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tv   Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer  Current  May 21, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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>> eliot: after over 10 years the war in afghanistan appears to be winding down. earlier this month president obama flew to afghanistan to sign the strategic partnership agreement with afghan president hamid karzai assuring that american troops would be out of a of afghanistan in 2014. in the words of his predecessor mission accomplished. the n.a.t.o. transitioned out of afghanistan will begin in 2013 when security forces take the lead of combat situations with all drops removed from the country in 2014 leaving all provinces in the hands of the
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afghan troops. a move that some say is too soon. a fear that the president echoed and said enough is enough. >> i don't think there is ever going to be an optimal point where we say this is all done. this is perfect. this is just the way we wanted it and now we can you know wrap up all of our equipment and go home. no matter how much good we're doing, and how outstanding our troops and our civilians and diplomats are doing on the ground. ten years in a country that is very different that's a strain. >> eliot: joining me now is the director of policy and government affairs joe reuben and a man who served two tours in the u.s. army in iraq john solts. thank you for your time. joel, let me begin with you. it seems as though we've basically crossed the spectrum.
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we've gone from nation building to training the afghan army to make sure they're secure, and then just throwing in the towel peace with dignity, am i reading this right? >> the strategy that the president is laying out has something in it for everybody. military force which we have primary relied upon only is good if it helps to achieve a political deal. we have terrors to fight. there are nuclear weapons in pakistan. we have alliances with russia, india, and other countries who really care what happens in afghanistan. so we're going to need to get this military strategy right. it's coming out. it's about coming out soon but not too soon and making sure now we should really lean in on our diplomacy and engage with the taliban, engage with iran engage with the region to make sure we can leave a stable of a
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afghanistan in the near term. >> eliot: it has struck me watching this throughout the many years the definition of purpose has shifted, been ambiguous and difficult to nail down. was it the al-qaida taliban building a civil society. as we morphed from one objective to another none of them was feasible, we have now said we're simply taking a date and leaving. which is i think it's the right thing to do. but why, to ask the hardest question, why would the taliban negotiate with us at this point if they know our combat troops are gone one year from now. >> that's right. this is a policy that has been seen in free fall for many years. during the bush administration after we succeedly took out the taliban and for years we're not
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investing the kinds of resources we needed to secure afghanistan. when the president took over, he surged troops twice. the taliban for all they could take, they were on their heels a bit but clearly there is no military solution to this. the concept is staying in afghanistan in the near term, continuing to work with the military with the government of afghanistan, and bringing the taliban to the table. but it's not going to be a magic bullet. the military will not do this alone, and talking won't do this alone. we're ultimately going to have to really ensure that we engage all the parties inside of afghanistan and around afghanistan to bring the taliban at heel. >> eliot: john, in my conversations with you i get the sense that if we can get out soon and protect our troops, that's what you want us to do. was it heartening to hear the president say we're not on path to do that today. >> the important part about today we did not learn anything new about afghanistan.
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you talk about the mission creep, we went in there looking for bin laden. this is on president obama. president obama turned this mission into a counter insurgent insurgency mission in order to prop up president karzai. what we found out today is nothing new. i feel the president missed a huge opportunity. in 2013 we're going to switch in counter insurgencies where we're out with afghan units and we're going to go to an advise-train mission which is the similar position we were in iraq where we were not on a mission and we were not the land owners. the president is talking about the calendar and mill are looking at their watch. are we going to go on a defensive this summer. in 2009, we were to control the roads that connect kandahar kabul, control that terrain with 70% of the population. the battle plan this summer
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called for the projection of force outside of the initial population centers at a time when the afghan army is shrinking in size at a time when other countries are pulling out. i don't see to seize terrain closer to the pakistanan border and leave the afghan army out there in a bridge too far mission. you're exactly right. the taliban will not speak to us in any meaningful way until the they do what they have done in iraq. >> eliot: the plans in prior years about the military successes that we would expect to hear about that would lead to the creation of civil society once we established control and once after we were there the afghan army would establish it's own control. that's out the window. i don't think anybody would
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believe that for a moment if they were told tomorrow that we anticipate we would project power that way. jon, i gather you think all those claims have shown to be completely pointless and wrong. >> it's been a mixed bag. when you look at what we've done,al article in "huffington post," they're talking about going into key terrain areas that's a mixed bag. we control it. the taliban is not stronger than the afghan army. we control that terrain. the question is what happens after you leave. there are parts of that terrain, those key districts that had hasn't gone well but it hasn't gone bad either. the larger question is do we hold that terrain and now transfer authority over at an expedited pace. there are a lot of people on the ground in afghanistan who want to do it. evaluate the afghan army while we're there in key terrain areas.
