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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  August 18, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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>> rose: welcome to the program. tonight a followup conversation with mike morell, the former acting director and deputy director of the central intelligence agency. >> the syrian civil war has to end. and the reason it has to end is because it is feeding extremism in iraq and syria. even if we get our arms around isis and squeeze isis down and down an down and down, the civil war will continue to breed extremism. isis will go away and some other group will replace it. the syrian civil war needs to end. okay. and in my view there is not a military solution to that. and the reason there is not a
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military solution to that is because a military solution would end up with the destruction of the syrian military, the syrian security services, the syrian intelligence services, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, the syrian police. and if you destroy all of those in an attempt to end the civil war, you are left with a complete vacuum, security vacuum, stability vacuum. you end up with libya. >> rose: mike morell for the hour next. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide.
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: mike morell is here. he's a former acting and deputy director of the cia, also a kricter to the cbs news but resigned in order to endorse hillary clinton. post recently he wrote an op ed in "the new york times" arguing that donald trump poses a throat to our net security if elected president. his book w s released in paperback yesterday. mi pleased to have him back at this table. welcome. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: what does it book mean to you, tell me about this. you have had how many years in the cia. >> 33. >> rose: 33 years, that has been your sort of post college home. >> right. so this book captures really the second half of my career. which was entirely focused around the terrorism question.
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first with al-qaeda, and then at the very end with isis. so it captures what i did every day for 18 of those 33 years. the most important piece of this to me is the last chapter which talks about the commitment and dedication and amazing work that the men and women of cia do every day and the sacrifices that they make from the family sacrifices all the way to being lost to being lost on the battle field. and how we deal with that at the agency. and so this was-- thises with a life's work in some sense. i wrote it very quickly. my heart is in there, my soul's in there. and i really hope people enjoy it. >> rose: you also talk about national security threats.
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give me your sense based on the career you've had, the conversations you take, the research and data you look at. >> right. >> rose: and you are now advising hillary clinton. how do you see the threat to the united states things, it's a great question, charlie. so i divide things into two categories. national security threats, all right. those countries, those people who were actually trying to harm us in some way. and those, those issues that are national security challenges that if we don't manage right could become threats. so i have two different categories. >> rose: challenges and threats. >> threats and challenges. so threats, right, number one on the list. international terrorists, right? isis is at the top of that list today.
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al-qaeda was at the top of it ten years ago. al-qaeda is still part of that international terrorists. so that is number one on the list. we are at greater threat of a terrorist attack in the united states than we were at any time since 9/11. so i mean that, that, that threat persists. i added a new introduction to the paperback version that brings all of this story up to date. close, a close number two and rising rapidly is the cyberthreat. the threat posed by nation states, by criminal groups, by hacktivists, by insiders, right, to our computer networks, to our it networks, from stealing information to fraud, to doing damage to networks, right? in a war situation.
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so cyberis number two. >> rose: the possibility of closing down your financial structure and so many of our grids that influence the way you live your life. >> absolutely. >> rose: and could destroy the capacity to function. >> absolutely. number three, i would put north korea on the list of threats. because north korea has the capability today to launch a ballistic missile with a new clear warhead on it that could reach the united states of america. do i think that's going to happen? no. but that risk exists. >> rose: why do you think it's not going to happen? because we can shoot it down or because of what? >> because i think a he is rational. and he understands that if he did that, that would be the end of his country. two, we have significant defense capabilities. so you know, one could be fired in confusion, one could be
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fired, miscalculation and you know, we could deal with it. what i really worry about are two things. i worry less about them actually launching a missile at us. the two things i do worry about are one that there could be some sort of conflict between north and south korea that could evolve into a nuclear strike by north korea on south korea. and the reason i'm worried about that is because south korea used to simply take the blows that were given at it by north korea. you know, north koreans sank a south korean sub marine several years ago. north korea shelled a south korean city that killed a number of people several years ago. south koreans did nothing in response. politically that's coming to the point in south korea where that is no longer acceptable. politically, a south korean regime is going to have to respond. just a couple of months ago a couple north korean operatives came across the border, planted
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some mines. south korean soldier walking along was killed by one of these mines. the old south korea would have just let that go. the new south korea, charlie, responded by firing 50 artillery shells back into north korea. so you can see how this could-- this could grow into something bigger, snowball into something bigger. so that is one thing i worry about, right? is something getting out of control between north and south korea. then probably the biggest thing i worry about is north korea's already demonstrated that it is willing to sell ballistic missile technology and actually sell ballistic missiles. and they've shown that they are willing to sell nuclear technology which they did to the syrians. and syrians were in the process of building a nuclear reactor to rao weapons-grade uranium. >> rose: is this what was destroyed by the israelis. >> the israelis destroyed it, right. so my many concern is that at some point the north koreans may
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decide that it is in their interest to either sell fis il material for nuclear weapons, a nuclear device itself or a nuclear weapon. that is why it is on my list of threats. >> rose: we depend on the chinese to do more, don't we? >> yeah, but we-- we-- china is in a tough spot here. and you know, people beat them up a lot on this. but they're in a really tough spot. here's the spot they're in. and by the way, there's been a major change in how the chinese look at north korea in the last five years. five years ago the chinese looked at the korean peninsula and said the biggest threat to stability on this peninsula is the united states of america. so the chinese thought five years ago. now they think the biggest threat to stability on the korean peninsula is their guy kim jungun because of the crazy stuff he does. >> rose: you just said he is a rational man.
