tv PBS News Hour PBS February 24, 2016 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> ifill: good evening. i'm gwen ifill. judy woodruff is on assignment. on the newshour tonight, the race for the white house moves from coffee shops to tarmacs, as the map expands to 12 more states for super tuesday. also ahead, missiles, bombers, and submarines. we look at america's aging nuclear triad. and, former n.s.a. and c.i.a. director, michael hayden, talks about his new book on american intelligence in the age of terror. >> i sat there to to thors extended depraf nation on one of the detainees, and i never forgot he was a human being.
♪ ♪ years. moving our economy for 160 bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: president obama today insisted he will send a resistant senate a supreme court nominee.
senate republican leaders are insisting they'll hold no hearings or vote-- and will, instead, wait until a new president takes office next year. but in a oval office meeting with the king of jordan, the president said he's going to his job, and senators should do theirs. >> i recognize the politics are hard for them, because the easier thing to do is to give in to the most extreme voices within their party and stand pat and do nothing. but that's not our job. our job is to fulfill our constitutional duties. >> ifill: meanwhile, it was widely reported the white house is vetting republican governor brian sandoval of nevada as a possible nominee. he confirmed he's discussed it with the state's two senators: minority leader harry reid and republican dean heller. we'll delve into all of the court fight, later in the program.
the senate did confirm a new commissioner of the food and drug administration today. robert califf has been the agency's number two official. before that, he was a well-known cardiologist and medical researcher at duke university. also today, the president nominated carla hayden to be the 14th librarian of congress. she's currently head of the enoch pratt free library in baltimore, and would be the first woman, and african american, to serve in the post. house republicans now say they're gearing for a legal fight-- if president obama tries to close the guantanamo detention center and transfer prisoners to u.s. soil. speaker paul ryan today warned the president not to use executive action to bypass a congressional ban against moving inmates. >> we are making legal preparations, if the president tries to break the law. and what boggles my mind is that the president is contemplating directing the military to knowingly break the law.
our law is really clear. and by the way, democrats wrote this law when they were in the majority, when they ran congress, which is these detainees cannot come to american soil. >> ifill: top senate republicans said they would join in any legal challenge. austria and balkan nations agreed in vienna today to tighten border controls against migrants. government ministers met amid rising security concerns and shrinking resources. greece complained it was not invited, but the austrians said athens has done nothing to stop the flow. meanwhile, an estimated 20,000 people are stranded in greece, after countries to the north began barring migrants. u.n. workers handed out blankets and other aid. russia has ramped up diplomatic efforts to sell a cease-fire in syria. president vladimir putin made phone calls today to syrian president bashar al-assad, plus the king of saudi arabia, the president of iran and the prime minister of israel.
and, foreign minister sergei lavrov met with former u.s. senator sam nunn, chiding those who've questioned the cease- fire. >> ( translated ): on the very day when the presidents of russia and the united states approved the joint initiative on the cease-fire in syria, voices could be heard-- both from the capitals of the u.s. allies and from washington, which doubted the feasibility of this agreement. there is a call for war, and not for peace, in these voices. >> ifill: secretary of state john kerry said again today he cannot vouch that the truce will work. he and lavrov also spoke by phone. severe weather threatened nearly 90 million people along the u.s. east coast today. the powerful system killed three people in virginia after killing three others in the gulf state overnight. officials say at least seven tornadoes struck louisiana and mississippi, and left thousands without power. drone video captured the destruction in pensacola, florida, where more than 70
homes were damaged. meanwhile, a major snowstorm blasted parts of the midwest today, canceling more than 1,000 flights to and from chicago. stanford university has announced the world's largest fully-endowed scholarship program. nike co-founder phil knight is donating $400 million to an endowment that's expected to reach $750 million. it will fund 100 full scholarships each year for master's and doctorate degrees. candidates will be nominated by their undergrad universities. wall street managed to stave off another day of losses. the dow jones industrial average gained 53 points to close at 16,485. the nasdaq rose 39 points, and the s&p 500 added eight. and, "the big apple" is no longer home to the most billionaires in the world. a chinese firm reports that in its latest yearly rankings, beijing is the new title holder,
with 100 billionaires. new york has 95. the shift highlights how china's elite are piling up vast wealth, even as the nation's economy cools. still to come on the newshour: donald trump gains momentum ahead of super-tuesday; a look at the showdown between the president and the republican congress; should the u.s. rebuild its entire nuclear arsenal? and much more. >> ifill: and it's off to the races, as the 2016 campaign turns into a scattershot chase among democrats and republicans, for votes across dozens of states. political director lisa desjardins reports. >> reporter: donald trump is on a roll. after winning in nevada last night, he's is sprinting to super tuesday states, like virginia today.