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unfortunately, in the next 12 months we don't know what will happen. this is the last season to fight. there is a lot of pressure, and the president didn't say this with a happen, going past those key terrain areas and push the afghan army out further. the decisive point is what happens when we leave? the taliban has not been able to push us often the terrain. when they blow up a car bomb, they do not now control the city. what will happen if we project them out further. that's my concern, in the next 12 months because we have not switched over to an advised mission, which is still a combat mission, will we make them more vulnerable to defeat. i argue under the current plan it might not work. >> eliot: joel, let me come back to you quickly. we have not said anything yet about pakistan. if there was a disaster that we saw playing out in slow motion at the nato conference there
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was not summit between the president and the leadership of the pakistangy government who had flown over here just for at a summit, one that would give them credibility back home. what do you make about our relationship with pakistan. is that the crisis we'll be reading about in six months? >> pakistan is really the most dangerous country on earth. we need to get this straight. the pakistanis have asked us to pay $5,000 per truck to send shipments into afghanistan. this is not acceptable. this relationship is essential for our broader national security for the nuclear issue as well as in the region in the fight against terrorism. it will be difficult. i agree with jon's point. we need to ensure that the strategy going forward is one that takes advantage of this final window on the military operations inside of afghanistan. to really lever it and utilize it to get some deals on the ground so that when we move out we don't leave an afghanistan that implodes, which clearly
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decides pakistan would be dangerous for all of us. >> eliot: of course, it's our final window the other side knows exactly when we're leaving. it's hard to negotiate in that context. thank you both for your time. >> thank you. [ train whistle blows ] [ ball hitting paddle ] [ orbit girl ] don't let food hang around. yeah! [ orbit trumpet ] clean it up with orbit! [ orbit glint ] fabulous! for a good clean feeling. ♪ eat, drink, chew orbit! ♪
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>> eliot: occupy the front lawns. protested the homes of tim geithner and jp morgans peter shurer, but first, joe the plumber is still alive. when it doesn't fit anywhere else, we put it in the viewfinder. >> facebook went public, maybe be the company worth $400 billion i don't know if you can put a price tag on watching your high school friends slowly
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get fatter. >> we're not going to have music today. >> he's a liberal. i'm aconservative. >> you're up early. >> i'm going to the rally. we're going to protest the establishment. it will be great. are you going to go? >> i got things to do, go to work, feed my family. >> the bible is against it. if you had any sense, you would be against it. little weather a big large fence, and put all the lesbians in there. >> let us talk about what is going on on wall street. ♪ what's new pussycat ♪ whoa, whoa, whoa ♪ what's new, pussycat ♪ ♪ in west philadelphia ♪ born and raised ♪ >> i went to use the restroom a few moments ago. in the restroom, a total mud
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pile, one sock and one shoe. >> lifts him up and he makes his way. >> one in six people in prison are in there for weed that jimmy fallon and the united states of america laugh about. ha ha, ha. ♪ >> new york mayor mike bloom gave the commencement speech at the university of north carolina, and criticized the state's same-sex marriage ban. nothing makes a governor rethink his ways than criticism from a jewish new yorker. ♪ he's a ♪ a hard working man ♪ and he always says ♪ prayers ♪ yeah the thing about him ♪ don't ever let him
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♪ touch your hair ♪ >> eliot: mick jagger with more energy than most 18-year-olds i know and amazing performer. anyway >>(narrator) gavin newsom, lieutenant governor of california, and former mayor of san francisco is on current tv. >>every night on cable news networks everyone's focusing on what's wrong. i want this show to move past that. i love creative people, and with all the vexing problems we have we need creative thinking. >>(narrator) with interviews with notables from silicon valley, hollywood, and beyond. >>at the end of the day this show's simple. it's about ideas. ideas are the best politics. ideas can bring us together. >>(narrator) the gavin newsom show. friday at 11 eastern/8 pacific. only on current tv. hershey's chocolate syrup. stir up a smile.
