tv Face the Nation CBS June 10, 2012 8:30am-9:30am PDT
>> bob: today on "face the nation" on the 40th an verse reof watergate. a new flood of washington leaks as the president looks for something good to say about a bad election year economy. >> the private sector is doing fine. >> bob: of course that did not go unanswered. >> is he really that out of touch? i think he's defining what it means to be detached. >> bob: well on second thought -- >> it is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine. >> scott walker survived an effort by democrats and big labor to turn him out of office. >> voters really do want leaders who stand up and make the tough decisions. >> bob: does walker survival
translate to trouble ahead for the president's radio re-election chances? we'll talk to walker, afl-cio president and maryland democratic governor martin o'malley. then turn to firestorm over classified leaks. >> the notion that my white house would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. >> bob: late this week the justice department opened an investigation for the latest on that we'll bring in the chairs of the senate and house intelligence committees, senator diane feinstein and congressman mike rogers. and speaking of leaks -- >> first it was called the watergate caper. five men, apparently caught in the act of burglarizing and bugging democratic headquarters in washington. >> bob: that was 40 years ago this week. and bob woodward and carl
bernstein, the reporters who broke the story that brought down richard nixon are here to talk about it and give new details they have learned about the case. because this is "face the nation." captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news in washington, "face the nation" with bob schieffer. >> bob: good morning again welcome to "fakes the nation" wisconsin's republican scott walker is the first governor in the nation who survived a recall election. and he joins us today from madison, governor, thank you for being with us. you heard in the opening of the program that the president said that the private sector is fine. mitt romney fired back immediately and used what happened out there in wisconsin as part of his answer. i want to you listen to what he said. >> instead he wants to add more to government.
he wants another stimulus he wants to hire more government workers. he says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers: he did he not get the merv griffinnage of wisconsin, the american people did, it's time to cut back on government and help the american people. >> bob: so, there you have it, governor. is that the message? do the american people want fewer cops and fewer firemen and fewer teachers or was there a different message? >> well, i think it's slightly different. in our case what they wanted people to take on the tough issues not only here in where is i wisconsin but across the country. governor romney has a shot if the "r" doesn't stand for republican but reformer. if he shows my state and americans that he's got a plan to take on the reforms. the real difference what the president said this week is simple. the president and his allies believe success is government is defined by how many people are dependent on government programs. we believe that success just the opposite. how many fewer people are
dependent on government programs because they have a job in the private sector where they can control their own freedom, their own destiny and ultimately lead to greater prosperity that's the real difference there. >> bob: do you think governor romney talking about getting rid of more teachers and firemen? >> no. i think in the end a biggish sue that the private sector still needs more help. the answer is not more big government. i know in my state our reform allowed us to protect firefighters, police officers and teachers that's not what i think when i think of big government. i think of the bigger sense is, more government regulations, more stimulus, more things that take money out of the private sector and put it in the hands of the government. that's not the answer out there. more people on unemployment benefits is not success in america, fewer people on not because we kicked them off but because they have been able to get a job in the private sector, because government got out of the way. that's the answer to truly stimulate the economy that's what we saw generation ago when president reagan signed the
economic recovery act of 1981. in '82 we saw at the beginning of that unemployment even higher than we saw even at the height of this recession. but after it had a time to go in to affect we saw largest peace time economic boom in american history. it can happen again. >> bob: let me ask you this. people on both sides out there sort of said, well, you know, i may not agree with the governor on the stand he took, but he was a man of conviction. he stood up for what he thought was right and he was willing to take on people on that. in your first answer there, you seem to be saying that maybe you said you hope that's what governor romney would do. a lot of people or some people at least in the republican party even are saying that he needs to stand up more for things and not sort of try to be all things to all people. >> well, i think he's capable of that. you look at governor romney's record in the private sector, he
turned things around. certainly a decade ago he took the u.s. olympics turned it around for america and made it great again in salt lake city. he's got the capacity to do it. i just hope he takes a page out of president reagan's play book in 1908 where it was not only a referendum on the failed policies of president carter, it was also something where president reagan laid out a clear plan. i was just about 1 at the time, less government, smaller government, fewer action, lower taxes, strong national defense. those are things that people remember then, i think governor romney can lay it out he's got the capacity and experience to do that, but here in wisconsin and other swing states i think that's the key. the "r" cannot be just about being republican it has to be reformer. people are desperate for leadership in washington and we're just not seeing it out of the leaders there at least not in the white house. >> bob: you think he can do more along that line? >> i think people like recall ryan and others hope that he goes big and bold.