>> i think we're really doing well. it looks like we're in a great trend and we have tremendous support and we have amazing people in this country. >> reporter: out of the first four republican contests, trump has won three straight: new hampshire, south carolina, nevada. but now the map-- and the game-- is changing dramatically. no more one-state-at-a-time campaigning; in the next three weeks, a blitz of states will vote. in fact, half of the states will go to the polls between now and march 15. that's why trump tackled virginia today, and john kasich was in mississippi and louisiana, a day after finishing fifth in nevada. meanwhile, marco rubio-- who placed second in nevada-- plus third-place ted cruz and fourth- place ben carson, they were all in texas, the crown jewel of "super tuesday," with 155 delegates. and for lone star senator cruz, it's a must-win home state today. and he's telling supporters the stakes in its vote next tuesday are high. >> this call from texas to the
country, we have six days to say we will not give up on our country, we will not give up on our freedoms, we will not give up on our children. >> reporter: also, look who's sitting next to cruz-- texas governor greg abbott, who endorsed him today. >> unlike far too many in washington, the ted cruz we've seen in the senate is the same ted cruz we elected. >> reporter: as republicans fan out, the democratic frontrunner hillary clinton is focusing on a theme in south carolina-- black voters. democrats there vote saturday. today she shook hands with members of a social justice group, and then spoke of racial equity at a black sorority luncheon. clinton is also using endorsements, like one today from senate democratic leader harry reid, to argue that she has momentum. >> i think the middle class would be better served with hillary. >> reporter: bernie sanders has a different strategy-- he started the day in south carolina as well. but he told reporters in
he's already looking past the palmetto state. we've got to go on the states. i'm leaving for oklahoma in a little while, where we think we have a shot to win. we think have a shot to win in massachusetts, colorado, minnesota. and in other states. >> reporter: from there, sanders flew to missouri, and oklahoma, and the bigger super tuesday map. and so it is for both sides, as february melts away into march, the 2016 race has shifted into a cross-country scramble to stay alive. for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins. >> ifill: now we take a closer look at two key upcoming states, with andy shain of "the state" newspaper in columbia, south carolina; and in houston, texas, abby livingston, the washington bureau chief for the "texas tribune." andy shain, what has been the pitch that the candidates have been making heading into this democratic primary in south carolina? >> both candidates are trying to win over the african-american vote.
they make up the majority of democratic voters here in south carolina. it's crucial if you are going to win in south carolina. at this moment hillary clinton is doing a much better job. she has been winning over african-americans as part of an effort that she's been doing for a number of years now as she's felt the ground work for her campaign. also of course shes with a major factor in the 2008 primary where she did not beat barack obama here in south carolina. but of course those are relationships that she was able to carry over. senator sanders has been working very hard to try to win over african-americans especially by visiting african-american churches, working with african-american lawmakers. it just hasn't maded inroads he was hoping. >> ifill: in fact today he had a press conference he didn't throw in the towel, but he sounded a little resigned to the possible outcome. >> he has. his pollster told our jamie south yesterday that he understands he doesn't want folks to look at the margins because it is going to be fairly big. right now secretary clinton is leading by 28 points in the most
recent polls. it's not looking good. senator sanders was here for the news conference today. and he said i'm not giving up on south carolina and then he flew off to the midwest to obviously look at some supertuesday states where he is hoping to do better. >> let's talk about supertuesday, abbey livingston. texas is one of the jewels in the crown everyone is waiting to see which way it goes. in the republican primary, at least, it has a home state favorite son, as it were, in ted cruz who today got the governor's endorsement. not a big surprise but certainly a sign of things to come. >> absolutely. ted cruz is definitely a native son and a favorite among the base voters who will show up in a republican primary. he ran a brilliant 2012 senate campaign. he knows how to get the vote out. but the problem for ted cruz is he can't just narrowly win. and donald trump is coming in with a head win of momentum. an ted cruz really has to run up the delegate count to upset wins that donald trump might get elsewhere. so its-- we're not quite sure,
cruz will probably come out far ahead of trump but how much is the big question. >> ifill: so texas is a big state. i don't need to tell you. how does campaigning happen there especially hard on after these other back to back to back primaries. are the people all over the state? is it playing out differently than we would expect? >> it's been very quiet. it's almost as if texas was is in the back of everyone's minds in these political campaigns. they were just trying to survive week-to-week. suddenly the jugger naught of delegates delegates is upon these campaigns. what they seem to be doing is almost too late to book television ads, too late to send direct mail. instead they are blowing into these cities. the republicans are in town with the houston debate. so they are doing local appearances here in houston and going into dallas which are the two largest cities and the two largest television markets. but beyond that it's firely dorm ant. >> let's talk about south carolina and the delegates. we're talking about proportional all gaition of the delegates after the primary. does that mean bernie sanders has a chance to walk away