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>> you know, i think there say difference between shelling, sinking a sub marine, shelling a south korean city which he thinks he can get away with, but he may not be able to get away with any more, and firing a nuclear weapon at the united states. two completely different things. top of the challenge list is china. it's not a threat. it's a challenge. and as we talked about many times whether it ever becomes a threat depends on how we and the chinese, how our leadership in washington and the leadership in beijing manages-- manages this relationship in east asia and around the world, right. and how we deal with this fundamental problem that they want more say in the world around them because they're getting stronger, and we have that say today. so how does that get worked out. >> rose: does this mean they want more say in the world around them or they may want more say in the world period, not just that they see the pacific region as their sphere of influence but because they understand. >> both, both. >> rose: that they are, at some point becoming the world's largest economic power.
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>> both but i would make a distinction. in the world around them, in east asia, they want-- they want considerable influence across-the-board. in the rest of the world, what they want, their influence primarily for is economic reasons. access to raw materials, resources. and access to markets. so the goal is different in the two different parts of the world. and russia is number two on that lit, right. we're not ready to go to bar with russia. we're not afraid that vladimir putin is going to launch nuclear weapons at us. >> rose: what are we afraid of? >> we're afraid of him doing it in the baltics, what he did in ukraine, right. >> rose: or in crimea. >> in crimea, right. and you know, we were not willing to go to war over crimea , and western europe
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wasn't either. i think we might be willing to go to war over the baltics. >> rose: you think hillary clinton would go to war over the baltics. >> i don't want to speak for her, right. but i believe most american president, every american president who sat in that office i believe would be willing to go to the war over the baltics because of our nato complitment-- commitment. >> rose: donald trump says it depends on how well they have contributed to nato. speaking of donald trump, you wrote an article saying that, you wrote an editorial in the "ew york times" basically saying that you were doing something you hadn't done before. you were retreating from a position of being bipartisan to endorse hillary clinton because you thought the stakes were that serious and you thought it was a matter of principle. here's what donald trump said today. because he had, just today i think, received the first intelligence briefing that the two major party candidates receive during a political campaign from the cia or the director of national intelligence, wherever it comes from.
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quote hours before he is set to receive his first classified intelligence briefing donald trump said he does not trust information coming out of u.s. intelligence agencies, indicated he would cease relying on the bullk of the intelligence community's massive workforce. during an interview on fox & friends wednesday, trump the republican presidential nominee was asked whether he trusts intelligence. not so much from the people that have been doing it for our country, trump responded, i mean look what happened over the last ten years. it's been catastrophic. >> wow. wow. i saw that. right? i have so many reactions to that, charlie. number one, he does not appreciate how important intelligence is to keeping our country safe. i would argue that intelligence is more important today than it ever has been in american history.
