tv The Operator CSPAN September 4, 2017 7:03pm-7:55pm EDT
like that. >> here's the book. crash overlap ride. how we can win the fight against online hate. >> thank you. >> you are watching the tv. television for serious readers. you can watch any program you see here online booktv.org. >> next on book tv, robert arniel of the former navy seal credited with the killing of osama bin laden talks about his military career and some of the 400 missions he participated in. this program contains language that some may find offensive. >> it is my pleasure to welcome you here today. to begin our program this evening, please stand and welcome the west covina high school honor guard for the
[applause] [applause] >> please be seated. thank you to the west covina high school and rotc honor guar guard. i would like to recognize some special guests with us this evening. please welcome to members from the board of directors of the richard nixon foundation, john and sandy quinn. [applause] orange county supervisor.
members of the city council including the mayor, and mark blown. [applause] close friends of the richard nixon foundation and ruth b shannon. the national archives and records administration director for the nixon library and his associate left wallace, director of education. and our most important resource that is the envy of the other 12 presidential libraries represent 150
volunteers, thank you. [applause] the nixon foundation is largely supported by its members. membership support educational programs and opportunities for our youth to engage in civil discourse and learning. memberships also support special engagement to programs like this evening's events. the impact of your philanthropic support allows the foundation to continue its important work and allows resident nixon square vision, to build a lasting structure of peace and building a more just society at home, to expand in other parts of the country and the world and make differences in people's lives. if you're not already a member, i encourage you to join us this evening. we have a membership table. you can become part of the
extended nixon family. president nixon was a navy man. he was exempt from the draft of world war ii because it stated he was a cracker and he never voluntarily enlisted in the navy. he served honorably in the south pacific command, eventually became an officer in charge in the solomon islands. while he was honorably discharged in 1946, he didn't retire from the u.s. naval reserve until 20 years later in 1996. during which time, he served as the u.s. congressman, u.s. senator and vice president of the united states. as president, richard nixon's commitment to the u.s. military was unwavering. upon entering office he face the reality that young men had been shipped off by the thousands to fight in the jungles of vietnam. facing that challenge, richard
nixon focused on negotiating the end to american involvement in vietnam and brought our soldiers home. he negotiated the release of all pows from the prisons of north vietnam and welcome them home in 1973. he ended the draft and instituted today's all volunteer military. today's secretary of defense, james mattis, recently visited the nixon library, and from this very podium said, an enemy on 911 who thought he could scare us by hurting us, the maniacs who murdered over 3000 innocent citizens of our country and 70 other countries that day have all been taught a hard lesson by the all volunteer military that president nixon was confident could preten protect our country. ". that's why the foundation is so honored today to have robert arniel as our guest. it is my pleasure to introduce
the featured speaker and this evening's moderator. robert arniel is a highly decorated combat veteran and the man who killed osama bin laden. [applause] while wearing the equipment displayed just steps from here, the equipment on display for the very first time, when neil fired the shots during the raid from his compound in pakistan on may 2, 2011. he participated in hundreds of top-secret missions including the rescue of captain richard phillips from smalley and pirates in 2009. he also rescued the loan
survivor in an afghanistan raid in 2005. following his honorable discharge from the navy in 2012, he can find cofounded a nonprofit organization that helps lead veterans into their next successful career. he will be joined on stage by rob clapper. rob served in the army for two decades and was deployed all over the world. he received the leadership award for outstanding leadership throughout his career, and honor that distinguished him for more than 35000 officers. he will be joined on stage tonight with gunnar, his black lab service dog. ladies and gentlemen, please stand and welcome robert
i'm a give you guys a break. >> wasn't that interesting that they introduced us to a song by kid rock. [applause] wow. what a crowd. >> you look really good. [laughter] it's great to see so many wonderful friendly faces. those of you who aren't friendly are welcome to stand in the back. great have you with us. we will jump in. you guys have been patient in waiting. one question every but he wants to know is how did the guy from montana and up in the navy much less having a career like you. >> that's funny. it's a really interesting question because i'm a big
believer that life is what happens around you while you're making a plan, like 95% of the stuff you worry about never happens anyway so i joined the navy because of the girl. [laughter] on accident. it's actually the first sentence in my book, the operators at about that. i had my heart broken by girl name hillary in montana and i was never going to join the military. it was a lifelong dream but i decided one day i needed to get out of town and had some friends were older than me who always wanted to be marines growing up when they graduated high school they join the marine corps the same day and every time they came home i remember looking at them thinking that's awesome, marines are tough and strong and the uniforms are incredible and i decided i wanted to join the marine corps. i went to join the marine corps and as luck would have