without his hands completely empty? >> that's for sure. you know, you have a majority of the del galts in south carolina that will go to the winner but will you have three delegates in each of ourselve encongressional districts up for grabs. if bernie is able to capture at least 125%-- 15% of the vote in any of the congressional districts, he'll be able to walk away with at least one delegate. so he won't come away empty-handed but it doesn't look like he will come away with a large number of delegates here. >> ifill: and there is a treasure troaf of delegates in texas. >> absolutely. there are 155 on the republican side. about 57 of those are awarded statewide so ted cruz, if he could break 50%, he might be able to walk away with those but that is unlikely. the rest are three for congressional district so this is a big, big state. but it also is feeling smaller in recent days as donald trump has been winning in multiple states. >> ifill: let's talk about the donald trump effect especially in texas, coming in after this kind of momentum, we saw him in
a nevada caucuses come out pretty strongly last night. is that when people perk up and pay attention or is there a way that things work in texas that maybe none of these candidates have figured out yet? >> texas just hasn't been that relevant in primary campaigns. we're usually too late and pretty bitter about it. this time texas is to the all-- to the allly relevant and it's very much like a national campaign. there are 20 media markets, typically in the past when you win a campaign you get on a private plane and bolt from place to place. here they are heading up the local markets in dallas, and houston and just trying to make their case. donald trump has a big rally in fort worth texas on friday, competing with marco rubio in dallas. it's all penned around this debate tomorrow night. and the rest are bolting on to the other states and trying to hit up the rest of the march 1s primary. >> as we saw in nevada, lots of conversation about the latino vote. how big a factor is that in the democratic primary, especially. well, on the republican
primaries t doesn't matter which primary in texas. >> republicans say that the latino vote is consequently, that there are plenty of hispanics who are business owners and religiously conservative so there is an appeal am but boy on the democratic primary it's powerful. secretary clinton began her political ka year in 1972 registering south texas voters. so they are certainly coming back, they are reminding all of their old friends of these relationships. but i was down in south texas last week and i started to sense some tremors that the local college, some of the kids were starting to feel the bern and were loving bernie sanders. so it's much like what we are seeing playout in south carolina. you have these voting blocs that the clintons are trying to remind, hey, we've been there for you for decades. and the kids are just starting to revolt some. >> ifill: andy shain, are you probably getting ready for all these ads to go off the air but what are voters seeing and saying in their mail boxes, on their radio and on television? >> well, for the most part it's been on television.
and what we are seeing mostly is hillary clinton ads at the moment. between hillary clinton and bernie sanders, they've spent about, as of last week, 1.5 million here in the state. that's about the same as what donald trump spent and he was way behind jeb bush and marco rubio and ted cruz. so they haven't really saturated the market here. i think in part because of just the wide margin that secretary clinton has held. >> ifill: andy shain of the state newspaper in columbia. abby livingston, have fun. >> thank you for having me. >> thank you. >> ifill: and be sure to tune in tomorrow night for joody woodru f preprimary report from south carolina. >> ifill: be sure to tune in tomorrow night, for judy woodruff's pre-primary report from south carolina. >> ifill: separation of powers is at the heart of american democracy, but the level of division has ramped up after the death of supreme court justice antonin scalia, as republicans announced they would not hold confirmations in an election year.
we explore this current political environment with two writers of new books from a lens on the left and the right. e.j. dionne is a liberal columnist for the "washington post," and the author of "our divided political heart;" and matt lewis is a senior contributor for the "daily caller," and author of "too dumb to fail." the power gentlemen, thank you both for joining us. matt, lewis what is happening if anything to the republican party? >> i think with the rise of donald trump clearly you have a populist moment. i really do worry if donald trump wins the nomination he will redefine what it means to be a conservative, what it means to be a republican. no longer will it be a party
about free idea, free market, the idea of defending the unborn. instead it will be a white identity politics, angry, protectionist populist party. and i think that is a radically different direction and something that fingers crossed will not happen. >> ifill: but ej, give enwhat we have seen unfold in washington just in the past few days, it seems like it's about more than donald trump? >> oh, absolutely. i think this is something that has been happening to conservatism over 50 years. i mean the first sentence in my book is the history of contemporary american conservatism is a story of disappointment and betrayal. and i think republican politicians have made a series of promises to their base that they couldn't possibly keep about the shrinking government, about rolling back cultural change, changing the-- of the country. and the base has gotten angrier and angrier and i think that has lead to donald trump. and i think the leadership in congress has had to take and has chosen to tack a harder and