i think he has the capacity. i don't think we win if it's just about a referendum on barack obama. i think it's got fob more. voters are hungry and my state good example. i had people in the last couple of weeks in my election say, i voted for your opponent the last time but i'm voting for you now. the reason for them was simple they said, finally someone is willing to take on the tough issues, the economic and fiscal crisis we face in our state. people are so hungry for leaders willing to stand up take on those decisions. >> bob: is wisconsin romney country now? >> well, i think it's up in the air. it's definitely in place. six months ago i think the white house had it firmly in their column. it's up in the air but really very much left up not just to republican or conservatives but to the swing voters who elected me by a larger margin to say, if governor romney can show that he's got clear plan, a plan to take on reforms we need to make,
particularly for our kids. i think that can win in wisconsin i think it can win in other swing states. >> bob: thank you so much for being with us this morning. we really appreciate you answering the questions. and we're going to turn now to maryland governor mark o'malley he would be a democrat and richard who is the head of the afl-cio who represents 12 million workers you took a big part in that recall election out there. i got to say, any way you cut it it was a defeat for -- >> it was defeat for the people got hurt the working people on the ground in that state. it's true that the people in wisconsin didn't recall governor walker, but he spent over $50 million on this, he has lost control of the state senate so his agenda is stopped dead in its tracks, the worst job creating record of all the states that are out there right now. and people are looking at that. >> bob: having said all that he won. >> what did he win? he got the right to serve the
rest of his term. what he hasn't done is create jobs. again he has the worst job creating record out there. he talks a lot about making tough decisions. there's a difference, bob, between making a tough decision to create jobs and making decisions that are political decisions. he didn't lead here he followed. the american legislative exchange conference right after 2010 election, legislators together with governors and said, their goal was to reduce the vote, the progressive vote in 2012 by 10%. less votes. less democracy. he went after unions and immigrants and seniors, he went after students. he went after all of those things, he didn't do what he was supposed to do. that's try to create jobs. we wish he had the best job creating record in the country we wish he could get there. >> governor o'malley, do you agree with governor romney about
the lessons of wisconsin what you just heard him say. >> what do you think the lesson? >> i think the biggest lesson in wisconsin is 60% of the people do not believe paul elections were proper for policy differences short of some criminal offense. right now governor walker's only had three people in his administration indicted, he had his top communications person say immunity deal. he himself has not been named in that investigation. i think the sense among people in wisconsin we should have recall elections for poll she reasons. however they did put the brakes on his hard right wing agenda by putting democrats in charge of the state senate. and for all his talk about making tough decisions they aren't the tough decisions that actually create jobs. he had the worst rate of job creation in business wisconsin of any state in the nation so he over came that with billionaire help to put on eight and made up
new set of numbers. >> bob: let me ask you about this statement that the president got tangled up. the private sector is just fine then he had to walk it back, the economy in general is not fine. what was that all about? >> i think for a president who usually chooses his words very, very carefully i think what the president in retrospect would have liked to have said while the private sector is improving, no one can deny that we've had 27 months in a row of private sector job growth. fact of the matter is that the public sector continues to be a drag on the economy because in 16 of the last 18 months we've had public sector job losses. so in some months it's as if we take two or three steps forward and one or two steps back. for every three jobs created by the private sector we eliminate a public sector job, teachers, firefighters, police and that puts a drag on the economy. so i think that most economists would agree with the president that the private sector is doing
better and the public sector is doing worse. >> bob: this was not a good week for the president. >> we've had better weeks. there will be good weeks and bad weeks. even on this contest in wisconsin over the last three contested gub races we won in kentucky in a state the president did not win. we won in west virginia. you didn't see us crowing. there are battles and there is a longer struggle at the end of the day come november people will choose to move forward not go back to the failed policy of the bush administration. >> bob: let me ask you this, in the old days republicans always raised the most money but democrats could always fall back on help from the unions who could turn out people, who could run these voter education programs, who could put troops on the ground. that didn't seem to work this time in wisconsin. >> i disagree with you completely. money was a big part of this thing. and money edge is really
dangerous to democracy. what you have right now people have said to me that, look, you always be outspent how can you ever win. listen to what this says about democracy. this isn't about giving corporations more power, they have too much now. this is about giving one percent too much power. what we do, we do people power. we educate people and change what we've been doing. in the past we couldn't talk to non--union workers. now we can at least talk to nonunion workers so we'll be mobilizing them and educating them not just just six or eight months but we'll be doing it year around. so the day after that wisconsin election happened, we were back out on the street, we were talking to workers, we were educating them, we were mobilizing, we were getting them going. by the way the wisconsin fight really did provide a spark for the labor movement in wisconsin because we're organizing more than we have. >> sort of a wake-up call. >> not just. that but coming together.
