tv Q A CSPAN December 4, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am EST
c-span radio app, you get free streaming of the radio and television networks 24/7. you can listen to "q&a" "newsmakers" the communicators" and "after words." find out more at c-span.org/radioapp. >> this week on "q&a" producer, director karl kobe discusses his latest documentary film about the life and death of his father former director william colby. >> carl colby why did you do a documentary on your father? >> you might have asked that question 10, 15 years ago when i was alive and i was down in washington, d.c. making documentaries with whole crews and interviewing other people,
you might have thought why didn't i interview my father then. but he was the kind of person -- if he was alive today he would talk about what's going on with the drones and he would be involved with the debates of his time. but as his son asking him personal questions as to his motivations and not detailed information but emotional information, he just wasn't very forthcoming. so i thought it would be very frustrating. >> i thought well, i guess my father's irrelevant. and then two weeks later, i saw photographs of c.i.a.
operatives sporting turbines and riding on ca mel back and i thought that looks like o.s.s. i thought maybe there's a story here. >> your father lived what years? >> 1920 to 1996. born as an army brat. never lived in the same place for more than two years. spent very formative years in tin seng, china. so he had a taste of the orient. he understood the military. he's the kind of boy you'd find on the edge of the playground saluting and watching the soldiers go by. >> i wrote down a quote from your documentary. my father was the coolest character i ever knew. what did you mean by that? >> as a boy, i understanding the laurel of what he did. he wasn't braggadocious. he was kind of a quiet self-effacing person.
he had opinions -- and we would argue about the war and especially the vietnam wars. he -- you'd get your points across and he did too. he would say, fair enough. i respect your opinion, just give my opinion a shot of me as well. he wasn't pushy. not the great s santini. it was really more the quiet influence. i think we picked up on that and understood him. >> what were the major jobs he had in his life? >> well, first job, probably was just being a terrific son to his military father and his mother who believe it or not father traded with sitting bullets in a minnesota training unit. he went to princeton at the age of 18 on a scholarship. he wanted to be in the spanish silver war fighting on the side of the republicans but he was too young.
and then he went against o.s.s. and occupied norway fighting the nazis blowing up troop trains. then he went on to be a lawyer in new york. he said, american can omped me a job in their general council office. he said i've got nothing about tin cans but i can't imagine living my life like that. he joined the c.i.a. and then he went to italy working with the christian democrats. then on to vietnam and that begins another story. >> when i first met you today, the first thing out of my mouth, i said oh, my goodness, you look just like your dad. >> do you get that often? >> yeah, i do. i can't help it, i guess. but you know, he was a creature of washington as well as being from other places. he loved the give and take of d.c. you look around the world these days especially america and they're so contentious and people are in each other's throats but i feel washington
is a place they talk to each other. you can have rumsfeld and lahey once in a wild and help wanted to live in that world where we could have discourse an maybe disagree but really come up with the best sort of solutions to today's problems. >> we found some video of your father back in 1989 talking with a group of interns here at the washington center and we used this before we show some of your documentary just to establish what he looked like and what he sounded like. >> and bobby kennedy lived nearby and he drove by the sign one day. he said, you know, this is the silliest thing i've ever seen. here's a secret intelligence agency with a great big sign pointed to it. for god sake at least take the sign down. and we took the sign down. he did have quite a lot of influence. and for 15 years we pretended that that big building wasn't there. even though every pilot on his
way out of the national airport used as a checkpoint. turn left at c.i.a. because it was so obvious. >> what did you see there? i mean, you knew him. what are i see there is brutal honesty. he's not afraid. he's not afraid of you physically certainly. he's just not afraid of the american public. he's afraid of the enemy in terms of what they can inflict upon us. but he's in the afraid of us. patrick lahey interviewed him for the him and he said what are we afraid of? what are we americans afraid of in terms of sefting up policy? we have a drone policy or being in 18, 20 countries now that we don't talk about then i don't want to reveal operational details but let's talk about that policy. let's see what we can and cannot do, what we should or shouldn't do. and he said, if you don't like it don't pass it. but i think he did not define