harder line against the democratic president. i mean you can say, of course, democrats have opposed presidential nominees for the supreme court in the past. but i think what you have seen over the last few weeks is really unprecedented. we won't even hold a hearing on your nominee and there is a story in the des moines register today that chuck grassley wouldn't even meet with the president to talk about a nominee. at least that's where it was. that really goes beyond. >> ifill: let me ask matt lewis about this, is this about conservatism changing shape, is it about republicanism changing shape or is ej right, the democrats have always done the same thing or would if they could. >> yeah, look, i think there is really two different things happening here. i think the donald trump phenomenon is unique. and i think that really trump is tapping into more of a-- not a republican sort of incremental change, but a populist cyclical movement from, you know, from andrew jackson to william
jennings brian, to george wallace, to pat beu can on, to ross perot and now to donald trump. i think trump is appealing to a lot of people who aren't necessarily the republican baismghts and some cases they are liberal or mod rate-leaning republicans, or in some cases, i guess what we used to call reagan democrats. i think that's different from the phenomenon that we are seeing with this gridlock, which i think is a bipartisan problem. but i think it's much more in keeping with the ted cruzization. republican party. >> ted cruz was a frontrunner today, i think we could make sort of a straight line between the obstructionism and the presidential race. >> ifill: ej. >> i agree there is pop lism here but i think it is much more a part of the republican party and something republicans have courted. one of the points i make in the book, and it is not just a liberal like me saying that, but the conservative columnist for "the new york times" or a
conservative intellectual, it's that the republican party has relied on white, working class votes, election after election. and has not delivered anything to those voters. and i think those voters very much in the republican party are sick of being ignored. and so you have this odd phenomenon of a billionaire like donald trump leading a class war inside the republican party. >> ifill: let me try this, matt. is it possible that on resisting the guantanamo bay plan, on resisting the president's insistence in sending a nominee to the court, on resisting his budget, that perhaps that's what senate republicans are doing, delivering what they believe they are owed or they owe to their constituency? >> well, i guess i should begin by saying, you know, obviously you can tell by the book, too dumb to fail, that i'm more than comfortable criticizing republicans and conservatives and the dumbing down of conservatism. and i certainly think that the
shutting down of government was a stupid move that could never-- it was never going to defund obamacare. but having said that, i am a conservative. and i think that although i oppose republican stupid moves, i completely understand, for example, why they would want to wait and see if there is a new president before changing the court, for example. one of the examples of obstructionism. so it is in the eye of the beholder. really, frankly, i think they are all hypocrites whether it is chuck schumer and barack obama and joe biden or today mitch mcconnell and the republicans. look, i think that one man's obstructionism is another man's balance of power, separation of power, checks and balances. i think that if you are a republican, the smart move is to try to obstruct right now when it comes to changing the face of the court for a generation. >> ifill: okay, ej, if that's true, if that is the smart move
for republicans right now, what should the democrats be doing. does the president just sit back and take it or is there a way to push back that actually cuts through. or does he just stay out of the fight? >> again, i just want to emphasize that while i agree, obviously, that both parties can play politics and don't want our court to move far in one direction or the other, i really think that what they are doing now goes beyond what we saw in the past. and it is a response to conservative judicial activism that gave us citizens united and weakened the voting rights act. and i think because they've gone this far, this gives a real opening to democrats because there are a lot of republicans running for re-election to the senate from democratic states or purple states. when look at states like illinois where senator kirk said gee, i don't want to do this or you look at pennsylvania or wisconsin, i think the democrats have ways of really turning this into an issue. and i think the more the president reaches out to republicans and say look, i
would love to talk to you about whether we can find a nominee who is a middle of the roader, and the republicans refuse even to engage in those conversations, i think that is going to put the republicans in a very difficult spot. >> ifill: final thought, matt lewis, not your job, but what should the democrats do? >> what should the democrats do. i would nominate somebody, probably a minority who is incredibly sim pathetic, who has a greet biography, a great story to tell. i would let the republicans refuse to hold hearings, refuse to meet with this sim path edic nominee and then demagogue the heck out of it, win elections and drive the country farther apart as i think barack obama will probably take my advice on this. >> ifill: well, there is a nice cheerful outcome, of driving the country further apart. matt lewis author of too dumb to fail, ej dionne, author of why the right went wong. thank you both. >> thank you so much. >> thank you.
