a man divided. [applause] >> strongly recommend you find and read our books. highly recommended. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> >> span, brought to you as a public service by your cable or satellite provider. >> welcome to tuscaloosa, alabama, on booktv. located on the black warrior river, it has a population of about 90,000 residents and is home to the university of alabama. with the help of our comcast cable partners, over the next 60 minutes we'll explore the history of the city and state with local authors including a look at what's nobody as the black belt -- known as the black belt. >> the black belt is really unique in the state of alabama. it's definitely different from anywhere else and, you know, anybody in alabama will tell you that, and anybody in the black belt will tell you that. it's become tt


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