us. >> what was he in charge of in vietnam? >> probably the most controversial thing he was involved in in his life was he was called back in 1968 to vietnam by president johnson at the time. and i remember my sister had brought him a sable russian fur hat and he had been assigned to be the new chief of the soviet block division. well, that's about the biggest secret assignment you can get in the c.i.a. but then lyndon johnson called said we want you to run this pacification program. and that was a program of really a little bit of what's going on -- a lot of what's going on in afghanistan and anwr provinces in iraq, which is secure a part of iraq. if you go into a hot zone, secure at least one section of the town. make it livable for the people there. and then build out there. and once people can sort of go to work and raise their children and buy their rice and
whatever, then secure some stability for the place and then start using your intelligence. and that's really what the phoenix pacification -- the overall program was pacification. get with the villagers. it's not a shooting war between us and some guy running around in the jungle. get to know their needs and run through there. we had the villlanlers -- villagers would know who they were. they could capture and hopefully ton them. he would say it's fond to kill bin laden or maybe a couplele of higher ups but you don't want to be killing the middle level guys. you want to interrogate them and maybe best of all, flip them. get them to work for us. >> how long was he involved in
the phoenix program? and when id it blow up in a controversy? >> by 1968, the war has gone down badly in terms of the conventional attack, the west marilyn war. general abrames came in and said we've got a warm war philosophy. we're going contract offensive operations but we're going to make this a people's war. so he started being effective. there is some abuses. i mean, you and i go out and say this guy out in fairfax, let's say we're here, you know, he's my cousin. i think he's hanging out with the taliban and we ought to capture him and interrogate him and maybe get rid of him. well, is he really settling a judge? he suffered for that. 29,000 of ko nrve g were killed in the -- kong were killed in the program. but the japanese general said
that colby and phoenix hurt us because it was destroying their infrastructure. then they saw these horrific pictures of people getting beat up and tortured. bobby's is laid out in massacre aids. and i thought this is so terrific. so the controversy began when he was appointed as director and went into those hearings. >> by the way, what were his politics? >> you know, it's funny you say what his politics are. i would say that he was an f.d.r. liberal. he was a enkaren -- encar nat. >> he was a labor lawyer truly conducting sort of activists rallies and supporting downtrodden workers, seriously. i think a lot of people were
from jail especially all theive leaguers. the tricky part at the owned of the 60's when it all starts to go sour. i think he stayed liberal kind of urn the cover and then emerge of anymore these clips that you have or he's very open and very willing to engage the public and since no longer the clandestine officer. before we do, how long is it? >> the film is 104 minutes long and 35 millimeter and playing in local theaters and will be out nationwide in 35 cities shortly. so 104 minutes. >> and when did you actually start work on it? >> i was inspired by that 9/11 movie and it's a long flog, my editor in new york the son of
larry gugeni'm. >> how long have you been doing documentarys? >> i've been doing them since the 1970's, i'll have to admit. >> i couldn't just come out and make this movie. >> as you've seen this film, i had to be very careful what i said and how i said it in terms of accuracy. i'm dealing with some of the most important issues america has ever faced. so i do a lot of homework. >> here's your mother talking in the documentary. >> sometimes it's difficult -- just to ascertain who we were and western going at a certain point. one evening we went to the theater and i saw -- i recognized a couple whom we had dined with the night before. and i started to go over and
say oh, [speaking in italian] how are you? wasn't that great last evening? and my husband took me aside -- shhh, quiet. quiet. we don't know these people. well, we did know these people. there were times when really i didn't know what role we were playing works are we tonight. >> we'd go somewhere. picnic basket in the back. and he'd meet somebody. deliver something. he and my mother went up north and went and past a radio to somebody. so we would have a picnic. that wasn't a lie. sometime later one of my dad's friends said, you know, your
mother has a lot to do with your father's success. they were a great team >> the family wasn't always led into this world of his. beginning, of course, with his c.i.a. code of need to know. he never had to really tell me anything. i suppose that's the c.i.a. modus operandi. but i remember hearing another c.i.a., high ranking officer say, oh, my husband tells me everything. i thought, well, it couldn't be. they don't tell us everything. they tell us very little, if anything. >> why did mom agree to do this? >> it's interesting. when i first set out to do these interviews, obviously, i'll call up my dad's old