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let me kind of prove that point to you. if you look at all of the national security issues facing the president of the united states, you know, from international terrorism to the prolive raise of weapons of mass destruction to all the things we were just talking about in terms of china, russia, north korea, iran, you know, human trafficking, narcotics trafficking, the list goes on and on and on, right? i don't think there has been a time in our history when there has been so many national security issues on the front burner of a president of the united states. so that's kind of point one. point two is for most of those issues, not all of them but for most of those issues, they are first and fore most intelligence issues. what does that mean? that means that if you are the president of the united states, that you can't understand those issues, you can't make policy on those issues, and you can't carry out that policy without first rate intelligence. give you a very specific
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example. we could go to columbia university and we could grab ourselves a academic expert in chinese politics and bring them in here and they could provide your viewers with real insight on chinese politics. or we could do the same thing with one of the large banks here in new york and bring somebody in and give them real insight on the state of the european economy. but if you wanted to give your viewers real insight on the status of the iranian nuclear weapons program or the status of north korea's icbm capabilities against the united states, oral quieda in yemen's plans, tin exes-- intentions and capabilities to conduct terrorist attacks in the united states, you can't provide insight without intelligence. so intelligence as i said earlier-- . >> rose: let's seum donald
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trump knows that principle. >> he clearly doesn't. >> rose: he seems to be speaking, let's assume that he is speaking to what he thinks is the quality of intelligence, that has been there, and he's questioning whether. >> right. >> rose: he's questioning whether the cia-- i'm not sure what he is questioning but let's raise the question. and this is not a discussion about the cia but a question about intelligence and why he might have said. this i assume he said this in part for political reasons but let's assume that somebody said look, the cia didn't see the collapse of the russian economy, let's say. let's say he says the cia got it wrong in terms of weapons of mass destruction in terms of iraq, that they got it wrong in terms of what might happen if, in fact, there wasn't a plan in place to stabilize iraq after the collapse of saddam hussein. let's say that the cia has not got ten right. let's just say that somebody is telling him this. >> yeah. >> i would quibble with all of what you said but one thing, so but i get your point. so it sounds to me like he doesn't understand the importance of
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intel ---- intelligence. two t sounds to me like he doesn't have a clue about how effective the unitessed states intelligence community is. >> rose: because we see the things, what they might have missed but not the things where they succeeded. >> absolutely, right. so he is-- he is in one sentence, i don't trust u.s. intelligence, right, is he in one sentence dismissing the work of thousands of people, including people who have sacrificed significantly for this country and who have prevented by collecting and analyzing intelligence, who have prevented multiple terrorist attacks in the united states since 9/11. he has just dismissed those people, right. and then the third point i would make is a leadership point. right?
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he wants to be could the mannedder in chief. he wants to lead these people. is this the kind of thing you say to a group of people who you want to lead? is this the kind of thing you want to say right before you walk in the room and meet them for the first time. >> rose: because you as a leader want them to go the extra mile for you. >> absolutely. you say this to them and you know, these are-- these are patriotic dedicated people. but you say those kind of things to them and they might not work as hard for you as they would for somebody who is going to actually lead them in the right way. it's very, very dangerous what he said. >> rose: bosh gates in an interview that was done about a month ago said about vladimir putin, of which he said i look into his eyes and see a cold blooded kilter in george bush, said he looked into his eyes and saw something else. also within the situation room with you, when president obama and president bush, president bush made hard decisions. he was secretary of president bush, he was with cia then later under president obama when he
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was secretary of defense as well, hillary clinton was secretary of state. >> he said about putin, he is playing a bad hand well. >> uh-huh. >> rose: do you agree with that? >> yes, yes, and it's not-- yeah, he's got an ingred-- incredibly weak economy. the prognosis for that economy is-- is-- is bad to worse in terms of what is happening to their demographics. and he's overinvested in oil & gas and you know, he does have a weak hand. but for the things es-- he wants, right, for the things he wants is russia's seat at the table, russia seen as a great power, constraining the united states in trying to do things around the world. himself being seen as a major power. he is playing, he is playing a weak hand pretty well. interestingly, in playing that hand, he's actually weakening
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his hand down the road. >> rose: because he should be doing nation building at home s that what are you saying. >> absolutely, absolutely. >> rose: then there is this, today's paper. iranian air base open to russia. bomber strikes syrian rebel fights, moscow's foot print expandses in the middle east. iranian air bases. so these planes no longer have to fly from russia, a much shorter distance now, meaning the pay load can be much bigger. >> uh-huh. big deal. >> rose: a big deal because you have iran and russia being able to-- deepen a relationship with iran including supplying nuclear materials which it does in part. >> yes, yes. so there is-- it is a big deal, right. it is a big deal for two reasons. one positive for russia, one not so positive for russia. the positive thing is it is deepening its involvement in the middle east. >> rose: with a huge player. >> with a huge player, right. that's not in our interest.