>> ifill: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: a bush-era n.s.a. and c.i.a. director takes a hard-line on wire-tapping, water-boarding and rendition; and why a former goldman sachs executive wants to overhaul wall street. but first, for over half a century the united states has maintained a large and diverse nuclear arsenal to deter other countries from even contemplating a nuclear strike against america. now, as the pentagon embarks on a wide-ranging, and hugely expensive, plan to modernize what's known as the triad-- bombers, submarines and missiles-- there are calls to rethink whether all three are needed. special correspondent jamie mcintyre has our report, produced in partnership with the pulitzer center on crisis reporting. >> reporter: behind this massive eight-ton door-- 60 feet below the frozen fields of north dakota-- a 27-year-old first lieutenant heads a two-person
team with a singular mission. the two junior air force officers are misseleers-- entrusted with executing the most consequential of presidential orders. at almost the same time, at nearby minot air force base, a b-52 stratofortress that's been flying for more than half a century is drenched with deicing fluid. its aging jet engines roar to life with the help of eight explosive charges, a method developed during the cold war to give the bomber a quick kickstart in a crisis. ( alarms ) all the while, hundreds of feet beneath the pacific ocean, sailors aboard a u.s. ballistic missile submarine methodically perform their weekly doomsday drill. three ways to do the same thing: end the world as we know it, by launching nuclear weapons. >> weapons away. >> reporter: missiles, bombers,
subs: america's nuclear triad. a three-pronged approach to deterrence that dates back to the 1960s when the former soviet union was the enemy, "m.a.d.," mutual assured destruction, the strategy, and thermonuclear war seemed a real possibility. >> the real key here is, as you look at the combination of the triad is again making the adversary's problem very complex, very costly, and again so that restraint is a better option. >> reporter: u.s. strategic commander cecil haney is the four-star admiral in charge of america's nuclear arsenal. he says the triad endures because it's still the surest way to guarantee that, even if hit with a first strike, plenty of u.s. nuclear weapons would survive, enough to allow haney to present the president a full range of options. it's a strategy based on redundancy-- having backups for backups. but to critics, maintaining and rebuilding all three legs of the
triad in the 21st century amounts to expensive overkill. among those critics, former defense secretary william perry: >> well, you can have belts and suspenders, and then belts and suspenders for the belts and suspenders, and that is what we are getting into here. >> reporter: perry says the current strategy is based on the folly of winning a nuclear conflict-- the kind of cold war thinking caricatured in the classic movie "dr. strangelove." >> mr. president, i'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. but i do say... no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. uh... depending on the breaks. >> the whole sort of dr. strangelove rationale, that went with how you use nuclear weapons, which was endemic to the world war, endemic to the cold war, i don't think is in place today. if we regard the nuclear weapons, the role of nuclear weapons today, as preventing the use of nuclear the weapons against us, then all of that goes away. >> reporter: the united states is at the point where, to maintain the safety and
reliability of its aging nuclear arsenal, largely designed in the 1950s and '60s, almost everything needs an upgrade. there are plans for new submarines, and stealth bombers, along with upgraded bombs and missiles to go with them. add in the possibility of next generation land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles-- i.c.b.m.s, and the price tag comes to an eye-popping $1 trillion over 30 years. despite the substantial cost, trimming the triad is not an issue that's gotten any serious examination on the presidential campaign trail. it did come up once, in last december's gop debate: >> of the three legs of the triad, though, do you have a priority? >> i think-- i think, for me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very important to me. >> reporter: if trump had an understanding of the triad, he gave no hint, and it fell to marco rubio to fill in the gap: >> the triad is our ability of the united states to conduct nuclear attacks using airplanes,
using missiles launched from silos or from the ground, and also from our nuclear subs. >> reporter: each leg of the triad has its advantages. submarines are stealthy-- virtually undetectable and therefore nearly invulnerable. bombers are slow enough to be recalled at the last minute. it's the third leg: the intercontinental ballistic missiles, on hair-trigger alert, that are under the microscope: we're flying over the missile field that essentially surrounds minot air force base-- 150 i.c.b.m.s, buried in silos underground spread across 8,500 square miles of north dakota. it's just one of three missile fields that cover five states-- montana, wyoming, nebraska, colorado, and north dakota. 450 icbms all together. were it not for the security fence, this silo would be barely visible in the snow. but the locals know where it is, and so do america's enemies.
having so many missiles in fixed, known locations makes them a tempting target if an adversary were to contemplate a first strike, which in turn-- critics argue-- creates pressure to launch right away, at the first sign of attack. among those critics-- no less than former u.s. strategic commander gen. james cartwright: >> you've automatically forced the president, in our case, to make a decision to use his weapons or lose them. that doesn't make a lot of sense, use or lose does not contribute to deterrence. >> reporter: cartwright is now chair of studies at "global zero," a disarmament advocacy organization. he thinks the day of the i.c.b.m. may have come and gone: >> i believe the current i.c.b.m. structure, the way it's based, and the way it operates, is probably not something that we need to carry to the future. >> reporter: jim miller was under-secretary of defense for
policy during the obama administration, and led the pentagon's review of nuclear weapons policy. he argues that land-based i.c.b.m.s are a hedge against unforeseen complications: >> without a substantial number of i.c.b.m.s in the united states, if we have some problem, a technical problem, or a vulnerability of any submarine warfare of potential adversary with our submarines, we'd be left with an adversary having to undertake an attack involving only a handful of aim points in order to take out a deterrent. >> reporter: at minot air force base, col. kelvin townsend, vice commander of the 91st missile wing, stressed that neither subs, which have to be contacted at sea, nor bombers, which have to be put on alert and fly to their launch points, can match land-based missiles for speed of response: >> anywhere on the planet we can be, within moment's notice. and within roughly 30 minutes we can be there. >> reporter: but that quick reaction time makes the i.c.b.m.