friends and i got me about three or four interviews. i did 85 interviews in total. 35 interviews are in the film. then i started thinking well, i better talk to people like james schlessinger, don rumsfeld, generals, admirals. how am i going to do that. >> and james shlessing jer had been c.i.a. director before my father. >> and brent the national security advisor. >> you can call them up and say hi, carl, maybe. so i took two days to write each of those e-mails attracting them in. so i started interviewing people. i thought i think i'll interview my mother. and then the whole movie changed because she brought the human element, she brought the underneath, what are we doing? what is she doing? she's keeping him to a high moral standard. she referred to the c.i.a. as
catholics in action just flike the f.b.i., especially in the early years, a lot of action because they have a moral compassion. and they certainly operate from a moral point of view. ready h john moral, is pat of my mind set. i went to gonzaga -- in d.c. and i went to georgetown. so i was surrounded by them. and they made you think. we were takeen as boys. is this legal? should they be here without a permit? is there a greater cause at work here? what do you boys think? what do you 14-year-olds think? >> that's the best education i ever got. but to the point, my mother lived the life. she was his partner. she may not have known very many secrets or any secrets at all. but she supported the member of
the club. she was not a mib but she supported the membership. just like we all did. i remember once i had been in indonesian. i said owe, i met mr. x. fantastic guy. wonderful. says really nice things about you too. i said, oh, never remember his name again. what i took by that, well, east obviously operating in a tight cover. my job was to support my dad just don't mention his name. i would think back, why is don senior here? who was that general. who was that bicyclist that would come by and he seemeded to exchange notes with and send them on their way. is that charity? >> everybody has kind of a such zone -- stones and nobody's how
they seem. >> i was treated like a normal citizen with the c.i.a. if they had any term on footage or any kind of a material. and gave me a book of pacification so they had redacted and so i looked at him. i prefer that at arms length. >> here you are talking about your father. >> he was in pretty good shape. exers, push-ups, legs going up and down. you call me sport when he kind of looked me. when he was annoyed at you, youer were friend. listen, 23re7bd if you really done something badly get the belt out.
certainly believed in corporate punishment. among friends he could be relaxed. frank didn't have any friends. he had people he worked with. he didn't have a lot of romantic ideas about spying. he saw it for what it was. >> how fall was he? >> he was my height around 5'8". he was he was 120 pounds, 5 foot 2k8 -- 5 ft 8. >> how clathic was he? >> he said after he leaves the c.i.a. things take another turn. i say some sort of provocative things about him but to me were honest things about him.
he was obviously, friendly with the people in the agency. but it was a club. and there's not any room for the outsider for the insurance salesman to be a part of this click. they like to talk to each other. they're all cleared. i mean, there are 1 -- have a top secret security clearance. i -- when push comes to shove they aren't a team. and we like to win. and i think it's quite comparementized and that's what my father's life was like. >> why would we not be a available? >> that would be wild.
that's like when oliver stone came in to visit my father and was accusing him of being part of the plot to kill j.f.k. my father was a very patient person. i know oliver stone, i would call him out too. he can be really a bore. in tend it takes you think there's only two people that weren't involved. himself, oliver stone and harvey oswald. >> what's their age group. >> my oldest sister died buzz others are near los angeles. and what do they do right now. are you worried you fight in the five. i have an older brother, younger city. >> when did you know you were
going do be a good parliamentaryian? >> i was going to maybe been and an art dealer. my matter had the job job. and he encouraged us to move in other directions. and his father's been a writer. so i tart writing movie and then i made a movie about jen davis and people liked it and i kept going. maybe i should have done something else. i like having a point of view. >> how many doctors have you done. a lot of it goes back to the question why didn't i interview my father earlier. i think it's a little harder. i did a film. he was an abstract character.
everybody had a different thing to say about cline that he was kind of a paster. and to other folks he was the most chatty person any time, any time of the day. and in a way i saw different aspects of my matter so that's why the movie is called the man nobody knew. >> how many did did he work for the cria. >> 1960 to 1976. how long was he the director? >> he came in after shlessing jer. and then he was flipped around with -- with that saturday night masker where slessshing jer stayed at defense. and it was appointed by nixon.