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the downside is that russia does want to have a relationship with the sunni gulf states. this will-- is going to get noticed in ree ad and abu dhabi and-- . >> rose: the emirates. >> and cairo. and all of those other places, right. >> rose: right. >> an their big enemy, right, their big enemy in their mind is iran. and for putin to be doing this is going to make it more difficult for put toin make inroads. >> rose: you are saying it is short sighted to be sealding up to iran because, because it will endanger your relationships relh with arab countries. >> yeah. and here's the point i would make, charlie. is that a lot of people see putin as this great chess player, right, this great strategic thinker. no, he's not the tack tition, right. so he's doing this, he's doing this iran thing for two reasons. one is that the tactical
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military advantage that he gets, that you talked about, shorter distances, bigger pay loads, et cetera. and he's doing it because it looks-- it makes him look like even a bigger player, right. so he's playing to those fundamental goals he's interested in, right. but he's not thinking about the larger strategic picture of siding up with, right, and being partners with a country in the region that is distrusted by everybody else, all of the arab states and to include turkey. >> rose: one of the things that you believe, i believe you believe is that it is more-- it's much more in the long-term interest of the yeufnlted states to have a strong relationship with the arab states. that these are not the same narratives. the iranian narrative and the saudi narrative. that in fact, or the arab states narrative because they are very different in terms of their relationship and the potential of the relationship.
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i'm asking how you see a relationship with iran and measure, and i'm using this word carefully, equivalency in the relationship to the arab states? because the president as i understand it has basically been say stog the arab states look, you've got to talk to these people. you people have to find common ground. otherwise we are going to be looking at-- that is what president obama's position is as i understand it. >> yeah, great question. so first of all, i would say there is no equivalency between what the irans-- iranians do and what the gulf a wrap-- arabs do. the iranians want to dominate the region. the gulf arabs do not. they don't have an interest in dominating iran. they're pushing back against an iranian attempt to dominate
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them. so there is a fundamental difference between the two. having said that, having said that, and i think this is a really important difference, a revolutionary iran that wants to dominate the region that wants to spread its particular brand of extremism, that wants to spread its particular brand of religious governance, that is a iran that we have to push back against, i think. >> rose: but you know, people will argue with you, and you know a lot more about this than i do. but they will argue with you that extremism has come out of the sunni branch of islam rather than the shia branch of islam. >> come back to that, okay, it's a really important point. so that kind of iran is unacceptable. and we should all oppose it. rights, because they're trying to change the countries around
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them. >> rose: by supporting hezbollah, by supporting hamas. >> by supporting the insurgent shia groups, the terrorist groups. >> rose: and in yemen too. >> that sun essential. it should be unacceptable to the united states, right. what the arab states are going to have to accept some day, let's say we can change iranian behavior so that they no longer want to dominate the region, let's say we can get to that point. iran is still going to be a powerful regional player because of its size, because of its economy, because of its western-- the western orientation of many of its people. i mean many, many iranians admire the united states. it is going to be a significant player. those sunni states are going to have to accept that kind of iran. >> rose: do they recognize that? >> i don't know. i don't know. but there is a fundamental difference between the two for me. >> back to the question, great question. so, so modern-- modern
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islamics-- islamic extremism began in 1979. and it began in 1979 in two places. it began in tehran with the takeover of the united states embassy, by a bunch of student thugs. and it also began at the very same time in saudi arabia with the takeover of the grand mosque by a bunch of terrorists. and from a extremist point of view, both of those were successful. so in iran, the result was the strengthening of the ayatollah at the expense of the new secretary you lar government, right. and actually the central overthrow of that secretary you lar government by the ayatollah and the putting in place of the
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system that still exists there where all-- where the vast majority, not all, the vast majority of power rests with the supreme leader, right. take over that embassy created the political dynamic in tehran that allowed the ayatollah to grab the power he did. big win for the extremists. same thing, same thing at the grand mosque. so the saudi government wanted to go in, and clear out the grand mosque. but in order to do that they needed a religious-- they needed an order from the clerics to be able to go in and kill people inside the grand mosque -- grand mosques. and what were these, why did these terrorists do this? these terrorists did this because they thought that saudi arabia was modernizing too quickly. >> that's why they did this.