the most potentially destabilizing leg of the triad, argues former defense william perry: >> if you're going to blow up the whole world, what is the hurry? why do you mind waiting another 20 minutes to do that? i don't see either the common sense or even the strategic argument for doing that. >> reporter: and, perry says, no one has found any reliable way to detect or defeat submarines at sea. bombers and submarines can do the job, he argues with a high degree of confidence. at the air and space museum in washington, joe cirincione gazes at a minuteman three i.c.b.m. on display. he's president of the ploughshares fund, which advocates deep cuts in the u.s. nuclear arsenal. he says supporters of keeping all three legs of the triad have lost touch with the destructive power of the weapons: >> one nuclear weapon on one city would be a disaster that we haven't seen since wwii.
ten nuclear weapons on ten cities would be catastrophe beyond historical experience. and hundreds of weapons on hundreds of cities could end human history altogether. why do you need 5,000? >> reporter: for now, the debate over the triad is purely academic. the latest pentagon budget funds plans to begin rebuilding all three legs, and no one in congress is mounting any serious opposition. for the pbs newshour, i'm jamie mcintyre. >> ifill: there's a lot more online about rebuilding america's triad. you can see excerpts of key interviews and view a photo essay. all that is at www.pbs.org/newshour. >> ifill: we move now from defense to intelligence, and how the country has changed since the attacks of september 11th. the privacy versus security debate has surfaced again in the
wake of the f.b.i.'s appeal to tech giant apple to unlock an iphone that belonged to one of the san bernardino shooters, and renewed campaign debate over torture. hari sreenivasan has our conversation with one man who was at the center of u.s. intelligence policy. >> sreenivasan: retired air force general michael hayden is the only person to ever serve as both the director of the c.i.a. and the head of the national security agency. his tenure at both agencies came during a critical period, as the u.s. launched and prosecuted the global war on terror. he's just written a book about his time in government, "playing to the edge." he joins me now. >> thank you, hari. >> sreenivasan: let's start with things in the news right now. just earlier this week the administration says the very exensist of the prison at guantanamo bay is a recruiting tool for our enemies. you can see it in the orange jump suits that you see in every horrible beheading video that
isis produces, do you agree? >> i don't think it's a powerful recruitment tool for jihadism. let me add one additional thought. if and when he brings these prisoners to north america, he's still going to insist on indefinite detention without trial for a whole bunch of them. all he's done is moved them from a warm to a cold climate. but he's still sticking to the legal principle that some other countries object to. that we can treat them as prisoners of war and keep them for the duration of the conflict. >> sreenivasan: the other big story right now is obviously this tension between apple and the government. in this conversation you've said that you come down on the side of apple more often than not. in this specific case with this specific, you are on the side of the government in trying to open it up. this is the phone, of course, used by the attacker in san bernardino. you know, one of apple's arguments say this will set a precedent, it will create a back door and sure enough there are at least nine or ten other cases where apple is being asked to open up that phone. >> absolutely. and the u.s. attorney in
manhattan says he has 175 of these instruments sitting in a room that he wants to be reopened. so in this particular case, the original ask from the fbi going back months now, was some sort of universal back door that would allow them to get into apple and other companies encrypted devices. frankly, hari, i think american safety, american security, put the privacy argument aside which is scwiet powerful. but i'm a security guide. i think american sceut is better served with end-to-end unbreakable encryption. and i recognize that makes the life of the fbi more difficult, may even make the life of my old agency more difficult. >> sreenivasan: speaking of tools. you have said that enhanced interrogation techniques what most american was consider torture worked. in the case of chal i had sheikh mohammed, he had been water boarded, i want to get this right, 183 time, kept awake for seven and a half days n multiple stress positions, in a senate
report just a couple of years ago it found that either the information he gave us was misinformation or he would confirm something after the government showed him hey, we have this from another source already. so i'm wondering why does america still need these techniques. >> well, i came to the agency in 06ee. most of this was already history. i could have walked away from it. but i studied the program over the summer of 06ee and detailed kind of my personal journey in this. and i decided, and a lot of things had changed. we were safer. we knew about the enemy more. some laws had changed, all right. so i was fairly willing to pull the program back. but i wasn't judging what my predecessors had done. and i wanted some form of program to go forward so that the president would have that option. >> sreenivasan: you might not judge your pred certificatesser-- predecessors but the american people certainly do. if you felt like were you on solid legal footing, why do this in renditions in black sites.