and then when nixon fell ford kept them out for a long time. cheney was given away too many of the secrets of the c.i.a. which you didn't need to do that time. >> one of the surroundingish -- surrounding issues is a man named ziem. what role did ziem play in your father's life. they were catholic. they both controled the country very strongly. my father was head of the c.i.a. station to stay in
contact with nodeennu who was really the fixer and his strong man in the relationship of the brother. things started to unravel because we started with a bassfication program earlier. it seemed to be working but thren the american military got impatient with special forces being used in a sort ofed a voysry role and building villages. they want to go out and find, kill the enemy. he was a catholic in a buredist done trip and he and his brother went after the buddhist. he said i'm sorry. it was a huge incident flashed all over the world. saying that the buddhist were barbecuing for months. can you imagine? so support for this yemen government was falling. but my father was a believer in
this yemen government. at least there was stability over chaos. but then there was a coup instigated in part by the americans and certainly henry cavlage the u.s. ambassador out there and then things really unraveled. there was a success of generals in charge and didn't have the confidence in the yemen ease people. >> in what years? >> 1954 to 1963 until he was killed with a coup. >> j.f. kennedy was president? >> john f. kennedy was killed only three weeks after the assassination of president jim. >> here's a clip of your mother and the "new york times" talking. >> november, 1963, i was at mazz that morning and your father came into the church in
bethesda and said, pray for the jam brothers, they've been found murdered which was a shock, a terrible shot. he stayed for that mass and we prayed fervently for president diem and his brother. what was so difficult about it was that in hindsight, in immediate hindsight we have to -- we americans have to realize that we borrowed some share in this tragedy. not personally, but somehow things went wrong, somehow. >> this was an extraordinary moment of presidential carelessness. and the result was a president
and his brother with their hands tied behind their back and bullets in their head. and a shattered illusion which was that we were building a democracy in vietnam. it was only three weeks later that john kennedy was killed. lyndon johnson said, when he found out what the role of the united states was, we just got a bunch of thugs and killed them. >> the u.s. response for diem's death was absolutely cleared. and once that was done, it became not the south vietnamese war, it was our war with the albatrosses around our neck and it was ours from then on. >> who was the last gentleman? >> huge tovar, a t-o-v-a-r, an
operative, extraordinary individual. he was cut out of the same cloth as my father, tremendously loyal, diligent, extraordinarily intelligent, extremely well connected. just a judgment and the sense of history. can you imagine cherry-picking the best in america who studied the history and speak the language and send them in there and they'll go get know the generals, they'll get to know the police. actually one of my dad's friends, robert myers former deputy chief, one time told me i said, well, what about the diplomats? >> he said the only people you want to talk to are the military and the police. >> give us an idea of what kind
of real politic, harsh world today. do we know today who ordered the asass anyway nation of the brothers? >> apparently it was a ca ball of big men and couple of his cohorts. it's tough to say exactly how it went down. there was a plan to get them out of country. get them off to some safe haven but things went badly and they were killed in an armored personnel carrier. >> how far can you >> how far up the chain of the american government was their support for this? >> well certainly, he wanted the change and he was held and on affecting change in that government. you would have to see the film, but there was a tough exchange between john f. kennedy, robert kennedy, merriman, mac amera, my father, bundy, thus, russ, the
whole clan of them mulling over a coup, should it happen or should it not, and to whose advantage? >> you have to richard nixon in 1960, the republican from massachusetts. you had george bundy from harvard. >> he was a big favorite of j.f.k.. >> and you had robert mcnamara. from where i sit it seems to me that bobby kennedy was against the assassination. >> he did not want it to happen and unravel. he was against a botched coup. what options do we have? the release said, it is not like
a coup in south america or iraq and some country like that where we have control. curing that, you would think it would be get -- be against the coup. but there were conflicting forces at work here. and being the presidential running mate of nixon, he was very powerful in his own right and i think he decided to set things right the way he wanted to do that. >> how long had he been at it? corks just a few weeks. -- >> just a few weeks. and they were fully note that he had only been there once as a reporter on a trip. >> who was -- whose idea was it to make him the ambassador to south vietnam from the united states? >> it was john f. kennedy's idea to provide cover on capitol that it was a shared war. >> would john f. kennedy gotten out of vietnam if he had not
been assassinated and had gone reelected? >> strangely enough, my father thought that rfk in 68, even though he was saying we were in and get out of vietnam, he thought that robert kennedy was someone he could work with that would have gotten out gradually. i think my father felt that john f. kennedy would never have approved 500,000 troops in south vietnam and he would have fought the special forces war, a quiet war. kind of like we are doing in afghanistan now. >> back to the role of your deceased sister, that she played. >> he would come back very -- periodically. we would go to vermont and try to carry on life as we had known it. he was called to serve and he
did it. he did it capably. >> when it comes to long separations, my mother was loose ends. she lost the center of her life. it was very hard for her. a year or so of his being there, my sister, katherine, became ill. she had had epilepsy since she was a child, a terrible seizures. she had developed anorexia and of rosa -- anorexia. it was awful. my mom took on this bill does for my sister. she would make it go away for my father. everything for the mission.