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>> they said we need a fatwa it clear out these tests to say we'll give you the fatwa but you have to slow down modernization, you have to go backwards. >> there are those who argued they have been hoss taj. >> they have been hoss taj to those fundamentalist clerics. >> that have allowed them to promote values that. >> right. now i'll tell that you what you just said is absolutely true. and so you have both of those dynamics. what is happening in saudi arabia is you have a young leader in mohammed solman who have i met and who i am very impressed by. that understands that-- that saudi saudi arabia has to change. >> has to change in several ways in terms of what kind of state it is. and secondly what kind of economic base it has. >> exactly. and he's already taken steps
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that nobody thought possible, charlie, including, including no longer allowing the religious police to arrest people, huge. >> rose: maybe he would like to come sit at this table and talk to the american people. >> that would be great if he did that. >> rose: now let's talk about the interview you did with me here. tell me what you intended to say, so we understand it. because some people interpreted it, that you wanted to do three things. that you wanted to see iranians and russians punished so that they would be more willing to engage in peace talks to stop the destruction of a state. and that was the only way to do it if they felt some sense of pressure. and you felt the same thing about assad, that that he had to feel some fear about his own existence in order to agree to some kind of transition.
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tell me how you see syria and what you meant to say and what you said because as a result of that, some people who might not have seen the interview said, you know, you were in bed with neo cons. >> they called me a neo con. they called me a warmonger. >> rose: they did, a warmonger. >> they called me trumpian. >> rose: that were you trumpian. >> how about that. >> rose: so all these things came down on top of you. >> yeah. >> rose: and perhaps because did you not speak as precisely as you should have? >> yeah, so-- . >> rose: or that i didn't sct right questions. >> no, no, no. you always ask the right questions. so you know, one of the things that you are taught as a young analyst at cia is precision of language. clarity of message, right. gets beat into you. and you know sometimes you don't-- you don't do what you were taught. and so i don't think i was as
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clear with you and your viewers as i should have been. so let me try to make this clear. the syrian civil war has to end. and the reason it has to ends is because it is feeding extremism in iraq and syria. even if we get our arms around isis and squeeze isis down and down and down and down, the civil war will continue to breed extremism. isis will go away and some other group will replace it. the sirrian civil war needs to end. okay. in my view, there is not a military solution to that. and the reason there is not a military solution to that is because a military solution would end up with the
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destruction of the syrian military, the syrian security services, the syrian intelligence services, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. the syrian police. and if you destroy all of those in an attempt to end the civil war, you are left with a complete vacuum, security vacuum, stability vacuum. you end up with libya. >> or iraq. >> or iraq, right, iraq. >> after the fall of saddam. >> after the debath if i kaition, which is what caused the whole thing. >> right. >> so you don't want to do that. so there is not a military solution to this. there is only a political solution to this. and that political solution is in my view a transition of power from assad to a-- a transitional government that represents all of the syrian people.
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that is only going to happen if assad wants it to happen, if russia wants it to happen, and if iran wants it to happen. so what we need to do is we need to increase our leverage over those three people and groups, those three people and countries, in order to get them more interested in having a conversation about a transition to a new government. >> rose: that's exactly what the 51 disip lo mats. >> that is exactly what the 51 disip lo mats said. >> rose: in their letter. >> right. and you know sometimes you use military force for military ends. sometimes you use military force to give you political leverage. and one of the reasons to be involved in syria which is what vladimir putin is now
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discovering is when you gets involved militarily all of a sudden you are a player in how the game gets discussed around the table, right. so what i tried to say was look, we need to find some way to put some pressure on assad to put some pressure on russia and to put some pressure on iran. now with regard to russia and i ran, what i said, what i wanted to say was the moderate opposition which the united states is supportk, everybody knows that. the moderate opposition is already fighting the syrian government and they are already fighting russians and iranians who are fighting with. >> rose: and in fact that is who those bombers coming from iran are bombing in syria. >> exactly. >> rose: the moderate opposition and they are making the battle against assad in a legal-- aleppo, over the future of aleppo where there is so much of a human catastrophe. >> right. so one of the wars going on is the syrian military supported by