why destroy the tapes of what these events looked like? because that seems like almost a taskity admission that guess what, somebody back home isn't going to think too highly of this. >> what i try to suggest and actually point out in some details in book, is for example, the u.s. policy-- is the same under this president as it was under president bush. that hasn't changed. these were extreme circumstanceses no one is arguing that this should be a fast or easy decision. i tell the story, although i emptied the site in 06ee. we kept them open. he with wanted to have the option of using them. i put two people in them, i relayed in the story that i sat there with the order tho authorize extended sleep dep riffation on one of the detainees, and i never forgot he was a human being. >> sreenivasan: in a recent op ed in "the new york times" which was an excerpt of the book, you descended-- defended the policy of drone strikes. and you said in there that the signature strikes were thorough
lee researched and to use your words intelligence for signature strikes always had multiple threads and deep history, the data was near enpsych pedestrianic. interestingly enough in that same chapter you point out where you got the wrong one legged guy, you had a reaction to figure out what went wrong. i think the question is what is our actual ratio of innocent bistanders or collateral damage toaf ree person we have. we had outside estimates from the investigative journalism bureau and other places that say that these could be in the hundreds are o thows. you say listen, based on the intelligence i have seen, that's not the case am but the irony is is that we're kind of left to fill the vacuum if that information never actually becomes public. >> no. you are absolutely right. and i regret that. and unfortunately, i went to my own limits, playing to the edge, with what it was i could write about. so i fully admit, i think i described the targeted killing program as necessary, precise and imperfect. and i fully admit and actually
give examples as you suggest. where we actually made mistakes. but we have moved heaven and earth to do the right thing, to make sure we targeted legit mass targets. and i actually say in there, this may be the most precise application of firepower in the history of modern conflict. >> the underlying question also is one of trust. there is just, you've said that for example, when you found out that the snodden revelations were going to happen t would uncover the information collection program that you help set up at the nsa, that on a personal level you felt there was a betrayal of trust. >> right. >> sreenivasan: you can understand then perhaps how the country would feel betrayed that one of our liberties was being taken away by our own government. >> if i'm out there working for an agency, and if i've got the president to authorize t and congress to legislate it or oversee t and the courts to perform their functions when the law requires, i think i've got the tri effecta. this is really important.
the political culture has shifted underneath us, all right. and a lot of good americans, not just ones wearing tinfoils on their head, if you understand what i mean, very serious thinking americans are looking at that and saying in today's political culture, what you just striebed hayden is no longer con sefnt the gov nerned. that is consent of the governors. you may have told them, but you didn't tell me. so now we have what is unarguably an existential question for american espionage how will we be able to conduct espionage in the future, inside a broader political culture that demands more transparency and more public account ability from every aspect of national life it is a fundamental question. and one final point, we the spy guys have to accommodate to the broader political culture, not the other way around. >> sreenivasan: general michael hayden. the book is you will cad playing to the edge. thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you.
>> ifill: now to a re-ignited debate about the role and size of the country's big banks, wall street, and accountability. it's been playing out periodically in the presidential campaign, and is once again a subject of attention and debate in the world of finance. tonight, we start a series of occasional conversations on the subject. jeffrey brown has our first. >> brown: last week came a strong argument that "the biggest banks continue to pose a significant, ongoing risk to our economy;" and it came from an unusual source. neel kashkari is a former investment banker; he started his career at goldman sachs, then joined the bush treasury department in 2006, later serving as a key player in the government's response to the financial crisis as administrator of the t.a.r.p. program, which helped bail out the big banks. in 2014, he ran for governor of california as a republican, losing to incumbent, jerry brown. he's now president of the federal reserve bank of minneapolis, and joins us now.
and welcome to you. so still too big to fail, you're saying, this is in spite of dodd-frank, in spite of all we've seen, you are suggesting a crisis could still happen and big banks would still need bailing out? >> yeah, unfortunately that's true. dodd-frank has made a lot of progress. the banks are stronger. they have more capital so they can withstand bad things happening. but if a big shock were to hit the u.s. economy, i'm afraid the taxpayers would still have to step in and bail out the banks, in my view, in my experience during the crisis we have not yet solved the too big to fail problem. and we do need to. >> brown: so things like thestry had some people push back at your critique, stress test, you don't think those are strong enough, you don't trust them? >> here's the thing. the crisis in 2008 was so devastating for the u.s. economy, millions of jobs were lost, tens of trillions of dollars of wealth was destroyed by that terrible crisis. i think we all agree that we
never want to have that happen again. but we need to be able to allow banks to run into trouble without bringing down the whole u.s. economy. if you remember the tech bubble of the 1990s trk was a big boom and then it krashed. that was painful for silicon valley but it didn't risk the whole u.s. economy. we need to make sure our financial system is that strong so that it can withstand the shock without hurting the rest of us. >> brown: just to be clear, howe situation? is the financial system at risk now? is that what you are suggesting? >> no, i think the financial system is strong right now. but the key is now is the time when it's strong, for us to make these big transformational changes. so that ten years from now or 20 or 30 years from now, we don't have another crisis. you know, as a society, we tend to repeat the same mistakes. a lot of mistakes that lead to the great depression, we repeated in the 2,000 leading to the great crash. and so we need to make sure that we make the changes now so that 20 or 30 years from now we're