it, because sometimes it's better to be lucky than be good, but the marine recruiter was not in the office of the navy guy was. the only reason i went into the navy was because my marine friends told me something i didn't know, they actually said the marine corps is part of the department of the navy, just the men's department. [laughter] i asked where the marine was and this guy said why do you want the marine. i said i want to be a sniper. he said look no further. we have snipers right here in the navy. you have to figure, i'm a 19-year-old kid from montana who didn't know how to swim. there's not a lot of swimming
going on. i'm kind and naïve. this guy is a professional recruiter. why is he going to lie to me. [laughter] i signed up that day and then we watched the recruiting video after i signed the paperwork. when i thought man i don't know how to swim and i just joined up to be in the navy. i thought it probably wouldn't make it through the navy seal training but at least it's an adventure. in four years i would have see storage. i learned that 95% of the all volunteers are there because of a drill. [laughter] then i went to field training. just because of that day of the girl and not knowing how to swim and 17 years later, it's proof that it doesn't matter where you're from or
what you look like, you can do anything you want as long as you avoid negativity, stay positive, work hard and never quit. >> and run away from a girl. [applause] >> you gotta figure out a lot of things. [applause] so you touched on it with this group, so you didn't know how to swim, that might be something you need to do for seal training. >> that was another interesting one. like i said, i didn't know how to swim but i figured how hard it can be and i went to the poo pool, i played a year of basketball in montana and i
didn't know any technique and i'm standing at the edge of the pool and i'm thinking it's 25 meters down and back. it was fine. everything was working out with my plan until i entered the water. [laughter] i thought man, i'm in a pickle. i just did to lengths and i'm exhausted. that's not even 50 yards. a buddy of mine in high school, one of the few guys who swam, he swam at notre dame and he said look at me. it's great see you, but i've never seen you in the pool before. i said i just joined the navy and i'm going to be a seal. [laughter] and he said yeah, not like that you're not. [laughter] i signed up for the delayed
entry program. my buddy mike tommy in five months how to swim. then i went to the navy. >> fast-forward, made it through boot camp, got to gloria's southern california. let's talk about your first couple expenses. >> so every seal goes through training just south of here called basic underwater training. it's the hardest training in the world. 85% of people try out don't make it. that stuff. it's essentially, it's like a beat down for eight months. it gets so hard, i can see like it was yesterday. i know i had a pass, i don't
have a future, i'm just going to be and how. that's all i could think about. that's it. that's when we started learning how to compartmentalize everything. it's not like how do i get from now to graduation. it's not like how i get these long-term goals, wake up in the morning on time and make your bed the right way. your little victories. make it to 5:00 a.m. wor work out on time and then make it to breakfast and after lunch get to dinner and do everything you need to do to get back up and that perfectly made bed regardless of how bad your day was pretty get a fresh start tomorrow. i had an extractor say to me, when you feel like quitting, which you will, and i did every day, don't quit now. just quit tomorrow. little victories. all of a sudden it's five days before graduation and i'm thinking now i'm going to be a navy seal. what am i supposed to do.
just little victories at the time. at field training, you thousand situps and push-ups and pull-ups and flutter kicks. there was a generalized spot where we would get tortured. it was a mile from their to the chow hall. every day we were running 6 miles just to eat and that's not just working out. that's just to get to the chow hall. one of the traits that's common with navy seals is a sense of humor because it gets so bad but if you can't laugh at yourself, what kind of horrible decision, why did she dump me, why am i here. they come with a sense of humor. that's good advice for life. enjoy yourself every single day, smile because think about this. none of us are getting out of
this alive. i don't believe in statistics, but i do believe that ten out of ten people die so enjoy yourself. >> we talk about a sense of humor. clearly army guys have much better once. that a lot of times to think about jokes while were doing missions. [laughter] yeah. when you share one or two stories for you first got introduced to a sense of humor. >> the first time i realize there's a sense of humor aspect, they had 220 of us, navy sailors who wanted to be seals.
we saw movie but we didn't know what seals training was. what we do every day, when we show up, we actually sat in a room and brought a seal instructor in to explain to us what we want to do. we learn the first day when they came in like walking on the stage and were looking at him like you're looking at me except we were terrified. this guy's superman and he could kill us if he wants too. he's the first seal we ever met. he looks like a field. shiny boots, a blue t-shirt, the guys ripped and he has tattoos down his knuckles. he is a navy seal so he's obviously ridiculously good-looking. [laughter]
he stood on the stage in silence any kind of relished the silence. and he'd provoke it by saying look good today jim, not you, me. [laughter] i was up all night, i had to get my wife out of jail, she was arrested for shoplifting and we were leaving the mall together and she had her arm around me. security thought she was trying to steal and anatomy. [laughter] what we later realized, he was messing with us. he thought he was having fun at art spence.