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russia and the iranians, fighting the moderate opposition. and the mod rat opposition is already killing, is already killing irans-- iranians an syrians. what i-- what i said is that's-- that's an okay thing, right. because it puts pressure on iran and russia to try to see some value in ending this thing politically. and what i said is we should encourage, what i wanted to say was that we should encourage the moderate opposition to continue to do that and perhaps even get a-- . >> rose: you were not suggesting the united states should do that. you are suggesting that the moderated forces on the ground. >> and i think i came across as saying u.s. special forces should go in there and start killing iran yas ang russians, i did not mean that. so that is russia and iran. now assad. how do you put some pressure on assad snr right? and here i did, here i did
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argue, charlie, that the u.s. military itself should take some action. and what i would see as valuable is limited, very, very, very limited u.s. air strikes against those a sets-- assets that are extremely important to assad personally. so in the middle of the night, you destroy one of his offices. you don't kill anybody, right, zero collateral. you do this with zero collateral, same rules of engagement that you use against terrorists. >> but often zero collateral is hard to do. >> hard to do but you go into it with that goal, right, that is what is important. you go into with that goal and do it seriously when you are doing your targeting. you take out his presidential aircraft, his presidential helicopters in the middle of the night, right. just to send him a message. and to get his attention that maybe your days are numbered here, right, just to put some pressure on him to think about, you know, maybe, maybe i need to
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think about a way out of this. now these issues that i am talking about here, right, are talked about in-- in the sit room n national security sicialgs all the time. these are debates that people have. and i certainly understand that there are people on the other side of the argument for me, right. but i wasn't talking about the u.s. starting a major war with iran and russia. because i think the way put. >> with all the risk. >> with all the risk. >> and whatever history. >> right w this is the "washington post" editorial today about syria, called syria stalin grad, as aleppo destroyed the united states responds, deplore, wring hands, repeat. quote, the editorial in "the washington post" today. the burden of responsibility for the crimes of the syrian government and its russian ally must therefore be shared by those including the united states who allowed them to continue.
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a point that i have made with the president of the united states about the judgement of history. >> right. >> rose: has this administration failed to do enough at several critical junctures to have programs made this war come to an end? >> so we've talked around this table a number of times about-- . >> rose: this is a closure about what has been done, what has to be done. >> right. >> rose: and what hillary clinton supports. >> so i do think we've missed some opportunities. now i cannot guarantee you, had we provided significant assistance to the mod rate opposition-- moderate opposition in 2012 when assad was a little shaky that it would have resulted in his fall, because maybe the iranians would have upped the ante. so i can't guarantee that. but we didn't try. the president's decision not to cross the red line of, you know,
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he said, the syrians used chemical weapons. that will be a red line. his decision not to follow through on that, it was very interesting that assad moved very quickly to give up his chemical weapons. why? because he knew that if the united states acted, if the united states took a number of air strikes against his military facilities where there were chemical weapons, that it would put his rule at risk that is why he was gave up his chemical weapons, because he was frightened about what an air strike would do to him politically. so i think we missed an opportunity there. >> rose: the president would argue on that case. we didn't know what would follow assad. and that is a huge bet. >> yes, he is right about that, he is absolutely right about that. it is my argument, right, about you got to-- you have got to
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have that drk dsh you need to place the structure. back in fall of 2012, back in 2013, the syrian army, the syrian security services were much, much stronger than they were today. right? and there was less risk of them fracturing the way they had in libya or the way they had in iraq. so i think it was a different story. but that's looking backyard, right, let's look forward. i think "the washington post" op ed today which is very interesting, you know, it's one of the reasons why secretary clinton last fall came out and said you know, it's really time for a no fly zone. it's really time for a no fly zone to stop the kind of activity that the syrian military is doing in aleppo. and. >> rose: barrel bombs, and some were saying color even gas. >> color even gas, right, et cetera, et cetera. and she is saying it, right, not only to protect the lives of