i remember i looked over to her one evening and she was riding in a letter in vietnam. -- riding him a letter in vietnam. and i saw that she was a woman, not just my mother. she was lonely. she had not signed up for this, but she did it. >> how well did you know your sister? >> quite well. she was only two years older than i was. she was not as sociable, as i was and had a policy from an early age -- and had epilepsy from an early age. she was different. she was kind of an odd duck. she spoke four languages. when and lived on a kibbutz in israel. extraordinary. and she had to come home because they found out that she had epilepsy and they said they could not care for her out
there. and she said, my medication is fine. in a lot of ways, she was the fiercest of all of the siblings. she was a lot like my dad. she was a redhead, fearless, spoke all those languages, curious about the world, a fighter. >> what year did she die? >> in 1973. >> andy -- and the people and the documentary, she played a major role in their lives. how did you see it as one of her siblings? >> it is hard to say, but i think she was there and then it was over and she was brought in. i think my father's way -- she was for rotten. i think my father's way of dealing with the world when your daughter dies at the same time you are going before the senate for approval as confirmation for the cia program and they are growing you about -- grilling you about the assassination
program. he was a tough character. >> did the committee or the public know that he was losing a daughter at that time? >> i do not think so. a few people in the white house might have known, but my father was not anyone ever to seek a pass or to seek sympathy for his predicament. he is not built that way. there was an old washingtonian, sam petco, who was the best man in my father's wedding. he told me one time, your dad could be sitting across from you just like you are now and he could be talking about gaddafi or the weather and somebody could be sawing off his right
arm and he would not so much as lynch. the -- flinch. >> more on your mom's anguish from the documentary. >> people return to me and say, your dad is a murderer. my immediate reaction is -- used to be, you don't know what you are talking about. then i would find myself thinking, was he? who was he really? >> it is a very difficult field, really. those who served have loyalty to the agencies themselves, but they must have in your loyalties in their code of behavior that they would not violate. and one has to take it on faith and trust that the right thing
is being done, and perhaps, for the greater good. it is very difficult, i find, to explain. >> where did you do these interviews with your mother? and how many days did you spend with that project? >> i did interviews with my mother twice on camera in hd in a studio like this, very comfortable with a cameraman who was one of my oldest friends. it was a little bit like family. and she's a very convivial person. she's kind of like barbara stanwyck with an ivy league education. she's a very vivacious person. >> where did you do those -- what year did you do those? >> we did them a few years ago. we would sit and talk and grace
guggenheim would also record it and we would just talk, mother and a son, about things, about life and about her life. a lot came out of that. i like the starkness of being in a studio or you can concentrate your thoughts like this studio you have. it enables you to focus your attention and keep driving and getting at those nuggets that will spell out. because remember, you are dealing with somebody -- at least, my father, and my mother in some ways as well, he is a hard nut to crack. you peel off one layer and there is another. and what is that blemished? is that leading somewhere? practicing the art of deception -- practiced in the art of deception. i would not tell my mother, but certainly my father.
>> when did your father die? >> 1986. >> is your mother still alive? >> yes, but he had remarried. >> i know, but she is still around. >> she came to the show friday. >> this is probably gratuitous, but your mother has never looked better. >> i have told her that. many people like to come to the theater on opening weekends because i'm usually there and we do q&a. people grabbed me and say, my god, your mother looks extraordinary. i think it is just her indomitable spirit. she is world war ii generation. i did not put it in the film, but while i interviewed her, we were talking about iraq and afghanistan and she said, where is my sacrifice? what am i being asked to do? where is my part in this war?