[inaudible] i don't mean to fast-forward too much but i was in a helicopter that didn't crash. [laughter] which was a good thing. we got inside the house and one of the guys from helicopter that crash said something about helicopter crashed and i said what helicopter crashed. they sent other guys in and they got shut down and they said bro, our helicopter crashed in the front yard. you walked right past it. one the snipers that had our dog was running around the entire compound to make sure there was no out. he was up at this famous spot where he could see the tale of the helicopter. he didn't know, as were having this conversation he comes
over the radio and says be on alert, they are ready for us. they have a training mockup of our helicopter. [laughter] in the front yard. [laughter] you can hear the ground force commander saying no you jackass, that's ours. [laughter] [inaudible] obviously field training is relatively long. there's lots of up-and-down throughout it, but what's the one story about never quit.
>> every single day, make sure you stick around. pass or fail, whatever the test is, stick with the program. it's hard to understand. it's not like and algorithm in a sitdown type code. one of the test is simple. 250-meter yard swim against the current fast. it's not simple but it's simple instructions. they threw us in the deep end of the pool for 45 minutes at a time saying exhale all th the air all your long, swim hundreds of meters, they would throw stuff and you have to grab them off the bottom of your teeth. introducing you to what it's like to not be able to breathe and ask stil instill in you the panic and teach you to
chill out. i found it relaxing because it was an hour a day i can hear anybody yell. 14 feet down was a rope and on the surface there will be a student and an instructor and the studer student has a rope of his own and were in the navy so we know how to tie a bunch of knots. the test is go tie a series of knots to put this rope around the next rope and. they hold her breath and swim down an instructor was down the surface with a snorkel and a mask so he's breathing and watching. you tie or not you back often you stay down there, he comes down slowly and you look at the not look at the student and you act like you never seen it before and the first one is always wrong.
he comes down and looks at the not and he'll say yeah that's good. go to the surface, get one breath of air not enough time for him to tell you about not number two. go tie a square knot. so you have another minute. the test is simple. type five knots in a row the right way. a friend of mine was on his last attempt. they won't let you try for only a certain amount of time. if he doesn't give is not right he'll never be in navy seal. that's a lot of pressure. on his fifth not, he drowned. the instructor came down to get him and he grabbed him and he swam them up and he hopped out and rolled them over and yelling for the medic and the
instructor realized it was too much time so he started cpr and we could hear him yelling come back to the light. john was out for a minute and half. he finally spit up all the water out of his lungs. the first words out of his mouth were did i pass. the instructor looked back, the color came back in his face because he gets to keep his job because he didn't kill anyone and he said yeah man, you passed. john said thank god, i finally tied the fifth not. the instructor said john, i'm in a great mood some to let you in on a little secret. i don't care how many knots you tied. my job is to see how far
you'll push yourself. you just killed yourself. you passed the god damn test. [applause] [laughter] >> so he graduates and goes on. >> teams are divided by number. the odd number san diego. the even number are virginia. i went out there and it's more training and one overseas before 911. >> so fast-forward, 911 happene happened. what's going through your head and you have a major career change. >> 911, we were all affected by it, some more than others. i was deployed a ready overseas and we thought happen. when the second plane hit the south tower didn't take 15 seconds in the room for someone to say ou osama bin laden.