because they say the guy was willing willing to create jobs instead of doing that he fell in line with the agenda trying to take it away from them. so they said we got to change things. they did. >> bob: let me just ask both of you. democratic strategist on this broadcast last week said he thought that if the election were just referendum of barak obama that president obama would lose and that's why he was saying they got to go negative. do you agree with that? >> what we have to do is keep the issue focused on job creation. last year more jobs were created in the private sector of our country's economy than in all eight years of president bush. more jobs created in the private sector than in all eight years of george w. bush. so i think that president obama absolutely needs to take away the false assertions of mitt romney that he created jobs either in private sector. he had 47th worst job
creation -- we need to cope it keep it focused. >> bob: would you agree with that, this has got to be more than just about the president's record while he was in office? also got to be about mitt romney? >> it's got to be about jobs, got to be about the future there. is a stark difference between president obama and mitt romney. mitt romney says he wants fewer teachers. that means larger classrooms. he says he wants fewer firefighters, that means less safety. rich people will probably still have good protection, working class people won't. he wants fewer police officers, that means we're in danger. there's a difference. he wants to create an economy, he wants to focus on manufacturing. with manufacturing comes research and development. with research and development the united states maintains its edge. without it, we lose our edge. >> bob: all right. i'm willing go to have to stop it there. thanks both of you for a very enlightening discussion. we're coming back with two of the world's most famous journalists, woodward and bernstein.
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♪ >> bob: this week, june 17 marks 40th anniversary of the watergate break in with the nixon white house first called third rate burglary but a story that would eventually lead to the resignation of a president. in large part because of the investigative talents two of young reporters and in today's "washington post," there appears for the first time since they wrote those stories what became perhaps the most famous double bi-line by carl bernstein and called cad ward. they are at the table with us today, welcome to both of you. i just want to ask you. what did you -- what was your feeling when you saw that biline in the post today? first line in 6 years? >> i think it was great to work together. i mean, we're dear friends now,
there's a sense of collaboration and congeniality. but also there's a sense of tension. we look at the world a little differently and i think it makes a better product. >> bob: carl? >> complementary. we do somewhat different things the result is better for it. and it's fun. >> bob: i really enjoyed reading the piece that you have in the "washington post" today. and i guess the bottom line of it would be, it's worse than we thought it was. >> yes. what we tried to do is take all of the evidence and there's been an outpouring of caped transcripts and testimony and memoirs and try to make sense of it. it's essentially five wars that nixon launched as president. first against the anti-war movement. the second against the press. the third against the democrats who threatened to take over the
white house from him and deny him a second term. then the fourth when there was the watergate burglary the cover up, the obstruction of justice. then interestingly enough, nixon never stopped. the fifth war which is against history to say, oh, no, it really is not what it shows on the tapes and all the testimony and evidence. >> bob: carl, it seems that you're trying to put to rest the notion that the cover up was worse than the crime. >> the crimes were enormous that's what the tapes show and go back to the first days of the nixon administration. wiretap, presidential orders involved setting up a burglary squad and wiretapping squad and wiretap reporter in 1969. but really what we found is, that his white house came to remarkable extent a criminal enterprise such as we've never had in our history. >> bob: i want to play something now that i don't know it's been since you've seen
this, but i guess it was several years after the original break in. mark felt, who had been assistant director of the fbi during those days, he came on "face the nation" here is what he said. >> no, i am not deep throat. and only thing i can say is that i wouldn't be ashamed to be because i think whoever helped woodward, helped the country, no question about it. >> bob: but of course as we now know couple years ago, you went out talked to mark felt again and you revealed that he was in fact deep throat. >> yes. actually he unmasked himself and it was believe it or not seven years ago, first carl and i kind of thought, somebody's taking advantage of him, he's in his 90s then we saw him on television and we actually, before he died went out to see him. this was a man liberated because finally he could tell the truth.