if we are at 4, give me something to do -- if we are at war, give me something to do. maybe i should ration or go to the hospital, and rep bandages. where is my sacrifice? >> a quick lipitor, seymour hersh -- a quick clip, seymour hersh. >> there were these documents called the family jewels and i had your phone number -- your father's and i called him. he did not lie to me. i said there were 120 cases of wiretapping of american citizens contrary to the lot in america and he said, my number is only 63. it was a question of numbers. he did not back away from the question of wrongdoing. >> he says more than what you
would imagine by what he just said. if you trace back what he said, it was pivotal to the publishing of that story. my father was the source in some ways of that story, though weaker at the top. -- the leaker at the top. you might say, my god, why would he do that? my father knew what he was going to do. he was going to keep the good secret and let out the bad secrets. there had been wrongdoing. assassination plots, experiments on human guinea pigs, torture of suspected double agents on american soil. this was not opening someone smale. this was not legal, not american. these are things he revealed to be wrongdoing from the eisenhower administration
onward, but it was not going to reveal the names of agents or other operational details. it probably would not have served us well. >> it goes back to what you said to jim baker on 9/11 saying that colby is responsible. >> people to this day think the united states has not recovered from my father spilling the beans because it's set up a culture of leaking and the congress, perhaps, being overly zealous in the -- in its attention to what the cia is up to. and robert gates as well. the cia does not like being on the front page. they should not be referred to. they are a secret organization. >> gates is not in this documentary. you said you did 85 interviews. 35 are in it. what are you doing with the rest of the material? >> it will come out as part of the expanded the the and a
follow-up program that we may do. keep to it. -- keep tuned. gates is extraordinary because he has humility and a deep understanding and he also said he had the support of a very strong president during his contentious hearings, which was iran contra. whereas my father had no support from the president. >> when will the dvd be out? >> it will probably be out next summer. >> i want to show another clip. this was a surprise to me what i watched the documentary. >> i'm not sure he ever loved anyone and i never heard him say anything heartfelt. by the time i turned 30, i came to understand the man that nobody knew, or at least i thought i did.
>> when he said, i want a divorce, i was really knocked over. i was very surprised and shocked. and i said, but we are catholic. we do not believe in divorce. he was a dedicated public servant. who gave his best to his work and i think we have a good family life as long as it lasted. and i guess i would say he is a complicated person. maybe i did not know as well as
i would like to think i do. >> when i was watching, it really did stopped me dead. i did not know. i thought, why would she cooperate with you because of to the point is all very sympathetic. >> my mother is an honest person. she has courage. she has character. i think she is not afraid to face the truth. my father change, in my opinion, after he was thrown out of the agency. if you watched the film closely and steady him, -- study him, he is a soldier. he took on the toughest, dirtiest projects given to him by the presidents, eisenhower on ordaz. but when it came time for the president, ford in this case, to ask him to lie to congress, he could not do it. he sided with the constitution.
it was his obligation. member, being that liberal democratic lawyer from new york, he knows the law. there is a very big blot out there, article 1. congress has an authority and you cannot speak falsely to the congress or the american people. >> he was fired in 1976 by gerald ford. was he given a reason by the president? >> no, just going 32 times to testify on capitol hill in one year. i think he had lost control of the process. it was a witch hunt by then. he had become the whipping boy. he had lost a lot of authority as director of central intelligence and the white house just wanted to get a handle on this. so they put in george h. w. bush, who was a friend of a lot of people in congress and was a politician. congress is made up of politicians.
they could deal with a politician. >> we found this from peter jennings newscast from the fifth month of the year, 60 today, 1996. >> in maryland today, the body of william colby was recovered from a marshy area. he was repudiated as being missing after taking a canoe trip eight days ago. >> colby's wife, sally, who continued until the end to hold out hope that he was alive spoke to reporters. >> there's not much that was left undone for him. he fought the fascist and he fought the communists and he lived to see democracy taking hold of a world.