we knew it was al qaeda. my plan was to be in the navy for four years and then go back to montana. i met the guys and i reenlisted. i didn't want to leave them but i was young and i reenlisted. then i found out about another seal team. we knew we would change from going to the uk to his train and special arms forces to were going to afghanistan and iraq to fight the global war on terror. every thing changed. went from oktoberfest. [inaudible] >> you had an interesting career so one of the main operations and missions you
were a part of was the rescue of captain phillips. whether you take everybody through how the alert. >> for richard phillips, we were actually in virginia beach, it was good friday, april 10, 2009. that's my birthday. i was at my daughter's tea party at her school. she was four. we set up a buffet line and we were getting our kids easter treats. this is a school where we have marine corps parents and army parents and we were going through the buffet. as i'm walking back i got a message that said let's go get him now. i had a look my daughter and i and say goodbye. that's the hardest part of combat. getting shot at and looking your kids in the eye and realizing this is can be the last time you see each other
is hard. there's a big difference between kissing your kids good night and kissing them goodbye. i kissed her goodbye and i went to work. we had a set amount of time to get there. i had a set amount of time. i was ahead of schedule and there's a 711 outside the base where i worked and i stopped at the 711 to get as much cash as i could and a carton of cigarettes. the reason i'm doing this is were to be jumping near africa some point today and we might not end up where we want. if we land in an environment i might get to buy my way to safety with cash. i might be able to barter with the locals with tobacco. i'm in line at the 711 to get my stuff and there's a guy in front of me, one dude who is
in no hurry. he just finished the night shift doing whatever, not a care in the world and i'm trying to speed him up in one of the things that he's buying is the usa today in the headline of the newspaper is about the mission were trying to do any slammed it down. i remember him slamming it down any kind of announced to the entire store, man i sure wish someone would do something about this. [laughter] so i went behind him and i tapped him on the shoulder and i said buddy your pissed about that ship so were going to do stuff about that now. he stared at me and i said i'm not even kidding. the national timeline is squarely on your broad shoulders. he moved out of the way and 15
hours later we were in the indian ocean. the movie wasn't accurate. it's a good movie, but it wasn't accurate. i was get asked how accurate was the movie. i'd say about 70% accurate on this part. happy hour here, i completely accurate. i took all three shots. the snipers, we needed to go in and rescue those guys. [inaudible] was a long weekend, easter sunday, we hadn't done in 25 years. but they didn't take shortcuts. they were ready to take shots. >> and so mission success.
>> you. fast-forward 2011. you end up in a pretty clandestine operation. talk everybody through saying goodbye to your family. >> that was a tough one too. i mentioned saying goodbye to your kids. i have daughters and i said goodbye to them on the bin laden raid. we figured this was a one-way mission. were gonna get shot down or run out of fuel, if anyone's going to blow themselves up, it's this guy, were not coming back. we were going to say goodbye. i couldn't tell them this was the last time we were done this each other. we were so convinced we were going to make it, the guy, we
didn't have a set line who's going where but the guy who brought me up to bin laden's bedroom pulled me aside and said don't take up about wrong way, i'm going, but if we know were gonna die, why are we going which is legit and i said were not gone for fame were gone for the single mom dropped her kids off at school on a tuesday morning and 45 minutes later she jumped to her death out of a sky scraper because that was a better alternative than burning alive. she wasn't in the fight and were in the fight and that's why were going. i had to write a letter to my kids. she was seven when we rescued.
[inaudible] i wrote a letter to the 27-year-old woman that i'm really sorry i missed your wedding take care of your mom and your sister, daddy loves you. i'm walking out of the small getting ready to go on the bin laden raid knowing that we were gonna die. for some reason as i'm walking out of the small i walk past the sunglass hut those little kiosk and i looked over and there was a pair of sunglasses on sale for $240 and i'm thick and i'm achieved in the navy, i can afford these but i'm in a be dead next week and american express can. [laughter]
so i was wearing these glasses around and then i thought what if we do live through the night. if you do that, the sun can be up. i carry a pair of sunglasses into osama bin laden's bedroom. i didn't think about it because we had a lot of ship going on. when we get back from a mission where were not supposed to live, and thinking i'm not to be in the navy forever. maybe i will be in marketing. a picture of a navy seal all it says if you only have one day left to live you might as well.
[laughter] obviously mission success, everyone came home and fast-forward another year or so, you make the decision to leave the navy. talk to the group about that thought process and more importantly, what you experienced. >> the bin laden raid was a complete team effort. [inaudible] he said i was like the forest but i'd can't run and i not good with kids. [laughter]
[inaudible] we lost a helicopter and 31 americans and one of our dogs. it was like what happened now. and you get complacent and i don't need to do this anymore. i want to see micah get married so i decided to start the out processing and i realized i didn't really know what i was gonna do. i wasn't gonna get a pension and i didn't know who would hire me. we realize that we are employable and so we started a foundation called worker information and we help special operators transition because people want to hire them.
we find where they want to live and then we get a mentor. it started out like let's have better and get jobs and now we want to help the economy in the country get better. [applause] so what brought you to california this week. >> i gave a speech and salmon cisco at a startup company so i gave a motivational speech to a company called google. [laughter] [inaudible] he's a great dude. he's a very famous anti- gun dude.