>> interesting thing about deep throat, there's a loft mythology attached to it. basically what he did was he confirmed information that we had found elsewhere. there's this myth that dropped in all this weak stuff came trying over the transom, partly and largely through him, what happened in the reporting watergate was old fashioned police reporting, knocking on doors at night, finding people who understood because they worked for the nixon re-election campaign committee and in the white house. something awful had happened here it was indicative of a larger conspiracy within the nixon. >> bob: what did you think when you saw him go on television, no, it wasn't me but whoever -- >> by the way, whoever it was did a great thing. that's not unusual. carl is absolutely right. we had dozens of sources, he helped us at critical times, but
if you look at the book we put together "all the presidents' men" going to people from the inside who can give us specific information about transactions, dirty tricks, cover ups, hush money. that's what began kind of the unraveling of watergate and unraveling of who was richard nixon. you listened to these tapes and it is -- talk about blackmail, cover up. >> of his predecessor in office. lyndon johnson, richard nixon says, there is a file in brook innings institution that we might be able to blackmail johnson with and he says, let's get in there and blow the god damn safe. i want to get in there, break in. >> his chief of staff said, yeah, this is what we should do.
henry kissinger is listening to all of it. >> bob: we are going to listen to more of it with you when we come back. more in the next half hour, back in a moment with personal thoughts of my own about watergate story. >> whether or not the president is a crook. i'm not a crook. in florida we had more suntans...
watergate break in came to light i had slightly different take than woodward and bernstein. i tried to get out of town before i got assigned to the story. the reason was, my boss, bill small, had just assigned me as part of the cbs team covering the democratic and republican convention, both of which were being held in miami.
the 'sanement i had dreamed of all my life. but i was still fairly junior in the washington bureau and i had the sinking feeling that small would pull me off the convention and assign me to the break in, the story that made absolutely no sense. why would anyone break in to a political headquarters? what secrets could possibly be found there? that's where you kept the yard signs and such. someone said it was just a bunch of crazy. why would anyone especially as far ahead in the polls as nixon was at that point break in to a campaign headquarters. i laid low, got on down to miami, had a great summer and that led to a long career covering politics here. still, i had made the worst mistake of a are the reporter can make. he assumed it didn't amount to anything. better as woodward and bernstein showed us, to check it out. which they did and what journalism.
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discover britvisit:lumbia. >> bob: we're back on "face the nationism" page two with bob woodward and carl benzene or woodsteen as they came to be called. let me ask you, when did the two of you real lies this was a big story? >> earlier than you might think. we had found out that there was a secret fund that paid for watergate to use other illegal activities, about eight weeks after the break in. john mitchell, nixon's campaign manager was among those controlling it. we would have coffee every morning off the newsroom floor, a dime which it cost those days, i felt this chill go down my
back. i said, this president is going to be impeached. he looked at me and said, oh, my, god, you're right. we can never use that word in this newsroom because people will think we have an 'general d. and we have no agenda except to report this story. >> bob: when you got down there, you went over there first, weren't you the first reporter to go over there, bob? >> over to the watergate? or to the court hearing where the burglars were there and whispering, they couldn't tell the judge where they worked and the judge finally said, speak up. and the lead burglar, james mcchord said, i worked at the cia i remember thinking, gee, that's not your average burglar. >> bob: i remember being at a panel discussion with you many, many years ago, i think it was when you all -- when university of texas bought your papers and put them in their collection. i remember somebody asked you they said, where do you think this story was going to go? what was your agenda?