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let facts get in the way of spin. >>do it, for america. ♪ >> eliot: from elizabeth warren and simon johnson to senator bernie saunders, the number of voices calling for jamie dimon to step down from the new york fed continues to grow. in washington hundreds of protesters made an impromptu visit to tim geithner's before heading to jpmorgan chase executive demanding that jamie dimon step down from the new york reserve. they asked for jpmorgan to reduce the principle of home mortgages. joining me now the author of "
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"13 bankers and author of "white house burning." professor, thank you for joining us. what is wrong with tim geithner with bees on the board of the new york fed? >> well, i think you mean jamie dimon. >> eliot: yes, correct. >> there is a conflict of interest there, eliot. jamie dimon is head one jpmorgan ones largest banks in the world they've had big losses, those need to be investigated properly and the new york fed is a responsible supervisor of jpmorgan. there is conflict of interest for someone who will be subject of investigation also sit in the supervisory position. >> eliot: now i don't think most people appreciate the fact if you look back at the board of
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the new york fed over the last ten years, you will see that it has been dominated by bankers. why is that and how can that have been permitted to continue? >> well, there is a long-standing arrangement for all the regional feds that comprise the federal reserve system. it gives the local bankers a large voice. and giving local bankers a voice in kansas or minnesota, that's one thing, but in new york you're giving giving that voice to some of the most powerful people on wall street. citigroup was build up with a board member there. and lehman brothers as it ran into the ground with a board member of the new york fed and jamie dimon is one of the most effective opponents of financial reform yet sits on the board of the new york fed. >> eliot: what do you see when the lou capital gains the roster of the board members is virtually every bank that has run into trouble, every bank that has been bailed out has been represented on the board of
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the fed. they have given themselves in essence the money they needed tax pair money to survive this is a structural problem. why has not anything happened about this? why has there been not a real demand human cry that jamie dimon be forced off the board? >> that's a good question. i think when the attention comes on as it's now coming, it will across the political spectrum people, when you explain the situation, they say, oh, that's a bizarre thing to have a banker play that role in the new york fed and in the economy giving themselves emergency or apparently giving themselves emergency loans. >> eliot: now, our treasury secretary tim geithner mate comments the other day. he was asked about this on a pbs show and he put this in and a context of there being an appearance issue and what he did was down play the role the board
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plays, i was critical and i said no, it's not an appearance issue because the board does the most important thing imaginable, pick the president of the new york fed, and jamie dimon sits on the committee that sets the salaries and oversees the salaries of fed officials. how are they going to possibly regulate him? does tim geithner appreciate this fundamental tension, and what do you think he'll do about it? >> tim geithner, as you mentioned before, was president of the new york fed. he knows these bankers very well and is good friends with many of them and i'm sure there is a real conflict of interest here. he said it is a perception problem. that is typical treasury department code saying the time has come to fix this. fix this. tim geithner cannot force out
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jamie dimon. that has to be done within the federal reserve system, but the pressure is on jamie dimon to resign from the board of the new york fed. >> eliot: both of us are confusing the two. the two morph into one person, and that may be the problem. is that what we've been talking about with respect to the new york fed board similarric of the larger regulatory crisis we face in this nation where there has been touch influence to bear that they have not done their job. >> yes, it is symptomatic of a broader problem. it could be that this is the tip of the iceberg or the relatively visible part of the problem. the intellectual and other forms capture are much more pervasive. >> eliot: very, very quickly. you are actually beginning a petition campaign to show public support for this.
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when will that start and how will that work? >> we hope to get it started tomorrow. we hope that a lot of people are going to sign on. it's actually a very reasonable and modest to moderate ask and i would be shocked if we don't pick up a lot of support. >> eliot: you're absolutely right. it should happen, and this would be the least of the reforms we need to begin to bring genuine regulatory pressure to bear on the banks. simon johnson, previews at mit, coauthor of "white house burning." thank you for everything you've done to shed light on the financial crisis over the years. >> thanknknknknknknknknknknknknknknknknknknknknknknknknknknknknk >>we're just getting started. (vo) the state of the 2012 campaign. brought to you by spiriva. if you have copd like i do you know how hard it can be to breathe and what that feels like. copd includes chronic bronchitis
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>> eliot: another week, another giant endorsement for same-sex marriage. this time from the naacp, but first, let's take our daily trip out west and visit with jennifer granholm in "the war room"." jennifer, who do you have on tap tonight. >> as you noted the president doubled down saying mitt romney's record at bain capital is at heart of the campaign despite what cory booker has said. i'm joined in the studio with paul krugman to discuss bain and what experience is relevant to the campaign. we're all about the politics of the economy tonight. >> eliot: could not be better. you know what my answer would be to put paul krugman in charge of the economy, and congress and everything for 24 hours and it would turn out just fine. >> that would be awesome. >> eliot: tell him i said so. he's gogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogo >>(narrator) don't miss this week's the gavin newsom show with special guest guy kawasaki and dylan ratigan. >>steve jobs was many things but he was not a politician.
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♪ >> eliot: freedom is a precious commodity that must be guarded often in desire circumstances and at unpopular times. thankfully our judiciary has found the courage to do so, during some critical moments in our history. one such moment came last week. a federal judge prevented enforcement of a statute that gave government almost unlimited power to arrest anybody who supported a terrorist group, and to detain them indefinitely without charges. well respected journalists sought this injunction. after all they have contact with representatives of terrorist groups in the course of their reporting work. without guidance about what the statute meant they could not know if they were in violation of it. but the lawyer for the department of justice would provide no such guidance, refusing over and over to explain what would count as support or to put any limitations on the phrase.