65% of the people think trump won the election, i talked to 10,000 people last week and they disagree. [applause] the country is a lot more patriotic, a lot more positive than a lot of people think, and lot of the news media doesn't report that because they want the ratings. it's a great country. [applause] >> so if people in the audience want to find out more about mentoring, employment opportunities of more about your greatful nation, what's the -- >> request do grateful nation.org is our web site. it is helping the veterans and helping the economy, and from just awareness, like, checking it out and doing a hyperlink to
a friend,, donations are great and if you have a small business, want to hire someone, awesome also, robert j. o'neill.com is another link to that. you can dial the operator five times. spoiler letter about the book. bin laden dies in chapter 23. >> ey, thank you. we are able to do just two quick questions because we are pressed for time. the first one is going to come from this gentleman here. >> so, i'm so proud to call you a friend. i've known you. you're in the those patriotic region in the entire country.
[applause] >> i want to thank you both for your patriotism and service to our country. we're forever indebted. i'd like to tell a great story about how to turn a mistake into a positive and has to do with door knock. if you would share that story, identity appreciate it. >> a funny story, thank you for bringing at up. we're big believers that everybody fails and if you accept failure, you learn from it. a great learning tool. what this quote of the day, against decisions come from experience and bad -- an experience comes from bad decisions. but we learn something, mission we win on. don't blow up and pick a lock and sneak in. we're learning -- one time we were sneaking up on a target in iraq, trying to be quiet, and people started moving around in the house. so they know someone is out there we see this happening.
they were like, this is a high value individual flood going to leave. now we are going to put a bomb on the door and go in hot. was a point man. had to call the breecher, which is a method of entry that will get you in the door, in the wall, whatever. called him up to the door and he grabbed a seven-foot charge of c6. you have heard of c4, i'm assuming. this is c6. it's looks like a fruit rollup. the same color and it's sticky and not as delicious, and what you do with the seven-footer, you put it on the door and roll it down so imagine rolling the fruit role up and then you back away, it should be capped and you walk to a minimum safe distance and hit the magic button. a big loud boom and the door opens. so the door opens like dismiss at the breecher is going to put this on this side and the hinges are there.
he used both hands so he had a weapon -- the door opens here. i'm going to hold right here. there's a crack the door. we're doing this -- as we're doing this, lesson in failure, my boss, keep in mind one of the best seals with whom i have severed, 16 years, one of the best. comes walking, not to micromanage, just to observe, he put is -- put his elbow on the door bell. it's like, binge. -- binger and you can tell he doesn't want to move because it's going to go bong. so the breeches irright here, and then that happens and he can't yell at him because that's his boss, too. so he goes -- now, being fiscally consecutive and not wanting to waste the taxpayer's money he starts to roll it back up.
all nonchalant. i'm standing here holding the door because i don't want to be here. when this stuff happen terrorist shoot through the door. so the door opens, it's the goddamn terrorist we're looking for. so he and i share this awkward -- and i grab him, and i got cuffs on him and put my knee in the small of this back and say to my boss, well, shit, let's do that every night. the point of the story is, what we learned from that, we have been fighting in afghan afghanistan, there are no doorbells in afghanistan. there are in iraq. very simple lesson. >> so, our finale is from our guests in the simulcast.
this with -- your story is full circle for the families of 9/11. what would you say to those family? >> that is the reason i told the story. i talked to family members pretty much every day. i live a lot of times in new york city, and when i'm having an argument with my fiancee or whatever, i think the stress level is to high i go the memorial and realize what is important. you hear the stories from 9/11, people made the calls from the plane flight or at the south tower. they never talk about hate, it's how much i love you and every time i talk to a surviving member, they tell me that nothing will ever -- never be -- helps the healing process. people say aren't you afraid -- i'm i've assume risk before and this is worth it. gave a speech to 30 survivors of 9/11, and having them tell -- i
had a -- as horrible -- i think that everybody should watch in school, 15 minutes of 9/11, right before the -- [applause] >> the realism of the enemy out there. i've had detectives tell me what it's like to see 30 different people hit the ground hi said i can sleep better at night because there's a story. this is what happened to most evil man on the planet. it's worth it. it's something that happened to us because of a horrible version of a prehistoric religious and we need to realize that and just talking with the families and helping with that close sure, don't have any regret at all. i'm kind of babbling here because it's very emotional for me but they got what they