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those innocent people but even more importantly, right, because like i said earlier, that syrian civil war is causing national security issues for the united states of america, right. as long as it exists, i said this earlier, as long as it exists, extremism will flouric-- flourish in the middle east, syria and iraq, and the risk to the united states and those extremists reaching out and attacking us and our interests is going to remain. so this is, what is happening in aleppo is a national security issue forth united states of america and that is why she took the position she took. >> rose: the last surviving positions in the rebelhead, this is the editorial and this preface what i read before. the last survivorring physicians in the rebel half of aleppo a few days ago begged president obama to help. the world has stood by and remarked how complicated syria is while doing little to protect us, they wrote. then they continued to say the burden of responsibility includes the united states and those who allow these things to
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continue. it continues to be, you know, a huge problem for the world to deal with because we're looking at the flow of refugees. >> right. >> rose: into europe and all that that suggests. >> right. >> rose: and the deficit it does in terms of the rise of populist politics. >> and charlie, i listened very closely to donald trump's speech on isis, you know, hoping to hear something interesting. and in terms of, you know, what to do about it, i heard two things. one is a bunch of stuff that we're already doing. you know, for example, you know getting our arms around the finances, squeezing their finances, squeezing the media operations. we're trying to do all of those things. he also said we should, you know, it's important to kill terrorists but we should, it's even more important to capture them so you can actually learn what they think. well, that is the policy of the
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obama administration, right. captures refer to kill. so in much of what he says there wasn't anything new. i was disappointed by that. and then those things that were new, the things that were new are unworkable, right. when somebody wants a visa or when somebody wants to enter the united states and you whip out a questionnaire. >> what he calls extreme vetting. >> are you a terrorist, you know, if you are a terrorist you are not going to answer that in a positive way, right. it is ridiculous t doesn't work. i think the most, there were two extraordinarily troubling things for me in his speech. one was the line that you know we shouldn't have gone into iraq. but since we did we should have grabbed the oil. >> yes. two, the vicar go the spoils of war. that, those two statements by
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themselves today are damaging to the national security of the united states. >> because? >> because they feed every fear and every conspiracy theory that everybody in the world has about the united states. that those, that that is exactly the way we think. and now somebody has finally. >> for a long time it was believed the middle east policy was guided by one thing, our desire and need for fossil fuel. >> exactly. and boy did he say to them you are absolutely right. the ore thing i found, i found terribly discouraging is, you know, his talking about having thought tests, right. you ask somebody whether they believe in sharia law and as they if they do, good-bye. his talk about having neighbors spying on neighbors, right. look, i'm okay if a neighbor
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sees somebody building a bomb and calls the fbi. or a neighbor sees somebody with a bunch of weapons and calls the fbi, i'm okay with that. but if somebody is talking about their admiration for sharia law and somebody calls the fbi, i am not okay with that, people have first amendment rights here. you know, his stopping, his limiting of immigration and his stopping of immigration. his talk about viciously, viciously cutting out extremists from in our midst, right, it sounds to me like the terrorists have won. the terrorists have accomplished in the united states exactly what they wanted to accomplish. >> rose: to your credit and to others, signing on to this, we also have a huge challenge to figure out what it is that is appealing to young people. >> right. >> rose: to be inspired by the
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kinds of rhetoric that comes from. >> right. >> rose: fundamental extremism. >> right. >> rose: you know, and offer from within those countries the alternative narrative and the absurdity. >> yup. >> rose: of the narrative which show makes young people who may northbound a very bad place because of rierls who are coming out of, who are oligarch-- who are come from dictators. and they see no future. >> right. >> and they see nobody to join and so therefore they do it. >> yeah. >> rose: an because they're influenced by people who have some capacity to influence their sense of their religious place. >> so we talked about this around this table, right. this difference between the near war, right, the guys who are already terrorists who are trying to kill us.