>> officials at the scene say there is no indication of foul play. colby, a lifelong spy, with the perfect undercover agent. so inconspicuous he could never catch the waiter's eye at a restaurant. he was fired as cia director in the 1970's. he continued raising eyebrows by advocating nuclear bombs on lemont. the president -- nuclear disarmament. president clinton honored his memory. >> his children and his wife are very proud of him for what he accomplished. >> jack smith, news in
washington. >> what is your relationship with his second wife? >> kordell. i would see him and her when i would visit washington in the 1980's and early 1990's. every few months we would get together and have dinner at his house. i kept up with my father on the telephone. >> how do you think he died? >> i think, as the quarter reports, probably over exerted himself and had a heart attack or a stroke while he was out paddling his canoe in the evening after he had a few drinks and fix himself his favorite meal. i have to say, in my opinion, i hark back to a conversation i had with him a few months before he died. i call them up and said, by the way, your old friend john --
judge peter was found under a bridge in vermont. he has advanced alzheimer's and spent the night under a bridge. and he said, oh, that will never happen to me. and i said, really? and he said, yes, one day i was walking along a creek pass and i fell into the sea. and i said, really? he never wanted the aarp card. he never accepted a senior discount. he got angry with me once when i said he could get a senior discount on a flight. he did not want to grow old. >> no evidence off foul play? >> we looked into it and i am sure the agency looked into it, but there were no signs of foul play. he had enemies, but they were long ago. >> which were mother's reaction? >> she was saddened that he was gone. she, of course, was not a widow.
-- not the widow. she did not receive the flag at arlington. she was sad that he was gone. >> do you think he took his own life? >> know, that is not like him. but i think he was done. i think he had done what he was going to do. he was how old, 76? >> what if he were here today and watched what was going on with the last 10 years in iraq and about eight years in afghanistan? >> i think he would feel that, number one, the cia's ascendancy in terms of the regard of the people, he would appreciate that. the drone attacks would be perhaps not the most efficient way to deal with our enemy in the field.
it is one thing to take out bin laden inacio raid -- in a navy seal raid, but when you start using them against middle level officials, debt from above, it is so surgical and antiseptic that i think he would think that it might be good to capture that fellow. member the guy they got from sonoma county california? he goes to pakistan and within two or three years he is in the enter counts -- inner councils of the enemy. don't you think we could recruit a few people like that? we all have in valuable relationships, let's say, in washington. you cannot trade bills. but they know who you are.
they can trust what you say. and i think my father would like the british system more. they do not hire a bunch of people. it is called the old boys back into business. >> april 5, 1996, just a few weeks before he died. >> the chinese will tell you the reason they favor the pakistanis having nuclear give ability is because the indians do. and that pakistanis will say they will force where it if the indians do and the indians will say they cannot do it as long as the chinese have it. they all does pass the ball around among each other and continue to develop this capability. they all said they are doing it for their own protection because these other guys are doing it. >> there he was, near the end of
his life, talking about something that is still relevant today. >> i think he was very farsighted. back in the '80s, now you've got george shultz, william perry, henry kissinger calling for nuclear disarmament. that is something my father talked about in the '80s. i think he is very active -- was very active and liked to have influence. as long as he had his voice heard, that was enough. >> you live where today? >> washington d.c.. >> are you married? >> yes. >> children? >> yes. >> are they interested in this kind of information on their grandfather? >> i think so. i have one child that was just commission an officer in the marine corps. >> what do you want folks to get out of this? i think -- >> i watched people
-- i want people to understand what sacrifice is being done for their sakes by people like bill colby. there are thousands of women and men in special operations who do the same thing. do we support them? are the american people behind them? and is this president selling this secret war to the american public? if something were to go ride, a couple of drones get out of control, a bomb goes off in a new york's subway station as suddenly the cia is a drive into congress again. and who is the whipping boy? david petraeus? not likely. it will not be bill colby. >> who did not talk to you? >> nobody really didn't talk to me. i just tried to talk to dick cheney and henry kissinger.
i made some overtures. cheney was interested. he was working on his book and he was -- had a heart ailment. by the time kissinger could talk to me i was pretty far along in the film. >> was the most valuable thing in the film? >> i would say scowcroft honesty. the show of intimacy before my father testified before congress shows all of these programs are under the looking glass. >> the name of the documentary is "the man that nobody knew." it is about the cia director and your father, carl colby. we are out of time. thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> for a dvd copy of this program called 1-877-662-7726. >> upcoming guests on q&a include major general washington, discussing her career as the highest ranking female african-american in the history of the united states army. and sports writer john feinstein discusses his book, one on one, -- behind the scenes of the greats in the field. and michele fields talks about her coverage of stories, her coverage of stories,