i will never forget what your answer was, bob. >> that we were just trying to find out what happened. that we were as imperical as we could be and it needs to be said that we work for ben bradley and other editors at the "post" who didn't have an agenda themselves. but their agenda was, get the f-ing story. get in to it. keep digging, don't let up and we were 28 and 29 at the time. it's very liberating to work in an institution where they really understand what we're trying to do. and they say to you, you know, use all your resources, use all the resources of this newspaper, in fact if there is peril if we are not believed but we think we have good sources, continue. >> bob: what would have happened to the "washington post" if you would have been wrong? >> it's history, but it would
have been awful. the nixon white house had gone after television licenses of the "washington post" company as we were reporting this. because it was the lifeblood financially of the company. the nixon administration, the white house, nixon and his aides response to watergate was to make the conduct of the press the issue of watergate rather than the conduct of the press. specific low our conduct at the wash post. remember, it worked for a long time. people didn't really believe what we were writing, most people -- including our colleagues until your colleague, walter cronkite went on air after four months, it's not just the burglary this is part of a massive campaign, political espy i don't know madge, directed from the white house and walter cronkite put it on the air oop half of his broadcast. >> because that have the nixon administration put great pressure on us, chuck coal son went to new york, right to bill
who owned the company in those days base you cannily said we're going to put you out of business. >> and colson was one of nixon's closest aides. and the first broadcast was 15 minutes, it was based on our story and of course we didn't know about the tapes at the time. and you go back and look at the tapes during this period and nixon is in there in a rage, he said the "washington post" is going to have damnable problems. he is saying -- he is saying things about people and again, everyone was an opponent, was an enemy and the language -- not only -- you put the headphones on and listened to some of that stuff you say, that's going on in the white house? what is going on? >> bob: i tell you the thing that struck me as i read this piece that you put in the "washington post" today, it is
fine piece of work. it really reminds us and brings home and puts it in one place what this is all about. but the paranoia of that white house and of nixon in particular, the thing that really struck me was how much he hated jews. >> the elsberg break in, after the pentagon papers were leaked to the "new york times" and other publications about daniel elsberg, nixon said we've got to get that jew. they engineered the break in of the psychiatrist office of elsberg it was astonishing. what's so amazing after all this time is that this was a period in which the information about nixon was received in a nonpartisan, noncultural warfare way by the country, by the congress, by the judiciary. there was no real controversy
but the end about what had happened here. republicans lined up, barry goldwater, the great arizona conservative went down to the white house said, mr. president, you have to go because you've committed too many crimes. there was no debate like we have today. 77 to nothing. senate decided to undertake this investigation. >> what is interesting, if you look at the various parts of government, the senate normally it would be partisan as carl said. 77-0. can you imagine the senate now passing 77-0 any -- even to rename a school about schieffer school that would be controversial and people against it. >> bob: you're probably right. >> it would be. but on this, the democrats and republicans joined together said, we need to get to the
bottom of it. they set up a special prosecutor who took over from the u.s. attorney and swam in to this sea of crime. in the end it wasn't just a few people, 40 people went to jail. >> bob: i was stunned when i read that. i didn't realize that many people had gone to jail. >> not just back benchers. >> almost all of his closest aides actually, particularly on the domestic side. >> bob: what surprised you all when you went back to do this story after all these years? >> again, it's the tapes. it's that sense of nixon believed that you used the presidency as an instrument of personal revenge or reward. as carl and i have talked over
the years we keep looking for a tape where somebody said, what would be good for the country, what does the country need. it was always about nixon. the real tragedy of all of this probably, crimes, abuse, but the smallness of it and nixon failed to realize particularly when he took over as president in '69 in the early months, that the country felt, even democrats, goodwill, we want our president to succeed. he immediately launched the campaign of, let's spy on people, let's do something dirty. and there was never that sense of let's harmonize and solve the big problems, it was always, let's screw somebody. let's get the irs on them. >> criminal at as matter of policy. that's what's so astonishing. you hear on the tapes so seldom let's go the right way on
anything. it's always what's the criminal way to do it, in essence. >> bob: you point out one thing that he accepted a full pardon from gerald ford, i thought that was the wrong thing for president ford to do at the time. i was the white house correspondent i've come to feel and i think you feel the same way, bob, had he not done it the country would have been bogged down in this come to complete stop. but you know president ford told me an interesting thing once, he said, i asked him i said, did he ever thank you? he said, no. he never did. at least not directly. >> and spent some time talking to ford about the pardon and why did do you this, and he finally said, i didn't do it for nixon, i didn't do it for myself, i did it for the country. we had to get over watergate. and in a series of interviews gerald ford said that he had actually been offered a deal for the pardon by al haig who was nixon's chief of staff. he said, but i rejected that, he