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you got to stop them, right. there is only one way to do it, kill them, capture them. and then there's the long war, how do you stop the creation of them in the first place, right. it's extraordinarily complicated. one of the ways i break it down, charlie, is to say the leaders of the groups, so the leaders of al-qaeda, the leaders of isis, this really is about a twisted interpretation of the teachings of the profit. it is really about a belief that the modern world is inconsistent with their religion. it is really a belief that the modern world poses a threat to their religion. for the leaders of the group. the second, the second layer, right, is those young men and young women, largely young men in muslim countries who are attracted to these leaders, right, some of them are attracted by the religious message but usually the
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religious message is-- is-- is, they don't understand islam very well and it's used right as a recruitment tool. butter in's drawn to it because they're diseeply frustrated about their place in their society and their lack of a future. >> rose: and the ills of their society. >> and the poor governance, right. they might be attracted because they are trying to protect a particular ethnic or sectarian group or actually get revenge for some past wrong. so they are attracted for all sorts of different reasons. and then the third group are those people in the west, right, in the united states, in western greurp who get attracted. and i think those folks are largely attracted by the belonging to something bigger than themselves. they are alienated in their communities, in their societies, in their schools. and they want to belong to something and these guys reach
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out to them and say hey, you can belong to something pretty important here. and you know, we have, charlie, in the united states we have kids like that, who turn to gangs or turn to drugs, right. these young muslim kids turn to terrorism. and so we all have-- we all have these alienated kids, right. and so getting your arms around that long war is really, really important. you know, it's something hillary clinton did when she became secretary of state and tried to do it i think the u.s. government needs to invest a lot more money and i know she agrees with that. >> a lot of people say the following. so how good was hillary clinton as a secretary of state. tell me where her successes were. i don't want to do that now and i talked to her about that here. but tell me something we don't know about her you know her. >> yes, i worked with her. charlie, i will tell you a
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story. i think the whole world knows that when dave petraeus left government that the president was considering two people to replace dave as the director of the cia. one was john brennan and one was michael morell. and he chose obviously john brennal-- brenon. the day after the president told me in the oval office that he was giving a job to john, he was extraordinarily gracious with me. the day after there was a routine principals meeting in the situation room. i was still the acting director of the cia so i was representing cia at this meeting. and she walked in the room. and you know when the secretary of state walks in the sit room, there are people who want her time, right. people who want to ask her all sorts of questions.
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have side bar conversations with her. and that happened as usual when she walked in the room. all these people approached her. and she-- she ignored them all, and she walked over to me, and she sat down next to me and she put her-- her hand on my arm and she simply said are you okay. there is humanity there that i think the public needs to-- needs to know. she's tough and decisive but there is an awful lot of humanity there too. >> rose: well, as you know, that goes to one of the questions that is most often raised about her, which is not her humanity but also some sense of trust. and how does someone communicate those kinds of things without talking about yourself. and she's never been able to do that as well as i think she would be the first to admit that she would like to do. and so that's an interesting story. and that's what you hope will come out in the process like
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this. >> right. >> rose: somebody, a combination of things, people will understand what is at the core of a person, and it is in small matters in which it is not the glare of publicity that one shows their intel rit or their character. >> you know, it's interesting, charlie. you know, i was-- worked with her for four years, leone panetta, david petraeus worked with her for four years, we trusted her word. we trusted her judgement. you know, director panetta, director pat rayus, i, provided her with some of the most sensitive information at the cia collects. she never gave us one reason to doubt how she was handling that. you know, she spoke to us, communicated with us forth rightly, you know. when she agreed with us she told us. when she disagreed, she told us.
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she didn't play bureaucratic games. when she promised to do something on our behalf, she delivered. you know, i saw her make judgements in the sit room about tough national security issues. i saw her think them through carefully, decisively. you know, for one person here, right, i trust her word and i trust her judgement. >> rose: thank you for coming. michael morell. the book is called the great war of our times. cia's fight against terrorism from al-qaeda to isis. i also want to say from this broadcast and this table, we have invited donald trump to come here, many, many, many times. we hope he will come. he has an open invitation to come sit at this table. and so do people who advise him and who would write, like to write an editorial saying that the worst thing that could happen would be for hillary clinton to be president and that they would like to see donald trump president. this san important election, it
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san important election that we understand what the stakes are for all of us here. there is economic and social discontent in this country and we all need to address it. there is also questions of national security which need to be addressed. and those things are political questions as well as questions about the future, about change, and about everything that elections are about. so we say to people we want you here at this table. we want this table to be a place where people express their own experience, their passion, their ideas and their beliefs. and engage in that conversation. and sometimes we like to have them come together at the same time and see where we are and talk about what america is, and what it can be. thank you for joining us, we'll see you next time. for more about this program and earlier episodes vits us online at and charlie
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captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh
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>> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. >> on the next charlie rose a conversation about amy shierm, join us.
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this is "nightly business report," with kyltyler mathisend sue herrera. >> fractured fed. some voting members of the central bank policy committee say a rate hike is needed soon. but others disagree. the result, markets that don't quite know what to make of janet yellin's fed. cautionary tale. the s.e.c. suspends trading in a $35 billion company that swims with the penny stock sharks. it's got no revenue, a really funky name, and an advisory board an so why didn't the s.e.c. act sooner and how can you protect yourself? hot wheels. the unlikely automaker that's growg sales twice as fast as the industry


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