not back in the same situation. >> brown: so in the options that week, option number one was the straight forward breakup the big banks. so how would you do that? how do you decide what is big and why, for example, would ten moderate-sized banks be less dangerous than five big ones? >> sure. well, what we're doing in minneapolis is bringing experts together from around the country who have different were posals for how to solve too big to fail. so we haven't picked which one we think is best yet. we will bring the experts in, analyze their proposals and come out with our recommendations at the end of the year. but in the 19 '80s roughly a thousand savings and loans failed in the s & l crisis, that was devastating for those communities and banks. but it did not risk an entire nationwide economic could lapse. so there is a precedent of having smaller banks. they might make similar mistakes without bringing down the whole economy. we want to analyze these objectively and figure out what's the right solution and
how do we go forward. >> brown: as you know a numberon after you gave your talk said that bigger is in some ways better. that they can offer more services, that if u.s. banks were not allowed to be so big, international banksk china and elsewhere would swoop in and take the business. >> well, you know, if other countries want to take huge risks with their financial system, we can't stop them. my view is we should do what's right for the united states. come up with one set of rules for any bank that wants to do business here and enforce those rules. hopefully we can lead the rest of the world to follow our path, follow our example. we need to address this. it's not only american banks that are too big to fail. as you indicate there are banks outside the u.s. too. but it's time for us to show leadership on this issue. >> brown: i read your speech.die bringing back glass steagall. i wonder why not. why not go farther to once again separate commercial banking from investment banking. >> you know, i don't have a
strong opposition to bringing back glass steagall. i just know based on the crisis we just went through, it really was not the combination of investment banking and commercial banking that triggered that crisis. it was the fact that a lot of banks made a lot of bad loans, it was plain vanilla lending that went off course. so we need to make sure our banking system and nonbanks, our insurance companies, et cetera, that they are all safe and secure and that they can't risk bringing down the whole u.s. economy. as you know in 2008, aig, one of the largest insurance companies, that became a systemic risk that almost brought us down and it required a taxpayer bailout. i think we all agree. we never want to do that again. so i'm propoation, let's take action now to make sure we're never in that situation. >> brown: let me just ask you,wd got a lot of attention last week, a lot of the focus was on the messenger. an unlikely messenger, a lot of people thought. a former banker now telling us the banks are too big. a former regulator telling us that essentially regulators are not able, even now, to act in a
way that still might hurt the economy. still might have to bail out the banks. a reformed person, how do you describe yourself, how do we see this. >> i am an experienced person. i was a strong free market idealogu e going into washington and we all livered through the terrible economic crisis. and i think i learned humility about markets can make mistakes. regulators are not om nish ent. i asked people did you predict the price of oil would drop from 150 to 30? i didn't see it. there are a lot of things that can happen in the world economy that we're not going to be able to predict. so we need to make sure our financial system is robust, so when those things happen, the system can be strong and not require taxpayer bailout and not cause devastation to the american people. >> brown: neel kashkari, thanky. >> thanks for having me.
>> ifill: tune in later tonight on pbs, for a documentary focusing on the massive amount of digital data that we record every day. "the human face of big data" looks at the indelible digital trail we leave behind and explores how it can be leveraged to address some of our biggest challenges-- like hunger, pollution, disaster response and health. it can also help us understand how babies learn words. one really knew nor simple reasons trk was the data. >> after he and his wife brought their newborn son home from the hospital, they did what every parent would do. mount a camera in the sealing in each room of their home and record every moment of their lives for two years. a mere 200 gigabytes of data recorded every day.
>> we ended up transkriebing somewhere between 8 and 9 million words of speech. and as soon as we had that, we could go and identify exact moments where my son first said a new word. we started calling them births. we took this idea of a word birth, we started thinking about why don't we trace back in time and look at the gestation period for that word. one example of this was water. so we looked at every time my son heard the word water, what was happening. where in the house were they? how were they moving about. and using that visual information to capture something about the context within which the words are used. we call them word scapes. then we could ask the question, how does the word scape
associated with the word predict when my son will actually start using that word. >> what they learned from watching his son was that the texture of the word scapes had predictive power. if most of the previous research had indicated that the way language was learned was through reputation, then this analysis of the data showed that it wasn't actually repetition that generated learning but context. words with more distinct word scaips, that is words heard in many varied locations would be learned first. >> ifill: that's kind of fascinating. big data "big data" premieres tonight on most pbs stations, check local listings for times. on the newshour online: see where stars are born. the high-altitude "apex" telescope in chile has captured new images that depict the coldest parts of our milky way. see a gallery of photos, which provide the broadest map to date of the where new stars might spring to life, on our home page, www.pbs.org/newshour. and on charlie rose tonight: actor and producer kevin spacey on the new season of "house of
cards" and the launch of his documentary series, "race to the white house." and that's the newshour for tonight. on thursday, we talk with the mother of one of the columbine shooters about her new book, on living in the aftermath of tragedy. i'm gwen ifill. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and by bnsf railway. >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your financial future. >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals.
>> this is bbc "world news america." >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and hong kong tourism board. >> want to know hong kong's most romantic spot? i'll show you. i love heading to repulse bay for an evening stroll. it is the perfect, stunning backdrop for making romantic moments utterly unforgettable.