made very passionate and convincing case that ford, unlike nixon, had said what is the national interest here? what is the larger purpose of my office. he paid a big political price -- >> probably lost to jimmy carter. >> i think a great tact of courage. >> bob: i think it cost gerald ford the presidency. he told me that he thought that was the main reason for it. he hadn't at that point actually decided he was going to run but he was thinking about it and he knew that if he did this it would be very difficult for him to overcome yet he went ahead. >> remarkably courageous. >> bob: let me ask you this, we'll talk to diane feinstein in just a minute she'll be here about this big leaks investigation that is going on right now. i think in the whole watergate thing nobody ever got the idea that the white house was feeding
you guys information. that the white house wanted this out. it seems that this investigation seems to be about whether or not the white house did let out national security information in order to make the president look like a stronger leader. what do you make of this right now? >> first you got to be very careful about creating a witch hunt for sources. and a witch hunt which you go after reporters because now more than ever we need real reporting on this presidency, on national security. on all these areas. the press is not the problem here. we got plenty of laws and if somebody inside is doing things with real national security secrets that they oughtn'tt be doing. let's be really careful before we start a witch hunt here. >> i completely agree with that. by having an investigation, was
there real harm to the national security? i think that question needs to be addressed at a policy level and it's very difficult i know from doing stories like this where you are dealing with sensitive government secrets to modulate and be careful at the same time hold the government accountable for what they're doing. this is an area that needs to be handled with great delicacy and i'm not sure we have a political system that knows how to do anything with great delicacy. >> record in the press is really quite good in protecting real genuine national security secrets which we often know about. don't put -- you know, think of what you are carrying around in your head that you don't put on the air. we know a lot that we don't put in there. >> bob: let me -- you all
make a point at the end of this piece where you say that in the end it was nixon that brought down nixon. and you point to the last speech he made before he left town. i just want to play a little of it here. >> always remember others may hate, those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. and then you destroy yourself. >> what an insight. because he raises the word "hate" and he understands that the hating of others doesn't destroy them it destroys you. that the poison in his presidency was this hate. it's a magnificent moment and you need to give him credit for that. at the same time he then went on, he lived 20 years after he left the presidency and declared
again this fifth war against history. wrote in his book "in the arena" saying, watergate, they are a bunch of myths, i didn't do this. most startlingly. he said, i never authorized the payment of hush money to the burglars so they wouldn't talk. there's a tape in which he authorizes it 12 times. it's almost this world like, they don't think anyone is going to check. no one is going to put it together but there it is in his own voice. i've often asked, why wouldn't people go on the record on this story. in the end, nixon is the one who went on the record in his tapes and there he is. not just a couple of times, but dozens, hundreds of times literally saying things that if that's going on in the white house now, god help us.
>> bob: i want to thank both of you for your work. this fascinating and remarkable figure in american history. who opened relations with china, which had to be done far ahead of his party, you did some remarkable work in arms control then in the end it came down to this. we'll be back in one minute with the latest on today's big leaks investigation. bob we're back with the chair of
the senate intelligence committee, diane feinstein from california and out in detroit this morning house counterpart, chairman mike rogers. well, lady and gentleman, last friday the justice department announced two u.s. attorneys had been assigned to investigate these recent leaks of classified information. this has been information about the cyberwar that the united states is reportedly been waging
on the iranian nuclear facility and development. also some allotted details on drone strikes. is this enough, senator feinstein, the justice department has appointed two investigators to get on this case? >> well, hopefully it's enough to get to a relatively quick disposition. i think what is happening out there, it's very different day than what carl bernstein and bob woodward spoke about. we were attacked, we know there are people that want to do us damage, we know there are iad factories making bombs to kill our people in afghanistan. we know that there are groups that if they can will attack us. and therefore, the intelligence is related to the nation's security. and i think that's an important point. i think that these two
investigative teams, i think it's probably one for the yemeni situation and one for the iranian situation. have an opportunity to do the investigation quickly and if there were unauthorized leaks to get to the bottom of it. >> bob: chairman rogers, these men of course will be u.s. attorneys that are going to be looking in to this. there was some talk that maybe because this might involve -- well obviously would involve the administration and people in the administration that perhaps you needed independent counsels are you satisfied that u.s. attorneys can get this done? >> well, we're going to have to see what their reporting structure, bob, and hi, senator feinstein, by the way. this is important. we launched in the house preliminary investigators on the house committee just to take a look at some of the preliminary review perspective on this particular leak. it was because of the parade of leak, is that i think senator feinstein and i both stood up said, something's got to be done about this.