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would repeating the claims and objectives of a terrorist group violate the law? the department of justice lawyer would not say. to the shock of the government, the judge said the statute ran afoul concerned about abusive civil liberties are not the domain of those who seek conspiracy behind every shadow. here in new york the federal judge said police showed blatant disregard for the fourth amendment when they stopped and frisked hundreds of thousands of mostly minority youths on the street. and just weeks ago on this show we had three absolutely credible nsa veterans describing violations of our civil rights on a monumental scale. this is heard to comprehend. protecting ourselves from terrorism is, of course, a critical and primary obligation of our government. but it's equally important plot to run roughshod over our civil
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rights and the constitution. as we fight terrorismickings we can't lose sight of what makes our nation difference. due process of law and thehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe while you're out catching a movie. [ growls ] lucky for me your friends showed up with this awesome bone. hey! you guys are great. and if you got your home insurance where you got your cut rate car insurance, it might not replace all this. [ electricity crackling ] [ gasping ] so get allstate. you could save money and be better protected from mayhem like me. [ dennis ] dollar for dollar, nobody protects you from mayhem like allstate.
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break the ice with breath-freshening cooling crystals. ice breakers. >> eliot: the president completed his evolution on guy marriage two weeks ago. finally announcing his support for it. now it appears that others are following his lead. over the weekend, the nation's oldest organization for african-americans announced their support for gay marriage. they passed a resolution affirming it opposes a badge on same-sex marriage. saying quote, the naacp will oppose and will continue to oppose any national, state local political or legislative initiative that seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law removing the rights of lbgt citizens. the poll this past november showed 58% of
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african-americaning believe that same-sex marriage was, quote unkeepible. joining me now who has shared has wisdom here many times thank you for your time, tico. >> thank you eliot. >> eliot: this certainly was an important move in terms of voice in a community that has not traditionally been supportive of same sex issues, something that will help reinforce what the president did so dramatically two weeks ago. >> it was historic. the statement that the naacp made in favor of marriage equality, but i got to say i was not surprised. i heard the president of the naacp give a speech on this very topic two months ago at a gay rights conference, and his views and leadership have been known in the african-american community and we're making process every day. >> eliot: this shows the power of the presidency and this president in particular to move
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the moral campus, and why it's so important that he in particular be leading and clarion votes in this regard. to go from the domain of rhetorical to actual tangible differences, though, what do we know now if anything where the white house is on the executive order, which the president refused to sign a month or so ago that caused such a firestorm within the lbgt community? is >> i think we're a little bit closer. i've met with the white house staff. i have had conversations with the white house house, and the entire lbgt movement is pushing forward and pushing for the president to overrule the white house staff which delays the executive order. that the president himself promised in writing four years ago that he would sign if he became president. as harry truman said, the buck stops in the oval office and i think president obama will
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overrule his staff entirely. >> eliot: the president has been stupendous, this would be a concrete measure that would effect people day in and day out, extending rights for people who work for contractors of the federal government saying you shall not be discriminated based on area sexual orientation. you've been leading to get exxon mobile, one of the largest company in the nation to also embrace lbgt rights. s. >> just today, freedom to work asked exxon mobil to adopt the golden rules that we treat lbgt workers just as we treat any workers we've asked them to adopt nondiscrimination rules, which most leaders in corporate america have already
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adopted because they know that workplace discrimination is morally wrong and it decreases worker productivity, profits and it's just a bad way to run a business. exxon is out of line and strayed far from the pack and its time for exxon to rejoin the leadership of corporate america by signing this. >> eliot: if i hear you, they're alone even within the energy pack as it were other major oil companies moving ahead of them in terms of protecting the rights of gay, lesbian transgender what explains their hesitancy here? >> it's hard to imagine why they would clutch so desperately to the policies of 1983 or 1984 1985. they are decades behind in adopting the principles of corporate leadership that so many fortune 500 companies have adopted because it's the right thing to do for which is business. i can't explain the mentality.
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i can't explain why they're being such neanderthals in fighting this so hard, but so many leaders are pushing exxon and one those is comptroller of new york state. >> eliot: give us the run down on that. >> he will bring that forward next week. we're coordinating it to work with mr. denapoli and his stuff. we'll do op-eds, we'll do petitions which your viewers can to go to and sign. and we're going to really up the ante and pressure exxon mobil to let america know that they are the hold out that refuses to accept-- >> eliot: i hate to say the
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