we need to close their yaps if we can. here is what happened. many asked the question, me included, can you have a u.s. attorney assigned to the -- through the attorney general investigate something that is clearly going to be most senior levels of all of the security, the dod, attorney general's office and even the president. some of the leaks the public leaks self described aides, that's a pretty small but important group of people. so my question to the attorney general is, good start, maybe. but we need to find out if they will have that independence. this needs to be fair, it of it shouldn't be a partisan thing this should be about catching the folks who are leaking some very damaging national security information. >> bob: you said the other day, mr. chairman, you said this is a hundred times the magnitude of the volley plame case. this was case where the identity of valerie plame she was a member of the cia which was classified information. and one of vice president
cheney's aide scooter libby went to jail for quite to cover this up. so, how bad is this? >> well at that time, bob, president agreed to independent counsel. senator fine tine and i were trying to work out is that the right course. >> bob: how bad is this? >> both of us are committed to a process that isn't partisan. isn't ideologically driven. that would be a disaster. but i'll tell what you is important, i had eight very senior case officers from whole different set of programs in my committee just recently hand two of the persons, all of the men and women said, this is devastating to them and makes their jobs so much significantly harder. that's why we have to get the investigation right. it can't be based on an election timeframe and it can't be based on who had access and who didn't. it has to be fair. the investigators have to have the ability to take the investigation where it goes. if it goes to the dod or fbi they have to go there. >> bob: i want to come back
to you, senator feinstein. let me tell you, let's show people who the president said about this friday. >> as i think has been indicated 2/3rds these articles, whether or not the information is true. the writers of these articles have all stated unequivocally that they didn't come from this white house. that's not how we operate. >> bob: that's pretty unequivocal he said, they did not come from the white house. can he be assured enough of his information to say that, senator? >> i can't answer that. i don't know. but i take the president at face value. and as chairman rogers said, the investigation has to be nonpartisan, it's got to be vigorous and it's got to move ahead rapidly. i think -- let me give you one example. it's the example of the yes, ma'am me bomb. in yemen they have investigated
a bomb which invented a bomb which is nonmetallic which can go through magnatometers which would take an invasive body search to find. they have a person that was willing to help them who got one of these bombs in its entirety and that bomb was most likely going to come in to the united states one way or another. and so the cia and others recovered the bomb. that was very closely held. by the time the bomb got to the united states i would candidly doubt that it was closely held. and so it leaked and the person that helped us, his life was put in jeopardy and his family was put in jeopardy. now, he did us a great service. he probably prevented an airliner from going down. that's lost in all of this. >> bob: let me just go back to chairman rogers.
some people are saying, suggesting some republicans at least, that the motive here is that the people who leaked this were trying to make the president look big and strong as it were. do you think that figures in to this? >> again, i hope that ideologicals don't settle in to this because i think that would interfere with a thorough, complete and fair investigation. if you really want to get to the bottom of this, i know senator feinstein and i really want to get to the bottom of this. a, because we know that sources' lives are in danger and operations importantly going forward are in danger. that is a serious blow to national security. so this should be done in a way that is fair and nonpartisan. all the investigators, don't go in with the conclusion but go in following your leads where you find them. >> bob: i have ten seconds here. >> whatever that takes you. >> bob: do you think this was leaked by the white house to make the president look good? >> i have no idea. no, i do not believe that. >> bob: we're going to have to leave it right there.
you to know that friday night at annual dinner the radio, television correspondents association gave a special award to cbs news photographer george christian. george has covered the news for 40 years for cbs in addition to his remarkable body of work he has saved the bacon of many of us here including me more times than i can count. it was hard to get scooped when george had your back. never one to rest on his laurels he's operating the camera that is taking the picture of me that you're seeing right now. george, you're a real pro take a bow we all appreciate what you've done.